“And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings…” Daniel 2:21
Our elections are now over and the verdict is now out. The BJP (Bharaitya Janata Party) has now become the largest national party in India, with a whopping 354 seats in parliament, with only 54 seats going to those who stand in opposition to this party. BJP is a right-wing Hindu party which has extreme ideological views. It is expected that they will try and implement ‘anti-conversion’ laws in all the states. These laws have already been in operation in 8 states so far. Having said that, our God is Sovereign. He is in charge of all nations, including India. He appoints all leaders (Daniel 2:21). So, please pray that God may change the hearts and minds of those who oppose His Gospel (Proverbs 21:1). Pray that He would give us greater liberty to preach His good news to those who are trapped in the bondage of sin.
On a different note, in our state Andhra Pradesh, YSRCP has come to power with a massive victory. The leader of the party, who is our current Chief Minister, comes from the Anglican Church background. He is a Christian sympathizer (I don’t think he is a Christian), and I hope that there will be a greater freedom to preach the gospel in the villages and the towns of Andhra Pradesh.
As far as church life is concerned, I have been preaching through the book of 1 Timothy. Initially, I thought that the Pastoral Epistles in the Bible were only meant for pastors. But quite the opposite is true. Every God-breathed Word is important for all the saints to study, meditate on, and submit themselves to. Because I have been preaching through the book of 1 Timothy, the saints are getting to know the “blueprint” for a local Church. We are commanded to shape the church according to the biblical mandate (1 Tim 3:15), and not according to the trends and tastes of the world. It is easy to build a church building with cement and bricks, but it takes a lifetime to build people in the Lord. One of the blessings of the expository preaching is that people are getting to know the Word of God more intimately. That is my prayer; that their lives would be shaped according to the Word by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, the congregation understands the qualifications for the office of elder and deacon. As I was preaching through these qualifications, I was also convicted of my shortcomings. But praise be to God for His immense mercy and grace.
Please pray for those who profess to be Christians, but do not want to commit themselves to membership. Please pray for those who thinking about being baptized.
We praise the Lord that the woman I mentioned in a previous report has started attending the church again. We hoped that we would not have to excommunicate her, as she was absent for several months. We went to her and spoke with her about the spiritual dangers she was in with her lack of attendance. But God, through many events and different circumstances, humbled her and brought her to her knees. It was a great sight to see when she prayed at the recent prayer meeting.
Please pray for another brother, who seemed to be saved gloriously, but is now walking in sin. He is not baptized and therefore he is not a church member. But my heart goes out for him. How I pray that he would come back to Christ and pursue faith and holiness. Would you please uphold him in prayer; that the Lord would have mercy upon him and bring him out from darkness?
The Lord has been extremely merciful to me. He has been very kind. He heard my/our prayer many times. In fact, I realized that there comes a point in pastoral ministry that you can do nothing but pray and pray and pray. May we be encouraged from the Psalmist as he says “Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; And give heed to the voice of my supplications! In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You, For You will answer me. There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like Yours.” Psalm 86:6-8.
In His Grace,