2day lookin fwrd2 speaking2students in Hubli as Evan speaks to women 🙏- duke jeyaraj via Twitter.
2day lookin fwrd2 speaking2students in Hubli as Evan speaks to women 🙏- duke jeyaraj via Twitter.
So say Bible-blind lying hypergrace teachers.'Stop lying'(Col.3:9),'stop sinning'(ICor15:34) he wrote. - Duke Jeyaraj via Twitter
Let's do it:read&live the Bible! - Duke Jeyaraj via Twitter
'My mom drank my dad's bottle of brandy': a line from viral vdo, Jimikki Kammal.'Don't even GAZE at wine'- leave alone GULP it down.Pro23:31 *Duke Jeyaraj via Twitter*
I believe in healing.My daughter's miracle story is on YouTube.But ICor15:26,Rom8:23,Heb11:35&Rev21:4 teach final healing/paincure in heaven - Duke Jeyaraj via Twitter
Nabeel Qureshi's last vlog's basic msg: while executing the Great Commission(Gospel-preaching) we must not forget the Greatest Command(Love) - Duke Jeyaraj via Twitter
These will speak to us on earth as He rejoices in Heaven.
Do v witness 4 Jesus while living all de while 4 de Devil? - Duke Jeyaraj via Twitter
The "Firsts" Women of America & The Bible
Time magazine September 18, 2017 issue has a interesting cover story. It features women who have the honor of doing somethings first in the USA. For example, Oprah Winfrey was featured because, "she was the first woman to own and produce her own talk show." Ilhan Omar was featured because she was "the first Somali-American Muslim woman to become a legislator." Melinda Gates was featured because, "she was the first woman to give away more than 40 billion USD." Hillary Clinton was featured because she was the "first woman to win a major party's nomination for President of the United States." This entry might interest Indians world-over: Nikki Haley was in this cover-story because she was "the first Indian-American woman to be elected governor."
This set me thinking. In the Bible, we have stories of how God gave key roles to Women. Mary Magdalene became the first Jesus-appointed witness to the greatest event in the world - the resurrection of Jesus (John 20:17). Deborah was the first woman judge of the Bible whom the Lord used to tame Sisera, the mightiest man on the earth that time whose very name in Hebrew meant, "battle gear." Rehab, became an primier example of this: No matter what your genes are (you can be a Canaanite and not a Jew!), no matter how ungodly what you have done is (you may be a prostitute), God can use you, only if you come to him in faith that is demonstrated in action (Heb. 10:31). Are you a woman? Don't say, "I am only a woman, what can I do?" God can use you to do many a mighty thing - to preach the Word, to send the most powerful enemies of God packing, to show-forth faith-in-action!
(Duke Jeyaraj, the author of this piece, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission, a reader-supported Indian ministry. Find out more at www.dukev.org ).
Hyderabad was stunned as the decomposed body of Chandini Jain, a Class XII school-girl, was discovered in a hillock few kilometers away from her home on 12 September 2017. She was in love apparently and went to the hillock to resolve issues with her lover, also a teen like her. Little did she know that she would be killed as she walked alone into the hillock with her boy-friend that tragic Saturday. Cyberabad Police Commissioner, Sandeep Shandilya summarized the crime this way: "On Saturday, 9th September, Chandini left her home on the pretext of meeting her friends and met the boy. They hired an autorickshaw and got down at Madhavapuri Hills in Ameenpur near Hyderabad, India. While discussing their relationship, the argument heated up and she slapped him and she also threatened that she will commit suicide. This provoked the boy and he punched her head after laying her down and throttled her to death. He then dragged her body to the cliff and fled the scene, throwing her cellphone in a pond" (see the pictured article from the cover page of the Hyderabad edition of the Deccan Chronicle, 14 September 2017 and an additional article on page 6). Telangana Today, a local newspaper published out of Hyderabad, noted, quoting police investigation sources, that Chandini attended an inter-school event in a hotel during September 1-3, 2017, an event she learnt about via social media. The participants were supposedly given hotel rooms and booze-access in this event, according to certain reports. Though the killer-boyfriend wasn't there in this event, his buddy was there. One of the reasons for the couple's heated argument concerned Chandini's participation in this event. Heart-breaking!
This sad story led me to a Bible truth for every teen and parents/well-wishers of every teen. That truth is this: romantic love can wait when you are younger.
The Bible teaches this through EDICT as well as EXAMPLE.
Let's start with the edicts (commands). The Bible book of Song of Songs is straight-forward when it offers counsel for the younger generation: "Don't excite love....don't stir it up, until the time is ripe....and you are ready". This is mentioned three times in this book (2:7; 3:5; 8:5).
A Bible teacher made this comment about that repeated verse: "It has been suggested that the statement is a warning against forcing love to develop prematurely." Premature birth of love! It is happening all the time. In one's teenage years one's might generally be oscillating emotionally. One may not be steady. So it would be extremely unwise to take any major decision - especially that of choosing your life partner - in that period. It is better to postpone that decision when you are older, more mature and emotionally stable. It is advisable to make that make that critical choice after taking the counsel of older people, at a later time.
In an another Bible book, the book of Ecclesiastes we read this: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven....a time to love..." (Eccl. 3:1,8). So when you are in school-college, focus on your books - don't get carried away anyone's looks and get hooked to a love affair! So when you are in your teen years, be all ears when your teacher/professor teaches and have no distraction whatsoever. Don't fall in love so very early!
Don't say, "I can manage both - romantic love and my academic pursuits!" Someone smartly said, "If you chase two rabbits - both will escape!"
If you fall in love, when you are still in your teens, you set yourself up for at least a five to seven year romance before marriage. That can be emotionally exhausting. Romantic love will sap your energy and take your time. This practical life truth is known by all married couples and attested by God in Scripture (married state is "an extra burden" according to I Cor. 7:28, J. B. Phillips Version).
Let me narrate a familiar story (You may have heard me spin-this-very-often-very-true-yarn many-a-times in the Q & A sessions I have with youth): Two teens are in love. The boy steals/borrows from his dad and gifts a sleek mobile phone to his girlfriend. The boy also recharges the girl's phone! They talk long hours each night. If the boy misses out on calling the girl on a particular night, "madam" gets mad. Furious. She asks, "Whom have you been talking of late....? Which girl is more attractive than me to you...? Have you lost interest in me...?" After five years of energy-sapping, emotions-draining, romance, this girl finally decides to marry a boy who had a better job and greater salary than her long-standing friend. This poor boyfriend of the girl has two holes - one in his heart and one is his purse! This story is not narrated to put down the fairer sex! In-fact, you can re-narrate this story by swapping the boy's role with the girl's! Why will a teenage boy/teenage girl get into this needless, self-invited trouble, by falling in love, when they still studying?!
Let me now move to an EXAMPLE from the Bible that warns us from falling in love early: The example of Joseph. When he was 17 or thereabouts, a woman was after him (Gen. 37:2). But he ran away from her. He knew there was a time for everything. God gave him the daughter of Potiphera as his wife when he was much older (Gen. 41:45). I see that as a reward for having said 'no' to Mrs. Potiphar! It is God's job(joy!) to 'settle the lonely in families!' (Psa. 68:6). Let's us give God the time to do that! Let's us not hurry things up and do things like Abraham did - sleep with the maidservant (fall in love early without thinking)! If we did that, we will have to live with Ishmaels (face the consequences - a marriage that often drives you to tears of regret/loss of life like it happened in the tragic case of Chandini Jain perhaps).
While you still studying, instead of spending all your time with a "boy-friend"/"girl-friend", be friends with everyone in your class. Talk to that boy/girl whom no one talks with, the person everyone routinely ignores because of that person's weight, nose-shape or complexion. Go the extra-mile to be nice to the ignored folk in your class. Through that gesture you will have brought Jesus into your campus, in a small yet significant way!
Note: If you feel like, share this article with parents of teens or teens themselves. Thank you.
(This piece is adopted by a section of a chapter in Duke's book,"Straight Talk on Hushed Up Matters: Bible On Sex, Love, Marriage and More Wrapped Around Contemporary Events of Interest To Google Generation." Find out more about Duke's ministry, Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission, at www.dukev.org. This particular YouTube video of Duke found here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZImf9bCND_U , supplements this article). ...
