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CSI Good News
(Church of South India Good News)
Vol. 8 / Issue 8 / March 30 2006
Contents of this issue
Vengeance Belongs to God
News Items (Common to all issues) :
Through the Valley of Death & other Books
Download Articles in Handheld Computers
Kids Page - Free Tutorials
Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online
Your Spam Folder
Jer 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." God has a blessed plan and a great future for those who turn to Him. There are many who are wasting away their lives in worldly things like drugs, sex, gangs and violence. These are the plans of devil who wants to destroy lives but there is a better plan for you with God. Not only for the world to come but also in this world itself. God has a future and a hope for His children.
David was just a shepherd boy and God revealed to him through Samuel that he would be the next king of Israel. At times I wonder, how David a shepherd boy could have ever dreamt of becoming king? Did he really know how to run a country? Did he have any skills? I hope not. He was not only lowly by his trade but also in his home. All of his brothers were in army but he was not. But David knew the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and that made him to rise over his brethren. God lifted him up and made him to excel over everyone around him. Bible says in 1 Sam 2:8, "He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory."
You may be seeing no better future for you or for your children. Your future may be looking completely dark and without hope. But if you give your life to Jesus, He will make your future bright and blessed. He will lift you up from the dust and make you shine in this world.
When I was in India and was in the process of moving to USA, I always thought, "even in India it is very difficult to find a decent job, how am I going to get a good job in USA? Who would give me a job in that big country?" At times great fear engulfed my soul. And of course first few months in the USA were very disappointing for us. I sent several resumes in different companies but I did not receive any interview calls. When days became months without having a job people started laughing at us as if they were seeing some insane persons I cried and asked God, "why I am not getting any interview calls and what should I do?" God said, "you are overqualified for data entry work, apply for higher jobs and you will get it." I applied for that and scored high marks in those exams. One day my recruiter called me and said, "you have a job in such and such office." I was scared because I had no idea what it would be like to work in USA. God helped me in my work and excelled me in my work place.
God does not need qualifications or skills. He can lift anybody from anywhere, no matter how lowly the state of that person could be. Are you worried about your future? Come to Jesus; give your life to Jesus. He will lift you up and give you a blessed future and hope for your life.
Luke 13:11-16, "And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, "Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity." And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, "There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day." The Lord then answered him and said, "Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound; think of it; for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?"
We all have a living hope don’t we? I think of my life and how I was born in a family strong in their faith and devoted to God. A strong result of God’s grace and prayer of my family have brought me to where I am today. I feel like in this passage the crippled woman is a lot like me. 18 years is a little less than how long I’ve been living in this world, and it wasn’t too long ago till I was fully set free and saw that there is hope. I have three main points to share today…and this shouldn’t take that long so bear with me =). The three points are Jesus sees evil in us, Jesus not only sees evil but also he frees us from evil, and third point is Jesus is to be glorified.
So again, my first point is that Jesus sees evil or sin in us. The first thing I notice in the passage is that the woman is crippled. It says that she was "bent over and could not straighten up at all." 18 years she lived her life this way, crippled. I read in another version that she could not stretch out a hand or foot. Jesus in verse 12 calls this an infirmity, which can mean weakness. Her weakness was brought by the hold Satan had over her. Many commentators agree that the disease she had was called Marie-Strumpell Disease. It was a fusion of the spinal bones. In the early course of the disease, sufferers relieve their pain as they lean forward, but as they do this to relieve it, slowly their spine fuses together until they are bent double like this woman. I can only imagine what life must have been like for this woman. She knew she needed to be healed and to be rid of this evil spirit that was disabling her from true joy. Crippled by an evil spirit for so many years and only one man was a means of saving her.
The synagogue ruler is also crippled in his own way. He is caught up in the rules and making sure not one part of the Law is broken. He doesn’t even correct Jesus, but rather the people in the synagogue telling them to observe the Sabbath the right way. Jesus calls him a “hypocrite”. A hypocrite can be defined as one who pretends to be what he’s not. Jesus sees how this man, a leader in the synagogue and probably in the town, pretends to be so strong in his faith yet he is caught up in trying to prove Jesus wrong than letting good be done. We find this man wearing a mask that only Jesus can see through. The man wears a mask of authority and pride and doesn’t see need for Jesus.
Both of these people in the passage can be seen in us. We are all crippled by our sins. We could be like the woman where she is a sinner led captive and knows she needs Christ to save her. Or we could be like the ruler who doesn’t see he too is a sinner and is in need of Christ. We could outwardly be showing our crippled ness with anger or greed or inwardly like the ruler by judging or having pride. Regardless of whether we relate with the woman or the synagogue ruler, we all are sinful and Christ sees it in us. He sees our weakness or infirmity, and he sees through the masks we wear. We all need Christ to come and save us.
