barnabas.in : Alexi George

Ever wished for a life without limitations?

How would you like to have unlimited resources available at your fingertips? Imagine what you could do with limitless knowledge and power constantly available to you. But to be like that, you would need to be God.

Can we become like God? This was the claim that Satan made to Adam and Eve as they were considering the forbidden fruit. In fact, this was the same point of temptation that led Satan to his downfall.

God had already created Adam and Eve in his own image but they gave in to the temptation to desire something that was not meant for them. Their disobedience caused them to loose the divine characteristics they had. Thus sin and all its effects have become a part of our lives.

So now we experience the brokenness and suffering due to our sinful state. The image of God in us was disfigured and the human nature has completely taken over.

But fortunately, we have the privilege of taking part in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). This is a process that we go through as we are formed into the image of Jesus. Although it is not clear what that means in its entirety, I will take all I can get.

So, do I have the unlimited resources that I’ve wished for? What I do know is that God has unlimited resources, and I am being transformed to be like him. Submit yourself to God and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. 

Your Turn

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Alexi George is a pastor, teacher, and writer. He is devoted to helping people live their potential.

* For a Malayalam language video of this post, visit my Facebook page.

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others by using the sharing buttons below.

* My book recommendations on various topics are available at my Resources Page.

* For a list of books that I’ve recently read, here is my Reading List.


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Your Anxieties Will Lead You to the Devil or to Jesus

Whenever you face a difficult situation, there is a reason why you must turn to Jesus first. Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for an opportunity to take advantage of the situation.

“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:7-9 ESV).

We are instructed to cast all our anxieties on Jesus because he cares for us. But when we hold on to our anxieties, we become weak. As a person who is weak in our hearts and minds, we become an easy target for the enemy. The Devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Usually, the weakest are the quickest prey for the devil.

So here is the truth for you. As quickly as possible, identify and acknowledge your anxieties. Give it to God as soon as you realize it. This way, you won’t be an easy target for the devil.

Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website.

—————

Alexi George is a pastor, teacher, and writer. He is devoted to helping people live their potential.

* For a Malayalam language video summary of this post, visit my Facebook page.

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others.

* My book recommendations on various topics are available at my Resources Page.

* For a list of books that I’ve recently read, here is my Reading List.


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Does Suffering Free You From Sin?

Suffering causes a shift in the mind and heart of a person in regards to sin. When people suffer, they think differently. Their values and decisions are altered significantly. Peter said, “since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:1-2 ESV).

The suffering that’s mentioned in the previous chapter (1 Peter 3) is for the sake of righteous living. “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing (1 Peter 3:8-9). In their suffering, the natural human tendency is to respond according to how we are treated. But we are to be righteous in character regardless of the situation.

Jesus also suffered. But his suffering was much beyond the physical pain. He did not retaliate when he was attacked. He silently suffered their abuse, although he could have easily called on all the heavenly resources available to him. His inward suffering was of a much greater degree than the bodily torture.

He knew that he could retaliate. He had every right to respond, but he willfully chose not to. He did not have to allow the abuse but he held back from retaliating or asking for help from his Father. That mental struggle was possibly the greatest suffering of our Master. The sufferings of Jesus caused a significant mental shift in him that He was fully devoted to the will of His father and lived a life free of sin. 

Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website.

—————

Alexi George is a pastor, teacher, and writer. He is devoted to helping people live their potential.

* For a Malayalam language video summary of this post, visit my Facebook page.

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others by using the sharing buttons below.

* My book recommendations on various topics are available at my Resources Page.

* For a list of books that I’ve recently read, here is my Reading List.


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Fearless Relationships

When fear rules, our relationships will certainly fall apart. Is it possible to have fearless relationships?

Possibly the greatest fear in relationships is the fear of rejection. We wonder if our actions will cause others to reject us and walk away. We value the relationship but fear rejection and possibly the loss of that relationship.

Along with the fear of rejection comes the fear of retaliation, reproof, rebuke, or other fears. All of these have a negative impact on our relationships. But the Bible says “…perfect love casts out fear…” (1 John 4:18).

