barnabas.in : Alexi George

How can it be well with your soul when you suffer so much?

Is it possible to suffer in extreme circumstances and still claim that it is well with your soul? Can people suffer extreme physical and emotional pain and still say that their inner person is strong and stable?

John’s third epistle was written to Gaius, a man who was facing many difficulties in his life. Even while selflessly supporting those who have given their lives for the ministry, he faced opposition from within the church. He was literally crushed between these situations. It was to this Gaius that John wrote:

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” (3 John 2)

As a child of God, the condition of our souls can be well beyond our physical circumstances. We can live above our circumstances. Let the opposition come. Let the difficulties come. Whatever comes our way, we can live beyond all of that, and our souls can be well.

The key is that our relationship with Jesus keeps our soul in peace. John follows up the verse above with the affirmation that they are walking in the truth. Jesus affirmed that He is the truth when he proclaimed “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

As we continue to grow in our relationship with Jesus, we are fully engrossed in a new realm. This realm takes us (our soul) beyond the circumstances of life. We continue to face all the difficulties of life, but simultaneously enjoy the realm of our souls engrossed in relationship to Jesus.

Your Turn

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

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website barnabas.in

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

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

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others who may benefit from reading this.

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

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Are You Tired of Trying and Failing? There Has to be A Better Way to Handle Sin

Don’t you hate it when you fall into sin? There is this feeling of guilt that gnaws at you and pulls you down. You find it difficult to face others and to communicate.

John wrote: “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

So it is clear that we are not to sin, but if we do fall into sin, we have Jesus as our advocate. So this gives us confidence to move on without guilt or fear, because our weaknesses are covered by Jesus.

But is our life to be full of trying and failing, trying and failing? We have all had our fill of trying to be good, but that just is not enough.

John goes on to say: “Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected” (1 John 2:4-5).

The key is not to try harder, but to grow in your love to God. The word “perfected” can be seen as a process rather than a one time event. As your love for God grows, our desire and leaning toward sin begins to shift. Our focus changes and gets permeated with God’s love.

So forget trying harder not to sin. Just grow in your love to God and let his love permeate your whole being.

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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The God Who Weeps With Us

What are you weeping about today? What are the things in your life that cause deep sorrow and agony? We often think we are alone in our pain, that no one understands us. But the fact is that Jesus not only understands, he also weeps with us because of our sorrow.

John records that at the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus wept (John 11:35). Since Jesus clearly knew that he was about to raise Lazarus from death, there was no sadness within him about the death of his friend Lazarus. Jesus wept in response to the deep sorrow of Mary, Martha, and all the people gathered there. Though their sorrow was due to their lack of faith in Jesus to handle the situation, he wept with them.

So, the next time you experience painful situations, remember that Jesus experiences the same sorrow along with you. He fully understands your situation.

But there is a difference. His perspective transcends the current situation. He knows what’s on the other side of your sorrow. The best part is that he is there on the other side of your difficulty.

What are you weeping about today? Remember Jesus is right there with you experiencing the pain along with you. Just hold on to him.

Your Turn

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

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website barnabas.in

—————

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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How to Know if You are Walking in the Truth

The disciples of Jesus, including John, gave up everything in life so people of their day may come to know Jesus. Thus it was a matter of great rejoicing when John finds people who walk in the truth of Jesus. (2 John 4)

Walking in the truth of Jesus must be accompanied by loving one another. Living for Jesus assumes loving one another, demands loving one another, or requires loving one another.

If we claim to walk in the truth of Jesus but don’t love one another, we have a serious problem. John was delighted to now that those he brought to Christ, his children, were walking in the truth. But they didn’t talk about it, they lived it by loving one another.

That’s why John said “I rejoiced greatly.” In other words, “I am so happy” that you walk in the truth…and love one another.

I want the Father to look at us and say “I am so happy that you walk in the truth…and love one another.

Your Turn

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

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website barnabas.in

—————

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

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

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others who may benefit from reading this.

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


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Are You Overcoming the World or Has the World Overcome You?

Have you been able to live the life God has for you? Some wait for things in life to get settled: Jobs, family and other matters. For many, they’ve wanted to live up to the potential that God intended, but the cares of this life have taken over.

There is more to this life than just making it through, fulfilling all your responsibilities. We can live a life pleasing to God. Our life can be centered around God’s purposes for us. We can live our lives to the full potential that God intended for us. Unfortunately, the world (the cares of this world) have overcome us and our priorities.

The Bible makes it clear that “everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1John 5:4-5)

When we are born of God, we become his sons and daughters. As the Son of God, Jesus lived in this world and overcame the world. Whenever we sense that the world is taking over our thoughts, priorities and our entire life, it’s time to look to Jesus.