This brings me to my next main point, that Jesus not only sees evil but he frees us from it. And that’s why Jesus came to this world 2000 years ago. He came to straighten the whole world out from our crippledness. Verse 12 says “When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman you are set free from your infirmity. Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God”. A spirit had crippled this woman for 18 years of her life, weakened by evil but now able to straighten up. So we see how Jesus sees her, calls her to Him, sets her free and heals her by His touch. And now she is free from this spirit that kept her in bondage for many years.
The synagogue ruler does not see his need to be healed but instead as he tries to prove Jesus wrong to the crowd, Jesus answers back. The ruler believed Jesus did a wrong thing by doing work on the Sabbath. He set a woman free from this sprit that held her back. In another translation verse Luke 13:15-16 read: -“You frauds! Each Sabbath every one of you regularly unties your cow or donkey from its stall, leads it out for water, and thinks nothing of it. So why isn't it all right for me to untie this daughter of Abraham and lead her from the stall where Satan has had her tied these eighteen years?” They are okay with preserving their donkeys’ lives, but not so concerned with a human who needs help. Something is very wrong in their “religious” lives. Jesus wants to set this man free from bondage to the law and his legalistic views. Jesus came to set us free, but this ruler who does not see his need for Christ and to be healed misses it all.
What a thought isn’t it? We are all crippled in sin, and Jesus came to set us free from the stall that Satan has tied us to? Romans 5:8 says But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." He didn’t have to, but simply out of his awesome gracious love, He suffered through ridicule, shame, beatings, a crown of thorns, nails in his hands and feet, hanging from a cross just that we might be set free from sin. I think that’s pretty crazy if you ask me. But I’m learning more and more of a Father’s love. God sees the sin in us, and it hurts him so much to see us leading lives that will only lead to death. We all deserve death, but he loved us so much that he humbled himself to let go of all the honor, glory and majesty to pay the price for the death we deserved.. Not even so, but He did this because he wanted us to live in eternity with Him. He loves us that much, that He wants us to be with him. Jesus did whatever it took so we could love him in a relationship with Him. Romans 8:1 says Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus....". If we answer to His call, and take up our cross and follow Him, we will no longer be condemned, but now get to embrace freedom and eternal life. Christ is always calling us isn’t He? It’s up to us to admit that we are sinners and let him heal and set us free.
My third point today is that Jesus deserves to be glorified. I read a quote that said “When crooked souls are made straight, they will show it by their glorifying God”. The first thing this woman did after she was healed was in verse 13 we see, “Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.” Immediately, how many of us immediately get up and praise God every time something good happens? If we have let Christ heal us and straighten us out, isn’t he worthy to be praised? I love how in the last verse, the rest of the people there were delighted in all the wonderful things he was doing. I see it like this, a group of people in the synagogue is just watching what’s happening, Jesus heals this woman, corrects the ruler and these people are delighted or overjoyed. When I think of being overjoyed, I think of my dad. He always knows I make fun of him about this, but he’s a pretty happy man and when he’s delighted, he claps his hands with a big smile on his face. I don’t know why but it really blesses me when I see him so happy. How much more should we be overjoyed in Christ for all he’s done for us? We should be doing more than clapping our hands. We should be sharing this with others. In the hymn we sing once in a while called “Pass it on”-there’s a line that goes “I’ll shout it from the mountaintops, I want the world to know…” If we answer His call, and let him heal us, we should be shouting for joy! Shouldn’t that be the reason we come to church every Sunday? We like this woman come to hear the Word, and she was set free. Or are we like the ruler who just comes to church but isn’t truly free. He isn’t seeing that he needs to be set free and have a true relationship with Christ. We should all be meeting here every Sunday so that together in fellowship we can delight in the Lord. The sacrament of communion is such a blessing if you think about it.
Together, we all remember the Cross, and how Jesus suffered and died, and rose again to give us new life. Together we remember this and share it every Sunday and together we should be sharing in this delight and growing together personally with him. Christ invites us to a life of eternity with Him. We should be rejoicing every day of our lives. We are an undeserving people who received a great gift of love and grace that we might live in eternity with our King who won over death and will have the final victory. The epistle lesson today in Romans 8 verse 37 says No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us." We all have the victory through Christ. We now have freedom from sin if we accept his call, victory over the grave and life eternally with the One who loved us through death.
I heard a story about this meeting in New York. There was a man named Post Master Wilkinson. He was very anxious to become a Christian, but could not be prevailed upon to make any movement until the last day, and the last hour of the meetings. He would neither rise for prayers nor go into the inquiry meeting, or kneel with them in prayer, yet he was greatly convicted of his sins. But the last hour of the meetings, the preacher asked those who could do nothing more and yet desired a relationship with Christ to raise up their hand. As Mr. Wilkinson began to raise his hand, he rose to his feet, and stretched up his hand high. This act had so affected him that he came near to the main desk, and wished to settle the question there. The preacher knelt and prayed with and for him, and at once he found peace. It was now four o'clock, P. M., and the preacher had to leave in thirty minutes. Mr. Wilkinson put his name on the preacher’s blank book and said, "All the rest of my life for Jesus." He left the room and had just forty-five minutes of life for Jesus, no more, and went into eternity. This should urge each one to seek Christ at once. You may not have forty-five minutes for Jesus but you have this very moment. He’s calling us now…are we giving the rest of our lives for Him? Victory is at our grasp, answer His call and delight in Him.
