Monthly Archives: January 2018

31 JANUARY 2018 – 1 Peter 1:10-12 (NIV)

Scripture

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

Reflection

Angels are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14) Peter tells us that “Angels long to look into these things”. The verb to long, describes an unfulfilled desire which is continual, in other words it means that they keep longing – they never lose the desire to look. The word “look into” describes what happens when someone is walking down a hallway and hears the sounds of transformation coming from behind a closed door. Angels long to open the door and to have a peek but they cannot, they will not. Only humanity is made in the image of God, a little lower than the angels, we are the only ones who can experience the restoration of that image in Jesus Christ and all of the “glories that follow”. Keep your eyes open and you may see an angel peeking every now and then (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about God, Jesus, people and the Holy Spirit?
  • 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 the prayer Jesus taught us to pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’

For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever, amen”

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By |2018-01-27T11:41:33+08:00January 31st, 2018|Week 4|0 Comments

30 JANUARY 2018 – 1 Peter 1:8-9 (AMP)

Scripture

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not even see Him now, you believe and trust in Him and you greatly rejoice and delight with inexpressible and glorious joy, receiving as the result [the outcome, the consummation] of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Reflection

The thing is . . . Peter had seen Jesus. He had touched him, heard him. He also saw him at the trial and it was there that Peter denied him. He was also seen by Jesus when their eyes met after the rooster crowed three times just as Jesus said it would. Peter must have marveled then how people who had never physically met Jesus, “in the flesh” as they say, could see him with eyes of faith and believe. The result of such faith, whether a faith to believe in the promise of someone you have never met or faith to believe that the same one could forgive you after your betrayal, either way leads to salvation (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about God, Jesus 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, the Church in Shanghai and the nation of China.

 

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By |2018-01-27T11:35:44+08:00January 30th, 2018|Week 4|0 Comments

29 JANUARY 2018 – 1 Peter 1:1-2 (NLT)

Scripture

This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.

I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

May God give you more and more grace and peace.

Reflection

This is Peter we are talking about, the confidant of Jesus, his closest companion. Identified as an “apostle” which means “one who is sent”; so the letter begins, “This is Peter, the one sent by Jesus”. Though history tells us that Peter probably never visited the places listed in these verses what we do know is that the providential care of the Father, the changes wrought by the Holy Spirit and an obedient heart toward Jesus are shared and have brought them together from near and far; as they have for us (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit?
  • 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 artificial limbs trips which are being planned for the spring.

 

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By |2018-01-27T11:31:37+08:00January 29th, 2018|Week 4|0 Comments

26 JANUARY 2018 – John 3:16-17 (NIV)

Scripture

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Reflection

The world is already condemned therefore it is not necessary that we condemn the world. Once there was a preacher who preached so often on hell and people going there he seemed to delight in it. The knowledge that people will spend an eternity outside the presence of a loving God should break our hearts and not bring a smile to our face. The understanding that God is not willing that any should perish but that all would turn away from sin should make us double our efforts to take up our own cross and follow 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 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 |2018-01-18T11:09:16+08:00January 26th, 2018|Week 4|0 Comments

25 JANUARY 2018 – Romans 10:14-15 (NIV)

Scripture

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Reflection

Preaching is a gift and a necessary one if people are to believe the good news about Jesus Christ. In another place Paul states that it is through the foolishness of preaching, the preaching of the cross, that we have come to believe. For some the preaching of the cross lacks a certain sophistication, for others it is just plain ridiculous and yet God has taken and will continue to take what the world values and turn it upside down until we are “right side up”, established on the foundation which is Christ the Lord (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

Stop and pray for someone who is near to you right now, someone you can see.

 

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By |2018-01-18T11:05:17+08:00January 25th, 2018|Week 4|0 Comments

24 JANUARY 2018 – Isaiah 6:6-8 (AMP)

Scripture

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Listen carefully, this has touched your lips; your wickedness [your sin, your injustice, your wrongdoing] is taken away and your sin atoned for and forgiven.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Reflection

This is the record of Isaiah’s call. Isaiah had heard all of his life that anyone who has a direct encounter with God does not survive. Filled with fear about his own spiritual condition, God takes care of things by taking away his sin and his guilt. God prepared Isaiah to lead his people into the same spiritual freedom which he has experienced. When the question comes, “Who shall go?”, the answer was obvious; the same man who just experienced the same freedom he will proclaim. “God doesn’t always call the qualified but He does qualify the called” (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 somewhere in the world that needs God’s attention. Flick to a news app or website, and pick a news story to pray for.

 

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By |2018-01-18T11:01:37+08:00January 24th, 2018|Week 4|0 Comments

23 JANUARY 2018 – 2 Corinthians 10:12-17 (ESV)

Scripture

12 Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

13 But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. 15 We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence. 17 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord

Reflection

A missions leader once said, “We do not measure ourselves by what we have accomplished but by the size of the harvest yet to be reached.” The words from Paul affirm that we will have different spheres of service, different from each other and that we will work side by side but not necessarily together; we should not be concerned by this arrangement because it is the Lord’s doing. Our celebrations do not come about by comparing ourselves to other end time workers but that the sphere the Lord has given us has expanded and we have the strength and the desire to answer the call (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 give thanks for:
…the truth of these words, “God with us”
…the impact of the birth of Jesus,
…the reality that God is with us, now.

 

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By |2018-01-18T10:54:57+08:00January 23rd, 2018|Week 4|0 Comments

22 JANUARY 2018 – John 4:35-38 (NIV)

Scripture

35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Reflection

Just prior to Jesus speaking these words, he had encountered a woman from a small town in Samaria. She had recognized that Jesus was the Savior, sent from God. She was so convinced, she returned to her village to tell everyone that she had met Jesus the Savior. She was so convincing, the whole village followed her back to the place where she had met him. This is probably the scene, all the people of the village walking toward Jesus, when he said to his disciples, “Look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” There are many people who are still looking for Jesus. They may not know his name and they may not know where to find him; if someone who knew how to find him would go to them, they could show the way. Whom shall we send? Who will 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 the work of Home Sweet Home, Sonflowers and Renewal Center.

 

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By |2018-01-18T10:41:28+08:00January 22nd, 2018|Week 4|0 Comments

19 JANUARY 2018 – Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)

Scripture

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Reflection

Here in these verses we see again the tension between “our part” and “God’s part”. We are told that we need to work out our salvation, which is our part; then before we can take a breath we are told it is God who is at work. Together, God and me, we are working to fulfill HIS good purpose – declaring and sharing the Gospel, making disciples and building communities of faith called churches (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 |2018-01-11T11:20:16+08:00January 19th, 2018|Week 3|0 Comments

18 JANUARY 2018 – Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)

Scripture

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Reflection

When we are embraced by God, it is with grace which is to say, he overcame the separation between us, created by our sin, by having the one human (Jesus) who never knew sin take on sin’s penalty, (death) on our behalf. We begin the relationship as an act of grace and we keep the relationship alive by grace. It’s not like God is saying, “I let you into my kingdom by grace but you better work extra hard if you are going to stay here!” Work was meant to be a blessing, the work which was created uniquely for us to do in the kingdom of grace, even more so. Cool (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 somewhere in the world that needs God’s attention. Flick to a news app or website, and pick a news story to pray for.

 

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By |2018-01-11T11:17:02+08:00January 18th, 2018|Week 3|0 Comments