Sunday, June 24, 2012

What is your Denomination- Darrell Evans





“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

Darrell Evans is an anointed worshiper. It's not his emotion that draws you in. It's the anointing that the Lord puts on Darrell, and his worship. Your spirit bears witness to the truth. Best known as the writer of songs like “Trading my Sorrows”, “Let the River Flow”, “Your Love is Extravagant”, and “Freedom”, he is considered by many to be a pioneer in the modern worship music movement. Darrell’s projects “Let the River Flow” and “Freedom” both garnered Dove award nominations and influenced a new wave of congregational worship.

For the past several years Darrell has traveled the world alone and with the band ministering the gospel through worship, preaching, and prayer. His authenticity, genuine spirit and passion have connected with many as he ministers worship to the Lord. Darrell has seen numerous people come to know Christ and has encouraged many others to a deeper walk with God. People are healed, refreshed and renewed through Darrell’s ministry. He has served as a worship pastor for churches in Washington, California, Oklahoma and Texas.

I attended Darrell’s Worship performance in the First Gospel Assemblies Of God Church Springfield, Illinois during 2001. Darrell’s music has been stability in my personal life and the spiritual life of my church. It never grows old. I have felt connected to him in worship, his songs, and in prayer. The best songs which I usually play in my car is ‘Trading my sorrows ‘ and ‘Let the river flow’. I am so thankful for the godly influence Darrell had upon us. I also remember Pastor Eric Hansen who was another great singer like Darrell. Brother Spiro, Carmelita, Biju and Sara were also with us and had a wonderful time.

During this past worship, Darrell posed the question ,"Who is Jesus to you?". What a worthy question to ponder with Easter quickly approaching. I am absolutely overcome when I think about who Jesus is and all He has come to mean to me. It's so easy to take Him for granted, but He's much, much more than just a man who died on a cross. Darrell quickly added a open ended question : which denomination do you belong to- Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostal ……. or which one. Pause and think for a while……….and he just said belonging to Jesus Christ should be the answer....... and that is  all what matters. 


 

Is there only one right denomination?

First of all, in Ephesians 4:4 we read that there is only one body. That one body is the church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Now, it doesn’t say one congregation. The body of Christ is bigger than one congregation, but there is one body. Now, there is a local expression of that body, and from my study of the Scriptures, I sincerely, honestly believe that every born believer ought to be a member of a local New Testament congregation. That is the plan of God.

But the church is a spiritual body. The church is not a corporation with Jesus as the president; the church is a body with Jesus as the head. That’s all of the difference in the world. Now, again, I want to say not one denomination.

But whether you’re a Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or Episcopalian if you have given your heart to Jesus Christ, if you have been born again; you are a part of the mystical body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

When this question is personalized, it becomes the most important question one will ever be asked or answer.  Who is Jesus Christ to YOU?  
Who is he? 
A religious figure from the past-- like Gandhi, Buddha or Mohammad?
A nice man who had long hair and taught people good things a long time ago?
The founder of the Christian religion-- whatever that means?
Maybe, you don't know.  Maybe you don't really care.


  










Life’s greatest Question: Who is Jesus to You?

At some point in our lives we will ask: How should I relate to God? I believe this is life’s greatest question. Most people have some concept of God. Over the years my opinions have covered the waterfront. I’ve viewed him as a higher power, a creator, a stern judge to be feared or a friend to be loved. I’ve been a skeptic, a seeker, a cultural Christian and …well, that’s what I   want to tell you about now. Jesus’ deeds—especially his miracles—offer additional insights into how Jesus viewed himself. It’s not the fact that Jesus performed miracles that illuminates his self-understanding (especially since his own disciples later performed miracles), but what’s important is how he interpreted his own miracles.

Jesus said, “If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:20). He’s not like other miracle workers who do amazing things and then life proceeds as it always has. No—to Jesus, his miracles were a sign indicating the coming of the kingdom of God. They were a foretaste of what the kingdom is going to be like. And that sets Jesus apart.

Jesus saw his miracles as bringing about something unprecedented—the coming of God’s dominion. He didn’t merely see himself as a worker of miracles; he saw himself as the one in whom and through whom the promises of God come to pass. That’s a not-too-thinly-veiled claim of transcendence.

What a worthy question to ponder. I am absolutely overcome when I think about who Jesus is and all He has come to mean to me. It's so easy to take Him for granted, but He's much, much more than just a man who died on a cross.

Take a moment and think about what matters most to you.

  “...and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21



1. Question: "Who is God?"

Who is God? - The Fact

The fact of God’s existence is so conspicuous, both through creation and through man’s conscience, that the Bible calls the atheist a “fool” (Psalm 14:1). Accordingly, the Bible never attempts to prove the existence of God; rather, it assumes His existence from the very beginning (Genesis 1:1). What the Bible does is reveal the nature, character, and work of God.

2. Who is God? - The Definition

Thinking correctly about God is of utmost importance because a false idea about God is idolatry. In Psalm 50:21, God reproves the wicked man with this accusation: “You thought I was altogether like you.” To start with, a good summary definition of God is “the Supreme Being; the Creator and Ruler of all that is; the Self-existent One who is perfect in power, goodness, and wisdom.”

3. Who is God? - His Nature

We know certain things to be true of God for one reason: in His mercy He has condescended to reveal some of His qualities to us. God is spirit, by nature intangible (John 4:24). God is One, but He exists as three Persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16-17). God is infinite (1 Timothy 1:17), incomparable (2 Samuel 7:22), and unchanging (Malachi 3:6). God exists everywhere (Psalm 139:7-12), knows everything (Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:28), and has all power and authority (Ephesians 1, Revelation 19:6).

4. Who is God? - His Character

Here are some of God’s characteristics as revealed in the Bible: God is just (Acts 17:31), loving (Ephesians 2:4-5), truthful (John 14:6), and holy (1 John 1:5). God shows compassion (2 Corinthians 1:3), mercy (Romans 9:15), and grace (Romans 5:17). God judges sin (Psalm 5:5) but also offers forgiveness (Psalm 130:4).

5. Who is God? - His Work

We cannot understand God apart from His works, because what God does flows from who He is. Here is an abbreviated list of God’s works, past, present, and future: God created the world (Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 42:5); He actively sustains the world (Colossians 1:17); He is executing His eternal plan (Ephesians 1:11) which involves the redemption of man from the curse of sin and death (Galatians 3:13-14); He draws people to Christ (John 6:44); He disciplines His children (Hebrews 12:6); and He will judge the world (Revelation 20:11-15).

6. Who is God? - A Relationship with Him

In the Person of the Son, God became incarnate (John 1:14). The Son of God became the Son of Man and is therefore the “bridge” between God and man (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5). It is only through the Son that we can have forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), reconciliation with God (John 15:15; Romans 5:10), and eternal salvation (2 Timothy 2:10). In Jesus Christ “all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). So, to really know who God is, all we have to do is look at Jesus.(1)



The God every person wants is a God who is good, a God who gives good things to the ones He loves. But to have a God who is good, we must first have a God who is holy. God’s goodness flows out of His holiness. The God of the Bible is a holy God. This attribute of God draws attention to His otherness, His set-apartness, the vast gulf between Creator and creature. It tells us that God must be separated from sin, and it says that He is committed to seeking His own honor. God is unimaginably holy, utterly perfect to the greatest degree and the farthest extent. And because He is holy, He is good.

