Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

A burden becomes too heavy to carry at times. It is in those moments that we desire to have someone to carry our burdens.

But there are moments when all human help fails or falls short. And then we despair.

“No one seems to care. Each one is too busy,” we lament. It is easy to think like that when you are alone and lonely and there is no end to one’s troubles.

It is at those moments that you long for someone who has passed through such trouble to come and be with you. Perhaps speak an encouraging word. For only those who have experienced what you are going through can offer any help.

It is at this point that our burden-bearer stands at life’s darkest hours and crossroads. The man who “was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering!”*

Not only does he understand pain and grief, he knows what it is to weep. He knows what it is to carry the greatest burden of mankind–the burden of sin and its accompanying guilt and shame.

The Saviour–the Man Jesus Christ of Nazareth who lived in an earthly home and was a carpenter earning his daily bread. He who taught through short speeches and stories was moved with compassion and met the needs of distressed individuals like no other man ever did!

He bled to death on a cross. But now he lives forever more to carry our burdens.

He can help. He is willing to. One cry for mercy from your heart, “O God help me!” is enough for his help to reach you.

He calls you his friend. More than that, he calls you, “My brother, my sister.”

He who carried the cross will willingly carry your burden as well. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”* That is his call and invitation.

Come. Won’t you?

———
My Valentine
* Isaiah 53:3, Matthew 11:28

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour, who daily bears our burdens” — Psalm 68:19

Because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” — Hebrews 13:5, 6.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9.
[Quotes from Bible, New International Version]

Compere Script for the Song Would You Be Free from the Burden of Sin!

The Book of Revelation says,

“they overcame him* by the blood of the Lamb.”

The precious blood of Jesus which he shed on the cross of Calvary for the sins of all mankind has tremendous power.

First of all, it is the innocent blood of the Son of God.

Secondly, this blood is the result of the perfect obedience of the Son and his submission to his Father’s will. And it is by this blood that God has opened a new way for us to approach his throne of grace with boldness and confidence.

Thirdly, there is cleansing and pardon for all our sins in this precious blood. Let us allow this cleansing fountain to flow over us; and in and through us, and allow God to purify us and cleanse us from all our sins.

Let us remember the slain Lamb of God and drink deeply of this blood. God draws near to us like no other time when we plead the blood of Jesus in our prayers.

Finally, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and his precious blood shed there is the final answer to our pride. The blood of Jesus tells us that man cannot earn his salvation through any other means. Our salvation is not based on our merit but it comes by God’s grace alone.

Yes, the blood of Jesus reminds us that we need a Saviour. It also tells us that the redemption of man is costly.

May the blood of Jesus cleanse, purify, sanctify and make your heart as white as snow as you listen to this song that celebrates the power of the blood of the Lamb of God.

May you find reconciliation with God and forgiveness for all your sins as you make this song your prayer to the God of mercy, compassion and great tenderness.

_____________________________
This script was used to introduce the song,

“Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood.”

during the Easter Concert by Melody Singers at the Christ Church Centenary Hall,
Thiruvananthapuram, on 10 April 2016.

Click here for full lyrics of the song.

*him in the quoted verse from Revelation 12:11 in the Bible refers to the devil.

Every Drop of Blood

Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

The Joy of Lost and Found!

Have you ever been lost somewhere in a crowd? And you had to wait for someone to find you out. Then you might have experienced the joy of someone coming in search of you and finding you.

What a relief to know that you were thought about and not forgotten. What a joy to know that someone cared. What good news to be reminded that you belong to someone.

It is in this sense that Christmas is good news of great joy to all the people. It simply tells us that God remembers each one of us. It tells us that none of us is forgotten. It reminds us that in spite of all our failures, mistakes and sins; God is ready to clean up the mess. He is willing to dirty his hands to give us a new life.

This is the story of Christmas. This is the good news that God came down to us in Jesus Christ. He came as a baby, a tiny child who came to sacrifice his life by shedding his blood on the cross for all mankind. Through this sacrifice, God is ready to forgive all who come to him and cleanse people of all sin and impurity.

No one is excluded from this joy. People of all tribes and nations, languages and cultures are welcome.

The joy of Christmas is not in the festivity of the season. It is not gifts and stars, cake and wine, new dress and carols and Christmas trees and Christmas cards and not Santa Claus.

The joy of Christmas is that a Saviour came. And it is good news of great joy because it is for all people of the world.

It is for you and for me as well.

