Sunday, December 31, 2017


UV 2871/10000 Overcoming
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world
I John 4 v 4
Since we are redeemed by God through Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. The Spirit of God at work in us is greater, stronger than the spirit of anti-Christ that is in the world. He is greater than the prince and principalities of this world, the strongholds of darkness. We war not against our fellow humans who are like us flesh and blood but with the spirits that dwell with them or the spirits under whose influence they come under. As for us, we are under the shadow or the influence of the Almighty God. We are His children and He will not forsake us or leave us. He will not allow us to be preyed upon by the strong but evil one or his agents for He is exceedingly powerful and has already crushed the head of the enemy of our souls in overcoming sin and death. As He has overcome the world, so shall we overcome the world and all the challenges it throws at us.
He that is the Word is greater than He that is in the world. By the word, we shall overcome temptations, lusts, trials, tests, suffering in this world. We might be as vulnerable as little children but the fact the Lord is with us as Emmanuel, Ebenezer and Redeemer makes us victorious in all of life’s situations. From an infinite and eternal perspective, we might appear as tiny as ants but in Him we are Gi-ants or God-inspired ants. The word inspired implies ‘breathed.’ We breathe in the strength and power of the Spirit of God. He fills us with His knowledge, wisdom, understanding. He gives us apt defence and places in our hands the powerful weapons of the spirit. He gives us the ability to discern between truth and falsehood.
As the greatness of the power and character of the Lord is invested in the believer or follower of Jesus, we have access to all the beauty, power, grace, love, wisdom, resources of the kingdom of God. He causes us to be greater than our biggest fears and threats, our biggest foes and enemies, our greatest challenges, our biggest obstacles and difficulties. Weakness is part of human nature but the power to overcome comes from God. He exchanges our weaknesses, known and unknown for His strength. Our deficiencies, vulnerabilities, scarcities, crises are opportunities for the Lord to act in and through our lives and help us overcome. We are declared overcomers or winners right at the beginning. We only need to stay firm and hold our ground in faith that the Lord will fight the battle for and on behalf of us and wrest victory for us. This is the reason we are called by St Paul as “more than conquerors” as a conqueror overcomes or wins by virtue of his own blood, sweat and toil as well as courage. We conquer by virtue of the shed blood of Jesus, the indwelling Holy Spirit and the word that is alive and active in every situation to make us victorious. The power or the victory is not of us that any man can boast or be proud. We overcome by grace even as we are saved by grace. In many things that we struggle with or against,we have failed and became frustrated as we struggled based on our own natural strength and resources and we did not rely on Jesus to give us the overcoming power, the victory.
Prateep V Philip

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Threshing Process

UV 2869/10000 The Threshing Process
Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.
Micah 4 v 13
Believers are referred to in scripture as “daughters” and as daughters of Zion in keeping with the view of the church as the bride of Christ. As we submit to Christ, even as a neck stays attached and submits to the head while supporting it, the Lord will greatly increase us in strength, power, hope, energy, dynamism, courage, enthusiasm, joy. He will make us victorious and invincible before all the powers of this world and all the invisible powers of darkness.
In Jesus, we exchange not only our sins for His purity by grace but we exchange our weaknesses of flesh and mind and spirit with His immense strengths. The horns of the enemy will be cut off by His great power. It will be as if we have developed horns of iron and as if our feet are made of brass. These images are equestrian and it implies horse power. The Lord will increase us in our inner strength and power, many times more than that of an average human so that we will not only be able to resist and overcome the temptations of our own flesh, the vanities of our own minds and the seductive pleasures, treasures and temptations of the world. He will enable us to thresh the big mountains- or the huge challenges facing humanity as a species and each of us as individuals. We will gain an eternal perspective from which these immense issues will be cut to size and some problems that seem like ‘hills’ at present would just disappear like dust in blowing wind. We will tear down strongholds of darkness, everything that exalts itself against the glory of the Lord or evil operating in this world. We will build the kingdom of light, the kingdom of God or Zion. We will be like an effective threshing instrument in the hands of the Lord
For all this to happen, we need to “arise and thresh”. This is a metaphor borrowed from agriculture. We need to take responsibility. We need to take the initiative. As our days are, so is our strength. Hence, as long as the DayStar Jesus shines in and for the Kingdom of God, we need to put to the best use of our time, talent, treasure and temperament. We need to prepare for harvest. We need to harvest the blessings of the Lord. We need to harvest the promises of the Lord. We need to labour for the harvest. “Arise” means we should wake up from our slumber and move out of our dormant state. We need to go to the field allotted to us, the domain of our control or influence and “thresh” or vigorously shake with faith and the crop or grain will fall to the ground for us to glean, collect, use, consume. Whatever we do is dedicated to ascribe more praise, glory and thanks giving to the Lord. All our gain or blessings are both obtained with the help of the Lord, belongs to Him and is dedicated to Him. All the pain we have endured is part of the threshing process which is life. When we endure pain, we should realize the Lord is not thrashing us but only threshing us or separating what is precious in His sight from what is not, the grain from the chaff. So we ought not to chafe.
Prateep V Philip

Friday, December 29, 2017

Apt Communication

UV 2869/10000 Apt Communication
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks
Ephesians 5 v 4
James describes the human tongue as the governor of our bodies, our very lives as it were. But it becomes an unruly evil or an undisciplined source of vice and misery if it is not submitted to the control of the Holy Spirit. It is impossible for the natural man to tame or discipline the tongue. Jesus described human tongues as the forked tongues of serpents that can wag or move in any direction. The secret of appropriate use of the tongue is storing the treasures of the wisdom and goodness of the Lord in our hearts for out of the overflow from the heart of man do words flow off the tongue.
A disciple or follower of Jesus got to discipline his tongue. One of the ways of doing so is to use the tongue to continually thank and praise the Lord. When we do so, our thought process gets transformed and whatever we speak will be wholesome and helpful not harmful to our listeners. A good and godly communicator speaks or communicates and converses in such a way that the words are sharp and accurate as arrows to penetrate hearts and minds as well as soft as living water to fill the listeners with hope and belief.
No corrupt communication or coarse joking or expletives or gossip should come from the mouths of the followers of Jesus. A prudent person conceals his knowledge and uses it aptly while fools advertise their folly, pride and malice. A fool cuts off his own head with his tongue. The more we speak without adequate thought to back up our words, the more likely we are to err or say something foolish or inappropriate. The golden rule of communication is hinted in the book of Proverbs:
“An apt word is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Contrary to popular wisdom, silence is silver and apt speech is golden. Hence, our default state should be silence and we should forge the golden words we need to speak in the furnace of silver. Our hearts and minds burn when we restrain our tongues from speaking. But during this burning silence, the apt word for the apt occasion or situation is framed and formed. We need to send the words we speak through several filters and tests of purity before we utter it for once we speak it, it is difficult or impossible to recall it or deny it.
Prateep V Philip

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Life as a Garden

UV 2868/10000 Life as a Garden
And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Isaiah 58 v 11
We need to be as attached to the Lord’ s hand as our fingers are attached to ours. When we are like that and seek Him daily and continually, this uni-verse comes into operation. He promises to both guide continually and to provide consistently and even in times of famine or drought. He will guide us into all truths that are the foundations of our faith and life. He promises to guide us till our death and even beyond into eternity. He directs not just our steps but lays down the paths or plans we should follow. Of course, it is never a cake walk but He is with us all the way through good times, difficult times, times of plenty, times of shortage. In times of plenty, we ought not to be complacent and in times of drought, we ought not to complain like the ancient Israelites in the deserts of the Middle East. We should neither despair nor despise the scarcities, limitations, challenges of our various life situations as these are great opportunities for the Lord’s grace and mercy to be revealed to us and to others.
When we feed on the Word our spirits, souls and our bodies will flourish. The Word of the Lord will not fail us. It is like the fresh water of an eternal spring that never dries up unlike even a river that can dry up. The Lord will lead us to springs of water to refresh us. Even physical resources and factors dry up, the eternal hope in Christ will never dry up. He will strengthen us from deep within us, the innermost core of our being that is compared to the point where bone and marrow meet, hidden from human eye and human senses. When we face difficulties, challenges, problems, He will bolster us and cause us to perceive an inner flourishing that precedes the physical and the factual.
In a watered garden, the trees do not just wait for the rainfall for the requirement of moisture but get a daily portion. The trees do not go to the water. The water is brought to the trees through manual and automatic means like drip irrigation. Likewise, the Lord continually waters us so that our hope and strength never dries up. A watered garden that is not fenced will be attacked by all kinds of cattle and beasts. Likewise, we need to have fences or our own rules and precepts for decision making, for conduct and conversation. Every fenced garden has a gate for entry and exit. So also our entry point is Jesus and our exit point is also Jesus for He is the Door that gives us access to continual guidance, continual protection, continual provision. The versatility of Jesus is amazing- for He is also the well of deep waters in the famine of our desert times. He answers all our questions and settles our quest forever. The incident where some people came to Jesus’s empty grave and saw Him and thought He was the gardener has an inner meaning. God or Jesus is like the Gardener. He does not allow us to grow wild like a forest but as a well tended garden. He waters, prunes, grafts, harvests, deweeds, uproots at times, fences His followers. The purpose of a garden that is so well watered, well planted and well fenced is to bear fruit and fruit in plenty. That is our faithful response and responsibility. We should also remember that every well watered garden has one or more resident snakes or serpents. Off and on, little foxes will visit the garden and ruin the fruiting and flowering plants. We need to take the help of the Gardener to keep the snakes and foxes at bay or drive them into the bay.
Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Jesus Anointing

