Monthly Archives: August 2013

Works of God through Jesus Christ

John 9:1-3 NKJV ‘Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.’

We have seen many people coming to Jesus for healing. Some requested, some cried some came in full faith while others called out loudly to Jesus for healing. But we don’t see any such thing in the case of this blind beggar. He neither implored, cried nor requested but Jesus went to him and healed him. He was not like the blind Bartimaeus who knew Jesus. This man had never heard about Jesus. He was blind both physically and spiritually. Though the spiritual blindness is similar to physical blindness, it is more dangerous than the latter. It’s because that physically blind people cannot see people but the spiritually blind cannot see God. Satan cannot hide God but he can hide your heart and mind from seeing God. The ruler of the world has blinded the eyes of unbelievers, but Jesus Christ is the truth and when we know the truth, the truth shall set us free. In other words, the hands of Satan is removed from our eyes. When Jesus saw him, he had compassion for both physical and spiritual health. There are lots of people in the world helping physically handicapped, but Jesus Christ is the Light who illuminates one’s inner being, and through His light, we see light.

As for the blind man, he was spiritually blind. But we see another group of people in this chapter, who were spiritually deceived. Spiritual deception is more dangerous than spiritual blindness. Spiritual deception is the disease which, if not treated, will lead to spiritual death. Satan deceived Eve by his craftiness. He blinds the eyes of unbelievers but deceives the believers. Eve believed the words of God through Adam. She was a believer of God. So Satan cunningly deceived her with lies. Even today, Satan does the same thing. He is deceiving a number of believers with different lies about God and themselves. Remember, Satan is the father of lies. This is the warning with which Jesus could help the spiritually blind man, but he could not help the spiritually deceived. He spoke words of eternal life, but the still small voice was unheard. He convicted them through his words, but still people went away from him. He is still knocking at the door of our hearts. Those who respond and recognize him will have true relationship. For both Spiritual blindness and spiritual deception, Word of God is the only tool. Word of God is living and powerful. The danger of deception is that you will never know that you are deceived. Church of Laodicea was badly mistaken about their own spirituality, but God revealed the truth about it. They were blind, naked, wretched, poor and in such a satisfied stage, that they thought that they were rich and needed nothing. Such things happens when one is deceived .Disciples wanted to know as to whose sin had caused this man’s blindness. In reply to their question, Jesus said that neither he nor his parent’s sins were the cause. This had happened so that the works of God should be revealed in him. We could see the works of God in the nature because of God’s word. Likewise, the works of God is revealed through Jesus Christ who is the Word. God sent Jesus Christ to destroy the works of the devil. So, God through Jesus Christ destroyed the works of darkness. How did God destroy the works of devil ? By revealing His works through Christ.

Now we all know that Jesus made Satan and his minions a public spectacle on the cross by finishing the works of God. He crushed the works of Satan by overcoming death. He purged our sins, removed the sting of death and set us free from all legal rights of Satan. That was one of the ultimate works of God but there are other works of God too. See, Jesus did not say ‘work’ but ‘works’….which means its more than one. What was the works of God that was revealed in this blind man? First, he received sight by which he could see his parents, friends and relatives. But more than that, his inner eyes was also opened, which made him to see Jesus, the Son of God. If we ask him about his best time, he would say that it was when he saw Jesus. Besides, when Jesus opened his eyes, then he could realize the love of men and of God.

John 6:26-29 NKJV Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” Like today, some people followed Jesus for material things, but He corrected them by telling them to labor for the food that endures. In other words, He asked them to seek eternal life. Those who heard Him asked about what works they would have to do for eternal life. Jesus answered them that believing in the Only begotten Son is the work of God. As I said earlier, we can see many works of God in the gospels, but as we are concentrating on this man, it is appropriate to know as to what kind of works was revealed in his life through Jesus. I don’t know his name but he was obedient. Jesus healed him in an unusual way. He spat on the ground and made a clay out of it. This is not easy and it takes time. I cannot tell you why he did that, but that reminded me of the work of a potter, who makes a new vessel out of clay. Jesus is the good potter, who wanted to make him into a new vessel…..a vessel of God. This is how I see it. But whatever it is, Jesus did that in an unusual way. After making clay, he anointed his eyes and told him to go to pool of Siloam and wash his eyes. This was a test and the blind man passed the test by obeying the Word of Jesus. We want God to perform in our ways, but His ways and thoughts are not only different, but also higher than ours. This blind man was a beggar, and if he did not beg, he could not eat. But here, he never disobeyed the words of Jesus. He left his job and went as per the command of Jesus. Will we do this ? Can we leave the job on God’s word when we are expecting a promotion ? Will we leave our business when we are expecting big orders? We may think that we can respond to the call later, and do other things first. Let me tell you friends, that we will suffer great loss when we obey His word. Peter got two boats full of fishes. It was easy to forsake empty boats, but hard when the boats were full. But Peter responded rightly. That’s why we know Peter as a servant of Most High God rather than an ordinary fisherman. This blind man obeyed Jesus. That’s why he came back seeing. God will speak, but it is our response and obedience that accomplishes His will in our life.

