Estrangement and Belongedness in the Ultimate Sacrifice of God

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…” (John 1:10-12)

The sense of belonging is an amazing epistemic quality among humans. The animal world is not without it: the lioness with her cubs, the elephant with her calves, and the eagle with her eaglets portray a picture of attachment that are the subject of many a story, movie, and a documentary novel. But, in humans the sense is qualitatively different. It is epistemic and existential. Martin Buber talked of its occurrence in two worlds of relationships: the I-It (related to the world of utility) and the I-Thou (related to the world of relational bonds). Where the sense of I-Thou doesn’t exist, dehumanization occurs. Estrangement is a horrific aftermath of a loss of the Thou in the I-Thou world of epistemic and existential sensibility. Added to that, this is also the world where values (both aesthetic and moral) are a reality beyond any materialistic, scientific recognition. The sense is spiritual. The world is spiritual. Therefore, loneliness, boredom, emptiness, and rootlessness are not causes but symptoms of disturbance in the world of I-Thou. Their persistence will result in the human person seeking escapism in some alternate I-It world (sensations (drugs, sex, alcohol, etc) or anti-sensation (sleep, suicide).

Volumes can be written on this topic. But, let’s focus on the verse before us today. When John talks about the Word (God the Son) being in the world, the word “world” comprehends both the physical and the human. The human, in fact, is responsible for how the world treats God. The human is the world. Now, it was through the Son that the world was brought into existence – the world that belongs to humans, since it was given to them. But, humanity fell into the corruption of sin and the bondage of death (and with it the entire creation was made subject to bondage).
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope
Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Death, in essence, was not merely physical. It was spiritual, epistemic, existential, aesthetic, and ethical. Sin brought estrangement from God (the ultimate Thou in the relational set). Yet, the umbilical cord was not snapped, or else man would have sunk into diabolical hellishness. We see strands of love and belongedness and a deep quest for God in the hearts of men. Distortions only occur where the I-Thou world has been fully erased. The Scripture records that God didn’t leave humans alone; His spirit kept striving with them, and through prophets and holy men of God in every tribe, He communicated to them an anticipation of liberation that was soon to come:
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
The reason why the Son of God came to the world was because the world was made through Him – it ultimately belonged to Him. It was lost; yet, it was His. He was willing to leave alone the 99 in order to seek this one that was lost. But the world did not recognize Him, His own didn’t receive Him. There are sharp, acute, and yet distinct pictures here. The pictures are sharper in prose than any poetry can portray.

The world is not the world as a whole and yet it is the world as a whole. Not everybody failed to recognize Him, and not everybody rejected Him; and, yet in the moment of the Sacrifice, that was what happened. The world as a whole was represented by the leaders (both religious and political) who put to death the Son of God. The depth of estrangement and contortion was manifest in the kind of death administered: the death of the Cross. It was the world that failed to recognize Him – the world that belonged to Him. Yet, the real story is not that the world rejected Him; the real story is that He was willing to let the world reject Him. Divine self-emptying, divine servanthood, and divine crucifixion are powerful themes that shock the philosophy of religion. Nietzsche called the greatest of all sins to be the murder of God (deicide). There was nothing more sinful than that. On the reverse, the greatest of all righteousness fulfilled was in the self-giving of the Son of God. This self-giving brought an end to the history of hostility between man and God. It cancelled all debts. Man had committed the greatest of all crimes, and God had allowed it to be done to Him in the ultimate divine sacrifice. The Cross was where Justice and Love met vis-à-vis. It was where man affirmed his estrangement and God affirmed His belongedness. It was where God accepted man as he was. The one act of righteousness by the Son of God nullified forever the writ of accusation against all humanity. The veil was torn away; the entrance is paved, now the ball is in our court. He has accepted us. Do we receive Him or choose to remain estranged?

Therefore, “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
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The Dawn of the E-Age and the End of Paper

It has been variously predicted that paper will go extinct within the next few decades. Enter the age of electronic money, electronic books, and of course, electronic communication. It is the age of Google, Facebook, Skype, Scribd, Wikipedia, and YouTube. Emailing has superceded the courier and ipads are replacing the school bag and the library.

