Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Importune Prayers




"We prevail with men by importunity because they are displeased with it, but with God because he is pleased with it!" - Matthew Henry


The disciples of Jesus asked Him to teach them how to pray.  To demonstrate the importance of prayer, Jesus spoke to them about a person who went at midnight knocking on the door of a friend, for three loaves of bread to set before a guest who unexpectedly visited him that night.


It was unlikely time to open the door for anyone knocking at the door. And the friend didn’t want to get up and open the door.  He had his children sleeping on the bed and like any parent, he didn’t want to wake them up.  So it was only reasonable that he turned down the friend’s request many times.


However, this man refused to take “no” for an answer and didn’t even give it a thought that he was inconveniencing his friend. He had an urgent and specific request for which he knew that his friend had the answer. He didn’t even care if his persistence will negatively impact their relationship. All he wanted was an answer and so he kept on knocking.


Jesus said, “I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.” (Luke 11: 8)


It’s important to note, it’s not the fact that him being a friend that got him the answer, but rather his persistence with such shameless boldness that made his friend to get up and open the door.
Though his request was for just three loaves of bread but when he got the answer he received as many as he needed.  Jesus urged His disciples that they pray in this manner.

God made a way possible through His son Lord Jesus that we may approach Him.  We can come to Him with our requests anytime.  Our God is the loving Heavenly Father who is pleased with and more than willing to supply all our needs, unlike the reluctant friend in the story.  When God answers, he will answer in abundance.  Hence let’s continue to ask, seek and knock with persistence knowing that God sees and honors your importunity. May your answers come in abundance!  God bless you!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Counting Him Faithful



“All God's giants have been weak men and women who have gotten hold of God's faithfulness.” - Hudson Taylor

In Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith chapter of the Bible, the writer showcases the great men and women of faith whose lives are an inspiration for all generations. One thing they all had in common was indeed faith. They all portrayed different characteristics of faith, expressed different forms that were evident in their actions and turned impossible situations in their favor. It is often wrongly assumed that they all somehow possessed superhuman ability which resulted in them having the strong, unwavering and consistent faith.  We could easily overlook the fact that they were all people with nature like ours.  However, they all received immense grace from God, and that enabled them to be overcomers.

In verse 11 of the same chapter, we see Abraham’s wife Sarah is mentioned.  When Sarah was yet to have a child, God spoke of her as the mother of nations.  At that time, they were still waiting for a long while to receive God’s promise of a child and both Abraham and Sarah were getting very old and well advanced in age.

Hebrews 11:11 reads: “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.”

In order for Sarah to receive strength, could it imply that she was weak in faith at some point prior?  When we look at her life in Genesis chapter 18, a year ago before Isaac was born, God reminded them of the promise.  The reaction of  Sarah was noted that she laughed from unbelief.  From the time she suggested Hagar to Abraham until she laughed and tried to hide, for several years then Sarah wasn’t really able to fully embrace that the promise of God would come to pass in her life.  Fulfilment of God's promise would be naturally impossible due to age and any reasonable person in her situation could potentially find it very difficult to believe.

What could’ve possibly changed in order for her to receive that strength?  From what we see in the book of Hebrews, she made an incredible decision and “considered Him who had given her the promise to be reliable and true to His word”.  That is a great shift in thinking to take the focus off of her own inabilities and place it squarely on God who is faithful. What a remarkable faith that enabled her to receive strength to birth the impossible!

Sarah indeed is an inspiration and gives tremendous hope to us that we can also draw such strength from God’s faithfulness, when faced with impossible challenges!  God remains faithful and we can surely rely on Him all the time.  Like Sarah, let us judge Him faithful in all situations!  May His strength that is made perfect in our weaknesses, empower you today to see God's promises fulfilled and every impossible situations turned around in your life!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Dwelling Place




“Among the dwellings framed by birds
In field or forest with nice care,
Is none that with the little Wren's
In snugness may compare.” - William Wordsworth

It’s interesting to watch how the birds make their nests. Great engineering skills are displayed in their building. It is made as a secure place for them to lay their eggs, and a protective environment for their young ones to hatch. Through their God-given instinct, they know how to search and find a right place to skillfully build the nest as a cozy and peaceful dwelling place.

