Are you (Spiritually) Alive?


Dennis FernandesOn September 30th of the year of the Lord 2016, I had to bring the Lord’s message to the gieving family and friends of a dear dear friend of our family, in his memorial service. Dennis Fernandes (1979-2016) was a dear brother of mine and his tragic passing away by drowning in Lake Buchanan on September 24th was a heart wrenching experience. It was not until 48 hours later that the Texas Game Warden and his special ops team were able to recover his body. That evening, when I met my children, Reuben (10 years) and Ittai (4 years) and told them, “They found Dennis uncle”, their very first question was “Is he alive?” to which I with sorrow replied “No”, only to recognize quickly, how incorrect and wrong, I was. For Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” Then Jesus questioned “Believe thou this?” (John 11:25-26).

Dennis, our brother, is alive. He is spiritually alive, because he trusted and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, the destroyer of the devil who had the power of death (Hebrews 2:14) and who will eventually destroy the last enemy – death itself (1 Corinthians 15:26). Dennis was a child of God for he had received and believed in Jesus Christ (John 1:12). So though he is physically dead, yet he is spiritually alive and has merely a change of address, from earth, where sorrow and pain abounds, to heaven, where there is no more sorrow or pain – only the Joy of the Lord for eternity.

Like many of Dennis’ family and friends, Sangeetha, Reuben, Ittai and I miss Dennis and we weep, because we love him. Jesus wept (John 11:35) even though he knew that he would raise his friend, Lazarus from the dead. So our tears are only temporary for God himself will wipe away all tears from our 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 (Revelation 21:4).

Points to ponder:
It is only a matter of time, before we will join Dennis and our loved ones who have gone before us, for it is written, that it is appointed unto men to die once and then the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). The judgment of God, where the verdict can only be one or the other – dead or alive? Spiritually dead or Spiritually alive? To all who have believed in Jesus as their Savior, King and Lord – the verdict would be Spiritually alive and to the others who willfully chose to reject him, their condition would be worse than physical death for they would die the second death – eternally separated from God. The question that then ought to be answered is: Are you (Spiritually) alive?

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:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Revelation 21:3-5 (KJV)
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
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.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Professional Speaking :: Jesus The Doctor


In Mark 1:40-42, we see that a leper comes to Jesus, kneels down before Jesus and and beseeches Jesus by crying out, “If thou will, make me clean”. Jesus moved with compassion, put forth (stretched) his hand and touched this leper (who was probably an outcast) and said, “I will; be thou clean.” and as soon as the Lord had finished speaking, the man was no longer leprous.

Jesus is known for several other healing incidents. He healed
– the possessed to show that those who are in bondage can be made free and he/she whom Jesus makes free is free indeed (John 8:36)
– the blind to show that darkness is dispelled by the Light (of the World)
– the deaf to show that the good news of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ can be heard
– the mute to show that even the dumb can proclaim the good news of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ
– the paralytics to show that that invalid can be made valid
– the lepers to show the unclean can be made clean
– the shriveled hand to show that the withered can be made whole/stretched to serve
– the lame to show that one can no longer have a lame excuse to not walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4)
and even
– the dead to show that In him is life, life abundant and those who believe in Him, though they are dead yet shall they live (John 11:25).

On the cross, Jesus moved with compassion, stretched out his hand and touched the hearts of all who heard Him then and hear Him now, saying “I will, be clean. I have borne your leprosy (sin), be thou clean (Holy).” The blood of Jesus washes us of all unrighteousness and makes us clean (1 John 1:7) and the cancer of sin has no power over those who have believed in the name of Jesus Christ, The Doctor.

Points to ponder:
Have you been healed from the cancer of sin, whose output is second death? If not, why have you not yet believed in Jesus. Come to Jesus, The Doctor, who has the cure for by his stripes we are all healed. He is compassionate and willing. He stretches forth his hand to touch us so that we can be whole.

Mark 1:40-42 (KJV)
40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

Professional Speaking :: Jesus The Bookkeeper


The “book of life” is mentioned eight times in the New Testament, once in the epistle to the Philippian Church (Philippians 4:3) and seven times in Revelation (Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12; 20:15; 21:27; and 22:19). Twice, it is specifically referred to as the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 13:8; and 21:27). Jesus Christ is the Agnus Dei, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). So the book of life belonging to the Lamb is infact Jesus’ book of life. Whosoever’s name is not written in the book of life is cast into the lake of fire, which is second death (Revelation 20:14-15), but those who have believed in Jesus Christ have eternal life (John 3:16), and he that overcomes, because the Son of God, Jesus comes over them, when they believe, will not be hurt by second death and his/her name will not be erased from the book of life (Revelation 3:5); Jesus’ book of life, of which He is The Bookkeeper.

Points to ponder:
When Jesus is The Bookkeeper, there is no possibility of any man cooking the books to gain his salvation by any of his works. Salvation and eternal life (getting your name recorded in the Lamb’s book of life) is only possible when we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and allow him to be our Lord. Jesus said, rejoice for your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). Can you rejoice, with Jesus The Bookkeeper? You can, if he has recorded your name in his book. Has he?

Revelation 21:27 (KJV)
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Luke 10:20 (KJV)
20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

I AM the Resurrection, and the life


Auguste Comte, the founder of French sociology and the philosophy of positivism, once told British essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle that he was going to start a new religion to replace Christianity. ‘Very good’, replied Carlyle, ‘all you have to do is to be crucified, rise again, and get the world to believe that you are still alive. Then your new religion will have a chance.’

