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WhatMov esaLeadert oAct i on?

Dr . Da v i dH. Mi l l s


“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26)

Dear Readers,

Sathyam Ministries is an organization dedicated to transforming the lives of people and communities by showing God’s love and care for individuals. For over 3 decades we have been actively involved in gospel literature ministry, church planting and relief work for the down-trodden in India. Our objective is to provide long term sustainable solutions to eradicate poverty and to uplift the less fortunate. We do this by providing free education and shelter for the orphans and children in need. We provide vocational training for women in rural areas. We also do free wheelchair distribution in India and have already provided 78,000 wheelchairs. We reach out to the special children by providing medical help, education and a home. We also have a Theological Seminary to build warriors for the Lord and we conduct leadership conference all around India. We strive to build a better today for them to attain the best in their lives tomorrow and we are committed to doing this irrespective of their religion, caste, creed, race or gender. “Truth Alive” is our English magazines, published monthly by Sathyam Publications in India for over the past three years. We are indeed glad that God is using our periodical in spreading His Word and to talk to many hearts. According to the feedback from our readers our magazine has influenced so many church leaders and families and we have received so many requests to publish the magazine from US. We pray and intend to publish the magazine from USA and we are starting with a web copy of the same. Let our Heavenly Father bring His presence to every reader and speak His peace, His grace, His mercy, and His perfect order through this magazine. Lord, we thank You for the gifts You have blessed our authors with and we commit to using them responsibly in Your honor. We look forward to your prayers and co-operation in our new project. May the work that we do and the way that we do bring faith, joy, and a smile to all that we come in contact with through this magazine. Blessings, Dr.C.V. Vadavana Founder & Chairman, Sathyam Service Trust BOARD OF TRUSTEES: A.V. John K.J. George Joji A. Mathews Marykutty P.J. Dr. C.V. Vadavana

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CONTENTS 4 > Compassion: What Moves a Leader to Action - Dr. David H Mills 7 > Trusting Christ Alone - Billy Graham 9 > There is No Common Christian - Pastor Mike Harrison 11 > We are the Home of God on Earth: a monthly commentary on Ephesians - Dr. Jon Marshall 13 > Faith Versus Works - John Stanek 17 > Digging Deeper - Dr. Alexander Kurian 19 > When Christians Clash - Dr. Daniel Borg 23 > Your Life Verse - Rev. Barney Kinard

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COMPASSION: What Moves a Leader to action “Lord, break my heart with what breaks yours.” Bob Pierce founder of World Vision

What moves leaders to help others? What is it in the

leader that causes him or her to sacrifice so much, go to such extremes (as Wmany would consider it), and to fight so hard to overcome enormous odds to help someone? Is it the honor they may receive, or the financial gain they will make, or is it the power they feel when helping others? Maybe there are some who do good for those ends, but the leader called by God is usually the one who helps others because they feel deep compassion for the hurting, the helpless, and the forgotten. They have a soft heart and tenderness for the bruised and broken hearted. I have run into the professional leaders of our time (medical doctors, psychologists, counselors, and what not) who work for the government or some institution that pays them well. It would be supposed that these men and women would be soft hearted for the hurting since they deal with them every day. But shockingly, we have met cynical and proud leaders who fail to care for the very ones under their power. They neglect their real needs and deliberately make decisions that make it hard for the one who is hurting to live or cope with their pain. I asked myself why? Why do they act indifferently to these who are powerless and poor? Why are they not motivated to really help them or understand them? They treat others as just another number among so many others and little more. They give little regard for their pain and seemed to have forgotten how they were called to help solve that pain. Government social workers, nurses, doctors who all are paid very well for their service, get tired and forgetful of the need to act compassionately. They call it “compassion fatigue.” It happens to us after we have been overexposed to too many hurting people all complaining that their need is important. We come to learn and find out that deep down we are really quite shallow. 4

How do we keep that edge of compassion before us? Jesus saw the world of His day and was moved with compassion over and over. His love and tenderness never stopped caring for the hurting and the damaged men and women, children and babies of His world. His love was strong to the last drop. While being crucified, He was being beaten and rejected and still He prayed,“Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.” He was more concerned about those abusing Him than He was for Himself. What love is there. That is type of leader I want to follow and that is the kind of leader this world is looking for. The weary souls of men cannot go to the educated doctors for compassion. They cannot find true care in the provided institutions this government has given them. The world is tragically empty of soft hearted leaders. The sad reality is that they are not only soft hearted and but hard headed as well. If they are contested will they resign that job and give it to a more qualified person, i.e. someone who does care? The answer is NO! They surprisingly will fight to stay in that position to maintain their income and feelings of power. Like the religious leaders in Jesus day who crucified Christ, they were in love with their power and control so much that no one would be allowed to replace them. What type of leader will you be? One with compassion or one with control issues? Our world is fainting from unresolved and ongoing pain and hurt just like in Jesus’ day. We have a chance to be leaders who stand apart from the leaders of our day by being full of a greatly needed quality, compassion. We are not motivated by the money we make nor the honor we may receive, nor the perks of any kind. We are moved by what moved Jesus, the love of God.

Know Your Bible Ezekiel Author: Ezekiel

Outline Date of writing: 592-570 BC Purpose: To explain the (1) Ezekiel’s call and Commissioning judgment of God which is going to come for Israel (1:1-3:27). and for other nations. (2) Prophecies against Judah and Jerusalem Brief Summary Ezekiel spent his early years in Je- (4:1-24:27). rusalem until he was taken with other hostages by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon. There he prophesized before the exiles. Chapter 1-24 were written before the fall of Jerusalem to remind his fellow captives that God’s judgment on the city and the temple was surely coming. Chapter 33-48 contain prophecies of the Ezekiel still future restoration of Israel in the millennial kingdom.


e saw men and women as treasures created in the marvelous image of God. He saw the special makeup of each person as created to be loved and cared for. People were each uniquely crafted with certain gifts and talents so that they could express a life of honoring God and serving mankind. They were all precious and valuable. No one is a number to God. Jesus did not die for numbers but for people with eternal worth. The image of God is what separates us from all other forms of creation (there are 2.4 million other forms of life out there). Only humans can know and enjoy a genuine relationship with God! Only humans can fellowship with their eternal creator. And here is the kicker, the Creator wants to fellowship with us. He knows we are hurting and He really does care! To be a compassionate leader all we do is express that love each day that we lead. It is His love and we are His channels. It is not our love for which we can take credit for being incredible people, but it is His love that flows through us. By this we never weary of pouring out to others that love when we are the mere channels of it. Each day we receive it, and each day we give a freshly renewed resource of human compassion. The world is weary and looking for someone who cares for them.

