Tuesday, January 31, 2012

UNderstand the hand of the Lord

UV 311/10,000 Amazing principles of the Universe revealed verse by verse
Understand the hand of the Lord Isaiah 41 v 20
Isa 41:20 That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

In order to develop an attitude of gratitude towards the Lord, we must as a body of believers consider all the things God has accomplished through the ages. We must recognize the pattern of events in our life and see the hand of the Lord in lifting us up at times, in delivering us in times of great peril, in generously providing for us in times of need, in encouraging us in times of discouragement and in guiding us in times of confusion. The Lord allows certain situations and challenges in our lives to strengthen our faith, to purify our faith, to train us in righteousness, to correct us and to restore us.

This rhema verse was given in a time of prayer and we are urged to meditate on it as families. We must acknowledge as David did, “ Who am I and what is my family that You have brought us this far?” This would induce in us an attitude of humility as well as assurance that the Lord will take us the whole distance He intends for us in every area of life.

The five fingers of the Lord’s right hand accomplishes all things in our lives: mercy, grace, power, wisdom and love. The palm of His hand is Shalom or peace, wholeness and well being. When the Lord’s hand is upon us, it implies all these blessings will be found in our lives. The work of creation is not over. His hand continues to create and release specific blessings upon our lives. The Word exhorts us to know and understand the move of the Lord in our lives. We need to be mindful of His helping hand in our daily lives.

Prateep V Philip

UNderstand the hand of the Lord

UV 311/10,000 Amazing principles of the Universe revealed verse by verse
Isaiah 41 v 20
Isa 41:20 That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

In order to develop an attitude of gratitude towards the Lord, we must as a body of believers consider all the things God has accomplished through the ages. We must recognize the pattern of events in our life and see the hand of the Lord in lifting us up at times, in delivering us in times of great peril, in generously providing for us in times of need, in encouraging us in times of discouragement and in guiding us in times of confusion. The Lord allows certain situations and challenges in our lives to strengthen our faith, to purify our faith, to train us in righteousness, to correct us and to restore us.

This rhema verse was given in a time of prayer and we are urged to meditate on it as families. We must acknowledge as David did, “ Who am I and what is my family that You have brought us this far?” This would induce in us an attitude of humility as well as assurance that the Lord will take us the whole distance He intends for us in every area of life.

The five fingers of the Lord’s right hand accomplishes all things in our lives: mercy, grace, power, wisdom and love. The palm of His hand is Shalom or peace, wholeness and well being. When the Lord’s hand is upon us, it implies all these blessings will be found in our lives. The work of creation is not over. His hand continues to create and release specific blessings upon our lives. The Word exhorts us to know and understand the move of the Lord in our lives. We need to be mindful of His helping hand in our daily lives.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gifts from within and above

God ‘s gifts are precious and are from within
Pro 17:8 A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.

The best that men can do is to give gifts that are finite and physical but God’s gifts are from within. The wise men brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The gold would have been useful to finance the family for a period of time. The frankincense and myrrh would have been useful in their worship and sacrifice. But, in due course all they would have run out of these gifts.

But , the gift that the Lord gives us is from within. It endures. He gives the gift of love from within. The gift of faith is from within. The gift of wisdom is, too. He gives strength to endure from within. He gives talents and abilities from within. The talent to speak or write or sing or act or dance. Memory is a natural gift. He gives the ability to lead and to inspire, to plan and execute great projects. He gives the gifts of the Holy Spirit from within: to administer, to minister and to manifest. He gives the gift of prophecy. The internal gifts can be intellectual, emotional or spiritual. Samson was given strength as a gift from within. There are natural and supernatural giftings. These gifts apparently are far greater than the gifts that are external and physical. The God-given gifts causes us to prosper whichever way we turn.

