Sunday, November 22, 2009

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH (Regaining Spiritual Power)

Donna Summer a local neighborhood girl from Dorchester who started her carrier as a gospel singer became the first female artist to have four number-one singles in a thirteen-month period. Summer's website claims that she has sold more than 130 million records worldwide. Listen to the words of one of her popular songs “No more tears (Enough is enough).
“Tell him to just get out
nothing left to talk about
pack his raincoat show him out
just look him in the eyes and simply shout

Enough is enough is enough
I can't go on, I can't go on, no more no
enough is enough is enough
I want him out, I want him out that door now
“I Cant’ go on I can’t go on no more no”

Obviously there is a message here from a female lover who was looking for a perfect lover but in the end was badly cheated by him. It was time for her to say “Enough is enough” We often see posters or hear people talking about things going out of control just like in this add “Enough is Enough” But how about the internal trash? Do we say Enough is Enough?

Have you ever felt that you have been trapped in your addiction to alcohol, smoking, drugs, over eating, and wrong relationships? Are you tired of trying to kick certain habits or harmful patterns but you seem powerless? Do you struggle with sin? You feel like you can’t take it anymore may be it’s time for you to take personal responsibility, turn around and say, I am not going to put up with this any more, I am sick and tired of being a defeated Christian. Enough is enough.


There are many great qualities in this culture; one of them is the tenacity to fight against odds. There is great resilience and a never say die attitude. How come that on the other hand we see so many powerless when it comes to fighting against certain crippling, and harmful habits?

As a result we have 50% divorce rate in first time marriages, highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized world, 750,000 teen pregnancies annually. Currently, 3,900 babies die from abortion every day in America - one every 22 seconds. Each year, over 1.4 million infants die from abortion. More than 50 million babies have been killed in America since the Supreme Court's ruling in 1973: more than the total loss of life in every American military conflict. Not to mention forty million smokers. Aren’t these numbers staggering? Why are so many lives being lost? Why so many are living in defeat? Sadly speaking even many born again Christians seem to be living a life of defeat.

What is the cause behind this moral decay in a nation that was presumably founded on Judeo Christian principles? One of the primary reasons I believe is that the arch enemy of God, Satan is having a field day.

The apostle Paul reminds us that there is a war between God’s children and the powers of darkness, a war between good and evil. This is unlike any earthly war; many bible scholars call this “Spiritual warfare” in order to be victorious in this war we need to develop an attitude that says “Enough is Enough to Sin” and learn how to regain our spiritual authority to take a stand against Satan, the deceiver. Some of us are so deceived that we can’t even recognize that we are in bondage. The Bible says every one who sins is a slave to Sin. (John 8:34) I would like to share some principles which will help you to stand your ground and experience true freedom.

We must look at our struggles in a broader context. Recognizing that we are in a Spiritual warfare puts some of our battles in right perspective. What is the nature of Spiritual warfare? Who is our enemy? What is the nature of the enemy? What are the enemy’s battle grounds? Who is our God? What are the weapons of warfare? How are we to fight our enemy? How to lead a victorious Christian life? There is lot learn so let’s get started.


In ancient Greece wrestling was a popular sport. The readers of his time were familiar with wrestling. Paul uses this analogy to explain the nature of Spiritual warfare. In Ephesians 6:12 “for our (struggle) in KJV it is “for we “wrestle” not against flesh and blood” but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Is it possible for a born again Christian to be attacked by evil forces? Have you wondered why you are struggling with sin even though you are saved? Has it been hard for you to quit a certain harmful habit? Are you living in defeat? Do you lack spiritual power? Do you want to be free? Whether you realize it or not, every child of God is involved in a Spiritual War. Paul recognizes that he was waging a war with in himself, Romans 7:23 “but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.” If Paul was not exempted from fighting a war do you think you and I will be exempted?

Spiritual warfare is between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. When you made a conscious decision to follow Jesus you brought much joy to God and the angels but upset Satan and his evil forces. He will do any and every thing possible to hinder you from growing spiritually.

