Thursday, December 5, 2013

Perfect Timing


God's timing is perfect.
The coming of Christ was at the right time.
When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son. —Galatians 4:4

Alexander the Great had conquered most of the known world, bringing with him the Greek culture and language. The Roman Empire then expanded the territory under the unifying influence of the culture and language of the Greeks. 

It was under the Roman rule that the crucifixion took place, where the blood of Christ was shed for us. It was under the Roman rule that conditions were made ready for the spread of the gospel across three continents: good roads, free passages, and a unifying language. 

God’s timing is perfect in everything. In His infinite wisdom and power, He works behind the scene to prepare all things for just the right time.

Wait well and trust Him. He knows when the fullness of time has come. Learn the disciplines of patience. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Need to Give


A certain poor widow donated her last 2 copper coins. —Mark 12:41-44

Sometimes we wondered why.

The poor widow had learnt a key to giving: It is more blessed to give than to receive. —Acts 20:35

Those in poverty may need financial help. But the need to give is as important as the need to receive.

The act of giving reminds us to live by the grace of God. Like the birds and the flowers, we should not worry about our future. 

Giving offers us a way to express our confidence in God that He will care for us just as He cares for the sparrow and lilies.—Matt. 6:25-34

Friday, November 22, 2013

Love is Everything


God requires of us to walk in all His ways
And to love Him.
The greatest commandment is to love,
To love God first and then others (Mark 12:29-31).

All love starts with God.
We love Him because He first loved us (1 john 4:19).
God chose to love us. 
We, in turn, are to love others, even strangers. 

Never expect to be loved in return.
Sometimes it doesn't happen.
Instead, people may revile and persecute you, 
And say all kinds of evil against you falsely 
For Christ's sake (Matt. 5:11-12).

Just love.
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; 
And everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:7-8). 

Love is the fulfillment of the law,
The achievement of grace,
And the essence of eternity.
Love covers all.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Facing Life's Challenges


Each day we face many challenges.

There is no one solution to all problems.

Our first action is to pray.

God may help us through His miraculous intervention or through His guidance. 

It doesn't matter. What is important is God manifest His glory through us.

Never panic. Never try to plan on our own.

Spend time on your knee if you want to stand up to any challenge! 

“David inquired of the Lord” (Samuel 5:19), and God guided the king.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Talking about Simon Peter


Out of fear, Simon Peter denied the Lord Jesus Christ 3 times. (Luke 22:57, 58, 60)

Simon Peter was broken by his spiritual failure. He went out from the courtyard, into the darkness, and wept bitterly.

But God loved Simon Peter despite his failures.

God restored Simon Peter and placed his focus back on the ministry to His sheep.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Even when we fail, God continues to come to us in mercy and compassion! God’s mercies never fail; our God is overflowing with compassion!

We may be imperfect but our God is perfect! Great is His faithfulness!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Going Home


Jesus emphasized the importance of every person to God with three stories about something lost: a sheep, a coin, and a son (Luke 15).

In each story, a person has lost something of great value. When it is found, friends and neighbors are called to celebrate and rejoice together.

The point is clear: We are all of great value to God, who offers us forgiveness and new life through Christ. And He faithfully pursues us with His love and grace.

We were the lost sheep that God found and brought back into His fold.

We were the lost coin that God searched for His treasure store.

We were the long lost son that God brought home again.

We are special to God because we belong to Him. Don't bring Him shame.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Justice and Mercy


We live in tension between things that save us and kill us. With fire, we cook our food and keep warm, but in it we can be consumed; with water, we keep our bodies hydrated and our planet cooled, but in it we can drown. Too much or too little of either is life-threatening.

We see the same principle at work spiritually. To thrive, civilizations need mercy and justice. The Lord Jesus scolded the Pharisees for being sticklers about the law but neglecting justice and mercy and faith. (Matt. 23:23).

The Lord Jesus keeps justice and mercy in perfect balance. His death satisfies God’s need for justice and our need for mercy. God’s justice and mercy met at the cross.

How about us?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Receive Love and Give Love


The greatest love that we receive is the love of God.

"In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him." (1 John 4:9)

We receive God's love when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name". (John 1:12)

After we have experienced God’s love, we then learn to give love.

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God." (1 John 4:7)

God’s love enables us to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

God's love enables us to love our enemies.

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." (Matt. 5:44)

We are able to give love to others because God first loves us.

