Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Worship - Some Thoughts

I would like to add a post here about something I thought will be beneficial for everyone who reads my blog. In our church discussion group, someone brought these points and questions. I wrote a response to that. I thought of sharing it here so that it can be beneficial for many others. I was greatly blessed by reading it, thinking about it and by responding to it. So just thought of sharing it here. May be someone else can throw some more light in to it.

So the points or questions :-

1. Worship & Music - These days most Christians are confused between worship and music. For most of them worship=music. They can not even comprehend any other form of worship. As for me, being in the presence of the Lord, meditating in His goodness, mercy, love and grace is worship. For that, music is not necessary. When we sing a song, which is very familiar to us, there is a good chance of singing it without meditating upon its meaning.

2. Are we created to worship? - I hear this statement very often, but I can not find a scriptural basis for it. I believe that we are created for a purpose, which is to glorify His name through our life, and, of course, to spread the Good News.

3. Worship as a means to gain something - this is a new teaching. If you need something, worship the Lord. I don't think worship is supposed to be used to gain something from God. Those who are in favor of this idea are referring to the
deliverance of Paul from the jail. Let me ask you something: how many times was Paul imprisoned? Why didn't he just worship every time to release himself?

Ok here is my response:-

Dear Brother,

Your thoughts and insights are valuable and helpful in understanding about worship. I would like to add few things here quickly which I think will help in making few things clear.

Before responding to your individual points let me make few assumptions clear. When we talk about the subject of worship, it can be thought in different ways. Different people have different ideas. But I believe that truly from a Biblical perspective, worship is not confined to the singing of songs. For that matter it is not even restricted to the time when we get together or sit specifically for that purpose. Any act which glorifies God can be said as an act of worship. In another sense Worship is also defined as the activity of glorifying God in his presence with our voices and hearts. That's another way of looking at it. But all aspects of our lives are supposed to glorify God. Also in the Old Testament Sacrifice was an important part of worship. We can read Romans 12:1-2. Our life needs to be a living sacrifice. It's the big picture about the subject of worship.

But in this discussion for now I don't what to go in that scope. Praise and singing songs is also part of worship. We glorify God by doing it. I agree that worship is not equal to music in any way. But music and singing songs can be part of our worship. So everything you said like meditating and all can become a kind of worship.

Now from a laymen or from a common Christians perspective it's not that way. As a church when we address we need to keep everyone in mind. Because of the way few things are projected in churches as a whole, the people have got some wrong ideas. But it will take time to change that. People will have to come to maturity to understand it. Till that time we can only pray and work towards it.

Now about singing songs I agree with you that we can sing songs without mediating on its meaning. That's a kind of problem with us. I have personally found it. I think that's something we need to change at least when we sing songs with the intention of praising God. We sing for different reasons. One reason is to help us relate more to God. It depends on the lyrics of song. During my last message and in the past also I have said that we should try to meditate on the meaning and sing. It will become more meaningful and helpful if we can do that way. But many times we are disturbed by many things. So many thoughts pass through our mind. Some of those may have nothing to do with God. Even though we sing but we are thinking of something else.
The truth is not there. One reason for this can be that we are now experts with wording and we don't need to think too much about it. It's like the days we started driving for first time and how we drive now. With practice, our concentration level decreases in the main issue and we can focus on other things while doing the primary thing. It's like talking on phone while driving or listening to message or thinking about something else. We take the turns automatically. It's a human tendency. But the question is - Is it good?

I would say we should try that when we gather as a church, we should free our mind from everything and Worship God in truth. So if we are clapping our hands and have our eyes closed then to be true we should be meditating on God. Otherwise I think the first element of truth is lost. We are just acting. Let me tell you a personal thing. Sometimes when I am singing a song and everyone is clapping their hands and I find that I start meditating on the message I have to deliver during the service. At that time I try not to sing and pretend to be singing and praising. So we all can have that type of experiences. But the main point I think is to try to develop an attitude and habit in which you are doing everything with truth. I am not sure if it's only my struggle or there are someone else also who have this kind of experiences. That's my point in encouraging people to meditate on the meaning and then sing. From a personal experience I have felt that its more beneficial and helpful for us to do a meaningful worship. So I agree that worship is not equal to music or even singing songs.

