Monthly Archives: September 2010

Burden for the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:27 & 1 Corinthians 1:11, Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it and my brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.‘

Greetings!

Through the missionary efforts of Paul and others, the church was established in Corinth. But Paul found it very difficult to keep Corinth out of the church. In fact, out of the 14 Epistles, this letter to Corinthians is very profound. The First part of this letter mainly deals with the Christian conduct in the Church as well as in the society. Singing halleluiah in the church and living a prodigal life in the society is not a Christian life. Paul addresses a variety of problems in the life-style of the Corinthian church; factions, lawsuits, immorality, questionable practices, abuse of the Lord‘s Supper and Spiritual gifts. Corinthians, part 1 can be studied under three topics : 1) Divisions in the Church, 2) Disorder in the Church, and 3) Difficulties in the Church. Now by the grace of God, I want to share the topic ‗Divisions‘ in the Church. Divide and rule is the devil‘s policy! And this is how the Britishers conquered India. India was rich in every level but all those riches turned into a waste land because of this policy…Aliens crossed the threshold and destroyed the peace. This is what happened in the Church of Corinth. The Church was full of gifts and was eagerly waiting for the revelation of Lord Jesus Christ, but slowly and steadily the evil one entered through the crevices and made a big hole out of it…And poor believers did not know that the evil had already set his dominion over them. Besides all these, God revealed me about one household called Chloe. Due to the concern for the body of Christ, they reported to Paul about the divisions in the Church. Wow! We don‘t know the name of the persons, but Paul says ―those of Chloe‘s household. In the midst of contentions, one family decided to stand in the gap and report this serious matter to the man of God! Wow! They did not run here and there and make telephone calls. They did not gossip about the divisions in the church, but rather they approached the right person! – Paul, whom God used to establish this church.

I honor this Chloe‘s household, because they decided to stand in the gap and fill those crevices from where the devil had entered. They had a burden and wanted to see the believers being restored from the devil‘s hand. Remember the opening message of our Lord on the mountain.―Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called sons of God . This family did not make that hole big. In fact they were alert in spirit to fill those crevices. We are the body of Christ, and each of us are a part of it. For by one Spirit, we were all baptized, into one body-whether Jews, or Greeks, whether slaves, or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact, the body has many members. If the foot should say, ―Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,‖ is therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? It is very much true that we are connected to one body but there are diversities of activities and the same God works all in all. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it or one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. The believers of Corinth were suffering under the devil‘s scheme of division and no one was concerned about each other. But the household of Chloe‘s realized that they needed to do something about the sufferings of the body of Christ.… Can I ask you brother/sister/pastor, do you pray when someone falls from the grace of God? Or do you make big news?!! I have noticed ,If anyone does not participate in the Holy Communion, then he is the most wanted person! But I say, he stayed away because of conviction. Let us pray for him/her so that they may turn to the Lord, rather than making telephone calls and spreading rumors about that person! The one who stays away from the Holy Communion, because of guiltiness is far better than the one who eats from the table with no guiltiness. I had pain in my legs a few days back, that put me down into full rest on my bed for 1 day. One member of my body was suffering the pain, but all the members of my body responded to that pain of that one member. It was like even my hands, head and eyes all were in pain, They all responded to that pain. God taught me a nice lesson…and He asked me how do you respond when one member in the body of Christ suffers?? Do you spread rumor, or do you sit on your knees? I was speechless!! Because I remember times when I had spread rumors, talking about this brother or that sister!! Oh! I forgot that he or she is also the member of the same body, of whom I also belong to! Oh what a wretched man I am!

