Saturday, March 31, 2012

Defining our attitudes towards success and failure

UV 367/10,000 Defining our attitudes towards success and failure Ecc 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him. This scripture imparts the wisdom that we must value success and failure equally as while success might add to our earning, it is failure that adds more to our learning. Success and failure, strength and weakness, prosperity and adversity, joy and sadness, health and sickness, pleasure and pain, friendship and enemity are part of the pattern of life just as the warp and woof of a loom weaves a clear pattern in the fabric. The world exalts success and decries failure but in the end both of these are meaningless in itself but for the joy and happiness that it brings the one who succeeds and the glory and gratitude that he or she expresses to God and the wisdom and experience gained from failure. We should be thankful and joyful in our times of prosperity or success. Equally, we must not complain or murmur but consider why the Lord has allowed a time of adversity and pain. Instead, we must learn what lessons we can learn from the failure. Failure is God’s way of giving us feedback. Failure is certainly not final. It is meant for the testing of our faith and our strength. Both success and failure are necessary to mature us in faith, character and in fruits just as summer and winter and spring are needed to mature a plant and ripen its crop. Rudyard Kipling’s precept to treat both failure and triumph as “ imposters” to which we should be equally indifferent is neither godly advice nor is it natural. Instead,we must be diligent in our faith by reviewing in our minds the promise we claimed for success in any venture a thousand times and patient in our expectation that the Lord will crown our efforts with success in due time. Sometimes adversity is allowed by the Lord in our lives to correct our sense of priorities or to change the direction of our lives. The Psalmist wrote, “ It is good that I was afflicted that I might learn His holy will.” It might be to teach us His will and purpose for our lives. It could be to draw us closer to Him. Once soon after I was injured in the assassination at Sriperumbudur, I was down again with typhoid. I was broken and disheartened. I told the Lord, “ I am making a covenant with You, Lord. Hereafter, if you want to teach me anything, please give me a gentle tap and I will listen and obey whatever You want of me.” After that , even if my foot hits a stone, I will sit down and check if there is something the Lord wants me to know, something He wants me to correct in my life. He has, of course kept His part of the spiritual pact we made that day. Prateep V Philip

Friday, March 30, 2012

Soften our hearts to believe and harden our wills to obey

UV 366/10,000 Let us harden our wills and soften our hearts Ezekiel 3 v 9 Eze 3:9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house The word “ adamant” comes from the first man “ Adam”. We should not harden our hearts to disbelieve God’s Word like Adam did though each of us has an intrinsic and congenital tendency to do so. We must soften our hearts to hear, believe and receive the Word. In fact, the prophet Ezekiel was asked to eat the Word as one would eat a bread roll, to take it into the belly and the inner parts. It tasted like honey in the mouth and gave life and hope and meaning to the inner parts. When we believe the Word, the Lord turns our forehead into an arrowhead harder than flint. Adamant is an unbreakable stone, like a diamond. It is a symbol that the man of faith is unconquerable. We will be unshakable in our purpose and determination. We are to be single-minded in our pursuit of that purpose. Our heart should not be divided by doubt or fear. If a particular thing needs to be done, we should get it done. Jesus set His face like flint as He set out on His last journey towards Jerusalem before the trial and crucifixion. Every day in my diary, I write against all the things that need to done “ cid” or consider it done and get down to doing it. Though we face opposition, resistance and persecution, we need not be discouraged or fearful. We belong to the obedient house of God while those who oppose us belong to the rebellious house. Their adamantine hearts are up against our focused and determined minds and wills. They are like the glass that though they look tough can be cut with ease with a diamond cutter. The Word of God will be like swift cavalry ahead of us and a protective wall of a phalanx around us as we advance into battle or on the paths the Lord has lead us into. We must take heart that we are not alone but we have a Commander in chief who is not mortal or fallible or vulnerable unlike the supposedly invincible Alexander the Great who was defeated by drink and death. Prateep V Philip

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mysterious Treasures and Hidden secrets

UV 365/10,000 Mysterious Treasures and Hidden secrets Isaiah 45 v 3 Isa 45:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. This is a beautiful and wonderful promise of God that He would give His faithful treasures out of darkness and hidden riches of secret places. The words, “ darkness, hidden and secret” lend a cloak and dagger effect to the promise. It leaves us wondering what is it that the Lord has in store for us from out of His spiritual but secret riches. It is a reference to mystical riches and not the treasures of Ali Baba’s magical caves. “ Eye has not seen nor ear heard” about these riches and treasures that the Lord has kept for His chosen ones. These precious things cannot be explored, discovered or unearthed by our ingenuity or perseverance but the Lord alone can reveal it at the right time. They are not necessarily of monetary or temporal value though some of the things that the Lord reveals to us can be a blessing to meet even our material,financial, familial or ministerial needs. There are eternal treasures and riches hidden in the Word of God. These cannot be destroyed by moth or rust or stolen by thieves. We can perceive them with our “ faith eye” and hold them in our “ faith hands.” It is the glory of God to conceal a secret and the duty of kings to have them revealed. As part of a royal priesthood, it is our covenant duty to reveal the secret and hidden treasures of God so that all Israel will rejoice and each child of God will benefit from His specific inheritance that the Lord has written his or her name on as a sign of entitlement. These hidden nuggets of truths mined out of God’s Word, more valuable than purest gold or finest diamonds, are enough to transform our lives and our destiny. A man’s will takes effect only after he is dead but God’s will is a living testament and covenant. It is a good exercise to personalize the promises of God by writing in our names at the appropriate places wherever the Word addresses us as “ you” : “ I will give …( your name) the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places.” Scripture is not a mere religious text written out of the imagination and speculation of men but a legal document authored by the Lord God and authenticated with the blood of the Lamb, Jesus. If we carefully look at this uni-verse, we will find two signatories: you and / or me and the Lord, God of Israel. Once we specify and personalize an uni-verse, the Lord God will set in motion events and circumstances in the universe to fulfill His Word. We will come to know that it is not the universe that conspires to come to our assistance or to fulfill our spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social and physical needs as taught by some monks who bought their Ferraris teaching such new age wisdom, but it is the Lord in His wisdom and faithfulness who fulfills our every need, sometimes mysteriously, sometimes miraculously , sometimes subtly making it appear as if it was a natural or accidental occurrence. Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Attitude determines the Lord's favour

UV 364/10,000 Attitude determines the Lord’s favour I Samuel 16 v 7 1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart We are sentient beings. We rely predominantly on the senses. Among the senses, our visual faculty or our eyes dominate our sense of reality. When we look at people we judge them by their appearance, their colour, their features, their height and external personality. Even the prophet Samuel who was called from childhood to serve God and was trained in all the ways of the Lord was inclined to judge and choose a king for Israel based on stature of the candidate. But the Lord chides him and asks him not to choose on the basis of outward appearance. Saul, a generation earlier had been chosen to be the first king of Israel for his comely appearance and as he was shoulder and head above the other Israelites. We all know how Saul met with a disastrous end. Even today in the secular or church context, you will find the leaders with the largest following are the ones who also look good. The persons given responsibility in important functions are the ones who look most personable and impressive. But the Lord says do not judge a book by the cover, judge instead by the attitude of the heart of the person as revealed by the Holy Spirit. Man looks at everything but the hidden heart but God looks at nothing but the heart of man. Nothing is hidden from him- not our thoughts, our motives or our emotions. Attitude is the intersection of thoughts, emotions and desires. It is the core of our being. We need to ask, “ is our attitude at the present moment pleasing to the Lord?” We need to ask for the spirit of discernment as a gift from the Holy Spirit to discern the attitudes of others. The beauty and glamour industry dominates the media space today. But the Word of God says “ that which is highly esteemed by men is abomination in the sight of God.” God knows the reins and hearts, implying that He knows our controls and motivation. He searches our hearts and understands our thoughts and imagination. He sees the heart that fears Him, honours Him and loves Him. He declares such an attitude an attitude of perfection. Such a heart wins the favour and esteem of the Lord. Winning the esteem of men is easy but to win the esteem of the Lord requires a deeper and more enduring work. Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our vindication and victory endures

