Fellowship is a two-way matter. Every part of the human body needs to Receive assistance from, as well as give assistance to, the other parts of the body. So too in the Body of Christ.
We must be humble enough to acknowledge our need of encouragement from others. It is a proud spirit that professes to be able to carry on without any encouragement from anyone. If we are honest, we must acknowledge that we are able to live and work much better when encouraged. Each of us needs encouragement.
Consider the attitude of the apostle Paul, when writing to the young Christians at Rome: "I long to visit you," he says, "so that I can impart to you the faith that will help your church grow strong in the Lord. Then, too, I need your help, for I want not only to share my faith with you but to be encouraged by yours: each of us will be a blessing to the other." (Rom. 1:11-12 TLB). There we have a clear example of how the members of the Body are to function towards each other. Even the great apostle, despite all his experience and maturity, recognized his need to receive help and encouragement from the young Christians at Rome. We too need one another's help and encouragement.
We must also be humble enough to receive admonition from others. All of us have faults. What is worse, all of us have `blind spots', so that we are not able to see some of our faults as clearly as others can see them. This is where other members of the Body can help us - if we are willing to receive their help. If, however, they sense a proud, unteachable spirit in us, they may never come and tell us what they see, and we alone will be the losers.
Paul was faithful to rebuke Peter when he saw Peter compromising. And Peter, in turn, was humble enough to accept Paul's rebuke, for he saw that Paul was right. The result was that others were blessed too, and the Body of Christ was built up (Gal.2:11-16). What loss might have been incurred, if Paul had kept silent or if Peter had been too proud (as the senior apostle) to receive the word of correction!
Are we accessible and open to those who may have a word of reproof for us? Or do we indicate to others by our attitude, that we do not want any criticism? If other members of the Body find it difficult to approach us with advice, it is more than likely that even Christ the Head may be finding it difficult to get through to us.
One of the clearest tests of our spiritual condition is our attitude to criticism. Here is what the Bible says on this theme:
"It is better to be criticized by a wise man than to be praised by a fool!....Anyone willing to be corrected is on the pathway to life....To learn, you must want to be taught. To refuse reproof is stupid.....If you refuse criticism you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept criticism you are on the road to fame....If you profit from constructive criticism you will be elected to the Wise Men's Hall of Fame. But to reject criticism is to harm yourself and your own best interests...The wise man learns by listening ..... Don't refuse to accept criticism; get all the help you can...Wounds from a friend are better than kisses from an enemy " (Eccl.7:5 TLB; Prov.10:17 TLB; Prov.12:1 TLB; Prov.13:18 TLB; Prov.15:31-32 TLB; Prov.21:11 TLB; Prov.23:12 TLB; Prov.25:12 TLB; Prov.27:6 TLB)
The Body of Christ will be built up as each member fulfills his responsibility in giving and receiving.
According to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek, more than one-quarter of this year's 6.3 million college graduates in China are unemployed, despite shortages of workers in manufacturing.
Why? Becasue the number of college graduates in China has tripled since 1998 and the Chinese economy simply isn't creating that number of jobs.
This is the problem with a state-controlled economy (as China's still is).
Reminds me of my time as an undergrad, when many of us worried about what the point of studying was when there were so many unemployed graduates in our country. If I recollect aright, in my first year, newspapers reported 60,000 unemployed doctors. In my second year, they reported 70,000 unemployed engineers. The situation for arts graduates was so bad that no one was even keeping track!
However, India was able basically to sort out that problem of over-supply by liberalising its economy (that is, loosening state control - and, in India, the economy was always less controlled than China's) as well as by encouraging entrepreneurialism (even though we still have a less-than-ideal environment for entrepreneurialism).
Three lessons for China, then:
1. There is a good basis for hope that these unemployed graduates can find gainful activity.
2. Liberalise the economy properly - stop privileging outfits of the People's Liberation Army and so-called private commpanies which are actually controlled by members of the Communist Party - grant them economic privileges only equal to those for non-members as well as for opponents of the Party.
3. Ensure that every undergrad learns entrepreneurial skills - though that will by itself produce nothing if there is not the ecosystem for encouraging entrepreneurialism (and we know all about that from the studies that have been done, for example of Silicon Valley - the ingredients consist of the right legislative environment and the availability of seed funding as well as mezzanine and further funding on a market basis, not a political basis).
Yet another take on the essentials of the Christian Faith, inspired by Dr. Charlie Self:
Four Uncompromisable Absolutes
- The Lordship of Jesus
- The Worship of the Trinity
- The Proclamation of the Gospel
- The Authority of Scripture
The topic of the emerging church came up, and he shared his list of four things he uses to test any claims of Christianity. My list differs slightly from his, in that he included syncretism (as a negative), which is a word I don’t entirely understand. Thus, while I think my list is compatible with his — and owes a great debt to him — he would probably formulate things differently (and, in practice, draw the line in a slightly different place).
That said, I couldn’t resist using his name for a pun on the old “post-missiological” three-self principles, even though they’ve been sadly abused in socialist China. The deeper point, though, is that the old focus on the “structure” of a movement was clearly misplaced, and we as believers need to be careful to focus primarily on those elements that truly transcend (and even judge!) culture.
Dr. Ernie Prabhakar
I was knee deep in worries and no matter how much I prayed I got little or no relief. The battle I fought loomed large before me and I lost my breath.
