The Food for thought post series contains 2 sections – Food for thought and food for body. Food for body (recipe) section can be found towards the end of this post.
Food for thought | How did I come to know God?
I was living my life care free. I was brought up in a not too strict religious family. I used to pray to God for my needs. All of us have needs right! Getting good grades in exams, getting a good job and the list just goes on as the time passes by. I was familiar with simple good moral values like don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t cheat etc etc. Once I started earning, I used to help poor people. So in my sight I was a pretty good human being – not harming others, helping out others, praying to God.
I used to wonder what this life is all about. Getting up, cooking and eating food, taking care of your family, job, exercise, relaxation, .. the day is done. Most of us have the same routine which gets interrupted by some holidays or vacations. But the fact remains days are passing by.
Is there anything more to life than this?
I guess even though we have sufficient money, good family, still there remains a question – what’s the purpose for which I am born? I think this would give a direction in life once we have the answer. I was living my life pretty content. I used to think about God as the one to whom I can bring my prayers. But is that whom God is – a mere hearer to our prayers?
Is there really a God? really??
Is there really a God? really?? I think at some point of time, we all come across this question personally. For some of us the answer is yes, for some no. Its a personal choice which can have some influence by our upbringing as well. Personally I think there should be a creator. Recently i was trying to grow some seeds. I find it requires constant care to get the seeds/sapling growing. Too much of sunshine a day just resulted in some saplings getting wilted and finally died. I have seen some plants dying because of over watering also. basically just sufficient sunlight, just enough water would help the plant grow strong. I think this applies similarly to every life form.
If there is no God, I can’t see much purpose to life. As I mentioned in the previous post just living each day, doing whatever the day requires, days passing by, getting old and then just one day pass away?? Is that all to it? if we are a robot, or a machine, or a laptop that makes some sense. Even machines are made with a purpose. it does its purpose and then wears out after some time and reaches a state where is no longer usable. Even a machine has a purpose and it has a maker. What about people like us? No purpose, no maker?? are we inferior to machines?? NO!! We are created beings, we have a maker, and our creator created us with a purpose. If alone many of us who are troubled by many things in life realised this, how it could change our lives for the better. A day came, I realised it personally. I have a creator who created me with a purpose, whom I used to address as God. But then why did God create mankind? why did God create me? What’s my purpose for which I am created???…
God, why did you create me then?
Even a laptop has a purpose for which its manufactured. God, why did you create me then? What’s your purpose for me??…
When a child is born, the parents rejoice. When I see a seed germinating, it brings much joy to me. a new leaf, a bud, a flower – just brings such a pure joy. Oh seed, when I had sown you and cared for you and waiting for you to germinate and grow, i never thought you would bring such joy to me. I knew you would be a good addition to my garden, but the pleasure your each phase in growth gives me is much beyond what I expected. I think I am right in saying that its a pleasure for parents to take care of their children and see them grow. When children show their affection, how much the parents rejoice!
I personally realised – God created us for His pleasure. It’s His pleasure to take care of us, when we return the love to Him, He rejoices. Oh God, I didn’t know this earlier. For me you were only one that I can come to with my prayers and I hoped that you would answer my prayers. You love me?? That thought is too wonderful to me. My birth was a pleasure to you? Really? You are interested in my day to day life – really? God, You care for me – really?
God, You care for me – really?
But God why would you care for me? I really never bothered about you? I think of you when I wanted something in my life. Why would you care for me then? Why would you love me when I never really bothered about you?
I personally realised God is love and its His characteristic to love. How much ever bad a child is, still His mother would love him. If human love cares for a bad son, how much more pure and high would God’s love be? So God more than being my creator, you also love me? I never thought so. I have only seen love in family or friendship. I don’t love people who don’t bother about me. God, that you love me even when i didn’t bothered about you is too wonderful a love for me to understand. I have to admit that, but as the years pass by I have realised increasingly that God you really are love and your love towards mere human beings is really beyond all description. Its such a high love beyond description.
