Categories
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).

Categories
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).

 

Categories
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)

Categories
Goodnews For Google Gen

September 11 Still Speaks – Duke Jeyaraj

 

sept 11New York. Big City. The City of Sky Scrappers. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Centres it’s pride and joy. Over 100 storeys high. 414 metres tall.  September 11, 2001,  said the calendar. Two aircraft ram into these strapping structures. The buildings sway like a boat in a rough sea. They come down crumbling.   For thousands it was all over. In a flash it all happens.

Rewind two thousand years. The town – Jerusalem. In the country of  Israel. Another tower crashes. 18 people get killed as a result. The tower had a name – the tower of Siloam. Some escape by the skin of their teeth. Narrowly. There was no newspapers then. No Times of India. No Hindustan Times . By word of mouth the news reaches this man. Who? Jesus. He told the crowd around him something which made their ears tingle: “Those 18 in Jerusalem the other day, the ones crushed and killed when the Tower of Siloam collapsed and fell on them, do you think they were worse sinners than all other Jerusalemites? No not at all. Unless you repent, you too will die!” (Luke 13: 3-5, MSG). The NASB renders the same set of verses thus: but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:5). “Perish” is the Bible word for punishment in hell (Rev. 21:7-8). But God does not want anyone to perish but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

Have you repented? Have you repented from sin? If not do so now! Come to Jesus who died for you on the Cross!

Categories
Youth Bible Studies

WHEN THE LOVING-TO-BE-YOUNG JESUS MET YOUNG PEOPLE Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

young peopleJesus loved being “young”, like most of us do – the time of our lives when our prettiness/handsomeness is at an Himalayan high and our energy-levels at an Everest high. Why did I say that Jesus loved being young? Here’s why – follow the line of my argument carefully: Jesus had the power to choose when he could die (John 10:18); He chose to die when he was in the prime of his youth; He was about 30 when he started his ministry – Luke records (Luke 3:23);  John, the Gospel writer, talks about three Passovers which Jesus took part in (John 2:13; 6:4 and 11:55);  Since the Passover was an annual festival for the Jews (Lev. 23:1-8; I Sam. 1:3, 21), we know Jesus’ ministry on the earth lasted for three years, before he was crucified and buried;  He rose again as a young man, three days later. And he ascended to heaven as a young man of 33;  He sits at the right hand of the Father as a young man;  In all these years, his glorious body has not aged – I believe – because the Bible says “the same” young Jesus whom the disciples ascend into heaven will return back to this earth (Acts 1:11).

 

Young people, Jesus can understand you because he is God who is all knowing. Not just that. He can stand you(th) because he is young even right now!

 

Jesus also loves meeting young people. In his earthly ministry, Jesus met several youth and ministered to them. However, the Gospel writers were moved by the Holy Spirit to give details of Jesus’ interaction with three different youth (only these three persons whom I will refer to are explicitly called ‘youth’).  Let us take a long look at those biblical incidents when Jesus met youth and draw lessons for the youth of today.

 

  1. WHEN JESUS MET A COLD YOUNG MAN

 

Jasprit Bumrah, the Indian Fast Bowler, has a nick-name. He is nicknamed “Bootlace Bomber”, because of his ability of bowl yorkers accurately and high speed. Jesus can be given a nick-name. Jesus can be called “the Funeral Spoiler”! He is seen disrupting three funerals at various stages of increasing difficulty – one which took place in a home, the other when the body was being carried from the home to the graveyard and still yet another when the body was buried in the graveyard! He disrupts the funeral of the young man who was being carried to the graveyard. He was the only son of his widowed mother (Luke 7:12). And he was being carried to the grave! This is what happened according to Dr. Luke: He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” (Luke 7:14). That young man rose again from the dead and Jesus gave him back to his mother (Luke 7:15).

