4 7 6 9 13 14 19 21 23
God's Path of Developing Leaders Pr. David H Mills
Friends Suffering Together for the Gospel Jon Marshall
Digging Deeper Dr. Alexander Kurien
Heart Breaker Mike Harrison
The Disciple Jesus Loved Prof. Paula E. Benson
Dalits: the oppressed people of India
Ongoing Dialogue Launa Stan
Seeing Your Children's Children Rev. Barney Kinard
The Trinity Dr. Sunny Ezhumattoor
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A COMPLETE CHRISTIAN FAMILY MAGAZINE Volume 3 Issue 3 March 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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“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”- Galatians 3:26-28 Dear Readers, The message that God is giving us is the equality of all persons, male and female, rich and poor, of any race, class, or caste. We all stand equal in the eyes of God almighty, then why is it that we as human beings have discrimination amongst us? In any society with a history of caste oppression and conflict, the slightest provocation can sometimes set off a sequence of deadly attacks and reprisals. According to B.R. Ambedkar (personality who drafted constitution for Independent India) what we need is “For a successful revolution it is not enough that there is discontent. What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of the justice, necessity and importance of political and social rights”.The oppression of a set of people in society can have a very wide connotation. I, however, would like to concentrate and confine on how we can bring a difference to the lives of the so called untouchables. One can forget about the past and have the satisfaction of not feeling responsible for what has happened but what is worrying is the present continuous if I may say so. For, it is this which determines the future scenario. But, I am sure, with arising awareness, will of the Government and the efforts of the NGOs the situation which is improving, is bound to improve further. This issue includes contributions on various aspects of leadership. As rightly mentioned in the article, “leaders develop daily, not in a day”. It is by continuous practice and hard work that we can develop as a good leader. So I would say do something every day that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow. God Bless You and Happy Reading!
Dr.C.V.Vadavana Founder & Chairman, Sathyam Service Trust March 2012
P r . D a v i d H M i l l s
God's Path of Developing Leaders Pt 1 “Leaders develop daily, not in a day.” John Maxwell
re leaders born, or made? Where do leaders come from? We see them rise out of nowhere, grow, and become very influential. They seem to be mysteriously formed and come on the scene as if they were summoned for that special moment. We then wonder, “will anyone so effective ever be found again”? There will never be another John Wesley, or C. H. Spurgeon, or Billy Graham, or William Carey, or Sadhu Sundar Singh, or the humble and godly Bakht Singh, and countless others of present day and historic accounts. How does God develop such impactful leadership? How is He, right now, raising up future effective leaders? The path is actually very similar for every fruitful leader. The circumstances will vary from leader to leader. No story is the same. Our God is very creative in how He develops leaders. Consider God’s path of developing Peter’s leadership versus how He developed Paul. The differences are many between these two towering leaders. At first glance it seems there is no similar pattern to be found. But underneath the story is an amazing pattern that connects Peter’s training (while under the training of the historical earthly Christ) and Paul’s training (with the early church after Christ’s departure). Peter helps us see that pattern in 2 Pet. 1:5-9 and Paul notes the path in 1 Thess. 1:3 and 1 Cor.13:13. Both men point us to God’s design for developing His leaders. Paul summarizes the divine path of leadership development in three words: faith, hope, and love. It is broadly understood and seen in the development of our faith, our hope, and our love. Peter shows the path of leadership development more specifically. He reveals this path in eight stages of formation. Faith leads to moral excellence which leads to knowledge which develops into self-control which is deepened in perseverance which transforms into godliness which develops when we grow in brotherly 4
kindness and finally forms the leader into mature fullness of love. Let us start with the first word in this broad sequence: FAITH. Where does Our Lord begin? He first called Peter by saying, “Follow Me and I will transform and change you to becoming a fisher of men.” What is the first step to following Him? Each and every leader begins their leadership development at this same point: Faith in Jesus. This Faith in Him reveals a trust in Him. Would we follow Him if we didn’t trust Him? And in the same way, would others follow our leadership if they didn’t trust us? Trusting faith grows as we experience the character, competence, and love of Jesus Christ. Christ convinced both Peter and Paul of this great reality. He was all that He said He was (character). He did all that said He could do (competence). His love for both of them was proven over and over (love). So whether we are being developed by the historic presence of Christ as Peter was or by the resurrected Christ years later after His resurrection and ascension like Paul, we learn quickly about His character, competence, and love.
In the journey of our development we will not follow long if we do not have faith in His leadership. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Without faith we are overcome with doubts and fears (1 John 5:4-5). Christ forms the leader by showing him that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). He says the truth and confirms that His Word is absolutely trustworthy. Billy Graham was once asked if he believed that the Bible story about Jonah being swallowed by a whale was really true. He responded, “”I have no problem believing that the whale swallowed Jonah. I would have even believed it if Jonah had swallowed the whale.” There comes a point when we genuinely trust God and all that He has said. This is a must for effective leadership. If a leader does not trust God and His Word without reservation, he will only come to rely on his own wisdom, charisma, or charm. But a leader is completely unable to overcome sin, defeat Satan, and rescue the perishing with human power. Spiritual leadership is the work of faith unleashing God’s power (2 Thess. 1:11). Is God developing your faith? Is He testing it and maturing it? If so, you are on the path of becoming a fruitful leader.
Once faith in God and His Word is established, we are energized and motivated to learn and grow. There is a passion inside of us that wants to learn all we can, do all we can, go wherever He sends us, and obey all that He says. This passion is what is called, moral excellence (2 Pet. 1:5, arête meaning “excellence in virtue, thought and feeling, and the course of action, excellence as a property or as a quality”). There is a spiritual desire deep within us to go after Him with all our heart and mind and soul. We love Him with everything inside of us. Leadership that truly pleases the Lord requires everything within us. Spiritual leadership is not achieved by half measures. First we find that His grace calls us and fills our hearts with faith, and then we begin to develop this quality of passion for the excellence of Christ. We want nothing less and nothing else but complete conformity to His will. Caleb and Joshua were such leaders. They wholly followed the Lord their God (Numbers 14:24). There were other leaders in the situation that did not trust in God and had empty hearts. They were removed from leadership while Joshua and Caleb were honored and promoted.
The second word in this sequence is MORAL EXCELLENCE.
continued in page 10..
