A Happy New Year

I thought to write down the verses that the Spirit poured in me, for the most common thoughts we struggle with, so you can truly have a Happy New Year!

Beloved friend,

I thought to write down the verses that the Spirit poured in me, for the most common thoughts we struggle with, so you can truly have a Happy New Year! These verses are inspired from the Holy Bible and I am sure they will encourage you.

When you think of..

a. Money
Finances keep us worried!
The verse below is a simple rule that can prevent you from debts and help you meet your finances with honesty!

Remember, Proverbs 13:11 – Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

b. Parenting
Troubled with how to get your child on track?
It’s never too late, start right away. The way they should go is Christ. Keep them Christ oriented and you will see a drastic difference in their behavior.

Remember, Proverbs 22:6 – Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

c. Family
Conflicts in your family?
Love cures. God is love. I pray that you are strengthened in Christ and covered in His Love to solve family issues by avoiding arguments that are harmful and decisions that lead to permanent damage.

Remember, Ephesians 3:16-19 – I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

d. Workplace
No promotion?
Not able to enjoy the task at hand? Not happy with your colleagues behaviour? Many more.
Remind yourself that God gives His children the best and He has thought about the future even if you don’t see it.
He knows what is right for you in the long run. Trust His timing and strategy.

Remember, Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

e. Future
What next? Which career route do I take?
There is a lot you can do when God gives you His peace. You start to understand better, things start to get clearer and you will be able to make your heart oriented to a particular decision rather than wavering.

Remember, Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

f. Sickness
The devil has his way to bind us in sickness so we don’t grow closer to God Father just think about ourselves.
So pray first.
Realise that He is the Great Healer (the best Physician). Before you run to take an appointment pray to the Maker of every cell of your body.

Remember, James 5:14-15 – Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

g. Food
The basic needs will be provided to those who seek God.That is His promise!
There are so many out there who seek men and we see that they may or may not get what they ask for. That’s why His Word says to seek Him because He is the Provider. He is a sure Giver.

Remember, Matthew 6:31-32 – So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

NO MATTER WHAT! REMEMBER TO

*Be Grateful
Psalm 103:2-5 – Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Count His blessings and name them one by one! Be amazed with what the Lord has done!

*Pray and Believe
Mark 11:24 – Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

He likes to talk to you. That’s true from the day He created you.
He is not looking for materialistic prayers He is looking for genuine conversation. He is the best Lover, the best late night shoulder and the best companion when you have the roughest day.
Oh! His touch soothes all the broken hearted.
Be with Him and He will dine with you.

Have a blessed 2019.

In His Service,
Feba Percy Paul

Where is your home?

The truth is we won’t find a place that’s 100% secure, which justifies that this world is not where we are meant to be. There is no ideal home here.

Lot’s wife must have had great dreams about her house. She must have been an important lady! She couldn’t resist herself from looking back at her house burn away.

Marriage has taught me some principles of living in Christ especially when we understand with time that, home is where the heart is. And a heart is usually given to a person, so does it mean that home is actually in reference to a person and not a place?

I started to think on this question, Bahrain is a beautiful place, it rains and people just can’t stop clicking pictures at the same time, this place is not rain proof. Delhi is so much fun but the air chokes, Mumbai with it’s delicious roadside treats cannot be forgotten but the slums next to the international airport still exists.

There are places where a man just pulls out a gun in a peaceful neighborhood killing many but it was a peaceful place for people to live. There is no place that is an ideal home. All the places I mentioned above can be thought as the best place to live but there is no home where the heart can feel safe (here on earth). The truth is we won’t find a place that’s hundred percent secure, which justifies that this world is not where we are meant to be.

God the Father wanted to let us know of how a home can feel like when He took the form of man and lived among us.

To begin with: No sickness! He healed the blind, the lame and He brought every cell back even to the bed ridden. No shame! No guilt! No condemning! No killing, no murder and of course, no death!

Lazarus is a great example but Christ in His resurrection won over it the best way. To sum it up: ‘No trouble from the devil!’ A home that belonged to you and Him.

He is holy but He came down to us so we know that He wants us back. He wants our heart to come back to where its safe. Our heart is the safest and happiest where Christ is. Matthew 1:23 says “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means God with us).”

