Praise the Lord. Wishing all my Rose of Sharon Church members and readers a Very Happy and Blessed New Year. May our Living Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, guide each one of you throughout the coming year, and may you abide under His shadow forever.
Proverbs 8:34 “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.”
Watching daily at my gates – what does this mean? The Israelites derived strength from the manna our Lord God provided them daily. When they ate the manna, their bodies did not stink, nor did they suffer from any disease. God provided all their needs in the wilderness, but God kept a commandment for them, namely, to collect the manna daily. Exodus 16:4 “Then the Lord said to Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.”
The same commandment the Lord gives us today, as given in Proverbs 8:34 “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” The Lord God expects that irrespective of our status or experience, we must always wait upon the Lord, and be alert to hear His voice through the Word, daily!
The Israelites were commanded by God for forty years, to collect manna daily. God could have given them the manna to store for a week, or a month. But the Bible says that God wanted to test them, whether they would obey and follow His commandments or not. Similarly, in today’s times, we must also wait upon the Lord daily, in faith, and during this waiting period, we must trust on His Word, and walk according to the commandments He has given us.
The heavenly manna today, signifies the ‘Word of God.’ When we ponder upon the living Word daily, day and night, we will be successful, and accomplish great things in our lives.
Mathew 16:19 “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” As they say, with great power comes great responsibility! Likewise, our Lord God has given us the power that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatsoever we release on earth, shall be released in heaven. We should use this power very carefully, and only the Lord’s Spirit will teach us how this power may be used as per the Lord’s will. Otherwise, just as Adam and Eve cheated themselves and fell into the hands of the devil, in the same manner, we will fool ourselves and get entangled in the games of the enemy.
Our lives will never be easy; it will get tough, but we must never give up our fight for the Lord, for in the end, the victory is God’s alone. We should have faith that whatever our trials and tribulations, our God will never forsake us. We on our part though, must always be prepared to be obedient to the Lord God who has blessed us with love, happiness, joy, and peace.
God bless you all abundantly in this new year.
Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Saroja M
Praise the Lord. I thank Jesus for answering prayers. My brother was in the hospital for kidney problems. I called the Rose of Sharon Prayer Tower and requested the prayer warrior for prayers for my brothers’ kidney reports to come clear. I praise and thank God for answering prayers, for my brother’s kidney reports came normal. I sincerely thank the Rose of Sharon Ministry who prayed for my brother.
*Bro. Subash Sarkar, Kolkata. (ROS TV Program Viewer)
Praise the Lord. One of my colleagues was feeling very uneasy, as something was choking in his throat and he was continuously coughing, and he was having trouble breathing for almost 5 – 6 hours. When I saw this, I felt very sorry for him, and immediately I gave him a glass of water with prayer oil. By God’s grace, he instantly received relief; and after some time, he was completely normal, and he testified that Jesus has the power to heal. I thank God for this great miracle, and I also thank our dear Pastor Saroja for praying over the prayer oil. God bless her.
*Bro. Lancelot Lobo, Mira Road, Mumbai.
Praise the Lord. My daughter was not getting sleep after our old TV broke down. She was having a lot of fear, so I asked the Rose of Sharon Prayer Team for prayers for her. I praise God that my daughter was set free of all her fears. She started sleeping peacefully the very next day onwards. Thank You, Jesus, and thanks to the Rose of Sharon Prayer Tower and prayer warrior for praying for my daughter.
*Sis. Laxmi S.P., Mumbai. (ROS TV Program Viewer)
Praise the Lord! My maid suddenly developed a huge swelling on both her feet. She shared with me her problem when she came to work. I gave her the blessed prayer oil and told her to apply it in faith. I assured her that Lord Jesus would surely touch and heal her. The next day she was completely healed and well. I thank Lord Jesus for this healing, and also thank our dear Pastor Saroja for praying over the blessed prayer oil.
*Sis. Evangela Roberts, Vakola, Mumbai.
