Praise the Lord… I greet you all in the name of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The book of 1 Thessalonians writes about Jesus’ second coming. We are living in the end times now and the door of grace may close anytime. On one side it is the time of the Lord’s coming while on the other side is the terrible persecution of the world by the antichrist, which will be very great. At the same time, the spirit and bride say “come” and let him who hears come. And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take of the water of life freely.
In the time the Lord has given us now, we must walk in perfection before Him. Hebrews 6:1,2 “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”
Therefore you must be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
Who can make us holy? The Prince of peace viz. Jesus Christ can make us holy. He is the Prince of peace. Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Man needs three types of peace:
1) Peace with God
2) Peace with himself.
3) Peace with all men.
But in our spirit, sin spoils our peace. Isaiah 57:21 “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”
Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary to reconcile God to man and make the sinful man holy. Ephesians 2:14-16 “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:”
But now having been set free from sin, and having become servants of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and in the end, everlasting life.
As we come toward the end times, let us cleanse ourselves of all our sins and give our body, soul and spirit into the Lords hands. 2 Corinthians 7:1 “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
Our Lord’s coming is very near, so we should prepare ourselves to be holy to meet him. Trust in him. Jeremiah 17:7, 8 “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
My beloved ones, keep your eyes on the Lord and let him lead you and fill you with His Spirit. Totally surrender yourselves to the Lord. Romans 12:12 “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;”
Since God is a Spirit, we can know Him and talk to Him in our spirit. Thus we can worship the Lord in spirit. John 4:24 ” God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
May the Spirit of God keep you in oneness and bless you all in the coming days till we meet again.
In the Lord’s service
Pastor Saroja M
Praise the Lord. I had my U.S Visa renewal for which I was told that I had to go through an interview. I informed Pastor Saroja to keep me in her prayers and through her prayers I cleared my interview and got the U.S Visa. I thank Pastor Saroja for her fervent prayers and I thank my Lord Jesus for helping me in all my situations.
*Bro. Chetan Chilla, Mira Road.
Praise the Lord. My wife was pregnant and when she started developing labour pain, she was taken to the hospital. The doctor examined her and said that they could not hear the child’s heartbeat. I called Pastor Saroja for prayers and Pastor prayed for her. My wife delivered a healthy baby boy with a normal delivery. I thank my Lord Jesus for blessing me and my wife with a child and I thank Pastor Saroja for her fervent prayers.
*Bro. Devdas Jaiseelen, Mira Road
Praise the Lord. I started developing itchy rashes on my hand. I ignored it thinking it was a mosquito bite, but within a few hours it had spread throughout my body. By the next day it was all over my face, resulting in a swollen face. I immediately realised that it was due to my disobedience. I contacted Pastor Saroja and told her about all this. Pastor gave me some advice and assured me of her prayers. I confessed and prayed for forgiveness to my Lord Jesus for my mistake. By the morning of the next day, all the rashes had completely disappeared without any mark on my body or face. I was completely healed of the itching, the pain and the swelling. I thank my Lord Jesus for forgiving and healing me. I would like to thank my dear Pastor for her fervent prayers for me.
*Sis. Angel Roberts, Vakola
Praise the Lord. My name is Yashoda Naik staying in Nurses quarters in Dhule, Maharashtra. Since a year, I used to have fearful dreams, cramps in my hands, sweating and chest pains. Recently I also started experiencing giddiness. I contacted the Rose of Sharon prayer helpline and requested for prayers. I was assured with the prayers after which I was healed completely. I give crores of thanks to Lord Jesus for healing me and also many thanks for the prayers that were made from the prayer helpline.
*Sis. Yashoda Naik, Dhule
A woman came out of her house and saw 3 old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said, “l don’t think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat.”
“Is the man of the house home?” they asked. “No”, she said. “He’s out.” “Then we cannot come in”, they replied.
In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened. “Go tell them I am home and invite them in!”
The woman went out and invited the men in. “We do not go into a House together,” they replied. “Why is that?” she wanted to know.
One of the old men explained: “His name is Wealth,” he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, “He is Success, and I am Love.” Then he added, “Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home.”
The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. “How nice! ” he said. “Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and ﬁll our home with wealth!”
His wife disagreed. “My dear, why don’t we invite Success?”
Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: “Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be ﬁlled with love!” “Let us heed our daughter-in-laws advice,” said the husband to his wife.
“Go out and invite Love to be our guest.”
The woman went out and asked the 3 old men, “Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest.”
Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other 2 also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: “I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?”
The old men replied together: “If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would’ve stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever he goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also, Wealth and Success!
