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CSK won the IPL 2023 finals because of four different cameos from four different players! Shivam Dube made 31 off 21. His twin sixes off Rashid Khan made the sky-rocking asking rate manageable. Ajinkya Rahane made 27 off 13 even as he hit two base-ballish sixes. Ambati Rayudu went 6,4,6 against Mohit Sharma, the tournament’s best death bowler perhaps, to make a 19 ball off 8. His cameo should be credited for converting a typical T20 asking rate into a typical ODI asking rate as Dhoni came to bat with 22 required off 14. Alas, Dhoni did not play a cameo. He went for a first-ball duck. The superstar finisher failed. But Dhoni’s failure became an opportunity of a life-time for Ravi Jadeja, who the CSK fans wanted to get out so that they could watch Dhoni bat through the tournament. When 10 was needed off 2 balls, Jadeja hit a six down the ground and swung one behind it to win it for CSK with a last-ball four!
The priceless, trophy-winning cameos from these 3 Rs – Rahane, Rayudu, Ravi (Jadeja) – and Shivam Dube in the IPL Final of 2023 is comparable to the cameo by Mike Veletta who “scored 45 not out off 31 balls, taking a faltering Australia to a defendable total for their first World Cup win” (Sidharth Monga’s words in ESPNCricinfo Cricket Monthly, January 19, 2012 edition).
These cameos also remind me of the cameo that Ananias played in the life of Apostle Paul. In obedience to God’s command, this unheralded disciple of Jesus met with Paul (Saul) who just had been converted on the road to Damascus. God used him to heal Paul (Saul) from blindness caused by the Divine light he saw – an instant healing (Acts 22:13). God used him to make Saul (Paul) understand that the supreme need of a believer is to “know his will” and be a “witness for him to everyone” (Acts 22:14-15). God used him to initiate Paul into the Christian rite of Water Baptism (Acts 22:16). And post that he disappears from the records of the rest of the New Testament. Paul wrote so many letters but there is no more mention of Ananias. Perhaps he died young. We don’t know. But what we do know is this – he played a cameo for Christ and went into eternity!
Would you be willing to do that? Would you also play a cameo for Christ and pass onto eternity? Would you be willing to give Gospel tracts even if you do not get a chance to preach to 5000 people in a posh mega church? Would you be willing to ground a new convert to the Christian Faith via prompt Word-filled WhatsApp messages and replies?! Willing to play a cameo for Christ in the one life you have?
(Dr. Duke Jeyaraj, the author of this piece, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. Find out more by Whatsapping him via 918886040605. This ministry is a reader-supported Indian ministry).
Jesus issued a stirring call to His hearers to seek first His kingdom (Matt. 6:33). In fact, the word ‘kingdom’ was found on the lips of Jesus some 18 times. Ministry leaders then have this important mandate from Jesus to seek first His kingdom and lead others to do the same.
This paper will focus on one core value evolved by reflection, resulting in an integrated vision of Kingdom Leadership in the context of the ministry I am involved in. This would be done by gleaning from what I learnt from the readings and the class discussions during the Kingdom Leadership course
This particular core value of Kingdom Leadership that this paper will focus on – sexual sin’s presence in the life of a Christian Leader and how one can overcome the same – will greatly impact the modern youth, the Google Generation as I address them.
My Ministry Context
With the goal of reaching the Google Generation, I founded the Grabbing The Google Generation From Gehenna (Hell in Greek) Mission (G4 Mission). Who I mean by the Google Generation is simple: the modern generation of young people who are found in schools, colleges and in the corporate sector. In October 2005 I moved to the city of Hyderabad, a city that has plenty of such youth, with a vision of reaching them with the Gospel and nurturing them to become disciples of Jesus Christ. However, my goal is not only to reach and disciple such youth in this city alone, but to impact such youth world-over ultimately. So, in a sense, my ministry has a broader context.
One Core Value of a Kingdom Leader
Kingdom Leaders are to have certain non-negotiable core values. As one aspiring to be a Kingdom Leader who desires to bless the present-day youth, the Google Generation, I am seeking to focus on core value in line with my ministry context.
After throwing light on that core values with three theological perspectives (one each from the Old Testament, the New Testament and from Historical Christianity) this paper will talk about how this core value would become a part in my life and leadership style. The core value I am presenting is of paramount interest and of great importance to the Google Generation – the group I feel called to minister to.
The Kingdom Leader Must Guard His Sexual Purity
David Clarence points out that King David was an excellent leader of Israel because he accepted the discipline of God with humility. He knew Absalom rebelled against him as a result of his own torrid sexual sin. He did not want Absalom to be punished for his rebellion. David’s acceptance of God’s judgment upon himself was so complete! The lesson here is direct: sexual sin greatly jeopardizes the leader and his cause in God’s Kingdom. In the book, A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament, we read the following forceful lines which point to the fact of David’s leadership stooping to the abject level of the pagan kings:
In 2 Samuel 11 David uses royal power first to ‘take’ Bathsheba, another man’s wife, and then to murder her husband Uriah to cover up his misdeed. …This violent use of royal power to defend royal privilege reflects the “taking” by kings of which the prophet Samuel warned.
In the New Testament too, the Kingdom Leader is challenged for sexual purity. Richard B. Hays, writing about Mathew’s Gospel and in particular about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, makes this sweeping statement to underline this: “Community members are called to put away anger, lust, violence, hypocrisy, pride and materialism.” George Eldon Ladd commenting about the same passage says, “Jesus says, if there is lust, if you look upon a woman with evil desire, you stand before God as a sinner. Righteousness, sexual purity, begins in the heart.” He further interprets the words of Jesus which goes, “Pluck your sinning eye!” and “Cut off your sinning hand!” this way: “If lust is your besetting sin, do anything necessary to find the solution to the problem, whatever the cost may be.” Commenting on 2 Corinthians 11:1-3, Jacob Cherian notes: “…(Paul’s) main concern now is for the bride’s purity till the day of presentation.” Both Jesus and Paul desired that holy Kingdom Leaders got busy in the work of getting ready a flock of holy believers before the day of judgment dawned.
In his book Confessions, Augustine writes, before his encounter with the grace of God that he “boiled over” in his “fornications.” John Higgins, after narrating the story of Augustine in his class lectures, gleaned this lesson from Augustine’s life: the Grace of God becomes ‘the prime motivator in the Kingdom Leader by reminding us of our continuing struggle with sin.’
What John Higgins talked about I found to be real in the real-life experiences of two Kingdom Leaders. I am referring to the real experiences of ongoing sexual temptation in the lives of Jack Hayford and George Verwer, both respected Kingdom Leaders.
Stephen Arterburn writes,
Author and pastor Jack Hayford once sat in his car after a banking transaction with a lovely bank teller and said to himself, “I’m going to have to purity in my mind and consecrate myself to God, or I’m going to have to masturbate right here.” That Jack could say this in front of tens of thousands of men at a Promise Keepers conference was inspirational.
Now, having heard from Jack Hayford, let us move on to George Verwer’s narration of his ongoing struggles with sexual sins. He writes,
A defining moment for me occurred more than 30 years ago as I was walking in the woods outside London. From a distance I saw something hanging in the branches of a tree. It was a pornographic magazine, shot through with bullet holes. Someone had hung it there for target practice. Satan targeted me! I wish I could say I destroyed the magazine and got the victory, but the truth is, in the woods that day, that magazine made a fool of me.
I was in the woods for quite a while after my lustful episode before I could crawl my way back to the cross and ask for forgiveness. Most of the time since then, I have been able to withstand Satan’s temptations. I wish I could say that was true every time, but I’d be lying. And in the woods, I found a new approach for my own sinfulness: when I sin I ask forgiveness, time after time…
In my own life, giving myself the benefit of the benefit of the doubt, I estimate I successfully resist temptation 95 percent of the time. But with the number of temptations we face, that’s still a lot of failure!
Over the course of my 45 years as a Christian, I have failed not only in the area of lust but also irritability and anger.
These honest confessions from these men of God show that no Kingdom Leader is above the attack of sexual temptation.
The Google Generation, the group I am trying to reach out to, greatly values and looks up to those with sexual purity. This can be illustrated through a real story from Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid’s life. This cricketer was once voted as the MTV Youth Icon of the year for India. Here is one possible reason why he won the imagination of the modern youth of India – the generation which just loves to devour TV channels like the MTV. A good-looking female journalist from Singapore after completing an interview with Dravid asks the television crew to leave the room. After she gets alone with Dravid, this journalist moves closer to him, talks in a flirting manner and asks him to marry her. Dravid, instead of enjoying her attention and possibly using the opportunity to get physically intimate with her, got up in holy haste and in seething anger, orders her to get out of the room. It is not surprising that sexually pure Dravid was a big draw among Google Generation youth. When I showed this video to 60 youngsters from the country of Bangladesh in a leadership conference I addressed, they too expressed great appreciation for Rahul Dravid, confirming to me that sexual purity in a leader’s life is something that youth of all nations greatly appreciate.
