The Days of Our Lives
- By Dr. Chris Gnanakan
- Published 01/18/2010
Dr. Chris Gnanakan
Revd. Dr. Chris Gnanakan, DMin, PhD. is the Director of Training for Outreach To Asia Nationals. OTAN serves in over nine countries in Asia where traditional missions is ‘restricted’, by equipping and empowering national, pastoral leaders to fulfil the great commission.
Chris, a native of Bangalore, worked as an electrician in MICO factory for 3 years before theological studies at the Word of Life Bible Institute and School of Youth Mission (New York). He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from Tennessee Temple University and went on to do a Master’s in Divinity at Temple Baptist Seminary that he completed at the Asia Graduate School of Theology.
Chris was a youth pastor and ordained at Emmanuel Baptist Church. In 1990 he founded Banaswadi Bible Church where he was the pastor-teacher for over 10 years. He is known as a Youth, Bible & Mission conference speaker and for his radio broadcast with FEBA (Transforming Truth) and TWR (Thru the Bible). His passion is for evangelism, whole-life discipleship, mentoring, training leaders & empowering the Church in Mission.
Chris lectures on and produces curriculum for ‘Biblical Mandate for Evangelism’ at the Haggai Institute for Leadership Development (since 1999 at Maui & Singapore). As an evangelical, he has served as a consultant with the Commission on World Mission & Evangelism on-site London, Switzerland, Athens, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Chile and with Urban Missions in Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines and China.
During his stay and PhD research in the UK, Chris was a Teaching Assistance at the University of Leeds in the department of Theology & Religious Studies and also served as a minister at the South Parade Baptist Church, where he developed outreach & care cells. Chris teaches ‘Clinical Pastoral Education’ at the Bangalore Baptist Hospital. He is chairman for the Christian Forum for Child Development & Samaritan Purse’s regional Prescription for Hope program
Since 1995, Chris joined SAIACS as Professor and HoD of Pastoral Theology & Counseling and Dean of Chapel. Here, for 13 years, he trained leaders for ministry and mission in India’s globalising context and is passionate doing ”Evangelism through Local Churches”. He is now appointed to serve as the Director of Training for OTAN (Outreach To Asia Nationals) from June 2009.
Chris is happily married to Dorothy, an IT software educator, and they have two daughters Alethea and Charis. Chris enjoys memorising poems on the Bible and football.
When I turned 40, it was startling to realize I had lived 14, 600 days! I asked myself: ‘Chris, what have you been doing with all these days?’ I wondered if these days had made me more holy, helpful to others and could be counted as happy days in my life, which can be lived only ‘one day at a time’! God’s Word, recommends a 7-fold ‘daily’ plan for our lives that gives it meaning, purpose and importantly brings Him pleasure day-by-day. Let me list these Bible verses that instruct us to make every day a day for:
1. Meditation: God expects believers not to walk with the ungodly, stand in the way of sinner or sit with scoffers, but positively delight in his law; mediating on it day and night (Psa. 1:1,2). Joshua, the leader of God’s people Israel, noted that true success comes from daily staying in the Scriptures (1:8). The believers at Berea are considered nobler because they searched the Scripture daily to verify what God was saying, even though the Apostle Paul was the preacher (Acts 17:11). Christians deem God’s word as their daily bread.
2. Intercession: Christians not only listen to God daily but also speak to him on behalf of others who need his help. The Psalmist underlines our obligation to daily call on God in prayer (Psa. 88:9). Prayer is aptly said to be the believer’s spiritual breathe for life.
3. Celebration: God is known to dwell in the midst of the praises of his people. Whenever God’s children get together there is ample cause for praise for who he is, and thanksgiving for what he has done (2Chron. 30:21). Each day is a good day to ‘celebrate’ God! There is something therapeutic about worshipful praise (Prov. 17:22). One cannot have a pity party and praise party at the same time (try it!)
4. Submission: I find it increasingly difficult to talk on submission in our individualistic age with all its equal rights movements. However, Christian living has to do with selfless sacrifice or as Paul puts it, dying ‘daily‘ to oneself. The spirit of submission is always the spirit of Christ Jesus who categorically declared: ‘If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me’ (Luke 9:23).
5. Exhortation: There is so much in our daily newspapers that discourage us! People around us often are ready to find fault and quick to condemn us! The writer to the Hebrews talks about the need for believers to exhort one another daily (3:13). Each day I look forward to meeting up with people who inspire me to be the best I can be and often this happen through the little things they do; like a word of appreciation or a simple smile!
6. Evangelization: Some people tend to bring the worst out of us; and everyday we hear of bad news. Yet we Christians have been entrusted with the gospel – good news that day after day brings hope into our world. In the early Church (Acts 5:42), being a witness was not a Sunday affair. This holy handful of believers was committed to sharing their faith daily and wherever they went. They set the pattern and pace as to what it means to be ‘in the world but not of this world yet sent to the world, to win the lost at any cost!’
7. Salvation: Finally, 2Cor 6:2 reminds all of us that ‘now’ is the time and day of salvation. Today, if God’s Spirit is speaking saying, ’turn from your sinful ways and trust Christ as Savior’, we must not harden our hearts. While it is yet today, let us receive Jesus’ offer of salvation. It’s true that life has to be lived one day at a time. So, let’s live each day as if it is our last day because, as we all know, one of these days will be our last!
Dr. Chris Gnanakan