What a stark contrast we make. We human beings are sinful in body, mind, and spirit—no part of us has escaped or remained undefiled. It is only God’s restraining grace that keeps any of us from pursuing our sin to a greater and greater degree, from becoming as utterly and horribly sinful as we could possibly be (James 1:14–15; Romans 1:28–32; 8:2). Only the grace of God stands between any one of us and the vilest of sins. We are not this way because God made us this way, but because this is what we have chosen for ourselves (James 1:13–14). No one has forced us into such unholiness, such moral depravity. This is what we have desired and the path we have taken. Our moral freedom has led us to utter moral corruption..  
 
People today love to put on a good façade when deep down, they’re deeply hurting. Chuck Swindoll, the noted author and pastor said on this subject:

Most of us are pretty good at dressing up the outside of our lives.  Perfectly decorated homes, immaculately landscaped yards, polished status symbol cars, dressed for success clothes, sparkling teeth. But underneath, many of our manicured lives are withering souls. The polluting emphasis on empty externals and prayerless activity has produced a smog in our inner world. In unguarded moments of silence and solitude, we can almost feel the grime that covers our real selves.

It’s so true, isn’t it? Especially in our culture, where image is everything and what’s inside is almost nothing. And behind the nice cars, big houses, and everything anyone could buy, there is pain and brokenness at a level unsurpassed in the history of the world. Help people understand that God walked the Earth.

Impeccable, Priceless and Eternal

Lastly here comes the magnificent news. Unimaginably, I still can't believe what He did for me. Utterly blameless and without sin, He bore all my shame, all my sin, every evil thought, every ugly thing I have ever done or ever will do. He was the pure and spotless Lamb of God, yet He was beaten and tortured as though He were responsible for all the sin of the world across the entire span of time, from beginning to end.




Just thinking of what He suffered due to my sin alone brings me to tears and brokenness.

His precious blood was poured out for me on a cruel cross, and by His wounds I am healed and justified and redeemed. When He looks at me He sees me as spot-free and without blemish. I can't even fathom how this is possible because I know me. I know all the ugliness in my heart. I know my ungodly thoughts and actions. Yet through His sacrifice He has purified me and made me as white and innocent and clean and holy as He is. I am so unworthy.

He fills the void in our home and makes up for everything that's missing. When I hear a beautiful love song that makes me want to cry. When I get one of those silly personal survey emails and read that heartbreaking "Who is the love of your life?" question, Jesus is my answer. He's the One whose unfailing love brings healing to my broken heart. Gentle and lowly, He is the true picture of genuine humility. Jesus lovingly encourages me to take His yoke and hand Him my burdens. He yearns for me to cry out to Him, and He faithfully runs to me even when I refuse to run to Him. 

In conclusion, Jesus is the One by Whom I have all authority over the enemy. He defeated all the powers of hell through His death and resurrection, and His every victory also belongs to me through the shedding of His blood on the cross. The mere mention of His name brings healing, peace, comfort, wisdom, direction, and rest. He still does miracles, even today. He is right there with me in the furnace and through every fire, and he goes to battle for me without fail. Jesus is the One whose arms are around me when others cause me pain. I am in Him, and when my enemies hurt me, He shields me and protects me and makes it all bearable.

Corrie ten Boom said it so well..."You can never learn that Christ is all you need until He is all you have."

Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju


References:

(1) Got Questions.org

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lost and Found......You Decide



Every work day in thousands of offices across the globe, Christians testify of God's grace in their lives in some way. Sometimes it comes through a subtle performance of their duties with a smile and peace that non-believers cannot understand. In other cases, there might be more visible, unexplainable examples of God's work. This was the defining difference in believers in the early Church. They lived a life that followed with signs and wonders that could not be humanly explained.

Can you think of anything more exciting than being a partner with Jesus Christ in populating heaven? He wants to use you. The question is, “Are you willing to be used?” He’s ready if you are.

If you want your children to talk to the lost about God, as a family you need to talk to God about the lost: an unbelieving neighbor, a relative, or even one of their own non-Christian classmates. As God answers those prayers, the impact is beyond measure.


  • John Denver's Opportunity Lost?

Bill Fay spoke to John Denver before his untimely death. His "Country Roads" was one of my favorites.

In the Scripture, God says He is always at work, and He expects us to be about His work daily, too.

One day in a frequent flyer room, I looked over and saw John Denver. It was pretty obvious with his distinct features and signature guitar that it was him.

I went over and said, "John!"

He jumped up, stuck out his hand and said, "I haven't seen you in a while."

I said, "No sir, we've never met. But I am a man who's prayed for you for over five years, and I have a message for you from your dead father, Dutch."

You see, years earlier, in the height of my pagan lifestyle, John Denver's father was the co-pilot on the Learjet that used to fly me around the country to do my illegal mob business.

His father -- whose hand I held when he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ -- made me promise that one day I would share with his son. I said, "Dutch, if God provides the moment, the privilege is mine."

Now it looked like the moment was going to come.

I met with John in a private room in the Denver airport for the better part of two hours. I took him line by line through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

There wasn't a single verse of Scripture he did not understand -- nor was there a single verse of Scripture that he would accept.

Finally, I said, "John, when did you make up your mind Jesus Christ would never become your Lord and your Savior?"

He could remember the date, the time and the place. A godly Sunday School teacher, like some of you, said to him Jesus Christ was The Way, The Truth and The Life.

I left with a saddened heart, tears in my eyes.

I asked God, "Why did You go to all this trouble if John Denver was not going to accept You?" And a verse of Scripture came into my heart that took evangelism to another level for me. I hope it will for you. It comes out of 2 Corinthians 2:16, and it says, "To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life."

The word "death" in Scripture means eternal separation from God.

Wherever you go, to whomever you speak, wherever you stand, you represent life and you represent death -- for you and them it will be either an opportunity, or an opportunity lost.

 
  • Sam Walton, Made in America: My Story

I read this book in 1994. I was actually presented this book by one of my colleagues. It is a good one. Worth reading. I never knew the strengths, opportunities and threats Sam Walton had faced before. Contrary to the prevailing practice of American discount store chains, Walton located stores in smaller towns, not larger cities. To make his model work, he emphasized logistics, particularly locating stores within a day's drive proximity to Wal-Mart's regional warehouses, and distributed through its own trucking service. Buying in volume and efficient delivery permitted sale of discounted name brand merchandise. Thus, sustained growth — from 1977's 190 stores to 1985's 800 — was achieved.

Take a moment and think about what matters most to you.

"Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?" —Ecclesiastes 1:2—3

There is a common refrain throughout the book of Ecclesiastes. The book begins and ends with the author declaring that “everything is meaningless.” But can that really be true? Is King Solomon saying that life is a meaningless accident? Can it be that he believes that there is no point to our limited time on this planet?

