Posted in Ages 11 & above, God & Me

Am I likeable?

In every areas of our life, we have likes and dislikes that are unique to us. There are things that are very dear to us – maybe our phones, tabs, cloths, shoes, etc., and others that we do not even know exists in our homes and lives because it is not of importance to us. Similarly, there are memories that we like which brings a smile on our face and those that hurt so bad that we don’t like to remember them at all. There are also places that we like and dislike. It is the same when it comes to people who are part of our lives. There are people in our lives that we are very fond of and we love so much that we long to spend time with them. Also there is the other category whom we would never want to come across.

It is actually the character and behavioral traits of people that make us like them or dislike them. We love people who are loving, caring, encouraging, cheerful and who will be with us during tough times. And we dislike people who are arrogant, rude, selfish and full of disrespect. What about God? Does he have such likes and dislikes of character / behavioral traits?

Let us open the treasure book and find Clues !

OPENING THE TREASURE BOOK undefined

Clue1: . Does God have likes and dislikes of character / behavioral traits?

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord , But the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord , But He loves him who follows righteousness.‭

Proverbs 15:8‭-‬9

The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord , But the words of the pure are pleasant.

Proverbs 15: ‬26

It is very evident from these verses that God too has LIKES and DISLIKES. Here it says that He delights in the prayer of upright but hates the sacrifices done by wicked. He loves the one who follows righteousness and hates the ways of the wicked. He hates the thoughts of the wicked but likes the words from those who are pure at heart. So God likes righteousness and dislikes wickedness. We, as His children should be well aware of His likes and dislikes.

Which category do we fall into – Are we likeable? Or not?

Clue 2: Behavioral traits / Character that God dislikes

These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.

Proverbs 6:16-19

These verses clearly states various dislikes of God. God hates a proud look. And we learned (Have an attitude?) a proud heart also disgusts him. He hates hands that shed innocent blood and a heart that is wicked. He hates evil and those who are swift in running to Evil. False witnessing and creating disagreements / disputes among one another also detests Him. All these can be summarized to Wickedness and Evil ways.

We should be very careful about these characteristics and behavioral traits and make sure we do not embrace them but detest them like God. We too should hate evil and wicked ways and never let them into our hearts.

Clue 3: What does God expects from us?

 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4: 22-24

We have to put away our former conduct – our sinful ways before getting to know Jesus which was filled with wickedness and evil. Then renew our spirits and put on the new man created according to God in righteousness and holiness. Further in Ephesians 4:25-29, we are asked to put away lying and speak only the truth, not to sin in anger, not to steal but to labor and work, not to speak corrupt words but speak only words that build each other.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted,  forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4: 30-32

In fact, all these wickedness and evil ways grieves the Holy Spirit. Bitterness, wrath, anger, yelling, evil speaking and the desire to harm others should never be allowed in our lives. If God dislikes them , we should too!! Rather, we should be kind to one another, be tender hearted and should forgive one another as God forgave us in Christ.

Treasures uncovered

God has Likes and Dislikes

God likes Righteousness, so should we.

God hates Wickedness and Evil ways, so should we.

We should put away our former conduct (wickedness & evil) and put on the new man created according to God. Be likeable – Hate wickedness and evil ways but love righteousness and embrace it!

Prayer:

Father, we thank you for teaching us about your likes and dislikes. Father help us to hate evil and wicked ways and never let them in our hearts. Help us to put on the new self, created according to you in righteousness and live a life pleasing to you. In Jesus name, Amen.


Posted in Ages 11 & above, God & Me

The Fear of the Lord

We all have heard the phrase “The Fear of the Lord”. Does this mean the Lord is too scary and so we should be very afraid of Him? Or does it mean we should stay frightened before Him? Normally when we are frightened of someone, we try to hide from them and avoid them completely. We also cannot love such a person as the “fear factor” towards them overpowers everything else.

