After God’s kind


Ittai A. PaulOur second born much loved Son, Ittai A. Paul, turned one today (March 20, 2013) and as we ponder on God’s goodness and faithfulness to us, my beloved wife Sangeetha and I, are ever so grateful to God for having loaned us two precious boys to cherish while we pilgrim on earth.

The Bible records that on the fifth and sixth day, God created the animals that live in the water, the birds that fly in the air, living creatures that live on the earth, every creeping thing, every cattle, and every beast of the earth, each after their own kind (Genesis 1:21, Genesis 1:25). Then on the sixth day, the Triune God in one decided to make man in his image, after the likeness of God the Father, his Holy Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit of God. (Genesis 1:26). So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

In other words, while every other creature that has life was created after their own kind, only us (man) is not made after our own kind, but created after God’s kind. When man took his first breath,  he became a living soul (Genesis 2:7) to live according to the Spirit of God (and not according to the flesh) for God is Spirit (John 4:24). The world glorifies celebrities with physical beauty and charming bodies, and seldom are most celebrities who do not know Jesus Christ celebrated for their soul (living soul).

Points to ponder:
Are you living by the flesh or by God’s Spirit? What are you and I celebrated for?

Our precious second son Ittai, our firstborn Reuben, You and I are all fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God (Psalm 139:4). We are made after God’s own kind and are wonderful – and that gives us every reason to praise God.

Genesis 1:20-27 (KJV)
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Psalm 139:14 (KJV)
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Crave and Cry and Burp


As Reuben, our six year old son and I tended to the needs of my beloved wife, Sangeetha, and our two day old son, Ittai Aidan Paul, in the hospital, post delivery, I was observing how Ittai would cry without ceasing with a craving for milk whenever he was hungry and once he was fed, he would be uncomfortable until he was burped. Pondering deeper into such a simple yet natural phenomenon, revealed some deep spiritual insights that we can apply to our Christian walk as well.

Like a baby, we must crave with an unceasing desire for the word of God and not be satisfied till we have had our full until we need to feed on God’s word again (1 Peter 2:2). Jesus himself said, man does not live by bread alone but by every word (not just some words) that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). We must be hungry for the word of God always.  Secondly, when the word of God has been taken into our lives, the unclean things of the world that are trapped in our hearts need to be burped out (James 4:8), for out of the heart comes the wellspring/issues of life (Proverbs 4:23) and Jesus told us that the greatest commandment is for us to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind (Luke 10:27).

Points to ponder:
We must not be satisfied until filled with the word of God, craving and crying for it unceasingly.
We must burp out of th things of the world that conflict with God’s ordinances found in his word.

1 Peter 2:2 (KJV)
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

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

Proverbs 4:23 (KJV)
23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Gasp for the Breath of Life


As I sat in the operating room awaiting the birth of our second son, Ittai Aidan Paul, the similarilities of physical and spiritual birth dawned on me.

When a child is born in the physical sense, the baby gasps to take in the first breath of life. We are indeed joyous to hear the cry of the baby that results from the intake of the first breath, as the baby is assured into a new world and in a practical sense a new life.

This is not any different than how it ought to be when it comes to our spiritual birth; when one is born again by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior of their soul. When one is born again, in Christ, they are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We must gasp for the breath of life that is found solely in the Holy Spirit of God (John 20:22) and such allegiance could cause us to suffer and cry for his name, but failure to take in that breath of life, who quickens our Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45), has far greater consequences, than mere tears, in this life and the one to come.

Points to ponder:
Have you been breathed upon with the breath of life? Have you received the Holy Spirit of God who comes when you believe in the name of Jesus? (John 20:22; Ephesians 1:13)

John 20:21-22 (KJV)
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

Ephesians 1:12-13 (KJV)
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Cut the umbilical cord


As I sat in the operating room awaiting the birth of our second son, Ittai Aidan Paul, the similarilities of physical and spiritual birth dawned on me.

When a child is born in the physical sense, the umbilical cord that was the means of sustenance for the baby while the baby is in the womb needs to be cut once the baby is born.

This is not any different than how it ought to be when it comes to our spiritual birth; when one is born again by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior of their soul. When one is born again, in Christ, they are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old means of sustenance that is provided by the world needs to be cut and severed completely. Jesus himself said, that in order to be his disciples, we must forsake (cut) all that we have, take up the cross and follow him (Luke 14:33; Matthew 16:24).

Points to ponder:
Imagine this that as an adult, you still had your umbilical cord attached to your mother. That would be awkward and weird, isn’t it. Why is it then not weird to be tied to the world when we are born again in Christ? Have you/I cut the umbilical cord with the world and all the things that conflict with God? (Titus 2:12)

Titus 2:11-15 (KJV)
11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

In life or in death, holding the Fire


It is the first day of Spring in the year of the Lord 2012 and as Spring assures in life, so has the Lord assured in my family’s life, the gift of another life that we have named Ittai Aidan Paul.

The name Ittai comes from the Biblical character, Ittai the Gittite, who swore loyalty to be alongside king David, demonstrating faith and faithfulness, in life or in death, even though he was a Philistine from the land of Gath. Goliath the Gittite was a giant by physical stature, while Ittai the Gittite was a giant in spiritual stature. In Hebrew, Ittai means “the Lord is with me”.
The name Aidan was chosen after the Irish missionary, Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, who is purportedly the Apostle of the English. Aidan is the Anglicised form of the original Old Irish Aodhán which in Gaelic means ‘Fire’ and he is attributed to being the monk holding a flaming torch. A Christian missionary to the English, Aidan is credited for restoring Christianity to Northumbria (which is now NE England and SE Scotland) in the 7th Century. The Venerable Bede, the scholar and historian as well as another 7th century Northumbrian monk, wrote of Aidan: “He neither sought nor loved anything of this world, but delighted in distributing immediately to the poor whatever was given him by kings or rich men. (Legend has it that he gave away the horse which was gifted to him by King Oswald to a passing beggar, because he felt that it would prevent him from talking to the ordinary people.) He traversed both town and country on foot, never on horseback, unless compelled by some urgent necessity. Wherever on his way he saw any, either rich or poor, he invited them, if pagans, to embrace the mystery of the faith; or if they were believers, he sought to strengthen them in their faith and stir them up by words and actions to alms and good works.”

Now as Sangeetha, Reuben and I celebrate the birth our second son, Ittai Aidan Paul, our prayer is that He grows up to be loyal to Jesus Christ, his giver, in life or in death, always holding the Fire of the Holy Spirit high, proving to the world that “The LORD” indeed is with him, and that his acts of good works would be seen by those around him and they may glorify God the Father, who is in heaven.

2 Samuel 15:19-21 (KJV)
19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile.
20 Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.
21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.

Reference: for Aidan: The Independent; April 23, 2008