Posted in Ages 11 & above, The Negatives

Pain & Affliction

We humans prefer to live a happy life free from pain, affliction, sadness and the like. But that is not the case always. We have to face all these while living on this planet. Sometimes it is so hard on us that we loose hope to live. Why do we have to bear all these pain and affliction? When sin entered the world though the disobedience of Adam and Eve, all these byproducts of sin also got free entry into the world. So then affliction should be only for the sinful. Why are children of God afflicted then?

Let us open the treasure book to find clues:

OPENING THE TREASURE BOOK undefined

Affliction from God

Case 1: Pharaoh and Israel, Exodus 1-14

The Pharaoh who ruled Egypt during the time of Moses was a ruthless emperor who afflicted the children of Israel. The Lord heard their cries and saw their oppression. He appeared to Moses and told him that He will deliver them out of Egypt. So Moses went to Pharaoh and told him to let the Israelites leave as per God’s command. Pharaoh did not heed and denied their freedom, rather afflicted them more. Pharaoh disobeyed God and sinned against Him. Then God sent affliction one after the other on Pharaoh and his people. The same Pharaoh who afflicted the children of God was now under affliction from God. First their water turned to blood. They were deprived of drinking water which is essential to sustain life. Next their country was teeming with frogs, then lice and then flies. Next, their livestock which was their means of livelihood started dying, then there was a plague of boils. After this there was a hail storm which destroyed all their crops and whatever still remained the next plague of locusts destroyed. Then there was pitch darkness for three days. People could not move around or even get up from the place they were for 3 days. All these afflictions affected their basic needs like food, water, livelihood and their health. These did not let Pharaoh repent or listen to God’s word. He still continued to stand against God and fight Him. Then the last and final affliction came – death of all the first born. Every first born in every family, including the first born of animals were killed. This was more than what even Pharaoh could handle. He let them leave his country. But after they left, Pharaoh felt he shouldn’t let them go easily. So, Pharaoh pursed them but could not get to them and drowned in the red sea along with his troops. He tried to fight God and his children and ended up bringing calamities one after the other upon his household and his kingdom eventually losing his own life.

Who will prevail fighting GOD, the almighty? Pharaoh, even though a big emperor was foolish enough to fight God. He afflicted the children of God and so afflictions from God came on him one after the other. Even then, he did not repent but continued fighting God to a point where he lost his life. The Israelites were also living in Egypt when afflictions hit the land, however it did not come near them, to the land where they were living. God protected them all throughout.

If we oppress or afflict God’s children, we fight God and sin against Him. And when we fight God and sin, affliction from Him is a surety. Without repentance, there is no deliverance from the affliction that comes from God.

Case 2: The Bronze Serpent, Numbers 21: 4-9

The children of Israel, after escaping from Pharaoh by crossing the red sea, had to journey through the wilderness for a long while. The people became very discouraged on the way and started speaking against God and Moses: “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food, no water and our soul loathes this worthless bread.” So the  Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people. Many died. Then they realized they sinned against God. They came to Moses and asked him to pray for their deliverance. So Moses prayed for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery  serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.”  So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

In this case, the affliction came from God on His own chosen people. Even though they did not stand against Him or His plans, affliction came on them. His people sinned against Him forgetting all what He did for them. He had brought them out of slavery and took care of them in the wilderness providing food, water, shelter and protection. Listening to their complaints and seeing their ungratefulness towards Him, He sent affliction. This made them realize their mistake and remember what God did for them. As soon as they came back to their senses, they asked Moses to pray for their deliverance. They repented and God provided a way out. He gave them deliverance from the fiery serpents.

Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.

Psalm 119:67-69

It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.

Psalm 119:71

Lord sends affliction to remind us about His mercy, faithfulness and goodness towards us which we tend to forget from time to time. We take for granted all the resources that God has given us. So sometimes afflictions are a way to remind us of God’s ways so as to walk in them continuously without being tired or weary of them. It also helps us to stay on the path of God and not go astray. As the psalmists says, affliction from God helps us to remember Him, His ways – to learn them and keep them.

Affliction from God reminds us of God and His ways – His mercy, goodness and faithfulness towards us. It helps us to repent and turn to Him. It also helps us to learn His ways and keep them. It is for building us so that we do not go astray and lose our eternity. God has our best interests at heart.

Affliction comes from God only when sin is involved.

Affliction from Satan

The life of Job, Job 2

One day, the Lord asked Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” Satan replied, “Stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!“ And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. His wife told him to curse God and die. But Job did not sin against God.

Here we see a conversation between God and Satan. God Himself is testifying about Job that he is a blameless and upright man who fears God and rejects evil. So Job was upright in all his ways before God. Even then he was afflicted. Satan wanted to destroy him without any cause. God gave the permission to Satan to afflict Job without taking his life. So Satan went ahead and afflicted Job with painful boils. This proves that definitely Satan can cause affliction to God’s children who are righteous, if God permits him. Moreover, sinning is not the reason for affliction from Satan. His only motive for bringing affliction is destruction. He wanted to destroy Job without any cause!!!

We also see here that even with all the affliction and the discouragement from his wife, Job still did not sin but waited on God to deliver him. God used this as a testing period for Job concerning his faith in God and Job came out victorious. Later on we see that Job was delivered and he was given twice as much of what he lost in affliction.

Satan afflicts the righteous of God and his only motive is destruction.

Deliverance

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Psalm 34:19

Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them.

Matthew 4:24

For the righteous, many are their afflictions that comes from Satan – physical and mental sickness, fear, depression, demonic oppression, etc. He will take all opportunity to torment and torture the righteous of God. His only motive is destruction. But remember, God delivers us from all kinds of affliction. Jesus overcame Satan and all his afflictions on the cross. While He lived on the earth, He healed thousands and thousands of people from oppression, sickness and all kinds of satanic affliction and torture. He is still alive and is capable of delivering us out of all kinds of afflictions. He heals all kinds of pain and sickness. So look on to Jesus and take refuge in Him as your deliverer.

But if you have Jesus already in your life, there is a twist. You are redeemed by the blood of Jesus and is righteous before God. It is not by your works that you are saved, but because of Jesus and His precious blood. Always remember, Jesus already took our sin, our sickness, our pain, our suffering and all our afflictions on the cross and so we do not have to suffer the afflictions from Satan. Resist the devil and he will flee from us. Resist the afflictions he tries to instill in us in the name of Jesus and by His precious blood. Claim victory by the blood of Jesus and he will have no choice but to FLEE…

So if you do not have Jesus in your life, accept Him today as your savior and live life to the fullest on Earth and secure your eternity.

Jesus is the only cure for our affliction. He is our deliverer who has overcome Satan and all his afflictions. Resist the devil and he will flee from us.

Treasures uncovered

Affliction comes from God only when sin is involved.

Affliction from God reminds us of God and His ways – His mercy, goodness and faithfulness towards us. It helps us to repent and turn to Him. It also helps us to learn His ways and keep them. It is for building us so that we do not go astray and lose our eternity. God has our best interests at heart.

If we oppress or afflict God’s children, we fight God and sin against Him. And when we fight God and sin, affliction from Him is a surety. Without repentance, there is no deliverance from the affliction that comes from God.

