It is a wrong notion in Christian life that leading a Pius life brings us all materialistic favours from God. The only answer of innocent suffering in our life is the imitation of our Lord’s suffering. To culminate our spirituality we need to deny our self, carry His Cross and follow him unto the last.
Jesus told his disciples “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” This verse has been taken from St.Mathew 16:24 and this is more like an announcement made by Jesus to his disciples immediately after a rude encounter with Peter. There were sufficient reasons for Jesus to make these words in utterances. The same Verse has been repeated in St.Mark 8:34 and St.Luke 9:23. Prior to these words, we see in the course of a conversation with Peter, Jesus got annoyed with him on account of a suggestion put forward by him regarding the future life of the Son of Man. It is found very noteworthy, the way Jesus relates to Peter to call him as ‘Satan’. The reference done by Peter was satanic and Messiah was very vigilant of the purpose and ways of satanic temptations. But Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."
It is of utmost important to look into the background of this episode. Once Jesus revealed to his disciples that he would be suffered and killed by the Elders, Chief Priests and Scribes at Jerusalem and will be raised on the third day. To this, Peter speak out as an advice to Jesus; “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” Suddenly our Lord retorted to Peter; "Get behind Me, Satan!", addressing Peter as ‘Satan’. Was Peter really looking out for Jesus, or was he actually looking out for himself? The Philosophy of life, which was kept in Peter’s mind, had to be corrected by Jesus. The wrong concepts, they had, were to be changed.
All the disciples were with a notion in their mind that by following Jesus they can make their earthly life a profitable one. Jesus needed to make their thoughts straight. The disciples were well aware of the Power of Jesus. In the heart of heart, they might have thought that they can make plenty of money and possess power of healing, casting out demons, respect from people and all kind of material benefits by the help and partnership with their leader Jesus.. But Jesus revealed his true mind to his disciples regarding the philosophy of life. If Jesus is killed, they would lose all they had hoped for those past three years. Their all-high expectations will be lost forever. Their friends, relatives and neighbors may ridicule them in all aspect. They were very confident that Jesus can survive easily of any troubled situations. Therefore, Peter had to advise our Lord not to happen as he proclaimed his death.
While we try to analyze these verse in detail, we notice three very simple but important messages underlying in this verse, which are very difficult to observe.
In Hinduism there are for stages of life namely Bhramacharya, Grahasthasrama, Vanaprestha, and Sanyasa These should be practiced in the ascending order off life. In first two stages of life, men will earn all earthly materials and in latter two stages what he earned will be renounced. All Christian fathers in early Church gave up everything and possessed Jesus as their whole and only asset. In English there are two words: attachment and detachment. We put all our effort to earn money, education, employment, respect from others, position, fame and all worldly pleasures for the enjoyment of life. But Jesus refused all material possessions for himself and gave up them to others. He never bothered the future safety of this physical life. He spoke to Pilate in St.John 18:36 “My Kingship is not of this world.” St.Paul says in Acts 20:35 “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” In St.John 12:24 Jesus says, “Truly, Truly, I say to you unless a grain of wheat falls into earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” From all these verses, it is definite that the message of self denial is very strong in the teachings of Jesus.
The disciples of Jesus were with the impression that they were safe under the hands of their Guru in all respects. They never expected an experience of cross in their future life. They knew that the Lord would protect them from all kinds of troubles. No enemy can harm Jesus or the disciples in any situation. In our life we also keep an understanding that if we observe prayer, fasting, regular participation in worship, alms giving, confession, Holy Communion etc. then God will do all favours to us. But this is a wrong notion in Christian life. Jesus himself suffered a lot, though he was innocent and sinless in all respects. St.Mary, John the Baptist, Apostles and all holy fathers of early Church had to suffer, lay down their body and to depart for heavenly abode with great happiness. St.Paul says in Gal 6:14 “But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” The only answer of innocent suffering in our life is the imitation of our Lord’s suffering. In Hindu religion suffering is due to the result of Karma but Islam believes it is fatalism. In Christian life, suffering has got an important place to strengthen our spirituality. Jesus repeatedly spoke this idea in His Public Ministry.
Our Lord chose Judas Iscariot as an Apostle among twelve. But he could not culminate the Apostolic Mission. He laid his hands to join with the enemies and betrayed his Guru for death. We also begin our spiritual life with God, through the Baptism. While we grow older, many may follow the wrong path due to the influence of adversaries. As a result, we give up Lord Jesus exactly as Judas Iscariot betrayed Him. If we are firm to live our life with Christ, we will be forced to deny many worldly pleasures. Following the footsteps of Jesus must be the target of our life. Our Lord is the Good Shepard and we are the sheep. We are supposed to follow the footsteps on His guidance. We have to maintain our personal friendship with our Lord uninterruptedly. We read the temptation of Jesus in St.Mathew 4:1-11. Satan asked our Lord to make compromise with him. If Jesus inclined to the temptations, He could not have redeemed the humanity from the bondage of sin. The true sheep will keep their life always in proximity with the Shepherd, Jesus and they will never turn their attention to left or right and they will never back off from the right path. The wife of Lot could not finish her journey because of her turning to the back. She wanted to see once more the beauty of her native place, against the instruction from the Angels. Obedience, Self-control and the desire to finish the aim of life are inevitable to culminate our mission of life.
To sum up the message of the verse we dealt with, that we must be ready to give up all earthly possessions including our life. With out any disappointment let us welcome all persecutions of life for our Saviour Lord Jesus. The bitter experience of this life on behalf of Jesus Christ should bring internal happiness and more devotion towards risen Lord. Thus we can show a true Christian Life, leading a life of self denial., carrying his cross and following his footsteps in our daily life.
PAULOSE MAR MILITHIOS METROPOLITAN
PAULOSE MAR MILITHIOS METROPOLITAN
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Jesus was raised from the dead as the “first fruit of the dead,” Christ is unique and without parallel because He never died again rather, defeated death once and for all. The cardinal gist of all gospels and the quintessential reason for the very beginning, existence and growth of Christianity was His resurrection from the dead.
A greeting of peace and goodwill to all of you, the Lord is risen. Let us thank God for His countless mercies, for the opportunity to once again rejoice in His glorious resurrection. Resurrection is the condition of a deceased coming back to life. Elijah brought back the widow’s son to life, 1 K 17-24. Elisha raised the Shunemite’s son to life, 2 K 4:32-37. Jesus Christ raised Lazarus to life, Jn 11: 1-44, the son of Nain’s widow, Lk 7: 11-17, and Jairus’ daughter, Mk 5: 22-24. These resurrections were but temporary as all of them died again in due time. But here is another resurrection to immortality, which is Jesus Christ and He alone offers immortality to those who believe in Him.
