God’s relay race

During my high school years, I used to be actively involved in athletics and competed in several inter-school competitions. One of the events that our school team used to arduously practice for, was the relay race in which the starter sprinters ran till they passed the baton over to the next on track, until it reached the last one (anchor) in the relay race lineup that completed the race. I often used to run the anchor position.

In order for the relay team to win, there was one requirement, the anchor had to be holding the baton in his/her hand when the tape was cut. It was not the one who first cut the tape that won the race, but it was the one who cut the tape, holding the baton in hand. Holding on to the baton was what mattered. Additionally, it was not the anchor alone who won the race, but the whole team that received the honor and prize.

Just as it was important for each participant in a relay race to hold on to the baton, when it is in their possession and pass it on to the next one in the track, so also in our Christian race, we must hold on to the Gospel baton (i.e., keep the faith) and pass it on to our successors (our children being one in that lineup among many other) so that collectively we can win in achieving the goal of reconciling man to God, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The God of the universe passed the Gospel of Salvation baton to His Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who passed this Gospel baton to us, when He ascended into Heaven and till our time on earth is done or till He returns to take us, who believe in Him, to be with Him for eternity, we must continue to hold on to the Gospel baton (keep the faith) and pass it on (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). Let us live in such a manner so that each of us will be able to say, when it is God’s appointed time, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” (2 Timothy 4:7).

2 Corinthian 5:18-20 (KJV)
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; [God passed the baton to Christ]
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. [Christ has passed the baton to us]
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. [We must pass the baton to others]

The Prime Asset

On my flight to Dallas from Toronto, I watched the movie “Wall street: Money never sleeps” which was about corporate trading and raiding, unlikely alliances, and family re-unity with an undertone of payback. One particular line in the movie that caught my attention was by the character Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) who tells the young trader (played by Shia LaBeouf) – “Payback. Except I’m not in that business anymore – because the one thing I learned in jail is that money is not the prime asset in life. Time is.

Recently when I asked the question on “What is life?” to my family and friends, my beloved wife, Sangeetha responded “Life on this earth is a short journey to our eternal life with Jesus.” and some of my friends reiterated “Time was all that mattered!” Time indeed is the prime asset in life.

Time interestingly is also the equalizer. Every one of us is given the same amount of time (24 hours in a day) and how we spend our time matters not only in this lifetime but in the one to come as well. When we meet Christ Jesus, face to face, we will be required to give an account and that account will be measured against how we spent our time.

The adversary of God and His people, the devil, does not have to do too much to derail us of our focus on Jesus Christ because one of the strategies that he uses against God’s people is that he robs us of our time (for God and for His will/work). An appropriate title that the devil can be given is ‘The Time robber. ‘ We often find ourselves saying, that we are busy, spending our time on things that don’t matter or matter less in God’s kingdom business, many times in the pursuit of money, the love of which is the root of all evils (1 Timothy 6:10) .

The Bible counsels us that we need to redeem (recover/repossess) our time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). Time is the prime asset and our efforts should be focused on paying back to the Master Lord who has commissioned us to invest wisely so that we can payback in five or ten fold measures, when He returns. When we treat Time (our life on earth) as the prime asset, we will be less prone to whiling it away and we can look forward to hearing the Master say “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Life on this earth is a short journey to eternal life with Jesus. How will you/I invest our prime asset?

Ephesians 5:15-17 (KJV)
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

We stall we fall

When watching one of Reuben’s videos on “Taking Flight”, something that caught my attention was the principle of stalling. The principle is simple, which is when we stall, we fall.

In fluid and aerodynamics, a “stall” is a condition when the coefficient of lift is reduced due to an increase in the angle known as the Angle of Attack (AOA). As long as the force (moving air) under an airplane can be applied against the body (mainly wings) of the airplane, it can lift the airplane to greater heights, but if the angle of the airplane body in increased such that the force underneath the airplane cannot be applied to lift the airplane, the airplane stalls and then falls. Extrapolating this principle, I realized that, when our lives are angled appropriately on Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit of God can help us soar on wings like eagles to highest of heights, but when our lives tilt towards the things of the world that are not in Christ Jesus, we stall and we fall.

