Sunday, May 31, 2020

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31 May 2020 - Sunday Service

Good Afternoon Church! Thank you for joining us for the Sunday Service. Have a blessed weekend!






Saturday, May 30, 2020

30 May 2020 - Titus 3

30th May 2020

Titus 3:3 reminds us that before we were saved, we were all once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures, lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  God saved us because of his mercy and not because of good things we had done.  When we realize this, we should respond with changes in our behaviour.  God’s love and mercy in saving us will motivate us to excel in good works.

Doing good works are good and profitable for everyone.  These good works may be avenues to lead people to experience God’s grace.

Reflection:     

Our good works do not and cannot save us.  It is by God’s grace and mercy that we are saved.  We are saved to do good works (See also Ephesians 2:10)

Prayer:

Lord, thank you for Your grace, mercy and loving kindness which we do not deserve.  Help us each day to grow to be more like Jesus to be effective witness of the gospel.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Friday, May 29, 2020

29 May 2020 - Respond through the heart of God

Respond through the heart of God

The end of First Samuel describes the death of King Saul. The beginning of Second Samuel describes David hearing of Saul’s death. Now, Let’s read about David hearing of Saul’s death in 2 Samuel 1:1-16

After the death of Saul, when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. And on the third day, a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and paid homage and declared the death of Saul. Vs 1-2 Then David queried, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?”

He narrated, “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul, leaning on his spear…When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and said to me, ‘Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’ Vs 5-10.

On hearing that David and all the men with him mourned and wept Vs 11 Then David inquired, "How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the LORD'S anointed?" Then David called one of his young men and said, "Go near, and execute him!" David said to him, "Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, 'I have killed the LORD'S anointed.' "Vs 13-16.

Evidently, the last chapter of 1 Samuel tells us that Saul did NOT die by the sword of someone else. Saul died by his own sword.

David for sure sensed in his heart that the whole account which this young Amalekite gives is a fabrication; he runs to David with a heart full of greed and deception. He should have known better than to devise a story like this. You might recall that David would not kill Saul, even when he had many chances to do so. In fact, David told one of his men when they had the drop on Saul, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD's anointed and be guiltless?” (1 Samuel 26:9). But look how God uses David to bring his judgment against this young man. He has confessed to killing God's anointed king, and he dies because of that very confession.

Remember, how out of pure jealousy, hatred, spite, and ungodliness, Saul destroyed David’s best years of life – and Saul was utterly unrepentant to the end. Yet David mourned and wept and fasted when he learned of Saul’s death.

And so how would we receive news of Saul’s death? Wouldn’t we honor the man who finished off the man who vexed us, over and over again?

David received this message with his heart, if he was described as “a man after God’s own heart”, couldn’t we say he had a godly heart? A God-centered heart. Isn’t this what God saw when He told Samuel that “man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) What we see here is that David had responded, not with an eye to his own agenda, but God’s agenda; not with a taste to his own desires, but God’s righteousness, God’s priorities, God’s love for His people. He responded with the heart of God!

Every day, we receive, a post or an e-mail criticizing the church, a pastor, a leader or maybe an update from a rival, gossip from a neighbor; when this message is brought to us, what does our response reveal about OUR heart? We are often filled with anger, jealously, bitterness, lust, and pride because our focus is on our own good, and our own glory? And when that happens, our response is anything but righteous.

David sings “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10) Let this be our prayer today.

Dear God

I thank You that You desire to speak to me every day— to obey Your Word and enjoy an abundant life. Show me the conceit in my heart and help me to guard my heart from the influences of this world and the people around me. Help me not to be deceived by the devil and his lies, but to respond to them listening to the heart of God. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

28 May 2020 - Psalm 57 : A Hard Time In The Right Place

Psalm 57

“A Hard Time in the Right Place”

David wrote this Psalm whilst taking shelter in a cave after escaping from Saul’s attempts to kill him (1 Samuel 22:1-2 and 1 Samuel 24:3). David was chosen by God and anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel. He was employed by Saul to play the lyre for him. At the start, Saul liked David very much and David became a high-ranking officer in Saul’s army. However, David’s ability and success made him popular amongst the people and Saul became increasingly jealous. Proverbs 27:4 states, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” Jealousy is an immensely powerful negative emotion that can drive a person to cause all sorts of destruction. Saul developed a murderous obsession with David because he was insecure about his own position as king.

