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July 24th, 2020

God Is Still Willing

God is still willing

In Matthew 8, a man with leprosy comes to Jesus and worships Him. He does this because he knows God can do anything. In fact, he’d have probably heard about all the miracles Jesus was doing for others, but internally he had the same question you and I still have today.

“I know GOD can do anything for OTHERS but is HE really WILLING to help ME?”

Does God really care about MY LIFE?
Which is it? Does God want to LOVE me or SLUG me?

You know, this story of the man with leprosy is in the Bible only because God wanted to reveal His character to us once and for all. He didn’t want us to be in the dark when it came to His will. And what’s more, Jesus didn’t want us to question whether or not He was truly willing to help us!

Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy

In the story, the leper comes to Jesus, vulnerable and with humility, to seek healing, but he still questioned whether or not God WANTED to heal him. The leper knows all too well how much he was suffering, so he puts himself out there, probably embarrassing himself. He kneels publicly before Jesus.

So…here we finally find out if Jesus will turn the leper away and reject his desire, or whether He would welcome Him with open arms and heal him! Almost afraid to breathe, the leprous man waits on his knees before Jesus and all the people gathered around Him.

What happens next is no surprise. The Bible says Jesus REACHED OUT and TOUCHED THE LEPER (something that was forbidden by society) and He lovingly tells this man the words many of us need to hear today.

“I AM WILLING, BE HEALED.”

And at that moment, the leprosy instantly disappeared.

Today, you might be wondering if Jesus really cares about your struggles and what you are going through. I have got good news: He does.

Jesus is never changing, which means that He is always the same: yesterday, today and forever. Today Jesus desires to help and love you through whatever you are going through. Today, He still is willing!

Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleaned of his leprosy. (Matthew 8:3)

– – – written by Surjith Jacob

June 14th, 2016

As In The Mirror

As In The Mirror

“You light a smile to shine on my face, You inspire a song with Your warm embrace”

Everyone on this earth has experience of seeing their beautiful self on a mirror. We check our get-up, mono act, imitate, mimic and what not? Right from before Christ, mirrors are ancient devices for enhancing beauty. As we browse the Bible, we get a clear vision of what it means to stand in front of a mirror.

Seeing Ourselves In The Mirror, In The Physical Realm

“For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror.” [James 1:23] When we stand in front of the mirror, we see ourselves. The moment we go from there we lose that image of us. It just vanishes. Thus when we hear God’s Word, we realise the rich essence of it and relish the nourishment it gives us. The moment we close the Bible, everything goes out of sight, out of mind and we fall back into our mundane routine; mere hearers of the Word of God ending up in vanity!

Seeing Ourselves In The Mirror, In The Spiritual Realm

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” [2 Corinthians 3:18] When we allow the Word to work in us, transform our life situations, repent, forgive, exercise charity, spread love and hope always, this brings tremendous power, joy and growth in spirituality, thereby when we see our face in the mirror in the spiritual realm we see Christ in us. Amen. Beholding the Glory of God by the power of the true living, moving and powerful HOLY SPIRIT; as Thomas Kempis send a final call to all of us to become Imitations of Christ.

Becoming The Image Of God

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” [1 Corinthians 13:12] When we build this relationship with God we get direct access with Him as He spoke to so many, so many saints who had direct rendezvous with God in their daily lives. We begin to understand all the hidden mysteries of our creation, purpose and mission.

We become living saints, moving around, rendering helping hand to the needy in constant prayer and communication with God. Remember every saint that the church canonized was an ordinary person like you and me. They worked for sainthood by taking the Word of God seriously and surrendered their lives to the will of God.

“GOD’S WILL, NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS, NOTHING ELSE” goes the saying. In this year of Mercy, let us all aspire to see the visible face of the invisible father as Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman, understand God in fullness, completeness, wholesome, perfection which will help us to have a glorious finish, as we enter the gates of heavenly abode. Amen!

– – – written by Cecilia Francis

December 24th, 2015

Should God Die For Man?