The very fact that acts of sexual impurity among India’s Google Generation is on the rise underscores the grave need for Kingdom Leaders to be extra careful in this area. 73% of Indian parents surveyed across 11 cities in the 2011 India Today Sex Survey said that they accepted and kept quiet even after having known their children – the Google Generation – were sexually active. Another national newsmagazine reported that as many as 60% of the respondents of an online sex survey have had multiple sex partners. When asked the question, “Have social media like Twitter, Facebook improved chances of finding sexual partners?” in a survey done in 2011, 56.9% of the respondents said ‘Yes’. “Casual sex is taboo no more. One out of the every three has had a one-night stand.” – those are words printed on the cover of national news magazine in India in 2011.
Despite widespread sexual immorality, there is a cry for sexual purity among the leadership, coming from the representatives of the Google Generation. A recent incident underscores this. Three Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) of the Indian state of Karnataka were allegedly caught viewing pornographic clips on mobile phones even as the State Assembly was busy discussing an important issue. They were reportedly caught in the act by a TV camera covering the events in the Assembly from the balcony. Following this, there was a debate in “Times Now,” a popular news channel moderated by straight-talking, daring, TV journalist Arnab Goswami. This writer happened to watch this debate which got heated at times. During this debate, Arnab strongly condemned the behavior of the porn-viewing MLAs using biblical terminology – he called them ‘debauchers’, without mincing words (cf. Titus 1:6). Even a non-believer like Arnab Goswami (who can be taken as one of the voices of the present generation) believes porn-watching as unacceptable and sexual impropriety as despicable.
But it is very distressing to note, that Christian leaders can trip and have tripped in this area. And this certainly brings reproach to the name of Christ. Going back to the story of the three Karnataka ministers, it is intriguing to note that one of them had asked women not to wear skimpy clothes, if they don’t want to be raped! Mumbai Mirror, a newspaper out of the city of Mumbai had this headline after this event – a headline that said a lot: “Minister who said women who wear skimpy clothes ask to be raped, caught surfing porn in Assembly.” If a State Government minister who does not have a living relationship with Jesus as Savior is being ripped apart for preaching something and practicing something contrary to what he preached, one can imagine the kind of negative impact that will result when preachers/Christian leaders of the Gospel do the same thing. As Kingdom Leaders we need to ask God for strength and grace so that we would not behave in a way that the name of Jesus would be blasphemed.
Sexual Temptation can be won through accountability relationships
If sexual impurity is not an option for Kingdom Leaders, how then can they stay sexually pure? The next section will draw lessons with regard to this from the Old Testament, the New Testament and the History of Christianity. During Old Testament times, David Clarence points out, prophets “warned and corrected the leadership when they moved away from the defined parameters” and that there was no reason to believe that their ministry cannot continue even in the New Testament.
Christopher Wright wrote,
The King could be approached and implored by ordinary individuals or by prophets on their behalf. Examples include Nathan’s parable on behalf of Uriah (2 Sa. 12:1-10), Joab and the wise woman of Tekoa’s parable on behalf of Absalom (2 Sa. 14:1-24), the prostitute’s appeal to Solomon (I Ki. 23:16-28 and Shunammite woman’s appeal to King Joram (2 Ki 8:1-6).
When one examines the Old Testament text closely, one finds that there is no record of King David having committed adultery again following his repentance post the confrontation prophet Nathan had with him about his affair with Bathsheba. Kingdom leaders, must invite the ministry of Nathan-like accountability friends into their lives. David Clarence pointed out that accountability friends give advice to their friends who seek their help without undermining the position of those friends by quoting the case of the following duo – Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Home Minister P. Chidambaram. These are the sort of accountability friends whom Kingdom Leaders desperately need. They should be given the freedom to ask uncomfortable questions without much emotion like this – “When was the last time you watched porn?” Jacob Cherian referred to the sad example of the American tele-evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, who kept himself ‘above’ the good people ‘around’ him. If he had allowed them to be around him and had he been frank with them, they would have been able to help him even as he battled sexual sin in his private life all alone, all through. Jacob Cherian told us further: “We are in danger of doing stupid things, when we do ministry as loners!” Eugene H. Peterson, writing about the church in Rome, asserts, “spiritual formation requires that they (believers from Gentile background and Jewish background) live in open communion with one another.” The key word here is ‘open’. This implies that they would be open to sharing with each other, their struggles, their failures, their temptations, and encourage each other not to give up in their battle.
The concept of ‘priesthood of all believers’ (a doctrine that has its primary biblical base from I Peter 2:9), as John Higgins pointed out, ‘was a recognition of the community of faith and the opportunity and responsibility of the believer toward his neighbor.’ A practical way, one believer can be responsible for another believer is by keeping short accounts with each other. They ask each other uncomfortable questions like, “When was the last time you disrobed a woman who was not your wife in your mind?” or “When was the last time you got physically intimate with a person who was not your spouse?”
Cliff Barrows, a senior associate in the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, a team which is known to have steered clear of sexual temptation successfully reveals one of the secrets of doing so: “We were accountable to God, to our wives, to each other, the local committees, and the spiritual leadership of the community.”
I am glad that God has placed in my ministry team a man of God much older than I am who I have given the right to question me on all matters – including those matters involving my sexual purity. This arrangement has helped me stem the constant onslaught of sexual temptations. I am of the opinion that we are not only accountable to the Gads (the name of one of the prophet friends of David was Gad) but also to God! It is my view that in our lives we need friends who are not just the Jonathans, but also friends who are the Nathans! Of course, my spouse is specially empowered by the Spirit to protect me in this area. There are times, when I turn on my phone speaker during my longish counseling phone calls with a person of the opposite gender, so that she can hear what the other person is saying. This way, I am accountable to her and protected from being tripped by sexual temptation. Even though I do not sense anything amiss in the behavior of an acquaintance of the opposite gender, if my wife does, I keep off from that acquaintance for the sake of keeping my sexual purity. Often times, I would notice, at a latter point in time, that my wife’s intuitions about a lady’s/girl’s intention in getting close to us, turned out to be absolutely true and precisely accurate.
In this online age, accountability can be found via the web as well. There is a website named accountability2you, which is a “web-based service that dumps all the pornographic material someone surfs into his or her spouse’s e-mail inbox.”
Sexual Temptation can be won when one gets absorbed into the Word and God’s Presence
David Clarence pointed out to us this from the book of Ezekiel, “Failure to feed the flock scatters them” (Ezek 34:5). The importance of studying the Word of God for both the shepherd and the sheep is the focus here. ‘Scattering’ (from God’s holy ways) is the result of ‘not studying’ God’s laws and storing it in one’s heart (Psa. 119:9-11). William Tyndale told a learned man who placed the words of the pope above God’s written word in the Bible: “If God spare my life….I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scriptures than thou dost.” To heal the church of its many corruptions, the method used by the great reformers was cleansing by the Word of God. The same principle could be used in one’s personal life as Eugene Peterson notes this about Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans:
There are 65 quotations laced through his letter, cited from 16 of the 39 OT books available to him. Isaiah (with 18 citations) and Psalms (with 13) are, his favorites, but he ranges widely, covering most of the territory from Genesis to Malachi.
But it is not only that he quotes, he inhabits the story, he gives the impression of being on familiar terms with everything written by prophetic ancestors, totally at ease in this richly expansive narrative of God’s word. The scriptures have become for him ‘all autobiographical’ (Alexander Whyte’s phrase).
The richness of Paul’s knowledge of God’s Word was particularly used to underscore humanity’s – both the Jews as well as the Gentiles – sin. What convicted the whole of the human race can convict the individual (who in our case is the Kingdom Leader) and keep him from falling into sin – sexual sin, including.
Now, I turn to story of Jim Bakker, the American tele-evangelist to show the link between absorbing the message of the Bible regularly and falling into sexual temptation. Even as he rapidly became popular in the United States, a time came in his life when he lost to sexual temptation. Here he describes the circumstances that led to this:
We (Jessica Hahn and I) had a fifteen- to twenty-minute tryst, a quick, furtive, sexual encounter….When it was over, I quickly left the room, and in a daze, hurried to the elevator and pressed the the button marking the eighth floor…I was horrified. Oh, God! What have I done? I had not considered the consequences of my absurd attempt to make Tammy Faye (Jim Bakker’s wife) jealous. I had not even paused to think of the potential ramifications of my actions while I was giving in to the temptation of having sex with a woman other than my wife. I had simply reacted.
I had opened the door to attack on the ministry I headed, my family, and me personally. Worse yet, the devil had not made me do any of it; I had done it of my own stubborn will.