(3) Prophecies against foreign nations (25:1-32:32). (4) Prophecies of Israel’s Restoration (33:1-39:29). (5) Prophecies concerning Israel in the Millennial kingdom (40:1-48:35). Can we be those leaders? Mother Teresa prayed, “I love the darkness”, for that is where the pain and sorrow of this world meets the love of Jesus. She felt and she felt deeply for the hurting of this world and never fatigued to share the compassion of Christ with others. We must not seek to get away from the pain of this world but embrace it and run to it. We are like the firemen who are trained to respond to danger by running to it while those not so trained can run away from the danger. We are prepared by Jesus and His love to run to pain and sorrow and give the weary soul a drink of cool water. Our hearts are soft and tender while our minds are strong and powerful thinking of strategies and ways to help the weak. Compassion is never out of date, never wrong in a given moment, and never not needed. As long as we live in this broken world, we will need leaders of compassion. Will you be one of them? Father, You are described as the God of all comfort Who comforts us in all our afflictions so that we may comfort others who also have afflictions. Grant us the eternal resource of this divine compassion so that we may be like Your blessed Son. How beautiful He is to us in our weakness and sorrow. Make us to be leaders like Him. It is in Jesus Name we pray it. Amen. 5


OVER 78,000 WHEELCHAIRS DISTRIBUTED ACROSS INDIA Together with Free Wheelchair Mission ‘ USA, Sathyam Ministries is reaching out to the physically handicapped people by distributing wheelchairs to those in need.

Sathyam Ministries Thottabhagom P.O., Thiruvalla-689 541 Kerala, India Tel #0469-2619005 Cell #0944716182 6

email sathyam.india /sathyam_india


If God is a God of love, why is there so much suffer-

ing in the world? Why do we face so many problems in our homes? Why are so many wars Itaking place? We thought that we could eliminate war and that we would have peace throughout the world. But we still have disease and poverty and hatred. We still have loneliness and psychological problems. We still have unemployment and racism and starvation in the world. We still have divorce and gang wars. And we wonder why. Many people turn to drugs and alcohol. They want to escape. Millions of people are depressed, and more and more people are committing suicide. Why? People want purpose and meaning in their lives, but they haven’t found it. They’re not sure what to believe, and they’re confused. The Bible teaches that each of us has a body, and living inside our body is our spirit, our soul. That’s the part of us that lives forever, whether in heaven or in hell. If you commit suicide, that doesn’t end your life. It ends only the life of your body. But your soul, your spirit, lives on forever. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Who is God? Where did He come from? We cannot prove in a scientific laboratory that God exists. We cannot put God on a computer screen. But that does not mean that He is not real. The Bible teaches that God is the Creator of the entire universe. He created the world. The Bible says in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The Bible doesn’t start out by arguing for the existence of God. It says that “In the beginning” He created all of the galaxies and the stars and the planets. He created you. He created me. God reveals Himself to us today. How?

God reveals Himself in our conscience. When we do wrong, our coscience speaks to us. That is the voice of God speaking to us through our conscience. Some people go against their conscience so often that their conscience dies. But when we come to Christ, He resensitizes our conscience so that it will speak to us again. God reveals Himself in the Scriptures. The Bible is God’s Word. For every problem that we face today, there is an answer in this Book. God reveals Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that God has “spoken unto us by his son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” The Bible teaches that God created us. He can also fix us. Many of us need repairing. We need restoring. You can come to God right now through Christ. He will fix you and restore you. Many of us are broken. Our hearts are broken. Our minds are confused. We feel despair. We’re discouraged. We’re lonely. The Bible teaches that God is unchanging. He never changes. He said, “I am the Lord, I change not.” God is a holy God: “The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.” He has never committed a sin. He has never had a bad thought . He is a righteous God. He is a holy God. But he is also a God of judgment: “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Someday we will all stand before the judgment of God. When we break the natural laws, we pay a price. When we abuse our environment, we pay a price. And when we break God’s moral and spiritual Law, we pay a price. The Scripture says, “(God) hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world.” The time is all set, the day is all set, the hour is all set for the Judgment. 7

And you will be there, if you’re outside Christ. You will stand before God with your soul and your spirit naked before God. But the Bible also teaches that “God is love.” God so loved you that He gave His Son to die on the cross. The cross is a judgment. It’s your judgment . He took it for you because He loves you. We have all broken God’s moral Law. We have sinned against Him. The Bible says, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” What are we to do? God says, “Turn to me.” God gave Ten Commandments that express that moral Law. One Commandment says, “You shall have no other gods before me.” What is your god? A television set, amusement, sexual pleasure? What do you think more of than you think of God? Other commandments say we should not tell lies, that we should not murder, and yet every day we read in our newspapers about murders. One Commandment says that we should not steal, and yet all over the world people steal. Other Commandments say that we should not covet what other people have. These are God’s Commandments, and if we have broken even one of the Ten Commandments, we are guilty of having broken all of them. Jesus said that if we hate someone, we are guilty of having killed him. In God’s sight hatred is the same as murder. If we covet what other people have, that’s the same as stealing. What will happen? The result of sin is death. We are separated from God. There is a hell in this life, but there is also a hell to come. People don’t like to think about the fact that they may go to hell. There is natural death. Natural death is the death of the body. But there is also spiritual death. That means that your soul, your spirit, is separated from God. Nothing will bring you peace, nothing will give you joy. Something is missing. There is an empty place in your heart, and only Christ can fill it. Spiritual death is the penalty for sin. To describe it, Jesus used the words “lost,” “condemned,” “punishment” and “torment.” It will be an awfulexistence. You are alive right now, but many of you are also dead. Your spirit is dead toward God. It needs to be made alive. That can happen right now. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” When I accepted Jesus into my heart, He became to me everything that He ever promised. God gave His only begotton Son. Jesus is the Son of God, equal with God: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” Jesus loves you, and He went to the cross for you! Christ took our sins. God did for us what we


could not do for ourselves. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 we read that God has “made him to be sin for us.” Jesus Christ had never committed a sin. He was absolutely pure, absolutely holy. Yet on the cross He became guilty; the Bible says that God, “laid on him the (sins) of us all.” Think of the holy, righteous Son of God becoming guilty of our sins. But that wasn’t the end of it. They took Jesus down from the cross, and they buried Him. But on the third day He rose from the dead. Jesus is alive today, ready to save all those who will come to Him. The Scripture says, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” But even that isn’t the end of it. The Bible says that Jesus Christ will return as the world Ruler, and we will have peace on earth. All the hate and all the oppression and all the lies and all the wickedness in the world will be eliminated. Someone told me that it was rumored that Jesus was going to come back on a certain date. Jesus said, “Don’t speculate. You don’t know when I’m coming. Only God, My Father, knows.” Every morning, when I get up, I wonder: Is this the day that Jesus is coming back? I don’t know. But I do know this: At any moment, on any day, I may die. Am I ready? The Bible says, “Prepare to meet thy God.” God requires something of you. What? You must repent of your sins. In Acts 17 we read, “All men every where (are cammanded) to repent.” It’s a command of God. You say, “Well, that’s not much. I just confess and get it over with. Isn’t that it?” No, repentance means much more than that. It means that you confess, that you say, “O God, I’m a sinner.”




