4. IntroductionThe purpose of this book is not to promise you material prosperity or physical healing –you’ve probably read and heard too much about these doctrines already. This bookhighlights what God exactly expects from you during your life here on earth. If you areinterested in pleasing Him in the years ahead read on. Aiding you to do His will, will beGod Himself.
5. Chapter 1Don’t brood over woes (Phil.4:8)Some thoughts can spoil your mood and drag you down. When you think of thesetbacks that you have faced or about the people who have let you down you turngloomy and slide into a state of depression. Don’t brood over your woes or traumaticincidents. Get such useless thoughts out of your head. That’s the way to be happy andcheerful.Purify your heart (Jas.4:8)People today listen to messages with no intention of changing their hearts. That is whysome churches are as dead as a doornail. The hearts of those who sing and pray,“Change my heart O God” and then do nothing themselves remain as black as coal.God won’t do for us what He wants us to do ourselves. He wants us to purify our hearts.How can that be done? In the same way water is purified. All impurities have to bethrown away. This in the only way to have clean lives and pure hearts. As long aspeople continue to ‘let go and let God’ chances of a revival will remain slim for Goddoesn’t treat us like puppets on a string. Prospects of seeing new souls in the kingdomtoo will be dim, as unbelievers will be put off by hearts that are unclean.Live in harmony (Ps.133:1; Acts 15:39)When two human beings come together for a common purpose, differences are boundto arise. In the church, this happens more than often, not just because of the strongpersonalities there but also because of the devil and his accomplices (demons). Theydon’t want the church to be a close-knit family, with brothers and sisters all workingtogether. So they make sure that people take offence of someone else’s idea or have amisunderstanding. Therefore you see brothers in arms one week, go up in arms againsteach other, the next.Believers may have disagreements but they should see to it that these disagreementsdon’t get nasty. Don’t be like those believers who don’t talk to one another for yearsafter a bad incident. You should not have anything against anybody. Since you wantharmony, if a person has a misunderstanding with you, instead of waiting for him toextend the olive branch, do it yourself. Resolve conflicts nicely. It will lead to a morerelaxing and a less stressful atmosphere in church.Rejoice always (1Thes.5:16; Hab.3:17-18)What is really important in the Christian life is a positive attitude. By adopting anoptimistic outlook (the-current-depressing-scenario-will-pass view) and by rememberingGod’s promise that the worst will work out for your best you can be joyful when yourgoing is bad. This way of seeing life gives victory over depression and makes theproblems you face far easier for you to deal with. When Paul was imprisoned he couldhave questioned God’s love. Instead he was joyful and gave time to praying and writing.His writings minister to us even today. You may talk to unbelievers about the joy in yourlife but they are going to check you out.
6. Trust Him (Ps.125:1)Nobody could have imagined that Joseph would one day become the prime minister ofEgypt. He did not have connections! But He knew a God who had not forgotten Him andthat made all the difference in the world. God knows which buttons to push to get thebest for us. Fast-forward a thousand years to the time of Mordecai and you find thesame thing. You see God working behind the scenes for Mordecai’s good. He is amaster of timing things beautifully! (Esth.6:1-11). Trust Him even if He doesn’t fix theproblem right away for in His time He will act far above your expectations (CompareEzra 4:21-24 with 6:6-12).If there are enemies around you they are there for a reason. In Judg.2:22 God says,“I’m going to let those enemies stay. I’ll use them to test Israel.” If we don’t haveenemies how will we get tested? Do you understand now, why God allows rowdies to bearound? To test and see if we will obey Him by forgiving them or disobey Him bypunching them on their jaws. God deliberately sends people whom He loves throughtests to make them stronger.Die to self (John 12:24)One of the reasons some Christians are not fruitful is because they are not dying to self.Paul was flogged and jailed in Philippi but instead of licking his wounds he startedpraising God. There was an earthquake and all the prisoners escaped. Seeing this thejailor was about to commit suicide. Paul could have thought, “Serves him right afterwhat he did to us!” But he didn’t entertain such a thought. Instead He went and stoppedhim. What was the result? The jailor and his family got saved. When we die fruit isproduced.Same is the case with the fruit of the Spirit. It does not get produced magically in aperson’s life through other people’s prayers. Prayer is not a magic wand. The Holy Spiritcan produce it only when we die to our rights – respond properly to provocation, injury,abuse, sickness etc. Can you strive to make every difficulty an occasion to exhibit God’sfruit?Don’t be jealous (Jas.3:16)Jealousy is one of the roads to unhappiness, and the most commonly traveled. It isresponsible for the internal strife that we see in churches. Just take a look around. Youwill see gigantic wedges that divide believers apart. Because of jealousy even childrenof God live as foes. When you need someone to talk to there is no one. Where there isjealousy there is backbiting and belittling which lead to problems beyond resolving.There’s a lot of stress that comes with jealousy and selfish ambition.Since we are children of the same Father, we should not feel insecure of each otherbecause of our different gifts. After all, all these gifts are important. And all of us areimportant. All of us have our roles to play. We are not in competition with anyone.We should have genuine love for one another. For where there is love there is noburning desire to be number one, there is no desire to eclipse another person, there isno bickering or fighting. You are as enthusiastic about the success of others as you areabout your own for you know that it’s all about rowing the same boat.
7. Love wife (Eph.5:25; 1Pet.3:7)All husbands should make an effort to be kind to their wives. Being kind means meetingher sexual needs; being romantic and not a fuddy duddy (S.of S.2:6). It means notbreaking her heart by calling her names when she forgets to iron the shirt that you needfor an important meeting. It means not hitting or pushing her when she irritates you. Itmeans giving her a hand in washing dirty vessels after dinner or mopping the floorsometimes (some lazy fellows stay away from this by calling it unmanly) even if youhave to miss a football match on TV. Small gestures like these that show your concernfor her can make her happy.If she is in the family way you have to care for her even more. You should always beeager to help her. Her welfare should mean more to you than everything else. If sheloses her kidneys you should be willing to donate one of yours (if compatible) and notwish that she died soon so you can marry another woman. That’s what real love is. Itmakes large sacrifices. Jesus loved us like that.Stay away from useless talk (2Tim.2:16-18)Discussing difficult biblical doctrines, which the Bible doesn’t explain clearly is uselesstalk. It only leads people farther away from God as doubts crop up. For example thedoctrine of the Trinity - How three different persons could have had no beginning issomething our finite minds cannot understand. If it was just one person we would havefound it easy to believe. That is where faith comes in. We believe because the Biblesays so. That is why we also believe that Jesus is equal to the Father even though Hewill be subject to the Father for all eternity to come (1Cor.15:28). “But why does Hehave to if He is God? It just doesn’t add up,” you may say. That’s again going back touseless talk.Meditate on the Bible (Josh.1:8)The verses of the Bible are meant for contemplation and implementation. This is theway to become increasingly godly. When you have stuff from the Bible to ruminate overthere is no time for impure thinking! The Holy Spirit uses the Bible to change our way ofthinking. If you surrender yourself to Him by taking the Bible seriously and following itsinstructions day after day, He will mould you into a new person (Eph.4:23-24). You willno longer be a crook. You will get polished to a radiant shine and become like God.In the past false teachers have been able to slip through the door because people didn’tknow their Bibles. Don’t swallow the teachings of preachers hook, line and sinker. Let’sbe careful for what we hear always isn’t the truth. We have to read the Bible forourselves. It is a compass that can prevent us from straying.God’s words should mean something special to you. Despite your fast-paced life youshould not miss even one sitting. Those who meditate on the Bible get smarter. Theydon’t remain naïve anymore. Vow to not let your Bible get dusty again.Encourage children for mission work (Jude 23)If you heard a piercing scream coming from a house on fire, wouldn’t you ring the firebrigade and then rush to help in whatever way possible? Probably you would. But thereare parents who wouldn’t do that and would stop the firefighters who arrived too! So
8. many young men and women are not in missions today because their parents wanted tosee them in nice respectable jobs with a future. In today’s value system, serving in amultinational corporation has greater value than serving the Lord as a missionary! Youcan see this again and again when believers choose marriage partners for theirchildren.A person may not be able to make money as God’s servant but it is the most importantjob on earth. Souls are eternal and hell is eternal. Hell will not cease to exist nor willthose who go there. They will suffer forever and ever in that pit of sulphur. That is whyGod send His only Son to die a painful death on the cross. The gospel is the only hopeof mankind. It is sensible therefore to invest in the souls of men. God has kept us in thisworld after saving us to be on a rescue mission. He is anxious that people should knowthe gospel.Don’t contemplate suicide (Deut. 5:17)If you are thinking about killing yourself, change your mind. Whatever terrible thing (abad childhood, disappointment in life, poor treatment from the people you were involvedwith, failure, loneliness, an unhappy marriage or prolonged illness) you may havegone/are going through, you cannot let it make you take your life and suffer forever inhell. You are precious to God. Don’t separate yourself from Him for eternity. Maybe notone person understands you. He does. Maybe you don’t have anybody that loves you.He loves you. Maybe there’s nobody around to help ward off boredom. He longs foryour fellowship (Besides, we Christians have plenty to do. The gospel needs to reachthe nook and corner of our country).You need to spend time all alone in a room with God. Just God, you and a copy of theBible. There you will learn the real meaning of life. You will realize that you are here fora purpose and that everything that takes place in your life is also for a purpose - tomake you Christ like and to make you useful to others. It is by going through difficultexperiences that you can help people out there who are suffocated by life and crushedunder pressures and failures.Continue in ministry (Gal.6:9; 2John 8)Maybe you are thinking that you’re working without any real recognition and it’s unfair.You want to give up. You must not get discouraged friend. A day will come when allunsung heroes will be felicitated for their past endeavors. On that day you’ll realize thatyou had been noticed by someone all along and that all your sweat and hard workwasn’t in vain! Your lot in the hereafter will be totally different from that of believers whowere living selfishly on earth. Can you wait till that day and continue to work faithfully(and happily) in your zone? It’s worth the wait from God’s standpoint because you willget rewards that will be with you forever and they’ll be things you’ll be proud of.Correct others (2Tim.4:2; Ezek.33:7-9)Two men can be very close friends like David and Jonathan, two men can be very closeco-workers like Paul and Timothy but two men should never be involved sexually(Lev.18:22). A man should marry a woman and not another man (Gen.2:24). Nor shoulda woman marry a woman. Sex should be within marriage not before or outside it. These
9. are God’s laws. When people turn their backs on them they are doing the worst thingthat one can possibly do and God gets outraged.If you see people in a homosexual relationship, it is wrong for you to look away or to betolerant. All believers have a responsibility to keep the moral fabric of society intact. Youcannot say, “Let’s live and let live” or “It’s none of my business.” You are responsible fortheir souls and have to warn them. You have to love them and then say, “My friend,what you’re doing is wrong. Change for the better.” Some of them will consider you rudefor poking your nose into their affairs. Others will be receptive to God’s word. Always befaithful to the Great Commission.Use common sense (Acts 13:2; 1Ki.3:16-28)Pray to God for wisdom (1Ki.3:9). He will then open your eyes both to see andunderstand things in a different way. You will be able to wrestle with everyday dilemmasefficiently.Like in those days the Holy Spirit won’t tell you directly today that you have to take up aparticular job. He has given you a brain to make decisions. If there are three jobs youhave to weigh the pros and cons and choose the best one. You don’t have to pray forhours nor do you have to run to elder brothers (who usually act like wise sages justdown from a mountain) for the final decision. Just use your common sense andeverything will be all right.Live in harmony (1Pet.3:11)This is an age of distrust. Unity is a rare thing. Why can’t people get along with eachother? Self-centredness – that’s what’s at the root of it! People have the appetite forpower. There is jealousy. There are disagreements and you can see sparks flyingeverywhere. It’s only love that can hold people together. For love doesn’t try tomanipulate, doesn’t try to push it’s way to the front, doesn’t outsmart others, treatspeople as equals and doesn’t bear grudges.Don’t poke fun at others (Neh.4:1-3)In 2Ki.2:23-24 we read that some boys began making fun of prophet Elisha by callinghim baldy. Right away two bears ran out of the woods and ripped to pieces forty-two ofthe boys. This incident tells us that cracking jokes at the expense of others is a seriousmatter in God’s sight especially when the other person is not amused. When you jokeabout a person’s characteristic that looks funny to you but that he can’t do anythingabout, you are being insensitive. You may do it for a giggle but it hurts the other personmentally even if he laughs on the outside.As we are in the grace period God may not send a wild animal to tear you to pieces butHe can make you as bald as a coot. Try to keep your bad sense of humour in check.