He was the Son of God who lived this life and overcame the world. Therefore, since we also are children of God, we can overcome the world. Our faith in Jesus will sustain us and help us to live an overcoming life.

Your Turn

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

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website barnabas.in

—————

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 who may benefit from reading this.

* 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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I Have a Confession to Make

I have a confession to make. After claiming to have known Jesus for over forty years, I now question that claim. Oh, it’s nothing serious — but maybe it is.

You see, John wrote: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves God has been born of God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)

If I claim to have a relationship with God, I should love others Just like Jesus loved. That means I should live a life of complete forgiveness because true love demands it. God’s love has no place for holding grudges of any kind toward anyone.

Love also demands that I accept everyone for who they are. Even if their behavior is unacceptable to me, I must love and accept them for who they are – in spite of their unacceptable behavior. Even if their behavior does not change, I need to love.  

By the example of Jesus, love demands that I give till I die. My giving is not to be limited to money, but time, energy, and myself.

Really, this love thing should not be taken too far. How much can one give? If you keep giving like that, it can only lead to death.

And that’s what Jesus did.

Your Turn

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

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website barnabas.in

—————

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

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

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others who may benefit from reading this.

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


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Single Minded New Year

Happy New Year to all my friends who read these blog posts.

What do you want for this new year? Do you have any new plans? New resolutions? New ways of changing your direction and situation in life?

Here is a thought I’d like to leave with you for 2017. Be single minded. Be focused. Be resolute.

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8)

Although the above verse is dealing with receiving wisdom, the principle of the double-minded person is broadly applicable. Let’s be single minded in 2017. Double Mindedness gets you moving from one thing to another, never focusing on anything with certainty.

Trust God’s voice for this new year. You’ve been hearing His voice and now it is time to trust and take a step. He will lead you in the right path. Be single minded on God’s plan for you this year. What is that one thing God has asked of you? Settle on that and make it your single focus for 2017.

This doesn’t mean you ignore your other responsibilities. It’s just that your priority for the next 12 months gets focused on that one thing God has asked of you. Be single minded. Stay focused.

Enjoy the New Year

Your Turn

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

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website barnabas.in

—————

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

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

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others who may benefit from reading this.

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


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Love is Dangerous

There are lots of discussions on how love is to be expressed. The expectations may be different among friends, spouses, relatives, coworkers, or neighbors. You’ll also find differences in each culture all across the globe.

The Bible puts Jesus in the mix and says “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16).

The example of Jesus is very clear. He literally laid down his life for us. What we are to do is also very clear, but quite disturbing. “We ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”

What’s difficult is that the verse refers to our “brothers.” We expect more from those in the faith. We’re less tolerant when offended by our brothers and sisters in the faith. For outsiders, we have a different set of expectations.

So, the next time someone close to you offends you, lay down your life. When someone speaks against you, lay down your life. When your brother or sister does harm to you, lay down your life.

In this way, we become more like Jesus.

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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Look at Jesus This Christmas

N. T. Wright was asked what he would tell his children on his deathbed. He said he would tell them, “Look at Jesus.” This statement sounds quite simplistic. Isn’t there anything more of substance to share on your deathbed?

I am reminded of that powerful verse from Hebrews where we are reminded to do the same thing. I don’t know if N. T. Wright had this verse in mind when he made the above statement. The writer of Hebrews gives an amazing list of people who stood for the faith in the midst of unbelievable adversity. Along with them, we are reminded to look to Jesus whatever we face in life.

“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

This Christmas, let’s look to Jesus who is the foundation for our faith and the one who will keep us till the end. In fact, he promised that he will never leave us nor forsake us. Where else can you get such a promise? I know that this statement may be simple, but it is substantial.

Look to Jesus always. There is no better way.

Your Turn

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

Please share briefly in the comments section on the website barnabas.in

—————

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

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

* If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with others who may benefit from reading this.

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

 


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Is the Bible Reliable?

When I was about ten years old, my father sent me to the bank for a transaction. While I waited at the end of the long line of people, I read my Bible. After a while, a man walked up to me and asked what I was reading. I happily told him that I was reading the Bible.

With a look of deep concern, he began to tell me that the Bible is entirely fiction. He told me that all the stories of Adam and Eve, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the rest o the Bible are totally unreliable. Such people never existed in the past.

I heard similar claims from people throughout my teenage years. These accusations caused me to read more and search further about the Bible’s reliability. Now, after years of study and ministry, I come back to the simple reality mentioned numerous times in the Bible. The authenticity comes through eyewitnesses with first-hand experience with God.

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life” (1 John 1:1).

From beginning to end, the Bible contains records of people who have connected with God. Those records have been preserved and passed on through the generations. The Bible is clear that the Holy Spirit was active throughout this entire process. Thus we consider it God’s word, completely reliable.

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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