How did the Apostle reply to the report ? I Corinthians 3:3, ‗ For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? What does this show? ‗ We are not natural men. But we are super natural .Natural man will keep jealously. He will keep envy, strife and divisions.
We must not only have burden for the people who backslide from the Lord, but also for those who suffer persecution, nakedness, distress, famine, pressed under situations, helpless etc.
On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, “Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me.” Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, “Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me.” These will ask Him, “When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?” And Jesus will answer them, “Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!” We believe, preach, sing but do we have burden for the least ones? James expresses this as ‗faith without work‘…and faith without work is dead. Faith without work is wood and hay, which will be destroyed in the fire….It may look big and expressive but it cannot stand before the fire…But, faith with work is living and it will be tested in the fire and the same finds the reward from the Father.
James 2:14, ‘What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?‘ Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead… Let me share one incident. I remember my dad preaching the same. One day, one lady came to my dad for prayer and said that she was not able to pay the school fees for her children. As usual, my dad prayed for her and gave the word, and tried to send her away…But soon, the Holy Spirit spoke to him to help her with the money, and he gave the exact amount of the fees which was kept for my school fees.

Now there was no money left for my school fees. But God miraculously supplied our need within a few days. My dad‘s intention was just to send her away after praying and wish her good things, but that was not what God wanted him to do…He must have the faith as well as work….Faith is completed when we do the deeds according to the will of God. Further in 1 John 3:17, it says, ‗ If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?…

We have seconds and minutes, and we will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds. So let us leave jealously, malice, gossips, strife, divisions and all evil thoughts against our brethren and stand in the gap in those areas where the devil is trying to enter in. Praying with all prayers, and workout our faith with burden and passion, not as men pleasers but as God pleasers, not doing for men but doing for God.
God bless!


FULLNESS OF JOY

John 15:11 “These things I have spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

Greetings!

We serve a living God who responds to our cry, our need, joy, prayer, worship etc. I don’t blame any religion but I will tell you about the traits of my God. He never sleeps nor slumbers; He respects true offerings and the true worshiper. He is pleased with those who diligently seek him. Our God is not a marble stone or a Golden calf but He is the boss of the universe and He sitteth in the circle of Earth and has all power in Him.John 1:3, ‘all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made’. He has the power to give life and take life. No one can flee from His presence, whether we sit in a dark room or make our home on the stars. His eye is always upon us. He took the dust of the ground, fashioned a man in His own image and breathed into his nostrils a life, and that fashioned dust was transformed into a living being. He knows the slang of the fishes and worms. He even talks to them . Job 38:11, ‘when I said, ‘This far you may come and no further; here is where your proud waves halt’? God did not make the Great Wall of China to stop the waves of the sea, but He commanded the sands of the seashore to stop the pride of the waves. So seeing all this into account, can we please the Divine Glory with a small candle stick and crackers? God made sun and cloud thunders. How can we please him with a zero volt light and 10 decibel sound? Dear ones, these are naked truth and no one can ignore this. Can anyone tell me as to how I can bring joy in the face of God? Because I want to please Him. Holy Bible says, ‘God is not pleased with burnt offerings and bull offerings.’ So let us look through the word and glean some truth out of it.

The verse begins like this “these things I have spoken unto you” . Which things? We can come into three conclusions out of it : 1) The Gospel of John, 2) The 15th chapter of John, and 3) The Holy Bible. Yes! The Bible is given so that our joy may be full.

Three things I want to share here :
• If the joy of the Lord is in us, then our joy will be full
• If the word of God is in us, then our joy will be full
• When the Holy Spirit is in us, then our joy will be full.

Joy is the fruit of the Spirit. Romans 14:17, ‘ for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.’ Now here we see two kinds of joy : the joy of Jesus and the joy of mankind. If we read this verse carefully, we can gather a lot of things out of it. First of all, the joy of mankind is not complete. It will be full only if the joy of the Lord remains in him. How can we enjoy the fullness of joy? Can this world give us joy? I can suggest you a few preachers who can give powerful and deeper messages on joy but does that bring fullness of joy in you? No! Fullness of Joy cannot be achieved in this way; you need to have personal fellowship with God to achieve it…Just hearing a powerful sermon will not help you. Alas! How can you know a person if you don’t have fellowship with him? Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. He is good and His mercy endures forever. Let us see as to what will bring joy in the face of Jesus.

Luke 15; 4-7 “Suppose one of you have a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep. I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.’

