Archive for category Forgiveness
A couple of months ago, I had been to my native state of Gujarat, where I became – sort of – a Christian persecuted. I gave some gospel tracts to Hindus. Their response wasn’t bad on my face. But when I came back to my hometown, I learned that there was a small verbal fight over the issue. I had given one tract to my relative’s maid. First she asked for our pastor’s phone number saying she wanted prayer. The next day though, her husband came and fought with my relatives. In fact, another relative of mine took my evangelism negatively and said that they could inform the police and get me arrested for trying to convert people’s religion! A brother-in-Christ later advised me that on every tract, you should print words like “We are not trying to convert your religion. Jesus did not come to (start or) establish a religion. Whether to believe in this message or not is your decision.”
Of course, Jesus says in the Bible that people would hate his followers. But what I found surprising was that this actually happens here in India even though we are a secular country. We aren’t theocratic – Hindu like Nepal or Islamic like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia etc.
A missionary pastor later advised me to abstain from handing out gospel tracts in that state as people there think differently than people in my hometown. Missionary pastors really have it tough and often risk death when, ironically, they are really trying to set people free from the clutches of sin, sickness, death etc.
It would be interesting to learn if you have ever been a Christian persecuted for preaching the gospel (even soft persecution – like just handing out tracts or praying for people…). Share your experiences in the comments here. God bless you!
They say “Never quit.” “Never give up.” In some cases, that’s not true. It depends on what you want to or need to quit or give up. If you are a slave to smoking or drinking, then you need to quit – give up – that. You need to be set free. Many people who live in democracies are in bondage – to sin. Or they are captives of disease, depression etc. Are they really free? No…! They need to be set free. Here’s how…
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” – John 8:36
The best way to be set free from sin is to repent of it before the true living God and ask Him to forgive you and restore you to what He wants you to be. Jesus Christ – the Son of God – wants to set you free today…now. All you need to do is ask him to forgive you and help you overcome your weaknesses. In saying this I assume that you are already a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. If you are not, then you need to become one. Click here to learn how to get born again. Once (or if already) you are a born-again believer, use the suggestion given earlier in this paragraph, exercise your authority in Jesus’ name and choose to receive the freedom that is yours in Christ Jesus! Amen.
Is there any connection between the Easter egg and Jesus Christ? Well, none that I can think of. What, then, is Easter?
Most of us know that Jesus Christ died on the Cross 2000 years ago. That day was a Friday. Jesus died according to prophecy – to take the sins of all mankind upon himself, so that “whoever believes in him should not perish (die) but have everlasting life (in Heaven).” (John 3:16) Not everybody though, is aware that he rose from the grave on the third day – a Sunday. That day happened to be the day on which people from many cultures celebrated a festival called Easter. They worshipped a fertility goddess and used the egg as a symbol of fertility. So the Easter egg has no connection with the central message of the Bible.
The Bible is a collection of 66 books with a single theme: God’s love for us so deep, that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) And Jesus walked out of the tomb on Easter Sunday, in a resurrected body – one that could pass through locked doors! To all those who receive Jesus as their personal Saviour (one who saves) and Lord and repent of their sins; God promises a similar indestructible body even though they may die physically. That’s the only theme of the Bible: forgiveness of sins and salvation through belief and faith in Lord Jesus Christ.
So should we celebrate Easter? Well, that depends on what you want – fertility only, or
fertility plus everything else plus eternal life! The choice is yours to make… This post can help you make that choice.
Mercy and Grace are 2 sides of the same coin. Mercy is when God does not give us what we deserve, i.e. punishment for our sins against Him and others. Instead He forgives us for our sins. Grace is when He gives us what we don’t deserve, i.e. the assurance of everlasting life in heaven with Him and the strength and wisdom and the heart to pray to Him, to wait upon Him and cooperate with Him so that His plan for our life bears fruit. So actually, it’s not Mercy vs Grace, but Mercy and Grace.
The unique thing about the coin of Mercy and Grace is that it falls with both sides up, making you a winner 2 times over!
Forgiveness of sins is difficult. Forgetting them is even more so. This small but interesting story conveys a significant point:
Two monks were walking down a path when they came to a river. A lady stood there, beautifully dressed. She requested them to carry her on their back so she would not get wet. Immediately, one of the monks lifted her up and began carrying her on his back. The other monk followed them. As soon as they had crossed over to the other side, the monk carrying the lady put her down. She went her way, while the monks went theirs.
After covering some distance, the other monk, who couldn’t contain his inquisitiveness and self-righteousness, asked his buddy: “In our religion, we are not allowed to touch women. So why did you carry her?” Pat replied the first monk, saying “I put down the lady a long time ago; but why are you still carrying her?”
Sometimes, we tend to carry grudges against others long after even God has forgiven them. By sinning against us, they had offended God first and us only next. And if He has forgiven them, who are we to hold it against them!
So, have you put down the lady, or are you still carrying her on your back? If you are, why bear the burden? Hand it over to Jesus. Think about it. Then forgive and forget, God’s way.
Yesterday was Good Friday. My local church Pastor Karl Silva began aptly when he said the day was as much a Good News Friday as it was Good Friday. This day, 2000 years ago, God the Father “gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Imagine eating out at a restaurant and running up a huge bill you cannot foot. A man walks by and sees your plight. He has compassion for you. Out of grace, he approaches the manager and volunteers to pay your bill, so that you can walk away free! The manager will then stamp the bill with “PAID IN FULL” That Saviour is Jesus Christ, the Son of God – or God the Son. And Jesus not only died on the Cross to pay for your sins as much as mine, but on the third day (Easter Sunday), he also walked out his grave alive in a resurrected body that cannot be killed or destroyed. He has not died since then and is alive and living in heaven, seated at the right-hand side of God the Father.
So if you want to be sure of going to heaven when you die, pray this simple prayer, but with a genuinely repentant heart. God will begin the beautiful process of change in you.
“Father God, I confess that I am a sinner. I have committed sins against you. I do not deserve to be forgiven. I cannot pay for my sins on my own. I need someone who can do that for me. Lord, I want to go to heaven when I die. But as your Word – the Bible – says, if I die as a sinner, I cannot go to heaven. I would go to hell to suffer forever in the lake of fire. But Lord thank you for sending Jesus as a human being 2000 years ago to pay for my sins. Lord I believe that he died to pay for my sins, was buried and rose again. Lord, wash me clean with the precious Blood that he shed on the Cross. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and make me the person You want me to be. Take me to heaven when I die. Save me, Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.”
Start visiting a Bible-believing church and study the Bible everyday, starting with the Book of John or Mark. Pray everyday. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to do so. Your life will change for the better, for good. I should know. Mine has.