Sunday, 29 January 2012

Jesus: From Genesis to Revelation

In the Old Testament:

- In Genesis, He is the Creator God.
- In Exodus, He is the Redeemer.
- In Leviticus, He is your sanctification.
- In Numbers, He is your guide.
- In Deuteronomy, He is your teacher.
- In Joshua, He is the mighty conqueror.
- In Judges, He gives victory over enemies.
- In Ruth, He is your kinsman, your lover, your redeemer.
- In I Samuel, He is the root of Jesse.
- In 2 Samuel, He is the Son of David.
- In 1 Kings and 2 Kings, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
- In 1st and 2nd Chronicles, He is your intercessor and High Priest.
- In Ezra, He is your temple, your house of worship.
- In Nehemiah, He is your mighty wall, protecting you from your enemies.
- In Esther, He stands in the gap to deliver you from your enemies.
- In Job, He is the arbitrator who not only understands your struggles, but has the power to do something about them.
- In Psalms, He is your song–and your reason to sing.
- In Proverbs, He is your wisdom, helping you make sense of life and live it successfully.
- In Ecclesiastes, He is your purpose, delivering you from vanity..
- In the Song of Solomon, He is your lover, your Rose of Sharon.
- In Isaiah, He is the mighty counselor, the prince of peace, the everlasting father, and more. He’s everything you need.
- In Jeremiah, He is your balm of Gilead, the soothing salve for your sin-sick soul.
- In Lamentations, He is the ever-faithful one upon whom you can depend.
- In Ezekiel, He is your wheel in the middle of a wheel–the one who assures that dry, dead bones will come alive again.
- In Daniel, He is the ancient of days, the ever- lasting God who never runs out of time.
- In Hosea, He is your faithful lover, always beckoning you to come back–even when you have abandoned Him.
- In Joel, He is your refuge, keeping you safe in times of trouble.
- In Amos, He is the husbandman, the one you can depend on to stay by your side.
- In Obadiah, He is Lord of the Kingdom.
- In Jonah, He is your salvation, bringing you back within His will.
- In Micah, He is judge of the nation.
- In Nahum, He is the jealous God.
- In Habakkuk, He is the Holy One.
- In Zephaniah, He is the witness.
- In Haggai, He overthrows the enemies.
- In Zechariah, He is Lord of Hosts.
- In Malachi, He is the messenger of the covenant.

In the New Testament:

- In Matthew, He is king of the Jews.
- In Mark, He is the servant.
- In Luke, He is the Son of Man, feeling what you feel.
- In John, He is the Son of God.
- In Acts, He is Savior of the world.
- In Romans, He is the righteousness of God.
- In I Corinthians, He is the rock that followed Israel.
- In II Corinthians, He the triumphant one, giving victory.
- In Galatians, He is your liberty; He sets you free.
- In Ephesians, He is head of the Church.
- In Philippians, He is your joy.
- In Colossians, He is your completeness.
- In I Thessalonians, He is your hope.
- In II Thessalonians, He is your glory.
- In I Timothy, He is your faith.
- In II Timothy, He is your stability.
- In Titus He is your reason for serving.
- In Philemon, He is your benefactor.
- In Hebrews, He is your perfection.
- In James, He is the power behind your faith.
- In I Peter, He is your example.
- In II Peter, He is your purity.
- In I John, He is your life.
- In II John, He is your pattern.
- In III John, He is your motivation.
- In Jude, He is the foundation of your faith.
- In Revelation, He is your coming King.

Friday, 27 January 2012

യേശുവിലെന്‍ തോഴനെ കണ്ടേന്‍...

 
യേശുവിലെന്‍ തോഴനെ കണ്ടേന്‍

എനിക്കെല്ലമായവനെ

പതിനായിരങ്ങളില്‍ ഏറ്റം സുന്ദരനെ

ശാരോനിന്‍ പനിനീര്‍ പുഷ്പം

അവനെന്നെ കണ്ടെത്തിയേ

പതിനായിരങ്ങളില്‍ ഏറ്റം സുന്ദരനെ

തുമ്പം ദുഖങ്ങളില്‍

ആശ്വാസം നല്കുന്നോന്‍

എന്‍ ഭാരമെല്ലാം ചുമകമെന്നെടതാല്‍ (ശാരോനിന്‍)