I disrobed and immediately stepped into the shower, turning the water on as hot as I could stand it. I never felt so dirty in all my life. Maybe if I make the water hotter, it will wash it all away, I thought….
I returned to my room around eleven o’ clock and tumbled into bed. I felt exhausted in every way, yet sleep eluded me. I stared at the ceiling. I replayed the events of the day in my mind again and again. How could I have been so foolish? I asked myself a thousand times. Why did I ever allow things to get to this point? I tossed and turned all night long. Everything within me seemed to have come undone as a result of fifteen to twenty minutes of sexual ‘pleasure’. If adultery was so pleasurable, why was I feeling so awful?
What led Jim Bakker to commit such a sin? Before we go any further I would like to recall the following lines by Christopher J.H. Wright which will help connect me with Jim Bakker:
Ezekiel puts Judah and Sodom in the same family as sisters… He goes on to breathtakingly, to say of Judah, ‘You have done more detestable things than they, and have made your sisters seem righteous’ (Ezek 16:51).
The point that Ezekiel makes here is not hard to miss. Upon seeing God’s treatment of the sexually-immoral Sodom, Judah should have been careful. But they weren’t. The reason why God allows me to read real life stories of God’s servants failing in the area of sex is to warn me not to follow the same path of self-destruction.
Jim Bakker goes on to talk about a number of things that could be sited as reasons plunging him to this depth – a depth any of us could have plunged into but for the grace of God.
I had gotten so busy trying to do something great for God and for his people, I totally missed the point. Although I talked a great deal about Jesus – and in my heart I truly loved him – I allowed myself to be drawn away from my first love. Instead of fostering an intimate relationship with Him, I loved the supernatural, the signs and wonders.…I may not always have been so blatant about it, but I often preached the prosperity message….But when I began to study the Scriptures in depth while in prison, something I’m embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I rarely took time to do during the hectic years of constant building and ministering …I was very distressed at what I discovered.
From the life of Jim Bakker, one learns of the connection between losing the ‘first love’ relationship with Jesus, refusing to lap up His Word through unhurried study and consequently falling into sexual sin and other dangerous evils.
In the ministry I lead for the Google Generation, after taking precautions to spend unhurried times in prayer and the word, I encourage the young people I get to preach to, to do the same. I recently discovered that even Joseph, perhaps, won over sexual temptation by carrying God’s Word in his heart. What God told Eve Joseph adapted and used when the wife of Mrs. Potiphar tempted him and he came out triumphant (Gen 3:13 and Genesis 39).
I have used Ezekiel 23, right from my Bible College days to teach young people that physical intimacy between a man and woman who are not yet married is sinful. I even a wrote a paper explaining this for my Major Prophets Course as part of the M. Div course in Southern Asia Bible College between the years 1998-2001. I have preached this truth from Ezekiel 23 extensively across India in various churches, corporate company gatherings, colleges and schools. But I hadn’t yet come across any other youth preacher who used the same chapter (Ezekiel 23) to show the path of purity for today’s youth. But I was relieved to discover Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker use Ezekiel 23 as a launch pad to drive home the same truth in a book printed in 2010! Here is what they wrote:
God views foreplay outside marriage as wrong. We get a glimpse of this in Ezekiel 23:3, where God, to portray the waywardness and apostasy of His chosen people, uses the picture of virgins in passionate sin: “In that land their breasts were fondled and their virgin bosoms caressed.” (If you’ve ever argued that God doesn’t address ‘petting’ in the Bible, let Ezekiel 23:3 serve as corrective to your thinking).
The reason why I am stressing the connection of absorbing God’s Word and overcoming sexual temptation is this: the Bible is the final court of appeal for all matters of belief and behavior. In our class we were reminded of Calvin’s statement in Institutes IV, vii, 8:
…nothing should be admitted in the church as the Word of God but what is first in the law and the prophets and then in the writings of the Apostles and there is no other method of teaching aright in the church than according to the prescription and norm of the Word.
If we, Kingdom Leaders, do not know what God’s word has to say on matters of sexuality we are struggling with, we will never have the will to overcome temptation. A young lady was fondled in her private parts by a particular preacher who frequented her home in a particular country. He always stopped just short of having intercourse with her in these secret sexual encounters. This preacher assured this girl what they were indulging in, was not sinful. And when this story reached my ears, this is what I thought: “If only that young girl had known what the Bible had to say about intimate touching between unmarried people, there was a good chance that this girl would have never allowed this particular preacher to abuse her so blatantly!” And just as William Tyndale desired ‘every boy driving the plough’ have a working knowledge of the Bible, I became passionate to proclaim what God’s word had to say about sex and sexual sin to each and every Google Generation youth I got the opportunity to communicate to in youth camps, youth conventions and church meetings, even at the expense of missing out on the second invitation to preach for my bold and blunt approach.
Sexual Temptation can be won by the demonstrating advance alertness
N. T. Wright wrote, “(Jesus’) death under the weight of sin results in release for all those held captive by its guilt and power.” What N.T. Wright talks about here is positional sanctification – a sanctification that is ours because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. But the Bible in other places talks about practical sanctification – a sanctification that results when practical steps of obedience are taken by the believer. Running the Christian race ‘with endurance’ practically involves ‘laying aside every weight and the sin (or persons/possessions/places who lead us to sin) which clings so closely (Heb. 12:1)! Jacob Cherian pointed out from Genesis 4:7 that sin, like a crouching predator, seeks to attack the unsuspecting target. So, we must be alert and spiritually prepared to face the subtle onslaught of sexual temptation which can come at a time when we least expect it. Evangelist Billy Graham explains a practical step he and his ministry associates undertook after a holding a successful meeting in 1948 keeping this in mind:
We all knew of evangelists who had fallen into immorality while separated from their families by travel. We pledged among ourselves to avoid any situation that would have even the appearance of compromise or suspicion. From that day on, I did not travel, meet, or eat alone with a woman other than my wife. We determined that the apostle Paul’s mandate to the young pastor Timothy would be ours as well: “Flee….youthful lusts!” (2 Timothy 2:22 KJV)
By following what he just explained very strictly, Dr. Graham was able to live a life that steered clear of even a whiff of sexual temptation. Dr. Graham, by doing this, also imitated Joseph in the Bible who ‘refused to even be with’ Mrs. Portiphar alone (Genesis 39:10).
As a leader who works among the Google Generation I, a vulnerable, normal red-blooded young preacher, do get plenty of opportunities to meet folks from the opposite gender in locked door settings during counseling times or even during casual conversations. But, as one who has learnt priceless truths from the example of Joseph in the Old Testament and Dr. Billy Graham of our time, I refuse such opportunities steadfastly. If I have to meet with a person of the opposite gender alone, the door of the room where we are meeting would be kept wide open or we would talk in a place where everyone can see us talking. Better safe, than sorry!
In this paper, I gleaned out just one of the core values of a Kingdom Leader the Scriptures and Church History invites him/her to possess. Not only that. We saw how that core value can be a reality in the day-to-day life of the Kingdom leader in a practical way. John Higgins mentioned that ‘the Kingdom Leader must champion a cause worth dying for’. The names of Polycarp, John Hus, Girolamo Savonarola and Thomas Cranmer found their way in the list of names of Kingdom Leaders who were willing to die for their God-given causes. When it comes to preserving our purity, the Bible teaches we must be willing to die – willing to even shed our blood if need be (Heb 12:4). I am ready for such a kind of commitment trusting in the Lord to help me. One of the writers of “Our Daily Bread” wrote the following lines which express my desire to preserve purity come what may, even death or martyrdom:
In the forests of northern Europe and Asia lives a little animal called the ermine, known for his snow-white fur in winter. He instinctively protects his white coat against anything that would soil it.
Fur hunters take advantage of this unusual trait of the ermine. They don’t set a snare to catch him, but instead they find his home, which is usually a cleft in a rock or a hollow in an old tree. They smear the entrance and interior with grime. Then the hunters set their dogs loose to find and chase the ermine. The frightened animal flees toward home but doesn’t enter because of the filth. Rather than soil his white coat, he is trapped by the dogs and captured while preserving his purity. For the ermine, purity is more precious than life.
I want to be like that ermine for whom purity is more precious than life.
Arterburn, Stephen, Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey. Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time. Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 2010.
Bakker, Jim with Ken Abraham. I was Wrong: The Untold Story of the Shocking Journey from PTL Power to Prison and Beyond. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996.
Birch, Bruce C and Walter Brueggeman. A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament. Nashville: Abingdon, 1999.
Hays, Richard B. The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.
Ladd, George Eldon. The Gospel of the Kingdom. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1959.
Myra, Harold and Marshall Shelley. The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005.
Peterson, Eugene. “Pastor Paul”. In Romans and the People of God. Edited by Sven K. Soderlund and N. T. Wright. Grand Rapids: Eerdmens, 1999.
