Jesus

New Life Blues? Cheer Up!

Are you the only born-again Christian in your family/community? If so, it’s quite likely you meet with opposition. Take heart, though. Here are some thoughts that will encourage you in your faith…

  • American-Indian saying: “Does the moon stop shining because little dogs keep barking at it?” I’m not saying that your family members are “little dogs!” But you are the light in your family/community, through whom the Light of Christ shines for the world to see!
  • 1st Gen Entrepreneurs: Across the world, in families where the traditional occupation is an office job, the person who dares to follow his artistic or business calling is always meets with criticism. If you have a clear conviction about Jesus and a burning desire to glorify him, just don’t give up.
  • God’s Chosen: They say, “God is looking for people who are looking at Him.” And if you are looking at Him, make sure you look only at Him in the sense that don’t let material temptations or worldly friendships and pastimes take over. God has a special role for you to play for His Kingdom. After all, as it is said, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Maybe you are.
  • Preserve your Testimony: First-generation Christians can face opposition and mocking and hurtful remarks from relatives, friends, old neighbours and people at large. Don’t let that depress you. Important Point: Your critics are not your enemies. When they ask you “Why Jesus?”, rather than saying “Why not Jesus?”, share the Gospel with them first and then share your testimony. You have overcome the Enemy by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of your Testimony. Pray that the Lord opens their eyes and hearts. The decision is theirs. You have taken yours. Don’t change it.

Follow these steps and who knows – one day, those puzzled by why you chose Jesus, might join you in your walk in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Read this post to know how important you are in God’s eyes.

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How to Walk on Water

Q: How do I walk on water?
A: Seek God’s face.

I recall Don Moen’s song “Be Magnified.” It goes like this:

“Be Magnified O LORD! You Are Highly Exalted;
And There Is Nothing You Can’t Do.
O LORD, My Eyes Are On You…”

In the last post, we saw what Jesus’ walking on water meant. Now we’ll see how you can walk on water, keeping your eyes fixed on God at all times.

When Jesus asked Peter to come toward him, Peter immediately stepped out of the boat and onto the water (Matthew 14:29). He even walked a few steps on the water. The Bible tells us that he could do so because his eyes were fixed on Jesus. He did not for one moment think about the danger of drowning; because like a child that runs toward its father the moment it sees him, Peter just embarked on water to reach out to Jesus. But then he took his eyes off Jesus and lo – he began to drown (Matthew 14:30)! Jesus, out of compassion and love, came and rescued him. But Peter must have learned a lesson or two there. Thank God, you and I need not drown in our sorrows and crises. We have Peter’s example before us, written in God’s own Word – the Bible. We need simply fix our gaze on the Lord and he will take care of us.

Practical Tips:

In your particular situation, fixing your eyes on God means seeking His face. Here’s how to go about it:
* Begin by praising God.
* Pray about your problems.
* Thank Him for allowing these problems to come upon you, so you could turn to Him for help.
* Commit your problems to God.
* Look up verses in the Bible stating God’s promises. A good Study Bible can help you do this.
* Thank God for the promises and claim them.
* Believe that He has solved your problems.
* Thank Him for solving them and for giving you victory over the situations.
* Praise Him again for being who He is and enjoy His presence.
* Do all in your power to manifest the solution and give God the glory.

The best thing is that through the thick and thin, Jesus is with you. Psalm 37:28 says, that God “does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever…” That’s Jesus for you.

Happy walking on water!

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Jesus Walks on Water

Do you have a life without problems? Yes? Then you have a problem! Because problems come as an in-built feature in life’s travel package.

Think about it. If you did not have problems, you would not:

* learn how to solve them
* look for a power higher than yourself who could help you solve them
* see God’s power to help you overcome your challenges
* thank God for what He did for you
* be in a position to glorify Him.

And the very purpose of our existence is to glorify God. “Wait a minute. What’s that got to do with Jesus walking on water?”