Gifts from within need to be handled with care, diligence and responsibility. We need to hone these gifts to their logical and ultimate potential. We need the grace and humility to handle such great gifts so that they do not destroy us. Sometimes people loose sight of the preciousness of the gift and instead it becomes a millstone around their neck to drag them down. Many of the icons of the modern era are gifted beyond their ability to handle it wisely and effectively. Michael Jackson and Tiger Woods are two such examples. They become in due course ‘legends with leg-ends or feet of clay’ that crumble under pressure of fame or temptation or trouble and destroy the rest of the edifice they built on a shaky foundation. We, as believers must earnestly seek and receive gifts for ourselves and our children from within but with the gift seek wisdom and grace to use it appropriately. We need to be thankful to the Lord for these and know that nothing we did or can do, could have got us these gifts but it came as a grace. A certain member of my family was one day taking pride over the way he looked as a young man. I reminded him, “ What did you do to achieve it?”

Prateep V Philip

Three categories to be stirred up

UV 308 The Amazing truths of the Universe verse by verse:

The three categories of people whose spirits need to be stirred up

Hag 1:14 And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,

For the Kingdom of God to be established on earth,the spirit of three categories of people need to be stirred up by the Lord: Zerubbabel the governor of Judah represents the Lord’s faithful who are in positions of political or secular authority and responsibility. Joshua, the son of the high priest represents those who are in positions of authority and influence in the church and the remnant of the people represents the believers from all denominational groups. The Lord will raise up his prophets to encourage and egg them on. When the spirit of all these three categories of people is moved, they will come and do the work of the Lord of hosts. The Lord’s hand will be upon them to prosper them in all they do for the glory of God.

When our spirit is stirred up by the Lord, we experience a new sense of zeal in furthering and expanding the Kingdom of God. Once the Lord revealed that “ I Am is with you.” I had just released the one long song music album called, “ The Great I Am” which is the most elaborate elaboration of the many nuances of God’s revelation to Moses, “ I Am who I Am.” From the early days of my faith, I had memorized many verses about assurance of salvation, victory, forgiveness, guidance and answered prayer. But, here the spirit of the Lord was stirring my spirit with the revelation, “ I Am is with you..” He was revealing that as He is the Self-existent and the Self-sufficient One and Only God, I need not fear any one or anything.

At the risk of breaking the rules of grammar, the concept of “ amness of God” means that His absolute holiness and power can alone provide for absolution, preservation, promotion, provision and protection as we partner God in building His church- His Kingdom. His presence with us is enough not only to stir us up but to enable us to stay the course till we reach the finishing line. Just as the mother eagle stirs or pushes its young ones out of the comfort and constraints of the nest on the cliff once their wings are ready to take flight, the Lord stirs us up once we have grown our wings of prayer and Word. He pushes us out of our growth-restricting comfort zone over the edge of the cliff so that we take the only option that we now have- to fly high!
When our wings are injured or our spirit down, He will catch us by our pinions on His enormous wings of faithfulness and mercy.
Prateep V Philip

Friday, January 27, 2012

Honour for honour

Uni-verse 307-10,000 For better through verse I Samuel 2 v 30

Honour for honour

1Sa 2:30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

When we honour God, He will surely honour us. When we despise the Lord,we will be of little value with Him. When we give top priority in our lives to the Lord, then we are honouring Him. It does not mean that we merely honour the Lord with our words but that we fear His awesome holiness and power and love His goodness and kindness. Giving top priority implies spending time early in the day on a regular basis at the feet of the Lord. It means that we give utmost importance to reading, studying, remembering and applying the Word in our lives.
Honouring the Lord also means that we do not hesitate to bear witness to others about the Lord’s goodness. We are always willing to make sacrifices of our time, money and resources in serving the Lord in practical ways. When we honour Jesus, the Son of God,we honour Him. When we use our earthly talents, positions and resources to glorify God, He is honoured.
The Lord in return honours us by lifting us up in the eyes of people around us. He will honour us. Precious things for precious people. When we so become precious in God’s eyes, He will give people in exchange for our lives. He will perform the vast array of His Word in the different seasons of our lives. He will manifest His power and grace on our behalf when we come up against powerful adversaries and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. He will keep want and poverty from knocking on our doors. He will bless us with His abundance from the deep of the earth. He will lead, guide and encourage us. He will not let us be ashamed in front of our adversaries. People can give us gifts but only the Lord can endow us with gifts from within.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The success of succeeding generations

UV 304/10,000 For better through verse Isaiah 59 v 21
Isa 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.

