What Seek Ye?

Zephaniah 2:3 reads Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’s anger.

We are advised to seek the following three explicitly –

  1. Seek the LORD.
  2. Seek righteousness and
  3. Seek meekness 

Seek the LORD – To seek the Lord is to not only give him the priority but also preeminence in our lives. In all we are, we are to be as if unto the Lord. We let Him reign in our lives. In seeking the Lord we ensure that we have no other gods before us. We are about his kingdom business, doing what he wants us to do and not just following our own futile pursuits. In the words of Jesus, blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. To seek the Lord is to let Him have PRIORITY and PREEMINENCE in our lives.

Seek Righteousness – To seek righteousness is to seek to be in rightstanding before God and man, to be upright and blameless before God. God wants us to be Holy because God is Holy and we are to conform to his image. In the words of Jesus, Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. To seek righteousness is to seek to be PURE.

Seek meekness  –  To seek meekness is to humble oneself before God and let him increase while we decrease. In the words of Jesus, Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth i.e., all these things [of the earth] shall be added unto you. To seek meekness is to POSITION ourselves and our personal interests only after consideration to God and to others has been given.

Jesus as recorded in Matthew 6:33, said the same thing but in slightly different words when He said that “We must Seek first the kingdom of God (Seek the Lord) and his righteousness (seek righteousness), and all these things shall be added unto you (seek meekness as the meek shall inherit the earth).

The question that remains then is – What seek ye?

Law of Banking on Jesus

BankingOfRoads In order for vehicles with high speed to negotiate the curve on the road, without running off of it, the angle of the incline for the road must be first determined. It is equationally represented as tan θ = v2/rg where ‘v’ is the velocity (speed), ‘r’ is the radius (how far) of the curve and ‘g’ is the force of gravity. This expression represents the speed at which the vehicle does not skid along the banked road for the given angle of inclination (θ). This is commonly known as the ‘Banking of Roads’ principle.

An application of this physical law in our Spiritual life could be used to derive what I call the Law of Banking on Jesus. The Law of Banking on Jesus states that “For a person life to be not derailed from his path toward God, he must be banked (inclined) on Jesus which is a factor of his velocity (speed) toward conforming into the likeness of Jesus, the distance (radius) from Jesus and the force of the world.”

In other words, the angle (θ) of our dependence (inclination) on Jesus tangentially is dependent on

  1. the haste (‘v’) we make not delaying in keeping his commandments,
  2. the closer (‘r’) we draw near to him and
  3. the weaker the force (‘g’) of loving this world is in our lives.

I pray that we all bank on Jesus. Anything else, our lives will be off course, skidding away.

1 Kings 8:58 (KJV)
58 That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.

Psalm 119:60 (KJV)
I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.

James 4:8 (KJV)
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

1 John 2:15 (KJV)
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Law of Universal Attraction

LawOfUniversalGravitationWhat causes the 1st and 2nd law of Newton to operate is the Law of Universal Gravitation which was first published in 1687 by Newton in the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. This Law states that ‘Any two bodies in the universe are attracted to each other with a force that is proportional to the masses of the two bodies and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.’

It is equationally represented as F α Gm1m2 / r2 where F is force; m1 is the mass of one body and m2 is the mass of the other body and r is center-to-center distance between the two bodies and G is “gravitational constant”

An application of this physical law in our Spiritual life could be used to derive what I call the Law of Universal Attraction. The Law of Universal Attraction states that “The  force of our attraction to Jesus Christ in inversely proportional to the distance between us and Jesus Christ, with the Gravitational pull of the love of Jesus Christ being a constant.” In other words, the closer we are to Jesus Christ, the greater His force will be in our lives and the farther we are from Jesus Christ, the weaker we feel His force in our life. Remember Jesus’ words, ‘Abide in me and I in you, for without me, you can do nothing‘.

The center-to-center distance between us and Christ determine His power in our lives. The more Christ centered we are, with the center of our lives revolving around the central will of God the more proximate we will be to Him and greater His force will be in our lives.

John 15:4-7 (KJV)
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Law of Reciprocal Relations

Newton’s Third Law (Lex III) which is “Actioni contrariam semper et æqualem esse reactionem: sive corporum duorum actiones in se mutuo semper esse æquales et in partes contrarias dirigi.” states that ‘The forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions.’. Newton’s third law is referred to as the law of reciprocal actions and is simplified as ‘To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’

An application of this physical law in our Spiritual life could be used to derive what I call the Law of Reciprocal Relations. The Law of Reciprocal Relations states that “The love force of Jesus Christ and the love forces of the World on each other are opposingly equal and directed in opposite directions.” Remember Jesus’ words, ‘no man can serve two masters‘ (Matthew 6:24). The Bible also warns us that He who is a friend of the world is an enemy of God (James 4:4).

It may also be said that just as for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, the more we are attracted to the things of the world, the more the world attracts us and the more we are to draw near unto God, the more He will draw near unto us (James 4:8).

