Monthly Archives: April 2014

jehovah-shammah-the-lord-is-there

Throughout the Coming Year

Jehovah-Shammah- “The Lord is there”

(Ezek. 48.35).

ANOTHER year is dawning, unveiling the unknown,

I bow in silent prayer before my Father’s Throne;

Kneeling there, this message comes, in a new and living power,

“I am with thee, fear not, child; I’ll keep thee every hour.”

 

“Father,” I answer, “Thou has kept and led me in the past,

Thy presence has been manifest, exceeding all I asked;

Through paths so strange and winding o’er rough untrodden land,

Thy presence has been with me, and Thou hast held my hand.

 

“Often when weary and oppressed Thy love has cheered my heart,

Ans as I listened to Thy voice, I prayed we n’er might part;

Whatever path Thy love should plan, whatever be the track,

Lord Jesus, ’tis with Thee I walk, and should I dare hold back?

 

“Thy promise is to keep me through dangers fierce and wild;

Thy loving voice shall guide, protect, and shield Thy blood-bought child;

How could I fear to venture out into the dark unknown

When to my heart this message comes from Thy eternal throne?

 

“I’ll follow Thee, and step by step along the track I’ll walk’

Believing that Thy promises shall never come to naught;

Jehovah-Shammah, blessed Name, whate’er the danger be,

Thy presence is salvation sure, and Thine the victory.

 

“The Lord of hosts my refuge is, Jehovah-Nissi too,

Jehovah-Jireh is my God provides the journey through;

I trust Thee, simply trust Thee, lay my troubled fears to rest;

I follow where Thou leadest , for my Father knowest best.”

– E. Rowat, The Gospel Steward

 

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Amrita Ghimiray

Amrita was born in a Nepali family. Her father, Mr. Ghimiray, was a hardware merchant in Kalimpong. Having lost her mother at 4, and there being nobody to bring her up carefully, she grew up quite naughty, and early learned to tell lies with much seeming innocence, and to steal flowers and fruits. When her elder Sumitra left home to work in the W.A.C., it was then that Amrita began to think about religion and worship. She used to utter, “Jyoti, jyoti, Sahu, Bishnu darshan,” only with her lips, but her heart was far from devotion. She had never heard about the living God, and thought that the pictures of Ram, Krishna and Bishnu were themselves gods. Thus, she worshiped them the first thing in the morning, and the last thing before going to bed at night.

Amrita had a great desire for the picture house. As long as she was a child her father raised no objection to her going to the cinema, but after she had entered womanhood, he would not allow her to be anywhere out after sundown. But Amrita knew how to bluff. She would tell him that her teacher was taking all the class girls to pictures and she would have to go, thus obtaining the desired permission! In the Scottish Mission High School where she studied, the morning sessions would begin after a Bible lesson and singing and prayer. When Amrita heard about Jesus Christ, she had a deep reverence for his blameless life, but being a Hindu she was too proud to let others see that she loved Him. She had not known that Christ was the true Way, the only Way, but thought that just as other people had their own gods, the Christians had Christ. There used to be plenty of religious controversy and arguments among the girls, and Amrita used to take a stand firm for Ram and Krishna.

In 1947, when Amrita was 16 and reading in 7th class, a man of God came to Kalimpong and preached in the Scottish Church. Before this event, the school girls, Christians and all, used to sing cinema songs and talk gossip and scandal in their free time. But after the Christian girls had started attending these meetings, a change had come over them. They no longer sang the cinema songs or talked scandal. They visited their friends, not to go with them to the pictures, but to preach to them instead, saying that gossiping was wrong and would lead to Hell. Those who were mad after pictures would quarrel with these girl-preachers, but Amrita’s conscience convicted her that they were speaking the truth, and so she did not join the others in their quarrels against them. She listened to them very seriously. The Christian girls would bring their hymn sheets to the school and sing in their free time. Amrita was so anxious to know the reason for this change, in their conduct that one day she asked them, “Why have you given up singing cinema songs?” One of the girls gave her testimony, as to how she was saved through the messages of the new preacher, and how she had learnt the hymns at the meetings. She told Amrita all about the meetings.