UV 2867/10000 The Jesus Anointing
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Isaiah 61 v 3
Since Jesus has appointed us as His followers, we cannot be disappointed with whatever happens in our lives. The uni-verse spells out the terms of our appointment. We are first appointed or called and then anointed or consecrated or equipped for a high or noble office. In ancient times, only kings and priests were anointed. Hence, the followers of Jesus are appointed and anointed as kings and priests. The image in this uni-verse is drawn from the practice of persons in mourning over some grievous loss in Israel to wear sackcloth or rags and smear themselves with ashes to express their deep sorrow and anguish at the loss. It is part of the famous chapter read by Jesus in the Jewish synagogue announcing to the congregation that it was fulfilled that day in His coming to the earth. The uni-verse defines the purpose of the coming of the Messiah: to cause those who grieve and mourn to rejoice, to enable persons who are in grief to praise the Lord and turn their sorrow into joy, to lift people out of depression and hopelessness into hope and the joy of everlasting and abundant life in Him. The “garment of praise” implies that no part of our bodies will be left naked and unadorned or unchanged by the presence of Jesus in our lives. Our ‘heads’ or thinking process will change from gloom and negativity to trust and positivity. Our eyes will be touched and blessed to gain vision of the unseen and eternal. Our ears will hear the voice of the Holy Spirit whispering behind it. Our mouths will proclaim the praise of the Lord and declare His works and His word. Our necks will not be stiff but be flexible to look both up and down and all round to see the wondrous work of the Lord, the needs of the poor and weak in faith. Our arms will be strong to do the work of the Lord, to execute His word in practical terms. Our feet will be the beautiful feet of a messenger, the strong hind limbs of a mountain stag so that we can take a stand in faith and hold onto our positions despite risks and opposition.
Our hearts will resonate and beat at the rhythm of the Lord even as King-David’s did. Our shoulders would be strong and broad to lend to others when they grieve and need comfort. Our chests would be strengthened so that it will be like a steel plate that the enemy’s fiery arrows of fear and doubt cannot penetrate. Our righteousness is based on our faith being rooted in Christ. The sap of His word constantly rises in our trunks or stems to influence all the branches or parts of our lives- physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, familial, social. We will bear fruit on all these branches for the greater glory of the Lord.
Our lives which were otherwise short, nasty, brutish, full of troubles would be transformed into lives that bring glory to the Lord. No longer do we have to mourn ceaselessly over death – our own or that of our loved ones. No more do we have to fear the judgement of our deeds after death. No more do we have to fear the slings and arrows of misfortune that the enemy flings at us. No more do we have to despair in such situations. We are planted by the Lord on the earth with an eternal purpose. He has passed on His anointing, His power, His enablement, His grace to us in sufficient measure so that we are victorious in all things. We are washed with the water of His word from head to foot. We are washed in His blood of ancestral as well as personal sin for blood is needed for the remission of sins. We are then anointed with the oil of the Holy Spirit in all wisdom and understanding. This anointing of the Holy Spirit will teach us all things. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to be praying, praising, declaring, proclaiming and winning witnesses of the Lord. We are finally adorned and decorated with all types of spiritual gifts to beautify our lives and make life attractive and tasteful to those we are called to be witness to.
Prateep V Philip

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Divine Manifesto for Life in Evil Times

UV 2866/10000 A Manifesto for Life
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5 v 16
There are two parallel narratives running in our lives: one of folly and the other of wisdom, one of evil and one of goodness, one of truth and the other of lies and half truths. In order to walk in Christ and walk with Christ who is our Designated Saviour to save us from the power of the latter and its consequences, we are exhorted by St Paul to chose to be wise and not foolish, good and not evil, truthful and not deceivers or deceived. He asks us to live recognizing the reality of the threat, presence and power of evil. He asks us to make the most of every opportunity in time and space to do all the good, to achieve all the good we can, to do our duty to both God and man. Apparently, it is going to be challenging, not easy. There is going to be tension between evil and good. There is going to be resistance and opposition. But the Redeemer lives within us, strengthens, counsels, empowers, equips and enables us to do more than we can think, ask or imagine. The Lord uses the tension, the resistance, the opposition to lift us higher, to exalt His name even as a kite rises higher on a resisting wind. It is God’s responsibility to save our souls but it is our response to redeem our time, to be zealous to make every precious moment count from the perspective of eternity. As believers and followers of Jesus, we should not only seek to be saved from the consequences of sin- judgement and eternal death but to be saved from the entangling power of sin in this fallen world.
St Paul’s admonition is relevant and needed as even one of the twelve chosen by Jesus to walk and live with Him for the entire span of His public ministry- Judas chose the path of evil even while pretending to be His follower. He even betrayed Jesus with a deceitful kiss. He had not used time and opportunity to acquit himself well before the Master of all creation, the Redeemer of all mankind. He had succumbed to the evil of the day, the machinations of the Pharisees and authorities of the time and his own warped mind. Even Jesus referring to Judas as a devil within his earshot did not wake him up to the evil potential of the destructive thoughts that he was toying with. The evil tortured him so much that he took his life thereafter.
As believers and followers, we have equal opportunity to do good or evil in all that we think, speak and do. Whether we do so, depends on how much we lean on the Holy Spirit and hear His whisper and act accordingly. The way the world is configured, the stimulus to do evil or temptation is greater than the urge to do good. In view of that, we are to be like a sponge that keeps absorbing the treasures of love and wisdom and contained in scripture and every time we are squeezed in this world, part of what we soaked in would ooze out. Like a good businessman or industrialist would be careful of how he invests his capital, we should chose the best domains, activities and fields to invest our time and talent. Like the good and faithful servant, we should realize that we are to render a full account to the Lord for the use of our thought, tongue, time, talent and temperament. These are the five resources that the Lord had invested in us at the beginning and we should know that at the end, we are to give a proper account for these precious resources.
We should always keep close to us the spiritual weapons of offence and defence that the Lord has given to keep evil at bay- wear the holistic spiritual armour of God. In this sense, redeeming our time in an evil world implies staying vigilant and alert so that no chinks of weakness or bad habit or bad choices or compromises develop in our spiritual armour through which the rapier thrust of the enemy to our hearts can penetrate. Practicing different godly habits and spiritual disciplines are a good way to redeem our days from evil. Scripture exhorts us to do all we can while we are on this side of the grave or in other words, to act with devotion to God, dedication to God-ordained and revealed purpose, discipline to stick to the chosen track, determination to carry out tasks till goals are either achieved or exceeded, diligence to keep studying how one can improve how he behaves, speaks, thinks, reacts, relates, serves, creates and works. Even if we have lost much time, opportunity and misused, abused or under utilised the five resources the Lord has given us, we can make up for lost time by redoubled zeal, vigour and efforts as summed up in the French phrase, ‘ rattraper le temps perdu’ or regain the lost time/ opportunity. We may not get the same as the lost opportunity again but the Lord can send us better, newer and greater opportunities to fulfil our God-invested potential and purpose. In yet another sense, making up for lost time or redeeming time means that we should now be obeying the Lord and keeping His commands as much as we engaged in disobedience to His will and word formerly.
Prateep V Philip

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Bread that Never Spoils

UV 2865/10000 The Bread That Never Spoils
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
John 6 v 35
Jesus referred to Himself as the Bread of Life. He also referred to Himself as the Bread from Heaven. He is the true bread- the bread without leaven or the yeast of untruth, hypocrisy and deceit. He is the bread that never spoils. He will never become stale or irrelevant to human needs. He is the holistic bread meant for our every need- spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social, physical. He is the Bread that sustains the believer and equips the follower. He is the Bread that strengthens us. He is the Bread of Victory. Born in a town called Bethlehem which means House of Bread, He is the Bread that gives eternal life and satisfies our spiritual hunger. But are we daily munching on Jesus, the Bread of Heaven? Are we digesting His words and His teachings and making it part of our flesh and lives? If we know these to be true, we will never stop munching on Jesus. He exhorts us, “ Taste and see that I am good.” When we meditate on the word, we are chewing, munching, digesting The Bread of Heaven. Just as when we masticate or chew bread, the saliva of our mouths mixes with the crumbs and begins to break it down so that our stomachs then further digest it and assimilate energy to the body, so also as we chew on Jesus, the natural mingles with the supernatural, the intellectual with the spiritual, the spiritual with the physical, the spiritual with the emotional and the process releases the power of renewal, of strength, of healing, of blessings, of fulfilment and satisfaction.
Money is also referred to in modern slang as “bread.” Indeed, the choice human beings have is to either satisfy their hunger with the bread this world provides in the form of money or to satisfy themselves with Jesus. The love and lust for man-made bread or money is the root of all evil while the love of the Heaven-provided Bread- Jesus is the root of all good things. When we munch on Jesus, He satisfies our legitimate aspirations and fulfils our need for eternal and abundant life. Money never satisfies a person – he always craves for more and does not know how much he needs. But the Bread of Heaven ends our spiritual hunger and quest forever.
Why did Jesus chose such a mundane and humble symbol to identify His work and vision with? Jesus spoke of Himself as the metaphorical Bread of Heaven soon after He multiplied the five loaves and seven fish of the small boy in order to feed a physically hungry crowd. He did not do ‘crowd sourcing’ but faith sourcing. When we eat of the Bread of Heaven, we “faith source” all of our earthly and eternal needs. Jesus more than any of His disciples was aware of the physical need, the hunger of the men, women and children gathered in large numbers to listen to Him. The disciples were probably aware too but they looked the other way for they knew they lacked the resources to feed so many. Likewise, Jesus does not ignore our physical, emotional, intellectual or social needs. When we feed on Him daily, all of our needs will be met. When we partake of the mystical elements in the Communion, we are feeding and drinking Jesus, the Bread and the True Vine. The communion is needed for our sustenance, our cleansing, our healing, our strengthening and to obtain victory. During His earthly sojourn, Jesus enjoyed fellowship meals regularly with His followers. Likewise, today He enjoys sitting with us in our fellowship meetings and meals.
Belief in Jesus is the key of David to open the treasures of heaven. Belief in Jesus’s sensitivity to our hunger and passion in all areas may not lead to instantaneous miracles like it happened with the feeding of the multitude but the hope will drive us on, sustain us, give us inner strength and confidence that we will be victorious in the end. He is the all-sufficient Bread, the Bread that is the Bread of Victory that rolls down on the enemy’s camp and capsizes it as in the dream of the Midianite guards that Gideon overheard to give him hope and assurance of victory in his battles with the powerful Midianites.
Prateep V Philip