But God, then how can I know for sure that you really love me, a human?
But God, then how can I know for sure that you really love me, a human?
As I mentioned before, I was brought up in a religious family. I believed in God, as the one to whom I can pray. I never thought there can be a God who is interested in my matters. really – if someone said that to me some years before, it would have been unbelievable. God loving me is beyond a question. In my childhood, I had never heard a statement like this – that God loved me.When I heard it also, I don’t think it had an impact on me. My family loves me, ok now God also loves me. A good to know statement. As I said earlier, I considered myself a good human. Helping poor, giving money for God, no lying or cheating, so I am in the good list. One day came in my life when I heard that we all are sinners. Really!! not for me. I am good. I do good things. The statement which I heard was that – We all are sinners, Christ came to this world to save sinners. I remember in my childhood, I saw the christian God Jesus hanging on a cross. I wondered why this Christian God was hanging on a cross? But then never gave much thought to it. Its the Christian’s God. I have my own God.
When someone says that everyone is a sinner, I couldn’t just get it. As much as I know I do good things, so how in the world can I be a sinner? In my eyes, I am good. I never thought from God’s viewpoint. Everyone have some silly habits like being jealous of others, making fun of others faults, saying small lies, but not big lies. When I say that I was a good person in my viewpoint, I didn’t consider small things like this. Everyone does it right, but I am upright in serious matters.
I heard Jesus is God and came into the world to save sinners. The meaning of the name Jesus is – the one who saves His people from their sins.
I heard this and thought good Jesus is a nice God then who came to save sinners like murderers, adulterers, liars, cheaters etc. That’s fine then. Its a good thing to save people from their wrongs, so Jesus as God who save people from wrong doings was fine for me.
But it took years for me to realise that I too am a sinner in God’s viewpoint. God slowly slowly started showing me that human beings are born in sin. The finest example is children, you don’t have to teach them to tell lies or fight with other children. Its natural for them to do so. Do parents teach children to fight or do other wrong things? Sometimes parents wonder how small children became selfish, not sharing their toys or other things, fighting with other children, taking others toys? Children do this without any training. Its because of sin within us. I realised after much time, that its true that we all are sinners. We may be able to impress other people with our goodness and righteousness. But what matters ultimately is what God says about me. Am I sinner or not?? God’s answer is everyone is a sinner in God’s eyes.
I thought I was a good person, But God said in His sight, there is none good, no not one. All are sinners. I had heard about this Adam Eve story. Initially God created man in His own image to have fellowship with Him. We as humans have spirit, soul and body.
Body comprising flesh, blood, our senses
Soul – mind, emotion, will
Spirit – Conscience, intuition, to fellowship with God
God told Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The fallen angel satan tempted Eve and she ate the fruit and shared it with Adam. Thus they disobeyed God and was driven away from the presence of God. Fellowship with God was broken. God had given Adam dominion over the earth and the animals. When the first parents disobeyed God and obeyed satan, sin entered into the world. Sin is basically doing our own will instead of God’s will. We know children resemble the parents or grandparents because of genes. Similarly sin was transferred to the future human generations which was originated from the first parents. Everyone is born a sinner.
I thought God you loved me, but you made me realise that I am a sinner??
I thought God that you loved me, but you made me realise that I am a sinner??
God is love. At the same time He is perfectly just as well. Since we are created in God’s own image, we have these characteristics in some quantity in us. When we see some injustice, it disturbs us. But God is the perfection of Justice. He is love, at the same time He is just.
If the love of God overlooks sin, it would be incompatible with the just nature of God. The sin has to be punished, without which man can never again come near to God and have fellowship with Him.
God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son to the world that WHOSOEVER believes in HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Would we sacrifice anything for someone who doesn’t care for us? I really doubt. We might for someone whom we love. But for someone who doesn’t care for you, will you sacrifice anything?