At this point I would also draw everyone's attention towards a concept I will call as "hearts cry language". Everyone has a language in which they are most comfortable. You feel more secure and comfortable in that. Mostly it's a person's mother tongue. Let me explain. People
who came from Kerala ( a state in India. Malayalam is the language spoken by people there) and are used to Malayalam worship will feel happy and more at home when we sing Malayalam songs. But that may not be true for a person who was brought up in USA. That's why we see the language conflict. Nobody is to be blamed for this. Its a natural thing. Again singing songs in which language will have a big difference to the church attenders. I have done some study about it and found that its a problem which we cannot ignore. That's why mega churches start with services in different languages. We feel most comfortable in that language which I call as “hearts cry language”.

At MPA (that's my church) when we say we are a bilingual church then I would like to think from the perspective of 2 people. One who only knows Malayalam and one who only knows English. My test is to see if both can understand every part of service and message and can both enjoy to the same extend. If not then we calling a church as bilingual is meaningless. So we need to develop a framework in which both these person's can fit. I know it's a challenge but its worth attempting. That's just a side note to throw light on the issue of language in worship.

Regarding the question of are are we created to worship- its a good question which can be debated for a long time. But I don't think we can say an absolute No. A more appropriate statement would be - We are not created JUST for worship. Worshiping God is also one purpose. It holds true when we understand worship in the real sense and not just to singing songs. We do have a purpose in life. We should preach gospel and glorify God. But we cannot ignore the worship aspect. It's again an issue of balance. The Bible has so many verses which points or encourages people to worship God. There are many in support of praising him. There are so many verses in Psalms. Then Jesus himself said that a time is coming when true worshipers will worship God in truth and spirit. Hebrews 13:15 says that "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name." Then Ephesians 5:19 "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord"

So without bringing too many verses at this point I would say that we are not created JUST for worship but worship is also a purpose. In eternity we will be worshiping our God for sure. Revelation too have references of people doing the activity of worship (Rev. 4 & 5). Again when I say this I am keeping the Worship in big context as every act we do which glorify God. We are not created just to sing. But worship to Creator God should be an important and integral part of a Christian's life. Otherwise we are missing a big part of our purpose in this world. I am willing to elaborate this point more if needed.

Finally worship as a means to gain anything is a wrong teaching. It will not be correct if someone says that you worship and you will get something. It will be similar to prosperity theology in some sense. I think blessing is a by product of worship in the sense that God is pleased or happy with true worshipers who seek Him with whole heart. God sends his blessing upon such people. It's supported by Bible. In the Old testament its very much there. Even in New testament we see that.

Paul's deliverance was an exceptional story and we can't make it as a doctrine for deliverance. But it can be used as an encouragement in regard to worship. There is a difference in taking some thing as a doctrine and using something from Scriptures for encouragement. We need to distinguish between these two things. There are many other morals or lessons to be learned from Paul being in prison. Then the other side is that there are other occasions in which God worked when people where praising or worshiping God. Again if you think worship from just singing and clapping perspective then it fails. But when you see it from correct sense then it hold true. I don't remember any time I used Paul's example just for supporting deliverance. If I had then I may be in my ignorance. May be for encouraging purpose. I think that anyone who uses it as a doctrine for deliverance is wrong. But anyone who uses it to exhort or encourage people can be accepted if the person is using it in correct context.

These where some of my thoughts. If God willing then one day I would like to take the subject of theology of Worship and talk about it. But I agree that worship is one of the most misunderstood subject in Christian circles today. It's in both ways. People who have praise and worship ministry emphasize it more and give an impression that it's everything. It's extreme in one way. Then there are many people whose ministry interest lies in something else like preaching or teaching and who focus on life's purpose and evangelism. They try to present this subject in a kind of negative way and focus mostly on their subject matters. In that situation its extreme in other way. As a result people do not sing songs during church service. They will not clap hands. They will start focusing on other aspects and kind of start thinking that its a the way to do things. I had a friend in India who was a very good Christian in the sense that he had a good knowledge about Bible. His clarity about scriptures and things -amazing. I could not get anywhere near. But one thing I have noticed was that during the church services when everyone will be singing songs and praising God, he will be reading his Bible. Most of the time he will be doing it. No respect to the worship leader who may be asking people for singing or praise God. Sometimes I feel that it's bit arrogance to do that in a church service. If someone does that occasionally then its fine. May be he is meditating or Spirit of God has revealed something to him. But doing it all time is bit odd. That's my personal view. I am of the opinion that we should respect and participate in everything which is scriptural. The main thing is that we need to strike a balance. We should not be so much influenced with one things that we start looking down on other things.