Friday, December 22, 2017

Being a Follower

UV 2864/10000 Being a Follower
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Ephesians 5 v 1
We are called to be not just believers of God and Jesus as His human manifestation but to be followers of God and of Christ, His anointed Messiah. Today, unfortunately, we have many believers but few followers. A follower is one who walks in the same path and often in the same steps. We are to be imitators of God and of Jesus. Imitation, it is rightly said, is the highest form of worship. We are to imitate Jesus if we are true followers. We are to imitate Him in our inner attitudes and behaviour.
We are to imitate Him in our actions, reactions, speech, behaviour, aspirations, character. This is the reason, Jesus Himself exhorted us to “ Be perfect because your Father in Heaven is perfect.” We may never get as perfect as Jesus or the Father but we must be on the journey to perfection of our character. We need to undergo a day to day chipping, honing, pruning, perfecting so that we are improving from one degree of likeness to Jesus to the next. When we are about to speak, we need to ask what would Jesus say? When we are about to act or react, we need to ask what would Jesus do or how would He react to this stimulus, provovation or situation? When we are thinking certain thoughts, we need to ask what would Jesus think?
We are to reflect the love of the Father in all of our actions, reactions and conversations. Like Jesus, we are to be compassionate and empathise with the poor, the sick, the oppressed, the weak, the exploited and those against whom injustice and violence is perpetrated. The uni-verse states that as the best loved children of a father try to imitate their father in everything, we too as children of God are to emulate the Father in His holiness or purity. We are to avoid profanity, foolish talk, excessive anger, bitterness or lack of forgiveness, vindictiveness, lust, covetousness and consistently walk in the path of love shown to us by Jesus. Love is not a vague emotion but a pattern of actions consistently modelled on Jesus’ supreme sacrifice and obedience to the call of the Father.
Prateep V Philip

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The 360 Degree Surrender and Worship

UV 2863/10000 The 360 Degree Surrender and Worship
Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell upon my face
Ezekiel 44 v 4
The gate or door by which the Lord enters His temple, our lives is always the front door. He never enters through a back door. We need to open the front door or gate of our lives voluntarily. He never gate crashes into our lives. This is the reason people are saved individual by individual. Once He enters our lives, He fills us with awe at His greatness, His goodness, His grace, His presence. We cannot exclude Him from some parts of our lives. His glory fills our entire lives.
Every morning at the end of an hour and a half of prayer and meditation on the Word of the Lord, I am filled with a sense of His glory and then, I prostrate face down on the floor before Him. This is said to be the highest or best expression of worship, of complet surrender to the presence of the Lord. We are humbling ourselves before Him and He will lift us up in the matters we brought to Him in supplication or intercession in due time. We are acknowledging that all of ourselves belongs to Him. Abraham, Moses, Joshua Isaiah, the prophet, worshipped the Lord by spread-eagling themselves before the Lord in this gesture of acknowledging His sovereignty, His reign over their lives. Lying face down before the Lord is divinely appreciated body language. But it goes beyond our bodies- it is a reverential surrender of our bodies, our minds, our emotions, our wills, our imagination, our plans, our work, our food intake, our health, our past, present and future, our families and children. It is the obeisance that precedes an attitude of obedience. It is a sign of desperation or acknowledgement of our total inability and failure as well as an affirmation of complete faith in the Lord.
Surrender to the Lord precedes victory in this world. When our eyes are shut as we lie face down, it symbolically means we have taken our focus off all the things of this world and our entire focus is on the locus of our lives- the Lord. As we lie inert in His presence, the anointing of His might, His greatness, His awesome power falls upon every dimension of our lives. In the course of our days, the surpassing glory of the Lord will be manifest in oe way or another.
Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Death, Salvation and Resurrection

UV 2862/10000 Death, Salvation and Resurrection
O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit
Psalm 30 v 3
The Lord redeems us and keeps our souls from going down into the fiery pits. Our bodies will surely perish and go into the muddy pit but He preserves our spirits or souls for eternity. He also protects us from a premature end unless it is His will. The enemy of our souls being a killer is constantly striving to take our lives but the Lord saves us from his life-threatening attempts. In the course of my life, I encountered several such attempts including two near death experiences, once by drowning in the sea off an island and once, in the world’s very first human bomb assassination of a national leader. The Lord was as determined to save me as the enemy was determined to take my life. In Psalm 91, it is written,”He satisfies us with long life.” In yet another Psalm, it is written, “ He rescues us from death.” There is always such a struggle in the spirit world between the angel of death and the Prince of salvation- the struggle between the thesis and the antithesis, the struggle between Christ and the anti-Christ. Who we identify with in our beliefs, words, actions and prayers determines the result.
People who undergo near death experiences or NDE have a completely different perspective on life, death and eternity. Having experienced the shadow of death personally, they realize the reality of eternity, the reality of God, the reality of the life after life. It alters their sense of priorities and they do try not to sweat the small stuff. Persons after NDE who are believers in Jesus realize the reality of the possibility and truth of resurrection. The connection with the presence of God in Jesus overshadows the fear of death that comes with their encounter with the ultimate risk to life. When I survived the human bomb explosion in Sriperumbudur, I was told by another believer, “Hereafter, every breath of yours belongs to the Lord.” It is as if I am on borrowed time to fulfil a greater God-ordained purpose. The words addressed in the uni-verse as “ O Lord..” is an expression of continual awe, continual gratitude, continual praise, continual thanksgiving, continual worship, continual acknowledgement of the saved individual of his eternal indebtedness to the Lord for saving him from the pit of death where no hope or enterprise or faith exists, from the pit of depression, from the pit of destruction, from the pit of degradation.
When Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus, He was not weeping for the death of His friend Lazarus for He knew He would resurrect Him in a short while. But at the thought of how death afflicts humanity as a whole. Tackling the difficulty of faith in an invisible and invincible God makes possible the impossibility of resurrection. Resurrection power of Jesus is not experienced only in near death or death situations but in various life situations which appear hopeless like the grave but can be turned around completely by exercising faith in the Lord. Any lifting up of our spirits or upliftment in a situation where we are being dragged down is resurrection power. A lively hope is the oxygen of our souls. Keeping that oxygen running in our nostrils is the challenge of faith.
Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cultivating a Widow's Heart

UV 2859/10000 Cultivating a Widow’s Heart
And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luke 18 v 7

God is not partial. But, He is compassionate to His chosen ones, the ones who willingly put their trust and lives in His hands. Jesus in this uni-verse is explaining the Father’s heart to His followers. Paul got the inspiration for his unique directive in I Thessalonians chapter 5 “ Pray without ceasing” from these words of our Lord and God –Jesus. We who are His elect, His chosen ones need to pray without ceasing, with all kinds of spiritual prayers, crying out day and night to the Lord. He will be patient up to a point with even the unjust but once the cries of the innocent, the victims of atrocities, oppression, exploitation reaches His ears, He will not sit idle on His throne of justice and mercy.

The Lord God heard the cries of day and night of the descendants of His chosen ones, the Hebrew slaves of ancient Egypt and sent an earthly messiah or saviour or leader in Moses to lead them into freedom. He hears the cries and groans of people burdened through history and sent His own Son Jesus, anointed with the power of the Spirit like no man before or after, to save and deliver those oppressed by sin and guilt. The greatest form of slavery is not social, political or economic but spiritual. Once the spiritual yoke of slavery is broken, all other freedoms will follow.

