Do not offer him a bribe, for he will not accept it

Short message from Sehion Ministries, Attappady, Palakkad, Kerala, India.

 

Name children with Saints name

God has his own plan about the blessings and future of a child at the time of birth. The God who wish that child should be a great personality and blessed person also have a wish that child should have a good and meaningful name.

We can see in the Holy Bible that God  has some demand that all persons whom God selected should have special and meaningful names. This demand prove from that for some people name have decided and given before their birth and for some others removed their old name and given new names.

In the books of Genesis Chapter 13 we can see that God called Abram from haron, the person whom he called first to make the covenant people for God. Abram listened God’s voice and passed through the path he showed.

Again in Genesis Chapter 17:4 God speak about the covenant with Abram. God blessed and changed name of the first leader whom he selected for his people.

Genesis 17:5
5 No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations.

Again God blessing the wife of Abraham with a name he chosen.

Genesis 17:15
15 God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.

We have not seen here that God giving names to persons who do not have names, but he changed the old names and given new names.

Why the Almighty God interfere in such matters? Whatever the name be, life should be good, isn’t it?

Is it a joke that the omniscient,almighty God doing like this? God had a demand that a blessed name is necessary for the life of the person whom he selected to be blessed.

Jacob Wrestles with an angel whole night near the stream of Jabbok. At the end Jacob asked only one thing  “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.”  What blessing God gave him? A Good name.

Genesis 32:28 Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,….

When Jacob asked for blessing, God gave him a new name. Again God affirm that name in Bethel.

Genesis 35:10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall you be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he was called Israel.

If God make a person blessed, then he will change his name also blessed.

Isaiah 65:15 ……but to his servants he will give a different name.

God bless not only people, but also countries by giving new name.

Isaiah 62:1-2

1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication shines out like the dawn,
and her salvation like a burning torch.
2 The nations shall see your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give.

When we complete the life in this world and reach heaven, there also God has selected a name for us.

Revelation 2:17
To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.

God giving very importance to names of his beloved people

We can see the importance of this when we read the scene that angel appear before Joseph, husband of Mary, and revealing the wish of God.

Matthew 1:20-21
20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Jesus is the first and last son for Joseph and Mary. But God did not give them the right to give name to that child. Annunciation of the birth of Jesus Christ itself God strengthening about the name. Before Joseph or Mary say anything, Angel saying ‘you will name him Jesus’. No other selection he allowed. Name has importance. Otherwise why should God demand like this?

God himself named John Baptist also

Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.

God did not ask permission from Zechariah or Elizabeth or ask whether they have any suggestion for their son who will be born at their old age. But he demanded him that ‘you will name him John’.

Luke1:59-64
59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60 But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” 62 Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God.

God had given importance in names given to his beloved people and so he blessed them with good names.

Name is very important for our children also, to live as God’s children, get blessings and good future. Do not take it as easy.

Once priest asked to one child his name. He replied, “Bajio”. Immediately  his mother said with feeling of shame that “this child is born during foot ball match period. I gave him the name of my best loving foot ball player.” During the period of April-May 2008  trending name in media was Obama – Candidate for American President. Many people named their child Obama. This is not a good practice to give name easily to our children with any name of place or player whom we like. God does not like this.

Saints are praying for you before God.

Give blessed names filled with God’s spirit to children during baptism. They should be known with that names. It is an obedience to church by giving name of Saints to children.

These days many families are interested to name their children with names of prophets and saints, like Daniel, Jeremiah, Joshua, Samuel, Sarah, Maria etc.

It is true that If a child is named with a name of a Saint, that Saint’s presence and blessings will be with that child and God will bless him. This is a promise from God.

CCC No. 2156 The sacrament of Baptism is conferred “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” In Baptism, the Lord’s name sanctifies man, and the Christian receives his name in the Church. This can be the name of a saint, that is, of a disciple who has lived a life of exemplary fidelity to the Lord. The patron saint provides a model of charity; we are assured of his intercession. The “baptismal name” can also express a Christian mystery or Christian virtue. “Parents, sponsors, and the pastor are to see that a name is not given which is foreign to Christian sentiment.”

Isaiah 43:1 But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.

CCC No.2158 God calls each one by name. Everyone’s name is sacred. The name is the icon of the person. It demands respect as a sign of the dignity of the one who bears it.

John 10:3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

One day during a convention an innocent small child came and told to Fr. Francis Thottunkarayil that when Father was preaching on the stage that child saw St. Francis Xavier on the stage.

It is a noticeable experience of a family who came from America for  staying retreat in Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Palakkad, Kerala, India. He had no change or miracle for three days. Even after counselor prayed he could not feel any change and he was disappointed. A soul filled with sins. Counselor again prayed more powerful and he had a vision that Fr. Kuriakose Elias Chavara is standing near to this person and praying. Then Counselor asked this man what is the relation with Fr. Chavara. He replied his name is Kurien. Saint of our name will pray for us. Last day of the retreat he got many blessings and miracles.

It is noticed that during retreat when some people do not have any feeling or change, then if pray intercede with saint of their name, they get very strong blessings from God.

Persons, institutions, churches, establishments should name with name or prophets, saints, apostles and also should encourage others also to do so.

Jesus changed Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul. Good and blessed names are God’s arrangement. We should give attention to this. That is a blessing.

Genesis 5:29 he named him Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands.”

Genesis 3:20 The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

Genesis 28:17-19 And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first.

1 Samuel 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

Genesis 30:24 and she named him Joseph, saying, “May the Lord add to me another son!”

