Moving to a website

This blog is moved permanently to a website http://www.johnjebaseelan.com . Kindly follow the posts there…

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God’s ways are unique

“It is not by sword or spear the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord’s” I Samuel 17: 47

The event of David defeating Goliath showcases the formidable faith David had on God. This example of faith could be a great fillip to our spiritual lives.

David was a shepherd boy who was unaware of the sophisticated military strategies of his days. But he knew a spiritual lesson which King Saul and the army of Israel did not understand – that God saves his people not through sword or spear.

He was not relying on any weapon to defeat the gigantic Goliath.

I am sure he was not also relying on the stones and the sling. He understood that when the battle is Lord’s he will even use the unassuming things to defeat the enemy.

Faith in God is enough!

This faith in God made him declare in front of everyone that, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty” (v.45).

When we face problems and uncertainties in our lives, we can use these lessons. World may think only a person who is stronger than the problem would overcome it. But God’s children know that when the battle is fought in the honour of God, He will use any unimportant ways to defeat the enemy.

When you face Goliath, do not fear if you don’t have sword or you are not used to handling spear. When God is with you, your limited strength (or even your worst weakness) is enough to overcome the enemy.

Indeed, God’s ways are unique.

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Outward signs are not enough

A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly…” Romans 2: 28

In the book of Romans, Paul is destroying the myth held by his contemporary Jews. Many Jews thought they owed their Jewishness to the circumcision. But Paul is pointing out that it is only an outward sign. Only if they lived a life prescribed by the law inwardly they can claim to be a Jew.

Paul is pointing to them the flaws of their lives.

They judge others but they do the same things (v.1). This shows their hypocrisy. They did not bother to retrospect on their own action. They were quick to condemn others while doing the same things.

Though they have the law, they fail to follow it diligently. They delude themselves into thinking that hearing the law would make them righteous. Paul is telling it is not one who hears the law but the one who obeys the law would be righteous (v.13).

These words are apt for our Christian lives.

If we claim to be a Christian because of our birth in a Christian family, baptism, confirmation, regular church attendance, contributions etc, we would be fooling ourselves.

Outward things might make people of this world to say that we are Christians, because people can see only the outward things. But God sees our heart. If we want to receive a citation from God we should develop inner habits also.

We should practice Christianity meaningfully. We should understand that it is not the outward signs which make us Christians but the inner attitude and the consistent behaviour.

This calls for constant retrospection of our attitude and actions in the light of the Word of God.

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Lent: Time to step out of the self-deception

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God” Luke 18: 14

Self-deception is a great danger in Christian life. It is an effective weapon in the hands of the devil. It makes one think that everything is alright with their lives and deny the blatant evidences which point towards a different direction.

Jesus is talking about a man who was deceiving himself in this parable. He was a temple goer, a man of prayer and a person who did things according to the instructions of the law.

But Jesus is concluding the parable by saying that it is not this Pharisee but another man, a tax collector, who told God that he was a sinner but ultimately went home justified by God!

What was the problem here?

It is self-deception.

The Pharisee was deceiving himself by saying that he was righteous. He was magnifying his acts of righteousness. He was justifying the delusion by making comparison with others who are ‘sinners’. But at the end he failed to see that being proud of his righteousness is itself a sin.

He was close to the temple than the Tax Collector but far away from God.

He was doing everything right in action but completely ungodly in his attitude.

He had a wrong notion about prayer that instead of praying to God he was praying (bragging) about himself.

But on the contrary, the Tax Collector knew who he was. He did not have any wrong notion about his true self. He understood his condition. He accepted that he had lived a terrible life. He acknowledged the fact that he deserves no mercy and had no rights to even look up to heaven.

This truthful self analysis and his humility made him go home justified that day.

Do you know yourself? Or do you have self-deluding image about yourself which is making you feel what you are not?

What is deceiving you in your life?

To avoid this pitfall of self-delusion we need regular retrospection.

Lent in the Christian calendar provides us great opportunity to do it systematically. So commit yourselves to make use of this time profitably. Devote more time for evaluating your life and motives.