A great desire to go to the meetings seized Amrita. That evening she asked her father’s permission for it, telling him that all the girls were going there. Mr. Ghimiray gave the permission, not in the least suspecting that it was a Christian religious meeting. He has thought it was only one of the many school activities, and the Scottish Church was only adjacent to the school. The message she heard sank deep into Amrita’s heart. The next evening she approached her father for permission again. Now he wanted to know what meeting it was, and when she told him, he said, ” If you want to worship God, worship Ram and Krishna here. Don’t go to that meeting.” But Amrita was so importunate that her replied, “You should not go alone, If your sister accompanies you, you can go.” He was probably confident that his elder daughter would never step into a Christian meeting place. Sumitra hated the Christian religion and she always carried about with her a pocket Gita. In spite of her sister’s pleadings, Sumitra answered, “I will not go there.” So, Amrita missed that evening’s meeting. But she could think of nothing else all the time. The next morning at school, she sadly told her sister had disappointed her the previous evening. The friend replied, “Christ is a wonder-working God. You pray and ask Him to melt you father’s heart and open up a way for you.”

When Amrita returned home she prayed, ” Lord Jesus Christ, please touch my father’s heart and cause him to permit me to attend the meetings.” After this prayer, she went and sought her father’s permission again. He gave the same answer again, ” If your elder sister is going there, you can go.” But Sumrita was adamant. Amrita’s friends were waiting for her on the road and calling, “Hurry up, it is getting late.” In the anguish of despair, Amrita wept before her father and sister. Sumrita being moved, consented to accompany her. But to their disappointed, the new preacher was not present at that evenings’s meeting, nor at the next evening’s. But what Amrita heard that evening convinced her that this was the true way.

Until that time Amrita had thought that to worship Jesus meant to worship His image or picture. She obtained a picture of the Lord, and, placing it alongside the pictures of Ram and Krishna, bowed before the picture and worshipped it. Daily she continued to attend the meetings. Even if Sumitra refused to come, and her father was absent from home, her kind stepmother would give her the desired permission. Later on, Sumitra herself began to get interested in the meetings and both girls regularly attended them. One day the new preacher, Bro. J.C.K., took for his text, Rom. 3: 10 and 23: ” There is none righteous, no not one” and ” All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Bro J.C.K. began to explain this with several illustrations. Amrita had not considered herself a sinner before this. Now she began to search her own heart with this question: “What are my sins?” Bro J.C.K. took up Mark 7:21, 22, and asked his audience to check up their lives and see whether they were guilty of any of the sins enumerated there. Then he turned to Jer. 17:19 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Amrita’s eyes were opened. Until then she had believed that she was not a sinner, telling lies and stealing flowers and fruits being only trifling things! When again the preacher quoted James 2: 10, Amrita was thoroughly convinced of her guilt in God’s sight. Still she did not know what the penalty for her sin might be. “Because,” she told the writer, “in the Hindu religion they don’t tell us all this.” But when she heard Heb 9: 27 and Rev. 21:8, then she understood that the penalty was the lake of fire and brimstone. She was terror-stricken. The others were confessing their sins and praying. Amrita did not know how to confess her sins, and she was too shy to pray before them all. After the close of meeting, Bro J. C.K. as usual invited all those who were in need of prayer to show their hands. Amrita put up her hand.

On another occasion, the message was based on Lev: 14, about sacrifice- the sin offering. From Mathew’s Gospel the preacher read the account of the crucifixion and explained clearly how the Lord Jesus Christ suffered for our sins. He then went on to quote John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Then Amrita understood in her heart, “Christ died for me,  He suffered for me.” Automatically words rose to her lips, and she prayed in the assembly, “Lord save me from the dreadful lake of fire. Wash me in Thy blood. I am a vile sinner.” That day, she confessed her sins to God, and from that moment her soul was filled with ecstasy. While her classmates were worrying about their examinations and studying hard, Amrita had no such worries. her heart was so peaceful, that she would not stay away from the meetings in order to study.

