Our Hearts Ye Mend


At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!

Mend us Lord to love you and to love all men

and gather us again as your brood, our mother hen,
delivering us from the evil one, in your sheep’s pen
as we hear your voice and follow you, keeping not just one command but all ten

To our firstborn, you affirmed not once but twice
that you are indeed Jehovah-Rophe, who paid the price,
restoring us all back to spiritual health, to the devil’s surprise,
and that O LORD is the greatest of all wealth, we solely apprise.

To our secondborn, your word was given
that you are his everlasting light, as darkness was driven
when you came into this world, which for salvation was striven
and found that only by your blood, can all of creation be forgiven

To my beloved, your word came
assuring that “Emmanuel” indeed is your Name.
“To fear not or be dismayed”, in life’s game
for you are her strengthener and helper, our God – the same.

You promised me that you will satisfy my needs and be my guide
and I pray that, you in me and I in you, always abide,
lest in the beggarly worldly things I pride and backslide,
O LORD God, over our lives, you solely and sovereignly preside.

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!

From the Author’s/Poet’s Desk:
As we arrived at the beginning of a new year, thinking about the year gone past and looking forward to the year ahead, this poem is an expressions of our hearts, that in the coming year, my family (Sangeetha, Reuben, Ittai and me), focus solely on the Lord God who can mend our hearts to Love him and love all. During the watchnight service on December 31st, at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India (ACFI), we picked promise cards for each one in the family. The poem is written by compiling the verses from our promise cards, as a personal reminder to us, but we pray that you personalize this for yourself by replaced the pronouns and words like “our” with “me” or “my” and any personal pronoun with your name or “I”.

The promise  cards picked for 2016.
For Reuben (our firstborn): 17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. (Jeremiah 30:17)
For Ittai (our secondborn): 20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. (Isaiah 60:20)
For Sangeetha (my beloved): 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)
For Mano: 11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58:11)

Promise Cards 2016

A line-by-line exegesis of the poem [in square brackets] is given below:

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
[January 01, 2016]
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
[Psalm 17:6, Psalm 86:10]
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend

[Luke 22:42]
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!
[Psalm 19:12; Ezekiel 11:19]

Mend us Lord to love you and to love all men
[Matthew 22:37-39]
and gather us again as your brood, our mother hen,
[Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34]
delivering us from the evil one, in your sheep’s pen

[Matthew 6:13;John 10:11-18]
as we hear your voice and follow you, keeping not just one command but all ten
[John 10:27; John 14:15]

To our firstborn, you affirmed not once but twice
[Promise verse for Reuben – Jeremiah 30:17]
that you are indeed Jehovah-Rophe, who paid the price,
[Jeremiah 30:17; John 19:30]

restoring us all back to spiritual health, to the devil’s surprise,
[Psalm 23:3; Hebrews 2:14-15]

and that O LORD is the greatest of all wealth, we solely apprise.
[Psalm 71:15-16]

To our secondborn, your word was given
[Promise verse for Ittai – Isaiah 60:20]
that you are his everlasting light, as darkness was driven
[Isaiah 60:20; 2 Corinthians 4:6]
when you came into this world, which for salvation was striven
[Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16; Romans 8:22]
and found that only by your blood, can all of creation be forgiven
[Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:22]

To my beloved, your word came
[Promise verse for Sangeetha – Isaiah 41:10]
assuring that “Emmanuel” indeed is your Name.
[Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23]
“To fear not or be dismayed”, in life’s game
[Isaiah 41:10; Luke 1:30]

for you are her strengthener and helper, our God – the same.
[Isaiah 41:10; Hebrews 13:8]

You promised me that you will satisfy my needs and be my guide
[Promise verse for Mano – Isaiah 58:11]
and I pray that, you in me and I in you, always abide,
[John 15:2-5 {the Church’s theme verse for 2015}]
lest in the beggarly worldly things I pride and backslide,
[Galatians 4:9; Galatians 6:14]
O LORD God, over our lives, you solely and sovereignly preside.
[Psalm 47:8; Colossians 3:15]

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
[January 01, 2016]
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
[Psalm 17:6, Psalm 86:10]
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend

[Luke 22:42]
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!
[Psalm 19:12; Ezekiel 11:19]

Subtil serpent; Subtle as serpents


The first part of Genesis chapter 3 verse 1 states that the serpent was more subtil (clever/crafty/wise) than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. Who is this serpent? In order to understand, who the ‘serpent’ here refers to, we ought to go from the first book of the Bible to the last book of the Bible. Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 20:2 presents the Devil (Satan) as the old (ancient) serpent which deceives the whole world. Jesus calls the Devil, a murderer and a liar, from the beginning (genesis) (John 8:44). So the [old] serpent here refers to the Devil.

So now, with the understanding of who the ‘serpent’ refers to, we can move on to recognize that the Devil is a created being (that the Lord God had made). He is just another creature, subject to the power and authority of God the Creator, which he attempted to usurp.

The verse reads, the serpent (Devil) was subtil than any other beast of field – so how wise was the Devil? To measure the wisdom of the Devil, we ought to search the Scripture to find one who is declared wise and use that person as an yardstick. The Bible records in the book of Daniel, that in all matters of wisdom and understanding, Daniel and his friends were found to be ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers in the king’s realm (Daniel 1:17-21) and the Devil (referred to as the King of Tyre in the book of Ezekiel) is said to be even more wiser than Daniel (Ezekiel 28:3). So it is no surprise that the Devil is subtil and shrewd, deceiver of the world.

