Praise the Lord. Greetings to my dear readers in the mighty and most matchless name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The past month has been a blessed month wherein I have personally experienced the mighty hand of God. All glory to Jesus for His tender mercies on my life and on the lives of my near and dear ones!
James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” We must always try to get close to God and only then will He draw closer to us. When we try to go away from Him, He never gives up on us easily. He shows us His grace in different ways so that we may understand His love. Lord Jesus intercedes with God the Father for us and requests for some more time to work in our lives and hearts. While asking for time from His Father, Jesus prays saying, “Father, I will dig my people’s heart more and more with the Living Word and ensure that they are fruitful for the Kingdom of God. But if my people do not relent from their sinful ways and do not hear the Word and do not pay heed to My commandments, then I will pluck them and destroy them into the fire.”
What is the use of a life where we are away from God? It is a futile life, when we choose to run away from the Lord. Understand the word clearly: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” We must always have the desire within us to come closer and closer to God. We must have the zeal to come to His temple. We must have the thirst to hear His living word. When God sees the desire, zeal, faith, love and thirst within us, then our God will do everything for us and bless us in abundance, as nothing is difficult for Him.
Hence remember, the first step always begins with US!
Jesus speaks in a parable in Luke 15:20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” The son only thought of coming to his father and had to take the initial steps towards him, but when the father saw him from afar, he ran towards his son to embrace him. Today, the same Word is preached here; the closer we come to God, He will come even more close to us! The decision to take the first step though, has to come from within us.
Hence, dear brothers and sisters, do not delay any more. Come closer to God. He is waiting for you to love and obey Him with your whole heart, soul and mind so that He can bless you abundantly.
Till we meet again. Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Saroja M.
Praise the Lord. I had severe loose motion along with severe pain. I called up Pastor Saroja and explained her all the matter and told her that I was also experiencing too much weakness in my body and feeling giddy. Pastor advised me and also assured me of her prayers. By God’s grace alone I followed Pastors’ advice and through her fervent prayers immediately I felt relief from the pain and the continuous motions I had since the past two days. I give all glory to Lord Jesus for healing me and strengthening me. I also thank Pastor Saroja for her fervent prayers and valuable advice for me.
*Sis. Esther Patel, Mira Road
Praise the Lord. I was suffering from back pain since many days. On Saturday after Healing Service I told my problem to Pastor Saroja. Pastor prayed for me and by her prayers the back pain completely vanished and I was totally healed. I give millions of thanks to our Lord Almighty for hearing Pastors’ prayers and healing me. I thank Pastor Saroja for praying for my back pain and also for always keeping me and my family in her prayers.
*Sis. Elizabeth Arikswamy, Mumbai
Praise the Lord. My name is Shubam from Rampur, Punjab, I work in a bank and my colleagues – Nadeem and Ajay who work as cashiers in the same bank were falsely accused in a gold loan case. I kept this request with Rose of Sharon prayer helpline. Within few days they were released from this false accusation. I give heartfelt thanks to our Lord Jesus for doing this wonderous work in their life. And I thank ROS Ministry for their prayers. Thank You Jesus.
*Bro. Shubam,Rampur,Batinda,Punjab. (ROS TV Program Viewer)
Praise the Lord. I was suffering from severe headache since many days. Even after taking medicines I was not getting alright. I told this matter to Pastor Saroja. Pastor advised to apply the prayer oil and also prayed for me. After following her advise and prayers, I was miraculously healed from my headache. I sincerely thank Almighty God for healing me from this problem. And I also thank Pastor Saroja for fervently praying over the blessed prayer oil for us.
Sis. Arikmary Richardson, Mumbai.
Praise the Lord. I was experiencing severe pain in my lower abdomen due to which I had great difficulty while getting up and while sitting down. This went on for a week. I then requested Pastor Saroja for prayers. Pastor first counselled me and also gave me some advice which I accepted and followed. After which the pain started receding slowly day by day and about a weeks’ time the pain had completely vanished. I thank and praise Lord Jesus for healing me. And I sincerely thank Pastor Saroja for praying for me and for giving me counsel and advice. Thank You Jesus.
