Saturday, April 4, 2020

04 Apr 2020 - 1 Samuel 2:27-36


4th April 2020
Daily Devotion
1 Samuel 2:27-36

1 Samuel 2:27 – 36 is about the prophecy against the House of Eli.  Eli was the High Priest of Israel at that time.  As the High Priest, Eli was supposed to go up to God’s altar to make sacrifices for God’s people in the manner prescribed by God.  God had also made provisions for the priests to share portions of the meat that was offered for sacrifice.  However, Eli had scorned God’s sacrifice and offering – he has allowed his sons who were also priests of the Lord to take for themselves the choice meat and fats which were supposed to be offered to God.  Eli’s failure to discipline his sons for taking the offerings meant for God meant that Eli had honour his sons more than God.  As a result, God declared that He would cut short Eli’s strength and the strength of his father’s house so that Eli’s descendants would die young.  God also declared that He would raise for Himself a faithful priest (who is not from the House of Eli) who would do according to what was in His heart and mind.  In the later chapters of 1 Samuel, we will learn that Samuel (who is not Eli’s descendant) would subsequently be appointed the High Priest of Israel.

The consequence for not honouring God is grave.  God will honour those who honour Him but those who despise Him will be disdained (v. 30).

Reflection:     
How have we honour God in our action? 
If there is anything which we have done that does not honour God, then let us repent and turn to God for forgiveness.

Prayer:          
Lord, thank you for the provisions you have given me.  Teach me to honour you in all that I do.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.



Friday, April 3, 2020

03 Apr 2020 - 1 Samuel 2:12-26


3rd April 2020
Daily Devotion
1 Samuel 2:12-26

                These verses compare Eli’s sons with the boy Samuel who was being taken care of by the priest Eli in the temple. Eli’s sons were part of the temple “establishment”. They had a high social status there because they were Eli’s sons. Unfortunately, they were scoundrels (v12) and they had no regard for the Lord. They showed contempt towards the peoples’ offerings to the Lord (v17), they slept with women who served at the entrance to the tent of the meeting (v22). It is clear that they treated the peoples’ offerings to God with contempt and they treated the people who served God in the temple with contempt. In short, they treated the Lord with contempt, despite being part of the “congregation” of the temple. It is useful for us to think about our own attitudes towards God, towards other people in church, and the ministry and service that is offered by people in our church. Do we value and respect them or do we treat them and their offerings with contempt? Remember that evil and wrong-doing can often come from within the church. Reading these verses, it is not clear if Eli’s sons had the consent of the women they slept with(v22). Given their bad attitude and their known behaviour of stealing and aggression, it is not unlikely that these women were raped. Power can sometimes be abused in church. Eli tried to rebuke them (v22-25) but his sons did not listen to their father’s rebuke. In short, they were disobedient, rebellious and unrepentant.

                This part of the book of Samuel also tells us about the boy Samuel who had been dedicated to the temple by his mother Hannah because God had answered her prayers for a child. Eli the priest was effectively Samuel’s foster father. Samuel, like Eli’s sons, also grew up in the temple and served in the temple. However, in contrast to Eli’s sons, Samuel was obedient to Eli’s teaching and he continued to grow in stature and in favour with the Lord and with people (26).

So what was the difference between Eli’s sons and Samuel? They all grew up in the temple in the presence of the Lord. They were all brought up and taught by Eli the priest. How did they turn out so differently to each other? The difference was in the condition of their hearts. This greatly affected their attitude and behaviour. This is an important reminder to all of us that no matter how long we have been in church, whatever “status” we may have or we imagine we have in church, we need to regularly examine our hearts. Do we value and honour other people and what they do for the church? Or do we disregard them and their offerings because we think that we are higher in status, better, more learned, or simply more entitled than others? We need to look for and remove any attitudes of contempt, ungratefulness, disrespect, or disregard towards the Lord, towards others in church, or towards whatever ministry, service or offerings that people contribute. Otherwise, there is a very high price to pay because we are told that the Lord finally decided to put Eli’s sons to death for their sins (v25).

Suggested prayer:
Dear Lord, help me to examine my heart for any disobedient, rebellious or contemptous spirit. Help me to be obedient to you and to treat others with respect. Help me to develop a thankful and respectful attitude towards you and towards my brothers and sisters Christ. Amen.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

02 Apr 2020 - Psalm 50


2nd April 2020
Daily Devotion
Psalm 50

Psalm 50 is written by Asaph, a worship leader in the Temple in the time of King David.  He hears God speaking to the whole world (v1). God is coming with 2 judgments. He shall judge His people (v7) & He shall judge the wicked, (v16). As He judges His people, He reminds us that He does not need our material sacrifices. We cannot put God in our debt, as if He “owes us”. He already owns everyone and everything in the whole world (v10-15).

