January 14, 2011

Helpers in Christ Jesus

We read of two special people who identified with Paul in his profession. Aquila and Priscilla had a great part to play in the life of Paul. Although we find very little mentioned about them in the Bible, their lives and their ministry are very valuable lessons for each of us. Paul beautifully testifies of the them in Romans 16:3,4

Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.

Think about their ministry and the impact they had not just on Paul but on also all the churches of the Gentiles! We read further in 1 Cor. 16:19 that they had a church in their house.

However its worthy to trace down their beginnings. In Acts 18 we read briefly about their interactions with Paul. In the first few verses of the chapter we see them together tent-making. Later down from verse 18 we see them going with Paul to Ephesus. And then in the close of the chapter in verse 26 we see them teaching and instructing Apollos more perfectly in the way of God.

Through these few verses we see a valuable lesson being taught to us. A basic outline of the ministry of a disciple of Christ is being drawn out here. Along with Paul as a tent-maker, Aquila and Priscilla would definitely have more reasons to talk about Paul today. Listening to Paul, watching and observing his life and ministry would have been a time of rich learning for them.

Then we see them going along with Paul to Ephesus. Now they not only get to be observers of his ministry but to be a part of the ministry. They get to learn, exercise their gifts and be of service to God along with Paul.

And finally we see them with Apollos. There is no Paul around now. There is no one to look up to or guide them. All the lessons they learned thus far, they would have to apply it in this their ministry with Apollos. What a moment it would have been!

Who are the Pauls in our lives today we can look up to? It’s important to note that months were spent with learning with Paul. Much of our early lives is spend learning from the lives and testimonies of different people and hand in hand learning with them. Then comes those years of life where we need to apply all those things we’ve learnt; a God-given specific individual ministry that we got to strive in one day. And what a blessing it would be for us to receive a testimony like that which Aquila and Priscilla received from Paul and the churches of the Gentiles!

A Companion’s Ministry

When we think about Paul’s ministry, the names of those many people who accompanied him in his journeys comes often to our mind. And to think of the fact of taking a journey with a great servant of God does in itself bring all those Goosebumps running over your skin. Imagine the thrill and excitement, the people from different cultures you get to meet, the soldiers, the priests, the kings and all those other in power you get to meet, the various churches across the world you get to have fellowship with, the sacrifices to make, the persecutions you would have to face, the blessings to enjoy, the teachings to learn, and best of all to have someone as great as Paul to be your mentor, guide and partner in ministry.

At the same time, think of Paul who couldn’t have done his ministry without his companions.

Acts 18:5 - And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.

Think of the impact that the fellowship of Silas and Timotheus had on Paul. They came with tidings from Thessalonica about how the disciples of Christ fared after the persecution they faced by the Jews out there. They would have shared stories about the trials they had gone through and how God had been their help and support. Paul would’ve inquired about Jason whose house was assaulted by the Jews. Undoubtedly, Paul’s heart and soul would’ve been living each moment as they shared those stories and experiences.

Now think about the impact of their fellowship on Paul. “Paul was pressed in his spirit…” His heart became so burdened for the unbelieving Jews that he was pressed in his heart to testify to them that Jesus was Christ. What a ministry Silas and Timotheus had!

Who are the Pauls in our lives that we can minister to? Think about the ministry we do and how valuable our ministry can be to another person’s life. What is our response?

January 12, 2011

Facing Reality

Away from all the hopscotch and the rush of Mumbai, spending time with Sam Mathew uncle, George David uncle and others in Sawantwadi, Mhow and other places in Madhya Pradesh was really a refreshing and a pleasant one. Away from all the crowd, vehicles, media, peer, turmoil and responsibilities, a much needed break was underway.

In a some remote village surrounded by nature and simple people who really aren’t much concerned about all these pleasures of this world, all I did was to spend time getting life’s distorted puzzles together and getting perspectives aligned with God. Further being in the company of God’s people whose life in itself is an inspiration and challenge for me, practical examples were being laid down before me as I thought over life’s many purposes.

As the train roared passed those crowded stations of Mumbai, I was taking my journey back to where I belong. While the passion and enthusiasm was still burning within me, there came Mr. Satan knocking at my heart’s door with a truck load of world’s pleasures I wanted to leave behind saying. “Face it or not, this is reality!”  It didn’t take long for me to realize the rush of emotions that Satan was bringing in. Bombarded with hundreds of hoardings and banners, the crowd, the colourful people, their pitiful living conditions, the monotony of living, the competition, the poverty, the violence, the sex abuse, the political big dogs, the purposelessness of life here, the anxiety, the wretchedness…I was left stumped and silenced! This indeed is reality and I had to face it. I couldn’t blind my eyes to all this evil and wretchedness. I was humbled to my knees before God in heartfelt spiritual cries and mourning!

It still doesn’t seem to make sense to live life in this way that the world offers. The choices this world offers is so not what God would want me to follow after. Thinking about his ministry, the passion of his children to serve him, the working of Christ in the lives of many, the teachings that I learnt through those days away are all far too valuable to comprise with the things of this world. And yet being in this world and not of the world, I am daily being pressed hard by Satan’s evil forces. One thing that you could pray for is that I do not fall into the hands of the evil one.

January 11, 2011

Mission Mhow – the call

It started with a prayer. Long before, a month ago, during my college exams, in the bedroom all alone a prayer seeking for God’s guidance and his will to be accomplished in my life was offered.

Soon after my exams, I would have a vacation for a few weeks. And then it would be that same old story of not knowing what to do during the vacations. And after those few weeks would get over, I would look back wondering how exactly time flew by and not having done anything profitable, It had been in my mind to do something worthwhile this vacation. My friend had suggested that we two do an internship in some company. It sounded good to me, but yet wasn’t convinced about the idea. On the other hand, I had this desire to go and visit and spend some time with some of the servants of God labouring for God in different parts of India. I put both these desires to God in prayer and let him lead me. I shared my desires among my close friend group and asked them to pray about it.

Exams got over on the 28th and I still didn’t have any of these plans of mine working. It was rather hectic during those days, since after my exams had a lot of incomplete work to finish up. However, everyday as and when I remembered I put my hearts desires to God in prayer, hoping that he’ll show me his way and will for me.

I inquired with my friend about the internship plan and nothing much seemed to be happening with that plan. And with the trip plan, I hadn’t yet informed my parents as yet and time was running out. I further didn’t have a clear vision as to where to go. Nepal and Mhow were two of the places I really wanted to go to. Other places were Goa or Jharkand. If I really had to get tickets to any of these places, it had to be now or never. Tickets would soon run out as it was holiday season.

Then one evening, I gathered a little courage and told my mom about the trip I wish to take. She spontaneously told me to pray about it. I was happy that she liked the idea. Soon later I informed my dad too about it. He too looked pleased with the idea. It was the 31st of Dec. My mom, shared this idea with my aunt who readily replied that even my two cousins from Pune, Benji and Blesson, would like to join.

I was more than excited! With no tickets in hand and no plan actually in mind, I searched for trains over the internet to Mhow. And not to my surprise, all trains were full. No seats available in any train!

As i scrolled down the list of trains carefully, I came across this only train, a holiday special, that ran twice every week during Dec – Jan. And there were seats available in it! Immediately I got my dad to book three tickets on this train. The trip was happening!!


I immediately thanked God. It was as if that train was specially running for us exactly to our needs. It felt like God sent a Silas and Timotheus to accompany me  on my journey, when I heard that my cousins were also coming along. It assured me that God was in control and we were in his will. I was deeply encouraged and thrilled!

We left to Indore on 3rd Jan 2011 on our way to Mhow for a week long trip.