4 7 6 9 11 13 14 19 21 23
God's Path of Developing Leaders Pt 2 Pr. David H Mills
Friends Suffering Together for the Gospel Jon Marshall
Digging Deeper Dr. Alexander Kurien
The Neccessity of Humility Mike Harrison
Stay Where You Are! Ivan Veldhuizen
Encounter with Grace Prof. Paula E. Benson Feature
Poverty a Social Problem Just Obey
Leading Children to Jesus Rev. Barney Kinard
The Trinity Dr. Sunny Ezhumattoor
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A COMPLETE CHRISTIAN FAMILY MAGAZINE Volume 3 Issue 4 April 2012 “Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is the truth hears My voice. “Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” John 18:37-38 (NASB)
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Rescue those being lead away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it?" Proverbs 24:11-12 Dear Readers, In this current difficult economy, the poor and those who need a helping hand are popping up more than ever. And for the rest of us that are still able to keep our heads above water, being able to lend a helping hand is often difficult. It would be so much easier to just turn a blind eye to the suffering, oppression, and fear going on in the world around us. There's so much evil and grief happening to people in the world today, especially to children, that sometimes it can all seem so overwhelming. But how can we, in good conscience, just go on our merry way and not try and do anything to help another in need? Or should I love my neighbor as myself, as Jesus himself prescribed, spreading goodness where I can? God created the heart for many things, and one of those things is compassion.
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and the needy" Proverbs 31:8-9 From my personal experiences I have always learnt and noticed one thing i.e. the act of giving always brings back one guaranteed return its neither money nor reward but blessings. When we bless people in their needs people bless us back with their prayers and these prayers become a great protection for us when we are alone in the battle field. The history of Sathyam Ministries in itself is an example for this. All the growth Sathyam ministries have had is due the blessings received from others. I have in my life followed the path of the good Samaritan who took care of the beaten man when everyone else avoided him, and this path has always lead me to a good road ahead. Living at or beyond our means is a basic practice. People often spend all the money they take in, and at times, even more than what they earn, so that they have nothing left for anything else. But what would it be like if people saved money for the express purpose of being able to share what they have? Let us all hold this thought in mind and understand our responsibility towards the society.
Dr.C.V.Vadavana Founder & Chairman, Sathyam Service Trust April 2012
P r . D a v i d H M i l l s
God's Path of Developing Leaders Pt 2 “
In India, certainly there is no dearth of knowledge…We have achieved much in spite of our weaknesses. Yet India has not become the country it should have become… was it character that was missing?” Dr. Shantanu Dutta The developing qualities of great leadership are given to us by Peter (one of the greatest leaders of the first century church) in 2 Peter 1:5-7. He speaks of the need for diligence in this process, the hard work and careful consideration in forming what the leader is becoming. He began with “faith” as the fountain out of which all great leaders emerge. Then he strikes the anvil again forming the hot faith into “moral excellence” or a passion for loving God with all the heart and strength from that leader (see last month’s issue). Next comes the word “knowledge.” This is a whole new world. I call it a “world”,for so it is. It is a room filled with books and research, of listening to great men expound their thoughts and reflect their genius. In that room the leader begins to think broadly and deeply about many things. This stage for the leader is exciting and filled with new things all around. As it has been said, “Knowledge is power.” The leader begins to feel a new power in what he is learning. But Paul (another great leader from the first century church) warns that knowledge makes one proud (1 Cor. 8:1). That is a shocking insight. Especially for passionate students who thought that knowledge was the mark of spirituality. This idea leads one to conclude that the more one knows the greater they are in spirituality. That is not necessarily true according to Paul. How did this error in thinking become so common? “Beginning from school days, we have always been taught to associate knowledge with spirituality…In India we have gods and goddesses for knowledge.” (Dr. Shantanu Dutta in his excellent book “India, Waiting for the Dawn”). One of Gandhi’s concerns was that India would be a nation that had “knowledge without character.” When thinking of someone who is brilliant, we may think of Albert Einstein, for he was a genius on many levels. His great intellect opened up for the world 4
atomic theory. Suddenly we had the capacity to build a bomb that destroyed whole cities in an instant. The great knowledge that was attained was used to destroy the world, the trust, and the feeling of safety between nations. This fear lingers to this day between nations. Reflecting on what atomic theory produced, Albert Einstein sadly commented, “If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.” “Knowledge is power” and in the hands of one with low or poor character it is outright dangerous power. Even knowledge about God and spiritual truth has been used to divide and destroy rather than build up one another. But “knowledge” is the stage where great leaders develop their minds and their character. Every leader must enter this dangerous arena and learn all he/she can. Let the knowledge change our lives, and how we respect and understand other viewpoints. Let knowledge open our minds and not close our hearts to others. Knowledge should be useful for life and for solving problems. It is dangerous and deadly when it is used to prove a point, win an argument, or assure one of a position of power. Knowledge is to be a servant that is helping, understanding, listening to what the real problems are and finding the best way to solving those problems. That leader will be called to the table where his/ her opinion will be of value. The world, the church, and India itself is crying for such leaders. Leaders must be intelligent. Thereneeds to be intelligence and data and information accumulated if the leaders are going to wisely asses and address the real issues. Ignorance is a blight, a curse, and a scourge to this world. We have a saying, “If you think education is expensive try ignorance.” How true. The cunning and shrewd take advantage of those who are ignorant every day. Jesus instructed us to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves (Matt. 10:16). We must be wiser than the clever men (Jesus called them wolves) of this world trying to outwit the simple minded person. Financially, morally, or legally we are to be wiser than the sharks who cruise around us and seek to devour those who are unprepared or unaware.
Know Your Bible 1 Samuel Meaning : Name of God Author: Most Scholars agree that this book was written by Samuel, the prophet. At the same time some holds the view that the writings of the prophets Nathan and Gad are also included in it(1 Chr. 29:29,30) Date of Written: B.C. 1025 Purpose: To record the family story of Eli the priest who forget God, to warn the readers regarding the consequences of it. To portray the biography of Samuel, Who was a Prophet, a priest and a judge. To record the history of Israel from Eli to David To present the beginning of monarchy in Israel Key verse: 1 Sam. 12:19,23. Key People: Eli, Hannah, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, David Key Place: The land of Israel (Undivided Kingdom) One pastor was asked to debate with a Muslim imam before the whole city. The sad reality was seen before all who attended the debate when the imam knew the Bible better than the pastor, and the pastor knew nothing of the Quran. This was a major setback for the church in that city in reaching their community for Christ. Another leader of a famous Christian organization was asked by an atheist what he knew about evolution and why he believed in the Bible. He was unable to effectively answer this question. It made Christians look like uneducated opinionated people, rather than humble servants with wise insight about creation and our Creator. We must do better than this. So here is the tension. One, a life of knowledge but soaked with pride. Two, a life with ignorance and ineffectiveness. What shall we do? How can we build a life of knowledge without jeopardizing our character? And how can we avoid the trap Gandhi warned about in “knowledge without character”? Jesus gave us a clue when He said, “If you know these things, happy are you if you do them” (John 13:17). Did you catch that insight? When we apply what we learn to how we live, knowledge is a blessing, an enriching quality that lifts the leader and aids him/ her in serving the ones he/she leads. That leader will be able to answer the atheist, the debater, and the wise of
Brief Summary *The book presents the Failure of Eli's priesthood in relation to this family as well as to the people of Israel. *It also portrays the birth, Growth and ministry of Samuel as a faithful servant of God- in various capacities such as a prophet, a priest and a judge. *It reveals the story of King Saul which marks the beginning of monarchy in Israel. *It also narrates the biography of David who had been a shepherd boy was later on chosen by God to be the King of Israel. David thus becomes the great great grand father of Jesus Christ, the promised messianicKing
Outline: 1. The period of Samuel as a Judge (Ch.1-8) 2. The reign of Saul (Ch.9-15) 3. The Flight of David from the presence of King Saul (ch.16-31) this world. They will have the wisdom that is from above, which is first pure, then peaceable, kind, and one that is marked by their own spiritual transformation. They are not telling others what to do without doing it first themselves. They are ready to give a defense because they have prepared themselves and have done the hard work of research (1 Pet. 3:15). Here is what I do to insure the balance of knowledge and application: each day I read my Bible asking what I need to apply to my life. Obedience is the aim of my reading not knowledge. Knowledgeequips me to obey God. Secondly, when I prepare a message I ask, what do I want them to know and what do I want them to do with this message? Make it a habit to learn then apply what you learn within the first 48 hours. Then share what you learned with someone else. May we grow in grace and knowledge of our Savior and Lord every day. Father, You instruct us as Your children every day. I pray for a heart to learn and learn well. I hear Your voice behind me telling me this is the way You want me to go. My heart and my mind will wake up each day to take your instruction. May I obey as I learn. I want the attitude of Your Son to be my attitude. He always listened and did what You said. Please help me to do the same. In Jesus Name I ask it. Amen.
D r . A l e x a n d e r K u r i e n
Digging Deeper THE GOSPEL OF GOD Romans 1 (Exposition) (All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New American Standard Bible). The Unrighteousness and Condemnation of the Gentile (1:18-32) 1.The Cause of the Condemnation: Willful Ignorance & Rebellion (1:18-23) 2. The Consequences of the Condemnation: Divine Abandonment (1:24-32) In our exposition of vs.18-23, we have already seen how man has regressed to reprobation as a result of rejecting divine revelation. Man has abandoned God in spite of God’s revelation in creation. In this study (1:24-32) Paul vividly expresses the truth that the human forsaking of God leads to the divine forsaking of man. The rejection of divine knowledge and light must necessarily incur divine wrath. In vs.18-23, we see man breaking the first three commandments in the Decalogue (Ten Commandments). In vs.24-32, God gives man over to break the rest of the commandments. God punishes sin with sin. The opening word “therefore”(v.24) carries the reader to the previous discussion on the revelation of the wrath of God. The refrain “God gave them over” occurs in 24, 26, and 28 (paradidomi is an intense verb, meaning “deliver over, “to give up” and occurs six times in Romans. See also 4:25; 6:17; 8:32).The same expression is used of God’s judgment on Israel for idolatry (Acts 7:42). In Romans 1 the reference is to Gentiles. 1. God gave them over to impurity (vs.24-25). 2.God gave them over to degrading passions/ homosexuality (vs.26-27). 3. God gave them over to a depraved mind (vs.2832). These are the three stages of the downward spiral of pagan depravity. “In every instance the giving up to sin is a result of idolatry, the refusal to make God the center and 6
circumference of all existence, so that in practice the creature is exalted over the Creator. Hence all individual sins are a consequence of the failure to prize and praise God as the giver of every good thing” (ESV Study Bible, 2159). God gave them over to Impurity (vs.24-25) God has given them over to some form of sin as a manifestation of God’s wrath on them. From idolatry sprang sensuality. God punished one sin by the imposition of another. When men refused to honor God, God gave them over to fleshly lusts through which they dishonored their own bodies. How men treat God becomes the standard by which God allows men to treat themselves. The reference to sexual immorality in vs.24, 26, and 27 is significant. The reference is both to cultic prostitution as a part of pagan worship, and also to immoral relations in life. In polytheistic idolatry, devotion to false gods is accompanied by all sorts of immorality. When men reject God, God gives them over to their lusts, and their lusts breed various kinds of immoralities, which in turn destroy the very fabric of human society. “Lusts”(epithumia) can refer to any desire, but most often it is used of carnal or sinful desire (James 1:14; Eph.2:3). “Impurity” (akatharsia) can mean uncleanness, decaying matter, sexual immorality (Eph.5:3; 1Thess.4:7; Gal.5:19). Verse 25 is almost parallel to v.23 (exchanged the glory of God, exchanged the truth of God). Man exchanged the truth of God into the lie of idolatry; perverted the truth into falsehood. Idolatry involves transferring our worship to created things from the Creator, who alone is worthy to be worshipped.
continued in page 8..
Fr ien ds S u ff er in g Togeth er fo r th e G o s p el A Monthly Commentary on Philippians
ndia has a reputation for being the most “religious” nation in the world. I remember my first visit when I saw Hindus covered with paint, Buddhists spinning their wheels, Muslims bowing on their mats, and Sikhs wearing their distinctive clothes. Temples, religious rituals, ceremonies, and body markings fill every part of life and culture. But, in Paul's opinion none of those things indicate a genuine relationship with God. In Paul's day he was more religious than the most religious person in India. He did more ceremonies, marked his body, wore religious clothes, and even taught the religious way of life. But now he realized that all of that external religion was a waste. None of it proved that he knew God. As he wrote Philippians 3 Paul had in mind people who tried to find God through rituals and ceremonies and outward religion. He feared that Christians who had come out of a heavy religious environment would be tempted to go back to that way of approaching God. Read 3:1. Paul starts to wrap things up. “Finally,” he
says, as an introduction to the last main topics he wants to address. He commands the church (“brothers” and sisters in Christ) to rejoice. Rejoicing is a major theme in Philippians (1:18; 2:17, 18, 28; 3:1; 4:4, 10; so is “joy” 1:4, 25; 2:2, 29; 4:1). Here it tells them how to respond when people come in promoting other ways of approaching God. Rejoice in Christ, rather than giving in to other approaches. This is a normal part of his role (“no trouble”, “doesn't bother me”) and he knows it will help them (“safe for you”). He doesn't mind repeating himself if it will protect people from a disastrous departure from faith in Christ into a religion or spirituality that looks promising but is really destructive. Rejoicing isn't just an emotion, it's an 1 action; it “does not refer to a feeling but an activity.” Rather than doing all the religiously taxing and difficult things people suggest, sing praises and jump up and down for Jesus. You rejoice because you have a relationship with God by faith (you are “in the Lord”). continued in page 10..
