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The blessing of Elders:

“Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:32

There are countless scriptures in the Bible which teaches us to honor the elderly and listen to their wise counsel. Infact one of the curses God says he will send, is that the children of Israel will NOT have elders during their time of trouble, to seek for counsel! Evidently the counsel from the aged, is like a precious jewel!!!

When Jeev n’ I were newly married, we used to attend many youth meetings. After the youth meetings were over, our friends used to press us to hang around and chit chat. Jeev never allowed me to stay around after a certain point of time. When he said we’ve got to go, it was absolutely time for me to get going! He was pretty strict about that! I never understood why!

Many years later, while in conversation with one of our good family friends who was also a part of the youth groups we used to attend, he gave the reason Why! Jeev’s dad had always told him, “Never hang around after a certain time with friends, it always leads to unwanted and unnecessary conversations”. Our friend went on to say that we were wise to leave, coz what used to start as neat conversations, always ended up in unnecessary talk!!!

Whatever the situation maybe, a word of counsel from the elders in your family and church is LIFE! It is a blessing to surround yourself with elders who have your best interest in mind. They have seen much more than you and I have!!

“Wisdom is found with the elderly, and understanding comes with long life.” Job 12:12

The blessing of the elders was so coveted in the old testament so much so that Esau wanted to almost kill Jacob for stealing his rightful blessing from his aged father Isaac!! And upon the descendants of Joseph, it’s amazing how Joseph brings his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh to His father Jacob to receive his father’s blessing. It almost seems like God kept Jacob alive to release the blessing upon Ephraim and Manasseh (Joseph’s sons).

When the elders rise up and bless you, that blessing lasts for generations to come! Treasure it with every beat of your heart!! And in whatever way you can, honor your elders!!!

“The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.” Numbers 11:16-17

“The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!” Revelation 19:4

From Genesis to Revelation, the elders are an integral part of the scriptures. Such values are fading away with time, but to us who seek to draw closer to the heartbeat of God, may it shine brighter and brighter!

Blessed day!!

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…only a moment…

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Apostle Paul expounds further deeper on this truth that trials and tests that God allows us to go through is momentary, compared to the glory that will be revealed in the future. 2 Cor 4:17.

Oft so many times I have heard this scripture preached from the context of ‘in the sweet by and by’ things wud be okay in the no-pain-no-sorrow land! While it is definitely true that our afflictions would melt away when we cross the shore, this scripture is surely more than that!!

Many of our patriarchs in the Bible had to go through a time of testing and trial. For some of them it ran to years, as in the case of Abraham and Joseph. Abraham had to wait 20 years before Isaac was born. Joseph had to wait 15+ years for his dream to be fulfilled. But during those years of testing, our patriarchs learned the art of living a life that was completely submitted unto God. And when their time of testing was done, they enjoyed the blessings of the LORD for the rest of their lives and their blessings even extended for generations to come.

Sure indeed, weeping may endure for a moment, but the favor of the LORD endures for a LIFETIME!! That includes the generations that come, long after you are gone! Imagine the impact of just ONE man’s righteous living!!!

There are several places in the scripture where God withholds judgement and here’s the reason He gives: “For the sake of my servant David.” Isn’t that something?

It doesn’t matter what we accumulate for our children:

Gold and Land ain’t nothing at all;
A righteous living is worth it all!!

If you are in a season where you are being tested by the LORD, it’s good news, coz the favor of the LORD is just around the corner!! Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will lift you up in due time!!

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Blessed day!!

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Strength of Jochebed:

It was a chaotic moment in history. Somehow the Egyptian High Priest had figured out from the reading of the stars, that a deliverer was born in Israel. Something had to be done, to retain their name as the World Power! Egypt was the World Power back then. No nation could match up to their army and strength!

The order was given. Egypt didn’t want to be threatened to any degree. They went the extreme mile to steer clear of all doubts. The Pharoah ordered that all newborn man-child, be killed.

The soldiers went out to perform the act with urgency. Imagine for a moment being the mom of a new born child during that time. Terrifying, to say the least. Mom’s perhaps fled in different directions desperately trying to save the lives of their babies, only to be overpowered by the evil soldiers, mercilessly walking away with their swords dripping with the blood of a Hebrew newborn.

Oh, the lament that rang across the land of Goshen….

It was during this time that Jochebed (Mother of Moses) gathered strength in her heart, to fight her battle. A battle between light and darkness. A battle between life and death. A battle between slavery and deliverance. Someone had to commit, to waging the war! When the power of Satan rages against the plans of God, SOMEONE needs to engage in battle!! And Jochebed did.

