I am making everything new

The one who sits on the throne says in Rev. 21:5, “I am making everything new.” But before the Lord said these words, there was a loud voice that came out of the throne of God saying, “Now the dwelling of God will be with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away.”

This follows that the old order of things has to pass away in order for the Lord to make everything new in our lives.

It is obvious from the above verses that the old order of things is resisting the new things that the Lord eagerly desires to bring to us. The new creation that the Lord is making for us can never be fully appreciated as long as we remain under the old order of mind and attitude. It is exactly what the Lord said in Matthew 9:17 “New wine is poured into new wineskin and both are preserved.”

Old order of things doesn’t go away by itself. We have to work hard with the power of the Holy Spirit that leads us into the absolute truth about the new things that God is making for us. We rejoice to see them coming on our way through our faith and this joy becomes our strength that enables us to work harder with the Holy Spirit in our pursuit to receive new things.

If we persist, we will see a change in the way we respond and react to the situations and circumstances. The one who used to cry out to the Lord in hard times “Why Lord, Why it is happening to me?” will be saying “Thank you Father, Let thy will be done.” The one who was praying “Lord take me out of this situation for its too hard for me.” will rejoice and say “Father I know that I am at this place according to your perfect will and plan. For you in your wisdom have decided already how long one is going to be at a certain place.”

These are the signs that the new order has started appearing into our lives, and is making a way for the new things to follow.

Now we are ready to receive the new things but there is something else God wants to do. God is creating for us new heaven and new earth.

New things don’t just need new attitude of our minds but they also need new ground that is created by the word of God. The Lord wants us to receive much more than what we could imagine, desire or work for. The Lord wants us to believe and see…not see and believe. We will receive according to the abundance of God if we give to the Lord our standing ground and heaven …

What are the things that support us and make us stand firm…is it money or education or skills or status or job title and great experience.

The Lord wants to replace our old earth and heaven with new ones. For, we will never be able to embrace the new things that the Lord will bring to us as long as we hold onto the old earth and look up to the old heaven.

Do you want the Lord to make everything new in your life? The Lord is more than willing to fulfill this desire but he will begin the process by taking away your present earth and heaven. The process will be painful as you will have to abandon your dependence upon the things that were supporting you all your life. But the end result will be far greater than the present suffering. The new earth and the new heaven have an added promise that they are created by the authority of the word of God and have their foundation on the chief cornerstone – “JESUS CHRIST – the  WORD that became flesh.”

“Father…Here we come, standing on the ground of your word and looking upto you.  For indeed in you we live and move and have our being.”

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What happened on the road to Damascus

Acts 9: 3-5, “As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me”? “Who are you, Lord”? Saul asked. “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, he replied.””

These verses describe the conversion of Saul, when he was on his way to Damascus.

Saul, later called Paul, was a persecutor of the followers of Jesus. Saul was a devout Jew and in his rage to destroy those who were preaching Jesus, he would go anywhere to drag them out of their houses and beat them in public squares. When a disciple named Stephen was stoned, Saul approved his death.

Saul was so full of hatred that In his rage, “he went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the Synagogues in Damascus so that if he found any there who belonged to the way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.” Acts 9:1-2

While Saul was on his way to Damascus, something happened unexpectedly. A miracle turned Saul, a persecutor of Jesus into Paul, a prisoner of Christ.

“As Saul neared Damascus in his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him” The flash of light was so strong that Saul fell to the ground.

The Lord chose his light to play a part in converting Paul. God chooses different ways and means to get us in closeness to him. For some, he uses his written word, for some he uses his messengers and to some he appears himself. God knows us more than we know ourselves and he knows the perfect way to change us in the image of his son Jesus.

The Lord sent first his light and then his word to convert Saul. After the light appeared, Saul heard the someone asking him, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?”.

Jesus didn’t Say “Saul” but called out twice “Saul, Saul”.

Saul was dead twice at the time the Lord had called him. He, in his rage and passion to persecute the followers of Christ, was neither listening to his own voice nor the voice of others. The Lord woke him up by calling out his name twice. As soon as Saul heard his name from the mouth of the Lord, his spiritual ears were opened and he came back to his senses. The moment he realized his act of cruelty towards Lord’s disciples, he spoke up “Who are you, Lord.”

As soon as Paul cried out LORD, Something happened deep inside his heart, the ground of his heart that was dry for a long time suddenly became moist and softer. Saul was all full of pride but the moment he said “Lord” he accepted Jesus’ authority over his life.

Once Saul was made humble, he was ready to receive the word from the Lord. In response to Saul’s question, the Lord answered “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”

Surprisingly, the one who is called the King of Kings and the Lord of the Lord didn’t introduce himself as the King or the Lord. All he said was his name ‘Jesus’ and the purpose why he had appreared to Saul.

