Who is the greatest?

Jesus called the twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” Mark9: 35-37

The Kingdom of God works on Godly principles and regulations that sometimes seem just opposite to the standards of this world. We believe what we see, God asks us to believe to see. We don’t want to move unless we have assessed the situation and know where we are going,  God says, “Go for I will go ahead of you.” We try to gather to make ourselves rich but the Lord says, “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” Prov. 11:24

Indeed God’s ways are not our ways, neither his thoughts are our thoughts.

But we have been created in the image of God then doesn’t our thinking should be aligned to the thoughts of the shepherd of our souls? What went wrong that even though being one in spirit with God we started going on our own way which was not God’s way and became rebellious?

God has given us power of choice and he loves those who willingly accepts him as their saviour and Lord. God never forces us to follow him, but gently whispers his great love into our souls that melts us, breaks us and bring us at the feet of the cross.

Having accepted the word of life, we begin to transform into his image from one degree of glory to another. The hidden image begins to manifest in our lives by empowering us to live a Christ centred life, not the life of a priest or preacher but a humble servant of the Lord.

When Jesus came down, he didn’t come to be served but to serve and he has left us a pattern to follow.

Christ shared in our humanity so that we may share in his divinity. Its only by following his pattern of life that we turn into the image God has carved onto the palms of his hands.

Share in Jesus’ pattern of humility and he will exalt you at the right time.

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Abide in Me

John 15: 1-4, “I am the true vine and my Father is the Gardner. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit while every branch that bears fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

Jesus calls himself  true vine planted by the father. He describes us as his branches, branches that are not self sufficient but survive on the strength of the vine. Father has in-grafted us in Jesus and He knows our exact position in the vine. He knows the time when we will blossom and He has assigned a portion to each one of us in the name of Jesus.

Father wants the branches to be fruitful. He is happy that the branches are in Christ, but the deepest desire of his heart is to see the branches heavily laden with fruits. He wants to fulfill the desires of our hearts by answering prayers. When we bear fruit and show ourselves to be in Christ we bear fruit and receive whatever we ask for in prayers.

Jesus says, “Remain in me and I in you”.  Remaining in Christ is a process, a journey that needs our conscious effort every single day of our lives. Its a disciplined way of life that needs to be cultivated and refined. For a child of God, remaining in Christ is not an option but an essential way to live and grow in Christlikeness. To know about Jesus, His life on earth, his sacrificial death and resurrection is good, but mere knowledge will not take us anywhere unless we work hard to walk with resurrected Jesus daily.

Remaining in Christ is to remain in his name, peace, power, love, joy and word.

Remain in the name of Jesus – Jesus – The sweetest name in heaven and on earth. The blessed name!
No name has been given in heaven and on earth that brings salvation except the name of Jesus. Its the name of Jesus that brings deliverance and freedom. Its the power of the name of Jesus that protects from all evil and the deception of enemy. Its the name of Jesus that heals the sick and makes them whole. Its the name of Jesus that brings all the forces of heaven to complete submission to a child of God. Its the name of Jesus that takes over once you have said Amen to a prayer. Its the name of Jesus that is above every name. Remain in His name and know how powerful you are. When you remain in his name, the power and strength of his name flow to you, covering your name and giving you a new name. The name that father desired for you even before you came into existence. Know your new name, your new identity in Christ and remain victorious in all situations.

Remain in his peace – Remain in the peace of Christ by equipping yourself by the armour of the spirit. Be vigilant of the attacks of enemy and put the whole armour of the Holy Spirit every day. Just thinking that we are in the peace of Christ doesn’t do any good but actually walking in the peace does, which means not be perplexed and disturbed by the adverse situations that life brings to us. The moment you come across a disturbing situation, instead of discussing and sharing it with others run to the Lord to see the situation in His light.  Only He can reveal the truth about a situation and prepare you to deal with it by granting His own wisdom and understanding.
Remain in his peace by offering thanks to the Lord at the end of prayers believing that whatever you have asked has been done.

Remain in his power – Remain in the power of the resurrected Christ. The power that Jesus bought on cross for a price. This power is very much needed to walk with Christ. Blessed are those who make use of this spiritual strength in their daily lives. Focus on the power of risen Lord. HE is beyond the confines of any closed doors. HE appeared to disciples when they were indoors, telling us that he has free reign on every life and has authority over any period of time. HE can move in past and bring the future blessings to you. His ways are miraculous and supernatural.
Are you looking at a closed door? Look at Jesus, the one who has the keys.
No door is closed for Him neither in this life nor in the life to come.

Remain in his love – Love the Lord much more than ever before. Look for Him, Search Him, Seek Him, Run to Him. Don’t be satisfied with what you hear about Him from others. Check the authenticity of his word by spending time with the one who is the author of your faith. Learn from the teacher by spending time in his divine presence. If you complaint about lack of time, just make an extra effort to get up early in the morning to receive fresh manna from the one who Himself is Life and Light.

