Tuesday, November 21, 2017

"The Greatest Party Ever"

https://sites.google.com/site/biblechaptercommentaries/matthew/matthew-22-1-14-parable-of-the-wedding-banquet


"We want to party! Don’t we? Party big! And then we go to parties, and come back dry / un-satisfied, wanting for more! We are never satisfied with the endless wild parties of this world. All this is because we are all made for the ONE, holy, yet to come 'The Greatest Party Ever' - 'The Messianic Banquet of Matthew 22:1-14'!"

Also, what makes this party also great is that, it leads to great life restorations on the part of the attendees:- 
Isaiah 25:6-8: " ... He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces ... ",
Revelation 21:1-4: “ ... He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away ... ” 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Why some are born with billionaire parent and some are born in extreme poverty?

Why some are born with billionaire parent and some are born in extreme poverty? 

How can a good / just God allow that?

This important question is now partly addressed in http://devos20xx.blogspot.com/2017/08/on-money-prosperity.html
(Check the right side panel for more topics)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Saturday, September 30, 2017

On Finding Joy & Peace / Overcoming Troubled Heart (Stress, Anxieties, ...)


As I write, lots of grossly tragic incidents are happening around the world.
Of what I know of - devastating earthquake / storms / hurricanes have recently happened. There are fears that North Korea may start a nuclear war. Refugee crisis continues. There is news that there are more slaves in the world today than ever before. Tragic incidents may have happened in your life recently. Maybe each day has been quite challenging for you


So, how does one overcome troubled heart, as news of tragic incidents constantly pour in?
Can one have joy & peace in such circumstances?

Yes, it is not easy - and at times it seems impossible -  But, take heart - there is hope! - REALLY - Jesus assured in these two verses :- John 16:33:- In the world you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome the world” & John 14:27: “ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.


Even GOD (Jesus) struggled immensely with finding joy & peace at the Garden of Gethsemane, as He was foreseeing the great suffering that was to dawn upon him (Matthew 26 - 27). Jesus said his soul was very sorrowful, even to death (Matthew 26:37). His sweat became like great drop of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44). The world is so broken!


Now, let’s dive into some biblical teachings on overcoming troubled heart and finding joy & peace. Again, it is not easy, but there is true hope!


  • First, know who you are as a follower of Christ. A follower is COMPLETE in Christ - with an eternally secure, glorious & fully-redeemed future (John 10:28: “Jesus: I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand”,  Romans 8:18-31: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us ... I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”, Revelation 21:15: “Jesus: I am making all things new”, Revelation 21:4: “He (Jesus) will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away”). Also, 2 Peter 1:3 promises to a follower: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life“. So, as a follower of Christ, why worry or be anxious and not be joyful? - Live in the light of an eternally secure future, keeping your mind fixed on things above and not on earthy things (Collossians 3:2)
  • Second, “know your enemy”! There are three prominent sources of miseries that I know of:- (a) The regular spiritual battle that Satan and his army of fallen angel wages against a follower of Christ (see: http://devos20xx.blogspot.com/2017/08/spiritual-warfare-under-construction.html), (b) one’s own sinful nature, (c) sinful nature of others around. (Also quoting Sarah Young: "You live in a world that has been rigged to distract you.")
    • These will often make you fight for spiritual joy
  • Laying the foundation for unfailing, persistent joy & peace - Have you been building your life on rock solid foundation? Jesus says in Matthew 7:24 - “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
  • "The Practice of The Presence of God" - From this great compilation, we learn how brother Lawrence eventually found enduring joy and peace, despite living in hard and so-called "lowly" conditions. He "practiced" conversing with God continually (recall, 1 Thessalonians 5:17: "Pray without ceasing") - a "practice" that he developed with diligence, discipline, love & selflessness.                 (Recall Scripture verses on disciplining mind & body - 1 Corinthians 9:27: "But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified", and  Philippians 4:11-13: "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.". Recall, command in Scripture for selfless love: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I (Jesus) have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.").                                                            (As per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brother_Lawrencebrother Lawrence was injured from war and not having necessary education, “he spent almost all of the rest of his life within the walls of the priory, working in the kitchen for most of his life and as a repairer of sandals in his later years. Despite his lowly position in life and the priory, his character attracted many to him. He had a reputation for experiencing profound peace and visitors came to seek spiritual guidance from him.”). 
  • Become a leader - Teach others “how to find joy & victory in darkest of time” (Matthew 28:19-20: “make disciples of all nations … teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”)
  • Do what you are made to do. Whatever you do for work and non-work, does it translate to what God made you for? - That is, whatever you do in life, does it fulfill: (1) Matthew 22:37:- “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”, and (2) Matthew 22:37: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Latter, Jesus also said in John 13:34 - “love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”). (Recall, what Jesus said about these two commandments, in Matthew 22:40: “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”). If not, then you are deviating from the “natural” way of living. And when one “deviates”, one robs oneself of the joy & peace that flows from God. And when one does not have joy & peace, one's physical & mental health is strained too - as if God indeed made us to live in joy & peace!
  • Run from Sin. Sin robs joy & peace, and leads to miseries. Quoting from http://devos20xx.blogspot.com/2017/01/on-suffering.html "It was one seemingly simple sin that led to the banishment of humans from God’s presence in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Sin continues to cause great trouble and misery in people’s life. It was our sins that kept Jesus nailed to the cross for SIX HOURS OF ETERNITY. (Fortunately, God’s grace is bigger than any sin - Romans 5:20). Also, Jesus is much more interested in our eternal-destiny/spiritual-health, which may at times comes at the cost of temporal physical loss. This is indicated in Matthew 18:9 (“And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.”). Also in Luke 13:1-3 Jesus talks about unrepentant sinners - “There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish”."
  • Do not walk your journey alone, walk with the CHURCH. Quoting from http://devos20xx.blogspot.com/2017/01/on-suffering.html "Do not walk with your burdens alone - seek refuge & fellowship in Church. Church is the BODY of God Jesus. In the church, God calls us to share one burdens - John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”. Hence, also look out for those who need help in the Church. Romans 12:15 says “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”"
  • The three verses that are often quoted
    Philippians 4:6-7:-"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.". Matthew 6:25-34: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
    “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."                                   John 14:27:  "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. ”



