Praise the Lord, my dear brothers, and sisters in Christ. The past month has been a month of many blessings received by our dear children, and this was possible only by the grace of our Almighty Lord Jesus on all of the Rose of Sharon Church members. Millions of thanks and all glory to God alone, for all His mighty works and goodness in everyone’s lives.
Psalm 125:1-2 “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.”
Do you know the secret of how David experienced victory in battles? David loved the Lord with all his heart, mind, and soul. Even as the King of Israel, during battles he never put his faith and trust in his army; but he was focused only on his Lord God. He did what the prophets told him to, and hence he experienced victories in every battle.
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;” The Bible clearly mentions that we must not trust on our own understanding, but rather trust in the Lord with all our heart. Unfortunately, we take this verse casually, and hence do not receive any blessings in our lives. Our Lord Jesus can lead and guide us in our respective lives only when we completely surrender ourselves to Him. This is beautifully mentioned in Isaiah 58:11 “The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” When the Lord God is promising us that He will guide us and take care of us in times of difficulty, what more can we ask for, or want in life?
In Adam there is death, but in Christ there is life. 1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Hence it is important for us to live a life of Christ rather than that of Adam. There are chances that when we try to live a life of Christ, we may be put to shame or be persecuted. We may not be able to enjoy life, like the people of this world. But the ultimate choice is in our hands as to whether we are seeking temporary happiness or eternal life. It is up to us whether we seek Adam’s death or life in Christ.
Remember, our God is a living God. He hears us and is ever ready to answer our prayers. He will bless us with wisdom beyond understanding, so that the people of the world may see and marvel at the children who have been truly blessed by God.
Till we meet again,
Your sister in Christ,
Praise the Lord! Firstly, I thank Lord Jesus for His great and merciful kindness towards us. He has protected us, the Rose of Sharon families, during these unprecedented times. I thank God for this opportunity to testify of His marvellous doings in my life. 2020 was globally marred with the Covid-19 pandemic – loss of jobs, pay cuts, new norms of working from home; and all of this changed our lives completely. But, as Pastor Saroja reiterated at every service, that the lock-down is not for Lord’s children; and those who put their faith, hope, and trust in Jesus have prospered even during these times. In March 2021, I received my salary increment letter as well as my Performance Bonus for 2020, that too during ‘work from home’ times, for the entire year. How mighty and wonderful is my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Luke 1:37 says, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” The more I praise & thank Him, the less it is. Thank You, Jesus! I love you. Jesus! All glory to Jesus! Thank you, Pastor, for your correction through the Word, for you have saved my soul from perishing many a time this year. I am always thankful for your love, guidance, support, and fervent prayers for me, due to which I am blessed.
Sis. June Anchan, Mumbai.
Praise the Lord! God is good all the time. During my travel for work, I had a fever and cold. I was kept in the isolation centre in UAE. I was taking medicine, but there was a very slow recovery with a low response to the medication. At night, I drank some prayer oil, and by the time I awoke, I had completely recovered. All glory to God for this miracle, for He healed me through the prayer oil. Also, I thank our dear Pastor Saroja who prayed for this oil, through which I was healed.
In this same isolation centre, one of my roommates had an acidity problem. He was unable to bear the burning sensation, and he asked me for medicine. I gave him the blessed prayer oil and instantly he had relief. Thank you, Jesus, for this opportunity to testify yet another miracle!
Bro. Lancelot Lobo, Mumbai.
Praise The Lord. I was coughing for a long time, and I told this to Pastor Saroja. She advised me to go to the doctor for a check-up. The doctor asked me to go for a Blood test, X-ray, and Spectrum test. I called up Pastor again and requested her to keep the same in prayer. By God’s grace alone, all the reports came normal. I give all praise and glory to Lord Jesus. I also thank Pastor Saroja for her advice and fervent prayers.
Bro. Hardik Patel, Mumbai.
