Friday, August 30, 2013

Running after God

UV 855/10,000 Running after God “ But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” I Timothy 6 v 11 We should look to the God standard and not the gold standard. As people of God, we must flee from the love of money. Today, money dominates virtually every sphere of life. Newspapers who held their front page sacrosanct and reserved for headlines, now routinely sell the premium space for more revenue. This is the reason Jesus hinted that only money competes with God to occupy the space in our hearts: “ You cannot serve two masters at the same time: God and Mammon.” This uni-verse exhorts us to flee or literally make hast in running away from the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. We need to put a distance between us and these sources of sin. In our thoughts, our conversations and our relationships we should not allow these things to ever come near again. The image that comes to our mind is that of the young Joseph running away from the adulterous wife of Potiphar. It is not enough to flee away from what is declared ungodly, but it is necessary to chase with passion and perseverance the things that God approves. Once we have taken our focus off these things ( of the world), we should focus and run after righteousness or the desire to be upright and to do the things the Lord has commanded us to do and to avoid the things He has asked us to avoid. We should aim and strive to be godly or to be perfect as the Father is. It implies that we should do our best to imitate Christ in our daily lives. We must strengthen our faith and exercise it to perceive the glory of God in the area we are facing challenges in our lives. As St Paul wrote, “ the greatest of these is love.” We need to consciously increase in the qualities of love: of patience, meekness, kindness, perseverance and hope. It is not a one time fleeing away or running after. But we should check every day and every moment whether we are running away from the negatives or passions of men and running after the passions of God. This is what qualifies a person to be called a man of God. The Lord once affirmed me by saying, “ You are running after me, running for me and running with me.” Truly we cannot run for God unless we also run after Him and run with Him. Jesus is the greatest spiritual coach who ran before us setting an example of what we should follow. He runs ahead of us and He runs with us, egging us on to the finish line, however tired or discouraged or weary we are in our pursuit. This is the reason, scripture portrays life as a race and a fight. We cannot give up in between but fight to the end , run to the finishing line. Prateep V Philip

Thursday, August 29, 2013


UV 854/10,000 Overcomers “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.” 2 Peter 2 v 20 We live in a world that is grossly imperfect and corrupt. But as believers we are called to live by God’s standards and not the world’s standards. It is a great struggle but we are called to be overcomers. People through the ages in all nations and places have exchanged the truth for corruption. The gospel is the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. As far as our sinful and corrupt past is concerned, He is our Saviour. As far as the present and future are concerned, He is the Lord. We no longer live by the minimum standards of merely appearing to obey the law but we listen and obey to the indwelling Spirit of God in us. There are types of knowledge that are not saving. For example, my then boss, the Superintendent of Police Iqbal was told by his friend and astrologer that by May 21,1991 something terrible would happen to him. That cast a shadow on his thoughts and behaviour. He even told his driver to go slower than usual to avoid an accident. But that knowledge being a dark knowledge did not save him and he perished in the human bomb assassination at Sriperumbudur. Once we are redeemed by being washed in the blood of Jesus by faith, we should strive earnestly not to return to our earlier habits and sins. If we do so, this uni-verse warns us that we would be worse off than even before. It would have been better that we had not known the gospel. St Peter writes that it is like a sow returning to wallow in the slush or a dog that returns to its vomit. A sense of revulsion at our past sin as well as a strong desire to overcome the temptations and allurements of the past will keep us on the paths of eternal life and righteousness. A donkey is stubborn but Balam the prophet proved to be more stubborn than his donkey. The Lord had to make Balam’s donkey speak in order for him to avoid the path of disobedience and evil. As Jesus said, “ The last state of the man will be worse than the first.” Instead of being possessed by one demon, he will be possessed by seven. We must yield to the move of the Holy Spirit and be ever ready to do His bidding. We should not compel the Lord to make a donkey speak or to send an angel with a flaming sword to block our path. I was surprised to read that Joel Osteen who is one of the world’s most popular preachers is compromising with the truth in order to remain popular by saying that the Bible does not condemn a homosexual lifestyle. By saying so, is he not a modern day Balam? A little lump of heresy is sufficient to make the whole batch or whole generation rise in rebellion against God. Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Savour the Saviour

UV 853/10,000 Savouring the Things of God Mat 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Many of us feel righteous when we compare ourselves with Peter and say to ourselves, “ We never denied Christ as Peter did.” The truth is that Peter denied Christ thrice but each of us have denied Him several hundred times in the course of our days and our lives. At these times, we put the opinion of men before us and the Word of Christ behind us. We try to please men and do not mind displeasing God. We enjoy the things of men but do not enjoy the things of God. The admonition that Jesus administered to Peter as a kind of shock treatment to cure him of his fickle-mindedness is meant for each one of us. The things of men that we enjoy are popularity and their opinion that we are smart and wise. But when we give priority to the things of the world, we offend the Lord. Peter was chided for trying to talk Jesus out of dying for mankind. Peter wanted Jesus to be around for his own sense of security. Jesus discerned that satan was using Peter’s natural desire for safety and influence to dissuade Him from His mission. Peter whose faith was the rock He intended to build the church on had become the weakest link. He therefore commanded the satan he saw in Peter’s words to flee. The word “ savour” implies to enjoy the flavour, the texture, the taste, the meat or substance of a dish. This uni-verse though it had negative connotations in the context in which it was spoken exhorts us to savour the fellowship of the Triune God, the Word of God, the work that the Lord entrusts to us, our mission in life. We should not get side-tracked or distracted from our single-minded and wholehearted pursuit of our God-given purpose in life. The things of man that populate our lives should only be second fiddle to that purpose. We must put before us the things of God and put behind us the things of men. Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Gift of Discernment

UV 852/10,000 The Gift of Discernment “So that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ” Philippians 1 v 10 Discernment comes as we increase in knowledge and depth of insight. Discernment is a mark of a mature believer. He or she is able to distinguish between what is evil, bad, good, better and best. We are very often easily able to recognize what is evil but we are not able to discern what is just bad. We are able to recognize what is good but we are not able to choose what is best. In order to stay pure and blameless, we need this gift of discernment that the Holy Spirit imparts to those who seek it. There is a discernment of spirits: we will be able to identify the source of a person’s inspiration, whether it is genuine or false. Discernment of truth will enable us to distinguish heresy, compromise and true doctrine. There is a discernment of gifts- to be able to know which person has what gift and so be able to put better use of that person and his or her gift for the sake of the body of Christ. Discernment will enable us to exercise our gifts with aptness. Discernment will enable us to make the right decisions in a given situation. The Word of God says that, “ Discernment will protect you.” It will protect us when we are tempted or when we are facing a trial. We will discern the way of escape from that temptation or trial. Discernment enables us to make sound judgements. In order to be pure and blameless, we sorely need the gift of discernment. It is an important aspect of wisdom. The Lord gives us discernment. We need to yearn and ask the Lord for discernment and scripture says that He will give it to us generously. Discernment will give us practical guidance on which moment is the best time to act, which is the better thing to do- to remain silent or to speak, if to speak which is the better word to speak, whether to remain in a place or to leave it. Discernment is a nuanced and calibrated application of wisdom. Prateep V Philip