One should be aware by now that anyone having an internet connection has access to the largest library in the world. It is a library larger than men have ever dreamed of. The search engines provide the most up to date indexes ever. Much information is available free of cost. Also, books can be viewed, borrowed, bought, and downloaded. They are now available in different formats, kindle, epub, pdf, djvu, and simple txt to name a few. Most of these can be viewed on smartphones even. Many are turning to ipads as the essential book reader and research tool. And, interestingly, the Government of India has announced its intention to make available tablet PCs to students at a cost as low as Rs.1750 ($35) only. The new device is called "Aakash" [See Aakash, IBN News]. The Government seems a bit unhappy with paper. It encourages uploading of documents through internet and requests customers to not print railway tickets on paper, rather carry them on mobile phones or laptops. Check this GIF from the IRCTC.CO.IN page for instance.

There are some disadvantages of the internet for sure. But, then the adage of Sir Francis Bacon applies to this age as well: "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention," with this caveat, "some must be avoided as one would avoid poison". The fruit of the tree of knowledge in itself is fatal anyway.


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Shudh Ek Jalan (Pure & Holy Passion) - Hindi Worship Song (Domenic M)




ENGLISH LYRICS
One Pure & Holy Passion by William Murphy

Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me one magnificent obsession
Jesus, give me a glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after You
To know and follow hard after You
To grow as Your disciple in the Truth
This world is empty pale and poor
Compared to knowing You my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after You

HINDI LYRICS
Trs/Version. Domenic Marbaniang
(w/ slight alterations)

Mujh mein Tu shudh ek jalan de
Mujh mein ek adbhut umang de
Yeshu mujh mein aisi ek arju Tu bhar
Ki chalun sarvada Tere peeche mei
Ki chalun sarvada Tere peeche mei
Ki badun Tera shishya banke mei
Ye duniya shunya aur bejaan
Tujh mein hi meri pehchaan
Le chal mujhe, Tere peeche daudun mein.
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Success in God's World

By the world's definition of success, the devil is the Leadership Guru ultimate... If he wrote a leadership book today, it would be the ultimate bestseller and bag multiple awards. He runs the largest industry and has the widest influence, anyway. If you want success in God's world, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him regardless of what the world says.
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The Word is Life and Light (Jn.1:4)

‎"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (Jn.1:4).

There are many words that your ears will hear and eyes may read this morning; but remember only Jesus Christ, God's Word in Flesh, gives you life and light.

Some words slay, some words stirr;
Some words silent; some, hidden still;
Some built kingdoms; some bartered some;
But none gives Life and Light like God's only Son!

~ Have a Blessed Day ~
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The Problem of Evil

1 . The Problem of Evil is a problem that relates to Theology, Cosmology, Anthropology,
Ethics & Politics, Soteriology, and Eschatology, chiefly; then, also to the other doctrines.
Therefore, its solution is pivotal.
2. Any theology that claims to be systematic, but fails to address the Problem of Evil
sufficiently is severely defective. It cannot be systematic; and if it is, its foundations are
weak.
3. Any Systematic Theology that relegates the Problem of Evil to the realm of mysteries is a
blank theology.
4. To unstrap the Problem of Evil is to touch the heart of reality; to feel the heartbeat of
God.

The brow of Prince Siddhartha wrinkled up in deep pondering. He thought hard, and forgot
the world around – all the whisperings of servants, chirpings of birds, and the presence of his
wife nearby. The four scenes that he had recently seen occupied his thoughts as the dusk
turned into the dark night. Sickness, decay, and death on one hand and the tranquility of the
ascetic on the other hand – these two contradictory sights that he had seen troubled him.
Finally, he donned the saffron robe and left his palace in search for Truth.

If a philosopher can denounce his philosophy over a toothache, his philosophy is worthless. It
is pain that makes one a philosopher; it is the philosophy that solves the problem of pain that
is worthy to be called philosophy in the end.

THE QUESTIONS:
Why is there evil in the world? Why is there a world? Is there a history-healing solution for
the problem of evil? because, if there is only a future solution, the past is left unameliorated.

FURTHER QUESTIONS:
The mother, with her four kids, looked at the SS man and asked, “See them, is it really
possible that you are going to have such lovely kids killed?” He didn’t answer. A few hours
after this, the kids were gassed in Hitler’s gas chambers.

If God governs the world, why does crime abound, why do accidents happen, and why is the
world bereft of peace? If God does not govern the world, then is it free of His jurisdiction? If
not, why doesn’t He govern?

PROBINGS:
Gautama: The root of evil is tanha, desire. One experiences evil as long as one experiences attachment. The solution is enlightenment.

In effect, the problem is subjective (epistemic and moral) and not objective. No God or
people are to blame for evil.

