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Devotional2018-09-28T23:40:26+08:00

Advent Series: #2

Passage: Luke 3:15 (NIV)

15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah.

Comment

We are now officially in the advent season and this past Sunday (28 Nov) Ps. Dale kicked us off with the first of a 4-part series called ‘Preparing for Christmas again’. In his sermon, Ps. Dale spoke about why Jesus is called the ‘branch’ or the ‘shoot’ as seen in Isaiah 11:1.

God promised to David that out of his lineage a king will come that will not only restore hope and redeem Israel (a promise that seemed hopeless) but to be hope and redemption for all peoples. Through this ‘branch-like’ analogy, we can see how the Bible is one unified story that culminates in Jesus on the cross and invites you and me to partner with God to bring this message of hope and redemption to the lost and establish His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

In this coming week Ps. Dale will continue with the Advent series and focus on Luke 3:7-18 and Philippians 1:6-11. He’ll talk about John the Baptist, Jesus – the Anointed One and how God, who began a good work through us, will finish it for His glory.

As we reflect on this past Sunday’s sermon and we’re entering the advent season, think about how Jesus’ first coming impacts your life? How has Jesus redeemed your life? Do you live with an anticipated hope that He will come again? How does this (the knowledge that he will come again) affect how you view everyday life? Does your life reveal that Jesus was just another wise human being that teaches great moral values, or does it reveal a complete life-changing lifestyle that’s achievable beyond human abilities? Is your life looking more like Jesus?

By |December 1st, 2021|Categories: Jesus at the Center Blog|

Community Group Campaign: You Are Called Full Stop

Passage: Luke 1:78 (NIV)

because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven

Comment

This past Sunday (21 Nov) Ps. Dale concluded the CG campaign series called ‘Time of your life’ by Andy Stanley. Ps. Dale started by talking about Paul’s divine calling that he received from God to be an apostle. Ps. Dale mentioned that Paul received an invitation or summons from King Jesus to take part in what God has called him to do, and for Paul his calling or vocation was very specific, namely to be an apostle of Jesus. Ps. Dale continued by saying not everyone might receive such a specific calling like Paul, but it does not mean we have not been called by Jesus. Ps. Dale concluded his sermon by citing 5 reasons why we all have been invited by God, irrespective of our vocation. The reasons are:

  1. You have been called to be a holy people. Not just doing holy things but to be holy people. To be ‘set apart’ from the rest of the world and to be people for God.
  2. We have been called to be in community with our brothers and sisters in Christ, brothers and sisters who have also been called just like us.
  3. Only the called can see the cross of Jesus as the wisdom and power of God.
  4. You have been called to be in Jesus
  5. We have been called to share in his calling (Is. 42:5-7; Is. 453)

With Advent starting on the 28th of November pastor Dale will in this upcoming week, speak on why Jesus is called the ‘Branch’ or the ‘Shoot’. He will unpack the claim as to why Jesus is the legitimate King, the leader we are longing for and the reason for our hope.

As we reflect on this past Sunday’s sermon while keeping the 5 reasons Ps. Dale cited as to why we all have been invited by God, think about how your current vocation is shaped by these 5 callings mentioned above.

By |November 25th, 2021|Categories: Jesus at the Center Blog|

Community Group Campaign: Time & Trust

Quote:

Give your calling from the heavenly Father priority, then add the rest. Our calling should influence whatever else we might think about our occupations, roles and assignments.

Comment

This past Sunday (14 Nov) Ps. Dale continued with the CG campaign series called ‘Time of your life’ by Andy Stanley. Ps. Dale focused on the concept of compounding interest and honed in on one of the fruits of the Spirit, namely self-control. By contrasting the fruit of the Spirit with our fleshly nature, Ps. Dale encouraged us to continue to invest in living in step with the Spirit, as it will over time reap a tremendous spiritual result. He concluded the sermon by speaking about the idea of surrender and how one can practically create a daily habit of surrender unto Jesus.

In this coming week pastor Dale will talk about giving the time you can’t control to God, how trusting Him with your time looks like, and then enjoying the time that you do have.

As we reflect on this past Sunday’s sermon, there are three (3) things we can do as we continue to surrender our lives to Jesus.

  1. Crucify the flesh
  2. Keep in step with the Spirit and;
  3. Not becoming arrogant.

As we ponder on these three practical aspects to surrender our lives to Christ, which one of these three aspects do you feel the Holy Spirit is prompting you to focus on in this coming week? Who can you share it with to help keep you accountable? And continue to pray for a willing, humble and obedient heart to do what the Holy Spirit is leading you to do.