Remain in his joy – The joy that a child of God experiences by spending time with the Master is a powerful weapon to destroy the army of the enemy. The joy of the Lord fills us with a unique strength that enables us to keep our hopes alive in Christ. Be filled with spiritual fervour and you will accomplish much for the Lord’s kingdom and become a blessing for many.

Remain in his word – Obedience is necessary to see the miracles of Christ in our lives. When the Lord ask you to do anything, Go in obedience for the one who has commanded you will also strengthen you to bring his word to completion. Remain in His word and let the whole world know that you are His follower.

Remain in Jesus for that is the only way to receive life in all its abundance.

Old and new order of things

2 Cor. 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old is gone the new has come!”

Someone who has accepted Jesus as his Lord and saviour can’t follow Christ unless he deliberately leaves behind the old order of things. The verse emphasizes that the moment someone realizes that he is in Christ, he becomes a new creation. New creation reflects itself by new pattern of thoughts and way of life. New creation longs for  spiritual food like a baby craves for milk. New creation begins to rejoice in what pleases God and weeps for what persecutes Christ.

With new order of life, new challenges begin to appear in our lives. Its imperative that a child of God allows the work of God to finish in him in order to walk under the new way of life. New order demands full submission as Paul says 1Cor.9:27, “I beat my body to bring it under complete submission”.  Every believer is supposed to imitate this attitude for following Christ is a daily exercise that needs not only our willingness but also  full participation of our mind, thoughts, and other members of the body.

Unless a child of God is determined to follow Christ with full devotion and renewed state of mind, he wont be able to finish the mark for which God has called him in Christ. The one who keeps looking back won’t get anywhere.

Turning into new order that Christ has set aside for us is a life long journey but it begins reflecting through a renewed state of mind and other members of the body.

Renewed mind that’s been captured by the beauty of Christ constantly examines the thoughts to evaluate if they come from Jesus or somewhere else. A child of God who is empowered by renewed mind takes captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. If this exercise is not followed diligently, the mind becomes a battle field of flesh and spirit, that puts the child of God in a restless situation. Unless there is peace in the members of body, Spiritual blessings will not find a way to manifest in the lives of believers.

Renewed mind opens our eyes to see who we are in Christ. Renewed mind reminds the believer that he is no less than a precious child of God, washed in the precious blood of the lamb and bought for a price, hence is priceless before God the father. A child of God needs to carry this identity all the times lest the enemy tries to tempt and steal the identity by saying “If you are a child of God, why you are going through so much in your life while others are leading a comfortable life.”

Renewed mind under the power of the Holy Spirit knows his authority and controls the mouth, tongue and other members of the body thus offers perfect praise to most high God as Paul says in Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

Renewed mind knows the voice of the Lord  and doesn’t take heed to the deception and lie of the enemy.

New wine can’t be put into old wineskin nor new law of spirit can rule over someone  who walks under the old order of things. Lets embrace the new order and seek the Lord in the newness of heart, mind and spirit.

Do you want to follow Christ?

In Mark 10: 17-23, A rich young man comes to Jesus and asks him “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus told him, “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven, Then come and follow me”.

Go When the Lord sends, he equips with his own word of power for human strength cannot achieve God’s purpose. When the Lord speaks, it turns into reality to whom the word is spoken. In John 14:7 Jesus said to his disciples, “If you really knew me you would know my Father as well. FROM NOW ON YOU DO KNOW HIM AND HAVE SEEN HIM“. In the above verses Jesus’ word that the disciples would know the father turns into reality the moment it was spoken. The Lord continued in next part by saying “From now on you know him”. Along the same principle, When the Lord asks someone to Go, HIS command to go turns into reality  and that person is filled not only with a zeal to go and work for the Lord but also with an immeasurable supply of strength from the one who is the origin and source of all power and might.

Sell everything – Matthew 6:21 “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. Our treasure is not made up of the thighs that we possess but rather the things that control and possess us – things that take up our time and efforts, for what entraps our heart and captivates our mind, becomes our treasure.

Jesus is asking to sell EVERYTHING. Selling involves two parties – buyer, seller, and some sort of exchange between them. Christ is asking you and me to make Christ our invisible buyer, to sell  the things that have enslaved us for long. Christ is willing to purchase them for a price. The price is precious, and it comes in the form of freedom – True freedom. But it is only for those who are willing to sell EVRYTHING to the Lord.

Give to the poor – Once the Lord has granted freedom to us by taking everything away that was keeping us busy, we become indebted to share this freedom with those who have piled up false treasure for themselves, treasure that has no value in the sight of the Lord. It becomes our responsibility to share the good news of freedom with them so that they may receive the same gift of freedom from the Lord as we have received.