Monday, August 26, 2013

Roots, Dew and Mercy

UV 851/10,000 Roots, Dew and Mercy “My roots will reach to the water and the dew will lie all night on my branches.” Job 29 v 19 The roots of our thoughts, our emotions, our will, our imagination, our hope and our speech should be immersed in the water of the Word of God just as mangrove trees that grow in the delta area of a river have their roots reach into the water for constant supply and nourishment. Every thought, word and deed of ours has a root, a stem, branches and fruits. The roots are the source of nourishment, the motivation. The stem is what can be directly concluded from the root thought. The branches are the ways in which we elaborate it- the different dimensions of our lives. The fruits are the impact of our thoughts, words and deeds. When we are rooted and grounded in the Word and in the agape love of God as expressed through Christ, the dew of God’s blessings will fall like manna upon all aspects of our lives. The contrast of a plant whose root is dried up from below and whose branches are dried up from above is the description of a person who fails to let his roots deep into the water. When our roots are immersed in the love of God and His Word, we will not suffer in a time of drought or famine. We will continue to bear fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control all the days of our lives. The image of such a tree with its roots dipped in water is actually a believer who regularly reads the Word, continually meditates on the truths revealed and who imbibes it word by word even as a plant imbibes water, drop by drop. The reference to “ all night” indicates that even when we go through difficult times or daily suffering as the night occurs every twenty four hours, the dew of God’s mercy will comfort and strengthen us. During the day, the sun’s rays heat the plant and cause evaporation from the leaf pores, causing an upward suction that drives the water up the plant’ s stem. At night, the Lord sends the dew of His promises that will provide both cooling and moisture to us. As scripture says , “ The tender mercies of the Lord are new every morning.” Prateep V Philip

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Personifying and Modelling on Love

Personifying and Modelling on Love “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” I Corinthians 13 v 4 It is impossible for people who even just know the true meaning of love to indulge in hate crimes like murder, rape, terrorism, racism and violence against young, women and the old. If people just read the most beautiful chapter ever written in any book on love, they will understand the true meaning of love. Therefore,let us read I Corinthians chapter 13 but wherever the abstract word love occurs, replace it with Jesus- the true personification of love who makes even a child understand what is love. Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. He is not rude, He is not self seeking, He is not easily angered, He does not keep any record of wrongs. He does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Jesus never fails. And now these three remain: faith,hope and Jesus. But the greatest of these is Jesus in whom we can place our faith and hope. I am getting to be patient, I am trying to be kind. I try to not envy. I try to not not boast. I try not to be proud. I try not to be rude. I try not to be self seeking. I am not easily angered. I do my best not keep any record of wrongs. I try not to delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. I try always to protect those who are weaker,I try always to trust, always to hope, always to persevere. I try never to fail. And now these three remain: faith, hope and Jesus in me. But the greatest of these is Jesus in me for faith, hope and love are realized in Jesus. He teaches me how to give up my childish or immature ways of reasoning, thinking, talking and reacting. Our final position when we are mature in faith is : Jesus in me is patient. Jesus in me is kind. Jesus in me teaches me not to envy. Jesus in me tells me not to boast about what I have or have done but only about what God has done in me and for me. Jesus in me teaches me to be humble. Jesus in me is not rude. Jesus in me teaches me not to be selfish but to look to the interest of others. Jesus in me is not easily angered. Jesus in me does not keep a record of wrongs or grudges. Jesus in me does not delight in evil but rejoices in whatever is good, noble, pure, praiseworthy, beautiful, just, truthful. Jesus in me always protects those who are weaker, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Jesus in me never lets me fail. Jesus helps me lead a life of love, love for God and love for man. Chapter 13 is not meant to be read but to be lived. Prateep V Philip

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hearing the Voice

UV 849/10,000 Hearing the Voice “ Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “ This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30 v 21 When we commit our lives to the Lord, He will send the Holy Spirit who will teach us the way we should take. We will receive counsel in all the decisions we take in life. When we accidentally take a detour, we will hear a voice behind us saying, “ This is the way- take it.” We should not turn to the right or to the left but walk in the highway of holiness of the Lord. Not turning to the left or to the right implies that we should not be enamoured of the world’s philosophies, human speculation and our own inner bias. This is the upward path that the redeemed of the Lord take. When we hear the Master’s voice, it is a sure sign that He is the Shepherd and we are His flock. We must not get distracted by the other voices we hear. If we do not incline our ears all the time to hear the soft, gentle voice behind us, we might well miss hearing it. We need to be sensitive to the move of the Holy Spirit. The paths we are to take are paved with the Word of God. This is the metaphoric meaning of John’s revelation of heaven being paved with pure gold. There are many red herrings the devil and his human agents will throw our way to make us go off course but as we lean on the understanding of the Word that the Holy Spirit imparts to us, we will always have an inner compass and a GPS or God’s Positioning System bringing us back to the direction and the path the Lord wants us to take. I have wondered often and asked some people, “ which of the five senses do you think is the most important?” Some said it is vision, some said it is touch but the Word of God says it is our hearing. Our worst enemy is between our own two ears and if we but use our two ears well to hear every word that the Lord speaks to us and reflect on what He has spoken to us in the past and implicitly obey it, the enemy between our ears will be transformed and the enemy without will be overcome. The Holy Spirit will indicate the path and ask us to walk in it. Walking involves steps. Walking the path implies taking the step of faith, the step of trust, the step of obedience, the step of submission, the step of humility, the step of courage and sacrifice, the step of love. God is not our “step father” but our Father in heaven. Therefore, our hearts should not be divided between Him and the evil one, between the world and Him, between our own desires and His will. Prateep V Philip

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Importance of Truth

UV 848-10,000 The Importance of Truth Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “ I did not laugh.” But he said, “ Yes, you did laugh.” Genesis 18 v 15 Our faith should always exceed our circumstances. That is a sign that we are growing spiritually. Abraham was declared a man of faith by God Himself but he could not reconcile his and his wife Sarah’s advanced age with the promise that they would have a son. He fell facedown and laughed at the very thought that a son could be born to him at the age of hundred and that Sarah would bear a son at ninety. Disbelieving a promise of God is disbelieving God and making Him out to be a liar. This incident is a pointer to the importance of trusting completely the promise of God however outrageous and incredible it might seem the moment it is spoken or received in our lives. The Lord works amazing changes in our lives and in our world through the agency of promises. But when the three visiting messengers of God told Sarah that she would bear a son, she too laughed but she denied that she laughed. She laughed as she thought that she was too old and worn out to bear a son for Abraham. She was well past the age of child bearing. In a time of prayer, it was revealed that Sarah’s denial and her lie had consequences. She did not live to see the marriage of Isaac to Rebecca. Though Abraham had laughed, he did not lie while Sarah lied about having laughed. Indeed, we are never too old or worn out to bear fruit unto and from the Lord. The Lord is sensitive to our human reactions. He is pleased where He sees a faithful response and feels slighted when we react with doubt or derision or mocking laughter. When we are given some extraordinary promise from the Lord, we need to be careful about our reaction. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. We should not express our doubt or laugh in doubt. Having laughed, we should not deny it but seek the Lord ‘s forgiveness. Rather we should laugh in anticipation of what the Lord is going to do in our lives. This incident underlines the importance of truthfulness of our communication with the Lord and His representatives. While it was a fact that Sarah and Abraham were too old to bear a child, they should have rested on the truth that nothing is impossible or too difficult for God. A lie can affect our life even as the promise of God being nothing but the truth transforms our destiny. It is not the facts that we know that shape our lives but the faith that we hold on to. We need to make a distinction between limiting factors and faith possibilities, between facts, circumstances and truth. Prateep V Philip

