Posts

Showing posts from February, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Transforming the Oppressive Structures Acts 4:32-37  Vs.32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. In today’s society among the countless organizations that exist, the word community is brought up countless times. While it is defined as a group of people gathering together for a unified purpose, how does the Bible's connotation bring meaning to this word?  The book of Acts written by the physician Luke, details the lengthy history of the early church community and its explosion in growth. As we see the amazing ways in which the Lord works through the people and world in that time, how does this correlate to us as disciples living in the 21st century?  We live in a large world with a seemingly endless list of tasks to accomplish and needs to be met. Comfort and peace is so…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Faith Expression of the Marginalized John 4:19-26  Vs.23, 24 "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” In this passage, Jesus goes through Samaria on his way to Galilee. In Samaria, he sits at a well and encounters a Samaritan woman. Through their conversation, the Samaritan woman realizes that Jesus is not just any ordinary Jew. She begins to realize that He is the Messiah. From a short conversation with Jesus, this Samaritan woman begins her journey of faith. Jesus intentionally uses the faith of this woman to teach us a lesson on true worship. Jesus knew of her troubled past and her indiscretions but He saw that she had a heart that was seeking truth and was open to let Jesus transcend her previous misconceptions…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Walking forward in uncertainty Isaiah 45:1-8 Vs. 2. I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.3 I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Some years ago,  youths from different Parishes in USA went on a mission trip to Navjeevan Centre in Mumbai, India. We all had personal questions, concerns and doubts before leaving. I myself was hoping for some epiphany but I came back with even more questions, concerns and obstacles. When we saw the reality that the kids face there, it was an eye opening experience.  The lack of resources was very apparent,  I know I felt helpless. Lack of water, shoes, basic school supplies, teachers etc.  I knew that two weeks of singing songs,  praying and tutoring may not have made a significant difference to the people we visited but it did bring up questions in me. Why did God tug o…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Stepping Out In Faith Acts 10:24-33  VS. 28 and he said to them, “You yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean. Have we ever for a moment thought about how lucky we are to be Christians? How blessed we are to know that Jesus died for our sins? Who else can openly say, my God died for me, my God paid for my sins? As Christians we are beyond blessed to know that our Father in Heaven loves us so much, that He sent His perfect Son to pay the ultimate price for us. From a young age we have been taught the love of God, and His teachings have been instilled in us. We have fellowship with our brothers and sisters during Sunday services, youth fellowship meetings, prayer meetings, etc. But how many of us are willing to step out and spread that message to our brothers and sisters of different faiths? How many of us would step out of our comfort zones and spread the Word of God to peo…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Power of Prayer Matthew 18: 18 - 20 Vs.20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”  Jesus promises us that wherever it may be, whether in the desert or the oasis, in the fire or on the poles, in the raging waters or a resort, wherever two or more gather together in His name, He will be amidst them. He is not a listener from a far away land, He is beside us personally. He will be with us while we go through our painful storms as well as in our prayerful assembling together in His name. The Creator and Sustainer of the universe want to have a personal relationship with us and that bond is developed through prayer. He likes when believers come together and ignite each other spiritually in prayer as well as intercede for others in need.  If our prayers are in alignment to His will, they will be answered. He sees the big picture which we cannot see. He has a plan to prosper us, has a hope and a future for us.  His delays are not His denials. H…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Forgiveness of Sin 2 Samuel 12:1-14 Vs. 13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan said to David, “Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die.  The context of this passage is God sending Nathan, the prophet, to King David to make David confront his sin committed with Bathsheba. We are all sinners before God. God is ready to cleanse us of our trespasses if we truly repent of our sins “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).  Confronting our sin : King David’s sin displeased God but David wouldn't listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit or to his conscience. When we hear or sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit we must respond to it immediately, because it might not always be there. So God sent Nathan to David who with wisdom and courage delivers the message using a parable. Nathan applied the parable with alarming simplicity. Nathan had to shock Dav…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Nobody is beyond God’s forgiveness Jonah 3:1-10 Vs.10 “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways; he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.” Prophet Jonah disobeyed God, as a result landed in the belly of a big fish. From there he prayed and God heard him. In His mercy, He forgave him. In the given passage, we see that Jonah was given a second chance to go to Nineveh to proclaim God’s message and he obeyed. Nineveh was one of the biggest cities in the known world, in the time of Jonah, with approximately 120,000 inhabitants. They were brutal people, leading a sinful life.  