But, 1 John 4:8 says GOD is LOVE. He is the purest, truest and perfect form of love. 1 John 4:18 says, there is NO FEAR in LOVE but perfect love casts out fear. Also, 1 John 1:5 says GOD is LIGHT and in Him is NO DARKNESS at all. Darkness is very scary but Light is never scary. In fact Light drives away Fear. Furthermore, the word of God teaches us to Love the Lord with all our heart, all our mind, all our strength and all our soul (Give it all). We also learned that the Lord is the Best bestie we can ever have (Besties for life). If God is all of these, it is quite evident that He is not scary.

So “The Fear of the Lord” doesn’t mean to be too scared or frightened of Him. Then what does it mean?

Let us open the treasure book and find clues as always.

OPENING THE TREASURE BOOK undefined

Clue 1: What is “The Fear of the Lord”?

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way, And the perverse mouth I hate.

Proverbs 8:13

King Solomon is the wisest of all times. He has explained in simple words the meaning of “the fear of the Lord”. The Fear of the Lord means to “HATE EVIL and EVERY EVIL WAY”. Pride, arrogance and perverse mouth are all evil and we should hate these evil ways. We already learned about the consequences of perverse mouth (Speaking right), pride & arrogance (Have an attitude?).

So “the fear of the Lord” is not to be frightened of God but to Hate evil and all evil ways with your whole heart.

Clue 2: Why “Fear of the Lord / Fear God”?


We should fear God because it is Godly wisdom.

And to man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.

Job 28:28

Here, the word of God says that the Fear of the Lord is wisdom. Also Proverbs 9:10 says “The fear of the Lord is beginning of Wisdom. So “to hate evil and all evil ways” is wisdom and departing from all evil is Understanding.


We should fear God because this is what is expected of us.

Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

We should fear God and keep all his commandments. That is, we should hate evil & hate all evil ways and keep all God’s commandments. This is all what God expects from us. So, we should fear God because God expects us to do so.


We should fear God because Blessed is every one who fears the LORD and there are countless blessings that follow a person who Fears the Lord.

The fear of the LORD leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil.

Proverbs 19:23

Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, And his descendants shall inherit the earth. The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.

Psalms 25:12-14

And His mercy is on those who fear Him. From generation to generation.

Luke 1:50

A person who fears the Lord will embrace life and will be very satisfied with it. God will guide his ways, give him council and teach him. He will prosper in all his ways. His generations will be blessed. The Lord shares His secrets with those who fear Him. His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. Father Abraham is a great example and in him all the nations of the earth is blessed.


We should fear God because it keeps us from sinning

If there is no Fear of the Lord, meaning if we do not hate evil – then we are for it. Evil is darkness and Fear is a baggage attached with it. Evil causes us to Sin which in turn causes us to to be scared of God and also causes us to hide from Him. We see that from the life of Adam and Eve. When they sinned against God, they were too scared to stand before Him so they hid from His presence. It is like a robber or a thief who tries to hide from police officers because they know that they have done wrong and if caught will be punished. But, if we do not do any wrong, then we are under their protection and security. We will have the confidence in approaching them and do not have to hide away from them or be scared of them. Similarly, if we depart from Evil and hate Evil ways then we keep ourselves from sinning against God and so we do not have to be scared of Him or hide away from Him but is under His divine protection.

When we hate something with our whole heart, we do not even dare to look that way. Even when evil knocks at our door, we will not let it in as we hate it with all of our heart. So fear of the Lord keeps us from sinning and hiding from God.


How to get out from clutches of Sin?

If you are under the clutches of SIN and is struggling, there is Good News for you my friend!!!

Jesus died for YOUR SINS and took YOUR punishment. You only need to REPENT, believe in Jesus and invite Him into your heart to be your Lord & Savior. He will cleanse you and will bring you to right standing with God so that you can approach His throne of Grace with confidence and do not have to HIDE away or be scared to stand in His Presence!!!