Thursday, August 22, 2013


UV 847/10,000 WOW Power For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name. Psalm 61 v 5 When we make a vow to God and keep that vow, the “wow” or Word of Wisdom power of God is released in our lives. We no longer live on the purely natural plane but at the intersection of the natural and the supernatural. This is the zone in which miracles happen and blessings of the Triune God is released. When Abel kept his promise to give his best for God, he was blessed and he received the heritage of those who fear His name. When we fear God and strive to be righteous or try to live in accordance with His commands, our conscience and our commitment, we declare that we belong to God, that we are His sons and daughters. As children of God, we are entitled to His inheritance. All the 10,000 promises of God contained in the 66 books of the Bible, including this particular uni-verse, together constitute the heritage of the saints or believers in Christ. Having tasted of the wow power of these promises in the past thirty five years of my life, I too took a vow to explore all these 10,000 promises, verse by verse, word by word and day by day. Though the words of these promises were spoken in the past, they power our present and future as their effect and impact lasts forever. When we make a vow to the Lord, we are binding our soul by a bond with an oath. We must make sure we keep every word of our vow. We may only whisper our vows in our souls but the Lord hears us and remains a witness. It is said that the Arabian Nights fairy tales that were loved by us as children were written over a thousand days and nights. I have kept my vow to the Lord over nearly a thousand days so far to give priority to His Word every day and to meditate on this heritage and make known this heritage to others around the world. As a result, the Lord is pleased and has released many blessings over the past thousand days. He has said, “ I am pleased that you are analysing My Word, word by word and spreading it from nation to nation and from coast to coast.” Invariably, as I finish my meditation, I find a joy bubbling up in song from my soul. I find His strength rising in me enabling me to face the day’s challenges. He surrounds me with His peace and covers me with His presence. Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Redeeming Wisdom

UV 846/10,000 Redeeming Wisdom Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Colossians 4 v 5 This uni-verse exhorts the believers to walk in wisdom towards them who do not believe. It is not about worldly wisdom that teaches us how to get ahead in this life but it is about spiritual wisdom. Walking in spiritual wisdom implies that we must strive to be pure, gentle, not stubborn, full of the fruit of the spirit, namely, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. We must not be partial or hypocritical. We must remember to put into practice whatever the Lord has taught us and to practice what we teach others. The importance of this scripture is that unless we live a life of testimony, the gospel of Jesus Christ is not substantiated as the living truth or the truth meant for living. The gospel and scripture is one side of the coin- the head side. Whatever we think, speak and do is the other side of the coin, our testimony- the tail side. Our testimony is the evidence that we are living according to our belief and according to the Word of God. When people who are without faith see us, they must know there is some difference. We need to look and behave as if we are redeemed. Our tongues or speech should not be destructive but uplifting. Our attitude should be meek. The expression “ redeeming the time” is an unique biblical phrase which means that we need to make the best use of every moment and every opportunity in the service of the Lord. Only when we use time in this way, it is transformed from being “chromos” or mere physical count of time to “ kairos” or time that is part of eternity, time that are moments when we continually experience the power, mercy and grace of God. When we live wisely according to the Word, we are redeeming the time. Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lessons from Pottery

UV 845/10,000 Upside Down You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “He did not make me”? Can the pot say of the potter, “ He knows nothing”? Isaiah 29 v 16 Today, we live in an upside down world where man is turning round to God and saying, “ You don’t exist.” Men are turning to each other and saying, “ God did not make us. We evolved on our own.” The pot is telling the potter, “ I know more than you.” It is presumptuous for the pot to try to form the potter according to its own requirement or imagination. The pots need to understand that they are not the cause for the potter’s existence, that the potter existed long before they came into existence and would continue to exist long after. If pots were given the intelligence, emotions and ability to speak that mankind is given, they would doubtless be appreciative of the Potter and wonder at His knowledge and skill that He could from lumps of dust and mud form us and not only form us but He informs us of our purpose and destiny and transforms us. He not only forms us but fills us with His knowledge, wisdom and His spirit. He is the One who gives us all the content of our lives. When we acknowledge God as the potter, then we become right side up. We are recognizing the reality that our destiny and purpose fulfilment is dependent on the Potter. It is arrogance born of ignorance that leads the pots to declare that they formed themselves. We ask for proof that God has created and formed us as if pots need proof that they were shaped on the potter’s wheel. On top of it, some of the pots declare themselves to be gods- as if they are the ones who formed the rest and decide how these pots are to be used. They are like upside down pots that cannot be put to use for the purpose they are meant- to glorify God in our lives. A person who does not understand and accept who God is, is like an upside down pot that cannot contain any wisdom or knowledge or understanding. A pot is formed only once and if it is broken it cannot ordinarily be put back together. But, the Lord can break us and form us again. It is said that a clay pot carrying honey is worth more than a gold pot carrying poison. When we remember, claim and proclaim the promises of the Lord, we are virtually clay pots carrying honey. When we become bitter, discontented, rebellious, unfaithful, ungrateful and untrustworthy we become ugly pots. When we do not deal with our inner weaknesses, we become leaking pots. When I went to a conference to South Korea, an artist who specialised in making beautiful pots from rice pearls, presented the delegates with his precious handiwork. He glorified God by using his gift and talent in making such objets d’art. Similarly, we need to craft some precious pot with our God-given talent that will be treasured by the Lord in the course of our lifetime. The pots need to accept that their shelf life depends on the potter. Sometimes, the Lord in order to harden the pots for greater endurance allow the pots to dry not just in the sun but to be burnt in the furnace. In the Lord’s hands, we should always remain clay that is ready to be moulded to any shape He wants. Prateep V Philip

Monday, August 19, 2013

Spiritual Liberty

UV 844/10,000 Spiritual Liberty “Now God is the Spirit and where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3 v 17 It is said in the books of man that “knowledge is power but wisdom is liberty.” But God’s Book says that where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty. He sets us free from the law of sin and death or the cycle of sin and its consequence-spiritual death or the death of our own eternal spirit. The Spirit of God quickens us or causes us to live spiritually in a darkened world. His Word is a sword that sets us free from the traps and trappings of the world. It is also a s-word or spiritual word that satisfies our thirst for truth, the kind of truth that sets us free from needless beliefs and useless or meaningless practices. We who were captives to the bondage of sin were set free by Jesus. We are liberated to be fully human, wholly spiritual and fully alive. Now that we are set free, we have a duty to proclaim liberty to others around us who are captives to the law of sin and death. It is our relationship with the Triune God that gives us freedom. Whose we are matters more than who we are. No longer are we afflicted by the fear of death, fear of punishment, fear of curses, fear of affliction, fear of disaster, fear of failure, fear of loneliness and helplessness. The law implying rules and regulations limits us but the Spirit frees us as He declares us to be sons and daughters of God. Religion is often referred to by critics as the crutches that weak men rely on to walk. We are not freed by religion but by spirituality that gives us the wings of prayer and the s-word to fly high. The Spirit restores us to the joy of salvation. No longer are we mourning and moaning over our present difficulties but we rejoice in the present moment even as we look forward to eternity. All other types of freedom or liberty like political freedom, economic freedom, civic liberties have meaning and purpose only if they end in spiritual liberty. Prateep V Philip

