Archive for category Church
Here’s a great teaching from John G. Lake Ministries, titled “How to Spiritually Capture a City.”
Click the link below to download the teaching as an MP3 file:
Curry Blake – General Overseer of JGLM says in that teaching that they have actually practiced what he teaches and it’s worked. If it worked for them, it should surely work for any other church and for any born again child of God.
Caution: Jesus sent disciples two-by-two. So I suggest you go out in groups to evangelize the way they recommend. And if there is hostility in the area you live or plan to evangelize, I suggest you speak to your pastor first, because the pastor is responsible for your spiritual well-being and life before God. If all is fine, then try it out and leave your comments here. If I do try out the method, I too will update. Till then, forever, God bless you and use you more mightily as a blessing, in Jesus’ name. Amen!
A couple of months ago, I had been to my native state of Gujarat, where I became – sort of – a Christian persecuted. I gave some gospel tracts to Hindus. Their response wasn’t bad on my face. But when I came back to my hometown, I learned that there was a small verbal fight over the issue. I had given one tract to my relative’s maid. First she asked for our pastor’s phone number saying she wanted prayer. The next day though, her husband came and fought with my relatives. In fact, another relative of mine took my evangelism negatively and said that they could inform the police and get me arrested for trying to convert people’s religion! A brother-in-Christ later advised me that on every tract, you should print words like “We are not trying to convert your religion. Jesus did not come to (start or) establish a religion. Whether to believe in this message or not is your decision.”
Of course, Jesus says in the Bible that people would hate his followers. But what I found surprising was that this actually happens here in India even though we are a secular country. We aren’t theocratic – Hindu like Nepal or Islamic like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia etc.
A missionary pastor later advised me to abstain from handing out gospel tracts in that state as people there think differently than people in my hometown. Missionary pastors really have it tough and often risk death when, ironically, they are really trying to set people free from the clutches of sin, sickness, death etc.
It would be interesting to learn if you have ever been a Christian persecuted for preaching the gospel (even soft persecution – like just handing out tracts or praying for people…). Share your experiences in the comments here. God bless you!
Be ‘vocal’ & sing praises to Jesus…it’s a great way to be ‘instrumental’ in serving the Kingdom of God!
“…and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Nepal is probably the world’s only officially Hindu country. My India isn’t, as it is a multi-religious and non-theocratic State. Now this small country Nepal, with a population less than that of my hometown Mumbai (Bombay) is receiving the Lord Jesus…and how!
Greater Grace World Outreach (www.ggwo.org) has planted 18 churches in the Himalayan country, famous for the Mount Everest. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that many of Nepal’s believers actually live in mountainous caves, hours away from ‘civilization’. Recently, our pastor narrated the story of a Nepali pastor from the Praja tribe. This pastor is just 28 years or so and has a family to support. He cannot leave his family behind for years to attend Bible College. So he stays with his folks for a month and goes down to the city for a month. He will do this for the next 3 years, in order to get trained up in the Word of God and carry it back to his folks up in the mountains.
This may not sound too difficult to do. Except when you consider that:
• To reach the city, he climbs down the mountain on a 9-hour journey on foot.
• He climbs down the mountain on which he lives, then climbs up the next peak, then down it, then up the next and then down that one too.
• Along the way, he crosses a river – crossing it 17 times, at its various bends.
• In the rains, the river gets flooded chest-high. So the young pastor wades his way across the river, holding his bag up in the air, as it contains his Bible, books and clothes.
• After his 9-hour descent, he reaches the highway.
• He changes into a dry pair of clothes and takes the bus to the city, which is another 8 hours away.
• He will stay there in the church building with a dozen other pastors in the same room, until better facilities are available.
• He will go back up the same way he came, after investing a month in formal Bible study…
• …all this, to carry the Good News to people just like you and me, so that if they accept Jesus, they will continue to live in Heaven even after they die physically on earth.
The conditions are so tough, that some tribal children have probably never even seen a car. If they want to see one, they must walk their way down to the highway, which is 9 hours away. Pastor remarked that one day, when we get to Heaven, we will probably see a spirit shining like a star; and when we ask Jesus who it is, he will tell us it’s that tribal pastor from Nepal, who labored – and not in vain.
How true! Billy Graham’s wife Ruth was once asked if they ever argued and if she ever thought of divorcing him. She said they argued many times, but she never thought about divorce. But yes, she did think once about murdering him! Honest lady, indeed.
Well, no one is perfect. Love as a feeling is transient. So when you base your affections upon the emotion of love, you are vulnerable to its opposite – hatred. But love as a virtue is perfected by Jesus Christ himself, who died for us so that we could have happy marriages; so that our relationships could be healed through faith in him. And when we learn to love our spouses like he loves his Church, we too can walk in perfect love for our spouses. This is especially true for husbands, who the Bible says, should love their wives “just as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it.” (Eph.5:25)
Before I upload the next post, let me step back and assess if I love my wife the way Christ loves the Church!
What is a Church (or ‘the’ Church)? The Church is a term used to describe in one word, the community of people who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and who have received his offer of forgiveness of sins. So basically, it is a group of people who are saved “by grace through faith.” (Ephesians 2:8) Why is it not a building? Here are 3 reasons why (in my opinion)…
- The Torn Curtain and Pentecost: When Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, the Temple curtain was torn into two. (Luke 23:45) This meant that now mankind would no longer need to come before God through a human high priest. We can now come before God in the name of His Son Jesus. So God no longer needed to dwell/be worshipped in a building. Once the Holy Spirit was sent down by Jesus at Pentecost, our bodies became temples of God if we had received forgiveness for our sins and were filled by the Spirit of God. (Prayer to receive forgiveness from sins)
- The Builder: “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1) The church buildings are built by man. The Church that Jesus is building, is being built by God Himself. Only God can build it, because the reason for building it is not earthly – it is heavenly. God is preparing us for eternal life in Heaven. So how can He confine His work to mere bricks and mortar? In fact, while building man-made churches is finished when the construction is over, the Church of Christ is still being built, as more and more souls are saved every day.
