I greet you all in the name of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I pray that the Love, Joy and Peace of our Lord Jesus be with you and your families in this New Year.
Judges 16:28 “And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.”
This is the tearful prayer of a servant of God, Samson, who left the true aim of God in his life and turned away from it. As he prayed, his life eventually ended with the Philistines. But Samson had a hope in his heart that the Lord would hear his prayer even though his eyes had been gouged out and his legs and hands were in chains in the midst of the Philistines. On one side the devil was putting fear in his heart, on the other side his conscience was pricking him. Samson was crying out to the Lord knowing that he had lost the golden opportunity that the Lord had given him. Even then, to be one with the Lord and to receive his strength once again Samson prayed to the Lord.
Till our last breath we should always have hope in the Lord. So do not remember the old things and keep blaming yourselves. Look at God in faith and pray to Him. Proverbs 24:6 “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”
Don’t be sorrowful and say that I am a loser because of my luck; shake yourselves up from the dirt and stand up. Isaiah 52:2 “Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.”
To lift you up, God’s hand is reaching out to you always, so keep looking at God’s grace. Romans 5:20 “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”
There is no man that has not sinned or done good always, says King Solomon the wise, in Ecclesiastes 7:20 “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”
David cried out and said in Psalm 51:5 “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
When your foot slips, God’s grace is enough to save you. Psalms 91:12 “They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”
Do not allow the spirit in you to be quenched. Let your zeal for the Lord be burning always. David had the same zeal in him. Psalm 119:139 “My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.”
In a Christian’s life, zeal and faith for the Lord is very important!
Through these only we can forget all past things and move on with the Lord. To walk with the Lord do whatever you have to do such that whatever the Lord wants to do in you He will do. Jude 1:24 “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.”
May God bless you and may these words lead you and guide you in the New Year.
Yours in the Lord’s service
Pastor Saroja M
Praise the Lord. My house was suddenly filled with very big flies and however much we tried to drive them away there was no effect. When I came back home from work in the evening I noticed the flies were all over the mattress too. I took prayer oil in little water and sprinkled it all over the house. To our delight, the flies immediately left my home. I thank my God for this wonderful miracle He did through the prayed over oil. Thank you Jesus for this miracle and thanks to Pastor Saroja who prayed for the prayer oil.
*Bro. Anand Gaikwad, Ghatkopar
Praise the Lord. I had white patches on both my hands, it was very itchy and painful. I told this matter to Pastor Saroja. She advised me to do certain things and also assured me of her prayers. By God’s grace, I followed her advice and within a month all the white patches vanished off. I give all glory to Lord Jesus for healing me and I also thank Pastor Saroja for her fervent prayers and advice.
*Sis. Esther Patel, Goregoan
Praise the Lord. I am a practising dentist, and I firmly believe in Lord Jesus. After watching the Rose of Sharon TV programme on Shubhsandesh channel, I called up the prayer line and requested prayers for my wife who had been advised surgery for a growth in her stomach. After the prayer warrior prayed for her, we went to the doctor. The doctor did some tests and said that there was no need for surgery as the growth had disappeared. I am so grateful to God for this and I also thank the Rose of Sharon church for the prayers made for me and my wife.
*Bro. Dr.Gopal Ramraj, Uttar Pradesh (via sms)
Praise the Lord. I had sent a prayer request to the Rose of Sharon Prayer Tower as I was being harassed by my boss at my workplace and I was fed up of it. I praise and thank God for hearing and answering the prayers made. Now all is peaceful at my working place and I thank God for this miracle in my life and I also thank the Rose of Sharon church for the prayers made for me.
*Sis. Savita, Uttar Pradesh (via sms)
Praise the Lord. From quite some time I was unable to attend the Saturday healing services and Pastor Saroja had asked me about this. I shared with her my problem – I have been doing some tailoring work at home but since quite some time I was getting very little work due to which I had not enough money to come to church. Pastor prayed for me. Praise God, for from that week itself I started getting work. I praise God for giving me enough work and money so I can attend church regularly. I thank Pastor for her fervent prayers for me.
