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Bible Truth Around Contemporary Events US Presidential Elections 2020 Devotions

APOSTLE PAUL IN ATHENS & ELIZABETH WARREN IN NEVADA!

A Short Bible Devotion from the Nevada Democratic Party’s Presidential Primary Debate on 19 Feb 2020 by Duke Jeyaraj

The Nevada Democratic Party’s Presidential primary debate was called the greatest debate in human history (by John Podhoretz of New York Post, February 19, 2020). Senator Elizabeth Warren was at her scathing best. “I’d like to talk about who we’re running against — a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians,” Warren said. “No, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.” “Bloomy should feel gloomy after the Dem debate roasting” – someone observed and it was all the work of Elizabeth Warren’s silver tongue! While she was convincingly vicious in her attack of the stunned Mayor Bloomberg, she also offered unexpected support to the other woman on the debate stage,  Senator Amy Klobuchar (who is also her opponent as Bloomberg is), who said that she’d made an error by not recalling correctly the name of the president of Mexico in an interview. Elizabeth Warren defended her Democratic primary opponent Sen. Amy Klobuchar saying, “It happens to everybody on this stage…” while Amy was ripped apart by Pete Buttigieg(The Hill’s report). This action of Elizabeth Warren sent this message to her hearers: “I am objective when it comes to criticism/defence of my political opponents! I do not hesitate to hit out against my opponents. I do not shillyshally when I have to praise them as well!”

Apostle Paul was objective as a communicator of the Gospel in the hostile Athens much like Senator Elizabeth Warren was in the Nevada Democratic Party Presidential Primary Debate. He did roast the city’s lack of faith in after-life by talking about a certain judgement day that was soon to come. But Paul was also objective and fair when he chose to agree with one of the famous poets and son of Athens when he spoke thus: “One of your own poets say we are God’s offspring”. Read Acts 17 and gather this for yourselves. When we share the Gospel with friends from other faith, we need not shy away from asserting certain-to-bring-controversy issues like the never-to-be-sacrificed uniqueness of Jesus, the certainty and eternity of hell, etc. But at the same time, we need to seek to appreciate/assert things we can agree with in the world/works (it could be a secular movie, a secular song, etc) of those we are trying to give the Gospel too. Apostle Paul did that in Athens in Acts 17. And we too can follow suit.

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Uncategorized

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Uncategorized

WHEN ROHIT BATS TILL THE LAST BALL, INDIA(OR HIS TEAM) HAS ALWAYS WON!

Duke Jeyaraj brings a Spiritual Lesson From the India-New Zealand 3rd T20I on 29 Jan 2020


The last time I saw someone hit the last two balls for a six to win a game for his side was in this IPL Game of 2016 when Dhoni did it (https://www.iplt20.com/video/5351/m53-rps-vs-kxip-thrilling-last-over-finish). But it was only the IPL (not an international match, mind you) and that too in an inconsequential match (Dhoni’s team RPS was already knocked out of that year’s IPL). But what Rohit Sharma did vs New Zealand in the T20I No. 3 on 29 Jan 2020 (hit the last balls for a six in an international game to win it for India) gave me goose-bumps like no other cricket moment in my entire life of being a cricket fan!!! I go Rohit Shar-MUAH (kisses)! Coming up with the big shots when your country needs it the most – wow, Rohit no one can do it like you can! He also scored 21 off the last over to win the game for Deccan Chargers in one of early IPLs (I remember that and I wrote a poem about that last over wrapping it around the Gospel)!!! I do not remember a single game in which Rohit batted till the last ball and the game was lost (I remember seeing Kohli/Dhoni bat till the last ball – and the game being lost!). “When I am still around, my team should not lose!” – that is Rohit’s mantra! I know, there will be an odd game eventually in which this too-good-to-be-true record of Rohit will be broken, but the fact is, in Rohit we have the batsman with the fiercest will to win the game for the side with his God-given talent doing what it takes to make his will a reality! When it comes to winning temptation lets be passionate Rohit! Let us not say with a weak-will: ‘it is okay if I win or lose, let me just compete well!’ (when it comes to temptation) for it is God’s Will that we live a holy life (I Thess 4:3). Let us show similiar passion when it comes to winning souls as it is God’s will that all should be saved and come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). Is our will steely as Rohit and do we put our God’s given talents to use to fulfill the clearly-revealed will of God – holy living and salvation of the lost?
(Find out more about Duke’s ministry at http://www.dukewords.com)

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Annual Reports

OUR MINISTRY IN THE SUMMARY DECADE THAT WENT BY (2010-19)

Duke Jeyaraj Ministered in National Level youth programs of Assemblies of God, CSI, a national level meet of a believers fellowship functioning inside a top IT company, etc.

We had different varieties of prayer for the nations, the nation, the Google Generation and your tension (if u showed up) at our base during this decade!!! Fountain of Tears Against Mountain of Fears Fasting Prayer! Month-end Midnight Prayer!

When we Counselled people during this decade we told them what they needed to hear not what they wanted to hear!

Through the decade we published The Days of Your Youth Magazine. This mag wrapped Bible truth around contemporary events in an unique way and blessed readers world over. As the decade closed we had published 39 issues of this mag.

In the decade gone by when invited to minister in the Sunday Morning services of churches of different denominations (Methodist to Mennonite Bretheren; CSI to Assembly of God) we have sought to make ‘regular’ services ‘revival’ services by preaching anointed freshly baked unforgettable messages!!!

Over the decade that has gone by God has enabled us to publish several articles of practical value in Nationally recognised Christian Mags such as Light of Life and Aim

Wrote three books to bless the Google Generation with Straight Talk being the most widely read!

We have done tract distribution every month in different places in Hyderabad thro this decade at a time when this ministry went ‘out of fashion’!

Ministered in Bangladesh, Singapore, Bhutan and UAE in the decade that went by

Over the decade that has gone by we have submitted our IT returns each year with Govt of India following a non-relatives included Board Meeting approval. Our financial support has come from Indians/people of Indian origin.

During the last decade we were at the forefront of the public fight against taking-people-to-hell and maturity-robbing false teachings like hyper-grace / hyper-Israel / hyper-supernaturalism via social media posts/mag articles/Sound Doctrine Bible Studies.