To indeed soar on wings like eagles, we must first wait (rest) on the LORD, i.e., we must be inclined (angled) on Christ. Otherwise, we will stall and we will fall.

Isaiah 40:30-31 (KJV)
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Christian Republic Day

The 26th day of January  is one of the national holidays in India which is celebrated to signify the replacement of the Government of India Act 1935 by the Constitution of India, which would henceforth serve as the governing document. This date was chosen in honor and in memorial of the declaration of independence of 1930.

In our life as well, we need to have a declaration of independence from the legalistic (laws) and ritualistic aspects  of religious government and the Constitution of Love should replace this. Such independence can only come from the recognition of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Once we believe in Him, we are no longer under the condemnation of the law, but are governed by His Constitution of Love (for God and for all mankind). When we believe, we are made free, independent of the forces of this world, and in dependence of Him.

Have you believed in Jesus Christ and accepted him as your Lord and Master? If so, when was that. In other words, when is your Christian Republic Day?
If you have not believed in Jesus Christ, delay no further. Today is the day of Salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Today can be your Republic day!

Mine was September 30th, 1990.

Romans 8:2 (KJV)
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (KJV)
We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Le Phénomène Humain

In the 1955 acclaimed book, Le Phénomène Humain (The phenomenon of man), paleontologist, philosopher and Jesuit priest, Pierre Tiehard de Chardin, writes “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” World renowned author, Stephen Covey, is attributed to have paraphrased this Tiehard saying into “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey; we are spiritual beings on a human journey.

Jesus Christ counseled His followers to store up treasures in heaven and not on earth. Our journey is to culminate in a final destination which is more about God’s presence than just God’s place (heaven). To be with God, in His presence, is what and where heaven is and our life events should aim toward our eternity with Christ.

A wise Chinese adage prescribes that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The journey to being in God’s presence, starts with one step as well. That step is to believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. When we believe, our citizenship is in heaven henceforth (Philippians 3:20) and we are all pilgrims on a journey to a place whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10).

Points to ponder:

  1. Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
  2. Have you taken that first step of believing in response to the First step of reconciliation and relationship building that God took toward you?
  3. When our time on the earthly journey is over, would those who survive us, be able to say of you and me, “He/she was a spiritual being on a human journey”?
  4. As a pilgrim, are we making progress?
  5. Would this be your/my phenomenon?

Matthew 6:19-21 (KJV)
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The Gospel is to not merely meant to be preached …

Often we hear about and are encouraged to preach the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which assures God’s gift of eternal life to all who believe in Him, but the Gospel is not merely meant to be preached. There is absolutely no doubt that those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Master are commissioned to fulfill his work of reconciling all others who have not yet believed to God, by preaching His Truth (Luke 9:60), but there is more. More than just mere declaration of the Gospel, there needs to go hand in hand, a demonstration of the Gospel. We need to keep ourselves unspotted from the world (James 1:27), being in the world yet apart from it. We must live our lives in such a manner, that those who see us will glorify God the Father, who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not merely meant to be preached, but to be proved! It is not merely meant to be declared, but to be demonstrated.

Point(s) to ponder:

  1. Are you/I preaching (declaring) the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
  2. Are you/I proving (demonstrating) the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Luke 9:60 (KJV)
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God

Matthew 5:16 (KJV)
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Noticed by God

Ruth was a stranger in the household of Boaz, who takes knowledge of her and eventually marries her, becoming her kinsman redeemer. When Ruth finds grace in the eyes of Boaz, she fell on her face and bowed to the ground and questioned as to why Boaz should show his grace and take knowledge of her? In other words, she wondered as to why, she, a Moabites (foreigner/stranger), was noticed by Boaz?

We were once strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:12). But God in his abundant grace took knowledge of us, and sent us His son Jesus Christ and when we believe in Him, we are no longer strangers but fellowcitizens with the saints and of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19). From being strangers of God, we are noticed by God.

What is our response to being noticed by God? It should be the same as that of Ruth. We must fall down and worship him by bowing before Him, for such knowledge of being known of God is too wonderful (Psalm 139:6).

Ruth 2:10 (KJV)
Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?

Ephesians 2:12-17 (KJV)
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;