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"Grace & Peace" is an e-periodical for spiritual enlightenment,
edification and encouragement.
Issue No.185 January 2022        PDF
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In this issue:-

A New Beginning

Few years ago a woman in south India wanted to restart life all over again. She traveled to a hilly area and dropped her car into a gorge. Her intention was to make the world believe that she died in an accident and she is no more. But the investigating officers found her in Chennai with a new identity. She thought that with a new name, new husband, new job and a new house she would have a new beginning.
       She is not alone. There are many who hope and long for a new beginning in their life. Due to constant failure and subsequent frustrations they simply look back and melancholically wish, ‘if only I could start all over again!’ Quite often this remains only as a dream.
       Even if one takes a new step, they soon realize the need to change again! Frequent new beginnings and abrupt endings lead to depression and hopelessness. Don’t we have a way out of failures and frustrations in life? Is it possible to experience a New Beginning? Let us consider five things in this connection:-

1. God alone is the beginner of all beginnings

Bible starts with the statement that “In the beginning God created”, Genesis.1:1. It was God who began everything that we see today. (cf. John 1:3; Colo. 1:16) And the remarkable reality is that He Himself has neither beginning nor end. He makes no mistake, needs no modification. In His eternal wisdom and plan He began things that never became a failure. Yes, ‘He has done all things well’. (Mark 7: 37)

2. Man by nature is finite and fails in his beginnings

Using the God-given mind, human beings can think and plan many things. (Pro. 19:21) Man has the magnificent capacity to imagine, investigate and scheme things. He also has the ability to implement those designs. But due to sin, often he ends up in breakdown and disappointment. In the beginning everything may seem to be right, productive, but in the end dissatisfaction remains. (Pro. 16:25)
       However failure doesn’t stop a man from scheming new ways. He will try another avenue only to face the same fate. Without yielding to the Creator man continues with the cycle of beginnings and endings.

3. God is the beginner of new beginnings

The Lord not only begins new, He also renews. (Psalm 104:30) It’s true; sin marred the condition of man and the earth. But human failure can never frustrate the eternal purposes of God. ->>>More

Out line:-

A New Start

  1. A New Master, John 13: 13
  2. A New Power, Act 1:8
  3. A New Object, 2Cor 5:15
  4. New Desires, Gala 5:16
  5. New Company, Act 4:23
- W. B. Westcott

Anecdote: -

Starting Over

Once upon a time a young Greek artist named Timanthes studied under a respected tutor. After several years the teacher's efforts seemed to have paid off when Timanthes painted an exquisite work of art.
       Unfortunately, he became so enraptured with the painting that he spent days gazing at it. One morning when he arrived to admire his work, he was shocked to find it blotted out with paint.
       Angry, Timanthes ran to his teacher, who admitted he had destroyed the painting. "I did it for your own good. That painting was retarding your progress. Start again and see if you can do better." Timanthes took his teacher's advice and produced Sacrifice of Iphigenia, which is regarded as one of the finest paintings of antiquity.

— Source: Today in the Word

Exhortation: -

Time and Timing

By Joy Murickal Issac, Kerala

One more year left us with all its beauty and struggles. We have learnt many lessons and experiences in the past one year. Let us be grateful before God and grateful to fellow beings too.
       We all know the reducing balance in our bank account but surprisingly we don't care about the balance of time in our lives’ account. The Bible explicitly tells us of the importance of time and timing. Both the terms, time and timing are important and co related.
       Let me make it clear; suppose the duration of a game is one hour. Either teams or individuals get equal duration. The team or players who use their time wisely and do everything timely gets more points and eventually that lead to victory.
God does everything in its perfect timing. We can see it in many occasions.

  1. God gives everything in its season for the blessed and chosen people. Leviticus 26:4; Duet. 28:12
  2. God does everything at the right time. Romans 5:6; Isaiah 60: 20
  3. God's words also fulfill in their proper time. Luke 1:20
  4. God exalts people at the proper time. 1Peter 5:6
  5. We know the importance of the right time in exams, sports, share market and certain emergency situations. Blessings in the right time make us glad and teach us many good things, thus enabling us lead a fruitful Christian life.
           Dear brethren, let us run and do everything on time. Moreover, we must understand and acknowledge the importance of time and timing. Let us pray and prepare to do everything at the proper time.
           May our heavenly Father bless and enlighten us to lead a favorable life before God in the coming days. May His Grace be up on us always.

Reflections: -

THE SIGN OF JONAH Matthew 12:39 - 41

By James Nair, Hyderabad

It is quite interesting to see why the Lord Jesus parallels the significance of His death and burial to the sign of Jonah, a runaway prophet who desired to run from the presence of the Lord. While most of the prophetical books warn nations of the judgment of the Lord, the book of Jonah successfully completes the mission of transformation of a heathen city, Nineveh – from the beasts to the king! And more surprisingly, not by a string of sermons or oracles, but this transformation was brought about with a mere warning by Jonah – Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
       Moreover, this complete book revolves around reforming a disobedient Jonah, rather than Nineveh, through God’s obedient creation – the sea, fish, mariners, people of Nineveh, plant and even a worm! However, the miraculous escape of Jonah was significantly important in the transformation of Nineveh, and in respect to the divine sacrifice of our Lord, we can think of it as a three-fold purpose.

1. God’s Judgment

The messenger has a greater impact than the message here. Jonah silently speaks to us ->>>More

Practical: -

Time Management: Christ’s Example

Examine the lifestyle of any successful person from any field; one of their basic qualities would be the ability to manage their time well. Effective management of time not only makes one more productive for the Lord, it makes them satisfied and happy too. Let us consider few lessons from the life and service of the Lord Jesus Christ who can be rightly called the ‘Master of Time Management’.

1. He was well aware of His mission in the divine time table, Mark 1:15a, 38; Acts 1:7

He began His ministry saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15a). The entire life and service of Christ was in accordance with this eternal plan of God. (cf. Gal. 4:4; Acts 17:26)

2. He could easily balance His time between work, family, friends, etc., Luke 5:1; 8:47; John 7:3

Even as Christ was always focused on His ultimate goal of incarnation, He found time for various other duties as well. He had time to teach the crowd and serve the needy individuals who interrupted Him. He did not hesitate to visit various villages and homes of the individuals. Apart from the twelve apostles, He had a seventy men team and also the inner circle of three to interact with. Even in such busy schedule of ->>>More

Worthy Quotes:-

New Beginning

“God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man.”

  __________ C.S. Lewis  

“ All of God's people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary by the purpose he has given them."

  __________ Oswald Chambers  

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 'Grace  & Peace'is an electronic periodical, sent out monthly, aiming the overall spiritual growth of Christian Believers.You can reproduce this e-periodical fully or in part in any medium, provided it is unedited, and retain the original author / copyright information and a reference to our website - gracepeace.net For further details contact:- gracepeaceu AT gmail.com Prepared, and posted by Nelson Thomas Kumaramparampil(NTK) for the Glory of God & the Joy of the saints. Editorial assistance: Tom Jacob   Visit:- www.gracepeace.net "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing;..." Isaiah 43: 18, 19a