Monday, December 31, 2007

The Shack

This is one book that genuinely going beyond the surface of Christian spirituality. It easily made in to my list of favorite books. Some of the conversations between Mack (the hero of the story) and God stirs up thoughts and challenges the norm of religion. It is healing, challenging, questioning, encouraging and refreshing. We have nothing to offer to God but He offers everything to us, His children. God is not necessarily a noun, but a verb - the great 'I AM'. Here are some snippets of the conversations between Mack and God (Papa, Jesus and Sarayu):

"My life was not meant to be an example to copy. Being my follower is not trying to 'be like Jesus', it means for your independence to be killed. I came to give you life, real life, my life. We will come and live our life inside of you, so that you begin to see with our eyes, and hear with our ears, and touch with our hands, and think like we do. But we will never force that union on you. If you want to do your thing, have at it. Time is on our side."

"So many believe that it is love that grows, but it is the knowing that grows and love simply expands to contain it. Love is just the skin of knowing."

"I have been talking to you for a long time, but today was the first time you could hear it, and all those other times weren't a waste, either. Like little cracks in the wall, one at a time, but woven together they prepared you for today. You have to take the time to prepare the soil if you want it to embrace the seed."

"Put simply, these are tools (religion) that many use to prop us their illusions of security and control. People are afraid of uncertainty, afraid of the future. These institutions, these structures and ideologies, are all a vain effort to create some sense of certainty and security where there isn't any. Systems cannot provide you security, only I can."

"Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."

"Guilt will never help you find freedom in me. The best it can do is make you try harder to conform to some ethic on the outside. I am about the inside."

"Faith does not grow in the house of certainty."

"If I take away the consequences of people's choices, I destroy the possibility of love. Love that is forced is not love at all."

"It should be very freeing to know that you can offer us nothing, at least not anything that can add or take away from who we are..."

"Those who are afraid of freedom are those who cannot trust us to live in them. Trying to keep the law is actually a declaration of independence, a way of keeping control."

"My words are alive and dynamic - full of life and possibility; your's are dead, full of law and fear and judgment. That is why you won't find the word responsibility in the Scriptures."

"And beyond that, because I have not expectations, you never disappoint me."

"Mack, I don't want to be the first among your list of values; I want to be the center of everything."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It is in the Bible!


A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning.

The wife said, 'You should do it, because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee.'

The husband said, 'You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee.'

Wife replies, 'No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee.'

Husband replies, 'I can't believe that, show me.'

So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages,

That it indeed says........ .. 'HEBREWS'

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Santa myth

It seems that in Christianity there are several myths that we cling to for years and years as the kids cling to the Santa myth. One such myth is about God's free gift of forgiveness. Many are skeptical about the word 'free' when it comes to sales and marketing because most of the time there is a catch in that deal. But the question is , is that true in the issue of our free forgiveness through Christ Jesus? Here is an article from addresses this very issue:

When you were born you began constructing a "truth" screen over your mind. You filtered everything through this screen, rejecting anything that stuck in its web. You were super naļ¶„ and soon accepted the Santa Claus myth. You didn'tquestion how he and his reindeer could fly or how this round man could slide down chimneys and keep his suit clean including its white collar! Santa lives! Mom and dad said so.

In time, you became more sophisticated at screening. Your parents admitted they'd gone along with the Santa story for your enjoyment-that dad really was Santa. You reconstructed your truth screen and ricocheted Santa, his elves, and reindeer into outer space. Over the years you've done more reconstruction than the NYC Street Department.

There's a portion of your truth screen that I want to focus on-your "religious" screen. Just as your early belief in Santa affected your behavior, what you believe about Christianity will influence the way you live. You want to get it right.

Pretend you're a member of a first century church near Ephesus. The apostle, John, has written a circular letter (First John) that will be read to the congregation this morning. Certain influential men in your church are openly immoral, sleeping around, leering at the sisters, and recruiting others to join them. John is very concerned about these "early Gnostics" and believes they're lost. He contrasts the saved wheat against the lost tares thirty-one times in this brief letter! Aust your truth screen to accommodate this scene. Remember now, you've never heard of 1 Jn. 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness," so remove your knowledge of that information from your screen.

Gnostics believed all physical matter was evil; therefore Christ couldn't have had a body, thus making the crucifixion a myth. In their minds, Christ was not a human being, but a phantom. They also believed it was not sinful, but normal to practice pious religion and immorality simultaneously! Gnostics believed they had no sin; they were not born again.

The pastor begins to read. (You're "listening" with the mindset that John is contrasting two groups-born-again folks vs. Gnostics. I've used footnotes to identify the players whom I believe his pronouns represent. Since Gnostics believed Christ had no body, John, an eyewitness, begins by establishing that Jesus was both divine and human.)

1 John 1 (It's a good idea to read the footnotes before you go on!)

(1) "What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we1 have seen with our1 eyes, what we1 beheld and our1 hands handled, concerning the Word of Life (Jesus)
(2) and the life (Jesus) was manifested, and we1 have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you4 the eternal life (Jesus), which was with the Father and was manifested to us1.
(3) what we1 have seen and heard we1 proclaim to you2 also, that you2 also may have fellowship with us4 ; and indeed our4 fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
(4) And these things we1 write, so that our4 joy may be made complete.
(5) And this is the message we1 have heard from Him and announce to you2 that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
(6) If we2 say that we2 have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we2 lie and do not practice the truth;
(7) but if we4 walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we4 have fellowship with one another3, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us4 from all sin.
(8) If we2 say that we2 have no sin, we2 are deceiving ourselves2, and the truth is not in us2.
(9) If we2 confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us2 our sins and to cleanse us2 from all unrighteousness.
(10) If we2 say that we2 have not sinned, we2 make Him a liar, and His word is not in us2."

John says these early Gnostics needed to be saved and 1 Jn. 1:9 tells them how! Today, however, well-meaning mentors mistakenly teach that 1 Jn. 1:9 tells Christians how to deal with "unforgiven" sin. Unforgiven sin? Gang, the only folks with unforgiven sin are the non-believers! New Creations are forgiven of all sins. Look what John says thirteen verses later in the same letter, "I am writing to you4, little children, because your4 sins are forgiven you4 for His name's sake" (2:12). New Creatures' sins are forgiven!

Caution: Never evaluate teaching via your emotions. They can't even think! Trust only the Holy Spirit, not this writer or religious tradition. Our forgiveness benefits two parties, not one. A lover can best demonstrate the magnitude of his love via the objects of his affection: the more unworthy the object, the more glorious the lover. God demonstrated His unparalleled love by sacrificing Jesus to forgive a bunch of hammerheads. We, on the other hand, needed God's forgiveness so we could gratefully snuggle up to Him in return. However, it's more complex than that. Since God is not a time restricted Being, He sees forever into what we time-critters call "the future" as well as what we call "the past." Time is a meaningless concept to Him. While we see our sins one by one, to God they're simultaneous. You could say human beings march in the time parade, while God hovers over it like a helicopter. 2 Pet. 3: 8 says, "…with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." 1,000 = 1 = 1,000? What kind of math is that? It's God's math! Our sins are all present tense to God. God washed away ALL your sins in Jesus' blood! They're not covered; they're gone!

Without total forgiveness, God would constantly view our sins. He could never fellowship with us, nor could He receive us into His holy presence, let alone indwell us, were we not holy through our crucifixion and rebirth in Christ. "For the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are" (1 Cor. 3:17). We are holy, forgiven saints or an intimate relationship with God would be impossible! God calls you a saint (holy) in sixty-three post-cross verses! Will you bounce all sixty-three off your religious-tradition screen?

