Grace and peace to you through Christ Jesus our Lord!
As I write this last letter for the year, I remember what I shared with
you in the first letter of the year, dated 7 April. Against the backdrop
of the crashdown of global economy, communal violence, terrorism and unprecedented
corruption, I had reminded you of the concluding words of Christ in His
Sermon on the Mount (Mt 7:24-27). These unpleasant happenings of our times
are the “rains” and “floods” and “winds”
Jesus spoke about. He has called us to build our lives and ministries
on the “solid rock” by which He meant “His sayings”
contained in this Sermon. I have nothing more to add at the end of this
year, as we prepare to enter another year, than to urge you to read and
reread the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5,6 & 7). The five lessons I brought
out from this Sermon were:
1. Stay broken (Mt 5:3-10; 11:29).
2. Grow in holiness (Mt 5:13-20, 27-32).
3. Abound in love (Mt 5:21-26, 38-48; 6:14,15; 7:1-5).
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, 24-34).
I shared these thoughts with several congregations I
ministered to this year, inland and overseas. This full one hour sermon
in English, titled Happy New Year, is available with me on an audio CD,
yours free for the asking.
Enclosed herewith is a copy of my booklet, How
to be Saved (Click
here to download). I wrote this in 1985 and it’s reprinted now
in the present format. There are simply too many testimonies from those
who got saved after reading this booklet. It’s available in Tamil
also. You can order as many copies as you need, at Rs. 5/- per copy, to
give away to your nominal Christian friends. You may enclose this booklet
with your Christmas cards. Even a simple Christmas card costs 10 to 20
rupees! See that your nominal Christian friends do not celebrate another
meaningless Christmas! Buy this booklet is quantities of 50 or 100 and
distribute it during Carols if you still have the bad habit of visiting
only Christian homes with carol singing! (If you are not able to reach
me at my mobile for your requirements, please contact Mr. John Joseph,
one of my assistants, at 094434 38170).
There’s so much of talk about missionary work
and reaching the unreached. As the new Churches in mission fields are
phenomenally growing with new converts, our old Churches back home are
pathetically increasing in the number of “nominal” Christians.
I call missions as “nets” and existing churches as “baskets.”
What will happen to the huge catch of fish if enough of baskets are not
readied to contain them? Think of baskets with large holes! The tears
of nominal Christians in our shallow evangelistic crusades are mostly
over their physiological and material needs rather than their spiritual
condition. Every other ministry or meeting adds the word “blessing”
to its name, because it attracts crowds. But what is the blessing of blessings?
It is forgiveness of sins! Look at Apostle Peter’s words to the
Jews of his day who can be compared to the nominal Christians of our day:
Acts 3:26, “God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to
bless you, in turning away everyone of you from your
iniquities!” This is “the” reason why the Son of God
was named as Jesus. “You shall call His Name Jesus, because
He will save His people from their sins” (Mt 1:21).
Friends, as much as you pray for and support pioneer
ministries in regions beyond, work with the unsaved souls in your vicinity.
As much as people are perishing “without” the Gospel, folks
are perishing “with” the Gospel also because the modern sermons
are deficient. “If the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will
prepare himself for battle?” (1 Cor 14:8). The world is sleeping
in darkness; the Church is sleeping in the light! (Eph 5:14). Will you
decide that you would lead at least one nominal Christian each month in
the new year into definite Salvation experience?
I was greatly challenged when I participated in the
Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Students For Jesus (SFJ) unit of Hubli.
As their Chief Guest I addressed three evening meetings, 6-8 November.
I have watched this youth group grow from its inception in the early 80s.
Most of the members of this unit are Telugu speaking. This team is one
of the very few youth groups which have maintained the same glow and dynamism
for so many years.
