Friday, March 31, 2017

The Multiplier

UV 2241/10000 The Multiplier
The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!
Deuteronomy 1 v 12

In every area or domain of life, the Lord desires and intends to bless us. He blesses us so that, quantitatively and qualitatively, we grow a thousand times more than what we are at the present moment. He promised Abraham that he will have seed or successors that are as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore. It implies that He would increase Abraham infinitely, such that none can count. Just as the Jews are the descendants of his physical seed or generation, we of the faith are the spiritual descendants of Abraham. It proves that there are no limits to what God can do in our lives.

It is the blessing of the Lord that causes us to increase, to grow, to multiply, to expand, to enlarge or develop ourselves in every field- physical, intellectual, emotional, social, financial, familial and spiritual. These are the seven colours of the rainbow of covenant or the divine agreement with the Lord. By the terms of this agreement, the Lord promises to increase us. Spiritual blessings are the blessings of peace, eternal life, spiritual wisdom, the blessings of ministering to the spiritual and holistic needs of people. We should be most zealous for spiritual blessings.
We need to believe that the Lord is able and willing to do that which He has promised. If He has promised something in His word, He means it and will fulfil it in His time and not necessarily in the manner and time of our expectations. Some of the promises may be fulfilled in our lifetime but it can happen over many generations or over the course of human history as it did in the case of Abraham. Faith therefore, necessarily should be accompanied by positive patience and enduring hope. It will help our faith grow and endure if we remember His faithfulness to the fathers of faith, the previous generations, the biblical heroes of faith, His goodness towards us and our families in the past many years. To put it mathematically, God is the multiplier, our faith is the multiplicand or the factor by which the multiplier is multiplied. The sum or result is what is witnessed in our lives.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Secrets and Shadows

UV 2240/10000 Secrets and Shadows
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty
Psalm 91 v 1

A shadow is the reflection formed by an object or person cutting off the light shining upon it. Why is the presence of the Almighty God referred to as a shadow, a mere shadow when He is the Father of lights and there is no shadow of turning in Him ? A shadow follows a person faithfully wherever he goes. Likewise, the Lord is faithful. The shadow of the Jehovah El Shaddai surrounds us more effectively than a fortress. He acts as our refuge in times of trouble. We experience the protective presence of the Lord. The mighty shadow of the Lord upon us drives away the lurking shadows of our own guilt, our own weaknesses, our animosities, our insecurities, our folly, our fear of death. There is no place or room for these things in the presence of the Lord. We no longer can do “shadow boxing” or fighting with the mere reflections of the real thing- the spirit world. The real fight is the spiritual fight, the real race is the spiritual race against time, death and decay. It is a race for the prize of eternal life. The “secret place” that the Most High God prefers in all of the universe is our hearts. If we choose to let Him dwell or fill our hearts with His presence, He will surround us on all sides. Just as a couple or lovers have secret rendezvous or times and places to meet and fellowship to renew their relationship, we too need to have secret rendezvous and times with the Lord that no one else needs to know. These secret meetings are the source of our strength, delight and joy. We experience the gracious presence of the Lord.

Living under the shadow of someone also means living under his influence. When we live under the shadow of the Lord, we are influenced by His example, His teachings, principles, His words and ways of doing things. Scripture says that we live under the shadow of His wings. The wings are word and prayer. Word and prayer should be flapping in our hearts like the wings of a dove all the time.

Under the Old Covenant, certain places were known or noted for the presence of the Lord. As Moses stepped towards the burning bush, the voice of the Lord asked him to remove his sandals as he was stepping on holy ground. But under the new covenant relationship, since the Lord Himself dwells with us and in us, His presence or shadow is accompanying us all the time, there is no place which is not holy. Moses had to veil his face after he entered the presence of the Lord in the tabernacle. Today, the secret of the tabernacle or the glorious presence of the Lord dwells in us. We have become the veritable tabernacle for the Lord, a tabernacle not made with human hands but created by God in His image. We experience the glorious presence of the Lord. We behold His glory with unveiled faces and are transformed bit by bit, degree by degree, day by day, moment by moment. We experience the continuous presence of the Lord.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Word as a Source of Life

UV 2239/10000 The Word as A Source of Life
Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
Jeremiah 5 v 14

When the Lord puts His words in our mouth, He makes it like a fire. It will consume the evil in us and around us in the people who hear us speak His Word. It will go forth as light in the darkness, shattering and scattering the darkness of ignorance. It will open eyes that are blinded from perceiving the Lord and ears that do not hear him as well as minds that cannot comprehend Him or hearts that are hard like rock in their response to Him. His Word is a hammer that breaks the unbelieving and rocky dead hearts and makes it soft, responsive, faithful and living.

The tongue in normal times is a source of both life and death, wisdom and folly, goodness and evil, kindness and harshness, truth and lies. But once, we consistently EAT (enjoy, apply, think) the Word, chew on it or meditate till we digest every bit, assimilate it into our hearts and lives, it becomes a source only of eternal life, a spring of sweet and everlasting water. What we declare, the Lord will vindicate as His own words- it will come to pass. He will not allow a word to fall to the ground in vain. The English expression “ eat your words” means that one is forced to be ashamed of what he has spoken and compelled to withdraw it. But the Lord commands us to “EAT” His word. It will then be a source of enlightenment, warmth, guidance and protection like a fire. As Jesus spoke to the two grieving disciples on the road to Emmaus, His words began to burn in their grieving hearts like fire and they began to understand the purpose of the cruel death of Jesus on the cross. Likewise, the words we speak will burn in the hearts of listeners and give them a new perspective, altering their lives.

Only a fire can effectively destroy a hornet’s nest. Likewise, the Word in our mouths, hearts and lives does not stir the hornet’s nest but destroys the bees sent by the enemy to sting us in the form of temptations, death, disease, disgrace, defeat or loss. Jesus became the Word or the very expression of God, the visible image of the invisible God in order to remove the sting of these real life issues that trouble mankind from the beginning of time. When people hear the Word, they should not allow their momentary faith to die out like a spark or perish like a plant without enough roots but fan it into full flame or allow it to develop to its full potential. A fire is also a source of warmth, comfort or encouragement on a bitterly cold winter night. The Word is an effective source of comfort, hope and encouragement in our lonely, forlorn, desolate moments when we feel low , downcast or depressed. Only a hammer can destroy a rock into pieces. Likewise, all the hard issues of life that torment us, the limiting factors, the shackles of life are broken into pieces as we claim the specific promises and do the commands embedded in the Word of God. When enemies oppose us or attack us, the Word is a quiver of sharp arrows as well as an effective shield in all directions or 360 degrees even where our sight does not reach. It is a sword of fire that proceeds from our mouth as we declare it in faith to destroy the weapons and plots of the enemy of our souls.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Training for Warfare

UV 2238/10000 Training for Warfare
He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
Psalm 18 v 34

The Lord is not only Himself a warrior on behalf of people, He trains people for war. He is our Master Trainer. He imparts fighting skills such that we are able to overcome evil forces that are arrayed against us all the time. He enables us to be a counter or foil to the thief, the robber and the killer who is the common enemy of our souls. He imparts strength to us so that we stay in the fight till the very end. A warrior needs versatile skills in order to wrest victory from multiple enemies. He needs to understand the strategies of the enemies and devise ways to neutralise these strategies.

Scripture tells us that the Lord will teach our fingers to war. This implies that the Lord gifts, imparts and trains us with ten different skills: the ability to pray in the spirit, the ability to discern the spirits, the wisdom to take quick and correct decisions, the ability to lead with courage and strength, the ability to recall, understand and apply the apt portion of scripture, the ability and will power to execute what has been planned, the ability to counsel and to seek and take advice from the right quarters, the knowledge of one’s own vulnerabilities and weaknesses as well as what he needs to do to minimise its impact in his life and work, the faith that whatever one lacks in terms of knowledge, wisdom, understanding, abilities, resources, the Lord will supply graciously.

A bow of steel cannot ordinarily be broken with bare arms. But when the Lord equips us with different elements of His armour and with His spiritual weapons, He does so that we attempt and accomplish what is not ordinary but extraordinary or miraculous. The enormous, unlimited or infinite strength, power and wisdom of the Lord operates in us and among us to do the impossible. Ordinary “flesh and blood people” are enabled to fight spiritual battles, to tear down evil empires and strongholds. Our influence and power as “peaceful warriors” of the Lord extends beyond national, geographical and earthly boundaries, beyond the realm of the possible. The goal of such warfare is the salvation of souls. As we engage in such warfare, people get released from the clutches or captivity of the enemy of all human souls.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Obstacle is the Path

UV 2237/10000 The Obstacle is The Path

For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.