During these difficult times, David took shelter in a cave to avoid Saul and his army. David had done nothing to deserve this persecution. In fact, it was quite the opposite. He had been powerfully anointed by God and had acted according to this anointing. Saul could see the Lord’s favour upon David, but he could not accept it. Sometimes, great anointing and suffering come together. God was preparing David for his role as king. If you want great anointing in your life, it is likely you may also have to experience suffering as well. Acts 5:41 states that the apostles rejoiced because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for His Name. James 1:2-4 tells us that we should count it pure joy whenever we face trials (in our faith) because testing of our faith produces perseverance and maturity. David was experiencing this kind of suffering. He may have been having a hard time, but he was in exactly the right place.

 

So what does David do in the cave while Saul and his armed soldiers are somewhere outside looking to murder him? The amazing thing that strikes me is that he doesn’t weep and wail at God or ask him “Why me?” No, he does not do this. There is no self-pity and he definitely does not let fear or anxiety overpower him. Instead, David gets down to business in Psalm 57. He starts by asking God for mercy and decides that he will take refuge in the Lord until the danger has passed (v1). He cries out to God Most High and knows that God is in command over the whole situation and can save him (2-3). He understands that God loves him (v3). At the same time, David is no optimistic fool. He knows that his enemies are powerful and slanderous; he calls them ravenous beasts whose tongues are sharp swords (v4). However, he chooses to praise God in the situation (v5). He makes a statement of faith that his enemies will fall into their own trap (6). David chooses to have a steadfast heart (v7). He seeks God and praises God earnestly with his soul (v8). He pledges that he will praise God among the people (v9). He declares that God’s love is great and far-reaching (v10). He finishes by exalting God and asks that God’s glory will be over all the earth (v11).

Wow. Can you imagine yourself practicing such faithfulness and giving God heartfelt praise while going through a period of suffering? David has set the example by showing us what we should focus on. God is merciful, loving, all-powerful and totally in control. When we are experiencing a period of suffering, we can choose to praise Him and remember His enduring wisdom and love for us. We do not have to be anxious or fearful because we have a great God. He may be preparing us for a greater anointing and we need to trust Him.

Suggested prayer

Almighty God, thank you that we have the blessed assurance of a loving and merciful God. We acknowledge that you are totally in control of all our circumstances. We pray for your encouragement and protection when we are going through difficult times. Help us to trust in you and maintain an attitude of praise within our hearts whatever the circumstances we are going through. Amen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

27 May 2020 - 1 Sam 31 : The Cost Of Disobedience


Devotion – 27 May 2020
1 Sam 31 – THE COST OF DISOBEDIENCE

In this last chapter of 1 Samuel, we read about the death of King Saul and his three sons who were killed in battle with the Philistines. Initially, Saul’s life started very well, but sad to say, it ended horribly. How did it happen that way? He disobeyed God and did not follow His instructions and this has severe consequences. Because of his disobedience, he no longer had the Lord’s protection. And in 1 Sam 15:26, it says because Saul has rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord has rejected him as king over Israel.

Saul’s disobedience does not just affect him alone but there are consequences for everyone around him. In 1 Sam 31:7, it states, “When the Israelites along the valley and those across the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them.” Saul’s death and the army’s defeat tragically impacted the nation. His sin, disobedience, and eventual ruin affected far more than himself and even his immediate family. It literally endangered the entire nation of Israel.

Saul was the Lord’s anointed. He was chosen by the Lord to be the king for the Israelites.
But rather than trusting that God knew best, his self-image took first place in his heart. Even though he is dying, he still did not repent. He did not seek the Lord at that very last minute. He lost everything by losing sight of the only thing that mattered: his relationship with the one true God. He could have ended well – If only he would have taken sin more seriously, and repent before it gotten worse. If only he could have been more concerned with what God thinks rather than what man thinks about him. If only……

As believers, we have the Holy Spirit within us to guide us into all truth. But when we refuse to obey and consult the Lord, and are determined to go our own way, the Lord will let us face the consequences until we finally repent and turn back to Him.

Disobedience is always costly when we do not do the right thing, in the right way, at the right time. God has a plan and a purpose for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). He wants to do a great work with us. We need to stay on the right track and not destroy all that God is trying to build in our lives. Let us trust and obey Him.

Prayer –
Lord Jesus, thank You for reminding me that disobedience is a form of rebellion towards You. Forgive me if I have been disobedient to You in any way or in any form. Grant me the divine strength to withstand any temptation that deliberately wants to draw me away from You. Be my guide, teach me and help me to be obedient to Your Word.
In Jesus’ mighty name I pray. Amen.