From India with Dr. Cyril Antony
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July 17, 2014, 6:36 AM

Powerful Insights into Genesis: Not a showcase of power but compassion

Genesis 1:2
And the earth was without form and empty and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit of God was moving on the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Genesis 1:3
And God said, “Let there be light” and there was light.
Genesis 1:4-5
 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Some of the most beautiful insights are found in the first few verses of the Bible. We have studied how God created the earth with a purpose and named it ‘dry ground’. But the earth became a haven for Satan. This brought about disastrous consequences. It lost its form, became empty and let darkness take control. It was then that God spoke light into existence. But the question that begs for an answer is, “Why did God create light on the first day?”.

God’s purpose in creation was not to showcase His power: When the light of God began to shine the world was in complete ruins. In the world, it’s too easy to show power before someone who is weak. People with great values refrain from showing off before those who are weak. The Bible talks of God revealing His powerful hand before the mighty the proud, and those who think they are invincible. But God has always stood with those who are poor and needy, those who cry for help, those who are weak. It was precisely that state that the earth was in when God sent forth the light. David was admonished by God when he took advantage of a his warrior Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba who was helpless. And we see several instances like this when God stood with the weak and never let them be destroyed by the haughty. Therefore, if it was God’s purpose to showcase His power he would have separated the waters on the first day or created veggies. So there was probably a more important reason for God bringing for the light.

God showcased his stand with the earth: The time came for a work that would be worthy of praise and honor. A work of great grandeur and artistic elegance like the separation of the waters, the sun, moon , the vegetation and animals. But God simply brought about light. When we start to look into it we understand that the light did two important things. It removed the darkness that was prevalent over the earth and then it did an amazing thing. It gave earth the chance to see and behold all that God was about to do in this world. In reality, though the earth was in a fallen state, it was given an opportunity to embrace the light and then behold the beauty of everything that God was about to do. In John 15:13 Jesus Said, “There is no greater love than this that a man lays down his life for his friends.” The disciples never deserved it but they still received it. It was so in the beginning of the world and it continues on till this day.

He sets us right simply because He wants us to be a part of everything that He is about to do in this world. The Bible tell us the beautiful story of the man who was demon possessed in Luke 8:26-39. The story says that the man had lost everything in his life, his life shattered to pieces and he had become a dead man’s tale living in the tombs, unable to be transformed. Jesus walked into his life and cast out the legion of demons. When the man’s life was changed he had one desire which was to follow Jesus. But Jesus looked at him and said,“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” The man could have become an immediate apprentice under Jesus. But the light which had departed from his own house, the form that was lost due to the absence of the husband and a father and the darkness that had overshadowed the house had to be set right before all the great things of the future. And so Jesus sent him home. The light of transformation went into the house of the man. The Bible says that eventually the man did greatly publish about Jesus in ten different cities of Decapolis. All those whose lives are without a proper form, empty and filled with darkness can count on God’s supreme acts. God truly does not want them to be left out when He starts His work. So it’s time we look to God and say, “ Lord begin your work in me, so I could witness your work in the world.” Amen

 

Comments
Betty Ramsey on 09-26-2015 at 6:29 AM
I liked your comments about the demon possessed man who got to go back to his family as a healthy man in mind and body. What rejoicing there would of been in his family and in his town and everywhere he spoke .
Cecil holcomb on 07-19-2014 at 10:48 AM
wonderful and true
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July 17, 2014, 1:05 AM

Powerful Insights into Genesis: The Earth that lost its purpose

Genesis 1:2
And the earth was without form and empty and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit of God was moving on the face of the waters.

One of the compelling studies in Genesis 1 is the word ‘Earth’. Strong’s indicates the root word as ‘Erets’ meaning ‘Dry ground’. But the earth mentioned here was never dry for the Bible says that it was filled with water until verse 10 when God separated the water. Parents get excited when they name their children because they believe their children would grow up to live upto their name. The Bible speaks of people with some strange names. Interestingly, Naomi named her sons Mahlon and Chilion which meant ‘sickly’ and ‘pining’(Ruth 1:2-5). The two boys lived up to their names, dying young and leaving their wives widows. The name ‘Jacob’ meant ‘supplanter’ while ‘Abraham’ meant ‘ many multitude’. But early in the scripture we see how earth had become wet and totally opposite to its name. There is a beautiful lesson meant for us to learn in the story of the earth.

