Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Perfecting the Pattern of Speech

UV 2213/10000 Perfecting The Pattern of Speech
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Colossians 4 v 6

The pattern of our speech affects the pattern of our emotions, our thoughts, the happenings in our lives, our relationships, our work patterns, our effectiveness and our influence as manger leaders and managers. This uni-verse exhorts us to always speak with grace, implying that we should like Jesus give to people more than they deserve, not what they deserve. If we are having a grudge against someone, we should speak to that person with forgiveness, not recalling his act or word that hurt us. If we encounter someone who discouraged us, we should speak to him encouragingly. If someone insulted us, we should try to compliment him. We need to elevate our conversation and communication a level above what it merits. The mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Hence, we need to fill our hearts with love, mercy, patience, peace, kindness, faithfulness, humility, justice, truth. There are two ways to do this: one, by filling our hearts with the word of Christ. Two, by inviting the Holy Spirit to fill us with love and to take control of that otherwise unruly organ- the human tongue. The tongue acts as a rudder to give us balance and direction in our lives.

When we fill our hearts with the Word, it will season our conversation and communication with the salt of truth that will add flavour or taste to whatever we speak. Salt is a chemical compound consisting of two negatives that are virtual poisons- sodium and chlorine. This implies that we should negative every negative thought and word in our minds before we speak it from our mouths. If a word is negative, we should eliminate it from our conversation. By the words we speak we call things to ourselves. If we speak positive words, it will call forth the positive- good health, strength, prosperity, joy, peace, love and so on. If we speak negative words, it will call forth the negative- illness, weaknesses, poverty, sadness, strife, envy, pride, curses, afflictions. The Word clearly states that no man can conquer, rule or govern his own tongue on his own. We need the grace of God to speak always with grace. If the source of a river is contaminated, how will the water be good downstream? The Lord needs to deal with the source of our words, our hearts and minds. James calls the human tongue a “restless evil”. It becomes a restless good when we surrender its use completely to the Lord and pass every word we speak through the filters of the Word and good sense. We need to give priority to listening, listening to the still voice of the Holy Spirit, listening to others. Before speaking, we need to exercise both our hearts and our minds. Our heart should ask the filter question: is our words going to be wholesome, healthy, encouraging, loving, hope-inducing, faith-enhancing? Our minds should ask the filter question: is our words going to be useful, reasonable, courteous, proper, timely, profitable, necessary?

What we sow with words, we reap in action. We can sow death or eternal life, hope or frustration, power or helplessness. We sow in the spirit with our words and we will reap that in the natural. The emphasis on the word “always” in the uni-verse implies that we should be consistent whether we are angry, stressed, impatient, when things are going good for us as well as when things are not going good for us. When we pattern our speech on the model indicated in the uni-verse, the Lord will teach us what we need to speak in each situation we face. We will be able to refute every tongue that is raised against us. We will be able to give satisfactory answers to every reasonable question we are asked. Perfecting the speech pattern will make the manger leader or manager persuasive and effective communicators and influencers in this world.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, February 27, 2017

Re-defining Our Identity

UV 2212/10000 Re-defining Our Identity
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1 Corinthians 15 v 10

Re-defining our identity is key to re-orienting and achieving our purpose. God defined Himself in His cryptic reply to Moses as to who should he say He is: “I am who I am.” But a manger leader or manager defines himself in the words of Paul: “I am what I am by the grace of God.” The difference between the first expression and the second is that ‘who’ implies that God is self-existent, the Creator who has an identity in and of Himself. The use of ‘what’ by Paul implies that we are created beings, not sovereign but we are both autonomous and dependent on the Creator. God does not need to look to anything else to define, describe or explain His Self. He is full of grace and glory or effulgent as Jesus is described in the gospels. He is the sovereign One. But each of us derive our identity in relation to Him. Where earlier mankind were a flawed or sinful race doomed to failure despite every effort and approach to redeem ourselves, now we have become a “ race of grace.” Our lives itself is a race of grace. We cannot sit back and idle. We are to labour hard. We have to do our own running like an athlete. But the Great I Am is with us and will help us in every way needed. Not only our souls but our every effort is redeemed by grace. Not just eternity but our time here on earth is redeemed.

Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. Having received Jesus into our hearts, the grace of God is with us, upon us and working its amazing power within us to change us to His very image. That grace will make manifest in us and through us the love, justice, righteousness and power of God. Grace does not free us from attempting to do our best in all that we do. We are now to strive to do the best according to the grace and power of God at work in us. We use our natural strengths, gifts, talents, abilities but it is the grace of God that perfects and completes our incomplete or imperfect resources. We show the genuineness of our faith by striving or trying hard to attain the goals set for us by the Lord while He shows His grace and faithfulness by filling the gaps in our striving. His power working in us and with us makes us what we are and this is not of ourselves that we can boast.

All the beauty, grace, power and truth of God are realizable in us with the help of God in Christ and by the power of His word and the Holy Spirit. Christ as man suffered death but as God overcame death. Death lost its sting. Death is the number one weapon of the enemy of our souls but in defeating death, Jesus defeated every lesser weapon against mankind. Disease lost its sting. Defeat lost its sting. Shame lost its sting. Loss lost its sting. Sorrow lost its sting. Insults lost its sting. When we work by the grace of Christ, we are setting ourselves up for eternal victory. Nothing by any means can hurt or sting us permanently. We might feel a temporary sting in the heel of our foot at times of trials, tests, illness, failures, losses. But we can kick it off and start with renewed hope and vigour.

Prateep V Philip

Fruitful Labour

UV 2211/10000 Fruitful Labour
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
I Corinthians 15 v 58

All other labour is often in vain or a mere chasing of the wind as it is written in the book of Ecclesiastes. But our labour for the Lord is not in vain. We may not see immediate fruit or results and in some cases, we would see it only beyond our time in eternity. We need to therefore, be steadfast in our dedication, diligent in our efforts and persistent in fulfilling the vision the Lord has given us. We should aim to multiply our influence and impact. True success of a believer can be assessed only after our lifetime. Did we leave a legacy in the number of lives we influenced and impacted for the sake of the Lord?

The uni-verse calls us to be steadfast in holding onto our hope in Christ. Our faith should not cause us to rest on our oars but aim to do even more than before. We ought to be confident that the Lord will reward or bless us for our every effort in His time. For the Lord is no man’s debtor. He gives just wages for every labour of ours. Jesus said that even if we give a cup of cold water in His name, it would be accounted and remembered by the Father.

When we do any deeds with the help of the Lord, it will not be futile. It will yield the results. When our acts are preceded, accompanied and followed by prayer and the Word, it will bear fruit and not be ineffective or barren. Paul motivated himself by focussing on the imperishable spiritual and glorious crown that awaited him at the end of his life of struggle and sacrifice. That kind of motivation will enable us to discipline ourselves. Jesus also scorned the shame and pain of the cross by the thought of the eternal glory He gained by obeying the Father’s will. The zeal to please the Father and do His perfect will set His mind like flint so that He could fulfil His life’s mission of the salvation of mankind. Likewise, we should know what is the Lord’s will for our lives and relentlessly and diligently follow that plan and path till the finishing line of our race or the last blow of our fight.