*Bro. Austin Roberts, Mumbai
One night, while I was fixing dinner, there was a knock at the door. I opened it and saw a much worn down and an awful looking man. He was small, stooped, and shriveled. His face was lopsided from swelling, red and raw. He smiled at me and said pleasantly, “Good evening. I’ve come to see if you have a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning, and I can’t catch a bus until tomorrow.” He said he had been searching for a room all day and had no success. “I guess it’s my face. I know it looks terrible. But my doctor says- I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch!”
I told him we would find him a bed and that he could wait on the porch in the meantime. I invited him in for dinner, but he politely declined, waving a brown paper bag in the air. When I finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him. I quickly learned he had the biggest heart of anyone I knew. He fished for a living and supported his daughter and her family. He thanked God that things weren’t worse for him. That even though he had skin cancer, there was no pain. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.
At bedtime, we put a cot in the kids’ room for him to stay. In the morning, he had made the bed and was, once again, out on the porch. Just before leaving to catch the bus, he turned to me and asked, “could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don’t seem to mind.” I told him he was welcomed whenever he came around.
Every time he came to town, he would bring us gifts of fish and oysters. He would shuck them in the morning before catching the bus and bring them to us before his treatments. Whenever he would visit us, he would speak to our children and tell them biblical stories which we as parents unfortunately, never told our children. He would always tell them to love and trust God and how we should be thankful to God in every situation of our lives. His words were always a source of encouragement for us as elders and teaching for our children. Even when he didn’t come and stay with us, he would mail us packages of fresh vegetables. Whenever I received one of these, I thought of the first morning he left our house. The neighbor next door saw him leave and told us that we would lose roomers for housing such an awful-looking man. Maybe we did loose roomers once or twice, but our family will forever be grateful to have roomed a man with a heart of gold! The old man definitely was an awful looking man but he had a heart full of love. He had a heart who wanted to share his blessings with others. But people were so put off by his appearance that they failed to notice the goodness beneath.
So many times we as humans judge people based on their outward appearances but we forget that God does not look at our outward looks, He looks and judges us according to our hearts and by the works we do!
Genesis 16:2 “And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.” God had made a covenant with Abraham that He would bless him with an heir, but Abraham did not wait upon the Lord and instead conceded to what his wife Sarah asked him to do. Genesis 16:4 “And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.” Here we see how Haggai changed immediately after she learnt that she was pregnant with a child. She became ungrateful and looked down upon Sarah, with pride in her heart, thinking she was wise and that Sarah was foolish. As the saying goes: like mother, like daughter; or like father, like son – so it happened in Genesis 21:9 “And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.” Sarah forgot the covenant that God made with Abraham and she told him to have a child with her maid Hagar. Hagar in turn forgot the favours of her mistress, who gave her a name, her dignity and respect; and she looked down upon Sarah. Similarly, after Ishmael grew, he too began behaving like Hagar and looked down upon Isaac and mocked him.
God’s word says in Mathew 18:10 “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Isaac is the grandfather of the 12 tribes of Israel and just as Hagar forgot Sarah’s goodness and looked down upon her, so also did Ishmael to Isaac, when he mocked him and made fun of him. God’s people should never be mocked upon for we must remember that God keeps an angel in between Him and His chosen ones and this angel will report everything to God the Father in Heaven.
The apostle Paul says in Galatians 4:28-31 “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” You and I are promised sons and daughter like Isaac. Paul says that those born in the flesh, from times immemorial, troubled those born out of the promise of the Spirit of God. Even today, the same thing happens; the child born of the spirit is still mocked and teased by the people of this earth.