Fee, NICNT, 291. April 2012
Digging Deeper continued from page 6
Pagan religions are based on false ideas about God and they can never lead one to the true God. The popular claim that “all religions are different paths to one God” is false. God gave them over to Degrading Passions (vs.2627) As a result of their persistent idolatry God gave them over to still lower depths of degradation and evil. The emphasis here is on perversion in sexual desires. Women and men were caught up in unnatural (contrary to nature) sexual desires. They even abandoned the very natural function of genders, because God abandoned them to spiritual degeneracy and degrading passions (see Paul’s usage of natural and unnatural in vs.26-27). Both lesbianism (v.26)and male homosexual relationships (v.27) are mentioned here. These vices are not something new. Paul lived in a day when men and women practiced these sexual perversions. Instead of using the ordinary terms “men” and women,” Paul substitutes “males and “females” in this passage. The sexual perversion of women (females) is mentioned first. “Their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural”(v.26). Why did Paul mention women first? It is because their practice of homosexuality is “especially shocking and dismaying” (MacArthur). Hodge comments: “Paul first refers to the degradation of females among the heathen, because they are always the last to be affected in the decay of morals, and their corruption is therefore proof that all virtue is lost” (Charles Hodge, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, 42). This passage teaches that all forms of homosexuality are contrary to God’s plan and purpose for the human race. It is illustrated here as a very repulsive and degrading passion. Paul’s words emphasize the unnatural and dishonorable nature of these sins. It is condemned as perversion of God’s design for human sexual relations. God abhors homosexuality. The Bible strictly prohibits it (Lev.18:22). God intended male and female to be joined in marriage (Gen.2:24). No one is born a homosexual, any more than any one is born a thief, a liar, an adulterer, or a murderer. All are born in sin and susceptible to temptations of sins. Since homosexuality is a sin it can be forgiven by God and overcome. God is willing and able to forgive all sin. “Receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (v. 27c) – Paul does not specify what this penalty is; only that it is received in their own persons (NIV: “in themselves”). Definitely it reminds 8
of the self-destructiveness of their sin both in their body and soul; it is spiritually, emotionally, and physically damaging. God gave them over to a Depraved Mind (vs.28-32) There seems to be a play on words in v.28 in the original. They did not approve (“fit to acknowledge”) of having God in their mind, so God gave them up to a disapprovedmind (adokimos means depraved, worthless, useless, rejected after testing, not standing the test, disqualified, disapproved). “God gave them up to a mind which cannot stand trial” (James Denney). Paul now gives an extended list of 21 sins all of which are destructive. He begins with “unrighteousness” because his main thesis in Romans is the righteousness of God. Man is totally unrighteous apart from the righteousness which God gives. “Haters of God” (v.30) stands out as it is an attitude towards the Almighty Creator God. The hatred toward God also leads to hatred of fellowman. This appalling catalog of crimes destroys self, family, and society. Sinful man is capable of committing these sins, even though every individual who has turned from God is not necessarily guilty of every one of them. There is no limit to the depths of sinful degradation to which people can sink when they shut God out of their lives. V.32 sums it all. Sins are not committed in innocent ignorance. In defiance of God’s wrath and judgment they continued to practice these sins and also gave hearty approval of all those who practice them.This is the lowest stage in moral depravity – taking pleasure in others who indulge in sin.Murder and immorality are so common in modern entertainment and have a very negative effect on minds and values that guide behavior.”Not only did the people themselves sin but they encouraged and vicariously enjoyed the sins of others” (Ryrie Study Bible, NASB, 1703). This is Paul’s portrayal of depraved Gentile society. What a sad commentary of even the most socially advanced societies of our day! They enjoy glamorizing sin and fight for the legal right to commit heinous sins!! “But a society that openly condones and defends such evils as sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, and the rest has reached the deepest level of corruption” (MacArthur, Romans 1-8, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, 109). “THEY NOT ONLY DO THEM BUT GIVE HEARTY APPROVAL TO THOSE WHO PRACTICE THEM.” The unregenerate man is not content to damn himself. He is trying to get others to join him in perdition. This is the portrait of man without God.
M i k e H a r r i s o n
The Neccessity of Humility
nd being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross… (Philippians 2:8) When we consider the above verse it does us well to know that the word we translate as humbled is by definition humiliated. Christ became a man and humbled Himself, humiliated Himself. Our Lord Jesus willingly left His privileged place and preeminent position in heaven, and became a man, to identify with man and to substitute Himself for man, by dying on the cross in the place of man. In Christ's case it was a humiliating thing to simply become a man, let alone endure the hostility of mortal man. Nevertheless, He did so out of the love in His heart for the unlovable. When a person accepts Jesus Christ it is God's desire that they be transformed into the image of Christ. This being the case, it is the Father's full intent that every one of His children possesses the quality of humility, as did His Son. Our problem lies within the fact that we are naturally inclined to pride and not humility. Knowing that our flesh resists humility and gravitates toward pride God allows into our lives humiliation, for humiliation, if accepted, is often the key that unlocks the door to humility. And humility is the causeway that leads to holiness. And holiness is what He demands and commands. “Be ye holy as I am holy” Jehovah implored Israel through His prophet Moses, and “Be ye holy” was Peter's cry in his epistle to those New Testament saints dispersed by hostility and humiliated for their faith in the Humbled One. It is my observation that most people's live swing on a pendulum from no ambition to selfish ambition. No
ambition is sloth. Selfish ambition is pride. Neither gives any glory to God. Our heart should be that we would be all that God would have us to be. Big or small is not the issue. That we are not fearful, faithless, slothful or prideful is. Our enemy is pride. It is crushed by humiliation if humiliation is embraced and given room to accomplish its work. Pride is the oldest and most common of sins, yet humility is the rarest and most beautiful of graces. Jesus proclaimed, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and you will find rest for your souls.” Lowliness, not prosperity or power, leads to rest. What an unnatural yet liberating truth. In light of this, let us not run, hide, lie or fight in the face of humiliation. Instead, for humility and lowliness of heart let us labor. For meekness let us pray. Our knowledge may be scanty, our faith may be weak, our strength may be small, but if we are disciples of He who humbled Himself, let us at any rate be humble.