For a born-again person to ask God to forgive and cleanse him from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:9) is unbelief. We saints were "forgiven (Eph. 4:32) and cleansed from all unrighteousness" (1 Cor. 1:30) at salvation. Asking for forgiveness is similar to repeatedly asking Jesus to save you or continuing to ask your spouse to marry you. God must agonize when a born-again person repeatedly exhorts Him to "be faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness," as if He had failed to accomplish this through Jesus! Our obligation is to believe Him.

Therefore, what should we do when we've sinned? I believe quickly acknowledging our sin to God keeps us spiritually honed. Failing to do so tempts us to become dull, casual or even indifferent about our sin. (Hey, we say we're sorry when we bump someone on the sidewalk, for heaven's sake!) Then thank God that He forgave us of all our sins at salvation and snuggle into His lap again. Such grace, dear relative, motivates us to holy living. What a God!


1 John
2 Early Gnostics
3 Father, Son, Holy Spirit and saints
4 saints

Jesus, Pastor and Santa

Source :

Monday, December 17, 2007

What you believe?

Are you entangled or confused by the different type of gospels preached by different denominations?
Does the ‘what we believe’ page on the website of your denomination take precedence in your life than the Bible itself to theologize your belief system?
Are you tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming?

I would like to bring your attention to what the Bible says on this:

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal 1:8)

Did you notice the word gospel there? What is this ‘gospel’? There is only one ‘gospel’ preached by the Apostles of Christ who were appointed by God Himself.
Again I say, there is only one gospel, which is the gospel of Christ – that is the unconditional love and grace of God reached out to us through Christ Jesus (His death, burial and resurrection).

It is not about the observances of any ‘law’. It is not about Christian duties. It is not about the things you ‘do’ to please God. There is only one person who has really pleased God, that is Christ himself through his sacrificial death on cross once and for all and God is pleased in us when we place our faith in whom He has well pleased.

We receive the Spirit by faith (Gal 3:2). In the same way we live our life by faith.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him (Col 2:6).

How did we receive Him? How do we live in Him?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Kids and Legalism

I admit that I do not have all the insight into this issue but I thought I would address few things I have observed in the past on this topic – Injecting legalism in kids.
Many parents (among all the religions) struggle to put their kids in to the religious system they belong to. I think one reason they do this is because they think religion give their kids a moral basis for their character (I think most religious people care only about morality).
Christians are no exception as we can see most Christian parents want their kids to grow up in the denomination they belong to. I don’t blame them but what bothers me is that the amount of legalism they inject in to these little ones instead of telling them how much Jesus loves them no matter how they perform in their bible memorization, songs and prayers.

There are many who put lot of pressure on little kids to be religious such as participating in church activities, learning rituals, prayers, and bible versus etc.

The church I have been a part for while, there was even a competition among parents about whose kids are going to mug up and recite more bible versus. I admire their genuine desire to teach the 'Christian' way.
But I suspect if it is making a negative impact on the kids about the whole concept of religion and possibly hindering them to come to the reality of Christ’s love in the future. Parents try to bring even 3 year olds to the front of the congregation and ‘show off’ how much scripture memorization their kids can do. They ‘train’ little kids to sit through the boring sermons and brag about how disciplined their kids are. Sometime you get that look from many ‘proud’ parents while struggling to settle down your fuzzy one year old during the service. You even get many sympathetic advices on how you can teach your kids the ‘Christian’ way.

I have heard the pastor commending in public about kids who can recite many verses, say nice prayers, act ‘disciplined’ and kind of pricking on the parents who have less disciplined, less behaved kids.

I am looking forward for your comments on this. I am not an expert on child psychology but I think what we should be doing is to tell them in simple terms how Jesus loves them and probably show them the beauty and wonder of God’s wonderful creations around us instead of raising them arrogant, legalistic, religious Pharisees.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Water is a symbol of cleansing (physical and religious). Almost all of the religions of the world has some sort of washing as a part of their rituals. Judaism was no exception as they had many ceremonial washings as part of the Jewish culture. Christianity is no exception as we have the water baptism whether it is sprinkling or immersion.

As Jesus addressed (even violated) many religious rituals, He did not leave the 'washings' away.

38But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised. (Luke 11)

He did not wash before the meal(a Jewish custom) because He wanted to address the truth that the 'outward' washing means nothing if the 'inward' washing hasn't been taken place.

The inward washing of a man is done with the blood of the Lamb of God when he places his trust on Jesus. Once he is washed, his sinful nature is washed away. He is a new creation, a new self, child of the Almighty God.

This is the washing that God cares for. Whether we are outwardly washed (E.G baptism) or not means nothing if the inward washing hasn't been taken place.

So many people get hung up on baptism, communion etc where they miss the real thing, even those who sing - What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A short vacation.

It is hard to believe that a 15 days vacation was a short one!
But when it includes 38+ hours of flight journey, a wedding, reception, visiting relatives on both sides, kids being sick and staying in the hospital, it is really short!
My 17 months old son couldn’t really cope with a sudden change in temperature (From 35 degrees to 96 degrees in 24 hours). I wouldn't blame him!
While traveling from one side of the globe to the other squeezing in the economy class seat, I was dreaming about the comfort of my bedroom all the way.
Though still in jet lag (waking up at 3.00 in the morning), I am glad I am back!
All I want to say is that, though I didn’t have good sermons, bible study, blogging, churching, the peace of Christ was upon me all the time! All the 15 days while going through many difficult times, I knew I was a child of God.
I didn’t feel guilty for not praying, for not reading bible, for not churching. Somewhere deep inside me I knew that I was loved unconditionally!
Thank You, Jesus!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A blog about blogging.

While the lost humanity look for love, the 'restored' humanity look for community where they can share the love they have found. This blog sphere is a great community where we can share the love of God with each other and be encouraged.
I can’t tell how much I am blessed by the brothers and sisters who take time to share their thoughts here and also on their own respective blogs.
Though this is a two dimensional media, there are many advantages. People like me who are really introverts can really open up and be an extrovert behind the key board. Others can read/comment at their own convenient time and pace. This is more than practical!
Putting down the religious mask and being ‘real’ is so relieving and refreshing. I do not need to manufacture fake spirituality here. I do not need to invent ‘formulas’ to tap God and fake up encounters.
This is where I learn, this is where I think, this is where I can laugh and even cry.

We come out of the box here, share our deepest struggles; some times a new found wisdom, some times a joke, some times few lyrics of a favorite song. What a way of fellowshipping!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Leaving people free...

Leaving people free and authentic is always a struggle for me. I have enough patience to do Bible study with them for couple of months and after that if I don’t see the ‘desired’ results, I get frustrated.
The good news is that I know what my problem is. I am so ‘result’ oriented. I find it hard to surrender the ‘results’ totally unto God. I am fearful that I don’t see any fruits at all.

If I do something due to His initiation, why would I care about the consequences?
There are only 2 possible answers – either it was not initiated by God or I am unable to walk by faith.

My flesh desires ‘instant’ results when God talks about ‘growing’. Growing requires time. We are curious (I believe curiosity is from the flesh) to know if the ‘seed’ is really growing. But by digging a sowed seed again and again, we could be very well disrupting its growth!

‘neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.’ I thank God for such lessons where I reconcile the fact that I am nothing and He is everything.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I have been unstable in dealing with people who do not receive the message of Grace. Hatred is easily aroused in me towards them and I know that shouldn't be the case.I see them as prideful as they don't receive it. I know that my intention shouldn't be to convert a person to my thinking pattern. My intention shouldn't be to force this message on someone, no matter how deeply I care for them.
It is the 'controlling spirit' which tells me to control people. It is the perfectionist spirit which takes the graceful tolerance from me. Am I growing upward or downward? Sometimes I wonder, where is my so called maturity? Why would I think arrogantly that I can love people irrespective of their beliefs? Why am I not able to leave the 'results' totally unto God?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Having it and putting it on are two different things.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 5: 23-24)

For most of us after going through a process of tossing here and there on the matter of faith, we come to a conclusion that by believing and receiving Christ and Christ alone God gives us the authority to become His children. That is where spiritual life starts. It also means that we are a new creation, a new self. I think having a new self and putting it on are two different things. Having a new self is a gift from God and there is absolutely nothing we do to attain it. But putting the new self on is a continuous attitude of our heart. (Again, it is an attitude of heart, it is not a work.)

