I greet you all this Joyful season in the name of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As we celebrate the historical advent of Jesus Christ into this world on the first Christmas day, our hearts leap with joy.
When Hannah was praying, Eli the high priest observed her lips moving with no sound coming from her mouth and he asked Hannah how long she would be drunken. Hannah replied, 1 Samuel 1:15 “And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.”
Eli thought she was drunk as he could only see her lips moving and no sound emanating from her lips. Eli was unable to hear but Elohim could hear Hannah. No man could hear Hannah’s prayer, but God could hear it
In a very Holy place there will be silence, while in a worldly place there will be noise. Those who pray with a loud voice will be worldly. Those who pray silently know the Lord very well, because Exodus 6:5 says “And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.”
He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the eye, shall He not see?
Your loud voice will not achieve favour, while victory will be gained by the groaning of your heart. Jesus sighed and said Ephphatha, which very moment the man’s ears were opened and his tongue was loosened. Mark 7:34 “And looking up to heaven, He sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.”
You should know that the Lord knows all your hearts feeling. Psalm 3:5 “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.”
Faith is being able to face your enemy alone. Being one with the crowd is good, but you have to face your problems alone. Being with the Lord and preparing to face your problem is called faith. If those who were with you forsake you, remember it is God’s way of teaching you to face the enemy. When you are writing your exams, your parents cannot sit with you; appearing for an examination mandates you to be alone while doing so. You have to stand alone with the Lord. You have to know, how to stand in boldness. What is it to show courage with the crowd, that courage comes from the crowd. But when you are alone it will mean you have courage from the Lord.
The Lord prepared all His great prophets to work alone. So also the great men of God were prepared to stand alone. Luke 7:28 “For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” The Bible says that John the Baptist was a great prophet, this honour was given to John the Baptist by Jesus alone, not by the Apostles not by Peter nor by Moses. No one is greater than John the Baptist but all were after John the Baptist.
My dearly beloved brothers and sisters, give yourselves into the Lord’s hand, so that you may be prepared by our Lord to be His useful instruments.
May God Bless you all. Wish you all a very Happy Christmas.
Pastor Saroja M.
Praise the Lord. My brother Rajindra Prasad was suffering from severe stomach pain since two to three days. The pain was so severe, unbearable and uncontrollable that I gave this prayer request to the Rose of Sharon prayer helpline after watching the TV Program. The next day itself, my brother became normal and all the pain had vanished. I thank Lord Jesus for healing him and also thank ROS prayer helpline for praying for him.
*Sis. Asha, Mumbai (ROS TV Program Viewer)
Praise the Lord. I had gone for shopping with my son. On the way back home while crossing the road, I lost my balance and tripped in the middle of the road and was about to fall and hurt my face, my son who was with me just managed to hold me up in time. I thank my Lord Jesus for saving me from a serious injury only by His grace alone and I also thank Pastor Saroja for always keeping us all in her prayers. Thank You Jesus.
*Sis. Savitha Roberts, Vakola
Praise the Lord. I was suffering from a urine infection, and the medical report showed that the parameters were not normal. I was taking medicines but it was not working at all. After watching the Rose of Sharon TV Program, I contacted the prayer helpline and requested for prayers. The very next day my pain had gone and the reports also came normal. I thank Lord Jesus for healing me and I also thank the ROS prayer helpline for praying for me.
*Sis. Shashikala, Gujarat (ROS TV Program Viewer)
Praise the Lord. I was suffering from pain in my left side ribs. It was very painful while breathing or sitting. I applied the Prayer oil with complete faith and to my surprise the pain disappeared from my ribs. I tried to press and find where it was hurting but I couldn’t find it at all. All glory to our Lord Jesus for healing me and I thank Pastor Saroja for praying for the blessed prayer oil.
*Sis. Salomi Fernandes, Thane
Praise the Lord. My husband had sent me back to my home since I was believing in Jesus and would not listen to him to worship idols. After sending me back, whenever he used to call me on phone he would scold me and say several nasty things. This went on for some time. After watching the Rose of Sharon TV program on Shubhsandesh channel, I called up the prayer helpline number and requested for prayers for this problem. After some days, again my husband called me up and to my surprise he said that he wanted me to come back to his home and promised that he would not bother me. He said I could continue in my faith with my God and not be compelled to worship his idols. I am back at my husband’s place and now he doesn’t say anything about my faith in Jesus, and he has also changed his behaviour towards me. I thank Lord Jesus for this wonderful change in my husband’s life and thank the ROS prayer helpline for prayers.