Exodus 17:15 And Moses built an altar and called it, The Lord is my banner.

Revelation 14:1 Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.

1 Samuel 1:20 In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the Lord.”

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

Practical directions for Tithe

  1. Where to give Tithe ?

It is written in Deuteronomy about whom to give tithe.

the Levites, because they have no allotment or inheritance with you, as well as the resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, may come and eat their fill so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work that you undertake. (Deuteronomy 14:29)

One thing is clear from this verses that our tithe to be given to the work of God and helping the poor.

  1. How much percentage to be offered as Tithe?

We should give tithe (one-tenth part of) of our income/profit. It doesn’t mean that we should give only one-tenth part. Depends on your capacity you can give more. it is a great blessing that some business people who have many shops have reserved full profit from some shops for God’s work and helping the poor. Their business and life  is upgrading day by day due to this offering/help doing with right hand Without the knowledge of the left hand.

  1. From what items should give tithe ?

Set apart a tithe of all the yield of your seed that is brought in yearly from the field. (Deuteronomy 14:22)

  1. Do not be stingy or hindrance in offering tithe.

In many families while giving tithe some members make disapproval. In other families all are ignoring tithe just like ananias and zephera. These all are obstacles for blessings.

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6)

  1. Give tithe with happiness.

give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Luke 6:38)

Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

10 Be generous when you worship the Lord,
    and do not stint the first fruits of your hands.
11 With every gift show a cheerful face,
    and dedicate your tithe with gladness.
12 Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
    and as generously as you can afford.
13 For the Lord is the one who repays,
    and he will repay you sevenfold. (Sirach 35:10-13)

What should we do?

  1. Should give one-tenth part of of our income/profit.
  2. Repent about the period of  not giving tithe.
  3. If ever talked wrong about titche, ask pardon to God, confess.
  4. Teach about tithe to people who do not know about this God’s commandment.
  5. Teach children from childhood about tithe.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot. (Psalms 16:5)

From you let my vindication come;
    let your eyes see the right. (Psalms 17:2)

Turn my heart to your decrees,
    and not to selfish gain. (Psalms 119:36)

You will not fear the terror of the night,
    or the arrow that flies by day, (Psalms 91:5)

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

Praise the God with Wealth

Giving tithe is for praising the God. It is God’s commandment that we should adore and praise the God. In the whole old testament can hear the sorrow filled sound of the God that “You are not adoring me, you are not praising me”. We should not only praise God with our heart, but also with the wealth he has given us.

Honor the Lord with your substance
and with the first fruits of all your produce; (Proverbs 3:9)

17 Do not say to yourself, “My power and the might of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today. (Deuteronomy 8:17-18)

When we give tithe to God, we are proclaiming that this wealth is given by God. Jacob reveal this in below bible verses.

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you.” (Genesis 28:20-22)

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

Who should give Tithes to God?

Who should give tithes to God? Only the people who have savings or balance?

Many people’s complaint is that “I have not enough money to fulfill daily requirements, then how can I give tithes to God? I have nothing to give. ” This is a game of Satan. Satan will play his game and give us troubles and sorrows in mind to violate the Word of God. Are you a person who think that “I have nothing to give, what will I do? Let others who have enough to give.” Are you a person who suffering with this kind of bad thoughts in mind? Satan made your heart closed for not giving to God and you get God’s blessings by giving him.

We can see a story in the Bible 1 Kings 17:8-16

The Widow of Zarephath

8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.” 11 As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.” 15 She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

Is this widow was a women with savings or balance?  She had nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; She was gathering a couple of sticks,  to go home and prepare it for herself and her son, that they may eat it, and die. Elijah accepted an offering even from her. Was he done that to give trouble to her? Was it not to bless them? Are we not better than that widow and son?

Jesus also agree this.

The Widow’s Offering

21 He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; 2 he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 He said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; 4 for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4)

Jesus praised the offering of this widow. Out of her poverty she has put in all she had to live on.

For the Lord is the one who repays,
and he will repay you sevenfold. (Sirach 35:13)

Is it necessary for priests to give tithes to God?

25 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 26 You shall speak to the Levites, saying: When you receive from the Israelites the tithe that I have given you from them for your portion, you shall set apart an offering from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe. 27 It shall be reckoned to you as your gift, the same as the grain of the threshing floor and the fullness of the wine press. 28 Thus you also shall set apart an offering to the Lord from all the tithes that you receive from the Israelites; and from them you shall give the Lord’s offering to the priest Aaron. (Numbers 18:25-28)

Above Word of God reveal that Priests who do not have business establishments, estates, farms also should give tithe and remind us the importance of tithe to God. God knows about our life, he knows what we give is only for us to give him. He ask us to give from whatever we have. This commandment is for the purification and blessings of the people. Following this commandment of tithe by schools, convents, churches and other institutions will be a blessing for them.

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

Samuel is Born-Great Stories of the Holy Bible

When Hannah prays for a child she promises she will give him back to God. (I Samuel 1:1-28): Slide 11

1 Samuel 1:1-28

Samuel’s Birth and Dedication

1 There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

3 Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. 4 On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; 5 but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. 6 Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. 7 So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8 Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

9 After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the Lord. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly. 11 She made this vow: “O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.”

12 As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.” 15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. 16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.” 17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.” 18 And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your sight.” Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.

19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the Lord.”

21 The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the Lord, and remain there forever; I will offer him as a nazirite for all time.” 23 Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only—may the Lord establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him. 24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. 26 And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. 27 For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. 28 Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.”