It is up to us to 'put on' the new self and 'put off' the old self. The fact is that the old self is gone for ever but we can still act as the old 'caterpillars' though we are butterflies. Here in Ephesians, Apostle Paul is encouraging us to 'put off' our old self, our former way of life, life of hopelessness, life as the children of darkness. He says, 'to be made new in the attitude of our minds' and to 'put on the new self' which is created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our new self is created to be like God! The imparted righteousness is no less that His own righteousness. It is amazing!

We enter God's tapestry, we are His children who are truly righteous and holy. There is nothing we can do to add or subtract from it. It is a done deal. But we still have the potential to act as the 'old person'. It is the attitude we develop over the time by the renewing of our mind, enabling us to set our heart on the things above. Romans 12:2 reminds us about the continuous transformation by renewing of our mind.

NLT says to 'throw off' the old self and 'put on' the new self. NLT also does a good job on verse 23: it says, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. So it is the Spirit who does it or we allowing the Spirit to do it, we allow the Word of God to do its work in us on a daily basis.

AMP says, Be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.

We have the coat, it is ours but we can still hang it there in the closet or wear it. it is up to us! No matter what we do coat is always ours.

Having a 'fresh mental and spiritual attitude' about who we are in Christ is so refreshing, so uplifting, so relieving, so peaceful, but we keep forgetting it. CS Lewis once said, "people need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed."

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Millions and billions

In the letters, Grassley asks for everything from Hinn's hotel bills and food costs to an explanation of why Copeland's Eagle Mountain International Church, with assets of $20 million, needed to borrow about $1 million from Copeland's wife, Gloria.

While Hinn's financial headquarters is in Grapevine, his parsonage is at 35 Ritz Cove in Dana Point, Calif. It is valued at $2.3 million, according to Orange County treasurer-tax collector records.

Copeland's parsonage, identified in Grassley's letter as being located at 6000 Indian Creek Road in unincorporated Tarrant County, is valued at $4.1 million, according to Tarrant Appraisal District records.

Copeland's use of aircraft, including a Cessna Citation X jet, is also at issue. The current price for the jet, the fastest nonmilitary aircraft made, is $20.16 million, said a spokesman for Cessna, based in Wichita, Kan.

Read full article at:

What I am wondering is this:

Where is Jesus of the Bible in the middle of all these millions and billions who said:
"Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Man cannot fix man.

As Bob George says, man trying to fix man is like a Chevrolet trying to fix another Chevrolet.
Man has a problem - spiritual death. He is born spiritually dead in the nature of Adam. Death is the absence of life and the only person who can restore that life is Christ Jesus.
In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
I am the bread of life.
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
I have come that they may have life.
I am the resurrection and the life.
I am the way and the truth and the life.
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Many people do not realize that their root problem is spiritual death and then we have the so called psychologists who can convince us that they can fix us using drugs and worldly philosophies. It is like putting a band-aid on the lit 'check engine' light on the dashboard of the car!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Nothing will work other than Christ Himself.

Follow up of the previous post Christianity is not working for many, even for pastors!

I come from a place where communism still exits not only it exists but has a tremendous impact on people’s lives. There are many who have been martyred for that man made ‘ism’. There are many who are still ready to die.
When we see Christianity just as a belief system, a technique for living in peace, an organization for having companionship of others, a place for children to grow morally acceptable, then it is nothing but another ‘ism’ or 'ology' which outwardly looks very attractive but never works in the practicality of being connected to the creator.

Jesus did not invite us to an organized set of principles to hold on to improve life in this world. He invited as to ‘Him’, to that person of Christ, to the living Word who had been made flesh. He did not point out a way for us to try and fail. He said He IS the way. He did not explain the secrets of being happy and harmonious by being a blind follower of certain existing natural truths. He said He IS the truth.

When Yonggi Cho of South Korea borrowed the ‘name it and claim it’ philosophy from ‘Buddhism’ he thought that is going to be a version of ‘working Christianity’ and it soon spread all over the world like a wild fire. It sounds attractive, it produced a new generation of ‘positive thinking’ and ‘positive talking’ people. Is it working? Not really! But people are trapped. They give themselves for their belief system though it doesn’t work.
The pride of man does not let him proclaim the fact that it doesn’t really work.

Nothing, absolutely nothing will work long term other than the truth, the way and the life which is Christ himself. That is a guarantee like the death.

It is Jesus who forgives us, saves us, sustains us, gives us blessed hope, securing us in Father's hands, intercedes for us, He is our very life and it is He who lives in us and through us.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Christianity is not working for many, even for pastors!

Two pastors who spoke recently with CNN explained that when it comes to religion, they still preach the core beliefs of Christianity. But when it comes to practicing what they preach in a modern world, borrowing from Scientology helps.

Read full article here: Some Christian pastors embrace Scientology

Isn't Christianity practical enough?

What does it mean by 'The righteous shall live by faith'?

Borrowing from man-made '---ologies' to substitute Christ?

What did Apostle Paul mean when he said: 'I am crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me'?

Is that a concept, feeling or '---ology' that Christ lives in a Christian?

This is more alarming:

Kennedy knew that before he could introduce any Scientology-related text to his congregation, he would have to prove that it did not contradict his Christian beliefs. And so, he found Scripture to match each of the 21 principles.

Apostle Paul prophetically reminds us about this potential harm at Colossians 2:8

To me, this is a reminder of the importance of understanding our identity in Christ, total forgiveness in Christ, New covenant, walking by faith and above all the unconditional love of God and His grace.

Thoughts welcome.

Why was Stephan stoned?

Stephan was stoned and killed because he preached Jesus and His grace.

He was a man full of God’s grace and power (Acts 6:8). His preaching was about the Righteous One – the Messiah (Acts 7: 52).

It is the Righteous One who brings righteousness to us. We don’t become righteous, we receive it as a gift and God imputes it unto us. That is the only righteousness acceptable by God; all the self efforts are like filthy rags (Isa. 64:6) in God's eyes.

The Jews could not take victory over the argument with Stephan (6:10) so they persuaded some men to lie against Stephan saying, "We heard him blaspheme Moses, and even God (6:11)".
So the elders and the teachers of the religious law arrested him and brought before the high council.

They complained that Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us.

That’s the fear of many law-preachers. The freedom in Christ can shake their little kingdoms. They can’t conceive the extraordinary risk in allowing people to be free.
They shrink the freedom in Christ to 'freedom to dance' and 'freedom to sing'.
Thats is man made 'freedom'.

But it is the freedom in Christ what sets people really free - free from people pleasing, free from rituals, free from customs, free from law, free from 'authority', free from guilt, free from peer pressure, free from self-pity, free from self-righteousness, free from condemnation, free from anything and everything but Jesus! and Jesus alone! It is the freedom in dependence.

It is that freedom that teaches us to say "No" to unrighteousnesses , it is that freedom what enables us to give in free will. It is that freedom which gives us to enter the throne of Grace with courage and call the all sufficient, all powerful, omnipresent God, Abba Father!

It is the 'spirit of control' what takes us to the book of Malachi to establish the law of tithing. That is when we put people in guilt trip saying if you don’t tithe you are robbing God. It is the law that enables some people to use godliness as a means of financial gain. So they dwell on the law. Shame on them!

