Show-off servants

When one is referred to as a show-off, it often means two things, one is that the person has something or has achieved something that he or she is proud of, and secondly that person is not very reserved about their possession or achievement. But what does a servant have to show off,  or should a servant be a show-off?

Acts 16 records the account of a damsel in distress, that had been possessed by the spirit of divination (soothsaying). But when she met the disciples of God, Paul and Silas, she followed them and she cried out “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.” for many days. The enemy (spirit of divination) recognizes who the disciples of God are and what they are tasked to do. The enemy recognized that Paul and Silas were servants, but not just anybody’s servants; they were servants of the most high God. And as servants, they were show-offs! They showed of the way of salvation. In other words, they showed-off (or should I say, show-cased) Jesus Christ (THE ONLY way of salvation).

Point(s) to ponder:
1. How does the enemy recognize you/me as? Is it as servants of the most high God?
2. As servants of the most high God, are we show-casing  / showing off Jesus Christ, THE ONLY way of salvation?

ACTS 16:16-18 (KJV)
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.

18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

Memorial day in Jesus’ words

Moina Michael, U.S Professor and humanitarian, commonly known as the Poppy Lady, writes in her renowned poem, “We shall keep the faith”, that the blood of heroes never dies.

Before Jesus was crucified, he met with his disciples in communion (at what is known familiarly as the event of the Last Supper) and told them to remember.

His words were to remember as one partakes of the communion, but what are we to remember?
We ought to remember that the wrath of God was poured on Jesus, so that the GRACE of God could be poured on us.
We ought to remember that, Jesus was forsaken so that we could be adopted.
We ought to remember that because Jesus willingly gave up his communion with God, we can now have communion with God.
We ought to remember that Jesus’ body was broken and his blood was shed, so that ours would not have to be.
We ought to remember that Jesus died (for our sake), so that we can live and live abundantly (under His Lordship).

We must keep the faith for His Blood which brings the remission of sins, covers and washes all unrighteousness. The Blood of Jesus Christ, The HERO never dies.

Points to ponder:
This Memorial day, are you and I honoring Him by remembering Him?
Can it be told of you and me, “He/She shall keep the faith”?

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (KJV)
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Understand and stand up(right)

From Daniel 10, we learn that when Daniel was earnestly praying in humility for understanding, an answer to his request was sent, but the angel with the answer was delayed due to an invisible war that ensued in the spiritual dimension, between the forces of evil (prince of Persia and later the prince of Greece) and the forces of God (the angel with the answer and Michael, the archangel). When the angel with the answer, finally arrives after 21 days of warfare, Daniel is helped to his knees (Daniel 10:10) and asked to understand the words that he was spoken to and to stand upright (Daniel 10:11).

Daniel sought to understand and he was asked to understand God’s message. Daniel was also asked to stand upright. Ecclesiastes 7:29 informs us that God hath made man upright but they have sought out many inventions which means that God created man(kind)/people upright (in his own image) but man has chosen his own downward path (NLT) (from and since his rebellion and fall in the garden of Eden). God want us to be restored, to stand up and stand upright (faultless) before God. This is only possible if we understand the message that God has sent to us; the message of God’s inseparable love, in the form of His Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Jesus Christ is God’s message to mankind. He is the answer to the question – “How can man stand upright?” for it is only Jesus Christ, the only wise God and Savior, who can keep us from falling and present us faultless (upright) before the presence of God’s glory (Jude 1:23).There is no other way to righteousness, to standing upright.

Point(s) to ponder:
1. We must be on our knees (not feet) in order to stand before God!
2. We must believe in the Word of God (Jesus Christ), standing up on our knees in humility accepting His Lordship, so that He can make us stand up(right) before God.
In other words, We must Understand God’s Message to Stand Up(right)!