You will have treasure in heaven The more we give to the poor, the richer we become in Lord’s sight. Sometimes, we don’t see the fruit of our labour for a long time, but the word says that nothing you have ever done for Lord’s service will ever go wasted”. All we could do is to trust and sow the seed of the word in all seasons. Let’s put in our best efforts to turn the freedom we have received from the Lord into freedom for all.

Then come and follow me – The Lord says “Once you have done your part and spread the word of freedom, then come back to me to receive more from me. You don’t need to do anything in my presence, just listen and receive. The more you practise listening to me, the more you will learn to trust me. Unless you have built a trust relationship with me, you can’t follow me. Once you begin to follow me, you don’t need to worry about anything. I will take care of everything, just FOLLOW ME”

Shrewd Fisherman – lessons from John 4

Bible tells us In John 4, that Jesus had to go through Samaria so he came to a town called Sycher and since Jesus was tired he sat down by the well.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water. As soon as Jesus saw the woman he said “Will you give me a drink?”. The woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a samaritan, how can you ask me for a drink?”

The Lord is telling us that a shrewd fisherman needs Godly humility. The King of Kings didn’t hesitate to ask for a drink from a person who was not considered of a good social standing according to the norms prevalent at that time. The Lord has told us that there is no distinction now between Jews and Gentiles, whoever is in Christ is a new creation. Jesus didn’t preach this truth to that woman but proved by his actions. The Lord brought himself down to save the Samaritan woman. Paul says, I became everything for everyone so that I may win Christ for them. The Lord is still speaking to us today and reminding us that the work of the Lord is to outreach to those who are discouraged, depressed and victim of low self-esteem.

When the Samaritan woman heard that  Jesus was asking her for a drink, she must have felt good about herself that she had something to give to a person of higher social ranking than her. The Lord wanted to free her from her old thinking that there was a distinction between Jews and Gentiles. The Lord wanted to boost the self-esteem of the Samaritan woman before giving her any message.
A shrewd fisherman brings a message of encouragement that builds up the confidence and faith of the listener.

When Jesus asked for a drink, he also opened a door for communication that was based on fulfilling the immediate need of the woman that  was boosting her self-esteem and further clearing a way for the word of God to be established. The Lord is teaching us to clear the way before start preaching.
A shrewd fisherman makes a way for clear communication by destroying the barriers and misconceptions.

The woman said “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan so how can you ask me for a drink. The moment Jesus heard it he said “If you knew the gift of God and who is it that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” The Lord wanted the woman to know that she was in need. And only Jesus could fulfill her need.
A shrewd fisherman convinces the listener that there exists a need on the part of the listener.

The woman said , “Sir, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where did you get this living water”. The woman came to a point where she could freely communicate with the Lord, The Lord was waiting for this opportunity. In fact,  Jesus eagerly waits for the times and occasions when we could open ourselves and speak to him freely.

Now the woman wanted to ask more questions to Jesus, she said, ” Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us this well and drank from it himself as did his sons and his flocks and herds? The Lord answered. “Everyone who drinks from this water will be thirsty again but whoever drinks the water that I give him will never thirst, indeed, the water that I give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”The woman said, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Suddenly, Jesus changed the conversation from water and well to “Go and call your husband and come back.” The Lord wanted to bring out the ugliness of woman’s life that she was trying to hide. The first step to be blessed by the Lord is to bring to the Lord our shame, our weaknesses and infirmities. The woman said “I don’t have a husband. Lord replied that You are right that you have no husband. The fact is that you have had five husbands and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have told me is quite true.” The Lord told the woman that I am aware of  what state you are in. And you have lived enough in the shame of your weaknesses but the time has come for you to leave that old way of life and walk in freedom.

The woman said, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.The woman came to know Jesus even before  Jesus started preaching to her.
A shrewd fisherman preaches without even opening his mouth.

The woman further said, “Our fathers worshipped on this mountain but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” The woman came to the point where she started to seek the guidance and the counselling of the Lord. She had questions about the right place of worship. The Lord answered, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you don’t know, we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet, a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the father in spirit and truth. God is spirit and his worshippers must worship in spirit and truth.”

The Lord told the woman clearly that to know WHO TO WORSHIP is more important  than to know WHERE TO WORSHIP. The Lord said further that “a time is coming when the true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth, for these are the worshippers Father seeks.” The woman said, Messiah is coming and when he comes, he will tell us everything.

The Lord saw that the Samaritan was waiting for Christ. Now, the time has come for the Lord to preach…Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am He.”
Shrewd Fisherman leads the listeners to a way where they feel a thirst for Christ.

A shrewd fisherman is the one who is always busy making a way for the Lord and preaches only when it is needed.