Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mother Teresa of Calcutta - 'many are called but few are chosen'.




Mother Teresa said “I realized that I had the call to take care of the sick and the dying, the hungry, the naked, the homeless - to be God's Love in action to the poorest of the poor.” That was the beginning of the Missionaries of Charity."

She didn't hesitate, she didn't question. She asked permission to leave the Loreto congregation and to establish a new order of sisters. She received that permission from Pope Pius XII. In 1952 Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity began the work for which they have been noted ever since. Her order received permission from Calcutta officials to use a portion of the abandoned temple of Kali, the Hindu goddess of transition and destroyer of demons. Mother Teresa founded here the Kalighat Home for the Dying, which she named Nirmal Hriday (meaning "Pure Heart"). She and her fellow nuns gathered dying people off the streets of Calcutta and brought them to this home to care for them during the days before they died. 

Mother Teresa's first orphanage was started in 1953, while in 1957 she and her Missionaries of Charity began working with lepers. In the years following, her homes (she called them "tabernacles") have been established in hundreds of locations in the world. 

A Movement Begins

Teresa was not alone for long. Within a year, she found more help than she anticipated. Many seemed to have been waiting for her example to open their own floodgates of charity and compassion. Young women came to volunteer their services and later became the core of her Missionaries of Charity. Others offered food, clothing, and the use of buildings, medical supplies and money. As support and assistance mushroomed, more and more services became possible to huge numbers of suffering people.

From their birth in Calcutta, nourished by the faith, compassion and commitment of Mother Teresa, the Missionaries of Charity have grown like the mustard seed of the Scriptures. New vocations continue to come from all parts of the world, serving those in great need wherever they are found. Homes for the dying, refuges for the care and teaching of orphans and abandoned children, treatment centers and hospitals for those suffering from leprosy, centers and refuges for alcoholics, the aged and street people—the list is endless.


Throughout my education from school to graduate college, I studied in a convent and was exposed to Christian missionaries and to their discipline and teachings. I liked the discipline of the nuns and the symbol of Jesus on the cross. But beyond that, I considered Christians belonged to one of the many religions and Christianity was one of them. I always thought that Hinduism was the greatest religion and everything else was secondary. I saw for the first time in my school they screened a movie which showed about Mother Teresa and her work. I was excited and also very sad as I watched the movie. I saw how people were suffering. I saw them in thousands. I was too young to know about poverty. I saw because of poverty they were suffering. I also saw people dying. I saw leprosy victims all around. Blood was oozing from their wounds. They were separated from their homes and Mother Teresa was nursing them along with sisters from the missionaries of charity. It was very pathetic to watch the realities of life.

Oswald Chambers writes:

Patience is more than endurance. A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of the archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says, ‘I cannot stand anymore.' God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God's hands. 

God has a greater plan. While He does not always show us the details, we can know the big picture—we are in His loving hands.

This was in October I996, and we came to know of Mother Teresa’s deteriorating health. I was very familiar with Mother Teresa since I first saw her in a documentary in 1974 in Calcutta. I was in my 6th Grade in St.Lawrence High School when we moved from Madras to Calcutta. That was the first time in my life that I stole money from my Late Father’s Pockets because we were given very little allowance as pocket money. I wanted to help the Missionaries of Charity. I wanted to give the highest money offering to them. We were given Collection cards from everyone and I filled every card that I had and gave all the money. I told my Dad everything and received scoldings and also spankings for having stolen money to give it to a charitable institution. Ever since that day Mother Teresa had a very special place in my heart.


The year was rapidly ending and now she was very ill. I strongly felt we need to do something for her. We decided to help. We Started with Prayer teams and spread the news of the health. We gathered about 80,000 prayer cards from schools and colleges and everyone that we came across. We decided we will go to Calcutta. We flew to Calcutta with all the cards, donations of medicines, get well prayer cards, Scriptures etc. We reached Calcutta and visited her. Admission to the hospital was very restricted, she was on medication. We prayed and came to her house which was in the Missionaries of Charity. We prayed and left all the collections and things in her tiny room with one cot and chair. Many things we can learn from her. She dedicated her life for Jesus. She came to serve the millions of poor and destitute people many of whom are leprosy victims. She realized that she had the call to take care of the sick and the dying, the hungry, the naked, the homeless - to be God's Love in action to the poorest of the poor.


