Sunday, 5 February 2012

Discipline yourself to be Godly

 secret of Holiness

We are living in a most revolutionary era of world history, when situational ethics and ease have taken the precedence. Therefore we need to go back to God’s word and principles, which God has laid down in Holy Scripture. These principles are eternal truth, fixed, firm and unbending, that has everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) Everyone is building their life on some kind of foundation.  There are only two choices: you either build on a solid and deep foundation or you build on a shallow and weak foundation.

Jesus said “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  (Matthew 7:24-27)    It is not enough to KNOW about God. It is not enough to know what God wants you to do.  It is not enough to know how to apply His word. If we are going to build on a solid foundation we must actually DO what God wants us to do. Remember the times of testing reveal the foundation on which we have built.

Bible says “Discipline yourself to be Godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (I Timothy 4:7,8) 
There is no such thing as instant godliness. There are no “one minute,” forty days, or “easy steps” to a life of righteousness that pleases God. That is not the way God planned for our sanctification. We are justified instantly by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  But justification and sanctification are completely different.

Oswald Sanders said, “Only the disciplined person will rise to his highest power. He is able to lead because he has conquered himself” .We must face the fact that many today are disgracefully careless in their living. We have liberty, we have money, and we live in comparative luxury. As a result, discipline practically has disappeared and overpowered by temptations, distraction and superficial form. Many people fail to consistently train themselves for Godliness because they settle for second best agendas. Remember that the biggest source of objections to Godliness will be our own sinful nature. Jesus said, "It is not what is on the outside of a person that defiles them, but what comes out of their heart 

 In our old nature we have spent a life time developing patterns of sinful attitudes, thinking and behaviors. These habits will not be broken and replaced with godly behavior and thinking without commitment and discipline. The apostle Paul uses an athletic image to tell us we must discipline ourselves to live godly. “Why is it so important? .Because “it holds the promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” It has immediate pay offs in this life, and eternal rewards.

Discipline is that determined effort on our part that corrects molds and perfects the character of a person. Godly character does not come all at once, but over a lifetime. Spiritual discipline is the training that is needed for the unhindered pursuit of God’s will and purposes. Discipline puts into daily practice our commitment to live a godly life. It begins in the mind. “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). This inner transformation takes place as we memorize, meditate, and put into daily practice the precious truths of the Bible.

Here are 8 set of principles for spiritual  Discipline]

1: Seek God, not the things. This is what the LORD says “Seek me and live." Amos 5:4“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

2: Fear God, not men. “The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” Proverbs 19:23.The A.W. Tozer said, "It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate." When we lose the fear of God and don't respect Him and His commandments, we are going to live our lives without accountability to God and one another, which is the cause of a number of sins.

3: Love God, not the world. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them.  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.—1 John 2:15-17.
4: Listen to God, not the devil. Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 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 8:42-44.

5: Obey God, not our appetites. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.  No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27.)

Obedience to God demands courage to say no to self, no to appetites, no to lusts of the flesh, no to what's easy, and yes to carrying the cross. It also demands faithfulness—the plodding endurance to God, to his call, and to that which He calls you to suffer. Only by yielding to the cross can you obey God, not your appetites.

6: Serve God, not riches.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Mathew 6:24

7: Worship God, not comfort. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails    and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen    and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD,    I will be joyful in God my Savior. — Habakkuk 3:17-18.

8: Trust God not self. Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6.


Godliness is a relationship in Jesus Christ in which the individual is being transformed into an ever-expanding likeness of Christ Himself.  When a person understands the truth about Godliness, it becomes the most desirable possibility in all of human experiences.  There is nothing so beautiful, so satisfying and so natural in all of human life.  The very reason for our creation, the purpose for which God made us and the most complete life, is found in Godliness.  It is not just a standard someone is trying to live.  It certainly is not legalism or narrow-mindedness.  Godliness is the work of the Holy Spirit by the Word and by the Blood of Jesus.  It actually lifts man into the image of God.  In Godliness, we become God-like and God-filled. The Bible is a Holy Book from Genesis to Revelation and every standard set in Scripture is the joy of transformed saints.  Godly women or men will separate themselves from activities that are declared off limits by the Holy Bible.

Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God's judgement-hating what He hates-loving what He loves-and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word. He who most entirely agrees with God, he is the most holy man.

Why holiness so important? 

The Scripture plainly commands it. The Lord Jesus says to His people, "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Mt. 5:20). "Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Mt. 5:48). Paul tells the Thessalonians, "This is the will of God, even your sanctification" (1 Thess. 4:3). And Peter says, "As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, 'Be ye holy, for I am holy'" (1 Pe. 1:15, 16).

 We must be holy, because this is one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world. Paul writes to the Corinthians, "He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again" (2 Cor. 5:15). And to the Ephesians, "Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it" (Eph. 5:25, 26). And to Titus, "He gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). We must be holy, because this is the most likely way to do good to others. Our lives will always be doing either good or harm to those who see them. They are a silent sermon which all can read.

 We must be holy, because this is the only sound evidence that we are true children of God. Children in this world are generally like their parents. Some, doubtless, are more so, and some less-but it is seldom indeed that you cannot trace a kind of family likeness. And it is much the same with the children of God. The Lord Jesus says, "If ye were Abraham's children ye would do the works of Abraham."-"If God were your Father ye would love Me" (John 8:39, 42). If men have no likeness to the Father in heaven, it is vain to talk of their being His "sons". If we know nothing of holiness we may flatter ourselves as we please, but we have not got the Holy Spirit dwelling in us: we are dead, and must be brought to life again-we are lost, and must be found. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they," and they only, "are the sons of God" (Rom 8:14). We must show by our lives the family we belong to. We must let men see by our good conversation that we are indeed the children of the Holy One, or our son-ship is but an empty name. 

We must be holy, because without holiness on earth we shall never be prepared to enjoy heaven. Heaven is a holy place. The Lord of heaven is a holy Being. The angels are holy creatures. Holiness is written on everything in heaven. The book of Revelation says expressly, " Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life." (Rev. 21:27).

 May God help us to search our heart’s hidden intentions, and replace any self-centered motivations with the excellent way of Christ’s love. Then our works will be of eternal value. 

Friday, 3 February 2012

Change our words, thoughts, and attitude;

Becoming a Disciple of Christ requires change. We must remove old habits and develop new ones. Have you ever had difficulty trying to change a habit? Human beings are creatures of habit. We tend to continue acting as we have acted in the past. Like a river flowing through a canyon, the longer a habit continues, the more deeply it becomes ingrained, and the harder it is to change. This is true of all habits, good or bad. Therefore when we are repented and committed to follow Jesus. Old practices and attitudes must be replaced by new ones. We must learn good habits and eliminate bad habits. Change does not come easily. God's word is the best source of guidance for self-help and motivation for self-improvement.
Bible says “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4:22-23)
An Excellent prayer for all to Follow, Psalm 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." Our behavior may be blameless--while the thoughts are tainted with sin. It is easier to keep our acts without fault--than to keep our thoughts pure. We may do no outward act of unkindness; while our hearts may be full of selfishness. Hence ensure that our thoughts are so pure and clean--that they will be acceptable in God's sight. It is a great thing to be faultless in speech--but perfect grammar and articulation is not enough. Our words may be grateful and graceful--and yet our thoughts and motives may be full of hypocrisy, of deceit,& of all evil! The prayer here is that our thoughts may please God. This is a higher spiritual attainment, than merely faultless words. Then, a still higher test of life--is our meditation. Meditations are our deepest thoughts, the quiet reflection of our hearts. We meditate when we are alone, when we are shut away from others. Our minds then follow the go with the flow of our own desires, dispositions, and imaginations. If our hearts are clean and good--our meditations are pure and holy. But if our hearts are evil and unclean--our meditations are of the same moral quality. Thus, our meditations are an infallible test of our real self. "As a man thinks in his heart--so is he." (Proverbs 23:6).Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life!" (Proverbs 4:23). See that our primary focus is about our heart: that there, God's image is planted; His interests are advanced; the world and flesh are subdued; the love of every sin is cast out; and the love of holiness grows. Bible says "I, the Lord, search the heart and examine the mind!" Jeremiah 17:10
“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end." Psalm 102:25-27.
Everything in this world is liable to change! Health may give place to sickness, pleasure may give place to pain, plenty may give place to poverty, love may give place to enmity, honor may give place to disgrace, strength may give place to weakness, and life may give place to death. Change is inevitable. He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  If we don't like something, change it. If we can't change it, change our attitude. We must become the change we want to see in the world. To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. The best changes often start as single, simple thoughts of God’s word. Think God’s way, and discover how to make our vision real. Knowledge of God is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change ourselves and the world.
But He cannot be changed. Who can go against Him? He does whatever He wants." (Job 23:13)

