Category: Appam – English

Feb 09 – PIGEONS BECOMING A SACRIFICE!

 “…they brought Him to Jerusalem to….offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, ‘A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons’” (Luke 2:24).

The dove is a clean bird suitable for sacrifice. Poor people who are unable to bring a bull or lamb for sacrificing will bring atleast bring a dove or dove chick to the temple for sacrificing (Leviticus 12:8). On the eighth day after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph brought two pairs of turtledoves as a sacrifice to Jesus based on the law.  

What would have those turtle doves thought? ‘We are neither big as a bull nor beautiful as lambs. There is nothing for us to feel proud of as we remain as simple birds bought for a low price.’ But still, there is a joy in these doves. The thought that they have come to sacrifice their lives to one who gave His spotless blood and sacrificed His life for the sake of saving the sinners, might have made them happy. 

Is it not a fact that Jesus Christ also came to the world as a sacrifice? He gave Himself as a sacrifice for the sake of the entire humanity. It is not a simple thing to die as a sacrifice; determination and boldness should be there for that. There should be a strength in the inner man. Only to give that strength and power, the Holy Spirit needed to descend on Him like a dove and dwell with Him.   

The Scripture says, “…how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14). The Holy Spirit helped Him to dedicate Himself as the sacrifice of atonement. The help of the Holy Spirit was required, for Him to carry the Cross, to tolerate the reproach and shame and to bear the unbearable pain in His body. 

You might have to go through the path of tribulations, reproaches and insults. Seek the help of the Holy Spirit, who is the dove of the sky, to tolerate these. The help from the dove of the sky is essential to carry the Cross. The power of the Most High is essential to complete the run successfully. Dear children of God, may you move ahead in the path of victory with the power of the Holy Spirit! 

To meditate: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35).

Feb 08 – HE HAS CALLED YOU TO SUFFER!

 “…when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called” (I Peter 2:20, 21).

God, who called you is faithful. For what, did He call you? He called you firstly for holiness, secondly for the peace and thirdly for eternal glory. Not only that. He also called you to tolerate the sufferings in the Name of God. Has He not left a model for you to follow?

It is a joyous blessing to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ. How greatly has He suffered for your sake! What a terrible painful suffering it might have been,  when He was crowned with a crown of thorns and His legs and hands were pierced with nails! Is it not because of His love over you, He patiently tolerated all those sufferings!

That day, Paul and Silas realised that the purpose of their calling was to bear the sufferings when they underwent imprisonment. It was a joyous blessing for them to suffer for the sake of God. That is why they did not mind the physical pain and continued to worship God singing His praises. What is the secret behind singing amid sufferings? It is the feeling that the purpose of their calling is to suffer.

Paul, the apostle writes, “Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation” (II Corinthians 1:6, 7).

Have a close look at the manner in which the life of every disciple and Apostle came to an end. Many have suffered for the sake of God and have given their lives as a witness for the same. Peter was nailed on the cross upside down. Mark’s neck was tied with a rope to a chariot and was dragged through the streets of Rome until he was dead. Mathew died in Ethiopia as a blood witness.

Thomas the apostle died in India as a blood witness, James the apostle was beheaded in Rome and John was plunged into boiling oil many times but these people did not deviate from the love of Christ. The reason is that they knew the purpose of their calling. Dear children of God do not become disheartened during times of suffering. God will lead you by giving His grace.     

To meditate: “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Acts 9:16).

Feb 07 – SEEK TO REMAIN HOLY!

 “…holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

The only aim of your life is to see the Lord. Let the first and foremost of your longings be to see Jesus Christ when you enter eternity after completing the lifespan in this world. The Scripture says,“…holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mathew 5:8).

Only if you are holy, you can see Jesus and receive revelations about Him. Without being holy, one can never know Him. Many people want to see Jesus Christ and hear His soft voice. They can see the glory of His presence only if they maintain their hearts as a temple where God dwells.

Jesus came to the temple when He was in this world. He could not see Holiness there. He saw people who were making money by selling sparrows and doves. He got angry, cast them out with a whip and said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves” (Mathew 21:13).

Dear children of God, does your heart remain as a holy church or as a den of thieves? Do you see God there? Or, you see sellers and buyers there. The Mighty One, who can turn the den of thieves into a Holy venue, is standing by your side. If you remain as the temple of the Lord, angels will descend on you and dwell in you. The divine glory will fill you.