Saul had never experienced the love of God in such a way that God himself could stand on behalf of his disciples and share in their persecution. Jesus, who is called the lion of the tribe of Judah, did not use any force or authority to convert Saul. All he used was his humility and an expression of his deep love for his disciples. Saul was completely broken, and his spiritual eyes were opened. He not only became a disciple of Christ at that very moment, but was also sold to Christ’ humility and agape love.

Paul became a prisoner of Christ and remained faithful until his death on this earth.

Jesus: The cause of division

Jesus says in Matthew 10:34-36 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law”.

Jesus was described in Isaiah 9:6 as the “Prince of Peace”. He was the one who said to his disciples in John 14:27 “Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” If you compare these verses, you might find them contrary in nature.

Is Jesus causing division as he said that I have come to bring a sword?

In order to understand what the Lord is saying to his Church through these verses, we should try to understand first How the Lord has defined Peace, Sword and Division in his Holy Word.

Peace as described in John14:27 is Jesus’ own peace which is different from the peace that this world gives. The peace that this world gives is conditional and dependent upon worldly possession and blessings. For instance, worldly people say that everything is at peace when their lives run smoothly, their children are in good jobs and are happily married, their grand children are obedient, they have good health, etc. The list is endless, if somehow one thing goes missing, the peace runs away from their lives.

The Peace that Jesus gives is unconditional, independent and permanent. It stays despite adverse situations and circumstances. Jesus’ peace fills the heart and mind of the believer with a special joy that comes out of him/her at a time when there is no reason to rejoice. It all happens so that the true nature of Jesus’ peace may be reflected to others and brings glory to the heavenly father.

Have you ever felt a very special peace  in your heart despite storms in your life? Know that this is the same peace that Jesus offered to his disciples and is still inviting people to receive it.

Sword and Division: Jesus has indeed come with a sword to divide. The sword as described in Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and alive, sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Jesus is the word of most high God that became flesh. Being the WORD in FLESH, Jesus and the Word of God carry the same nature that is to penetrate and divide. Have you ever experienced being convicted after reading or hearing the word of God. That was the moment when the word was exercising its penetrating power to bring the thoughts or habits out of you that were blocking your closeness to God. Not only so, once you accept and submit to the penetrating process of the word,  it is powerful enough to separate those thought/habits out of your life forever.

Jesus has indeed come with a sword to divide. Wherever Jesus is, there is light. In light things become clearer and show their true nature and colour. In a family,  where Jesus comes, light appears and separation follows. In the same manner as father created light by his word and then separated light from darkness. This happens because not everyone accepts the Lord at the same time, as is written in John 1:11 “He came to his own but his own did not receive him.” That brings a great responsibility to those who have accepted Christ. John 1:5 says “Light shines in the darkness.”  When God separated the light from darkness, he didn’t take the light away from darkness but left it to shine in the darkness, likewise those who have come to know the Lord should intercede for the other family members who have not yet received the Lord. If you are in a family where there are people who have not yet accepted the Lord, the Lord is speaking to you to SHINE EVEN THOUGH ITS HARD TO SHINE and pray so that the whole household may come to know the Lord.

Father, how deep are your thoughts and who has known your ways. Thank you my father that you have been made known to us by Jesus Christ, our sun of righteousness.

Light shines in darkness

Genesis 1:3-4 “ God said let there be light and there was light  and God saw that the light was good and divided the light from darkness”

 God is sureme and has complete authority over the world of darkness and light. His word is alive and active that has the power to bring life to wherever it is spoken. So when God used his supreme word to command to come, light appeared. If you read the next part of the verse, you will find that even though the light appeared, there was still a part of darkness that wasn’t turned into light. The next part said “God separated light from darkness”.  If the light had appeared all over the place, God wouldn’t have had to separate light from darkness.

Why was there still darkness even though God said “let there be light.”

Bible says in John1:5 “light shines in the darkness.” Father, our creator,  wanted to reveal the true nature of light by putting it under adverse situation. Light appears much brighter when shines in darkness. If God had turned the whole darkness into light, light wouldn’t have reflected  its true beauty and characteristic.

What situation are you in today?

Does it seem that you are surrounded by darkness even though you are trying to live a Godly life? Do you wonder why you are being persecuted and put down by others when all you are doing is to try to live a Christ centered life?

The answer lies in the fact that God has spoken his divine word over you, “Let there be light.” He made his light shine onto you so that others may see the true beauty and nature of this light that shines and becomes brighter in adverse situation and by faith and persistence you may reveal the true nature and image of Christ that is being formed in you day by day.  God is sovereign and he could turn the darkness that is surrounding you into light at any time. A little patience, and the one who separated light from darkness will give you freedom from every hindrance and resistance that stands against your God given light.

Father, thank you that you have given your own light to us. Enable us to let it shine onto others.