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Showing posts from February, 2020

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Fall: Violation of purpose of creation Genesis 3:1-13 Vs 4 -You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. In today’s portion we are meditating on the fall of creation. God created us with a beautiful entity called ‘free will’. We have the freedom to choose anything and everything in life. In the Garden of Eden, He created Adam and Eve with this potential and a command - not to eat from the tree of good and evil (Gen 2:17).

What made Eve take this grave decision, which lead to the fall of human beings and of all creation? Eve could have spent much time with the serpent. Bible says that God walked with them in the Garden during evening times. How was she spending her time the rest of the day? In any case, she came to a point where she has some agreement with the serpent, and they might have had few leisurely conversations even prior to this. How we spent each second of our life has long lasting consequences?

Secondly, Eve slowly started believing Satan instead of God’s promis…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Yielding to the divine purpose of creation Romans 7:14-25 Vs 25 “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”  “I didn’t want to do it, but I could not help myself”. We hear this when a person makes a mistake knowing that it was not the right thing to do. It is reasonable to say that all mankind has a basic knowledge of what is right and wrong, either through the written law of God or through the law of conscience embedded in the human heart, regardless of which race or religion they belong to. (Rom.2:12-16)

Genesis 1 talks about the divine purpose of creation for mankind, which was to live in the will of God in harmony among themselves and the rest of creation. Adam and Eve lived truly in the will of God when they depended on God’s knowledge. But the acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil for themselves led them and mankind to self-dependency for discerning good and evil and exercising it within the mortal limitations.

In the text for today’s meditation, Apostl…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Fall: Violation of the purpose of Creation Romans 5:12-21 Vs 20-21“The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” In Romans 5, we read the contrast of characters between Adam and Christ, love of God against the sin of man, the man of sin Adam to the God of love Jesus and how Adam brings death while Jesus brings eternal life.
There are 5 main contrast characters of Adam and Christ in these verses. Adam brought sin into the world and Christ gives people victory over sin. (Vs 12)Many die because of Adam’s sin and many live because of God’s grace through Christ.(Vs 17)Adam’s sin results in condemnation and Christ’ death results in justification. (Vs 16)Adam’s disobedience brings sin to many and Christ’s obedience brings righteousness to many.( Vs 19)Adam’s sin reigns in death and God’s Grace t…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Noah walked with God Genesis 6:1-13 Vs 8 - But Noah found favor in the eyes of God  I have heard the story of a disobedient boy who used to do the opposite of what he was asked for. Once the family went for an outing. They reached the top of a hill and the boy started running towards the edge of the hill which was dangerously steep. The parents panicked at first. Then his dad called out to him. ‘Son! Run!’ The boy suddenly stopped. The dad caught up with him and held him safely. Can the boy’s behavior be compared to that of the people of Noah’s time or our own time?

 When God created the world, He saw that it was good. Of course God can create nothing but good, for God is good. The free will that God gave man caused him the Fall. But God foresaw this and promised Redemption of man through the offspring of a woman who would crush Satan’s head. To prevent this Satan has been messing with the offspring of man ever since. In the passage given today we see a method Satan used to pollute the ge…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Fall: Violation of purpose of Creation Matthew 7:15-23 Vs 21 - “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."  The purpose of creation is to bare good fruits. The reference to the tree and its fruit is meant to be applied to the teachers and their works. Here Jesus warns against the dangerous influence of bad teachers. The words and deeds must be complimentary in a person of integrity. In this portion Jesus explains about the people who are going to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

1. It is not the external appearance, but the inner attitude that is to be discerned. Jesus gives an indication that there are people wearing the garments of prophets and teachers without any merits. If the genuine prophets had left everything for the glory of God, these people were wearing the cloaks of the prophet for selfish ends and livelihood. In the New Testament times, there were people keeping away from the v…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Love is the greatest 1 Corinthians 13 Vs 13 "...But the greatest of these is love". Love is one of the most important topics discussed in the Bible as well as religious literature. In fact, our passage today reminds us that it is in fact, the greatest of all. When we think of love, we may immediately think of our spouses, children, parents, family, close friends, or the personal belongings we own. However, this is not what Paul was referring to in this passage commonly known as the “Chapter of Love.” This chapter intentionally looks at love as a verb and then describes all the things love does rather than how love makes us feel.