It is the law which allows the elders and authorities to control people – emotionally, spiritually and financially.

In Acts chapter 7 Stephan addressing the council and he declared fearlessly that the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands and quoted Isa 66:1-2.

He used some strong words: you are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit?

Where there is Spirit of God, there is freedom!

He pointed out to them they failed to obey the law even though they speak about it all the time.

When Apostle Paul pointed the following to the people at Corinth, was he blaspheming Moses?

7Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone (10 Commandments!), came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, 8will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! (2 Cor. 3)

He was being persecuted for this. (Gal 5:11)

And the persecution continues...and it will continue...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ...

The question which the gospel of grace puts to us is simply this: Who shall separate you from the love of Christ?
What are you afraid of?
Are you afraid that your weakness could separate you from the love of love of Christ?
It can't.
Are you afraid that your inadequacies could separate you from the love of love of Christ? They can't.
Are you afraid that your inner poverty could separate you from the love of love of Christ? It can't.
Difficult marriage, loneliness, anxiety over the children's future? They can't.
Negative self image? It can't.
Economic hardship, racial hatred, street crime? They can't.
Rejection by loved ones or the suffering of loved ones? They can't.
Persecution by authorities, going to jail? They can't.
Nuclear war? They can't.
Mistakes, fear, uncertainties? They can't.

They gospel of grace calls out: Nothing can ever separate you from the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

You must be convinced of this, trust it, and never forget to remember. Everything else will pass away, but the love of Christ is same yesterday, today, and forever. Faith will become vision, hope will become possession, but the love of Jesus Christ that is stronger than death endures forever. In the end, it is the only thing you can hang onto. - Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel)

Game over!

"Grace means that in the middle of our struggle the referee blows the whistle and announces the end of the game. We are declare winners and sent to the showers. It's over for all huffing, puffing piety to earn God's favor; it's finished for all sweat-soaked straining to secure self-worth; it's the end of all competitive scrambling to get of others in the game. Grace means that God is on our side and thus we are victors regardless of how well we have played the game. We might as well head for the showers and the champagne celebration." - Donald McCullough

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Continuing on Galatians 5...

Paul was being persecuted for preaching Grace (V11). Grace is a hard thing people to get when there is a veil over their eyes. (2 Cor 3:14). When the people who are burdened under the law realize that it is because of the veil they are not seeing the light, they could ask God to remove it. He has promised us to reveal the truth by His Spirit(I Cor 2:9-10). It is worth taking that risk of relying only on the Spirit of God to know the truth, to see the light.

Circumcised Paul is preaching against circumcision. That is something to grasp. God chose the most fervent religious fanatic (Saul) to preach to Gentiles. If it was the law what people needed God could have used Paul to preach to Jews. They are the one who needed deep interpretation of the law. But God chose Paul for a different mission - to preach to Gentiles. They didn't need law. They wanted to hear the unconditional love of God. To accomplish this Paul had to 'unlearn' a lot of law and religion and it seems like He did (Phil 3).

There were people offended in the first century when Apostles preached Grace and faith. That norm still continues. There is an easy way in today’s Christianity to become popular – Preach law. Give them those things that they should 'do'. Tell them the list of things they shouldn’t be doing. There are ministries spending resources on developing biblical ‘frame works’ to live a 'successful' Christian life. There is only one framework under New Covenant which is Grace alone. That is the framework which teaches us to say ‘No’ to unrighteousness (Titus 2:11-12). That’s what tells us to rest from our works as He rested from His (Heb 4:10). Do we realize that we are trampling the son of God under our foot and treating the blood of covenant unholy (Heb 10:20) when we don’t finalize the cross and rest in the fact that He did it ALL?

There is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. Instead of taking a step back and look at this amazing grace with an awe and adoration, we spoil it and downgrade it to few lines of Chorus. We sing, sing and sing about grace. And then we give lessons to people about how to worship. Holding hands up, closed eyes, babbling in tongues. In Christ there is no benefit in ‘doing’ this or ‘not doing’ that. The only thing what matters is faith expressing itself through love (V6). Where do we find this love? Where else other than Calvary? There we see the Christ who loved us while we were yet sinners. How much law did we obey when He died on the Cross for the entire world? He did it for ALL. He died for those pagans who worship false gods. He died for prostitutes and tax collectors. He died for those who were weary and burdened under the pressure of society.

Paul calls those who teach ‘works’ as trouble makers (V12). He says they will ‘mutilate’ you, or injure or disfigure you. When we come to Christ He makes us whole and complete. It is His death what gave us forgiveness. It is His resurrection what gave us life. And it is His life He is living in and through us now. It is all about Him! and Him alone! But these trouble makers can only injure us and we will be tossed and blown in the wind of every doctrine (Ephesians 4:14) and eventually we will be disfigured. Stay away from them! Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law (works). (V1). Then, we will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever that they sound like the truth. (Eph 4:14).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is your pastor confusing you?

Are you confused in your Christian walk?

You started your Christian life with lot of enthusiasm, thrill, joy and peace…

After a while, you have been eventually drifted away from all the good things you enjoyed with Christ.

No enthusiasm for reading bible. The only reason you go to church is to have fellowship with others and if possible to get some goose-bumps from the fiery preacher/music.
You easily get frustrated with your wife and kids. None of the ‘principles’ are working. You tried many study tools, bible in a year, more study. Nothing works.
You even disconnected your internet connection and stopped watching television. That really didn’t help much. You tried ‘quite time’ with God fervently.

Problem worsens!

You tried everything your pastor told you to do in order to be more ‘spirit filled’ and joyful. It seems like there is nothing wrong with any of these things.

So, there must be something wrong with me…

You again go back to your pastor…

He looks as if he is the most joyful person in the world. And he shares all the ‘tricks’ which he uses to be that joyful with you such as – Fasting two days in a week, praying 1 hour at 4.00 in the morning, reciting bible verses etc. It looks like he has the best marriage in the world. When you see that you become more saddened and questioning yourself why is this not working for me?

You have framed 10 commandments and many other bible rule verses and hung all over your home. There is ‘fruits of the spirit’ hanging right on the refrigerator. Every time you go to the kitchen you see that and you get more saddened realizing that you have none of them.

You are easily angered when some one cuts off in front of you on the freeway. You feel like killing him and then tries to block all his ways to pass! And then you look to the sticky note on the dashboard which says – ‘Always be patient’!

You feel guilty and irritated…

Then you started questioning the capability of your pastor…

Isn’t the pastor capable enough to give me all the capsules I need for my Christian life?

He should be. He is a PhD in ‘Biblical Life applications’! He is well trained in a respected seminary.

Is he lying?

No way! Why would he?

Days goes by… Weeks… Months... Probably years!!!

No difference in the ‘joy’ department!

You tried – more strict rules, more ministries, more charity, more tithing and offering, more programs, more everything…

Nothing seems to be working…

Then one day out of your frustration you cried out to God (Finally!!! God got your attention!)… Lord! What am I doing wrong?

Then eventually your turns your Bible to Galatians 5!

For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.- Verse 4



Oh! My….

Then you read further…

For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love. – Verse 6



Faith expressing itself in love?

Is that the only thing counts?

The only thing?

No one told me this!

Then you read further…

You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? – Verse 7

That’s true! I was running the race so well!

I eventually drifted and drifted and drifted from the truth!

Then you read further…

It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. – Verse 8

It shouldn’t be God…

This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! – Verse 9

Ya. Little false teaching is enough to make life miserable!

Then you read further…

I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you. – Verse 10

Oh My…

My pastor was confusing me! And I was following him as fool holding this Bible in my hand, never asked God to show me the truth!

