I wish you all in the name of my resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. I believe you are all doing well in the name of Jesus. My prayers are always for you and your families and friends.
Jesus always gave importance to prayer in His life. Luke 23:34 – Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
When He was taking baptism, He prayed and the skies opened for Him. The Holy Spirit came upon Him like a dove and a voice came from heaven saying: Matthew 3:17 – And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
In the garden of Gethsemane, He was in agony and as He prayed more earnestly, His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. An angel appeared to Him from heaven strengthening Him, so He prayed still more earnestly.
When He was on the Cross, He spent more time in prayer. At 9 o’clock in the morning, He was put on the cross and at 3 o’clock in the afternoon He surrendered His spirit into His Father’s hands. Luke 23:46 – And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.With prayer He gave up His life.
We also see on the Cross, how Jesus prayed earnestly for His people, ignoring His own pain and agony. Even when death was drawing near and the earth was covered in darkness, Jesus was praying to His Father saying: “Father forgive them.” Luke 23:34 – Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
Once a rich girl was kidnapped and they asked for a big ransom from the parents. Because the parents did not pay the ransom, the kidnappers lost patience and buried the girl alive. This girl had already received her salvation. She was remembering Jesus’ prayer and she was praying even till her last breath. The police came to that place and seeing the freshly dug mud they were suspicious. They dug up the earth and found the girl alive in the pit!
Jesus taught us to pray, for prayer is a necessity in our daily lives. Are you also ready to pray to Jesus?Isaiah 53:12 – Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
There is a time for worship, there is a time for praise and there is a time for thanksgiving. But in a Christian believer’s life, prayer and thanksgiving will always go together.
Jesus in His joy and agony also always prayed with thanksgiving.
When His friend Lazarus died, there also, standing in front of the tomb He said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.” John 11:41 – Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
The presence of God shall always be with those who praise God and give Him glory. So take a decision to praise the Lord today.
Psalms 50:23 – Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
Psalms 34:1 – I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Mary praised God as in Luke 1:46-47 – And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Look at Paul and Silas who were in jail, in pain and agony, and yet were still praying and worshipping God. Acts 16:25 – And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
Their prayer and praise started shaking the foundation of the jail, and not only that, the jailer too received salvation.My beloved ones – pray, worship and give thanks to God. Therefore by Him, let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.May God bless you all till we meet again.
In His service,
Pastor Saroja M.
Praise the Lord. About a month back, I suddenly became seriously ill. I had severe complications in my kidney, diabetic problems and a lot of chest congestion due to which I could not breathe properly. Pastor Saroja was informed of my problems when I was admitted to the hospital and I was immediately put on ICU on ventilator. I would like to say that it was only God’s grace and Pastor Saroja’s prayers that I started recovering in 3 days and was discharged from the hospital. I would like to thank my Lord Jesus for this miraculous healing and Pastor Saroja for her fervent prayers which the Lord heard and healed me.
Bro. Ramesh Surti, Thane.
Praise the Lord, I was suffering from severe fever and headache. I went to the doctor took medicines and was advised to take a blood test and x-ray. After the reports arrived the doctor said that there is a lot of fever in my bones and blood. I and my family got afraid as I was not being able to even stand as I was feeling very cold. I immediately called Pastor Saroja and informed her about my health issues. Pastor prayed for me very fervently and after prayers I started feeling well and today am perfectly fine. Thanks to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who healed me through the prayers of Pastor Saroja. Thank you Pastor Saroja.
Bro. Joseph Arikswamy, Goregoan.
Praise the Lord. My aged mother who stays with my brother one day started having loose motions. It was uncontrollable. A doctor was called to check her and he gave some medication but the loose motions did not stop and my mother had to be admitted in the hospital immediately. When I was informed of the same, I got tensed and immediately called Pastor Saroja and requested her to keep my mother in her prayers. When I was on my way to see my mother I was having peace in my heart after the prayers. When I met my mother her disposition was normal and she could speak with me. I informed her that Pastor Saroja was praying for her and she was glad and conveyed her thanks. She started recovering and has got discharged from the hospital. I give all praise and glory to Lord Jesus for being gracious in healing my mother. Sincere thanks to Pastor Saroja was praying for my mother.
