Sunday, February 14, 2010

Joy at being forgiven!

“Guilty!” everyone guilty? Guilty of what? Guilty of over-parking? Guilty of lying? Guilty of arrogance and hubris toward the one God? Guilty of “borrowing” not to say embezzling? Guilty of unfaithfulness to a faithful wife? Guilty only of evil thoughts – or evil plans? Guilty before whom? Is a police officer following? Did anyone see? Will they be likely to notice it? Does he know about it? But that isn’t technically illegal, is it? I can make it up. I will give it back. I’ll apologize. I wasn’t myself when I did that. No one knows about it. But I’m going to quit. It’s a dangerous habit. I wouldn’t want the children to see me. How can I ever straighten it out? What’s done can’t be undone.” - Karl Menninger

Many times believers go around carrying the guilt of their sins or wrong doings. In many cases people don’t confess their sin. Sometimes people get used to some sinful actions in their life to such an extent that they no longer feel like confessing it or asking God’s forgiveness. It becomes a habit in their life. But deep inside of their heart they will know that it’s wrong and that will make them feel guilty. There are also people who confess their sin but still carry the guilt in their life. They don’t trust God to forgive them

The result of such life style is that you will never be able to serve the Lord or worship the Lord with freedom. The guilty feeling will always pull you back. It will always be there as a hindrance in your relationship with God.

The theme of psalms 32 is the true joy which comes with forgiveness. We have to ask God to forgive our sins and then only He will give us real happiness and relief from guilt. David says that what a joy for those whose disobedience or transgressions are forgiven and whose sin is covered. Again David says about the joy of those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt and whose lives are lived in complete honesty.

But there was a time when David refused to confess his sin. He was silent about it. During those times his body wasted away and he groaned all day long. Day and night the hand of God’s discipline was heavy upon him and his strength evaporated like water evaporates in summer heat. Many times we can also have such times in our lives. We know it’s all going wrong but still we try to keep silent or refuse to confess our sin. When we read psalms 32:5, David says that finally he confessed all sins to God and stopped trying to hide his guilt. He took a decision or said to himself that he will confess his rebellion to the Lord. When he did this the result was that God forgave his sins and all his guilt was gone.

The key to receive forgiveness and lead a guilt free life is to confess your sins to God and stop trying to hide your guilt. There are people who say that you don’t have to worry about your sin and there is no need to confess it as Jesus has already died for you. There is no need to worry about the guilt as Jesus has already forgiven your future sins also. You just have to change your thinking. But it’s not a biblical teaching but a lie from the hell to destroy people’s relationship with God. Proverbs 28:13 says that “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” 1 John 1:8-10 says that “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”

Let’s not deceive ourselves but rather experience the Joy which we receive at being forgiven.


Yours in Christ,
Tinku Thompson

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Having a right Relationship with God!


“Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.” Psalms 24:3-6 (NLT)

In psalms 24, David is asking a question. The question is who may climb the mountain of the Lord? And who can stand in the holy place. In the very next verse he gives the answer to this question. There are three things mentioned there. They are:-

  1. Only those whose hands and hearts are pure.
  2. Who do not worship idols.
  3. Never tell lies.
Our God demands that our hands as well as our hearts should be pure when we come in to his presence. There should not be any activity which we do which can make our hands and hearts impure in the sight of God. In the sermon on mount, Jesus told that blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God. We should not worship idols. Many times we think that idols are only the idols made of human hands. But when we carefully examine the word of God we can see that there can be many other things which can become idols in our life. Sometimes it can be a person whom we adore or love and give a place more than God in our life. Many times this can happen without our knowledge. Always make sure that you are giving first priority to God in your life. Never tell lies. We are living in a culture where it’s difficult to lead a life without telling lies. Sometime at our workplace or in order to get some benefit in our life we tell lies. Sometimes people tell lies with the intention of glorifying God’s name. They give false testimonies or add things to sound better and convincing. Make sure that you don’t fall into that trap. But only speak truth with love.

David continues and says that such people will not only climb or ascend to the hill of God but will also receive Lord’s blessing and have right relationship with God their savior. Many times we struggle to maintain our relationship with God. These verses tell us some of the basic things needed in our life to maintain a good relationship with our God. I want to encourage you to make sure that you have a good relationship with your God. That’s the most important relationship in your life. If you have a good relationship with God then all other relationship will fall in the right place. Without having a good relationship with God, it’s very difficult to have a good relationship with other people.
Sometimes we say that our circumstances are not allowing us to lead a life in close walk with God. A Christian should not permit circumstances to affect his relationship to God, but rather he should allow his relationship with God to affect his circumstances.
Above everything else in your life make sure that you have right relationship with your God!

Yours in Christ,
Tinku Thompson

Monday, February 1, 2010

Is Purity more precious than life?


"Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives" 2 Peter 3:11

Holiness is an important subject of the Bible. Bible clearly tells that our God is holy and He expects us to be holy. God says that “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy” (Lev 19: 2). Many times God asked his people to consecrate themselves before He did wonders among them.