Finally, it is important to recognize that ‘serpents’ themselves are not evil for God created them as a beast and declared that it was good. Furthermore, the serpent is not figuratively the Devil nor is the Devil solely manifested in the form of a serpent. While this is not impossible for the Devil can transform himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), other parts of the Scripture reveal that the Devil (Satan) of his fallen angels (devils) can possess animals and humans and so it is plausible that one of the creatures (a serpent in the garden) was an agent of (possessed by) the Devil, for just as Satan entered Judas (Luke 22:3; John 13:27) and the legion of devils entered the pigs (Luke 8:33), animals and humans could be possessed. Though the details of the manifestation of the Devil as a serpent is inconsequential, what is of importance is for us to be on guard, lest we are deceived, by the subtil serpent and not let him enter (possess) us.

Points to ponder:
Let us not be deceived by the subtil serpent but let us be wise – wise as serpents (Matthew 10:16). How can we be wise? The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10). To fear God (be wise) and keep his commandments is the conclusion of the matter – the whole duty of all mankind (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Are you wise? Are I wise?

Genesis 3:1-2 (KJV)
1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

Revelation 12:9 (KJV)
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 20:2 (KJV)
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Do you love me?


Jesus asked his disciple Peter, not once, but thrice – “Do you love me?” (John 21:15,16,17). Peter responded by saying “You know Lord. You know all things.”

If God was to ask you and me today, “Do you love me?”, what would our response be? Renowned pastor, preacher, and author, A. W. Tozer, once said “The final test of love is obedience.” which goes hand in hand with the teachings of Jesus, for Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey (keep) my commandments.” (John 14:15) The whole duty of man is to fear God and keep (obey) his commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13), no matter whatever is the cost of obeying them.

Points to ponder:
When Abraham obeyed God and offered the sacrifice of his son who he loved, as God wanted, God affirmed that Abraham truly loved (feared) him for just as God so loved that world that he gave his Son, Jesus Christ, Abraham so loved God, that he gave his only son.  God who knows all things, is asking you and me, “Do you love me?” In other words, he is asking whether we are keeping (obeying) his commandments. What is our response? Can it be said of us, “<Put your name here> so loves God that he/she obeys all that God commands, including the willingness to give up what he/she loves most.” Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me? — asks God.

John 21:15-17 (KJV)
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

John 14:15 (KJV)
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Self Deception Series :: Worldly Wise 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 Corinthians 3:18-19 states “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”
Let us not deceive ourselves.
Instead of being wise in our own eyes, let us be spiritually wise and that means fear the Lord and depart from evil (Proverbs 3:7). The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). To fear God is not only the beginning of wisdom, but it is also the whole duty of man and that is the conclusion of the whole matter (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Let us not be wise in our own eyes and deceive ourselves.

1 Corinthians 3:18-23 (KJV)
18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your’s;
22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your’s;
23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. 

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (KJV)
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Love and Fear – Relationship


1 John 5:3 states “Love God and keep His commandments”
Ecclesiastes 12:13 states “Fear God and keep His commandments”

The thing common in both these statements is “keeping God’s commandments”.
When we Love God, we will also Fear Him, not out of a sense of dread, but out of a sense of devotion and in doing so, we will doing what He has commanded us to do, which in other words mean, we will keep His commandments.

We must Love God and Fear God and keep His commandments.

Points to ponder:

  1. Do you/I Love God?
  2. Do you/I Fear God?
  3. Do you/I keep God’s commandments?

Jesus in the OT :: Ecclesiastes


The book of Ecclesiastes gives us a glimpse of who Jesus is in the Old Testament (O.T).

The title Ecclesiastes, means Speaker before the ekklesia (assembly). God is the speaker before the assembly, this assembly (His Church and body of believers) and so pay attention to what He has to say.

Any thing apart from God is futile (vain, vain, vain) is the key theme that pretty much rings throughout the entire book, until we come to the penultimate words in the very last chapter, as recorded in Ecclesiastes 12:13 that talks about man’s all (the chief end of man) which is to Fear God and Keep His commandments.

The next verse (Ecclesiastes 12:14) gives us the reason as to why we ought to Fear God and Keep His commandments. The reason is because, God shall bring every work under judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or evil.

Hebrews 9:27 tells us that it is appointed unto men once to die and then enter into judgment.

Whether good or evil, not just the evil; the faithful with the unfaithful; the faithless with those who believe in Jesus, all will be judged for our works, no exceptions whatsoever and each of us will have to give an account of our lives to be judged by the RIGHTEOUS judge (the same Judge we saw in the book of Judges).

Carefully treading on this topic, it is important for us to recognize that we are judged on our works to receive God’s reward, not his Salvation, because it is not by our works that we can be saved, but by the grace of God (in believing in Jesus Christ) alone.

With Jesus Christ as the loving Savior – there is no other way
With Jesus Christ as the righteous Judge and King – there is no escape

We are not saved by our works, but we are saved FOR good works (good works that people may see those works and glorify God the Father, who is in Heaven) as expressed by Jesus himself in Matthew 5:16

Those who have put their trust in Jesus will not be condemned, but let us not fool ourselves into thinking that we now have a license to live the way we want to and not be held accountable. James warns us of this that we should not be merely hearers of the word, but doers lest we deceive ourselves (James 1:22)

Now back to the chief end of man which is to Fear God and keep His commandments.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Even Jesus feared and glorified God (John 17) giving him the reverence and awe and kept ALL the commandments of God the Father (John 15:10). So we are expected to do the same.

Infact the greatest commandment as expressed by Jesus is to Love the Lord;

How is this demonstrated?
Jesus said, People will know you are mine (aka. we belong to Jesus), if you obey Him (His commandments), for in doing so you will demonstrate your love for God. (John 15:10)
Loving God in other words is Keeping His commandments.

So in essence, to Fear God and Keep His commandments is to become wise and love God.

In Ecclesiastes, Jesus is speaker before the assembly requiring us to become wise and love God, i.e., to Fear God and Keep His commandments.