I realised that’s what God did. He really did love that much,that He gave Jesus to the world which didn’t bother about God .He showed His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
I thought family love is the strongest. But even in family when quarrels happen, don’t we realise that our love is not that pure? our love is not that strong and deep as we thought. if we analyse truthfully, we can sense how selfish our love is. Husbands and wives love each other. But think is that love really selfless?If family/friend’s love was selfless, there wouldn’t be arguments, there wouldn’t be self pity, there wouldn’t be harsh speech.
Human love is selfish, because all humans love themselves more than others. The nearest which can be said of selfless human love would be that of a mother’s to a new born baby. The mother loves the child without any expectations from the baby. We humans love others and expect others to love us.
Here is how God showed His love to us, that while we didn’t love God, He still loved us. He not only loved us, but acted on that love and gave His Son whom He loved the most to the world who never cared for Him. Will any human do that? I doubt. But that’s what God did and now I know that His perfect love to mankind is so strong that He gave His Son Jesus for the world. why did God do this? To restore our fellowship with Him. God loves me this much?? I never knew.. I never realised… But now I know.
God loves me this much?? I never knew.. I never realised… But now I know.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
This is Jesus, who left all the glory in heaven and came down to earth to take away the sin of the world.
Will we ever do it? Will we even go down a bit for other’s sake? Jesus did.
Will we bear inconvenience for other’s sake? Jesus did. when He left all the comfort and worship in heaven and came down to humans who crucified Him, He bore all the inconvenience and cruelty to the utmost.
Will we stand others accusing us? Jesus did, when He was falsely accused. He bore everything silently. He said – Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. Will we forgive? Jesus did.
But God did something more and then I knew His LOVE more deeply…
But God did something more and then I knew His LOVE more deeply
Have you gone through physical suffering? To some extend all of us has gone through in varying degrees.
God knowingly sent Jesus to the world. Both God the Father and Jesus knew that one day Jesus would be crucified by wicked cruel men. It was a choice. Jesus didn’t had to come. But Jesus and God the Father loved us and Jesus came into this world. He came as a human being born like us and underwent all this physical suffering. Did it pain for Jesus? Yes it did. Did it hurt God the Father seeing all that His Son had to go though. Yes it did. Because of the great love for me, all the physical suffering was endured.
Jesus knew all the time that He would be crucified. Just imagine that if we come to know that we would die in pain suffering a lot, would we have any peace of mind? The thought itself would torture us all the days of our lives. Jesus knew this that He would die and would die a painful shameful death. The mental suffering was at the peak as He poured out in prayer before being betrayed by Judas.
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Jesus suffered such mental agony. When a child suffers on death bed, the parent’s mental agony is something which cannot be described. The child goes through the pain, emotional suffering. By seeing the suffering child, the parents go through immense mental and emotional struggle. That’s how God the Father felt when He saw His Son Jesus in agony. – And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
All this mental agony was endured because of the great love with which He loved us.
Throughout eternity, God the Father and Jesus the Son was one. Now to save the world from sin, justice has to be served. Jesus took our sins on Him and paid the penalty. The one who knew no sin, became sin for us. God is of pure eyes to behold evil. God is perfectly Holy and pure. There is no sin in God. Because of sin, Adam and Eve who were in fellowship with God was separated from God’s presence. Sin separates a person from God.
When the sin of the whole world was put on Jesus, God the perfect Judge turned forsook His Son whom He loved. Imagine a Judge having to sentence his son to death due to a crime committed. Justice demands the son to be sentenced.The Father gives the verdict. But imagine the mental suffering both the parent and the son has to go through.
Here Jesus and God the Father who were perfectly one, had to endure the spiritual suffering of separation as the sin of the whole world was laid on Jesus. Jesus always used to address God as Father. When the sin was laid on Jesus, the spiritual separation caused Him to address as God and in all the Physical, Mental and Spiritual agony He cried out – My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
All this was for because of the great love of God the Father and Jesus for a mere sinner like me.
Now I know, now I realise God your great deep love towards me.
