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Showing posts from July, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Theological Education: Equipping People of God Isaiah.54:10-14
For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the LORD, who has mercy on you.(V.10)
Leap of faith
To pick God’s work over your home, loved ones and their expectations is indeed a massive leap of faith. It can only be done with absolute faith in God that He will take care of you and your loved ones. I believe that any Christian who dedicates their lives to God has to take that leap of faith, to some extent, in order to place themselves in His safe hands. 
As children of the world we are programmed at a very young age to aim for success in everything we do. Our skills are molded such that we can use them to build a successful career. Our efforts to achieve our very best in life cannot be criticized. However, what needs to be criticized and thought over is the stress and isolation that comes to someone that cannot achieve…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Theological Education: Equipping the People of God
Jeremiah 1:4–10
“Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, ‘Now, I have put my words in your mouth.” Hebrews 5:4
Ravi Zacharias, a renowned apologist, stated, “Outside of the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no hope in this world. That cross and resurrection at the core of the Gospel is the only hope for humanity. Wherever you go, ask God for wisdom on how to get that Gospel in, even in the toughest situations of life.”
God Knows Us In verse five, God is telling Jeremiah that He has known Jeremiah even before he was born. God had a purpose in Jeremiah’s life, and by calling him, God is revealing to Jeremiah the main purpose for his life. God was going to use Jeremiah to prophesy in the land of Judah. Note that Jeremiah simply was not appointed as a prophet to just the people of Judah, but at the end of verse five, we see that God appointed Jeremiah, “…as a prophet to the nations.” He is a prophet even for our t…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Theological education:   Equipping people of God 2 Timothy  3:1-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”(V.16) Warnings The lure of the world and our own pursuit of advancement, wealth, prosperity, and our misguided illusion of happiness takes us away from our relationship with God and our fellow human.  If we continue in this path, we will also be like the people as Paul warns to Timothy in verses 1 to 5.  We are all too busy to spend time with God in prayer and studying the Bible as much as we need to. Bible is our Instruction Manual Our creator who loves us and wants us to live according to His Will has prepared an instruction manual for His creation to teach, rebuke, correct, and train us in righteousness.  The Holy Bible is the instruction manual inspired by the Spirit of God through godly people for God’s people.  However, the Bible …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

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Equipping people of God 1 Timothy 4:6-16
Young Timothy was serving the church at Ephesus where a dangerous heresy was on the surface, the Gnosticism. The Gnostics taught that the matter is essentially evil and so when God created this world he had sent out a series of emanations in order to avoid touching the flawed matter, and those emanations were known as aeons. Between human and God there stretched a series of these emanations, each with its name and genealogies. So Gnosticism literally had endless fables and endless genealogies. If a man/woman wanted to get to God he/she must ascend this ladder of emanations, and for which the necessary thing was knowledge. So knowledge became very important, intellectualism and intellectual arrogance and pride became prevalent. In such a context Paul was appealing to the church at Ephesus and the young minister Timothy to be nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which they have been following(V:16). 
Nourished in the Word of …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Theological Education: Equipping the People of God Deut.6:1-7
“Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise” (v. 7)
“Theology” is a much maligned term. It is often (mis)understood as the intellectual exercise of professional “theologians”. And, for that reason, many preachers begintheir sermons with the introduction: “I will not preach any theology; only the Word of God”. Theology, on the contrary, is merely our understanding of God’s plan for human salvation. And, consequently, even a first grade student would have a “theology”: that is, her understanding of God. Today’s passage tells us of theology on the domestic front – at home. Let us consider two points that emerge from it. Oral tradition: In most Eastern societies, including the places during the Biblical period and even in India, history and faith were often preserved as oral traditions. Owing to lack of facilities – and adverse climatic conditio…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Theological Education: Preparing the people of God Matthew: 21: 15-19 “Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise for yourself” (V.16) “The aim of theological education is to cultivate an integral and holistic spirituality that would enable the people of God to be sustained in their commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to be committed to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their living out the truth and values of the gospel that would help us become fruitful and effective servants in and through the church”.(Teaching Theology in Context, Ed. Wati Longchar). On the basis of the scripture portion let us examine three major emphasis of theological education. Theological education is for the Re-Reading of the text: Jesus’ criticisms towards the temple authorities are depicted in this passage. When the chief priests and scribes heard the children crying out in the temple “Hosanna to the Son of David”, they become angry. In order to counter the dominant dis…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Fellowship in Christ' suffering. Acts 11: 17- 12:3 "  And he killed James the brother of John with a sword."  (Acts 12:2) (St. James day)