Verwer, George. Drops From a Leaking Tap. Hyderabad: Authentic, 2010.
Wright, Christopher J.H. Living as the People of God. England: IVP, 1983.
Wright, N. T. Evil and the Justice of God. Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 2006.
Cherian, Jacob. “The Significance, Function and Implications of the Parental Imagery in Paul’s Pastoral care.” Th. M. Thesis, Regent College, Vancouver, 1996.
Cherian, Jacob. “Kingdom Leadership: Theological Perspectives from the Old Testament, New Testament and Historical Christianity.” Class notes for Core 6 Course at the Southern Asia Bible College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, June 27-July 01, 2011.
Clarence, David. “Kingdom Leadership: Theological Perspectives from the Old Testament, New Testament and Historical Christianity.” Class notes for Core 6 Course at the Southern Asia Bible College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, June 27-July 01, 2011.
Higgins, John. “Kingdom Leadership: Theological Perspectives from the Old Testament, New Testament and Historical Christianity.” Class notes for Core 6 Course at the Southern Asia Bible College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, June 27-July 01, 2011.
Bloomberg Businessweek (Double Issue), August 16 – August 29, 2010.
Outlook, April 5, 2010.
The Week, July 11, 2010.
“News Hour”, Times Now, February 7, 2012, 9 pm show.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New International Version.
 Jacob Cherian, “Kingdom Leadership: Theological Perspectives from the Old Testament, New Testament and Historical Christianity” (class notes for Core 6 Course at the Southern Asia Bible College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, June 27-July 01, 2011), 5.
David Clarence, “Kingdom Leadership: Theological Perspectives from the Old Testament, New Testament and Historical Christianity.” (Oral Lecture for Core 6 Course at the Southern Asia Bible College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, June 27-July 01, 2011),
Bruce C. Birch and Walter Brueggeman, A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament (Nashville: Abingdon, 1999), 242.
Richard B. Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation (New York: HarperCollins, 1996), 98.
George Eldon Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1959), 84.
Jacob Cherian, “The Significance, Function and Implications of the Parental Imagery in Paul’s Pastoral care.” Th. M. Thesis, Regent College, Vancouver, 1996, 72.
Augustine, Confessions of St. Augustine, Translated by Edward Bouverie Persie, 26, publisher details not available.
John Higgins, “Kingdom Leadership: Theological Perspectives from the Old Testament, New Testament and Historical Christianity” (class notes for Core 6 Course at the Southern Asia Bible College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, June 27-July 01, 2011), 2.
Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey, Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time (Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 2010), 89.
George Verwer, Drops From a Leaking Tap (Hyderabad: Authentic, 2010), 74-75.
(This is an assignment that Duke Jeyaraj wrote as part of his Doctor of Ministry course with Southern Asia Bible College, Bangalore; This particular essay was written in July 2011; Should you desire to financially support Duke and his ministry, use this weblink: https://razorpay.me/@g4mission )
In 2014, a movie released in India titled, PK, Amitabh Varma’s Hindi Lyrics featured in a particular song from that movie went this way (translated into English loosely):
(Boy to girl)
Looking at you, continuously
I keep on listening to your jibber-jabber
Forgetting all my work
I keep on just following you
This is a waste of time
Love is a waste of time
Still I have thought to myself
That once in my lifetime
I can go for ‘this waste of time’
Love is a waste of time…
Young people fall in love, at times, very well knowing that falling in love is a waste of time.
But it is also true that we love ‘wasteful’ things.
The greatest command in the Bible is of course this command: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Matt. 22:37-38).
The tragedy of our time is this: we love many-a-thing, but we don’t love God! We love what we should shove! That’s sad!
The Bible talks about people loving the wrong thing on various occasions. Let us journey through the pages of Scripture to figure this out, so that we would be wary of these ‘waste of time’ loves.
The Love of Silver
Michael Douglas, in the 1987 movie, Wall-Street, said this: “Greed, for the lack of a better word is good. Greed is right. Greed works.”
Yes, we live in a world where the love of silver, the love of money in other words, is considered good. But the Bible is categorical when it says, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (I Tim.6:10).
How do we exhibit love for money as a believer? We skip our quiet time with God to work extra-time in our workplace so that we could make some more money! That is love of money in action! How do we show-forth love of money as preachers? We preach things that tickle the ears of our listeners so that they would give us big offerings instead of preaching the unadulterated Word of God!
Do you love gold instead of God? Don’t. Do you love silver instead of the Savior? Don’t. Don’t love what you should shove! Don’t love what you should loathe!
The love of STONES
Prophet Jeremiah explains this strange love of the people of Judah. They say, “I love foreign gods and I must go after them” (Jer. 2:25, NIV). Which foreign God did they love? They loved Baal, the Prophet Jeremiah had clarified just two verses above (Jer. 2:23). Instead of worshipping the living God who called the Rock (I Sam. 2:2), the people of Judah not just worshipped stones, but loved these lifeless objects as well.
Anything that takes the place of God in our life is an idol – we know that. Do we love such stones in our lives? These stones could be the gadgets we own, the gardens we have planted, the ministry we do! Let us not love what we shove! Let us not love what we should loathe!
The love of SENSUALITY
The naughty boy was told this by this flirty aunty: “Come let’s drink deep of love till morning; Let’s enjoy ourselves with love!” (Prov. 7:18). This woman’s husband had gone for a long trip and would not return in a hurry (Prov. 7:19,20). So, she filled her loneliness with a sinful love for sensuality. But the problem is this: you will never find in sin, what you entered sin to find (as someone said)! After the experience of sensuality is done and dusted, a gaping vacuum soon envelops the heart – does it not? Do you love to obey whatever you body says you must do because you are lover so sensuality? For example, when your body says, “Watch porn when you are alone”, do you obey your Body even after knowing that what you do will displease the Lord because you have read 2 Samuel 11:27?
The first thing that David did in 2 Samuel 11 was watching ‘live porn’ – the bath of a woman not his wife. And that displeased the Lord!
Let’s not love what we shove! Let’s not love what we should loathe!
The love of your UNSAVED SWEETHEART
Let’s talk to King Solomon. Let’s interview him. “Solomon, whom did you love in your first phase of life as a king?” He would reply this: “The Lord! Have you not read I Kings 3:3?” That verse goes this way: “Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according the statutes of his father David”. One note-worthy statute for the kings of Israel was this: they must not take many wives lest their hearts be led astray (Duet. 17:17).
But as the second phase of his life dawned, the Bible has this to say about King Solomon: ‘King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love..’ (I Kings 11:1-2).
Do you stubbornly love your unsaved sweetheart with a plan to marry her/him soon hoping that she/he will become a believer though your influence? Stop! I Corinthians 7:39 is clear: a person who is already a believer, marries a believer!
Are you in love with an unbeliever?
Let’s not love what we shove! Let’s not love what we should loathe!
The love of SLEEP
We loathe what we should love, and love what you should loathe! What a sad route we have taken in life! There are those who love Sleep as the Proverbs Pen Man records, “Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; Stay awake and you’ll have food to spare” (Prov. 20:13). Late-rising, Sleep-Loving King David eventually fell into sexual sin (I Sam. 11:2). Matthew Henry, the ace Bible commentator wrote, “The bed of sloth is very often the bed of lust,” so wrote the Great Bible Commentator, Matthew Henry. Let’s not love what we shove! Let’s not love what we should loathe! If I had not sacrificed sleep, many of my Bible-teaching articles would have never been written (including this one)!
The love of STRIFE
One of the writers of the Psalms, writes about another kind of love, the kind that God hates, this way: ‘The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked; his very being hates anyone who loves violence” (Psa. 11:5). Are we not like the people of Ephraim? In Judges 8:1 they pick up a fight. In Judges 12:1 they pick up yet another fight. They use these uncouth words in their angry rant here: “We will burn your house over you with fire!” This tribe seems to be always fighting! They love strife it looks like! Let us not love what we should be shoving like them! Let’s not love what we should loathe, like the folks of Ephraim! Instead, let us strive to be peace-makers! Instead, let us get involved in the ministry of reconciliation! Instead let us proclaim the Gospel of Peace (Eph. 6:15).
The love of STORIES
Prophet Jeremiah talks about the people of Judah who were “story-lovers”, that is, lie-lovers! He writes, ‘The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and mypeopleloveitthisway. But what will you do in the end?’ (Jer. 5:31). What lies did the prophets of Jeremiah’s time, utter? They lied about the length of the exile. These ‘story-tellers’ said that the exile would last the length of just two years (Jer. 28:11,15,16) when God had clearly said it would be for 70 long years (Jer. 25:9-13).
