A Lesson from ants - Pastor Luke - 3rd December 2017

Ants, though they seem so small and insignificant,teach us so many valuable life lessons.

Proverbs 6:6-8 :6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.

1. Planning & Stratergy : Ants plan months in advance regarding their food & its storage.

2. Unity : Each ant has unique roles & responsibilities in the ant community.

3. Team-Work : Ants work together to achieve seemingly impossible tasks.Who would believe that Ants even construct their own cities from scratch!!!

4. Humility : Ants are humble and have no qualms about serving fellow ants and helping them with important information, ecspecially regarding danger and food sources.

5. Hard-Work: Ants are very hardworking and carry loads several times their own weight.!!

6. Perseverance : Ants keep working through most of the day and keep going even under the most extreme circumstances.

7. Comeback-ability : They bounce back from the most dire situations.They start building from scratch ,even if months of labour gets destroyed in a few seconds.

Purpose of your mission - 26th October 2017 - Ps. Melven Pereira

What is your purpose in life?
Does your life have any purpose or meaning?
Do you feel at times that you're on a journey and you dont know where you are headed?

Well i always feel this , especially when i'm having a bad day or going though the furnace that the world throws at me.
Each one of us are created uniquely for a purpose. If we don't surrender ourself to the Lord Jesus Christ , we eventually are going to surrender ourselves to something like ego, money, lust , pride, anger, fear, expectations of others, unworthiness etc. It is very important to know the purpose for which we are created .

At the beginning of time, God knew that we were going to need a Savior because of our sinfulness. God could have done this in many different ways, but the way He chose to do this was to send His only begotten Son to this Earth. Now God could have immediately sent Jesus to this Earth, but instead He waited many years.

If you look at the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1:1-17 and understand the past life of the individuals mentioned in the genealogy , we understand that God used the most unusual cast of men and women to be in the line of the Savior. In simple words He uses the most imperfect of people to do His perfect will.
Philippians 4:13 (NIV) “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

The purpose He created us is to have a relationship with Him. God gives us different talents to serve others. Once you start to put your faith in God, you start to life a life without fear and realise that all things are possible. God chose to dwell within us. Just imagine the possibility of things that we can do , its limitless !!
Ultimately the Children of God, through Jesus Christ our Saviour become a "LIVING STONE ", being built as a spiritual house as mentioned in 1Peter 2:4.

Arise mighty warrior, sons of Issachar - 29th Oct 2017 by Mohan Kumar

Saul had banished David, David was hiding in the caves. When the  word reached David's friends, they came to visit him.  1 Chronicles 12

Who were these men?
1 Chronicles 12:1 mighty men of war
1 Chronicles 12:2 skilled
1 Chronicles 12:8 men of valor
 
Each of their names are mentioned, why?
1 Chronicles 12:3-13
When you turn up for the battle, your name will be mentioned. 
 
Portrait of a warrior:
When a warrior turns up for the battle, he is armed. 1 Chronicles 12:2
A warrior has only one thing on his mind. Not his home, not his loved ones nor his possessions, but only the enemy.
There is a celebration when he is inducted 1 Chronicles 12:40
He is Skilled 1 Chronicles 12:2
His Appearance 1 Chronicles 12:9
If the foot soldiers were so skilled (1 Chronicles 12:14), then imagine what their chief was capable of (1 Chronicles 12:3).

Saul was a king, someone whom you didn't want to mess around with. Then why did these men set out to meet  David? 1 Chronicles 12:38. They were Saul's men, but they came to make David the new king, the Lord's anointed one. Decide for yourselves to whom your loyalty belongs. 1 Chronicles 12:23. When David was down, they were with him to tell him " You are the Lord's anointed one, I am with you, I will pray for you, I will fight for you." I need a friend the most when I am down, when I have failed, when I am guilty to assure me, pray for me, to fight with me. 
 
They were skilled men, the best. Where are we sending our best men? Christians have better business than to be minor officials in short lived kingdoms. Are we like the Sons of Issachar, who understand the times and know what to do? 1 Chronicles 12: 32
Is our every moment focused on equipping ourselves with the word of God, so that we can turn up for the battle? Do you want to turn for the battle is not the question. The battle will come, are you ready?
 

