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Category: thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya

Author Palitha Jayasooriya

Don’t Back Down When Facing Trials

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Popular singer Tom Petty passed away recently after a highly successful career. One of Petty’s most loved songs was titled ‘I Won’t Back Down’. It says:

Well, I won’t back down.
No, I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell,
But I won’t back down

While Tom Petty was probably singing about the human challenges he had to face, the Apostle Paul says something similar regarding the spiritual battles we face as God’s children. He says, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13). The imagery is that of a well-trained soldier, planting his feet firmly on the battle field and refusing to back down. In other words, Paul may be saying, ‘don’t back down’. Ever!

The senseless shootings at a church in Texas and others disasters, bear witness to the fact that we live in dangerous times. It is at a time like this that the church of Jesus Christ and individual Christians should stand firm, find renewed hope, minister to the hurting and refuse to back down.

In Daniel 6, Daniel was about to receive the ‘promotion of a lifetime’, being the likely candidate for Prime Minister. The appointment may have brought privileges in the form of a brand new vehicle (the latest chariot?), unlimited power and added bonuses. That’s when envy set in as the other powerful officials rose up against him. Their devious plans meant Daniel would have to either back down from his commitment to God or face the ‘lions’.

Daniel refused to ‘back down’ and God sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths. Maybe He tranquilized them, maybe He assigned them to a 12 hour fast, or maybe they just lost their appetite. Whatever may have happened, it was a powerful work of God

Similarly, God is with us in our battles. Let us therefore stand firm and be encouraged by the words in James 4:7 that says, “Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. Whatever challenge you may be facing today, don’t back down God’s grace will carry you through.

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by Permission

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Beautiful Things for God

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“..She has done a beautiful thing to me.” Mark 14:6 (NIV)

I read in a local newspaper of how a Christian Organization had used its funds to help many farming families in the Polonnaruwa District in Sri Lanka, seriously affected by the silent killer, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Through a beautiful act of love, this organization has so far built 8 out of a targeted 15 ‘safe water’ community wells with filtration units, to provide pure drinking water for over 8000 people. In one village, the land to set up the unit had apparently been donated by a farmer who himself was dying of CKD (Another beautiful act).

In Mark 14, Jesus was at the home of Simon the leper when a lady came up to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume. She broke the jar and anointed Jesus’ head with the expensive perfume (Mark 14:3). Although she was scolded harshly by some who were present since they felt that her gracious act was a waste (Mark 14:4-5), Jesus looked at it very differently. He mentioned that she had anointed his body for burial (Mark 14:8) and called her act ‘a good thing’ (Mark 14:6). The NIV translates it as ‘a beautiful thing’. He also confirmed that her ‘beautiful act’ would be remembered forever (Mark 14:9)!

We too are called to do ‘beautiful things’ for God so that the lonely and hurting could feel His love in a tangible way. When David took care of his faithful friend Jonathan’s crippled son Mephibosheth, it was a ‘beautiful thing’ that lasted a lifetime (2 Samuel 9:7). Similarly, when Barnabas befriended Saul and found acceptance for him among the disciples who were suspicious of Saul’s motives, it was a ‘beautiful act’ (Acts 9:27). What about you?

May God use us to do ‘beautiful things’ for Him. Someone said, ‘Duty makes us do things well; Love makes us do them beautifully’.

Prayer – Lord help me to spread your beauty wherever I go by doing beautiful things to glorify You.

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by Permission

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God is Mighty to Save

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The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.Zephaniah 3:17

The book of Zephaniah was written to warn of impending judgment on Judah. In the midst of the doom however, the book ends with a promise of restoration, forgiveness and blessing. In Zephaniah 3:17, we find the powerful truths shown below.

The Lord is among His people

What a comfort it is to know that God is with His people even in the most challenging circumstances. Grab a hold of that fact without allowing your feelings and your circumstances to control you. He has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

The Lord is always with His people even though we may not feel like it at times.

He takes delight in you

Today, many people battle an identity crisis. They struggle with rejection, feeling unloved, low self- esteem and a sense of unworthiness. The situation worsens when we go through regular failures.

What is your condition today? Unloved? Rejected? Feeling worthless? Does it seem like everything you touch turns to tears? If so, rejoice, because God knows you by name (Isaiah 43:1) and He takes great delight in you.

Will you rather believe your feelings, others opinions, or the truth of God’s word.