2 Samuel 22 v 30

One needs the help of God to overcome the many obstacles we face in life. David was helped by God to overcome a lion and a bear as a shepherd, to overcome the mighty Goliath, overcome the envy of his own brothers, overcome the hostility, jealousy and conspiracies of the powerful king of Israel Saul, overcome many enemies among the tribes of Israel and among neighbouring kingdoms and principalities, overcome the guilt of his own sin of adultery and virtual murder of his loyal soldier Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba, overcome the wickedness and conspiracies hatched by his own sons to take over his throne. David was often besieged by problems but he was helped by the Lord to overcome each one of these. Any reliance on only his natural strength, ability or wisdom would have certainly seen him defeated and destroyed. After experiencing all of these tough challenges, David was able to compose a song of praise which includes this uni-verse.

In New Testament times, St Paul, formerly Saul also experienced great deliverances from the venom of a deadly snake, from shipwreck, from Roman prison, from violent mobs rearing to lynch him, from kings and rulers wanting to sentence him to a cruel death. Paul wrote after these experiences, “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The Lord takes us through many obstacles and tough experiences so that we are better and not bitter. He gives us the way of escape or He gives us the strength to endure it. He enables us to overcome the strong one, the enemy of our souls as also the agents and servants of the enemy who are sent against us like a troop. God is the force multiplier. He strengthens us so that one of us who believes in Jesus is like a force that can put a thousand spirits to rout and two can send ten thousand scurrying. He acts as our force multiplier. He gives us the saving grace or power to negotiate any obstacle in our lives, by either going around it or going through it or by removing the obstacle. In the case of the ancient Israelites fleeing from slavery in Egypt, the Lord took them through the Red Sea. The Red Sea that so easily parted for the Israelites became the foil and obstacle that overcame the powerful Egyptian army sent to destroy them. Time and again in biblical history, we find that God chooses to intervene when the odds against us are very heavy or impossible, when no natural remedy or physical or intellectual or financial prowess can count. He leaves no doubt that it is His hand that delivers the weak, vulnerable and powerless against the strong and formidable forces of this world.

There are a variety of obstacles that the Lord helps us overcome: spiritual obstacles, people obstacles, situational obstacles, natural obstacles, medical obstacles, intellectual obstacles, emotional obstacles, financial obstacles, military obstacles, social obstacles, cultural obstacles, psychological obstacles. The obstacles in our path becomes the path for us to recognize the reality of God in our lives. The obstacles in our path becomes the path for discovering our faith, our inner strength, the test of our courage, fortitude, determination and hope. The obstacles or crisis becomes the opportunity for us to realize the purpose and meaning of life. Therefore, instead of running away form or resenting obstacles in our lives, we should learn to relish and enjoy the overcoming of it. It is not that we should take extra efforts to place obstacles in our own path but as these arise from time to time, to muster our faith and inner strength, look to the Lord in prayer and march forward with courage and optimism that “ we shall overcome some day.” Despite the outrageous claims of science, modern education and atheists around the world, the reason why faith continues to thrive is that the huge obstacles people face in everyday life makes them turn to the Lord for help to overcome these enormous challenges. Apparently very strong men and women break down like children when they face the reality of their own mortality when the doctor tells them that they have an incurable form of cancer or some other disease. At these critical junctures, when no one else can give them hope, it is the Lord who revives their strength and gives them the faith that they, too can scale this wall and run through the troop that announces death to them.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Good Fight, The Good Race

UV 2236/10000 The Good Fight, The Good Race
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
2 Timothy 4 v 7

The good fight is a life committed to faith in Christ. The good fight is non- violent. Its weapons are prayer and the Word. The enemy is invisible and powerful but we can overcome Him with the power of prayer, the Word and the Spirit of God. The Spirit teaches us how to pray and use the Word effectively. Once we pray and commit a matter to the Lord, He fights on our behalf. While engaged in the good fight, we do not suffer physical wounds but we get spiritually and emotionally bruised. Our injuries are healed by the wounds of Christ. We do not have to shed any blood as the blood of Jesus is a sufficient sacrifice. In a normal fight, the fighter’s strength flags and fails over time. Mohammad Ali, the “black superman” was greatly weakened by Parkinson’ s disease in his later days. Spiritually and in terms of faith, we will not weaken but move from strength to strength.

The good fight is fought by us every day of our lives for the challenges are different every day. There is no respite but the Lord gives us inextinguishable and inexhaustible peace in the midst of our struggles. We do not get tired or give up as the Lord renews our strength every single day and as we face every challenge. The prophet Jonah was discouraged in his life’s struggles. The prophet Elijah was fearful, discouraged and exhausted in his fight against Jezebel but the Lord gave a double anointing to Elisha such that the latter never faced discouragement. We, too are given a double anointing-the anointing of the Father and of Jesus. We should not engage in shadow boxing or chasing shadows or threats and fears that are not real. Like good fighters, we need to keep ourselves fit and ready for the fight by constant training and discipline. To be a good fighter, one needs to build strength to give blows as well as to endure it. One needs courage and perseverance to take on the odds and to keep fighting till the very end. We may sometimes be brought to the floor by some blows but every time we need to rise up and continue the good fight. Every fight ends some time. So also the good fight.

Life in Christ is not only a good fight but a good race. It is a long distance race and not a hundred meter dash. Like an athlete running a course we should aim to run till the last foot and complete the race of life. We should replenish ourselves with energy and strength by dipping into the word from time to time even as runners in a long distance race keep feeding on glucose and drinking water along the way. We may trip and fall on the way but every time we should quickly get up, dust ourselves and move ahead with greater tempo. For the good race, what counts is speed and stamina. Our focus should be on the eternal crown that the Lord holds for us as a reward for a life of faith. Every race ends some time. We can look forward with hope and optimism to a good ending. Whether it is the good fight or the good race, we should finish well and be able to say like Jesus on the cross, “ It is finished.”

Prateep V Philip

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Getting Rid of El-zheimer

UV 2235/10000 Getting Rid of El-zheimer
Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.
Isaiah 44 v 21

Our memory plays a great role in our relationship with each other and with our Father in heaven. Without a good memory, no worker would be able to carry out his daily tasks or fulfil the instructions of his boss. Most of us behave in life as if we have a kind of spiritual Alzheimer’s or ‘El-zheimer” (forgetting God) and forget the presence, the power and the love of God in our daily lives. We need to consciously and unconsciously commit to memory the instructions of the Lord for He is not only Creator, Redeemer, Helper, Friend but He is also our Master. We are His servants. We have been formed not for our own enjoyment and pleasure but for the pleasure of the Master. We need to find our delight in Him and in carrying out His instructions. This is the spiritual food that will sustain us, bless us, nourish us, strengthen us, heal us, deliver us, preserve us, enhance us, protect us.

We need to remember that we are in covenant relationship with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. We need to remember that we belong to Him. We need to remember that He has chosen us and called us personally by our names, that He has given us new name, His name, His identity. We need to remember that though we are His servants, He has called us His friends. We need to remember all the things He has spoken to us. We need to remember all the things He has done for us. We need to remember all His counsel. We need to remember His glory, grace and power revealed in us, to us and through us. A diligent servant keeps recounting his master’s instructions. Likewise, we should keep recounting His instructions, His acts of mercy and grace, His practical manifestations of His love. When we do so on a daily, frequent, regular and lifelong basis, we are filled with faith, joy, peace, strength, courage. We crowd out bad, negative or bitter memories from our lives by recounting to ourselves all the innumerable blessings of the Lord. Every memory will inspire an act of gratitude or praise and adoration. Memories are causes for celebration. When we recount our memories to our children, we are building historical wisdom, inspiration and a spiritual legacy that is passed on to the generations. The nation of Israel gives a lot of importance to marking their national memories in a variety of ways, either in terms of national festivals like the festival of Purim to celebrate the defeat of the plot of Haman to have all Jews killed in the time of Esther the Queen or in terms of practices like praying at the Wailing Wall.

The Lord on His part promises never to forget us. He has written our names on the palm of His hands. His eyes are always upon us. He remembers us as we were when we were being formed in the womb, as we were when we had not yet met with Him and were running away from Him like Jacob. He remembers our encounters and our struggles as Jacob. He remembers our struggles as Israel, after we entered into the covenant and personal relationship with Him. But the amazing thing is that He does not recall our transgressions. He truly practices a selective memory as part of His dispensation of grace to all mankind.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, March 24, 2017

Self Control

UV 2235/10000 Self Control
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
James 1 v 19

Scripture is replete with principles for practical and real life. This uni-verse teaches us how we could have avoided the thousand arguments and conflicts we were drawn into in the past. We need to slow down our speech, our desire to get words off our tongue as soon as we think it and instead focus on listening to people, their desires, their hurts, their feelings, their issues. There is a competition always between our tongues and our ears. Invariably, the tongues win the race. But it is a sign of maturity, wisdom, godly discipline if we slow down our tongues and let our ears win. It is godly discipline for it is the pattern of the Lord. He is always listening and rarely speaks.

