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EDITORIAL

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants A

fter an illustrious stint, as Bro. Sam N. Jacob, hands over the editorial responsibility of 'Harvest Times for your Family,' to us (Bro. Joseph A.J., Chief Operating Officer at GLS and Bro. Sanjay Awale, my fellow Trustee at GLS), we look back with thankfulness at the way this magazine grew from its mustard seed beginning as a paper called 'Active Service', which later became 'The Balance of Truth' then 'Truth' and to its current form as a monthly magazine in 2004. God, who is rich in mercy, raised legendary editors and writers such as Bro. Wilfred Durham, Sis. Christina Durham, Bro. W.E. Thomson, Bro. Bakht Singh, to name a few, who edified the Indian Christian community, through their writings in this magazine. We have republished one such article by Sis. Christina Durham in the Founder's Voice, for your enriching reading.

provides concise responses to those. If our Savior Jesus Christ indeed has BODILY risen (which of course He has) and sits at the right hand of God as fully God and fully man, then our attitude towards the material world ought to be different from others. As John Duncan, the Scottish theologian poignantly observed “the dust of the earth is on the throne of the Majesty on high.” Our attitude cannot be that of total rejection of the material world nor covetousness and materialism. Bro. L. T. Jeyachandran, (an IITian, former Chief Engineer in charge of 13 Indian states and former Executive Director of RZIM, Asia-Pacific Ltd), brings in his rich theological and philosophical insight as to how a Christian ought to deal with the material world. His article reminds us of the Biblical counsel that we ought to avoid the extremes (Ecclesiastes 7:18) Indebted to God for such a legacy, – in this case the gospel of prosperity we as the new editorial team, standing and gospel of poverty and hold on to on the shoulders of giants, but solely the gospel of contentment. depending on the grace of Lord Jesus While Bro. L. T. Jeyachandran Christ, seek to provide Biblically sound provides philosophical and theological and high quality articles. These are not basis on how to deal with the material mere platitudes. As you browse world, Bro. Koshy Zachariah (former through these pages, in addition to Executive Director-Finance, MRF Ltd, regular writers, you will also read and an elder of Bethesda Bible Chapel, articles from men and women, who Kilpauk, Chennai), shares his wisdom have established their testimony and deep knowledge of the Holy Bible, among God's people. You will continue in a new series 'Financial to read articles from more of such Responsibility of a Christian'. With writers in the upcoming issues as well. pastoral resoluteness, Bro. Koshy Zachariah reminds us that: “A steward In this issue, Dr. Varghese John, (a is not an owner but has the power of former faculty at an Engineering an owner except for the use of College, and currently an evangelist), examines the evidence for resurrection resources at his disposal for self.” For with the sharpness of a professor in an Christians seeking Biblical and practical counsel for financial evangelist's accessible language. If responsibility, his articles are going to Christ has not been raised, then we be a treasure. have no High Priest, no advocate, no hope of His return, and indeed we are In line with providing practical most miserable of all men as our wisdom from Biblical principles, Bro. beloved Apostle Paul noted (1 PKD Lee (who was the youngest Corinthians 15: 19). Dr. Varghese John General Manager of Finance Ministry, surveys the various objections and apart from serving the Indian

government in other capacities and as former Vice President, International Advancement of Haggai Institute), writes on leadership 'Paul: Leader or Servant'. What Apostle Paul wrote in another context is applicable here as well: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Further, a couple, who would be known by their pen name BB, as they use real cases (after changing names of course), begins a new series on Family to enrich this God ordained institution. I have cited a few of these authors and topics only to demonstrate our commitment in providing Biblically sound high quality articles. There are other authors, such as Bro. Jonathan Anchen, Bro. Kumaru Nadesan, Sis. Priya Patrachari, Bro. Ray Comfort, Sis. Resmy Thomas continuing to engage and enrich the readers on various facets of Christian life. God who led us in the past, we are confident, would lead us in the future as well. Bro. Joseph A.J., with a heart of thanksgiving and for the prayers of the saints, reviews the marvellous ways in which the Lord Jesus Christ led GLS in 2012-13. We could not have asked for a better and apt Devotional for this issue than “Ministering by His Grace,” contributed by the internationally renowned Bible teacher Bro. Thomson B. Thomas. The upcoming issues shall feature more of his in-depth studies. We thank God for these writers who graciously consented to write for the Harvest Times and readers who have supported this magazine across the years. Happy reading and do write us back with your feedback.

Harvest Times for Your Family

In Christ

Jerry Thomas glseditor@gmail.com April 2013/Volume 10 Issue 4

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DEVOTIONAL

It is this love that grips and possesses the heart of the individual; leading him to partner with the Lord in His work.

T

he privilege of partnering in the heavenly work of Evangelism can be ascribed only to the grace of God. The angels are not given a portion in this work. Neither is it given to the mighty in power or intellect, but the Lord has chosen 'the foolish things of the world' and entrusted them with the task of reaching out to the ends of the world with the soul saving gospel. The institution of this ministry is seen in the parting command of the Lord to the disciples. He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you ” (Matt. 28:19-20 NKJV). Mark records, “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs” (Mk.16:20

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- Thomson B. Thomas NKJV). This work of the Lord through His people commenced at Pentecost and continues today. It is only by the grace of God that puny men get to participate in this great missionary enterprise! The Apostle Paul, definitely the greatest missionary the church has ever seen, could only mention the matter of his Call with joyful elation. Wherever he mentions it, he attributes the grace of God as its source. He denies his great learning, lineage, position or accomplishment any part in this. In 1 Tim1:12-14 and Eph.3:7, he openly acknowledges the grace of God as the only reason for his role in ministry. If this was what a man like Paul could say, who in this world can claim any merit in himself to be a partner in the ministry! It is by grace alone.

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Grace Must Encourage Second Corinthians is an autobiographical record of Apostle Paul. In it, he describes his own life and ministry in a measure not addressed anywhere else. He takes time to instruct others about their life and ministry. He instructs the Corinthians, “We then as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 6:1NKJV). Here is a plea to all believers to fulfill the Lord's desire in calling them to ministry. Since this call to His ministry is not based on merit, one cannot use his own discretion as to its place and time. Moreover since this invitation is graciously given, one cannot be lethargic about it. Not only has God given each one a specific ministry, He has also provided the necessary incentives to motivate


and urge in its fulfillment.. They are indicated in the phrases, the 'Judgment Seat of Christ' (5.10), 'the Love of Christ (5.14) and 'Ambassadors of Christ (5.20). Therefore the instruction “[to] not receive the grace of God in vain” is well founded. It is also worthwhile to note that no believer is without a ministry. In one way or another, all have a specific part in the ministry. Anyone going for the ministry and those who are already in it can find necessary encouragement in these words of Paul.

The Position in Service Paul says, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ” (v.20). This indicates a position given to all members in the ministry. He is an ambassador of Christ. An ambassador is an official sent by a country to a foreign land to represent his own country there. Therefore, he needs to conduct himself worthily. He has to ensure that his words or actions do not dishonor his country. The Bible states that every believer has a 'citizenship in heaven' (Phil.3.20 NKJV). So every 'minister' is an Ambassador of Heaven. The Lord also stated that His followers are sent into the world just as He Himself was sent into this world (Jn.17:18; 20-23 NKJV). Their actions on earth would be representative of Heaven itself. Also noteworthy are the phrases Paul uses. He says, “God were pleading through us” and “We implore you on Christ's behalf”. They demonstrate the lofty, elevated position of those in ministry. There is no position greater than a minister of the Gospel.

In spite of this privileged calling, most children of God refrain from entering into His ministry. In fact, they scramble madly for temporary degrees and positions the world offers. What Spurgeon said must challenge all parents. He did not want his son to be an emperor of a country when God wants him to be in His service! This situation in the church shows the dire, urgent need to rearrange one's priorities.

The Possession in Service In v.14, the apostle says, “the love of Christ compels us”. Another version states, “the Love of Christ leaves us no choice” (NEB). When Paul thinks about the love of God revealed through the Lord Jesus, he feels like a child cornered with no way to escape. The same sentiment can also be found in other portions of the Bible (Lk.8:45, 19:43, 22:63 and 12:50). The greatest manifestation of Christ's love is the cross. There, the Lord Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. His love is also seen at the right hand of the Throne where He ministers in intercession for His own. When faced with the reality and depth of His love, one is led to yield completely to His service. It is this love that grips and possesses the heart of the individual; leading him to partner with the Lord in His work. It also becomes the precious and valuable possession of the individual believer. Thus the Lord's love both, possesses the minister and becomes his prized possession.

