I remember in the early years of my Christian walk being able to ‘see’ certain things in people that others were oblivious to. I would come straight out to Bill and say things like, “That pastor is real dodgy and his wife takes too much interest in money.” Bill, being ever wise, would tell me not to judge but to go and pray about it – first he would chastise me severely for even having such thoughts about the pastor – ‘touch not my anointed ones’ (1 Chron 16:22) he would quote.
When I leaned over at a conference and whispered to him that the guest speaker was more than likely homosexual Bill got really, really mad and wondered what he would do with this contentious wife.
It took some years but I finally understood that what I had was actually a gift of discernment (1 Cor 12:10) and rather than sharing what I ‘see’, I am to take it to the Lord in intercession.
This leads me to sharing today’s entry from Oswald Chamber’s where I first read about how I should respond.
By the way, the pastor in question resigned within a year after decimating the congregation and ‘cooking the books’. He withdrew from ministry.
15 years later, the guest speaker came out of the closet – leaving his wife,his children and his ministry.
May we continue in the fear of the Lord and in His amazing grace.
An intellectual conception of God may be found in a bad vicious character. The knowledge and vision of God is dependent entirely on a pure heart. Character determines the revelation of God to the individual. The pure in heart see God.
Oswald Chambers, Biblical Ethics, 125 R
How many of us know the story of Daniel in the lion’s den?
Although we may not know many Bible stories, most of us remember the punchline to this one:a man gets thrown into a den of lions but miraculously survives. (Daniel 6:1-28)
How can this be possible?
Did you know that Daniel was friends with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; the three guys who got thrown into a fiery furnace yet did not burn? (Daniel 3: 1-30) Whoa! That’s another story of the incomparable power of God.
What these men all had in common was that they loved God more than they loved their own lives.
Having been taken captive out of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and found to be a cut above their fellow Israelites (Daniel 1:4),they enter the service of King Nebuchadnezzar.
At the palace, they refuse to eat the king’s rich food and drink his wine, as instructed (Daniel 1:8-16). They don’t go berserk at the buffet table or allow the wine to loosen their inhibitions. By dining simply and soberly, they keep themselves alert and they also stick to their regime of praying to God – despite decrees forbidding this.
While everybody else bows down to the king and to his idols, these disciplined men keep their faith – despite the consequences.
Compromise never enters the equation.
While reading the Book of Daniel and these accounts of fellow eternity seekers, I wept in awe at the power of God to sustain His people in times of need. It didn’t matter to them whether they lived or died, either way they refused to compromise (Daniel 3:17-18).
Let us take these stories beyond the Sunday School room and allow them to strengthen our faith and to mold our character. Let us not eat of this world’s ‘rich food’ but discipline our lives by pursuing holiness.
The pure in heart see God. (Mathew 5:8, Psalm 73)
I got so excited when I saw this blog today, it strikes a chord in my heart: Christianity in India needs a holy inspired jolt! I left a comment of encouragement to keep this guy going, he is onto something, and I plan to visit his church this weekend! Please join me in praying for this young pastor of Delhi Bible Fellowship, Gurgaon (you can google it) 🙂
Welcome to the gospelforindia blog site! I have started this site for at least two reasons:
1. There is a need for thoughtful reflection on the gospel in our Indian context. There is clearly a lot of Christian activity going on in India, with thousands of organizations doing lots of good work everywhere. But I don’t see a lot of people discussing gospel work and issues in India thoughtfully. In fact there just seems like there is hardly any high quality evangelical literature or material coming out of India at all. I see believers all around me hungering and thirsting for good material to reflect on, but unfortunately there isn’t really much to offer them. So I hope that the content and links on this blog will give them at least something. The need for sheer content from an Indian evangelical perspective is very large.
2. I hope this blog…
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Apologies to Harry Nielsson and New York City but I love it when the Lord goes before me and sets up nice surprises.
We have been in India a week now and I cover that in my article below. Today though is my first chance to go to church and corporately worship my hero, Jesus.
The church meets in the basement of a local hotel with about 25 present: apart from some locals there were people from Kenya, Phillipines, USA and the guest speaker was an Australian. Sitting directly in front of me was this sweet little girl wearing a skirt that Chloe and Millie have often worn.The worship was so sweet with some of my favourite songs playing and my tears of gratitude came easily.
After the service, while introducing ourselves I met the little girl wearing the familiar skirt.
Hello, she said, I’m from Australia, my name is Chloe and I am 6.
I let out a big smile and told her about my grandchildren back home.She gave me a big hug and told me how excited she had been to see her grandparents last month. Apparently Chloe has been in India for four months, her Dad was today’s guest speaker and tonight they fly back home.
The week before I left Australia, Bill said to me how he didn’t know too many women who would just get up and leave their grandchildren, their house and garden to make a new life in India.
Jesus has prepared me for this over many many years and in recent weeks through my morning devotions, He has clearly told me to not let sentimentality get in the way of what He has for me.
This blog is all about preparing for eternity and today’s message in church was about how eternity is the main event not this short life we now pass through.
This life prepares us for eternity and we have to overcome great obstacles in the natural. We have to place all our trust in God.
We have to follow Jesus and say,as He said, ‘Not my will but Your will be done.’ It helps to remember that we have been born again and our old selves have died and now we live in Christ. Dead people have no rights. Remind yourself often, ‘My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ (Gal 2:20)
Following Jesus is not easy but it is an exceptional life experience.
Wherever the providence of God may dump us down, in a slum, in a shop, in the desert, we have to labour along the line of His direction. Never allow this thought—“I am of no use where I am,” because you certainly can be of no use where you are not!
Wherever He has engineered your circumstances, pray.
So Send I You, 1325 L
Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest