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Showing posts from December, 2013

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Word For the Day - December 30
Glorious Return of Jesus Christ Acts. 1. 6-11 “-- This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."(11) Christians take great comfort from the Lord’s promise that He will return with glory.  Christ has promised us that: “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angles, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” (Matt 16: 27).  Dr. Billy Graham has correctly stated: “Our world is filled with fear, hate, just greed, war, and utter despair.  Surely, the Second coming of Jesus Christ is the only hope of replacing these depressing features with trust, love, universal peace, and prosperity.” Jesus came to the earth as a babe in a manger just as prophesied.  Jesus fulfilled many of the prophecies of the Messiah during his humble birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection. He was the Suffering Servant.  In His second coming, Jesus wil…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Birth of the Savior John 14:1-7

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (6)
Most of us have seen a tightrope walker at a circus. A tightrope walker walks across a wire that is stretched high in the air with just a pole to balance him. Well, there was once a tightrope walker that decided to go across Niagara Falls with a wheelbarrow to balance him. As he put his wire across the falls, a crowd gathered. They waited breathlessly as he walked slowly across the wire pushing the wheelbarrow. When he reached the other side, the crowd cheered. He then turned to the crowd and asked, “Do you think I can make it back across?” They all said, “Yes!” He asked again, “Do you really believe I can?” They answered, “We just saw you go across. Of course you can!” The tightrope walker then said, “Then get into the wheelbarrow and go with me.”             This incident reminds us of Jesus’ life and ministry on earth. During various points of his…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Glorious arrival of our lordZach. 14. 1-5
“Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your”(1) The theme and content of Zechariah, chapters 1 to 8 are different from chapters 9 to 14. In the first part, Prophet Zechariah equips the people of God to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple. Zerubabel, Joshua and Zechariah are the three main characters in that portion. But in the second part, there is no mentioning about these leaders. The second part is full of visions about future and many of them are messianic in nature. New Testament writers found many passages from Zechariah 9 to 14 had been fulfilled through Jesus’ triumphal entry to Jerusalem on Hosanna and the other events in the following days up to his crucifixion. Arrival of God in the midst of disastersFor envisioning the future, prophet re-envisions the past. Jewish past memory as a nation about war and exile influences the prophet. Babylonian attack over Jerusalem in 587 BC, destroyed the first…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Birth of the Savior Mica 5: 1 - 9
OH, little one, from you will come the Savior Life, like birth, takes time. It has a long gestation. The bloom appears only after a slow unfolding of the bud, wherein every moment of development finally participates in the glory of the full flower. We never quite grasp the process until it`s over. Yet, strangely unlike life, we, anxious humans, are impatient with the process. We are restless with our understanding about beginning and the end. It is hard to wait, to trust that something good and great will come of all the mute moments in between. Waiting is always disturbing and painful. We may have to answer a lot of questions and we may have to deal with our impatience. Waiting to see something good is not very easy but the good result will vanish all our anxieties. It is the same experience that we see in the history of the people of God who waited for the Promised Land. In this passage, Israel, seemingly condemned to insignificance, was a people called…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Birth of the Savior
2 Corinthians 7:1-16
“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)
One of the questions which we are bound to ask ourselves when we take part in the Holy Communion is: What exactly are we doing?  Well the answer is that we are aiming to make progress in the things of God. We are aiming at advancement in grace and in personal sanctification. We are aiming at perfection, striving to renew the image of God within us. This is what happens, little by little, week by week, and year by year, to those who exercise their souls, by faith, in these means of grace – through the Word, the sacraments, and prayer and fellowship.  It is to this that the apostle Paul is referring to in today’s passage.  Paul draws attention to three things in verse 1: first, the promises; second, the duty to cleanse ourselves; and third, “perfecting holiness out of…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