Amrita accepted the Lord on 7th October 1947. Her sister soon followed suit. Their conduct set the whole family and relatives against the two sisters. Every day their father would give the order that they should not go to the meeting, but every day, the girls found it impossible to obey him. Disgusted that his authority should be so set at nought by his own children, one day the father left home and disappeared. The stepmother began to be anxious about her husband. The sisters told her not to worry, as they pray for him. They went and told this at the assembly and they all prayed for Mr. Ghimiray. It was afterwards learnt, that as Mr. Ghimiray was going away he had a dream on the train, in which he saw a hill and his two daughters on top of it, dressed in white robes. He himself stood at the foot of the hill in filthy garments. when he awoke, he felt that the girls were doing the right thing. He came back, but would not confess his conviction, and still tried to prevent the girls from going to the meeting, for the sake of family prestige and the dread of a social boycott.

One day the preacher said that God was searching for people to work for Him – Isa. 6:8 – and explained how God called Isiah and he answered, “Here an I, send me.” Then he read God’s promise in Psalms 34:7,8,9. Amrita felt sure that God was calling her also for His service. She was so full of ecstasy that she was ready to do anything for Him. So on that day, she prayed and consecrated her life to His service. Again she did not know how to serve him. She then heard of the testimony given in baptism, and both sisters prepared themselves for it and asked their father for permission. Of course, he refused, so, without his permission, but under divine command, Sutra and Amrita gave their testimony in water. When they returned home from the meeting, it was night, and their father was in bed. The next morning Mr. Ghimiray asked his daughters, “Did you take baptism?” They answered, “Yes.” He flew into a rage, and ordered them to leave the house at once. They had been getting ready to go to school. Now, instead of going to school, they took out their boxes and bedding and walked out. They were at a loss as to where to go. Just then, Sister Mukhia and her aunt Mariam entered the house to visit the family as they were neighbours . The promise in Psalm 34 kept ringing in Amrita’s ears and she was perfectly confident, that even if their earthly father forsook them, God would never forsake them, and so she has no anxiety whatever. Sister Mikhia took the girls to her house, and after their luggage was deposited there, the three of them went into the woods to pray all day. After the prayer, the Lord gave the sisters courage to stand firm. From that time, the girls were occupied the whole day long, at  the meetings, in house-visitings, and in prayer. Everywhere the sisters were entertained and lacked nothing.

Mr. Ghimiray was so fiercely opposed to Christianity that his daughters wept and prayed for him for 5 long years. He was a sick man and God was speaking to him. he secretly started reading the bible, and one day the Lord’s words “How long shall I suffer you?” in Matt. 17:17 pierced his heart. He sent for his daughters and asked them to explain this verse. Amrita, who has stood in such terror of her father before, found the message rising to her lips automatically. he wept and prayed, and weeping confessed his sins, Amrita singing choruses whenever he broke down. He also began attending the meetings, and finally accepted the Lord. he gave his witness in baptism, and very soon his believing wife followed his example. A fire of persecution started against him, but Amrita is very happy that the whole family is saved, and prayer-meetings are now being held in the house where the master was once as bitter enemy of the Gospel.

– H. Kaveri Bai, Balance of Truth, July 1957

 

 

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We would see Jesus.

John 12: 21, Hebrew 12:2-3

We would see Jesus!  Just a glimpse

Of that undaunted Brow,

And lines of care are smoothed from ours

As a touch. Yea, just to see

The fire in that visioned Eye

Far- Fixed,- courageous chin uplifted-

And sudden surges deep within

A spring of healing, hope, power,

And joy, which kindles tired eyes

With flame, and turns them on the goal

Whereon His own are set, – that joy before

 

So dazzling the eyes of faith

That when they turn to lesser things

They are as blind, despising shame

And pain, and loss, and loneliness

As things of little worth,

We would see Jesus! Lover divine!

Show me Thy loveliness, and I

Shall be for ever satisfied.

– F.C. Durham, Balance of Truth July 1957

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Content

Cartoon by Alfred Allan for ‘Harvest Times for your Family’

 

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His Prayer

(John. 17:21-23.)