K n o w Yo u r B i b l e RUTH Meaning : Friend or Friendship Author:Though the author of this
book is unknown, some scholars think it was Samuel, but internal evidence suggests that it was written after the death of Samuel.
Date written: Between 1375-1050 B.C Purpose: (a) To show how God cares for
* Ruth herself shows that Gentiles could believe in the God * The book gives a partial lineage of David and thus of Christ and shows that gentiles blood was in the line of the one who became the Saviour for all mankind * Boaz, as the kinsman-redeemer, serves as a beautiful type of Christ.
people in the society, (b) To introduce the genealogy of king David. Key verse: Ruth 1:16 Key people: Ruth, Naomi, Boaz Key place: Bethlehem, Moab
Outline of Ruth 1. 2. 3. 4. March 2012
Ruth remains loyal to Naomi (1:1-22) Ruth gleans in Boaz field (2:1-23) Ruth follows Naomi's plan (3:1-18) Ruth and Boaz are married (4:1-22) 5
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). Five major truths in this passage: 1 Divine Wrath (1:18). 2.Divine Revelation (1:19-20). 3.Human Response: Rebellion and Rejection of Divine Revelation (1: 21-23). 4.God’s Response to Man’s Rejection of Divine Revelation (1:24-28). 5.Moral Depravity Resulting in Man’s Sinful Life and Behavior (1:29-32). Universal human guilt is the theme of1:18 - 3:20. Paul begins with the depravity, and sinfulness of the Gentile society (1:18-32), the unrighteousness and condemnation of the moralist and the Jew (2:1-3:8), and then finally the universal sinfulness and the resultant condemnation of all people (3:9-20). The Cause of the Condemnation: Willful Ignorance & Rebellion (1:18-23) There is a parallel that links verses 17 and 18: The righteousness of God is being revealed (v.17). The wrath of God is being revealed (v.18). In both cases the present tense is used. It describes that which is presently being revealed. Paul begins the epistle with the “Gospel of God” (1:1). Then he refers to the “power of God” (1:16), the “righteousness of God” (1:17), and the “wrath of God’ (1:18). These doctrinal concepts are important markers in developing his argument with sustained logic. The Gospel is the Gospel of God. In the Gospel the saving power of God is demonstrated and the righteousness of God is revealed. God declares 6
righteous the one who believes in Jesus and who is thus forgiven of his sins. God’s wrath is righteously revealed because people rebelliously suppress the truth about the only true and living God, and turn to idolatry. The consequence of idolatry is the moral degradation and disintegration of human society (1:18-32). 1:18: “The wrath of God.” God’s wrath (orge) is “his determination to punish sin” (Hodge); his “settled indignation” (Hendriksen). God’s wrath is His rational retributive justice against sin. The wrath of God is totally different from human anger. God does not lose His temper. His wrath is not selfish, vindictive, malicious, or spiteful revenge. It is quite different from man’s emotional, momentary, selfish, and uncontrolled anger (thumos).”….his wrath is his holy hostility to evil, his refusal to condone it or come to terms with it, his just judgment upon it” (John stott).Grace is God acting graciously toward repentant sinners; wrath is God reacting in revulsion against sin. The word wrath is found 12 times in Romans (out of 36 times in the entire NT. The root meaning of the word is “to swell.” Many people today neglect the biblical teaching on the wrath of God. The wrath of God is a clear doctrine in the Old Testament (Psa.2:12; 110:5; Isa.9:9; 10:6; Jer.10:10; Ezk.21: 31; Nah.1:2-3; Zeph.1:15,18).The Gospel of John which speaks so eloquently of God’s love (3:16) also speaks powerfully of His wrath. “He who does not obey the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (3:36). John MacArthur points out six features that characterize God’s wrath in v.18: 1.The Quality of God’s wrath – It is divine, it is of God. 2.The Timing of God’s wrath – it is revealed. 3.The Source of God’s wrath – it is rendered from heaven. 4. The Extent of God’s wrath – against all. 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 Philippians 2:19-30
eroes in the faith sometimes cause us to despair. We hear stories of men and women who have been martyred or tortured for Christ and sometimes feel that we can never live up to that ideal. We may never get thrown in prison or physically hurt for our faith. Hearing stories about Paul's suffering for the gospel may have the same effect. He suffered so much and was so strong in Christ; maybe you feel like there is too great a distance between your life and his. In these paragraphs Paul bridges the gap. By giving two examples of men who suffered for the gospel in very practical ways he shows us how normal Christians, like you and me, can be just like Paul. In fact, Paul commends these normal Christians as doing his work with him. Without them his work would be incomplete. We need Christians who suffer to the extreme and other Christians who suffer in very normal circumstances. We suffer together to advance the same gospel. Read Philippians 2:19-24. Timothy was a mutual friend, and someone Paul really trusted. Paul writes a little paragraph of recommendation because he wants them to see Timothy as someone who lives for others; that is he lives like Christ, he lives a godly life. Paul wants to hear from them, but first he needs to learn the outcome of his trial. So he'll wait to send Timothy until the trial's done. Timothy is one of those people who really cares for others. He's so others-centered and not me-centered that he's really Christ-centered. He's “likesouled” with Paul (“no one like him”), meaning they share a love for others, especially Philippians. Timothy's “proven worth” is his battle-tested character; through trials and suffering he's proven time and again that he loves Christ by loving others and persevering. Like a son imitates his dad, Timothy imitates Paul in his gospel proclamation. After he finds out about the trial, and he expects to be released, he plans to come right away to see them. Being confident “in the Lord” means he really thinks their reunion will happen.
Read Philippians 2:25-30. Epaphroditus was a mutual friend and someone who needed no introduction with the Philippians because he was from that church! So why would Paul write this paragraph of recommendation? Because Paul wants to set Epaphroditus up as a model of someone willing to die for the gospel. With five titles Paul identifies how much he thinks of Epaphroditus (my brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier, your messenger, minister to my need). Paul feels close to this man: they're brothers in Christ, do gospel work together regularly, and engage in spiritual battle together. The last of these might have made people think of the military personnel who retired in Philippi. As their messenger he brought the love gift they sent to Paul to take care of his daily needs (since government didn't feed prisoners, friends had to do it). Epaphroditus needs to come back because he's sad. His friends at home heard he was sick and he wants them to know he's better. He almost died. But now he's better; God healed him so Paul wouldn't have to lose a great friend while sitting in prison. Paul's excitement for them to see their friend again makes him eager to send him. Also, he'll calm down a little (he was worried for some reason about the whole thing). As Paul sends him with joy they ought to receive him with joy. This is the kind of man little boys should try to be like. Honor men like this, men willing to risk their health, safety, and financial stability in order to promote the gospel. Suffering for the gospel sometimes means just getting sick while living your gospel-centered life. It might mean catching the flu on a train to encourage other believers, breaking your foot carrying food to the poor, getting headaches at an orphanage, or sitting in traffic on your way to serve. Timothy suffered for the gospel by associating with Christ and caring for him in his imprisonment. Epaphroditus risked his life to bring the gift that the Philippians wanted to give, but just couldn't without him. Both men are heroes. Alongside Paul they struggled to bring the gospel to the world.
