Engraved Blessings

As the year 2017 briskly comes to an end and we are on the verge to step into 2018, few thoughts come to my mind- “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” Compelling to this I ask myself how do I wish to live on my memories of 2017? How do I comfort my mind knowing that my situations haven’t yet changed?

 Well to answer these questions of mine, I reflect upon on what Psychiatrist Rollo Mays says, “Memory isn’t just the imprint of the past upon us; it is the keeper of what is meaningful for our deepest hopes and fears.” Well, memory is indeed selective!

As we forget what God has done for us in the past. Charles Spurgeon said, “We write our blessings in the sand, and we engrave our complaints in the marble.” Often our memory becomes impressed with burdens of past, pain, problems. Friends, let us not load our mind with these burdens but enrich it with a memory of His blessings. For when we engrave God’s blessings in our heart, we will never grow weary of praising Him.

So lets us together with full boldness move forward engraving our blessings into the new year keeping in mind that God is ever faithful to keep His promises in our lives.

God bless…

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Manger- A Unique Sign of Christmas!!

I was wondering all about the Manger as the sign for Christmas- “You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). But however, if we stand back and consider this one aspect of the Christmas story, some amazing truths emerge. We learn something about God, something about the world, something about Jesus, and something about His followers.

First, we learn that God uses adverse circumstances that make no sense at the time in order to accomplish His purposes in the future. At first glance, the fact that there was no room at the inn seems like an insignificant detail in the larger picture. But I assure you that it was no small detail to Mary and Joseph. Being turned away at the very moment when the baby was coming must have been devastating. Giving birth in a stable no doubt tested their faith to the limit. Both could not have foreseen how this “negative” turn of events would turn about to be part of God’s plan to bring his Son to the world.

Second, we learn also that the world had no room for Christ, and it has no room for Christ now. John 1:11 puts it very plainly: “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” Jesus came “home” to His own people—and they wouldn’t take Him in. He came to the people who should have known Him best—and they wanted nothing to do with Him. They should have known better.

Third, we learn that His humiliation started early and continued to the very end. He was born outside because they wouldn’t let Mary and Joseph come inside. During His ministry, he told his disciples that “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). He owned nothing but the clothes on his back, and when He was crucified, the soldiers gambled for his robe. When He died, they buried Him in a borrowed tomb.

Fourth, we learn that His followers share in His fate. We live with Him, we suffer with Him, we die with Him, and we reign with Him. Jesus challenged his disciples this way: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). When Christ calls us, He bids us come and die with Him.

And so finally we come to the very end i.e., what great truth lies behind the simple words of Luke 2:7. The “No Vacancy” signs were there for our benefit. God could have made a room available. He could have created a hospital or a palace in Bethlehem if He had so desired. God willed there would be no room in the inn not for the sake of Jesus, but for our sakes, that we might learn who Jesus is and why He came. Because there was no room in the inn, the final call is always individual. The world has no room for Jesus. Will you make room for Him in your heart? And that why my friends the Manger is a Unique sign of Christmas.

God Bless…

Betrayed!!

Perhaps the greatest trials are when someone you really love- a friend, a family member etc. betrays you. It takes a diamond to cut a diamond and sometimes our friends can hurt us deeply. And we can deeply hurt them too. David says, “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But his heart was hostile; his words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.” (Ps 55:21)

Jesus could have applied these words to Judas. He could have said, “Yes, my own familiar friend, the one who walked with me, the one who ate with me- he is the one who betrayed me.”

Friends, betrayed trust is one of life’s most difficult pills to swallow. How you respond to those who hurt you is a true test of your faith! When someone hurts you, do you live on the divine level and return good for evil? Or do you do the opposite- an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth!

In life, we need to understand this all of us are human. Leave your hurt to the Lord and don’t fight back. Also, be careful not to hurt others. When others do their worst, you be a friend who blesses and not betrays. Remember, let God teach you new truths and work in your life in new ways.

God Bless…

Climbing Out of Your Cave!!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by life? We all do from time to time! There are times when we too find ourselves in one of life’s cave experiences.  We think all of our help and strength is gone.  We feel alone, discouraged and deserted.  Ever been there?

Well, the first thing we need to acknowledge in such situations is that such experiences in life are there with a purpose ie, the Lord uses the hardships of life to develop us.  God does not do this to break us rather He does it to build us up.  As hard as it may be to understand and bear, God uses the times of affliction, suffering and pain in our lives to train us to become more like His darling Son Jesus.

Secondly, every cave experiences in life brings forth certain revelations in time. They will reveal our character and commitment to God. Take Job for example, in his sufferings; Satan might have said, “Let me squeeze him and I’ll get a lemon juice from him. I’ll prove that what he appears to be on the outside is all a show. So the devil squeezed Job, he didn’t get lemon juice but he got lemonade.

Friends, Job didn’t get sour on the Lord; he just shouted in the devil’s face and got sweeter (Job 1:20-21). Nothing demonstrates our level of character and commitment to God than our continued obedience and faithful service, even when we are in one of the caves of life!

Finally, caves make for hard living but they are not altogether bad! There are some refreshing discoveries to be made in the caves of life. Caves have the ability to focus our priorities. When we go into a cave experience, we soon learn what is important and what is trivial. The caves will tighten our focus onto that which is most important: -finding and doing the will of God.

Friends, let me encourage you God will bring us to the place where we are alone with Him and shut off from the rest of the world.  We fear those times, but they often precede the times of God’s greatest blessings in our lives! You see, there are lessons that are learned in the dark that cannot be learned in the light.  There are truths that can only be understood by those who are cut off and shut up with the Lord. In reality, the cave times can be a blessed time of instruction and growth for our lives. What about you?  Are your cave experiences a blessing to your life, or are they burdens that seem too heavy to carry? Think about it!!!

God Bless..