The Prospect in Service Paul states in verse 10, “We must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ”. Here is presented the future prospect of all who serve Him. There is a day when the Lord shall come and

ATTENTION

When Paul writes to the Corinthians, he mentions the Judgment Seat of Christ about three times with three different implications. In 1 Cor. 3:1215, he mentions it as an incentive to examine the kind of service one performs. In 1 Cor 4:5, it is mentioned as a motive to forbear one another in interpersonal relationship. In 2 Cor. 5:10, it is presented as a reason to labor faithfully. When the Lord sent the seventy to the Galilean cities, He sent them “Before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go” (Lk.10:1 NKJV). By doing so, He demonstrated the preparatory role they played before His own work. It also signifies the vital importance of the individual's ministry to the Lord's purposes. It is heartening to note that where He has sent His people, there too will He go. “Go then ever Weeping, Sowing for the Master, Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves, When our weeping's over He will bid us welcome, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.”

Thomson B. Thomas is an evangelist, a widely acclaimed Bible Teacher and preacher based in Mumbai.

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reward all for their faithful service. In the last chapter of the Bible, Jesus said, “And behold I am coming quickly, and my reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work” (Rev. 22:12 NKJV). This is the ultimate goal, the great reward; the hope of which nudges ahead all human ministry.

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FEATURE ARTICLE

Spirituality and Materiality: Are they related? – L.T. Jeyachandran

It is important for us to note that the Bible begins, not with spiritual or moral dogma, but with the creation of the material world.

I

ndia is in the middle of a phenomenal economic growth. We are the 2nd fastest growing economy in the world and in the foreseeable future could be one of the largest economies on this planet. We are also

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witnessing drastic changes in life-style where a basically conservative society is abandoning its values of marriage and family in order to accommodate itself to the pace and pressures of a new civilisation. Christians are rightly concerned about the obvious decline in morality that accompanies this phenomenal growth. Glitzy shopping malls and expressways with clothes and cars to match will impose new challenges on Christians who would strive to teach and live as disciples of Jesus Christ. In this short article, I would attempt to point out how to develop a Biblical worldview on the material world and how we should be able to communicate the gospel in this context. In this article, I have suggested the use of the word Materiality, an obscure term that could mean 'material nature or quality' or 'something material'. It came into use c. 1520-30 C E and was adapted into the English language from the Middle Latin word materialitas. This word has been in use only in purely academic, philosophical articles.

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I think the time has come for us to rescue it from pure academia and incorporate it into our understanding of the Biblical narrative and therefore in fashioning a truly Christian worldview. The word materiality can be used in a way similar to the use of the word rationality in apologetics. We reject rationalism – the view that reason is the only way to true knowledge without any need for revelation – but we affirm rationality – the view that affirms the rightful place of reason in the created world order. In the same way, we reject materialism – the pursuit of material prosperity without reference to any transcendent reality – but we affirm materiality – the rightful place that the material world occupies in God's creation. The Biblical opposite of the word natural is spiritual (I Cor.2:14,15 -KJV); the English opposite of the same word is artificial. I suppose many Christians behave in an artificially affected way and delude themselves into thinking that they are spiritual! We need to discover, in the light of the total


Biblical revelation and the life of our Lord Jesus, that to be truly spiritual is to be truly natural – the way God had created us to be; and that kind of naturalness expresses itself through the material aspect of our lives. Paul's advice to the Christians in Rome that they should present their bodies – material and natural – as a living sacrifice (Rom.12:1) would have resulted in some Christians influenced by Gnostic ideology suffering heart attacks! (The Gnostics believed that the physical body was inferior and evil by its very nature – the Bible, by contrast, tells us that it is our nature that is sinful and true holiness is expressed through our physical bodies). Christians hold two opposing views about material prosperity. In some Christian circles, material prosperity is spoken of as the only sign of God's blessing. Bible verses on prevailing prayer – e.g., John 14:14 - are stretched to promote theologies of the Name and Claim variety in which Christians looking for material prosperity are simply to name what they want and claim it from God; thus we could pressurise Him to accede to our demands. Bible verses - e.g., Mal.3:10 that encourage cheerful tithing are converted into a Christianised stockbroking with promised yields quite disproportionate to the investment! In a not-unexpected reaction to this prosperity Gospel, some well-meaning Christians propound what can be called a poverty Gospel – the poorer you are, the more spiritual you are likely to be - and reduce the Christian faith to nothing more than mere asceticism. Because the devil sends errors in pairs (C S Lewis), the Bible rejects both positions as poor responses to God's creation of the material world and human creativity with which He has endowed us. One of several reasons for this unbiblical dichotomy is that the orthodox evangelical theology of redemption (in Christ) is not anchored in an equally strong theology of creation. Our pragmatic understanding of Biblical revelation unfortunately begins with Genesis 3 (The Fall) and

ends with Revelation 20 (The Judgment). We leave out four very important chapters of God's Word – Genesis 1,2 dealing with the present creation and Revelation 21,22 that describe renewed creation. These are the book-ends that contain the drama of redemption and anchor it in material reality. While we justifiably defend the fact of creation of the material world by God against the onslaught of evolutionists, we abandon our understanding of the material creation at the end of Genesis 2 and speak of the spiritual life without any reference to material reality. I suspect that the creation-evolution debate (which has its own rightful place) has distracted us from developing a proper theology of creation. It is important for us to note that the Bible begins, not with spiritual or moral dogma, but with the creation of the material world. God, who is Spirit, creates the heavens and the earth (which are matter) – Gen.1:1. In Gen.2:7, God takes the dust of the ground – matter – and breathes His own Breath – spirit - into it and the first human being comes into existence. Thus, humans are the only beings in God's creation that are a unique combination of matter and spirit. The command that God gives to the first human pair – Gen.1:28 – is about responsibility for the material world and accountability to God who is Spirit. When we quote a verse such as Mark 8:36 – “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul” – we ought to emphasise the value of the human soul for whom Christ died, but not imply that the body is unimportant. The word 'world' in the New Testament – kosmos in Greek has to be understood in three distinct ways depending on the contexts in which the writers use the word: (i) The created world – Matt.5:14; (ii) the world of people – John 3:16; (iii) the fallen world-system over which Satan presides – Rom.12:2; I John 2:15-17. Even the phrase SOS – 'Save Our Souls' – should not be taken to mean that bodies are unimportant. In II Cor.5:110, Paul affirms that to be away from the body is to be present with the Lord and at the same time, expresses his

longing to be clothed with the resurrection body! We need to reflect long and hard on the continuity and the discontinuity between the present creation and the new creation; passages such as II Pet.3:10-13, Is.65:17 and Rev.21,22 should be part of our daily delight. At the centre of the New Creation would be the slain Lamb in His glorified physical body which will still bear the marks of the cross (Rev.5:6). In stark contrast to the Christian position, many eastern philosophies and some eastern religions deny the reality of the material world itself; they think that this is the only way to reject materialism and thus employ a popular Sanskrit word maya (= illusion) to connote the status of material reality. Some Christians tend to do the same and read the Bible in platonic, escapist terms! The redeemed creation in Rev. 21,22 is more concrete than the present creation under bondage (Romans 8:19-22). To illustrate how inadequate our view of the renewal of creation was, I recently asked a tongue-in-cheek question to a Church worship group in Singapore – “What do you think of the New Creation? Will we be worshipping God by floating around like ghosts holding invisible guitars with intangible strings producing inaudible music?!!” God's invasion of this planet to redeem sinful humanity begins with the virgin birth of Jesus. When, in Luke 1:38, Mary says to Archangel Gabriel, “May it be to me as you have said!” the fullness of the Deity begins to live in bodily form (Col.2:9) as a unicellular zygote in Mary's womb. Thus, in the incarnation, the Lord Jesus Christ takes upon Himself a material body. He is raised from the dead in a glorified material body – Paul is at pains to prove this point as he devotes an entire chapter (I Corinthians 15) to it. At the right hand of the Father, there stands a Man as our intercessor (I Tim.2:5). God has therefore put his seal of approval on the material world and will be renewing the world itself to be the ambience for our glorified resurrection bodies as He brings our redemption to a grand climax. The 'arranged

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marriage(!)' between Christ and the Church, though mysterious (Eph.5:32), is constitutionally compatible only because the Bridegroom is God Who has forever become human and the Bride is redeemed humanity that has come to participate in the Divine nature (II Pet.1:4). One cannot believe in the true Humanity of Jesus without a Biblical view of materiality.