Sadhu Sunder Singh has written about an incident in his book. When a man was rushing to fall in a sin of adultery, the angels tried to prevent him. They pleaded to him saying “After being a believer, do not fall into sin. Do not make your heart a den of thieves.” But he did not pay heed to their words and entered the particular house for sinning.

When he was within that house, the man began to give out the disgusting stench. Being unable to bear this, the angels left him. Not only the holy presence of God left him, but the stench in him attracted thousands of demons towards him. Dear children of God, if you remain holy, the Holy Spirit will dwell in you. The angels will descend and reside with you in your home.  

To meditate: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (I Corinthians 3:16).

Feb 06 – PERFECTING THE HOLINESS!

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Corinthians 7:1).

The imperative factor which God expects from His people is holiness. Since God remains as a Holy Lord, He likes His children to live a holy life. Holiness is highly essential for one to receive the inheritances of the saints and to enter into the Holy Kingdom.

Paul the Apostle says, ‘Let us cleanse ourselves ….perfecting holiness with the fear of God.’ There is a perfection in cleansing, and you are moving towards it. This is because time has run fast, and you have come to the end of the world. You are eagerly waiting for the Coming of Christ. So, you have to perfect your holiness with the fear of God.

One cannot see the specks of dust floating in a room with bare eyes. But, when you look at a sunray coming into the room through a hole in the thatched roof, you can find thousands of dust particles floating within the room. In the same way, when you evaluate yourself in the light of the Holy Spirit, you can identify all the dirt you carry in your flesh and spirit. You can also eliminate them through prayer.

Dear children of God, you are living in this dirt filled world. Dirty thoughts and deeds stain the soul. The dirty movies and videos drag you fast towards the hade. In this situation, what is it the children of God have to do? Every day, sit in the presence of God and evaluate yourself. What are the specks of the dirt which have entered your soul? Is it pride or arrogance? Confess all those things with tears and move ahead with new dedication and new resolutions. Perfect the cleansing with the fear of God.

The Scripture says, “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged” (I Corinthians 11:31). You might have heard numerous sermons about repentance and ‘Salvation’. You might have known about the spiritual truths and revelations. But, you have not learnt enough about holiness. You have not learnt how to improve in you the holiness which God expects. Today, may you humble yourself and dedicate yourself for getting perfected in holiness.  

To meditate: “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day” (Exodus 19:10, 11).

Feb 05 – MOST HOLY FAITH!

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith….keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 1:20, 21).

Once, a servant of God by name William Booth was delivering a sermon. Amid the preaching, one person stood up and shouted, “Stop your sermon. If the storm which blows in my life causing such a heavy damage blows in your life, you will not be preaching this way. Why did God take my wife at this young age? My five children are screaming like orphans. And if such a situation prevails in your family, will you be preaching this way?”

That question broke the heart of William Booth, the servant of God. But still, he calmly looked at the man and said, “I will preach Jesus Christ, whatever be the situation.” He prayed with tears for the man who had questioned him.

After a few days, the wife of William Booth died in a car accident. The loss of his loving wife broke his heart. Till that time, she had been standing firm and fully supporting William Booth in the ministry. The thought that one who prayed and worked hard for the ministerial growth had died when the ministry was growing made William Booth sob.

Anyway, he submitted himself to the will of God and comforted himself. During the funeral service of his wife, he stood up and said, “My wife died in a car accident. Indeed, my God is powerful to deliver me. Even if He does not deliver, I will be happy in Christ. ‘The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away.’ Praise be to His Holy Name. If anyone in this meeting feels that he is yet to be delivered, let him join me in praising God.”

At once, a man came running from the crowd. He was the person who had questioned William Booth sometime back. He embraced William Booth and joined him in praising God. That day, that man got saved. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:35, 37).

Dear children of God, has not your prayer been answered immediately? Do not get weary but keep praying with faith and wait. He will surely answer you.   

To meditate: “….nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

Feb 04 – JOY – EVEN IN TRIALS!

 “….count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:3).

The examination is a fearsome experience for the students. They have to study their lessons putting a lot of efforts, keep them in memory and above all, the question paper for the examination should come out only with questions for which the answers are known. When one does not fare well in the exams, it causes great worry to the mind. Thus, the exams are never a happy experience for the students.