1. Earth became Satan’s haven and lost its purpose: Satan had brought a terrible state on earth in the course of his sojourn. We must never forget that it was through dry ground  that God would fashion life. The plants, animals and finally man came from the dust of the ground. It's quite appealing to see what the earth was capable of if it had adhered to the perfect will of God. It is sad to see that though earth was in possession of every ingredient that God intended to use to bring forth abundance of life, nothing happened for a long time. It seems as though a shameful silence prevailed over the waters. There is a lesson to be learnt here.When we live up to the name that God has given us we are capable of producing mind-boggling results. But when we yield to Satan, all of our abilities and gifts die within us and we’ll never be able to produce life bearing fruits.
 
2. The Holy Spirit never gave up: The Bible says the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the water. John 13:1 reminds us of how Jesus loved his disciples till the end even when death was staring at Him. It was the same Holy Spirit which helped Jesus love the disciples till the end until the newness of life was seen in them. And then finally it was the same Holy spirit that came on the disicples on the day of Pentecost which started a journey in the lives of the disciples where they never gave up till the end. There is always somebody in our family or among friends who  constantly fail and it's so compelling for us to give up on them. We ought to be inspired by the love of God that was shown in the beginning. It was not until the third day that the earth dried and when it became dry it did exactly what it was created for. When we don’t give up, God works through our relationships and gives them purpose.

3. Earth would never bring forth life until light kissed it: As we move along we realize that all forms of life emerged because of God’s light kissing its surface. When we become intimate with Christ and are led by an inseparable closeness with the Holy Spirit, there will be nothing but life emerging out of us. Here is a beautiful lesson for us to learn. The earth has always had enough to sustain every one that has walked on it until this present day. When we let the light kiss us we will always be full without any lack, able to lovingly sustain all our relationships through the one who called us.

Luke tells us a beautiful story of a woman who was a sinner. She had lost her purpose in life until the day she heard that the light of life was passing through her town. As Jesus sat to eat, she came in and fell at His feet. With tears in her eyes she kissed the feet of Jesus. Jesus raised her up, forgiving her of all her sins. She had come in as a sinner but was raised up justified. The Light had touched her life and she was free. That day at the feet of Jesus she received her crown that echoed the words ‘Daughter of the Most High’. It's my prayer that you seek God to find the purpose for which you were sent into this world and then start fulfilling it every single day of your life. For it was Jesus who promised, “ Ask and it shall be give to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Remember The Holy Spirit in you is waiting to bring life through you. Amen

 

Comments
Kelly Daugherty on 07-20-2014 at 10:05 AM
WOW, God is just awesome! I so enjoy reading your daily devotionals. Very informative. Thank you!
Cecil holcomb on 07-19-2014 at 10:43 AM
another great job.
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July 12, 2014, 10:00 AM

Powerful Insights into Genesis : The Light that is waiting to shine!

Genesis 1:3
And God said, “Let there be light” and there was light.

    It was a dark world unable to produce life, stricken with a disease of barrenness. It was a time like that when all hope seemed to have been lost that God said, “Let there be light.” When we track the course of light throughout the Bible it is a lovely journey that inspires us greatly. The light that came from God had a purpose. Lighting up the world was the start of an extra-ordinary journey.  

  1. To the millions of Israelites in the wilderness it would become a source of direction through the pillar of fire (Exodus 13:21).
  2. To the worshipping priest it would serve its purpose through the lamps that burned continually (Exodus 25: 20, 37).
  3. To the great King David it would become an inspiration to fear God ( 2 Samuel 23:3,4).
  4. To the great builder Nehemiah it became a powerful motivation when he had to complete a mammoth task ( Nehemiah 9:12).
  5. To the Psalmist who was passionate to worship it would become the source of life  from God ( Psalms 27:1, 36:9).
  6. To the prophet Isaiah it became the path that he urged a renegade nation to walk in.(Isaiah 2:5).
  7. To the prophet Habakkuk it revealed the brightness of God ( Habakkuk 3:4).

