Thoughts for your Meditation...

No: 005/omp

Matthew 21:13

“My House shall be called the House of Prayer”.

It is funny that some churches seem not to know why they exist. Here are different situations I have personally come across.
Invited as guest speaker I was in a church for the very first time and it was all so funny. The pastor and the congregation were so actively involved in a discussion on ‘current politics’, then. After half an hour the congregation broke off for coffee. Coffee break took about 20 minutes. There was no worship and no special prayers. After the break I was invited to share the Word. At this point I wasn’t really sure if I was in a church for Sunday worship. After I prayed I went straight into the Word. The congregation looked at me as though I was from a different “planet”. The Word went forth in power and with great anointing and at the end of the service some folks came personally to me for prayers. It looked like the church was not acquainted with the Word.

I wonder how many people waste their time and resources in churches as this particular one !!

On another occasion - - - sorry to say this - - - the pastor kept his congregation ‘happy’ with jokes. Lots of laughters and an occasional reminder from the Word. Sad to say that places of worship are turning out to be entertainment centers !!

In some churches you are expected to be ‘politically correct’. i.e. if you don’t go with the ‘flow’ even when the ‘flow’ is not in the right direction, you could be considered rebellious, or pushed to a corner rendering void your gifting and talents. Quite discouraging to upcoming zealous visionaries !

Why do we go to church ? Here is a thought in a nutshell and you could ponder on it.

1. To worship God.
2. To fellowship with God – talking to Him and listening from Him.
3. For spiritual nourishment.
4. To rededicate myself to God.
5. To enjoy Him and His wonderful presence.
6. To fellowship with the believers.

Of course, in all this, we must not forget that the House of God is the House of Prayer.

In Isaiah 56: 7, the Bible says that “- - - for mine house shall be called an House of Prayer for all people”.

Going before God in prayers is so vital. When we go to church let us remember that our primary target is to worship God and to fellowship with Him.
One saying goes like this : “A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian”.

No: 004/omp

Ephesians 5:20 - always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)

1 Thessa. 5:18 – In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Give thanks " in" all things and give thanks "for" all things.

Sometimes it is difficult to give thanks for all things and that gives us a little problem. " How do you thank God for all things? How do you thank God for the bad things that happen?

The writer of the Matthew Henry’s Bible commentary (Matthew Henry) was once attacked by a thief and robbed. After he was robbed Matthew Henry said,
"I thank Thee, Lord, first because it is the first time I have ever been robbed. Second, I thank Thee because he took my purse and not my life. Third, I thank Thee because, though he took my all, it was not very much. Fourth, I thank Thee because it was I who was robbed and not I who robbed."

There is something we can thank God for always.

Melodie Beattie, a noted self-help author, often stresses the importance of gratitude. She says, "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."

In my recent trip to an eastern country I had to stay in a very nasty and unhygienic hotel. I stood alone in my room, unable to sit or lie on the bed, and for a moment I felt depressed. “Why did I come here, Lord ?”- was my thought. I just wanted to run away. Then a new thought flashed through my mind – “Hey – I am in a building and not out on the streets. There is water and electricity. God brought me here. It is NOT a mistake.” When these positive thoughts came into my mind, I began to thank the Lord and to praise Him. I began to look at things in a different perspective. Not only did I thank Him, but I also began to worship the Lord. God is so good that I finished up my time well and a few thousand people were blessed in the meetings. There were some great miracles too. When I began to thank and praise Him in the bad environment, God glorified Himself through me. Thanksgiving turns depression into joy and victory.


Be thankful in all things and for all things – even in the most difficult situations in life.

No: 003/omp

Maturity/Attitude - Job, chapter One.

I am amazed by this man Job. Chapter One describes him as a man who hated evil and one who feared God. He is also called perfect and upright; and he was a man with plenty of wealth and a family. But then satan was permitted to tempt Job. Just in one day he lost all his possessions, his sons and his daughters. What a tragedy that must have been !
I remember of one of my good African friend who lost a daughter, and only son, in a car accident on the Eldoret-Nairobi highway(in Kenya). His three grown-up children were on their way to a Christian meeting at a university campus. Then suddenly tragedy struck, the car hit a tractor that had no lights nor reflectors (in the dark), and two lives were taken. It was a very sad moment for family and friends.
I wonder what went through the mind of Job !! All lost in just one day !! I am sure he was shaken and probably left in a shock (at least for some moments).
But then the Bible says (vs.20-22) that he fell down and worshipped God – not an utterance of hate or anger towards God and the situation. Seems like he knew that God was in control. He recognizes and confesses the eternal truth “naked came I - - - naked shall I return”. Many times we forget that we came with nothing into the world, and that one day when we ‘leave’ this planet we would take nothing with us.