Jesus was raised from the dead as the “first fruit of the dead,” 1 Cor 15:20. Resurrection of Jesus Christ is unique and without parallel because He never died again rather, defeated death once and for all. The cardinal gist of all gospels and the quintessential reason for the very beginning, existence and growth of Christianity was His resurrection from the dead.
Numerous testimonies affirm the fact of Jesus’ resurrection. Firstly, we have an empty tomb, Mat 28: 1-8, Mk 16:1-8, Lk 24:1-12, Jn 20: 1-10. The disciples’ natural reaction of disbelief and wonder adduces beyond doubt that it was not a concocted story but a reality. This reality transformed the lives of the disciples. Jesus’ arrest, unfair trial, rude persecution, crucifixion, shameful death on the cross, etc made the disciples cowardice, scared, frail and without hope. Sitting in the closed room enough proof of their utter despair. If Jesus had not resurrected the doctrines and the disciples would have perished and there would have been no Christians. Peter proclaimed, “You crucified Him but God raised Him,” Acts 4:10. Their boldness and fervor as recorded in the Bible sufficiently prove the reality of resurrection. Peter was so fragile and feeble that he denied Christ three times before an illiterate lowly servant girl. But the same Peter stood before the Sanhedrin and asked them, “Is it right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard,” Acts 4:19-20. Where he got such boldness to so resolutely stand in the presence of enemies of gospel? How the disciples who were mostly illiterate could ultimately give their own lives and change the whole world transforming Millions of souls until this day? The answer is nothing but the Lord is risen.
But there are arguments against death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let me hasten to add that these doubts and arguments do not stem from believers but from unbelievers who live in sin. However, we have to be prepared to answer them.
1. SWOON THEORY : Jesus did not actually die but had only fainted and revived in the comfort of the tomb. The law forbids remaining the bodies on the cross on Sabbath. The soldiers went to break legs of the crucified victim to ascertain death before removal from the cross. They did not break His legs as they had found Him already dead. Then they pierced his side. Blood and water gushed out, Jn 19:31-37. This instance points to the fact that blood had already disintegrated, a positive sign of death. Blood, which comes out of living organism looks like compound, not like mixture or water. The difference can be understood by comparing whole milk and broken milk. Even to one who assumes that the soldiers’ observation could be wrong or inconclusive it is infallible indication that a gash in the heart deep enough to cause profuse instant bleeding could by all means cause death. Again, we will be fools to think that the soldiers had no expertise to distinguish death and life of the crucified victim. They were sufficiently trained to ascertain the death of the crucified before getting the body out of the cross. No Roman soldier would leave behind a doubt, as it would be to his own peril. Further, as a believer I have no reason to doubt the infallible word of God, which clearly says that Jesus Christ died for my sin. “Being put to death in flesh, 1 Peter 3:18. “You proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes, 1 Cor 11:26. “He was obedient to the point of death, says Phil 2:8. “Firstborn of the dead,” says Revelation 1:5. “I am the first and the last. I am He who lives and was dead and behold I am alive forever,” Revelation 1:18. Here, Christ Himself in unambiguous terms declares that He was dead and is alive. A believer need no more proof than this very declaration of Christ.
Christ was God and since Christ died and was buried and rose again on the third day, did God die and cease to exist for three days? As is clearly expounded in our various prayers, the whole subject is shrouded in mystery and it is impossible to comprehend all the intricacies of the mystery without a believing mind because human mind is essentially finite. Attentively partaking the prayers of the Church, especially of Good Friday, is the only means to clear these doubts. “Truly did the Word of God suffer in the flesh and was sacrificed and broken on the Cross; and His soul was departed from his body, while His Godhead was in no way departed either from His soul or from His body,” prayer of fraction. ‘Word, the eternal Son of God was in the womb of Mary, He was on the earth in human flesh, He was on the Cross, He experienced death in flesh and was counted among the dead, He was in the tomb for three days, while at all the same time He was ever in the bosom of the Father for, there was no time He was without in heaven or away from His Father. Being present in flesh and in the bosom of Father in heaven at the same time is what is mystery or ‘wonder’ (Doomoro in Syriac) which one could discern with believing mind.’
2. ILLUSION THEORY : This theory is that Mary Magdalene saw the gardener and mistook for Jesus. Jesus came into the room when it was shut and spoke to them, Jn 20: 19. He showed His hands and side and asked Thomas to put his finger in the wounds and satisfy himself. They believed in Him. He ate with them, taught for forty days pertaining to the Kingdom of God. He was also seen to Cephas, then the twelve and 500 at a time, 1Cor 15:5-6. He walked and ate with them.
3. HALLUCINATION THEORY : This theory has that, since the disciples were so fondly hoping for reunion with Jesus, in their utter imbroglio and unstable psyche they thought they saw Jesus. Truly, Mary did not expect resurrection but thought someone stole the body. Disciples also disbelieved, as their first reaction, Mk 16:11.
4. SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION : This argument is that great men live through their teachings. Jesus lives like Confucius or Tolstoy. How then, the tomb was empty? Despite many archeological excavations remains of Jesus have never been found. Thus all the theories are absurd.
Seven testimonies attest the reality of resurrection:
He pacified the fearful and trembling disciples, Jn 20:21.
He rebuked two men on the way to Emmaus, “O foolish ones and slow of heart,” Lk 24: 25.
He exhorted Thomas, “not to be unbelieving but believing” Jn 20:27.
He instructed Peter, “cast the net on the right side of the boat,” Jn 20:6.
He initiated Peter’s confession and commissioned him to feed the lambs and sheep, Jn 21:15-17.
Commanded to preach gospel to all creature unto the uttermost parts of the earth, Mk 16:15.
|7.||He said, “I am with you always, even until the end of the world,” Mat 28:20.|
Resurrection of Jesus gave us the hope of eternity. Can there be Christianity without the resurrection? Because Christ has risen we have assurance of resurrection. Since He lives we will also live with Him. If we have no hope of resurrection why Christ died? How forgiveness benefits us if we have no hope of resurrection? It would mean that God has no victory over death and all our ancestors are blasphemers and we still live in sin. The Church declares that Jesus Christ truly resurrected and that is our ultimate hope. May His peace be our anchor!
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The blood that Jesus bled on the cross bought eternal salvation for mankind. While the quality of our materialistic life is triggered with out any limit, it corroded and exploded the beauty our inner life. The Church is apparently a corporate financial enterprise, as it was during the Savior’s time, meddling with money and their own earthly salvation.
The indispensability of oil in leading a sophisticated and materialistic life is like a breathing reality for the modern man. The natural resources like oil, of the modern times has turned upside down the natural life and cultures and civilizations that have been prevailing all through out the chronicles of history. It is a well acknowledged fact that the current turbulance in the world are humanitarian catastrophes in this age of weapons of mass destruction, and can only quench the carnivorous instincts of the modern two-footed animals.