Praise the Lord. The tax filing due date for the financial year 2019-2020 had already expired. However, many of my clients had not filed their returns as yet. Some had pending tax refunds, and during this Pandemic, they desperately needed the returns. I did not know what to do since the filing window was frozen on the site. The previous year, the filing date was extended due to the lock-down, but this year there was no such intimation. A month passed and there was no further change. I just left it in the Lord’s hand. Subsequently, on reading the May 2021 Rose of Sharon Church Newsletter, one tiny clip-art touched my heart. It read “Remember, the same God that made a way last time, will make a way this time.” I then remembered how a few years ago, there was a similar situation during my CA entrance examinations. Then, our dear Pastor Saroja had encouraged me to just believe in Lord Jesus, who can do everything – subsequently, the Government had changed the rule for all CA entrants, I being one of them! I believed the word from the clip-art, and within a few minutes, I got a news notification that the government had decided to extend filing dates by a month, for people who were unable to file the previous year’s returns. I am so overwhelmed and thankful for the fact that our God is great and nothing is too hard for Him. I am thankful to our dear Pastor Saroja and the Rose of Sharon team for sharing with us every month the Church Newsletter, where even the tiniest clippings are so powerful. Thank you, Jesus, for your miracle. Thank you, dear Pastor, for always keeping me in your prayers. Glory to Jesus.
Sis. Evangela Roberts, Mumbai.
Praise the Lord! I had a severe pain in my neck, which spread to my right hand. This was now affecting my entire right side. I was unable to lift my hand and leg, and could not do any regular work. I called up Pastor Saroja and explained to her the entire matter. Pastor told me to apply the prayer oil and massage it over the affected areas, and she also assured me of her prayers. By God’s grace, within a few days, I started feeling better and was able to do all my normal work. I give all praise and glory to Lord Jesus for healing me, and I also thank Pastor Saroja for her sincere prayers.
Sis. Esther Patel, Mumbai.
A university invited a speaker on their special day. The speaker spoke for two and one-half hours “proving” that the resurrection of JESUS was false. He quoted scholar after scholar, and book after book. He concluded that since there was no such thing as the resurrection, the religious tradition of the church was groundless, emotional, and mumbo jumbo; as it was based on a relationship with a risen JESUS, who in fact never rose from the dead in any literal sense.
This was the theory he presented. He then asked if there were any questions.
After about 30 seconds, an old preacher stood up in the back. “Sir, I have one question.” All eyes turned toward him. He reached into his sack lunch and pulled out an apple and began eating it. “Sir… (eating the apple), my question is a simple question… (eating the apple), “Now, I never read the books you read, (eating the apple) “and I can’t recite the Holy Scriptures in the original Greek… (eating the apple). … He finished his apple, “All I want to know is: This apple I just ate… was it bitter or sweet?” The speaker paused for a moment and answered in exemplary scholarly fashion: “I cannot possibly answer that message, for I haven’t tasted your apple.”
The 1000 plus in attendance could not contain themselves, and they erupted with applause and cheers. The speaker thanked his audience and promptly left. Then the old preacher opened the bible and read out the word as is written in Psalm 34:8 “O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in HIM!”
Acts 9:5 “And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” From deep within Saul’s heart, he asked God a question, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ This question changed Saul’s life and converted him into Apostle Paul. In turn, this brought immense blessings into Paul’s life. He became a great servant of God. Even we should desire to ask this question to God to find out who is this Mighty God? We must strive to know this mighty God’s strength and power. Until this day, Saul did not know the strength and power of God. He thought what He was doing was according to the Law, and it was right in every way. But in God’s sight, his doings were very sorrowful. We also see that the Lord spoke to Him face to face in this place. When he asked ‘Who are you, Lord,’ God’s reply converted him to Apostle Paul, and changed his life completely. The ‘learned’ and ‘wise’ men of this world do not believe that there is a ‘God.’ They think there is no power such as the power of God. But the Bible says in Psalm 53:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.” Such people are foolish and they can offer us nothing in our lives. They can never think good, nor do good, nor contribute anything in our lives. They are fools who believe that there is no power of God, so how can they contribute anything to the lives of the people of this world? Remember when Saul asked God ‘Who are you, Lord?’ God could have replied differently and told Him ‘I am the Creator of this heaven and earth, I am the One who created the Stars, the Moon, and the Sky; I am the one who created the rivers and the sea in this world; I am the one who created you in your mother’s womb.’ God could have told Him of the many wonderful works performed by His power and strength. But no, God simply asked Saul, ‘Why are you persecuting me?’