UV 363/10,000 Micah 7 v 8 The Lord vindicates us Mic 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. We may fall in our walk with God but every time we fall, He will raise us up holding our hand. Our adversaries and Satan will be overjoyed when they see that we have fallen. But their joy will be momentary for we will rise up a little stronger than even before. In contrast, when the wicked fall, there is no recovery. Their feet get more and more snared in the quagmire of their sin. Even when at times we sit alone and depressed, the Lord will light up our hearts and our minds with a Word to encourage us. It is the Word that enables us to see clearly the love of God, the reason we are going through a “tunnel experience” of darkness and the light at the end of the tunnel. Every thing may seem bleak and dismal but the Lord will send a ray of hope to egg us on towards the end of the tunnel. The Lord will execute His righteous judgement and ensure that we receive justice. His grace will give us strength. The Holy Spirit will endow us with power to endure. The defeat of our common enemy, Satan is a foregone conclusion, an inevitable outcome. We only need to wait to see how the details of our vindication are played out in our lives. Prateep V Philip

Monday, March 26, 2012

The One and Only Perfect Mediator

UV 362/10,000 I Timothy 2 v 5 The Perfect Mediator 1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus Jesus is the only mediator between God and mankind. He is the only One as He is the only One sent by God for this express purpose to taste death on behalf of every human and free the spirit of every man who believes and receives this truth to taste or experience eternal life. Jesus is the perfect translation of an absolutely holy, absolutely loving, absolutely just, absolutely merciful, absolutely powerful, absolutely wise God for the complete transformation of man. These aspects of God’s character and person being absolute, it is impossible for mortal, weak and sinful man to even think of approaching God. It is the Mediator Jesus who translates or transfers the holiness, love, justice,mercy, power and wisdom of God into our lives, day by day and moment by moment. To pray to any saint, to consult any medium, to believe in stars or auspicious times or any other being in Heaven or earth, in history or mythology is to detract from the very purpose and meaning of Jesus’s coming on our behalf. It is apparent from this uni-verse that to pray or intercede with any other saint or person, however highly esteemed -living or dead –is an act of rebellion, a sin. To do so is to attempt to rob God of His glory, to usurp the role of the Redeemer. Jesus is our “kinsman-redeemer” in a manner of speaking the same way Boaz was to Ruth. We can ask our Kinsman Redeemer to mediate on our behalf with opposing forces, with people in flesh and blood, with our earthly bosses and adversaries. A mediator’s role is to reconcile people, to settle disputes and conflicts amicably, to arbitrate. While mediating with others, Jesus will keep the enemy of our souls, Satan at bay. A mediator saves us in difficult situations. We can pray, “ Lord Jesus, mediate on my behalf with this difficult person or in this difficult situation in my life.” He is the One and Only Mediator in all seasons and for all reasons. Prateep V Philip

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The agony of suffering and the ecstasy of glory

UV 361/10,000 The agony of suffering and the ecstasy of glory 1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. We need to share in the sufferings of Christ in order that we share in His resurrected glory and the glory of His second triumphant coming. The grace of God saves us from eternal penalty of death and suffering in the world to come. But to suffer in this world is a necessary prelude to our growth and maturity in faith. The sufferings of Christ included being mocked and insulted, being hated and condemned, being falsely accused, being betrayed by His own. His suffering included loneliness on the Cross where the presence of the Father left Him for the first time in all of eternity. His physical suffering included being flogged, being spat upon, being pierced with nails, hunger and thirst, facing a sham of a trial or injustice, and finally , being hung from the cross- the most cruel form of slow execution. None of us will go through all this but many of us may share in the suffering of being mocked for our faith, being looked down upon, being persecuted. When we do so, our attitude should not be one that makes us murmur or complain or depressed but one of rejoicing that we have the privilege of sharing in the suffering of Christ. When we do so we will develop “ sempathy” ( a word I have coined that means spiritual empathy) or feeling the pain of God as if it is ours. The promise is that when we partake in Christ’s suffering, we will find fulfillment in experiencing the glory of God. The agony of suffering will remove the dross from our faith and our character. Pain has always been a greater human teacher than pleasure. It proves our commitment before man and God. Faith is not just a vicarious identification with the mission of Christ but a willingness to walk in His footsteps. The reward of such commitment is ecstasy or the abounding joy of oneness with God. Once in a vision, the Lord asked us to wash ourselves often in the regenerating power of His blood flowing from the wounds on His head and face, the wounds on His hands and shoulder, the wounds on His knees and the fountain of blood that flowed from His feet. When we do so, we experience an inner joy. The inner joy will be like a flow or a fountain that shows up as gladness on our faces and attitudes. Prateep V Philip

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The promise of longevity, health, deliverance and promotion

UV 360/10,000 Ps 91 v 14 The Promise of Long Life, Salvation, deliverance, honour and promotion Psa 91:14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name When we frame our lives with the Lord as the center, the focus, the circle of our existence, the purpose of our life, He promises to satisfy us with longevity, to deliver us when we call to Him in trouble, to set us on high or to promote us from one level to another, to honour us. The shadow of God or the presence of God will always be with us. Though it is only a shadow, it is as solid as the walls of a fortress in defending us. We only need to set our love upon His Name, His presence, His Word, His purpose, His work, His Kingdom. No evil or deadly disease shall overtake us when we are constantly surrounded by the power of God. The Lord should be the secret source of our strength and power. We should also confess our faith in Him before other people. He will then protect us from accidental occurrences as well as deliberate plots and conspiracies to harm us. We will however see the continuing judgement on the unrepentant and wicked. Psalm 91 is the psalm of my testimony. It is also a life insurance policy for which all the premia has been paid with the blood of Jesus. We can get declared and unexpected bonuses on account of it from time to time. The law of God is different from the law of mankind. The latter defines various negative acts for which the punishments are prescribed. The law of God defines the benefits and blessings of belief that is equated in His eyes as obedience. The blessings of the Lord are as in the Hebrew word Shallom- wholesome and holistic, meeting needs of spirit, mind and body, lacking in nothing, sufficient in itself, overflowing in joy Initially, the presence of God is with us like a shadow that we can barely perceive. But as we grow stronger and more mature in faith and in the spirit, we can sense His presence and His move in our lives as if they are the solid walls of a house. The Lord is our habitation. We inhabit the Lord. It is our habit to live,move and exist within Him. He will send us his angels to guard us in all our ways. The Lord once confirmed this saying, “ Outside your house, you have many servants and guards but inside your house, I have sent many more angels to guard and uphold you.” When our heart attitude towards God is right, He will determine our altitude or set us on high like He determined which planet and star moved in which orbit. He knows our circumstances. He knows our known and unknown threats. He knows our visible and invisible enemies. He has an army of angels and an array of weapons to deter, to defend, to protect, to preserve, to promote, to strengthen, to encourage, to provide and to equip us. Prateep V Philip

