Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. I trust all of you and your family members are safe and healthy. Do continue to abide under the shadow of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as we are surfing through the waves of lockdown!
Isaiah 60:2 “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”
When we are awake spiritually and not only physically, we will keep dusting off the dust from ourselves and we will always desire to be a vessel that is clean and shines only for the Lord. The word of God says that even if there is darkness covering the earth, our Lord’s glory will shine upon us. Praise the Lord for this wonderful promise, which is so true in the current scenario!
Psalms 34:10 “The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” What a wonderful promise! Our Lord God will never give us trouble, sorrow and pain; but the problem is that we do not realise this as we do not understand His ways.
In the Bible we learn about the Zarephath widow to whom God sends Elijah with a purpose, that is to bless her, but she did not know it. She was planning to have her last meal with her son after eating the last bit of flour and oil in her home, before they died of starvation. Yet, in that moment of sorrow and pain, she offered this last meal to Elijah. Seeing this faith in the time of extreme famine, Elijah blesses her home so abundantly that the word of God says that flour and oil never ceased in her home, though there was complete famine in all of the land. This was God’s blessing for her, which she did not understand, but her act of faith made her receive it! Today too our Lord God wants to give each one of us the same blessings; but it is up to us as to how much faith we have at the time of extreme sorrow – for us to be blessed accordingly!
In everything we do, we must glorify our God alone. Colossians 3:24-25 “knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.” When we do any good thing for the Lord and for His Kingdom joyfully, we will reap a harvest filled with an abundance of blessings. At the same time, when we do evil and sinful things against the Lord and keep grumbling, we will harvest plenty of sorrow and pain in our lives. We must not be like the multitudes that flocked around Jesus Christ for only benefits, but rather be like the woman having an issue of blood, who yearned and aimed only to touch Jesus Christ and experience His power. We must thirst for the Lord, we must serve Him with zeal and enthusiasm and we will be blessed according to our works.
Today, if you have dust upon yourselves, dust it off; so that you can enter the door of grace which our Lord Jesus had opened for us, blamelessly. Do not be like Lot’s family who were just giving excuses as their hearts yearned for vain things of the world – rather desire and yearn for the Kingdom of God. Once again the Lord cautions us through His Word “Awake… Awake, and live your life for the Lord and sow richly in this world, so that we will harvest plentiful blessings in His heavenly kingdom.”
Till we meet again. Your sister in Christ!
Pastor Saroja M
Praise the Lord. I was admitted in the hospital for fistula. After that, I went through various allopathic and homeopathic treatments and suffered a lot due to pain and diet restrictions but found no relief in anything. Recently through my wife’s colleague, I got the blessed prayer oil from Rose of Sharon Church. I started using the prayer oil and there was considerable improvement in my health and I started experiencing healing. I want to thank Lord Jesus for healing received through His precious blood. Thank you Rose of Sharon Church and Pastor Saroja for your precious prayers and for the blessed prayer oil.
*Bro. Anil S.Vanjare, Thane (West), Maharashtra.
Praise the Lord. My wife, Lavina had very a bad swelling and extreme pain on the left side of her neck and had to be admitted to hospital. But since she was suffering from high diabetes, the doctor was not willing to do the surgery as it could lead to complications. Our dear Pastor Saroja was constantly praying for Lavina’s health and by God’s grace the Doctor agreed to do the surgery. The surgery took place safely and my wife came out of the danger zone in spite of having high diabetes. All thanks and glory to Lord Jesus who took care of my wife during this critical condition and I thank our Pastor for her sincere and earnest prayers throughout these difficult times.
*Bro. Lancelot Lobo, Mira Road, Maharashtra.
Praise the Lord. My wife, Tara Kushwa was suffering from shoulder and back pain. She had told Pastor Saroja that it was recurring again and again. Pastor advised me to get her checked at the hospital. After doing the angiography it was found she had over 80% blockages in her heart over nine places. She was advised by the doctors to undergo bypass surgery. I was worried as I did not have enough money. I consulted Pastor for her advice and heeded her counsel and then I got her admitted. By God’s grace everything went smoothly and her operation was successful. Now she is well. I thank Lord Jesus for healing her and thank Pastor Saroja for praying for her and for her valuable advice.
*Bro. Ramji Kushwa, Jogeshwari, Maharashtra.
