Good Friday Redemption – Choice That Saves

good friday

On this Good Friday, as I ONCE AGAIN reflect on the old rugged cross, the selfless sacrifice Jesus made for us, the CHOICE He made to endure that painful death on the Cross JUST so that we can live an eternal life, free from the bondage of sin overwhelms us.

Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of His resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!

Romans 5:10-11

The PRICE WAS PAID IN FULL by shedding of His innocent blood, But He laid before us a CHOICE to choose, an abundant life in Him  or death due to our sinful nature. He suffered that shameful death and proved His love for us that NO ONE on this earth can beat His unconditional love for me. The most beautiful thing is that He offered that CHOICE to the ENTIRE MANKIND

How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on Him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God

2 Corinthians 5:21

The fact remains that Jesus CHOSE to redeem mankind from the clutches of sin. He CHOSE to break free the bondages that bind people and torment them. He CHOSE to defeat sin at the Cross. Jesus CHOSE to die while we were yet sinners. The OPEN INVITATION is an offer till this moment and it’s ONLY valid when a CHOICE to ACCEPT that is made

This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.

He never did one thing wrong,
Not once said anything amiss

They called Him every name in the book and He said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls

1 Peter 2 : 24-25

Few years back, I accepted the OPEN INVITATION from God. I believed that Jesus died on the Cross for me and then rose again. I acknowledged my sins and confessed that without God I can do nothing. I realised the need for God in my life and asked God to come into my heart. Since then, the POWER OF THE CROSS and its REDEMPTIVE NATURE has given me a life free from guilt and shame. It has allowed me to bring all my sins, past and present, public and private to Him and seek forgiveness, without fear of guilt or condemnation. It motivates me to offer forgiveness freely out of gratitude what God has done for me and extend that grace to someone that needs it. The love of God has captivated my heart , the Word of God empowers me to live my life to the fullest without fear but with the bold spirit God has put inside me. It is a REDEMPTION every human in this world should experience. And IT IS FREE !!

As Jesus was dying on the Cross, there were 2 other thieves who were crucified along with Him. One of them doubted God and mocked Him, while the other CHOSE to believe Him. As a result of His faith in Jesus, God accepted His repentance and made a way for His eternal life by accepting Him into His kingdom.

One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”

 But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”

 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”

He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.”

Luke 23:39-43

On this Good Friday, I encourage you to step out of your fear for once, I encourage you to get rid of your doubt for once, I encourage you to overcome your guilt for once and ALLOW God to come into your life. God’s love will provide you with the grace to sustain, power to overcome, strength to carry on and all that you need right now is His redemptive plan to resurrect in your life. I pray that you CHOOSE LIFE TODAY

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalm 34:8

Today, pray this prayer of Salvation today once you CHOOSE LIFE

Father God Jesus ,

I thank you for your death on the Cross. You thought my life was worth enough for you to endure that painful death on the Cross. You thought my life was worth enough to be saved that you CHOSE the most shameful death JUST so I could live a life free from bondages. I believe that you died on the Cross for me and rose again.Please forgive me for my sins. I invite you into my heart and life today, for you to come and take control of all areas of my life. I invite you to fill my life with your love and grace. Jesus, I ask you to be Lord and Saviour, my best friend Forever !

In Jesus Name

Amen

Stay Blessed In Him

Lent – Day 21 – More Closer Much Deeper

Yourwill

Your tone of conversation with an individual reflects the depth of your relationship with that individual

Imagine hypothetically we know the exact date/ time we will die and we also know the truth that anything is possible with God. In such a situation, our natural human response if given a chance to converse with God would be to either plead with God to extend our lifetime or get angry at God for bringing such a wrath on us while coming to a conclusion that ‘ God does not love me anymore ‘ state of mind. How we react to such a situation really depends on our personal relationship with God.

Jesus was going to have the most agonising and gruesome death on the Cross. A death that’s most painful and shameful, dying a sinner’s death being a sinless man. In His human form, His final act before his death was His heartfelt prayer to His Father. Jesus did not get angry at God that He has led Him to this or felt abandoned by God when God who is mighty and able could take away this kind of death for Jesus , did not choose to.

Rather Jesus pours His heart out to God, calling Him ‘ Abba, Father ‘ . How heart-warming ! Jesus knew that God His Father is all able, all powerful and that He loves Him very deeply. Jesus also knows that is Father is a loving God who cares deeply for His creation and His plans are always perfect. Jesus was able to set that tone of ‘trust’ and ‘ love’ and ‘confidence’ even in His final conversation with God. That reflects the deep intimate loving relationship that Jesus shared with His Father

Abba, Father,” He said, “everything is possible for you.

Take this cup from me.

