Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The Conscious Waiting for Holy Spirit Galatians 5: 22 - 26 Vs: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
One of my favorite activities in the activity books my parents used to buy for me as a child, was the matching images puzzle page. There was always an original image and of the 6 choices below, only one was distinctly the same. Some were very similar in structure but had an inaccurate face, a missing item of clothing- some characteristic was always incorrect that made it a mismatch from the original. When we read through the epistle from Paul to Galatia, we see Paul warn the people of false teachings that seemed right but deny the true gospel. Rather than following the Spirit of God who guides us to holiness, or following traditions symbolizing a commitment to Christ, traditions and law became the focus and a path away from the truth.
We read in Chapter 5 that Paul stresses there is freedom in following Christ rather than being held down by the failure to follow the law. As we see in the epistle and often in society there is a misapprehension what we understand God’s command for our lives. Paul warns that circumcision which was a symbol of repentance was being taught as if it was necessary process for salvation. Many supposed followers and teachers of Christ in part treated Gentiles differently and would even teach circumcision as essential to salvation. In verse 6, Paul states that in Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value in the grand scheme of things and that the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. In the same way whether our denomination believes in confirmation or baptism at certain ages, that does not mean salvation. Rather we do those things as a confession and commemoration of our faith.
Furthermore there is another misconstruction of the gospel that Paul warns against as well. Grace is provided in Christ’s sacrifice in the cross so that we are not given the punishment of what we deserve. Though we battle against our sinful desires that are not of God, the Holy Spirit which was given to us pushes us to holiness. When Paul warns us to repent and flee from sexual sin, drunkenness, or anger, to name a few in verse 21, he warns us that our foundations need to be right. If we have the Spirit in us we fight against desires of this world; we are set and rooted in Christ and are transformed. The divine qualities He desires in us like love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control become evident. Thus it’s not a perfect following of the letter of law that creates these qualities, but we move with these virtues in our hearts and actions when we trust in Christ. May our traditions, communities, and faith be rooted in God alone, so that the godly fruits of the Spirit to all shine before all we meet. Be blessed.
Heavenly Father I ask that you instill in my heart a desire to pursue holiness and to live by faith, rather than a distorted lie that is not the gospel. Help me Lord to extend grace and remember Your grace in my life.
Thought for the day
What is a practice or tradition that I use to celebrate/commemorate my faith [i.e. worship music, Communion, baptism] in God that has overshadowed my faith and love for God and His people? How can I repent and better focus on Him?
PRIESTHOOD: THE ANOINTED MINISTRY Exodus 40:12-16 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting... wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest (Exodus 40: 12-13). Priesthood among the people of God was a divine command and initiation. God wanted some people to be separated for the special ministry among his people. God appointed Aaron and his descendants to take up this kind of ministry among the people of God. Priests are always separated and appointed as channels that connect God with his people. All throughout the history of Israel, priests played an important role in connecting people with God and to lead and guide them in the statutes of God. But there are incidents in the Bible where the priests failed in their duties and that led the people to go away from God. So the priests have a special and significant ministry to perform in this world among his people. Two important things
Revelation for Liberation Acts 27:18-26 Sherine Thomas Long Island MTC, NY 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned. “After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn. And after every storm, there comes clear open skies” so said a Scottish clergyman from the 1600s. It’s been said, that hope can sometimes be the most dangerous weapon. However, it’s sometimes the hardest weapon to carry when you’re living with the loss of a loved one, something that almost feels like a terrible nightmare that’ll never go away. It’s a weapon difficult to carry when day in and day out no one seems to hear or see those tears that are shed or silent cries that are made during a heartfelt prayer. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you see your loved one lying on that hospital bed. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you search and seek out answers to tell a child as to why they’ve been a
Community Formation Around Resurrection Experience Acts 23:1-10 Vinod Johnson Carmel MTC, Boston, MA 6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you going through a brutal winter is the hope for the spring. It may have been a hard hope to hold on to this particular year in New England - a year in which Boston considered dumping not tea, but the ever growing mounds of snow into its harbor. And yet, the waist deep snow has dissolved away. White desolation has given way to increasingly visible green shoots of spring. A resurrection is at hand! In this passage, Paul tries to defend himself before the Sanhedrin Council. He seeks to drive a wedge between the Pharisees who believed in resurrection and the Sadducees who did not; even though neither believed in the resur