10. Chapter 2Don’t meddle in other people’s business (2Thes.3:11)If we concern ourselves with what is happening in other people’s houses it means weare not looking at our own house. There are Christians who try to unmask otherpeople’s personal lives. If a couple doesn’t have children, they want to know which oneof them has the problem. The time that ought to be spent profitably is being wasted onfrivolous exercises. One should be concerned with ones responsibility in society and notkeep tabs on other people’s affairs.Be patient (Prov.16:32; 1Pet.2:20)Your company is staffed by monkeys who don’t know how to behave and who you wishwould go live in caves somewhere. But they won’t. You know why? Because God haskept them around for a purpose. Do you remember when you were small your parentsforced you to go to school, and you hated that? But it taught you to read and write andfind a job when you grew up. Now you are grateful for their foresight. Similarly God hasa propose for keeping those ‘eggs’ out there who you really like to keep a distance from.He wants you to become more patient. Everything you experience in your life makesyou who you are. Every time you are patient you grow. By not telling your colleaguewho’s got a big mouth to shut up you grow to become a self-controlled person. By givinga patient hearing to a person with a sob story you grow in love. The work situation maynot get any better in the near future but personally you can grow.Love all of God’s children (Phile. 4-7)Some believers show disrespect to believers from the lower strata and yet claim to beChristian. How can people who make others feel cheap and uncomfortable in churchcall themselves Christian? People from the lower strata are not asking for your money.All that they wish for is a little respect. Can they be granted that much? Obliterate theword low caste from your dictionary. They too are God’s children as much as anyoneelse.Live properly (2Cor.6:3)There are certain people who do damage to Christ’s cause because of the way theyconduct themselves in their trade and commerce. Then they have the cheek to makepropaganda for the arrival of Jesus. It is not what we say as much as how we behavethat will catch the attention of unbelievers.Help those around (Jas.2:14-16)We wonder if one can love unknown people far away without loving those nearby?Some people pray for the family members of fire and terrorism victims in some foreignland without lifting a finger to help members of poor families in their own motherland.Will those prayers lessen the agony of the bereaved members? Only with the passageof time will that happen. Help people around by parting with your money.
11. Talk to someone about your struggles (Gal.6:2)We all go through our private hells. If you are going through a crisis talk to someone.Bringing such matters out in the open is far better than pretending everything’s all right.What are our fellow believers there for if not to help us? Also don’t forget that God is agood friend who is with us every step of the way.Don’t follow leaders blindly (Acts 17:11; 1John 4:1)Some believers never question the reasoning of their pastors even when they know it iswrong. One pastor wants his church believers to bind demons in all the major templesof India. He has made copies of the map of India with photos of temples on them that hewants his church believers to keep their hands on and pray. He believes that by AD2006 all these strongholds will collapse and India will be won for Jesus. Instead offighting imaginary battles sitting in prayer rooms what we need to do is channelize ourenergy properly by actually going out to the market and sharing the gospel like apostlePaulGet rid of all the filth in your life (Jas.1:21)In some public places on Sunday evenings you will find people trying to convert you toChristianity every 20 minutes. It’s a good thing. There are a number of churches thathave sprung up and grown in our country because of such activities. We admire peoplelike these for their gospel sharing skills but what we hate is their skill in humiliatingfellow believers. They can be very malicious and ugly with their words in churches.Preaching and bitching don’t go together.Beware of false prophets (Mat.7:15-20)At special meetings, guest speakers go clairvoyant and in the future can see you with abetter job, healed of sickness etc. If you question one such after the meeting he can’tgive you a straight answer and can be a bundle of contradictions. Believers who areever seeking prosperity take their words as words from heaven. They can’t see throughthese preachers’ deception. Such type of preachers are not in the ministry because theylove the Lord but only because it can lead to rupees or $$$. Beware of these men whospin money out of emotions.Don’t envy others (Jas.3:14)Maybe it bothers you that someone is taller than you, is better looking or has bettercredentials than your own. You can envy a person but if you knew the trouble andhardships he is going through and the tragic life he is living you will probably give himyour sympathy. From outside you don’t know the kind of insecurities, tensions andconflicts people face. Every person has his share of difficulties. You have yours and theperson you are envying has his of a different kind.
12. Don’t waste time in foolish discussions (Tit.3:9)Some believers need to improve their stature by imbibing such qualities asbroadmindedness and tolerance from Jesus. He never made an issue of ‘jewelry.’Perhaps this helps to explain why women were comfortable in his presence. Womencan wear whatever they want. It’s none of our business to tell what they can and can’twear. If they’re more comfortable wearing pendants let them. If they’re morecomfortable painting their lips, then let them do it. That is personal stuff. They shouldnot be made subservient to the desires of a few people who think that plain looking isGod fearing. That’s their idea of spirituality not God’s. Such quibbling should be leftaside. Time should not be wasted on it. These gentlemen don’t know the God of theBible properly (1Sam.16:7). If they knew Him, they wouldn’t be talking like this. Brothersshould ensure that their sisters enjoy their liberty in Christ.Use the gift God has given you (2Tim.1:6)Every person has been given a gift by God. Every person has his own little specialty. Allgifts – be it that of preaching, administration or helping – are equally important. Theycannot be compared. A church cannot be built without our individual contributions. Useyour gift not to outshine everybody else, to show that you have good pipes, to proveyour mettle or to make a name for yourself. Use it with one desire - to help people.Be a peacemaker (Jas.3:18)Sometimes egos can get in the way a little bit and cause fires. When the fires rise, bean extinguisher. Try to resolve disagreements between people, cement the crackscaused in friendships. A peacemaker is well respected by unbelievers. He can breakbarriers that carnal believers are not able to.Wait for the Lord to come to your defense (Prov.20:22)When someone treats you shabbily or hatches a conspiracy against you, you can goback to your old ways and call that person a ‘liar’ or a ‘snake.’ But if you maintain a stoicsilence, not offering a word in either explanation or defense of yourself, God will cometo your defense. That’s guaranteed.Don’t irritate others (Gal.5:26)Some people do not mature with age. They remain spoilsports till their dying day. Theymake judgments like, “That sister with lipstick is evil,” even though she may not have amean bone in her body, and “That brother who comes dressed in white is good” eventhough he may be harassing his wife at home. We are individuals with different tastes.Let’s not have problems with someone else’s choice of things.Don’t be a hypocrite (Gal.2:13; Amos 5:21-23)What one sees of a person from far away can be very different from knowing thatperson from close quarters. It’s like lifting up a nice looking rock and seeing ants andworms underneath it. There are a number of believers out there who beat their wivesbehind closed doors and then come out in the open preaching religion to the public.Don’t be a hypocrite.
13. Be a good servant of God (Gal.1:10; Jonah 3:3,4)Apostle Paul was one of the few preachers from that period who never watered downhis message. Once he even made Peter beet red by giving him a dressing down in frontof everyone. Preachers who blunt the edges of hard-hitting sermons, which they copyfrom the Internet, should learn from him. If you want to give a diluted version becauseyou don’t want to offend anybody you are unfit to hold that responsible post. You’reuseless as God’s servant. These kinds of sermons won’t please everyone (people whoare two-faced will hate you bluntness) you preach them to but they’re necessary. That’swhat Christianity is about – keeping man in line and keeping ourselves in line first.Don’t compare yourself with anyone else (Gal.6:4-5)Jesus is the person we should measure ourselves by. If you look over your shoulder toomuch, keeping track of other peoples work, it will lead to an awareness of yourinadequacies especially when you see them doing effortlessly what you can’t. Be like ahorse with blinkers trying to run really fast on your own. It will help you achievewhatever God sent you on earth for.Restrain your anger (Prov.19:11; Ruth 2:15,16)Screaming your lungs out at your wife because a tie is missing or throwing a fit at youservant because an egg is not properly fried is bad behavior. If you continue to screamyourself hoarse you will have to undergo throat surgery soon. So for your own gooddon’t stoop to such behavior. Keep a check on your temper and stay coolBe generous (Prov.11:24-25)If you have more food than you can chew don’t throw it in the waste bin. Spare athought for those who are roughing it out in the world. Pack the stuff and go give it to abeggar.Phrase words carefully (Mat.12:36-37)One of the things we have to account for on the Day of Judgment is the use of ourtongue. Making digs that dent other people’s self esteem, blurting our words that sendsomeone into a state of depression, broaching subjects that make people feel uneasy isbad. Be considerate and careful of how you phrase your words if you don’t want to feelsmall on that big day.Keep your promise (Num.30:2; 2Chro.36:13)Looking at the number of spiritual meetings being held in the cities of our country, wecould modify an old nursery rhyme and sing, “Here a meet, there a meet, everywhere ameet, meet.” But these meetings serve no useful purpose as people slip into slumbersoon after. They say ‘yes’ during decision time and then go their own way doing quitethe opposite with little sense of breaking a promise or agreement. Keep the promise thatyou make to God.
