Self Deception Series :: Foolish I am

It is one thing to be deceived by someone else, but to be deceived by oneself is quite another. The Bible counsels us to be wary against self-deception and informs us of the conditions in which one is self-deceived.
While self-righteousness may be one of the main causes of self deception to an unbeliever, spectatorship is one of the main causes of self-deception to a believer. James 1:22 counsels all to be doers of the word and not merely hearers, for in just hearing and not doing, one deceives his/her own self.

We are asked not to be on the sidelines, spectating Christian life as a entertaining sport, but to be in the arena as a gladiator, fighting for the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ and ready to die for Christ as a martyr (witness).
Let us not deceive ourselves.
Jesus likened the man that hears his words and not do it, as one who is foolish who built his house on the sand. Great will be the fall of that house, when the rain, floods and winds comes against it (Matthew 7:26-27).
Let us not be foolish and deceive ourselves.

James 1:22 (KJV)
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Matthew 7:26-27 (KJV)
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Self Deception Series :: Self-Righteous I am

It is one thing to be deceived by someone else, but to be deceived by oneself is quite another. The Bible counsels us to be wary against self-deception and informs us of the conditions in which one is self-deceived.
1 John 1:8 states that “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” In other words, the one who is self-righteous, claiming to be without sin, deceives himself or herself.
Let us not deceive ourselves.
It is first important to recognize that no one is righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10) and second, whatever righteousness, we have is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) and the wages of sin is death (Romans  6:23), but the gift of God is eternal life, to every one who believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth, that Jesus is Lord, (John 3:16).
Jesus taught that the self-righteous who trusted in themselves would be humbled (Luke 18:9-14) and also consider the self-righteousness of man to be an abomination to God (Luke 16:15).
Let us not be self-righteous and deceive ourselves.

1 John 1:7-9 (KJV)
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Luke 18: 9-14 (KJV)
9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Luke 16:15 (KJV)
15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

The Golden Arm for the Lord Jesus Christ

Nicknamed “The Golden Arm”, John Constantine Unitas (May 7, 1933 – September 11, 2002) who is also known as a Johnny Unitas or Johnny U is no stranger to a fan of American football. He played for the majority of his career with the Baltimore Colts and was a record setting quarterback. He was awarded the most valuable player of the National Football League in 1959, 1964 and 1967. His record of throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games still remains unsurpassed. But what is really interesting about “Johnny U”‘s career, is what transpired before he ever set foot on the football field to play for the Baltimore Colts.

Upon his graduation from Louisville University, no pro team drafted Johnny Unitas. He wrote to several teams and finally got an opportunity to try for the Pittsburg Steelers, but despite his best effort, he was not chosen. Battling over discouragement from his friends who said “You got a raw deal, it is time to hang up your cleats”, the young Johnny never gave up. He was given another chance with another team and that resulted in an unfavorable outcome as well for Johnny. But Johnny’s resolve was strong. He persistently and patiently pursued other try out opportunities and finally got a chance to try out for the Baltimore team. Johnny made it in this time as a third string (referred to players who are third in line to starting a game) and through dedication and long hours of fitness building, Johnny Unitas finally made it to become the starting quarterback. The rest is history.

In our Christian walk as well, we must never give up. When doubt, disappointments, and discouragements come our way, we must press on toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ as did Apostle Paul (Philippians 3:14), remembering that we may be troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed, always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, so that his life also may be made manifest in us (2 Corinthians 4:8-10). In not giving up and persevering patiently, we might all just end up earning the title of “The Golden Arm” for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:14 (KJV)
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 4:8-11 (KJV) 
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

The Cross, My Ballast

Medical missionary from Pittsburg to Africa, Dr. Thomas Alexander Lambie (1885- 14 April 1954), is noted for being one of the pioneering American missionaries to Ethiopia. In his missionary journeys, Dr. Lambie, had to cross several swift streams and he learned from the natives the best way to cross over hazardous waters. The danger in crossing a stream lies in being swept off one’s feet and carried downstream to deep water or being hurled to death against hidden rocks. A man can avoid this by finding a large stone – the heavier the better – lifting it to his shoulder, and carrying it across the stream, using the stone as a ballast. The extra weight of what was being carried kept the feet solid and gave the much needed stability to survive and tide over dangers that could cause death.

