Where is the Love?

Singing against a backdrop of glow-in-the-dark words that spelled the word “LOVE”, singer Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas adapted and sang the song “Where is the Love?” during the 2011 Super Bowl XLV halftime, as an appeal to Barack Obama, the present President of the United States of America. Interestingly, the question, “Where is the Love?” should really be “Who is THE LOVE?”. I wonder as to how many can answer this question – Who is the Love?

1 John 4:7-8 states, “Beloved, let us love on another, for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God, He that loveth not, knowteth not God, for God is Love”. The Love of Jesus Christ is also the greatest for greater love has no man, than one, who lays down his life for his friends (John 15:13) and while we were still sinners, Christ Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ is love personified.

Where is the Love? – In Christ Jesus
Who is the Love? Jesus Christ

Romans 5:8 (KJV)
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

John 15:12-14 (KJV)
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Showing – Knowing God

It is nine years since Sangeetha and I have been married
and as I pondered on times past,
a roller coaster deluged my mind of emotions varied
and memories that eternally last.

I realized how she has always been a good friend,
a sacrificial, caring and loving wife
and an excellent mother with whom I intend
to spend my remaining life.

Now as we go from this year to next,
I pray that we both together
can vow as per the Holy text
To always love one another

And that we may both grow
loving one another; for in doing so
we demonstrate (show) that we know
Jesus Christ, from whom rivers of living water flow.

For Jesus is Love personified
and the only God bonafide
And everyone that loves is born of God from above
and knows God for God is love.

1 John 4:7-8 (KJV)
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Guides of God

On our visit to the Taj Mahal the November of 2009, we were approached by many at the entrance who kept asking us if we wanted to hire them as guides. The Taj Mahal is a testament of a man’s love for his bride. We did not feel the need to, but observed that there were others who had hired these guides. The guides functioned in explaining the history and details of the beautiful Taj Mahal and those who used these guides got a deeper and more personal understanding of the monument.

The Bible also talks about guides and in one particular instance has a person asking as to how he can understand the Scripture (what he read) unless some man guided him. This is recorded in the encounter of Philip with the Ethiopian Treasurer. As the Ethiopian man of authority was returning from Jerusalem, where he had come to worship, sat in his chariot, reading the Scripture prophesied by prophet Isaiah, Philip led by the Spirit of God ran toward him and on hearing the Ethiopian, asked him, as to whether the man understood what he was reading. The Ethiopian’s response was not only straightforward, but profound as well. He merely questioned “How can I, except some man should guide me?” (Acts 8:31). Philip subsequently preached to the man that led to his salvation as he believed in Jesus Christ, the Agnus Dei (lamb of God who took away the sins of the world) and was baptized.

We ought to be guides of God as well. We ought to be guides of God for his people. The world around is asking us, how can I understand what the Scripture says about God? Except you and I function as a guide how can they  understand?

Just as the guides at the Taj Mahal functioned to make the experience of those who hired them personal and testified on the extent of a man’s monumental love for his bride, we must function as guides of a God who so greatly loved His bride (the world that believes in Him) that His monumental Love stands today in the symbol of the Cross on which the very personification of God’s great Love, His Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, willingly demonstrated His love for us by being judged by God, in our stead.

Acts 8:26-35 (KJV)
26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

I wonder why

Lord, with the rising of the sun, a new day does dawn
and as I reminisce of the days gone by, I wonder why
I, a mortal sinner am beloved by a God who is Love personified!

What You have in store for me,
I pray that I will see
and this is what I pray,
that in all things I trust and obey.
May my heart yearn after your own
and through me, your GOSPEL sown.

May I always seek to conform to your image
and not be held the world’s hostage.
To die to sin and self is my plea
and exercise my soul each day on my knees.
Each moment I pray, to me you speak
so that O King, of yours, a faithful servant, I’ll be.
To be pure and prepared I earnestly seek,
Looking unto Jesus who can make me complete.

Should you exalt me, Lord,
let yours be all the glory.
Should you humble me, Lord,
may my life be still a story
that brings honor to Your Name
whether it is pleasure or pain, famine or fame.

Should it be Lord, that by Your plan
my breath should fail and my life pass,
let those who succeed me, remember me
merely as a sinner redeemed by the Cross,
for my fruits and not my gifts,
for each soul that to Your Kingdom I lift,
not for the things I have done in this world,
but for those in the one to come.

Lord, with the rising of the sun, a new day does dawn
and as I reminisce of the days gone by, I wonder why
I, a mortal sinner am beloved by a God who is Love personified!

What is the Maundy in Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is the immediate Thursday that precedes Good Friday (that commemorates Jesus’ crucifixion) and Easter (that commemorates Jesus’ victory over sin and death by his resurrection from the dead).

As I researched the origin of the word, “Maundy”, I was surprised to learn that it is a derivative from the word mandé that was used in the medieval times of England and archaic France, with roots to the Latin word mandatum. Mandatum is the first word in the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” which is recorded in John 13:34 that states “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you“. This was said by Jesus as he washed his disciples feet, demonstrating that just as He, the God of the universe came to serve, we must also do so, with compassion/love (the new commandment) and humility.

This Maundy Thursday, let us realize that we are given

  1. a new commandment (mandatum) to LOVE (God first, and all others as ourselves next) as God loves us (which  is unconditional, sacrificial and sanctifying)
  2. a commission to SERVE – for just as God (Jesus) washed the feet of his disciples, we must also humble ourselves to serve one another. A leader for God is a Servant unto him and men/women first.

John 13:34
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Lord of the law

When my 3 year old son, Reuben, was repeating Psalm 1, when he came to the part – but his delight is in the law of the Lord, he instead said, but his delight is in the Lord of the law.

When I reminisced over what he had said, I could not help but wonder on God’s amazing revelation through children; Our delight should not merely be on the law of the Lord, but even more so, be in the Lord (of the law)!

Luke 24:44 states that all things which are written in the law of Moses, in the prophets and in psalms, concerning Jesus must be fulfilled.
Matthew 5:17 records the sayings of Jesus, that He indeed came to fulfill the law (and the prophets) and not to destroy (abolish) it.
How did Jesus fulfill the law, when He is the Lord of the law, the one who gave it for the benefit of man in the first place.
Romans 13:10 states that LOVE is the fulfillment of the law.

Jesus’ willingness to die in our place, by being tortured, tormented and painfully crucified on a cross on calvary is LOVE not only PERSONIFIED but EPITOMIZED.

It was this love that fulfilled all the law ever written for man. Let our delight be on the law of the LORD and in the LORD of the law.