The Bible is alive


When our beloved son, Reuben was about two years old, one of the first portions of the scripture that he had committed to memory, besides the Lord’s prayer and the Fruit of the Spirit was the Armor of God from Ephesians 6. But we taught him and he learned to end it always by saying … and the sword of the Spirit, is the word of God, “The Bible”. Little did I realize then that the addition of the words, ‘the Bible’ not only affirms that the Bible is the sword of the Spirit, but that it is the ‘Only’ word of God.

The Bible tells us that All scripture (The Bible) is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) and we see in the creation of man, God breathed into man’s nostrils, the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). We also read that within the ark  of Noah was the breath of life (Genesis 7:15). So if the Bible is God’s breath and the breath of God is the breath of life, the Bible is the breath of life. This establishes the fact that the Bible is alive (life). Jesus affirms this when He said that the words He spoke are life (John 6:63) and rightfully so Peter asks him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have THE WORDS of eternal life” (John 6:68).

Only in the Lord Jesus Christ, the ark of eternal life, is the breath of life (His words of eternal life). The question really is “does the words of Christ Jesus abide in us?” for without it, there is no life. Let our prayer be that we abide in Christ (the source of life), and let His words (life-giving) abide in us! (John 15:7)

John 6:63,68 (KJV)
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

Hebrews 4:!2 (NKJV)
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Be Broken or Be Crushed by Jesus


Luke 20: 17-18, records some profound and contrasting words by Jesus in which He proclaims that the stone (referring to Himself, the ROCK) which the builders (people) have rejected is become the cornerstone (foundation of God) and whosoever falls upon the stone (Jesus) shall be broken; but on whomsoever the stone (Jesus) shall fall, the stone will grind him to powder (will be crushed).

While the exposition to this text may seem at first as a little difficult to understand, the hidden treasure in these words of Jesus is quite simple. It is as plain as Jesus expressed it.

Whoever falls on (commits their life to) Jesus shall be broken (of their self, the bondage of sin and the seduction of the world). They ironically will be the ones who will be saved.
On the contrary, on whomsoever Jesus (the ROCK) shall fall (as a means of God’s righteous judgment), they will be totally ground to powder (face the full wrath of God’s judgment for not having fallen on (believed in) Jesus).

What does it mean to Fall on Jesus?
It means it is to acknowledge the Lordship of the Sovereign God, and believe that Jesus is the son of God, the savior of the world and confess, so that we are broken from our self, the bondage of sin and the seduction of this world, and totally TRUST in Him. But then again, I think it still falls short of the eloquence and simplicity in which our beloved and wonderful son, Reuben put it – You be the judge of that.

What does it mean to fall on Jesus?
To fall on Jesus means “there is nothing to be worried about, because he will catch you” – Reuben Abishai Paul (Age 3)

Luke 20:17-28 (KJV)
17
And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?
18
Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

A call for warriors, not just workers


It is the eight anniversary of the infamous and heinous attacks by kamikaze terrorist groups commonly referred to as the September 11 attacks or the 911 attacks. Although superficially it may seem as if the attacks were orchestrated against the American public, when America had to surrender its innocence of the nation’s invincibility, on deeper thought, it was an attack against all those whom the terrorists deemed as ‘infidels’; those who did not belong to their faith. It came with the slaughter of many innocents and eight years later, we remember the fallen.

But in our remembrance, let us NOT just remember those fallen on the day of the 911 attacks, but let us also remember those who are under the bondage on THE fallen (Satan and his angels).

In the wake of the 911 attacks, the then President of the United States, George W. Bush Jr., said the following words in his Radio address to the nation – “This will be a different kind of conflict against a different kind of enemy. This is a conflict without battlefields or beachheads, a conflict with opponents who believe they are invisible”. While President Bush eluded this reference to the physicality of the war at that time, it is nonetheless accurate of a war that began centuries ago, when God cursed the fallen one (Satan) in the garden of Eden who had tricked God’s priceless of creation to fall from their relationship with God (Genesis 3:15).

We are in a conflict (at WAR) in spiritual realms with an enemy that is invisible to the human natural eye. But this INVISIBLE enemy is NOT INVINCIBLE as God has equipped us with an armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) and endowed us with weapons of warfare(2 Corinthians 10:4).

We are all called to work for God and sadly many of us stop at being just workers for God. We are not to be mere workers but warriors as well, engaged full time in spiritual battle, snatching those under the clutches of the fallen one so that they no longer are fallen. We are asked to beat our plowshares (workman’s items) into swords (warrior item) and our pruninghooks (fisherman’s item) into spears (warrior item) and let those who are weak proclaim that they are strong (Joel 3:10). Those who were commissioned to work and rebuild the Temple of God under the leadership of Nehemiah, held in one hand the materials for the building and in the other hand a weapon (Nehemiah 4:17). We are called not to be just workers but warriors as well.

Equipping ourselves with the armor of God, let us affirm to engage in spiritual battle this day, and when we win this day, the 11th of September will no longer be known as an American memorial day, but as the day all followers of Christ Jesus declared in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night (darkness)! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on (abundantly)! We’re going to survive (death has no power over us)! Today we celebrate our Independence Day (by no longer staying fallen or under the bondage of the fallen one)!”

Points to ponder:
Are we engaged for spiritual warfare? Are we equipped with the Armor of God? Let not just work, but fight as well.

Joel 3:10 (KJV)
10
Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.

