Monthly Archives: December 2017

29 DECEMBER 2017 – Matthew 28:19-20 (AMP)

Scripture

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”

Reflection

Otherwise known as the “Great Commission” these last words of Jesus as recorded by Matthew give the direction we need as the sons and daughters of God; brothers and sisters to Jesus. There is a lot going on in this commission so don’t miss the main verb, “make disciples”. We coach people to help them find the answers that are already inside them, we mentor people to follow our example in whatever level of expertise that we offer but we disciple people to help them know and follow Jesus. We don’t make disciples for ourselves, we make disciples for Jesus. Go! (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about God and people?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
  • Who can you encourage with this story/message?

Prayer

Pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on SCF.

 

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By |2017-12-21T10:54:54+08:00December 29th, 2017|Week 4|0 Comments

28 DECEMBER 2017 – Galatians 4:4-7 (AMP)

Scripture

But when [in God’s plan] the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the [regulations of the] Law, so that He might redeem and liberate those who were under the Law, that we [who believe] might be adopted as sons [as God’s children with all rights as fully grown members of a family]. And because you [really] are [His] sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave (bond-servant), but a son; and if a son, then also an heir through [the gracious act of] God [through Christ].

 

Reflection

The language of the New Testament is Greek. First century Greek had two words for the English word, “Time”; Chronos and Kairos. Chronos is the word for time as we measure it by the hours of the day or by days on a calendar. Kairos time is not measured by watches and calendars; Kairos addresses the opportune time, the best time, the fullness of time. The time of Jesus’ birth was not random, it was purposeful, i.e. God sent his Son so that we might become the sons (and the daughters) of God. In Christ, you are a loved and wanted daughter, you are a loved and wanted son (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about God and people?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
  • Who can you encourage with this story/message?

Prayer

Pray God’s presence into the place you’re in right now. Whether that’s your home, university or your local community.

 

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By |2017-12-21T10:51:17+08:00December 28th, 2017|Week 4|0 Comments

27 DECEMBER 2017 – Luke 2:22-24 (NIV)

Scripture

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.

Reflection

We can learn several things about the holy family from this passage. Mary and Joseph are faithful religious Jews (which is a good thing!). They are careful to follow the law and as far as know do so sincerely as their faithful obedience to the giver of the Law. We also learn that they are not wealthy people. Their offering of two doves or pigeons is one of the lowest of options a Jewish couple had for this sacrifice. In other words, if you couldn’t afford the more expensive sacrifice then two pigeons were acceptable. In going about their ordinary (for them) everyday lives they were carrying out the will of God, nothing spectacular, there is nothing going on here on this day that anyone would have noticed as the “plan of God unfolding”. Just a young couple bringing their first born son to the temple. Our faithfulness in the little things lead to greater things . . . wait and see (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about God and people?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
  • Who can you encourage with this story/message?

Prayer

PRAY FOR THOSE IN POWER Leaders across our world are humans, just like us, who need prayer: “… for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” – 1 Timothy 2:2-3

 

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By |2017-12-21T10:46:56+08:00December 27th, 2017|Week 4|0 Comments

26 DECEMBER 2017 – Psalm 98 (NIV)

Scripture

Sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known
    and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
    and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity.

Reflection

This psalm is a description of the sights and sounds of a joyful celebration, I am especially fond of rivers clapping and mountains singing. Which may simply be saying that all people, in fact all creation, join in the new song. Music itself will be redeemed and restored to its original beauty; a new song will be inspired by the one who is the morning star and in whom there is light and only light because there is no darkness in Him (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about God and people?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
  • Who can you encourage with this story/message?

Prayer

Pray for the salvation of the city of Shanghai.

 

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By |2017-12-21T10:42:14+08:00December 26th, 2017|Week 4|0 Comments

25 DECEMBER 2017 – Luke 2:8-20 (ESV)

Scripture

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Reflection

Merry Christ-mass! From the highest heaven to the lowly sphere called earth, Angel’s give praise to God. On the earth, peace comes to those upon whom his favor rests; a teenage girl giving birth to her first child, a nervous father and forgotten shepherds (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about God and people?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
  • Who can you encourage with this story/message?

Prayer

Pray for those to whom Christmas is a sad and lonely season, pray they find joy in a personal relationship with the Christ of Christmas and in his church.