Spiritual warfare is constant. It is fought twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and 52 weeks a year. There is no room to be complacent. When we talk about Spiritual warfare there are two extremes. One is the under emphasis and the other one is the over emphasis. What do I mean by that?

Those on the under emphasis side would say in this modern time and age there are no demons, it is just a myth, it’s all your imagination, and they completely ignore the fact that the demons exist and they are real. Others on the over emphasis side see demons everywhere. They give too much publicity to demons; they attribute every thing to demonic activity. They are demon chasers.

We must avoid either of these extremes and develop a balanced outlook on this subject. “The man who fears God will avoid all extremes” (Ecc 7:18). I personally do not think that the enemy is the cause for all the problems, and struggles we face. Some problems we face because of our wrong choices, harmful habit patterns and irresponsible lifestyle, for example, smoking, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, and immorality no one forces any one to do all that, it is a choice we make.

The enemy can tempt us to sin but can not make us sin. In James 1:14-15, “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” However I can not rule out the fact that certain hardships and heartaches we face are beyond us. We suffer because of other’s actions (i.e. child incest, robbery, loss of a loved one due to gun violence, some one opens up fire and kills innocent people etc). We had no control over those circumstances but we face the brunt any way. What logical explanation can you give to such heinous acts some people commit? Could it be that they are controlled by the Devil?

In Timothy 2: 26 we read about certain people who “are trapped by the enemy, they were taken captive by the Devil to do his will.” Unfortunately born again believers can also be deceived by the enemy if they are not watchful and if they don’t stay in close relationship with God through prayer, reading His Word and in right relationship with other believers. We need to know who our real enemy is.


No science fiction movie comes close to describing the conflict raging around us in the spiritual world. The forces of God and of his enemy Satan are locked in battle over the lives of individuals, communities, and nations. A young American was trying to explain to a Kiwi woman in Papua New Guinea about the unseen forces of good and evil. When asked if she understood, she said, Oh yes, there were three (demons) in my house this morning.

Here, I drew pictures of them. She handed the astonished American a paper with hideous half-human, half-animal beings sketched on it. We don’t have to convince most people in Asia, Africa and the Pacific of the reality of the spirit world. Some live with it on a daily basis often seeing the evil spirits with the naked eye.

By contrast, most people in Western countries place demons in a fantasy category, like Superman, Harry Potter and the Hobbit. This is a dangerous view because demons are not make-believe. You don’t have to go to Asia or watch movies to understand the spirit world. The demonic realm is just as substantial as the world we see. It is existed before the material world and continues to exist today. The Bible is clear in exposing and explaining the spirit world.

Paul writes to the Ephesians believers explaining that they were not fighting against people, in other words people are not our enemies. He goes on to say in Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

This indicates that when we fight against people we are fighting a wrong battle because they are not our real enemies; our real enemy however is as the Bible says Satan, or the Devil. Although we usually can not see these forces with our physical eyes, they should be no doubt in our minds that they exist. The Bible describes Satan as an angelic being who was thrown from heaven because he tried to exalt himself above God (Isaiah 14:12-15). He’s now fighting for control of the world and the souls of humans. The Bible calls him the ruler of the kingdom of the air. Ephesians 2:2 “in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.”

Satan can not have power over God’s children unless it is given to him like in the case of Job or through our sheer disobedience to the revealed truth. So how are we to face this enemy?


In the OT the children of Israel were in constant war. Under God’s direction they won many battles and enjoyed great victories. We are familiar with the great warriors of the Bible like, Moses, Joshua, Saul, David, and Samson who fought valiant battles. But have you heard about Shammah, who perhaps was one of the most seemingly insignificant characters yet brought great victory for Israel? 2 Samuel 23:11-12, “When the philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them.

But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.” Instead of running away just like the others Shammah, showed a different spirit. He had the courage to say” Enough is Enough. He took his stand against the enemy; and God gave him the strength to defeat the enemy. When you are being pushed around by the enemy the best way to fight him is to turn around and take your stand. In other words don’t run away, stand your ground.