    Light became a powerful tool to those who understood its purpose. It lighted peoples paths, threw down armies, opened the eyes of the beholder to spectacular sights, and inspired the prophets to look beyond the temporal into the heavenly realms. Again, when the world fell into rampant corruption, God sent His son as the light of the world to destroy darkness.


    Finally, in closing we must know that God continues to send the light of His Son Jesus into our lives through His Holy Spirit who shines His light into every secret place of our life. One of the greatest works of the Holy Spirit is bringing the truth of the light of the gospel to man and then helping him recognize it. Every time we open our eyes, recognize the truth and accept it our path becomes illuminated and we can boldly take a step forward, being transformed into the express image of Jesus.
  

 The story of how Christianity began in India is an inspiring one. When Apostle Thomas landed in the coastal state of Kerala in South India he was overwhelmed by the polytheistic society that was deeply divided by the caste system. The story goes on to say that the Apostle with deep sorrow in his heart kept observing the customs and traditions of the people. After some days he knew it was time. Early next morning the priests in the city went down into the river according to their tradition and offered obeisance to their gods by throwing water in the air. Standing there Thomas watched the spectacle as the water that was thrown kept falling back into the river. He then questioned the priests about this routine. The priests callously replied that they were offering it to their gods. Then, Thomas taunted them as to why their gods were not receiving their offering every morning but letting it fall back into the river. The priests were stunned at foreigner’s remark. Angry, they demanded if the Apostle had a better solution. Thomas then stepped forward. Intently looking into heaven he prayed a prayer and tossed the water in the air. The story then turns into a legend. It is believed that the light from heaven began to shine through the droplets as they were held in mid-air. Their intense brightness made the priests turn their eyes away in shame. As the bewildered people stood and watched, something had happened. In the ends of the earth the light of the gospel had begun to shine. Through the willing Apostle God had begun a ministry that would go on to change the course of a nation.  In closing we must know a truth. Light will never stop if it is provided a passage. As long as we live in this world we ought to become channels through whom this light can flow. As long as we don’t block it light will continue to flow into the people around us. That’s its purpose. Remember. And if you can go to the ends of the earth you carry with you the power the light up, even the ends of the earth. So let your light shine that men may glorify your Father in heaven. Amen

 

Comments
Neil on 07-12-2014 at 10:28 PM
Really enjoying the insight and the Indian history.
Cecil Holcomb on 07-12-2014 at 3:07 PM
Great explanation of God's.glorious light and our responsibility, as His children, to let it shine through us.
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July 10, 2014, 12:00 PM

Powerful Insights into Genesis:The Spirit that worked in darkness!

Genesis 1:2-3
And the earth was without form and empty and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit of God was moving on the face of the waters.
And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

The Spirit of God showed the prophet Jeremiah the state of the earth and he saw the agony in the creation. (Jeremiah 4:23-25). Satan who rebelled against God fell to earth. We can imagine what Satan did when he landed on the earth. He was bitter, angry and this probably prompted him to go wild, tearing down the earth.  It’s sad to see what men do in the dark. Seldom does anybody walk in the dark and achieve great results. When  in the dark people trip over things, hit something and hurt their legs while walking in the dark. But there is a truth we all can learn here. Where Satan exists there’s bound to be damage and destruction.

  1. All beauty and form slowly diminishes until it is all gone: Giving Satan a foothold in our lives will result in a total loss. People sometimes never notice it in a day, but then slowly the sheen wears out and the latter form of our lives is not worth mentioning. And in such a situation if there is a makeover it must come from God alone and not from any other sources. For true restoration originates from God.
  2. Life embraces an emptiness of lost hope and despair: Jesus said, “The thief comes to steal and to destroy” (John 10:10). Satan steals every thing meant to make our life beautiful until we become empty, stripped of all the joy that God intends for our lives.
  3. A gross darkness begins to rule life: It’s remarkable to see how darkness destroys people’s lives. As Jeremiah points out, “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled” (Jeremiah 4:23-25). Where Satan’s presence abounds all relationships decay and life flees as death enters to take its place.

