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Connecting with the One- A Christian Perspective

Good afternoon!

I take this opportunity to share as a privilege, honour and blessing. I have known some of you and
some of my conversations with those whom I have known among you have been very enriching. I
must acknowledge my friendship with Ram & Saideep. I probably would not have been here if I did
not know them. Some of you are much older to me and wiser. I stand here with humility knowing well
that most of you are well accomplished and respected men and women in your own communities and
workplaces. So, here I go, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is the best time of the day to listen to speech of 35 minutes. Isn’t it? I remember a story told of a
man who was sleeping in the church as a preacher was delivering his message. Half way through the
message, the preacher posed a rhetorical question with a bang on the lectern and a loud black
American voice- who among you wants to go to hell, please stand up? He posed it again and the man
who was asleep just heard the last bit and stood in haste. He sobered up in a second or so and
realised that he stood for something he shouldn’t be standing, but to get himself out of this awkward
situation he looked straight at the preacher and said, I’m glad that I have you as my pal. It is just the
two of us who are standing!

Connecting with the One- a very needed topic for discussion in such a forum or retreat. It is obvious,
whom we are referring to as the One- God. God is the eternal, almighty, sovereign and He is the
creator. I believe that our understanding of connecting with God is determined by the premise we
have on the nature/person of God and also a honest opinion about ourselves. Many years ago, I gave
my life to Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him as His disciple. So, here I am presenting the Christian
perspective. In doing so, I would like to raise a few questions and would like us all to ponder about
them as I speak. Can we in our mortal and sinful state connect with God? I repeat, can we connect
with God by doing good things or by supposedly being a good person? Are we born with God in us?
Are we god/gods? Do we all together make God? All these questions matter because we all want to
connect with Him.

Firstly, I know for sure from knowing myself and God, that I am NOT God/god. The very first verse of
the Holy Bible says, in the beginning God created! God is our Creator and we are His creation.
Creation declares the glory of the creator, but creation is not creator. For example, when I see the
beautiful chirping birds, the green trees and the intricate complexity and creativity in my own being, I
marvel and say, How great is God, the creator of us all. Men in all their wisdom still find it impossible
to understand the complexity of our design. How then my brothers and sisters can man be God? Oh
well some say, Enoch- we are not exactly god, but we kind of embodiments of God. Many of my
relatives and dearest friends too subscribe to this view. The Christian view however presents us the
absolute Holiness of God and I don't think we need a book or an expert to tell us about our sinfulness!
Unfortunately, we categorise sin as something wrong that we do to others or something is just not
right and acceptable. Whilst that view is true in a limited sense, dear brothers and sisters, we seldom
have God in perspective, at the risk of being considered curt, I can very confidently say, humanity as
such rarely views sins with God in perspective. Right? A question we can all ask ourselves- when was
the last time I was/we were deeply hurt for ignoring God and doing that which is not right. Kindly
permit me to explain sin in simplest terms- Simply put, IGNORING GOD! It is simply ignoring God.
Every thing that we categorise to be sin is just a outworking of our square ignoring of God. Let me
explain with a very very simple example. God wants us all to be truthful. Right? Now my point is that
when I lie, yes, it is true that I have lied against some one, but primarily I have ignored God's right
expectation of me. I have ignored God. Makes sense? Therefore my friends, we are separate from
God. Our sin and ignoring God has separated us from Him. We are different.

He is Holy- we are unholy

He existed eternally- we have a definite beginning.

Therefore, the need for connecting with God is the primary need of every human being. For without
Him, there is no hope for mankind. The Bible tells us that there is no difference, all have sinned and

Spiritual Retreat, Sydney 05.09.09

Presented by Enoch Nagabyrava
Connecting with the One- A Christian Perspective

have fallen short of God's great glory and standards. We need a connection! I need a connection with
God! Who can help me?