Friends Suffering To gether for the Gospel continued from page 7
Read 3:2-4. He starts with a warning then empha sizes the greatness of being a Christian. If you'd rather not rejoice in Christ, you have the option of being a worthless dog, doing evil, and mutilating your body. Avoiding Christ means abandoning joy and pursuing self-deprecation and destruction. “Look out, look out, look out” for people who think they're religiously superior but really are inferior (“dogs”), who think they're doing everything right but really have it all wrong (“evildoers”), who think the way they mark their bodies makes them spiritually special but really just ruins their bodies (“mutilate the flesh”). Paul has local Jews in mind. Jews considered non-Jews to be “dogs”, scavengers, scum, unclean, but Paul calls the Jews the outsiders. Jews thought they were religiously righteous, doing all the right things, but Paul thinks they are actually doing evil when they think they're doing good. This happens when people do good things for bad motives or just plain do bad things. Jews thought when they circumcised themselves they were making a physical mark which distinguished them from gross people, but Paul says they're just mutilating their bodies. Watch out for people who have religious ideas but have no clue about real spirituality. Real spirituality comes through knowing Jesus (3). Spirituality isn't some vague, formless, content-less mystery you jump into. It involves worshiping Jesus through the Holy Spirit, knowing that only Christ can save you, clean you, and empower you. Real circumcision, true religion, God-based spirituality has always been a matter of the heart (Deut 10:16; 30:6; Rom 2:29). Christians, with faith in their hearts and a transformed inner nature, are the “real circumcision.” That is, faith-based worshipers of Jesus are the true 10
people of God, not groups who only have outward religious rituals. “Worship” is “service”, spiritual life, Christian service; a Holy Spirit inspired and em powered lifestyle. Our “glory” or “boast” or “confidence” is in Jesus. We don't put confidence in our flesh; we don't trust our human ability to transform our minds and hearts or to perfectly change our ways. We put confidence in the Holy Spirit and Christ Jesus to transform us from the inside out. This verse is the turning point of the whole paragraph and the crux of how Paul thinks. The true people of God, filled by the Holy Spirit and following his lead in service, trust Christ for salvation and transformation. Paul's final disclaimer, “though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh”, sets up the next stage of his argument. He says, “if anyone could be proud of who he is, proud of his religious heritage, confident that he's on good terms with God because of his family or caste; if anyone has played the religious game so well that everyone looked up to him; if anyone, as far as outward appearance is concerned, was without flaw, it would be me.” If it was possible to please God by human nature or ability, then Paul would have pleased God. But he didn't please God, because it's impossible to please God that way. True religion is knowing Jesus and serving him. Religious people will tell you that Christianity is not “religious enough”, “it does not have enough rituals and clothing and special body markings.” But we know that our God is Spirit and he desires for us to worship him in Spirit and in truth. We do not need external religion when we have God's Spirit inside of us and in our Christian fellowship.
R e v . I v a n V e l d h u i z e n
Stay Where You Are!
n all of the talk about doing great things for God, going as He told us to, and traveling the journey our Leader has laid out for us, I was reminded today that sometimes we need to stay right where we are. Mark 5 records the amazing story of the demonized man of the Gerasenes. It is here that Jesus cast the legion of demons into the large herd of swine. As a result, 2000 pigs drowned themselves in the Sea of Galilee, huge crowds of people assembled to beg Jesus to leave, and a man never seen sane sat chatting with Jesus, now in his right mind. What a day! As Jesus submitted to the people's request–stepping into the boat to go away–the reborn man begged that Jesus would let him come along. As I think of this, several things come to mind:
· It would have been so much easier for the man to leave all of those behind that he had terrorized for years. Call it a fresh start.
· It would have been very kind of Jesus to let the man follow along. After all, what a great testimony he could share at all of the large gatherings!
· It might have been safer for the healed man to start over some other place. Consider how many people had despised this person for years. That doesn't change overnight. Think only of the people affected by this day's events — 2000 swine are now dead and the economic impact
on these small communities would have been significant. This man could be easily blamed. BUT, Jesus isn't most concerned about easier, kinder, or safer. He's concerned about loving God, loving people, and growing the Kingdom. That's why Jesus tells this healed man, “Stay right where you are.” If he really wanted to be a missionary, stay. If he intended to make a great contribution to the Kingdom of God, stay. If he was going to make his life count the greatest, stay. We sometimes get the idea that going somewhere is the best way to serve. It seems more glamorous, more prestigious, more noble. However, for most of us, staying is exactly what we're supposed to do. We are often (dare I say, “most of the time”) called to stay. Be intentional, like the man in this story, to let your life, words, actions, transformation, and love for Jesus impact the people right where you live. Stay where you are!
The Resume of Jesus Christ This is SIMPLY AWESOME! I've never seen this before! Whoever put “The Resume of Jesus Christ” together is surely a blessing to us all! Please share it with your friends, family and associates! The last sentence says it all... “Send this resume to everyone you know, you never know who may have an opening!”
The Resume of Jesus Christ Address: Ephesians 1:20 Phone: Romans 10:13 Website: The Bible . Keywords: Christ, Lord, Savior and Jesus
Objective My name is Jesus -The Christ. Many call me Lord! I've sent you my resume because I'm seeking the top management position in your heart. Please consider my accomplishments as set forth in my resume.
Qualifications I founded the earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19) I formed man from the dust of the ground, (See Genesis 2:7) I breathed into man the breath of life, (See Genesis 2:7) I redeemed man from the curse of the law, (See Galatians 3:13) The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your life through me, (See Galatians 3:14)
Occupational Background I've only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49 ). I've never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful. My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me, (See Matthew 3:15 -17)
Skills Work Experiences Some of my skills and work experiences include: empowering the poor to be poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting the captives free, healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are bruised, (See Luke 4:18). 12
I am a Wonderful Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6). People who listen to me shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil, (See Proverbs 1:33 ). Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to cleanse you of your sins, (See I John 1:7-9)
Educational Background I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, (See Proverbs 2:6). In me are hid all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, (See Colossians 2:3). My Word is so powerful; it has been described as being a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105). I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21).
Major Accomplishments I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting of all times, (See Genesis 1:26 ). I laid down my life so that you may live, (See II Corinthians 5:15 ). I defeated the arch enemy of God and mankind and made a show of them openly, (See Colossians 2:15 ). I've miraculously fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead! There are many more major accomplishments, too many to mention here. You can read them on my website, which is located at: www dot - the BIBLE. You don't need an Internet connection or computer to access my website.
References Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healing, salvation, deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance.
In Summation Now that you've read my resume, I'm confident that I'm the only candidate uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart. In summation, I will properly direct your paths, (See Proverbs 3:5-6), and lead you into everlasting life, (See John 6:47 ). When can I start? Time is of the essence, (See Hebrews 3:15
P r o f . P a u l a E . B e n s o n
Encounter with Grace I
n 2005 in the foothills of Himachal Pradesh I received a powerful and personal reminder of the grace of God. This experience changed the course of my life and called me ever deeper into a life lived for Jesus. I was sitting in the midst of a wonderful village church surrounded by local believers who were sharing their faith and their struggles with our team. During the worship I was asked to share a testimony from my own life and I was surprised at what God prompted me to share. It is story from many years ago that has shaped my life and my ministry – yet it is a story that up until that time I had never shared with anyone. It is the story of my encounter with the grace of God; when I was saved by grace in a very real way. This is that story: When I was a young woman in college my life was very unhappy. I was not living in a way that honored God. I had many troubles but I could not find a way to fix any of them. I drank too much trying to forget about my problems and hoping they would go away. I would get up each morning and go to classes, spend time with my friends, and try to look like I was happy and that everything was good. But inside I was a mess. I was very depressed and each day was harder than the day before. I became very sad and felt that life was hopeless. I began to withdraw from what was good around me and to spend my thoughts and my time crying and trying to figure out how to stop the overwhelming pain I was feeling. I decided the best way to do this was to kill myself. I did not want to die but I was desperate to stop the pain. Then one evening I was studying in a small back room in the school library. My inner pain was overwhelming, and I was on my face crying out to God, pouring out my sadness and struggling with my plans to end my life. Suddenly I felt God's presence with me, comforting
me and offering me a choice. I could end my life as I had planned…or…I could hand all of my pain and problems to God and he would walk with me and help me each and every step of the way. I felt his kindness and his mercy. I felt his great love for me. And I knew there was only one thing for me to do…I chose life. I chose the grace and mercy that God had for me and instantly I felt waves of grace pouring over me, washing away pain and sadness. I was renewed. I was strengthened. I was refreshed. As I walked home that evening I felt peaceful and hopeful. I knew then in a very real and personal way God's promise that he will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8). And more than that, I felt covered by his grace. Indeed, I had encountered the grace of God and it had saved my life. The words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:10 became my life's verse. …But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. continued in page 20..