First, when we repent, there is rejoicing in heaven and that brings joy to the Lord.Now you may say that you repented many years back. Then how can I bring joy to the Lord? Yes! You can still do it by wining souls to the Lord. In this parable, we see one shepherd who left his 99 sheep in the wilderness and went after the lost one. What does this show? More than a business step, it shows an emotional step…He did not waste his time by calculating the lose and profit over one sheep. Rather he got up and went to look for the lost one. Yes God’s ministry is not a business, Winning souls is not a business, but more than that, it is doing the will of God. It is knowing the heart of the Lord. It is bringing joy in the heaven and pleasing the Father. To make man, God did not pay anything but to redeem a lost mankind; He paid a price by sending his only begotten Son- Jesus Christ. If you have not received Jesus in your life yet, this is the time. Refrain yourselves from all evil ways and repent over your sins because the wages of sin is death but the gift of God through Jesus Christ is eternal life.

Second, ‘Identify the real joy. If we identify the real joy, then we will enjoy the fullness of joy.’ Psalms 4:7, ‘ Thou has put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.’ David recognized the real joy. That’s why when he lost it, he cried in Psalms 51:12, ‘ Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.’ Getting good family life, salary increment, a new car etc. is not the fullness of joy. All these will fade and vanish away slowly, but one thing that endures is the joy of our salvation and the joy in the Lord. Dear one, do you think that prosperity is the ultimate joy? Oh dear saints, do you rejoice when the spirits are subjected to you in the name of Jesus? Jesus said ‘However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’ Habakkuk 3:17-18, ‘Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.’ Habakkuk recognized the real joy; he said that even if all the things around him fail, yet he will not fail. Dear one, can you praise if you are surrounded by unfavorable circumstances? Let me share with you one testimony. I am not boasting my self here. I want to simplify the subject. One day, while I was getting ready for the meeting, one of my dear ones made a nasty comment about me which was baseless. The moment I heard that, I was so much disturbed in my spirit that it was difficult for me to even walk an inch. Soon the devil started to put lot of thoughts in my mind. He even started to stop me from writing ‘The Living Rhema’, because he said that it’s of no use. But God gave me the grace to respond in this difficult situation… I did not support that evil thought. But I decided that I am going to praise & worship my God more than any other day…That decision gave me a great peace in my mind and I could feel God taking away my burden. Now you won’t believe – that comment was out of my mind and I loved that person more than before. Here God taught me a good lesson. Don’t let any circumstance to disturb your joy in the Lord. That day, the meeting was like Niagara fall!! The power of Holy Spirit was flowing on each and everyone! If you face financial shortage, family problems, people’s mockery comment etc., don’t allow the devil to win your heart. He is a murderer. He will steal away your joy. Rather pray for those people who mocked you because they are weak elements.

Paul wrote the epistle of Philippians when he was in the prison. In the midst of turmoil, we could see him mentioning about the joy 17 times. What is the reason? Because he identified the real joy. He counted all things loss which was gain to him, because he had gained Christ.
Heb 11: 24-26, ‘ by faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.’ I think I don’t need to explain this much. In worldy language, Moses won the lottery. He could have stayed as a prince and enjoy the pleasures and joy of the riches, but since he identified the real joy, he refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. You must despise fame and embrace shame and persecution for His name sake, like Jesus who endured cross for the joy that was set before him. Why did He endure the cross? Because He saw the resurrection. He saw you and me in the eternal life. Identifying the real joy will give fullness of joy.

Thirdly, priority to the Kingdom of God will give fullness of joy.If the Joy of the Lord is your priority, then your joy will be full.Mathew 6:33, ‘ Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and these things shall be added unto you.’ What is the position of God in your life brother/sister? Does he come after all your attempts fail? Or is He knocking at your door? Reset the priority of your life today! Psalms 16:8, ‘ I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.’ Do you have a thirst for the Lord and His kingdom? I remember that sometimes I compel people to worship the Lord, to raise their hands, and to open their mouths. One day I asked my God, “ why do I need to compel the people ?” And I got the reply that, “they have no thirst”…You don’t compel someone who is thirsty to drink water? Do you? Like wise if you have a thirst for the Lord, no one will compel you to give tithe, give praise, and bring souls to the church…All these will come automatically because you have the thirst and your priority is God! If you set the Lord before you, then there is the fullness of joy because there is joy in the presence of God. Psalms 16:11, ‘You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’

Let the Joy of our Lord remain in us. In other words, let us dip into the ocean of joy of the Lord so that His joy will give us the Fullness of Joy.