At the same time, if they realise that the examinations remain as a ladder for them to climb up to higher classes, it will provide them with happiness. When they score high marks in the exams, it gives joy to the student, the parents and the teachers. So, when there is a target, and when one attempts to achieve it, it gives happiness. May you praise God, for the glory that will come to you during the times of spiritual tests.

The Scripture says, “…..for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). The eyes of Jesus Christ foresaw the joy which lies beyond the tests. That is why He happily tolerated the sufferings on the Cross.

Edison, the scientist, was deaf, poet Milton was blind and devotee John Banyan had to undergo imprisonment, and indeed these were tests for them. These tests taught them patience. These tests turned them beneficial not only to themselves but also to others.

At times, you may also think why do we have these examinations and is it not possible for me to make progress without these examinations? For example, imagine this way. A boy is flying his kite. When it goes up, why should the boy control it holding the thread in his hands? The kite thinks that if the boy stops controlling, it could still fly more and touch the moon. At that time, the boy accidentally slips and leaves the hold of the thread. For a few seconds, the kite will feel happy at this but, in the next minute, it got stuck in a branch of a tree and became immobile. What a tragic end for it!

Dear children of God, there may be tests in your life. But there is protection for you until you are in the hands of God. When you are in His hands, you will look like gold after the tests.     

To meditate: “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).

Feb 03 – AS A MIGHTY ONE!

“But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One.Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten” (Jeremiah 20:11).

God is Almighty. Jeremiah, the prophet mentions as ‘Awesome Mighty’. God is one to show love towards you and one to fight with your enemies. So, those who persecute you can never prevail over you.

You may be honest to the core and show your immeasurable love towards others, but people will fail to understand all these things and will try to persecute you. You may drive your vehicle carefully, following all the traffic regulations but even then the person driving a lorry would come like a wicked one to dash against you from the front. Some people show anger towards you without any reasons, and some others meaninglessly get irritated against you.

But, God is always with you. Those who try to persecute you cannot continue to do the same.  The strength which the enemies possess, to prevail over you, will be taken away from them. What they plan will not happen. They will get into unforgettable everlasting confusion.

A brother returned to India after working in a foreign country. Many people here were jealous of him and so, were involved in acts of sorcery in order to prevent him from occupying his newly built house. But he firmly clung on to the Lord. Men who resorted to black magic kept trying again and again to bring his downfall. On the contrary, the effect of the ritual boomeranged against them.

Jesus Christ said, ‘He who touches you, touches the apple of my eye.’ He is indeed the author of love, and it is also true that He is the lamb but at the same time, He also remains as the King Lion of the Jews and as the Lord of hosts. God who said, ‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper’ is firm in destroying all the weapons formed against you. “God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered?” (Job 9:4).

Dear children of God, when evil people rise against you, do not take the fight in your own hands but take it to God. God, the Almighty will do justice to you.

To meditate: “The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man;He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war.He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud;He shall prevail against His enemies” (Isaiah 42:13).

Feb 02 – IN THE DAYS OF FAMINE!

“They shall not be ashamed in the evil time and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied” (Psalm 37:19).

God is one who leads His children wonderfully by feeding them even during the times of famine. Even when the entire world is affected by scarcity, He remains as one to feed His children to the full.

Both the husband and the wife were unemployed in a family, but both of them remained cheerful. The wife happily said, “My husband is without employment for the last six months. But, God leads us wonderfully day after day. He feeds us fully and never allowed us to borrow even a rupee.”

The ways of God are wonderful. The promise which God has given His children is ‘They will be satisfied during the times of famine.’ Is it not? The Scripture says, “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those ….to keep them alive in famine.” (Psalm 33:18, 19).

God has written a beautiful incident in the Scripture. It is about how the widow of Zarephath was wonderfully fed during the time of famine. Even though she was a poor woman, she had in her the characteristic of extending hospitality towards the servants of God. When Elijah, the man of God, came to her, she had only a handful of flour in a bin and little oil in a jar. But even then, she prepared cakes with limited resources and gave the first one to Elijah. 