PRECIOUS PRICE OF BLOOD: Few litres of blood that run through the veins of man allow him to sail across this planet like a demi-god. The blood that Jesus bled on the cross bought eternal salvation for mankind. Spilling man’s blood in any civilization is inhuman and deplorable (Gen.9: 7); despite we have made it legitimate on the basis of wars between nations. ). Whatever are the implicit reasons of shedding this blood stream, the ominous dark clouds casting on the horizons destabilize the entire region, which send tumultuous shock waves to every nook and corner for a boom of economic, humanitarian and cataclysmic devastation.
BABYLON, THE CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION: The history of man sprouted from the plains of Euphrates and Tigris (Gen.2.14). The ancient Babylonian Civilization and empire flourished in and around the area of present Middle East where the Garden of Eden, the cradling of Noah’s ark and the birthplace of Abraham, the father of the faith is located. In order to escape from any future wrath of God after the great deluge during the time of Noah the ungodly inhabitants built a city and a hefty and huge skyscraper, known as the tower of Babel. The devil (the archenemy of God) that was the architect of Adam’s destruction has been aspiring to retribute God by hijacking His creations since evicting them from God’s garden. It is obvious that the sinful people for fleeing from a vengeful God built the tower of Babel. The Israelite Kingdom, with its headquarters in Jerusalem (the city Of David) was destroyed and ransacked by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in B.C. 586.
Give ear to the wailings and lamentations of the Jews replete in Psalm 137. The Temple was rebuilt and rededicated in B.C.516. There are very many references in the Bible that the same Babylon that resserected from its ashes will become a ruthless empire in exterminating the whole world with its iron fists under the Prince of Darkness, the Anti-Christ Rev.17: 5,18). When he comes he must remain only a little a while (Rev.17: 10). During his dreadful reign of 7 years he will try to wipe out God’s faithful people and make desolate the H.Sacrifice. (Dan.8: 14; 9:27;Is.13). The Prince of Perdition and his authority also become a prey of devastation after 7 years. (Is.14; Rev.18: 10-24).
IMPORTANCE OF BABEL: How does Babylon become the centre of gravity in history? It is deduced that after the epic war between God and His archenemy, son of Dawn (Is.14: 12;Eze.28: 11-19) and his defeated legion of angels were dumped in to the Hades. While the monstrous ones are tethered in hell and other focal points on earth, their pimps are only allowed to roam on earth. Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.... to kill a third of mankind. (Rev.9.14-15). Humanity has not reached to that atrocious point of time but is paving the way for that ensuing and unrelenting havoc. First the evil angels have to prepare the way for the Prince of Perdition, delineated as the Beast (Rev.13: 1,17:16;Dan.7: 19-27) to submerge. Wars, pestilence, lunatic human bombs, permissive and perverted society, natural and cataclysmic upheavals...are the weapons and signs of his emergence. In my book ‘God and the Devil’ of the Abomination series I have documented that Heaven is up in the heavens and hell inside the earth (Is.66: 1;Num.16: 32-33). The scientific mesmerism may scoff at this enshrined, naked truth that has been the traditions and teachings of the church so far.
The technological products of the sub-cultural human species live by delusions and illusions, not by cardinal truth and faith (2.Thess.2: 11-12). Petrol has been the sterling of the degenerated and sophisticated era. This is drilled out of the periphery of the satanic world of hell. Every continent and every nook and corner of the globe is a trouble spot, yet the spilling of blood by continuous major scale wars and subversive atrocities are mainly staged around the oil fields and reserves on account of illicit and deceitful money which dictate them to be the masters of the world. The entire area of the Middle East and Arab nations are bubbling with the threat of antagonism and bitter rivalry from with in and with out.
The cultural revolutions in Middle East countries followed by the eruption of neighbourhood wars are only a few standing monuments of depicting the naked avarice, despotism and nationalism resulted out of excessive oil wealth. The carnivorous civilization carved out of the oil wealth will crumble by the dog and catfight resembled in the religious wars between the East and West. There are incursions, rebellion and subversions for supremacy in all the areas where there is the deposit of the priceless commodity, oil. Cechnyan rebellion is a thorn in the flesh of Russia. Kurdistan is a centre of attraction and attrition for many. What to speak of the dissentions, sabotage and fiery revolutions centering on the oil splendor in Venezuela and Nigeria!
Love, morality and charity works are all alien torpedoes. We are all enslaved and hypnotized by the glamour of a banal life concocted out of richness. Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together (Mt.24: 28). In this age of materialistic and licentious ‘excellence’, “a bottle of wine works more miracles than by a church full of saints”. The entire Arab and Babylonian nations are sitting on a hot plate of burning oil wells. The current international mating and polarization barter upon the priceless fluid oozing out of the infernal womb. Every country is divided with in itself on political levels.
UNDERGROUND FUEL: Coal that produces electricity and natural gases in a commercial scale and petrol are the foundation stones upon which the present bestial and sub-cultural Kaliyuga is built as a replica of the dark empire of the Beast. Plastic is a byproduct of petroleum. In flavor and taste the present generation has been transformed as the byproduct of the dark culture of infernal energy by having incorrigible communion with the fossil energy and its byproducts, the knowledge of the tree of good and evil that was deposited with the monster of the deep, possibly amalgamated later at the time of the great deluge (Eze.31: 15-18). We signed the death warrant of our soul and natural life style by surfacing and making use of fossil energy as our every day inevitable ingredients of the globe. The tentacles of fossil energy electrified us with the dark culture of the dark tyrant; no way we can escape from the inexorable doom awaiting us at the doorstep. The monstrous oil money has made Babel of confusions in our elemental simplicities of natural life and the set sacramental, traditional values we have been cherishing so far. The profligate and detrimental life style of today may seemingly delineate that animals are a more advanced species as their history far ancient and richer than the metamorphosised two- footed animal that is flying at the fag end of the evolution of the species.
The oil rich life style on earth is a real replica of abysmal pandemonium. The infernal democracy perhaps may be better than ours because they obey at least the orders with out challenging the hierarchy of powers, where as sedition and rebellion is a breathing phenomenon of our life in this burning planet. The lust of the flesh, with all its accomplished bestialities, is the herald of the emerging Beast from Hades. The untouchable source of smoking energy that has cast an infernal gloom on the souls is the lava of the abysmal flames. In other words, oil is the likely refreshing drink of the Beast, so that it can make us sleep soothingly before the diabolic surgery. I have been writing books and articles and speaking out aloud risking my own life for the last 13 years that the Beast is likely to resurface on the globe for a treacherous and despicable tyranny for seven years, thereby forcing the Lord for His flashing descent to collect His faithful believers around 2007 A.D.