He is mighty to save

When we trust Jesus, His resurrection power works in us. That power will deliver us from every attack of the evil one for nothing can overcome us when God is on our side (Romans 8:31).

If I were walking down a dark alley and two strong men were waiting to overpower and rob me, it wouldn’t be too difficult since I am not a strongly built person. However, if the Heavyweight boxing champion of the world was walking by my side, the end result would be totally different!!

How much more secure we are when Jesus, the living Savior, dwells in us!! He is mighty to save.

With His love He will calm (quiet) you

In a world filled with stress, God gives His children lasting peace. It is a peace that passes human understanding (Philippians 4:7) and calms us when we feel overwhelmed.

In the midst of a serious spinal problem I had in my mid-twenties, it was only the peace of God that sustained me through 25 days of hospitalization, heavy and discomforting traction (sandbags) on both legs, negative words spoken by many people and what seemed like an uncertain future. Many years later, I still haven’t needed surgery!!

Let’s be encouraged by the words of Zephaniah 3:17 and trust our Lord at all times.

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by Permission

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God Knows You by Name

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My name is

“…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. Isaiah 43:1

We all like to protect our name. In fact, most people would do anything to stop their name being misused or abused. It always makes me happy when my name is spelt or pronounced correctly. The satisfaction is even greater when someone that I may have met only fleetingly, remembers my name.

I have at times faced some level of embarrassment when the name of a person I’m talking to has eluded me. On a few occasions, I have even struggled to remember the name of a person I was praying for at the altar!

How comforting it is therefore to understand that Our God knows and calls us by name! He says, ‘I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Yes, He knows you by name.
Let’s look at some Biblical examples to clarify this:

· A senior Citizen had most probably given up on his youthful dreams and ambitions and settled down to a quiet, nomadic life in the desert; until he had a life changing encounter with God. The sight before Moses in Exodus 2:1-6, probably reflected a modern day television as he saw a picture of a burning bush, with a voice speaking from within the bush! What were the first words God spoke to Moses? He said, ‘Moses! Moses (verse 4)!” God called him by name!

God knew Moses by name and He knows you too.

· In 1 Samuel 3:1-10, a young boy serving in the Lord’s temple was probably trying to figure out what his future in ministry would be like. He was surrounded by leadership examples that were quite horrible (Read chapter 2). Then God spoke, and God called him by name! In fact, God probably called him by name at least 5 times that night!

God knew Samuel by name and He knows you too.

· Peter denied the Lord at the most crucial hour and was handling a failure that could have haunted him for the rest of his life. He may have even considered giving up ministry. When Jesus rose from the dead however, an angel told the ladies at the tomb, “But go, tell His disciples and PETER, He is going ahead of you into Galilee.”

Peter was identified by name and so are you.

So friend, be assured that God knows you by name. That shows how personal His love is towards you.

Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth He has made mention of my name.” (Isaiah 49:1)

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by Permission

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Surrounded by God’s Protection

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1 John 4:4 Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world”

It is said that Missionary John Paton’s mission house was once surrounded and on the verge of being attacked by hostile natives. As darkness fell and the threat became more serious, Paton and all in the compound, used the only weapon they had; prayer. As they prayed, the attack did not materialize and the threat ended. Much later, as one of the tribal chiefs turned to Jesus, it was discovered that on the eventful night, the attackers had seen a vast army (God’s army) surrounding the mission house with a protective cordon. They realized it would be futile to attack as the compound was securely and strongly protected.

Living in an increasingly insecure world has its real challenges. Dangers, terrorism, new strains of viruses, economic struggles and broken/displaced families surround us on all sides. In the midst of these tensions that can crush our peace and increase our levels of anxiety, it’s comforting to know that we can look to our God, the living God, to surround us with His protection.

The composer of Psalm 125 gives us a vivid picture of what God’s protection looks like. He says, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore” (vs2). We hear a lot today about ‘surround sound‘. This is ‘surround protection’!

In 2 Kings 6:13-17, the Prophet Elisha was in grave danger in a city called Dothan. The King of Aram was desperate to get his hands on Elisha and sent a strong armed force to surround the city by night. When Elisha’s servant awoke the following morning, he was terrified by the sight of the vast army surrounding the city. Elisha however was unperturbed and said, ‘Don’t be afraid, those who are with us are more than those who are with them‘ (vs16). As the Lord opened the eyes of the servant, the scripture says that “he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (vs17). God had surrounded His Prophet with His mighty protection!