Satan afflicts the righteous of God and his only motive is destruction. Jesus is the only cure for our affliction. He is our deliverer who has overcome Satan and all his afflictions. Resist the devil and he will flee from us.

Prayer:

Father we thank you for teaching us about affliction. Help us to always walk in your ways remembering your goodness and faithfulness. Thank you father, for Jesus, our deliverer and our cure from affliction. Help us to resist devil and his afflictions. In Jesus name, Amen.


Posted in Ages 11 & above, God & Me

The Perfect Safe House

During olden times, wars were very common. Kingdoms used to invade each other under the leadership of kings in the desire for conquest, wealth and power. During such wars if the defeated king escapes, he would flee to find refuge either by going in hiding or going to his friendly neighbors, where he will rest and regain his strength and power. Once he is strong enough, he can fight back for his kingdom.

In the present time too, things are not much different! Though we are not fighting a physical war with weapons, we are always fighting battles one after the other in pursuit of something – to get into a desired school / college, to get accepted into a gang of friends, to get into the school baseball team, to get the right job, and so on. We emerge victorious in few of those battles but definitely not all. Heart breaking failures occur from time to time. When such failures occur, it would not be always easy to getup and stand on our feet to fight again. We will not be strong enough to carry on with the fight. We would need a place of refuge to regain our strength. Where to find refuge – a place that gives protection or shelter from danger / trouble – A Safe House?

Let us look into the treasure book to get clues!

OPENING THE TREASURE BOOK undefined

Our Safe House

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.

Psalms 46:1-3

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

Psalms 91:3-4

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Psalms 9:9-10

When we are in trouble, we would only approach people who will stand by our side and help us get through the difficult times. We will never go to someone who would reject us or abandon us half way. Most of the time we will confide in our best friends, specially those we trust will stand by us. However in most cases they will not have a proper solution for our problem but can only comfort us.

The Word of God says, God is a very present help in trouble. The Word also confirms He never forsakes those who seek refuge in Him. Whoever approaches Him for refuge, He never denies them nor abandons them half way through. You would be familiar of how a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings to protect them when a threat is present. Similarly, God covers with His feathers those who put their trust in Him and protects them from the enemy / threat. So God has all qualities and abilities for being a refuge. He offers complete protection and safety during times of trouble. Additionally, He also has solution for our trouble – He can deliver us from the trouble we are in. In fact, He is the only one who is capable of deliverances – be it a snare, or a pestilence or a natural calamity or oppression or any thing else we face. There is no trouble that is hard enough for Him.

So God is a very present help during trouble, offers refuge and also never forsakes those who put their trust in Him and reach out to Him during trouble. Also at the same time, He is a deliverer from all kinds of trouble. So if we trust in Him and make Him our refuge we enjoy all these benefits. When God is our refuge, even if the ground that we stand on or the surroundings that we are in is shaking with trouble, we do not have to be anxious or fearful. There is no need to fear or be anxious while under His care and protection. For He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, there is no one as powerful as Him and there is no power above Him. He is the perfect SAFE HOUSE.

God Himself is “The Perfect Safe House”. During trouble, He offers help, refuge and never forsakes. He also delivers us from all our troubles. Like how chicks find refuge under their mother’s wings, we the children of God should find refuge under His wings.

Example of Ruth

The Story – Ruth Chapter 1-4

Elimelech was a man who lived with his wife Naomi and his two sons in Bethlehem during the rule of Judges. There was a famine in the land and he moved to the country of Moab with his family. Elimelech died there and Naomi was left with her two sons. They took wives from the women of Moab- Orpah and Ruth. After they lived there for ten years, Naomi’s both sons also died. Naomi decided to return back to her homeland as she was left alone in a foriegn land and also heard the conditions have changed there in the land of Israel. She told both her daughters-in-laws to return to their mother’s houses and to build a family. They did not agree to her request. But Naomi tried to convince them and finally Orpah agreed, but Ruth clung to her. Naomi again tried to convince Ruth, but she did not agree. She told Naomi, “Wherever you go i will go, wherever you stay i will stay, your people will be my people and your God, my God“. When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to stay with her, she stopped persuading her.

Both of them came to Bethlehem and it was the beginning of barley harvest. Naomi when she left Bethlehem, had her husband and her sons, but she came back a poor widow. They did not have enough to even buy food. So Ruth went to a field to glean (gather left over grains after harvest) after the reapers . And it so happened that she went to the field belonging to Boaz, who was a wealthy relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech. When Boaz came to the field, he noticed Ruth and his servant gave a good report about her. Boaz spoke to Ruth and told her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”

Ruth found favor with Boaz and he treated her well. He gave her food in abundance. He also ordered his servants to treat her well and be careful that no-one harms her. Later on we see that Boaz redeemed Naomi’s land and took Ruth as his wife.

Analysis

After her sons died, Naomi was left alone with her daughter-in-laws. Naomi tried her best to persuade Ruth to leave, as she still could remarry and build a family of her own. But Ruth did not abandon her nor did she agree to leave, but clung on to her. Ruth and Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, Naomi’s homeland. Ruth left her people, her household, her country and her God to be with Naomi. They did not have any men in their family to support them, to provide for them or to protect them. But Ruth took refuge in the Lord God, the God of her mother-in-law. She came under His wings as soon as she took Him as a refuge.

Poverty was a huge problem for them and they did not have any means to buy food. So Ruth offered to go gleaning to provide for herself and her mother-in-law. Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from fields after they have been harvested. During harvest, the reapers gather all the grains first and after this the gleaners are allowed to collect the leftover grains. In the modern day, gleaning could be somewhat compared to dumpster diving. From this we know that Ruth and Naomi were miserably poor. For gleaning, Ruth ended up in Boaz’s field but she did not know whose field it was or their relationship with him. God directed her there. Boaz was very kind to her and gave food for both Ruth and Naomi and eventually married Ruth. God delivered her from poverty.

God changed her status completely. From a miserably poor widow she became the wife of a rich man. God settled her and gave her a family of her own. Her son Obed was the father of Jesse, the father of David. She was the great grand mother of King David. From a nobody she became a renowned woman.

After Ruth took refuge in the God of Israel, God directed her path, provided for her, protected her and eventually delivered her. God raised her from poverty, settled her in a family and established her. Instead of being a poor widow, she became the wife of a rich man in Bethlehem and the great grand mother of King David!!!

Under Gods wings, there is no fear or anxiety because He takes up the complete responsiblity. He directs our path, provides for us, protects us, delivers us, settles us and establishes us.

Treasures uncovered

God Himself is “The Perfect Safe House”. During trouble, He offers help, refuge and never forsakes. He also delivers us from all our troubles. Like how chicks find refuge under their mother’s wings, we, the children of God, should find refuge under His wings.

Under Gods wings, there is no fear or anxiety because He takes up the complete responsiblity. He directs our path, provides for us, protects us, delivers us, settles us and establishes us.

Prayer:

Father, we thank you for teaching us that you are the perfect safe house for us. Thank you for being an ever present help during times of trouble, thank you for not forsaking us when we seek refuge in you, thank you for the protection you offer and thank you for being our deliverer. We thank you for covering us with your feathers when we come under your wings. We love you Lord. In Jesus’s name, Amen.