Solid "meat" served to a large church congregation without beating about the bush on a Sunday Morning from a not-so-familiar-for-many Bible book by Duke Jeyaraj. https://t.co/19SS1UMWuR
St.Paul raised bar when it came 2 life & ministry. Phil. 3:14 press on 2 perfection - Duke Jeyaraj via Twitter
Wd v b ready 2 die, if needed,while evangelism,like Paul was(Ac20:24)? - Duke Jeyaraj via Twitter
World terrorized.3 nails went into Tower of Eternity, Jesus, 2000 years ago. World can be saved - Duke Jeyaraj, via Twitter
The Creator (God) has the right to make his creation (Storm Clouds) to do whatever he wants it to do. #Irma - Duke Jeyaraj via Twitter
Answered audience questions too.
Check www.purposespot.blogspot.com to read Duke Jeyaraj writings that bring the Goodnews wrapped around gripping contemporary events. The latest post wraps the Gospel around the Blue Whale Challenge suicides. http://www.purposespot.blogspot.com/
THE BLUE WHALE & THE ONLY CURE FOR THE LIFE THAT HAS GONE STALE
Duke Jeyaraj shares the ultimate Goodnews surprisingly starting from the Sadness-Causing, Suicide-Encouraging, Sickening Online Game
Blue Whale. We are not talking the big fish in the sea. The “Blue Whale,” referred to in this piece, is an online game that ultimately dares its players to act out a death-wish – their own! This smartphone game pushes the users of this game to carve an outline of a Blue Whale on their skin and eventually drives them into suicide. That’s one reason this game got the name “whale” – a fish with suicidal-tendencies that is known at times to deliberately swim towards beaches only to die. If a player refuses to obey the “dare” for a dangerous task, threats such as, “We will have your parents killed…” rapidly follows. Yes people – including children and teens – World-over are either talking about the Blue Whale challenge or playing it.
The Blue Whale is ultimately indicative of a “true tale” – certain truths about Life – life about living with capital L. Only a person deeply disillusioned with life would take the lead from games such as this and eventually decide to end it. But the Bible, God’s Word in human words, presents Satan as the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:9). It is quite possible that Satan uses online games such as the Blue Whale, get unsuspecting folks to fall-in-line with his sinister plan of destruction. In the Bible, we read of a demon-influenced man ‘cutting himself with stones’ – attempting suicide (Mark 5:5). Satan does not just sow inside of us thoughts of suicide. The Bible teaches that His primary goal is to lead us towards fleeting-pleasure offering sin – something that separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2) and robs us of all lasting joy. “Joy” leaving our lives, when “Sin” enters is not just a fact found in the Bible (Lamentations 5:15; Psalm 51:12) but an experience we all relate to in our day-to-day lives. The shot-put ball of guilt in the heart after a sin - be it an affair with a colleague in the work-place or hours of porn-surfing when your spouse is asleep - stands testimony to that.
No, we do not read of anyone in the Bible narrative playing the Blue Whale game. But we do read of some folk who ended up committing suicide. The circumstances in which they committed suicide gives us key-perspectives about why people think of taking their own life. Abimelech (See Judges 9:54 in the Bible) did not want to be killed by a woman, and so he asked a young man to kill him instead. We see here that PRIDE (the first ever sin of the universe, according to the Bible) cannot give us purpose and meaning in life. But tragically, it can even be instrumental in the finishing of our life.
Let's move on Suicide No. 2 recorded in the Bible. King Saul feared torture by enemy forces as a prisoner of war and he decided to fall onto his sword while on a battle field to finish-off his life (See I Samuel 31:4). In his case, PANIC (the result of sin according to the Bible - See Genesis 3:10), robbed him of his desire to live and he sadly chose to put a fullstop to his own life.
Now moving on the suicide story number 3 in the biblical records. Ahithophel, a professional Counselor to the king, upon discovering that his advice was not followed, decided to hang till he stopped breathing (2 Samuel 17:23). He chose to hang, instead of a life of having to hang his head in shame. However awesome a PROFESSION is, it cannot that person meaning, purpose, lasting joy in life. This I figure-out from this story.
The next suicide event in the Bible relates to a once-servant-of-the-king turned throne-usurper Zimri. His reign was short-lived as Omni, the commander of the army gathered around the place he stayed. Instead of owning up his sin of usurping the throne, Zimri, set fire to the house of the King, where was put up and died as the flames enveloped him (I Kings 16:8-18). He committed suicide unwilling to face the ramifications, the BY-PRODUCT of his sin. Even today, people commit suicide being afraid of the consequences of their sin. Here's the goodnews: your sin may be unprintable, it can be still forgiven (see Isaiah 1:18 in the Bible). There may be an earthly punishment for it. But Christ is able to give a place in heaven to worst of sinners, if only they would repent and turn to Him, in faith.
Let's get into the last story of suicide found in the Bible - the story of the Jesus-betrayer, Judas. The hole in his heart became bigger after receiving a PAY for leading an arresting party to the place the only the God-in-flesh, Jesus, often met with his disciples. This suicide story tells me that money cannot bring ultimate purpose and meaning to life.
This leads me to a well-known statement that Jesus made that is found recorded in the Bible: “I have come to give Life – Life to the full”(in John 10:10). This implies, apart from the “alone and apart from everyone” Jesus (Jesus said he was the ONLY WAY in John 14:6 of the Bible) no one can find that paramount peace, that supreme serenity, that maximum meaning, that Himalayan happiness.
Apostle Paul, a Jesus-follower, wrote about the “purpose in each step” (I Corinthians 9:26, NLT, The Bible) that Jesus gave him, when he followed Jesus through the smooth and stormy phases of his life.
One of Jesus’ names in the Bible is this: “Author of Life” (Acts 3:15). He is also the maker of life – this the Bible teaches (John 1:3). Human Life was made “for” Jesus Christ, the Bible notes (Colossians 1:16-17). When we wade though “the book of life’s journey” living “for” Jesus, life will become meaningful and purposeful!
The same Jesus who said, “I have come to give you life,” also mentioned that he came to die as a ransom for the sins of the World. This, the Bible records (Mark 10:45). This was the price he he had to pay to give us a meaningful life – through his cruel death on the Cross. When Jesus shed his precious, sinless blood for us, he opened the door for each one of us to escape from living an “empty” life on this earth, the Bible declares (I Peter 1:18).
Jesus rose from the Dead. Jesus promised to return again to judge the World. Those who firmly and finally reject Jesus, the name of the only person who qualifies to save humankind by the virtue of his absolute sinlessness, will live a life of “living” hell here and now and go to a “literal” hell.This the Bible, a book which has never gone wrong when it comes to predictions, predicts.
As I end this essay, let me narrate a Bible Story that involved a big fish - a whale perhaps. A disobedient prophet named Jonah ended up in the stomach of a fish. It seemed all over for him as the digestive juices of that fish started working on him. But that's when he cried out to God from the belly of that "whale". God heard his wailing from inside of a "whale". He was rescued miraculously. The "whale" obeyed the "spit-him- out" order of God. Then the Word of God came to Jonah the second time, the Bible records (Jonah 3:1)!
The God of the Bible wants to give you a second opportunity! Have you been fooled into thinking by the Blue Whale Challenge or any other life challenge (a heart-breaking divorce around the corner/a dreaded disease that is taking its toll/etc) that "all is over and there is no hope whatsoever - therefore the only way ahead is to commit suicide"? Don't buy that black lie from the Devil. When the Devil speaks, he speaks his native language which is telling lies, the Bible declares (John 8:44). God wants to give you a second chance, like he gave Prophet Jonah. Would you turn to him in repentant prayer? Would you not turn to Christ, God-incarnate, who died and rose again for your sake, right now?
What should we do now, exactly? Would you pray this prayer with faith? 'Dear Father in Heaven, I come to you in Jesus name. I turn from sin (Luke 13:1-5, The Bible). I come to Jesus in faith (Matthew 11:28 & John 1:12, The Bible). I am coming now (2 Corinthians 6:2, The Bible). Please forgive me. Please cleanse me. From this day on, I will live for you, with your Spirit enabling me. I love you Jesus. In your name I pray."