Praise the Lord! I had sent a WhatsApp message to the Rose of Sharon Prayer Tower, for my mother Usha, whose heart valves were reported blocked. I praise and thank our Lord Almighty, that her reports came out all clear the next day, and she is perfectly fine now. Thank you all at the Rose of Sharon Church, for praying for my mother.
*Sis. Anshu, Delhi. (ROS TV Program Viewer)
As she was passing by a nearby hotel, Ana, a pregnant homeless woman, was begging for a bit of warmth. The Manager refused her saying, ‘This is a luxury hotel and not a homeless shelter.’ The desperately cold woman went to another hotel. She entered the hotel and said, “I’m so hungry and cold; May I stay here?” This manager too, refused her and pushed her out of the hotel saying that she would scare away all their respected guests.
Poor Ana, cold and sad, could only hope for a miracle. Suddenly, Bill, the manager of a nearby hotel, who was passing by, saw her and said: “Madam, come in please; I will give you a room”. “Do you own this hotel?” Ana asked. “No, but I will pay for your stay,” Bill replied. “I hope my dream will come true soon & I will be able to open a decent place for the homeless, because I used to be one too. I came up the hard way to become a Manager here. Enough of talk. You need rest, Madam. As a token, I want you to keep this little bell, because this all I have.”
That evening, Bill had to attend the Best Hotel Award event. Although he was already late, he bought some food for the woman. But surprisingly, he found her room empty, and all she had left behind was the little bell he had given her.
The event for the Best Hotel Award began, and the mayor was on the stage. Bill’s hotel was one of three finalists. The Mayor announced, “I remind you all, the Manager of the winning hotel will get a bonus of $500,000!” All the three finalists had passed all the tests by hotel standards. “My assistant will announce the final result,” said the Mayor.
The assistant arrived on stage and said, “I did a little act today to find out which of you is the most deserving of the prize. All the three hotels are brilliant at service, but two of them failed the test for kindness. You both drove a pregnant woman away, and did not care about her freezing outside. Remember, business is not only about money. It is about a human heart that makes a human a better person. Bill was the only manager who did not hesitate to let a homeless woman in.” To their surprise, the Mayor’s assistant was none other than the same woman who had came to their hotel porch, seeking warmth. “Congratulations, the prize is yours Mr. Bill!
As the word says in 1 Samuel 16:7 “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Song of Solomon 2:15 “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” What does the Lord say? He says, ‘Catch the little foxes because they come into our vineyard.’ Why? To spoil or destroy our tender grapes. Here grapes mean the ‘children of God,’ and tender grapes mean the ‘children of God ready for the Kingdom.’ In our lives, we generally ignore small sins and guard only against the larger sins. Our Lord says, ‘Catch and throw away the little foxes for they will come to ruin our vineyard which has tender grapes and is ready for harvesting.’ The little foxes can ruin the vineyard which is fully blossomed and now ready for harvesting. A fox is a cunning animal, and so is the devil. The devil deviously sends these little foxes into our lives to ruin our relationship with God. When we ignore these small sins in our lives, we bring great loss upon ourselves.
What are these little foxes? They are the small sins. From the beginning, God created Adam and Eve and gave them freedom in the Garden of Eden to live joyfully and eat the fruit of every tree, barring one tree. This was a very small command of God. Yet. Adam and Eve both ignored this command, and submitted into the hands of the devil, who coaxed them to eat of the forbidden ‘Tree of Knowledge.’ The devil told them ‘You will not die if you eat of the tree which God has forbidden you; in fact, you will become like God, knowing good and evil.’ We know that when they gave in to the devil, sin entered into their lives, and they had to hide from God as they discovered that they were naked. God cursed both of them, along with the earth, and they were thrown out of the Garden. Sin entered into this world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:6 “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Eve thought everything was good, that it was strengthening, good for knowledge and understanding, and that there was nothing wrong in paying heed to the devil. But they forgot the one thing that God had commanded them i.e. ‘Not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge.’