There are false teachers in our time who also tell us stories. Stories, such as these: “hell punishment is not forever!; Lies such as these: “You can cross-over from hell to heaven!” Deceiving words such as these: “Grace is there, so keep sinning!” What is worse is this: some people love such stories. What is appalling is this: some believers love such lies.
Let me refute just one lie from the above-mentioned list of lies: the lie concerning the length of hell punishment. Read Romans 16:26 and Matthew 25:46. Both the verses have the word ‘eternal’. In Romans that word is prefixed before the word ‘God’ and in Matthew the same word is prefixed before the word, ‘punishment’. If you say that punishment of hell won’t be eternal then you also have to say, “God is not eternal!” But that is not possible! So, God is eternal! And Hell torment is eternal!
We should not love the ‘story’ (lies) of false teaching, even if seasoned men of God teach it!
And it is a folly to love what you shove! And it is stupidity to love what you should loathe!
The love of SLIPPING STUBBORNLY
Jeremiah’s painfully true words express the final ‘S’ in this list of things we unfortunately perhaps love, instead of loathing: This is what the Lord says about this people: “They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet.So the Lord does not accept them; he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins” (Jer. 14:10). The people of Judah to whom Jeremiah ministered, loved to wander away from Yahweh! In the time of Judges, the people of Israel demonstrated their sickening love for slipping away by repeating the seemingly endless cycle of sin, bondage, deliverance following repentance, and peace!
This attitude of loving backsliding is dangerous. Why? There is no surety that we will ever come back to God if we choose to go away from him. Both Judas and Peter went away from Jesus. Only Peter chose to come back. Judas did not come back, mind you. He chose stubbornness along with his sin. And that proved to be catastrophic for him! Let’s not love what we should loathe! Let’s not love what we should shove!
It is my prayer that you freeze your love for the wrong thing this Valentine Day season! Instead your love will be the love that Prophet Isaiah had for the Living God. Prophet Isaiah called God his Well-beloved (KJV)/my Greatly Beloved Lord(AMP)/the One I Love(CSB)/My Darling(WFC) in Isaiah 5:1! Let’s copy him! Let’s love the Lord! Apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come!” (I Cor. 16:22). Not loving the Lord truly is so serious – it can land us in hell!
(The article by Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj appeared in the February 2023 edition of Aim magazine of Evangelical Fellowship of India. Duke is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a listener-supported ministry. You can support this ministry should you choose to using this link: https://razorpay.me/@g4mission)
I love India. The inspiration to do so comes from the Bible.
Love that moves me to INTERCESSION!
Apostle Paul, loved the country he belonged to. He expressed that love by writing these words: ‘I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites’ (Rom. 9:1-4). He was ready to go hell – be accursed – if that could bring the people of his nation who largely had rejected Christ, to Christ! This extreme love for his countrymen which Apostle Paul showcased was not much different from the crazy love which Moses showed for the idol worship loving, idol worship returning people of Israel: Then Moses returned to the Lord, and said, “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. But now, if You will, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!” (Ex. 32:31-32).
Do we love our Country enough to pray this: Lord, I did not choose the country of my birth! But you chose that I be born an Indian! Save Indians Lord! Let the Gospel be proclaimed to every Indian. Use me also in this task! Move me out of my comfort zone for the accomplishment of this task!
Through the ministry I run, the Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission, we run an event called Fountain of Tears of Against of Mountain of Fears Fasting Prayer over Zoom. We pray for India in this once-a-month event after gleaning prayer points from national news magazines such as The Week, India Today, Open, Outlook, etc. This is my way of showing love for my nation! Yes, through INTERCESSION!
Love that moves me to make a ‘DONATION’!
Also when the Lord started blessing my finances I started paying Income Tax! Some suggested that I pay only a nominal tax as my Income Tax – a miniscule amount. But I did not want to do that. I wanted to pay the right amount to the government! And I have been doing this! I was inspired by Jesus to do this! He paid taxes. He paid two kinds of taxes. He paid his religious tax to the temple authorise. In Matthew 17:24-27 Jesus arranged the payment of this tax. A coin was found inside a fish’s mouth. This coin was paid as Temple Tax. Though Jesus asserted that he did not have to pay this tax, he nevertheless paid it, because was be wanted to be above reproach!
That’s not all. In Matthew 22:15-22 Jesus used a coin as an illustration to assert that we must pay taxes to respective governments that rule our Land. In Jesus’ case, a Roman Government ruled the nation he was born into – Palestine! And Jesus was quite clear one had to pay taxes even to the political government ruling the land of your birth!
Do you love India that much that you also pay Income Tax to the Indian Government if you need to do that?
Apostle Paul also called believers to pay tax and thereby in-effect express their love for the land they belong to. He wrote: ‘For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, busy with this very thing. Pay to all what is due them—taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due’ (Rom. 13:6-7). Yes, we must express our love for India via the DONATION called TAX!
Love that was fuelled by a Visa REJECTION!
On August 12, 2010, I appeared before the US Consulate in Hyderabad for a US Visa interview. An organisation was ready not only to buy me a ticket to the USA and back but also sponsor the fees to apply for the US Visa. I was to go there and make a presentation in a Christian Conference. But the visa application got rejected. Though I was disappointed I felt God orchestrated these events to help me focus on a pan-India ministry down the years.
‘Till date, it has been my privilege to preach God’s Word with passion and unction in over 20 Indian states, with the organisers paying for my ticket. God wove together events to bring me a point of a genuine love for my nation, as difficult as it was, at one point in time! I can honestly say that I have no regrets at all that the best years of my youth have been spent in serving Jesus in India, the nation the Lord chose as the nation of my birth, a really needy nation! Through this US visa REJECTION God increased my love for my own country!
Are you listening to God’s voice to you inspiring you to love your nation? You must!
(This article originally appears in Aim Magazine of Evangelical Fellowship of India in its January 2023 edition; The writer, Duke Jeyaraj, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. This is a reader-supported Indian ministry. Reach us via WhatsApp at +91-8886040605)
Testimonies we have received of late (October 2022 to January 15, 2023) – Duke Jeyaraj & Evangelin Duke
“Recently I watched your Kahoot Quiz on Christmas Chapters. I learnt many things. Present Christian community is in dire need of such expositions. I have heard you answer questions of people. Your answers were very practical.” – a brother from Vijayawada, India via WhatsApp.
“I came to be corrected by God’s Word as I interpreted for you…. God’s Word was first to me in the line of receiving and next to the audience. I was translating outside but inside I was being convicted…” – one of Duke’s interpreters via WhatsApp writing from an Indian city.
“Keep plowing ahead Duke! You are a rare utensil God utilizes on this earth!” – a CEO and Christian Book Author living in the USA via LinkedIn.
“Thank you for sending me the book, Daniel In Dell. I cannot adequately explain the wisdom, the corrections, and convictions I received when reading that book. It is a must-read book for every believer who is starting out in the work-place!” – a church volunteer saved from another faith writing from Hyderabad via WhatsApp.
“God is so good and amazing and awesome. He gave me a privilege to translate the messages of my next generation son, Duke. Enjoyed his message even as I translated his message. God bless you Duke for your open talk. It will be useful for generations!” – Duke’s uncle, Pastor Gnanasekaran, after he interpreted for Duke in a youth meeting in October 2022, as Duke shared a message on sexual purity.
“Someone asked you about how you progressed as a preacher. I wanted to say two things with regard to this: one, you give spontaneous references because you know the Bible so well; another is that you keep up with current affairs and try to weave them into your preaching!” – someone who joined the Question Thirst Quenched Truthfully event where Duke answers live questions of audiences over Zoom, writing via email from the USA.
“I heard you preach in a camp for working professionals in Joe Beach, East Coast Road, Chennai. I also heard you make a presentation on hyper-grace false teaching in the Grace and Truth conference in New Life AG Church, Chennai in 2014. I really admired your passionate and energetic preaching. Thank you anna for being a great blessing to many. Your testimony about quitting your HSBC job in 2008 inspired us, as I also moved from a corporate job to fulltime ministry. I used to work for TCS and I am in the fulltime ministry since August 2020.” – a young man in fulltime ministry via Whatsapp.
“Though I am in the ministry, I have been struggling with porn addiction. It has been a tough time for me. However, I watched your sermon, Bro. Duke, on overcoming stubborn addictions and it was helpful for me!” – a young man via LinkedIn.
“Evangelin Duke’s article, When Failing To Plan Actually Works, published in Issue 40 of your magazine, The Days of Your Youth, really encouraged me and enabled to think how miraculously God works in my life. I was working in a MNC and quit my job and now I serve as a pastor in a town in Tamil Nadu.” – a young man writing from Tamil Nadu via WhatsApp.
“Dear Uncle Duke, after I heard you preach on sexual sin in Bethel IPA Coimbatore on 2 October 2022, I repented from worldly things…” – a young man via Instagram Messenger.