(To know more about Jesus download a Bible app onto your Smart Phone and read it/play it. Suggested App: ESV Bible. Order a copy of the Bible from Amazon. Try the Voice Version of the Bible - it is easy to understand. You can walk into a Bible-Believing church so that you would receive continual encouragement to follow Christ. If you choose to contact the author of this article, use this email id – firstname.lastname@example.org. To know more about the author's reader-supported ministry log onto www.dukev.org )
Prayer 4 Google Gen Issues (BlueWhaleChallenge suicides, etc), first;Prayer 4 Issues dat Boggle u(Financial Problem/LifePartner/Healing/etc), finally.2day(2Sept-Sat)@ our base in Secunderabad.11am-1pm.Welcome.Call (don't WhatsApp) 8886040605
Join. WhatsApp 8886040605 immediately if you can join. - Duke Jeyaraj
TIME FOR BIGG BOSS - YES. TIME FOR THE BIGGEST BOOK - NO. IS THAT TRUE ABOUT US?
a Duke Jeyaraj read-ALL-of-the-Bible challenge
The Tamil Reality TV Show, Bigg Boss, has catapulted the popularity of Vijay TV by leaps and bounds. An August 13, 2017 article on FirstPost by Sujatha Narayanan noted, “Vijay TV has garnered a 10 per cent hike in their viewership thus eating into Sun TV's large market share, which has now fallen to below 50 per cent.” People all over – believers included – do not mind spending 90 minutes every day to watch what the small-time celebrities speak and act in Bigg Boss each night, without any outside world influence (no phones, no gadget, etc) with 30 cameras 'eyeing' them 24/7. Some viewers ensure that they also catch up on the YouTube videos based on each episode/promos of each episode offering interesting news about each contestant. Yes, we live in an generation that is more familiar with Oviya than Orpah (of the Bible!). You may not watch the Tamil Bigg Boss show. You may be watching the Telugu version of it presently. Or some other 'sceen-show' that may have captured your daily attention.
This phenomenon set me thinking! It reminded me of the step-motherly treatment we give to the things of God. There is surely a better way to go about our daily schedule – a schedule in which we can atleast have half-an-hour for the reading/hearing of nothing but the Word of God - the greatest book in the planet!
Today as I punch these words on my All-in-One keyboard, is September 1st, 2017. It can be any day, if you are reading this article down the line. That does not matter. 120 days from now, the year will end. The Bible has 1200 chapters approximately. 1200/120 is 10. If we read 10 chapters of the Bible every day, we would have all of it – Genesis through Revelation – in 120 days flat. So, if started this on September 1st, we would have finished it all by December 31st! Why should we even attempt to read all the Bible? Because “ALL” Scripture is God-breathed and is useful (2 Tim. 3:16). We must progress in the discipline of reading ALL of the Bible daily, because, like it was for the Old Testament kings, reading laws of God daily (Dt. 17:19) is something that will make us really wise in whatever we are upto. If you are an IT Pro, reading the Bible daily with understanding, will make you a wise IT Pro. So on and so forth. Reading the Bible everyday gives us CONTENT to overcome temptation (Psa. 119:9-11) and praying daily gives us COURAGE to overcome tempations (think of Jesus in Gethsemane Garden who said, "Watch and pray lest you fall into temptation). It is imperative that we read ALL of the WORD of GOD will greatly help because there are twisters of God’s Word like the hyper-grace gang of false teachers who are having a field day, just focusing on some verses of the Bible taken out of context. And because, in our time where folks have more time for WhatsApp than for What In The Word, more time for touching the screen(IPad/Smartphone/etc) than turning to the Scriptures, folks simply do not know ALL the Bible, they get fooled by these jokers/Bible Twisters/Hell-headers. This MUST change!
The other day, when I went for a walk in the colony I live in, I carried my phone. I put on a headset as I walked. I searched Youtube on my Blackberry Passport Smartphone for “Esther Bible audio.” I heard the audio of someone reading the book of Esther entirely through a Youtube video which jumped out post my search. In 30 minutes, flat, the reader had read 10 chapters of the Bible (Esther has 10 chapters). I heard him through my head-set as I walked. In 30 minutes I was taking the lift up to the flat I live in, post my walk, having listened the entire book of Esther - a book with 10 chapters - read to me via YouTube. This gave me an idea - an idea which can be carried out in this age where most telecom operators in India offer 1 GB of data to use daily for amounts as low as 400 rupees a month. What if we believers walked every day with a plan like this? In 120 days – in four months flat – we would have HEARD all the Bible!!! Our heath - physical and spiritual - will greatly improve!!!
When you do this audio-Bible-on while your walk, you might receive an incoming call! You don't have to take it! While the audio Bible is on, God is speaking to you - others can wait!!! Hear what he has to say with concentration! Come back back home and write down in a notebook/file atleast one new thing you grasped from the hearing of 10 chapters of the audio Bible in that half-an-hour!!!
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, right? Not just faith, but a challenge for holiness. Not just a challenge for holiness, a clarity about Bible Doctrines. Not just a clarity about Bible doctrines, but encouragement when we feel discouraged.Not just encouragement when we feel discouraged, but fuel at the hour of temptation.
Why are you waiting? Will you attempt to start today, your listening of God’s Word via an audio Bible today? That can be via Youtube of through an Bible App like YouVersion. You can hear 10 Bible chapters a day in about half hour – this has been my experience as I narrated above! This I suggest you do, in ADDITION to the other regular Bible reading plans you may have in place. Or if you don’t want to hear the Bible being read to you, you can read the Bible like you always do. I believe both these disciplines should go hand in hand. But there is no substitute for not having an ongoing plan to read ALL of the Bible when ALL of the Bible is God-breathed!
(Dr. Duke Jeyaraj, a fulltime BibleTeacher/Evangelist, is the writer of this piece, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a reader supported ministry to presentday people. Find out more at www.dukev.org ).
Is HyperGrace Teaching of Joseph Prince and His Kind Biblical? // Duke Jeyaraj https://soundcloud.com/shoutaloud/hypergracebiblicalduke
August 31, 1997 - exactly twenty years ago, I completed my B. Tech in Agricultural Engineering in Allahabad Agricultural Institute. August 31st, 1997 was my last day in campus before I took a train from Allahabad back to Vellore where my parents were, 2000 kms away. I remember the day so very well, because that was the day Lady Diana was killed in a tragic car accident. As I look back at those four years in college, I recall the Bible Studies the Lord enabled me to lead (sometimes to just one person, sometimes in a large hostel room full of people, as I did sometimes in a room called 'heaven'). This is a picture of my Bible Study notebook then. I studied up a theology book (I picked my theology book long before I set foot into Bible College - that was only in June 1998) by J. Rodman Williams and shared what I learnt with my interested fellow students. J. Richard Wurmbrand, now with World Vision, was one faithful fellow student who showed up in many of those meetings. It was a training ground for the Bible Studies I would take to folks all across India down the line! I had my ups and downs during my college. But am glad, I could be a witness for Jesus in my campus! - Duke Jeyaraj, www.dukev.org.
PASSIONATE KISSES IN MOVIE ARJUN REDDY & THE BURNING QUESTION, “CAN PASSIONATE KISSES AND MORE WITHOUT ACTUAL SEX BE SHARED BETWEEN THOSE IN A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP BEFORE MARRIAGE?”
Dr. Duke Jeyaraj answers from the Bible frankly
An August 23, 2017 article published in the Hindustan Times talked at length about the kissing-scenes in the released-in-August2017 Telugu movie, Arjun Reddy. It reported Actor Vijay Deverakonda statement about the kissing-scenes this way: “When people watch the film, they would understand the purpose behind the scene. He kisses her out of love and passion. I don’t understand what’s vulgar about kissing when in a relationship. It’s not like we have shot the lip-lock sequence in poor taste.” This actor was arguing for passionate kissing between those in a romantic relationships before marriage here. Shalini Pandey, the heroine involved in the film that had 16 kissing scenes going by a Hyderabad Indian Express edition’s supplement on 30th August 2017 report said that she didn’t find the kissing scenes weird and had no inhibitions in doing them.
What would the Bible answer modern youth who are asking the question, "Can I kiss passionately without going further, my faithful boyfriend?" - that is what I was contemplating. What would the Bible's reply to youth who are asking, "How far is too far when it comes to boy-girl intimacy before marriage? "Can Jesus-loving girls sing with Barbie, "You can touch my hair and touch me everywhere?" “What will the Maker of my body, God, think about me making out with my boy-friend/girl-friend?” Well, that is the question!
JESUS TOUCHED WOMEN, BUT…
You know what? Jesus, a normal red blooded young man touched women and allowed them to touch him. In fact about one woman he said, "from the time I entered, she has not stopped kissing my feet" (Luke 7:45). Jesus took Jairus' young daughter by the hand (Mark 5:41). Before we punch the air to exclaim, "My Master touched the opposite sex and therefore I can have a whale of a time!" do notice in what situations he touched women. It was in public places before the eyes of the several others. There was no secrecy about it. And nothing obscene about what he was doing. Period. So those fun-games we play in the church in front of each other which involve touching the opposite sex in an appropriate way would be cool in Christ's eyes.
DO A CLINTON? DO A LEWINSKY?