The Bible teaches us that the weapons of our warfare are not clubs and swords but Praise, Prayer and Fasting, and I believe Jochebed understood it well. She didn’t seek the hand of man, to let her new born live. Rather, as we see in the stories of many awesome women in the Bible, Jochebed BELIEVED in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as she put him in a little basket and let him drift on the river Nile.

‘That Faith’ in the Mighty Hand of God is the beauty that adorns the heart of a woman who fears the LORD.

The enemy may tirelessly throw arrow after arrow to get us down and discouraged. But here’s what the women of the Bible did:

“Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” Pro 31:25

They clothed themselves with strength (unshakable faith in God) and when they believed, NO power of Egypt, was a match for a woman who held on to her God!!

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Blessed day!!!

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All that is His is mine:

“Let the poor say I am rich”- the words of a famous worship song, may make no sense to the man who is truly, financially struggling!!

But even the poorest of the poor can claim plenty, if He is truly walking hand in hand with the God to whom EVERYTHING belongs! Afterall everything that is in the Kingdom, rightfully belongs to the Sons and daughters of the King!

This thought came across my mind this morning: Did you know, if needed, God is able to give you tons of Gold and Silver, just like that, at the snap of a finger??

“The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:8

When the Master of this Universe is your friend, why talk about lack?? Talk the language of the Kingdom! Talk Faith!

“Let the poor ‘say’ I am rich!”…. “Let the weak ‘say’ I am strong”!

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Blessed day!

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Grace at the time of your need!

As we all know, every event that took place in the Old Testament, was just a shadow of  things to come, but the substance was Christ. Colossians 2:17. It is astounding to read the Divine wisdom of God in the Old Testament, coz’ when the true meaning unfolds in the New testament, it makes us stand in awe of our God, who is awesome in Wisdom!

The Manna that God rained down for the people of Israel is one such example. This Manna has been understood in many different ways in the New Testament, but one of the ways that we have not seen before, is Manna as ‘Grace’.

Referring to the Manna when in conversation with the jews, Jesus said that He was the true bread (Manna) that came down from heaven. John 1:14 describes Jesus as ‘full of Grace and Truth’. So when God provided the children of Israel, Manna in the desert, He was essentially teaching His Children to ‘rest upon His Grace for each day’!

The instructions to the Children of Israel were specific. God commanded them to take just enough Manna for their family for each day. They were strictly told not to collect Manna for the next day. Of course there were some folks who wouldn’t heed the voice of Moses and collected extra, only for maggots to eat them up!

What a great lesson hidden for us in the scriptures! Jesus taught us not to worry about our tomorrow’s! Grace cannot be collected for tomorrow. Grace is given for each new day. God knows our needs for every single day and we can trust in His faithfulness, every single time.

Man’s mind is mostly occupied with questions about tomorrow’s and frets thinking about the future. But you and I do not have to be afraid. The invisible hand that is holding us, knows What we need, When we need it and How to provide for it! Fret Not! No matter what it is that you are worried about, our Jesus will give us the Grace at the time of our need!

Just put a song together with my uncle and aunt, which reminds us that we will have Grace at the time of our need!

September 2nd marks a year since my dear friend Anu Evelyn Antony, went home to be with Jesus. She battled Cancer for about 2 years and this day, a year ago she stepped into the courts of the King! Most of us who knew her,  know the courage and the strength with which she handled it, by leaning on God’s grace for every new day.  Just wanted to take this day as an opportunity to speak encouragement into our hearts, as we fondly remember her!

I can almost hear Anu cheering all of us women, from the other side, to cling to His Grace to run our races in boldness, Faith and Courage!
“Fight the good fight of Faith”.

Blessed September!

 

 

 

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Unhindered Communion:

One of the things that make me marvel in the Word of God is the way some of the saints of Old, walked and talked with the God of Heaven! Some of the patriarchs had such an incredible walk with God, and it makes us wonder as to how we could have such an intimate walk with God! The God of the Heavens shared ‘His’ secrets with them! That’s a Wow factor for sure!!

“For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7

One of the Patriarchs whom God called ‘His friend’, is Abraham. It is one thing for us to say that “God is our friend”, but it is entirely different when God calls someone, “His friend”. Each and everyone of us have that desperate desire in our hearts for God to call us, “His friend”, Don’t we? Here are some pointers from the life of Abraham, who had that kind of a friendship with God!

1. Absolute Obedience: Most of the time, when God speaks something to us, it is usually not comprehended by the human mind. In the life of Abraham, God appeared to Abraham one day, and just told him to leave his land of birth(familiar land) and go to a land that God will show Him. He just had to get up and trust God in the journey of the unknown. (Genesis 12:1-9) NOT EASY!