*Sis. Taraben Kushwa, Jogeshwari
Praise the Lord. I was admitted in hospital due to an asthma attack. After a blood test, I came to know that I was on the Diabetic border range and if not controlled I could suffer from diabetes for my entire life. I requested Pastor Saroja to keep this matter in prayer. The Doctor had told me to do blood tests after a month and had given me a diet chart to follow till then, but my faith was on my Lord that only He could remove this diabetes disease. I got my blood test done within two weeks and by God’s grace there was no sign of any diabetes within me. I give all glory to Lord Jesus for setting me free from this disease. I also give thanks to our Pastor Saroja for her fervent prayers.
*Bro. Arikmary Richardson, Goregoan
There was a poor, old man who lived in a small village. He owned a beautiful white horse. Kings offered fabulous prices for the horse, but the man would say, “This horse is my friend.” The man was poor, but he never sold the horse.
One morning he found the horse was gone from the stable. The whole village gathered and said, “You foolish old man! We knew someday the horse would be stolen. You should have sold it. What a misfortune!”
The old man replied, “That’s not necessarily true. The horse is simply not in the stable. This is the fact. Everything else is a judgment. Who knows if it is a misfortune or a blessing?”
People laughed at the old man. They knew he was a little crazy. But after fifteen days, the horse suddenly returned. He had not been stolen, but had gone visiting. Not only that, a dozen wild horses returned with him.
The people did not say much, but they knew he was wrong. After all, twelve beautiful horses had come.
The old man’s only son started to train the wild horses. But a week later he fell from a horse and broke his legs. The people gathered and gain they judged. “You’re right! Getting twelve horses was a misfortune. Your son, who is your only support, has lost the use of his legs. No you are poorer than ever.”
The old man said, “you are obsessed with judgment. Only say my son has broken his legs. Nobody knows whether this is a misfortune or a blessing. Life comes in fragments and more is never revealed.”
After a few weeks the country went to war. All the young men in town were forced into the military. Only the old man’s son was left, because he was crippled. The whole town cried because they knew most of the young men would never return. They said to the old man, “you were right. This is a blessing. Your son may be crippled, but he is still with you. Our sons are gone forever.”
The old man said again, “Nobody knows! Say only this: Your sons have entered the army and my son has not. We can’t know whether it is a blessing or a misfortune. Stop judging or you will always be obsessed with fragments and live in faulty conclusions.”
I say listen to God’s word and know that all things will become a blessing through our LOVE for HIM~
Job 5:17 “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:” People think that God’s children will never get correction, they will never fall ill, and never get punished for their wrong. But the Word says in Isaiah 45:7 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” God who has created this world, has given us day and night; He has given us light and has kept darkness too. God loves us hence He corrects us and we must always pay heed to God’s correction. Hebrews 12:7-11 “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” When God corrects us and wants us to change, He does so with the authority that we are His children. He wants to correct us so that we stand corrected and change the course of our lives. Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” The Lord’s correction for us, is not only to be beneficial for us today, but also for our future.
There are two diverse flowers, the Rose and the Lily. Song of Solomon 2:1 “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” Everyone loves a Rose, it is the most seen and exchanged flower. People love to gift a Rose bouquet on significant occasions. The Lily is found in the valley amongst thorns; and even though it lies between thorns it has a great fragrance and attracts bees.
Likewise in this world, there are two types of believers – one like the Rose and another like the Lily. Hebrews 11:33-36 “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment.”
As mentioned in vs. 11:35, one believer is like Women who received their dead raised to life again while another believer is like the tortured ones, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. Even when there was an opportunity to run away, they did not run away, but chose to suffer for the Lord. These believers are like a Lily. When Jesus Christ returns, it is important for us to know which of these two flowers will be more loved by God. It is the Lily type of believers who will get a mansion closer to the Lord Jesus’ mansion. The Lily type of believer, though they got an opportunity to run away, did not run away but rather chose to suffer for the Lord and were ready to go through all trials and tribulations in this world for the Lord. Our lives should also be like the Lily in this world.
The Rose is a common flower, most widely exchanged, but the Lily with it rarest of nature and fragrance, found in the midst of thorns is surely a ‘Special One.’ Song of Solomon 2:2 “As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.”
