The Sons of Jacob :: Reuben (and Jesus Christ)


Reuben was the firstborn of the sons of Jacob. He was born to Leah and Jacob. Reuben means “See a son”. He was so named by his mother who felt that surely the Lord had looked upon her affliction of being unloved (hated) by her husband.

Points to ponder:
God looked upon the affliction on all of mankind brought about by man’s disobedience (sin) and sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The Lord sees i.e., his eyes are in every place beholding the evil and the good (Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 16:17), but the question is, do you see the Son of God in Jesus? (Matthew 17:5). O taste and see that the Lord God is a good God (Psalm 34:8), who sees the affliction of man.

Genesis 29:32 (KJV)
32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.

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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.

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: 

When Jesus Comes


Recently, when Sangeetha and I ask our five year old beloved son, Reuben to do something, like clean his game room, or wear his shoes, he would dilly dally for a while, before getting to the task given and when we ask him to hurry up, he would raise his hand in a gesture telling us, that he is going to do what has been asked of him, but for now, leave me alone. The last couple of times, I would ask him, “When are you going to do it?”, “When Jesus comes?” to which he would always burst out laughing.

Once during this conversation, it dawned on me that there was a fallacy in my assumption and my question which implied that Jesus would come again sometime in the future, hopefully by which time, Reuben would have completed his chore, was indeed not necessarily accurate. I corrected myself and used that opportunity to tell Reuben, that actually, none of us know “when” Jesus will come back. It could be in the future or it could be this very instant. What is really important is that, when Jesus comes, how will he find us? Will we be ready filled with the Holy Spirit of God or would the oil in have run out?

Jesus said, “Of the day and that hour of Jesus’ return, no man knows, nor do the angels in heaven, neither does Jesus himself as the Son of God, but only God the Father knows of this. So we must take heed, watch and pray, for we do not know when the time is.” (Mark 13:32-33). This day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2).

Points to ponder:
Are you/I going to be ready, taking heed, watching and praying, for we do not know When Jesus Comes?

Mark 13:32-33 (KJV)
32
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

1 Thessalonians 5:2 (KJV)
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

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.