The Family – In the Changing Times


‘I cannot live without my family. They are everything to me… my parents, my sisters and brothers, they are the world for me.’ Have you heard someone say this to you recently? There are many who will smirk and roll their eyes if anyone said this to them. There used to be a time when people upheld family values and were willing to sacrifice anything for their family… but that was way back then. There has been a shift in the hearts, minds and attitudes of the people in matters concerning the family in recent times.The present culture has taken the control of families into its hands and we find families crumbling, breaking and falling apart. Marriages are made in a hurry and broken even faster than you can imagine. Live-in relationships are flaunted by celebrities and the elite giving youngsters the idea that living without commitment is the way to be. Parents are so caught up in making two ends meet, managing their career and following their dreams that they don’t have time or energy to share with their children.Gone are the days when a 9 to 5 job would keep the kitchen fires burning and you could return home by about 6 pm. With the rise in Call Centers, youngsters are making a beeline for high paying jobs without considering the price they have to pay. Working in a nightshift often means being cut off from the family you are living with since they are available in the evening or night while you go off to work at that time. Their holidays and your holidays don’t coincide any more. There are no more family unions or time to just sit around and chat. Routines and schedules don’t match at first and soon lifestyles and mindsets too don’t match. Most Call Centers teach employees the culture of the country they are working for. Soon workers get alienated from the culture they are living in because they have no connection with them. They feel the need to move out and be with others who think like them which mostly are the same crowd that they work with.

When a young couple marries they have a tough time starting a family. Mothers who stay at home and look after the children are a rarity these days. There are no doting parents who give up their comforts and preferences to make a life for their children. Mothers leave their tiny tots as early as a few months after birth to get back to work and a grandmother or ayah raises children at home today. Children spend more time with the relatives or baby sitters than their own parents. Though the reasons may be sound – as in getting financial security – these don’t make up for the loss of the building of a bond between the child and his parents, especially his mother.

As the years roll by, the children get used to growing up on their own or relying on a relative or someone else for their needs. They don’t feel the need to connect with their own parents any more. They look around and find their role models from around or on the television which is full of masala characters who don’t have any values or principles in life. On television the good guys always seem to lose out to the bad guys who have all the fun. The little child thinks ‘I like to have fun so the bad guys are the ones to copy!’

It not just growing children who miss their parents, even adults are getting further and further away from their own parents. As a result of this the aged people are getting isolated and lonely without anyone to care for them. Older people cannot manage to live on their own since their meager pension if they have any is not sufficient to run a house or suffice to meet their needs. As children who were raised by parents who made sacrifices for them, this generation of adults have let down their parents in their time of need. Many parents find themselves alone at home or left in an old age home where nobody visits them.

Relationships are strained, resources drained… Families are struggling day after day to meet their needs. Within the family relationships have weakened to the point of breaking, each person is living in an island of his own… feeling lost and lonely without anyone to care for him. Is this the family we dream about? Is this the family that every young girl or boy getting married wants? What is our definition of a family? Is it just an obligation of relating to some people because we were born into it or because we got married? What is the family God wants us to have?

We have a choice to make everyday. We can choose to let how others live, what the media portrays or society expects to become our life or the script for our family life. Or we can choose to make a life for us and our family which is based on the Word of God and godly values and principles. We can choose to look into the hearts of our loved one and see whether they are hurting even if they don’t convey it to us in words. We can be a family that keeps love at the topmost rung of priorities in our lives.

The foundation for our life is built by parents and one’s upbringing. If we want the future of our family to be good, we need to invest more of ourselves into it. We need to nurture and build our family so that it can resist the tides of change and the storms of upheavals in society too.

Be a blessing to others and eternally transform lives by supporting CBN INDIA’s Ministry. Partner with us to reach millions of Indians to share the love of Christ and a message of hope to the needy ones by making an on-line donation today.

Celebrating Love


Valentine’s Day celebration is a recent trend in India but it has caught the fancy of teenagers and adults too. Though some see it as a practice from the western culture and hesitate to celebrate it, a growing number of people love the feeling behind this romantic festival.