The sons of Korah, stated the example of a sparrow and swallow, who decided to make their nest at the altar of God.  “Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God.” -- Psalm 84:3.

The Psalmists could think of no better example while remembering their flee that saved their lives. While their fathers rebelled against God, they chose not to stay as part of it, but instead they ran into the house of God and got hold on the horns of the altar of God.  Like those sparrow and swallow, they also made the wisest decision!  Especially, looking from a locational and positional point of view, they found the perfect hideout!

There is no place more secure and safe than the presence of God for us to make a dwelling place for ourselves. Though it may be invisible to the natural eyes, we also have a dwelling place, where we can stay in Him. It’s a place of rest for your soul, where you are secure, protected and free!

Jesus spoke of a wise man who built his house on the rock and the flood and the storm couldn’t take it down. We can be like him, as we build according to the Lord’s word.

Psalm 91:1 says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

He still have His wings spread out so you can run to Him and find your safe DWELLING PLACE!


Friday, February 3, 2017

Light of Life





“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1: 4 - 5)

You may have heard of this popular quote, “I opened two gifts this morning, they were my eyes”.  The sense of vision is really incredible, and the essential ingredient that makes it possible is light.

We also know, the importance of light for the existence of human beings, plants, animals and the entire biosphere.  We all might have experienced blackouts and power outages at some point.  It makes us think how valuable a small candle is.  Even the light from that small candle can drive away the darkness.  As Rev Martin Luther King Jr once said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”

The first recorded word spoken by God in the Bible is “Let there be light”.  He knew, before anything else can be created, the light needed to be there.  In our lives too, before other creations can come forth, light is necessary.

In this day and age, we have information readily available at the click of our fingertips. However with all that, most of our questions can only be answered by having God opening our internal eyes and Him shedding His light into our lives.  It makes a world of difference, just by having His light shed on all areas in our life. That would bring clarity and peace of mind, just by knowing things in the right light.

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

The Word of God is talking about a light that has shone in our hearts.  It’s relieving to know that God made that possible by sending His own son into this world darkened by sin.  In a manger in Bethlehem, the true light has finally dawned on humanity, bringing hope and future! Jesus, the light of the world, has come down to this earth, bringing new life for all!

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8: 12)

How desiring is it to have light, how much more the light of life! It’s a promise given to whomever deciding to follow Jesus. This light is beyond the comprehension of any darkness around us. Jesus, the true light of the world, brings peace and joy within! May He shine in your heart today and light up your world with His life and glory, for YOUR light has come!

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Touch of Faith




In the miracle of Jesus healing the woman with the issue of blood, we see that though a great multitude was thronging the Lord, the power to heal was released from Him to only one person.  But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” (Luke 8:46).

For twelve years, this woman was not even allowed to appear in public, but she decided to take a huge risk. As Jesus continued walking, she came from behind, ended up touching the border of Jesus’ garment, and immediately was healed and the outflow of blood stopped.

What was so special about her touch, which made Jesus to stop and inquire who touched Him?  Even, Jesus’ own disciples wondered what the logic was behind His inquiry.  That touch was definitely different, as it caused the power of God to flow out from the Lord!

As this lady identified herself, Jesus spoke to her and said: “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well.  Go in peace.”  Hence, underneath that touch there was a heart of faith!

We read her confession of faith in Mark 5:28, “For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”  What a powerful confession out of strong faith!

The Bible says, God shows no partiality and He is no respecter of persons. If Jesus was a respecter of persons, then He would’ve first found out who touched Him prior to His healing virtue flowing out to her.

So then the fact that the power was automatically released from Jesus teaches us that if anyone, including you and me, have the faith that touches the Lord, His power will flow.  We will be able to receive and experience the same results!  How amazing is that!!