14. Love spouse (Col.3:19)Both husband and wife are lying on the same bed but there is a lot of distance betweenthem. All the fun is gone. It’s got to a point where they can’t handle being around oneanother. Maybe it’s the wife’s prickliness, the husband’s domineering spirit or themother in law who has poisoned her son’s mind against her daughter in law. The secretof a happy marriage is love. Accept your wife’s mood swings and listen to her constantwhining patiently. Don’t seek the unattainable perfection in your husband. Many yearsfrom now you both will be sitting together without your teeth, playing with your grandchildren and going down memory lane blushing about your self-centeredness.Be decent (Rom.13:13)On the professional front, let your reputation be spotless. It is the Biblical standard thatyou have to live up to. Be different from those men who disappear during work hours tosmoke and waste time. Handle insults in a dignified manner. Such things shouldn’tbother you. Your joy should remain unspoiled. That’ll make a lasting impression onobservers and expand your sphere of influence.Confess and forsake sins (Prov.28:13)Some try to hide their sins, stubbornly persevering in an attempt to save face. Admityour sin. It is not an easy thing to do but it is the only way to have cordial relations withGod.Respect the aged (Lev.19:32)You should respect old people. When you see an old lady entering a bus, stand up togive her a seat. Their sunken cheeks are not meant to be pulled nor should their eatingmannerisms be imitated or laughed at.Encourage others (1Thes.5:11)There are people with inner struggles and battles in their marriage or relationships atwork that are tearing them apart. Only those who have a heart can notice theirdowncast faces. Invite such people to your house. Just spending time with them over acup of tea will make them feel better. With you encouraging words you can talk them outof their depression and help them to carry on. That’s what Christian living is about –touching people’s lives. It takes very little to be hospitable.Don’t despise believers from other groups (Gal.5:20b)Because you haven’t had certain experiences, you can’t say that they’re all rubbish, forin other churches, there are people who’ve had/are having such experiences. Calling agroup meeting down the road a cult or a hopelessly misguided one is shooting your ownfoot for we are all the body of Christ. Stop judging others just because they don’tprescribe to your doctrines. Learn to like people who disagree with you.
15. Chapter 3Turn from all wickedness (2Tim.2:19b; Zech.7:10b)When people stand and stare at us it’s hard not to do the same back. When David’senemy Saul entered the cave he was in, he could have hacked him to pieces there andthen. But Saul was spared. Anybody else wouldn’t have let the chance slip. People likeDavid in our churches can be counted on the fingers of one hand. We have to turn awayfrom all wickedness. Change can only come from within by means of our own personaleffort.Accept criticisms in the right spirit (Prov.12:1)Take criticisms in the right spirit. They will benefit you immensely. People who observeyou from close quarters know the areas you can improve in. Begin working on what theyhave told you. Try to correct yourself. If you want to advance in life don’t distanceyourself from critics. It’s another matter that they can’t tell it in a way that does notoffend or hurt because of their immaturity.Don’t misuse your freedom (Gal.5:13-14)People take advantage of the liberal attitude of their church leaders by throwingmodesty and decency into the dustbin. We’re not saying that you wear Victorian outfits.All we’re saying is don’t dress like the heathen. Walk the middle path between these twoextremes.Don’t be greedy (Col.3:5)Some believers don’t do drugs, but they eat chocolate greedily and pamper their tastebuds with harmful delicacies. God is watching how we are spending our money. He iswatching how much you spend on buying clothes every month. He is testing us all thetime. You may feel every single paisa you spend on yourself is justified. But longing forthe good things of this life is idolatry say the scriptures.Prove that you belong to God (1John 2:4)Baby cobras are easy to identify. Even when they are a few days old, they raise theirheads when disturbed or when angry. The devil’s children are easy to identify too. Theystrike like lighting when hurt. Merely going to church every Sunday doesn’t prove thatyou are God’s child obeying all His commands does.Have a tender conscience (Prov.28:14)The bus conductor in a government bus is at first hesitant to pass on the same ticket toa passenger. His conscience is loud and clear. But he chooses to ignore it consistentlytill a day comes when it no longer speaks to him and he cheats unashamedly. This isexactly how demons get believers in the palms of their hands.
16. Respect everyone (Jas.2:1-4)A mosque is a place where everybody is equal. Our churches need to be like that.Where people don’t feel awkward. It is a matter of concern that people from the lowerstrata are not given respect in some churches. If they were pet cats and dogs theywould probably have got better treatment. Their English may be butchered a bit butthey’re still equal to you as human beings. Treat them nicely. Don’t behave like yourancestors did in the past. All aloofness should vanish.Pray to God directly (Heb.4:16)The Roman Catholics go to God through Mary while Protestants go to Him through theirpastors. So if you are a pastor you have people sending you prayer emails all the timeand you have to delete some old mail to free up space in your mailbox. It’s become afashion to say, “Pray for me.” We’re not against intercessory prayers. At times they arenecessary – when a person is demon possessed for example (Acts 16:16-18). It’s justthat believers need to go to their Father directly and believe that He has heard. If youpray sincerely there is no need of the prayers of hundred others. God won’t change Hiswill no matter how many people pray. Your pastor praying for you won’t lead to yougetting extra grace. Students should study well in advance before the exams becauseprayers are not going to alter the marks.Be humble (Mat.18:4)Proud Nebuchadnezzar was knocked off his pedestal. Let this be a lesson for us not tobe conceited like a barber’s cat. If people who have great resumes are not humble oneday the hand of God will hit them and make them fall flat on their faces.Don’t spread myths (Jer.27:14-16)“If you pray to Jesus by faith you’ll get better.” This is one of the myths spread bybelievers. Those who are not well versed in the Bible talk like that. Let’s not feed peoplearound us with illusions. Are we omniscient to reassure sick people that they’ll getbetter?Don’t damage sense organs (Lev.24:19-20)When believers congregate in small rooms without vents they are subject to highdecibel levels from various sources that are detrimental to their hearing. One of theculprits is the Indian musical instrument called the Dholak. The noise it makes can hurtone’s eardrums. Then there are Bible College students who use churches as a testingground for their lungpower. Believers too clap hard. Now don’t stand there with yourarms folded. Clap, but gently. God is not deaf. Preach, sing and pray without strainingyour voice. Don’t damage your brother’s sense organ.Endure trials (Mal.3:3; Is.48:10)If you know anything about God, you know that he never gives up on His children’straining. He wants them to be shining gems. Gems cannot be polished without friction. Itis time you recognized trials for what they really are. Don’t complain next time Godtakes you to the polishing house. Make the best use of the ordeal you are forced toendure.
17. Grow up (1Pet.2:2)It’s unfortunate that even after attending church for years some believers are still at thebabbling stage. Their minds haven’t progressed. If you are going to be the pastor ofthese big babies, first of all you’ll need a degree in psychiatry and secondly you’ll needto be good in singing lullabies. These childish believers need to grow up.Share each other’s troubles (Gal.6:2)Caring about others – trying to lead someone through a rough patch, protecting a weakbrother, shutting the mouth of a person who brings despair to those around, taking ahomeless child under your wing, helping a brother who is poor – is being a goodChristian. For some Christians, giving an inch is fine, but a yard is a definite no. In theBible we find that God is extremely concerned about the poor. A poor brother in yourchurch needs a bit more than your prayers. Obedience to the law of Christ should makea difference to your wallet.Take religion to your work place (Mat.28:19-20)Some people who follow Jesus keep quiet in the office, to avoid the scorn of their workmates. That’s sad. The Hindus can afford to do such things but you shouldn’t leave yourreligion at home. Actions speak louder than words, yes. But words are equallyimportant. You don’t want the pied piper (Lucifer) leading people over the wharf, doyou? Gospel sharing opportunities should not be squandered.Be thankful (1Thes.5:18)In life it’s very important to be thankful. If you’ve got complaints against God, look atless fortunate people and all your grievances will melt away. When you go to a slumand look at the socially deprived there who are having a tough time eking out a decentliving your complaints will stop as you will get a deep awareness of being blessedbeyond reckoning.Don’t be envious (Gal.5:26)You listen to your friend’s wife who is a good soloist and keyboardist and say, “I wishmy wife could sing like that or play like that.” Don’t be jealous. If your wife can’t sing likea nightingale surely she can do certain tasks better than your friend’s wife who is alousy housekeeper. Your friend has not told surely you that he does the cooking athome so his wife can get time to practice on the instrument.Be religious even when it’s costly (Dan.6:1-10)You overhear people saying, “Brother, I want to have quiet time in the morning but it’svery cold these days. I don’t fell like getting up.” Despite a temperature of 5 degreeCelsius, a Muslim in North India gets up at 5 o’clock in the morning and says hisprayers. It’s all a matter of priorities. If fellowship with God is important to you, thetemperature will mean nothing. You’ll wake up and have your quiet time.
18. Use the strength God gives you (Phil.4:13)Accept the challenges of life instead of running away from them. With the help of Christwho gives you the strength, you can handle any situation life thrusts upon you. If thereare obstacles, you can jump over them. If someone pushes you into a pit, you can climbout of it. The deep roots of any bad habit can be pulled out. Instead of complaining, takethe initiative to solve problems. Make lemonade with the lemons handed to you.Be a true minister of God (2Cor.6:4-10)Some top mission leaders cannot say like apostle Paul, “We patiently endure troublesand hardship and calamites of every kind.” Because they face none. The junior brothersget manhandled when they go for outreach. It’s easy for the seniors to say, “The bloodof the martyrs is the seed of the church” while sending youngsters to mission fieldsbecause it won’t be their blood that’ll be spilt. The poor junior brothers work tirelesslyand remain unsung heroes. Ask the bigwigs when was the last time they shared thegospel with someone? Years ago perhaps. They have forgotten what it is like to suffer.Now all they are used to is going abroad, staying in nice guest rooms, deliveringtouching speeches and raising money part of which gets transferred into their personalaccounts before they reach mission base. These leaders are as crooked as a dog’s hindleg. Junior brothers face financial hardships because these cheaters pocket the lion’sshare of the funds that come and give them chicken feed. Your head will start to spin ifyou get to hear what else these leaders do and probably you’ll lose all respect for them.People who run orphanages are also guilty for they use orphanage funds for the welfareof their own blood children and the poor orphans get to eat the same food everyday. Fortelling the truth, these people may get mad at us (as mad as a struck snake) but we arenot here to please. If they don’t repent, one day they’ll stew in their own juice.Be a good Christian (1Tim.4:12)To keep your kitchen burner on you travel everyday to your place of work far away. Bythe end of the day you get physically and mentally exhausted. You just want to go homeand fall asleep. You don’t feel like reading the Bible. No problem. God understands. Heknows how tired you get and in fact He is pleased with you for working hard to feed yourwife and children. At the end of the day if you can be a good husband, father, son and agood Christian at your place of work – being polite, not getting into fights and acting onthe Biblical principles you already know, you’ve done your job.Be united (Eph.4:3)In India, it is difficult to shake off caste, regional and denominational feelings. So in spiteof your best efforts you will not be able to unite certain believers because they willalways want to remain in separate camps. It will be an exercise in futility. There’ll alsobe that believer who is a difficult personality. You’ll have a long-term relationship withhim but it’ll always be rocky. The Devil too will drive a wedge between the most co-operating of folks. The glue that can hold believers together is the respect and love theyhave for one another. Love makes people leave their animosities behind.
