Monday, March 5, 2018

Casting out of a demon in the Psychiatry OPD

Casting out of a demon in the Psychiatry OPD

Dear friends, I just wanted to share an encouraging incident of a demon being cast out in my Psychiatry OPD a few weeks ago.

One man of more than 60 years, with history suggestive of Dysthymia and Possession attacks, was the patient. After prescribing medicines, he requested me to pray for him, since he knew about my faith.

As I was praying binding the activities of the devil, I was hearing noisy deep breaths. I opened my eyes to see the patient staring at me in fierce anger, telling me “I will not leave, I will not leave”. I just commanded the evil spirit to leave him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ Who defeated the devil on the Cross, and stated that the devil has no authority over him. 

There was no need for any noise or clamour, that even patients waiting outside the room, did not know what happened inside! There was no need for any shouting or screaming characteristic of many similar so-called casting out of demons, because demons, anyway, have no hearing deficits and they are not afraid of our screaming, but rather scared of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

And the patient fell on the floor, without resulting in any injury (as we read in Luke 4: 35). His fast breathing slowed down, and he opened his eyes. I told him to sit on the chair. He sat on the chair. 

I asked him whether he remembered what he told me. He said he did not remember, but that he felt intense, fierce anger against me during prayer. I smiled at him and explained what happened. (I refreshed a great spiritual lesson that anger is the character of the devil, and that we are holding hands with the devil when we become angry).

A few similar encounters have occurred like this in my Psychiatry practice. I just shared this to reinforce the fact that our faith is not based on some old, historical mythology, but on the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is very real and ever present with us through the genuine fullness of the Holy Spirit!

Praise be to the Lord Jesus alone, on Whose name alone the demons tremble with fear! (James 2: 19). And praise God for the authority the Lord has given us in the name of Christ Jesus, over all the activities of the devil! (Luke 10: 19)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Worship and Work

Worship and Work

Question 1: “Work is worship” is a common saying we hear everywhere. Is that true Biblically?

Answer 1: Even among the apparently good works, there are two types:

1)   Works done to earn money, honour, to satisfy our conscience, done out of compulsion, pressure or obligation etc

2)   Works done out of a simple and pure devotion to the Lord Jesus (2 Corinthians 11: 2, 3), in a spirit of worship. We might earn money as a remuneration for such works as in our regular job, but we do that work as unto the Lord (Colossians 3: 23, 24).

The first type of works, even if they are done under the name “Christian work or ministry” are “dead works” according to the standard of the Bible. So a "good" work done to impress anyone other than the Lord Jesus Christ, is a dead work! See Matthew 6: 1-17; 7: 21-23; 15: 13; 1 Corinthians 3: 12-15; Hebrews 9: 14; Isaiah 64: 6.

 The second type of works only will have any value before the Lord and lasts for eternity! Those are the works that are done by a person who is worshipping the Lord in his heart. That is why Lord Jesus rightly quoted the order to the devil in Matthew 4: 10: You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only”. First worship and then serve.

The promptings and motivation of such works originate FROM the mind of the HEAVENLY FATHER. They are done THROUGH the power and strength of the HOLY SPIRIT. And they are done TO the glory of the LORD JESUS CHRIST! That is what Romans 11: 36 says: “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen”.

Such works are the gold, silver and precious stones described in 1 Corinthians 3: 12-15, that will form the Bridal garment of the Bride of Christ (Revelation 19: 8). And such works alone will have any reward at the judgement seat of Christ! (Revelation 22:12).

This is not dichotomization of worship and work. But both would be integrated (that is, our work can be an act of pure worship to the Lord), only if we are first a worshipper! But beware: all work is not worship at all…

Question 2: How can we balance worship and work?

Answer 2: Genesis 1: 5 says “…And there was evening and there was morning, one day”. That was the original order of the Lord. Even today Jewish day begins at 6pm with evening and is followed by the morning. This teaches us to rest with God (worship Him) first and then go out to work for Him along with Him.

When God created Adam and Eve at the end of the sixth day of creation, for them the seventh day of Sabbath was their first day, in which they rested with (worshipped) God (Genesis 2: 2, 3). From that energy derived from being with God, they were supposed to work in the garden for the Lord (Genesis 2: 15).

Lord Jesus said: “…he shall go in (worship) and out (work) and find pasture” (John 10: 9).

As Dr Kuruvilla Varkey says, this is the balance we see even in our human body: there is resting membrane potential and action potential in our cells. There is diastole (relaxation) and systole (contraction) in our heart.