Christian form of escapism. How shall we then live in God's material world in joyful enjoyment of all that He has given us without falling into the serious error of materialism? A few Biblical pointers are suggested below: 1. The answer to the prosperity Gospel is not poverty Gospel but a Gospel of contentment – Phil.4:12,13. Paul makes it clear in this passage that he knows how to have plenty and how to When we disconnect the drama suffer a lack of things. The greatest of redemption from the equally temptation facing the Christian in our over-heated, over-valued economy is to spectacular divine act of creation, our crave for more than what one has, and message of salvation in Christ loses its not to find contented enjoyment in moorings in the reality of the external what God has provided. Ambition does world. have a legitimate place in the life of the It is pertinent to note that our Christian only when it is brought under rebellion against God in Eden results in the value-system of the Holy Spirit. We a breakdown of relationship with should reject outright all teaching that nature and the material world; the equates prosperity with God's blessing woman will find child-bearing painful in a simplistic manner. Paul would and work will be toil for man define materialism as the love of (Gen.3:16-19). This link between money (I Tim. 6:10), which militates human beings and nature is against true contentment (I Tim.6:6-8). consistently maintained in Scripture as 2. True contentment is not possible till Moses and Isaiah call on the heavens we learn true enjoyment. Paul's advice and earth to witness – Deut.32:1,2; to young Timothy is in affirmation of Is.1:2,3. God's promise to Solomon is all that God has materially blessed us that forgiven sin and answered prayer with (I Tim.6;17). A killjoy approach to will result in the healing of the land (II life that is advocated in some Christian Chr.7:14). The most explicit connection circles has no place in the Biblical is from the passage in Romans 8:19-22 economy – as a matter of fact, such an where we are told that even creation is attitude could lead us into the terrible groaning waiting for the redemption of sin of ungratefulness on the one hand the children of God. It is also not and hypocrisy on the other. surprising that many of the signs 3. We need to take seriously the terms accompanying the second coming of of discipleship that Jesus lays down in Christ have to do with nature. Luke 14:33. I think Mahatma Gandhi When we disconnect the drama of mistook this and similar statements of redemption from the equally Jesus to be clarion calls to asceticism. spectacular divine act of creation, our But, if we study carefully the whole message of salvation in Christ loses its section from Luke 14:26 onwards, we moorings in the reality of the external cannot but draw the conclusion that world. One of the reasons our message Jesus is pointing to relationships at all of Christ's work fails to connect with levels – to others, to oneself and to the the happy pagan in the marketplace is material world. Jesus prescribes one's because it uses the word spiritual in cross as the instrument through which such an unnatural way. The secular all relationships have to be processed atheist assumes that he alone has the and redeemed. They include our last word to say on the material world relationship to others (v.26), to oneself and salvation in Christ is another form (v.27) and to the material world (v.33). of nirvana or yoga where the devotee With the help of the Holy Spirit, the loses her (his) identity in the infinite cross-experiences of one's life divine. Thus Christianity for the discipline and direct us to true selfsecularist is nothing more than a denial and thereby redeem and elevate

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all relationships to a Godly level – and that includes our relationship to the material world. 4. Very early in my Christian life, I was introduced to three Bible-words that should characterise the Christian in her (his) relationship to the material world: pilgrim, stranger, steward. Their opposites are: settler, citizen, owner. While the opposites are not wrong ethically or morally, they could display attitudes that are not Christian. As far as our attitude to the material world is concerned, we need to see ourselves as stewards and not owners. Paul intends this lesson for us in I Tim.6:18. A good steward is one who does not horde things for oneself (as if he or she is the owner) but as a good manager, shares what one has with others. There is no better antidote to materialism than liberality! 5. In our evangelism, we need to bring out and emphasise the fact that our view of material reality gives us a true basis for fascination with God's created world and the appreciation of true human creativity. Alongside these, we need to point out – and it is not difficult to demonstrate the contrast – that we fallen beings are not able to handle either God's creation or our human creativity because of our innate rebellion against our Creator; the only possible way to be a responsible steward in this world is to become a true disciple of Christ. Thus, salvation in Christ is not only the right way to die – as some Christian reductionists make it out to be – but the right way to live here on earth as followers of Jesus so that we shall ultimately come down from heaven as the Bride of Christ to continue our stewardship of the New Creation (Rev.21:1,2). It is only within this context that life is lived meaningfully and, the significance and identity of the individual person will not be lost in today's extremely competitive and materialistic world. This article was first published in "engage" July Sept 2010. Reprinted with permission. L.T. Jeyachandran is an IIT graduate. He worked as Chief Engineer in charge of 13 states of India in the Eastern Zone before his voluntary retirement. He then served as Executive Director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (AsiaPacific) Ltd.


FAMILY

There is a profound correlation between your spiritual life and how you speak.

Can we talk? ...err, some sense please! It was around 11pm, end of a gruelling day, and I was about to sleep when the annoying SMS alert got my attention! Expecting it to be some message from the office, half-heartedly I read it –

behind in India. At last when he returned, they both found the behaviour of each other strange as they were expecting the annual 'holiday behaviour' from one another! They lost the early days of intense communication and as a consequence, the opportunity of knowing each other!

– BB

21:19)! The inner selfish attitude of 'My way or the Highway' brings out the worst in us. No wonder, Jesus said, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh”(Mat.12:34).

The bitterness in communication at our homes, calls for an urgent 'heart surgery'! That should bring to the “He hates me!” table how much 'selfishness' has I think, that might have been the spread through the systems within us. message which flashed in the mind of Message of a frightened boy who In medical parlance, the standard Eve when she heard Adam answering didn't know how to handle a situation 'reading' has to be “Serve one another” God after that fateful event – “The when the atmosphere of his home (Gal. 5:13). I fear, we are more likely woman whom thou gave to be with me, turned into a 'Wagah', the Indo-Pak to find the reading as “bite and devour she gave me of the tree, and I did eat”. border! one another”, “Consumed one of That 'hate speech' was 180° different another” (Gal.5:15), “provoking one May I know you? from the romantic 'love song' he had another” and “envying one another” sung when they were introduced to Communication is designed to (Gal.5:26)! each other by God in the first instance reveal who we are. If not for God There is a profound correlation Himself choosing to communicate who – Gen.2:22! What went wrong? Enter between your spiritual life and how Selfishness! In a quest to promote He is, we would have never known Him you speak – “Either make the tree themselves to a higher level, they (Hebrew 1:1, 2). The more we know good, and his fruit good; or else make sinned. Alas! That selfishness Him, more we love Him. No wonder, the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: Paul's consuming desire was to 'Know corrupted their communication; for the tree is known by his fruit. O towards God and towards each other! Him' (Phil.3:10). Communication generation of vipers, how can ye, being serves the same purpose in our family It is common knowledge that good evil, speak good things? For out of the lives too. In the design of 'family life', communication builds up (Pro.16:24) abundance of the heart the mouth God made their union so transparent and bad communication destroys speaketh”(Mat.12:33,34) that there was nothing hidden in their (Prov. 12:18). It is indeed tortuous to “Not that type” co-existence (Gen 2:23-25). live in an atmosphere where communication is abused for the sake Some psychologists have done a We have come across a gentleman of selfishness – better than that is great disservice to society by neatly aged 62, who worked several years in 'solitary confinement' (Proverbs categorising 'types' of human beings Middle East while his family was left “Hi Uncle, itz Rajesh* here. srry 2 distrb u…actually my ma n da r not talking 2 each other…what shud I do???”

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who are expected to behave in a certain manner! We are made to believe that 'they are wired that way' and all we can do is to just 'put up' with them. But the Bible introduces to us a life where “God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” will enable us to “Do all things without murmurings and disputing” (Phil.2:13, 14), irrespective of what 'type' we are! There is no reason why we ought to be slaves of our 'upbringing' or 'family of origin'. Perhaps it might require a little more work for some people than others in learning to communicate their inner feelings to their spouse without raising accusing fingers. Some people require to develop 'listening skills' (by the by, having 'ears' does not guarantee 'listening' - Rev.2:11) and some others, 'speaking skills' (Prov.15:1). Jesus took great pains to teach his disciples how they should communicate with God – Mat.6:6-13. At the end of it, we ought to reveal ourselves to our spouses and endeavour to build our homes through the oneness generated out of an atmosphere of healthy communication. Children learn the art of communication through the way we communicate with our spouses and them. Forget not, children learn the art of communicating with God by the way we do it! But... “Where is the time for talking in the midst of the corporate 'rat race' (after the entire race, rats remain as rats, though!)?” We have come across many a 'desperate wife' whose husband gets irritated if she calls him during office hours. When he returns home, he is too tired to talk! This attitude of the husband, stems from the total 'ignorance' of God's design where both Husband and Wife are given a joint stewardship to represent God on earth (Gen.1:27,28) and that is their primary task. No 'joint ventures' ever work if there is no communication. The desire for 'selfish glory in office' or 'stress of losing one's job' takes over our minds and 'joint stewardship with our spouses' goes out the window. The trust Paul displayed in his God that “He

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is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim.1:12) should propel us to look at work and family from God's perspective. “How will my parents react if I keep speaking to my spouse?” If they are godly people, they should react the way God would react to it! If they are not, they will any way react the way they may please. The verdict is out as far as God's reaction is concerned – “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen.2:24). Please do not mix this with 'honouring' and 'supporting' our Parents. There are specific commandments to that effect which we are bound to obey. The Word of God does not contradict commandments so that we have to choose 'one or the other'! Each relationship created by