St James used the metaphor of the bridling a horse when it came to controlling our tongues. It implies that the tongues are powerful like horses. Like a horse that is ten times more powerful than its rider, the tiny tongue is more powerful that its user. Though it is powerful it is hidden and not visible to the user. A horse when it is disciplined is useful for many purposes, to lift people and heavy weights. A horse is muzzled or its mouth covered to keep it focussed on its path. Similarly, we too should ‘muzzle’ our mouths from time to time to retain our focus on the path ahead. If our tongues are under the perfect control of the rider- the Holy Spirit and acts or speaks only with the expressed and specific direction of the Holy Spirit, it can be a source of life and blessing to both the speaker and the listeners. The reins to control our tongues are the truths of the Word and the question whether it is the apt time, place and manner to speak it. A wise person speaks sparingly and when he does it is to impact or to impart certain truth that will benefit the listeners. Instead, one should always be eager and ready to listen. We must quieten our own thoughts in order to listen to the word of the Lord. Having heard from Him, we should then take pains or discipline ourselves to do or obey or carry out what the Lord has asked us to do. A manger leader or manager is a hearer-doer, thinker-speaker. As a thumb rule, he listens to at least double of what he speaks, going by the body code that we have two ears and only one mouth or tongue.

Anger or wrath does not add up to the righteousness, peace and glory of God. Uncontrolled wrath damages both the one who is giving vent to it as well as the one who is the recipient. Often, it aggravates matters and makes an already bad situation worse. It affects health, relationships and peace of mind adversely. We need to be imitators of Jehovah and of Jesus, His Son who are slow to anger and quick to forgive. The spirit that God has given us is not one of anger or lack of self control but one of love, power and self control. We should instead exercise patience and understanding in dealing with our loved ones, our colleagues, our subordinates, neighbours and strangers.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Marvelous Deeds of the Lord

UV 2234/10000 The Marvelous Deeds of the Lord
Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Matthew 21 v 42

Persons who are rejected by the builders of this world are accepted by the architect of the universe- the Lord. The Lord selects the rejected, dejected and ejected of this world and turns them into the instruments of building His kingdom on earth. Jesus Himself was rejected by the Pharisees and leaders of the Jewish people but became the chief cornerstone of the Kingdom of God. Likewise, unlikely persons are chosen by the Lord to become manger leaders and managers who can turn around lives and organisations. In management parlance, they undergo a paradigm shift or complete transformation. Peter, the emotional, impetuous, volatile, vacillating person under the influence of the Lord and His anointing becomes Peter, the rock, the mature leader, the source of inspiration, the devout and dedicated follower who is ready to die for the Lord and His work.

Jesus chose twelve men who were themselves considered not qualified or capable of leading people to God and His kingdom. They were not high born, eloquent or well to do. Yet, the Lord made them the cornerstones on which He built the world-wide church. The Lord is able to build vision, passion, strength and commitment into the lives of otherwise ordinary people so that He accomplishes great things in and through them. Jehovah chose a stammering and broken Moses, lacking in self confidence and full of self doubt, to lead Israel out of captivity in Egypt. Yet, Moses did marvellous and great acts to deliver his people from slavery and lead them into freedom. The application for us is that when we are rejected by our seniors, colleagues or even friends and family, we should not loose heart. As long as we have the favour or grace of the Lord upon our lives, we have hope that He will make something of our lives.

The Lord chooses weak people to manifest His glorious power and grace. Such persons have no vestige of pride in self and empty themselves so that they are filled with the anointing and power of the Spirit of God. When great things are accomplished through such weak persons, people who see it marvel at the glory and power of God. The Lord has done marvelous things in each of our lives, despite our sins, our weaknesses, our faithlessness, our pride, our deceit, our lust, our ignorance. The backdrop of our ordinariness makes the acts of mercy and grace of the Lord in our lives even more awesome and adorable. We must always remind ourselves of the countless marvelous things the Lord has done for us hitherto. It will fill us with a sense of gratitude, strengthen our faith and open the gates for even more miracles and blessings to be experienced or received in our lives.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Four Rivers

UV 2233/10000 Four Rivers
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

Eden means pleasure or delight. The four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John can be compared to the four rivers that watered the garden of Eden. These are eternal springs whose water never dries up. The four gospels are the spiritual rivers with the water of life that is crystal clear. These rivers moisten our lives, water our spiritual garden of delight. God is the ultimate source of our pleasure and delight just as the four streams are the sources of rivers like the Tigris and the Euphrates. The words of Jesus spoken and recorded in the four gospels are the living waters that inspire us, refresh and renew us and teach us how best to live in alignment with God’s will. The four gospels are the streams or rivers of living water that Jesus said, would flow from the hearts of believers. Belief or faith is the means and medium by which the rivers are transferred from the written word to the hearts of mankind. The gospels tell us in crystal clear manner what we ought to do. Every word in the gospels count and as we remember, meditate, pray over and claim each word it becomes our spiritual manna or food of our souls..

Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.” The will of God was to offer Jesus as the perfect sacrifice to atone for all the sins of mankind. Jesus desired above all else to fulfil this will of God. It cost Him great pain and agony but it gave the Father pleasure and delight that He do so faithfully. Indeed, the delight of the Lord is the source of our nourishment, the source of our inspiration, the source of our sustenance and strength for these are the four functions of spiritual food in our lives. The four gospels are also like the four fences or boundaries of our lives and we do not seek to do anything that crosses these borders on the North, East, West and South. The four gospels also tell us precisely what we should not do which would displease the Lord. As we carry out the words of Jesus in all aspects of our lives, the meaning and impact of good news will be released and felt.

As we read, reflect and obey the living words contained in the four gospels, our lives become like a fenced and well-watered garden in which all types of ornamental as well as fruit trees grow. The hopeless and useless deserts of our former selves are transformed into the useful, delightful, flourishing garden of Eden. We bring delight at this stage to the Lord and to others He sends into our lives. God gives us two new names Hephzibah or “MY delight is in her” and Beulah or “Fruitful.” Just as one act of obedience to the Word of God sent Adam and Eve out of Eden, every act of obedience to the gospels brings us into Eden, the paradise the Lord has prepared for each of us. The gospels also cover areas of life in which treasures like pure gold, onyx and bdellium are found abundantly just as the land through which the four rivers in Eden held pure gold and precious stones. This implies the gospels contain the hidden treasures of wisdom. We should use our minds under the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit to mine these treasures, we should store these treasures in the many chambers of our spiritual hearts to be brought out whenever and wherever required. The conscious mind is a tool for digging, exploring, discovering while the heart or the subconscious mind is a place for storage and retrieval

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


UV 2232/10000 Transformation
And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
Luke 19 v 6

The gospel gives us information that leads to reformation and transformation. Zacchaeus, a man of short stature wanted to see Jesus standing in the milling crowd around Him. He climbed a branch of sycamore tree in order to see Jesus. But Jesus asked him to come down immediately and come near Him. We do not crutches or supports to see, talk, meet, fellowship and learn from Jesus. Each of us do not have to climb a perch to see Jesus in our real life situations. We only need to come down, close the distance between us and Jesus, draw near to Him, calm down and welcome Him gladly into that situation. Jesus sees us before we see Him. He knows the goings on in our hearts, minds and lives. He brought healing wherever He went. Zacchaeus had no physical disease but he had a moral and social disease that needed the healing touch, presence and words of Jesus.

Like the man who had a shrivelled hand showed his hand to Jesus and was made whole and his hand healed, we should come to Jesus and show Him our area of weakness in our lives where we need healing. Like Zacchaeus, we should hasten to obey the word of Jesus. His zeal in seeing Jesus touched Him and Jesus offered not just to be near him but to visit him in his house and have a fellowship meal with him. The fact that Zacchaeus was not physically impressive, that he was socially an outcast being a tax collector and a collaborator with the Roman rulers, did not dissuade Jesus from accepting Zacchaeus as a man of faith like his forefather Abraham. Our deficiencies and defects do not distance Jesus from us. All we need to do is to believe Him, that He is the Saviour sent by God for all mankind. All we need to do is to come down from our high pedestals of egoism, pride, conceit, self righteousness and welcome Jesus joyfully into our hearts, homes and lives. Zacchaeus felt greatly honoured that Jesus chose to visit him, enter his house and fellowship with Him over a meal.

Jesus is calling us to feast on His Bread. When He shared His spiritual Bread with Zacchaeus and Zacchaeus shared his physical bread with Jesus, the little man became one of the tallest persons of faith in the record of the gospels. Whatever be our situation or weakness or challenge, the Lord will divide His Bread with us such that we are strengthened in our inner person, so that we make amends like Zacchaeus, so that our lives are transformed. We too should feel honoured that the Lord has chosen to visit us, dwell in our hearts and invite us to an eternal fellowship meal with Jesus. If our faith is complete, it should be manifested in our decisions, our life’s choices and acts of transformation. We cannot remain inert and unaffected by our faith. Every expression of faith should be accompanied by a change of heart or attitude followed by practical acts to demonstrate that transformation. Zachchaeus gave up his habit of exploiting and extracting undue taxes from the people. He engaged in acts of restitution.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Examined Life

UV 2231/10000 The examined life

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
Proverbs 15 v 3

The Lord is not only omnipresent, He is also all seeing. He sees our innermost being. We cannot hide from Him but we can hide in Him. We cannot wear masks to cover our faces or hide our nakedness from Him. Neither king nor commoner, leader or follower can avoid His piercing gaze. He is always searching our hearts and minds. He is looking for people whose hearts are ordained perfectly towards Him so that He can manifest His grace and power in their lives.

