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Showing posts from January, 2020

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Exodus 6:1-8 Vs 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.  The third Monday of January is observed in USA as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Christian minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi. In his final years, he expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War. On October 14, 1964, King won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance.

Martin Luther King Jr. has been seen as a prophet of his age. As a minster in the Church he recognized the God-given call to confront the society for the injustice that existed w…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Ecumenical Sunday Ezekiel 37:15-23 Vs 23 “They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” In today’s world, sometimes our busy lives can prevent us from stepping into someone else’s shoes and understanding how our actions affect them. In fact, when things don’t go our way or something inconveniences us, we may even go as far as fighting with others and starting issues that ruin relationships and hurt someone’s feelings. Our focus to make things go the way we want them to can prevent us from working with others and compromising in order to come together. Scottish philosopher David Hume said, “It's when we start working together that the real healing takes place. It's when we start spilling our sweat, and not our blood.” By sacrificing our pride and comfort, we can finally step into someone else’s sh…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Ecumenical Sunday - Called to Unity John 15:1-12 Vs 5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Love is the essence and the crux of the Gospel. If not for love, salvation would never stand. The earthly ministry of Jesus Christ was also enriched with the love and compassion that he had for the human life. He was engrossed in sharing that love in all occasions that he could. Miracles, though having been considered as super natural, was only an expression of God’s love for those in need.
The love of the Father seeking fruitfulness in us:Being efficient and effective is the norm of the world. Everything we do and every challenge we face is evaluated in the outcome or the fruit that we bear out of it. Christian life is a call for stewardship. Stewardship is very essential in the life of a believer and it is our mandate to be faithful in it. Christ reminds us in this passage that we will be able to achieve…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Temperance - Honoring the body as the temple of God Daniel 1:11-17 Vs 12 - Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. The abstinence from the food that is provided by the King Nebuchadnezzar did not make any difference in the health of Daniel and his friends. In fact, they were found more healthier than others. Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were faithful to God and trusted Him completely. No matter what ever be the consequences, they proclaim that they will not bow down to the king, they proclaimed: “We do not need to defend ourselves before you. The God we serve is able to deliver us from your furnace. Even if He does not, we will not worship your God or image”.
  Paul urges us not to be yoked with unbelievers. We are the temple of living God and He dwells is us. He is always living with us and walking with us. He will be our God and we are His people. God’s spirit lives in us if we are ready to obey Him and obey His c…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Temperance - Honoring the body as the temple of God 1 Corinthians 3:16-23 Vs 17 - If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. Our body is considered the temple of God. But that does not mean that maintaining our physical appearances are the only way to take care of it? Not only must we keep our bodies healthy physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. If anything defiles our temple, placing our complete faith in the power of Christ is the key to keep our temple safe and secure. God can give us the strength to be mindful about our purpose as His servants, and also help us endure throughout the hardships. As Christians, we should consider our bodies as a gift, something that we should honor. We can show our appreciation for this precious gift by avoiding things that defile it, such as acts of sexual immorality.
There are many ways to protect our temple physically, mentally and spiritually. One way of …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Temperance - Honoring the body as the Temple of God Proverbs 23:1-20 Vs 17 Do notlet your heartenvysinners,butalways continuein the fearof the LORD Today’s passage highlights the significance of temperance. Temperance in biblical terms refers to moderation in action, thought, and in the indulgence of the appetites or passions. Solomon warns the reader to guard themselves against the dangers of indulging in excessive drinking and eating. He asks the rich to refrain from harming the marginalized and voiceless. He also says that instructing children with gentle correction which will prevent them from destruction. Verse 17 warns “Do not let your heart envy sinners…” Have you ever envied the prosperity of sinners, tempted to think that they are living an abundant life or found it difficult to watch them experiencing instant gratification for their sinning? Have you ever felt deflated and considered it all pointless? This is the exact scheme that Satan used in the Garden of Eden, in tempting Ad…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Honoring the body as the Temple of God 1 Corinthians 3:16-23 Vs 16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? According to Gods word, we are his temple, or his house. He lives in us and we were bought with a price. So, we have to honor God and bring glory to him in our body.  (1Corinthians 6:20). Holy spirit reveals to us that the believers are the Lord’s possession (v. 23). He has fashioned our bodies to serve Him and carry out the work that He has planned for us to accomplish.

God created us with a mind, body, and spirit. Of the three aspects, the body is the one that allows us to interact with our environment. People cannot reach their full potential while neglecting the proper care of their bodies. What good are education, talents and gifts if we’re too tired or sick to complete tasks well? Here in the world, we can do nothing apart from our physical body. Since it is the only one we will have in this life, we should do our best to …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Temperance - Honoring the body as the Temple of God 1 Peter 1:13-25 v15 -  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do Temperance is a very important  virtue for a born again Christian. It is a voluntary self-restraint or abstinence from evil desires, to satisfy God's requirement of a disciple. A shallow reading of this bible portion is tempts us to walk away from verse 15 and 16 in discouragement, because reader may believe that God requires absolute perfection from His children always. But what does these verses mean? How does one live according to God's standards?

First of all, God invites everyone to the be born again through the Word and growing relationship with Him (1 Peter 1:23; John 3:16). We are saved because God placed great value for our lives, as He paid a big price by the blood of his Son.  We should not miss the purpose of His great redemption.