“ hat God has cleansed you must not call common (Acts 10:15)” In Acts 10 God is opening the the door to the Gentile (anyone who is not a Jew) world. To do so, He will use the Apostle Peter to take gospel to a Roman C enturion named Cornelius. Throughout the Old Testament the prophets foretold of a time when God would reach out to Gentiles, yet this was largely ignored in Hebrew teaching. The Jews saw Gentiles as mangy dogs, only good as fuel for the fires of hell. So in order to prepare the strictly Jewish Peter for the task of sharing the good news of Jesus with a gentile, the Lord grants him a vision to broaden his perspective. In the vision God attempts to show Peter how Jesus, in fulfilling the Jewish law (Matt. 5:17), nullified the ceremonial portions of the law. A sheet was let down full of unclean animals according to law (Lev. 11, Duet. 14), and a voice said “rise Peter, kill and eat”. The good little Jewish boy in Peter reeled at the thought of this. His immediate response was “not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean”. The word common means to strip of specialness, or regarding a holy thing, to make it defiled. We often react to situations in our lives the way Peter reacted to this vision. We consider that there are right at 7 billion people in the world and we start to feel prettycommon. We wallow in self-pity as we struggle to come to terms with the circumstances God has allowed to intersect our path. We fall back into a persistent sin and despair at our defilement. But we must be careful not to call common what God has cleansed. Fellow Christian, you were chosen by God before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). You were bought at a high price (1 Cor. 6:20). You have been cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1 John 1:7). And you are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore, the writer to the Hebrews says, you can come boldy to the throne of grace, to obtain mercy and find

grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16). This makes you a pretty uncommon individual; loved and chosen by God, cleansed from sin, with direct access to the throne of Almighty God. Considering all of that, we best be careful about thinking of ourselves as common. As Peter would eventually write, we indeed are a special people (1 Pet. 2:10). May we live in the awareness of this fact.




he longing to belong to a healthy and stable family is in each one of us and yet we frequently find ourselves in family settings that are rather stressful and unhealthy. Perhaps by learning and practicing what healthy families do, we too can improve the health of our families. Effective communication between family members is central to having a healthy family. Listening to one another enhances communication. Forming emotional support, expressing empathic understanding, and establishing mutual trust create family cohesion. In a healthy family, safe boundaries are established and sustained between different family units. Independence is fostered and at the same time interdependence is encouraged. Parents exercise their shared responsibilities in the discipline of children. Parental rules are clearly set and they are implemented by both the parents. Clearly established behavioral norms and expectations such as deference for parental authority make the family relationship more warm and charitable.

finances is a great practical lesson to learn. Imprudent and reckless handling of family finances can ruin families. By avoiding wasteful spending and saving for the future, healthy families secure a financial future for themselves and their posterity. Healthy families are functional families as opposed to unhealthy dysfunctional families. This does not mean that healthy families are perfect and that they have no problems to deal with. The truth of the matter is that all families face many similar challenges and difficulties, but healthy families efficiently lever their problems. Rather than being stuck or ripped off by their problems, they voluntarily seek help when necessary. Often they are open to help from extended family members or close friends. If determined that some kind of professional intervention or counseling is crucial, they are willing to consider that as well.

Shared Christian faith and practices characterize healthy families. By following the Biblical pattern of marriage and family, Christian families demonstrate the character of Christ in all aspects of family relationship. Healthy families make positive impact on others, and Emotional security is a distinguishing character other families learn from them. of strong families. In such families, each member experiences unconditional love and acceptance. Emotional intimacy among family members glues them together and creates inner harmony within themselves “HEALTHY and within the household. Both the spouses are secured within their relationship and there is a growing FAMILIES ARE emotional bond between them. Children are cared for and they are protected from emotional, physical, and FUNCTIONAL sexual abuses. A nurturing environment is created for FAMILIES� their optimal growth and potential. Financial security is another aspect of sound families. Learning how to conscientiously manage 10

WE ARE THE HOME OF GOD ON EARTH: A Monthly Commentary on Ephesians Dr. Jon Marshall Ephesians 1:11-14 If you believe in Jesus, then you are part of God’s I family. Family members expect an inheritance. Redeemed people come into a brighter future and have hope for great things. Since Christ has adopted and redeemed us we expect to receive something terrific. Part of our inheritance that Paul will explain in the next paragraph is that we get to enjoy Christ’s reign over spiritual darkness. We were predestined for this. God planned for you, if you believe in Jesus, to enjoy the freedom of victory over the darkness. This was God’s plan; it is his will; it is what he predestined. And no one can stop God when he plans something; he works all things out according to plan. When we enjoy that victory, the world will see how great God truly is. Simple, unassuming nobodies like you and me get to enjoy victory over the most imposing, terrifying, powerful creatures God ever made. The only way to defeat these types of creatures is through connection to Jesus. He has full authority over them and God planned for you to enjoy his victory. Praise God for that! We’ve found hope to conquer darkness through Christ so we praise God for his plan. But this “inheritance” gets even more impressive as we keep reading. While we certainly receive an incredible inheritance from God, Paul has something nearly impossible to believe in mind. As we’ll see in verse 18, we’re not the only ones getting an inheritance. In fact, God himself is looking forward to receiving an inheritance. What in the world could God possibly want!?! He wants us! We are sealed with the Holy Spirit as a mark of ownership to say that we belong to God. He will be inheriting us, and he is very happy about it. Read 1:13-14. In a world full of gods, religions, philosophies of life, and generic spirituality, Paul and the other evangelists spoke the “word of truth.” Jesus is

reality. The Gospel is truth. It is the only message that truly is good news because it’s the only message that actually brings “salvation.” People in Ephesus called Artemis (the local god) their savior, thinking she could save them. But Paul knows better than that. Only Jesus can save. If you want proof, walk down the street today and find out how many people have found salvation in Artemis. Then look at South Korea, Brazil, China, and Nigeria where waves and waves of people have had their lives radically transformed by the good news that Jesus can save. In Jesus we’ve obtained an inheritance and in him we’ve been given a down payment to give us confidence that we’ll actually get it. The inheritance is supernatural, spiritual authority with Jesus so the down payment is the Holy Spirit. When we believe in Jesus we get that seal, we get that down payment, we get that deposit, we get that collateral. A “seal” was a mark of ownership. You put your seal on something to say, “This belongs to me.” The Holy Spirit is God’s way of writing his name on your life. You belong to God. He’s put his emblem on you. People branded things like this in Paul’s day, too. Sometimes people would even get a god’s name written on them to say, “I belong to this god.” In life we wander around the devil’s property, but we’re owned Send us your feedback on the magazine at: We would love to hear from you! The opinions of the advertisers and contributors are not necessarily those of the magazine or Sathyam Publications.


Do You Know Can a born-again believer ever be lost? Hebrews 6:

4-6 is well rendered by NIV: “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” Let us examine point by point the description that is given of this apostate. 1. He has been enlightened or illuminated by a clear presentation of the gospel and its invitation to repent and believe. Apparently he has made a profession of faith and has reached out to Christ as his Savior.

2. He has tasted of the heavenly gift; that is, he has had a part in the activity of the church, the joyous fellowship of other Christians in the worship and service of the Lord, and has even seen a response to his testimony and appeal at public meetings. 3. He has tasted the goodness of the Word of God. That is, he has come to a clear understanding of the message of Scripture and has mentally and intellectually approved it. 4. He has even tasted of the powers of the coming age. Eventually a time of testing will come along in the career of every professing believer, who has tried to take Jesus as Savior without also taking Him as Lordas the one he intends to live for and is willing to die for and the spuriousness of his “conversion” will become apparent. A truly born-again believer, of the type that will never be plucked out of the Master’s hand, is one who has passed through that inward change of heart that centers him on Christ instead of on himself (cf 2 Cor. 5:14-17). That type of death to the world and to self, that surrender to Jesus as Lord that opens up to the Holy Spirit and lets Him take over the convert completely, is a kind of 12

regeneration that is both genuine and permanent. Even though he may later backslide for a time and taste once again of his former bondage and shame, he will never be allowed to remain in that state of rebellion and defeat. The Holy Spirit will not leave him alone, but by one means or other He will draw him back to renewed repentance, faith and surrender. The second passage in Hebrews that must be considered is 10:26-27: “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” Here again there is prior receiving of the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus (similar to the “once enlightened’’ of 6:4) and a full understanding of the meaning of the Cross. But unfortunately it is possible to grasp the plan of salvation as a concept and communicate it clearly to others as a matter of teaching and yet never really yield to the Lord. The Bible defines true believing as a matter of receiving Christ Himselfnot simply the teaching of Christ as a philosophy or a theory-as both Lord and Savior: “As many as received him... even to those that believed in His name” (John 1:12). The believer who receives Jesus as Lord in all sincerity and truth will never sincerely or willingly go back into the practice of sin, will never “trample on the Son of God” (Heb. 10:29); he will never regard His shed blood as unholy or profane, and will never wantonly insult the Holy Spirit. Anyone who can bring himself around to that kind of ungodliness and contempt toward his divine Saviour never gave his heart to Him in the first place. Like Judas, he may have thought that he would just “try Jesus” and see how he liked Him, and whether he would obtain from Him the advantages and blessings he craved for himself and for his own sake. Since he never really faced up to the claims of Christ to total lordship over his life, he was a mere counterfeit Christian right from the start. God is never satisfied with counterfeits. He only accepts the real thing. He can never be deceived, even by the most pious of poses. He reads our hearts.



t has been said that Christianity is the only religion Iin the world that does not propose that we as individuals must live a good life in order to go to heaven, or as in some religions, that we must live a good life in order to pass into a better, more progressive form of living in a new life, through reincarnation. We as Christians base our beliefs on verses such as Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” and Ephesians 2:8,9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, nor of works lest any man should boast.” Now I must admit that it is natural for men to think that they should do works for God in order to gain favor with him. After all, isn’t that our experience? From the time we were infants we learned that to get approval from your parents we needed to behave in a certain way and then afterwards when we went to school we gained approval from our teachers when we worked to gain the knowledge they were trying to instill in us. And after we left high school or college and went to work for someone, didn’t we have to work hard to gain our boss’ approval? Therefore, it is works approval that is demanded by our world, that makes this kind of thinking seem normal. But why is there such a “works” ethic in us? Some may say that it is because we are sinners and we want others to serve our needs in order to please us, so we as bosses or parents, etc. emphasize and reward works. But if God required that, wouldn’t that put God on the same level as we are, that is, that He would want us to serve His selfish needs? Well, we know that God is not like that, but none the less, I believe God has put that desire to work and to be pleasing through our works right into our very being. Of course, all of us are guilty of using works to gain praise. As mentioned in the quote above in Ephesians, works are not a requirement for salvation, because we would either secretly or publicly boast that it was through our actions (works) that we came to God when others wouldn’t. We would think highly of our

works and since we are so competitive we would competitive we would compete with others to be the best at our works for God. It would all become about us and not God. God knows this and it is one reason why He does not require us to do any kind of work to qualify for heaven. Even though He created us to be creative and to work, He does not want us to become involved with creating new and improved ways of pleasing Him just so we can gloat over them. I believe that the reason that we are so into works is not so much that we were taught to do so by our parents and the world, but because God has given us that desire to be like him; however, because of our fallen condition we have even perverted that gift. The gift of works has been so perverted that God now says the wages for our work is not favor nor reward, but on the contrary, it is death. Since we have perverted it so, it results in eternal separation from God; from the very God we think we are doing the works for! But you may argue, “Why does God order us to do so many good works in the Bible? “And didn’t He tell Adam and Eve to work the soil? If our works are so perverted, then why does God still require them? And didn’t you say that God put this desire to do works so strongly in us? Why does He now put works down? Well, let’s not get our facts mixed up. For salvation, works are not required, in fact, they are rejected by God. But once we are “born anew” then God wants us to use our God given desire for works for good and to glorify Him in so doing, so that many will also give their lives to Him. Our works are no longer to be used to glorify ourselves, but Him. Now I am not suggesting that God has a problem with His ego, so that He needs our praise, but He requires it of us in order that we do not place the emphasis on ourselves, which we are wont to do and which gets us off track so easily. Once we receive Christ, good works should now become the center of our life whether it is at home with our family, at work with our co-workers, or out in the world whenever we find someone in need. 13


“Psalm 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is he man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

It was a rainy night. I was waiting for my dad to pick

me up from outside the railway station. I suddenly heard a beautiful voice singing. I turned Iback and saw this brown haired boy with big brown eyes and a very happy face. He was wiping a table in the tea shop just behind me. Something within me asked me to walk in. I went and sat down at the same table. He smiled at me and welcomed me and also took my order. He did not look any older than 10 years. I asked him from where he learned the songs and he said he learned from listening to radio. The tea shop which seats nearly 20 customers was almost empty probably because of the weather. I noticed that he was the only person serving and cleaning. There was an older man at the counter asking him to hurry up not happy with the fact that I was having a conversation with him. I found it difficult to drink the tea he got me as I thought about those little hands that served me. I left a tip on the table and waited to see the happiness on his face. He looked happy and I told him that he should be singing in movies. But as I was leaving the shop I saw him handing over the tip to the person at the counter and then he went back to his work. There are thousands of children like this in our country. When I was at school and my mother asked me to help with any work at home I used to brand that work as child labour. Little did I know the real meaning and life of a child who had to go through that plight. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), there are reportedly 246 million children trapped in child labour in the world, out of which approximately 70% of them toil long, hard hours under exploitative and perilous conditions. India has been on the receiving end of media attention for its long standing struggle against child labour. Our country alone is said to account for the largest number of child labourers 14

in the world. Inspite of various legislation and constitutional provisions our country continues to be plagued by countless horror stories detailing the plight of these child labourers. There are cases of physical, sexual and emotional abuse of child domestic workers. The argument for domestic work is often that families have placed their children in these homes for care and employment. There has been a recent notification by the Ministry of Labour making child domestic work as well as employment of children in dhabas, tea stalls and restaurants “hazardous” occupations. One word answer to this situation in our country is POVERTY. It forms the primary motive as to why children engage in child labour. As such, child labourbecomes a source of livelihood for the family. They cannot afford to go to school when they do not have food