More prominent resources:-




Related writeups:-




Saturday, September 9, 2017

Racism and other forms of prevalent gross discrimination

A major goal of this article is to spread awareness about all prevalent forms of gross discrimination in this world!

The thought of this write-up was triggered soon after the grossly-violent August’17 Charlottesville rally (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unite_the_Right_rally).

Yes, tragically, racism still exists in this world, and so does many other forms of "need-to-end-soon" gross discrimination.

Apparently, from time to time, we have to talk about these and implement new ways to counter them - as they never seems to go away from this world!

First of all, how is "racism" precisely defined? I leave that for you to research on (i.e., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism). At the very least, I would say it is tied to any action originating from the belief that one race is superior to another in some context.

And, how BAD "racism" is today and has been in history? That is also a very good topic to research on. BTW, talking of history, one of the most extreme cases of racism that is often talked about is obviously Holocaust (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust) - in which millions of Jews were killed, because they were considered as an inferior race by Hitler.

In current times, you may have heard of many personal stories of racism. One mind-blowing story that I read was the claims of Ashley Graham - http://time.com/4890516/ashley-graham-on-white-privilege/, on how the color of her skin helped in her modeling career.
(Disclaimer:- I have not fact-checked all her statements. Here, I just wanted to share her claims that are definitely worth studying).

BTW, here in this article, I will briefly touch on other forms of prevalent gross discrimination too.

Some gross examples of discrimination that we see in the world:-
  • Unfair treatment because of one's skin color
  • Unfair treatment because of one's gender
  • Unfair treatment because of sexual orientation
  • Unfair treatment because of one's caste in India
  • Unfair treatment because of one’s country of origin
  • Unfair treatment because of one’s religion beliefs
  • Unfair treatment of refugees
    • Why did the refugees in the ongoing middle-east crises have to go through all the horrible things they have been going through? Why were/are they not welcome in many places?
  • Unfair treatment because of one’s financial / social status
  • ...

Also, I will briefly mention some scripture verses that counter the spirit of discrimination:-
  • “Love your neighbor as YOURSELF” (Mark 12:31)
  • “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
    • Learn to look at people the way God looks at.
  • “So the last will be first, and the first last” (Matthew 20:16)

Conclusion - The zillion dollar question remains: “How do we end racism and other forms of prevalent gross discrimination in this world?”. Let us start with spreading awareness


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Is Life Fair? / Gross Disparities ...

We see sports / movie / pop / etc stars being elevated among the highest rung (in terms of riches, fame, affection, etc) of the society.


Now what about the janitors, who do very useful, valuable, and meaningful works?? Do they live “forgotten” / “un-valued” and even “looked-down-upon” in many places?


Jesus said: “First will be last and last will be first” (https://www.gotquestions.org/first-last-last-first.html).

So, as a consequence of the way society is working today, many of the un-valued, forgotten, “looked down upon” folks (such as, say janitors in many places) could be first in God’s Kingdom … ahead of many celebrities that are worshiped as gods in the society!

In God's Kingdom life is fair.