As the saying goes: half the battle is won by recognizing our enemy! We have only just started there is much more to learn on this subject. What have we recognized so far?
* We are made more than conquerors with Christ.
* People are not our real enemies.
* We have a real enemy to fight; his name is Satan. We have a war to win.
* Spiritual warfare is constant, so let’s be vigilant
* We avoid the extremes of over emphasis and under emphasis in Spiritual Warfare
* We have to regain our spiritual power.
* We have to learn to say “Enough is enough” and take our stand against sin and Satan.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


A mother wanted to teach her daughter a moral lesson. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar for church "Put whichever one you want in the collection plate and keep the other for yourself," she told the girl. When they were coming out of church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given. "Well," said the little girl, "I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I'd be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did."

We can not blame the little girl; she didn’t know any better. She did not know the Joy of giving. Not only that little girl but unfortunately many Christian adults loose their joy when it comes to giving to the work of God. Why do we find it so difficult to give? Why are we not finding joy in giving? Whenever a pastor starts to talk about giving people tend to switch off thinking OK, here he goes again about money, but wait a minute, don’t be turned off, I am not after your money, neither is God; as Paul has beautifully put it in Philippians 4:17 “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.”

Around thanksgiving and Christmas we get a lot of appeals from Christian organizations, charitable societies, ministries, and it looks like all of them are after our money. We can be turned off with all these appeals and decide not to give anything at all. That should not be our attitude but at the same time we don’t want to be wrongly influenced and manipulated by these appeals. Instead we want to see what God’s word has to say about giving and discover the Joy of Giving. Are Christians required to give? Is giving necessary for my spiritual growth? Many sincere and God fearing Christians have conflicting views when it comes to giving to God and to Church. I would like to explain several principles of giving that are mentioned in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The giving nature of God runs throughout the Bible. Over a thousand scriptures in the Bible talk about giving and many of them refer to God giving to humanity. The following scriptures explain how generously God gives to his people:

After creating man God made him in charge of the Garden of Eden and gave him every seed-bearing plant and fruit bearing tree as food to man. Later on after the flood he also gave them the animals as food. God entered into a covenantal relationship with Abraham and said, “All the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring for ever.” I will give this land.”(Gen 13:15) He reminded Isaac, Jacob and their descendants about the promise he had made with Abraham. In accordance to the promise the Lord gave the Israelites a land flowing with milk and honey along with the land to man he also gave them the ability to produce.

We have been created in the image of God therefore we are to reflect the nature of God and as we see part of it is giving. In the OT we often read God commanding his people to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices. God’s people were also required by God to bring tithes and offerings.
In Malachi 3:8-11 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' “In tithes and offerings.” You are under a curse-- the whole nation of you-- because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty.”

This scripture is often used by preachers and pastors to induce fear in people regarding tithes and offerings. They convincingly speak to make their listeners and viewers believe that if they give tithes regularly and give generously for the work of God they will receive blessings and failure to do so some curse may come upon them. I have mixed feelings about it. Yes it was true under the Mosaic Law, tithing evoked a blessing from God and failure of it evoked a curse. But we are no longer living under the Mosaic Law because Christ has fulfilled all the requirements of the law and has therefore taken away the curse of not fulfilling it from us.

II. Giving in the New Testament:

Under the new covenant we don’t live by the law but by grace, does that mean we are free from giving tithes and offerings? What does the N.T say about giving? Were the believers in the early church required to give tithes and offerings?

During Jesus’ time the Pharisees were practicing the law meticulously; to an extent that they became proud of it. Tithing was still a kept up tradition. Listen to this proud prayer of one Pharisee, “The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: God I thank you that I am not like other men, robbers, evildoers, adulterers or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.”(Luke 18:11-12). Jesus did not dispute that practice but rebuked the Pharisees for their failure to take care of the poor and the needy. Although we are not obligated to tithe; however giving was highly encouraged by Jesus and the apostles and was a visible phenomenon among the early churches. How has been the giving of the Church in America Today? Is it increasing or declining?