In our missionary journey on earth, we ought to carry the Cross and follow Christ, so that we are not swept off our feet and hurled into the danger of death (which is the wages of sin – and all have sinned (Romans 6:23; Romans 3:23)). As long as we carry the Rock of our Salvation (Psalm 95:1), Christ Jesus will be ballast and keep our feet from slipping (Psalm 121:3).

Matthew 16:24-27 (KJV)
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 

Professors and Performers

I often find myself to be merely a professor of the Lord instead or being a performer of his will and like me, there are many who profess (call on) the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and only a few who perform (do) what he wants them to do. Jesus himself asked, “Why do you call me, Lord, Lord and not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) and likened the one who merely hears and not performs, as one whose house was built on a failing foundation (Luke 6:47-48). Jesus also warned that not every one who call, Lord, Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven but only those who do the will of God the Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21) and this is the Father’s will, that every one sees his Son (Jesus) and believes in him, for in believing in Christ, he/she may have everlasting life (John 6:40). To do God’s will is to believe in His Son.

Points to ponder:
Are you/I a professor or a performer?  Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God the Father (for that is his will)?

Luke 6:46 (KJV)
46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Matthew 7:21 (KJV)
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

John 6:40 (KJV) 
40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

“I am” and “I AM”

Irish author St. John Greer Ervine is said to have remarked that the title of the book “What’s Wrong with the World” by G.K. Chesterton should really have been “What’s Wrong with the World, is G.K. Chesterton.” The reason for this comment purportedly stems from the following anecdote. Once, when the Times of London asked several of Britain’s leading intellectuals “What’s Wrong with the World”, the celebrated journalist Gilbert Keith (G.K.) Chesterton sent back a postcard that read: “I am.” Mr. Chesterton, a prolific author and reasoned apologist, who referred to himself as an ‘orthodox’ Christian is likely to have derived his laconic yet profound answer from  John 16:9 and James 1:13. John 16:9 states that the sin of the world is unbelief in Jesus Christ and James 1:13 states that every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed.

You see, both you and I have no one else to blame but ourselves for the problem of sin. On our own we don’t stand a chance to address this problem. Only by grace and grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ can this problem be addressed. Jesus is the only solution to this universal problem.

Thanks be to God that when we have to respond affirmatively that “I am” what’s wrong with the world, Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, who died for our sins and took our penalty on himself, can respond affirmatively, that “I AM” who’s right with the world. Jesus is the Great I AM.

John 3:16-19 (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Jesus in the NT :: Matthew – Revelation

We have come to the end of our study of Jesus in the New Testament. Let’s recap what we have learned so far.

In summary, in:

