For months, I had been reflecting on this scripture, even written it on a note card placed on my desk as a constant reminder. Interestingly, eyes have also been a recurring theme in my recent paintings. The scripture reads, “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18).

During the Easter Live Art event at Hope Church, the sermon’s theme was “Ultimate Hero.” I asked my painting partner, my 7-year-old son, for his thoughts on what we should paint to relate to the sermon title. He suggested, “We should paint Jesus healing the blind beggar Bartimaeus. I think that shows Jesus’ power.” This instantly reminded me of Ephesians 1:18, and we decided to paint that. Our hearts have a spiritual eye that needs to be enlightened to fully understand the hope we’ve been called to and the richness of our inheritance.

Jesus spoke about eyes in Matthew 6:22-23, saying, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” It’s striking to realize that we can be blind to the light and mistake darkness for light. This is the default human condition since sin entered the world, resulting in utter darkness. However, God can enlighten that darkness. If He could heal a man born blind, He can also heal the blindness of our hearts. Jesus is the ultimate hero, opening blind eyes and blind hearts, bringing light into darkness. As the hymn goes, “I once was blind, now I can see.”

This original painting is available in my shop. Purchase this original painting here.

Temple Priests and Rituals

I am currently reading the book of Leviticus in the Bible. It isn’t an easy book to read because this book talks all about the duties of the temple priests and rituals. In the Bible, this is the third book of the Old Testament,and it’s the book of the laws and rituals for atonement, purification, & cleansing. It can get overwhelming and boring to read. Rules, rules, and more rules. But as I have been pushing through to complete this book, I am filled with gratitude and appreciation for what Jesus did!

One thing I see in this book is how HOLY God is. You can not approach Him casually without atonement. Another thing I see is His desire to dwell among us, to be in our midst, despite our unholiness. There are constant reminders of both these aspects in this book.

Something that struck me this morning was how blood was required in all rituals.  There is no ritual in the book of Leviticus without the shedding of the blood of animals. Blood makes atonement, cleanses,and purifies. Jesus’ death made eternal atonement for everything and everyone, fulfilling the requirements of the rituals. He shed His innocent blood, once and for all, to cleanse us from all impurity of sin and death. That also means, since we are already atoned for, we no longer gain access to God through endless rituals and observation of laws. How do we know this? The author of Hebrews, another book in the Bible but in the New Testament, writes this:

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)  he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:11-14 ESV‬

The book of Leviticus gives me a deeper appreciation for what I have received in Christ – grace  This is grace is for everyone. We receive it through faith in Him. Praise God that longer have to take goats and calves for atonement. Jesus, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, is enough.

This painting is titled Crimson and represents the body and blood of Jesus.

It is Finished!

Today is Ash Wednesday, and it marks the beginning of Lent. This morning, I was reading through the Bible and accidentally (was it?) came across the passage in Leviticus.

All the rest of the bull—he shall carry outside the camp to a clean place, to the ash heap, and shall burn it up on a fire of wood. On the ash heap, it shall be burned up. Leviticus 4:11-12

This passage talks about the rituals for when a priest or when the whole congregation of Isreal sins against God unintentionally and realizes they have sinned. For atonement, the priest will have to sacrifice a bull for himself or for the congregation, carry the blood of the sacrifice to the incense altar in the Holy Place and sprinkle the blood before the Veil before Most Holy Place. He would then mark the gold incense altar with the blood from the sacrifice. He would then make a burnt offering at the brass altar outside the entrance of the tent of the meeting. After all these rituals for atonement were complete, he would carry the carcasses of the sacrifice and burn it on an ash heap outside the camp. Such a lengthy ritual for atonement for sin?

One commentary reads, “After this, the carcass was burnt outside the camp. When people saw this being done, they knew that the ritual was over: sin had been judged, and fellowship with God was restored.

When Jesus died and shed his blood, he made atonement for us. Atonement for our sins is complete, done, finished. Sin has been judged, and fellowship with God is restored. So this Ash Wednesday, as you are reminded of your “unintentional” or intentional sins, remember also that Jesus has already made atonement for your sins. Your relationship with God is restored. You belong to Him. This is God’s love for you! This is good news! Really good news!! Happy Valentines Day and a thoughtful Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday

The Wind

I am typing this as we are nearing the end of our 2000-mile road trip to Ohio and Niagara. We are driving into Iowa now. Iowa has been our home for the past 11 years. One thing you can’t miss while entering into this state is wind turbines scattered across either side of the interstate. Corn fields as far as the eyes can see and wind turbines silently doing their their job, producing clean energy.