The Triple Blessing of the Triune God

UV 359/10,000 The three fold blessing of the Triune God Deuteronomy 32 v 13 Deu 32:13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock The Triune God gives us a triple blessing of body, mind and spirit: of promotion, of material and financial increase and of spiritual noursishment and growth. His blessings are always wholesome and holistic. He will cause us to ride on the high places of the earth: this is a reference to the positions the Lord has reserved for us in our professions. When we believe the Word and receive Christ into our life as Lord and Saviour , we are declared the meek of the earth and the meek shall inherit the earth. The high places of the earth are our inheritance. We need to pray that Kingdom people occupy the high places in the nations of the world that the earth be blessed. The second promise is the promise of increase in material and financial prosperity. He will bless His children in small measure and big measure in due time. Our focus should not be on material blessings. At the same time, we should not ignore this or act as if it is unimportant. The Lord knows what substance His children need and will provide for it. We must be spiritually mature to be thankful and grateful for the financial and material blessings the Lord gives us. The honey out of the rock and oil out of the flinty rock stand for spiritual growth and blessings. The Rock is a metaphor for Jesus. The honey out of the rock is the sweet and precious promises of God that are guaranteed us in Christ Jesus. The oil out of the flinty rock is a reference to the anointing we receive from the Lord as we follow Him and walk in faith. Prateep V Philip

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Honour Principle

UV 358/10,000 I Samuel 2 v 30 The Honour Principle- one of the Laws of the Kingdom of God. 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. The Lord honours those who honour Him. Conversely, those who despise the Lord will not be despised but will be lightly esteemed by the Lord. There are different ways we can honour the Lord: We honour Him by acknowledging our faith before other people. We honour God by keeping the Sabbath. We honour the Lord by paying close attention to His Word and obeying it. We honour the Lord in our relationships and our faithfulness to one another. We honour the Lord in our giving to the poor and needy. We honour the Lord by using our gifts and talents for His glory. We honour the Lord by having times of prayer in our homes. We honour Him with a commitment of faith that passes on from one generation to another. We honour the Lord in the consistency of our walk with Him. We honour the Lord by teaching our children the precepts of the Lord and reminding them to be faithful to the Lord, to remember His acts of kindness and to fear His acts of judgement. We honour the Lord in our workplace by taking a stand for Him in every day situations and conversations. How does the Lord honour us in return? He honours us by not letting our enemies defeat or humiliate us. He honours us by showing us divine favour. He honours us by fulfilling His Word and His promises to us. He honours us by remembering every little thing we have done for Him or in His Name. In 1997, the Lord honoured me by enabling me to secure in a nation-wide competition the British Scholarship for Excellence and Leadership on the occasion of India’s Golden Jubilee. As a double honour, we were presented to the visiting Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony in Delhi. I chose to give her a Bible for busy people invoking the blessings of the Lord, the King of Kings on her. Five years later, on the Queen’s Golden Jubilee of coronation, the Lord enabled me to secure the first ever Her Majesty the Queen’s Award for Innovation in Police Training and Development. Truly, when we testify to God’s goodness and faithfulness, we honour Him. Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hear His Voice To Day

UV 357/10,000 Hear His Voice To Day Heb 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts The Lord measures the extent of our faith or how soft, responsive, sensitive and receptive our attitude is towards God and the things of God. It is into this soil of the soul that the Lord plants His Word on a chosen day in His chosen people. God is not a limited being. The only thing that limits Him is the extent of our faith. Each one of us is limited in time and space. There is only x number of days or years we can live and x space that we can occupy. But, for the Lord time is a continuum. Every day and year on earth is today for Him. It is called to day so that we use it to hear His voice, To obey Him, To worship and To be thankful to Him for life here and now and eternal life , to use our gifts and our resources for His glory and to fulfil His purpose for our lives, to serve others and bring hope and meaning into their lives. The human mind is a gateway for God to act in our lives. The responsive and receptive mind consisting of our thoughts, emotions and will enable God’s love, power, mercy and grace to be manifest in practical ways in our lives. But, most people use it as a getaway from God- on how to distance one self from Him, on how not to believe and trust Him. Since God is invisible to human eyes, it is primarily through the inner ears of man that we can hear the voice of God and recognize that it is the move of God in our lives. We have to subordinate our predominant sight and sensual senses to the hearing of the Word of faith. When we depend predominantly on our reason and our visual sense, we are conditioned to disbelieve God and His Word- we harden our hearts. The Word is available to be sown in our hearts but it is not soil that is ready to receive the eternal Seed. When this happens, the Lord has to break into our “today” and break our hard and parched soul with ploughing and the water of the Word and the Spirit to make it once again suitable for the planting of the seed. Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dreams and the interpretation of the future

UV 356/10,000 Daniel 2 v 45 Dreams and their interpretation Dan 2:45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. The mountain is a metaphor for Mount Zion, the Kingdom of God. The stone that is cut out of it not due to human intervention but by the will and the hand of God is Jesus Christ. He is the cornerstone, the sure foundation, a tried and tested stone on which the Kingdom of God is built. Individuals, families, organizations and nations will do well to build on a sure foundation, the cornerstone of faith, tried and tested in history. The great empires of the world will cease as we have witnessed in history: the Babylonian empire of Nebuchadnezzar, the Persian empire, the Greek empire, the Roman empire, the Ottoman empire, the British empire, the Mauryan empire, the Mughal empire and so on. No wonder, kings and secular leaders are always uncertain about the future. But, the Kingdom of God is an enduring kingdom without limits in time and space. Daniel underlined the certainty of the dream coming true and the veracity of his interpretation. Today, we can combat a legion of uncertainties with the one certainty that Christ Jesus was born, lived and died for our sins, rose again and is alive and ruling today as King of Kings. Only the Lord knows the future. He can speak to kings and heads of state through dreams and visions. Even today we can pray that the Lord speak to the heads of state of the 198 nations of the world as also to the heads of provinces and districts and other authorities in these nations through dreams. They will be puzzled by their dreams. We should also pray for the raising up of anointed people of influence like Daniel who can give a sure and true interpretation of the signs and times. The correct interpretation of God-given dreams will give a sense of assurance and direction to leaders whose spiritual vision is impaired. Prateep V Philip