  1. Matthew, Jesus is The Savior-King; the Sovereign King of kings.
  2. Mark, Jesus is The Servant-Savior!
  3. Luke, Jesus is the Son of man, which means He is the King of kings, with an indomitable indestructible kingdom, who first came to SEEK and to SAVE (heal) all who are lost (dead without God), and who will come with the clouds of heaven to be SERVED.
  4. John, Jesus is the Son of the Highest; the Most High God; The Only begotten Son of God.
  5. Acts, Jesus is not just the progenitor of the church, but also the power of the church.
  6. Romans, Jesus is the deliverer from death unto life; life abundant; life eternal.
  7. 1st Corinthians, Jesus Christ is the FOUNDATION, the foundation of love; love personified and nothing can separate us from that foundation.
  8. 2nd Corinthians, Jesus is the Ambassador of God to man; the hidden treasure in us, the jars of clay.
  9. Galatians, Jesus is the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.
  10. Ephesians, Jesus is the the armor of God that we ought to put on wholly.
  11. Philippians, Jesus is the HUMBLE one who is EXALTED over all other names; Jesus is a robber God.
  12. Colossians, Jesus is the Head of the body, the Hope of Glory, the image of the invisible God.
  13. 1 Thessalonians, Jesus is the source of salvation, the soon coming Faithful King, the one who preserves us and presents us as being Holistically Holy, in spirit, soul and body.
  14. 2 Thessalonians, Jesus is the one revealed from heaven who is coming to earth to be glorified and admired, who is the Lord of Peace, the PEACE GIVER.
  15. 1 Timothy, Jesus is the Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise, The savior of the chief of sinners, of all sinners, the Mediator MAN, the King eternal and the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
  16. 2 Timothy, Jesus is the One in whom is the PROMISE of life, because He is the PROVISION Of life, the DEATH KILLER / Savior and the RIGHTEOUS Judge.
  17. Titus, Jesus is the Standard, our Savior & soon coming King in glory, who purifies us from ALL sin by making us CLEAN, NEW and RENEWED.
  18. Philemon, Jesus is not only a friend who sticks closer than a brother, but our brother, the gracious one, who makes us who are runaway slaves into sons of God.
  19. Hebrews, Jesus is destroyer of the devil, the deliverer from death and is BETTER than ALL (spiritual (angels), moses (physical), priests (religious) and law (legal)), He is the author and finisher of our FAITH.
  20. James, Jesus is the SOURCE of our faith, and the husbandman who will return for his harvest.
  21. 1st Peter, Jesus is the Governor Lord, the Master, the Bonding agent of marital relationships, the Head of the Church and the Suffering servant.
  22. 2nd Peter, Jesus is the Ultimate Giver (of Power, Provisions and Promises), the DELIVERER of the godly and DAMNER of the ungodly, the PARDONING and PATIENT Longsuffering Lord and the PUNISHER of the ungodly.
  23. 1st John, Jesus is LIGHT that dispels the darkness from our lives, the LOVE of GOD expressed and personified, and LIFE ETERNAL.
  24. 2nd John, Jesus is Lord, the Son of the Father and He is the doctrine of truth and love by whom we must Walk, lest we fall.
  25. 3rd John, Jesus is HOSPITABLE, He is the HELPER of those in need and the Model for HUMILITY.
  26. Jude, Jesus is the preserver and the reserver, the returning Lord and the one to whom is ascribed all glory, majesty, power, and dominion, both now and for ever more.
  27. Revelation, Jesus Christ is the LAMB OF GOD; The WORTHY Lamb (Revelation 5:5-9), The WRATHFUL Lamb (Revelation 6:16-17), The WARRIOR Lamb that overcomes (Revelation 7:14), The WEDDING Lamb that weds the Church (Revelation 19:9), The King of kings and the Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16) who is returning quickly to make all things new (Revelation 21:1).

Behold, Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

Now that we have come to see a glimpse of Jesus from the New Testament of the God inspired Scripture, let us count all things a loss (as dung) for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ the Lord, and let us be found in him, not out of our own righteousness, but on the righteousness which is of God by faith and let us be made conformable unto his death, so that we may  attain the resurrection, pressing on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:7-14).

1 Peter 1:3-9 (KJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

A godly seed is sought

Reuben Praying

Reuben, our beloved firstborn son turns 6 years old today (01/20/2012) and we are ever so grateful to God the Father for having blessed us with such a wonderful and proper child (Hebrews 11:23). Over the course of these past six years, many times, my wife and I have wished, hoped and prayed that all we desire, is that Reuben grows up as a God fearing child. In other words, our heartfelt desire and hope is that Reuben is a godly child, growing up as Jesus did (Luke 2:52).

Malachi 2:15 states that God is seeking a godly child, and in one sense, this means that we are required to raise godly children, but deeper introspection reveals that it is also a personal reminder. Yes, God desires that every parent raises godly children, but at the same time, he is also seeking for each one of us to be His godly children. He desires and requires us to be godly; in other words, Holy, as He is Holy (1 Peter 1:16).

Point(s) to ponder:
As earthly parents, we seek and desire that our children are godly.
How much more then do you think our Heavenly Father desires this of each one of us.
A godly seed is sought – Are you/I going to be that godly seed that God desires/seeks?

Happy Birthday, Reuben Abishai Paul (RAP). God bless you richly to be godly; this is our desire. This is what your ever-loving mama Sangeetha and your ever-loving dada seek of you.

Malachi 2:15 (KJV)
15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

Luke 2:52 (KJV)
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

1 Peter 1:15-16 (KJV)
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Jesus in the NT :: Revelation

The book of Revelation gives us a glimpse of who Jesus is in the  New Testament (N.T).

Written by John, when he was exiled, in the Island of Patmos, this is the only book in the New Testament (N.T.) that is predominantly prophetic, talking about the events that are to happen in the future, from the time it was written.

Revelation 1:1 establishes that this is the revelation of Jesus Christ. The Greek title of this book is Apokalypsis Ioannou (The Revelation of John) while rightfully it should be Apokalypsis Iesou Christou (The Revelation of Jesus Christ). Revelation means “unveiling” or “disclosure” and this book unveils the Lord Jesus Christ.