Genesis 3:16-19 “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
DISOBEDIENCE is a little fox that we must guard against. God told Adam and Eve to be obedient to His Word, yet they disobeyed God’s command. Even in our lives, there are many types of little foxes that we must beware of; they come to destroy us and take us into hell fire. Song of Solomon 2:15 “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” We must be careful that the little foxes do not spoil or destroy our vineyard which is tender and blossoming, and ready for harvest. Whenever we fall into the devil’s power with these little sins, we must cry out to our God as in Proverbs 5:12-13 “And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!” If Adam and Eve had obeyed God’s command, they would not have sinned and left the Garden of Eden. Our God is a great teacher, and if Adam and Eve had known this, sin would not have entered the world and ruined it. Because of this sin, God separated Adam and Eve from His presence. Imagine how they must have cried, ‘Woe to us that we disobeyed God’s command, woe to us that we have to suffer for our sins!’ Even today, God is a Rabbi, a teacher for us. If we disobey Him, we will suffer in the same way. God warns us, ‘beware, your vineyard is ready with tender grapes, do not allow little foxes to enter and destroy the vineyard!’
Another little fox in our life is our ‘MOUTH.’ Ecclesiastes 5:6 “Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?” God does not will that we say anything wicked from our mouths. The Angel of God listens to what we speak and conveys it to God, who is angered by the wrong that we say. God cautions us to keep our mouth shut, and not to give an opportunity by what we speak, to the little foxes in our lives. Our mouth can be a little fox that can bring hindrance to our blossoming vineyard, our lives. We never think and talk, and often it is our pride that makes us speak without thinking. Song of Solomon 2:15 “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Let us catch this little fox before it destroys and ruins our lives – even as we catch and trample bugs to death, so that they do not multiply.
Another little fox is ‘PRIDE,’ a great sickness and a slow killer within us. Many a times we do not understand how our pride ruins us. It festers within us, and often we cannot even discern that it is our pride which is killing us slowly.
James 4:6 “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” Pride enters our life to destroy our relationship with God. We cannot know how it works slowly in our lives. Once again God cautions us that our vineyard is ready with blossoming flowers and tender grapes, and we must not let the little foxes destroy our vineyard. When disobedience enters our lives, when we sin, when we have pride within us, God cautions us to catch these little foxes and crush them under our feet, lest they destroy our blossoming vineyard; whereafter God will come to harvest these vineyards. The little foxes plan to ruin us before we are harvested. God says, ‘Be ready to enter the Kingdom of God with one eye and one hand,’ Proverbs 21:4 “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.” God ridicules ‘Pride’, even as Samson was ridiculed by the Philistines while he was paraded blind in the city, in chains. Samson did not realise when sin entered his life, and when the Spirit of God had left him. God says a proud heart and a haughty look is something we must be careful of, lest we become a laughing stock to the world around us, like Samson. When a lizard enters our house, many of us run after it with an insect killer spray, till we find it dead. So also, once we realise that our Pride is ruining us, we must pluck it and throw it out of our lives, else it will be a reason for our great downfall.
Luke 1:51-52 “He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.” God resists the proud, but loves the humble. Pride always creates enmity between God and us. From the beginning of this world, the Lord has always lifted the humble and cast the ‘proud’ down to the ground. Without God we can do nothing in our lives, hence when the sin of pride enters us, it separates us from God and ruins our lives.
