Sunday, April 5, 2015

Jesus - In Our Shoes

Several years ago, I read a classic story that reveals clearly the essence of what Jesus Christ, the son of God, did for us on the cross. Two thousand years after, we still remember and celebrate this day of liberation. Let me share with you the story of Dr Kane.

On February 15, 1921, there was a doctor who performed an appendectomy. He was Dr. Evan O'Neill Kane, who in over his 37-year medical career had performed nearly 4,000 appendectomies, so this surgery was not at all unusual except for two things.

First of all, this was the first time that local anesthesia had ever been used in major surgery. Dr. Kane believed that local anesthesia was safer than putting a patient completely to sleep. Most of his colleagues agreed with him in principle, but they wanted to see first if it would actually work.

So Dr. Kane searched for a volunteer, a patient who would be willing to undergo surgery while under local anesthesia. It wasn't easy to find one. Most people are squeamish at the thought of being awake during their own surgery. Others are fearful that the anesthesia might wear off too soon.

He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!"
(Philippians 2:7-8)

Finally, though, Dr. Kane found a volunteer, and on Tuesday morning, February 15th, the operation began. The patient was prepped and wheeled into the operating room. A local anesthetic was applied. And as Dr. Kane had done thousands of times before, he cut open the tissues and removed the appendix. The patient had only minor discomfort and recovered quickly, dismissed two days later.

Dr. Kane had proven his theory. Thanks to the willingness of a brave volunteer, Dr. Kane demonstrated that local anesthesia was an alternative, even a preferred alternative.

But I said there were two facts that made this surgery unusual. I've told you the first: the use of local anesthesia. The second unusual thing was the patient. The patient was Dr. Kane. You see, in order to prove his point, Dr. Kane operated on himself. The doctor became a patient in order to convince the patients to trust the doctor.

Because He himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.
(Hebrews 2:18)

As unbelievable as that may seem, it is insignificant compared with what Jesus Christ did for us. The Great Physician voluntarily became one of us. He placed himself in our shoes. He left the glories of heaven to live on this earth as one of us -- to suffer our pains and feel our fears. Why? So that when you hurt, you will know that you have someone who understands - your Great Physician, and you will have confidence to go to him for healing.
He understands relationships. He was rejected by close friends. So, he understands when you have challenges with relationships. He knows what it means to grieve. He suffered the loss of close ones. He understands when you lose close ones and he is beside you to comfort you. He was the son of a carpenter and he practiced carpentry. I believe he faced challenges with customers and suppliers. Are you going through challenges at work? Believe me, he understands. Whatever you are going through, he became human and went through it, so he can understand, and can comfort you. What a saviour!


He is risen!!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Change Your Life Forever!

I recently came across a powerful quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower that got me thinking about the power of our choices. He said, and I quote “The history of free men is never written by chance, but by choice - their choice”. Powerful. In my humble opinion, I think it’s not only the history of free men that is written by their choices. It is the history of everyone. You are where you are today as a result of the choices you made, or you did not make, yesterday. The choices we make today will colour the spectrum of our life in the future.

The history of free men is never written by chance, but by choice - their choice

The direction of our lives is determined by the choices we make every day. They accumulate and add up to our ultimate destiny. Success in life is not a gift. It doesn’t just fall on people like ripe apples! It is a choice that you have to make. You are a direct product of your choices. You are going to live tomorrow with the consequences of today’s choices. It is futile to squander today and hope for a generous tomorrow. Everything that happens in your life -both what you are thrilled with and what you are challenged by- began with a choice.

Here are some choices you can make - choices that will create for you a life of abundance and prosperity in all areas of your life.

1. Choose to become balanced spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Our lives are best when we have these three major areas in balance. Never leave God out of the equation of your life. Infact, He needs to take first place in everything. That is the starting point. Spend some time cultivating your spirituality. Spend time to develop your emotional health. Spend time to be physically fit. You need to make a conscious effort to develop your spirit, your mind, and your body.

2. Choose to grow personally.

This sounds simple but many people only wish to grow personally. They never choose to grow by taking actions, such as reading a book, taking a course, investing in knowledge, saving more money etc. Make a decision today to be a person who is on the never ending journey of personal growth.