She left him there for the Lord.

Samson a man of super-human strength-Great Stories of the Holy Bible

Judges 13

The Birth of Samson

1 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.

2 A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. 3 The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. 4 Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. 5 You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”

6 Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. 7 But he said to me, ‘You will become pregnant and have a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from the womb until the day of his death.’”

8 Then Manoah prayed to the Lord: “Pardon your servant, Lord. I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.”

9 God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman while she was out in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her. 10 The woman hurried to tell her husband, “He’s here! The man who appeared to me the other day!”

11 Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, “Are you the man who talked to my wife?”

“I am,” he said.

12 So Manoah asked him, “When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule that governs the boy’s life and work?”

13 The angel of the Lord answered, “Your wife must do all that I have told her.

Samson sets a riddle for his wedding guests. (Judges 13:1-14:20): Slide 14

Samson sets a riddle for his wedding guests.

14 She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I have commanded her.”

15 Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “We would like you to stay until we prepare a young goat for you.”

16 The angel of the Lord replied, “Even though you detain me, I will not eat any of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the Lord.” (Manoah did not realize that it was the angel of the Lord.)

17 Then Manoah inquired of the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that we may honor you when your word comes true?”

18 He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding.” 19 Then Manoah took a young goat, together with the grain offering, and sacrificed it on a rock to the Lord. And the Lord did an amazing thing while Manoah and his wife watched: 20 As the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground. 21 When the angel of the Lord did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realized that it was the angel of the Lord.

22 “We are doomed to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen God!”

23 But his wife answered, “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these things or now told us this.”

24 The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the Lord blessed him, 25 and the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him while he was in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Judges 14

Samson’s Marriage

14 Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. 2 When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”

3 His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?”

But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.” 4 (His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)

5 Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. 6 The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done. 7 Then he went down and talked with the woman, and he liked her.

8 Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion’s carcass, and in it he saw a swarm of bees and some honey. 9 He scooped out the honey with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the lion’s carcass.

10 Now his father went down to see the woman. And there Samson held a feast, as was customary for young men. 11 When the people saw him, they chose thirty men to be his companions.

12 “Let me tell you a riddle,” Samson said to them. “If you can give me the answer within the seven days of the feast, I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes. 13 If you can’t tell me the answer, you must give me thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes.”

“Tell us your riddle,” they said. “Let’s hear it.”

14 He replied,

“Out of the eater, something to eat;
out of the strong, something sweet.”
For three days they could not give the answer.

15 On the fourth day, they said to Samson’s wife, “Coax your husband into explaining the riddle for us, or we will burn you and your father’s household to death. Did you invite us here to steal our property?”

16 Then Samson’s wife threw herself on him, sobbing, “You hate me! You don’t really love me. You’ve given my people a riddle, but you haven’t told me the answer.”

“I haven’t even explained it to my father or mother,” he replied, “so why should I explain it to you?” 17 She cried the whole seven days of the feast. So on the seventh day he finally told her, because she continued to press him. She in turn explained the riddle to her people.

18 Before sunset on the seventh day the men of the town said to him,

“What is sweeter than honey?
What is stronger than a lion?”
Samson said to them,

“If you had not plowed with my heifer,
you would not have solved my riddle.”
19 Then the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. He went down to Ashkelon, struck down thirty of their men, stripped them of everything and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. Burning with anger, he returned to his father’s home. 20 And Samson’s wife was given to one of his companions who had attended him at the feast.

Judges 15

Samson’s Vengeance on the Philistines

Samson shows his strength against the Philistines, (Judges 15:1-20): Slide 5     Samson shows his strength against the Philistines, (Judges 15:1-20): Slide 11

 Samson shows his strength against the Philistines.

15 Later on, at the time of wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. He said, “I’m going to my wife’s room.” But her father would not let him go in.

2 “I was so sure you hated her,” he said, “that I gave her to your companion. Isn’t her younger sister more attractive? Take her instead.”

3 Samson said to them, “This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.” 4 So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails, 5 lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves.

6 When the Philistines asked, “Who did this?” they were told, “Samson, the Timnite’s son-in-law, because his wife was given to his companion.”

So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father to death. 7 Samson said to them, “Since you’ve acted like this, I swear that I won’t stop until I get my revenge on you.” 8 He attacked them viciously and slaughtered many of them. Then he went down and stayed in a cave in the rock of Etam.

9 The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi. 10 The people of Judah asked, “Why have you come to fight us?”

“We have come to take Samson prisoner,” they answered, “to do to him as he did to us.”

11 Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?”

He answered, “I merely did to them what they did to me.”

12 They said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.”

Samson said, “Swear to me that you won’t kill me yourselves.”

13 “Agreed,” they answered. “We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock. 14 As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. 15 Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.

16 Then Samson said,

“With a donkey’s jawbone
I have made donkeys of them.
With a donkey’s jawbone
I have killed a thousand men.”
17 When he finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone; and the place was called Ramath Lehi.

18 Because he was very thirsty, he cried out to the Lord, “You have given your servant this great victory. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19 Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore, and it is still there in Lehi.

20 Samson led[d] Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.

Judges 16

Samson and Delilah

16 One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. 2 The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.”

3 But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.

Samson in a moment of weakness shares the secret of his strength. (Judges 16:4-31): Slide 4    Samson in a moment of weakness shares the secret of his strength. (Judges 16:4-31): Slide 9

Samson in a moment of weakness shares the secret of his strength.