19. Correct your brothers gently (Gal.6:1)May be while checking the Temporary Internet Folders of your office computer, you findout that your colleague who is a believer enjoys obscene sites on the net. You shouldn’tshake with excitement and remark, “Such a hypocrite!”, and try to present yourdiscovery in a dramatic way to others. Don’t commit this mindless crime. By a few well-chosen words you should make him realize that by doing that He is causing Jesus paintill he exclaims, “Oh God, what have I done?” and begs for forgiveness.Be good to animals (Num.22:32; Prov.12:10).Yesterday as you stepped out of your door you found your newspaper shred to piecesby your neighbor’s dog for the umpteenth time. You got mad and kicked him hard. Thenyou went to church and offered money to God. God was not at all pleased with you(Mat.9:13). He wants us to be merciful to those who do wrong intentionally orunintentionally. In this case, the poor beast did not have anything to play with and madeuse of your paper. To make amends go today to a supermarket and buy a nice soft ballfor the dog. Don’t be cruel to animals. God has a concern for them (Jonah 4:11).Don’t feel lonely (1John 4:16)Lonely people long for affection and when they don’t get it they become sad, turn toalcohol, drugs, and sex or commit suicide. If only they knew that they are not alone onthe journey of life and that there is a God who cares for them (Eph.3:17-19)! A personwho is conscious of God’s presence and love cannot be lonely. He doesn’t mind ifpeople don’t love him. He is happy in his friendship with God. He talks to God daily andlistens when God talks to him. But there are people who need human beings as friendstoo to get rid of loneliness. If you are that type and don’t know how to make friends hereis a piece of advice. In order to make friends you have to be friendly. Being friendlymeans being nice to people and treating them with respect. A courteous and warm-hearted person who goes out of his way to help others is rarely without friends.Respect your parents (Eph.6:2)When someone asks you what your father’s occupation is, if he is in a managerialposition you will proudly say so but if he is involved with manual work you may betempted to tell a half truth. You should never be ashamed of your father’s job, whateverit may be, so long as he is not stealing. He may be the person who collects rubbish froma locality and dumps it outside your town. But he is an important man to society. If hedidn’t do that, harmful germs would breed and result in the death of many people. Yourfather may be the one who cleans dishes or wipes tables in a restaurant. Do you knowthat there would be no restaurants in the world if there were no cleaners? Take pride inyour father’s job. Through his hard work, he feeds you, your family and the needy. Givehim the respect that he deserves.Don’t quarrel with younger brothers (2Tim.2:24)In conservative churches, the younger generation’s not happy with the way the oldergeneration’s running the churches. Old people can be quite difficult when it comes to anissue like music for example. They still like the old hymns very much and tell you that
20. they have no favorites from today. If you ask them why, they say because the old onesare meaningful unlike the ones of today. As if the Holy Spirit only inspired writers of thebygone era. When people make statements like these they automatically distancethemselves from the youth.It is good to look at the overflowing charismatic churches around us and study theirfeatures. There they play songs that are melodic and groovy and those that don’t putyou to sleep. The youths jump and dance and have a good time. You may think thatpeople who do that are total mental cases. But that is what youths like. There is anatmosphere of joy there. As they already experience enough misery and gloom in theworld throughout the week they don’t want to go to a gloomy church on Sunday. Theyfind serious hymns a bit off target to their taste. For things to change our elders could dosome occasional handclapping to start with. Make an attempt to capture the dwindling,not-so-interested in theological jargons, want-it-groovy, young attendance.
21. Chapter 4Pursue godliness and unfailing love (Prov.21:21)As a child you were written of as ‘good for nothing’ by your partial father. He alwaysdownplayed the importance of your achievements and pulled your confidence down. Ittook you years to get over that. You forgave him for his bad behavior but not fully fornow he is old and in need of your help as your sibling that he loved dearly is no more.You have no intention of going there as you think it is your time for retaliation. Friend, letyour bad childhood be a closed chapter. Fiddling with it again will be like opening thePandora’s box. Throw all unwanted baggage overboard once and for all and go help theold man. When he sees his child that he was unjust to, come back to help him he mayhave a cardiac arrest.Admire the beauty of God’s creation (Ps.8:3-4; 19:1)David lay on his back looking at the moon and the stars and got inspired to write psalmsof praise. Some people don’t take the time to admire the beauty of God’s creation. Theyjust want to spread the Word and think that going for a picnic is ‘wrong.’ You need notbe somber and serious always. God wants you to have a whale of a time on earth.Maybe you like to dress in simple outfits. But if your children are style conscious andwant to dress well don’t stop them.Be meek (Num.12:3; Obad. 2-4)Bible intellects are here in plenty. Their wealth of Biblical and extra Biblical knowledgecould fill a few encyclopedic volumes. Even difficult mysteries are easy for them toexplain. These people set the bar very high for others but have yet to learn from fellowBible scholar Paul of Tarsus to be humble. Their dislike for anyone with opposing viewsor the acidic manner in which they say, “Pay attention,” when you request them torepeat something they have said in class is distressing.Overcome fear (Josh.1:6)You are a good guitarist in your bedroom but once, when you stood in front of yourchurch believers, you just froze. Even today you feel embarrassed about that. Instead ofallowing shame to take control, be positive and give it one more try. Try to make yourway through difficult situations. That is the best way to overcome fear. Perhaps youdon’t have the courage to confront someone who has done wrong. Try it once. It will beeasier the second time.Don’t worship people (Dan.3:16-18)Some believers follow healing preachers around like puppies, take their word as thecardinal truth and almost worship them. The way they describe these preachers you cansee a halo looming inches over their heads. If you go to their meetings hoping to getsome pearls of wisdom all you’ll get to hear are words like ‘glory to Jesus’ and‘halleluiah’ repeated over and over again. If you listen to their advice, “Believe that youare healed and throw away your glasses brother,” you’ll suffer loss as you will have to
22. visit an optical shop the following day to get a new pair of glasses. These preachersdon’t know the ABC of prayer even. They pray to Jesus and even the Holy Spirit whenthe Bible says that we have to pray to the Father in Jesus’ name (John 15:16;Eph.5:20). Gullible believers need to put on their thinking caps so they don’t getdeceived by these bogus Christian sadhu babas.Stay calm when wronged (Prov.12:16)Your enemy has twisted things you said into things you didn’t actually say and hasblown your righteous image into smithereens. Instead of calling to give him a piece ofyour mind show him your class. Be good to him. Such behavior will put you on par withgodly people like Joseph and Daniel. Your enemy will never feel more petty in his life.That victorious smile of his will fast turn into a shameful look.Don’t panic (Prov.14:30; Mark 4:35-40)If your boat goes through rough weather, don’t panic (people who panic get ulcers) forJesus is with you. You will come out of the storm together. Jesus sticks with His ownthrough thick and thin. If dirt has been kicked by your adversaries, relax. It will settledown. Don’t get worked up giving explanations to defend yourself.Live a life of steady goodness (Jas.3:13)It is unfortunate that we have believers who go half a mile and that’s it, they don’t goany further that that. Praise God there are others who are doing a lot with their lives inorder to make this world a better place. Some of them have chosen to remain single toserve society. These people deserve a salute. Make it your aim to be like them.Knocking down racial barriers between people could be your mission.Don’t limit yourself (1Sam.17:33-51)You can either allow people to compartmentalize you or go ahead do what they say youcan’t and thus make them eat humble pie. Choose the later. Try not to be botheredabout what people have said. It will only paralyze you. Why should you care about whatpeople who don’t have grey matter in their skulls say?Shake hands with all (Acts 10:14-15)Attending the same church for many years makes people think in a certain way – thatthey are the chosen few who will go to a nebulous place. While God wants His childrento be united, these people want to remain in their own wells. They are so stuck withlabeling others as ‘false’ and ‘heathen’ it makes God sick. If they were mature enoughthey would know that the same God who works with them works with others as well.You can try all you want but they will retain the same mindset they’ve had for manyyears now. Let’s not be like them. They read books only written by people from theirdenomination. Let us read books written by people from all denominations.Don’t listen to legalists (Gal.2:4-5; Eccle.9:7,8)Some believers raise irrelevant issues like ‘long hair’, ‘TV’ and so on. They tell you, “Ithink you should do this, shouldn’t do this.” Everything is permissible unless there is averse or a principle in the Bible to forbid us. What we wear, what we eat, what we listen
23. to and where we go are for us to decide. Don’t listen to a preacher tell you that if youdon’t submit to him, this and that is going to happen to you. Don’t stop living how youare because someone else wants you to. Christ did not die for our freedom so that wecould be muzzled by some narrow-minded people. If you want to keep long hair keep byall means. To God a pure heart is everything.Don’t offend your brother (1Cor.8:13)It seems that the dance bandwagon is the cool thing to hop on nowadays. Maybe youdon’t understand people who stand still in church and are saying about a brother whoopposes dancing in church, “That fellow is such a kill joy. If he doesn’t like to dance, heshould stay at home.” Talking like that shows that you have scant regard for the feelingsof your brother. If dancing is dear to you than your brother, you’ve lost sight of what’simportant.Remain true to the Lord (Mat.13:22)When a non-Christian accepts the Lord he is faced with waves of persecution. Since hedoesn’t want these complications he chooses to compromise. Remain true to the Lordfriend for one day the time may finally turn in your favor and a crop may be produced.Bakht Singh’s family members opposed him initially but were later won to the Lord.Don’t have a herd mentality (Ex.32)If you read history, you will find that the people who stood out were those who thoughtdifferently from whatever was seen as the norm of the time. Because of their closenessto God, they could spot conventional wisdom that was wrong. Don’t go with the flowalways. Your herd mentality may take you over the cliff.Listen to advice (Acts 18:26)Some of us feel that it’s better to watch grass grow than listen to certain preacherspreach. We don’t find their long sermons edifying and can’t wait to get out of the church.Pastors, you should probably condense your message down to three to four pages ifyou want people to pay attention. Realize that a lot of people skip breakfast to be ontime to church and get hungry by the time your turn comes to preach. You may wonderwhat we are talking about because every Sunday people tell you that they have beenchallenged by your message. They are the dishonest ones. Change yourself beforeyour long sermons drive honest people away.Walk in the Spirit (Gal.5:25)Unbelievers dig out skeletons which were long buried, tear one another apart, etc. Onecannot expect anything better from them but we believers should be a little moredecent. The fire and bodies of Sodom and Gomorrah are a warning to tell us what willbecome of us if we are going to like on like this. Go through the sin lists given in theBible with a magnifying glass and make sure that you don’t commit any of those sins. Don’t preach wrong doctrines (2Pet. 2:1-5; Ps.119:104)There are ministers who preach that God will continue to love you no matter how youlive. But, Nah.1:2-3; Zeph.1:12-13, 17; Eph.5:6 and many other verses tell us quite the
