Our Hearts Ye Mend


At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!

Mend us Lord to love you and to love all men

and gather us again as your brood, our mother hen,
delivering us from the evil one, in your sheep’s pen
as we hear your voice and follow you, keeping not just one command but all ten

To our firstborn, you affirmed not once but twice
that you are indeed Jehovah-Rophe, who paid the price,
restoring us all back to spiritual health, to the devil’s surprise,
and that O LORD is the greatest of all wealth, we solely apprise.

To our secondborn, your word was given
that you are his everlasting light, as darkness was driven
when you came into this world, which for salvation was striven
and found that only by your blood, can all of creation be forgiven

To my beloved, your word came
assuring that “Emmanuel” indeed is your Name.
“To fear not or be dismayed”, in life’s game
for you are her strengthener and helper, our God – the same.

You promised me that you will satisfy my needs and be my guide
and I pray that, you in me and I in you, always abide,
lest in the beggarly worldly things I pride and backslide,
O LORD God, over our lives, you solely and sovereignly preside.

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!

From the Author’s/Poet’s Desk:
As we arrived at the beginning of a new year, thinking about the year gone past and looking forward to the year ahead, this poem is an expressions of our hearts, that in the coming year, my family (Sangeetha, Reuben, Ittai and me), focus solely on the Lord God who can mend our hearts to Love him and love all. During the watchnight service on December 31st, at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India (ACFI), we picked promise cards for each one in the family. The poem is written by compiling the verses from our promise cards, as a personal reminder to us, but we pray that you personalize this for yourself by replaced the pronouns and words like “our” with “me” or “my” and any personal pronoun with your name or “I”.

The promise  cards picked for 2016.
For Reuben (our firstborn): 17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. (Jeremiah 30:17)
For Ittai (our secondborn): 20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. (Isaiah 60:20)
For Sangeetha (my beloved): 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)
For Mano: 11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58:11)

Promise Cards 2016

A line-by-line exegesis of the poem [in square brackets] is given below:

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
[January 01, 2016]
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
[Psalm 17:6, Psalm 86:10]
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend

[Luke 22:42]
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!
[Psalm 19:12; Ezekiel 11:19]

Mend us Lord to love you and to love all men
[Matthew 22:37-39]
and gather us again as your brood, our mother hen,
[Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34]
delivering us from the evil one, in your sheep’s pen

[Matthew 6:13;John 10:11-18]
as we hear your voice and follow you, keeping not just one command but all ten
[John 10:27; John 14:15]

To our firstborn, you affirmed not once but twice
[Promise verse for Reuben – Jeremiah 30:17]
that you are indeed Jehovah-Rophe, who paid the price,
[Jeremiah 30:17; John 19:30]

restoring us all back to spiritual health, to the devil’s surprise,
[Psalm 23:3; Hebrews 2:14-15]

and that O LORD is the greatest of all wealth, we solely apprise.
[Psalm 71:15-16]

To our secondborn, your word was given
[Promise verse for Ittai – Isaiah 60:20]
that you are his everlasting light, as darkness was driven
[Isaiah 60:20; 2 Corinthians 4:6]
when you came into this world, which for salvation was striven
[Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16; Romans 8:22]
and found that only by your blood, can all of creation be forgiven
[Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:22]

To my beloved, your word came
[Promise verse for Sangeetha – Isaiah 41:10]
assuring that “Emmanuel” indeed is your Name.
[Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23]
“To fear not or be dismayed”, in life’s game
[Isaiah 41:10; Luke 1:30]

for you are her strengthener and helper, our God – the same.
[Isaiah 41:10; Hebrews 13:8]

You promised me that you will satisfy my needs and be my guide
[Promise verse for Mano – Isaiah 58:11]
and I pray that, you in me and I in you, always abide,
[John 15:2-5 {the Church’s theme verse for 2015}]
lest in the beggarly worldly things I pride and backslide,
[Galatians 4:9; Galatians 6:14]
O LORD God, over our lives, you solely and sovereignly preside.
[Psalm 47:8; Colossians 3:15]

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
[January 01, 2016]
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
[Psalm 17:6, Psalm 86:10]
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend

[Luke 22:42]
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!
[Psalm 19:12; Ezekiel 11:19]

Advertisements

Nahum 3:1 – Woe to the bloody city!


While the first chapter of Nahum showcases God as a jealous God and the second chapter showcases God as a judging God, the third chapter of Nahum establishes the fact, that God is not only jealous and judging, but that he is a Just God and his justice shall always prevail.