When Jesus comes to take us, we will be carried away like His bride. But the Lily-like believers will be special amongst His brides, right at the center. Those who stand firm for the Lord and suffer on this earth instead of running away, those who feel that the trials of the Lord are their very own and who become testimonies for the Lord; they are the Lily of the Valley. Remember, the Lord is aware of our every suffering. We must never ever think that in the lives of God’s children there are no punishments, trials and tribulations, or that there are no obstacles. God’s children too are accountable for every word that comes out of their mouth. When we do not have sufferings in this world we are not the Lord’s children. God has to give us correction in order that we live a perfect life on this earth, or else we will become orphans in this world. Our God who made the heavens and earth, will give us correction for our wrong doings.
We must continue to suffer for the Lord in this world. As the Lily amongst thorns, we must continue to give out a strong fragrance for the Lord. 2 Timothy 2:12 “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:” When we suffer for the Lord, He will remember us to the Father. But when we deny Him, Lord Jesus will also deny us to the Father. When we suffer for the Lord, we must do it gracefully with joy in our hearts. When Jesus was in this world, he suffered for our sakes. The high priests and the priests, the Pharisees and the Sadducee’s, were all after Him. But our Lord God bore all these sufferings with grace and thus Jesus Christ’s name became the most highest on this earth.
David was a servant of God, but he too suffered a lot of persecution from his family and his people alike. His wife Micah persecuted him, his brothers persecuted him, King Saul his father–in-law, persecuted him, but all that David had to say, he said in Psalm 22:6 “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” People stoned him, almost to death. David was a righteous person and a disciple of God, but he gracefully tolerated all the sufferings of this world. We know that in the life of Jesus Christ, even the robber on the Cross did not spare Him, and mocked and humiliated Him. Luke 23:10-12 “And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.” Here we see how two enemies got together to persecute Jesus Christ. Herod and Pontius Pilate became friends to harass Jesus and humiliate Him. Luke 23:18-19 “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.)” Here we see how the people were screaming “Crucify him, crucify him and release Barabbas.” Mark 15:32 “Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.” In different ways we see how Jesus suffered on this earth and how he accepted all the humiliation, pain and suffering. Philippians 2:9-11 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Yes, every knee must bow to Jesus Christ the Lord and accept that ‘He alone is Lord.’ If we are suffering today, we must know that all our suffering, correction and humiliation is for our own good for the future. Jesus Christ suffered in this world, glorifying the name of the Lord God on this earth. Philippians 2:10 says “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;” Our life must be like a Lily amongst thorns, it must give out a strong fragrance and attracts many bees. When we choose to suffer for the Lord, we will become very precious in His sight. We will become His beloved and His chosen ones.
In the life of Job, we see the many persecutions he faced. Job 16:10 “They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.” Everyone in Job’s life humiliated him. When in pain, he looked to his wife for comfort and love, but His wife told him to curse the Lord and die. Job 6:1-4 “But Job answered and said, Oh that my grief were thoroughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together! For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.” Job was righteous and a great disciple of God. He would not deny the Lord God, but rather He chose to suffer and die for the Lord. In the end, we see the blessings that Job enjoyed.
We are all believers and many of us say that through my prayers people are healed, through my prayers miracles are seen. But remember there are very few who live their lives like a Lily amongst the thorns, emitting strong fragrance and attracting many bees towards them. We must bring many to the saving grace of our Lord God. We must wish to suffer for the Lord rather than run away from trials and tribulations. Job 19: 3-5 “These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me. And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself.” In the end Job takes a decision of crying out only to the Lord God. Job 12:4 “I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.” He looked only to the Lord and prayed to Him. He also prayed for his friends. We know how blessed Job’s life was at the end of his trials, it was restored to him two hundred percent. This is the true meaning of being a Lily. Our life must be a true testimony for the Lord. All preachers preach about Job, Jacob, Isaac, Daniel, David, etc. because their lives are a testimony, like the life of a Lily flower emitting a strong fragrance attracting bees and proclaiming the love of God. Likewise our lives too must be like a life of a Lily for the Lord. Through all the trials and tribulations in Job’s life, He finally looked to the Lord and prayed not only for himself but also for his friends and his persecutors and thereafter received twice as much blessings than he had before.
Psalm 126:4-6 “Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” We must be entwined with our Lord God. We may be in pain and sorrow today, but God has planned a great tomorrow for those who have sacrificed everything for the Lord. Their lives will be blessed and overflowing with God’s grace tomorrow. Before the Apostle Paul was chosen by God, when he was Saul he persecuted the children of God. But once he met the Lord God, his life was transformed completely and he was even ready to take a hundred lashes for the Lord God. Philippians 3:7-11 “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” Vs. 7 says “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” Vs. 11 says “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” He treated everything else as dust, for the Lord God. Once the Lord God touched his life, he was a renewed human being and decided to live for the Lord alone. His life was the life of a Lily flower.