King Herod sat on his throne and preached the Word of God to his people. His people thought this was not the King speaking, but God speaking through the King, and they worshipped him. At this time, pride entered King Herod’s heart. The little fox of pride entered his heart. The Angel of God saw this and heard the people shouting ‘Hallelujah… Hallelujah.’ Pride entered King Herod’s heart, and immediately God’s wrath came upon King Herod. The Angel of God struck him immediately, and he was eaten by worms and died. We see here how pride entered into Herod, and how he invited the wrath of God upon himself. This is the unwanted fox that King Herod welcomed in his life, thereby also welcoming the end of this life! Acts 12:21-23 “And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” What should King Herod have done? He should have glorified God, and given the glory to God alone, rather than accepting the glory for himself. The little fox of pride came between Herod and God, and Herod was struck by the Angel of God immediately. It does not take time for the wrath of God to fall upon the proud and haughty. Beware of these little foxes that come into our lives to ruin and destroy our blossoming vineyard.
God tests us through His Word. When God rained down manna from heaven, He had warned the Israelites not to gather excess to store with them. God promised that He would provide manna for them daily, yet the people disobeyed, and collected the manna for the next day too. This manna got spoilt the next day, and it smelt foul throughout the Israelites’ tents, revealing the disobedience of those who had committed this misdeed.
Satan also tempted Jesus Christ on the Mount, telling Jesus to jump from the mountain top, saying that He would not die; asking Jesus to convert the stones to bread and eat; and promising Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He would bow down and worship Satan. Jesus Christ was tempted through the ‘Word’ by Satan, but He stood firm in the Word of God.
King Herod was preaching the ‘Word’ when the fox of pride entered him. He should have given glory to God, and not taken the glory upon himself. He should have realised that it was not by himself, but only by the Spirit of God, that he was able to do this. Seeing how King Herod died, we too ought to fear God. God is preparing each of our vineyards to blossom and prosper, while in the meanwhile, the little foxes are roaming around and watching over us, as to which of us they may catch and destroy.
Another little fox is THE LOVE OF THIS WORLD. 1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” We often try to please the world, but then the worldly fox will enter us and ruin us through our worldly love. In the beginning of this world, there was darkness. The love of this world will take us into this darkness. As a caterpillar sits under a leaf and slowly nibbles and ruins the entire leaf, so also the love of this world, our family, and our friends who are not with the Lord, will ruin our lives; by bringing evil things of this world into our lives, pressurising and enticing us into a worldly love. We never know how white ants ruin everything from within and make the wood rot slowly. We must take care of this little fox, namely ‘the love of this world,’ and not allow it to enter our lives. Instead, we must only let the love of God engulf us at all times. We are all the special elect of God; He has given us His Word which is alive and true.
Song of Solomon 2:15 “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” We must remain alert all the time and not let any of these little foxes enter and ruin our lives – our blossoming vineyard. These little foxes will separate us from God, and from His love and grace. When the love of this world enters us, it will not let us live our lives in the purity of God. It will make us impure and take us away from God.
James 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Those who love the world, will make enmity with God. This fox is cunning, and it will not let us live a life of purity and oneness with God. This fox will take us far away from God, and from the purity of being God’s children. Not by our might or strength, but only by the Spirit of God can we resist these little foxes in our lives, and continue blossoming in our vineyard with flowers and tender grapes. Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” When we know the truth, and the truth sets us free, we should not keep our feet in two boats. God dislikes the double-minded. 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” All these lusts and desires of the world are sinful traps set by the devil. We should be careful of these sins, for they can bring great loss in our lives. Hence, we must be careful of this little fox, when it comes to ruin our vineyard.
When the little fox cannot enter our lives, it becomes our enemy. Jesus says in John 15:18 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” The little fox will raise up many enemies in this world against the Lord’s people. We know that when Jesus Christ did not allow the little foxes into His life, the enemy rose in multitudes against Him, and they crucified Him. It is the people of this world who crucified Jesus Christ. Similarly, when we do not pay heed to the devil, he will raise the people of this world against us. But we have an assurance from God that before the people of this world rise up against us, the Lord’s wrath will rise up against them. Our God’s promise for us is that ‘In this world there will be trials and tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome this world.’ We have an assurance from God that He will not let the little foxes destroy our lives, our blossoming vineyards. The little foxes will be hovering around us in different forms; like disobedience, by what we speak through our mouth, pride, love of this world, etc. trying to raise enemies in this world. But God will save our vineyards, and He will guide us to His Kingdom.