Then Lo! I started seeing my problems as too big and the devil all too powerful. I was attacked hard and bad. I was even frightened of what the devil could do! And I even found myself asking on the use of wrestling in prayer when he ( the devil) can do anything he wanted: I was deceived that bad!!! Yes, the journey was tough
There are so many valleys, big and small rivers we had cross and have to cross as a Christian. Sometimes in order to see the mighty hand and the supernatural favor of God, we are placed in odd with tight and difficult circumstances.
And amid the dark clouds that were foaming around, it is very easy to doubt and consider giving it all up . And as I could not then even breathe properly, I was taken aback to the elementary school of faith and hope. It was there that I realized I was put in odd situations so that I can exercise the faith, continually clinging on to the Lord. As a person, I really don’t like being much dependent on anyone for anything: In fact, I hated it. I love working basically because it gives me a chance to stand on my own two feet and be as independent as I could be. But now I would not be too wrong if I said that there will not be a single person in the world who needs the grace of God as much as I do. I am now in a stage where I totally depend upon the grace and mercy of God.
EXERCISING THE FAITH: The Truth
For Christians, it becomes easy when the Holy Spirit opens up our eyes and makes us realized the truth . Everything has been done for us. It is DONE, FINISHED, ACCOMPLISHED. DONE, DONE, DONE.
The Son of God has DONE it for us. Here I am reminded of verses from the Bible: Numbers 21:8-9;
“The Lord said to Moses, “ Make a snake and put it in a pole: anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. Again in John, verse 3:14 we found, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life”
Okay. Let’s put it in this way: Once upon a time, poisonous snakes multiplied in the town of Moses. As many people suffered from the fangs of the serpent, Moses prayed to God on behalf of Israelites. Then God told Moses to make a bronze snake, put it up on the pole so that anyone who looks at the snake will be cured. So Moses made a bronze snake, put it up on the pole and requested all those who suffered, to look at the pole to get cured. It is as easy as that, look at the snake and you would lived, look at the snake and you are cured. Only a stubborn thick headed person will refuse to look at the pole. One look and you are cured. How wonderful!
Look at the son of man, Jesus, who was crucified for us. We are safe and have eternal life by believing that he has died for our sins , that we have been forgiven and by his resurrection we have a new life . Believe in Him and let him be the LORD of your life and you are eternally safe.
Now my life mapped out so far need a God as big as Jesus only. I could never go a single day without his mercy. Amid my plight, the re-realization that Jesus had done everything for me was so awesome, that I started walking on cloud nine. My God is big because in Him I stand victorious against all the evil forces and power of the devil.Not only I stomp the devil in Jesus name, he also runs in fright from me because all the authority in heaven and on earth is given to me in Jesus Christ. And by God’s grace through the Holy spirit, I exercise them in faith. Instead of believing all the whispers, lies and the suggestions of the devil, I choose to believe in the mercy, grace and love of God and put all my troubles into His capable hands, for He said “ Do not let your hearts be troubled, trust in God, trust also in me” John 14:1
The devil is only like a caged lion, roaring behind bars , he cannot have victory over people who have faith in God’s unfailing faithfulness. God never disappoints those who have hope in him , call out to him and waited for him . "He who believes in the LORD will never be dissapointed" Romans 9:33. The devil will whisper to us that everyone is against us and all other sorts of nonsense but this is so far from the truth. He whispers to us these words because he is jealous of us because we are the beloved children of a living God, immeasurably loved and empowered by him.
In Christ, we are conquerors, stood victorious and made mighty." You, dear children are from God and have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who he is in the world" I John 4:3-5 . Actually, the devil may long to be love by God as we are loved but the curtain was closed for him, the love of God is something that he can never attain again, never, ever. Now he is trying all that he can to disturb God’s people with his vicious schemes and lies. Let us not believe in the empty threats of the devil rather let us believe in the all powerful living Word of GOD.
Sometimes we feel frightened about the past, present and future, feeling doubtful and uncertain. Let us assert that we are heirs with Jesus Christ ,that we have the supernatural favour of God upon us and that Jesus is taking care of everything and learn to peacefully rest in him. Lets counter the devil and his lies with the Truth, by the power driven Word of God. “… If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for all of us- how will he not, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.” Romans 8: 28-35
Let us agree with King David that God will fight against all our foes with small and bid shields and buckler, brandishing with spear and javelin against those who pursue us. Let God say to our soul, “I am your salvation” . Psalm 35
Say aloud, “He is only my rock and my salvation. He is my defence, I shall not be moved” Pslam 62:6
Praise Him forever for He has done it all for you and for myself.
Evangelical Fellowship of India
- By Krish Dhanam
- Published 12/9/2010
Recently I had been asked to share the secrets of the spiritual side of success and have debated in my own mind why they are called secrets. Since the beginning of known time man seems to have found this important attribute of success because of the void that is seemingly caused by all other pursuits.
The equation seems really simple in that while searching for the mental and physical elements of success we seem to have this everlasting chasm that is only filled with something that is unknowable.
My formula for the session was that IQ + EQ + SQ = The Real You. This seemed to have gone down a lot smoother for people who were confusing spiritual success with religion. I have met a lot of religious people who are bankrupt in the faith department. By the same token I have met a lot of miserable people who have bank accounts that will never be depleted.
The answer than is to seek tri-dimensional success by wanting enough to not be discouraged but hoping to not got so much that you think you can run alone. If you need to find more answers to this question of how do we know how much is enough contact me directly. Blessings this week and in all the tomorrows of your life.
IQ + EQ + SQ = The Real You
IQ - Intelligence Quotient
EQ - Emotional Quotient
SQ - Spiritual Quotient