In chapter 1 we are informed that this Revelation is of Jesus Christ and in chapter 22 we see Jesus as Christ the Lord. Chapters 2 & 3 are the Letters of the Lord to the Churches and in chapter 4 we see the throne of God on which is sitting the MOST HIGH God. Then we see in chapter 5, the entrance of Jesus Christ in a spectacular fashion as the WORTHY LAMB of God who was slain. Chapter 6 also refers to Jesus as the Lamb, but refers to him as the WRATHFUL LAMB. In chapters 7 & 8, the wrath of the Lamb is poured out on all those who are unsealed by God, as the seals are opened and the sealed (144000) are mentioned. In chapter 9, we hear 7 trumpets as 3 woes follows. In chapter 10, a little book is opened and in chapter 11, two witnesses appear, who are killed and then resurrected. Chapter 12 is about Christmas in heaven as the man child is born and chapter 13 introduces the terrible trio or the evil trinity (dragon/Satan, the beast out of the sea (antichrist) and the beast out of the earth (false prophet). Chapter 15 speaks about God’s judgment as bowls of wrath are poured out and in chapter 16 we see that the battle of Armageddon is about to happen when God’s voice climatically proclaims that it is finished (Revelation 16:16) as the victory was already won on the Cross by Jesus Christ. Chapter 17 portray Jesus now as the WARRIOR LAMB who overcomes the antichrist and the false prophet. In chapter 18, we see that the rebellion is quenched which is signified by the fall of Babylon and in chapter 19 we learn that the antichrist and the false prophet are cast  into the lake of fire. Chapter 19 then portrays Jesus as the WEDDING LAMB (Bridegroom) and the Church as his bride. He has a name which is KING of kings and LORD of lords amongst many other names. Chapter 20 consummates in the bondage of Satan (the dragon) for a 1000 years, after which he is loosed for a while and then cast into the lake of fire where the antichrist and the false prophet are. Chapter 21 is about all things made new as we see a new heaven and a new earth and in chapter 22 we hear Jesus saying, “Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me to give unto each man according to his works”. Chapter 22 ends with the words, Even so, come Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

In Revelation, Jesus Christ is the LAMB OF GOD
– The WORTHY Lamb (Revelation 5:5-9).
– The WRATHFUL Lamb (Revelation 6:16-17).
– The WARRIOR Lamb that overcomes (Revelation 7:14).
– The WEDDING Lamb that weds the Church (Revelation 19:9).
– The King of kings and the Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16) who is returning quickly to make all things new (Revelation 21:1).

Points to ponder:
Are you new? For when you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are made a new creation, as the old passes away. Are you ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as KING of kings and LORD of lords?
Can you say now, Even so, Come Lord, Jesus. Are you ready?

Jesus in the NT :: Jude

The book of Jude gives us a glimpse of who Jesus is in the  New Testament (N.T).

Written by Jude, possibly the half-brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3), the dictum of this single chapter book is Fight! Contend! Do battle!.

From the book of Jude we can see that Jesus is the PRESERVER and the RESERVER. He preserves his believers unto eternal life and (Jude 1:1) and reserves  for judgment, those who reject his Salvation as did Cain for only by the shedding of blood is remission of sin, who rebel against his appointed Servants rejecting his word as did Core (Korah) and who reject his Sanctification as did Balaam who enticed the Israelites that were set apart to intermarry with those who did not believe in the Lord. (Jude 1:6; Jude 1, 11; Jude 1:13).

Jude also informs us that Jesus is the RETURNING LORD as prophesied by Enoch to execute judgment upon all (Jude 1:14) and showcases Jesus to be the One who is able to keep us from falling and present us blameless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, the Only wise God, Our Savior, to whom is ascribe ALL glory, ALL majesty, ALL power, ALL dominion, both now and for ever more. So be it. (Jude 1:24-25).

In Jude, Jesus is the preserver and the reserver, the returning Lord and the one to whom is ascribed all glory, majesty, power, and dominion, both now and for ever more.

Points to ponder:
Are you PRESERVED or are your RESERVED? Do not rebel and reject the Lord, but believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jude 1:1-2 (KJV)
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

Jude 1:6,11, 13 (KJV)
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

Jude 1:14-15 (KJV)
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

Jude 1:24-25 (KJV)
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.