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Apostles and Envoys

UV 844/10,000 Apostles and Envoys Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. ISAIAH 6 V 8 The Lord does not compel anyone to go for Him. He looks for volunteers. The volunteers need to offer themselves willingly. He does not compel anyone to follow him. The closest He came to persuading any man was in the case of Moses and St Paul. Paul heard the voice of the Lord and obeyed. The disciples heard His voice and followed Him when He said, “ Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” He loves a spontaneous response and a whole hearted commitment of our hearts and lives to Him. He asks us to tithe our money but give our hearts to Him 100 per cent. The Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit is referred to in the use of the plural in the question, “ …who will go for us?” The Father sends the Holy Spirit to cover the span of the entire earth right through human history to probe hearts and discover who could be a good candidate for the Lord in fulfilling His plan for Israel and the world. A good candidate for the Lord is one who always has a ready-to-go-anywhere attitude, a “ can-do attitude” and who is candid or frank with the Lord. When the prophet Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord asking, “ Whom shall I send?” , he volunteered, “ Here am I, send me.” Isaiah was prepared to go wherever the spirit of the Lord took Him. He was willing to share the message that the Lord gave to His people. God was pleased with His whole-hearted response. He was candid with the Lord and said that he was a man of unclean lips and needed a coal from the fire of God to touch his lips to sanctify it. The Holy Spirit took the live coal which is the Word of God and touched his lips and sanctified it. Consequently, the 66 chapters of the book of Isaiah is said to be the entire Bible in capsule, an executive summary for mankind to read and hear the voice of God. Isaiah had acted as an amplifier for God. St Paul’ s frenetic journeys all over the then known world sowed the seeds of the gospel and formed what is today called western civilisation among the then savage and pagan warring tribes of Europe. Each of us is called to amplify the vision that God has given to us so that it reaches the largest number of people in our lifetime. Recently, I heard the Lord telling me, “ When I asked whom shall I send? – you responded , “ here am I, send me.” I answered the Lord, “ I don’t recall having gone anywhere for you, Lord.” He said, “ Wherever you are, when you speak for me, you are sent out for me.” The word apostle itself means “ sent out.” When we speak to God and for God wherever we go, whenever we go, we are apostles for the Triune God. We are the envoys or messengers or ambassadors for Christ in a godless world. An ambasssador, it is said in jest, is a person who lies abroad for the sake of his country but an ambassador for Christ is one who lives in the world but is not of it, who speaks the truths of God to those who live in the world. That is why we are called as foreignors in this world and we live as foreignors. The Lord gives us diplomatic immunity- we cannot be punished for not following the rules of this world that are contradictory to our faith. Prateep V Phiip

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Call to Holiness

UV 842/10,000 The Call to Holiness Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the vessels of the Lord. Isaiah 52 v 11 Moving away from sin is like a wrenching but necessary experience. Joseph fled from the adulterous wife of Potiphar, leaving even his cloak with the woman. We have to similarly flee from sinful situations and break free from sinful habits. Since we are dealing with an absolutely hoy God, we must depart from our old ways and follow the straight and narrow. We cannot defile ourselves since God has declared us also to be holy once we are bonded with Him in Christ. We cannot remain in association with evil or as they put it in an expression, we should have no truck with whatever displeases the Lord. Financial discipline and integrity, sexual fidelity and purity, the disciplining of the tongue and the senses are all part of our call to holiness. The places we go, the words we speak and love to hear and see, the things we do, the people we relate and even our very thoughts and motives too, are all being watched by the Lord. Our eyes are the windows of the soul – so the movies and serials we watch on a regular basis have a huge impact on our minds. We have to lift up holy hands before the Lord in worshipping Him and hence our hands cannot give or receive bribes. We are called to be pure for it is the pure who will see God. If we have said or done anything impure or unrighteous, the Lord gives us an opportunity to break with the past and come out from it and purify ourselves again. The elaborate purification rituals and ceremonies listed in the Old Testament and followed to this day by religious Jews are a symbol of the inner purity and reverence required of us once we are in Christ. We are given freedom from such rituals but not from the inner discipline of purity . Just as a vessel is cleansed before use both from the inside and outside, we need to follow hygiene for our outside and a life of purity for the inside. We ourselves are chosen vessels of the Lord, chosen to have faith and to bear witness to all mankind. We are to remain pure and holy since we carry the message of the salvation of mankind- the gospel and we carry the instructions of the Lord on how to grow and bear fruit-the Word of God. Purity determines the efficacy, power and impact of our witness and our works for the Lord. It is in our hands to determine what kind of vessel we are or will be for the Lord- whether we are to be common and cheap vessels of wood or base metal or vessels of pure gold and other precious metals. Prateep V Philip

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Manifestation

UV 841/10,000 The Manifestation But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten. Jeremiah 20 v 11 The Word as we read and hear it today was once spoken to real people in real situations. This is the reason the Word is real and practical, meant to work in the everyday situations the faithful find themselves in. When God told Moses that “ I am who I am”, it implies that He is God and Ruler in every situation. He is not dependent on anyone or anything for His power and sustenance. He is the original source and cause of all life and being. In this uni-verse, He is stating for all time that He is the defence of the seemingly defenceless, the weak, the vulnerable and the faithful. Jeremiah the young prophet was bemoaning the fact that he was surrounded by hostile people and forces who were waiting for him to be tempted and fall so that they can prevail against him. So great was the frustration of the prophet that he cursed the day he was born. He lamented the fact that his life was full of labour, sorrow and shame. He was persecuted and mocked on all sides. At this juncture, he remembers that yet the Lord is with him as a mighty terrible one. Jeremiah recognized the fact that the Lord is the Commander in Chief of the armies of Heaven. With God on his side, his persecutors would certainly stumble and fail. They would be greatly ashamed. They would not prosper in their plans against him. No weapon or word they spoke or wrote against him would develop any further. Instead, they would fall in the pit they had dug for him. The stone they were rolling against him would roll back on them. Their confusion and ignominy would not just be for this lifetime but forever. They would face everlasting judgement for their foul deeds and evil ways. The Lord knows our vulnerabilities. He knows the vultures that prey upon our vulnerabilities and He also knows how to drive away the vultures as Moses drove them away from the sacrifice. The new covenant of Jesus asks us to pray and bless our enemies. While we pray for their forgiveness, it is the Lord’s sovereign right and power to see if they truly repent and have changed their ways. When they do not show any sign of compunction or remorse and continue to attempt to oppress the faithful flock of Jesus, there will be a manifestation of the awesome power of God. The Word will be fulfilled that they will stumble and not prevail against the righteous by faith. We must always affirm that the Lord is with us as a terrific as well as a terrible person, terrific to those who fear, respect, revere and love Him and terrible to those who do not fear, respect or revere Him. Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Attitude Metrics

The Attitude Metrics 1Sa 2:3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. There are even some believers who teach communication on the one hand but are known to use their tongue like an industrial saw to hurt and cut up people. I even come across young men who talk arrogantly as if they know it all. They think they are the repository of all knowledge and wisdom and talk arrogantly without realizing that God will call them to account for every word spoken and every attitude of pride at one’s position or one’s abilities or one’s achievements. Arrogance is a sure sign that we are not worthy of the trust of man and God. Humility is a sign that we are worthy of trust. Many young couples are kept childless till they humble themselves and acknowledge God as the source of life. Throwing themselves with abandon into each other’s arms does not produce new life in the womb but the first prayer that they make in all humility and reverence like Hannah did, begins the stirrings of new life in the hitherto barren womb. Elkanah’s first wife Peninah who had borne children used to despise Hannah who was barren and had not borne children. She used to speak arrogantly to Hannah and make the latter upset and vexed. Hannah turned to the Lord in her sorrow. She then bore a son Samuel who is known as one of the greatest of prophets. In contrast, the children of Peninah remain nameless and are not remembered to this day. The very name “ Samuel” means “ heard of the Lord.” Hannah later celebrated her triumph, over the fact that the Lord had heard her cry and removed her shame and agony. Hannah worships the Lord as the “ God of knowledge.” He knows the hearts and attitudes of people. He will weigh the thoughts, words and actions of people and vindicate and lift up the humble in heart. This uni-verse is a warning not to harbour proud thoughts, not to talk proudly or arrognantly. We must use our mouth to extol the Lord and to boast of His glory. Then He will enlarge our mouths, our lives and our legacy over the lives of our so called rivals, foes and contemporaries. When He weighs our actions and the motives behind them we should not be found wanting. Hannah needed the priest Eli to pray for her and prophetically tell her that her prayer had been heard. But today under the new covenant, each believer is declared to be a priest before the most holy, all knowing and all powerful God. As our prayers and our attitudes, words and actions please the Lord, the Holy Spirit will directly communicate to us that our prayers have been heard. Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Willingness to Sacrifice the Precious