Prateep V Philip

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hope, Patience and Prayer

UV 2210/10000 Hope, Patience and Prayer
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Romans 12 v 12

Hope is aptly called the helmet of salvation. It implies that the topmost protection of our most important part – the head is afforded by hope in Jesus. Hope protects us against depression, sorrows, against giving up on life, worry, fear, mental and moral weakness. Hope of attaining the glory of God fills the manger leader or manager. On account of our hope we can expect unexpected good news in our lives. It is a living hope or a practical hope that works out in our everyday lives. It is also an eternal hope. It is the hope of living forever. It is hope in Christ that takes the sting of death. Hope produces joy and gladness in our hearts .

In order to realize our hope, we need to learn patience or the ability to wait with an attitude of expectancy and quiet assurance that the Lord will keep His promises, His word to us. Faith and patience are equally needed in order for our inheritance of our promises to come into three dimensional reality in our lives. The second type of patience is that when we suffer afflictions that we do not deserve, we endure it patiently. We in fact welcome it as an opportunity to both test our faith and to strengthen it. Nobody ever became a saint or got sanctified, purified and mature in faith by only having a comfortable life. Everyone has to drink a cup of suffering as the Lord Jesus drank Himself. The promise of good news in the gospel does not mean we will never face troubles and tribulations but that we will endure these and overcome it with the grace or help of the Lord Jesus. The hope lies in His promise that He will provide a way of escape or a solution. The comfort lies in the promise that the Lord will be with us in our troubles. He will never leave us or forsake us in our troubles and trials. Similarly, when we undergo troubles or suffering that we deserve or called to us, we should treat it as a chastening or correction by a loving Father. As David pleaded, “ it is better to fall into His hands” as we know He is just and kind. Patience is a sign of maturity. It is called the prince of virtues as it is the virtue of the Prince of Peace- Jesus.

Studying the Word is the equivalent of eating in the physical world while praying is the equivalent of breathing. We eat often but breathe always. Likewise, every moment we need to give ourselves to the habit of continual prayer. We should pray in good times and in bad times. Prayer feeds on hope and the patience to wait for answers with thanksgiving, joy, gladness and gratitude for prayers answered in the past enables us to pray without ceasing. Our spirits commune continually with the Lord through the indwelling Holy Spirit who prays with sounds and moans that words cannot express. We offer with every breath praise, thanksgiving, supplication, intercession for different aspects of our lives. Our prayers run concurrently with whatever work or activity we are doing day and night. In addition, of course, there are times each day when we suspend all other activity and remain still and prayerful in the presence of the Lord. We find in reality that hope, joy, patience and prayer are mutually reinforcing elements, weaving a pattern of faith, power and victory in our lives.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Link

UV 2209/10000 The Link
There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee
Joshua 1 v 5

This uni-verse is the cornerstone of the personal security of the manger leader or manager. No human will be able to assail us in such a way that we cannot recover. No human will be able to challenge us. The words of the old covenant puts it graphically in these terms, “ No dog will be able to raise its tongue against us”, implying no creature can harm or threaten us. No weapon can prosper against us as long as the Lord is in us and with us. The Lord who is with us is greater than he who is with our foes or enemies. He will be with us- implying that a human being who believes in Jesus is never alone in contending with the forces and threats of the world. The infinite power of God is at work in us in every context- wherever we go.

We being weak, mortal and frail may fail but the Lord will never fail us. We may leave the presence of the Lord through our lack of faith or through our acts of rebellion, fear or doubt and betrayal but the Lord promises never to leave us. His presence goes before us as a shading cloud by day and as a burning fire by night. The promise of the Lord never to forsake us or to never give up on us is the basis of our hope, our courage, our strength to face every day and every circumstance of our lives. Whether we believe or not, He believes in us. The disciples of Jesus led by Peter let Jesus down on many occasions but Jesus never let them down. He never disappointed them. He fulfilled much more than their expectations.

The Lord is with us as our loving Creator and Redeemer- therefore, we should love all creation and try to be as creative in our worship of the Lord. This morning I had the pleasure of watching through my binoculars an extremely small black bird, so tiny it can barely be seen with the naked eye, preening itself. Preening stimulates the glands in the bird's entire body. It is the equivalent of a bath, a spa and a full body massage to the bird. It cleanses it and prepares it for the day. Thinking, meditating, prayer, worship have a similar preening effect on our human bodies, stimulating the flow of divine anointing oil across our entire being for are we not worth more than many sparrows in the Father's eyes? From the Lord’s perspective and against the backdrop of the immense universe, each of us is tinier than that little black bird, a mere speck. But the Lord magnifies us to such an extent that we can aspire and attain the very stature of the Creator and the Redeemer Jesus. The Lord is with us as a mighty warrior- there is nothing we need to fear for those who contend against us will be put to rout , shame of utter defeat and confusion. The Lord is with us as an eternal Leader, eternal Teacher, eternal Comforter, eternal Restorer, eternal Healer, eternal Deliverer, eternal Rock, eternal Home, eternal Shield and Sword, eternal fortress, eternal Friend, eternal Parent, eternal Lover. He is the missing link between the internal and the external in our lives. The recognition of this faith fact should fill us with continual joy, strength, courage and peace.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, February 23, 2017


UV 2208/10000 W

Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and WISDOM.
Job 36 v 5

W is a letter that combines two V’s – victory in the spiritual realm and victory in the physical world, victory in the heavenly realm and victory on Earth. When birds fly they fly as a flock in a W formation. There will always be one bird a little ahead of the others in the shape of a V or a double V. Likewise, the Lord flies ahead of us as our Minister, our Father, our Mother, Our Provider, Our Healer, our Leader, Our Bread Winner leading His flock right through our lives. The Lord gives us the first ‘W’- wisdom on account of the fear of God or the faith we repose in Him. The Lord gives us wisdom to seek Him. When we seek Him we find both wisdom and wealth. Jesus is the wisdom of God. When we find Jesus, we are set right with God.

The second ‘W’ is water. The Lord makes us the water for people in the desert or in the crisis or desperate situations of life. They join us in worship of the Lord- the third ‘W’. The Lord becomes the “ Wall” for our protection- the fourth W. He preserves us from the reach of the weapons of our adversaries, the fiery darts of the enemy of our souls. The Lord enables us to turn from darkness to the peaceful and pure or “White”- the fifth W. Our WHOLE lives are in the Lord- the sixth W. The seventh W is “while”- while people are falling down, the Lord uses us as a support to them. The manger leader or manger acts as the support for the young in faith even as concrete hardens over 21 days when supported by a pole holding up a base to hold up the freshly laid concrete till it is hardened and dry.

