Praise the Lord. Greetings to you in the most matchless name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Even today Jesus’ presence is with us. He is the Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end. We can take Him as a Father, a friend, a companion. In whichever form we take Him, He is ready to help us. We must believe in the sign sent from heaven. We must believe in Jesus Christ. He is never far from us, rather, He is always close to us.
God sent Gabriel Angel to speak to Mary and know about the decision that she would take when the Angel would speak to her. God the Father and the holy Angel diligently waited for Mary’s reaction to this good news. Jesus Christ had to be born in this world; Father God could have sent Jesus Christ in any form, but He chose to send Him as a man into this world. Thus, Gabriel Angel came to Nazareth and spoke to Mary, Luke 1:31, “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.”
God wondered how Mary would accept this news, whether she would accept this news in faith and belief. Any works without faith and belief cannot be fulfilled. Thus, Father God, His son Jesus and Gabriel Angel carefully listened to what Mary had to say to this good news. What did Mary say to Gabriel Angel? Luke 1:34 “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” Mary was a little disturbed hearing this news from the Angel; she knew that the punishment to have a child out of wedlock was ‘death by stoning’ as per Moses’ law. Mary thought “How can I bear all this? Why is the Lord planning to put me through this tough decision?” Luke 1:35-37 “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
We all know the truth of how Adam and Eve were created by God, without parents. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve did not have parents and God miraculously created them. There is nothing which is impossible for Him.
Gabriel Angel explained to Mary that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and she would conceive a son. Hebrews 3:7 “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice,” What is your job and mine? To be obedient to what the Holy Spirit speaks to us. There is nothing in this world that the Spirit cannot accomplish. If we do not have a job, God will provide; those waiting to be married, God can bring life partners; those who are barren will also be blessed by God; those who are homeless, God can provide homes to them. In every work, God can fulfill our lack and provide for us. He is mighty in His deeds and plans for us. He is the beginning and the end. Hence, without a husband and wife relation between Joseph & Mary, Jesus could be born into this world. The same God says to you and me “Is anything hard for me, is anything difficult for me?” The Word says “With God all things are possible”. Our God is Almighty and all powerful!
On 27 November 2019 we have opened a new Church in Kohinoor City Mall, Mumbai. The Chief Guest for our inauguration event was Pastor Dr D Jestin from New Covenant Church, Madurai. It was really God’s word through him for he preached and gave the same word which the late Bro. D G S Dhinakaran had given me 19 years ago. Hence the Holy Spirit reconfirmed that our God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Also, whenever the Holy Spirit speaks to me in Church, it always confirms “I am always with you always” which was again re-confirmed through Pastor Dr D Jestin’s message Acts 18:9-10, “…For I am with thee…”
I believe that Jesus of Nazareth has continued to bless me, my family members and my congregation according to this word, because JESUS IS ALIVE.
May God bless all you readers and I wish you all A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR IN CHRIST.
Till we meet again…Pastor Saroja M
Praise the Lord. I was looking for a job change for quite some time, as I was unhappy with my job and the distance I had to travel. I had requested Pastor Saroja to keep this in prayer. For some months I kept trying and was unsuccessful. Pastor assured me of her prayers and explained of a dream she had seen about me which was a sign of blessing. The dream was a ray of hope in my life and very soon I was blessed with a new job, which is much closer to my home. I am also blessed with a better designation and a profile that I wanted. I thank and praise God for his abundant blessings on me. My heartfelt thanks to Pastor Saroja who has prayed fervently for me.
*Sis. Joy Shalaka Salins, Mira Road.
Praise the Lord. I am from a Sindhi family. I started believing in Jesus Christ before marriage and in my husband’s house, I am the only believer. They never stopped me from believing Jesus but always wanted me to participate in their prayers and follow their rituals too. They always confronted me with many questions about my faith in Jesus which many a time I could not answer correctly as I was not attending any church. I became tired, frustrated and depressed and began having suicidal thoughts. No one was there to help me clear my doubts, and I would pray to God to send someone to clear my doubts. At that juncture, I came across the Rose of Sharon church programme on ‘Shubhsandesh TV’. I immediately called up the prayer line number given. After talking and being prayed on, a lot of my doubts got cleared and I felt refreshed and filled with joy. All suicidal thoughts are gone and I feel alive now. Thank you Jesus for helping me and delivering me free from all depression and suicidal thoughts. Thank you ROS Ministry.