The question is why only on 14th February? This could be done throughout the year. Most of the time we have a limited understanding of Valentine’s Day and narrow-minded about how we celebrate love. If you dig the history of this day, it has little to do with love and romance. There are several stories about how it began. However, today Valentine’s Day is associated with love, romance, chocolates, flowers, love, cupid and hearts etc.

It was Chaucer who first linked St. Valentine’s Day with romance around the 14th century. Chaucer composed a poem in honor of the engagement between England’s Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate.”

The feeling behind V- Day is not all that bad, isn’t it? It stands for celebrating a stable and mature romance, it is not about desperately fixing a date with just anybody for the heck of celebrating Valentine’s Day. You don’t have to pair up to celebrate this day. Let’s not limit our celebration to such wrong preceptions of love.

You can celebrate love for what it is. Celebrate God’s love – God, who gives us the sun and moon, mother’s love – a mother, who sees you grow from a sweet toddler to a beautiful person, brother’s love – who sacrifices so much for you, father’s love – who is your motivation, friend’s love –who shares your joys and sorrows – the list can go on and on. Yes all this is about love. Don’t you think we need a day to celebrate these feelings of love? We do!

We celebrate the kind of love that is mentioned in the Bible in 1 Corinthians chapter 13. This Valentine’s Day, celebrate genuine love Throw a surprise party for your friends and family. Exchange gifts. Get together and have some memorable moments. And if you want to give a deeper meaning to your celebration – extend your love to those who are less fortunate. Take your friends and spend your day at orphanage or an old age home. You will experience an altogether different dimension of love.

Here’s to love and to the One who is source of all love, God almighty – Happy Valentine’s Day!

Be a blessing to others and eternally transform lives by supporting CBN INDIA’s Ministry. Partner with us to reach millions of Indians to share the love of Christ and a message of hope to the needy ones by making an on-line donation today.

Serving Christ



‘And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him’ ~ Colossians 3:17

Its amazing to see the myriad opportunities one can utilize to serve Christ. But the bigger question is are we willing to humble ourselves and do even the most menial of jobs if required? Lets consider the example of Epaphroditus.

The city of Philippi was strategically paced on the east west Ignatian trade route. Named after the father of Alexander the Great, Philip II, the city was surrounded by a range of mountains deposited with silver and gold, which added to its wealth. It was here that Paul planted this young church during his second missionary journey. The church no doubt was deeply grateful to its founder. When they heard that Paul was under house arrest in Jerusalem, they sent two gifts: some money and a person – Epaphroditus. Epaphroditus was sent to help look after Paul by doing basic housekeeping and cooking meals and getting things organized in the house. And he did not mind doing so! Infact the Bible records that Epaphroditus fell ill in Jerusalem and its distressed his heart to know that the church at Philippi had gotten to know about this. 

Epaphroditus belonged to a rare breed of apostles; the kind who focus not on themselves nor find it awkward to cook meals, sweep and mop floors, shop groceries, wash dishes, or scrub pots and pans for fellow Christians, especially those in need of such help. He had no theological degree nor any missionary training to his credit. But he had willingness to do anything, whatever needed to be done for the kingdom of God. When we adopt the attitude of doing whatever we can, whether in word or deed as unto the Lord, we harness the joy of serving Christ, even when it calls for serving fellow Christians.

The word apostle literally means ‘a sent one’. Do you see yourself as an ‘apostle’ – sent by God into this world?

Prayer – “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this encouraging example. I will pay heed to your ways. Open my eyes to see the opportunities you give me to serve you. Help me be willing to do whatever needs to be done for your kingdom. Amen.”

Be a blessing to others and eternally transform lives by supporting CBN INDIA’s Ministry. Partner with us to reach millions of Indians to share the love of Christ and a message of hope to the needy ones by making an on-line donation today.

Who is your valentine?