"Receive love. Give love." Make it our goal today.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Waiting on God


Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:5)

1. If God is our Savior, then we must submit to Him.
2. We must pray to Him to lead us in His truth.
3. We must pray to Him to teach us His Way.
4. We must submit to His Word and His Spirit.
5. And it is a constant exercise.
6. Waiting on God is the key to spiritual growth.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Peter's Miraculous Escape From Prison


Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. (Acts 12:5)

  • Peter was kept in prison. He was bound with two chains between two soldiers, while other soldiers guarded the door. King Herod had already executed James, one of Jesus’ closest followers. He had the same fate in store for Peter. Peter’s chance of getting out of this situation alive is next to none.

  • But God was with Peter. God is in control and nothing is too difficult for Him to do. Peter rested in the providence of God. He did not panic; he was ready to die. He prayed and went to sleep.

  • Peter‘s miraculous deliverance. An angel was sent to rescue Peter from prison. Peter's chains fell off, and he followed the angel out of prison, thinking it was a vision. The prison doors opened of their own accord, and the angel led Peter into the city. When the angel suddenly left him, Peter came to himself and returned to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where they were praying for him.

  • Peter’s jailbreak surprised his praying friends. Peter knocked at the outside door. A servant girl called Rhoda came to answer it. Rhoda was so excited that she didn't even let Peter in, but ran into the prayer meeting shouting and announcing to the crowd that Peter was at the door. It was a joyful and tearful reunion for them.

  • God often surprises us. God can and do operate outside the odds. Nothing is too hard for Him. Amazing things happen when He takes charge of our lives!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

No Giving Up


"For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." (Hebrews 10:37-38)

  • Tragic events happened everyday around the world. The Lord Jesus Christ had warned us that sin and evil will increase in the Last Days. It should not surprise us.

  • As sin increases, God's grace increases all the more. God is in control; He will heal and save. We are to continue living a good, holy, just and righteous life, according to the word of God and the teachings of Jesus. We must live by faith, and not by sight.

  • Jesus is coming soon. It won't be long and He will be here. Jesus will come swiftly to restore all things.

  • The LORD is not happy with those who give up believing. We must persevere by faith in Christ, all through our trials and suffering. No giving up, no turning back, no surrender. We are to fight a good fight with all our might.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Our Heavenly Abode


In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)

  • Jesus was the real temple of God. Through His death and resurrection, this temple was enlarged to include His Church. The Church is the dwelling place of God today on earth. We become a part of God's temple when we are in Jesus. God's house today is the Church, composed of individual believers in Christ. Each believer is an abode of the Holy Spirit, and is thus a dwelling place of God.

  • By His death and resurrection, Jesus has prepared this place for us. By means of His death on the cross, we sinners were cleansed by His blood. God could not indwell us until He did this. By means of His resurrection, Christ became the life-giving Spirit to indwell us.

  • Jesus wants us to be where He is. Jesus was a man who dwelt in God. God was His abode. Likewise, God the Father dwelt in Him. Jesus was the Father's abode. They mutually indwelt each other in a marvelous and mysterious fellowship. Jesus’ desire was that we would be where He was, enjoying a life mingled with God.

  • When we realize that Christ is dwelling in us today, we enjoy His wonderful presence within our heart; our life becomes heaven on earth. This life we live is full of troubles. Disappointments and sufferings abound. Within we struggle with the flesh of sin, and without the world tempts us. But by the indwelling Christ, we can be freed from both.

  • God desires a house. This has been His eternal aim. As humans, we are homeless wanderers without Christ. Both God and man become satisfied in this mutual abode. Have you entered in?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Be Hospitable


Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:9)

  • Hospitality is the friendly reception and treatment of guests and strangers.

  • Hospitality makes people feel welcomed and valued. It makes people think they are worth getting to know more, worth caring for, and worth serving for.

  • Hospitality promotes love, affection and brotherhood. Hospitality brings life, respect, honor, encouragement, joy, laughter, peace, warm, strength, and hope.

  • We are told to be hospitable to one another without grumbling. We are to show hospitality to everyone. There is no favoritism, no discrimination, no segregation or preferential treatment. There is no grumbling, no complaints, no sign of bitterness, and no selfishness displayed.

  • Hospitality honors and glorifies God. That is how we are a light in a lost world. That is how we show the love of God for lost mankind.

  • Hospitality is not a gift to possess; it is a gift you give to others. Hospitality is all about opening up your heart to another, putting others first, finding practical ways of demonstrating the love and acceptance of the Lord.

  • Some of us have the gift of hospitality and practices it well. Others still need to learn and understand how it works.

  • Seek hospitality. It makes all the difference in the world when one feels welcomed.