There is another phrase that repeats itself throughout Solomon’s writings. That term is “under the sun.” When Solomon talks about life under the sun, he is referring to the material, physical aspect of life. And in that respect, yes everything is meaningless! Everything physical is temporary and empty. “Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow” (Psalm 144:4).

But that’s life under the sun. There is also life beyond the sun, and that is something else altogether different. Life beyond the sun describes the spiritual part of life. The point that Solomon is trying to drive home is that ultimately, that’s the only part of life that really matters. Only the spirit lasts forever.

The Walton family is one of the wealthiest families in the world today. Sam Walton, the family’s patriarch, was the founder of Wal-Mart. Sam was more successful than anyone could have ever imagined, and so his final words before he left this world are very instructive. When Sam looked back on a lifetime of unprecedented material success, he had just three words to say. His last words were: “I blew it!”

By the world’s standards, Sam Walton had been one of the most successful individuals in the world. But by his own admission, he had failed. Like King Solomon, he wondered, “What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?” Sam had worked hard and made billions. But what good does that money do for him now?

The legacy of Sam Walton is that material success does not make a life worth living. If your goal is material, you are missing the whole point of life!

So what is the goal of life? Solomon sums it all up for us: “ … here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The only achievements that last forever are spiritual. We are here to become better people and to help make the world a better place. The goal of life has nothing to do with what we have, and everything to do with who we are.

Life under the sun becomes meaningful only when we go beyond it.

  The purpose of challenges in our lives is to forge us into greater people. So embrace your trials and tribulations! It’s the gift of an opportunity for change.


 

  •  On Board the Titanic  Before she Sunk
For us, 100 years after the Titanic, may we be as zealous as Harper was with every opportunity to share Christ with the perishing. Pastor and preacher John Harper and his 6-year-old daughter were on board the Titanic on the way to Chicago where Harper was scheduled to preach at Moody Church, on the greatest churches in America.  Baptist Press says Moody Church was planning on calling him to be their next pastor.  As the ship hit the iceberg, Harper, a widower, led his daughter to a lifeboat.  Harper then ran from person-to-person, passionately telling others about Christ.  As the world remembers the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking, some are remembering Harper, who when a passenger rebuffed his message of salvation, gave him his own life jacket, saying you need this more than I do.  A Titanic survivor told his story of his encounter with Harper and told those in attendance at a survivor's gathering, "I am the last convert of John Harper." (1)


In the Picture: John Harper and his Daughter

Remember:
We bring Christ to the lost
He brings the lost to Christ
               
– John 6:44 – we bring Christ to the lost – He brings the lost to Christ
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…”

Somehow, in the matter that matters the most, our eternal destiny, people say, “Well, it just doesn’t matter what you believe. All roads lead to heaven.” No they do not. There is one gospel, and it is the gospel of the grace of God.

How are we saved? “For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves.” (Ephesians 2:8). You can’t buy it, borrow it, steal it, or earn it. It is grace of God and it was bought by Christ on the cross. Friend, when He finished, it was accomplished and you cannot deplete it or add to it-it is the supernatural work of God.

Salvation is not a creed. You’re not saved by the plan of salvation; you’re saved by the man of salvation. It’s not a cause or a church. It’s Christ. We have so much religious mayhem in the world today because people have met creeds, not Christ. They’ve entered into codes of living, but not Christ. They join churches without meeting Christ. Salvation is not believing something, it is receiving Someone.

Acts 4:10-12 says: “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Jesus is not just a good way to heaven; He’s the only way to heaven.
The Lord Jesus said to his apostles "You go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized  will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be damned". Mark 16:15-16,

In obedience to this command the apostle Peter told convicted believers "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.   For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."  Acts 2:37-39

I remember how my 9 year old son Ashwin Asher decided to get immersed in water and get baptized. He was one  among a few that went to witness a Baptism of a few grown up kids. He suddenly asked the Pastor that he is willing to get baptized. So up in the small river he decided that day to make a major decision in his life. There was nobody who asked him ,nor any discussion in the small group that would influence his decision. He was a brave kid and decided that he would live for Jesus Christ as his  Lord and savior. He decided and he gave the nod. No matter how young or old, intelligent or mentally handicapped a person might be, if he or she is conscious of having sinned, believes that Jesus, the son of God, died for them and has repented of their sins, there is no one who has the right to deny them baptism (immersion in water) for the forgiveness of their sins. Saying the sinner's prayer is simply a way of declaring to God that you are relying on Jesus Christ as your Savior. There are no "magical" words that result in salvation. It is only faith in Jesus' death and resurrection that can save us. If you understand that you are a sinner and in need of salvation through Jesus Christ, here is a sinner's prayer you can pray to God: "God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!"

Jesus is the only way of salvation because He is the only One who can pay our sin penalty (Romans 6:23). No other religion teaches the depth or seriousness of sin and its consequences. No other religion offers the infinite payment of sin that only Jesus Christ could provide. No other “religious founder” was God become man (John 1:1,14) – the only way an infinite debt could be paid. Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die. Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ! “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju



 References:

(1) http://www.fln.org/fln-news/article/pastor-preached-as-titanic-sank/


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Be still, and know that I am God.



As a worshipper of Jesus Christ as the only way to God, I love everyone regardless of their opinions, ethnicity, language, and so forth. Jesus requires no less of me. I respect all my non-Christian friends and value them as men and women created in God's image.
But that is very different from saying other religions are as valid as faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus said as much when he claimed, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). I consider myself as familiar with other religions as anyone can be, and I've never read or heard any of them claim that salvation is through them alone..

The religion today that is being visible in many parts of the world  adheres to the following belief: "Yes, Jesus is my Savior, but He's not the only one. Other religions are equally valid and accepted by God. Christianity is one way to God, but not the only way.
 God’s command is still relevant for us today. He has given us the work of telling all nations about redemption through Christ’s blood and resurrection. The world is filled with competing theories about God, religion, and salvation. Alternate views of Jesus vie for our attention at every turn. Different paths to different gods market themselves in the ever-changing desert of ideas. Yet in the midst of this world of contradictory claims, Jesus Christ made a bold assertion: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). 

The Bible reveals God as the Creator of the universe. He is infinite, eternal, all powerful, all-knowing, personal, righteous, loving, just, and holy.  He created us in His image, and for His pleasure. According to the Bible, God made us to have an eternal relationship with Himself. But Jesus also used “I AM” for himself on several other occasions. 

    “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12)
    “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6)
    “I am the only way to the Father” (John 14:6)
    “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)
    “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11)
    “I am the door” (John 10:9)
    “I am the living bread” (John 6:51)
    “I am the true vine” (John 15:1)
    “I am the Alpha and Omega” Rev.1:7,8)

God rescued us by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins (1 John 4:9-10). Jesus was fully human and fully divine (John 1:1, 18), a truth that ensures His understanding of our weaknesses, His power to forgive, and His ability to bridge the gap between God and us (Romans 5:6-11). In short, we are “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).