Now, this obedience not only brought healing to this man, but lots of problems too. He was hated by his own community and parents and was thrown out of synagogue. But through all this, he was firm in whatever he knew about Jesus. He had little knowledge, but that ‘little’ was full and strong like the rock. He was isolated, questioned, hated, thrown out and made a public spectacle but you know what refreshed my heart? John 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” Jesus embraced him. Let this truth settle in your heart. Even if the world casts us out, Jesus said, “I will never leave you.” The physical blindness was allowed by God so that through it, his spiritual eyes are opened. Sometimes God allows certain circumstances to show us the spiritual reality. So, let us praise God for that. Jesus asked him whether he believed in the Son of God ? He enquired about who he is so that he could believe…Jesus revealed Himself and the one who got healed worshipped the Lord, thereby accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and God.. What a work of God in his life ! The spiritual nuts could not recognize the Messiah, but we see here a poor, blind beggar, who could not only see but could experience the work of God! Amen

May God Bless you

Just Speak a Word !

Luke 7:9 NKJV ‘When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” ‘

Jesus was marveled at two incidents. First, when he saw the faith of centurion and secondly, when he saw the disbelief of the people. This man’s faith was so great that Jesus had not found such faith anywhere, not even in Israel. His dear servant whom he loved much was ready to die. As he was rich, he could have given him the best treatment, but when he came to know about Jesus, he found hope in him. He heard about Jesus and what he heard about him became profitable for him. What have we have heard about Jesus? What do we know about Jesus? Knowledge about Jesus increases our faith. Most of the time, disbelief arises because of less knowledge and ignorance.

In II King 7, we see two people. Elisha, who had faith in God’s word and the Officer of King who did not believe the word of God. ‘Elisha said “Thus saith the Lord, Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”’ But when the officer of the King heard this, he said that even if God interfered, it would not happen. It was purely out of ignorance. He took experience into consideration. But what happened at the end? He saw the prophesy happening, but did not experience the blessing of God, because he died at the gate of Samaria. What you have heard about Jesus is very important for you, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. What we hear can convince us, but the word of God does not convince everyone in same manner. In Mathew 13, we have account of 4 types of ground and only on one ground, the word produced the fruit and the produced fruit deferred. Some ground produced 30, 60 while some produced 100.

Initially, the Centurion sent some Jewish elders to Jesus, requesting to come to his place. This is because he was a gentile Roman. He did not find himself worthy to come to Jesus. He loved the Jews. Most probably, he loved God. They gave a positive character about this man. They said that he deserved the visit of Jesus, because he loved the nation and he had built the synagogue for the people. Jesus was willing to go to his house. Luke wrote that he sent his friends and in Mathew, we see that he himself came to Jesus. As Jesus was approaching his house, the Centurion himself got up and met Jesus on the way. His words of faith and humility marveled Jesus Christ.

What was so great in the faith of centurion ?

1. He believed in Jesus Christ .

In words of Charles Spurgeon, “we may remark that perhaps we had never heard of him, though he loved his servant; perhaps we had never read his name, though he tenderly nursed his slave; perhaps he had found no place in the record of Inspiration, though he loved the Jewish nation, and built them a synagogue; nor had we read the story of his life, though he had become a proselyte to the Jewish faith – the one thing which gives him a place in these sacred pages is this, that he believed in the Messiah, that he was such a believer in the Son of God, that Jesus said concerning him,” I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel”.”.. His own who had received the oracles of God did not believe, but gentiles who knew not God, believed the Son of God. Jesus could not do mighty works in his home town because of unbelief. Mark 6:1-6, ‘Jesus came to his hometown and began to teach, but the people who knew him were offended by his wisdom and did not believe him. They said “is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joses, Judas and Simon ? And are not His sisters here with us? It means that is this Jesus not as similar as others ? Jesus could not do mighty works in his hometown because of their disbelief, and this disbelief was because of their familiarity. I fear one thing. … because of constant meetings, conventions, fasting prayers and other spiritual activities, most of us get so familiar to spiritual matters and think that we know God, more than anyone else in the planet. The familiarity deceives us and in the contrary, God is not able to do mighty works among us. We believed in Jesus that’s why we are saved, but the question is that , “are we still believing Him in the way we believed him first ?”