The time given to Prophet Daniel in closing down this vituperative age is likely to vary by God’s readjustment with reference to the future events (Is.38: 5), overshadowing the calculation made by me ending up in minor or major errors. However, the fulfilling of the prophecies, as interpreted by me, is accomplishing the signs of His coming part-by-part or stage-by-stage. Even if the exact time is likely a mirage, apparently we are not far out of it. It is not a new thing; every major religion is made aware of this fiery and cataclysmic apocalypse centuries’ back. Every calamity and every catastrophe of the time (Mt.16: 3-4) indicate that the Prince of Perdition’s world Govt.is not quite far off into the future.
CHURCH SLAVERY: The oil wealth of the world is the blood money (Akeldama), especially for the church today. While the quality of our materialistic life is triggered with out any limit, it corroded and exploded the beauty our inner life. The birth of the Lord was not revealed to the temporal hierarchy of the Jerusalem crowd, nor had a glimpse of it by the spiritual hierarchy that had been waiting to cradle the infant Savior for hundreds of years. The wise men of the probable alien religious sects of the East went through fire and through water to worship Him with all their treasures of life. The humble, simple shepherds feeding the sacrificial lambs for the Temple during the biting winter cold received the message as the representative of the commonwealth of Israel. The Apostles, the stewards of the Heavenly Kingdom, who witnessed and heard about His crucifixion and sufferings didn’t understand the path of salvation till the day of Pentecost. They were with Jesus to grab the highest position of His Kingdom.
The Last Supper was a send off party (Passover) arranged by Jesus; they all ate sufficiently before they betrayed the Provider by handing Him over to the enemy by the weakling and others by fleeing away from Him in spite of the fact that they were all blessed with the authority of doing miracles (Lk.9: 1). The rescued sinner from the mouth of the devilish legions, with a retinue of the resurrected Lazarus and few others, could only foresee the exit of her Savior from the world stage and arrange a send off party by anointing Him with a costly oil after exhausting her whole earnings (Jn.12.1-8). Again the rescued Mary Magdalene was at the sepulchre on Sunday morning, while the whole inhabitants in the city was dreaded with awe and thunder, to anoint the Master (the 2nd send off) with spices. Despite their Guru appeared to them in groups after resurrection, not only St. Thomas, but the other disciples also failed to believe in His resurrection (Mk16.: 9-15). Similar is the fate of the saved Christians of the world at present (Lk.24: 25 -28). Even God could not convert the wicked by showing the unnatural and supernatural signs at the time of Jesus’ death (Mt.28: 11-15). Even if I write with my own blood about the imminent impending dangers hanging over mankind, the adulterous and crooked generation of today will only shower their mockery upon me (Rev.13: 8,15:9).
Neither the majority of the spiritual hierarchists nor their followers of today believe in Heaven, hell, the Second Coming or the Last Judgement. Repentance, sin and worship are perceived as a matter of contempt at the moment. The Church is apparently a corporate financial enterprise, as it was during the Savior’s time, meddling with money and their own earthly salvation. It is like any other industry now. Money laundering seems to be the missionary work of the day (LK.18:8). Persons devoid of hard heartedness and hypocrisy, like St.Paul, Zacchaeus, the crucified robber on the cross and M.Magdalene, are endowed with an inner glow of conversing with the hidden realities of the vicissitudes of life. Repentance of one’s sins is the precursor to the renewal of life.
The oil spilt from the belly of the Beast is to be traded with the shedding of man’s blood, the chalice of the bloodthirsty, equivocal monster of the alien land. The Beast’s vengeance to God is accomplished by the infringement of God’s covenant given to Noah. The victory of Iraq war is like meddling with the beehive nest; the bees will swarm around at some other refuge to regroup. Instead of killing the so-called venomous cobras, they have only scorched them viciously. Bruising the heads of the cobras has paved the way for indulging the formation of a world Govt. of Antichrist. Yes, it is in the making; the seeds are sown in fertile grounds. The defeat of the Iraq war is likely the nursery by which they wreak their revenge upon the predators. The fallout of the coffin of Iraq war has made the infernal cauldron to simmer up, vibrating the hysteria of coalescing the grieving parties for a religious war of total global devastations.
The unresolved problems of diverse ethnic rivalries, financial depravations, the ineffectiveness of the World Body (U.N), the shattering of N.A.T.O, divisions with in the European Union, terrorism, the rivalry for supremacy among the sleeping but prowling giants and the fervor of religious fanaticism are only a few ingredients of Pandora’s Box, the lid of which is already made wide ajar. Anti-Christ, ‘the king of bold countenance’, comes from a divided country (Dan.8: 8-25). While electricity being the mother of all inventions that has cast the shadow of infernal eclipse on human souls, petrol is the harbinger welcoming the emerging Beast from the womb of hell. This oil, the byproduct of all the old Middle Eastern trees, including the trees of Eden-especially the tree of the knowledge of good and evil-has an odour of satanic tricks played on Eve. Just as God’s Spirit has been moving over the face of the waters (Gen.1: 2), the spirit of the Beast also has a role over petroleum (Deu.33: 24). Oil found first in Israel was from the land occupied by the tribe of Asher. The Beast, the embodiment of bloodthirstiness, should first reappear at the plains of Euphrates and Tigris, the region of the fossil energy of the poisonous tree of the garden of Eden, from where it was dumped into the perpetual, perennial fire in the tragic beginning of human history.
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Christian education should be given from the childhood. In a child, the image of God grows with the family. The home shall be a mini Church. Home is the cradle of all possible growth and expansion. It is the responsibility of the parents to teach, guide, and when necessary, to correct. Train their hearts. Cheer more, criticize less.
LITTLE HISTORY: In 1773 John Wesley and in 1769 Hanna Ball tried to train the children, but failed. In 1780 Robert Rajikas for children's safety and human love started Sunday School to teach children Bible stories. Even though children revolted against him and threw mud at him, his attempt eventually developed into ecclesiastical training and sacristical learning. After the industrial revolution, children became very violent with breaking windows, using foul languages, and fighting for anything and everything. The religious education started earlier was the immediate remedy to overcome the situation. In the 18th century, men dominated; women in the 19th; and children in the 20th.
HOME: Christian education should be given from the childhood. "Faith is not put in the life, but grows in the life." In a child, the image of God grows with the family. Home should be a Church to the child. The home shall be a mini Church. Faith shall be nourished there. Make sense of the Church (John 6:35; Luke 22:19) - our tradition and duties. "A child educated only at school is an uneducated child." (George Santayana). Home is the cradle of all possible growth and expansion.
|1.||Home atmosphere: Conversations, actions, etc. Ruskin loved art because he learned it from his mother as a child.|
|2.||Home discipline: Follow the guidelines, rules, regulations, principles, etc.|
|3.||Home administration: In cooperation with the members of the whole family. Discordant, drinking and daddling parents could not do that. Each one of us can make a difference.|
CHILDREN'S EDUCATION: Education begins at birth. Parents are fundamentally responsible for the education of their children (Deuteronomy 11:19; Proverbs 22:6). The develo-pment of the character shall be the fundamental goal of education ... moral power. The basic text book is Holy Bible. God is the administrator and Jesus is the teacher. The Lord shall teach (Isaiah 2:2-3; 11:9). "A child miseducated is a child lost" (John F. Kennedy). "The fate of empires depends on the education of youth" (Aristotle). "Education is a weapon whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed" (Joseph Stalin). "The aim of education is to teach values which should change behavior in a wholesome direction, "a progressive discovery of our own ignorance" (Will Durant). Education should give "the power to tell the good from the bad" (Samuel Johnson).
