Posts

Showing posts from January, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Jesus the Healer John 4: 1- 14
“Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (10)
The story of the Samaritan woman at the well is one that is familiar to the church body, yet a story that is filled with numerous words of encouragement of who God is and His relationship with His people.
There are many who face struggles or obstacles that may leave them feeling disconnected or not in line with the perceived ‘sinless’ atmosphere of the church. Those who are struggling may avoid the church atmosphere to avoid criticism, gossip, or the out casting looks from the members of the church. Yet, biblically Jesus came to do just the opposite. He overlooks the sinful nature and cultural separation of the Samaritan woman and He reached out to her and offered her eternal life and offered her healing to the life that she was living. He reminded her that it is not the physical water, but the s…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Jesus the Healer Mark 5:25-34
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” These verses depict another incident of Jesus’s great healing power. This woman had suffered from her illness for twelve long years. Her cure is sometimes referred to as a “stolen miracle.” Her deep desperation probably added to her great determination to ignore the huge crowd, public humility and embarrassment, and to reach out to the one whom she believed in. Her decision not to ask Jesus to heal her, but just to touch His cloak is compelling evidence of her unchangeable faith. Her willingness to believe that this man could make her well again was promptly rewarded. A heavy burden was lifted off of her, and she achieved the healing she well deserved. To His disciples and the rest of the crowd, Jesus’s question “who touched my clothes” was indeed a strange statement, coming from a man who is moving along within a huge crowd. But Jesus had a deeper meaning to …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

God Our refuge Psalms 46
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth  give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…” (1) As I read this Psalm, I cannot help but be reminded of the devastation caused to the east coast of the United States by Hurricane Sandy. Many people lost their lives, numerous homes that have been flooded or destroyed, cars crushed by trees, and people left stranded. As Mother Nature continues to pelt the east coast, I look on at the destruction in both humility and awe. The ferocity of the storm had the dual effect of allowing me to reflect on my own mortality and on the extent of God’s power. Since God is our refuge, we are not afraid: Matthew Henry states that this psalm was probably written during King David’s victories over neighboring nations. This psalm is not just meant to encourage the reader, but also witnesses the miraculous refuge of the Lord. The first verse states, in no unce…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Jesus the Healer
Acts 3: 1 – 10 “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”(6) There is a quote that says, “Prayer is the most powerful action against trials, the most effective medicine against sickness, and the most valuable gift to someone we care for.” Seeking temporal satisfaction In Acts 3, we see the story of the crippled beggar. The crippled beggar is a man of strategy, who knows what he wants and how to best get that which he wants. The crippled beggar knew when the most people would come for prayer. He knew the temple gate Beautiful would be through where most people would enter. Finally, he also knew that in Judaism, giving money to beggars was praiseworthy. Yet, the downside of his strategy meant that he had to be present there in front of the gate every day. Unfortunately, the money he received from the people would only satisfy him for that particular day. Receiving eternal provision Then, Peter and John meet him. …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Power of prayer James 5. 13-18
‘The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.’ This portion is reminding the first century Christians about the power of prayer. They were troubled by several things, different types of beliefs, waiting for the return of Jesus, persecution by Jews and the fight among them about the leadership positions. This is true for the 21st century Christians, since there are several different types of beliefs among ourselves, and some are waiting for the return of Christ at any time, and persecution and oppression by others and finally fight for leadership among us. But James is reminding the first century Christians about the power of prayer when they are in trouble. He insists that if someone is in trouble, he should pray and if someone is happy, he should sing songs of praise. If anyone is sick, he reminds them to call for the elders of the church (since there were no clergy or bishops as we see today) to pray and anoint him with oil in the name of the …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Jesus the Healer 2 Kings 5: 1 – 14
“As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”
The most obvious study that we could have shared on in this particular topic is to review why Naaman, a person God had favored, would be struck by leprosy and sent to Prophet Elisha. We could have looked at how Naaman felt insulted the Prophet would not come out and heal him and how he listens to his servants and dips in the River Jordan seven times to be healed.  Simply put, this is for us to understand that God continues to show us throughout the Bible of how individuals God has chosen need to overcome dramatic encounters with the power of God for them to value his omnipotent presence. However, having studied this passage, let us review the emotion displayed by the King of Israel. What an immediate knee jerk reaction …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Jesus the Healer Mark 7:31-37
At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. We are all in need of the healing that only Jesus can provide.  In this passage it is a man who cannot hear and had an impediment in his speech that was cured.  The importance of seeing and hearing correctly is an important concept in Mark (ex. 4:12, 8:18).  So many of the people who were with Jesus did not believe in him or accept his teachings.  Even Jesus’ disciples, who had traveled with him and lived with him, still failed to properly see who he was and what his mission was. It is the touch of Jesus that enables a person to hear and see correctly. It allows a person to properly hear the word of God.  It also allows a person to hear the cry of those around them.  There were many Egyptians who did not hear the cries of the Israelites, but God heard the cries (Exodus 2:23-25). Today there are many people all around us crying out for help, crying out for someone to re…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

“Abba, Father” Galatians 4:1-7
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba Father.” 
