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Power of God

Reason For Fruit in Every Season

One of the verses I quite like on God’s invitation (and you know there are so many invitations from God in the Scriptures) is the one found in Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, and let us REASON together.” says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool…”

What!  Scarlet to white-as-snow? Crimson to white-as-wool? Cool! That is really mind-boggling and beyond human reasoning! But I have come to believe that is exactly the way God’s “reasoning” works. Mind-boggling! (in human terms).

I was sharing last week of how we who believe in Jesus, have all received FAITH as a gift from God through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:1). A faith that is more precious than gold. A faith to keep till the last breath of life and confidently declare, like Paul, Ï have kept the faith.” Here is some more reasoning that we find in this chapter.

Three Reasons to bear His Fruit (2 Peter 1: 2-4)

If we continue in the same Chapter (2 Peter 1: 2 onwards), we see we have

  1. Grace and Peace is MULTIPLIED in the knowledge of Jesus Christ
  2. Divine Power has GIVEN us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and Godliness through the knowledge of Jesus Christ
  3. We are partakers of His divine nature because we have been GIVEN exceedingly GREAT and precious PROMISES through Him

Because of these THREE REASONS, we can make every effort to ADD to faith, (which we have initially received as a GIFT from God through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, as in verse 1), these 7 things in our life.

  1. Goodness
  2. Knowledge
  3. Self-Control
  4. Perseverance
  5. Godliness
  6. Brotherly kindness (mutual affection)
  7. Love

These things are really like the fruit of the Spirit that grows in us from inside out. And you know that no tree labors to produce fruit; it is the gardener who labors! It is God who gives the increase. We as branches simply ABIDE in the vine – Jesus Christ and grow in the knowledge of Him (and not the knowledge of how many branches fail to bear fruit!).

Two Things We will NOT be (2 Peter 1:8)

The fruit HAPPENS because of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. In Him we live and move and have our being. He is the author and finisher of our faith. Look upon Him!

  1. We will not be barren in the knowledge of Jesus Christ
  2. We will not be unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ

One Reason NOT Having His Fruit (2 Peter 1:9)

And finally Peter, in his epistle here, gives only one reason for lacking fruit in our life.

  1. One who lacks fruit has FORGOTTEN that he was cleansed from his old sins.

All is well in the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the one who supports us, nourishes us, strengthens us. Our heavenly Father is the one who lifts us up, that we may bear more fruit. (John 15: 2).

There’s a song we used to sing in our childhood days which goes like this:

  • I’ve found a new way of living,
  • I’ve found a new life divine;
  • I’ve found the fruit of the Spirit,
  • By abiding – abiding in the Vine.
  • Abiding in the Vine, abiding in the Vine
  • Love. Joy, Health, Peace – He has made them mine!
  • I’ve found prosperity, power and victory
  • Abiding, abiding in the Vine.

May Grace and Peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Now New Covenant

Aren’t we thankful to God that we have.a New Covenant in Jesus Christ. It is described in Hebrews 8.

Hebrews 8:8, 10-12 NKJV

Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah- [10] For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. [11] None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. [12] For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

No need for anybody to teach about God and His laws. Each one will know Him – from the least (smallest) to the greatest. Because His personality is REVEALED in Jesus Christ. When we know Jesus, God’s laws will be put into our hearts and minds…. because of the Holy Spirit abundantly poured out on us -who’ve believed in Jesus. And we will know the WILL of the Lord. What to do, and what not!

This means that there is a time come that nobody is required to study, meditate and spend time in Scriptures, but to really come to know the Person Jesus Christ. As Paul declares boldly “that I may know Him and power of His resurrection” and in another place “But we have the mind of Christ”.

And that is why I am so glad, because ALL are included HERE. All nations, all tribes, all languages, all races. Not just the Ph.D scholars, theology teachers, and doctors of divinity; but also the illiterate, the uneducated and the lowest strata of people in the whole world.

That is how it started with Jesus – when angels announced His birth to the lowly shepherds! That is how Jesus continued when He started His ministry when He chose even the illiterate fishermen to be His disciples – the ones who would, later, change the world upside down!

Faith is beyond human reasoning! Faith just knows it is true, without the process of knowledge gained through human effort. That is why Peter defends Paul -though admitting that there are some things written by Paul which are hard to understand, yet only unstable souls will twist to their own destruction (2 Pet. 3: 16).