The source of true patience is the Spirit of God. His patience toward us allows us the opportunity to grow and to become more like Him. He does not give up on us. When we are stubborn and fail to learn what God wants to teach us, He continues to demonstrate His patience. Mother Teresa was a young girl Gonxha (Agnes) from Skopje, Yugoslavia thousands of miles away from her home receiving her calling to serve the poor in Calcutta. Thinking about the Mother and how precious her life was to the millions of people of Calcutta. We went to the hospital to pray before we left. We prayed. We then returned to Hyderabad.



To my mind, the important takeaway I got from my initial years is that positioning for success begins when you align your gifts, skills and passion with your job description. It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. There were times when I had to abort a take-off. There were other times when I had to change course mid-flight. There were moments when I had to bring all my navigational and piloting skills to control the flight. But, at the end, all my efforts paid off and today, I am blessed with success and career satisfaction. One of my friends Job Stanley ( in the picture with a small aircraft) was employed with Air India at Hyderabad Airport and was very helpful during our Calcutta trip. Beulah is his wife who was my Executive Assistant at work. She was highly commendable, excellent at work, imaginative, very compassionate and helpful. I was then a Divisional Manager and Profit Center Head. Both Stanley and Beulah helped us with transshipping huge packets of medicines, gifts and greeting cards for Mother Teresa. They are believers and a wonderful couple. Indian Airlines did not charge any money for the extra luggage. We were thankful to them. I also like to remember the efforts of all our Sales and Customer Executives, Assistant Managers, Deputy Managers and Area Managers, Branch Managers, Divisional Managers, and all others especially in Andhra Pradesh who have been very helpful. They are great and wonderful people. I also remember Amit Bayani a good friend and Manager from Motorola who have been instrumental in delivering free (Page Point) messages to Mother Teresa in Calcutta. I also would like to thank K. Rajashekhar a good old friend and an Editor in the Indian Express who actually accompanied me to Calcutta.

It was in January of 1997 when we received a letter. It was written by Mother Teresa herself. She thanked everyone who prayed for her, and the way she was healed by Jesus. It was a miracle. She was given the Master’s touch. She said that we should always serve like how Jesus did. What a powerful testimony. On September 5th  she went to be with the Lord. I was in Latin America and saw the news when she left for her heavenly abode.


Until her death in 1997, Mother Teresa continued her work among the poorest of the poor, depending on God for all of her needs. Honors too numerous to mention had come her way throughout the years, as the world stood astounded by her care for those usually deemed of little value. In her own eyes she was "God's pencil—a tiny bit of pencil with which He writes what He likes."

Despite years of strenuous physical, emotional and spiritual work, Mother Teresa seemed unstoppable. Though frail and bent, with numerous ailments, she always returned to her work, to those who received her compassionate care for more than 50 years. Only months before her death, when she became too weak to manage the administrative work, she relinquished the position of head of her Missionaries of Charity. She knew the work would go on.

 

If we live, we live to the Lord: and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Romans 14:8 (New International Version)
 
One of the incredible realizations we can have as Christians is that our relationship with the Lord can be eternal. As long as we seek after Him, He is always there and no one can separate us from His love. Even when we die, we go to be with the Lord. When we sleep in death, we are still "in the Lord." Everything we have on earth is temporary except our love for  Lord Jesus and those with whom we share that love!

What matters most to your identity is not how the world sees you, how your friends see you, or even how you see yourself. What matters most is how God sees you. Spend time in God's Word learning about His everlasting love for you. Form your identity in Christ. Understand who you are from God's viewpoint because if you are not sure of your identity or if your identity is not firmly rooted in God, then you will be easily swayed and discouraged by what other people say about you.

Finally, on September 5, 1997, after finishing her dinner and prayers, her weakened heart gave her back to the God who was the very center of her life. 


Beginning with just five nuns and spreading to over 5000, Mother Teresa's journey was one of kindness and great influence. For Mother Teresa, to love one’s neighbor was to love God. This was what was essential to her, not the size of her mission or the power others perceived in her. “We are called upon not to be successful, but to be faithful,” she explained. Mother Teresa exemplified that faith — in prayer, in love, in service, and in peace.

