Posts

Showing posts from March, 2020

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Restoring Christ Ephesians 2:1-10 Vs 4,5“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”  The book of Ephesians was written by the Apostle Paul to the people of Ephesus while serving a prison sentence in Rome.  Like most of Paul’s Epistles, the letter is written primarily to a Gentile (non-Jewish) audience.  It is an exhortation to the new believers, who through the power of the Holy Spirit, have been adopted into a covenant relationship with God by believing in His Son Jesus Christ.  The transforming power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God restore us from a state of brokenness caused by sin into a new life “to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”- (Ephesians 2:10).

Brokenness is defined as “not functioning as intended” or “out of order.”  For example, a watch is used to tell time.  However, if it is damaged in some way, it will not be ab…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Restoring Christ Philippians 2:5-11 Vs 8 “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!" The word restoration has more than one meaning.  The one that we know about most is the action of returning someone or something to its previous condition.  Another meaning is the return of a monarch to the rightful throne.

Jesus accomplished both the meanings of the word restoration in his life, death and resurrection.  He restored humanity to the way it was before it was tarnished by sin.  And He returned in glory to sit next to His heavenly Father on His rightful throne.

Here in this passage, Paul is exhorting the Philippians to have the same mindset as Christ when it comes to one another.   We are to learn from God as how to become a true servant in our lives.  Attributes to describe “Christ-like” servant hood include humility and obedience.  Both go hand in hand.  The polar opposite of these two attributes are pride and di…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Restoring Christ Job 42:10-17 Vs 10b “...the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.” When I was a kid, I enjoyed the ending of a movie because it showed everything will be alright. The characters will go through some hardships in the middle but it will all come to an end. In this passage, we see an happy ending for Job’s sufferings. Job, having lost everything, is restored back his material possessions and his family. Besides that, he was also restored spiritually.

Material Restoration - Job was a wealthy man with cattle, land, and a great family. When Satan questioned Job’s faithfulness, God allowed Satan to take away everything that was precious to him. In our daily life, we are always trying to keep our assets and treasure close to ourselves. We work hard, earn and make sure that we live a comfortable life. We live as if we know what the future holds. However, Job’s suffering is a reminder to us that whatever we plan, things can go out of our co…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Christ who restores Mark 10:46-52 Vs 52 Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. During Jesus’s ministry of teaching, preaching and healing we often see Him making people whole. Through his three-fold ministry he emphasizes on restoring people and relationships that become damaged beyond repair, defaced beyond recognition and lost beyond scope of return.
The above passage has to be seen in the context of Jesus’s prediction and preparation for his suffering and death. In Mark 10:32, He is seen walking resolutely towards Jerusalem, with purpose, whereas the disciples are bewildered. It is in such a situation that they encounter Bartimaeus. I would like to bring out two thoughts that show Christ as the one who restores people to wholeness.
Being restored in sightThe disciples who were following Jesus along the way would not have entirely realized the significance of Jesus’s prediction of his death. Yet they could rea…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Redeeming Christ Acts 16:25-34 Vs 31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Acts of the Apostles is one of most important books of the bible for any Christian because it shows such a beautiful example of what it means to live as witnesses to the Gospel. Often times we find ourselves lost in a sea of doubt and confusion regarding what the church should look like and what Christian life truly embodies. The apostles set such a bold example of what it means to be slaves to the gospel and this passage shows just that.

Paul and Silas were in the darkest moment of their lives: shackled in a prison cell, awaiting torture and death. But in spite of the fear and hopelessness of their situation, they stayed faithful. They knew that the God they served was stronger than the chains that bound them and the bars that kept them imprisoned. Even in the moment that they were freed, Paul and Silas prioritized sharing the gospel to the jailer over making their escape.

O…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Redeeming Christ - Justice and Compassion Psalms 82:1-8 Vs 3.4 Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. “St. Lawrence was a deacon in the Christian church, in the third century and was responsible for the material goods of the Church. He was quite generous, especially to the poor. During a time of persecution by Emperor Valerian, Lawrence expected to be arrested, so he sought out the poor, widows, and orphans and gave them all the money he had on hand, selling even the sacred vessels to increase the sum. Later he was ordered to bring back “the treasures of the Church”, so that the emperor could maintain his forces. What Lawrance brought back were a great number of blind, lame, crippled, leprous, orphaned, and widowed persons and he said of them, “These are the treasures of the Church”. For this response, he was roasted to death on a gridiron”. From Pg. 28 Chapter 3 “Wha…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Redeeming Christ Isaiah 12:1-6 Vs 2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; He has become my salvation. This verse is truly significant during the COVID-19 crisis we currently face.  We are living in anxiety and fear, not knowing what tomorrow may bring.  In an instant our way of life has changed.  We were once so busy, hardly having time for each other and now our priorities have changed.  We have learned to spend more time with our families, more time praying on our knees and relying on God completely.   We are reminded of our purpose in life.  To worship Him, to seek Him and love Him completely.  We need to turn back to God, to trust Him and seek His Mercy.  Throughout the bible and in history we have seen instances when God allowed mankind to be destroyed due to sin.  However, even in those instances many were saved when they turned back to God.  As it says is 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithf…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Redeeming Christ Galatians 5:1-12 Vs 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” What messages quickly spread throughout our society today? It’s usually news around school shootings, a famous person’s death, a celebrity scandal, a terrorist activity, or a political surprise.  Slower to catch on and go viral are news around good deeds, sermons, positive quotes, a biblical verse, etc.  Even in these days of COVID-19, we hear more about the number of people testing positive and or dying and less about those who are recovering or those working hard to fight the pandemic. Paul used this image of Yeast to clearly state that negativity can easily be spread in the church if the Holy Spirit is not guiding the way.  The misunderstanding of doctrines, legalities as per Jewish law, false teachings, corruption are all enticing because of our sinful nature.  Paul brings this to light and reminds us that both good and bad influences exits.  It’s our responsibility as Children of God t…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Redeeming Christ Romans 8:31-39 Vs 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?   Nothing can separate us from the love of God. He even sent His begotten son, our redeeming Christ, to save all of us (seen in verse 32)- that is how evident God's love is. With this forever promise to always be loved and be protected by God, why do we go against God in times of calamity and uncertainty?