Mission Impossible - 22nd October 2017

We are on a Mission and that is to do the impossibility through Jesus, Our Mission fields may be different, based on God's calling in our life , some of us may be the only saved member in our family , that a mission field for you , some at our work places , community etc., but all of this has a common problem. what is it ? We always find ourselves stuck in impossible situations. We face situations like , death , sickness , unforgiveness, broken relationships, habits that we feel impossible to break etc...
But there is hope this is what Jesus said in Mathew 19 : 26 " "Jesus looked at them and said, with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible"All the disciples in the bible have gone through all this situations, what were they thinking is something we need to understand.

1. Assumptions.
We are often afraid of our assumptions of a particular situations. My all time favourite person in the bible is Peter , he always like to put his head into every thing and then later realise what has he done. Lets read Mathew 14: 22 to 33 , for now verse 26 When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost.
The situation is in verse 24 they were scared and wanted help and when their help came, Jesus was walking on water and they assumed it was a ghost. Our assumptions are influenced by the world and the people around us. We need to be very careful with who we listen to . People around us can be classified under two categories
 Very Negative Thinkers-- -- They see difficulty in any situation
 VIP-Very Inspiring persons-- -they see the opportunity in every situation

2. Abilities
In Verse 28 "Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on water.
Here Peter was a an expert fisherman with a PHD in fishing and Jesus was just a carpenter. Peter knew Jesus was just a carpenter and i guess that why he asked Jesus in Verse 28 saying " If it is you command me to come to you on the ater".
We often look to our credentials and evaluate, sometimes project, what we can accomplish with our earned skills and abilities. Our skills and abilities are only tools that God uses to accomplish his work in us, with us and through us. In any situation we need to seek His plans first , it may be difficult but yet not impossible. We need
to know God's will in anything we do . What is practical in the worldly sense in impractical in the spiritual sense .

Peter did not ask the Lord, "Tell me to come to you by swimming…", he said, "Tell me to come to you by walking on water" – an unusual request from an educated man in swimming. That’s a practical attitude about doing something that looks impossible with men – but possible with God and it comes down to one point A vision without action is just a desire; an action without vision is plain disaster. If we need to start something great for God, start it.
Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5. Paul further elaborated on that passage, "For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need." Php. 4:13.

3. Comfort Zone.
"So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus." v.29 Peter a PHD in fishing knew that the safest place in the sea is the boat , had he not ventured out he would not have experienced the miracle of walking on water. We love to serve God in our comfort zones . But when the days are tough and stormy we re-assess our commitment, and often retreat. In terms of commitment and passion for the Lord’s work, we find two types of disciples:
 The cheering Disciple : The other disciples who were in the boat must have cheered with their fists in the air, "go, Peter, go", when they saw him walking on sea waves. They are quite satisfied to observe what God is doing. We have many disciples of this type in our churches. They are faithful to attend church events and worship services; they love to see people getting saved, others healed, some others reporting great feats in their ministries; but they themselves are still painstakingly carrying their decades-old struggles.
 The chasing Disciple: But there are a few disciples who come out of their comfort zones and endeavor to discover what God can do through them in the unknown. If we want to experience something of great magnitude, we need to get out of our comfort zones and boldly venture into the unknown. It is there that we can experience God’s mighty works!. "The Journey of a Thousand Miles begins at ONE STEP!

4. Anxieties
When we are about to embark on something new which we have not yet done before , we have a lot o anxiety , can we do this , what will go wrong etc... When Peter walked on water and was enjoying the glory of that miracle. That was when his eyes were on Jesus. We plunge and emerge; rise and fall. Peter’s experience teaches us the following.
a. Don’t get Disturbed in your Focus The waves were pounding the boat, and the wind was fierce, when Peter went over the side of the boat but those did not disturb him. So suddenly, when he was disturbed by the same waves and winds that he brushed aside few minutes earlier, his gear shifted to reverse and his miracle sail went into turbulent sea current. The world distracts us; delays us; and detours us. Our circumstances will still be there in the coming year. Don’t get disturbed or distracted in your focus. Focus on Jesus alone.
b. Don’t get Defeated by your Fears. When his eyes were on Jesus, he had faith; when he was out-of- focus on Jesus, he had fears. The devil has no power to directly harm us if we have been sheltered under the blood of Jesus. But the one tool, and a very effective one, that he can use is fear. He prowls around like a roaring lion, not to
bite or devour us, but to scare us. We live in a world of fears, but there is always a light at the tunnel’s end. And it radiates the face of Jesus, to whom we must focus our attention. Romans 8: 17 , we have not been given a spirit of fear. We sometimes think that our Mission is Impossible? No longer. Jesus said, "With God all things are
possible!" Let us do our part, and experience God’s mighty works transpire in our lives, and our ministries:

1st October 2017 -  Pr. Sibi George

 
We can see the story of what Ananias and Sapphira did and what has happened as a consequence of their lie in Acts 5:1-11. But was it just that lie that killed them? Were they justly justified by God? After all, it's just a lie that many of us may say every now and then. Did they deserve death?
 
