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Showing posts from November, 2020

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  ANNUNCIATION TO MARY Acts 18 :7-24 v 9  And the Lord spoke to Paul one night in a vision, “Don't be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you…”         Chapter 18 of the book of Acts tells us the history of the first church in the city of Corinth.  When we study the early church of Corinth, we see that God accomplishes His plan through every day people. We meet several characters like Aquilas, his wife Priscilla, Silas, Timothy, Titus Justus and Crispus, the leader of the synagogue as they play significant roles in strengthening and mobilizing the faith life of the church of the Corinth.           Paul, along with Silas and Timothy, put their heart into preaching the message of gospel and testifying to the Jewish people that Jesus is the Messiah.  This chapter shows that God is able to do extraordinary things through everyday people, regardless of their background, race and profession. God has a plan for everyone in fulfilling his work. When Paul was call

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  ANNUNCIATION TO MARY GENESIS  18: 1-15 V 14  Is anything too hard for the Lord?  At the appointed time I will return to you about this  time next year and Sarah  shall have a son.”                 This Bible portion depicts God's promise to make Abraham “a great nation”.   God further promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a son and would give rise to nations. Abraham showed great hospitality to his divine visitors. From Abraham's eagerness to serve them food we can see his zeal and extraordinary generosity.                    After having received his hospitality, the visitors addressed the purpose   for which they came. They inquired for his wife Sarah.  Their calling Sarah by name revealed that the visitors were heavenly emissaries.  They told Abraham that “Behold S

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  Annunciation to  Mary Ephesians 1: 3-10 V 5   He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will...        This portion explains Paul’s   intricate theology on the purpose of Christ's entry into the world.  He emphasizes the fact that Christians view their citizenship in heaven, where only Jesus could change our bodies to be conformed to the majesty of His glory. He says that relationship with Christ involves justification as a gift, rather than a personal achievement.  According to Paul, our election for salvation is determined before the creation of the world, which is from God, not ours at all.  We are therefore predestined for an adoption to the heavenly family of God.           Paul speaks about the mystery of God’s will by which Christ became incarnate at the fullness of time. This mystery that has been hidden for ages is now revealed to His saints. (Colossians 1:26) This mystery is a spiritual knowledge that God has been revea

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  Annunciation to Mary 1 John 3: 1-16 V1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! In today’s passage, the Apostle John talks what an amazing gift it is to be called a child of God.  We often take this for granted but it becomes overwhelming when we understand how implausible it is for us to call a Holy God father.  If this is so hard for us to grasp, how much harder will it be for others!  But we can rest assured in the hope that we will one day see God through His work of love in us. John then turns to what we see in the world, which is in opposition to God’s will.  Jesus shows us that God did not stand from afar and let sin have its way.  For God gave us a perfect gift in His only begotten son so that we, as unworthy as we are, may be called children of God.  We have confidence that sin was conquered through Christ’s love.  As we look into this world and its brokenness, let us find hope and strength in the model of love God gave us

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  Anunciation to Mary Zechariah  2:10-13 v13 Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”              What an amazing verse to read in this season as we wrap our minds around a time of turmoil in our nation.  Right argues with left, vitriol is leveled at friends and neighbors who were once close friends and allies.  There is confusion, chaos, dissension, and uncertainty amidst a national pandemic.  But Zechariah takes us back to a time, a time when Israel too had the same feeling.  They were rife with the turmoil of just being subjugated by Babylon and all of the uncertainties of that time.  But what does the Lord offer?  He says “I am coming, and I will live among you.”  He doesn’t say shout and be angry – rather he exhorts the reader by saying – “shout and be GLAD!”  Imagine that.  Now this requires faith and an imaginative mind on the part of the reader.  Zechariah’s words were the product of messianic grandeur where his mind was tak

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  Annunciation to Virgin Mary St. Luke 1:26-38 v38“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” The first Christmas season was a time when the impossible was made possible. Angel appearing to Mary, Elizabeth (old and barren) bearing a child, and a virgin giving birth are some of them. The positive response of people to the will of God paved way for the miracles in life. The response of Mary to the plan of God resulted into unfolding of the great salvific event. Her Faith in God:  Mary’s faith resembled that of Abraham. She completely relied on the promise of God and obeyed to fulfill the mission that God entrusted her. God trusts us with his mission to be fulfilled in our life. Faith is submitting to the trustfulness of God. Mary’s faith is also evident during the Wedding at Cana (John 2) when she tells the servants to follow the orders of Jesus. Her Humility:  Though being mother of The Lord was a privilege, she humbled herself and replied “Here am I, t

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  You are Capable Judges 13: 1-7   v5“You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines”  Judges to many is seen as a book of heroes, therefore speaking of Samson’s story within is no surprise. The judges were leaders of God to guide and mature the Israelites during a time where they didn’t have much of an identity. The judges here were characters of Faith, though the Israelites necessarily were not. We see time and time again throughout scripture, an Angel or a vision appearing to someone, bringing them good news. Here we see Manoah’s wife, who comes from a line of barren women have a similar experience.   The messenger of the Lord appears to her, and the promise of a son is given. Manoah’s wife understood the provisions given by the Angel, she was in awe of what had occurred. This son we know is soon to be

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

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  The call of wisdom Proverbs 8:1-8 V1 Does not wisdom call…?   The late Miles Kington, a British journalist said, “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” That remark highlights the striking difference between knowledge and wisdom. The book of proverbs is classified as wisdom literature in the Bible. The passage in consideration presents a personified wisdom which calls out to people, so that they move from being simpletons with just knowledge to be people of wisdom.   In Proverbs, God is seen as the source of wisdom; fear of the Lord is seen as the beginning of wisdom. So, it follows that being open to know and follow God’s will in everything is the wisest decision in life. Knowing God’s will is not the toughest part. The toughest part is submitting our will to God’s will. Often, we are so caught up with our own comforts, own needs and our own ego that WE matter over everything – even God. Often, we think that it is wise to remain in