Monday, March 19, 2012

We are Impossibility Thinkers and Doers

UV 355/10,000 Job 42 v 2 We are Impossibility Thinkers and Doers Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. As Mark Pothier wrote, “ Faith is not believing the He can, it’s knowing that He will!” Nothing is impossible for God. No plan of His can be thwarted. No thought or intention can be hidden from Him. His will is supreme and sovereign. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Further, not only is nothing too hard for Him, nothing is impossible for Him. It took Job a series of hard knocks before he learnt and understood these lesson. With God inside us and with us, nothing is impossible for us. We are not only to be “ impossibility thinkers” or impossibility dreamers but impossibility doers. We need to keep attempting the impossible, the kind of things that we just cannot do on our own strength. The Lord will make it possible. The process of achieving the impossible can be broken into some steps or stages: Pre-cognition- this is the first phase where we dream, imagine, envision and set goals that are beyond our natural abilities. Meta-cognition-the phase where we labour in prayer and ask the Lord to bless our plans. Cognition- this is the phase where we consciously work towards implementing our plan and crossing the milestones set. God is our partner in our plans. Hence, nothing can thwart our plans. Re-cognition- where we re-work or revise our plans or make mid-stream corrections in the light of new learning or experience. Recognition is the final stage where the goals are achieved and we give God the glory. From start to finish and beyond, the Lord is involved in our plans. The margin of success lies with Him- He decides which plan will succeed and which will fail. As scripture says, “ We can make our horses and chariots ready for battle but it is the Lord who gives the victory.” The horses are our goals and passions that drive us. The chariots and the tracks they run on are the plans we make and implement. The battles are the struggles and challenges we confront. Prateep V Philip

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Claim and Proclaim

UV 354/10,000 John 16 v 24 Claim and proclaim Joh 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full When we do not have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus, we do not know of His generousity and His omnipotence. We do not ask Him anything and we do not receive anything except what is the common heritage of our race. It is indeed impossible to please God except we believe that He exists and is able to do that which He has promised. Asking in Jesus’ s name implies that we believe that God loves us and has sent His Son Jesus to save us. It also means that we believe that Jesus is the Yes and Amen to all God’s promises. Once we enter into a personal relationship with the Lord, we can claim the promises of God. When we claim the promises of God with faith and according to His will, His Word and our need, He will fulfill it and grant us what we need so that our joy will be full. The process of claiming a promise is not just to say it once in our prayers but to hold it in faith always in our prayers till the Lord answers. We need to remember it in our minds a million times and thank the Lord for the answer whether it is “yes” or “ no” or “ wait”. The words “ shall receive” means that the Lord will answer positively and there is no element of doubt. Once we claim and receive a promised blessing from the hands of the Lord, we must be ever thankful and proclaim God’s goodness towards us in this matter as in other things. As the book of Proverbs puts it, “ A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul.” The desire fulfilled will be like a wellspring of joy in our lives on account of which we are always remembering the Lord and His goodness. In my personal walk with God, I would have claimed this Uni-verse thousands of times in myriad situations- every time the Lord proved faithful to His Word. Prateep V Philip

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bridling our tongues with the Word

UV 353/10,000 James 1 v 19 Bridling our tongue with the Word Jas 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: The image that James had while writing the Lord’s instructions regarding the use of our divine gift of communication is apparently that of a rider of a horse. Communication is the USP of humanity-it is one of the areas we have a striking likeness to the Creator’s image as He too revels in communication. Our power of communication is the source of our “ horse power”. The tongue is like a wild horse that has to be tamed, to be trained to run at a slow pace lest it throw us off to injure ,maim or kill us. Christopher Reeves, the famous actor who played the role of Superman was thrown off by his horse in a manouevre and he was maimed for life, eventually to die early of related injuries. Many of us also often run into trouble headlong on account of our inability to control the “ horse” inside our mouths. If we ride it without a proper saddle, the results could be sad. James says that we must bridle the horse. He who bridles his tongue is perfect. He who bridles his tongue bridles his life and is able to make it go the way he wants. No wonder during our police training, we spent a whole week learning the niceties of saddle management before being allowed to mount the horse. The saddle is a heavy piece of leather connected with all the harness needed to control the horse. The Word of God is our bit and bridle. Just as a horse’s mouth is closed over a bit, our mouths and minds should always bite on the Word. The reins to slow down our speech are the warning in scripture that we will be judged for every word we speak carelessly or in anger. The reins are connected to either side of the horse’s head so that a gentle tug is enough to make it move left or right. Our eye piece that keeps our communication focused like the eye piece that keeps the horse on track and undistracted must be in place. Our mouth must be muzzled so that we do not speak words in anger. Righteous anger or divine passion should be like stirrups that goad the horse to go faster at times. At other times we should trot slowly as long as these stirrups are not used. We should grip our “tongue horse” firmly between the thighs of reason and truth as a rider would a speeding horse. Our ears should be pricked up like a horse’s to pick up signals and our Master’s command of when to go faster, when to slow down and when to stop. We must chew whatever we hear before we speak or react. The thumb rule is that we must speak only half the time we spend in listening. As long as the bridle of the Word of God is in place, the tongue will take us places. It will be an asset and not a liability. It will even help us jump over several barriers in our lives. It takes a lot of practice and training to tame a wild horse. Similarly, it often takes lifelong training and practice to perfect the tongue as an obedient and wholesome tool of communication. We must invite the master trainer, the Holy Spirit to train and ride our tongues and to keep all the aspects and elements of our saddle management in place. Human wisdom through the ages has said that speech is silver and silence is golden. But , the Word of God says, “ An apt word spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” In our silence, we are like polished silver that reflects the glory of God but our carefully crafted, chosen, designed and formulated words are like a beautiful motif of apples of gold against that splendid setting. In other words, speech that is saturated with the Word is like gold and silence is silver. Prateep v Philip

Friday, March 16, 2012

The secret of abundance

UV 352/10,000 John 21 v 6 The secret of abundance Joh 21:6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes The disciples had not caught any fish all night but in an instant, the reality changed. They listened to the word of Jesus to cast the net on the right side of the boat and the net was so full of fish they found it difficult to draw it. When they acted on their own strength, experience and wisdom, they had an empty net. When they acted on the counsel and wisdom of God, the net was overflowing with fish. Jesus knew the result even before the disciples acted on His advice. He sees the end from the beginning. This is the secret of abundance whether it is in our professions, business, investments, family matters or ministry: We need to first look to the Lord and listen to His wise counsel. The disciples could not look deep beyond the surface of the water. But, Jesus knew where the abundance lay. He knew the disciples’ need and appeared at the point of their need. He called out to them, enquiring if they had caught any fish. When our nets are empty, instead of being frustrated or dejected, we need to call out to the Lord. The situation had not changed: it was the same set of fisherman, same lake, same boat.. The love, wisdom, knowledge and power of Jesus made all the difference. Jesus not only knew where there was an abundant of fish but He had power to command the fish to move into the net. Jesus has power today to command whatever we lack or need to move into our net or our network. The Lord can act beyond the level of our competence. The disciples were competent fishermen. Yet, their competence was not sufficient to ensure success. When they relied on the Word of the Lord for guidance and direction, they succeeded beyond their natural expectations. They were told what to do and also told in which direction they were to cast their net. From their past experience and knowledge, a mere change of direction from the left side of the boat to the right would not have yielded results. But, they on their part did not scoff or spurn the advice. Similarly, we need guidance on what to do and in which direction we are to act. We need to stop depending on our past experience and depend on every word that the Lord speaks to us. Prateep V Philip

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fine balance between pre-determination and free will