Yet not what I will, but what You will

Mark 14:36

 

I love it when my child comes to me boldly and without fear asking what she wants. My child knows I love her and that I want her to be happy. So she has the freedom to approach me anytime with the confidence and trust that Mommy will act in the best interest for her, even if that is a NO sometimes. The tone of my child’s conversation with me reflects the depth of our relationship. A relationship is built on sharing selfless love, effective communication, caring for each other and sacrifices made for each other in each other’s best interests.

This day of lent, stop and reflect for a moment very honestly. How is your tone of conversation with God ? Are you mad at God for something ? Are you deeply disappointed with God for that long awaited prayer answer ? Are you frustrated with God for not giving what you want ? or simply you are living in a denial that God does not love you or care for you anymore ?

Well, I have a good news for you. This is the truth about God from His Holy Word.

God is kind, merciful, patient, extravagant in love and full of blessings.

My prayer for you today is that you get to know Him and experience Him in a way you have never seen before , which will give a fresh revelation of His love for you. May your tone of conversation with God reflect your deep, loving , trustworthy relationship with God, now and forever more

Change your life, not just your clothes.
    Come back to God, your God.
And here’s why: God is kind and merciful.
    He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot,
This most patient God, extravagant in love,
    always ready to cancel catastrophe.
Who knows? Maybe He’ll do it now,
    maybe He’ll turn around and show pity.
Maybe, when all’s said and done,
    there’ll be blessings full and robust for your God!

Joel 2:13-14

Stay Blessed in Him

Lent – Day 20 – Love OVERCOMES Fear

PERFECTLOVEOVERCOMESFEAR

This is a picture of my toddler daughter and my dad having fun in a playground. She wanted my dad to throw her up high in the air and when she came down she wanted him to catch her and then throw her AGAIN. She was so excited and so thrilled when she went high in the air. Every time she came down she said ‘ Higher Thatha ( Grandpa ) , Higher !

Normally she is afraid of heights that she will need someone to hold her hand when walking on a higher ground. What surprised me was her fear was overcome by the trust she had in my dad, that she let him throw her in the air, just like that. And when she went up in the air, she was not scared even for one second that my dad will not catch her or what if he missed the catch, but rather she was enjoying that moment , which proved her COMPLETE trust in her grandpa and his love for her. She based her moment not on her thinking but rather on her grandpa’s love for her.

I believe our trust in God should be a child like faith like this. Not manipulative or calculative, but a complete confidence that He will catch us no matter how deep or how ugly we fall or stoop in our lives.  And that’s exactly what God promises in His Word

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6So we say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper; I will not be afraid.

Hebrews 13:6

We had one of the best children’s evangelist Sean W Smith bring the message of Cross to our church last Sunday. He emphasised the importance of NOT dealing with God using our logical reasoning and thinking but TRUST God for who He is

Faith in God BEGINS where logic and reason ENDS

Sean W Smith

The Word of God warns us not to assume that we know it all, instead to TRUST God

TRUST in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

To reach the full potential of God’s plan and live the abundant life He has for us, its crucial to let go of our plan’s and let God be God.  There is no room in love for fear

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18

My prayer for you today is that you CHOOSE to SOAR in your life, rise above all your fears, above all your struggles , above all your difficulties JUST by knowing that He loves you, He will never let you fail,  He is always there to catch you whenever you all and STILL love you the same way like He has loved you always.

The more we learn to TRUST God, the more we will learn to enjoy and cherish His presence EVEN during those rocky bumpy roads of our lives. May you CHOOSE LOVE over fear today

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 8They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

Psalm 20:7-8

Stay Blessed in Him

 

 

Lent – Day 19 – Let there be LIGHT

Godislight

Genesis 1 always amazes me, the wondrous way that God created this world. In the Beginning when God created the Heavens and Earth, He saw that the earth was empty, formless and full of darkness

The first thing God did was to SPEAK to CREATE light and DESTROY darkness

 And God SAID, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

God saw that the light was good, and He SEPARATED the light from the darkness

Gen 1:3-4

One tiny spark of light is enough to banish the darkness. One tiny spark of light is sufficient to give direction for the way ahead

I found this quote about ‘Light’ by Michael Strassfeld

Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space.  It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe.  It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished

Michael Strassfeld

Jesus calls Himself the light of the world and encourages us to follow Him to have a life filled with light. The Word of God says that when the light shines in the darkness, the darkness could not overcome it.

He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”

John 8:12

Jesus’s life proclaims one message . That God is light and He wants us out of our darkness

As John puts it in 1 John 1:5

This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you:

God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all

1 John 1:5

As John rightly puts it in His Word about the crisis we all are in this day and age

This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.

