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.

The Seed of Rebekah (& Isaac)

Before sending Rebekah to be married to Isaac, Abraham’s son, Rebekah’s family blessed her by saying that she be the mother of thousands of millions and that her seed possess the gate of those who hate them. Interestingly this blessing about the ‘seed’ is the same blessing that the Lord God directly gives to Abraham concerning his seed, referring to Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:16), for his obedience.

The ‘Seed’ of Abraham through Isaac and Rebekah is the promised ‘Seed’ of the woman who would crush the head of his enemy, the ‘hater’ devil, (Genesis 3:15), against whom even the gates of hell shall not prevail (Matthew 16:18). And to all, the thousand of millions, who believe in Jesus Christ, and who have received him, he gave them the power to become the sons (children) of God (John 1:12).

Points to ponder:
Are you one of the thousand of millions who are blessed to be the child of the ‘Seed’ of Rebekah and Isaac, the ‘Seed’ who possess the gates of all his enemies? If yes, rejoice. If not, believe in Jesus and receive him as your Savior, King and Lord, today, before it is too late.

Genesis 24:59-61 (KJV)
59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men.
60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.
61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

As the stars of the heaven, as the sand upon the seashore

Genesis 22:17 records the blessing that God assured Abraham, for he had obeyed the voice of God and acted on God’s command to sacrifice his own son, Isaac, whom he loved. God says that he will have multiplied blessings and that his seed will be multiplied as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore.

Note first that the heaven mentioned here is singular. ‘The heaven’ is from where God reigns (Isaiah 66:1) and the stars in the bible not only refers to the angelic beings (Job 38:7) celestial sons of God (Job 1:6) but also those who are wise who turn many to righteousness (witnesses of God) (Daniel 12:3) – the heaven born sons of God i.e., believers. In this sense, the stars refer to spiritual children of Abraham, those born from above (John 3:3; 3:7), who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and who are adopted into God’s family, through The Seed of Abraham (referring to Jesus – Galatians 3:16). Additionally, this blessing speaks of the innumerability of Abraham’s children through Isaac and Jacob, through whom the nation of Israel (physical children of Abraham) comes into being. From dust (sand) was man made and the physical children of Abraham will be like the sand upon the sea shore (land).

Points to ponder:
Many of us who are not born a Jew, but instead a Gentile, would not be like the sand upon the sea shore, but instead we can be like the stars upon the heaven. In other words. we who are born from above, and who are witnesses for Jesus, proclaiming his life-changing gospel to turn many to righteousness, will be like the stars – the spiritual children of Abraham through Jesus Christ. Are you a star? Are you born again? Are you born from above?

Genesis 22:17 (KJV)
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Jesus’ fourth saying from the Cross was a question, a question addressed to God (his Father), wherein, he cried with a loud voice saying “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Notice, how Jesus, who addressed God as Father, when he asked him to forgive his murderers and who addressed God as Father, when he commended his Spirit into his Father’s hand, is now addressing God as God and not Father, implying that his sonship was severed due to the sin that he had become (2 Corinthians 5:21), for God the Holy Father could have nothing to do with sin, just as light can have no communion with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14).

The question posed was “Why?”
The answer is “Love” and the object of that Love is “You and me”.

Why did God the Father forsake Jesus?
God so loved the world (you and me) that he forsook his only begotten Son, so that we would not have to cry out “Why have you forsaken me?” Instead, Jesus, the Only begotten Son of God cried out, being God forsaken, so that we who are deserve to be God forsaken because of our sinfulness, can be called the sons and daughters of God.

Points to ponder: 
God’s “Love” for you and me is so great that he demonstrated his love for us, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8), being forsaken by God. Behold, what manner of “Love” the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God (1 John 3:1) because his very own Son, Jesus Christ, had been forsaken and could not address him as Abba, Father.

Matthew 27:45-47 (KJV)
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

Lot offered a lot, offering his own

Lot’s offer of his two daughters to the evil men of Sodom to be possibly stripped naked, shamed and killed, in exchange for the protection of the angelic (not of this world) visitors, who had come under the protection of his house, could certainly be deemed odd, baffling, and ridiculous, especially to a parent. Contextually though, Lot’s offer was an expression of his hospitality, which was regarded in high esteem, in his day and age. This may be very difficult for many to fathom and/or even accept in this day and age which is characterized by people being a lot more individualistic over being hospitable.Lot offered a lot for an offer such as this today would be be perceived as “over-the-top” and brand the offeror as a bad and possibly evil Father. Yet we see from the Scripture that Lot was declared as righteous and saved (2 Peter 2:8) from the impending wrath of being burned when the Lord rained down brimstone and fire (Genesis 19:24), consuming the iniquity of the city (Genesis 19:15).