UV 351/10,000 Acts 17 v 26 The fine balance between Pre-Determination by God and Free Will of mankind: “From one man He made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live” The Lord our God has drawn all mankind from the loins of one man whom He lovingly and wonderfully fashioned in the inner being after His own image. The first man Adam was created. The rest of us were begotten in consequence of the Word of God to man to multiply. We need to often ask ourselves whether we are truly reflecting the Creator in our attitudes, words and actions? Can other people see us as the proof of the existence of God? Or do we resemble only our earthly father Adam – that would make us “adamant” or stubborn in holding onto our ignorance,disbelieving and ignoring the Word of God and heeding the word of Satan. We became spiritually dead though physically alive on account of this disbelief. There were only three landmark events that marked a man’s life : birth, life and death. Death made every thing a vanity. It was God’s will that mankind be dispersed through all the earth. Based on where we are born, we become part of different nations. Narrow notions of power and wealth and pleasure drove men in all nations to wreak tragedy, disaster and misery upon each other. Simultaneously, mankind everywhere being the offspring of God driven by an inner urge or hunger for God began to seek Him in their own ways limited by their own perceptions and shaped by their imaginations. But, the Lord revealed Himself as Jehovah or the Great I Am to the children of one nation Israel through Abraham, Moses and other prophets. He revealed His plan of salvation of the nations through the sacrifice and subsequent resurrection of His own Son Jesus who was begotten out of the womb of a man. This made possible the otherwise impossible fourth landmark event in man’s destiny – Resurrection or eternal life. The decision to believe God’s plan for man’s salvation is left to the free will of the individual. But, the boundaries or geographical, social and historical context of our lives are determined by Him. This Uni-verse states that the Lord has decided the exact times and places in which we live. The word, “ exact” implies that there is a precision or accuracy to it. In God’s Positioning System or GPS, the coordinates for each of us in terms of time and place are fixed. The nation, province, city or village where we now live is no accident but God-ordained and planned. We have a responsibility and a contribution to make in these places and to these people. Now, we also have a choice to live and move and exist in Him and for Him or we can live and move and exist for ourselves. He is both “be all, end all and begin all”. The legendary General Patton said, “ In all matters, God retains a margin with Him.” Eternal life is an option, not an imposition. Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Treasures and Torches inside earthen pitchers

UV 350/10,000 2 Corinthians 4 v 7 Treasure and torches in earthen pitchers 2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us We have all knowledge and wisdom that is hidden in Christ residing in us. In the sight of other people,we are but earthen pitchers for they see only our outer bodies, our skin,our physical features that are so nondescript. We have no charisma that will confirm our higher calling or draw other people to us. But, the Lord sees our faith that burns like fire and is as pure and precious as fine gold. In fact, He once affirmed, “ You look dull on the outside like platinum but you are more rare and precious than gold.” Gideon choose three hundred men who lapped the water from their hands. It is a metaphor today of those who hear or receive a specific portion of scripture and apply it to specific areas in their lives. He then asked them to carry burning torches inside earthen pitchers and to blow the trumpet in unison for the Lord. The formidable Midianite army was thrown into complete disarray. The Lord had taught Gideon how to create a great force multiplier with just a company of three hundred men. We too need to in unity of spirit and of one accord blow the trumpet for the Lord or proclaim His goodness and greatness towards us. A small number of people acting in unity of faith and purpose is far more effective for with God on our side, no one is a minority. Once in a time of prayer, the Lord said, “ you are torches of fire hidden inside earthen pitchers.” Our faith and trust in the Lord and His revealed Word and Will is what makes us a fire torch. Our faith connects us with the unceasing fuel of the excellence of the power of God. When we speak and proclaim God’s Word, it is His holy fire that comes forth to seek and save. The excellence of His power will be manifested in different ways in our lives as light is split into an array of colours. That array will throw any opposition, however formidable or numerous, into disarray. Prateep V Philip.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Clear Choices

UV 349/10,000 Psalm 84 v 10 Clear choices Psa 84:10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness One day spent in the house of the Lord is better than a thousand spent elsewhere. Our choice of where and in whose company we spend our time gives us an inkling of our values and priorities. The house of the Lord is not just the physical structure of the church but it is a metaphor for the time spent at the feet of the Lord, learning from Him. It refers to the time spent in the presence of the Lord. The presence of the Lord is the consciousness of His Name, the consciousness of His power, the consciousness of His love, the consciousness of His Word, the consciousness of the need and desire to stand in awe and worship Him, the consciousness of His touch, the consciousness of His will and pleasure, the consciousness of the Holy Spirit. A lifetime spent in the presence of the Lord is the equivalent in terms of value and impact of a thousand lifetimes. Another clear choice we need to make in our lives is : where do we desire to live and thrive? Are we satisfied with being a humble servant of God rather than be a wicked ruler? Are we aspiring for the titles and entitlements that the world can offer us if we make compromises in our soul? Or are we contented with having even the lowest place in the Kingdom of God? The Lord weighs our heart and knows where our priorities lie. To “dwell in the tents of the wicked” implies being a stakeholder in the plans and designs of the evil one. It means to fellowship and commune with the wicked in their evil intent, to share in the fruits and success of their plots. Faith is an exchange of what can be seen for what cannot be seen. What cannot be seen is of lasting and enduring value. Each day we are completely immersed in the presence of the Lord is worth nearly three years of a non-believer. Our time spent in the service of the Lord is not time wasted but time multiplied a thousand times. The humblest position in Heaven is higher than the highest title of earth. We are not unambitious but ambitious to the highest degree. The choice is obvious though the differences can be discerned only by the eye and heart of faith. Prateep V Philip

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sun and shield, grace and glory

UV 348/10,000 Amazing Principles of the Uni-verse revealed verse by verse Psalm 84 v 11 Psa 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. The Word of God is structured in this manner. It contains a precept or teaching, followed by a practice and a promise. The precept is that the Lord our God is the sun of our lives. Unlike the earthly sun, He does not rise nor set. He is always shining on us. The sun’s rays travel through space and ether to light up the earth. The Word of God are the rays of His light that travels through eternity to provide both direction, guidance, warmth, nourishment. Unlike the earthly sun from which we must sometimes shield ourselves to protect us from the intensity of its heat, the Lord our God is a shield from the visible and invisible threats, temptations and dangers present in our lives. When we yield to Him, He becomes our shield. The Lord divinely enables us when we are so yielded to Him. He humbles us in the areas of our natural or personal strength and enlarges us or strengthens us in the areas of our weaknesses. His divine enablement is our daily necessity- our daily bread. The Holy Spirit reminds us, prompts us, encourages us with a timely Word, nudges us to move in the direction of fulfilling God-ordained potential and purpose. Fulfilling our potential and purpose is synonymous with the “glory of God.” We no longer fall short of the glory of God. When we have done something with our hands and say to ourselves when it is done, “ it is good, very good,” then we are glorying in it. In the book of Genesis, soon after each act of creation, the Creator said, “ it is good.” He was glorying in His creation. It stopped being “ good” in His eyes when man chose to violate His will. When man was reconciled with God once more through the blood of the slain and resurrected eternal sacrifice, Jesus Christ, He once more gloried in His creation and reaffirmed not with an impersonal “ it is good” but a personalized, “ He is good” or “ She is good”. The practice part of the verse is as follows: when we continue to walk in alignment with the paths indicated and lit up by the Sun of Righteousness, we are said to be walking in integrity or walking uprightly consistent with our faith in Christ. Integrity is a quality that if one possesses it, nothing else matters. If one does not possess it also, nothing else matters. “Good things” are meant for “ good people”. The very word “ good”, in my opinion is derived from “ God” meaning “ of God”. The promise part of the verse: This Uni-verse contains the wonderful promise that “ no good thing” He will withhold from those walk in faith and in consistency or integrity of faith. This has been my life experience too. What is the “good thing” you desire today? If you do not have it already, be sure it is on its way as you walk in faith and wholeness and uprightness. Prateep V Philip

