To my Friends...
This being my first letter of the year, I’m reminded
of what I preached in the New Year midnight Service of one of the local
Churches in Vellore—
Some years in history have been remembered for their
tragedies, which have left many unhealed wounds and permanent scars. One
wonders whether 2008 has become such a year in history! The 2008 Dec 28
Sunday Magazine of The Hindu newspaper has pointed out a few things—
The Wall Street meltdown has highlighted the excesses
of an unregulated system; Crashdown of global economy; Price rise: One
third of Indians, that is 400 million people, are eating one third less
today than what they were eating in 1975. Even in 1975 it was less than
the UN’s stated daily minimum; Bomb blasts in Bengaluru, Jaipur,
Gujarat, Delhi, Maharashtra and Assam; Communal violence against Christians,
especially Khandamol in Orissa, which also spread to Karnataka and several
other States—Nearly 300 villages were wiped off their Christian
population— It is said more communal violence in 2008 since 2002
against Muslim community; The Mumbai tragedy makes terrorism more complex
than ever to be tackled. And there are great hopes and high expectations
as the first Black President of US assumes office in January 2009.
As I was reflecting on these things, I was reminded
of Christ’s words at the end of His Sermon on the Mount:
Matthew 7:24-27, “Whoever hears These Sayings
of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house
on the rock; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew
and beat on that house, and it did not fall, for it was founded on the
rock.” We know what happened to the house built on sand. The “rains”
and “floods” and “winds” of the present happenings
don’t spare anyone. The solid rock is “these sayings”
of Jesus, namely what He has taught us in “this” Sermon. The
teaching in this 3-chapter Sermon can be divided into five major exhortations
as to How we can not only survive these days but also thrive in them.
1. Stay broken. If you look at them
carefully, all the 8 Beatitudes speak of brokenness of heart and contriteness
in spirit (Mt 5:3-10). The opposites are arrogance, haughtiness, highmindedness,
pride, despising others, overconfidence and accusing others. The greatest
virtue to be learnt from Jesus is meekness and lowliness (Mt 11:29). Jesus
is King, but He rides not on a horse but a donkey. He is majestic but
meek. He is lofty but lowly. The Beatitudes speak of blessedness rather
than blessings. Blessings are what we receive; but blessedness is what
we are! You can fall down from a cot but not from a mat! No one can break
you if you are already broken!
2. Grow in holiness. Mt 5:13-20, 27-32
3. Abound in love. Mt 5:21-26, 38-48;
4. Be Biblical in spiritual disciplines.
Mt 6:1-4, 5-9, 16-18; 7:15-23
5. Trust God for future. Mt 6:19-21,
This full one hour sermon in English is available on
an audio CD, titled Happy New Year! You may write to me for a free copy.
I urge you to read through the Sermon on the Mount atleast once every
six months lest you forget the Kingdom values. Set your priorities right.
We are preparing to receive a Kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb 12:26-29).
Now for some news—
In the 6-day Keswick Convention in Calcutta in February,
I preached in the last three evening meetings besides morning Bible studies.
The thirst of believers from various Churches to hear God’s Word
was encouraging. The evening talks were translated into Bengali. God willing
I will be visiting this State of West Bengal again this year in November
for meetings in Kharagpur.
Visiting Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh after 16 years
gave me a good time with the Christians of this town. I was there this
time to address a 3-day Inter-Church Convention, Feb 20-22. There were
some senior men of God who remembered what all I preached during my first
visit! My books and those of my wife have left a lasting impact in the
hearts of people here. I was further encouraged to keep on doing faithfully
whatever the Lord has entrusted me with, fixing up my mind on eternal
The 4-day Sound Doctrine Seminar, Feb 27-28 & Mar
6-7, in Dubai-Abudhabi in the UAE, was a blessed time though the attendance
was rather poor. It was pointed out by some that this Seminar should have
been sponsored by a single Church, and not organised as an inter-Church
programme. Too many splits in Churches and Assemblies, and overcrowding
of visiting preachers are worrying factors in almost all the Gulf States.