The day of her baptism was actually more important to Mother Teresa than her birthday. Although she may not have celebrated her 100th birthday herself, August 26 was marked by her order in Rome, and many other places, "to give honor and glory to God."
 
Remembering Mother Teresa on her birthday on the 27 th of August. May she be eternal and be with Lord Jesus Christ in glory forever. Amen.



Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mary Kom Bronze Medallist Winner at The London Olympics



Prominent journalist Barkha Dutt tweeted: “Mary Kom you shouldn't be sorry. It is us who should be sorry for not giving you the love & facilities that was your due long ago.” Indian boxer MC Mary Kom has given her country more than just a sporting spectacle with her bronze medal win at the London Olympics. It may not have been apparent to the 29-year-old boxer, but her teary-eyed apology for not bringing home the gold has pulled the relatively isolated north-east Indian states much closer to the rest of the country.

She is from Manipur in the North Eastern part of India. A great Boxer, a humble person and has a wonderful family to support and above all she loves her country.


The mother-of-two hails from the remote state of Manipur in the country`s politically fragile north-eastern region, and her triumph is likely to integrate the country`s seven easterly states in the true sense.

Insurgency and violence have marked life in the north-eastern region for many years and the states have been unable to share the fruits of India`s economic growth. Kom herself has risen from supporting her farming-dependent family in the fields in Manipur, struggling without a proper kit and travelling long distances by bus or train. 

I do so understand how hard it is to see anything good if there is pressure and things are going bad. It's harder for us who have done it all before. The trick is to still see possibilities around us. To see the play of emotions on your coworker's face and realize today is not exactly the same to her as any other day. Today is a new chance. Today you can say something thoughtful, imaginative, helpful. Today you should think about what is possible.
 
You have to make the decision to see each moment as new and filled with possibilities.

Having and following a vision isn’t just for big dreamers and world-changers. Visions can be big or small. They can be global or local. But a vision doesn’t need to be complicated. At the very heart of having a life-vision is seeing a need—and meeting that need.

God has placed us in our jobs, our neighborhoods, and our families for a purpose—to meet the needs around us. Truly visionary people are those who have the ability to recognize the needs around them, as well as the determination and willingness to meet those needs.

How often do we see a need, yet do nothing about it? We may feel pity or concern, yet we stand back and do nothing. We are unwilling to risk our comfort, our reputation, and our security. But we cannot be that visionary person for God unless we are willing to risk everything for Him.

God wants you to make a difference in the lives of other people. He has given you your blessings, gifts, talents, resources, and connections for a reason.

I didn’t understand how to live a balanced life. I found it difficult to set boundaries, failed to establish margins of time for the unplanned or unexpected, and unwittingly surrendered my God-ordained priorities to the empty, vain addiction of just “doing the next thing” or pleasing the loudest voice. Balance can easily become a casualty of this ongoing battle. While sitting in the darkness, waiting on God, I discovered that the pit of despair is a very common destination for those who refuse to measure and balance the sometimes overwhelming demands of home, family, friends, work and personal growth. I had been running the race for the wrong audience and was relying on my own very limited power instead of God’s power.

But it is a big deal, because it is a breakdown here that leads to other things there. If we have a breakdown in one area of our lives, we might find ourselves going in the wrong direction.

I wish I could tell you that I now lead a perfectly balanced life, but the truth is that I constantly have to examine and evaluate my priorities and goals in order to find the holy balance God intends. Many of you tell me that you have the same struggle. Just like you, I have to make difficult choices between the good things and the best things. When I make the wrong choices, I can sense myself sliding toward the dangerous edge of that deep, dark pit. I don’t want to go there again – so the battle continues. The good news is that I don’t have to fight this battle alone and neither do you. God is with us, urging us toward the light and His restoration power that comes from a heart and life that rests and abides in Him.
 
William Arthur Ward wrote: 'Believe while others are doubting. Plan while others are playing... Decide while others are delaying. Prepare while others are daydreaming. Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing. Save while others are wasting. Listen while others are talking. Smile while others are frowning... Persist while others are quitting.'