*Sis. Somi Chetwani, Chattisgarh. (ROS TV Program Viewer)
Praise the Lord. I was without a job for a long time and after Pastor Saroja prayed for me within a week, I got a job. I thank and praise God for this job and I also thank Pastor for her fervent prayers for me.
*Bro. Jeevan Amanna, Asalpha.
Praise the Lord. For more than a month I was suffering from a severe neck pain wherein I was not even able to move my neck. I had told Pastor Saroja about it. In the Saturday Healing Service, as soon as Pastor touched me in the rally, all my neck pain went away and I was able to move my neck freely. I thank and praise God for this healing. I also thank Pastor for praying for me.
*Sis. Bharti Mohite, Kalina.
Praise the Lord. Due to a clash in timings between my wife’s job and my job, we were facing a difficulty in choosing between taking care of our baby daughter and our work priorities. We even thought of putting her in a playgroup as a last resort, though willingly we did not want this. Amidst this confusion and doubt we approached Pastor Saroja as I was also thinking of changing my job. We needed the Lord’s counselling as we were very confused about what to do. We shared all our problems and doubts with regard to the job change of mine with Pastor Saroja, who then advised me to go ahead and look for a new job instead of trying other things. To go for an interview after 7 years was very difficult for me as my communication skills are very weak. For the interview I went prepared with formulas and other things, but the questions asked were beyond my expectation. Each time I was asked a question, in my mind I asked the Lord to help me – and in every question, He alone led me to answer. By God’s grace the interview went well and the very next day I got a call that I was selected with a good package and that too with an evening shift, which is very helpful as it sorted all our troubles and we did not have to put our daughter in playgroup. I give all glory to Lord Jesus for giving me this wonderful job and I also thank Pastor Saroja for praying continuously for me. All glory to God.
*Bro. Hardik Patel, Mira Road.
A little boy always wanted to go to a circus. One day he was walking down the street when he saw a poster in a store window. The poster said that a circus was coming to town and that a ticket to the circus cost one dollar. The boy ran home and asked his father if he would give him a dollar to go to the circus on Saturday. His father told him that if he would work hard and get all of his chores done, he would give him a dollar to go to the circus. Saturday morning came and the boy got up early and did all of his chores. “I have all of my chores done,” the boy told his dad.
The boy’s father gave him a dollar and the boy headed into town filled with excitement about seeing wild animals, trapeze artists, and all of the things that come with a circus. Since he arrived in town so early, he was on the front row when the circus parade started down the main street of town. The boy was thrilled when the animals and other circus acts paraded by.
At the end of the parade came the clowns and following the clowns was the ringmaster. When the ringmaster passed by where he was standing, the boy ran out into the street, took his folded dollar bill from his pocket, and handed it to the ringmaster.
“Thanks,” mister, said the boy, “that was a great circus.” Then he turned around and walked home. He never knew what he had missed. He thought he had been to the circus, but he had only been to the parade.
If we are not careful, we can be like that little boy. We can get so caught up in the celebration, the decorations, and the gifts that we miss the real Christmas — the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
We must pray that we do not get so caught up in the celebration that we miss the real meaning of Christmas.