The eighth W is that we are “ Well Wishers” of Jesus and therefore, the joy of the Lord is our strength. We will not do that which does not please the Lord. He causes us to “Win”- the ninth W we experience in our lives by His grace, mercy and power. Like Elijah defeated Ahab the evil king, the Lord will enable to defeat the many Ahabs in our lives. The tenth W is we are His wipers to wipe the tears of others. We are to be like Boaz who wiped the tears of the hapless Ruth. Our lips will bring the Lord near to those who hear us. The eleventh W is that we are “Word Winners” and Word Builders. The Word provides us the material to build the house of the Lord. The twelfth W is that we are the wine from the vineyard of the Lord. The thirteenth W is that we are the watchtower and the watcher in the vineyard of the Lord. We are to watch and pray round the clock, 24 x 7 according to the situations and circumstances, the needs and challenges. The fourteenth W is “ Well”. We are called to do everything well. The fifteenth W is worthy – we will be worthy to receive a reward from the Lord, the wages He has intended for our work for Him. The manger leader or manager is a worthy worker. The Lord gives His seal and stamp of approval to the work of the faithful. The final W is Wonders – the Lord will do great and wonderful things in our lives.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Joy of The Lord

UV 2207/10000 The Joy Of the Lord
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing
Zephaniah 3 v17

Might is certainly not right but the might of God is right, always right. Every morning He brings forth His judgement to light as a sign of His might. The Lord in our hearts and minds is El Shaddai- the Mighty One. He sends an array of forces in our favour like an arrow as long as we stay taut and connected with Him through the Word and prayer like a bow string with the bow. The tighter and stronger the string that ties us to the might of God the more powerfully our lives will fly like arrows to hit the bull’s eye- the purpose of our creation, the purpose of our existence on Earth, the purpose of our redemption, the purpose of our salvation.

The salvation of the Lord is multi-dimensional and holistic touching all aspects of our lives. He saves us from ourselves and our sin, He saves us from others and their sin, He saves us from the tempter and accuser- the enemy of our souls, He saves us from death, He saves us from eternal judgement. Jesus even after saving us intercedes with the Father in heaven on our behalf. After saving us, He rejoices over us as a shepherd who has found his lost sheep, as the poor woman who found her only gold coin. We can imagine Jesus in heaven singing and dancing over us. The angels rejoice with Him. Choirs of a million angels sing with Him. Heavenly music permeates the air. A party starts in heaven every time a sinner is saved and every time a saved sinner or saint obtains victory of any sort.

The reason the Lord is delighted with the salvation of human beings is that His purpose in creation is achieved. He no longer regrets having made us. Project Earth and Humanity is successful. It is time to celebrate. Just as parents celebrate every happy occasion in the lives of their children whether it is a birthday or a milestone in their lives or an achievement, the Lord celebrates our lives. He gives us special gifts on these occasions. When He delights over us, He makes us prosperous in every work of our hands. He blesses our land. He causes it to flow with milk and honey, implying that some blessings will nourish our tender faith like milk strengthens the young ones, some blessings will be so sweet and stick to us like honey. Honey has healing, prophylactic, antiseptic and anti-allergic properties. Each type of honey has distinctive flavours and deals with different allergies as the pollen is extracted from the specific flora of the area. So also the blessings that flow from the joy or delight of the Lord to different individuals will have distinctive properties. The joy of the Lord becomes our source of strength, nourishment, sustenance, provision, protection, enablement. The secret is that when we delight in what the Lord delights in, He gives us the desires of our heart though not the desires of our flesh or minds.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Onus On Us

UV 2206/10000 Onus On Us
For every man shall bear his own burden.
Galatians 6 v 5

Jesus took the burden of sin of the entire world as well as each and every individual upon His shoulders on the cross. He overcame the consequence of sin – death by overcoming death in the grave. At the point of dying on the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished,” implying that all that He had set out to do had been accomplished. Now it is up to mankind to respond. The uni-verse talks about our response to the acts of Jesus and our responsibility to be and do our best. Having been set free from the consequences of “hamartia” or shortcoming or sin, how then should we live? The onus is on us to take responsibility for our lives and what we do with all aspects of our lives.
The Message Bible translates this uni-verse as “ Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best that you can with your own life.” But the manger leader or manager’s life is no longer his own but belongs to Jesus. While a slave owner is to own a slave to make him do what he wills or wishes, Jesus does not own us in this way. He does not even own us the way a boss owns his staff or subordinates for he owns these to get the work done. A businessman owns his team in order to make profits. He does not own us as a general of an army owns his soldiers for the soldiers are owned to fight and die if needed while fighting. Jesus owns us to enable us to live for eternity and to live abundantly while on earth. Jesus owns us in order to free us to be at our creative best or the way the Creator created us to be. The word “ joy” implies “ Jesus owns you.” Jesus owns us not to harm us but to give us hope and a future.

The uni-verse also means that while Jesus takes away the load of guilt from our hearts and lives, He gives us a share of His own burden for the world that all be saved by grace through faith. This is the “lighter yoke” that He talked about. The implication for our practical day to day lives is that this uni-verse teaches us to be calm not fearful, not worried or anxious, not guilty about the past or anxious about the future or stressed about the present. It teaches us to be compassionate- not selfish but caring for the earthly well being as well as eternal salvation of all humans. It teaches us to be creative in handling all our responsibilities for Jesus was and is absolutely creative in dealing with common human problems- when the master of the banquet had no wine, He changed the water into wine. When the disciples were catching neither fish nor men, He directed them to cast the net in the right place to catch a net that was bursting with fish. When some persons were dead, He said they were sleeping and that He would wake them up. When there was not enough to feed the multitude, He multiplied the few loaves and fish to feed them. The uni-verse also teaches us to be courageous as we personally know the One who holds our future in His hands.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, February 20, 2017

Strengths and Weaknesses- Opportunities or Threats

UV 2205/10000 Strengths and Weaknesses-Opportunities or Threats
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12 v 9

God sees our weaknesses, limitations, difficulties, shortcomings as great opportunities to pour in His strength, resources, power, mercy and grace. Even as the Good Samaritan poured in the wine and the oil into the wounds of the waylaid traveller, the Lord pours in His grace and power. In so doing, He heals the hurts, turns the weaknesses into strengths, completes or finishes what is incomplete in our faith. In most organisations whether business or governmental, the leaders and managers try to leverage only on strengths. They fight shy of acknowledging or owning weaknesses. They believe that only the strengths of people are assets for the organisation. They believe that the strengths will enable them to best utilise the opportunities. They think that weaknesses are threats. But the manger leader or manager uses prayer, the Word and faith as levers to acknowledge and transform weaknesses and limitations into opportunities for the grace and power of God to be revealed. A famine or shortage is often needed to prove the abundance of the provision of the Lord. Ill health is needed to prove His healing hand. Crisis and distress are needed to prove the reality of His comfort, eternal hope and assurance.

If the Israelites had horses and chariots like the Egyptians, Jehovah would not have caused the Red Sea to part to allow them safe passage. If the Israelites were not in bondage in Egypt, the Lord would not have raised a leader in Moses to speak for them, rescue them and lead them into Israel. Likewise, if we are not weak and sinful, we would not need a Saviour. It does not mean that we should revel or wallow in sin, poverty, misery but that we should feel a deep need to be redeemed. We should know deep in our hearts that whatever we have been through, whatever crisis we are facing, the grace of the Lord is able to bring us through. Paul wrote that “when I am weak, then I am strong.” It implies that when we are physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially, financially strong, our dependence or trust in the Lord is limited but when we are feeling down and low emotionally, physically, socially, professionally, then we are spiritually strong for we are at these moments in time most dependent on the Lord’s grace to pull us through. In such times, we realize that any breakthrough or solution that we have is not due to natural reasons or due to our abilities or resources but purely due to the power of Christ at work in us. This is the reason the Lord cannot use proud, self - satisfied, complacent persons but He can use people who feel broken, defeated and needy.