So the truth is, He is the Home we are talking about!

What we often believe is that, home is where heaven is, so we have mixed interpretations. I remember an instance when my friend sniffs the smell of alcohol that comes of a roadside shop and says, “This is heaven”. So home isn’t where heaven is.

Home is where Christ is.

Nowadays, there are way too many homes without hearts and many hearts without a home. The best part is you don’t have to search the way to this Home, it is not expensive to build and no taking loans. Christ says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” It’s this peaceful co-existence that is not made by bricks or mortar but with abundance of Love. It is not materials that you can touch rather it’s the joy that you feel.

Ahh! He is close! The year is about to end so don’t turn back. Lot’s wife was given a chance to change the home that didn’t have Christ. Are you still stuck with the old house of yours? Does it have people that are letting you down?

If you are reading this, this is your chance to move on to the Home in Christ.

I will end with an equation to make it simple:
Home should be where your heart is + your heart should be always in Christ = Christ becomes your Home.

References:
Genesis 19
Revelation 3:20

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Mr & Mrs George

God completes both man and woman together, He makes a cord of three strands that is so strong and no one can dare to break it.

“Yes!” said Ms . George , 4 years back in a beautiful resort wedding to Mr. George (whose belly was slightly more prominent now with the red rice and beef meals).

The Bible says cord of three strands is stronger. Usually signifying the bond between a man, woman and God.

Taught and preached in many Christian weddings and printed in many wedding cards too. It took me so long to understand the depth of this verse.

A couple in love may often say, “You complete me”, but with time and as they get closer the completeness feels more like a complexity.

Partners end up arguing and several times feel – ‘does he or she really understand me?’

3 months back I was providing my counselling services as a family counselor and I tried every skill of what my grad book on psychology had taught me and found myself more in doubt than reaching a solution to Mr. and Mrs. George’s problem. I remember her scream at him, “I don’t think I can keep you happy”, the other one looked pitiful and said, “Maybe you should find someone better then, who would keep you happy.” 4 years back they looked like they were more than perfect for each other!

Three months and still trying to figure out what is going wrong . They had known Christ. They had known how a Bible talks about loving each other. They know that there is prayer every Thursday and the parotta and chicken curry was never missed.

God, what were they missing then?

I went back to meet the first man and woman and their relationship with God. True that Eve was made for Adam but without God they were lost! True, they can fill each other’s loneliness but they cannot complete each other! They were not sufficient for each other. For that matter no woman would have made Adam complete and no man would have made Eve complete because only and only God could.

Bingo!

As a couple, they missed one thing, the sole understanding that, ‘Christ completes a man and Christ completes a woman’ NOT as we say it ‘a man completes as woman or a woman completes a man.’

In more romantic terms ‘A man’s better half is Christ and a woman’s better half is Christ.’

Wow! All this while I kept hunting to find that right man who would make me happy and I am sure when you reach a point in life wanting to hear the wedding bells or if you are married and may even have three children, there is always a hunt for that person who can really fill that void in you!

Of course we are made in God’s image and when the devil separated man from God, our hearts have become so void and empty. So He did this amazing thing, He sent His only Son so as to fill that void with love!

In this garden of Eden, in your relationship right now, in your marriages, in your families, in your friendships, in your work and in your hearts, understand this truth, inscribe this: ‘Christ came down to complete you.’

It is my promise you will be so much at peace to know that no one on earth was made to complete you but Christ alone. He is your better half.

He not only completes a woman, He also completes a man and together He makes a cord of three strands that is so strong and no one can dare break it. The cord can pull life’s biggest obstacles away .

I went back to the couple and told them ‘You cannot keep each other happy, the truth is even if you divorce and re marry, still no one can keep you happy.’ You should have seen their faces, they were so pale as if they saw a ghost. They were judging me to be a harsh counselor, they must have started to feel that I was insulting them for being bad human beings and before that happened, I added, “because only Christ can complete any human.”

“Just understand this, His reason to come back to what He created was to establish this bond.”

“You will find completeness in each other when He fills you first. He gave us His Holy Spirit as he ascended to Heaven so that we are not void again.”

“He was and is and should be your better half. This way you will start to accept each other, the way Christ accepted you.”