He knows each one of us so thoroughly that if we need to get an insight into ourselves, we will do well to seek His help. He knows the mapping of our strengths and weaknesses, our pattern of beliefs and values. He knows our thoughts and attitudes, our actions, reactions and habits. Nothing can be kept secret from Him. He watches both the good and the evil we think, say and do. He does not interfere or punish us instantly but waits for us graciously to come to Him after messing up. The consciousness that He is constantly watching us so closely should guard our every thought, every word and action from the ways of wilful error and folly. It should fill us with reverence to begin with and end in greater wisdom.

Socrates, the Greek philosopher said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” The corollary therefore is that the examined life is worth living. But we are not qualified or able to examine ourselves. The mind does not know what it cannot see. The manger leader has the advantage of the external eye- the eye of the Lord to examine him and to set right anything that is wrong in his heart or mind. The eye of the Lord acts as a mind scanar, a heart radar, a spiritual torchlight, a laser light to remove what is superfluous or harmful. It is this that distinguishes the manger leader from the pyramidal leader who is mentally, spiritually, morally blind and does not know his own future. The manger leader too does not know the future but he knows the One who knows the future. The Lord sees what afflicts individuals, institutions, organisations, nations and the world and He knows the solution to every problem. He sees our hurts, our inadequacies, our insufficiency, our deficiencies, our challenges. He sees the one who commits a murder and the one who helps a victim, the one who breaks His law and the one who keeps it. He knows the difference between the two lies in their hearts. He knows the end from the beginning of everything. He permits the goodness of sunshine and rain to fall on both the good and the evil among men for His love is perfect. We must ask the Lord to search our hearts and minds every day and ask that He heals the hurts, cleanses the evil, removes the hidden sin, delivers us from every inner bondage. We can ask Him to flash a light on the path we should take, the steps we should execute in all areas of our lives.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, March 19, 2017

In Stillness, We Have Victory

UV 2230/10000 In Stillness, We Have Victory

The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Exodus 14 v 14

Life is a constantly changing battlefield in many ways. The enemy is invisible. Every single day, the challenge is different. His tactics and weapons keep changing. The scriptural principle of standing still in such a battlefield may seem suicidal. But it is the way the Lord chooses to deliver His own, the faithful. He delivered the Israelites from the formidable power of the Egyptians without the former having to lift a finger in their own defence. The word “Israel” means struggle with God. We should stop struggling against the Lord, against flesh and blood as well as principalities and powers of spiritual darkness and hand over the struggle or the fight to the Lord. Stillness is yielding every battle to the Lord and expecting victory as a result. The ultimate and absolute enemy of mankind is not of our own species but is the evil one. The ultimate battle for every human being is not physical, intellectual, emotional, economic, cultural, political or social but it is spiritual. In this uni-verse, the Lord promises to fight for us. In quietness and confidence that the Lord will fight for us is our strength and victory. He asks us to hold our peace, to be still, to be faithful and courageous. A manger leader or manager also faces conflicts, arguments, disputes, controversies but he takes the counsel of the Lord and holds his peace in such volatile or provocative situations. The enemy wants to rob us of our domestic peace, peace at our workplace and peace in our streets and cities. We got to be always wary of his attempts to disturb our peace. Stillness is a great spiritual discipline that we need to practice.

We need to be wise in our ways and keep ourselves out of pointless arguments, disputes, wordy quarrels and controversies. Holding our peace implies holding our tongue or not speaking unnecessarily, knowing that the Lord will fight on our behalf. Some of our weaknesses are known to others, some are hidden but the spiritual enemy knows our hidden weaknesses as well as our weak moments and will try to create situations to expose the chinks in our spiritual armour by drawing us into battle. We got to be mentally and spiritually alert at these times. Sometimes, our own hidden pride would surface and get us embroiled in an argument with our near and dear or our colleagues. In such times, matters will only get worse if we add fuel to the fire by our anger and emotion charged words. Instead, the Lord says, “ Be still and know that I am God.” We will realize that His peace and plan will prevail in every situation as we pray in silence. We will understand that no word from us or no action or reaction on our part can either save us or help God to save us. We surrender our right to respond to the situation to the Lord. Our faith needs to be greatly strengthened with knowledge of the Word for us to accept stillness as an option in the battles of life. Surrender to the enemy is defeat, surrender to the Lord is victory.

Often, we reach a flashpoint in our relationships at home or at work as we are under a great deal of stress due to some factor or we are filled with bottled up resentment or bitterness at the action or inaction of someone else. Instead of doing nothing about it, we ought to confide in the Lord daily about the hurts, the pain, the misgivings, the fears, the pent up anger we feel about a variety of issues. He will then send His word to “heal us of our destructions” as it is promised in scripture. Seeking a daily healing of our emotional being should form a part of our devotion every single day at the start and end. It is perhaps the only way we can prevent the sun going down on our anger as each day, stuff is bound to happen that upsets us, disturbs us, offends us. We should over a period of time turn our emotional sensitivities into spiritual sensitivity to awaken us to spend more time in specific prayer and the Word. Even Jesus was strengthened greatly by the filling of the Holy Spirit before He ventured into the wilderness and was tempted by the devil over forty days of complete fasting. We need to seek a daily filling of the Holy Spirit before we venture into each day. We will then like Him be able to face and overcome the three great temptations: the temptation of sustenance – the fear of not having enough to live on, the temptation of personal glory, the temptation of folly.

Prateep V Philip

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Payment

UV 2229/10000 The Payment
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
Micah 7 v 18

God is unique not only in terms of His power, His character and His sovereignty but also in terms of His mercifulness. He delights in extending His mercy to His children. Even if He is displeased or angry with us, He does not remain so forever. He quickly forgives and forgets our errors and wanton acts of sin or rebellion. He passes over our faults, mistakes, sins. Every day is a Passover for the believer for the Lord passes over us. We can celebrate His mercy to us. He renews His fellowship with us and we need not hide from Him even after we have fallen short of His standards or broken His law. By the grace of Jesus, we are not afflicted by guilt. This is one of the greatest benefits of faith in Jesus. We can start afresh again without the burden of guilt dragging us into the past. We are freed from the consequences or penalties and curses of that sin.

True repentance means that we should not repeat the very act that we sought and obtained mercy for. It will show that we are not taking the Lord’s mercy for granted and out of reverence, we are willing to make amends. It is true that a righteous man falls seven times but he will not fall exactly the same way again if he can help it. The Lord does not keep a record of our wrongs once we confess and commit not to repeat it. He does not grudgingly forgive us but delights in showing mercy to us. One moment He may be angry with us but the very next, He will calm His anger and reveal His love and compassion to us. He will blot out our transgressions and give us a new and clean slate once again. Even if our sins be crimson, He makes us white as snow.

We obtain forgiveness from the Father in heaven for violating His standards by claiming forgiveness and regeneration by the blood of Jesus. The death of Jesus on the cross is the absolute equivalent of eternal death in terms of the excruciating, seemingly endless pain, suffering, shame, agony of loneliness, desertion by one’s near and dear. When we by faith and by baptism and participation in the communion from time to time identify with the death of Jesus on the cross, we are offering the payment made by Jesus on the cross for our moral and spiritual debts to the Lord. The wages of sin- death is paid by Jesus, once for all. We can now enjoy the rewards and blessings of eternal life.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Calling

UV 2228/10000 The High Calling
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

1 Peter 2 v 9

This uni-verse speaks about how God positions us in this generation, in our sphere of influence, in our nation and against the rest of humanity. The word belief comes from two roots: be and lief. lief means kingdom. We become citizens of the kingdom of God by belief. We align our hearts with God. We are ruled by Him and led by Him. Once we believe, the totality of our existence is governed by the Lord. We are to be with Him. We align our thoughts, words and actions with God. The disciples who were chosen by Jesus were transformed by just being with Him. Believers are the chosen out of every generation. We are chosen by Jesus to be His followers as none of the disciples followed Him of their own choosing but He asked them to leave their professions to be with Him. The fact that we are chosen in accordance with God’s sovereign will and plan does not make us an elite or select few but we are the humble elect of God since we know that nothing we did or said ever qualified us to be so chosen but that it is the pure grace of the Lord. Having been chosen, we have a responsibility to the Lord. Having been chosen we have a special purpose. Having been chosen, we are are His possession, His inheritance. Having been chosen, we have a calling to be priests and kings. When we are with Him, we become pure and pious like priests and strong and powerful like kings. As priests we are to represent our generation before the Lord. We are to intercede for our generation. We are set apart from the rest of the nation for that purpose. We are a people who are a peculiar treasure of the Lord.

