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

Something old. Something new.

“He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.’” – Matthew 13:52

As we continue to anticipate the day we will be able to gather as a community new things are coming to us. New ideas about how to be God’s people in this city, new ideas for connecting with others to help them find community in Christ and new ideas for using our new facilities to follow God’s direction for SCF in this new season.

We are also “pulling out” a few old treasures as well. “Jesus at the Center” was our way to describe how we would respond to Jesus’ command to be “makers”, that is to create disciples or followers of Jesus as we also followed him. This old treasure is one worth looking at again and again. We will have more to say about Jesus at the Center soon.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Dale

By |September 23rd, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

23 September 2020 – Revelation 11:15 (NIV)

Scripture

15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

“The kingdom of the world has become
    the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
    and he will reign for ever and ever.”

Reflection

This highly symbolic verse in Revelation points to the power of speaking God’s truth. As we bear witness to God’s transforming love and grace, the Holy Spirit works through us to “devour our enemies.” This, of course, does not suggest a literal and violent attack on people who might oppose us – Christ’s commandment to love our enemies is still valid. Rather, it highlights the power of God’s goodness to overcome evil. God’s love destroys the world’s hate; His grace is more powerful than man’s condemnation; and His holiness conquers the sin that keeps us from Him. As such, this verse is call to receive His power in our witness to the world, but that power is not meant to hurt, destroy or diminish the people He loves (even those who may not yet know Him). God’s power is rooted in love and our witness is as undeserving recipients of that love so that we can express it to the world in word and deed.

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

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 |September 23rd, 2020|Categories: Week 4|

22 September 2020 – Matthew 4:17 (NIV)

Scripture

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Reflection

The kingdom narrative is a thread throughout the Bible. Jesus himself said that, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36), helping His followers understand that He did not come to set up another political system or to seize power. Instead, Jesus abdicated power and taught us that many of God’s truths are paradoxical. Jesus did not socialize with the rich and powerful, but spent time with the lowly and despised. As a leader, he washed his followers’ feet. He gave dignity to those whom the world looked down upon. He said the ones who were “blessed” were not the most religious – the Pharisees and teachers of the law whom he called hypocrites and a brood of vipers – instead, He said that the blessed ones were the poor in spirit, the meek, those that hunger and thirst for righteousness, the peacemakers and those that are persecuted for their righteousness. Jesus challenged the value matrix of the world by showing us how God sees things.
And He is telling us to live our lives accordingly. We should not live as if “this is earth and that is Heaven,” giving ourselves license to live as the world lives. Instead, we are to live out the words of Christ’s prayer that “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”

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

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 |September 22nd, 2020|Categories: Week 4|

21 September 2020 – Daniel 2:44 (NIV)

Scripture

44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.

Reflection

In this passage, Daniel is interpreting a dream of the Babylonian king. Daniel describes how the statue in the dream represents five kingdoms, the first four of which are temporal – earthly kingdoms that, like anything of this earth, will ultimately fall as the next kingdom rises up. But there is a fifth kingdom – one that set up by God Himself – that is different. God’s kingdom “will never be destroyed” and, just as important, it will not “be left to another people,” meaning that it is His kingdom. Why is this so significant? It’s because the beauty of heaven is that we can be in God’s presence. He is our reward – God’s kingdom is the blessing of being in communion with Him for eternity.

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

Invite the Holy Spirit to still you, fill you, and restore you. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him”

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By |September 21st, 2020|Categories: Week 4|

18 September 2020 – Romans 14:17 (NIV)

Scripture

17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

Reflection

This verse forms part of the pericope entitled ‘Do not cause another to stumble’. In this pericope, Paul is warning against judging which relates to Christians’ attitudes and actions toward the convictions of other believers (vv. 1–12). In this section, Paul warned against causing other Christians to stumble (hindering their spiritual growth) by asserting that one is free to live in accord with convictions not shared by other believers. In Christian love, one ought to forgo one’s liberty in Christ to avoid being a spiritual hindrance to his spiritual brother. If one persists in exercising one’s liberty so that his brother is distressed (grieved, hurt), Paul concluded, then the Christian exercising his or her liberty is no longer acting (walking) in love.

Paul continued by stating, after all, food (as it was the stumbling block in this specific instance) is not that important an issue (1 Cor. 8:8); it is not the sum and substance of the kingdom of God. But righteousness, peace (Rom. 12:16, 18; 14:19) and joy in the Holy Spirit are essentials of Christian fellowship and harmony. A concerned believer insists on right conduct, harmony, and joy rather than forcing his lifestyle on others. As a result, the Christian who serves Christ in this way—in Christian love, pursuing righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit—is pleasing to God and approved by men – in contrast with being evil spoken of (Rom. 14:16).

Thoughts for the day

  • In what way are you exercising your liberty in Christ that might be an obstacle to another believer?
  • 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

“I thank you, Lord, for Your beautiful, multicultural, intergenerational family. Revive and sanctify us once again we pray. Forgive our many sins and make us holy. Set our hearts on fire again with the good news of Your gospel.”

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By |September 18th, 2020|Categories: Week 3|

17 September 2020 Mark 1:15 (NIV)

Scripture

15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Reflection

In this one verse, we read two declarations and two commands from Jesus which summarize His message. The first declaration, ‘The time has come’, emphasizes the distinctive note of fulfillment in Jesus’ proclamation (Luke 4:16–21). God’s appointed time of preparation and expectation, as seen throughout the Old Testament era, now stood fulfilled in agreement with God’s plan (Gal. 4:4; Heb. 1:2; 9:6–15).
The second declaration, ‘The kingdom of God is near’, presents a key feature of Jesus’ message. The word ‘Kingdom’ in Greek means “kingship” or “royal rule.” Involved in the term is the sovereign authority of a ruler, the activity of ruling, and the realm of rule including its benefits. Thus ‘the kingdom of God’ is an active concept that refers to God’s sovereign activity or ruling over His Creation.

This concept was familiar to the Jews of Jesus’ day. In light of Old Testament prophecy (2 Sam. 7:8–17; Isa. 11:1–9; 24:23; Jer. 23:4–6; Micah 4:6–7; Zech. 9:9–10; 14:9) they were expecting a future messianic (Davidic) kingdom to be established on earth ( Matt. 20:21; Mark 10:37; 11:10; 12:35–37; 15:43; Luke 1:31–33; 2:25, 38; Acts 1:6). Therefore, Jesus did not have to arouse an interest in His message alluding to this idea. His hearers naturally understood His reference to the kingdom of God to be the long-awaited messianic kingdom predicted in the Old Testament. And because of the fulfillment of the two declarations, the time of decision had come; thus, the required response to which Jesus summoned His hearers was a double command: Repent and believe the good news!

Thoughts for the day

  • Is there anyone in your sphere of influence that you need to share this double command of Jesus namely to repent of their sins and to believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah?
  • 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

Invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Try asking, “What would it look like for Your kingdom to come on my street?” and listen to what God might be saying.

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By |September 17th, 2020|Categories: Week 3|