Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
Subscribe to this blog
Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Growing in Grace and Wisdom James 1:5-8 V.5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Growing up, one of my most memorable experiences in learning how to make decisions was learning how to drive. On Saturday mornings, my dad would take me on open local roads to practice basic maneuvers, and helped me develop and build practical and safe driving skills. On several occasions, he would take me into the heart of New York City during rush hour to teach me how to apply these skills under stressful traffic conditions. As a new driver, I was petrified. I was not confident in my ability to navigate the city, especially driving through congested and narrow roads. My dad never gave me specific directions on where to go, and although this was frustrating at the moment, his hope was that I would trust in my ability to use my previously learned skills to bring us safely to our destination. He wanted me to build confidence in my own decision-making, trusting my own abilities and experiences to critically think and discern. Similarly, I have often sought guidance from the Lord, and I have often returned disgruntled and confused having not received a (clear) response and not knowing what I should do next.
Today’s meditation takes us to the first chapter in the book of James. Written by Jesus’ brother, a leader in the Jerusalem church, James addresses this letter to Jewish Christians, who were scattered in various communities because of persecution; he challenges and encourages these believers in the praxis of their faith during difficult times. It is within just the first few verses that we receive a beautiful promise to the followers of Christ: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James further distinguishes godly and worldly wisdom, defining the former as: “[…] the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17). We see here that wisdom is not merely knowledge, but is the ability to make sound decisions using and applying our knowledge and experiences.
Many a times when I have petitioned to the Lord for wisdom in a situation, in retrospect, I realize I was actually asking Him for specific knowledge on what I should do next or how I should handle my current predicament. Throughout my years, as I’ve spent more time in the presence of the Lord and His Word, I have learned to grow in my ability to discern – to hold any decision up to the Word of God, which is living and active, helping us divide that which is wise and unwise. Godly wisdom prompts us to ask the question: does this choice or decision I have to make allow or prevent me to look more like Christ? Do my words, thoughts and deeds lead to me becoming more peace-loving, considerate, and sincere?
The promise of wisdom gives us assurance in our God, regardless of our circumstances. We serve a God who is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love (Psalm 145:8), working for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). And although uncertainty lies ahead, He has promised to give us godly wisdom to empower and embolden us to walk in accordance with His Word.
Almighty God, You are great and generous, abounding in steadfast love. We ask for wisdom in our daily decisions to become like you; to become more peace-loving, considerate, submissive, impartial and pure. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thought of the day
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
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
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
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