4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. 5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.”

6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”

7 Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”

8 Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. 9 With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.

10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.”

11 He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”

12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.

13 Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.”

He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric 14 and tightened it with the pin.

Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.

15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” 16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.

17 So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”

18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. 19 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him.

20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”

He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.

21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

The Death of Samson
23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”

24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying,

“Our god has delivered our enemy
into our hands,
the one who laid waste our land
and multiplied our slain.”
25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them.

When they stood him among the pillars, 26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. 28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

31 Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel twenty years.

Abimelech’s Ambition-Great Stories of the Holy Bible

Judges 9

Abimelek

9 Abimelek son of Jerub-Baal went to his mother’s brothers in Shechem and said to them and to all his mother’s clan, 2 “Ask all the citizens of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you: to have all seventy of Jerub-Baal’s sons rule over you, or just one man?’ Remember, I am your flesh and blood.”

3 When the brothers repeated all this to the citizens of Shechem, they were inclined to follow Abimelek, for they said, “He is related to us.” 4 They gave him seventy shekels of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith, and Abimelek used it to hire reckless scoundrels, who became his followers. 5 He went to his father’s home in Ophrah and on one stone murdered his seventy brothers, the sons of Jerub-Baal. But Jotham, the youngest son of Jerub-Baal, escaped by hiding. 6 Then all the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo gathered beside the great tree at the pillar in Shechem to crown Abimelek king.

7 When Jotham was told about this, he climbed up on the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted to them, “Listen to me, citizens of Shechem, so that God may listen to you. 8 One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king.’

9 “But the olive tree answered, ‘Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and humans are honored, to hold sway over the trees?’

10 “Next, the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be our king.’

11 “But the fig tree replied, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?’

12 “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be our king.’

13 “But the vine answered, ‘Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and humans, to hold sway over the trees?’

14 “Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘Come and be our king.’

15 “The thornbush said to the trees, ‘If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!’

16 “Have you acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelek king? Have you been fair to Jerub-Baal and his family? Have you treated him as he deserves? 17 Remember that my father fought for you and risked his life to rescue you from the hand of Midian. 18 But today you have revolted against my father’s family. You have murdered his seventy sons on a single stone and have made Abimelek, the son of his female slave, king over the citizens of Shechem because he is related to you. 19 So have you acted honorably and in good faith toward Jerub-Baal and his family today? If you have, may Abimelek be your joy, and may you be his, too! 20 But if you have not, let fire come out from Abimelek and consume you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and let fire come out from you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and consume Abimelek!”

21 Then Jotham fled, escaping to Beer, and he lived there because he was afraid of his brother Abimelek.

22 After Abimelek had governed Israel three years, 23 God stirred up animosity between Abimelek and the citizens of Shechem so that they acted treacherously against Abimelek. 24 God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal’s seventy sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother Abimelek and on the citizens of Shechem, who had helped him murder his brothers. 25 In opposition to him these citizens of Shechem set men on the hilltops to ambush and rob everyone who passed by, and this was reported to Abimelek.

26 Now Gaal son of Ebed moved with his clan into Shechem, and its citizens put their confidence in him. 27 After they had gone out into the fields and gathered the grapes and trodden them, they held a festival in the temple of their god. While they were eating and drinking, they cursed Abimelek. 28 Then Gaal son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelek, and why should we Shechemites be subject to him? Isn’t he Jerub-Baal’s son, and isn’t Zebul his deputy? Serve the family of Hamor, Shechem’s father! Why should we serve Abimelek? 29 If only this people were under my command! Then I would get rid of him. I would say to Abimelek, ‘Call out your whole army!’”

30 When Zebul the governor of the city heard what Gaal son of Ebed said, he was very angry. 31 Under cover he sent messengers to Abimelek, saying, “Gaal son of Ebed and his clan have come to Shechem and are stirring up the city against you. 32 Now then, during the night you and your men should come and lie in wait in the fields. 33 In the morning at sunrise, advance against the city. When Gaal and his men come out against you, seize the opportunity to attack them.”

34 So Abimelek and all his troops set out by night and took up concealed positions near Shechem in four companies. 35 Now Gaal son of Ebed had gone out and was standing at the entrance of the city gate just as Abimelek and his troops came out from their hiding place.

36 When Gaal saw them, he said to Zebul, “Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains!”

Zebul replied, “You mistake the shadows of the mountains for men.”

37 But Gaal spoke up again: “Look, people are coming down from the central hill, and a company is coming from the direction of the diviners’ tree.”

38 Then Zebul said to him, “Where is your big talk now, you who said, ‘Who is Abimelek that we should be subject to him?’ Aren’t these the men you ridiculed? Go out and fight them!”

39 So Gaal led out the citizens of Shechem and fought Abimelek. 40 Abimelek chased him all the way to the entrance of the gate, and many were killed as they fled. 41 Then Abimelek stayed in Arumah, and Zebul drove Gaal and his clan out of Shechem.

42 The next day the people of Shechem went out to the fields, and this was reported to Abimelek. 43 So he took his men, divided them into three companies and set an ambush in the fields. When he saw the people coming out of the city, he rose to attack them. 44 Abimelek and the companies with him rushed forward to a position at the entrance of the city gate. Then two companies attacked those in the fields and struck them down. 45 All that day Abimelek pressed his attack against the city until he had captured it and killed its people. Then he destroyed the city and scattered salt over it.

