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Showing posts from March, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Anointed for Death Matthew 26:1-13  Vs. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”  We see this passage as the initial hours of tribulation of our Lord, starting with the meeting of Chief priests plotting to kill Jesus, followed by the anointing by the lady - a substantial sign before a burial. Let’s shift our focus to the lady as she represents people like us today - Some translations have the lady was in tears as she was wiping Jesus' feet and anointing Him with the expensive perfume – for me, personally, this illustrates Jesus being the church and the lady representing the people. I believe every church bench will definitely carry tears of people who will be repenting their guilt or facing difficult circumstances in life. How fortunate it is to cry at the feet of the Lord because every tear drop will be accounted for in Heaven. She was broken and wounded. Let’s take the instance of Job – he wa…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The God that Succeeded Luke 18:31-34 31 Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. 33 After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.” 34 But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.  I remember a very angry song in the 90s where the songwriter expressed his grief against God.  He would basically say we Christians follow a God that failed.  That failure is marked by this powerful God in Jesus Christ being crucified.   The healing hand of Jesus was held back by the nails on the cross.   Jesus failed.  God failed.   The disciples, at the time of Jesus’ death, did feel like there was failure.  That’s because they didn't quite grasp wh…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

A Time of Repentance 
Jonah 1:1-17

Vs.3 “But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.” Matthew Henry once said, “Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance, and if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it.”

In today’s passage, we look at the story of Jonah, one that is common for us all as we have heard the story since childhood. Jonah’s story is one of repentance. Nineveh was the most important city in Assyria. Nineveh was also a powerful and wicked city. Their list of atrocities was a long list of deeds that angered God. Their atrocities angered Jonah as well, but God’s reaction and Jonah’s reaction were two complete opposites. God wanted to extend mercy to them and have them repent, but for Jon…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Crossing Over With God Joshua 3:1-17  Vs. 5 Then Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”  In Joshua 3:1-17, it is seen that the people of Israel were at yet another crossroad in their journey to the Promised Land. Joshua led the Israelites and instructed them to, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you”. With the Ark of God leading the Israelites, they marched as God instructed not knowing what lied ahead.   Their journey came to a halt as they saw the path they had to cross was drowned with flood waters. At that time the Israelites had to depend on God which meant letting go of the doubts and fears drowning their minds. Despite all the miracles they had witnessed, fear still managed to creep its way into the hearts of the people. As soon as the Ark of the Lord reached the waters, a way was made for the people of Israel…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Cross-New Model to Discipleship Mark 10:45-52 Vs. 52 “Immediately he regained his sight and followed [Jesus] on the way.”  In his book Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” After Jesus healed Bartimaeus, Jesus tells him to “Go!” Go with new sights, vision, goal and way of living. “Immediately he regained his sight and followed [Jesus] on the way” (10:50). This is the last healing ministry before Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem where the chain of events will end up at the cross. In the gospel of St. Mark when Jesus tells the person to come and/ or follow him it’s almost always referring to the cross. Regarding true disciples, Jesus said in Mark 8:34, “Let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” After he regained his sight, Bartimaeus throws off his cloak which is perhaps the only property he has and followed him. A famous British born American neurologist, the late Oliver Wolf Sacks, has referred to Jesus’ hea…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

REPENTANCE: THE LESSON OUT OF JONAH’S BOOK  Jonah: 3 1-10
Vs.3, 10  "Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened".
The story of Jonah is etched in our minds from childhood.  The story is fascinating to children because it depicts Jonah being thrown into the sea and swallowed by a great fish.  This unusual story is much bigger than a tale of Jonah and the fish.  The story has other characters and it holds certain lessons for us today.   