*Sis. Bhanu, West Bengal (ROS TV Program Viewer)
I hurried into the local department store to grab some last minute Christmas gifts. I looked at all the people and grumbled to myself. I would be in here forever and I just had so much to do. Christmas was beginning to become such a drag. I kinda wished that I could just sleep through Christmas. But I hurried the best I could through all the people to the toy department. Once again I kind of mumbled to myself at the prices of all these toys. And wondered if the grand kids would even play with them.
I found myself in the doll aisle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little boy about 5 holding a lovely doll. He kept touching her hair and he held her so gently. I could not seem to help myself. I just kept looking over at the little boy and wondered who the doll was for. I watched him turn to a woman and he called his aunt by name and said, “Are you sure I don’t have enough money” She replied a bit impatiently, “You know that you don’t have enough money for it. The aunt told the little boy not to go anywhere that she had to go get some other things and would be back in a few minutes. And then she left the aisle. The boy continued to hold the doll.
After a bit I asked the boy who the doll was for. He said, “It is the doll my sister wanted so badly for Christmas. She just knew that Santa would bring it.” I told him that maybe Santa was going to bring it. He said “No, Santa can’t go where my sister is…I have to give the doll to my Momma to take to her”. I asked him where his sister was.
He looked at me with the saddest eyes and said “She has gone to be with Jesus”. My Daddy says that Momma is going to have to go be with her. My heart nearly stopped beating. Then the boy looked at me again and said, “I told my Daddy to tell Momma not to go yet. I told him to tell her to wait till I got back from the store”. Then he asked me if I wanted to see his picture. I told him I would love to. He pulled out some pictures he’d had taken at the front of the store. He said “I want my Momma to take this with her so she don’t ever forget me.” “I love my Momma so very much and I wish she did not have to leave me”. “But Daddy says she will need to be with my sister.”
I saw that the little boy had lowered his head and had grown so very quiet. While he was not looking I reached into my purse and pulled out a handfull of bills. I asked the little boy, “Shall we count that money one more time?” He grew excited and said “Yes, I just know it has to be enough”. So I slipped my money in with his and we began to count it.
Of course it was plenty for the doll. He softly said, “Thank you Jesus for giving me enough money.” Then the boy said “I just asked Jesus to give me enough money to buy this doll so Momma can take it with her to give to my sister.” “And he heard my prayer”. “I wanted to ask him for enough to buy my Momma a white rose, but I didn’t ask him, but he gave me enough to buy the doll and a rose for my Momma.” “She loves white roses so very very much”.
In a few minutes the aunt came back and I wheeled my cart away. I could not keep from thinking about the little boy as I finished my shopping in a totally different spirit than when I had started. And I kept remembering a story I had seen in the newspaper several days earlier about a drunk driver hitting a car and killing a little girl and the Mother was in serious condition. The family was deciding on rather to remove the life support. Now surely this little boy did not belong with that story.
Two days later I read in the paper where the family had disconnected the life support and the young woman had died. I could not forget the little boy and just kept wondering if the two were somehow connected. Later that day, I could not help myself and I went out and bought some white roses and took them to the funeral home where the young woman was. And there she was holding a lovely white rose, the beautiful doll, and the picture of the little boy in the store.
I left there in tears, my life changed forever. The love that little boy had for his little sister and his mother was overwhelming. And in a split second a drunk driver had ripped the life of that little boy to pieces.
“We make a living by what we get; We make a life by what we give.”
Proverbs 19:11 “The discretion of a man deferred his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” Those who forgive and forget mistakes and sins, bring glory to God. In the Holy Scriptures, we see that Joseph was the first man to forgive and forget the mistakes his family made against him. Genesis 50:16-21 “And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.” The way Joseph’s family had behaved with him, ideally there was no room for forgiveness or pardon. They shunted him from the village, then put him in a well and later sold him as a slave to the Ishmaelites who subsequently sold him to the Egyptians. They pained and humiliated Joseph to the core. At that time, there were no parables for forgiveness (as Jesus spoke later in the Holy Scriptures on ‘Forgiveness and Forgetting’). Also in those days the Holy Spirit did not fill people with joy and happiness. Yet Joseph forgave his family who did wrong against him. In the bible there is a stark comparison between Jesus and Joseph’s natures.
Joseph’s father Jacob loved Joseph very much, while Father God too loves Jesus very much. Mathew 3:17 “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Secondly we see how both in Joseph’s and Jesus’ life, their very own families disowned or rejected them. Joseph’s brothers rejected him and shunted him out of the village, and on the other hand we see Jesus came for His own but they rejected Him. John 1:11 “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” God sent His only son Jesus onto this earth for our sakes, but His own people did not accept Him as a Saviour of mankind. Isaiah 53:3 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
Thirdly we see how Joseph went searching for his brothers till across the Jordan River to meet them, similarly Jesus Christ came seeking and searching the lost (i.e. us sinners) on this earth. Jesus came searching the lost and sinners, to forgive our sins and to grace us with His salvation.
