Christian Verbs :: W is for Watching

Jesus told His disciples to watch and pray so that they do not fall into temptation because the flesh is weak, though the spirit is willing (Matthew 26:41). The Apostle Peter writes that we need to be sober and watch unto prayer, because the end of all things is at hand (1 Peter 4:7). Those who do not watch are in for a surprise for Jesus shall come as a thief at an hour that is unknown (Revelation 3:3). Those who watch are not only those who do not fall prey to temptation but they are also blessed (Revelation 16:15). Only those who watch and pray always, may be accounted worthy to escape all the things that shall come to pass, and be able to stand before the Son of man (Luke 21:36).

As Christians, not only are we, to be on watch (guard) so that we do not fall to the schemes of the devil, but we are also to watch (gaze) for the coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:6 (KJV)
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

Christian Verbs :: K is for Kissing

The Bible talks about kissing in several contexts, the most familiar one, of course, being the kiss from Judas on Jesus as Judas betrayed Jesus, so much so, that the phrase “kiss of death” that is used to signify this event is now part of Merriam-Webster’s Top 10 words from the Bible. Then we have the manner in which, one is to greet/salute each other with a holy kiss or kiss of love (Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12,  1 Thessalonians  5:26,  1 Peter 5:14) and the kiss that Isaac sought of Esau his son, that Jacob stole deceiving his father for his blessings (Genesis 27:25-27). The kiss on Jacob was a kiss of deception and the kiss of Judas was a kiss of death. But the Bible also teaches us of another type of kiss, a kiss not of deception or death, but of dedication. The Psalmist expresses that we ought to Kiss the Son lest He be angry, and you perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalm 2:12). Kiss the Son, what does that mean?  This means that we ought to pay homage as servants who are dedicated to a master and show reverence to the Son of God (Jesus Christ). In fact, Jesus himself recognized the importance of the kiss of dedication when he asked Simon the disciple, as to where his kiss from Simon was, while pointing out that the woman who had a heart of devotion, seeking Jesus for forgiveness had not ceased to kiss his feet in dedication. (Luke 7:44-50). We ought to be expressing our dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ as well. God expects a kiss of devotion and dedication, not deception or death. He expects a kiss from the brokenhearted not the betrayer.

Point(s) to ponder:

1. If Jesus was to tell you/me what He told Simon,”Thou gavest me no kiss”, what would your/mine response be? Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, ~ Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Genesis 27:25-27 (KJV)
And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine and he drank.|
And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.
And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:

Psalm 2:12 (KJV)
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Luke 7:38-39; 44-50 (KJV)
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Christian Verbs :: J is for Joining

The Bible tells that if Christ be in us, then the Spirit of God bears witness that we are children of God, and as children heirs, but not just heirs, but joint-heirs with Christ Jesus (Romans 8:10, 16-17). This means that we also jointly inherit what God has  provisioned for Jesus Christ, His Only begotten Son. The operative phrase in this text is “If Christ be in you”. This means that we ought to join with Christ, because He responds by joining in us with His Spirit. Jesus said, I am the Vine and you are branches, abide (join) in me an I in you (John 15:1,4). To abide in Jesus is to be grafted (joined) into the Vine. In horticulture, grafting is the process of fusing dissimilar plants so that the result is one plant. Likewise, when we join we Christ, we need to be fused with Him and we should be One with Him. And when we are One with Him, we are not just heirs, but joint-heirs with Him.

Point(s) to ponder:

  1. Are you joined with Christ i.e., Have you believed in Him and accepted Him as your Savior and Lord?
  2. Are you grafted with Him i.e., Are you fused with Jesus Christ and His Holiness. When the Root is Holy, the entire plant bears good fruit? What is the kind of fruit you/I are bearing?

Romans 8:16-17 (KJV)
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Christian Verbs :: I is for Interceding

Jesus Christ is an intercessor.

Isaiah 53:12 affirms that Jesus interceded for sinners. It reads “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”  Hebrews 7:25 expresses that Jesus is able also to save all who come unto God by him, seeing He lives forever to make intercession for the repentant sinner on his/her road to reconciliation and recovery to God and no one can condemn (Romans 8:34).