Upanisads: The root of evil is maya, the self-delusion of the Non-dual into differentiatedreality. In reality, there is no evil; because there is neither subject nor media nor object, neither the experiencer nor the medium of experience nor the experienced. The solution is enlightenment.

In effect, the problem is subjective (epistemic) and not objective. No God or people are to blame for evil.

Mahavira: The root of evil is karma, the physical aggregations of worldly indulgence. The more one indulges in the world, the more karma he accumulates leading to bondage to the world and consequent cycle of birth and rebirth, punarjanma. Evil is himsa, violence, that brings bondage. The solution is ahimsa and meritorious works, punya.

In effect, the problem is subjective (epistemic and moral) primarily. No God is to blame for evil. However, people do cause evil and suffer the consequences of it in the next birth. But,
one’s salvation from evil is one’s own responsibility. No one else is to blame, ultimately.

Augustine of Hippo: The cause of evil is two-fold: natural evil is caused by demons or fallen angels and moral evil is caused by sinful humans. The solution is eschatological: the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (grounded on the atoning work of Christ).

In effect, the problem is both subjective (moral) and objective (caused by others).

FURTHER PROBINGS:
The first three solutions apply to a universe where God does not exist, where that universe is
eternal. Non-dualism is also a kind of atheism, in which the existence of an objective God is
denied.

The fourth solution doesn’t answer the question why God allows evil, apart from the
proposition that God cannot obstruct free will. However, who is to blame if the policemen are
required to allow crimes to take place, while they are present, in order to uphold the right to
freedom (or free willing), in hope that justice will be meted out in the end?

SOLUTIONS:
The clue is from the Word. This is not philosophical theology.
1. This is not the best of all possible worlds.
2. If this is not the best of all possible worlds, this is not final.
3. If this is not final, this points to the final.
4. The final is the perfect.

1 . If freedom of will can exist without freedom to evil in the New Creation, then freedom of
will without freedom to evil is a possibility.
2. If freedom of will without freedom to evil doesn’t exist in this world, then this world is
evil.
3. If this world is evil, then it does not belong to God.
4. If this world belonged to God and now does not belong to God, then He has abandoned it
to destruction.
5. If this world is abandoned to destruction, then this world is cureless.
6. If this world is abandoned to destruction, then evil will escalate towards its end (by “evil”
both moral and physical are meant).
7. The world is evil escalating towards destruction.

1 . If evil escalates, then evil hasn’t reached finality.
2. If evil escalates, then evil is not infinite.
3. When evil reaches finality, it will destroy itself (A fully rotten apple is self-destroyed).

1 . If evil is discerned, then moral freedom exists. For, only sentient, moral beings can
discern the difference between good and evil (moral knowledge exists).
2. If moral freedom exists, then moral retribution exists.
3. If moral retribution exists, then the moral law exists.
4. If the moral law exists, then the moral law-giver exists.
5. If the moral law-giver exists, then He must be good and all-powerful. For, if not so His
law would be evil and He would be incapable of executing the Law.
6. The moral law-giver must be God.

1 . If God is good and all-powerful, then He would save the evil world.
2. If the world is evil, then it will die.
3. If the world is bound to die, then it can only be saved through resurrection.
4. If the world is to be saved through resurrection, then it must have the cause of
resurrection.
5. Only God can be the cause of resurrection.
6. Therefore, the salvation of the world consists in God becoming the cause of resurrection
within the world.
7. In the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of Christ, God became the cause of
resurrection within the world for those who accept the cause (Spirit of resurrection) while
alive on earth.
8. Thus, only those who accept the cause while living can experience the resurrection from
the dead and the justification of Jesus Christ.


Domenic Marbaniang, 2010
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Dealing with Rejection the Jesus Way



To be rejected and to feel rejected are two different things. The former is an event; the latter, an experience, a choice. Every choice involves a selection and a rejection. Because somebody has made a choice not to select us in some kind of a relationship (society, job, friendship, marriage, etc) doesn’t mean that the rejection is universal. You are not universally rejected. There are still some who accept you. And, even if there is nobody, you are the choice of God, because it was His choice to create you as you are. He didn’t create you for anybody else so much as He has created you to be His child and beloved one; and our relationship with others only must proceed out of our relationship with Him.