Romans 8:33-39 “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Who can point a finger at His elect or find fault on them? Who can separate us from the Lord God? No trials, tribulations, distress, famine, or perils of life can separate us from God. Yes we are sacrificial lambs for the Lord God. However, when trials and temptations come into our lives, it is we as humans who decide to forsake God. But we must remember that the God that is within us is mightier than he that is in this world. Hence Paul asks who can separate him from his Lord and answers saying nothing can do so. For our God is the one who has won this world. Jesus has conquered this world on the Cross, even though His persecutors made him wear a purple robe and humiliated Him with the crown of thorns on His head. In different ways, Jesus suffered on the Cross for you and me, but in the end no one could separate Him from His Father God. No one could touch His life till He commended His own life into the hands of His Father. Hence, we should also not care about our sufferings in this world, we must strive to live a life of a Lily. Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:10 “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” Paul says when all these fall upon us, we must be happy to face any persecution. Even in our lives, when pain and sorrow fall upon us, we must remember the Holy Scriptures that we are reading today, so that we get be strengthened and fight the evil one even more powerfully, thus blackening his face further. We must never cave in and give ourselves into the hands of the evil one. We must never let fear overcome us and make us helpless. Our faith must be strengthened rather than our disbelief.
Daniel faced the lion in the cage with the confidence of his faith. When his friends were put in the furnace of fire, they went in boldly because of their faith in God. So whenever the evil affects us, let us use the sword i.e. the ‘Word’ to encounter evil. 1 Thessalonians 2:2 “But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.” Paul still goes on to preach to the Thessalonians in spite of all the hardships he faced. This must be our faith! Hebrew 13:13 “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.” We must never attempt to reduce our burden of the Cross we bear as Christians, rather we must face our every trial and tribulation with great zest for the Lord. We must know that our every suffering is the will and plan of God alone. There are no short cuts in life. God gave us the Cross, he will also give us the endurance, faith and belief to overcome our Cross.
May this message bring blessings into every life who reads it! Praise the Lord!
Pastor Saroja M
We welcome you back to another edition of the Rose of Sharon Church magazine and wish all our readers a very Happy, Blessed and Prosperous New Year from all the family members of our Rose of Sharon Old Aged Home.
In this edition of the magazine we would like to introduce you to Granny Philomena Williams who is 76 years old from Australia. Granny Williams joined our home in the month of August, 2017. Granny Williams is a very jovial person by nature and she loves to laugh a lot. She is not fussy in food matters and has whatever is served to her. She also has a sweet tooth and loves sweets! She joins us during our evening prayer time and also sings quite a few songs.
We thank the Lord for bringing Granny Williams to our home who has come with so much of joy and zest for life even at this age.
May our good Lord bless her and keep her in good health always.
Praise the Lord!!
What a fun filled night of celebrations, as we celebrated the Rose of Sharon Annual Christmas event on the 22nd of December 2017.
The Sunday school kids performed an action song called “Chotasa Dawood” which explained the great faith that David had in the Lord in spite of the challenge that Goliath the giant gave him. The younger girls performed to the second action song titled “Light of the Lord.”
We then had Santa visit us and make each one dance to his tune. Age seemed no barrier while Santa got all grooved into the Christmas mood. What a night to remember whilst the Christmas carols continued to jingle through the night.
As we have stepped into the year 2018, we request all our readers to uplift our little ones in your prayers, so that they continue to grow and abide in the love of Christ.
I accepted my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the year 1993 and on 23 December, 2003, I was anointed as a “Pastor” to lead the Rose of Sharon congregation in Mumbai.
The Lord has enabled me to lead His congregation only through His grace and mercy.
I sincerely hope and pray that the Lord Jesus enables me to continue working in His service with a faithful and obedient heart as I have walked in the past years.
I also request all my Church members and readers to keep praying for me as I continue working in the Kingdom of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Wishing all the readers of our magazine, a Very Happy and Blessed New Year. May our Good Lord continue blessing you in your respective lives today and always.
Yours in His service,
Pastor Saroja M