Let’s make sure that our faith is active everyday, for we also read, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;” (Acts 17:27).

Since He is near to us, let us reach out in faith and touch Him, so we can also hear Him say to us “Be of good cheer; your faith has made you well.  Go in peace”!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

This Too Shall Pass






This Too Shall Pass

For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18b).

In the above scripture, Apostle Paul encourages us not to lose heart looking at the present afflictions that are temporary and reminds us of things which are not seen that are eternal.

There is a story about an emperor who asked his council of wise men for a quote that would be accurate and appropriate at all times and in all circumstances.  After a lot of contemplation, they came up with the phrase: “ This too shall pass”.

It is a great reminder of the temporary nature of our situations, that we don’t need to be affected by what’s happening around us.  Though we all like to have the phrase not to be true during the good times, it seems to explain the temporal nature of earthly pleasures.

However, many times we forget the applicability of the phrase during desperate times.  When we face the realities of life, we can easily give into the thinking that the unhappy times are permanent and we feel that it will remain that way forever.  If only we could remember then that the unpleasant times will also pass away soon!

Jesus said:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34).

It’s encouraging that the troubled days will pass away soon.  Since all the temporal things around us are supposed to be passing away, let’s have our anchor strongly fixed in the eternal and everlasting Heavenly Father who did not even hesitate to give His own beloved Son because of His love and care for us!  May His comfort fill your heart today and you can calmly look at your circumstances and remember, This too shall pass!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Believe!




Some say “seeing is believing”, while others say “it is in believing you shall see”.  People have been debating over this for many years and generations, trying to find the correlation between seeing and believing.

Bible says, if you can believe even when you haven’t seen yet you are blessed.

Virgin Mary had to make a choice to believe when the angel came and spoke to her about the birth of Jesus.

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:45, NKJV)

In the natural it was an impossible scenario. I wonder, how much faith Mary had to muster up to make that choice to believe.

Sometimes we find ourselves having to take a giant leap of faith in believing long before seeing certain things coming to pass, especially, if that’s something God has promised us.  It is much easier said than done, but when we are really in such situations, we must take to our hearts, reminders from God’s Word, our own past experiences of God’s faithfulness, as well as inspirations from others around us and in history.

We know that the Lord Jesus, before His crucifixion, had promised His resurrection to His disciples on several occasions.  After it actually took place, and initially when He appeared to them, Thomas was not present. When his fellow disciples shared the news to Thomas, he refused to believe unless he sees the nail print on Jesus’ hands and put his finger through.

How loving and compassionate is our Lord.  Next time He appeared to them again when Thomas was also present, providing him an opportunity to see and believe.  Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20: 29, NKJV)

Though we can certainly identify with Apostle Thomas in this matter repeatedly (seeing is believing), I pray that God would grant us grace upon grace so that like Mary (in believing you shall see), we would have giant leaps of faith in all circumstances, because it is more blessed. I encourage you to make that choice to believe FOR there will be a sure fulfillment of the things that the Lord has spoken to you!

Stay blessed!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Blessed!



“Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.” -- Psalm 127:1 (NKJV)

We all need God’s blessings upon us and our endeavors.  Even with all our well-intentioned, hard work and human effort, all of it amount to nothing unless the Lord is in it.  The blessing of the Lord adds the very thing that is needed in any area of our life.

The first thing God did after creating Adam and Eve is to bless them.

The fathers and saints in the Bible before their departure from the earth always gathered their children or followers to proclaim a blessing upon them.

The priests in the Old Testament after offering the sacrifices on behalf of the people, came out of the Holy Place and blessed the congregation of Israel.

It is God’s heart to bless us. Though man disobeyed Him, and sin entered the world bringing curses with it, God made a plan in Jesus Christ to redeem the mankind to bring His blessings upon them.