Redemption is Christ’s act of paying the complete price to release us from sin’s bondage.  God sent His Son to bear His wrath for all of our sins—past, present, and future (Romans 3:24-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21). In humble obedience, Christ willingly endured the shame of the cross for our sake (Mark 10:45; Romans 5:6-8; Philippians 2:8). Christ’s death satisfied God’s righteous demands. He no longer holds our sins against us, because His own Son paid the penalty for them. We are freed from the slave market of sin, never to be enslaved again! God’s command is still relevant for us today. He has given us the work of telling all nations about redemption through Christ’s blood and resurrection. 

The world is filled with competing theories about God, religion, and salvation. Alternate views of Jesus vie for our attention at every turn. Different paths to different gods market themselves in the ever-changing desert of ideas. Yet in the midst of this world of contradictory claims, Jesus Christ made a bold assertion: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).

 

God rescued us by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins (1 John 4:9-10). Jesus was fully human and fully divine (John 1:1, 18), a truth that ensures His understanding of our weaknesses, His power to forgive, and His ability to bridge the gap between God and us (Romans 5:6-11). In short, we are “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). Two words in this verse bear further explanation:  justified and redemption. Justification is God’s act of mercy, in which He declares righteous the believing sinners while we are still in our sinning state. Justification doesn’t mean that God makes us righteous, so that we never sin again, rather that He declares us righteous—much like a judge pardons a guilty criminal. Because Jesus took our sin upon Himself and suffered our judgment on the cross, God forgives our debt and proclaims us PARDONED. 

Christianity is unique among religions because it addresses the fact that we can never be good enough to be in the presence of a perfect, holy God. In order to be perfectly good, we would have to be doing good all the time. If we do something wrong, we can't undo it, and we can no longer be considered perfect. Nor can we do more good to make up for our wrongs, for perfection requires doing the most good possible at all times - we can't be more than perfect to make up for when we're less than perfect. Other religions teach that we can somehow do enough good to earn heaven or nirvana, but they don't address the fact that we continually make mistakes. Christianity teaches that our sins were paid for by Jesus' death on the cross, and that by accepting his payment and believing in him we can be forgiven; we don't have to earn our way into heaven, which is a good thing, because we can't do it. Christ is the only way to God, because without the forgiveness that comes through his death and resurrection, there's no way for us to be able to stand before a holy God.


God’s command is still relevant for us today. He has given us the work of telling all nations about redemption through Christ’s blood and resurrection. Compared to Paul, we have an abundance of communication capabilities—including radio, television, Internet, and cell phones—which provide easy access into countries all over the world. We could make more disciples by better utilizing these technologies. But how tragic if we get busy and fail to obey God’s command.

We stand at a critical moment in history for the church. The door of opportunity is wide open for us to share the gospel through a variety of methods. As believers, we are obligated to carry out Christ’s Great Commission. Be careful that neither busyness nor apathy keeps you from obedience.

Blessings,  

For the Gospel, 
   
Raj Kosaraju

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Remembering Steve Jobs for his critical role in advancing Christ’s cause and the Great Commission.


 


"At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’." —Job 1:20—21

The book of Job provides us with a stunning example of courage in the face of adversity. Who is not touched by Job’s faith in the face of unfathomable tragedy? Just as he finished learning that he had lost all of his worldly possessions, he discovered that he had also lost every single one of his children. All on the same day!

Job never lost his faith in God, even under the most heartbreaking circumstances that tested him to his core. It’s hard to imagine losing everything we own in one day—property, possessions, and even children. Most men would sink into depression and even become suicidal after such a nightmare; however, Job never wavered in his understanding that God was still in control. Job’s three friends, on the other hand, instead of comforting him, gave him bad advice and even accused him of committing sins so grievous that God was punishing him by making his life miserable. Job knew God well enough to know that He did not work that way; in fact, he had such an intimate, personal relationship with Him that he was able to make the statement, "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face” (Job 13:15).

Job went from being the wealthiest and most blessed man on the planet to being an example of destitution and loss. His response is startling. He did not curse God and he did not question Him. Instead he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

In a moment of clarity, Job realized that he never really had anything to lose in the first place. Every human being enters this world with nothing and he/she will leave with nothing. Anything acquired in the meantime is a gift, but oh-so-very temporary.

Perhaps the greatest lesson we learn from the book of Job is that God does not have to answer to anyone for what He does or does not do. What we learn from Job’s experience is that we may never know the specific reason for suffering, but we must trust in our sovereign, holy, righteous God whose ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30). If God’s ways are “perfect,” then we can trust that whatever He does—and whatever He allows—is also perfect. This may not seem possible to us, but our minds are not God’s mind.

 
Thousands of years later, these words were echoed in the powerful words said by the late CEO and co-founder of the Apple computer company, Steve Jobs. In a commencement speech given at the Stanford University, Jobs said, “All external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Job and Jobs are making the same point. We come to this world with nothing and we leave with nothing. But that’s not depressing; that’s inspiring. Knowing that we have nothing to lose is comforting, and even empowering.

“Behind this brilliant and quite resilient man who changed so much of modern life, and whose destiny is now with His Creator, is really the figure of One who rose again from the dead. Through the creativity of Steve Jobs is a God using all means to reach His own.” 

“At  a Seminary in the United States, their classroom teaching, the very same courses by the very same professors, as well as sermons and teaching by some of the most notable pastors of our generation, are being downloaded onto Macs, and yes even PCs, as well as iPads and iPhones all over the earth.”

About five million of those resources, according to Apple’s reports given to the seminary, were resting on portable, electronic “book bags” of believers, seekers, pastors, and pastors-to-be throughout the world.

Through Apple’s technology, the Gospel has been getting through to what the professor dubbed the most hostile places on earth as well as the most hostile ideological places in the secularized Western world.

“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve. Just hours after the news on his death broke, a user going by the name of “Ann Coulter” began a discussion on Yahoo! Answers that posed the question: “Was Steve Jobs a Christian? Just wondering where he is right now…

”“I do not know Steve’s spiritual condition, but I do know that each of us must live in the light of eternity. Steve died today. I could be tomorrow. May I live my life in light of that reality – that life is fleeting AND that eternal life is a gift to all that have been made new in Christ.”


Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju

Monday, June 11, 2012

Godman or Seeking God


2 Timothy 3

New International Version (NIV)

1. But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

After Kalki Bhagavan's scam, Swami Nityananda's sex scandal has surfaced shaking the country's faith in the religious leaders and godmen, who are treated equivalent to gods by their followers.

What about you. Take a look at your life right now. Do you seem to be at a bit of a dead end? Perhaps you feel like you have come to a stop and are waiting for something to happen.These can speak of problems in your life that can stop the new thing that the Lord is doing in your life. You need to get them out of the way before the road can be finished. God is purposeful in all that He does and He is in control of the circumstances of your life. The solution to an impossible situation is not found in what you can do, but in what God is doing.

Making a brand new road that wasn't there before takes time. Sometimes there are also things that need to be removed like the rocks and plant growth that could get in the way.These can speak of problems in your life that can stop the new thing that the Lord is doing in your life. You need to get them out of the way before the road can be finished.