3. Choose to always treat others right.

We come across all sorts of people, many of whom will treat us poorly. We can choose to treat them right, no matter how they treat us. When they lie, we will tell the truth. When they cheat, we will play by the rules. We may get the short end of the stick some times, but in the long-run we will win. And most importantly, we will be able to sleep at night!

4. Choose to break a bad habit.

Take them one after the other. Tackle it head on. If you don't know what it is, ask a friend. Then spend every effort you can to break that habit. Forget about the others, as you will get to them later. Stop smoking, get out of debt, and lose your excess weight. Exercise the power to choose!

5. Choose to work smarter.

Many people I work with feel like they are out of balance. One of the first things I do is try to find out how much time they are wasting at work, which makes them work longer, which throws the rest of their life into chaos. Getting your work done by diligently working in the time you have will free your life up extraordinarily. Read up my earlier article on working smarter.

6. Choose to see your work as a way to help others, and not a way to make money.

If you put your heart into helping others, the money will most assuredly come. Spend time helping others grow and your finances will grow with it. This is a profound truth.

7. Choose to sow more than you reap.

There are many takers in this world, but our lives will be better as we become givers. The world will become better as we become givers. Give away your time, give away your money, give away your love. You will most assuredly get it back in many folds!

8. Choose to get home for dinner more often.

The family is the most important group of people you will ever belong to. Make a decision today to grow in your relationship with your parents, siblings, spouse and children. This one choice you will never regret.

9. Choose to be positive.

A positive mental attitude will surely put you miles ahead of your peers. Never say never. Attitude can make or mar your life. Attitude, more than aptitude determines your altitude. It is more valuable than skill. Choose a positive attitude and things will start to work for you
You have a chance today, to change your life forever. Make the right choices on a consistent basis, and I assure you, my friend, that you will live life more abundantly.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Profitable For All Things......

In the past 6 months, I have used a gym for my workouts in a consistent manner. It has been part of my health goals for the past few years now, but I finally cracked it somehow. It's been an exciting and rewarding experience. I feel much better, healthier and fitter. I have also been able to see firsthand, how far some are willing to go to improve their physical state - for good and bad reasons.

As usual, apart from exercising and getting the benefits out of it, I have also being conscious to learn from what's going on around. I am most intrigued by the resistance training area. Here, you see lots of guys (mostly young men) trying to build muscles by lifting weights for several hours. The commitment and resilience shown is amazing. You can hear them shouting and screaming (and can imagine them having to deal with pains at home), as they try to make sure their chest muscle is visible for all to see. They do not even stop at that. Their diets are well regulated and they deny themselves meals that regular men will love to gulp down. They also invest in protein and vitamins supplements just to make sure they are in great physical shape. When done for the right reasons (though I doubt if this is the case), this could be great. Bodily exercise has several rewards and benefits. Apart from giving you a boost of energy, and better sleep, it can help maintain a good shape (without adding loads of weight) as well as leaving you generally healthier.

Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart.

However, when compared to godliness, these benefits of bodily exercises pale into insignificance! Look at the way the bible puts it " Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. “(I Tim 4: 7, MSG)

Interesting, isn't it? Godliness gives you benefits in this world and in eternity. Do you want to be fit today and forever? The bible recommends your tablet - Godliness. If only believers can put in a fraction of the efforts I have seen people put in at the gym, into daily exercises in God and in leading a disciplined life, I believe we will easily get rid of spiritual flabbiness and be better fit to live in this fast paced world. If only we will pray, read the bible and fellowship with God on a daily basis (it will shock you to know that most Christians don't), then we will be better equipped with strength and stamina - which are both important in order to finish strong!

Do you want to be fit today and forever? The bible recommends your tablet - Godliness.

Are you exercising yourself in Godliness as hard as if you were training for the Olympics? Or at least as much as if you went jogging to exercise? In other words, are you reading, meditating on and obeying God's Word to become more Godly? Or do you use the time you should spend exercising watching TV and surfing the internet?

Godliness is profitable in all things. It has spiritual benefits, physical benefits, social benefits, and financial benefits. Most importantly, it has eternal benefits. Wouldn't you also exercise yourself into godliness? Think about it.

God bless you!
You are destined for the top of the topmost top! See you there!!