ലോകരെല്ലാം കൈവെടിഞ്ഞാലും ശോകഭാരം ഏറിയാലും

യേശുരക്ഷാകരന്‍ താങ്ങും തണലുമായ്

അവനെന്നെ മറക്കുകില്ല മൃത്യുവിലും കൈവിടില്ല

അവനിഷ്ടം ഞാന്‍ ചെയ്തെന്നും ജീവിക്കും (തുമ്പം )


മഹിമയില്‍ കിരീടം ചൂടി

നാഥന്‍ മുഖം ഞാന്‍ ദര്‍ശിക്കും

അങ്ങു ജീവന്‍റെ നദി കവിഞ്ഞൊഴുകുമെ

ശാരോനിന്‍ പനിനീര്‍ പുഷ്പം

അവനെന്നെ കണ്ടെത്തിയേ
പതിനായിരങ്ങളില്‍ ഏറ്റം സുന്ദരനെ (തുമ്പം )

Sunday, 22 January 2012

The 5 Finger Prayer

The “Five Finger Prayer” is a simple, yet effective, way to pray.
We were separated from God by sin (Romans 3:23). But because Jesus paid for our sin on the cross we now “have access by one Spirit to the Father,” (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:18). Those who receive Jesus as their Savior become “children of God” (John 1:12).
So even though God is “great and mighty in power” (Psalm 147:4), we are His children and He is always thinking of us, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand!” (Psalm 139:17-18)
He is always ready to bend His ear to hear our prayers and so we’re encouraged to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
The Five Finger Prayer is a simple guide we can use when we pray.

1) Your Thumb is nearest to you

So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C.S. Lewis once said “sweet duty.”
While praying for our loved ones is easy the Bible also tells us to pray for our enemies who, in a negative way, are also near us.
“Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44) And again, “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it.” (1 Peter 3:9)

2) The next finger is the Pointing Finger

The pointing finger reminds us of those who instruct so pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers. These men and women have great influence on society and we should pray that they display and teach godly principles in all they do.

3) The next finger is the Tallest Finger

Our tallest finger reminds us of those who are in charge. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God’s guidance.
When the king of Nineveh prayed to God he saved his nation from destruction (Jonah 3:6-10). We should pray that our decision makers repent and seek God’s will as they lead us.

4) The fourth finger is our Ring Finger

The ring finger is our weakest finger, as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.
The Bible tells us that all who believe in Christ are “one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12) and that we are to “bear one another burdens”. We should “pray for one another,” James 5:16 tells us that, because “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
Praying for others is a way of serving those around us and serving is what gives us purpose to life. “If you love Me,” Jesus said, “feed My sheep.” Praying for those in need is one way to feed Christ’s sheep.

5) And lastly comes our Little Finger

The smallest finger of all. Which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, “The least shall be the greatest among you.” Your Pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself.
By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.
When praying for ourselves we should first confess our sins because sin breaks fellowship with God and we don’t want to be out of fellowship with Him. No matter how badly we’ve sin take heart and know that “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Then we should give thanks for all the blessings we have been given, “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pray your vows to the Most High” (Psalm 50:14)
And finally we lay out what is on our heart, the good and the bad, and we pray that God’s will be done in our life. The Father loves you very much and will always do what is best for you. Trust Him and He will lead you and cause all things to work together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Emergency Bible Numbers

- When you are sad, call on John 14
- When you don’t feel loved, call on Romans 8:38-39
- When you have sinned, call on 1 John 1:8-9
- When you are facing danger, call on Psalm 91
- When people have failed you, call on Psalm 27
- When God feel far from you, call on Psalm 139
- When your faith needs encouraging, call on Hebrews 11
- When you are scared, call on Psalm 23
- When you are worried, call on Matthew 6:25-34
- When you are hurt, call on Colossians 3:12-17
- When you feel no one is on your side, call on Romans 8:31-39
- When you are seeking rest, call on Matthew 11:25-30
- When you are suffering, call on Romans 8:18-30
- When you feel you’re failing, call on Psalm 121
- When you pray, call on Matthew 6:9-13
- When you need courage, call on Joshua 1
- When you are in need, call on Philippians 4:19
- When you are hated because of your faith, call on John 15
- When you are losing hope, call on 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
- When you are seeking peace, call on John 14:27
- When you want to do good works, call on John 15
- When you want to live a happy life, call on Colossians 3:12-17
- When you don’t understand what God is doing, call on Isaiah 55:8-9
- When you want to get along with others, call on Romans 12:9-21

