Posts

Showing posts from May, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Mission as Sharing Christ Philippians 4:4-9
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (V.4)
Witnessing Christ to the World:  Sharing Gospel to the world is an important command of Christ in his farewell message, (The Great Commission, Mathew 28:19-20). Many of us are not fully confident in sharing Christ either because of our fear or the sin that easily entangles us. Philippians 4:4-9 is an important passage that will give us a different perspective in sharing Christ. It is indirectly telling us to 'Show the Christ' in us through our life. Show him through our words, actions, reactions and thoughts. Verse 4 tells us to rejoice in the Lord always, and Paul is repeating it again: ‘rejoice’. Paul has every reason to be unhappy, since he is writing this letter from jail. Is it possible to rejoice always, while we are going through the deepest darkness of life? Absolutely, that is the beauty of the Bible, and the faith depicted in it. We have millions of reasons un…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Exalted and Glorified Christ (Feast of the Ascension)
Luke 24:50-53 “...He lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them he left them and was taken up into heaven.”(V.51)
Today, we celebrate the feast of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. The given passage for today’s devotion is the final three verses of  Luke’s  Gospel. At the first glance they may seem pretty straight forward, but it contain one of the New Testament only account of Jesus’ ascension. Blessing the disciples.......v:50  Jesus has been leading His band of disciples for three years .He lead them out of the city of Jerusalem down into  Kidron valley and up to mount of Olives. "Blessed" in Greek "Eulogeo"  to ask for bestowal of special favor. Jesus’ hand was used for blessing, when Jesus heals the sick (an act of blessing), He often lays His hand on suffering people.  When children came to Him He often lift  them up in His arms.  Ascending into heaven.....v:51  While He was blessing th…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Exalted and Glorified Christ Acts 1: 1-11 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”(V.7) After Jesus’ resurrection, He lived with His disciples and other believers for 40 days as convincing evidence that he was back to life and not a ghost. He ascended into heaven in living body and spirit while disciples were watching and He was exalted and glorified as He sits equally at the right hand of God the Father back to the spirit realm.  No other religion can claim that their God came down to earth as a human, suffered, crucified, buried, came back to life to live among His people, and then ascended back to heaven for the love of His creation so that they do not perish.  “No-one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man”.  (John 3: 13).  Jesus promises us the power of the Holy Spirit:  Jesus has referred to the Holy Spirit as the “gift” (A…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Mission as Sharing Christ 1 John 5:1-12 “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves His child as well.” (Verse 1 NIV)
If we take this point a little deeper and believe that our God is our Holy father we can understand that all human beings are our brothers and sisters and have a common bond, which is God. When God created man in His own image we have to believe that every person we meet and are involved with, whether friends or foes, is part of God. Every person in this world is a symbol of God because each is made in the image of God. In the Bible God tells us to love one another and to love God. He is literally telling us that every person in the world is a child of God DNA of God is within all of us. God has a purpose for everyone and the challenges and struggle we have are there for a reason. Just like we support our own family in times of crisis, we are to be there physically and emotionally for each other. If we can help the…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Mission as Sharing Christ Micah 4:1-7 Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.  All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever. (vs. 4, 5) Throwing it back to my twelfth grade class last year, I can recall my Sunday school teacher asking a question along the lines of: Would you go to Syria to spread the Word to those who are struggling and to those who don’t know who the creator of this universe is? I remember not immediately raising my hand because to be honest, who would willingly go to a place where a civil war is happening with violence occurring on a daily basis? Chapter 3 of Micah ends with “no hope”, as Micah prophesies: “Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble (v. 12).” But, Micah 4 stirs up hopefulness in someone who will save Jerusalem, the Messiah, who will overcome all His enemies. Verse 3 in this chapter explains that n…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Mission as sharing Christ Philippians 4: 4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (V.4) Rejoice in Christ – “Sacred Music” The letter to Philippians is one of the Prison epistles of St. Paul. The Philippi church is founded by Paul during his second mission journey (Acts 16:9-15) and is the first European church. The members of this church are very close to his heart because of their care and concern for him and due to their prayerful financial support to his ministry.  Key exhortations in chapter 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always – ( 4:4) “Joy” is the principal theme of this letter.   The word “joy” and its verbs “rejoice” and “be glad”    are mentioned 16 times in this short epistle. Paul is citing his own example to teach them how to be joyful.It may sound ironic to talk about rejoicing while suffering for Christ in   prison.   How can one rejoice while going through such a difficult ordeal in life? This is a challenging question for today’s Christians - how to rejoice…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Mission as sharing Christ Luke.24:36-49
“…I am sending upon you what my Father promised ;…”(V.49)
Lk. 24 is about Christ’s appearances after resurrection. He walked with two travelers on their way to Emmaus (Vs.13-32).They were running from Jerusalem, where the crucifixion took place. The “risen Christ” joined them on their journey, talked to them and clarified the scriptures. They returned to Jerusalem and shared the news with ten of the disciples who were gathered in the upper room on Sunday evening. In Vs.36-43 we find that when they were talking about resurrection, Christ came to their midst and greeted them. He showed the marks on His body and broke bread with them. He then entrusted them the duty of carrying the Word to all the nations. For our meditation, let us focus on the three main dimensions regarding mission. Mission is sharing Christ’s peace in a distressed world: Christ appeared to the disciples when they were filled with fear. They locked themselves for safety in the upper …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Image
The Lord is my Shepherd Proverbs 4:10-19
“I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” (V.11)
Many of times in our lives, we go through phases of life and embrace a sense of independence. Such is seen in American history when the Americans signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 from the British monarchy. When signing this Declaration, inherently another Declaration was also signed- a "Declaration of Dependence" upon Almighty God. The American nation has come a far way from its Declaration of Dependence, as it continues to find ways to invalidate dependency and fabricate a facade of independence and strength on its own merit.

