The journey has been very demanding; it required a very clear vision, determination, hard work, perseverance, and most importantly, trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith. This has been the story of the last 14 years of Covenant Bible-Presbyterian Church, Bangalore. If you are convinced of this, this morning I want to call you to come forward, and be supportive of our vision and burden for the Lord Jesus Christ.
We have completed 14 years of church building/establishing in Bangalore. It was in June 2005 that Pastor George and family first came to Bangalore and started the Covenant BP Church, India. Though 14 years is a short period of time for a church ministry, for us at Covenant the Lord has led us through so many milestones. Indeed, as the psalmist says in Psalms 126:3, “The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” The Lord has magnified Himself and His Word in the midst of His people. The psalmist again says, in Psalms 138:1-2, “I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”
All through these years the Lord has helped because of our dependence on Him, our faith in Him, and the determination to carry on the work the Lord has called us to do. The story of Caleb from the book of Joshua is a reminder to this effect. He was a man committed to God’s cause by trusting in God’s power and faithfulness alone. He was part of the company of spies, together with Joshua, sent from Kadeshbarnea to spy the land in Canaan which Israel was preparing to possess. Caleb was 40 years old when that happened. Caleb said in Numbers 13:30, to go up at once, and possess it; for they are well able to overcome it. But, there were some who wanted to give up and, in order to discourage the people from following the advice of Caleb and Joshua, they gave an evil report. Numbers 13:31-33 states, “But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”
Against such an evil report, Joshua and Caleb stood firm and said in Numbers 14:6-9, “And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” This was an expression of Joshua and Caleb’s faith and dependency upon God and His power available for His children to face the challenges and struggles of life.
Joshua chapter 14 further explains this faith and trust Caleb has in His God. Now Caleb is 85 years of age and over the last 45 years so many things have happened. Israelites have entered the Promised Land and defeated almost all their enemies and captured almost all the promised land. When the time was come for Joshua to divide the promised land and distribute to the various tribes and people, Caleb wanted his portion as promised by Moses earlier (Numbers 14:24). Caleb wanted Habron because it was there they saw the sons of Anak, the giants when they came to spy it 45 years ago, and some of the remnants of the Anak were still there. So Caleb said in Joshua 14:7-12, “Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart. Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God. . . . Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.”
At Covenant, we could conquer many mountains over the years, and still many more mountains remain to be conquered. I want to challenge the whole congregation to stand united to accomplish this task. If you are convinced of our sincerity and faithfulness in the Lord, come forward, and share the burden and vision we have. The Church in India, and the world at large, goes through a very difficult time as personality cult and prosperity theology are rampant everywhere. There is a reformation needed in the church today, a 21st Century Reformation, and we need to play a crucial role for this. Are you ready for this? Stand together with the Pastor, share the vision and burden he has, support him, and work together with him, and we, together build the church at Covenant. In order to accomplish this task, we need to be, like Caleb, men of courage, faith, and confidence in God. We need to be faithful to Him, and the Lord will definitely help us!
Ps. George Skariah