When Jesus walked on the waves of the sea 2,000 years ago (Matthew 14:25), he wasn’t just defying the laws of Nature. He was actually telling his disciples that “No matter what sea of troubles you face in your life, it’s all under my feet. I am in command.” And because that incident was recorded in the Bible, it was meant for you and me as well!

Life is all about change. They say that the only thing that is constant is change. Believe me, even problems change. Today it’s your finances, tomorrow it’s your health, then it’s your relationships…But there’s one more thing that does not change – and that’s God’s love for you. As the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8). And if you have Jesus living in your heart, “no weapon formed against you shall prosper.” (Isaiah 54:17) Just claim the Bible’s promise:

“He who is in you (Jesus) is greater than he who is in the world (the Devil).” (1 John 4:4) And the One who is within you has the power and willingness to help you overcome each and every challenge in your life!

In the next post you’ll discover how you can “walk on water.” So keep reading.

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God Has a Plan for You

God has a plan for your life.” You’ve heard this over and over again, I’m sure. And the story that follows will convince you that it’s true.

3 trees were selected for being chopped and made into something. The smallest one was unhappy that it was made into a little wooden crib. The middle one unhappy because it was made into a boat. And the biggest one was unhappy as they made a wooden cross from it. Then one day the baby Jesus was put into that wooden crib. He grew up and sat in the boat and went about “fishing” for the Apostles and giving sermons from it. And as you probably know, he later carried the wooden Cross and was nailed to it. The Cross became the means of Man’s Salvation.

Never be upset with what you have or what you are. God takes you as you are and shapes you into something that may look useless or ordinary, but will do great things when His time comes. Allow Jesus to do great things through you! God promises “those who dwell under his shadow,” that:

“They shall be revived like grain,
And grow like the vine,
Their scent shall be like the wine (fresh grape juice) of Lebanon.” (Hosea 14:7)

And, like I quoted the Bible in an earlier post, God’s promises are genuine. As the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.(Hebrews 13:8)

Truly, Jesus is Lord!

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Jehovah-jireh – He is our Provider

Do problems come to an end when you believe in Jesus Christ and repent of your sins? “Yes” and “No.” Let me explain this…

YES:
When I believed in Jesus and repented of my sins in May 2001, God delivered me from a mental block where I did not want to do a salaried job. I took up a job and then it led to another and then another. Despite 6 years in the field of music, I did not earn as much as I began earning every month, after I turned to Jesus. I began to get marriage proposals. I got married, my wife delivered our baby (Psalm 128:3)…I could go on. God truly is The Provider. Man did not give me my provisions; God did.

NO:
I said I kept getting jobs – this means I had to lose jobs too! And I did. For the next 4-5 jobs, I lost my job either because the company was cutting down on staff or because I was oppressed so severely on the job that I had to quit. I was a born-again, water-baptized, praying Christian and yet this suffering. But then Jesus said when you follow him, you will suffer for his sake. “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20)

PROBLEM SOLVED:
Pick up the Bible (you can purchase one from Christianbook.com) and read Genesis 22:8. When Isaac saw that all preparations were made for the burnt offering but the sacrificial lamb was missing, he asked his father Abraham where it would come from. “And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” And praise the LORD, He did spare Abraham from the agony of sacrificing his innocent son by providing a lamb instead! The place where this sacrifice was made was named Jehovah-jireh, meaning “The LORD Will Provide (for our needs).”

So if you are anxious today about what you will eat, wear or earn tomorrow, take Jesus at his word. He told us in the Bible that our “heavenly Father (God) knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added (given) to you.” (Matthew 6:32, 33) I’ve seen it in my life – it works!

Truly, Jehovah-jireh is our Provider.

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Forgiveness, God’s Way

Forgiveness of sins is difficult. Forgetting them is even more so. This small but interesting story conveys a significant point:

Two monks were walking down a path when they came to a river. A lady stood there, beautifully dressed. She requested them to carry her on their back so she would not get wet. Immediately, one of the monks lifted her up and began carrying her on his back. The other monk followed them. As soon as they had crossed over to the other side, the monk carrying the lady put her down. She went her way, while the monks went theirs.