He was bold to also confess that “the Lord gave and the Lord took away” and to accept the situation. I see a mature man handling a very heart-breaking situation. I see a man whose attitude towards God was not hate. My African friend and his wife reacted in a very similar manner when they lost their two children in the accident. They were encouraging the people who came to comfort them ! They were mature Christians and did not spend their days in complaining, grieving and crying. They never asked “Why Lord ? ” and Job never asked that question too. They knew whom they believed. Men and women who have tasted and trusted Jesus in a very personal way, I believe, are mature and with good understanding, and with the right attitudes even when things do not look good. The apostle Paul commented “who shall separate us from the love of God ?- - - - - ” Romans 8:35.

In the year 2005 I remember visiting my mom at a nursing home in New York. After a wonderful visit with her, and after encouraging and praying with her I walked through her room to the next person. She was a much elderly lady whose legs were amputated. She looked frustrated, lonely, unhappy, and there was no joy on her face; unlike my mom who was at peace. I stopped and asked the lady : “Can I pray with you ?”. I stood ‘frozen’ when she replied bitterly “He put me in this condition and you want to pray to him!!” So bitter was she towards God and she blamed God for her condition. How sad that many point their fingers to God when things go wrong but never remember to thank Him when things are good. Many do not realize that it is our own decisions and habits that many times bring us to trouble, and sometimes paralyze us with diseases and sicknesses. God intends good for all those who sincerely love Him; even when we do not understand.

Hey – let us look at ourselves – what would be your/my response in adverse conditions ? “Whys ?” or “Why me Lord ?” Would we be blaming God ????

I suggest that we spend time in the Word and especially in the book of Psalms to lift up our spirits with praises and worship; and to have a positive outlook at life.
The book of Psalms offers great antidotes for disappointment, hopelessness, and depression. Job knew His God. In the most tragic and heartbreaking moment in his life he decides to worship the Lord.

NO: 002/omp

Psalms 23

This Psalm is probably the most comforting piece of literature in history and there is life in it. It reassures that above all the strife and fears, the hungers and weaknesses of mankind, there is a Shepherd -  A Shepherd who knows every one of his sheep by name, one who is  able to provide abundantly, one who guides and protects, and at the close of the day opens the door to the sheepfold - the house not made with hands. Here we are safe in the hands of the shepherd.

Then why do we fret ?
Here is a story of a young and an old man on a stage before a vast crowd of people. In the programme they were to say from memory all the words of Psalm twenty-three.
The young man with all his oratory and literary skills started off and completed the whole Psalm before the audience. The people cheered and clapped and were enthusiastic in hearing his wonderful voice again.
Moments later the old man who was leaning on his cane moved towards the centre of the stage. His voice was feeble and shaky and he started off - "The LORD is my Shepherd - - - - - - " When he finished, he sat down but there was no response from the crowd - no cheers, no clapping of hands. There was a silence and the people seemed to be in prayer. In the silence the young man stood up to make a statement:
"Friends", he said, "I wish to give an explanation. You asked me to come back and repeat the Psalm, but you remained silent when my friend here was seated. THE DIFFERENCE ?  I shall tell you. I know the Psalm, but he knows the Shepherd."

Do you know your Shepherd that you might just sleep in peace, leaving all your cares upon Him; and wake up to another glorious beautiful day, knowing that you are in the care of your Shepherd. Jesus said : " I am the good Shepherd." John 10:11

NO: 001/omp

Keeping yourself pure !

In a seemingly ‘relative’ society purity may not be the ultimate desire of every soul. But God is holy and pure and he wants man to be pure and holy as He is. A thought from Psalms 119:9 – “How can a young man keep his way pure ? by ‘taking heed’ to God’s Word. I was looking at various dictionaries for a better understanding of ‘taking heed’. It means ‘pay attention and listen’ or ‘give consideration or attention’. YES, let us pay attention and consider the Word of God; take the Word seriously as meant to be; and we can grow towards purity and holiness.