Another name of Jesus is Love. If you invite Jesus in your life, He will never allow you to lack anything in your life.
Galations 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Our God searches for fruits in our life, and when He finds the fruit of the Spirit within us He is happy for us as His name is glorified through our lives. Jesus says in John 3:7-9 “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?” Multitudes had come before John the Baptist to be baptized, thinking they would become fruitful, but John recognized their hearts and warned them. It is only through God’s anointing that we can receive the fruit of the Spirit of God. This cannot be obtained by our strength or might; it is only through God that this can be graced in our lives. Hence our prayers to God must be “God grant me the anointing of your Spirit that I may bear the fruits of the Spirit in my life.” God’s eyes are always on His children and he seeks for the fruits of the Spirit in our lives. In the Holy Scriptures, we see many people gave themselves into God’s hands that they may bear the fruits of the Spirit in their lives.
In the book of Mathew, we know of the story of Mary as written; she was a spinster and engaged to be married at the time when the Angel of God told her that she was the chosen one to bring Jesus into this world. She accepted this gracefully, her nature of love and peace was evident in her. We also see the life of Joseph; when he first heard of her pregnancy, he initially thought of leaving her. Such thoughts came to him according to the ways of this world. But when the Angel of God spoke to him, He accepted God’s verdict and lived a righteous life with Mary and did not know her till after Jesus Christ was born. It is not by flesh that we should live, but by the will of the Holy Spirit. This fruit of obedience is what God seeks in our lives too. God must be happy with the fruits that we possess in our life. Mathew 1:18 “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Here we see that God was pleased with Mary and thus chose her to be the mother of Jesus and also graced her with love and peace to face this world. Now we see of Joseph’s life in Mathew 1:25 “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” He did not know Mary till Jesus was born. This is the fruit of the spiritual gift of God. The Bible reading in the book of Romans says that people who live according to the flesh think in worldly ways, while those who live according to the Spirit live according to the Spirit. The wages of sin is death, while the wages of the Spirit is life everlasting. Here we have seen the lives of two people viz. Mary and Joseph; both feared the Lord and heard His voice and obeyed it and lived righteously, hence their lives became blessed and fruitful before God. God is looking for these qualities within each one of us. God wishes that we be obedient unto Him and that we hear His voice and be blessed.
When we fail to lift God’s name higher and higher in our lives, we must remember that the axe is kept at the root. We must remember that Jesus did not die so that we may continue to suffer in this world. Jesus did not rise again from the dead so that we may remain orphans in this world. Jesus was sent into this world so that He would die for us so that we could receive Him and be saved and live an everlasting life. It is not only through baptism that we receive Jesus into our lives, but it is by accepting Him and living according to His will and obeying His command that we truly live the life that God has planned for us.
A coin has two sides, viz. a head and tail, similarly there are two sides to the Holy Spirit, the fruits and the gifts. When an individual has gifts of the Spirit, he can bring many to God’s saving grace. He can make every knee bow and every tongue confess that ‘Jesus Christ is Lord,’ as Elijah did in 1 Kings 18:39 “And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.” When we have the gift of the Spirit within us we can prove that “God alone is Lord.” But when we have the Spirit of fruitfulness, we will be privileged to stand along with God when He returns.
We all know of the story of the ten virgins in the bible, five foolish and five wise. The wise virgins were blessed with a Spirit of fruitfulness; they carried along extra oil, wick and matches, while the foolish virgins did not carry anything with them. While the bridegroom was delayed, everyone’s oil started diminishing and their flames became faint. The foolish virgins came to the wise virgins and begged them for oil. The wise virgins did not show love, peace and grace, but rather they told them to go and buy from wherever they could get oil. The wise virgins knew that if they shared what they had, both of them would not have enough to sustain their flame till the bridegroom came. So they replied by telling the foolish virgins to go out instead and buy more for themselves. Mathew 25:9 “But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” The oil i.e. the Holy Spirit cannot be purchased by anyone. We know what Peter responded to the soothsayer and witchcraft doer when he asked him if he could buy the Holy Spirit. He said “Neither money, nor wealth, education nor your strength can buy this, let it be destroyed with you.” The Holy Spirit is one thing that cannot be purchased by anyone. This fruit can only be given by the grace and love of God. Just as the wise virgins were speaking to the foolish ones, the bridegroom arrived. Those who had oil in their lamps were taken in by the bridegroom and the others were left out. Mathew 25:10-12 “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” We are all brides for the Lord, hence let us be wise and lead a fruitful life and strive to make our lives gifted and fruitful. Jesus says that those of us whose lives are not fruitful will be cut off and put into the fire. Through our nature, works and talents, God must be pleased with us. This alone is the fruit in our life.