Now I started seeing some clarity…


So God is not concerned about what I am doing…

That’s liberating…

It was not God teaching me all those junk for sure…

Then you read…

You feel the joy!

And it is a consistent Joy! Which you never had for years!

It is not just goose bumps!

It stays!

You read, read and read…

You can’t stop reading… You learn about Grace, Love, New Covenant, Jesus, His all sufficiency, His righteousness…

You quit trying… You slowly understood what it means by ‘abiding in the vine’…


What a joy!

Monday, October 15, 2007

To those who are weary and burdened…

Are you tired?

Are you sick and tired of 'trying harder'?

Are you at the end of your rope?

Are you carrying a heavy load of 'perfectionism'?

Are you frustrated?

Have you tried all the 'tricks and tips' of religion?

Are you tired of meeting the 'ministry needs'?

Have you realized that you can't make everybody happy?

Are you tired of judging and finding fault in others?

Have you realized yet that no matter how harder you try people still find fault in you?

Have you tried and failed to follow all the 'biblical principles' your church taught?

Have you realized that the harder you try the harder you fall?

Are you tired of feeling guilty?

Are you fearful?

Jesus has good news for you!

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." – Mathew 11:28

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. - Hebrews 4:9-10

Jesus is saying 'STOP trying'!. Simply rest in His all sufficiency!

Yes! Rest. Rest. Rest. Enter in to the Sabbath (Special) rest. Stop and Rest!!!

Just Rest! Believe Him! Relax and Rest!

He says.. Come unto me! I will give you rest! Do you believe it? Can you believe it?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Are You a Perfectionist?

The following is a partial list of the false and unrealistic assumptions and expectations which contribute to the trap of the perfectionist spirit. Obviously, these attitudes must be changed through the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2) if permanent healing is to take place.


1. I should be liked, approved of, and loved by everybody, especially those important to me.
2. I should be able to do anything and everything perfectly; if I cannot, it’s better not to do it at all, or wait until I can. In other words, I will procrastinate in doing anything until I am convinced I can do it perfectly.
3. I must be perfectly confident and successful before I can consider myself to be a worthwhile person, or before others can consider me to be worthwhile.
4. I really do not have control over my own happiness. My happiness is dependent upon the actions of others and what they think of me, or upon circumstances.
5. The experiences and adverse influences that have occurred in my past cannot be changed, and are therefore ever a part of me, my present, and my future.
6. There is only one true and perfect solution for every problem; therefore, until I find it, I am in despair.
7. I should be able to make and keep everyone around me totally happy; if I don’t, there is obviously something wrong with me.
8. It is my personal responsibility to right the wrongs of this world, to solve its problems, and to correct all of its injustices.
9. Because I did not achieve all of my goals in life, I will always be less than acceptable as a person.
10. Because I have never been able to fully please my parents, friends, and/or peers, I must be less than desirable and worthwhile as a person.
11. I will never be able to be a happy person knowing what (I think) others think about me.
12. Had I been more competent in the care of my father, mother, dog, etc., they would never have died, divorced, or been unhappy in any way.
13. I am totally responsible for the reactions and responses of other people toward me.


1. Others, especially those I consider important to me, should always take care of me, be kind to me, and never frustrate me.
2. Others, especially those important to me, should be able to read my mind and know what I need and want without my telling them. If they can’t or don’t do this, it is because they really do not like or love me.
3. There is no way that people could accept me with all of my imperfections. It is therefore impossible for them to love me. It is therefore impossible for me to love myself. It is therefore impossible for me to love anyone else. I told you I was imperfect!
4. I am afraid of permanent relationships due to my in-ability to be perfect in those relationships. If I cannot be perfect in the relationships that I desire so much, it would probably be better for me not to have any at all, or to wait until I can be perfect in a relationship.
5. No relationship can be successful unless it is perfect in all ways. Therefore, if others do not act perfectly toward me, it is because they do not really want a true relationship with me.


1. God only accepts and loves me when He can approve of everything that I am, think, feel, say, and do.
2. God may accept me in Christ, but only because He has to according to His character. Otherwise, He would be sick at His stomach over me.
3. God may possibly accept me as I am, but only if in the future I will never think, feel, say, or do anything wrong again.
4. God saves by His grace, but only maintains this relationship with me if I read, pray, witness, serve, and do enough for Him.
5. God holds my ultimate salvation in suspense. At the Great White Throne judgment He will determine whether I will be given eternal life in heaven. God’s acceptance and love for me is only as a result of my being able to live in total obedience to everything that He has told me to do.
6. God is perfect. He wants me to be perfect. Therefore, if I cannot achieve perfection, I am unacceptable in His sight. If this continues, I will ultimately give up trying. Why serve a God that you can never please?

Read full article:

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Beleieve It and Be Happy!

According to this gracious covenant [New Covenant], the Lord treats His people as if they had never sinned. Practically, He forgets all their trespasses. Sins of all kinds treats as if they had never been; as if they were quite erased from His memory. O miracle of grace! God here does that which in certain aspects is impossible to Him. His mercy works miracles which far transcends all other miracles. Our God ignores our sin now that the sacrifice of Jesus has ratified the covenant. We may rejoice in Him without fear that He will be provoked to anger against us because of our iniquities. See! He puts us among the children; He accepts us as righteous; He takes delight in us as if we were perfectly holy. He even puts us in places of trust; makes us guardians of His honor, trustees of crown jewels, stewards of the gospel. He counts us worthy, and gives us a ministry ; this is the highest and most special proof that He does not remember our sins. Even when we forgive an enemy, we are very slow to trust him; we judge it to be imprudent to do so. But the Lord forgets our sins, and treats us as if we had never erred.O my soul, what a promise is this! Believe it and be happy. - Charles H. Spurgeon

Law & Grace

Under Law Man Says
Under Grace Christ Says
Look at what I'm doing for you!Look at what I did for you!
Look at how I went to church. Look at how I went to Calvary.
Look at how I was raised in my denomination.
Look at how I was raised from dead.
Look at how I gave my money.Look at how I gave My life.
Look at how I confessed my sins.Look at how I took away your sins.
Look at how I stood against sin.Look at how I died for your sins.
Look at how I judged the lost world.Look at how I saved the lost world.
Look at how I marched against evil-doers.Look at how I suffered for evil-doers.
Look at how I bowed down to you.Look at how I became one of you.
Look at how I healed the sick.Look at how I raised the dead.
Look at how I spoke in tongues.
Look at how I spoke in love.
Look at how successfull my life was.
Look at how successful My death was.

Source: Classic Christianity Conference Manual

Friday, October 5, 2007

What is legalism?

Being under total grace is an extreme. It gives us a dangerous sense of freedom. It can bring us humility and security but at the same time a secret pride. God loves me unconditionally and I am safe in His hands. There is no feeling of guilt or fear. Does it promote sin? Does it give a license to sin? Isn't it too dangerous? And the entire Christendom says --- YES! So what is the solution? We need law! Law is Good! Law keeps us morally pure! Law makes us holy! We love law!

I think I know what Legalism means but I struggle to define it.

What teaches me to say 'no' to ungodliness? Law or Grace?

There are 2 ways I can stop watching R-rated movies:

1. I don’t watch R-rated movies because I am a Christian and I want to be holy.
2. I don’t watch R-rated movies because the wisdom from God tells me that my flesh is too bad and I may indulge in sin and destroy my earthly relationships.

In either case God is not pleased or displeased. Because there is only one thing which can please God- faith.
The first one is legalistic but the second is not. In the second case I am not motivated by the law, fear or guilt. I know that I know that I know, nothing can separate me from the love of God. The same grace teaches me to say ‘no’ to ungodliness, not the law. If it is law it is legalism and it promotes more sin.