UV 839/`10,000 The Willingness to Sacrifice the Precious Gen 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Each uni-verse uncovers the principles that govern the God-man relationship. In this particular uni-verse, it is evident that tests are sent our way to prove that we truly fear or revere or respect and love God. Abraham has many possessions in this life but what he held most dear was the son that he obtained miraculously in his and Sarah’s old age. He was his most precious heir. God had promised to raise nations through that heir. A lot of the hope of Abraham for the future rested on that boy. Yet God was asking him to sacrifice to Him his only son. A theoretical commitment to believe, trust and obey God is not sufficient according to this uni-verse but our faith will be tested in a practical way in the course of our lives. It is a test whether we value the Blessor more than the blessing. Abraham did not withhold his son Isaac from God. Therein he proved that he feared, loved and trusted God to do what is best for him. He was recognizing the principle that what God had given, He had the right and power to take it away. His faith was proved by his work. Similarly, in our lives our relationship with God will be put to the test. Are we willing to give that which we hold most precious to the Lord? When we do so, we are proving that our relationship with the Lord is the top priority of our lives, the most precious for which we are willing to do anything that is asked of us. Abraham’s action of attempting to sacrifice his only son became the model for God Himself to give evidence of His love for all mankind. It is the forerunner of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in history on the cross. God could not have made it any plainer. Yet many Jews, the descendants of Abraham and the Gentiles do not believe to this day. Jesus is the blemishless lamb that Abel offered, the lamb that God provided that was caught in the thicket of man’s sin and rebellion against God. He was baptised in water by John the Baptist and baptised with the fullness of the Holy Spirit even as the Father affirmed, “ This is my beloved Son.” Abraham’s hand was held back by God but there was no one to hold back the hands of the executors of Jesus. Isaac was redeemed at the point and brink of death but Jesus was redeemed from the pit, the brink of hell, having paid for all time the sins of all mankind. Isaac was the passive object of sacrifice, not knowing what the father was intending to do when they set out for Mount Moriah. But Jesus was willing participant. He knew all along the Father’s intention. Nothing in philosophy or literature or mythology or logic or religion or science would ever match the depth of love manifested in this single act of God in sending His Son as a sacrifice and in the Son in willingly accepting the undeserved pain, humiliation and agony of the Cross of Calvary. Prateep V Philip

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Grace Fiesta

UV 637/10,000 The Marriage Feast Isa 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. Without God, our labour is in vain. We will eat the bread of sorrow. Without God, our lives are useless and vain. But we are called to rejoice in the Lord and to rejoice again and again. Our soul should be like a continual feast with Christ as the chief guest for He is the Eternal Bridegroom. He has given us the garments or clothes of salvation. As we delight in each dish that is served in a feast, the Lord gives us a variety of blessings that cause joy to spring up from our hearts and minds. Salvation is God’s plan for man to enjoy life continually. But if we continue to sigh, regret and lament we are out of sync with the plan of God for our lives. He not only provides the clothes of salvation, He Himself clothes us.We do not deserve such royal clothes but He gives it to us in His grace so that we rejoice. The fellowship with the Triune God is the time when the Lord dines and rejoices with us. He celebrates our victories every day. His grace and peace are ornaments of our personality. He decorates us with such jewels whose lustre never declines. The clothes of salvation never wear out. He gives us a garment for every part of our lives. He covers our shame. He makes our faces radiate with His love and joy. Just as Moses’ face shone when he came out of the tent of the presence of the Lord, our faces shine so much that people need to take their eyes off us. When we do our best to glorify God to show our faith, our gratitude and our joy in the Lord, we are actually like the bride who adorns herself with precious jewels to make herself pleasing and attractive to the Lord. Our thoughts, words and deeds are the jewels that adorn us. When we hear the Word and rejoice in it, we are wearing and delighting in beautiful ear rings. When we speak the Word, tidings and testimony of the Lord, our lips are being decorated. When we use our hands to help and to do good deeds, we are wearing golden bangles of intricate designs. When we lift up our hands in prayer and praise, we are wearing beautiful diamond studded rings on our fingers. When we go to the places that the Lord takes us to, our feet become beautiful and adorned with anklets of fine jewels. Salvation covers us as intimately as our clothes. Salvation sticks so close to our skin as our clothes. We wear our best clothes to a marriage feast to reflect our joy. Similarly, we must do our best to please the Bridegroom of the feast of life-Jesus Christ. We must not allow our hearts and minds to swing and fluctuate between different moods but we need to be consistently rejoice. When a man is saved from certain and terrible death or suffering, his joy is great. Similarly, we need to rejoice greatly and thank and praise God for the salvation that He has so generously provided at such great cost to Himself. Imagine Abraham’s sorrow for the rest of his life had he been allowed to sacrifice his only son Isaac. Imagine also how great was his joy when the Lord spared his life and provided a lamb to substitute for him. Similarly, the Lord provided His own son to substitute for each of our lives. Prateep V Philip

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Three Fold Power

UV 837/10,000 Three Fold Power Eph 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; Our inner man or woman is renewed day by day by the Spirit of the Lord with His might or power. It is our share in His glorious inheritance that we have access to His power in us. That power quickens the Word to our mind so that it does not remain head knowledge but is the Word at work in our lives. The first power that is at work in us is the power of His Word. It instructs and directs our spiritual feet on the paths we should take, the decisions we should make and the ones we should avoid. God’s love is unconditional but His promises are conditional to our believing in these and obeying the condition of obedience attached to virtually every promise. The second aspect of His power at work in us to strengthen , equip and enable us from within is the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. He is the oil in the spiritual lamp that is burning in us all the time. We need to keep our lamps polished and clean for the Holy Spirit to remain in us and empower us with His might. He gives us boldness to share our experiences and the truth of God with others. He gives us even the very words or utterance that we should speak even in the high councils of man. He gives us functional gifts of grace that we need to be effective in our professions, our leadership and our ministry. He ministers to us even as we minister or serve others. We should take care not to grieve the Holy Spirit or take Him lightly. The third aspect of His power in us that strengthens us with might in our inner being is the very Name of God- Jesus, El Shaddai, El Jireh, El Shalom, El Adonai, El Rapha, Ebenezer God, Emmanuel, Jehovah Shammah, Jehovah Nissi, Lamb of God, Lion of Judah, Bright and Morning Star, Prince of Peace, Eternal King.. As we remember these names, the power from within is released in accordance with the manifestation with which that name is connected. If we want the might of God to be revealed, we praise and thank El Shaddai. Power will be released from His throne even as rays are emitted from the sun and stars. If our situational need is inner victory, recall to mind and spirit Jehovah Nissi. If we need inner forgiveness and cleansing, pray to the Lamb of God to wash and cleanse with His blood. If we need inner peace, raise our souls to the Prince of Peace or El Shalom. If we need comfort, remember the Comforter. If we need a manifestation of inner healing, pray to Jehovah Rapha. If we are feeling lonely and forlorn, remember Emmanuel. As we need help at all times to face life’s challenges and to accomplish the purpose of our lives, remember Ebenezer at all times. Prateep V Philip

Increase and Decrease

UV 836/10,000 Increase and Decrease Joh 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease Our attitude towards God and His Son Jesus should be that of John the Baptist’s: “ He must increase but I must decrease.” It implies that we must always give God the credit for any success we have in life, that we must give glory and thanks to the Lord for all the good that has happened in our lives. In proportion to the extent we humble ourselves, the Lord is exalted in our lives. We cannot strangulate our own egos in a single day but over a lifetime we must learn not to feed our egos or feel proud of ourselves, of what we have achieved or acquired or what we have done for the Lord. Our self love needs to decline even as His agape love increases. Even in winning souls for Christ, our role is at best like that of John the Baptist-that of the Bridegroom’s friend- the best man. We need to rejoice as the joy of the Lord is complete. In His joy we must find our pleasure. In His presence, we must learn to delight as a friend in the company of His best friend. The relationship between Saul’s son Jonathan and David is a good example of our relationship. Jonathan had a right to the throne of Israel but since he knew that David was anointed or chosen for the throne over him, he was not only willing to forego his inheritance but he warned David of his father’s evil designs on the latter’s life. The result was that many years later David showed kindness and favour to Jonathan’s son and allowed him to have food on the royal table. We must yield to a greater and greater role for Jesus to take charge of different areas of our lives. The Word of God must increase its grip on our thoughts, words and actions even as increase our grip or knowledge of the Word. We must subject our goals and desires to the scrutiny and approval of the Lord which we seek at every point in prayer. As we burn like candles for the Lord, our own temporal priorities will gradually loose its importance vis a vis the eternal agenda of God. Our relationship with Christ is like the relationship between the sun and the moon in the day time. As the light from the sun at dawn increases, the moon begins to fade and wane. Prateep V Philip