Now if you would allow me to show you that Lot’s offer of his own is akin to what God did for each one of us. We are like the wicked and evil people of this world (the current city of Sodom) doing what we deem is good in our own eyes. Naturally by our physical birth, we are conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5) which makes us foreigners (visitors) in the house (roof) of God (Ephesians 2:19). In order to protect us from the impending wrath of brimstone and fire in hell, God did not just offer but acted and gave his own – his Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16), who was stripped naked, shamed and crucified (killed).

Points to ponder:
God offered (Genesis 3:15) and gave his own Son, Jesus Christ, in exchange for our protection from brimstone and fire in hell (John 3:16). If you deeply think of this – it would certainly seem odd, baffling and ridiculous that the God of all creation would offer him only Son in exchange for us, mere dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). You know what that shows us. That demonstrates to us, the great extent of God’s love for us and in other words gives us proof that God offered a lot (all of himself), by offering his own (for us).

Have you believed in God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, whom he sent for whosoever (any person of this world, no matter how wicked they have been) believes in Jesus shall not perish but have everlasting life? God offered a lot, offering his own – Are you willing to offer a lot, offering your all? (Don’t let this question go unanswered!)

Genesis 19:8 (KJV)
Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

John 3:16 (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 1:12 (KJV)
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Ephesians 2:19 (KJV)
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

What kind of giant are you?

Genesis 6:4 speaks of some earthly giants in the days of Noah. The Bible describes these giants as men who became mighty and renowned. Yet these giants were the result of an unholy union between the sons of God (fallen angels) and the daughters of men and in their time each man did evil continually, except Noah.

Fast forward, many generations, and we come to the time of David, the shepherd boy turned king; the son of Jesse. David faced another giant, one named Goliath in the name of the Lord and was successful in defeating and destroying him (1 Samuel 17). He was not worried of his current circumstances nor the potential future outcome, because he did not focus on himself, but on God. In essence, while Goliath was a physical giant, David was a spiritual giant.

Points to ponder:
David knew that he was owned by God. He belonged to God for God addresses him as “my servant” (2 Samuel 7:5) and was with him (2 Samuel 7:9). He focused (renewed) his mind by keeping his eyes fixed on the Lord (1 Samuel 17:45; Isaiah 26:5; Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 12:2) that made him one of the mightiest kings of Israel, one of great renown (even more than the then king of Israel – king Saul).
A spiritual giant is one who is mighty because the Almighty God is in and with him or her.
A spiritual giant is one who is renowned for he/she is RENewed in his/her mind and OWNED by God.

Are you a spiritual giant? What kind of giant are you? What kind of giant will you become?

Genesis 6:4 (KJV)
4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Qualified by God?

A very famous one-liner that preachers often quote when soliciting a response of commitment to serve in the ministry of Jesus Christ is “God does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called.” Abraham was old, Jacob was a cheater, Moses was a stammerer,  Rahab was a prostitute, Ruth was a Gentile, Gideon was of the weakest clan, David was an adulterer, Paul was a murderer, Peter denied, Thomas doubted and Lazarus was dead and yet God used each one to be of service to him and to show others his glory.

But, have you ever wondered as to what it means to be qualified by God? According to the Scripture, to be qualified by God is to be made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 1:12). In other word’s, to be qualified by God is to be co-heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17), that only comes from believing in Jesus Christ, for to all them that receive him and believe in his name, He (God) gave them the power to be called the sons of God (John 1:12).

Points to ponder:
Are you Qualified by God? In other words, are you a child of God, co-heirs with Christ and a heir with God, made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints? To become a child, one must be born again which comes by believing on the name of Jesus Christ. To be qualified by God is to become his child and then co-heirs with Christ and heirs of God’s inheritance in the kingdom of light. Are you Qualified by God?

Colossians 1:12 
12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. (NIV)
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (KJV)

John 1:12 (KJV)
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: