Monthly Archives: April 2018

30 APRIL 2018 -Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

Scripture

11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Reflection

The experience of being disciplined or “corrected” is often unpleasant. Discipline is not punishment. According to Focus on the Family, the purpose of punishment is to inflict a penalty for an offense; the result for the child is often fear and guilt. The purpose of discipline however is to train for correction and maturity; the result for the child is often security. If we are willing to submit to God’s correction in our lives it will make us to be more like Jesus; “more like Jesus” means peace. Peace within ourselves and peace with those who are close to us. We see this best when we are looking back (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

Think of someone you know who could use a little joy in their lives and pray for presence of the Lord to rest on them. “In His presence there is fullness of Joy” Psalm 16:11.

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By |2018-04-26T09:57:53+08:00April 30th, 2018|Week 1|0 Comments

27 APRIL 2018 -Matthew 16:23 (NIV)

Scripture

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Reflection

What would make Jesus speak so harshly to Peter, his closest friend? Just prior to this statement from Jesus, Peter has told Jesus that he would never suffer at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed or I suppose from the text, be raised on the third day. (Matthew 16:21-22) The cross, an instrument of death, was and is the wisdom of God. Concerning Jesus, we read:

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;

To some this is a stumbling block, to others it’s just foolishness but to God it’s wisdom. Listen to the wisdom in the cross of 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 Thailand Team going to work with House of Grace is a rescue home for girls in danger of being bought and sold into prostitution. They leave today.

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By |2018-04-22T10:46:43+08:00April 27th, 2018|Week 4|0 Comments

26 APRIL 2018 -1 Kings 3:10-13 (NIV)

Scripture

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.

Reflection

When “blind” Bartimaeus, who is begging by the side of the road, is asked by Jesus, “What do you want me to do for you?” He answers, “I want my sight” (Mark 10:51) He could have asked for money; instead he receives his sight and the gift of following Jesus. When Solomon asks God for wisdom, he receives wisdom and the wealth he did not ask for. Solomon’s words clarify what both he and God mean by “wisdom”. John Goldingay writes, “The key to wisdom or discernment lies in having a listening mind, in submitting one’s thinking to God’s way of thinking. The key to having the “mind of Christ” is in our listening to the wisdom of God revealed in his Word, the Bible (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 ask God to place a nation on your mind and heart. Pray for the people to blessed by God, the church to shine brightly and for God to be present in that place.

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By |2018-04-22T10:43:18+08:00April 26th, 2018|Week 4|0 Comments

25 APRIL 2018 -1 Kings 3:7-9 (NIV)

Scripture

“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

Reflection

Solomon is asked a question and gives the correct answer, the predictable answer. God asks, “What do you want?” Solomon answers, “I ask for wisdom” The ironic bit is that Solomon at the same time he is asking for wisdom is making a very unwise and dangerous choice; he has made a political alliance with Egypt by marrying the daughter of Pharaoh. In time these marriages of political convenience (and there will be many) will open the door to false worship and a lack of trust in God. For all of Solomon’s wisdom, time will prove that he could not apply it to his own life. What good is it if we gain the whole world but lose our soul? (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 wisdom, healing and peace across your home country.

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By |2018-04-22T10:39:52+08:00April 25th, 2018|Week 4|0 Comments

24 APRIL 2018 -Luke 22:31-32 (NIV)

Scripture

31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Reflection

“Satan has asked” points back to the story of Job. (Job 1:6-12) Wheat was sifted to separate true wheat from the other things that would mix with it; Amos 9:9. “When you have turned back . . .” I imagine a future Peter, broken and ashamed because of his betrayal finding hope in the prophetic word of Jesus. Hope in knowing that although Jesus knew he would fail he made provision for Peter to find his way back. Jesus shows faith in us even before we can see it or imagine it (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about 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

Be still and allow the presence of Jesus to bring rest to you right now.

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By |2018-04-22T10:36:38+08:00April 24th, 2018|Week 4|0 Comments

23 APRIL 2018 -Matthew 14:29-32 (NIV)

Scripture

29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.

Reflection

This story is often retold from the point of view of Peter’s lack of faith and consequent sinking! However, we must not overlook that it was Peter alone who asked to be called and walked on the water, when Jesus said, “Come”. Having responded to the call of Jesus, Peter begins to look at his circumstances; when he sees the wind he becomes afraid and begins to sink. There is a pattern and a lesson here for all us. Go when Jesus calls, when our circumstances become threatening don’t be afraid. Fear will cause us to sink, in fact fear will create a lot of problems for us and make things worse, don’t be afraid. It’s the one thing that God always seems to be asking from us – our trust (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 the Thailand Team going to work with House of Grace is a rescue home for girls in danger of being bought and sold into prostitution.

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By |2018-04-22T10:33:06+08:00April 23rd, 2018|Week 4|0 Comments

20 APRIL 2018 -Mark 3:14 (ESV)

Scripture

14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach

Reflection

Just a few years later, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, two of the original twelve followers of Jesus were arrested for preaching in Jesus’ name. The ones doing the arresting noted they were “uneducated” men, which was to say they had no formal religious training, but they also noticed they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13) Then as now, there is simply no substitute for being with 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

Stop and ask God to place a nation on your mind and heart. Pray for the people to blessed by God, the church to shine brightly and for God to be present in that place.

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By |2018-04-12T10:36:48+08:00April 20th, 2018|Week 3|0 Comments

19 APRIL 2018 -Matthew 16:18 (MSG)

Scripture

18 And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.

Reflection

I have had the unique opportunity of visiting the ruins of the ancient city of Geshur (2 Samuel 3:3) I learned there that the “gate” of ancient cities was more like a large room at the entrance to a city. The king would “sit in the gate” to counsel people and sometimes to make plans for war. This may be the meaning behind, “the gates of hell will not prevail against Jesus’ church”. Satan can sit in his gate with his captains and plan all they want on how to destroy the church but none of those plans will ever work. The church will prevail; Jesus will prevail – all eyes on Him! (Ps. Dale).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell us about 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

Think of someone you know who could use a little joy in their lives and pray for presence of the Lord to rest on them. “In His presence there is fullness of Joy” Psalm 16:11.

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By |2018-04-12T10:30:27+08:00April 19th, 2018|Week 3|0 Comments

18 APRIL 2018 -John 8:36 (AMP)

Scripture

36 So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.

Reflection

We can appear to be free but not free at all. Jesus died on a criminal’s cross, he had the appearance of condemnation all over him that day yet he was the only free person on the planet. Two sons lived in their father’s house, one ran away and lost his freedom then later found it in his father’s love and forgiveness the other stayed and remained a loyal son but lost his freedom and didn’t know it. Jesus is the great Liberator for those who are near and for those who are far off  (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 the people around you. Take a minute to pray for those you can see; or those who immediately spring to mind.

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By |2018-04-12T10:25:46+08:00April 18th, 2018|Week 3|0 Comments

17 APRIL 2018 -2 Timothy 4:6-7 (NLT)

Scripture

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.

Reflection

Unlike his first letter to Timothy, Paul is very aware that this imprisonment will end in his death. He uses several metaphors to communicate this reality. Being poured out like a drink offering is a reference to Numbers 15:5, 7 and 10 where his imprisonment and death are described as an offering to the Lord. “Fighting the good fight” and finishing the race” our athletic metaphors. Having “kept the faith” . . . Even at his trial he was still proclaiming the gospel which had landed him in court in the first place. (4:16-18). It is not easy to accept that something is over, especially if it is something we loved and wanted to see continue. The next and last thing to do is to finish well by remaining true to the faith we have believed all these years (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 a renewed sense of God’s Presence. Allow yourself to stop and acknowledge God’s presence – pray, “Holy Spirit come

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By |2018-04-12T10:19:22+08:00April 17th, 2018|Week 3|2 Comments