God has its own place as designed by God at each stage of life. There are other 'but's too - “When I talk, he gets angry very fast”, “I may say something hurtful if I keep talking”, “She wouldn't understand it; then what is the point of telling?”, “Why make her anxious by telling all this?” (this one makes her more anxious, though!) ... the lists goes on and on. At the heart of most of these is 'selfishness', the original issue at the garden of Eden! No wonder, the message then and now is the same – Repent! Let us talk! Anyone listening?! BB (The authors are involved in family ministry and can be contacted at bbcouple@yahoo.com) *name changed for confidentiality

Form IV Statement of ownership and other particulars about Newspapers / Magazine Harvest Times for your Family. 1. Place of Publication

- Mumbai

2. Periodicity of its publication

- Monthly

3. Printer's Name Nationality Address

- Joseph A.J. - Indian - Gospel Literature Service Udyog Bhavan, 250-D Worli Colony Mumbai 400 030

4. Publisher's Name Nationality Address

- Joseph A.J. - Indian - Gospel Literature Service Udyog Bhavan, 250-D Worli Colony Mumbai 400 030

5. Editor's Name Nationality Address

- Jerry Thomas - Indian - Gospel Literature Service Udyog Bhavan, 250-D Worli Colony Mumbai 400 030

6. Names and addresses of individuals who own the newspapers and partners or shareholders holding one percent the total capital. Gospel Literature Service Udyog Bhavan, 250-D Worli Colony Mumbai 400 030 I, Joseph A.J., hereby declare that the particulars given above are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. Date: 1 April 2013

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Sd/Signature of Publisher


SPECIAL REPORT

Looking Back to Move Ahead…. B

lessed be the name of the Lord who has promised: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9 NKJV)! His grace has sustained GLS to continue its ministry for one more year. This has been a year of hope and moving forward. But it has also been a year of real battle with the forces of darkness. Through it all, the Lord has sustained us with His presence and wisdom. We gratefully thank the Lord for His unfailing grace and the opportunity to minister His people and the Churches in India in the midst of our struggles and limitations.

currently in the process of translating many more works by different authors into Bengali, Kannada, Telugu, Assamese, Malayalam, Hindi and Marathi.

– Joseph A. J. Promotion

The number of visitors to the new GLS website has increased remarkably. The GLS online store is now enabling book lovers to place online orders from 'Harvest Times for Your Family' has anywhere across the globe. We have been the GLS in-house magazine for begun to systematically use the many years. It reaches about 3300 internet and social media to connect Christian homes every month. This with our readers and customers. You magazine has been greatly used to can now access us on Facebook, develop many Indian writers. As with Linkedin and Twitter. Our monthly any publication these days, we struggle email campaign reaches all GLS with subscriptions but with some readers and customers with the latest effort from our side we are seeing an offers and information on our books. increase in these numbers as well. As part of our ministry, we have been able Proclamation to continue to provide this magazine As in past years, this year too, we Publications free of cost to evangelists in India. have reached out across India with free During the past 12 months, GLS has evangelistic resources (7.50 L tracts Partnership scaled new heights yet has also seen and booklets) to 23 states in 9 the depths of human experience. But, 2012-2013 saw continued languages. Moreover, this year GLS in all things we rejoice, knowing that collaboration with international tracts were also used in Bahrain. His 'good, pleasing and perfect' will publishers like Harvest House, Opal has come to pass. In 2012-2013, we People Trust, Anno Domini, Josh McDowell could publish 12 new books in English. Ministry, Bible Studies Institute, Above all else, the Lord has richly Some of these were 'My First Bible', Christian Focus, etc. This has laid the blessed the staff that makes all this 'The Explorer Bible', 'My First Bible ground work for some truly inspiring work possible. It has been a hard year Story Book'; 'Kid's Bibletime 10-13' books to come in 2013-2014. We have with its share of disappointments, 'Call and Commendation' by Thomson also published books by Indian authors illness and struggles. Yet, the people B. Thomas, 'Knowing and Doing' by as in previous years. By God's leading, here at GLS have been patient and John McQuoid, 'Homosexual we have established significant service committed to their tasks. The last year Partnerships' by Philip Nunn. We partnerships with many international saw some committed staff move on desire to make available quality publishers. Through this relationship, from GLS in obedience to the Master. Christian literature in major regional we print and make available affordable Their contribution to this ministry has languages. To that end, GLS has Christian literature, particularly to been significant and we praise God for translated and published '100 Bible countries in Africa. In addition, we them. At the same time, the Lord also Lessons' by Alban Douglas in Telegu, have partnered with Emmaus (ECSbrought in new servants to carry on Oriya and Kannada. (This book is a Tanzania) facilitating them to print ECS His ministry. unique and excellent guide to Bible course materials in African languages. Looking back at the year gone by, all study. Many across the world will GLS resources are now also available in of us in the GLS family have been testify to its worth). The Assamese the Middle East as we have regular encouraged and energized to depend translation is almost ready for printing. exports to UAE. The GLS team in Kerala on His grace alone. And so we move on We are considering a Gujarati, Tamil continues to make accessible resources with this divine task to scale new and Marathi translation for next year. in Malayalam to Bible Schools and heights for His Glory! Will you Apart from this, we have translated Seminaries. During the last year, we remember us in your prayer? and published a number of other could present our books at 19 Bible books in Hindi and Marathi. We are Seminaries and 10 conventions. Harvest Times for Your Family

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FINANCE

Money might be used in the service of the Lord in a variety of ways where only good would result.

Financial Responsibility of A Christian (PART-I)

– Koshy Zachariah

A

ccountability is one thing that every person should bear in mind for an orderly life. Whether in terms of time or resources, accountability is of paramount importance and a Christian disciple is no exception.. The patterns for life as laid out in the Scriptures have a special bearing on Accountability. In this article, we shall look at some of these characteristics. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians “Long ago, even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes” (Eph 1:4 LASB*). Peter writes “For you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of Priests, God's holy nation, His very own possession. This is so, you can

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show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (I Pet 2:9 LASB). These privileges were promised by God to the nation of Israel provided they obeyed Him. “Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the nations of the earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be to me, a kingdom of Priests, my holy nation”. (Exodus 19:5, b a LASB). The children of Israel failed to obtain this wonderful promise because of unbelief and disobedience; rather they forfeited its place. During the present age, the Church occupies this favoured place. The Christian believers, who constitute the church, are a heavenly

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people with common ancestry and distinct physical characteristics coupled with a divine parentage and spiritual resemblances. Further Peter reminds believers that they are sojourners and pilgrims (I Pet 2:11). As sojourners, the believers dwell in a foreign country where they do not have the rights of citizens. And as pilgrims, they live for a while in a place; they have no permanent earthly homes. I have touched upon this fact to bring to our consideration the onerous responsibility laid upon us in the various relationships of life. The characteristics mentioned above need to be reflected in our life. Our conduct, behavior, disposition, humility, kindness, love and so on should be as


becomes the Lord's people; then only we can be Christ like examples to win the world. However, we find that this is not reflected in most lives. We cannot claim to be free of natures. The flesh is weak but the word of God can help us to overcome evils that are the offshoots of love of money. To a large extent, love of money is the root-cause of all evils. “For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows” (I Tim 6:10 LASB). William Macdonald opines “Not all evil in the universe springs from the love of money. But it is certainly one of the great sources of many varieties of evil. For instance, it leads to envy, strife, theft, dishonesty, intemperance, forgetfulness of God, selfishness, embezzlement etc. It is not money in itself which is spoken of, but the love of money. Money might be used in the service of the Lord in a variety of ways where only good would result. But here it is the inordinate desire for money that leads to sin and shame”. Bishop J.C.Ryle summarizes: “Money, in truth, is one of the most unsatisfying of possessions. It takes away some cares, no doubt; but it brings with it quite as many cares as it takes away. There is trouble in the getting of it. There is anxiety in the keeping of it. There are temptations in the use of it. There is guilt in the abuse of it. There is sorrow in the losing of it. There is perplexity in the disposing of it. Twothirds of all the strifes, quarrels and law-suits in the world arise from one simple cause – money”

Despite all the evils associated with money, much good can accrue with proper management of money. Contentment in life can radically change the outlook on money. The basic necessities of life are food, clothing and shelter. If contentment is given place as the “basic core value” in life, everything falls in line. The insatiable desire to be rich makes a man covet more. In order to achieve this goal, he gets enticed and trapped, to use dishonest and violent ways such as fraud, perjury, gambling, speculation, theft and even murder.