Digging Deeper continued from page 6
5.The Nature of God’s wrath – against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. 6. The Cause of God’s wrath – who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. (Romans 1-8, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, 62-68). God’s wrath is revealed against “ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.”These are two expressions of evil and wickedness – impiety against God (godlessness) and injustice against man; lack of reverence for God and lack of respect for fellow man. Ungodliness leads to unrighteousness. Man’s enmity with God results in his enmity with his fellow man. God condemns humanity for spiritual and moral failure. The ungodly and unrighteous stifle, suppress and oppose the truth about God because it challenges their sinful behavior and condemns it. 1:19-20:The Gift of Revelation. God is a God of initiative. He has taken the initiative in revealing himself to mankind. Revelation is God’s selfdisclosure. “His eternal power and divine nature” are clearly revealed through the world he has made. This basic knowledge of God through His creation is universally known by man. This proof of God is “evident within them.” Thus all men have evidence of God. All men have the ability to perceive intelligent design in creation. The creation reveals to all men the truth about God’s existence, His power and divine nature (Psa. 19:1). God’s revelation of Himself through creation can be clearly seen everywhere and by everyone, being understood throughwhat has been made. Since the natural world bears witness to God, the rejection of this truth makes a man without excuse before God. The reason for the divine wrath is because men have rejected God’s revelation in nature. Because God’s revelation in creation is self-evident, man is without excuse. The revealed knowledge of God through creation is undeniable. This knowledge of God has always been available to man. There never was a time when God did not reveal Himself to men. It was not from lack of knowledge that men abandoned God and sinned, but in spite of it. Therefore, man is without excuse. 1:21-23: Rejection of God’s Revelation. Man did not respond to God’s revelation.God was not acknowledged,honored or praised, even though they knew(perceived) God. In rejecting God’s lordship over their lives, they became foolish and their thinking became darkened. Part of the consequence of the wrath of God is humanity’s loss of intelligent thinking. 8
Spiritual blindness, intellectual darkness, and moral depravity are the ultimate consequence of rejecting God. The loss of knowledge of true God resulted in idolatry. Idolatry is the fundamental sin.The first creature man substituted for God is himself (v.23). Man attempts to deify himself. This is the essence of humanism.Idolatry was further manifested in the worship of birds, animals, and crawling creatures. The downward spiral and degradation of idolatry is clearly seen here – man, birds, animals, crawling creatures. He figured God as a man, then as a bird, then as a –fourfooted animal and finally as a reptile. Idolatry is not pious religiosity; it is the miserable end of unbelief and depravity. Here is the history of pagan religion; devising deities of their own making.Men refused God’s revelation and idolatry followed as a psychological necessity. Idolatry is the result of unbelief. Their darkness, futility and folly were seen in their idolatrous religion and worship. Contrary to popular beliefs, the history of religion presented by Paul in Rom.1 did not follow an evolutionary model from animism to monotheism. Instead, humanity started with the revelation and knowledge of the true and the living God and declined into animism and polytheism. Modern “idols” may not look like the ancient pagan idols. Even in the postmodern age in which we live people devote their lives to, and trust in, many things other than God. Idolatry begins in the mind (today it is more mental than metal) when we exchange the idea of God for something other than God. Whatever is the supreme occupation of the soul is a “god.” When man rejects God’s revelation, Satan impels men to worship things lesser than God and embrace false religion. Even with all the evidence in creation, people refuse to recognize their Creator, worship Him, or glorify Him as God. There are four divine disclosures in Romans 1. For theological clarity, John Stott lists them in the reverse order: First God reveals his glory (his eternal power and divine nature) in his creation (19-20). Secondly, he reveals his wrath against the sin of those who suppress their knowledge of the Creator (18). Thirdly, he reveals his righteousness (his righteous way of putting sinners right with himself) in the gospel (17). Fourthly, he reveals his power in believers by saving them (16). (Romans, 69-70).
M i k e H a r r i s o n
Heart Breaker "Is not My word like...a hammer."(Jeremiah 23:29)
obert Morrison, who translated the Bible into Chinese, arrived in China from Scotland in 1807. During his long journey, the steamship captain jeered, "You think you can change these people who have been steeped in their own culture and religion for four thousand years?" Morrison replied, "I cannot, but God can!” About six years into the secret project, his translation assistant, A-ko, questioned his faith, "Don't you see that our land and the hearts of our people are utterly closed to you and your religion?” Morrison replied, "Yes, but it is written, 'Is not my word like a fire? Says the Lord; and like a hammer that breaks
the rock in pieces?' This Bible is the one thing that can burn gates of brass and penetrate walls. I can't preach to the people, but I can secretly translate and circulate this book with the confidence that its divine message will operate with divine power!” It took many years and much personal sacrifice, but by 1823 the first complete Chinese Bibles were finally printed. And A-ko was his first convert! The word of God never returns void (Is 55:11). We must be faithful to read it, apply it to our lives, and share it. But if we do, it will chip away at the rock-hardness of the human heart and shape it into a living stone that can be fit into the house of God (1 Peter 2:5).
‘This wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have gone after other gods to serve them and to bow down to them, let them be just like this waistband which is totally worthless.- Jeremiah 13:10 March 2012
God's Path of Developing Leaders continued from page 5... These two eventually led the nation into the Promised Land and victoriously defeated their enemies and possessed their enemies’ possessions. Joshua 14 records Caleb as crying out, “Give me this mountain.” The same mountain where the giants had frightened the former generations into seeing themselves as grasshoppers. He shouts as one who fully followed the Lord, “Give me the place of darkness and I will turn it into the place where God is honored and worshipped.” Listen to that zeal, that passion for excellence. These are the leaders who dream bold and daring dreams. These are the ones who risk it all and willingly step into the danger zones of the earth to reach those who are not yet reached. They all sing the same song, “Let me take up my cross and follow You, let me die if need be to serve Your kingdom.” This phase in the path is one that creates inside the leader a passion, courage, and the eagerness to risk for the Kingdom of God.