Jonah reluctantly preached God’s message regarding the impending doom of Nineveh in forty days for he did not want them to repent and to be saved. He wanted them to be punished as they were not Jews.  In his mindset, the love, grace, mercy and forgiveness of God only belonged to the Jews. The rest of the world deserves God’s judgment and not forgiveness. …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Christ’s Presence with “the outcast”  1 John 1:5-10  Vs.8,9 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  “God is light; in Him there is no darkness (5)” God is pure and Holy. We say it almost daily when we say the Lord’s prayer “Hallowed be thy name” yet we often have a hard time walking in the light with God. It easy for us to “claim we have fellowship(6)” with him thinking that fellowship is just giving our itemized list of requests to God and expecting Him to fulfil all our requests as if He were our butler. However, having fellowship with God requires having a relationship with Him which involves prayer – both talking and listening to God – as well as meditating on the word of God. When we “walk in the light” and have fellowship with God, we are promised forgiveness of sins. Even though this promise is given, sometimes it’s hard for u…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

LENT: A TIME OF REDEMPTION Romans 2:1-10  Vs 7-8  "For he will repay according to each one’s deeds:  to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;  while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury".  Lent is a time set apart for fasting and prayer, aiming at the transformation of the individual and the community in general. The major themes of these 40 days of fasting are sin and spiritual depravity of human beings; God’s initiatives for human redemption which culminated in the death of Jesus, God’s only begotten son on the cross; and the final redemption of human beings made possible through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The passage for our meditation begins with a warning, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself…” The use of the adverb ‘therefor…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Christ’s Presence with the Outcast Genesis 16: 7-16 Vs.13 “…You are the God who sees me.”  Hagar felt unappreciated and harassed so she chose to run away, the route a lot of people choose when they are presented with a difficult situation. Hagar was not aware of her future and inner strength and so God decided to send one of his angels to her and knock some sense into her. In today’s day and age, mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety are high. Almost all of us are on a quest to find our niche, a place where we belong and feel wanted. Almost every single one of has gone or is going through that “I am all alone in the world,” “no one understands me”, etc. phase/period. Like with Hagar, God follows (or chases) us and tries to give us the strength to pull through and face our challenges he laid out before us. God sees us in a way that no one else does. Everyone has a purpose in life but …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Release from the Burden of Sin Psalm 32  Vs. 5. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.   The Psalmist describes the blessings of his forgiveness, succeeding the pains of conviction, and derives from his own experience, instructions and exhortation to others. Carrying the Burden of Sin: In verses 1 and 2 of the psalm David talks of four evils which God should forgive us and not keep an account of for us to be blessed: 1.       Transgression signifies the passing over a boundary, doing what is prohibited. 2.       Sin signifies the missing of a mark, not doing what was commanded. 3.       Iniquity signifies what is contrary to equity or justice. Anything morally distorted or perverted 4.       Deceit or Guile signifies fraud. When the psalmist tried to hide his sin from God and not humble himself before God, his body got weak and he was groaning all day because of the guilt w…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Service of Reconciliation in The Great Lent Matthew 5:21-27  VS. 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.  We begin our journey with the Service of Great Lent where we are reminded that we live in sin which originated from the garden of Eden.  Our sins have turned us away from the glory of our Lord.  As our Bible portion teaches us that the first step in the Great Lent is forgiveness. The Lord forgives us, and His forgiveness is in Christ, His Son, whom He sent to us so that we may share in His love and truly be reconciled with God.  It is the renewal and growth of this love that we seek in the Great Lent through fasting and prayer. Fasting is a way of the spiritual (not physical) renewal of man in the return to God's glory.  There was a famous American named, Louis Zamerini, who ran in the Berlin Olympics and then soon afterwards went to serve in World War II.  During World War II, his militar…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Start of Lent: A Time for Reconciliation John 2:1-11 Vs. 9 When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom. The Great Lent (Valiya Nombu) or the fifty days of lent is observed as a preparation for our Lord's death on the cross and His resurrection. During this time Church gives emphasis on fasting, reconciliation, renunciation, alms giving, and prayer. Fasting and Prayer are an integral part of the Great Lent. Jesus Christ taught us "Except by prayer and fasting ", it is not possible to gain victory over Satan - St. Mathew 17:21. It is also a time of meditating on the salvific act of our God Almighty through His son Jesus. Today’s scripture passage describes a form of “reconciliation.” Reconciliation of water into wine at the Marriage at Cana. There is no parallel of this miracle of the “water into wine” in the first three gospels. It is the first…