When it comes to money, a Christian ought to relegate himself to the position of a faithful treasurer, even if he is the owner of it. The right word for a treasurer in the Christian sphere is “steward”. A steward should be blameless with no greed for money (Titus 1:7). “Now a person who is put in charge as a manager (steward) must be faithful” (I Cor 4:2 LASB). “ A steward is a servant who cares for the person or property of another...Man values cleverness, wisdom, wealth and success; but God is looking for those who will be faithful to Jesus in all things” (William MacDonald). The term “steward” for the first time is found in Genesis 15:2. There Eliezer is the steward of the house of Abraham, a trustworthy and faithful person. Abraham entrusted Eliezer with the responsibility to find a suitable bride for his son, Isaac. Eliezer as the first step accepts the God of Abraham as His God. And later he makes a prayer which tells of his faithfulness, loyalty and commitment (Gen 24: 12-14). A steward is accountable; he should keep this in mind always. Though he is next to the owner, a second in command, he should conduct himself as if the owner. This is evident in the case of Joseph. Pharaoh said “You shall be over my house ….see, I have set this over all the land of Egypt……he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt….Without you, shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt” (Gen 41:40-44). Yet Joseph did not misuse the trust placed on him; did nothing for his personal benefit or advantage. ACCOUNTABILITY I have mentioned earlier that a steward is accountable. The Lord's people are stewards and thus are accountable. A steward is not an owner but has the power of an owner except for the use of resources at his disposal for self. The resources can be money, estates, brand name, goodwill, time etc. He could receive remuneration for his service as fixed by the owner and nothing more than that; remuneration will include travel and travel related expenses for the discharge of his responsibility as a steward. Now let us look at Business

enterprises for an insight on accountability. They are governed by law for “Corporate Governance”. Corporate Governance refers to the set of systems, principles and process by which a corporate or a business enterprise is governed properly to reflect ethics and integrity. They provide the guidelines as to how a Company can be directed or controlled to fulfill its goal and objectives in a manner that adds to the value of the Company and is also beneficial for all stakeholders. All business enterprises have a Board of Directors (Management) and a Chief Financial Officer, to comply and implement proper “Corporate governance”. Now the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) plays a key role in this and he is responsible for the financial affairs. A steward takes the role of both “Management” and “CFO”. He is accountable in all the affairs entrusted to his custody. Financial accountability shall be upper most in his mind. Let us look at the Finance role. FINANCE Most of the resources are convertible into money. And expression of these resources in terms of money is better understood by all, that being the common measuring term. Every entity or person is involved in money management. Entities could be Governments, large conglomerates, Corporations, Trusts, Societies etc. They need good financial management to be accountable. Only this will enable the money to be put to productive use without embezzlement, fraud, cheating, wasting (laundering) etc. Every person whether rich or poor finds it unavoidable when it comes to management of money. We shall dwell at length on the management of money, as an Individual or Trust or Business organization, in our next issue.

* LASB – Life Application Study Bible Koshy Zachariah was formerly the Executive Director-Finance with MRF Ltd. He is currently one of the elders of Bethesda Bible Chapel, Kilpauk, Chennai,

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LEADERSHIP

Paul: Leader or servant? – PKD Lee

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aul was a young man when Jesus preached the Gospel in Palestine. He was a brilliant scholar, being tutored by one of the leading Rabbi's in Jerusalem, named Gamaliel. He was from Tarsus and was from a prominent family with Roman citizenship, As a person he was totally committed to what he believed and led the persecution of the church in Jerusalem for what he considered their heretical teaching. Later he headed a delegation

authorised by the Sanhedrin to arrest Christians in the nearby cities. With this authorisation, he left for Damascus. On the road to Damascus, he had an encounter with Jesus Christ and was struck blind. As per his testimony in Acts 26:15-18, Jesus tells him that he would be sent as a missionary. This was reconfirmed to him by Ananais in Damascus (Acts 22:14).

A leader cannot have the arrogance to think that since he knows it is enough and that others will do as he says. He needs to recognise that all need to know, and he is not the boss whom others will automatically follow. 14 Harvest Times for Your Family

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Paul's whole life was turned upside down by these events. Not only the Call, but he also had to re-organise his whole understanding of God and His promise of salvation. Paul had a good knowledge of the Old Testament and because of his persecution of the church, also of their teaching. So he went to Arabia, to ponder before God the meaning of these events (Gal 1:1517). Here, sitting alone before God, he thought through the meaning of Jesus' ministry, the implication of the


sacrifice of Christ and other theological issues which he writes about in his epistles. He brings a whole new perspective to the understanding of the Messiahship of Jesus. This personal time with God in Arabia, gave him a passion for and his understanding of the gospel, It also changed his conception of himself. No longer did he live for himself but for Jesus alone. It also affected his understanding of the gospel and its implications (2 Cor 5:15, Gal 6:14, Phil 1:21) etc. Changed thus, Paul returned from Arabia and worked quietly with the church at Damascus. He did not launch a mission nor did he try to fulfil what God had revealed to him. He waited for God to act. He did not petition the leaders at Jerusalem about his call, but just worked with the local church. He did not go to Jerusalem to teach the full understanding of the gospel to the leaders there. He humbly worked with the church where he lived.

though God had called him to be a missionary, he did not claim that post or title for himself, nor did he form a mission in “response� to God's call, but waited for the church to understand what God had in mind for him. Paul remained a faithful worker in the church in Damascus for three years (Gal 1:18) till persecution sent him out of Damascus (Acts 9:23-25). He went to Jerusalem but was not well received by the church there, so he retreated to Tarsus and worked with the church there (Acts 9:30). Later Barnabas asked him to come and assist in the church at Antioch and he worked with Barnabas for a few years under the church at Antioch (Acts 11:25-26).

His leadership was never positional, since he never held a position apart from that of an apostle (missionary) who were preachers and teachers but without administrative authority. The bishops and elders were the ones with the administrative authority. Not only did he build people, but was willing to forgive people like Mark who had hurt him by his departure from the mission, and to see him as a useful member of his team. This ability to forgive shows his commitment to build others, even those who had hurt him.

Paul's communication

Paul wrote a major portion of the New Testament because of his burden to share his ideas and vision with the Thirteen or fourteen years after his people he led. Communication is one of encounter with Christ, Paul was finally the essential traits of a leader. A leader sent as a missionary by the church at cannot have the arrogance to think that Antioch! In spite of the call which came since he knows, it is enough and that to him on the Damascus road, in spite others will do as he says. He needs to of the revelation given to him in recognise that all need to know, and he Arabia, in spite of his great learning, he is not the boss whom others will waited as a servant of the church till it automatically follow. Paul's charisma recognised God's hand on him and sent It is because of this, in his chiding of him as a missionary. This patience paid Paul, though reported as the churches, he does not command him great dividends in his ministry, as unimpressive in appearance (2 Cor. them, but explains to them and reasons he had the support of all the leaders 10:10), had a charisma about him with them. These explanations made when trouble broke out with the because of his great mental strength. him not only a person of influence in Judaizers (who were sincere followers He knew the Scriptures better than the early church but through all time. of Christ) in the mission field (Acts 15). most and was skilled in its exposition Further, in his chiding of the churches and interpretation. Paul's commitment to others like Corinth, you find that Paul pleads He also had a tremendous personal and requests the people to listen to his reputation as a man of integrity and Paul mentored many people into advice rather than ordering them to character. Paul was aware of his positions of leadership. Timothy and obey. This was even though he had reputation and referred often to it as a Titus are well known, both of whom planted the church in Corinth. He could testimony to his reliability (I Thess 1:5, became bishops. However, he himself do this because he never saw himself 2:7, 10). To a large extent, this was as a boss, but as a servant and minister never took a promotion for himself, because he was a man who lived what and remained a missionary till his for Christ. he believed without making any death. He never settled down as These features show why Paul's compromises. overseer of a church, but remained a example makes an interesting and church planter till the end. This is valuable study for the church today. At Paul's simplicity because of the focus he had on his a time when people are failing in their Because of his charisma and the vision for the spread of the gospel. leadership, because of a lack of intensity of his beliefs, he was a natural Even though he understood the humility, Paul's example of leader and people were drawn to him importance of the church as the servanthood becomes highly relevant wherever he went. Paul never let his physical manifestation of the Kingdom, in Christian and secular leadership. charisma and his popularity go to his he was clear about what he was meant head. Instead he worked as a partner to do. Unfortunately today, we do not and fellow worker with others, and not think of a call but of a career. A career as their superior (2 Cor. 1:24). involves progress through levels, but a PKD Lee has served in various capacities in the Indian government. Later he served as Vice call does not. The secret of Paul's He did not try to assert himself or President - International Advancement of success was in his single minded focus declare his independence but worked Haggai Institute. He lives with his wife in on the call rather than on himself. Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. in humility with the churches. Even Harvest Times for Your Family

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APOLOGETICS

The Reliability of the Resurrection – Dr. Varghese John

A

The empty tomb remains a silent but eloquent witness to the fact of the resurrection.