 

Have you touched dead bodies? I have. I recently touched the dead body of my maternal uncle who passed after battling Parkinson’s Disease for 25 years. Dead bodies are cold. I want to draw an analogy here. Are you cold, spiritually speaking? Are you cold in your love towards the One whose love for you is warm? There was a time when you used to pray for long hours without looking at the clock. There was a time when you would witness without any second thoughts. There was a time when you fled from temptation and enjoyed the fleeing because you knew sin’s pleasures were, at best, fleeting. But not any longer. Now, prayer times have become a drag for you. You do not witness for Jesus at all. And you run towards temptation feeling super-excited. You need to repent. You need to come back to Jesus. You must come back to the “first love” you had for Jesus (Rev. 2:4). Your love for Jesus needs to be warm.

 

  1. WHEN JESUS MET A HALF-COMMITTED YOUNG MAN

Matthew records the conversation of a “young man” (Matt. 19:20,22) of “great wealth” (Matt. 19:22) had with Jesus. He had the right question – “What must I do to get eternal life?” (Matt. 19:16). He wasn’t talking about earthly things but things of eternal value. So, in that sense, he asked the right question. Having read the full Bible we know that we do not have “do” anything to get eternal life. All we need to do to be saved is to believe in the Lord Jesus who died and rose again for us with a truly repentant heart (Acts 2:37-38; 16:30-31 – two passages where we read the question of unbelievers, “What shall we do now?”). The rich young man not only asked the right question, he exhibited the right posture. Mark records that this young man “knelt” down before Jesus when he asked that question (Mark 10:17 ESV). This tells me that he respected Jesus and wanted to express that respect by the posture of kneeling.  But the rich young man who asked the right question with the right posture responded wrongly to Jesus. Jesus, who knew everything as God (John 2:25), knew about his greed and love for money problem. So, Jesus touched that aspect of his life in response to his question. But he did not do that in an angry tone. He did it lovingly. Mark records that Jesus looked at this young man and “loved him” as he gave his response to his question (Mark 10:21). Jesus loves young people. But he does not desire that young people stay in their sins – be it pride or porn-watching or peer-pressure yielding or prayerlessness. So he lovingly calls youth to repent – especially of their “pet” sins. If you are given to the secret habit of shooting and sending nude selfies via WhatsApp Jesus would say this to you, looking at you in a loving way: “Yet one thing you lack. Surrender your WhatsApp life to me!” (Read Mark 10:21 to understand what Jesus told the Rich Young Ruler). Here is the message we need to get: Jesus loves us just the way we are, but he won’t leave us that way. He would woo us with his love, wow us with his love. He love when truly experienced will transform our life. But if we keep rejecting his love, a time will surely come when the Holy Sprit may stop talking to us and we will land in eternal hell (Rev. 21:7-8; Gen. 6:3; Romans 1:18-24).

 

So do not be half-committed, when it comes to your commitment with Jesus! The rich young man walked away “sad” when he took a U-turn from Jesus and walked away because he was unwilling to repent of his love of money in a practical way by selling all his possessions, giving what he got to the poor, and following Jesus (join Jesus’ ministry team) [Mark 10:21]. He level of commitment to Jesus was not 100%. He kept some parts of his life for himself, for sin, for Satan. This young man wanted to serve Jesus and Money. And that led to sadness. Double-mindedness leads to delight-loss – this was James’ message (Whoever wavers in his mind is troubled in all his ways – James 1:8, Aramaic Bible in Plain English). Don’t lock a corner of your life secretly to porn by watching nudity via streaming platforms like Netflix. Don’t make room in your heart for a little pride in the name having good self-esteem. Give up “all” sin and surrender your “full” life to Jesus (note Jesus’ stress on the word “all” in his response to the young man who was rich in Mark 10:21). Then, the lasting joy which the young rich man missed will be yours (Mark 10:22; Matt. 19:22). When you surrender your life to Jesus without holding anything back – I repeat without holding anything back – you are sure to experience the joy which the world cannot give, money can’t buy (the rich young ruler should have known this) and Satan cannot take away. I can testify to that!