Praise the Lord. During the last few months of 2015, I was not getting any writing contracts. I requested Pastor Saroja to pray for me to get a new job. Within a week, my email account was flooded with new assignments. It not only solved my financial problems but also removed fear that I could be in a similar situation some time in the future. I thank Pastor Saroja for her fervent prayers and thank God for His mercy and love.
Bro. Derek Anchan, Mulund.
Praise the Lord. I ask the Lord to forgive me for my sin which I knowingly did. Inspite of receiving correction and warning from biblical verses through message etc I went to my native place to attend a wedding which was being conducted according to hindu rites. Earlier also whenever I went to my native place I used to return sick. But this time knowing very well the reason I went and on the day of the marriage I fell terribly sick with severe stomach pain and loose motions and fever and shivering. I prayed and asked the Lord to forgive me for my disobedience. I then drank the prayer oil in faith and soon after my pain stopped. I praise and thank the Lord for healing me and thank Pastor Saroja who prayed over the oil during our fasting prayer services.
Bro. Ramji Khushwa, Jogeshwari.
Ruth went to her mail box, and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening it, but then she looked at the letter again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:
I’m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon, and I’d like to stop by for a visit.
Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. “Why would the Lord want to visit me? I’m nobody special. I don’t have anything to offer.” With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. “Oh my goodness, I really don’t have anything to offer. I’ll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner.” She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. “Well! I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least.” She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.
A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk…leaving Ruth with grand total twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.
“Hey lady, can you help us, lady?”
Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn’t even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.
“Look lady, I ain’t got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it’s getting cold, and we’re getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we’d really appreciate it.”
Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad, and frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.
“Sir, I’d like to help you, but I’m a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I’m having an important guest for dinner tonight, and I was planning on serving that to Him.”
“Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway.”
The man put his arm around the woman’s shoulders, turned, and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.
“Sir, wait!” The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. “Look, why don’t you take this food. I’ll figure out something else to serve my guest.” She handed the man her grocery bag.
“Thank you lady. Thank you very much!”
“Yes, thank you!” It was the man’s wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering. “You know, I’ve got another coat at home. Here, why don’t you take this one.” Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman’s shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street…without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.
Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit, and she didn’t have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. “That’s odd. The mailman doesn’t usually come twice in one day.” She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.
Jesus The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.
March 8th 2016, celebrated globally as Women’s Day fell in the middle of the week; nevertheless all woman attending the Women’s Fellowship at Rose Of Sharon Church gathered together at the Church. This was a special event and Pastor Saroja along with the Women’s Fellowship Group of the Rose Of Sharon Church celebrated the 2016 Women’s Day celebrations with great fervour and joy!
All sisters assembled in church for an evening get-together. They were greeted and welcomed by Pastor Saroja. Each one was gifted with a silver or golden jewel box, wherein ‘Silver’ signifies the ‘Word’ and ‘Gold’ signifies ‘Faith’.
It was a well-organized event. Many games were played during the evening with hundred percent participation and excitement, the first being ‘Passing the Parcel’, wherein a parcel is passed in a circle at the play of music and when the music stops, the one who has the parcel has to face the forfeit. Some of the forfeits were based on testing the knowledge and revelation of the Word shared by Pastor Saroja during the Women’s Fellowship. These included the spiritual significance of the numbers 1-8 and colours, also enacting scenes from the Holy Scriptures depicting women’s power and wisdom, singing, testimonies, etc. The sisters actively and whole heartedly participated in this game and the final winner was a sister from the ‘Women of Faith’ team. Games that followed were team games. There were also sporty games like bursting balloons by sitting on them; Straw game – picking pulses through straw in the mouth with the hands folded at the back;
Queen Esther wants - where teams were seen rushing to and fro collecting items to please the Queen. Two quiz games were also played, where the pictorial quiz was unique, innovative and liked by all. Points won were team points and the final winning team was the‘Women of Word’.
Pastor summarised the games and complimented the winners by saying that it is not only important to have ‘Faith’ but it is of utmost importance to be strong in the Word, etch it across our hearts and learn the Word by heart… so that our faith may grow stronger and stronger.
