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

13 January 2021 – Acts 19:4 (NIV)

Scripture

Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”

Reflection

When Paul visited the disciples in Ephesus and learned that they have been baptized, he re-affirmed to those believers that they should believe in the One who is to come. Paul then baptized these believers again in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit fell upon those followers (vvs 5-6).

That sounded just like me when I first accepted Christ. Knowing a Savior who could forgive every wrong that I had ever done, I didn’t know about the Holy Spirit, or rather, I didn’t recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in me. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit as helper to all those who believe in him (John 14:26). Yet, for years after I accepted Christ as a baptized believer, things stopped there. I thought that going to church and occasionally reading the bible would be enough. I lived my life not too differently than people who don’t know Christ, doing things in my understanding and in my way.

Thankfully, God promised to give us the whole package when we accept His Son. Eventually, I was convicted by the Holy Spirit to want to be more like Jesus. I began to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in me, to know that He is in me and with me to impart wisdom, power, sanctification, and so much more. We receive a new life and identity wholly in the Father, Son, Holy Spirit. “…He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (Titus 3:4-6)

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • What do you know about the Holy Spirit?(Whatever you wish to know, ASK Him!

Prayer

Pray this prayer throughout the day, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)

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By |January 13th, 2021|Categories: Week 2|

12 January 2021 – Psalm 29:3-8 (NIV)

Scripture

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
    the God of glory thunders,
    the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
    the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
    Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord strikes
    with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
    the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.

Reflection

I am a city girl through and through, having grown up in the midst of tall concrete buildings and more electricity poles than trees. Never having spent much time in the great outdoors, it was an especially thrilling experience when, on a trip to South Africa, I got to enjoy nature on display. There, I watched flashes of lightning crack through the night skies, falling asleep even with the roar of thunder; during the day I enjoyed long drives with occasional sightings of zebra or other animal too quick for my eye to fully capture.

Reading today’s verses bring me back to those brief times I got to spend in nature during my travels to different places. David, who wrote these verses today likens God’s voice with natural forces such as the water, thunderstorm, and fire. His voice is so mighty that it can break the strong cedar tree, and cause the earth to quake. Being a city slicker, I was not someone who associated God’s creative power and majesty with nature. Thankfully, God’s voice still manages to reach me: convincing me of His divinity, convicting me with His love, confirming me as His child, affirming me as His beloved. That’s the power of God’s voice. May we never fail to recognize His voice and be in awe of The One who created all things.

Thoughts for the day

  • Have you “heard” the voice of God? How would you describe God’s voice? Like thunder? Or a whisper?
  • What do you think God wants to tell you?
  • What do you think you can “do” in order to hear God’s voice?

Prayer

Lord we ask you to shield the world from panic and despair as Your Church boldly proclaims the good news of Jesus Christ. In this uncertain time, may people find true comfort and peace in their souls as they call upon Your Name.  Amen.

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By |January 12th, 2021|Categories: Week 2|

11 January 2021 – Genesis 1:3 (NIV)

Scripture

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Reflection

“Let there be light,” God said. And just like that, the veil lifted as God began the work of creating order from void and darkness. God called light into being first in this new order, and the fact He called it good shows His intention for the world He created. What was this light source?

The apostle John said, “Through him (Jesus) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:3-4)

Jesus himself said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Why is having light good? Because it is a distinct separation from darkness. Having eyes don’t make us “see”. Light makes us SEE, in the natural, physical way and in the inner realm.

When we accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, Jesus came into our lives to bring in the light, and called us, his new creation, good. Now we are no longer in darkness, but have the understanding that we are set apart. Let this knowledge take root; do not doubt that Christ has done a good work in you, and walk as children of light in this new year to realize God’s intention when He created you.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
  • 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?

Prayer

Father God, search me and show me how I can be more Christ-like:  in my thoughts and attitudes, in my actions, in my speaking, in my relationships.  Thank you.  Amen.

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By |January 11th, 2021|Categories: Week 2|

8 January 2021 – Matthew 2:12 (NIV)

Scripture

12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Reflection

Epiphany is also referred to as the “Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles”. God’s love for the Gentile wise men is shown as He warns them in a dream to deliver them out of the wicked hands of Herod. We see that right from the beginning of Jesus’ time on Earth there is an invitation of salvation to the nations. The wise men can be seen as the first fruits of the future gathering of the nations, when all tongues, tribes and nations gather to give praise and exalt Jesus as King. It is here that God reveals His love and salvation to the nations and not just the Jews.

As we wrap up this week of Epiphany, through the story of the wise men we see that God continually does these things for the ones He loves: 1) He will give us something to guide us, in the wise men’s case it was a star. 2) He will confirm in our hearts by His word and other people that our pursuit of Him was not in vain. And 3) God, himself, will speak to us and keep us from harm.

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

“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 |January 8th, 2021|Categories: Week 1|

7 January 2021 – Matthew 2:9-10‬‬‬‬ (NIV)

Scripture

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

Reflection

This year lots of noise was made about the possible appearance of the Star of Bethlehem. About every 19.85 Earth years a “new” star appears in the sky as the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn pass each other. As they pass each other, their combined masses radiate in effect looking like a new star has suddenly appeared in the sky. Much was made of this scientific occurrence due to is proximity in date to Christmas! Many pundits try to disprove Christianity by the use of science and logic, but Christians should not be afraid of science. God is the creator of all and we believe He created the universe and all systems and orders of nature. Is it then possible that the one who painted the sky with color during the day and dots of light at night not only exist with nature but use nature? Is it possible that even all Science and Nature, like the wise men from afar, too came forth with a beautiful gift and bowed down to the Coming King their creator? Science and nature are not reasons to disprove the existence of God, they are reasons to believe more in 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

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 |January 7th, 2021|Categories: Week 1|

“Goliath Must Fall”

We are looking forward to starting a new series on January 17th. The name of the series is, Goliath Must Fall. This series presents the premise that Jesus has defeated the giants in our lives and opened a way for you and me to walk in the victory that Christ has provided for us. Giants like fear or anger or rejection; giants which Jesus has defeated but continue to harass and demoralize us. In this series we will be encouraged and empowered to live from Christ and to change our choices in the power of the Spirit, new patterns for living and with the benefit of a transformed mind.

The 4-part sermon series based on “Goliath Must Fall” Bible Study begins on Sunday January 17th. We are encouraging you to gather, either in Community Groups or casually with a group of friends to go through the 6 sessions of the Bible Study together!

To join a community group you can look at our Community Group List and email one of the groups for more information, or email Su Tsai at comgroups@scfenglish.com for details.

To do the study on your own and/or with a group of friends you will need:

1) Access to RightNow Media; you can create your free account by scanning the QR code. (https://shanghaifellowship.org/scfaccess/)

2) Once you are on RightNow Media, you can find the “Goliath Must Fall” by clicking on “Shanghai Community Fellowship” tab and scrolling down to “Senior Pastor’s Picks (Bible Studies).

Note: if you are a SCF Community Group Leader, contact Su Tsai to request for the complete study guide

By |January 6th, 2021|Categories: Pastor|