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Home sweet Home by Pastor Paul
I recently happened to read an article in The Telegraph that told of a Christian group who predicted doomsday – the end of the world! A Christian leader believes the world would be engulfed and destroyed by a great fire on October 7th. Predicting the coming of Jesus and the end of the world has been there ever since Jesus went to heaven to do His priestly ministry. But Jesus has not given us the exact date or time but the He gave us signs that will happen before His coming. Satan is destroying that which God has established for mankind and replacing with his own. He is deceiving the world with his institutions. One such attack of Satan’s is against marriage and home. “I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:51-53)
In the beginning God gave mankind two important institutions. One is marriage (home) and the other is Sabbath. Marriage is the institution that came to us perfect from God before the fall of man (Genesis 2:21-25). God ordained marriage before sin entered the world and ordained it to be a blessed, divine and perfect relationship on earth. God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided “a help meet for him”, a helper corresponding to him. One who was fitted to be his companion and who could be one with him in love and sympathy. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self, showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation. Ephesians 5:29 says “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it.”
The first marriage performed by God is found in Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one.” God celebrated this first marriage. Today we find marriage is a failure with people. It is not the fault of the Giver or the institution but with those who have walked into it without commitment and don’t understand the divine blessing and the purpose for what it was given. Satan has attacked marriage from the beginning and he will continue to till the end.
Scripture compares marriage to the Church. “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:23-25; 28)
Home is a little heaven on earth. It should be a place where the children learn their first lessons about God and His love. There is nothing on earth as important and sacred as family and home. A Christian father is the head and high priest of the family. He should lead them close to the throne of God. Each morning and evening both parents should gather their children and lift their voice and hearts towards God. The spirit of prophecy says that each morning parents should consecrate themselves and the family to God. By sincere, earnest prayer parents should make a hedge around their children. They should pray with full faith that God will abide with them and that holy angels will guard them and their children from Satan’s cruel powers.
May, we guard ourselves and our families from the attack of the enemy. The only place to keep our marriage, children and family home safe is under the wings of the Lord. Daily commitment to the Lord is a must. It’s our duty and commission to save our families for God.
Summer 2015
The early church of God, as referred to in the book of Acts, started with a strong unity by gathering daily (Acts 2:46), selling their possessions and laying the proceeds at the feet of the apostles (Acts 2:44-45; 4:33-37) and were one in heart and mind for God. But later we see this change as the church grew.
Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:10 says “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
The church today faces challenges of disunity caused by struggles of members to achieve status and superiority as in the early churches. The scriptures encourage unity among the people of God and it is very much possible if we surrender ourselves to the will of God. Our own agendas and selfish motives must be placed at the altar of the Lord to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us. Our positions are not to be sought or held at the risk of jeopardising the unity of the body of Christ. Christ is the Lord of the church and His will for the church is to be one, even as the Father and the Son are one.
David the Psalmist calls for unity of God’s people, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
When God’s children are living in unity, it is a foretaste of heaven on earth and heaven is well pleased. Then there will be showers of blessing fall from heaven. When the disciples prayed in the upper room with one accord they received the Holy Spirit. This message reached the whole world in the first century itself, breaking the strongholds of Satan. Today, our selfish motives and hatred are spreading like a contagious disease in the church. Unless we unite together and forgive each other and live in unity, we cannot rebuild the broken walls in our church. For this to happen, we need a real revival in the church at these times.
The Spirit of Prophecy says, “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord. Not because God isn’t willing to bestow His blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it. Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfil the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer. While the people are so destitute of God’s Holy Spirit, they cannot appreciate the preaching of the Word; but when the Spirit’s power touches their hearts and then the discourses given will not be without effect. Guided by the teachings of God’s Word, with the manifestation of His Spirit, in the exercise of sound discretion, those who attend our meetings will gain a precious experience and, returning home, will be prepared to exert a healthful influence”. {1SM 121.1}
There are persons in the church who are not converted and who will not unite in earnest, prevailing prayer. We must enter upon the work individually. We must pray more and talk less. Iniquity abounds and the people must be taught not to be satisfied with a form of godliness without the spirit and power. If we are intent upon searching our own hearts, putting away our sins and correcting our evil tendencies, our souls will not be lifted up unto vanity; we shall be distrustful of ourselves, having an abiding sense that our sufficiency is of God. {1SM 122.2}
The enemy in the last days sows the seed of discord in us to hinder God’s work. We, as children of God, need to be faithful to the Word of God. We need to study the word diligently, to follow His ways and be empowered by the Holy Spirit, to proclaim the message of salvation to all around us before the terrible day of His appearing, to destroy the wicked and to receive the righteous into His heavenly kingdom. God is leading out a people to stand in perfect unity upon the platform of eternal truth. Christ gave Himself to the world, “that He might purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” This refining process is designed to purge the church from all unrighteousness and the spirit of discord and contention, they they may build up instead of tearing down and concentrate their energies on the great work before them.