POVERTY A SOCIAL PROBLEM
overty in India is a major issue. Rural I n d i a n s d e p e n d o n u n p re d i c t a b l e agriculture incomes, while urban Indians rely on jobs that are, at best, scarce. Since independence, the issue of poverty within India has remained a prevalent concern. As of 2010, more than 37% of India's population of 1.35 billion still lives below the poverty line. More than 22% of the entire rural population and 15% of the urban population of India exists in this difficult physical and financial predicament. Poverty Situation The division of resources, as well as wealth, is uneven in India - this disparity creates different poverty ratios for different states. For instance, the poverty level is below 10% in states like Delhi, Goa, and Punjab etc whereas it is below 50% in Bihar (43) and Orissa (47). It is between 30-40% in Northeastern states of Assam, Tripura, and Mehgalaya and in Southern states of TamilNadu and Uttar Pradesh.
caste system still prevails in India, and this is a major reason for rural poverty - people from the lower casts are often deprived of the most basic facilities and opportunities. The government has planned and implemented poverty eradication programs, but the benefits of these programs are yet to bear fruits. Increasing Poverty in India The phenomenal increase in population in the cities is one of the main reasons for poverty in the urban areas of India. A major portion of this additional population is due to the large scale migration of rural families from villages to cities. This migration is mainly attributed to poor employment opportunities in villages. Since 1970, the Indian government has implemented a number of programs designed to
A number of factors are responsible for poverty in the rural areas of India. Rural populations primarily depend on agriculture, which is highly dependent on rain patterns and the monsoon season. Inadequate rain and improper irrigation facilities can obviously cause low, or in some cases, zero production of crops. Additionally, the Indian family unit is often large, which can amplify the effects of poverty. Also, the
eradicate poverty, and has had some success with these programs. The government has sought to increase the GDP through different processes, including changes in industrial policies. There is a Public Distribution System, which has been effective to some extent. Other programs include the Integrated Rural Development Program, Jawahar Rozgar Yojana and the Training Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM), and other on-going initiatives. According to a recently released World Bank report, India is on track to meet its poverty reduction goals. However by 2015, an estimated 53 million people will still live in extreme poverty and 23.6% of the population will still live under US$1.25 per day. This number is expected to reduce to 20.3% or 268 million people by 2020. However, at the same time, the effects of the worldwide recession in 2009 have plunged 100 million more Indians into poverty than there were in 2004, increasing the effective poverty rate from 27.5% to 37.2%. Causes Global wealth inequality is the main cause of poverty in India. The inseparability of corruption and the economy of third world countries is ignored by those who single corruption out as the main problem in India. There is also a high population growth rate, although demographers generally agree that this is a symptom rather than cause of poverty. While services and industry have grown at double digit figures,
agriculture growth rate has dropped from 4.8% to 2%. About sixty percent of the population depends on agriculture whereas the contribution of agriculture to the GDP is about eighteen percent. The surplus of labour in agriculture has caused many people to not have jobs. Farmers are a large vote bank and use their votes to resist reallocation of land for higher-income industrial projects Reduction in poverty Despite all the causes, India currently adds 40 million people to its middle class every year. Analysts such as the founder of "Forecasting International", Marvin J. Cetron writes that an estimated 300 million Indians now belong to the middle class; one-third of them have emerged from poverty in the last ten years. At the current rate of growth, a majority of Indians will be middle-class by 2025. Despite government initiatives, corporate social responsibility (CSR) remains low on the agenda of corporate sector. Only 10 percent of funding comes from individuals and corporate, and "a large part of CSR initiatives are artfully masqueraded and make it back to the balance sheet". The widening income gap between the rich and the poor over the years has raised fears of a social backlash. THE SOLUTION TO THE SOCIAL PROBLEM OF POVERTY IS THE SOCIAL SOLUTION OF REMOVING THE FACTORS OF POVERTY
Question Time Q:What is sin Ans: Sin is basically rebellion against God. Arising from the corruption of the Human heart, it is the cause of our separation fron God, and the reason for our deserving God’s wrath. Sin is man’s greatest problem. 1.Sin is basically rebellion against God. (a) Sin is doing wrong (Dan. 9:5). (b) Sin is acting wickedly (Dan. 9:5); it is doing evil in the sight of the Lord(Ps. 51:4) ( c) Sin is turning aside from God’s commandments and ordinances (Dan. 9:5)-what the Bible calls “Transgression”(Ps. 51:1). (d) Sin is falling short of God’s glory (Rom.3:23). (e) Sin isignoring God’s word as it come to us through the messengers He has provided (Dan.9:6; Heb. 3:13). (f) Sin is lawlessness (Hos. 4:2;1 John 3:4). (g) Sin is rebellion (Dan. 9:5)-the result of Hostility to God (Rom.8:7). (h) The essence of sin is to be against God (Ps. 51:4). (i)Sin entered the world by man wanting things which belong to God alone(Gen.3:5). (j) Sin ignores God’s authority (Gen.2:16, 17; 3:6). (k) Sin casts doubts upon God’s character(Gen. 3:4). (l) Sin does not accept the wisdom of God(Gen.3:4,5). 2. Sin is the result of the corruption of the human heart. (a) From the heart flows the springs of life(Prov.4:23), e.g. as a man thinks in his heart so is he (Prov.23 :7). (b) Sin begins in the heart (Matt. 5:28). (c) All the evil things in men’s lives come from within(Mark 7:21,22,23). (d) God, who searches the mind and tries the heart declares that the Human heart, is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked(Jer. 17:9,10) 3. Sin is the cause of our separation from God. (a) Our sin is known to God when it is hidden perhaps from everyone else(Ps. 51:4). 16
(b) Sin brings confusion of face before God(Dan. 9:7) ( c) Sin separates us from God (Deut. 31:17,18; Ps. 78:59-61); Isa. 59:1-2; Amos 3:2,3; Micha3:4). (d) Sin makes impossible, therefore, the enjoyment of fellowship with God (Gen. 3:8; 1John 1:6), for it puts us a distance from God (Ps. 51:11). 4. Sin is that which brings down God’s wrath upon us. (a) We gain an understanding of sin when we appreciate God’s holiness(Isa. 6:3, 5) (b) God Knows the precise extent of our sin (Amos 5:12). (c) Living According to the passions of our flesh, and following the desires of our body and mind, we are by nature the children of wrath (Eph. 2:3). (d) Sin draws forth God’s wrath(Rom. 1:18; 3:5); the wrath of God rests on the sinner by reason of his sin(John 3:36) (e) God’s wrath against sin will be revealed on the Day of Judgementthe Day of His wrath(Rom. 2:5,6). (f) Sin leads to destruction (Matt.7:13). 5. Sin is man’s greatest problem. (a) Sin’s pathway is all too easy to tread (Matt. 7:13). (b) Sin can so deceive us that we flatter ourselves that it will never be found out (Ps. 36:2); but sin surely finds us out (Ex. 2:12). (c) Sin is like leaven: it spreads its corruption(1 Cor. 5:6). (d) All the time sin is persisted in, there can be no restoration to God (Hos. 5:4). (e) We need to be delivered from the wrath to come (Rom.5:9; 1 Thess. 1:10). (f) Sin must be dealt with if men are to have fellowship with God (Heb. 2:17; 1 Pet. 3:18).