The next two little foxes in our lives are those of ‘FEAR & DISBELIEF.’ We have read in the Holy Scriptures that this little fox entered the lives of great Kings, Prophets and Priests. We must squeeze the foxes’ ears and thump them to the ground, or else they will catch us and put us into the fire. Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” These two little foxes of fear and disbelief are different. When both these foxes enter our lives, they will separate us from God and lead us to hell fire. Hence our belief in God must be strong. It is impossible to please God with our disbelief, and that is why the cunning fox brings disbelief in our lives. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Without faith we cannot please God. This particular fox brings disbelief in our lives and takes us away from God. Remember this fox often made Jesus’ disciples run away from Him. Peter did so when he denied Jesus. John also once asked Jesus ‘Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?’ Another disciple, Thomas, told Jesus ‘I will not believe it is you, until I put my finger into your wound.’ These foxes did not even leave Jesus and His disciples alone!
Many a time, we take things for granted, and in our minds, we think that this is not a big sin, and we let our guard down in life. This relaxation takes us far away from God. We think only big sins will take us away from God, whereas a collection of these small sins will take us farther away from God. This cunning fox has run after many great Kings, Prophets, and Priests, as well as disciples of Jesus. It has caught them in sin, so will it ever leave us regular human beings? The little fox of disbelief did not even spare Thomas, who had said, ‘unless I see in His hands the print of the nails and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’ But Jesus said to him ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.’ Beware of these little foxes of fear and disbelief.
1 John 5:1 “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” The foxes will never come near God’s children whose faith is strong, who fear and believe in God, who believe that Jesus is the Christ who is born of God; and every one that loves Him that begat, loves Him also that is begotten of Him. When we keep a piece of cheese as bait to catch a rat, sometimes the rat is smart, and runs away without nibbling at it. Such must be our belief in God; the little fox of disbelief must see our strong faith and run away from us. Song of Solomon 2:15 “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” It is important for us to hold fast to Jesus Christ, before the little foxes destroy or ruin us because of our Disobedience, Words of our Mouth, Pride, Love for this world, Fear, and Disbelief.
Another little fox in our life is ‘LAZINESS. One cannot understand how Laziness can ruin one’s lives, for we may not even know that we have the fox of laziness within ourselves. This fox has worked in the lives of many great persons too. God wanted to send Jonah to Nineveh so that the people of that country could be saved when they heard the Word of God for them through a prophet. But Jonah fled to another country instead, Tarshish. After God sent him a second time, Jonah finally went to Nineveh. Here he revealed the Lord’s Word for the inhabitants who repented, and God turned away from the evil He had planned for them. This displeased Jonah. Jonah 4:5-6 “So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.” God prepared a plant to come up and give Jonah shade. Jonah sat under the shadow of the plant and was overcome by the spirit of laziness. God was angry, so the next day God sent a worm to wither the plant. Jonah 4:7-6 “But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.” When the sun beat upon Jonah’s head, Jonah’s laziness tormented him, and he fainted with the heat. God’s anger was not upon Jonah because he was a great prophet, but God was angry with Jonah’s laziness. God sent a worm and destroyed the plant, to show Jonah His anger and might. Just as God sent worms to kill King Herod, similarly He could have sent worms to kill Jonah, but rather God showed His anger upon the plant, for He is a gracious God.
In our lives too, God shows in different ways His graciousness upon us. He teaches us in different ways and we should learn from God’s ways in our lives. Many a times in our lives, we grumble at God, like Jonah. Jonah 4:8 “And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.” Here Jonah grumbled and said, ‘it is better for me to die than to live.’ Jonah 4:9-10 “And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night.” God told Jonah that the little fox of laziness had entered Jonah, and that he had brought upon himself this wrath of God. ‘Imagine the people of Nineveh, I created them with my own hands, how much I must love them and have pity upon them. How can I let the people of Nineveh be destroyed?’ Similarly, when laziness comes upon us, God will be angry with us. Laziness comes upon us to destroy us.
