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Introduction cum Personal Testimony
 

   
 
  Me with my faithful & persevering wife While stating at the outset that the abbreviation ‘J & SM’ stands for Jesus & Suresh Manoharan, I, Suresh Manoharan would like to introduce myself as a person who the good Lord out of His grace & mercy touched & transformed at the age of 16, when I as a young college sophomore was leading a pleasure-seeking, godless & a very nominal spiritual life (going to church mostly on Christmas & just before School/College exams soliciting
  ‘Divine help’) having been born in a family, where there were mostly nominal Christians. Though exposed to Biblical stories at a young age by my paternal grandmother, I had never developed any ‘appetite’ for God’s word & as such kept the Bible at an arm’s length. Though, I believed superficially at least that there is a God to help ‘anyone in crisis’, it never occurred to me that His character transcends playing a mere helpful ‘genie’ to a person in trouble. That He actually yearns to have a personal, joyous 24*7 relationship with his most cherished creation…man… was something beyond my comprehension at that point of time in my life.

My own ‘Road to Damascus’ (life transforming) experience came about precisely on 16th of October, 1983 on hearing a sermon on ‘Born again’ experience preached by late Mr.Arthur Rajarathnam (a retired PWD Engineer) in St. Georges church, Abids, Hyderabad, India.

With no great educational qualifications to boast of (I am only a commerce graduate), it is again out of His great mercy & grace that after a humble career beginning as a Sales Officer (trainee) - soon after my graduation - in a private sector undertaking namely BPL-INDIA (Office Automation Department)- I ended up holding a highly responsible portfolio in one of the “mini-ratnas amongst the Indian PSUs”, namely IBP Co. Limited (an Indian Oil group company).

As I was walking faithfully with Him in the “straight and narrow path” (2 Tim 2:21), one day (whilst working as an employee in BPL INDIA) in a youth meeting in July 1989 that the good Lord anointed me and started using me in a preaching/teaching Ministry in St. Georges Church, Abids, Hyderabad and beyond. God bless the Pastors such as Rev. Jyothi Raj and Elders (such as Late David Prasad Rao) for repeated preaching opportunities’, which also contributed in a way to my spiritual growth. However at this stage, lest anyone form a diluted concept of Christian growth I would like to affirm that fruitful, spiritual growth comes not only by mere preaching but by consistent Cross-bearing with the help of ever present and empowering, indwelling Holy Spirit ( Phillipians 3:10/ Heb 9:14).

It was in October 2004, (after a 12-year innings in IBP Co Ltd) at a time when I was in charge of about fifty Retail filling stations ( Petrol Bunks in common parlance) of the said organization spread over Warangal & Karimnagar districts of Andhra Pradesh, that I responded to the specific call from Him (He had spoken to me earlier in a language, I understand & His way of speaking to different individuals would be different) to take up full-time spiritual ministry, by putting in my papers. Subsequently, I was relieved from my duties in late January 2005. No, no, I cannot boast that it was a case of implicit obedience to God’s call since prior to taking this step, I had given more excuses to the Almighty for not taking up His work (who would like to ‘die’ to a comfortable way of life which also guarantees good social status!) than Moses did before finally taking up his assignment of representing Him before Pharaoh, (in order to seek the release of His people from the Egyptian bondage – Exodus Chapters 3 & 4) however, as always, the Lord had the final say on the subject.

  While on the subject, many other Christians’ who have trod the path (giving up lucrative jobs to take-up full-time spiritual work), I am treading now would empathize with me on the fact that dying to sinful desires of the flesh is so much easier when compared to dying to one’s legitimate career aspirations for I had joined the said firm as a normal starry eyed youngster with ambitions to go right up to the top & incidentally was well on the way! By the same token, along with the same faithful lot, who have preceded me in full-time ministry, I can vouch-safe for the fact that the One who called me is a faithful God, for after nearly 11 years down the line, I can herald that I have lacked ‘NOTHING’ in this period. Conversely besides the fulfilling experience of serving the GREATEST in the universe, I have been overflowing with blessings (both material & spiritual), so much so that my financial contributions to other ministries, which I had supported during my secular tenure has now increased, after I have become a full-timer myself (Philippians 4:13)! Straight from Ripley’s book of Believe it or not? Whatever, I am stating the truth in its entirety. Yes, coming out of my ‘comfort zone’ was not so easy, as it meant that I had to start from a scratch in a completely new field at an age when one's career ought to be on a cruise mode but the results, I am seeing first-hand now of so many people being blessed through my ministry (it is His grace, that’s all), has made taking that ‘leap of faith’ worthwhile. Oh yes, in the years gone by (while not being an full-timer* undertaking responsibilities of my Employers) I had preached, taught & had handled other responsibilities in some churches, even while being engaged in a secular job but to do it on full-time basis now, with satisfying results all around is I can herald a uniquely different & a ‘special’ kind of fulfilling experience.