Life for many non-resident Indian Christians in this part of the world
has become too hectic and mechanical to find quality time for devotional
disciplines. The job-cuts due to economic crisis have intensified anxieties.
Pray that God’s purposes in taking Christians to this Muslim world
would be fully accomplished.
On my personal invitation, 62 of my friends, who have
been blessed immensely over the years through my Bible Teaching ministry,
assembled in Tiruchy, Tamilnadu, on 14 March. It was to discuss how we
could distribute my books, audio and video CDs to Christians who never
had the opportunity to listen to me. The chief beneficiaries of my over
3-decade teaching ministry have been the friends and partners of the Blessing
Youth Mission. This is hardly 1% of the Indian believers. Fairminded Christians
would agree that solid and sound doctrinal teaching has become rare. There’s
material prosperity but spiritual penury. This is the “famine”
that Prophet Amos spoke about (Am 8:11,12). Several of those who gathered
in Tiruchy have volunteered to serve the Body of Christ through my teaching
materials. If you are one of those blessed through my preaching, teaching
and writing, I urge you to do something definite and systematic to pass
on these materials to those who have “nothing” (Neh 8:10).
Write to me so I would arrange to leave with you a stock of books and
CDs worth Rs. 5000/- or 10000/-. Go house to house, visit Churches and
Institutions with these materials. God will surprise you with unexpected
As the two rooms in our house in which I have been working
on my Daily Devotional and the DVDs are getting congested, I’m putting
up two more rooms. Even this won’t to be enough at the present rate
of expansion. Join me in prayer as I’m planning some decentralisation
of these works. I remember the humble way in which I started my post-retirement
activities in 2003. God has once again proved that He is a God of small
beginnings (Mt 13:31; Zech 4:10a)!
The weeklong Revival Meetings in Muscat, Mar 20-27,
organized by the Bread of Life Fellowship, were well attended by believers
of various Churches. I delivered six Talks. My wife and I have been associating
with this Fellowship from the early 80s, since the time it started as
a cottage prayer group. Its growth has been consistent. It is this Fellowship
which provided funds in 2000 for a Toyota Qualis car for our personal
and ministerial use. This they did in gratitude to the rich spiritual
input they had received from me over the years (1 Cor 9:11). They have
honoured me by keeping me as the first of the three Patriarchs and Advisors
in their Constitution. Pray much for this English Fellowship which caters
to the spiritual needs of various nationalities.
The 10 Talks telecast in the Tamilan TV, under the topic
How not to Pray, are now available as a 2-DVD Pack of 5 hours duration,
at Rs.150/-. Get a copy for you and your friends in these days when there
are simply too many unscriptural and heathenic practices which have crept
into the holy exercise of prayer. These Talks are now available on my
website, StanleyOnBible.com You can watch it and download it freely. Thousands
are taking advantage of this provision.
The next topic, How not to Meditate, will conclude in
the TV on Thursday the 9th instant. These 10 Talks also would soon be
made available as a 2-DVD pack of 5 hours. God willing, I will begin the
next topic, How not to Give, on Thursday the 16th (9.30 to 10.00). My
Tamil Translator, E.L. Ephraim, with his huge responsibilities as the
Headmaster of a Higher Secondary School, finds it difficult to spare a
few days each month for the TV recording. I have therefore requested one
Mr. Durai Jasper, a staff of CMC Hospital, to help me in this area. He
has willingly accepted. We have already recorded five Talks. We are doing
it in Vellore itself in our small studio. Brother Ephraim will however
continue to help me for the meetings in Tamilnadu.
I want to really thank God for the excellent Translators
He gives me all across India for various vernaculars. Most of them are
the best in translation in their respective States. Here’s one of
the testimonies from my vernacular Translators: “Brother, it’s
difficult to translate for you because I get so lost and engrossed in
the messages you preach that I at times fail to catch the next words to
be translated!” Yes, it is when the message gets into the “heart
and spirit” of the Translator, his “head and skill”
would experience optimal anointing.