They will speak like Esther, “If I perish I perish.” Are you driven for excellence in thought, morals, and goals? Are you passionately pursuing what God wants? Do you love Him with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind? If you can answer, “yes” to these questions, then you are on the path. You can be sure that God is developing your leadership. Father, I have heard Your voice calling me to follow You. I feel the fears grip me and the doubts stop my feet from stepping onto this path. But then, Your grace moves me to trusting Your character and Your call, and You move me to step out in spite of all my fears. I am following You. Suddenly, Lord, my soul is on fire, ablaze with passion to run, not just walk, in this path. May my feet be those of a messenger who brings tidings of peace to those who sit in darkness and still do not know You. Use my life to reach many for Your glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.
International th Women's Day- March 8 International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. It is celebrated to recognize that peace and social progress require the active participation and equality of women, and to acknowledge the contribution of women to international peace and security. For the women of the world, the Day is an occasion to review how far they have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development. However, nowhere in the world can women claim to have all the same rights and opportunities as men. The majority of the world's 1.3 billion absolute poor are women. On average, women receive between 30 and 40 per cent less pay than men earn for the same work. And everywhere, women continue to be victims of violence, with rape and domestic violence listed as significant causes of disability and death among women of reproductive age worldwide.
Contact 9447126182 Woe to you, O destroyer, While you were not destroyed; And he who is treacherous, while others did not deal treacherously with him. As soon as you finish destroying, you will be destroyed; As soon as you cease to deal treacherously, others will deal treacherously with you.(Isaiah 33:1)
J o l l y A n n T h o m a s
A PERSONAL GOD You birthed the measure of time Before You birthed me into MY time. When You created the whole world You also created for me MY world. Though in You exists the world You seek existence in MY world. You are the King of the universe Who loves to step into MY verse. Creation beholds You in holy fear Yet Your love casts out all MY fear. In every dimension love so perfect That touched MYlife so imperfect. On the Cross You shed many tears That You may wipe away MY tears. By your stripes You always repair MY heart when found in despair. I know You are Compassion limitless When MY heart melts defenseless. In the Garden, You felt companionless Yet You died to sever MY loneliness. You crushed the Serpent's head To become the lifter of MY head. I am a clayey work of Your hands Yet You prepare works for MY hands. Though the Father of heavenly lights In me MY heavenly Father delights. As You go forth in mighty feats Choosing MY hands and MY feet. The created are unto Your praise; You sit enthroned upon MY praise. Planets and time turn at Your behest But You delay sunset at MY request. Majestically You sustain waterfalls; Also from MY belly living water flows. 12
All of creation whispers Jesus' name But Jesus loves to whisper MY name! Of the world You are the true light; Of MY path Your word is the light. My life is hidden in Your first born But You live inside MY heart reborn. You are the author of immortality Yet You identified with MY mortality. When You stooped down in humility You silencedMY pride's infallibility. You restrain everything in authority Yet You free me from MY captivity. You left Temples of man's making For ME, the temple of Your making. You hold the universe in one palm MY name carved on the other palm. Can GOD become 'more personal'? Yet do I hold MY life as MY-ine? March 2012
P r o f . P a u l a E . B e n s o n
The Disciple Jesus Loved D
eep within each one of us is the desire and need to be loved.
That is why when we discover the awesomeness of God and realize that God IS love, we become undone. For in God, through Jesus Christ, we meet love face to face. We are captivated. We are changed by the love of Jesus. This love transforms our thoughts and our actions. It transforms the way we relate to others as we seek to let the love of Jesus shine through our lives. The New Testament book of John speaks a great deal about the love of God. One of the most often quoted passages from this book is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” While each of the Gospel writers highlights the concept of God's love, John particularly writes in a way that points to the divinity of Jesus. He wants us to be aware of the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. He continually directs us to this fact.
And that is why the idea of Jesus loving us should have such a profound impact on us. Through John's writing we experience that God loves us in a personal way. Our faith is not only about us loving God. It is also about God loving us. It is about God loving each of us as individuals. There are several brief passages in the book of John that drive the depth of this lesson home. Imbedded within John's words he makes several remarks that seem so casual and matter of fact that it is easy to overlook their significance. Five times John mentions the disciple Jesus loved. During the Passover meal of the Last Supper John writes, “One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.” (John 13:23) While Jesus was on the cross it is written, “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby…” (John 19:26) After Mary Magdalene discovered the empty tomb, “She came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said…” (John 20:2) continued in page 24..
Dalits: the oppressed people of India
alit (Broken People) is a designation for a group of people traditionally regarded as "untouchable". The social structure of India is stratified, within built inequalities and injustices, based on the caste- system sanctified by Brahmanic Hinduism. Although social stratification exists in almost all societies, the caste system is quite unique to the Indian society. Sanctioned by the religiousphilosophical system, the Dalits are socially placed outside the four-fold caste system and they are referred to as the fifth caste (panchamas), even when they live as outcasts. Dalits are differentiated from the lowest strata of other societies with regard to their stigma of untouchability. While the discrimination based on caste system has been abolished under the Indian constitution, there still is discrimination and prejudice against Dalits in South Asia. Since India's independence, significant steps have been taken to provide opportunities in jobs and education. Many social organisations too have proactively promoted better conditions for Dalits through improved education, health and employment. While the Indian Constitution has duly made special provisions for the social and economic uplift of the Dalits, comprising the so-called scheduled castes and tribes in order to enable them to achieve upward social mobility, these concessions are limited to only those Dalits who remain Hindu. There is a demand among the Dalits who have converted to other religions that the statutory benefits should be extended to them as well, to "overcome" and bring closure to historical injustices. 14
Existing conditions of Dalit In 2001, the proportion of Dalit population was 16.2 percent of India's total population. The Dalit population is broadly distributed across Indian states and districts. In 2001, the state of Punjab had the highest proportion of its population as Dalit, at about 29 percent, and the state of Mizoram had the lowest at nearly zero. A recent study, titled Untouchability in Rural India disclosed the plight of Dalits in India. The study, which covered 565 villages in 11 states of India reveals the following observations; Public health workers refused to visit Dalit homes in 33% of villages, Dalits were prevented from entering the police station in 27.6% of villages, Dalit children had to sit separately while eating in 37.8% of government schools, Dalits did not
get mail delivered to their homes in 23.5% of villages, Dalits were denied access to water sources 48.4% of villages, half of India's Dalit children are undernourished and 21% are severely underweight, literacy rates for Dalit women are as low as 37.8% in rural India Education Of all Indian children, Dalit children suffer the most. For example, school attendance in 1998–1999 was 65.7% for Scheduled Caste children age 7-17, compared to 81.3% for high caste children. Furthermore, the completion rate of five years of schooling for Scheduled Caste from 2002-2004 was 34%, compared to 44% for higher castes.
of apathy. Therefore, cleanliness and personal hygiene are a constant concern with few practical solutions for dalits. Poor health is a natural result.