Leah: Human Rejection is Not Divine Rejection

We know of Leah in the Bible who was, in a way, rejected by her father (he wanted to marry her off as soon as possible), her society, and her husband Jacob. The only reason given was she wasn’t beautiful and had weak eyes. But, the Bible makes it clear that she was accepted by God. Do you know that the priestly family and the royal family both descended from her sons Levi and Judah? In her lineage were great priests, prophets, and kings; but, even greater, the Son of God became flesh in her line of descendents. Jesus was born of the tribe of Judah. She is a great example of a strong woman because she never allowed anybody’s rejection of her to make her feel unworthy and lost. She knew who she was and knew what she was supposed to do in the context that she was born and wedded into. Today, a great part of World History (Judeo-Christian) owes its distinctiveness to her courage to be what she was.

Job: Absolute Stability in the Midst of Adverse Storms

It is usually not a good feeling when one is rejected for reasons that one is not directly responsible for. Also, it is even painful when one is rejected for reasons of being misunderstood. Job was someone who both fell into adversity and was also gravely misunderstood by his own friends. Of course, his servants left him and despised him when he became bankrupt – their relationship was only materialistic, anyway (they used to crave his acceptance because they needed money). But, the greatest pain came when his friends called him an evil and wicked person and argued that his adversity was the result of his sins. The greatness of Job is found in the fact that though rejection had touched his bones, he never lost gripped over his view of God and of himself. His memory did not falter due to adversity; his hopes did not die because of his adversaries. The Bible says that God rewarded him two-fold in the end for his faithfulness towards Him.

Jesus: Rejected by Men, of Men, for Men

Yet, there is no picture of rejection so acute as the picture of Jesus humiliated and nailed on the Cross of Calvary. The Bible talks of Him as the One who was “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3). The despisal was so bitter that they wanted Him to die the severest death possible and felt no moral remorse about it. Yet, on the Cross He prayed to His Father to forgive them and promised to the repentant thief that he would be with Him in paradise. His connection with His Father and His will was perfect and fully independent of what people thought about, said of, and did to Him. Therefore, “the Stone which the builders rejected has become the Chief Cornerstone” (Matthew 21:42). The cross might have been the ultimate symbol of rejection to the world; it was the ultimate symbol of triumph in the sight of heaven, a triumph over reasons that separated humanity from God (Colossians 2:14,15).

God doesn’t forsake His people. His arms are ever opened. However, this lifetime is the time of choices. When somebody repents, the Father’s arms receive that person with great joy, because He is the Father. In going away, actually, it is not God who rejects a person, but a person turning his back on God. Yet, He waits with open arms, and His love pursues us wherever we go.

The Bible also talks of God as the King. And, in this aspect, rejection of the King is a political crime with consequences of eternal banishment of anyone, even if he were a prince, who has rebelled against the laws of the Kingdom. So, Biblical warnings are serious. The Kingdom of God is not a democracy where the leader is elected by majority of votes; it is a reality that is eternal and must be accepted as such. Rejecting God is like rejecting oxygen and trying to breathe without it, like rejecting the ground beneath our feet and trying to still be grounded on it. It is a self-contradictory experience. Our rejection of God doesn’t affect God; it affects us.

In closing, let me underscore a few Jesus Principles with regards to dealing with rejection:
  1. Do not let your feelings of rejection overpower your acceptance before God. He has not rejected you, and that is the eternal fact. He created you for a purpose and the purpose is more real than what people feel, think, do, or say. Even Jesus felt forsaken on the cross when He cried "My God My God why have You forsaken Me!" But, at the end, He knew He could submit His spirit into the Father's hands, because He was acceptable before the Father though the world had rejected Him. The Father had not rejected Him.
  2. If you have been rejected by someone you deeply loved, remember that this is not a surprise to God though it may look a shock to you. Therefore, prepare not to be offended; and if you have been, destroy the feelings by faith in God's control over your life. Love them still whether they betray, forsake, or deny; because, the pursuit of love will win someone who had a heart of love beneath the mask of inhibition (Matthew 26:23, 49, 50; John 21:17).
  3. Do not commit yourself to any human because they seem to be accepting you. Human acceptance is usually selfish in nature (John 2:24)
  4. Never expect praise and honor from men for being true to God (John 5:44). Do not compromise your faith in order to feel accepted. Such acceptance is bondage.
  5. Never try to please men. Don’t put any human at the center. Do only things that please the Father (John 8:29).
  6. Do not let anybody’s rejection make you forget your identity and mission before God (Luke 4:18-30). Do not die because people want you dead. Remember “He passed through the midst of them and went His way.”
  7. Learn to respect freedom of choice to be independent, though not against you (Luke 11:23).
  8. Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44).
  9. Rejoice when the world hates you because it hates Jesus, because this shows that your witness is clear and that your light is truly shining out so that they know you belong to Christ (Matthew 5:12). But, never do something or say something that will give a false caricature of Christ and become a stumbling block for people.
  10. Be faithful to God, be faithful to your family, and be faithful to those whom God has placed within your circle of responsibility; for that is the whole meaning of your life (John 17:4; 13:1; 19:25-27; 21:15-17).