As we read through the lines, the issue truly was not just the lie but both of them conceiving the sin in their hearts for over a period of time (while they were planning to sell their property) by the thoughts filled by satan like pleasing people, fake belief, untruly repentance etc. They were hypocrites and did not truly repent. It is our intentions in our heart that matter to God more than what we actually end up doing. Hence, we need genuine obedience and true repentance that comes from our hearts to receive the forgiveness of our sins. And we need to take every step that takes us towards the right path.

Facing our Giants - Pr. Joshua Senthiappan

1Samuel 17 : David vs. Goliath 
 
1. Fear of man
 
The Israelites were terrified and paralyzed due to Goliath; for 40 days they did nothing.
Proverbs 29:25- Fear of man is a trap. 
David didn't fear the King or Goliath,he only feared God. David knew his standing before God and knew that only His opinion counted and not others'. 
Daniel chose to Honor God ,rather than the King of Babylon. God honored Daniel and he was  found to be ten times better than the rest. Daniel 11:32 -Those who know their God will do great exploits. Daniel gave God first place in his life and God honored him. Matthew 16:33 Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
2. Fear of failure
 
David didn't think about failure. He didn't go into the battlerfield with a back-up plan. David didn't say - "what if"  
David trusted God. His faith in God was unwavering. 
Psalms 125:1 Those who trust is God are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken ,but endures forever. 
Samson didn't contemplate defeat when he faced the Philistines one final time. God remembered Samson and gave him the courage to face his fears.
 
3.Fear of Rejection
David didn't fear rejection or not getting a chance to fight Goliath, he bravely stepped forward. Eliab,David's elder brother had roots of Rejection,since he had been rejected to become Isreal's next King. Eliab carries that root of rejection and shooes away David from the battlefield. Rejected people reject people. Eliab felt rejected and hence,rejected David. David wasn't a victim and didn't allow himself to get affected.
 
Moses felt rejected since he felt that his parents had abondoned  him while placing him in a basket, albeit to save his life. Moses was carrying the hurts of his childhood when he became a young man and wanted to prove himself to the Israelites. He ran away to midian when he was rejected agian by the Israelites. God had to call him from the burning bush. Inspite of seeing the burning bush,Moses was still afraid. Exodus 4:1 - Moses was afraid of his own people not believing him.
 
  1. Fear of making mistakes

David wasnt afraid of the stones falling short or not reaching their target. He knew that God was the one going before him. David wasn't afraid about the future,he lived in the present.Isaiah 43: 1&2 -"Fear not,for I have redeemed and called you by name.You are mine.Dont fear the waters and flames.I am with you."

I John 4:4- Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world.

Knowing and understanding that God is always with us. Isaiah called himself a man of unclean lips. Jeremiah said that he was too young and people wouldn't listen to Him. Jer 1:5 - God reassures Jeremiah that even before he was formed in his mother's womb, He called him and set him apart. When they entrusted themselves into God's hands ,God blessed them and made them a prophet to the nations. 1Tim 4:12 - Don't let anyone look down upon you because you're young, but be an example in every way. Whatever little we have,God will take it and make use of our weaknesses for his glory.

  1. Fear of feeling incapable (inadequate)

David felt pricked when he heard David defying the armies of God. Goliaths barbs at God stirred David up. David knew that the battle wasn't His,but the Lord's. He challenges Goliath back in the name of the Lord. David know that all his inadequacies would be covered by trusting in God's name. David who was the youngest and smallest at home,was also the youngest among the Israelites,but he gave the battle into God's hands. God did the rest.

Isaiah 59:1 - The arm of the Lord is not too short to save or his ear too dull to ear.

God had seen and heard the affliction of his children and wanted to save them. Who do we turn to when we feel small? Do we look inward or do we look at our all powerful God? Gideon was called a mighty man of valor. Even before Gideon could become a conqueror, God called him a hero at the threshing floor. God looks at us differently. Gideon's family was the smallest in the smallest tribe in Israel and he was the youngest in his family. God gave him the boldness and confidence.