*Nevertheless every Christian, wherever the Lord has placed him/her is a FULL TIME witness unto Him
 
  What then is my advice for those Christians in secular profession, to whom a specific call for full-time spiritual work has not come? Continue, where you are working as ‘unto the Lord’(Colossians 3:23). Thank Him for all the exposure therein which would all add to your personality development, like it did in my case. Bring all the ‘positives’ you have gained in the secular profession into the spiritual ministry, as & when the good Lord calls you for full-time work even while humbly acknowledging the fact that God does not ‘call the qualified but rather qualifies the called’. Nevertheless, once His call comes, do not delay, jump at it!
 
  ‘J & SM Ministries’ was formed on 17-02-05 (subsequently registered on 28-02-05) with my wife & me as partners, who I should emphasize, has always faithfully stood by me in all of my decisions/actions. While on the subject, I would like to add that, I am indeed blessed to have a mate with a strong, sacrificial spirit, for she has taken the issue of having no children (so far) also in her stride, though all the other 4 sisters of hers (quite a sentimental issue this…at least in the Indian context) have been blessed with children. Only a soul with eternity in perspective (Colossians 3:1-4) can display such equanimity I saw her displaying time & again to different turns & twists of life, so much so in a farewell function organized by the Dealers of Retail outlets of my erstwhile employers in Warangal just before my departure from there, more encomiums were showered upon her, than me! Today, she is a refined ‘Prayer warrior’ (always standing by her husband’s side interceding for him & many others, who have sought her prayer support) and also a diligent preacher/teacher.
 
  Not only at this moment, but at all times I would also convey my heart-felt thanks to my parents, my parents-in-law, my other kith & kin, my friends & well-wishers who have through their encouraging words, actions, et al stood by me, ever since I heeded the good Lord’s call to take-up ‘full-time’ spiritual ministry.

  Of all the relatives, the couple of Rev.Simon Peter & his dear wife Mrs Joy Peter (I call them ‘awesome twosome’), who are leading the Christian Fellowship Church, Sanjeeva Reddy Nagar, Hyderabad have been specially used by the Lord in blessing me immensely. Be it in my marriage or in affording me countless opportunities to share the Lord’s word in the said church (even before my ‘Call’ came) or in absorbing me  therein  in the  capacity of an Associate pastor cum Youth pastor (as soon as my ‘Call’ arrived) or for that matter in   arranging   my  ordination  (on 9th Oct,

Rev.Simon Peter    &
wife Mrs Joy Peter
  2005)under the auspices of ‘Throne of Grace’ seminary …these dear ones’ played a major role in all these matters every inch of the way. Though ordained, I would not like to call myself as nothing more than Brother SM in line with the Jesus’ teaching in Matt 23:8 for it has an advantage, as people would feel more at home interacting with me who is ‘one of their own’ (a man next door) which would not be the case, if I were to place myself on some superficial higher pedestal.

It did not take my wife & me long to realize that Full-time work means not only expending most of our resources (talent, treasures & time) for the furtherance of ‘His business’ (Luke 2:49) but also depending on Him full-time for all of our needs, including opportunities of service in His realm. More than changing the others for the better, we have been changing for the better in this new way of life, learning not to press sometimes, even for our legitimate rights but ‘leaving everything into His Hands’. Also it has been our experience that whenever we visited the sick & the shut-ins (Matt 25:36) to comfort them…we actually came back home comforted & encouraged by the faith of those in lesser circumstances’. Their lives have a preached a sermon of their own on ‘dependence on Him’.