This passage is a great reminder of the type of personal relationship we are privileged to have with God. This passage reminds us that we are no longer slaves to sin and to the law. Before knowing Christ, we did not experience the fullness of a relationship with God, the freedom that was possible with God. We are now experiencing the inheritance that was promised- a restored relationship with God. We did not earn this Jesus restored our relationship with God. Because we didn’t earn it, we can‘t lose this restoration, this inheritance. The passage also reminds us that we should be continuously calling out to God as our Father. We have the “Spirit of his Son” in our hearts. We have the same privileges that Jesus had with God- we can freely and openly come to Him as a true child. Sometimes we forget this and continue to live as if we are slaves i…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Repent and Return 1 Peter 4:1-6 “As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God”. (2)
In the NBA we see some basketball players traded from one team to the others. For example, Dwight Howard played for the LA Lakers. He wore their jersey filled with purple and gold and played by their game book and rules. He was on the LA Lakers and represented anywhere he went. But then, he got traded and was sold to the Houston Rockets. His colours changed to red, he followed the rules of the game and how he played changed according to the ways of the team he was on. He couldn’t go back to the LA Lakers and he couldn’t look like or play like the LA Lakers anymore. His identity was now the Rockets and he played like a part of the Rockets.
In a similar manner, there are two choices we have as human beings. To live our lives according to earthly/worldly ways or according to the will of God as Jesus Christ did. Jesus Himself, as a human b…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Repent & Return James 1: 19-27
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”(19)
It is a known human trait to be opinionated. While it varies between races, gender, and one’s age, we all tend to react to situations based on our mind set and experiences from the past. Often, we are quick to respond and react, which could result in long lasting negativity. Responding with anger makes things more complicated. As we hear often, “anger brings danger.” Our words and deeds hold a mirror up to our inner state. When I was reading through the verse “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”, an old African proverb came to mind, which states "A talkative bird will not make a nest”. A good listener will be far more productive than a person who is quick to respond. As James 1:20 reads, “Man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” The Spirit of the Lord brings forth a loving atmosphere that promotes peace and harmony.…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Repent and Return Psalm 32
“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” This Psalm offers thanks for forgiveness of sins, and it is one of the seven penitential Psalms. It also has a number of features reminiscent of ‘the beatitudes’ in the first two verses, each of which begins with blessed or happy (Matt. 5: 3-10). What are the transgressions? We have references to three types of sins here, which are rebellion against God’s will, missing the correct path and iniquities or unjust way of life. These sins cause silence for it says, ‘When I kept silent’ (V.3). Anything that prevents having a conversation, prayer or thanksgiving  to  God is a sin. Sins make us hide from God, but we cannot just hide from Him; we are in His presence at all times.  How do we repent? We need an honest acknowledgement of all our sins, both of commission and omission, hiding nothing, nor being silent or evasive about anything. God knows us in the depth of our being. It can be easy to …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Repent and ReturnRomans 15:1-9
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorifythe God and Fatherof our Lord Jesus Christ.” ( 5-6)  “A Christian is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to everyone.” This statement of Martin Luther talks about our liberty in Christ, while at the same time, reminding us of our responsibility to fellow believers.  In Romans Chapter 14, Paul discusses in detail the issue among the believers in exercising their Christian liberty in the areas of dietary laws and observance of days. Many times, we as the body of Christ forget our primary responsibilities and focus on nonessential matters: causing divisions, passing judgment on others and despising the fellow believers.  In our text for meditation today Apostle Paul is calling believers to return to the original p…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Repent and Return
Genesis 4:1 – 15
“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (7)
St. Augustine once said, “God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but he has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.” The desire found in the first worship In Genesis 4, we see the first worship ever since creation. We see Cain and Abel bringing their offerings before God. God accepted Abel’s offering, because Abel brought the best part of the firstborn of his flock. He did not give the youngest and the last in the flock, nor did he give the boniest parts, but he gave what He felt God should be given, because God is the one who gave to Him. Unfortunately, Cain merely brought just some fruits that he gardened. He did not look to give the best fruits, or what would have been the first fruits, which showed that Cain did not feel the same sort of gratefulness towards God th…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Love your Enemy Mt 5:43- 48