Friday, August 9, 2013


UV 835-10,000 Revival Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. Psalm 138 v 7 Trouble, affliction, persecution, problems and suffering are endemic and natural in this life. The reason is that in the absence of trouble in our lives, we would be unmindful of God. We would forget and ignore Him. But the Lord promises to be with us in our troubles lift us out of our despondency. He will revive our sagging spirits. He will give us inner strength and feed us with His living hope. We are in the midst of trouble but the glory of the Lord is in our midst. The trouble is permitted to occur in our lives so that we will see the deliverance that the Lord works out for us and be thankful and give glory to God. Troubles are a sign that man is neither self sufficient nor independent. He needs to depend on God to defend himself. Here is a picture of a man caught in battle and the Lord rushes to his aid. With His left hand He brushes aside the enemies and with His right hand He saves him. We are always caught in a situation that is fraught with risk and frequented by trouble. But the Lord assures us in this uni-verse that He will not leave us to fend for ourselves. The reality of God is proved when He intervenes in our life storms and commands, “ Peace, be still.” In our lowest moments, our saddest times, our weakest as well as in the high points of our lives, the Lord is faithful. We need to be faithful when the going is good and when the going is tough and rough. We should not be troubled by trouble as the Lord is sure to find a way out for us. He will demonstrate His power, wisdom, love and grace. Troubles are God’s way of getting our attention. It will help us discipline ourselves to focus on our priority in life-knowing God and becoming like Him. Last night, I was listing the lessons I learnt about life, my self, about the Lord, His Word, the world and people when I was injured in the world’s first human bomb assassination of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. It was certainly the lowest point in my life. But as I hit rock bottom, I decided to re-build the broken pieces of my life with the help of the Rock of Ages. The Lord send His Holy Spirit to comfort me. He used His Word to revive me. He sent angels and men and women of God to encourage me. The lessons below that I learnt from this experience became a new source of strength. I am sharing these with you so that you don’t need to survive a bomb blast to learn and live these life lessons: I was chosen for survival over the lives of former Prime Minister RG and others who perished in the world's first human bomb. It is obvious that God has intended that my destiny would be even greater than his. As one friend wrote to me at the time," it is a dramatic confirmation of God's special purpose for your life. " A large number of life’s lessons I learnt that night after the Bomb exploded killing 18 people including the VIP. I list these below: 1. We live in such an evil world. Salvation from our inherent evil is our greatest need 2. Our faith will always be vindicated. God never lets down the faithful 3. God is true to His promise in Psalm 91 “ A thousand shall fall beside you, ten thousand beside you but it shall not come near you.” 4. I had helped a constable get enough money to do his wife’s heart surgery. I expected help from him as I lay injured. But help came from an unexpected quarter- an unknown stranger who gave me drops of water to quench my thirst caused by loss of blood from multiple wounds. 5. The unexpected can happen at any time though everything looks normal on the surface 6. People senior to you will only try to cover their own backs and save their own skin 7. Human ingenuity in inventing methods of violence is unmatched in any species 8. Fact is often stranger than fiction- only months before the blast I had read of a woman sniper who acted as an unlikely assassin in a Ludlum thriller. 9. Nobody weeps over you except your own family- despite all the fawning on the VIP, I found only people crying over their own kith and kin and no one crying over the slain leader. Hence value your family most. 10. The greatest lessons in life are often learnt from life’s worst experiences 11. It is best to travel light- I had only one hundred rupee note in my pant pocket in case I needed to buy my lunch. The doctors found it. 12. Prayer is life saving. I had prayed that afternoon, : Lord preserve our lives 13. There are severe limits to our knowledge and ability but God is not limited. He found a way to re-direct hundreds of steel pellets either away from me or to have it lodge in non lethal bone and tissue without causing internal bleeding injuries that can cause death 14. Vengeance and violence does not pay. It is counterproductive and does not advance the cause of anybody. 15. When you are down and out, your rank and position in life, your family background, your qualifications do not count 16. There are some situations in life that no amount of training can prepare you for 17. Your colleagues and companions are the first to write you off 18. The system always look for scapegoats to fix the blame 19. The powerful and influential will close ranks to hide the truth 20. Every terrible experience has some terrific truths hidden in it that are valuable to even those who never went through that experience directly 21. Every conversation however and seemingly casual has meaning and consequences: when my then boss asked me “ If I had seen my new born daughter’s horoscope I said, “No sir, I don’t believe in that . I believe God will take care of me.” 22. One learns a lot more from pain and suffering than from pleasure and comfort 23. Your belief in your self and your destiny will carry you through any ordeal 24. In God ‘s eyes though not in man’s , every life counts- there is no concept of VIP or VOP –Very Ordinary Person 25. Your inner combative strength is automatically mustered when you stand alone. 26. When people tell you that they care only for your career as their career is almost over since I was then only a young Assistant Superintendent of Police, don’t believe them for what they actually mean is “ It will be only one small cut on my neck” as warned by another officer who knew about their true intention. 27. When there is a crisis, people will disown that they had any responsibility and that it was all the fault of someone else below them Prateep V Philip

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Arrow of the Lord

UV 834/10,000 The Arrow of the Lord And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; Isaiah 49 v 2 The Lord has placed His Word which is a double-edged sword right inside our mouth. As long as His Word is in our mouth, we become the very mouth of God. We speak for God and we speak as God. Our words will pierce the heart of the King’s enemies and turn them into friends of God. The words of God are like life-giving bullets that do not take away life but where they lodge they restore life. It is a weapon that heals and delivers. Without the Word in our hearts and minds, we are like spent bullets, empty cartridge cases that have no use. With it implanted in our hearts and minds and always ready to be released like a sharp projectile or an arrow from our mouths, the power of Jehovah El Shaddai will manifest itself in one way or other in our lives. Our minds influenced by the Word become over time like an arrowhead of flintstone that can penetrate the hardest targets. Flint is said to be the hardest stone and it is a metaphor for the determination of our minds and the unflinching commitment of our hearts to the Lord, His Word and His work. Our thoughts,words, emotions, decisions and actions become the shaft that is welded into the arrowhead. The Lord polishes this shaft till it is perfectly smooth and straight. He then hides us in His quiver to be used strategically when He needs to. The quiver is a metaphor for the truth that we are held in the safe custody of the Lord. We need not quiver or shake with fear when we face situations that are overwhelming for we know we are held safely in His quiver. Many people however want to remain safely ensconced in the quiver and never speak up for God. Such individuals fail to fulfil their call to be an arrow for the Lord. An arrow that is never used often gets bent or damaged over time and looses its efficacy. We need to be a sharpened arrow in the hands of the Lord that is constantly in use. When our sharing of the gospel penetrates the hearts of people and changes their lives, we have hit the bull’s eye. Even if it is slightly off mark and hits somewhere on the circle representing their lives, it is still impactful. The shadow of the hand of God is always over us as long as we choose to walk in the umbra of that shadow and not stray into the penumbra or beyond. The Word empowered believer is the weapon of choice for the Lord to deliver many from eternal death and hopelessness. Our hard experiences in life are the means used to give us traction or momentum to reach the God intended targets. The more the bow’s string is pulled back, the faster and farther it goes. Similarly, the more we endure, the more effective and useful will our words be when we share the knowledge of God’s love to people around us. My life threatening experiences are what often speaks into the hearts of people I have shared with. They realize that God is alive and real and acts in accordance with His promise to hide us in the shadow of His hand. Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Planting of the Lord