The widow dispossessed of her property by evil men is the very picture of helplessness. She had already suffered irreparable loss in life like Naomi of Ruth fame. Whatever little she had was being taken away from her. The injustice of it was blatant and staring one in the face. She had exhausted all her limited resources to obtain justice. She now had only one person to turn to for justice. Yet, the judge who puts of dispensing justice and finally does so only due to his desire to stop hearing the persistent cry of the widow is in order to underline the importance of persistence in faith and prayers. God is not a procrastinator but He acts in due time. He is not hard of hearing not is He hard-hearted. He is moved to tears by the plight of His children. The vindication will come in due time, His time and His way of delivering it. Justice when it comes will be certain and effective. When we pray, we need to have the widow’s heart- one of brokenness, complete faith, desperation in terms of our need but hope unending in the Lord’s justice, perseverance despite seeing no physical signs of the Lord relenting. Precious are the tears of His saints in the eyes of the Lord. The tears of Mary Magdalene were more valuable and pleasing to Jesus than the costly vial of nard perfume she poured out onto his feet.
Prateep V Philip

Monday, December 18, 2017

Bought and Redeemed

UV 2860/10000 Bought and Redeemed
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's
I Corinthians 6 v 20
Each of us who believe in Jesus has been purchased at a heavy cost- the price paid with the life of Jesus. Our souls have infinite and eternal value. The price for salvation or eternal life is too heavy for a man to pay. Hence, God took it upon Himself to pay it in Jesus. Since we have been so purchased by God, we belong to Him. We are owned by Him. We are joined to Him. We are one with Him in Christ. Being so joined with the Lord, we are to be separated from the world and its lusts. We no longer belong either to the enemy or to ourselves. Just as we buy things in the market for a purpose, the Lord has purchased us at a heavy cost for a purpose. We cannot now and hereafter side track that purpose or get distracted or diverted from the purpose. The price tag on our bodies, minds and spirits reads "JESUS". It is our new identity and purpose. It is the owner's responsibility to take care of a thing bought. Likewise, we can trust our new Owner, the Lord to take good care of us.
Since we are part of the body of Christ, our purpose in life is to honour Him, to glorify Him or make His name great in and through our lives. We cannot do anything that will either hurt or dishonour Him. Whatever we do hereafter, we need to do it for the greater glory of the Lord. All the parts of our lives and our bodies are to be employed as servants of righteousness, to serve the Lord. Our minds, our tongues, our hands and limbs, our various faculties, our our spirits, our emotions, our inner organs and external organs are to be used to serve Him. Where formerly we used our various organs or members of our bodies to serve the enemy and to pander to our own whims and desires, we are to now focus on using these to please the Lord.
The image that this uni-verse throws up is that of a person who has mortgaged his soul with the enemy. It once belonged to the enemy. The word “mortgage” means as the root “mort” or death suggests it is a dead asset. Our lives had become dead assets but now that Jesus has redeemed us in full, we are living assets that belong to the Lord. As living assets, we are to be useful to Him in all that we speak, think, do. Half heartedness or half measures will not do.
Prateep V Philip

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Renewal, Restoration and Redemption

UV 2859/10000 Renewal, Restoration and Redemption
In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
Amos 9 v 11
Job lost everything at one time but did not lose faith and hope in the Almighty. He is the God who restores the broken, the fallen, the ruins. When we run our lives, we ruin it but when He runs our lives, we really run. But even when we fall, He picks us up. He sets us back on our feet. He raises us up from debacles and disasters and restores us to our pristine glory for His name’s sake. The tabernacle in the uni-verse is a metaphor for the temple of the Lord. The tabernacle or temple of residence of the Lord in and with David had fallen when he committed adultery but the Lord forgave his grave sin of adultery and complicity in murder of Bathsheba’s husband Uriah, the Hittite. The anointing of the Holy Spirit that enabled him to personally and intimately relate to the Lord as no man had ever done before was restored to him. The joy or assurance of salvation was also restored to him. David’s walls or boundaries of behaviour had fallen short of the glory or greatness and righteousness of the Lord. The Lord sent pointed and hidden warnings and admonitions and David heeded. He repented from his heart and restored it to be that of the man shaped after God’s own heart.
Likewise, even when we fail or fall, the Lord promises to repair the breaches, the leakages in our lives, the cracks in the walls of our lives. Not only that, the Lord amazingly promises to do better for the faithful than at our beginnings when we had not yet lost our first love. Jerusalem once lay in ruins but the Lord used Nehemiah to raise up the walls and to re-build the ruins. He raised up a new king Cyrus to support the move of the exiles to return to the ancient city and re-build it.
In whatever area, we have experienced loss – in our families, with regard to our children, our career, our health, our finances, our friends, the Lord promises to re-build it. We only need to continue to trust the Lord and His promises even when things lie devastated or ruined. Sometimes, even our faith gets shattered by certain experiences and encounters. But our faith too is restored by the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. The one thing we need to do like Job is to never break faith with the Lord and in His infallible word. As we anchor our faith and hope in Him, He will begin the work of restoration, of enabling the re-building, of strengthening from within, of causing changes for the better in whatever is the area of our need, of healing us and renewing our minds and our spirits. As long as our Redeemer lives, nothing and no one is irredeemable.
Prateep V Philip

Saturday, December 16, 2017

True Riches

UV 2857/10000 True Riches
Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number:
Job 5 v 9
The Lord does great things in our lives, wonders and miracles without number. Some of the miracles we are aware of, many happen without our even knowing. In the echo verse in the New Testament, St Paul marvels at this aspect of the Lord’s character in these words”
“ O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! “ The riches of wisdom and knowledge of the Lord God is unfathomable, unsearchable, unknowable, beyond comprehension. Yet the wisdom and knowledge of God is hid in Christ and revealed in and through Him to all mankind: His infinite love, His immeasurable grace, His immense mercy, His deep wisdom and amazing knowledge and understanding. Scripture speaks of different types of true riches: the riches of His glory, the riches of His grace, the riches of His wisdom and knowledge, the riches of His love, the riches of understanding of full assurance in Christ. Instead of amassing the transient riches of this world that are filtered out by the grave, we should aim to amass such true riches and become richer and richer in these dimensions of the riches of the Lord.

Though the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the Lord is unsearchable and unfathomable, we have access to it in His word, in Jesus. When we have a personal relationship with the Lord, He makes known and available His wonderful power, His wisdom and His knowledge and understanding to us who humble ourselves to say, “ We are sinners and we need His grace to escape His righteous judgements.” We who believe receive a portion of His infinite wisdom, knowledge, understanding and power. Once we experience His love, grace and mercy personally in our lives, we can join biblical personalities like King David and Mary to say with our lips and to say often with praise to the Lord in our hearts that the Lord has done wonderful things to me, He has revealed His wonderful wisdom to me, He has done wonderful things in me, He has done wonderful things for me.
True worship is marvelling at the extent of the mercy, love and grace of the Lord. This sense of awe and reverence mingled with gratitude the best way to continually pray, praise, worship, fellowship with the Lord. Though His ways and judgements are beyond the reach of our human intellects and senses, the Lord will anoint us with understanding to be able to perceive it. The more we believe, the more we perceive, the more we perceive, the more we receive.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Conception, The Perception and The Transformation

UV 2856/10000The Conception, The Perception and The Transformation
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS
Luke 1 v 31
The birth of Jesus is the one birth, life and death that brought significance to every human who was or will ever be born, live or die on earth. Solomon’s cry that all is vanity was turned into rejoicing that all is meaningful, significant, worthy. The name “Jesus” was given by the angel to His mother even before He was conceived in her womb. It meant “He saves”. He saves us from eternal death and thereby makes our lives, our every effort meaningful, not vain.
Je-sus in French could mean “I save your souls’ (Je-SUS). He also saves us from the enemy of our souls- the thief, the robber, the killer. The thief steals subtly and quietly, the robber steals with violence and threat, the killer kills in order to steal. Jesus saves us on a daily basis from all the attempts of the enemy to steal our peace, our health, our prosperity, our well being. Jesus saves us from the need to constantly strive for the Father’s favour or approval. The moment we believe in His virgin birth, His sinless life, His sacrifice of blood on the cross, His resurrection, we are declared the favoured or approved of the Lord. We are saved or extracted from the ‘karmic cycle’ of “as you sow, so you reap”. We reap what we do not sow- the love and grace of the Lord, salvation and shalom or blessings of spirit, mind and body. The moment we believe in Jesus is the moment we are conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of time and space. We are re-born in the spirit. We are new creatures meant for the new Jerusalem, the Eternal City of God. We are to live in this world as citizens of that eternal city. Our perspective is no longer bound by the confines of this lifetime or this planet but it is eternal. Our focus is on the locus of the new creation- the new born King of Kings, the author, architect and pioneer of our faith. As author and pioneer, He initiates our faith. As architect, He plans and builds our lives with new experiences of His saving grace and mercy.
We are new born but not full blown. We need to grow and become like Jesus. The greatest miracle is salvation. The next greatest miracle is becoming like Him, full of grace and truth. Our hearts should be that of a child in terms of trust but our minds should be that of a mature spiritual adult, our spirit that of Jesus full of the fruit of love, joy and peace. We need to increase in our faith or trust of Jesus. We need to increase in our knowledge of His love in it various dimensions. We need to reflect or apply that love in our lives. In so doing we get a foretaste of heaven and heavenly life on earth. It whets our appetite for the real thing.
Prateep V Philip

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Nobility of Purpose with Humility of Attitude