If worship is the root of a tree, then work is the shoot. If worship is being, then work is doing. If worship is the foundation of the building of our life (hidden from all others –Matthew 6:6), then work is the superstructure, our powerful external testimony like the city set on a hill which cannot be hidden (Matthew 5: 14). A tree without deep roots and a building without a deep foundation will fall down when the trials and temptations come (Matthew 7: 24- 27). And so will a life with much works and no or scanty worship!

If worship is the oil (love of God through the Holy Spirit –Romans 5: 5) in the lamp of the wise virgins in Matthew 25: 1-13, which nobody could see, then work is the light in the lamps. So those who have only works and no or meagre worship, are like the foolish virgins who did not have any extra oil in their lamps, who were not eventually ready to meet the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ!

So let worship be the driving force behind all our work! And when we worship God, we will find God is working, and we will also be prompted to do what He is showing us. That is what Jesus is saying in John 5: 17, 19, 20: “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working… Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel”.

These words were the secret of how Jesus walked on this earth (1John 2: 6), in helpless, childlike dependence on the Heavenly Father every moment! His words remind me always of a little child clinging on to his or her dad, saying “I cannot do anything on my own. I just do what I see my papa doing. I just do it exactly like how my papa does. I will do all that my papa is doing. And my papa will show me greater works than these that you all will be amazed”.

Young, humble Solomon at the beginning of his kingship was like this. He said: “… I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in… Give Thy servant an understanding (Hebrew word ‘shama’ means ‘listening’ heart” (1Kings 3: 7, 9). But when he became wise and great in his own eyes, he went astray.

So, let us follow the bloodstained footsteps of our Master who always listened to every Word that proceeded from the mouth of His Father for every decision (Matthew 4: 4; John 5: 30; 8: 16; Isaiah 11: 3).

And so, a true worshiper would really be a very hard working person as God is (2 Timothy 2: 6), and not a ‘hardly working’ person as many people are!!

Question 3: What is true worship?

Answer 3: As Br Zac Poonen teaches, worship is much beyond prayer, thanksgiving and praise. True spiritual worship (worship in the spirit) starts with  surrendering to the Lord Jesus every part of body –tongue, eyes, ears, hands, feet etc, soul and spirit as a living sacrifice (like the burnt offering in the Old Covenant) (Romans 12: 1, 2, 11). There our self will is torn just like the olives were beaten to yield oil for the temple (Exodus 27: 20). Then the fire of heaven, the Holy Spirit will fall upon us and consume us with His love. The river of the water of life (Revelation 22: 1), which is the same Holy Spirit, will immerse us in His ocean of love.

And we will join ourselves to the Lord and will be one spirit with the Lord then (1 Corinthians 6: 17), delighting in the presence of the Lord (Psalm 37: 4; 16: 11), just like a little child rejoices in his mother’s or father’s presence! (Psalm 131: 1, 2). We will be flooded primarily with the fruit of the Holy Spirit, especially the love, joy and peace of heaven (Galatians 5: 22, 23). It will be a foretaste of heaven, being in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle in the very presence of God! We will be seeing a glimpse of the glory of God in our spirit and will be falling prostrate, giving all glory to Him!

Nothing and no one on earth matter to us then. And we will be exclaiming like Asaph: “Whom have in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee I desire nothing on earth” (Psalm 73: 25). Our desire would be like that of David who said: One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple” (Psalm 27: 4).

And such true worshipers are the ones whom the Heavenly Father is earnestly seeking for (John 4: 23). And that is the worship in the (Holy) Spirit, in accordance with the Truth (Word of God) (John 4: 24).

This is the worship in our human spirit (not just in our soul and body as in the Old Covenant) (see John 4: 23), because our self-will or flesh (the veil –Hebrews 10: 19, 20) is surrendered, mortified and torn over there on the golden altar of our will power (Exodus 30: 6).

And this worship is in truth or reality (the other meaning of the Greek word aletheia used in John 4: 24), because the worshiper comes to the Lord just as he is, without any mask or hypocrisy or acting! And this worship is not something that occurs just during some church meeting, but something which should take place every moment in the life of a true worshiper through the continuous flooding of the Holy Spirit in his life!