Bring up Valentine’s Day in a conversation and everyone has an opinion. Some love this day of love, others declare it as just another day. But to the youth, February 14 signifies a love day where they can celebrate a beautiful feeling of love with their soul mates. On this day restaurants, discos, Cineplex, pubs, and parks see a particularly busy time as couples celebrate the day in togetherness.

Many boys and girls even propose to each other on this valentine day. People also express love to their friends, teachers, siblings and parents. When a question been asked about their valentine many replies by saying, “My girlfriend is my Valentine. And of course I want to go out with her”! Valentine is a person whom you love the most and is very dear to you. For some youth their parents are there valentine.

But for us Jesus is our valentine! We love Him because He first loved us. (1John 4:19) He is very dear to us because we are His precious child whom He bought with a price. There are endless reasons of Jesus being our valentine. Bible says, ‘God is love’ (1John 4:16) and valentine is all about love. Therefore, God is our true valentine. In book of Corinthians Paul speaks about so many qualities of love and one of the qualities is that ‘Love is not self-seeking’.

Bible says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

No love is greater than the love of Jesus Christ. He laid down His life for a murderer, slanderer, thief, and adulterer and for each one of us. He did not seek His own concern. Today, people throw parties and celebrate love by drinking wine whereas Jesus thrown Himself at the point of death by shedding His own blood on the cross. He sacrificed His life so that we may find life in Him.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.

However, some believe in Him and accept His love and some do not. Nevertheless, He loves all of us. God’s gift of love and salvation are freely offered to all, even to those who choose the path of wickedness instead. Because ‘He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous’. (Matthew 5:45) Celebrate this season of love with your loved ones but never forget that in real sense Jesus is your valentine and He has already given you the gift of eternal life.

Divinely Warned


“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household.” Hebrews 11:7

Noah prepared for things not yet seen… In his time there was no need for an ark. Anyone else in his place would have scoffed even at the thought of a flood and the destruction of the world. But Noah didn’t do that. God had not told Noah why he should build an ark and yet Noah did what God told him to do inspite of not knowing everything about it. He didn’t ask any questions, complain or rebel against God, he simply obeyed.

Preparing the ark according to God’s instructions was a laborious, costly, tedious, dangerous and seemingly foolish job to do. Noah lived at a time when nothing had changed for scores of years together and even imagining that there would be such a drastic change was unthinkable. Yet great was Noah’s faith that he held on to every word God said to Him and did as he was told.

God has spoken to men on many occasions. God spoke to Moses, He warned the prophets of what lay ahead in their time, He told Daniel about the dream only the king had seen, He revealed secrets of enemies to His prophet, He spoke to Mary and Zechariah telling them what was going to happen… God warned the wise men who came seeking the child who would be born King – to go by another way. He even warned Joseph to take Mary and baby Jesus out to Egypt because King Herod sought to kill him.

God still speaks His people. The only precondition is a believing heart and faith in Him. When we tune our ears to listen to His voice and get intimate with Him, He gives us the privilege of knowing things that are yet to come. If you would like to hear from the Lord, open your heart and receive His words with faith and obey His commands with humility.

Prayer:

“Dear Jesus, help me to know You intimately so that I can follow You every step of the way. May I never question Your voice but humbly submit as You guide me on, Amen.”

Be a blessing to others and eternally transform lives by supporting CBN INDIA’s Ministry. Partner with us to reach millions of Indians to share the love of Christ and a message of hope to the needy ones by making an on-line donation today.

The Family of Believers


‘love the family of believers‘ ~ 1 Peter 2:17

Loving the family of believers is not an easy thing. Each member comes with his own notions, experiences and cultural background. Situations, problems, decisions are all perceived through his own lens of understanding. That’s why complications and misunderstandings arise, even on the smallest of issues. But this is no reason for staying away from such a family. Infact the Bible tells us not to give up meeting together, so that we can spur each other on to do good works, and even more as we see the day approaching.