Employment Although outlawed, approximately two-thirds of bonded laborers belong to Dalits. Of the 40 million bonded laborers in India, 15 million are children. Women and children are primarily engaged in “civic sanitation work” (i.e., manual scavenging, even though this has been outlawed), followed by leather fraying in tanning and footwear manufacturing; many Dalit men are agricultural workers.
True stories of Dalit Freedom Living a life of abject poverty brings many challenges to everyday lives of the dalit community. Existing in small huts or makeshift homes with dirt floor and roofs made of natural materials makes keeping a house clean quite difficult. Prolonged exposure to dust and dirt combined with futile attempts to clean breeds discouragement and an eventual sense
A small Dalit village in the state of Gujarat was no exception. The residents found it impossible to stay clean. They were unable to teach their children good hygiene habits and fostering a sense of community cleanliness was next to impossible. This issue came to public view when the Dalit Freedom Movement opened a Dalit Education Center school in the area. Attention to healthcare and improving the well being of Dalits everywhere is a guiding ideal of the Dalit freedom Network movement. Therefore, when local Dalit children first started attending school at this new facility in mid-2008, the teachers immediately noticed that these youngsters did not know how to keep themselves clean and neat. Through rigorous lesson on cleanliness and its practical application in their life, this small village in Gujarat is on its way to accomplishing great goals. Another story is about manish who said” I am Zero when it comes to caste”, “I was told again and again that I was not fit, I was a Dalit , untouchable , low caste man, and leatherwork, that is my caste –work .”Thirty-year old Manish managed to escape his fate as a Dalit. Today he is Assistant to the national administrator of the All India Christian Council. Today, however, in part because of the efforts of the Dalit Freedom Network Movement, Manish lives an empowered life. It is with these encouraging stories of full-life transformation that we come to the end of our article. Let us eradicate caste from the face of earth. Let us work towards that end as a global community committed to the dignity of humankind.
Question Time Q:Is God in control of everything? Ans: God controls all things, working out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His own will. 1. God’s control extends to the whole universe. (a)He is the only Sovereign, King of kings, and Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15): His throne is in the heavens and His kingdom rules over all (Ps. 103:19). (b)He keeps in being the whole universe by His word of power (Neh. 9:6; Heb. 1:3). (c)The government of the entire universe is with Him (Deut. 10:14; Ps. 135:6; Dan. 4:35). 2.God’s control of nature follows. (a)All natural forces are in His control (Ps. 29). (b)All the processes of nature are at His direction (Gen. 8:22; Ps. 107:33,34,38; Jer. 31:35). 3.God’s control of His creatures follows. (a)He can appoint all His creatures to perform His will (Jonah 1:17; 2:10): even for ravens to convey bread and meat to His servants (1 Kings 17:6). 4.God’s control of men-and of evil men-follows. (a)There are occasions when God, desiring to show His wrath and to make known His power, has put up with evil men due for destruction, in order to make known the riches of His glory to those whom He has purposed to save (Rom. 9:22,23). (b)On the other hand, He can harden the hearts of His people’s enemies so that either they fall into His people’s hands or even destroy themselves (Josh. 11:20; Judg. 7:22). 5.God’s control of nations follows. (a)In the affairs of the world, and its rulers, the Lord puts down one leader and lifts up another (Ps. 75:7; 1 Sam. 16:1). (b) So far as it has suited His purposes, He has allowed nations to walk in their own ways (Acts. 14:16). (c)Behind the strange, gracious actions of unbelieving rulers towards God’s people at various times is the working of God in their hearts without their knowledge (Ezra 1:1): for example, Tiglath-pileser (Isa. 10:6,7); Cyrus (Isa. 41:2-4); Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:21)-each pursuing his own chosen course, served the 16
furtherance of God’s will, though in their personal living they were disobedient, selfwilled and sinful. 6. God’s control of history follows. (a)His dominion is everlasting and His kingdom endures from generation to generation (Dan. 4:34): thus all the events of human history are under His direct control (Rev. 9:15). (b) The outstanding example of God at work in an event-unrecognised at first –to do His will was the Cross (Acts 4:28; cf. 2:23). 7.God’s control of all circumstances follows. (a)He can shorten life or lengthen it (Ps. 102:23; Job 1:21). (b)The Lord brings both happiness and calamity (Isa. 45:7); success and victory in battle (I Sam. 11:13) and the power to get wealth (Deut. 8:18) are from Him, as too is the power to bring illness or to remove it (Deut. 7:15). (c)The will of God may be worked out in what appears to be a complete accident (1 Kings 22:28,34). 8.God’s special control of affairs on behalf of His people follows. (a) He can hand His people over to their enemies for a period to discipline them if need be (Judg. 3:8; 4:2; 6:1). (b) He gives a sure footing in life to the righteous (Ps. 33:18,19). (c) He supplies every need of His children according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19), guaranteeing that everything in life will be worked out for the spiritual and eternal good which God has in view (Rom. 8:28). 9.God’s control of Satan is clearly involved, and is taught. (a)The Lord can put a restraint upon Satan as He will (Job 1:12). (b)He gives Satan, at times, power to do his wicked worst, but God is always in control (Rev. 9:1; 20:7).