Fourthly we see that Joseph’s brothers sold him for 20 shekels while Jesus Christ was sold for 30 silver coins. In every situation, both Joseph’s and Jesus’ lives are comparable. In the end Joseph forgave and forgot all the mistakes and sins committed by his brothers, similarly though Jesus was not accepted by His own, yet He forgave all our sins and mistakes and delivered us from them.
Lastly, just as Joseph married one of the gentiles, similarly Jesus came from heaven to earth to save the gentiles. Today if we look around us, we see that God chose us all from different castes, religion and creed from amongst gentiles and He chose to forgive and forget our sins and give grace us to receive salvation. In the end, Joseph showed love upon his family by forgiving them and representing them well before Pharaoh. Likewise Jesus Christ in the end times will pour down His agape love upon us. Jesus said “All mankind will see my glory.” All the gentiles will see Jesus Christ coming down in His glory during His second coming. This time when He returns again, He will take His elect along and those who are vessels of glory will be taken up by His grace alone.
Psalm 86:5 “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” Our God is a good God, a forgiving God and abundant in mercy and grace. Joseph was a good man; though he had an opportunity to sin yet he chose to keep himself blameless. Potiphar’s wife schemed falsely against Joseph and had him put into jail. Joseph did not sin with his master’s wife though he had an opportunity to do so. Joseph was a good man, so also Jesus Christ is good. Thus, both of them could forgive and forget the sins and mistakes committed by their own people. They were full of mercy and grace upon their people. Even at the time of crucifixion, the people shouted “Crucify Him, Crucify Him,” but Jesus who was full of grace and mercy prayed to His Father God saying “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” Our God is gracious, merciful and forgiving at all times.
Psalm 105:18 “Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:” Though Joseph was fettered and put in prison and Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him, he did not utter anything but rather chose to quietly bear all persecution against him. Joseph also could have spoken against his brothers and family, but he chose to suffer rather than speak against them. Genesis 40:15 “For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.” Joseph did not talk of how he was wronged by his brothers and family, nor did he talk about the wrongful scheming of Potiphar’s wife. Instead, Joseph only said that he was not deserving of his punishment. Joseph was released from the prison, and much later his brothers came to meet him and speak to him, not knowing his true identity. Joseph did not want the Egyptians to hear what his family spoke to him and he took them away from the palace to the outskirts of the city. He could have spoken to them in front of the Egyptians; he could have got his brothers arrested and put into prison, but he did not do anything like that. Joseph realized that what his family did to him, the Egyptians need not know about. Genesis 45:1-14 “Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty. And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither. And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.” Joseph gave them complete forgiveness. Goshen city was laid between the cities of Canaan and Egypt and Joseph wanted his brothers and family close to him in Goshen.
Our Lord too has loved us with the same love like Joseph had for his brothers. Joseph forgave his brothers completely, and in times of famine kept them close to him and took care of them. Similarly in times of famine in our lives, Jesus takes care of us. Our Father God has sent Jesus on earth to save us and to separate us from the darkness of this world. We should never be ashamed to take our sins to the Lord, however wretched and shameful they may be. He is gracious, He is love, and there is nothing in us that He does not know. Joseph was humiliated, likewise Jesus too was humiliated by the Pharisees and the Sadducees, yet till the end Jesus accomplished His Father’s will on this earth and won victory. During Joseph’s times, Jesus’ works through the Spirit were not yet accomplished on this earth and there was no ‘Word’ to convict the people. Today we can say that “I can do all things through HIM.” Yet, we must appreciate the believers of those days for their strength, faith and belief in God. Their evil works were forgiven and thus their names have appeared in the Book of Life. Jesus Christ has assured us that either our names would appear in the ‘Book of Life’ or our names would be cut off from this book. Jesus can do both these things and hence we must thirst and hunger for the Lord and have that love and faith in Him.