These verses remind us that while it may look and feel good to accomplish many great things, if we do not accomplish these with love, we simply fall short. Where once love was considered selfless and intimate, we are now consumed with public love of self. Despite having more power in the palm of our hands than ever before, we are infatuated with the “per…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Sabbath: Leading to perfection of creation Psalms 8:1-9 Vs 5-6“Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet”   Psalm 8 brings to mind the creation account given in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. The account starts with the phrase “In the beginning God” followed by the creation of heavenly bodies, earth, and everything in it. At the completion of each day's creation God looks back and finds that what He has done is good. On the last day, after the creation of mankind, God appreciates His entire creation as “very good”. What is “very good” in the eyes of perfect God is perfect. Then on the seventh day: Sabbath, God rests in celebration to His perfect creation work. God's original creation was perfect until sin entered through humans. The psalmist, David, opens and closes Psalm 8 marveling at the majesty of God's name. He is overwhelme…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Wisdom that leads to perfection of Creation Proverbs 8:22-33 Vs 22 - "The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old..."
 Proverbs 8 is the best-known chapter in Proverbs and has profoundly influenced Jewish and Christian thought. It develops the wisdom’s intimacy with God and desire to be with human beings. The Gospel of John portrays Jesus in the language of wisdom in Proverbs: Jesus, like Wisdom, calls out to people to listen to Him, promises to tell them the truth, seeks disciples, invites them to a banquet, and gives them life.
God created the earth and humans to fulfill His mission in this world, but human beings disobeyed God and were thrown out of the Garden of Eden. God was concerned about the rebelliousness of His people and the rightness of His judgment was upon them. Since there was a cause-and-effect relationship between the sins of the people and their suffering, the implication is that God, having forgotten those sins, is ready to res…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Sabbath: leading to perfection of creation Colossians 1:15-25 Vs 15, 20 - He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation...And through him to reconcile to himself all things whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross In today’s passage we can see Paul’s assertion of the supremacy of Christ in two parts – Christ’s supremacy in creation (vv. 15-17) and Christ’s supremacy in redemption (vv. 18-20) Christ’s supremacy in creation:   Here Paul exalts Christ as the very the image of God, as the creator and the pre-existent sustainer of all things. Also we read Christ as image of God in 2Corinthians 4:4. God is invisible, no one has seen God. Christ, who is the eternal Son of God and who became the God-man, reflects and reveals God to us. (John 1: 18; 14:9). The Son is the only person of the Trinity that is manifest to man. In our worship services we use the Nicene Creed to say “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Sabbath leading to perfection of creation Hebrews 4:1-13 Vs 1 - Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care  that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it.   “Rest is a weapon given to us by God. The enemy hates it because he wants you stressed and occupied,” Elizabeth Elliott. Rest and peace are synonymous. The real rest for a Christian is entering God’s rest. We can find references of various kinds of “rest” in the Bible. They are: God’s Sabbath rest -  In Genesis 2:2 we read, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work”. In Deut. 5:12 we read, “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you.” It was not that the good Lord was tired, but He has set an example for us by resting on the Sabbath day and given it as a commandment to follow it as it is needed for the perfection of the creation. To be “Holy” is to be set apart. The place of r…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Sabbath: Leading to perfection of Creation Isaiah 65:17-25 Vs 17 - Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.  The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind
Genesis chapter 2 begins with an account of day seven bringing creation week to a close.  Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. The seventh day is unique. It is an exalted day because God blessed and sanctified it. The entire work of creation was complete and perfect.  There were no loose ends to tie up. There were no problems to fix.  Every-thing was good and perfect (Gen. 1:31). Scientists know that our planet is precisely the right distance from the sun to benefit from its heat.  More closer or farther would have met with devastating destruction. The intricate physical, chemical and biological interactions that comprise the whole creation bear the imprint of a sophisticated and perfect Designer. Throughout the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, God is referred to as perfect.  In addi…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath Mark 2:23-28 Vs 28“… So, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”  William Barclay once wrote: “The best way to worship God is to help men” Today’s passage describes a clash between Jesus and the Pharisees; it is not over whether to observe the Sabbath but over how to observe it. Pharisees argued no one should do any work during the Sabbath but Jesus said “The Sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the Sabbath” St. Mark 2:27. Jesus, says that the Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath, and as he does so, Jesus is referring to himself. Jesus redefines the importance of Sabbath. The Sabbath is for exercising compassion and love.

Sabbath is for extending compassion. The Pharisees said to Jesus, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath? "On the Sabbath, the disciples were picking grain and rubbing the grain in their hands. The Pharisees declared that such actions were considered work and the violation of God’s law not to …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Perfection in God Hebrews 10:1-14 Vs 10 “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." The passage for our meditation deals with the ultimate sacrifice Christ made on the cross and what that means for us as people who may not have the best track record.

Shadow - the remnant of the whole: As we are in the height of the winter season, the days come to an end much shorter than before. Walking back to my apartment after my 9 to 5, I could just barely make out my shadow in the light of the setting sun. And as I looked at my shadow, I could make out the distinct outline that made me, well, me. In the first part of verse 1 of the portion, we see that the law is referred to as a “shadow of the good things to come.” This law is simply the rules set out by God in the Old Testament. And just as my shadow is but an implication of myself, in the same way, the law is the shadow of Jesus, Our Savior. Of course, for there to be a shadow, th…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Celebration of Redemption Jonah 4:1-11 1 John 2:2 - “[Jesus Christ] Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins - and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” I love movies that portray redemption stories, where the protagonist reaches a dire point in his/her life’s journey, but, through some miracle or perseverance, achieves ultimate victory. The Rocky movies are right up there among my favorites. In Rocky II, we see Rocky dealing with struggles and hardships, wrestling with whether he should continue his boxing career or not.

With any redemption story, there is a cost to pay, usually by the one needing redemption. Rocky had to endure difficulty finding a regular job; opposition from his wife, Adrian, for the rematch with Apollo; stress from Adrian falling into a coma during the premature birth of their son; and goading pressure from Apollo to fight. Ultimately, Balboa and Apollo fight in a rematch and Rocky wins! Rocky paid the price for his redemption.

We all need redempt…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

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Fast of Nineveh - Redemption of all Jonah 3:1-10 Vs 10 “When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed His mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.” The story of Jonah teaches us about God’s unrelenting passion to reach and redeem all people. Grace is the major theme of this chapter. First God’s grace is shown to His prophet Jonah by giving him a second chance. Secondly God’s grace is shown to the people of Nineveh.

God loves us and forgives our sins
1Corinthians 13:4 says: “...Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy” This is God’s nature.  God has proven this nature about Himself to humanity throughout the ages. He has maintained a covenantal relationship with humanity since creation. Even in our sinfulness, God continued to maintain patience with us and show us mercy. Even through the Israelites’ rebellion, God maintained His covenant relationship with them. Jonah 3:1- “Now the word of Lord came to Jon…