Posted in Ages 11 & above, The Negatives

This is sooo unfair!!!

In life, many things happen to us unexpectedly – Good & Bad. When unexpected good happens, we call it our luck!!! But if unexpected bad happens, we call it UNFAIR!!! Imagine you loose something that you worked hard for, something that you deserve very much – like your position in the baseball team suddenly got offered to a relative of the coach; or the dream job position that you worked hard for was offered to your boss’s friend. We feel that what happened to us is sooo UNFAIR!!! Well… life is not always fair!!! All of us would have experienced multiple unfair treatments in many areas of life. When treated unfairly, we would be very disappointed and angry. It is quite natural to feel this way.

Bitterness / resentment is defined as anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly. The bitterness towards people might lead us to slander them, treat them bad, hate them and so on. But, when those people are people with authority, it might not be possible to react this way, but the bitterness towards them will be deep rooted in our hearts. Is bitterness okay?

Let us look into the treasure book and find what the treasure offers.

OPENING THE TREASURE BOOK undefined

Bitterness – Good or bad?

looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

Hebrews 12:15

 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

Acts 8:23

 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 4:31-32

Bitterness brings nothing but trouble. It defiles us like all other evil and wickedness. It is impurity and uncleanness before God. Bitterness is considered a poison. Poison when consumed is hazardous to health and can result in death. This is the effect of bitterness on us. It is hazardous to our health. This nature of bitterness is also proven scientifically by various medical studies conducted by reputed universities.

Bitterness should be put away like all other evil ways as it is malice / ill will. Instead of bitterness we should practice kindness and be forgiving as how Jesus forgave us.

Bitterness is poisonous and brings only trouble. It is evil and defiles us. Put away bitterness and be kind, forgiving one another.

Handling our bitterness

Example of Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8:9-25)

During the time of apostles, a man named Simon practiced sorcery in the city of Samaria and astonished the people, claiming he was someone great. The people from the least to the greatest, believed this man to be the great power of God. And they heeded him because of his sorceries. Philip preached Jesus Christ and the things concerning the kingdom of God to these people and they believed. Simon himself also believed and was baptized and he continued with Philip. He was amazed seeing the miracles and signs which were done. Then Peter and John were sent to Samaria and they prayed for the people that they might receive the Holy Spirit. When they laid hands on the people, they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me also this power, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” Peter rebuked Simon for this blunder. Holy Spirit revealed to Peter that his heart is not right in the sight of God. Also that he was poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity. Peter asked him to repent and pray to God that he may be forgiven. Then Simon repented and prayed.

Simon, even though a child of God who accepted Jesus as his savior, was poisoned by bitterness. His heart was not upright before God but he never knew it. Holy Spirit revealed to him through an apostle that he was poisoned. If poisoned, then immediately look for cure or the chances of survival is dim. The cure for bitterness like all other evil is to repent first and pray to God for forgiveness. We see that as soon as the poisoning was made known to Simon, he took the cure immediately.

If poisoned with bitterness, be quick to find cure or the chances of survival is dim. The only cure for this poison is to repent first and pray to God for forgiveness.

Example of Hannah – 1 Samuel 1

Elkanah was an Ephraimite with two wives – Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not have any. He went with his family every year to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the Lord. And whenever he made an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters, but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah even though the Lord had closed her womb. Peninnah did not leave any chance to provoke Hannah and hurt her because the Lord had closed her womb. Year after year, when they went to the house of the Lord, Peninnah would hurt her severely and make her feel miserable, making her cry and not eat her portion. Then Elkanah her husband would talk to her and comfort her saying, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?

One such time after Peninnah’s usual provoking, Hannah arose and went to pray in front of the tabernacle. She was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. The priest Eli saw her and mistook her to be drunk. But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.” Then Eli told her to go in peace and that God will grant her petition. So Hannah went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

The study

Here we see that out of the two wives of Elkanah, Hannah did not have children. Having children was the greatest strength for Peninnah and she turned her strength to be the greatest opportunity to torture Hannah. Peninnah made Hannah feel very miserable and hurt to a point where Hannah would just cry and not eat. Even though her husband loved her, the provoke of Peninnah took the focus above everything else. Her soul became very bitter. In all that bitterness, she did not fight Peninnah or slander her or complain to her husband and give him trouble. She did not even try to argue or prove her point. Instead she prayed and wept in anguish before God. She poured out her soul to God. She knew only God could get her a solution, so why discuss with others or argue. She trusted God and believed He would deliver her. God filled her heart with hope and she left in peace and happiness. The bitterness was not to be seen in her anymore. Later on we see that God answered her prayers and gave her children, Prophet Samuel being the first among them.

Hannah did not speak on her behalf, but God did, in such manner that Peninnah did not have any ground to provoke Hannah or make her miserable anymore. Not only did Hannah have children like Penninah, but also a husband who loved her more than Peninnah. But we don’t see Hannah using her strengths to provoke Penninah even though she had every opportunity to do so.

We too might have people around us who take every opportunity to hurt us, belittle us and make us feel miserable. This could spring up bitterness in our souls. Praying to God and pouring out our soul to Him is the best way of getting the bitterness out of us. God will make us stand with our heads held high like He did for Hannah. Make sure also to never use your strengths to mock others or make them feel miserable, but be thankful to God for all His mercies.

Getting God’s help by praying and pouring out our soul to Him enables us to heal our hearts and fill it with peace.

Treasures uncovered

Bitterness is poisonous and brings only trouble. It is evil and defiles us. Put away bitterness and be kind, forgiving one another.

If poisoned with bitterness, be quick to find cure or the chances of survival is dim. The only cure for this poison is to repent first and pray to God for forgiveness. Getting God’s help by praying and pouring out our soul to Him enables us to heal our hearts and fill it with peace.

Never use your strengths to mock others or make them feel miserable, but be thankful to God for all His mercies.

Prayer:

Father, we thank you for teaching us that bitterness is poisonous in nature and that we should never hold on to it but should repent and ask for forgiveness.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Psalms 51:10-11

In Jesus name, Amen.


Posted in Ages 11 & above, God & Me

Finding God

In the world that we live, if we need to find information about something, we have to look for it from a genuine source. With internet being available to all, we have every information we need at our fingertips. However, the information we find online is not always genuine. If we do not get the right information, we could be misled. It is very important to get the correct information always specially when it relates to our health, life and future or else it can affect us adversely.

Similarly wrong information about God also affects us adversely because it affects our entire eternity. If our sources do not give us genuine information, then we are doomed. How do we find God and what are our genuine resources? Let us search the treasure book to find clues.

OPENING THE TREASURE BOOK undefined

Seek God

Different individuals have different things that interests them. Interest is the feeling of wanting to know or learn about something or someone. We all have various interests that are unique to us. Some of us are interested in electronic gadgets, others in photography, cooking, travelling, sports, vehicles, language, history, etc. When our interests are deep rooted, our hearts will be filled with the desire to know more about it and we end up spending several hours on google or on YouTube researching and reading about it. We put our heart and soul to it and we acquire more knowledge about it. So we find when we seek.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”

Matthew 7:7

But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 4:29

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

Similarly, when we have a deep rooted interest in God, we seek Him. And if we seek Him we will find Him. When we seek we need to do so with all our heart and with all our soul. Our heart and our soul should be full of the desire to seek Him. This happens only when God becomes our primary interest.