Confessing our weaknesses is not then just about our sins or shortcomings, it is about acknowledging our limitations and failures in different areas of our lives. We are therefore not “crack pots” for Christ but the “cracked pots” of Christ. He will pour His grace, power, wisdom, resources into the cracks to fill, heal, deliver, bless, equip, multiply us. The weakness that Moses saw in his slowness of speech, his stammer and stutter, his obvious lack of eloquence, the Lord saw not as a stumbling block but as an asset and opportunity. His lost self esteem, his brokenness after having to spend forty years from his family and people, from the riches of Pharaoh’s palace was a sure foundation for godly leadership. Likewise, St Paul was stated to be weak and ineffective in speech unlike a Greek believer called Apollo skilled in rhetoric and eloquent but Paul’s leadership and influence is global and lasting unlike Apollo’s. We no longer then need to be proud of our strengths or ashamed of our weaknesses but be glad about our weaknesses and humble about our strengths. Anything that we take pride in as our natural advantage, our source of strength is a weakness in the sight of the Lord. Of course, when we surrender both strengths and weaknesses to the Lord, He will further perfect our strengths and turn our weaknesses into strengths.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, February 19, 2017

DNA of God

UV 2204/10000 DNA of God
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Peter 1 v 4

The chief purpose of biological replication and multiplication of various species is the propagation of the DNA of these species. Likewise but in quite a distinct way, the manger leader or manager is a receiver and transmitter of the DNA of God where DNA stands for divine nature as stated in this uni-verse. We are to be the likeness of God on earth. We inherit in Christ not just the promises of God but the divine nature of Jesus. The promises of God need to be claimed and appropriated in order to partake in the divine nature of Jesus. It is quite usual and familiar for us to claim the biblical promises to meet our physical , professional, relational, situational or financial need but seldom do we claim it in order to be Christ-like in our character, attitudes, behaviour, actions and reactions.

Jesus cleanses us with His sacrifice. He becomes the manifestation of Jehovah Tsidkenu or Righteousness. He clothes us with His righteousness by His grace. Life is no longer what Hobbes wrote, “short, nasty, brutish” nor as Rousseau wrote, “ everywhere we are in chains.” We are free from the chains of bondage to sin and the fear of death and eternal judgment. We have escaped the consequences of our corrupt nature and lust. Next, He works on us so that we participate in the divine nature. He gives us a new heart of flesh, a soft heart, a heart of flesh not of stone that is sensitive and responsive. He gives us a new spirit. He sends us the Holy Spirit as He promised the disciples, “ You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…” He causes us to walk in obedience to the will of God in both hearing and doing the commandments, statutes, judgements of God.

A rich heritage of ten thousand promises are given to us in scripture. This is the reason I set a lifetime goal of meditating on all ten thousand over the rest of my life. There are promises of different kinds: promises related to provision of our need, protection, health, vindication against foes and enemies, promotion, guidance, salvation, transformation, self discipline, sanctification, work life, family, children, material blessings, finances, legacy, leadership, skill set, attitudes, security, past, present, future and eternity. In short, the promises cover all possible aspects of human life and aspirations. Jesus is the Yes and Amen to all of these wonderful, amazing, awesome promises or assurances of the Lord. It implies, first, that He has already affirmed that the promises will be fulfilled in our lives in real time and space. Second, it implies that He is the One who causes it to happen in our lives in due time. These come to us as part of the new covenant we sign and seal in the spirit when we invite Jesus into our hearts as Lord and Saviour. A lifting of our old yoke or bondage happens and our new divine nature begins to grow in us. Our old nature does not die in a moment or overnight but over a lifetime. The new divine Christ nature also is not full blown overnight but it happens over our lifetime. We need to feed and intake these promises along with the commands of the Lord into our bodies, minds and spirits. The promises give us the power or ability to obey the commands. The believing and appropriating of the grace or power of the Lord contained in each promise releases that power in our lives so that we are completely free from the chains and bonds of the past. The promises of God are described in superlative terms as “ exceeding great and precious promises” as these are backed by the immense and awesome power and glory of God that is beyond our human ability to understand, imagine or explain. Sometimes, the promises are fulfilled in our lives spontaneously or instantly but at other times, we need to trigger it by the exercise of our faith in a specific promise, prayer and a period of waiting patiently.

Prateep V Philip

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Green Pastures and Still Waters

UV 2203/10000 Green Pastures and Still Waters

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Psalm 23 v 2

Life consists of a spiritual geography of green pastures, still waters, mountains and valleys. Every scriptural promise is an evergreen pasture. The hope that that promise evokes in one’s soul will never dry up. Faith fuels hope and hope fulfils faith. Hope is the oxygen that the protoplasm of the human being most needs. The nourishment and strength that hope affords the believer, who holds that promise as true and the promise-giver as living, active and able to do that which He has promised therein, will never cease. In that same promise or pasture the manger leader or manager can also find rest, peace, comfort and security. A pastor is someone who leads people to the eternal pastures of God’s promises. The pastures are meant to meet our earthly and eternal need. The still waters are not often located right next to green pastures. In order to get to these still waters, we need to climb mountains and traverse valleys.

We hunger some times and thirst often. Thirst is an even deeper longing than hunger. “Still waters” is a metaphor for the deeper truths that we discover as we remain still and meditate on the Word of God. It is the longing for righteousness and perfection of the Creator Jehovah and Redeemer Jesus. The commands, statutes, the precepts, the principles of the Word are the still waters. These do not change with changing times, environment and values. We need to go to the watering hole of God’s Word early in the morning and as often as we need to satisfy our thirst for righteousness.

As sheep are led over mountains and through valleys to newer green pastures and still waters, in the course of our lives, the manger leader or manager needs to climb mountains and pass through valleys. The mountains are our personal weaknesses as well as the impossible situations, the difficulties, the troubles, the opposition and persecution which we inevitably face in life’s journey. The strength gathered in the pastures enable us to face, climb and conquer the summits of these mountains. Every mountain climber knows that there is nothing at the top of the mountain. But it is the process of climbing, the enduring of hardship, the loneliness, the weathering of the storms, the battling with the bitter cold, the sense of overcoming step by step that gives the accomplishment the sweetness of lasting victory. To climb the mountains, we need special equipment of our spirits and minds, appropriate footwear, safety and belaying ropes. The learning and life lessons from the difficult experiences we pick up are the rivers that feed into the still waters of wisdom that we drink from frequently. The valleys are the times when we feel defeated, downcast, walked upon. This is the season of “dry bones,”- the times when we feel like questioning our hope and faith. The deeper the valley, the greater is the next mountain we climb and conquer. The river of the Word and the Spirit broadens in the valley times. The river speeds up and gushes influencing both banks of our minds and our spirits causing all types of crops, evergreen trees and fruit trees to grow in our lives for the benefit of others and for succeeding generations.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Feed the Need