Romans 8:27 indicates that Jesus intercedes for the saints. It reads “And he [Jesus] that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

As Christians (Christ-Ones), we ought to be imitators of Jesus Christ and if He intercedes for the sinner and for the saint, we ought to do likewise as well. Paul writes to his co-laborer Timothy, exhorting him to make intercession for all men. (1 Timothy 2:1).Jesus interceded for sinners, and He intercedes for saints and for all who come to God, just as we ought to. I is for interceding, a.k.a., for us to stand in the gap. If God was to offer that position of standing in the gap for Him, would He see you/I faithful in that task?

1 Timothy 2:1 (KJV)
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

Christian Verbs :: H is for Helping

One of the very first statements in which God said, it is NOT good had to do with ‘help’ for man (Genesis 2:18). It was not good for man to be alone, and since we know that man was created in the image of God, we can recognize that it is not good for the creator to be alone (without the fellowship of his creation) as well. This is the very reason that God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to help in the restoration of the relationship that man had severed through his disobedience and rebellion. And what is interesting is that, in order to even belief this truth about Jesus and His power over spiritual bondage, we need to pray a prayer for help, as the father of the son who was afflicted by a dumb spirit expressed, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:17-24). And when God delivers us from spiritual bondage when we believe in His Son, assuring us eternal life (John 3:16), we as Christians are expected to return the unmerited favor, by helping others see the Truth, as well (2 Corinthians 1:10-12).

Points to ponder:

  1. The Apostle Paul called Priscilla, Aquila, and Urbane his helpers in Christ Jesus (Romans 16:3; Romans 16:9). Can you and I be known as helpers in Christ Jesus?
  2. The Prophet Samuel took a stone and called in Ebenezer (meaning Stone of Help) because the LORD had helped his people against their enemies. Can you or I be the Ebenezer for someone i.e., Can you or I be the stepping stone of help for someone to come to know Jesus Christ, the Rock of Help (Deuteronomy 32:4) .

2 Corinthians 1:10-12 (KJV)
Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

Christian Verbs :: G is for Giving

When it comes to the topic of giving, we often hear about giving our tithes, time and talents to God. But what does giving truly mean? As I pondered on “what it meant to give?”, it dawned on me that “Giving” has two significant truths hidden in it. The first is that “giving” implies possession and second “giving is more than an act, it is an expression”.

Giving implies possession. The litmus test that you own/possess something is that you also have the ability to give it away to anyone you choose. And when you do, no one should be able to question you for your act of giving. If you possess something, you should be able to give it away, but if that things possesses you, you cannot. In order for God to give us eternal life (redemption/Salvation), we must first recognize that God is the author and possessor of life. Jesus said, that He came to GIVE life; life abundantly and we must believe in Him to inherit eternal life, because He is not merely the possessor of life, but the personification of life itself. His very words was “I AM the Resurrection and the Life”.

Giving is more than an act, it is an expression. Some have a lot while others not so much. But when Jesus talked about giving, it was not the amount that mattered, but the attitude. The poor widow who gave all that she could out of her lack (not abundance) was deemed to be the one having given the most (Luke 21:1-4). Giving is not an act, it is an expression. An expression of love. God so loved, that He GAVE. If you love, you will express it by giving.

Point(s) to ponder:
1. What is it that you and I possess that we need to give to God? Is there something that possesses us that we cannot give away?
2. Can we express our love to God by giving our selves, our life, our all to Jesus Christ?

Luke 21:1-4 (KJV)
And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

John 11:25-26 (KJV)
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Christian Verbs :: E is for Exalting

The word ‘Exalt’ means ‘to lift up’ or ‘to lift high’. We often seek to reach the zenith with a selfish self-aggrandizement attitude. We strive hard to be on the top, and our corporate/work culture pushes us to pursue a status quo as one above the rest, sometimes at the cost of our Biblical virtues, principles, ethics and morals.

