HARKER HEIGHTS — Raising their hands in praise, pastors, family members and local residents sang, spoke in tongues, and listened as two visiting ministers spoke about selflessness and submitting to the Holy Spirit.
Sponsored by KPLE-TV, a Killeen-based Christian cable station, Thursday afternoon’s Pastors’ Appreciation Luncheon drew about 150 people to New Beginnings Church in Harker Heights.
S.R. Manohar, who pastors in Bangalore, India, said serving, not asking, God was the key approach. He referred to Genesis 18, in which Abraham asked for God’s grace, and offered to wash three visitors’ feet and give water and a resting place.
If Manohar were in Abraham’s position, he said, he would run to God and ask for a blessing. Earlier in his ministry, Manohar told people to join his church if they wanted healing and redemption. It was a mistake, he said, because he was preaching to people what they would get, not how to give.
The difference between the two approaches was Abraham’s willingness to give, he said. “Our approach to Jesus is to get something, and we also call people to get something. If you come to the Lord to save yourself from hell, it is your game. ... We need to go one step further.”
Manohar said God was pain-stricken because of sin in the city of Sodom. Because Abraham offered Him some much-needed rest and refreshment, God said he would spare the sin-ridden city of Sodom if 10 inhabitants were righteous, according to Genesis.
“Does God need rest? Does God need strength?” Manohar said. “Yes, it’s written there. ... God needs some friends in Texas to comfort his every need. God is calling us to share his heart with us.”
Senior Pastor Satish Raiborde visited from the nondenominational International Family Church in Columbia, S.C. He moved from Akola, India, to the United States in 1973, six years after he said Jesus appeared to him during a starvation-fueled suicide attempt when he was 20.
Raiborde arrived in Texas on July 20, and will preach in California before returning to South Carolina on Monday.
He read the Bible seven times in his youth, but had only grasped it intellectually until Jesus came to him on an active railroad track.
“It was not a dream or vision,” Raiborde said. “Jesus appeared, and he called me by my name. He said, ‘Satish, you don’t have to die. I died for your sins, and I’m alive.’”
Raiborde said he accepted Jesus on June 9, 1967, after Jesus stipulated, “‘No Bible, no breakfast. Since I met Jesus, I’ve never starved.”