He is the same God today. Doesn’t the Bible say that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8)? The Apostle John further adds, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4 KJV). Doesn’t this include anything satan or the world can throw at us? Let’s therefore trust God to surround us with the protection needed for ourselves and our families.

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance”. (Psalm 32:7)

PrayerLord may your mighty protection surround us every day. Keep us confident in that trust! We pray In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thought – No evil can surround us when we remain surrounded by God’s protection!

By Palitha Jayasooriya
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Stop!

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A couple known to me, took time off their busy schedule to visit a lady who had just lost her husband. Since they didn’t know the lady too well, the visit turned out to be an awkward one, with neither party communicating too much. The grieving wife in fact hardly spoke a word. When the couple eventually left, they felt disappointed that they had failed to comfort the grieving widow. Many months later, to their absolute surprise, she told them that their visit had been one of the most encouraging moments for her during her time of sadness!

We live in an extremely busy world that moves at a rapid pace and given a chance, most people would rather not stop for anyone. In the process however, we could be losing great opportunities to minister God’s love and healing to hurting people.

The Lord Jesus loved to stop for people. In Mark 10:46 –52, we read about Bartimaeus, a blind man who was begging by the roadside (Vs 46). When Bartimaeus cried to Jesus, asking for mercy, many in the crowd rebuked him and asked him to be quiet (Vs 47-48). (Talk about being helpful!) The next verse however is truly beautiful! It says, ‘Jesus stopped’ (Vs 49). He then called for Bartimaeus and healed him. Because Jesus stopped, a blind man received sight and a life was transformed powerfully!

In Luke 8: 40-48, Jesus was on His way to pray for Jairus’ dying daughter. He was in a hurry and the crowd was almost crushing Him. Just then, a lady with a serious and longstanding bleeding condition, with no medical cure close at hand, touched the edge of His cloak.  Jesus stops and asks, ‘Who touched me’ (Vs 45). He stopped for this unnamed lady and a life was transformed as she experienced His healing!

Jesus stopped for Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), He stopped to bless children (Mark 10:13-16), He stopped for a grieving widow who had lost her only son (Luke 7:11-17), and He stopped for many, many others. What a difference it made! He will always stop for you too!

Friend, are you willing to stop for someone today? Are you willing to give some quality time from your busy schedule to share the love of Jesus with a hurting person? Will you walk across the street to comfort a neighbor whose family has been torn apart by the cruel hand of death? Could you take that phone call that might give new hope to a person battling cancer or depression? Will you spare a moment to speak to the lonely person seated at the coffee shop? Can you take a break from your busy day to help put some food on a struggling family’s table?

When we stop for someone, it could at times, literally mean ‘life or death’ for them. It could bring healing to a broken heart, lift up a crushed spirit and change a person for a lifetime. Even more, as we share the saving grace of Jesus, it could change that same person for all eternity!

Will you stop for someone today?

You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you’ (Author unknown).

By Palitha Jayasooriya
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Restored From Shame

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You will forget the shame of your youth. Isaiah 54:4c

“…You will forget the shame of your youth” Isaiah 54:4c

A historical wonder of my country Sri Lanka is the complex rock fortress Sigiriya and the palace built on it by one of our former Kings, Kasyapa, in the 5th century. Tourists flock there to view its beauty, grandeur and craftsmanship.  One of highlights of Sigiriya is the frescoes that are painted on its rock walls. Many years ago, some of these frescoes were vandalized by an unknown group of people, with either ink or paint being thrown to deface them. As a result, many experts had to be brought in to restore these frescoes back to their original state. Thankfully, they succeeded in the restoration efforts.

Isaiah 54 speaks about God’s restoration to a barren, widowed lady (symbolic of the nation of Israel), who had possibly been rejected by her husband (vs 6). In that time and culture, being barren, widowed and rejected, marked her for humiliation and shame. It made her extremely vulnerable.  God however speaks restoration into her shame and disgrace as Isaiah 54:4 says, “Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame.  Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.  You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood”. In verse 17, God says, ‘you will refute every tongue that accuses you…”.

Friend, are you carrying any shame or reproach from your past?  May be from your youth? Is it about failure as a parent or as a spouse or in some other area of your life? Does the recent past bring up memories of being humiliated and disgraced?  Be encouraged because our God has the amazing ability to restore us from our shame and failures when we turn to Him with our whole heart!