Friday, August 2, 2013

God Loves Us


In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

  • God loves us.

  • How do we know?

  • God sent His Son to die on the Cross and pay the price for our sins.

  • Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins. He satisfied both the works of the law and the wrath of God.

  • The penalty of the law is eternal death. We are condemned because of our sins and are eternally separated from God.

  • And God's wrath is against us! God's perfect justice demands that He must punish our sins! God is a Holy God, and His Holiness demands justice!

  • But God is love. God loves us! And He saved us through the shed blood of His Son. He upheld the justice of His law and His wrath against sin by inflicting it all on His Son.

  • Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins. He paid our sins penalty in full. He imputed His righteousness to us so that we might have fellowship with God. He also turned the wrath of God away from us. He restored us to God’s love.

  • This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Friday, July 26, 2013

From Fear to Faith


Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you." (Isaiah 35:4)

  • Fear ruins Christian's life. Fear causes us to focus on our physical needs rather than tapping into our heavenly inheritance given by God the Father. Fear cripples us from entering into all the great things that God has for us. Fear makes us uptight, thankless, uninvolved, complaining, defeated Christians. Extreme fear even brings us to the point of denying Jesus Christ!

  • But God says, "Be strong, do not fear!" God wants us to trust in Him and His strength to take care of our problems; God wants us to trust in Him to save us!

  • Fear is the greatest tool of the enemy. His power has been defeated and he cannot master a Christian life. So he fills our minds with fear to stop us from doing what God wants us to do.

  • The greatest detriment to faith is fear. When we are consumed by fear, we are rendered ineffective in our Christian walk and our battle against the enemy.

  • Let us stop agreeing with the lies of the enemy and start agreeing with the truth that God speaks. God is our protector and He will come with vengeance to defeat our enemy. This is the truth!

  • When we understand and believe it, we will be set free from the entrapment of fear. So be strong! Do not fear! Trust in God and receive His overcoming power. Do this, and fear cannot reign in your life.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Rich in God


And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." (Luke 12:15)

  • When we become preoccupied with obtaining material goods, we lose focus.

  • We are distracted from recognizing that God's kingdom is a divine gift that is best appreciated by those economically poor.

  • The poor is rich in God. He is rich because he is united with Christ. And God loves and cares for him.

  • Jesus challenged us: “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses”.

  • He then told us a parable about a man who laid up treasure for himself, but was not concerned about his relationship with God.

  • It is time we learn to be content with what we have and not be consumed with amassing more.

  • Oh Lord, teach us not to be obsessed with collecting more and more material goods. Teach us what it means to be rich toward You.

  • To be rich in God is far better than being rich without Him. We should look forward to our eternal future with Him, and not dwell on material things in this world, because we can never take them away with us.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Fuller Life is to Serve Others


And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. (Mark 10:44)

  • James and John, two disciples of Jesus, asked to be at His right and left hand in His kingdom. The other 10 disciples were greatly displeased with them for asking, possibly because they wanted that kind of position too! The disciples were struggling for supremacy and greatness; they wanted the highest positions in the kingdom.

  • But Jesus used the opportunity to teach them about another kind of life, one of serving others. He said, “Whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all”.

  • It appears that service for others is God’s design for us. Even Jesus, the Son of God, did not come to be served, but to serve.

  • As we look at Christ’s example and depend on the Holy Spirit’s help, we too can be servants and will create a fulfilling life.

  • The most direct way to experience a fuller life is to serve God and help people.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Be Good, and Do Good



And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. (Luke 6:31)

  • In Luke 6:27-36, Jesus urged us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who spitefully use us. He also said that generosity and a lack of retaliation should characterize our reaction to unreasonable treatment. Then He concluded, “Just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise”.

  • It is impossible to love our enemies. But we are commanded to do!

  • It is impossible to forgive our enemies, do good to them, and pray for them, if we rely on our own strength and resolve. The strength must come from the Spirit of God. And that is what we must do. We must remember how God has treated us when we sinned against Him, and then act likewise. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful; be compassionate, just as God is compassionate; be kind, patient, and forgiving, just as the Lord is with us. Christianity is not just Christ in us, but Christ living His life through us. Let us be light and salt, be leaven, and share Christ who is our Only Treasure.

  • Love our neighbor as ourselves. And do to others what we want them to do to us.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Focus on Jesus


Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

  • As we run the Christian race, we become easily tired and exhausted.

  • The book of Hebrews encourages us to run with endurance the race that is set before us. We must lay aside the sin that stands in our way; we must shed the weights that hold us back; and we must press on even through persecution.

