Praise the Lord. Greetings in the matchless name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Psalm 92:12-13 “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.”
The word of God tells us that our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Ghost. The word also says, ‘If anyone destroys this temple, I will destroy them.’ This is so, because our life is not purchased, nor were we redeemed easily. Jesus was bruised, beaten, and He shed His life for us and redeemed us. It is because of this sacrifice that our lives are made beautiful today. Hence, we cannot lead a reckless life, living the way we want, and defiling our bodies; for the Word of God says that only the righteous shall flourish in the Lord’s presence. God allows us an opportunity to experience His grace in our lives each day, and through His name, mankind receives redemption from all their sins.
Mathew 3:15 “But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him.” When Jesus went to John to be baptised, John was hesitant. But Jesus told him ‘Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness’ When Jesus lived on the face of this earth, he fulfilled every word of His Father obediently. Yet, many of us today find it so difficult to be obedient, and we prefer the wide road in life, instead of the narrow road which leads to righteousness and eternal life.
Man, habitually questions God and His decisions. Why? Because man’s thoughts are not God’s thoughts. God’s thoughts are much higher than our thoughts, but to understand and realise this we need spiritual eyes. We take pride in our so-called greatness, but we forget, that if even for a second, our God turns His face away from us, we will perish from the face of this earth. Psalm 104:29 says, “You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.”
Zechariah 2:10-11 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord. “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.”
God keeps repeating to us time and again saying, ‘I will be with you till the end of this world.’ If God has to remain with us, we need to be righteous and fear Him always. A tree that is tall and beautiful must have strong and deep roots. Likewise, if we want to live a beautiful life with God, we must build a deep relationship with Him and be in unity with Him, only then will we have a fruitful life.
Till we meet again,
Pastor Saroja M
Praise the Lord. My wife, Monica, was suffering from high cholesterol. She was staying at my native place. I called the Prayer Tower at the Rose of Sharon Church, and the prayer warrior prayed for my request. I praise God, that my wife’s blood report came normal within a week.
Thank you, Jesus, for healing my wife. I also thank the Rose of Sharon team for their earnest prayers.
Bro. Uttam Bhagat, Jharkhand. (ROS TV Program Viewer)
Praise the Lord. On our marriage anniversary day, my husband and I were returning from the market, and on a sloping highway our bike couldn’t get a proper grip, and as it rolled backward, we both fell. I believe that only our dear Lord handled that situation and controlled the speed of the bike, for it could have been a worse accident.
The Lord’s hand saved us from this critical situation, with not a scratch on our bodies. I give all glory to our dear Lord Jesus for saving us, and I also thank Pastor Saroja for always keeping our family in her prayers. Thank You Jesus!
Sis. Esther Patel, Thane, Maharashtra.
Praise the Lord. I was very anxious as my delivery date was overdue. I asked for prayers through the Rose of Sharon Prayer Tower. The brother prayed for me, and within a week, I safely delivered a baby girl.
I give all glory to Lord Jesus and thank all those who prayed for me.
Sis. Amrita, Faridabad, (ROS TV Program Viewer).
Praise the Lord. This is a testimony of Lord Jesus’ grace and mercy on me. In school, my supervisor gave me a task as a discipline monitor to make the students walk in a proper line.
I thank Lord Jesus for helping me, and also thank Pastor Saroja who prays for me always.
Sis. Grace Chilla, Thane, Maharashtra.
Praise the Lord. I was travelling to Orissa from Kolkata on business, for the first time. While travelling by train, I developed a fever and was unable to sleep. I immediately called the Rose of Sharon Prayer Tower and requested prayers.
I praise God for answering this prayer since my fever departed immediately and I had a peaceful sleep.
I was thus enabled thereafter, to conclude my business successfully and return home.
Thank You, Jesus, and thank you, dear Rose of Sharon Prayer Team.
Bro. Subash Sarkar, Kolkata, W. Bengal, (ROS TV Program Viewer).
Once upon a time, there was a boy named Victor who lived in a village. One day Victor was walking lazily on the streets, and he saw a mango tree full of ripe mangoes. He said to himself, “Why don’t I pluck some mangoes; I will eat some and take the rest back home. Father will be very happy to see them.” With this thought, the boy plucked many mangoes, put them in his bag, and went back home.
