Tuesday, February 25, 2014

LENT
(5th March 2014)
During the 40 days of Lent period, in most of the churches, believers fast, pray, study the scriptures etc. Immediately after this there is the Day of the Great Sacrifice (Good Friday) followed by the Resurrection Day when Lord Jesus won victory over death and came back alive. This tradition was set because Lord Jesus fasted and meditated for forty days in the desert before starting his ministry on earth. The first thing he did was to demolish the Devil who came to tempt him. This period is a very important part of our life for self-introspection to find out if we are walking according to the will of the Father or not? His will is that none should perish and that all should come to the knowledge of truth. 2Peter 3:9; 1Timothy 2:4
Good news is that during this period tens of thousands of Christians invite fellow Christians into their homes for prayer, Bible study and table fellowship etc. but the sad news is that very few Christians invite people of other faiths with the result that they do not come to the truth (Jesus) and get saved. This is mostly because Christians do not feel confident to engage peoples of other faiths in a dialogue. Scripture compels church leaders to equip the saints for the works of the ministry to be effective and productive in their homes as well as in their work-places. Every believer should be equipped to be always ready to give a reason for his/her faith and to give an appropriate answer to those who oppose. (Eph. 4:11-13; 1Peter 3:15; Titus 1:9). Training in apologetics must remain the top priority of any church because the true church is wherever disciples are made. The training should be imparted by those who are already involved in reaching peoples of other faiths. If this is done then tens of thousands of people will be discipled and a house church movement will be ignited and Christians will become a blessing to the nation and soon the kingdom of God will come to India.
It would be very fruitful if during the Lent period this year we could invite our friends, co-workers and neighbors of other faiths into our homes and tell them about the Mahabalidaan (The Great sacrifice) that Lord Jesus made for the redemption from sin for all human-kind regardless of their caste, class, race, gender or religious affiliation. The least we can do is to show them Jesus film. Then we need to disciple the seekers in a convenient and secure place rather than take them to the church which can cause problems for them.
Just before his ascension into heaven, Lord Jesus gave the Great Commission as his last command to all his followers: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptize them and make them obedient to all My commands and send them to the ends of the earth” (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). Lord Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). If we are not following his example, then how can we be called his followers? We need to reflect and urgently take necessary steps to change our lives.
What better opportunity than the forthcoming forty days of Lent, starting on the 5th March 2014, to be obedient to our Lord’s command and fulfill his last wish to see India reached for Christ.

Shalom.

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