Nobody uses a cassette for listening to music nowadays, or the walkman. It has become obsolete. Even so the Old Covenant of Moses’ laws on Mount Sinai. For it says in

Hebrews 8:13 NKJV

In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

It is for us to hold on this New Covenant of mercy and grace. No condemnation now, for God says that He will not remember our sins.

Hallelujah!

Here i am. Send me.

  • By David Nesaraj

Once in a while, for us, there is a tendency to be disheartened, sad, discouraged – and it has nothing to do with our relationship with the Father through Jesus, or our fellowship in His Spirit. But it is to do with others – who offend, mock, reject and treat us as refuse. I remember, as a youth how we all worked together and we used to discuss that all we wanted was some recognition, acknowledgement for our work. Even now I see it in youths here – Treat us right, else we wind up and go.

As we grow up in Christian life, we learn to speak of our hurts to our Father; tell Him that we will have nothing to do with THOSE PEOPLE who hurt us, mocked us or rejected us. Sometime, we even go to the extent of saying Father, I have had enough of all these… let me come home.

I know we can be hurt, feel rejected to such an extent that we may want to shut ourselves up and turn up our noses at those who hurt. At least we have Jesus, and that’s enough as a Trump card. 

But beloved, today, I want you to focus on the heart of God from Isaiah Chapter 6. Are you so focussed on what is hurting you, that you have not spared a thought for what is hurting God’s heart? The call of God is: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” Who? Who?

If you would not, then who would?

And we can learn from the response of Isaiah: Here I am, Send me.

And He says “Go, tell…”

And this Christmas season, know that the author of Salvation has come down, as we joyfully proclaim Jesus’ birth through our carol-singing. Yes, we will GO.

Go! Tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere..
Go! TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN
THAT JESUS CHRIST IS BORN

go-tell

While shepherds watched their flocks by night
All seated on the ground;
The angel of the Lord came down
And glory shone around

ALL GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH
AND TO THE EARTH BE PEACE.
GOODWILL HENCEFORTH FROM HEAV’N TO MEN –
BEGIN AND NEVER CEASE.

All things richly receive – Because He gave Him up

– By Grace Nesaraj

The season of Christmas (termed as the Advent or “Arrival” season) is really about giving, isn’t it? We see how it was in God’s heart to save mankind… and He GAVE, as is written in John 3:16 – God so loved the world, that HE GAVE His only begotten Son that WHOSOVER BELIEVES IN HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life.

And Jesus came – the full embodiment of the Father Himself. Like Father, like Son… He gave himself up to die on the cross. The price to be paid for your salvation and mine, has been fully paid by Jesus alone; by His blood, our sins- past, present and future, have been washed away. We stand justified, free, captivated only by His grace that has been poured out for you and me. You were bought with a price – you do not belong to yourself (1 Cor. 6: 20). And as a New Covenant believer, all that you have too belongs to Him (and not just the tenth or tithe). Jesus gave gifts to children of men (Eph. 4: 7, 8), and the Baptizer of the Holy Spirit has poured out His Spirit on us ABUNDANTLY – the Spirit of Grace and Truth (Titus 3: 5-7).

As God’s children, we too are called to be GIVERS. Whether to ministry, or to the poor, or to the brethren… we do it all for Jesus.

And today, I want to remind you of this verse in Romans 8: 32 – “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS?”

Beloved, therefore do not be disheartened or discouraged about anything. Think about it – the Father really had only Jesus whom He loved, but gave Him up for us! How will He not give us ALL THINGS? Sometimes we have to cultivate this habit of being DEAF and DUMB to the things of this WORLD system. Say it, – DEAF and DUMB! Yes, maybe BLIND too! About the insults, rejection, prickly barbs and pointed words! Remember, the Father has GIVEN ALL THINGS in giving up CHRIST JESUS. Therefore, our sufficiency is in HIM – whether schooling, career, future … YOU can TRUST Him who GAVE ALL. Amen.

 

Disciple or Believer?

John Chapter 9 gives the classic progression of a disciple to a believer. Yes you read it right! From a DISCIPLE to a BELIEVER. I know many look at it the other way, and say how a believer has to learn discipline and become a disciple. I am offering an explanation only from the gospel of John, that a disciple indeed must progress to become a believer.