But there is a lesson to learn here. Even in gross darkness, God’s spirit prompted by His love moved over the face of the waters. There is a beautiful incident that Matthew narrates in the gospel. It was a dark night. Just like the lonely mountains of Genesis 1:2, out on a mountain Jesus being alone began to pray. While He prayed the helpless disciples who were  in the midst of the sea were troubled by Satan. They never knew that the Spirit of God which moved on the face of the waters was once again about to do something amazing in their lives. Suddenly, in the midst of that lifeless chaos there was light. And the Light of all men came walking toward them. He said, “Be of good cheer; It is I; do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:27). The poor disciples had received a new lease on life. God’s spirit continues to move, waiting for us to progress into a newness of life that is able to usher in the light of God. May that constant move of the Holy Spirit never be in vain in your life.

 

Comments
Kelly Daugherty on 07-10-2014 at 2:16 PM
So true! Very good explanation.
Cecil holcomb on 07-10-2014 at 1:52 PM
Great explanation
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July 10, 2014, 12:00 AM

Powerful Insights into Genesis:The Heavenly Hope!


Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

These words are some of the most touching words in the Bible because they reveal to us the heart of God.  In the beginning, when God began His creative act it was Heaven that was first in line. Though God would create man on the earth, he first took the time to fashion man’s final abode. This verse reflects the beautiful, unfailing love of God.
 
In the world we quite often face things that pull us down, making our lives miserable and force us to fear for our future. But in the end we must realize that God prepared that perfect place for us even before this place of suffering called ‘Earth’ was created. As children of God we possess one of the most wonderful rights the world can never receive. It’s the fundamental right called ‘Hope’. It’s such a strong weapon that can seriously damage the advances of Satan, yet it’s so underutilized by God’s children. Quite amazingly, God mentioned His plan right in the beginning of the Bible to let us know that there is and there will always be a place that is prepared for us. This great thought helps us to realize important truths:

The Hope of the presence of God: It is one of those things that we cannot discount in our walk on this earth. People of this world grope in the darkness not knowing the next step in their journey. But the Christian guided by this hope knows that the floodgates will soon open and he will be in the presence of God. John rested his hope in the words that Jesus spoke in John 14:3 saying,” I’ll come back and take you with me .For where I am there you should be too.” Paul’s comforting words in 1 Thessalonians 4:18 should inspire our hope that, “we will always be with the Lord”.

The Hope of the Glory of God: Paul longed to speak about this great mystery saying, “to them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). There will come a day when we will no longer be the same. This earth may rend us of a lot of things but in end we will be clothed by the glory of God himself. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says, "Now we see through a glass dimly, but then face to face." Paul’s desire to see the face of God is fueled by a great hope that rests peacefully in his heart. While here on earth we are constantly being changed from glory to glory. But on that day in heaven we will gain the complete fullness of that glory.  

The Hope of the Power of God: In I John 3:2 the aged Apostle John was confident that some day we will see Him as He really is. In this world we see and experience the power of God in bits and pieces, but when we get to the place He has prepared for us His magnificence will be revealed unhindered and yet surprisingly we will stand there unharmed. It is a deep yearning for a Christian to know the extent of God’s power. He will know it when he finally gets home. What a privilege!

Coming from India, a land where 300 million gods and goddesses are worshipped by over 900 million people, I continue to be amazed by this hope that has gripped my heart. For an Indian Hindu, the power of his god is something to be feared all his life. But for us we long to experience this power through Jesus Christ our Lord. The glory of God is something that a Hindu can never experience because he is taught all his life that God is so far away that the hindu will never be able to reach him in many births. 1 Peter 1:3 rightly points out that God, “in his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” One death of Jesus settled the deal for us for all eternity. What a difference Christ makes in our lives! It’s easy to be discouraged by the pressures of life. But as Christians, may our hope flourish as we continue in our journey toward heaven. Amen

 

Comments
Kelly Daugherty on 07-10-2014 at 2:22 PM
I feel sad for people who do not know Jesus Christ. I have hope in my life and I have a promise from the Lord that I will be with Him one day. This makes life much better. I cannot imagine living without Him.
Cecil holcomb on 07-10-2014 at 1:56 PM
another enlightening truth
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