And they lived happily ever after.

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Why Christ? Christmas special

Be it up in the North or down here in a small town of Karnataka, I hear the carol sing, “Go tell it on the mountains over the hills and everywhere, that Jesus Christ is born.”
 
It’s Christmas night of 2017 and I am relishing on this tasty mutton pieces parceled to my room. I take my diary to think again why a lot of people have invited Christ in their lives. The answer was simple, He is the joy to their world (Christmas feels intended).
 
But, out of the black, not blue, because the skies have turned starry now with the thin curve of the moon trying to peak into my room. I gaze back at it and think of love (old Bollywood track playing in the background).
 
Love is always about giving, it’s sacrificial in nature.
 
You may ask, “is wanting love wrong?”
 
No, it is not, but wanting love can never achieve the love of the other. It feels obvious and loses its essence with time. There is no pleasure in anything that is asked and taken. Imagine yourself, always wanting to be heard, felt, experienced and you have to tell it to your partner so he or she understands what your need is. Constant effort of asking in itself can get frustrating with time and you hear the lines, “Don’t you know.. I told you the last time too I want you to do xyz for me”. The first dis-balance is felt when one says, “you haven’t been abc to me”.
 
Rings a bell? It’s fine. Take a deep breath because Christ has the answer.
 
It feels forceful sometimes to do what the other wants but when two people give in to their relationships, it somehow feels complete deep within.
 
So it has to be won by giving.
 
When one gives, he or she immediately wins the other persons love.
I heard a couple at a wedding, the wife says, “Love, you look handsome today”, yes! the wife tells it first and the husband taken by surprise says, “You have always looked beautiful, hon” *smiles*.
 
It’s like a chain reaction.
 
The only thing that changes the game is being the first one to break the ice. It gets so difficult for us to be the first ones to give because we think we haven’t got it from the other side yet!
 
The Bible says, God so loved the world that when He saw man caught in darkness He came down to reach out to His Love fill their life with light.
 
So He took the first step in this relationship,
And the best of it all is, He came to
‘for-give’ our unruly and evil deeds .
 
He gave Himself for our sake. He taught us what unconditional love can mean. He has always been the initiator.
 
It is Christ because He is ‘for-ever giving’. His love never runs out. Christ is love.
 
The birth of Christ, I realized can never be a one day celebration, it is a love affair that lasts for eternity.
 
Reading :
John Chapter 3 vs 16-21
 
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Why Christ?

Why Christ?
Last Sunday morning I woke up to this question and I have been scribbling since then. There are several teachers, mentors, many more people to follow. But why do I personally choose Christ to be my life’s Savior?
 
O taste and see to know who I am – God says, experience me. It is a theme commonly heard and preached that we need to be experiencing God’s love. But there has to be reasons to why one follows a leader or a role model. Reasons to why one worships.
 
Why do we believe what we believe?
 
In the first part of my writing, I want to introduce you to the same sermon I heard twice last Sunday in two different occasions by two different pastors (after which I was convinced there is something I need to discover). It is the incident of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery mentioned in John 8.
 
Picture along with me as you read this, the Scribes and Pharisees present a woman in a place of worship (they would have otherwise thought it would defile the holy place, if the purpose was just to condemn her, but their purpose was to test Christ!). So they ask Christ about what He had to say to this act.
 
According to the law, they should have been calling for a stoning ceremony. The adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death (give Leviticus 20:10 a check), but again the purpose was not to punish the woman, but to publicly question Christ.
 
Christ in response, asks the person without any sin among them to cast the first stone. Soon later, everyone leaves one by one because the word says their conscience troubled them. And Christ says that He doesn’t condemn her either but she should sin no more.
 
Something was bothering the Pharisees and the Scribes, the fact that Christ took a stand for the wrong doers! They were so done with Him being with the tax collectors, Samaritans, adulterers and other sinful people as they categorized.
 
What was bothering me throughout the sermon (twice to remind you), silly as it may sound, but when the incident took place and as the scribes were speaking, the word says He stooped down twice to write something on the ground.
 