Ecclesiastes 7:29 (KJV)
29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

Daniel 10:10-12 (KJV)
10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

God of the mighty

While learning the song, Agnus Dei, instead of singing “for the Lord God Almighty reigns”, our beloved 5 year old son, Reuben, kept singing “for the God of the mighty reigns.” My loving wife, Sangeetha attempted to correct him, but while she was doing so, it dawned on me that my son, without realizing was proclaiming another truth from the Holy Bible. God, the Most High is not just the Lord God Almighty, but He is also the God of the mighty.

The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the word, “mighty” as someone who is possessing “power.” As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we are not just a peculiar people, but we are a powerful people, for God did not give unto us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Just as David, a shepherd boy towered over the mighty trained soldier Goliath, with God in us (not just on our side), we are stronger than the strongest and mightier than the mightiest that the world can raise. We are a mighty people and the Most High, who reigns, is our God. For indeed the Lord God Almighty reigns; For indeed the God of the mighty reigns.

1 John 4:4 (KJV)
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Proverbial Relationships with Gossips :: Hearsay Not

Richard Burton, an English scholar from Oxford University at Christ Church writes in his renowned book, The Anatomy of Melancholy, first published in 1621, that “A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword.” This is very much aligned with the analogy that King Solomon gives as advice when dealing with gossips as recorded in Proverbs 26:17-28.  The king who asked for wisdom from God and received it, writes, that where there is no hearsay (gossiping), strife ceaseth, and that talebearing is like wood to a fire. Most of us like to gossip, but the Bible tells us that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter (Proverbs 25:2). In a generation, where the social network is prevalent as a day-by-day engagement, not just in businesses, but in personal matters as well, as Christians we must be careful to not fall in the trap of using our words as catalysts that instigate strife or weapons that inflict deep wounds. Words must be used to build (encourage) one another and not de-face them. Let us remember, that the God is in heaven and we are on earth, so let our words be few (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

Proverbs 26:20-22 (KJV)
20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

Proverbial Relationships with Sluggards :: Hinge Not

Proverbs 26:13-16 gives counsel about how to deal with sluggards. It describes a sluggard as one who is so lazy that even feeding himself or herself is considered by them to be a grievous task. They love to sleep and as a door turns on its hinges, so does a slothful man turn on his bed. The Bible goes to the extreme of calling someone who does not provide for his/her own, especially for those of their own house as one who has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel/unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8). The sluggard is asked to go to the ant and consider the ant’s ways and be wise (Proverbs 6:6), for an ant not only works for the present but also plans and acts for the future.

Followers of Christ are called to a life of labor and not of laziness. The Bible says that we are saved by grace, through faith, ordained unto good works (labor and not laziness) (Ephesians 2:8-10). We must not hinge ourselves with a sluggard, lest when Jesus returns as Lord and Master, we would have nothing more to give him for the talents He has given us, and whatever we have been given would also be taken from us (Luke 19:12-26). Hinge Not with a sluggard!

Proverbs 26:13-16 (KJV)
13  The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.
14 As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.
15 The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.
16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (KJV)
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Proverbial Relationships with Fools :: Heed or Heed Not!

Proverbs 26:1-12 gives advice on how to behave when dealing with fools. But who is a fool?
Some of the characteristics and definition of a fool according to the Bible are:
A fool says in his heart, “There is no God”, They are corrupt and they do abominable deeds (Psalm 14:1)
A fool has no delight in in understanding, but only in expressing his own opinion (Proverbs 18:2)
A fool has no self-control with his tongue but utters all his mind bringing ruin to himself (Proverbs 29:11; Proverbs 18:7)
A fool despises wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7)
A fool is like one who builds his house upon the sand, because he/she hear the words of Jesus but does nothing about it (Matthew 7:26)

So with an understanding of who a fool is, how are we as followers of Christ Jesus, to deal with them?

When dealing with fools, we must not answer nor heed the arguments of a fool, lest we also become like him. On the other hand,  when it is determined, that a fool’s position must  be challenged, it is important to answer the fool according to his own folly, lest he is wise in his own eyes. In other words, we must know when to heed and when not to heed to a fool.

Proverbs 26:4-5 (KJV)
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.