Let’s choose this day, where our allegiance lies and what forces draw us in its direction. I pray it is the love force of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 73:28 (KJV)
28. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

Law of the Force of Christ

LawOfTheForceNewton’s Second Law (Lex II) which is “Mutationem motus proportionalem esse vi motrici impressae, et fieri secundum lineam rectam qua vis illa imprimitur.” states that ‘Observed from an inertial reference frame, the net force on a particle is equal to the time rate of change of its linear momentum’. Newton’s second law can also be referred to as the law of the force.

An application of this physical law in our Spiritual life could be used to derive what I call the Law of the Force of Christ. The Law of the Force of Christ states that “observed from an Spiritual reference frame, the net force of Jesus Christ on a person is equal to the time and the constancy of that individual’s focus on Jesus Christ.

Newton observed that in a physical realm, for a given force, the greater the mass of the object, the smaller its acceleration. In a Spiritual realm, for the force of Jesus Christ, the greater the mass of our own self, the smaller our acceleration will be toward Him. The more time we focus on Christ Jesus with a constant and unwavering mind, we will have less time to focus on own self (a.k.a. lesser our head weight) and greater our drive will be toward Him. The weighty matter is therefore this, the more we decrease (our own self), the greater His force will be in our lives and we can relate to what John the Baptist said, that He must increase and we must decrease (John 3:30).

May the Force be with you!

Hebrews 12:1-2 (KJV)
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Law of Sinful Inertia

First law
Lex I: Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus a viribus impressis cogitur statum illum mutare. Every body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed.
There exists a set of inertial reference frames relative to which all particles with no net force acting on them will move without change in their velocity. This law is often simplified as “A body persists its state of rest or of uniform motion unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force.” Newton’s first law is often referred to as the law of inertia.

Newton’s First Law (Lex I) which is “Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus a viribus impressis cogitur statum illum mutare.” is often simplified as ‘Every body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed’. Newton’s first law is often referred to as the law of inertia.

An application of this physical law in our Spiritual life could be used to derive what I call the Law of Sinful Inertia. The Law of Sinful inertia states that “everybody persists in their state of  death in trespasses and sins or in moving disobediently on the broad way that leads toward destruction, except insofar as they are compelled to change their lives by the grace and gift of God in the person of Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 2:1-8 (KJV)
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Lessons from Pontius Pilate’s Wife – Speak and Steer

The following is the sermon that was delivered by my loving wife, Sangeetha Johnson, whom I deeply love (although at times, I may be ignorant of expressing it) at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India (ACFI). I read this recently and was led to share it, so that it benefits us all. Here it is, ad verbatim

She appears in just a single verse of the Bible, but it’s a powerful one. Her name is not mentioned and she is addressed as somebody’s wife. Before we read the verse let us take couple of second to review the details, Jesus stands before Pontius Pilate. The leaders of the Temple have accused him of blasphemy and want him crucified, but Pilate is wavering. Then the Gospel of Matthew adds this tantalizing detail, Matthew 27:19 “When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.”

In that statement God speaks to her through a dream and the dream kindles her and makes her troubled. She says she suffered many things on account of Jesus. She was revealed certain truths about Jesus that makes her recognize Jesus to be a just Man. The revelation or dream stirs her spirit not only to be restless but also vocal. She requests her husband to not Judge Jesus (Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat) and in a sense asking him to go against popular opinion, which was to Crucify Jesus.

Lesson 1) God can use anybody even a gentile woman.
I have a friend whom I have known for years, after all these years I still cannot say if she is a righteous, just or innocent woman. Rumors about Jesus and his works may have reached the palace, and she may have even seen or heard Jesus in the streets of Jerusalem. But to know he was righteous and innocent, it had to be God who told her It could only have been the Holy Spirit that revealed it to her. So, God can use anybody rich, poor, woman, man, believer, and even a gentile.

Lesson 2) When God convicts you to speak then do so.
I am guilty of this, we don’t speak up for various reason, the pressure of not going against the tide, the norm, the system, makes us back off from speaking out. In this verse we see Pilate’s wife did not hesitate to speak up even though she could have been labeled a rebel, and though she did not know if her husband would get angry at her for interfering. We should speak up when God convicts us to do so.

Lesson 3) Don’t worry about the results when you obey GOD.
It’s not a matter of whether we see results or whether what we say is recognized or accepted or ignored or rejected. The results of anything God asks us to do are not in our hands, but God’s. Many don’t speak up, saying, “What difference will it make?” or after the fact, “What difference would it have made?” The difference is that if God puts something in our hearts to speak up and we don’t, we have denied God. Here we see Pilate’s wife speak up even if her opinion was different from that of the majority of folks there.

Lesson 4) Steer in the right direction.
The greatest service you can give your family and friends is to steer then in the right direction even if it is contrary to popular opinion. Note to husbands, don’t do what Pilate did; it is okay and good to listen to your wife. 🙂

By being vocal she was rendering her SERVICE to GOD, who gave her the dream and to her husband so that he would not be guilty of innocent blood. If only he had listened.