ILLUSTRATION – I have always loved music and singing. (This I believe led me into a career in Radio Broadcasting later on.)  When Jesus gloriously saved me, one of the first things I wanted to do therefore was to join the church choir. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that I couldn’t sing too well!! When I joined the choir, I was singing off pitch and therefore disorienting the rest of the group! As a result, it seemed like I would have to step down from the choir. This would have been a severe setback and caused much shame for me as a young boy. However, thanks to my Choir Director, 3 members of the choir and most of all, God’s help, I managed to overcome this problem. I later became a worship Leader in my church and even sang harmony!! Over the past 8 years, I have been involved in many ministry areas, but the one that I have served most closely in is…..like to take a guess? It’s worship!!!

God delights to restore us from our shame. Will you allow Him to do so?

No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame...” Psalm 25:3

Prayer – Lord, I ask you today to be the Lord over every area of my life and to restore me from all shame and disgrace. I ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by permission

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A God Who Never Deserts Us

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feature winter sceneI wonder how many times you have been let down by someone? There are many   who promise us that they will stand by us, no matter what comes our way. They say, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll be right behind you’. However, when trouble strikes, most of them are so far behind that you need a telescope to see them!

On the other hand, things around us keep changing at a rapid pace, sometimes too fast for us to adjust. In fact, some changes like getting old, developing health issues, children leaving home, having to play the role of a single mom or dad unexpectedly and losing a job can be quite scary!

It is therefore comforting to know that in the midst of changing circumstances or being let down by someone, we have a God who never deserts us! He has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’ (Hebrews 13:5)

In Deuteronomy 31, the people of God were told of a huge change that was ahead of them. Moses, the man who had led them through ‘thick & thin’ for 40 years, makes a startling statement. In vs 2 he says, ‘The Lord has said to me, you shall not cross the Jordan.’ Just imagine the shock that went through the camp! He also says, ‘Joshua also will cross ahead of you…’ (vs 3). Here was their leader, talking about a change in leadership at the critical period of entering the Promised Land. Moses also clarifies in vs 2, that he was no longer able to lead them, being a 120 years old. It was obviously a scary time for the people of Israel who were used to seeing Moses in front of them. Sure, changing circumstances can be very trying!

Moses however then assures them, ‘the Lord your God goes before you, He will never leave you nor forsake you.’ What a promise! He therefore asks the people to be strong and courageous. This gave strength to the people who had seen God go before them as a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire (Exodus 13:21). It is also no coincidence that in Joshua 1:5, God also tells Joshua, the new leader, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’.

What changing circumstances are you facing right now? How are you responding to those changes? Has fear gripped your heart? Do you feel like God is far away? Remember, ‘He will never leave you nor forsake you’. We have a God who never deserts us, specifically in the most difficult moments.

Illustration: There is a story of a family whose house caught fire. As each parent tried to grab a few belongings and a child’s hand to get out of the house as quickly as possible, the little daughter who was holding the father’s hand, broke free from his grip and ran upstairs to get her teddy bear. However, when trying to come down again, she found that she was trapped by the enveloping flames. She therefore, ran to the upstairs window and shouted for her father’s help. The father shouted back ‘jump down, I will catch you’. However, since she couldn’t see her father clearly through the smoke, the little girl cried, ‘I’m scared to jump daddy, I can’t see you’. Her father replied, ‘don’t worry honey, you just jump. I’m right under you and I will catch you. Although you can’t see me, I CAN SEE YOU’!

Our heavenly Father sees us at all times. He will never desert us!

By Palitha Jayasooriya

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God’s Goodness in 2017

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God's Goodness in 2017

You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance”. Psalm 65:11 (NLT)

What a powerful verse!!

As the New Year begins, we may be reflecting on what happened in the past 12 months. Some will have powerful testimonies while others will remember their challenges. Some would say, ‘It was my best year’, while others may say, ‘it could have been better’. Here are a few memories that went through my mind.

• I remembered a year when I ended up in hospital on January 2nd, due to a severe asthmatic condition

• I vividly remembered December 26th, 2004, when a deadly Tsunami devastated the coastline of my beloved country, Sri Lanka.

• I also remembered the end of one particularly disappointing year when Johnny Logan’s song “What’s Another Year?” seemed to be a perfect anthem for me for the year ahead!!!

