Joseph of Arimathea: R Nugget Lessons on Resurrection Sunday – Duke Jeyaraj

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Bible scholars say this about Joseph’s hometown: “He was a native of arimathea, the town high up in the hills some thirty miles from Jerusalem to the north-west. But, small and secluded as this town was, it was famous as the birthplace of the great prophet Samuel.”

This Joseph was…

  1. “Rich” – Matt. 27:57. You may be rich. But riches cannot give you peace, or a place in heaven. You need Jesus.
  2. “Religious” – This Joseph was a respected member of the (Jewish) council (Mark 15:43). Religion cannot save. A relationship with Jesus will save. Eternal Life is to know Jesus.
  3. “Righteous” – The Bible says Joseph of Arimathea was a righteous man (Luke 23:50). Our righteous deeds cannot save us. They are like filthy rags, Prophet Isaiah writes. But out of gratitude to the Lord who saved us, we live righteously, enabled by the Spirit of God.
  4. “Reclusive” – This Joseph feared the Jews (John 19:38) and so he was a secret/reclusive follower of Jesus. There is no secret service in the Kingdom of God. Every man Jesus called, he called publicly, Billy Graham would often say.
  5. “Rent” – Joseph of Arimathea wanted to give his tomb to Jesus. Jesus just stayed for three days. Jesus rose again from the dead. So Joseph’s tomb became a place where Jesus stayed for three-days without having to pay ‘rent’! Joseph gave Jesus his tomb, Mary her womb, but there are those who wont give Jesus even a comb after having experienced his love! Sad! We must be willing to use the time, talent and treasures that Jesus has given us to build his kingdom!

(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission – the G4 Mission. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org).

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AMBATI RAYUDU: WHEN DESPERATION FOR A THING CAN LEAD TO YOUR DOWN-FALL Duke Jeyaraj brings a Bible lesson from the dropping of Ambati Rayudu in India’s squad for the World Cup 2019

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Harsha Bhogle, the ace Cricket commentator who often makes you think by what he says, made this statement in a Cricbuzz video about Ambati Rayudu narrowly missing being selected for India’s ODI team for World Cup 2019 in England-Wales: When Kohli mentioned in an interview after a Rayudu ODI hundred as recently as in October 2018 that he has locked the No. 4 spot for himself, Rayudu was super-excited. This was big for him. He was super-thrilled to know that he would be No.4 in India’s mighty ODI lineup in the June-July 2019 World Cup – about 9 months away (then). He became pregnant with that thought. He even decided to quit playing red ball cricket post that. He wanted to focus on getting fully ready to be India’s No. 4 bat in the World Cup. He knew as a 34-year old this could be his best chance to be in India’s playing XI in a World Cup event (He was part of the 2015 World Cup ODI squad of India, but did not feature in the starting XI in any game). In the buildup to the 2015 WC, he played every single ODI, didn’t play a single match in the tournament .Then came the surprising slip in form. It often happens in life. When you desperately want something – the thing you want seems to go further away from you. It happened in Ambati Rayudu’s case. It was huge for him to be no.4 in the World Cup and I wonder if he wanted it too badly. And you could see as the World Cup started coming closer and closer, he started losing form. The harder he tried, the more the runs deserted him. He has played 44 of his 55 ODIs in a lead up to a world cup. whether it was 2015 or 2019. He missed the boat to 2019 World Cup. “3-dimensional” Vijay Shankar (to use the words used by the chairman of the selectors used in the post-selection press conference on 15 April 2019) was chosen over him. All he could do was to put up a sarcastic tweet that went like this: “Just ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup!”

Do you go chasing after some things in your life, so desperately? You somehow want to marry that pretty girl. You want to move heaven and earth and marry that boy. You would do anything to emigrate to that particular country, perhaps. You want that job in that top corporate company or the government by hook or by crook. When your desire for things gets more than your desire for God, it can be detrimental to your spiritual life. Sometimes, you may come very close to possessing them, only to miss those things by a whisker.