The first word that came out of Jesus’ mouth in addressing the multitude who came to hear Him at the sermon on the Mount was “Blessed”. Jesus proclaimed the blessed state of the believers.
Unlike the religious leaders of that time who overlooked the heart condition by placing over importance on the outward appearances based on the Law, Jesus clearly contrasted that by declaring, “Blessed are the poor in spirit…”.  And we see multiple times in the same passage in Matthew 5, the word, “Blessed”

Also the last thing Jesus did, while ascending to heaven was lifting up His hands and blessing the disciples.  And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.” (Luke 24: 50b-51; NKJV)

God’s heart was and is and always will be to bless you and see you blessed.  Let’s pray for His will to be done in our lives as it is in Heaven.  He sees your heart, your genuine seeking after Him and declares “You are blessed” and as a matter of fact, He has already done it through our Lord Jesus Christ, yes indeed you are BLESSED!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Always and Forever!






Everyone longs for the presence of someone they love, especially, if they have been away for a while. The presence of our loved ones mean a lot to us in many ways.  It brings a feeling of warmth, joy, love, excitement and a sense of belonging!


After being with His disciples ministering together for three and a half years, Jesus prepares them for His bodily departure in John 14.  He assures them of His return, and that He will come back to take them to be with Him.  He also says in John 14:18, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”


Again Jesus, after His resurrection reassures us in the great commission: “..lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28: 20b).  Yes, one day He will be back, but in the meanwhile when we are still here on earth, He promises to be always with us!


We know that God is omnipresent, so He is everywhere.  However, that’s not the kind of presence that Jesus is promising to His disciples here.  The general presence is for everyone, but His promised presence mentioned here guarantees a lot more.  The latter  involves relationship, support, care, provision, help, favor and so much more!


Adam and Eve had the privilege of enjoying daily communion with God.  It is for that purpose they were created, which they lost due to the original sin.  The finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ fully restores back to us the opportunity to have that fellowship again!  We are never alone, God is always with us in our daily walks!  He will never walk out no matter who walks out on you.


Imagine the difference in the countenance of a child who was afraid to go into a dark room, and then he or she gets to hold a parent’s hand?  There will be great courage and confidence instead of fear.  Now how much more courage and confidence we need to have, knowing that the creator of the world who has authority over all heavens and earth is walking with us.  Yes, you too can be assured of the fact that the Lord God Almighty is holding your hands, and when facing challenges, difficulties and dilemmas, He still would not let go!  He promises He will be there for you and with you, and He will never leave you, nor forsake you!


King David says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;  For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4, NKJV)


Let us not ignore and lose track of Him who is always with us but rather celebrate His presence, by talking with Him, praising Him, and walking in the confidence that He is with you Always and Forever!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Come to Jesus!


“And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” -- John 6:35 (NKJV)

Man’s primary physical need after air is of course water and food. All his toil and sweat primarily comes down to feeding His appetite. Food is so important to man that Bible says “ To show partiality is not good, Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress” -- Proverbs 28:21 (NKJV)

Also we know the example of Esau, who is described in Hebrews 12, as a fornicator or profane person, “who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.”

Here in John 6, we see after feeding five thousand people by the miracle of multiplication, Jesus went to the other side of the sea without people noticing. The following day they came seeking for Jesus and found Him on the other side. And Jesus states that the reason for their pursuit after Him was because they ate the loaves and were filled.

So we see Jesus, understanding man’s essential need, satisfied it with a miracle showing his love, compassion and care. At the same time He revealed a much important factor to those who came seeking after Him by taking their attention away from the natural food, though that was their initial motive.  Then He brings their focus to something more vital than food that perishes, to something that which they need to labor for.  It is the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give.

Hence Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”  He is still faithful to reveal His heart to those who seek after Him even today!

Isn’t it a good thing that all the work that you need to do in this process of getting the bread of life is to simply bring yourself to Him.  Let’s have our focus straight before time runs out and it’s too late to find out that all our labor was just for perishable things.

As we eat of this bread of life,  not only that the hunger of our soul is taken away but we find eternal satisfaction.  Let’s not forget the vital thing that we need for the sustenance of our being. His invitation today also is the same, COME TO HIM!