story is told of a Christian in Africa, who earlier was an idol worshipper. His friends asked him why he became a Christian. “Well, it is like this,” he replied, “suppose you are walking on a road and you do not know which way to take at an intersection and if at the intersection there stood a statue and a man, which one would you ask for direction?” “Of course, to the man and not to the statue because a statue has no life,” his friends replied. “Yes, this is exactly what I did,” he said. This story presents a profound truth of Christian faith — the truth of resurrection, a truth that is the bedrock of Christianity. Jesus is not a dead person but a living One. The most significant event in history is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is an unparalleled and unprecedented event in the history of humanity. It is the strongest evidence for the deity of Jesus Christ. No other religious or philosophical leader in the world has ever been proclaimed as a risen Saviour. Instead, many have shrines at

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their tombs. Their bodies lie there decayed in the dust. As Dr. H. L. Willmington puts it, “The sign of Christianity is really not the cross, but an empty tomb.” Two questions are reasonable and relevant to be asked about the resurrection of Christ. They were asked during the first Easter, and they have been asked every Easter since. First: Is the resurrection account of the gospels reliable? The second one: If Jesus had risen from the dead, what claim He can make on our life? The first question deals with the reliability of the resurrection and the second have to do with the relevance. This article deals only with the reliability of the resurrection. Paul, a first-century skeptic-turned believer, wrote: " For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and


that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. " (1 Cor. 15: 3 - 5).

soldiers as it also assured them of intervention by Sanhedrin with the Roman authorities so that they would Down through the centuries, not be executed. Moreover, there however, there have been scholars who have attempted to deny the account of would have been no motive on the part of the disciples to steal the body in the the Resurrection. Skeptics often first place, and if the enemies of Christ challenge Christians to prove the Resurrection of Christ scientifically. We had taken the body they could have produced it when the accounts of the must understand that the scientific resurrection began to be circulated. method is based on proving something There is no evidence, however, that the true by repeated observations of the enemies of Christ made any effort to object or event. Therefore, the method try to find the supposedly stolen body is limited to repeatable events or of Christ (3) Another one is the "Swoon observable objects. Historical events Theory" which supposes that Jesus cannot be repeated. In proving a didn't really die but was only historical event like the Resurrection, unconscious. The expert Roman we must look at the historical executioners merely thought he was evidences. Therefore, we will examine dead. After a few hours in the tomb the historical facts concerning the without food or medicine, the cool air Resurrection and see what the revived him. He burst from the 100 evidence exposes. pounds of grave clothes, rolled away 1. The Empty Tomb. the stone with his nail-pierced hands, scared the Roman soldiers, walked Jesus' corpse was removed from the miles on wounded feet and convinced cross, wrapped like a mummy and his Disciples He had been raised from placed in a solid-rock tomb. A one-andthe dead. This one is harder to believe a-half to two-ton stone was rolled into a slightly depressed groove to seal the than the resurrection itself tomb's entrance. The complete lack of evidence for any other possibility authenticates the All the evidences that exist account of the resurrection of Christ as concerning the tomb after the the only reasonable explanation. The resurrection of Christ indicate that it evidence of the empty tomb is the best was empty. This was the testimony of evidence for the bodily resurrection of the disciples who carefully examined Christ. The empty tomb remains a the tomb when they found the stone silent but eloquent witness to the fact rolled away. The guard that was of the resurrection. When the tombs of stationed at the tomb, according to all great men of the world and religious Matthew's account, also reported that leaders remain closed, the tomb of our the tomb was empty. Only three Lord Jesus is the only tomb that is explanations are suggested as alternatives for the resurrection: (1) It empty. It declares to the world that “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.� has been suggested that the disciples may have chanced upon the wrong 2. The Resurrection Appearances tomb. This, however, is refuted not only Post resurrection appearances of by the presence of the angels, but by Jesus are an undeniable historical the Roman sentry who certainly would proof of the resurrection of Christ. not have been guarding the wrong According to Matthew 28: 2 - 4, the tomb. (2) The soldiers themselves guards saw the angel who rolled away made the suggestion that someone had the stone from the tomb and they were stolen the body while they slept. If this terrified. The Scriptures in this way had been the case, they would have account for the illegal act of breaking been summarily executed. Instead, the Roman seal placed on the door of according to Matthew's account, they the tomb, and for the ineffectiveness of were given money to spread the false the guard to prevent removal of the story that someone had stolen the body. The report of the soldiers body. This was obviously an attempt at suggested by the chief priests (Matt. bribery to prevent the truth being told 28: 11-15) that someone stole the and was gladly accepted by the body while they slept is false on the

face of it. Testimony of a sleeping person is always unreliable. The probability is that Christ was raised from the tomb shortly after sundown in the early hours of Sunday and the opening of the tomb was not to allow Christ to come out, but was a means of permitting others to enter and see the empty tomb. A careful study of the Gospels and Acts shows that Christ ascended to heaven only after appearing eleven times to His followers. Taken as a whole, the appearances are of such varied nature and to so many people under so many different circumstances that the proof of the resurrection of Christ is as solid as any historical fact could be in the first century. 3. The Dramatic Change in the Disciples after the Resurrection One of the very impressive arguments for the genuineness of the resurrection of Christ was the contrast in the life of disciples before and after the resurrection. Scripture indicates that the disciples before they saw the resurrected Christ, were utterly disheartened, were meeting in fear in obscure places, and were disappointed at the death of Christ. There is no indication in any of the narratives describing the disciples prior to the resurrection that they entertained any real hope that Christ would be restored to them in resurrection. On the day of resurrection itself, there is no evidence that they were gullible or accepted the testimony of the resurrection of Christ without requiring definite proof. It was evidently hard for them to believe their senses when they actually saw the risen Christ. Once they were convinced, however, the disciples were cheerful and courageous. For instance, Peter, on the Day of Pentecost shared a public testimony to the fact of the resurrection, challenging his listeners to evaluate the evidence. In their attitude before the resurrection of Christ as well as after the resurrection, there is no indication of accepting the fact of the resurrection apart from the solid proofs which they had in the post-resurrection appearances.

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THE FOUNDER'S VOICE

The Just Shall Live By His Faith – Mrs. Christina Durham (Republished from 'The Balance of Truth' January 1957) “For the vision is yet for an appointed time...though it tarry, wait for it; because it shall surely come, it will not tarry” Hab. 2.3. The year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-seven! As we turn a fresh page in the history of the world, of the ages, -of our own individual lives, - it is only natural that we should wonder what will be written on those pages. We look up and see the heavens dark with storm-clouds, and the distant horizon dull-red with the dust and blaze and carnage of battle, and we shudderingly wonder how many of the paragraphs will be written in blood, to a sound-track of the groans of dying men, the heart-broken sobbing of bereaved women, the shriek of the tortured, the pitiful wail of starving little children, and motherless babies.

he pictured himself as a little tuft of thistledown upon the Hand of the Almighty, lifted up to the wind, and with one puff of His breath caused to ride away upon it to the inevitable end of dissolution into nothingness. (Job 30:22). What was the use then of all his perfection, his years of uprightness and integrity, his care for the honour of God? Humanly speaking, there was no use....... no answer to the problem of life, the enigma of human existence.

“Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said....... wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?” (Job 40: 6-8) And as God talked with Job his viewpoint changed. He looked back upon the maze of life from the high places of eternity, and in his shame he cried out: “ I have been talking about things which I did not understand;things too wonderful for To contemplate such a picture for any me which I knew not. Now I know- I length of time would be the surest way KNOW- that Thou canst do everything, to madness! If such be the prospect and that NO PURPOSE OF THINE CAN before us, what is the use of the BE RESTRAINED”. (Job 42:2-3) continual struggle toward perfection, towards the goal of an idealism which The same solution applies to the can be destroyed overnight. problems of to-day. “Humanly speaking,” we say, but that phrase Let us look at this matter as should have no place in the vocabulary pessimistically as we possibly can. Let of the Christian. We have no right to us face up to the ultimate of realism, look at the problems of life, or at the and admit that there is no use....no future, 'from a human standpoint'. answer. There is only one standpoint of From a human standpoint, Job was eternity, the view-point of his Father, right when in the imagery of despair

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the view-point of faith, immovable, triumphant, eternally optimistic in the glad confidence of the supremacy of God, the immutability of His counsels, the finality of His purposes. That is where vision comes in. 'From a human standpoint' it seems useless to go on, but the one who knows his God, who has been privileged to share the secret of His eternal purposes, and who has been given a vision of the part God has for him in the fulfilment of those purposes is one who is privileged indeed. No longer is the future dark and unknown, - the heavens are alight with the brilliance of that guiding star, - the horizon is aglow with the blaze of that beacon of promise. No longer he looks at the angry threatening waves around him. They are forgotten and unheeded while his eye is upon the One who walks in authority and majesty upon the raging deep. “The just shall live by faith.” Child of God, has the Father given to you a vision of His plan for your life in cooperation with Him in the fulfilment of His eternal purposes? Then “though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (Hab. 2:3) 'Humanly speaking' everything may be against the fulfilment of that vision, that promise. There may be no blossom on the fig tree; there may be


no tender buds on the vine; the olive tree and the fields may be barren; even the flocks and herds may be destroyed (Hab.3:17-19) yet do not despair. “I will rejoice in the Lord,” for his promises are sure. “I will joy in the God of my salvation” for His purposes cannot be hindered. “The Lord is my Strength; and he will make my feet like hind's feet”, leaping upon the mountains; “He will make me to walk upon my high places”, - the high places

of eternity, and from that vantage point I will look down upon life's seemingly tangled maze, and KNOW that He has a “straight path” in the midst of it all, leading surely and unerringly to the end that He has planned. On the threshold of this New year time, but at the end it shall speak and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved........