When we read about the revivals which took place, one common thing we see is that people where confessing their sins and turning back to God and had a deep desire to lead a holy life. Some of the fiery preachers of yesteryear's where known for their preaching against sin. Exposing the lie of enemy and encouraging people to lead a holy life in the sight of God was one of the main subjects. But times have changed. Nowadays mostly we hear compromising messages. Preachers are concerned and focused about preaching what people want to listen. The attempt is mostly made to make people comfortable and make them feel that everything is going good and fine. Changing the word of God to suit people’s lifestyle is a big deception. The result of such practice is that disciples are losing their saltiness. Christians are no longer able to make an impact since there is not much difference between a believer and non-believer. Everything a worldly person does is done by people who claim to be Christians. Somehow we have gone so much into the world that world has got into us. That's why we don't feel any regret or feel anything when we are leading a sinful life. As long as we go to church once or twice a week we feel that everything is ok. Many Churches makes people comfortable. For some people spirituality has become a weekend activity. I want to put down a provoking statement here. If you are leading a sinful life and still feels very comfortable attending your church then its time you think twice. A church service and the sermon should lead you closer to God and for that to happen, your sinful life style has to go away. You can never get close to God if you continue in your sinful life.

God has called us to be holy. In everything we have to reflect the character of Jesus Christ through our life and holiness is an important area. You may ask why there is so much emphasis in our church on this. We are called to live holy and godly lives. Again 1 peter 1:15 says that "But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;”

Few days ago I read some facts about Ermine which was taken from Our Daily Bread. I want to share it with you

“In the forests of northern Europe and Asia lives little animal called the ermine, known for his snow-white fur in winter. He instinctively protects his white coat against anything that would soil it. “Fur hunters take advantage of this unusual trait of the ermine. They don't set a snare to catch him, but instead they find his home, which is usually a cleft in a rock or a hollow in an old tree. They smear the entrance and interior with grime. Then the hunters set their dogs loose to find and chase the ermine. The frightened animal flees toward home but doesn't enter because of the filth. Rather than soil his white coat, he is trapped by the dogs and captured while preserving his purity. For the ermine, purity is more precious than life”.

We are called to preserve our purity in the sight of God. In this world we are called to lead a holy life. We have a short time in this world when we compare it with eternity. Make sure that we are not compromising and missing the blessings of God in our life.
So be Holy since our God is a Holy God.

Yours in Christ,

Tinku Thompson

Minnesota Pentecostal Assembly & Some concerns


It’s sometime since I wrote any blog. Lot of things kept me busy during the last few months. Some of you are aware of MPA but some of you may not be. We started a Pentecostal church in Minnesota. As far as I know, it’s the only Pentecostal church in the state which conducts service in Malayalam. We have services held in English and Malayalam. Right now I am giving leadership in this church along with few other brothers. So its keeping me very busy. Keep me in your prayers.

It's exciting as I have always enjoyed being part of something which is getting started or which is very small. It's not the first time when I am part of a ministry which is at its beginning stage. I trust in a God who gives growth and believes that if your motives and intentions are clear in the site of God then He will bless you. It's a different kind of challenge to stand for God when nothing is established. For about 1.5 yrs before MPA started I had been part of some big churches and enjoyed my time there in a different way. It was good to sit and watch. But fellowship factor is main issue. Christian life without fellowship with other people is just useless. Don't take me wrong. Fellowship is a big factor which I missed in churches. In this generation I feel that somehow the meaning of church is understood in a different way than the way it is in Bible. For many people, just attending a church for 1 hr on a Sunday or Saturday is everything. They think that's all it takes to be a Christian.

One particular incident is worth mentioning here for all the readers to understand some facts. I was at a Pentecostal church on a Sunday morning. Since the church belonged to a major denomination, I was expecting that there will be a good message from the Bible which will be my manna for the week. I will elaborate on manna for week sometime later if you haven't got it. Anyway I came crying out of the church. The preacher showed a clip from some movie. Explained the story of the movie. Explained how the hero and heroine got together in the end after going away from each other. I am not joking here. Not even a single verse from the Bible was displayed on the screen. If it was an evangelistic meeting or something of that sort then it would have made some sense. The point is somehow the world has got into the church in a big way. Hollywood has captured the church pulpits also. The word of God is getting pushed to back for making churches "SEEKER-FRIENDLY".

There are many incidents like this to share. But for now back to MPA. Few of us started meeting for prayer meetings and then as per the guidance of Holy Spirit went ahead with MPA. I don't want to go into to much of detail at this time. You can visit www.mnpassembly.org for more information. But we as a church are focused on three areas. They are
  1. Worship and Prayer
  2. Discipleship
  3. Evangelism

Our mission statement is "To make disciples who will make disciples". Discipleship is a subject which is very close to my heart. Right now we gather every Saturday and Sunday for meetings. Saturday meetings are held at a church facility in Eagan, MN. Right now mostly the songs are Malayalam and English. Sometimes in Hindi also. Hindi is my favorite language anyway due to many reasons. If you are looking for growing in the Lord, looking for solid word of God which will challenge you against compromise and fellowship which is not intended to increase church attendance but to help you become disciples of Jesus Christ then feel free to join us. One more thing - we are bit conservative and not liberal. Hope you understand what I mean by it. At MPA we will not customize things to make you feel comfortable in the way you are from a spiritual perspective and from the point of standing for the word of God. At MPA we will pray and try to build each other so that we will grow towards perfection.

Weekly messages and bulletins are updated every week. Feel free to visit us if you stay or come anywhere near twin cities in Minnesota.

Do visit the church website for few more details. www.mnpassembly.org

God Bless You!