Such a true worshiper will see his own unChristlikeness in the increasing light of the glory of the Lord Jesus, especially in the mirror of the Word of God (James 1: 23), and will be continually cleansed by the blood of Christ as he repents before the light of the Lord (1John 1: 7). And the same Holy Spirit who showed Him the glory of the character of Christ, will transform him also into that Christlikeness in an increasing measure from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3: 18; Proverbs 4: 18).

Yes, we will be beholding the blessed face of the Lord Jesus in our spirit and will be reflecting His glory and nature in our character more and more, - a miniature of eternity as we read in Revelation 22: 4: “The bond-slaves shall see His face and His name shall be on their foreheads”!

How different this true worship is from the so-called worship in many churches with so much pomp and show and worldly music and styles and fashions to impress mere mortals!  

That is why, A W Tozer (1897-1963), a great man of God said: “We're here to be worshipers first and workers only second. We take a convert and immediately make a worker out of him. God never meant it to be so. God meant that a convert should learn to be a worshiper, and after that he can learn to be a worker...The work done by a worshiper will have eternity in it.”

Monday, February 5, 2018

Loving, Hating and Disciplining Ourselves


Question: “Jesus tells us to die to ourselves. Are we not supposed to love ourselves as the Bible commands us to love your neighbour as you love yourself? So how can we do both?”



Actually we are NOT ASKED/ COMMANDED to love ourselves in the Word of God. But God expects us to LOVE OURSELVES AS HE LOVES US. And it becomes crystal clear when Jesus replaced the second commandment (You shall love your neighbour as you love yourself –Mark 12: 31; Leviticus 19: 18) with a new commandment after His last supper with His beloved disciples, just before He got arrested to be crucified. We read that new commandment in John 13: 34“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, EVEN AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, that you also love one another”.

So when we compare Mark 12: 31 with Leviticus 19: 18, we understand that THE WAY WE LOVE OURSELVES SHOULD BE THE WAY IN WHICH CHRIST HAS LOVED US.

If we love ourselves as the Lord loves us, we will seek to come closest to the Lord here on earth as well as there in all eternity! So, when we love others as we love ourselves, we want others also to know the Lord and be closest to Him.

That is, if we love an unbeliever as we love ourselves, we want him to become genuinely born again. Also if we love a believer as we love ourselves, we want him to become a wholehearted disciple of the Lord who passionately loves Him and closely follows Him! Of course, if they (believer or unbeliever) have any physical need also, we would seek to meet that as the Lord leads us (Galatians 6: 10; 1John 3: 17; James 2: 15, 16).

When we love ourselves as the Lord loves us, we would love and take good care of our spirit, soul and body as well (1Thessalonians 5: 23). In other words, we would be good stewards of our spirit, soul and body, which the Lord has entrusted us.

Ephesians 5: 29 says: for no one ever hated his own flesh, but NOURISHES AND CHERISHES it, just as Christ also does the church”.

1 Corinthians 6: 19, 20 says: “Or do you not know that YOUR BODY IS A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY”.


Christianity is not asceticism, where you live like a hermit all alone, without mingling with anyone else. John, the Baptist lived like that in the deserts (Luke 1: 80), clothed with camel hair and a leather belt, eating locusts and wild honey (Mark 1: 6).

But our Forerunner and Example, the Lord Jesus Christ came eating and drinking (Matthew 11: 19), and dwelt among us (John 1: 14), earned His living as an ordinary carpenter (Mark 6: 3). When a cushion was available, He did not hesitate to use it to sleep in the boat (Mark 4: 38). At the same time, He did not have any complaining or murmuring against anyone when He had to sleep at the Mount of Olives once (John 7: 53; 8:1).

When He was invited to feasts (Luke 5: 29), He must have definitely enjoyed the good food served (1 Timothy 6: 17)That is why, the critical Pharisees called Him a gluttonous man and a drunkard (Matthew 11: 19), without knowing that though He feasted at times in public, He fasted a lot in secret before His Father (Matthew 4: 2). It is so glorious to see how our Lord had a healthy balance in everything in His life!

As somebody said, it is INSULATION, and not ISOLATION from the world that is needed.

Colossians 2: 18, 23 says that self abasement or severe treatment of the body like those in heathen religions, have only an appearance of wisdom in self-made religion, but have no value against fleshly indulgence. That means, nobody can overcome sin just by harshly treating his body. That means, you can be a strict ascetic in a lone monastery cut off from the world and can still be bitter and impure in your heart!

In order to clean the inside of the cup, what can be done (Matthew 23: 26). Only the BLOOD OF CHRIST can clean the guilt of our heart (1John 1: 7, 9). And only the HOLY SPIRIT and WORD OF GOD can clean up all the garbage of sin progressively from our lives!

So, our love for ourselves should be the way the Lord loves us, and not in a selfish way.


Jesus said: If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14: 26).

“And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9: 23).

When the Lord tells us to hate our life in Luke 14: 26 and deny ourselves in Luke 9: 23, what He says is to HATE AND DENY OUR SELF-LIFE OR SELF-WILL.

We need to love our spirit, soul and body. Our soul contains will power (decision making capacity) in addition to our mind and emotions. With this will power, we have the free will to choose our own self-will (which the Bible calls ‘flesh’ in many places – ‘sarcos’ in Greek) or the will of our Creator God. So THE ONLY THING WE NEED TO HATE IN OURSELVES IS THIS SELF-WILL OR FLESH, because Romans 7: 18 says that nothing good dwells in this flesh! Also Galatians 5: 17 says that this flesh is always in opposition to the Holy Spirit of God.


When Almighty God incarnated as a Man in Jesus Christ, He also came in the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8: 3), (NOT in a sinful flesh, because in Him there was no sin (1John 3: 5), but in the LIKENESS of sinful flesh), in order to be an Example and Forerunner for us (Hebrews 6: 20). So Lord Jesus also had a flesh or a self will which He had to deny every time to do the will of His Father in heaven. That is why, He says in John 6: 38 that For I have come down from heaven, NOT TO DO MY OWN WILL, BUT THE WILL OF HIM who sent Me”. That is why Romans 15: 3 says that “even Christ did not please Himself”.

Acts 1:1 teaches us that Jesus did first, and then only He taught (see the order ‘do and teach’ in the verse). So when Jesus tells us to hate and deny our self-life or self-will, He did that first as a Man and learned obedience (Hebrews 5: 8).

So let us follow our Beloved Master’s blood stained footsteps in hating and denying our self-life or self-will, by surrendering it to Him everyday (Mark 14: 36b). Then He will flood us with the power of the Holy Spirit and empower us to put this flesh to death (Romans 8: 13). The Holy Spirit not only causes DEATH in the flesh, but also gives the power of RESURRECTION in our spirit (2Corinthians 4: 10, 11). And that power of resurrection will bring us closer to Christ and transform us more into His image! (2 Cor. 3: 18).


It is by the power of the Holy Spirit, and not by the power of our self-will by gritting our teeth, that we need to buffet our body and make it our slave (1 Corinthians 9: 27). When asceticism is suppression of our flesh, true Christianity is mortification of our flesh (self-will) by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8: 13).

And the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of power, love and DISCIPLINE (2Timothy 1: 7). One aspect of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is SELF-CONTROL (Galatians 5: 22, 23).

So, as we yield ourselves more and more to the Holy Spirit, He fills  and floods our hearts all the more and helps us to discipline ourselves by changing our ATTITUDES (Phil. 2: 5; Col. 3: 23, 24), MOTIVES (1 Cor. 10: 31) and THOUGHTS (2 Cor. 10: 5).

The Holy Spirit also empowers us to control our TONGUE (James 1: 26) and EYES (Matthew 5: 28 29), and use them as Christ would have used them. He helps us to discipline our APPETITE (Phil. 3: 19) and prompts us to fast secretly (Matthew 6: 16- 18; Luke 5: 35).

The Holy Spirit encourages and reminds us to wisely redeem the TIME (Ephesians 5: 16) and use MONEY to buy only the needful, to give to the poor (John 13: 29) and for the Lord’s work (2 Cor. 9: 7), and save the rest for the future (Proverbs 6: 6-8) and for the children (2 Cor. 12: 14). He would not allow us to waste even fragments of time, money and other resources. He will remind us how the left over fragments of bread after feeding the five thousand was twelve full baskets (Matthew 14: 20), enough for the families of the twelve disciples!

The Holy Spirit also helps us to use our NATURAL TALENTS (like singing, writing, good memory etc) and SPIRITUAL GIFTS (1Cor. 12: 8- 10; Romans 12: 6- 8; 1Peter 4: 10, 11; Ephesians 4: 11) for the edification of others.  

Now it is clear that those who attempt suicide or other forms of self harm, hate themselves in a way that they love and hold on to their self-will (which is to harm themselves) in contrast to the Lord’s will (which is to protect and preserve themselves).