Categories
Football Magic Moments Wrapped Bible Devos

MAGIC MOMENTS WITH A MESSAGE

kahn

What a World Cup it was – the 2002 edition at Korea-Japan! Young people across the world stayed glued to their TV sets to watch a ball kicked around for close to a month. It was ‘pulse-racing, heart-soaring and eyes-widening’ action! “Ronald has scored,” you yelled to your brother who had just gone to the bathroom. “Oliver Kahn has made a stupendous stop,” you scream to your sister who was making an omelette for you! Well, the Cup fever rent the air, just about everywhere.

The super kick. That stunning save. That dazzling dibble. That twisting run. You remember them well. Those images from the Cup were simply unforgettable. They were for me too. I chewed on some of them. And guess what happened? Some Bible truths bounced back into my system in an instant! Interested? Here they are:

  1. The lesson of BROTHER- HOOD

If Ronaldo did not get past you, Rivaldo will. If Rivaldo did not get past you, Ronaldinho will. If Ronaldinho did not get past you, then Roberto Carlos will. The ‘R’ foursome of Brazil – the ones I have just named – hunted together, match after match for Brazil. Take this: The ‘R’ regiment piled up a staggering 16 goals for Brazil during the campaign.

Kleberson’s pass was coming to Rivaldo who looks al to take it. But in the last second, his foot rolls over the ball – instead of striking the ball. That was deliberately done. A dummy. The German defenders encircling him are fooled. The unmarked Ronaldo takes the ball and makes no mistake. Goal number two for Brazil in the Cup Final. What an astounding display of teamwork! “The secret is enthusiasm, friendship, union…” the Brazilian coach Lutz Felipe Scolari said.

Ammonites and their hired friends – the Arameans – gear up to attack Israel. The Ammonite troops wait at the gate of Jerusalem, while the Arman’s wait at the open fields of Jerusalem ( to finish off any who would cut and run into the open fields ). Cool military strategy eh? Nope. Not when you have a commander like Joab leading Israel’s ranks. Using his quick wit, he divides the soldiers of Israel into two teams: the best of them under him and the rest under his brother Abishai. They get ready to tackle the combine of the Ammonites and the Arameans. Joab would take care of the Arameans hunks whilst Abishai’s task was to cut to size The Ammonite army. Before they are off to battle, Joab mouths these golden words: “ If the Arameans are too strong for me, then come over and help me. And if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will help you. Be courageous! Let US fight bravely to save our people and the cities of OUR God.” (1 Chron. 19:12-13 NLT). That was the kind of spirit that permeated through the ‘R’ regiment of Brazil in the Cup of 200:  when one was crowded with defenders, he would pass the ball to one of his partners who were relatively free. Like it happened in the final. The result? Brazil did not lose a match in the entire tournament!

Want to make a mark for the Lord Jesus in your college? In your school? Rope in the help of another pal with the similar spirit. Do it together. Then you will fire. Slipping in your spiritual walk. Maybe you are doing it all alone. You are like that proverbial lonely chick that the Eagle swooped up with effortless ease. Growing increasingly clumsy in your Cross-Walk? Club together with a chum who checks on you. For “two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble.” (Ecco 4:9,10 NLT). Ask Joab and Abishai, they will tell you. Checkup with Ronaldo and the rest of the R gang of Brazil.

  1. The lesson of BENDING DOWN TO BLESS OTHERS!

 

It was still 0-0 in the semi-final between Germany and South Korea, after 71 minutes of electrifying soccer. Lee Chun-Soo was about to break away from the German defence and have a clear run on the goal. Michael Ballack – the German midfielder who had a yellow card on him already – had a choice in that split – second. Placed before him what two options. One was to professionally foul Lee freezing him from having a dead-easy course to the German goal thereby earning yet another yellow card. The other alternative for Ballack was to hope someone else from his team would do the job (If you did not know, two yellow cards on the same player would bar that player from playing the following match – in Ballack’s case the next match was the World Cup final). He chose the first option and won an automatic ban for the Final. Very sacrificially. He relinquished his right to play for his country in the Cup Final voluntarily when the situation so demanded. He decided to watch from the touchline, the action that could have made up the greatest day in his footballing carrier. What was more – just four minutes later- Ballack ensured that the Germans got to the final in the first place, by two back-to-back shots, one each from each foot of his, the last of which found the Korean net beating their goalie, Lee Woonjae. Michael Ballack, whose middle name could have been SACRIFICE, single-handedly carried his nation from the quarter-final ( he scored the lone goal of that match ) right through to the final, though he knew he would not be there to play it. Here was a man who put his nation before his own promotion. Hats off to Ballack! In this me – first world of ours, Ballack’s act of sacrifice, stands out, like a towering coconut palm!

How I wish the Ballack spirit would rub on to us. Jesus knowing perfectly well that He was God and Human Flesh bent down to wash his disciples’ feet- a job reserved for slaves. Paul – what a man he was, my my! – had that kinda spirit in him. Paul could have lived in the homes of the Corinthian believers and shared their meals. That was certainly his privilege. But he did not use that advantage. He voluntarily chose to work and pay for his own expenses, so that the Corinthian church knew that his gospel was different from the empty philosophy preached by some travelling preachers those days who demanded the very same rights, he refused! (1 Cor 9:4,12). Paul was “willing to be forever cursed- cut off from CHRIST! – if that would save them” ( the stiff neck people of Israel ) ( Romans 9:3). Our parents are sacrificially labouring for the Lord in challenging places. They aren’t payed by  Bill Gates, by the way! We must be like Ballack and Paul, on our own forgo some of our “rights” and “privileges” for the sake of the Kingdom of God. We may decide to skip that costly excursion. We may opt to for the cheaper Reynolds Jetter instead of the high – priced Parker pen. We may opt for A stitch trouser or shot instead of going for a branded one always. These gestures of sacrifice can make a world of difference, buddy! Missionary Hudson Taylor rightly understood that God is looking for people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for his name’s sake when a eloquently remarked, “ God is looking for wicks to burn. The oil and fire free!” Want to be a wick for God? Want  to pray like Evan Roberts, “Lord, bend us and bless the world”?