 

 

  1. WHEN JESUS MET A COWARDLY YOUNG MAN

 

There was a young man who followed Jesus enroute to the Cross. But when the Roman Arrest party closed-in on Jesus he had to choose between suffering with Jesus or scooting from Jesus. He chose the later option, for lack of courage. You can read about him in Mark 14:51 – ‘A young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. But he [v]pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked’ (NASB). When this young man had to choose being naked in public and being nerveless in public, he chose the former. He was a coward. He was curious about Jesus (that why he followed Jesus). But he could not make up him mind to be courageous for Jesus. He was exactly the opposite of John Chou, the young American who went to North Sentinel Islands to proclaim Jesus, pretty well knowing that his life was at risk at the hands of the untamed, javelin-wielding, tribal people who lived there in 2018. He sure lost his life. But great will be reward on the other side of eternity. Do you know in the list of people who will go to hell even “cowards” are mentioned? (Rev. 21:7-8). The book of Revelation was written as an encouragement for people who were being persecuted. The message of that book is simple: “Endure”. Revelation 13:10b read this way: ‘Here is a call for the perseverance and faith of the saints.’ Revelation 14:12’s message is also the same: ‘This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.’ When Revelation 21:7-8 places even the ‘cowardly’ in the list of people who will go to hell, we understand this way: those who repeated, stubbornly, deny Jesus through their words and actions for the fear of a repercussion (repercussions like ‘my friends will make fun of me, if I refuse to drink along with them’, ‘if I say no to sex when this girl is offering it offering to me, she will think I am not even a man!’, ‘if I question my pastor about this false teaching he is preaching, he will not have me on stage as a worship leader in this church’, etc) are in the real danger of going to eternal hell.

 

So, in your campus life, show people that you have a backbone. In your corporate office, let people know that out of that popularity contest. Live for Jesus courageously!

Note: This article was published in the August 2019 issue of Aim Magazine published by Evangelical Fellowship of India.

(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is a trained Agricultural Engineer [B. Tech from SHIATS, Allahabad], who did not pursue a career in the line of his education but nevertheless enjoys growing cacti in the balcony of his flat, during his spare time. He could have been a cricket commentator but prefers to wrap Bible Truth around cricket magic moments and other interesting-to-Google Genners contemporary events. God’s call upon him made him utterly restless and he obeyed that call to by founding the Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission to finally find serenity after having served as a pastor/missionary/editor. G4 Mission is not a church but an inter-denominational ministry to present-day people, a ministry which Duke works fulltime for, as an itinerant presenter/preacher since 2008 putting to use the formal theological training he received from a reputed Bible College in Bangalore [M. Div & Doctor of Ministry from CGLD-SABC]. Duke is called ‘dad’ by Dale (15) and Datasha (11) and ‘hubby’ by Evangelin and calls Hyderabad his adopted home. In case your curiosity is triggered by reading all this, you may checkout dukewords.com [if you are the reading plain text type], soundcloud.com/shoutaloud [if you are part of the audio-listening tribe] and youtube.com/visitduke [if you group yourself with the video-steaming generation]).

Categories
Strong Believers Creating Articles Uncategorized

MARTYRDOM-READY BELIEVERS IN A 5G-INTERNET-SPEED-FOLD-YOUR-PHONE-READY WORLD – Duke Jeyaraj

POLYCARPThis morning (22 July 2019) when I went to get the newspaper in a shop in Diamond Point, Secunderabad, I witnessed a march by school students in memory of the Kargil Martyrs. They walked shouting slogans of respect for the Kargil Martyrs.

The Bible is clear when it calls believers to die for Christ if there is a need to do so. None of us will enjoy dying. But none of us should be scarred of dying for Christ’s sake.

Jesus’ call for martyrdom comes from John 12:24 – Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:23 records that these were the words of Jesus.