So let us hate our self will and love ourselves as Christ has loved us… May the Lord continuously flood our hearts with such divine Agape love through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5: 5)…

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Can the devil and others know your thoughts?

Can the devil and others know your thoughts?

Question 1: Can the devil and others know my thoughts?

Answer 1: 1 Corinthians 2:11 says: For who among men knows the thoughts (things) of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts (things) of God no one knows except the Spirit of God”. So the first part of the verse clarifies that no other man can know our thoughts, not even a Psychiatrist!

In fact, when patients comes to me with the psychotic symptom of ‘thought broadcasting’ (one of the first rank symptoms of schizophrenia) or ‘thought diffusion’, (where they believe that all their thoughts can be known to others), I point them to this verse and seek to console them (according to their receptiveness) that it is not possible.

Devil is also a created being, and we can infer that he also cannot know our thoughts, but can at the most guess our thoughts from our words, actions, facial expressions, gestures etc, just like human beings also can guess!

Question 2: Why has God kept our thought realm so private to us?

Answer 2: Of course, thought realm is a completely private area the Lord has entrusted us, which we as well as the Lord only (not even the angels) can know. So, that is why, our faithfulness in the thought realm is a real proof of our true devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, which is possible only through a continuous fullness of the Holy Spirit!

One day our Lord will bring to light not only our thoughts, but also our whole private life hidden from other people (that is, our private deeds plus thoughts) (See 1Corinthians 4: 5; Revelation 20:11). 1Corinthians 4: 5 also says that the Lord will expose even our motives (behind our apparently good deeds) also that day.

This, if we believe, will instill a healthy, reverential fear of the Lord in our hearts (See 2 Corinthians 5: 10, 11). As Br Zac Poonen says, that reverential fear is not a fear whether the Lord will hurt (punish) us, but rather a fear out of love and respect, whether we will hurt the Lord with our attitudes, motives, thoughts, words or deeds.

The only way to cleanse everything unChristlike in our life instead of being displayed that day at the judgement seat of Christ, is the blood of Christ, through genuine, deep repentance (1 John 1:9).

Question 3: If so, should we not verbalize our doubts, worries, fears and feelings lest the devil hear them?

Answer 3: We should not verbalize our fears, doubts and worries to every Tom, Dick and Harry, but we can certainly verbalize them to the Lord and to those people in whom we have confidence that they can help us, like our spiritual mentors, counselors etc.

In fact, as we verbalize to the right people, we are unburdening and ventilating ourselves and can be significantly relieved. We, Psychiatrists, always encourage our clients to ventilate their feelings by speaking out, crying out, drawing pictures, writing diary, etc.

Some people with closer walk with the Lord, may not need this kind of ventilation, as they have learned over the years to cast even their tiny burdens directly unto the Lord (1 Peter 5: 7)But if we teach people not to verbalize their feelings, that would suffocate and pressurize and strain many innocent ones and exacerbate their worries and anxieties eventually.

Question 4: Some people say: “Speak positive. Speak life. Speak your destiny, whatever the situation is”. What do you say?

Answer 4: We need to confess words of faith and hope (See Romans 10: 9, 10; Hebrews 10: 23). We need to confess in faith the eternal promises of God like:

“For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6: 14);

The Lord Himself said: “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Hebrews 13: 5);

“The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” (Hebrews 13: 6);

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4: 13) etc.

It is the Word of God that we should confess in faith, not our selfish greed for more wealth and prosperity (unlike what many TV preachers teach), for which there are no promises in the New Testament. Truth, when it is taken to unbiblical extremes, becomes a heresy. There comes the hollowness of the so-called “word of faith” movement (See ).

Our words should build up others spiritually and impart grace to those who hear (See Ephesians 4: 29). But such words can come only from a heart filled with the grace of God through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12: 34, 35; Hebrews 13: 9). The Lord commands us to “do all things without grumbling or complaining” (Philippians 2: 14). But grumbling and complaining are different from verbalizing our feelings to the Lord and to our mentors and counselors.

Question 5: Is there any benefit if we just praise the Lord when we feel sad?