Interestingly, the Bible uses the word ‘exalt’, explicitly in two contexts. One is to exalt the Lord and the other is to not exalt ourselves. In fact, it is only the Lord that is to be exalted because He is Holy (Psalm 99:5,9); because He is our God (Psalm 118:28, Isaiah 25:1); because He does wondrous thing (Isaiah 25:1) and because He is Faithful and True (Isaiah 25:1). It is solely the Lord God that is to be lifted up (exalted) and not ourselves. In fact, it is quite the contrary that we need to be doing when it comes to exalting ourselves. Instead of trying to lift ourselves up, we are to be humbling our selves. The Bible cautions that whosoever will exalt himself  shall be abased (brought down low) and he that humbles himself shall be exalted (Matthew 23:12). A classic example of these very words of Jesus can be seen demonstrated, even before Jesus spoke of it, during the time of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar built a statue ninety feet high and nine feet wide, exalting himself above and was abased to the status of a beast of the field, until he repented and acknowledge that it the Lord of heaven who has the power to raise up or to put down. (Daniel 4).

We are to exalt the Lord God, Jesus Christ alone.  God the Father has exalted Jesus the Son, and given Him a name which is above every other name (Philippians 2:9). So the question that remains is if we are doing the same in exalting (lifting up) Jesus. O magnify the Lord (Jesus) with me, and let us exalt (lift up) His Name together. (Psalm 34:3)

Matthew 23:12 (KJV)
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Psalm 34:4 (KJV)
3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

Christian Verbs :: C is for Crying

In the Bible, the word ‘crying’ is used in many contexts, ranging from the expression of a hurting emotion; to earnestly beseeching; to proclaiming and so on, but let us focus on three specific instances apropos what the Bible teaches us about ‘crying’. The first one is about two blind men who followed Jesus, crying for Jesus to have mercy on them (Matthew 9:27). The second is about a prophet, the greatest of all who is said to be the voice crying out in the wilderness to prepare the way of The Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), Jesus Christ, challenging  all to repentance (Mark 1:3). The third is the account of a time frame where there shall be perpetual crying (Matthew 22:13) or no more crying (Revelation 21:4).

From the blind men, we learn a few important lessons. First is that the blind men followed Jesus.  Ever wondered how they would have done that? See blind men follow only those who can lead them safely. Have you ever seen a blind man following another blind man? Secondly, the blind men were crying, not necessarily for Jesus to restore their physical sight but for Jesus’ mercy, which on the onset may even seem absurd. They were asking for the right thing from God, which was for spiritual restoration (for his mercy) and we learn from the account that they were doubly restored, spiritually and physically. There are many with perfect physical eyesight that are blind today; for the god of this world has blinded the minds of many lest the glorious light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ shine on them (2 Corinthians 4:4). They are crying out to be restored; they are crying out for mercy. Those who are lost (unbelievers) are crying.

From John the Baptist, the voice in the wilderness, we learn that those who have believed and seen the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, the only one who can lead us safely to God, must also cry. The cry of the saved (believers) should be a cry, that beckons to prepare the way of the Lord, calling for repentance and showcasing the glorious light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on to those who are crying for His mercy. If you are a believer, what is your cry?

We have learned from the scripture that sinners cry, and that the saints are to cry as well. We also learn that there will come a time when there will either be perpetual crying or no more crying for some.  Those who do not believe in Jesus (who are not clothed with righteous robes that is imputed when they believe in Jesus) will be cast out from the presence of God, where there will be crying (weeping) and gnashing of teeth, and eternal torment (Matthew 22:13). Those who believe that Jesus is the Only begotten Son of God, who took our punishment upon himself and became the sacrifice acceptable to God, dying on the Cross and who rose conquering the grave and death, can expectantly yearn for the time when God will wipe away all tears from their eyes  and there shall be no more death (only life), neither sorrow (only joy), nor crying (only laughter), neither shall there be any pain (only pleasure). The eternal future glory far supersedes any ephemeral present suffering.

Point(s) to ponder:

  1. If you have never believed in Jesus, this is the time for your to cry out for His mercy to restore you to God! Tarry not!
  2. If you have believed in Jesus, are we hearing the cries of those who are crying for a Savior to have mercy on them and are we crying out, declaring the glorious light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? What is our cry, today?
  3. There is a time to weep and a time to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:4). Those who reject Jesus will eternally weep (with gnashing of teeth) and those who accept him may cry now but will eternally be filled with life, joy, laughter and pleasure in His presence. Choose ye this day, if you want to cry or laugh in the time to come!

Matthew 9:27 (KJV)
27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us.

Mark 1:3 (KJV)
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Matthew 22:11-13 (KJV)
And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Revelation 21:4 (KJV)
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.