Vengeance Belongs to God
God spoke to Moses and gave specific instructions about holy conduct of God's children. In Lev 19:18 we read, "'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.'" David says in Psa 94:1, "O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongs; O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth!"
By giving these commandments God clearly showed that vengeance belongs to Him and we should not take revenge or bear any grudge against others. At times we feel very sorry if we have to face hostile situations. But if we give our battles in the mighty hand of God, He will take care of it.
David faced same situation in his life when Saul the king of Israel became his enemy. David and his men had to run for his life. When we read the whole story of David we can understand that how miraculously he escaped every time. There were times when Saul and his army came close to him. But in all those years they never could touch him nor harm him. God gave him complete protection. More than ten years and Saul could not catch him nor could reach near him. It cannot be mere sequence of coincidences. David gave his battles in the hands of God and God took care of him. The first thing God did was provided first class protection to him. God gave him accurate information about enemy's location and strategies. If David had taken the battle in his own hand and if he had done it his own way, he would have been killed within weeks.
Though it were painful sixteen years yet David put his trust in God and allowed Him to fight his battles for him. That's what happens when we give our battles in the mighty hand of God. Sometimes He allows painful enemies to pursue you but He will not allow your enemies to take over you.
You might have read my sister's article(s), Ministry is not a bed of Roses". When we were going through those problems God protected us from all evil in a very miraculous way. Our next-door neighbor was in alcohol business and they were not good people. We had no relationship with them. One day early morning my brother left for south India our native place, the same day we saw a new man in our neighbor's house. That man was always keeping an eye on our house. We were terrified thinking that, "if my brother had been here how could he possibly escaped from these evil men? (as my brother was their target)" But there was great relief that my brother was not there. Our hearts were failing when days passed and my brother's time of returning was approaching. But we knew that the same God who protected us will protect and will not let us down. About one month later exactly one day prior to my brother's arrival that man left our neighbor's house. It seemed to us as if a big miracle. We praised God for His mighty miracle in our lives.
It was not the first time when we saw this type of miracle but those ten to fifteen people who were roaming in front of our house and street till morning to night disappeared many a times when my brother or any of us had to go out or at the time of our return to our house. How anybody could relate it to mere coincidence? Of course it was not coincidence. God gave us protection and guided us in every step. He never allowed our enemies to catch us or take over us.
At the end David emerged as king of Israel. What Saul plotted and wanted to do for David, God returned to his own head. He was killed in a very tragic death. You can see that how tragic it is for those who try to harm the children of God. The same thing happened for those who tried to kill us. Many of them who tried to eliminate us from this world; God Himself eliminated them from this world. We saw them dying one by one. Sudden destruction came upon them and there was no one who could help them. Terrible diseases that we had never heard of afflicted some. Bible tells us in Deu 32:35-36, "Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; Their foot shall slip in due time; For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things to come hasten upon them.' For the LORD will judge His people And have compassion on His servants, When He sees that their power is gone, And there is no one remaining, bond or free."
When we give our battles in the mighty hand of God, He Himself fights for us, protects us and blesses us. Are you afraid of those who want to harm you? Are you worried about your well-being? Give your battles in the mighty hand of God. He will not let you down. He will keep you safe in the palm of His hand.
Through the Valley of Death & other Books
As many of you know that in the year 2005, our dad was very sick even unto death. God miraculously healed him. We have compiled it in a book form. I sure believe that it will inspire you and encourage you greatly.
This book is available for purchase at JasmineCorp Store
Also read these two books by Sherly Isaac "Allah and Elohim - Are they the same God" Available at JasmineCorp Store, and "Is Jesus God?" Available at JasmineCorp Store,
Both books compares the Bible and the Quran and read eye opening facts about Jesus, God of the Bible, Allah and Islamic faith. I am sure that you want to read this.
Download Articles in Handheld Computers
You can now download articles in Palm Doc format for your palm handheld computer. It will work with any devise that has Palm OS and Palm Doc Reader installed. To download click on the link named "Palm Doc Format" i.e. at the top of this page by the side of each articles.
Kids Page - Free Tutorials
Now you can learn Graphics and web designing online at Kid's page. These tutorials are free for kids who subscribe for CSI Kids Newsletter. Currently tutorials for Paint Shop Pro, HTML and Dreamweaver are available.
So please enroll your kids by going to http://kids.csinewsletter.org/member/join.asp
And visit CSI Kid's page at http://kids.csinewsletter.org
Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online
Now you can read Bible in Hindi online at http://www.hindibible.org
in Malayalam online at http://www.malayalambible.org
in Tamil online at http://www.hindibible.org?ver=tamil
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