The story is narrated of a blind man receiving sight, as Jesus anoints his eyes with clay and asks him to go to the pool of Siloam and wash. (John 9:11)
All was well till the Pharisees came to inquire who had dared to “work” on a Sabbath and brought healing. Facing a “dire” consequence of being put out of the synagogue, even his parents say, “He is of age; ask him”
The particular man of the moment who had received sight had no qualms saying it over and over how it was done, calling Jesus “A Prophet” and enquired whether the Pharisees too wanted to become His disciples! (John 9:28).

The indignant Pharisees replied “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples”
Now let us pause a moment here with this question.

The blind man who had received healing has become Jesus’ disciple as per his own confession as well as the accusation of the Pharisees. But, do you think he is a believer, yet?

No. Because Jesus meets the healed man when he was put out of the synagogue and says to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” (John 9: 35). He replies saying “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” When Jesus reveals that He Himself is the Son of God, the blind man who was made well replies “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped Him.

I love this classic progress of a disciple to a believer, and have come to know that it is easier to find disciples of Jesus than believers in Jesus!

Or have you ever wondered why Peter was restored – who swore and said ‘I don’t know Him’ and Judas was not – who said ‘I know Him; I’ll show Him’? In human thinking, at least Judas did not lie!

But the simple answer is found in John 6:64 – Judas was NOT a believer (though a disciple). It also says in the same chapter in John 6: 66, that many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. And just a few verses later, we have this confession from Peter “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to BELIEVE and KNOW that YOU ARE THE CHRIST, the SON OF THE LIVING GOD.” (John 6:68, 69).

And Peter was restored, while Judas was not! Because, Judas never did believe in the Healer, though he could very well have believed in the healing. And the same could be said of Thomas who was restored, when he believed and cried out “My Lord and My God”.

Just as we saw in the confession of the blind man whose sight was restored. For the confession of a BELIEVER is this: “Jesus is the Christ (the Anointed One) – the Son of the Living God“.

Make this your confession today, and you WILL BE RESTORED – whatever you have done, and wherever you have gone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Justified Freely in Christ Jesus

by David Nesaraj on November 14, 2016

Isn’t it great to have a fellowship with a person – Jesus Christ, believing in Him? And no longer be under the idea of “karma” – do good-get good; do bad-get bad?  NO, NO, NO. We are under GRACE totally, to know that our acceptance by God is NOT based on our performance but by grace through FAITH in Jesus Christ.

As Indwin had shared the portion where Jesus talks to Jairus “Do not be afraid. Only believe” – every time I come across this passage, I pause to consider what Jesus said: “Only believe!” – Really? Yes.

And that’s our standing too, now. And because we have believed in Him (Jesus), we are justified freely by His grace, having no condemnation. And we have the identity as sons and daughters of the Most High God, sealed by the Holy Spirit who is poured out on us – the Spirit of grace; and in our times of need, with great boldness we approach the throne of grace, calling out “Abba, Father” – Daddy!

In the Scripture we just meditated on bearing fruit to His name through His Spirit -Gal. 5: 22, 23, a striking sentence is follows- “…Against such there is no law.”

In the past weeks, we have seen how God has delivered us out of law (of performances) and into the perfect law of liberty (freedom) in Christ, receiving (though unmerited) “gifts” as befits children of God.

Today, I want to talk about Sarah-yes, that woman of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11:11 “She judged Him faithful who promised.” And Peter, the disciple whom Jesus restored. Were they perfect people? Of course not! Did God justify them and restored their gifts? Absolutely. On what account? On account of their faith in Jesus.

Jesus? Yes, it was Jesus who talked to Sarah on that day, when three men visited Abraham. It is found in Gen. 18. While Jesus was talking to Abraham, saying Sarah shall have a son, she looked at the situation and laughed within herself saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” (Gen. 18:12).

To Sarah’s consternation Jesus pointedly asks, “Why did Sarah laugh?” I can see the sense of fear spreading across Sarah’s face as she quickly denies laughing. I can also see Jesus looking at her, in a reassuring way with a twinkle in His eye, as He says “But you did laugh.”

What a picture of grace! There is an apparent disbelief on Sarah’s part, and she compounds it by lying through her teeth. But you know what? God calls her a woman of faith as in Heb. 11:11 “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised” That is an astounding statement.

But what about her apparent disbelief and lie? See, you may disbelieve by what you see OUTSIDE, but hold on to Christ INSIDE; the physical principles may fail, but the promises of that One Person cannot fail. And Sarah judged Him faithful… and that is faith for you. (see also 1 Peter 3:6).

