Category: Appam – English

Oct 30 – PILGRIMS!

“To the pilgrims of the …elect” (I Peter 1:1, 2).

All those who strongly feel in their heart that they belong to heaven and their eternal dwellings are in heaven will stay as sojourners and pilgrims to this world. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

Dear children of God, let your soul pant for heaven. Paul the Apostle writes, “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life” (II Corinthians 5:1-4).

Look at the experience of King David. He had influence and wealth. Even then he did not forget that he was a stranger. He declares that he is a stranger in the world (Psalm 119:19). “Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage” (Psalm 119:54).

An elderly woman living abroad had sent a big amount to a servant of God in India for the purpose of helping the young orphans. But that person did not spend the money for the purpose to which it was sent on the other hand and he bought some properties for himself. Further, with the thought that if contacted in person more money could be drawn from her, he departed to her place.

When he saw the women’s house abroad, he was utterly shocked. It was a very small and simple house without any comforts. The woman told the man, “Brother, I feel like a stranger in this place. That is why the thought of helping the poor in India came to my mind. I sacrifice all my comforts here, eat only once instead of thrice and save the money for the purpose.” The servant of God felt ashamed to hear these words.

Dear children of God, “For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (I Timothy 6:7).

To meditate: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (I Timothy 6:10).

Oct – 29 – CHASTENING!

“Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).

No one likes chastening. But chastening is very much essential for reforming a man. The chastening of God may appear to cause distress but you should not forget that it would turn into a blessing at a later date.

You chasten your children only for their betterment. That chastening clears the foolishness from them; makes them fearfully obey their parents; reforms them as disciplined children.

When it is children, you can chasten them with a cane. What to do with the elders? The government has some penalties, punishments and prisons for this purpose. At the same time, there are plenty of sins within the heart and some more secret sins which go unnoticed by the authorities. What is the way to correct a believer from those sins? The Scripture says, “For whom the Lord loves He chastens and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:6).

There was a college professor. During his days, there would be examinations in the college every week. All those who fail in the examination would have to go and stand in front of his room in the afternoon. He would call them one by one into his room and scold them with harsh words. Anyone who undergoes this terrible experience would study with utmost care and ensure that they never face such situation.

If any student fails in the examination again, the professor would use still harsher words. If there is no change in a student despite these treatments, he would stop speaking to them but begin to smile. The meaning for the smile is that there is no improvement in that particular student and there is no use trying further in improving him. He will also not allow the student to write the final governmental examinations.

But, do not forget that God has placed a lot of love over you, His son, even while chastening. Only because of that love, He sends chastening, suffering and trouble to your life and transforms you (Hebrews 12:6-9).

Think of the words “His son.” Just because He treats you as His son, He corrects you through chastening. He trains you to walk in the path of holiness. If you learn this early, it will carry you to the Eternal Kingdom. Dear children of God, do not despise the chastening of the Lord.    

To meditate: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalms 34:19).

Oct – 28 – STRIVE AGAINST

“You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Hebrews 12:4).

Some people launch a struggle demanding justice. Some others fight for demanding wage increase. The government faces struggles from the people while the officials face the same from their subordinates. The struggle of the poor is between his mouth and stomach. The struggle of the rich is between status and luxury.

But, there is a struggle for every one of you, the children of God. What is that struggle? It is the struggle against Satan; struggle against sin; struggle against the world and flesh. Satan never likes you progressing in the path of heaven. He always fights against the children of God. The Scripture says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). 

Not only that. You should be ones who win over the sins, after waging a non-stop battle against them. Many people compromise with the world, sin and the wickedness. They do not fight against the worldly pleasures and desires. Paul the Apostle sadly writes, “You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (Hebrews 12:4).

His life was also one with fights. He points out the fight as “A good fight.” “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (II Timothy 4:7). It is his testimony. That fight succeeded. He ran the race victoriously. At the end of that run, he had pride, happiness and expectation. He writes with enthusiasm, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day.” 

Analyse the lives of the saints. Understand how firmly they stood with zeal for God even in their lives filled with struggles and eventually succeeded. May you fight against sin always, so that you partake in the inheritances of the saints of the world. 

Sprinkle the blood of Jesus Christ on the enemy when he comes opposing you bringing the tests of sin. Say to him, “Get away from here Satan. I do not want the world and its lusts. I will follow God alone.” If you live like fire, the sin cannot overcome you.   