My work in the past nearly 11 years has been ‘centrifugal’ in nature, even while expending my resources in building-up my local congregation, as the opportunities arose, I had ministered the Lord’s word in many other places’ in & outside Hyderabad. My trips have taken me to a range of congregations varying from dedicated, sophisticated city congregations of Vizag like the Union Chapel, Vizag Christian assembly to devout, persevering village congregations of ‘Antioch church’ in Kavipam (now where’s that?) in interior West Godavari district of Andhra pradesh. My aim all along has been not to compete with several blessed ongoing ministries of other dedicated servants of God but only to complement their efforts, in whatever way possible that too …on invitation from their end. One ought not to barge into someone else’s territory, for God in His sovereign wisdom, allots each man’s work (John 3:29) & gives different gifts to various servants of His, all with the intention of ‘achieving the common good of His universal Church’ (I Cor 12: 7 & 11). All said and done, it is my firm belief that while my function as a Guest speaker in many congregations would definitely fetch me some Heavenly rewards, it is my Pastoral role in feeding my local Church and making it grow by virtue of my testimony and preaching (Acts 8:25) which would finally bring me maximal Heavenly rewards. Needless to say, a guest speaker’s role in any Church is only at best supplementary to that a resident Pastor and never substitutionary.

Nevertheless, in the past nearly 11 years thanks to my interaction with several experienced Servants’ of God I have absorbed many new matters of great use to me (insights in the Scripture & useful practices’, teaching techniques hitherto unknown to me), whilst ministering His word & working alongside other diligent experienced servants of His. By the same token, it has been a matter of great encouragement to see very senior servants of God humbly acknowledging the utility of my spiritual contributions to their life & ministry. No wonder, it is said that ‘He who wants to water others, waters himself’ (Proverbs 11:25).

I should add here that the good Lord in the past 8 years has enlarged the scope of my ministry by giving me oppurtunities to contribute articles (fruition of my writing talent) in the form of essays and devotionals to Mumbai-based "Light of Life" magazine (www.lightoflife-india.com), Australia-based Today's Thought Ministry, Canada-based Sermonillustrator(www.sermonillustrator.org) and Nuggets(www.scripturalnuggets.org) ministries. The last three International ministries are on-going online ministries, despatching short, succinct devotionals on periodical basis to its subscribers around the world.

The purpose of uploading my messages/poems/PPTs’ (an offshoot of the Lord placing His messages in my heart and inspiring me to put the same in different formats) in the website is very simple and same as that of any sincere Christian website ministry- material uploaded should be a blessing to the Universal Church. Nothing more, nothing less and nothing else. A gentle warning here...all of my material in the Web, is meant for ONLY SUPPLEMENTING one’s spiritual devotional life which should primarily comprise of praying, Bible reading, attending Church programs (during the week) and NOT FOR SUBSTITUTING them. They are more important and timelessly more significant. If my Web material can be compared to VITAMINS...personal prayer, Bible reading and Church Fellowship can be equated to indispensable nourishing FOOD.

Finally, a bit about my most recent assignments…I thank the good Lord for laying on my heart the burden to expound the prophetical and if I may add the most confounding Book in the Bible- the Book of Revelation- by way of conduct of seminars in different places. Since August 15th 2009 beginning with my own local Church by way of a power point presentations (with the help of ever abiding Holy Spirit - I John 2:27) I have been able to bring out and present the great mysteries of this astounding Book in several Churches. For more about the same, you may have a look at the menu section under the heading “Revelation seminars”.

Since any spiritual ministry is only as good as its credibility, after much prayers it was decided that this ministry to a large extent would be a self-supporting one (I would accept only voluntary, free-will offerings from only those who feel Divinely-inspired to contribute to my Ministry- Exo 35:21), with me in the manner of Paul who made & sold tents to support himself financially (while I may not be worthy of untying his shoelaces, his style of ministry is a great source of encouragement to me) raising requisite funds by using my own ‘tent making skills’ (Acts 18:2-3 /   I Thess 2: 9 /   I Corinthians 9:15). The ‘tent-making’ in my case would be offering my services in the Oil Sector (as & when time permits) for training-up driveway salesmen of the retail filling stations & undertaking some part-time insurance assignments. Glamorous? As all tent-making activities go, they may not be. Highly fulfilling? Surely, considering their purpose even as they afford me the needed flexibility to pick & choose timings of ‘tent-making’ work of my choice.

Finally, Dear Friends I would like to shout from roof tops... the Church of our omnipotent Lord Jesus survived for 2000 years without the likes of fellows like me and it would for another 2000 years (if the Lord tarries and delays His 2nd Coming) so the main purpose of of our all-wise God in bringing me and my wife into the Ministry is to not only to use us in His work but more importantly to “use the challenging and humbling circumstances besetting us in our work for Him” to mould us into His image (2 Cor 3:18).

Remember us in your prayers.



Updated upto Dec, 2015