To win in life requires three things: (1) You must start. That may seem obvious, but many of us are stuck in the starting blocks waiting for something to get us going. What has God called and equipped you to do? Step out and do it, and He will empower you! (2) You must give it your all. Divers in the Olympics don't save all their effort for their final dive. They concentrate on nailing every single one, increasing their chances for a gold medal. Don't settle for mediocrity at any stage of life (Philippians 3:14). (3) You must never quit. In the 1992 Olympics, Derek Redmond of Britain was competing in the 400 meter race when he suffered a torn hamstring and fell. As the other runners breezed past him, he began to struggle to his feet. His father, whose face was covered with tears, suddenly ran down from the stands to help him up. Slowly, agonizingly, they made their way around the rest of the track and crossed the finish line as the stadium in Barcelona burst into thunderous applause. Redmond didn't win a medal, but he won something more important - the respect of the world.

The Bible says, 'Run in such a way as to get the prize.'



“I, like many others, have been inspired by Mary Kom and her relentless efforts to improve the lives of others around the globe through her sporting work.”

Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju

Sunday, August 19, 2012

God's Prediction About The Future- Bible Prophecy

Pastor Greg Laurie in one of his writings"As Good As Done" has wonderfully described God's prediction about the future. He says; I am amazed at how people will get all worked up over something like the Mayan calendar or will listen to some self-proclaimed prophet or guru, yet they will neglect the Bible, which predicts the future not once, not twice, but hundreds of times with 100 percent accuracy.

God, living in eternity, does not have a yesterday or a tomorrow. It is all a continuum to Him. So God can look at the future with as much accuracy as you and I can look at the past—even more so, in fact. God has perfect recollection, and He has perfect foresight. So when He says something will happen, it's as though, in one sense, it has already happened. You see, tomorrow is like yesterday to God.

So when God gives a prediction about the future, it is not as though He is going out on some kind of limb. It is already an established fact.

The Bible is a book that dares to predict the future many times over. No other religious book does that. Why? Because if it did, it would prove that it was not inspired. But the Bible makes predictions again and again, because it is indeed inspired.

The basic test of the true God and the true faith and the true prophet is they can predict the future. The Bible does all of that and more.

In fact, it is worth noting that two-thirds of the Bible is prophecy and one-half of these prophecies have already taken place. Therefore, if half of them have happened as God said they would, then I have no reason to doubt that the remaining prophecies will unfold exactly as God has said.

When God predicts the future, you can take it to the bank. It is as good as done.(1)

"What is going to happen according to end times prophecy?"



When Christians are asked why they don’t study prophecy more seriously the most common reasons given are 1) because it scares them, and 2) because it confuses them. Both responses are borne out of a lack of understanding. For the believer, prophecy is neither scary nor confusing but the key to understanding God’s plan for man.The Bible has a lot to say about the end times. Nearly every book of the Bible contains prophecy regarding the end times. Taking all of these prophecies and organizing them can be difficult. Following is a very brief summary of what the Bible declares will happen in the end times.

Christ will remove all born-again believers from the earth in an event known as the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54). At the judgment seat of Christ, these believers will be rewarded for good works and faithful service during their time on earth or will lose rewards, but not eternal life, for lack of service and obedience (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

The Antichrist (the beast) will come into power and will sign a covenant with Israel for seven years (Daniel 9:27). This seven-year period of time is known as the “tribulation.” During the tribulation, there will be terrible wars, famines, plagues, and natural disasters. God will be pouring out His wrath against sin, evil, and wickedness. The tribulation will include the appearance of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, and the seven seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments.

About halfway through the seven years, the Antichrist will break the peace covenant with Israel and make war against it. The Antichrist will commit “the abomination of desolation” and set up an image of himself to be worshipped in the Jerusalem temple (Daniel 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10), which will have been rebuilt. The second half of the tribulation is known as “the great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14) and “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7).

At the end of the seven-year tribulation, the Antichrist will launch a final attack on Jerusalem, culminating in the battle of Armageddon. Jesus Christ will return, destroy the Antichrist and his armies, and cast them into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:11-21). Christ will then bind Satan in the Abyss for 1000 years and He will rule His earthly kingdom for this thousand-year period (Revelation 20:1-6).

At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released, defeated again, and then cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10) for eternity. Christ then judges all unbelievers (Revelation 20:10-15) at the great white throne judgment, casting them all into the lake of fire. Christ will then usher in a new heaven and new earth and the New Jerusalem—the eternal dwelling place of believers. There will be no more sin, sorrow, or death (Revelation 21–22).(2)

References:

(1) Greg Laurie, "As Good As Done" Harvest Weekend Devotion, Aug 2012.