The evening concluded with sharing of testimonies and how our good Lord God has strengthened us women through the example of our Pastor Saroja’s life, her relentless and diligent service for the Lord and how the Lord has lifted her up due to her zeal for His work and service. Her efforts are evident through the fruitfulness and abundance of blessings seen in the ministry. We should always come forward to do small or big work in the house of the Lord, as He chooses us according to our talent. We must never shirk or shy away from responsibilities. We must never fear the evil one. Thus, once again all the sisters were strengthened by the Promise Word of 2016 in Deuteronomy 7:21 “Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible”.
The grand finale of the evening was the prize distribution to the winners by Pastor Saroja. She also gifted a token of appreciation to all women present. Snacks were thereafter distributed to all. May the Lord continue to strengthen us ladies in faith even as He encourages us through His Word!
Today as we celebrate Good Friday, let us look to the Cross with faith and belief that Jesus Christ’s suffering, pain and sorrow was for you and me. He is truly a God who loves us very much. In spite of all the suffering and humiliation on the Cross, let us see what Jesus’ desire is for you and me; what He tells His Father God and what is in His heart for you and me.Luke 23:34 “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Jesus tells His Father, even in that completely broken and bruised condition with blood profusely oozing out of his wounds, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. Even in that condition, Jesus’ heart beat for us with only love. Scientist and researchers say that Jesus suffered on the Cross for six hours. All of these six hours, He only prayed for us to His Father God “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. This prayer holds good for humanity then – 2000 years ago, and for generations after that, our generation and for generations to come. This is an unchanging prayer and this is the truth. For six hours Jesus suffered on the Cross unto death and interceded with His Father for you and me and said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. Even today when we look to the Cross and remember each and every suffering of Jesus Christ; if we replace the words ‘them’ with our name, the prayer becomes even more meaningful e.g.: “Father forgive Saroja, for she knows not what she does”. We live in a sinful world and there is no goodness within us, rather sin has entered us in every way; the way we look, our speech, cunningness, pride and ego. We have all sinned and fallen short of His glory. If we listen to our heart beats and hear the voice with a true conscience, these words come alive to us and speak to us even today “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. Jesus Christ died for us in such a painful manner. Why? It was because He loved us then, and He loves us even today. Unless we come to Him with a true conscience, we will not get deliverance from our sins even today. 2000 years ago, even the ones who struck Jesus Christ, those who spat on Him and humiliated Him, were also delivered by the same blood by which we are delivered today viz. by the blood shed on the Cross of Calvary. None of us can say that we are pure and sinless. We need the blood of Jesus to deliver and wash us from our sins and unrighteousness. Hence, let us listen to the whisper of our conscience and put our hands across our heart and swear upon what Jesus said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. When we acknowledge Him and come before Him in truth, our God will be ready to wash and cleanse us of our sins, however crimson they may be. Whatever the kind of sin, we can get remission for our sins and be washed by His pure, priceless blood. Jesus’ inner quality i.e. His forgiving nature, His healing touch for illnesses and bondage; we have seen this same nature on the Cross too. Peter writes about this quality of Jesus in 1 Peter 2:23 “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed to him that judgeth righteously.” Peter says that when Jesus was reviled, He did not revile and when He suffered He did not threaten. When Jesus carried the Cross He did not threaten the people saying “wait and watch for when I rise again after three days, I will punish you”. No, Jesus did not threaten the people in any which way, but rather He continued to pray to His Father saying “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. Jesus whole heartedly surrendered His life on the Cross with nary a murmur so that we may get saved and become righteous by His death. Our God is a good God. He is a God who forgives. He is a God who delivers us from any and every type of sin. Psalms 86:5 “For thou, Lord, good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”Our God is a good God and ready to forgive, and His mercy is abundant to all those who call upon Him. This is a Psalm written even before Jesus came into this world and His quality was very clearly described in this Psalm. It is the same quality that we see on the Cross when Jesus was crucified. He is a good God and merciful even at the time of His death; He intercedes for you and me to His Father and says “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. The people of those times did not recognize these qualities of Jesus, for they did not know Him at all. A God who never sinned, robbed, lied, committed adultery or made a mistake, there was no sin at all within Him. Jesus did not revile against those who reviled Him. Such a God was taken to Pilate for judgment. Pilate in turn washed his hands when He found no fault in Jesus after all his inquiry was over. Though Pilate knew that there was no fault at all in Jesus and He was blameless, yet he did not come forward to save Him, but rather he washed his hands off Jesus. Luke 23:14-25 “Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. I will therefore chastise him, and release him. (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.) And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.) Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will. After all the inquiries against Jesus, Pilate told the people that he found no fault and blame in Jesus, and he thus washed his hands off Him. Pilate knew that it was due to sheer jealousy that the people wanted Jesus to be crucified. Even after that He did not save Jesus but rather handed Him over to the people for judgment. Let us see what Pilate’s wife tells him in Matthew 27:19 “When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.” God could have come in Pilate’s dream and informed him directly, but God chose to speak to Pilate’s wife and in turn she told Pilate to have nothing to do with ‘that just man’, for she had suffered many things that day in a dream because of Him. In our lives too, many a times there are some people who make the mistake, but there are others who suffer for it. Many a times God shows our wrong doings, not to us, but to others. We cannot question what our God does. Luke 23:15 “No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.”Pilate told the people that he had even sent Jesus to Herod, but He too did not find fault so as to persecute Him. Even Herod found no fault with Jesus. If the people believed that Jesus Christ was sent into the world for their sakes, they would never have asked Pilate to release Barabbas and crucify Jesus. Barabbas was a thief, and had the people known the truth they would never have asked to release Barabbas and crucify Jesus. The people did not know that Jesus Christ came into this world to love us, to reunite us with Father God and to separate us from our sins. Peter says in Acts 3:17 “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.” The people crucified Jesus because of ignorance, just as their rulers also did. But Jesus’ blood has redeemed everyone, even those who reviled Him. John 19:34 “But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.” What does water signify? It signifies that Jesus is the Living Water. John 7:38-39 “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”Here water is compared to theHoly Spirit. Through this Living Water, Jesus gave us His Love. Ephesians 1:7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; It is only through the blood of Jesus that we have received our redemption and forgiveness for our sins, according to the riches of His grace. When we sin, our conscience is aware of it. Jesus also knows of our sin and there is yet one more person who knows of our sins. It is the evil one. This is very important and we must always remember this. In the olden times, the greatest of all sins was adultery. The commandment of the olden day says in Exodus 20:14 “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” If they still sinned and committed adultery, what was the punishment for it? Deuteronomy 22:22 “If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.” The couple had to be stoned to death. This was a big punishment that people brought upon themselves. Whoever committed this sin, whether it was the priest’s children or ordinary people, all had to face the same punishment. Leviticus 21:9 “And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.” This grave punishment used to be practiced by the Israelites in the olden days. But we see that there is a bigger punishment in eternity than even this, as written in Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” We human beings always think that nobody has watched us sin. We may have sinned any one of these sins, but we must be aware that even as our God sees our sins, so also the evil one sees our sins. We see in the Holy Scriptures that the people brought a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus. We know the punishment for adultery in the olden times. However, this woman was brought alone and the man was left out, so this was not according to the commandment of the law. Jesus sees this woman and senses that the people want Him to judge her. God knows about everyone and we cannot hide from Him and though we think that no one has seen, nothing is hidden from Jesus sight. Jesus says “those of you who have not sinned, stone this woman first”. Hearing this, the people’s conscience convicted them and all of them left the place one by one. John 8:7 “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Our Jesus has not come to point out our sins in the open, nor has He come to condemn us. But since the people insisted and kept repeatedly asking Jesus, He was forced to respond “those of you who have not sinned, stone this woman first”. Jesus kept his face focused on the ground and He did not even look up at them for He knew all were guilty. Even today, our God is the same unchanging Jesus; He intercedes with His father for you and me saying “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. Replace the word ‘them’ with ‘our own name’, and look to the Cross where Jesus was crucified. We will feel that it is ‘Me’ Jesus is praying for to His Father God. Our conscience must speak to us, for because our God is a merciful and graceful God, He is ready to deliver us from our sins even today. Let this not be just another Good Friday that we are celebrating. Let us come to Him in truth and faith knowing that He will forgive our sins if we are ready to confess it even today. John 8:9 “And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.” Hearing the voice of Jesus, all the people left one by one and only the adulteress woman was left with Him. We see how Jesus gives His judgment to the woman and tells her “Go away and sin no more”. All our sins, big or small are naked before God and our conscience must be alive today to receive the grace of God so that we may be redeemed and delivered from the darkness of our sins.
