Cross

Four Kinds of Love

Four-Kinds-of-Love

                                                                                                      True love exudes the fragrance of many flowers

Bollywood movies have a cliche line that goes: “Pyar ka Doosra Naam Qurbani Hai,” meaning, “Another name for Love is Sacrifice.” How true!

The New Testament portion of the Bible was written in Greek. From the Christian perspective, in Greek, there are at least four words for the word love. Each has a distinct meaning. Let’s look at each of them.

  1. Philia (fil+ya): This is the love friends have for each other. You may be friendly with many people, but you can probably count on only a few who will actively come to your aid, should you ever be in deep trouble. Why? Because they are the ones who love you. That emotion or bond towards you is called philia. As they say, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” The others are simply acquaintances that are friendly, and probably well-meaning too. By all means, treat them well, for some of your acquaintances of today could become your best buddies tomorrow!
    Drawback
    : Camaraderie between friends can sometimes cross rational limits. When that happens, the person could begin ignoring their duty and sense of belonging towards their family members. Such people tend to hang out more with friends and may even detest the company of their family.

  2. Eros (ee+row+s): Although this is basically a romantic or sexual love, in the context of Christian values, it is the love that a husband and his lawfully wedded wife have for each other. Contrary to the entertainment industry’s portrayal of eros, this type of love is not what engaged couples have for each other. Also, an emotional or sexual attraction between individuals of the same sex in the context of Christian values is not eros, simply because the Bible does not permit such a relationship. It must be between a husband and his wife.
    Over a period of time, a healthily married couple would usually come to love each other emotionally, in addition to romantically and sexually. They are likely to care deeply for each other, and thus their own selves too (or at least, they ought to). At this stage, you can say, their eros graduates to what is called pragma, or mature love between long-married couples. Simply having sex with or sexual attraction towards a person of the opposite gender does not constitute a Godly kind of eros.
    Drawback: Erotic love other than towards your lawfully wedded spouse of the opposite sex can lead to health and morality problems. So it’s not an ideal type of love – just one type of love to be given and received within limits.

  3. Storge (storr+gay): This is a big one – the one that comes with a lot of sentiments attached. Often, rightly so. The love that parents have for their children (not the other way around) is called storge. Parents, especially mothers, often say that there just isn’t any kind of love that is superior to or even equal to their love for their kids.
    Parents will usually go to great lengths to protect their children and fulfill their every need (within reasonable limits) as best as they can. Jesus Christ says in Matthew 6:32, “…your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” Do babies and infants not depend on their parents to have their every need fulfilled? They don’t even know what most of their needs are, yet their parents do and make sure these are met. Even growing children and adolescents depend on their parents for their food, shelter, clothing (accessories included!), school fees, toys, sports gear…and the reassuring hug. Note that storge is basically familial love, and is not restricted to parental love, but could extend to other family members.
    Drawback: Parents can sometimes become so overbearing on their children that the children may never develop the confidence to take on the world alone. At some other times, they may spoil their kids for choice, leading to the child eventually becoming self-centered, rather than service-centered. It becomes a case of “Well, the storge just backfired.” And not only that, parents too are subject to emotional ups and downs. They may not always be at their kids’ beck and call, even if they want to.

  4. Agape (uh+gaa+pee): From the Christian perspective, all the above kinds of love have one drawback or another. Do you know why? Because such love is initiated by a human being. And by nature, we humans are not perfect in our own right. So what is the kind of love that is perfect…that is not given on merit and that cannot be over-given? It is God’s love for his earthly Creation, especially towards mankind. It is the ultimate form of sacrificial love. God knew that man has sinned against him, yet he chose his Son Jesus to incarnate and die on our behalf, because he had compassion on us, knowing that we could not bear the penalty of our own sins or pay the price for our forgiveness. To seal the deal, he raised Jesus from the dead, giving eternal life to all who believe in him.
    Drawback: Drawback? Well, there’s only one – the beneficiary of agape may not reciprocate. But when it comes to God’s love, he loves us with what Charles Finney, that great revival specialist, calls ‘disinterested benevolence‘. God does not love us because he wants it back from us, but because he wants us to be happy. It is superior to parental love in that God is perfect, while human parents are not. And therefore, even though God did not need to, he put into motion the great (yet simple) plan for our salvation. 

Learn more about what God’s plan for our salvation is.

Posted by Ketan Rindani in Bible Study, Cross, God, Grace, Marriage, Sacrifice, 0 comments

Is Christianity a Religion?

