The Baptism

The great commission was given by Jesus to his disciples when he met them after his resurrection  in Galilee. Bible says in Matthew 28:18-19, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

When Jesus appeared to his disciples after resurrection he told them that the father has given all authority to HIM, absolute authority that flows from heaven and reaches down to earth. Jesus, under that authority, delegated a special task to his disciples by saying, “therefore, go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit.”

One thing was new to the disciples: Baptizing others in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Lord gave his disciples three – fold commission, that too in a special sequence. The baptism in the name of the Father, then of the Son and then of the Holy Spirit.

The Baptism in the name of the Father reveales the true inheritanc to the baptised. Baptism in the name of the Son reveals the true identity of the one who is to the baptised, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit guarantees that true inheritance is received by the one who has known his true identity in Christ.

BAPTISM =  GUARANTEED INHERITANCE + NEW IDENTITY

The moment someone is baptised in the name of the Father, he enters into a new family where God is the father. All of us know that God created everything and we are all God’s children. But that doesn’t mean all are entitled to receive inheritance. The inheritance is only for those children who admit with their mouth and believe in their heart, through Jesus, that God is their father. Father is longing to hear one word from his creation: “My Father”. The moment prodigal son came back to his father and said “Father“. Father gave him a share in his inheritance.

Baptism in the name of the Son brings a change in attitude to the baptised one. The change is so deep  that the baptised person starts turning into a new identity in the likeness of Jesus. Paul was a witness to this change as written in Galations 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me 

The change in identity is a continuous process that is possible only by the Baptism of the holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to do things that we could never imagine nor achieve on our own strength. The baptism of the spirit guantees that those who have received new identity in Christ also receive their share of the inheritance that Father has promised in Christ.

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My Brother

In Matthew 5:23, Jesus says, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the alter and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the alter. First go and be reconciled to our brother.” 

To the surprise of the listeners, Jesus, the son of most high God was not giving first priority to worshipping God, but to the process of reconciliation with a brother. He went to the extent that even though you are right at the alter and have brought gifts to honour your God, Just leave them right there at the alter and go and make peace with your brother.

Why is it so important to reconcile with others. Simply, because God desires his worshippers to worship him in spirit and in truth (John4:24). When we have something wrong against others, we become slaves to all sorts of negative feelings but the moment we make peace with them, our freedom comes back.

How does it happen? Lets take a look:

The process of reconciliation starts in our mind with a desire to understand the other person better. We might be wronged for reasons we may not be aware of. May be the one who has wronged us, may not be aware that it has happened. It could be that it was done purposely to correct us or for some other reasons. Jesus didn’t teach us to “forget and  forgive”. Rather, he is asking us to confront the situation with the intention to make peace. Do not run away from the situation but go to the one who has something wrong against you. The end result of the confrontation should be very clear in our mind, that is reconciliation.

What if the other person is not willing to even talk to us? Still we could try and our efforts will be fruitful if we do it sincerely. For nothing ever go waste if we do it in Lord’s way. Soon, we will see the end result as the change in that person’s behaviour.

Making peace with each other is more important to Jesus than worshipping God. That doesn’t mean we should neglect worshipping God. But everything should be done in order as the Lord says, “Give to God what belongs to God and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.”

 

In the beginning was the word: An Analysis

John 1:1 : In the beginning was the word

This verse explains that the word was already existent when God had not created anything – visible or invisible. The earth was not yet formed and the heaven was not put in order. God, the father had not administered his power of creating things at that time. The time had not yet arrived for our heavenly father to enjoy the company of his own creation. That was the time when the WORD was there. God foresaw that there was a need for the word to be present before any creation, and this need was greater than his own desire to create man and women in his own image.

Lets analyse it further:

Why did God choose to put the word at the first place in the beginning?

Our God is a just God who desires his children to listen and obey his word. But that doesn’t mean that God has exalted himself above his word. Bible says in Psalm 138:2b “God honours his word more than his own name”. God willingly brought himself down, under the authority of his word, so that he could prove to be an example and source of strength for those who long to follow his word.

What difference it would have made if the word was not present in the beginning?

The word acts as the foundation for everything that has already been created or will come into being. The word is the source and the very means that sustain the creation. Bible says in Matthew 4:4 “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” God, our heavenly father, in all his wisdom, sent provision to sustain his creation before he brought his creation into being. The order can’t be reversed.

How does this verse In the beginning was the word impact our lives today?

The verse is as relevant today as it was at the time when it was first written – thousands of years ago. Those who have tasted the word, know by experience that the active and alive nature of word, convicts and restores their conscious at the same time. We need the word daily to turn our claim that we are God’s children into reality. Our biological parents feed us with the same kind of food that they eat, likewise, our heavenly father shares his own food with us. His word is the real food. What a joy to dine with him daily!

There is nothing in our lives that was, that is or that can ever be beyond the jurisdiction of God’s Word, for the Word was in the beginning.

My father is always working

In John 5, Jesus healed a man who was disabled for thirty-eight years. Since Jesus had done this healing on Sabbath, the pharisees came to persecute him. Jesus said to them, “My father is always at work to this very day and I too am working.”

Paul says in 1Cor.3:9, “For we are God’s fellow workers.” Fellow workers are those people who have a desire to work with God, under the guidance of HIS divine word that came to us through Jesus Christ, our Lord. A worker who is well aware of the goals of company he works for and is dilligent enough to align his own career goals with those of the company, will be succesful in his career. Likewise, Unless we know the purpose behind God’s work and the way HE works, our works will not be fruitful.

Bible says in Genesis 1:3, ” God said, Let there be light and there was light.” God our father and creator brings things to life by speaking his word. Not only so, He desires to give the same auhority to his people, the same way He gave to his son Jesus. The word of God is active and alive (Heb 4:12). Isaiah says that God’s word never returns empty, but accomlishes what HE desires. The word of God that came to us through Jesus Christ is the absolute truth. It is written in John 8:32, the truth will set you free. In other words, God’s word not only creates and bring life but also brings complete freedom.

Father is into the business of setting people free: emotionally, physically and mentally.  Jesus was setting people free when He was here on earth. What are we doing? Let’s evaluate the consequences of our words today. Are we acting as co-partners with God and proclaiming his word that brings freedom?

Feeding five thousand people

In Luke 9: 10-17, Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus said one of his disciples to ask the people to sit down before he broke the bread and turned it into food for five thousand people. He said “Have the people sit down in groups of about fifty each”.

Jesus could have done the miracle without having the crowd sit down in groups. But when he asked them to do so, he had  a greater purpose in his mind than merely turning five loaves into thosands of pieces of bread for the crowd. The Lord wanted to give the people insight into what was spoken by Isaiah in chapter 40: 4-5 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low, the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed. The Lord was explaining that the glory of the Lord does not appear at a place where there are irregularities, where there are differences. But when the valleys are raised up and mountains are  brought down and both come upto the same level, the Lord sends his glory that manifests itself through miracles.

In psalm 133, David says, How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity for there the Lord bestows his blessings. In the crowd of five thousand people, there could be people who didn’t want to sit next to each other. Or those who just wanted to grab their share of bread and go away. The Lord wanted to tell them that unity precedes every miracle.

Are you waiting for your miracle and it seems the prayers are not getting answered? The answer lies in “sitting together in groups.

The time has arrived for God’s people to move forward in faith, become united and receive their miracles.