Acts 2:37 “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” When Peter preached to the people about Jesus, and they heard about how they had denied Jesus and crucified Him, their conscience was convicted immediately and they asked Peter “What should we do”? Like these people, our conscience too must speak to us today and we should also have this question “What should we do? How can we come out of this sin? What should we do to be delivered of our sins today?” God will wash us instantly with His blood, because our God’s blood has wonder-working powers. It is important for us to ask this question to ourselves today. We know that the wages of sin is death, yet Judas Iscariot did not ask this question “What should I do now that I have betrayed Jesus? How can I come out of this sin?” Rather he went and threw the silver coins before the people who gave it to him and then went and committed suicide. Judas did not come with a repentant heart before Jesus Christ. Though the commandment says that when we sin, the wages of sin is death, yet when we go before God with a repentant heart with this question “What should I do? How can I come out of this sin?” our God Jesus is prepared to deliver us out of our every sin, even today. We see that the Old Testament word written in the Holy Scriptures was before Jesus Christ’s birth, and it was fulfilled much later at the Cross. Psalms 22:15 “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.” Even before Jesus was born, David had written that Jesus would yearn for water and be thirsty. John 19:28-29 “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.”Our God suffered a great deal as a human being in his physical form on the Cross. Luke 12:49-50 “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!”Jesus desired to send down His fire on the earth, but He had to sacrifice His life and suffer in the garden of Gethsemane to kindle this fire. Luke 22:44 “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Why did Jesus break His body so much in the garden of Gethsemane? For our sakes, so that He could kindle the fire on this earth. Jesus knew that there was a time and place to ‘kindle this fire’ i.e. at the garden of Gethsemane. Matthew 26:36 “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.” In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ sweat turned into droplets of blood. At that time, in that painful and sorrowful situation Jesus was arrested and dragged to different places – Annas house from where He was bound and sent to Caiaphas’ house, then to Herod’s palace and lastly to Pilate’s house. John 18:13, 24, 28 “And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.” ... vs. 24 “Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.”… vs. 28 “Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.” Jesus was dragged from place to place like a robber with his hands bound and he was tossed from area to area. They also made Jesus wear degrading clothes and humiliated Him further and sent him once again from one place to another. Mark 15:15, 20 “And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. “... vs. 20 “And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.” Now, a judgment was passed against Jesus to crucify Him. Jesus was readied with a huge heavy wooden cross on His shoulder and they made Him drag the heavy cross and walk to a place called Golgotha. John 19:17 “And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:”. Jesus was completely humiliated and totally weakened and drained off. He was too weak to carry the cross. Matthew 27:32 “And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.On the way they found a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they compelled him to carry the cross along with Jesus. Our Jesus bore it all for you and me… every humiliation, pain and sorrow. In the Holy Scriptures, we know of many mighty men who were born before Jesus and who were also thirsty like Jesus. Judges 4:18-19 “And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle. And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.”
This man Sisera was a mighty man of valour and had defeated hundreds of people, but there was a time when he was tired and thirsty too. We also see the life of Samson, another valiant man, who with a jaw bone of a donkey killed thousands of people – he too was tired and thirsty once. Judges 15:18 “And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?Similarly, Jesus too was thirsty and in the physical form that He was, He must have been tired and thirsty even as He bore all the pain and sorrow for our sakes. Yet, while Jesus was on the Cross, no one came forward to quench this thirst of His. Amos 5:8 “Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:”. Imagine if our God does not give us rain one year, there will be drought on this land. If He does not evaporate the waters of the sea and pour down the rain on this earth, what would happen to us? We will all die eventually. Our mighty God, who created night and day and turned darkness to light, is now thirsty at the Cross of Calvary. But the people dipped the sponge in sour vinegar and fed Him vinegar instead of water. Remember, all this happened so that every prophecy written in the Holy Scriptures about Jesus Christ may be fulfilled. Psalms 69:21 “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. Matthew 27:34 “They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.”John says in John 19:28 “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.”