“I was looking for preaching about wrong teaching of Immortality on Earth. That’s when I came across one of your sermons on this topic. I am blessed by it!” – a young man from Coimbatore, via Instagram Messenger.
“I was in a relationship with an unbeliever. It was then I listened to your message on YouTube about this. I chose to end that relationship. God bless you, Duke anna.” – a young medical professional writing from Bangalore via WhatsApp.
“Claps! Thank You! (1) Excellent Brother Duke! (2) Excellent Interpretation! (3) Very good and informative article! (4)” – Four pastors after reading Duke’s article on the dangers on Hyper Supernaturalism in a WhatsApp group of Pastors doing ministry among English speakers in India and beyond.
“Thank you Duke anna for sharing the Word of God amidst us! Most of the youth had a good time listening to you! Some 12 of them committed their life!” – one of the program organisers after a program Duke preached in, writing from an Indian City via WhatsApp.
“There are many preachers! Not everyone focusses on the kind of topics you focus on! That is what is needed for the youth!” – a young medical professional writing from United Kingdom, via WhatsApp.
“Hello Brother Duke! We heard Evan for the first time. She spoke so well. Was blessed!” – a church-volunteer couple writing from Vizag after Evan ministered in the Vizag Christian Assembly via WhatsApp.
“Thank you for the book, Straight Talk, sir. It is much needed for our generation! It was an eye-opener for me!” – a young man who is working in Chennai and doing a fully online Bible course via WhatsApp and a public Instagram comment.
“Dear Duke anna, You are a wonderful man of God, carrying the Word of God and the ministry on your shoulders preaching with boldness and courage. God uses your messages to deliver us from Satan’s snares and to guide us.” – a young woman who works for Infosys writing via WhatsApp.
“Bro. Duke, God has blessed you with very good communication skills and may God bless your ministry of calling youths for holiness!” – an IEM Missionary via WhatsApp.
“I listened to your message which you shared with medicos in CMC Shiloh 2022 on overcoming Tech Temptations. I saw the response to your altar call. Giving an altar call is important, but it is missing these days. I forwarded your message to many preachers on my WhatsApp!” – a senior citizen writing from Hyderabad via WhatsApp.
“Bro. Duke, You preached a missionary challenge message from Amos quoting Ida Scudder Story in the year 2002 in the New Life AG Youth Camp in Hyderabad. My daughter was truly challenged. She came forward during the altar call. She went on to became a doctor, a gynaecologist. She now serves God in a mission hospital.” – a senior citizen via Facebook messenger.
“Dear Duke sir, Your message on finding where to serve God and among who from Acts 16 deepened my understanding!” – a medical doctor writing from Andhra Pradesh via WhatsApp.
“Today was the my first time in your Kahoot Quiz, Duke sir. It was really a good experience. Your questions are so tricky and new. Thank you so much. I had an amazing time!” – a medical doctor writing from Andhra Pradesh via WhatsApp.
“I took part in your Romans Kahoot Quiz, brother Duke. Blessed to hear your clear explanation of Romans!” – a young professional writing from the United Kingdom via WhatsApp.
“Thank you uncle Duke, for the Romans Kahoot Quiz you conducted over Zoom today. It was the first time I was talking part. Was able to have a lot of key takeaways while at the same time enjoyed the one and half hours. Looking forward to the next.” – a young man writing from Mumbai via WhatsApp.
“Your talk in Shiloh 2022 on overcoming Tech Temptations really helped me a lot, Duke sir.” – a young woman writing via WhatsApp.
“The Bubbly tract, is one of your classics for sure, dear Duke!” – a senior ministry leader writing via WhatsApp.
“Just now read your tract Duke anna. The tract, Bubbly Outside, Yet Empty Inside. It’s really fabulous! You take secular examples to grab the attention of the reader and then share the Gospel through it. It is really nice anna. I too found a way to share the Gospel with my peers, thanks to this tract!” – a young medical doctor writing from Andhra Pradesh via WhatsApp.
“I read your gospel tract, Bubbly Outside, Yet Empty Inside?, in my Bible College library. You have written it so well with contemporary examples. I am inspired by your zeal and passion to share about Jesus!” – a young woman writing from Bangalore via email.
For His Glory! By His Grace! Many more miles to go before we sleep! – Duke & Evan
(If you have a testimony you want to share with us with regard to the impact of our ministry please feel free to Whatsapp them to 91+8886040605 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org; We will publish them from time to time, making edits for clarity and withholding your name on most occasions).
Since the Bible has 1189 chapters in total (approx 1200 chapters) you will have to read approximately 6 chapters a day to complete all of it in just about 200 days (nearly Seven months).
STARTING on the first of the year (OR ANY GIVEN DAY), we can through all of the Bible, a little differently. We will read from different sections of the Bible, each day – Sandwich System of Sustained Scripture Study, as I call it – the 5S method.
We have 6 different sections in the Bible.
The Law Books Section – Genesis to Deuteronomy – 5 books – 187 chapters in total
The Old Testament History Books Section – Joshua to Esther – 12 books – 249 chapters in all.
The Poetry Books Section – Job to Song of Songs – 5 books in all – 243 chapters in all.
The Prophetic Books Section – Isaiah to Malachi – 17 books in all – 250 chapters in all.
The New Testament History Books Section – Mathew to Acts – 5 books in all – 117 chapters in all.
The Letters Section – Romans to Revelation – 22 books – 143 chapters in all.
That makes it a grand total of 1189 chapters, that includes 929 from the OT and 260 from the NT.
Let us read 1 chapter each from one different section of the Bible, every day! For example: On a January 1, we will read, Genesis 1, Joshua 1, Job 1, Isaiah 1, Mathew 1 and Romans 1 (6 chapters from six different Bible sections)! Once we exhaust one section, we will go back to the start of that section.
The OT Poetry section has 243 chapters. So we will need 243 days to finish it. The OT Prophetic section has 250 chapters in all. This will take a maximum of 250 days to read as per this system of Scripture study.
When one section gets over, start again!
The Bible will taste as a tasty six-layered sandwich when you use this method of studying it! Also, you acknowledge that ALL Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16) by attempting to read ALL of the Scripture, not just the parts of the Bible you like! False Teachers, wolves in sbeep clothing, cannot continue to fool you by quoting only convenient-to-their-hell-populating-theology Bible verses, that too taken out of context from cherry-picked parts of the Bible, anymore, as you now will be become familiar with all the sections of the Bible on a DAILY basis!
Buy a highlighter pen (green in color or pink in color or whatever color). Highlight atleast one verse from each chapter you read that speaks personally to you. You may share that verse or a thought from that verse on social media – Facebook or WhatsApp or Twitter or Instagram. Or simply put it in a good quality notebook. Or even on the side margins of your Bible. This way you will not lose track of what you read.
If you download a Bible App such as ESV Bible App, you have the option of listening the chapters to be read for that particular day to you. As plan B you can do the relevant search on YouTube and hear audios of the chapters for any given day.
So, let us enjoy reading from every section of the Bible, every day! Reading God’s Word, the Bible, which is compared to honey, repeatedly, would be a tasty experience – as tasty as eating a six layered sandwich! Sandwich and Scripture are connected. Like Patriach Job let us consider the Bible as our ‘necessary food’ (Job 23:12). Did not the Lord Jesus say, “Man shall not live by bread alone?” (Matt. 4:4)!
(The author of this piece, Dr. Duke Jeyaraj, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission, a Indian ministry to presentday people. This is a reader-supported ministry. Reach us via WhatsApp +918886040605 or email, email@example.com for more details).
Thank you for standing with us through 2022 as we tried to grab the Google Gen from going to Gehenna (hell). Here is a glimpse of our work in 2022:
After a session that Duke preached in, in Nepal during April 2022
The altar call time in Shiloh 2022 in CMC, Vellore, during Sept-Oct, 2022
Our regular monthly Zoom programs drew audiences from India over and beyond. They participated in 1) Fountain of Tears Against Mountain of Fears Fasting prayer 2) Kahoot Bible Quizzes – one winner from Saudi Arabia 3) Question Thirst Quenched Truthfully 4) Month-end Midnight prayer
During one of many Zoom Meetings this year!
Our monthly, or even more frequent, Tracts outreach using the Bubbly/Dhoni gospel tract in Chennai and Vellore reach many seekers standing in Bus Stands, Airports, Malls, Colleges, etc. Evan Duke gave these to even CSWs and shared the Gospel with them.
We took up invitations to travel and preach from organisations [like CMC Vellore (1500 medicos blessed)} as well as from churches (Bethel IPA, Jesus With Us, and others) in their National-Level programs as well as from fellowships operating inside top educational insititions (like IIT Madras).