Psalm 65 is considered a National Psalm of praise to God for His goodness. It was apparently sung after the spring rains came in to water and refresh the earth. The song became even more meaningful if the Nation had been through a dry season. Let’s look at what this Psalm tells us about God’s goodness.

1)    God’s Goodness Crowns the Year with a Bountiful Harvest

A crown is a special and glittering insignia worn by Kings, Queens, Emperors & other royalty. A crown or something that resembled it, was given to the winners of sporting events in Biblical times, and the winner in present-day beauty contests is also given a crown. We crown people with titles like King of Rock and Roll (Elvis Presley), and King of Pop (Michael Jackson).

According to Psalm 65:11, God places a crown of a ‘bountiful harvest’ on the year. So, are you ready to receive a ‘bountiful harvest’ through God’s ‘goodness’ in the New Year?!! (The Psalm highlights many other acts of God’s goodness to His people through verses 2-13).

A man of God said, ‘You may lack the fastest, the finest and the latest, but you will never lack what is needed’!!

  2)   God’s Goodness Will be Seen Even in the Hard Places

Even the hard pathways overflow with abundance”.

No doubt, we will have to face some, if not many ‘hard pathways’ in the coming year. It’s part of life. But, the Psalmist says, “Even the hard pathways overflow with abundance”. This statement, when looked at in the agricultural setting in which it was written, speaks about the ‘dry’ pathways being made fertile after the rains.

Maybe the past year has been a ‘dry season’ for you; for your ministry. If so, believe now that you will see God’s abundance overflowing in the ‘hard pathways’ in the New Year!
‘If God takes us on stony paths, He will fix us with strong shoes’!!

ILLUSTRATION – Right now, I remember 2013. It was a challenging year for us from a health perspective. First, to my dismay, I found that the Retina on my left eye had torn, which meant that I had to go through 2 serious surgeries in the space of 3 months. It was truly a ‘hard pathway’. A few months later, my wife was hospitalized with Dengue Fever with her condition being quite scary for a few days. Thank God, He brought us through those challenges and we experienced His goodness and favor in the midst of the ‘hard pathways’.

As we prepare our hearts to see Psalm 65:11 fulfilled in the year ahead, let’s remember that we need to give the Lord Jesus the first place in every area of our life. Here’s something I gleaned off a bulletin.

To achieve spiritual success, do not forget to give God the first hour of the day, the first day of the week, the first part of every paycheck, the first consideration in every decision, and the first place in your heart.’ – That’s a great way to start and to live through the year ahead!!

May you receive God’s crown of goodness and a bountiful harvest in the New Year, and may you see His abundance overflowing in the hard pathways. Have a blessed and Christ-filled 2017!!

By Palitha Jayasooriya

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Three Things to be Thankful For

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Three Things to be Thankful For - Devotional

Recently, a family visited and thanked me for ministering to them in a difficult situation. I felt blessed because we live in a world where gratitude is often not expressed and help given is easily forgotten. Undercutting and backstabbing seem to be the order of the day! This article reflects on three areas in which we should always be thankful and show gratitude.

Thankful for God’s Goodness

It amazes me how easily people forget God’s blessings. I have prayed with people for suitable employment but once they get the blessing, their job, and not God, gets their time and commitment. I have prayed with others for healing but once their health is restored, they chase worldly pursuits with no time for God! Sad, but often true!

For many years God was Israel’s King and provided for the Nation. However, in 1 Samuel 8, Israel unashamedly asks for a human King of their own, to keep pace with the Nations around them. They were asking for trouble and boy, didn’t they get it! They forgot God’s goodness.

A Gospel song titled ‘Remind me O Lord’, has the following lyrics and should be our prayer. Remember I’m human and humans forget, So, remind me, remind me, O Lord.

Thankful for Others’ Goodness

A Pastor trains a new intern for many years, but when established, the intern starts his own ministry, taking part of the congregation with him. A young lady invites a friend going through trouble into their home for a season, to help her through her trauma. She begins an affair with the friend’s husband and the family is devastated.  How often we hear stories like this. It reminds us that we need to cultivate gratitude and not forget what others have done for us.

In 1 Samuel 23:1-12, David saved the people of Keilah from the horrors of being captured by the Philistines. In response, they were ready to hand him over to King Saul! Talk about gratitude!