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Jesus is the only Door to Heaven


John 10:9

Jesus said, "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." (John 10:9). This statement is a part of Jesus' teaching after He had healed the man born blind. It had been at Jerusalem that Jesus had miraculously healed the man. Evidently the man had been a familiar sight in Jerusalem, perhaps because he begged for his sustenance at some busy intersection. It was a powerful miracle that no one could deny.

The man had been brought to the Pharisees. The Pharisees were enemies of Jesus. They confronted Jesus whenever they could. They demanded signs. How about this one? No, not good enough. When the man who had been blind

but now could see refused to deny that Jesus had healed him, he was put out of the synagogue.

The point of Jesus' statement "I am the door" is that the Pharisees were rejecting their only access to God. Jesus later put it another way when He said "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me." (John 14:6). The same "Light of the World" that revealed the way to the spiritually blind was also blinding to those who thought they could "see perfectly fine without any help from you, Jesus of Nazareth, thank you very much."

The point of Jesus' discourse following this incident is that we cannot make it without Him. He is our door as well. Consider His statement again: "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."

"I Am The Door"

"He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:11,12). Jesus described Himself in several different ways. He is the Good Shepherd, the Cornerstone, the Bread of Life and the Water of Life. Salvation has become a very simple matter. There are not four or five paths to heaven and we need not be concerned with the complication of picking the best one for us. There is only one way. All the others lead in the wrong direction (Matthew 7:13,14).

It is with great animosity that the Council looked upon Peter and John when they taught "and there is salvation in no one else." That same anger is directed at those who would teach the same message today by a world that supposes there are many ways to heaven and many names through which to be saved. It will take a great deal of courage to remain loyal to the Risen Lord and insist that He is still the only way.

"If Anyone Enters Through Me"

"Now when they had heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Brethren, what shall we do?' And Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let each of you be baptized for the forgiveness of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:37,38). Salvation is conditional. We must enter the right door. Each one of us has the responsibility to make his or her own decision to enter the Door and then follow through. The Lord will not drag us over the threshold.

Some say that salvation is totally by grace. Of course, salvation is utterly impossible without God's grace, but to say that its "solely by grace" removes the need for human response. It would mean that we do not have to enter the door. It would be more correct to say that the door is given "solely by grace," but we must have the faith to enter it (Ephesians 2:8).

Speaking of doors, it is as easy to leave by a door as it is to enter by it. Some picture discipleship as entering a door which, as soon as one enters, Jesus slams it shut so and locks it so one cannot leave if he changes his mind. But the sad fact is that some do change their mind, and are free to leave (Galatians 5:4; Hebrews 6:4-6).

"He Shall Be Saved"

"He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved, but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned." (Mark 16:16). The phrase "shall be saved" occurs in both our main text (John 10:9) as well in this verse. "Salvation" in used in at least two senses in the Scriptures. Sometimes the Bible refers to salvation from past sins when one obeys the gospel, as Jesus does here. But at other times, it is eternal salvation that is being referred to. Peter encourages those who are facing persecution to continue to live faithfully, allowing the trials they face to prove their faith, thereby "obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls." (I Peter 1:9). There he is referring to our eternal inheritance to be received at the end (which is really the beginning!).

It should be pointed out that Mark 16:16 elaborates on how one "enters" the Door. These two verses compliment one another, both talking about how to be saved. We enter the door when we obey the gospel. It is not correct to pose these verses against one another and say, "See, one does not have to be baptized to be saved because Jesus said one must enter the door to be saved." Actually, He said both, and both, taken together along with all else the Bible says about salvation, are true.

"And Go In And Out"

"If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31,32). The idea of "going in and out" does not refer to leaving and coming back to Jesus. Rather, it refers to the freedom we have in Christ. We are free to live without regret and fear. We enjoy peace and our wellbeing is not bound by temporal concerns. Though we experience bad times as well as good, we do not "grieve as do the rest who have no hope" (I Thessalonians 4:13).