D r . C . V . V a d a v a n a
GOD HAS NO HANDS BUT OURS “Make us worthy, Lord, to serve out brothers and sisters scattered throughout the entire world, who live and die in poverty and hunger. Through the service of our hands, give them their daily bread and by our understanding love, give them peace and joy.” Mother Teresa.
n the past, our country has witnessed many calamities like earthquakes and flood, famines and the Tsunami in 2004. When calamity strikes one part of the country, the most common tendency of the less affected people is, “They are paying for what they have done” or, “Thank God we are safe.” January 26, 2001 was like any other day for the people of Gujarat. Being Republic day, children dressed in their best when attending school to pay respect to the country. The older working folks were making the best use of their long awaited holiday by chatting about their glorious past and valiant deeds when all of a sudden the people of Gandhidham, Gujarat realized that the building in which they were residing was tilting. Was it a dream? No, they could hear the vessels falling on the ground and cries of women and little children from the kitchen saying the building is collapsing. The serene atmosphere was filled with cries of men, women and children - all running for their lives. There was an earthquake and in no time, the skyscrapers were razed to the ground. Thousands of people lost their lives within a few seconds and many became crippled for the rest of their lives. As I heard the news, I became restless and I said to myself, “We as the light of this world and salt of this earth need to do something about it. We also need to reach out with a helping hand.” I was more burdened than ever to reach out to the people there because only a few months before our mobile bookshop, “Vachanavahini” had been to Gandhidam to conduct
Food distribution in north east India
many meetings. So, with a team of men from the Sathyam ministries, I left for Gandhidam. We carried with us old used clothes, medicines and wheelchairs. When we reached there, all that we could see were the debris and the rescue operations still going on. The stench from the corpses was terrible. The fear of the government authorities was whether or not any epidemic like cholera, malaria and plague would break out. While covering our noses with handkerchiefs, we made our way through the debris and the sight was heart wrenching.
Many children had lost their homes with nowhere else to go. The old clothes, medicines and wheel chairs all vanished in no time and we returned to our homes. Though I was comfortable within the four walls of my house, my mind was disturbed. I was not at peace with myself. I could still hear the cry of little children searching for their parents and while the older folks writhed in pain. So after a few months, I once again paid a visit to the earthquake affected areas of Gujarat and I realized that people still had not recovered from the aftermath of earthquake. What really bothered me were the innocent faces of children walking about the streets playing.
More wheelchairs for the Tsunami relief operation
As I walked through the streets, I asked the children in my broken Hindi, “Why are you not going to school?” They told me that in the earthquake, their school had vanished and there were no schools nearby. I was concerned about their futures for I knew today’s children are tomorrow’s citizens. I also realized that if these children are not educated, they will pervert to crime and will be a threat to the society. I came home with the determination to do something for these innocent children. A few months later, I returned to Gandhidam with the idea of starting a school for these innocent children. The government was not in favor of Christians and Gujarat is one of those states in India where the antiChristian movement was so strong that Christians were persecuted frequently. However, with the support of Mission Global Impact as well as the help of like-
Food distribution in the flood-affected area
minded people and friends, the school was started on a rented building in June 2003. The intention of starting the school was not financially driven but to provide an education to the children of the villages because I believe education is the right of every child. Depriving a child of his/her education is to deprive him/her of a decent livelihood and a secure future. So we started the school providing scholarships to the less privileged ones, irrespective of their caste or religion and now Sathyam Mission School at Gandhidam in Gujarat is one of the leading schools in the region. Every child who attends the school is taught from scripture to love God and live for Him. School has turned out to be a powerful medium of spreading the good news of salvation. A Christian banner flies at the entrance of the school but this has not prevented the parents from sending their children to receive an education there. We are using every opportunity in every possible way to spread the good news. In December 2004, when the Tsunami waves hit different parts of the world, people were terrified. Millions of people died and many were left homeless. The rich and poor, officers and beggars all came under the shelter of rescue homes. Those rescued from the Tsunami affected areas were in tears for they had lost everything they had and now craved for one meal. The cities of Ernakulum and Alappey in Kerala and Koduloor and Velakanny in Tamil Nadu were the places that were affected by Tsunami. Many islands of Andaman and Nicobar were wiped out from the map of the world. to be continued...
L a u n a S t a n
Just Obey A
s any mother or father will hardily agree, the most difficult aspect of rearing children is getting them to comply with what they've been asked to do. If I could I just get my kids to pick up their clothes from the bedroom floor, to remember to brush their teeth twice a day or to take off their shoes before entering the house, I'd be a happy woman. If I could simply get them to eat with their mouths closed or remember to say “please” and “thank you” at appropriate times, I'd probably dance an Irish jig on a daily basis. But my children instinctively rebel against bending to my authority. They seem to challenge me at every turn. Interestingly enough, I find myself behaving much the same with God. Obedience-it's not just an issue that the little tykes have, we adults all struggle to yield to the control of another. There is something about the act of obeying that goes against the grain of all of mankind. Webster's dictionary defines “Obedience” as: compliance, conformity, subordination and submission. I noticed something very interesting the other day, the word, “obedience” has “DIE” right in the center of the word. Obedience. Isn't that interesting? I believe that is the best definition of all. If we are to be true servants of our Master, we must die to the flesh, die to our will, die to our dreams, die to our wants and desires…just die! I think that is a phenomenal reminder of what it takes to be a disciple of Christ. In Romans, the Apostle Paul explained it this way, “For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die, but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13 NASB) In His earthly life, like us, Jesus had to die both spiritually and physically. Remember when He
submitted to the Father's will before the cross? He didn't want to be crucified, but uttered these words anyway, “Not My will but Thine be done.” In Matthew 16:24,35, Jesus clearly explained this concept. “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Think about this the next time you ask your children to do something that they don't want to do. Also remember it whenever God asks you to submit to something that causes you to clench your teeth and kick against. Is there an area of your life that God has been calling you to obey, but you have been fighting the necessary surrender? Do it today. I promise, it'll be worth it. Just obey-just DIE.