The Reliability of the Resurrection

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it. Because IT WILL SURELY COME, IT WILL NOT TARRY........ “The just shall live by his faith” (Hab. 2: 1-4) (The late Mrs. Christian Durham was the cofounder of GLS. She was an avid writer and poet.)

contd. from Page No 17.

three thousand people, who were in a position to know the facts, believed that Jesus Christ had actually been raised from the dead. Peter's confident assertion that Christ actually arose in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of David, as recorded in Psalm 16: 10-11, must have originated not only from his own personal conviction that these were the facts, but also from confidence that there was no one competent to challenge them. The events of Pentecost would be left without a sensible explanation if Jesus Christ had not been raised from the dead.

centuries, in spite of ignorance, unbelief, and erosion of doctrine, would be difficult to explain if there were not a solid basis for its origination and continuation in the historic resurrection of Christ. Those who investigate the facts concerning the resurrection of Christ as recorded in the Scripture have certainly abundant evidences to put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, Lord and God. Right Response

Since the resurrection of Christ is such a momentous and magnificent event, what must be mankind's response to Christ? The first thing 5. The Origin and progress of the anyone can do is to accept Him as one's Church. 4. The Events on the Day of Lord and Saviour. It means committing Pentecost. The existence of the Christian church one's life to the control of Christ through confession of sins and inviting The miraculous events on the Day of from the first century historically is Pentecost are an outstanding evidence explained as stemming from the belief Him to life. Those who have made such of resurrection of Christ. Those events in the resurrection of Christ. Only such a commitment must renew their definite proof of the deity of Christ dedication daily by “presenting their in themselves are a demonstration of would have given the church the bodies as a living sacrifice which is the power of God. The Day of convincing power that it needed in the acceptable to God.” The resurrection Pentecost, occurring only fifty days gospel witness. The power which proved that Christ is the Creator— God after the death and resurrection of who deserves preeminence in our Christ, was the occasion for the sermon characterized the early church can be explained only on the basis that Christ lives. Jesus is the risen Lord and God. by Peter on the resurrection of Christ actually arose from the dead. In the Therefore let us manifest the power of as thousands gathered to hear. Those years since, millions of believers have resurrection in our attitudes and who listened to Peter had access to the been blessed and transformed by faith actions. Tell the world around us that garden where the tomb was located, in Jesus Christ as their risen Savior and He is risen! This is the good news we and had undoubtedly investigated the Lord. If the resurrection is a myth, can and should proclaim in this 21st reports of the resurrection of Christ there is no adequate explanation for century. which was commonly discussed in the power of the early church in its Jerusalem. As Peter declared the witness and the willingness of its resurrection of Christ, there was no adherents even to die rather than opposition from the multitudes. The Dr. Varghese John is a former faculty from an renounce their Christian faith. The book of Acts records that instead of Engineering College and is currently an continuity of the church through the offering refutation to his assertion evangelist. Harvest Times for Your Family

April 2013/Volume 10 Issue 4

19


Mussels The Enviable Muscle Power of Mussels

T

he mussel has been labeled are the key to their strength the poor man's oyster.

The practical and beneficial

and survival. But identifying the applications are endless for this

But the adhesive properties

possible 11 proteins that exist is non-toxic and safe adhesive.

they exhibit could make those

not an easy task. To date only 5 The most exciting potential

who discover it very rich. The

proteins have been identified.

adhesive industry is a billion dollar a year industry. Now the muscle power of the unassuming mussel has been studied with great interest.

The growing demand for adhesives will have researchers continuing the search for the remaining proteins that make up this complicated manufacturing

Mussels have an amazing sticky process in hopes of replicating adhesive plaque at the end of

it. It would be the next super

their byssal threads. The

glue that could stick to both

thread & plaque are formed in a

natural surfaces and even the

matter of minutes. The

un-stickable Teflon速.

proteins that start the process

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April 2013/Volume 10 Issue 4

usage is within the biomedical field in surgical, dentistry, ophthalmic and orthopedic fields to name a few. Mussels have been studied for decades for something that God has given them the ability to do in mere minutes. Adapted from Made in Heaven by Ray Comfort and Jeffrey Seto (Ray Comfort is a best-selling author and Jeffrey Seto is an Aerospace Engineer)


Looks and Sounds Good – The Morpho Butterfly E

very day as we stop to smell the flowers we are reminded that there is a feast for the eyes in what we see. It's amazing the beauty that surrounds us. We can admire and we can observe the complexity that exists in God's created order. Recently many nature magazines have given us a microscopic peek at this complexity. The Morpho butterfly has been under the microscope and what scientists are seeing may surprise you. The Morpho butterfly is a magnificent standout, which is saying a lot when we look at the artist's palette that exists in the butterfly world. What makes

the Morpho a standout is not its being reflected and it vibrant blue hue but why it has intensifies the reflected color. a vibrant iridescent color. It is a complex system that has governments everywhere eyeing What we see as blue is the Morpho Butterfly for the actually what we hear, that is, light waves. Light waves dictate next wave of security against counterfeiters. the different colors we see. Each color that we see has its own distinct wavelength; in other words, it has its own frequency. We are more familiar with sound waves like the ones in our car radios. However, color is seeing the frequency of the wavelength; each color transmits a frequency. There is also a structural component to the Morpho, which accomplishes a dual purpose. It filters unwanted colors from

As God has allowed us to see things on a nano scale it has opened up avenues for technology on a precise, microscopic scale. Better gadgets, money that can't be counterfeited, and virtually tamper-proof identification cards. Sounds and looks good to me. Adapted from Made in Heaven by Ray Comfort and Jeffrey Seto (Ray Comfort is a best-selling author and Jeffrey Seto is an Aerospace Engineer).

Harvest Times for Your Family

April 2013/Volume 10 Issue 4

21


EXPLORERS

World's Best Dad Our Heavenly Father!!! – Priya Patrachari

He loves us even more than a parent can love a child. As young people, we need to trust in God as our father.

22 Harvest Times for Your Family

T

here was once a little girl who was learning how to swim. When it was her turn to dive into the pool, the swimming instructor told her to jump right in and he would catch her. The girl was scared and flatly refused. The instructor continued to coax and cajole her, assuring her that he would not let her drown. But the girl would not budge. Finally, the little girl's father stepped into the pool and went towards his daughter. He looked into her eyes, opened his arms wide and said, "Sweetheart, Daddy's here. I promise I'll catch you." Much to everyone's amazement, the girl dove right in without any hesitation into her father's waiting arms. She knew he was someone to be trusted.

April 2013/Volume 10 Issue 4

We are all blessed with an equally loving God who is our heavenly Father. He loves us even more than a parent can love a child. As young people, we need to trust in God as our father. Like any parent, God wants nothing but the best for His children. If He could give the Israelites the promised land, how much more proof do we need that the Lord has the best in store for us? Be it in school or college, He will make sure to provide us all we need. A parent makes sure that a child never lacks for anything. Our Father in heaven does the same. He provided Noah everything he needed in the Ark. He made sure the Garden of Eden was


perfect for Adam. He promises to supply all our needs. All we have to do is approach our loving Father. A parent will never let any harm come to his child. When the Israelites were in the wilderness, God provided them food and water and didn't let them starve. God our Father even kept Baby Jesus safe from King Herod and his evil plan. If we put our trust in Him, he will keep us safe everywhere we go. We never have to feel lonely because his eye is always upon us.

prodigal son returned home, his father was waiting for him and forgave him immediately. He embraced him and welcomed his son back. It is often easy to fall into temptation and do something wrong. But if we repent and tell God we are truly sorry, then our Father is loving and kind and will forgive us our sins.

?

The greatest proof of God's love for us is found in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave us His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but A parent forgives his child. When the

For 11 to 14 year olds (Taken from Mathew 21)

have everlasting life�. These simple, well known stories offer us the best way to know Him even when He asks us to jump into the unknown. So we can rest assured He has his arms open wide to catch us and keep us safe. He is definitely someone we can trust.