Jesus would not drink, once He tasted the vinegar mixed with gall which the people gave Him to drink. But here to fulfill every prophecy that was given for Him, Jesus said ‘I thirst’. Every word written in the Holy Scriptures about Jesus, He fulfilled on the Cross for you and me. Why did a God of such great authority, have to suffer on the Cross? Why did His Father God send Him to this earth to suffer? He suffered only because He loved us very much! We did not love God until He loved us first. Here we have seen that our righteous God suffered all pain and sorrow for our sakes so that we are made free, so that we are delivered from darkness into light, so that we get victory from the evil one. Today we can boast to the evil one “My God has loved me and thus defeated you on the Cross”. Through the Word of God, we can know how much our God has loved us. In the end, Jesus Christ was prepared to even drink the sour vinegar for our sakes. 1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. Our every pain, sorrow, suffering and humiliation, Jesus has already taken on the Cross. Isaiah 53:4-5 “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. In every human life there will be pain and sorrow, but remember Jesus has overcome this world. Hebrews 2:14-15 “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Why did Jesus bear all this sorrow and pain in human form? We as human beings must remember that Jesus has already defeated the evil one at the Cross of Calvary and put an end to all our fears in life. In the end, by saying “I thirst”, Jesus took away all the pain and sorrow from our lives. Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”Yes, Jesus has come to fulfill every prophecy in the Holy Scriptures, in his human form Jesus has gained victory from our illness, sickness, bondage and pain. Today our God has not orphaned us; rather He has given us ‘hope’ through His love for us. We have hope and truth in Jesus Christ through the Word. We can believe Him through the Word. I have the same love for God and belief in Him as I had when I came to this ministry in the beginning. Do you have the same love and belief in God? Through every pain and sorrow, loneliness, happiness and victory, I have kept God in the first place in my life. Jesus’ love in our lives will manifest in different ways.
Today must not be just another Good Friday. We must believe that Jesus Christ is pleading to His Father God ‘for my sake and for my sins’. Jesus is interceding with His Father to deliver me from my sins and pain. He wants to end the darkness in my life and bring me to light. With our heart we need to seal this relationship between God and us. This Good Friday is really ‘Good’, and God wishes that no one continue in darkness and that all may come in to the light. He wishes that we live happily. Yet in different ways, the sins of this world get into our lives and corrupt it. Luke 23:34 “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Our God is merciful and graceful and there is no sin that cannot be washed and cleansed by His blood. He is pleading today to bring our case to Him. He will resolve it for us. No man can bring happiness in our lives and no man can deliver us from our pain, sorrow and sins. It is only Jesus Christ who can deliver us and make us free even today. No law can give us freedom, but Jesus can give us freedom in the truest sense of the word. We have seen in the Holy Scriptures, that many people’s lives had bitterness in different ways in their lives (e.g. Hannah, Hezekiah). But they all went to God for their healing. Hannah and her husband Elkanah loved each other very much, but this love could not bring happiness into Hannah’s life. She finally accepted that only God could deliver her. She came before God with a contrite heart and cried till she was completely drained off. The Scriptures say that after that day, Hannah never cried in her life. The love of this world is false; we can never compare the love of God with the love this world offers us. We can get nothing from this world. Hezekiah was a King and there was nothing lacking in his life. Once he was inflicted with a gland in his body, it was very painful and no medicine could heal him. Prophet Isaiah told him that his end was nigh and he should prepare for it. But Hezekiah cried out to the Lord God and God heard his prayers and extended his life for 15 more years. Even today Jesus our God is interceding and praying to Father God for us “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. Our God suffered on the Cross for six hours and all the six hours He prayed the same prayer for you and me. Can there be a greater love than this in our lives? The sacrifice and humiliation of Jesus Christ for our sakes cannot be compared to anything else in this world. All this Jesus did so that we may live a respected life on this earth. We see in Prophet Jeremiah’s life too there was great bitterness. He preached the Word of God and corrected the Israelites, so that they may separate their lives from sin. Hence the Israelites hated him and were annoyed with him.
