Friday, January 1, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Happy and Blessed New Year to All  !


Divine Revelation for Salvation
Acts 26: 19- 23


 
Rev. Thomas Kurian
Oklahoma MTC
v. 20b ..I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.

            We have everything at our disposal, with achievements gained by the sacrifices of many and the message of hope being handed down the generations, but we often find ourselves facing the dilemma of finding the means to communicate the truth of repentance to our own and to others. In Psalms 12:1, 2 David cries out, “Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly; the faithful have disappeared from humankind. They utter lies to each other; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.” The age that we live in sometimes reveals the notion of ‘What to repent and Why Repent?’

As we are in the search of examples and role models to look up to and be inspired, Paul in this scripture portion depicts how he stands boldly with firmness upon troubled waters and pricks us spiritually to be the “Means of Gospel through repentance”. In his encounter with the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was forgiven and transformed so as to be created for good works being dead to sin and alive in Jesus (Rom 6:1-11, Eph 2:8-10). The grace that he was saved by, regenerated his faith to stand against forces and giants that came his way, where he affirms the truths of the gospel with Passion, Priority, Persistence and Power in the courts of King Agrippa and Governors Festus and Felix.

Paul, being obedient to the heavenly vision of establishing deeds with repentance, joyfully draws water from the wells of salvation, and even plants a question in Agrippa’s mind when he asks, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul connects the situation with hope received from the resurrection of Jesus and he says, “Short time or long, I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains” in  Acts 26: 28, 29. The words mentioned were competent to bring the Covenant of God, as Paul reminds the church to be  a letter from Christ, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Cor 3:3)

Ronald Sider in his book, “Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger” mentions that Christians read the Bible from a corrupt perspective, where he contends that, “Have we allowed our economic self interest to distort our interpretation of Scripture?.. Biblical repentance involves more than a hasty tear and a weekly prayer of confession. It involves conversion. It involves a whole new life-style. The One who stands ready to forgive us for our sinful involvement in economic injustice offers us His grace to begin living a generous new lifestyle that empowers the poor and oppressed”. In our life, the witness that we radiate and reveal is not for marketing and manipulation, but offering our lives to manifest the God of the last, least and lost. On the first day of the New Year let us bring in a lifestyle with true repentance that we wisely and widely distribute God’s blessings to be a message of His salvation


PRAYER

O Lord, let your Grace teach and tear our hearts to submit ourselves with true humility. Amen

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
 
Are we ‘styling the self’ or ‘submitting the self’?