I greet you all in the name of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Jesus is saying that His joy is different from any other joy. At the same time every man has his own joy. He has joy when he hears good news, when he gets a new job and when he gets a promotion in his job.
Hebrews 11:25 “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”
The enemy shows us the joys of the world but the end of those so called joys is sorrow and pain.
But the will of Jesus for you is that His joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full.
He fills you with the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
When the Apostle Paul was in a Roman jail he wrote to the Philippians in Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”
In this world you will have trials and tribulations, pain and sorrow; but put your burden on the Lord and be filled with the Holy Spirit and be joyful in the Lord.
Habakkuk the prophet says the same thing in Habakkuk 3:17,18 “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
The Lord changed Saul who persecuted the church into Apostle Paul… such is our Lord! He changed the one who had taken authority to destroy the churches and used him to write fourteen books for the churches to grow.
Our God is so mighty. He only, can change your marah (bitterness) to joy.
When the Lord is with us we have great joy. He promised us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. By hearing His sweet voice we receive great joy. John 3:29 “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled”
My beloved ones, always be joyful, for the joy of the Lord gives you inner strength.
Nehemiah 8:10 “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Jesus came into this world bringing exceeding great joy. The biblical Magi, also referred to as the (Three) Wise Men or (Three) Kings, when they saw the star had exceeding great joy. Matthew 2:10 “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”
The angels who came to give the good news of Jesus’ birth said in Luke 2:10 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people”
So my beloved ones, when Christ is with you, rejoice and be glad in the Lord always.
May the Lord bless you all through this word and keep you’ll rejoicing, till we meet again through these pages.
Yours in the Lord Jesus Christ’s service,
Pastor Saroja M
Praise the Lord. I had bought a carpet in an exhibition. I paid via card and by mistake the card was swiped twice. The shop owner assured me he would refund me the excess amount within 2 days. However, even after repeated follow up for 45 days, he would give some excuse or the other for not doing the same. Finally my dad told Pastor Saroja about this matter and requested her to keep it in prayer. I thank and praise God that within 2 days the shop owner has deposited the amount in my bank account. I also thank Pastor Saroja fervently for her prayers.
*Sis. Joy Shalaka Salins, Mira Road
Praise the Lord. When my daughter was born, after a few days we had taken her to the doctor for a check-up and the doctor advised us to do her heart check-up. I got really scared and called Pastor Saroja and told her about this. Pastor told me to go for the check-up without any fear and that she will keep my daughter in her prayers. The next day when we took her to the check-up, the doctor checked her and told us that she has a tiny hole in her heart and that nowadays this is found in many infants and that nearly 90% of them get alright within a year, only 10% don’t. As per the doctors instructions we took her again for a check-up after 3 months. This time the doctor was very happy and told us that my daughter’s condition has improved a lot beyond expected and is quite better now and in a few months she will be completely alright. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ and my Pastor Saroja who prayed to our Lord for my daughter.
*Sis. Kiran Ravi Singh, Kalina
Praise the Lord. I was suffering from a severe toothache. The left side of my face was hurting terribly. My family advised me to take medicines, but I trusted my Lord and applied the prayer oil. Within some time I received total healing in my tooth and no more pain. Thank You Jesus and I also thank Pastor Saroja for her prayers over the prayer oil.
*Bro. Ramji Kushwah, Jogeshwari
Praise the Lord. I had severe back pain just below my shoulder blade. I was under treatment, medication and physiotherapy for more than one and a half month. During the Christmas program, I had told Pastor Saroja about it. She prayed for me and I was able to perform on stage and all the programs went well. However after a few days my pain started again since I had not testified of God’s healing. I asked Lord’s forgiveness for not testifying and started applying the prayer oil. I praise and thank God, the pain has disappeared now. I also thank Pastor Saroja for her prayers. Thank You Jesus.
*Bro. Jayantilal Patel, Jogeshwari
A man dies and goes to heaven. Of course, Apostle Peter meets him at the pearly gates. Apostle Peter says, “Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you’ve done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in.”
“Okay,” the man says, “l was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.” “That’s wonderful,” says Apostle Peter, “that’s worth three points!” “Three points?” he says.
“Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service.” “Terriﬁc!” says Apostle Peter, “that’s certainly worth a point.” “One point? Golly.
How about this: I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans.” “Fantastic, that’s good for two more points,” he says. “TWO POINTS!” the man cries,
“At this rate the only way I get into heaven is by the grace of God! “
“That’s right! Now you have got it!” said Apostle Peter.
Acts 10:14 “But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.” The Apostle Peter had gone to the Upper Room in the city of Joppa to pray. At that time, he saw an anointed vision. In that vision Acts 10:11-13 “And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.” In this vision, God spoke to Peter and commanded him to go amongst the gentiles and preach the Word of God. Even today, similar visions are given to prophets to preach the Word of God amongst gentiles. The Word says that whether or not you get an opportunity, you must continue to preach the Word of God continually. 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.”
Mathew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” The end will come when the Word of God is preached to the four corners of the world amongst the gentiles. All the people must hear the Word of God’s kingdom; only then will our Lord come once again into this world.
There was a man named Cornelius who was a centurion, he was a devout man and also a cheerful giver to the poor and needy. His heart’s desire was to hear the good news of the Lord wherever it was preached. This man was a gentile, a righteous man and a gracious giver. God heard his prayers and sent the Apostle Peter to his home to preach the Word of God. We too must know the importance of a Church, and the importance of a preacher chosen and instituted by God to preach His Word. The Lord said that His Spirit will come and teach the Word. The Apostle Peter was filled with the Spirit. Hence God sent his disciple Peter to preach to Cornelius and his family and thus fulfilled Cornelius’ heart’s desire.
Acts 10:15 – 35 “And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come? And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee. Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him. And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends. And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshiped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together. And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me? And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
God came into this world to save the sinners. But those whose lives are righteous and humble before Him, God becomes their servant. Cornelius though a gentile, was righteous and humble. He was fasting and praying in his own house. That is when God heard him and spoke to him, subsequently God also spoke to Apostle Peter in a vision and sent him to Cornelius’ house. In Joppa, the people received the Word of God with great desire, as they came before the presence of God. Acts 10:35 “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” God is an impartial God, He is God of all mankind – whosoever keeps His truth and fears Him. Those who seek Him will find Him. Psalm 62:9 “Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.”
Today many of us think that we are privileged because we are born Christians and that the Lord is speaking to us. But in the end we must realize which judgment we will receive. Our Lord has kept preachers everywhere to preach the gospel, to tell the truth and to convict the people. From the beginning itself, God has chosen His elect, preachers who will preach the Word. Cornelius was a righteous man, a devout man who fasted and prayed, God could have directly spoken to him. But God sent the Apostle Peter to share the Word with him. In our lives too, the Word in Psalm 62:9 should not be established. One day God should not say ‘I don’t know you.’ Today, some of us still ask why we have to go to Church, and why we need a Pastor. God has instituted Pastors to preach His Word and remove the plank from our eyes; to bring people who are perishing in darkness to the light. God has kept certain commandments for us in life to follow, some rules and regulations to abide by. We should not treat it lightly. We must never think of it as lowly. We must always remember this truth that Jesus Christ was sent into this world to save us perishing sinners. God has kept preachers in the four corners of this world to preach His good news and has thus made a congregation of us’
Leviticus 20:26 “And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” Jesus Christ has separated us from the gentiles, in order to be called His elect. As Jesus was obedient to His Father God, so also God wants us to be obedient to Him. He has separated the sheep and the goats. Who knows this truth? Those who are righteous, who fear God and have reverence before Him. The Lord God has separated us from the unclean people, he has separated us from the world. Jesus Christ said “I am in this world, yet not of this world.” Jesus has also told us ‘You are in this world, yet you are not of this world.’ When we stand for the Lord, thousands will rise against us, but we must always remember that we know the truth and it is this very truth which will separate us from this world. Those who are thirsty all the time to hear God’s Word are the righteous ones. 1 Thessalonians 4:7 “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” God has called us to be righteous and how will we become righteous? By constantly hearing the Word of God. The Word cuts us till we bleed and all our filth comes out of us and we become pure and righteous for Him. We need constant purification in our lives. No man can purify his life on his own. It is a big lie to attempt to hide one’s sins by keeping away from hearing God’s Word. ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord’. It is through His spirit alone that we can be sanctified. We must know that Satan did not leave Jesus Christ alone, in different ways he tempted Jesus. Will he leave us alone? Never! We are mud and dust before Him. We are like the flower that blossoms in the morning and withers by evening. How can we take care of ourselves? We are worthy for nothing, we are wretched people, then how can we save ourselves? That is why Prophet Isaiah said “Lord I dwell in the midst of unclean people, touch and sanctify my lips.’ Because the Lord God touched Isaiah’s lips and sanctified it, Isaiah became a great Prophet. God can touch us in different ways; by His Word, His Spirit, His grace and His mercy. All this will take place in His Holy Temple.