46 On hearing this, the citizens in the tower of Shechem went into the stronghold of the temple of El-Berith. 47 When Abimelek heard that they had assembled there, 48 he and all his men went up Mount Zalmon. He took an ax and cut off some branches, which he lifted to his shoulders. He ordered the men with him, “Quick! Do what you have seen me do!” 49 So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelek. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire with the people still inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died.

50 Next Abimelek went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it. 51 Inside the city, however, was a strong tower, to which all the men and women—all the people of the city—had fled. They had locked themselves in and climbed up on the tower roof. 52 Abimelek went to the tower and attacked it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, 53 a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.

54 Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can’t say, ‘A woman killed him.’” So his servant ran him through, and he died. 55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelek was dead, they went home.

56 Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelek had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers. 57 God also made the people of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them.

Do not treat Tithes as simple, it is God’s commandment

The Lord said to Moses: 2 Tell the Israelites to take for me an offering; from all whose hearts prompt them to give you shall receive the offering for me. (Exodus 25:1-2)

Tithe is God’s commandment. Many people do not know this. They insult the servant of Christ, insult the Church. They themselves eat the share of Tithe, insult the advice about tithe.

Then it was not enough for them to err about the knowledge of God,
but though living in great strife due to ignorance,
they call such great evils peace.  (Wisdom 14:22)

Dear Brother, are you a person who lead a life with above thinking? If yes, then you are leading a life with violating Word of God. Not only that you are boasting about it.

Therefore, whoever breaks[a] one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19)

You shall not delay to make offerings from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. (Exodus 22:29)

The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. (Exodus 34:20)

30 All tithes from the land, whether the seed from the ground or the fruit from the tree, are the Lord’s; they are holy to the Lord. 31 If persons wish to redeem any of their tithes, they must add one-fifth to them.(Leviticus 27:30-31)

In the Holy Bible, from the book of Genesis itself God’s spirit blessed human being to offer tithes and offerings. We can see Cain and Abel offering to God from their hard work.

2 Next she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, (Genesis 4:2-4)

We read in the Holy Bible that after getting blessings from Melchizedek, Abraham offering tithes from everything to God.

Abram Blessed by Melchizedek

17 After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High.19 He blessed him and said,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
maker of heaven and earth;
20 and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” (Genesis 14:17-20)

1 When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it, 2 you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name.  (Deuteronomy 26:1-2)

In the book of Malachi, the last book of the old testament, God reveals that not giving tithes is a strong sin.

Do Not Rob God

8 Will anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, “How are we robbing you?” In your tithes and offerings! 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me—the whole nation of you!(Malachi 3:8-9)

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

Tithe and Wealth

Do Not Rob God

8 Will anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, “How are we robbing you?” In your tithes and offerings! 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me—the whole nation of you! 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing. 11 I will rebuke the locust for you, so that it will not destroy the produce of your soil; and your vine in the field shall not be barren, says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:8-11)

Once in a family first jack fruit produced in a jack fruit tree. Children anxiously awaited for the jack fruit to be ready for reaping and eat. But, when jack fruit ripe their mother took it to church and offered to God. Then the children asked her that there are plenty of jack fruits in the church, but we don’ have. Why you are giving all these to God ? God is supposed to give us. That mother, who was filled with spiritual knowledge called the children and told them. My dear children, what do you think? Who is the owner of uncountable birds in the sky, crores of sea creatures, uncountable forest animals ? Are they not belong to God ? Do you know still then why God is accepting our very small humble offering? Only to return us that in much more quantity and also to give us blessings to use it when he returns. Bible teaches us like this:-

Honor the Lord with your substance
and with the first fruits of all your produce; (Proverbs 3:9)

 

Below bible verses are very attentive here.

10 Be generous when you worship the Lord,
and do not stint the first fruits of your hands.
11 With every gift show a cheerful face,
and dedicate your tithe with gladness.
12 Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
and as generously as you can afford.
13 For the Lord is the one who repays,
and he will repay you sevenfold. (Sirach 35:10-13)

The God who created and maintaining this universe is not asking something from us because he has any requirement for this. But, because he wants to give his blessings and wealth to us.

 6 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)

 

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

What is Tithe? Why Tithe?

What is Tithe?

The tenth part of agricultural produce or personal income set apart as an offering to God or for works of mercy, or the same amount regarded as an obligation or tax for the support of the church, priesthood, or the like.

In our life we see many families  struggling with financial problems, agricultural loss, business loss etc.  In the Bible we do not see a God who wish to see struggling and sorrowful people. We can see this in below Bible verses:-

12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree,
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God. (Psalms 92:12-13)

Here we meet a God who wish to see “the righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”

Again  in Psalms 35:27

Let those who desire my vindication
shout for joy and be glad,
and say evermore,
“Great is the Lord,
who delights in the welfare of his servant.”

God is the Lord who delights in the welfare of his people.

Below is the Bible verses which prove God’s mind about a child of God.

The Lord will make you the head, and not the tail; you shall be only at the top, and not at the bottom—if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today, by diligently observing them, (Deuteronomy 28:13)

What we have to understand from this? God wish that his children should have always upgrade and never decadence.

I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be their slaves no more; I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. (Leviticus 26:13)

God rejoice in the goodness and freedom.

But why this is not happening in many families. They work hard from morning to evening, sometimes overtime duty also. But  no saving at all. With cleverness and hard work they try to earn as much as they can. But everything goes out from hand. What is the reason for this?