Ishmael was born to Abraham when he was 86 years old. Genesis 16:16 “And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.” At the age of hundred, Abraham was once again blessed with a child: a child that God had made a covenant with Abraham for, even after Ishmael was born, when Abraham was 99 years old. Genesis 17:1-10 “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.” The last verse talks of the covenant between God and Abraham and even as God made a covenant with Abraham, Jesus also made a covenant with us when he gave his life for us on the Cross.
1 Corinthians 11:25 “After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” When we look towards the Cross and remember Jesus’ sacrifice and the shedding of his blood for us, we remember the new covenant He made with us – His sons and His daughters; and it changes our entire perspective to life, for He thereby makes us Christians. Before we are saved we are different individuals. Unless we look unto the Cross and accept Jesus Christ, we cannot become Christians. Only when we accept Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the Cross, can we claim Jesus’ new covenant for us.
Deuteronomy 28:10 “And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.” The name of Jesus is given unto us and we become Christians. Even as God made a covenant with Abraham, similarly when we look to the Cross we must remember the new covenant that Jesus Christ made with us through His precious blood. When we are washed with His blood, we renew Jesus’ covenant with us and we become Christians and join the family of Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus gave His life for mankind, thereby purchasing us with His blood to make us His own. The devil can touch and trouble us and bring trial and tribulation into our lives, but he cannot touch our soul for we are purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.
We know of the man in the Bible who was possessed by evil spirits (a legion of them) and who lived his life in a cemetery, inflicting wounds on his body. The devil, however, could not touch his soul. Jesus delivered the possessed man and his soul by sending those evil spirits onto a herd of swine who subsequently jumped off a cliff into the sea. Jesus has shed His blood for us and purchased us with His precious blood, giving us His name for our sakes; this is why the devil and his followers fear the name of ‘Jesus.’
Ishmael’s mother Hagar took him and went far off into the wilderness and lived there. In her pride, anger and resentment, Hagar forgot that Ishmael was Abraham’s seed and she looked for brides amongst the Egyptians and married him off. It is at this point that Ishmael and Isaac separated completely and went their own ways. Genesis 21:21 “And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.” Since Hagar was not a spiritual mother, she thought in the ways of the world and married off Ishmael to an Egyptian. Abraham was saddened when he heard this news and he prayed for Ishmael in Genesis 17:18 “And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!” Abraham, the servant of God, was deeply sorrowful and he prayed with a great burden, for Ishmael was His seed. God’s reply came in Genesis 21:13 “And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.”
Our God is a God of Love. Just as the twelve tribes of Israel came through Isaac, so also through Ishmael came forth twelve tribes. Both Isaac and Ishmael grew strong in stature and power. God blessed them both as they both were Abraham’s seed. Yet, Isaac and Ishmael were very different from each other, their thoughts and their works were very different. Just as Sarah and Hagar were both different from each other, so also were their children. Even today, the people who live according to the flesh are different from the people who live according to the Spirit.
The Apostle Paul said in Galatians that just as it was then, so it is today and so will it remain in the future. The ones who live according to the world will continue to harass those who live by the Spirit. The people of the world live by might and think their power alone is sufficient for them to progress in life, whereas the spiritual people think: ‘it is not by might, it is not by power, but only by the Spirit of the Lord.’
I once met a family who has two daughters with an age difference between them of just a year. Both daughters, though brought up in the same home and in the same atmosphere, are strangely different. The father of the girls told me that one was born before the family accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and the other was born after they became believers. The nature of both daughters happened to be quite the opposite. The elder daughter, born before the family became believers, was in the ways of the world and she did not like family prayers, nor did she like to go to Church; while the younger one born after the family accepted the Lord, was always first for family prayers and loved to go to church. In a similar manner Ishmael and Isaac were also very different and they clashed spiritually.