  1. The lesson of BOUNCING BACK                                                              

You are chosen to kick a penalty that can take your nation to its first ever World Cup semifinals. There are about 14 million eyes belonging to your nation cheering you up as you get ready to take it. The shot is taken. And you miss! What a tragedy! How heartbroken would you be! Ask South Korea’s Ahn Jung-Hawn. The same thing happened to him in Korea’s quarter-final match against Italy.  Korea had Portugal for breakfast, Spain for lunch, and here was a chance to have in Italy for dinner and complete a “European Menu” but Ahn had bungled it up with a missed penalty. After 117 minutes of play when the score line was deadlocked at 1-1, it was Ahn again on whom 1 billion eyes zeroed in. He leapt in front of the legendary Italian defender, Maldivian and headed a cross into the Italian net. It was the golden goal! It was scored by a man who messed up a penalty kick earlier on! Yes, indeed Korea had Italy for dinner that magical night to become the first ever Asian nation to be in the World Cup Semifinals!

Ahn could have sunk himself and sorrow after the penalty miss. But shrugged off the mistake and soldiered on to become a hero. What a lesson! Mistakes – we have made them. Lapses – we have lots of them in our lives. After such a downfall should we throw ourselves in the well of despair to settle for permanent defeat? No way! “For though a righteous man fall seven times he  rises again” (Prov 24:16 NIV). Feel like ending your relationship with the Lord after yielding to a temptation that was so stubbornly nagging? Don’t! Mend your relationship with Him – don’t end it! David could have ditched God after all that happened in his life. Yet he didn’t. With a broken heart he boomeranged  again to become the man after God’s own heart (Psa 51:17/Acts 13:22). What counts is how high you bounce after you have hit rock bottom. Let’s therefore make our own, Paul’s words: “ I am focusing on all my energies on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven” (Phil 3:13-14 NLT). Like MLTR we should say, “I’m gonna try in the future not to live in the past.” ( More Than A Friend ).

  1. The lesson of BLISSFUL JOY

 

 

There is one World Cup 2002 image that simply won’t go away from my memory: the way Senegal celebrated each time they slotted in a goal! Delirious joy oozed out of each of their nerve endings! A collection of cameras could not have adequately captured the delight that was on Senegal’s star striker Henri Camera’s face after he scored that golden goal to snuff out Sweden’s hopes in the round of 16. I wish that Senegal would make it to the semifinals so that there would have been a rep from each of the continents that played in the Cup— America (Brazil), Asia (South Korea), Europe (Germany) and Africa (Senegal) – in the last fourth stage. But that was not to be!

Following Christ? And yet sporting a droopy – 9 o’clock face? You can’t be doing both. Both don’t go together according to the Bible. Reason? We’ve got a God who “provides us with everything for enjoyment” (1Tim 6: 17 NIV). Jesus is exiting – believe me! Jesus was so spine tingling that John the baptist even when he was in his mothers womb did a joyous jig when Jesus ( who was at that time in the womb of Mary ) came near him ( Lk 1:41 )! Whew! If you will exhibit the blissful joy which Jesus alone can give, even when the chips are down, even when the ride is bumpy, even when the sky is grey, you will be a can’t-be-ignored ad for Jesus.

  1. The lesson that we must BATTLE RIGHT TILL THE END

 

 

Oliver Kahn defended the German goal as if his entire life depended on it. In six full matches in the tournament the ball went past him into the net just once. The strapping German jumped to punch away corner kicks that wickedly bent towards his goal area as if he was reaching for the moon. He fearlessly flung himself on the ball to snatch it away from the most skilful strikers. Match after match, for Kahn , it was important to see the word ‘nil’ against the opponent team‘s name. You could not score a goal cheaply against the Germans when Oliver manned the crossbar! Though the brilliant Brazilians put past two goals against this Goliath of a goalie, he still won the player of the tournament award garnering maximum votes from the reporters world over (even beating Ronaldo who scored eight goals).

How wonderful it would be if we guarded Salvation the way Oliver Kahn guarded the German goal! Is it not a trillion times more precious? More valuable? Ask Peter, he would tell you. Our salvation is very ‘precious’ because it cost God the life of his only son (1 Pet 1:19). We aren’t exactly shielding our salvation if we are habitually and deliberately flirting with Sin, which second thought. Instead we are blowing it (read the omnious words found in Hebrews 10:26, 27). Yup, we need to be “even more careful to put into action God’s saving work in (our) lives” (Phil 2:12 NLT). Let’s do it come what may for Jesus stated without swallowing his words, only “those who endure to the end will be saved” (Matt 10:22 NLT)

It was the 67th minute in the Cup Final. Rivaldo drives the ball straight into the German goalie. Kahn spills it – for “his eternal displeasure” as one writer put it. Ronaldo pounces on the ball to score for Brazil. After the final whistle Kahn threw his gloves and leaned on the right post. He was unconsolable. He knew when he dropped that Rivaldo drive it was as good as dropping the World Cup! “I made my only mistake out of seven games and it was brutally punished,” he later said fighting back the tears.

What happened to Oliver Kahn in the game should not happen to us and our Christine walk. In a narrow – road journey with Jesus it is possible to goof – up after going steady for many years. Yes it is. Demas was the member of Paul’s ministry team (Phm 24). He was perhaps going great guns for the Lord. But fell in love with the world and fell out of love with Jesus (2 Tim 4:10). It can happen to anyone. Boy, just any of us. That’s why Paul pens, “ I don’t know about you, but I am running hard for the finish line. I am giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself” ( 1 Cor 9:27 The Message).

  1. The lesson that we must BURSTING TO GO WHEN JESUS COMES AGAIN

England’s goalie, David Seaman had a bad habit: he tended to move off his line at free kicks. “He might do that in the quarter-final match against us,” Cafu told Ronaldinho – the rising star of Brazil football. Ronaldinho was all ears. When he was about to take a free kick, five minutes into the second half of the match billed as “the final before the final” he too noticed just that. With bewitching accuracy he chipped a long – range free – kick over David Seaman. “Seaman stumbled backwards to try and reach the crossbar to put Brazil ahead for good,” wrote the AFP journalists about the heart – stopping moment in the 2002 Cup. “That blunder will live with him forever,” said The Daily Express.