According to a George Barna’s Research (May 19, 2003).Church revenues fell during the past 12 months. One reason may well be the decline in the proportion of Christians who tithe. Among the highlights of this report on tithing are: (1) The proportion of adults who tithe dropped by 62 percent in the past year. (2) Just 6 percent of born-again households tithed to their churches in 2002. Here are a few points to consider when it comes to giving.


God has made us with a unique ability to choose. He never forced and never will force anyone to do anything he or she is not willing to. Even the commandments are not forced upon us, we can either choose to obey them or reject them. Jesus said if you love me you obey my commandments not if you fear me? When it comes to giving to God and to his work we have a choice to make; we can either choose to give or not to give? That is a decision you must make.
Giving is a choice and should be a joyful one. Paul high lights the importance of giving cheerfully, 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 Remember this: “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” To paraphrase this scripture, “You are under no pressure to give, you are free to decide in your hearts how much to give (you can not decide a Zero) it has to be some amount, once the decision is made then give cheerfully not grudgingly.”

When we give to God with Joy he is able to make all grace abound to us so that in all things at all times having all that we need (not all we want), we will abound in every good work. My wife(Wilma) and I can testify to this. There were times when we joyfully gave away large sums of money to support God’s work and his people. In all my years of ministry I can tell you with experience that He has never let us down. He always provided what we needed and some times what we wanted, but that was a bonus. As the pioneer missionary to China Hudson Taylor would say, “God’s work done in God’s way never lacks his provision”


We all know the principle of sowing and reaping. Our reaping depends on the amount of sowing. Paul said, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. In order to teach the principle of sowing generously Jesus said in Luke 6:38 “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Proverbs 11:24-25 “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” God doesn’t want us to be tight fisted when it comes to giving. All we have ever owned comes from him in the first place any way.

When it comes to generosity no one can beat the Macedonian believers. They were perhaps like us, going through severe trials, economic hardships, struggling financially to make ends meet but they did not let their circumstances dictate their giving. Paul commended them for it. 2 Corinthians 8:1 “And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will.”

What a model of eager participation and generosity. They actually considered giving a privilege. Paul’s ministry needed funding and these believers were willing to invest in the work of the ministry. We read in the Gospels about the group of women who supported Jesus out of their private earnings. In the same way the ministry of our church can not flourish without the generous giving of its members.


Have you wondered how much actually God requires of you to give? In the OT law God required people to bring tithes 10% (tithes) from all their increase. Jesus not only fulfilled the law but also intensified the law. He wants you to give him more than just 10% give him all of your heart. Are we turning our hearts to God? Psalm 119:36 “Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.”

During one of his visits to the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus sat down opposite to the offering box and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. A poor widow also came rather nervously and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. In order to teach them a lesson Jesus called his disciples to him, and said, "I tell you the truth; this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything-- all she had to live on." (Mark 12:41-44) How could that be possible? She only gave less than a cent? The truth of the matter is not the quantity but the willingness to give all we have for the work of God even when it hurts.

God places much greater value on a few dollars given with a right attitude and a joyful heart than the great philanthropic charity done in order to get publicity. When we give we must give whole heartedly even if it is a small amount. God is no debtor to any one. Even if we give a glass of water to one of his servants we will not certainly loose our reward then how much more we will receive when we actually start giving generously for the work of God? (Matthew 10:42)

Oseola McCarty, eighty-seven, did one thing all her life: laundry. For decades, Miss McCarty earned fifty cents per load doing laundry for the well-to-do families of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, preferring a washboard over an electric washing machine. Every week, she put a little bit in a savings account. When she finally retired, she asked her banker how much money she had socked away. "$250, 000," was his reply. She was in shock. "I had more than I could use in the bank," she explained. "I can't carry anything away from here with me, so I thought it was best to give it to some child to get an education." This shy, never-married laundry woman gave $150,000 to nearby University of Southern Mississippi to help African-American young people attend college. "It's more blessed to give than to receive," she tells reporters. "I've tried it."

The Bible explains God as a giving God. Since our God is giving we too are called to give. No one can beat the generosity of God in other words we can not out give God. We are not obligated to give, but who in their right mind and with grateful heart wouldn’t want to give when all that they are and have has been given to them by God in the first place.