Praise the Lord. I had severe itching on my face and eyes. I also was experiencing severe pain in my jaw. After Pastor Saroja prayed for me. I am completely healed. I give all glory to God and I thank Pastor Saroja for her fervent prayers for me.
*Sis. Taraben, Bhilad, Gujarat.
Praise the Lord. My daughter Sara was suffering from very high fever. Even after giving regular medicine for fever over two days, there was still no improvement. Then I called up Pastor Saroja and explained her the whole matter. Pastor advised me and also assured me of her prayers. By God’s grace alone that same night the fever left. I give all glory, praise and honour to Lord Jesus for healing my daughter. I also thank Pastor Saroja for her fervent prayers and advice.
*Sis. Esther Patel, Mira Road, Maharashtra.
An unemployed graduate name Jimmy woke up one morning prayed to God “Lord I have nothing in my hand, please help me” and then he checked his pocket all he had left was $10. He decided to use it to buy food and then wait for death. He was frustrated as he could find no job, and all his family and friends had betrayed him and nobody was ready to help him.
When he just bought some food after spending the last of his money, suddenly an old man and two little children came along and begged him for help. He looked at them and realized they had not eaten for almost a week. They were so lean that he could see their bones and their eyes were sunken. With the last bit of compassion he had, he gave them his food. The old man and children thanked him for it and prayed that God would bless and prosper him and while leaving gave him a very old coin. Hesitantly, Jimmy took it and thanked them for giving him the little of what they had.
With no money, no job, and no food, the young graduate went under a bridge wait for death. As he was about to sleep he saw an old newspaper on the ground. He picked it up, and suddenly he saw an advertisement for people with old coins to come to a certain address. He decided to go there with the coin the old man gave him.
On getting to the place, he gave the proprietor the coin. The proprietor screamed brought out a big book and showed Jimmy a photograph. This same old coin was worth three million dollars. Jimmy could not believe what was happening and was overjoyed as the proprietor gave him a bank draft for three million dollars within an hour. He collected the bank draft and went in search of the old man and little children. By the time he got to where he had left them eating, they were gone. He did, however, find a note they left for him. He wasn’t prepared for what it read. “You gave us your all and we have rewarded you with the coin. Signed, the Heavenly Hosts.”
Romans 13:11 “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” In this world, physical sleep is very important. Those whom God loves, He gives them a good restful sleep always. David says in Psalm 3:5 “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.”
On the other hand, spiritual sleep is very dangerous. We must use our time with wisdom and see that we use this time effectively to avoid sorrow and pain later in our lives. Romans 13:12 “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Night time once spent, that time is over. We have seen during the times of Noah, how people were living in great sin; and because sin abounded on this earth, God decided to destroy the world, yet He brought Noah and his family out of this dark sinful world into the day time. Here we see how God destroyed the world but brought Noah and his family to safety after the floods receded from the earth. Sadly, Noah did not seem to use this time well; he enjoyed life, began drinking and enjoying himself and so Noah spiritually slept off. Genesis 9:21 “And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.” When sin abounded on the earth, God decided to destroy mankind, but He remembered Noah and his family and God saved only them. Once he settled into his new life, Noah started drinking and enjoying in the worldly way and he forgot all God’s blessings upon him and in his drunkenness he slept naked in his tent. Thus, Noah went into a spiritual sleep forgetting God’s mercy and kindness upon him. In his drunken stupor, Noah did not know when he became naked. We must remember that though sleep is important in our lives, we must safeguard our spiritual clothes. The Word says ‘Noah was naked.’ Even in our lives, we need to safeguard ourselves from spiritual sleep, for it is dangerous to sleep spiritually. We must use our time carefully; and especially, we must not fall into a spiritual sleep, rather we must remain alert and ‘watch and pray.’
We know of Samson’s story in the Holy Scriptures; how he was a valiant man and was chosen to fight the battles for the Israelites. However Samson slept off in the arms of a harlot, thus falling into a spiritual sleep. This spiritual sleep brought a lot of pain and sorrow in Samson’s life. Samson did not use his spiritual time effectively. He was chosen to fight for the Israelites and take care of them, yet instead of doing spiritual deeds, he dozed off into a spiritual sleep, thereby bringing great sorrow and pain in his life for he was blinded and bound by chains and paraded around like a joker by the Philistines. We must realize that spiritual sleep brings about a great loss in our lives and we must safeguard ourselves from this spiritual sleep.