The Lord promises that once we prove ourselves faithful in our relationship with Him, our children and their children, too will be walking in faith. When we treasure the Word that proceeds from the mouth of God, His wisdom, knowledge and understanding will adorn and inhabit our hearts and minds. Succeeding generations will be similarly blessed. This promise will calm many people who fear for their progeny and their descendants.

In the Old Testament, the Lord’ s finger traced the Ten Commandments on stone tablets. In the New Covenant, the Spirit of God writes the Word on our hearts and minds. He brings out the appropriate portion of the Word out of our mouths at the appropriate time. God ‘s promises have no expiry date and continue forever for His mercy is from generation to generation.

The words, “ shall not depart from thy mouth” implies that our hearts and minds will be continually focused on the Word of God. Our minds, meaning our intellect, emotions and will dwell consistently on the Word. It will shape our thoughts and imagination. It will channelize our emotions. Natural emotions like hatred, pride, anger and envy will be replaced by supernatural ones of agape love, humility, contentment and calmness. It will direct our paths and influence the decisions we take. It will positively affect our relationships and our work. Our hearts, implying our core desires and priorities will be determined in accordance with the agenda and purpose of God. By these means, we will be a planting of the Lord for revealing His glory to all mankind. He will water us not just daily but will water us day and night, implying that every moment, the Spirit of God will lay upon our hearts and minds an uni-verse that will refresh, renew and strengthen us.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Our mouths His furnace, His Word the fire

Uni-verse 303/10,000 For better through verse Jeremiah 5 v 14

Our mouth His furnace, His words our fire:

Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

In the mouth of a man with a believing heart, the Word of God is a fire. It is a fire that warms the hearts of the listeners as they listen to the truth. It comes forth with power and conviction. The people who listen are like the wood that is combustible.
Their hearts too will catch the fire and burn for the Lord. For such people who have hardened their hearts with pride, doubt and deceit, the Word of God that proceeds from the mouth of believers will act as a hammer in breaking down the barriers to belief and relief.
The title, “God of hosts” implies that He is the Commander in Chief of the armies of heaven and has a huge array of supernatural resources to send to the aid of those who are faithful in declaring the Word of the Lord. Those who communicate the Word of God fulfill the will of God in their lives. Speaking the Word of God is an act of faith and of courage. We are taking a stand or a position on the spiritual frontline. Speaking the Word of God is not mere speaking, it is ACTION. When we become teachers of the Word of God , we must be careful how we speak and what we speak even when we are not speaking the Word. Both sweet water and salt water should not flow from the same spring. Our mouths are the springs of eternal life. Our mouths are the furnace that brings forth pure gold.

Our hearts, minds and mouths should be in perfect alignment or congruence. Our mind should not think thoughts that demonstrate a lack of faith. Our mouths should not speak words that demonstrate a lack of faith. Our hearts should not waver or vacillate. The Lord once affirmed me by saying, “ What you think you speak and what you speak happens.” Our job is the job of the herald to a king, to announce, to proclaim and to declare the Word of God. The power and grace of God will act to confirm that it is indeed the Word of God,often with quietness and assurance and sometimes with signs and wonders. When we affirm the Word of God as truth, He affirms us.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, January 20, 2012

UV 302 Possessing the land

Uni-verse 302 For better through verse Deuteronomy 1 v 21
Possessing the land
Deut 1:21 *Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it,
as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.

God has set the land before us. It is up to us to go forth and possess it. “Taking possession” is an important kingdom principle. It implies that we need to take tangible steps to claim it. It involves some resistance or there would not be fear and discouragement. The Israelites were afraid of the fighting prowess of the Amorites and the stature of the Anakims. Fear and discouragement might hold us back from taking possession of the land or the blessings that God has promised us through the generations. “ Land” is a symbol of the blessings that God has reserved for His own. Like land the blessings of God will bear fruit in our lives and the lives of others.

Just as there are generational curses, there are generational blessings. In Christ, we break the power of the generational curses to harm or afflict us. In Christ, we can also claim and redeem the generational blessings that the Lord has set before us or promised us. These generational blessings do not come to us on account of anything we have done or not done. It comes to us as an inheritance by virtue of being born as children of God.