24. opposite - that the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey Him. Thesewords may be a bit hard to digest, but they’re true. They sum up God’s feelings whenpeople sin. God is not a partial grandfather. He is just. He has no tolerance whatsoeverfor sin. He has no alternative but to take to task those who enjoy the sins that put HisSon on the cross.Those who disobey Jesus are in danger of losing His love (John 15:9-10). If you don’tstick with Him all the way through you will experience the fires of hell (John 15:6). In theOld Testament we read of many Israelites who thought themselves to be God’s specialpets. They were wrong in believing that He would not punish them. God’s patience gotexhausted and they had to face judgment (Lam.1&2). If you don’t mend your ways,know that the writing is on the wall for you to be severely punished.Unfortunately, many people read only John 3:16. But the truth is found in John 3:16 plusMat.19:17 (NLT) - Jesus replied, “You can receive eternal life if you keep thecommandments.” You do not have eternal life if you believe in Jesus and do what youwant. You have eternal life if you believe in Jesus and do what He wants. Try telling thisto an elder of a conservative church and he’ll probably accuse you of propagating thetheory of salvation by works. And eventually you’ll get sick of trying to explain. It’sdisheartening that even after reading the Bible for years, people still refuse to seereason and continue to preach their pet theories. It’s similar to the situation in Zeph.3:1-4. Finally it will dawn on them, in hell that both belief and behavior were necessary toreceive eternal life.Overlook wrongs (Prov.19:11)By stuffing a banana in the exhaust pipe of you enemy’s vehicle you show that you areno better than worldly people. But if you take a banana and offer it to him in your coffeebreak you are showing that you are Christ like. As you mature, you realize that whenyou are insulted it’s best to keep quiet (1Pet.2:23). When you make quite a stir by givingothers a taste of their own medicine, you invariably end up spoiling everything - yourChristian testimony. You make things more ugly. Why is it wise to forgive? Because youwill be known and liked. Who knows? Even that person who hurt you may cry loudly onyour shoulder and say, “What I did was terribly wrong. Please forgive me.”Don’t judge others (John 9:2)We form opinions and judgments very quickly based on limited information. And we’renot accurate much of the time. You remember when people did that to you; you had asore throat clarifying the issue. They made it a bigger issue than it was. We need to tryto see people in the best light.Live in peace with others (1Pet.3:11)James in his epistle says, “My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow tospeak, and slow to get angry (1:19-NLT).” Since we human beings have a hugecapacity for misunderstanding one another, it is important that we listen carefully. Thosewho have big mouths should be slow to speak to avoid altercation. If you are a personwho is in the habit of throwing tantrums all over you should get a self-help book or takea course on how to deal with anger.
25. Bring glory to God (John 17:4)While we live on this planet, our main goal should be to bring glory to God. We canachieve this by doing everything He has given us to do. For mothers it is preparingmeals for her family everyday and changing nappies of the young ones. Fathers have tobring home the bacon by sweating it out at the work place. Both have to raise theirchildren in the fear of God. Children need to respect their parents and study hard. Allshould love one another. This is how God’s name gets glorified.Speak against discrimination (Jas.2:1-9)Our churches have been infiltrated by the forces of evil. We see discrimination based oncaste. We wonder if these casteists have a brain at all? What if they were treated likethat? If Phinehas of the Old Testament were alive he would have lined up these racistsagainst a wall for assassination. In your own little way, you should rebel against thisdevilish system if it is there in your church.Don’t compare leaders (1Sam.18:6-9)Never say the words, “So-and-so is a better leader than so-and-so or so-and-so is notthe right man for this job.” Some unwise ladies compared young David with King Saul.Saul always resented David for this and this resentment caused him later to try to takeDavid’s life.If a person is not good you can help him to be good with your support. It is discouragingfor a man to overhear that someone else is better than him or that he is not capable ofhandling a particular job. It leads to resentment, stress, jealousy, suspicion, insecurityand other negative reactions. Even unspoken thoughts can be heard loudly by youractions. A man can function best when he knows that he has the loyal support of othersin spite of his limitations. Speaking well of your leader is the best contribution that youcan make in his life and in your organization.Behave like God’s child (Eph.5:8)A person may claim to be Christian and loving the Lord but do her actions prove this?She has a different dress code while going to church but when she goes to college, youcan’t even differentiate between unbelievers and her.Live like Jesus did (1John 2:6)Living like Jesus did means being big hearted. The intensity of our love for othersshould be such that we go out of our way to help them. It means becoming moresocially responsible – raising your voice to fight social evils and standing for the rights ofthe oppressed. You could work for various charities. You may be as poor as a churchmouse but you could at least make people aware of the problems others face. To besilent when it is proper to speak indicates that a person is not living like Christ did.
26. Restrain your thought life (Mark 7:20-23)All the wickedness in this world is caused by the mind. The way to victory over sin isthrough the restraint of thought. The way you think changes the way you act. It helpsyou get control of your impulse and desires.
27. Chapter 5Folks, you can change the habits of a lifetime with Gods help. Those who scrutinizeevery word and gesture of others to find faults, those who talk badly about others afterthey have left the room, those who are vehement in their criticisms, those who throwdarts etc. can all change. By choosing your words carefully, you can be a person whoputs a big smile on a persons face. People may faint looking at your new behavior.Better later than never.Endure trials (2Pet.1:6c)Maybe the pressures are just too heavy for you to bear and you are crying. Talk to God.He can reach where no human being can. Just a few more years, friend. Up there youwill be all smiles. We dont know when Jesus will come back. It may be tomorrow. Sowhen theres time lets spread the gospel that we know a bit further.Conquer evil by doing good (Rom.12:21)When a person irritates you, you can look at him angrily and ask him what his problemis or you can take it in your stride. As Christians we need forgiving hearts. Do good tothat fellow. He is going to end up looking like an ass. Down here, despite our goodintentions many a times we will get misunderstood. But it is enough if God knows youare a beautiful soul.Exercise self control (1Pet.1:13)If you dont exercise self-control, the Lord will give you poor marks when he returns andcast you into the bottomless pit. Enough of praying that others may be grantedsalvation. Do something about yourself. We are speaking particularly to mission leaderswho are being honored today. You are fiery when shouting gospel truths at people. Becareful with your personal life or else youll end up getting roasted like a pig.Be content (1Tim.1:6-10)Maybe you are frustrated in life because of your middle class life. Friend, if you arecontent you can have peace in life. You have the basic necessities of life. What else doyou need? Do you want to know a sad truth? There are millions of people in our countrywho dont have roofs over their heads and dont get enough to eat. Not even a decentmeal a day. Praise God for giving you everything that you need.Take a firm stand against the Devil (1Pet.5:8,9)Even if the Devil is a powerful being, you dont need to quake in your boots when youhear his name. If you are obedient to God, you can cause damage to the Devils plans.When his meddling brethren realize that you are not ready to give up without a fight theywill turn tail and flee. By fighting we dont mean that you act like those carnal believerswho show their bravado in church by saying words like, "We resist you Devil in thename of Jesus" with authority when they are living impure lives secretly. They are likethose ducks in a pond that will one day get trapped and eaten.
28. Humble yourself (Num.12:1,3, 9-16)Some people in our churches in India talk so much about belonging to one big family ofGod but when it comes to marriage they seem to choose brothers and sisters only fromcertain castes and class. That speaks a lot about them. Pathetic is how we would calltheir behavior. Pathetic because they still think like caste minded Hindus. Its hard tobelieve that these so called believers are really born again. There needs to be a changein mindset.If there is even a tinge of respect missing in a persons voice when he speaks tosomeone from a lower caste he is a Hindu even if he calls himself a Christian andattends church every Sunday. Reminds us of that saying - What good will it do an ass ifyou call it a lion?Remember that this world is not our home (1Pet.2:11)We may live in any country down here but it is not our home. Satan will try his level bestto prevent you from going to your house up there that Jesus is building for you. Becareful therefore. Making bags of money should not be your goal in life. Money will notlast forever. We came down here with nothing and we will go up with nothing. KnowingChrist and making Him known is what we have been kept here for.Do what you are supposed to (Jas.4:17)Lydia was a cloth merchant but that was not all that she did in life. She helped Godsservants too. The Good Samaritan was another person like her. He rolled up hissleeves to help a needy man. You too can imitate them. May be just hold the hand of anold man who wants to cross the street. And when you help, dont yell about it to thewhole world.Be happy when insulted for being a Christian (1Pet.4:16)If you want to share the gospel with the lost, you will have to encounter manyembarrassing moments. Like you may get smacked hard on your face or you may becalled the servant of white skinned people in America. If your own family members(believers) can smile to your face and stab you in your back, what can you expect fromunbelievers? Gospel sharing requires a lot of guts. We have to share the good newswhether people like it or not. If you are timid, pray to God and He will give you theboldness to speak. Make a decision that you will be a witness for God from nowonwards. He can put steel in your spine. You have to keep knocking doors like theJehovah’s Witnesses even if you know that what you experience once the doors openmay not be pleasant.Dont be proud (1Cor.13:2)When we hear a believer pronouncing an English word wrongly, a whiff of pride can fillour chests because we know to say it rightly. But dont let it because there are hundredsof others who know better English than you. Your brother may not know proper Englishbut He loves God and that is important.Crave for spiritual milk (1Pet.2:2)
29. Feed yourself with the letters of Paul, Peter and others. They will make you rethink yourpriorities. Learn to read the Bible regardless of your moods. Some people think that theBible is a boring book because they have read it over and over again since theirchildhood. But if you love God, you will enjoy the book. You dont get tired of yourlovers letters or watching cricket matches, do you? It is a book that will help you whenyou are sailing through rough waters.Remember why you are here for (Jas.1:27 )While some believers struggle to make ends met, there are others who are living likemaharajas. They spend like theres no tomorrow. If God has blessed you, think aboutthe less fortunate. Ask poor folks if they have enought money to get by. If they dont,give sufficient money to tide them over.Accept trials gracefully (1Pet.1:7)In this world youll rarely see a day when everything is going well. Everyday there will besomething or someone turning at your door and trying to make life difficult for you. If itsa person dont go after him with a cricket bat. Yes, he may be a loony. But dont holdthat anything against him because God has sent him your way to make you strong andpure.Dont lord it over people (1Pet.5:3)Oldies who want to influence the younger generation for God should treat them likehuman beings. A person should not feel that he is being treated like an animal or yourpersonal servant. How many of our senior mission leaders who pamper their bloodchildren would wash the plates of junior brothers after a meal? These junior brothersmay be calling you anna (sarcastically ofcourse) and carrying your suitcases only to getpromoted. But inside they have lost respect for you.Jesus washed the dirty feet of his disciples. We want to see senior mission leadersdoing that. No, not our feet. They are clean because we change socks everyday. Butour plates, yes.Dont repay evil or evil (1Pet.3:9; Job 42:10)Some believers analyse every single word of their enemies to find something they canuse against them. Instead of lowering himself to name calling, a Christian should bitehis tongue when people hurt him. Onlookers will think that you are really an awesomeperson. Thats the sort of stuff that people remember. Your enemy will end up lookinglike a jerk.Be patient (2Pet.1:6b)God has given you will power. It can help you to be tolerant. So if someone (it may bethat person who carries a big Bible under his arm while going to church and gives outreligious tracts when other believers are watching) is giving you plenty of headaches,dont use your loaded sling. Instead, clamp your lips firmly together. Thus your tolerancewill stretch far.