What is your attitude towards giving? How do you handle money? Is Jesus Lord over your check book? The Bible says where your treasure is there also your heart is. Who is you treasure? How has your giving been lately? Do you honor God with your finances? Beautiful words of reminder from Paul: 2 Corinthians 8:7 “But just as you excel in everything-- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” May the Lord help us to increase in the grace and the Joy of Giving.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


When there are so many religions why Jesus? When I say Christianity has been in existence for 2009 years not many dispute that fact, even the modern calendar agrees with that claim, but how about if I say, the existence of Christ goes back to the beginning of creation itself many argue about it and some for example the Jehovah’s witnesses (JW) vehemently deny that fact. Where did JW and others go wrong when it comes to seeing Jesus as the incarnation of God and in the end God himself? Not only today, even during Jesus’ time some people did not believe that he was God. Jesus warned in the end times “Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”(Matt 24:11)

In the first century a group of people called the Gnostics denied the pre-existence of Jesus and where by denied his deity. In order to confront such heretics John wrote the Gospel and three other letters. It doesn’t take a BIG lie to dissuade people from the truth, but it is often a slight twist of the truth which can mislead millions of people. Some of us may have had JW knocking at our door, looking very friendly and gentle trying to convince us that Jesus Christ is not God.

How do we as Bible believing Christians fortify ourselves against those who try to mislead us? Peter would say, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;” 2 Pet 1: So it is important that we not only believe but know what we believe and why and how to defend what we believe. Unlike the other gospel writers John recorded many miraculous signs in his Gospel to show his readers that Jesus was fully human and fully God and he has always existed. He wanted his readers to know that eternal word of God was made flesh and lived among us.

Background Information: The Gospel of John dates back to the end of first century around 85 A.D. It was largely agreed that the author was the apostle John, the disciple whom Jesus loved who was also may be the first cousin of Jesus. John wrote this Gospel so that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)


If Jesus Christ is God, then He must be eternal since God has neither beginning nor ending. There was never a time when Jesus did not exist in all the fullness of who He is. (Psalm 90:2) "Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Was Christ involved in creating the world or was he a created being himself? That is where the Jehovah’s witnesses differ from the rest us.

JW believe that Jesus Christ was a perfect man, and that He is a person distinct from God the Father. However, they also teach that before His earthly life, Jesus was a spirit creature, Michael the archangel, who was created by God and became the Messiah at His baptism. According to Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus is a mighty one, although not almighty as Jehovah God is. This is where the twist comes in. In all the major translations, John 1:1 was translated as "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the Word was God," This is shockingly mistranslated, according to their Bible, The New World Translation, “Originally the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god,” See how a slight deviation has deceived many people.

In contrast to this false doctrine, the Bible presents Jesus as the uncreated Creator: "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3). In the beginning He was not created or made. In the beginning He already was (John 1:1-2). The Apostle Paul declares that "He is before all things" (Col. 1:17).
In fact the first three verses of Genesis explain the perfect harmony between the persons in the trinity (Father, Son and the Holy Spirit) Gen 1:1-3, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said “Let there be light”? (The word Logos). John brought this fact that Jesus was with God at the time of creation. “In the beginning there was word and the word was with God and the word was God (John 1:1-3).

Else where in the Bible the Pre-existence of Christ is mentioned:
A. Illustrated by the Creation:
All things have been created by Jesus (Heb 1:2-3, Col 1:16-17)

B. Foretold by the prophets:
Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrata, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Isaiah 9:6-7, Zech 2:10-11)

C. Affirmed by Jesus Himself:
“I tell you the truth Jesus answered, “Before Abraham was born I am.” (John 8:58)
John 17:4-5 “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

D. Proclaimed by the Apostles:
By John in his gospel, and also his epistle - Jn 1:1-4;
1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched-- this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.
By Paul in his epistles
a. Christ was the spiritual rock from which the Israelites drank in the wilderness1Co 10:4
b. “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped” Phil 2:6

In his own words Jesus said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Rev 1:8 this scripture makes it very clear that there was never a time where Jesus did not exist and there will never be a time where he won’t exist. He was God; he is and will continue to be God.
When we have so many religions why Jesus? Because he is the ONLY one in the end we all will have to face. JW and others who deny him will be surprised when they have to give an account of their denial of his pre-existence and His deity.