UV 2855/10000 Nobility of Purpose with Humility of Attitude
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us
2 Corinthians 4 v 7
The treasure of the knowledge and wisdom of God hidden and revealed in Jesus Christ is stored in our clay pot bodies and minds. Only when our clay pot minds hold the water of the Word of God in it for some time, does it turn into precious knowledge and wisdom of salvation. The eternal treasure we contain is the hope of eternal life in Christ. We should ensure that our clay pots do not develop cracks but that we pour out the knowledge and wisdom that is as pure as liquid gold from the spouts of our mouths. In order that we are strong and leak proof, the Lord burns us in the furnace of afflictions to make the clay hard and strong. The greatness of the pot does not matter so much as the content or the message we carry with our lives.
The metaphor of treasures in clay pots is used to reveal that the power and glory of God is at work in us who believe. Since we are only clay pots holding precious eternal treasure, our chief purpose in life is to make the knowledge of Jesus available to all who come in contact with us. Since we are clay pots, we should not try to arrogate to ourselves the power and glory of the Lord to ourselves. We are only the vessels. We are brittle vessels and should take care that we do not break under the pressures or give in to the pleasures of this world. Since we hold beautiful treasures, we should also work on our being and character so that even the container matches the contents in terms of beauty to the extent possible. The paradox of reality implies that nobility of purpose should combine with humility of attitude.
The uni-verse also underlines the fact that true or genuine excellence is not of this world but it comes from the Lord. We as humans not only have feet of clay but we are clay on the outside and the inside. The Lord has marked us fragile and sent us into the world but we ignore our fragility and start behaving like iron pots. When we do so, we are vulnerable to be hurt, injured, damaged and should be careful to be gentle like Jesus and take care to avoid such jolts. To create more space for the eternal treasures of the Lord, we should empty ourselves of all that is vain and of this earth. The Lord who is the owner of the treasures we contain knows how best to make use of us. His power of excellency working in our bodies, minds and spirits is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can think, imagine, ask. This is the reason that Friend of God- Abraham confessed, “ He is the shield of faith, the sword of my excellency.” As clay pots of God, we therefore, have a defensive as well as offensive role to play. Since we are clay pots, each of us have an expiry date, when we are no longer needed as vessels on this earth. Hence, whatever task we are given by our Maker, Potter and Filler, we need to do it with a sense of urgency and priority, with all our hearts and strength while we can be useful.
Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Balancing Faith and Good Works

UV 2854/10000 Balancing Faith and Good Works
This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men
Titus 3 v 8
Belief in God is manifested to others by a lifestyle of good deeds. We are expected and called to do things that are excellent and profitable to all people and not just beneficial for us. Faith is the root while good deeds or works are the fruit. Our thoughts and attitudes are the sap that turns into the fruit of good deeds. St James emphasized that faith without good deeds is dead, recalling how Jesus caused a fruitless fig tree to perish when He found it without fruit. We are created not to be mere consumers of happiness for our own sake but producers and distributors of happiness. We are to satisfy the needs, the hunger and thirst of people we come in contact with on a daily basis. Our good deeds then become the evidence or testimony of our faith. Faith can be blind but cannot be barren.
If faith is the horse, good works are the cart. Faith is the horse power for the traction of a good life that makes faith in God attractive to others. One cannot and should not put the cart before the horse. But the horse is of limited use unless it draws a cart. Good works cannot save a man but faith followed by good works, sound speech, strong character has immense evidentiary value for the love of God. It is the love of God that sparks good deeds in human beings. It is to reflect His light and love to our neighbours that we are encouraged to pursue a life full of good deeds. Good works then are the aroma of faith in Christ.
We should aim to increase our usefulness to the kingdom of God, to fellow believers, to non believers. In order to do so, we need to give of our time, talent and treasure. But the Lord is most concerned that we give our temperament to Him to mould and shape with the power and influence of the Holy Spirit so that discordant notes are not heard in the orchestra of faith. While the act of belief in God or faith does not require much effort or diligence and focus, our follow through in our lives requires immense degree of focus and diligence, day after day, moment after moment.
Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Spiritual Battles

UV 2853/10000 Spiritual Battles
And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's
2 Chronicles 20 v 15
The Lord fights the battles of His servants, His followers, His children. We only need to take a position of faith, of courage, of stillness in His presence. Often, there is an army or array of forces against us for no apparent reason that we are followers of Jesus though we pose no threat of harm to anyone but only intend to do everyone good including our worst enemies. But the cause is deep and spiritual. But we need not fear or be disappointed that people have turned against us for no reason. We only need to wear our full spiritual armour, hold firmly to the sword of the Word and dig our heels into our faith and hold onto Jesus. For He (Jesus) who is with us is greater than he ( the enemy of all human souls) who is with them. The cross of Jesus is the only instance in history of a fight or battle in which Jesus surrendered to the viles of the enemy as if it was a losing battle to the onlooker and yet came out glorious, undefeated, invincible victor out of the grave, even after a terrible death. We too need to believe that whichever way the fight goes, we will emerge victors in life’s great battles. We should not doubt like John the Baptist if there are temporary reverses. In no battle either side knows who is going to win but in our spiritual battles, we know the end from the beginning and that we will be victors. We are declared victors right from the outset. Such hope will bolster our courage and give us strength or stamina to hold onto our position of faith.
He is the God of impossible odds. The situation may be very adverse and we may be greatly outnumbered but the Lord who has numbered even the hair on our heads is with us. He does not fight with horses and chariots as men do but with the Spirit. With them is the arm of flesh or the army of flesh but with us is the army of the hosts of angels who encamp around us. The Lord can win the battle whether with many or with few even as King Jehoshaphat believed as He led His kingdom to reaffirm their faith in Jehovah. Jehoshaphat’s strategy of spiritual warfare was to lead His people into worship and intercession for the nation. When we praise and worship the Lord and remember like the Israelites how the Lord delivered a nation of slaves from the might of Egypt’s army and the fury of Pharaoh, our fears will evaporate and dissipate.
As we pray, praise and worship the Lord, He will surely strengthen us from within. He will give us the full assurance of victory in whatever battle we are currently fighting. There is a temptation for all human beings to first fight on our own strength and then things are turning out bad, call out for the Lord’s help. We need to resist this and right from the outset turn to the Lord for help. It is not as if there are certain times only when we engage in such spiritual warfare but all the time, every day involves engaging in spiritual warfare as long as we are alive. The end result of every battle is that the victor takes the spoils and is full of joy. Our spoils are our souls dedicated to the Lord and our joy is everlasting and not fleeting.
Prateep V Philip

Monday, December 11, 2017

Pure Pleasure and Precious Treasure

UV 2851/10000 Pure Pleasure and Precious Treasure
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads
Genesis 2 v 10

What is physical in the Old Covenant is a metaphor for something spiritual in the new covenant. The four heads or tributaries of the river of Eden of the Old Covenant becomes the four gospels of the new covenant. Just as gold and precious gemstones were found under the first of the tributaries, the pure gold of the essence of a saving knowledge or faith in the Lord are found in the four gospels. The precious stones symbolise the strong character and good deeds that mark a life of faith. Eden itself means delight or pleasure. One of the first ever proper names given by God, the Creator Himself denotes delight or pleasure. It is therefore not sinful to seek or find pleasure but our chief pleasure should be in our relationship with the Father even as His chief pleasure is delighting in His children, His creatures. But our sense of pleasure or delight should be pure and pristine or crystal clear as the water of the river that flowed from Eden.
The echo verse of this uni-verse in the book of Revelation chapter 21 v 1 is :“ And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb”. The four gospels are the pure river of water of life that flows from the throne of God, signifying that it is backed by the authority and power of God even as it flows from the faith of Jesus in humanity and love for us that He made the ultimate and absolute sacrifice of His life. If our faith is complete and true, we should therefore find our delight in drinking the pure water of life of the four gospels daily.
The concepts and principles enshrined in the gospels are the underlying treasures of the river of life. As men mine for gold and precious stones even under river beds, we must mine into the four gospels to discover and delight in the holistic truths lying deep beneath the surface water of the words. Many of the concepts and leadership principles and processes discovered and taught by me for instance Excenomics and Eqthinking or Equilibrium Thinking owe their genesis to this mining process. The teachings of Jesus constitute the best and highest precepts and principles of leadership and management to this day. The gospels teach us that delighting in God and doing His will fulfils the very purpose of creation and of our lives.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Seeking Mercy, Finding Shalom

UV 2850/10000 Seeking Mercy, Finding Shalom
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need
Hebrews 4 v 16
Earthly powers and rulers make strict rules and arrangements for access control but the Lord God facilitates our easy access to Him through Jesus. The more the distance, the greater the awe, the sense of power and security for the ones in seats or positions of authority in this world. But, the Lord God in contrast revels in giving us easy and full access to His throne and presence. Since we have access to the Father through the Holy Spirit sent to us by the Son Jesus, we can enter the awesome presence of the Living God. He sits not on a throne of judgement and condemnation but the throne of grace. We cannot so enter boldly on the basis of our own righteousness but the borrowed glory and righteousness of Jesus. Jesus as a human on earth and as our High Priest and Advocate before the throne of Heaven gives us the confidence and trust to enter the presence of the Absolutely holy and absolutely powerful Almighty Father. The veil of flesh no longer bars our vision of the Father. We are able to commune with the Father and experience His mercy, love and grace.

Though our eyes do not perceive the Father or the Son or the Holy Spirit, our spirit senses the Triune God the moment we bow our heads in prayer, the times we listen and meditate on His word. We need to set aside a time for such daily communion and obtain mercy for our present shortcomings or failures and weaknesses. We glory in our weaknesses or infirmities where formerly we felt guilty and ashamed as the grace of the Lord will be at work in the areas and times of our greatest weakness. The Lord knows our need even before we have uttered or prayed a single word. But He needs a confession of our faith in Him to set in motion the forces and resources that are at His command.