UV 2202/10000 Feed the Need
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

John 21 v 15

Jesus seemed to encourage a competitive love for Him among the apostles by asking Peter, “ Do you love me more than these?” John in His gospel stated that he was the disciple who was closest or most beloved of Jesus. Two other disciples enquired of Him through their mother who would be seated on his right hand in the kingdom of heaven. In this uni-verse, Jesus asked his chief disciple, Peter if he loved Him. As the sign of his love, Jesus asked him only to do one thing – to feed His lambs. Peter was entrusted the task to feed those who believed in Him but their faith was tender like the young of sheep. The manger leader o r manager ‘s primary task is caring for the young. It was this attitude of caring for the disciples that caused the resurrected Jesus to appear for the third time to the disciples. They had gone back to their prior profession – fishing. The night had seen them catch nothing. We too when we catch nothing or little for the efforts we invest in some venture, should remember that at that moment the Lord is nearby, within hearing distance, watching us, calling to us as He did on that day with the disciples. He allows us some times to catch nothing in order to get our attention. He then feeds us with His word as He did with the disciples. He prepares us for a great catch, a great harvest and amazing success. Jesus guided them to such a great catch by asking them to cast the net on the right side. It was not as if the fish were all lingering only on the right side and that Jesus only changed the direction of their fishing. It was a supernatural result. The manger leader or manager by virtue of his faith is not daunted or discouraged by the limitation of resources available for his task. He believes in the supernatural wisdom, knowledge and power of Jesus that is available to him at all times.

John was the disciple who first recognized the figure standing by the shore as that of Jesus. He recognized Him by His voice for Jesus had said, “ My sheep know my voice and will come to Me.” The manger leader or manager acts as an amplifier or loud speaker for the voice of Jesus to reach near and distant shores. Peter in his enthusiasm jumped into the water stark naked, having left his clothes in the boat. He was then asked thrice whether Peter loved Him? Peter acknowledged the omniscience of Jesus , that He knew all things. Nothing in his heart or mind was secret but it was all known to Jesus. The manger leader or manager knows that despite the knowledge Jesus has of his betrayals like that of Peter, his backsliding, his failures, his limited strengths and weaknesses, his fears, his inhibitions Jesus loves him. This is agape or God ‘s unconditional love demonstrated and manifested repeatedly by Jesus.

We are called to lead by feeding the need. A human being’s deepest and greatest need is the need for salvation. The second greatest need is the need for sanctification- to become perfect and mature like Jesus. The third greatest need is multiplication or replication. Jesus is the way to salvation, sanctification and multiplication. We feed people, the ones who are inclined to hear the voice of the great Shepherd Jesus to satisfy these primary needs. But before Jesus asked Peter to feed the lambs and sheep, He personally fed them with fish cooked on a coal fire. We are also called to meet or do what ever lies in our reach to satisfy the secondary needs of people – the need for physical food, clothing, shelter, security, education, jobs and so on.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Beautiful Life

UV 2201/10000 The Beautiful Life
Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Hebrews 10 v 38

We are set right with God by faith in the supreme sacrifice of Jesus. Having been so justified or straightened, we ought to live straight lives, in alignment with His will as expressed in His Word and as revealed by the Spirit of God. The manger leader or manager lives and leads in accordance with the revealed will of the Lord. Such a life is a pleasing offering to the Lord. The Lord invests such a person with His spirit. This explains why manger leaders and managers have the spirit of excellence. The delights in showing the faithful both mercy and grace.

The manger leader lives by faith and hope in the promises, precepts and commands of the Lord. He has implicit and explicit faith in the Word. He sustains himself in this world by inner sight and does not live by the information provided by the senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste or smell. His senses are in fact subjected to the patterns or templates indicated in the Word. The manger leader believes that his whole life is an invisible tabernacle or residence or temple of the Lord. Everything he says or does is dedicated to this overarching design of the tabernacle. Like Bezalel, a skilled and versatile master craftsman he is always overshadowed by the invisible but tangible presence of the Lord. He is guided and gifted by the genius of Jesus and not the genius of the enemy of our souls.
The uni-verse also contains a warning that no man having accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour should live contrary to His teachings or the Word. Such a life of disregard or disrespect of the commands and promises of the Lord invites divine displeasure. It is a denial of the greatness of the sacrifice of Jesus. We cannot live a double life- one of faith and one of denying what faith teaches us. Justification by faith should always be followed by sanctification by faith. We need to hold onto our faith in the midst of tests, trials and tribulations with hope, persistent faith and patient endurance. Such a life is one of integrity and righteousness. It implies that we are not to be mere hearers but doers, people who daily apply, practice and trust the Word. The Lord promises in a psalm that He will “beautify the believer with His salvation.” The result of being justified by Christ and sanctified by the Spirit is that our lives and our testimonies would be full of power, beauty and grace. We are called to live the beautiful life that is pleasing to the Lord.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


UV 2200/10000 Submission
Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child
Psalm 131 v 2

Submission to the Lord is essential for the fulfillment of vision, passion and mission. The Psalmist is saying in this uni-verse, “ I having found my identity in Christ, in the Creator, in the Redeemer of my soul, no longer am I restless and dissatisfied. “ He is as satisfied as a child lying asleep in his mother’s lap, quiet, still and trusting the Lord in all situations and for all his need. He knows that in each situation the Lord takes him through, it is like weaning a child of his mother. It is taking him to a new level of confidence, trust, patience, faith, love and strength. He is being prepared for a greater and deeper intimacy with his Redeemer. He is being prepared for greater responsibilities and challenges. Ironically, such surrender or submission like a child to his mother is a sign of the onset of maturity and wisdom of the manger leader or manager. This kind of humility of spirit emerges when we are drained of all personal ambition, vanity and ego. We become like Moses after driven from Egypt into the wilderness for forty years. He no longer had any pretensions of any ambition that he could save his fellow Hebrew people from Egyptian oppression. He is tamed of anger, aggression and pride. He no longer had any confidence in the strength of his own flesh, mind or even tongue. It is at such a moment, such a point in our earthly journey that we are ready to be used of the Lord as we are yielded and still. It is not as much physical, an intellectual or emotional but spiritual stillness. It is not the stillness of an instrument like a knife, a scalpel or a hammer in the hands of an expert but the stillness of the human person in the hands of the Lord.

Knowing that the Lord knows us intimately, that He loves us and cares for us, that He provides, protects and promotes us without our asking or without our longing for it, induces in us the attitude of waiting for the Lord patiently, calmly and with hope. We pass through different seasons, stages or phases in our lives. In each season, He not only more than adequately meets the holistic need of our spirits, minds and bodies but He prepares us for the next big shift to another phase or season. Instead of resisting change and challenges , we should yield to the Lord with a lot of trust, confidence and hope.

