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Devo2017-09-28T11:20:03+08:00

2 July 2020 – Acts 17:30-31 (NIV)

Scripture

30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

Reflection

In verse 30 we read God overlooked human ignorance but now God is commanding everyone everywhere to repent. The ‘human ignorance’ referred to is the lack of knowledge about God among the Gentiles who worshiped and created idols (vv.22-29). God was patient with the Gentiles, though they were still under His wrath (Rom. 1:18) and are without any excuse because of natural revelation (Rom. 1:19–20). And even though the Gentiles were responsible for the general or natural revelation given to them; God is now saying no one has an excuse because of the cross. With the worldwide proclamation of the gospel, the Gentiles now became also responsible to this special revelation. That is Jesus Christ crucified and raised from the dead. The Gentiles also have a responsibility now to respond and obey God’s command to repent of their sins. They no longer have an excuse because of what Jesus did on the cross.

Thoughts for the day

  • Are there any excuses in your life that you use to justify a specific idol or sin in your life?

Prayer

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,” Psalm 1:1
Ask – “What is the Holy Spirit saying to me through these verses?” “What or who is the Holy Spirit prompting me to pray for?” This could be a personal prayer for you, a prayer for loved ones, or an intercession for our world

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By |July 2nd, 2020|Week 1|

“Did Not Our Hearts Burn Within Us?”

This week on SCF Online we will be celebrating communion again. This is the Lord’s table and you are welcome: the powerful and the weak, the business owner and the employee, moms and dads and their children, men and women, every language group, nation and family. Everyone is welcome to confess their sins to the one and only one who has the power to forgive us, heal us from the inside out and drench us in His love.

In Luke 24 after the execution of Jesus, two of his followers, having heard the reports of his empty tomb, are returning to the village of Emmaus when the resurrected Jesus approaches them. They don’t recognize him as he engages them in conversation; when they reach their village they invite him to stay with them. This is where we pick up the story, Luke writes:

“When he (Jesus) was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.”

It is a reference to communion, did you see it? In giving thanks and in the breaking of the bread…their eyes were opened and they recognized him. As we “break bread” together and celebrate communion may we recognize Jesus as they did, as one who is revealed in the Bible, one who walks near to us and talks to us in these strange and troubling times.

 

By |July 1st, 2020|Pastor|

1 July 2020 – John 7:35 (NIV)

Scripture

35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?

Reflection

In verse 32 we read the Pharisees ‘heard the crowd whispering such things about Jesus’. The ‘things’ the Pharisees heard were the reality that many in the crowd believed in Jesus (v.31). Such a conversion meant people were setting aside the Pharisees’ traditional teachings (Mark 7:1-32), and since the Pharisees are the guardians of Jewish traditions, they took the responsibility on themselves to do something about Jesus. Hence, we read in verse 32 that the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest Jesus.

However, one of the reasons why the Pharisees felt such a deep sense of responsibility to protect Jewish traditions was because the Pharisees were an important sect of Judaism. They numbered about 6,000 and were very influential. They held a strict interpretation of the Law and embraced many Jewish oral traditions. The Pharisees were the only minor group to survive the Jewish war of A.D. 66–70, and their teachings formed the basis for Talmudic Judaism.

Thus, one can only imagine since it was expected of the Jews to obey the Law and the relevant Jewish traditions as mentioned in the Old Testament (OT) for thousands of years, and now all of a sudden, Jesus is teaching to believe in him, for the OT has been fulfilled in Him (which is the truth). And declaring he will go somewhere where no one will find him (v.35). One could understand why the Pharisees had such a hard time believing in Jesus (not that it’s an excuse). Just because one doesn’t understand a fact or truth doesn’t mean you are exempt from believing it. Think of gravity. You might not believe in gravity, but the reality remains gravity is still real and true.

Thoughts for the day

  • Is there a specific tradition you are holding onto, that is not Biblically true?

Prayer

Jesus, You still know the suffering and joy of Your people. Jesus, you know. Please let the displaced people of the world know that they are known. And help us to be known, to know You, and to know our brothers and sisters in this world.

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By |July 1st, 2020|Week 1|

June 30 2020 – John 20:9 (NIV)

Scripture

(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Reflection

In verse eight we read how the ‘other disciple’ who is actually John himself, and the author of the letter of John, went in and ‘believed’. Yet, in verse nine we read ‘they’ did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead. The word ‘they’ refers to Jesus’s other disciples. Thus it seems only John himself realized and understood that Jesus rose from the grave at that moment. But verse nine is very important from an eyewitness testimony perspective. It proves from a philological and historical perspective that Jesus’ disciples saw the grave was empty and the manner how the linen and cloth were laid, showed it was not a tomb robbery (as some people have claimed), otherwise, it would not have been left in such away. Therefore the disciples without realizing yet, that Jesus was raised, witnessed firstly that He was gone, and only later on, understood why he was gone. If these accounts happened in the reverse order, one could’ve argued because the disciples knew Jesus was to be raised, they would claim, that’s why he’s body is gone. But instead, they noticed his body was gone but didn’t know what to make of it. And only, later on, understood he raised from the dead. Thus, the order of how the events unfolded and how it was witnessed, supports the fact that Jesus raised from the dead. What a great joy it is to know Jesus truly raised from the dead.

Thoughts for the day

  • How well can you explain why Jesus had to be raised?

Prayer

God, You still see the painful realities of this world. God, You see. Please let the displaced people of the world know that they are seen. And help us to see them

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By |June 30th, 2020|Week 1|

June 29 2020 – Acts 17:1-3 (NIV)

Scripture

When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said

Reflection

In verse three, the NIV translation states Paul ‘reasoned’ with the people in the Synagogues from the Scriptures by ‘explaining’ and ‘proving’ that the Messiah had to suffer, die and be raised from the dead. Note, the Scriptures referred to in verse two are not the New Testament books, as we know it today since it was not written yet. It consisted mostly of the Old Testament (OT) books. Thus, for Paul to explain and prove that Jesus is the Messiah, that he suffered, died and raised from the dead, was all substantiated by the OT books and proved by archaeologists when they discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls between 1946 to 1956. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain 220 books and about a quarter of them are books from the OT dated 150 B.C. to 70. A.D. Most common among them are Psalms and Deuteronomy. The dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls proves that the authors in the OT were predicting the life of Jesus, his suffering, crucifixion and resurrection before Jesus lived. How marvellous to know that what we believe as Christians and the very essence of the gospel, namely that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, is true.

Thoughts for the day

  • Why do you personally believe in Jesus as your Saviour?

Prayer

God, You hear. Please let the displaced people of the world know that they are heard. And help us to hear them.

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By |June 29th, 2020|Week 1|

26 June 2020 – Colossians 2:1-3 (NIV)

Scripture

I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Reflection

Here you can already see the seeds being planted for the restoration of the Church of Laodicea.  In Revelation 3, the Lord has some pretty strong words to say about the Church of Laodicea, namely it being lukewarm.  Paul writes in this passage in Colossians that he is contending hard for this church. Perhaps, he too sees what the Lord sees; that this church is full of potential and yet not fully realized.  That this church has some wisdom but not yet understanding the mystery of God, which is truly knowing Jesus and the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that come with it.  Sadly, it seems Paul’s letter had fallen on deaf ears.  Hopefully they hear the prayers of Jesus as he cries in Revelation: “ 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
  • What does this passage tell you about humanity?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
  • Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.

Prayer

Authorities. Pray for wisdom in dealing with containment of the virus and in making decisions for the masses of people.

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By |June 26th, 2020|Week 4|