Apostle Paul, the person who kept saying we must follow Christ as he followed Christ using various phrases atleast five different times in the New Testament as he was inspired by the Spirit to do so was willing to die for Christ. We read these his brave words in Acts 21:13 – Then Paul answered (a group of five prophets who prophesied that he should not go to Jerusalem and preach about Jesus because that would land him in great danger), “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

The writer to the Hebrews in the Bible was complaining that there weren’t enough brave people in the church he wrote to who chose Martyrdom when he wrote, “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Heb. 12:4).

My favorite Christian Martyr is Polycarp. His martyrdom was the first prominent one after the completion of the New Testament. I recommend that you watch the 2015 Movie Polycarp – you, your family, your church. I watched it with my family and a small group I taught God’s Word to. I stopped at strategic points in his life to draw spiritual lessons during that movie.

Here is the gripping report of the martyrdom of Polycarp by Christianity Today website:

‘Polycarp had been a Christian since he was a child, but the Romans didn’t get around to killing him until he was in his eighties. Whatever the reason for the delay, it is still the first recorded martyrdom in post-New Testament church history. Such traits are especially evident in the account of his martyrdom, which was written within a year of his death. It is not clear exactly why he was suddenly, at age 86, subject to arrest, but when he heard Roman officials were intent on arresting him, he decided to wait for them at home. Panic-stricken friends pleaded with him to flee, so to calm them, he finally agreed to withdraw to a small estate outside of town. But while in prayer there, he received some sort of vision. Whatever he saw or heard, we don’t know. He simply reported to his friends that he now understood, “I must be burned alive.” Roman soldiers eventually discovered Polycarp’s whereabouts and came to his door. When his friends urged him to run, Polycarp replied, “God’s will be done,” and he let the soldiers in.’

‘He was escorted to the local proconsul, Statius Quadratus, who interrogated him in front of a crowd of curious onlookers. Polycarp seemed unfazed by the interrogation; he carried on a witty dialogue with Quadratus until Quadratus lost his temper and threatened Polycarp: he’d be thrown to wild beasts, he’d be burned at the stake, and so on. Polycarp just told Quadratus that while the proconsul’s fire lasts but a little while, the fires of judgment (“reserved for the ungodly,” he slyly added) cannot be quenched. Polycarp concluded, “But why do you delay? Come, do what you will.”’

‘Soldiers then grabbed him to nail him to a stake, but Polycarp stopped them: “Leave me as I am. For he who grants me to endure the fire will enable me also to remain on the pyre unmoved, without the security you desire from nails.” He prayed aloud, the fire was lit, and his flesh was consumed. The chronicler of this martyrdom said it was “not as burning flesh but as bread baking or as gold and silver refined in a furnace.”’

‘The account concluded by saying that Polycarp’s death was remembered by “everyone”—”he is even spoken of by the heathen in every place.”’

Should there be a rule in our land that we should not worship Christ or follow him or share his love, what would you do?

Would we respond like Peter and the apostles did in a similar situation: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29) – would we boldly say that to those who persecute us?

“Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus” – that’s what the persecuted apostles did (Acts 5:41-42). And would we make Acts 5:41-42 a reality in our lives in case there is persecution in our world?

One small way we as a ministry show that we are not afraid of persecution is by distributing tracts. We still choose a spot and give tracts in that spot once a month. My joy knows no bounds whenever a new team member would say: “This is the first time I giving a gospel tract!” I tell myself, “Even if I were to die and be with Jesus, this wave of fearless witnessing will continue till the return of Christ!”

Mobile companies are preparing the world to be 5G super-fast internet speed-ready world where your 5G enabled phones can be folded! They are preparing mobile handsets that will be 5G ready. Huawei Mate X –  a phone that can be folded – is one such phone. As believers, I write this article with a passion to see martyrdom-ready believers.