So, having established that we need a connection with God, we should ask How? How can I connect
with God? How can I get back into an unbroken relationship with God? The Holy Bible is very very
clear that we cannot connect with God in/with our strength, ability and goodness. We are always
good in comparing ourselves with others. I look at someone who according to my standards is rotten
in his moral values and tell myself, I am pretty good?

May I illustrate this with a story, humorous in detail, yet painfully real?

The story of the two spoilt brothers

Two brothers were notoriously immoral. They were synonymous with the vice that had overtaken
their city. When one of them suddenly died, the surviving brother asked the local pastor to perform
the funeral service.

He offered him an enormous sum of money if, in his eulogy, he would refer to his deceased brother as
a saint. After much pondering, the pastor agreed. As the service came to an end, the pastor (in the
thick of his description of the departed individual) said, “The man we have come to bury was a thief.
In fact, he deserves every vile description the mind can muster. He was depraved, immoral, lewd,
hateful, and the scum of the earth. But compared to his brother, he was a saint!”

The trouble is, we are all saints compared to somebody else. But the truth is we are all as equally
wretched in our hearts.

Comparison. Friends, if only we are honest, we all accept that we do that too. Don't we? We pat our
own backs and say, hmm... I am not that bad. We go on to say, how good we are and probably go on
to believe that this goodness of ours is too good that God is bowled over. Dear friends, I think it is
very important for us to consider and compare ourselves with God. Trust me friends, I stand here in
all humility and say it very straight (without any arrogance), we cannot connect with God with our
good works. This is the biblical teaching. God is more concerned about our being than our doing. I
repeat it again, God's concern is about our being/my inner me than my doing.

Connection- a relationship, can exist only with/by Love. Connection- a relationship is robust when
there is agreement.

God is loving. The bible teaches that His love is everlasting. It also teaches that He first loved us. The
Bible says that God demonstrated/proved His love for us through the death of Christ. He died for
mankind, while we were yet sinners. Let me explain it. God being holy and just cannot spare mankind
because of his sin. The bible teaches that the wages of sin is death, and by death I do not mean the
physical death, but the spiritual- the eternal separation from God. But God being Love, would not
want His own children whom He created to be in eternal separation from Him. But my friends, there
is no free lunch. A price has to be paid. Mankind knew this intuitively. Every culture devised its own
methods of sacrifices to appease God. Some of us from the sub continent know well of all the
sacrifices in our systems in history and even now. Whilst the sacrifices gave some sort of temporary
consolation, they never gave an assurance of forgiveness, strength to overcome sin and as such God
still remained impersonal and distant. The connection is not complete.

God in all His love, loving us so much even when we ignored Him took on flesh and blood and came
down to reach out His hands to us. We could never reach Him, He reached out to us and in holding
His out stretched arm we get connected with Him. He took on the sins of mankind on to Himself and
paid the penalty for all our sins, He being the sinless and spotless one was sacrificed on the cross. It is
in acknowledging Him and accepting His free offer of forgiveness through work of Christ, we get
connected with God. God in His grace, offers us forgiveness for our sins. In being forgiven, we are
set in a right relationship with God- what a robust connection! Dear friends, who in the world does

Spiritual Retreat, Sydney 05.09.09

Presented by Enoch Nagabyrava
Connecting with the One- A Christian Perspective

not require forgiveness? Is there anyone in this world who does not need spiritual healing and
restoration of relationship with God. We all crave for it. Love, Grace and Forgiveness oozed out
through Jesus on that cross and the river of love continues to flow today. One can continue by
ignoring Jesus and not be in a right relationship/connection with God or one can choose the free offer
of salvation that God offers. Connection with God is a pre emptive move of God and all that humanity
needs to do is to accept His grace by putting our faith on Him.

Let me read a verse for you from the Bible-For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and
this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-

The very term Christian reveals a relationship- belonging to Christ- Christ’s one- by being connected
with Christ/God.