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!

God Bless you


PRAYER NEVER DIES


Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.

If someone asks how many of you pray, all may raise their hands. But what if he asks about the consistency in prayer ? Prayer is not something which you need to do once in a while. It is not a custom but more than that, it is the commandment of Jesus. Luke 18:1,’ Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.’ We come across three kinds of people and three outcomes of prayer.

1) People who pray 2) People who are consistent in prayer, and 3) People who never pray. And the outcomes are 1) Sudden answer 2) Gradual answer and 3) No answer.
Bible teaches us these three kinds of people and three outcomes. But I want to share a radical truth here that prayer has no death, Wow! I mean to say power of prayer never dies. The person who has prayed might be in the grave but the power of his prayer lives…Halleluiah. You may grow old but your prayers are still there, live and powerful. My grandmother is 78 yrs old . She is so weak that she even sometimes cannot utter a word but her prayers are holding her children and grandchildren. I know that even you have silmilar testimonies.

Paul, the apostle says to continue in prayer and watch in the same. In other words, he wants to tell us that we should sustain in prayer by fixing our eyes on the same by thanksgiving. Don’t just assume things, but believe by giving thanks that God is able to do. We sustain in our prayers, but do we watch in the same and give thanks to God? I was praying for someone and continued to do the same, but after sometime, seeing no result I gave up! This is wrong and God taught me something new. When you pray, fix your vision on prayer and not on the person whom you pray. After all it is not us who change the circumstances. You just pour water into the empty jars in the presence of God just like those servants did in the wedding of cana. And the changes are done by God. Do not worry if you don’t see the changes immediately but when you reach up to the brim, I am sure you will draw out changes! Amen. God wants us to reach the brim of prayer level so that we can draw out the answers of prayer into our homes. God is telling me right now that there is some one who is facing accusation and shortage in the house like that in Cana but you better pour water into the empty vessels i.e pray with tears. God is going to fill your shortage. You think that it will be a shame to your family, but God is going to change your mourning into dancing.

Genesis 30:22, ‘Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and opened her womb.’ God heard the prayers of Rachel and she bore two sons, Joseph and Benjamin. I believe that Joseph was a successful man because of the prayers of her mother. Even though she was buried, the power of her prayer was living. Joseph was a man of dreams. He endured every test that came across and was lifted up to the second place after the king of Egypt. Now we don’t hear much about the other son, Benjamin but there’s one thing I came to know when I read I Samuel 9:21 – Saul, the first king of Israel was from the tribe of Benjamin. Even though this tribe was least among Israel, God chose the King from this tribe. You may be the least among your friends or family, but God remembers you. See, Rachel cried out to God long back but her prayers were still working. So here is the good news for you. Don’t give up your prayers because you will gather the blessings out of it in the coming days.

1 Samuel 1:15, ‘And Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit; I have drunken neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.” The supplication of Hannah is very touching and it has taught me good lessons…she poured out her request to the Lord and dedicated her son for the Lord. The amazing thing in this prayer is that Hannah started her prayer by weeping and ended in smiling… Good news! You may start weeping, but God will turn it into joy sooner or later ….The next lesson we learn from Hannah is that she fixed her eyes on her prayers, not on her circumstances. She received sympathy from her husband and (mockery) refusal from her rival in the same house, but in the midst of these, she got the reply to her prayers in the same house. Good news! Don’t stop your prayers because someone refused you, because God will prepare a table before your enemies. After 1 Samuel chapter 2, we don’t see Hannah anymore, but we can see the result of her prayer that gave birth to a prophet called Samuel, who judged the people of Israel. The prayer of Hannah is only mentioned in the 1st chapter, but the outcome of her prayer can be seen in the following chapters.
Dear Mothers! Do you weep for your children? I thank my God for giving me a blessed mother who is my support in prayer. I remember my mother laying her hands on me and praying for me, when I am fast asleep. I would be aware of it only when her tears would fall on my cheeks…What I am saying can be seen in the following :-
(Quoted from the book, “Meat for men” by Leonard Ravenhill)

Max Jules, the atheist, lived a godless life. He married an ungodly girl. From that union the following were produced.