(2) www.gotquestions.org/end-times.html

For the Gospel

Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju










Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bringing Up Godly Children in an Ungodly World


One day Abraham Lincoln was in a slave market and saw a beautiful young slave girl being auctioned. Lecherous men were bidding on her, so Lincoln began to bid. Finally, she was sold to Lincoln. He took the certificate of sale and handed it to her saying, “You’re free.”

She asked, “What do you mean, free?” He said, “You are free.” She said, “Free to do what I want to do?” He said, “Yes.” “Free to say what I want to say?” He said, “Yes.” “Free to go where I want to go?” He said, “Yes.” She said, “Then I am going with you.”

The biblical worldview of today's culture is that it is dark—and getting darker. By its very nature, it cannot get anything but worse because it has no inherent goodness to build on. As John MacArthur said, "Man has increased in scientific, medical, historical, educational, psychological, and technological knowledge to an astounding degree. But he has not changed his own basic nature and he has not improved society. His confidence has increased, but his peace of mind has diminished. His accomplishments have increased, but his sense of purpose and meaning have all but disappeared."

Think of some of the people we read of in the Bible whom God used. They were utterly unqualified by human standards. Moses was a murderer. Jacob was a liar. Rahab was a prostitute. David had an affair. Elijah was suicidal at one point. Jonah ran from God. Jeremiah was considered too young. John the Baptist ate bugs. The Samaritan woman was divorced more than once. The disciples fell asleep when they were supposed to be praying. Peter denied Christ. Timothy had an ulcer. So what about you?

Perhaps you want to stand out. You want to emerge victorious. You are forgiven. You are holy. You are chosen. You are righteous. However you have to remember that Satan is a force you'll contend with every day. And he's a master at reinventing himself. The Bible says he can transform '...into an angel of light' (2 Corinthians 11:14 NKJV). And while his approach may be appealing, his intent is always to '...steal and kill and destroy...' (John 10:10 NIV). Destroy what? Your peace of mind, your destiny, your relationships, etc.

Satan is the enemy

How can you defeat him? In two ways: (1) Don't fear him. 'The Lord shall preserve you from all evil...' (Psalm 121:7 NKJV). Throughout the New Testament we read that as believers we are 'in Christ.' So to get at you, Satan must first go through Him! (2) Don't give him access. 'Nor give place to the devil.' Satan has no place in your life unless you open the door and give him one. And when Christ is enthroned in your heart, there's no room for the devil. But it's not enough to have a clean heart, you must have a spirit-filled heart. Jesus said: 'When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, I will return to the person I came from. So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before...' (Matthew 12:43-45 NLT).

 

We are living in perilous times

Yes it is true that we live in an evil environment. The world system is under the control of Satan. He uses illusions, distorted values, and false hope to obtain our allegiance. Peer pressure, fear of rejection, and persecution ensure our compliance. But even though we reside in enemy territory, Christ lives within us, and he exposes the lies and deception of Satan. Jesus is the inextinguishable light that permeates the darkness. He is the King of the universe. He is far greater than Satan who reigns over this doomed kingdom.

But who do we choose to listen to and consequently follow? As we renew our mind with God’s truth we will be set free from a deceptive world system that wants to keep us in bondage. We choose to follow Christ!

Satan attacks us through our flesh and the world system. He also attacks us more directly through evil spirits whenever he has the opportunity. These evil spirits seek to deceive, afflict, and enslave us. Satan has a great hatred for God. But he is powerless against the Almighty Creator.

Always on the prowl

Satan is constantly looking for ways to harm Christians. He uses fear to induce panic into his victims. His demons manipulate the thoughts of those who are ignorant of God’s truth—luring them into the open, out from under God’s protective covering. They use every possible ploy to snare their prey and keep them in bondage. Then, they systematically go about destroying the helpless believer. He tries to control your perspective, manipulate your thinking, and exploit your foundational desires. He has several different tactics that he uses to prevent Christians from fulfilling their God-given destiny. These are some of the tools of his trade.

