Archive for the 'devotions' Category

Job 23:10

September 5, 2009

Job. A man familiar with suffering and sorrow..
yet, out of his understanding and intimacy with the Lord Almightly, he testified…

But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

Saturday’s reflections

August 15, 2009

Saturday morning! and i’m home after a ‘hearty’ meal of mince pork kuay tiao with vinegar.. now sitting in front of my computer, with a full tub of strawberry yoghurt, accompanied by symphony 92.4…(when i’m not pressed with THE contested entity that is omipresent with which i associate myself with a love-hate relationship: TIME) is what i deemed as, contentment. 🙂

tasks for the morning:
read the word,blog, prepare for cluster cell group

going thru a few days of unsettling state of my being pondering about today’s cluster cell, the word ‘unity’ keeps ringing in head.
unity?- a topic too overly mentioned? ..what do you want us to learn about unity today, Lord?

Question: Why do we come together week after week for cell group and fellowship?

Revisit some of these motivations that propel us to do what we do.

Ephesians 3:16-20 tells us,
“16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. “
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.. ”

Not I but we. Not me but Us.

The fullest of God can only be revealed and experienced through the body of Christ.

In order to receive the complete measure of His blessings and His grace bestowed upon us, the only avenue is through the fellowship of His people, His church, His body.
A man in an island is only shortchanging oneself of the abundance of the Lord and depriving oneself of the blessings the Lord has intended for us.

Ps 133, He reminded us again.. precious is unity..

“1 How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down upon the collar of his robes.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.”

Unity delights the heart of the Lord. Unity draws blessings.

Let nothing but the unfathomable measure of the love of Christ propel us to do what we do and compel us too, to love one another.

Realign your motivations today, and choose to stay connected.

The Beatitudes #1

August 4, 2009

seems to be taking eons to put together these reflections.. Been distracted by several things. but am not gonna give up!…this is one task that will keep bugging me if i dun get my acts together.

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alrite,so why beautitudes?
thinking about the sermon of the mount, 2 words came shouting at me:
“righteousness” and “paradox”.

“righteousness”

first impression of the beautitudes: promises of blessings
Ps Benny’s book which entitled “Growing in Righteousness: A devotional look at Beautitudes” implies that righteousness leads to blessings from God- and the beautitudes shall be my little handbook on how to lead a righteous life witnessing God’s blessings.

“paradox”
the beautitudes are full of paradoxes. foolishness in the eyes of the world, but worthy for the kingdom.paradoxes are mind boggling and intriguing isnt it.. the last shall be the first, the one who leads shall first be a servant… i love paradoxes.

in attempt to illuminate the perpetual journey of seeking after righteousness and my fancy towards paradoxes have led me to the Sermon of the Mount.

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“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”

“blessed”=”happy”
True happiness is indeed not dependent on the absence of problems, none of us live life without problems. More often than not, the answer lies in our own response..

The Lord’s first teaching of the beautitudes provided us with very stark paradox of life.. “blessed (=happy) is the poor in spirit..”, hard to associate poor with happiness..but the Lord promises us with nothing but the Kingdom of God…oh ok, that’s like umm.. everything.

“poor in spirit..”
ps benny gave us 3 concepts of poverty in the Bible:
1. Not having enough- lacking
2.Have nothing- destitude
3. In permanent debt- bankrupt

Ps Benny highlighted that in this case, the Lord referred to being permanently in debt to someone. Desperation of the spirit and bankruptcy of the heart. We are permanently indebted to what God has done for us on the cross.

Pondering on what Paul uttered in Phil 3:8:

“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”

A man with everything that seemed as success in the eyes of the world, yet deemed all that as a loss in comparism to what he may gain in Christ.

surprised to be confronted by yet another verse in Ps 22 (Messianic Psalm-prophecy abt Jesus on the cross), where our Messiah referred himself as a worm..6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.”

till we understand the nothingness of us without God in our lives, till we can fathom that vacuum in each of us which can only be filled by His love, till we are at our wits’ end knowing that we have exhausted all that is in us in our vain attempts to solve our ever-existing problems ..will we then turn to God…

imperative for us to be constantly humbled by the works of the Cross, yet knowing our position in Christ, and how God has esteeemed us as precious from the very start.

what is then our heart’s response and our attitude towards our brokenness and our poorness?

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”

Feeling penniless, downtroddened, contrite and destitute? Good for u.

John

July 25, 2009


The Disciple- John

(Adapted from commentary of the Life Application Bible)

“Being loved is the most powerful motivation in the world. Our ability to love is often shaped by our experience of love. We usually love others as we have been loved.

Some of the greatest statements about God’s loving nature were written by a man who experienced God’s love in a unique way. John, Jesus’ disciple, expressed his relationship to the Son of God by calling himself “the disciple whom Jesus’ loved” (John 21:20). Although Jesus’ love is clearly communicated in all the Gospels, in John’s Gospel it is a central theme. Because his own experience of Jesus’ love was so strong and personal, John was sensitive to those words and actions of Jesus that illustrated how the One who is love loved others.

Jesus knew John fully and loved him fully. He gave John and his brother James the nickname “Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17), perhaps from an occasionwhen the brothers asked Jesus for permission to “call fire down from heaven” (Luke 9:54) on a village that had refused to welcome Jesus and the disciples. In John’s Gospel and letters, we see the great God of love, while the thunder of God’s justice bursts from the pages of Revelation.

Jesus confronts each of us as he confronted John. We cannot know the depth of Jesus’ love unless we are willing to face the fact that he knows us completely. Otherwise we are fooled into believing he must love the people we pretend to be, not the sinners we actually are. John and all the disciples convince us that God is able and willing to accept us as we are. Being aware of God’s love is a great motivator for change. His love is not given in exchange for our efforts; his love frees us to really live. “

Lessons to be learnt from John:

1. Those who realise how much they are loved are able to love much.
2. When God changes a life, he does not take away personality characteristics, but puts them to effective use in his service.

Have you accepted that love?

Faith

March 31, 2009

“Faith, hope and love, and the greatest of all its love..” 1 Cor 13

I blogged about this topic of love once. Today, the Lord gave me a new perspective about this verse. Why in this order, “faith, hope and love” and not “hope, faith and love” etc?

Faith is the entrance, the guiding principle, the cornerstone to how we can pursue hope and love. without faith, how do we know that there is a hope awaiting for us? without faith, how can we love as He has loved? without faith, how could we be certain about the hope and the love we have in Christ?

faith is the basis. without faith, its impossible to please God. it all starts from faith.
do i believe, truly?

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see..” Heb 11:1