God should become our primary interest and then when we seek Him with all our heart and soul we will find Him.

How to seek God?

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

2 Timothy 3:16

But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 

1 Corinthians 2:10-11

In the physical world, how do we look for things that interest us? We research about it by reading genuine articles, listening about it from experienced people, going for courses, watching videos etc.

We use similar principle to seek God. The first place we should turn to is the “Word of God”. It reveals many things about God such as His likes and dislikes, His behavioral characteristics, what pleases Him and what makes Him angry and so on. Listening to preachers and teachers of the Word also helps us learn about God. But you need to verify with the word of God everything that you hear and do not blindly believe things spoken about Him. Also listening to testimonies of people who experienced God is another way of seeking. Spending time in prayer talking to God and worshipping Him in truth & in spirit also reveals Him on a personal level. The Holy Spirit inside of you also reveals the heart of God.

Word of God is the primary resource for seeking God. Spending time in prayer talking to God and worshipping Him in truth & in spirit, reveals Him on a personal level. The Holy Spirit inside of us reveals the heart of God to us. Reading or listening to preaching, teaching and testimonies are other ways of seeking God.

Example of Josiah ( 2 Chronicles 34)

The story

Josiah was eight years old when he became king of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in His ways. While he was 16 years, he began to seek God. When he was 20 years, he started to remove the idols and worship places of other Gods from Judah and Jerusalem. He broke down the altars of the Baals, the wooden images and the carved images. He broke the molded images in pieces, made dust of them and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. When he was 26 years, he took to repair the house of the Lord his God. The Lord’s worship place was in ruins and not attended to. Also the law given by God was not followed and infact neither the people nor the king was aware of such a law until they found the “Book of the Law of the Lord” given by Moses from the temple during its repair . Next he reinstated true worship among his people. He gathered all people of his kingdom at the house of the Lord and made known to them what was written in the Book of the Law. Then he along with the people made a covenant to God to follow Him and walk in His ways as given in the book of the law. Thus Josiah removed all the abominations from all the country that belonged to the children of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel diligently serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not depart from following the Lord God of their fathers.

The explanation

Josiah became a king when he was very very young – at the age of 8. We think 8 years is a very small age to know God or walk in His ways. But Josiah proves this wrong. He got a huge responsibility of leading God’s people at the age of 8. Even at that young age he chose to do what was right before God and walked in His ways. While he was still young (in his late teens), he began seeking God. This is an age when you feel you know better than anyone else. But, Josiah chose to seek God this time. When he seeked God, the things of God were revealed to him one after the other. Even things that were hidden for a very long time. In fact, the very heart of God was revealed to him.

Just imagine having power in your teens to do anything that you want!! What would you do? Maybe provide free internet to all, or make education available to all. Each of us will have our own version for sure. Josiah in his teens was the king and could do anything with the power he had. But when the heart of God was revealed to him, he used the power to reinstate the ways of God in the kingdom and lived according to how God wanted him to live. First he removed all worship places in the country where people worshipped other Gods – He removed Idolatry from among God’s people knowing it was an abomination to God. Secondly, he repaired the worship place of God. And next, he restored true worship among God’s people and made them diligently serve the Lord their God. He turned back the hearts of God’s people to the one true God.

When you seek God, the heart of God will be revealed to you and God will enable you to walk in His ways and carry out His plans.

Treasures uncovered

Finding God

God should become our primary interest and then when we seek Him with all our heart and soul we will find Him.

Word of God is the primary resource for seeking God. Spending time in prayer talking to God and worshipping Him in truth & in spirit, reveals Him on a personal level. The Holy Spirit inside of us reveals the heart of God to us. Reading or listening to preaching, teaching and testimonies are other ways of seeking God.

When you seek God, the heart of God will be revealed to you and God will enable you to walk in His ways and carry out His plans.

Prayer:

Father, we thank you for enlightening us about how to find you. Help us to diligently seek you all the days of our life. Thank you for the resources you have given us to seek you. We thank you for word of God and the Holy Spirit you have provided us. We also thank you for the teachers and preachers whom you have placed in our lives to help us seek you. We love you Lord. In Jesus’s name, Amen.


Posted in Ages 11 & above, Life Skills

Love

Love is an amazing feeling and a wonderful experience. There is absolutely no one in this world who has not experienced love – it could be the love of parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, pets, teachers, spouses or GOD. There is different dimension to love and it varies from one relationship to the other. Though the kind of love varies in each relationship, we all will agree it is a beautiful feeling and a wonderful experience to be loved and to love one other. Without love, the world would be gloomy, sad and a depressing place to stay. What does the treasure book speak about love?

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Definition of love

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1 John 4:8

Dictionary defines love as an intense feeling of deep affection. The biblical definition of love is “God is Love“. There is no better definition for love but God himself. He is Love and the only true source of love. The demonstration of His love is seen on the cross of Calvary.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:10

Jesus, the Son of God was sent to die on the cross for the sake of mankind – to redeem us from the power of darkness and bring us back to the kingdom of light as children of the living God. He did not have to do this. He could have just left us in the pathetic condition we were in – living in the kingdom of darkness in affliction as slaves of Satan. But He loved us so very much that He gave His only begotten Son to take up the punishment that we deserved and brought us back to the kingdom of light as children of God. He did this out of pure unconditional love. Unconditional means there are no conditions or strings attached. It is the kind of love that is not based on what someone does for you in return. You simply love them and want nothing more than their happiness. God loved us while we were still sinners and Christ died for our sake taking our punishment not expecting anything in return but just for our happiness – for us to have eternal life and not perish in the lake of fire. There is no other greater love than laying ones life for his loved ones and that is what Jesus did for us.

The biblical definition of love is God Himself. His love towards us is unconditional. He demonstrated this love by sending His son Jesus to die for our sake just so that we do not perish but can have eternal life, if we believe in Him.

Our Part

‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

Mark 12:30-31

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John 15:12

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.

Matthew 5:44

The first and the second commandment that God has given us is concerning love. So that’s how important “love” is for God. The first commandment is regarding Loving God – we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. The second one is to love one another. The Love for God should be above the love towards any other human or thing or animal. Our first love should be God and then one another. Jesus also taught that we should even love our enemies no matter how bad they are to us. God does not Hate us even when we sin. It would definitely upset Him to see us doing wrong but that will never cause Him to hate us. If He had hated us for the sins we committed, He would never have sent Jesus to redeem us. Hatred is never an option for us. We should love one another including our enemies.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

1 John 4:7

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

1 John 4:20

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

John 13:35

We already saw that God is love. Also, Love is of God – meaning God is the only source of true love. Love comes to us from God. So Love is a factor that helps us to find if we truly share a relationship with God – if we actually know God and belong to Him. It also tell us if a person truly loves God. If you do not love one another whom you see in person, then you cannot love God whom you cannot see. If anyone hates a person, then he does not love God. Loving one another also shows we are disciples of Christ.