WONDERFUL   IMPOSSIBILITIES Luke 1:26 – 38

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Happy Christmas! “Christmas”- The very word brings joy to our heart. No matter how busy we are, when Christmas comes, there is still the warm feeling we had as children. But when we look back to that event, it’s difficult to understand, how this wonderful impossibility happened that day?. A young man working in the army was constantly humiliated because he believes in God .One day Captain wants to humiliate him in front of the troops. He asked the man, who doesn’t know to drive, to park the jeep. With prayers he parked the jeep perfectly. When he came out of the jeep, saw all of them crying. They all said together “We want to serve your God. The young soldier was astonished and asked what was going on? Captain opened the hood of the jeep showing the young man that the jeep had no eng…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Birth of the Savior
Romans 1:8-16
“I am a debtor both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.” (14) In today’s passage we see that Paul has an ongoing ministry of prayer.  Not only does Paul keep the three regular times of prayer but he is also in prayer at all times throughout the day. He constantly remembers the people he is ministering to and ministering with. This is possible because Paul worships and prays to God in his spirit not like others who only worship God through physical actions in the temple. We notice that Paul’s commission places him under obligation to God and to all the gentiles (non Jews or Greeks) of the world, because Paul’s mission is to bring them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Until Paul has reached all the gentiles with the message of the Gospel he is still in their debt because he retains in his possession something that properly belongs to them as much as it does to him. This is why Paul wants to visit Rome so he can continue to bu…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The victorious Savior 1 John 5:1-12

“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” (11) Through the birth of Christ, God brought eternal life back into the world.  Let’s take a moment to meditate on God’s testimony about His Son, Jesus Christ.  In the midst of our holiday preparations and festivities, do we take time to reflect on the Christmas story? Is it just a story to be repeated every year or is it a life changing event for us?  It is the story when God “became flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).  God so loved each one of us, He sent His only begotten son to this world. 
In 1 John 5:1-12 we see God’s own testimony to confirm that Jesus is the Christ and that through Him we have eternal life. Water and blood refer to Jesus’ baptism (water) and death (blood).  The water, as well as the blood, came out of the side of the Savior’s side on the cross.  Jesus defeated Satan and sin on the cross. If we have received Jesus, then Jesus in us has overcome the world and Sat…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Birth of the Savior Isaiah. 11. 5 - 10 “In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to Him, and his resting place will be glorious.”  (10)
Today’s passage points to the perfect king, Jesus and his reign over a restored world. This will happen at the expense of the kings/powers of the earth which will be destroyed. In the Lord’s judgment he will deal with the righteous, the poor, the rich and the wicked evenhandedly through his Word.  The reference to a belt of righteousness in this passage shows the Lord’s ability and readiness for action to do what he knows is right.
The King will possess the utmost integrity. Our king will rule with wisdom (proper judgment) and understanding (seeing the heart of an issue). That means the king will give proper council (devising the right course of action), he will have power (ability to accomplish the council he gives), and he will have knowledge of his people (personal intimate relationships). Thus the …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Word Became flesh John. 1. 1 – 14
“ The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (14)
Johns’s gospel is unique in its language and theological content. John’s audience was an educated group that prompted John to use philosophical language to explain the gospel. John wrote the birth of Jesus in a different language other than the common language. For him ‘word’ is a loaded term and in Greek ‘Logos’ is a comprehensive word. John’s way of presenting Jesus arrival is a difficult process and that is beyond human perception. Verse 14 explains three different stages in this arrival Becoming process For apostle John Jesus’ birth was a becoming process. The ‘word’ became ‘flesh’. The word is God and that God became a human in flesh. This is not comprehensive to this world. The birth of God as Jesus in his mother’s womb was a becoming process and this is impossible in human eyes. Th…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Joseph: - a model for righteous life. Matthew 1:18-25
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord has commanded him and took Mary home as his wife (v. 24)
We are in another Christmas season. This is a time to remember the great love that God had for each and every one of us. The birth of Jesus Christ in the little town of Bethlehem is certainly a one time and the greatest event. In the first Christmas, God used many simple persons to carry out His plan and mission. We can see humble but great people surrounding the Christmas story, people like Joseph, Mary, Zachariah, Elizabeth, Annah, Simeon, the Shepherds, the Wise Men, etc.  Joseph is unique among them and used by God in a special way to change the course of human history and transform the life of people for ever.    Life of Joseph was a sacramental life: - The Christmas story tells how Joseph lived a sacramental life. In ‘sacrament’ God uses earthly elements and combined it with His word. Joseph and Mary are used by God and…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

To accept the unacceptable Isaiah. 35. 1- 10
“And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.”  (8)

This passage is a poem which recalls the Exodus story. The people of Israel were under oppression but had confidence that salvation would soon come, and it did. The Israelites went from Pharaoh’s courts to the desert. At first they only saw barrenness but they witnessed blossoming at the Lord’s hands as they walked the path. This is why the passage urges us believers to strengthen our hands because on our faith/kingdom building journey our hands will need encouragement to stick to the task at hand while our hearts will need nourishing from one another to stick with our convictions. Only when we join hands will we be able to keep our commitments mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
In Exodus 17 the Israelites saw the desert blossom momentarily when wa…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The arrival of a precious child Isaiah 11: 1 - 5