Fellowship, the word is used to describe everything from a gathering for coffee and donuts, to meeting for Worship Services. Usually, it is associated with a gathering where there is eating. But we learn from the Bible that Fellowship is a heart issue, something to be felt and expressed, and something essential to be a part of. It is the way of life for believers in Jesus Christ, to need to be in each others company, to share things, and to help and support each other, physically and spiritually. If one of the members of our congregation hurt we share that burden.
James was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ and considered the first Apostle to be martyred. He is known as Apostle of Spain, and Christians celebrate St. James day on July 25. Acts of Apostle Chapters 11-12 gives an account of that event. He was martyred by the king Her…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

People of God: Ambassadors of Christ 1 Peter 2: 1-12
“As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him, you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”. (V.4&5) In the Hindu and Buddhist traditions the Cintamani stone is a wish fulfilling jewel providing the holder whatever they desire, such as wisdom, treasure, clothing, etc. While it is yet to be proven whether such a wondrous device really exists, we know that there truly exists something that is even better in Christ our Lord. As the Apostle Peter advises, Christ is the living Stone. It is through Him that we are saved from ignorance and darkness and brought to the beautiful light of God. It is through Him that we are a people chosen by God to be His people. Just as the student is a reflection of the master and the child a reflection of the parent, so it is that we are a r…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

People of God: Ambassadors of Christ Philippians 1:12-21 “I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly”.(V.14) Paul an Ambassador at large to the world An ambassador is a high ranking official representing his country to another. They all come with different titles such as ambassador, high commissioner, viceroy, governor-general etc.  Other than being part of a diplomatic corps, there are good will ambassadors representing sports and businesses. An ambassador selected for the task is simply a mouth piece for the king or the country sending him.  He is in fact a personification of the sender or the agency to carry out their best interests skillfully without compromising their values.  An ambassador is a shrewd person who knows the culture and aware of the geo-political situation of the country  where  he is sent.  A misstep can upset the delicate nature of the relationship be…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