UV 833-10,000 The Planting of the Lord Isa 27:3 I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. The Lord is our keeper. He is like a gardener and yet no gardener is like Him for the gardener would water his plants for some time and return only after a considerable interval when he expects the plants to be dry and thirsty. But the Divine Gardener waters us every moment. He has installed a kind of eternal drip irrigation system that keeps us spiritually moist. The drops keep falling and penetrate to our very heart and make it soft to do the bidding of the Lord. The water is a metaphor for the Word of God, for the thoughts the Lord brings up in our hearts and minds all the time to give us hope, strength and encouragement. The Word is like an eternal spring that never dries up. It flows not at a superficial lip level but from deep within our hearts and minds. Without this we would go the way of the world and perish. Before we encountered and received Jesus into our hearts, we were like the thorns and bramble. But once we received the gospel and believed in its truth, we get grafted into the stem and root of Jesus. It is at this juncture that the Lord God of Israel takes responsibility as Gardener for us. The Eternal Gardener not only feeds and waters us, He fences us with His love and care. A normal gardener would just put a fence around his plants, tend the garden during the day and leave for his night’s rest. He leaves it to time and chance. But the Lord fences us with His presence and His angels all the time both night and day. We however cannot take His care and nurture casually or for granted. Every ounce of our gratitude should reflect in inches of growth over time. We need to be rooted in the soil of His nourishment. The SAP or spiritual attitudes for progress should flow through us all the time and nourish even the extremities of our lives. We should bear fruit in season and out of season. When the Divine Gardener looks for fruit, we should not be like the accursed fig tree that bore no fruit for the Master. Bearing fruit implies that we should bear witness of His goodness, faithfulness, reality, truthfulness, greatness, grandeur and amazing incomprehensible love. For we are indeed a planting of the Lord in order to reveal His splendour. Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Mystery of History

832/10,000 Rootedness And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof Revelation 5 v 5 Yet wisdom prevails. The Lord and King, Mighty God,the Prince of Peace,the Lion of Judah, the Root and Offspring of David is the one who determines the outlines of world history. When He opens the seals of time, one by one the mega events of history unfolds. Historians and people at large might think that everything has happened and happens by happenstance or chance or at random but the Lord is sovereign and in control. So He says, “ Do not weep and get distressed or depressed at things that are happening around the world. I am at the door.” Only He has won the right to open the books of accounts in Heaven. The Lord once revealed that there are two books- the Book of Life in which the names of all those who belong to Him and the Kingdom of God are written and the Book of the Shepherd in which are written the names of all those who played some role in winning souls for the Kingdom of God. The name Judah means “ praise”. His Name and His Work and His Word continually brings praise and glory and honour and blessing to the Great I Am. We are finite with an infinite purpose and destiny. How we define ourselves will refine us over time. Most people define themselves by what they do. In French it is better said, " Je fais, donc je suis." Many people define themselves by what they feel- " Je sens, donc je suis." Still others define themselves by what they speak, "Je parle, donc je suis." A few define themselves by what they think-" Je pense, donc je suis." Some others define themselves by their love- " J'aime, donc je suis." The truth is that all these states of being are connected but when we define ourselves by what we believe, "Je crois, donc je suis", all else gets connected with the Great I Am. I was, I am and I will be when I am connected with the One, the only one who defined His self as " I AM WHO I AM." Jesus is the root and anchor, bridge and buckle that connects us with the Great I Am. We as believers are not passive spectators of events of world history but we are globe shapers and shakers for our King reigns. We extend the Kingdom of God by what we pray, think, feel, speak and do. We are inducted into the Kingdom where every citizen is a king and priest as priests and kings. We are shepherd-kings in the tradition of our forefather of faith-David. When we sing and remember the psalms, we are passing edicts of the House of David. When we sing praises we belong to the tribe of Judah. What we do here leaves an indelible imprint in the books of Heaven. When we are rooted in the revealed Word, we get connected with all the royal lineage of David the King and beyond that fallen hero of yesteryears, the Morning Star of all of the universe, the Root as well as the Offspring of David. Jesus holds the key to the understanding of human history, the key to our personal redemption, the key to unlocking the mystery of history-the seven seals. The seven seals stand for great epochal events that are date-timed and destined to happen. Some of these have been prophesied and fulfilled already. Seven symbolises completion and an indication that the earth and the universe have an expiry date when the Eternal will down the curtain of history. Prateep V Philip

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Certainty of Deliverance

The Certainty of Deliverance Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence Psalm 91 v 3 Yesterday, somebody whom I had asked to read Psalm 91 as his life insurance policy every day testified in a mail that thanks to his little act of faith, he was saved from grievous injury in a fall. The word “ surely” that this uni-verse starts off with gives us the assurance of certainty of deliverance. Satan is compared to a bird hunter or a “ fowler”. He is used to adopt foul means to deceive the birds. The birds literally fly into his snare or trap. We are lured by the temptations of this world so that our souls are trapped. When we receive Christ, our souls escape like birds out of a snaring net. By breaking the power of sin and death, Jesus broke the snare open. We have a Hobson’s choice in life, “ Receive or be deceived.” Jesus not only broke the snare of sin and death and doing away with the sting of the grave, He redeemed us from the invisible agents of death and disease. Wherever He went unlike other teachers, He did not just teach and leave sick people as they were. In His compassion, He healed the sick, the deaf, the blind, the lame, the paralysed and even raised some from the dead. You cannot have an encounter with Christ and remain what you were before He met you. Sometimes, we have only ourselves to be blamed that we get ensnared. We score self goals or sow the seeds of our own destruction. Our thoughts, words, desires,actions and reactions can ensnare us. The fowler or hunter knows our inner weaknesses. He reads us like a book and focusses on those areas of weakness. We need to appropriate grace or strength from the Lord to fight these weaknesses and win the inner battle. When we cover ourselves with the blood armour of Jesus, we protect ourselves from the deadly pestilence or diseases of the mind and body that are going around contaminating air, water and food. We need to do our part too to keep the sap flowing in us: sap standing for spiritual attitudes of progress like faith, wisdom, humility, contentment, spiritual shrewdness to recognize and defend ourselves from evil or risks, love, kindness and self control. Prateep V Philip