While Peter instructed his readers about relationships, he used Abraham and Sarah as examples. In the context of that discussion he said “do not fear anything that is frightening” (1 Peter 3:6).

Yes there are many fears that can get in between our relationships. But we need not fear the fearful things in our relationships.

Begin to identify each of the fears you face as you relate to people. Is it the fear of rejection, retaliation, reproof, rebuke, or another fear that you are dealing with? Recognize it for what it is – maybe not the reality, just a fear. Identify what type of fear it is, and face it.

Say to yourself: “No, I will not fear rejection.” Add other fears to this statement as it applies to you. In prayer, give that fear to God and ask him for his strength to face all you need to face. This will start you on a journey toward freedom from fear in your relationships. Then, “do not fear anything that is frightening” (1 Peter 3:6).

Yes, it’s possible: Fearless Relationships.

Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website.

—————

Alexi George is a pastor, teacher, and writer. He is devoted to helping people live their potential.

* For a Malayalam language video summary of this post, visit my Facebook page.

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others by using the sharing buttons below.

* My book recommendations on various topics are available at my Resources Page.

* For a list of books that I’ve recently read, here is my Reading List.


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Position Yourself for God’s Work

God is at work in our community much more than we know. Actually, He has already begun dealing with your neighbors, friends, and coworkers.

He is now waiting for you to get ready. His work is not stalled – he has begun to use those who have already made themselves available. And he is waiting – waiting for you to get ready.

God will continue His work with or without you. But He wants to give you a chance to get involved. Like a vessel set apart for a special purpose in the home, he wants to set you apart for God’s work.

In every home there are vessels being used for various purposes. Many for common uses, and some for special purposes. These are stored separately and kept clean from the dirt and grime that may appear on the common vessels. They are given special care to be used for special purposes.

In the same way, God is asking us to make ourselves useful to our master for His purposes. He wants us to separate ourselves from those things that make us impure.

Paul says, “Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” (2 Tim 2:20-21). This is the way we are to make ourselves useful to our Master.

He is waiting. It’s your move now. Go ahead, get yourself ready for God’s work. 

Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website.

—————

Alexi George is a pastor, teacher, and writer. He is devoted to helping people live their potential.

* For a Malayalam language video summary of this post, visit my Facebook page.

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others by using the sharing buttons below.

* My book recommendations on various topics are available at my Resources Page.

* For a list of books that I’ve recently read, here is my Reading List.


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You Are Precious to God

Do you feel rejected by people? No one cares. No one understands. Just remember Jesus. Although he was rejected by people, he knew he was precious to God his Father. He was “…a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious” (1 Peter 2:4).

Jesus gave little value to the opinions that people had about him. He was precious to God the Father. What an amazing perspective. I wonder how he managed to keep that focus.

It’s easy to talk about this, but tough to live it out. When ridicule, slander, and for some, physical attack is common, It’s difficult to think beyond your situations.

But Jesus consistently looked to the Father to validate him. The Bible records two situations where the Father verbally announced his acceptance: During the baptism of Jesus (Matt 3:17), and the transfiguration (Matt 17:5).

Even though crowds of people followed him, he often withdrew from the crowds just to spend time with his Father. He knew the crowds were usually focused on their own needs, and once their needs are met, they would be gone.

This is why we also need to be focused on the Father’s perspective of us. But since life keeps bombarding us in the opposite direction, we’ve got to keep reminding ourselves that we are precious to the Father.

Keep reminders on your phone, desktop, or any other convenient place to remind yourself that you are precious to the Father. Gradually, this will become part of your thinking pattern.

Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website.

—————

Alexi George is a pastor, teacher, and writer. He is devoted to helping people live their potential.

* For a Malayalam language video summary of this post, visit my Facebook page.

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others by using the buttons below.

* Book recommendations on various topics I write on are available at my Resources Page.

* For a list of books that I’ve recently read, here is my Reading List.

 

 


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It’s Not Yours. It’s God’s Power

Power is intoxicating. Supernatural power is dangerously intoxicating. It’s easy to think that God’s power working through us has something to do with us.

