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

12 June 2019 – Numbers 31:16 (NIV)

Scripture

16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people.

Reflection

“Half-obedience” is still disobedience.

The Israelites came back from the battle with the Midianites not fully carrying out what God had commanded them to do (God commanded them to kill the Midianites, but they spared the women and children; it sounds noble, but the passage doesn’t go into why they spared them).

When asked about why they spared the women, it is revealed that these were the very ones who caused the Israelites to rebel against God.

Although quite extreme, this passage reminds us to not take God’s commands lightly. To “half obey” is still disobeying, and when there are external influences that leads us away from God instead of bringing us closer, watch out!

Thoughts for the day

  • Is there anything in your life that you need to flee from?
  • 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 the people in China.

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By |June 12th, 2019|Categories: Week 2|

11 June 2019 – 1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)

Scripture

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Reflection

In the end of last year I went back to Brazil to be with my mother, right after my father suddenly passed. On that trip I spent a lot of time talking to my parent’s friends; all in their late 60’s, 70’s, 80’s! Through the conversations and walking through grief with my mom, God gave me a glimpse of His heart for the widows.

You could see the difference: those who believed in God and/or were connected to the Christian community lived looking forward with future hope, they were more engaged in helping others and overall received support from those around them. Those who didn’t struggled with moving forward, purpose and loneliness.

Right before today’s passage Paul urges believers to “put their religion into practice by caring for their own family” (v. 4).

Our faith and beliefs can’t be compartmentalized. As we live out our faith, it will trickle down to every part of our lives AND relationships.

Are you still praying for the salvation of your family members and/or those who are close to you? Is the way you relate to your household reflective of your faith in Jesus Christ?

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

Look around you right now at the people who are sitting near you or standing and pray for them.

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By |June 11th, 2019|Categories: Week 2|

10 June 2019 – Matthew 4:10 (NIV)

Scripture

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’

Reflection

As we continue our “Courage to Triumph” Sermon Series, we look at the Church of Pergamum, a sophisticated city situated on a hill 1000 feet above the surrounding countryside, a center of Greek culture, education and knowledge. It was also a place where different idols were worshipped.

As Satan tempts Jesus in the desert bringing him to a high mountain and showing him all the kingdoms of the world in their splendor, Jesus stands firm and faithful to God.

“Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”

What kind of idols are tempting to us? Power, riches, education, recognition of men… will we remain faithful when Satan tempts us?

                      1)   Pray that we will recognize Satan’s tactics.

                     2)   Just like Jesus, we can resist and stand firm, through standing in the Word of 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

Pray for the leaders of the nations of the world. Pray for the leader of your home country by name.

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By |June 10th, 2019|Categories: Week 2|

7 June 2019 – Matthew 11:15 and Revelation 2:1-7 (NIV)

Scripture

15 Whoever has ears, let them hear.

And

“To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

11 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.

Reflection

Jesus caps off this letter to Smyrna by quoting the words he spoke to the people in Galilee pertaining to the Jews’ response to the messages of John the Baptist and himself. “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” It’s a plea for us to have faith right now really. In the same way that Jesus desired for His own people to respond in faith to him and John the Baptist, he is calling us to have faith now. It’s faith in the unseen or faith in something not physically tangible that actually counts as real faith. If you’ve already seen it, then it’s not real faith at all; faith is the evidence of things unseen. Only later on after seeing God deliver on His promise is when we can gladly boast on our faith as wisdom as Jesus says in Matt 11:19 “…But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

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

Ask God to deliver you from your troubles to protect you from the evil one and deliver you from temptation.

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By |June 7th, 2019|Categories: Week 1|

6 June 2019 – 1 Corinthians 9:25 and Revelation 2:1-7 (NIV)

Scripture

25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

And

“To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

11 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.

Reflection

Every once in awhile I will get someone to ask me to teach them how to play guitar. Most of the time I agree but I always have these two disclaimers I tell every student of mine. Number one, it’s gonna hurt. (You should look at my calluses on my fingertips, they’re gnarly!) And Number two, you’re going to be really bad before you’re going to be good. Lots of people see musicians and singers on the stage and think that they can get up on stage and do it too. It couldn’t be that hard, could it? What people fail to realize is that almost all the musicians and singers playing on stage have invested HOURS, DAYS, YEARS into their craft and their expression of worship through music comes off looking easy and sounding excellent. Training counts, it matters. After all my years of training and playing, now I get to have this amazing gift that I can use for the rest of my life and into eternity! But it didn’t come easy and I sure trained hard. I have the scars to prove it!

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

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 |June 6th, 2019|Categories: Week 1|

5 June 2019 – Daniel 1:12 and Revelation 2:1-7 (NIV)

Scripture

12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.

And

“To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

11 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.

Reflection

Holy strength and courage. I love what James says about it. Perseverance through trials and hardships develops character. Character over a period of time develops Hope. What gives us the courage to “not be afraid of what (we) are about to suffer”, to go through the difficult tests in life, even tests brought upon you by the devil? The knowledge of the Alpha and Omega being on your side. By living a life where time and time again you see past the present sufferings and develop the muscle of perseverance. In this development, you find God begin to build in you a holy character that even sees the Hope in the midst of the storm. That’s the same strength and courage that God gave to Joshua, Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach, Abednego, Elijah, John the Baptist and now us! Know your present situation and know that He has already (or will) provided you what is necessary to rise above it or go through it! God is building within you the strength of His character.

Thoughts for the day

  • In which area of your life do you need to persevere and do you rely on yourself or God?
  • 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

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.

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By |June 5th, 2019|Categories: Week 1|