Laws that are meant to protect children from hazardous labour are ineffective and not implemented correctly. The laws and regulations in India concerning child labour lack teeth and there is implementation gap. There is definitely a pressing need of concrete actions from the governments to abolish this practice. State needs to wake up to the growing threat of child labour else, despite being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, we run the risk of losing young and innocent souls. Growth and development matters only when all the basic problems are eradicated. Literacy campaigns and awareness programmes must be conducted by the government regularly. It can also be promoted by NGOs, trusts, schools and colleges, and also by the common people. People should share their knowledge in these matters with people in need. Next time you see a child working challenge it. We must stretch our hands for the well-being of these children. We, the common to eat and when their other brethren go hungry. Hence people, are the best means to connect them with orgachildren from such deprived families try to work as do- nizations working for children. Education is the birth mestic servants, or in factories, mines, restaurants and right of every child, so let us fight against the social evil other business units that employ them. They remain called child labour. uneducated and grow up to become perennial victims of this vicious cycle or poverty and suppression. They never get a chance to come up in their life. Factors like caste and gender discrimination demand for cheap labour and superstitions are also responsible for widely prevalent practice of child labour in India. The increasing gap between the rich and the poor, privatization of basic services and the neo-liberal economic policies are causes for major children work is completely unregulated and they are often made to work without food, and very low wages, resembling situations Put the children in classes not in tea of slavery. sections of the population being out of employment and without basic needs. This adversely affects children more than any other group. Entry of multinational corporations into industry with out proper mechanisms to hold them accountable has led to the use of child labour. Lack of quality universal education has also contributed to children dropping out of school and entering the labour force. A major concern is that the actual number of child labourers goes undetected. 15

Question Time Question: What is meant by the fall of man? Answer: By the fall of man we mean that event in history by which sin came into the world through one man and death through sin.

1. THE FALL WAS PRECEDED BY TEMPTATION. (a) Yielding to deception Eve fell into sin (1 Tim. 2:14). (b) By the devil’s cunning, man’s thoughts were corrupted and he lost his single-hearted devotion to God (II Cor. 11:3). (c) Our first parents were tempted to doubt God’s Word (Gen. 3:6). (d) They became proud and independent, willing to accept the temptation expressed in the words “Ye shall be as gods” (Gen. 3:5). 2. DISOBEDIENCE WAS THE CAUSE OF THE FALL. (a) Having doubted God’s Word, our first parents disbelieved it (Gen. 3:4). (b) Having disbelieved God’s Word, they disobeyed it (Gen. 3:6). (c) They disobeyed God’s clear command by eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16, 17; 3:6). (d) This act constituted rebellion against God’s authority (Gen. 2:17). 3. THE IMMEDIATE CONSEQUENCE OF THE FALL. (a) Man’s attitude to God immediately changed: Adam and Eve hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God (Gen. 3:8)-an awareness of guilt and separation from God had come. (b) Man ceased to be a spiritual being in the way in which he had been previous to his disobedience: he is unspiritual (Jude 19).


(c) Man’s sin brought the penalty of death upon all (Gen. 2:17; 3:19). (d) Man’s experience of the wonder of God’s creation was immediately spoiled: childbearing became associated with pain (Gen. 3:16); daily work became a matter of toil (Gen. 3:17). (e) Man’s sin had immediate effect on all the creation over which he had been given charge (Gen. 1: 28; 3:17). (f) Man’s sin had immediate effect on all the creation over which he had been given charge (Gen. 1:28; 3:17). (g) Continuing trouble came to all who followed after our first parents: (i) Murder (Gen. 4:8, 23); (ii) Polygamy (Gen. 4: 19); (iii) Revenge (Gen. 4: 24); (iv) Immorality (Gen. 6:2); (v) Increasing wickedness (Gen. 6:5). 4. THE CONTINUING CONSEQUENCES OF THE FALL. (a) All the immediate consequences of the fall listed above continue. (b) As a result of the fall, man is astray from God and has lost his purpose in living (Isa. 53:6). (c) He loves darkness rather than light, because his deeds are evil (John 3:19,20). (d) He no longer does God’s will, although he was made for this purpose (Rom. 3:23). (e) He loses the dignity which was his by his original creation the more he moves away from God (Rom. 1: 22,23). (f) Instead of being glad at what truth he still knows about God, man suppresses it because it makes him too uncomfortable (Rom. 1:18, 20, 21).

DIGGING DEEPER: The Gospel of God Romans 7 (Exposition) Dr. Alexander Kurian

SIN AND THE LAW (Romans 7:7-13)

7: 7-8: Paul is now taking up another question his read-

ers would ask, “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin?” The law is not evil. It serves a definite purpose in revealing to men their sin and the propensity to sin. Sin in human nature is inflamed by prohibition. “I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the law had not said, “you shall not covet.” Paul would not have known sin by experience except through the law’s prohibition. The law fulfills a convicting role. Paul gives four elements of the convicting work of God’s law: it reveals sin (v.7b), it arouses sin (v.8), it ruins the sinner (vv9-11), and it reflects the absolute sinfulness of sin (vv.12-13) {John MacArthur, Romans 1-8, 367-68). Paul is using the first person singular pronoun I and me to relate his personal experience and testimony to the question of law and sin. He can very well testify to the things he is writing from his own experience. Though this is a universal truth, Paul validates it from his own experience. Others can very well see their spiritual struggle in Paul’s experience. God’s law reveals God’s divine standard of holiness and righteousness and enables us to see how we fall short of God’s demands, and how helpless we are to attain the divine standard by our own efforts. The law always reveals sin. “Apart from the Law sin is dead.” This is not a question of the existence of sin, but the activity of sin. Sin is dead in the sense that it is dormant and not fully active. Sin is roused into action by the law. Sin may bedormant for a while, but it will be roused up to action again.

7:9-11:When Paul came to understand the true mean-

ing of the law, he realized that he was a sinner, and worthy of death. He began to see himself as he really was and began to understand his own helplessness and inability to attain to the righteous standard of God. The law arouses a sinner’s conscience to the reality and consequence of sin. The law was good in that it showed man to be a sinner. A sinful human being cannot keep the commandments of the law; they simply prove that he is sinful. In that sinful condition, far short of the standards of God, the sinner stands under the sentence of death. The law pronounces the condemnation and judgment leading to death. For the fallen man, the law brings him death rather than life. Sin deceived me, and through it killed me (v.11). Sin fooled Paul into thinking he could please God through self – effort. Sin deceives a person by fooling him to believe that he is acceptable to God through his own merit and he can work towards his salvation. 7:12-13: The law is fundamentally good, but the result of the law is the exposure of sin. It is not the law that is the cause of spiritual death but rather it is sin. The law is holy and righteous because it comes from God. But it has shown man that he stands condemned before God because of sin. God has given His holy, righteous, and good law in order that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. Sin is so utterly sinful and wretched. It brings death and damns people. The law was given so that the entire world may become guilty before God (3:19). Through the law is the full knowledge of sin (3:20). The only hope for mankind is in Jesus Christ because Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law (Gal.3:13). 17

Earthquake Day

‘Earthquake’ is mentioned in the Bible twenty times. Earthquake verse There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it’ (Matthew 28, verse 2).

and, tragically, many thousands of people can die when this takes place. In China in 1976, 240-750,000 were killed in just one earthquake. We have a lot to be thankful for. Not all earthquakes were disasters, however...