The return of Christ is certain and followers of Christ are exhorted to live each day keeping this in view. The farmer envisions the day of harvest. A lot of effort and hard work is put into getting the fields ready, sowing the seeds, watering them and then harvesting the crop. He considers all the hard work worth it. The day of Christ’s return should be the fulcrum on which we pivot our relationships. Putting up with a brother who is weak in his faith is demonstrating the love and patience of God. No one is perfect yet. But are being made perfect growing into the likeness of Jesus.

The New Testament is replete with scripture verses encouraging us to stay away from things that can break the family of believers – malice, gossip, slander, envy, jealousy, covetousness. We are called to focus on only one thing that matters – be ready to meet the Lord. And we cannot meet the Lord having negative things in our hearts. So lets obey the word of God and keep the bigger picture in mind.

Prayer – “Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me when I act out of my ego rather than be led by your Spirit. Help me have your love in my heart for the family of believers. May I follow in the footsteps of your example. Amen.”

_______________________________________________________________________________

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Be a part of Operation Blessing India’s humanitarian efforts to reach out with the love of Christ and a message of hope to the needy ones by making an on-line donation today. With your support, OB India can continue to bring medical care, water, education and emergency food to those of our brethren.

When You Are Called


‘So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people out of Egypt’ ~ Exodus 3:10

God called out to Moses from the burning bush and commissioned him to go back to Egypt and lead the Israelites out into the promised land. God in his foreknowledge knew all events that would take place in course of this exodus. But Moses was not briefed entirely about the difficulties, challenges, obstacles and triumphs he would encounter and experience. He just had to go. But God was kind enough to send Aaron along as Moses’ mouthpiece. And we read how at each and every juncture of the journey, whenever they faced difficulty or a challenge, God guided Moses what to do, be it parting the Red Sea, making the bitter water sweet, bringing forth water from the rock, sending out the spies, appointing leaders over the people and much more. Moses went along as guided by the Lord.

Moses’ reliance on God was a sure encouragement to his young assistant Joshua. Joshua trusted God and followed his guidance. He was constantly observing Moses, lingering at the tent of meeting, wanting to imbibe every bit the kind of relation Moses had with God.

When God calls us and commissions us to do a particular task for him, he may not tell us all the details.  He just expects us to trust and follow as we are guided. God is sure to intervene at the right time. He will show the way, send people our way to speak that word of direction or give advice that is just needed. It is a difficult path to tread, but through it all, our faith develops; our resolve to follow him is strengthened, and our love for him grows to greater bounds. We become more close and intimate with God that makes us to want to know only one thing – not the reason why we were chosen to take up such a hard task, or chart through unfamiliar ground, but rather, as Moses asked of God, ‘I want to see you’ – ‘I want to know you more.’

Our walk of faith can be an encouragement to others. Think about it.

Prayer – “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for teaching me this truth. Strengthen my  faith and resolve to serve and follow you all the way. Help me be a blessing to others and lighten up their faith walk with you. Amen.”

_______________________________________________________________________________

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Be a part of Operation Blessing India’s humanitarian efforts to reach out with the love of Christ and a message of hope to the needy ones by making an on-line donation today. With your support, OB India can continue to bring medical care, water, education and emergency food to those of our brethren.

 

Being let down


‘For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer’ ~ Psalm 109:4
David was going through a rough patch. He was surrounded by false accusations, words of hatred, and curses. Those whom he trusted had let him down. They repaid him evil for good, and hatred for friendship. They spoke evil of him and attacked him with malicious intent. David was falsely accused in order to bring him down. It seemed as though he was set up.

We can identify with David. There have been times when we’ve been so kind and generous in helping others. We have gone the extra mile; we’ve gone out of our way to help someone in need. Sometimes we’ve done much sacrifice for the betterment of our own family members, our close friends or even our close business partners. We have trusted friends and shared personal issues and secrets. But after a while we’ve discovered that they have been cheating and deceiving us. It’s painful to the heart when such things happen, especially when friends turn their backs on us. It’s as though they pulled the carpet from under our feet.