So what does He want of us? In verses 14 to 15 He tells us through Asaph, “Sacrifice thank-offerings to God, fulfil your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour me. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

The “day of trouble” in verse 15 is something we have today in common with the psalmist. Right now, we are all preoccupied with this new coronavirus and stopping its spread. It is disrupting our incomes and work, our education, our social activities, and even our church life. For some the cost is even higher, with loved ones acutely ill in hospital, sometimes fighting for life. This “day of trouble” is disrupting our daily lives in many ways.  So what should we do?   Verses 14-15 have the key. Call upon God, sacrifice thank-offerings to God, do what we promised to Him we would do, see His deliverance and give Him the glory!

God repeats this instruction in verse 23 with a promise; “He who sacrifices thank-offerings honours me and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” Today, bring sacrifices to God, that is to praise Him even when we do not feel like it.  Give God the honour and He will show us His Salvation in Jesus afresh.



Wednesday, April 1, 2020

01 Apr 2020 - Rejoice In The Lord


1 Samuel Chapter 2: 1-11

In today’s devotion we read of Hannah’s song of thanksgiving to God, a return of praise; in the abundance of a heart deeply affected (for his favour to her in giving her Samuel and in praise of God’s goodness in her life) 

“My heart rejoices in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD.
I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
No one is holy like the LORD, for there is none besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.

It is also recorded that this song is a worship Hannah offered on the very day she left her little Samuel at the tabernacle. Hannah kept her promise because of the love for God. We do not know, of course, how she may have struggled in her heart, but so far as the record goes there was not a moment of hesitation in carrying out her promise to the Lord. On the day she made the biggest sacrifice of her life she rejoices in the LORD. She chooses to praise God than dwell in the sadness. she overlooks the gift, and praises the giver; whereas most often we forget the giver and fasten only on the gift.

For instance, when the first born goes to college, your only son gets married, or the first day your child steps into school, is one of mixed feelings isn’t it? You will have been working up to this day for a while: encouraging them to do their best, and celebrating when they land their place. But there will be apprehension, too. What if they don’t take to their new life? And what about you? What if that empty space at home makes you feel lonely? What would you choose to do?  

When we have nothing else to rejoice in, we can rejoice in the LORD.

The horn is used often as a picture of anointed strength in the Bible (Psalms 98:6). Hannah spoke of strength and power being exalted in the LORD (Vs1). In troubled times as this, our strength comes from the Lord. It’s a supernatural strength that can make you smile at your enemies. Because we rejoice in our salvation (Vs1). Yes, the Lord is our strength and He fills our heart with joy (Ps 28:7)
There is none holy like the LORD (Vs 2): To say the LORD is holy is to say He is completely set apart; that He is unique, and not like any other. He works in ways we don’t understand but He works to guard the feet of His faithful servants (VS 9). Hannah was confident in God’s ability to humble the strong and exalt the weak. This is the confidence we should have.

Let’s ask ourselves today, what keeps us from giving Him control when we know He is strong enough to handle anything?

There is none beside this perfect God, glory is due unto his name, to own not only that there is none like Him, but that there is none besides Him. REJOICE IN THE LORD.

Dear God,
Grant me this spirit to rejoice in you in tough times. I pray; you’ll keep me in that perfect peace which you have assured to those whose hearts are secure in you; and let me feel your presence, that in the hours of stillness I may enjoy the blessed assurance of your love; You are my rock, my strength and Lord. Amen.



Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Prayer Points for Tuesday Prayer Meeting - 31 Mar 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone,

Here is the prayer points for today. Please intercede and pray with on your own or with your family from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.


31 Mar 2020 - Power Of Prayer

Tuesday
31 March 2020

POWER OF PRAYER




Today’s devotion is taken from Luke 19:28-48 and this bible passage is mainly used for Palm Sunday sermon. It is about the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. That was a week of celebration with people lining the road, spreading their cloaks on the road as Jesus rode through, and waving palm branches shouting loudly joyful praises to God. But sadly, when that week ended, another week began whereby Jesus was arrested, tried, condemned and crucified.

From that same bible passage, in verses 45-46, we recognized that Jesus was angry in seeing traders doing business in the temple, that he chased them out and said, “It is written, my house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers.”

The church is, first and foremost, to be a place of prayer. A. W. Tozer, a modern-day prophet has said that the real size of a church is measured by who attends the prayer meeting. Why the big emphasis on prayer?

The Scriptures are full of bible verses on prayer. This is to tell us how important prayer is and how necessary it is for us to pray.

Thought to ponder – Why would God invite, even command us to pray if He were not going to answer? He is ready to answer our prayers. It is for us to pray in faith according to His revealed will, to persevere in prayer and leave the means and timing to Him. We do our part and He will surely do His.

Prayer is more than just communicating with God. There is power in our prayers. God will move mountains through our time interceding on behalf of others. When the whole church prays, the gates of hell tremble. When the believer prays, the enemy flees.

Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) tells us to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Isn’t that wonderful? We can go boldly to God in our prayers. He loves it when we do. We cannot underestimate the power of prayer. Let us be like the persistent widow in our prayers. God will hear them, and He will answer in due time.

Prayer – Lord Jesus, grow ME to be a person of faithful, faith-filled prayer. Amen.