2. He believed in the Word of Jesus

His servant was dreadfully paralyzed and was about to die. This was an emergency case and so needed immediate assistance. He believed the word of Jesus. That was enough for his case. ‘Only speak a word and my servant will be healed’. Do we have this faith for our problems? Our problems might be like a mountain, but can we say “Lord, Just speak a word.” We are sometimes like Martha who said, “Lord if you have been here, my brother would have not died.” His faith in the Word marveled Jesus Christ. Isaiah 55:10-11 NKJV ‘For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’

• The sower cannot have the seed if God does not send the rain, and we cannot have the bread if there is no seed. Bread is essential for physical growth and word of God is essential for spiritual growth. Bible says, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”. Rain and snow waters the earth. Likewise, the Word of God waters the prepared heart which helps to produce the fruit for God.

• The Word of God comes from the mouth of God with a purpose. Every word has a plan behind it, and if God has said something, there is a purpose and that purpose is according to His will. The only part from our side is to respond to His Word by obeying.

• God does not speak empty words but He speaks for accomplishment. The proof is that it does not return to Him void. When God speaks, He sees to it that it is accomplished. His works are not incomplete, because His word is true and not void.

• Word of God brings prosper. Though every Word might not bring joy for us presently, but the ultimate purpose is to bless you and prosper you.

This centurion who believed the authority in the word of Jesus said to him “Just speak a word”. Hello friend, Red sea was the greatest obstacle for Moses, but it was just a Word that made the water go back. Have you ever heard sea going back in the history? But see the power in the word of God. When the disciples thought that they were going to die, Jesus stood up and spoke the Word and that very moment there was a great calm in the sea. The Spirit of God is with us today and He needs just to speak a word in your life…Do you believe?

3. He believed in the authority of Jesus

Luke 7:6-8 NKJV …For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it. ”.

For I also am a man– This is the great humility of centurion. He was a man clothed with power but see his proclamation…I also am a man. We think high of ourselves when we are clothed with power and authority. He did not count himself worthy to come to Jesus because he realized the authority of Jesus…Even the Jews did not realize this spiritual truth. But here, we see a gentile who got the enlighten about the authority of Jesus Christ.

Placed under authority – That speaks volumes. “I also am a man place under authority.” In other words, his higher officials had placed him under authority. That’s why he could command his 100 soldiers. But he himself was also subject to authorities placed above him and hence they could remove him anytime they wanted. He could command them to ‘GO’ and they went, and to ‘Come’ and they came. He could tell his servant, ‘ Do this’ and he did it but he could not command the sickness to go. He could not command the wind to calm down or sins to be forgiven. He could not command the deaf to hear nor the evil spirit to leave. He had no commanding power over the sun, moon, stars and the galaxy. Our God is an Almighty God and no one has placed him on the throne. He was there before the time, even before the beginning of the world. He has no beginning and no end. He does not need assistants and when His mouth speaks, it has to be accomplished because God has said it!! The centurion can command only 100 soldiers, not 101. His authority is limited. But Jesus is not only a man but also God. He is having authority on all and on everything, because Father has placed everything under His feet. Glory to His name!

Do you believe in this Jesus Christ? Is your sickness is as serious as the servant of Centurion? Are you in the sick bed and on the verge of death ? You may have a circumstance which looks like a huge mountain, but believe in Jesus and tell Him …Lord, just speak a Word! …And there you will see a faith that will marvel Him. What is happening in our life? Is Jesus marveled at our faith or at our disbelief?

May God bless you with this message and let Him reveal himself to you so that your eyes of understanding be enlightened and see the attributes of our Awesome God. Amen!

With Love in Him

One Sows and Another Reaps – Part 1

Jesus, the Master Teacher, has much to teach us about winning souls. There is so much to learn from Him. We see people receiving Jesus into their lives in large meetings but we also see great transformation in personal evangelism. Apostles also followed the same pattern. We see Peter who preached and 3000 people got baptized, but later on he was sent to the house of Cornelius. Philip preached Christ to the city of Samaria but later on the Spirit told him to go to meet Eunuch of Ethiopia. Likewise, we see Paul who preached to the crowds and brought many into Christ. We also see that he brought Onesimus through personal evangelism in the prison. Whether in large meetings or through personal evangelism, we ought to preach Christ. Amen. Let us prayerfully go through this note and learn what Jesus told us to do to win souls in the kingdom of God.

a. By way of example, He teaches us the need for compassion – Mathew 9:35-36

Matthew 9:35-36 NKJV

‘Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.’