No. Christianity is not a religion. Then what is it? It is all of this:

  • Christianity is freedom from religion.
  • Christianity is the state of restored fellowship between God and Man. The fellowship was broken in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve sinning, but was restored by Jesus Christ when he died on the Cross 2,000 years ago to bear the penalty of our sins and to pay the price for our forgiveness.
  • Christianity is something other than a lifestyle, because even the hippie style is a lifestyle, but God does not approve of it.
  • To be Christian means to be a Christ-ian. So those who follow this faith or path should try to obey the commandments given by Jesus Christ. He said that “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21, ESV) So if you follow or want to follow Christianity, then the benchmarks have already been set by Jesus’ words. It is not easy, but he makes materialization of victory possible, no matter how difficult your situation – if you choose to elicit his help and obey him.
  • Christianity is experiential. You cannot look at it from the outside and make conclusions. Once you repent of your sins, believe in Jesus’ incarnation, death and resurrection for you, and accept him as your exclusive Saviour and Lord, life becomes different. Then you won’t need to read this blog post again. You will be equipped to write it with your life.

If you have already made Jesus the centre of your life, then keep reading this blog and explore the earlier 100+ posts. If you have not yet made Jesus the centre of your life, first read this post and then read this post.

 

Posted by Ketan Rindani in Christian, Cross, Forgiveness, Gospel, Grace, Life Issues, Mercy, Salvation, 0 comments

Crossword Puzzle – Have You Solved It Yet?

Crossword Puzzle

Have you solved the Crossword Puzzle yet?

Read the following statements carefully:

  • The most difficult puzzle in the world to solve is the crossword.
  • The easiest puzzle in the world to solve is the crossword.

Why? Read on…

Jesus Christ says in the Bible, addressing God the Father:

“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;” – Matthew 11:25 (ESV)

Are you a born again Christian? Then you have pretty much solved the crossword puzzle. If you are not a born again Christian yet, first go here.

Crossword puzzle solved in 2 steps:

  1. Cross = Our hope is found only in Jesus Christ and him crucified and risen. He is now our defence counsellor.
  2. Word = Once born again (saved), the quality or richness of our life is directly dependent on the extent to which we allow the Word of God – the Bible – to have the right of way in our lives. The Word is also our weapon of offensive warfare – our line of attack on the Enemy camp.

It’s a tragedy that often, educated, learned intellectuals who demystify complex theories, miss the simplicity of God’s plan for their salvation. On the other hand, simple-minded poor, illiterate people, often solve this mystery, with God’s help, because they have created room in their hearts for Him.

What do you think? Share your view below. And share the solution to this crossword puzzle on your social networks. God bless you.

Posted by admin in Bible, Born-again, Cross, Gospel, Jesus, Life Issues, Salvation, Word, Word of God, 0 comments

Santa Claus – Convenient Replacement for Jesus Christ

Here’s my Christmas post that comes to you 5 days late – or 360 days early – depends how you look at it. Before the next Christmas, let’s settle a few things…

  1. Where is Santa Claus the rest of the year? 
  2. Who IS Santa?
  3. Is Santa correctly spelled as S-a-t-a-n?

These questions beg being answered. So let me give my two cents here!

  1. Where is Santa Claus the rest of the year?
    He is hidden from view except during the Christmas season. He is a spirit, a movement. A counterfeit for Jesus Christ. While it may or may not be a sin to accept goodies from him (ask Jesus about it), keep in mind that he is not the Provider. All he can do is get a human to don his attire and spring sweets and toys from his bag and give a few light moments to his audience. He cannot save a dying man or restore marriages or finances. He certainly cannot give you a glimpse of what to expect the other side of life – more life…or agony…or cessation of existence (also called Nirvana). So if you do not see him the rest of the year, do not be surprised. He did not say in the Bible, that “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Jesus did. So expect only Jesus to be with you 24 x 7 x 52.
  2. Who IS Santa?
    Legend has it that he was a European saint called Nicolas. Saint Nicolas became Santa Claus over time. He loved kids and would give gifts to children. I just hope he taught those kids about the giver of every good gift and every perfect gift – the Father of lights, God Himself. But it’s amazing how this concept was preserved for so many centuries. I think there is a malevolent spiritual force behind the Santa Claus movement. If the saint is in Heaven, he must be feeling sorry he ever gave gifts to kid (thank God there is no sorry feeling in Heaven – but only clear knowledge of one’s works)!
  3. Is Santa correctly spelled as S-a-t-a-n?
    Not the original one. But Satan has definitely hijacked Christmas and taken focus away from Jesus Christ to someone who looks like a poor caricature of Jesus. Jesus does not dance and roar with laughter – at least not on Earth. But Santa Claus makes all the right marketing moves. Santa is for the Happy Holidays culture. Jesus is for the Merry Christmas culture.
 