To meditate: “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment” (John 16:8).

Oct – 27 – DO NOT DRAW BACK!

“But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39).

In these final days, many believers are with zeal in moving ahead for God. But at the same time, a few people backslide being unable to withstand the tests.  They lose the presence of God and turn worse as they slide. But when you move ahead, your soul will stay as saved.

Once, a person was about to face capital punishment. The believers fought in prayer day and night, fasted for many days and succeeded in getting his release from the prison. But after release, that man forgot Jesus Christ and also the believers who had prayed for him. Thus, he went into the full backsliding experience. The persons who prayed for him said sadly, “That man had promised that he would build a church for Christ if he gets released. He has forgotten the promise now and he is building a Hindu temple instead.”

What is the reason behind this backsliding? The prime reason is that such people do not have deep repentance and deep love of Calvary. Jesus Christ said, “But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13).

Some more people are affected by lust over properties, gold, fame and as a result, they leave the divine love and go behind the worldly pleasures. One person came nearer to Jesus Christ, rendered witness but due to a family property settlement he had to change tracks. He said, “I am only temporarily going away from Christ. After four years, I will come back to the Christian fold.” How dangerous this is! If he faces the end of life before that four years, will he not have to go to hell? Will not the flame of fire be his end?

The Scripture says, “For yet a little while and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:37, 38). If a person slides back, he loses the presence of God and also the early love. God also will not be pleased with him.

Dear children of God, if one slides down from Christ, where else he could go? Think a little. May you be bound with the love of God and stay in prayer and Scripture reading every day.

To meditate: “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest; let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it” (Hebrews 4:1).

Oct – 25 – WRESTLE AGAINST SPIRITUAL HOSTS OF WICKEDNESS!

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against ….spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

A man has problems to face both within him and outside. There are the demands of bodily lusts and external pressure from satanic power.   

Satan, along with his army was pushed out from heaven and they put up a great fight with God and His children. The spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places fight and try to put an end to our Christian run by making our heart weary.

At the same time, the blood of Jesus Christ is there to help you in opposing these evil spirits; the fellowship of the saints is also there for you. The Name of God is in your hands and you also have the Scripture verses. Not only that. Thousands of angels are by your side. The angel Michael himself stands in support of you. The Scripture says, “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people” (Daniel 12:1). 

In these days, Satan knows that there is only a little time left for him and so he walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom to devour. The campaigns against Christianity are becoming strong today. The freedom of religion is slowly getting withdrawn in our country today. We are moving towards a period full of struggles. 

You may plead to God by saying, “Lord, give us your thousands of angels to us. Have you not said that you would command the angels to protect us? Send your angels to protect us, our ministries and the thousands of believers involved in our ministries.” Yes. When the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places rise against you, Michael the archangel of God and the millions of angels with him will stand by your side and fight for you. 

In the Scripture, a problem arose to Hezekiah. Sennacherib had brought a big army to fight against the Israelites. Nobody could win that army as it was too big. All that Hezekiah did during that critical situation was to pray fervently. He addressed God as “O Lord of hosts.” What did God do? He at once sent His angel. The Scripture says, “Then the angel of the Lord went out and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead” (Isaiah 37:36).

To meditate: “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them” (Psalms 34:7).

Oct – 24 – DO NOT BE LATE!

“…redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).

There is an old saying in Tamil which says that the time is like an eye and the duty is like gold. Many people do not realise the importance of time and shed tears after putting it to waste. Some people make it a habit to come late to everything. May it be office or church, they attend late and as a result, what they attain is defeat alone.

Only after it becomes too late, they realise their short-coming and shed tears. When you do things, each at its most appropriate time, things will bring great blessings and joy to you.

Napoleon Bonaparte, an emperor of France, showed great interest in doing things in time. He was always punctual. But his commanders were not as they did not take punctuality seriously.

One day Napoleon arranged a big feast to his warriors and invited all of them to it with love. As usual, they came late and even before their late arrival, Napoleon quickly had finished taking food alone. The commanders came late one by one and Napoleon told them, “My dear commanders, the time to dine has passed by and the time to do our duty has begun. Let us not waste a minute. Let us rush to the battle-field.” Saying this, he got ready to take his commanders to the battle-field.

