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

27 November 2020 – Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

Scripture

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Reflection

TGIF – Thank God is Friday! After a perhaps busy and tiring work week, people often look forward to the weekend, a time of rest, of sleeping until a little bit later and of family/friends time. Physical rest is incredibly important, but there is a kind of rest that we find in God that is not linked to just the physical part of our beings.

Here is a common acronym for the word “rest” that points us into the right direction:

R.E.S.T. -Reflect. Engage. Surrender. Trust.

Reflect: on God and His Word

Engage: participate and become involved with Him

Surrender: Lay it all down on His feet

Trust: It comes down to trusting in God

In the last months, while I was away from everything my life was surrounded by I found much physical rest (if you had to be in lockdown, social distancing and quarantine, you know what I’m talking about), but that didn’t mean true rest. I was constantly worried and anxious about many things. Until I wasn’t. One by one, I had to lay down every worry, every “what if’s” and “why’s”. I still have to go through the process often, to truly find that peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

As we continue in our own journey of becoming more like Christ and of wanting to see others around us becoming more like Christ – being disciples and becoming disciple makers- let us walk in R.E.S.T. -Reflect. Engage. Surrender. Trust. And yes- in HOPE (or like Christian author John Maxwell likes to put it- “Holding On, Praying Expectantly”) as we enter the Advent Season!

Thoughts for the day

  •  What is God saying to you in this passage?
  • How can you apply what God is saying to you today?
  • Is there anyone you can share this truth with?

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 |November 27th, 2020|Categories: Week 4|

26 November 2020 – Mark 10:21 (NIV)

Scripture

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Reflection

You might have heard it before, but here it is- God knows every thought and every intent of our hearts. (1 Chronicles 28:9, 1 Kings 8:39). It’s not surprising then that when Jesus interacted with different people the words spoken and the questions asked brought out more than just what was said in face value – it revealed, often to the ones asking the questions, their own hearts, not for Jesus’ sake, but for their own.

It was not different in his interaction with the wealthy man in Mark 10:17-31. After hearing what Jesus had just said, the man went away sad, because he had great wealth. It was more tangible and instantly gratifying to hold on to treasures on earth then it was to accumulate treasures in heaven and follow Jesus.

Have you been confronted or challenged by the word of God lately? Have you received any revelation of the condition of your heart when it comes to obeying and following Christ? How did you respond or are responding to Him?

Thoughts for the day

  •  What is God saying to you in this passage?
  • How can you apply what God is saying to you today?
  • Is there anyone you can share this truth with?

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 |November 26th, 2020|Categories: Week 4|

“Advent Again”

There is more than one way to measure the passing of a year, “Advent to Advent” for example. What could be more sobering than comparing the year we just lived from Christmas 2019 to Christmas 2020? I have friends, as you probably do too, who we used to see at least once every week but have not seen in almost a year!

We are ending an “unprecedented” year but without much clarity or assurance that the start of the new year will be any better or different. If we are feeling a little discouraged, just a little overwhelmed, who could blame us? Placing our hope in Moderna, BioNTech or Sinovac helps but still leaves us wanting for more.

We are starting a series this Sunday, an Advent series, about hope: informed hope which tells us where to look, who we are, who He is and how our “Yes” can make a difference.

May hope be reborn in us, on the earth as it is in heaven.

By |November 25th, 2020|Categories: Pastor|

25 November 2020 – 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)

Scripture

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Reflection

“but we all”

Anyone who turns to the Lord receive a new revelation that came through Jesus Christ. We are no longer under the law but under grace (Romans 6:14).

Jesus is the promised Messianic King and Son of God who came to the world in human form as a servant. By his death and resurrection, Jesus atoned for our sins and secured our justification by grace, not by works. It was on the Cross that Jesus broke the dominion of sin and evil over us.

As we look around we can’t deny the signs of the End of Times – and as believers we wait expectantly for Christ’s return to complete what He began, the regeneration of this world. In the meantime, it is through God’s grace and the indwelling presence of His Spirit in us that we are being transformed into His image.

Having a heart for disciple making is to become a tool in God’s hands to help others in their journey to be more like Christ. It doesn’t come from a place of superiority, but a place of humility (“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Rm 3:23) and a servant heart.

Are you willing to become a tool in God’s hands? If you haven’t done yet through the course of the “Makers” Series, take some time today to pray and ask God who can you serve in this way.

Thoughts for the day

  •  What is God saying to you in this passage?
  • How can you apply what God is saying to you today?
  • Is there anyone you can share this truth with?

Prayer

Invite the Holy Spirit to show you something to rejoice over. Look beyond your current circumstances to the Lord of all Creation. Remember that you are fully, unconditionally loved. Take time to rejoice in the goodness of the God who has saved you.

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By |November 25th, 2020|Categories: Week 4|

24 November 2020 – John 15:16 (NIV)

Scripture

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

Reflection

2020 has been an interesting year – to think about the brevity of life, of how things can change rapidly, unexpectedly. In the light of Christ, have you ever thought about your priorities in life? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind as a believer?

“(…), but I chose you and appointed you”

To be appointed is to be chosen for a particularly job/position. Jesus gave his disciples clear instructions to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last. This is not of our doing, with our own strength or merit.

In John 15 Jesus is explaining to his disciples about the importance of staying connected to Him.

In verse 5 He says: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

In our sessions we talked about how God created us to be disciple makers, but what is truly empowering in that call is that He is the One empowering us to do it, in Him, through Him and for Him. We are not alone in it.

Thoughts for the day

  •  What is God saying to you in this passage?
  • How can you apply what God is saying to you today?
  • Is there anyone you can share this truth with?

Prayer

Today, take a moment, wherever you are, to REJOICE in God’s goodness: Read a Bible passage or listen to a song that helps you to connect with God

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By |November 24th, 2020|Categories: Week 4|

23 November 2020 – 1 Peter 2:21 (NIV)

Scripture

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Reflection

In the book of 1 Peter, Peter addresses believers who are undergoing persecution. As we look in today’s verse, we cannot read it without wondering what is “this” that Peter is referring to. We have to read verse 20 to get a hint of it:

1 Peter 2:20

20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

We are coming to the end of the “Makers” Series. One of the words we heard often during this series was the word “INTENTIONALITY”. You are not an accident. God created each and every one of us uniquely and intentionally; there is purpose in our lives in this world.

For a first century Jew, to follow a rabbi meant to “be covered with the dust of his feet”, in other words, to follow him so closely that it implied the one being discipled would begin the process of becoming like him by following closely in his footsteps. As Christians we are called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus – to even be willing to suffer for doing good and endure it, like He did.

Withstanding suffering does not happen because we are masochists, or because we take pride in suffering, or because we need to prove something to someone. Like Jesus, withstanding suffering is a selfless act. “(…) because Christ suffered for you”. Jesus knew the why behind it all- He suffered so that we could be set free.

Are you suffering from doing good and/or because of your faith in Christ? Do not lose heart.

1 Peter 4:13

13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

Thoughts for the day

  •  What is God saying to you in this passage?
  • How can you apply what God is saying to you today?
  • Is there anyone you can share this truth with?

Prayer

Think of another person in your life who needs God to move in their situation. Ask for God to be at work. Approach the Lord of all with boldness today, knowing that he delights in you, and those you love.

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By |November 23rd, 2020|Categories: Week 4|