Nineveh is described as a ‘great’ city.  But the city was marked for destruction because of violence and wickedness of its people.  There is no indication in the Bible that the people of Nineveh worshiped the true God.  But God watches over all nations.  The deeds and the misdeeds of all the people are under His scruti…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

True Worship John 4:19-26 Vs.23,24  But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”  In our family room, we have a painting of the Samaritan woman carrying an empty jug toward Jesus who is sitting by the well. Everyday I see this painting and everyday I am reminded that this woman recognized Jesus the Messiah. Once she knew who He was, she went praising God and sharing the good news of the Messiah.  The Samaritan woman meets Jesus at the well around noon which is hottest time during the day. She came to the well with an empty jar to collect water. He shares with her of what true worship is.  True Worship is from the Heart: This woman was of mixed heritage and had a bad reputation; regardless of her background, Jesus speaks to her. He remi…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Lord Jesus who Triumphed Temptation Matthew 4:1-11 Vs. 4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Temptations are an unfortunate stumbling block in our life. The examples of possible temptations are astronomical. Whether watching television instead of doing homework or eating junk food when trying to adapt a healthy lifestyle, life seems to be filled with temptations. In today’s scripture passage, we read about the temptations that even our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, faced while in the wilderness. Jesus was not only starving due to fasting for 40 days and nights, but He lacked the simple comforts He was accustomed to while living in the desert. Comforts such as shelter, clean water, or even safety from dangerous animals escaped Him during this life experience. With each enticing offer Satan dangled before Him, Christ had the strength to reject them using His knowledge of the Word of God. Given the circums…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Persistence in Prayer 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 Vs. 16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  In Paul’s Epistle to the Thessalonians, we see Paul outlining the manner in which the Lord desires us to lead and live our lives; being fervent in prayer.  Prayer is not situation specific. In which times do you thank the Lord in prayer for the blessings he has bestowed upon you? Do you thank Him only for the positive? Or do you examine all the triumphs and battles the Lord has given you and thank Him daily in your prayers? It comes easy to us to be thankful in the good times; but we struggle to rejoice in times of pain. We struggle to see the purpose in the battles we face throughout our lives. We fail to remain steadfast in our prayers when it seems as if our prayers are not panning out to what we desire.  Prayer is not to be viewed as magic. Prayer is not a…

Word or the day by Christian Education Forum

Persistence in Prayer
2 Kings 20:1-20
Vs. 5 “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah prince of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of your ancestor David: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; indeed, I will heal you; on the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord.
 Sometimes in life we are faced with overwhelming stress and worry that often we feel ignored by God. However, the truth is that it is in our weakest moments that we are able to see God’s grace, mercy and favor. If we rely on God our hearts will be opened to what God has planned for us.
 Relationships are built on trust and in order to have a strong relationship with Christ we must have faith in him. Through prayer our relationship can grow. What keeps our relationship strong is the trust we place in our prayers to God.
 Hannah prayed for many years before God gave her a son; Daniel prayed while in a den filled with hungry lions; David’s psalms are filled with prayers that affirm both the communion-seeking and k…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Life Saving Faith
Luke 5:17-26
VS.24, 25 But so that you may know that the Son of Man as authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the one who was paralyzed—“I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.” Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God.
As we are in the season of Great Lent, we are meditating on Jesus Christ’s public ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing. In this passage, we see a group of men, trying to carry a paralyzed man on a bed to Jesus. Seeing that there was no way of getting around the people to Jesus, they went to the rooftop and let the paralyzed man down, from the top. The friends did not give up, and were willing to go to the maximum extent of enabling their friend to be healed no matter what physical obstacles or Pharisaic criticism was present. But in the end, the paralyzed man received healing and was restored to wholeness.
The blessings and experiences of healing in our …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Life Saving Faith Luke 5:17-26 VS.24, 25 But so that you may know that the Son of Man as authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the one who was paralyzed—“I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.” Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. As we are in the season of Great Lent, we are meditating on Jesus Christ’s public ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing. In this passage, we see a group of men, trying to carry a paralyzed man on a bed to Jesus. Seeing that there was no way of getting around the people to Jesus, they went to the rooftop and let the paralyzed man down, from the top. The friends did not give up, and were willing to go to the maximum extent of enabling their friend to be healed no matter what physical obstacles or Pharisaic criticism was present. But in the end, the paralyzed man received healing and wa…