As much as people may like to brag about it, nobody makes it on their own. Along the way, people have invested their time, wisdom, advice and skills in us and given us a helping hand, when we needed it badly. Well, this just might be a good time to think of them by giving a call or sending a special gift or a ‘thank you’ card.  For some, this may be a great season to honor our spiritual leaders.

Let’s honor people while they are still alive. It’s so much better than sending flowers to their funeral!

Thankful for our Family’s Goodness
How often we take our spouse, children, parents and other family members for granted. We forget the love, faithfulness and commitment shown to us. It is said that home is the place where we are loved the most but also get hurt the most! At trying times, by being thankful and appreciative, we can stifle Satan’s strategies to invade our homes.

Husbands – Remember the girl you met at the altar, the one who bore your child and has stood by your side faithfully. Why not express your gratitude in a new and romantic way? The Kenny Rogers song says, ‘Buy me a rose, call me from work, open a door for me, what would it hurt’.
Wives – Remember the man you fell in love with and swooned over. Be thankful for what he has been to you. A little gray hair or extra weight need not bring negativity to your feelings!
Children – Be thankful for the mother who bore you inside of her; the father who has sacrificed so much for you.
Parents – Be thankful for the children God has blessed you with. Remember the joy they brought you in the growing up years. Love and pray them through the challenging years.

Together, let’s build a culture that often expresses thanks and appreciation!

Prayer – Lord, give me a heart of thanksgiving daily.

By Palitha Jayasooriya

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Living One Day at a Time

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Living One Day at a Time Devotional on Matthew 6:34

I read in a Men’s Devotional as to how we might react if our bank credits $86,400 to our account every day; the catch being that the money has to be used up the same day. If not, it’s taken away. The process is then renewed the next day and every other day with $86,400 being credited to our account daily. I’m sure most people would have no hesitation in using the money every day! Similarly, God blesses us with 86,400 seconds credited every day! Let us therefore use that time wisely and place each day in His hands.

The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 6:34Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. Yes, each day has troubles of its own, but in Psalm 68:19, God is revealed as the Lord “Who daily bears our burdens” and Jesus, in the Lord’s Prayer, taught us to pray “Give us TODAY our DAILY bread” (Matthew 6:11).

What troubles are you facing today? What are you worrying about? A quick read through of Matthew 6:25-34, where Jesus speaks against worry, will act as a powerful faith booster and a stress-buster! A quote I read says, “Do not let the worries of tomorrow, affect your relationship with God today”.

Let’s place each day in God’s hands!

A highly successful country songwriter by the name of Marijohn Wilkin drifted away from her faith after finding success. At a time of crisis and personal desperation, as the story goes, she stopped at a church for some counseling and prayer. The young Minister who was on duty had apparently asked her during the conversation, whether she had ever considered being thankful to God for her problems. As she went home and pondered over that statement, she began to play her piano and the words of a song came to her. Needing some help to complete the lyrics that she had written down, she approached Kris Kristofferson (of Why Me Lord fame) who helped her with some of the remaining words. The completed song goes like this.

I’m only human, I’m just a woman
Help me believe in what I could be, and all that I am
Show me the stairway, I have to climb
Lord for my sake, teach me to take, one day at a time.
One day at a time sweet Jesus, that’s all I’m asking from you
(Stories Behind 50 Southern Gospel Favorites)

Let’s learn to live “one day at a time”, completely trusting our Lord Jesus Christ!

PrayerLord, help me to spend quality time in Your presence today and to trust you in every challenge.  Help me also to spend quality time with my spouse and children. May I make at least one person happy today and not put off giving a compliment or a helping hand to someone. Help me also to pray for lost souls daily. Thank you, Jesus. Amen!

By Palitha Jayasooriya

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A Secure Future

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1 Corinthians 2:9

In an increasingly insecure world, people are living in tension and anxiety. Horrific scenes of death and destruction can be seen every day.  However, in such troubled times, the child of God can rest assured that our future is always secure in God’s hands!

In John 14, the disciples of Jesus were troubled because He had hinted that He would be leaving them soon (John 13:31-38). Although they couldn’t grasp all that Jesus meant, what they heard was enough to get their stress levels to rise rapidly.

In the midst of this scenario, the Lord highlighted the following powerful facts to bring reassurance to their troubled hearts.

•    He was going to prepare a place for us (John 14:2)

When we take a journey, we generally like to have proper accommodation at our destination. If not, we may even postpone our trip for another day. How encouraging it is to know that the Lord has prepared a better place for us! The scriptures show us that it will be something beyond our present imagination and vision!

