The firstborn – ours and His


A decade ago, on this day, the 20th of January, 2006, we were blessed with our firstborn son, Reuben Abishai Paul. Sangeetha and I are grateful to God for Reuben – a wonderful gift of a son to us and a loving brother to Ittai. Reuben means “behold, a son” and Abishai means “gift of God the Father” and true to that name, as I reminisce on these past 10 years, I am filled with a deep sense of thankfulness to God our Father for his gift to us – our firstborn. But as I pondered more on how wonderful, our life has been since the addition of Reuben in our lives, I realized that, I should not only be thankful for our firstborn, but with an even greater sense gratefulness and worship, I must be thankful to God the Father, for giving us the gift of his firstborn – his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is The firstborn, meaning not, that he was created for he is the Creator and by and through and for him were all things created (Colossians 1:15-18), but that he is the first – the preeminent one.

Our prayer for Reuben, our firstborn, as he turns ten years old today, is that he will always remember as a firstborn, that The firstborn is not him, but Jesus Christ – God’s firstborn and give unto Jesus, the preeminence and priority that is rightfully due him.

Points to ponder:
Is Jesus Christ preeminent (The Firstborn) in your life?

Colossians 1:12-23 (KJV)
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

On bended knee, your heart guard


Ittai Aidan PaulOur beloved second son, Ittai turned 3 years old today and here is a poem we wrote for him.

Ittai Aidan Paul, today you turn three
and may you this year be, always, on bended knee
before God, your Creator, who loaned you, to us, as a gift
‘As you grow, may Only His Name, we pray, you lift.’

‘Children are a heritage of the LORD’
and our mission is to teach you to perpetually, your heart guard
against the vices and wiles of this world, and its god.
‘May you always, always, always – Love the LORD’

And his creatures, as you would love yourself.
Running to those in need, we pray you compassionately help
and show that Christ Jesus is Lord of your life, as it should be.
‘You are much loved and appreciated, and will always be.’

We love you Ittai (boo). Happy happy birthday.
Mama, Dada and your brother Reuben wish you a blessed birthday and we seek God’s guidance and wisdom in raising you up in the fear of the Lord. Tons of hugs and tons of kisses. 🙂 God bless you richly! You are a heritage of the LORD (his favor to us).

Psalm 127:3-5 (KJV)
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Our life you touch


Reuben Abishai PaulAmerica celebrates the third Monday of January, each year, as Martin Luther King, Jr. day, to remember the man who fought for the equality of all men, irrespective of race, touching the lives of many. And today, besides celebrating the birth of this great man, we celebrate the birth of another … our firstborn child, Reuben Abishai Paul, who turned eight. Words failed me as I intended to express my gratitude to God for such a child as this, by whom we (Sangeetha and I and Ittai) are so very blessed  … all I could pen were a few words, as follows …

We love you lots and wish you much
You are so special for all the lives you touch

Today marks a special day;
and for God’s choicest blessings, we pray
on you, our beloved firstborn
who like a beacon of hope arrived, when we were forlorn

The moment we held you in our arms,
we were reinforced of a Great God, full of charms.
An angel from God, to us, you came as a gift
and only Christ’s Name alone, we pray, you lift.

A little of Picasso, Beethoven, Phelps, and Gretzky,
even Comăneci and Bruce Lee, in you we see;
For as an artist, a musician, a swimmer, a hockey player, 
a gymnast and a Shaolin Do Blackbelt, you are a rising star
But most of all, we cherish you for the 
Theophilus, a loving brother, and beloved son, that you are.

We love you lots and wish you much
You are so very special, for our life you touch.

God bless you Reuben … Have a blessed birthday!
Mama and Dada and Ittai

Points to ponder:
People touch our lives in one way or another, like Martin Luther King, Jr., and our beloved Son, but the most important touch in your life is the touch of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:3-5). Have you been touched by the Lord, the touch that transforms death to life?

2 Thessalonians 3:3-5 (KJV)
3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

A godly seed is sought


Reuben Praying

Reuben, our beloved firstborn son turns 6 years old today (01/20/2012) and we are ever so grateful to God the Father for having blessed us with such a wonderful and proper child (Hebrews 11:23). Over the course of these past six years, many times, my wife and I have wished, hoped and prayed that all we desire, is that Reuben grows up as a God fearing child. In other words, our heartfelt desire and hope is that Reuben is a godly child, growing up as Jesus did (Luke 2:52).