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Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

The angel said to the shepherds,

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby waite wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” — Luke 2:10–12 Bible NIV.

Never Yield to Despair!

Trust in God is one sure way to fight despair.

Here are certain promises that God has made which can give you a sure reason to hope when your heart is ready to worry in despair.

When people close to you forget you, forsake you or reject you!
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget I will not forget you”. “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me” —King David

When you are rejected by people you can trust in the One who came into this world which he himself created and was not recognized. He came to his own people but was rejected. You can approach him with confidence.

For Jesus Christ said, “whoever comes to me I will never drive away”. So when there is despair in your heart because of rejection especially from your loved ones, you have a refuge in Jesus. He will never fail your nor forsake you. So do not be discouraged.

When you lost opportunities in life and had wasted many years without any productive work!

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten” is God’s promise to you for such a situation.

See, when locusts attack they come in battalions and even the sky is darkened because they fly together closely packed like a huge thick blanket. Nothing green remains in the area they have devoured. All is brown and barren when they leave.

So also it might have happened in your life. You might have made bad decisions, wrong choices, and engaged in projects doomed to fail. But God is able to redeem, restore, renew, revive and refresh your life. The only demand he makes is that you return to him with all your heart. Will you?

What if today you feel disheartened because you failed miserably yesterday!

It is interesting that the overwhelming impression about God that people have is of One who is ready to punish every sin, disobedience and mistake that we make. Of course, God is a Judge. And definitely there is a final judgement coming when all people in this world will be judged for the good or bad they did in their life.

But at the same time, God has given great importance to what we call Today. He gives multiple second chances for people to move in the right direction in life. “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

So if you are in a bed of despair, thinking that all is lost, why not stake your claim on God’s compassion toward you. They never fail. Moreover they are new every morning. God does not lie. He does what he says. He will still work a miracle in your life if you sincerely seek him with heartfelt tears and cries.

It doesn’t matter if nobody believes in you. God is still willing to invest in you.

Finally, what if all doors are closed! What if NO OPPORTUNITY exists!

God says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Yes, God is capable to creating a new opportunity for you. It does not matter who or what forces are against you. “What is impossible with men is possible with God” – Jesus Christ.

So dear friend, there is a better tomorrow for you. Today is a day of God’s mercy extending to you. Like a river flowing, it floods your heart and drowns all your despair. So rise in the newness of God’s strength and unfailing love towards you. You will live to see your heart’s longings and desires come true.

May God do it for you!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________
Quotations from the Bible are from the New International Version.
(Isaiah 49:15), (Psalm 27:10), (John 6:37), (Joel 2:25), (Lamentations 3:22, 23), (Isaiah 43:18, 19), (Luke 18:27)
Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

Open Up and Say “Yes” to Life!

2 Minute Speech on the Meaning of Life!

Good morning one and all.

Life is precious. It is God’s gift to you. It is so unique that there is no one else on earth like you. There never was; and never will be.

Life, again, is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to do good. Therefore it does not matter how long you live; all that matters is how well you live. And how many lives you are able to touch with love and encouragement.

Another thought is that life is always shadowed by death. All people have to face it. He or she is a wise man or woman who is prepared to meet death when it comes. It is a sense of readiness. It is also an expectation to pass through the bridge of death to life eternal.

Interestingly,the secret of life is best revealed to those who are not bound by their possessions. They are untouched by worry and the changing fortunes of life. They are people who do not live by adding things to life but by measuring their life by things they can do without.

Life above all is a stewardship. It is a trust entrusted to you. Such an understanding of life makes you keenly aware that you are answerable to God for all the time, talent, treasure, and opportunity he as gifted you with.

This is in tune with the Biblical truth that “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” The balancing truth is that wrongs faced in this world will be made right; that God will wipe every tear from the eyes of his children, and good done will be rewarded.

It is this hope that makes life worth living. And it is in loving relationships nurtured within family and friendships that make life beautiful. Life is also made purposeful by knowing one’s role in one’s family, or one’s place of work, or society at large; and playing that role well.

Finally, there is an irresistible hope at the end of life’s journey for those who have trusted the One who said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die*.”

Is there a better hope in life than this?

Thank you.
*Jesus Christ (John’s Gospel Chapter 11 Verses 25 and 26.)
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Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

The Greatest Love Story of Hope!

Have you ever wondered what the story that is told every Christmas is?
It is the story of someone who came searching for you and me.

This story is one of hope.