The expression “royal priesthood” implies that we are to reflect in our lives as believers a perfect blend of humility and authority. Our purpose as kings and priests is to declare the praises of the Lord God. He is the One who called us out of the darkness of ignorance, sin and folly into the awesome light of His knowledge, presence, His wisdom, grace and glory. As kings we speak with authority about the Trinity. As priests we speak with the meekness and gentleness of the Holy Spirit. As kings we wage spiritual warfare and destroy the strongholds of the enemy of our souls, who holds all mankind a prisoner to sin, death, pain and shame. As kings, we are full of the power of God. We set free the prisoners of darkness. As priests we plead with the Lord. As kings, we are zealous for good works that bring praise to the Father in heaven. As priests we are aware that our good deeds are but dirty rags in comparison with His absolute glory. As both priests and kings we are to be the veritable praise of God. As kings and priests, we represent God on earth. At no point, however, should we allow the high esteem that the Lord holds His children in to turn into either arrogance, self righteousness, a sense of entitlement or complacency. The highness of spirit of the king is to be balanced and offset by the lowliness of mind of the priest.

People will find it odd that we do not conform to the world’s patterns for we are called to conform to the good, righteous and truthful patterns indicated in the Word. Formerly, like the rest of the world, we were children of darkness, death and sin. Now, we are set free. We are children of the light, children of the Daystar. We have a sense of where we are heading and who is leading us. We are no longer under the shadow of death and sin but under the shadow or influence and power of the Almighty. We no longer live in fear and guilt but we live by faith and grace.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Flow

UV 2227/10000 The Flow
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water
John 7 v 38

The quality of the source of a river determines the size, the course, the nature of the river whether it is perennial or a merely rain-fed river that dry up in summer when the water is most needed. All rivers flow to the coast where the fresh water mixes with the salt water of the seas and becomes unfit to drink or to sustain life on land. Unlike earthly rivers, our spiritual rivers start and finish in a refreshening living water sea- Jesus. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith and of our lives, implying that our living rivers or the rivers that sustain us start and finish in Him. The living waters of these rivers that constantly flow from the heart or innermost being of the believers in Jesus are rivers of love, joy, hope, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness , humility and self control. These are the nine rivers that Jesus said flows concurrently from our hearts and souls. The river Jordan starts as a spring that never dries up in the heights of the mountains of northern Israel. Similarly, the difficulties, challenges, hardship of our lives are the areas where our rivers rise. No hard rock can stop the soft water from flowing. So also, no hard circumstance can stop us from manifesting the manifold grace of Jesus in our lives. We only need to flow over, through or around the hard rocks of our lives.

Living waters are waters that enable us to live healthy, wholesome, balanced, effective, productive, creative, worthy lives. There are no impurities or particulates or foreign bodies mixed with the living waters. If it is love, it needs to be pure and unadulterated love not mixed with selfish motives. It is the agape love of Jesus. If it is joy, it needs to be the joy of the Lord that is eternal and stable and not effervescent or transient like the joy of the world. If it is hope, it is eternal assurance of living forever, it is hope of deliverance from all our afflictions in this world. If it is peace, it is the peace that this world cannot give or take away. It is the peace that passes human understanding and beyond human circumstances. If it is patience, we need to be patient and wait knowing that what we hope for will happen in due time or God’s time. If it is kindness, it is kindness to all people and creatures and not just to one’s own kind. If it is goodness, it is not motivated by the thought of personal fame or good name but to glorify our Father in heaven even as Jesus did in all that He said and did. If it is faithfulness, it is being faithful in the little things as in the greater issues of life. If it is humility, it is being Christ-like in submitting to the will and sovereignty of the Father. Self control needs to be in evidence in the way we submit our tongue, our talents, our time, our temperament, our thoughts to the leading of the Holy Spirit, the way we order our conversation as well as our daily habits.

A river is in constant flow. Psychologists say that our lives are always in a fight or flight mode. But Jesus said that our lives should always be like the flow of a gushing river. Our lives should flow continually with the fruit of the Spirit and not occasionally. A river is life-giving and life-enhancing. Likewise, our attributes, attitudes, actions and reactions should be life-giving, life enhancing. A river brings water and so it nourishes and causes to flourish all who come to its banks. Likewise, we should carry the living waters of hope and meaning and power to the hopeless, meaningless and powerless. A river brings healing and moisture to a land of drought. Likewise, we should bring healing and deliverance to all who come in contact with us. No longer do modern Naamans have to take seven dips in a river. All they need to be healed are the words we speak to them. All types of trees grow on both sides of rivers, some meant to give wood, some to give food, some to give leaves and fruit meant for healing of the nations. Likewise, we give rise to the growth of fruit trees, medicinal plants whose leaves do not wither and whose fruit is never fully consumed. Like the trees on both banks of the river of paradise, we bring forth a different fruit every month.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Root Cause of Interpersonal Conflicts

UV 2226/10000 The Root Cause of Interpersonal Conflict
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
James 3 v 16

The root cause of interpersonal conflict in families, homes as well as in the workplace and in all our relationships is some form of pride. Pride of life leads to envy, envy leads to bitterness, struggle, competition, conflict, confusion and the fruit of evil. These are the foxes that destroy the good fruit of the vineyard of our spiritual lives and sow the seed of evil. Cain’s envy of his brother Abel led him to hatch a plot to kill him. Envy takes root in the hearts of brothers in flesh as well as in spirit. Once it grows, it is like a madness that controls our human nature and makes us do what it wants. There is absolutely no point in letting in the foxes and then making efforts lifelong to tame, trap, catch or kill these little foxes. It is best to drive these out, lock, stock and barrel and root. If not we become like what we see sometimes in nature- a bad plant or weed growing from within a good plant or tree, the two roots existing side by side and producing its own fruit – both good and evil. St James uses this metaphor of the fig tree producing wild berries, fruit that is unfit to eat, a sweet spring flowing along with a salt water spring.

We cannot be partly spiritual and partly carnal. We need to have no truck with such evil. Our connection is only with the good root Jesus and not the bad root of pride, envy, bitterness. We need to have our hearts rid of envy and pride. It is not a one time cleansing but a daily and constant cleansing from within by the Holy Spirit with which we should cooperate. God is the author of peace and spiritual wisdom. We are to be wise, peaceful, gentle, reasonable, easily persuaded of good things, full of the fruit of the spirit of love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control.
We cannot allow the sensuality, partiality, hypocrisy that prevails in this world to creep into us and take control of our hearts and our tongues. The kingdom of God is not about sensuality or seeking prominence or fame or name but of peace, joy and singing spiritual hymns in our hearts to the One who governs our hearts from moment to moment- Jesus. Many of us are content to call Jesus – King of Kings and go on to live lives as we please according to the dictates of circumstances or our own former nature. We say to ourselves unwittingly that He is King only of Kings and not of us as we are common people, ordinary people who are subject to the pulls and pressures of this life. Our former carnal nature gets resurrected from time to time even though we are supposed to have put it to death. In fact, we have only put it to sleep and it awakens at the slightest stimulus. We are to exercise kingly authority over ourselves, our thoughts, our hearts, our temper, our tongues such that we do not give any expression to anything that is not pleasing to Jesus or in conformity with His character and will. We have a priestly calling of meekness and a kingly calling of exercising authority, chiefly over ourselves so that we are meek and walking in faith and integrity like a priest. The quality of our conversation and communication is a reflection on the content and attitudes of our hearts.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Being Anchored in the Lord

UV 2225/10000 Being Anchored in the Lord
I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Psalm 16 v 8

The Lord is the locus or the central point of our lives . If we focus on this locus, everything will be in proper perspective. We will neither be too enthralled when things are going good for us or too depressed when the going is tough. The manger leader or manager is a combination or blend of stability and dynamism. He is not easily moved to extremes of emotion. If we are to focus on the Lord, He should always be before us as our leader, guide, coach, teacher, lodestar, pacesetter. We do not have a set mind or a mind that is not willing to learn and change. At any stage of our lives, we should be willing to give up something formerly important to us and willing to take up something we thought we would never do. Peter was asked to give up his fixed views on people of other races and religious backgrounds, on Jewish rituals and practices like circumcision. While we are willing to learn and change, we should not be like waves tossed to and fro by the wind. We should not be easily deceived by new and man-made doctrines and teachings.