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  Annunciation to Zechariah Psalm 145:1-21 v14 The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.   This “psalm of praise” is David’s final psalm. David speaking from his experience, recounts God’s goodness and faithfulness in this overwhelming expression of praise.   David says in verse 14, “The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” How true this was in the example we read in Luke 1, that of Zechariah, a priest during King Herod’s reign and his wife Elizabeth who were both righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But then the Bible tells us that they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.   Verses 18 and 19 say - “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them.” God heard the prayer of these faithful servants and sent His angel Gabriel to re

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  IN THE TRIUMPH OF CHRIST  2 Cor.  2: 12-17 v14“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him."  Troas was a Roman colony and an important seaport for connection between Macedonia and Greece on the one hand and Asia Minor on the other. Paul returned to Troas following his work in Ephesus on his third journey and the work was going very well while he was there. However, he was restless because of his concern for Corinthians. In the passage for our meditation, Paul is speaking to the Corinthians about his own distress and problems, and also the problems in Corinth. It comes out as a spontaneous outburst from the apostle’s heart; from a sense of failure and despair which he was feeling in his ministry at the time. At this point he breaks off the narrative of his itinerary and in his characteristic manner begins a deviation. That deviation brings out an amazing thought from within th

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  ANNUNCIATION TO ZECHARIAH: Perfect Submission Hebrews 5:1-10 v7,8 - “Son though he was , he learned  obedience from what he suffered and, once  made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him."   Have we ever felt that God doesn’t hear our prayers? We need to be sure that we are praying with reverent submission. Jesus’ human life on earth was not a script that he passively followed, it was a life that he chose freely (John 10: 17&18). It was a continuous process of making the will of God the Father his own. Jesus chose to obey and submit himself that led to his suffering and death ensuring eternal salvation to all of us. God responds to his obedient children when they are willing to do only what God wants. Annunciation to Zechariah also came because of his faithful and fearful submission to the God which made God appoint a forerunner of the Saviour and Redeemer of the entire mankind through the birth of John the Baptist. Faithful Su

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  The Annunciation to Zechariah 1 Chronicles: 24: 1 - 19 v19 This was their appointed order of ministering when they entered the temple of the Lord, according to the regulations prescribed for them by their ancestor Aaron, as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded him.   Introduction:  The passage for our devotion reveals how the priests of Israel got their turn (appointed order) to perform priestly duties in the Temple. The first list is believed to be initiated by Aaron the high priest (vs. 1) King David continued the tradition of appointment with the help of Zadok and Ahimelek (vs. 3) by picking lots, from among the descendants of Eleazar and Edhamar.   According to the Gospel of Luke, Zechariah the priest, the father of John the ‘Baptizer’, was born in the 8 th  priestly division of Abiya and Zechariah’s wife Elizabeth, was a descendant of Aaron. [Luke 1:5]   Annunciation ‘for us’–  biblically this means  ‘to be spoken to, by God or, receive an announcement through an angel of

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

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  Annunciation to Zechariah Luke1:5-23 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous and blameless, even when they were barren, even when life had been cruel for them. Many would have asked them what was the use of being so devout? Many would have questioned God asking why was He cruel to such good people. When the world may have questioned their devotion, when the world would have questioned God’s intentions for this faithful couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth chose to keep their life pure.   Their devotion is not dominated by their circumstances. Rather it rises above it. It rises to a God who is bigger than any problem that they could have in their life. They chose to trust and obey and be people of character even when it was difficult and they seemingly got no reward for it. They knew God could be trusted even when circumstances and people could not be trusted. They knew they have trusted a God who works beyond human understanding.   Today even we may have this rational question as to why ba

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  Renewal of the Church Psalms 122 V 1-2 I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem. The Jewish people probably sang Psalms 120 when they were travelling out of foreign lands towards Jerusalem. They sang Psalms 121 when they got a glimpse of Jerusalem in the distance. As they sang Psalms 122, they were standing inside the walls of the Holy City praying for peace. Psalm 122 still remains relevant for us today. As members of Christ’s body, the church, we are looking for the moment when we will enter the New Jerusalem. And as believers waiting for the New Jerusalem, we are to do just as what the Jewish people did- pray for unity and peace. Christ prayed for peace and oneness.  “All mine are yours and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me,  so that th

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  Renewal of the Church 1 Corinthians  12: 12-20 V 12-14 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.   The book of 1 Corinthians starts with Paul describing the ‘gifts of grace’ as gifts that was freely given because of God’s sovereign will to confirm the reality of their conversion experience. The expectations are that the people who received the ‘gifts of grace’ will act in a spiritually mature manner. However when we look at the Church in Corinth, it was not really a model of a ‘spiritually mature’ church but rather an immature, carnal and divided church. It is in this context that Paul had to remind them that just a body has many parts, it works together as part of ONE body. This passage is a reminder to take a step back

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

  The Renewal of the Church Psalms 106:1-12 v10 “He saved them from the hand of the foe; from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them.”              The Psalmist here reflects on the failures of the past and present generations of Israel. There have been many examples of in the past where the people had turned away from God and time and time again God came and redirected their course and saved His people. There were many times that the people lost faith in God and turned in other directions, yet God was still good to his people. He delivered the people out of Egypt and brought them to the promised land. But even after all this and witnessing all God’s power, there are moments in the Psalmist’s present day where people were making the same mistakes. Like the people of Israel, we are also guilty of this.             We walk the world today and sometimes we don’t even have faith as small as a mustard seed. No one said a Christian life was the easy life. No one said we wouldn’t face difficu