We need to submit our desires, our plans and projects, our personal ambitions, our hopes to the Lord. As we confide these in Him, He will either enable us by His grace to attain these or He would give us the grace and wisdom to give it up. As we do so, we will not feel frustrated or distressed or disappointed. We repose our confidence in Him as not only does He have deeper insight and knowledge of us but He has the best plan for our lives. As we yield ourselves to the Lord, He will undertake for us. No longer do we have to struggle to achieve any goals or aims. An exchange in the spirit takes place. He takes our heavy yoke of desire, ambition, worry and anxiety and places it on His able shoulder and plants the yoke or seed of calmness, joy, peace, assurance, confidence and wisdom in us.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Heart of the Matter

UV 2199/10000 The Heart of the Matter
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life
Proverbs 4 v 23

The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart. Just as the physical heart receives deoxygenated blood and pumps out oxygenated blood to all parts of the body, our emotional hearts sustains our whole being. The physical heart works round the clock and through our entire lifetime. Likewise, we experience feelings or emotions right through our lives. The emotional heart energises our lives. The uni-verse exhorts us to take good care of our emotional health. We need to preserve it through study and application of the word of God for only a fool trusts his own feelings or heart. The human hearts is described as being deceitful and desperately wicked. When we study the Word diligently and apply it to our hearts, the source of deceit, folly and wickedness is removed surgically as with a double edged sword. It is replaced with spiritual wisdom, the wisdom of the Lord who knows our hearts inside out. We need to constantly invite the Lord to study or search our hearts and point out to us any wicked thought or way or attitude in us. Jesus is the foremost of “heart specialists”. He said of the human heart that out of it proceeds evil thoughts, covetousness, murders, fornications, blasphemy, adulteries, false evidence. If our inmost being is constantly watched, monitored and cleansed by the Holy Spirit, there will be no room or scope for any of these issues of death to emerge. But the heart does not exist in a vacuum. If it is not filled with evil, it should be filled with good. It is again the work of the Holy Spirit to allow the issues of eternal life, the blessed life- the rivers of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. It is called a river as these issues will flow continually touching both banks or sides- the eternal on the far side and the earthly or the here and now on this side of life. Yes, the rivers of positive emotions will wax or wane depending on how much care we take to feed it with the Word and how much we yield to the Spirit of God.

In the decades since the nineties of the twentieth century, emotional intelligence is hailed as being far more indicative of success in all spheres than intelligence quotient. But mankind is yet to find a single effective way to enhance emotional intelligence. People are in the grip of various negative emotions and traits like anger, bitterness, jealousy, fear, hatred, greed, lust, deceit, low esteem, pride, discontentment and so on. These are the thorns and snares of the heart that scripture refers to. The thorns cause pain. The snares entrap us and keep us from fulfilling our God –given potential. By studying the Word and our hearts side by side, we can discover the spiritual medicine that we need to apply to whichever disease of the emotional heart we are suffering from.

The only thing that Jesus asks in return for eternal life is to give Him our hearts as His place of residence. When we surrender our heart to Him, we are surrendering our autonomy or sovereignty as individuals. He then makes it His concern and responsibility to remove the thorns and snares, to perfect our hearts unto God. Jesus is the Balm of Gilead to heal every ill of the human heart.

Prateep V Philip

To Be Spiritually Minded

UV 2198/10000 To Be Spiritually Minded
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Romans 8 v 6

Those whose minds are controlled by the flesh have set their minds on what the flesh desires. They sow in the flesh and reap strife or eternal death and its consequences. To be carnally minded yields pleasure and benefits in the short run but in the long run and in the eternal run, it is harmful to our souls, our entire being. Those whose minds are controlled by the Spirit of God set their minds on what God desires. Their lives will be overflowing with eternal and abundant life and with a river of peace flowing from their hearts. The Spirit controls and directs all that they think, speak and do. They think thoughts of peace, speak words of peace and do acts of peace. Having found peace with God through Jesus, the same peace overflows into all aspects of their lives. They have the peace that the world cannot give and the world cannot take away. It is a comprehensive peace though not comprehensible. It is a holistic peace, not compartmentalised to certain areas of our lives. They have peace of mind, spirit and body.

Personality is the quality of the mind of a person. Normal management education or training does not impact the quality of the mind of a person. The manger leader or manager is spiritually minded. He sets his love upon the name and person of Jesus. To be spiritually minded is to develop a mind like Jesus. Jesus is his Saviour, mentor, leader, shepherd, teacher, guide and model. The manger leader or manager sows in the spirit and reaps in the spirit the fruit of the spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. These fruit are found in seed form in the Word. The manger leader or manager makes himself willingly and enthusiastically subject to the law of God- the Word. As he intakes of the Word, the seed begin to cast deeper and deeper roots in his spirit and mind and influences all that he does in this world. As he obeys the Spirit of God, he enjoys a life of righteousness, peace and joy.

When we are controlled by the Holy Spirit, we are putting to death the evil desires of our flesh that provoke us to disobey the Lord. These desires are at work in the natural man in all the members of his body. By continually chipping away at these desires, the Holy Spirit sanctifies the various parts and members of our bodies. We become pleasing and acceptable to the Lord. Earlier, we in our ignorance of the ways and word of God, used to resist the Spirit of God and yield to the enemy of our souls. The mere suggestion of the enemy was our command. Now, we have the power from above and within to resist the enemy and yield to the Lord. As we increasingly yield our intellects, our emotions, our wills to the Lord, we will increase in our yield of eternal life and peace.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, February 10, 2017

Experiencing Resurrection Power

UV 2197/10000 Experiencing the Resurrection Power
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before
Philippians 3 v 13

Paul never thought that he had attained his goal of knowing Christ, becoming like Him and making Him known. He was pressing towards that goal of the high calling he had received from Christ. In the past, he had zeal without true knowledge. It led him to put his entire faith in the works of the flesh, in Hebrew rituals and rites like circumcision. His zeal caused him to persecute and put to death the followers of Jesus. But, after he encountered Christ in a vision and heard His voice, his perspective on life and his life goals, his priorities completely changed. He then began to experience the miraculous , tremendous and supernatural power of the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection power which is at work in all believers puts to death our faith in the works of the flesh, in mere rituals and traditions. The guilt and pride of our past is left behind and we are called to strive to attain our hope in Christ of eternal life and the abundant life. There is no room in our hearts or minds for complacency or misplaced confidence. The result would be that just as there is a clear divide in history between BC and AD in terms of human progress in all aspects, so also our BC and AD days would be completely distinct. While death will be at work in our flesh and its works, the resurrection power of Jesus is at work in our spirits. Our memories of the past will fade while our hope in eternity and our joy in the present moment will be revived.

The single-mindedness of the apostle Paul is the trait that manger leaders and managers should imbibe and imitate. We need to forget the achievements and failures of our BC or before Christ days, the bitterness and frustration as well as the things that were a source of pride and belief in our past. All our activities, our subsidiary aims and goals should be subordinated to our chief goal of being like Jesus and glorifying His name. This kind of single-mindedness or dedication enabled Paul to have the greatest impact on the early church and early believers. He was willing to pay any price to attain his supreme goal.