But we must probe this matter little deeper. "What about touching the opposite sex, the way Bill Clinton touched Monica Lewinsky?" – that's probably the question that hides at back of your mind. In Scripture we do find the answer for this burning issue. Certainly. Here I outline what four different books of the Bible have to say about this sensitive subject:
THE PAGAN'S CLEAR CONVICTION –
When a Pagan (a Non-believer) king saw, Isaac 'fondling' his wife Rebecca through the window, he shot a question: "Why did you not tell me that Rebecca was your wife, Isaac. Why did you instead say that she was just your sister?" Stop. Listen. There is a moral in this narrative. A truth for youth hidden in this story found in Genesis 26:1-9. It is this: even a disbelieving king knew instinctively that only a husband and wife can fondle each other – not just any couple! Even a pagan king instinctively knew that you could fondle only your wife – not anyone else of the opposite sex. When this is the case, it is quite sorrowful to note young people who are church-regulars also being casual sex regulars.
THE PROVERBS' PENMAN'S PENETRATING QUESTION –
The Proverb's penman's question to this generation of youth who have no qualms about exploring every inch of the body of the opposite sex is this straight-forward: "Why embrace the breasts of another man's wife?" (Prov 5:19). Just the previous verse in this passage makes out that the breasts of young wife must be caressed by only by her young husband (verse 18).
Physical intimacy with the opposite sex before marriage is like scooping fire on your lap and expecting nothing to happen (Prov 6:27). Duffy Robbins said, "You can't spend your time heating up hormones – by indulging in petting – and expect nothing to come out of it!" .
The problem with petting is this: you will want to get more and more intimate with the person of the opposite sex you are getting physical with. I haven't yet met a young man who told his girlfriend, "Girl that kiss was awesome. However, from our next meeting onwards we will just shake hands – okay!" Even in the Bible I read about a young man who first "strolled" near a seductive woman's home; then he started to "smooch" her only to finally "sleep" with her (Prov 7:8-23). Notice how he graduated from lesser forms of intimacy to greater forms. Our body is wired that way. The Bible calls him "a youth who lacked judgment" (Prov 7:7). And if we get physically intimate with the opposite sex we too will earn that same name. You don't want it – do you? "If you cannot stop, don't start!" – that was a signboard put up in a Brake Station. Relay that principle in the area of sexual intimacy and the message is crystal clear: if you want to stay a virgin and please the Lord, don't even start to be physically intimate with a person of the opposite sex! Be the Joseph who ran away from the woman who touched him the wrong way (Gen 39:12).
THE POETRY OF SOLOMON'S CONCLUSION –
The young lady in Song of Songs describes the way she is physically intimate with her man very graphically: "His left hand is under my head and his right hand embraces me" (SS 2:6 NLT). Shortly after this statement, comes the call which was referred to earlier in this piece: "Promise me, O Women of Jerusalem…not to awaken love until the time is right" (v. 7). Keeping the context of this verse just quoted, we can conclusively say that the young woman of Song of Songs is saying this: "Do not get physically intimate with the opposite sex until the time is right! Show some temperance. Show self-control! " And we know from Scripture that 'the right time' for climaxing one's sexual desires is within the boundary of marriage. Therefore true romantic love certainly will not indulge in intimate touching of the opposite gender before marriage.
Sure, the couple in Song of Songs did pet and fondle each other a lot. The man in question in this book 'browses among the lilies' (2:16). He also goes to his garden 'to pasture and pluck lilies' (6:2). And you know what – sheep never eat lilies! So obviously in the boy's vocabulary the girl is the "lily" he wants to pluck – fondle, caress and touch intimately (See 2:2)! But remember they were already married (5:16). The young man calls the girl his "bride" – not girlfriend (4:12; 5:1). So we learn again from Song of Songs that petting is out of bounds for those not married to each other.
THE PROPHET'S GRAPHIC PARABOLIC NARRATION -
Prophet Ezekiel in his 23rdchapter wrote a graphic parabolic narration of how two sisters, Oholah and Oholibah (symbolic of Israel and Judah) allowed men to touch them in places they shouldn't have touched. God did not mince words when he named the act of allowing one's breasts to be fondled as "prostitution" and explicitly said that he was "disgusted" with such behavior in this shocking passage (Ezek 23:3,18,19,21). Bible Scholars explain, this passage actually speaks of "the elect people of Israel's figurative promiscuity in Egypt where they sought to be caressed by a foreign faith and culture" (New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis: Volume 4 - London: Paternoster Press, 1996, page 1091). They brilliantly observe that, in this passage, the breasts fondled by illicit lovers of these young girls were being torn as part of God's judgment upon them (Refer to Ezek 23:21,34) (Ibid., Volume III, page 214). I believe that even through this passage, God is teaching modern youth that he is pretty peeved when they get intimate with the opposite gender without the benefit of marriage. Have you grasped this truth for youth that emanates from Ezekiel 23? There were days you learnt truths only from elementary passages like Psalm 23 when you were a child. You aren't one anymore! You have grown up! Grow up to grasp this lesson that jumps out from Ezekiel 23!
OUR PATRIARCH'S PRACTICAL WISDOM LED SUGGESTION -
Talk without holding back with your grandpa. Have a frank discussion with your grandmom. Ask them why they are not comfortable when you get touchy-feely with the person of the opposite gender before marriage. They may not quote any of the Scripture passages or verses you have read so far in this article. But they could say something like this: "We don't know what will happen tomorrow or in the days to come when it comes to your relationship with this person. When this is the case, why do have to become so close physically with him or her. What if, something goes wrong and you actually do not marry this person with whom you are merry-making without holding any part of your body back? Will you not feel bad? Would you not feel miserable? And those scars can stay with you for a lifetime and affect your marriage with someone else! So, keep the opposite gender at an arm's length from you, dear!"
Guess what? There is a lot of practical wisdom in what they are concerned about. Not only that. There is Scriptural truth behind this counsel as well. Yes, the Bible in many places tells us we do not know what will happen to us in the future (James 4:14).So getting physically intimate with a person you know you can never be 100% sure of marrying, until the event has actually happened, is nothing but plain folly!
The concern of our older folk is illustrated by the story I have narrated below:
KARAN'S QUESTION AND SHAHID'S ANSWER
Karan Johar shot a point blank question to Actor Shahid Kapoor in the Star World TV program that was aired on March 9, 2007 titled "Koffee with Karan". This was the question: "In one word tell me what you think of casual sex?" His girlfriend of three years, actress Kareena Kapoor was sitting beside him in the show. When Shahid answered that "casual sex was convenient" he was only airing the views of the google generation that they didn't mind exploring the bodies of the opposite gender without actually having "sex". And we know what happened to the much publicized relationship between Shahid and Kareena. They broke up. And Kareena is now going around with the already-married actor, Saif Ali Khan (at the point of writing this piece, I must add, because we never know in the world of Formula One Speed World of Bollywood Liasions…!). After reading this real life incident, do you now see why your older folk were not cool or happy when you got too close physically with your friend from the opposite gender?
WHAT DISGUSTS DICAPRIO -
Your grand pop seem to have a very unlikely person agreeing with them in this regard. Who? Leonardo Di Caprio of the Titanic Movie fame. I was surprised to read this about the man who probably did the most watched kiss of all time on the screen: "Kissing disgusts Dicaprio!" He went on to say in the news item, "The human mouth is one of the dirtiest things in the planet! There's so much bacteria, slime and trapped food. A dog's mouth is cleaner!" (learnt fromwww.imdb.com on 9 March 2007). If you avoided kissing altogether before marriage, apart from keeping you off from sexual sin you would have kept your mouth from bacteria, it looks like!
WHAT CONSTITUTES FOREPLAY -
In the excellent book, "Every Man's Battle" authors Steven Arterburn and Fred Stoeker, write these lines - lines that throw practical light on the hot topic being discussed here: "What ..is foreplay? Mutual stroking of the genitals is foreplay. Even stroking the top of the thigh can be foreplay.When a girl lays her head on the lap of a young boy, that's foreplay. Slow dancing can be foreplay when certain parts of the body are in close contact. Heavy kissing around the neck and chest leads naturally to stripping, which leads to mutual masturbation, which leads to intercourse." Foreplay - these authors - rightly assert on the basis of God's Word is to HAPPEN ONLY BETWEEN THOSE ALREADY MARRIED, NOT JUST ANY COUPLE!
UNCLE BILLY GRAHAM'S EXAMPLE -
Therefore never get into a confined space alone with a person of the opposite sex and lock yourself in. This simple practical step will save you from the temptation to have the kind of physical intimacy that will displease the Lord. Billy Graham writes in his best selling autobiography JUST AS I AM about how he refused to meet with Hilary Clinton in private but insisted that they sit in front of others in a restaurant and meet. Here are the exact words he used in reply to Hillary Clinton's request, "I would be delighted to. But I don't have private luncheons with beautiful ladies. We could sit in the middle of the dining room at the Capital Hotel where everybody would be able to see us, and still have a private conversation" He was in his seventies when this particular incident happened! (USA: HarperSanFrancisco Zondervan, 1997, page 651). Billy Graham certainly understood all what the scripture said about physical intimacy limits with a member of the opposite sex! Thank you for the example, uncle Billy!