Should God Die For Man

The Bible says: ‘The earth shook’ when Jesus breathed his last breath. Not only the earth, but also the heaven with all the angels, saints and wise men, stood in awestruck state of perplexity, to see the mighty God hang on the cross bleeding drop by drop between the heaven and earth. No one ever understood the greatest mystery behind this great event, the climax scene of the life of Jesus, fulfilling every prophesy.

Questions One May Ask

To a person who has not known Christ, a series of questions come rolling down like:

Three people die on the same day, same way, crucified…yet we know not the name or the face of the other two…only Jesus is known by almost all the mankind for 2015 years. How can this happen? Why only him? Why churches only for him? What is so special about his death? Were not the apostles also crucified? Why don’t we do the same for them? …and many more questions like these.

God’s Plan For Jesus

John 3:16 says God so loved the world. Yes, His love for us was so infinite and unfathomable that He chose His only son as the man to die on the cross with one and only one crime and that is LOVE.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. [song of solomon 8:6-7] Yes indeed, Love is as strong as Death. He needed His own son’s blood as a redeeming sacrifice. “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains” (Taken from the hymn ‘There is a fountain filled with blood’).

Jesus understood his father’s plan and willingly came forward to offer his body as a living, loving sacrifice. He says “sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; behold, I have come to do your will, O God.” [Hebrews 10:5-7] For he knew that it is impossible for blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Amen! [Hebrews 10:4]

Why Should God Die The Way He Did?

14 How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the “eternal spirit” offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant. 16 Where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Hence not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.

19 For when every commandment had been told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.23 Thus it was necessary for copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself now to appear in presence of God on our behalf. [Hebrew 9:14-23]

Consequences Of Crucifixion

In the book of Isaiah we read ‘He poured out soul to death’ [Isaiah 53:12]. This is the difference between the death of others crucified and death of Jesus. They are not the same, never! His soul was tormented by the evil power, the entire world’s sin was upon him, his communion with God the Father was disconnected, for sin is defined as ‘going away from God’.

The physical torture lasted for three full hours on the cross which everybody saw. Parallelly in the spiritual realm, his soul so pure and unblemished underwent pain and agony, words cannot explain. That was the price the devil wanted from God to release mankind from his grip. We are all bought with a price. We are priceless. We are liberated, ransomed, forgiven, healed, renewed. Our access to heaven for eternal life was made possible by and only by the blood of our lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the spirit. [1 Peter 3:18]

Stigmata

The lover wants to be like the beloved! The sheer depth of immense love is a divine gift to his bride. This is a mystical ecstatic love intimacy with Jesus in everything. St.paul, Catherine, Helen, John of cross, Padre Pio, Sebastian, Francis of Assisi and many more experienced this intimacy and sustained the wounds, sometimes even invisible, as in the case of St.Faustina. Deep meditations on the passion and death of Christ brings the scenes alive, becomes flesh in them. One surprising thing to be noted is that all these saints have taken holy communion and had undoubted faith in the Eucharistic Lord.

Crucifixion Through Holy Mass

Jesus says “for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. [Matthew 26:28] Thus crucifixion is happening every moment, every second, as and when each priest lifts up the host and says “this is my body” and not ‘like’ my body. The priest gets transformed into Christ. This transubstantiation is in accordance with the divine exchange that took place on the cross. It has to be this way till the second coming, that is why he said “do this in memory of me”. He humbled himself to nothing and became obedient unto death, even death on the cross…[Philippians 2:6] “In him we find redemption through his blood ,forgiveness…” [Ephesians 1:7]

Victim Becomes The Victor

“When love meets sin, it is crucified; but it will rise again” says Fulton Sheen. Jesus is love personified, love is God. This love became flesh, took our pains, sins and shame and came back to glory in the fullest form. We can never bury the truth and expect it to be there. It will definitely surface and come out just as Jesus did. He said I am the way, the truth, the life and He proved it. So let us not have an iota of doubt in our minds in surrendering our lives to Jesus and walk out of our graven situations with full glory, honour and might as Jesus did. Amen!

The emptiness of the tomb of Christ is enough to fill any emptiness in your life. It is the greatest symbol of hope! Let us march towards that glorious finish. Amen!

– – – written by Cecilia Francis

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