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September 14th, 2010

Story : Is Your God Dead?

Is Your God Dead

Story : Is your God dead?

A renowned Gospel preacher from Europe met with some awful problems in his ministry and was weighed down by despair. Days passed, but he had no upturn. Though his wife tried to console him and instill hope, it was in vain. One day, surprisingly, his wife appeared to Him in black clothes. It is the custom of European countries that people wear such dresses on the demise of somebody or for some funeral functions.So then, the husband asked with awe, ‘who is dead?’

“God! Who else?” He was really surprised and did not understand what she was telling. So he asked her again… “Tell me, who is dead?” In serious tone, she replied with the same answer, “That God, whom you preach, is dead!”

Suddenly standing up from his seat, he shouted, ‘Are you mad?’

“I am not mad… You only preach that God is Almighty, all powerful and He will turn everything into good. Yet, you are in despair. If that God is alive, would He not intervene in your problems and solve it? If that God, who turns everything for good, is alive, would He not turn your failures into success? Then, is it not unfair that you’re gloomy over your problems? I think you should worry this much, only when your God dies!”

He felt ashamed of his lack of faith hearing those words from his wife. Suddenly he fell on his knees and in loud voice, started praying the Apostle’s creed… “I believe in God, the Father Almighty…” Relieved from his despair within a few minutes, he was filled with courage and strength.

Reflection:

Many times we think that our problems lead us to despair. Diseases, financial constraints, family problems, isolation… these troubles have no power to lead us to despair. But many times we loose hope in front of these difficulties. What could be the reason?

Our look turns from God to the problems. When we always gaze at our problems, they become larger and our God becomes smaller. If we are not able to see the almighty God, the problems will start conquering us.

If we profess continuously our faith in the Almighty God, then our problems will become uncomplicated. The cause of despair is not the problems we face, but our lack of faith. We loose our confidence, when we loose faith in God and in His mercy.

So, take courage… how great our problems may be… how terrible our struggles… Do not give way to despair. Because our God is still greater than they are. When we are filled with the presence of the Almighty God, the red sea will divide, Jordan will give way, forts of Jericho will fall down and Goliaths will fail.

“Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” – (Is. 41:10). Let these words provide us with great strength.

Let us pray:

Lord, I proclaim that you are the creator and owner of this universe. Nothing is impossible to You. I submit all my problems and worries in your hands. I praise you Lord, who is up above all my struggles. Increase my faith and make me strong… Amen.

– – – written by Benny Punnathara

August 29th, 2010

Story : Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love in Action

There was a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. He hesitated only for a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes I’ll do it if it will save her.”

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away”.

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her. But why do we not wonder, that he was ready to die for his sister!

Read another story of unconditional love here.

Unconditional Love of God

The Bible tells us that “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). There are many passages in the Bible that give us God’s definition of love. The most well known verse is John 3:16, “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.” So one way God defines love is in the act of giving.

However, what God gave (or should we say, “who” God gave) was not a mere gift-wrapped present; God sacrificed His only Son so that we, who put our faith in His Son, will not spend eternity separated from Him. This is an amazing love, because we are the ones who choose to be separated from God through our own sin, yet it’s God who mends the separation through His intense personal sacrifice, and all we have to do is accept His gift.

God is Love, and His love is very different from human love. God’s love is unconditional, and it’s not based on feelings or emotions. He doesn’t love us because we’re lovable or because we make Him feel good; He loves us because He is love. He created us to have a loving relationship with Him, and He sacrificed His own Son (who also willingly died for us) to restore that relationship.

August 10th, 2010

Imitating His Voice

Imitating His Voice

Story : Imitating His Voice

Pastor Mark Thompson of Faribault, Minnesota, suffered terrible knife wounds from an assailant in his home, in October 1988. One of the many consequences of his difficult recovery was being forced to miss watching his son Chris run in the state cross-country championship meet.

Pastor Thompson commissioned his brother Merv to go in his stead. According to the account in the St. Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch, Mark told his brother, “I can’t be there to see Chris run. So I want you there at the beginning of the race. Holler a lot…. Then at the end, I want you to really cheer loudly. And I want you to make your voice sound like mine.”

Merv heeded the advice, and Chris ran a strong race, finishing second. Merv, also a pastor, discerned the theological truth in the story.

“That’s what Jesus wants us to do.” he said. “Make your voice sound like mine.”

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