The Malayalam edition of my daily devotional, Better
Everyday, has at last rolled off the Press. The same will be officially
released in a gathering at the Christian Medical College Hospital here
in Vellore on the 22nd this month. My heart surgeon who operated on me
13 years ago on 23 April 1996 will be one of the two who would receive
the first copy of this book. He is a Malayalee who reads the English version
regularly. I have chosen to have this book released in Vellore because
this town is a mini Kerala! The Bengali edition is just about to go to
the Press. Translation is not over yet for the Marathi and Gujarathi editions.
Such a work takes time. The financial investment also is heavy. Contributions
Summer months are known for Conventions and Gospel Crusades.
Be wise when you organise public meetings. You can avoid unnecessary problems
by not inviting foreigners as speakers. Even with Indian preachers, make
sure there are no inflammatory speeches. Preach the pure Gospel forthrightly
without adulteration leaving the results in the hands of God.
Do not plan a hectic schedule during summer vacation.
Take sufficient time, to rest and relax, for yourself and your family.
Plan to read through one or two books. Instead of again and again attending
meetings to receive blessings, go to programmes where you would be equipped
to become a blessing to others.
Thank you so much for remembering me regularly before
the Throne of Grace. By God’s immense grace I would be completing
13 years on 23 April after my heart surgery. As I write these lines my
eyes are full with tears of gratitude to my Lord who is still extending
my life on earth. I have no ambition whatsoever other than to share with
God’s people all that He has revealed to me from His holy Word.
My prayer at this point of time is—
“O God, You have taught me from my youth;
and to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me, until
Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come!”
I request my Tamil friends to forgive me for saying
“no” too often for their invitations to preach in meetings
Tamilnadu. During the last 40 years I have spent so much
time and energy for Tamil Christians. Now I desire to do justice to the
non-Tamil States (Lk 4:42,43). These days I don’t accept more than
2 or 3 programmes for a year in Tamilnadu. Please allow me to concentrate
on non-Tamil States as long as I am able to travel. Thank you for understanding.
Programmes for April–May–June:
|Tamilnadu Police Fellowship, Palayamkottai
|Bible Revival Meetings & Youth Camp, Trivandrum
|Faithful Life Camp, Blessing Youth Mission, Danishpet
|Sound Doctrine Seminar, Hubli, Karnataka
|Sound Doctrine Meetings, Dublin, Ireland
Please send your mobile number to Mr. T. Ruso (98423
68424) or Mr. S. Ezekiel (94444 47744) to receive instant news of my programmes.
More prayer means more power; less prayer, less power; no prayer, no power!
All believers in Christ are theologians.
But all theologians are not necessarily believers.
Theology is simply the knowledge of God—
but, knowing God begins with a personal faith in Christ.
It is wrong to specify any particular believer as “gifted.”
All believers are “gifted.”
There’s no believer who is not gifted within the Body of Christ.
By dividing the people of God as clergy and laymen,
we have made the latter a majority of lame men.
The Holy Spirit is either too poor or stingy if He has only nine gifts
to give us.
Let’s not dare to limit God to any list.
If we collect all the unread Bibles from Christians,
we will not need to print new Bibles for several years!
We talk so much about the pattern of the New Testament Church and ministry.
Good, but, where is the power?
I’d prefer a bullock cart to a Benz car that has no engine.
Beware of a Christless Pentecost
as much as of a Pentecostless Christianity.
We have Bible-minus churches as well as Bible-plus churches.
The former subtract the positive and explicit teaching of the Scriptures
for their traditions. To Christian life the latter add laws and regulations
which the Bible does not plainly teach.
We must stand for Bible plus-orminus nothing, both in our doctrine
The pastor who builds his congregation without the help of apostles,
prophets, evangelists and teachers is like the mason who tries
to construct a building without carpenters, blacksmiths, plumbers,
and electricians. Hardly does any minister have all the gifts.
Even Moses and Solomon needed men like Bezaleel and Hiram
for their building work.
It is not enough to claim the power of Acts 1:8;
we should also carry out the programme outlined therein.