Love brings to light our actual relationship with God. As children of God, we are to first love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Then love one another including our enemies. If we do not have love for one another we are not born of God and do not know God.

Treasures uncovered

The biblical definition of love is God Himself. His love towards us is unconditional. He demonstrated this love by sending His son Jesus to die for our sake just so that we do not perish but can have eternal life, if we beleive in Him.

Love brings to light our actual relationship with God. As children of God, we are to first love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Then love one another including our enemies. If we do not have love for one another we are not born of God and do not know God.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for teaching us that You are Love and is the source of true love. We thank you for loving us unconditionally. Jesus we thank you for putting us before you and taking up our punishment to give us eternal life full of happiness. Help us to love you with our complete self and to love one another. We love you Jesus, in Jesus name, Amen.


Posted in Ages 11 & above, God & Me

Am I Chosen?

Imagine, your mother wants to buy a packet of noodles from the grocery shop next door. She will CHOOSE you for this task only after she weighs you with a set of conditions.

Can you walk all alone to the store and come back safe without getting hurt or being lost? Can you handle the money without losing it? Are you capable of finding the exact brand that she needs? Do you know enough math to get the correct balance? Will you get back on time without wandering on the streets? Are you faithful with the money that she gives you? And so on...

If you fulfill most of these criteria, then you QUALIFY and she will be confident to CHOOSE you for the task.

In every field, people are CHOSEN only if they qualify the conditions set for the task. Your ability is weighed and tested and you are chosen based on how well you are able to handle the task. What about God? How does God choose people for His missions / tasks?

Let us open the treasure book and find clues:

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Not a Criteria

For most important things of life, age is a definite criteria. If you are not of age, you cannot watch certain movies, apply for jobs, get a driving license, get married etc. Similarly, your physique, your abilities, your education, etc., matters in carrying out specific tasks in the world. What about the things of God? Let us look at the people used by God to carry out His missions and see if He also chooses in a similar manner.

Prophet Samuel, King David, Father Abraham, Moses the leader of Israel, Gideon the mighty warrior are few people used by God. Let us see if these were the criteria used for selection.

Samuel as we all know was a prophet of Israel who ministered God’s word to the children of Israel. He was dedicated to God’s service at a very young age and was sent to live in the temple of God after he was weaned. He stayed away from his family and ministered to God under the guidance of priest Eli. God chose to speak to him when he was a child and chose him over the established priest Eli.

David was a shepherd boy taking care of his father’s sheep when he was anointed as a king over Israel. David, a youth was chosen over his elder brothers who were trained soldiers in king Saul’s army. David was still in his youth when he killed the giant Goliath and rescued Israel from the terror of Philistines.

Abraham and his family used to make idols for a living. He was seventy-five years old when God asked him to leave his land and his profession to go to the promised land.

Moses was almost 80 years old when he was sent by God to rescue Israel, from the hands of Pharaoh. He had a stammering issue.

Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites when the angel of the Lord appeared to him. Gideon feared the Midianites and was doing the best to hide his resources from them. His clan was the weakest and He was the least in his father’s house, still God chose him as a rescuer of Israel from Midianites.

God chose a child like Samuel to minister before Him, a youth like David to rescue Israel from Philistines, 75 year old idol maker – Abraham to be Father of God’s chosen people, 80 year old stammering Moses to rescue Israel from the land of Pharaoh, least of the least and fearful Gideon to rescue Israelites from their enemies!!!

So for God, neither age, physique, ability, family status, financial stability, education nor any other quality / talent is a criteria for choosing people for his missions. God chooses people for his missions contrary to how the world chooses.

Our age, physique, abilities, family background, financial stability, education, etc., is not a limiting factor to carry out God’s mission. God does not choose people based on these criteria.

The Criterion

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Judges 16: 6-7

The heart is deceitful above all things. And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 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 17:9-10

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you.

Proverbs 23:7

When God looks at a person, he scans his / her Heart. As we already established, God does not choose you based on how you look, or how well toned your body is or how tall and handsome you are or any other material things for that sake. He only scans the heart and searches it to find what it contains. The heart of a person reveals what kind of a person he / she is. The content of the heart gives away the character of a person. It will show whether a person is evil or good, whether he has any secret evil desires, what is the intention behind each of his action and so on.

So God chooses people for his missions based on the content of their heart.

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

Ecclesiastes 12:13

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment.

Matthew 22:37

We humans are expected to fear God (hate evil) and be obedient to God by keeping all the commandments given by God. Loving God with all our heart, soul and mind being the first and greatest among them. When we look at all the people used by God we see that they all walked in God’s ways, trusted Him and was obedient to Him keeping His commandments. Some might have even strayed away at times, but they repented and got back on track.

A clean heart that is willing and eager to obey God’s word, no matter how illogical or silly it sounds, fully trusting Him is what God chooses for His missions.

In Jesus Christ

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation

2 Corinthians 5:17-18

Humans are sinful and wicked in nature after their fall and slavery into sin. When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal savior, we become a new creation. Our old evil self, indulging in sin and wickedness goes away and we become new creation who are righteous before God through Christ. Our heart is also renewed and do not remain evil, when we are in Christ. We become more christ-like. We are automatically chosen for God’s missions in this case because our hearts and minds are renewed and clean.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16–17

Once we are chosen, God equips us with the required abilities to fulfill the missions we are chosen for. The apostles of Jesus came from different backgrounds – some were well educated and some were not. This did not matter at all for carrying out God’s missions. God used them all for His missions irrespective of their qualifications or their backgrounds or their physique.

The word of God and the Holy Spirit who is inside of us will equip us to face our own challenges and the missions God has in store for us. Let us get on this adventure with Jesus on board.

Treasures uncovered

Our age, physique, abilities, family background, financial stability, education, etc., is not a limiting factor to carry out God’s mission. God does not choose people based on these criteria.

A clean heart that is willing and eager to obey God’s word, no matter how illogical or silly it sounds, fully trusting Him is what God chooses for His missions.

When we are in Christ we become a new creation with renewed hearts and minds. We are then automatically chosen for His missions. The word of God and the Holy Spirit who is inside of us will equip us to face our own challenges and the missions God has in store for us.

Prayer:

Father, we thank you for sending us your Son Jesus. Thank you Jesus for reconciling us to the Father and for taking our punishment. We thank you for choosing us for your missions. Thank you Holy Spirit for living inside us and equipping us for all the good work. We love you. In Jesus name, Amen.


Posted in Ages 11 & above, God & Me

The Perfect Father


The word “Father” or “Dad” or “Papa” means different things to different people. Some relate it to love, sacrifice and security. For few others, it reminds of physical abuse, anger, adamancy, quarrels and hatred. There are also a few to whom it does not mean anything. The meaning of father differs for different people depending on the kind of relationship they share with their father. Some love their dads very much, but for some they never got to know their fathers. It is definitely a miss! However, the greatest miss is not knowing your heavenly father who loves you unconditionally and is able to take care of you way better than your human father. Not getting to know Him as a father would be a greater loss than not knowing your earthly father!!! Let us get to know our heavenly father!

