Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
CHALLENGES OF DISCIPLESHIP St. John 10: 11 - 18 V. 12-15: “The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
We live in a world of fake leaders and unreliable promises. We get fascinated by their motivational speeches and sugar-coated words. But later on, world realised that many of them were not genuine. We could see a few leaders who could influence & inspire the lives of a group of people through their speeches and leadership. But there is only one leader who could come down to earth and live among his people, understand their struggle, comfort their minds, transform their lives, restructure their outlook towards others and also die to save them. He paid for our sins by his sacrifice. And that is how Our Lord Jesus Christ proved himself to be a genuine leader and master, whom we should follow. Bible often presents Jesus as a good shepherd. A Good shepherd is the one who can make sure that his sheep follows him correctly. Jesus has called us as his disciples and he demands certain things in our life to add you to the group of sheep. Following Jesus is not an easy task. In Mathew 6 : 24, we read “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” 1. Discipleship: A Call to Remodel Yourself We live in a culture, where we are influenced and impacted by a lot of worldly attractions. But when we meet Jesus in our lives, we have to undergo a transformation. Our thoughts, our approach towards God & the society has to change. it is a call to remodel our lives. When we read 2 Corinthians 5: 17, it says “ Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2. Discipleship : A Call to redefine our priorities Discipleship is also a call to redefine our priorities. We need to realise that God is more important than anything else. The society in which we live fascinates us with a lot of worldly attractions and desires. We may get attracted by the luxurious life, large houses, Expensive cars, influential positions in society and much more. But everything that we enjoy, is a gift of God and nothing should be considered above God. Nothing should distract us from God. We shouldn’t be prioritising anything above God and his commandments. 3. Discipleship : A Call to unlearn and relearn A true disciple is the one, who can obey and follow the words of his master. Jesus makes us think differently where we are forced to change a lot of predefined concepts in our minds. He demands us to unlearn and relearn. When we read Mathew 19 : 21, we read the conversation between Jesus and the young man who was pretending to know all the commandments and was considering himself perfect. But Jesus says : 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Jesus was teaching something new to him and clearly convinces him that there are things that you need to unlearn and relearn. 4. Discipleship : A call to be satisfied with what we are gifted A disciple may have to make a lot of tough choices in his life, when he dedicates his life for Christ. Many dreams may shatter and lot of wishes may go un fulfilled. A disciple’s life would be full of challenges and struggles. But it doesn’t mean that God won’t provide us for our necessary needs. Mathew 6: 8 says “Your Father knows what you need before you ask them.” So we need to learn to be satisfied by what God provides us according to His will. May God help us to be true disciples, who are dedicated and genuine in our relationship with Him.
Our Loving God, Help us to unlearn our earthly understanding and relearn from you. Mould us as faithful and obedient disciples and help us to shine as Christian witnesses.
Thought for the day What is our priority? God or World?
Rev. Roshen V. Mathews Trinity Mar Thoma Church, Houston, TX
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
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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