Greetings to all my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s that time of the year where all of us are going to be celebrating the “Harvest festival,” although this year it will be a different type of celebration! However, we must remember that Harvest is not a celebration of a day, but a daily celebration, as every day we have something to be thankful for in our lives. Hence, let us appreciate and be grateful to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, EVERYDAY!
Mathew 5:16 says “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” We, the children of God, must remember that we are not ordinary people, we are a chosen generation. We are chosen by our Lord God and called to do good works in this world – which is eventually our stepping stone to the Kingdom of God. It is important for us to know that every good work that we do, we will accordingly reap rich blessings in our earthly, as well as our eternal lives.
Once Jesus travelled to Bethany and He met a woman who did good works for Him. Those who saw this deed grumbled about her, yet what did Jesus say? Mark 14:3-6 “And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, ‘Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.’ And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.’ Whether the world knows it or not, God knows the good works you are doing for Him and His Kingdom. It does not matter if the people of the world or even your family members grumble or call you names; remember, God sees every little good work you are doing for HIM and at the end of our lives that is all that matters. We must keep increasing in our good works for the Lord, day by day, month by month, and year by year. So finally when we leave our earthly abode, Jesus will testify about you to His Heavenly Father saying, ‘Father God, he/she has done good works for ME!”
In this world, we must live our life with great patience and diligence to gain eternal life, for on the Day of Judgement, when we have to stand before God we have to be answerable for all our actions and deeds. Solomon was a wise King and God blessed him with unlimited wealth and wisdom to look after his kingdom. But at the end, Solomon also faltered. Hence the pursuit for eternal life is continuous and we have to daily strive to do our best and good works for the Lord. 2 Thessalonians 2:17 “Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.” When we stand for the Lord truthfully, He will bless us with strength, peace and authority to live our lives with our heads lifted high up. The only thing we have to remember is that in the pursuit of eternal life we must never displease God in any way, be it in our words or actions!
Hence, not only for one minute or one day or one year or a few years, BUT, every moment keep walking with our Lord God. Meditate on the Word of God as the Word is the light and truth which will never allow you to stumble. Obey His commandments and at the end you will reap benefits not only on earth but also in the Kingdom of God.
Let the coming year reap a rich harvest in each of our lives. Continue doing good works for the Lord Jesus and strive each day to enter the eternal Kingdom of God!
Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Saroja M
Praise the Lord. I was suffering from severe throat pain and infection. It was hurting so much that I could not eat anything, and I was feeling as if something was stuck in my throat. I told this matter to Pastor Saroja and Pastor assured me of her prayers. By God’s grace and Pastor’s prayers, I was healed from my throat infection and the pain just vanished away. I give millions of thanks to Lord Almighty for healing me from the throat ache and I also sincerely thank Pastor Saroja for praying for me and for always keeping me and my family in her prayers.
*Sis. Arikmary Richardson, Goregaon, Maharashtra.
Praise the Lord. Some time back, when we were travelling for the Sunday Church Service in our car, due to heavy rain, our car got trapped in rainwater and almost got submerged. We were unable to move the car, so we left it on the way side, believing that our Lord Jesus would take care of it. We then took an auto and proceeded to Church. After Church service when we went to check our car, we tried to start it, but we were unable to open the engine side, and I got worried thinking that perhaps the rainwater had seeped inside. When the mechanic checked, he simply changed the battery and filter and said the rest was fine and that there was nothing to worry about and immediately our car started working normally. However, the owner of a new car which had stalled next to our car requested our mechanic to check his car. It turned out that his car had water inside the engine. It was only God’s grace which saved our car from getting damaged in water. I thank Lord Jesus for taking care not only of us but also of our belongings. And I thank Pastor Saroja for praying for us always for our protection.
*Bro. Lancelot Lobo, Mira Road, Maharashtra.
Praise the Lord. My daughter Sara had very bad rashes on her lower abdomen and it was itching her terribly. I applied the prayer oil over the area and by God’s grace, within two days the rashes went off. I give glory to Lord Jesus for healing her and I also thank Pastor Saroja for praying over the prayer oil.
*Sis. Esther Patel, Mira Road, Maharashtra.