In Jonah’s life, God wanted to send him to Nineveh and preach to the perishing souls there. God spoke to Jonah and gave him the responsibility to save thousands of souls for God’s kingdom. Instead, Jonah ran off in the opposite direction to Tarshish. Jonah was then course-corrected by God and had to endure much trials and tribulations. Jonah 3:3 “So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.” Every spiritual sleep brings disaster into our lives. Those who are baptized in God’s name can drop off into a spiritual sleep and those who are washed by the blood of Jesus, can also drop off into a spiritual sleep. Once we go into a spiritual sleep, it brings a lot of pain and sorrow into our lives. Jonah 3:4-6 “And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.” This was the job that Jonah was entrusted to do, to preach to the people of Nineveh. Rather, he disobeyed God’s command and went off in the opposite direction to Tarshish, due to which he had to face a lot of sorrow and pain. He had to be thrown into the sea. God had in advance prepared a fish to swallow Jonah, and he had to repent in the belly of the fish; only then was Jonah vomited out by the fish on to the shore.
Spiritual sleep brings a great loss into our lives. Proverbs 23:21 “For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.” God has come to clothe us with fine linen, but spiritual sleep makes us naked. It is important for us to be alert for God all the time. Proverbs 10:5 “He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.” It is only the mercy of God that we have this grace period in our life. None of us can claim we are righteous and have done no wrong at all. Our sins must never come in between God and us and they must not become an evil source within our lives.
We must wake up and dust the dirt from our body. Isaiah 52:1-2 “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” Our grumblings and murmuring against God is akin to the dust that we have to shake off. In our lives, we would have sinned in different ways, but still God says that when we dust off our sins from within us, we will be one with God. In everyone’s life there is pain, sorrow, sin and guilt, but we must dust it out from our body and once again live for our Lord God. Romans 13:11 “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” This is the time when we must not be careless, we must not continue in the same filth in our life. Unless we come out of the filth and darkness, we cannot walk in God’s light. Only then can you and I save ourselves from deep darkness. Yes, this is the time we must use effectively. This is not a time to sleep, rather this is a time to dust off the unbelief and sins from within ourselves.
The Scriptures say ‘The time will come when we will be in deep darkness.’ Just as God brought Noah out of his nakedness, our God has also given us a chance in our lives and given us a new day, a new lease of life. Just as Noah was drunken with wine and did not realize when his clothes fell off his body, similarly we too could drop off into a spiritual sleep. God made Samson valiant and chose him to redeem the Israelites from the Philistines, but instead Samson went and lay with a harlot; so Samson went into sleep and deep darkness. Our God says today and right now, ‘dust the dirt from the body, else you will go into deep darkness.’ If we sleep spiritually now, we will surely go into deep darkness. Isaiah 52:1-2 “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” It is not only on some people that darkness will set, but it will set on the entire mankind, and God’s children will be put into sorrow if spiritual sleep overtakes them. Those who are obedient to God, to them He has blessed with good sleep. But once we go off into a spiritual sleep, it will be very tough to get out of it. Our God has given us a new lease of life, and His promise never falls to the ground.
Our sins are like dust before the Lord, Ephesian 5:14 “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Those who are spiritually sleeping are compared to the dead. Spiritual sleep brings much sorrow and pain in our life. We must wake up from our sleep, or else we would be compared to the dead. When we are spiritually awake with the Lord God, He will keep us awake and alert at all times. When He wakes us on time, He also blesses us with peace, joy and happiness. We must remember that each day we are blessed, we must use our time spiritually and be alert. The days ahead of us are going to be very tough; we may not get the time to pray, we may not get the time to read the Bible. These days would be like dust before us, and we must be able to dust them off.
We know how the disciples could not sit for even an hour and ‘watch and pray,’ due of which they fell into temptation. Jesus has said that the flesh is weak but the spirit is willing. It is our flesh that puts us into most sins; we love our body but it is our body that can separate us from the Lord God. The desires of our eyes, ears, heart and thoughts separate us from God’s love. We think we are living in the Spirit, but we will never know when the Spirit has left us or forsaken us.