Bible says God will never change! “But He cannot be changed. With Him is no variableness. Yesterday — His name was Jesus; His nature was love; His purpose was to do us good with His whole heart and soul. Today — He is the same; He is the same yesterday, today, and forever — and He is our True Friend, gracious Savior! Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Let us cultivate . . .  intimacy with Him,  dependence upon Him,  concern to please Him,  fear to offend Him,  zeal to glorify Him; and it must be well with us in health and sickness, in plenty and poverty, in life and death! For He is the same, and will never turn away from doing us good — but remain the Fountain of love and holiness forever! This God is the God we adore, our faithful, unchangeable Friend; whose love is as great as His power, and neither knows measure nor end!

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life.

Life is not just party and pleasure always. It is also pain and despair. The choice is either to act like a victor or like a victim. It is not our position but our disposition that determines our destiny. Adversity builds or reveals character. Under adverse circumstances, some people break records and others break themselves. The greatest buildings have strongest foundations. People with character, integrity, good values and positive attitude are the right foundation for the success of any Nation. In other words the success of an individual, society, or a nation, depends on the quality of their people. Most people fail not because of lack of ability or intelligence but because of lack of desire, direction, dedication, discipline, diligence and divine attitude. Divine attitude refers to the consistency of godly Character that matches words and actions. A person with a Divine character is like a fruit of all season. Ability without the Divine attitude is wasted energy, good look without godliness is irritation and Position and Tittles without Grace and Love is tyranny and tragedy. Start our day with God’s thoughts. Bible says “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2. (NLT) Our Thoughts Determine our Life.For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)  To get what you want, change who you are by simply changing the way you think & act. "People do not attract that which they want, but that which they are." To attract good people, you must be good. To attract godly people, you must be godly. To attract faithful people, you must be faithful. Instead of going to work on them, you go to work on yourself.  Act like the person you want to become. Before you can do something, you first must be something. Strive not to become a man of success, but rather seek to become a man of God and value. You become valuable when you value what God value. Transformation comes when you allow God’s Word to change your thinking. As your thinking changes, your feelings, decisions, actions and attitude will change. “And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind. And put on the new nature created in God's image, in true righteousness and holiness.” Eph. 4:23-24. (Amplified Bible) Divine Character is the foundation upon which all else is built.

Adversity to advantage!

