To be or Not to be – a Witness? That is the question

Interestingly, the word for witness in Greek is ‘martyr’. To be a witness of Jesus is to be a martyr, willing to lay one’s life down for Jesus, just as Jesus did for us. To be a disciple of Jesus is not to just COUNT the cost, but PAY it (easier said than done). Can it be said of us that “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21) or will Jesus rebuke us saying that “We are a generation of little faith”, often forgetting His promises, “Fear NOT” and “Lo, I am with you ALWAYS – Be my Witness.”

As a witness, we are not only called to be martyrs, but Bridge Builders. We have been given 2 pieces of wood and 3 nails to build the cross ‘The ONLY Bridge’ for man to be able to reach God. We are tasked to build the bridge in the shielded minds of those who don’t know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

Points(s) to ponder:

  1. Isn’t it time for us to start building the Bridge to God?
  2. Isn’t it time for us to not just count the cost, but be willing to pay it –
    To be or not to be – a witness? That is our question.

Questioning God – Is that Biblical?

Human beings constantly seek to find answers to questions of life that baffle us or for which no “answer” is apparent. God made us ruler over all, only a little lower than heavenly beings (Angels) ( Psalm 8 ) with the distinctive trait of having a quest for knowledge and wisdom. Worthy of note, the first Sin that man committed was as a result of the Man’s desire to quench their thirst of becoming omniscient when the adversary (Satan) enticed Eve (and Adam) by saying “You will be like gods, knowing good and evil”. Furthermore, the Bible also teaches that a lack of knowledge leads to destruction (Hosea 4:6). So it would only be appropriate to say that “Man is an ‘answer-seeking’ being and ‘questions’ the things that the finite mind can’t comprehend.

Yes, we all question; we question situations, events, emotions, sickness and anything and everything that affect our lives or the lives of the ones we love. We question when things go our way and also when they don’t. Many a times, we find ourselves even questioning the omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful) and omnipresent (ever-present) God. Questions such as “Why me, Lord?” or “Why not me, Lord?” or “Why do good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people?” As a child, I was told that God does everything for the good of those who love him ( Romans 8 ) and so we should not question God. So does this mean that questioning God when certain events transpire in our lives or in the lives of the ones we love, is unbiblical?

King David was asking – “Why, Lord do you care for mere mortals?” when he exclaimed “What is man that you are mindful of him; the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4). Job, the upright in deep anguish, reproved God (Job 40:2) requesting God to release him of his life (Job 6:8-9) saying I will speak in anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul (Job 7:11). When he made his case and his friends were saying that he must have done something wrong and was reaping the consequences, Job must have felt “Why me, Lord?” as he says “Tell me Lord, what charges you have against me?” (Job 10:2). Let’s look at an example, where when the angel Gabriel gave similar messages, it evoked different ‘questioning’ responses. When the angel Gabriel told Mary of the “virgin birth of Jesus” she responded not in a scoffing manner for she knew that since she was a Virgin, that would be impossible, instead she said “How can this be?” In contrast, notice Zechariah’s skeptical response , “How shall I know this?”, when the same angel told Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist that Elizabeth, his wife (who was well advanced in years) will bear him a son (Luke 1:13). Zechariah was not asking “How will you do this?” but “How can I know you’ll do it?” resulting in him being dumb till his son’s birth.

These biblical references lead me to believe that it is not a matter of right or wrong when we question God and yes it is okay to ask “why” and “how” questions to God. It is the “attitude” in which we question God that makes our questioning acceptable or not. King David questioned with an admiration of the extent of God’s care for inadequate man, Job questioned with an attitude of seeking God’s will. Mary asked in bewilderment, yet in belief that nothing is impossible with the Lord while Zechariah questioned God’s character by asking “How shall I know this?” in other words “Can I take you at your word, Lord?”

So the next time, when you are seeking answers and you feel like questioning God, if at all possible refrain from doing so, taking Him at his word by being still (Psalm 46:10) and considering the wondrous works of the God (Job 37:14) but if the human quest for knowledge gets the better of you, Question God ONLY with the right attitude in your heart. Anything contrary would make us ‘dumb’.

God’s APPETite

Jesus said that his food was to do the will of God, the Father who had sent him and to accomplish His (the Father’s) work (John 4:34). Jesus’ appetite was to seek God’s will and consume it, so that he could be nourished to work out the perfect pleasing will of God, the Father.

If we are followers of Jesus Christ, we should also do the will (not merely aspire or seek to do) the will of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and accomplish His works. 
How can we do this? By fullfilling the commission, that God has given to each one of us.

Ephesians 3:11 reads
vs. 11 – And he gave some APOSTLES and some, PROPHETS, and some, EVANGELISTS, and some, PASTORS and TEACHERS

God’s APPETite is that we are A – Apostles, (or) P – Prophets (or) P – Pastors (or) E – Evangelists (or) T – Teachers.

Point(s) to Ponder:

  1. What does God want you to be for Him?
  2. What work has God given unto you that needs to be accomplished?
  3. Are you satisfying God’s appetite by doing His Will and accomplishing His work?