Ezekiel 38:7 “Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.” What does God say here? “You be prepared and also prepare the multitude with you.”
Jesus says “You brood of vipers, you cursed generation; taking baptism will not make you fruitful. Do not be hypocrites in your hearts and say that we have seen many come and go. Rather, become fruitful, gifted and live a righteous life. This life pleases God.” Accept the truth of God, then you can prepare yourself and keep your family prepared along with you. Those who have anointing within themselves will be witness for the Lord. We must always be entwined in the Lord. Our church has many branches, but this Church at Kalina is the root of the Rose of Sharon Ministries. In this holy temple, only people who God desires to be here will be here and people will remain as long as God keeps them rooted here. Those who have left this ministry have not gone away according to their will, rather God has blown them away with the blast of His nostrils. They were like withered grass according to God. God’s name must be magnified and glorified through us and our works and our life must be a testimony. As much as God knows us, so does the devil know us. The devil will constantly point a finger to our sins and say to God “look, these are your children, look at their heart.” God’s name will thus be maligned because of us. Remember, Jesus God has risen on the third day, that we may be a head for Him and not a tail. Our every thought and action must glorify God. Whether it is the chief priest or a pastor or a bishop, all must have the fruits and gifts of the Spirit within them. In the olden times, when the chief priests used to enter the holy temple, the hem of their robe was stitched with bells and pomegranates. Bells make noise signifying the ‘gift of spirit’, which brings people to the saving grace of the Lord. Pomegranates signify the ‘gift of fruit.’ The Word says that you and I are priests for the Lord. Revelation 1:6 “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Hence our responsibility now is that we must be kings and priests for the Lord. God must find both these qualities in us, and this we can get only by the anointing of the Spirit. John 15:16 “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” In our life, we can get this Spirit of fruitfulness only through Jesus Christ and His Spirit. Now we know why the Lord has chosen us and instituted us for His purpose, so that we become fruitful and please Him. Unless we ask God for this gift, we can never get it in our lives. The Lord says “You did not choose Me, but I have chosen you when you were nothing and this world had also forsaken you. It is only because you asked the Father God through me, that you have been blessed; thus remain entwined with me always, and be fruitful.” Remember, God did not come searching for us when we were rich and had plenty in this world; He came searching for us when we were yet sinners and poor in spirit. Hence what is our responsibility towards God now, but that we must be fruitful and remain entwined with Him?
There are some believers who believe only in the gifts of the Spirit, who forget to be fruitful through the Spirit. The Lord God gets angry with such people. In the old times, the Pharisees and the Sadducees did have the gift of the Spirit but bore no fruit. Even in our lives, if we only concentrate on the gift of the Spirit and have no fruit within us, God will treat us like Jesus treated the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Then there are others who do vice versa; they concentrate on the fruits of the Spirit and ignore the gifts of the Spirit. Our lives must be balanced with both the gifts and fruits of the Spirit. John 15:4 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” The presence of God and His Holy Spirit is very important in our lives. Without the Holy Spirit, our life can never be fruitful. David says in Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” God searches for the righteous man, who meditates on His word day and night, and loves the Lord God. The gifts and fruits of the Spirit will automatically fill within us if we do so; so when God comes searching for us, He will find us fruitful and gifted. Being gifted can bring many people to God’s saving grace, while the fruits of the Spirit within us can help prepare ourselves for the day of God’s coming so that we will be taken along with Him during His second coming.
God says again and again that ‘without asking Father God in my name, nothing will be added in your life.’ When Jesus died on the Cross, on the third day He rose and then ascended to heaven and He promised to send a Comforter i.e. the Holy Spirit for mankind. John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” We know that God has plucked us all from different fields, uprooted and brought and planted us in His vineyard, similar to how God had planted different plants in the Garden of Eden. However in the Garden of Eden, Father God also gave one commandment i.e. not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. This power God had kept within His hands. Even today, God says the same. “Without me you can do nothing.” Genesis 1:12 “And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” God did not let his children lack for anything in the garden, He planted different varieties of fruits for our consumption. But in the midst of the garden, God also planted the Tree of Knowledge and forbade His children to eat of this tree. But they disobeyed God and they did exactly the opposite of what God had told them to do. From beginning times, disobedience has been the root of all sin in life. Hence God had to put His own creation out of the Garden of Eden.