The stunned commanders were neither able to disobey their leader’s command nor able to get back and with all hunger, they departed to the battle-field. That day, they learnt a lesson. After that incident, they would not have been late to any commitment. The foolish virgins came late and the bridegroom arrived before their arrival. The doors were closed and the only reply that received was ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ What a pity! However you cry, the flood that has crossed the dam will never come back to the dam and in the same way, no weeping could bring back the lost opportunity.

Look at Isa. He wasted time. The Scripture says, “For you know that afterwards when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears” (Hebrews 12:17). The lamb is inviting you to the wedding feast. The Scripture says that those who are called for the marriage supper of the lamb are blessed (Revelation 19:9).

Dear children of God, Will you come at the right time? Or are you going to be late?

To meditate: “The harvest is past the summer is ended and we are not saved” (Jeremiah 8:20).

Oct – 23 – DO NOT GIVE PLACE!

“Nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).

Do not give even little place to satan. When even a small space is allowed to him, he will somehow grab the entire area. 

A traveller was crossing a desert on a camel. One day, it was cold during the night and he made a small tent to spend the night. In the night, the camel told him that it was cold outside and requested him to spare some space for it also. But the man refused saying that that by nature, the animal had a hairy cover and it would not be feeling the cold much. 

The camel told the man that there was no hair on its nose and insisted for a small place in the tent so that, it can save itself from the chillness. The man showed mercy on the animal and gave a small space for the camel to keep its nose. After a little time, the camel pushed in its entire head into the tent and told the man, “The nose and the head are the same and they cannot be separated. What can I do?” The man also accepted this with pity. Within a few minutes, the camel pushed in its entire neck and a little later it forced its forelegs into the tent. Step by step, the camel fully came into the tent and kicked the man out of it. The man who mercifully gave someplace in the tent to the camel had to suffer in chillness, leaving the whole comfort to the animal. 

That is why the Scripture cautions in this regard. Saul, the king of Israel, gave a little place to satan who is the spirit of jealousy. Following this, the spirit of irritation came upon him. In the end, he lost the presence of God, lost the power to rule and died in backsliding. 

Look at Ananias and Sapphira. When they kept the sale proceeds of their property at the feet of the Apostles, they gave place to satan. They cheated and lied. They stole a part of the proceeds for themselves. Thus, they caused a loss of lives.

One day, Peter gave place to satan by preferring to give importance to things of the world and not to that of God’s. He even rose to rebuke Jesus Christ. Jesus preferred to put a stop to this, right at the beginning itself. He cast out the enemy saying, “Get behind me, Satan” (Mathew 16:23).

Dear children of God, let your thoughts be around God and not around man. If you do so, divine thinking will protect your holiness. Do not give place to satan. 

To meditate: “…those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you” (Romans 8:8, 9).

Oct – 22 – WEAKNESS!

“Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things” (Romans 14:1).

Paul the Apostle points out a group of believers and counsels that though they are weak in faith, others should receive them. Why did the weakness in faith come in them? When both the love over Jesus Christ and the prayerful life are on the decrease, the shortfall in faith begins to attack. The tests and the sufferings make the faith stumble.

Some years ago, some terrorists hijacked an Israelite aircraft and landed it in Uganda. On landing, they arrested all the Jews among the passengers and released all others. One among the arrested men pleaded to the terrorists saying, “I am not a Jew. I am a German national. You can verify even my passport.” But the terrorists harshly said, “Your very appearance proves that you are a Jew. Do not try to cheat us.” Saying this, they tore his passport and threw it away.

Now, the man began to feel sad for the wrong thing committed. “Why did I tell a lie? Why did I deny that I am not a Jew? Am I not belonging to the chosen people of Jehovah God? Oh, I have denied both my family and God.” Saying this, he realised his weakness in faith and bitterly cried.

Look at Peter! He was also weak in faith. A situation arose when he had to deny Jesus to a servant maid. This question “You also were with Jesus of Galilee” from a servant maid brought fear and terror in him, removed the faith in him and made him weak.  In the same way, when you fall in sin, the guilty conscience pricks you and you become weak in faith. Once, Jesus and His disciples were travelling in a boat. Suddenly a cyclone blew on the sea and the boat in which they travelled was tossed here and there. It looked to get toppled at any moment. The terrible situation brought fear among the disciples and made them devoid of faith. It also made them weak. He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm (Mathew 8:26).   

