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

20 September 2019 -John 16:33 (NIV)

Scripture

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Reflection

In this passage, Jesus is encouraging His disciples to trust God’s sovereignty.  In this verse (and in the preceding verse 16:32), Jesus tells His disciples that they will experience hardships:  they will be scattered, they will abandon Jesus, and they will ‘have trouble in this world.’  But Jesus is not encouraging them by saying He will somehow prevent hard things from happening in their lives, but rather He is saying that even in those hardships, there is peace in knowledge that Jesus has overcome the world!

The mature believer knows that following Christ does not mean life will be easy.  To the contrary, we live in a broken and fallen world, and we will experience many awful things: rejection, disappointment, disease, poverty, and even the deaths of loved ones.

But Jesus tells us: take heart!  Our hope is not in our circumstances.  Our faith is not in the things of this world – our jobs, finances, social circles, or even family members.  We trust Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, above all.  And in that trust, we can – somehow – find a “peace that surpasses all understanding” during the darkest times of our lives.

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

Pray for revelation: ask God to show you something of His character, presence or beauty where you are now.

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By |September 20th, 2019|Categories: Week 3|

19 September 2019 – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Scripture

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Reflection

tendency to live life apart from God.  Instead of trusting in God, we trust ourselves first.  Instead of pursuing God’s wisdom and leaning on His understanding, we lean our own faulty modes of thinking.  The greatest lie of Satan is that we don’t actually need God; we can do life on our own, independent of Him.

But of course, we are not created to thrive outside of relationship with our creator.  We need to pursue God’s truth, knowledge and wisdom because “His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways,” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

If you feel convicted that you are not trusting in the Lord with all of your heart, and that you are leaning on your own understanding, then God calls you to repent and submit to Him.  Submission is an act of the will, the mind, and it manifests in your actions.  The result of daily submission is that God will make “your paths straight” and you will experience wholeness not possible if you live apart from God.

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

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Be still and allow the presence of Jesus to bring you rest right now.

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By |September 19th, 2019|Categories: Week 3|

18 September 2019 – Colossians 1:19-20 (NIV)

Scripture

19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Reflection

This verse is one of many that points to the deity of Jesus.  God’s “fullness dwelled in Him.”  Jesus was not merely a great teacher, a prophet or even a demigod.  Jesus was God in the flesh, sent to this world to fulfill history’s greatest mission: salvation for humanity.  Through Jesus’s perfect life and sacrificial death on the cross, every human (despite how much we may have sinned) may be brought into relationship with God and receive the gift of eternal salvation.  Through Jesus, all things in Heaven and on earth have been reconciled to God.

God invites you to receive His free gift of salvation by accepting Jesus into your life and committing to following Him.  You can simply go to God in prayer and confess your sin and rebellion.  Offer your life to God and He will in turn give you His Holy Spirit to empower you to follow and serve him.

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

Reflect on a promise from the Bible. For example: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.

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By |September 18th, 2019|Categories: Week 3|

17 September 2019 – Job 1:12 (NIV)

Scripture

12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Reflection

Satan claimed that the only reason Job worshipped God was because of his wealth and comfortable life.  Satan’s claim was that, if Job knew suffering and poverty, he would lose his faith, which was not built on relationship with God but on the fact that he was well-off.

The reality is that many people indeed have a utilitarian view of religion.  We might believe deep down statements like:  “I believe in this because it makes my life better; it makes me more prosperous; I can pray and be granted the wishes of my heart.”

While God desires that His children are lavished with His blessings, He wants first and foremost that we trust Him, and build our lives on our relationship with Him…even during times of difficulty and suffering.

And the reality is that we will ALL know suffering in our lives – sometimes as a direct result of our identities as Christ followers.  This verse in Job shows that God is still sovereign, and while the suffering may come from Satan, God is in control and has greater desires for our lives as we follow Him.

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

Stop and pray for someone who is near to you right now, someone you can see.

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By |September 17th, 2019|Categories: Week 3|

16 September 2019 – Esther 4:14 (NIV)

Scripture

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Reflection

In this passage, Mordecai is telling Esther to risk her life by pleading the case to the Jewish people to the King Xerxes.  He tells her that even if she remains silent, God’s will will be done, but her inaction will mean she will miss out on God’s plan for her life.

God has given us talents, experiences, resources and opportunities not simply so that we can expand our own kingdoms; rather, God desires – indeed He expects – that we use what He has given us to serve His kingdom.  We are blessed to participate in God’s plan for this world, but He has also given us the freedom to make our own choices, including the choice of inaction.

In Luke 12:48 it says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

God is inviting you to participate in His ministry for this fallen world. How can you use your talents, resources, experiences and time to serve His Kingdom?

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

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 |September 16th, 2019|Categories: Week 3|

13 September 2019 – Philemon 1:15 (NIV)

Scripture

15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever—

Reflection

Philemon was Paul’s friend and the legal owner of the slave called Onesimus. Paul asked Philemon not to punish Onesimus, but to forgive and restore him as a new Christian brother. A lot has happened since Onesimus ran away from his master, including his new found faith and spiritual growth, to the point of being called by Paul “faithful and dear brother” (Colossians 4:9).

As difficult as it was, Onesimus was to go back to his old life, but as a new person. Paul asks that Philemon receives him back as a brother rather than a slave. One can imagine just how strange and difficult their new relationship would be but it was now founded in Christ and not in social and cultural traditions

It also reminds us that Onesimus still had to face the consequences of his past that needed to be resolved. Are there unresolved things in your past that need restoration/resolution? Don’t keep on running away but face it with God by your side.

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

Pray for someone you may know who is in need of physical healing.

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By |September 13th, 2019|Categories: Week 2|