Again worship should be an important part of a Christian's life. But it should be in true sense and we should worship God in TRUTH and SPIRIT.

Sorry for being little long but hope that it gives a better view of the subject. Again thank you brother for bringing this subject up as it was a blessing for me also to think and it will definitely help me in studying about this subject in depth in coming days.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mark Hitchcock on Dec. 21, 2012

December 21, 2012 is a widely discussed subject. There are people who believe that world will come to an end or something will happen. Way back on July 6th 2007, I wrote a blog on it when this subject was not that popular. This blog was read by many people and even listed on a website on this subject. You can find it here http://tinkuthompson.blogspot.com/2007/07/biblical-response-dec-21-2012.html

You can see it on december122012.com at

Mark Hitchcock has written a book on it. He gave a talk about it at Credo House@ Reclaiming the Mind ministry. If you are interested in knowing more about this subject then go to this link and watch the video.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cybermission challenge and Blogs on godsownmanna.com

Few years ago I came to know about CyberMissions. I was greatly impressed with it. I tried doing lot of things and tried to encourage people. Keeping motivation level high has always been a challenge since you never know what's the impact its making. You keep doing it and you never know.

Especially I have noticed that people whom I was targeting are less expressive and don't think of appreciating someone very fast. But from time to time I do get odd emails or responses from people who say that they are blessed. So it's a challenge for anyone who is trying to do any kind of Cybermission.

Podcast hits on gospel-link.com shows a good response but I don't hear that much from people. So I don't update new episodes thinking that not many people are listening to it. But Stats gives a different figure. Sometimes I think that if we didn't have stats then I would have stopped doing most of the things I do long time ago. When you do things without expecting anything back, responses from people can mean a lot.

Well during the last 1 month I got some responses about this blog and site. Especially from people whom I never expected will ever read my blog. That just reminds me that all our labor is not in vain. Someone somewhere may be getting benefit out of it.

Today if you are reading this blog then I want to ask you a small favor. Go to any ministry site or blog or resource site you visit often and send an email to the people who are behind it. Just send them a response that you are blessed by their effort. I can assure you that that's the best thing you can do from them. I see websites with videos of messages and other stuff which requires money and most importantly time and effort. Most of them are free. So let the people behind those wonderful ministry sites know that what they are doing is a good job.

Now let me come to the point behind which I taught of writing this blog. Recently I came across a new site www.godsownmanna.com . They asked me if I can write blogs from them. I agreed after visiting the site. It has lot of resources. You should visit it.
At this time let me also suggest some sites which has some Malayalam christian resources


Indiachristian.com has links to hundreds of Christian websites. I know this is not the full list. If you know of other good sites then you can add in the comments.

May God bless and help all those people who put hours to convert videos and make other resources and put it on internet with the desire to see other people blessed.

God Bless!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Moral Purity in a Corrupt World

We are living in the information age. People have so many ways to get connected to each other. With the wide spread use of Internet came the popularity of services like email, chat, social networking etc. In many cases, privacy of people is compromised as most of the information about a person can be found out with the click of a button. Sometime ago I was reading an article in a leading Journal as how people check social networking sites to find information about a boy or girl when some marriage proposals come. The downside of all this is that people have access to so much information and materials again at just the click of a button. Most of the things we get at the click of a biutton though is not beneficial. Many times it can becomes dangerous.