Just as Ronaldinho’s eye – popping spot kick caught Seaman unprepared, Jesus’ Second Return to this planet could catch us in the same fashion – without notice! You bet, he’s not going to call us up, fix an appointment and then show up. He’s going to come, suddenly. Unexpectedly. Will we be ready? Or will be caught snoozing, like the five foolish virgins were? We must be ‘alert’ for we do not know when Jesus will come again (Mark 13:33). He could turn up on that particular day when we plan to backslide and enjoy sin “just for sometime!” Yes, it’s possible! Paul was unlike Seaman – vigilant: he was a hopelessly in love with Jesus and hoping like crazy for his coming. Even at the fag end of his life. Even when he was in a prison (2 Tim 4:8)! If we have an attitude like Paul, we are

‘Blessed’. Reason? Check out Revelation 16:15 where Jesus said, “I will come unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep the robes ready so they will not need to walk naked and ashamed.”

There you have them – the Magic moments that have stayed engraved on my mind from the World Cup at Korea – Japan 2002. The Cup is over. Brazil took it home for a record fifth time. Let’s take these messages home!

(This article was published in MISSIONARY KIDS, a mag which Duke Jeyaraj edited for Blessing Youth Mission in the year 2002; During her Christmas New Year break Duke’s 12 year old daughter, Datasha, typed this entire article so that it could be made available online to a larger audience).

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Annual Reports

Touching Medicos of Ludhiana (North India) and Leprosy-stricken of Ambur (South India)

Green Christmas Family Reunion Photo Collage

God blessed our ministry in 2019.

It was an year of several firsts:

It was the year in which Duke Jeyaraj preached in Punjab for the first time; It was the year in which Duke Jeyaraj preached in the nation of United Arab Emirates for the first time; It was the year in which Duke spoke in a National Level event of the CSI for the first time; It was the year in which Duke’s cumulative YouTube channel crossed 4 lakh hits (400,000 hits) – http://www.youtube.com/visitduke.

Duke preached messages that stroked the flames of revival and warmed hearts in different churches across India: Trinity Assemblies of God (South) / in a Baptist Church in Cuttack (during a wedding) (East) / in Bethel City Church in Gurgaon (North) / in Emmanuel Assembly of God youth camp (West).

It was an year in which Duke preached in a funeral in Madurai as well as a wedding in Cuttack. It was an year in which Duke preached in a memorial service in Nagarcoil.

Duke’s articles appeared in Light of Life, Christian Trends and Aim magazine this  year. The Week magazine (a secular national news mag of India) published a letter of Duke which called out the sin of porn-watching, this year.

“You killed it!” / “I waited for someone to call out sin for a long time and here you come!” – these are actual words of Google Genners who heard Duke this year.

Evan Duke preached God’s Word in the Sanath Nagar Baptist Church and in CSI Ramkote apart from Emmanuel Assembly of God youth camp, this year (with 400 in attendance). She stayed back and took care of the Dale and Datasha as Duke traveled (Dale scored 93% in his CBSE Class X this year). Evan Duke along with Pushpa Kalyan led an outreach to Eunuchs/Commercial Sex Workers this year.

God used Duke & Evan to bless couples who gathered in Rock Church, Malakpet this year. Duke’s message on ingredients of an incredible marriage touched the couples. Evan also joined him at various points of this talk that had fun activities for everyone too apart from old fashioned Bible preaching.

Several questions of youth were answered via live Q and A during this year including, “Can I donate my sperms to make money for my education?”

The Short Videos on Hot Topics series with our volunteer Sunny Karumanchi behind the lens continued this year with questions like this answered: “Can I shoot nude videos of my wife for my private use during my work travels?” Here is the playlist with all the videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2z1uBimIneyCnEH_8fvNAlP4a8EXfL52

Duke preached in the Spiritual Emphasis week of two Bible Colleges – one in Coimbatore’s outskirts and the other in Hyderabad’s outskirts. They were charmed, challenged and charged!

One top ministry-involved business-man spoke to Duke over phone to a few months after he had preached in a leading church this year from the story of David-Bathsheba. He said this: “Preachers usually avoid the topics you took up and preached boldly on during the course of this unforgettable message!”

Duke countered some fresh false cults like the Hyper Messianic Jewish cult (“Jesus plus a Jewish rabbi saves!” – their wrong teaching) and Hyper-Super-naturalism via Facebook Live/YouTube videos/Articles

To counter false teachings that takes people to hell, we run a once-in-two-months Bible Study called Sound Doctrine That Pumps Spiritual Adrenaline Bible Study in the home of the Daniels in Somajiguda, Hyderabad. We had six such studies this year. The last study focused on the Doctrine of Heaven. The acronym HEAVEN was used as an outline. We have now completed 18 such doctrinal studies that are now on this YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2z1uBimInezu8UXPPGS6EvNEeTU5KUie

Duke was invited by Rev. Chaitanya Gera to give two messages in two different Sundays of 2019 on different characters of God – The Justice of God and The Truthfulness of God. These messages were far from being dry doctrinal expositions. They brought people to the foot of the Cross and led them to make decisions for evangelism.

The literature of our ministry was used for evangelism post a wedding, in a secular hostel and by a Google employee.

We stood at various points in Hyderabad and gave out tracts including outside India’s largest mall, outside schools, outside colleges, outside corporate hubs. We had devos post the distribution in which Duke reminded those who joined the biblical reasons for doing evangelism.

We wrapped Bible Truth around events that got everyone talking Jesus-style, Paul-style, including the India-New Zealand World Cup Semifinal 2019 and the Vet’s Rape-Murder in Hyderabad.

Issue 39 of our mag was released this year. One reader mentioned it was our best-ever effort (a lot of credit goes to our volunteer designer Eugene Pandian).

From time to time we ran an event called Fountain of Tears Against Mountain of Fears Fasting prayer this year. We prayed for the nations (first), the nation (India, second) and the Google Generation (finally). Of course, Evan Duke completed the prayer by praying for one more ‘ion’ – the tension(s) faced by those who came! We praise God for a miracle a couple who attended this prayer received this year – a child after seven years of marriage!

We released more Bible Teaching on sex, love, marriage, porn in Hindi (thanks to the sweat and mid-night oil-burning of another volunteer).

Two of our plans hosted on  YouVersion has crossed a lakh reads!

Duke’s book, Straight Talk, was fully sold out in 2019 and plans are on the anvil for the updated version of the book in 2020.

We spoke to medicos in Ludhiana (North India) as well as the precious folk stricken with leprosy near Ambur  (South India) this year!

All this was possible because of your sacrificial, supplication-soaked, giving! We filed IT returns with the Government of India, yet again, this year!