We read in Job 13:28 that people who do  not know God’s ways :-

One wastes away like a rotten thing,
like a garment that is moth-eaten. (Job 13:28)

 

1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives sleep to his beloved. (Psalms 127:1-2)

For success in life it is very important to become the affectionate of God. Bible introducing us a God who give to his people even while they are asleep. If you like to become an affectionate of God, then you must follow Word of God carefully.

People have their own way for financial upgrade, peace in family, spiritual leading. But many times these ways end in darkness, disappointment and sorrow. But God has his own way to uplift his people. That lead to rejoice, peace and blessings of God.

31 and in the wilderness, where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as one carries a child, all the way that you traveled until you reached this place. 32 But in spite of this, you have no trust in the Lord your God, 33 who goes before you on the way to seek out a place for you to camp, in fire by night, and in the cloud by day, to show you the route you should take.” (Deuteronomy 1:31-33)

People do not think about a God of this kind.

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

What a christian should do ? – Take the Word of God Sword

ATTENTION

Is it enough for us to live like this? What will be the end of this journey? Whether we study Word of God or not, our judgement will be based on each and every Word of God written. Your excuses like I didn’t know, I didn’t read, none told me about Word of God have  no value before God.

If any of you sin without knowing it, doing any of the things that by theLord’s commandments ought not to be done, you have incurred guilt, and are subject to punishment. (Leviticus 5:17)

Think ! Do we try to learn and spread the Word of God with the Church? Do we spend money and energy for this? Is not God gave the wealth and health for this also? Could we not save more souls, if we tried and utilised the chances and time God gave according to our life status?

Let us awake…. Join with the church  to learn and spread the Word of God, Word of God Live.

if you seek it like silver,
    and search for it as for hidden treasures— (Proverbs 2:4)

What should we do?

 1. Read Bible daily. Remember Word of God day and night. Live in Word of God.

This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. (Joshua 1:8)

  1. Teach children Word of God with full concentration. Make a habit of speaking Word of God always.

Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 6:7)

  1. Carry the Holy Bible with pride wherever you go for spiritual related work.

Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, (Deuteronomy 6:8)

  1. Buy and give one Holy Bible to each and everyone in the family. Make awareness among children that work without Word of God is vain.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
    the guard keeps watch in vain. (Psalms 127:1)

  1.  Use quotations from Bible Whenever get a chance to speak.

This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; (Joshua 1:8)

  1. Spend money and work hard for distributing Bible and also arranging proclamation of Word of God.

Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, (2 Timothy 1:8)

  1. Ensure and decide that will only listen, read and distribute booklets, books which are approved and attached with the  church.

10 Do not receive into the house or welcome anyone who comes to you and does not bring this teaching; 11 for to welcome is to participate in the evil deeds of such a person. (2 John 10-11)

Think about above and try to follow. Spread the Word of God.

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

Word of God is not for self explanation – Take the Word of God Sword

Holy Bible20 He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 21 Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God. (1 peter 1:20-21)

You might have attended many retreats and have received blessings of Holy Spirit. That doesn’t mean that your explanations about Bible verses are complete.  Spiritual knowledge and power of explanation about the Word of God is lying with church (magisterium) If we have surely the Holy Spirit in us, then we will never try to explain the Word of God as per our knowledge and belief beyond the mainstream of the Apostolic Church.

For we are not peddlers of God’s word like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence. (2 Corinthians 2:17)

Word of God should preach only with purity and attached with the Apostolic Church.

But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed! (Galatians 1:8-9)

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

After reading Word of God, do not speak explain whatever you like. Handle Word of God properly.  Be a good servant of Christ, good preacher of the Word of God with maturity, purity and attached with the magisterium of the Apostolic Church.

Model of St. Paul

for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:12)

God gave everything to St. Paul through revelation. Still he presented it before other apostles and humbly evaluated for mistakes. This is the heart opening where there is blessings of the Holy Spirit.

We read the words of St. Paul as below:-

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up in response to a revelation. Then I laid before them (though only in a private meeting with the acknowledged leaders) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure that I was not running, or had not run, in vain. (Galatians 2:1-2)

If our run should not become wastage, then we should preach the Word of God only with the consent of Bishops, co-operation of the church, obedient to the powers and rules of the church.

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

Teach children Word of God with command – Take the Word of God Sword

Jesus Christ Pic with children nice pic

1There was a man living in Babylon whose name was Joakim. He married the daughter of Hilkiah, named Susanna, a very beautiful woman and one who feared the Lord. Her parents were righteous, and had trained their daughter according to the law of Moses. (Daniel 13:1-3 (NRSVCE))

From childhood parents of Susanna taught her Word of God. That protected her from sinful life.

45 When Moses had finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them: “Take to heart all the words that I am giving in witness against you today; give them as a command to your children, so that they may diligently observe all the words of this law. 47 This is no trifling matter for you, but rather your very life; through it you may live long in the land that you are crossing over the Jordan to possess.” (Deuteronomy 32:45-47)

He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:3)

Family members should understand this.

Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

One Bible may be available in your home. But each and every member should have one Bible. Should read and meditate bible daily, not just once, but whenever you have time.

Word of God is a weapon – Weapon of the soul

Life of a christian is always a fight. Satan is the enemy of a christian. Word of God is the weapon to fight with Satan.

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our[b] struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-17)

Except all other weapons described in above bible verses is only for self protection. Word of God is the only weapon to attack Satan. Because of this, Satan always try his best to give obstacles in reading, learning and spreading Word of God. Satan never bother about how much work, prayer,study, good deeds a person do.  But if he try to read, learn or spread the Word of God, Satan immediately bring obstacles like sleepy, laziness, weakness, disease etc. Satan is that much afraid of Word of God.