Once we are in the presence of the Lord, first we obtain mercy for our shortcomings, wilful and unintended. Having obtained mercy by claiming the washing in the blood of Jesus for Jesus unlike other High Priests did not make a sacrifice of another creature but of Himself, we have peace or Shalom with the Father through the Holy Spirit. Shalom is a two sided coin with each side having many facets: peace on one side- peace with God, peace with self, peace with others and prosperity on the other- prosperity or well being of spirit, mind and body. Having obtained mercy, we can seek and find grace or His help and enablement in our area and time of need. Every deficit in our lives is an opportunity to obtain the amazing grace of the Lord, to experience the reality of God in real time and space.

Prateep V Philip

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Physical Vision Not Needed for Spiritual Provision

UV 2849/10000 Physical Vision Not Needed for Spiritual Provision
For thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts
2 Kings 3 v 17

Physical vision is not needed for spiritual provision. Often, our overly emphasis on the need for physical evidences precludes the sighting and enjoyment of the spiritual provision. No wonder, Jesus told the doubting Apostle Thomas, “ You believe because you see Me. But, blessed are those who do not see and yet believe.” Water and consequently rain are the dire need of every creature and every human being that ever existed. Even if we do not see physical evidence or symptoms of the Lord’s power and grace, we can be sure that the Lord will provide for our deepest and dire need. In our valleys or depressions or famine of need, the Lord promises to provide to satisfy our greatest need. We should not rely on the weather report if we are expecting a miracle of abundance in the deep valleys of our need. We should wait with patient and praising expectation for the hand of the Lord to act. It is not a difficult thing for the Lord to enact a miracle, to command the elements of nature, the clouds to deliver abundantly that which we expect or need. In fact, He enacted a parallel miracle by filling the empty dry pits ordered to be dug out by the prophet Elijah and be filled with water. When Elijah looked to the Lord after making a sacrifice of meat, fire from heaven descended and consumed the meat, quenching or drying the water. Likewise, the sacrifice of Jesus was an absolute sacrifice for the absolution and to provide a basis for every solution that mankind needs in all of our valley days and experiences. No longer would the natural order or the laws of nature or even the laws of God or man predominate over the love of God, the mercy of the Lord manifested in the abundant provision of salvation for every individual who ever lived and will live.

The Lord can level out mighty mountains or obstacles and raise up deep valleys in our lives. In the high points or moments of our lives, we should be lowly or humble and dependent on the Lord and in the low points or moments of our lives, we should not be forlorn or feel helpless. The Word is the ultimate water the Lord provides for our deepest valley moments and experiences. It can take us from the miry pits of depression to the high points of eternal life in Christ and joy everlasting. The Lord’s Word is the chief causative factor in all that happens in our lives.

The Lord derives great satisfaction in seeing His children, His servants drink from the Water of life. The Water of Life that Jesus provides does not just satisfy our thirst in respect of every aspect of life but also refreshes and cleanses. He seeds the storm clouds as well as the barren clouds of our lives. We might not sense anything happening but from the background of the heavenly kingdom, He commands different seeded clouds to come our way. Our eyes should not be fixed on the clouds of blessings but on the Lord Jesus. He is so caring and compassionate that He provides not just for us but for our pets and animals, too.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Being a God Pleaser

UV 2848/10000 Being a God-Pleaser
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Galatians 1 v 10

We are called to be God-pleasers not man-pleasers. With that in mind, we are to always work and live for the approval of the Lord and not try to be liked or popular with people. We can please God only if we obey Him sincerely from our hearts. He is the only one who knows and tests our hearts. He knows the motive behind every thought and intent of ours. If we are friends of the world, we become enemies of God and vice versa. Hence, being a servant of Christ does not improve our approval ratings. Rather, it would displease the people who are entrenched in this world for oil and water cannot mix. A servant of Christ is often mocked, ill treasted, oppressed even though he poses no threat to anybody and is endeavouring to be a blessing to this world in different ways.

If we win the favour of the Lord, we need not be overly concerned about whether peole like us or not. In fact, scripture promises that if we please the Lord, He wil eventually turn our enemies into friends. Having said that, we should be ready to face resistance, hostility and antagonism from the people of this world. As servants of Christ, we should be prepared to face such rejection even as the Lord Himself was rejected by His own people. Our focus is an Audience of One- the Lord. If He is with us and for us, no one can be permanently against us. He will deliver us from hostile situations and the weapons of those who are displeased with us. Contrarily, if He is not for us and with us, no one can deliver us.

The uni-verse implies that we should endeavour with all our hearts and all our strength to seek the perfect will of the Lord, not His permissive one and then go forth and do it. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to understand what is His perfect will in specific situations especially when we have more than one or two choices. We need to please Him not only with our decisions or choices but with our lifestyle, our speech or conversation, our actions, our behaviour. Indeed, “Who so offereth praise glorifieth God and to him who ordereth his conversation (and conduct) aright, will I show the salvation of God..” When we praise and worship the Lord in spirit and truth and in the beauty of a righteous life, He is pleased and He will endorse us by sending the dove-like presence of the Holy Spirit upon us, saying, “This is my beloved son or daughter.” When we order our conversation and conduct on the lines and according to the principles and precepts enshrined in the Word of God, we please Him and He will “show His salvation” implying that He will make manifest His saving power and grace in awesome ways in our lives. The more we resemble Jesus in all aspects of our lives, the more we please the Lord Almighty.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Pattern of Afflictions and Beautification of Lives

UV 2847/10000 Pattern of Afflictions and Beautification of Lives
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires
Isaiah 54 v 11

The key words in this uni-verse are afflicted, tempest, stones, foundations, sapphires. The key action words or verbs are tossed, comforted, lay. The uni-verse implies that afflictions are the way and methodology of the Lord from ancient times to now to shape each believer into precious stones like jasper, sapphires, onyx, topaz. All these stones were once ordinary stones but with the pressure, heat, cold, ravages of time, the ordinary rough stones are through a process of metamorphosis turned into amazingly beautiful and precious stones. It is the wisdom of God which is more precious than rubies and pure gold that makes possible this kind of remarkable personal transformation.

The echo verse of this uni-verse is in Revelation 21 v 19:” And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;” The afflictions and the working of the Holy Spirit in the depth of our being affects the foundations of our lives. The twelve types of precious stones enumerated in Revelation that constitute the foundations of the walls of the Eternal City are metaphors for the twelve sons of Jacob and the twelve disciples of Jesus including Matthias who was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. Every believer should allow the Lord to work on our hidden and deep foundations. Often, it involves a process of going through a furnace of afflictions to purify us of the dross of the world and of our own flesh or DNA or natural hubris. But in the end, the Lord promises to make all beautiful in His time that includes all of eternity.

When we are so “tossed with tempest”, we should hold onto our Rock –Jesus and we will be comforted by the Comforter, the Wonderful Counsellor and lifted up above the storms of life by Almighty God. Each of the twelve precious stones of Revelation chapter 21 has its unique traits and qualities symbolising the unique qualities of the image of God manifested in different believers and followers of Jesus. Through each the grace and wisdom of the Lord is manifested uniquely to produce different life histories and testimonies. But It is gratifying to note that the Lord choses to build the walls of the Eternal City on the lives and contributions of the believers. He so delights in us as a collector of precious stones would on seeing, feeling and experiencing the beauty of his stones. But unlike the collector’s pieces or stones, we are designed not just to be an ornament of the Lord but to play functional roles of strength and serve as foundations of the kingdom of God.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Lamp of God

UV 2123/10000 The Lamp of God
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof
Revelation 21 v 23

The Lamb is the Lamp of God. Jesus being full of grace and truth Jesus, the Lamb of God outshines the sun and moon in His glory and holiness. He lights up the darkened minds, hearts and lives of all who believe in Him, trust and obey Him. The birth of Jesus marked a civilizational shift for humanity, great leap forward from darkness into ever increasing light till we find ourselves surrounded by the effulgence of His presence in heaven. It is true that men in all nations have sought and found meaning in lesser lights and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

The moment a person enters into a personal relationship with the Father, the Almighty through the agency of the blood of the Lamb that justifies or straightens our relationship with Him, he experiences the agape love of God. That becomes the starting point of his spiritual journey into truth, grace and the power of the Lord. The draw of the natural world keeps decreasing in its power to attract him. He begins to see everything in the light of the Lamb. He develops an entirely new and eternal perspective on all that happens to him. He recognizes that the sun and moon in their diurnal appearances and disappearances are only a reflection of the laws of the kingdom of God wherein the Lord Almighty has caused these mighty bodies to function in obedience to His covenant to rise and and set every single day as long as the planet exists. Likewise, the believer too needs to subject himself to the daily spiritual disciplines of the covenant- to pray, to worship, to meditate on His word, to fellowship with the Triune God and fellow beings united in faith.