"I HAVE ALREADY BEEN FONDLED, SO WHAT I DO I DO" -
After having read so far, you could say this: "I have already been intimate physically with a boy who is not a believer. What should I do now? If I break up with him at this point, he will never marry me!" You know what? That is your golden opportunity to just do that and break up with him. By doing that you will please the Lord who word clearly says believers must marry those who are ALREADY believers (not becoming one or in the process of becoming one – I Cor 7:36 onwards and II Cor 6:14). Any boy (or girl) who touches you the wrong way cannot be a true, practicing believer. By marrying the person who is physically intimate with you before marriage you will convert your single sin into double sin. So why do it?
SOME WAS SMACKED BECAUSE YOU ALLOWED YOURSELF TO BE FONDLED -
Come to Jesus. NOW! He will wash your sins away – not matter how bad you have been all this while in this area. He died for you on the cross so that he can wash away your sin. He was beaten in His sinless body for the sins of your body – including the sin of allowing the opposite gender to fondle you, before marriage (I Pet 2:24). He was beateN that you might have peace – peace you tried to unsuccessfully get by allowing that friend of yours to touch you places that you should not be touched (Isa 53:5). Yes, someone was smacked, by cruel Roman Soldiers because you allowed yourself to be fondled! That was Jesus! He took your punishment upon Himself! Though your sins are blood red, they will become white as snow when you ask Jesus to cleanse you (Isa 1:18). You will be pure in His eyes and that is what counts! He will make you a real virgin again! So why are you waiting? Are you getting already sent that SMS to your friend from the opposite gender, saying that it is over between you both?
(This is an extract from Duke Jeyaraj's book, NO BEATING ABOUT BUSH STRAIGHT TALK ON HUSHED UP MATTERS! The price of his book is Rs.100/- (courier charges extra Rs.100/- for India address and Rs.600 for Overseas addresses). Online transfer can be done on the bank info found in www.dukev.org/about ) For more info text/call +91-8886040605)
Listen to the same content in video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qytuyi1eK-k
Here is a full message on what the Bible teaches about sex and sexual sins:
(Duke Jeyaraj, an Engineer turned Doctor of Ministry graduate, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, a ministry that is supported by individual listeners/viewers/readers like you. Find out more about Duke and this inter-denominational ministry by liking www.facebook.com/googleduke ).
Three Bible Imageries of Evangelism - Watchman, Fisherman and Farmer - and How They Relate To The Whys and Hows of Practical Evangelism - Duke Jeyaraj in a street-side meeting with G4 Mission volunteers.
Is speaking in tongues gibberish? What happens to those who die without hearing of Jesus - will they go to hell? Can I lose my salvation if I sin? What's wrong with the prosperity doctrine? Can a rich man ever go to heaven? - Duke Jeyaraj answers these questions in a live Q and A time with Church beleivers earlier this month here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxZ3Ih-VJCc&feature=share
Duke Jeyaraj reads his hit Youversion Bible App plan, Porn Temptation Beaten, - a plan which has seen over 75000 completions here: https://soundcloud.com/shoutaloud/porntemptationduke
Isaiah 52:10 talks about this: the ends of the earth will see the salvation of the Lord! For that to be a reality, we need to put an end to staying within our comfort zones! Joined by two of our ministry volunteers I drove my two-wheeler (little rain along the way) to the other end of the city I live in to give out a few tracts (the Bubbly tracts of mine). Over 200 IT Pros received it! Yesterday! We had a street-side prayer-fellowship-Bible Study all under five minutes! This joy is much, much bigger than eating Naturals ice-cream or Cream-Stone all day!!!! - Duke Jeyaraj, www.dukev.org (Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission).
WhatsApp him if u want to join, now. 'Let us go to the highways & byways and ask them to come in!'
False Teachers So Dangerous That New Testament Writers Had To Publicly Take Names &Today's Popular False Teachings Like Hyper-Grace - A Duke Jeyaraj message shared in his recent Madurai Trip. Venue: Gate of Heaven Church, Ellis Nagar, Madurai.
A message that Duke Jeyaraj preached in his recent Vijayawada ministry trip: https://t.co/WhBKin9qtf
False Teachers So Dangerous That New Testament Writers Name Them Publicly - Duke Jeyaraj on modern false teachings (a message preached in his recent Madurai ministry trip) https://t.co/IbeexU5pgG
The Doctrine of Sin for Google Generation Put In Acronym E-V-I-L - Duke Jeyaraj. The message shared in the inter-church, inter-generational Bible Study at centrally-located flat of Daniel-Magdalene in Somajiguda, Hyderabad on 20 Aug 2017. Folks from different corporates and colleges were there.
Post the "Sound Doctrine That Pumps Spiritual Adrenaline" Bible Study (on the Doctrine of Man) led by Duke Jeyaraj in July 2017 in the flat of Daniel-Magdalene in centrally-located-in-Hyderabad Somajiguda! Dale Nathan Duke, 13, clicked this picture with my gifted IPad Pro. This group is Inter-Denominational as well as Inter-Generational, in every sense of the word! IT Pros and Docs. Seniors and Home-Makers. They were all there in this group. Many braved heavy rain and bid bye to the India-Pakistan Champions Trophy Final that day to make it. Nothing but plain, uncompromising teaching of the Word was only there to attract them! This Sunday - 20 Aug - at 6:15 PM, we have another such "Sound Doctrine That Pumps Spiritual Adrenaline" Study on the not-much-talked-about-these-days, Doctrine of Sin. Join with Bible-Loving friends across age-groups and church barriers. Organised by the Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission - the G4 Mission (www.dukev.org )
A Independence Day Special Message by Duke Jeyaraj for youth from the life of a young Bible king, Zedekiah - a king who ended up in Chains:
5:1. The Bible often stresses our responsibilities even more than the privileges God gives us, at times, because, we humans have a short-memory and are easily distracted. - Duke Jeyaraj, www.dukev.org
'SONS of kingdom will b cast in place of weeping n gnashing of teeth'-Jesus(Math8:12).'Once Son, always Son' hypergrace teaching unbiblical - Duke Jeyaraj via Twitter
By today, 9 August 2017, the long road of preaching God's Word in my life is 26-years-long. I started preaching as a16-year-old School kid of Ida Scudder School in Vellore. Thankful to God! Read about that unforgettable experience of me here: http://g-4mission.blogspot.in/2013/08/the-first-time-i-ever-preached-knee.html. Thankful to folks who still keep inviting me to speak paying for the travel! Picture taken during my ministry trip to Kakinada (July 2017). I am pleasantly surprised to see that the YouTube Channel carrying my frank, making-me-unpopular messages have seen a combo of over 292,000 hits. (www.youtube.com/visitduke ) and my SoundCloud audio message channel (www.soundcloud.com/shoutaloud ) nearly 70,000 hits. - Duke Jeyaraj, www.dukev.org
MEET THIS "FRIEND CLOSER THAN YOUR GADGET!"
These days more than a physical person, the Google Generation considers the gadgets they own to be their closest "friend". To such a generation, I would like to introduce a "friend closer than a gadget!" (that is my way of putting the name for Jesus found in Proverbs 16:24 which is actually "a friend closer than a brother").
JIM CAREY’S HONEST CONFESSION
The popular TV program Friends is a huge hit with yahoo youth. But you know what! Despite the fact that young people's lives revolve around their friends, many of them are lonely. It may be unbelievable but it's true – the loneliness hits even when they are rubbing shoulders in a big crowd! Funny movies superstar Jim Carey once said, "I don't have anyone special in my life and it is a drag!" He was lonely – no question about it! Another popular music group sang, "All alone in this world…" Yes, this generation is longing for a true friend.
HE IS BOTH UNDERSTANDING FRIEND &
THE UNAPPROACHABLE LIGHT-DWELLER!