310 who were paupers
150 were criminals
7 were murderers
100 were murderers
100 were drunkards
More than half of the women were prostitutes

His 540 known descendents cost the United States government 1,250.000 dollars.

Jonathan Edwards, the revivalist, lived at the same time as the atheist Max Jules. He married a godly girl. An investigation was made of his 1394 known descendants.

13 became university presidents (vice chancellors, rectors)
65 became university teachers.
3 became United States Senators
30 became judges
100 became lawyers
60 became medical doctors
75 became army and navy officials
100 became preachers and missionaries
60 became authors of prominence
1 became Vice –President of the United States of America
80 became public officers in other capacities
295 became university graduates among whom were the following- State governors, diplomats and so on. None of the descendants cost the United States government a dime.

Dear Parent, this is very important, as you see the result of prayer. Even though Jonathan Edwards and his wife died, the power of their prayers was still living and gave birth to a spiritual Genetics. Do you love your children? If you do, become a man and woman of prayer…do something about it.Why do the prayers never die? Because the one who hears our prayers is living. We are not praying to stones, but we are praying to the ROCK who was rejected, but now is the chief corner stone- Jesus Christ. Psalms 34:15, ‘The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry. ‘ Remember, we are called to pray! So let us continue to pray and watch in the same with thanksgiving.

May God bless you


THE NARROW WAY

Mathew 7: 13 and 14, ‘ Enter ye in at the narrow gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are there who go in by it: Because narrow is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’

Here we see two gates, two ways, two kinds of people and two destinies. The narrow gate and the wide gate, the broad way and the narrow way. People who walk in the broad way are many but people who walk in the narrow way are few. Broad way leads to destruction but the narrow leads to life. The choice is ours. The Gospel of Mathew speaks about two Kingdoms; one is the kingdom of Heaven and the other is the Kingdom of Darkness. Jesus Christ is the king of the Kingdom of Heaven and Devil is the king of kingdom of Darkness. Devil is trying to draw people to the eternal death through the broad way and on the other side, Jesus is drawing people to His kingdom through the narrow way. There is no restriction on the broad way and so we find many people walking on it, but the way towards life is narrow and full of restrictions. And that is why we find few walking on it. The term narrow describes that we are not called to twist the Word of God according to our philosophy. But we must bend and mould ourselves according to the Word. To live according to the standard of the kingdom of God, you need to go through the narrow way.
Let us study more about the narrow way that leads to the Father and that leads to life.

Who is the narrow Gate?