The Missions Day celebrated by the Faith Baptist Church
of Bangalore on 11 November was another soul-stirring event. The Senior
Pastor is Mr. D. Manivannan. They conduct this programme every year the
same day in memory of Missionary William Carey who landed in India on
11 November 1793. Scores of Churches and Organisations sincerely cooperated
with this endeavour. I spoke both in the forenoon session and the evening
rally. Over 1500 participants were there with contagious enthusiasm. This
Church has a membership of just about 200, mostly of the labour class,
not the elite. But amazingly, as on date, they are supporting nearly 70
missionaries through over 30 Missions and Evangelistic Agencies! The so-called
mega Churches must salute this humble congregation! The tithe-crazy Pastors
must learn from this Church! The slogan of this Church is just the same
saying of William Carey: “Expect great things from God and Attempt
great things for God!” Shame on preachers and people who call
more cars and wealth as “great things!”
The Christians world over are aware of the atrocities
committed against the new Christians of Khandamal District in the State
of Orissa on the Christmas eve of Dec 2008. In order to equip the youth
of this area for ongoing missionary evangelism, the Bharatiya Sewak Sangati
under the leadership of its Founder Rev. Vijay Mohod had organized a 5-day
Conference called Vision India 2009 in Cuttack, Orissa, 15-19 November.
Over 500 youth from Khandamal District and 800 from the other parts of
Orissa had gathered for this timely event. The organizers had to turn
down over 300 applications because they could not accommodate more than
1300 delegates. I addressed two sessions. Nearly 600 youth received the
anointing of the Holy Spirit in my first session, and almost the entire
gathering responded positively when I gave the Missionary Call. It was
a moving sight that sank us in tears. Pray for this State especially for
the displaced Christians from the villages of Khandamal District.
Immediately after preaching in Cuttack I was taken quite
ill with Chikungunya. In that condition, I could not proceed to Kharagpur
for the inter-church weekend meetings scheduled for 20-22 November. The
organizers in Kharagpur were kind enough to postpone these meetings to
2010. Because of the fervent prayers of thousands around the world, who
regularly get my brief news by SMS, this kind of fever which normally
lingers on for weeks left me in four days! The Lord once again in His
mercy manifested His strength in my weak body! Thank you for your loving
Several of you are aware of the 3-day gathering of about
30 youngsters, with fasting, in October 1970, in Karaikudi, under my leadership.
It was in this gathering I delivered a prophetic message from Ezekiel
34:26, with the promise, “There shall be Showers of Blessing!”
which gave birth to the Blessing Youth Mission in January 1971. In fact,
the period 1965 to 1975 was a time of Revival, in Tamilnadu, which gave
birth to several ministries. The standard and quality of these ministries
born in the wake of this Revival is quite high. All the godly leaders
of South India would endorse this statement. October 2010 marks the completion
of 40 years of this era. I am burdened to convene a 3-day gathering again
in Karaikudi in October 2010. The purpose of this gathering can be best
stated in the words of Prophet Jeremiah:
“Thus says the Lord:
Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the OLD PATHS,
where the good way is, and walk in it;
then you will find rest for your souls” (Jer 6:16).
Accordingly, we would call this gathering as Old Paths Retreat.
God willing, we will begin with breakfast on Friday the 1st October and
close with tea on Sunday the 3rd. October 2 is a Public Holiday. It has
not become clear yet whether we should invite 100 or 1000 friends to this
Retreat. I serve this advance information in order that you would start
interceding before the Lord for this historic gathering. It will be an
occasion for God-hungry believers to search the Scriptures to find out
how far we have gone away from God’s ways in our lives and ministries.
Again in the words of Jeremiah, “Let us search out and examine our
ways, and turn back to the Lord. Let us lift our hearts (lives) and hands
(ministries) to God in Heaven” (Lam 3:40,41). Please tell me what
you feel about this.
God willing, my wife and I with our daughter, son-in-law
and granddaughter would vacation in Singapore from 20 Dec to 3 Jan. No
meetings, no preaching! This is perhaps the first time in all these years
that we are planning a vacation as a family. Keep us in your prayers so
we would be refreshed and renewed for another year of ministry. Wishing
you all the best of the Season,