To a generation to which loneliness is the best friend, it's my joy to introduce a "friend who sticks closer than a brother" (See Prov 18:24). Who? Jesus. He is getting bad press these days. He is portrayed as one who lives in Unapproachable Light. He lives there no doubt. But hardly anyone hammers home the fact that he is an Understanding Friend. We know he is God – 100 %. But how many of us have celebrated the fact that he is human – also 100%. Read the last sentence again: I am not talking about a cerebral understanding but a celebration of the humanity of Jesus! Even the disciples of Jesus got lost in his Divinity. They told themselves after he did a stupendous miracle, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" (Mk 8:27). Notice that they did not stop and wonder when Jesus was sweating after a hard day’s work, "Hey! He is like us, man – he understands our lives’ battles!" There were some that only saw him as an ordinary human. "Isn't he the Carpenters' kid? Don't we know his brothers and sisters!" – they slighted him, made jokes about him. I am clearly not advocating that we look at Jesus in a shallow way like them – never! Nothing could be more further from the truth!
Who is Jesus? Ask Samuel Dickey Gordon. He said, "Jesus is God spelling himself out in a language that man can understand." He got it right – bull’s eye! Can Jesus understand us young people? Yes, there are a pack of reasons.
ACTRESS CALLS HINDU GOD, BOY-FRIEND. HMMM…
This is what a particular website reported on 14 April 2012: Actress Kamna Jethmalani visited the hill shrine Tirumala to seek the blessing of India's richest god - Balaji. The actress went ahead and claimed that he was her boy-friend. "I'm coming to Tirumala since I was a little kid. Balaji is one of my favorite gods. He is actually my boyfriend…" said Kamna.
While I am not sure why Kamna Jethmalini called Balaji her boyfriend. But I do have pact of reasons – reasons that are one-of-a-kind – why Jesus can be called the best ever eternal friend. May I present them to you?
1. BECAUSE HE ENTERED THE WORLD LIKE US!
How on earth did we enter this planet? We all – without exceptions – came out through our mother's womb. No faltering about this fact! That's the way Jesus came into the world too. No – he was not conceived the way we all were conceived. The Holy Spirit made his conception in Mary's womb happen, in spite of the fact she was a virgin (Math 1:18-20). Yet his birth was normal. That's why we read, "When the right time came, God sent his son, born of a woman!" (Gal 4:4). This is just to underline the fact that he didn't drop into this world as an alien swinging down in a parachute. He came into the scene the normal way – through a woman's womb! He did not prefer to land on earth in a space-ship! He stayed put in Mary's womb for a full term – he did not jump out in the third month! There was a stamp of humanness about Jesus' birth except the way he was conceived.
2. BECAUSE HE WAS EDUCATED LIKE US!
Jesus grew up like the rest of us. He grew in all dimensions (Luke 2:52). "Jesus grew up both in height and wisdom!" Luke pens. That surely must imply that He had to learn up the Hebrew alphabets (Aleph, Beth, Gimel, Daleth…) just the way we learnt our A, B, C and D. That's right. Like every Jewish boy he studied the Old Testament. True he was "filled with wisdom beyond his years" (Luke 2:40). But don't forget the fact that he 'grew' up (Luke 2:40).
When we started growing up have we not experienced our t-shirts becoming smaller? Even Jesus must have out-grown his clothes. Let me remind you that Jesus shared in every non-sinful aspect of our humanity (Heb 2:14).
Young friend, that's why I say with gusto that Jesus understands the tension you go through as you tangle with your Calculus test or that Physics paper. He does. He has been through the whole process of studying. So he understands.
3. HIS EXTERNAL APPEARANCE WAS LIKE OURS!
Jesus' 'picture' has made it to the cover pages of the top magazines of the world like Time, Newsweek, etc. In every shot of Jesus they have printed he looks drop-dead handsome with graceful curls with cheeks without a pimple or wrinkle!
Nevertheless there is one description of Jesus' looks that's worth a look: Isaiah 53:2,3. "There was nothing beautiful nor majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care." Don't miss this, Jesus wasn't handsome. Attractive? Nope. Eugene Peterson's contemporary version has it that there was "nothing" about his face that would "cause us to take a second look." Note that pal.
IF HRITHIK ROSHAN WALKED IN A THRONG…
Quiz John the Baptist. Ask him if he would have recognized Jesus without a special revelation. He wouldn't have. There was nothing about Jesus' external appearance that made him stand out in a crowd. If a Hrithik Roshan walked in a throng, he would be gazed at even if he was not movie star, right? But not Jesus Christ. He looked ordinary and plain, it looks like! That is why he could dissolve himself in a swarm when there was a plot hatched to finish him off. That is why some people merely addressed him as "the Carpenter" or "the Carpenter's Son" (Mark 6:3/Math 13:55). He looked like a regular rugged man – that's all.
30 OR THEREABOUT JESUS CALLED 50!
Once Jesus remarked to the Jewish leaders that their father – Abraham – "rejoiced at the thought of seeing" his days (John 8:57). They dropped their jaws in amazement and said, "You are not yet 50 years old and say you have seen Abraham!" (V. 58). Don't miss out on the fact that they thought Jesus was 50 or there about. Strange that they did not say, “You are not yet forty years old and say you have seen Abraham?” One wonders if this was some kind of an unkind dig at his personality or just that it was hard to tell? But do you know what Jesus' actual age at that instance? 30. At best 33. So they mistook the age of a person who was about 30 to be 50! That, certainly, was not a compliment on his looks. That tells me that Jesus, perhaps, looked a lot older than he actually was. He, it looks like, didn't look young and dashing!
The point I am driving home is this: When Jesus walked around this earth no one would have walked up to him and sang this Michael Learns To Rock (MLTR) number (with adaptation) "From my youngest years to this moment now – I have never seen such a lovely king!" He looked very common – not glamorous! You must listen to this one from Philip Yancey: "Our glamourized representations of Jesus say more about us than about him!"
Ever thought about yourself, "I am not handsome"? Ever felt bad that you aren't "that pretty"? Ever got worried that you can’t turn heads when you walk into the college like a Bipasha Basu could? Jesus understands what you go through. He wasn't, perhaps, a good-looker himself!
4. HE HAD EMOTIONS JUST LIKE US!
No – Jesus wasn't cold and clinical. He wasn't a machine. He had real emotions – just like us! When he talked about his death to Philip and Andrew, he conceded that his "heart was troubled!" (Jn 12:27). He did not jump for joy that he was going to die. He felt bad. That's being normal. That's being like us, buddy.
When he geared up to announce, "One of you guys is going to betray me," John (Jesus' closest pal) records that Jesus was in 'great anguish!' (Jn 13:21). He did not feel like bursting out in laughter when he knew that. He felt hurt – just the same way we do when our friends backstab us.
SHORTEST VERSE MAKES A LONG STATEMENT
His eyes were welling up with tears when his close acquaintance Lazarus passed away (John 11:35). The shortest verse in the Bible comes in this context. It says, “Jesus wept.” But it is a long statement about His great love for you. Jesus knows why you are crying. He sees the pain behind your sad eyes. He's been where you've been. Yes.
Jesus understands the pain you go through when you have flunked in your exam. When someone has ditched you. When someone has played football with your heart. When you go around singing along with MLTR, the song of those in one-sided love, "Even if you want to go alone, I will be waiting when you’re coming home. If you need someone to ease the pain, you can lean on me, my love will still remain” – Jesus would nod understandingly. He may not endorse everything you do. But understand – he sure does!
MOUTHS-OPEN DURING A DINNER BREAK IN HSBC!
Indian Cricket fans were absolutely astonished when Yuvraj Singh scored 6 sixes in an over in the T20 World Cup 2007 game versus England. The espncricinfo.com website reported: India had made 171 at the end of the 18th over before Yuvraj exploded in the 19th, bowled by Stuart Broad. Yuvraj dispatched Broad over cow corner, square leg, extra cover, point, midwicket and wide long-on to become the first batsman to hit six sixes in an over in Twenty20 internationals. His 50, off only 12 deliveries, was also the fastest in this format. The 61-run Yuvraj-Dhoni partnership - if you could call it that, for Yuvraj scored 58 of those runs - came off only 16 balls and boosted India to 218 off 20 overs. I watch this ‘six sixes in one over’ over on the TV live when I was on a dinner break during the days I worked at HSBC’s Global Resourcing Centre in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. Most of the folks who watched that Over in the canteen had their mouths open – not just because they were in the process of eating food but because they were supremely shell-shocked by astounding cricket action they had just seen! Feelings of amazement – young peoples' lives are dotted with them. Time and again. Even Jesus had those kind of feelings – that's correct. When a non-Jew told him to speak a word so that his servant living far away would be healed, the Bible records that he was 'astonished!' (Math 8:10). Shell-shocked – in our language! Jesus' eyes widened – if I put it in modern terms!
FIG TREE FIRED!