This little fox of laziness did not leave Prophet Elijah too, but God did not let laziness prevail over Elijah. He woke Elijah, gave him bread to eat and water to drink; then God made him run for 40 days and nights, so that the fox of laziness had to leave him. 1 Kings 19:5-8 “And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.” The fox of laziness can destroy our perfect lives and our ready vineyards. Laziness can affect even the mighty servants of God, and none of us will be spared. Our God is a good God, He pays attention to the different foxes that can come into our lives and destroy our vineyards. Song of Solomon 2:15 “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” We may think our faults are small ones and we are not sinning in a big way, but we need to be aware of these small foxes that can destroy us completely.
We need to be ready to sing Hallelujah in the Kingdom of God. But our faith must be that we will join the group in heaven who continuously sing Hallelujah before God in Heaven. We must be worthy to be amongst this great multitude. Revelation 19:6 “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.” The little foxes of this world will keep us from singing ‘Hallelujah’ in the Kingdom of God. We know that our God took every curse on mankind upon Himself, while on the Cross of Calvary. We believe today that we have no curse upon us, because God has taken every curse upon Him. Deuteronomy 27:15-26 “Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen. Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed be he that removeth his neighbor’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed be he that lieth with his father’s wife; because he uncovereth his father’s skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.Cursed be he that lieth with his mother in law. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbor secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.”
We have to eventually be a part of the great multitude that sings ‘Hallelujah’ in the Kingdom of God. We must not let the little foxes into our lives, so that our ripe vineyards may be destroyed. Today we are not a cursed generation, for our every curse is taken away by Jesus on the Cross of Calvary. We are chosen to reach the Kingdom of God; we are chosen to sing ‘Hallelujah’ to the Lord in His Kingdom. Hence, God tells us to catch every little fox that will destroy our lives, whether in the form of our pride, disobedience, love of this world, fear and disbelief, or laziness. Through these small sins, we can get into bigger sins. In our lives, we must remember God’s teachings, for only then can we reach the Kingdom of God, and be a part of the great multitude, singing ‘Hallelujah’ in a loud voice. Revelation 19:6 “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”
Philippians 2:4-5 “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” We must always teach the truth to others, for we are the chosen ones to spread the ‘light’ in this world. We must not hide our light under a cover, rather we must show this light to the world. Never be self-centred and think only about your own family, or your own congregation, or your own friends. Be like Jesus Christ, who showed His light to the world and saved all of us. Jesus taught the truth to everyone, likewise we must teach the world the truth. Teach God’s strength, might, and love to the world. ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord.’
Because this love was with Jesus, none of these foxes could come near Him. 1 Timothy 5:6 “But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.” We must be like salt, with flavour; for when salt loses its flavour, it is useless. Do not live your lives only for yourselves; instead, spread God’s love to the world. When we live in peace and happiness only for ourselves, it is futile. We must learn through tough times in our lives, and make ourselves strong. When we face every fox in our lives, the world will definitely be against us. We must live for the Lord and carry our cross daily. When we think of a struggle-free life, it is futile for us. We must be like Olive trees. During Noah’s time, the earth got flooded and everything therein was destroyed, except for the Olive tree. When the waters receded, Noah sent out the Dove from the Ark, and it returned with an Olive leaf. Our lives must be strong as an Olive tree, wherein however much the flood, it was not destroyed. Our lives must be like an Olive tree for the Lord; wherein, however much the world brings problems into our lives, no storm may drown or take us away from our God. Our hearts must be strong in this regard, and we must never let any of these foxes destroy our lives. When we reject the fox, it will leave us and go away and attack someone else. In this world, we need to live for others more than for ourselves, for God cares for all of us. 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” The Lord God calls those who are burdened and heavy laden and says, ‘Come to me and I will give you rest; take my yoke, for it is light.’ Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” When the fox comes and troubles us in different ways, we must submit ourselves into God’s hands. He will keep us away from these foxes and not allow them to enter into our lives.