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rejoice for life is an eternal Banquet 347/10,000 Song of Solomon 2 v 4 Rejoice for Life is an Eternal Banquet Son 2:4 “ He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” Our personal relationship with the Lord is compared to a continual feast. He will sup with us and we will sup with Him. It implies that the Lord will dwell in us, dwell with us in our homes and take us to be with him at the Heavenly Feast. At all times, His banner of protection and of love is over us as an ensign to the enemy that we belong to the Lord. The image that is drawn is that of a bridegroom who is none other than the Lord who brings home His bride, the church or every believer. He will preserve us from every evil. He will provide whatever we need. He has glorious plans for each of us. He will fulfill it. The Lord continually feeds us in the course of our relationship and our walk with Him. He feeds us with His truths that bless us, heal us and free us. Our soul is satisfied with such substance more than our body can be satisfied with marrow and fatness of meat. A sense of joy and gladness should always well up in us and overflow in our thoughts, words and actions. The banquet is called to celebrate Christ’s victory over death and sin and its consequences. Our mood hereafter should be celebratory. True optimism comes when we realize that we are in the banqueting house of the Lord. Nothing can go wrong. He who could turn water into wine, who could calm the storm, heal the blind and the lepers, bring the dead back to life, gave Himself to die to pay for our shortcomings and then took back life to help us conquer death and enjoy His resurrection power is the One whose love and grace is sufficient for us. The words, “ brought me” shows that it has already happened, not something that will happen in the distant future. The words, “ His banner over me is love” shows that His love is a present reality. His love is selfless, not conceited, not proud. His love does not hold a record of wrongs and is not puffed up. His love never fails. It endures and is not fickle. His love rejoices in the truth. Our attitude, too should be to rejoice in the truth of His Word. His love is perfect. Like the Shulamite beloved in the Song of Solomon, we too should focus on pleasing Him and doing His expressed will. Then, when He comes to take us on high to His Father’s home for the eternal banquet, He will not find our lamps are unpolished and empty of the oil of gladness and wisdom. Prateep V Philip

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Our Spiritual beings formed in the womb of space and time

UV 346/10,000 Amazing principles of the Uni-verse revealed verse by verse John 3 v 3 The cells, organs and limbs of our new born spiritual selves Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” Just as a child acquires a physical shape with many organs and limbs, a person is born again in the spirit when he or she is washed in the water of regeneration- the Word of God and the Spirit convicts one that the Word is truly God’s own Word. The darkness of the womb is replaced by the darkness in the world. Just as a baby is formed in the mother’s womb, the Holy Spirit will form and shape our spiritual bodies. ] When our thoughts, feelings and emotions combine with the Word, the first cell of our spiritual being is born. That cell further multiplies and differentiates into various organs in the womb of time and space. In due course, we develop the spiritual corollary of the different organs of the body- spiritual eyes to perceive the truths of God, spiritual ears to hear the teachings of God, a spiritual brain or mind to think, dwell and develop on these lines, a spiritual heart that continually adores and worships the Lord, spiritual limbs to take us places to share the truths that we have learnt. We become a brand new creature in Christ. With every breath and every thought and every emotion, our spiritual bodies are renewed and strengthened for the work of the Kingdom of God. Those of us who hear the Word but do not grow are like still born foetuses. Those of us who grow and bear fruit for the kingdom of God are the mature ones who grow to their full potential. Though we seem to be carrying the metaphor too far, it is good to think that every physical organ and part in our body has a spiritual corollary and equivalent that we need to nourish and strengthen. We need to pray, “ Let my spiritual eyes be able to perceive You as clearly as my physical eyes are able to see the world around. Let my spiritual mind be able to think the things of God with as much clarity as my physical brain is able to think on many subjects. Let my spiritual heart rejoice in you as my hormone- driven emotions delight in pleasure. Let my spiritual limbs bring me closer to you that I can hug you as my physical hands can hug my loved ones.” We will realize soon that we have a spiritual self as real as our physical self and that it is as important if not more important to feed and digest the spiritual food of the Word of God, as important to exercise the muscles of faith, as important to clothe the spiritual self with the clothes of salvation, as important to travel and be transported on our spiritual limbs into the heavenly realms. Indeed, prayer can gives wings to our imagination. Let reason take a back seat meanwhile. Prateep V Philip

NO shame in love

UV 345/10,000 Amazing Principles of the Uni-verse revealed verse by verse Romans 5 v 5 Rom 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us When we hope in the promises of God and wait for its fulfillment, the Lord God will never allow us to be ashamed or disappointed or confused. We will not be ashamed or disappointed as the Lord is able to do more than we can ever ask for or think or imagine. We will not be confused as our love for God implies trust that He will do whatever is best for us and He will also cause it to happen at the right time, in due time or in His time. It is our first hand , real-time experience of His love, mercy and grace that gives us hope. We must hold on to that hope even if external circumstances seem to suggest the opposite and would cause us to despair. Once a specific uni-verse that we claimed in faithful, patient and persistent prayer is fulfilled, our faith increases proportionately that God is able to fulfill all His other promises. Hope is necessary as there is no physically verifiable sign or evidence that it is happening or likely to happen. We must learn to wait patiently till the Lord shows up. The seed of the love of God is sown in us by the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. He also nurtures it till it is full grown, mature and able to bear fruit. The gestation or waiting period from the sowing to the fruit bearing stage in our lives can vary. During this phase, the Holy Spirit nurtures, grooms and shapes us as a gardener painstakingly carves the shapes of different hedges in the garden to reveal different shapes and forms. While every one else looks at everything else in our lives, the Lord looks only at our heart. He sees if we truly love Him or whether we only love the blessings He is able to give us. We must wait for the Lord as a watchman waits for His Master. The very sight of Him would bring joy and excitement in our hearts. We should not wait as a maid waits for her mistress with her eyes on what the latter’s hands would bring her. We need to love God for who He is and not on what gifts and blessings He gives us out of His love. We need to make this love manifest in our walk with Him as well as in our relationships with seniors, juniors, colleagues, strangers, neighbours as well as our foes, rivals or enemies. Prateep V Philip

