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

13 February 2020 -Luke 18:1(NIV)

Scripture

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

Reflection

Luke 18 includes two of Jesus’ parables about prayer. The first was addressed to the disciples (vv. 1–8), and the second (vv. 9–14) to “some who were confident of their own righteousness.”

Today’s verse forms part of the first parable addressed to the disciples. In this parable Jesus told the story of the ‘Unjust Judge’ to teach persistence in prayer and for His disciples to not give up and to always pray. Verses 2–5 contain the parable itself and verses 6-8 is where Jesus interprets the parable to His disciples. The point of the parable was to spur the disciples on to faithfulness in prayer and to encourage them to keep on in their praying.

We all have been in a place where we prayed and felt our prayers are not being answered. Perhaps, that might even be the case for you right now. But be encouraged from this parable, let Luke 18:1-8 spur you on to continue to pray with faith and not to give up, but to persevere like the persistent widow. How much more will your heavenly Father who is just take care of you? He knows what you need and when you need it. Continue to put your trust and faith in His promises and in His character. He is indeed a good, good Father.

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

Health Care Professionals: Pray for strength, hope, courage and compassion for those who care for the sick. Pray that they would be protected and have enough resources.

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By |February 13th, 2020|Categories: Week 2|

12 February 2020 -Matthew 6:7-8 (NIV)

Scripture

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Reflection

Jesus spoke about the practice of prayer in verses 5-15 of chapter 6, which the Pharisees loved to perform publicly. Rather than making prayer a matter between an individual and God, the Pharisees had turned it into an act to be seen by men—again, to demonstrate their supposed righteousness. Their prayers were directed not to God but to other men, and consisted of long, repetitive phrases (Matt. 6:7). Jesus condemned such practices. Instead prayer should be addressed to your heavenly Father, who is unseen (cf. John 1:18; 1 Tim. 1:17) and who knows what you need (Matt. 6:8). There is nothing wrong to follow a method on how to pray, but it is your intent and heart behind the reason for praying that matters. Who do you want to please? The person next to you, or God?

Prayer is a normal conversation with God. If you are not sure where to start, you can try the following method (From Ps. Dale’s Rice & Beans workshop).

How to have a 10-minute quiet time (using P.R.A.Y.)

  • (1 min) Pause – sit quietly for a minute, stilling your soul.
  • (2 min) Rejoice – read a short Psalm or listen to a worship song.
  • (3 min) Ask – Tell God what’s on your heart. Pray through your day.
  • (3 min) Yield – Read a few verses from the New Testament, until a phrase pops out at you and then talk to God about it. Are there any sins you need to confess? Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh.
  • (1 min) Amen – Pray the Lord’s Prayer.

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

It’s easy for us to feel isolated, effectively quarantined. Pray that people will still be able to reach out and support one another and feel supported. Use Hebrews 10:25 as a reference as you pray for your/our community.

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By |February 12th, 2020|Categories: Week 2|

11 February 2020 -Mark 1:35 (NIV)

Scripture

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Reflection

Despite a full day of ministry (vv. 21–34), Jesus got up the next morning very early, before daybreak (about 4 a.m.) and went out to a solitary place (cf. v. 4) where He spent time praying. The Greek word, erēmon, translates as ‘uninhabited or remote’. Jesus withdrew from the approval of the Capernaum crowds to a remote and uninhabited place to spend time with God.

During these uncertain times, let us follow Jesus’ example and create a daily routine where we go to a place where we won’t be distracted to spend quality time with our heavenly Father. Note, even though Jesus had a full day of ministry, He still made it a priority to spend time with the Father. Let Jesus’ life of prayer be an encouragement for us to persist during these uncertain times. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus and let us keep Him at the center 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 that the perfect love of Christ will cast out fear and anxiety that creeps into our hearts from fake news and misinformation. Use Philippians 4:6-7 as a reference when you pray.

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By |February 11th, 2020|Categories: Week 2|

10 February 2020 -Luke 11:1 (NIV)

Scripture

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Reflection

Jesus prayed at every major crisis point in His life. He prayed at the time of His baptism (3:21), and at the time of the choosing of His disciples (6:12). He was often alone praying (5:16; 9:18) and also prayed with others around (9:28–29). He prayed for Simon (22:32), and He prayed in the garden before His betrayal (22:40–44). He even prayed on the cross (23:46). One of Jesus’ disciples were so impressed with Jesus’ life of prayer that we read in verse 1 he asked Jesus to teach them to pray.

It is the same way for us, we should also live a life of prayer. It should not only be at the major crises in our lives, but it should be during the good times too. If you are not sure how to start a prayer life and or want to try something different, check out this short video for a practical way to pray every day for people. Let our lives reflect a life of prayer so that when others look at us, they can ask us to help them to live a life of prayer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zunEXAeh70

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.

Pray and ask for life and protection for the people of Wuhan, Hubei province, Shanghai and for all of China. Use Psalm 91 as a reference.

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By |February 10th, 2020|Categories: Week 2|

7 February 2020 -Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NIV)

Scripture

31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”

Reflection

In these couple of verses, we read about a new beginning God promised. God was about to make a New Covenant with His people. This New Covenant was expressly for the house of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and the house of Judah (the Southern Kingdom). It would not be like the covenant God had made with Israel’s forefathers at the time of the Exodus because that covenant had been broken by the people (cf. 11:1–8). The earlier covenant God referred to was the Mosaic Covenant contained in the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Twice God had announced a series of punishments or “curses” that would be invoked on those who violated His Law (Lev. 26; Deut. 28). The final judgment would be a physical deportation from the land of Israel. With the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 b.c. this final “curse” was completed. God had set a holy standard of conduct before the people, but because of their sinful hearts they could not keep those standards. A change was needed. So, as a result, God’s New Covenant will involve an internalization of His Law. He will put His Law in their minds and on their hearts, not just on stones (Ex. 34:1). There will be no need to exhort people to know the Lord because they will already all know God (cf. Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14). God’s New Covenant will give Israel the inner ability to obey His righteous standards and thus to enjoy His blessings. Ezekiel indicated that this change will result from God’s bestowal of the Holy Spirit on these believers (cf. Ezek. 36:24–32). In Old Testament times the Holy Spirit did not universally indwell all believers. Thus, one different aspect of the New Covenant is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in all believers (cf. Joel 2:28–32).

And the amazing part of the New Covenant is, it’s not only available to the Israelites, but also to us today. With the help of the Holy Spirit we now have the inner ability to obey God’s righteous standards and to trust and believe the promises in the Bible.

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 |February 7th, 2020|Categories: Week 1|

6 February 2020 -2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (NIV)

Scripture

Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Reflection

In these verses we read that Paul’s confidence was founded not on human resources but on divine ones. He was confident in the Corinthians because the Holy Spirit had worked in them. Their faith rested on God’s power (1 Cor. 2:1–5). Likewise, his own sufficiency and competence in the ministry was derived wholly from God (cf. 1 Tim. 1:12). Furthermore, Paul’s emphasis on the New Covenant implies that his opponents were ministers of the Old Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant was a written revelation of the righteousness God asked of Israel (e.g., Ex. 19–23). It was accepted with an oath of obedience and a blood sacrifice (Ex. 24). When Israel proved unable and unwilling to remain faithful to that covenant, God graciously intervened and promised a New Covenant (Jer. 31:31–34; 32:40), new (kainēs) both in time and in quality. It was inaugurated by Christ in His sacrifice on the cross (Luke 22:20), and is entered into by faith (Phil. 3:9) and lived out in dependence on the Spirit (Rom. 7:6; 8:4).

In the same way, our confidence is not based on our own works, deeds or actions. Instead it is based on the work done on the cross by Jesus which is entered into by faith and lived out in dependence on the Holy Spirit. So whenever you feel overwhelmed and not sure how you will deal with a situation, take comfort in the fact that your confidence is not based on you, but in Christ and the Holy Spirit.

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 |February 6th, 2020|Categories: Week 1|