PARENTS: It is the responsibility of the parents to
teach, guide, and when necessary, to correct. We will
have to praise as well as to punish them. "A word
fitly spoken is like apples of God in settings of
silver" (Proverbs 25:11). The primary goal of parents
is to prepare our children to adulthood for the day of
their independence. "Not all teachers are parents, but
all parents are teachers, the indispensable teacher.
And as teachers, parents always have had the first and
largest responsibility for educating their children"
(William Bennett). Parents should teach their children
God's ways - instruction, advice, and encourage-ment
and also family nourishment - care of the body, mind
and spirit - instruction, correction, advice, and
encourage-ment. Contribute love to help continue to
live. Train their hearts. Cheer more, criticize less.
Accept as they are. Kids want to belong (kiss and
embrace). Teach good manners, respect, and love. Have
quality time and relationship. "That which the
fountain sends forth returns again to the fountain"
(H. W. Longfellow). "There are only two lasting
bequests we can hope to give our children; one of
these is roots; the other is wings" (Hodding Carter).
"I bend, but I do not break" (Jean Fontaine).
"Make a memory with your children,
Spend some time to show you care;
Toys and trinkets can't replace those
Precious moments that you share" (Elaine Hardt).
|1.||Never warn with a "should"|
|2.||Don't tease or say things sarcastically|
|3.||Do not deny their feelings|
|4.||Have positive feed back ... praise with honesty.|
|5.||Do not gender stereotype (calling "sissy" or "crybaby'.|
|6.||Avoid false threats ... replace with promise.|
|7.||Respond to their needs at the nip of the time; know when to say: "Not now."|
|8.||Don't call them stupid, idiot, lazy, sloppy, slob, brat, or such other negative remarks.|
|9.||Encourage with entertainments (music plays an integral part: Psalm: 96:1-2; baby lullabies - not punk, rock, or rap music; David used the skill: 1 Samuel 16:23), sports and games. "Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them" (Matthew 17:12). "Encouragement enables, discouragement disables" (Shirley Gould).|
|10.||self-esteem (High and Low): Having a positive, yet balanced view of oneself - need to motivate to try new things, to resist pressure. Create confidence: We are what we think (Proverbs 23:7). Children say: "It's too hard"; "I can't", "Nobody likes me", etc. In order to encourage healthy self-esteem:|
|A.||Give unconditional love. Be there when they need you and show love and affection;|
|B.||Respect: Don't belittle or humiliate. Praise them and encourage to change. Just don't see the bad habit alone. Don't create the feelings of rejection and inferiority.|
|C.||Be a positive thinker (Philippines 4:8): Not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34). Show their strength and abilities (Philipines 4:13). God should be their strength.|
|D.||Help to have high standards and reach goals. Don't be overprotective. Help to seek new experiences. Give them opportunities to reach new goals. Don't label them negatively (Colossians 3:21). Teach true values. Parents have to rear their children to have self-esteem.|
|11.||Teach humility (Isaiah 57:15; 1 Peter 5:5: God gives grace to the humble), sincerity, respect, etc.|
For children, September is the beginning of the new year - new books, clothes, shoes, friends and so on. Children need help to reach their goals during this time. They need encouragement, not criticism which only hurts and defletes the ego. Parents have to make the following resolutions at this time:
|1.||I will not call my child an idiot.|
|2.||What is the matter with you? Are you stupid?|
|3.||You are nothing but a liar|
|4.||You have a big mouth|
|5.||This is my house; if you can't live by my rules, then get out.|
|6.||All you do is nag; you are just like your father (mother saying).|
|7.||If you keep eating like that you will look like your father (mother).|
|8.||I've had enough of you.|
|9.||May be you should find another set of parents who will put up with your nonsense.|
|10.||To think, I went through ten months of carrying you and fifteen hours of labor. And for what?|
ALPHABETICAL CHILD RAISING RULES:
|A.||Accountable, Accept, Achieve, Aspire.|
|B.||Behave, Beautify, Bond|
|C.||Courtesy, Consistency, Critical, Christ like|
|D.||Decency, Dignity, Discipline, Dependence|
|E.||Exemplify, Educate, Excel, Earn|
|F.||Firm, Feel, Fair, Forgive, Faithful|
|G.||Give, Gift, Grace, Grateful, Godly|
|H.||Honest, Humorous, Humble, Healthy, Helpful|
|I.||Imagine, Imitate, Ideal|
|J.||Joyful, Jubilant, Justify|
|K.||Knowledgable, Know how|
|L.||Love, Listen, Leisure|
|M.||Model, Mature, Moral|
|N.||No; Nobility, Nuicence|
|O.||Orthodox, Outgoing, Obedient, Obligations|
|P.||Pure, Protect, Present, Perfection, Parents|
|Q.||Quench, Quest, Quiet, Quite|
|R.||Respect, Rely, Reward, Receive|
|S.||Submissive, Sensible, Sincere, Self-confidence|
|T.||Truthful, Tough, Together, Train, Trust, Treasure|
|U.||Upright, Unique, Unite|
|V.||Value, Versatile, Voice|
|X.||Xian (Christian), Example|
|Y.||You and Young|
THE TASTE FAMILY:
|1.||Hesitate: Reluctant; slow to act|
|2.||Vegitate: Monotonous / passive existence (like a plant)|
|3.||Imitate: Copy, reproduce: Hebrews 6:1; 1 Corint-hians 4:16; 11:1.|
|4.||Irritate: Annoy, make angry|
|5.||Facilitate: Make easier, assist|
|6.||Agitate: Stir violently; upset; disturb, arouse|
|7.||Precipitate: Causes to happen; condense and fall as rain or snow.|
|8.||Meditate: Reflect and Contemplate day and night.|
Examine where we belong-
|1.||Do not give your child everything he asks for: make him to earn - even by doing the chores at home - teach the dignity of work.|
|2.||Do not encourage him to repeat the bad habits or languages.|
|3.||Let him to be himself rather than someone else.|
|4.||Encourage him when he fails; do not disappoint him with anger.|
|5.||Help to cultivate emotional and physical feelings.|
|6.||Parents shall be in a united front - join with the child against the father or mother.|
|7.||Be a model as far as you can (do not fight in front of them).|
|8.||Discipline the child appropriately and reasonably.|
|9.||Do not please them always with gifts and presents.|
|10.||Mould the spiritual life through love of God and care for the fellow human beings. Teach the importance of FAITH and moral values.|
WHAT SHALL WE DO ?
|1.||Worship together: 1 Corinthians 16:19 (House church)|
|2.||Teach the Scriptures: Deuteronomy 4:9-10|
|3.||Rejoice together before the Lord God: Deuter. 14:26|
|4.||Dwell together in unity: Psalm 133:1|
|5.||Rule the house well: Prov. 31:10 ff (wife); 1 Timothi 3:4|
|6.||Be fruitful: Psalm 128:3|
|7.||Forgive: Matthew 18:21-22; Genesis 50:17-21|
TO BE CONTINUED....
