Monthly Archives: May 2012

Temptation in the Wilderness

Jesus, being full of Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Later on, He went to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. Jesus was in the initial stage of His ministry. So, instead of leading Him to the synagogues or temples or to the needy people, the Spirit led Him to the wilderness. If we see the lives of people who are called by God, we note that they all went through some wilderness before getting into the real mission. Lives of Mosses, David, Paul and various others are a witness of this fact. When a Father teaches his son to ride a bicycle, he knows the possible dangers. That’s why, his hands supports the cycle from behind. This is how God teaches us also. The Spirit led Jesus to the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, but He came out in the power of the Spirit. If the Spirit is leading us, we need not worry even though there’s a valley of shadow of death, because His hands are with us and hence, we will never fail. No father would like to see his child in the same stage. He wants his children to grow. In the same way, God builds our character through various trials and leads us in the wilderness. If God has called you, He will never put you on the mission right a way, but will take you through wilderness to the mission field. He is very much able to put you right away where He desires to, but we need time to be prepared. It is not important as to where we are led to, but it is very important as to who is leading us. The Spirit might lead us to places filled with wickedness, like Nineveh. But let’s not look unto the place. Rather, let’s look unto Him who is leading us. Jonah was a powerful prophet, but he failed to recognize the one who was leading him. So he tried to flee to Tarshish. Life is tough in the wilderness and when you are tested, it becomes all the more difficult. This is impossible for a mere man, but a person full of Holy Spirit will survive like a tree planted by the river. He will produce more fruits because the root is connected to the river. If our spirit is fully rooted in the Spirit of God, we will be fruitful in the wilderness. In Wilderness, there is no one to help, but God is the present help who will feed us from time to time with fresh manna and living water. Jesus was fasting for 40 days and when they had ended, He was hungry and Satan came to tempt Him. God does not tempt anybody, but He tests everyone. He tests us for our profit. Satan does not have many weapons to tempt, as many of us think. Luke 4:13 says, ‘and when devil had ended all the temptation’…This proves that he has limited weapons to come against you. Jesus did not quit, but devil had to quit. We also can do the same through the power of the Holy Spirit. We must resist the devil by submitting ourselves to God. Amen. Now let us see how Satan tempted Jesus. Satan came to Jesus in three ways:

• Brought stone to be made to bread

• Showed all the kingdom of this world and its glory

• Quoted the word of God

 This is how devil and his minions work together against all children of God. He will bring something that looks profitable and essential. He will show us the riches and glory of this world, but will never show us the hidden agenda behind it. Since he is the father of lies, he cannot not quote the word of God in completeness. Rather, he will speak half truth. This is exactly how he came to Eve. He lied to her that she lacked something in her life (The devil said, “You will be like God”) to fill the incompleteness. She looked and wanted to receive from the tree. Devil quoted half truth by convincing Eve that she would not die. Yes, that was a truth that she would not die physically but spiritually she did die. Now let us see together as to what the agenda of Satan was in tempting Jesus. What was his plan through these three ways?

• To cause doubt in the relationship/ fellowship between Him and Father

• To deceive Him in the worship

 • To deceive Him in the knowledge of God

 Bringing doubt in the relationship – Doubt is a scissor that cuts the cords that are united. Any relationship will break if the seeds of doubt are sowed. Satan was not taking care of Jesus by bringing a stone Him to be transformed into bread for Him to eat. He wanted Jesus to doubt His Father. That’s why; he challenged Jesus to prove that He is the Son of God by transforming the stone into bread. A few days before, when Jesus was in Jordan, the heavens had opened and a voice had confirmed that Jesus is the beloved Son of God. So it was not necessary to turn the stone into bread to prove His Sonship. Later on, the devil asked the same question through some Pharisees and scribes. They asked Jesus to bring down fire from heaven. Yet some others asked him to come down from the cross to prove that He was the Son of God. But Jesus never proved His Sonship through provocation. Instead, He showed His majesty by being lead by the Spirit. Father and Son are not two, but are ONE. Jesus did not fellowship with the Father once a while. He was with Him always. That’s why the devil did not have any chance to sow seed of doubt between them. As a branch abides in the vine, we need to abide completely in our God and have full assurance about our relationship with God. As a belt is latched around the waist, likewise we must be latched on Him. Though all the twelve disciples were with Jesus, none of them believed in the resurrection of Jesus. That’s why Jesus revealed himself to them, even to the doubting Thomas. To believe one person, we need to spend most of our time with that person. That’s why Jesus spent all His time with His Father and not His disciples. Let us abide in Him and not doubt Him (Jn. 15) 2)