Wind Turbines, Iowa by Sukirtha Joseph

A wind turbine moves to the lightest breeze. It might look like there is no wind, but these wind turbines are proof that there is movement in the air. While mindlessly watching these turbines, I was reminded of Jesus’s conversation with Nicodemus.

Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” John 3:5-8

In my walk with Jesus, the one thing I am constantly reminded of is that the Spirit of God moves in unimaginable ways. Just when we think we know the way, there is a better but often unexpected way in which God moves. The other thing that I know is that the Spirit of God is always on the move. We may not always see Him, but there is plenty of evidence around us of His movement.

Salvation is of the Spirit of God. You can not accelerate it. You can not slow it down. You can not manufacture it, you can not force it. You can not control it because it is like the wind. But when the wind moves, you will experience it. You will see the blades move and experience the result of the movement – clean energy that can help light the whole city.

In Jesus’ Name

This painting has the name of Jesus written in 61 languages. If you see a mistake in your language, please reach out. If I have missed adding your language, please let me know, and I am happy to add it in. Now, a bit about the painting – read on if you are curious about why I painted this.

You might not necessarily believe in the Biblical account of how languages came to be but stick with me to understand the story behind this painting. In Genesis 11, we see mankind desiring to be like God (once again) and building a tower to test their limits. God, unpleased with their pride, brings confusion by introducing several languages. With several languages, they could no longer communicate, and the tower was never finished. Today, we still see the repercussions of this confusion. According to Google (I used Google a lot for this painting), more than 7100 languages exist today, and to this day, we can not communicate seamlessly. And to make it worse, we somehow believe our language is superior to the next.

The story of Babel is a stark reminder of the broken world (because of sin) and how God intervened at various times to temporarily prevent further damage. But the confusion at Babel didn’t make the world better, or did it? The diversity in languages both adds beauty and confusion to the world. Doesn’t it? Are the various languages God’s angry response to human pride?

The answer lies in the various passages in the Bible, but I would like to point to just two instances. After Jesus ascended after His resurrection, the Holy Spirit (Spirit of God) came upon the disciples and filled them with the ability to speak in tongues (Tongues? What does that mean?). The disciples began to speak in languages that they were not used to speaking in. The guests visiting from other countries were able to understand these new languages that the disciples were now speaking in. The foreign guests could now understand what the disciples were speaking (for a brief time), and the good news of Jesus was now understandable to these foreigners. God was unifying these people through the use of different languages.

Fast forward to the final book in the Bible, and we see a beautiful picture of what is to come – God’s grand finale. We see that before God’s throne, in the new heaven and new earth, is a huge gathering of people – people from every nation, tribe and language. God did not eliminate all these languages and races and make them into one. Instead, He unifies them through His sacrificial love.

In God’s Kingdom, even the things that divide us can be redeemed to unite us. With God, all things are possible. And on that note, may we find reasons to unite instead of divide, for Jesus died for each and every nation, tribe and language. Every drop of red paint on my painting represents the shedding of His blood for the people of every nation, tribe and language. His precious blood doesn’t divide. It unites in Jesus’ name! Can we unite, too?

Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Acts 2:7

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. Revelation 7:9

Intimacy With God

Getting to know God personally is  the most fulfilling thing you will ever have in your life. It’s often difficult to grasp because we wonder if we can ever know God personally.

My journey to experience God more personally probably began in my late middle school / high school years. I can’t point to a specific date, but I know it was around that time I started wanting to understand more and learn more about my Creator. I remember binge watching a TV channel that was dedicated to God centered music and programs. I also remember finding different strategies to read the Bible and pray. I was never too consistent, but there was this deep desire in me to know God, to understand Him and follow Him, no matter the cost.

In my college days, I remember wanting to attend a 3 night pentecostal prayer meeting hosted by a traveling pastor in a nearby church. My parents knew him personally, and by his words and actions, we knew God was working through him. I wanted so much to be like him, to have such a close relationship with God, and to exercise  supernatural gifts with humility. I attended all three nights of prayer.

When kids my age would have opted to stay away from this kind of church service, I willingly went in and stayed diligent on all three nights. These services went on for 3 to 4 hours each night, and each night, I would see people worshipping God out loud, speaking in tongues, getting healed, and I stood there with nothing. I could not sense the Holy Spirit moving or experiencing any change in how I perceived God. I did not speak in tongues or feel goosebumps or have a warm fuzzy feeling or see a great light . I stood there – still like a rock.