Hate Evil and all Evil ways – Fear God and walk with Him


Treasures uncovered

The Fear of the Lord means to “HATE EVIL and EVERY EVIL WAY”

We should fear God because

  • It is Godly Wisdom and departing from Evil is Understanding.
  • This is Man’s ALL and what is expected of us.
  • There are countless blessings that follow a person who Fears the Lord.
  • Evil and evil ways leads us to sin against God

God loves us unconditionally and He himself is Perfect Love. He gave his only son Jesus to die on the cross as a punishment for our sins. Believe in Jesus and turn away from all sinful ways. Fear the Lord – Hate evil and all evil ways with your whole heart.

Prayer:

Father, help us to Hate Evil and all Evil ways. Help us to turn away from everything that displeases you. Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you Jesus for taking our punishment on the cross so that we can approach the father with confidence. We love you Lord Jesus, in Jesus name Amen!


Posted in Ages 11 & above, God & Me

Heart fitness

Heart is a major internal organ of the human body. The main function of the heart is to pump blood to retain life in the body. If heart stops beating or stops pumping, death occurs. So if we desire to live long, we should make sure our heart is in good condition. By regular exercise and eating healthy food we can keep our heart and body fit. We all know this physical aspect of heart fitness.

What about spiritual? Is heart fitness important spiritually? In fact spiritual heart fitness is more important than physical, as our entire eternity depends on it.

Let us open our treasure book to find clues on spiritual heart fitness.

OPENING THE TREASURE BOOK undefined

Why is heart fitness important spiritually?

Clue 1: For God our heart and its contents matter

I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.

Jeremiah 17: 10

For God, our HEART matters the most. He searches our heart to see it’s content. Also 1 Samuel 16:7 confirms that the Lord doesn’t look at outward appearance but He accepts people based on their heart’s content. To be acceptable in the sight of God, our heart should be fit – kept clean and good. You can read more about this on What does God notice in me?.

Because the heart matters the most to God, it also plays an important role in the plan of salvation He has for human kind.

For our spirit to be saved or redeemed from eternal doom, first action from our side is to repent. To repent is to turn our mind away from sins and to take a U-Turn from our sinful ways. Then we accept Jesus as our Lord and savior.

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans10:9-10

For accepting Jesus as our Lord and savior, we have to first BELIEVE in our HEART that God raised Him from dead and then confess with our mouth. First heart should believe and then out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth will confess / speak. Jesus is the only way to get to eternal life. If your heart is full of unbelief and not fit to believe in Jesus as your savior, then your eternity is at risk! Believe in Christ, be saved and secure your eternity!!!

In the process of getting saved, we do not see transformation right away in any person because it happens at the HEART – the inside. The transformation slowly surfaces on the outside. Changes will soon be seen in one’s character.

Is heart and character of a person connected?

Clue 2: Our heart determines our Character

As in water face reflects face, So a man’s heart reveals the man.

Proverbs 27:19

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Luke 6:45

As a mirror reflects our looks, a man’s heart reveals his character. If our heart is filled with goodness then we bring forth good actions whereas if our heart is filled with evil then we bring forth evil actions. Also the mouth speaks out of the abundance of our heart. So our heart reflects who we really are. If we keep our heart fit – clean, good and noble, then we keep our character in check, pleasing to God.

Clue3: The Parable of the sower Luke 8 : 4-15

Click the video to read the bible portion – Luke 8: 4-8, 11-15

Here Jesus portrays the Word of God as a seed and our heart as the soil where it is sown. As we all know, only if the soil is good, the seed can spring into life, sprout, grow and eventually produce fruit. If our heart is not fit – noble and good, then the word of God that we hear does not spring into life in our heart, but will be snatched by the devil. The devil will use his weapons like doubt, disbelief, hopelessness, fear, despair etc. to snatch the seed away. As we established before, if heart is not in good condition, even salvation is at stake because without believing in the heart, a person cannot be saved. If the heart is too consumed by the issues of life, riches and pleasures, then also the word will not have any option to grow or produce fruit. Only a noble and good heart will yield fruit.