D r . C . V . V a d a v a n a
WHO WILL LOVE THEM? ORPHANAGE
t present Sathya Niketan is a home for 50 children. Sathya Niketan is definitely home for these children because they are blanketed with love and care by are dedicated staff who spend their days and nights with these adorable little children. We hope to provide these children with good health care, the best education possible, nutritious food and above all with love and compassion. We try to provide not only physical care to these children but also spiritual. We have constructed a permanent building for the orphanage in the newly owned seminary campus. At Sathya Niketan children are introduced to Jesus from the very first day of their arrival and are taught to love God because we believe God has brought them to us with a special purpose and God has a special plan for their lives. The words of psalmist, â€œHe lifted me out of the miry clayâ€? is literally true in these childrenâ€™s case. They have literally been picked out of dirt and bathed. They have literally been picked out of dirt and bathed. They are given a new set of dress to wear, we cut their
unkempt and lice filled hair, treat their wounds and sickness, and give them an altogether new look, which at times is a real challenge. But till date God has given grace and wisdom to our staff to do everything as they would do to Jesus. These children are hungry for God and love. These children are gems because they give us a lot of love and joy by accepting us. They are grateful for the shelter they have. They have no complaints with the food provided and are happy with the clothes they wear. For them every broken toy is a treasure that they cherish. Above all, they appreciate the little things we do for them. When I see these innocent children, the smiles on their faces, their enthusiasm to study and involvement in extracurricular activities, tears trickle down my cheek. It is the tears of joy for these children who have been pulled out of the clutches of poverty, drugs and other abuses and given new life. And when I see these children I am assured that our efforts are not in vain but will produce better citizens for the country and bring glory to His name. On 1 November 2009, a massive fire had left the orphanage in complete ruins. By the good grace of the Almighty Lord, there were no casualties. The fire was caused by a huge gas explosion that occured in the building.
While sister Mini was preparing dinner for the children, the gas leaked out, which ultimately led to a giant explosion. The villagers who were rattled by the sound of the explosion rushed to the spot with buckets of water and with great effort managed to put down the fire. C.V. praying with the Kids at the Orphanage March 2012
The children who were clutched to the trauma had to be soothed and comforted by the staffs as well as some village women. The children and the staffs had to reside in another shelter until the orphanage recouped its ruins. The persistent support from the villagers had made things easier for us. After months of toil and sweat, the Sathyanikethan Orphanage recouped its loss and has started functioning normally by the grace of God and through prayers. Swingli, a church father once said “Gospel without social work is soul without body.” Apostle Paul said, “For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”. (Ephesians 2:10) So the next time you see the poor and neglected,
The Orphanage house in Gujarat
remember God has chosen you and set you apart not to condemn them but to love them; not to push them away but to hug them. They do not need your sympathy but your sacrificial love, time and energy. to be continued...
L a u n a S t a n
efore marriage and children came along, I seemed to have plenty of quiet time to read my Bible, commune with God and to worshipuninterrupted. Since that time, my home life has become a literal “Three-Ring Circus.” If I don't get up before 5:00 am, I won't experience anything akin to silence and solace throughout the remains of the day. From the instant my youngest child rises from his bed, he begins to demand my immediate attention. He wants to be held; he wants something to drink; he wants breakfast; he wants me to play with him. His expectations are limitless and his patience is nonexistent. My girls are older, but are being homeschooled. So there is still a constant need to teach, correct, admonish and direct their lives too. The sanctity of my bedroom or privacy of my bath is never places that I am able to escape their loud and urgent beckoning. Even from there, I can hear, “Mom, I need you!” “Mommy, he took my toy!” Or “Mother, she called me a bad word!” Not to mention, the ever-present tantrums and whininess. Are there any moms reading this article that can relate? For those of us who desperately desire deep wells of prayer time, with the hope of hearing from the Lord-
how is this possible in the mayhem of family life? What is a mother of small children to do to get a moment's peace with God? Do we run away from home for an afternoon or lock ourselves in the car with earplugs pushed all the way in? (I mention these because I've done both things in order to pray.) This has been my frustration for nearly a decade. However, lately, I believe I am finding the answer to this great dilemma. 1 Thess. 5:16 & 17, says, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing.” What that means to me is that instead of having several blocks of time throughout the day that I must fight for stillness and mental fortitude to utter coherent sentences to my King, I simply intercede all day long. It takes work, but it is possible to do, as long as it becomes a holy habit, not a ritual or chore. I now strive to maintain a continual, ongoing dialogue with the Creator of the universe from the moment I wake up until my head hits the pillow in the evening. This conversation is often aloud and can involve singing praise to the Lord or laying my hand on one of my children's heads and speaking life over them. It could be as simple as saying the names of the Lord over and over or quoting scripture. I also sing worship and praise songs, as I work. It doesn't have to be a multitude of grand words either. God isn't interested in our fluent and abundant sentences. It is about acknowledging His presence and adoring Him. It is about keeping my eyes glued to the One who redeemed me and to invite Him to be a part of whatever I am involved with at the moment. It doesn't matter if I am washing the dishes or folding clothes. The fact that I am acknowledging His presence and doing that all for the glory of God is what is crucial. In the 1600's there was a monk, named Brother Lawrence who found great joy in what he called, “Practicing the Presence of God.” During his lifetime, he made it his goal to keep an unending conversation with the Lord. He stated that, “We might
accustom ourselves to a continual conversation with Him with freedom and simplicity.” “We only need to recognize God intimately present with us and address ourselves to Him every moment.” This man of prayer thought that it was a delusion to think that one time of prayer ought to differ from another. This concept has brought me great relief and comfort in my daily life. All of a sudden, I am not “leaving” the conversation with Jesus at my bedside or within my prayer closet. I am not putting a period onto any sentence, but rather commas, as it is one continuous conversation. If we believe that God is IN us and WITH us at all times, (as we Christians do,) doesn't it make perfect sense to keep an ongoing dialogue with Him? I think about it in this context-I believe that God, the Holy Spirit resides in me and is with me at all times. So rather than walk through my day and only say a few words to Him at fixed, ritualistic times, I recognize His ongoing presence and ask Him to participate in every aspect of my daily walk. I don't ignore His invisible presence. I've always been fascinated by the scripture, “Enoch walked with God.” It is mentioned in Genesis 5:22 and again in Genesis 5:24. I've often wondered
how this mysterious man of God accomplished this feat. Today, I believe that Enoch simply kept an ongoing and sacred conversation with the Lord, filled with awe and expectancy and this blessed God profoundly. Beside Elijah, Enoch was the only other man that didn't experience the sting of death. Scripture tells us that God just “took” him. So, am I saying that special times of devotion, supplication and prayer are not necessary? Of course not! All prayer and Bible study is of the utmost importance, whether it is an hour long or ten minutes short. Jesus spent His earthly life in continual prayer with the Father and He is our example. Think of it this way: If I had a friend who was chained to my side 24 hours a day, I wouldn't just make a few remarks to him in the morning and in the evening and be silent the rest of the day. Would you? I think that would be rude, selfcentered and frankly, awkward. What I am saying is that if we truly believe that Immanuel, (God with us) does abide with us at all times, then why not converse with Him that way? How much more wonderful is our Lord's presence than that of a dear friend! Keep that dialogue ongoing; talk to Him today.