Victor told his father, “Father, see I have brought so many ripe mangoes.” “Whence did you get so many mangoes?” asked his father. Victor replied, “I saw a mango tree full of ripe mangoes on a property nearby, so I plucked it from there.” Father said, “Hmm… so you stole the mangoes?” “No father, nobody saw me plucking the mangoes from the tree,” Victor protested. To this, his father said, “Son, even when nobody is around, GOD is always watching us. He can see everything, whether we do good or bad – even if nobody else watching us.” Victor accepted his mistake and said, “Okay father, I understand. I will never steal again.”
After many years there was a big famine in their village, and there was nothing to eat in many homes. “Son, I am going into the field to cut some wheat for us from someone else’s field. You stand here and keep a lookout; if someone spots me, just give me an alarm, so I may return.” Saying this, the father started cutting the wheat. Suddenly, the son cried out, “Father, someone is watching you! Father, someone is watching you!” On hearing the son’s voice, the farmer came back without cutting any wheat.
“Son, I can’t see anybody here. You said someone was watching me,” the father said. To this Victor said, “Father, you told me that even if nobody is watching us, God is always watching us. He can see all our good or bad actions. No matter if we don’t eat, the Lord will make a way.”
This opened the eyes of the father, and he was very much ashamed. He decided never to do anything wrong in his life and returned with his son. For the word says in Proverbs 15:3 “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
1 Thessalonians 4:3 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality.” Our Lord is aware that we live in a sinful world, yet He wants us to live our lives in purity. To live in purity and righteousness, we have to forsake a lot of bad habits residing within us – a drunkard has to leave his drinking habit, and a tobacco user has to leave off chewing tobacco. For our Lord, we have all forsaken our vices and moved ahead in life.
Why? Because ‘God’s Word & His Blood’ has purified us, we can leave behind all our vices. When we have the faith that ‘God’s Word & Blood’ will continue to purify us, should we then continue to drink and chew tobacco? Will His Word and Blood purify us then? No! Though we come to church regularly and hear God’s Word every Saturday and Sunday, it will not purify us if we continue with our vices. Remember, God loves us as sinners, but He hates our sins. Once upon a time, we were all sinners; we have all sinned in different ways. We were all in darkness, residing in the dungeon of death. But, after accepting God as our Saviour, His blood has washed and cleansed us, and we hear His Word and grow in it. We have left our vices behind in this world, and have moved ahead with the Saviour Lord as His children. It is only our faith in the Blood of Jesus and His Word that has given us deliverance from our sins, cleansing us of our filth and wretchedness. We must always remember, that however big and deep our sins are, no doctor or relative can heal our sins; it is only our Lord God who can heal us and deliver us from our every sin. His Word and His Blood alone can purify us. Our God is pure and we are His children, hence we must also be pure before Him.
Often, we are answerable for whatever we speak. Proverbs 21:23 “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” We think that only drinking, tobacco chewing, committing adultery, etc. are grave sins. But the Word tells us that he who guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from trouble. Keep your tongue in check, and control it always. When the Israelites were being brought out of bondage, and when they travelled in the wilderness, they did not drink wine, chew tobacco, or commit adultery. However, they murmured against the Lord God constantly. Hence many of them were destroyed in the wilderness itself. Even today, we must believe that this is the time we are travelling in the wilderness before we reach Zion, the promised land. We need to keep our mouths under guard and tongues in check, for they can destroy our souls. We must not think that we are not sinners simply because we do not smoke or chew tobacco, drink alcohol, or commit adultery. We may feel that we are righteous in all that we do, but the ‘Word’ says that we must control our tongue and mouth, only then will our souls will be saved.
Remember how God loved the Israelites? He was a cloud by day to protect them from the sun’s heat, and a pillar of fire by night to provide them with light in the wilderness. Despite seeing God’s love and marvellous doings, the Israelites grumbled against God and did not keep their mouths guarded and tongues in check. As a result, they were severely punished for their murmurings. Even today, we must always yearn to stay in His shadow, for then God will be a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night for us. Our God’s eyes are always upon us day and night. He can see our every unrighteousness and wrongdoings. Likewise, His ears are inclined to whatsoever may come out of our mouths against Him. Our Lord God says in Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue. Keeps his soul from troubles.” There is a limit for unrighteousness, but for righteousness, there is no limit. We can always become purer and purer in our lives. While unrighteousness has a limit, purity is limitless. To live a life of purity is not easy, and to do so we have to lead our lives very carefully. Remember the story of Samson? He committed adultery with a harlot, and so lost his righteousness thereafter, in life.