  • To prevent weariness and discouragement in our souls, we must focus on Christ. He is running alongside us, supporting us when we stumble, and encouraging us with His example. Keeping our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith will help us stay close to the source of our strength and remain faithful to the finish.

  • Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace. We can finish strong when we focus on Christ.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

When God Calls


Then the LORD called yet again, "Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." He answered, "I did not call, my son; lie down again." (1 Samuel 3:6)

  • A young boy named Samuel heard his name being called.

  • He did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.

  • So the temple priest Eli had to help him understand who was calling him.

  • God then revealed His plan for Samuel’s life.

  • The Lord has a plan for us as well.

  • And He calls to our hearts: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

  • That is God’s call to us to receive the gift of His salvation, rest, and peace.

  • The Savior is calling us to come to Him.

  • The Lord Jesus Christ calls the restless ones to find their rest in Him.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Seek Love


Love cannot be measured by material things. People who are measuring feelings based on objects are superficial and empty inside. Love cannot be measured by flowers, chocolates, rings, gifts, text messages...

Love cannot be measured by how long you wait. It is always about how well you understand why you are waiting. Be patience and don't grumble in your waiting. Be forgiving and don't be bitter.

Love cannot be measured by how long you know one another. It is always about how you feel the love for the person regardless of time and space.

Love cannot be measured by the head. It is always measured by the feelings felt with the heart. Don't give childish reasons and whine. Take a deep breath, and say “Okay.” It is alright to wait a little.

Love cannot be measured by the theories of science. You don't have to do thousands of experiments. Don't test love simply. it can be a feeling so confusing, and it hurts and can tear people apart.

Love is so amazing and truly beyond measure!

Share your love and be a family of love.

Love heals, changes and harmonizes everything,

Seek love. The world has enough hatred and prejudice.


 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Feeling Useless


They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, (Psalm 92:14)

  • We see younger or more able men and women doing extraordinary things that we cannot do. They can; we can’t. That is how it is.

  • It is easy to feel useless when we can’t do the things we were once capable of doing. But we can love and we can pray. These are the works that time and experience have prepared us to do well.

  • Love is the very best gift we have to give to God and to others. It is no small matter, for love is the means by which we fulfill our whole duty to God and our neighbor.

  • Our love for one person may seem to be a small action, but love is the greatest gift of all (1 Cor. 13:13). And we can pray.

  • Paul encouraged the Colossians to “continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2). Our prayers are a powerful force in the universe!

  • Love and prayer are mighty works indeed, the mightiest works for any of us. Why? Because our God, who wants to use us, is an all-loving and all-powerful God.

  • Begin the day with God; kneel down to Him in prayer; lift up your heart to His abode, and seek His love to share. God pours His love into our hearts that it might flow out to others.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

God’s Word Prevails


So Saul, his three sons, his armor bearer, and all his men died together that same day. (1 Samuel 31:6)

  • The book of 1st Samuel ended with king Saul died together with his three sons, his armor bearer, and all his men on the same day.
     
  • Saul started off well as a king. But he turned back from following God. He had not performed His commandments.
     
  • The Spirit of God departed from Saul. God had rejected him from being king. His kingdom would not continue. His sons would not be king after him.
     
  • God had chosen a man after His own heart. David would be the next king.
     
  • Saul knew David would be the next king. He was angry and furious with him. He wanted him dead.
     
  • He tried to pin him to the wall with his spear. But David eluded his presence twice.
     
  • Eventually David escaped and hid in caves and other places of refuge.
     
  • Saul sought David everywhere, but God did not deliver him into his hand.
     
  • David had opportunities to kill Saul. But he didn’t.
     
  • Once he said to his nephew, one of his mighty men, Abishai, "Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD's anointed, and be guiltless?"
     
  • Then he said further, "As the LORD lives, the LORD shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go out to battle and perish. The LORD forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the LORD's anointed.” (1 Samuel 26: 10)
     
  • King Saul died. He was killed in battle.
     
  • David became the next king. He was a man after God's own heart.
     
  • Nothing can stop God's plan. God’s Word prevails.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Only Toilet


Some old story... Toilet over the fish pond.

It was a stilt toilet near to the edge of our fish pond.

It was rather far to reach from home, especially during an emergency, running carefully on a rainy day or night, through windy, slippery and muddy paths and lanes, filled with duck and chicken droppings.

The pond was filled with many tilapia fish, catfish, and a whole range of other fish, over a wide area of neglected land overgrown with bushes.