Deceiving in worship – Always remember, that God is worthy to be worshipped and Devil is greedy to be worshipped. That’s why he took Jesus to the top of the mountain and showed Him all the kingdom of this world and its glory. He then asked Jesus to bow down and worship Him. One must understand that the entire kingdom and glory of this world is delivered to Satan, since the fall of man, before which it was given to man. So it is neither man nor Satan who is worthy to be worshipped, but God alone because He is the creator of man and Lucifer, who later turned into Satan. I know that none of us who are reading this post wants to worship Satan…Then how can devil deceive us in worship? Jesus said “You cannot serve God and money together”. World is controlled by money, and Satan is the ruler of this world. So if money is all what you want, then you are serving the ruler of this world. Money must be under our feet and not above our head. Though some of us seem to be worshipping God, they have been deceived by the devil, by bringing money, fame, riches of this world, lust etc. in front of their eyes. So they serve some other god who is the figment of their own imagination. David says in psalms “I have set the Lord always before me”. This is true worship. Setting God in front of everything and everyone. If you set money, you will serve money. Jesus replied “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve”. Devil’s second strategy is to deceive you in the worship. Who is our God? And whom do we worship and serve?

Deceiving in the knowledge about God – Jesus came to declare Father unto us, but devil does not want us to receive this knowledge. It’s because this knowledge about God will set us free from lies and bondage of lies. So, the devil took Jesus to the top of the temple and asked him to jump down. To justify this, the devil even quoted a verse from psalms 91, ‘that God will charge His angels to hold you’. But Jesus had full knowledge about His Father. So He replied “It is written ‘ Do not tempt your God’ because God does not hold those who fall voluntarily, but those who fall involuntarily. In other words, He does not hold those who jump. But He holds those who fall. Amen. Apostle Paul, in his letter to Ephesus, prayed that their eyes of understanding should enlighten and receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. If our knowledge about Christ is not increasing, then we will be beguiled by the serpent in our minds about the simplicity in Christ. One of the prayers of Paul included “Let us increase in the knowledge of God”

If we are firm and rooted in these three areas 1) fellowship/relationship with God 2) worship to God and 3) In Knowing God, then Satan will try all his temptation and flee but at the end of the day, we will come out in the power of Spirit.

Maranatha


PRIVILEGED CARRIERS OF GOOD NEWS

Luke 2:8, ‘Now there were in the same country, shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.

Now there were many people in the same country who were worthy according to the worldly standards to receive the good news from heaven, but God chose the shepherds of the same country. Just think about yourself. Even though there were many people in your country,  God choose you out of them to receive the good news. How privileged you are ! We see a few people who were communicated at different levels. God sent an angel to Mary and gave the message of salvation through her seed. For the wise men, it was the star that led them to Messiah, while for the poor shepherds, the glory of God shone around them and gave them the message about the savior. And  for people like Simeon and Anna, the Messiah himself appeared to them. Even though the message about the savior was given to all but only the shepherds spread the news widely than any of them. Now while going through the passage of Luke, the Spirit of God stopped me at the passage where we see the Angelic announcement about Jesus’ birth to the shepherds. It caused me to meditate on that particular portion, as to why God chose these shepherds who had no connection with the outer world,  and who were not so wise according to worldly standards. There are three reasons which I received from the Lord:

 

1)      They were living out in the fields – Though they had homes, they abode in the fields. Field is the place where they fed their sheep. In other words, it’s their work area. God has given each one of us a ‘field’, where  we  work and spend most of our time.  Each and everyone has a different field. So, we must be  careful enough to understand about where God has placed us. God sent His Son to the field to live, to die and to resurrect. He was a grain of wheat that fell into the field and died thereby producing much grains.

 

God placed Adam in a field and gave him a covenant, but he was disobedient and many were made sinners. But Father God sent His Son to the field , so that through His obedience, many would be made righteous. Likewise, God has appointed us in a field for a purpose. God’s calling on you is not only for you but for many souls. We must labor and bring forth the fruit worthy of His name. Some yield more fruits, some less while some yield no fruits. Some are faithful while some are unfaithful in their fields. There is an appointed time when we will stand before the Master to give account of each and every word we speak and work we do.