God has plucked us from different fields and brought and planted us in His vineyard, so that we become fruitful for Him. Which field has God planted us in? Isaiah 5:7 “For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” You and I are Israel, for the Lord planted us in His vineyard. We must therefore be entwined with Him. God has planted Israel, His people, and His eyes are upon them all the time. God planted us in His vineyard, nurtured us, nourished us and then waited to see good fruits within us. But the plant bore bitter fruits for the Lord. Through us, God desired many things, He hoped that we would bear plentiful fruits for Him and live our lives diligently, and that through us God would be glorified and magnified. But, what does God find within us? Bitterness, jealousy, anger, pride; thus we have hurt God in many ways. But we must not forget we are Israel, the chosen one of God. He has purchased us and paid His blood as a price for each one of us. Every little plant planted in His vineyard is precious for Him, for that is the price Jesus has paid on the Cross. Why did He do this? He did this so that His humility be seen through us. But what he finds within us is bitterness, rottenness, strife and blabbering, stammering individuals. Through us God is expecting many fruits, but it is because of our sins that we lose the grace of God. Remember what God said “You be ready and also keep your family ready too.” We must never show pride before the Lord, we must remember that God’s very breath is within us. If He takes that breath away from us we will be dead the next minute and our bodies will be useless and good for nothing. But rather, if His Spirit is within us, that will take us before Him on the Day of Judgment.
Genesis 3:24 “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” After planting a variety of plants in the Garden of Eden, the only command God gave his children was to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge, for it was not for us to know about right and wrong. But man was over smart, they did just the opposite and disobeyed God. God did not show grace and mercy to them, rather He threw them both out of the garden and stood Himself at the gate of the Garden saying that “without Jesus Christ no one can enter the Garden of Eden again.” Once we are washed by the blood of Jesus and baptized in His name, we also need to be fruitful and gifted by Him alone to once again enter the Garden i.e. the Kingdom of God. Hence Jesus says again and again, “be entwined with me and become fruitful; ask in my name and you will be blessed and become fruitful.” Jesus Christ is the only way we can enter the Kingdom of God. John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Our God has come to give us life and life everlasting. Jesus has come to give us a fruitful life.
God created man with His own hands in His own image and put His very breath within them. The same man lost everything in the Garden due to disobedience. We must always remember the first man who God put out of the Garden of Eden. We must never say that ‘we were first’ for the scriptures say ‘He who is first is last and he who is last is first.’ We can never say that we know everything as we were the first to know God, for God hates to see this pride within us. We must constantly strive to become gifted and fruitful for the Lord God. Only then will we be blessed. It is God’s grace alone that we are living today. It is God’s mercy and kindness alone that sustains us every day. Genesis 3:13-18 “And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;” Disobedience brings a curse into our lives, just as God had to curse the first man for their disobedience. What about us? We disobey God every moment. We have nothing great within us, we are worthy for nothing. God has only showed us His mercy, grace and love upon us. He has still not punished us according to our sins and wretchedness.
Today we have God’s grace upon us because of Jesus Christ. He has died for our sins and to cover our shame. When Father God sees our wretchedness once again and rises to punish us, it is Jesus Christ who stands between God and us, pleading for us His children. Jesus reminds the Father that He gave His life for all mankind and pleads with His Father for another chance to once again plant us in His vineyard, plough the soil again, add manure and water us; so as to once again see if we can become fruitful for Him. But if we continue in our wretchedness, He will lastly cut us off and throw us into hell fire and destroy us. Hence, let us continue to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul and mind; let us bring glory to His name and magnify Him alone and lift His name higher and higher. This will bring glory to God.
Jesus Christ has given His life for us, taken our sins and shame on the Cross. We must not forget His sacrifice on the Cross and that He has purchased each one of us with His blood. Without Him there is no life for us as said in John 3.
May this message bring blessings in our lives.
Pastor Saroja M
Praise the Lord! Post the celebrations of the Harvest festival, and the end of the school exams. The kids are all geared up during their vacation for the pre- Christmas preparations.
This period is filled with so much of fun and excitement for the little ones, right from deciding the kind of song to be sung to the actions to be done and skits. The excitement keeps building up week on week.
With all the excitement around it’s amazing to see, how the little ones acknowledge that in all we do. We need to bring the Glory to our Lord Jesus Christ whose birthday we are going to celebrate.
Like every year with the little one’s, the young and the old as we continue to cherish and enjoy the pre birthday preparation of our Lord Jesus Christ. May you with your families enjoy this season in the presence of our Lord.
As we all look forward to this wonderful day. Like the zest and innocence of the little ones, let’s get geared up to bring praise and glory to our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ on his birthday.