You and I are free people, we are not under bondage to anyone and we are fearless people. Romans 8:15-17 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.Romans 8:16″ The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:Romans 8:17″And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Those born in the Spirit and washed by His precious blood are worthy to call Jesus, Abba Father. The spirit within us is obedient and submits to God’s Spirit. The people of this world will continue to harass and inflict pain in the lives of spiritual people, but we must not fear them and forsake Christ for them. Even as Isaac struggled with his brother, we also need to fight the evil in this world.
When we fight evil and become worthy to call Jesus – Abba Father, we will be blessed and receive our Spiritual blessings. Deuteronomy 28:12 “The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.” This will be the blessing in our life. In the end, it is a fight between the physical and spiritual, but the final victory is always for the spiritual people. It will put to shame the wisdom of the ways of this world.
Jesus gave His blood to wash and cleanse us and to deliver us from every sin. In the end we will receive the latter rain, viz. the Holy Spirit will be poured out for the spiritual children – those purchased by the blood of Jesus. Victory will be for the promised seed of Abraham, not for Ishmael. The windows of heaven will open and the Holy Spirit will be showered upon God’s children. We will never become the tail, but will always remain the head. We will lend and never borrow.
Sometimes it may take time for God’s promise to come to pass. The same God who promised Abraham has also promised you and me. We have seen that Sarah’s thinking and Hagar’s thinking was not the same. Similarly, Ishmael’s thinking and Isaac’s thinking was also not the same. It is only because of Abraham’s prayer that Ishmael begat 12 tribes. There is always a struggle between the Spirit and worldly things. Our trust must always be on the God with whom we have covenanted. He alone will lift us up and He alone will bless us.
May this word bring blessings to all. Praise the Lord!
Pastor Saroja M.
Praise the Lord! Wishes for a blessed month from all our residents in the Rose of Sharon Old Aged Home and Myself to all our readers. Hoping and praying that all of you are safe and healthy in these difficult times.
Much to everyone’s relief, after nearly 2 ½ months the lockdown has eased a bit since 8 June, 2020. Just to let you know that the Committee members of Gaurav Residency have taken a decision that no outside guests / visitors are allowed into the complex till the overall situation in Mumbai is a bit better. As you are aware that unfortunately, Mumbai, Maharashtra is the highest state for Covid 19 in India and the numbers are just increasing every day but all the residents of our Home are in good health by God’s grace. Hence, it’s my personal request to all the family members of our residents to please hold on a little more longer to meet their loved ones as it is for their own safety.
The celebrations in our Home though are continuing by God’s grace. Sis. Victoria Anchan’s birthday was celebrated on 15 June, 2020 with a wonderful special breakfast for all and the birthday cake distributed for everyone.
Do continue to pray for the residents of our Home as well as for all the elderly in our country, that our good Lord may keep all of them under HIS shadow and give them good health.
Take care and God bless,
Pastor Saroja M
Harry was visiting his grandparents after a long time. Since he was going to the farm he took a sling to play in the farm. Even after several attempts he failed to get the right aim with his sling. While heading back for dinner from the farm in a impulse he let the slingshot fly on his Grandma’s pet duck, that hit the duck straight in its head .Harry panicked, and hid the ducks dead body, only to see his sister watching!
Post dinner Grandma said, “Hanna, let’s wash the dishes.” But Hanna said, “Grandma, Harry told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.” She whispered to him, “Remember the duck?” So Harry did the dishes.
Later that day, Grandpa asked if kids wanted to go to the nearby fair “I’m sorry but I need Hanna to help make supper.” said granny. Hanna just smiled and said, “All right because Harry told me he wanted to help.” She whispered again, “Remember the duck?” So Harry stayed back and made supper.
This continued for several days Harry finally couldn’t stand it any longer.
He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, “I know. I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Hanna make a slave of you.”
Similarly, when we sin its best for us to confess our sins and be forgiven rather than the devil reminding us of our wrongs and making us his slave.
Do continue to uphold our little one’s in your prayers.