One of the prophetic promises that came to our family in prayer is that since our father used to give liberally to the poor, to the needy and to the church, that we would never be in want. We would lend but would not need to borrow from any individual. It is indeed amazing that by the grace of Christ, the overdraft or consequences of sin of the previous generations is not inherited by the next generation but the blessings are passed on.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Obtaining the King's favour

Uni-verse 301/10,000 For better through verse Nehemiah 1 v 11
Obtaining the king’s favour
Neh 1:11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer

We are all called to be servant leaders. As servant leaders, we often need the “ king’s favour”, implying the favour of persons in higher positions of influence or authority who can grant or facilitate what we desire for the Kingdom of God, for ourselves and for the people of God. In the corporate context, it could mean the boss’s favour. When we beseech the Lord to grant us grace to find such favour in the “king’s eyes”, He will cause it to happen even as Nehemiah found favour with King Xerxes in the Persian empire. He will prosper us in our way as He is Jehovah Shalom.

When we come to think of it, we are each a cupbearer to the king, in the sense that on account of our intimacy with God, we are in a position to influence the life, career and decisions of the king through our prayers. We can influence the policies of governments towards the poor, towards the children of God and such other matters through focused prayer. We can influence world and national events. We can influence Obama in White House through the combined effect of our prayers.
Nehemiah was not alone in praying. He had a back up of prayer warriors praying on the same lines. Their common quality was that they desired to fear the Lord. They were not motivated by selfish ambition but desired to be used of God, by God and for God. It is interesting that a good number of readers of the Uni-verse have formed a prayer group called Hedge to pray for each other’s needs and for others. In my personal walk, I have found amazing answers to prayers over the past twenty or more years in which the Lord turned the “king’s eyes” to look with favour upon my requests. Once in the middle of a conference, when some adversaries were conspiring to destroy a movement that I had started, I cried out in my heart to the Lord, “ You who can change a river’s course, who can easily change a ruler’s heart and mind, please let my plea find favour..” The one who is called Lord Amen caused it to so happen. After all, He is the Eternal King all mortal kings look to even as a cupbearer looks to the king.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to thief-proof, fire-proof and secure your lives

Uni-verse 300/10,000 For better through verse

The sense of security that we have in the Lord

Job 5 v 24

You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing

We are often afflicted by the fear of crime. A sense of insecurity haunts every human being. But when we are strong in the Lord, we will be secure and assured that God will not only protect us but also protect our homes, our families as well as our possessions.
A tent to be secure has to be held down to the earth by many pegs: at least five. These five pegs are faith in the Lord Jesus, prayer, meditation on the Word of God, praise and worship and fellowship with fellow believers. With all these pegs in place, our tent becomes His Tabernacle, a place of jubilation and recounting of what the Lord has done in our lives. Without some of these pegs, the tent will collapse in any passing wind.
We must often take stock of ourselves and our families and thank the Lord that He has kept us from loss and depredation. Instead, He has multiplied us in different ways. Others might take stock of their property to reassure themselves that they are rich and self sufficient. When we find our security in our possessions, it ironically produces complacence and insecurity. But, when we take stock to count our blessings, we realize how faithful God is even in the details of our lives. It produces thankfulness and a rejoicing within. We find our security in the Lord.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The power of your God-given teeth

Uni-verse 299/10,000 for better through verse
The power of your God-given teeth
Isa 41:15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.

The spiritual nation of Israel comprised of people of all nationalities and individual believers are like a new sharp threshing instrument that by incessant prayer, supplications, intercession and praise and worship will reduce all problems, challenges and difficulties (spiritual, physical, emotional, financial, relational) to a size and dimension that they no longer seem insurmountable. The small and vexatious issues that used to nag us will also disappear. We need to ask ourselves, “ which are our big mountains?” and thresh them into smaller ones. We need to ask “ what are our small problems?” and blow them away with the breath of God.

The exercise of spiritual authority that is vested in every believer is like sharpening the teeth of the instrumentality of our faith. We must rejoice when we set our eyes upon our Goliaths as our level of success is determined by the size of our enemy. The bigger the enemy, the opposing force that God allows in our lives, the bigger our ultimate triumph and testimony. But unlike the slaying of Goliath, our present day Goliaths are not slain in one fell blow but by a process of steady erosion till they become like chaff that the wind blows away.