Luke 12:29-31
vs 29. And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
vs 30. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
vs 31. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Life is about SAVING (Singular)

Recently, I heard a dear friend and brother, John Cherukuri at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India speak from the book of Acts on the life of Barnabas, whose real name was Jos-es (variant of Joseph), but the Apostles called him Barnabas (meaning son of Encouragement or Consolation) as recorded in Acts 4:26. During his discourse, eluding to the dwindling and declining economy, prevalent today, that we need to be encouragers ourselvers, encouraging one another rather than being fixated on savings, he made the following statement, “Life is not about SAVINGS”.

This got me thinking and we chatted after the sermon, that Life is really not about Savings (plural), but about SAVING (singular).
Not Savings, as in what we put aside in our bank balance (on ephemeral earth), but Saving , as in what we put inside our soul balance (in eternal heaven).

Soul balance = The number of souls that God uses us to add to his kingdom, those whom we have helped, accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Point(s) to Ponder:
Proverbs 11:30 – A soul winner is wise.
What is your soul balance? What is mine?

Pardon Refused !

A few days ago, I wrote about the second saying of Jesus from the Cross to the malefactor followed by another on the request of the malefactor being granted. But imagine, for a moment, if that malefactor had refused the pardon offered by Jesus?

In 1830 , a man named George Wilson was arrested for mail theft, the penalty for which was death by hanging. After a time, President Andrew Jackson gave Wilson a pardon but he refused to accept it! The authorities were in a quandary now as to whether they should let Mr. Wilson be freed or hanged?
Bewildered, they consulted Chief Justice John Marshall, who handed down this decision: “A pardon is a slip of paper, the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged.”

A pardon is an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual on whom it is bestowed from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed.
A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance.

The entire proceedings of this interesting case – United States v. Wilson , 32 U.S. 7 Pet. 150 150 (1833) can be found at

We see a similar situation in the Bible as recorded in Nehemiah 9:17, which reads
“And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

Point(s) to Ponder:

God offers His pardon (act of G.R.A.C.E – God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense) to each one of us, but if that pardon is not accepted by us, his delivery is made incomplete. Don’t let God’s extension of His pardon left untaken? Refusing the pardon will return us to the bondage of sin and the wages of sin is death. Think about it and Act NOW and accept God’s free offer to be saved.

A malefactor’s request granted !

Ever wondered why only the second malefactor (criminal) who was crucified alongside Jesus,  got a response from the Jesus.

I believe the answer is in the text as recorded in Luke 23:38-43
38. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41. And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

The malefactor RECOGNIZED Jesus for who He really was and secondly he make a REQUEST to be REMEMBERED by Jesus.

First the malefactor said that this MAN (Jesus) has done nothing amiss, but upon realizing that Jesus is NOT just a GOOD MAN but is GOD MAN, focuses on Jesus and recognizes Jesus as LORD
Saying, Jesus, LORD (not MAN), Remember me  …

Secondly, this Recognition led to a Requisition that at face value seems ABSURD. His request was “Remember ME, when thou comest into thy Kingdom”. Jesus was DYING on the Cross, What Coming, What Kingdom?
Allow me to indulge myself a little please, I believe, the eyes of the criminal who repented had been opened like that of Stephen or of Enoch (Jude 1:14) and he had seen Jesus glorified as King, and he wanted to be fully part of that.

His request was granted immediately, Since he had recognized Jesus as Lord and requested to be WITH Jesus. Jesus’ response – Verily, I say unto you, Today, shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.

Point(s) to Ponder:

  1. Have you Recognized Jesus as Lord?
  2. What is your Request for Jesus, today?

Jesus My Valentine

Valentine_316Today is Valentine’s day and while we some may have taken the time to wish our spouses and girlfriends/boyfriends, children, relatives, teachers and friends, a very special Happy Valentine day while others may have forgotten to do so (present company included), there is one person, that we should have never forgotten to wish to be our Valentine; and that person is Jesus Christ.

Click on the image in the left to see How God is our Valentine.

The following is a beautiful composition, I saw online, and thought, I’d share. Enjoy
Thanks to Bernice Ward for such wonderful words.

We keep such thoughts of You so dear
Thanking You for the love You share
When a day comes it just seems fair,
To tell You, “I love You,” for You always care.

Sharing Jesus my heavenly Valentine
His love for me is always near,
I thank Him for being my valentine
I am his and He is mine.

Jesus wants to be our lasting valentine
Not just a special day, but everyday,
Love is something He commands us to do,
Let’s tell Jesus, My heart belongs to You!

The special Love that Jesus spreads
Grows stronger each and everyday
Let’s spread His love throughout the land,
We are safe in the hollow of His hand.

You and I are very special to the Lord
He only wants to capture your heart,
He gives love for all our cares
And stands by to wipe our tears.

So Jesus and I are sending you a Hug
Just remember all He sends your way,
In good times and bad, God is at our side,
Stay safe and warm in Jesus love abide.