Some theologians say that He must be writing the names of the people there and their sins but its hard for me to believe that because Christ was in the act of forgiving a sin and if He was writing the records of the sins committed by other people who have sinned, it contradicts His very nature. So it must be something else and we can only guess but something compels me to say He was re-writing the law we read in Leviticus 20:10 or setting a new law in place (got me reminded of how God wrote the ten commandments for Moses to carry it down for His people).
 
In that Holy ground, He was establishing something so profound that till the end of time, man’s ideas of sin was to change. He was establishing the very fact that man is sinful, yes! But he doesn’t lose his position in Christ. There is eternal death for sin but because of His grace we are forgiven. If we come to Him, we will never lose the love and respect in His eyes and because of this very fact we will think twice before sinning.
 
We might lose our ‘experience’ of grace that we receive from Him, but we will never lose our position in Him. So we can get back to that position of being called His child anytime.
 
Just imagine how wonderful it feels when someone stands up for you and speaks on your behalf in front of your enemy? Wow! Isn’t it?
 
Read verses 10 and 11 along with me,

Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
 
I know, just like that adulteress woman who called Him Lord (while the other Pharisees addressed Him as a mere teacher), that the answer to eternal death, the answer to my state of darkness, the Savior of my iniquities can be none other than Him because I can not lose my position in Him. And He will stand up for me while the world condemns me.
 
This is why – Christ it is and Christ it will be.
 
Verses to meditate on: John 8:1-11
 
 
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So Let Him Curse

So let him curse

Really? Is that the title?

If King David wrote about the incident I write about, the title would have sounded somewhat like this.

David enters a place called Bahurim and is encountered with an experience that is indeed hurtful for a king. Shimei (a member of Saul’s family) calls David a scoundrel, a murderer, threw mud on him, pelted stones and asks him to get out!

In a situation when David is escaping from his son, this could be the least of what he should have gone through. But Shimei relates what David is going through now, is because of what he did to Saul’s family.

But David’s reaction is more shocking than Shimei’s action.

When you walk into the workplace you might encounter that one person who throws in a sarcastic comment, you walk into the Church there is that one person who judges your attire or your hair or the way you put that post on facebook. You walk into your college you see the jealous faces thinking how you got there after all!

You walk into your home your father abuses the way you have failed him a million times! Your relationship feels abusive, your partner showers you with tags that emotionally break you.

People tell you that you deserve to be in a state of tears, because of what you have done!

You walk in…and all you find is curses?

Why did I even walk in?, is not the question that King David asked.

Rather he asks that, ‘If God permits that this man should curse me, then who are we to stop’

He continues to say that, ‘if God sees his state of misery, God can change it for his good’

Oh such a coward! You might think.

But, soon events changed for David, Absalom (his son) is no more a threat to him, the people welcome their king back and,

Shimei is on David’s feet asking for forgiveness.

Three things you can ponder on,

1. Acknowledge that God your Father is ‘the author’

Oh, we have heard and told this to many people and many a times sang songs on it too. If we have this understanding then why is it so difficult to grasp that the person whom you walk into, is a part of your beautiful story, no matter how difficult that person is?

2. Accepting that God is using you (as well as the other) as an instrument

So that you change? Yes. So that the other person changes? Yes. For His glory? An absolute,Yes.
Shimei didn’t come back to David because he feared his life. Because if he had feared death, he wouldn’t have cursed him at the city gate when David had the same soldiers around him. I am convinced that God saw David’s misery and accepted his surrender and stirred Shimei’s heart.

3. Assure yourself about what God does

The God I know (just like David desired) will look upon your misery and change curses into a blessing.
In the context of this, I will introduce you to an official Abishai who was so ready to kill Shimei, cursing and calling him a dead dog when Shimei cursed David. Abishai seeks permission to kill Shimei when he was bowing before David asking for forgiveness!

The personalities of David and Abishai is worth comparing! Abishai plays the role of those advisors in your life who teach you to practice bad for a bad. But that has never been our God’s equation.

It has always been Good for the bad. Blessing for the curse and Forgiveness for fall.
Be assured that our Saviour’s love is so abounding and His story for your life so beautiful, that you should allow the author to let you walk into more difficult people, Yes absolutely! And you can be an instrument to transform them.

So let him curse!

Portions to dig on:
1 Samuel 16: 5-13
1 Samuel 19: 16-23

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