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Become a Child of God


Only if we become God’s children, we can call Him our father. How do we become a child of God?

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 14:6

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.

John 1:12

When sin entered the world, the whole of humanity became slaves to the kingdom of darkness. Being a slave is a difficult thing. There is no freedom or rights for a slave, but is always at the mercy of his master. Jesus is the only way of getting out of this slavery. When you believe Jesus is the son of God who died for your sins and accept Him as your savior, you are bought by the Kingdom of light. When this happens, our status automatically changes from a slave to a child. A child has rights, freedom, authority and inherits His father’s possessions. Who would want to live as a slave when there is an option to live as a child of the most high God. There is no other privilege in the world than “The child of most high God“.

Jesus is the only way to get to the Father and believing in Jesus is the only way to be a child of God.

FatherIy traits

A good father loves his children and takes care of them. He takes the responsibility of providing for his children, protecting them and equipping them to stand on their own feet. A good father also corrects his children. Our heavenly father does all this and even more.

Love

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:9-10

The bible says God is love. He Himself is love and the greatest source of love. God does not exist without love. His love for us is unconditional. He loved us even when we were in the kingdom of darkness sinning. He sent His only son to be sacrificed for our sake because He loves us unconditionally.

Care

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

When we have God as our father, we need not worry about anything because He cares for us. Even our teeniest worry should be cast on Him because He genuinely cares.

Provisions

Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

Matthew 6:8

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Matthew 7:11

God knows all our basic necessities of life and He provides for it. Even before a need arises in our life, our God knows about it and has already provided for it. We only need to trust Him and reach out to take it.

Protection

For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Psalms 91: 11-12

God has kept angels as our body guards for our protection. Normally, only VIPs gets bodyguards. We have seen high officials and wealthy people coming with body guards. But when we become a child of God, we also become VIPs – Children of the most high God. Oh what a privilege!!!

Correction

My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

Proverbs 3:11-12

Every father who loves their children corrects them. God too corrects us because He loves us and delights in us.

Equips to stand on our feet

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

Mark 9:23

 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

Every parent would want their children to be successfully standing on their feet facing the world boldly. God gave us Christ who strengthens us to face everything that comes our way. God has already equipped us. We only need to believe and move forward facing boldly everything that comes before us.

Our God is a good father who loves and takes care of His children. He provides and protects like no other. He corrects us and equips us to stand on our feet and face the world. He is able to take care of us far better than our earthly fathers.

What if you make mistakes?

Most children are afraid to go back and confess to parents when they mess up because they do not know how the parents will react. Some hide their wrongdoings and move on while some are caught and some others boldly approach their parents, confess and gets punished. When we make mistakes and realize it, we all would want an ideal father who would tell us, “Do not worry my child. I have got your back”.

How does our heavenly father respond to mistakes. Let us look into a story taught by Jesus (Luke15).


There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So the father divided his property between them. The younger son took all he had and set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he was in need. So he looked for a job and ended up feeding pigs. He longed to eat the food of pigs, but no one gave him anything. He came to his senses, and thought about the surplus food his father’s servants had. So he thought of going back to his father to be a servant as at his house as he is no longer worthy to be called his son. When he almost reached his father’s house, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him. He ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate. Here the father celebrated His son’s return even though the son did not deserve it. Jesus said this story to teach that our Father God is like this father.

Living in sin is the mistake that we do before God. However, if we realize our mistake, repent and return to our father, He celebrates our return and take us back as His child. There is rejoicing in heaven over sinners who repents. So if you have been living in sin, repent and get back to your father. He will gladly take you back as His son and celebrate your return.

God is our Perfect Father. If you have been living in sin, do not be reluctant to approach your father. He longs for you to repent and get back to Him. He will celebrate your return and will take you back as His child.

Treasures uncovered

Jesus is the only way to get to the Father and the only way to be a child of God is by believing in Jesus.

Our God is a good father who loves and takes care of His children. He provides and protects like no other. He corrects us and equips us to stand on our feet and face the world. He is able to take care of us far better than our earthly fathers.

God is our Perfect Father. If you have been living in sin, do not be reluctant to approach your father. He longs for you to repent and get back to Him. He will celebrate your return and will take you back as His child.

Prayer:

Father, we thank you for being a good and perfect father to us. Thank you for sending Jesus your son for our sake. Thank you for adopting us into your kingdom as your children. We love you Father and we bless your holy name. In Jesus name, Amen.


Posted in Ages 11 & above, God & Me

Spiritual Immunity

Currently, the phrases like – staying fit and healthy, build your immunity, strong immune system, etc., has become a part of our regular talks. With corona virus and its mutant variants doing the rounds, everyone is concerned about having a strong immune system. Immune system, as we all are aware, is the defense mechanism of the body that fights foreign bodies that enters it. If you have a strong immune system, when virus or any other harmful foreign body enters your body, your body is equipped to fight against it and win over. It helps you from getting into life threatening situations. Similarly in the spiritual realm, a strong immune system helps us to live a healthy spiritual life leading to eternity. How do we build spiritual immunity?

Let us open the treasure book and find clues.

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Why we need spiritual immunity?

Like how our bodies relate to the physical realm, our spirit relates to the spiritual realm. When we are alive in the physical world, we feel and understand the things happening in the physical world. Similarly to feel and understand the realities and facts of the spiritual world, our spirit should be alive and awake.

When Adam & Eve were created, they were spiritually alive beings. They used to meet God and speak to Him. They did not realize they were naked because they were more sensitive and alive in the spiritual realm than in the physical. But with sin entering their lives, they became dead in spirit and more alive in flesh and sensitive to the physical realm, realizing they were naked.

We are actually designed to be alive and active in the spiritual realm, instead became sensitive to the physical because of sin . However, when we accept Jesus as our savior, the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside of us and helps us to stay alive in the spirit.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Romans 8:14

I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Ezekiel 36:27

When our spirit is connected to the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit (Staying Connected), we will be led by Him and will be spiritually awake, being fully aware of the truths of spiritual world. Anything else that gets inside of us, other than the truth of God are foreign bodies that try to infiltrate our spirit. Fear, despair, doubts, hopelessness, unhappiness, loneliness, pride, lust, greed, worthless, selfishness, anxiousness, worry, etc., are examples of the foreign bodies that try to get into our spirit and affect our spiritual health. Unless we have a strong spiritual immune system, we cannot fight these viruses and bacteria. And when these viruses win over our spirit, they infect us and will lead us to stray away from fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for our life, and risk our eternal life.

All the matters in our spirit that are against the realities of the spiritual realm are the viruses and bacteria that try to infect us and affect our spiritual well being. They lead us to stray away from fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for our life, and risk our eternal life.

Building spiritual immune system

If our spiritual immune system is strong enough to fight and win over the viruses and bacteria that try to infect, they cannot bring any kind of harm to us. We will then be able to carryout the purposes, plans and missions for which God has chosen us. So it is very important to build a strong immune system.

In the physical realm, we follow a healthy life style like eating healthy, exercising, etc., to build our immunity. It is not built in a day. The immunity gets better by consistently following a healthy life style. Similarly in the spiritual, we need to follow a consistent healthy life style.