December 2014
Happy Christmas!
What is Christmas to us?
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Its December the whole world irrespective of the religion will look forward to the Christmas Celebration. It has become a customary celebration, having very little to do with Jesus Christ. The world has forgotten the real meaning of Christmas without knowing the real significance of it. We Seventh- day Adventists, who are aware of its significance should make known to the world that Christmas is not to be confined to celebration, but the message of God’s love, that brought Christ Jesus down to take up humanity, should be spread throughout the world. From the beginning, Jesus Christ has been with God the Father and the plan of salvation was laid even before the fall of man. The heavenly king came down to the earth leaving all the majesty of heaven as a little Baby to this fallen earth.
There are a few questions like, what is the necessity for Jesus to come down leaving all the glories of heaven? The Bible clearly says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” John 3:16. It is to save you and me from the bondage of sin and to draw us unto God.
The Spirit of Prophecy portrays vividly that, “The priests and the teachers of the nation knew not that the greatest event of the ages was about to take place. They rehearsed their meaningless prayers and performed the rites of worship to be seen by men, but in their strife for riches and worldly honour they were not prepared to receive the Messiah. Hearts selfish and world-engrossed were untouched by the joy that thrilled all heaven. Only a few, who were faithful and loyal, were longing to behold the unseen. To these heaven’s embassy was sent. For more than 1000 years the Jewish people had awaited the Saviour’s coming. God had chosen Israel to preserve among men the knowledge of the great God. He desired them to be the wells of salvation to the world.”
While the heavenly family with the host of angels rejoiced at the arrival of Jesus on earth by singing, “Joy to the world the Lord has come…” at the same time the chosen children, who were to be the heralds to proclaim and prepare the world to receive Him as the Messiah failed utterly in their responsibility to testify of Him before the world. They were blinded by their own selfish motives and desire to be prominent in the face of the world, and failed to receive the Messiah with joy and happiness. But the sincere expecting shepherds in the field knew of the birth of Jesus before the kings and the priests of the Jewish world.
What about us? Today’s world condition is not any different from that of the Roman Emperors, Jewish leaders or priests of Jesus’ time. Our Lord’s second coming is imminent. As Seventh day Adventists – the chosen people of God in the last days – God expects us to be the wells of salvation to the world. It is our prime responsibility to proclaim this great event to the world. Like the Jewish priests and teachers of the nation who did not know about the greatest event of the ages to take place in the manger of Bethlehem, we, the leaders and teachers, are also in danger of missing the greatest event of the end time. Are we thinking about it?
As God’s chosen children we have been given a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the great commission to spread this message of salvation all around the world. That is the ultimate purpose of our lives. Believers, what are we doing in relation to our great commission? Are we complacent just like the teachers and leaders at the time of Jesus’ first advent? The time in which we live demands our sincerity in spreading this message of love all around. More than celebrating the birth of Jesus let our lives bear witness to the great event, the second coming of Jesus that will certainly happen and thereby we may prepare many for that great day. The Bible prophecies are fulfilling and the coming of the Lord is near. We have no time to relax, let’s take the responsibility entrusted by our loving Jesus seriously and live our lives preparing for that great day. It’s my prayer that we, with our family, church and many others we prepare, will be in the kingdom of God.
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Jesus, come soon!
Wishing you a blessed New Year 2015!
August 2014
It’s a privilege to serve the Lord at this time of the world’s history as part of the Advent Movement. Certainly the unfolding of the Great controversy Theme is coming to its great finale.
Jesus soon return is imminent. It’s time for us to humbly submit ourselves to Christ Jesus and seek revival and reformation through the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, so that we may be a part of the out pouring.
One thing we can be sure of during these times is God’s Word. He doesn’t tell us one thing and then does something else. He doesn’t, as we say, string us along, failing to keep His promises. God doesn’t lead us to believe something and let us down. God operates in the realm of truth. We can trust Him. Many people trusted God in the midst of trouble, turmoil and uncertainty and have proved His faithfulness. He is not like the weather changing and unpredictable. He is faithful, dependable and reliable.
When we trust and humble ourselves to Him, He’ll open doors for witnessing and personal evangelism that will bring many people to the knowledge of our Lord and saviour.
As we journey in our Christian life, Let’s us work together through the power of the Holy Spirit as we fulfil God’s mission entrusted to our church here in Harlestone Road.
May God bless our special work for Him as we lift up Jesus and the cross proclaiming His soon Coming!
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer; My God, my strength in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” Psalms 18:2