 

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By |2017-12-21T10:55:48+08:00December 25th, 2017|Week 4|0 Comments

22 DECEMBER 2017 – Luke 2:1-7 (NASB)

Scripture

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Reflection

Imagine the trouble of having to travel on a donkey for days while nine months pregnant. What a bother to have to travel at all but a national census had been ordered and Joseph was required to return to his ancestral home. A bothersome decree and the Roman Empire are instruments in God’s hands as he orchestrates the melody of his will and purpose. He is using the mighty Roman Empire to move his yet to be born son from Nazareth to Bethlehem so that this one promise (and there are others) would be fulfilled, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2 (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about God and people?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
  • Who can you encourage with this story/message?

Prayer

Pray for those in our city who are seeking to reconnect with Christian faith, a faith they once had but lost.

 

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By |2017-12-14T10:50:18+08:00December 22nd, 2017|Week 3|0 Comments

21 DECEMBER 2017 – Romans 16:25-27 (ESV)

Scripture

25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Reflection

I can only imagine what that conversation would be like, having Paul walk us through the prophetic writings and show us how Jesus Christ is the way for all Gentiles to come to faith in God. A “Gentile” is someone who is not Jewish; considering that the current world population is about 7.5 billion people and the total Jewish population is slightly above 13 million people . . . there are a lot of “Gentiles” today for whom God has made a way into the fullness of life through his son Jesus Christ! (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about God and people?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
  • Who can you encourage with this story/message?

Prayer

Pray and be silent, just listen.

 

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By |2017-12-14T10:25:52+08:00December 21st, 2017|Week 3|0 Comments

20 DECEMBER 2017 – Psalm 89:19-26 (NLT)

Scripture

19 Long ago you spoke in a vision to your faithful people.
You said, “I have raised up a warrior.
    I have selected him from the common people to be king.
20 I have found my servant David.
    I have anointed him with my holy oil.
21 I will steady him with my hand;
    with my powerful arm I will make him strong.
22 His enemies will not defeat him,
    nor will the wicked overpower him.
23 I will beat down his adversaries before him
    and destroy those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him,
    and by my authority he will grow in power.
25 I will extend his rule over the sea,
    his dominion over the rivers.
26 And he will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,
    my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’

Reflection

Jesus, David’s son, has won the victory on the cross. All spiritual principalities and powers have been defeated. What appeared to be a crushing blow was reversed when Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. The love between the Father and the Son was demonstrated by the Son’s amazing trust in his Father and his Father’s commitment to his Son not to forsake him or abandon him to the grave. Jesus having walked through the valley of death speaks to us of a better way; and a promise . . . He will never leave us or forsake us. The heavenly Father keeps his promises (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about God and people?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
  • Who can you encourage with this story/message?

Prayer

Pray and praise God for one aspect of his character that is meaningful to you, confess your sin, give thanks for the good things in your life, ask for what you need.

 

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By |2017-12-14T10:21:34+08:00December 20th, 2017|Week 3|0 Comments

19 DECEMBER 2017 – Psalm 89:1-4 (MGS)

Scripture

1-4 Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it!
    I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are.
I’ll never quit telling the story of your love—
    how you built the cosmos
    and guaranteed everything in it.
Your love has always been our lives’ foundation,
    your fidelity has been the roof over our world.
You once said, “I joined forces with my chosen leader,
    I pledged my word to my servant, David, saying,
‘Everyone descending from you is guaranteed life;
    I’ll make your rule as solid and lasting as rock.’”

Reflection

Jesus, received the throne of David but he will not pass it on; he doesn’t need to. Jesus is the last king Israel will ever need, he is Israel’s king and he is king of the world. One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. In Him, by Him and through Him all things were made, his is the name that is above every other name and in his name alone there is salvation, deliverance, mercy and grace. “Kings and kingdoms will all pass away but there’s just something about that name” – Jesus (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about God and people?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
  • Who can you encourage with this story/message?

Prayer

Pray for the new Alpha season; for more people to come and help and for more guests to come and ask questions.

 

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By |2017-12-14T10:16:10+08:00December 19th, 2017|Week 3|0 Comments

18 DECEMBER 2017 – 2 Samuel 7:5-11 (NIV)

Scripture

“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’

“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

“‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you:

Reflection

God has made an incredible promise and commitment to David, “I will make your name great” This is a promise that God has already made to one of David’s ancestors, Abraham. David is the fulfillment the promise, the keeper of the promise and the one who will pass on the same promise to one who is yet to come. Jesus, David’s descendant, will take up the throne of David and will fulfill every promise ever made to David and his people. It is an awesome thing to have your name made great, it is even more awesome to know the one who can take someone from the pasture to the palace. A good name is to be treasured, but even more valuable is to know the name-giver (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about God and people?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
  • Who can you encourage with this story/message?

Prayer

Pray for those who are in prison.

 

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By |2017-12-14T10:10:07+08:00December 18th, 2017|Week 3|0 Comments