Malachi 2:15 states that God is seeking a godly child, and in one sense, this means that we are required to raise godly children, but deeper introspection reveals that it is also a personal reminder. Yes, God desires that every parent raises godly children, but at the same time, he is also seeking for each one of us to be His godly children. He desires and requires us to be godly; in other words, Holy, as He is Holy (1 Peter 1:16).

Point(s) to ponder:
As earthly parents, we seek and desire that our children are godly.
How much more then do you think our Heavenly Father desires this of each one of us.
A godly seed is sought – Are you/I going to be that godly seed that God desires/seeks?

Happy Birthday, Reuben Abishai Paul (RAP). God bless you richly to be godly; this is our desire. This is what your ever-loving mama Sangeetha and your ever-loving dada seek of you.

Malachi 2:15 (KJV)
15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

Luke 2:52 (KJV)
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

1 Peter 1:15-16 (KJV)
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Give Thanks – Why and For What?


This thanksgiving season, some of us, take time to reminisce on the reasons as to why we ought to be thankful, while many are caught in the flurry of the season with sales-buster shopping, cooking turkeys and partying with friends, all of which, in and of themselves are okay as long as they don’t become the focus of the season. I was wondering today as to the reasons why I should be thankful and also pondering on what I should be thankful for.

The answer to the ‘Why’ question as to the reason that we should be thankful is pretty straightforward according to the Bible. The Bible tells us that in everything (all circumstances of life), we must give thanks for this is the will of God concerning us (1 Thessalonians 5:18). It also counsels us, that it is a good thing to sing thanks unto the Lord and sing praises to the name of the Most High God (Psalm 92:1).

But what must we be thankful for?
To answer this question, follow along the conversation, that I had with our beloved 5 year old son, Reuben, last afternoon.
Me: Reuben, what are you thankful for?
Reuben: My family and friends, my toys, my brother (to be born in March 2012), my video games.
Me: Who are you missing?
Reuben: Mama’s mama (Gaagi), Gamma (my mom), Mama’s dada (Gaaga), your dada (my dad)
Me:  Who are you missing that should come first?
Reuben: God
Me: God, who?
Reuben: God, Jesus Christ!
Me: Why should you be thankful to Jesus Christ?
Reuben: Because he made us and he did all those things for us.
Me: What things?
Reuben: He made us from dust; He died for us on the Cross; He rose again for us; and that is all I can think of!

Interestingly, what our son, told and taught me as to “What we should be thankful for?” is very scriptural and Biblical. The Bible tells us we must give thanks at the remembrance of God’s holiness (Psalm 30:4). In other words, a remembrance of God’s holiness and purity, brings to mind our own unholiness and impurity (sinfulness) and highlights that our souls were on its way to the grave, because the sting of sin is death (1 Corinthians 15:56), but God has kept us alive,  so that we should not go down to the pit (Psalm 30:3) and given us victory through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57)

So what must we be thankful for?
We must be thankful for Jesus Christ; for the love of God; a love so great that while we were still sinners, Christ died in our stead to keep us alive and from going down to the pit (hell). We must be thankful because He made us (in his own image) and He died for us and rose again to reign, and that is all we should think of!

Psalm 30:3-4 (KJV)
O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

1 Corinthians 15:56-57 (KJV)
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Psalm 92:1 (KJV)
IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD, AND TO SING PRAISES UNTO THY NAME, O MOST HIGH: 

Reuben


Our beloved son, Reuben turns five years old today (January 20, 2011). We named him Reuben, because in Hebrew it means ‘Behold, a son’. The first time, the doctor told us of his birth, she said something like ‘Look, a child’.

Interestingly, as I pondered on what to write on this day, upon research in the Scripture, I learned that the announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ was in like manner as well. God spoke through the voice of his prophets, before Jesus’ birth saying “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son” (Matthew 1:23). God spoke through His angel to Mary, and said “Behold, you shalt conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS.” (Luke 1:31). Jesus means Savior (Matthew 1:21) and all who believe in Him shall escape death and inherit eternal life.

For those who have not believed in Jesus, God is still telling you the same thing, He has been through the ages, “Behold, a son” who is called Jesus; “Behold, MY son” – He shall save you from your sin. Will you let Jesus be born in your life? God is saying, “Reuben”.

Matthew 1:20-24 (KJV)
20
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Luke 1:31-33 (KJV)
31
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto  him the throne of his father David:
33
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.