Answer 5: Of course, praising the Lord even when we don’t like feel like, shifts our focus from ourselves to the Lord and help us receive His grace all the more! But let that praise come not just from our lips, but from our hearts through the lips…

Joy and Rest While Being Blamed and Misunderstood…

Joy and Rest While Being Blamed and Misunderstood…

The other day I posted a quote of Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), to my Whatsapp contacts. This was the quote: “If the praise of others elates me and their blame depresses me; if I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself; if I love to be loved more than to love, to be served more than to serve, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

One of my colleagues asked me: “Isn't it normal to be happy when appreciated, sad when criticised, defend self when accused? Aunt Amy's view should also be seen in the light of cultural zeitgeist of her age”.

This is the answer I gave him:
We can, of course, be happy and encouraged when appreciated, giving all glory to Jesus. But what Amy Carmichael is saying, is about being elated and puffed up and proud.

A disciple living in the presence of the Lord Jesus in the Most Holy Place beyond the veil of the flesh (self will) (Hebrews 10: 19, 20), need not be depressed when criticised, because there is FULLNESS OF JOY in His presence (Psalm 16: 8, 11; Acts 2 : 25, 28). And nothing or no one of this world can take away that joy! (John 16: 22).

What Amy is saying is that we need not lose our inner rest of the soul when others misunderstand us, because when we cast our burdens unto the Lord (1Peter 5: 7) and take His yoke upon us and walk in His footsteps, we will find rest for our souls (Matthew 11: 28-30).

Without losing the inner rest, we can try to explain what happened if the Lord leads us so. On the contrary, self justification is a restless, agitated effort of the self to prove ourselves right in the sight of men in order to get man’s honour and approval and applause.

And this is not a cultural zeitgeist, but rather something countercultural, going against the tide and waves of the world and the majority…. (Matthew 7: 13, 14). I do not mean running away from the culture around us, but rather transforming the unChristlike aspects of the culture as Amy Carmichael did!

Yes, we are called not to walk like mere men (1Corinthians 3: 3), but like the Lord Jesus Christ (1John 2: 6; 4: 17)!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

With Love & Grace, But Without Tattoos, Worldly Styles & Fashions...

With Love & Grace, But Without Tattoos, Worldly Styles & Fashions...

Question 1: Is it wrong to have a tattoo on our body?

Answer 1: The Word of God says in 1 Corinthians 6: 19, 20 like this:
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body”.

So, how can we glorify God in our body by tattooing? Also Leveticus 19: 28 says: You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD”.

Question 2: What if we get a cross or a Bible verse?

Answer 2: I believe the best way to glorify the Lord Jesus, is to live a life pleasing Him to the utmost, through the continuous fullness of the Holy Spirit! At the same time, I am not here to judge or look down upon anybody who has a tattoo. Some people would have put the tattoo in their unconverted days also.

Question 3: What about ear studs, hair styles and fashionable clothes etc?

Answer 3: 1 Timothy 2: 9 and 1Peter 3: 3 clearly instructs against wearing ornaments as part of simple living, and emphasize the inner beauty of a meek and quiet spirit (1Peter 3: 4) and the glorious adornment with good works (1 Timothy 2: 10).

Although it is addressed to women in both contexts, the same principle is applicable to men as well. The principle is to dress modestly and discreetly, not with tight fitting clothes and worldly dress and hair styles and fashions and tattoos to get the attention of others, especially those of the opposite gender. These worldly styles will tempt many to sin and will result in many following worldly models!

This does not mean that we need to dress white and white to be holy. But rather Jesus said that our Heavenly Father would clothe us much better than the lilies of the field (Matthew 6: 28- 30), which, of course, are of varying colours!

Some people might quote 1 Samuel 16: 7 which says “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”. Yes, He is looking at your heart to see why you are wearing what you are wearing. He sees your motives (1 Corinthians 4: 5). The worldliness is not, of course, in a dress or ornament or style, but in the mind which is conformed to this world (Romans 12: 2) which craves for attention and adoration and popularity!

I believe, while on earth the Lord Jesus would have dressed in such a manner that He would not stand out conspicuous in a group by His style or dress. He appeared so ordinary among other people (Isaiah 53: 2), that the Pharisees needed a Judas Iscariot to identify Him clearly from among His disciples, to arrest Him (Matthew 26: 48). Yes, our Lord did not have a halo or even a special shawl!

There we see the glory of the humility of the Lord Jesus Who always wanted to go down and never wanted to exalt Himself before others even by His appearance! Let us follow the glorious, bloodstained footsteps of our Beloved Lord in the midst of a generation of people, especially youngsters who seek to exalt themselves! But at the same time, let us not look down upon and judge anyone like the Pharisees (Luke 18: 9), for God despises no one (Job 36: 5)!