© Domenic Marbaniang, 2011
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Is Money All One Needs?


I recently heard a mother say something like this: “I want my children to get the best of education, because education and money is all one needs at the end of the day. If you got good education, it’ll help make money, and if you got money, you got respect, you got a place, a position, a standing in society. If you don’t have money, you are a nobody.”

In contrast, Jesus made it very clear: “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Lk. 12:15). He told the Parable of the Rich Fool, that we know. The Fool thought that his unprecedented success in business had now set him for life. He got life. But God called him a fool since his death was ordained for that same night, and his success in business could not stop it nor follow him beyond the grave. On that same night, the rich fool would find himself before God in the most impoverished condition; because what he hadn’t spent for the poor and for the kingdom of God had remained behind for other men to use or squander. He had invested nothing in the kingdom that rules both heaven and earth; and so, he lost life both here and in the hereafter.

O Henry said it well, “We can’t buy one minute of time with cash; if we could, rich people would live longer.”

Jesus poses the deeper question, “What does a man gain if he gains the whole world, but loses his own soul?” He, therefore, commanded us to be rich toward God, i.e., rich in things of God. He told us to have treasures in heaven and not merely store up things on earth. To His disciples, He said “Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing” (Lk. 12:23). He commanded us to change the focus from earning bread to doing the will of God, to change the focus from establishing our own security on earth to giving ourselves up fully for the kingdom of God. This simply means that we stop working merely for daily bread; on the contrary, whatever we do must be done in interest of the kingdom of God. In this way, we won’t be like those who are focussed on money-making and money-hoarding. But, we will use whatever we have and whatever we get along this life’s journey on earth for the kingdom of God. We won’t focus on hoarding up money for self-interest; we’ll focus on spending it generously for divine-interest. The fact is He is interested in the salvation of our souls. Jesus says, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Lk. 12:32). Do not be vexed with thoughts of earthly security, for God has decided to make us inheritors of His kingdom.
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Making Ministry Needs Known

Jesus never told His disciples to make "ministry needs" known to the world. The One who sends is the One who provides everything. How He does it is His business.

|| 'And He said to them, "When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?" So they said, "Nothing." (Lk.22:35) ||
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Specific Words in Hindi for LOVE


The Hindi language is rich in words. Its words are usually object-specific, and one can easily identify the nature of an object within a single word used. For instance, it has several different words for love, differing according to the object in mind.

FRIENDLY LOVE
Prem: It is the general word for "love"; but is usually used for friendly love.
Preeti: It usually carries the meaning of "love that contains delight". This is the word used in the Hindi Bible in Peter's answer to Jesus when He asked "Do you love Me more than these?"
Pyaar: It is a common word for love; but, nowadays is commonly used for romantic love.
Chaah: It usually means "like" or "desire".
Anurag: Friendly love that is far deeper and means selfless love or affection.
Mitrabhav: Friendly affection

PARENTAL LOVE
Sneha: It is the love that an elder has for the younger.
Vatsalya: It is a parent's love for the child.
Mamata: It is the mother's love towards her child.

ROMANTIC LOVE
Popularly today, Prem, Pyaar, Chaah...
Anurukti: Intoxicated love that sinks a person in thoughts of the object.
Asakti: Deeper intoxication in love - being lost in love.
URDU WORDS: ISHQ, DEEWANA

LUSTFUL LOVE
Kama: Sensual Love, Kameccha: Sensual Feelings
Moha: Love towards worldly objects

LOVE TOWARDS GOD
Bhakti: It is superior to all other form of love. It is love in worship, love of the worshipper towards his/her God. In the Bible it is usually used for devotion, religion, and godliness.
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YISHU KI JAI - Hindi Gospel Rock by Domenic Marbaniang

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Wesley's Secrets of His Long Life

On his 85th birthday on Saturday, June 28 of 1789, John Wesley entered in his journal the reasons for his long life.

He starts with thanksgiving to the Lord and a reflection on his health:
It is true, I am not so agile as I was in times past. I do not run or walk so fast as I did; my sight is a little decayed; my left eye is grown dim and hardly serves me to read. I have daily some pain in the ball of my right eye, as also in my right temple (occasioned by a blow received some months since), and in my right shoulder and arm, which I impute partly to a sprain, and partly to the rheumatism.

