Thursday, June 20, 2019

Final Word- The well fed sheep and the newbies- Dr. Johnson Cherian

Most born again Christian congregations that have been in existence for a while have well fed sheep and newbies. The newbies may be ones who have just been found by the Good Shepherd and brought in to the flock or ones that are still among the lost and the Spirit of God has been working on them drawing them to Christ nudging them to take the step of accepting Jesus as Savior. And guess what, who would the Savior Jesus be more concerned about? The well fed ones or the newbies? Surely it's the newbies. But does that mean he doesn't care for the well fed ones? Surely not. He cares for all his sheep. But he knows that the young ones require more care and he nurtures them gently and wonderfully, like only he can.

In the parable of the lost sheep, spoken of by Jesus and of which we read in Luke 15, the shepherd/owner is so very concerned about the one lost sheep that he is willing to risk leaving the 99 others in the wilderness and go after that which is lost till he finds it. That's quite perplexing. What if some of the 99 left in the wilderness wander away? What if some fall in to a pit? What if wild animals attack some of them?

The Good Shepherd knows that the well fed ones will survive a season of drought or mishap or attack by evil forces, because he himself has provided, protected and delivered them time and time again as they trusted in him while continuing in prayer, worship and meditation of his Word. He is confident that the Spirit of God to whom he has entrusted his sheep and with whom they have been sealed for eternity will guide them continually through his Word and they will survive against the odds, entering heaven at God's appointed time.

Timeless inspiration comes from the Psalmist David and both (well fed and newbie sheep) (believers) can join him by proclaiming confidently, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want".

Sunday, June 2, 2019

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Final Word- Why Jesus never water baptized anyone?

Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. (John 4:1-3)
Why Jesus never water baptized anyone?

The answer is simple. Jesus did not want to get in to the NUMBERS GAME. To many, it's mostly about numbers once you become a minister of the Gospel or if you have a church or a Christian organization. How many members in the Church, how many services, how many churches, how many people baptized, how many conventions or conferences held, how many commitments at the conventions, how many likes on Social media and so on and so forth are the questions asked and answered.

The Apostle Paul was also hesitant to baptize people because he too did not want to get in to the NUMBERS GAME. Writing to the church at Corinth he says, "I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. (1 Corinthians 1:14-16)

Paul thanks God that he did not baptize anyone except a few, because already the Church at Corinth was splitting apart because of groupism.
Once a minister or church or Christian organization gets in to the NUMBERS GAME, things can go either way. There are those who succeed and there are those who fail. Those who succeed with numbers and sizes, are filled with pride which eventually makes them even more competitive and they get on to the road to destruction. Those who fail get frustrated and blame God and everyone else and eventually get burnt out.

That leaves us with the question, "Is God concerned about NUMBERS or individual faithfulness, holiness and fruit bearing?"

Individual faithfulness, holiness and fruit bearing may not seem very appealing, but these are some of the main characteristics that God looks for in believers.

If you have been termed a FAILURE by those in the NUMBERS GAME, cast that burden on the Lord. If you claim yourself to be a SUCCESS in the NUMBERS GAME, watch out, for pride can eventually ruin you.

Paul the Apostle writing to Timothy, his spiritual son, says,
But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5)


[NOTE- This write up is not about water baptism. Water baptism after accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is a MUST. Jesus said, If you love me, you will obey what I command. (John 14:15)]

Final Word- A fresh revelation of/from God

But Elijah went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. (1 Kings 19:4)

The prophet Elijah, who the day before had prayed for fire to come down from heaven and had succeeded, today was requesting God to kill him. He who had killed 450 prophets of Baal and probably another 400 false prophets with the sword 24-48 hours back, was now in miserable condition. Acute depression had set in, all because queen Jezebel had threatened to kill him. Anyway God did not say "YES" to his request. God had other plans. He thought an angelic intervention might do some good to the downcast prophet. So he sent an angel with some food and water; nothing extravagant, just a cake and some water. Angelic intervention must have been common to Elijah (not like we would respond), so he just ate and drank and went back to sleep. The angel came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too great for you." So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. He was NOT A MAN ON A MISSION, he was clueless as to what was happening and needed a fresh revelation of/from God.

Sometimes believers in Jesus Christ also get fed up of life's problems and request God to kill them. But believe me, God has no intentions of answering such prayers. Perhaps he may send you an angel with some food and water or just lift the burden that is overwhelming by the power of his Holy Spirit. SO JUST HANG IN THERE.

Dr. Johnson Cherian