30. Be like God (1Pet.1:15)As you grow you become more loving, more forgiving, more patient etc. It isnt easy toforgive, forget and move on. But you have to do that to save yourself agony that comesthrough revenge. Some believers arent ready to let go. Theyll pay the price for thisungodly decision for years. Forgiving others is necessary. That is the kind of love thatGod wants from us - forgiving people who have hurt us deeply, putting up with peoplewho have foul temper etc.Dont chase after evil desires (1Pet.4:2)Worldly people are interested in making as much money as possible before they growold. Money has become the focal point of their lives. Money controls the lives of manyChristians too. They save and save and save and one fine day they die and go upleaving everything behind. You can either chase money like a dog runs after a bone orteach fellow believers through your life that money is not the most important thing in life.In this way you will help others who have lost their sight to regain their vision. To trulymake a difference in this country we need people who think differently. Then only thosetall claims about being citizens of heaven and so on will have some effect onunbelievers.Grow (2Pet.1:8)The more you grow to become like Jesus the more you can penetrate fortressHinduism. Good character makes an impression on people. There are people who havebeen Christian for years but who are still like 6 year old kids. They sulk, they fight, theyare possessive etc. They need to learn to offer kind words to others and to understandwhy problematic nerds act the way they do.Forgive others (Mat.18:21)If you dont respond to injuries properly, you wont grow, irrespective of whether youhave your quiet time everyday or are on the prayer list of all the believers in yourchurch. Perhaps someone did something that hurt you. When you remember thatperson you feel like going to his house and attacking him with a chisel. Friend, certainthings are better forgotten. Remembering them is like reopening wounds and thatspainful. Living the Christian life is not easy at all. It requires a lot of forgiving. Gospeltracts dont influence unbelievers as much as some people think. Its a pure life thatdoes.Don’t compare yourself with others (Gal.6:4-5)Comparing yourself with others can be depressing. Maybe in your college there is avery good looking guy and all the girls like him and you don’t get that kind of attention. Itdoesn’t matter how you look externally really! It’s more important that you’re a beautifulperson from the inside. There are girls who value integrity more than looks. They likeboys who don’t flirt, who give everything for what they believe in and boys withmanners. These qualities act like a magnet, pulling people towards you.
31. Relax (John 14:27)Because of the peace that Jesus gives, you can stay relaxed even in the midst of illnessand pain. For unbelievers life is different. For them life is like a big roller coaster ride.They feel high at one moment and low at another. In stressful or difficult situations theyget agitated or panic. That should not be the case with us. No singing the blues please.Dont judge others (Mt.7:1-5)Are the elders who judge others without sin? Of course not! If you examine their morallives they are a long way from being saints. But they track sinners down likebloodhounds. And add to their woes by their unmerciful criticisms. They should checktheir lives first before making digs at others. Apostle Paul was one of the few who washonest about his slipping (Rom.7:19). These elders better be careful - the Lord iswatching.Remember Him (Hosea 8:14)What would be your reaction, if the children whom you loved dearly, fed for many years,been there for always and brought up moved away with their families and forgot aboutyou and didn’t bother to write to you or even call you? Wouldn’t you be angry withthem? You would feel why did I ever take such great care of them. That was how Godfelt with Israel. The emotions that would go in your heart went in His too.Some selfish children find their parents a burden, put them in homes for the aged andthen rationalize by saying that they will be comfortable there, well nursed after. Is thatwhat old parents want? "To hell with your financial support," they’ll say. What they wantis your love – you taking the time to talk to them. That is what God wants from us too.Be slow to speak (Jas.1:19)The grave mistake some believers make is that they speak too soon. Lets not behavelike these people who dont have sensible heads over their shoulders. Like Jesus weshould be very understanding. People we want to criticize have their reasons for actingthe way they have. If we want to follow Jesus we better not open our mouths too wide.Don’t lie (Jer.23:25; 2 Sam.1:9-15)"Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways (dreams being one of them) to ourancestors through the prophets. But now in these final days, He has spoken to usthrough His Son," say the scriptures (Heb.1:1-2). Some people think that God stillspeaks through dreams. They share their dreams in church along with fantasticinterpretations. Sleeping after a heavy meal gives a person nice dreams! To becomepopular in church people cook dreams. Don’t lie to your brothers and sisters.
32. Chapter 6Before he killed Goliath, David was a nobody in Israel. King Saul thought that he wastoo small a man to take on the huge Philistine. His brothers thought that he had lost hismental balance to leave the cattle behind and come on the battle field. His life changedafter he slew the giant. His value (in the eyes of people) shot up. The seeds of hisspectacular triumph were sown in the fields back home when he was alone with God.When you are alone with God, you learn to be fearless so that when everything seemslost you can be victorious. Never think that you are insignificant. God can use youmightily.Remain silent when falsely accused (Mt.26:63)It is not easy to be silent when grave accusations (false ones) are hurled at us. It’s achallenge, really, to be still when people are hissing about things we don’t want to hear.Those who let off steam remain tiny lizards while those who follow Jesus by remainingquiet become spiritual dinosaurs. Just like you feel bad, to this day, about what youunjustly said about someone who kept quiet, in the same way, if you keep quiet, it willblow your enemy’s mind. It is amazing what a change in mindset (taking hurt and notgiving hurt back in return) can achieve.Run on His errands (Mt.28:19,20)Our friends are there for us when it’s convenient for them. But our God is not like them.He is always there for us. Whenever there is a problem – when you are wading throughtroubled waters, or when you hit some rough patches – He is there right beside you.You can go to Him anytime. He doesn’t take money from us for services rendered.Since He is always there for you make sure that you are there for Him too when Heneeds you. Meaning for running on His errands.Spend time with the aged (1Sam.3)Some old people are spending the last days of their lives in misery in homes for theaged. You can spare few minutes of your time every week to go and talk to them. Youwill see what a big difference few minutes of your time can make. Watch their faces lightup when they see you walking through the door. If they know that there is just oneperson who cares for them, they feel happy. Perhaps this is something you neverthought about earlier. Better late than never mate.Give glory to God (Dan.4:28-37)Success can make a person’s head swell. When you look at what you haveaccomplished you must say, “I am what I am today by the grace of God.” Without thehelp of God you would have been a nobody and would have had nothing. Proud peoplebetter be careful. God can tilt your apple cart.Help people (1Ki.19:4-8)People have put an end to their lives because they saw no meaning to it. Had theyknown Jesus, they may have been around today. Make sure that you treat everyoneyou know personally like he’s/she’s a person. If someone appears despondent give him
33. hope. Be sensitive to spot emotionally needy people and help them out. If you arealready doing that, here’s a pat for your back. This world needs more friends like youand not people who known the Bible byheart but are selfish.Serve others (Rom.12:7)Instead of sitting at home alone with the books you have for company, open your gatewide so people can come in. The company of people is a thing that makes life veryinteresting. Like you try to help a young couple and you get squeezed in the middle.Their childish war of words is amusing. But in the end there is no rift between the two(only kisses) because of your friendly intervention.Hug your enemy (Rom.12:20,21)The world and the church (unfortunately) have nasty people who hatch conspiracies.What you say gets twisted. They can cut you in half with all the information that theygather about you. God hates such creeps (Prov.6:19). But you don’t have the right tohate your enemy so give him a warm hug. That will leave him completely stumped.Respect elders (Col.3:20,21; 1Tim.6:1)Some youngsters are wondering whether the sole preoccupation of elders is to irritatetheir sheep because Sunday after Sunday they give lectures. Young dudes, we are allsinners, no one better than the other. But, God speaks through His servants to us, solisten. And you servants of God, continue to do your duty. Some young people don’trealize that they are doing something wrong until you point it out to them.Behave properly in church (Acts 20:9; Mt.13:24-30; 36-43)There are believers who are in the church only to weaken it, almost as though they’vebeen planted there by the enemy. They make it clear that they are not happy to be there(they are perhaps pulled in by their parents every Sunday like a shepherd pulls astubborn goat to take her home) and seem determined to make sure that others are nothappy either. They care a hoot about God and the things of God. See the way theyfidget with their mobiles and distract others. Can’t keep their mobiles off for 2 hrs! Sodesperate they are to chat with their unbelieving friends about the weather! Busysending text messages in church! See the way they look left and right with boredexpressions while the sermon is being delivered. It’s very encouraging for the preacherwho has worked hard in preparing his sermon to see such faces! Such believers shouldbetter stay at home and watch TV.Pattern your life after St.Paul’s (Phil.3:17)Someone close to you stabbed you on the back. It was the biggest let down in your life.When you think about it, a wave of bitter feelings engulf you. Don’t let the past destroyyour happiness. Be like kittens. They learn by imitating the behavior of their mother.Imitate Paul. He didn’t hang on to the past. There is no use in brooding over bitterexperiences for days. Forgive and forget. Difficult experiences form us.