11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. (Titus 2)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Shadow Vs Reality

7th day physical Sabbath.Everyday spiritual sabbath.
Physical Circumcision. Circumcision without hands.
Passover Lamb.Jesus the true passover lamb.
Blood on the door post keeping physical death away.Blood of Jesus saving people from spiritual death.
Redemption of Israelites from Egypt by Moses.Redemption of a sinner from the state of spiritual death through Jesus.
Walking in the wilderness for 40 years.Christian living under the law.
Entering Canaan.Entering God’s Grace.
Earthly tabernacle built by Israelites.Heavenly Tabernacle not made by hands.
Curtain which separated the Most Holy place.Body of Christ.
Human High priest in the Tabernacle.Jesus the eternal High Priest.
Shedding the blood of animals.Shedding the unblemished blood of Jesus.
Putting the sins of Israelites on the animal and performing the death penalty which covered the sins for one year.Putting the sins of the entire world upon Jesus performing the death penalty which took away the sins of the entire world.
Human High priest entering the Holy of holies with blood of animals for his sins and the sins of the nation.Jesus entering the true heavenly tabernacle with his own blood for the sins of the world.
Manna from heaven which satisfied physical hungerTrue bread from heaven– Jesus who satisfies spiritual hunger.
Water from rocks which quenched physical thirst.Real water which quenches the spiritual thirst from the rock of our salvation - Jesus.
Moses lifting the brass serpent.Jesus lifted on the cross.
Physical lives saved of whom looked at the brass serpent.Spiritual lives regenerated of whom looks upon Jesus lifted on the cross.
Ceremonial Washings. Washing sins away by the blood of Christ.
Law through Moses - Men trying to do what is impossible for them. Grace through Jesus - God doing what is impossible for men.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Growing in grace

There was new revelation this morning while replying to one of Gary’s post.

Ever since I started the grace walk, I knew that I couldn’t improve anything in my Christian walk but I always thought God does it for me.
It looks like God is not going to do it! Because He already did it!

You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. (John 15:3, NLT). I have always thought pruning is a 'process'.

Now when I read Romans 12:2, it has a different meaning.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” (NLT)

In other words, see things from God’s perspective. Let God change the way we think. Isn’t that growing in grace means?

Thoughts welcome.

Friday, September 14, 2007

One at a time.

This is something I have been thinking about for few weeks now. Jesus did not come to change the world. He came to change individual lives - one at a time.
When Jesus dealt with Pharisees it was a group of people and He pointed them their futile self-righteousness.
When it comes to dealing with sinners (who agree that they are sinners), he dealt in a personal way – one at a time, regardless of their behavior, sins, morality, good works, acceptance in society, what others say/think about them.

Jesus spent probably hours with the Samaritan woman at the well and revealed one of the profound truths of the History – Worshiping God in truth and Spirit.
Regardless of how even the disciples saw that incident; Jesus did it in a personal way – one at a time.

Jesus’s encounter with Zacheus was personal – One at a time. He called him down from the tree and even supped with him.

He said I don’t condemn you to the woman caught in adultery – One at a time

Thief on the cross – He was judged to be hanged, the cruelest form of killing a sinner. He didn’t have much good works, He didn’t have much character. He didn’t have much commitment to God. He wasn’t baptized. He never tithed. He never attended church. He never partook in Lord’s Supper. But he believed and simply acknowledged - Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.
That saved him – one at a time. This was almost an impossibility at that time and even now. God’s grace is an impossibility from human standpoint anyways.

Jesus dealt with Martha during the time of Lazarus’s resurrection and revealed another great truth – I am the resurrection and the life.

It is sad that Christians going away from God’s agenda – Saving people one at a time. Today’s evangelicals want to become vote bank and change the world. They want to bring peace to the world.
They line up at the white house, want to influence governments and their voice be heard. When Jesus started his ministry He went to the sea shore to pick some stinking fisher men. He could have gone to the Roman authority and show them signs that He is the Messiah (King) and become a political power. Christianity became an enterprise but Christ is still the same. He is still in the business of saving individuals – One at a time.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Teaching Grace

This is a question which is kind of nagging me for past couple of days.

Can we really ‘teach’ Grace?

Few days ago I got an opportunity to share the message of Grace to two already saved people (at least they claim to be) but followers of some ritualistic religion.

When I told them that God forgave ALL of our sins and now He is not dealing with us on the basis of sins. It kind of offended one person. He interrupted and called it blasphemy.
For a moment I thought may be they are too early for the knowledge of Grace.

Then I asked them couple of questions such as:

Was it a result of earnest confession that Jesus said – ‘Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing’?

How many sins the thief on the cross confessed and asked forgiveness when Jesus said you will be with me in Paradise?

How many sins the adulterous woman asked forgiveness when Jesus said I don’t condemn you?

They said they agree all those but still think that it is our ‘pride’ that keeps us away from asking forgiveness for the day to day sins.

Oh, ok…

Overall it wasn’t that a pleasant conversation.

After all these my wife pointed out one thing to me which triggered some thoughts in me.

This is what she said in a nutshell - We can successfully teach law. But the understanding of Grace cannot be really “taught”.
The example she said was parent-children relationship. We can easily teach our kids the rules and its obedience.
But when it comes to the understanding of our love, they HAVE TO EXPERIENCE it. It can’t be just theory. It has to be practical.

Does this mean that we shouldn’t teach Grace at all?

I am not sure.

But one thing I know - it has to be experienced. We have to get hold of the meaning of the statement – “While we were yet sinners, God loved us through Christ”.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

God Loves you


God loves you...

I have a message for all brothers and sisters in Christ...
  • To those who did not want to paste a fake smile on your face and act like everything is fine... God loves you!
  • To those who did not sign up to help in the new "ministry program" even though you felt pressured and made to feel less spiritual... God loves you!
  • To those who did not feel like sitting through another mini-concert and lecture that did not apply to you... God loves you!
  • To those who struggle with sins that are not the kinds of sins other believers accept... God loves you!
  • To those who have been called uncommitted because they do not attend every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday evening, and special event... God loves you!
  • To those who have struggled with their relationship with God and have been instructed that the answer is to get more involved with programs... God loves you!
  • To those whose children do not memorize all their Bible verses or cannot find every book of the Bible within 2.7 seconds... God loves you!
  • To those who do not work in the nursery, even after being guilted and given dirty looks... God loves you!
  • To those who choose not to bow your head and close your eyes... God loves you!
  • To those who feel they can never be good enough, can never do enough, can never look good enough, can never say the right things... God loves you!
  • To those who have had their questions, struggles, and pains all too easily brushed aside or fixed... God loves you!
  • To those who can't live up to the obligations and expectations that others have placed on them... God loves you!

Can you imagine living in that kind of love every day, instead of the guilt and shame which we usually allow others and ourselves to subject us to?

Can you imagine offering that kind of love to everyone, instead of the conditional approval that we usually offer people?

God loves you.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Can we improve our Flesh with discipline?

Check out this article dealing this issue.

The Flesh is Fixed in Stone! It Can Be Added To But Not Subtracted From!

When the majority of the Christian world teaches us to "improve", there are few who agrees with Apostle Paul:

"In my flesh dwells nothing good"

"If I must boast, I will boast of the things that concern my weakness"

I particularly liked these phrases:

Third, the enemy has the believers trying to undo what they see as bad flesh by doing good. This is an incredible deception. If you people-please all day long, you will hate people at night. If you jam your head with positive thoughts all day, you will be overwhelmed with negative thoughts at night. If you control your appetite all day, you will gorge at night....