Unlike Lot’s wife, we should not look back at what we left behind us in following Jesus. Our focus like Paul should be on Jesus, the author who began our life of faith with God and on Jesus, the one who set His eyes like flint on the cross, on Jesus who is resurrected and glorified at the right hand of the Father. We need to run patiently our race of faith. We need to press on despite the naysayers, the criticisms, the persecution, the opposition, the hostility, the sufferings. We need to lean on the Lord for strength and guidance and not on our own limited strength. We need to believe that the Lord who has brought us this far would take us the entire distance and thereafter, take us to His right side.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Vulnerable But Awesome

UV 2196/10000 Vulnerable but Awesome
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Jeremiah 18 v 4

The Lord sits as a potter even as the Earth is a potter’s wheel that is continually spinning. The Lord uses different events and influences to shape each individual as a pot of great beauty and strength. Each of us is a pot in His hand if we Pray, Obey, Trust Him. We are created fearfully and wonderfully. We are created to be vulnerable but awesome like a beautiful clay pot. However, strong and beautiful we look on the outside, we can be broken in an instant. We can easily develop cracks and leaks. If we do not obey His commands and trust Him, we become clay pots that are marred or misshapen or flawed. He needs to break us and re-make us again. Every manger leader or manager is pliant and malleable in the hands of the Lord. He is constantly changing, learning, trusting and obeying the Lord in conforming to the divine design or eternal mould.

Only the Potter knows the kind of pot He needs to fashion. Only He knows the purpose to which it is to be put to. Accordingly, He choses the size, the colour, the material, the decorations, the lid, the type of handle, the circumference whether broad or narrow, the neck and the base. He decides the kind of strength or endurance that needs to be built into each of us so that we can withstand the pressures, trials and temptations of life. Unlike the usual potter and the usual pot, He is never done with us and is shaping us all our earthly lives as long as the earth spins around the sun.

The purpose of a container is not the container but the contents. Likewise, we are vessels of clay with treasures inside us. The treasures are the good news of Jesus, the Word, the testimonies that we have as we live out our faith. The treasure is the hope we have in Jesus. The treasure is the dream we have received from the Lord as Jacob received a dream from the Lord. The treasures are the blessings we receive from the Lord as we pray, obey and trust. A pot is not only malleable, it is permeable. It breathes and lets in air and lets out vapour. This keeps the water inside pots, clean, pure and cool. The water does not stagnate or become putrid. Likewise, as manger leaders and managers as we breathe in the Spirit of God, we stay cool, calm, pure and useful. Like the clay pitchers in Gideon’s volunteer soldiers’ hands, we are also clay pots with a hidden firebrand burning inside us. When the clay pot is broken, the fire and light is revealed, the trumpet of victory is sounded. Remembering that we are but clay pots in the hands of the Divine Potter, keeps us humble, focussed, disciplined, determined, faithful, calm, wise and effective. In short, we are vulnerable but awesome.

Prateep V Philip

The Flow

UV 2195/10000 The Flow
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Psalm 16 v 11

The Lord reveals the decisions and choices the manger leader or manager should make. He does not make the decisions or choices on our behalf as He respects our autonomy as persons created in His image. But He guides and leads us through the decision making process. He grants us wisdom and grace to take the decision and to stick to it. The Word plays an significant role in revealing to our eyes the spiritual wisdom that comes from above, in teaching us the right thing to do in a given situation. It gives us a template or framework within which we should decide. If we follow the template, our choices will lead us into greater and greater blessing.

Jesus answers all the eternal questions of mankind. All other issues are subsidiary- the questions of how we make a living, what work or career we ought to pursue, what investments to make. Once our eternal quest is satisfied in Jesus, He acts as a our leader, guide and teacher. He is present with us in the form of the Holy Spirit. This is referred to as His “presence” in the uni-verse above. Once we immerse ourselves in the presence or the Holy Spirit, we are continually filled with joy. He fills us with the power, the courage, the wisdom, the grace to obey the Lord. The Holy Spirit reminds us, prompts us at every step of our way in life. Even if we err or fail or make mistakes, He comforts us as Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the Comforter. The Holy Spirit enables each of us to find our flow or to fulfil our full potential in Christ, to use our time, our opportunities, our gifts and talents wisely and well.

The world finds its pleasure through disobedience and rebellion against God’s will and word. But we find our pleasure in obedience and submission to God’s word and will. The “right hand “ in the uni-verse symbolises our proximity to the Lord, our keenness to listen to His word and obey His will in every aspect of our lives. The book of Revelation speaks of a heavenly river that flows from the throne of the Lord. It is the river of pleasures or wholesome blessings that flow from the throne of the Lord towards the faithful on earth. Every earthly pleasure tend s to fade with time and experience but the eternal blessings of the Lord bring joy to us forever.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Process of Being Made Whole

UV 2194/10000 The Process of Being Made Whole
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Thessalonians 5 v 23

The PUSH factor is very important in the life of the manger leader or manager. PUSH implies Pray Until Sanctification Happens. In this uni-verse, Paul prayed for those he led, taught and ministered to that their whole spirit, soul and bodies are kept blameless till the second coming of Jesus. Sanctification means making perfect, whole, holy, pure, complete, blameless, flawless or blemishless. Jesus first sanctifies us by faith through the washing and regeneration of new life by His blemishless blood. He then sends the Holy Spirit to do the work of sanctification. We need to immerse ourselves in the Word that is the water that purifies us from the inside. As sanctification happens, we will find both peace and grace.
Sanctification happens as we apply what we learn from the Word in our day to day lives. All our organs need to be made whole: our eyes need to be freed from lust on a day to day basis. Our mouths and tongues need to be sanctified so that our speech is wholesome and beneficial to all. Our ears should hear only things we are meant to hear. The hearing of negativities, gossip, lies, vulgarity corrupts our inner soul and affects our attitudes and perceptions. Our minds need to be sanctified by saturation with the thoughts of God contained in the Word so that we think about what is good, noble, pure, healthy, praiseworthy and pleasing to the Lord. Our hands should do things that are pleasing to the Lord. Our legs should take us only to places where the Lord allows us to go. Doing or obeying what we have learnt, heard, seen, understood in the Lord and His word as well as His disciples and our mentors is part of the process of making our bodies, minds and spirits whole and blameless.

Our intentions, goals and priorities need to be pleasing to the Lord. If our intentions are good, if we are sincere and earnest in pursuing wholesome goals, the Lord will give us grace or help and favour in achieving these. God is the One who sanctifies us in the body of Christ, removing that which needs to be removed and adding that which needs to be added. But our willing cooperation adds to the progress of the process. We also need to keep praying till sanctification happens in every area and part of our lives.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Rationale for Joy

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4 v 4

Scripture asks us to be joyful at all times. While human psychology teaches us that we like other animals are always in a flight or fight mode, the uni-verse asks us to overflow with joy. We are not told why we should rejoice. Due to our prior conditioning we assume that we rejoice due to happenings. In other words, joy is confused with happiness which is the transient excitement and happiness one feels naturally due to certain positive outcomes or happenings, like one’s country winning a particular game or getting a new job or a promotion and pay raise. The uni-verse asks to rejoice as we are in the Lord. Jesus, the Lord and Giver of life became a Man of Sorrows to take away all our sorrows and give us victory and everlasting joy. As we personally know the Lord Jesus, we rejoice. We rejoice as we have the hope of eternal life and the promise of abundant life in the here and now. JOY stands for Jesus Owns You. We rejoice as our ownership has transferred from the deceiver to our living Redeemer.