Dear children of God, Jesus is one to bear all your weaknesses. He very well knows your weakness in faith, your inner weakness due to lack of prayer and the struggle faced by the spiritual life. That loving God is rebuking the wind and sea for your sake and enables you to attain comfort and peace. When God has delivered you from the weakness, is it not your duty to support those who are weak?  

To meditate: “For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete” (II Corinthians 13:9).

Oct – 21 – ENEMY!

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him” (Romans 12:20).

There are some duties which one has to perform to one’s parents; one’s friends and one’s relatives. At the same time, there are some enemies to whom you have to show mercy.

A small girl belonging to a Christian family bought two young chicks and was nurturing them with love and care. She used to find termites, worms, insects etc. and feed the chicks. She made use of the pocket money to buy grains for them. The young ones were growing hale and healthy day after day.

One day, by chance, the chicks reached the fence of the opposite house in search of food. The resident of that house was an ill-tempered person. He caught hold of them, screwed their necks and threw them away. Both the chicks fell dead. How sad the girl would have been! But she comforted herself in Christ and stayed calm.

She took the dead chicks, gave them to her mother and asked her to cook them. After cooking, she took the prepared food to the opposite home and gave it to the ill-tempered man. She told him, “Uncle, I think you would be hungry. God inspired me to give this as food to you.” What the girl did and spoke, affected the man greatly and was startled. This made him cry and also repent.

The way to behave with the enemies was different in those days of ignorance. In Genesis 4:23, Lamech says, “For I have killed a man for wounding me, even a young man for hurting me.” It was the time of ignorance in which killing a life was resorted to even for small issues.

Then came the time of law. It was a tit for tat period wherein one cannot get murdered for causing injury but he can be wounded. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth was the policy during those days. Then came the days of Jesus Christ. The oath of love began to rule the world. The habits of revenging became a thing of the past and if one slaps on one cheek, the grace of showing the other cheek became the order of the day.

Dear children of God, God who whole-heartedly gave Salvation and Forgiveness to those who had nailed Him on the Cross, will also give you the grace to forgive your enemies. 

To meditate: “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (I Thessalonians 5:15).

Oct – 20 – CONSCIENCE WITHOUT OFFENSE!

“This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men” (Acts 24:16).

If you possess a conscience without offence, you can directly look up to God and call Him “Abba, Father.” One can feel the presence of God and rejoice in it only if he has a conscience without offence in him.

1. During the time of prayer: If the guilty conscience pricks you, you cannot pray with revival and you cannot cast out satan with full strength. When a person was praying earnestly for an important blessing, the lusts in his eyes stood as a barrier and blocked his prayer from reaching God. With tears, he pleaded in prayer that he should be free of these lusts. Since he pleaded whole-heartedly, God filled him with His presence and his request was fulfilled.  

2. For the Holy Spirit: One person was earnestly praying for the Holy Spirit. Despite praying for many days, he was unable to succeed. He felt some guilty conscience pricking deeply in his heart. When he humbled himself before God and submitted himself, God gave him thought of a crowbar. He had borrowed a crowbar from his neighbour and since the neighbour had forgotten to claim it back, this man had cunningly kept it as his own. When the Holy Spirit reminded of his sin, he immediately made a vow, got up and went to return the crowbar to its owner. He came back, knelt and at one God anointed him with the Holy Spirit.

3. To meet God: A wonderful and spiritual sister was seriously ill. She was struggling in the final moments. Some servants of God came and prayed for her the presence of God did not descend on her bed. Suddenly the sick woman called her son, gave him Rs 200 and asked him to hand over the money to the house owner. She also said that she had forgotten to pay the rent to him. Once that money was handed over to the house owner, the presence of God descended there. The sister peacefully and happily entered into glory.

Dear children of God, whatever be the situation, never give space to the guilty conscience. Be honest before man and God. If your conscience is clear, your entire life will also be the same. So, evaluate your life every day. Review yourself whether you have anything which causes distress, whether you have saddened God by doing something or you have blunted your conscience.           

To meditate: “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience and from sincere faith” (I Timothy 1:5).