Don’t get so possessive. It’s not yours. It’s God’s power. The Bible says “… we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Cor 4:7).

When God’s power works through us to heal the sick, cast out demons, and transform lives, that’s a great feeling. After some time, it’s easy to get carried away thinking that we are something special. God uses us to do his miraculous work even though we are weak in many ways. That is because of his grace. Our weakness does not disqualify us from being used by God; when he uses us in spite of our weakness, God’s name is glorified. If we are used by God due to our merits, then we would deserve the credit. 

It was for this same reason that Paul was unashamed of his weaknesses: “…to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelation, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited” (2 Cor 12:7).

So be careful. Don’t get possessive with God’s power. It’s His. When God uses you, check your heart for any selfish motivations. Make sure that people see Jesus and not you.

Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website.

—————

Alexi George is a pastor, teacher, and writer. He is devoted to helping people live their potential.

* For a Malayalam language video summary of this post, visit the barnabas.in Facebook page.

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others by using the sharing buttons below.

* Book recommendations on various topics I write on are available at my Resources Page.

* For a list of books that I’ve recently read, here is my Reading List.

 


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Is Your Life on Hold?

When your hopes and dreams are crushed, you just can’t move forward. When your expectations are not met, your life gets put on hold.

Such situations will make you wonder if there is anything more to look forward to in life. A few decide there isn’t anything to look forward to and end their lives. Others continue in an unsatisfied way, and never live their potential in life.

During a time of extreme persecution, Peter reminds his readers to set aside all their short-term expectations and do the things they need to do. Because ultimately, our true hope is in the return of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13).

Learn to enjoy life for what it truly is: A temporary stop on the road to eternity. If you put too much value on the things of this life, you may be terribly disappointed.

We have an awesome eternity coming up. We have a Father who has loved us with an everlasting love. Keep your eyes fixed on that hope.

Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website.

—————

Alexi George is a pastor, teacher, and writer. He is devoted to helping people live their potential.

* For a Malayalam language video summary of this post, visit the barnabas.in Facebook page.

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others by using the buttons below.

* Book recommendations on various topics I write on are available at my Resources Page.

* For a list of books that I’ve recently read, here is my Reading List.

 


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Develop the Faithful and Pastor the Rest

In every organization, there are people who always seem to lag behind. Some never catch the vision no matter how hard you work to communicate it and pass it on.

These are the people who seem to take up so much of your time and energy. That time and energy could have been spent on training people to manage their lives better or to develop leaders.

But what about those who continue to lag behind the rest? Should we ignore them and move on with the faithful? Although that seems to be convenient, we would be unfaithful to our role as leaders. The key is to continue to pastor them, care for them, and love them just like everyone else.

Then, you move forward with the rest and teach them to do life better. Train them to follow Jesus even closer. Develop them as leaders who would do the same for others just as you have done for them. Paul said, “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website.

—————

Alexi George is a pastor, teacher, and writer. He is devoted to helping people live their potential.

* For a Malayalam language video summary of this post, visit my Facebook profile .

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others by using the buttons below.

* Book recommendations on various topics I write on are available at my Resources Page.

* For a list of books that I’ve recently read, here is my Reading List.

 


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Choose to be Happy

Happiness is a choice. Life constantly pulls you down, but you have to consciously make the choice to be happy.

What makes you happy? What will keep you happy? Wilful focus on the positives is expressed in the following verse:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Phil 4:8).

What is your choice today? Just a few verses earlier in v.4, the instruction is given to “rejoice in the Lord.” Again, it is a command to take action.

You don’t have much choices regarding the difficulties of life. But we clearly have a choice regarding our happiness.

Choose to be happy today by focusing on what is true, honourable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

Your Turn

Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website.

—————

Alexi George is a pastor, teacher, and writer. He is devoted to helping people live their potential.

* For a Malayalam language video summary of this post, visit my Facebook Page.

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others by using the buttons below.

* Book recommendations on various topics I write on are available at my Resources Page.

* For a list of books that I’ve recently read, here is my Reading List.


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