For word of God to bear fruit in our lives we should have a heart that is fit – a good soil to nurture the seed and help it grow.


How to keep our heart fit?

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23

Physically, to have a fit and healthy heart, we have to eat the right food, do regular exercise and do health check-ups occasionally. Spiritually too, we have to do the same.

Right Food: To have a heart that is fit spiritually, we should feed it with the right food. Always be diligent and be on guard as to what goes inside your heart. The junk food for heart is pride, selfishness, arrogance, jealousy, hatred, unbelief, unforgiveness, fear and the like. These are all weapons of the devil that he uses to attack our minds. Reject it and do not let it enter your hearts. If we fill our hearts with these negative and unwanted thoughts, we end up having a spiritually unhealthy heart that leads to an unfruitful life. God will not be able to use us for his kingdom in this case. Feed your heart with only good and noble contents – love, peace, humility, joy, compassion, faith etc. Reject all negative content that tries to sneak in.

Regular Exercise: Fill your heart with God’s word and His commandments. Read the word of God regularly and Write them on the tablets of your heart. When we fill our hearts with God’s living word and keep practicing it, then our heart will become spiritually fit as in how exercise contributes to the physical fitness of heart.

Occasional check-up: Our actions and our words reveals our heart, so we can validate the heart based on our words and actions. Occasionally scan your actions, your speech and your thoughts to see if anything unwanted has crept inside your heart.

Treasures uncovered

Spiritual heart fitness is very important because

  • Our eternal life depends on it.
  • For God, our heart and it’s contents matters.
  • Our heart determines our character
  • Word of God cannot produce any fruit if heart is not fit.

To have a fit heart spiritually

  • Feed Heart with good food – noble thoughts, love, peace, joy, compassion, humility, etc. Reject all the junk – pride, selfishness, arrogance, jealousy, hatred, unbelief, unforgiveness, etc.
  • Exercise regularly by reading the word of God and writing them on the tablets of your heart.
  • Do occasional check-up by reviewing our actions, speech and thoughts.

An unhealthy heart (heart that is filled with pride, jealousy, arrogance hatred etc.) REPELS God. It is completely under our scope to decide what to feed our heart. Our actions, our life and our eternity depends on what we fill our heart with. Fill your heart with the living word of God so as to be fit spiritually to bear fruit for the kingdom of God and to be useful for God.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for teaching us that our heart and it’s contents matters a lot to you. As the psalmist says “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me”. Help us to always be diligent about what we allow into our hearts. Help us to have a heart that is spiritually fit. Help us to fill our hearts with your living word and be useful for your kingdom. In Jesus name Amen.


Posted in Ages 11 & above, Life Skills

Have an attitude?

There are many kinds of people around us. Some are very friendly, some are shy and some others very active & cheerful. There is also another category who puts on an “attitude” and are rude, arrogant & selfish. The world that we live in also promotes and glorifies the aspect of putting on an attitude. Is this right?

Well, putting on an attitude and being arrogant is normally an outcome of PRIDE. “Being Proud” means “thinking very highly about oneself and showing excessively high opinion of oneself & one’s importance”. For “the proud“, the world seems to revolve around them and they expect everyone else to think likewise and act likewise. They expect special treatment from everyone and consider themselves as “ELITE” – the best & the wisest. And when it comes to others, they scorn, they look down upon them and laugh at everything concerning them, even their achievements – if not openly, at least in their hearts…

Do you fall into this category? Do you have an attitude? Do you have a proud heart? Then you are in big trouble friend! BEWARE of “Being Proud“.

Why should we be so conscious about PRIDE? Let us open the treasure book for clues!!!

OPENING THE TREASURE BOOK undefined

Clue 1 : What is wrong in having an attitude / being Proud?

Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.

Proverbs 16:5

God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble

James 4: 6

We already know that when God looks at a person, he scans the heart (What does God notice in me) and finds the exact condition of the heart. Here the word of God says that God doesn’t like a proud heart rather it is an abomination to him. For each one of us, there are things that disgusts us – maybe unclean surroundings, a pile of waste, certain smells etc. For GOD, a person with a PROUD HEART is DISGUSTING. GOD RESISTS them.

This is indeed a horrible place to be. If God resists us whom do we turn to? What do we do if He finds us disgusting? Since God hates a proud heart and finds its disgusting, we should never let our hearts be filled with pride and contempt. For that, we should constantly do a self-check.

The self check

A proud and haughty man – scoffer is his name. He acts with arrogant pride

Proverbs 21:24

A major behavioral trait of a proud person is SCOFFING… The word of God even calls a proud person “scoffer”. Scoffer is one who makes fun of others and their ideas. He will always look down upon others with contempt, consider them silly, laugh at them and their situations, even their achievements. Scoffers think they are better-off than everyone else and SUPERIOR to others. They tend to be arrogant in all their dealings. Probably, some people might not show these behavioral traits outwardly, but keeps it hidden inward. God is the scanner of hearts and He gets to see all these traits hidden in your hearts. So be true to yourself and examine if you are proud at heart – Do I scoff? Do I have these behavioral traits? If you do, now is the time to turn away from it and change your attitude.

So then how should our attitude be?

Clue 2: What should be our attitude?

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.

1 peter 5: 5-6

We should be submissive especially to our elders and to one another. Put on / wear humility as your attitude. We can be humble, when we submit ourselves completely to God and understand that all what we have and enjoy is a gracious gift of God. Even the next moment of our life is not in our hands and we do not have any control over it. We do not have any thing to be proud of, except our God. Also we are not superior to anyone rather are all God’s children. Our color, family background, financial stability, talents, social status, authority etc., doesn’t give us any edge over others. We should be of the same mind toward one another. Jesus, being God, humbled himself before the Father and gave Himself up for us who were lowly. When we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, He will give us grace and exalt us.

So clothe yourself with humility and “Embrace” it.

Clue 3: Why embrace humility?

When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.

Proverbs 11:2

A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor.

Proverbs 29:23

By humility and the fear of the lord are riches and honor and life.

Proverbs 22:4

We wear clothes to cover and to protect our body. Similarly clothing ourselves with humility also protects us from shame and disgrace which is brought about by Pride. Pride brings a man down whereas humbleness or humility brings honor. Being humble is also considered Godly wisdom. Humility brings riches and life. God gives Grace to the humble and exalts them. So clothing ourselves with humility not only protects us from shame and disgrace but also brings about honor, riches, grace and exaltation.

So Embrace Humility!!

Treasures uncovered

“Attitude” is an outcome of PRIDE, so is scorn, scoff, rudeness, arrogance and selfishness.

GOD finds a Proud Heart DISGUSTING and He RESISTS it.

Clothe yourself with HUMILITY and not “Attitude / Pride”. Humility brings about grace, honor, riches and exaltation. It is Godly wisdom.

When we achieve something, it is quite natural to say or think ” I am proud of myself”. It is okay to feel so. But this should not lead us to a state where we scoff others, mock them, ridicule them, scorn them, show an attitude and be mean to them. Our life should not revolve around our achievements, our social status, power, authority or financial stability.. Then we tend to become PROUD, narrow-minded and mean. Be grounded and get your life revolve around God and His wisdom. Submit yourselves before God and wear humility.

Prayer:

Father, we submit ourselves before you. Reveal to us if there is hidden pride in any area of our life. Help us to wear humility and be humble in all our ways. Guide us and teach us your wisdom. Help us to be always compassionate to our fellow beings and see them as Children of God. In Jesus name Amen.