Holy Spirit will point out the facts about your life. Change it prayfully.

Then this lent will be a useful time to step out of our self-delusion.

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Living for others

“So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people” I Kings 3: 9

Solomon’s wisdom is well known to the world and his prayer for wisdom is much preached and appreciated in the Christian world. When he chose wisdom as the most important gift he wanted, God granted it in exceptional quantity and also gave him what he did not asked for – wealth, long life and peace under his reign.

Why God was so generous?

When we feel many times that God is not answering our long time prayers, this guy was given things which he did not asked for along with what he wanted. It is baffling!

I guess the clue is in finding why Solomon asked for wisdom. He asked wisdom so that he will govern the great people of God and will fulfil the purpose for which God made him a king over Israel.

Wow! That was awesome. He did not ask wisdom to be a great king; instead he wanted to rule the people wisely. At the beginning of his kingship he had a great concern for his people. He feared God and wanted to follow what his father taught him.

We see the same pattern in Job’s life. When Job prayed for his friends God healed him and made him prosperous with twofold blessing (Job 42: 10).

In our prayers also let us focus on others. If we seek God for others, we and our family will surely get God’s blessing. When we place the needs of others in the front, God will take care of our needs.

Rev. John Jebaseelan

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Stewardship

“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” Psalm 24: 1

stewardship

stewardship

Christian stewardship springs from the belief that everything belongs to God. God’s ownership extends to every single thing in this world, including all we have. It doesn’t matter whether I inherited a big property from my ancestors or I have worked hard to earn my comfortable life. Everything belongs to God.

Firm belief in this concept makes a person a mere manager of resources and not the owner. If a person is just a manager, he or she is accountable. The manager should report the way resources were spent to the owner at one point of time.

This is true for our lives.

God has given us different types of resources – money, property, healthy body, time etc.

Are we good stewards? Are we using them for our luxury or to fulfil the will of the owner?

Take money as an example. We always feel we have earned it and so it belong to us. We also claim ownership and think we have the authority to use it in a way it pleases us.  But even our hard earned money belongs to God. He, in His grace, has granted us the temporary hold over it.

A healthy body is also God’s gift. We may boast of inheriting it from our father or an ancestor. We may claim I have never visited hospital and fallen sick. But what good it is if we do not use our health for the benefit of others and according to God’s will because He is the owner.

Only if we use these gifts of God wisely, we would be called faithful and wise servant. Or it would be taken away from us.

This act of faith – fully accepting the ownership of God over everything we have – is difficult to achieve. As we grow in faith, we need to become more and more aware of God’s ownership and our stewardship.

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Satisfaction

Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. Luke 22: 35

Disciples on Mission

Disciples on Mission

“Our mind is our worst enemy” says a learned man. It is true in so many ways. Satisfaction lies in our mind. Our satisfaction is not depending on the external things we posses. It depends on our inner attitude.

Jesus made his disciples to go to villages without money and comfort of the sandals. Then when he asked whether they lacked anything, the disciples told him that they did not lack anything.

Are they nuts?

They did miss sense of security when they did not carry their purse. They did miss their favourite things of comfort when they left their bags behind. Their bare foot must have reminded them surely of their cosy homes.

Yet, in spite of all these material lacking, they proclaimed that they did not lack anything.

That is strange!

Truly, God’s economy is a strange one!

God continually makes us realise that it is not the material things, but the inner peace which we possess through God’s grace which makes us happy.

It was said that while scanning different things displayed in a shop, Socrates remarked that I came here to check how much happy I am in spite of not possessing all these things.

When we have the Godly attitude, we will surely live a life of contentment. World strives to tell us that we need so many things to live a comfortable and a confident life. TV advertisements only points to what we lack and make us feel inferior to the ones possessing it. But we need to realise that only God can lead us towards a fulfilling life.

Biblical satisfaction is completely contrasting to our modern culture of consumerism. Our culture says we are the happiest when we possess different latest things but Bible teaches us that in spite of our possession or lack of possession of material things, satisfaction comes from doing what God wants us to do.

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