February 12, 2007

"Lovest thou me?"

How many of us are genuinely interested in the people we relate with? Do we really care for our friends?

A new commandment I give unto you "Love one another, as I have loved you..." To love someone therefore, is not a request, or a choice, but a command to be obeyed. "Do you love me?" a question asked by Jesus who gave that commandment, was a thought on my mind for quite some time.

For a Christian, Love ought to be a top priority in life. A great responsibility rests on a Christian. Every born-again, and a believer knows that he ought to love all, as commanded. Yet how many of us, truly love our friends, and people we relate to, in the sanctity of the word? Refer to I Corinthians 13, if you want to know what love actually is.

It is surprising sometimes, how you do somethings (e.g., loving) over a period of time, and they become a routine than being meaningful and stop having that initial charismatic effect on you... Nevertheless, today, I woke up to an sms, that gave me news of one of my school friend's father's death. As much dismay that death causes, it always puts me in a pensive mood. It was then, that the Spirit spoke to me and inspired to share this small message.

I was reminded of Simon Peter, St. Peter, whom Jesus questioned: "Do you love me?", and not once, He did that thrice!!! And, naturally, Peter was grieved at that. Because he walked so close with Jesus, he was led by the Spirit, acknowledged Jesus as Son of God, and he belonged to Jesus' very close group "Peter, James and John." Yet, Jesus chose to ask him, Simon Peter. Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?"

To that, Peter answered: "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee."
And Jesus replied: "Feed my sheep."

All three times, Jesus replied "Feed my sheep..." eventually said "Follow me!"

I have made many good friends and I profess to love them. I also guess you must have too. But what is the limit of our love? Till we're together? Till we help and are of some use to each other? Jesus said "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends." And he demonstrated his love for us all, and they that believe in Him." Perhaps that's the limit we ought to have: To the end of the world, Till death parts you.

"Love" has lost its sanctity. The culture is such now, that deeper words are used to express lighter and fleeting feelings and emotions. How much do we mean "I love you" expressed so often with friends or near ones when it costs us dear? There was never a situation perhaps. But Jesus wants us to focus on our friends' spiritual needs. He instructed "fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

How many of us are genuinely interested in the people we relate with? Do we really care for our friends? Do we love? Isn't there more to friendship and loving a person beyond talking, playing, partying and making them other source of entertainment? Do you only care for the person's physical needs? Would you not care for the soul?

What would you tell Jesus if He asked you "Lovest thou me (with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father) more than (anything material or spiritual) these? If you love Jesus, are you feeding His sheep? Do you really love Him? Are you following Him? Do you really love Him? Are you spending time with him? Are you spending any little time on the Father's business? Do you know what the Father's business is? Remember what Jesus said? "I have come to seek and save that is lost."

Everyday, you are spending so much time with His lost sheep. Many of your friends are, isn't it? Do you have any intention, how much Jesus is missing them? Are you spending any time in getting back His lost sheep to Him? Have you ever shared Jesus with them? Or, are you afraid that you'll be caught converting someone? What we should be knowing is that we can never be successful in conversion, simply because we cannot. We can just share Christ, it is Spirit who will inspire or convict the person, who will then choose to transform or reject the message.

Are you doing your job? Are you actually loving your friends? Something I read yesterday: The Church of England criticised Madonna for using a crucifix in her promotional tour and stated: "Is Madonna prepared to take on everything else that goes with wearing a crown of thorns?" Jesus is not asking you to put a crown of thorns and get crucified on the cross. He just wants you to share the love that you've experienced with others. Is that too much for you?

Jesus is asking you: "Lovest thou me above all these?" If your answer is yes, he says, "Feed my sheep."

As always I just hope this message would mean any good to atleast one. I pray that the Lord bless us with a renewed mind and spirit, and that we grow unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Keep doing the Father's business!

February 8, 2007

For my Sweetheart!


Happy Valentine's.

You know, perhaps just three words won't suffice to express what I want to all the time, but they are the best ones... I love you!

A jewel has a brilliant fire, but gives no warmth,
My hands might not be soft, but they can serve,
My body is not so fair, but it is strong,
My lips are not perfumed, but they can speak the truth,
Love is not an art to me, but it is life...
I can give you a little, but I offer all I can...
(Sourced from The Ten Commandments)

Be Mine, Be My Love...

"One of the sweetest things in all my life, is loving you."


February 5, 2007

Can prayers be InValid?

October 5, 2006: It's about 8 am, and while I was getting ready to leave for office, my Mom's hooked on to the telly, 'cos God TV is showing a miracle crusade and the pastor started praying for the viewers and the audience present for the show. As he prayed, he moved people emotionally, spiritually (depends), took a few names saying they're being healed... and he closed the prayer with words of affirmation.

While just walking around my home looking for my shoes, tie, etc., I saw an announcement at end of the show. "Sep 29 is a special day of prayer, and I urge you to send in your prayer requests." Bingo! Did that strike you? Broadcasted on the 5th of October, recorded - I don't know when, but a day before Sep 29 for sure...

Few months back, when MiracleNet was available on our cable network, I saw another pastor (no names), based out of Mumbai, who believed in pronouncing the name of Jesus as many times (like a mantra), he went to extent of even creating a gadget (something like a calling bell), so that you switch it on, and the name of Jesus is heard on and on and on... (in the pastor's voice)... And many as the people in the program said, they bought it... because they believe it. Is that prayer??? Is that permissible at all???

The issue that bothers me is: Can Prayers be Invalid???

We see a lot of miracle crusades that happen, and if not such crusades, revival meetings etc., that are broadcasted even after years and decades (e.g., Rev. Billy Graham's crusades). While I do understand and agree to unite with someone in prayer, for salvation, for revival, for personal growth, for any good cause... I don't understand how uniting in a recorded prayer that named somone (to have been healed then) days ago or months ago, who knows, even years... helps me, or the other ones spiritually.

I would also want to demarcate here the purposes of prayer:
-- A prayer for salvation, probably, that perhaps can be repeated as a new person unites in the prayer.
-- Special prayers - can't be repeated, 'cos they're for a specific purpose...
-- Healing prayers - All doubts, but when names are mentioned for that moment... how can they be repeated???

Given that these prayers create an inclination to positivity, they also give an emotional high (whether or not spiritual is personal), do they serve the right purpose?

There might be (not sure) a doctinal issue in this too. 'Repeated Words,' cannot be what we desire that should be, but then, is it only applicable to miracle & healing prayers or even daily sermons and other preachings?

Towards the end of it, I do understand that, everything boils down a personal level, my motives and what I believe(My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart), and if I have the faith nothing is impossible (with God all things are possible)... but through such prayers and practices, are we deceiving ourselves? What do we do?