Where did Isaiah meet God? In the temple. Where did Hannah meet God? In the temple. We must read the bible thoroughly and understand it well. We must never pride ourselves in our own wisdom. Those who think they are wise, God makes them foolish. But those who acknowledge themselves as foolish before the Lord, the Lord lifts them up with great wisdom. We must thus learn to fall at the feet of the Lord, because that is where we can humble ourselves and learn and enlighten ourselves. We cannot learn the Word of God on computers or by reading various books, for it is only at the Lord’s feet that we can truly learn His word for us.
Proverbs 8:17 “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” God said ‘If we love Him, we will keep His commandments.’ We must know firstly what the will of God in our lives is; we must ask God in our prayers for His will in our lives. In John Chapter 15, Jesus clearly says that those who are not rooted in Him will be uprooted and thrown into the fire. We cannot do anything without Him, hence we need to ask God for His will for us. The Lord God will show us the way, then we must move forward on any plan in our lives, whether it is a new job, our marriage, or anything else in our life.
The common human tendency is to let God know our will and pray that it should be done. Here we are not asking for God’s will, but imposing our own will instead. We just do not consider our Lord God’s desire and will for our lives. It is important for us to remember that we cannot set our future, unless God sets and plans it for us. God knows our future the best. This is the secret for a successful life. God laughs at our foolishness, for He knows our every deceitful desires of the heart. Jesus Christ called His disciples when he knew his end was to come, and spoke to them sorrowfully. John 12:27-28 “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
When we speak to the Lord, we always say ‘let Your grace and mercy be upon us.’
Jesus Christ said ‘I have magnified your name, God.’ Immediately, a loud voice came from heaven. John 12:28 “Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” Heaven always heard what Jesus spoke on this earth. Similarly our thoughts and words are also heard in heaven, and every foolishness of ours is also seen in heaven. God appreciates our good works and He laughs at our foolishness. Whether we live or die, it should glorify God. Even in our death, God must be glorified.
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.” Jesus Christ did not do any wrong in this world, but what is the reason that He was put to death on the cross? So that many of us could go to heaven and see His glory. Even in death Jesus Christ magnified His Father God. He died for our benefit that we may see the glory of heaven. Whichever ruler or high priest was asked why Jesus needed to be crucified, they were unable to see any fault in Him. Yet according to the will of our Father God, Jesus sacrificed His life so that many of us could see the glory of heaven.
We should also ensure that through us, Jesus be glorified and magnified. There was no sin, no guile in Jesus, yet because of our sins and guile, Jesus sacrificed His life. We must be like full grain wheat, not empty from within. If sown again we must blossom shoots and not wither off. We must be perfect seed for the Lord, so that when sown in the earth we will germinate and blossom shoots. The empty seed will not blossom but die in the ground.
Saul was a very learned man and well respected amongst his tribe. He knew all the laws and he continually persecuted those who followed Jesus Christ. God asked him ‘Saul, Saul, Why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.’ Who will get hurt if one kicks against the thorns? We ourselves will be hurt. This is the same as when we think we are wise in our own sight. Yet we see later how Saul was converted into Paul. No one can bring about change within themselves unless the Lord wishes the same for them. We think we are wise and capable in our own sight, when we do that we are kicking against the thorns. But those who are humble in the sight of God and thirsty and hungry for His Word, seeking to find Him diligently, will find Him.
