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

14 December 2018 – Luke 1:68-79 (NIV)

Scripture

68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a hornof salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
    and to remember his holy covenant,
73     the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
    and to enable us to serve him without fear
75     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

Reflection

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Whoever made up this little kids rhyme got it all wrong. Words have power and you can either use them to bless or curse. There is a reason why the presidents of nations address the people during joyous occasions or tragedies. Words have the ability to shape and frame circumstances. In this particular passage, known as the Song of Zechariah, we see a father using words to bless his child, John the Baptist, upon birth. He is using words to bless and shape (or speak prophetically) the life of his newborn son. Similarly, we can do this in our lives. We can use our words to help direct the path of the loved ones in our lives. We can choose to use words in ways that will shape them into the people God desires them to be. In the same way the Father spoke life into this world, you can speak life into people (Josh).

Thoughts for the day

  • What words do you need to hear from God to bring about life in areas of your life that needs resurrection?
  • How can you use your words to speak life into others’ lives?
  • Who do you know who can benefit from hearing this truth?

Prayer

As you travel on your daily journey, take a few minutes to pray through your day before it starts: any tricky classes, meetings or people you’ll encounter in your day. Then after your day is done, take time to give everything back to God again as you travel home.

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By |December 14th, 2018|Categories: Week 2|

13 December 2018 – Malachi 3:1-4 (NIV)

Scripture

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.

Reflection

The process of refining gold and silver requires placing the unrefined ore into a blazing hot fire. This flame is so hot that it literally burns away everything but the gold or silver. You see, gold and silver are interesting precious metals. They can withstand heat much hotter than other elements. When purified are worth so much more than other metals. The analogy of refining by fire is interesting because of a few things. First, it can be painful. Who likes being subjected to intense fire (figuratively) in their lives? But that is what is required to burn away all the impurities in our lives. Second, we often forget that God made us much more resilient than we think we are. If we are like gold and silver, then that means that we are able to withstand that intense heat and that we are made of so much more than we think we are and capable of so much more than we think we are. We often don’t see our full worth, but God does. And He’s willing to go to the proper lengths to make us all that He sees we can be (Josh).

Thoughts for the day

  • In what way do you feel God is refining you?
  • Whom can you ask to support you during this refining period?
  • How can you supprt someone else in their refining period? ?

Prayer

Take time to praise today. If you’ve got a phone and headphones, carve out time today to listen to worship music, or a song that helps you to connect with God. Start and end your regular routine with praise (remember, you don’t have to sing out loud!).

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By |December 13th, 2018|Categories: Week 2|

12 December 2018 – Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV)

Scripture

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Reflection

What a great prayer Paul leaves his readers with. God is love and how often do we find ourselves either forgetting how much God loves us and or because we plainly don’t fathom the depth and insight of His love for us. In these couple of verses Paul is praying that his readers will grow in knowledge and depth of God’s love for us. It is through this insight of His love for us that we will know God’s heart and be able to discern what is best for us rendering us pure and blameless. Such an outflow of God’s love will also result in us having the fruit of righteousness, which in turn will give God all the glory. What an amazing prayer it is to pray for our Christian community and for us too (Josh).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell you about God, Jesus and people?
  • What stands out to you in particular and why?
  • How can you apply this truth in your life?
  • Who do you know who can benefit from hearing this story or truth?

Prayer

Use a specific part of your daily commute as a prayer prompt. Perhaps you pass the same landmark or station every day; or maybe your journey involves a few different types of transport. Build a connection, so that when you reach a certain part of your journey, you’re prompted to pray for a certain situation or people.

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By |December 12th, 2018|Categories: Week 2|

11 December 2018 – Philippians 1:3-8 (NIV)

Scripture

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

Reflection

We all have that place of ministry that resonates with us so deeply that whenever we think back upon that place and people, we are thankful and filled with joy. Being a Christian in a secular world can be really difficult in a lot of ways. Being a Christian in a body of believers that you don’t mesh well with can be just as difficult. Whatever place we are currently called to, it is good to be reminded of the good times and the good friends. The power of true fellowship is such a powerful force. It fills us up, drives us and can even sustain us in difficult times. If you are in such a season of good fellowship, enjoy it! If you find yourself struggling in your current environment, remember the good times. But whatever the case, be thankful (Josh).

Thoughts for the day

  • How can you be more thankful for what you have?
  • How does being thankful effect your relationship with God and others?
  • Is there someone who comes to mind to whom you can share this truth with?

Prayer

Flick on a news site on your phone or computer and pray for a situation that is evolving today and the people involved.

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By |December 11th, 2018|Categories: Week 2|

10 December 2018 – Luke 3:1-6 (NIV)

Scripture

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in,
    every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
    the rough ways smooth.
And all people will see God’s salvation.’”

Reflection

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—“. We often see passages like this in the Bible and either take a glance at them or skip them altogether to get to the “meat” of the passage. Honestly, they can be quite dry and hard to read, let alone pronouncing the names correctly! But if all scripture is God breathed, then even these mundane passages must be important. The importance of these passages is that they act as historical markers and dates that help us to know the exact era these events happened in. The Bible is audacious in this way. It dares you to say, disprove me! And surely as God is faithful, even the greatest minds cannot disprove these events (or at least when they happened and if these people really existed, hint: they did). This brings about a case of surety. It is another way in which we can truly trust the bible, that it truly is God’s written word and full of truth (Josh).

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell you about God, Jesus and people?
  • What stands out to you in particular and why?
  • How can you apply this truth in your life?
  • Who do you know who can benefit from hearing this story or truth?

Prayer

Look around and pray. It’s easy to forget to pay attention when making the same journey every day. Use your travel time to look around and pray for what you see. Pray for the buildings you pass; the people you see, your fellow travelers. Invite God’s presence to show you your commute through His eyes.

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By |December 10th, 2018|Categories: Week 2|

7 December 2018 – 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 (NIV)

Scripture

11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

Reflection

In the closing of this chapter we read a prayer Paul wrote to the Thessalonians (since Paul couldn’t have been there physically himself – see chapter 2:18). From this prayer we can learn two things that we can include in our daily prayers. Firstly, Paul prayers that God will make a way for him to visit the Thessalonians. Yes, Paul can as easily decide to visit them, however Paul understood the importance of prayer and the desire to do God’s will. For in God we live, and move, and have our being. The second point we can learn from this payer is that Paul desired for the Thessalonians (and something that we should desire for ourselves too) is to increase and abound in love towards one another (referring to the Thessalonians believers) and to all men (Con).

Thoughts for the day

  • When you have to make decisions, how often do you pray before you act?
  • When you pray, do you only pray for yourself and your needs or for the others (believers and non-believers?

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 |December 7th, 2018|Categories: Week 1|