Encounter with Grace continued from page 13... I promised God that night that I would not waste his grace and that I would never again contemplate ending my own life. I resolved to live out his grace and to share it with those around me whenever I could. Since that time I have done just that. My problems did not go away but with God I was able to face them and work through them, and find a measure of peace along the way. The more I shared God's grace with others, the more I was reminded of how much grace he had showered on me. As I shared this story with my Indian brothers and sisters in Christ, I began to realize why I had never shared this testimony before. In truth I was ashamed that I had ever been in such a state of despair that I had wanted to end my life. It was a secret hidden in my heart. But while I shared that story in India, I felt a sense of release. I knew that God wanted me to publically share not only his grace, but also why his grace is so profound for my life and ministry. My testimony of grace had been incomplete until I was also able hand over the shame that I had been holding onto. Letting go of my shame, I once again felt God's grace pouring over me and I felt called into a deeper walk with him. When I returned from that trip to my home, I spent the next four years studying in seminary to become a pastor and a professor, working with God to share his love and also to share the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. 20
The grace of God is something so beautiful and empowering to me that it brings me to tears and moves my heart to reach out to people all around me. The New Testament word in the original Greek language is charis and in English we translate this as grace. However, the Greek word has a much fuller meaning than the English word. Charis means grace, kindness, and mercy, but it also signifies a special manifestation of God's divine presence. When I talk about grace, what I am speaking of is the richness of the Greek word. When I first encountered that grace of God, I truly experienced it as such There are two things that I would like to encourage you with. The first is that each one of us has a testimony to share of how God has saved us and how Jesus has changed our life. Share your story whenever God gives you the opportunity and do not be ashamed of your past. If you have been saved and redeemed by God, then he is able to use your life as a tool to reach out to others so they also may come to faith in Jesus. Secondly, I encourage you to look for God's grace all around you. Allow the grace of God to wash over you. Experience his grace in powerful ways. Let it transform you. Let it empower you. Let it heal you and strengthen you. May you have your own deep encounter with grace. And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
R e v . B a r n e y K i n a r d
Leading Children to Jesus The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise. Prov. 11: 30
he greatest joy of teaching children is watching them put their faith in Christ. The hope of each generation remains in the children. The Scripture makes it really clear that each generation should bear witness to the things of God to the next generation. This sharing is not coercion, trickery or pressure. Sharing our faith is done in a loving relationship where we share what we believe…Christ died for our sin. Renouncing our sinful ways and putting our whole trust in the finished work of Jesus is life changing—even for children. We believe that the power of a good relationship is the best method of sharing the Lord of Jesus with children. As a teacher of the Bible, we share the good news of what Jesus did and what he said. Here are Ten Guidelines for helping a children’s ministry leader to reach the children in their program. 1. Establish a relationship of trust and confidence (credibility). Value each child. If you don’t genuinely care about them, they won’t care about your God. 2. Discover the child’s background and interests. Find out about the faith of the parents. Call them by name. Show interest in anything they are interested in. 3. Kids must acknowledge both love and respect for the Lord. It is important to learn of his/her understanding about God’s character. 4. Communicate from the “known” to the “un known.” It helps to know where the child is April 2012
developmentally, what exposure to spiritual things already exists for the child. Begin where they are and take them where they need to go. 5. Learn for yourself the parts of the gospel message, so you can teach it. Learn different ways to present the gospel message—learn gospel methods. 6. Begin teaching the children to prayerfully obey and respond to each lesson by praying a prayer with you. Teaching them to pray with you makes it easier for them to learn and pray for themselves. Exercising one’s faith is a function of prayer. It is “who we believe in,” not what we “do” that saves us. 7. Begin asking kids to talk with you after class, not because they do something wrong, but because you are interested in them and that you care. 8. Prepare a sample salvation prayer that you could use when a child is ready to respond. Begin praying that you might have the opportunity to help them come to know Jesus like you do. Be ready, the time will come for you. 9. Pray for the salvation of every child that comes under your care and ministry. Perhaps God has given you just the right ones, so you can speak into their lives and influence them for eternity. 10.Prepare yourself for Satan’s attacks on your ministry. Take a stand against Satan’s Tricks. Be courageous and pray for the souls of children. 21
D r . S u n n y E z h u m a t t o o r
esus claimed to be God by accepting worship. The Old Testament forbids worshiping anyone other than God. “And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image – likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth’” (Exod. 20:1-4) “‘I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.’” (Deut. 5:6-9). The New Testament agrees, showing that humans refused worship, “and saying, ‘Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them’” (Acts 14:15) as did angels, “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God’” (Rev. 22:8-9). But Jesus accepted worship on numerous occasions, showing He claimed to be God. A healed leper worshiped Him. “And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean’” (Matt. 8:2), and a ruler knelt before Him with a request. “While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live” (Matt. 9:18). “After He stilled the storm, those who were in the boat worshiped Him saying, truly you are the son of God” (Matt. 14:33).
Jesus claimed to have equal authority with God. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matt. 5:21-22). “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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’” (Matt. 28:18-19). “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matt. 24:35). Jesus claims to be God. Apostles called Him “the first and the last”: “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.’” (Rev. 1:17); (Rev. 2:8; 22:13) the “true light”: “That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” (John 1:9) The rock or stone: “Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame’ Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.’ They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. (1 Peter 2:6-8); (1Cor. 10:14; Ps. 18:2; 95:1; Titus 2:13; Rev. 5:9). In Zech. 12:10 Jehovah says, “They will look on Me, the one they have pierced.” But the New Testament writers apply this passage to Jesus’ crucifixion. “And again another Scripture says, ‘They shall look on Him
SATHYAM SERVICE TRUST WANTED 1. OFFICE SECRETARY (2): He/she should have good command over English with good knowledge of computers. Candidate must have Christian mission commitment and dynamic attitude with the ability to correspond independently. 2. ACCOUNTANTS (2): Ability to work on accounting programs especially tally. 3. EDITORS (2): Experience with English language editing for our Christian Magazine. 4. SOCIAL WORKERS (3): with MSW & experience. 5. MANAGER(3): HR & Marketing with MBA 6. DRIVERS (2): with licence of heavy & light vehicles 7. SALES PERSONS (3) 8. SPECIAL TEACHERS (3) 9. CARE TAKERS (2) 10. SPEECH THERAPIST(1) 11.PHYSIOTHERAPIST(1) 12. OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST(1) BOTH FRESHERS AND EXPERIENCED CAN APPLY FOR THE POST.ALL CANDIDATES SHOULD DEMONSTRATE A COMMITMENT TO THE CHRISTIAN MISSION AND DISPLAY A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.