There is good news to this story. Once that road has been completed, you can simply get on it and put your foot flat. It will be fresh, new and smooth. Take a look at your life right now. Do you seem to be at a bit of a dead end? Perhaps you feel like you have come to a stop and are waiting for something to happen.

If this is the case it could be that the Lord is building a brand new road for you. He is starting it from scratch and it is in the process of being built.

You may feel like you are at a stop and not going anywhere, but there is a busy time ahead. Simply rest in the Lord and let Him complete the job. Soon you will find the new road that the Lord has made for you and you can move quickly and easily. It will be well worth the wait. Only through personal engagement with a problem may one hope to solve it. And only by owning the solution to one’s difficulties will that solution be truly lasting. 

Similarly, if we wish to right the wrongs within our world, we must take an active and personal role in doing so. God allows situations like this into your life because He wants you to turn to Him and see Him do what you can’t. If you ignore God’s part in the situation and try to find a way through it in yourself, you short-circuit what God is doing.

So really, repent is a perfect description of what happens when you come to Christ. You no longer reject Christ, but now you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. You do a spiritual about-face, which in turn changes everything.

And not only do you change your mind about Christ, but you change your mind about sin as well as you discover what it really means to honor God. You realize that it’s no longer about
performance. It’s about a heart attitude that confesses Christ and seeks to honor Him in every aspect of life!

As our world becomes ever more interconnected in this Information Age, it has become increasingly easy to assume that when a problem arises someone else is fixing it. With so many people walking the earth, surely somebody has already thought to remedy the ills we all glimpse in our world on a daily basis. Our own contributions would be so tiny (or so we tell ourselves). It couldn’t possibly make much difference in the long run if we remain complacent – content simply to cheer others on from the sidelines.

According to Ephesians 2:4-5 -But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were  dead in our transgressions, made us alive together  with Christ (by grace you have been saved).

God’s grace toward us is even more amazing and beautiful in light of His holiness!. Just think about it for a moment. What is God’s grace all about? It’s about the fact that we didn’t deserve God’s love and mercy, but He gives it to us anyway. This generosity isn’t because of what’s in us, but because of His own loving nature. Why don’t we deserve God’s goodness? Because God is holy and perfect. He doesn’t even have the hint of sin or imperfection. Because of this, He cannot have a meaningful relationship with anybody who carries the guilt of sin.

Since every one of us has done what we knew was wrong countless times, we all deserve God’s judgment, not His goodness. Just stop and think about what your life and all of eternity would be like for you if God gave you what you deserve from Him. Take a minute and consider it.

Now do you see why God’s grace is so amazing? God’s reminding us today of how much He’s given us, although we didn’t earn it. Stop and thank Him. If you’ve never experienced His grace, pray to Him now and ask Him to pour out His forgiveness on your life and change you.

So should you be afraid of the word repent? No! Instead, embrace the idea of doing a spiritual about-face, turning to Christ and away from sin in your life!

Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju

Sunday, June 10, 2012

His visible return as King of Kings. Jesus Christ - there's no one like Him!


All  Christian linguists, whether missionaries or not, wanted Hindus to be delivered from idols, myths, superstitions, and social evils such as the caste system. These myths and evils have corrupted Indian character and enslaved our minds. To convert means to turn from sin and falsehood and seek truth and righteousness. Language is the software that enables us to think, learn, and communicate. The Bible says that when we come to God, we must take with us offering of words – words of repentance for our sin as well as praise for God’s goodness: “Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: ‘Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips [i.e. praise].’” (Hosea 14:2)

Hindu-Buddhist traditions have emphasized meditation and silence. Christianity has been interested in language because the Triune God has revealed Himself as personal: He communicates. He made us in His image so that we may know and love him. Love includes communication. Words are important because they express our hearts: and our hearts need to seek truth, including truth about our own moral corruption and our need of redemption and a spiritual rebirth.. 

However, contrary to what the suppressors of history tell us, missionaries empowered our mother-tongue because they wanted us to think. They wanted us to study Brahmanical Scriptures along with secular and sacred literature that had turned tiny islands such as England into mighty nations.  These scholar-reformers developed our mother-tongues because they knew that to “convert” does not mean to shift one’s loyalty from one’s community or mother tongue to another.  

Unlike our corrupt elites, who are obsessed with power, Christian reformers were concerned about helping us grow into a freedom with justice and morality. [1]

Ramakrishna (1833-86), was a Bengali Hindu sage. Although theoretically a high-caste Brahamin by birth, he came from a poor, low-caste village and had little or no education. He did not know a word of Sanskrit and his knowledge of the Vedas, Puranas, and Hindu Epics was obtained orally (in the Bengali language). In spite of this, he managed to convey in his aphorisms the essence of the Hindu religion. Ramakrishna also worshipped with Muslims and Christians, and propounded a simple approach to religious tolerance: "Creeds and sects matter nothing. Let every one perform with faith the devotions and practices of his creed. Faith is the only clue to get to God."

 Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (RKP) had the Bible read to him by one of his devotees. At the end of 1873 he started the practice of Christianity, when his devotee Shambu Charan Mallik read the Bible to him. Ramakrishna said that for several days he was filled with Christian thoughts and no longer thought of going to the Kali temple. One day when Ramakrishna saw the picture of Madonna and Child Jesus, he felt that the figures became alive and had a vision in which Jesus merged with his body. In his own room amongst other divine pictures was one of Christ, and he burnt incense before it morning and evening. There was also a picture showing Jesus Christ saving St.Peter from drowning in the water.

 
Shambhu may have been the "trigger" for the Master's liaison with Christianity. Liberal in his religious outlook, Shambhu used to read from the Bible to Sri Ramakrishna in his parlour. The Master became fascinated with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. This sentiment invoked in him a desire to realize God through the Christian path.

Surviving a physical wilderness takes more than the skills to build a shelter, start a fire, and purify water. It requires a certain psychology, a mindset, a will to live that overcomes the fear and stress associated with crisis. In fact, some people who possessed the skill still died when stranded in a physical wilderness because they lacked the will. And others who lacked the skill but had the will, found a way to survive.

Seeing in advance how the Lord will work evil or hurt for our benefit is very difficult, if not impossible. My limited human perspective doesn’t allow me to grasp His greater plan. However, I can confirm the truth of this biblical promise because the Father’s good handiwork appears all through my pain, hardship, and loss. I have experienced Him turn mourning into gladness and have seen Him reap bountiful blessings and benefits from my darkest hours.
As believers, we must accept that God won’t always make sense to us. Isaiah teaches that His ways and thoughts are higher than our own (Isa. 55:9). He sees the beautifully completed big picture. We can rely on the fact that God is in control, no matter how wildly off-kilter our world seems to spin.

Upon entering a spiritual wilderness, our tendency is often to let our imagination run wild. "Will I ever make it out?" "Why is this happening to me?" "I don't feel ready for this." "Does God not realize what I'm going through?" "Is He angry with me?" "Is He judging me?" "Is He even real?" Though it's natural to ask questions like these, obsessing over them depletes our resolve to believe God. And since these questions relate to the very nature of God, their responses must be biblically sound. That's why our study begins here. In the wilderness, perspective is everything.