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The ASK of Prayer

UV 344/10,000 Luke 11 v 9 The ASK of prayer Luk 11:9 “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Asking is associated with attitudes. When we ask the Lord, we must ask with an attitude of praise, thanksgiving and faith that He is able to do or give what we asked. We must also be prepared to submit to His sovereign will should He choose not to grant what we asked. We can be importunate like the neighbour whom Jesus spoke of who kept asking his neighbour for some loaves of bread. We must ask based on our need. We must ask in accordance with God ‘s Word and placing our complete confidence in God we must claim specific verses like uni-verses. Why must we ask when the Lord knows exactly what we need? The persistence and attitudes with which we ask is a measure of our faith in the Lord. We must not stop with asking. We must also seek for doors of opportunity. Seeking is associated with skills. We must keep looking to see where the Lord has left the very thing we asked Him for or the signs that lead up to it. We must seek with the persistence of the seeker in a treasure hunt. We must never give up or loose hope. The word “ shall” conveys the sense of absolute certainty for it is not ‘ The Lord may answer’ but that He “ shall answer. Having found the door of opportunity, the Lord says,” don’t just stand and stare at the door, you must knock”. Knocking is associated with knowledge. We must know which doors we should knock on and when we must knock. It is like the game that is played on television, “ Deal , no deal”. Only the Lord knows what door will lead to what eventuality in our lives. We must take steps to have the door opened. A simple knock on the door of heaven can often give us the answer to a complex problem we are facing. The door that God opens is the door He intends for us. No man or force can close this door. Last year, a preacher prophesied, “ God is going to open an unusual door for you very soon.” Soon after, I got a call saying I am invited to attend a World Police Mission in South Korea. I was anxious if I would get the mandatory clearances within the few hours available. But, the permissions were obtained in a matter of a few hours. Prayer and the answers to prayer is not a split second event or a one sided communication but it is a spiritual process in which the Lord partners us realizing His purpose in our work, in our relationships, in our thoughts, emotions, decisions and goals. Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

God's Strategy of Choice

UV 343/10,000 Amazing Principles of the Uni-verse revealed verse by verse I Chronicles 28 v 9 The Hearts and Minds strategy 1Ch 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever Solomon served God with a perfect heart and a willing mind. Our hearts should always be overflowing or dripping vis a vis God: with thankfulness and contentment, a sense of awe and reverence, a sense of joy,a sense of patient expectation and anticipation, a sense of repentance and contrition, a sense of trust and love , a constant impulse to praise and worship the Lord. A heart that harbours all these attitudes and cultivates these responses is the heart that is perfect towards God. The Spirit of the Lord is always searching the hearts of mankind to reveal Himself to any who are seeking His presence in this manner. The search lights of Heaven are always trained on earth to look for and find hearts that are beating in sync with the heart of God. A willing mind is the second prerequisite in our relationship with the Lord. We should be willing to obey what is revealed to us by the Lord. We should be willing to pay the price of obedience. Abraham in offering to sacrifice his son Isaac was willing to obey the revelation of God. Moses obeyed the revelation of God. St Paul obeyed the revelation of God. We must be willing in the sense, our thoughts, emotions and decisions should be focused on doing what is pleasing to the Lord. He knows the secrets of our lives. He knows the motives behind every thought, word and deed. Like the Psalmist, we must pray out of reverence, “ Lord search me and find out if there is any wanton or hidden sin in my life and help me remove it.” When we forsake or give up on our faith in God, He too forsakes us forever. Hence, we must cling to our faith. We must never let go of it as if our very life depends on it. We must do the spiritual equivalent of an angiogram to know what attitudes block our spiritual supply channels or our arteries. It is critical to our spiritual growth to have those blocks removed. Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The precept of intercession and the power of intervention

Uv 242/10,000 Amazing principle of the Uni-verse revealed verse by verse Esther 4 v 14 Est 4:14 “For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” The precept of intercession: We must not hold our peace when the elect or the children of God, the believers and when the Jews, the house of Jacob face grave threats. The Lord has raised us up to where we are for a purpose. We can use our position, our influence or our power to fulfill His purpose in our times. Esther, the Queen was wary of the consequences of entering the King’s presence without being summoned and of trying to intervene on behalf of her condemned race. But, her former guardian and foster parent Mordecai persuaded her saying that God’s will be fulfilled any way and that the Lord had raised her up to be a queen for this very purpose. Enlargement and deliverance will any way happen by the will of the Lord but if she fails to play her God-ordained role in it, she and her relatives would be killed. Yesterday, a man from Nepal who I had met more than ten years ago called in a distress situation. I spoke to the police officer concerned. Later, in the night he sent a message of thanks,saying, “ Your one word was sufficient for that problem to be resolved. I thank God for you.” We are God’s answer for many people’s questions and problems. We need to recognize that it is by the conscious decision and design of the Lord that we are who we are and we are where we are. The words,” for such a time as this” is pregnant with meaning and relevance down to our days. We can today ask ourselves, “ what is the challenge that God’s elect and Israel face? “ We need to enter into the presence of the King of Kings since we are now His Bride, His church and intercede on behalf of the house of Jacob, Israel (now threatened by nuclear Iran- Russia-China- other nations) . We need to intercede or stand in the gap for other believers who are threatened and persecuted in different nations. When we intercede, He intervenes. The enemy will come like gushing flood waters but the Lord will hear our cry and stand like a rock barrier and break the rushing waters into many tiny streams that will peter away. Esther was rewarded instead of being punished for daring to intercede. She became at one stroke the instrument of redemption for the Jews, for exaltation of Mordecai and for the condemnation of Haman. She won and retained the favour of the king. We too through our prayers and our interventions in real time will be the instrument of redemption for some, the exaltation of some and the condemnation of the wicked. Prateep V Philip

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Celebrating the Lord in our lives

UV 341/10,000 Amazing principles of the Uni-verse revealed verse by verse Jeremiah 9 v 24 Jer 9:24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. It is the habit of mankind through the generations to glory or rejoice in riches and wisdom. But, the Lord has proved that riches are vain and wisdom is limited. Instead, He invites us to rejoice, to exult, to glory in our understanding and personal knowledge of the Living God, the Great I Am. Understanding and knowing the Lord enables us to understand almost every thing and any thing in history including our personal biography or in nature. It makes our minds as sharp as a knife that it can cut through any problem as a knife cuts through butter. It makes our heart a continual feast. No wonder the Lord said, “ I will sup with you and you will sup with me.” We can legitimately glory or delight in the immense riches of His character and power. His lovingkindness and righteousness are aspects of His character. His lovingkindness is better than life. Lovingkindness is an unique phraseology of the Bible. It means His love and kindness. His judgement is a manifestation of His power in accordance with His righteousness and love. We must delight in the revelations and manifestations of the Lord’s love and kindness, His power and righteousness in our lives. This comes from enjoying a personal and intimate relationship with Him. When we delight in this, He will delight in us and grant us the desires of our heart. How do we delight in practical ways in our life? We can often remember and give praise and thanks for His acts of love, mercy and grace towards us. You don’t become a millionaire in God’s kingdom by owning a million dollars but you become God’s millionaire or billionaire by recounting the million things He has done in you and for you. We can sing from our hearts. We can dance and celebrate as David did. I often dance in the privacy of my closed room, of course listening in an attitude of joy, worship and wild abandon to some worship songs. We can always exhibit a positive attitude. We can confess positively about our love relationship with God. When we exult in the Lord, we exalt Him. Prateep V Philip