Have you ever lost your cool? Jesus understands what you go thorough when you lose your cool for the Bible speaks of times when he was angry and upset! Let me narrate a case-point. He was once looking for edible buds in a fig tree in a certain Passover Season – one March end or early April. It was just the right season for figs in Israel to sprout with edible buds (if not fruits). But that particular fig on which Jesus cast his eyes had no edible buds that implied it would stay barren that year too. But it was leafy – as if to show it was healthy and normal. The tree reminded Jesus of the religious leaders of the Jews with whom he was constantly at loggerheads because of their pretense and show. So he cursed the fig tree (Mk 11:13-21)!
LETTING IT RIP WITH A WHIP!
When he saw the temple in Jerusalem having been turned into a messy marketplace he let it rip with a whip. He turned the place upside down (John 2:15). What Jesus saw was blatant injustice and he could not take it cool. He had to get angry. It has happened to us young guns – has it not? When we see hypocrisy around us we get incensed and infuriated. He can understand why you feel that way.
YUVRAJ & JESUS – WHAT’S COMMON BETWEEN THEM?
Andrew Flintoff provoked Yuvraj Singh in the 2007 T20 World Cup game between England and India. And the furious Yuvraj took out his red-hot anger on the cricket ball in the very next over bowled by Staurt Broad following this spat. Yuvraj, in a seething rage, hit Broad for six sixes in a single over. Yuvraj’s reaction was a typical human reaction. Jesus also reacted the way Yuvraj did, sans the abusive language and sin. Jesus was quite upset with the Jewish folks who were out to accuse him if he did any work on the Sabbath Day (Saturday). So, when Jesus did a miracle deliberately on a Sabbath, he was quite angry (Mark 3:5)! Though Jesus may not appreciate the unwise things we may have done things while fuming in a rage, he understands the human phenomenon of anger. He who has sinned not while having been angry understands those of us who sin while having been angry and is most willing to help us in this regard!
5. HE ENJOYED HUMAN COMPANY LIKE US!
WALKING 90 MILES JUST TO HAVE FUN WITH HUMANS!
A monkey enjoys the company of another monkey. "What a brilliant observation!" you may well chuckle. Hang on. Using the same logic we can say that only a human can truly enjoy another human's company. A monkey can't – I bet! Jesus had a nickname. What? "A friend of sinners." Listen, each one of us are sinners (Rom 3:23). So one can reframe that pet name of Jesus to "A friend of humans." That tells me he loved to hang out with humans. He accepted invitations for Jewish weddings that lasted for weeks together. No, they did not call him because His miraculous powers would be useful. Come on! His first miracle was in that wedding at Cana. His reputation as a miracle worker hadn't been made known yet. So why did they call him? Let Max Lucado tell you. When they were finalizing the list of invitees for the wedding someone must have said, "Let's have Jesus and his gang here. They really light up a party!" Whew! Lucado’s eloquent pen goes on: "The Almighty did not act high and mighty. The Holy One was not holier-than-thou!" Can you believe it – Jesus walked 90 miles to attend a wedding! He scaled 90 miles to have some clean fun with humans!
Just love to hang out and have clean fun with your pals? Same pinch with Jesus!
6. HE HAD ETHEREAL INSTINCTS LIKE US!
“I AM LONELY” CRY FROM THE MOVIE STARS
Urmila Matondkar, once said, "I wish there was someone to talk to when you are alone at night!" Genelia D’ Souza’s lump-in-the-throat causing, famous line in a particular Tamil/Telugu movie is this: “I was surrounded by so many in this home. Yet I’ve never been so lonely!” Suriya Sivakumar in a particular Tamil movie song, sang these lines: Newyork Nagaram Urangum Neram Thanimai Adarnthathu / Paniyum Padarthathu../ Thanimai Thanimayø.. Thanimai Thanimayø../ Kødumai Kødumaiyø.. (‘When the city of New York sleeps, the loneliness of my soul is thickening, even as the mist is spreading and this is a torture!’) That's the cry of our generation. A cry of loneliness, a cry that reaches out to something beyond the skies. That’s the cry of our generation.
Make no mistakes here. Jesus is God – every bit God. But he is also human. So as a human he had ethereal instinct. In other words, Jesus was always reaching out. This instinct in him pushed him to pray. He was praying early in the morning (Mark 1:35). In the evening too, he did the same (Math 14:23). Late in the night he was doing just the same up the hills (Luke 6:12-13). It was his die-hard habit (Luke 5:16).
DRUGS, ALCOHOL, ILLICIT SEX CAN’T PLUG THAT EMPTINESS
You feel like constantly reaching out beyond yourself, to the skies and beyond. Jesus knows that desire deep down in your heart. He too had it. Because of this empty feeling on the inside some young people would reach for drugs or alcohol or illicit sex to fill that emptiness with those things. Jesus doesn't sanction such a course of action. But he knows why we go after these fleeting pleasures. His example that we must find our pleasure and fulfillment in God the Father is before us.
When this ethereal link with his Father was cut on the Cross (for no sin of his own) he made this plaintive cry, "My God! My God why have you forsaken me!" When we flirt with sin and take trips into worldly pleasures we too have felt God's presence leave us, haven't we? Jesus understands that can't-be-explained empty feeling inside us when we live lives in rebellion against our Maker. He sure does. And if we come to Him to have a living, daily relationship, the vacuum inside our hearts will be permanently plugged (John 4:13-14/10:10).
7. HE BECAME EXHAUSTED LIKE US!
Jesus became tired after a long walk. That is why he stopped at the well at Samaria to catch some breath. To get a drink of water (John 4:6). If that story were replayed today chances are that Jesus would have sipped some Sprite to rev up his tired body! Jesus understands it when we guys want to chill ourselves with Coke when the Mercury threatens to hit half-a-century. Oh yes!
NOT READY FOR 100 METERS DASH WITH BOLT
After having fasted for 40 days in the wilderness Jesus wasn't exactly ready for a 100 meters dash with Usain Bolt! Fatigue caught up with him (Math 4:11). After a hectic day of ministry he would sleep like a log. A storm (with water splashing on his face, perhaps), a rocking boat – all of this could not wake him up – he was that tired (Math 8:24)! The disciples had to fall all over him and shake him before he finally woke-up. Jesus understands it perfectly when you want to sleep for a couple of hours longer because you had stayed up nightlong and studied (even if our parents sometimes may not)!
“STURDY-AS-SALMAN” ROMAN SOLDIERS WHIPPED JESUS
When he was whipped brutally by the “sturdy-as-Salman” Roman Soldiers he felt excruciating pain. He wasn't smiling, "Oh what an amazing privilege to die for humans!" He was screaming in agony. In fact he became so tired after the 39 lashes that he needed Simon's help to carry the cross that weighed 50 kgs or there-about. When the Roman Soldiers hammered seven-inch nails into his wrists he wasn't emotionless. He was crying in real agony.
COLLAPSING ON THE BEAN BAG – COOL WITH JESUS
He understands it when we become drained after a hectic work assignment that you want to just relax and catch your breath for sometime. He understands your desire to collapse on your bean bag and catch a few winks of sleep. He’s cool with it. In such an occasion Jesus will certainly not lecture you saying: "Our real rest is only in heaven – so keep on running!" No way! He would not upset us with inconsiderate words like that (like some 'super' spiritual people would)!
8. HE ENCOUNTERED TEMPTATION LIKE US!
JESUS, TEMPTED ALL HIS LIFE!
Jesus was tempted in every area – this is what the Bible plainly tells us (Heb 4:15). There is no getting around this fact. Note that the devil left only for some time – an opportune time – after his desert temptation (Math 4:11). Jesus was tempted all his life. We do not have a record of all his temptations. But we do have a record saying that he was tempted in 'every way'. Peter for instance, suggested that Jesus escape the Cross. The crowds, by wanting him to be king also were trying to seduce him away from the Cross. Even when he was on the cross, Jesus' temptations did not cease. The taunts that were thrown at him – “Come down from the Cross”, “if you are really the son of God” – were deadly temptations. Yet he beat them all.
That means, my chum, we can't say, "No one understands the secret struggles with sin I go through!" Jesus does. And what is more is that he can help us out in that struggle. He is in sympathy with our weaknesses (Heb 4:15). Just above Hebrews 4:15 is this verse: "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account" (Vs. 13). Frightening, eh! It was not meant to be. When we study the context, the thrust of this verse is: "God knows every struggle you go through; yea, everything. Why then are you trying to run away from him? Rush to him. Run into his wide open arms. Grace and mercy are waiting for you – his beloved child!" How did I figure it out? Scroll down a bit: "Therefore, since we have a great high priest (Jesus)…Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need"(Vs. 14,16).