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us a far more exceeding and eternal   weight of glory.” (2 Cor. 4:17).
If there is one thing that this world is not short of it is troubles and disadvantages. But turning that adversity into advantage, now that's the challenge. Disadvantages serve only to drive us on to greater victories if we refuse to be discouraged by them.   Jesus knew it well when he told a fisherman that he would make him a fisher of men. Hence do not dwell in the past, have a faith in God. He will turn every misery in to miracle and every adversity in to an advantage for His people.
 Financials breakdowns, losing job, family problems, accidents, sickness, betray of friends or colleague, torture by others and so on and so forth can cause depression, discouragement, distress and disappointment in life. Remember we are attacked by the enemy in our weakest moments. When we are confronted by intimidating situations and events, our enemy creates more confusion, makes us weaker and helpless and pushes us to hopelessness.  We are often attacked in the physical, emotional and spiritual realms in our weakest moments. Hence we call it troubles, or tribulations and problems etc. The question is how you respond to such a predicament.
When Paul writes “our light affliction,” isn’t writing as a kindergartner in the school of suffering.  Paul has an advanced graduate degree in suffering! He describes some of these sufferings in 2 Corinthians 11:23-27:”I have been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,  I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.  I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked………
 And those are just the physical, outward sufferings!  What about the spiritual burdens he bore and spiritual attacks he faced? But Paul describe the suffering and affliction as light and momentary not heavy and arduous, because, even the worst of our affliction, when we consider the measure of eternity, is but for a moment.  This is partially true in the sense that most of our troubles come and go, and “this too shall pass.”  But it is also true in the sense that even a long life by this world’s standard is nothing on the scale of eternity.  Even if one were to live for a hundred years and suffer every day of their lives, by the measure of eternity, it is but for a moment.   Why is our affliction light, and not heavy?  Because of what God is accomplishing in us through our affliction: a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.    Yes, our affliction is light!  Compared to what others are suffering.  Our affliction is light compared to what we deserve.  Our affliction is light compared to what Jesus suffered for us.  Our affliction is light compared to the blessings we enjoy.  Our affliction is light as we experience the sustaining power of God’s grace.  Our affliction is light when we see the glory that it is leading to.  We really can say with Paul, “our light affliction.”  
In 2 Cor. 4:18 Paul says about his life and ministry “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” In the world’s eyes, Paul’s life was an incredible failure.  At the height of a career that would reach much higher, according to world standards, he left it all for a life of hardship, suffering and persecution, with eventual martyrdom.  But Paul recognized that the world only sees the outward, not the unseen eternal things. When we look at the things, which are not seen, then we see and appreciate the eternal weight of glory.  Paul isn’t saying that all afflictions automatically produce glory.  It is possible to allow suffering to destroy us, and to let affliction make us bitter, miserable, and self-focused.  But if we will look to the things, which are not seen, then, our affliction will work in us an eternal weight of glory. The path of affliction is sanctified by the promises of God, and by the consideration of our Lord Jesus, who walked in it Himself, that we might not think it too much to tread in His steps. Yes, it has been a beaten path in all ages; for the innumerable multitudes of the redeemed who are now before the eternal throne, have entered the kingdom by no other way. Let us not then be weary and faint--but cheerfully consent to be the followers of those who, through faith and patience, are now inheriting the promises!

If, after much tribulation, we stand accepted before the Lord in His glory, we shall not then think much of the difficulties we met with in our pathway to glory. Then sorrow and sighing shall cease forever--and songs of triumph and everlasting joy shall take their place! Whatever storms may arise, we have an infallible and almighty Pilot, who will be a Sun and a Shield to those who love Him! Bible says in
Psalms 18:18 “They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support.” God will never forsake His children in their troubles. Our Lord will be your support when all other support Vanish. The Lord will not let you go down to the depth. He will lift you up and hold you in His hands. He knows what physical, emotional and spiritual support you need during these trying times and will supply all needs in the right measure. He will enable you to hold on to His promises. When the enemy pulls your legs, the Lord will place your feet on solid grounds. Whatever may be the immediate causes of your troubles--they are all under the direction of a gracious hand--and each, in their place, cooperating to a gracious end! They are all tokens of His love and favor--and are necessary means of preparing and promoting you in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus. God knows what you are going through today and will give you the right support at the right time in the right measure.

Finally remember that the Lion’s den was a platform for promotion for Daniel. Prison was the platform for elevation for Joseph to the position of Prime Minister. dungeon was the platform for writing the Scriptures down for Paul. The shade of the broom tree was the platform for re-commissioning Elijah for greater ministries. The jail was preparation time for Peter to find John Mark which ended up in the writing of a Gospel. Patmos was the arena for the revelation of Jesus Christ in His glory for the isolated John. Our Lord is working for us behind the scene. He will extend relentless support for us because we are part of His grand plan. No matter who walks out on you, the Lord will continue to support and strengthen you. )”You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)Let your life be a platform of praise for who He is to you in times of adversity, disaster, suppression, oppression, rejection and isolation.

God said to Moses “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14)Troubles will be no troubles, distresses will be no distresses, and dangers will be no dangers--if God's presence is with us. God’s special presence will turn. .   Storms into calms, winter nights into summer days, prisons into palaces, weakness into strength, poverty into plenty, death into life. God's presence makes-heavy afflictions--light, and   long afflictions--short, and bitter afflictions--sweet. A man in misery, without this gracious presence of God, is in a very hell on this side hell. God's gracious presence makes every condition--to be a little heaven to the believing soul. Honor and majesty are [found] in His presence; strength and joy are [found] in His sanctuary.” (1 Chronicles 16:27)

In His Joyful Ministry,

+Bishop M.A. Lalachan