The process of overcoming implies that we need to focus and stay with the problem, focused as an ironsmith would till the iron smelts in the furnace. We will feel the heat but we will not melt. We are not toothless as Almighty El Shaddai is with us and in us. He will sharpen our teeth against the onslaught of the mighty. He will deliver them into our hands. Finally, we just need to blow on the chaff and it will fly off like sawdust as if it never existed. The two sets of canines that the Lord gives us to bite are the Word of God and the Word of testimony ( of how we applied God’s Word in our lives). Yes indeed, we shall overcome by means of these sharpened teeth.

Prateep V Philip

The door of opportunity and the wall of obstruction

Uni-verse 298/10,000 The door of opportunity and the wall of obstruction
Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

The Lord knows our works, meaning the work we do for our own living as well as the work we do to build His Kingdom on earth. He knows our motives, our circumstances, our methods, our desires and our challenges. He has set before us an open door that no man can close. It is a door of opportunity to testify to the truth, to share our faith and to meet our earthly and spiritual needs.

As long as we use the little strength that we are endowed with naturally, obey the Word of God and do not deny His name or be ashamed of our faith, the Lord will add His supernatural grace to take us through every door of opportunity that He has kept open for us. We must not operate solely on our own little strength or natural resources or contacts but depend on the Lord to show us the door we must take.

The converse is also true: the door that God closes no man can open. There is no point in breaking our head on the wall or become frustrated when the thing we were hoping for does not materialize. Instead, we must at that juncture turn to the wall like King Hezekiah and pray in such seemingly hopeless situations. Though there is no door in that wall, the Lord will break open the wall and remove the barrier that stands in our way.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The price of Eternal life

Uni-verse 297/10,000 Psalm 49 v 8 The price of eternal life

The ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough

When man first disbelieved the word of God and believed the words of
Satan, the spirit that God had breathed into man was literally abducted by Satan. The consequence was that man who was created to live forever could no longer do so. Death became a necessary invention. But, as the desire to live forever remained in man’s consciousness ( Human consciousness is the spiritual equivalent of memory), men have always sought to escape death and live forever at least in the memory of others by having monuments to himself built, by naming streets, cities and places after him, by conquests and accomplishments, by amassing wealth, by being religious and doing acts of philanthrophy. Philosophy and religion can at best aspire for “ the good life” but eternal life where one will not see decay is the realm of the spirit.

Having been abducted by Satan, mankind also developed over time a kind of Stockholm syndrome of being in love with the abductor. Being in love with one self, with the world and being engrossed in the ways of the world are symptoms of this fascination of mankind for the abductor. Just as some jailbirds enjoy staying in prison, people of the world even begin to relish the confinement and travails as well as comforts of the world. Some people even give up their lives that others be saved. But, when they themselves are in threat of perishing forever, can they save others?

Every thing,they say, has a price. Eternal life is priceless. The price for setting people free or to ransom them from eternal death is that the Eternal One Himself had to pay the price of dying for all. But, we need to be first delivered from enjoying the prison of the world- from being influenced by the Stockholm syndrome to be able to recognize who is God, who is Satan, what is death and how to be delivered from death.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The softening and hardening of hearts

Uni-verse 296/10,000 For better through verse Romans 9 v 17
The softening and hardening of human hearts are by the will and choice of God
Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

God broke into Moses’s life and softened his heart towards Him that He might show His compassion and grace to Moses and the Israelites. God allowed Pharaoh’s heart to be hardened that He might show His power against him and the Egyptians. Today, Pharaoh is a phantom of the pyramids, lost in history on the sanddunes of the desert but Moses continues to inspire and teach all mankind through the Ten Commandments, the core of all laws of all nations. Thereby, God’s name is glorified and proclaimed through all the earth and through all history.