- Indestructible: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” ( John 3:16) What happens when a severe earthquake strikes a church building? Well, quite likely the building collapses, or at least get damaged in some way. But Jesus’ Church does not, because it consists of humans, who can run toward safety and continue glorifying God so long as they’re alive. A building cannot glorify God on its own! And even if humans die, their spirit remains. The human spirit cannot be harmed when it is indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit. But a building does not have a spirit (soul) – so how can it have the Holy Spirit living inside it? (!)
About a month ago on my way back from church, I bought the Mumbai edition of Sunday Mid-day at a traffic signal. I fell short of a One Rupee coin (2 cents or 1.3 pence) and the signal turned green. The poor and ageing vendor said it was okay – “give it to me the next time.” Here’s the rest of the story…
I wondered whether I should have bought the paper at all, as I rarely buy anything at traffic signals. I prayed to the Lord: “Father, may I find the vendor the next Sunday and pay off his One Rupee.” I had even taken his name and saved it in my mobile phone ‘notes’ folder. I didn’t find him for 4 weeks. Meanwhile, I “got an idea” – I would hand over a tract of the Good News to him when I found him. I even prayed for his salvation! And then Sunday last, I was waiting at the same red signal again on my way back from church and voila! He just turns up! I seized the opportunity and took out the One Rupee coin (would you believe, I had stored plenty of them in my wallet since then!) and reminded him of it. He had forgotten about it. He said take a copy free as a gesture of appreciation. But I paid him the Five Rupees that the paper costs. Then I “just recalled” about the tract – but lo – the signal turned green! Immediately, I thrust my bag open and took out a tract – first of the wrong language and then the correct one (in Hindi)…I called out to him as he was moving away…he came and accepted the tract and returned the One Rupee I had preserved for him so long!
I then thanked the Lord about all of this and prayed for his salvation. Won’t you join me in praying for RANA SINGH’s salvation today?
If you are not sure where you will spend eternity, read this post. It could change your life!
Studying the Bible is as important as praying. In the early days of my Christian faith, I was taught that we speak to God through prayer, while God speaks to us through His Word – the Bible.
– Foundation Course in the Bible
– Old Testament Prophets
– The Book of Acts
– Applied Bible Doctrine
– 1, 2, 3 John and Revelation
– Biblical Psychology
– Evangelizing World Religions
– Discipleship…and many other courses.
There are a total of 36 credits to be earned, in order to graduate with a Bible College Degree.
Although formal Bible education cannot substitute personal prayer and study and quiet time with the Lord, it can add value to your Christian life and faith, provided:
> It is planned and imparted thoughtfully and with love,
> The student applies himself/herself to the studies prayerfully, choosing to be taught directly by the Holy Spirit; and
> It helps the students and instructors alike, to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, both during the training and later, because of it.
Don’t worry if your church does not have a formal Bible education system. You can buy the Thomson Chain Reference Bible or the Open Bible. The latter is available in the New King James Version (NKJV). The NKJV retains the flavor of the King James Version while leaving out Shakespearean English. You can click on the link “Purchase the BIBLE here” on this page to buy one.
The first Church service I attended was about four months after I gave my heart to Christ.
I was a struggling singer in May 2002. I did not want to do a job, but only wanted to be a singer. After I confessed my sins to Jesus and prayed the Salvation Prayer, God began to change me from within. I took my parents’ advice and took up a job as a management trainee. As part of my initial assignment, I had to visit door-to-door, to sell personalized books. One September afternoon, when I rang the doorbell of a house in downtown Mumbai, a young man opened the door. After pitching about my stuff, I asked him if he was a Christian, as there were stickers of Jesus and some verses on the door post. I also told him about my faith in Jesus Christ. He handed me a tract and invited me to his church, the Greater Grace Fellowship’s Sunday service.
I went to the church that very Sunday. He was an usher there. I loved the preaching and the love I experienced there, which was totally unique. It came from within the hearts of the people there. No showbiz. No fooling oneself or others. No commercialism. It was God the Holy Spirit Who was dwelling in their hearts. I accepted the salvation call from the Pastor (Karl Silva) and the rest, as they say, is history! God bless Justin John for being the one who brought me into His house.
When you turn over your life to Jesus Christ, you become “a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” [2 Corinthians 5:17] The Holy Spirit goes at work in your life and lays foundations that grow deep and wide first and high later. If you haven’t as yet, I urge you to turn your life over to Jesus. You won’t regret it!
Sunday services are like battery recharges in mobile phones. In order to effectively communicate with God, the world, as well as with ourselves through the week ahead, we need to replenish our spiritual strength by going to church every Sunday.
My pastor has always stressed on the importance of carrying a Bible, a notebook and a pen or pencil to service. Public memory is short, and I too am a member of the public! A pen will serve me (and you) in good stead. It has, so far. And I am pleased to compile my learning into easily digestible capsules in the form of blog posts here. I will organise my posts in a way that packs in just enough to sustain your interest yet does not leave you feeling hungry. But don’t you not feel hungry for more – of the Word of God! Keep the fire in your belly burning for the Lord. That is the fire that has – at least in my case – kept the kitchen fire burning. Jehovah Jireh is the Provider. Praise Him!