2 Corinthians 10:4 (KJV)
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

For your viewing pleasure, our 3 year old son telling us the Armor of God. Note how he ends it with, “the word of God, the Bible” 🙂

Jesus is My Hero


From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible talks about many heroes, from the renowned mighty giants in the earth (Genesis 6:4) to the heroic two witnesses yet to appear in the end times (Revelation 11), heroes and heroines who subdued kingdoms, stopped the mouth of lions, quenched the violence of fire, waxed valiant in fight, brought down giants so much so that Nehemiah 3:16 refers to a House of Heroes (the mighty). Though the Bible talks about many heroes, it is really a record on ONE Hero, THE HERO, whose name is Jesus, by whom all these others turned out to be heroes.

I could go on writing as to why Jesus is The Hero, but I am afraid, it would fall short of its impact, when compared to what our darling and beloved three year old  toddler son, Reuben Abishai Paul (RAP) has to say/rap. 🙂 You be the judge of that … Enjoy.

In the movie, Taking Chance, it is said of the main character that He died a Hero, but more importantly He lived a Hero“. Of Jesus, it can be said “in death that He overcame and in Life that He freely gives to all who believe, He was, is and will be always a Hero“. When the battle is over and the dust settles, there is only Victor standing and that is Jesus Christ.

Jesus is simply The BEST. He is my Hero and the Hero of my son and wife, Sangeetha Johnson. The question that remains is, Is He your Hero as well?

Strong Foundation and Quality Materials


Ask any architect and they will tell you that in order for a super-structure to stand the tests of natural weather elements that onslaught the building, it is extremely important that the foundation on which the building stands is well laid, solid and strong. They will also tell you that in spite of the fact that there exists a strong foundation, buildings will succumb to the forces of the natural weather elements if the materials used to build them are not weatherproofed or up to quality standards.

In order for our lives to be able to withstand the tests of the world and its god, our lives must be laid on a solid and strong foundation as well. The good news is that there is a solid and strong foundation, in fact this is the only solid and strong foundation. The greater news is that this foundation is already laid, laid not by man, but by God and this foundation is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11). With the foundation laid, the question then is, whether the materials that we use to build our lives on, are up to the quality standards of God?

Are our lives of quality, according to the Spirit of God bearing the fruit of the Spirit? The fruit of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness and Temperance) will stand the test of fire (the Holy Spirit) on the day when we need to give an account for all our actions, thoughts and deeds, because against such there is NO law. (Galatians 5:22-23).

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (KJV)
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

On a lighter side note, check out the video below on how a 2 year old (our loved son – Reuben) learns about the Fruit of the Spirit. Enjoy

 

Habit #4 – Be of one accord


Covey’s Habit #4 – Think Win/Win
Christian Habit #4 – Be of one accord

National Geographic records “Caught on Safari: Battle at Kruger” to be the most amazing nature video ever seen, and I have to agree. When I first saw this video which is about an amazing array of animals fighting for survival in a South African waterhole,  I was struck with bewilderment and almost speechless. I asked my wife, Sangeetha to watch it with me, and we went through a roller coaster of emotions that can only be experienced, not explained. I’d hate to spoil the surprise for you, but for the purposes of this article, I will succinctly relay that the video goes on as follows – water buffaloes are taking a stroll, some lazing lions spot an opportunity, the lions give chase, the lions get a hold of a calf, the calf falls into the nearby waterhole with the lions hanging on, a crocodile tries to seize an opportunity, the lions emerge victorious, but wait, the water buffaloes return, now the battle ensues between the lions and the buffaloes and then … you got to see the video. It is 8 minutes long, but well worth every second.

It amazed me to see how the water buffaloes united together and would not let their young behind. The unity in them was unbelievable to say the least and with such an unity, they could take down a natural foe that usually takes them down when they are singled out. You must have heard of the saying, “United we stand, Divided we fall”. This is exactly how it is in our Christian lives as well. When we are alone, we tend to fall prey to the devil (a roaring lion), or sink to the world’s attractions and vices (like the crocodile that tries to drown its prey). But when we are united together as one, in one accord, with God and his people, there is nothing that can really stop us and the impossible becomes a norm, rather than an exception. The POWER OF UNITY is Unstoppable. Notice what God testifies about the power of Unity in Genesis 11 which records the story of the Tower of Babel. God says that because man is united in one language, one mind (one accord), there is nothing that can restrain man and anything imagined by man can be accomplished. What a powerful statement that is about unity.

Apologist Ravi Zacharias once said – When cupidity (selfishness) and self-aggrandizement is the motive, unity can be absolutely devastating. Hell does not know the fury compared to what a group of proud men and women, united in evil can finally accomplish and after all, hell then shows what really is the outworking of people trying to build a name for themselves, united in one communication.

If I may use his statement, but turn that over 180 degrees, it would state that
When selflessness and humility is the motive, unity can be absolutely reassuring. Heaven does not know the serenity compared to what a group of humble men and women, united in good can finally accomplish and after all, Heaven then shows what really is the outworking of people trying to build a name for God, united in one communication.

Point(s) to ponder:

To be a highly effective Christian, we need to be one accord (like the water buffaloes), united in mind and spirit, standing together, hand in hand with one another, and no power (lions or crocodiles) in heaven or earth, can stop us from being the Ambassadors for Jesus Christ that God wants us to be. Being united with God and his people in one accord will always result in a win/win outcome.

Acts 1:14 (KJV)
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, …