What we forget is that when we declare the Lord is my Shepherd we are voluntarily declaring our dependence on God.  When we call someone our shepherd, we are saying we need help. When we say the Lord is our shepherd, we are saying no one is better able to help us than God himself. We are saying we are basically…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Lord is my shepherd Psalm 23 “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (v.4). This Psalm through the repeated use of the present tense (is my shepherd, makes me to lie down in green pastures,  leads me to the still waters,  restores my soul, leads me in paths of righteousness) reminds us that the Lord is with us at the present moment. Even in the valley of the ‘shadow of death’ He is with us; His rod and staff cheer, guide and comfort us.  A rod is a strong stick that Shepherds used to drive away wild animals. I remember growing up in a village where we had to walk narrow paths, and gullies. I was frightened of deadly cobras that would lurk by the side of the walking path. My grandfather used to take a rod with him and tap the ground a few steps ahead of him. The noise and vibration caused by the tapping of the rod would drive the snakes away and make the path safe for us. The word of Go…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Lord is my shepherd John.10:11-18
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away”.(V.11,12)
One of the most important imagery in the Bible to explain God's love and care towards His people is the imagery of the good shepherd. In today's passage Jesus proclaimed that He is the good shepherd; He assumed the role and character of a shepherd. The role of a shepherd is critical and adventurous. A good shepherd is ready with a moment’s notice to defend his flock against the wild beasts and the robbers. A faithful shepherd takes his life in his hands to defend his flock.
A hired hand works with a flock of sheep yet feels no love or devotion to the sheep because the hired hand does not have a personal interest in the sheep as they do not belong to him. However, Jesus describes himself as the ‘good shepherd’ who cares for the sheep, s…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Christ- The Way, Truth and Life Acts.16:19-34 “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved- you and your   household”(v.31)  This passage is talking about the circumstances when Paul and Silas, two peaceful men, were seized for healing a demon stricken girl. Paul and Silas were seized, dragged, stripped off their clothes, placed in iron stacks, flogged and thrown into prison. The owners of the slave girl did this only to find that they could not make money out of the slave girl’s fortune telling abilities, which came from the demons. Paul and Silas were brought to the Roman authorities, accused of being anti national and a threat to Romans. The owners of the girl were actually raged by the real reason of not being able to make money out of the girl and accused Paul and Silas of introducing a new God, which was against Roman law. Paul and Silas were placed in iron stacks and thrown into the inner jail cells. They were treated like dangerous criminals. Paul and Silas could have easily…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Christ the Way, Truth, and the Life Exodus 14:10-20
“Do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.” (V.13)
In this final escape from the Egyptians, the Israelites find themselves in the desert flanked by mountains on the east and west, the Red Sea before them and Pharaoh’s army of six hundred of his best chariots and officers following them.  What must have been the feelings of the Israelites?  In this passage we see that fear griped the Israelites, “they were terrified and cried out to the Lord (v.10).”  They then began to wonder whether their freedom was worth fighting for or whether they should of remained complacent under the rule of the Egyptians, “Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone…”  Even through this fear, the Lord guided the Israelites and showed the Egyptians that He is Lord.