On this earth we can never be satisfied, for the truth is that none of us are ever fully satisfied. We see during the exodus, how Pharaoh’s heart was hardened by the Lord God. Pharaoh wanted to destroy Israel, but we see how God destroyed the land of Pharaoh and how He made the land dry and unproductive. When God destroys the land once, it becomes a cursed land for forever. God never sees our outside, He sees our heart and blesses us. When we slip and fall in life, He is the God who will lift us up. It is untrue for us to believe that none of us slip and fall or that none of us have sinned in life. Paul says in the Holy Scriptures that “I am the biggest sinner.” We must go naked before our Lord every day, only then His grace and mercy will fall upon us and once again He will embrace us with His great love. We should never keep our sins to ourselves, for then we will become stiff necked people. God will be angry with us and He will command to keep us away to be put in the fire on the Day of Judgment. We must ensure that such a day does not come in our life. We must go to Him before that Day of Judgment.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We must confess our sins before Him, we must never hide it; rather we must bring it to His throne naked. We must never escape from our sins, rather we need to confess them before Him. Only then will we get His grace and mercy to continue to be in His presence and dwell in His presence. Only then will we be lifted high up in His sight. Every day we need to cleanse ourselves from our sins by constantly talking to our Lord God and confessing our sins. Hebrews 10:17-39 “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
So that we may have eternal life, Jesus shed His blood for us. Today too, Jesus has the same love for us just as Joseph had for his brothers and his family. What else does God want from us today? What was David’s prayers even after he became a King in Psalm 51:10? “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” When there is no other way in our life after we have committed a sin, we should go to God everyday with this prayer. Proverbs 23:26 “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” God has shown us the way and we must walk in the path shown by our God. There will be many hindrances and many barriers, but we must kneel down and pray to our God. We can never question our God as to how long it will take to put an end to a peril in our lives. We should never find a short cut route to escape, but we must continue in prayer to Him. Hebrews 8:12 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” Our God is a forgiving God, He will never remember our sins once he has mercy on us. We must pray as Jabez prayed in 1 Chronicles 4:10 “And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.”
David was very close to God from childhood. He was a simple shepherd and God lifted him up to make him the King of Israel. After he became a King, he had to go and fight a war; instead he chose to stay back and thus fell into sin. We need to be very careful for it is when our boundary expands and when our desires are fulfilled, that sins sets in us again.
Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” We must not pray like the tax collector who shouted out aloud to let the world know about his goodness. God knows of all our good works and He will reward us in His time. We must never hide our sins and pray superficially to God.
Psalm 16:1-6 “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.”
Our prayer must be from the heart. Our God is a gracious God who will come again in His Second Coming, this time to take us to His Heavenly Kingdom. As we enter the New Year, we need to pray to God to keep us in His righteous ways and to prepare us for Jesus’ Second Coming in order to reach His heavenly kingdom. We need to stand naked before our God and confess our sins. He will not humiliate us, rather He is a good God and will forgive us all our sins.
Just as Joseph told his brothers that God, knowing the situation, sent him (Joseph) beforehand into Egypt to make a way for his family; similarly, much before our birth, over two thousand years ago – our Father God sent Jesus Christ into this world to save souls for His Heavenly Kingdom. Our God is calling us even today to confess our sins and He is ready to redeem us once again.
May this message bring blessings into every life. Praise the Lord!
Pastor Saroja M
As we come to the end of this year, We, at the Rose of Sharon old age home thank the Lord for taking care of our home and all the residents throughout the year. We also would like to thank the Lord for his wondrous showers of blessings of all of us.
In this month’s edition, we would like to introduce our new Granny Sharda Halale. Granny Sharda is 82 years old and is suffering from BP and weakness in her body. Her appetite is also very less. Granny Sharda needs support to sit or walk. Inspite of all this weakness, she has a very sharp memory and is very sweet in talking especially while conversing in Marathi. We pray that our good Lord gives strength in her body and always keep her in good health.
All of us at the Rose of Sharon Old Aged Home would like to wish each of you and your family members a very Happy Christmas and a blessed and prosperous New Year.
Praise the Lord!!
Praise the Lord!
The best season of the year is back again. It brings along so much of fun, laughter and joy with its arrival. This feeling seems to be buzzing around with not just our kids but from the youngest kid to the oldest person in the church.
It’s the time of the year where everyone is filled with the zest to outperform for the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ. The younger boys are set to be little super heroes, while the elder kids will perform on a Hindi song which speaks of carrying all our burden to the Lord.
While the kids are working hard towards getting their performances up to the mark and awaiting to meet their friend Santa Claus. Seasons greeting to all readers from all our little ones from the Rose of Sharon Church Sunday School.
Wish you all a joyous and blessed Christmas.
I hail from a Gentile family. I was suffering from depression and insomnia. To get relief from the above, I consulted many good doctors in Kolkata but medicines were of no use at all. My family took me to many tantrics also, but I got no relief. I was not getting sleep at nights.
Then someone gave me the Rose of Sharon Church number. I called the Rose of Sharon Prayer Tower and spoke to them about my problems. After prayers I felt like a burden had lifted off me. For the first time in two years I slept well. I started calling very often for counselling and was guided to read the Bible everyday.
After following the advice now since the last few months, I have improved and also started my diamond business again.
I thank Lord Jesus for healing me totally and am thankful for the prayers and wonderful advice given to me by Rose of Sharon.
Thank You Jesus.
Bro. Subhead Sarkar, Kolkata (ROS TV Program Viewer)