Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Believing in the Risen Christ
1 Peter 1:3-12
Vs. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
 We have a rebirth in and through the risen Christ. God gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. The Holy Spirit always brings us to unite in Christ so that we enjoy the spiritual blessings and strength. We are called into a living hope of eternal life. Our hope is not only for the future but eternal life begins when we trust Christ and join God’s family. No matter what pain or trial we face in this life, we know that it is not our final experience.
 1) Faith is kept safe by God’s power.
 God will help us remain true to our faith through whatever difficult times we must face. We may have to endure trials, persecution or violent death, but our souls cannot be harmed if we have accepted Christ’s gift of salvation. We know we will receive the promised rewards. The blessings are kept in heaven where they cannot decay or spoil or fade away. As a true Christian, worshiping the risen Christ and experiencing the power of Holy Spirit, we must face suffering. It is not a natural disaster or the experience of God’s punishments, but the response of an unbelieving world of people of faith. All believers face such trials when they let their light shine in to the darkness. We must accept trials as part of the refining process that burns away impurities and prepares us to meet Christ.
 2) Faith is much more precious than gold.
 As gold is heated, impurities float to the top and can be skimmed off. Steel is tempered or strengthened by heating it in the fire. Likewise, our trials, struggles and persecutions refine and strengthen our faith, making us useful to God. When Christ appears in his glory, the true believers will provide praise, glory and honor. Jesus Christ is the precious corner stone of our faith. We can see the real picture of the saved ones in Revelation: 7. We will be accepted and recognized by the savior.
 3) Faith resulted in a greater and glorious joy in eternity.
 The living hope helps us to believe the risen Christ without seeing him. The Holy Spirit helps us to love Christ even though we have not seen him. In this world, among all trials, we are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. That joy which we are receiving, the goal of our faith, os the salvation of our souls. Jesus prayed “father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am. And to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world." That is our living hope.
 PRAYER
Heavenly Father we thank you for the salvation we have through you son, our savior Jesus Christ. Help us and strengthen us to keep our faith in the risen Christ. Refine us and use us to witness the living hope in the risen Christ among the darkness of this world. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
What is your living hope?
Rev. T. C. Mammen, Rtd,  Long Island MTC, NY
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church