A common issue expressed by many young people is their addiction to Internet and especially to the filth which is available free of cost. It's free of cost at times but people forget that they are paying a heavy price in regard to destroying their moral standards and convictions. Recent surveys have shown that many families are shattered and many lives are being destroyed as a result of people becoming addicted to pornography and other things. Sometime ago a friend of mine who is also a counselor shared this sad story with me. A family was almost broken with the husband insisting for a divorce. There was no visible problem. Financially they were doing good. Finally my counselor friend could get to the root cause as why this man wanted divorce. He was so much addicted to pornography that he has lost his sense as what are the acceptable standards in a family life. Earlier in order to get access people had to go out but now things flow into your house through your Internet connection. Now everything is available even on mobile phones and you don't even need a computer.

The subject to which I want to draw your attention is about Moral purity. How important is Moral purity for a young person in this corrupt world. Most of the things in the media and things available in the entertainment sources we have are so much sensual in nature that many times you feel that you are defiled after you read or watch something. I used to visit a news portal/website for years for reading news. But recently I have found that I will have to stop visiting that portal and move to some other for news. What's the reason? I have found that of the late the material they have on their homepage and the visuals displayed doesn't confine to the moral standards expected. Their website traffic may have increased after they have changed because we know that more people often visits sites which will feed their appetite for evil.

Recently we have seen reports of people who were considered as good people in society are caught in crimes which nobody ever expected them to commit. where is the starting point? Most of the time you will find that the it started with people ignoring moral purity. Repeated exposure of filthy things changes your convictions and moral standards. It can drive you towards moral depravity. Many times people who have lost their moral standards or whose moral standards are degraded end up committing crimes which destroy other people's life. Many times young people end up in complete mess from where they don't know how to come out. All this can lead to other problems like drug addiction, physiological and medical problems. We have many examples of people who have ended up in big problems because they allowed their convictions regarding morality to be degraded.

There is a pattern in which people slowly slip. Let me point it out to you here. The first exposure to evil is met with recoil and revulsion or shock. The repeated exposure in small doses will lead to the removal of shock. That will lead to desensitization. Then the person starts overlooking the evil which will lead to the tolerance of evil. Then starts a dangerous phase in which you start liking the evil which leads you to desire the evil. It's not over yet. What you desire , you will start justifying. Then comes the tragic phase which leads you to eventual indulgence in evil and further justification of evil.

Did you see how it works? Something which was received with sock initially ends up with the person getting indulged in the same. If you think then you will find that many things in our life is like that. Little ignorance and overlooking can lead to dangerous consequences.

We all have a life in which we can choose how to live. We can be good people of our society who will lead a life which confines to the acceptable moral standards. Leading a life like that will not only give happiness in our life but also to the people who are around us including our family members, neighbors and friends. On the contrary we can allow all the evil things to influence us and allow the degradation of our moral standards. Leading a life like that will give us pleasure for some time but regret and sorrow for rest of our life. It will not only effect our own life but also the lives of people around us including our family members.

The choice is your's? Will you choose to live a life of moral purity in this corrupt world and make an impact in your society with your life? Or will you allow your moral standards to be degraded? What will you choose?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Grandfather

My grandfather passed away last Tuesday and I was in Boston for the funeral. I have mentioned about him earlier also. It was a good time even in sorrow as our whole family got together. I couldn't attend the funeral of my grandparents from my father's side. So it was different and as far as I can remember this was the first funeral service of a close family member which I was attending.

In this post I just thought of adding what I spoke during my grandfathers wake service being the eldest grandson. Here is what I spoke:-

Greetings to all in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am the eldest grandson among the nine grandchildren and I want to say a few words in memory of my grandfather.

My grandfather lived a remarkable life, one that inspired me greatly. When I think of him, first my thoughts go back to my childhood days back in India when during the summer vacations I used to go to my grandparents house along with my sister and 2 other cousins. Everyone who knows my grandfather knows that being an ex military personal he was very strict but at the same time very loving. At one point of time he was the person whom I feared most in the world. But his love was evident in mist of all this.