Another example is Peter – the impulsive, first-out-of-flight type of person who boasted that even if others fail, “I will never…” on that night of Passover in Jerusalem. Jesus looks at him, tells plainly that he is gonna deny Him – THRICE, before dawn (before the rooster crows).

Jesus met this same Peter a third time after resurrection (written in John 21), and after a breakfast by the sea, calls Peter aside and asks him “Simon, son of Jonah, do you (agape) love me?” The usually self-confident Peter had had a change INSIDE – instead of an “I” he starts the sentence with “You”: “You know Lord, that I (phileo) love you”. What?

Yes, in the Greek, the word Peter used was for a “friendly” (phileo) love, while the question of Jesus was for a sacrificial, unconditional “agape” love. But you know what?

Jesus came down to Peter’s level, and the third time asks him “Simon, son of Jonah, do you (phileo) love Me?” And a troubled Peter  answers, “You know all things, Lord. You know that I (phileo) love You.” (John 21:17)

What a change in Peter! Admitting, by his own mouth, that his love for Jesus may NOT be perfect!

But the good news is that Jesus accepts you, even though you are less than perfect. And Jesus restored Peter’s ministerial calling that day! – “Feed My lambs – Tend My sheep – Feed My sheep

What? Is He nuts? Peter just a few days earlier denied Him – not once, not twice, but thrice.

Today, you must know that Jesus loves you, and accepts you, even though you are less than perfect. Sarah and Peter are just 2 examples. But in reality nobody is perfect; “none righteous – no, not one.” We really love Him, because He first loved us. His love is perfect.

But God demonstrated His love through One Perfect Man – Jesus Christ, who shed his blood on the cross, to forgive all our sins, and He paid the price of peace – our reconciliation with God who has become our Father. We who believe in Christ Jesus, are born-again, begotten of the Father (according to 1 Peter 1:3) and His seed remains in us, and we can experience a fruit-bearing life here on earth. Amen.

Hi There!

This is just a start to write out a blog of what we discuss and share in our “Dunamis” Monday meetings, here in Anushakti Nagar.

Please share your thoughts on this!

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Vessel Unclean!

Judge a Tree by its fruit.

by Grace Nesaraj on November 14, 2016

Matt. 23: 25, 26 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside…”

Sanctification starts on the inside, by the Sanctifier Himself. It starts the moment you believe in Jesus, and continues till He comes again or till the time our bodies go down to earth. (2 Thes. 5:17-21).

Religion teaches otherwise-start doing this, that! Religious folks can be found even today who start on the OUTSIDE – do this, do that, and by the time you finish that come for prayer, kneel down, close your eyes, and all the other external stuff to feel “holy”! Jesus lambasted the Pharisees, even admitting they tithe and say long prayers, but neglecting the weightier matters of mercy, justice and truth. Ah…but that’s INSIDE stuff.

How do you judge whether a person is good or bad? Anyone can pretend to be good (just as the Pharisees “for a pretense say long prayers”) by DOING the right things, SAYING the right things or MAKING the right noises. But all this is inconsequential, if nothing has changed on the INSIDE of you. As we saw, in the instance of Jesus cursing the fig tree – there can be a lot of leaves – all green and full, but Jesus when looking for a fig fruit found none. Jesus cursed the fig tree and it withered from its root upwards!

You can know them by their fruit. Luke 6:43, 44 “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit…”

An apple seed is supposed to produce only apple tree! An orange seed cannot produce apple trees. 1 John 3:9 “Whoever has been born of God does not sin. For His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”

What a radical statement by John (by the way “John” means grace) – the apostle of love. Now we can either believe in this super-abounding grace of God through His seed-Jesus living on the inside of us, or we disbelieve and depend on our understanding and outside experiences.

Gal. 5: 22, 23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

This is the fruit that we bear; this is the fruit that we can look for when the Spirit of God lives inside of us. You must know for sure that God in Christ has loved us. And you and I are called to be His children. Is it any wonder that we “act” or “behave” like Him? It comes naturally, because His seed is in the inside of us. Just as it would not surprise you, if our child behaved like his father, so it is no surprise that we do the things that our Father does – healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, preaching the gospel to the poor.

Even as you go about your normal work or studies, you can talk to Him-our Father. It does not require a special place, or a special time or a special posture. Run to Him anytime “Daddy!” Talk to Him while you drive, or while in the bath, or even as you stand waiting for a train or bus. He loves to hear from you. Amen.

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