• Deception

• Accusation

• Division

• Doubt

• Distraction

• Temptation

• Difficulties

• Affliction

• Persecution

• Intimidation

• Discouragement

Satan is aiming his artillery at our children

He has many variations for the implementation of each scheme. And it is not unusual to discover a number of these ploys at work simultaneously within the same situation. Subtlety can greatly increase the effectiveness of schemes, scams, and con games. That’s why Satan usually works behind the scenes where his involvement will be undetected.

Satan is on a killing spree—he wants to kill our memory and set us awash in the sea of forgetfulness without any recollection of our Christian heritage as a nation.

 

Tragically, he’s aiming his artillery at our children, and particularly in the place where they used to grow in the knowledge of good things—the public school. Prayer is out. Police are in. Bibles are out. Values clarification is in. The Ten Commandments are out. Social engineering is in. Creation is out. Evolution is in. History is out. Revisionism is in. God says we need to remember the generation to come.

You have an important job—to influence the lives of those who will come after you. Teach them to walk in the ways of the Lord and against the tide of the world.

As Christians, we need to be alert and aware of Satan’s tactics. We must depend on the Holy Spirit to help us discern what Satan is trying to do in our current situation as he attempts to defeat us. Second Thessalonians 3:3 reminds us, “But the LORD is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” You CAN Trust God’s Word: Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). God’s Word has never been proven to be in error scientifically, morally, or historically. God’s Word is the only thing that you can stake your life on! The best way to break bad habits is to replace them with good ones. The best way to defeat Satan is to make Jesus Lord of your life.


For the Gospel,


Raj Kosaraju


Friday, August 3, 2012

You Can Be a World Changer!




You Can Be a World Changer!

With everything that is taking place in America and around the world, we can see through Matthew 24 that Jesus is coming soon.  With the turmoil in the middle east, the different wars and rumors of wars, the severe earth quakes, the love of many grown cold and growing cold around the world, and different political unrests in many nations, we can clearly see that the stage is being set for Jesus to return.   We have an opportunity right in front of us to reach this nation and the nations of the world like never before.  As we have been reaching out in cities here in the United States, there has been a fresh openness in the people we are ministering to.  In light of everything that’s taking place, many are open to hearing the Gospel that weren’t in years past.  This is the season to begin to reach this nation and the nations of the world because the time is short and the harvest is plentiful.
 
Yes, the Gospel is good news and glad tidings.  The true definition is that Jesus came, died, and rose again to take away the sins of the world.  He is the foundation that all is built upon (1 Corinthians 3: 9-11).  It is not Allah, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, Zoroaster, Bahaullah, Dali Lama, Mother Earth, tarot cards, witchstones, Ouija boards, witchcraft, astrology, Scientology, astral projection, divination, New Age, or any of the like.  Jesus Christ is the only way (John 14:6) and we must impregnate the measure of faith given with this truth of God?s Word.  God does not play musical chairs!  When we use the word of God to present the Gospel to people, it must be with the understanding that there is no room for the deceptive concept that there are many ways to God - so choose one.  Will this "no compromise" stand bring conflict?  Of course, but God has called us to a resolve, with His abiding grace upon which to stand.


A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. World religions differ in their treatment of documents classified as gospels. Christianity traditionally places a high value on the four canonical gospels, which it considers to be a revelation from God and central to its belief system. Christians teach that the four canonical gospels are an “accurate and authoritative” representation of the life of Jesus. Now let us understand some basic truths about the Gospel.
 
Who is God?

The One God is triune - a tri-unity.  The word "one" in this verse (Deuteronomy 6:4) below is a compound "one" and not a singular "one".  Christians do not believe in 3 Gods - but ONE!

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!"

It is one God in three persons, not three gods:

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Often the title "God" designates the first person, and God the Father. God is a spiritual being without a physical body. He is personal and involved with people. He created the universe out of nothing. He is eternal, changeless, holy, loving, and perfect.

Who is Jesus?

Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity. As God the Son, He has always existed and was never created. He is fully God and fully man [the two natures joined, not mixed]. As the second person of the Trinity, He is co-equal with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. In becoming man, He was begotten through the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus is the only way to the Father, salvation, and eternal life. He died on a Cross according to God's plan, as full sacrifice in payment for our sins. He rose from the dead on the third day, spiritually and physically a mortal. For the next 40 days, he was seen by more than 500 eyewitnesses. His wounds were touched and he ate meals. He physically ascended to heaven. Jesus will come again visibly and physically at the end of the world to establish God's kingdom and judge the world.