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

Obeying Word of God bring success – Take the Word of God Sword

Holy Bible

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8)

When you read learn one or two verses which strike your mind and try to recite it 4/5 times daily. You can do it whenever you are alone. That will protect you from sin, satan and disease.

For always win, these are the directions given by God to Joshua who selected as the leader after Moses.

but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers. (Psalms 1:2-3)

We know that a tree planted by streams of water yields its fruit in season and the leaf doesn’t wither, because the tree always get enough water. It is same like that if we follow the law of the Lord, meditates on his law day and night, our life will be always happy. Even if we face some obstacles, we will have the strength to overcome it.

God has more quoted with Israel in the books of Deuteronomy in old Testament. In Deuteronomy many blessings and promises are written for people who obey the Word of God.

If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. (Deuteronomy 28:1)

The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. (Deuteronomy 28:13)

Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do. (Deuteronomy 29:9)

You know the difference and status of head and tail. You want to be head and not tail. If you follow the commands of Lord, your God will make you the head. not the tail. God is saying these words.

If Word of God is not in our heart, then we feel dislike to Church and God.

I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. (John 8:37)

There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths. (Job 24:13)

This is common these days among some people.  When they have disease, job problem, financial problem, they seek God, attend the church regularly and pray. But after all problems are solved, they have dislike for going to church, dislike with church authorities, no time to read bible, no time to pray. Why it is happening? Because word of God is not in their heart.

Satan destroy the capacity to accept the Word of God.

43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:43-44)

“Their deeds do not permit them
    to return to their God.
A spirit of prostitution is in their heart;
    they do not acknowledge the Lord. (Hosea 5:4)

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. (2 Corinthians 4:3)

Satan is very clever. He give temptations to watch television or other entertainment at prayer time. He will make the mind to think that if the prayer is postponed, or even could not pray one day, instead of going to church going for shopping or other work is not a problem. He will make to think that God will forgive everything. Do not listen to words of Satan.

Holy spirit give us the wish to hear and help to remember the Word of God.

It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. (John 6:45)

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)

Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8:47)

Without the blessings of  the Holy Spirit we can’t do anything.  Holy spirit provide the wish to pray, wish to confession and all such things. We must pray to God to send his Holy spirit to open our hearts to understand the sermons and Bible verses.

Word of God give high status before the God.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)

If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— (John 10:35)

If you have word of God in your heart, your actions and deeds will be good and your status will be high.

Word of God is medicine.

20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
    keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
    and health to one’s whole body. (Proverbs 4:20-22)

For neither herb nor poultice cured them,
but it was your word, O Lord, that heals all people. (Wisdom 16:12)

he sent out his word and healed them,
    and delivered them from destruction. (Psalms 107:20)

It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (John 6:63)

Jesus healed many with word of God. Download this Prayer Book for the Sick  which contain many bible verses and prayer for sick healing.

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

Obstacles due to ignorance of the Word of God – Take the Word of God Sword

Why are  you facing obstacles in life? Why your children are not doing well in studies,why they are not listening to you, why not respecting elders and teachers? Why disasters coming? Below bible verses will speak the reason for all these obstacles.

17 I appointed watchmen over you and said,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But you said, ‘We will not listen.’
18 Therefore hear, you nations;
you who are witnesses,
observe what will happen to them.
19 Hear, you earth:
I am bringing disaster on this people,
the fruit of their schemes,
because they have not listened to my words
and have rejected my law.
20 What do I care about incense from Sheba
or sweet calamus from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable;
your sacrifices do not please me.”
21 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“I will put obstacles before this people.
Parents and children alike will stumble over them;
neighbors and friends will perish.” (Jeremiah 6:17-21)

Prophet Jonah ignored the Word of God and obstacles came for him. Jonah thought he knew better than God. But in the end he learned a valuable lesson about the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness. The point of this story is that God can provide a supernatural means of rescue when his people are in trouble. Is there some area of your life in which you are defying God, and rationalizing it? Remember that God wants you to be open and honest with him. It’s always wise to obey the One who loves you most.

Read the below bible verses in which God clearly saying what will happen if you are disobedient to Word of God.

Punishment for Disobedience

14 “‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17 I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you. (Leviticus 26:14-17)

 

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

Do not feel despise or feel burden on Word of God – Take the Word of God Sword

Holy BibleTherefore the word of the Lord will be to them,  “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little;”in order that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:13)

We should have over enthusiasm to listen, obey and spread the Word of God.

11 for those who despise wisdom and instruction are miserable.
Their hope is vain, their labors are unprofitable,
and their works are useless.
12 Their wives are foolish, and their children evil;
13 their offspring are accursed. (Wisdom 3:11-13)

Sometimes we feel that we are hard working, but the result is zero or not up to the level as it should be. Sometimes we wish and hope good things, but the result is just the opposite. We send our children in good schools but their result is poor, their friendship is with wrong people. Wives are beautiful and look like very clever, but doing foolish things. When we feel our hope is vain, our labor is not profitable, our works are useless, our children are not listening to parents and elders and they are leading a life as per their wish with wrong friends, then that is the time for us to look back and think whether we have ever despised wisdom and instructions of Word of God. If yes, we must repent and ask pardon to Lord for this.

Never insult Word of God or discourse. Do not even touch the Holy Bible with impurity. If ever thrown out or put the Bible in fire, repent about that sin.