 
So if you find yourself in a wilderness: don't panic. Take a deep breath. Take a moment to remind yourself who God is, who you are in Christ, and what the Bible says about His faithfulness during troubled times. Fear makes you susceptible to lies from the enemy. He will lie about God's faithfulness and love for you. He'll even lie about God's existence, or about how valuable you are to Him. Such lies are meant to sap you of spiritual stamina. But that's just when the "will to live" must rise  the will to live in the Spirit while you pass through desert regions.

For God's children in the wilderness, the "will to live" does not merely refer to a desire to survive. It refers rather to an earnest determination to believe God. During spiritual drought, you must determine “ sometimes against all circumstances, emotions, and even the advice of friends “ that God is real. He is good. He is faithful, and you will make it through to the other side with Him. Don't let the enemy or circumstances define who God is for you. Refuse to allow yourself to believe anything but God's Word. Resolve as David did during a spiritual desert: "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!" (Psa 57:7).

God tests His children to know what is in their hearts. God's desire for each of His children is to walk in relationship with Him, to uphold His righteousness and integrity. It is a high calling that we will fail to achieve without complete dependence on Him.

 Travel the road of life through faith in Jesus Christ. He is the One who brings light to our darkness, hope strong enough to shatter our greatest fears, and peace deep enough to calm our anxious hearts. Billy Graham said: 'The Bible is concerned only incidentally with the history of Israel or a system of ethics. It's concerned primarily with the story of redemption as it is in Jesus Christ. If you read the Scriptures and miss the story of salvation, you have missed its message and meaning. There have been those who have gone through the Bible and traced the story of Jesus: In Genesis He is the seed of the woman. In Exodus He is the Passover Lamb. In Leviticus He is the Atoning Sacrifice. In Numbers He is the Smitten Rock. In Deuteronomy He is the Greatest Prophet. In Joshua He is the Captain of the Lord's Host. In Judges He is the Deliverer. In Kings He is the Promised King. In Nehemiah He is the Restorer of the Nation. In Esther He is the Advocate. In Job He is my Redeemer. In Psalms He is my Shepherd. In Proverbs He is my Pattern. In Ecclesiastes He is my Goal. In the Song of Solomon He is my Satisfier. In the Books of the Prophets He is my Coming Prince of Peace. In the Gospels He is the One who came to seek and to save us. In Acts He is our Risen Lord. In the Epistles He is our Representative at the Father's right hand. In Revelation He is our Returning Lord.'

In an age of pop psychology and eclectic theology, the bedrock of our faith is still Christ's virgin birth, His sinless life, His atoning death, His victorious resurrection, His work of mediation and His visible return as King of Kings. Christ - there's no one like Him!


References:

[1] Vishal Mangalwadi, June 2012 ‘How Protestantism Built Modern India'
www.RevelationMovement.com

 RÂMAKRISHNA HIS LIFE AND SAYINGS BY F. MAX MÜLLER [1898]




Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why Me….. Why Now





Monty Montgomery’s Testimony for the Lord’s glory.-

“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” Psalm 90:2,4 NIV
                         

I was born as Montgomery in a Roman Catholic family to an Indian Army Major Late Mr. Manickam and my mother C Ruckmani  a government school teacher. I was their eldest son with two younger brothers.

My Teens:

After my blessed schooling due to palatial poverty I started working young turning tides as a school drop out to support my family as a courier boy with DHL Worldwide Express packing myself as an overnight bag. I was walking through fire with a smile on my lips..

I developed a habit of asking myself  ‘will Jesus do this what I do now ‘is my common phrase I used in my daily encounters especially when I was tempted and tried ,indeed this helped me avoid many  traps of straying situations and my fences, through good books from the sidewalks of  choosey corners helped my mind from being  a tramp ...

Even during my valley experiences.. when felt unwanted and unloved, when lavishing on a loaf of bread for five in my home, when  sky-watching from a leaky roof, when i felt hopeless, worn out without a shoulder clap, when neglected ,when rejected, and when treated like a dust...

All I saw was the calm face of Jesus who was dragged by tongue and by the whip and  when he was  spat on His face and  when abused physically  My Friend  did not lose His cool,

I too was trying to imitate at my every single hurt and pain…’’Jesus did it, I will do it now’’ and say Father, forgive them...I looked crazy, ,inside the naming and blaming circles like a fool, coward, Socrates, crack-pot. I don’t cry tears when they come I just look up to the sky with a pen in hand…I felt always reconnected with the supreme..As what Osho said ‘’ if you are scientist call him X , if you are saint call Him God..

My Youth- a wonder and not a blunder:

I found most people are too churchy. They were very near to churches and far away from what they teach in churches.

I enjoyed my teens living out of my comfort zones on Sundays and outside of myself at every possible opportunity  with a tool kit ..nail-cutters and saving kits, balms, biscuits and buns. I visit homes and hospitals.

Mother Theresa was a good influence. Love in action is service. Watched sister Shamin clean the wounds. She says always to me, Joe, you clean the wounds of Jesus.. No frowning. But all smiles.


During one of the visits to an Ayurveda hospital I was observed by a middle aged lady who volunteered talking with me when I usually visit poor- patient wards in Danwandi Temple under AVP Care and after knowing each other she informed that her father is the President of India His Excellency Late Shri R Venkataraman.
             
An excellent human being was also a great President: His Excellency Late Shri R Venkatraman was an active soul who was well read and led a life in simplicity which I could see the imprints on his family members when I became close to them for more than 20 years .I didn’t know by then I am a student in Our Lord’s Joseph School.  Lord gave me boldness to enter the holiest through Christ Jesus,

  


One of a very fruitful encounter where Lord impacted His resurrection power to a fragile frame of 96 years old when he was in his house in Safdarjung Road, New Delhi..

I waited for this opportunity for long years when the family called me to pray for the President and during the prayers his teardrops fell on my hand when I had him on my bosom.

President and I spoke about the goodness of the Lord and how the President is special to Him in many a ways and informed him the Way. We shared cares and concerns and I was surprised the president knew about the Lord and the records in the Indian context  as described in the Rig Veda. We indeed had a remarkable time where the Spirit of Lord led me through my vocal-cord when he discussed deep subjects regarding Salvation with clarity, focus and with much maturity and humane touch . I then prayed with one of the Sisters and Mrs Janaki Venkataraman, his wife for the healings. And even till now, I  continue to pray for the good family God has given me with His grace.

I had also invited few good friends like Raj Kosaraju, Laxmi Iyengar to meet His Excellency President Ramaswamy Venkataraman. He was one of the best Presidents India ever had. A true nationalist a firm believer in secularism, democracy and Gandhian principle of non-violence, a reputed legal luminary, an eminent trade union leader, a renowned economist, a distinguished Parliamentarian and above all, a humanitarian to the core, Shri Ramaswamy Venkataraman-the eighth President of the Republic of India-has attained the pinnacle of glory as the head of the largest democracy in the world, neither by luck nor by chance, but by sheer force of his personality, dedication, devoijon and commitment. He uniquely combines in him some outstanding traits-unassuming simplicity, transparent sincerity and honesty of purpose, which endears him to one and all.