See! She did not offer from her surplus or she gave from the remnants after taking her requirement. Even in poverty and insufficiency, she gave the first to the servant of God. God saw this and promised with love that the bin of flour would never get dry, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until He sends rain on the earth (I Kings 17:14). Famine hit the whole country but she was miraculously nourished. “And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward” (Mathew 10:42). Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mathew 25:24).

Dear children of God, is there a shortage of rain and the agricultural land is left inactive? Do not worry. The Scripture says, “The Lord knows the days of the upright and their inheritance shall be forever” (Psalm 37:18).

To meditate: “The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your soul in drought and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail” (Isaiah 58:11).

Feb 01 – SOMETHING TO EAT AND SOMETHING SWEET!

“Out of the eater came something to eat and out of the strong came something sweet” (Judges 14:14).

Samson conveys a beautiful riddle in this Scripture portion. He asks for the meaning of the sentence ‘Out of the eater came something to eat and out of the strong came something sweet.’ In other words, what it means is ‘Who is the strong one who gave the sweet and what is something to eat which came out of the eater.’

In these two questions, the answer for the first is a lion, and for the second question, it is honey. God is powerful to make the strong lion give honey for you to eat. So, you need not fear over cruel enemies like a lion. Some people may rise to destroy you, but God will bring in a change in them and make them feed you. One who roars against you may be the government or your neighbour or a higher official in your office. Since God fights for you, He will turn them as the ones to provide you with support and help.

See! Pharaoh brought in cruel legislation that all the children below the age of two years in Israel should be thrown into the river and killed. In accordance with that legislation, Moses who was a child of Hebrew origin was also thrown into the Nile River, but God made the daughter of Pharaoh take the responsibility of nurturing him. Further, God enabled the mother of Moses to stay with the child and feed him. For this act, she was paid too. Yes. God is one to bring something to eat from the eater himself.

Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, persecuted the Israelites severely, and in the end, the Israelites decided to depart from Egypt. However they did not have any money. What did God do? He brought help from the eyes of the Egyptians who were hostile towards the Israelites till then. The same Egyptians who were torturing the Israelites through the taskmasters were made by God to help the Israelites by giving their valuable gold and silver jewelry. Even today, God will help you by making your enemies stay kind with you.

See! Haman had prepared the gallows ready for hanging Mordecai, the man of God. That night the king could not sleep, and when the book of records of the chronicles, was read before him, he came to know that Mordecai had not been rewarded suitably for saving his life. Next day, when Haman came to meet the king, he chose him to be the person to honour Mordecai. Dear children of God, you will be exalted by the same person who had been showing disrespect to you.      

To meditate: “Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake” (Isaiah 54:15).

Jan 31 – WE DO NOT LOSE HEART!

“Therefore we do not lose heart” (II Corinthians 4:16).

One of the deadly weapons Satan uses against the people of God is weariness. He keeps bringing problems and makes the man weary. He brought this weariness to even the powerful prophet Elijah. Did Elijah not pray, “I have had enough, Lord! Take my life”?

Julius Caesar was a Roman King, known for his might, and some traitors conspired to kill him. When the enemies attacked, Julius Caesar resisted, but at that time, his close friend for life, Brutus came there. Caesar felt happy that Brutus had arrived in time to help him. But what happened was Brutus also took his knife and lifted it to pierce Caesar. Alas! He sadly asked “You too Brutus!” and fell dead.

Many such problems which make one weary may also come in your life. You lose heart when dreaded diseases attack you and keep you in bed for many days. When you do not receive letters from someone you love most, you become weary. Your long drawn debt problems, make you lose heart. When you lose heart in this way, it becomes impossible for you to do big things for God, pray earnestly and do the ministry powerfully. The Scripture says, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10).

Our God is one who never gets weary or tired. He remains as one to lift you whenever you lose heart. The Scripture says, “…the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary” (Isaiah 40:28). “He gives power to the weak and to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29).

You ought to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). Continue to do good without getting weary (Romans 2:7). Do the ministry without losing heart (II Corinthians 4:1). Paul the Apostle writes, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (II Corinthians 4:16).

It is the secret behind overcoming weariness. As one gets further and further stronger in the inner man, all the physical tiredness disappears. Dear children of God, look up to God when you are weary. Hold on to Him who gives strength during weariness, firmly. If you do so, weariness could never overcome you.

To meditate: “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:3).