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” (1) Watch a sleeping newborn. The calm, deep breathing reveals a quiet and peaceful heart.  Now let us picture the baby lying in the manger in Bethlehem. Who is this child laying in the manger? The child lying in the manger is the true God, begotten of the Father from eternity. He is none other than the Savior, the God-man who has taken on Himself our human nature, the one begotten of the Father from eternity and born of the Virgin Mary. He brings joy to the whole world. This child, the Savior, will judge with righteousness (vs 4). This righteousness is the gift of Christ’s own righteousness by which God counts us as holy in His presence. Because of the death and resurrection of the Savior, God declares us, the sinners free from the burden of our sins. When God declares us as righteous in His sight, we are righteous because of Christ.  This child, the …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

To accept the unacceptable
Acts 20: 17-25
‘However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.’ (24)
In today’s reading we see Paul ready to leave Asia and go to Jerusalem because he has a mission there to proclaim the kingdom of God. Throughout Paul’s ministry he did not shy away from being helpful. He has called people to repentance by preaching the Gospel both in public and to individual households. Paul is so faithful to God and the purpose He has for him that he is actually okay with the fact that wherever he goes persecutions and imprisonment awaits him. He knows that this is the inevitable effect of preaching the message of good news of God’s grace. This is the same mindset Paul takes with him to Rome.  The reason Paul says his life is worth nothing is not because he thinks he is useless or believes God does not love him. Instead it’s because n…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Accepting the UnacceptablePhilippians 4:2-9
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Paul writes his letter to Philippians while he was in prison. Prisons in the days of Paul were not pleasant or healthy. In the mind of the people, prison was equal to death, despair, sickness of mind and body, and humiliation. Through this letter, Paul addresses the disunity in Philippian Church.” Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”(Philippians2:2). The appeal to Euodia and Syntyche(Philippians 4:2-3) is the clear evidence of dissension in the Church of Philippi. Many commentators believe that disharmony was the serious problem in the community and thus interpret these verses as an indication of Paul’s real purpose in writing. Accepting the Unacceptable- In Inter-personal Relations As humans, we’ve to move, work and live in a community. As Christians we’re practicing our faith in a community. Eudia and Syntyche were not ordina…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

A Life with a Message Isaiah 55:6-13
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (6)
Walter Brugemann writes, “A central theme of the Bible is covenant, the notion of making commitments and keeping them, of making promises and fulfilling them.”  God extended his covenants, for example, to Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and to the people of Israel.  In each of these instances, God established and offers his covenant promises to his people, and God kept the promises he made.  Meanwhile, God’s people often failed to honor such promises, adopting lifestyles that displeased God.  Isaiah 55 is centered on the theology of covenant where God promises covenant life to the exiles of Israel.  It is in the read passage that God is graciously inviting and calling the exilic community to return to him and adopt a covenantal lifestyle. Thus, the prophet is urging the people to return to God in a right relationship because only in that relationship could they have new life; only in…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

To Accept the Unacceptable
Luke 7:36 – 50
“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” (47)
In his address “On Forgiveness,” C.S. Lewis wrote, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” Acceptance should be extended to all, not the elite few Throughout the Gospels, the resentment that Pharisees had towards Jesus is as clear as day to anyone who reads the Bible. In this passage, we see a Pharisee extending out a warm welcome to Jesus, or so it seemed.Although, he invited Jesus for a meal, he did not do the three things Jesus pointed out that is a typical social custom which were: washing feet, anoint His head with oil, and give the kiss of greeting.Simon could not even bring himself to touch Jesus. Yet, when this woman who is described as one who lived a sinful life was just pouring out her love towards Jesus, Jesus allows the sinful woman to touch …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

A life with a message Exodus 3: 7-12
“And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
There’s often a saying that goes “God only gives you enough that you can handle.”   I remember going to a youth event where an older youth leader told us the story of how his mom would always serve him dinner on a plate.  Each day, she would place an exact amount of food on his plate, some days more and some days less.  He would often complain prior to eating that she would give too little or too much food; however, when he was finished with his meal, he realized his mom knew JUST how much food he needed that evening.  In the same way, God knows our needs and what we need to fulfill his works. While reading this passage, I felt that there were two perspectives that these verses were conveying—that of the Israelites in captivity and that of Moses.  For both, the passag…