After covering some distance, the other monk, who couldn’t contain his inquisitiveness and self-righteousness, asked his buddy: “In our religion, we are not allowed to touch women. So why did you carry her?” Pat replied the first monk, saying “I put down the lady a long time ago; but why are you still carrying her?”

Sometimes, we tend to carry grudges against others long after even God has forgiven them. By sinning against us, they had offended God first and us only next. And if He has forgiven them, who are we to hold it against them!

So, have you put down the lady, or are you still carrying her on your back? If you are, why bear the burden? Hand it over to Jesus. Think about it. Then forgive and forget, God’s way.

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Church Service: My First Day

The first Church service I attended was about four months after I gave my heart to Christ.

I was a struggling singer in May 2002. I did not want to do a job, but only wanted to be a singer. After I confessed my sins to Jesus and prayed the Salvation Prayer, God began to change me from within. I took my parents’ advice and took up a job as a management trainee. As part of my initial assignment, I had to visit door-to-door, to sell personalized books. One September afternoon, when I rang the doorbell of a house in downtown Mumbai, a young man opened the door. After pitching about my stuff, I asked him if he was a Christian, as there were stickers of Jesus and some verses on the door post. I also told him about my faith in Jesus Christ. He handed me a tract and invited me to his church, the Greater Grace Fellowship’s Sunday service.

I went to the church that very Sunday. He was an usher there. I loved the preaching and the love I experienced there, which was totally unique. It came from within the hearts of the people there. No showbiz. No fooling oneself or others. No commercialism. It was God the Holy Spirit Who was dwelling in their hearts. I accepted the salvation call from the Pastor (Karl Silva) and the rest, as they say, is history! God bless Justin John for being the one who brought me into His house.

When you turn over your life to Jesus Christ, you become “a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” [2 Corinthians 5:17] The Holy Spirit goes at work in your life and lays foundations that grow deep and wide first and high later. If you haven’t as yet, I urge you to turn your life over to Jesus. You won’t regret it!

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Good News Friday

Yesterday was Good Friday. My local church Pastor Karl Silva began aptly when he said the day was as much a Good News Friday as it was Good Friday. This day, 2000 years ago, God the Father “gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Imagine eating out at a restaurant and running up a huge bill you cannot foot. A man walks by and sees your plight. He has compassion for you. Out of grace, he approaches the manager and volunteers to pay your bill, so that you can walk away free!
The manager will then stamp the bill with “PAID IN FULL” That Saviour is Jesus Christ, the Son of God – or God the Son. And Jesus not only died on the Cross to pay for your sins as much as mine, but on the third day (Easter Sunday), he also walked out of his grave alive in a resurrected body that cannot be damaged, killed or destroyed. He has not died since then and is alive and living in heaven, seated at the right-hand side of God the Father.

So if you want to be sure of going to heaven when you die, pray this simple prayer, but with a genuinely repentant heart. God will begin the beautiful process of change in you.“Father God, I confess that I am a sinner. I have committed sins against you. I do not deserve to be forgiven. I cannot pay for my sins on my own. I need someone who can do that for me. Lord, I want to go to heaven when I die. But as your Word – the Bible – says, if I die as a sinner, I cannot go to heaven. I would go to hell to suffer forever in the lake of fire. But Lord thank you for sending your Son Jesus as a human being 2000 years ago to pay for my sins. Lord I believe that he died to pay the penalty for my sins and the price for my forgiveness; I believe that Jesus was buried and he rose again. Lord, wash me clean with the precious Blood that he shed on the Cross. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and make me the person You want me to be. Take me to heaven when I die. Save me, Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.”

Start attending a Bible-believing church
and study the Bible everyday, starting with the Book of John or Mark. Pray everyday. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to do so. Your life will change for the better, for good. I should know. Mine has.

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