Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The Holy Spirit Who Renews Everything Acts 2:1-13 Vs.4 "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
Each one of us is created for a unique mission. The process of renewal requires when someone loses the usefulness for which he/she was originally created. The Bible teaches us of God’s desire to reinstate the relationship with His people that was broken by Adam and Eve’s sin. So, the loving and compassionate Lord, in His grace and mercy, renews and restores us again for His created purpose.
The key to really understand the book of Acts is the realization that this book is not a record of the Apostles as the title would lead us to believe, but it is actually acts of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Luke, in the second chapter of Acts, gives an account of the events that took place on the day of Pentecost following Jesus’ ascension. Pentecost means the fiftieth. This is one of the most significant events described in Acts, not only because of the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise given in Acts 1:4-5 which would enable and strengthen the Apostles to carry out His command to be His witnesses to the end of the earth, but it also marks the birth of the Church as the Body of Christ. This is the transition from the Old Covenant in which the law was external, and the Holy Spirit would come and go to the New Covenant in which the law becomes internal as the Holy Spirit continually abides in the believer.
When the day of the Pentecost came, they were all together in one place (2:1). Many scholars suggest that it was the place where Jesus and His disciples had the last supper. In John chapters 13-17, commonly known as the Upper Room Discourse, because Jesus spoke these words in the Upper Room where the last supper was held (Mark 14:12-15). Christ, just before His crucifixion, gave us His final and most profound teachings. Then He assured His disciples that when He returned to the Father (John 13:3, 33; 16:28), He would not abandon them (14:18). He also promised them of His peace (14:27) and continued presence, and also assured them that He will ask the Father to give them “another advocate” - the "Spirit of truth: “ - the “Holy Spirit.”
The biblical teaching of the Holy Spirit is known as pneumatology, translated from the Greek word ‘pneuma’ which means wind, breath, air, and indicates an invisible but active entity or force. It is a word used for the Spirit of God, the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit, through whom God acts, reveals His will, renews, and empowers believers, and discloses His personal presence. Johannine theology is rich in its doctrine of the Spirit. In the Gospel of John, the Spirit possesses Christ 1:32-33); is indicative of the new birth (3:1-16); will come upon Jesus’ departure (16:7-11), and will endow the believer after the resurrection (20:22). The Christian community is anointed by the Spirit (1 John 2:20), and the Spirit assures the believer of the indwelling presence of Jesus (3:24).
All of us need God’s peace (Phil. 4:7), and it is only found in Christ and in His Spirit. This is why the Apostle Paul advised the Galatians to the Spirit’s transformational work. When the Holy Spirit operates in our lives, He generates the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). As the Spirit enables us to live in God’s ’shalom’, we learn to bring our problems, concerns, and needs to our heavenly Father. This, in turn, brings us “the peace of God.”
Loving Father, renew and strengthen us with your Holy Spirit. Let Your Spirit lead us through the right path and indwell in our hearts. Amen
Thought for the day
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind - Romans 12:2
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