2. Trust God: The next test lasted in Abraham’s life for about 20 years! God promised that he would bless him with a child, and Abraham had to wait for about 20 years before that promise was fulfilled. And all along, the Bible says, he did not waver in his faith, but gave the glory to God fully trusting Him, that He who promised is able to fulfill His Word. 20 years waiting on a promise??? NOT EASY!

3. Tremble and Obey: The 3rd and the most difficult test was when God told Abraham to carry the Son whom He loved, and offer Him as a sacrifice. I tremble even as I type this out. Can you imagine the emotions of a Father? It’s unthinkable for you and I, ain’t it? But Abraham’s absolute trust in the hand of God, caused him to saddle up his stuff the very next day! NOT AT ALL EASY!!

One thin line that runs common in the points above is that Abraham didn’t have the ‘fear of man’ in his heart. He perhaps shuddered at the thought of having to face a broken-wounded wife, after he had slaughtered Isaac by his own hand, BUT that didn’t hinder him from obeying God anyways! Abraham had no fear of Man whatsoever!!!

Let’s look at our lives in comparison. This week, I told a lie…. perhaps a white lie, as the world calls it. After a quick analysis in my mind, I realised I said it bcoz of the ‘fear of Man’. When I was tormented as a result of my sin, this scripture really touched me.

“….the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” Songs of Solomon 2:15.

Our Vineyards(spirit man) are full of peace and quiet and Joy abounding, because Jesus is there! But these little sins in our lives come in like a fox and ravage our sweet communion with the Lord and Lo and Behold, the communication with God Almighty, is cut off!

The Bible says, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25

Our God indeed is a consuming fire but the beauty of His heart is that He desires to walk with you and me like He did with Moses, Abraham and David!

The question is, Are we fully ready to walk the journey of the unknown in complete surrender, like the Patriarchs of Old? Is pleasing man our priority or is it to live a life that is pleasing to God?

“for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.” John 12:43

We live to please the King, in every way!

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Blessed day!

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The Power of Positive Confessions:

All throughout the Bible, we see several examples of men and women of faith whose lives were profoundly impacted by the confessions of their own tongue. Without blinking an eye, we all can quickly point to King David, whose confessions of God’s Might and Power, seem astounding even when there was just an inch, between him and death!

We all marvel at such an awesome Faith and wonder why we aren’t the same way. At the smallest challenge of sorts, our soul sinks and our tongue begins to pour the worst possibilities and bring upon us terrible nightmares! Our mind is pretty much like Google, in a sense! Dr Google is the only doctor who will tell you that you can even die, with a common cold! Don’t you ever divulge into Google during times of despair…. the chances of you feeling better after consulting Dr Google is very minimal. On the other hand, I’ll tell you what works better!

Positive Confessions of Faith. Whatever negative thoughts come into our heads, well, you know who the culprit is, who is feeding those thoughts into you! You guessed it right! The same guy, who spoke to Mrs Eve Adam in the garden, some few thousand years ago! It’s the same guy, with the same old tricks and we pretty much fall every time. He isn’t tired, throwing arrow after arrow at the Children of God and it leaves us fretting and fuming for the simplest of issues of life! Arrows of all sorts!

Here’s what is wise to do, when you are spiraling downward into the pits of despair. ‘Just speak out loud’! There is power in declaration…and better still there is power in declaring the Word of God! I love this statement that David makes in Psalm 118:17. “I will not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord in the land of the living”. Im not sure why exactly he said, ‘I will NOT die’. Maybe it was coz he was hearing that phrase over and over in his mind. Perhaps, the evil one was threatening to slay him.(by the hand of Saul or Absalom or perhaps some other enemy). Davids response to such a battle in his mind is something for all of us to learn. He simply said, ‘I will NOT’.

Whatever it is that the enemy is speaking to you, just counter it with a ‘I will NOT’. Is the enemy speaking into your ear that people hate you, you are unwanted, you aren’t good for anything and sowing seeds of discouragement? Just respond with a, ‘I am NOT unwanted, but the favor of God surrounds me as with a shield” Psalm 5:12. Just as Jesus found favor in the sight of God and man, so do I have favor in the eyes of God and people.

Or is there a constant reminder of your sins? Just declare boldly, ‘As far as the East is from the West so far has God removed my transgressions from me’! Psalm 103:12.

Or is there a constant poking about how your Children are a failure? Oh! There are innumerable scriptures about the generation of the righteous! The generation of the righteous will be blessed! Period! No if’s n’ no but’s!

Life and death is in the power of the tongue! As hard as it sometimes may seem, be faithful to declare the goodness of God over your situations and just watch how you have steered your path to the perfect plan of God and that, simply because you made a conscious choice to discipline your tongue!

Speak-Life

True, that!

Blessed day!