Earthquake facts Every year more than 50,000 earthquakes take place. Most or these are too slight for us to pay much attention to. An earthquake is a trembling or vibration of the earth’s surface, caused by natural forces. A real earthquake is caused by plates of rock which make up the earth’s crust moving or breaking. When they do, the ground shakes. Little earthquakes are called tremors, and they occur because of the liquid or molten rock moving about under the surface of the earth. Sometimes these burst out of a mountain and are called volcanoes. Earthquakes can be devastating. Down fall buildings and houses, large cracks appear on the earth’s surface,

Bible facts In our verse, it was after an earthquake that the huge stone was rolled away from the tomb. Everyone was able to know the good news that Jesus was not dead and finished, but resurrected and alive. Folk’n’fax Isn’t it great that Jesus is alive today and is waiting to give all those who believe in him a brand new life.

We are the Home of God on Earth: A monthly commentary on Ephesians continued from page 11 by the one true God and belong to him. This brand is also a down payment that assures us that God will give us the rest of the inheritance in the future. I give a percentage of the price of my house to the bank so they know I’m serious about paying for the whole thing. God gives us his Spirit to tell us he’s serious about giving us every spiritual and supernatural blessing possible. Having proof that God owns us and has an inheritance waiting for us is reason to praise God. When you doubt who really controls your life, remember the Holy Spirit inside you. When you get depressed and lose hope in the future, meditate on the reality that God’s Spirit lives in you. This is the promise that hope exists. The inheritance coming to those who believe in Jesus is God himself. We receive an experience of God now when we receive the Holy Spirit. But in the future we will be fully in the presence of God as the full experience of our inheritance.

Too Busy To Love A father and his young daughter were great friends and much in each other’s company. Then the father noted a change in his daughter. If he went for a walk, she excused herself from going. He grieved about it, but could not understand. When his birthday came, she presented him with a pair of exquisitely worked slippers, saying, “I have made them for you.” Then he understood what had been the matter for the past three months, and he said, “My darling, I like these slippers very much, but next time buy the slippers and let me have you all the days. I would rather have my child than anything she can make for me.”


Praise’n’prayer Let us give thanks to Jesus, not just for dying for us, but also for being alive today. Now let’s pray for all those who have lost loved ones in earthquakes, or live in fear of them happening.

Some of us are so busy for the Lord that He cannot get much of us. To us He would say, “I know your works, your labor, your patience, but I miss the first love” (Rev. 2:2-4).


Twenty years ago, well before the days of home com-

puters, my elementary school-aged daughter had an electric typewriter. Eventually the ribbon wore out, and she asked me to replace it. I purchased a new ribbon and put it in the typewriter. I wanted to test it to see whether I had installed it properly, so I typed a sentence that I remembered from my own junior high typing class: “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.” After typing the sentence, I told my daughter that the ribbon was installed and she could use her typewriter again. I left the paper in the typewriter and walked away, with the satisfaction of having completed another household project. I heard a brief period of typing from my daughter’s room, followed by silence. Later that day I walked past the typewriter and saw that my test page was still in it. My original sentence was there, and my daughter had added to what I had typed. The paper in the typewriter now read: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The dog barked and was very angry with the fox. The fox said he was sorry and would never do that again. The dog forgave him and they lived happily ever after. I thought about what she had added. Lucky fox! Lucky dog! Apology and forgiveness are key ingredients for happily-ever-after friendships. Life is full of jumping foxes and barking dogs. Their human equivalents are found in homes, schools, churches, and the workplace. I want jumping foxes and barking dogs to live happily ever after. And I’m not alone. Jesus wants that, too. Shortly before He died on the cross, Jesus prayed for our unity, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so

that the world may believe that you have sent me… May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:20–23). That part of His prayer was for us, those who would believe the message. He said that our unity would help the world believe in Him. That doesn’t mean a unity that compromises Christian doctrine. That should never happen. We need to stand for biblical truth. But it does mean that our unity will have a powerful impact on what people think about Jesus. When we manage conflict in ways that honor God and maintain unity, we’re helping the world believe in Jesus. When we mismanage disputes, resulting in discord and division, we send the opposite message. When church fights get out of hand, the world dismisses what we stand for. I have been a pastor for thirty-three years. During that time I’ve seen conflict devastate families, destroy friendships, damage careers, deplete energy, decrease morale, and distract the church from its primary mission. Runaway conflict divides and destroys. When people in the church are fighting, there’s not much evangelism and discipleship going on. Mismanaged conflict turns teammates into adversaries and friends into enemies. It doesn’t have to be that way. Managed conflict strengthens relationships, clarifies vision, pulls people together, resolves problems, leads to positive change, and glorifies God. The application of a few conflict management skills will help you manage conflict more effectively, so that you can live more happily and work more cooperatively with those around you. I believe information is useful only when it is remembered and applied when it is needed. Therefore, I have organized principles of conflict management continued in page 20 19

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves and under a just God cannot long retain it. No man is good enough to govern another man without the other’s consent.” - Abraham Lincoln around a strategy that is easy to understand, easy to remember, and easy to apply when you need it most. The strategy is summarized by the acronym A-C-T-IO-N. A – Assess the Level of Conflict C - Choose Your Conflict Style T - Target Your Interests I - Identify the Stakeholders O - Open Communication N - Negotiate a Resolution The A-C-T-I-O-N steps can help you understand the dynamics of conflict and equip you to manage it more effectively. While no one can guarantee a successful resolution of all disputes, learning and applying these principles in your home, church, and workplace, will help you and those around you experience more constructive conflict resolution and a greater sense of peace. Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”Notice that the verse says “if ” it is possible and “as far as” it depends on you. Peace isn’t always possible, and the situation doesn’t depend just on you. But learning and applying these simple principles will take you a long way toward your part in resolving conflicts and restoring relationships. Assessing the level of conflict, means stepping back and taking a look at the situation before acting on it. Nehemiah learned of a conflict among his people.Here’s how he responded. Nehemiah 5:6-7, “When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry. I pondered them in my mind.” Before taking action he stepped back and assessed the situation. Choosing your conflict style is another vital step. The key word is “choose.” If you just respond instinctively you will likely either flee or fight. While at times those are good options, they are not the only ones. The four basic conflict styles are compete, cooperate, accommodate, or avoid. They are like tools in a toolbox. You need to choose the right one for the right situation. Interests are the stakes you have in a conflict. 20

They are both positive (things you want to gain) and negative (things you don’t want to lose). In a conflict, you need to identify your primary interest. It’s like a bulls-eye on a target. Stakeholders are those who are affected by the conflict. An old proverb says, “When elephants fight, the grass suffers.” While the elephants are stakeholders, so is the grass. In most conflicts there are several layers of stakeholders. Their interests must be considered, too. Open communication is the key to understanding and being understood.Ephesians 4:15 says, “Speaking the truth in love.” To resolve conflicts don’t forget the truth and don’t forget the love. When the other steps are in place, resolutions can be negotiated. In the negotiation process both sides are able to strive for an outcome that protects their most vital interests. When the outcome is mutually agreed upon, relationships are restored and problems are solved. The A-C-T-I-O-N steps will help you manage conflicts. However, in order for those steps or any conflict management strategy to be effective, something else must be in order. The heart must be right. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Peacemakers have a heart for peace. Conflict management starts in the heart. The next time you’re engaged in a conflict, perform a quick check on the state of your heart. Do you want reconciliation or vindication? Is your heart longing for restoration or revenge? If you fail in the battlefield of the heart you will fail as a peacemaker. Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” So let the peace of Christ rule in your heart. Learn and apply the A-C-T-I-O-N steps. Then manage conflict in ways that resolve problems, restore relationships, and honor God.