The next little fox is a MOCKER & TALEBEARER. This is an unclean fox, and when we touch it, we too become unclean. Ephesians 5:4 “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.” David tells us in Psalm 1, to neither sit nor stand with such people. Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Ungodly people are unworthy and unclean, and we must not mix with them, for they will make us unclean too. This fox will destroy the tender vineyard which has already blossomed. Jude 1:18 “How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.” During the end times, this fox will bite and infect many people by his uncleanness. There will be several people making a mockery of mankind. We may think that mockery is a small act, but it can bring great damage in life. However close friends one has, one needs to be wary of them.
Proverbs 11:13 “A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.” A talebearer reveals all secrets, but he who has the true Spirit within, will conceal secrets as required. If a teacher does not punish a mischievous child, then the child will be spoilt. But when a teacher corrects the child, it gives the child a chance to change and improve his/her ways. This is the right thing to do, rather than to hide the child’s mistake. Similarly, if God hides our sins, we will never improve or change. God corrects us through His prophets and pastors today. Likewise, even today, God uses His servants to correct His children. The teacher has to behave as a teacher and a student has to be a student. We must have control upon ourselves and bind our mouth and keep secrets as they need be kept. We should not become tale-bearers in our lives. This is a fox in our life. Those who are tale-bearers are not of the spirit. Mary knew about Jesus Christ. The Angel of God appeared to her and spoke to her of the birth of Jesus Christ and revealed secrets – that Jesus would give His life for the world. But Mary, the mother of Jesus buried all these secrets within her, right till the secret of the Cross of Calvary. We should always be filled with the Spirit, only then we will not become tale-bearers.
We must never MURMER & GRUMBLE in life, whether for something small, or for anything large. Man is always ready to murmur against God. This is another type of fox. Psalm 106:25 “But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD.” We may think that if we sit in our rooms and grumble / murmur, God will not hear. But our God hears all that we speak, the good as well as the evil murmurings. This fox is evil, and will eat away all our prosperity. In the wilderness the Israelites grumbled against Moses and God, and thereby lost their blessings; for all adults barring two (Caleb & Joshua) did not see the promised land, and perished on the way. This fox will not let us reach our goal in life, and our tender and blossoming vineyards will be destroyed by such foxes. We must have fear that our God will see and hear us always. We should catch such foxes and throw them into the fire. The Israelites grumbled in their tents, but God heard them and punished them. God tests us in different ways, and we must always be wary of murmuring against Him, and failing His test.
Another type of fox is the LUST OF THE FLESH. 1 John 2:16-17 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” This desire destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Even Lot’s daughters were not spared, and they were caught in the lust of the flesh. Samson was also infected by this fox and he was made a spectacle to be ridiculed and paraded. We must be very careful of this type of fox.
Luke 1:34 “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” Mary was a woman who did not know any man, and who was now to give birth to a child. Was Mary a sinner? No, Mary did not allow a single fox to enter her life; she did not keep a single opening for sin to enter. She also kept the great secret of Jesus Christ within her, and she never grumbled or murmured about her situation. Imagine, Mary was an unwed young girl, but she accepted everything in her life according to the will of God. She went with Joseph wherever he took her, so that she could deliver her child in peace. Likewise, we must never grumble or murmur in life, more so, against the will of God.