We travelled to Nepal, Haryana, Kerala, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and ofcourse within Tamil Nadu to preach God’s Word with the organisers paying for our ticket and inviting us warmly. Revival scenes at the altar, we witnessed these! Never preached to warm the inviter for a second invite! These messages are on Youtube.com/@dukej (over 2000 videos now). We also recorded messages in the ongoing Bible Study series, Chosen Chapter Chew Covering Contemporary Issue (C5I), and uploaded onto our YouTube.
We counselled those who reached out to us, via WhatsApp Audio voice recorded messages and live calls. Always told these folk what they needed to hear, not what they wanted to hear.
Now all three books of Duke – 1) Straight Talk, 2) Daniel in Dell, 3) Goodnews for the Google Generation – back in print. Issue 41 of our mag, The Days of Your Youth, published. ‘Dhoni’ tract reprinted. Articles for other mags written (AIM/Christian Trends). Literally 1000s of Bubbly/Dhoni tracts were ordered for Christmas Season outreaches.
We got back to print two books we had earlier published but were out of print!
Thro’ our own wesbites (this one and http://www.purposenmeaning.com) and social media we engaged the online Google Gen world-over and defended Sound Doctrine. YouVersion hosts Duke’s plans. All glory to God!
We defended sound doctrine through Social Media uploads!
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Emiliano Martinez, the 6’4” tall, Argentine Goalie, faced 14 penalty kicks in the Penalty Shootout stages of the 2022 World Cup. He made six saves. One kick went wide. This kind of success rate in saving penalties is simply phenomenal! Swaroop Swaminathan explains what makes Martinez successful: “He is probably the world’s best because of his confrontational style. You can argue it makes for ugly scenes but research has held that putting extra pressure on the spot-kickers does have the desired benefit. Extra pressure here includes everything from engaging in some trash talk to making the players wait…Against both sets of players (France and Netherlands) at the World Cup, his usual shenanigans were visible. Either speaking with them or trying to shake hands or celebrating wildly. Before Aurelian Tchoumeni’s kick, he actually threw the ball away, forcing the youngster to wait longer.”
Martinez’ tactics reminds us of a key Christmas truth. We too must have an confrontational, combative attitude when it comes to fighting Satan who tried to kill the Christmas baby Jesus through Herod (Rev. 12:4). This Revelation 12 Christmas chapter climaxes with this verse where there is a clarion call for Christ-followers to keep battling the Devil: ‘Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring – those who keep God’s commands and host fast their testimony about Jesus’ (Rev. 12:17). This battle between believers and the dragon will go on till the day of judgement which is talked about using the earth swallowing imagery (Rev. 12:16).
The believer has multiple enemies during his wilderness journey: the world, the flesh, the Devil, false teaching. And the believer must show the kind of aggressiveness that Martinez showed against Netherlands and Argentina during the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup, against these enemies! Peter’s call to wage war against the flesh is memorable: “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul” (I Peter 2:11). We have to wage war not only against the enemy of the flesh, but also the enemy of Satan, the World and False Teaching! Christmas is not just about a celebration! It is also about a collision against the Devil, the World, the Flesh and False Teaching!
(The author’s ministry is reader-suppported. WhatsApp him at +91-8886040605 for more details
WOWED BY A WIDE-LENS VIEW OF CHRISTMAS BY A STUDY OF THE REFERENCES TO CHRISTMAS/INCARNATION OF CHRIST BY OTHER NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS APART FROM MATTHEW AND LUKE
Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj
Different writers of the Bible used various styles and imagery to describe the Christmas story. Using Holy Spirit-inspired colors they painted the Christmas Story in a wide range of colors! Yes, Matthew and Luke narrated the historic Christmas story. But other New Testament writers – notably Paul, John and the Hebrews-author – go back to the same Christmas event and explain its theological meanings and implications. Let us look at Christmas using a wide-lens, taking into account the writings of as many different New Testament writers as possible!
Not just Luke and Matthew. Paul, John, and the Hebrews-writer talk about Christmas! We have a mention of Christmas even in the book of Revelation! This article focusses on the non-Matthew, non-Luke stories of Christmas!
Paul described Christmas this way: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman..” (Gal. 4:4). For Paul, Christmas was all about the impeccable TIMING. Jesus came to the planet at the time designed by the Trinity. If God came to the earth as a sinless, perfect human at the right time, he knows the right time to remove that sickness you are presently enduring and give you the promotion you are eagerly expecting! We must learn to salute the Sovereignty of God who is always “on time” when it comes to working miracles on our behalf even though, at times, he may be “four days late” (John 11:39) (as one song-writer memorably put it).
The miracle that God has planned for you, will come at the ‘right time’ – God’s time!
John portrayed Christmas this way: “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling (tabernacle) among us…” (John 1:14). For John, Christmas was about the TABERNACLE. This world is not our home and we just tabernacling – passing – through this world! As Jonathan Edwards put it, we go about our earthly tenure with ‘eternity stamped on our eyeballs’.
The Hebrews-writer envisioned Christmas this way: “Now since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity, so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil…” (Heb. 2:14). For the Hebrews-writer, Christmas was all about TERROR-REMOVAL. Jesus was born so that he would die and rise again and thereby open the door to remove the commonest fear among humans – the fear of death. And to die, he needed flesh and blood like us, humans. And during the first Christmas, he chose to cloth himself with flesh and blood! So no fear needs to grip us – the fear of an examination, the fear of a job-loss, the fear of another crippling pandemic, the fear of not being up-to-the-mark in the responsibilities given to us, the fear of …. !
Christmas happened that our fear of death will be gone! Hebrews-writer’s point!
John wrote again about Christmas choosing another thing to focus upon in 2 John. He wrote there: ‘For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist’ (2 John 7). For him, here, Christmas was all about TRUTH-GAURDING. By being born in the flesh – born as a baby into our planet – Jesus was showcasing the importance of the human body. The one who filled the universe would now live inside the body of a woman – her womb! And once he came out of her womb, he would exist in a human body coping with all its restrictions of having to be in one place at one time (something that was strange for the God who was everywhere present)! The human body cannot become a playground for sexual immorality. If you did not believe in Christmas – God’s coming in the flesh – then it would not be a big deal for you to indulge the flesh! So, if you really believed in Christmas, you will motivation to live a sexually pure life! That was John’s point in 2 John.
John was not tired of writing about Christmas time and again! He kept coming back to Christmas to expound the theological implications of Christ as the Spirit of God prodded him to. He gives us a peek of Christmas in Revelation 12, I believe: the Sun-clothed woman’s baby was about to be devoured by Satan the moment he was born (Rev. 12:4). Remember how Herod tried to finish off the new born baby Jesus? This Revelation 12 male child, obviously Jesus, was “destined to rule the nations” (Rev. 12:5). Satan also was keen on waging an ongoing battle with the “rest of the children” of the sun-clothed woman (Rev. 12:17). The rest of the children of the sun-clothed – symbolic of believers and Christ-followers – were to hang in there for 1260 days in the wilderness (Rev. 12:14). 1260 days! Does the number ring a bell? It certainly rang a bell among the original readers of John’s letter! They knew that was a code word used by the apostles often to remind believers of those days to become more and more like the One who ministered on this earth for 1260 days, i.e. three and half years – even Jesus! So, the call of Christmas, from John, from Revelation 12 is that of a TRANSFORMATION – a call to be transformed in character like Jesus’ character, more and more in our “wilderness” journey!
The Sun-clothed woman story narrated in Revelation 12 is a Christmas Story, according to me, calling us to become more and more like Jesus!
Using the “flood” from his mouth Satan (see Rev. 12:15) will try to drown believers. That reminds me of the “flood” of false teaching Satan has unleashed using the mouths of false-teachers who have surrendered their mouths to him. Using those Satan-inspired mouths the teach hell-populating teaching like hyper-grace, immortality on earth, hyper-supernaturalism, etc. to drown believers. John writes, ‘But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth to swallow up the river that had poured from the dragon’s mouth’ (Rev. 12:16). This is simply another way of saying that one day the earth will open up and swallow Satan-inspired false-teachers the way it opened up and swallowed Korah and his rebellion gang in the Old Testament. It is an imagery of judgment: earth opening up and swallowing. It points to the hell-destination of false teachers and those who buy their theology, I believe. So understanding this seemingly-complex-yet-simple imagery of Revelation 12 brings us back to the message of TRUTH-GAURDING. Obeying the commands of God – holding onto the written Word of God and making it our basis for all matters of belief and behaviour – and holding onto our testimony – testimony via life and lips – is what enrages Satan, John writes he wraps his ‘Christmas’ commentary in the book of Revelation (Rev. 12:17). Let’s celebrate a Christmas where the focus is not on being ENTERTAINED by SANTA CLAUS but on ENRAGING SATAN!