Father! I will that these may all be one;

Even as Thou in Me, and I in Thee

Are one in love and perfect unity.

 

The glory, Father! which Thou gavest Me

I too have given them, that they as one,

Shew forth Thy love, and what Thy love has done.

 

Father! I will that even where I am

May these My loved ones be and there behold

Eternal glories, love, and joy untold.

 

And here now, oh Father! in the world,

May men behold their love and unity,

And know I am in them, and Thou in Me.

Amen!

 

-F.C. Durham, Balance of Truth June 1957

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My Saviour

Before Thee, Saviour Christ, I fall,

And own Thee Master, Lord of all;

At Thy dear feet, I do adore,

And seek to love Thee more and more.

 

I feel Thy hand upon my head,

“Fear not,” Thou hast so gently said;

No fear my mortal heart can fill,

While trusting in Thy mercy still.

 

Dear faithful Shepherd of the Sheep,

My soul thou dost so safely keep;

I’ll follow where Thy feet have trod –

O’er golden fields or broken sod.

 

All others should Thy cause forsake,

Yet I Thy cross would humbly take,

And all Thy lonely pathway choose-

And count but naught what I may lose.

 

My only joy to Live with Thee,

In glorious bright Eternity.

And in that wondrous land so fair

I shall with Thee Thy glory share.

 

– From The Gospel Steward

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Her Gift Saved Livingstone

When Livingstone went to Africa, there was a Scotch woman named Mrs MacRoberts, quite advanced in life, who had saved up thirty pounds, which she gave to the great missionary saying, “When you go to Africa, I want you to spare yourself exposure and needless toil by hiring some competent body-servant, who will go with you wherever you go, and share your sacrifices and exposures.”
With that money he hired his faithful servant, known as Sebalwe. When the lion had thrown Livingstone down and crushed the bones of his left arm, and was about to destroy him, this man, seeing his critical condition, drew of the attention of the lion to himself, thinking that he would save his master at the cost of his own life. The lion sprang at him, but just at that moment the guns of other companions brought him down, and Livingstone’s life was prolonged thirty years. Surely that noble Scotch woman, as well as the servant, should be credited with some, at least, of the results of the noble devotion of that great missioanry. It indicates how a simple gift, whole-heartedly given may be used of God for a great purpose. It also tell how a simple servant at the critical moment, may be of more value than the mightiest of monarchs.
“More than they all”
“A poor widow came up and put in two little coins amounting to a halfpenny” (Luke 21:1-4; Mark 12:41-44)-Moffat.
“TWO mites”- a simple little farthing,
It was so small!
And yet-she might e’en then have halved it.
It was her all.
One mite for God, and one she needed,
Of wealth so small?
No: trusting to the God of widows,
She gave her all.
And so, in sight of Him who “saw” it,
It was not small,
For He watched “how” it was given-said,
“MORE than they all”
-L.M. Warner
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Cold Butter

Lack of enthusiasm is like cold butter on Toast, it never spreads well.

-Cartoon by Alfred Allan in Harvest Times for your Family

 

 

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A Doctor finds the Great Physician

Behold I stand at the door and knock… (Revelation 3:20)

Man in all the ages past has been trying to seek God in various ways. He has devised methods, and forms of worship, to somehow come nearer to God, but in all his ways he has utterly failed. The Bible says, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Prov. 16:25.

Can we by our own human wisdom which is nothing but corrupt in the sight of God find a way to reach the Almighty? “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” 1 Cor. 3:19.

Then again the Bible says, “Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Job. 11:7. How can the human mind understand the things of God, unless He himself gives us the revelation? The scripture says, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ 1 Cor. 2:14

There is only one way and one meeting place where we can meet God. We can meet Him at the CROSS,- in Christ and Him crucified alone. It is here where God comes into vital contact with man and man with God. Christ by shedding His own precious blood has made peace with God for us. He has reconciled us unto the Father by His death, Our Lord Jesus says, “I am the Way, the TRUTH, and the LIFE; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” John 14:6.