NOT LIKE A STIRICT PRINCIPAL
Jesus ain't like a strict School Principal waiting to whack you for the first blunder you commit. Far from it! Max Lucado will tell you best: "Seems that God is looking more for ways to get us home than for ways to keep us out. I challenge you to find one soul who came to God seeking grace and did not find it. Search the pages. Read the stories. Envision the encounters. Find one person who came seeking a second chance and left with a stern lecture. I dare you, search." He is an understanding friend who has been through what we are going through. Yet he stayed from sinning. So he can lend us his hand – hands that alone can truly help us to say 'no' to sin next time out. We can't obviously ask for more, correct?
9.HIS LIFE ENDED LIKE OURS, ONE DAY, WILL!
Every human's final destination is death. No doubts about it. No questions about it. The Bible tells us that. King David when he knew his death was near he summoned his son Solomon and told him, "Now I am about to go the way of all the earth" (I Kings 2:2). It is mankind's "last enemy" (I Cor 15:26). You know what? Jesus went all the way – even to death – in order to tell us: "Hey! I understand each and everything what you will ever go through!" Jesus shared in our humanity by his death (Heb 2:14).
Can God, who by definition is ever-existing die? Good question. He can if he chooses to. He can if he wants to. That's what Jesus did. He died voluntarily for us (Jn 10:17,18). He died on the Cross. The Roman Soldiers usually broke the legs of the ones crucified so that they would not be able to lift themselves up to breathe. But in Jesus' case they refrained. The reason? They were very sure he had died! He was dead beyond doubt! Jesus did not shy away from death – the event that's the common end for every human.
FOOTBALLER BERGKAMP’S FEAR OF DEATH
Young people – most of them – are scared of death. Dutch footballer Dennis Bergkamp stopped flying in planes because of this nagging fear. A few of his teammates had died in a plane-crash. That was it – a fear of death has gripped him, since then. Young friend, Jesus understands your fear. In fact he lives today to deliver those who lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying (Heb 2:15). Because Jesus died and rose again he can quell every fear we may have in our hearts – including the fear of death. Just no one else can understand us like Jesus can – believe me!
Why did Jesus die? To make us his friends again. He stated, "the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends. You are my friends…" (Jn 15: 13,14).
10. HE WILL BE LIKE US ETERNALLY!
We are not through yet. One fact remains. The fact that He will stay as a human. Forever. After he rose from the death, he still had his human body (though it was a glorified human body). He could eat with that body – just like us (Check out Jn. 21:10 and Lk. 24:49). He went to heaven as a man (Acts 1:11). Today he is speaking to God as an advocate for us as a human (I Tim 2:5). The same human Jesus is gonna return someday (Acts 1:11). The man Christ Jesus will judge all humanity – the Word of God tells us (Acts 17:31). So on that fearsome day we cannot go like, "Jesus you never know what it means to be a human – the struggles we had to go through!" Your judge and mine will be a human. The "You-can-never-understand-my-struggles" excuse will never work on that dreadful day!
WHAT TYSON ONCE SAID
If we denied that Jesus was a human we are anti-Christs! The Bible makes no bones about this (Jude 1:3/I Jn 4:1-2). My young peer do you now understand that He understands you. My bosom friend do you now realize that you and I can never really say what Boxer Mike Tyson once said, "I don't have one friend in my entire life!" You can count on Jesus to be an understanding friend! Even if all others walk out of your life you can count on Jesus to stay.
You may be a traitor to Jesus. Yet he will call you his friend (Think of Judas – Math 26:50). You may have told white lies and found your own way. Yet he calls you his pal (Think of Abraham – Isa 41:8). Young buddy you have to choose today if you are going to give this friend a finger. Tell Him to leave you alone, like some did (Mt 8:34). Or invite him to be your best friend ever – a friend who sticks closer than a brother!
LOVELY YET LONELY NICOLE KIDMAN
Sipping coffee, I glanced at the newspaper. My eyes panned the page. My eyes zeroed in on a small news piece beside the bubbly picture of Nicole Kidman, the Hollywood actress in one corner. The article announced, “Lonely Oscar night!” “Sounds interesting!” I thought. I read what was printed below: Actress Nicole Kidman has revealed that she felt big but lonely after winning an Academy award for her role in The Hours in 2003. The 40-year old said she felt very upset that she did not have anyone to celebrate the moment with. “I felt big. It felt lonely and big. You are in a hotel and you’re like OK, well, I’m sitting in this big suite with an Oscar, and I still don’t have a life. What is wrong with me,” Contactmusic.com quoted her saying. “It hit home that I needed to get a life: who do I jump on the bed with, and celebrate with, and order pancakes with. That was painful, not having that person to share it with,” she said (Page 14, The Hindu Vijayawada Edition, September 10, 2007). As soon as I read that several questions boggled my mind and bothered my heart. Here they are: Why would a lovely lady with loads of cash and lots and lots of fans feel so lonely? Why would a pretty, planet-trotting actress be in such acute distress? Why would this Oscar winner who lived with gay abandon feel so abandoned?
I turned to my Bible – God’s roadmap for the journey called life - for the answer. It told me that we become lonely – utterly lonely - when we sin against God. “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you,” Prophet Isaiah writes in the Bible, inspired by the Holy Spirit (Isa 59:2). Yes, our sins drive a heart-cutting wedge between us and our Maker and leave us lonely and empty. Our sins eventually will take us to the loneliest place of them all – eternal, ever-burning hell, a place God has marked out for folks who have decided, stubbornly and finally, never to enjoy his company, the Bible warns (Rev 22:15). But the Good news the Bible announces is this: Jesus, God in human flesh and bone, the only sinless person who lived on this earth, experienced languishing loneliness as a punishment for our sins and we don’t have to be lonely any longer (Isaiah 53:5,6). That is why Jesus voluntarily died a cruel and brutal death for you and I on the Cross. The sins of all people of all time were laid upon him while he hung there for six hours one Friday two thousand years ago. God, the Holy Father of Jesus, cannot wink at sin. So when Jesus his Son became the planet’s sin-bearer while he hung bloodied on the Cross, he turned his face away from him and forsook him. Yes indeed, Jesus was truly lonely at that point. That why he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” hanging on the Cross (Math 27:46). That loneliness experience was so heart-crushing yet he went through it for you – the lonely you! Today, if you will repent from your sins and trust in the Alive-again Jesus you will never again be lonely! Jesus says to you now, “I will not leave you (feeling lonely like) orphans… I will come to you!” (John 14:18). The only God who came in search of you when you were still lost and lonely is Jesus, the Bible reveals (Luke 19:10; Rom 5:8). Would you invite this unique Jesus into your life now to discover eternal life and “a friend closer than a brother” (one of the many sweet names for Jesus found in the Bible)? Would you do it NOW?
Will you join me in singing these lines from a famous hymn:
There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus – No not one, no not one!
Jesus knows all about your struggles.
He will guide till the day is done
There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus – No not one, no not one
(Duke Jeyaraj, an Engineer turned Doctor of Ministry graduate, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, a ministry to presentday people funded by Indians who read his writings and hear his messages. Find out more about Duke and this inter-denominational ministry by liking www.facebook.com/googleduke ). Note: This article is a chapter from Duke's book, Goodnews for the Google Generation (a book that is presently out of stock. This book, hopefully, will be reprinted).
GOOFED UP ONCE? GOOFED UP TWICE? LEARN FROM JUSTIN GATLIN!
You may have goofed up in your life. Or even worse, you may have been 'caught in sin'. Or even, even, terribly worse, you may have been 'caught in sin' the second time. But you can repent. You can still come back to Christ. You can seek his blood cleansing. And then you can live straight and holy enabled by his grace. You can choose not to use His Grace as a credit card for stubbornly living in sin (Jude 3). Then God can lift you! I do not know if Justin Gatlin is a believer. But he serves as an illustration for what I just wrote. He was caught cheating with drugs - twice. Yet he converted what was supposed to be Usain Bolt's night into his night. He was older than the retiring Usian. Yet, he beat Usain Bolt and won the gold in the World Athletic Championships on 4 August 2017. - Duke Jeyaraj, www.dukev.org
The first time the Bible mentions the word "friend" it is in Genesis 38. Hirah, the friend, serves as an aide for Judah (the elder brother of Joseph) to turn into prostitution (Gen. 38:12,20). What does your friend inspire you to do? Indulge in prostitution? Or do you have a friend who inspires you to grow in salvation? Choose your friend wisely! - Duke Jeyaraj, www.dukev.org http://www.dukev.org/
Methuselah: Spiritual Lessons for Young & Old from the World's Oldest Man - Dr. Duke Jeyaraj: https://t.co/NfCGCHTHNx via YouTube