John 3:19-21

Today, in this lent season as we seek God, I believe God is encouraging us to do 2 things

Firstly, to SEPARATE ourselves from the darkness ( Run from temptation ) and

Secondly,  To SPEAK light into our dark situations ( Stand on the promises of God )

How does that happen ? Firstly by acknowledging our sins . When we confront our fears and surrender them before God humbly, the light of God takes over and that is the beginning stage of the healing process from within our souls.

My sin I acknowledged to You; my iniquity I did not hide. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin!”

Palms 32: 5

 

God’s light is gracious enough to save, powerful enough to heal and strong enough to deliver. Let’s choose to be in His light. Let’s make David’s prayer from his Psalm ours today

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me

Psalm 51:10-12

Stay Blessed in Him

Lent – Day 18 – The Secret Place

dwellinHim

I looked up the meaning of ‘ secret ‘ on Google.  It means ‘ something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others ‘ . I think that ‘Secret Place is where a true self is found, without pretence or prejudice. That ‘ Secret Place’  allow us to be JUST our normal selves and liberate us from having to satisfy or please someone. Sometimes that ‘Secret Place’ keeps us in deception.

When we are just by ourselves ,that ‘Secret Place’ makes us feel protected and safe. That ‘Secret Place’ gives us a sense of belonging in this world. Sometimes it might even feel, the very breath of our existence is dependant on that ‘ Secret Place’

To escape life’s troubles, a ‘Secret Place’ is not hard to find. But BEWARE, in today’s world what you choose as That ‘Secret Place ‘ matters and is crucial. That ‘Secret Place ‘ has the power to give life or take . That ‘Secret Place’ has the potential to be either constructive or destructive

For many of us , that ‘Secret Place’ could be one of the below

Enter the ‘Secret Place ‘ of ALCOHOL to deal with financial or relational losses. Enter the ‘Secret Place’ of DRUGS to run away from life’s worries to a world of illusion and lie. Enter the ‘Secret Place’ of ADULTERY and PORN to satisfy LUST. Enter the ‘Secret Place’ of SMOKING to falsely deal with the habit of frustration, anger and depression. AND THE LIST GOES ON..

If we notice, these SECRET PLACE’s are more than a habit that trap us and eventually captivate us and addict us into a cycle where it seems almost impossible to get out of , except for God’s gracious help and miraculous healing power. These ‘SECRET PLACE’s are temporary like a dew on the grass.

God shares His greatest key that will unlock the door of answers to all our life issues. His PRESENCE. Have you ever noticed a shadow? It follows us wherever we go. Such protective is our God. God calls us to His SECRET PLACE and DWELL in it.

He who dwells in the SECRET PLACE of the Most High

Will rest under the Shadow of the Almighty

Psalm 91:1

God’s SECRET PLACE is UNCOMPARABLE to any other. It is PRICLESS and TRUE as GOD NEVER lies

God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfil?

Numbers 23:19

We can only take refuge in someone when you trust them. Sometimes we need to make a choice to avail of the help that is offered to us.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust

Palm 91:2

I attended a Christmas musical last year with my daughter at a church. The musical was fantastic narrating the true meaning of Christmas. Only issue when returning back home was it was raining cats and dogs and I didn’t have an umbrella. We waited for a while for  the rain to stop but No, not a chance. It was getting late and we had quite a bit to travel. So I carried her and started walking, in that heavy rain

On the other end of the road, there was this young handsome chap, walking towards us. Later I realised  that he was one of the volunteers that serves at the church. He was holding one umbrella for himself and another in his hand. He offered to help us and walked us under his umbrella to the nearest shelter where we could walk from there to the car park. I was touched by his random kindness and thanked him whole heartedly. Probably that day his umbrella was my ‘Secret Place ‘ as it shielded us from that horrible storm and rain.

Like myself that day, there are many that are standing out in the rain. And like that young selfless chap that came to help a stranger like me, Jesus out of His unconditional love is inviting us to His secret place, where He promises to protect us and keep us safe. Where He promises to provide us rest. Where He promises to be faithful to the very end of age.

3Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Psalm 91:3-4

The choice is yours today ! My Prayer is that you choose His ‘ SECRET PLACE ‘ that is true, life saving, trust worthy, protective , full of unconditional life and without condemnation of any sort. May you choose to come under Jesus’s umbrella today where He can love you, protect you and bless you.

Stay Blessed in Him

 

 

 

 

 

Lent – Day 17 – Love and Discipline go hand in hand

lordsdiscipline

My 4.5 year old daughter is at a stage where she does not like to hear the word ‘NO’.