Who goes there?

Recently I heard a message entitled Lessons from Royalty by Ravi Zacharias, in which he concludes with the funeral of Empress Zita. This story was recorded in the April 1989 issue of People magazine as follows –

The 8,000 mourners filed out of Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral and fell in line behind the catafalque drawn by six black horses. Two hours later the procession ended at the Capuchin Church, where, in keeping with tradition, a member of the funeral party knocked on the door and a priest asked, “Who goes there?”
The titles were read aloud: “Queen of Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia. Queen of Jerusalem. Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Cracow…”
“I do not know her,” said the father.
A second knock and “Who goes there?” brought the response, “Zita, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary.” Again the reply, “I do not know her.”
When the inevitable question was put a third time, the answer was simply, “Zita, a sinning mortal.”
“Come in,” said the priest, opening wide the door not for royalty, but for a faithful member of the Church, whose life had finally reached its end.

Apostle Paul essentially stole the statement that can be said most definitely of me when he said “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). Jesus Christ Himself  said that He came into this world to call sinners to repentance (Mark 2:17). Publicans and sinners drew near to hear Jesus and He not only received them, but He also communed (ate) with them (Luke 15:1-2).

Like Empress Zita, the only requirement for us to be received into the sanctifying hands of the Savior, the same hands that bears nailprints as an expression of His love for us, is to recognize that we are sinners, whom He came to save, and call to repentance.

When God asks you and me  “Who goes there?”, what is our response going to be? If our response is “a sinner”, you can expect to hear Him say “Come in”.

Luke 15:1-10 (KJV)
Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

The full People magazine’s article on the Last Habsburg Empress Zita’s and her final account on earth can be read here

The Trinity of One God – THE ELEMENT

We have come to end of the “The Element” series, having seen from the Scriptures how each of the elements – Earth, Air, Fire and Water and fully representative of the invisible Creator God, who is expressed in the personhood of Jesus Christ and as the Holy Spirit that indwells in all who chose to accept the Son of God, Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Fire, Air, Earth, and Water, the four elements, are also called the Triplicities, which play an important part in astrology. The term triplicities comes from the fact that there are three astrological zodiac signs associated with each of the four elements (e.g., Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn are associated with Earth, Gemini, Libra, Aquarius are associated with Air, Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are associated with Fire, and Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces are associated with Water).

Jesus Christ is the expressed image of the Almighty (Elohim) God and is the spiritual Rock (Earth) of our Salvation. The breath of God is the Air that we need to be stay spiritually alive. The Holy Spirit of God is the Fire that consumes our sinfulness and the One who refines and purifies us. Jesus Christ is the source of the satisfying and saving living Water and those who are quenched by Him are eternally satisfied.

It is a pity that so many blindly follow these signs and their association with the elements to get direction in their lives (from getting high marks in an exam to choosing the spouse they are to wed). They seek direction from these creations of the Almighty God, instead of seeking God Godself. Instead of seeking the triplicities for answers, we must instead be seeking the Trinity (One God in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit) for the direction of our lives. No one has an excuse.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead (Trinity of God); so that they (we) are without excuse: (Romans 1: 20)

Ephesians 4:4-6 (KJV)
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord (Jesus Christ), one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Water – satisfying and purifying LORD

The fourth and final element in our series is Water.

Recently as I watched an episode of  “I shouldn’t be alive” covering the lives of certain folks lost at sea, and how their desires for water after the second or third day started to drive some members delusional leading eventually to their death as they hallucinated seeing land in the open ocean and trying to swim to it. This got me thinking about the length of term that one could possibly stay alive without drinking water and from the Holy Scriptures I read that for a period of forty days and forty nights, Moses did not eat any bread or drink water (Deuteronomy 9:9) as he went up to the mountain to receive the tablets of the covenant of the LORD. I wondered as to how Moses could have stayed alive and without being able to rationalize in a human sense, how this could have been possible, I had to remind myself of the words of Jesus, that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4) and that Jesus is the giver of living water and whoever drank of him shall thirst no more (John 4:14). It was the Water from the Rock (Jesus) that sustained and saved the Israelites as they trekked toward the promised land, led by God’s servant, Moses. (Numbers 20:7-11)

Water not only satisfy one’s thirst, but it also purifies (Number 31:23). When Naaman the leper immersed himself in water, his skin was purified and he was made into a new creation with skin as if it was like that of a child (2 Kings 5:14).

Just as water is essential for physical survival, Jesus, the Living water is essential for Spiritual survival. Despite the fact that the human body is composed 90% of water, we still need water to live. Despite the fact that we are made in the image of God, we need the expressed image of invisible God (Colossians 1:15), who is Jesus Christ to live eternally (John 3:16).

Jesus is THE ELEMENT, the LIVING WATER that satisfies and purifies us making us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) when we believe in Him.