Jesus existed with God in the form of Logos during the creation and appeared figuratively several times in the OT as the angel of the LORD, son of man, (Daniel 7:12) the spiritual rock and so on. Two thousand years ago it was the most glories moment in the History of the world where this eternal word of God who was with God and who was God appeared in human form and made his dwelling among us. Jesus came to his own people (Jewish) with a hope that they would receive him, on the contrary they rejected him and did not see him as their messiah (Savior).

The creator of the world was rejected by his own creation? How was that possible? He is the giver of life and wants to give life to all men, then why would any one in their right mind want to reject such an offer? When they have an opportunity to walk in the light why would people choose to walk in darkness?

When you take your car with a hope of passing the inspection how would you feel when a sticker comes out with “R” rejected? When you are applying for a Job which you so badly needed, how do you feel when your application is rejected?

Campbell Morgan was one of 150 young men who sought entrance to the Wesleyan ministry in 1888. He passed the doctrinal examinations, but then faced the trial sermon in an auditorium where three ministers and 75 others who came to listen. When Morgan stepped into the pulpit, the vast room and the searching, critical eyes caught him up short. Two weeks later Morgan's name appeared among the l05 REJECTED for the ministry that year. Disappointed Morgan wired to his father one word “'Rejected,' and sat down to write in his diary: 'Very dark everything seems. Still, He knows best.' Quickly came the reply: 'Rejected on earth. Accepted in heaven. Dad.'" In later years, Morgan said: "God said to me, in the weeks of loneliness and darkness that followed, 'I want you to cease making plans for yourself, and let Me plan your life.'" Rejection is rarely permanent; as Morgan went on to prove. Even in this life, circumstances change, and ultimately, there is no rejection of those accepted by Christ.

Whether we like it or not rejection is indeed painful. No one particularly enjoys it. How ever we need to learn how to handle it wisely if it is un-dealt it could potentially lead to committing suicide. Sylvester Stallone said, “I take rejection as some one blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.” You may be going through rejection right now, don’t let that beat you down you got to get up and keep going; this is not the time to retreat. Jesus understands your pain of rejection because he knows what it is like to be rejected.

The Prophet Isaiah paints the picture of a rejected and dejected Jesus, Isaiah 53:3 “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” John points out, He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive Him.”(John 1:11)

God loves all people, infact the whole world because of his great love He sent his only Son Jesus into the world. John explains, “The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and only who came from the Father full of grace and truth.”(John 1:14)

In the OT God would often reveal himself either in the form of a cloud, fire, or a thundering voice? There was no physical manifestation of God. When Moses wanted to see the glory of God, mercifully God did not show his face to him. Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." And the LORD said, "But," he said, "You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." (Exodus 33:18-23). Moses was to be satisfied only looking at the back of God. When Jesus came into the world what was invisible became visible. He revealed who God was through his very presence on the earth. John writes, “Jesus made his dwelling among us.” Literally, "pitched his tent/tabernacle." The tabernacle or tent of meeting that was the place of God's presence among his people (Exodus 25:8-9). The incarnate Word; Jesus is the new mode of God's presence among his people.

John 1:14.Jesus was full of Grace and Truth: these words represent two of the Characteristics of God. The very purpose why Jesus came into this world was to seek and save that which was lost. You and I were lost, living in sin but that did not hinder Jesus from reaching out to us. No matter who you are, and what you have done Jesus loves you. He is inviting you to join God’s family. Jesus never rejects any one, he accepts all people. To every one who believes in him and receives him as his savior he gives the right to become a child of God.

Can you imagine what a perspective that is; we actually become God’s Children? And God will be our father? Jesus is standing at the door of your heart. If you hear his voice all you need to do is to open your heart and invite Jesus into your heart. You will have eternal life. He will give you Joy and peace which you can find no where else. When your journey on the earth is over he will take you to dwell in the presence of God forever and ever.