The Lord is not only before us as our Leader. He is beside us as our closest Friend, our greatest Helper, our constant Companion, our Ebenezer. The proximity of the Lord, the faith that He is only a prayer away, will give us a sense of absolute confidence and security. Our joy and hope of salvation should not be shaken by change of circumstances or even our own action or inaction. In times of storms, we should lie still and anchored in the Lord as boats lie anchored in the sea. In normal times or fair weather, we should move freely in the Lord as boats scurry about in the sea.
The Lord is not only ahead of us and beside us, He is with us as Immanuel in all that we think, speak and do. He enables us to turn our thoughts into words, our intentions into actions, our plans into progress. We have a God-controlled, directed, governed mind set. We try not to conform our thoughts ,words, actions and reactions to the patterns or moulds of this world but to the patterns of the Word of God. While our spirits are being transformed or changed from one degree of glory or greatness to the next, our minds are still, in equilibrium, stayed or focussed like an anchor points to the bottom of the sea and holds a mighty ship in place. Mountains of challenges and difficulties might be before us but fountains of joy, springs of peace will rise up within us.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, March 13, 2017

Joy of the Lord is Strength Forever

UV 2224/10000 Joy of the Lord is Strength
Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
Isaiah 26 v 4

Strength in human terms is a relative resource. One is strong in comparison with the competition or the opposition. A person who is strong in his youth, becomes weak when old. The strength gives joy or delight to the one who possesses it. But, scripture is counter intuitive in saying, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” In other words, strength does not give joy but joy of the Lord gives strength. When Jesus said, “ The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” He was emphasizing that the strength of our bodies cannot be relied upon. As flesh and blood, each of us is subject to a variety of weaknesses. But if our spirit is willing to trust in the Lord, consistently and persistently, for eternal strength, eternal life, the abundant resources of the kingdom of God, we will be filled with such everlasting strength. Such strength will not ebb or wane. It will keep increasing from one kind of strength to another. Strength that is imparted from above and within is grace. Our weaknesses are no longer threats but opportunities for Jehovah to show His grace. Grace helps us overcome every weakness and challenge in our lives.

The Lord Jehovah, the Great I Am is the source of our strength. He has become our strength when we place our entire trust in Him to do as He wills in our lives. Doing the will of the Lord in our lives is our chief source of joy. The other day I met a young person who is Asia’s strongest, India’s strongest man. He can with his bare hands tear an enormous telephone directory, roll a steel frying pan like a newspaper, break a baseball bat, flip a car, blow a hot water bag into a balloon and burst it. All these acts require enormous strength but he acknowledges that his natural strength was a liability for him and his family before he trusted Jehovah and placed his heart in Jesus’s hands. He was involved in several fights and had eleven criminal cases against him for beating up people. At that point in time, he was introduced to a power team of very strong persons who did these feats to convey the strength they found in doing the will of the Lord. That transformed his life and he became a gentle giant.

One can have the power of a giant but never use it like a giant. We can be enormously rich but we should not trust in these riches. We can be intellectually very developed but we should not place our faith in our knowledge or intellectual capacity. We can be socially influential and politically powerful but we cannot flaunt it or flout the rules. We can be physically very attractive or strong or charismatic but we should not place much store by these superficial strengths. When the “I Am” is with us and in us, He becomes to us the very strength we need at a particular moment or juncture of our lives. If we are lonely, He will fellowship with us and make us rejoice. If we feel foolish, He will supply us the wisdom we need to tackle a particular challenge. If we are disheartened, He will encourage us. If we are needy, He will meet that specific need in natural as well as supernatural ways. Enormous and eternal strength that never fades is always accessible to a person of faith in the Lord.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Restoration

UV 2223/10000 The Restoration
Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.
Jeremiah 30 v 18

The Lord is the God who restores His people. When Adam and Eve were tempted and fell into a state of separation from Him, He sent Jesus, the second prototype of all humanity, the visible image of the invisible Father to restore all mankind to a state of union and intimate fellowship with Him. We can relate to the Father even more intimately than Adam and Eve before the fall just as the father in the parable of the prodigal son, received him even more warmly and with greater honour than when he had not yet broken off from his house. The Lord will turn every setback we suffer into a source of learning, love, strength and victory. Such setbacks are the milestones of our spiritual journey and progress. We should not allow these to become millstones around our neck, dragging us into sadness, gloom, hopelessness, anger, depression, desperation, panic and despondency.

The enemy of our soul no longer tempts us with just a forbidden apple but with an arsenal of different types of weapons, some of which originate in our very nature from deep within. We are, therefore, subject to a variety of captivities. The Lord promises in this uni-verse to restore us from the sadness, pain, misery and weakness of each of these captivities. Each of us being unique and different are tempted and tend to be taken captive differently. The Lord has mercy and a plan for deliverance for each member of our families.

When we suffer any kind of setback, we should not give up or be frustrated. But filled with hope and faith, we need to approach the throne of mercy of the Father and of the Son. The Holy Spirit will convey our burdens to the Father and the Son in groans and sounds that words cannot express. The manger leader or manager can talk to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He can seek their wise counsel. He can share his burdens and losses. The Lord will then have mercy upon him and restore him from his captivity to sin, sorrow, failure, losses, confusion, turmoil to a state of oneness with the Lord. The Lord becomes our dwelling place, our shelter, our refuge, our rock or source of strength and comfort. He will comfort us in our loss, guide us in the steps we need to take and eventually, restore the ruins of our lives to its glory, even better than before.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, March 10, 2017

Spiritual Mindfulness

UV 2222/10000 Spiritual Mindfulness
Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.
Isaiah 44 v 21

Remembering implies running over and over again the same memories. Often our fondest memories reflect where our heart lies- what do we treasure the most in our lives? Is it our families, our wealth, our relationships, our vacations, our travels? The Lord desires that He and His word spoken to us from time to time become our fondest memories. As we remember the wonders the Lord has done in our lives hitherto, praise and thanksgiving will go forth to Him spontaneously and it will give rise to joy and gladness in our hearts, health and strength in our minds and bodies. We need to recall that He is present near us, that He leads us like a cloud by day and a fire by night. He carries us as a shepherd carries the young lamb on his shoulders. We need to remember the difficult and impossible things that He has accomplished in our lives hitherto. Such memories will boost our faith and enable us to experience even more victories in every domain of our lives. Remembering His promises spoken to us will generate hope, joy and power in our lives. Remembering His warnings and admonition will make us wise and keep us from the errors of others and the errors of our own past. When we constantly practice divine remembrance, every member of our bodies will be strengthened.

A faithful servant always tries to recall the instructions of his master and tries to execute it in the course of the day. Likewise, we too need to often remember all the instructions of the Lord received by us and try to carry it out diligently. We need to recall that we are not just bond servants of Jesus but we are in a covenant relationship with the Lord. We should remember not to do anything or say anything that displeases Him in the least. Rather we should endeavour to always do and say things that please Him even as a soldier tries to please his commanding officer.

Another reason we should constantly remember the Lord and His word is that He is the One who formed us and He alone can reform us, correct us in the areas we go wrong, nudge us in the right direction, heal us, help us, deliver us, lead us. He is the One closest to us in all our struggles. With his help we can make the transition that Jacob made to become “Israel”. The Lord on His part never forgets us. Our names are written on His palm. His eyes are always on our walls or in other words, His watchful eyes guard us like firewalls, strengthen us from within and without. Even a mother can at times forget her child- the greatest of human bonds, but the Lord will never ever forget us. His commitment to us is so great, deep and everlasting. Remembering the Lord all through the day and night, all our lives is an exercise of divine mindfulness. Our minds will be like a sponge absorbing the dew of Hermon- a symbol of His presence and His blessings upon our lives. His radiant or Shekinah ineffable glory will be upon us. Our spirits will commune with His Spirit.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Organic Life, Leadership and Growth

UV 2221/10000 Organic Life, Leadership and Growth
And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

Ezekiel 37 v 2

The many events and circumstances of our lives are the ways and means God uses us to realize that life in this world is a mere valley of dry and lifeless bones. Our greatest ambitions and achievements, collectively and individually, socially and personally will one day be just like a valley of dry bones, a skeleton of the original form. The manger leader or manager realizes that life without faith in the invisible God and His visible expression Jesus is a mere valley of dry bones. The bones have no hope of coming to life again. These parts of our bodies have no possibility of redemption without the eternal hope that Jesus offers. Jesus is the only person in human history did not decay after death to become a bundle of dry bones. He offers us the same resurrection hope as we cling to Him.

The difference between the pyramidal leader and the manger leader is that the latter unlike the former realizes that his life without Jesus would one day be a handful of ash or an assortment of bones regardless of how large he makes his pyramid or regardless of how much he has climbed up the pyramid of worldly success, wealth, fame, power and position . The manger leader has a big picture perspective that inspires him with hope and inspiration. He realizes that everyone is a significant part of one body of which Jesus is the head. If a part of that body is hurt or harmed, he feels the pain and tries to do something to help or alleviate the suffering just as we attend a headache with the apt medicine or an injury on our foot with a bandage. The manger leader believes in organic leadership and growth- wholesome, balanced and holistic. The primary goals of man are not outward focussed and temporal but internal and eternal. It is only God in Christ who can satisfy or fulfil these goals.

