India beat the Bangla Tigers who showed tigerish resolve to run India close in the 2019 ODI World Cup to become the second team after Australia to reach the semifinals.
This win reminded of three “G” Bible Lessons:
- The LESSON ABOUT GRIND
For me, the hero of this India win was Jasprit Bumrah. They were very much in the game with Sabbir Rahman and Mohammed Saifuddin striking the ball well. They took 17 runs off Mohammed Shami’s over – over number 38 – and piled up 66 runs together. In the first ball of over number 43, Jasprit Bumrah bowled Sabbir and ended what could have been a match-winning stand. Let’s scroll down to the 48th over. Saifuddin was batting with the tail of the Tigers (Bangladesh) with his tail up having reached a well-made 50. 36 were needed in three overs for Bangladesh – not at all impossible in a world post-T20’s Genesis. Now over to Karthik Krishaswamy’s words in EspnCricinfo as to what happened next: “The equation came down to 29 off 14 when Saifuddin took a single to bring the No. 10 Rubel Hossain on strike for the last two balls of Bumrah’s quota of overs. Those two balls was all Bumrah needed, two inch-perfect yorkers proving too good for Rubel and Mustafizur.”
Post the game Jasprit Bumrah, who is nicknamed the “Bootlace Bomber” for his inch-perfect, high-speed yorkers talked about the “grind” he goes through, day in and day out, which gives him the confidence and ability to bowl during the Death Overs.
“Everything is preparation. I do it again and again in the nets. The more you do it the better you get. You can’t master it but I’m still trying to get better. It’s all about repetition. Do it again and again and try and replicate in the game. Whenever I practise in the nets, I practise each and every situation. Be it with the new ball, be it with the old ball, bowling at the death. So if I have ticked all the boxes in the nets it’s all about execution in the match and keeping it simple. If the work ethic is good, the execution is much easier.”
When I read that I went “Wow!” This Bumrah does not mind bending his back to practice. Before the show, he doesn’t mind the sweat and do the hard-yards. He bowls full-throttle even during India’s net practice sessions. His toe-crushing Yorker in India’s practice game injured Indian all-rounder Vijay Shankar, forcing India to replace him with Mayank Agrawal in the team of 15. Even in practice sessions, Bumrah goes boom, boom, boom.
What about us? Do we mind the grind when it comes to God’s Work? Apostle Paul testified, “I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me” (I Cor. 15:10). Enabled by the Grace of God Paul did the work of God, working extremely hard. His ministry was characterized by “hard work” and “sleepless nights” (2 Cor. 6:5). I believe in working hard when it comes to God’s Work. There are times when I stay up almost the whole night after an important world event of interest to the Google Generation (the World Cup Football Finals/the World Cup Cricket Semifinals featuring India, etc) crafting poems, writing articles which wrap interesting things from that game around Bible truths, so that God’s people can read and be encouraged the very next day. Needless to say, it is all by the grace of God as I often couple my key-board punches for God with silent speaking in tongues. May I encourage you to do what you are called to do – taking a class, making a speech, preparing a bouquet for a guest – with the best of your ability for the glory of God?
- THE LESSON ABOUT GRACE
In this game, Rohit Sharma, who was hailed by the great Virat Kohli as the greatest ever One Day player currently, got a life. When Rohit Sharma was batting on 9 runs when offered a “dolly of a catch”. The Bangladeshi fielder who got under it was Tamin Iqbal. But despite using both his hands, he dropped it. If I was on air giving commentary for that game I would have used one of my favorite commentary lines at that point which is this: “Even my mother-in-law could have caught that one!” Jokes apart, Rohit continued to thrive after that reprieve. He scored his fourth ton of the 2019 World Cup. His partnership of 180 with K.L. Rahul (another Rohit in the making, in my opinion, with the same classiness) had laid for India a solid foundation to score even a possible 400 when they batted first. It was not the first time that Rohit made India’s opponents pay for “giving him grace” by dropping the catches he offered them. One Twitter user put out this tweet immediately: “Dropped on 1 vs SA: Scored 122. Dropped on 2 vs AUS: Scored 57. Dropped on 4 vs ENG: Scored 104.” Yes, Rohit Sharma when shown grace responds with gratitude – the gratitude of accumulating runs for his team.
As believers we are saved by grace of our Lord Jesus who died for us on the Cross. But do we respond with gratitude for the grace that shown to us by exhibiting good works? Apostle Paul wrote some classic stuff in the book of Ephesians talking about this very thing. He wrote that God was “rich in mercy” towards us (Eph. 2:4). So, that is why we too ought to be “full of mercy” in our dealings with others as the proverbs in the New Testament, the book of James tells us (James 3:17). Over to Apostle Paul who makes this crystal clear: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10).