Friday, March 2, 2012

Know your IDs

UV 339/10,000 Amazing Principles of the Uni-verse revealed verse by verse Know Your ID Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together Just as if we get our email id’s wrong when typing it , the mail bounces back, we need to know for sure and with absolute accuracy our id’s or our identity in Christ in order that our relationship with God Almighty is on sure footing. We become children of God when we put our trust in Jesus. Our individual id regardless of our status, age or accomplishment is “ child of God.” We are “blood relatives of God” in Christ. We become thereby heirs of God in the sense we inherit the precious promises of God that is more precious than all the gold and silver in the world. In what way are the promises of God more precious than gold? All the gold in the world cannot purchase for us freedom from the cause and effect cycle of sin-guilt-curses-death. The other id’s we have in Christ are numerous: we are God’s co-workers. We are the temple of God. We are Friends of God. We are saints of God. We are a new creation. We are citizens of Heaven. We are the salt and light of the world. We are the sheep of His flock. We are builders of the Kingdom of God. We are grafted onto the True Vine. We are priests and kings in God’s sight. We are the church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ. We are fishers of men. We are the captives of Christ. We are the elect of God. We are the ministers and witnesses of God. Our multi-dimensioned identity in Christ gives us the confidence that we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us. We will share as much in His suffering in this world as in His glory in the world to come. Our new id’s trigger in us and through us another cause and effect cycle of freedom-peace-blessings –eternal life. Each id gives us a sense of joy, peace and assurance. Each id sets in motion a river of life and blessing from our hearts and minds. This is the precious insight and knowledge in comparison with Saint Paul reckons all else as garbage. Our belief in our new id’s changes our conditioning and our programming,our values and perspectives, our emotions, our thoughts, our goals, our desires, our decisions, our actions and finally, our results. When I believe that my body is the temple of God, it means I have to keep it clean of habits like smoking or alcoholism. When I believe that I am a priest and a king, I will intercede for others, worship as a priest and exercise authority as a spiritual king or ruler over the world of darkness. When I believe that I am a Friend of God, I will confide in the Lord and expect Him to help me at all times. When I believe that I am a citizen of Heaven, I will live and behave like a pilgrim and a sojourner on earth with no permanent stakes here and many investments in heaven above. When we believe that we are the sheep of His flock, we will quieten our bleating hearts and minds and listen to His still voice inside us. When we believe that we are children of God, we will not be anxious about our future as we know that He who knows the future holds us in the palm of His hand. Last week, the Lord revealed concerning our younger daughter as a birthday blessing: “ I have packed you against my shoulder. I make you sit on my right shoulder. I carry you like a babe in my arms. I dandle you on my knees.” This is how He carries every one of us. Prateep V Philip

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Power and Wisdom of God in you

UV 338/10,000 Amazing Principles of the Uni-verse revealed verse by verse I Corinthians 1 v 24 The Power and Wisdom of God manifested in Christ 1Co 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God Jews grew up on a diet of miracles having witnessed miracles from the birth of their nation out of one man whose wife was barren to their being freed from the bondage of Egypt through the signs and wonders performed through Moses. The Greeks grew up on a diet of wisdom having been nurtured by a host of philosophers led by Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. The former represented an extreme faith in the supernatural power of God to provide breakthroughs in impossible situations. The latter represented an extreme faith in the ability of human rationality or reason to find the answers to perennial questions of life and living. But , Christ Jesus represents both the power of God to intervene effectively, powerfully and positively in the affairs of human beings as also the wisdom of God in reconciling the requirements of justification of humanity that His own attributes implied in terms of His absolute holiness, justice, love, mercy and grace. The Jews wanted to nationalize God while the Greeks wanted to rationalize Him. But, God in His wisdom and grace reached out to all nations and all generations through the person, teachings, life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. He reached out with a love that cannot be comprehended by a sophisticated mind but can easily be understood with a child-like faith. Man’s quest for conquest ends and begins in Jesus, the focal point of history and your story. At this focal point, the light of time and space will break into the seven colours of the spectrum or the rainbow, reflecting the glory of the power and wisdom of God, our Creator-Father. Miracles were done for the Jews but today, with Christ in us , miracles are done in us , through us and for us. When we receive Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives by faith, the power and wisdom of God will be manifest in our lives in diverse ways. It will be manifest in finding answers to the questions of life that the Greek philosophers could not adequately explain. It will be manifest in our finding our purpose and fulfilling our potential. It will be manifest in miracles of healing and deliverance. It will be manifest in our relationships. It will be manifest in our creative problem-solving abilities. It will be manifest in a near divine ability to forgive those who offend us. It will be manifest in our reflecting the same manner of love to those around us. Unlike the Greek, we will no longer focus on winning the argument but on winning the man. Unlike the Jew, we will no longer focus on gloating about a miracle but in exulting in the love of God and in exalting Him in and through our lives. Indeed, with the power and wisdom of God working in us, who or what can oppose us? Who or what can withstand us? With Christ in us, can kings and armies, bombs and threats, curses and insults, death and disease or powers and principalities prevail against us? Prateep V Philip

Understand who makes us stand

UV 337/10,000 Amazing principles of the Uni-verse revealed verse by verse Romans 14 v 4 Understand who makes us stand Rom 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. No man can judge us as we are the servants of God. He is the One and only One who holds us up. He is able to make us stand. He makes us withstand the forces and foes, visible and invisible who oppose, resist or attack us in different areas of our lives. This uni-verse was spoken by the Lord in a time of prayer just last night. It is freshly baked bread to make us understand the source of our strength and sustenance. We are accountable to God. He judges the motives behind our actions and words. He alone knows the totality of our circumstances. When we fall as we sometimes do, He is able us to make us stand again. It is not the falling that matters but how we rise up. A righteous man falls seven times but every time he rises up. When we fall, He lifts us up holding our right hand. Our right hand is a metaphor for the five fingers that enable us to hold God’s hand and get back on our feet are: The Word, prayer, fellowship, repentance and worship. Normally, a servant is duty bound to come to the help of his or her master. But, here is a Master who comes to our help. He is the shield of our help, the sword of our excellency. He will judge those judge us unfairly or unjustly. He will neither let any weapon to prosper against us nor any tongue that judges us to stand. Those who do, do so at the peril of being defeated and of being exposed as liars. When Job’s friends judged him saying that his sin must have brought about his downfall in his family, society and fortunes, the Lord chided them and asked them to seek forgiveness. The Lord enables us to take a stand of faith on the promises and Word of God. He will not let us down. But, He will uphold us. He will strengthen us and give us reason to hope against hope, to believe and trust despite the circumstances. Our stance of faith on His Word will ultimately determine our circumstances. The problem is that most times in the world, our circumstances drive and determine our beliefs and attitudes. The word “ promise” share the same root “ pro” with prosperity, provision, problems, progress, protection and promotion. It is apparently the key to all these blessings of the Lord. Even problematic circumstances are situations in which God’s promises are put to the test. You can’t have a King David without a Goliath, a healing without a sickness, a deliverance without an assault, a breakthrough without a crisis. But ,we need to take a flint-like, unflinching stand in believing the specific promises that the Lord speaks into our lives. This uni-verse is also an admonition for us who believe not to judge other servants of God as we so often are inclined to do. It is the Master’s prerogative that we should not and cannot usurp. When we judge others, we put ourselves in the place of God as Joseph so clearly and wisely recognized when his brothers sought his forgiveness for having plotted to first kill him and then sell him into slavery. The Lord chose that circumstance to make him outstanding in the world of that day. Likewise, someone may plot evil to make us fall but God can turn it to good, to make us stand where in normal circumstances we should have fallen. The Lord told me, “ Given the size and power of the forces that oppose you, you should have fallen. But, it is I who makes you stand.” Prateep V Philip