Anchoring on Jesus

As we saw before, with the entry of sin, the flesh became more alive than the spirit. The only way to get our spirit alive is through Jesus – by accepting Him as our savior. When we accept Jesus, Holy Spirit comes and lives inside of us and helps us to stay alive in the spirit. So when we have Jesus as our savior and is in communion with the Holy Spirit, when problems or trouble come our way, they will not overwhelm us or weaken our spirits. Our spirits will stay strong anchored on Jesus, the strong tower.

Anchor yourself on Jesus

Word of God

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

Matthew 4:4

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

as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,

1 Peter 2:2

The word of God is the food that will provide us the right vitamins and minerals needed for our spirit to stay fit and healthy. It is filled with the mysteries and truths of the spiritual world. As we eat and drink of it – meaning read and meditate on it, the mysteries and the secrets of this unseen world will be revealed to us one by one.

Jesus is the word of God as given in the Gospel of John. He also is the bread of life. So without Jesus and the word of God, our spirits will not be nourished. For our spirits to grow and get stronger, we need the word daily as many times as we eat food. We should eat proper meals and even snack on it. If we choose not to eat or drink in the physical, we will definitely die. The same with our spiritual food. If we choose not to eat or drink (read and meditate the word of God) our spirit will be dead.

Read and meditate the word of God for our spirits to grow and remain healthy. This is a continuous process and should be done regularly.

Word of God is the food that nourishes our spirit and lets it grow stronger.

Praying in the Spirit

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints

Ephesians 6:18

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

Jude 1:20

He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 

1 Corinthians 14:4

Prayer was an integral part of Jesus ministry. He took time alone from the crowds and even His disciples to pray. Before crucifixion, being in agony he prayed and it strengthened Him to go through what lay before Him. Prayer is a Power-Packed Spirit Strengthener.

Praying in the spirit is to let Holy Spirit pray for us. We do not know what exactly to pray for because our understanding is limited. However, the Spirit of God knows exactly what to pray for. So let the Holy Spirit inside of you to pray for you. This happens when we pray in other tongues. It builds your spirit like how we build muscles when we exercise. It also builds our faith in God. So like how we work out regularly and sweat it out to build strong muscles, we need to pray in tongues regularly. Set apart time like how we set apart our time for work-outs.

Prayer is a Power-Packed Spirit Strengthener. Pray in tongues to build your spirit and your faith.

Worship

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

John 4:24

Worship is the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration. When we worship we should worship in Spirit and Truth. It brings alive the spiritual world. We read in Acts 16: 16 that Paul and Silas were imprisoned in the city of Philippi. But that did not stop them from praying to God or worshipping Him. At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and worshipping God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. Worship changes the natural atmosphere to the supernatural. It brings the spiritual world alive in the physical.

Worship brings the spiritual world alive in the physical.

Treasures uncovered

All the matters in our spirit that are against the realities of the spiritual realm are the viruses and bacteria that try to infect us and affect our spiritual well being. They lead us to stray away from fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for our life, and risk our eternal life.

To build our spiritual immune system,

  • Anchor yourself on Jesus
  • Word of God is the food that nourishes our spirit and lets it grow stronger. So eat and drink form the word of God
  • Prayer is a Power-Packed Spirit Strengthener. Pray in tongues to build your spirit and your faith.
  • Worship God for it brings the spiritual world alive in the physical.

Prayer:

Father, we thank you for enlightening us about our spiritual being. Help us to build a strong spiritual immune system. Help us to consistently read and meditate the word. Help us to set aside our time to pray to you and worship you in truth and in spirit. In Jesus‘s name, Amen.


Posted in Ages 11 & above, The Negatives

Unbelief

Imagine that, a stranger in shabby and worn out clothes approaches you and tells you, “I am the richest person in this area”. How will you react to this? Will you believe it? If you are a sane individual, you will not believe it unless the person provides you with solid proof that validates his statement. We humans are logical and rational in nature and so we cannot believe theories that are illogical. The concept of spiritual world and even GOD seems illogical to a lot of people. They consider it foolishness as they do not consider any of the proofs around them. The mere existence of humanity and the beautiful creations around us is the greatest proof of God’s existence. Unbelief in God and specially in Jesus can cause us serious trouble. Let us look into the treasure book to find out clues.

OPENING THE TREASURE BOOK undefined

Unbelief in God

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;

Hebrews 3:12

We already learned in ” Who are fools?” that a person who do not believe in GOD is called a fool. A heart that believes in God is WISE before Him, but an unbelieving heart is foolish before Him. No matter how learned they are or how vast their worldly wisdom is or how marvelous their worldly accomplishments are, they are still considered FOOLS by God if they do not believe in Him. Your education or your wealth or your achievements does not indicate wisdom before God, only a BELIEVING HEART does.

Moreover, not believing in the true living God is considered EVIL. An unbelieving heart is an evil heart that does not acknowledge the existence of God. Each day of our life on this Earth is a gracious gift from our heavenly Father. Not recognizing the existence of our creator nor His plans for our life is the most pathetic state we could be in. No wonder He calls such unbelievers FOOLS.

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 3:18 – 19

Jesus is the Son of God who was sent by God the Father, as a savior for the whole of humanity to redeem them from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God. Whoever believes in Jesus as Son of God and accepts Him as their Savior will be saved. But not everybody believes this. What about the unbelieving lot? Not believing in the son of God results in condemnation – meaning they are declared guilty and sentenced for punishment. They are declared guilty because they loved to continue in their evil ways rather than turning themselves to the light – Jesus. And their punishment is eternal doom. Jesus is the only way to eternal life.

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

1 Timothy 1:12

If you have been living your life without believing in the true living God or His son Jesus, now is the time for you to return back to him. Repent and accept Jesus as your savior. God will forgive and forget your past considering it as ignorance and will enable you to carry out the plans of your Creator, the purposes for which He sent you.

Not believing in God and His son Jesus is FOOLISH and EVIL before God and results in Eternal Condemnation and Eternal Doom.

Surrounded by Unbelief

Mark 6:1‭-‬6

Jesus after beginning His ministry went to His hometown with His disciples. And on the Sabbath, He began to teach in the synagogue. Many heard Him and were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man learn these things? And what wisdom is this, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” They were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Now He could not do any mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went to villages, teaching.

His own people could not believe the fact that a normal person like them is doing such great works for God. To them, He was too familiar as an ordinary person and because of this they would not believe. They saw Him as a carpenter and not a child of God sent to accomplish God’s purposes. Jesus could not do any mighty works because of the unbelief of people who surrounded Him.

So with unbelief lingering, the mighty works of God does not takes place. And do not surround yourself with people who do not believe in you or the mission for which God sent you – even if they are the people in your closer circle. They will definitely discourage you and blow out the passion in you. As much as He would love to stay in His hometown, Jesus moved away from them because, if He stayed among these people who could not believe in God’s plan for His life, He wouldn’t be able to carry out His mission.

Separate yourself from people who do not believe in God’s plan and purpose for you, because they will definitely discourage you and could bring you out of God’s mission and purposes for your life.