There is an unwarranted tirade going against “good works”/ “works of the law” – thanks to the efforts of the cunning preachers of the cultic hyper-grace movement. They know the Bible is clear when it calls believers who are saved by grace to do good works moved by gratitude (as it is evident from the passage above and several other passages such as Leviticus 11:45/Hosea 3/Zechariah 3:3-7/Titus 2:11-12/Titus 3:4-8/2 Timothy 1:9/Romans 6:4/I Thessalonians 2:13/4:3-5. In Chapter 5 of my book, Straight Talk On Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn and More, I explain this in greater detail). Despite knowing this, the hyper-grace cult teachers make a brazen attempt to confuse believers into believing that a believer should not be concerned about “works” because we are “saved by grace”. But a careful study of the New Testament reveals that “good works” of holiness and ministry and “works of the law” are vastly different. While both cannot save us, the Bible is clear we must do “good works” (moved by gratitude for the grace shown us) while only shunning the “works of the law”. What is this “works of the law”? The writer to the Hebrews explains they are the animal sacrifices, ceremonial laws of the Old Testament which we no longer need to break our heads with as Christ has offered the perfect sacrifice (Heb. 8:13 and I would recommend a full reading of the book). Even in the book of Hebrews we are told of the need to do the “good works” (of holiness). We read in the same book this: “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Heb. 13:4). This is just another way of repeated one of the 10 commandments which went this way: “Do not commit adultery.” So, the moral, non-ceremonial laws of the Old Testament are still binding on us, believers. We do not follow them to earn our salvation, but because we are saved, out of gratitude, we obey them! If we do not obey them, then as my Calvinist friends tell me, their Armenian friend this: “We must doubt if those who do not do the good works of holiness are really saved in the first place! After reading passages such as I John 2:3-5!”
Back to the India-Bangladesh ODI World Cup Group Game of 2019. We have finished learning two lessons starting with G – lesson about the grind, the lesson about Grace. Now for the final G lesson:
- THE LESSON ABOUT GRANDMOMS
As the India-Bangladesh went on, the camera panned the audience and zeroed in on a 87-old woman, Charulatha. She had the Indian tricolor splashed across her wrinkled cheeks. Her cheeks may have been wrinkled but her throat’s strength never seem to have dwindled. She blew a horn to cheer the men in the blue – the Indian team. She apparently was in the ground to cheer for India, when India first won the ODI Cricket World Cup in 1983 in the Lord’s Cricket Ground in England. The commentators on air hailed her as an “internet sensation”. Post the match, Virat Kohli was on his knees expressing his happiness upon seeing support for the Indian team even from the members of the older generation. He sent a tweet with his picture with her as well.
I am more of a Rohit Sharma fan than a Virat Kohli fan. But this gesture of Virat moved my heart. He did not have to meet a fan post a high-voltage game. But he chose to. His respect for elders was obvious here. In some places he overdoes respect for elders (by not rapping the go-slow-in-death-overs super senior Dhoni), but in this case it was clearly in place.
A lot of Google Genners do not respect the elderly. This is sad. One of the moral laws of the Old Testaments that we are still bound to follow (see the point I made above) concerns respect for the elderly. It goes this way: “‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD (Lev. 19:32). Standing up in reverence for the “ancient of Days” and standing up in the presence of those ancient in years (the elderly) – both can’t be separated.
May I share a personal story now? My ailing maternal uncle passed away in January 2019. My mom told me this when I was a little boy: “Mummy stayed in your mama’s (talking about him) place in Chennai when you were born. He opened his house for me so that I would be comfortable during the delivery and so I did have to travel to far-from-Vellore, Rajapalayam, when my parents lived.” I never forgot that – because against my place of birth, Chennai is entered (though I grew up in Vellore). I also never forgot his brief words of support for me when I wanted to marry my wife against all odds. So when he passed away, though he was going to be buried in far-away Madurai, I decided to be there. I decided to hang around and help his son and daughters in the funeral arrangements. Nothing great about it. Anyone would have done it. And my maternal aunty (I call her periamma) told me post the burial as I served food for her, “You have honoured the memory of your mama today!” I was over the moon. No – I have not been respectful of elders always. But in January 2019, the Lord Jesus gave me the grace to make it up! Is your life dotted with “respect-for-elders” events?
Does respect for elders mean obeying whatever they tell you? No. Jonathan did not obey his dad Saul who wanted him to kill David. But even when he disagreed with his dad, he respectfully disagreed. We see that Jonathan used the phrase “King” and “please” (as per some translations, see I Samuel 19:4-5/ “Please don’t attack David” – The Message) in his interactions with King Saul on matters he could not just obey his dad. If your parents do not approve your decision to marry another believer quoting unbiblical reasons such as caste, you may disagree with them, but do it respectfully.
Well, the G lessons can keep continuing. But I want to stop here. We will meet again post India’s game versus Sri Lanka.
(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a reader supported Indian ministry. Find out more at www.dukev.org. Read each article that Duke has written with regard to the Cricket World Cup 2019 at www.dukewords.com – an exclusive website where Duke posts only his article. Visit http://www.Youtube.com/VisitDuke to view Duke’s messages).