Take unnecessary pressure off yourself by remembering these key concepts of evangelism: Evangelism is a team effort, so you're just one of several or perhaps many people who God will use to move someone closer to faith. Hanging out with non-Christians is essential; you can't influence people toward faith if you're not involved with unbelievers. You don't "do" evangelism; God does. It's God's job to actually draw people to Himself. Your job is simply to lift God up before other people. God will use you the way He made you. The more you get in touch with your uniqueness, the more effective you'll be sharing your faith and doing whatever else God calls you to do. Satan does the opposite of what God does, so be aware that he'll try to discourage you and render your evangelism ineffective. Learn how to resist evil so your evangelistic efforts will be successful.

When God calls someone He always calls others to stand with them. So start looking around you. You may need just one person or you may need many. Indeed, the greater your dream, the greater your team must be. But here's the good news: the size of your dream determines the size of the people who will be attracted to it. If you have a big dream, you have even greater potential for good people to help you. What you need to do is connect with them, invite them in, transfer the vision and then turn them loose.

Had I not endured the pit experiences I wouldn’t had a place to be with the people in high places to proclaim the good news that Jesus is the Gospel of God. Yes, God chooses leaders who are chosen to rule and reign.

I strongly handhold with the one and only VIP in both heaven and earth.. The Holy Spirit.



Manhood a struggle:

Near Death Experience: Lord was depositing His Grace by brewing me and He called Esther to raise as a family in 1995.with me.

Will a wind leave a leaf to rest…

In 1997 on a highway after my return from a SOS on Christmas Eve made me physically handicapped walking with crutches. Leading Ortho Doctors gave up hope on my right leg and I suggested please….please  ampute..bed pan is sickening, Let  people envy me and not look me with a pitiable eye..,

I cried and called my Lord ‘”’even if my legs go. I know you will give wings to fly..”’

Amidst 5000 people in a retreat the Lord healed me in July 1998 , I saw the Spirit of Lord like a ball of fire descending on me and I felt instantly healed and walking as His testimony for Him till the very second without any pain, as normal as I had been.

But in reality, the journey of faith that God requires us to take through this life can lead up steep, emotional mountain grades; out across vast, lonely plains; and, without warning, down into dark valleys, where we face some of our greatest challenges.

Through it all, however, we can have a tremendous sense of hope and determination because our faith is founded in an unshakable God who is not frustrated by the rise and fall of the world’s economy. Nor is He alarmed by daily news reports or changed in any way by the shifting of governmental powers.

He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) He is faithful and true, and we can be sure of this: God is just as concerned about your needs as He is about the nations of this world. No request is too small for Him and no problem too great for Him to solve.

When we are tempted to feel hopeless, He comes to us as our strong and mighty advocate, proclaiming His care and plan for our lives. (1 John 2:1)

Our Lord is the specialist of impossibilities...Lord you give me strength and increased my power and I ran weary and never was tired and I walked and did not faint.

Cradle-Grave Experience:


In 1997 my wife Esther had conceived and during Christmas I had my accident. Situation was quite serious. Confined to bed for a few months and when doctors ultimately gave up on me ,we felt not to have the child . On a mutual consent my wife consumed 36 abortion tablets to prevent the child from being born but the Lord had different plans. The pregnancy grew and finally we decided to accept the child however born.

We were physically, mentally, emotionally down, backs pushed to the wall.

I was declared a handicap and our child so displaced through gynecologist scanning at the prime age of 31 with my daughter Bless  Montgomery 1 ½ years old.

We  prayed”’  Lord ,give us strength to overcome this phase of pain, You are good all the time. You suffered pain and hurts and replaced them as landscapes of grace for me and my family...

We admitted Esther before time  and doctors took a scan, said she could save only my wife and said her positioning too is critical and prepared her for a surgery. Suddenly the nurses screamed and we saw her pulses too were lowering, she had no pain but breaking fluids, a real battle which are not on maps  or battle fields but  I  and Esther didn’t give up on  our  Lord.

The gynecologist warned us that it is difficult to do a procedure as she is quite critical .There  are times ,..we don’t know what to do when things are beyond our control but just look up to the sky to get reinforced that the Lord and His army are watching....

When our parents and friends were too in tears and looking helpless without hope giving a vacant look at Esther. I saw my mother’s student sister Puspakka near the door…My mind thought, ‘’ oh ,this sister, my Lord she will pray for long not knowing the situation, I was apprehensive. She looked and smiled and said Bro, Monty, I  will pray in less than a minute..

OMG, she was able to read my mind. I fell down on my knees..

She walked to Esther and tapped her body,’’ Esther, by 3pm you will have Daniel born. ’The Gyenic was furious and shouted at her to be removed immediately and literally the staff nurses threw  this sister out of the preparatory room .

Sister Puspakka came back and said  touching Esther, “Child say praises. By 3 pm sharp you will have a boy baby born and kept her hand on the dying Esther. In less than 10 seconds she rose up like a spring and staggered inside the labor room and we were stopped by the gate. Sister Puspa said Bro, Monty buy sweets and be ready.

I consulted my watch and with others too saw the time which was exactly at 2.50 pm.

Exactly by 3pm sharp my son Austen came and fell out, normal delivery. The doctor called  me and asked how does this woman know it is a boy, I am unable to determine sex and all the complications, In my 49 years of service as a Gynecologist I have not seen one such case against nature and medical records.

How can we betray our Lord, who is faithful in our lives, a ready help at trouble times. Praise the Lord!.


 

Act of Faith: It’s impossible to please God without Faith :

During this time I by His grace handled India’s No 1 Logistics Company SAFEXPRESS reporting to the board and as a result oriented individual and a pink eyed boy to the CMD, I had favor in company’s eyes.

 Due to my definite uncompromised values as a believer I was unable to Dutch and dilute me for position and money. When it came to my faithfulness is it My Boss who made the heaven and earth or my work- paying boss , how can I grieve my Lord who is ever faithful to me and my family, I sent my resignation while I was in Delhi  and came back to my home ,waited for HIM and His will.

Holding a Bible in hand and praying everytime defined for many amid my friends and family I was budding as a pastor. Almost all counseled me that I m young with two kids and not wise to be full-time pastor.’ What do you do for your living..?1 John 5:14..courage in His presence and ask as per His will, just  I align in His LOC..



But I was asking Lord’’, Abraham being a friend of you I am too and as his cattle and men was worked for him, Lord let my men and machine work for me, no more pay-cheque to pay cheque, no more good morning and good evening...’’  I waited and He sent me His word. “In Due Time.”. Almost few months passed; there is strength in stillness, in my complete surrender and my complete dependency on Him I had His interface. “Leave your father’s house...

Very next day I had a call from one of a leading courier company’s chairman’s office in Mumbai that their CMD was keen to meet me. I met him assuring that I will not work for him and he said of his issues and wanted me  to help him tide over some bottlenecks .We  contracted and asked my last drawn salary and he signed a cheque for 6 months  in advance, before I stepped out to work and asked me my location of operation will be Chennai..

I excused me and went to the restroom, knelt ,wept for His faithfulness and praised Lord. For I knew I was operating on His favor and not on my labor. Praise the Lord.