She tries to convince me to have her way the way she wants, in a nice gentle way and with sweet words. She has developed a habit of saying ‘BUT ‘. A classic example ‘ yes, momma I know I should not have chocolates at night BUT can I please have it and I will brush my teeth before bed ‘

When my parenting is firm with a clear NO , she would tell me ‘ I am not happy with you momma’ . And when she has calmed down, we would sit down for a chat and I would tell her ‘ Hannah, I did not like the way you behaved’ , for which she would say’ I am sorry momma BUT momma I know you love me even when I am not nice to you or even when you are angry at me ‘ . She has so much confidence in momma’s love for her that she has realised that when momma disciplines, even though she does not like it , it is for her own good. And she has the confidence that me knowing her weaknesses is not going to make me love her any less. She believes and knows that momma loves her no matter what, even when she is naughty.

Such is the child like confidence we need to develop in our Father’s love for us. The Lord disciplines those He loves . God embraces us just the way we are and just like a clay in the potter’s hand, He moulds us with corrections to our lives so we can be the best of what He created us to be

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
But don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that He disciplines;
The child he embraces, he also corrects

Hebrews 12:6

We love to live the abundant life the Lord has intended for us and blessed us with. We try to live our lives according to the Word and His instructions. Disciplining is a part of all this training where God teaches us to discern the good and the bad so we can be God’s best. We always love a great outcome, without having to work hard for it. God Word encourages us not to resent His discipline

But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
Don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
A father’s delight is behind all this

Proverbs 3:9-12

And He goes on to say in Hebrews 12:9-11 that God is doing the best for us and though discipline is not much fun, it does pay off in God’s kingdom

 

God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God

Hebrews 12:9-11

My prayer for you today is as you learn to allow God into areas where He is knocking your door to correct you, help discipline you for your own good, may you rest in the assurance that God’s love is greater than anyone else’s that you might have ever experienced on this earth and know deep in your heart that God is trust worthy of your confidence as He laid His life for YOU so you can have an abundant eternal life.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
Don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
He’s the one who will keep you on track

Proverbs 3:5-6

He is for you, He is with you and will always guide you.

Stay Blessed in Him

Lent – Day 16 – FAITH requires ACTION

FAITHWITHOUTWORKS

What we believe becomes who we are. It reflects in all aspects of our character, behaviour, relationships and the way we live our lives .

God encourages us through His Word to have faith that is filled with action, out of love and reverence for God. And not merely do God talks without any God love in it. He calls it utter nonsense when someone does that

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

James 2:14-17

One thing that stands out among the biblical heroes mentioned in the Bible is the unshakeable faith they had in their God, their Father AND  what they did about their faith in their practical lives. They knew that it was impossible to please God without faith. They had the confidence in what they hoped for and assurance in what they do not see.

In the world’s eyes ,Noah appeared foolish when he started building the ark but Noah believed in what God said and put his faith to action. He was not a people pleaser rather a God pleaser. Noah was not afraid to stand out as he trusted in God’s plan . He built the ark just the way God had instructed him and saved his family

By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God

Hebrews 11:7

Abraham put to action his extraordinary, unwavering belief in God when God told him to travel to an unknown place and God did not tell him where he was going.

Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God. evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God

Hebrews 11:8

Hebrews 11 lists all the biblical heroes that put their faith to action, trusting God one step at a time in their unknown journey. They had complete confidence that even though they have no idea about how their journey will end, they trusted in His promises and had unwavering faith that when God ordains their steps there is nothing to be afraid of or worried about . They looked to God for help and just followed what God had asked them to do. They put their faith to action.

For the reflection part, how does that ‘faith in action’ work for you and me in our practical lives ? Ephesians 5:1-2 encourages us to ‘wake up from our sleep’

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that

Ephesians 5:1-2

We all have mountains in our own private battles that we are struggling with. Of course, we all have been praying for that new job, for that life partner, for that new home , for that new car, for that intimacy with God. Other than praying, are we doing anything about it ? Any ACTION to co-operate with God for His promises to come true in our lives ?

I am a strong believer in prayer and His miracle working power. I also strongly believe that God wants us to use that mustard seed of faith that He has given us , to work along with Him, to co-operate with Him to make His plans establish on this earth for His glory. It’s God that puts that dream , that desire in your heart that you have right now and probably He has confirmed that through a prophecy. It’s time to trust His word and set into action

God has that wonderful job for you. But He needs you to use that God given talents in your interview from your end so He can sprinkle His favour for the best outcome. God will heal you but He needs you to go to the doctor and have your medication. Of course, if God has promised you a certain ministry, you need to equip yourself in that by studying and learning in that area.

My prayer for you today is that May this day be a day of ‘faith filled with action’ for you.

May you find that little mustard seed of faith that God put in your heart and put that faith to action TODAY

Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”

Matt 17:20

Stay Blessed in Him