As the manger leader hears the Word of Jesus, his bones come alive again with hope, vitality, strength. He sees how history is connected with faith, faith with science, science with philosophy, philosophy with daily living and leadership. The bones come together once more connected, one to another as bone with sinews, ligaments and tendons. His spirit is renewed. His heart is strengthened. The different organs of his body begin to function again. He no longer needs to lie lifeless, listless and hopeless in the valley but he can summon all his strength and climb the mountains or challenges accompanied by the mountain guide, the Lord Jesus Himself.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


UV2220/10000 Omnicompetence
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me
Philippians 4 v 13

Faith in Christ anoints us with the power, might, leading of His Spirit- the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is versatile. He manifested Himself in some like Samson as physical strength, in some like Solomon as great wisdom, in some like Paul in his ability to endure all types of suffering or hardship for the sake of the cross. Faith in Christ empowers, enables, equips us. We become omni-competent or in the words of Paul, “ we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” We can do nothing without Him. We are weak and ineffective humans without Him. Our sufficiency or ability is not from us but it is from Jesus who did all things like commanding the storm to be still, walking on water, interpreting the ancient scripture, discerning hearts and spirits, multiplying a few loaves and fish to feed a multitude of ten thousand people, healing lepers, the blind, the deaf and mute, bearing the shame and pain of the extreme punishment of the cross, commanding the dead to come to life.

The manger leader or manager is therefore, not just competent but omni-competent. If something is beyond his understanding or ability, he has recourse to prayer whereby the Lord will reveal the matter or enable him to do or endure a particular challenge. The shortage of ability or talent or resources is never an obstacle to accomplish a set task. The Lord manifests His wisdom, power and grace in our lives when we are up against a faith challenge. A faith challenge is to believe in the impossible, to believe that Jesus can and will make it possible. The experience of this kind of unlimited power of Jesus is an everyday occurrence of scores of believer around the globe right through the centuries to this day.
Omnicompetence of the manger leader or manager is manifested in the “do power” as well as the “endure power” . The “do power” is the ability to accomplish things while the “endure power “ is the ability to suffer silently but with our heads held up high in faith and confidence. The intuitive power of the manger leader is also extremely high. This enables him to take timely and wise decisions. Often, the only help Jesus might give us in a given situation is His wonderful counsel. We then need to follow through by consulting a variety of domain experts and get the job done. All of us have gaps or shortcomings in our abilities, talents, resources. We need to admit the shortcomings or gaps and invite the Lord’s presence and power in these areas of shortcoming. A shortcoming or scarcity of resource or ability is never a problem for Jesus but an opportunity to graciously demonstrate or manifest His wisdom, power and grace as we saw when the fishermen-disciples drew an empty net after a night of efforts to catch fish. Jesus does like to surprise us in our walk and life in different ways. He chooses the time to manifest His power. It might happen while we are still striving or while we are about to give up.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Heart of the Matter

UV 2219/10000 The Heart of the Matter
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalm 27 v 14

The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart. The heart is the first organ that is formed in the womb. Though it implies our physical heart, the emotional and spiritual centre of our lives, the inner core consisting of our beliefs, our life goals, our priorities, our attitudes and emotional orientation pump energy and the courage to live to different parts of our lives. When we make our hearts a place of continual worship, prayer, thanksgiving and conversation with the Lord, He will fill it with strength. We need to wait on the Lord in the sense that we look to Him for our provision, our promotion, our vindication, our fulfilment, our protection..

As we wait on the Lord, He will fill us with hope and joy by the power of the Holy Spirit. To wait for the Lord means to place our hope and trust in His word, that He would never fail to fulfil His promises to us. It also means that we walk in integrity and honesty of purpose and action. We expect nothing from anyone else except the Lord. We will not try to “ help God” like Sarah in providing his servant Hagar as a mistress to Abraham, her husband in order to procure an heir. We will not act in haste but be patient. We will look and ask for signs of His favour. We acknowledge that He alone is our shield and our help, our sword of excellency.

Strength and courage are equated and often spoken of together in the scriptures. It implies that our faith and personal relationship with the Lord engenders confidence, a sense of absolute security and endurance in us, knowing that regardless of how long the struggle lasts, in the end we have victory. We look upon ourselves as winners and not whiners and at no point will we grumble or mumble about the hardship we are currently facing. Scripture says, “Guard your heart diligently for out of it are the issues of life.” The heart being the repository of faith in the Lord and the natural heart being deceitful, easily deceived as well as deceiving, it needs to be circumcised or cut by the Spirit of God. The world and its sinful or shortcoming-laden ways need to be separated from our hearts. This can come only with a lot of diligence or careful study and application of the principles embedded in the Word. Once our natural heart is healed or cured or made whole, then love, peace and joy would flow from it like unceasing springs, streams and rivers of the Spirit. The evil crop or evil fruit of our old nature would be replaced by our new nature fruit of the spirit. Emotional stability and emotional dynamism are both a result of spiritual maturity. We are not blown like flotsam and jetsam by every wind or wave of new doctrine or teaching. The spiritual heart touched by Jesus is also a discerning and wise heart, able to distinguish the chaff from the grain.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, March 6, 2017

WoW-Word of Wisdom

UV 2218/10000 WOW- Word of Wisdom
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Colossians 3 v 16

Jesus is the only person in all of history described as the Word. It is so as He alone has the words of eternal life- the words that bring meaning, purpose, power, grace, perfection, salvation, love and life forevermore into the lives of all who hear, trust, practice, obey and submit to His words. This uni-verse asks us that the Word of Christ saturate our lives, our thoughts, our emotions, our decisions, our actions and reactions. The Word lives in our hearts, directing us into all the wisdom of the Lord. Our lives become “wow” when we are filled with His word of wisdom. The Word is the book of instructions or handbook of the manger leader or manager. It is the fountainhead of his wisdom, knowledge, insight, understanding in all matters concerning his life, his business, his family, his habits, his relationships, his recovery in crisis, his source of strength and comfort in difficult times.

The Word fills us with the wisdom not of this world but from above that is peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of good fruit of humility, love, joy and goodness, merciful, sincere and without partiality or hypocrisy. The wise are Christ-like and the Christ-like are wise. The Word dissects the intersection between the body and soul and between the parts of the mind like the reasoning, the imagination and emotions, the intersection between the soul and the spirit. The Word gives us discernment of our own thoughts as well as the motive behind each thought. We discover all the treasures of wisdom of God in His word. The parables of Christ give us understanding of the deeper truths of the rule of God in our lives in a simple and effective way such that we cannot forget it. The Sermon on the Mount teach us about the attitudes we need to cultivate all our lives in order to be blessed. The miracles of Jesus demonstrate the power of God over nature, over our bodies, over our minds and spirits. The precepts of Jesus teaches us the principles and guidelines for life we need to adopt.

As teachers of the Word, we need to hide the treasures of wisdom from the Word in our hearts and bring it out at the apt time in the appropriate way so that people apply it to develop their faith to the point of maturity. We need to teach our children, our natural children of our household as well as our spiritual children who belong to the household of the Lord. We need to load the Word even in the songs we sing so that teaching, mutual correction and learning happens while we are listening to the melody of songs. We listen to music not just for entertainment but for edification. We should also karaoke these songs in our hearts as if we are singing to the Lord.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, March 5, 2017

New Clothes

UV 2217/10000 New Clothes
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3 v 12

Our attitudes are our spiritual clothing. In this uni-verse, we are asked to clothe ourselves with compassion, humility, gentleness and patience. These attributes of Jesus are to be our covering. When people look at us, they see these clothes that cover our spiritual nakedness. These attitudes should be cultivated till they become our second nature, our second skin, so to say. When we claim to know Jesus personally as our Saviour and Lord, we have no excuse but to be like Him. People need to see the Christ in us. The more we know Jesus, the more we love Him, the more we will reflect His image in our character and conduct. God has chosen us not only for salvation but to be like His first born –Jesus. We need not only to redeem our souls when we die but we need to redeem our character when we live.

Our deep and intimate connection, our grafting onto the body of Christ, requires us to be fruitful in terms not just of good works or in terms of reaching others with the message and person of Jesus, but fruitful in terms of the divine nature or DNA of Jesus being injected into us. To our faith, we need to add diligently step by step, stage by stage, knowledge, goodness, kindness, self control, godliness, fraternal affection and finally, the most excellent fruit – love. We cannot do these things on our own steam. We need the anointing, the guidance, counsel and help of the Holy Spirit to get rid of the old man, the sinful self, the selfish and egoistic one to be replaced by the new man, the new nature of Christ. It does not however divest us of our responsibility for we are to be diligent- studying the templates or features of the character and work of Jesus up to the cross, on the cross and as a Resurrected and Triumphant Saviour, as an all powerful King of Kings and Lord of Lords in heaven.