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AM I IN THE RIGHT TRACK ?
Robert Frost in his poem - “The Road Not Taken” suggests of taking the road which is less traveled by and that will make the difference. Choosing the right road, distinguishing between right and wrong will depend on us the individuals. The world is a dangerous place. Temptations are all around you. Fall not into temptation.
For the teenagers of today, this is for you. Read through the article and find out for yourself if you’re travelling the right path. Robert Frost in his poem - “The Road Not Taken” suggests of taking the road which is less traveled by and that will make the difference. Choosing the right road, distinguishing between right and wrong will depend on us the individuals.
I know it’s a difficult phase in your life when you are between the age of 13 and 19. At this point of time you are facing an identity crisis. Not a child, nor an adult - the adolescent stage. A period of time when we grow, learn and mature.
Dear teenager, you are still young and lack experience. You haven’t still seen or faced the world alone. You still got to be in the shadow of your parents. You aren’t a fully-grown bird yet. Thou you may have wings, don’t fly yet.
The world is a dangerous place. Temptations are all around you. Fall not into temptation. Learn to choose. Don’t take things for granted. A wrong decision at a particular instance of time can lead to regret later. Friends may try to infulence your life. The Internet era is also influencing you. Spending ample hours of time chatting is not a right thing to do. Use the net only for needs. Don’t misuse it.
Teenage phase is a rebellious one. You have your own egos. You can’t accept things as it is. You always try to questions your elders. Oppose parents and teachers in their opinions. You like to make decisions on your own. You feel what you say is right and think you know more than others. As I told before it is a difficult phase. But we got to learn to overcome this stage. As a teenager you feel that you lack love. You go in search of love. You feel you need attention. You dress up to attract the opposite sex. Try to dress modestly. Teenage children try to stay away from their family. They like loneliness and prefer a secluded life of their own. May have doubts and questions about religion. But seek to be practical. Involve yourself with your family. Choose good friends. Do not involve with friends who try to influence you. Alcohol, drugs and pre-marital sex are all evil. They give you only temporary happiness. Seek for the Living God who could answer your questions and be able to provide your needs and wants.
Some teenagers go to the extreme steps of running away from their home. They feel they want to reach the farthest point in life. But never do this mistake. Do you realize the costs involved in living separate, away from home & family? With no one to support you, No Money, No Work, No Education. Go into tougher jobs, with low wages just to support your life. Cost of living in America is too high.
Don’t you remember the story of the Prodigal Son? Who took all his share of property? Merry made with friends and finally lost everything and had to go to the lowest job of looking after pigs. Friends stay with you only when you have money and wealth. When he never got anything to eat - he used to eat the food eaten by pigs. Only then did he realize that he would rather prefer to be a servant in his own home. Because they were treated better off. Even though he lost all his money, his father welcomed him whole-heartedly. Our Father in heaven is also like that. He welcomes each and every one of us into his kingdom. He is ready to accept us. Travel not in the wrong path.
As a teenager you lack experience. You must have a job to live. Education is one key to a good job. Good jobs go to good employees. As a teenager your brain and body seem to be obsessed with members of the opposite sex. Love is a fact of life. Relationships are random. Marriage is forever; it’s a holy and sacred act.
Here are some attitudes and values a teenager should possess. You should be confident. You as a person decide whether to be happy or not. Being a teenager has its Pros and Cons. Try to set boundaries for yourself and make sure that you never cross them. Your appearance certainly counts. Virtue triumps over Evil. Choose between Right and wrong. Learn to say “No” to certain things, if it is not acceptable to you. Always remember that every action has a reaction. Never forget that certain mistakes will ruin your life.
Parents you have a major role to play in the life of a teenager. Especially when your child becomes a teenager, pay more attention to them. Be more patient with your kids. You too passed through this stage in life. Learn to trust your kids. Pray daily for your kids, have family prayers together, have meals together on the dinner table. Talk to the children, discuss about their activities. Take them out with you for shopping, movies and restaurants. Watch out and see that they are going on the right path.
In the American life style, Parents have no time for their families. Money is influencing their lives. But forget not that money is not everything in life. Your children and their well-being are always important. Try to dedicate sometime everyday for your children. They need you and you need them.
Teenagers, these are some success tips you could follow. You should create a high level of vision. Choose Goals that guide your success. Choose your options. Everything takes time. You should be able to control your anger. You should be able to learn by listening. Success is only your responsibility.
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth” III John 1:4
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When we confess to God, it cleanses us from all our sins. When we confess, He forgives us. When we live in the word of God, it sanctifies us. Once we put our trust in Jesus He takes away the stress from us and give peace to our heart. He paid the penalty of our sin. Even I do not have to pay anything for it as it is already been settled.
Greetings in the name of Lord Christ! All of you had come in such an afternoon heat to attend so patiently upon this service and to listen to me. May be few of you may not know me each other. I will say a few words about me and where from I come from, especially how I become a Christian. Long time ago, there was a young man in China looking after the cows in a hillside. One Sunday morning some one told him, 'Let us go to Church.' So the little boy just followed the stranger and went to the Church. In a short while, this boy believed in Jesus and became a Christian. But this boy was illiterate. The Church helped him to study in the school. Eventually this boy joined a Bible School, graduated from there and became a Pastor. This Pastor was my maternal grand father. I had never seen him. When I go to heaven, I will search for this man who brought my grand father to believe in Christ. So my mother was brought up in a pastoral family. My father was also an elder in the Church in China. My paternal grand father also was an elder in the Church in China. I never met my paternal grandfather too. So I was brought up in a pious Christian family atmosphere and that is why Lord was blessing my family and me. 'Believe in Lord Jesus, you and your household will be saved.' St. Paul had said these words in the Jail. As my grand father came to the Christian faith my full family happened to believe in Christ.