WILLIAM WILLBERFORCE esus’ admonition, ‘Do for others just what you want them to do for you’, seems common sense. But the world has never learnt this lesson very Jwell. One of the greatest abuses of human rights was the slave trade, which dominated the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, following the European conquest of South and Central America. Millions of Africans were sold to work on plantations in North and South America. These slaves had no personal rights and were treated as property. Slave owners would not want that for themselves! In 1788 an English politician, William Wilberforce, began a nineteen-year struggle to abolish this slave trade. William was born in Hull in 1759, the son of a wealthy merchant. An intelligent boy, he went to Cambridge University before being elected a Member of Parliament for Hull when only 21 years old. He was elected to the larger constituency of Yorkshire four years later. In the same year he took a European tour and whilst travelling was converted to Christianity. This greatly influenced his political life. He is best known for his concern over slavery. Supported by Thomas Clarkson and the Quakers, he succeeded in 1807 in getting abolition of the slave trade through Parliament. He then worked to extend this abolition abroad and to secure the total abolition of all types of slavery. But his poor health meant retirement from Westminster in 1825, eight years before his ambition was finally achieved in 1833, the year of his death. William was an active evangelical Christian, a member of the ‘Clapham Sect’ who worked to improve community life. He wrote A Practical View of Christianity whilst campaigning for slaves. JESUS, JEWS AND SLAVERY The rich have always asked others to work on their behalf, and that will probably never change. Serving one another is the way our society works. It only becomes unjust when one group considers itself superior to the other and abuses human rights.

Jesus had respect for servants because he was a Jew. The Book of Deuteronomy (part of Jewish Law) required masters to treat their slaves with dignity and generosity. A slave had to be given his freedom after six years, and was never sent away empty-handed, but given livestock, corn and wine (see Deuteronomy 15:12-18). WHAT THE SCRIPTURES SAY: Do not cheat a poor and needy hired servant, whether he is a fellow-Israelite or a foreigner living in one of your towns. Each day ... pay him... he needs the money. Do not deprive foreigners and orphans of their rights... Remember you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God set you free. Deuteronomy 24:14-15, 17-18 CHILDREN AND SLAVERY It was not until 1926 that slavery was internationally condemned. The League of Nations called for its total suppression. In 1948 this view was reaffirmed by the United Nations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1956 fifty one nations met in Geneva to condemn newer forms of servitude, especially those relating to women and children. Some children, for example, were being adopted just to act as servants. Abuse of children is nothing new. Lord Shaftesbury (7th Earl) entered Parliament in 1826 and became the champion for poor children. He brought about laws prohibiting employment of women and children in coal mines (1842); he cut factory working hours and established ‘ragged schools’ for neglected children, to take them out of child labour markets.Unhappily his ideals are still not respected universally. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child is ignored by employers and it is left to conscientious individuals and organisations like UNICEF, Christian Aid and CAFOD to fight for the rights of children. Courtesy: Christians Who Changed the World


The Holy Spirit The experiencing of divine sonship, of adoption, Tis

the act of the Spirit in our hearts crying Abba, Father (Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:15, 16)... Liberty, peace, and joy are correlative factors in the same moment of experience, and they are all attributed to the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:2, 6; 14:17; Gal.5:22, 23; 1 Thess. 1:6). In the allegory of Abraham’s two sons, Paul contrasts the state of bondage under the Law with that of liberty under grace, and defines the one as being after the flesh, but the other after the Spirit (Gal. 4:21-29)... The first great moment of the new life, whether it be called justification by faith, the realization of sonship, or peace with God, is a work of the Holy Spirit, through the preaching of the Word. But (Paul) does not indicate... the exact logical or historical sequence of the various elements in the experience, and it may be doubted whether he would have entertained any idea of sequence within the complex experience of justification. That Paul regarded the subsequent development of Christian life and character as in its totality the work of the Spirit is not questioned. All the Christian virtues are the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23). He is the Spirit of holiness (Rom. 1:4), of sanctification (II Thess. 2:13), and of a new life (Rom. 7:6). Love, the greatest of the Christian graces, is the pre-eminent gift of the Spirit (I Cor. 13; Col. 1:8; Rom. 15:30), not only as the grace of character, but also as a principle of unity in the Church (Eph. 4:1-6; cf Eph. 2:18, 22). The Spirit bestows wisdom and knowledge on the individual and in the Church. Paul Spoke “God’s wisdom in a mystery... through the Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God’’( I Cor. 2:7-10). “For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit” (I Cor. 12:8). All Christian knowledge was derived from the Spirit, both by Paul and (the Apostle) John (Eph. 1:17, 23; 3:16-19; John 16:13; I John 2:20, 27; cf. James 1:5; 3:15, 17). The Spirit was the power manifested in the res22


urrection of Christ (Rom. 1:4), in the inner life of man (Rom. 15:13; Eph. 3:16), and in the preaching of the word (I Thess. 1:5; I Cor. 2:4). He is the Spirit of life, both now and hereafter (Gal. 6:8; I Cor. 15:45); and the Spirit of assurance, the guarantee of the new life, whereby man obtains confidence towards God and courage in the face of the world’s evil (II Cor. 1:22; Rom. 5:5; 8:16, 23; Eph. 1:13; 4:30). Man, therefore, as the dwelling-place of the Spirit, is the inalienable possession of God (I Cor. 3:16, 17; 6:19). As the Christian life in the individual is the work of the Spirit, it follows that the corporate realization of that life, in the Church built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, is also His creation. The great creative acts and significant turning points were recognized, either by the church or by its historian, as determined by the Spirit. The Spirit confirmed and preserved the community from the outset, by the descent at Pentecost (Acts 2:4). The extension of the Gospel beyond Judea and the first mission to the Gentiles were commanded and approved by the Spirit (Acts 8:29; 10:19, 44; 13:2, 4). Paul, on his journeys, was led by the Spirit (Acts 16:6,7). He himself was especially conscious that his whole ministry was inspired by the Holy Ghost (Rom. 15:18,19). All the apostles were conspicuously men of the Spirit. The Spirit guided the Church in the creation of organization and officers (Acts 6:3; 20:28). The first three gifts of the Spirit which God had set in the Church were apostles, prophets, and teachers, in addition to which the whole Church had a gift of government (I Cor. 12:4, 28). The decisions of the first council of the Church were first of all decrees of the Spirit (Acts 15:28). Paul had preached and created churches by the power of the Spirit (I Cor. 2:4; I Thess. 1:5,6; Gal. 3:2). In one Spirit were all believers baptized into one body (I Cor. 12:13: cf Phil.1:27). The Spirit therefore dwells in the Church as the principle of its entire united and common life (Eph. 2:18, 22; cf. I Cor. 3:16).