I came to Chennai, finished in work in three months ,saw a new house for tenancy and paid advance for the house  and planned to shift my family from my hometown, Coimbatore on 5th June 2005.By evening at 8 pm the Lord asked me to speak to the landlady in Chennai. When I called her, she said she is not interested to give the house to me, I was surprised and said to her that we will discuss tomorrow in Chennai as I will be leaving in a couple of hours from Coimbatore.
She finally said: Brother the day you came which was about 20 days ago and paid the house advance I received it but however I couldn't sleep that day. I think it was a mistake to have accepted your offer. I again had the same feeling today and I am  troubled to give my house to you for rent. You will come and stay here downstairs and we will be staying upstairs .
I have good Christian friends but I 'm  constantly reminded if I give this house to you ‘’my whole family will become Christian’ ’I feel strongly in my spirit ‘’ she said.  She said she will send the advance cheque back and hung the phone.

My family suggested to take my wife and kids {my daughter who was then aged 9 years and my son aged 6 years} and go find another house and take them with you to Chennai which is a overnight journey from my hometown.

There were days when I  made my own decisions with my own self;  yet obey God’s will and after tasting that the Lord is good all the time, I knew His plans are always the finest and the best for me so I allowed Him to handhold me in His decision makings of our togetherness.

Esther and me just told our family  that we will pray and decide, we went to our closet and asked the Lord  “what’s happening, you wanted me to leave my fathers’ house and you showed me a place in Chennai and when we prepared to leave to Chennai, what’s this ,the lady who gave the house 20 days back ,denied  me her house at this last minute..

Dad, in obedience I'm leaving, with my family. It’s your problem to find and prepare a house for me and I know you have all capacity to keep up your word..
 
We stood up from our prayers and the very  minute a call came from one of our  well-wisher who said there is a single bedroom  house vacant on a prime locality which belongs to an IAS officer and If you want me to go and find out, I will be happy to do so.

I spoke to the aged gentleman Mr. Jaysingh Peter who said may be for this house a lot of people inquired and saw, I really don't know if the house is already been given off, anyway do come and see.

Esther and me informed our mothers and friends and said ,we leave now, our train cheran express is around 10.30 pm and sent the package and mover van to the destination in Chennai

Our family was terribly upset and said you will be left stranded in Chennai and will cry to us for help.

We had tasted its impossible to please God without faith and we didn’t have an into of doubt, we sang and slept peacefully,,..you know why, our Dad is a promise-keeper and He is used to wake all night for us, so watchful,so faithful ,so sincere, so merciful,,,

Next day 6th June 2005 we met the Landlord Mr. Peter who said before we spoke I feel in my spirit to give my house to you and if you could adjust for 3 more months I will vacate the (Scripture Union) who was also their tenant and will give you the 2000 sq feet house for you. We were moved in tears and he said ,don’t worry I give this house for you ,go to your native and bring your luggage, I said ,Sir, our Truck is standing outside..Finally we now live in this finest house  under the smile of the family of Peters’

I’m moving to tears in joy ,How can I repay you Lord for all you have done for me, You came to me when all left me during my deepest need. You chose us, prepared us as both kings and high priest in the market place .. ,

Dada..you are keeping me  and my family as the apple of your eyes, guarding and protecting us as our refuge, strong tower, our ready help, our safety you are ,our heart-beat ..

May every cell of my family -being labor for you especially during this time ,when in my country 40000 people die forever every day without knowing you Dad. I thirst to run a righteous race with endurance till the end and in this relay.

Help me  to finish my race like you and Paul..Praise the Lord


Market Place Ministry:


 In Aug 2005  in  this land of milk and honey, Chennai ,I used to tenaciously invite friends and acquaintances to the Coffee-Day at Landon’s road and share my vision to commence a Logistics Company Metroxpress and have national space and into Asia Pacific and then into the global platform.

Amid derision and distrust, I know always my supplier is a rich king to this rich kid.  Sold and invested my two houses I owned as seed capital..to be filled exceedingly to be empty again…

He said ..’In Due Time’. Being still waiting to renew an experience , Knowing God and His resurrection power keeps me and my family -nest in Him during my high and low..

I kept a Management sticker ‘’ when there is no wind, row ‘’ from my DHL times. .Esther felt her in her spirit to remove this and said. How long do you want to row again with your strength, will you please take off this sticker from our home-office..

we prayed and we know fresh favors started reaching us in our business  and as like Jibes. He extends my boundaries not only in India but also now in Asia and Middle East especially in Qatar.

Wine of life my wife Esther or our wives are like Sara to Abraham who, knew father and son’s journey to Mount Mouria, kept her cool in faith like him. Yes before I point at her imperfections I look within me and settle down in prayers as our Lord is attracted to our weakness and not to our strengths.

 We need to preserve  our souls ...enemy operates mostly at two places more than churches :1) market place 2) homes.

 
God is mobilizing His workplace believers around the world to be the vessels who will bring the good news to these peoples. Countries welcome commerce, and in most cases this represents the only way to bring the gospel to these nations. Workplace believers are often viewed as those who have corrupt morals.

This class of workplace believer has a pioneer spirit that is seeking ways of penetrating strongholds of spiritual darkness in these countries. They see the risks, but they see the awesomeness of God that enables them to accomplish something for His Kingdom by using their resources and talents.

May all Glory be to Lord and we may fail, do fail continually in our desired areas but he never fails .Prayer indeed affect him and shall we reproduce the life of Christ in others.

This world will make us tour on a million stairways running a race in this global bubble burst.

Whether one is powerful or insignificant we need to find stillness in life noises,

We need to create silence within and be sensitive to the spirit of God. Truth demands silence before it will raise its voices.

If we live in this new covenant In Christ we can’t ignore Truth and go just for experiences and stay happily being blessed.

It’s time we need to move forward as a Blessing and it’s time for us to get Him constantly involved in our daily work

Firstly we should be unashamed to declare Him as Lord Christ Jesus the Savior of the World and just not commonly address as God to everyone.

This Truth never goes out of fashion, it’s an update as the earth when the sun comes up.

Man should not be reduced to a religion but must grow in the largeness as our Creator who don’t close His office, ever available 24/7 with direct access with Him through Christ our wonderful counselor.

When we search our heart how many of us have burden outside the church and are moving outside our comfort zones.

A believers highest call is to reproduce the life of Christ in others… And His Love does no wrong to anyone..

We need to drop all defenses. When we are totally defenseless that is when we become completely strong.

Lord. You didn’t deal me as I deserved but by your Grace, you have forgiven all my sins, healed all my wounds, protected me and my family  from all evil, never put me in shame, placed me amid princes and kings ..

When I came to you as how I was, with all my weakness, I found you were attracted to my weakness and made me strong.

I found no safety anywhere in this world but in you my Lord Jesus Christ... Amen and all Glory be to Lord.


Has God called you to be such a vessel? Has He called you to be a catalyst in some way?

Ask your heavenly Father if He might want you to affect nations for Him .Be a nation preserver.


Blessings,

Monty Montgomery