This after noon I would like to speak to you on a very important subject ' Sanctified and Saved.' All the Christians who believe in Christ are sanctified by the word of God. God sent all of us to this world. Let us Look to John's Gospel Chapter 17:17-19. 'Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world? And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.' This is a part of our Lord Jesus Christ's high priestly prayer in the upper room. This is a very important dialogue between Lord Jesus and his heavenly father. Jesus prays to his personal God in John 17:6, " I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word." Lord our God had given us all believers, his son Jesus to put our trust in Lord Jesus Christ. In the end of the verse the phrase 'they have kept your word' is of great attraction. Jesus was very generous in seeing his believers had obeyed the Gospel. So I should certainly ask myself whether I obey Christ's words. In Verse 17:16 we read the context of this prayer. Our Lord is going to protect us from the evil one. You can be assured of the promise of Lord our God. He will be protecting, shielding and surrounding us from the evil one. Here we read ' they are not of this world as I am not of this world. Let us know fact none of us will live in this world forever and ever. As we do not belong to this world, our home is in the eternity of our heavenly father.
Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. This is the true meaning of Christmas. Lord Jesus Christ said, ' My word is spirit and life.' Holy scripture, the Bible, is not like any ordinary book. When I went to a Bible Society Book Stall there were seen around 400 different versions of Bible. The word of God compels us to know about our sins. The word of God reveals us the son of God. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can not see the God or the truth of the word. When we come to the God and believe the word then son of God is revealed to us. When we read the word it confesses us to accept Jesus Christ as our savior. The word compels us to believe in Jesus. The word compulsion is sometimes a very sensitive word. Any person who reads and believes the word of God, God will reveal himself to him.
When we confess to God, it cleanses us from all our sins. When we confess, He forgives us. When we live in the word of God, it sanctifies us. What is the meaning of Sanctify? ; To set apart us to the Lord. It also separates us to serve Him. God our Lord wants all of us to serve Him. Of course our service to God are of different capacities. All of us can not become Bishops. Some of us may be confined as Christians to be road sweepers. Some are confined to be Christian professionals. Some may be called as housewives or mother. But Lord wants to make use of all of us. St.Paul tells to the Corinthian Church, "which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words." (2 Cor.2:13) The spiritual truth is not made revealed by human wisdom but by the Holy Spirit of God. Spirit of God reveals the deep truth in the word of God in our heart.
In 1 Corinthians 2:10 we read, "For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God." The word of God cleanses us and keep on cleaning us all the time. While walk through the dirty road, some times dust blows to our face and almost to our eyes. What we will do then? We just blink and blink our eyes and eventually the tears wash away the dust from the eye. Then we use a hand cur chief to remove the dust from the tears. The eyes will not be closed all the time. If we do not clear the eyes, the eyeball become very sticky and can even damage the eye. Thank God, the mechanism of eye make the reflect sense to blink the eyes so that it becomes all right of its own.
Next let us look at the written word. Look at Jeremiah 15:16. Jeremiah was in the midst of oppression. He was in a national crisis. But in the midst of all these crisis and darkness Jeremiah shines out. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts." So often we emphasize on physical food. But we forget about our spiritual food. When the word of God comes to us, we enjoy, we eat and eat and eat. The word of Lord is a Joy in our life. The word of God was found and discovered. Who discovered this? It was the Josiah, the king of Judea. Before this king the temple of God was forsaken and ruined. The priests, prophets and all the ones looking after the temple were scattered away. The Holy Scriptures came to an end to them. The King Josiah ordered his people to clean up the whole temple. While searching the whole temple they found the school of law. The King Josiah was only 26 years old that time. The King ordered to read the scriptures in front of him to all people. While hearing the word of God, his heart was broken. He tore his kingly robe and covered him with sackcloth bowed down before God out of repentance. He was worried and repented for neglecting the whole mission of word of God during the past. All the Christians should read and meditate the word of God.
We should read and pray at same time. Many people talk in the Phone and go on talking, but never try to listen to other person. The same way we pray to God, go on making our supplication and finish it with Amen. But do we try to listen to God? So reading and praying is the method of inter communication with the God. So we should assimilate the word of God to our system. You may buy bottles and bottles of vitamins, put them on the table and show all our friends that we got a lot of vitamins. After few months when I visited one of friend, I had seen all the bottles in the same way not even one bottle touched. Many of us has the Bible at home just like these vitamin bottles, but it is never opened or read. The appreciation of Bible is one thing but the appropriation of the Bible is another thing. While reading the Bible we need to apply the words to our hearts. Jeremiah tells the words of God give joy to the heart. That is why Psalmist say in Psalm 117:97 "O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day." Psalms teach us how to praise and pray to God. Psalm 1, 19 and 119 talk about the words of God. There it says, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." We should learn to enjoy the meaty part of the Bible. The teachers of the Church will interpret the more difficult verses. The book of proverb teaches us how to live a life in this world and how to behave with men and woman. So often our relationship with people are no good. This causes a problem in our public relation. Bible tells the word is shrewd.
In one pastor's conference I came across an young man. He came and shared me his testimony. He said once he was a wicked person. He was a gambler, womanizer and with all evils. So much so, during his mother's funeral, he was not keen to attend it. As per the customs of the country it was the most ruthless action not to attend the funeral of the mother. His life was terrible and very notorious. He had felt a repentance during that night. Then he became a monk and started to seek for the truth. After several months searching he could not find anything. One day he got a copy of the Gospel. He read it very keenly. Jesus said, "I am the way and truth". He found that he was looking for the same. He found Jesus is the way, truth and life. Then he started searching and searching this truth. He searched with some ministers of the Church. So he eventually found the living Jesus. He started getting many persecutions from his neighbors and friends. But he came to shine out for the Lord. Now he is a full time Christian worker. Lord of God had transformed his life.
This is why Jesus told "Verily, Verily I say unto you." Lord of incarnate who born in Bethlehem is the Lord of Glory, Grace and Truth. Our Lord Jesus Christ spent more time to say about truth than any other thing. St.John 8:31-32 "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The Jews asked Jesus, "We are not slaves, why you say that we should be set free?" Jesus replied that everyone who sin is a slave to sin. "If I set you free, you shall be free indeed."
St.Paul wrote in the Epistle to Ephesians that we should be sanctified from all our sins. Let the word of God search our heart deeply. Let the word search for the sex abuse. Sex outside is damage. Sex is holy and undefiled, given by God for the husband and wife to enjoy. There should not be any sexual relationship before marriage and outside marriage. If we do so we are submitted to immorality. Homosexuality is also a grievous sin. Child abuse is also a sin. Wife abuse or husband abuse are also a sins. The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life all are sins. When I went to another country I came across a poster. It was written that it is a crime to beat wife. This was about ten years ago. I do not know whether they stopped beating their wife. None of these should prevail amidst us. Why do I name all these sins? These all are very unpleasant things to talk about. To whom we worship is the God of Love and redemption. God loves sinners. But He hates the sin. John 15:3 "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." In other words you are already clean because the word of God is cleaning you all the time. Just examine a car running through a very heavy rain. The wiper wipes away the water and we can see through. In the same way, the word of God is wiping away our sins. So we can see the vision of Lord so clearly. This cleansing happens by reading and meditating the words day by day. It should not be done only during crisis and emergency.