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R e v . B a r n e y K i n a r d
Seeing Your Children's Children “Your children's children” Exo. 6:2
Thou shalt see thy children's children. Psalm 128:6 (KJ) You may not be aware of it, but the term “grand parents” does not really occur in the Bible. You might think there is a lack of emphasis. However, this is not the case, just look deeper. You might want to read the three last sermons of Moses in Genesis 6, 9 and 11, where he addressed the older generation. The narrative finds Moses addressing them to consider their children's children.” Modern translations substitute the words “children's children” for the familiar “grandchildren.” But the instruction is clear. I believe that it is important for grand parents, namely, grand fathers to purposefully leave a legacy for their grandchildren. Here are some suggestions on how a grand father can influence their grand children. 1.Share your personal testimony of how you came to the Savior. 2.Tell stories of how God answered your prayers. 3.Pray with your grand kids so they audibly hear you. 4.Share the Good news of the gospel with them to be sure they know it and receive it. 5.Read the Bible or a Bible storybook to them and talk about what you read. 6.Look for opportunities to teach them about the ways of God. 7.Try to be very intentional about spending time with them, being really present when you are with them. 8.Let them catch you praying and/or reading the Bible. 9.Play with them when they want to play with you. 10. Encourage church attendance with you and their family.
11.Share with them your spiritual disciplines that help you. 12.Look for opportunities to encourage and affirm them in doing right. 13.Control your anger around them and speak more lovingly to them 14.Encourage them, affirm them and show appreciation to them, acknowledging what they do that is right. 15.Bless them every chance you get. Offer to pray with them going to bed, as you can. 16.Introduce them to your godly friends and guests. Honor them by words of appreciation in front of others. 17.Be more intentional about your responsibility to be a grand parent. 18.Enjoy your Grand children, they are a gift from God for you. The legacy you leave might just be your Grand children. May you live to enjoy your grand kids, so that they will remember the legacy of your investment in them. “May you live to enjoy your grand children.” (NIV)
continued from page 6...
D r . S u n n y E z h u m a t t o o r
The Trinity Jesus Claimed to be Equal with God. Jesus claimed to be equal with God in other ways. One was by claiming for Himself the prerogatives of God. He said to a paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5-11). The scribes correctly responded, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” So to prove that His claim was not an empty boast He healed the man, offering direct proof that what He had said about forgiving sins was true also. Another prerogative Jesus claimed was the power to raise and judge the dead. “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 'Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.'” (John 5:21-29). But the Old Testament clearly taught that only God was the giver of life; “'Now see that I, even I, and He, and there is so God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; nor is there any who
can deliver from My hand'” (Deut. 32:39) “The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.” (1Sam. 2:6) and the one to raise the dead, “I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You'” (Psalm 2:7) and the only judge. Jesus also claimed that He should be honored as God. “Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God...that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:18, 23). Jesus claimed to be Messiah – God. The Old Testament teaches that the coming Messiah would be God Himself. So when Jesus claimed to be that Messiah, He was also claiming to be God. For
example, Prophet Isaiah (in 9:6) calls the Messiah, “Mighty God.” The Psalmist writes of Messiah, “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever” (Ps. 45:6). “But to the Son He says: 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.' And: 'You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak you will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail'” (Heb. 1:8-12). “Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; yes, they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will have no end” (Ps. 102:25-27). Psalm 110:1 records a conversation between the Father and the Son:
“The Lord (Yahweh) says to my Lord (Adonai) sit at my right hand.” Jesus applied this passage to Himself in Matthew 22:43-44: “He said to them, 'How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying: 'The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool”'?” In the great messianic prophecy of Daniel 7, the Son of Man is called the “Ancient of Days” (v. 22); a phrase used twice in the same passage of God the Father (verses 9 and 13). Jesus also said He was the Messiah, the “Son of the Blessed One.” Jesus responded I am. “But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, 'Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?' Jesus said, 'I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.' Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, 'what further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?'” (Mark 14:61-64). There was no doubt that in claiming to be Messiah; Jesus also claimed to be God. (See Matt. 26:54; Luke 24:27). To be continued…
The Disciple Jesus Loved continued from page 13... After Jesus' resurrection when he appeared to the disciples, “Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, 'It is the Lord!'” (John 21:7) And again, “Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them.” (John 21:20) Five times we see the words the disciple that Jesus loved. And we know from John's signature at the end of the book that John is referring to himself as the disciple Jesus loved for he writes, “This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.” (John 21:24) John so clearly understands that Jesus loves him that John identifies himself with that love. He does not use his name in the above passages. Instead he defines his identity as one who is loved by Jesus. He so closely understands that Jesus, the Son of God loves him that he chooses to identify himself that way. That is profound. Jesus, the Son of God, loves his disciples in a personal, one-on-one relationship. Jesus loves each one of us in that way. Therefore, each one of us has the right to identify ourselves as the one that Jesus loves. So I ask you…do you identify yourself this way? 24
Are you convinced in your heart and mind that Jesus, the Son of God, truly and personally loves you? I pray that is true for you. I firmly believe in the love of Jesus. I have taught this concept to many others. I have encouraged others to identify themselves as the one Jesus loved. But… let me tell you honestly, that it is not always easy to apply this to oneself. We sometimes stumble and fall. We often do not feel worthy to be loved like this. We may want to believe but for some reason we are able to apply this concept to everyone else but something keeps us from truly applying this to ourselves. Yet, I tell you that each one of us needs to understand the depths of Jesus' love of us personally. We each need to take this simple lesson from John's book and to understand Jesus' love for us in such a deep and personal way that it changes the way we see ourselves. My prayer for you is simply this: I pray that you will fill your hearts and minds with the deep love of God our Father and the Lord, Jesus Christ. I pray that you will let that love define you and become your identity. Be the disciple whom Jesus loves. And let that love overflow to those around you…
