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

21 October 2020 – Luke 11:20 (NKJV)

Scripture

But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Reflection

What an awesome experience, to have the kingdom of God come upon us, the ultimate supernatural encounter! On the other hand, Jesus said this to the crowd after he had cast out a mute demon in a man. Even as people marveled that the mute has been healed, accusing voices also arose, saying that Jesus’ power came from Beelzebub who rules over demons rather than from God.

In my walk of faith through the years, I would sometimes think these thoughts: during Jesus’ ministry and showed himself to be the Son of God, how could anyone who witnessed the miracles or heard Jesus teach ever doubted who he says he is? On the other hand, if I were one of the witnesses, would I believe him? The thought of not recognizing God actually scares me. Fortunately I do believe, and even more so, I am grateful.

In a recent talk that SCF offered on the topic of spiritual warfare, Dean Sherman taught that the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power (1 Cor 4:20), and the kingdom of God “is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17) — as personified by Jesus himself! However, there are people who are in supernatural darkness because their minds have been blinded by the god of this age, and cannot see the light of the gospel (2 Cor 4:4). Those who don’t believe in God aren’t necessarily without knowledge; they are deceived to believe something else. This is why, Dean said, it is so important and necessary for believers to battle in the spiritual realm by praying for revelation, to push back the power of deception. We are to look upon the lost with compassion, just as Jesus had on us. We all have a friend or family member who has yet to accept Christ, so let it be an encouragement to us, that we can pray for the kingdom of God to come down, to give revelation that reveals His glory.

The link to Dean Sherman’s teaching on Spiritual Warfare (video via Zoom) is available by email: admin@scfenglish.com

Thoughts for the day

  • It’s not religion or doctrine, but a face to face encounter with the Almighty that will change a person. Who could you be praying for that needs this encounter?
  • Look upon the lost with compassion – – does this change your approach of reaching out to the unsaved co-worker, neighbor, or loved one?

Prayer

Pray for the unsaved person(s) on your list and ask God to give you insight on how to take up spiritual battle for that particular person, for them to have a divine encounter with God.

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By |October 21st, 2020|Week 3|

20 October 2020 – John 1:14 (NIV)

Scripture

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Reflection

Have you ever read something and the words seemed to just jump off the pages and became alive to you? That is the power of words. What an amazing, creative God who gave us His son Jesus as the Word of God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1. Jesus taught by speaking God’s truth and through his actions in the flesh, his words and deeds recorded by scribes and witnessed by thousands. To this day Jesus’ legacy of words remain so that we can know him more through reading the bible, speaking and hearing from him in prayer, meditation, and through many other ways. He is a God who loves to commune with us and invites us to dialogue with him, to know His heart.

Just as in a human relationship where we get to know someone really well through IN PERSON communication, God gave us His Word. As Hebrews 4:12 says: “For the Word of God is living and powerful”. We don’t need to see the body in the tomb, and we don’t need to bow to a made object; the one we worship is ALIVE! May we know Jesus like words jumping off the pages, that can be seen and understood.

Thoughts for the day

  • If there is a bible passage that you’ve read before, but do not understand it, read it again and ask God to reveal its meaning and make the word alive to you, or reveal something new to you about Him that you had not seen before.

Prayer

Wherever you are, take time to acknowledge God and trust in Him again. Give God your worries. Take a moment to give each thing you are worrying about back to God.

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By |October 20th, 2020|Week 3|

19 October 2020 – Matthew 5:10 (NIV)

Scripture

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Reflection

Today’s verse is the last of the Beatitudes, which Jesus gave as eight instructions on the rewards for living as citizens of the kingdom of heaven. Verses 11 & 12 explain further the context of persecution: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake…for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” We know of the many saints who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the gospel through the ages, but in our comfortable world today, the thought of being persecuted for our faith rarely cross our minds. In the midst of this COVID pandemic, the worst thing for Christians now is probably the fact that we cannot have worship service in person, which is nothing and not even on the same level compared to what the saints before us went through.

Since most of us do not have to worry about being persecuted, do we still have a stake in the kingdom of heaven? Yes! The first Beatitude, in verse 3 says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven” – anyone who recognizes an absolute need and dependence on God – will be blessed. The problem is, who wants to be destitute and be persecuted in this life when it is already hard enough? We only get the kingdom of heaven when we die, but what can help us live life now?