God, what do I need to do to be free from my sins?
God, what do I need to do to be free from my sins?
Jesus, the son of God, lived in Heaven in all His glory. God saw that the whole mankind was in sin. Everywhere hatred, violence, cheating, greed, selfishness, no love or compassion for the poor and needy. Because of sin in every human being, all human was unrighteous and sinful in God’s eyes.
None of their sacrifices of bulls or goats nor money could make a man become righteous in the sight of God. No man could be justified in the sight of God, because of their righteousness sake.
God sent His ONLY begotten son Jesus Christ into this world so that ANYONE who believes in Him should not perish, but should receive everlasting life. If ANYONE believes in JESUS and asks Him to forgive their sins, He being God himself has the power to forgive sins. Only the true God can forgive the sins of mankind. Jesus being God who came to earth in the form of human alone has the power to forgive our sins.
JESUS – the meaning of the name is – the one who saves the people from their sins.
JESUS said – ‘I AM THE WAY,
I AM THE TRUTH,
I AM THE LIFE.
No man cometh to the Father (the only true God), but by me. – John 14:6
Jesus said – ‘My peace I leave with you.
My peace I give unto you.
My peace is not as the peace which the world give to you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14 : 27
Jesus alone can give the true peace. He is willing to give this peace to anyone who follows Him.
JESUS is the ONLY way to heaven.
Jesus came to the world to save people from their sins. Jesus took all our sins upon Him and died on the cross.
There was no sin in Him, no not even one. For the sake of sinners like me and you, He died a painful and shameful death on the cross.
We are born sinners, hence we need a Saviour to free us from our life long sins.
After his death, Jesus rose again after three days. Now He is in heaven at the right hand of the Heavenly Father, the Creator God.
Be truthful to yourself and do repent of your sins. Pray to Jesus. He knows our heart.
He has promised in His word – in the Holy bible. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness..
For it is not possible that the blood of goats and bulls should take away sins.
Without shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. In JESUS alone, we have redemption from our sins through His blood shed on the cross, and the forgiveness of sins and complete freedom from sin’s bondage on us.
The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
With repentance tell all your sins to Jesus. Jesus understands all your needs. He will forgive and all your sins will be cleansed. You will receive eternal life and you can be assured that you are in the right way to heaven.
Food for body | Moreish Orange cupcake with gluten free option also
- 150 grams gluten-free self raising flour
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium eggs
- 150 grams sugar
- 100 ml vegetable oil I used sunflower oil
- 25 grams pears cut into small pieces
- 25 grams apple cut into small pieces
- handful of peanuts and raisins
- cashew nuts
- zest of half a lemon use zest of whole one lemon if its small
- zest of one orange use half of the zest of a small orange for one cupcake. use the remaining half for the chocolate flavoured cupcake.
- 1 teaspoon dessicated coconut
- crushed cardamom seeds.
- 1/8 teaspoon cocoa powder for each chocolate flavoured cupcake
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon powder for each cinnamon flavoured cupcake Make it 1/4 teaspoon if you like cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
Pre-heat oven to 200C/180C fan. Prepare 12 silicone cupcake moulds. Alternatively use a 12 cupcake tray with cases.
Prepare the ingredients listed under Top up ingredients as in picture below.
Combine all the listed Base cupcake ingredients(self raising flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, oil, eggs) until just combined. Do not over mix as it will result in a dense cupcake.
Divide the mixture into the prepared cupcake cases till it's half filled as in the picture below.
Add the ingredients listed under Top up ingredients to the half filled cupcake mixture as in the picture below. Use a skewer to mix.
If required top up the cupcake mixture in the cases.The mixture should not be more than 3/4th of the case.
Bake for 22 - 28 mins until a skewer inserted into the middle of each cup cake comes out clean. Un mould from the silicone cases and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
I used store bought Betty Crocker Vanilla Buttercream Style Icing. The cupcakes taste good without icing also.
Notes : The cupcakes taste better after a couple of hours.
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