So what should you do?

 
Get the real deal. What’s more important – getting a big bar of chocolate or a close friend in who will stand by you in life’a thick and thin? You decide. You decide if you want to follow the one who put on a red robeor the one who created a red robe for himself, shedding blood and being covered with it until every sin of yours was paid for in full. If you feel Jesus deserves your attention more than Santa, head over to this post and do yourself a favour.
 
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Getting People Saved Through Altar Calls



For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 

– Romans 10:13,14 (ESV)


  • Does your church believe in giving altar calls? 
  • Does your pastor ask unsaved people to repeat the sinner’s prayer after him?
  • What background does he give before asking them to pray the sinner’s prayer?
  • Does he talk about heaven and hell or does he just say something that gives a peaceful feeling that “Thank God, God loves me”?

Well, not everyone who prays the sinner’s prayer might be saved. God knows if they really meant it, or whether they know the basis of such a prayer. The Bible says, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” It does not say that all those who pray the sinner’s prayer shall be saved. It says that you must do at least 4 main things to get saved from hell:

  1. Repent of your sins
  2. Believe that Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten Son and he incarnated as a human being
  3. He died (to bear the penalty of your sins and pay the price for your forgiveness)
  4. He rose back to life (to give you eternal life in heaven)

The Bible expresses and/or implies these points. But besides these, there are some finer nuances as well, like believing that you cannot save yourself, accepting him as your exclusive Saviour, etc.

I read an amazing article this morning on How to Botch an Altar Call. It is up on the Way of the Master site – a website of Living Waters ministry by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. If you are a Christian, you must read that article without fail. It not just has satire in it, but it also educates you on what all must go into an altar call for it to be effective. 

And as for leading people to Christ through prayer, the Sinner’s Prayer on this blog should be adequate. If not, please let me know in the comments below how I can improve it. But first, head over to learn how to botch an altar call!

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Evangelism: Only 10 Percent of World Born Again?

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” – 1 Corinthians 3:16

How many temples of false gods does the world have – can you hazard a guess? Less than 700 million I’m sure. And how many temples of the Living God does the world have? More than 700 million people in the world are born again – actually, close to a billion of us are born again. So who should call the shots? Of course, born again Christians.

Then why has this not happened till the time of writing this? Because of ignorance, theological differences, lethargy, lukewarm hearts, fleshly nature (not dying to self), unwillingness to unite and coordinate, etc. Basically, because of not using the mind of Christ that God has given to us at our new birth.

Our Saviour (and Lord) Jesus Christ has given us the following command in Mark 16:15…
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

If every year, each born again person leads only 1 person to Christ, in 3.5 years, everyone will have been savedOn average, each Christian has to lead only 3.5 people to Christ. That’s it! Maybe you need to preach the good news to many more.  You can sow the seed and someone else may reap the harvest. Your loved one might not believe your preaching but may receive the words of an unknown believer. Never mind – you got your loved one into God’s Kingdom, right? That’s what matters.

So let’s go and evangelize – whether face to face, on Facebook or by sharing your personal testimony. Lead people to Christ by using this sample sinner’s prayer.

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Easter Sunday: Wake Up! The Son Has Risen

 

 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” 2 Corinthians 5:17, 18

When we wake up in the morning, we get to welcome a new day. It’s the sun that makes this possible. The sun set the previous evening and rose this morning. And so we could welcome today with open arms. Well, the Son (of God) died on Good Friday, was buried and came back to life on the third day. So by the same token, it’s the Son who makes it possible for us to put to death our old, sinful and wretched life, and put on the New Life that God has envisioned for us.


Some people say Easter was apparently a pagan festival celebrated by people in some regions of the world. They worshipped a fertility goddess. So the Easter egg may have been a symbol of fertility. Some other people believe that the Easter egg is a symbol of the empty tomb of Jesus. What’s the truth about Easter, then? Well, I think it does not matter. What matters is that you believe that Jesus Christ is God’s answer to save mankind from sin and its effects, 
which is eternal death in hell.
Read this blog post to find out how you can be a beneficiary of God’s plan of salvation for mankind.

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God Saves Households – Not Just Individuals

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” – Acts 16:31 (KJV)

Let’s continue from the first part in this series on family salvation promises in the Bible. If you have not read that part yet, head over to Salvation of Loved Ones – Comfort in Times of Discouragement and then come back here.