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

God ignore people do not have Word of God – Take the Word of God Sword

Holy Bible

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
because you have rejected knowledge,
I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)

Saul, the first king of Israel ignored the Word of God. Then God rejected him from the kingdom.

For rebellion is no less a sin than divination,
    and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
    he has also rejected you from being king.” (1 Samuel 15:23)

God rejected Saul ruined. Failed in the war. Saul tried to die leaning on his spear. His stomach cut opened, intestines came out, blood flowed. How can forget the last moments of Saul floundering to die. The sad picture of his end is in the last words to an Amalekite who passed through that way.

He said to me, ‘Come, stand over me and kill me; for convulsions have seized me, and yet my life still lingers.’ (2 Samuel 1:9)

Ignoring Word of God reached Saul at this stage.

But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26)

God rejected the wife of Lot who ignored the Word of God. Lot accepted and obeyed the Word of God. That lead him to life. People who reject the Word of God will become dead life.

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book of Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

 

Lack of understanding about the Word of God is ruin – Take the Word of God Sword

Holy Bible

  1. Is it enough to read the Bible as per our mood only?
  2. Does our duty finish by reading Bible?
  3. What the Lord want from us by reading and studying the Word of God?
  4. Ignoring the word of God how ruin the life?
  5. What is written in Bible about the benefits of the Word of God?
  6. How a Christian should see the Word of God?

Let us Pray – “My Jesus, send your Holy Spirit to teach me the ways to eternal life. Open my heart to understand your rules and commandments.  Praise the Lord. Thanks to Lord. (say Alleluia.. Alleluia many times with raised hands)

Lack of understanding about the Word of God is wastage.

13 Therefore my people will go into exile
    for lack of understanding;
those of high rank will die of hunger
    and the common people will be parched with thirst.
14 Therefore Death expands its jaws,
    opening wide its mouth;
into it will descend their nobles and masses
    with all their brawlers and revelers.
15 So people will be brought low
    and everyone humbled,
    the eyes of the arrogant humbled. (Isaiah 5:13-15)

In the bible the word ‘lack of understanding’ is not used about the world or worldly things, but meant about the God and the Word of God.

Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? (Mark 12:24)

……. a people without understanding will come to ruin! (Hosea 4:14)

When its twigs are dry, they are broken off and women come and make fires with them.
For this is a people without understanding;  so their Maker has no compassion on them, and their Creator shows them no favor. (Isaiah 27:11)

God does not give any value to a  person who do not have Word of God in the heart. He will be ignored like dried and decayed wood falling from tree.

Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19)

Violating even a very small word of God will lead a person without value in heaven

….. “They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.” (1 Peter 2:8)

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book of Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.

What are the things that a person who called by God to do God’s work must keep in mind.

Below are the things that a person who called by God to do God’s work must keep in mind.

1. Our God is very strong and powerful. No Satan is more powerful or stronger than our God.

Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised (Romans 9:5)

which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,(1 Timothy 6:15)

 

2. People who do God’s works are very powerful servants. No witch or magician is       more powerful than the person who do God’s work. Instead he has the authority       and power to destroy all kinds of Divination, Evil Omens, Witchcraft or any such     Demonic Powers.

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.(Romans 16:20)

 

3. Person who do God’s work has the authority to trample and overcome all the powers of the enemy. Jesus has given this authority to him. Enemies can’t remove or bind this authority.

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.(Luke 10:19)

 

4. Divination, Evil Omens, Witchcraft or any such Demonic Powers can not do any harm to a person or family who believe in Jesus, proclaim and adore him.

And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’(Zechariah 2:5)
“There is no divination against Jacob,
no evil omens against Israel.
It will now be said of Jacob
and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’”(Numbers 23:23)

 

5. Jesus and the Holy Spirit is always with a believer of Jesus as a Protector and Lord.

“…. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(Matthew 28:20)
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.(John 14:18)
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”(Matthew 18:20)

6. If you are a person who do God’s work, then nothing will happen in your life without the knowledge of God.

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.
30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matthew 10:29,30)

 

7. A person who do God’s work should resist and defeat all kind of thoughts and fear of Satan.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.(James 4:7)

 

8. While doing God’s work Jesus or Apostles were never affected with demonic powers.

25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!”
26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.(Mark 1:25,26)

But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.(Acts 16:18)

 

9. Remember that when Jesus sent Apostles for God’s work he never discussed anything about reactions or attack through demonic powers in their work.

The Mission of the Twelve

1 Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases,
2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
3 He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic.
4 Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there.
5 Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
6 They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere. (Luke 9:1-6)

Believe the above Bible verses, trust in Jesus and continue God’s work without any fear. Resist and defeat satan in the name of Jesus. Spread the word of God.

 

When doing God’s work and prayer for people affected with Divination, Evil Omens, Witchcraft or any such Demonic Powers, should be well prepared and pure in heart. There should be a guidance from spiritual leader and also should have respect and co-operation with church and religious leaders.

 

The Sons of Sceva

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul,
12 so that when the handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, their diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them.
13 Then some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.”
14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this.
15 But the evil spirit said to them in reply, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
16 Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered them all, and so overpowered them that they fled out of the house naked and wounded.
17 When this became known to all residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks, everyone was awestruck; and the name of the Lord Jesus was praised.(Acts 19:11-17)

Nothing will harm you 

This is a nice post I found in another blog – Be delivered from people pleasing

Ready, Set, Done!