34. Be faithful to God (1Tim. 4:12)There are many kinds of servants of God – the flamboyant ones always seekingpublicity, those that are in it for money, the power hungry nerds and then there are thegenuine ones. Many of these genuine ones live in obscurity, in villages. They are doingsomething unusual for God but because there is no TV crew there no one knows aboutit. For them the best thing to hear is when Hindu converts go up to them and tell themthat they are amazing because they have sacrificed everything to go and live in themiddle of nowhere for their sake. That makes all the work worth it. Their funerals maynot be attended by thousands but up there, for being sacrificial, they will be applaudedby tens of thousands.Honor your wife (1Pet.3:7)Your wife is one of those persons who can never sit still, or take it easy or keep quiet.Maybe she is the questioning type who is able to spot the flaws in everything you do.That kind of behavior makes it hard to make a marriage last. But be a loving and patienthusband. Don’t allow her irritating behavior to break your marriage.Accept trials gracefully (2Pet.1:6-8)You are soured because of the behavior of certain people. You hope that it is a baddream and that when you wake up everything will be okay. If people had behavedproperly this world would have been a better place to live in. But we would not havegrown spiritually. To grow up from the height of a mushroom to a banyan tree, we needthose difficult people. Growth does not take place overnight. We need a steady dose ofunkind treatment day after day, year after year.Be there for people (1Thes.5:14 & Obad.8--11)Don’t be surprised if, when you really need them, your friends aren’t there for you. Butyou shouldn’t be like them. Always be available for people who need you. When he is athome, a believer should be able to think about you and your wife and say, “I’m glad theyare there for folks like me.” And when the problem is over, he should be able to comeup to you and say, “Thank you so much brother. I was able to do it with your help.” Don’tconsider him a nuisance if after few more days because he has another problem, he isback knocking on your door.Use your time wisely (Eph. 5:16)Time is precious and it’s ticking away while you use your computer to play solitaire.Some people have limited time for other people but unlimited time for things that are ofinterest to them. We Christians should be spending more time doing more importantthings. Put aside time to think about others and to listen to what they have to say. Atany time, there’ll be somebody struggling with something and it’s your job to talk to thatperson and help him to feel good.Take care of your eyes (Mt.5:27-29)Some people suffer from what is known as the ‘roving eye syndrome.’ Even old eldershave lust in their eyes. They tell sisters to dress properly. We wonder what these mendo when they are out on the streets full of unbelieving ladies. God knows and they
35. know. It is important to keep a check on the eyes. You have permission from God toadmire only your wife’s bum and tum.Don’t get affected by the behavior of bad people (Mt.27:27-31)May be you are going through hell right now. There are mean people around you whoare aiming where it hurts most. Your poor back can’t take it anymore. Friend, this worldis not a nice place to be in. Don’t get affected by their comments. One day they will geta taste of what is knows as God’s rod.Care for your wife (Col.3:19)May be you are a morning person who likes to sleep soon after dinner so you can wakeup to have your quiet time in the morning while your wife is a night owl. For her sakeyou can change the habit of a lifetime once in a while. Stay up late, hang around in thekitchen to talk to her as she soaks peas for the following day’s breakfast. Once she hasfinished with the chores, maybe you can watch a movie together (not Ben Hur or TheTen Commandments but a decent romantic one. Check the paper for ratings). Show herthat you care for her.Correct sinners nicely (Jn.8:1-11)Thank God the Bible is a warts and all book. Our elders seem to have forgotten that.They act like they are as holy as Daniel and Joseph. They aren’t anywhere near thosefellows! Only God knows what they think of during their free time and how many sinslurk beneath the surface. When a believer sins, they run after him with the ferocity of apack of hunting dogs. They should learn to correct sinners in a more humane manner.Be good to repentant sinners (Lk.15:11-32)When the prodigal son returned, his father had a steak party organised for him. What away to be welcomed back! Today, if a believer commits a gross sin and repents, hewon’t get a free lunch. He can expect to see believers waiting to lynch. Or if theyprepare a meal, just after he has finished eating it as the prodigal thinks that it wasrelishing, he’ll get a sound bashing.Use hardships for growing (1Pet.1:7)You can’t grow as a person if there are no hardships. They take you many stepsforward in your Christian life. Down here there will be moments of great disappointment,you will come across irritating fellows and there will be incidents that upset you. Butthese things/people will change you as a person.Value people more than money (1Tim. 6:9,10)Do you believe in valuing money more than life? That’s what appears to be the casewith nurses and doctors who line up to go to the UK/US. Just think of all the souls theylose when they all make this unfortunate decision. It is very cruel to shirk responsibilityand leave behind souls that need you. Only God can open people’s eyes.
36. Don’t fear your flock (1Tim.4:6-15)Some servants of God preach like they are afraid that the church members will go tothem after the service and tell, “We won’t be needing your services anymore.” Peoplemay listen to find fault with your message, a lot of people may take objection to it andyou may have to stand in front of an arm folded frowning jury but don’t stop preachingfiery messages. You are answerable to God. You are His servant and He will take careof you if you stop getting crumbs from the tables of those misers.Don’t worry (Mt.6:25-34)There are plenty of things to worry about for those inclined that way. When a personsees a huge rock he bites his nails and because he is completely shaken. Anotherperson blows the rock to bits with dynamite. The difference between the two is that theyhad different minds. The solutions to many of life’s problems is a positive attitude. Thedark clouds of gloom that suffocate you will lift but when they are there you can play sadmusic to become more sad or you can go to the music player and change the CDknowing that things will get better.Look after servants of God well (Lev.2:10; 3Jn.5-8; Hag.12-11)Servants of God don’t get paid well, and so focus on ways to make money on the side.Like preparing false travel and food bills. How else can they be expected to buy milk tinsfor their toddlers with the measly Rs.2000/- that they get paid per month by theirmissions organization? So when a servant of God who has come to your house says along prayer of blessing or praises your kid too much you sense opportunism there.Believers, so servants of God don’t expect something every time you shake their handswith a ‘praise the Lord’ (which is embarrassing both for you and them) pay them well.And servants of God, remember that the curse of grinding poverty has stuck to millionsin our country like a leech. You are much better off than them so shout a halleluiah tothe Lord right now. Always be content with what God has given to you. Don’t haveunnecessary cravings. A cycle is better for your body (for exercise) than a motor cycle.
37. Chapter 7May be things have become very tight in your home all at once because you have lostyour job. You are really going through a rough time because of this. Dont worry,brother. Jyoti Basu (ex CM of West Bengal) once said, "If you cant find jobs, dobusiness." Inspiring words those. You too can become an entrepreneur. See if you canfind a large hearted believer who can lend you some money. Buy pairs of jeans orwhatever can get you more money with less investment. Then go stand on the road at aweekly market to peddle your wares. There is no shame in doing honest work. Differentareas have different market days. Do some research so you have work for 5 days in aweek. You dont have to be a great salesman who can sell refrigerators to Eskimos. Noone can convince anyone to buy! We choose to buy what we want to buy and not whata glib talker/celebrity tells us to. If your product looks good, people will buy it even if youdont sing its praises (many salesmen sing false ones). Pray to God. He can makepeople to stop near your piece of ground. When you prosper a bit, be large hearted too.Dont get upset (1Sam.25:4-13)Everyday there are so many things that can upset us. You buy a birthday card for afriend. Your 2-yr-old son thinks it is his birthday card and destroys it. Your wife is on abuying binge even though your budget is tight. You take a day off just to go to distributeGideon Bibles in a school and a believer who promised that he would join you gets astomachache suddenly. You know that his excuse is an out and out lie and you getupset. Your 68-yr-old forgetful father in law is becoming a headache so you throw yourhands up and tell your wife angrily, "I am losing patience with that old man. Why doesnthe go and live with your brother?" Brother Impatient, we have to prove that we areChristians over and over again. So next time you have a bad day in the office, instead oftaking it out on you wife after reaching home, thank her for her day long hard work. Tellyou what? Give her a nice long passionate French kiss (after brushing your teeth). Bythe time you finish, you will forget your work tensions and she will forget hers.Dont fume when insulted (Esth.3:5,6)Somebody offended you in the office and fuming you pointed your finger at his nose andsaid, "You dont know who youre playing with. Dont mess with me. I dont like to fightbut I usually win when I fight." Dont let your ego get in the way, brother. Dont say, "I willnot tolerate harassment from anybody nor take shit from anyone." There are believerswho screamed when hurt. Their larynxes got damaged and they achieved nothing forGod. Your negative reaction reflect poorly on you rather than your enemy, even if ithappens that youre right because as a Christian you are expected to behave differently.If you want people to be drawn into your orbit, calm down when someone tries to addinsult to injury. You will hear God whispering (not literally), "Thank you for responding inthe manner you did, my son. This is the perfect example of how I want my children tobehave down there."Be in touch with the world (Acts 17:16-34)When you come across servants of God who say they dont know who the chief ministerof their state is, theyve been too busy praying. And youve got a serious problem there.
38. These people should come out of their prayer rooms for some air. Probably go on theterraces of their prayer towers and read newspapers and secular magazines to be intouch with the world. After 40 days were over, the disciples left the cozy prayer roomand went out to the ends of the world. If you feel that God has called you to reach theHindus/Sikhs in Canada and Australia please go but if your motive is to earn dollars youhave become a modern day Demas.Dont be demanding (1Sam.2:12-17; 1Chro.11:17-19)God alone knows how much some pastors are raking in on all the little fish in theirponds. Men of God, it is not good, morally, to milk dry the very people who support you.For a hardworking father of three every penny counts. Their income is just not tosupport you as they have numerous expenses so your regular sermons on giving arestressful for them. The government already eats too much of their money. If youcontinue to be unreasonably demanding, the next time they get your email it will getdeleted or they will just go elsewhere.Return borrowed things on time (Mt.21:1-3)A believer borrows money from you and tells you that he will return it the followingmonth. The month comes to an end and still there is no sign of that fellow and you beginto get a little worried wondering which month he was referring to as you have bills topay. If someone owes you money, you are very fast in collecting it, but for some reasonthink it is okay for you to delay giving someone elses money back. All liars will go tohell. This is some information straight from the horses mouth (Rev.21:8)Counsel properly (1Ki.12:9-11)A baby falls sick and the pastor tells its mother not to take it to a doctor as prayers willheal it. The baby dies and the pastor gathers his flock in the believers house andpreaches, "Lets not be like unbelievers who dont have hope. Lets rejoice as the babyhas gone to be with the Lord and one day our dear sister is going to see it.HALLELUIAH!" How ludicrous! Some people can be so darn wordy! Is this how peopleare taught to counsel in Bible colleges? The woman is in tears over her baby becauseof your foolish advice and you are dancing with joy. This is no way to help people indistress. Reminds us of Job. Job was a nice person and for him to say some of thethings he said was not like him. But his friends continued to rub salt in his wounds till thepoor fellow couldnt take it anymore and had to scream. There are a few things moredespicable than insensitive people. When people need your help dont quote numerousBible verses or give the "I understand your problem blah blah blah" crap. Your patanswers will be of zero assistance to them. Just be silent. Time is a great healer.Dont gossip (Lev.19:16)Some churches are plagued by an epidemic of gossip. Someone comes to your housepretending to be concerned about your familys welfare but actually wants to getinformation that can be shared with others. So once youve quenched herinquisitiveness she goes to another house and starts, "Oh, you know what happened…" And within days the news is out on the entire internet because of prayer emails.
