Let us wisely utilize our privileges.

 by Philip Verghese ‘Ariel’ 

A famous Hindu pilgrim centre in Andhra Pradesh, The Tirupathi temple, (one of the highest pilgrim gathering places in the world) is in the news again. The film actor Amitha Bachen and his family get a special treatment from the temple authorities whenever he visits this temple.  In the recent incident, after his son’s marriage the family members visited the temple with the newly married couple. For giving them special facility the authorities kept aside thousands of other devotees in dark. position.  The old people, women and children all waited in the hot sun for hours together for their turn.  The devotees agitated over the issue and there was a big commotion in the premises.   The temple authorities recently made many changes for the devotees visit.  Earlier the devotees are allowed to go very close to the deity and have darshan, but now for the security reason they made the distance to a 30 feet far. They have to be satisfied with that far vision of the idol.   But here too the VIPs and VVIPs have some special consideration.   Another temple in South, in Kerala, the famous Sabarimala Temple also was in the news recently in connection with the entry of women in the temple.  The women devotees are not permitted to enter into this temple. A women devotee (that too a film actress) entered the temple in disguise a few years back and now the issue is raised up by someone and a big controversy is going on.   Another important thing is that the devotees are allowed to enter in this temple ones in a year. The main gate of sanctum sanctorum opened ones in a year.  Yet another temple in Kerala, The Guruvaayoor temple also was in the news recently.  After the thread ceremony of the grand son of a Union Minister the temple poojari (priest) did a shudhikalasam/Punyaham (purification ceremony).   The reason is that the minister’s wife was a Christian.  Non Hindus are prohibited to enter into this temple.   This becomes a big issue.  Humiliated by this incident the minister’s family filed a case against the Poojari and the temple authorities for the ill treatment meted out to the minister’s family.  What a tragic and sad situation the devotees of other gods’ face. These incidents are classic examples to their sufferings.   One God will not allow women devotees, another one shows partiality towards their devotees.   But how privileged we are as believers’ in Christ.   Our God, who is true and living never, shows partiality. Rich or poor, VIP or non-VIP, men or women all are equal before Him.  His believers have the full access to approach Him at any time.   He the creator of this universe is always available to His devotees. What a wonderful God is our God.  But the problem is that, we are not availing or utilizing this great privilege.   It is our fault, not using the opportunity and looses the blessings Our Lord himself urges and taught His disciples the need or necessity of prayer. He said in Matthew chapter 6   Pray, then, in this way: The famous prayer pattern of our Lord, which we can read in the following verses.   (vv.9-13) Jesus taught His disciples to pray this way; it definitely shows prayer is needed and necessary. One should submit his needs before the Lord.  Yes, we are His children, like a child we can go to His presence he loves to hear our voices.  It pleases His heart.  We can boldly go to His presence and submit our needs before Him, whereas others can’t.  They go to their gods with fear and trembling.  Our prayer to our God gives us an added advantage and assurance that we are not alone, He is with us, and we are His. Even though sometimes we face trials and temptations, it is in His presence we get comfort and consolation. In Psalm 23 we read like this “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil; for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me”. (v.4).   We believers have this peace with him.  When crisis comes, we feel dejected and depressed. In such situation praising God is a bit difficult task.  But it is possible. When the Holy Spirit over rules our hearts it will be an easy task. Even in difficulties we can rejoice in the Lord and praise God.   Paul and Silas are a good example to this.  Prison situations, as we all know not a pleasant one.  But in such situation they rejoiced in singing praises to God. (Act.16:25)  From such an unpleasant atmosphere Paul wrote some of his wonderful consoling epistles.   He wrote to the Church at Ephesus.  “Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father. (Eph.5:20).  Again in another prison epistle he wrote to the church at Philippi: “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say rejoice.” (Phil. 4:4).  Only a spirit filled and spirit guided person can write such thoughts. The Devil our adversary loves and encourages us not to give thanks to God especially when things are moving in a bad way or in an opposite direction.   But only the believers can face such situation boldly.  Holy Spirit will empower us and guide us in such moment and helps us to go to His presence with our pressing needs. Nowhere have we get comforts except in His presence.   Yes, only we, the believers have this wonderful privilege.  For giving such an unfathomable privilege we must always give thanks to Him.  Few of the many privileges we enjoy in Christ Jesus are:

  • Any time we believers can approach our God with our needs.
  • We have the privilege of growing in His presence.  The greatest of all gifts the wonderful Word of God—The Bible—is in our possession which nobody else have except the believers.   It gives us the comforting words every movement of our life, but we hesitate to utilize it for our peril.
  • We are the only people who got the full assurance of Salvation which our God prepared for the world.
  • We have the Holy Spirit indwells in us.  It helps us to live a victorious Christian life on this earth.

Now we have to decide it for ourselves.  Are we utilizing these great privileges for the utmost satisfaction of our Lord? Or are we neglecting it, and missing the opportunity God has given us? Yes, we are answerable to these questions.  Let us not grieve the Holy Spirit. Mahatma Gandhi was once asked by a missionary.  “What is the great hindrance to Christianity in India? Pat gave the answer, “The Christians” Dear brothers and sisters please think about this answer seriously, is it not true in many cases?  The other day a prominent Christian leader of  Andhra Pradesh who holds many responsible positions in Christian circles, while speaking to a special audience he said, “Present day, even in churches the leaders, Bishops, Pastors, Evangelists and Elders are at loggerheads for some unforeseen reasons”.  Yes how true it is, we can see a cold war going on in between these Christians.   What a tragic situation we Christians face in our community?   How can we lead a victorious Christian life?  The time is up.  Let us grow in the knowledge of our Lord.   Let us have His mind in us that is the only solution to all such problems.  Let us pray for a total and great transformation even among us.  Let’s wisely utilize these golden privileges which we posses. Let us draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. (James. 4:8) May God help us. END

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One Response to “Let us wisely utilize our privileges.”

  1. Mike Ratliff Says:

    Nice post Phil! Yes, let use these privileges all within the will of our Lord and for His glory.

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