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”(44) Corrie Ten Boom in the book “Reflections of God’s glory” wrote, “In Africa a man came to a meeting with bandaged hands. I asked him how he had been injured. He said, “My neighbor’s straw roof was on fire; I helped him to put it out and that’s how my hands were burned. “Later I heard the whole story. The neighbor hated him and had set his roof on fire while his wife and children were asleep in the hut. They were in great danger. Fortunately, he was able to put out the fire in his house on time. But sparks flew over to the roof of the man who had set the house on fire and his house started to burn. There was no hate in the heart of this Christian; there was love for his enemy and he did everything he could to put out the fire in his neighbor’s house. That is how his own hands were burned.” A deadly problem evident in society today is when someone hurts or threatens us, we want to retalia…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Healing through His touch John 5. 12-16
‘Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’
This passage tells us about an invalid person, probably paralyzed, unable to get up and walk. He was lying by the side of the pool for 38 years, waiting to get in to the pool first when the water is stirred. The belief is that when the water is stirred in the pool, whoever gets in to the water first will be healed of his sickness.  The people who were near to the pool lost all their hope in life and may be begging by the side of the pool other times when the pool is not stirred. There is no description in this passage how the pool is stirred, but it is believed that whoever gets in to the pool first when stirred will be healed. This particular invalid person was not able to get in to the pool, because he was not able to get up and get in to the pool before others get into the pool, when it is stirred. Jesus never knew this person before, but when he passed by this person, he asked him ‘do you want…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Foolish in the Eyes of the World1 Corinthians 3: 18-23“Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight”Today’s passage goes counter to what many judge as the true measure of wisdom. Some think that being wise is having so many degrees attached to the name. Education is important but wisdom before God is attained in a different manner.  We learn that one has to be ‘foolish’ in the eyes of the world in order to be wise in the sight of God but what does Paul actually mean by being ‘foolish’? 
There is a distinct difference in the way of the world and the way of God.  This is a constant struggle for Christians as we receive mixed signals.  We are told that first impressions are very important.  When going on a job interview, individuals put much emphasis on how they are dressed, groomed and their mannerisms.  These first impressions ca…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Experience of New Life John10: 1-10 “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” St. John’s theology of life is in union with Christ; he bears testimony of life through Jesus in all its fullness. The seven ‘I am sayings’ in this Gospel is concerned about the physical dimension (light, water, bread, and vine, gate/door, way, and shepherd) of human existence and abundant spiritual possibilities (truth, resurrection,  new, and eternal life) in and through Jesus Christ, leading the believer to the Father. ‘I AM’ is the divine name, ego eimi, which when used without the egoism of ‘I am this or I am that’ allows Jesus to participate in the being and power of God.
Sheep and Shepherds: In many parts of rural Britain where shepherd and his dogs still walk hills and moors, searching out his sheep in all weathers with absolute dedication.  There is a long history in the Bible of the shepherd who dies in following his vocation; it begins with Abel. We see this in Micaiah’s prophecy…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Experience of New Life Revelation 3: 1-16
“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” I always enjoy this time of the year, not due to cold weather (especially if you are in a region where it gets depressingly chilly), but because several sports seasons enter a very interesting phase. The National Hockey Leagues is in the middle of its season. The National Basketball League is about to host it’s All Star weekend and several basketball trades are made to strengthen teams. Baseball players are now thinking about getting physically ready for spring training and the National Football League is primed and ready to play for the Super Bowl. Let’s not forget all the college sports that happen around this time of the year. This is also the time of the year when many sports fans, like yourself, will possibly jump on certain bandwagon’s cheering for the most “winning”-est team. This may be due to the fact your own home team has already bowed out of th…