Acts 10:1-8 “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.”
Cornelius desired and God provided the Apostle Peter to go and preach to him. However devout we are, however much we contribute and give alms to people, we always need to continually hear the Word of God. We need a preacher and also a Church to congregate together. If we think we do not require the Word of God, we are foolish and kick against the thorns. Whose loss will it be? It will be our very own loss. But when we are humble before God and strive to seek Him in all that we do, God loves us. Daniel 12:2 “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” The choice of what we need to do is ours – glorify His name or glorify our own ego. Many of us will wake up to see everlasting life through the glory of heaven and many to death through hellfire and the gnashing of teeth. The Word is true – sinners hear it and are saved. Even today, God wants us to hear the truth of the Word and change our lives for the better. He wants us to open our eyes today. All of us in all corners of the world will eventually die, but some will rise to the Lord’s glory and others to the gnashing of their teeth in hell fire. The choice is ours to make. Jesus rose up on the third day after his death. Acts 1:3 “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:” While Jesus’ disciples were watching Him, Jesus ascended into heaven. Acts 1:9-11 “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
Jesus lived on the face of this earth only for some years; He came, He served and He died on the Cross for our sakes. We too will not live forever on this earth. We will only live as many days our Lord has willed for us. It is an opportunity God has given us to live. As Jesus was lifted up into the heavens, in a similar manner He will come down to take His elect from this world. At that time, we must also strive to be lifted up to glory as His elect.
We know how the rich man in hell was crying out to Abraham ‘Give me one chance to go down to the earth and explain to my brothers so that they accept the Lord.’ To this Abraham tells him ‘There are prophets and preachers in the world to teach them. By you going and telling them, they will not change.’ The Lord God’s Word is true, thus Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 3:20 “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” Till our Jesus Christ comes again, we must keep changing for the better constantly. Jesus will come to take us to His place of glory once again. We know of Stephen’s life: Acts 7:51-60 “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he knelled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” Stephen while being stoned to death, had a glow on his face because he saw the heavens opened and Jesus waiting at the gates to welcome him. Stephen preached the truth, but the people did not accept the truth, hence they stoned him to death. Before dying, Stephen prayed that God lay not this sin to his persecutors’ account, just as Jesus Christ said in his end moments ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing.’
So whether we live or die, let us live and die for the Lord.
May this message brings blessings into every life which reads this message!
Pastor Saroja M.
We welcome you to another edition of the Rose of Sharon Church magazine.
Cecilia Granny came with very high diabetes problem for which she was taking regular insulin. But after coming to our Home and Pastor Saroja praying for her, Cecilia Granny has not taken any insulin. She is taking her regular tablets for her diabetes which is slowly getting better.
Praise the Lord for this wonderful healing and we believe the Lord will heal Cecilia Granny completely from her diabetes!
On 15th February her four children celebrated her birthday with lots of love. There was so much of joy and happiness amongst her children, as she ate a slice of her own birthday cake!!!
May God bless Cecilia Granny with good health always.
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord! This month the kids learnt about Psalms 1 and Psalms 23. Through the book of Psalms the children learnt about the immense faith King David had in the Lord.
King David from his childhood learnt to totally depend on the Lord. When he would take the sheep herd to graze in the woods, he knew that he was surrounded by multiple dangers yet he was able to fight the Lion and the bear and stand tall through all the harm.
Wherein he held close to Psalms 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” With the same faith just with a sling and stone he knocked Goliath who stood against the Israelites.
The kids learnt about the immense faith and trust that David had in the Lord. They learnt that when you humble and walk in the obedience of the Lord. You can’t imagine the way in which the Lord can lift you up.
King David’s life was a pure reflection of being lifted up from being a pauper to a King. When the Lord rejected all the siblings of David who were warriors and selected a shepherd boy to be King. The kids learnt that even today when you completely put your faith and trust in the Lord, no matter how weak you are the Lord is our strength.
As we move forward into learning the book of Acts next month. Do continue to pray for God’s grace, love and protection to be upon our dear children.