The word “light” has in it the ingredients of our new life lit up by the Lamp of God- love, integrity, grace, happiness/holiness and truth. The love of Christ, the integrity or righteousness or a life based on biblical principles and precepts, grace or experiencing the power and enablement of the Lord in life’s most difficult and impossible situations as well as in daily routine, happiness/ holiness or pure joy of Christ that comes from being right with God and doing the right thing and a life of commitment to the truth. When our lives are ruled by these aspects or eternal rays of the Lamp of God, we are qualified to reign with Him. Our bodies become His living temple, His light fills our lives with power, strength and glory. Where we fall short of His glory, His love and grace fills the gaps.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, December 4, 2017

Pattern of Change of Motive, Behaviour and Single-Mindedness

UV 2845/10000 Pattern of Change of Motive and Single-Mindedness
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
Acts 9 v 3
The story of Saul, the killer and chief persecutor being transformed into St Paul, the chief of the post-Resurrection apostles gives us an idea how when a person’s motive changes, his thoughts,his goals, his behaviour, his communication changes. The light from heaven – Jesus shone more brightly than the sun upon and around him, first blinding him, then leading to the dropping of the scales that blinded him to the Way, the Truth and the Life that is Jesus. His purpose and mission in coming to Damascus had changed. He now became a deliberately chosen instrument of God to make known the good news of salvation to Israel and to the Gentiles. The change of the first letter of his name signified this total transformation of his purpose, his motive, his mission, his vision, his character and conduct. Instead of hatred, love for the believers in Christ and indeed for all mankind filled his heart.
St Paul’s former Jewish bigotry changed to complete faith in Jesus. So much so, he could correct the compromising trend of senior apostles like Peter who continued to insist on circumcision as a concession to the Jewish faith. His zeal for the Jewish faith turned to passion for Christ and His message of hope for all mankind. St Paul in contrition for his past referred to himself as the chiefest of sinners while he had actually become one of the foremost influencers for the gospel in the then known world as now. We too need to experience this kind of Pauline metamorphosis so that we are blinded to the world and our eyes open to behold the wonders of “the light from heaven.” Our motive to work,live and exist has to change and everything else will follow and flow from that.
The chief virtue of St Paul was his single-mindedness and his wholeheartedness. When he persecuted the early disciples and followers of Jesus, he was single-minded and when he became a disciple of Jesus, he showed the same single-mindedness in living, teaching, leading and discipling people from different nations. While earlier he travelled only as far as hatred could take him to nearby Damascus, he now took to extensive travels and tours to European continent, the Greek isles and Asia Minor. While earlier he travelled and did things on the authority of the priests of the Jewish faith, now he was commissioned and anointed with the Holy Spirit by the Lord Himself. Even in our lives, if our motives change by the grace and light of Jesus, our lives, our impact and our results will dramatically change.
Prateep V Philip

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Pattern of Consistency of Character, Conduct and Conversation

UV 2844/10000 Pattern of Consistency of Character and Conversation
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel
Philippians 1 v 27
The key words and phrases in this uni-verse are conversation, gospel, stand fast, striving together, one mind, faith. The actionable words are “stand fast.” We are as believers in Christ called to live a life worthy of the gospel. We are to “ go spell it out in the way we live.” Our conversation should be truthful, wholesome, edifying or benefitting the listeners. Our character and conduct should be a reflection of the love of Christ. The echo verse of this uni-verse is Colossians 1 v 10: “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of the Lord.” Every step we take, every word we speak should not be unworthy of the Lord, rather it should bring honour and glory to His name. As we increase in our knowledge of the Lord and His word, we should be spiritually more mature and bear more of the fruit of the spirit- of love, joy and peace.
Word of our character and conduct is bound to spread to the world either as a stench or as a fragrance. We should be careful it is not a stench but that it spreads the fragrance of the gospel. The gospel is otherwise called good news, not without reason – it implies that good should come from all directions, good thoughts, good feelings, good motives, good experiences- from inside us, from above us, from around us. Our reputation is our non verbal testimony which is evidence of the truth and power of the gospel to change human lives.
We are to be firm in our faith and united in our spirit. We are yoked to the Spirit of God and to each other as we strive or do our best to present the gospel of Christ to the world. It is a light plough He has placed on our shoulders to pull. As a plough softens and tears the soil in order to plant the seed, our lives and words are to soften the souls. hearts and minds of our listeners to hear and believe the truths that we speak and that we live by. Contradictions and gaps between our beliefs and our words and our conduct or character as well as conflicts among us will make our listeners and observors question our faith and harden their hearts and minds against the hope we try to bring into the lives of people we share our faith with. Consistency in character and conversation, sensitivity to feelings and creativity in methods add to the efficacy of our communication of the love of Christ to the world.

Prateep V Philip

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Pattern of Headship and Tailship in Leadership

UV 2842/10000Pattern of Headship and Tailship in Leadership
And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
Deuteronomy 28 v 13
The key words and phrases in this uni-verse are:the head, the tail, above ..not beneath. The key actionable words or verbs are “ make, to observe, to do”. In a co-related verse in concordance to this verse, it is written that “ the ancient and honourable will be the head and the prophet that tells lies will be the tail.” The Lord promises leadership or headship to those who believe Him, study and delight in His word and obey Him in the world. The connection between belief in God, diligence in study and preparation and actions leads to leadership. Belief in God distinguishes the wise from the fool, the leader from the follower, the sighted or the visionary from the short sighted or blind.
Stephen Covey wrote about Principle-centered leadership and it was widely acclaimed. But, in the light of this uni-verse, if a person is not principle-centered or Word-centered, he or she cannot be classified as a head or leader. Even a prophet or a man of God who lies is considered only a tail or a follower at the fag end of the totem pole of leadership. Principles that we need to follow in life flow from the Word of God. There is no other earthly or heavenly source. Power, authority, influence, wisdom and security flows from these godly principles extracted like gold from its ore. For the past several years, day after day, I have attempted to extract these godly principles of life and leadership and share it with the world and my readers.
If we pay attention to what God says, we will have no tension. He will guide us precisely on the paths we have to take. He will not lead us down a path of red herrings as the enemy of our souls does right from the beginning of time. Once we hear or read what God says, we need to study, analyse, understand it. Once we understand it, we need to apply it or commit it to our hearts to obey or do it. Mere ‘head knowledge’ or theoretical and unapplied knowledge does not make one a leader. Leadership requires a transfer from head to heart- a distance of about twelve inches. These twelve inches make all the difference to our lives and to the lives of those who follow us. The uni-verse promises headship or leadership to the ones who faithfully follow this process all their lives. I was anguished to hear that some of the top leaders in the modern world whom I greatly admired have been exposed on some failings and flaws in their leadership pattern. This again underlines the need for godly leaders and leaders of this world to be trained equally in using or leveraging on their strengths and overcoming weaknesses, threats and temptations. There are some qualities of the tail in all of us. Only the kangaroo’s tail is strong enough to support it when it stands and propel it in motion. We need to turn our weaknesses using the grace of the Lord to strengthen our tails or in other words- turn the leaderhip potential destroying power of weaknesses into a source of strength. It is possible when we carefully observe and do the cautions and precautions and counsel of the Lord contained in His word. Scripture is written on this binary pattern: “cling to what is good, let go of what is evil.” It implies that we should cling to what is held up as good in the Word and let go of what is evil as held up in the word.
Prateep V Philip

Friday, December 1, 2017

Pattern of Eternal Justification, Daily Sanctification and Lifelong Edification

UV 2842/10000 Pattern of Eternal Justification, Daily Sanctification and Lifelong Edification
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10 v 22
We should desire to draw close to the Lord, willingly, enthusiastically and whole heartedly. Our faith should be unwavering and unshakable. Our hearts should be sincere and free from both doubt and deceit. We should be fully assured in our hearts that God exists for sure and that Jesus is His Son and provision for our salvation and redemption. His blood is metaphorically speaking sprinkled upon us to cleanse us of our all our past misdeeds and guilt even of hidden sin of which we are not even conscious. His blood is sprinkled as foreshadowed in the dipping of hyssop branches in the blood of the sacrificial lamb under the old covenant and then sprinkling drops of blood on both people and material objects to cleanse or sanctify these. We obtain a one time justification in this manner that holds good or is valid for all time and all eternity. This becomes the foundation or cornerstone for the whole structure or edifice of our lives. Jesus becomes the cornerstone at every corner of our lives. On that cornerstone, we do not rest and stay idle but keep building till the whole superstructure is complete, finished, perfected.

Having been justified by our faith in the redeeming power of the sprinkled blood of the sinless Jesus upon our hearts and lives, we have a duty to wash ourselves in the Word of God every single day just as we bathe ourselves every day in order to stay clean in the eyes of the Lord. The Word is living water that satisfies our thirst as well as is useful to wash and cleanse every aspect of our lives. It is both our daily bread as well as our daily bath. Every day in my life begins by washing my heart and mind with the pure living water of His word. Once we wash ourselves in this manner we are disinfected and protected from every spiritual illness and affliction. My own testimony is that after I started this series of uni-verse meditations I have never fallen ill even for a single day in the past seven plus years. The “ daily bath” becomes the solid foundation for the whole day.
Washing ourselves with the truths of the Word implies that we need to be immersed in the hope of the promises of the Lord, fully committed to obey the instructions or commands and precepts of the Lord that are stored in His word. Hence, faith is not merely belief but it is obedience to the commands of the Lord and unwavering faith in His promises. We need to avail of all the spiritual blessings contained in the promises of the Lord even as we apply all the truths we learn of Him and from Him. Once we are justified and sanctified in this manner, we are ready to be anointed or empowered by the Holy Spirit to be an instrument of the Lord in this world. The Lord will equip and enable us to fulfil His purpose for our lives. If we are truly sincere and whole hearted in our obedience to the Lord, our practice, obedience, implementation, improvement will keep progressing over time. Over time, we will mature spiritually, be built up or edified. Our focus is not on elevation but edification. If our dedication is complete and true, our edification is inevitable. Justification then, is immediate and eternal, sanctification is daily while edification is lifelong.
Prateep V Philip

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Pattern of Continuation, Change and Challenge

UV 2841/10000 Pattern of Continuation, Change and Challenge
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
2 Timothy 3 v 14

The Bible, it is said, is the only book one reads for the sake of knowing the Author- the Creator and Fulfiller of the Universe, the Alpha and the Omega. St Paul in this uni-verse is exhorting his mentee Timothy, one of the early leaders of the church, to remain steadfast in keeping the things that he had learnt and be fully assured of the hope that came from the knowledge of Jesus. Likewise, we in this age and time are to stick or adhere faithfully to what we have learnt of the mystery of the Triune God of the Bible. The word ‘continue’ or abide in the uni-verse implies that we need to commit to habit certain applictions of the truths and precepts we have learnt to develop some disciplines of the spirit, mind and body or spiritual habits, mental habits and physical habits that flow from our knowledge of Jesus. There are different types of knowledge but the knowledge of the Lord is what makes the greatest difference to the quality of our lives and our eternal destiny is found therein. We just cannot remain passive, inert, dormant or unchanging once we personally know of Him. We got to change and we got to create change. We are change makers or change agents of the Lord in this world. His teachings give us the strength to face the many challenges of change.