Psalms 71:6 - Going in the strength of the Lord.

Psalms 23 :4 - Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,l will fear no evil for God is  with me.

How do we face our Giants?

1.Giving our problem to God.

Psalms 55:22 -Cast all your cares upon Him,cause He cares for you. Matt 11:28 - "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden,and I will give you rest."

  1. Believing in God and not doubting .

James 5:16 -Dont doubt God when you ask Him.

  1. Spending time in His presence.

God will give us the power we need to face our giant -in his presence. Psalms 91:1 - He who dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty.

4.Trusting in God to bring us through the storm.

Phi 1:6 -The good work He has begun,He will bring it to completion. Trust in Him and rest.

5.Confessing the Word of God.

When we feel afraid ,we need to confess the word of God. Psalms 27:1-3 -2Timothy 1:7 - God has not given us a spirit of fear, but He has given us a spirit of Power,a spirit of Love and a Sound Mind.

Facing our giants-knowing who we are

Whose are we ?

Who do we belong to? Ps 139: 13-15 Created by God.

Knitted together in our mother's womb,we are His workmanship.We are created in the image of God. Fearfully and wonderfully made.Looking at ourselves the way God looks at us. Proverbs 28:1 - The righteous are as bold as a Lion. Romans 8:37 -We are more than  conquerors through Him who has loved us.

2.He has chosen us.

1Peter 2:9
We belong to Him and He called us to declare His name.

  1. Our worth is tied us with His son -Jesus.

Our worth is not determined by what we own ,but that He bought us and gave His son in exchange for us. Romans 8:15-16 -We are God's children . We can call him "Abba Father"  and boldly enter His presence. 

4.He loves us just as we are.

Nothing we can do can make Him love us more or nothing that we've done can make Him close the door."This is my beloved son/daughter with whom I am well pleased".

5.Whose glory do we reflect?

God has given us His Glory-made us slightly below angels.We reflect the glory of the living God

Heart of a Missionary- Pr. George Cherian

 
We are called to go into the World, to make disciples of all men,discipling them and teaching them to obey God- *Seek,Disciple,Baptize and Teach.*
 
Jesus has been given complete authority over all the Earth. Wherever we go,He is always with us. The Heart of the great commission is to go and make disciples. 
The work of the church is to fulfill the great commission. 
*All things to all people, that by all means I may save some - 1Corinthians 9:22*
 
Run to Win - 1Corinthians 9: 24-25 
The great commission is a command,not a suggestion. 
We have been commissioned by the Heavenly King.
Only what's done for Christ will last.
Death alone should stop our mission. 
Jesus said," As the father has sent me, I am sending you" - John 20:21
 
"You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem,Judea,Samaria and to the ends of the Earth."- Acts 1:8

Eternal Perspective -10th Sept 2017 - Pr. Vandana Sibi

1 John 2: 28-29. 
Why is John exhorting the church to introspect their lives so that they don't shrink away or be ashamed at the second coming of the Lord. More than a joyful anticipation we are gripped with fear or a sense of lack when we hear of the Lord's coming. 
We should have a relationship with God such that we are prepared to be confident and unashamed to face Him at His second coming by exercising the righteousness which comes from God.
 
The parable of talents (Matt 25:14-21) reminds us that it is expected of us to be faithful stewards of the talents that God has entrusted us.
 
In my understanding after reading 1 Timothy  6:1-15,  I was led to consider these as the ten talents God has entrusted each one of  us with.
 
*'Submission'*  is an inclination to yield to leadership knowing that God is the One who has placed the respective authorities over us. Submission is not about agreeing to everything said, putting the will of the person before the will of Christ nor withholding oneself from voicing out his / her concerns and opinions.
 
Romans 13:1-7 and 1Peter 2:13-25 
*'Excellence'* a quality which is unusually good and so surpasses ordinary standards. This does not mean we need to be perfect in what we do but do it to the best of our ability like we are doing it unto God (He knows our hearts and abilities).
 
Daniel 6:3 and Colossians 3:23 
*'Diligence'* - putting a steady, earnest, energetic effort in everything we do. Diligence is not shown because of the position occupied nor the dependence of the task on oneself. Joseph who was a slave in Potiphar's house. He had diligently worked day in and day out and God lifted him from a slave to be the prime minister of Egypt.
 