But for me the most important thing was his role in helping me and my sister to reach where I am now. God really used him during some crucial periods of my life. There was a point in my life when my family had to go through some tough situation and nobody was there for me. At that time it was my grandfather and grandmother who took care of me and my sister. I still remember the times when my grandpa would come to meet me at my boarding school and would leave behind packets of Chocolate with my hostel warden giving instruction to give it to me. There are so many small but significant examples which I can remember which reflected his love and concern for me. I still remember the day when after getting a Job in US and one day before flying out of India, I called him to tell that I am going. He was very happy for me and mentioned that it was his prayer and concern for since I was the only one out of all his grandchildren who was in India. He was very happy and I could feel his joy and gratitude towards God during that conversation.

Out of all the events which happened recently, 2 would always be there in my memory and I will cherish it for a long time. The first one was the conversation I had with him 1 week before he was hospitalized. Normally whenever I call he will not speak too much but would allow my grandma to do most of the talking and he would hear and give some comments here and there. But that day it was different. He picked up the phone and spoke with me for sometime before calling my grandma and handing over the phone to her. I was unusual and I even called my mother later to tell that Appachen i.e. my grandpa spoke for a longer time with me. I will remember most of the things we spoke that day as that was my last conversation with him.

The following Monday I got the shocking news that he is admitted in hospital in a serious condition. I took the early morning flight from MN with the prayer that God will give me at least a chance to see him alive once. Indeed I could see him in ICU. The next 2 days spent in the hospital where tense and I spent most of the time reflecting on the old days I had with my grandpa. Thursday night was unique as I asked God if He can give me one chance so that I can go back with the peace that my grandpa saw me after a long time and at least speak to him with some response back from him. Many people were praying for him. Friday evening God gave the answer to the prayers. He was out of vent for 3-4 hrs and we had a great time. That was one of the most joyful moments in my life. I will cherish that moment for a long time as it was both an answer to my prayer and an opportunity to talk to my grandpa and see him responding.

Out of all his grand children, I may be the one who has spent least amount of time with him especially during the recent years due to various reasons, but I am thankful to God that I was blessed with a wonderful grandfather who above everything constantly prayed for me. I could learn from other people that He was very happy about the Spiritual activities with which I am involved and spoke to others with great honor about it. That was always encouraging and will remain as an encouraging factor in coming days also.

One more things which make me specially thank God at this time is the fact that at this occasion the whole family could be here. Four Children and their families could spent time with him during his last days and everybody could be here on this occasion. I am sure that its a great blessing and our whole family is thankful to god for that.

Before concluding I would like to read few verses from the Bible. The scripture portion comes from I Thessalonians 4:13-18. It’s from NLT translation

13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.

I will miss my grandfather dearly. But I will treasure his memory forever.

Friday, August 7, 2009

When your Calculations go wrong

When faced with a crisis in life, everything seems to take backseat and you seem to move forward with crisis issue. Then life takes another turn and you get used to things and then what was once a crisis moves down your priority list. Sometimes I feel that the ups and downs in our life make it interesting.

Last week I had to rush to Boston as my grandfather was admitted in ICU. It was tough to be there realizing the fact that someone who did so much for your life may be gone forever. But by God's grace I could get some time when he was taken out of ventilator for first time when I could talk to him. Those moments I will remember as some of my best moments with him. He is still in ICU. Keep him in your prayers.

I was back in MN this week and we are having some good time of fasting and prayer. It is true that "better is one day in the courts of God than thousands elsewhere" (Ps 84:10). The sons of Korah were absolutely right.

The title of this post is when your calculations go wrong. What's that? There are many times when our calculations go wrong. We feel rejected, lonely, hopeless etc. We feel like maybe we did something wrong. In Bible there are many examples when people’s calculations went wrong. In John 2:1-11 Jesus did a miracle at a wedding in Cana in Galilee. Jesus was invited along with his disciples. But the person who arranged this function had something go wrong. His calculation about the wine needed went wrong. It is written that there were 6 stone water Jars which could contain 20-30 gallons. So if I take an average of 25 then its 150 gallons of wine. I don't think that if the shortage was only 5-15 gallon then Jesus would have asked to fill all jars but just one. But it was a big crisis. Calculations went wrong big time. So what to do now?