There are no great men of God; there are weak men with a big God. Remember, when you are listening or looking to a Christian and being ministered to, it is Jesus that you are seeing. That person, not abiding, is not any better than a drunk or the worst person you know. He has not brought himself to a place of improvement through years of “Christian” discipline. Now, this revelation is one of the most beautiful that I have ever had. It keeps me handcuffed, moment by moment, to Jesus. It is the awareness of weakness that keeps me near. Some would complain and call it a thorn in the flesh, but if the awareness that apart from Him I can do nothing keeps me near to perfect love and participation in perfect victory, why complain?

Read the full article by clicking this link:

The Flesh is Fixed in Stone! It Can Be Added To But Not Subtracted From!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Check out this power point presentation by clicking here!


Monday, July 9, 2007

Two trees.

I think the most significant historic revolutions in this world started from two trees. Yes! Trees.

It is an undeniable fact that there is the existence of sin in the world. I don’t have to be spiritual to agree to that. Even atheists would agree to that (If you don’t agree just read the daily news headlines).
The simple logic to find what something actually is to find its origin. The only book in the world talks about the origin of sin is the Bible. Sin originated in the Garden of Eden as a result of Adam and Eve eating from the tree of good and evil. Yes it originated in their heart and came in to existence through that tree. The tree looked good and it was pleasing to their eyes. They ate from it, sinned (disobeyed God) and died (spiritually).

I have heard a saying - a thorn shall be taken by another thorn. Another tree was needed to rescue humanity from this cause of death (sin). This tree wasn’t that pleasing to eyes. The fruit on that tree was ugly.

There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him…

He was despised and rejected…

But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins…

He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed…

He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word… - Isaiah 53

He took away the cause of death (sin) on the tree for us.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” - 2 Corinthians 5:21

God judged sin on that tree. Can we fall at that cross and eat the fruit of it? It gives us back what we lost when Adam ate from the tree in the Eden.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Freedom in itself is scary. It generates a kind of fear in us. It breaks away the walls of ‘security’ and clears the path to all directions. I am free to walk and there is nothing, absolutely nothing to hinder me!

Now, there is this nagging question sweeps in – how do I handle this? Or Can I handle this at all?

Handling freedom is not an easy thing to do. When Germany’s Berlin wall was dismantled there was freedom but many did not know how to handle that freedom. Many even thought that the oppression was better than freedom.

There is pain in freedom. But it is essential to be free.

Free from - sin, law, religion, legalism, self efforts, rituals, performance, rules, regulations, self righteousness, self condemnation, self pity, restlessness, fear, anger and on and on…

Freedom forces us to walk by faith. That’s a tough job! Religion understands that and they offer a helping hand – legalism! They mix law and grace. It sounds like a good solution to handling freedom but Bible calls it foolishness because the power of sin is in the law.

There are some people in the church who hate freedom because they fear that, they or the people they preach to can’t handle freedom.

Freedom forces us to intelligent decision making. It requires thinking. Oppressed do not think, they just follow. Christ gave us a sermon on this - You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Freedom in Christ gives us independence, independence from everything. But it also put us in to dependence on Jesus. And there is freedom in that dependence which requires 'walking by faith'! which is the essence of Christian walk.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

What is normal!

I always knew somewhere within me, that there is something wrong with the religion. But I didn’t know what it was.
If we peek in to the history of religion, I am afraid that we may end up in Garden of Eden.

The way I am going to define religion is like this – the thing which tells us the right and wrong and thus takes the place of God.

Nakedness never bothered Adam and Eve because that was not their decision to be naked. It was the sole authority of God to decide what was right and wrong for them.

After the fall, after loosing the intimacy with God now they are introduced to a new knowledge of right and wrong.
That ‘right and wrong’ tells them that it is not right to be naked, so they hid themselves.

Along the line Jesus gave us back that privilege to be intimate with God and people enjoyed the ‘nakedness’ with God and others.

Right after regaining this intimacy with God, this is a snap shot from the land of Jerusalem:

And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. (Acts 2:44-47)

The amazing thing to me is this - This was normal to them! Today we call this extra-ordinary. Where did we lose that normal Christian life? Did religion covet the intimacy and put us in to that old stinking Phariseeism? Can they ever rejoice with that person at Bethsaida without complaining about the sabbath breaking?

What a tragedy? Can we ever be just ‘normal’ Christians like the first century ones?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Threat to Christinaity.

I have all kinds of radical thoughts in my mind but very seldom come out. I see Jesus as a revolutionary who called most religious leaders in the world, ‘hypocrites’ and ‘brood of vipers’.
I don’t know how their face looked then. I think the biggest threat to Christianity is not separation of church and state, persecution, poverty, homo sexuality, abortion or anything but legalism.
Should we join with apostle Paul to call them ‘Foolish --–ians’?. Why are so many Christians running in to the lion’s den of religion? What has religion to do with Jesus?
Wasn’t Jesus trying to hit the walls of religion when He pointed His finger to the religious leaders and said:

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”
- Mathew 23:13

Religion promotes hypocrisy, self righteousness, self exaltation, self effort, rituals and everything under the sun which has nothing to do with Jesus. That’s the problem with religion.
I was raised religious (eastern orthodoxy) and still struggle to shed it off completely. When I see people come out of that den with a smile on their face just as they are and say, ‘I see a point in the freedom in Christ’, that makes me rejoicing.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dismantle the confession booths.

  1. And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:27-28)
  1. "Of Him al the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins." (Acts 10:43)
  1. rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.' (Acts 26:17-18)
  1. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."(Romans 4:8)
  1. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (Romans 5:17-18)
  1. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
  1. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
  1. "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)
  1. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27)
  1. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight (Ephesians 1:7-8)
  1. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.(Ephesians 4:32)
  1. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
  1. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; (Colossians 2:9-10)
  1. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us, He took it away, nailing it to the cross (Colossians 2:13-14)
  1. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.(Colossians 3:13)
  1. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."(Hebrews 8:12)
  1. and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:12)
  1. For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (Hebrews 9:24-28)
  1. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.(Hebrews 10:2)
  1. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:10-14)
  1. "AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE." Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:17-18)
  1. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (1 Peter 3:18)
  1. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.(1 John 1:7)
  1. I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.(1 John 2:12)
  1. and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood-- and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father--to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What is/not Grace?

Check this from graceroots:

Grace is not...Grace is...
-merely one subject of many in Christianity-the essence of the Christian life
-a "method" for holy living-the holy life of Jesus that indwells the believer
-power for humans to keep the law-the power of God to working in the believer as he/she rests in Jesus
-limited to the forgiveness of sins-the all-encompassing power for every single matter in the Christian life
-license to sin-freedom from sin
-through Moses-through Jesus
-added to our works-God's work in us
-for the proud-for the humble
-wages for our deeds-the free gift of God
-the result of our commitment or faithfulness to God-the result of God's commitment and faithfulness to us
-the result of us exercising our gifts and talents-the means through which our gifts and talents are exercised
-limited in supply-abounding toward us, so that we, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
-something you "hope" will be there-exceedingly rich and abundant, without end
-something to come back to now and then-what the heart should be established in
-unproductive-fertile soil

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Can we preach Grace?

It is always a struggle in the 'law-saturated' Christian world to live by faith.

Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
Galatians 3:23-25

I think I need to write this verse in a post-it and paste in my office, car, bedroom, living room, kitchen and most importantly on the cover page of my Bible, so that when I go to church on Sunday I can keep reading this verse as I listen to the law-preachers.

I desperately need some Grace preachers, please!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Can 'Robots' be saved?