Our ministry remains inter-church (we ministered in CSI as well as in  Assemblies of God) and inter-organisational (we ministered in an ICPF camp as well as an EU camp as in a loosely-connected fellowship of corporate company believers from different companies in Bangalore) – this year! We have no plans of starting a church of our own. We seek to assist existing churches in the work of reaching the Google Generation, making deeper disciples of Jesus who delight in holy living and mission/ministry involvement. So when Duke preached in the Rose of Sharon AG Church in Bangalore this year, he brought two messages that were crafted just to do that! So when Duke preached in an open air meeting of the SPG Church on 30 Dec 2019, he preached a message designed just to do that!

It was an year that Duke set up a website just for his articles called http://www.dukewords.com and also used now famous app TikTok to preach God’s Word!

Our son, Dale Nathan (16) was baptised in water this year out of his free will at the NLAG Kompally campus earlier this year.

It was an year in which God healed Duke of a 11 mm stone in his kidney – it came out without surgical intervention!

God blessed our ministry with a Iphone that was gifted during one of Duke’s ministry travels. It was an awesome tool send WhatsApp updates to ministry friends and click great pictures of the events we get to speak in.

Among our main needs now is a Desktop/Laptop with adequate speed to do video-editing. We will happily even take an used Desktop/Laptop with at-least i7 processor and 8 GB ram or any Apple machine (MacBook Pro/iMac).

Reach us via WhatsApp at +91-8886040605 or email at emailduke@gmail.com

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Strong Believers Creating Articles

THE FRUIT OR THE BOOT – FOR THE LORD THIS YEAR? Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj 

 

The owner came to the garden with expectations. High hopes. “Surely fruits will dangle down the fig tree I planted! It has been three years! I just can’t wait to taste the fruits!” He was smacking his lips in anticipation. What did he get to see? Fruits? Hardly. Instead the tree gave him the boot – it was barren. Now he was biting his lips with frustration. The owner became furious. “Chop this fruitless fig tree down,” he ordered the gardener. “Why waste fertilizer and water on it for ANOTHER YEAR?” The gardener would not give up on the tree he had tended tenacious for over three years. He pleaded, “Just give it one more year, Master – just one more year! That is all. I will tend it. Take good care it. And I am sure it will give us fruit in this year of extension! You bet!”

 

The above-narrated story is a contemporary form of a parable of Jesus (Luke 13:6-9). A story our Master narrated. A yarn our Master spinned to shake us from our yawning! He told this story to drive home a crucial lesson? This lesson: we have got a New Year to live just because of sheer grace. He has marked out a New Year for us just because of his massive mercy. Nothing more. Nothing less. It is true that when he spoke of that fig tree he was speaking of the nation Israel. The prophets of the old often compared Israel to a fig tree-didn’t they (See Hosea 9:10 for an example)? But it also true we, followers of Christ, are the nation that God hoped would bear fruit. That is the reason, we read that he took the Kingdom of God from national Israel and gave it to a “new” Israel (that is actually us, believers, called as a ‘holy nation’ by Peter in 1 Peter 2:9) (Math. 21:13). But we – the new Israel – haven’t done any better than national Israel. We have been neglectful about our duty to give fruit as national Israel! The “Gentile” Israel – us – has been as giving God the boot (instead of the fruit) like the Geographical Israel so often did!

 

Israel, the fig tree, was blessed have plenty of water and fertilizer year after year. The Law of Moses they received through Moses in generous doses was the “water” the fig tree of Israel was flooded with (Rom. 9:4). The pack of prophets who faithfully proclaimed this law in a practical and powerful way to the people of Israel year after year – well, they were the “fertilizers” so to speak (2 Kings 17:13ff). But they would not simply grow up and bear fruit. They became “ fat”, oh yes! But “faithful” Nah! Look over your shoulder. At the previous years of your existence. Surely you were watered. Certainly you were fertilized. Think of the Bible Studies you sat in. Think of many sermons you heard. Think of the church services you attended.  Think of the camps and conferences you took part in. You too became  “fat”. But were you “fruitful”? Well that is another story, correct? !

 

Listen, Jesus (the Gardener in this parable) did not narrate this story to paint his Father in a poor picture. Hear this good: The Father (the Owner in this story) is not an ultra-strict principal out to hound you and dismiss you from his school for the first failure you had without any mercy. He is not like a class teacher who gives you a “you-will-never-make-it-in-life” lecture after your examination flops. His Father is as loving and as gracious as He is. When we interpret a parable we should just look for one lesson from it-that’s the thumb rule of interpreting parables. The Father God gave a similar extension in the life of King Hezekiah, remember ? (Isa 38:1-5). “Through the Lord’s mercies (the Father’s mercies) we   are not consumed,” Jeremiah wrote-don’t forget (Lam 3:22). You see, the Father is as understanding as the Son is. The Son – all of us very well know – lives “forever to intercede” for us we read up (Heb 7:25).

 

The year you and I have to get to exist in, is a year of grace. Sure we are living in the Space age. But it also true we are living in the grace age – an age graciously given us so that we will for a change give our Maker good fruit instead of giving him the boot!

 

If this one-year extension given us so that we bear “fruit” what sort of fruit should we bear? The fruit of PENITENCE. That is what John the Baptist preached to the Jewish Religions’ big shots (Luke 3:8). They could not hide behind the fact that Abraham was their ancestor without bearing fruit, he warned. In other words what John was getting at was this: “You can’t swap your religious heritage for personal change!” In the New Year that we have entered, we called to produce “fruits of repentance”. That would mean all the tantrum throwing of the past years should be trashed. That would mean all the porn-watching of the past years should be pushed aside. That would mean all the foul-languages that filled your mouth should be flushed away. And when we do that believe me, slowly but surely the “fruit” of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control-will show up in your Christian walk when you carry an attitude of penitence the whole year out!