Secondly, as sojourners in this world, we are expected to live our new life in Christ in fear of the Lor…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Temperance - Honoring the body as a temple of God Ecclesiastes 6:1-12 Vs 12 - For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow? Who can tell them what will happen under the sun after they are gone? Whitney Houston the most awarded female artist of all times by Guinness World Records, who earned two Emmys, six Grammys, and 30 billboard music awards by 2010, died tragically the night before the 2012 Grammy awards. Autopsy of her body showed that sided from drowning, heart disease and cocaine abuse. Addiction affects everyone. Many have abused their bodies and committed suicide by drug and alcohol overdose. Drugs have claimed the lives of many, and addicts make all the money to feed their addiction.

 We are the temple of God and God created us for a purpose. God does not want us to abuse our body for our own transient bodily pleasures. Life not centered on God is purposeless and meaningless. It is always late   when we reali…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Temperance: Now or never Matthew 5:21-30 Vs 22 - “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” This week we are pondering on the theme Temperance. The word Temperance is usually associated with alcoholism. It means abstinence from liquor and drugs. But today we meditate that temperance is also associated with our day to day life activities.
Temperance: A sign of reconciliation
Anger is one of the common emotions that all human possesses. But the way we express our anger matters a lot. Some people get angry and talk harshly to people and even to family members. That even causes rift in relationship. Some people damage the properties and belonging of others over whom they are angry. Some hurt themselves in the expression of anger. Others just withdraw themselves without further relationship with the other. Often people regret for being angry but it may be too late by then. Jesus says that if anyone is angry towards a fellow human being then h…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

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Epiphany - Solidarity with God's creation Psalms 2 Vs 8,9 - Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery. Psalms 2 talks about the rebellion of the rulers of the world against God and their desire to break free from clutches of God’s command. It is a clear depiction of what the world has seen from time to time and what we see across the nations today. How many officials who have been entrusted the responsibility to rule or manage a nation are undertaking their duties for the best interests of everyone? What we see are rulers who are acting to satisfy their own selfish needs by not giving heed to others or people of other nations. Those in power do not see the whole world as a big family where we are required to support each other for our survival. They are only thinking of safeguarding in interests of their own people even if it requires killing others. So,…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Jesus' baptism: a symbol of solidarity with humanity Isaiah 42:1-7 Vs 1 - “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put  my spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.” In Isaiah 42, the prophet announces a new assurance and a vision to the Israelites who were in exile in Babylon, where future of the people was in great peril. Isaiah assures them that the God of the universe   is   listening to the righteous people of the Israel and to all those scattered out in the lands of the earth.   The vision proclaimed is related to the coming of a servant who is chosen by God and a source of delight for God.  God will place His spirit upon this servant who is able to bring justice to the nations, to be a light, to open the blind eyes, and to bring out prisoners.  The prophet proclaims that God acts in particular ways.  First - God sends a spirit-filled servant – a bruised reed, who will be a liberator and will bring justice to all everywhere not on…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

St. Stephen's day Acts 7:51-8:3 Vs 59 - While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."  The church observes January 8th as a day to remember the first Christian martyr in the early church, Stephen. Stephen was a Hellenistic Jew (a foreign-born Jew who spoke Greek) who lived in Jerusalem and became a Christian. We see two aspects in his character that will guide us in our walk with Christ and our witness in this world.

1. Willing to serve In Acts 6, we see that when there was a dispute between the Hellenist and Hebrew Christians regarding the distribution of food to widows. This problem had the potential to break the early church into warring groups and spoil the witness of the church. But in such a situation, we see the whole community addressing this issue under the leadership of the Twelve to select capable men to serve in the distribution. That’s where we see Stephen, a man filled with wisdom and the Holy Spirit and of good standing, being c…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Baptism of our Lord - Outward and inward spirituality Acts 19:1-7 Vs 4 - Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” The Mar Thoma Syrian Church celebrates 6th of January as the "Feast of Epiphany" every year. "Danaho" is the Syrian equivalent used for epiphany. It means the revelation of glory. The glory of Jesus Christ was revealed at the beginning of his public ministry during the occasion of his baptism. "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased"(Matthew 3:17). The Church celebrates this occasion of Jesus's baptism as the revelation of Christ's glory.
In Acts 19:1-7, St. Luke the author of Acts of the Apostles, engages in a deeper discourse over the baptism of John the Baptist and Jesus's baptism. The early Church didn’t consider the baptism done by John as the Christian baptism that Jesus commanded. Paul instructs some disciples in Ephesus wh…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Baptism of Jesus- Solidarity with God’s creation
Isaiah 43:1-7 Vs 1 "O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine". Charles Spurgeon says in his testimony about a public gospel meeting he did during a winter month. It was planned for a gathering of 8000 people and a big wooden structure was erected outdoors to accommodate people. Unfortunately, there was a big snowstorm and they had to resort to an uncomely indoor building nearby. The place was used for 2 sermons one in the morning and another at evening and everything went well. After all had dispersed a big beam of the building gave way and collapsed, injuring only two men and everyone else escaped unhurt. Spurgeon says it was God’s provision that nothing happened when the two meetings were in session; or else the causalities would have been great. God’s providence and assurance is evident in verses 43:2.” O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy na…