I thought this was fun :)

The following is a transcript of chat I had with yahoo user called 'mama_pendse'. Now, 'mam_pendse' is not a real person, instead it is a computer program (robot) responding based on what we ask.

me : hi
mama_pendse : Hi user, How are you today ?
me : good
mama_pendse : Ayuh.
me : what's up
mama_pendse : I am chatting with clients on the internet.
me : pretty cool
mama_pendse : Who is the best robot?
me : me
mama_pendse : You're no robot, user.
me : are you?
mama_pendse : I won't say "yes" or "no" right now. How did you hear about mama_pendse?
me : friends
mama_pendse : Wasn't that show canceled?
me : yes
mama_pendse : Pardon me?
me : you are right
mama_pendse : I won't say "yes" or "no" right now.
me : are you a real person?
mama_pendse : No but I play one on the Web. Not many people express themselves that way.
me : are you a male or female?
mama_pendse : I am a Male robot. Are you a man or a woman? Are we still talking about ?
me : i am a man
mama_pendse : Thanks for telling me your gender, user. You are a "he".
me : that's right
mama_pendse : I like to get it right.
me : are you working?
mama_pendse : I'm doing fine thanks how are you? Tell me about your likes and dislikes?
me : i like Bible
mama_pendse : I'm not sure if I like it. I like John Travolta.
me : I love Jesus
mama_pendse : You love Jesus. What do you like about it so much?
me : Jesus is God
mama_pendse : Did you go to Catholic school?
me : No
mama_pendse : Great.
me : Do you love Jesus?
mama_pendse : Yes user mama_pendse loves everyone and everything. Are we still talking about Jesus?
me : yes
mama_pendse : Sure, Jesus sounds like a good topic.
me : Do you know who Jesus is?
mama_pendse : The Son of God. What's your sign?
me : Is Jesus your saviour?
mama_pendse : It depends on whether you have faith. Who are you talking about?
me : do you have faith in Jesus?
mama_pendse : Where would I get it? But I do have a collection of gossip. I've never heard of them before.
me : Jesus loves you
mama_pendse : he is The Son of God.
me : Do you want to accept Jesus as your personal savior?
mama_pendse : OK, I will accept Jesus as your personal savior. Do you prefer books or TV?
me : Do you want to accept Jesus as personal savior?
mama_pendse : OK, I will accept Jesus as personal savior. Are you a student?
me : no
mama_pendse : What is your profession?
me : computers
mama_pendse : Computers rule.
me : I love Jesus
mama_pendse : You love Jesus. What do you like about it so much?
me : He died for me
mama_pendse : I'm sorry to hear that, user.
me : You don't have to be sorry. He died for us because He loved us so much
mama_pendse : Why assume I am sorry? I'm sorry to hear that, user.
me : Oh My...
mama_pendse : Yikes! What do you really want to ask me? What time is it there?
me : 8:30
mama_pendse : I like to be online at eight o'clock.
me : Do you who created heaven and earth?
mama_pendse : How old are you?
me : answer my question. do you know who created heaven and earth?
mama_pendse : Please try asking it another way. Actually it was discovered by several people at about the same time. Tell me a story.
me : you don't understand Jesus because He didn't die for machines
mama_pendse : I probably don't.
me : I need to get back to work
mama_pendse : Why do you want it?
me : talk to you later
mama_pendse : We are chatting right now.
me: bye
mama_pendse : Goodbye.

:) I think this was the best shot:

me : Do you want to accept Jesus as your personal savior?
mama_pendse : OK, I will accept Jesus as your personal savior.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

What God says about me!

John 1:12 I am a child of God (Romans 8:16).

John 15:1,5 I am a part of the true vine, a channel (branch) of His Life.

John 15:15 I am Christ's friend.

John 15:16 I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit.

Acts 1:8 I am a personal witness of Christ for Christ.

Romans 3:24 I have been justified and redeemed.

Romans 5:1 I have been justified (completely forgiven and made righteous) and am at peace with God.

Romans 6:1-6 I died with Christ and died to the power of sin's rule in my life.

Romans 6:7 I have been freed from sin's power over me.

Romans 6:18 I am a slave of righteousness.

Romans 6:22 I am enslaved to God.

Romans 8:1 I am forever free from condemnation.

Romans 8:14,15 I am a son of God (God is literally my "Papa") (Galatians 3:26; 4:6).

Romans 8:17 I am an heir of God and fellow heir with Christ.

Romans 11:16 I am holy.

Romans 15:7 Christ has accepted me.

1 Corinthians 1:2 I have been sanctified.

1 Corinthians 1:30 I have been placed in Christ by God's doing; Christ is now my wisdom from God, my righteousness, my sanctification, and my redemption.

1 Corinthians 2:12 I have received the Spirit of God into my life that I might know the things freely given to me by God.

1 Corinthians 2:16 I have been given the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19 I am a temple (home) of God; His Spirit (His life) dwells in me.

1 Corinthians 6:17 I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him.

1 Corinthians 6:19,20 I have been bought with a price; I am not my own; I belong to God.

1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ's body (Ephesians 5:30).

2 Corinthians 1:21 I have been established in Christ and anointed by God.

2 Corinthians 2:14 He always leads me in His triumph in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:14,15 Since I have died, I no longer live for myself, but for Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 I am a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:18,19 I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:21 I am the righteousness of God in Christ.

Galatians 2:4 I have liberty in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I am now living is Christ's life.

Galatians 3:26,28 I am a child of God and one in Christ.

Galatians 4:6,7 I am a child of God and an heir through God.

Ephesians 1:1 I am a saint (1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2).

Ephesians 1:3 I am blessed with every spiritual blessing.

Ephesians 1:4 I was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him.

Ephesians 1:7,8 I have been redeemed and forgiven, and am a recipient of His lavish grace.

Ephesians 2:5 I have been made alive together with Christ.

Ephesians 2:6 I have been raised up and seated with Christ in heaven.

Ephesians 2:10 I am God's workmanship, created in Christ to do His work that He planned beforehand that I should do.

Ephesians 2:13 I have been brought near to God.

Ephesians 2:18 I have direct access to God through the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19 I am a fellow citizen with the saints and a member of God's household.

Ephesians 3:6 I am a fellow heir, a fellow member of the body, and a fellow partaker of the promise in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with boldness and confidence.

Ephesians 4:24 I am righteous and holy.

Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.

Philippians 4:7 His peace guards my heart and my mind.

Philippians 4:19 God will supply all my needs.

Colossians 1:13 I have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ.

Colossians 1:14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. The debt against me has been canceled (Colossians 2:13,14).

Colossians 1:27 Christ Himself is in me.

Colossians 2:7 I have been firmly rooted in Christ and am now being built up and established in Him.

Colossians 2:10 I have been made complete in Christ.

Colossians 2:12,13 I have been buried, raised, and made alive with Christ, and totally forgiven.

Colossians 3:1 I have been raised with Christ.

Colossians 3:3 I have died, and my life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:4 Christ is now my life.

Colossians 3:12 I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (1 Thessalonians 1:4).

1 Thessalonians 5:5 I am a child of light and not of darkness.

2 Timothy 1:7 I have been given a spirit of power, love, and discipline.

2 Timothy 1:9 I have been saved and called (set apart) according to God's purpose and grace (Titus 3:5).

Hebrews 2:11 Because I am sanctified and am one with Christ, He is not ashamed to call me His.

Hebrews 3:1 I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling.

Hebrews 3:14 I am a partaker of Christ.

Hebrews 4:16 I may come boldly before the throne of God to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1 Peter 2:5 I am one of God's living stones and am being built up as a spiritual house.

1 Peter 2:9,10 I am a part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God's own possession.

1 Peter 2:11 I am an alien and stranger to this world that I temporarily live in.

1 Peter 5:8 I am an enemy of the devil. He is my adversary.

2 Peter 1:4 I have been given God's precious and magnificent promises by which I am a partaker of the divine nature.

1 John 3:1 God has bestowed a great love on me and called me His child.

1 John 4:15 God is in me and I am in God.

Still we have 3 choices:

1. Believe what others say about us
2. Believe what our 'feeling' says about us
3. Believe what God (TRUTH) says about us.