We are to rejoice at all times. We are to internally rejoice even when or specially when circumstances seem adverse. We rejoice at these times out of the hope of sharing in the glory of God. A manger leader then is not merely stoic but he is bubbling with joy. When we receive Jesus into our hearts and serve Him as He is now become Lord of our lives, we rejoice. The joy is not an emotional effervescence but a deep spring flowing from our hearts. That spring turns into seven rivers of joy, peace, wisdom, grace, mercy, hope and assurance.

Joy is manifested or demonstrated in our constant attitudes of gratitude towards the Lord, in praise and worship, in contentment and absence of grumbling and bitterness. If we are not joyful, our hearts will be heavy and we cannot freely praise and worship the Lord. Our joy is reflected in positive thoughts, attitudes, words, actions and reactions. Jesus described the enemy of our souks as a thief, robber and killer. He does not steal or rob our physical possessions or kill our bodies. He steals, robs and kills our joy and peace. The uni-verse exhorts us repeatedly not to allow him to steal, rob or kill our peace and joy under any circumstance.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Word and the Hand

UV 2192/10000 The Word and the Hand
The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.

Ezekiel 1 v 3

The word of the Lord comes as “rhema” or a specific, direct word to an individual as it came to Ezekiel. I He saw a vision of angels of heaven, sepharim who burned brightly like coal. It is a metaphor to indicate that the manger leader or manager burns with zeal with knowledge like the sepharim. The Lord sent him the word and vision to encourage the captives of Israel while they were exiles and slaves in Babylon. By the rivers of Babylon, the Jewish diaspora cried out to the Lord and God of their fathers. The rivers or the resources and pleasures of Babylon, a symbol of the world did not in anyway seduce thm. God heard their cry and sent the vision and word as an encouragement to them to hold onto their faith. The rivers of Babylon, also , symbolise discouraging circumstances, a hopeless and powerless situation where no redemption was in sight for the ancient Jews.
The Lord is closest to us when we are weak and vulnerable. We are also in a more receptive state of mind and spirit as the world’s distractors and diverters are virtually cut off. Especially, in the most discouraging, distressing and hopeless situations in life, we need to prepare to pray and intercede on behalf of people like a priest. The Lord will then have compassion on us and send us a word of encouragement to uplift us. He does so to demonstrate to us that His hand is upon us. He is with each of us as He was with Moses and Joshua, as a mighty warrior. He will vindicate our faith and restore us. Thereafter, we should always recall the uni-verse or the specific and direct word by which He confirmed our deep bonds with Him, His presence with us. We should share our testimonies to praise the Lord for His faithfulness and to encourage others in difficult or similar predicaments of life.
Two things then we should await- one, the specific word that come in the shape of a verse from scripture or a vision or prophecy. Two, the hand of the Lord or the specific actions that He sets in motion on our behalf and for our good. Jesus is known as the Wonderful Counsellor as He not only tells us what to do but behind the situation, His supernatural hand is at work to do miracles and wonders to help us. He sends His host or army of angels to extricate or lift us up as the case may require. He sends the Holy Spirit to strengthen us from within, to comfort us and give us grace and power or the ability to do what we normally cannot do.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Maturity and Balance of Thinking

UV 2191/10000 Maturity and Balance of Thought
Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
I Corinthians 14 v 20

We are expected by the Lord to be children in terms of malice, deceit, evil of all kinds. We are not to be carnal or worldly in our thinking. As manger leaders or managers, we are to be guided in our thinking by the Wise Counsellor, the Holy Spirit who dwells in every believer. We are to be wise and understanding like Jesus who did not judge with His eyes or His ears but by the spirit of discernment, counsel and deep understanding. As far as our physical actions and habits are concerned, we are to be innocent like children. But in terms of our thinking and understanding, we are to feed on the Word and become mature and strong in our thinking as adults who cannot be easily swayed by
The crux of this uni-verse is that a child can be easily deceived, easily persuaded to change his views or beliefs. A manger leader or manager should not be like a child who is easily swayed this way or that. His beliefs and decisions should be based on firm convictions, diligent study and deep understanding. He cannot allow himself to be emotion or perception-driven. He follows the biblical pattern of thinking: cling to what is good, let go of what is evil. He does not allow the deceit of the passions of the flesh and the vain pride of the mind to destroy the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control.
The mature leader or manager knows that the difference between a genuine thing and a counterfeit one is very marginal or minimal, so low that one can hardly make out the difference unless one studies both diligently to see the hidden or tell- tale signs of the counterfeit. Likewise in matters of faith and life, the mature leader knows what is black and white or cut and dried or good and evil as well as he knows the grey areas which are not evidently either good or evil. Our minds should become magnets to attract and retain what is good and repel what is evil or harmful to ourselves or others in the short or long run. We need to pray over dilemmas, points of decision or doubts so that we get the active, practical assistance of the Wise and Wonderful Counsellor who is Jesus.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Joy and Peace by Belief, Hope and Patience by Experience

UV 2190/10000 Joy And Peace by Belief, Hope and Patience by Experience
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Romans 15 v 13

The hope of Israel in Jehovah is our strength, too. Our belief in Him fills us with all joy and peace. We are connected to Jehovah, the God of hope who wants to bless us and give us hope and a future, who has our best interests at heart, who is committed to our well being, through the Manger Leader – Jesus, the greatest of leaders sent by God but born in the humblest of circumstances in order to identify with all humanity. When we believe in Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon us and empowers us. The Holy Spirit enables us to overflow with confidence in the promises of God contained in the Bible.

The manger leader or manager is always full of indescribable and inexplicable joy and abundant peace. It is not because of what He has but on account of whose he is. His heart or his will, intellect and emotions are ruled by the Prince of Peace, Jesus. He is assured of the abundant life – abundance in spirit, mind and body, on account of his faith in Jesus. Abundance in spirit is manifested in the spiritual qualities of life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. Paul highlights next to joy and hope, the quality of patience. He describes Jehovah as the God of patience. We are with the Lord for the long haul, for eternity and we need to cultivate and manifest the quality of patience in order to receive the blessings of the promises of God. But as we wait with expectancy for the fulfilment, the Holy Spirit fills us with the confidence and assurance that the Lord is with us and will answer our prayers, meet our need, bless us according to His promises. The end results of our lives are joy and peace in the Holy Spirit. What sustains us continually is hope, patience and faith.

Our belief in Jesus is the trigger while the Holy Spirit is the One who completes it or brings to fruition the promise of the Lord. Belief then is the determining factor to decide which “lief” or kingdom we belong to , the kingdom of God or the kingdom of darkness. Being part of the kingdom of God, subjecting ourselves willingly to the rule of Christ in our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, fills us with joy and hope and makes us patient. Sometimes, the Lord takes us into hopeless situations, desperate times in order to prove to us that He is the God of hope, the only One who can deliver us in the most distressing and hopeless situations. Our belief or faith is tested in this manner to give this experience or the taste of hope. Such experience then produces more hope and joy in us.

Prateep V Philip