Friday, May 23, 2014

When Lord Stirs people

There is a particular incident mentioned in the book of Haggai when God stirred up the spirit of people to come and work on a task.

Haggai 1:13-15

“Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord.  So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.” (NIV)

Other translation says that the Lord “sparked the enthusiasm” (NLT). This stirring started after God rebuked the people for their slackness and then people decided to obey the word of God which came to them. It also says that they feared the Lord.  It was followed by another message from God – “I am with you”.

I am with you” is really comforting when it comes from the creator God who holds everything in his hands. What else do we need if we get that assurance? It resulted in people getting stirred in their spirit to go ahead and start the work they were supposed to do. Let me list the sequence of events again here.

1.       God rebukes people
2.       People obeyed
3.       They feared the Lord
4.       Promise comes from God – “I am with you”
5.       People are sparked to enthusiasm or stirred up the spirit
6.       They go ahead and do the work

Many times we lose heart and get discouraged. We are not sure what to do next. May be backsliding has hit us badly. How we react to the voice of God matters a lot. If we obey and believe what He says, then we can move ahead. So times we lose heart because we don’t remind ourselves about the promises which God has made in our lives. Jesus also said to His disciples that they will not be left as orphans but He will be with them.

Paul said something in 2 Cor. 9:2

For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.   (NIV)

Knowing about the service done by Corinthian church stirred the enthusiasm of many to action. Are we in need of a stirring today? Are we slack regarding certain things we should do? Do we need an encouragement?

When we get self-focused and tend to look too much towards ourselves, we begin to lose enthusiasm.  Some time we need a stirring from the Lord. For that we need to obey. Other times we need to look around. Finally we need to believe the word of God.

God says “I am with you”. You may think it’s impossible but God is with you.

May the Lord stir your spirits to do things which are in His mind. May your enthusiasm be sparked.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Thought- Stop doubting and believe

After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples. They were overjoyed and Jesus told them that He is sending them as the Father sent Him. Jesus breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:21-23, NIV)

I am sure it was an exciting movement. But one disciple missed it. Thomas missed all of this and when he was told about it, he said, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." (John 20:25, NIV)

Now a week later Jesus came to His disciples and said to Thomas like this- "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:27, NIV)

Jesus had told his disciples many times, before His death, about the His death and resurrection. At this point Thomas could not believe what the other disciples told him. Jesus' response includes two words which impressed me a lot - Stop doubting and believe. We all face such crisis in our lives. We hear lots of promises from God and when things go against our expectation,  we DOUBT. When we doubt, we lose confidence and our faith begins to sink. 

Are you going through a similar situation in your life? 

Jesus' word for you is - STOP DOUBTING AND BELIEVE!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Thought - Drawing people to themselves

If a Pastor/ Leader draw people unto them and not to Jesus then there is a fundamental flaw. When someone is fighting for their leader while ignoring the commandment of Jesus then you should be concerned.

If your heart beats for your leader more than Jesus, then you need to do a reality check. I wish leaders understand this and stop using people. Ultimately we are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ and not ourselves.

If our influence is not resulting in people coming closer to God in personal relationship then we need to re-evaluate our ministry methods. My heart really breaks when I see that someone is willing to do anything for their leader while they care least about obeying God's word and honoring Him.

"For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear." (2 Tim 4:3, NLT)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Thought - Be Infants regarding Evil

One verse which I was reading recently during my Bible reading and which made me think a lot is
1 Cor.14:20
"Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults."

Paul in 1 Corinthians 12-14 mostly talks about spiritual gifts. In the context of the chapter Paul was talking about speaking in tongues here. But the advice that we have to be like infants in regard to evil is a very practical and powerful advice. Its very much important if we have to lead a victorious Christian Life in this crooked world.

Be Alert: Do not fall into this trap!

Introduction Recently, a Pastor visited me, and I took him to the Mall of America, the biggest mall in America.  As we were walking, we met ...