Marg Church Camp 2015 – Gospel Fluency

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Marg churches travelled to YMCA Lakeside, Nilshi on Friday, 18th December 2015 for our annual church camp. Our trip began slightly delayed, but finally all the saints from sundry workplaces arrived, all the children piled up into the LUV machine and all the adults stopped having pseudo-lunch. Soon, a convoy of cars was speeding towards Talegaon under the winter sun.

After a detour from the closed railway crossing near Kamshet (why do they have to repair the track when WE go to Nilshi, why? Last year, same drama!), we found ourselves sharing a badly maintained road with other vehicles and herds of buffalo. The road soon became better as it meandered splendidly between some hills and the Andhra lake.

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We arrived at YMCA Lakeside before sundown and settled down in our rooms that were surrounded by nature all around – literally. The rooms are underground and surrounded, even on their top, by grass and shrubs, making the campsite a natural green spectacle.

Over the next two days, we had three sessions based on the theme Gospel Fluency. You can read about the session details below. We also had enough time to go swimming and kayaking in the lake and to play some nail-biting and yet hilarious cricket matches. Some of us managed to play board games right into the night and sit in front of a bonfire under the constellation-studded, deep blue night sky. Nothing beats family time with one another in the church!

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One of the best things church camps can facilitate is the Biblical quality of reflection. Continue reading “Marg Church Camp 2015 – Gospel Fluency”

Why Should Any Christian Be Gospel-Fluent?

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Did you know that Christians can believe lies about God?

No Christian, I hope, desires to do so. But I am certain that whenever we sin, we have already believed something about God that is not true.

Lies and wrong IDs
We all live out the identities we believe in and find our purpose and satisfaction in.

A woman may claim to be a disciple-maker. She might say her aim is to be an exemplary employee and win souls for Jesus at her workplace. But if all that excites her is the monthly SMS notification about her account having been credited with a huge salary, God knows she has little to do with making disciples; she is living out the identity of a money-lover.

She has believed in the lie that money in her bank account will give her more pleasure or security than Jesus could.

A pastor might say he loves his wife and children to bits and might have provided a house, cars and all the snazzy gadgets they could enjoy in life. But at night when he has shut himself alone and his eyes and mind rove all over the dark side of the internet to get what his sexual desires want, God knows that he is living the identity of a pornography-lover.

He has believed in the lie that indulging in sexually impure fantasies will bring more pleasure to him than the presence of God could.

Scandal
It is possible that both these people are actually children of God. Oh, the scandal.

“How could you possibly say that someone so sinful is saved?”

Well, if you know me, I usually hesitate to say so. But to paraphrase John Owen’s observations – “Some lusts flare up over others… One lust can be greater in one man than another”. Chapter 6, Right Way to Kill Sin, Mortification of Sin in Believers.

We might be quick to say such people are definitely not Christians, who are supposed to be dead to sin and alive to God. I am tempted to say the same. And some might even be not truly Christian.

But I will fool myself if I promptly declare myself better than them. Selective amnesia is sinful amnesia. Surely we remember how we have easily repeated sins for years and how easily have swept them aside?

To continue- the people involved may feel “genuinely” sorry about their repeated patterns of sin and their self-absorption. They might feel the tearing guilt inside, the controlled-demolition of their conscience with the silent pleas of God the Holy Spirit in the background. They might fall on their knees by the bed, hands on the floor, saying through desperate tears –

“GOD, OH GOD I’M SO SORRY .. PLEASE FORGIVE ME. PLEASE FORGIVE ME, OH GOD OF GRACE!”

If the sins of over-spending, man-pleasing and lust had stopped, it would have made sense.
But maddeningly, this cycle repeats.

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Destroyed inside.

 

If you are a Christ-follower and are honest with yourself right now, you know sins can repeat in your life. Continue reading “Why Should Any Christian Be Gospel-Fluent?”

Men and Their Wandering Eyes!

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Has your wife ever caught you staring at some other woman?

Has your mother or sister ever caught you with your “wandering eyes”?

Who was your last victim?

The teenagers at the mall?

The new trainee at work?

The beautiful girl at church?

A poster made of paper?

Few people are aware of the fact that behind every single FIR lodged in Indian police stations against rapists or molesters, you will find culprits with wandering eyes.

As a man, I am certain wandering eyes are one of the key factors that lead men across India – and the world- to perpetrate widespread, unending rape and violations of women and children alike.

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“Be careful, little eyes, what you see”

But what are “wandering eyes”?

I would define it for the sake of this post as men, consciously or unconsciously, looking at Continue reading “Men and Their Wandering Eyes!”

Purity #3 : Gospel-Truths Will Conquer Sexual Temptation

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Have you faced lack of interest in reading or studying the Bible after giving in to sexual temptation?
I have. Either I couldn’t “find time”, or my “quiet time” would become two minute-long “The Fast and the Frustrated” affairs.
Even when I could find time, it would be as dry as sandpaper: there used to be tons of guilt over my sexual uncleanness- God used to feel distant and there was no motivation to know more about my dear Saviour Jesus.

Has this been your exprience? Ever wondered why all this happens?

1. Feast on God’s Word

We are beings who live by finding our satisfaction in things or people. Our spirits need spiritual food.

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Eat the right stuff.

The catch?

We were designed to find our soul’s joy only in the person of God our Father and our deepest sexual fulfillment in His designs (marriage or undefiled singleness).

Lust, sexually impure images or adultery, is spiritual poison for us. We will always choose between the feast of God and the feast of the Devil.

Which is why the Bible exhorts Christians to help ourselves to the great feast (Matt 4:4) offered within it! And to battle sexual impurity,

STEP #3: Starting now, remind yourself of the Good News by which you have been given new life, the very life of Christ. Continue reading “Purity #3 : Gospel-Truths Will Conquer Sexual Temptation”