Greetings to you all in the precious Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
It was during my stay in the States that I experienced real expository preaching. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting under the exposition of the text of the Scriptures week after week as my pastor preached. How I wished that this kind of preaching would be heard in India. I sincerely prayed week after week that God would raise up such pastors in India, but little did I knew then, that God was preparing me for such a mission.
Years later, when I have made up my mind to plant a church in India, I have decided that I would do the same, that iI would slowly and steadily preach through the books of the Bible. I understand now that listening to expository preaching is one thing, but preaching it myself, is a whole another issue. Especially, in a context where people are not used to it. So in this update, I would like to give a glimpse of my preaching and teaching ministry for the last couple of years. When I began this church plant, I was determined to preach through a book, so without hesitating, I prayerfully decided to start my journey of preaching in the Gospel of Mark.
It has been no ordinary journey since that time. It was challenging, but it was satisfying too. In 2020, when the pandemic hit and the lockdown began, we as a church started to meet via Zoom. So, at the beginning of those days, I took around 15 weeks to preach on the Attributes of God. Then I came back to the Gospel Mark again and picked up where I left off. I am currently at the end of Chapter 15 now, and I will be closing this Gospel by preaching on the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. What a way to end! It has been a good journey in the Gospel. It will be a great joy for me to finish preaching through a book of the Bible for the first time in my life. Praise God!
On Wednesdays, we as a church are studying the book of Job one chapter at a time. This too has been a fruitful experience. Starting in August of 2020, and as of today, we have finished our discussion up to chapter 31. This is where the conversation between Job and his three friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar) ends. Every week we just take time to read, observe, and interpret the passages one after the other. By doing it this way, people are not only learning the Word but also learning about how to read the Bible in the right way. People are responding very well. They have told me that they have been reading their Bibles for a long time, but without understanding anything. However, with this Bible study, they are now able to understand what they are reading. Also, they are saying, as they understand the word, the word is challenging their behavior and actions. Some, even confess the struggles they face and are seeking and praying to change in those areas where they are struggling. What a great joy it is to see that happening! Praise God, for it is His work through His word!
Recently, I started taking Bible studies on Sunday evenings for another Telugu church via Zoom. The pastor has graciously given me this opportunity. It will be a series on How to Study the Bible. For the last few weeks, I showed them how the whole Bible is just one story about Jesus. In the coming weeks, I will be teaching on the various genres, and how to interpret them. This will help them be better equipped to study their Bibles well. I praise God for this opportunity and I look forward for more opportunities to help people understand God’s precious word and point people to Christ alone!
What a glorious journey it has been so far! I keep getting positive feedback from the people that they are clearly understanding God’s Word and learning how to read it well. That is my only goal in life – to help people understand God’s Word so that they will live for God’s glory. As I am writing, I am reminding myself that I am able to do all this because of all those generous supporters who faithfully give to the Lord’s work. I want to thank you all for coming alongside to invest in me so that I can serve the Lord in my country and among my people! I praise and thank God for you all!