I have not seen much emphasis on this of late,

except last Sunday in Church. Our Pastor decided to do a two-week series on Finding Your Life Verse. In my generation it seems that many of my peers had life verses. But the newer generation, they have this vague look when you ask them about it—like they don’t know what you are talking about—what? A Life Verse can be your favorite verse from the Bible—you know, a verse that you really like or want to be like. This verse might describe a time in your life where the Scripture came to your rescue, which fit your situation. Of course, it is possible to have several favorite verses, but maybe there is one that always speaks to you. Several years ago, I was looking for devotional books that I could read a little in every day. I found several books like this, but the one that caught my interest was One Hundred Verses that Changed the World, by William and Randy Petersen. So I bought it and found one-page stories of famous Christian leaders through the years with their favorite Bible verses illustrated by their life stories. Here are few leaders and their verses that you might be interested in knowing about: · Martin Luther—Rom. 1:17 · C. Columbus—Isa. 49:1 · John Bunyan—1 Cor. 1:30 · Robert Raikes—Matt.12:11-12 · George Mueller—Psa. 81:10 · Fanny Crosby—1 John 3:2 · Hudson Taylor—Mark 11:22 · Dwight Moody—John 3:16 · J.C. Penny—Luke 6:31 · Billy Graham—Rom. 5:8 · Bill Bright—Acts 22:8, 10 · Joni Erickson Tada—Rom. 8:28

For myself, the day I was called into the ministry, God gave me this verse—Jeremiah 33:3. At the time, it meant a lot, but over the years, it has meant much more. In my mind, it kind of summarizes what my life story has become. “Call upon Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, that you do not know.” Things happen when I call. It is like using the telephone! I can think of many things that God has done in my life in response to this Life Verse. The Challenge: Maybe you have not found your Life Verse yet. I would challenge you visit this idea and find a Special Verse that suits you. Ask God to give you a Life Verse that just might become the compass that defines your life adventure in following God. Maybe, it is time to be looking for another verse, a verse that will characterize your future. How does your Life Verse relate you being in Children’s Ministry?

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8



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Preach us a sermon, Preacher, But don’t preach very long; Just tell the story of Christ’s love, But don’t condemn the wrong. Say not a thing of doctrines false, Lest others be offended. Then they’d turn away from us, And call us narrow-minded. Preach us a sermon, preacher, But don’t preach very plain; Let others guess at what you mean; Don’t ever call a name; We’ll sing your praises loud and long, And keep you many a day, But make it clear, and you will hear, “Brother, be on your way.” Preach us a sermon, preacher, But say nothing of our sins; Let us keep on like we have done; And perhaps we’ll make amends.


Please let us dance, and gamble, too, And go to every show. Make secure and very pure; We’re human, don’t you know? Preach us sermon, Preacher, But say nothing of our duty. Tell us all about God’s grace, And picture heaven’s beauty. Leave out the things that we must do, We’re busy making money; We haven’t time, can’t spare the tenth, Won’t be there Sunday, nor give a dime. Preach us a sermon, Preacher, When I have time to die. Tell all the folks about My home beyond the sky. Preach us a sermon, Preacher, Preach me into heaven; That’s my only way to get to stay Where Christ’s reward is given. Poem “Preach Us a Sermon”


Sam Foss liked to walk. But he had wandered a bit too far today in the blazing sun, lost in his thoughts; and now suddenly he realized how hot Sand tired he was. The big tree at the side of the road looked tempting, and he stopped for a moment to rest in its shade. There was a little sign on the tree, and he read it with sur prise and pleasure. The sign said: “There is a good spring inside the fence. Come and drink if you are thirsty.” Foss climbed over the fence, found the spring, and gratefully drank his fill of the cool water. Then he noticed a bench near the spring, and tacked to the bench another sign. He went over to it and read: “Sit down and rest awhile if you are tired.” Now thoroughly delighted, he went to a barrel of apples near by-and saw that here, too, was a sign! “If you like apples, just help yourself,” he read. He accepted the invitation, picked out a plump red apple, and looked up to discover an elderly man watching him with interest. “Hello, there!” he called. “Is this your place?” “Yes,” the old man answered. “I’m glad you stopped by.” And he explained the reason for the signs.

The water was going to waste; the bench was gathering dust in the attic; the apples were more than they coulduse. He and his wife thought it would be neighborly to offer tired, thirsty passers-by a place to rest and refresh themselves. So they had brought down the bench and put up the signs-and made themselves a host of fine new friends! You must like people,” Foss said. “Of course,” the old man answered simply. “Don’t you?” All the way home Sam Foss kept thinking of a line from Homer’s Iliad: “He was a friend of man, and lived in a house by the side of the road.” How perfectly that described the kindly old man he had just met, living in his house by the side of the road, eagerly sharing his water and the comfort of his shady grounds, befriending every stranger who passed by! The lines of a poem began to shape up in his mind. It would be a poem about friendship, simple and sincere as the old man himself. He would call it “The House By the Side of the Road.” There are hermit souls that live withdrawn In the place of their self-content; There are souls like stars, that dwell apart, In a fellowless firmament; continued in page 26... 25

Cheerfulness The industrious bee does not stop to complain that there are so many poisonous flowers and throny branches in his road, but buzzes on, selecting the honey where he can find it and passing quietly by the places where it is not. There is enough in this world to complain about and find fault with, if men have the disposition. We often travel on a hard and uneven road; but with a cheerful spirit and a heart to praise God for His mercies, we may walk therein with comfort and come to the end of our journey in peace. Cheerfulness is a friend to grace, it puts the heart in tune to praise God. Uncheerful Christians, like the spies, bring an evil report on the good land; others suspect there is something unpleasent in religion, that thy who profess it hang their harps upon the willows and walk so dejectedly. Be serious, yet continued from page 25 There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths Where highways never ranBut let me live by the side of the road And be a friend to man. Let me live in a house by the side of the road, Where the race of men go byThe men who are good and the men who are bad, As good and as bad as I. I would not sit in the scorner’s seat, Or hurl the cynic’s banLet me live in a house by the side of the road And be a friend to man. I see from my house by the side of the road, By the side of the highway of life, The men who press with the ardor of hope, The men who are faint with the strife. But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears, Both parts of an infinite planLet me live in a house by the side of the road And be a friend to man. I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead, And mountains of wearisome height; 26


cheerful. Rejoice in the Lord always. A cheerful temper, joined with innocence, will make beauty attractive, knowledge delightful and wit good-natured. It will lighten sickness, poverty and affliction, convert ignorance into an amiable simplicity, and render deformity itself agreeable. A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance; but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken (Proverbs 15:13). These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Inner sunshine warms not only the heart of the owner, but all who come in contact with it. That the road passes on through the long afternoon And stretches away to the night. But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice, And weep with the strangers that moan, Nor live in my house by the side of the road Like a man who dwells alone Let me live in my house by the side of the road, Where the race of men go byThey are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong, Wise, foolish-so am I; Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat, Or hurl the cynic’s ban? Let me live in my house by the side of the road And be a friend to man. “The House By the Side of the Road” is today one of the best-known and most frequently quoted poems about friendship and good-fellowship.” In the hustle and bustle of life today, when so few of us take time out to think of others, it’s good to stop for a moment and remember the generous, friendly old man who inspired “The House By the Side of the Road.” Courtesy: Light from Many Lamps

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Truth Alive September 2013  

A Christian Family Magazine from Sathyam Publications