Many times in our life also calculations go wrong. Things may not work in the way or in the time we think it should. It can be for anything in your life. Sometimes you may desire a change in life. You may do some calculations for better job or better house. Sometime it may be for your family, ministry and may be for your marriage. But everything may go wrong. The feeling of a person who has lost everything in life may take hold of you.

Now let me add the final verse of this story here. John 2:11
"This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him."

Jesus used this calculation which went wrong to perform a miraculous sign and revealed his glory. His disciples put their faith in him. The beginning of the powerful ministry of Jesus started here. The source or the reason is someone’s calculation went wrong. There are so many examples in Bible where people thought they have lost everything and then God turns their situation and use it to reveal his glory so that many can put their faith in him.

What will you do with your calculations which went wrong? Are you going to be disappointed and lose hope in life or trust in God and pray that God will use all the circumstances in your life to reveal his glory.

My friend, you may be going through some tough times. But trust in God and put your faith in Him. Other side is that don't blame or expect anything if your are rebellious and go in your own way. Make sure every step and decision you take has the approval of God.

So if your calculations go wrong even when you are walking in close fellowship with God then don't worry. God is in control. Thank God that your calculations are going wrong. God's glory will be revealed in your life very soon.

May God bless You!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Increase in Wickedness - Love will grow cold

We are living in a time when wickedness has become a sort of style or fashion of the day. If we notice the news and keep track of the things happening all around us then we know that with each day wickedness is not only increasing but getting popular and accepted. What was in the list of wickedness few years ago is no longer there and has become accepted things. Its true with Christians also. Many things which are forbidden in the word of God is slowly creeping in and is becoming part of normal life. Tolerance is a good things but sometimes it can become dangerous in the sense that slowly it can make us cold. Last days I was meditating on a verse. Let me share it with you. Mathew 24:10-13:-

"At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."
In these verses when Jesus was talking about the signs of end of the age. Jesus says that because of increase in wickedness the love of most will grow cold. As people of God, we should check our life always against this. Is our love growing cold?
Do you have the same passion and love for Jesus which we had when we believed? What is the condition of our hearts now? Jesus says that love of most will grow cold. Also the reason given is
increase in wickedness. How true is that? It's very much true. Many times we turn to every side and what we see is wickedness. Constant exposure to wickedness will slowly take us away from fellowship we enjoy with God.

One example I can give here so that you can check yourself to see what are the areas of you need to be careful in your life. I used to visit some news web site for reading news often. But recently I have noticed a change in their content. They still have news but all other things are sort of wicked in nature. They have all sort of useless things around. I have noticed and initially those things made me uncomfortable. Then I thought that I am only going to read the news and why should I care about other things. But soon I realized the my comfort level was changing. You may say its normal. Yes its normal but its a negative thing in respect to the standard a child of God has to follow. I hope you can understand what point I am trying to make here.

When we carefully see we will notice that many times its our lack of seriousness and our tolerance towards the wickedness which slowly takes us away from God. Many times it makes us lukewarm in our spiritual life. When we go to church or hear a sermon then we are hot but again we become cold in few hours.

I want to encourage you to look at your own life is see whats your condition. Are you growing cold? What is your hearts attitude towards wickedness?

Remember what Jesus said in these verses. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Let's not allow the wickedness around us to make us cold but rather stand firm till the end so that we will be saved.

May Goid Bless You!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hindi Podcast & Other updates on www.gospel-link.com

About 1.5 yrs ago I started the Gospel Link Podcast. It was mostly in English. This month God helped us to start the Gospel Link Hindi Podcast. Already 2 Episodes are out. First message is about Disappointments and 2nd updated today is about transformation. If you like to listen to Hindi messages then visit http://www.gospel-link.com/Podcast_Hindi.aspx

Also today we added some Hindi Songs by Pr.Renny Thomas from Rajasthan, India. Thanks to Brother Finny Thomas for sending it so that we could add it.