Christ the Way, Truth, and the Life In what seemed like an impossible situation, God showed the Israelites that he will guide them on their way to …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Christ the Way the Truth and Life 1 John.1:1-10 “ This we proclaim concerning the word of life”.(V.1) Apostle John wrote this letter to encourage the faith community to live in fellowship with God and fellowship with each other. He wanted them to know the truth through Jesus Christ, that he himself was witness too. He wanted to strengthen them in the true faith, then they would recognize false ideas and teachings. Some people in these communities believed wrong things about the person of Christ. They denied the deity, human nature and union of human and divine natures. John styles Jesus as the Word of Life. Word is the index of mind. Word is the expression of mind. Christ, as One in the self-existing Essence, speaks out the mind of the external father. It is as this essential Word all the mind of God is opened. In the beginning was the word and the Word was with god(Jn1:1). In his letter John presents Jesus as the Word of Life (1Jn1:1). There are two Greek words for life, bios and zoe. B…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Christ- the way, the truth and the Life  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”.( V.6)  This Chapter is a continuation of Christ’s farewell discourse with his disciples after the last supper. Jesus is telling to his disciples that tragedy awaits him, that one of them will betray him, and that there will soon be a time where he is not with them in the same way he is now. Who were full of sorrow upon what he had said of leaving them. Jesus tells the disciples that they will not be abandoned by God and He will send a new advocate that will help the disciples and the future generations to discern the will of God as new issues and problems emerge. The theme for today calls us to reflect on Jesus’ words, “He is the way and truth and the life “.Being part of the last words of Jesus before his trial and crucifixion they hold a tremendous significance for us. These words are in the context of Jesus other words that “He…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

WORSHIP - COMMUNION WITH GOD Psalms: 50 "The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!" (V.23) Psalms:50 is a prophetic exhortation through a liturgical sermon. Most of the words in this Psalm are framed in the divine first person. It means the prophetic preacher delivers the word of God. God calls the people away from self-centered life to have proper communion with Him. This Psalm addresses two problems in the worshiping community- 1. Misunderstanding about worship & 2 Hypocrisy. Worship is the communion with God. To have a proper relationship with God we need to know who God is. We have to understand ourselves and the world we are living in- in relationship with God. Right Attitude towards God determines True Communion V.7 is the reflection of the Shema, "Hear O Israel", in Deuteronomy 6:4, which follows the greatest commandment, "You shall love the LORD your God with all yo…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Worship - Communion with God Psalms. 42 “As the deer pants for the streams of water, So pants my soul for you O God.” ( V.1) There is a story about a young man who went to the preacher searching for God. After much talk the preacher was not having any success, finally he thought and took that young man down to the river, grab him and put his head under the water, the young man began to squirm and try his best to come up for air but the preacher held him under, finally lifting his head up out of the water, The preacher asked, Son when you were under the water what did you want more than anything? The young man said Air, Air, and the preacher said Son when you want God as bad as you wanted air, you will find him. David thirsted for God like a man in the desert searching for water. We need to thirst for God like a drowning man needs air. Thirsting for God will bring power to our life. Thirst for God is just like intimate worship. David seems to be our prime example of intimate worship, What…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

WORSHIP-COMMUNION WITH GOD Heb.9:11-15 “How much more ,then , will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God , cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death , so that we may serve the living God (V.14) Leonardo da Vinci was 43 years old when the Duke of Milan asked him to paint the Last Supper. He worked on it slowly and carefully. He spent much time making the cup that Jesus held as beautiful as possible. After three years he was ready to show it, and called for a friend to come and see it. He said, “look at it and give me your opinion.” The friend said, “It is wonderful. The cup is so real I can’t take my eyes off of it “Immediately Leonardo took a brush and drew it across the sparkling cup. His friend exclaimed as he did so: Nothing shall detract from the figure of Christ!” Christ must be the primary focus in Christian’s life. Today's passage reminds us the redemption we  got through Jesus Christ on the Cross.-It takes back to the…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Worship - Communion with God Exodus.40:34-38
“And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys”(V.36)
Some people spend their entire lives looking for a sign from God to take their every step and spend a lifetime stuck in that one spot. While on the other hand some people work hard to pave their own path forward and believe that any work they did during their life was on their own accord. Which category do you fit into? The fact is people in either category don’t move much in their lifetime. You cannot sit back and let God do all the work. Neither can you successfully do any work ignoring God’s plan for you. Work of course being our duty on this earth as a Christian.
As we read Exodus Ch.40, we see how God instructs Moses about his duties and every little detail that was expected. Moses fulfills all his obligations to the last detail and steps back to see God work his miracles. The Tabernacle is filled with the glory of the…