 

By |November 17th, 2021|Categories: Jesus at the Center Blog|

Community Group Campaign: At Capacity

Quote:

Time works like compounding interest, invest early and over time it brings outsized results” – Andy Stanley

Comment

On the 31st of October pastor Dale talked about Psalm 90:12 where it reads ‘teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.’ During that sermon, he focused on the first part of this verse namely that our days are numbered. In this past Sunday’s sermon (7 Nov) he focused on the second part of verse 12 and spoke about why gaining a heart of wisdom is so important. By making use of a picture of a jar of stones, pebbles and sand (which represents the various activities that consume our time in a day), he illustrated the importance of gaining a heart of wisdom. By having wisdom, we will be able to discern and know what is important, less important or downright a waste of our numbered days.

In this coming week pastor Dale will focus on identifying at least one thing that prevents us from making the kind of ‘deposits’ of our times that we desire, namely self-control. Self-control is a ‘fruit of the Spirit” which brings a new dimension to this often-threatening word.

As we reflect on this past Sunday’s sermon, let’s contemplate on the following approach, called Lectio Divina. It can be of great help for you and me as we desire to gain a heart of wisdom.

Step 1: Read – Pick a passage. After inviting the Holy Spirit to come and guide you, read the passage slowly, out loud if you can.

Step 2: Reflect – Meditating on the passage you have read, savour one word or phrase that you have noticed more than others during your reading. Write this word down or begin to ponder what God might be saying to you through this.

Step 3. Re-read – Read the passage one more time.

Step 4: Respond – Speak out in prayer what you sense God is saying to you. Tell Him how you feel encouraged or challenged by what He is saying to you.

Step 5: Rest – Simply take some time to allow God to wrap you in His love, and let the word He has given you rest on you.

Step 6. Resolve – Finish by articulating one way you might be able to live out the word that has penetrated your heart.

By |November 10th, 2021|Categories: Jesus at the Center Blog|

Our New Community Group Campaign Series!

This past Sunday’s sermon (Oct 31) Pastor Dale kicked us off with the Community Group campaign series called ‘Time of Your Life’ by Andy Stanley. In his sermon Pastor Dale spoke about God’s purpose for you and me in this generation. He focused on David and made the connection between 1 Samuel 13:14 where God says David is a man after His own heart and Acts 13:36 where it states David had served God’s purpose in his own generation.

In this coming week Pastor Dale will focus on how to live wisely and how that looks like for us today as we seek to understand what God’s purpose is for you and me in our own generation. 

As we reflect back on this past Sunday’s sermon, we know our days are numbered (Ps. 90:12) as it was the case with David, yet David served God’s purpose in his own generation and he served it with wisdom through honoring God. 

As you continue to reflect on this past Sunday’s sermon, think about how serving God’s purpose in your generation looks like and how wisdom plays a role therein, if at all? 

By |November 3rd, 2021|Categories: Jesus at the Center Blog|

10 September 2021 – Mark 8:27 (NIV)

Scripture

27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

Reflection

Caesarea Philippi was a Greco-Roman city located 40km north of the Sea of Galilee, in an area that is nestled between modern day Lebanon and Syria. It was originally a center of worship to Baal and later the Greek god Pan. During the time of Jesus, it had recently been renamed by Philip the Tetrarch to honor himself and Caesar Augustus, complete with temples and shrines for worshipping Caesar.

It’s in this oppressively pagan context that Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” It’s a good question for us to ask ourselves today. The environment and culture we come from inevitably shape our worldview, how we understand God, and how we view our identity in this world.

We see this struggle with the prophet Isaiah during his calling: “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty” (Isaiah 6:5). He acknowledges that he is just like everyone else around him, but then something happens. He has a powerful encounter with God, cleansing him from his sin and enabling him to use his lips to serve as a messenger for the King.

Going back to Jesus’ question: Who do people say I am? This is a helpful question, but Jesus didn’t stop there. His next question was and inevitably always will be, “Who do you say I am?”

This is where it gets real. Understanding our cultural environment can help give us insights about ourselves, but Jesus is not reduced to our circumstances. He always transcends them. He gave his life so that nothing could separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:39). How would you like to encounter the King and be forever changed?

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • How can you apply this message in your current situation

Prayer

When challenges come we can so easily forget where our identity comes from. Today take time to pause and be reminded of God’s love for you

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By |September 10th, 2021|Categories: Week 1|