1 Peter 1:23 say "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." We are not born again by human conceiving or any seed of this perishable world, but we are born again by the word of God, because the word God is unquenchable. We are not only born by the word, but also we are sanctified by the word of God. How am I sanctified by the word of God? It is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is imbibed in our salvation from the very beginning through the very end. Do not think that some one comes and lays the hand on you and receive the Holy Spirit and that is all. It is the Holy Spirit makes us to confess about the sin. It is the Holy Spirit, which compels us for the Love of God and Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit, which compels us to Christ. Holy Spirit is the one who lead us to repentance in our heart. Ephesians 1:13 Paul tells us "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." Not only the Holy Spirit live in us, but the Holy Spirit should lead us and control us in all our ways.
What Jesus Christ had done for us through His life and teachings? To His special determination He faced the cross. From Galilee, Jesus and His disciples were walking to Jerusalem. One very important phrase I would like to bring to your attention. They were walking from the north to the south and towards down. But Bible says they were walking up to Jerusalem. Is something wrong in the Bible? No because Jerusalem is on top of a mountain. See how accurate the Holy Scripture is. Jesus was walking in the front and disciples were behind. Jesus was seen so determined. But the disciples were dreadful. He was going to be punished and crucified in Jerusalem. But Peter told Him; Master, let us not got Jerusalem. Then Jesus said "Satan, go behind". But Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem beyond the cross and beyond all the shame. But we look for the glorious resurrection from the very same day. After His gloerious resurrection, His death was no more. But this resurrection of Jesus was not like he raised the people from death.
Do you ever imagined what happened to Lazarus whom Jesus raised from dead. I went to Cyprus with my wife. We visited the Church of Lazarus. It was in the city called Lamaika. The tomb of Lazarus was there in the Church. He rose from dead and he died again. But in contrast Lord Jesus Christ never died any more. Jesus had accomplished four things for us in the cross. He liberated us from the bondage of sin. This conflict of the confession is painful for many. Many are living in stress and tension. They go astray to ease their tension. Once we put our trust in Jesus He take away the stress from us and give peace to our heart. He paid the penalty of our sin. Even I do not have to pay anything for it as it is already been settled.
We go with family to restaurant to eat and enjoy as a family gathering. After that I pay the bill of the restaurant. After eating, all my children and grand children have fashion to walk out like Princes because they do not have to pay the bill as the grandfather had paid it all. In same way when we come to the kingdom of God we can enter as Jesus had paid the entire penalty. Thirdly the cross set us free from the power of sin. So often we think after getting the forgiveness we can go back to the sin again. This is a positive side of the Christian faith. Listen carefully. Christ offered each one of us a victorious Christian living. He can deliver us from the bondage and pressure of the sin. Also the Cross of Jesus delivers us from the presence of sin. How glorious Jesus Christ has done for us. I trust our mouth should always fill with the name of Jesus. So we are sanctified by the word. Also Jesus sends us to this world. Lord Jesus said we are sanctified by the truth and thy word is truth. Father has sent me; even so I am sending you. I believe that God had sent me from China to India to share with you glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is the sent one. He said I have to do the work of the one who sent me.
Again in John Chapter 4, Jesus said my food is to do the will of the one who sent me to do His work. Jesus repeated this commission when he was talking to the disciples while weeping in the upper room. Resurrected Lord appeared to the disciples when Thomas was absent and later to Thomas. John 20:21 "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." It is something in the uppermost of your mind that if God calls me, I am going to respond at His mission. Are you waiting for the mission call? Do we hear the call or read the call? Do we view the call or see the call or we smell a call ? We all have the senses to know about the call of God. I repeat the words of God that as the father sent me I am sending you. What are you waiting for?
Some years ago there was man in England by the name George Scott. He applied to the mission agency to go to China. His application was turned down first. He tried the second time, again it was turned down. He applied the third time and he was called up for an interview. During the interview he was asked, why he wants to go to China with one leg. He had only one leg. This young man was overwhelmed and replied, as two legged people decline to go to Chine, being one legged I will go to China. So he was sent to China. Walking on one leg he worked in China. The county by the name Winchou, where he worked, was full of atheists. The people were notorious. The Government considered it as a brutal city. There are now around 2000 Churches in that County and 700000 believers. I cannot say these all these are attributed to one man's effort. But at least he opened the eyes and took a step with one leg hoping to go to China. Today in that Winchou county current officials are very very happy and appreciate all the peoples as Christians. They are very hard working people and they are very orderly and industrious, working in the factories. When they assemble together, they behave very disciplined. God blesses them with good harvest.
A renowned preacher of Gospel from England had testified that while he was traveling in the train from England to Scotland, he heard one music cue all the time. The train was making the sound 'Chum, Chum, Chum' all the time. He was hearing that as an old man say, 'Save, waste that life’, 'Save, waste that life.' This musical sound he heard transfigured him. He became a blessed preacher. He has written many books. This all happened because he was willing to give himself to God. My wife and me are serving God for last 43 years. God's blessings are there on us. We are willing to put our self to God, Let Him use us. I see many young people here. My only advice is that you do not waste your life. All your talents sacrifice for the God. Just as the five loaves and two fish are given to the hands of Lord, Lord will multiply and multiply the same for the blessings of thousands and thousands of people. If you keep the five loaves and 2 fish, you can feed yourself that is all. Let us pray:
Our Lord God, as you are the God who sanctifies us, we praise thee. You sanctify us, redeem us from our sins, relieve us from the guiltiness to become the messengers of your Kingdom of God and send us to this world. Generation to generation, you are the God who calls many of us, choose us, sanctify us and appoint us. For that sanctification and appointment, as we could hear of the invitation now through your servant, we praise thee. Make us deserved to respond to your words favorably. Your words, let it become blessed for many. Be graceful to all those who listened to the word of God, to be blessed and transfigured. In Him, our Messiah, we supplicate, be gracefully heard our prayers. Amen.
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Bible Word to by heart:
What shall I render unto you Lord for all benefits to me,
BIBLE STORY - OLD TESTAMENT
King ordered to bring Haman quickly as Esther desired. So King Haman came for the banquet of Queen Esther. As they were drunk King asked Esther, what is her petition and what ever it may be it will be granted. Esther replied that 'If I found favour in the sight of the King, King should grant my request when she arrange a banquet again on next day." Haman went out gladly that day. When he passed through Mordecai in the Kings gate Mordecai did not bow to Haman. Haman become so furious, went his house told to his friends and wife Zeresh. Haman was so happy that Queen Esther had called him only along with King and no other Princes were called. But he was burning as Mordecai was ignoring him. His friends and his wife advised him to prepare gallows fifty cubits high in the morning and ask the king to have Mordecai hanged on it; then go joyfully with the king to the banquet.
TO BE CONTINUED
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LIGHT OF LIFE
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