MATE X

(Duke Jeyaraj is a trained Agricultural Engineer [B. Tech from SHIATS, Allahabad], who did not pursue a career in the line of his education but nevertheless enjoys growing cacti in the balcony of his flat, during his spare time! He could have been a cricket commentator but prefers to wrap Bible Truth around cricket magic moments and other interesting-to-Google Genners contemporary events, instead. God’s call upon him made him utterly restless and he obeyed that call  by founding the Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission to finally find serenity after having served formerly as a pastor with a large denomination/missionary with a large organisation/employee of HSBC Global Resourcing. G4 Mission is not a church but an inter-denominational ministry to present-day people, a ministry which Duke works fulltime for, as an itinerant presenter/preacher/author since 2008 putting to use the formal theological training he received from a reputed Bible College in Bangalore [M. Div & Doctor of Ministry from CGLD-SABC]. Duke is called ‘dad’ by Dale (15) and Datasha (11) and ‘hubby’ by Evangelin and calls Hyderabad his adopted home – a town from where Duke has travelled by invitation to over 15 Indian States and to a few countries to preach God’s Word. In case your curiosity is triggered by reading all this, you may checkout http://www.dukewords.com [if you are the reading plain text type], http://www.soundcloud.com/shoutaloud [if you are part of the audio-listening tribe] and http://www.youtube.com/visitduke [if you group yourself with the video-steaming generation]. G4 Mission is a listener/reader/viewer supported Indian ministry.)

 

Categories
Cricket-Wrapped-Bible-Devotions Uncategorized

THE SEE-SAW BATTLE LIKE WE HAVE NEVER SEEN – Duke Jeyaraj Bible Devo on the heart-stopping World Cup Final 2019 / England V New Zealand on 14 July 2019 in the Lords Cricket Ground London

ben stokes

Life is like a see-saw game. Perhaps there was no better see-saw game than the 2019 World Cup Final. England and New Zealand played the World’s greatest ever One Day International – an incredible sine-curve game. Vic Marks wrote this about this game: “This was the most astonishing, fortuitous, preposterous climax to any cricket match I’ve witnessed, let alone a World Cup final.” He was right.

For some time, England seemed to win. During some other times, New Zealand seemed to win. New Zealand created pressure. England got out of it. Repeat. Till your heart-beat almost stops.

When New Zealand won the toss and batted first, it looked like New Zealand had the upper hand. Nicholls and Williamson were going great with their team at 103 for 1 in the 23rd Over. That’s when one of seemingly innocuous delivery of Liam Plunkett caught the faintest of edges of Williamson’s bat. He was out caught behind. The captain who had scored the most runs in a World Cup edition was gone. If this duo had continued a score of 300 was a possibility. But they ended by at 241 – thanks to Jofra Archer’s superb death bowling. His last two overs went like this: 111000110111. Advantage England.

When England chased 242, New Zealand kept creating pressure. If-he-bats-till-twenty-overs-then-game-over Jason Roy got out. Out-of-sorts Joe Root got out. Not-the-usual-self Jonny Baristow got out. Maximum-sixes-in-a-single-ODI Eion Morgan got out. At 4 for 86 in the 24th Over, England were in serious trouble. Advantage New Zealand, now. That’s when Jos Buttler joined Ben Stokes. Their 100-plus stand threatened to take the game away from New Zealand. The blue-eyed Buttler was giving the Blackcaps the blues! But in the 45 over Lockie Ferguson struck. He had Buttler spoon a catch. New Zealand were back in the game. Advantage New Zealand. When England needed 22 off nine balls they were in a similar situation like India were in the semi-finals with Dhoni on strike. Like Dhoni did, Stokes hit the ball in the air. Let Akash Sarkar take over: “As the equation slipped to 22 off 9, Stokes slammed one Neesham delivery wide of long-on. Trent Boult settled under it and took a clean catch. There was more drama though as the pacer then took a step back and stepped on the rope to give England crucial six more. In hindsight, the game was lost there by the visitors.” Advantage England, now. In the final over with 9 runs needed off 4 balls, Martin Guptill’s throw from the deep deflected of Stokes’ bat (without Stokes deliberately doing the deflecting so much so the English fans named the event the “The Bat of God” after Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal versus England in a Football World Cup). The ball went to the boundary. Umpire Dharmasena signaled a 6. 2 runs plus 4 for overthrows. Advantage England there. With 3 needed of 2, Trent Boult and the nerveless Kiwis pushed the game to a SuperOver – thanks to some nerveless boundary riding. In the Super Over, with England making 15 runs – thanks to a boundary each by Buttler and Stokes – New Zealand had to score 16 runs to win the game having scored lesser boundaries than England. England’s SuperOver bowler Jofra Archer (called Prophet Jofra as he had tweeted 16 off 6 via Twitter way back in 2014) started with a wide and conceded an early six to Jimmy Neesham. It is now 7 off 4 for New Zealand. Not tough to do. Advantage New Zealand. Later it was 5 off 3. Neesham could not hit a six and make his country the World Cup winners in the next ball. He managed a two. It was 3 of 2, now. Neesham could not hit a four and make his country the World Cup winners in the next ball.  In the penultimate ball, Neesham takes a single and puts Guptill on strike for the last ball. Yes, Jofra Archer pulled things back after a poor start and brought it down to 2 off 1 ball. Martin Guptill instead of swinging for the hills, tried to work it around. Though the throw from Jason Roy was not accurate Jos Buttler collected the ball and whipped the bails without wasting time to catch the man who caught Dhoni out of his crease in the Semis, Guptill, outside his crease. The Cup was England’s. For the first time! The greatest ODI had come to an end.

