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Archive for September, 2011

When Moses was in a place not excepting God, he was taken to a burning bush and God asked him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses refused, but God assured Him of His presence. He says, “I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12). Moses led the people out of Egypt after a series of plagues and God’s hand in dividing in waters of the Red Sea, to let the children of Israel out safely and the soldiers of Pharaoh to be destroyed. 

God has been telling Moses to lead the people into the promised land. Moses wanted to know who will accompany him. God assures him again, “My Presence shall go with thee” (Exodus 33:14). Moses makes a reply that is worth pondering. Moses replies, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” (Exodus 33:15).  

Moses realized that the Presence of God is an important factor to him. Secondly, he also understood that an individual can be used by God only if He is present. Moses experienced the power of God from the beginning and have seen the wonders. It was His presence with Him.  Most important, Moses knew that God has to be present in the new place to which he is leading the people into. He understood that without God, he can do nothing.  

May this be our prayer too. The projects we undertake, the places we want to go, must be in the will of God. If God is not there, He must not send us there, and we must not go or do.

 

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Free will abused…

God created us and everything around us.  He set the boundaries (laws) for where each thing could go, and it will never go further. For example, a rock doesn’t jump up and do other than it was designed to.  Nature is compliant with its creator’s rule. Since God’s creation obeys Him so well, why is it so hard for mankind to do the same?
Is the rock more intelligent than humanity?  No.  But a rock doesn’t have “free will”.  So free will, abused as we often exercise it, can make us dumber than a rock. 

The Bible says that “Satan comes to steal and destroy”.  When man decides to disobey God (and follow Satan’s lead or our own whims), we become the most foolish thing in creation.

But when we obey God and his daily guidance, accepting the salvation he provides from our sin and stupidity – when we walk with Him again, He remembers how he made us – a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned with [His] glory and honor.                                                                                                   By Glen Stewart

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Making Disciples…

The Lord commissioned each one of us to “go and make disciples” (Mathew 28:19) that doesn’t mean just to preach the gospel and ease our conscience. The qualification of a discipler is nothing but Christ-likeness, a Christ like nature, a Christ like character and a Christ like behavior. Our own efforts, ideas, strategies and statistics will not help us to make disciples. 

The servant girl in Naaman’s house could influence him and led him to the prophet of Israel to get cured of his leprosy (II King 5). The integrity of the servant influenced him and he believed her words of advice. Are you trying to make disciples through Bible knowledge, teaching and preaching? You never can make disciples with your eloquent preaching with full Biblical knowledge but only through influential Spirit filled, Christ-like life.  

Luke says in Acts 1:1 “Jesus began to DO and preach”. Ezra a man of God says in Ezra 7:10 “he studied, PRACTICED and taught the law of God”. A follower of Jesus must follow what Jesus practiced.

The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose”. –C. S. Lewis

 

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Paul writing to the Corinthians instructs them ‘….bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,( 2 Corinthians 10:5). This instruction carries with it an important learning if we have to grow to the likeness of Christ. Observing many activities, seeing many needs, hearing many wants in Christian circle, may prompt us to react immediately and commit to help them. The thoughts that come might be out of emotional feelings and may not last long. Paul is directing us to bring all thoughts that come to our minds to the feet of Jesus and analyze if it is the will of God. 

Most of the times we falter in bringing the needs to God and asking for His guidance. We rely on our wisdom and make commitments. To fulfill these commitments there may be ‘ warning messages’ or ‘emotional appeals’ prompting believers to help fulfill these commitments. God desires us to bring every thought to His will. We will be able to do that only when we realize that “because apart from me ye are not able to do anything (John 15:5)

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God directed Moses to build the tabernacle where ‘glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle’ (Exodus 40: 34). There was a cloud that rested above the tabernacle and when the cloud was lifted, the Israelites could move on. If the cloud was not taken up, they had to remain in that place till the day it was taken up (Exodus 40:35-37). The cloud could rest for days and not be taken up. The plans made by people for the next day was not fulfilled if the cloud remained above. Their movement and steps were guided by God. 

Our steps too are guided by the Lord. The next step we take and the plans we make will come into realization only if the Lord wills. The psalmist says that unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the Lord guard the city, the watchman stay awake in vain (Psalm 127:1-2). We must realize that all our achievement is possible only if the ‘cloud is lifted and that Lord wills’. 

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.

                                                     … William Williams

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Temptation is inevitable in the life of a child of God. We are always tempted not to do His will but our own. We seldom realize that we are the victims of Satan’s temptations. Every day we are tempted to get angry, get upset with the situations, to get anxious of many things, to say lies, to gossip to be jealous and so on. 

First of all we should recognize our area of weakness. It is important to daily take a self-inventory in order to find out the area we fall into temptations. Sometime we must avoid certain activities, people or place in order to protect our spiritual life. However, when we humble ourselves and recognize our area of weakness the Lord gives us the grace to overcome and He makes us a useful vessel for His glory. James 4:6. 

Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each victory will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

                                            ….Horatio R Palmer

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