At no point in life, as a believer, should you desire anything/anyone more than God. We must be able to truthfully say these lines with the Psalmist: One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple (Psalm 27:4). The one thing we ever need in this one life we have is God himself! We need God’s presence more than his presents! Moses was like the Psalmist in this regard for his said, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” (Ex. 33:15). Let’s get desperate for God himself more than the things/blessing he may give us! He is enough! As Philip put it in-effect: God himself is enough for us (John 14:8). As Job showed by example: we must love God for who God is, not for what he can give us; we must keep loving God even if the things he graciously gave us are taken away!

(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a reader-supported Indian ministry. Find out more at www.dukev.org).

DONT POUR COLD WATER ON YOUR CHILD’S ENTHUSIASM FOR EVANGELISM – A PALM SUNDAY MESSAGE/DUKE JEYARAJ

MOTHER N COLT

On Palm Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Only Matthew records that Jesus wanted BOTH the MOTHER DONKEY and it’s COLT (the Kid Donkey) (Mt 21:2). A person would be sitting on the back of that untrained colt for the first ever time, it looks like. Therefore, Jesus perhaps felt the presence of the parent would calm the colt’s nerves when a person (Jesus) sat on it. Do we cooperate with God’s plan for our kids the whole-hearted way this MOTHER DONKEY apparently did with Jesus’ plans for it’s kid donkey? Parents should encourage their born-again children to serve God. Parents do not ask generally kids, “Is it God’s Will?” when their kids say, “I want to go to the US to study and settle down there!” But when their kids say, “Mom/Dad, God has called me for full-time ministry to such and such a place in India itself!” most parents pour cold water on their enthusiasm by asking, “Are you sure, it is God’s will?” What a wicked double standard! How we show step-motherly treatment for the things of God! The Lord is watching this with deep sorrow and anguish. His anger may be triggered by our worldliness and money-mindedness. The message that comes to us from the Palm Sunday Matthew narrative is this: encourage the younger generation in your family to get involved in God’s Work, whole-heartedly!

LESSONS FROM THE MOST DRAMATIC IPL LAST OVER – RR VS CSK IN JAIPUR 2019 – DUKE JEYARAJ

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The most dramatic last over of ever of IPL – this RR Vs CSK Jaipur game’s last over!
Off the first ball the off-balance Jadeja hit a six – with pitch mud on his face to cover!
This over had an animated, hand-waving, already-out Dhoni invade the pitch
In his eyes the umpire who retracted the ‘no’ ball he had given was like a witch!
As Santner sent the last ball for an over-the-bowler, audacious six!
The cricket fans had watched a game that had everyone in a transfix!
You may be the great Dhoni, the greatest finisher the world ever saw
But taking waterbreaks at will, and storming into the pitch – that’s breaking the law
From this gripping T20 game came to me a lesson
Don’t believe it, even if an angel/big church pastor/stadium filling Evangelist teaches a unbiblical poison
– Duke Jeyaraj

WARNER-BAIRSTOW HAVING HEATED-EXCHANGES ONCE BUT HUGGING EACH OTHER AND HUNTING TOGETHER NOW! Duke Jeyaraj brings out a Bible Lesson from this IPL12 tale

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Hemant Brar writes these very interesting lines for espncricinfo about the record-breaking partnerships between Jonny Bairstow and David Warner for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL12 – 2019: “Just over 16 months ago, David Warner and Jonny Bairstow were in the cauldron of an Ashes battle. During the first Test at the Gabba, the stump mic picked up Warner telling Bairstow “you shouldn’t headbutt our mates” in response to Bairstow’s head contact with Cameron Bancroft at a pub in Perth. This verbal volley riled Bairstow up and he was dismissed soon after while attempting an uppercut. In the third Test at Perth, Bairstow celebrated reaching his century by headbutting his helmet.

Now in 2019, in another Ashes year, Bairstow walks out to open with Warner. What do they do? They break IPL records, by putting together three successive century stands” (and a fifty-plus match-winning stand in their fourth game in a tricky, tough-pitch chase versus Delhi Capitals in their home-ground). ICC Cricket quoted England’s ODI Captain Eion Morgan’s comments about the duo this way: “Morgan, the England limited-overs captain, wasn’t surprised by their association, and drew parallels with the incident in football between Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, when in the 2006 World Cup clash between England and Portugal, Ronaldo played his part in getting Rooney sent off, just weeks before they were to reunite as team-mates at Manchester United.”