Jesus said in Gospel of John 14:6, “ No one comes to the Father except through me” and again He said in John 10:9, “ I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” So Jesus Christ is the only way in to the Father. And this Gate is narrow. Why is it narrow? Because you need to give your heart to enter through this narrow gate. In other words, you need to set your love upon God. Heart of the person is the core area of his whole personality. If you win the heart of a person, you have won him completely… So God wants to rule your heart…The person who is not willing to give his heart to Jesus enters the wide gate which leads to death. We need to give up and lay aside every weight and sin that easily beset us. There is a proverb “No Pain, No Gain”. We need to pay the price to enter this gate which is narrow. Now after entering the narrow gate, is the way broad? No! The way is also narrow. Here is the problem with Christians. They enter the narrow gate i.e they accept Jesus Christ but they live a life of wide way. Remember those who accepted Jesus Christ. If he walks in a wide way, he is not of Christ. We have people who go to churches as if they are fulfilling some customs. Their life style and thoughts are like those of the world. They are so much pressed by the passions and desires of the world that they even twist the word of God according to their convenience. Christian life is not walking on a highway with no restrictions and specials rules. Instead, the way towards life is narrow and full of rules….We like to follow TV superstars and famous players. We shape our hairs, nails and dressings accordingly. Not only the outer appearance, some of them even have set their hearts towards such rubbish of this world.
Anything that slows down the acceleration of Christian Life is from Evil and anything that take your heart from Christ is not from God. It may look good and expressive but don’t forget, it is leading you to hell. Are we not the children of God? So what is the difference between the Children of God and the Children of Darkness? 1 John 1:6-7, ‘ if we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not say the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another… ‘. The famous proverb ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’ does not fit for a believer. God did not call you and me to walk with the flow. In fact He called us to walk against the flow of this world. If we are sons of God, let us live according to the Standard of God. It is sad to see that we have Christians who entered through the narrow gate (Jesus Christ) but are walking in the broad ways (worldly). Entering through the narrow gate and walking on the narrow way are two sides of the same coin. A person who enters through the narrow gate must walk on the narrow way. Many famous preachers speak only one side of the coin ,that is to enter the narrow gate but they don’t speak about walking on the narrow way because people will hate them. If we preach about receiving Jesus in our heart, let us also preach the way that leads to life. Psalms 1 is the best example of this narrow way. It says, ‘ blessed is that man who do not walketh, nor standeth, nor sitteth in the counsel of ungodly, way of sinners and seat of scornful.’ Now you may ask, ‘ how can we live in this world then ?’ Because we come across such kind of people daily…The psalmist wants to tell us that we can talk with a sinner, but his ideas and his teachings must not pollute our spiritual life. We can talk to ungodly, but we must not imitate their evil ways. Then further down its says, ‘ his delight is in the word of God and he is the tree planted near the streams of water.’ God has planted us beside the streams of river of Holy Spirit so that we should yield good fruits in due time.

See what Jesus said ….’because narrow is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ Notice that both the gate and the way is narrow…That means accepting Jesus is not enough, but we must walk in the way that leads to life. The most significant thing is that very few walk through the narrow way. There may be many who get into the narrow gate (Jesus Christ) but only a few walks on the narrow way and find life. That’s why Bible says, ‘ many are called but few are chosen.’ If you notice, from the beginning of the creation, there were only a few people who found the promised land and life…. At the time of Noah, there were only 8 members who found life and rest all were destroyed. Further if you see, only two (Joshua and Caleb) out of all the Israelites entered Cannan,. Now when you come to revelation, the Spirit of God searches the church of Sardis and says “Thou has a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments” . Even though the church was full of people, but the Spirit finds only few that is worthy. Are you and me among them about whom the Spirit will testify us as worthy? Dear Reader, Jesus is coming soon. There is no time for us to concentrate on anything other than Jesus. Let us focus on Him completely, and tune our spirits to hear the sound of trumpet. Fill your lamp with oil and be alert because we will see the Son of Man in this generation. You may have received Jesus Christ long back, but are you walking in the narrow way or the broad way?? Are you travelling towards life?
This will help you. Please read Matt Ch 5-7 for further studies on this narrow way. Let us examine our relation with our Lord.

May God bless you!


MARAH TO ELIM

Exodus 15: 23 When they came to Marah; they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah. Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.

I thank my God for his Word. We are strangers in this world and during our journey through this wilderness, there are times when we go weak and sometimes even utterly fall . But the only thing that makes us move forward is the Word of God. Our bank balance and influences will not support our journey to our home in heavenly places. In the Old Testament, the angels of God fed a few people who fainted during their journey to strengthen them to run the race. One of them was Elijah, who was fed with bread during the famine. He was fed when he hid himself to die…This bread in the New Testament is the Word of God, which feeds us not only when there is a great famine, but also when we give up! World and the leaders are after peace and signing peace treaties. But let me ask you, “ where is the peace is?” Bible says in Psalms 119:165,’Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. Who is having the great peace? It is the one who loves the Law of God.’ In another psalm, it says, ‘ you word is a lamp to my feet and light into my path.’ How can you walk in this sinful and dark world ? In earlier days, people used to fix special lamps close to knees, so that while they walked, they could see the next step. God wants you to fix his Word in your heart, and if we do that, the way ahead will be clear and safe. Wait on the Lord and his promises. He will change your Marah to Elim, the water of bitterness to springs of sweet water .Let this article of ‘The Living Rhema’ bring you peace and strength.