The normal reaction is to take revenge. Tit for tat. To settle scores. But the Bible tells us in Romans 12:19 – Do not take revenge….but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. David believed that in due time, those who accused him falsely would be paid back in full for their wickedness. He trusted God to do the needful. Instead of scheming how to get back at them, he gave himself to prayer; He sought God’s presence which comforted and strengthened him.

Let’s look to God at such times and entrust all matters to Him knowing that God will settle the scores. Let’s give ourselves to prayer seeking God’s presence that truly comforts and strengthens us.

Prayer
“Dear Jesus, I thank You for being there when I’ve been let down. I trust that You will see me through such times. Lord, I look to You and seek You for You are the strength of my life. Amen”

Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy

Be a blessing to others and eternally transform lives by supporting CBN INDIA’s Ministry. Partner with us to reach millions of Indians to share the love of Christ and a message of hope to the needy ones by making an on-line donation today.

Abundant Life


Abundant Life

“….I am come that they might have life and have it abundantly” ~ John 10:10

There’s so much joy and celebration over the birth of a child. Unlike other birthdays, the birth of Jesus was unique and witnessed heavenly celebration. For Jesus came into this world to bring us joy, hope and eternal encouragement through the abundant life found in Him alone. Hence Christmas is the celebration of the birth of eternal hope and encouragement. It’s a celebration of the joy that overflows from the abundant life Jesus promises in John 10:10.

Abundant life…..what is this abundant life? It doesn’t mean living long or having an abundance of things. It means living life with a purpose…..a God set, God designed purpose. And it is from this purpose that I draw my identity; it tells me who I am, to whom I belong. It gives me the true sense of fulfillment and satisfaction; it gives me the reason to hope and not give up and most of all it reminds me that I’m not forgotten by God but that God counts on me. And when I live out God’s purpose, the eternal hope, encouragement and joy are mine.

Mary and Joseph were just common folk. Their lives did not see an upward mobility in status nor did they get an abundance of material blessings or good luck because of Jesus. But they experienced hope and joy at the birth of Jesus; the hope of eternal life and joy of salvation. They lived out God’s purpose.

Prayer

“Dear Jesus, I believe that eternal joy, encouragement and hope are found in You alone. Thank you Lord. Help me live out Your purposes. Amen,”

Be a blessing to others and eternally transform lives by supporting CBN INDIA’s Ministry. Partner with us to reach millions of Indians to share the love of Christ and a message of hope to the needy ones by making an on-line donation today.

God Will Preserve You


‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior’ ~ Isaiah 43:2,3

After the Israelites defeated the Midianites, they gathered a huge plunder. God instructed the spoil to be divided and distributed to the soldiers and the community folk. Moses did so. Then the officers incharge of the units of the army – the commanders of thousands and commanders came forward to Moses and said, ‘“Your servants have counted the soldiers under our command, and not one is missing. So we have brought as an offering to the LORD the gold articles each of us acquired—armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings and necklaces—to make atonement for ourselves before the LORD.’ God had preserved each and every one of the soldiers. Once again God demonstrated his sovereignty and power. Amazing that all twelve thousand of them were intact and unharmed.

God preserved the lives of Daniel’s three friends – Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego. When they took a difficult stand to do what honours God, God never deserted them. They said to king Nebuchadnezzar – “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” The king’s anger burned and they were firmly tied, and thrown into the blazing furnace. But something amazing happened. King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were brought out of the fire, unharmed, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

God is a faithful God who keeps his word and above all does not change like shifting shadows. When we do his will, we need not worry or fear what will happen to us. For God watches over us and will preserve us no matter how intimidating the situation might seem. He keeps us in the hollow of his hands.

Prayer – “Dear Heavenly Father, I worship you for the wonderful God you are to me. Thank you so much for your protection. I know Lord, I can rest assure of your care for me. I give my life to you. Amen.

Be a blessing to others and eternally transform lives by supporting CBN INDIA’s Ministry. Partner with us to reach millions of Indians to share the love of Christ and a message of hope to the needy ones by making an on-line donation today.