The greatest help we can give to this generation is the Gospel of Christ. Jesus laid an example for us. He went and preached the gospel to the poor and the rich, in villages and towns, in synagogues and houses. He not only preached about eternal life, but also healed every sickness, diseases, and evil possessed. It was not just a healing ministry. More of preaching and teaching was involved. What was the driving force here? It was the compassion for the people that moved Jesus. John 3:16 Is the good example of God’s compassion to the world. If we do not have compassion, we cannot help anybody…Seeing the pathetic state of a person, we might feel bad and yet not try to help or solve his problems. Compassion is not just a feeling, but it is an emotion which works actively . If we are compassionate, we must be ready to give, share and take the pain. Being compassionate will cost us…our time, energy, money etc. We must love people becoz this is the mind of Christ. Paul always had the message of God to the churches because he carried them in their heart. Philippians 2:3-5, ‘don’t be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves. Care about them as much as you care about yourselves and think the same way that Christ Jesus thought. Jealousy is the outcome of a feeling that you have nothing and pride arises out of the feeling that makes one think that he has something. What was the way of Christ? He considered others more important than himself- eg. Samaritan woman. He did not condemn her, but loved her which helped her to see Him. If we think that we are more holy than others, then look at Jesus. If we think that we are more important than others, then look at Jesus…He considered others more important. If God has blessed us spiritually, we must not allow spiritual pride to hinder ourselves. Why don’t we consider others more important than ourselves? It is just our pride. Jesus cared for others and we ought to do the same. He spoke for 3 days and after letting the people go, He did not send them empty handed, but filled them with bread and fish…He gave gospel and healing. He gave gospel and food… We must love the people and move our self with compassion towards them, helping them to see God. He sowed the seed that gives eternal life but sowed the seed out of love and compassion, not with selfish ambition or pride. Though some preach Christ with other motives but let us preach Christ to glorify His name. One person is not born in the kingdom of God by healing, but by sowing the word of God…healing is a part of it.

b. By way of instruction, He teaches the need for prayer – Mathew 9:37-38

Next, thing is the prayer. Though this does not happen in steps, one can sow prayerfully. For sowing, mainly two things are needed. First is the ground, and second is the water. But above all, God’s hand is a must for an increase. Prayer is the most important truth for winning souls for Christ. When we prayerfully sow the seed, then God sends the water from above to help the ground to take the seed. When we preach the Word of Christ prayerfully, then God will send his Spirit upon each and every individual who has believed and repented from their sins. We can see this happening in the house of Cornelius. God heard the prayer of Cornelius. That’s why He sent Peter to his house. Peter was also praying. And so, when he started preaching the Gospel, suddenly the Spirit of God came upon each and everyone, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. We see prayer of Jesus in John Ch 17 where He prays for the souls yet to be saved. Remember, Jesus prayed for you and me on that day. Amen.

Matthew 9:37-38 NKJV

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

I was marveled when I came to know this….

Firstly, we usually pray to open the eyes of the unsaved people. But Jesus is asking us to pray for the saved ones, that they should lift their eyes and look into the field’s because we have become self satisfied, selfish, deep in worldly thoughts and its pleasure. Jesus is telling us to lift our eyes from every selfish ambition and look into the fields…When we lift our eyes, we realize the truth. The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Burden for God’s field makes us true laborer of the field. Let us lift up the eyes from our own self and look unto them who live ignorantly. Will not God open the eyes of unbelievers if we truly be His witness? And now if we do not lift our eyes to the field, how can the people in the field lift their eyes to God? Let us not forget our duty. Preaching the Gospel and winning souls for Christ should come spontaneously from us. Remember, it was Andrew who won Peter and it was Philip who brought Nathaniel to Christ. Andrew and Philip were new followers, and the first thing they did was bringing souls to Christ. Witnessing Christ is not an option but a must in the life of a believer. Let us look into the world and understand the truth that the harvest is plentiful.

Secondly, we must pray to God to send out laborers. Normally, we have an attitude of praying, ‘God send me’, but have we prayed that many more be sent? May the Lord not only use me, but also use everybody who loves the Lord. He is in charge of the harvest and He is the One who must send us to his field. Why do we see lots of people in the field who are not chosen for the ministry? And why are there only few faithful ministers in the field ? One of the reasons is our prayerlessness.

To be continued….