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Christmas Devotions Goodnews Around Contemporary Events

CHRISTMAS JOY, DESPITE THE CORONA PLOY!

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

A virus crept our neighborhood, causing untold dread. The Savior of the World, slept soundly as the only baby without original sin, in a manger in the neighborhood of Bethlehem, two thousand years ago, driving out fear and bringing in cheer and serenity [The assuring words ‘fear not’ is repeated four times (to, Zechariah, to Mary, to Joseph and the Shepherds) in the Christmas narratives of the Bible – if you care to carefully notice].

The China virus has greatly affected our world’s economy. The Bethlehem babe’s birth can greatly affect your destiny. In what way? Let’s see:

Jesus brings us PEACE that is not circumstances-dependent. That’s why Jesus was given this title in a Christmas-themed prophecy – the title of ‘Prince of Peace’. He is the big boss over peace, in other words. Our peace often goes for a toss when our life’s circumstances aren’t favorable. But when you start to know Christ the big boss of peace (the prince of peace), you will have peace no matter how crazy the situations in your life gets. Yes, we can have serenity even when there is a storm, if Jesus is our life-boat!

Jesus brings us JOY that is contagious. He began that wow work, even before he landed on the earth as a babe! Jesus was is in mom’s tummy; John the Baptist was in his mom’s tummy; And as both these tummies come close, that’s when John who was still in his mother’s tummy jumped for joy! You see, when you choose to stay in Jesus’ presence a joy unspeakable, full of glory, will be yours! The happiness that we got when we watched Hardik Pandya smack Daniel Sams into the Sydney Cricket Ground stands in the fourth ball off the final over to seal the 2020 T20 Series versus Australia may ebb away. But not the joy that Jesus offers!

Jesus can bring us MIRACLES and HEALING according to His Will which works all things always for our good. The phrase, “For Nothing is impossible with God!” comes straight out of the Christmas Story in the Bible – you perhaps know that! Jesus gave miraculously gave back, the life-breath to my daughter who had ‘no heart beat’ when she was in my wife’s womb, according to medical reports! She was dedicated as a baby in this church in 2008!

Jesus offers SALVATION which in turn gives our lives real meaning and purpose. When the Christmas Story Senior Simeon picked up the baby Jesus, he mouthed this: “My eyes have seen the salvation of the Lord!” We need salvation, because each one of us are sinners who are enduring a living hell and are headed for a literal hell. And sin, whether you like it or not, ultimately creates a vacuum in our hearts, and eventually making our lives meaningless and purposeless.  Jesus, the eternal God, took on a human body of flesh and bone while remaining God, during the first Christmas. He kept himself from any sin, the only one to do so in this planet. When Jesus died on the Cross, he became, the perfect, salvation-bringing sacrifice for sin.. Max Lucado put it well: “Jesus went from Heaven’s Crown, to Bethlehem’s Cradle, to Jerusalem’s Cross”. The Resurrected and Soon-Returning Jesus calls us to repent from sin and put our trust in Him, ‘lest we perish’ (Luke 13:1-5). When we do that, we experience salvation and an ‘inexpressible and glorious joy’ (1 Peter 1:8). As we know Jesus, our life becomes meaningful and purposeful, as knowing Him and making Him known is what we were created for, originally! Mark Batterson explained this well:The Almighty God became Immanuel, “God with us,” so we can spend eternity with him.’

Deigo Maradona scored, what is being called ‘the Goal of the Century’, versus England in the World Cup 1986 Quarter Finals, dancing around English defenders, all by himself, having started his dream run from his team’s half. His Argentine teammate, Jorge Valdano, running alongside Maradona as a reinforcement was reduced to a mere spectator. Starting from ‘his half’ – heaven – Jesus took on human flesh only to die on the Cross (located at our half), walking up Golgotha Hill. Jesus completed the goal of the Trinity from eternity: the offering of salvation to every person who would come to him (who was slain on the Cross before the World’s foundation) in faith, with an attitude of repentance (Rev. 13:8). As Valdano and other Argentine team-mates hugged Maradona in celebration having done practically nothing to contribute to the scoring of the goal of the century, we too, having contributed nothing for our salvation through our self-efforts or menstrual-cloth like unworthy righteousness (Isa 64:6), gratefully love and celebrate Jesus, who finished the goal of the Godhead from eternity concerning the offer of salvation to humans by dying on the Cross (Eph 2:8-10; Gal. 2:20).