Acts 23:1 “And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” We see here that the Apostle Paul and Peter in many places preached about a good conscience. The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy about good conscience in 1 Timothy 1:5,18-19 “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned… This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightiest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:” A good conscience is very important in our lives: both Apostles Paul and Peter reiterate the importance of a good conscience in many places. The Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:16 “Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” When we strive to live a righteous and a truthful life, we will have many hindrances. In Jesus Christ there was no sin at all, yet false witnesses rose against Him. Similarly in our lives too there will be many false witnesses, but our faith must never be shaken – at that time our good conscience must hold us in good stead. In times of trouble we must live our lives even more righteously and with a good conscience. When we have a good conscience, we can live our lives peacefully and joyfully with our Lord. But when we lose our conscience we cannot be entwined with our Lord, we cannot continue in oneness, unity and faithfulness with Him. 1 John 3:21-22 “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” When our conscience is clear, our heart does not condemn us and without hesitation we can ask our Father God for what we want and God will grant us our wishes. But when our mind and heart conflicts, we become liars and disbelieving, then how can we ask anything of God? Our conscience clearly shows us if we are living a truthful and a righteous life. It is our conscience alone that shows us whether we are living blamelessly before God. This is the confidence that gives us the strength to face the world boldly, for it is only with Jesus Christ that we can be victorious. But if our conscience within us is dead, we can never come before God boldly and ask anything of Him or be victorious over the storm in our lives or during the trials we face? In our lives, we each fight the good fight always, sometimes within our family, our friends, our society, or with our enemy. Every day we need the grace of God alone to fight our battles in this world and it is only in the name of Jesus Christ that we can be victorious. When God is with us He will calm the storm, and when the enemy comes to tear us apart it is God who will stand as a wall between us. The enemy can put us into the den of lions, but our Lord God will not let the lions touch us. We can be put in the furnace, but the fire of the furnace cannot quench us. Hence it is important to have good conscience within us all the time for it strengthens us and gives us confidence. We must never let our conscience die within us ever. Rather, when our conscience is alive within us, as 1 John 3:22 says “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight,” we will always be precious in His sight and when Jesus comes again to take along with him His dearly beloved ones, we will be among the beloved.
When our conscience is dead within us, we must be aware that we will be left behind. Mathew 24:40-41 “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” Thus, God will take along His beloved, those who keep His commandments and keep their conscience alive within them. We can never keep God happy when our conscience within us is dead. Our conscience always speaks to us and tells us the right from wrong, it stops us from doing wrong things. At that time we must listen to our conscience, and not overrule it. When we go before God with a good conscience, we will receive God’s grace and mercy upon us and become His beloved. We will grow from glory to glory and be ready to be taken along with Him. Remember, when we lose our conscience, we become orphans. We lose our faith, hope and confidence. A good conscience is a flame that God has given in our lives, we must never let the flame diminish in our lives. Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” When we have a good conscience within us, we can pray to God as David prayed. We can submit ourselves into His hands. But when we lose the conscience within us, we lose faith and hope and the grace of God, this life is a fearful life to live. The Apostle Paul looked at a multitude who have lost their conscience and says in 1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” Those who lose their conscience, will depart away from faith and involve themselves with deceiving spirits and works of the devil. Hence, we must never lose our good conscience within us, rather we must grow from strength to strength in our faith. A woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus Christ for judgment. In the commandment, such a sin was to be stoned to death. But Jesus said ‘let those who has not sinned throw the first stone at her.’ At that time, everyone’s conscience spoke to themselves. Their own conscience was a mirror to them and it showed each one their sins. One by one they left that place and went away. No one stayed back to stone the woman. In our lives too, when God reminds us of our sins, our conscience must accept it and immediately we must confess and repent for our sins. Only when we repent and accept our sins, will we receive the grace of God once again. The Word says that everyone left the place one by one and not a single person stayed back. John 8:9 “And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.” The people’s conscience convicted them and they all left the place. Only the woman and Jesus were left behind. Likewise even today, God wants our conscience to be alive within us. When God speaks to us, we must have a conscience to listen to Him and submit to Him. Acts 2:37 “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” When the Apostle Peter preached, God’s Word pricked the people and their conscience started speaking to them. The Word showed them the truth and immediately the people asked Peter ‘What shall we do?’ Peter replied in Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Repent and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Here Peter tells this to those who have not yet been baptized. But we are of those who have been baptized, have received the Holy Spirit and have seen the works of the Spirit, yet if we do not profess a conscience; we must once again repent and seek remission for our sins and become His beloved once again. If we do not do this, when Jesus comes in His second coming, He will leave our hands and we will be left to suffer in hell fire. We know the lives of the Pharisees and Sadducees, they always looked good from the outside but within they were sinners. These people deceived themselves, they never accepted the teachings of Jesus Christ. Our lives should never be like this. Whatever we show outwardly, we must be the same from within.