Praise the Lord. I suddenly developed mouth ulcers. I casually applied some medicinal gels to cool them off, but it was of no use; instead, day by day they became bigger and more painful. I finally realised my mistake of not applying the prayer oil in the beginning itself, instead of turning to these useless remedies. That same night I applied the prayer oil and immediately the next morning these extremely painful mouth ulcers had just vanished. I thank Lord Jesus for showing His immense mercy and healing me through the blessed prayer oil. I also thank Pastor Saroja for fervently praying over the prayer oil. Thank You Jesus.
*Sis. Evangela Roberts, Vakola, Santacruz, Maharashtra.
Praise the Lord. Prior to the lockdown, one Saturday at midnight, I developed severe loose motions and stomach ache. The very next day was our Sunday Church Service. I prayed to God in faith and drank the prayer oil, asking the Lord to heal me so that I would be able to attend the Sunday Church Service comfortably. By God’s grace alone, my health improved and I was able to attend our Sunday Church Service. I give all glory to our Lord Jesus for healing me and I also thank Pastor Saroja for praying over the prayer oil.
*Bro. Hardik Patel, Mira Road, Maharashtra.
There was once a man who was ship-wrecked and stranded on an island. Every day he prayed asking God to send someone to rescue him, but to his disappointment, no one ever came. Months passed and this man learned how to survive on the island. During this time, he accumulated things from the island and store them in a hut that he constructed.
One day after hunting for food and returning back to his hut, much to his dismay he saw that his hut was on fire along with everything else he owned! All of his possessions were going up in smoke! The only thing he had left were the clothes on his back. Later the man was on his hands and knees weeping heavily. In his fury he threw of fist into the air and began cursing God and yelling. “God, how could you let this happen to me? I have been praying every day for months about being rescued and no one has come, and now everything that I have is on fire! How could You do this to me! Why did You let this happen?” and again he started weeping heavily.
When he happened to look up and catch sight of ship coming in his direction. The man was rescued and as they were heading back to civilization the man asked the captain, “How were you able to find me?” The captain responded, “we were voyaging across the ocean when we noticed on the horizon a column of smoke going up. We decided to go check it out and when we did, that’s when we found you!” The man fell down on his knees thanked God and asked forgiveness for his murmuring against God.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55: 8 & 9
A long time ago, there were 10 men who lived in a small town near Jerusalem. The men had a disease called leprosy. This disease caused terrible sores all over their bodies. The men could not stay with their families or be with their friends because they might spread the disease to them. They were very lonely and sad. The disease made them sick and sore. One day, Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem. He came to the small town were the 10 men lived. The men saw Jesus. They did not get close to Jesus, but they called out to Him and said, “Master, please heal us!” When Jesus saw them, He told them, “Go and show yourselves to the priest.” Jesus knew the priest would have to see they were healed before they could go to their families. As the men walked away, their skin no longer had the awful sores. Jesus had healed them of this terrible disease. One man, realizing he no longer had the disease, turned around and came back to Jesus. He fell down on his knees and thanked God that Jesus had healed him. Jesus was glad the man had returned to give thanks, but He asked, “Where are the other nine?” Jesus wanted all the men to give thanks to God for being made well.
This real incident from the Bible has two very key learnings. One is the obvious amazing power of Jesus. The other is a lesson on the importance of our being thankful not only in words but also in action to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Most of the children in today’s times are thankful for the material things but do not understand the need to be grateful and thankful for people who love them. But as parents it is our responsibility to teach our children not to be thankful for only material things but also to people who love, care, share and pray for them. It is important for us to firstly look deeply into our own walk with God and consider the grace of our in our lives and then teach our children :
Why it is important to say “thank you” to people who help, love,
care, share, pray or made a difference in their lives?
Today, ask your children to express themselves and what better way by making personalised “THANK YOU cards.” Encourage them to go ahead and thank people who have loved, cared, shared and made a difference in their lives! Teach your children the importance and value of saying “THANK YOU”!
Psalm 36:7 “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.” God’s loving kindness brings grace, mercy and many blessings in our lives. God is kind and His kindness abounds in our lives. It is not as if that when God shows His kindness to one family, He will not have kindness left in Him for others. His kindness abounds upon all mankind. Romans 10:12-13 “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Our God is rich in kindness, there is no distinction in Him – whosoever calls out to Him will never be dismayed. Whosoever calls upon Him in Truth, whoever calls upon Him in Faith, God will not distinguish, but hear and answer every call. He will shower His grace, mercy and many a blessing upon those who call out His name. Hence in confidence we can say that God’s loving kindness will always be upon us. Without the grace of God and His loving kindness, we can do nothing, and the devil from time to time would be able to come against us and oppress us; but it is God’s grace alone that can give us victory. It is only by God’s grace that we stand here in His Holy temple every Saturday and Sunday. Many who used to stand here in the past have lost God’s grace and are no longer here. The Word says that His grace, mercy & kindness are not only for the Jews or the Greek, but for all mankind.
In our lives when we go through tough times, we must claim this Word. Romans 10:12-13 “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” We may fall a thousand times, but it is God’s kindness alone in our lives, that can lift us up once again. None of us are perfect. If we point one finger at others, three fingers are pointing back at us. Yet, through all our shortcomings and weaknesses, it is only God’s grace that keeps us safe in His shadow. We cannot limit our God’s kindness, grace and mercy upon us. He is not a fault finder, rather He forgives all our faults and iniquities and does not cast us out of His sight. When we come before Him with all our faults, shortcomings and iniquities, His grace is in a new form upon us. Many of us think ‘I am a regular offender, how can I go before God every time for forgiveness?’ It is the devil who puts these guilty thoughts in our mind; but our God is gracious, His grace and mercy is always upon us. God says ‘those who are burdened and heavy laden, come to me and I will give you rest.’ Whatever our sins may be, even if they be red as crimson, it is God alone who will heal and deliver us. We must never hide our sins, and instead come before Him with our sins, for He sees our hearts and not our face. He can deliver us from any kind of sin and iniquity, for He is a kind God whose mercy is abundant upon His children. Those who come before Him in truth and are perfect in heart, He makes rich. We must come before Him and bare our weaknesses, faults and shortcomings. Our God is a God for all caste and creed of people. Rich or poor, big or small, black or white, He has come to redeem us and give us salvation.
When those in power do wrong, the media is quick to exploit the situation and make big news of it. The same wrong happens in every corner of this world, but no one may come to know or write of it, as it may not involve the people in power or in the limelight. But when we commit the same faults or wrongs, our God watches over us and He alone can deliver us from them, for God sees, hears and answers. Whether someone sees or not, whether someone knows or not, we must examine ourselves of our faults and sins and come before Him naked and confess our wrongs. God’s kindness will immediately lift us up and deliver us from our every sin, and gift us with salvation.
Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” One can confidently say till the end of our lives that God’s kindness, mercy and grace will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. God has already blessed us with His loving kindness. Our faith should be strong in this. Each one of us know ourselves the best; we can recognize our every fault and we know our every sin, for nothing is hidden from our conscience.
You can confidently say that God by His loving kindness, has granted me salvation. Till the end of my life, His goodness and kindness will follow me and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. The law was given through Moses, but grace came through Jesus Christ our Lord. God alone can bless us with kindness, grace and mercy. John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” The Law was given through Moses, yet grace and kindness came through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Luke 1:28 “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” The angel addressed Mary as one who is highly favoured of the Lord. It is only through Jesus that we have all been blessed by His grace. Today, we are not controlled by the law but by the grace of God alone. He has delivered us from all our iniquities and it is His grace alone that saves us from our sufferings and punishments. Today we are all highly favoured of the Lord, through Jesus Christ. It is necessary for us to go to our Lord God every day to seek His grace in our lives. We must go down on our knees and beg for His grace, for if we receive God’s grace in the morning, our entire day will be blessed. We need His grace alone to give us victory during the day; at work, or against any hindrance planted by the enemy or his evil plans. As the Word says ‘The devil is a roaring Lion, he will tear us apart when the grace of God is not upon us.’ God’s grace alone has kept us away from grave illness, great tribulation and many great losses. The devil has many a plan to destroy us, but today we are not blessed according to the law, but by the grace of God alone. Hence it is important for us to seek God’s grace daily. Lamentations 3:23 “They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” God’s grace, His faithfulness is new every morning in our life, and without His grace we can do nothing. Yes, everyday God talks to us, and receiving His grace today is not enough for tomorrow but is sufficient for today. During the day we may have sinned and fallen short of His grace, so in the next new day we will need to seek His grace, mercy and kindness again. Every day, I too need His grace afresh each day in my life.