2 Corinthians 5:3-5 “if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” The Apostle Paul says that we can become righteous by hearing the Word of God daily. For the Word to be written across in our hearts, we need to read and hear the Word again and again, until our inner being is completely changed.
If there is a deficiency in our white blood corpuscles or red blood corpuscles, or if there is a deficiency of any parameter in our blood, the doctor advises us on a course of treatment to regularize the same. Sometimes, as per the doctor’s advice, this course of treatment may be for a few months to a year or even life-long. Similarly, by hearing the Word of God, again and again, every Saturday and Sunday, for years on end, our deep-rooted sins will be healed by the Word. It is not a miracle that our sins vanish when we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour; our sins vanish when we are washed by His blood. Also, we feel that when we take a water baptism our sins will all go away. No! We cannot be purified overnight. It is only by hearing the Word of God again and again over the years that our innermost being will finally change. It is then that true change comes into our lives.
Hebrews 11:14 “For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.” In the congregation of Ephesus, there were many ‘wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing’ who had entered the Church. The Apostles recognized these wolves. The congregation of Ephesus had the Spirit of patience, they had great wisdom and understanding, and hence there was unity amongst them. 1 Corinthians 13:7 “Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” The Lord God applauded this congregation for they had the patience to bear all things, believe all things, hope in all things, and endure all things. Even though ‘wolves’ entered the congregation in sheep’s clothing, they could easily be pointed out, for the Ephesian congregation was different and very special to the Lord.
We too must never take our Church for granted. This is a chosen sacred Church. We are His chosen congregation. We are all one before God, and God is not partial to any of us, for He treats us all equally in this Church. There should never be any such doubts in our minds. Even as the Ephesus congregation could bear all things, we too as a congregation of this sacred Church, should bear all things. Our Lord God is searching within each one of us, qualities prevailing in the Church of Ephesus. As God loved the congregation of Ephesus, so also, does He love our congregation. Hence, when we are convicted, we get correction and counselling through the Word of God in this, our sacred Church. We must accept the correction and change our lives for the better.
None of our lives are so pure before God, that we can never sin, do unrighteous deeds, or hurt God in any way. Many a time we sin, disobey God and do wrong against Him. When God shows us our sins, disobedience, and wrongdoings, we must accept His correction gracefully and try to change our lives for the better. Even as the Lord God said in anger to the Ephesus’ congregation, ‘Repent and do the first works, or else I will come quickly and remove your candlestick from its place,’ so may God warn us when we sin. Our God will never fight against His congregation and loved ones easily. He talks to us with love, warns us of the consequences, and only if this fails, He then punishes/judges us. It is imperative to heed God’s warnings immediately and repent accordingly. Our knees must bow down to our Lord in repentance, or else His anger will fall upon us. When this happens, we must praise and thank God for showing us our sins. Even before we fall into the hands of the devil, God shows us our sins. We must praise and thank God for this.
We must count ourselves privileged and beloved to receive God’s warning and correction immediately. Why does God correct us? It is because we are His sons/daughters. If God had not loved the congregation of Ephesus, they would not have received correction and thereafter, their deliverance. We must always count ourselves blessed to receive God’s correction in our life.
1 Peter 2:19-20 “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.” We must love our God, and if for His sake we are persecuted, then it is beneficial to ourselves.
It is for our good that God corrects us, as He wants to make us better people. This correction makes us His sons/daughters. Hebrews 12:7 “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?” God chastens us because He believes we are His children.
If we have three children, of which one is a very good child, and does not squabble; whenever there is a fight between the other two mischievous children, we may correct all the three children, including the well-behaved child as he/she did not correct the other two who were fighting. This is because we love all three children equally. Similarly, God corrects us all and chastens us because He loves us. We need to humbly receive any correction that God gives us today, to make ourselves worthy to enter His Kingdom in the future.
Joshua 3:5 “And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” Joshua asked the people to sanctify themselves that very day for the miracle of God to happen the next day. As normal human beings, we first expect miracles in our lives, after which we are ready to sanctify ourselves. But this is not God’s law! God’s law is that we sanctify ourselves now (today), and thereafter (tomorrow), we will see God’s miracle. Who does not like miracles? God’s children, as well as those who do not believe in Him, like to see miracles in their lives. We all desire God’s miracles in our lives. Many a time, because of our sins we are unable to experience God’s miracles in our lives. Often, God says in the Holy Scriptures that is it our sins that have formed a veil between Him and us. Hence, we need to be delivered from all our sins for us to see the glory of God. Joshua 3:5 “And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
There are many who are healed of their illnesses just by a prayer of faith, not because they know God, or that they are righteous; but because faithful ‘Prayer Warriors’ are praying for them. God hears and answers His faithful believers even when they are praying for unbelievers. The prayer of the faithful brings healing to unbelievers. We know the story of a paralytic man being brought to Jesus for healing. This man was a sinner, but Jesus recognised the faith of the four persons who carried him, and He healed the paralytic immediately. Mathew 9:2 “Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” If we live a life of great faith, many people will be saved through our faith, just as Jesus healed the paralytic when He saw the faith of the four persons who brought him for healing. Who was this man, why was he paralysed, and why did he suffer for so many years? Jesus did not bother about his background, for He saw the faith of the four men who had lifted and brought the paralytic in front of Him, and because of this act, Jesus honoured their faith. The Pharisees gathered there started criticizing Jesus as they knew the paralytic man’s background. But this did not bother Jesus, and it was only because of the faith of the four men that Jesus went on to heal the paralytic.
Our Church may be a small church, but even today Jesus is seeing each one’s faith, and accordingly, He will bless us. God can work wonders and miracles through a small congregation such as ours. Even as Jesus gave life to the paralytic, similarly He can also work wonders through us, and our faith in Him. In the book of Joshua, we read how Joshua told his people to sanctify themselves that very day, for they would see a miracle the next day. If we are sanctified today, our Lord God can perform great miracles through us tomorrow. In the Lord’s Temple, we receive the Truth, the Word, the Love of God, Happiness, and Joy. Those to come in faith to God’s Holy Temple will never go away empty-handed, and none will remain a begging.
In Acts 3, the parents of a lame man left him at the temple gate to beg, because, through his begging, the whole family survived. The people who came to the temple were rich, and they gave their gold and silver as alms. They loved the poor and gave good alms to the poor. Going to God’s temple is an important act, and those filled with the Spirit of God also visit the temple. When Peter and John went here to pray, the lame man begged alms from them. They said to him, ‘Silver and Gold have we none, but we come in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.’ They went on to heal the lame man in the name of Jesus and made him walk. The lame man went along with them into the church, walking, leaping, and praising God. We need to honour the temple of God, for it is in God’s temple that good and great things happen. Hence, we must sanctify our lives today itself, so that we may receive our blessings tomorrow.
Our God loves us, He shows us mercy and grace all the time. Jesus addressed Judas as His friend, even though he betrayed him for thirty silver coins. The Ephesus congregation was a congregation of love, and hence those wolves who came in sheep’s clothing were caught red-handed instantly.
Our God does not slumber nor sleep, His eyes are constantly upon us in this Church. This is not a man-made church; it is a church chosen by God Himself. When we wanted to make this chosen church the ‘Rose of Sharon’ Church, we were running here and there looking for a larger church. We knew that if we retained this church, we would have to hear evil and wagging tongues. With that fear, we were searching outside. Even then, since this is the chosen place, it says in the Holy Scriptures, ‘For wheresoever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together.’ In this place is the love of God, and it is this love that has won over us. God says, ‘Heaven and Earth will pass away, but My Word will never fall to the ground.’ Even today, God can change the Pastor, but He will continue to reign in this place forever.
We have to be worthy to be in His temple. Many people have been cast out of this Holy temple, yet the place remains, and it continues to grow even more. Even those who have left the church, know the truth, for everyone here has tasted the truth. The Scripture says that in Jesus’ second coming, those who crucified Jesus will also see the truth and they will cry out, ‘hide us, hide us.’ Similarly, those who have left our church in disdain and contention will also say the same. The Word that we get here is not given to please the people or to even make them stay as they are. Rather, it corrects, and through this correction, it brings blessings in our lives, as we then become righteous, and a flaming fire for our Lord. That is why we must accept every correction and conviction we get through the Word.
Even as He walked the face of the earth, Jesus was the living Word. He preached to the Gentiles and taught them the Word. These same people who heard the Word later crucified the Lord. Lord Jesus had already warned us of this by saying, ‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jesus did not say that we would have no tribulation. He said that what the people of the world did to Him, they would do the same to us too. Jesus then went on to say that we must have faith, for He has overcome this world. He alone is our hope and trust, and we must have faith in Him. Else, we will continue to sin with our mouths and tongues, and our souls will perish. Always live in the fear and love of God.
Numbers 11:18 “Then you shall say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the hearing of the Lord, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat.” Did God give this meat to the wandering Israelites with love? No, He gave this meat in anger, for the Israelites grumbled in the wilderness that they wanted to eat meat, even as they did in Egypt. The people grumbled that it was better for them to return to Egypt and eat the cucumbers there. God was angered with the crying and murmuring of the people, and so, while eating this meat, the wrath of God came upon them and many died with meat in their mouths.
We should not anger God with our mouths and tongues. God knows what is good for us. When we give our lives into His hands, He will provide the best for us. God provided the people pure manna i.e., angel’s food, whereafter even their sweat did not smell. Imagine, how happy we would be if we were to receive the same manna today! We would not have to work hard for it, nor toil for it, nor struggle for it. We would only have to worship and praise God all whole day long.
1 Peter 3:11 “Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.” Till God met him, Zacchaeus did not do good in his life. He was a rich man, a tax collector by profession. But the moment he met Jesus, he changed for the better. He left all his evil and sinful deeds behind and followed Jesus. God wishes the same from us today. God has come to teach us swimming so that we may survive and lead good lives, not to drown us.
James 3:13-18 “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
When God comes into our lives, all small sins are cleansed and uprooted from our lives. Thereafter, the Lord can use us and do mightier things through us in our lives. We must grow in God’s grace and not let any earthly things come in the way of our lives. Remember the song ‘This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, all the time?’ We must let the light of God shine within us and shine through us for the world outside. Let the world see this light too. We must not hide this light in our life. We must exhibit this light to the world, as Zacchaeus did. Because of this, Jesus proclaimed that from that day on, Zacchaeus was now a part of Abraham’s family. Seeing God’s work being done in our lives, God makes us his sons/daughters. Our desire must be that God’s light shines in us; and from us, on to this world.
David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties. And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” We must also pray every night as David prayed, ‘Search me O God and know my heart today, try me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’
God’s grace will always be new in our lives every day, and we are strengthened daily by His grace. For this, we must give our sins into His Hands every day. Only then will we feel free and peaceful in our lives.
Let the Lord bless each one of us. He is a good God. Let Him shower His goodness upon each one of us!
Pastor Saroja M.
June, the month the rainy season begins in Mumbai, is that month of the year which we all very much look forward to, after a harsh summer.
In fact, this year Mumbai experienced exceptional heat, the highest in many years. Yet, by God’s grace alone, though we had such terrible heat, all our residents remained safe and healthy.
They are now looking forward to the rains, so that the atmosphere cools down and there will be greenery all around.
Do be safe and continue to pray for our residents.
Pastor Saroja M
It is that time of the year that children most look forward to – the time for schools to reopen, and the monsoon season. The excitement lies in getting new school bags, bottles, and uniforms; and also, in welcoming the monsoon season.
After the pandemic, getting off virtual classes is what the children are excited about, with life moving back to normal. The kids eagerly await getting drenched in the first monsoon rains and playing in the puddles while returning from school.
In the meantime, the children continue to learn new Bible lessons, getting drenched with enthralling Bible stories! The Senior kids explored the life of David – how he fought Goliath, how he escaped from Saul, and how despite having the chance to kill Saul, David chose not to harm him; although Saul continuously sought to harm David.
The Junior children learned about the life of Abraham, how his faith was tested when he was asked to sacrifice Isaac; how he obeyed God, and hence today, he is called the father of faith.
While the kids are still enjoying their vacations, we wait to hear their interesting vacation stories and their little testimonies of their faith in our Almighty God.
Let our children continue to be blessed, and let their zeal for the Lord increase while they continue to worship and testify of God’s work in their lives.