The teachings of Jesus passed on to us through the apostles are meant to establish our faith and enable us to reflect His qualities in our daily lives. It is bread and manna that does not spoil overnight and lasts forever, that our spirits and minds can munch on all the days of our lives. We learn things line by line, verse by verse, precept by precept, principle by principle, experience by experience, moment by moment. Our personal knowledge of Him and our time intersects all the time, producing refining and defining moments all our waking hours.

This uni-verse implies that we are committed to believers to lifelong learning, lifelong improvement towards the perfection of Christ and lifelong leaning on the Lord, that with each new truth we learn and apply, we grow in terms of spiritual excellence. Abiding in Jesus is allowing His word to abide I us. Whatever we have learn from Jesus and of Jesus is not meant for our “head knowledge” or theoretical understanding but to be applied, obeyed, practiced. It creates change for the better at a very deep level- the spiritual and emotional heart or core of our being. We need to be at the feet of Jesus to learn from Him and of Him like Mary in order to beat the lusts of this world. For in so being is both the love, power and grace of Jesus increasingly revealed in our lives and through us to others who are in need of such knowledge of Him.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Pattern of Training In Righteousness

UV 2840/10000 Pattern of Training in Righteousness
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness
2 Timothy 3 v 16
The default condition of the human being is unrighteousness. It cannot be taken for granted that a man can become righteous and stay righteous on his own strength. Human beings who are unrighteous cannot give training to fellow beings in righteousness. The inspiration or the source of training in righteousness is the Lord Himself. A believer is declared righteous in the sight of God not on account of his own character and deeds but by grace and on account of his faith in the finished as well as ongoing work of Christ on and off the cross. Once declared righteous by faith and grace, it then behoves us to take training in righteousness by imbibing all the counsel of God as written in scripture. Scripture is to be employed to turn it into our life scripts. Scripture directs and shapes our thoughts, our world view, our decisions, our actions and reactions, our speech, our desires and our emotions.
We are to be trained in righteousness of thoughts so that we take every thought captive to Christ. We are to be trained in righteousness of speech so that every word we speak passes through scriptural filters and comes out like pure silver. We are trained in righteousness of emotions so that our emotions of anger or joy or fear are subjected to the control and regulation of the Holy Spirit. We are trained in righteousness of decisions so that our motives and intentions of every action are measured against the Word and we take those decisions that pass muster of the scriptural standards.
Scripture has many uses for such training in righteousness. It can be used to warn us when we go wrong or fall short of the standards of Jesus, the standards of God. It can be used to teach us how to rectify things when we go wrong. Doctrinal truths in scripture act as a plumbline to check if our beliefs are in perfect alignment with the Lord and the revelations He has imparted to us. Scripture gives us a framework to clarify our values, to extract principles to guide our actions and reactions to life’s various situations. It disciplines us and helps us to become spiritually strong, balanced, mature and effective instruments or vessels of the Lord. It buoys us our hope in distressing or critical situations of life, guards us against the temptations and weaknesses of our bodies and minds. It is comprehensive, holistic, realistic and practical, impacting our whole lives positively. Scripture is the training material or Immanuel’s manual for man while the Lord is the ever present, ever leading, ever guiding, coaching, warning, equipping, empowering, enabling and helping trainer with us.
Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Pattern of Inheritance

UV 2839/10000 The Pattern of Inheritance
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
Isaiah 64 v 4

Through a merely physical or intellectual process, it is impossible right through human history to perceive the great inheritance the Lord has prepared for those who love Him and wait with faith for coming into that inheritance. Such knowledge is even beyond the wildest imagination of human beings. We can come into such knowledge only by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Obviously, such terrific knowledge would elude the wise, the learned, the imaginative people of this world. No matter how much science and technology advances, it can never reveal the wonders of the kingdom of God. Neither can the creative writers and poets ever describe the greatness of the kingdom of God.
The echo verse for this uni-verse quoted by St Paul is the oft-quoted I Corinthians 2 v 9. While Isaiah says “ for him that wait for Him,” the latter portion states “for them that love Him.” It is not that God is partial to some human beings but it is required that we be both personal and passionate for the Lord. Once He revealed the full extent of His love by giving up His Son Jesus to save mankind, the requirement to come into that inheritance changed from merely ‘waiting’ with faith to a passionate attachment with the Lord. We are to become so passionate that every other relationship and every other pursuit and every other thing in our lives are subordinated to our relationship with the Lord and His word. Jesus is the most valuable pearl for which we are ready to give up everything in order to obtain the riches of the knowledge of the mystery hidden in God. He is the key not to open a Pandora’s box but the key of David to unlock the pearly gates of heaven. The mystery hidden from all eyes, all ears and all imagination is revealed in the hope we have in Christ. Christ in us, indeed is the hope of a glorious eternity, regardless of how our time and experience on earth is or was.
Even those who believe and love Jesus do not come into an instantaneous knowledge of the love and power of the Lord. But, through diligent study, revelations and many personal experiences, we come to a realization of the infinite love and power of the Lord. We only need to know that the inheritance we have in Jesus is awesome and amazing, beyond description and beyond reasoning and imagination. We will, of course, have a foretaste of what is to come in the experiences we have while still on earth but these are just like an appetiser that whets our appetite and prepares us for the main course or feast to follow.
Prateep V Philip

Monday, November 27, 2017

Pattern of Blessings of the Lord

UV 2838/10000 Pattern of Blessings of the Lord
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Genesis 12 v 2

The Lord desires that we who are His creations and new creations in Christ do not hanker after success, wealth, fame, pleasure and power. Rather, He wants us to be zealous for His blessings. From the loins of one man, Abraham, the Lord God demonstrated to the world that He can draw forth a nation. No other nation in history can be traced back biologically to one man as Israel is traced back to the seed of Abraham. The Lord blessed Abraham in his lifetime but also turned his faith into an inspiration and confidence for generations of his family. Therein, He fulfilled His promise to Abraham to bless him and make his name great as well as to make him a blessing. The Lord also promised to make him a father of many nations and all Arab nations trace their ancestry to him through Ishmael. Most other persons who are called “Father” of their nations like Kemal Ataturk of Turkey are only metaphorical fathers or persons who contributed to building a particular nation.

Jacob, a grandson of Abraham was initially zealous to get his earthly father, Isaac’s blessings but his stratagem to outwit his older twin( older by a few seconds or minutes but yet older),Esau got him into much trouble and drove him out of his house and away from his family. During his sojourn, thereafter, he too learnt to be zealous for the blessing of the God of his grandfather, Abraham. The Lord in the coming generations drew many kings and rulers out of the lineage of Abraham. One such king was David but the greatest of the descendants of Abraham, far greater than him is Jesus, the one ordained to be both Messiah and King of Kings. Through the spiritual and faith lineage of Jesus, the Lord has raised many children of faith in all nations in the past two thousand years plus. Now, each of us is an inheritor by faith, by grace and not by law or entitlement, of the very same Abrahamic blessing.
The Lord promises to make of us a great nation. He promises to bless us and make us a channel of blessing. He will make our names great or in other words, He will enlarge our influence, our impact, our legacy to the generations. Like Abraham, we need to hold onto these promises and wait with patient expectation for the fulfilment in His time. When we are zealous for the blessings of the Lord, He adds unto us all that which we need. Our attitude should be like that of the chastened Jacob, to wrestle with the Lord in prayer till He blesses us. The simple blessing given to Abraham is elaborated in much detail in the first fourteen verses of Deuteronomy chapter 28. It is echoed in Matthew chapter 28 verse 33 which can be paraphrased in the context of the above uni-verse as: “Seek first His rule and His directions and all these blessings will be added unto you.” Abraham had obeyed the directions of the Lord in leaving the comfort and familiarity of his father’s land to move to a foreign land- Canaan. The Lord wanted to birth a new nation there to bless the whole world. Likewise, when we implicitly and enthusiastically obey the directions we receive from the Lord and believe His promises, we are greatly blessed. We manifest our zeal for the blessings of the Lord in obeying Him willingly, enthusiastically and implicitly even if it means giving up what is comfortable and familiar to us. Ultimately, faith is not just mental belief but belief from the heart that leads to an action in obedience or compliance with who or what we believe. The blessings of the Lord that follow such zeal and obedience, unlike earthly good fortune, are comprehensive, balanced, holistic, unpredictable and awesome.
Prateep V Philip