Nahum chapter 3 highlights the justice of God on the enemies of his people (Judah), particularly Nineveh (Assyrians) in this case. The verdict on Nineveh is that it was a bloody city, full of lies and robbery, always victimizing (preying on) other nations and afflicting the people of God (Nahum 3:1; Nahum 3:19). It begins with the words, “Woe to the bloody city!”, the city here referring to Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria. Nineveh was known for its bloodshed. The Assyrians did not spare any nation that they conquered (2 Kings 19:11) and the extent of their vile cruel wickedness stretched to all the nations they invaded (Nahum 3:19). Rightfully so, the Assyrian kings and princesses were referred to as lions (Nahum 2:11-12), for lions do not spare the cubs of the pride that they take over. The Assyrians were guilty of bloodshed and murder, directly contradicting the “Thou shalt not kill” commandment of God (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17; Matthew 5:21; Romans 13:9).

Points to ponder:
The Bible states that in the blood is life (Genesis 9:4) and woe to anyone who sheds blood. By shedding blood, the Assyrians were snatching the life that was in the people, who are fashioned in God’s image.  According to God’s word, this warranted equitable justice – blood for blood, for it is written “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Genesis 9:6). The blood of the Assyrians will soon be spilled by the Medo-Babylonian army of men, that God was raising to conquer Nineveh.

God is a just God, but he is also a loving God. In God’s just nature, he avenges with a “blood for blood” motif, but in his loving nature, he is willing to forgive even the vilest of murderers (like Barabbas (Mark 15:7), king David (2 Samuel 11:14-17), the Apostle Paul when he was Saul (Acts 9:1)). Jesus demonstrated the love of God, by crying out, “Father, forgive them (those who shed his blood by crucifying him to the Cross) for they did not know, how the Justice and Love of God should meet on the Cross, for the remission of sins and redemption of mankind.” Yes, it is  woe to all who shed blood, according to the law, but the law is purged by blood (Hebrews 9:22) for if we repent, God is faithful and just to forgive us of all our sins (1 John 1:9).

Nahum 3:1-7 (KJV)
Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not;

Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 

Bloody Tower – Way Out


On our trip to the Tower of London, we came across a tower inside, which is known as the Bloody Tower. The Bloody Tower gained its gruesome name by the mid-16th century, when it became associated with the disappearance and supposed murder of the sons of King Edward IV, the ‘Little Princes’ a century earlier.

Outside the Bloody Tower was a sign that showed the direction to the Bloody Tower and to the Way Out. Shortly after seeing that sign, it dawned on me, that in the sign was hidden the beautiful story of Salvation.

The Bible states that the Name of the Lord is a strong and mighty Tower (Proverbs 18:10). In other words, Jesus Christ is a strong and mighty Tower. Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace and Son of the King over all creation was murdered. He was bloodied; He shed His blood so that there could be THE WAY OUT for all of mankind, for without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sin (Hebrews 9:22), i.e., without the shedding of blood, there is NO way out. In fact, there is No OTHER way.

Proverbs 18:10 (KJV)
10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

The Shepherd and The Lamb


I was talking one morning,a  few days ago, with our beloved 4 year old son, Reuben and was telling him about Jesus Christ being the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei), but then as I started to explain to him what it meant to be The Sacrificial Lamb, he quickly stopped me and inquisitively questioned, but isn’t Jesus also the Shepherd? If so how can He be the Lamb and the Shepherd? My loving wife, Sangeetha and I both felt that this was an interesting observation and certainly a good question that warranted some further investigation. Throughout the day I researched, pondered and studied the Holy Bible to see what the Bible has to say about what would seem as a literary incongruity.

Upon research, I learned that Jesus Christ personally claimed to be the Good Shepherd that would lay down His life for His sheep (his people – you and me) (John 10:11). He is also the Chief Shepherd as stated through Apostle Peter (1 Peter 5:4). Jesus Christ was identified as being the Lamb of God by John the Baptist and then we see references in the Bible to Him as the Lamb, but He never personally claimed to be a Lamb. So how can Jesus Christ be the Shepherd and also the Lamb?

It is the responsibility of the shepherd to pick a lamb without blemish for sacrifice, but when God searched through the entire world, to and fro  (2 Chronicles 16:9) He found none that was righteous (Romans 3:10) and so He had to look at Himself. Having found none other than Himself, He had to forsake Himself (Matthew 27:46) for the sake of His people and was identified to be the Lamb of God. He lay down His life on his own accord, as the Good Shepherd is expected to, so that you and I could walk through the valley of the shadow of death and not fear its power.

Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29) and for the taking away (remission) of sins, there needs to be a shedding of blood (a sacrifice) (Hebrews 9:22) and the Good Shepherd willingly shed his blood on the Cross of Calvary and laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:17). Though our finite minds may find it hard to understand, suffice it to say that Jesus Christ is not only the one who chose  the Sacrifice (Shepherd God) but He is also THE SACRIFICE (Lamb of God), because there is no other sacrifice that can atone and satisfy a God of Justice and Love. Jesus Christ is The Shepherd and The Lamb.

John 10:11 (KJV)
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

John 1:29 (KJV)
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.