‘And he shall be their peace’ – so says a Christmas Prophecy passage about Jesus (Micah 5:5). While others attempted to point out different paths to peace, but Jesus himself is our peace! While others attempted to show the way to salvation, Jesus himself is our salvation! While others attempted to point to a way, Jesus himself is THE way! Jesus invites us to come to Him, the person, not to a philosophy! There is a big difference between Jesus and others! Jesus is unique!

Jesus calls us for a DECISION. Christmas Story Senior Simeon told Jesus’ mother Mary this: ‘Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many…’ We have a choice now. To rise with Jesus. To rise to a life of peace, joy and deliverance from sin. Or, if we reject Jesus, the Only Way, we further fall into despondency, purposelessness and ultimately will land in hell. What will you choose today? Like the Wise Men of the Christmas Narrative did, let us surrender ourselves to Jesus, without any procrastination. Then our life route will change, like it changed for those wise men!

(This article was written as a tract for New Life Assembly of God Church, Kompally, by Duke Jeyaraj. The church used the edited version of this tract to give out to new comers who visited its campus on 19-20 Dec 2020 during their Christmas Drive Through Program. If you need to know more about Jesus, write to us at emailduke@gmail.com or via WhatsApp at 91-8886040605. Duke, the author of this article, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. This is a reader-supported Indian ministry. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org and at http://www.youtube.com/visitduke).

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Goodnews Around Contemporary Events

THE APPARENT SUICIDE OF THE HERO OF THE COMEDY MOVIE MRS. DOUBTFIRE, ROBIN WILLIAMS, MAKES US DOUBT IF LIFE’S PURPOSE CAN BE GOT THROUGH LAUGHTER….


Duke Jeyaraj

Oscar winning actor, Robin Williams, a comedian par excellence, died in 2014 after what was an apparent case of suicide. Suicide. Why do folks who ‘have it all’ like him commit suicide? The answer is simple: without a living, daily relationship with Jesus life will never be full and fulfilling – the Bible teaches (Read John 10:10). Jesus can take away the blankness in our bosoms as he is the only one ever who never sinned and thereby the only one who never had an empty feeling in his heart for sin causes an empty feeling. Ahitophel was a counselor to King David, the greatest king of Israel – a role perhaps equivalent to being AVP of a corporate company. Yet he committed suicide. Saul was the first king of Israel, a role like that being the CEO of a company or the President of a nation. Yet he committed suicide. Coming to Robin Williams, he may have thought laughter could give him lasting joy and may be that was why he acted as a comedian in some of his movies (think of Mrs. Doubtfire). But serenity was not his after smiles faded. Yes, calm was not his after the crackles of cheers died down. If the hero of the rib-tickling movie, Doubtfire, had indeed committed suicide it makes us doubt this statement: “Life’s ultimate purpose can be got through the route of laughter!” Life’s meaning is not ultimately found in achievements, we know that well deep down. Real, lasting peace does not come in the positions we possess. Life’s ultimate purpose cannot be discovered through the laughter, merry-making route (See Ecclesiastes 2:2 in the Bible). Life’s meaning is discovered when, after realizing all under the sun like wine, women, wealth, work, ‘wows’, etc., does NOT give purpose, we seek an on-going relationship with the One who is above the sun – even the God who made us (This is the message of the book of Ecclesiastes one of the 66 books of the Bible, see especially Ecclesiastes 2:25). Life’s meaning comes when we repent from sin and put our faith in God-in-flesh Christ Jesus who died for us on the Cross. Real peace is ours when we recognize that the punishment that brings us peace came upon Jesus when he hung on that Cross and when we come to him after taking a U-turn in this Sin Highway we are on (Read Isaiah 53:5, The Bible). Would you do that now?

(Duke Jeyaraj, an Engineer turned Doctor of Ministry graduate, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, a ministry to presentday people funded by Indians who read his writings and hear his messages. Find out more about Duke and this inter-denominational ministry by liking www.facebook.com/dukebook. Watch Duke’s message videos at http://www.Youtube.com/VisitDuke).