I always wonder about God’s ways of taking Israelites out of Egypt. It’s so much similar to what the New Testament church is going through. The crossing of the Red sea resembles water baptism. St. Paul wrote “. . . all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Cor. 10:1, 2). As they crossed the Red Sea, the Israelites who already were redeemed by blood, left Egypt forever. They then took on a new life and a new leader. After crossing the Red sea, the Israelites were freed from the bondage, and pharaoh stopped following them. But on their journey to Canaan, they came to a place called Marah. The meaning of Marah is “bitterness”. After singing the song of salvation, they did not expect the waters of bitterness. Is there anyone who is into a wrong teaching that after you receive Jesus, there will be only blessings? And is there anyone who lifted up the cup of salvation initially, but now the experience of Marah (place of bitterness and trials) is making you wonder whether you took the right decision? There are two types of teachings in the world : 1) Prosperity Theology and 2) Poverty Theology. The earlier one speaks of only blessings, while the latter talks about only trials and tribulations . Both are wrong! And if anyone is one among them, let this message be an eye opener to you.

In John 16:33, Jesus said “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. In another passage he says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives”. Jesus said that there is tribulation in the world but the tribulation must not triumph over our faith, because Jesus has overcome the world and in the midst of the afflictions, there is calm assurance and peace, and heavenly blessings- this is Christian life. Psalms 23 teaches us the same thought. There is green pastures and still water, but also the valley of shadow of death. There are enemies who want to see your fall but there is also the oil of gladness that runeth over. Apostle Paul was a wealthy man but he says in his epistle that there were times when he did not have anything to cover himself from cold. Our God is not happy when he sees us afflicted, but he tests us so that we tune ourselves to the heavenly station. Psalms 119:71 says “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes”….We all had a shortage in our life and that’s how we came to the Lord. So just remember that, had there been no shortage, where would we be? The house of Cana had a shortage of wine, but at the end, God changed the shortage to fullness. Martha and Mary had a big issue, but Jesus appeared and solved their problem. So when we go through bitterness and afflictions, always expect the work of God. There are times when the devil will provoke you to go back and to give up. He often does that but if you choose to cling to Jesus and his promises, then you will see the Glory of God…See when the Devil tells you to give up, remember that you are half way to receive the blessings! Devil has realized that you are only a few meters away to receive the promises. So he will use every opportunity to refrain you from getting that….But stay there and tell him, “ I am not going to give up. My God has promised me and he will accomplish it.”

After singing the song of redemption, when the Israelites came to Marah, they grumbled before Moses because the water was bitter. Do you grumble in times of bitterness? Do you grumble when your situations are not working as you expected? Remember! When you grumble, you are no where, but if you praise God and be faithful in Marah, God will show you the way. The way ahead seemed to be difficult for Israelites. Do you find it difficult to move forward in your life? Is the bitterness blocking your faith? We can see the family of Naomi, who left Bethlehem when there was a great famine. They went to Moab and at the end, she faced lots of consequences because of that decision. She lost her husband and two children, and at the end she cries, (Ruth 1:21) ”I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty.” What does this show? The devil is a liar. He will tell you to give up, but his main aim is to trap you. Remain where God has planted you AND that affliction and that pain is only for bracket period. God is going to take you out as refined gold. Do not grumble, but be patient and look unto God. He has planted a tree beside this Marah. He has already provided you the way to be out of this pain. Open your eyes! Some flocks cannot see the provision of God, because they are busy in grumbling. Are you so busy that you can’t even see the provision of God? Do you know that God has already prepared a tree to take away that bitterness from the water? Do you know that God has already prepared a way for your future? He has already given you what he has promised. Now you need to seize it. And when Moses saw the tree, he cast it into the water of bitterness and that Marah changed into sweet water. Devil will try his best to hide the provision of God but let us not go astray. After Marah, the Lord took them to a place called Elim, a place of twelve springs. Right now you may be in bitterness, but God is going to change your Marah to Elim. He is going to change your bitterness to springs of sweet water. That bitter experience in Marah was just to show you the work of God and to strengthen your faith. It was to make us know that we are serving a God who can lead us to springs of water. Wait on the Lord .

God bless you!