The fish would fill the water around the toilet when droppings fell from the sky. Jumping up and down for food, they emerged and submerged happily and quickly, splashing water everywhere, high and low, at times wetting my pant and trousers.

It was rather scary and crazy doing businesses during a heavy downpour or during the flooding season, when water rose suddenly, especially during late nights when mosquitoes swarmed to feed on blood.

But it was always a nice place to hide and to fish during the holiday seasons,... while doing businesses, with no one taking notice of you for a long long while... LOL

Sigh!(3x)

Some old memories just never go...

I smile heartily! But I am happy.

I wonder how many today would still prefer a stilt toilet by the fish pond.

But that is our only toilet and I am proud of it..


Though I would prefer a safer and cleaner one today.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Have We Crossed The Jordan River?


God delivered His People from the land of slavery in Egypt. They crossed the Red Sea on dry ground while all the Egyptian army that followed them were drowned. God put them in the wilderness to test them. But they failed miserably. God never stopped feeding them and caring for them. But they could and would not stop murmuring and complaining against Moses (and against God) about food, water and their generally tough circumstances in the wilderness. God's wrath was kindled against them. He refused to bring them into the Promised Land. He kept them wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, and they died there. Later, God brought their children across the Jordan River, again on dry ground, into the Promised Land, through Joshua, their new leader. God's People finally claimed the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

God delivered His People from the bondage of their sins. He brought them across the Great Sea into His care. He watched over them, provided for them, defended them, taught them, led them, gave them shelter, warmth, comfort, etc. But they still grumbled and cried continually about material needs and earthly wants. God was very angry at them. He chastised them every now and then. He kept them wallowing in their sins. He dismissed them in the hardness of their hearts, until that day, when they came to their senses, and cried earnestly to Him. God then brought them across the Jordan River. They fought their spiritual wars. They tasted their spiritual fruits and abundant harvest. It is indeed a land flowing with milk and honey.

How about us?

Where are we? Are we still in the land of slavery? Have we crossed the Red Sea? Are we still wandering in the wilderness? Or have we crossed the Jordan River? Are we living in the Promised Land? Is it indeed a land flowing with milk and honey?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Unfinished Business


Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." (Luke 23:42)

  • We all have unfinished businesses in our lives.
     
  • Our unfinished business may include apologies left unsaid.
     
  • Or it may be unfinished spiritual decisions.
     
  • One of the criminals who was crucified with Jesus needed desperately to make such a decision.
     
  • Just a few breaths away from eternity, he realized who Jesus was.
     
  • He wanted to be with Him in heaven.
     
  • He recognized his sin and Jesus’ innocence.
     
  • And he said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom”.
     
  • And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."
     
  • God does not want anyone to perish.
     
  • His offer of salvation is open to anyone, regardless of age, health, or stage in life.
     
  • His offer is open to us.
     
  • Don’t delay receiving Jesus as Savior.
     
  • Resolve this important and unfinished business.
     
  • And we will look forward to eternity with Him.
     
  • The Lord God is waiting.
     
  • He is waiting to see if we are willing to open the door.
     
  • Oh, how He wants to come in!
     
  • To be saved here means to be safe hereafter.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Jesus Leads us All the Way


He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. (Psalm 23:2-3)

  • Jesus is the one true Leader of His children.
     
  • He knows what we need.
     
  • He knows where we are most vulnerable.
     
  • His leading is part of what makes Psalm 23 the most beloved song in the Bible’s hymnal.
     
  • In verse 2, David says that the Shepherd “leads me beside the still waters.”
     
  • In verse 3 he adds, “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
     
  • These twin ideas reveal why Jesus’ care is so complete.
     
  • Whether it is times of refreshing and strengthening (“still waters”) or seasons of doing what pleases Him (“paths of righteousness”), we can follow Him.
     
  • Our Lord knows the way through the wilderness.
     
  • All we have to do is follow.
     
  • Jesus knows the way.
     
  • Let us follow Him.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Jesus, our Cornerstone


Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious. (1 Peter 2:4)

  • The most precious things in life are not material items.
     
  • Rather, it is the people who have loved us and built into our lives.
     
  • And we don’t know what we would do without them.
     
  • When the apostle Peter referred to Jesus as “a chief cornerstone, elect, precious” (1 Peter 2:6), it meant Jesus is truly precious to him.
     
  • It was his prized possession above everything and everyone else.
     
  • So is Jesus to us.
     
  • Where would we be today without the constant unfailing companionship of His faithful presence, wise and perfect guidance, merciful patience, comfort, and transforming reproof?
     
