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Showing posts from July, 2013

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Reaching Out to Christ in the Storm Matthew 14: 22 – 33
“But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’’(30)
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Standing in moments of comfort and convenience In the passage, we see Jesus walking on stormy waters toward His disciples. Peter reacts in faith asking to walk on water to Jesus. As he walks, he felt at ease, and he assumed he would be all right. Then, he took his eyes off Jesus and the power of the storm became too obvious to him, and he began sinking. At that moment, he reaches out for Jesus, when he could do nothing else. That was a life-changing moment for him. The storm became too obvious On Tuesday, June 4, 2013, I was in Oklahoma for our annual Native American VBS Camp. We had planned to be there from Monday to Friday of that week. Aft…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Rich in Good works 1Timothy 6:17-22 “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”  (18) One day a fairy came to a man and told him that she would grant him any favor he might wish. The man thought for few minutes and said, “My wish is to see a newspaper that will be published one year from today.”  Immediately the fairy handed him a newspaper printed one year in advance.  He turned quickly to the financial page, ran his fingers through the list of stocks, and leaping from the chair shouted, “Hurrah, I am worth fifteen million dollars!”  Then carelessly turning over to the obituary page, his glance fell on a report that made him gasp. “I died two days ago.”  What good is that money for him!  The uncertainty of life makes riches uncertain. What are the hindrances to the kingdom of God? Salvation through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is central to the gospel message.  The gospel of the Kingdom of God tells us that Jesus Christ will set up …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Hindrances to Kingdom Of God Amos 4: 1-9 “Though they dig down to the depths below, from there my hand will take them. Though they climb up to the heavens above, from there I will bring them down.”
In today's world we are all living for “the pursuit of happiness.”  Our sensor for right and wrong has become so skewed that usually we say this or that brings me happiness so how can it be wrong.   As followers of Christ, we are called to more than just an endless stream of worldly pleasures.  This is also not to say that God wants us to always be in sour spirits, suffering or struggling.  The question we need to ask ourselves is are we living the life God has envisioned for us?   In our pursuit of happiness do we oppress or uplift those around us.   We often consider ourselves just a mother/father, a devout Christian or just an employee or professional of some sort, but the fact remains that as Christians we are called to do and be more within our own families, communities, and where…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Hindrances to the Kingdom of God James 2: 1-13
“But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”
Today’s passage talks about partiality or favoritism which is common in every human society, and which is against the values of the Kingdom of God.  We, as children of God, are called to yield to a higher standard of living, but often we are polluted by the ways of the world.  It is a great honor and privilege to live the disciplined life as God’s people.  James talks about practical aspects of Christian life, which are hindrances to the Kingdom of God. No Partiality: Life according to the Christian faith and life according to the worldly standards are in sharp contrast. The world gives preferential treatment to the mighty – the rich and the powerful .But the faith which originates in Jesus Christ disavow distinctions based upon birth, race, sex, property, etc. (Gal.3: 28). Partiality/favoritism is sin. “But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicte…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The hindrances to the kingdom of God Luke. 16:19-31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’’ We can study about the Kingdom of God from the Old Testament and the New Testa-ment (Daniel.2:44, 7:13, 18; Mat.21: 25). Entrance to the Kingdom of God is not attained by choice. Also, we do not achieve it because of our merits. God chose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom (James2:5). In the New Testament John the Bap-tist and Jesus Christ use another phrase Kingdom of Heaven (Mat. 3:2 ; 4:17) The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is the rule of an eternal Sovereign God on all creations and things (Ps.103:9,Dani.4:3). It is eternal as God is eternal. God is Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent. All creations will be destroyed but the Kingdom of God will remain.The Kingdom of God includes angels and the saved human beings.
Today’s Gospel portion describes th…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Faithful, even to the point of death Revelations 2: 8-11
“Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
              Today’s passage is a beautiful exhortation to the church in Smyrna. Smyrna was a city located on the west coast of Turkey, north of Ephesus. Smyrna also means “myrrh” which is fitting, since myrrh was a spice used to embalm the dead (and as one of the key ingredients in holy anointing oil). In this short passage, Smyrna is exhorted to continue to be faithful, even to the point of death. It is a comforting message, which starts with Christ stating that He is the Alpha and the Omega, who died the first death and has been resurrected. With that first sentence, Christ offers hope to Smyrna – that their persecution will not be for vain. The passage further discusses that Smyrna is afflicted and poor – yet that they are rich. This can be contrasted against Chapter 3 of Revelations, where Laodicea where they are spiritually poor yet materially…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Kingdom of Heaven
Matthew 13:31 -34 “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.” In today’s passage, Jesus talks about kingdom of heaven through two parables.  First, Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.  Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.  In the second parable Jesus said the Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.           The kingdom of heaven here refers to the Holy Spirit dwelling among us.  Jesus compares Kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed, but once planted it grew and became a tree.  The kingdom of heaven starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God’s word and it causes a transform…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Knowledge of Truth Eph.1:1-14
Blessed be the God and Father of our lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he choose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blame less before him.  (v.3,4)
     Apostle Paul begins his letter to the Ephesians with a doxology to God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit. Paul is always quick in praising the Lord as he realizes that every precious, spiritual blessing comes from above, through Christ.  Similarly, we need to be quick in recognizing the spiritual blessings and give praise and all glory to the Lord, from whom all blessings come. We need to be able to discern the true meaning of spiritual blessings and how they apply specifically to each of us, today. First, Paul wants to teach us the following aspects about our spiritual blessings.         We are chosen. We don’t deserve God’s willingness to choose us.  It is not based on our pers…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Faithfulness: an inevitable factor in the Kingdom of God Hebrews 3:1-6
“Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him who appointed Him”
Today’s passage for meditation highlights an important requirement that a believer should have in the Kingdom of God. Without true faithfulness, one cannot be a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Many times we consider Kingdom of God is something which we are waiting to see. But Jesus has clearly taught as mentioned in Luke 17:21 that Kingdom of God is within you. When we lose faithfulness, we will be out of the Kingdom of God like Adam and Eve. In this passage, Moses’ name is mentioned as a person who was faithful in His entire house which is the Kingdom of God. Jewish tradition gave so much importance to Moses as he was the one who led the Israelites out of Egypt. His faithfulness to God resulted in the receiving of the Law. His entire life was a testimony of Jesus Christ. Moses worked faithfully as per the commands of God. Jesus Christ who had more glory than Mo…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

God has answers -- in every situation 2 Kings 4 1-7
“Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”
‘Problems’ are part of human life.  All of us have problems of one kind or another.   God’s children are not immune to problems.  The Bible teaches us that when problems arise, God provides answers too.     Today’s lesson describes a dire situation the widow of a prophet had to face.   She had no money and she was at the end of her wits.  Her debtors were threatening to take away even her children to be sold as slaves.  Why would the family of a prophet face such a hard test in life?  We do not know the right answer.  But God did not forsake her and she receives timely deliverance through Prophet Elisha.   The bounties of Heaven manifest in mysterious ways and God grants solutions to human problems.   Later in the chapter we read the plight of a “rich” woman, which is in sharp contrast to the problems faced by the poor widow.  The ‘Shunammite’ woman take…