 

2)      They watched over their flock by night – Firstly, they knew when they had to watch their flock more. They watched over the flock during night, because of more danger during the night time. Secondly, they watched over their own flock, and not over their neighbor’s flock. During night, wolves come and take away the sheep. The shepherds are well aware of this. This made them watch over their flock. These shepherds were faithful in their fields. They were watchful and faithful to what they had been given. Devil hates what you have in your life. That’s why he always attempts to take it away from you. So be watchful of everything that God has given you. We know about a  woman who had lost her coin, as she was not watchful. To find that coin, she lit the lamp and swept the house. May the light of God sweep away all that is not needed in our life,  so that we can pick up that which is lost.

Secondly, these shepherds did not watch over other flocks, because they were not for him. Sometimes, we give more importance to things which are not assigned to us. God has placed us in a field to watch over the things which has been appointed for us and not for others. Some people are eager to peep into others fields to see what God has given us. God has given me some responsibility that only I can handle.

 

3)      They were available – Though it was a night time, these shepherds were available. Angels came at night with the good tidings. Some good news come when you are watching over, while all the rest might be sleeping. God will strengthen you and give you authority when you are available for Him. When God needs us, we must be available, even if it is the darkest night of our life. See this incidence in sequence. They were in the fields. They watched over what  had been assigned to them. That’s why they were available.

 

Since there were many babies being born in Bethlehem, God gave  a sign to recognize the Savior i.e a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. After receiving the good news about the savior, Lord Jesus Christ, they did not stay in the same place, but set them out to see the Savior with their own eyes…they went with haste and saw the Child. Now usually after we see a new born baby, we talk about the physical features of the baby. But these shepherds did not talk about the features of the baby.

They were more interested in spreading the news widely about the things that would happen through this Child. Our Jesus is not a baby, but He is God who took the form of a Man…That’s why we don’t speak about Baby Jesus. Rather, we speak about Savior Jesus Christ!!! They carried the Good news to everyone they came across, and those who heard, marveled. Let us be also like them. We are just carriers of Good news, like these shepherds. We have tasted the Lord and found how good He is. Let us give room to others, so that they also should taste the Lord and be the PRIVILEGED CARRIERS OF GOOD NEWS!

These are the three things the Spirit taught me as to why these shepherds, who were not wise, were chosen to carry the good news. Are we spending our times on the field where God wants us? Are we watching over to things that are given to us? Are we available to Him to carry the Good news to the world?  These questions must arise within you after reading this note…

Maranatha


GO AND SIN NO MORE – Part 2

John 8:11, ‘ And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”’

Last time, we learnt about how Jesus replied those men who tried to accuse Him by bringing a woman to be condemned. I shared that Jesus sent her to witness. But today , we will glean the other part of what  Jesus told her i.e, ‘Sin no more’. God wants us to witness and live in holiness. This is the will of God through Christ Jesus, our Lord. Jesus did not condemn her, but insisted her to go and live a holy life. In other words, witnessing  and holiness is what Jesus desired from her life. Today, God is not asking us to do any uphill task.  He wants us to witness His son Jesus and live a holy life, because He is holy. This woman did not come to Jesus by herself.  The situation of her life brought her to Him. She was facing a situation, the end of which was only death. The law and the society commanded to stone her to death, but through Jesus Christ she received  grace. Grace that not only forgave her sins but gave her a reason to live a holy life for Him, who forgave her sins.      John1:17, ‘ say for the law was given by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.’ The law took the stone to kill her, but Jesus put the stone down and saved her. For this cause, He came to the world, i.e not to condemn the world, but to save through Him. She faced a situation where death was the only outcome. This situation brought her into Jesus.  We also did not come to Jesus of our own. But there were some shortages in our life that brought us to Him. Jesus said to this woman, “ to go and sin no more.” God will never say anything which we cannot do. If He said ‘Sin no more’, then He knows that we can do it through His help. Jesus has never sent back anyone empty handed. Though He rejected a few who came to Him, it was because of their evil intentions. God sees our intentions. There were many blind and leprous people in the land of Israel,  but only those who implored and believed in Him, got healed and received His grace. Why did this woman who was caught in adultery receive grace? It was because that when all her accusers ran away from the sight,  she  stood alone and confessed. Those who run away from God will never find grace,  but those who stand before Him and confess his or her sins shall surely taste the goodness of God.