I was a bit disappointed that I had spent 3 nights  wanting more of Him, and yet there was nothing. I went home discouraged but not hopeless. I continued asking God for a supernatural encounter, but nothing supernatural happened. But, my desire for Him never changed. I still prayed and read the Bible and listened to sound teachings while using discernment and referring to the Bible to verify what I was learning. I continued to grow slowly in my faith. That was grace!

Today, I talk about dreams, visions, and prophecies. How did that come to be? I don’t know.  There were no big signs. There was no speaking in tongues. Looking back, I realize that God in His faithfulness helped me draw closer to Him. His desire is always to help us know Him more intimately. I haven’t perfected the art of understanding God’s heart. His love is deep, and mystery is in his very nature. The closer I get, the more I understand. He continues to take me deeper into His presence one day at a time. Sometimes, He reveals unsearchable things, and sometimes, His presence is silence.

It doesn’t matter how God reveals His heart to you, be it through dramatic encounters or through His silent presence, receive it by faith. Trust in His goodness to lead you closer to Him as you live a life of complete surrender, seeking and desiring to know Him as your highest priority. It may sound like a cliché but read your Bible and pray.  Don’t just listen to what others teach you, but ask the Spirit of God for discernment and for Him to teach you.

God loves you and will lead you. Jesus promised that His sheep will know His voice. You are His sheep, He is the Good Shepherd. He will make Himself known to you. There will come a day when you will know His voice clearly, keep asking and listening.


This was painted live during worship and here’s a little bit of back story for those interested. To keep the post length manageable, I am formatting it differently than usual. Still long though 🙃

1. I pour water mixed with different colors (red, yellow, blue) in small cups to create background
– I see water and fire as a result.
– I write words – Bread of Life, Manna, the Way, the Truth, the Life, Prince of Peace and more(I no longer remember them all).
– I use more red, orange yellow, light and dark blue.
– I switch to using my fingers now.
– I create a large circle on the upper right corner with blue paint
-I realize red was stuck to my fingers so now I have red lines in my blue water (my theme for Lent was water and blood poured out of his side)
– I deepen the red and orange and add texture to resemble fire on the left.
– I make an eye out of the large blue circle (which coincides with the song being sung “I see you”. )
– I add the words El Roi God sees you.
– I add the words “I AM” three times (Trinity).
– I add large tear drops
-I add read hearts inside each tear drop.
– I see my palette and notice a strange shape formed by accident. I think it looks like a Hebrew letter (I don’t know Hebrew). I consider adding the shape to the canvas – what if it has a wierd meaning? What if it’s gibberish. I decide to add it anyway. (More about this shape at the end)
– I add planets to the right and texture to the left.
– I paint a light flare to the left.
– I add a red heart under the light flare ( I realize that’s in the reverse order).
– Add more texture in red and blue
– Add the final touch- the Greek symbol Alpha (I later understand the name of the painting ties in with this).

The whole thing was done in about 1.5 hours and was done with zero prep upfront. I painted whatever the Holy Spirit impressed on my heart.

The odd shape on my pallete that resembled a Hebrew letter was indeed a Hebrew letter. When I put it on the canvas, I had no idea of what it meant. The videographer who was shooting the event came to me after the worship ended. He asked my why I kept staring at the palette. I mentioned about the shaped that appeared in my palette. He curiously asked if I put that on the canvas. I did and showed it to him. He said, “we will need to Google that out to see what it means, don’t we?” That evening I Googled it out, as per his advice and I learned that the shape resembled the Hebrew alphabet “Shin”. The significance? This is the shape the high priests make with their hands while pronouncing the priestly blessing on the people of Israel(Vulcan hand salute in Star Trek). This is also the alphabet engraved on the prayer box containing the Mezuzah.

My interpretation of the painting-  the God who was at beginning, who created all things and who sustains all things is mindful of us. When He sees the pain, suffering, evil, sin and death, he grieves. He weeps and His tears are born out of love for His people and for His creation. Fire and Water denotes justice, judgement and refining. However, God’s heart is one of love. To the ones who desire true intimacy with Him, He will bring light and clarity to the heart.  His heart’s deepest desire is to bless.

I did not name the painting until almost a month later. As I was asking God for a name, the word Elohim came to mind. I researched the meaning and it perfectly describes the painting.

In the beginning Elohim… Genesis 1:1

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.” Numbers 6:22-27


Unsearchable- Painting by Suki Joseph Premnath

Books, stacks and stacks of books. Growing up in India, my relationship with books was simple – test score. I read books, when needed, so I could pass my tests. My school had a small library and we weren’t allowed to check out books. We could read it and give it back before exiting the library. I hardly visited the library because we had back to back classes and I had no time to visit the library. Simply put, I did not grow up reading random books or novels. After moving to the West, I saw a stark contrast. Everyone reads all the time and almost everyone wants to author their own book. With digital books and media, one can get their hands on any book, anytime. Book studies, book clubs and small groups revolving around books are so common here that I continue to be fascinated by it all. 