Ups and downs – are not just part of the Greatest ODI – but also our lives. It was part of Apostle Paul’s life. He writes, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Phil. 4:12). In the same chapter we read of a minister of the Gospel being killed and another minister of the Gospel rescued from certain death. I am talking about Acts 12. I am talking about James (dead) and Peter (rescued) here. Some women received back their dead in Hebrews 11. Some were sawed/cut with sharp metal into two in Hebrews 11. Glamour and Gloom were pinned together in one Bible chapter. Yes, highs and lows can be joined together, inter-twined together in one life, no matter how dedicated for the Lord that life is. Ask Job. Job 1 recorded the lows and Job 42 the highs.  There was a time when the lip-smacking grapes crowned the vines in Prophet Habakkuk’s garden. There was a time – just before the Babylonian invasion – that they were no grapes in his garden and the prophet felt gobsmacked (astonished) at what God allowed to happen to his children (Hab 3:17). But Habakkuk decided rejoice in God his Savior without batting an eyelid. That’s what ultimately matters.

There was a slip between the cup and the lip for Kane Williamson. So near, yet so far. One reason could have inexplicable duck and leave by Michael Santner when he faced the last ball of the New Zealand’s regular innings by Jofra Archer. This was the same guy who hit a last ball six for CSK in the 2019 IPL, mind you. Santner could have put bat on ball and picked up any run(s) that came by, who knows, the World Cup would be New Zealand’s! What a massive miss! John Bunyan wrote in the classic book, Pilgrim’s Progress, “Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven.” So we must have an A to Z commitment when it comes to Christian Commitment. A, for Abide (John 15:4 – Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me) to Z for Zeal (Rom.  12:11 – Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord). Unless we persevere – enabled by grace – we will perish. When we “keep ourselves in God’s love” (Jude 21) he will “keep us from falling and present us without fault in his glorious presence on that day” (Jude 24).

(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission. This is a reader supported Indian ministry. Find out more at www.dukev.org. Duke’s articles are hosted at http://www.dukewords.com. Watch Duke at http://www.youtube.com/visitduke).

 

 

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Cricket-Wrapped-Bible-Devotions

THREE DUCKS IN THEIR BIGGEST ODI GAME & OUR “DUCK” WHEN IT COMES TO SALVATION – Duke Jeyaraj brings out a spiritual truth from the Bible starting with an event from the World Cup Cricket Final 2015

mccullum

Andrew Ramsey wrote the following line about Brendon McCullum’s 3-ball duck in the World Cup Final 2015 versus Australia in Melbourne before 90,000 plus people: “If two successive air swings were not sufficient to alert McCullum to the peril that Starc posed, the third ensured the visiting captain’s World Cup Final batting memories will be brief, bitter and bereft of any contact between bat and ball.” Later in the New Zealand innings, two other batsmen, Corey Anderson (one time record holder for the fastest ODI hundred) and Luke Ronchi (whose ODI highest score is 170 runs) also recorded ducks. Three of the cleanest ball-strikers in the Kiwi line-up scored ducks in their biggest ever ODI game.