Priya Patrachari is a writer by passion and profession based in Mumbai.

(Taken from Mathew 18 and 19) 1) Like little children (Matt 18:3) 2) That which was lost (Matt 18: 11) 3) Go and tell him his fault (Mat 18: 15) 4) Seventy times seven (Matt 18: 22) 5) Ten thousand talents (Matt 18: 24)

6) Given over to the torturers ( Matt 18: 34) 7) Because of the hardness of your heart (Matt 19: 8) 8) Three kinds of eunuchs (Matt 19: 12) 9) Go and sell your possessions and give to the poor (Matt 19: 21) 10) When Jesus sits in the throne of His glory (Matt 19: 28)

1. To which city was Jesus coming? 2. How many disciples Jesus sent before his arrival? 3. Which animals were to be brought by the disciples? 4. What was the prophecy about this incident?

Chinta Victoria, Mira Road E, Mumbai Grace Shaji, Navsari, Gujarat

5. What did the multitude do at the arrival of Jesus? 6. What did the multitude cry out when Jesus came? 7. What did Jesus do at the temple? 8. What did Jesus command to the fig tree? 9. What did the Chief priests and elders ask Jesus? 10. What did the chief priests and Elders perceive after hearing the first parable?

The answers and names of the winners will be published after two months. Answers should reach us before 7th May 2013. Answers to be sent only on postcards. The publisher’s decision is final. Answers received without name, address or age will not be evaluated. Send your answers with your name, age and complete postal address to: HT-Explorers, GLS Publishing, Udyog Bhavan, 250 D, Worli Colony, Mumbai 400 030 Harvest Times for Your Family

April 2013/Volume 10 Issue 4

23


CHALLENGERS

What Excellence means to a

Christian – Jonathan Anchen

Our goal should be to strive to do the best we can, even if others around us who are paid more, are willing to do less than their best.

W

atching Michael Chang's victories in the 1989 French Open, and then listening to his victory speech is an emotional experience. Michael, who is a fine Christian, was then a 17 year old boy, and few thought

24 Harvest Times for Your Family

he had a chance of defeating giants like Ivan Lendl and Stefan Edberg. He thanked the Lord Jesus Christ in his victory speech, saying “Without Him I am nothing�. He battled cramps and inexperience, yet hung in there and gave his best because he felt an inner voice urging him to go on, and to think beyond winning or losing. To me this is a great example of excellence. In all things Christians are to pursue excellence, because God has given us the opportunity to do our very best in those things. Our goal should be to strive to do the best we can, even if others around us who are paid more, are willing to do less than their best. The result of this mindset is stunning, and can result in very special results. When we are in the presence of excellence it can be an emotional experience. The Bible teaches us that excellence is a virtue and that we should practice it at all times, whether you work in a call center talking to customers on the phone, or whether you work with Apple on a project to design the next iPhone. Whatever you do, the Apostle

April 2013/Volume 10 Issue 4

Paul tells us to do it all for the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31). This is probably not emphasized enough in Christian teaching today, and excellence is sometimes considered the poor second cousin of more wellknown virtues like love, joy, forgiveness and service. Yet this is a teaching that touches every part of our day. Despite all this we should not worship excellence as a virtue. This is because an inappropriate understanding of the meaning of excellence can lead to pride and even burnout. Sometimes the desire for excellence among Christians is not caused by a genuine love for God, but by a desire to exaggerate our own importance. The desire for excellence can sometimes result in pride, so it's always important to check our motives. Is it really about God, or is it about you? Burnout and stress can be another side effect of excellence. Persistent striving can be fatiguing, when we strive to excel to achieve our potential at work, or study. There comes a point where the desire to achieve unbeatable


quality can cause stress in us, and also in those around us. I had a very successful boss who used to say that perfectionists cause stress in organizations. I have found this to be true. Many of us know what it feels to be overworked and fully understand how harmful this is to our health, our relationships, our professional abilities and to our spiritual lives. Work can become a punishing, depressing and often prayer-less existence. This is not the life that God has called us to live. The solution to this is to make sure that excellence is bounded by simplicity. You must focus on doing a few things and doing them exceptionally well. Focus exclusively on

the areas where you truly feel called. Remember that the pursuit of excellence requires discernment, making difficult choices. We need to learn to choose between two good things, and then do that one good task 100 percent, instead of doing both tasks 60 percent.

excellent lives; and hold ourselves to the Bible's standard of personal holiness. When you start fleeing from things which are immoral you will find that your life will change. You begin to see that God's vision for the world is a lot bigger than your own little kingdom. You then look for opportunities to give to the hurting Excellence is a process not a world around you, instead of expecting destination. It is not merely the goal of the world to give to you. In the words getting a promotion, passing an exam of Paul, you must learn to be excellent or getting a good hike in your salary. If at what is good, and be innocent you understand excellence as a of evil. destination you run the risk of growing complacent when you reach your destination. It is better to think of Jonathan Anchen is a Chartered Accountant excellence as a journey, a lifestyle. A who works with Accenture and lives in Bangalore. final thought, God wants us to live

Across

April 2013 CROSSWORD 15 - 19 years 3

2

1

5 7

1

9

10

A place of wells and palm trees. (4)

3

6

9

13

1. He walked on water. (5) 12

It rules over the night. (4)

2

12

11

She saved her family with a red thread. (5)

J A ME S A A A I T H A M A R O A 12. His father called him a serpent. (3) U N S E S T A R 13. This nation I worshipped Chemosh. AMM O N (4) N Down T A MM U Z 8

8

This was very special in Sharon. (4)

February 2013 Crossword Answers

8. It saved a great man's son. (3) 11. Disliked by her husband but favoured by God. (4)

4

6

1. Jeremiah was asked to go to his house. (6) 3. 4. It knows its master. (2) 7. 5. He would not believe without proof. (6) 9. 6. This body part of Aaron's sons was 10. marked by blood. (3)

himself, but gave it to somebody else. (4)

13

2. Somebody made it for

5

4

C A R T A A B R M I L L E E L AH B E A I E S L O T

7

10

11

14

February 2013 Crossword Winners Hanna Liza Mathew, Kuttapuzha, Kerala Rubie Antony, Ankeleshwar, Gujarat

Answers should reach us before 7th May 2013. The Answers and Winners will be published only after 2 months.Answers should be sent only on postcards. The publisher's decision is final. Answers received without name, address or age will not be evaluated. Send your answers with your name and complete postal address to: HT-Challengers, GLS Publishing, Udyog Bhavan, 250 D, Worli Colony, Mumbai 400 030. Harvest Times for Your Family

April 2013/Volume 10 Issue 4

25


HER CORNER We are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

The Apple of His Eye – Resmy Thomas

W

hump!! They come out of the blue. What is the purpose of your life? What will you have gained at the end of your life? What is your life worth? These questions are innocuous in themselves. It is what they insinuate. That I did not have a purpose in life. That what I did until now, was of no consequence to anyone. That I was worthless and useless and my choices meant I would end up alone and friendless. My significance rollercoastered to nothingness in the blink of an eye. Till I remembered "your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:" It happens to the best of us. When we're least prepared for it. An event, a word, a meeting, a comparison will set us off questioning our self-worth and actions. What is my ministry accomplishing? Am I a good Mom? Am I making the right choices? Should I be making more money? Am I obedient enough? Maybe I should just listen to my neighbours. Maybe I should invest in some real estate. Will I ever make a difference? Questions that never end. Questions that depress, gnaw and takes one to the edge of sanity. Questions that dam the flow of hope and evaporate purpose from life.

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Though such reactions are natural and sometime bog us down for days and weeks, what we must understand is that "the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy". To destroy our peace, to destroy our relationship with Christ our strength and to destroy the Church. Nothing affords the evil one greater joy.“It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”says C.S.Lewis in his celebrated book The Screwtape Letter. But what a pitiful foe he makes. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand."Jesus has given us the assurance that no one, NO ONE can snatch us out of the Father's hand. In Zec 2:8, an angel declares about Israel, "whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye". We are the apple of His eye. We

April 2013/Volume 10 Issue 4

are the people, for whom when we were still enemies of God, He sent His Son to die for us. We are the one of whom He has said "whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." We are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." I am reminded of an illustration I heard the other day about David, when he was a shepherd boy tending his sheep. I would imagine that the sheep he tended would be part of his inheritance later on. When a lion or a bear carried off a sheep, he went after it, struck and rescued the sheep from it's mouth. David knew who it was he had placed his trust in to rescue him from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear. That is all we need. To wrench our inheritance of peace, of righteousness, of holiness, of sonship from jaws of the roaring lion. "Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Resmy Thomas lives in Mumbai, works in the IT sector and loves reading, blogging and photography.



Harvest Times- April Issue