Lamentations 3:15 “He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood.”Jeremiah here speaks with great sorrow. We know that it was ‘jealousy’ that crucified Jesus. Luke 23:5 “And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.” Why were the people and the evil one jealous on Jesus? Because He preached and taught the truth & the Word of God and they felt that Jesus instigated the people. Hence the people crucified Jesus and released the robber Barabbas. Jesus said that we would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria and till the ends of the earth.Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”Jesus also said inMatthew 10:16-28 “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Jesus had already warned us to beware of people. Jesus fulfilled every prophecy and promise given by Him for our sakes. When the Israelites were brought out of bondage, God delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians. God provided them a deliverer in the form of Moses, and God took care of all their needs in the wilderness. He was a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He fed them manna so that they would be strong to face the grave challenges ahead. At one point of time the Israelites were very thirsty and they could not find water to drink and they started murmuring against Moses and Aaron. Moses bowed down to God and prayed for water for his people. Exodus 15:23-26 “And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. The Lord God removed the bitterness from the water and gave them sweet water to drink. He is the same God who also gave them a commandment to adhere to. He said “If you diligently heed to my commandments and keep all my statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I had brought upon the Egyptians, for I am the God who heals you”. Butnot once did the Israelites have a heart of gratitude towards God, and they never thanked God for His great doings in their life. Deuteronomy 2:7 “For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.” God continually blessed the works of the Israelites but in turn they never thanked God for it. Numbers 20:1-12 “Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there. And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.
And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” The murmuring and groaning of the Israelites and their thankless heart was the reason they all perished in the wilderness before reaching the Promised Land. God told Moses in Numbers 20:12 “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” We know how many people reached the promised land of Canaan – only Caleb and Joshua. Aaron died, and then Moses died while on the journey itself. We know that Prophet Elijah and Moses were there in heaven to receive Jesus Christ when He ascended into Heaven. We can read this in Matthew 17. But because of the disbelief of the Israelites, God cursed them and told Moses that none of this congregation (except for Caleb & Joshua) would reach the Promised Land. This is a warning for us today, since we are God’s chosen congregation. If any of us have disbelief and distrust in God, we must be careful and again read Numbers 20:12 “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” We may attend church regularly and attend many Good Fridays and Easter services, but if our disbelief continues and we remain unchanged because of our disbelief, one day God will tell us “I don’t know you”. Imagine how painful that day will be in our life. We must not continue in our sins but rather confess them to God and obtain remission for our sins. Today God has given us one more opportunity to give our sins into His hands and confess them to Him. Luke 23:34 “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”Replace the word ‘them’ with our name and surely the Lord God will work wonders in our life today.
May this Good Friday message bring blessings into each of our lives! Praise the Lord!
Greetings to all our dear readers in the most holy and matchless name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus of Nazareth. Exams are on in full swing for all our dear children in the church, and we wish each one them the very best in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In this month’s edition, I would like to introduce you to our newest uncle,grandpa Baldwin Rodricks,aged 84 years, who is a resident of Wadala andhas joined the home in January 2016.He is not married and was looked after by his two nephews who stay in Wadala. We welcome this grandpa and are joyful to have him in our home as a part of the Rose of Sharon family.
Grandpa Baldwin is a stockily built man, weighing close to a 100 kgs. When he was brought to the home, he was brought in a state where he had swelling and immense pain in his left leg beginning at the waist, caused due to a fall in his house. He also had a huge bedsore on his back, the size of thepalm of a hand. He also looked completely disoriented at times and would go completely blank when we asked him anything. He had a severe chest congestion because of which he had difficulty in swallowing food; we had a constant fear that he should not aspirate his food.
But many things have changed since that time. Grandpa has shed the excess weight and looks quite toned up now. The swelling in the leg is gone and the pain has considerably reduced. The bedsore is completely healed and grandpa is now responding better than before. His chest congestion has become considerable less and he is able to swallow food much more easily than earlier. This is just the beginning; we believe God will heal him more and more in the days to come.
We pray that God heals him completely and more importantly, save his soul as he arrives to the last juncture of his life in the old age home at Mira Road. Praise the Lord. Thank you Jesus!
It’s been another wonderful month, and a significant month as we remembered Jesus Christ- His wonderful sacrifice for all of us and His resurrection and His Victory that gives Hope, Joy and Peace to all of us.
Since there are new small children in the class, the study of God’s creation is a must.
They learnt in detail about creation of Adam and Eve. How beautifully God with His own hands created mankind and how dearly He loved them and blessed them.
Children love quizzes, with that in mind, we run a quiz session once a month and the children look forward to win in the quiz. The questions are based on the learning’s done in the month and lessons done in the past.
The Sunday School children also spent time learning about Jesus and the time when he rode on a colt with everybody shouting Hosanna, and laying palm leaves and garments on the ground.
Continue to pray for our children and for Gods constant grace and protection upon them.
Praise the Lord!