Ducks. Zeroes. These words reminds me of our score when we compare it with the score of God’s score when it comes to purity: it is nought. We have ALL sinned and fallen short of His glory, the Bible records (Rom. 3:23). In other words: we have a duck across our name when it comes to salvation. We can’t make it heaven with our merit. We cannot save ourselves through our effort. We cannot pull ourselves up with our own boot laces, can we? Our good morals are like filthy rags (like menstrual cloth) before God, Isaiah wrote. All our “g-o-o-d” minus “G-O-D” is just a 0 – a zero (as someone said). But there is only one who coverts that duck into a hundred. That’s Jesus, the God in flesh, the only one who never ever sinned, the one Mediator between God and Man. All one needs to be saved is to put one’s trust in this Jesus, who died for us on the Cross and arose, with a repentant heart (Luke 13:5; Rom. 10:9). Paul writes, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith…” (Eph 2:8). Would you come to Jesus to accept this free gift of salvation? Would you do it now?

(Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is an engineer turned Doctor of Ministry graduate. Duke is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission, a inter-church, inter-organizational ministry to present-day people. Duke and his wife, Evangelin work for this ministry fulltime. This ministry is funded by those who are blessed by reading Duke’s writings and hearing his messages – all Indians. Find out more by liking www.facebook.com/googleduke).

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Cricket-Wrapped-Bible-Devotions Uncategorized

THE ROHIT HAND SIGNAL FROM THE BALCONY; THE JESUS HAND STRETCH FROM CALVARY! India-New Zealand World Cup 2019 Semifinals – a poem by Duke Jeyaraj with a message at the end)

rohit sharma signal

rohit hand gesture

A quick assessment of the pitch the incoming Kane Williamson made, as soon as Guptill got out

Plans for a 250 plus score rather than a 300 plus score,  began to immediately sprout,

The Kiwis ran furious 2s instead of going for big shots to reach 239 to set up a tantalizing bout,

Rohit, Kohli, KL and DK  went and the Indian were starting at a definite, by-New Zealand, semis rout,

Before Youngguns Pant and Pandya a way out from the Certain Defeat cave they fiercely cut,

Impatient Pant after four dot balls skied a shot only to be caught – why did play that shot, but?

After Pandya perished Jadeja’s  lusty, valiant blows ended India’s boundary drought!

But Dhoni’s go-slow now, acceleration later approach made the required run-rate stout!

44 off 26 to win with two set batsmen in at one point – India were very much in the game then, no doubt!

Instead of going for 6s, Dhoni ran 6 singles in the next few balls & in-the-Dhoni-created-pressure, Jadeja holed out

As Dhoni hit a goosebumps giving six over backward-point in ball 49.1 – India’s World Cup dream did not yet logout!

Guptill ran-out Dhoni at a time when 6 fielders were outside the circle – a clear case of rule flout!

India’s collective heart-beat stopped as teary eyed Dhoni walked back towards his team’s hut!

“We are the team that crash-landed Flight No. ODI World Cup No.3 For India’ – that is now New Zealand’s deserving strut!

When Rohit Sharma, flexed muscles to signal the ‘Be Strong – You Can Take India To A Win’ to Jadeja & my heart did jut!

But did you know that Jesus stretched his arms and died, he signaled, ‘You have hope for the Salvation Door even for the worst ever sinner is not shut!’

Turn from sin and put your faith in the only God-in-flesh Jesus and you will find peace-amidst-the-storm in your gut!

 

(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission. Check out www.purposespot.blogspot.com for similar write-ups. Read more of Duke’s writings at www.dukewords.com and watch his videos at www.youtube.com/visitduke).