One of the names of Jesus Christ is ‘wonderful counselor’. There are many counselors in this world but only one wonderful counselor. You might share your problems with the counselors of this world, who can  give only partial solutions.  But you don’t need to tell anything to Jesus. He knows you in whole and only He can give you complete solutions forever. No body need to tell Jesus about this woman who was caught in adultery.

The law and men demanded death for this woman, and that was the only solution before them. But the beauty of Jesus is that He knows the root  cause of any situation and that’s why He said to woman “Sin no more”. Sin was the root cause of her life’s situation  and Jesus plucked the root of sin through grace. The counselors of this world may find the root cause in your life, but they cannot solve and give the remedy. But Jesus Christ Himself is the answer. Come to Him today. Taste and see that He is good. Even if your sins are as red  as blood….it doesn’t matter. Come to Him as you are. He will be so good to you that you will start singing His goodness all the days of your life.  Religions have no idea about the root cause of the fall of mankind. Only Jesus Christ has authority over sin, death and darkness. Once you come to Jesus, there is no need to go anywhere else.  Jesus did not send this woman  anywhere, but forgave her multitudes of sins and released her. Jesus wanted her to witness this goodness of God to the people around her and wanted her to live a holy life acceptable to God.

This woman cannot live a holy life of  her own. But whoever is set free by Jesus receives power from above to overcome sin.  Let us see how we can live sinless life in this sinful world :

1 John 3:9, ‘ No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.’

1)      Born of God – First and foremost, we must be born of Spirit and water. In other words, be born again. You cannot live a holy life without being born of God. Flesh profits nothing and no carnal mind can please God, but the one who is born of God is the son of God and only such can please God by living a Holy Life. For most of us, Jesus is still in manger. But He must be in our heart. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, because old things are passed away and behold, everything has become new.

John 15:3, ‘ you are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.’

2)      Seed of God– This seed is the word of God. With this seed, one is born and with this seed, one overcomes sin. The Psalmist asks as to how can a young man live a holy life ? And the answer is , ‘By keeping the commandments of God’. Sin is breaking the law but when you have the truth in you, then how can you break the law? Word of the God is the sword of spirit that cut downs every lie of devil. Word of God purifies us when we abide in it.

3)      Power of God– The indwelling of the Spirit produces the fruits of Spirit and thereby nullifies the works of flesh. Read Galatians 5:16-25.We must be clothed by the power of Holy Spirit, and we must be filled by the power of the Holy Spirit. Both are different experiences, which helps us to overcome the power of sin. The power of sin had such impact on mankind that caused God to offer the life of Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins. But the power of darkness could not comprehend  the light. We cannot live a holy life without the power of Holy Spirit. Holy life without Holy Spirit Is a  hypocrite life. Holy Sprit makes a believer an over comer. The name of the Holy Spirit is “Helper”. He helps us to witness Christ Jesus and over come the evil. When a believer is clothed and filled by the power of Holy Spirit,  then no power  pulls him down.

4)      Walk with God – This is my life experience :  whenever I fall short of walking with God, I fall short to live a holy life…The more I speak to Him in prayers, the more I become sensitive to sin.  Prayer is not sitting or kneeling down in one place. It is meditating Jesus Christ all times, whenever and wherever we are,…setting the Lord always before us, and delighting only in Him. Remember, Adam fell when he stopped walking with God.

Jesus did not say many words to solve the problem of this woman who was caught in the act of adultery. He said “I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more” . Jesus not only saved her life from those critics,  but saved her from going to hell. Jesus did such a good thing for this woman. And now,  Jesus in return wanted her to go and be a witness and live a holy life.  Dear friends in Christ, have not the same Jesus did the same thing in your life? Now let this message make you realize what He expects from you and me. Witnessing the goodness of Jesus and living a life in Holiness.

May the good God give you power to be an over comer.