The 185 run-stand they put up versus Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore is the highest ever opening stand in IPL History till date (5 April 2019). Brar writes, “Bairstow brought up his hundred off 52 balls (in that game), resulting in Warner embracing him in a hug.”

This pawing-each-other then but pouncing-on-prey-together now tale about Bairstow and Warner enthralled me. There was a time when Apostle Paul and Apostle Paul were at logger-heads with each other. Paul was not happy that Peter would not eat with non-Jews at all venues, but only at select-venues. He felt that was being hypocritical. But down the line, they seemed to have sorted their differences. Otherwise, Peter would not have equated Paul’s letters to God’s own word (2 Peter 3:16). Today we have both their Spirit-inspired books/letters in the same Bible. Paul authored atleast 13 New Testament books, while Peter wrote two books. Warren Wiersbe, a Bible Teacher whom I love, wrote, “Peter was a great man and perhaps the leading apostle; yet he gladly yielded to Paul – a newcomer and permitted him to carry on his ministry as the Lord led him.”

Have you had a misunderstanding with a brother/sister in the Lord? Do you realise that you both are in God’s army (unless your friend is part of a cult)? Would you reconcile with that person and join together with him/her so that you plunder hell and populate heaven? Do you realize the coming together of you both brings about an exponential multiplication of the effectiveness of the use of the unique talents you both have in the building of God’s kingdom? Little wonder the Bible says, “one can chase a thousand, but two can chose ten thousand” – not two thousand (Duet. 32:30).

(Visit www.dukev.org to know more about Duke’s ministry; Subscribe to Duke’s message channel at www.youtube.com/visitduke. Duke’s ministry, G4 Mission, is a listener-supported ministry).

NOT JUST WATCHING THE GRAHAM STAINES STORY BUT ALLOWING THE BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES HE EMBODIED TO WEAVE INTO OUR LIVES – Duke Jeyaraj

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It’s not enough that we merely join the thousands of believers India-over to watch the Graham Staines story in a movie-theatre

Instead, a missionary spirit, and an unending excitement toward evangelism should become every believer’s life’s regular chapter

In our families and churches, there should be steadfast supplication for many who like Dr Graham Staines who, even today, serve Jesus in many a hostile-to-the-Gospel Mission frontier

And like Dr Graham Staines we should also be ready, for Christ, to die as a martyr!

And false teachings we may believe that do not square up with the Bible and the Graham Staines story like the Prosperity Gospel, the Hyper-Grace Gospel and the Immortality-on-earth Gospel, from our spiritual systems, we must allow to melt like on hot-iron butter!!!

 

Grace & Responsibility & KKR’s Andre Russell in Kings XI Eden Gardens Game of IPL12 – Duke Jeyaraj

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The Sportstar reports:

“Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin on Wednesday said that he would take the blame for the no-ball incident against Kolkata Knight Riders which cost his side the IPL match here.

KKR’s Andre Russell was yorked by Mohammed Shami off the last delivery of the 17th over when the Jamaican batsman was on three but to the horror of KXIP, the umpire signalled a no-ball as the visiting team was found to have one fielder short of the mandatory four inside the 30-yard circle.

Russell made full use of the reprieve as he hammered five sixes and three fours from the next 11 balls he faced to bludgeoned his way to a 17-ball 48, helping KKR to post a massive 218 for 4.

KKR made 56 runs in 19 balls after the no-ball incident to score its highest IPL total at Eden Gardens.” And eventually won the game.

Russell was showered with ‘grace’. He was given another opportunity to bat. And he made maximum use of it. He showed tremendous sense of responsibility.

That reminds me of a Bible truth. Do we respond with a sense of responsibility after having experienced the grace of God?

Impacted by grace, we have the responsibility of having to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and worldly passions (Titus 2:11-12). Enabled by the same grace we can do that! But do we do that?

(Go to http://www.dukev.org to know more about Duke Jeyaraj’s ministry, the G4 Mission, a Indians-supported Google Generation blessing ministry).