 

Why would the Lord mark “plus 1” for us who live in the OnePlus6 (that talked about ‘flagship’-killer Smartphone released in 2018)? To bear fruit. The fruit of PONDERING. Pondering on his word. Meditating on the Bible, God’s Word in human words. I first picked up this new version of the Bible in the year 2014. I enjoy reading this version. It is called The Voice. Let me quote from Psalm 1:1-3 from that version for you: God’s blessings follow you and await you at every turn: when you don’t follow the advice of those who delight in wicked schemes, when you avoid sin’s highway, when judgment and sarcasm beckon you, but you refuse. For you, the Eternal’s Word is your happiness. It is your focus—from dusk to dawn. You are like a tree, planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry. Your fruit ripens in its time; your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun. No matter what you do, you prosper.” There you have it: when you spend time making God’s Word your focus, dusk to dawn, you are like the tree the fruits of which ripens in its time! The Bible has approximately 1200 chapters. If you read 10 chapters of the Bible every day, you would read the Bible in full in 120 days flat (four months). That is simple math! If that is tough, try reading five chapters a day and you can wrap up reading all the Bible in 8 months. If you read four chapters a day, and five during weekends, you will comfortably complete reading all the Bible in a year. Why not try it out this new year? I found the following challenging lines at satisfactionthroughchrist.com: “Up for a challenge? The Horner system is sort of an osmosis system, the idea being inundation rather than meditation. With it, you’ll read ten chapters per day from ten different books. Over the course of a year, you’ll read through all the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters 4-5 times each, the Old Testament wisdom literature six times, all the Psalms at least twice, all the Proverbs as well as Acts a dozen times, and all the way through the Old Testament History and Prophetic books about 1 1⁄2 times.”

 

 

An extension year for what ? To bear fruit. “Fruit – what do you mean?” Ask the writer of Hebrews.  “Therefore by him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name” (Heb.13:15). You have guessed it correct – the fruit of PRAISE. Would you to thank God for at least five blessings you have received from Him each day of the New Year? For the safe ride you had back home. For the food on your table. For the friends and folks you dote over you. If you did that you are bearing “fruit”. And God’s disappointment with you will dry. God’s frustration with you will fizzle out!

 

Annexure year for what?  To produce “fruit”. “What do you mean?” Ask Jesus himself. He told his disciples once remember , ‘Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest?’ Behold I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for the harvest! And he who receives wages, and gathers FRUIT for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together” (John 4:35:36). The point of Christ was making was this: “One look around you will get to see the likes of the Samaritan Woman-seeking, searching! Truckloads of disappointed and dejected people desperately looking for the Living Water. They will drink from Me-believe Me –if only you go and tell them about Me!” The fruit of PROCLAMATION is what I eagerly expected of us in our gracious-given extra year! That’s the reason God chose us: so that we bear “fruit” (win souls) and that our “fruit” remains (and the souls we win make it all the way to Heaven!) (John 15:16). In this supplementary year God’s grace has supplied to you why not become a serious soul winner? Why not gather with a few of your High School/College Christ-following pals to pray and study his word for a few minutes during your lunch break or after class? Why not stand in the most happening youth hangout in town and pass out contemporary gospel tracts? Why not proclaim Christ through life and lip using every opportunity?

 

Jesus signs off from this parable with a telling warning: “And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down!” (Luke 13:9). Can you really be “cut” down this year if you give Jesus the boot this year instead of fruit? There is a real possibility, buddy. There is an actual chance for that, my friend. What if you die – be cut down – suddenly this year would you be found giving fruit for the Savior or giving him the boot? If you say, “Well, that will not happen to me – ever,” then you must listen to the story of Ahab. Ahab, year after year, was giving Yahweh the finger. Giving His God the boot. Five prophets at least – the famous Elijah, prophet Obadiah, prophet Micaiah and two unnamed prophets – tried to correct him and coax him on to the way of God. But he stayed stubborn. He was solidly stiff-necked. And you know what – his life was cut off crudely when he least expected it or wanted it. He had boasted to prophet Micaiah that he would return safely from a battle God did not want him to fight. He was cocksure of that because he went to a battle in a disguise and He thought he was well protected by an armor. But a randomly shot arrow hit in the joints between the joints of his armor and he shortly died (1 Kings 22:27, 34, 35). Till his sudden death, mind you, he was giving his Maker the boot.

 

That is what false prophet Hananiah did too. Wanting to impress the people of Judah he prophesied: “Jeremiah is telling you that this captivity in Babylon will last for 70 long years. Forget it! It is gonna last just for two years. That              is all! Take it easy, folks! Deep down in his gut, Prophet Hananiah knew he was just conning the people. He knew he had not heard from God on this subject but was simply bluffing in an attempt to become the favorite prophet of the people at the expense of Jeremiah. He was giving the God who called him to be a prophet the boot – not fruit! This was the New Year promise he received from the Lord: “Your life will end THIS VERY YEAR because you have rebelled against the Lord” (Jer. 27:16)! Two months later, he died – still giving God the finger (v 17). A sad end. A sorry finish. Do you know that for any of us this New Year promise may come true: “Your life will end this VERY YEAR!” (Jer. 27:19). The reason? Our life is unpredictable. Biblically speaking it can end at any time – including this very minute or this year – did any one care to tell you? I care. Our life is comparable to a fleeting fog or a fading flower, the Bible tells us (Job 14:1/ Jas. 4:14). It can be short. It can be cut short! If you told me, “Duke, don’t give some Old Testament mumbo-jumbo!” I will show you the sad lives of post-Cross, in-the-New-Testament narrative, Ananias-Sapphira (Acts 5) and King Herod (Acts 12). The lives of these folks were also cut short when they failed to make the “extra year” added to their lives count – it can be seen that way!

 

I pray that will not be sad story of any of us this extra year God has gracious given us! Instead, let us wisely use this year to bear fruit – instead of giving Christ the boot – in graciously added New Year!

 

(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, a ministry that reaches out to presentday people via writings, pulpit preaching and counselling. Find out more at www.dukev.org or by WhatsApp to +91-8886040605. He is a fulltime itinerant preacher and writer-in-residence with this ministry).

 

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Youth Bible Studies

POPULAR LIES WHICH YOU(TH) BELIEVE WHICH THE CHRISTMAS STORY BUSTS / Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

Blue Beach Plain Collage Facebook Post

Young people tend to believe the lies of the Devil. I believe Jesus the truth is the answer for each of the Devil’s lies. Even in the narrative of Christ’s entrance into this world, there are truths come against the popular lies which young people believe in, thanks to the deceptive work of the Devil. I bust three such lies young people believe starting from portions of the much-read Christmas narratives.

Lie 1: “God can’t forgive my sin that is UNPRINTABLE”

Young people say (with Satan rousing them to do it), “My sin is unprintable. I cannot even mention the sins I have committed even to my best friend. Will God forgive me?”

I believe God’s Word to such youth comes from the Christmas Genealogy Passages. In that passage we meet some super notorious people who became the ancestors of  the ultimate Holy One, Jesus. It is as if Jesus was saying by such inclusion, “I came to this earth to seek and to save those kinds of people!” (See Luke 19:10).

There are three women whose sexual sins are of progressive darker shades in the genealogy of Jesus that Matthew recorded under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. One woman in that list was Uriah’s wife (Matt. 1:7). We are talking about the Bathsheba who perhaps did not utter one word of protest when the King of the Land called for adultery (She could have been the one among the thousand women who refused the advances of the King – See Eccl. 7:28)! I call her the silent adulterer. Another woman in that genealogy dressed up as a prostitute in disguise and went about seducing her own father in law in a desperate attempt to become a mom (Tamar) (Matt. 1:3). I call her the secret adulterer. Yet another woman in that list was a professional prostitute. Her name? Rahab the spy who helped the spies from Israel scouting the Promised Land (Matt. 1:5). I call her the shameless adulterer!!! By including these sin-colored folks in His own genealogy by moving Matthew to do through the Holy Spirit’s promptings, Jesus is saying to the youth of today, “You may have been sexually immoral. But I still love you. I came from heaven to seek and save you. That’s why I entered Mary’s womb during the first Christmas! And you must repent and come to me to receive a cleansing of your sin from the blood I shed just for you!”

The God of the Bible says, “Come now let us reason together. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow!” (Isa. 1:18). Would you come to Jesus now?

Lie 2: “Living a Holy Life is next to IMPOSSIBLE”

Young people tend to say (encouraged by the lies of the Devil), “I guess I will never be able to consistently beat the porn-watching temptation! I believe, I will never be able to quit smoking and drinking! Can I really get full freedom from the compulsive desire I have to gossip and use foul language?” Some young people confess: “I went forward when the preacher gave the altar call. I committed my life to Jesus. For two days I am fine. I say ‘no’ to sin. But in the third day, I yield to temptation. Now, I am worse than I was before I gave my life to Jesus! Is it really possible to be pure in this impure world that pulls you into sin?”

I believe, the message to such folks from the Bible Christmas narratives is this: “Nothing is impossible to God!” (Luke 1:37). What was told to Mary in response to her question, “How can I have a baby when I have not slept with a man?” is what would be told to youth who ask the question, “How I can life a holy life in an extremely sin-toxic world?” I believe that! Yes, living a holy life is difficult when you want to do that with your own strength. But with God’s strength, you can live holy! That is why the Bible talks about the grace of God empowering us to say no to ungodliness and world passions (see Titus 2:11-14). The Spirit of God, when we actively cooperate with Him, energizes us to “put to death” the “misdeeds of the body” (Rom. 8:13)! Joseph of Genesis 39 did just that – put to death the misdeeds of the body – by constantly celebrating the purity-enabling presence of God (Gen. 39:2-3,9-10). Shall we ape his celebration of God’s presence to tame temptation?

Lie 3: “Understanding God’s Will is INCOMPREHENSIBLE”

Young people complain (moved by the lying Devil): “I can’t ever figure out God’s Will for my life. What career should I choose? Medicine or Sports Broadcasting? Information Technology or Psychology? Whom should I get married to? I know I should marry a believer. But then there are many believers out there. How do I know which one of them to marry?”

I believe the Christmas narrative passages of the Bible have a solution to these questions. We see how God guided Joseph through dreams repeatedly in the Christmas story.

Five times we read of guiding dreams in the Christmas story (1. Matt. 1:20 – But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit; 2. Matt. 2:12 – And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route; 3. Matt. 2:13 – When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”; 4. Matt. 2:19 – After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt; 5. Matt. 2:22 – But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee).

All these passages tells us that God is not simply sitting in heaven, totally disinterested in our lives. He wants to get intricately involved in our lives. And He is more than willing to communicate with us, if only we are willing to listen to Him.

How do we receive God’s directions for our life.? Nicky Gumbel put it in five memorable steps: 1. Commanding Scripture. What does the Bible say about choices I am about to make? For example, if I am in love with an unbeliever, we will know from Commanding Scripture that is against God’s Will for us (2 Cor. 6:14; I Cor. 7:39)! In such a case we do NOT have to even pray for God’s Will. We just have to fall in line with God’s written word by breaking away from such relationships. 2. Controlling Spirit – We must spend seasons in supplication till God writes His will in our hearts. Even the all-knowing Jesus spent the entire night in prayer before he chose the Twelve (Luke 6:12-13). We too must spend time in God’s presence in an unhurried manner, till an ‘implanted Word’ (James 1:21) settles within us, directing us to a decision especially in cases where all options seem okay. 3. Common Sense – God is not against common sense. By ‘renewing your mind’ (not removing your mind), we can discover and execute His ‘good, perfect, pleasing’ will for us (Rom. 12:1-3). My decision to come to full-time ministry was not devoid of common-sense: It was getting too much for me to manage a fulltime job with a corporate company, manage a young family and travel during my leaves to preach in Christian meetings (that’s what I did in the year 2008). I had to give up either my job or my ministry. So, I decided to quit my log-in at 5:30 pm and log-out at 3:30 am job (where at times, I would doze off). Now, the Lord takes better care of me than my Corporate Company!!!! To be at the centre of His God’s Will is the happiest and most blessed place to be (even though there may be challenges and problems, there is great satisfaction)! 4. Counsel of Saints – The Bible teaches in Proverbs 15:22 this: ‘Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.’ Consulting with senior spiritual leaders who have known us all our lives will help us to confirm what God is saying to us in Steps one through three. I remember meeting with my Bible College professor, Dr. Ivan Satyavrata, who counselled me to choose Youth Ministry over Full Time Bible College teaching without ever forcing my choice. 4. Circumstances – At times, when we stubbornly head towards one direction in our life, oblivious to God’s Warnings, God may choose to do what it takes to stop us. That is what is happening in Hosea 2:6 where we read: “Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.” So, when we see a door getting shut, we must use our discernment to figure out if God was behind it all graciously blocking us from heading towards dangerous paths. A girl I was crazily in love with while I was in secular college wrote to me (while I was studying in Bible College), “I will not marry you. It will not happen even over my dead body!” That slammed shut door eventually opened my heart to Evan (my wife), for whom I cannot thank God enough. We pair up to work to grab the Google Generation from going to Gehenna (Hell) complementing each other. This would not have happened but for that rudely shut door!