In our lives, we must forsake all wrong habits and works that displease God. We must never speak anything that may be displeasing to our God, for this brings sorrow to our Living God. Rather, we must always strive to do everything pleasing in God’s sight, for only that will bring happiness to our God. Remember, we hurt our God when we work against His will.
Saul always did his work with great zeal. Acts 9:1-2 “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest. And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.” What did Saul do? Saul went to the high priests to seek permission to persecute God’s disciples and the people who were with them, praising and worshipping God in the temples of Damascus. He wanted to capture them and bring them bound unto Jerusalem. This is the work that Saul did with great anger and pride. Not only this, while Stephen was being stoned to death by the people, the cloaks of the witnesses were looked after by Saul. During the times of the early churches when the work increased, God chose many people to do His works. Stephen was one among such selected people of God. He was anointed to do God’s work. At that time, as Saul persecuted the children of God, the people rebelled against the works of Stephen and stoned him to death. Acts 7:58 “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.” We see that when doing all these things against God’s children, Saul never thought that he was bringing sorrow to the Lord God. Likewise, when people of this world speak against the mighty servants of God and persecute the children of God, it never crosses their mind that they are doing wrong against God Himself. They forget that God’s eyes are upon this world watching all the wrong that they are doing and that His ears are inclined to all the wrong that is being said against Him. Similarly, Saul did not think that persecuting God’s children was like persecuting God. God’s people are the apple of His eye, as said in Zachariah 2:8 “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.”
Saul only worked in accordance with the Law of the world at that time, he did not for once pause and think that what he was doing was wrong. Acts 9:3-4 “And as he journeyed, hecame near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven. And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” God spoke to Saul on the road to Damascus. God did not come to correct or punish Saul, rather He came to give Saul everlasting life.
Likewise, God did not come into this world only to make a way for us to enter His Kingdom, but also to grant us everlasting life. God came to convert Saul to Apostle Paul, and to bless him to do His work in this world, thus gracing him with everlasting life. John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Till then, Saul may not have known God, but when God met Saul on the road to Damascus, God graced him with life eternal.
Saul was from Benjamin’s lineage; he knew all the laws of this land. He was a very learned and wise man, but he persecuted many children of God. God saw all that Saul did against His people, yet one day He blessed Him with life everlasting. We see the same thing happening in this world today. God speaks to each one of us differently, we must all accept Him and correct our lives. God speaks to us through His Word. We must accept His Word and correct our lives accordingly. As we have read in the Bible in Luke, Jesus warned Peter saying ‘The enemy has taken my permission to sift you thoroughly.’ After hearing this, how much more careful should Peter have been? However, Peter took this warning very lightly. When Jesus was captured and taken away, Peter stayed away from Jesus and landed up denying Jesus thrice.
We too must be very careful when we are cautioned in our life. It is at such a time that we need to draw nearer to God. If we go far away from Jesus, we also will deny Him, even as Peter did. When Peter was caught later, as predicted by Jesus, he denied Jesus before the rooster crowed thrice. We are often warned by God much ahead of the occurrence of an event, so we must be wise, watchful, and careful of our every act. What happened when Saul fell to the ground on seeing the heavenly light? Acts 9:3 “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven.”
This was not an ordinary light, and as Saul rose, he was now blind. It is at that time God questioned him ‘Why are you persecuting me?’ So also in this world, when we speak against the servants of God and the people of God, who are we troubling? We are troubling God and giving Him sorrow. Hence, we must never do anything to hurt God, rather we must do everything to please Him. When God wants us to forget something or some people, we must obey Him immediately. We must have nothing to do with them. Remember, God’s eyes are upon both, the good and also the bad.