Question 4: How can we obey the Lord in everything and not become legalistic and judgmental in our attitude towards others?

Answer 4: It is a matter of personal conviction in these peripheral matters, and we are not here to judge or condemn others (Matthew 7: 1) because judging or condemning others is a greater sin than the worldly dressing! That critical, unloving and judgmental attitude is the log in your eye, which needs to be changed (removed) before you can see clearly to remove (correct) the worldly dressing styles (the speck in the other person’s eye) (Matthew 7: 5)!

The central thing in our life is to love the Lord Jesus with all our hearts and to love others as we love ourselves (Mark 12: 28- 31). And this is possible only by a continuous surrender to the Lord Jesus as aliving sacrifice (Romans 12: 1, 2) and thereby being continuously filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5: 18; Romans 5: 5)!

Others, of course, will not have exactly our conviction in all matters, because they may not have light in certain areas, but they might have far greater light than us in many other areas! And the “light” we have also is not always perfect! 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). So let us not judge others who do not see eye to eye with us everything!

Jesus said in Matthew 5: 19: Whoever then annuls ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE COMMANDMENTS, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever KEEPS AND TEACHES them, he shall be called GREAT (Greek word “megas”) IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN”. So let us seek to keep and teach even the least of the Lord’s commandments.

But do you know who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? See Matthew 18: 4, where Jesus says: “Whoever then HUMBLES HIMSELF AS THIS CHILD, he is the GREATEST (Greek word “meizon”) IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN”.

So even while we seek to keep and teach even the least of the Lord’s commandments, let us seek to be HUMBLEST and most CHILDLIKE like our Saviour who did not judge or look down upon others! That is the beautiful and subtle balance of the gracious, self-effacing CHILDLIKENESS and the uttermost, joyful OBEDIENCE that we see in our Forerunner (Hebrews 6: 20)! Yes, He was full of GRACE and TRUTH (John 1: 14, 17).

The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of GRACE in Hebrew 10: 29 and Zechariah 12: 10. And the same Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of TRUTH in John 14: 17 and 16: 13. So when we yield to this Spirit of GRACE and TRUTH to continuously fill us, He will make us more and more like Jesus who had CHILDLIKE OBEDIENCE!

And we will not major on the minors, but at the same time, speak the TRUTH in LOVE (Ephesians 4: 15) - like He did {compare Luke 4: 17 -22 (grace) with the next portion of verses 23 -28 (truth)}. It is like the fruit (grace) covering the seed (truth) (Genesis 1: 11, 12) and flesh (grace) covering the bones (truth) (Ezekiel 37: 7, 8)!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A New Year Prayer

Praying that our LORD JESUS will bless us with a NEW YEAR 2018 where

we always remain HUMBLEST AND MOST BROKEN before His throne of grace (Hebrews 4: 16), so that

He can flood and immerse us with the RIVERS OF GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT from that throne continuously (Revelation 22: 1), and

help us to SEE HIS BLESSED FACE in our spirits in intimacy with Him (Revelation 22: 4; Matthew 5: 8; Hebrews 12: 2), and

LISTEN TO EVERY SINGLE WORD that proceeds from His mouth (Matthew 4: 4; Luke 10: 39, 42), and

grow evermore in that SIMPLE AND PURE FERVENT DEVOTION AND FIRST LOVE to Him (2 Corinthians 11: 2, 3; Revelation 2: 4),

ILLUMINED by His glorious Light,

reflect His NATURE and CHARACTER more and more,

RULING over sin, satan, world and the flesh,

SERVING Him wholeheartedly,

bearing abundant FRUITS unto Him in life and ministry (Revelation 22: 1- 5),

doing everything in exactly the same manner as the LORD SHOWS US DOING (John 5: 19, 20),

FULFILLING ALL THE PLANS He has in and through our lives (Jeremiah 29: 11; Ephesians 2: 10),

bringing ALL GLORY TO HIS NAME ALONE AND ALWAYS (Romans 11: 36)!

May the Lord Jesus fill and saturate every part of our whole being with His Holy Spirit as we REPENT radically and SURRENDER totally and continually to Him as a living sacrifice every moment of this new year! 

May we thereby constantly BEHOLD HIM in our spirit and NEVER BE SHAKEN by any temptation or trial, but rather REJOICE IN HIS LOVING AND PEACEFUL PRESENCE ALWAYS! 

[Acts 2:25] "For David says of Jesus,