Jesus the true light has come into the world but people chose darkness instead of light, chose death instead of Life. What will you choose?

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Have you ever doubted whether God is real and He will be able to rescue you from an impossible situation? If you have, then you are not alone there are many skeptics out there who doubt the very existence of God. They are promoting an ideology which says “there is no God” by ad campaigns such as "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake," "A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?" “There is probably No God; now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” According to the American Religious Identification System (ARIS), about 40 million non believers in the USA.”

When people constantly are bombarded by such deceptive ads and surrounded by atheists at the work place, schools, in the market place, they tend to believe those lies. Psalm 53:1 “The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.” Is it possible even for seasoned saints to doubt at times? especially when they face situations that are beyond them such as the diagnosis of an incurable disease, mounting credit card debt, unemployment, loss of a loved or even loss of a dream or expectation and so on. During such times we wonder where God is? Our faith is shaken and we can’t figure why God is allowing all this. We move into unbelief which can lead to despair, fear and eventually to total hopelessness.

In John 11th chapter we read of two sisters who were hurting because of the death of their brother. Everything looked bleak and they had given up all hope. They wondered where God was in all this. Jesus walks into that situation and tells them “your brother will rise again” this didn’t make any sense; He’s been dead for four days. It’s impossible they thought.

I. Does God really care? :( Vs: 1-6)
Bethany was a small village on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives. On his many travels to Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples frequented the home of Martha and Mary at Bethany. Mary here is the same one from whom Jesus cast out seven demons once. These were the same two sisters who opened up their home to Jesus (Luke 10:38-41) and provided hospitality. They had a brother by name Lazarus. One day, Lazarus became very sick, so they sent a word saying “Lord the one you love is sick, with a hope that Jesus would come and heal their brother. Where was Jesus? Jesus was near the Jordan valley at that time. (For the gospel writer John the timing and the place was very important)

What would you do if you get news saying one of your dearly loved friends is sick? Won’t you make some efforts to go and see your friend? Surprisingly upon receiving that news Jesus did not make any effort to go to Bethany, instead he stayed where he was two more days. It does sound rather strange isn’t it? It seemed like Jesus did not care about his sick friend and his two worried sisters. As if that was not enough he said to the disciples let’s go back to Judea which is in the opposite direction to Bethany. Have you ever been hurt beyond what you can bear? You wanted so badly for God to intervene in that situation. You prayed and nothing happened. It seemed as if God did not care a bit about what you were going through. You feel like He is moving too slow, taking his own sweet time. He is answering every body else’s prayers except yours. You feel like he is by passing you and blessing others instead. Just because he is not moving as fast as you would expect him to move does it mean that he doesn’t care about your situation? In fact God loves you so much, when you hurt he hurts. In Nahum 1:7 “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.” Peter invites us to cast all our anxiety upon God because he cares for us.”(I Pet 5:7)

II. Why does God delay? (Vs 7-14)
After hearing the news Jesus stayed back two more days where he was. But all along he was sensing in his spirit what was going on in Bethany. It took four days before he could get to Bethany. Why did he take that long? Bethany was only less than two miles from Jordan. Was he denying healing to his sick friend through his delay? No! Jesus purposefully stayed back for two reasons, firstly he wanted his disciples to believe that he was the messiah and he can do any thing. Secondly he waited for four days perhaps to make sure that Lazarus was irrevocably dead in order to rule out a false belief of some Jews who believed that a dead person’s soul waits near the body for three days to get back into it. So Jesus waited until the situation became totally impossible by any human standards.

God moves and operates in a different time frame than we humans do. Ron Walters explains, “His dealings with mankind have always done in real times, and in some cases, real slow time. God’s building project for Noah took one hundred years. God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah took twenty five years to fulfill. God waited four hundred years before he delivered the Children of Israel from Egypt. The promised second coming of Jesus Christ is taking over two thousand years.”