It is so because the story tells us that we belong. It tells us that we are not forgotten or forsaken. Though there is something that is broken about us, though there are many patches showing in our hearts, there is someone who deeply cares for us.

This story is one of hope, I repeat again, because a Saviour came searching for you and me.

It is so because Christmas is the true story of God’s Son Jesus coming down to earth to become man. He came not because any one of us is perfect but instead all of us are sinners in need of a Saviour. Since it was not possible for man to save himself, God came down to be one like us to save us.

This story is one of hope because in Jesus, God came near to us.

For all those who deeply longed to know God, Jesus came declaring that anyone who has seen him has seen God as well. As Jesus freely mingled with all sorts of people in the marketplace and touched them with love and compassion, so also God longs to touch you with his love and forgiveness.

Finally, this story is one of hope because Jesus came to give us life.

This became possible because Jesus shed his blood on the cross and died for us. His precious blood that flowed cleanses and purifies man from all sin. Above all, he came back to life from the dead. He lives for ever.

Therefore there is hope for all men and women.

Because he lives, those who believe in him will also live for ever. This is the good news of great joy declared for all people at Christmas. It includes you and me.

Yes friends, Jesus came to give you a clean break from your past and give you a brand new beginning in life. Like the Star of Bethlehem that rose the first Christmas night when the child Jesus was born in a manger, may the light of this hope shine in your heart bright and clear.

Wish you all a blessed Christmas!

Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

Help Your Teenager Open Up and Talk

Help your teenager open up and talk. Encourage him to have good friendships. Allow his/her friends to come home. Get to know them and talk to them yourself. When a child gets such support from parents it reduces a lot of peer pressure from him. If such openness is encouraged at home, they will share with you the first sign of danger when they are confronted with it. And you will have enough time to protect your child.

The key word is “understanding.” It can come only through open talk. Do not react to youngsters. Let them blow off steam. It might not be easy listening to their thunder and lightning way of talk. But know that they are not venting their anger at you! But they are trying to think through their confusion by talking out loud and in angry words. What they need is a loving touch or a hug from you rather than, “Will you shut up?”

“Shut up!” They have heard it at school. Now they are hearing it at home. When this happens they will listen to those who are willing to listen to them. Sometimes it will be people whom you don’t want your children to have company with. But when you come to know of it, it will be too late. So better let your children talk. Allow them to shout at you at home. If you can be a little bit patient and not get angry at them; soon they will come to you and ask your help. Give them a chance to do so.

More importantly, tell your children not to fear failure. Tell them that failure comes to the best of men. It is nothing to be ashamed about. Instead gift them with the courage to try again. Give them options to try something else. Try to understand their tastes. Even if it hurts your ego, know that you are doing your child a great world of good by helping him achieve his heart’s desires and goals. Someday he or she will do you proud. You will never have to regret your decision to support him or her.

Also tell them not to bend or buckle under undue criticism. But the point is that you cannot tell this to them as long as you continue to criticize them for even silly things at home. Kindly know that teenage is a confusing time; more thoroughly confusing than the time you were a teenager. So give them allowances to commit a few blunders. And when you try to understand them lovingly, it gives them a sense of self-worth. It gives them self-respect and esteem. These are things that give them courage to face criticism that comes from teachers, friends and strangers.

Go out of your way every day to find something good that your child did or said. Appreciate that. Let it be a sincere comment from your part. It can make the day for him. Never go into the silent mode to punish your children. Instead speak and resolve conflicts that crop up. Even when your children are wrong; try to find out something good in them. And tell them it was good of them to say so or do so even though the rest of what they said or did was wrong. That will lessen the pain.

Above all, tell your children that suicide is NOT an option in life. Tell them that as long as they live there is hope. Teach them the values of honest hard work, courage and perseverance. Encourage them to touch other lives with care and compassion. That will give greater meaning to their lives and give them a sense of purpose in life.

There are many reasons why students opt for suicide. To avoid such catastrophes, such miserable loss of life and life’s opportunities in the prime of youth; do your best to open communication channels within the home. Make it a habit to create an open, free and relaxed atmosphere at home at set times during a week to have discussions. And that has to start before your children reach teenage.

Teach them what the wise teacher observed long ago: “Anyone who is among the living has hope–even a live dog is better off than a dead lion” (Ecclesiastes 9:4). For he also observed, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Yes, dear parents, it is time that you talked with your children. Open up channels of communication within your home.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth!