Month: March 2017

Who can claim authority and power over life and death itself? 

Today’s Word and Prayers (W. A. P)  Who can claim authority and power over life and death itself? Friends, Jesus not only made such a claim, he showed God’s power to heal and restore people to wholeness of life. He also showed the mercy of God by releasing people from their burden of sin and guilt. He even claimed to have the power to raise the dead to life and to execute judgment on all the living and dead. The Jewish authorities were troubled with Jesus’ claims and looked for a way to get rid of him. He either had to be a mad man and an imposter or who he claimed to be – God’s divine son. Unfortunately, they could not accept Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah, the anointed one sent by the Father to redeem his people. They sought to kill him because he claimed an authority and equality with God which they could not accept. They failed to recognize that this was God’s answer to the long-awaited prayers of his people: “In a time of favor I have answered you, in a day of salvation I have helped you” (Isaiah 49:8). Lord Jesus, increase my love for you and unite my heart and will with yours, that I may only seek and desire what is pleasing to you. Amen. Good morning and have a glorious...

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Is there anything holding you back from the Lord’s healing power and transforming grace? 

Today’s Word and Prayers (W. A. P.)  Is there anything holding you back from the Lord’s healing power and transforming grace? Friends, God put into the heart of the prophet Ezekiel a vision of the rivers of living water flowing from God’s heavenly throne to bring healing and restoration to his people. We begin to see the fulfillment of this restoration taking place when the Lord Jesus announces the coming of God’s kingdom and performs signs and miracles in demonstration of the power of that kingdom. Brothers and sisters, one of the key signs which John points out in his Gospel account takes place in Jerusalem when Jesus went up to the temple during one of the great Jewish feasts (John 5:1-9). As Jesus approached the temple area he stopped at the pool of Bethzatha which was close by. Many Jews brought their sick relatives and friends to this pool. John tells us that a “multitude of invalids, blind, lame, paralyzed” were laid there on the pavement surrounding the pool (John 5:3). This pool was likely one of the ritual baths used for purification for people before they went into the temple to offer prayers and sacrifice. On certain occasions, especially when the waters were stirred, the lame and others with diseases were dipped in the pool in the hope that they might be cured of their ailments. The...

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What is the surest way to peace, happiness, and abundant life? 

Today’s Word and Prayers (W. A. P.)  What is the surest way to peace, happiness, and abundant life? Friends, the prophet Hosea addressed this question with his religious community – the people of Israel. Hosea’s people lived in a time of economic anxiety and fear among the nations. They were tempted to put their security in their own possessions and in their political alliances with other nations rather than in God. Hosea called his people to return to God to receive pardon, healing, and restoration. He reminded them that God would “heal their faithlessness and love them freely” (Hosea 14:4). God’s ways are right and his wisdom brings strength and blessing to those who obey him. God requires of us simply that we love as he loves! God is love and everything he does flows from his love for us. God loved us first and our love for him is a response to his exceeding grace and kindness towards us. The love of God comes first and the love of neighbor is firmly grounded in the love of God. The more we know of God’s love and truth the more we love what he loves and reject what is hateful and contrary to his will. Lord Jesus, your love conquers all and never fails. Help me to love others freely, with heart-felt compassion , kindness and goodness. Where there...

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Would you do a favour for someone who snubbed you or treated you like an enemy? 

Today’s Word and Prayers (W. A. P.)  Would you do a favour for someone who snubbed you or treated you like an enemy? Friends, Jesus did just that and more! He treated the Samaritans, the sworn enemies of the Jews, with great kindness and respect (John 4:5-42). The Samaritans who lived in middle region of Israel between Galilee and Judaea and the Jews who lived in the rest of the land of Israel had been divided for centuries. They had no dealings with one another, avoiding all social contact, even trade, and inter-marriage. If their paths crossed it would not be unusual for hostility to break out. When Jesus decided to pass through Samaria he stopped at Jacob’s well because it was mid-day and he was both tired from the journey and thirsty. Jacob’s well was a good mile and a half from the nearest town, called Sychar. It wasn’t easy to draw water from this well since it was over a hundred feet deep. Jesus had neither rope nor bucket to fetch the water. When a Samaritan woman showed up at the well, both were caught by surprise. Why would a Samaritan woman walk a mile and a half in the mid-day heat to fetch her water at a remote well rather than in her local town? She was an outcast and not welcomed among her own townspeople....

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What is the message of the parable of the vineyard ?

Today’s Word and Prayers (W. A. P.)  What is the message of the parable of the vineyard? Friends, Jesus’ story about an absentee landlord and his not-so-good tenants would have made sense to his audience. This parable speaks to us today as well. It richly conveys some important truths about God and the way he deals with his people. First, it tells us of God’s generosity and trust. The vineyard is well equipped with everything the tenants need. The owner went away and left the vineyard in the hands of the tenants. God, likewise trusts us enough to give us freedom to run life as we choose. This parable also tells us of God’s patience and justice. Not once, but many times he forgives the tenants their debts. But while the tenants take advantage of the owner’s patience, his judgment and justice prevail in the end. Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which you have given us – for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us. O most merciful redeemer, friend, and brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, for your own sake. Amen. Good morning and have a TGIF! 40 days of our Lenten Bible reading plan  Day 15 Read Matthew...

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