Moses prays in Psalm 90:14 “O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” O Lord, every morning satisfy us with your mercy so that we enjoy the whole day in Your grace, mercy and kindness. When Jesus lived in this world, He derived His strength, grace, kindness and mercy from His Father God, and every morning Jesus would go His Father to be strengthened. If Jesus needed to go to His Father every morning to receive His grace, how much more dependent should we be upon Jesus? Without God’s grace, if we fall we will not be able to stand up again. We may become rich, but many sorrows will be added to our riches if God’s grace is not upon us. However when God’s grace is upon us, He never adds sorrow to it. This is God’s secret in our lives. Mark 1:35 “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Jesus went alone, in isolation to seek His Father God early morning to receive His grace, so that during the day He could carry out His ministering to the people viz. to heal the broken hearted, to set the captives free, to make the lame to walk again and to open the eyes of the blind and to preach the Word and comfort the people. If Jesus knelt before Father God to receive grace from Him, how much more we need to kneel in God’s presence to receive our blessings? Grace does not fall from heaven just like that; the more we kneel before God the more His grace and blessings fall into our lives. Even if the devil brings a storm into our lives, we will not drown. If the devil plans our downfall, God will lift us up; hence we need to derive our strength from God’s hand of grace alone. It does not mean that when God’s hand of grace is upon us, evil will not attack us; surely the devil will, but God will rescue and lift us up before we fall. Whosoever is humble before God, God will bless them. Hence we must always be humble. Jesus was always humble and it was in humility that He went daily before His Father.
Proverbs 3:34 “Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.” God loves the humble and those with a contrite heart. We must always come before the Lord with humility and brokenness. However big our sorrow or pain is, God will hear and answer us if we come before Him with humility. We should always take the smallest problem as a big problem before our Mighty God, We should never go before Him with pride, for then only will God hear and answer our prayer; and whether big or small, our God will be ready to deliver us from all our problems. We must acknowledge before God, even our smallest sins, as if they are big ones. God who sees our heart will answer and deliver us from our sins. It is God’s grace alone which can deliver us from our all our sins, whether big or small. Our God is never partial, He never distinguishes between the rich and poor, the low and high caste, the weak and strong or the big and small. He is an impartial God and loves mankind equally. All He wants is for us to be humble before Him. James 4:6 “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. We cannot limit God’s grace, for His grace is without boundary.
In the Holy Scriptures, we know of two people who were praying in the temple in Luke 18:13-14 “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” The Pharisee proudly praised himself while praying, while the Publican prayed with a contrite heart and a broken spirit, acknowledging his sins and submitting himself to the Lord. We know how God heard the prayer of the humble Publican rather than that of the proud Pharisee. Whenever we come before the Lord God, we must always come with meekness and humbleness in our heart, for none of us are sinless, perfect or good. Without God’s grace, we can do nothing, and we are worthy for nothing.
Exodus 34:6 “And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,” - We must never fall before man, instead we should fall only at God’s feet, for it is at His feet where we will receive His grace. God alone can bless us with everything in our lives. Romans 9:23 “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,” - God has made us from clay, made us in His own image, put His breath within us and prepared us for His glory. He has made us kings and priests, His sons and daughters; and He has made us worthy to call Him Abba Father. We are but a clay pot with His spirit within us. How wonderfully we are made, for when His breath was put within me, a clay pot like me was given life. What a wonderful Father we have in God.
In our living lives, our breathing pattern has to be normal, for we have to inhale and exhale to live. If ever our breath is taken away from us, we will live no more. Our body has no value when there is no breath; once there is no breath in our body, our body cannot be kept for even a few hours as it will begin decaying and start to smell. God’s grace is essential every moment, every day. We can never purchase God’s grace, as it is a gift of God. Psalm 8:5 “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.”
Jesus prayed for all believers and said in John 17:22 “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:” Jesus has given the grace that His Father God had given unto Him, to those who are humble before Him. When God the Father sent Jesus to earth, He sent Him with His abundant grace, hence Jesus prayed ‘The grace that you have given me, I have given to those who believe in you.’ As we have read in Psalm 8, we are made a little lower than the angels and God has given us His crown of glory and honour. We can now understand what Jesus’ prayer was for you and for me. Hence our hearts and minds should glorify God alone and we believers must be entwined in Him and be one, even as Jesus was with His Father God.
The glory that our Father God gave His Son, Jesus gave us of this same glory with no partiality, since He is an impartial God. Whosoever calls out the name of Jesus receives salvation. This is God’s biggest grace. Only because of Jesus’ prayer have we received the glory of God. The same glory was on Moses’ face too, as his face was shining because of the glory of the Lord. It was God’s grace alone.
When Stephen was stoned to death, his face was shining with the glory of God. Whenever we are in pain and sorrow and we seek God diligently, our face too will shine with the glory of God and the evil one will see this glory upon us. Nothing could separate Stephen from God – no suffering or pain; even as Jesus could not be separated from His Father God at the Cross of Calvary.
Jesus’ every prayer and thought when He was in this world, was for us believers. It is Jesus’ love alone that can lift us up from all sorrow and pain in our lives. From the beginning, God made us in His own image, both man and woman. God consoles us like a Father, Mother, Brother or Sister, and in whichever way we call out to Him, He will be there to lift us up with His Fatherly love and Motherly mercy and console us. His grace is therefore always upon us in every situation of our life. It depends on our faith and how we reach out to Him. In every situation of our life, let us call unto Him with faith. When we kneel before Him with faith, His grace, mercy and loving kindness will always be upon us.
Let this message bless everyone! Praise the Lord!
Pastor Saroja M.
Praise the Lord! It’s the season of “thanksgiving” and I personally am really grateful and feel blessed for the very many blessings my Lord Jesus Christ has showered in my life and continues to do. Thank you Jesus!
After nearly 5 months of lockdown and various society impositions, the gates of our Rose of Sharon Old Aged Home were open on 6 September, 2020. On the first chance, Pastor Saroja and myself went and visited our ROS home. It was such a moment of joy to meet all the residents and we were overwhelmed with emotions since we were seeing them after so long. The residents too were overjoyed in meeting us. It was so humbling to hear that they were literally praying that Pastor Saroja should come soon to visit them. They also thanked her for taking care of them so wonderfully during the entire lockdown period. The love and affection which all the residents shower on Pastor Saroja and us every time we visit them cannot be expressed in words. All glory to our Lord Jesus for taking care of all the residents during the crucial times we have faced. May our Lord Jesus keep them bubbling with love, joy and peace today and always.
May our Heavenly Father also bless Pastor Saroja for all the love and care she showers on all the residents and fulfils even the smallest desire of theirs, timely.
Happy Harvest to all the readers and may all of us continue to be grateful for all the wonderful blessings we continue to receive from our Heavenly Father!
Praise the Lord! As we celebrate the festival of “Harvest” this month. We wish all our readers a Happy Harvest on behalf of all our kids at the Rose of Sharon Sunday School.
As each year, this year too, we thank our Almighty Lord for the health, wealth and blessings that He has showered into our lives. This year is a special year of “thanksgiving” for us all, as even though we were confined to our homes for a long time now and most of our life schedules have been haywire, but the one thing that we were certain of is the grace and mercies of our Lord Jesus in our lives. Our Heavenly Father has kept us all in good health and provided all our needs even in these trying times and kept all our children in good health.
We are grateful to our mighty Lord to have helped our kids learn from the online Sunday School. The Senior kids were taught and they learnt from the life of Queen Esther. The lessons they learnt from the book of Esther was:
✓ How in faith Esther obeyed Mordecai and took a stand for the Jews not fearing for her life
✓ How Esther obtained the grace of God in her life and was instrumental in saving the life of the Jews.
Similarly, the junior kids learnt the stories of the Good Samaritan, the Ungrateful servant and few other parables which spoke about being grateful for what you receive and learn to share of what we have and not expecting to be helped in return. The children were taught the importance of being selfless!
As the kids continue their learning in Sunday School. Do uplift our little ones in your prayers.
Happy Harvest once again to all. Praise the Lord!