This painting was inspired by Jeremiah 33:3. I have come to understand that every time God speaks to me, there are multiple layers and dimensions to it. I am humbled each time by the depth of His wisdom and how often I cannot fully comprehend His plan. We can read all the books we want and apply all the theories, formulae and theology We’ve learnt but we would still fall short of understanding all the mystery. Despite our inability to fully comprehend Him, God chooses to reveal hidden things to us. He chooses to (doesn’t have to) reveal His character, His beauty, His love and His plans for the future to us, who at every turn seem to stray away from Him. There have been several times in my life where God has revealed hidden things as forewarnings, as path for the future or as added details to partial knowledge. He has revealed things through numerous, oftentimes unconventional ways. Why He would do that remains a mystery to me. 

Jeremiah 33:3 is a promise, a hope, for fallen humanity, that when we call on Him, He will reveal things that are hidden from us. God can, and often does, reveal unsearchable things that we cannot find in books or stacks of carefully written theories and papers. He reveals Himself to us because of who He is and for His name’s sake. When prophecies are given, it is out of His mercy and unending grace. I can understand that we have been burnt by several so-called “prophetic messengers” but that doesn’t change the fact that God still intervenes in unimaginable ways with ordinary people. Call on Him and He will reveal great and unsearchable things. He will do so for His own sake. Despite divine revelation, we may never fully understand and that’s okay. He understands.

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

The Gift of Lent

Lent is a season of reflecting on the cross and remembering the resurrection. Millions of followers of Jesus around the world consider this an important season that climaxes with Good Friday and Easter. It’s been almost 2000 years since the original events of Christ’s death and resurrection, and somehow, the cross is still relevant today. Why?

John 3:16 is perhaps one of the most well-known verses in the Bible. It reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This verse succinctly summarizes the gospel message and is a powerful reminder of God’s love for us.

The first part of the verse, “For God so loved the world,” emphasizes the magnitude of God’s love. It also points to the fact that this love is not just for a select few, but for the entire world. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, God loves you.

The second part of the verse, “that he gave his one and only Son,” highlights the sacrificial nature of God’s love. He didn’t just say he loved us, he showed it through his actions. He sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins. This was the ultimate act of love and the ultimate sacrifice.

The final part of the verse, “that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” is an invitation. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, he promises both abundant life and eternal life. We will not perish but have life. This is a promise from God to us. Simply believe and receive His grace, love, and life.

John 3:16 is a powerful reminder of God’s unconditional love and the incredible sacrifice he made for us. It points us to the cross. The cross is where God met people in the most unbelievable way. Whether you observe Lent or not, let the message of the cross remind you of God’s sacrificial love for you, your family, your children, and your future generations. His love on the cross was, is, and will be relevant for ages to come.

Take Up The Cross

When Jesus called his disciples, they left behind their livelihood – their fishing nets and boats, their tax collecting booths and money, their business and home. They thought Jesus was the one they had waited for all their lives, the Messiah that will help them overcome the Romans and restore Israel’s glory and bring independence. They thought they were going to be military. Eventually, they realized Jesus didn’t plan on fighting anytime soon. He was doing miracles and He even imparted power to the disciples to do miracles. The disciples probably thought of themselves to be superheroes now. Some disciples wanted to wanted to call fire down on a sinful people. They liked this even better. Military was powerful but being “avengers” was not just powerful but cool. Jesus then began talking about dying and the cross. The disciples didn’t like it. They didn’t want it. But Jesus kept intentionally moving towards the cross and called His disciples to take up their cross and follow him. Give up livelihood and take up the cross, possibly die (10 out of the 12 disciples died a martyr)? The disciples probably felt foolish or even remorseful. But something about Jesus drew them closer to him. Peter, the most popular disciple who was known for being brash and talkative, said, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words that give eternal life”.

Today, Jesus calls us too. He says, “come follow me”. It doesn’t always involve giving up your livelihood but there will be times when He will ask you to give up something that you hold dear so you can follow him fully and through that know God more fully. When he says follow me, it will involve a cross. At times, it might feel foolish, but He has words of life, eternal life. He will convict, challenge and transform you and its never going to be easy. Following Him is not going to be comfortable but it will be fulfilling and life giving. Take up that cross and follow him, you will not regret it. Life makes more sense when we take up the cross and follow Him.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26