We see in the Holy Scriptures, that whoever had the desire to see God, God met all of them. Zacchaeus was a tax collector in the land of Jericho. He desired to see Jesus since he had heard of all His marvellous works amongst the people. He did not have the guts to come before Jesus, for he feared him. Being of short stature, he climbed the Sycamore tree and sat on a branch, waited for Jesus to pass by. Jesus knew of this desire of Zacchaeus, and so when He passed by, He called aloud, saying ‘Zacchaeus come down, I am coming to your house today.’ Zacchaeus immediately came down and he was delighted to take Jesus home. Zacchaeus confessed his sins to Jesus, and that very day he and his family received salvation. Luke 19:9 “And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.” We too must have such a desire within us, and we must seek God diligently. We must seek God blindly, and we will surely find God if we do what is pleasing in His sight.
Luke 19:1-9 “And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.”
Our God knows our past, present, and future. No one can limit God’s wisdom and there is nothing hidden from Him. The apostle Paul says in Romans 11:33 “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” God’s wisdom is limitless, we must never think that He does not hear what we speak, or that God does not know what we think. In those days, the Pharisees and Sadducees never used to allow a tax collector to stand by their side. Even today, the Jews and Muslims do not give their money to gain interest, as this is a great evil in their sight. Hence Zacchaeus was not allowed to stand beside the Pharisees and Sadducees. But our Lord Jesus loved him. He not only blessed Zacchaeus, but also his family, and did not show any disparity to him and his family when He blessed them with Salvation and everlasting life.
What is our Lord God’s name? Mathew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.:” Our God’s name is ‘Jesus, the Redeemer.’ Lord Jesus was sent into this world to deliver us from our sins, and save His people – all those who believe in Him. Isaiah 59:1 “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.” Our Lord’s hand is not short, nor are His ears deaf. He can do all things; countless times more than we can accomplish in this world. Yet we are foolish to think that He does not see or hear. We think God will not do anything to us when we do wrong. Why does God not hear our prayers? When we sin against Him, when we have all the qualities that He dislikes, at that time God does not hear and answer our prayers.
In the beginning, God created this world beautifully. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Our God is mighty, He created Heaven and Earth in the beginning. However, when sin came into this world, death followed. Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Our God created this world beautifully and then created man and woman to enjoy this world. But when sin entered this world and abounded, death followed. Due to darkness in our lives because of our sins, the Lord God does not hear and answer our prayers. But when we live a righteous life before Him, we can claim His promise with confidence and faith, and He will surely hear and answer our prayers. We must always have confidence when we seek something from the Lord. When do we get confidence within ourselves? When we are righteous from within, and when we do God’s will; then only will we gain faith and confidence in our lives. Remember Prophet Elijah’s Mount Carmel victory? He called for God’s presence amidst the prophets of Baal who mocked at the powers of the living God. They taunted Elijah and made fun of him, challenging him to call his living God in their midst. We know how the Lord sent fire from the heavens to quench and set fire on the sacrifice surrounded by a huge trough of water, that was offered by Elijah. Why did God answer Prophet Elijah’s prayer? Elijah was obedient to God; he did everything pleasing in God’s sight. God asked him to leave his family, and go away into hiding by the brook Cherith. Elijah obeyed God. Later God commanded Elijah to go to Zarephath to the widow’s house who would provide him with food to eat. Elijah obeyed every command of God, hence God blessed him abundantly and gave him victory amongst the prophets of Baal. The word says in Psalm 97:7 “Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.” Who would be put to shame? All those who serve and worship idols would be put to shame. This gave confidence to Prophet Elijah, and he called upon the Lord God to send down fire from heaven, thus giving Elijah victory. Every idol worshipper of Baal was put to shame.
Remember that every knee must bow before our living God. When we live our lives according to God’s will, He will answer all our prayers. Without God, there is no other way, and we must always desire to do God’s will alone. As much as we keep our God happy, He will lift us higher and higher. We must believe this and have faith in it.
I John 5:14-16 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” We know that we will receive whatever we ask for in ‘Jesus’ name,’ according to His will. This is the confidence we have received from God. When we do His will and when we are in perfect righteousness in all that we do, God will hear and answer all our prayers.
We all have an inner voice speaking to us constantly, a ‘conscience’ within us that tells us what is right and wrong. If we do not have a conscience, then we are leading lives as the living dead, and our lives become worthless. Our conscience always tells us what foolish works we do. It tells us how we should not have spoken in a particular manner to someone, or how we should not have mixed in a particular company. Our conscience speaks to us constantly and guides us on the right path always. If we overrule our conscience or if we deny our conscience, it will abandon us, and we will become as the living dead. We must always listen to our conscience carefully and be obedient to the inner voice within us.