Godly Jealousy continued from page 26 satisfy our cravings, but in reality they leave us feeling more empty and disenchanted. God's jealousy is an expression of his loving desire to release us from the bondage of false idols. More importantly, making and worshiping “false gods” is the same as rejecting or hating the true and living God. Therefore, God speaks to warn us against certain actions, because doing them has dire consequences for ourselves and for those whom we love. He does not leave us to discover this on our own. He speaks so that we will know how much he loves us. Who among us does not want to hear His voice? The LORD gives these and other commandments not for the purpose of restricting life, but rather to lead to fullness of life. This is not unlike the list of guidelines I give to my teen-aged daughter. I do not wish to control her life. But because I know the dangers of this world, my wish is to protect her. When I
perceive anything or anyone seeking to harm her, I become a jealous mother. Whereas my jealousy comes from my imperfect humanity, God's jealousy comes from his perfect love. Therefore, the startling statement found in verse 9, “for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God”is meant to comfort and assure us of his undivided love toward humanity. Our neglect to exclusively worship YWYH arouses his godly jealousy. Clearly, God's jealousy is not like human jealousy. We will discuss this more fully on Part 4 of this series. Yet, we can already see that the truth of this statement is evident on what the prior verses reveal about who God is, but also what God does. On our next issue, in Part 3, we will study God's warning and his promise found in the rest of verse 9 and verse 10. Disobedience has consequences. Faithfulness carries a great reward.Both are an expression of God's steadfast, faithful, loyal, and wonderfully jealous,love. To be continued…
IT IS NOT WHAT YOU HAVE LOST, BUT WHAT YOU HAVE LEFT THAT COUNTS Nothing in this world is more inspiriting than a soul up against crippling circumstances who carries it off with courage and faith and undefeated characternothing! Mr. Newton Baker, Secretary of War in President Wilson's cabinet, told me that after World War I he used to visit in the Federal hospitals the worst casualties of the American Army. One of the very worst was a man with both legs gone, one arm gone, both eyes gone, his face terribly mutilated, who was wheeled around the grounds of the hospital in a perambulator by a nurse, but who still was radiant and full of spirit. Nobody expected him to live. When later Mr. Baker met somebody from the hospital he said, “Did that young man live?” And the answer was, “Did he live? I'll say he did! He married his nurse!” Marveling at the capacity of women to love, Mr. Baker put the matter by, until a few years later as trustee of Johns Hopkins University he received a letter from the president. They wished, said the president, to do an unusual thing, to hold a mid-semester convocation to bestow the degree of Doctor of Philosophy upon a young man who, though heavily handicapped, had done one of the most brilliant pieces of work ever done at the University. His name was that of the crippled veteran. Mr. Baker, quite incredulous that it could be the same man, but struck with that phrase, “heavily handicapped,” made inquiries. Sure enough, it was he! Both legs gone, one arm gone, both eyes gone, but still, not part of the world's problem but of the answer. Not every handicapped person can win through to so conspicucuous a result, but the spirit-the spirit that stays undefeated in spite of everything-is part of the solution and those of us still strong and well who see it take another notch in our belts and go to our tasks again with fresh courage. Courtesy: Light from many Lamps March 2012
Ines S. Franklin
Godly Jealousy Deuteronomy 5:6-10
he LORD gives Israel these commandments not for the purpose of restricting life, rather to lead to fullness of life. This is not unlike the list of guidelines I give to my daughter. I do not wish to restrict her life. I want her to live to the fullest. But because I know the dangers of this world, my wish is to protect her. God's jealousy comes from his perfect love, whereas our jealousy comes from our imperfect humanity. God's commandments demonstrate God's loyal commitment to his people. He promised Abraham to make of him a great blessed nation (Gen.12:2-3). God kept his promise. He promised deliverance of his people from the yoke of the Egyptians (Ex. 6:6-8). God kept his promise. He promised to be with His people even through the difficulties of the desert (Ex. 15:26,19:4-6). Again, God kept his promise. God ALWAYS keeps his promises. This foundation of who God is, graceful and faithful, Thus becomes the basis for the first commandment in v.7, “you shall have no other gods before me.”No other gods are like YHWH or have done as YWYH. Who God is earns him the right to exclusive worship. Let us be mindful not to worship any other god, but the One who is alive, has a name YHWH, is our Lord and is loving and forever faithful. Throughout this series, we are learning from Deuteronomy 5:6-10 about a different type of jealousy: godly jealousy. In Part 1 we studied these verses to reflect on who God is. We learned that God as the Commander or LORD is unlike any other, is alive and loving, loyal and faithful.This foundation of who God isbecomes the basis for the first commandment in v.7, “you shall have no other gods before me.”No other gods are like YHWH or have done as YWYH. Who God is earns him the right to exclusive worship. That truth should be enough. But, we can also look at what God does for further evidence of his worthiness to all praise. 26
God Speaks: We learn from these verses that God speaks.God's loyal commitment to his people is demonstrated by the proclamation of His commandments. In Deuteronomy 5:22 we see that the Lord spoke in a “loud voice,” so as to make sure his commandments were heard by the whole assembly. God's faithfulness is also demonstrated when he speaks of his promises. He promised Abraham to make of him a great blessed nation (Gen.12:2-3). He promised deliverance of his people from the yoke of the Egyptians (Ex. 6:6-8). He promised to be with His people even through the difficulties of the desert (Ex. 15:26,19:4-6). God kept all of these and other promises. God ALWAYS does what he says. It is easier for us to accept God's promises than embrace his commandments. Yet both are of equal importance to God. This is important to ponder as we read verses 8-10 which contain both a commandment and a promise. That is because when God speaks, we should be willing to listen and expect his follow through. The second commandment in verses 8 and 9a outlines how we must worship God. He reveals his expectations for undivided worship:“you shall not make for yourself an idol whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them;” It is very clear in this passage that our LORD forbids the creation and worshiping of any idols. Idols of any form are “false gods” created by humans. The making of idols and the practice of worshiping “false gods” were widespread thousands of years ago, and they are still today. That is because the human heart is an idol-making machine. Tim Keller's book, Counterfeit Gods does a great job at breaking down how easy it is for us to make counterfeit gods; even of “good things” that on the surface appear to 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
00 January 2011
S e c t i o n b y w r i t e r s n a m e