Freedom in Christ does not mean we are at liberty to disobey Him, however. Grace is not a license to sin (Romans 6:1,2) nor is it an opportunity to serve the flesh (Galatians 5:13). We cannot be free apart from knowing the truth, and we cannot truly and accurately know the truth without abiding in His word.

"And Find Pasture"

"He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters." (Psalm 23:2). The Lord will sustain us. He is our Strength and Provider. He has promised "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you." We confidently say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid." (Hebrews 13:5,6).

As God's children, we are as sheep in the midst of a green pasture. We are free to nourish ourselves on what the Lord has provided. We need not be hungry or thirsty. We can stay with the Lord and know His protection. It would certainly be foolish to wander off on our own. We patiently wait, provided with the things we need, knowing that "when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory." and that we "are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (I Peter 5:4; 1:5).

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Jehovah – Jireh – The Lord will provide

Jehovah – Jireh - The Lord will provide
God’s provision always exceeds our expectation!
No matter what you think He is, God is the master of surprises. He doesn’t need “favorable circumstances” and “appropriate conditions” to fulfill his promises. When God says, “This valley of ditches will be filled with water” we may expect a wind or rain. However, beyond our “natural limitaions” God will do what he said he will do and He needs nothing because He himself is the source. He is self-sufficient, which means God doesn’t need anything because he is perfect. In fact, it is on God alone that everything in the universe depends for its existence (see Acts 17: 25; Col. 1: 16, 17; Rom. 1: 36; Heb. 11:3; 2 Cor. 4:6; Rev. 4:11)
He made a way through the sea. He provided Manna in the desert. He provides peace in sobering circumstances, a shelter in a stormy situation, strength in the time fear, comfort in the time of grief, etc. God cannot be micromanaged. His plan exceeds our anticipation, vision, and understanding. His thoughts and ways for us are higher than we think. Because God is beyond human comprehension. He always provides for his children. He always meets his children’s needs at the right time and the right place. He is Jehovah – Jireh: the
Lord Who will see to it that our every need is meet. He knows our need because He sees in advance and meets our need just the right time. (Read Matthew 6:31-32, Matthew 7:11 and Philippians 4:19 too)
Obedience leads to provision!
God will never ask us to do something unless He provides a way. God never puts us in a situation that he has not already given us the ability to handle. When God wants to do something in your life, He doesn’t require your ability but availability. He doesn’t look at your ability but readiness and willingness. Your availability to walk in obedience and faith into what He about to accomplish in you is a key in your journey to Moriah. When Abraham rose up early that morning as we read in Genesis 22: 5 and packed for the journey to Moriah, the journey he about to start wasn’t easy. God had asked him to do an unthinkable thing and illogical! But Abraham did not wondering, or questioning. He believed God and trusts him in faith that God would provide. God wanted to see if Abraham would obey Him even though he could not understand why or unthinkable or unreasonable. God Provides Through our Obedience! The only way to experience all that God has for us is to walk in complete obedience.
God Provides at Just the Right Time!
Sometimes when we are overwhelmed by “difficult situation” we want God carrying out his plans “on time.” But, the reality of God’s providence reveals the difference between our thoughts and His (Isa. 55: 8-9) and our concept the “right time” and His “appointed time.” I believe in God’s miraculous provision all the times.
However, because He didn’t provide “as we want Him to do” doesn’t mean He doesn’t care. “God is never late, and he’s never early. He’s always right on time.”
God is never too late. We may wait too late sometimes but not God because there is no “too late” with God. He is always right on time. For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.”
God always provides. God is working according to His own time schedule – not ours. His provision is always on time, but when we confuse our inability to wait patiently with his ability to provide there is always a problem. The expression “they that wait upon the LORD” (Isa. 40:31) implies that a Christian should be willing to allow God to decide the terms because God provides at just the right time.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Prayer

God speaks to us through His written word, the Bible. Christians speak to God through prayer. Prayer is an important part of the Christian’s life; we pray in words and sometimes we pray in song. Here are twenty important scripture quotes about prayer.