Stay Blessed / Blessen Daniel


GO AND SIN NO MORE – Part 1

John 8:11 And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

One day, some scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus, a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the crowd and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis to accuse Him. Nobody told Jesus about their wicked trap, but He knew their intentions. So, He kept quiet. He ignored them by bowing down and writing on the ground with His finger. There are certain people in this world who finds faults in our lives. For them, everyone is imperfect. They ask questions to trap us. The best way Jesus showed us to deal with such people is to keep quiet and to ignore them. Though Jesus knew the answer, He did not want to answer them. Their question was a big trap. If Jesus would have asked them to stone her, it would contradict His own testimony as to that “He came to save sinners”. On the other hand, if Jesus would have said the vice-versa, he would be accused of abolishing the Law of Moses. But Jesus came to fulfill the law and not to abolish it. He was in a situation where He could neither say yes’ or ‘no’ straight away. From this scenario, I learnt a lesson. Do you have a situation in your life where you can’t decide anything? Do you have a question for which you don’t have an answer? If yes, then Jesus is the answer. If you cannot say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, remember that Jesus has an answer to it.

Though Jesus ignored them at first, these scribes and Pharisees did not cease asking him the same question. So, Jesus stood up and asked them a question which convicted them all and then, they all fled, one by one. The question was powerful and a surprising one. He asked “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” The accusers were hypocrites, who saw the speck in the eyes of that woman, while they ignored the plank in their own eyes. After asking this question, Jesus again bent down and wrote on the ground with His finger. He was actually allowing them to flee, because if Jesus would have faced them, face to face, they could not have stood before Him. All of them put down the stones and fled, one by one, from elder to younger. Only Jesus and the accused woman were left behind. He asked her whether any man condemned her or not. She replied, “No man Lord”. Then Jesus replied her, “Neither do I condemn you. GO and sin no more…. “ . Now, I want to talk to you on this subject, ‘Go and Sin no more.’

God sent His Son to save the world and redeem us through His blood. After this, God has a message for you, and that is, “Go and Sin no more.”  First He says, “Go”. Where and why to go? God has given us a great commission to go and reach out the people and to make them disciples of Jesus Christ. Jesus said to the woman, “Go”. It means to go and tell the world about what the Lord has done for you. Let us meditate on this word ‘Go’

Mathew 28:18-20, ‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’

 1)      Go to the world – We have been taken out from the world to go into the world. He called us out as sinful, but is sending us as sinless. He called us out from darkness but has sent us as God’s special possession. Why did God take us out of this world and sent into this world? First reason, 2 Corinthians 5:15, ‘Christ died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.’  Christ called us so that we should not live any longer for ourselves, but should live for Him who died for us. Jesus told the woman, ‘Go and sin no more…’ In other words, ‘Go and live for me. Live a life pleasing to me’.  Second reason:  1 Peter 2:9 says …. ‘So that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.’ God has sent us to declare the goodness of Him to the world. Jesus forgave the sins of that woman who was caught in adultery. Now Jesus expected her to declare this goodness to everyone around her. Let us speak about the goodness of Jesus Christ, that He is the savior, healer, mighty God, prince of peace, everlasting Father, wonderful counselor, soon coming king and the good shepherd, full of truth and grace. Amen

2)      Go and make disciples –God wants us to be His disciples and make others His disciples. A follower is the one who comes into an agreement with the one whom he is following, because two cannot walk if they do not agree. This agreement is to love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul more than anyone and anything else (Luke 14:26). Jesus said this to his disciples. So this commandment is given to only the disciples, because if I want to make anyone a disciple, first, I should be a disciple.

 3)      Baptize the disciple – Secondly, the disciple who has come into the agreement with the Lord should be baptized in the water. Baptism is the outward sign of inward commitment. Through baptism, we do not become the member of any group, but through it, we pronounce to the world that there is a transformation inside you.

 4)      Teach them to obey – I can teach a parrot to speak but I cannot teach it obedience. We are told to teach and lead people to obedience. What should we teach? We must teach all that Jesus has commanded us to do. Jesus has set a path before us. We must teach His word, without adding or removing anything from it.  (A suggestion) – And our obedience should lead them to obedience to His Word.

While we are doing all this, remember that we are not doing it by our own. God gives us the authority and power to witness.  He promised that He will be with us always, even to the end of the age. Without Him, we can neither go nor make anyone His disciple and without His power, we cannot teach anyone to obey.

 

To be continued….

God bless you

Blessen Daniel