In these 8 Beatitudes, Jesus is promising us the kingdom of heaven, and he’s also promised us the earth. Sandwiched between vvs.3 & 10 are six promises for righteous living all pertaining to the here and now. Verse 5 says “Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.” This in itself is an instruction to us for every day, and especially for when we come under persecution. To be persecuted for righteousness sake when upholding God’s truth, acting with mercy and carrying out justice, believers are not to act like the world does, but as Jesus taught (Matt 5:6-9). We are to be gentle before men, submissive before God. In doing so, we are rewarded the kingdom of heaven, and hopefully, we bring along others because of our example.

Thoughts for the day

  • Think of a situation in which you felt you were under persecution and either didn’t know what to do, or wish you handled it differently. In reading the Beatitudes (Matt 5:3-11) , might you come up with a better response to the situation?
  • Is there a current issue, be it locally in your circle of influence, or wider on a national/global scale whereby you recognize persecution taking place that you can do something about?

Prayer

Pray for believers in places where Christians are under persecution, that they would hold tight to God’s promise in Matt 5:10.

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By |October 19th, 2020|Week 3|

16 October 2020 – Mark‬ 1:14-15 (NIV)

Scripture

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Reflection

Jesus proclaiming the good news of God in Galilee, wanted people to know that the appointed time for them to encounter the kingdom of God is now. So they had to change their minds, to turn away from sin and the self-life and believe or trust in God in order to come to the Kingdom of God.

Like in Jesus’s time on earth, there’s still an urgency to preach the good news of God today, for the appointed time has already come, Jesus came to earth, died and resurrected. Moreover, Jesus before ascending to heaven, gave us the great commission to preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15).

As Christians or citizen of God’s kingdom, we should continue to live a life of repentance and trust in God as we grow spiritually and become more like Jesus Christ.  True repentance is not only regret for sin but also a changed attitude towards it. True repentance leads to abhor sin as well as to a decision to change to please God or to live for Him. Our Christian life is also about trusting in God or having faith in God, for without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6).

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

Today, take a moment, wherever you are, to ASK God to move in your life: Share what’s on your heart, asking God to provide, protect and encourage you.

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By |October 16th, 2020|Week 2|

15 October 2020 – Revelation‬ 21:1-4 (NIV)

Scripture

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Reflection

We are living in a world which has been affected by sin, a world living in rebellion against God. After the first man Adam had sinned, sin entered into the world and we are seeing the consequences till today. Selfishness, greed, crime, racism, sexual immorality, sickness, death, sorrow, tsunami, tornado, earthquake, are sadly part of the human experience on this earth now.

However, even though the distorting effects of sin are visible all around us, there is hope. Today’s verses speak of the apostle John’s vision about a new heaven and a new earth. This will be a time when God will make all things new, and sin’s effects on the world will be removed forever. This will be a reversal of the curse of Eden (Genesis 3). We will enjoy close fellowship with God, most probably like the fellowship Adam and Eve enjoyed with God in the garden of Eden before they fell into sin.

Looking forward to that glorious future, let us continue to live a life which pleases God in every aspects (Hebrews 12:14).

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

Today, take a moment, wherever you are, to PAUSE in God’s presence. Find a spot where you can stop and be quiet for a minute.

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By |October 15th, 2020|Week 2|

“MAKERS TOO”

We are looking forward to launching the Fall 2020 Community Group campaign on October 25. The theme is making disciples; the very thing that Jesus has called each of us to do. The challenge for many of us however is not that we don’t know WHAT the commission is (Matthew 28:19-20), but rather we are not sure how to carry it out and for some of us, we have some serious doubts about our own qualifications!

Would it help to be reminded that we are not making disciples of ourselves? We are facilitating, teaching, sharing and ultimately encouraging people in their relationship with Jesus. As one “disciple to another” – what are you learning from Jesus? How is it changing you? The word “disciple” describes a learner/teacher relationship; in this case it is Jesus who is the teacher and we are the learners. When the dimension of discipleship is added to the relationship we add the encouragement of the teacher/learner relationship with Jesus.

In this new series we will take a closer look at “disciple-making” and hopefully take some of the mystery out of it. In the process we hope everyone will be encouraged to add a “disciple-making” dimension to existing relationships or to start new conversations with a focus on the shared experience with the teacher Jesus. For more information contact Su, comgroups@scfenglish.com

By |October 14th, 2020|Pastor|