Favoritism Forbidden

In Acts 9,  Jesus appears to Paul when  he was on his way to Damascus. Encounter with the living Christ turned Paul, a persecutor of Church to a follower of Jesus Christ. In the same passage, Jesus appears to another disciple, whose name was Ananias and asked him to go to Paul and pray over him. Ananias was unwilling to go first but when the Lord revealed that Paul was a chosen vessel for the Kingdom, Ananias went.

Something similar happens in Acts 10 when an angel of the Lord appears to Cornelius with good news that his prayers and work of charity have come before the Lord as a memorial offering. The angel further asked Cornelius to send men for Peter who also received a message in a vision. But, unaware of the meaning of the vision, Peter said no to the Lord. Later on when the meaning was revealed to him, he got ready  to go to Cornelius’ house.

Both Ananias and Peter declined to obey at first. Ananias was hesitant for many reasons, first he was not expecting Jesus to ask him to pray for Paul – a persecutor of the Church. Then Ananias was aware of Paul’s intentions to come to Damascus to persecute and torture the believers. In response to Ananias concern, Jesus explained that Paul was a chosen vessel of God and then Ananias obeyed the Lord.

Peter knew that according to the law,  it was forbidden for the Jew to associate with gentiles. Therefore, to uphold the law and  in order to be counted righteous in the sight of the Lord, He declined at first to do something that his conscience (controlled by the law) didn’t approve. Later Peter also obeyed the Lord.

Ananias and Peter were walking with the Lord for a long time when they both received messages, but their initial response was NO.

The situation hasn’t changed a bit today. Those, who have been trying to follow the Lord and involved with ministry work, sometimes imitate Peter’s and Ananias’ initial responses when the Lord asks them to do something unconventional. We (experienced as we are) tend to form prejudices and biases and make our own standards to uphold our righteousness. We have favourites and  begin segregating people (subconsciously) on the basis of their walk with the Lord. We know but tend to  forget occasionally that every man is created for a special purpose and only God knows the right time and place to use that person. We may judge each other by their past, but God looks into the future and knows that there is hope for everyone.

Jesus knows this human weakness and he has provided us with a solution in John 12:6, “Where I am, my servant must also be there.”

Are we with the Lord right now? Is the so-called righteousness and knowledge of the Bible becoming hindrance to receive the fresh revelation from the Lord? Is there discrimination in subconscious mind based on people’s past, ethnicity or culture ? If yes, then the time has arrived for renewal…Let’s renew the habit of spending time with the Lord the way we first started. Lets refresh our first love with Christ and ask him to give more love for others. Lets just come on our knees and renew our covenant to follow Christ and work for his people.


Don’t settle for anything less than God’s own portion

The Bible is full of instances where Jesus miraculously turned something  insignificant into blessing for many. In John 6 He turned 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish into food for more than 5 thousand people. Since Jesus is same, yesterday today and forever he is still into the business of multiplying our blessings.

Do you want to find the “key” of God’s multiplication? Are you working hard but find that at the end of the day your earnings are not enough to fulfill the needs of the family, or you have been struggling to work hard for a job that doesn’t bring any appreciation nor promotion. Or you have all what it takes to live a luxurious life but lack peace of mind? Take heart…All You need to do is to change your focus  from “What your hands have or could have achieved” to “What God has earned for you”. Then blessings will flow in a way you would have never imagined. The change in focus passes the measuring cup and portion of your blessings from your hands to God’s hands.

Since we are God’s children, Do not settle for anything less than God’s own portion – whether its peace, joy,  material blessings or anything else. God’s portion is on your way if you acknowledge your blessings and thank heavenly father with a sincere heart:

1. Acknowledge that you are blessed – People usually count their blessings by comparing them with others and sometimes find that they would be better off had they gotten a little more. This mindset is not what God has desired for his children. The Lord wants us to look around with open mind and see what we have without judging the worth of the possession (how big or small). Counting the blessings out loud in the presence of the Lord is the first step to know how rich you  are. You might be surprised to find that you are actually richer than you think.

2. Thank God – Thanking God for the blessings brings glory to the Lord and fills us with a sense of appreciation and gratitude. Being grateful fills us with a Godly attribute. Jesus thanked the father before he performed any miracle. Jesus thanked the father when he broke the bread and turned it into food for thousands, Jesus thanked the father before he called Lazarus back to life when he had been buried for four days. Jesus has left us a sure key to divine blessings – Thanksgiving.

Our miracle is not far from us but God has already planted it in our minds. The miracle is ready and is eagerly awaiting an outward expression through the lips that are  filled with a burning desire to thank and praise God. Acknowledging and thanking God for the blessings prepares a solid ground for us to stand to receive God’s own portion.

3. Receive – Now is the time to receive God’s portion by God’s hands. God does not delay nor desires his people to live in poverty. God, as a father, is willing to pour out his blessings right now. And those who have acknowledged their blessings before the Lord  and thanked God are not far from GOD’S OWN PORTION IN JESUS’ NAME.