How Often Should We Pray

1 Corinthians 1:4I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Philippians 1:3-4 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,
Colossians 1:3 (KJV) We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing

How Should We Pray

Psalm 66:17 I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue.
Psalm 95:2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
1 Corinthians 14:15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.
James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

What Should We Pray For

Psalm 50:14-15 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
Psalm 118:25 Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success!
Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they be secure who love you!
Romans 10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.
Romans 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Who Should We Pray For

Romans 15:30 I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf,
2 Corinthians 1:11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
James 5:13-14 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Christian Quotes About Prayer

“Those persons who know the deep peace of God, the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding, are always men and women of much prayer.”~ R. A. Torrey
“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.” ~ Corrie ten Boom
“You may as soon find a living man that does not breath, as a living Christian that does not pray.” ~ Matthew Henry
“Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” ~ John Bunyan
“We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.” ~ Oswald Chambers

 

Thursday, 5 January 2012

10 Awesome Attributes of God

When we talk about the attributes of God we are talking about His nature—who God is in His manifested character. These 10 attributes are not the only ones set forth in scripture. However, these will give you a better appreciation of who God is.

Omniscient

God knows everything and His knowledge is complete. This is called His omniscience. Isaiah said that Israel had not seen everything that God had planned (Isaiah 40:28). Job said that God had all knowledge (Job 37:16). The psalmist said that God’s understanding was infinite (Psalm 147:5). The New Testament also claims God’s omniscience in 1 John 3:20 and Romans 11:33.

Omnipotent

God is able to bring to pass everything that He chooses. He has no external limitations. His only limits are those He places upon Himself. The book of Job (42:2) says that He can do all things and that nothing can restrain him. Genesis 18:14 simply asks, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” The answer, of course, is “no.”

Omnipresent

God’s omnipresence speaks to the fact that He is present in all places at all times. While God is in Heaven, His throne, He is also present in every place. Proverbs 15:3 says that His eyes are in every place. Jeremiah says that God is close at hand and that no one can hide himself from God (Jeremiah 23:23, 24). The classic passage on God’s omnipresence is Psalm 129:7-12 where the psalmist says that he can never be out of the sight of God.

Immutable

By nature, God is absolutely unchanging. For this reason, the attributes He possessed before the creation of the world are the same ones He has today. Psalm 90:2 says that before anything was created God was eternal and existed in the same state that He is in now. Malachi 3:6 says, “I am the Lord, I change not.”

Holy

Though all the attributes of God are important and dependent on one another, the fact of God’s holiness seems to be the one He wishes us to put emphasis upon. When God revealed Himself to man (Moses, Job, Isaiah, Mount of Transfiguration, etc.) each encounter mentions His holiness. Isaiah called God “the Holy One” more than 30 times. Psalm 99:9 says, “the Lord our God is holy.” Because of His holiness He cannot accept, nor even look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13).

Righteous

God’s holiness is manifested in His righteousness. Because He is holy, He is righteous. This attribute of righteousness is the way His holiness is expressed when dealing with men. Psalm 116:5 and Ezra 9:15 say that God is righteous. Many verses declare His righteousness (Exodus 9:23-27; Psalm 129:4; 145:17; Jeremiah 12:1; 1 John 1:9)

Sovereign

God’s sovereignty is how He rules His creation. This is what makes Him free to do what He knows is best for us. Though He is in complete control, He has also given us a free will to obey or reject His leading. The first verse of the Bible says that God does what He chooses to do. The entire first chapter shows God’s authority and sovereignty over His creation. The Bible is full of passages that show God leading or commanding people to do certain things.

Love

If there is one attribute that people love to embrace, it is the fact that God is love. This word encapsulates for us His mercy, grace and loving-kindness. God is not like the deities of other religions who are thought of as angry and hateful. God is loving towards His creatures. He wants to share a personal relationship with us. 1 John 4 talks extensively about God’s love. Not just that God has love, but that He is love.

Merciful

God’s mercy has been defined as God not giving us what we deserve. We, as sinners, deserve eternal punishment away from His presence, yet in His mercy He has chosen to offer us a way for salvation (Ephesians 2:4; Romans 5:8). Deuteronomy 4:31 and Psalm 103:8 say that God is merciful. A beautiful picture of God’s mercy is shown in the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15.

