I have engraved you on the palms of my hands

Jesus is declared the embodiment of the word of God. The truth that was unknown came into bodily form to proclaim the eternal message that God is love the Father of all. The desire of God’s own heart for his children brought him down into flesh with the fullness of grace and truth. Out of the abundance of his love, God turned himself down into the image of men so that by faith men may be raised up into the fullness of the image of God.

God, as loving father, is seeking out people from all nations in all generations. He spoke out in Isaiah 65:2, “All day long I held out my hands to an obstinate generation whose hearts are never in me.”  Even though the children have backslidden, they still remain at the center of God’s love and compassion and He desires deeply that they may return to his sheepfold. Father can’t let his children be away from his divine love for long for He knows the weakness of their human nature.

Our heavenly Father is calling out  day and night for he knows that the more his children are away from his divine presence the more enemy will use them by filling their minds with deceptive thoughts. Father stands out looking for his children to come back to him the way prodigal son’s father was waiting for the moment when the son comes home so that the father may shower his love and compassion on him and bless him with his chosen blessings.

Once the estranged children come home, father not only welcomes them but blesses them with a portion of his inheritance, which has come down to us as the seal of the Holy Spirit. The Blessed Holy Spirit dwells among God’s children to fill them with Godly strength and enable them to walk on the way of Grace and truth.

Father is still looking for his children with deep love, compassion and out-stretched hands. Have you seen those hands and heard the voice that cries out,  “I have loved you with everlasting love .” Jer. 31:3 “Behold I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16

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how wide, long, high and deep is the love of Christ

I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

God loves his creation but doesn’t show the deep ocean of his love to everyone. It is limited to just a few. The access to the hidden layers of his love is given to those who choose to remain in God’s love no matter what life brings to them.

To remain in the love of God is to remain in his word. The blessing of his word is not restricted to a sect or denomination. It’s not just the preachers or pastors who have the keys to the treasure of God’s word. God can speak through anyone at any-time for the praise of his glory.

God uses little children to reveal the mystery of his word. He can use illiterate to teach the hidden depth of his wisdom to well trained pastors and preachers. Blessed are those who are willing to receive the word of God wherever it comes from.

Someone who has trained his mind to remain in God’s love by remaining in his word prepares a ground to receive more revelation from God about his unique love.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood on the word of God despite being in fiery furnace. Since they remained in God’s love, God revealed the power of his love through his presence that became their saving grace.

Paul and Silas remained in the love of Christ despite being in jail and God revealed his unique love as their deliverance that became a testimony for prisoners and the jailer. Not just that, the obedience filled love of Paul and Silas brought the gift of salvation to the one who made them prisoner!

Those who remain in God’s love witness revelation of God’s love. Only they are equipped to understand God’s love that surpasses all knowledge. God’s love is as wide and long as it is high and deep. God’s love fills not just every single moment of our lives on this earth but goes beyond to fill the life to come. His love spreads in all known and unknown directions.

But to enable us to see a glimpse of his love, God added hedges around his love to bring it within the confines of human life. The love that was hard to grasp was made to fit within the boundaries of human understanding. The unapproachable, incomprehensible God and his attributes were made accessible to the creation for the praise  of God’s glory!

To know the dimensions of God’s love is to know what he has done for his creation. Love of God is moving in all directions wherever there is life. Try to get hold of the immeasurable by being in his love for he is more than willing to get confined within the limits of his creation. The surpassing greatness is ready to reveal itself by making it small enough to fill every chamber of human understanding.

The divinity has arrived, broken itself down to the point of the fallen creation that had no hope so that by joining those pieces together creation might receive its fullness in Christ – the revealed love of God for his creation.

Compelling love of Christ

“Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2Cor.5:14-15

Compulsion as defined by an online dictionary is an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, esp. against one’s conscious wishes. To love Christ is not in the wish list of our conscious mind but is hidden in the depths of our soul and spirit, that long to know the one who has  loved us with perfect love. The nature of our conscious mind is contrary to our spiritual nature. Bible says in Matthew 26:41 that spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. The weak nature of the flesh is manifested more when we choose to lead a spirit filled life. The flesh remains calm and quiet as long as give our way to it, but as soon as a believer begins his journey on the spiritual path, the desire of the flesh raise its head to confront with the spirit generated truth.