God has compassion on whom He chooses to have compassion. He shows mercy to whom He chooses to show mercy. But, is there a common factor that draws the attention of God to have mercy on some and to harden the others? Moses, it is testified by God Himself in the Bible, was the humblest of men. He did not think he had a special right or qualification to lead the Israelites. He was broken-hearted after all that had happened in his life. Pharaoh on the contrary exalted himself as a god among men. Naturally, God hardened his heart further and gave him a hard time. Moses found favour with God. When we soften our hearts toward God, He augments it. When we harden our hearts towards Him, then too He further augments it.
Our attitudes are the aroma of Christ. If there be in our ‘heartitude’ a trace of spiritual pride or intellectual arrogance or social conceit, it will be a stench in the nostrils of God. We need to daily come before God like Moses did- with a heart of contrition and reverence. Only in this condition is our heart a ready and prepared soil to receive the seed of the Word and the favour of God. His name and His testimony will be declared through all the earth for His praise and glory.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How wisdom and grace endure over power and might

Dan 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding

God is not a time server but time serves Him. He sets the times for the fulfillment of His purpose for each individual, for each nation and for all of humanity. He is a king-maker and a ‘king-breaker’. Time and tide wait for no man but it will wait for God. The sovereignty of God is awesome for those who love Him and fearful for those who ignore or hate Him. He humbles the mighty in all generations. He lifts up the humble.

Those who humble themselves before such a Sovereign Creator-Redeemer-God are the ones who are deemed to be wise. To such as these,He will give increasing wisdom. Wisdom is God’s knowledge and know-how given to those who know Him. Such heavenly wisdom, as opposed to earthly wisdom that makes us proud, deceitful and conceited, will make us peaceful, gentle, assured, merciful, full of the fruits of the Spirit of love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control, and remain ‘untilted’ by partiality and unstained by hypocrisy.

When we go through hard times, we can turn to God and ask Lord, “ Give me some relief as my times are in your sovereign hands. Change my hard times into good times, my bitterness into sweetness.” God turned the widowed and hapless Naomi’s bitterness into sweetness. When we pass through a season of barrenness, spiritually, physically, socially and financially, we can turn to the Lord and ask to turn it into a season of special fruitfulness, prosperity and abundance. When we come up against overwhelming and oppressive power unjustly used against us, we can pray, “ Lord, break this yoke with your greater power. Meanwhile, give me grace to endure till you give me the breakthrough.”
At all times, we can expect, pray and receive greater wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

blessings on our homes

Uni-verse 293/10,000 The blessings upon our home

Isa 32:18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;

When we believe the promise of God Immanuel to dwell with us and in us, He causes us to dwell in peaceful surroundings. Our homes shall be overflowing with peace. We will find assurance and security in the houses in which we live. He will be a protective wall of fire around us and the glory in our midst. He will give us rest and refreshment.

A home that is founded on the rock of faith in Christ will not be threatened even by the elements of nature. Once in a cyclone called Nisha, the Lord woke me up when the storm was at its height. I went to a area where the rains and winds were lashing the walls and tearing off tiles. God told me to speak to the winds and I prayed even so. The damage was limited to only a few broken tiles in an outer room.

Even when the city is laid low by so-called acts of God or of nature like earthquakes tsunamis and so on, the Lord will remain faithful to His promise to protect and preserve the homes and houses of His children. When storms are raging around us, we need not be alarmed but like Jesus sleep on and wake up to say to the winds and rains, “ Peace, be still.”

Prateep V Philip

Friday, January 6, 2012

The four-fold Office of God

Uni-verse 292-10,000 The four-fold office of the Lord Isaiah 33 v 22
Isa 33:22 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.

God is our government. In that sense,we are all government servants. Government anywhere consists of legislator or lawgiver, executive and judiciary. God is not only legislator, executive in His Kingly office and judge but He is also Saviour through the person of Jesus. In His role as King, He is with us as a mighty warrior. Our movement through our life on earth is less like a pilgrim’s progress and more like the Israelites’ journey towards the promised land through the wilderness and combating and overcoming natural barriers, foes and enemies. In His first three functions or offices, He is absolutely righteous or holy. In His fourth office as Saviour, He is absolutely forgiving and gracious. In His role as Saviour, Jesus has been the sacrificial lamb that has absolved us. In this role, He is also our High Priest before God, our Advocate on record, our intercessor.

When we accept God as our lawgiver, we will give priority to His Word in our life. We will realize that His Word enshrines the very principles of the moral and spiritual universe and abide by it. When we accept God as our King, we will respect His sovereign will. We will know that He will be as a warrior in our midst who will not let our enemies triumph over us. As far as earthly rulers are concerned, God is both the king-maker and “king-breaker”. When we accept God as our Judge, we will seek justice from Him and be fearful of His judgements on our unrighteous acts. When we accept God as our Saviour, we accept His mercy, forgiveness and love.

When we accept willingly and wholeheartedly, the significance of the four fold offices of God in our lives, He becomes our song, our strength, our light, our fortress and our salvation. He becomes the cause and the source of our joy, the focus of our lives. We will avail of His mercy and wait for His righteous judgements. More than any human court of justice, we will depend on Him to vindicate us. We will trust in His ability and willingness to protect and save us.

Prateep V Philip

UV 291-10,000 Romans 8 v 39

Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Death is one of the principal enemies of mankind. The other twin ally being sin or separation from God. Together these ensure that romantic love, labour, wealth,pleasure, fame, wisdom and conquests are all in vain. (Only God sees that sin is an even bigger enemy) Death slew the greatest conqueror in human history, Alexander the Great. A simple Indian malarial mosquito is said to have killed him. That makes that mosquito( we may say proudly Indian) a greater conqueror than Alexander. When Alexander died, legend has it, that both of his hands were extended palm up out of two holes in his grand coffin to show that he took nothing from his extensive conquests with him. Death had separated him from his conquests, his triumphs, his wealth.. No wonder that the fear of death envelops and paralyses all of mankind before and since.
Christ alone in all of history proved that the love of God both hidden and manifested in His person was greater than death and sin. If any one else claims to have done this and has demonstrated it non-verbally in action, he or she deserves our attention and our worship. But, the unique love of Christ manifested in His birth, life, death and resurrection makes Him alone Lord ( Love that Rises over death) of our lives.

Living in an age of Roman conquest and rule, St Paul by the time he was inspired to write this had matured both in his faith and his knowledge and understanding of God’s love to affirm that we are more than conquerors, that nothing in all of reality can now separate us from the love of God in Christ. We have an absolute sense of security and absolute security in this assurance that no force or person or event can rob us of. The depth of God’s love demonstrated in Christ exceeds any depth of turmoil or sorrow or loss that any of us can ever go through. It will see us through the deepest valley. The height of God’s love in Christ exceeds the height of any challenge or difficulty. It will take us over the highest mountains. The length of God’s love in Christ exceeds by far the duration of any of our ailments or grievances. It will see us endure it. After we deal with all of it, we will still have enough surplus faith and fruit to take with us into the heavenly realms. We will not go empty handed like Alexander. We will bear fruit on both banks of the river of life, while living and after physical death.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The process of graduating in faith

Uni-verse 290/10,000 For better through verse: How the Lord increases the depth of our experience and understanding
Eze 47:3 And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles.

The man that had the reed in his hand and a line of flax to measure is none other than Jesus Christ Himself. Ezekiel wrote that “ he had the appearance of brass.” This is His glorious appearance. His gaze will penetrate into human souls. His words will come as fierce fire. Jesus measures the depth of our faith and He leads us from one level of understanding to another. He takes us through many experiences of His grace, mercy and peace in real-life situations. He draws us out of the waters of many afflictions. In each situation and affliction, He adds grace upon grace, and strength to strength. We are transformed degree by degree into His glory till we can see His radiant appearance, face to face.

He leads us into experiences that are initially only ankle-deep. Then, when He finds we are ready, He leads us into knee-deep levels. Then, into waist-deep water. The water is so deep that no man can cross on his own. The Lord has to part the waters and give us safe passage. A senior officer was describing how in the recent Cyclone Thane that killed more than 30 people, he was almost caught in the storm and he had to hide behind a huge tanker as it hit the area with all its fury. The safest, most peaceful place, he said, is the eye of the storm. Let us pray as many “ storms” of different kinds have been prophesied in this coming year that we will each be seized and kept safe by the “ eye of the Lord.”