Interested candidates are kindly requested to respond with their detailed Curriculum Vitae along with a recent passport size photograph to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, we can be contacted at the following address:
SATHYAM MINISTRIES THOTTABHAGOM P.O., THIRUVALLA-689 541, KERALA, INDIA.
Tel: 0469 - 2619209, 2619005, Mobile: 0-9447178230 E-mail: email@example.com, web: www.sathyam.org
The Trinity continued from page 23
whom they pierced’” (John 19:37). “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen” (Rev. 1:7). Paul interprets Isaiah 45:22-23 “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath.” Philippians 2:10-11 says, “That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Paul says
that all created beings will call Jesus both Messiah (Christ) and Yahweh (Lord). What is tetragrammaton? The ancient Hebrew language that the Hebrew Scriptures were written in did not have vowels. In the original Hebrew, God’s name is given as “YHWH.” This is known as the tetragrammaton. Because of the lack of vowels, Bible scholars debate how the tetragrammaton “YHWH” was pronounced. Contrary to what some Christians (and at least one cult that uses this name) believe, “Jehovah” is probably not the Divine Name revealed to Israel. Due to the Jewish fear of accidentally taking God’s Name in vain (Lev 24:16), they basically quit saying it outloud altogether. Instead, when reading, they substituted the actual tetragrammaton.
I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isaiah 61:10) 24
How can Sunday replace Saturday under the fourth commandment? In Exodus 20:8 God's people are commanded: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” The seventh day of the week is to commemorate the completion of God's work of creation (v.11 concludes, “The LORD … rested the seventh day; wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it”). This commandment ranks with the nine others to form the Decalogue, and there is no suggestion even in the New Testament that the Ten Commandments are not binding on the conscience of Christian believers or that the number has been reduced to nine rather than ten. In the absence of any divine instruction to the contrary, we may assume that the fourth commandment is still binding on us. But the real question at issue is whether the sanction of the seventh day Sabbath has been by the New Testament transferred to the first day of the week, which the Christian church generally (apart from sabbatarian groups) honors as the Lord's Day, otherwise known as the Christian Sabbath. New Testament Evidence for Sunday Worship The heart of the apostolic manifesto to the Jewish and Gentile world from Pentecost onward was the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ: “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:32, NASB). The bodily resurrection was God's certification to the world that the Savior of mankind had paid a valid and sufficient price for sinners and that He had for them overcome the curse of death. Christ's effectual atoning sacrifice and conquest over sin and death ushered in a new era, the age of the New Testament church. As the Lord's Supper replaced the
Old Testament sacrament of the Passover, as the death of Christ replaced the sacrifice of animal offerings on the altar, as the high priesthood of Christ “after the order of Melchizedek” replaced the priesthood of Aaron and constituted every born-again believer as a priest of God, so also in the case of this one commandment out of the ten, which was in the part at least ceremonial, there was to be a change in the symbol appropriate to the new dispensation. In the light of these early Christian testimonies, we can see the unsoundness of the contention made by some sabbatarian advocates that Sunday was not chosen to supersede Saturday as the day of Christian worship until the time of Constantine the Great (308 – 37). From apostolic times Sunday has been recognized by Christians as a day of worship and a day of rest. But what Constantine did was to issue a special edict prescribing Sunday as the official day of rest each week throughout the Roman Empire. Courtesy:Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties
Godly Jealousy, continued from page 26
sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Were it not for the mediation of Jesus, we would not be able to receive God’s promise. God’s love issues decrees to humble the proud and promises to exalt the humble. 2) God’s promise According to verse 10, faithfulness carries a great reward: “but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.” None of us can claim to keep His commandments perfectly. Thus, God promises his steadfast love through the righteousness of Jesus. The Hebrew word for this love, hesed, is rich in meaning. God promises his grace filed, merciful, faithful, good, eternal, committed, protective and loyal love.
Essentially God promises his loyalty and unmerited favor to the thousandth’s generation. That is at least 13,000 years if you average a generation to 13 years. This is fundamentally reassuring. The relationship between God and his people really means something because God is totally committed to it. Such knowledge can move us to an appropriate response toward the self-revelation in the middle of Dt. 5:9-10, “I am a jealous God.” In Part 4 of this series, we will conclude this study by examining how this selfrevelation is a form of gospel, or good news. It reflects the essence of God’s nature that propels Him to draw near in the person and deity of Jesus Christ.
Ines S. Franklin
Godly Jealousy, Part 3 of 4 Deuteronomy 5:6-10
e have learned that the 2nd of the Ten Commandments is founded on who God is and what God does. It is composed of two decrees, a surprising fact, a warning and a promise. Don’t make idols. Don’t bow down to idols. “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.” God disciplines. God loves. In order to understand godly jealousy, it is helpful to focus on what comes before and after God’s self-revelation. In Part 1 and 2, we focused on the two decrees and what they reveal about God and ourselves. Who God is and what God does earns him the right to exclusive worship. Human hearts are inclined to make idols and bow down to them. Now therefore, let us consider God’s warning and his promise found in the rest of verses 9 and 10. Disobedience has consequences, God’s love. Faithfulness carries a great reward, God’s love. 1) God’s warning To worship an idol is to shift our fear and put our trust on anything other than YHWH. Such false forms of worship have consequences. The natural outcomes of disobedience affect not only us, but also our children and their children. No other god can deliver on its promises or love as our God does. Therefore, idol worship springs forth many injustices. Because God is just, he must eliminate injustice. Thankfully, in his mercy and love, he gives an abundance of warning. God sent many prophets who risked their lives to proclaim God’s call for repentance. Nevertheless, as we read in Exodus, God’s people were guilty of perpetual disobedience.Although God punished them, sometimes quite severely, he did not fully destroy his people. Consider the penalty to Israel of being held captive by the Babylonians for 70 years. Among other sins, for 490 years they did not follow the commandment to let the land rest every 7th year. Not only did God give his people plenty of warnings, but also he allowed them to go a long time before justly punishing them. Yet, God followed the discipline by 26
making a way for his people to return to the land he had given them. This proves what God proclaims about himself: “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Ex. 34:6 NIV God’s love is expressed by His willingness to discipline. Therefore, we should consider God’s warning in verse 9 to be a blessing, “punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.” You might wonder, “How could this be a blessing?” Hebrews 12:5-11 implores us to take God’s discipline seriously and to endure it because it is an expression of our identity as His sons and daughters. God’s discipline is for our good and results in our ability to share in God’s holiness. Discipline yields the “peaceful fruit of righteousness.” Yet, as good as discipline is for us, God gives us plenty of warning before he punishes. The warning in the second commandment might be difficult to accept, but once we study it we find that it has a rich purpose. God warns us that incessant disobedience eventually deserves punishment. Since we are all guilty of at some point making idols and/or worshiping idols, we are all deserving God’s discipline. Paul exclaimed it in Rom. 3:23, “we all have continued in page 25..
S e c t i o n b y w r i t e r Ă s n a m e
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S e c t i o n b y w r i t e r s n a m e