The spirit and flesh are in constant battle and it’s natural for the flesh to emerge out as winner unless the flesh is being put in subjection to the word of God. The word was proclaimed by the spirit of God and is the only means to win the flesh-spirit battle. Mere listening to the word won’t produce any fruits unless the child of God experiences the underline power of the word and put it to work at the time of need. The one who lets the spirit take over his fleshly desires by deliberately letting the course of his actions be ascertained by the word of God (that is spirit) trains himself to lead a spiritual life. Moment by moment, we see ourselves turning into a new creation that feeds on the word of God.

Leading a spirit filled life doesn’t discourage our flesh not to exalt itself against the spirit. In fact, those who want to lead a spirit filled life deal with a daily struggle of flesh and spirit. With every battle, the spirit becomes much stronger but the flesh still retains its authority to discourage us if we fail. It’s during the course of this battle that the love of Christ helps us to overcome and retain our victory in Christ.

The compelling love of Christ convinces our inner being that Christ died for all. Our Biblical knowledge or intellect doesn’t play a role in the deep conviction that has the power to change us. We might know the Biblical facts intellectually but its the irresistible urge of Christ’ love that enables us to identify ourselves with Christ as the one who came, lived, died and resurrected for you and me.

Our knowledge can only tell us about Christ, But to know Christ as a person comes with the love of Christ. Knowledge can’t stand the  test of time but love can for sure . As the spirit expresses his love through Paul in Romans 8, ” And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Let the love of Christ be the only compelling reason to make us deeply rooted in the truth that Christ died and resurrected. Let the  love of Christ be the only reason for us to spread his gospel. Christ’s love is irresistible, experience it and you will never be the same again!

Longing for thy presence

Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”

Longing for the Lord is an expression of our deepest desire to be with the Lord.  It emanates from God’s own heartfelt desire to be in the fellowship of his children. All of us have experienced God at various occasions and sundry times in our lives. Some of us are open and sensitive to his presence while others try to hide this experience by giving false names to it. Irrespective of how we respond to God’s desire to be with us, our father and creator wants to bless us with his presence. His presence brings a deep sense of joy and peace that surpasses all human understanding and knowledge. The peace that follows his presence is independent of what we have and where we are. In ancient days, devoted people would run to spend time with the Lord. Even today, there are people who would leave things behind to be in His fellowship. God’s love calls us  during the early morning hours and his knowledge gives us perfect peace at night.

God’s presence not only satisfies the deepest desire of our hearts but also brings a unique inner beauty that shines through those who make themselves available for Him. We may come to Him broken, disheartened and frustrated, but leave content, joyful and free.  God is indeed our deepest desire that can never be filled by anyone or anything. Some of us deny this truth and try to make cisterns to run away from the well. But all these pursuits leave us empty and broken. We can never attain the peace and joy that the living God offers. We might carve images and idols to replace God in our lives, but our own creation can never take the place of our creator.

Why does everyone not feel a longing for the Lord? Why some of us are insensitive to his presence?

The answer lies in the fact that we have changed the focus and meditation of our heart. We see what we see, leaving no scope for faith to believe the unseen (even though its through the unseen that the seen came into being). We are too much occupied with what we have that we don’t actually need God in our lives. We are so much concerned about where are we going,  that we have completely forgotten where we have come from.

Unless we know our roots, unless we long to know the one who has sent us down to this earth, we will remain empty. Our heavenly father is a jealous God (Joshua 24:19) and rightly so for he loves his children with a perfect love. He gets jealous to see us running away from His presence and trying to find the fulfillment that only He can give, in alternatives and idols.

God speaks through His creation. Listen! Who controls life and death? Who is the one who fashioned us in the womb of our mothers, God knew us completely even before we came into existence. He has seen our unseen parts and there is nothing in us that is beyond the reach of his perfect knowledge.

Who created the stars? Do they come into existence by themselves? Who has put a boundary around the sea? Who provides life and food to the tiniest of living creatures that are not even seen by naked eyes? Who has given wisdom to little birds that they gather food for their young ones? Who has filled the hearts of birds and animals with love for their children?

Doesn’t it all speak about the love of God. Who could give such love to His creation if not the perfect God. Why is it too hard for some of us to accept that we are and will always be deeply loved by our creator who expresses his love in ways that are sometimes  incomprehensible. What went wrong that we have become so insensitive to the presence of the one who makes us whole and from whom we have come from?

God is love. Look around, See with open eyes and with enlightened eyes of faith. You will surely find him standing beside you. We have never known to be away from Him,  “for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

Father longs to be with you. Are you available?

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.