Before I share my final thought, let me present three major implications of being in connection with

1. An intimate, consuming relationship and walk with God in everyday living.

Jesus said, abide in me, I in you. Once we get into a relationship with God, He lives in us and with us. It
is a two way relationship. There is a 24/7 experience of joy, continual guidance and enjoyment of His
abounding grace.

How does a person display Jesus in his/her life everyday?

Edith Taylor

Comes from Waltham, Massachusetts a lady with the name Edith Taylor. I heard this story from my
favourite philosopher.

She was married to Karl Taylor for 23 years and had a family. Then her husband went over to Japan on
professional duties. They used to correspond every week through letters, children and the wife used
to look forward for those letters and responded to them and all of a sudden after a period of time,
the letters stopped coming. Several weeks after, a letter comes and the man had written, I do not
know how to break this news to you, which ever way I break it, it would break your heart, I have fallen
in love with another girl here, I am not going to be coming back home. The heart of this woman was
broken. For many days she did not break the news to children. Finally after few days, children asked-
Mummy, something is wrong, why is not daddy writing to us anymore? And one of them said, is
daddy not coming back home and mother said, no son daddy is not coming back. And then this mind
of Christ in the little boy, in all innocence, wonder and capacity to comprehend asked mummy, just
because daddy doesn't love us anymore, does it mean that we cannot love daddy anymore? Answer:
No, I guess we can continue to love him. Would you please tell daddy to continue writing to us? We
want to love him and we want to hear from him. He got married to a 19 year old servant girl Aiko,
sent the letters, had children. Photographs of the children had come and with every letter Edith
Taylor may as well have had a steam roller go over her heart, she was crushed more and more.

Years down the line she receives a letter which said that he (Karl) had lung cancer and he requested
that his life being short and they not having much savings, would Edith be able to consider sending a
sum of money every month to Aiko and her two children. Hearing the news, Edith wrote back stating
she found it difficult to manage her own sustenance, but that she would help him by adopting the two
girls in the US if Aiko was willing. One has to remember that Edith was 54 yrs herself at the time and it
would not have been easy bringing up two little girls aged 5 and 3. Yet she did it because of the love
she had in her heart for Karl. The girls were well taken care of. After Karl passed away, Edith realized
that Aiko seemed very lonely in her letters, being away from her daughters. Edith decided to ask Aiko
to join her and live together with the children. This is what Edith concluded with the following words:
….how in the darkest night of the soul…. how in the darkness that surrounded her life… she was able to
cause a bright light to shine. The light of God, the Love of Christ….For the glory of God

Spiritual Retreat, Sydney 05.09.09

Presented by Enoch Nagabyrava
Connecting with the One- A Christian Perspective

Such a life is an outworking of a intimate relationship with God.

2. A challenge of Holy living.

Jesus told His disciples, Be Holy because I am Holy.

Keeping ourselves- our mind and bodies- Don't you know that you are God's dwelling place?

Holy living is possible only with a constant connection with Holy God. Christians read Bible and pray.

3. Doing

I've mentioned earlier that God is concerned about out being than our doing. But, once men enter
into partnership with Him, they do! Christians are called to do good works, not to appease God, but in
obedience to God's calling to do.

Let me close. Beyond our life on this earth, mankind can be in the presence of God forever and ever.
This life is transitory. But His destiny, whether it is an eternal communion and fellowship with God or
an eternal separation from God depends on his/her connection with God on this earth. God offers His
grace and forgiveness freely through Jesus Christ. Mankind can continue to ignore Him and reject the
connection with God or in Humility and repentance, if anyone accepts His offer of grace, he is
immediately set in a right relationship and connection with God. Our decisions today decide our
destiny tomorrow (Repeat).

Earlier on I cited from the Bible- The wages of sin is death. The verse continues, but the gift of God is
eternal life. It is through Jesus and in Jesus, God promises connection, forgiveness and salvation to
mankind. This is the Christian perspective.

Thanks a lot. God bless you!

Spiritual Retreat, Sydney 05.09.09

Presented by Enoch Nagabyrava