Friday, 26 March 2021
Learning to live
By : Prathab V
Matthew 10: 8b (NIV)
“ Freely you have received, freely give”
Growing up in a religious but non-Christian home, I was exposed early in life to spiritual matters. My gods then had many shapes. Some seemed kind and some were fierce. I was raised knowing that I need to do many things to appease the gods. This is because, as I was told, I may have done something wrong, and may have upset the gods. As a result, I was told that I needed to make offerings to appease their displeasure and anger to me.
I grew up being very religious. Offered flowers, said the mantras daily. I obeyed as much as I could. I also fasted and did many studies in the ancient scriptures. I wanted to please the gods as much as possible. I tried very hard.
But the eternal God had other plans – he sent me to Boys’ Brigade instead! It’s another story, but going to Boys’ Brigade changed my life.
There I learned about a man who loved children. A man who was humble, meek but strong in His spirit. A man who was powerful to heal the sick, raise the dead and drive evil spirits away. That man eventually bore the guilt of the world on His shoulders on Calvary in Jerusalem.
I was amazed that the man, called Christ by my Sunday School teachers, would readily lay down His life, even though He was powerful enough to calm the seas and the winds. “There is something about this man. Something immensely different about Him,” I then thought to myself.
Comparing Christ to my gods, my heart was often touched by the warmth of His words. Attracted to Jesus, I was slowly longing for His love.
In the Boys’ Brigade, I was surprised that people called Him “Lord” and “Saviour”. “What is that I need to be saved from?” I often pondered. In the midst of the many questions and fears, each time I looked to Jesus, I felt encouraged in my heart. I just knew that He cared for me too.
By then, I was a secret admirer of Jesus. I prayed in silence. It took me many more years to muster enough courage to openly declare that Jesus is my Lord.
Those days, I was made aware that Jesus does not require any offering from us. Instead, He gave His life as an offering. Jesus does not want us to be selfish. “ Freely you have received, freely give, ” Jesus said. Yes, I had fallen in love with Jesus. He alone is the Christ! There is none like Him. He saw my wretched state and died for me and for you.
Now, with a little more understanding, Jesus’ life and death made a lot of sense to me.
I realise that to live for Christ means that I must be prepared to die for Him. Therein lies the conundrum : to die for Christ means that I must first live for Christ. There is no point in declaring that I am willing to die for Christ if I don’t live for Christ every day in my daily walk.
Jesus forgives all who come to Him freely.
The gods of my childhood days were easily upset and angry. But the God of the Bible, through Jesus, was loving and forgiving.
I had received His grace freely. And now, I must live the life that Jesus wants me to live.
Lord Jesus. Let me not forget You. Let me walk in love and share this love that You gave me to others freely. Help me to find the courage to share Your love with others and live the life that you want me to live. In Your name alone I ask, AMEN.
作者: Prathab V
但是永恒的神还有其他计划 – 祂派我去了基督少年军！这是另一个故事，但是去基督少年军改变了我的生命。
我很惊讶，这个被我的主日学老师称为基督的人，即使祂足够强大，可以平息大海和风，也愿意放弃祂的生命。 “这个人很特别， 与众不同。”当时我就这样想。