Who is the Holy Spirit? 

The Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity.  The Holy Spirit is a person, not a force or energy field.  He comforts, grieves, reproofs, convicts, guides, teaches, and fills Christians. He is not the Father, nor the Son, Jesus Christ.

How is one to be saved? 

Salvation is by God's grace, not by an individual's good works.  Salvation must be received by repentance (turning away and forsaking of sin) and by faith.  People must believe in their heart that Jesus died for their sins and physically rose again, which is the assurance of forgiveness and resurrection of the body.  This is God's loving plan to forgive sinful people.

What happens after death? 

Believers go to be with Jesus.  After death, all people await the final judgment. Both saved and lost people will be resurrected.  Those who were saved live with Jesus in Heaven.  Those are lost suffer the torment of eternal separation from God in Hell.  Jesus' bodily resurrection guarantees believers that they, too, will be resurrected receive new a mortal bodies.

Other Beliefs or Practices:

Group worship, usually in churches.  No secret rites.  Baptism and the Lord's supper [Communion]. Active voluntary missionary efforts.  Aid to those in need: the poor, widows, orphans, and downtrodden. Christians believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah promised to Israel in the Old Testament [Tanakh].  Jesus said his followers would be known by their love for one another! (1)

The people who chase after pleasure never really experience it. It comes down to this: If you live for yourself and your own happiness and pleasure, then you will be a miserable person. It's ironic that the people who live for happiness never find it, while the people who live for God find happiness as a byproduct. The people who chase after pleasure never really experience it. They may find little bits here and there, but nothing to speak of—certainly nothing enduring. Yet the people who live for God experience the ultimate pleasure: a joy that bubbles up from deep down in the inmost being.


God determines the number of your days, but you determine how they are spent. The Psalmist said, 'This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.' Yesterday is a cancelled cheque, tomorrow is a promissory note, today is all you've got.

And you can begin your life over today, if you live by these words: 'Today I will delete from my diary two days - yesterday and tomorrow. Yesterday was for learning; tomorrow will be a consequence of what I do today. Today I will face life with the conviction that this day will never return, that it may be the last opportunity I'll have to contribute because there's no guarantee I'll see tomorrow. Today I will be courageous enough not to let opportunity pass me by; my only alternative will be to succeed. Today I will invest my most valuable resource, my time, into my most important possession, the life God has given me. I'll spend each minute purposefully, making today a unique opportunity. I'll tackle each obstacle knowing that with God's help I can overcome it. Today I will resist doubt and pessimism and warm my world with a smile. I'll maintain a strong faith, expect nothing but the best, take time to be happy, see every task as an opportunity to honor the Lord, and endeavor to leave His footprints on the hearts of those I meet.'

John Boykin wrote, 'Time is your life - nothing more, nothing less. The way you spend your hours and your days, is the way you spend your life.' So pray, 'Lord, help me to maximise this day.'

 

Today we have our Internet, telecommunications, the information superhighway and the likes. We can take the gospel message to more people today than ever before in human history. Of course, we can use television, radio, and printed media. But we can also use new media. We need to make use of every means possible to get the gospel out to as many people as we can.
Yet sometimes we have the delivery system in place, but we don't have the message to deliver. Some churches are a little too preoccupied with being cool and have forgotten how important it is to confront people with the claims of Jesus Christ. And if we miss that, we have missed everything, because that is the only hope for our nation. It is the only hope for individuals. Even so, some people will respond favorably to this message, and some people will respond unfavorably.

The apostle Paul put it this way: "Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing" (2 Corinthians 2: 15).

When we share the message of the gospel, to some it will be a fragrant perfume, while to others it will be offensive, even repugnant. But we still have to bring the message. We still must invade our culture with the Good News.

John Maxwell writes: 'Little did I realise when I started with a desire to add significance to others, that it would add significance to me! Now I understand. We should not receive anything without giving, and we cannot give anything without receiving.' The truth is, your dream isn't worthy of your life if it doesn't bless others. President Woodrow Wilson stated: 'You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.'You Can Be a World Changer!


Reference:


(1) "Understanding the Gospel" – By Rick Warzywak from Michigan University Internet Church Zone.


Blessings,

For the Gospel,

Raj Kosaraju