Another important update was the Gospel Link Media Hindi Video message about Dissapointments. I haven't got the final copy which will be released in the first week of May 2009. Some brothers are putting lot of effort behind it. But I have just added the message in the site. I will update it once I get the final copy. But you can still see the message in the site. Visit http://www.gospel-link.com/videos/Messages/Hindi/Dissapointments.aspx

May God Bless Your Spiritual Life!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Impact of One Sermon

Last week there was a testimony shared by someone in the church. It encouraged me and challenged me and I thought of sharing it here. In 1983 a young women attended the church for the first time. The sermon that day was about Dustbin or Trashcan. Yes. The pastor preached from Philippians 3. This chapter first talks about the priceless value of knowing Christ. Then Paul write in verses 7&8

7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ

After listening to this message she gave her life to Jesus. Its more than 25yrs since this happened. But the impact this one message left in her life is still to be seen. She has t-shirts made with photo of Dustin on it and some other things like that which will make people to ask her whats it. Then she shares her story and gives them a CD with the Dustbin message. Yes! She carries some Cd's with this message wherever she goes and gives to people. That's what she testified. She was thankful to pastor for the message he preached that day and said that was the best message pastor ever preached because it changed her life.

This testimony made me to think a lot. Many times we take our preaching or whatever we do casually. But we never know that one message or sermon can change a person's life for ever. What do you think?

Whatever we do we have to give our best. We need to pray and prepare the best way we can.

We never know what one sermon can do.

May God Bless You!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

They do not Compromise

"They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths." Psalms 119:3 (NLT)

We are living in times when compromise has almost become the rule of life. But its not always called as compromise. Sometimes compromise is shielded under words like tolerance, patience, endurance, love for each other, respect for one another etc. Have you ever thought about it. Most of the time we compromise something or other in our life. There are times when you don't have any other way but to compromise.

But today I want to divert your attention towards things your compromise in your spiritual life. Compromise is a slow poison that ultimately destroys respect for truth. What does that mean? You start with small and end up compromising on big things. This is very much true with our beliefs and convictions about truth and doctrine. First thing we must check in our life that how strong we are in our beliefs and convictions. It will have a direct impact on the fact that how easily we compromise.

I have seen people who preach/teach and instruct others on matters regarding doctrine and belief. But when they have a chance to take a stand for it they will not do. They will compromise and say they are being loving and caring. They don't want to take a stand for the truth. But as I read the Bible, one thing I notice is that people whom God used never compromised. They had to go through tough times and circumstances but they stood fast for their faith.

Joseph is a good example. He decided not to compromise and what he immediately got was prison. But later God lifted him and fulfilled the promises. See Daniel's story. How many times he stood for his beliefs and how many times he ended up or could have ended up in trouble. He was once in lion's den. But God whom Daniel trusted was making ways out of all this to lift him up. His three friends ended up in burning furnace for not compromising. But there also God rescued them. Well there are many other examples. There is also stories where people compromised and had to face the consequences for that.

So what are we supposed to do. Do not Compromise with evil. Its difficult to take a stand and at times to stand all alone. But God will definitely bless and lift a person who stands for truth. So we have a choice. Either take a stand and suffer for sometime but be right in the site of God or Compromise now and enjoy life with people for whose sake you are compromising. But remember that compromise will slowly make us to slide away from God's word and ultimately destroy our respect for truth.

May God help you not to Compromise but take a stand for truth.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Holy Spirit in Acts of Apostles (ACTS) Part 1

For last few weeks I had been doing a personal study as well as preaching on a subject which I found to be very helpful and blessing in my own life. Few weeks ago as I had this privilege of studying and meditating on the work or role of Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. There is no doubt that in the book of Acts, we see Holy Spirit work in a clear way than any other book. If you do a search then Holy Spirit is mentioned almost 42 times in 28 chapters of Acts in NIV Bible. It's amazing to see the ways in which Holy Spirit worked in the first century church.

Many times we read the book of Acts and get excited. I have to admit that I have got excited many times after reading few chapters from Acts. The main reason is that we see the work of Holy Spirit manifested through the church and people in a mighty and powerful way. We have to admit that it is our desire also. We also want to see sick getting healed, people coming and asking "what we should do to be saved?", evil spirits casted out, people being filled with Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues, Spirit taking as to a place to be witness of Jesus etc. All of these are exciting.