The receipt of the good news should then lead to good nature, good works and good life. We cannot be left unchanged and untouched by the good news of Jesus. If we are not changed it will be like a person who wears old clothes along with new clothes. We will be like Adam and Eve after the fall perpetually ashamed of our moral and spiritual nakedness. The catch is that we need to sew or knit these clothes, stitch by stitch. When a cloth is stitched on a loom, there are two movements, the warp and the woof, the horizontal and the vertical moves of the thread and needle. Dealing with our negative qualities is the warp while dealing with the positive qualities are the woof. Together they form a pattern that is pleasing to the Lord. Many of us take the metaphor of clothing used by St Paul literally and keep taking off and putting on these clothes of Christ according to the situation or need. Once we put on these clothes, these are never to be taken off or it will expose our old nakedness and shame. These are permanent wear and to be kept wrinkle-free, tear proof. It should withstand the pressures and wear and tear of life. We cannot don one and take off one of these parts of the full set of our spiritual clothing, or that part will be naked and exposed. We cannot stitch these clothes overnight and often it takes long and much experience, learning and obedience to develop the full set of these clothes.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, March 3, 2017

Spiritual Power

UV 2216/10000 The Spirit of Power
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1 v 7

The Latin aphorism states that the goal of life is a sound mind in a sound body. But this uni-verse states that the sound spirit is even more vital for life, eternal and abundant. The spirit of fear is the spirit of bondage. The ideal pattern would be a sound spirit over a sound mind and a sound mind over a sound body. The chief chain of bondage of our bodies and minds is the fear of death and the consequent judgement. Fear weakens people and prevents them from being their best or from being effective or productive. It acts as a kind of magnet to draw to us the very things we abhor. But God has released us from the spirit of fear of eternal death and judgement by the grace of Christ. Fear is replaced by faith. Faith in Jesus leads to our being anointed and filled with the Holy Spirit. We sow the seed of the new life by our faith exercised in specific word of God. The Holy Spirit waters that seed and causes it to grow in us to produce power, love and self control. The seed produces fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control.

Faith gives us access to the absolute power of the Lord. Faith not just breaks the bonds of sin, death, disease, curses but it shield and extinguishes the fiery darts, arrows and slings of the enemy of our soul. We obtain power and authority to rule over the forces of darkness, to command healing and deliverance, to cause wonders and miracles. We are endowed with the resurrection power of Jesus. The resurrection power is the “turn around power.” We have the power to turn around suffering and adversity to draw strength, wisdom and benefit from every apparent setback in our lives. The dead parts of our lives will come alive again. Faith fills us with the agape love or unconditional love of the Father and of Jesus. It enhances our capacity to forgive. It teaches us not to contend with others and to live in peace with all. It teaches us to be humble and to consider others better and their interest first. It teaches us to reach out to the least of our brethren, to be compassionate. Love enables us to be patient and to be able to wait for the Lord to answer and for people to respond. Power and love are to keep expanding while self control will limit the things that we can or should do or say.

The book of Proverbs states that a person without self control is like a garden without boundary walls. It will soon be overrun by weeds or our personal weaknesses. Self control is about setting the boundaries that will defend us from being attacked or overrun. Man disciplines, God disciples. The Holy Spirit imparts self discipline and induce a sound mind, implying that our thoughts, our words, our emotions, our desires, our intentions, our actions and reactions will be healthy, wholesome, positive, productive, constructive. Just as in the old covenant, templates or patterns were indicated for the building of the temple of Solomon, there are templates or patterns to build the living temples, our bodies, minds and spirits. There are various disciplines we should practice or exercise and various dead habits we need to get rid of. The Spirit will make our spirits willing and able and our flesh or natural appetites would be subjected to discipline.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Developing the Eagle Perspective

UV 2215/10000 Developing The Eagle Perspective
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40 v 31

Wait implies “ Worship and I trust”. We need to believe that God is the source of our strength, not just our physical strength or our intellectual or emotional strength but our inner strength- the spiritual resources or riches we have in Christ. We continually feast of these resources as a person enjoys the many dishes in a large banquet. The Word of God itself is like an immense banquet that is laid out for us to partake in to renew our inner strength. The Lord wants the manger leader or manager to go from strength to strength. He enables us to walk, to run and to fly with the wings of prayer and the Word. Our souls should be still and waiting in the presence of the Lord, clothed with the power of His salvation, empowered, emboldened, enabled. With our souls anchored in the Lord, our spirits should be either walking, running or flying. An eagle maintains its poise as it keeps circling around. Likewise we need to maintain our poise as we wait on the Lord with strong faith, a thankful heart and an attitude of expectancy. Poise is a great power derived from the mastery of our selves by the Holy Spirit. The eagle is a royal bird. It is a bird of great strength and stamina. We too are intended to be a royal priesthood. We too are intended to be strong in every sense, stable and able.

Immense strength, power and resources are given to us not for any mean, low or average goal but in order that we soar like eagles. We are not to be like other men and women who get drenched and drained of energy as they battle the storms of life. We should rise above the storms of our lives as eagles fly above the clouds and storms. Our two powerful wings of prayer and the Word will enable us to fly at that altitude. Both the wings need to be used fully and equally for no bird can fly on only one wing. We are the eagles of Heaven. On those two powerful wings, we will mount to the very throne of God. Our strength will be renewed every day. Each trouble or storm we face in life should take us to the next level of our faith, hope and love. It should not weaken or cripple our faith. Our faith keeps us floating on our spiritual wings. Our challenge however is greater than that of an eagle for we are to be strong as an eagle but as gentle as a dove. We need to practice eagle-like ruthlessness and toughness with ourselves and kindness and love with others. We swoop down on the spiritually discouraged, weak, hopeless, dying to induce hope and strength in them and induct them into the eternal realm that we belong to.

An eagle is one of the few birds that have a very accurate aim. Once it fixes its eye on a target or prey, it swoops down on it with full vigour to swoop it up in its claws or talons. We too should set our goals with a lot of precision and accuracy. We need to aim for the highest, the best and greatest that we can be and do for the sake of the kingdom of God. Once we so aim, the Lord will provide the grace or enabling power and help to make it possible. We should not be deterred by obstacles, impediments, barriers, limitations just as few mountains can keep an eagle from flying. The eagle in fact makes its home in the mountains and flies between mountains turning the barriers and challenges into shelters and bulwarks of protection. When we face a challenge in life with the help of the Lord, it becomes a source of strength, encouragement and inspiration to us in our future challenges while at the same time fuelling faith and hope in others who learn of our testimony or life story. Occasionally, an eagle retreats to an isolated area in order to shed its old feathers and grow new ones. We, too need to from time to time spend time alone with the Lord so that we shed our old feathers and grow new ones and in so doing renew our youth, our strength, our lives. An eagle invests time and effort in training its young to fly and fend for themselves. We too need to be committed to training and discipling the young in age and faith.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

No Patchwork

UV 2214/10000 No Patchwork Clothing
No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.

Mark 2 v 21

Without the values of eternal life, the values of salvation, our lives are naked, wretched, exposed, robbed of peace, security and dignity. We cannot wear clothes that are partially old and partially new. We cannot wear old clothes with new patches to cover the areas that are damaged or worn out. We cannot mix our old and new natures, our old life and our new life in Christ. The prodigal son’ s father welcomed him back into his house, giving him a set of brand new clothes. The old clothes were consigned to the fire so that there was no reminder to him of the wretchedness, misery and vice of his past life. The metaphor of new clothes is to indicate that we need to discard our old clothes, the dirty rags of negative thinking, negative speaking, negative actions and reactions and wear the new clothes of salvation. We should not attempt to put new patches on our old set of clothes by tweaking a thing here and there. If we do so, we will end up worse than we were before. We need to get rid of old and dead habits as well as the underlying old attitudes. We need to wear the new clothes provided for us that moth or age cannot destroy. It is not the imaginary clothes of the Emperor but the clothes befitting a priest and a king. We need to be both humble as a priest and regal as a king, compassionate as a priest and strong and authoritative as a king, righteous as a priest and joyous as a king.

The Father had given us new clothing to cover us from head to foot in Jesus: the headdress or hat of absolute confidence in the promise of eternal life by faith and grace. We need not worry that our past misdeeds will catch up with us. We can throw away our guilt rag, our fear rag, our worry rag, our rag of pride, our rag of confidence in our own righteousness. We need to cast these into the fire to prevent these from re-appearing in our lives as patches on our new clothes. We need to clothe ourselves with the protective covering of faith, the adherence to the revealed truths, obedience to the Word, joy and delight in doing the will of God, peace with God, self and others and the willingness to be communicators of the grace of the Lord. When we discard any element of our clothing, we would look bare or naked in that area. We need to develop a new way of thinking, listening, speaking. Our goals and priorities are completely changed not partially. Hereon, whatever we think, speak or do, we should ask ourselves whether we are representing, manifesting, reflecting the riches of the Father’s love or are we manifesting the dirty rags or patches of our past lives.

Our clothes of the new life should not have any vestige of the past, no remnant or souvenir of greed, lust, bitterness, envy, arrogance, selfishness and so on. It should not be a patchwork of white symbolising the pure, the righteous, the good and black, symbolising our old nature. The new set of robes given to the prodigal son is a symbol of his new creation or redeemed status. He believed his father enough to return to his house. The father loved him enough to forget the past and receive him as if he is a long lost beloved son. The signet ring the father gave him is a symbol of the authority he would wield once again in the father’s house. The new shoes he gave his son were to go to places to represent the father or where the father sent him. It is a symbol of a change in direction of our lives.

Prateep V Philip