39. Such loose talk by mean people causes a lot of damage to the church. Unbelievers canact in such a fashion, but believers should be careful.Behave like a man (Judg.4:8,9; Jn.10:1-13)Some servants of God have lost their masculinity. Like fisherwomen they are waiting onthe shore to get fish that others have caught. They should prove that they are men andnot sissies by going for deep sea fishing. No more shooting fish in a barrel, men of God!Try to get unconverted Hindus to guide them in the right direction. Otherwise wearbangles for being effeminate.Respect Gods servants (2Ki.4:8-10)We get to hear, "The elder son was very bright so he was sent to an engineeringcollege. The younger one wasnt good for anything so he was sent off to a BibleCollege." Can people who speak like this stop? Just because a boy is not good in Mathsor Physics doesnt mean that he is an idiot. God purposely saw to it that the boy was notgood in these subjects so He could use him full time for His glory. God has given himother gifts - the ability to preach fearlessly, the ability to influence people and win themover etc. He is much smarter than his elder brother who wears soda glasses andshakes like a leaf when the time comes for sharing the gospel with others.Dont keep what doesnt belong to you (1Ki.21)God gets upset when a person keeps an item that doesnt belong to him. Only a thiefdoes that. Check your house to see if there is any thing that you had borrowed fromsomeone a long time ago and go give it back to that person. You owe him a sincereapology. If mistakenly, the workflow executive of your company marks you presentwhen you have been absent and you discover that after checking your salary slip dontgo home to tell your wife, "See how God has blessed us, honey." That is not Gods wayof saying, "My son, I love you very much." If you decide that you are going to keep themoney and your conscience doesnt tell you that you are doing something wrong thensomething is wrong. You have been listening too much to prosperity preachers. Go andgive the money that doesnt belong to you back. It will leave a very good impression onthe Hindu executive.Dont rob people (2Pet.2:3; Joel.2:12-14)There are prayer phone lines. Not only do people have to pay for the long distancephone calls out of their own pockets, they have to support the ministers too. The truth isthat these prayer warriors have little concern for the callers. If they had, they wouldnthave ripped off poor believers as well. Nice business strategy guys! The devil hassomething to say to you, "Congratulations for fooling the new born babes!" We havesomething to ask you too, "Do you need money that bad?" Then join a call centre! Youwill get paid well. There are vernacular ones too. At least you wont be guilty of (for lackof a better word) screwing people in the name of religion. This is our last ditch effort tomake you change your ways and this is the plainest English we can use.
40. Take care of babies (1Thes.5:14; Micah 3:1-4)A Hindu convert, the only believer from her family fell in love with her Hindu neighbor.An elders wife came to know about this but instead of talking to her personally, she didsomething else. At the time of the Lords Supper when this sister was about to take apiece of bread, the ‘mature saint’ snatched the plate from her hand. Feeling humiliatedthe sister left the church. No amount of persuasion from other concerned folks could gether back. She may have thought, "I dont need to fellowship at a place that has abitch/rotten people." Someones bad behavior left bad taste in her mouth and you knowthat word of mouth can help or hurt a church. Its no wonder that other religions aredoing well because this is how we treat new converts that come to our churches! Whatis going on in your church? Do people get to see Christian love or moronic behavior?Read spiritual growth books and magazines (1Pet.2:2)It is not possible for you to know every rule that God has set if you depend only on yourPastors Sunday sermon. So you need to make time to read the Bible yourself. Alsoread Christian books and magazines. Now some Indian magazines have writers whouse big English words Therefore, keep a dictionary nearby cause if you come across abig word you can look it up. Big words may be improperly planted left, right and centreso you may need to read a line twice to understand what the writer is trying to say.Some lines may not make any sense. Non Indian writers write books which look likethey are books on neurosurgery. You get lost reading them. They probably pen suchbooks because they fear that people may think that they are not scholarly enough. Wewish they had made the deeper meanings of Gods word easier for us to understand.Dont buy a book at a nearby bookshop because of a 70% discount or because of thepowerful title. You will cruise through its 120 pages for 2 hours and gain nothing. Editorsof magazines think that people subscribe to their mags just to read their powerfuleditorials. They arent A.W. Tozer yet! They write lengthy articles on the same topicmonth after month not knowing that people are fed up. Reminds us of a secular rockband called AC/DC. This band used to release albums year after year that sounded thesame and people got bored.Expose a pervert husband/relative (Lev.20:12,18,21)The attitude of a Hindu woman towards her husband is, "I will do whatever you say/takewhatever you give hubby because you are my god." So she keeps quiet even ifmanhandled or sexually abused. Submission in the Bible doesnt mean that you put upwith domestic violence. You dont have to be that saintly. Sex without mutual consent isrape and the law was made for rapists and violent men. Such beasts need to be lockedup at a police station! You shouldnt get used to living on someone elses terms. Even ifhe is your husband, he doesnt have the right to treat you like that. A feminist will havenone of it. At times it is important to be like a feminist - when your husband doesntbehave like a civilized person. Ask him, "Why do you treat me this way? What have Idone to you to deserve this kind of treatment? A gentle spirit doesnt always smooth therough edges of a personality. Even confrontation may not work at all with somePharaohs. If it doesnt, before leaving them to God, get outside help. Dont hide it as itwill do immense harm to you and lead to severe depression. Let your immediate familyknow about it. If that doesnt resolve the issue, go to the elders of the church and drop
41. the bombshell. Let them know that a person is not always the saint he looks fromoutside. Tell the horrifying story of your exploitation not so they can know his bad pointsbut because the loony needs help with his troubled past.Dont get fooled (2Pet.3:17)Some believers walk through life with blinkers on. They hold healing preaches in highregard. They are just looking at these preachers and not at Jesus. They are so braindead that they can be made to believe anything. When will these people realize thatthey dont need middlemen between God and themselves? They need to open theireyes and realize that the people they hold in high esteem are just out to make a buck.Let’s not make people who are zeros into heroes.Always remember that you are special (Ps.139:13-15)You may not know about art or international cuisines or how to use silver but you arestill special to God. Not everybody knows everything about everything. No one was borncultured. Wish all sophisticated who act too smart remembered that. You may not meananything to some people but to God you do. We are all beautiful even if we dont havegood looking faces. There is nothing more beautiful than a lovely heart. Sensual peopleare interested in beautiful body parts so poor models are forced to line up at the doorsof plastic surgeons. Dont get depressed when you look at supermodels. The haveplastic faces and silicone implants and they sweat a lot in gyms to stay in shape.Listen to your wife (Esth.5:3-7)Some husbands are the dominating type so their wives are afraid of them and cantspeak to them freely. Rough husbands, be gentle towards your wives or else Jesus willrough you up when He returns. Give them room to breathe. Women have an opinion oneverything under the sun so listen to them. Let your children speak out too otherwisethey will grow up to become problematic husbands and fathers. Give everyone achance to say what they want. Let there be democracy and not Ceausescuandictatorship. So if your wife tells you that a particular shirt doesnt look nice with yourpants remove it and wear another one.Always be thankful (1Thes.5:18)You are frustrated in life because you have not been able to achieve what you wanted.You look at a wealthy believer and get more depressed. Do you want to hear somethingsad? There are crores of people in our country who are very poor. The clothes theywear are about all they have in life. You are not exactly penniless, right? You getenough to eat and have a job in an air-conditioned office. Some of them will have to domanual work all their life because they were not privileged enough to go to a school Theones who have to suffer the most are the scavengers and the children of prostitutes asthere is the stigma they have to live with and there is nothing they can do about it. Youdont have such mental suffering. Thank God for being good to you.Remember that Jesus is with you always (Mt.28:20; Hag.2:4,5)
42. Youre probably thinking that there is no light at the end of a tunnel you are in. Dontallow yourself to get frustrated and dont whine. Jesus will be hanging in there with youtill you see light. Then you will realize that you were getting restless over nothing andhow short sighted you were. People may not have a clue as to what your problem is butJesus knows and He will be walking with you through the problem till everything is allright.Dont condemn others (Mt.7:1-5)A man who has just retired from secular service goes to distribute bibles in a school anda senior servant of God tells a junior, "Would you like to have an ice cream bar that waslicked by someone else and has a large piece missing out of it? See that man? He hasthought about serving God in his old age after working for himself all these years." As ifthe man committed a big crime by looking after his wife and children while working in asecular company. Do full time servants of God work all day long? Do they set off foroutreach come hell or high water? They know the answer to that. Here is what youngfull time men of God do: bitch about co workers, talk about girls in a filthy manner andwatch day long/5days long cricket matches. Even during prayer meetings although theirbodies are in the prayer room their souls are on the cricket ground. They are moreconcerned about knowing the match score. And old ones? Well, they go to the fishmarket first thing in the morning to get fresh fish. By fish we dont mean souls. After anice lunch of fish curry and rice its time for a nice nap. No wonder their bellies look sobig! Like pots. In the evening they are found in parks not spreading the gospel buthaving ground nuts/bhel puri and swinging their little Jills. And full time mission leadersare fines one to talk about others! Because they live in vans for months with little moneylike the new recruits suffering for Jesus! It is time they learned to turn of the airconditioners because the bills are paid from the offerings of widows in the West and notfrom the bank account of their fathers.Dont listen to your parents all the time (Jn.2:3,4; Zech1:3,4)Christians in our country talk so much about loving God and not being materialistic butthey demand dowry even when people can’t afford to give it. There are girls whoseplans of marriage have gone to dust because of it. It is depressing for them to watcheveryone else walking along in pairs, holding hands. Some girls carry the burden oftheir families on their shoulders and cant save money for their own future in banks. Bebold and tell your mother, "Hey mom, this girl is the biggest gift that we are getting. It isnot fair to bill her parents for my educational expenses. You already have enough gold.What do you need more for? (Dont say this gold bit cause shell beat her breasts andmake a big scene once your dad returns from his office). I am man enough to buy thingfor our new house - a washing machine, fridge, computer, etc. And I dont need a newbike. This old one will last for few more years." Young people break free from thetentacles of evil traditions that your parents are caught up in and try to pull them freetoo.
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