Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP 2 Corinthians 11:27 V.27: I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” This was a quote by missionary Jim Elliot who was killed attempting to evangelize the Huaorani people of Ecuador. His quote was challenging for me in my perspective of sacrifice and my giving to the kingdom. Jim lived by the quote he had in his journal and ultimately his death led to the people coming to know God later on. My mentor at the Christian fellowship would often quote this line to students and it has become a motto for me. As we read throughout Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, we get a glimpse into just some of the many trials he faced in his journeys to preach the gospel.
The church in Corinth had grown in numbers but struggled with divisions and discord. Many had questioned Paul’s authority and position as well as lost sight of what mattered. Paul in Chapter 11 asks the people to seek the truth but clearly shows forth the costs and sacrifices made for him to serve them. It meant Gentile churches providing support, and the countless trials he endured in order to make Jesus Christ known. As we see in the verse of focus, Paul had faced sleepless nights and suffered physically to further the teachings of God. It may seem like Paul was boasting but Paul wanted it to be clear that he had and others had given much to further God’s glory. Far from just talking about God’s love, Paul had followed the Great Commission and his life spoke to the fact Christian life was not based on blessings and comfort all the time. Hardship was in fact part of his calling.
The big question I have for you today is what has the gospel and walk with Jesus cost you? Is it just simply a couple hours on Sunday at church? A small part of your salary? A few moments of praying and reading the Bible? When the Great Commission was given to us by Jesus to make disciples of all nations, we see in the life of people like Jim Elliot and Paul, unforeseen and great trials. The cost was high but the reward greater in the grand scheme of things. Life with God is eternal and the ultimate joy. My prayer for you all is that we never lose sight of that end goal and pushing to see others know Him. It’s in Christ that joy is found and it makes the pain we face worthwhile. May our sacrifices be a great testament to others like Paul. Blessings to you all.
Heavenly Father I ask that you give me strength to face any and all challenges in my life with faith and the willingness to give all that I have for Your Kingdom. Amen.
Thought for the day What has actually been the cost of me following Jesus and am I holding back in my pursuit of Jesus?
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