  • What would we do without Him? We just can’t imagine!
     
  • Lord, help us not to focus on fleeting treasures, but on You, our most precious treasure.
     
  • Lord, teach us the joy of reveling in You, and Your loving presence and provision in our lives.
     
  • Of all that is precious, Jesus tops the list.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Christlikeness


For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5)

  • It is difficult to give up things we have grown accustomed to.
     
  • But God may want us to.
     
  • We may be involved in an activity that has become all-encompassing.
     
  • We know it would be best to limit it.
     
  • We may have a habit or practice that we know misses the mark of pleasing God.
     
  • We realize that we need to let it go because we love God and want Him to be glorified through us.
     
  • When we find things that interfere with our relationship with the Lord, with His help we can stop.
     
  • God has given us the provision.
     
  • The Spirit has provided us the power.
     
  • Let us ask God to help us not to let anything block His glory from shining through.
     
  • God is perfect, but we are so far from perfect.
     
  • May the Lord chip away our imperfections through the work of His Holy Spirit.
     
  • May the Lord help us each day to grow more and more like Him.
     
  • May we draw closer to Christ each day.
     
  • May we grow in Christlikeness.



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Be Hungry to Satisfy Others' Deepest Needs


Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. (John 4:34)

  • For some of us, food is more than a necessity.
     
  • It is a wonderfully enjoyable part of life!
     
  • We enjoy sitting down to a well-prepared meal, especially when we are feeling hungry.
     
  • The disciples were hungry for lunch when they returned to the well where Jesus was interacting with the Samaritan woman.
     
  • They urged Him, “Rabbi, eat”.
     
  • Jesus responded to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know”.
     
  • This made them wonder if someone had already brought Him something to eat.
     
  • The disciples were so consumed with thinking about food that they couldn’t see past their immediate circumstances.
     
  • They didn’t understand the significance of what was going on at the well.
     
  • The most important thing to Jesus was to do the will of Him who sent Him, and to finish His work.
     
  • He was focused on the spiritual needs of this woman who desperately needed what only He could give.
     
  • It is easy to become preoccupied with needs of the moment.
     
  • But Jesus invites us to get beyond our own interests — our own little lunch.
     
  • We are to open our eyes to the souls who are searching for answers to their deepest needs.
     
  • Let us join Jesus at the well.
     
  • Let Him use us to tell others about the spiritual food only He can give.
     
  • Let us fix our eyes not just on the things we are interested in, but lift our eyes to see the needy souls around us.
     
  • May the Lord God give us passion for the lost and the joy of seeing others satisfied in Him.
     
  • Let us be hungry to satisfy the needs of others around us.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sin Is Never Private


But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the LORD burned against the children of Israel. (Joshua 7:1)

  • One person’s actions can affect an entire group.
     
  • What happens to one happens to everyone.
     
  • We learn from the story of Achan that sin is never private.
     
  • After the great victory at Jericho, God gave Joshua specific instructions on how to deal with the city and its loot (Josh. 6:18).
     
  • The people were to abstain from the accursed things.
     
  • They were to put all the silver and gold into the treasury of the Lord.
     
  • But they disobeyed His command to them.
     
  • The interesting thing is, not all of Israel sinned.
     
  • Only one person did — Achan.
     
  • But because of his actions, everyone was affected and God was dishonored.
     
  • As followers of Jesus, we belong to one another.
     
  • Our individual actions can impact the entire body and God’s name.
     
  • Let us be careful so that we may individually and together give God the honor He deserves.
     
  • Our sin is never private, though we may try to hide it.
     
  • We belong to God and to one another.
     
  • What we do individually may grieve God and impact fellow Christians.
     
  • Private sins will inevitably have public impact.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Internalizing The Word Of God


Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)

  • The prophet Jeremiah expressed a way of letting the Scriptures nourish our hearts.
     
  • The Holy Scriptures was written for our learning.
     
  • We are to internalize the Bible.
     
  • We are to know the Word, obey the Word, and share the Word.
     
  • We are to hear, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest passages of Scripture through prayerful meditation.
     
  • We are to ask the Lord to help us apply the Bible to our heart today.
     
  • We are to take time to ponder the meat and milk of the Word (Heb. 5:12).
     
  • As we quiet our heart, God will teach us about Himself through His Book.
     
  • Let us meditate on God’s precepts and contemplate His ways.
     
  • Let us delight in His statutes.
     
  • Let us never forget His Word.
     
  • Some books are to be tasted.
     
  • Others to be swallowed.
     
  • And some others are to be chewed and digested.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Do You Want To Be Well?


John 5:1-1

The Lord Jesus went to Jerusalem when there was a religious feast.

He came to the pool of Bethesda.

A great crowd of sick people were sheltering under the 5 porches around the pool. They were hoping for a miracle when an angel stirred the waters.

The Lord Jesus singled out a certain man who had been an invalid for 38 years.

He knew all about this man and he asked him, “Do you want to be made well?”

The man recognized his own helplessness.

The Lord Jesus told him to take up his bed (a mat which could be rolled up) and walk.

The man was instantly healed!

The Jews (probably Pharisees) were angry that The Lord Jesus healed the man at the pool on the Sabbath day.

They saw the man carrying his bed and this broke their man-made Sabbath laws.

The law forbidding the carrying of burdens was to do with trading on the Sabbath.

These people lacked compassion and did not share the man's joy on account of his healing.

The man did not know that it was the Lord Jesus who had healed him until the Savior sought him out in the temple.

There are some important principles to learn from this passage:-
  • Jesus knows all about us and our needs. 
  • Just as the man was unable to heal himself, we cannot save ourselves from our sin. We are enslaved by our sins. We can do nothing to save ourselves. We are dead in our sin until God works mightily in our lives through the Holy Spirit. This should fill us with joy and thanksgiving for the grace of God in our lives! 
  • We have no need to be enslaved by sin.
If you are struggling with sin in your life, do you really want to be delivered from its bondage?

Some love their sin and refuse to submit to the Lord Jesus.

Do you want to be made well?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Worship In Spirit And In Truth


Those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth - John 4:15-30

The woman misunderstood the Lord Jesus.

She thought He had some kind of water that once taken would quench her thirst forever and do away with the need to draw and carry water.

People often misunderstand our message, but we must persevere!

The Lord Jesus told the woman to fetch her husband.

When she denied having a husband, the Lord Jesus amazed her by revealing that He knew all about her immoral life style.

This embarrassed the woman and she started to talk about religion in general. Was He a prophet? Where should we worship God? On this mountain or in Jerusalem?

The Lord Jesus told the woman, “You worship what you do not know”.

The Samaritans did not know God and were ignorant in their worship of Him.

There are many worshipers in the world who do not worship the only true God who is revealed in the Bible.

Though salvation is of the Jews, God the Father seeks true worshipers.

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

Spiritual worship does not require special places of pilgrimage or magnificent temples. It comes from a heart which loves and adores God, and is obedient to His Word.

Spiritual worship is in truth as it is set forth in Scripture. We can only come to God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. There are no other mediators. We are not at liberty to worship with those who claim that there are other ways to come to God apart from the Lord Jesus, our great Mediator.

The astonished woman confessed that she knew that the coming Messiah would tell them all things.

The Lord Jesus replied that He was that very Person.

The woman forgot about water. On the arrival of the disciples, she hurried back to Sychar, saying to the men, “Come, see a man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” The woman discovered the surpassing greatness of our Lord and Saviour. Have we?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

You Must Be Born Again


John 3:1-8

The work of the Trinity is displayed in the salvation of sinners.

In John chapter 3, we see the love of God the Father, the sacrifice of God the Son, and the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing us to new birth.

Nicodemus, a respected Jewish teacher, came to see the Lord Jesus at night to find out more about Him.

He discovered some very important truths that night. He learned that being religious does not guarantee a place in heaven. The Lord Jesus told him that to enter the kingdom of God, a person had to be born again.

Why must we be born again?
  • Because of our sinful human nature.
    We are born of the flesh and we are all sinners by nature. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 
  • Because of our spiritual blindness.
    Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 
  • Because our eternal destiny depends upon it.
    Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
    To be in the kingdom of God means to have eternal life and inexpressible joy.
    To be out of the kingdom means to perish, having the wrath of God upon us.
    On the Day of Judgment, those who are not born again will wish that they had never been born at all!

There is good reason to believe that Nicodemus became a follower of Christ. His attitude to the Lord Jesus in the face of hostile Jewish leaders and the fact that he assisted Joseph of Arimathea in the burial of Jesus indicate that he became a Christian.

The new spiritual birth is vital for salvation.

Have we been born again?

We must be born again.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Right to Become Children of God



- John 1:6-13 -

The Lord Jesus came to His own people, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.

Those who do not receive Christ also reject the greatest privilege of being taken into God's family.

Every Christian is a child of God. We are precious to Him and can come to Him in prayer as our heavenly Father.

When God saves us, He brings us into His family.

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!

We are children of God because of His great love which He has lavished so freely upon us.