Another type of fox is the JUDGING FOX. Mathew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” We should not condemn others, for it is God who will condemn. We know the story of the rich man and poor Lazarus. The Bible has recorded the name of the poor man, but the rich man’s name is not recorded. The rich man lived a lavish life, while the poor man lived a sad and poor life. But when both men died, Lazarus went directly to Abraham’s bosom, while the rich man went into the hell fire. The rich man called out to Abraham saying ‘Father Abraham,’ which signifies that he had heard the Scriptures while on this earth. He requested Father Abraham to permit him to go and tell his brothers who had not yet believed in God, that there is a real hell. Abraham answered him, ‘God has kept many prophets on earth for them, let them hear and listen to them; there is no use of you going down to earth. You are no one to show them their faults.’
We cannot keep our feet in two boats – the earthly kingdom and God’s kingdom. We cannot have both, and we have to choose any one. God’s way is difficult and narrow. We must make ourselves worthy to be God’s children. God has given the right to His prophets and priests to correct the people. We must be careful when we ourselves correct people who are wrong, for this may be a little fox in our lives. This fox is unknown to many. God always spoke to His prophets to give correction to His people. Paul says about this fox in Romans 2:1 “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” It is we who bring condemnation upon ourselves. Hence, we should keep such little foxes out of our lives.
Foxes are very cunning. Song of Solomon 2:15 “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” God our creator has taken great pains to create us and sustain us. We must take great care to not allow the fox to spoil our vines or our vineyard. Where is the axe kept? At the root of the tree, which is ready to be cut off. Mathew 3:10 “And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”
Jesus our Lord, speaks with authority here. Mathew 7:16-29 “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”
To save ourselves from all the above types of foxes, viz. disobedience, a wicked mouth, pride, love of the world, fear and disbelief, laziness, mockery & talebearing, murmuring/grumbling, lust of the flesh, and judging, we must be strong in our Lord God. The devil will keep sending all these little foxes into our lives, but God cautions us to catch these little foxes and beware of them, lest they destroy our tender and blossoming vineyard. Jesus Christ said we are worthy for nothing without Him, and we can do nothing without Him. But when we are with Him, we can bear immense fruits and be abundantly blessed. Without God, all our thoughts are futile and worthy for nothing. John 15:1-5 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
We can do nothing without our Lord God. Hence, let us always be entwined with God so that these little foxes can bring no harm into our lives.
May God bless us all through His Word.
Pastor Saroja M.
Praise the Lord everyone!
The Lord’s promise for our Pastor Saroja is that we will celebrate Christmas with more joy each year. True to His word, this year too, we had wonderful Christmas celebrations.
Our Old Age home was wonderfully decorated with a lovely big star, twinkling lights, and a beautiful Christmas tree. We also had the traditional Christmas biryani which was delicious, and we enjoyed the same to our hearts content.
May the Lord bless Pastor Saroja who has taken care of all of us so wonderfully throughout the lock-down. During the recent most crucial times, we never lacked for anything; for the Lord enabled Pastor Saroja to provide everything in a timely manner for the Old Age home. We pray that our good Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ continues to bless her so that she may be a blessing to many, many more.
Wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year. Praise the Lord!
All the Residents,
Rose of Sharon Old Age Home, Mira Road
The celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus at the Rose of Sharon Church was truly such a memorable evening. It was an evening filled with power-packed back-to-back performances from all age groups. As experienced every year, our celebrations keep multiplying – even this year we had more kids, youth, couples, and full families from all age groups, performing.
We are grateful to our mighty Lord for blessing and taking care of all our Sunday School children right through 2021, and for helping us step into the New Year with His love. By the grace of our Lord, there hasn’t been a stop to any of our celebrations because of the pandemic, and we have been blessed with another opportunity to celebrate Christmas.
Santa too visited us with loads of goodies. The night was filled with fun, laughter, and joy, while the little ones continued to enjoy dancing and praising God through the evening.
The joy of the season reflected on each and everyone’s face. The joy to celebrate as a family, and the opportunity to praise and thank God through all the performances, was phenomenal.
Do continue to uphold our little children to abide and grow stronger in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Once again, we wish all our readers a Blessed and Prosperous New Year.