Proverbs 22:9 and Proverbs 31  
*'Discernment'* -  As Charles Spurgeon said it is not about differentiating between the right and wrong but differentiating between right and almost right. When the church is constantly bombarded with so many false doctrines and false teachings, we must  be on gaurd and exercise the spirit of discernment. 
 
1  John 4:1-6 
'Contentment'-  The Bible calls us to allow our convictions , not our circumstances to govern our sense of contentment. Contentment is allowing God to be more than enough. 
 
Philippians 4:12-13 
*'Humility'*- is not self depreciation but having a modest view of oneself. It is not about looking at oneself but about looking into God
 
John 13:3-4 
*'Righteousness'* - the quality of morally right or justifiable. It is the contrast of wickedness. 
 
Leviticus 19 
*'Godliness'* - The quality of being devout. Devotion is not an activity it is an attitude towards God composed of three elements: the fear of God, the love of God and the desire for God. The practice of Godliness is  a discipline that focuses on God not on oneself. 
 
Luke 5:16 
*'Perseverance'* - pressing on at every point in life. As C.S. Lewis said It is perseverance that helped the snail reach the ark'
 
Revelation 2:10, James1:12 and Ephesians 6:18 
*'Obedience'* - taking the Word of God at face value; and do what God has asked us to do.
 
John 14:23  
We should live our lives with eternal perspective in mind because what we do here on Earth echoes in eternity. Only God can provide us with an eternal perspective as we submit to His absolute authority.

God yesterday, today and forever - 3rd Sept 2017 - by Pr. Natasha Melven

The God who freed the Israelites from slavery, who separated the Red sea, fed thousands, healed many people is the same God whom we serve. He has never changed and will never change (Habakkuk 3:2). 
 
Inspite of witnessing all the unimaginable miracles, the Israelites grumbled, murmured and complained but Moses always encouraged them by reminding them of the good deeds that God has done (Exodus 14:5-27). Sometimes, we also grumble and complain of the difficult situations that we are going through but remember the good things that God has done in your life already and read the Word of God and talk to godly people to get encouraged to face this situation.
 
To face Goliath, David remembered the battles that God has fought for him and believed that God will fight this battle also for him (1Samuel 17:37). All that the woman with bleeding issue had done was to believe that Jesus was able to heal her (Matt 9:20-22). That is exactly what we ought to do.
 
As we introspect ourselves by remembering what God has done for us in the past, we can believe that miracles can happen in our current situations too (Luke 8:50-52). We should have faith like a mustard seed which is perfect round in shape, which means  perfect faith and just falling onto Him who gives you rest. Our God is a God of miracles, He will only allow situations in your life which you can handle. He knows you and loves you.

6th Aug 2017 - by Sibi George

God has called us to be the salt and light in this dark world around us (Matt 5:13-16). He has promised that He will be our defense and we need not fear any evil (Ps 27:1-3). In every situation in our life, we can look up to the cross for hope. However, the way to the cross is narrow which means we need to make an intentional effort to live by godly standards. Our God is holy and cannot accept sin but He is also loving and gracious that He has given His Own Son to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. So, to follow this narrow path, God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us (John 14:26). Hence it is very vital for a Christian to depend on the Holy Spirit in their everyday lives.

John 7:37-38 says,” 37On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.38Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” which means in times of need we have to run to God first, whom we believe, so that He will give us power not only to face that situation but also the power to touch the lives of other people in similar need. For all of this to happen, we need to stand firm in our faith (2 Cor 1:23) with the help of Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is a person with whom we can communicate and have a relationship with. We need to testify about God with the help of the Holy Spirt (John 15:26-27). The Holy Spirit will also teach us and convict us about sin, righteousness and judgement which Jesus talked about during His life on earth (John 16:7-11). To please God in our everyday life, we need the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. But usually, as our faith in God ages, we tend to disobey or stop listening to the Holy Spirit due to which His power may not be manifested through us to the fullest. Although our body is full of sin-which is inevitable, He will give us life (spiritual & physical) through His righteousness (Rom 8:9-11). Hence, we need to continuously trust and depend on Him.

Also, the Holy Spirit himself bears witness that we are children of God. And if we are His children, then heirs i.e. fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him so that we may be glorified with Him (Rom 8:14-17). This leaves us with a great responsibility and purpose to stand for Christ and have a relationship with Him every single day, testify about Him and share with many people our understanding of the out-flowing love of God wherever we are placed, to be glorified and have eternal life with God when He comes again.

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