Jesus Christ said, I AM the resurrection and the life and if anyone believes in me, even though he is dead, yet shall he live (John 11:25). The Resurrection is fundamental and the most distinctive hope of all who follow Christ. Without resurrection, all hope is vain (1 Corinthians 15:19). Just as Christ rose from the dead, we shall all be resurrected as well. It is important to note that some will be resurrected to life while others (who have done evil) will be resurrected to damnation (John 5:29). Furthermore, the scripture records that the early church apostles and disciples, and this generation’s people such as Graham Staines and his children, Richard Wurmbrand (founder of Voice of the Martyrs) etc who refused to accept deliverance but were martyred for their allegiance to Jesus Christ, in the line duty will obtain a better resurrection (Hebrews 11:25). They chose death over life so that they may be experience a better resurrection.

Many today choose to live dead lives refusing to believe in Jesus. When we believe in Jesus, we are spiritually resurrected from death and a day of reckoning is coming when we shall physically be resurrected as well (1 Corinthians 15). Those who believe in Jesus have no reason to fear physical death (state of sleep) or spiritual death (eternal separation from God), and can be assured that there will be a translation of their ephemeral physical bodies into celestial bodies that will be eternal. Those who do not believe in Jesus have everything to dread because without Jesus there is no resurrection and no life. Jesus said, I AM the resurrection and the life and only in Him is life, abundant life.

Lessons for the Donkey – pure and faithful


Balaam's Donkey By RembrandtNumbers 22 in the Bible, records a fascinating story of an apostate and greedy man named Balaam that was summoned by Balak, the king of Moab, to ensure victory over the Israelites, the children of God. Balaam saddles his donkey and gets going, but the angel of LORD appears to be seen first only by the donkey, that refuses to proceed. This makes Balaam angry who strikes the donkey, not once, not twice but three times. Many preachers have expanded on the characters, Balaam and Balak, the angel of the LORD etc but there is a lot to be learned from, whom I deem is another main character in the story – the donkey.

What can we learn from the donkey?

  1. The donkey was able to see the angel of God.
    (Verse 23 – Balaam’s donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand.)
  2. The donkey could not only speak but also count. Fascinating, isn’t it?
    (Verse 28 Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam.)
  3. The donkey was faithful as a servant.
    (Verse 30 “But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life,” the donkey answered. “Have I ever done anything like this before?” “No,” Balaam admitted.)
  4. The donkey saved a life.
    (Verses 32 and 33
    32 “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me.
    33
    Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.”)

Point(s) to ponder.

  1. Are we able to see the messengers (angels and people) of God or are we so stubbornly resisting God’s will that we are blind to seeing those around us, who are warning us to live Holy and Blameless lives? Jesus said in Matthew 5:8, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (not only be able to see God’s messengers, but God himself)
  2. We may feel many a times like the donkey, foolish and not very wise, weak and not very strong, yet God was able to open the mouth of the donkey to speak and open his mind to count. When we feel foolish and weak, we can take solace in 1 Corinthians 1:27 that states “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
  3. The final accolade that all those who believe in Jesus and are called to serve must be to receive the following testament from God – “Well done, my good and faithful servant”. The donkey has subserviently catered for his master faithfully, all his life. Are we doing the same?
  4. Are we saving the lives of those around us by sharing with them the glorious and beautiful story of Salvation and preventing them from proceeding in their way to the second death (spiritual death) in hell.

Numbers 22:21-34 (New Living Translation)
21
So the next morning Balaam got up, saddled his donkey, and started off with the Moabite officials.
22
But God was angry that Balaam was going, so he sent the angel of the Lord to stand in the road to block his way. As Balaam and two servants were riding along,
23
Balaam’s donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand. The donkey bolted off the road into a field, but Balaam beat it and turned it back onto the road.
24
Then the angel of the Lord stood at a place where the road narrowed between two vineyard walls.
25
When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it tried to squeeze by and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So Balaam beat the donkey again.
26
Then the angel of the Lord moved farther down the road and stood in a place too narrow for the donkey to get by at all.
27
This time when the donkey saw the angel, it lay down under Balaam. In a fit of rage Balaam beat the animal again with his staff.
28
Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam.
29
“You have made me look like a fool!” Balaam shouted. “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!”
30
“But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life,” the donkey answered. “Have I ever done anything like this before?” “No,” Balaam admitted.
31
Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him.
32 “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me.
33
Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.”
34 Then Balaam confessed to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I didn’t realize you were standing in the road to block my way. I will return home if you are against my going.”

Living among the Dead


It’s Easter (Passover), the day where people worldwide, celebrate the fact that Jesus, who was killed had risen from the dead and is Alive today.

The question that the two men posed to those who sought the body of Jesus in the tomb where they had laid Him, after they had taken Him down from the Cross, was “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” and then they exclaimed, He is not here, He is risen.

Because He is risen (alive), all who come to accept Him (Jesus) as Lord and Savior will have eternal life and not perish (die the second death).
We are commissioned to reach out (seek) souls that don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior (dead souls), among those who do (living souls).

This Easter, the question is not just “Why seek we Jesus, the living among the dead?” but the real question must be
Why aren’t we seeking the dead among the living?“. Think about it!

Luke2 4:1-8

1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
2
And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
3
And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4
And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5
And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6
He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
7
Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
8 And they remembered his words

Are you Afraid or Are you Ashamed to Die?


I personally believe that there are only two states in which one can die. Afraid or Ashamed!

If you DO NOT KNOW Jesus Christ and have not accepted him as your Lord and Savior, you have every reason to dread (be afraid of) meeting him face to face upon death or on his return (whichever is earlier).
Now if you KNOW Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior BUT have NOT done anything to be his witness to others, the you have every reason to be ASHAMED of meeting him face to face upon death or on his return (whichever is earlier).

Point(s) to ponder:
Answer the question – Are you Afraid or Are you Ashamed to Die?

Mark 8:38 (King James Version)
38. Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Daniel 12:2 
2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.