In Jesus Name – Amen!

Every christian ends his prayer with this phrase – “In Jesus Name. Amen!” Every Sunday School student learns that the formula for prayer doesn’t work unless you add that phrase at the end. Take any language, or any cause to pray, this is the modus operandi for finishing off a monologue with the Father and continuing with one’s business on Earth. But, how many of us have really weighed in the gravity of that phrase? Do we repeat that line just because that’s how we are ‘supposed’ to pray? A preacher asked the other day to group of mature christians, “We all know about Jesus. But do we know Jesus?”

“In the name of…” – is a phrase used to represent somebody. A policeman arrests a wrong doer in the name of the law. Essentially, the policeman has no authority of his own other than what is given to him by the law. For a just policeman to make a valid arrest of a wrong doer, the policeman has to know the law. An employee uses the computer on his office desk to do work for and in the name of the company or the employer. For an employee to effectively use his office computer, he needs to know who to work a computer, but he needs to know the what the company or his employer wants him to do. In other words, the employee needs to know everything possible about the employer.

We may know every possible facet of praying. We know how to classify our prayers, We know how, when and where to modulate our voice when we pray aloud. But when we use the name of Jesus to enter the throne room of glory, do we really know Jesus? Do we really feel the passion of His heart? Do we pray according to His will?

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
– Philippians 3:8-11

Paul says he counts all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ. He continues to say that he counts all these losses as rubbish so that he may gain Christ, be found in Him, that he may know Christ, the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. Pause here.

Do we really, really know Jesus? Do we use His name in vain to benefit our emotional and fleshly desires? Have you counted anything as a loss today so that you may know Christ?

Let us aspire to know more about Jesus, not just by reading some facts about Him, but by living with Him and walking in ways that He leads us. Let our prayers switch off from our flesh and let them be driven by His Holy Spirit. Take a detour from your habitual prayer life. Dive into the depths of His Spirit.

Rebuilding What Is His

“Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?”
Haggai 1:4

The Book of Haggai, chapter 1, illustrates how the Almighty God is calling His chosen people, Israel to rebuild the temple of God which is in ruins. Verse 4 talks about the Lord questioning His people through the prophet Haggai, asking them how it is that they can go on living in paneled houses while the temple is in ruins. This is the very question that God is asking each of us today. The temple of God shows two factors. It represents our church and it also represents our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). God is asking us why is it that we have all the time in the world to gain all the worldly things, like job titles, degrees, time for entertainment, leisure and yet have no time set apart for him. The passage talks about in spite of our selfish nature we still have a God who is willing to meet each and every need.

He has provided us with the food, clothing and the income that we need. Yet the verse goes on to say that our motives have shifted from building His temple to just pure greed that can never be fulfilled. He says that, even though we eat, we aren’t filled, drink but the thirst isn’t ridden off, clothed but still not warm and our money seems to be put into a bag with holes. Our calling isn’t just to live ordinarily and just to meet worldy needs and earn positions in the eyes of society, but it is to go up to the mountains and gather wood to build up the our ruined temple (verse 8). God says that if we do not set apart what is rightly His and do the ministry each of us are clearly called for, He says that He will blow away what we have gathered and the work of or hands would be in vain.

I pray that each of us becomes sensitive to the still voice which is constantly guiding us to do His will and we never ultimately push our God to bring forth harsh judgment.
The fact is that often we turn a blind eye to what we were sent to do on this earth, when we become well settled and materially blessed and we end up living idle comfortable lives within our paneled houses. Let us take time or whatever other resource and talent that God is asking us to utilize so that we build up our church as well as rectify and cleanse our bodies and minds, so that the Holy Spirit can dwell and move mightily through us.

Third Heaven And The Pain

… No doubt this man is a murderer…
– Acts 28:4

If he looked back, Paul could have remembered all those moments he fell. That’s how our flesh is most of the time; it helps in bringing back dark memories of when we fell flat on our face while doing something seemingly good and productive. The apostle Paul lived the dream everyone wanted, for the first quarter of his life. He made it had it all – he was born into a wealthy family, had the best education, had the best social status, had the best credentials of devout, God fearing, spiritually minded person. So devout was he, that killing or torturing in the name of God was counted as an accomplishment, until he met Jesus. Everything changed after Paul’s encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus. He now knew the path he must tread and started to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ. He was even taken up to the third heavens. You follow Christ and all goes supernaturally well, right?