So, young people, God will guide you, if only you take time to tune into what He is trying to say using these five steps!

Do not believe the lies of the Devil. Let the truths from the Christmas Narratives and the Christmas Babe bust those silly, senseless, unscriptural lies!!!!!

(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of the Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission.  He has preached in over 20 Indian states, five countries and authored three books, with Straight Talk (on Sex, Love, Marriage) being his most well-known book now available in Amazon via Kindle. He lives in Hyderabad with his wife and two children. This article was first published by Evangelical Fellowship of India in their magazine, Aim (Dec 2018). Find out more about Duke’s reader supported ministry at www.dukev.org)

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Uncategorized

Christmas isn’t …Christmas is…Duke Jeyaraj

Christmas isn’t about gulping down cake after cake,

It’s about taking efforts to save those going to that lake,

The lake of fire, about which Jesus often spake,

Where those without Christ will go, deceived by that Snake.

Christmas isn’t about wearing to Church, the best dress in town,

It’s about demonstrating, the story of the One who came down,

To save everyone – white, black, yellow or brown,

Everyone who would, in their lives, Jesus crown!

( Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing De Google Generation 4m Gehenna Mission, a ministry to presentday people supported by Indians who have been blessed by Duke’s writings and messages. Find out more about Duke and this ministry at http://www.facebook.com/googleduke).

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Uncategorized

LESSONS ON POLUTION AND MORE FROM THE WORLD’S YOUNGEST MOST TALKED ABOUT ACTIVIST – Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

greta

When Time Magazine named her as the person of the year 2019 Edward Felsenthal wrote this about her: ‘her story became the one most unlikely and surely one of the swiftest ascents to global influence in history!’

She was only 15 when she started making news. Who? Greta Thunberg. Greta Thunberg who? She is the school who became a climate change protester in Sweden. Before the September 9, 2018 parliamentary elections in Sweden, she protested everyday outside the Swedish Parliament during her School hours for three weeks with a hand-printed slogan (SKOLSTREJK FOR KLIMATET). She would sit on the steps of the Parliament and demand that the Government of Sweden would take radical steps to counter climate change. Post the election, she protested every Friday during School hours. She did not believe in PROCRASTINATING things. She did not believe in postponing matters. She did not think, “I am only 15 years of age now. Let me get involved in things close to my heart when I get older!” She took a plunge then and there!

What about us? Has God burdened us about something that bothers him through his Word? Have you heard God’s cry for the perishing souls in last verse of the book of Jonah? Have you heard Apostle Paul plaintive cry that Israel, his country, was still unsaved in Romans 9? What do you do about it? Do you get involved in evangelism here and now? Or do you say, “I will get involved in evangelism and mission when I am close to retirement!” The message of Ecclesiastes 12 is relevant to our discussion now. That chapter basically says: “Don’t postpone your missionary journeys for God! Do it when you have strength of your youth! When you are older, when a walk to the lavatory becomes laborious what missionary journey would you do?” (my applicatory version of Eccl. 12).

Second Greta Thunberg, the world’s youngest and most famous activist believed in PRACTICISING what she preached.  Umair Irfan writing for Vox  explains how Thunberg walks her talk after knowing that flights caused an increase in the emission of Greenhouse Gases: “After becoming a global celebrity, Thunberg has led by example, traveling to events around Europe mainly by train. In August, she traveled on a zero-emission sailboat to the US to attend the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York and other events. And this Friday, she is striking in Montreal, where the International Civil Aviation Organization is meeting to discuss airline emissions. Some Swedish airports have now reported a decline in travelers, which some activists attribute to the “Greta effect,” a newfound awareness of humanity’s impacts on the planet and a desire to make a difference” (Sept 27, 2019). Why did she avoid air-travel? “124.000 flights that take off every day spill millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere” (Time, December 30, 2019). Yes, Greta’s anti-pollution rant was loud and she showed she meant business by avoiding flying through the clouds! She practiced what she preached.

What about us? Are we like the religious nuts who gave a hard time to Jesus in this regard? Thisi what Jesus said about them: “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach” (Matt. 23:2-3). Our call is to be like Jesus who practiced what he preached. In the Garden of Gethsamene he preached to his close disciples about the importance of prayer and went right ahead and prayed. Yes, Jesus practiced what he preached and we who are called repeatedly in the Bible to imitate him should also do so, enabled by His Grace! That these two – what we say must go along with what we do – comes to us from Romans two, twenty two? Confused? Romans 2:22 reads like this: “You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples?”

Third, Greta Thunberg, the world’s most talked about teen, refused a PRIZE. When the Nordic Council wanted to give her an environment award worth USD 52,000, Thunberg refused. This is the reason she gave for refusing this prize: “The climate movement does not need any more prizes. What we need is for our rulers and politicians to listen to the research” (Time, October 30, 2019). Are we so focused on impressing human authorities while forgetting that there is a final day of judgment where the Lord Christ will reward the faithful? Apostle Paul was focused on this ultimate prize. He wrote, “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Phil. 3:14 NLT). The same Apostle was not keen to get cheap recognition from people. He wrote, Obviously, “I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant” (Gal. 1:10). More than being crazy about getting social media ‘likes’ for what we do, we must aim at getting ‘likes’ from our Maker.

Finally, like Greta Thunberg we must do what we can to prevent POLLUTION. True that matters concerning the environment are not of paramount importance as the salvation of the soul. I say that because I have read Scripture. I say that because I have seen the place in the Bible where Jesus sent the demons from the demonized man into the pigs which consequently drowned. Since pigs do not have souls as humans have, and the demons needed a body to inhabit, Jesus was okay with this arrangement. Therefore I am more concerned about peoples perishing without Jesus than animals and birds getting extinct (though I will do my best to prevent the extinction of animals and birds).  Yes, we must do what we can for the environment. I regularly do pollution check for my vehicles. When I have to dispose waste in a public place, I look for a garbage bin to dispose it. I try and curtail the use of plastic the burning of which causes great damage to our environment. Since the earth is God-created, we must take good care of it.

(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. Find out more about this reader-supported Indian ministry http://www.dukev.org. This article was published in the November 2019 issue of Aim Magazine)