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"And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him." (Gen.22:2-3)
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HOME CALL
Br. Samuel Babu, Believers Brethren Assembly, (BBA), Majlis - Bahrain For the last few days, we have been relentlessly praying for Br. Samuel Babu, who suffered Cardiac Problems and was admitted in Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain. It was well pleasing for our Lord to call HIS child to the Eternal Home, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no tears, no sickness and no death. He went to be with the LORD around 10:30 PM Bahrain Time today (Friday 23rd 2015). Let us uphold the grieving family members to the Throne of Grace. May the Lord bestow upon them heavenly Grace, Peace and strength and console them with the word of God.
 
 
 
E- DEVOTIONAL
 
Let us wisely utilize our privileges
Bro. Philip Verghese 'Ariel', Secunderabad
 

A famous Hindu pilgrim centre in Andhra Pradesh, the Tirupathi temple, (one of the highest pilgrim gathering places in the world) is in the news again. The film actor Amitabh Bachen and his family get special favours from the temple authorities whenever they visit this temple. In the recent incident, after his son's marriage the family members visited the temple with the newly married couple. In order to give them such favours, the authorities kept aside the needs of thousands of other devotees. The old people, women and children all waited in the hot sun for hours together for their turn. The devotees agitated over the issue and there was a big commotion in the premises. The temple authorities recently made many changes with regard to the visit of the pilgrims. Earlier the devotees were allowed to go very close to the deity and have darshan, but now for security reasons they made the minimum distance 30 feet away from the deity. The pilgrims have to be satisfied with that far vision of the idol. However in this situation also, the VIPs and VVIPs have some special consideration.

 

Another temple which is located in the South in Kerala, the famous Sabarimala Temple was also in the news recently in connection with the entry of women into the temple. The women devotees are not permitted to enter this temple. A women devotee (that too a film actress) entered the temple in disguise a few years back and now the issue has been raised up by someone else. This has resulted in a big controversy. Another important thing is that the devotees are allowed to enter into the temple only once in a year. The main gate of sanctum sanctorum opens for the devotees once a year.

 

Yet another temple in Kerala, the Guruvaayoor temple was also in the news recently. After the thread ceremony of the grandson of a Union Minister the temple poojari (priest) did a shudhikalasam/Punyaham (purification ceremony). The reason is that the minister's wife was a Christian. Non Hindus are prohibited to enter into this temple. This became a big issue. Humiliated by this incident the minister's family filed a case against the poojari and the temple authorities for the ill treatment meted out to the minister's family.

 

What a tragic and sad situation the devotees of other gods' face. These incidents are classic examples to their sufferings. One God will not allow women devotees, another one shows partiality towards their devotees. But how privileged we are as believers' in Christ. Our God, who is true and living, never shows partiality. Rich or poor, VIP or non-VIP, men or women, all are equal before Him. His believers have the full access to approach Him at any time. He the creator of this universe and He is always available to His devotees. What a wonderful God is our God. But the problem is that we do not avail or utilize this great privilege. It is our fault for not using the opportunity and loosing the blessings.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ himself urged and taught His disciples the need or necessity of prayer. He said in Matthew chapter 6 "Pray, then, in this way" goes on to show the famous prayer pattern of our Lord, which we can read in the following verses. ( vv.9-13) Jesus taught His disciples to pray this way; it definitely shows prayer is needed and necessary. One should submit his needs before the Lord. Yes, we are His children; as His child we can go to His presence. He loves to hear our voices. It pleases His heart. We can boldly go to His presence and submit our needs before Him, whereas others can't do so with their gods. They go to their gods with fear and trembling. Our prayer to our God gives us an added advantage and assurance that we are not alone; He is with us, and we are His.

 

Even though we sometimes face trials and temptations, it is in His presence we get comfort and consolation. In Psalm 23 we read, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil; for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me" (v. 4). We believers have this peace with him. When crisis comes, we feel dejected and depressed. In such situations, praising God is a bit difficult task. But it is possible. When the Holy Spirit overrules our hearts it will be an easy task. Even in difficulties we can rejoice in the Lord and praise God. Paul and Silas are a good example of this. Prison situations, as we all know, are not pleasant. In such a situation they rejoiced in singing praises to God. (Acts 16:25) From a similar unpleasant environment and situation, Paul wrote some of his wonderful consoling epistles. He wrote to the Church at Ephesus. "Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father. (Eph. 5:20). Again in another prison epistle he wrote to the church at Philippi, "Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say rejoice." (Phil. 4:4). Only a spirit filled and spirit guided person can write such thoughts.

 

The Devil our adversary encourages us not to give thanks to God especially when things are moving in a bad way or in the opposite direction. But only believers can face such situations boldly. The Holy Spirit will empower us and guide us in such moments and help us to go to His presence with our pressing needs. Nowhere can we get comfort except in His presence. Yes, only we, the believers have this wonderful privilege. For giving us such an unfathomable privilege, we must always give thanks to Him.

 

Few of the many privileges we enjoy in Christ Jesus are:

  • We believers can approach our God any time with our needs.
  • We have the privilege of growing in His presence.
  • The greatest of all gifts is the wonderful Word of God, the Bible. It is in our possession and nobody else has this gift except believers. It gives us comforting words every moment of our life, but we hesitate to utilize it.
  • We are the only people who have got the full assurance of Salvation which our God prepared for the world.
  • We have the Holy Spirit indwelling us. It helps us to live a victorious Christian life on this earth.  

Now we have to decide for ourselves.

Are we utilizing these great privileges for the utmost satisfaction of our Lord? or are we neglecting it, and missing the opportunity God has given us?

Yes, we are answerable to these questions. Let us not grieve the Holy Spirit.

 

Mahatma Gandhi was once asked by a missionary. "What is the great hindrance to Christianity in India? The answer was, "The Christians". Dear brothers and sisters please think about this answer seriously. Is this not true in many cases? The other day a prominent Christian leader of Andhra Pradesh who holds many responsible positions in Christian circles, while speaking to a special audience said, "During the present day, even in churches, the leaders, Bishops, Pastors, Evangelists and Elders are at loggerheads for some unforeseen reasons". Yes how true it is. We can see a cold war going on between these Christians. What a tragic situation we Christians face in our community.  

            How can we lead a victorious Christian life? The time is up. Let us grow in the knowledge of our Lord. Let us have His mind in us. That is the only solution to all such problems. Let us pray for a total and great transformation even among us. Let us wisely utilize these golden privileges which we possess. Let us draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. (James. 4:8) May God help us.

  

 
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