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

•    He is coming back for His children (John 14:3)

The second coming of Jesus is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible. That’s a lot of scripture! Since Jesus has been true to all His promises so far, we can be assured that He will be more than true to this one as well!! When that great event takes place, He will receive us to Himself, to enjoy His blessings forever!

Someone said, ‘We do not look for the undertaker, but for the upper taker’.

Illustration – It is said that the territory held by a famous General in World War 2 was overrun by enemy forces. As he departed with his soldiers, he made a promise to the people that he would come back to liberate them soon. They held on to that promise and true to his word, the General did return with his army to liberate the land from the opposing forces.

If a human General could fulfill his promise so effectively, how much more would the King of Kings do so? Are you waiting in anticipation for the day in which the clouds will be rolled back and our Savior will appear in all His glory?

•    He gives peace to our troubled hearts (John 14:27)

God has promised to give us a peace that passes all understanding. Therefore, the Apostle Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything…” (Philippians 4:6). The Lord Jesus Himself told the Disciples, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. (John 14:27). His peace will sustain us in the tumultuous times ahead!

Illustration – When faced with an unbearable tragedy that involved untimely deaths in the family, Tom Dorsey, in the midst of heartbreak and a shattered world, penned down some lyrics that have touched thousands of lives over the years.

Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the Light,
Take my hand, Precious Lord, lead me home.

Let’s remember that the Lord Jesus is coming back to take us to a prepared place. Till then, His peace and grace will sustain us.

Prayer – Lord, may your peace and the promise of your return sustain me in these troubled times. Amen.

By Palitha Jayasooriya


If you don’t know Jesus in a personal way and would like to, you can start today by surrendering your heart to him.  Jesus can transform you from the inside out and be your anchor during times when life seems shaky. His love is amazing. You can start by praying a prayer like this:

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

If you prayed this prayer, we would love to hear from you. If you want to learn more about the Christian life, we can connect you with a mentor (by email) and send you some helpful reading materials.

If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.

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The Lifter of my Head

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prayer for Gods guidance

You are a shield around me, O Lord; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head”. Psalm 3:3

Too often at social meetings, worship meetings and at hospitals, I see people with their heads hanging low, bowed down by the burdens they are carrying. Some of them may have no one to talk to, while others show no sign of hope in their eyes. They are desperately looking for answers. Many more have given up and resigned themselves to the challenges they are battling with.

What about you? Is your head bowed down today because of a burden you are carrying? Are you desperate for God to come through?

When we are downcast or gazing downwards, our eyes are fixed only on a small area of the floor around us. What we see therefore is a very limited space and satan will do everything possible to keep our gaze on that small space. But, when God lifts our head up, we will see the whole horizon before us; the largeness of what He has created for us to enjoy! Imagine yourself on a beach at dusk, looking down. You may see a rock, some sea sand and maybe a few shells. However, if you lift your head up, you will see the entire horizon, the beautiful sky, maybe a ship or two in the distance, and the beauty of a setting sun! You then realize how big the Creator God is!!

The Good News is that Jesus is well able to ‘lift up your head’ and He is waiting to do so! Psalm 3:3 says, “But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory and the lifter of my head”(ESV). God, through Jesus, wants to show you a glimpse of His glory and to “lift up your head “. Will you call upon the mighty name of Jesus and ask Him for help now? It will change your outlook on your problem!!

PrayerLord, my head hangs low with the burdens I am carrying. Be my shield, show me your glory and lift my head up now. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

By Rev. Palitha Jayasooriya

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The God Who Provides

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We have a God who delights to provide for His children.  Devotional

Read:  1 Kings 17: 1-6

We have a God who delights to provide for His children. However, His provision is dependent on us learning to give first place in our hearts to Him and His Kingdom (Matthew 6:33).

In 1 Kings 17, a severe drought had come across Israel as a fulfillment of a prophecy given by Elijah (vs 1). Since the whole nation was going through the drought, with the accompanying famine, one may ask, what about Elijah? Would he survive?

Yes, he would, because Elijah was under God’s care and provision!
Let’s look at 4 ways in which God’s provided for Elijah.

1) God provides when we obey His word (vs 2-3)

Verse 5 says that Elijah went to Kerith, in obedience to a word given by the Lord (vs 2-3). God always provides in accordance to the many promises and also the conditions of His Word. On our part, we need to be obedient to His Word.

Because He obeyed, Elijah found a place of safety where God’s provision was freely available. What about you? Obedience may just be the gateway to His provision being released into your life!

2) God provides according to our need (vs 4 & 6)

Elijah had only 2 real needs at this time; food and water, and that’s exactly what he got! God didn’t send him money, clothes, or helpers, only food (meat and bread) and water (vs 6).

God knows exactly what we need and He is more than able to provide. Didn’t He provide a water fountain from a rock (Exodus 17: 5-7) and food from the skies (Exodus 16) to the Israelites in the wilderness?

A man of God said, ‘You may lack the fastest, the latest and the finest, but you won’t lack what is needed‘!

3) God provides at the right time (vs 6)

Someone said, ‘God is never too early, He’s never too late, He’s always on time‘.
Verse 6 shows us that God ordered the ravens to carry food to Elijah at appointed times. They were dispatched in the morning and in the evening. They didn’t come in the afternoon. Maybe Elijah was being forced into a mid-day diet!

Let’s rest assured that our God knows the timings the best. He will come through at the right time, if we hold on and don’t give up.

4) God provides in unexpected ways (vs 6)

Ravens by nature are scavenger birds. They are not known for sharing food! But, ‘God works in unexpected ways, His wonders to perform’. Therefore, never limit or pre-suppose how He can work in your situation.

Illustration – As a child, I remember when the fish vendor would come home. The moment he would take the fish out, he would be encircled by a host of crows! At the slightest opportunity, they would dart in, grab a few pieces and take off for a feast!!

If God could provide for Elijah through such birds, He can provide for us too in unexpected ways.
He is Jehovah Jireh!!

By Palitha Jayasooriya

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Unexpected Delays May be Divine Appointments

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Divine Appointments, Diving Blessings

Are you troubled about an answer to a prayer being delayed in your life? Have you almost given up?

No one likes delays. We live in an instant world, filled with instant food, instant noodles, online banking, quick promotions, quick turnovers & rapid solutions. Any delay therefore, is uncomfortable. God however, has his own timing in our lives & he can turn the delays into ‘Divine Appointments’.

In the book of Esther, we read in chapter 2 vs 21-23, about how Mordecai uncovered an assassination plot on Xerxes, the King of a mighty Empire. As he revealed the details of the plot to the King through Esther, the conspirators were apprehended & the King’s life was saved. But, what was Mordecai’s reward? NOTHING! He was forgotten. The only reward he got was that with this incident, his name was recorded in the chronicles of the King (vs 23), an action that would have great significance later. What about you? Do you feel forgotten today?

Mordecai, like any other man I’m sure, would have been rather disappointed. Wouldn’t we, if we had helped save the life of our Nation’s Leader? But, Mordecai kept serving faithfully.

At a later date, when Mordecai was about to be hanged on a large gallows the following day, due to a conspiracy by a wicked official named Haman (5:14), God planned a ‘Divine Appointment‘. It so happened that according to chapter 6:1, the King couldn’t sleep that night (some believe that he couldn’t sleep because the construction of the gallows was creating a loud ding!) Since there was no TV for the King to watch a reality show, no radio to listen to his favorite talk show or no other entertainment available at that time of night, the best thing he could do was to read about his exploits (6:1). The record of his rule was therefore read to him, and as the officials started reading, it was no coincidence that they turned to the story of how Mordecai had saved the King’s life (vs 2). When the King asked what reward Mordecai had received (vs 3), the officials would have replied sheepishly, ‘nothing’.

Man may forget, but God never forgets!

Immediately, the King planned a rewards scheme for Mordecai (vs 4-11), and of all people, Haman was chosen to do the honors! As a result, not only Mordecai’s life, but the entire Jewish race was eventually saved from possible destruction! The delay had been turned into a ‘Divine Appointment‘ and Mordecai ended up being appointed to the second highest position in the empire (10:3).

Trust God therefore through the delays of your life. You may just be on a verge of a ‘Divine Appointment’.

“An unexpected delay can be a ‘Divine Appointment’.  Any ‘Divine Appointment’ will bring divine blessing”.

PrayerLord, help me to trust you through the delays in my life. May I have the faith to believe that You will use them to bring about ‘Divine Appointments’. Amen!

By Palitha Jayasooriya

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