Trinity

While God is one, He manifests Himself in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament often the plural form of the Hebrew word God is used when speaking about Him (Elohim). The Bible refers to the “Angel of the Lord” several times. This is a reference to a physical manifestation of God (Genesis 16, 18). The Holy Spirit is also mentioned in the Old Testament (Genesis 1:2; Judges 6:34).
The doctrine of the Trinity is taught even more clearly in the New Testament. The baptism of Christ in Matthew 3:16, 17 shows the three persons of the Trinity. God speaks as the Holy Spirit descends from heaven to Jesus. Another example is the way in which we are instructed to be baptized in Matthew 28—in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Jesus also said that He would ask God the Father to send the Holy Spirit as a comforter in John 14. The Bible also claims that each one of the three are God (the Father, Romans 1:7; the Son, Hebrews 1:8; the Spirit, Acts 5:3, 4).

 

Monday, 2 January 2012

THE SEVEN WORDS OF JESUS ON THE CROSS

THE FIRST WORD

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."
Gospel of Luke 23:34
  
                                                         THE SECOND WORD

"Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
Gospel of Luke 23:43


THE THIRD WORD

"Jesus said to his mother: "Woman, this is your son".
Then he said to the disciple: "This is your mother."
Gospel of John 19:26-27

THE FOURTH WORD

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34

THE FIFTH WORD

"I thirst"
Gospel of John 19:28



THE SIXTH WORD

When Jesus had received the wine, he said,
"It is finished";
and he bowed his head and handed over the spirit.
Gospel of John 19:30

THE SEVENTH WORD

Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit":
Gospel of Luke 23:46

Sunday, 1 January 2012

The Good Samaritan

                                             Luke 10:25-37
Jesus loved to tell a good story to make a point, and The Good Samaritan is one of His most famous stories of all.

Whenever someone asked Jesus which of the Old Testament commandments was the most important, Jesus said these two are the most important of all: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" and "Love your neighbor just as much as you love yourself."

"Love" can mean many different things, but the "Christian love" that Jesus talked about means treating others with kindness and respect and helping them when they need it. It is the kind of love we do instead of the kind of love we feel.

"Love your neighbor as yourself" was part of the Old Testament Law (Leviticus 19:18) that was sacred to Jesus' kinfolk, the Jews. But, many people thought a "neighbor" meant only their fellow Jews. One day a lawyer asked Jesus, "And just who is my neighbor?" Jesus told the story of The Good Samaritan to answer his question in a way we can never forget:

A Jewish man was taking a trip alone and was attacked by robbers. They beat him, robbed him of everything he had, and left him nearly dead beside the road. After while, a Jewish priest came along and saw the poor man lying beside the road. As a religious man, you would expect him to stop and do what he could to help. But, instead, he kept going and pretended he did not see. Later, a Levite came along. Levites were assistants to the priests, so you would expect him to stop and help, too. But, he did just like the priest and kept on going.


The Good Samaritan bandaged the man's wounds, put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn.
Finally, a Samaritan man came by. Even though they both lived in the land of Palestine and shared a similar religion, the Jews and the Samaritans definitely did not think of each other as "neighbors." In fact, they hated each other. The Samaritans came from a different race of people than the Jews. They had considered each other enemies for hundreds of years and refused to even talk to each other!


You would expect the Samaritan man to be the one who just passed by without helping. Instead, this Samaritan man took pity on the injured Jewish man. He bandaged his wounds. He put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn where he could be safe and recover. Since the injured man had been robbed of everything he had, the Samaritan man even paid his bill at the inn and paid the innkeeper to take good care of him!

After telling this story, Jesus turned to the lawyer who had asked, "And who is my neighbor?" and said to him, "Now which of the three men that passed by was a neighbor to the injured man?" The lawyer was forced to admit that it was the Samaritan who treated the injured man as a neighbor, not his fellow Jews who did nothing to help. Jesus then said, "Yes, now go and do the same!"

If a Samaritan could be a neighbor to a Jew, and Jesus told us to "go and do the same," then all of God's people must be our neighbors and we must love them just as the Samaritan man did! Yet, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, Asians, the poor, the homeless, the unattractive, gays, lesbians, the handicapped, the mentally ill, and countless other groups are still sometimes the victims of ridicule, hatred and discrimination. Jesus must be looking down with sadness that, after 2000 years, we have still not learned to love our neighbors!

Eternity-A Biblical Approach

Eternal life in heaven is received through knowledge of God, the Father, and is contained in His Son, Jesus Christ. We obtain this gift of ...