Hebrews 10:2-3 “For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.” It is only with our good conscience that we can come before God and ask for remission of our sins. The blood of bulls and goats cannot wash away our sins, it is only the precious and priceless blood of Christ that can wash away our sins. However, when our conscience is dead within us, Jesus’ blood cannot cleanse us from our sins. 1 John 1:9,7 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness… But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” It is our conscience alone that can show us our sins, but when we do not heed to our conscience, we walk in darkness and not in light. Remember, Jesus is light and we must always walk in the light, only then may we have fellowship with Him and His blood can cleanse us of all ours sins. The angel said to Mary before the birth of Jesus Christ in Luke 1:32 “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:” The one to be born will be great and called the son of the Highest. He is the one given for us, the Son of Father God. He will reign on the throne of His Father David and judge us. God has given Him the right to judge upon us. Psalm 104:1 “Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.” Our Lord God is a great God, Honour and Majesty is His, thus bless the Lord, O my soul!
Psalm 91:1 “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” We must dwell in the shadow of the most High, we must humble ourselves and make Him our friend. Just as God referred to Abraham saying ‘He is my friend,’ when we become the Lord’s friend we can go to Him anytime. Jesus speaks in a parable about a man who goes to his friend at midnight and says ‘I have a visitor at my home, please give me some bread to feed him.’ What did the man think before going to his friend and knocking at his door? He thought of him as a best friend. Similarly, if we make Jesus our best friend, we can go to Him at any time whenever we need. Luke 11:5-8 “And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.” God will have mercy upon us because we are his friend.
Isaiah 57:15 “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” We need to humble ourselves before God and live our life with a good conscience within us, only then will God abide with us. He will be our friend and dwell within us and we can go to Him anytime as a friend. Psalm 138:6 “Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.” Though God reigns on the highest throne, His eyes are always upon those of us who are humble and meek before Him on this earth. But, the proud He resists! Proverbs 6:16-19 “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” God hates people who have all of these qualities. These are the people in whom the conscience is dead. Our God is our mother and father, His every preaching is a life giver for us. Proverbs 6:20-27 “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” We must put our faith and trust only in God, He will always take care of us. We must never let the flame of our conscience ever diminish in our lives, rather we must keep the flame burning bright.
When we keep Jesus as our friend, He will lift us up when we fall; in times of trouble when we call out to Him any part of the day or night, He will help us and answer our prayers. The Apostles Paul and Peter preached to multitudes in many places about a ‘good conscience.’ We must remember that the conscience God has given us is a flame we must keep burning in our lives at all times. Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” We must endure our race of life with confidence and a good conscience. Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” We can never win the race alone, our Lord God must be with us to win our race. The Joy of the Lord is our Strength… the Grace of God alone can help us endure till the end when Jesus comes to take us away as His friend.
May the Word bless every one. Praise the Lord!
Pastor Saroja M.
In this month’s edition we would like to introduce our new resident – Sis. Chanuben Ambalal. She is 95 years old and was brought to our home by her granddaughter. She has high blood pressure, cholesterol and also her memory is little weak. In spite of these weakness and her old age she does all her personal work, walking and eating on her own. She communicates in Gujarati, Marathi and Hindi language.
We pray our good God keep her and all our residents in good health.
We wish you all a happy and joyful Christmas and a blessed and Prosperous New Year.
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord! As we draw to the last month of this year, we would like to thank our Lord Almighty for His blessings, good education, His grace and protection in the lives of our little children in Sunday School. We also would like to thank for the good health He has given to our loved ones throughout this year.
This month as we would celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus, the kids aren’t just excited to prepare for the programs but are very excited to perform on our very own stage this year in our new church. The kids are super excited and geared up for the Christmas programs i.e. from getting the right steps to the dance moves, costumes, etc.
The Christmas program is a big day for us at the Rose of Sharon Church, as the kids await the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ who came down to earth for a special purpose. This special evening every year brings in a special bond of love, joy and celebration.
As we at Sunday School gear up for the big day. We wish all our readers a blessed and joyous Christmas from all of us at the Rose of Sharon Sunday School.