I praise the Lord that He led me through this only living way where at the CROSS, I met my saviour, the Lord Jess.

I was born in a Hindu family and belonged to the Vaishya caste. My mother was an orthodox Hindu, so much so, that she would not even drink water offered by a Christian, and I did the same thing. I lost her when I was about 9 years old.

I had most of my education in Mission schools and colleges. Although I had been to Mission institutions, I must say, I was never bought face face with the LIVING CHRIST. All I understood was that, what Krishna was to me, Jesus Christ was to the Christians. I, however, always liked the solemn atmosphere of a Christian service.

As the years went by, I started experiencing a strange mental unrest. Although I enjoyed the pleasures of this world, still deep down within my heart I knew I was not happy.

As far as my spiritual life was concerned, I used to worship the various Hindu gods int he usual traditional way. But I was sure of one thing, that whatever knowledge I had of my own religion, I did not find peace in it. I could not find anything in it to lean on to hold on to. All around, I saw blind faith, idol worship worship and hypocrisy. I never liked the looks of those priests in the temples. I always felt that they cared more for the money that was being offered to the idols than for the hungry and thirsty souls who came to quench their thirst.

One experience stands out very clearly in my mind. Once, when I was a medical student, along with my father and sister I went to see the famous Hindu temples in Brindavan U.P. We reached at about 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Upon going to one of the temples, we were told that we could not have the ‘darshan’ of the god as the doors were closed and the god was sleeping. This announcement, though it sounded funny, yet it worked in my heart, and I was led to reason within myself: “What kind of god is this who also goes to sleep? What would happen to this universe if the Creator of the world went to sleep even for a fraction of a second?” However, I did not share this thought with anyone. But this I think was the beginning when doubts came into my mind about my own religion.

Thus life went on. I still went to the temples to worship a living God, but came out as usual, empty, dissatisfied and disillusioned.

I continued on in my sin and corruption, a hungry and miserable soul, groping in the dark, seeking for something, but not knowing what it was. My violent temper was a great stumbling block in my way. And so, like a lost sheep, I struggled on in my own human strength, till I came to a point when I could not continue so any more.

For some time, I had been wanting to go and work on the staff of the Mission hospital at Vellore, purely for my own material gain. I thought I will stand a very good chance of getting a good job after having worked on the staff of such a famous hospital. I also wanted to prepare for my M.D. The lord in a wonderful way opened the way for me to go to Vellore, although at first I was told tgere was no vacancy. I reached Vellore on December 6th 1954. Only later, I realized that it was the mighty hand of God which had brought me there.

When I reached Vellore, I felt like a foreigner in my land, and needless to say,  I was very unhappy for the first three months, so much that I did not even unpack my things to return north, but the Lord kept me there.

My mental turmmoil became worse, and in order to escape from my own wretched self, I frequently started going to cinemas also, and I started reading the filthiest novels I could lay my hands on.

During this period, one Australian staff members came to stay in the House Surgeon’s Quarters. The Lord had very clearly shown her that she should stay there and not at the College Hill where the other staff members were staying. She did not know why the Lord was asking her to stay at the House Surgeon’s Quarters. But she obeyed. Her room was close to mine.

In early March, when I was laid down with an attack of tonsilitis, this friend one day came in gave me some tracts to read. She also started praying for me. I said to myself, “I wonder why she is taking so much interest in me”, and then one day in a rude tone I said to her,  “Don’t think you can convert me. So do not try to force yourself on me.” What a rude manner of talking! Such was my mental state! But she continued to pray for me along with many others.

One verse from the Bible which my friend often used to quote was from Rev. 3:20 – “Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come unto him and will sup with him and he with me.”

I continued in my agony, and then a strange thing happened. I started seeing the LORD JESUS ON THE CROSS. Then one night I picked up the Bible which had been presented to me some years back, and the place where I happened to open was St. John’s Gospel, chapter 18. I began to read all about the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, and soon I found that tears were rolling my cheeks. I read this portion several nights. Then one night, at about 2 a.m. I heard a loud knock. I thought it must be the ward aid from the hospital trying to wake me up to attend to some emergency call, but soon it dawned on me that I was not on duty that night. So I lay down again. I looked at the hills from the balcony where my bed was, and the next moment, I again say the Lord Jesus on the cross with His eyes full of love and compassion. Then only I realized that it was the Saviour of the world knocking at the door of my heart.