Revelation 12’s thrust about Christmas brings us to this: Christmas is not about being ENTERTAINED by Santa Claus but about ENRAGING SATAN by safe-gaurding ourselves from false teachings he brings via false teachers/pastors/brothers!!!
This wide-lens view of Christmas is wow, isn’t it? This Christmas take time to read, meditate, chew, non-typical Christmas chapters such as Revelation 12, 2 John, Galatians 4, John 1, etc.!
(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj, a Agri. Engineer turned M. Div. Gold Medallist and Doctor Of Ministry Graduation Speaker, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a para-church ministry to present-day people functioning from Chennai. God has graciously opened doors for him to preach in over 20 Indian states and in a few other nations right from the first time Duke preached, as a school boy of 16, in the year 1991. He has authored three books: Straight Talk (Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, Phone Addiction, married-sex, etc., – what the Bible says), Daniel in Dell (practical study of the book of Daniel for modern working professionals), Goodnews for the Google Generation (the Gospel presented the way Jesus did in Luke 13 and the way Paul did in Acts 17). Reach him via email@example.com or WhatsApp, +91-8886040605, in case you want to buy these or have a question. Duke is married to Evangelin, a Odisha Missionary’s daughter, and this couple are blessed with two children – Dale, 19, who is a student of St. Stephens College, Delhi, and Datasha, 15, who studies Class X. This article was published in the December 2022 edition of Aim magazine of Evangelical Fellowship of India. Duke’s ministry, the G4 Mission is a reader-supported ministry).
Once in five weeks the Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, G4 Mission, conducts a Kahoot Bible Quiz. This time the book we had the quiz on was the Bible book of Lamentations! At the end of over 100 minutes of quizzing, we figured out that this Bible book, like every other Bible book, is full of life-changing Bible truths worth celebrating!
People from various walks of life joined this quiz! The registration for this quiz came from places as far out and diverse as these: from Sonipat in North India to Salem in South India; from Bahrain to Bangalore; from Brussels to Bhubaneshwar; from Pollachi in South India to Pune in West India; from Kollam in Kerala to Khammam in Andhra Pradesh to Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu; from Amaravathi to Delhi; from Vellore to Vijayawada; from London to Local Chennai! The folks who registered are from various church denominations: Mennonite to Methodist; from Assemblies of God to Andrews Kirk Chennai to Ashraya Bangalore; from Bretheren to Baptist; from CSI to Calvary Point; from IPC to IPA; House of Prayer to Hebron to Heartshakers; from CSI to Carmel Community; those who have signed up for this kahoot quiz are different walks of life: from Medicos to those who work in MRF; from class Seven kids to Post Grad students; from home-makers to full-timers; from IT Pros to those retired; from those who work in the Govt sector to those who work in the private sector!
The Kahoot Quiz report pointed out that 49 players played this quiz at some point. The questions were answered by atleast 35 to 40 people.
As the quiz got going, Duke Jeyaraj asked questions that covered various aspects of one’s Christian life covering all the five chapters of Lamentations. Here are some actual questions asked:
The question with regard to the context of this book….
The question with regard to false prophets who minimize future judgment…. / We always have used this quiz to bat for Sound Doctrine in the Body of Christ, as the Lord has enabled us to.
A question about the true nature of sin….
A question to sift the very serious students of Scripture from serious students of Scripture!
A Question to prepare the audience for the Second Coming of Jesus and the Day of Judgment!
A question to motivate the audience to pray for the lost with tears!
There were questions that connected truth from the book of Lamentations with some contemporary events including the Delhi Fridge Murder, a footballer from Egypt (Mo Salah), Idi Amin Dada, the Ugandan Dictator, etc.
If your curiousity is triggered, here is the link to the full Zoom video of the quiz where you can read all the 21 questions asked:
The goal was to be a catalyst to encourage the Google Generation to Dive Deep Into the Word of God, fish out truth that would be applied to one’s own life and truths that would get shared with those who need to hear it in the world of God.
Here were the top five at critical stages of the quiz:
Gaby, first off the blocks!
Bindu, a former champion, wins the lead after question three!
Naveen, one of our video volunteers, is the leader after question 4!
Bro. Sunil George from Kolar who regularly participates along with daughter takes the lead after question 6! He kept this lead for some time!
Hanniel, just 13 and playing from Dubai, took the lead after question 10!
Pratiksha Barik, a multiple-time quiz winner and home-maker from Hyderabad, takes the lead after question 11!
Vivian, a Chennai family man, takes the lead after question 13! Duke and Evan first met Vivian in a Camp they preached in, in Singapore, years ago – in 2011! Meanwhile, Apphia, a Mumbai college student moves into the Top 5!
Kevin Suvarna, a Mumbai Engineering Student, just playing his Second Kahoot with us, takes the lead after question 14 to become the eighth different leader of this nerve-wracking quiz! Kevin, keeps his lead for some time!
After question 19, Jaaziel Charles, a postgrad student of Marine Biology, the defending champion (he won the previous Kahoot contest on 12 Oct 2022), takes the lead with just two questions to go in the Quiz! I was reminded of Virat Kohli’s twin sixes when India needed 28 runs off 8 balls in their Group game versus Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2022 before 90,000 onlookers in Melbourne! Also note the rise of Anitha into the top 5!
Just two more questions remained in the quiz. Jaaziel maintained his lead and won the quiz!
Kevin and Vivian took the second and third place.
Anitha and Apphia took the fourth and firth prizes. It was a nail-biter of a quiz!
After the quiz was done, the winners spoke. Hanniel, who finished 6th overall, was the Child Prize winner. Lawrence, one of the participants noted that this time out the closing questions of the quiz were a tad toughter than in previous quiz editions! I responded this way: if tough questions will inspire the participants to dig deeper into the Word of God, it is an entirely worthly exercise!
The winners of this quiz (the top five plus the child category winner) will get all get prizes and e-certificates. Prizes include Premium Study Bibles, Super Giant Print Bibles, Stylish Bibles, Small Cute Bibles, etc. Here is one same e-certificate we issued for the winner of the last Kahoot:
Apart from this event which takes place on Zoom using the Kahoot website, we at G4 Mission have other regular events. Even these take place over Zoom. Once a month, on a chosen Saturday Morning (usually 2nd Saturday), from 10 am to 12 noon IST we have an event called Fountain of Tears Against Mountain of Fears Fasting Prayer. We pray for the nations, the nation, the Google Generation and finally your tension and mine (personal needs of those who join the Zoom). Duke finishes off with a brief Bible Meditation. Last month, he finished off with a message on Bible Lessons from each of the semifinalists of the T20 World Cup. Listen to that meesage here:
Apart from that we have another event, called Question Thirst Quenched Truthfully (QTQT) on a chosen Wednesday night from 9 PM to 10:15 PM each month. Duke answers live questions over Zoom in this event. People can join even anonymous and type questions via chat and receive, brief, to the point, answers. Or they can ask questions via audio. The last month’s QTQT recording is here:
Once in two months or on a select Sunday morning, Duke relays the Chosen Chapter Chew Covering Contemporary Issue Bible Study as well via Youtube. This month, the chapter chosen for expository study was 2 Timothy 2 and the contemporary issue studied was living in relationships. You can listen to that message here:
We have a tracts outreach using our Bubbly and Dhoni tract once-a-month as well. Details are provided via WhatsApp.
Every Sunday morning, at about 7 AM we have fresh Youtube release of a recently preached message of Duke Jeyaraj. This release is called: Sunday Seven AM Solid Scripture Study. We would glad if you choose to subscribe to our Youtube channel: http://www.YouTube.com/VisitDuke
If you desire to support this ministry financially over and above what you do for your local church and other ministries you support you are most welcome to do that. We want to let you know that we are not sponsored by any church or organisation. In fact, we are a not a church, but a small organisation that helps existing churches and other organisations in the ministry of the Word of God by invitation. We run via freewill offerings of individuals. WhatsApp Duke at 918886040605 if you are lead to support this ministry financially. Or you may use this secure RazorPay link to donate: https://rzp.io/l/G4Mission
We have three books by Duke Jeyaraj in print as of now: (1) Straight Talk on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, Phone Addiction and Much More (50 taboo topics covered) – Rs. 300/- including courier for in-India addresses (2) Goodnews for the Google Generation – Rs. 250/- including courier chargers for in-India addresses (3) Daniel in Dell – a chapter by chapter practical study on the boojk of Daniel with a focus on starting and sustaining small group fellowships – Re. 200/- price includes courier price for in-India locations; You may reach us via 918886040605 for more details or use the payment link above. God bless. Thank you. See you all soon in another Zoom event!
(Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission (G4 Mission). He and his wife, Evangelin work fulltime with G4 Mission. This ministry has a lot of volunteers who help in various tasks – video work, poster creation, etc. They are based in Chennai. They have two children – Dale, 19 and Datasha, 15.)