What does the Spirit of God want us to do? We must always be very alert to continue to do the good that we are doing. We must not be double minded. The prophet Elijah said to the people of those days in 1 Kings 18:21 “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” Today also, our mind must not be in double thoughts, but rather have one thought – to be towards God. When we yearn for things of this world, this life will be very painful for us. Elijah asked the people till when they would remain in two minds. We must forsake our iniquities behind and look forward, else we will also go into deep darkness. Never get struck by darkness. Even today many people say that we are believers, we are church goers, but their minds are still hanging in this world. They have not completely surrendered themselves into God’s hands. Till when will they continue to sit on the fence? When they fall, they will fall into deep darkness. When we live a righteous life, when we pray righteously, then our works will also be done righteously.
When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and when we start speaking in tongues, it is not necessary that we are living a righteous life. It is our works that will speak for itself. Jesus Christ was filled with the Holy Spirit and Father God used to be with Him always. Wherever Jesus went, He performed works of the Holy Spirit. In our lives too, if the same Spirit lives within us and we live our life righteously, then God will want to work His works through us. Acts 10:38 “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Jesus had God’s Spiritual anointing on Him and He showed it in in His works. He went from place to place delivering those in bondage and setting the captives free. Even today, if we have the Holy Spirit within us, we must show it through our works. God says to us that it is important for us to wake from our slumber and not allow spiritual sleep to come upon us, even as spiritual sleep came upon Samson and Noah and thereafter destroyed their lives.
In our lives we say we have the spiritual anointing, but if we do not have the ‘bullet’ within us to fire when the enemy attacks us, we cannot do the works of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ was filled with the Holy Spirit; that is why wherever He went He did the works of the Spirit. The same God says to us ‘When the Spirit is within you, you will do mightier works than me.’ It is important for us to know that we must arise from our spiritual sleep if we need the Spirit to work within us, for spiritual sleep will only bring sorrow and pain in our lives.
Soon there will be darkness upon this earth. Darkness will strike every tribe and caste. Let us awake from our slumber now! This is the time God has blessed us to fight the enemy. Our God is an Almighty God; when He comes into our lives He does mighty, mighty things. We do not do any works ourselves, but His Spirit lives within us and does these works through us. For this we have to be perfect and blameless before our Almighty God. What did God say to Abraham? Genesis 17:1 “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.” We should know how God wants us to be in order to use us and work within us. This is the same Word God gave Abraham.
Jesus never fails; every work He does, He does with ease. Nothing is impossible for Him. If the Spirit of God is within us, we too will do mighty things for the Lord. Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:” Nothing is difficult for the Lord, but are we blameless before Him today? Let us examine ourselves and change, thereby renewing our lives today. Remember, soon deep darkness will come upon this world upon all castes and tribes.
May this message bring blessings into every life that reads it. Praise the Lord!
Pastor Saroja M
Praise the Lord. I am sure my good Lord Jesus has kept all our readers safe and sound.
I take the opportunity today to thank all the residents of our Rose of Sharon Old Aged home and their families from the bottom of my heart, for all their love and support during the entire lockdown period.
The residents are at an age where they are literally like children who can be quite demanding. Yet throughout the entire lockdown period they have been quite understanding and patient. They have never created any issues, nor have they been adamant on wanting to see their family members as it is nearly 5 months that they have not physically met them. In fact, Lord Jesus has kept all of them under His control and they are completely at peace, which is a big joy for us. Likewise, the family members of our residents were also very supportive and each one of them only wishes for good health for their family members in our Home.
As we hope and pray that the situation gets normal soon, we request all of you to be safe and healthy and take all precautions to protect yourselves and your near and dear ones.
May God bless all of you.
Pastor Saroja M
God has been so gracious to our little ones as we conduct our online classes. The kids had a surprise as Pastor Saroja too joined for one online session and greeted the little ones and checked on the progress of their Sunday school learnings. The kids were overjoyed to meet and speak to Pastor online after so many months, and happiness shone on the faces of the little ones.
All the kids from senior and junior classes were happy to meet and greet all their friends online and they sang a few action songs, followed by reciting a few memory verses and then they listened to a short story. The kids continue to learn new memory verses and stories from the Bible in these weekly classes.
We are blessed that even in these troubled times, God has been gracious and loving to our little kids, for He has given us this opportunity to meet and continue to grow in His love, as the children continue to learn through these online classes week on week.
Do continue to uplift our little ones in your daily prayers.