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Measure of Our Days

UV 830/10,000 The Measure of Our Days So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90 v 12 I began this pursuit of studying one verse from the Bible every day and most often early in the morning before I set my hand to anything else influenced by this uni-verse. Many years ago as a young man I started numbering or counting my days, counting backward from 10,000 which is approximately 30 years. But I could not sustain this simple habit till I combined it with applying my heart to studying one uni-verse every day. I had to wait till the Lord taught me how to number my days. The Lord lays one verse on my heart every morning and then I read and study all the related verses in a Bible concordance from Genesis to Revelation. Thereby, I get and impart a 360 degree perspective on that particular truth or principle. Now the habit had been formed that could be sustained: I was both numbering my days and also applying my heart and mind to learning the wisdom of God as revealed in His Word. I was beginning to see what it means to live on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. It implies giving priority, precedence or primacy to every word of scripture. Just as a mother bird feeds its young out of its mouth, the Lord desires to feed us wisdom, knowledge and understanding out of His mouth. He knows if we get these we will be able to walk, run and fly avoiding the pitfalls of the earth, the predators of the air and sky. He knew that man cannot obtain wisdom by plucking it from a tree. It had to grow like a seed, then a seedling and then a plant and finally a full blown tree. The one habit of studying the Word and learning from the nearly 10,000 principles and promises that are hidden in it will lead us to greater and greater wisdom and understanding. Life is long enough to apply each of these principles or to claim the promises in one or other area of our lives. At any given time, we need to have a hold on about ten principles just as our hands have ten fingers. This is the reason the Lord says, “ I will teach your fingers to war.” Many leaders and teachers like Stephen Covey confuse habits and principles. Principles are rules or guidelines for our conduct and lives. It involves an attitude that is sustained with few breaks. A habit is what one does with regularity on an almost daily basis. It involves an action that is repeated with few breaks. Covey’s principles or attitudes like being proactive, sharpening the saw of knowledge, the importance of understanding in human relationships etc were derived from the regular prayerful daily study of the Bible, as he himself acknowledged towards the end of his popular book, “ The Seven Habits”. Studying the Word of God and diligently applying it to ourselves, to measure our days and our worth will teach us to be wise and humble before God all the days of our lives. We will realize that we weigh in so light on the scales of God. We will realize the vanity of our human pursuits. At the same time, studying the Word day after day and meditating on it both day and night will propel us to hyperbole or excellence in all aspects of our lives. This is the reason I say that it takes only one habit to transform our minds, our perspectives, our relationships, our work and our lives. Prateep V Philip

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Difference

The Difference But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel Exodus 11 v 7 The Lord promises His children that neither dog nor beast nor man can move or lift their tongue against any of them. He discerns between those who fear and serve Him and those who do not. Those who fear and serve Him belong to the spiritual nation of Israel. Those who do not belong to the nation of darkness- Egypt. The Lord is not partial but He is discerning. He places a difference between the obedient and humble and the disobedient and arrogant. Those who live in darkness when they see the difference operating in the lives of the children of Israel, they too will be drawn or attracted to serve the Lord. In other words, it is the testimony of God to all people if they are willing to open their spiritual eyes and discern the difference. Even in the very first family, that of Adam’s the Lord made a distinction between Cain and Abel. Though both made sacrifices to the Lord, Cain had a grudging attitude of not offering his best or what is valuable to the Lord. He reserved the best for his own self. But not so Abel who offered his best and of his best, a lamb without blemish. Abel became a model or a pattern or example for God Himself to prove His covenant relationship with man, His creature. Abel had done that which God Himself was going to do in time in order to redeem the created and fallen and raise them to be eternal and lifted up or blessed. Yet God allowed Cain to slay his innocent brother Abel not that He could not have prevented it. It is not a violation of this uni-verse that He would not allow a dog or beast or man to raise the tongue against the children of Israel. Abel was ordained to be a martyr, the first martyr and the forerunner of Zachariah the priest who was slain before the altar in the temple, the forerunner of Stephen and James the martyr whose blood intercedes through the generations along with the blood of the chosen Messiah for the children of Israel. On Cain, the Lord placed the mark of the minus sign, the curse that would last through all generations. All those who kill and destroy in human history are the spiritual descendants of Cain. On Abel and his spiritual descendants, the Lord placed the cross- the cancellation from above of the minus sign making it the plus sign, the mark of blessing, favour and grace. The Lord puts a fencing around us that neither serpent nor fox-symbols of subtle or cunning or deceitful attacks nor bear or lion –symbols of open, violent attacks- can use their weapons of darkness against us. Divine favour or grace is not a gesture of partiality but it is necessary to prove that we are in a special, covenanted and personal relationship with God. Even the people of the symbolic Egypt or those who do not know and serve God are His creation but unless they enter the covenanted personal relationship with God, they do not become His children who are entitled to His care, blessing, guidance, favour, protection, provision and promotion. Prateep V Philip
UV 828 /10,000 Isaiah 6 v 2 Emulate the Seraphs Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. Isaiah 6 v 2 The seraphim surrounding the throne of the Lord in Isaiah’s vision covered their faces and their eyes with two wings. We need to cover our faces so that we do not look at the world and be entranced by the world. The seraphim covered their eyes with two wings, covered their feet with two wings and with two they flew. We too need to cover our eyes with the two wings of prayer and the Word, cover our feet or the places we go with the two wings of prayer and the Word and also fly with the two wings of prayer and the Word. It means that our perceptions and our perspectives be through the prisms of prayer and the Word. We ought not to look at the world through the prisms of the world. When we look through the prisms of the Word at the world, the white light of God will shine through us, what we do and whatever happens to us and break into the glorious colours of the rainbow. Our eyes which Jesus called the windows to the soul will be protected from evil. Evil will be filtered away. Our thoughts, perceptions as well as imagination will be pleasing to the Lord. When our feet are covered with prayer and the Word that acts as a beaconlight or directional lamp to tell us in which direction we need to move each moment and situation of our lives, we will be able to run and not get tired. Our source of motivation, strength and guidance is the Lord God Himself. When we fly with the two wings of prayer and the Word, we will be able to rise on wings like a mountain eagle. We will reach heights in every domain of existence that cannot be attained by human effort, reason and ability. Yet after attaining those heights, we will not be proud but we will cover our faces in humility and give all glory to God, saying, “ Great, great, great is the Lord God of Heaven and of Earth.”. Prateep V Philip

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Unction in Every Function

UV 827/10,000 Unction in Every Function He is to bring one of each kind as an offering, a contribution to the Lord; it belongs to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the fellowship offerings. Leviticus 7 v 14 It is not as if all the offerings and sacrifices of the Old Testament have lost their meaning and relevance in our days. The blood offering continues to be offered as a contribution to the Lord except that it is not the blood of animals, of oxen or doves but that of the Christ, the Anointed One who offered Himself as the one blemishless and eternal sacrifice for all, past, present and future and for all time. In my recent travel to different parts of the USA, the Lord revealed that He dabbed and sprinkled His anointing, cleansing and empowering spiritual blood upon my heart and my mouth, upon the steps of my feet so that all the homes and places I dwelled shared in the peace of fellowship with Christ. It is the unction or anointing of the blood of Christ that enables us to fellowship with the Triune God, the Creator-Comforter-Christ.(CCC) The blood of Jesus that flowed from His many wounds never congealed but continues to flow, bless, cleanse and deliver people who come in contact with Him to this day. The blood from His face and head gives us grace and protection from fear, anxiety , guilt and mental worry. The blood from His hands anoint the work of our hands. The blood that flowed from the furrows ploughed on His back protect us from the unseen enemy and weapons forged in secret. The blood that flowed from His chest blesses us with strength, health and power to fulfil His purpose in our lives. The blood that flowed from His knees makes our prayers and praise acceptable and pleasing to the Lord. The blood that flowed from His feet blesses our travel and the places we go to. Many people, particularly from other faiths and backgrounds, wonder why we talk so much about blood but when we reflect on it we will realize that our life flows in and out with our blood. I realized that as I lost a lot of blood lying injured in Sriperumbudur after the human bomb. The blood contains both RBCs or Red Blood Corpuscles and White Blood Corpuscles- both the cells provide oxygen to all parts of the body of a person as well as the body of Christ- the church and the cells that fight invasion of germs, that protect us from infections. The blood of Christ similarly has two spiritual functions-one, to provide spiritual nourishment and spiritual energy and two, to protect and fight the attack of the spiritual enemy of our souls. As priests with the unction of the Most High God, we do the function to sprinkle the blood of Christ on all that we do, all the people we come in contact with and all the places we go to. In every function of every organ of our bodies and every part of our lives and minds and souls, we need this unction. In every relationship, we need this unction. In every activity and endeavour and plan, we need this unction. Prateep V Philip