The Lord takes us through water and fire experiences and trials. When we come out , we will shine forth as pure gold. The other day the Lord told me in a time of prayer, “ I have taken you through many processes. Now, I am done with you.” Whatever impurities still remain in us, His grace covers it up and gives no hint of any flaw. A life of faith is like a metallurgical process so that we become stainless as steel in His sight.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Moving from Belief to Knowledge

Deu 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Even the strongest human ties, namely marriage is dissolved by death. But, God remains faithful to a thousand generations of any one who loves Him and obeys His Word. He continues to pour the blessings of Heaven, blessings of the womb and blessings of the deep upon those who are bonded to Him in a personal and intimate relationship with Him.

It is said that any one can count the seeds inside an apple but only God can count the apples inside a single seed. He sees the end from the beginning. He told Abraham that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars, as the sand and as the dust. Today, we too can claim an inheritance of faith along with the Jews as descendants of Abraham. The sacred agreement that Jehovah made with Abraham is what holds good for us even today. It is sealed now with the blood of the God-provided and God-begot Lamb. We are transformed from being mere people of fate into people of faith. Faith in Jesus is “Rahab’s scarlet thread” that redeemed us from being a people who did not know God to one that trusts and loves Him more than any one or any thing else.
A thousand generations is about 35,000 years. No one knows if the world as we know it will exist that long. But, it speaks of the constancy of God’s love and commitment to His chosen and His faithful. Not only our physical generations but the spiritual children would be greatly blessed. In all of our struggles, He is an ever present help. He literally keeps His Word to us. The one thing that is impossible for God is that He cannot lie. Nothing else is too hard or impossible for Him. He will fulfill this promise as He fulfills the rest of His Word in the course of history and the course of our lives. I remember how during the last Asian tsunami( Dec 26, 2004) a young believer who had gone out fishing near the Chennai coast. As the wave overturned his boat, he cried out, “ Lord, where’s your promise?” He survived to tell his story.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, January 2, 2012

Shine like a candle in the contemporary darkness

Uni-verse 288/10,000 For better through verse Luke 8 v 16

Can you shine like a candle?

Luk 8:16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light

We are each a candle. The Word of God is the match that is used to light it. The Holy Spirit is the one who lights the flame. The difficult situations we face in life are the hard surfaces against which the match is struck to give the spark to light the match. Thank the Lord for the difficult times and challenges in our lives for without these,how will we have a testimony or a “true believe it or not story” to share? Our natural abilities and talents, careers, positions and professions are the candlestick on which the candle is set. We need to be ambitious for God so that the candlestick will project the light more and more. We need to excel in our professions so that the candlestick is stable and strong. We should not however be too taken in by the grandeur of the candlestick, however exalted our position or our achievements. At the end of the day, the candle is the purpose, not the candlestick. Our hearts should melt like wax in the presence of the Lord.

In a time of prayer, the Lord revealed that when we spend less time in prayer and worship, it is like keeping the candle under a bed. When we keep a candle under a bed, not only will the candle not burn brightly owing to deficiency in the oxygen available for it to burn but it could set the bed on fire. Not taking enough time to fellowship with God is akin to setting the course of our life on fire. The Word of God says that those who walk in their own light are tormented and torn. Those who do so are like the candle in the famous Princess Diana memorial song " A candle in the wind." They burn out against the fury of the wind, forces within and without, natural and supernatural, that are too powerful to contain or contend with.

When we keep the candle under a lid or a vessel, it will be extinguished in a short while. We cannot hide our faith or the truth. We cannot camouflage our convictions to compromise with the world. We cannot allow fear , doubt ,disbelief , disappointment or discouragement or sin to put out the flame within us. We need to burn appropriately, consistently and unwaveringly. We need to burn high enough for others to see, long enough to make an impact and brightly enough to dispel the surrounding darkness. When all these conditions are fulfilled, then those who enter the Kingdom of God will see the light. A candle always thinks, “ I can burn”. It is not worried about becoming reduced to a dab of carbon. Similarly, a believer must always think, “ I can shine for God. I can shine forth for His glory and praise with His light, His wisdom, His power and His grace.” Grace empowers and enables and absolute grace enables absolutely.

Prateep V Philip