      CHRISTIAN EDUCATION FORUM DIOCESE OF NORTH AMERICA & EUROPE
        WORD FOR THE DAY - JULY 21
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People of God: Ambassadors of Christ                      Joshua.1:1-9
As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.  Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people…”(V.5)
As Christians, we are each called by God to go out into the world and be witnesses of the Word.  Whether it means staying within our city boundaries or venturing into the remote parts of the world, we still have the same calling to lead others to the light.  The time we live in is not yet a time of peace; we must not close our eyes to the on-going battle that exists between the army of God and the army of Satan.  We are armed with the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.  Yet still, despite our preparations, we are humans and w…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Theme: People of God: Ambassadors of Christ 2Cor.5:16-21 “We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God (V.20) At the time of communal clashes in India, Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the nation addressed the Indian people through his newspaper, “My dear Hindu brothers show a Christian attitude towards your Muslim brothers”. What is the Christian - people of God- attitude in a world of divisions, clashes and tensions in home and in community? In 2 Corinthians 5, the Apostle Paul says: We are `ambassadors for Christ’ and we are entrusted with Christ’s message of peace, God making his appeal through us. The word,` Ambassador’, was a Roman word and so was known in the Roman world. During Apostle Paul’s time, Roman provinces were governed either by the Roman Senate or the Roman Caesar. When a province was peaceful and serene, it was ruled by the Roman Senate. But when a province was filled …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Witnessing of the Migrated Community Mark 6:7-13 Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two and gave them the authority over evil spirits. (V.7)  How do we test one’s faith? Is it in a comfortable arena of life or in a challenging situation where we face lot of crises? The gospel of Matthew Chapter 6 begins with Jesus’ response to people of Nazareth. He was rejected by his own community. Mission that is entrusted to disciples was an extension of Jesus Ministry. It was a practical training for the disciples for the future ministry. Verses 8-9 depict the provisions which are required for ministry. Few reflections on the instructions which Jesus gave are given bellow. Sending Two by Two: Partners of Ministry In Jewish tradition, the disciples of Rabbi were used to travel two by two. This pattern focuses on the team ministry and the fellowship and care which the disciples are supposed to give each other. Self centered and self glorified ministry is questioned here by propagating a team mi…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Priests; Called for the Divine Ministry 1Peter.5:1-11 “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-not because of you must, but because of you are willing, as God wants you to be…” (V.2) Peter writes this letter to them who were suffered because of intense persecution and to encourage them to stand firmly and endure the suffering for the sake of Christ. The theme of 1 Peter is “the living hope in the midst of suffering”. In this passage Peter wrote to the leaders of the church, to encourage them to do their work faithfully. Leaders who run away in times of difficulty are showing that they are not true shepherds. Here Peter urges us to change our priorities into Jesus’ way of life. Peter urged the leaders to shepherd the believers. As Christ had instructed him to feed His sheep (John 21: 17), Peter instructs the leaders to feed the flock not out of a sense of limitation, greed or profit, but out of the heart of one that cares for the welfare of those that c…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Priests: Called for the Divine Ministry Psalms 119: 89-104
“Through your precepts I get understanding ; therefore I hate every false way.” (V. 104)
Sadhu Sundar Singh was born into a Sikh family. Sundar Singh’s mother took him to sit at the feet of a sadhu, an ascetic holy man, who lived in the jungle some miles away, while also sending him to Ewing Christian High School, Ludhiana, to learn English. The death of Sundar Singh’s mother, when he was fourteen, pitched him into violence and despair. He took out his anger on the missionaries, persecuted Christian converts, and ridiculed their faith. In a final defiance of their religion, he bought a Bible and burned it page by page in his home while his friends watched. Sundar felt that his religious pursuits in Sikhism and the questioning of Christian and Hindu priests left him without ultimate meaning. Sundar resolved to kill himself by throwing himself upon a railroad track. That very night he had a vision of Jesus who opened Sundar’s soul t…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Priests: Called for the divine ministry Ephesians 4:7-16 “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of body of Christ. (V.11&12). When the British Broadcasting Corporation asked for examples of important sounding, obscure and even bizarre job titles, one writer offered hers: Underwater Ceramic Technician. Actually she was a dishwasher at a restaurant. Sometimes titles are used to make a job sound more important. When the apostle Paul listed some of God’s gifts to the church in Ephesians 4:11, he did not intend for these to be understood as high-sounding job titles. All the parts of the body are necessary for the body to function properly. No one part is better than the other. Apostles: - Those who open up new mission territories to the gospel. Prophets: - Who apply the words in spiritually compelling ways. Evangelists: - Who have a special ability to share the gospel that often br…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Priests: Called for the Divine Ministry
Hebrews 5:1-10
“No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was”.(V.15)
William Perkins once said, “He who would be a faithful minister of the gospel must deny the pride of his heart, be emptied of ambition, and set himself wholly to seek the glory of God in his calling.” In Hebrews 5, we see what it means to be called to ministry, and how we are to emulate Jesus, the High Priest.
First, in verse two and three, we see that the writer of Hebrews makes a clear point to note that the priest is able to connect with the people, simply due to the fact that he is also sinful. In Romans 3:23, we read, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This means that, no person is perfect, including the clergy. One of the most powerful parts that impacts me in our liturgy is in the Sedra of our Holy Qurbana where the priest prays, “O Lord God, who makes the sinner righteous, pardons our sins and makes us holy, blot o…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Priests: Called for the Divine Ministry. Exodus. 28:1-5 “ Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests”(V.1) The Priests were the mediators between God and the nation Israel. They represented the people to God by offering sacrifices, by leading worship and praying for divine guidance. They also represented God to the people, for the priests instructed Israel in God’s law, were channels through which God communicated His will. The Holy garments not only distinguished the priests from people but showed the glory of the divine majesty and the mark of the minister without which the ministration and person will be had in contempt. Today each Christian is a priest with direct access to God. But priesthood is a special call for divine ministry. (1). Priestly ministry is not the designation of the community but a call and a ministry which comes from the Lord Himself (v.1). Priesthood is n…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Priests: Called for the Divine Ministry. Exodus. 28:1-5 “ Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests”(V.1) The Priests were the mediators between God and the nation Israel. They represented the people to God by offering sacrifices, by leading worship and praying for divine guidance. They also represented God to the people, for the priests instructed Israel in God’s law, were channels through which God communicated His will. The Holy garments not only distinguished the priests from people but showed the glory of the divine majesty and the mark of the minister without which the ministration and person will be had in contempt. Today each Christian is a priest with direct access to God. But priesthood is a special call for divine ministry. (1). Priestly ministry is not the designation of the community but a call and a ministry which comes from the Lord Himself (v.1). Priesthood is n…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Priests: Called for the Divine Ministry Eph 4:7-16 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…” (V.11,12) We have all heard the story of Naaman in the Bible and how he was healed of leprosy by the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 5: 1-19).. But we tend to overlook the important role played by the young Jewish slave girl who served Naaman's wife In fact, her name is not even mentioned in the story and yet it was through her that Naaman came to learn about Elisha. Considering her circumstances, nobody would have blamed her if she chose to remain silent and looked on at her master's misery. But she decided to rise above those circumstances and not let them affect her. She decided to follow her calling. Here in this letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul is presenting the purpose the diversity of gifts in each person through the grace of God. Here Paul links diffe…