When we look very closely at the work and the way Holy Spirit moved in Acts, we can understand many things which can help us personally in our walk with God as well as help us to be more effective and be a blessing for others. It's like opening up our life for the Spirit of God to work in a way God wants. It's not limiting or controlling in the way we want or we desire. But its simply submitting our lives.

The first thing we must understand is that the Holy Spirit is a Gift. There is nothing we can do except praying by faith or asking God. Now faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17). So the best thing to do is hear the word of God.

In this post as well as some of the following post I would like to share with you some facts about Holy Spirit as it is found in the book of Acts. All verses are from NIV Bible. Otherwise it will be specified.

  1. Acts 1:1-2 -1In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. - So Jesus gave instructions to Apostles through Holy Spirit. So the first thing we see about Holy Spirit is that it gives instructions. So we must understand this fact very well. We must be ready to accept the instructions which Holy Spirit gives us. Mostly Holy Spirit gives us instructions from the written word of God. Holy Spirit may give us power to understand the Bible words in a better way. We must be open to be instructed by the Holy Spirit.
  2. Acts 1:4-5 - 4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." What a beautiful this is this. God the Father promised the Holy Spirit and Jesus, the Son spoke about it. And it is a Baptism. You may be knowing what is a Baptism. Immersion in water takes place during Baptism. So the promised Holy Spirit Baptism is for the children of God. Jesus word are like this - " you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit".
  3. Acts1:8 -8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." In these verses Jesus explains as to what will happen when Holy Spirit comes. First Jesus said that you will receive power. What a wonderful thing. We are powerless but Jesus promise is that Holy Spirit will empower us for a purpose. What is that purpose? It's nothing else but it is for us to become witnesses. These days many people think that Holy Spirit main purpose is something else like expanding our ministry or showing in front of others that we are something etc. Nothing else but the main purpose is that we should be witnesses of Jesus Christ in the world. Have you ever thought in that angle. See these were almost the last words before Jesus was taken in to the heavens. God desire is that we should be empowered and we should become witnesses. Do we really pray that God should give us Holy Spirit to become witnesses? If we have already received the Baptism of Holy Spirit then are we really becoming witnesses or at least praying to God about it? If you sincerely pray then God will baptize you with the Holy Spirit so that you will be receive the Power and be witnesses of Jesus Christ in this world.
I will continue with this subject in the next post.

May God Bless You!

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year New Expectations & Crisis

So 2008 is over and we are in New year 2009. This year has started in a different way than previous years. We are seeing the economic crisis and people losing jobs. Reports suggest that 1st quarter of 2009 will be tough as more stores are going to be closed and it is predicted that market conditions are going to get worse. People are living in fear of losing their jobs.

But in mist of it we should also notice another crisis. Its the spiritual crisis. We are seeing moral depravity increasing and spiritual conditions going on a lukewarm way. Spiritual circles are floating with false teachings and doctrines and there is large market for such things and lot of people are being deceived. The high standards which believers used to have is being compromised for pleasures. Preachers are afraid to preach on issues which will make them unpopular and make people upset. Everyone wants to attract people and grow in number. In nutshell more focus is on quantity rather than quality.

So many programs where conducted at many places during December with Evangelism as motive but seldom the true gospel of Jesus was preached or presented. People were invited for celebrating Christmas and given foods or snacks. The true gospel was never preached. Repentance from sin was never mentioned. Lot of programs which will never lead a person to salvation experience were conducted which will give people satisfaction that they did something.

So in mist of all these things, its also a wake up call for people of God to seek his face more and get close to God and prepare for Jesus coming. Every thing which is happening all around us make us believe more on the Biblical prophecies. A person who read the Bible and carefully follows the events happening all around him can easily agree and acknowledge within his heart that yes Jesus will come soon.

In Luke 18:8 Jesus asked a question.
8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

Even as we are thankful to what God has done during the last year and days, let us prepare ourselves more to see him face to face. Let our focus be more on spiritual crisis than the economic crisis.

Have a Blessed Year 2009!

Maranatha!!! (Our Lord is Coming Back Soon)

Be Alert: Do not fall into this trap!

Introduction Recently, a Pastor visited me, and I took him to the Mall of America, the biggest mall in America.  As we were walking, we met ...