I said to Him, “What do you want me to do? Don’t you know, I worship Krishna? How can I take you in my life? What will everyone say?” So, in my stubbornness I rejected Him for one whole week.

But the time came, and the GOOD SHEPHERD had found His lost sheep. All He had to do was to pull her out of the last bit of the thickets in which she was caught up and carry her in His arms.

On April 4th 1955, at about 8-30 p.m. as my friend and I were looking at the hills, flooded with the radiance of the moon, suddenly there burst forth in my view, a vision of hundreds of crosses on hill-tops with the Lord Jesus on them. When I turned and looked at my friend I found her praying. I felt as if my whole brain would burst, so violent was the storm in it, and yet so clear was the vision.

After returning to the hostel, I went on the terrace. There I broke down completely. As I lifted up my anguished face towards the hills, I saw my saviour again. Eyes flooded with tears, I stretched out my hands to Him and cried out, “Come and take me into your arms,” and I bowed down at His feet. All was calm. The Lord Jesus had gathered me into His loving arms. My heart was flooded with strange peace and joy, a joy which cannot be expresses in mere words, but can only be shared with those who are His own.

After my New Birth, my joy was so great that I wanted to share it with every one. That very night, I wrote 2 or 3 letters. Everything was new to me. The Lord gave me victory over my temper. My mouth was filled with His praises.

The next step that I had to take was baptism. Many wanted me to take it soon. But I did not wnt to be rushed into things. Even though I was reading all about baptism, I somehow wanted to fix not only my own time, but also the person who should baptize me. I praise the Lord that He very gently guided me in this matter. One day, as I was reading about baptism, I came across these words: “Why call ye me Lord, Lord and do not the things that I say?” I knew the Lord spoke those words to me, and then the Voice very clearly said. “Get baptized by Bro. Bakht Singh.”

By God’s grace, the assembly in Vellore came into existence on April 14th, soon after my conversion, and a campaign was started by Bro. Bakht Singh, God’s servant.

During this period, the Lord had been speaking to my friend on believer’s baptism. Being convicted, she and I along with others testified in baptism on 27th April 1955. Praise be to His holy name. It was a memorable day to me. The Lord also very lovingly placed me in the midst of His own children right from the beginning of my Christian life.

And now I come to the final part of this narrative though actually it is the start of a new phase of my new life. The Lord has been gently leading me step by step, guiding me into His plain paths.

He is that Rock which can never be shaken. He alone is the anchor of my soul.

Dear friends, this same Jesus is lovingly inviting everyone of you to come to Him. He has shed His precious blood for every sinner in the world. He gave His own life that man may live- “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16. He is longing to receive you into His loving arms. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28. He will cleanse you in the precious blood and will clothe you with graments of salvation. Humble yourself and come to Him before it is too late. Let not your soul be lost for all eternity. Let His light shine into your darkened hearts. Confess Him boldly yo others. Tell them what He has done for your soul. Do not fear man. Do not be ashamed of the Rock on which you stand. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; of whom shall I be afraid?” Ps. 27:1.

May the Lord help you to hear His still small voice and to come to the fountain of living waters.

 

-Dr. Sheela Gupta, Balance of Truth, June 1957

 

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Enough

Dark is the Night – I cannot see;

As with a veil the Present shrouds

The future in a mystery;

But this I know, beyond the clouds

Is Day, – the Day of His design.

It is enough to know He sees,

To feel His hand enfolding mine,

Leading me on where He shall please.

 

I do not ask to see the way;

I do not seek to know the hour

When darkness shall give place to day;

It is enough to know His power;

It is enough for me to know

That nought can frustrate His design;

To know He will not let me go;

That I am His, – that He is mine.

 

– F.C. Durham, Balance of Truth

 

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