God is good not just at shooting promises off His mouth. He backs up His Word too. He does not utter (write/promise) any word unless He is serious about bringing it to pass. It applies both ways – in matters of judgement and in matters of forgiveness (or salvation/deliverance/healing etc.) too. Read further, beyond verse 31 in Acts 16:

Verses 32, 33: “And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.”

We see that the jailer’s family too believed and all of them got baptized in water before daybreak. Take that as proof that God fulfills the promises He makes, provided we fulfill the part we need to. In this case, our part is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (believing that he is the Son of God who died for the forgiveness of our sin and who came back to life to give us everlasting life). So if you are born again, you have already fulfilled your part. So God fulfilled the first part of His promise – He saved you. Now He will also save your entire household.

“But my family members are not yet saved” you say. Yes. One of the factors preventing their salvation can be your doubting God’s willingness and ability to save them NOW. If you doubt that God really wants to save them or that He really can save them, flip through the pages of history and you will find that in spite of maybe nobody to believe or pray for your salvation, He did save you, did he not? How much more then, would He want to save your folks – with you praying for them and standing on the promises of His Word (not yours). Read through a list of promises and prophecies in the Bible and their fulfillment. You will soon discover that you are dealing with and trusting on the God who has always delivered what He has promised. If anyone, it is He who is trustworthy. You can calmly and without being anxious, place your trust on our God Jehovah, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Rest assured, God will never let you down, because He will never let His Word down. He has promised an He shall fulfill.

Will continue this series. If any of your family members got saved in the meantime, do leave a comment and allow me to rejoice with you! Until then the peace of God Yahweh Shalom be with you.


Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” – Isaiah 26:3
Amen.

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Salvation of Loved Ones – Comfort in Times of Discouragement

Today we begin a series on God’s promises in the Bible, to save not only individuals, but their entire households, through that individual’s activated faith. We will look at Bible verses and meditate (mentally dwell on) these promises.

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” – Psalm 12:6 (KJV)

Have you ever felt discouraged praying for the salvation of your loved ones and not seeing them receive Jesus? If you have, do not worry. Read the verse above again. 

God is true to His Word. His Word is a Gentleman’s word. As goes the cliché, God says what He means and means what He says. He has said it and will perform it. “Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” (Jeremiah 1:12 – ESV) In fact, He is eager to perform His Word speedily, if you go by the King James Version: “Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.” (Emphasis added)

Do not just look at the present rejection of Jesus by your loved ones. Look ahead through the ages and see a picture of Heaven, with your future generations standing before the throne of God. Know that they will thank God for being able to stand before Him to worship Him, because one ancestor of theirs chose to stand his ground – you! You are the one because of whom thousands of your generations and their spouses will have eternal life on Earth and in Heaven. But you can stand only because there was one who humbled himself before God the Father. And his name is Jesus – God the Son.

So cheer up. Heaven is banking on you to be a sticky note on which are imprinted the promises of God. Satan’s fiery darts cannot rip off this sticky note, if you are grounded on the promises of salvation found in the Bible.

At some point, you have to decide and settle the fact in your heart and mind – that God’s Word is in your favour, it is sure and it is unchanging. When He promises it, He fulfills it. So just believe that God is good and He wants to save your folks, and that He does not lie. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” The point here is not that man says lies – whether or not you are born again, you should not lie. The point is that man has the capacity to lie, but God does not have that capacity. Satan the devil is the father of lies. God is the opposite of Satan – so He cannot say lies. Also, the meaning of the word ‘repent’ is ‘change’. God does not change His mind. God has decreed salvation for your household and it shall come to pass. You are the only breaker – the one who can lean on and trust God’s Word and watch God’s salvation come to pass. Or the one who can doubt God’s intention, willingness and ability.

So choose to be the former. Trust in Him, as per Psalm 118:8…

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”

Stay tuned for more in this series!


If your loved ones’ hearts are convicted and they want to receive Jesus, then head over to Good News Friday and have them pray the Sinner’s Prayer. God and I bless you and your loved ones!

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God is Generous and Unconditionally Loving

God knew that there will be some people who will reject Jesus and therefore Him. He knew that because of this wrong choice, they will not benefit from the blood that Jesus shed for them on the Cross. Yet He chose to make healing available.to even them (through Jesus being whipped before being crucified) – this, despite knowing that He will never hear “Father!” from their lips, to address their Creator. Oh – how generous and good God the Father is! Truly worthy to be believed in – and worthy of praise from all of His Creation.


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