To know God is a priceless privilege. We have fellowship with Him. He is with us wherever we go. He hears and answers our prayers. He has given us eternal life.

Are you feeling discouraged or fearful?

Let us take heart! We are precious to God.

He is working all things together for good on behalf of His children.

We cannot become children of God unless we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

True Christians gladly acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and they obey His commandments.

They also believe in His name, trusting in Him alone to save them from their sins.

Let us rejoice in God for the great privileges that He have given us!

Man's will and nationality have no bearing on our new birth into the family of God.

It has nothing to do with human procreation.

It is a supernatural, sovereign work of God Himself.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

God Cares For Us


"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
- 1 Peter 5:7 -


It is a nice way of soothing sorrow if we know that God cares for us.

Let us come to the Lord and cast our burden upon Him.

What seems to be a crushing burden to us, is nothing to the Lord.

Those of us who are under suffering, let us be patient.

God has not passed over us in His providence.

He will furnish us with what we need.

Let us not sit down in despair. Let us hope on.

Let us take up the arms of faith against all our troubles.

God cares for us. His eye is fixed on us. His heart beats with pity for our woe. His hand shall yet bring us the needed help. He will bind up our wounds. He will heal our broken heart.

What a serene and quiet life we can lead if we would leave providing to the God of providence!

Let us leave all our concerns in the hand of our gracious God.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Continue in Prayer


"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."
- Colossians 4:2 -

A large portion of the Bible is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises.

We find a wrestling Jacob, Daniel who prayed three times a day, and David who with all his heart called upon his God.

We see Elijah praying on the mountain; Paul and Silas praying in the prison.

We have multitudes of commands to pray.

We have myriads of promises of prayer.

All these teach us the importance and necessity of prayer.

Whatever God has made prominent in His Word, He intended to be conspicuous in our lives.

If He has said much about prayer, it is because He knows we have much need of it.

So deep are our necessities, that until we are in heaven we must not cease to pray.

A prayerless soul is a Christless soul.

Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus.

It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honor of a Christian.

If we are children of God, we will seek our Father's face, and live in our Father's love.

Let us learn to be holy, humble, zealous, and patient.

Let us have closer communion with Christ, and enter often into His love.

Let us be an example and a blessing to others.

Let us live more to the glory of our Master.

And let us continue in prayer.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Godly Or Hypocrite


Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh?
Can reeds thrive without water?
- Job 8:11 -

The papyrus is spongy and hollow.

So is a hypocrite.There is no substance and stability in him.

The papyrus is shaken to and fro in every wind.

So is a hypocrite. He yields to every influence.

The papyrus is not broken by the tempest.

So is a hypocrite. He is not troubled by persecution.

The papyrus by nature lives in water.

It owes its very existence to the marsh and moisture where it has taken root.

If the marsh become dry, the papyrus will wither very quickly.

Its greenness is absolutely dependent upon circumstances.

A present abundance of water will make it flourish.

A drought will destroy it at once.

Is this our case?

Do we serve God only when we are in good company or only when we are blessed?

The papyrus cannot grow without the marsh.

But the plants of the Lord can and do flourish even in the year of drought.

A godly man grows best when his worldly circumstances decay.

Let us find our lives in God, and not in the marsh of this world's favor or gain.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Come Up Higher


But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.
- Luke 14:10 -

When the life of grace first begins in the soul, we draw near to God.

But it is with fear and trembling.

We are conscious of our guilt, and we are humbled.

We take the lowest room.

As we grow in grace, we continue to have the holy awe.

We know that we are in the presence of God who can create and destroy.

But our fear has become a holy reverence, and no more an overshadowing dread.

We are called up higher.

We are called to greater access to God in Christ Jesus.

We approach the throne of grace, and see the God of love, goodness, and mercy.

We see in God more of His goodness than His greatness, more of His love than His majesty.

We are called to come up higher.

We draw near to God in holy confidence.

We call Him, "Abba, Father."

We go from strength to strength,

And we grow daily in grace,

Until we see Him face to face.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

God's Everlasting Covenant With Us


“If my house were not right with God,
surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant,
arranged and secured in every part;
surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation
and grant me my every desire.
- 2 Samuel 23:5 -

The covenant is divine in its origin.

God has made a covenant with us.

Here lies the sweetness of it to each believer.

God has made peace with us!

The covenant is everlasting in its duration.

The covenant had no beginning, and it shall never end.

How sweet amidst all the uncertainties of life.

Let us sing of this, even though our church is not so with God as our hearts desire.