I find likewise some decay in my memory, with regard to names and things lately past; but not at all with regard to what I have read or heard twenty, forty, or sixty years ago, neither do I find any decay in my hearing, smell, taste, or appetite (though I want but a third part of the food I did once); nor do I feel any such thing as weariness, either in traveling or preaching. I am not conscious of any decay in writing sermons which I do as readily, and I believe as correctly, as ever.

The first reason for his good health and long life is the power of God "fitting me for the work to which I am called, as long as He pleases to continue me therein". If God has a task for a person, it doesn't matter what his age is, His grace will empower His servant to finish the divine assignment.

The second reason, Wesley observes, subordinately to the first, was the prayers of His children.

Then he asks if the health could not also be attributed to the following reasons, though in a lesser way:
1. To my constant exercise and change of air?
2. To my never having lost a night's sleep, sick or well, at land or at sea, since I was born?
3. To my having slept at command so that whenever I feel myself almost worn out I call
it and it comes, day or night?
4. To my having constantly, for about sixty years, risen at four in the morning?
5. To my constant preaching at five in the morning, for above fifty years?
6. To my having had so little pain in my life; and so little sorrow, or anxious care?

Finally, he observes that he has pain daily in his "eye, or temple, or arm; yet it is never violent and seldom lasts many minutes at a time" and wonders if this is or is not a sign sent to him of the closing of his days.

Two years later, on March 2, 1791, a few months before his 87th birthday, he entered into glory; but not before having already preached many more times to numerous others. His last entry in his journal was on Sunday, February 24, 1791, a few days before his death:
l explained, to a numerous congregation in Spitalfields church, "the whole armor of God." St. Paul's, Shadwell, was still more crowded in the afternoon, while I enforced that important truth, "One thing is needful"; and I hope many, even then, resolved to choose the better part.

Did some candle ever fully burn out well just for the One who lighted it? John Wesley did, and when he died he had not only given the world all of his possessions, but also a host of writings and the Methodist Church.

Read Wesley's Journal at CCEL
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Hindi Messages (M4a & Mp3 Audios) from Bilaspur Convention

Following are links to audio files (m4a, Apple Lossless Audio) of messages delivered at the 6th Chattisgarh Annual IPC Convention, Oct 2011 (Note: All messages are in Hindi):

DOWNLOAD MP3s FROM SKYDRIVE

M4A FILESDOWNLOAD LINK
Marbaniang-Deny Self and Follow Christ.m4a19.1 MB Download  
Marbaniang-Everlasting Arms of God.m4a13.4 MB Download   
Marbaniang-Faith That Raises Dead.m4a12.9 MB Download  
Marbaniang-Made For A Purpose.m4a19.1 MB Download   
Marbaniang-The Lord's Table.m4a9.4 MB   Download  
Marbaniang-Young Christian.m4a4.4 MB   Download  
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Beauty for Ashes - Poem

I've seen beauty, I've seen strength;
I've seen them all pass away at length.
I've seen such class that influence the masses;
But I've seen them die and turn to ashes.

My ashes remain at the foot of the cross,
From whence I've risen to gain against loss
A life eternal, a life all new,
A life that's known by only a few.

Now, I'm ready to write a song,
A song to the Lover who forgave my wrong.
He calls me out from the wandering masses,
He loves my soul and gives me beauty for ashes.

"To give them beauty for ashes..." (Isaiah 61:3)
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Seeking God's Approval in Life

The Spirit defines the meaning of "success" in a Christian's life; not feeling or feedback.

One is slave to the one he seeks approval from.

While we can understand how riches could become a trap for the rich young man who couldn't follow Jesus, and how bad affections could mutilate the heart of Herod from refusing to accept Jesus, there is one other group that Jesus sternly rebuked several times for their slavery to a master that stood against Christ. They were the religious leaders of the day and were reproved for seeking the approval and honor of men. He told them
John 5:44 "How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?"
They were slaves to humans and thus were prevented from serving God. The Bible tells us clearly "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. "(Jer 17:5)

But Jesus laid an example for us. When many people responded to Him after seeing His miracles, the Gospel records
John 2:23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.
John 2:24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men,
John 2:25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.
Jesus sought to please His Father. He came and lived to fulfill His will. And, it is His desire that we follow Him in doing so.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
When He returns He should be able to say about us
Matthew 25:21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
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