A friend once told me a scenario to help explain the greatness of our God's love, which is so great it can't be fully understood. Imagine a courtroom. In this courtroom, someone is throwing cases against you, throwing every wrong doing at you and you have no one physically there to defend you. You don't even have the ability to defend yourself. Who's the judge in this courtroom? It's God. The person speaking against you has already lost the trial- why? It's because God has already called you to be perfectly righteous through Christ. 

Paul&#…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Redeeming Christ Exodus 3:1-10 Vs 7,8 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.”
The Israelites had come to Egypt during the time of the great famine when Joseph was advisor to the pharaoh. They had enjoyed a time of peace and prosperity, but after Joseph’s death a new Pharaoh took rulership and became afraid of the Israelites and threw them into slavery. It was during this time that the Israelites called out to God and cried to Him to bring them salvation. God heard their prayers and kept his covenant with Abraham and brought his people out of hardship. The dictionary definition of redemption is the action …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Christ who redeems Luke 13:10-17 Vs 16 “And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” In this portion we see Jesus, on a sabbath, healing a woman in a synagogue who was crippled and bent over for 18 years. We see Jesus liberating her from a bondage that kept her captive to sickness. His act of redemption is characterized by the following:  Seeing the unnoticedBeing crippled and unable to stand straight for the last 18 years, this woman would have been pushed back and neglected whenever she came to worship. She would not have been counted as a significant person worthy of people’s attention. Surely there would have been other people who vied for prominence – the rich, the haughty or the trouble-makers in the congregation. But here we see Jesus looking to the congregation who have come for worship and noticing this crippled woman. And then Jesus calls her over and brings her forward. She had nobod…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Accepting Christ Psalms 87:1-7 Vs 5 Indeed, of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her, and the Most High himself will establish her.”  Zion is a symbol not only of Israel's past and future, but also of the born-again Christian's citizenship in the God's Kingdom. To be born in a city of celebrity or into a family of reverence does indeed give the person a certain degree of honor. That person is considered as special because of the circumstances of their birth. To be born in the city of God was an honor for any Jew of their day. But the real honor was not the person or the city, it was that God had established this city above all others on the earth as his own.
    In our world today, the greatest honor is to be born again into the family of God and to be called the children of God! Unlike the subjective circumstances of our physical birth, this spiritual birth is not an accident or left to some degree of fate or even left to the will of God. Our spiri…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Image
The Accepting Christ Ruth 4:1-10 Vs 10 "Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife.." The book of Ruth opens with a statement that the events took place in the days when judges ruled the land. There was a famine in Bethlehem. So Elimelech decided to take his wife Naomi and two sons, Kilion and Mahlon into the country of Moab. Their two sons married while they were in Moab. Tragically, Naomi lost her husband and two sons. After living in Moab for ten years, Naomi decided to move back to Bethlehem. Her daughter-in-law Ruth, (a Moabite woman) decided to come with Naomi to Bethlehem. This was a very difficult decision for Ruth, but she wanted to follow Naomi and her God of Israel.
While in Judah, God worked out a plan for a man named Boaz to take Ruth as his wife. They had a custom in those days that a relative of a man who dies should marry that man’s widow in order to keep his lineage (Deuteronomy 25:5-6). According to God’s plan, it turned out…
Preparation to face the cross Mark 10:32-54 Vs 34 "Three days later he will rise."  In this passage we see that Jesus was preparing his disciples about his death. Listening to him, the disciples were very uneasy and afraid. They were amazed at Jesus’ prediction of his death. They were afraid to face the future pain and uncertainty that comes with it. They were so anxious and unsettled in their minds, but Jesus ends the talk with a reassurance and promise that “After three days he will rise”. Many times, God lets us go through bitter and tough experiences in life, when we feel anxious about our situations just like the disciples. But Jesus promises his presence and guidance with us always. Whatever situation or experiences Christ leads us through, be assured that he is with us through that experience. So how do we pass those days of discomfort and anxiety? By waiting on him and meditating on his promises, which will strengthen us and guide us. We may be living testimonies to peop…