Consequences of Unbelief

Mark 9:14‭-‬27

During Jesus’s ministry, a man brought his son who was mute, to the disciples. From time to time an evil spirit would seize him and throw him down. When this happens, the boy foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. Jesus’s disciples could not cast the evil spirit out. When Jesus came to them, this boy was brought to Him. When the boy saw Jesus, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. The father told Him that this has been happening from his childhood and that he was often thrown into fire & water by the evil spirit. The father said, “But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as dead. But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

Here, the boy was brought to the disciples and they could not heal him. Jesus called his disciples “O faithless generation“. Their unbelief is the reason why they could not carry out the healing. Now the boys father, even though he brought the child to Jesus, did not believe that the boy will be healed. Probably seeing the disciples not able to heal would have disheartened him. So when Jesus came he said – if you can do anything, please help us. He did not say – I believe in you and know you can help. Jesus could not heal the boy in the midst of these unbelieving hearts. So He addressed it one by one. First the disciples and then the boy’s father. As soon as it was addressed to the father, he cried out and prayed – I believe, help my unbelief. When the unbelieving heart turned into a believing one, Jesus casted out the evil spirit.

So with an unbelieving heart you cannot receive healing or miracles – Jesus could cast out the evil spirit only after the father believed. Also at the same time you also cannot perform the works of God for the glory of God if you have an unbelieving heart – the disciples could not cast the evil spirit out because of their unbelieving hearts.

You cannot receive miracles and healings if you have an unbelieving heart. Also you won’t be able to carry out the works of God if you have an unbelieving heart.

Treasures uncovered

Not believing in God and His son Jesus is FOOLISH and EVIL before God and results in Eternal Condemnation and Eternal Doom.

Separate yourself from people who do not believe in God’s plan and purpose for you, because they will definitely discourage you and could bring you out of God’s mission and purposes for your life.

You cannot receive miracles and healings if you have an unbelieving heart. Also you won’t be able to carry out the works of God if you have an unbelieving heart.

Prayer:

Thank you Father for sending your Son and bringing us into your kingdom. Thank you for counting us faithful to carry out your work. Help our unbelief and enable us to fulfill the plan and purpose for which you have sent us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Posted in Ages 11 & above, God & Me

The WILL of GOD

In life we have to make several choices. We have to choose career options, universities, job opportunities, friends, life partners, business partners, etc. The choices that we make, determines the course of our life and hence bad choices affects our journey ahead. Our loved ones, specially parents, are concerned about the choices we make and tries to impose their WILL on us. We all know that God loves us very much, so is He concerned about our choices too? Does He have a WILL concerning our choices and does He impose it on us?

Let us look into the treasure book to find clues.

OPENING THE TREASURE BOOK undefined

Is God Concerned?

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

II Peter 3:9

And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:38‭-‬40

God is definitely concerned about all Humanity. He is not willing that anyone perishes but has given us a salvation plan that “whoever believes in the Son, Jesus has everlasting life“. All the choices we make in life eventually leads us into two major paths, (as we already learned in “Life – The bigger picture“) – the wider path to eternal perishing and the narrow path which is JESUS himself leading to eternal life. God has given us FREE WILL to choose between the two. And HIS WILL for us is that we choose ETERNAL LIFE. He WILLS that we believe in His son JESUS and has EVERLASTING LIFE. So he is patient and gives us many chances to get to the right path. Grabbing the opportunity and getting on the right track however is our choice. God does not force it on us.

God is concerned about the choices we make in life and has a WILL regarding our choices, but does not force it on us.

Jesus our perfect example

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

John 4:34

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Matthew 7:21‭

Food is one of our basic requirements to live in the physical world and without it we will starve to death. Jesus considered doing His father’s WILL as food – a basic requirement to live in the spiritual realm, without which perishing is a surety. Even if we are great achievers in the world we live and have worked for the kingdom of God, if we do not do the will of God, entry to heaven is denied. And the WILL of God is that ” We believe in Jesus who is the only way to eternal life.”

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

John 6:38‭

saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

Luke 22:42

Jesus is the perfect man to have lived on Earth. He is the best example we can look upon. Jesus was more concerned about the WILL of His father rather than His own WILL. He came to live on Earth not in His own will but His father’s. He was mindful of the Will of His father for which He came to earth. We read in Luke 22:39-44 that, just before His crucifixion, He went with His disciples to pray in the garden of Gethsemane. He was in great agony knowing what He had to suffer and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground. Even at this point of extreme mental stress, He opted for His father’s will – “nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done”. It was definitely not easy for Him but still He chose to do His Father’s will.

Many a times we too will be in stressful situations which are not easy to get through. But those situations are not an excuse for us to stray away from the WILL of God. We too should be mindful of our Father’s WILL in all situations and walks of life.

Doing God’s will is food that sustain us in the spiritual realm. We should be mindful of doing God’s Will and not ours, no matter how tough our situations are.

God’s WILL concerning us

God’s WILL concerning all of humanity is that we do not perish but believe in Jesus and have everlasting life. Jesus is the only narrow path that leads to everlasting life and any other path leads us to eternal perishing. We should keep ourselves from all evil and wicked ways that leads us to destruction but do good as our Father wills.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I Thessalonians 5:16‭-‬18

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

His will for us is to rejoice always and not be worried about the issues of life. He also wills for us to always pray without ceasing, that is to communicate with Him 24×7. He wills that we are grateful for everything in life. He wills that we do good by being just, merciful, and humble. He also wills that we keep ourselves from all evil and wicked ways. These are His GENERIC WILLS concerning us.

He also has SPECIFIC WILLS for each of our lives. Like how Jesus was sent to save all human kind, David was sent to be a ruler over Israel, Paul to be an apostle, each of us are on earth with specific purposes. Jesus knew the specific will of God concerning Him and did everything according to this. How do we get to know the specific will of God concerning us to be able to function under His will? Let us look into the life of Elijah, the prophet.

In 1 Kings 17, we see God communicating with Elijah at different times. God told Elijah to tell the inhabitants of Gilead, that it will not dew or rain except at his word. After Elijah carried out His will the next word came to him, “Get away from here and hide by the Brook Cherith. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” Elijah did according to the word from God and carried out His will. After a while the brook dried up because of no rain and then again the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath and dwell there. I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose and went to the widow at Zarephath as per the word and will of God. And it continues. At all phases, walks and situations in his life, Elijah got to know the specific Will of God concerning him. He was in a personal relationship with God and recognized His voice at all times. When He walked in His will and obeyed, the next word came to Him. So walking in an intimate relationship with God, doing His will at all times and being obedient helps us to know His specific WILL concerning us.

When we continue to live believing in Jesus and share a personal & intimate relationship with Him, obeying Him – the specific will of God concerning us for specific times will be revealed to us through His Holy spirit who lives inside of us.

Treasures uncovered

God is concerned about the choices we make in life and has a WILL regarding our choices, but does not force it on us.

Doing God’s will is food that sustain us in the spiritual realm. We should be mindful of doing God’s Will and not ours, no matter how tough our situations are.

When we continue to live beliving in Jesus and share a personal & intimate relationship with Him, obeying Him – the specific will of God concerning us for specific times will be revealed to us through His Holy spirit who lives inside of us.

Prayer:

Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.

Psalms 143:10