Illustration: Before we came to Boston for my seminary studies we were searching for a house to rent via internet in India. We prayed, wished and hoped that we would have the security of a place before we left India. En route to Boston we stayed in Holland for a few weeks. Our search continued for a rented place. I was worried, made desperate phone calls to a rental agency in Malden, and had several sleepless nights finally but it was to no avail. In the end just thirteen days prior to our leaving Holland we were able to secure a place to live in Malden. What a relief!

We may never fully understand why God some times comes quickly to our rescue and at other times he delays his rescue operations. A few reasons why I believe we don’t see the answers immediately. Some times the answer is delayed because of the opposition of the demonic forces who will try everything to block that answer. Daniel prayed to God for an explanation of a vision. God sent the answer on the first day that Daniel set his mind to seek the Lord for an answer but that was delayed by 21 days because the enemy was opposing God’s angel.(Daniel 10:12-13). There are other times God delays it in order to achieve a greater purpose as in this story of Lazarus’s death. What ever may be reason for his delay, his timing is always right and that is something we can rely upon. For example, When Abraham was about to kill Isaac, God provided a ram substitute, When Moses and the Israelites faced the red sea God parted the red sea. Isn’t that typically how our God works? He will make a way where there seems to be no way. God’s delay is not necessarily meaning his denial. So let’s not give up; hang in there, maybe the answer is just around the corner.

III. If you believe you will see the Glory of God (Vs 38-44)
Finally after four days Jesus arrived at Bethany. Martha was the one who first heard the news and she went up to meet him. We often think of Martha being the busy one who never spends time with God and Mary being the more spiritual one, sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to every word he was saying to her. But when the calamity hit both of them have responded the same way saying, “Lord if you had been here my brother would not have died.” In one way they were blaming Jesus, for not coming in time to heal their brother. Interestingly in this story Martha seemed to be the one knowing the scriptures and having more faith in God.

Listen to the dialogue between Martha and Jesus: Martha said, Vs 22 “But I know that even now God will give you what ever you ask.” Jesus said your brother will rise again. Martha answered “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” She just quoted from Daniel 12:2, “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Jesus said to her Vs 25 “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live; whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Vs 27 Martha answered “yes Lord I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who was to come into the World.”

We may have head knowledge of the Bible and all the right answers but how far do we really believe that God is real, he is trustworthy and is able to deliver us from all our troubles? In Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Why belief in God is important? Romans 14:23 “everything that does not come from faith is sin.” Unbelief is the root of all sin infact unbelief is SIN.

Vs 33 Jesus was deeply moved and troubled by the enormous grief of Mary and the Jews who had come to comfort her. He asked where you have laid him? As if he didn’t know the place. He was God right? He should know every thing. Yes that is true, but at the same time he wants us to tell him what we need. This tells that Jesus wants to walk right into the problem. He wants us to be specific as if doesn’t already know what we need, yet amazingly he wants to hear us! He wants relationship; it makes his heart respond to his people. What do we see Jesus do here as Martha and Mary show him where their brother is buried? Jesus weeps!.................To that some said: “see how much he loved him and others who were skeptic scoffed and said could he who opened the eyes of the blind man not have kept this man from dying?

There they were; in front of that closed tomb, Take away the stone Jesus said. Martha thought she really had to correct Jesus here and give a little hygiene lesson. “By this time there is a bad odor for he has been there for four days she said.” Don’t we all try to reason things out with our own little minds? We think we own the wisdom in the world and have all our facts lined up and we leave no space for God in our equation? And what does Jesus say when Martha is trying to put him right? Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God? What does that imply? Do we often give up hoping in the Lord a little too soon?

V 41 says, they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.
When he had said this Jesus called in a loud voice, said three powerful words LAZARUS COME OUT… The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, Take off the grave clothes and let him go. As a result of this miracle many Jews put their faith in Jesus.

How about you? What is the impossible situation you are facing in your life? Has your faith taken a beating at some of the things that have happened in your life? What is the miracle your are looking for? When have you last talked to the Lord about it? Don’t doubt his love! He always hears you! When he gives certain instructions to follow, simply obey and follow, don’t argue with God because you will be the looser in the end.

Don’t give up your faith, continue to believe in God you will in deed see the glory of God.