When Peter was cautioned by Jesus, he should have been careful, paying heed to what Jesus had told him. But Peter started lagging away behind Jesus. Luke 22:54 “Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.” When God tells us something, we must always be cautious and alert about it. We must never drift away from God. Peter remembered what Jesus said, when the rooster crowed the second time, after he denied Jesus thrice. Peter then realized that what he had done was wrong, and he repented. We must not be like Peter in this case. We must not ignore the warnings of life that God gives us. Remember, God knows all, and there is nothing hidden from Him. Though most times we know this, we still do many things against God’s will.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” If during end times we only hear the truth but do not desire to live the truth and follow it; then at that time our anger, pride, bitterness, stubbornness, and disobedience will take us to hellfire, and we will perish with our unrighteousness. We have seen in the Holy Scriptures, that all who went seeking after the Lord, found Him, and they were blessed with salvation and everlasting life.
It is important for us to love the Lord and be focused on the sufferings of the Cross. We know how the devil was after Jesus Christ, but till the end, Jesus fought the evil one and gained victory. John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Without knowing the true God, and Jesus Christ whom God has sent into this world for us, there is no eternal life for us.
Thus, to gain everlasting life, we must have faith and confidence in our Lord Jesus Christ who was sent for us into this world to redeem our sins and to bless us with eternal life.
Let the Lord bless this Word.
Pastor Saroja M.
Time, as they say, waits for no one. It is moving so fast, and we are already in the month of August. The rainy season comes with its share of cold, cough, and other water-borne illnesses. By the grace of God, all our residents are in good health. Thank you, Jesus!
There were many reports that after the first dose of vaccine, many experienced fever and weakness. By the grace of God, none of our residents went through any discomfort. Their monthly medical check-up also showed that there have been no issues whatsoever, even after being vaccinated at this age. All glory to God for His grace and mercy on all our residents, always!
As the rains continue to lash out in Mumbai and other parts of our country, do continue to be safe, and take care of all your near and dear ones. Most importantly let the Lord Jesus be your shelter, under whom all of you are guaranteed safety.
Do continue to pray for all our residents.
Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Saroja M
Praise the Lord! With social distancing being the ongoing norm, getting back to Sunday School for children’s collective worship is still some time away. While online classes for schools continue, we need to ensure that our kids continue to be rooted in the word of God.
There were two neighbours; one, a retired teacher, and another, an insurance agent who had a keen interest in technology. Both had grown different plants in their garden. The retired teacher watered a small amount of water to his plants, while the other neighbour used technology, and ensured a lot of water to his plants.
The retired teacher’s plants were simple but looked good. The insurance agent’s plants were much fuller and greener. One night, there was heavy rain with wind, due to a minor storm. The next morning, both neighbours came out to inspect the damage to their garden. The insurance agent saw that his plants were uprooted, and were totally destroyed. But the retired teacher’s plants were not damaged at all and were standing firm.
The insurance agent was surprised to see this, and he went to the retired teacher and asked, “We both grew the same plants together, I actually looked after my plants better than you did, and even gave them more water. Yet my plants came off from the roots, while yours did not. How is that possible?”
The retired teacher smiled and said, “You gave your plants more attention and water, hence they did not need to work very hard at growing strong. You made it easy for them. I gave them just enough water to encourage their roots to search for more. Their roots went deeper, and that made my plants more grounded and stronger. Hence my plants survived the storm.”
Here we learn that while technology makes life easier, yet it also keeps us from understanding the root cause of life issues, and how we may avoid problems from occurring; or at the very least, how we may limit the damages, if and when they occur.
Our children are like plants. We need to strengthen their roots in the Word of our Lord. We need to water them by guiding them to read the Bible and pray daily. We must encourage them to memorise chosen verses from the Bible, so that they may recollect these verses learned, and apply them to their lives.
Let our children grow up like the wise man who built his house on the rock viz. Jesus Christ; unlike the foolish man who built his house on sand. Let Christ be the cornerstone in the lives of each of our children.