He spent few years somewhere in Arabia, away from everyone he knew. He came back to Damascus, got tossed to Jerusalem and then he retreats to Tarsus, his hometown. He was there for a few more years before a Barnabas came looking for him and took him to mission trips around many places in the Middle East and Europe. In these places, he was ridiculed and even stoned. He did win the hearts and minds of many people in these places. He found many new friends and partners. He set out on his own to many places after years of being with Barnabas. Years pass on and finally he was arrested in Jerusalem and eventually sent for trial to Rome. On the journey by sea, the ship wrecked as he had already prophesied. Now ashore on Malta, cold, wet and content that he is alive, he puts wood in the fire, when a snake jumps out and fastens itself on his hands. The very people who he encouraged and gave hope with his words and action now started to question his righteousness. They waited for him to rot and die as they judged him to be a man of bad character. Paul could have asked a hundred questions about why such had happened to him. He could have lamented about his past and pitied his current plight. But he did no such retrospection. Nor did he allow the negative thoughts and words of those around deter him from the goal God had set for him and that for which he knew he was alive. A new ministry began in Malta by a man who was heading for his trial in court – a man who had the peace of Christ flowing in him.

The whole road map of Paul’s life was not set before him when he saw Christ near Damascus. He attempted to seek God and please Him. Each time he attempted something for God, he got a new revelation from God about what he was to do.
Stop living each moment of your life thinking of what you could have done or what you could do tomorrow. Instead, start doing what matters right now. Seek God while He may be found. Be ready for a new revelation for tomorrow.

Decide To Do, Now!

As you know not what is the way of the wind, or how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you know not the work of God, Who does all.
In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your hands, for you know not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
– Ecclesiastes 11:5-6

Today, will you lay aside every thinkable excuse, and live a life that’s worth living by using what you have been gifted by God ‘Who does all’?

It may be that verse that’s been lingering in your head that you want to share to a friend. It may be a few moments that you spare to pray for another man’s healing. It may be a pat on the back of your child who has time and again tried to win your appreciation. It may something that you call inferior compared to what other’s have been gifted with… but your decision to stop procrastinating may turn your world topsy-turvy.

When Sorrows Remind of Sins And Sorrow For Sin Drives To God

My head is high, God, held high;
I’m looking to You, God;
No hangdog skulking for me.

I’ve thrown in my lot with You;
You won’t embarrass me, will You?
Or let my enemies get the best of me?

Don’t embarrass any of us
Who went out on a limb for You.
It’s the traitors who should be humiliated.

Show me how You work, God;
School me in Your ways.

Take me by the hand;
Lead me down the path of truth.
You are my Savior, aren’t You?

Mark the milestones of your mercy and love, God;
Rebuild the ancient landmarks!

Forget that I sowed wild oats;
Mark me with your sign of love.
Plan only the best for me, God!

God is fair and just;
He corrects the misdirected,
Sends them in the right direction.

He gives the rejects his hand,
And leads them step-by-step.

From now on every road you travel
Will take you to God.
Follow the Covenant signs;
Read the charted directions.

Keep up your reputation, God;
Forgive my bad life;
It’s been a very bad life.

My question: What are God-worshipers like?
Your answer: Arrows aimed at God’s bull’s-eye.

They settle down in a promising place;
Their kids inherit a prosperous farm.

God-friendship is for God-worshipers;
They are the ones he confides in.

If I keep my eyes on God,
I won’t trip over my own feet.

Look at me and help me!
I’m all alone and in big trouble.

My heart and kidneys are fighting each other;
Call a truce to this civil war.

Take a hard look at my life of hard labor,
Then lift this ton of sin.

Do you see how many people
Have it in for me?
How viciously they hate me?

Keep watch over me and keep me out of trouble;
Don’t let me down when I run to you.

Use all your skill to put me together;
I wait to see your finished product.

God, give your people a break
From this run of bad luck.

Psalm 25  ~ The Message Bible