Saturday, October 31, 2020

#SaturdayDevotion: II Kings 17:7-18

Breaking or delighting God's heart
II Kings 17:7-18
Date: 31. 10. 2020

In our current sermon series on Kingdom-mindedness, one of the Beatitudes is "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall comforted." It refers to the mourning over sin, a repentant heart, and that the sins that breaks God's heart breaks ours too.
 
In this text it tells of the condition where this beatitude is totally absent, captured in this words,  ".... (Israel) sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger."
 
When we cry over our sin, God forgives and comfort us. Can you picture a loving parent comforting a child who has just confess his wrong? With this beatitude we shall find
 
happiness and blessedness from God.
 
The opposite, when we become harden to sin, what is the consequence? "Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone."  God removed them from his sight.
 
Let me leave your 2 thoughts from this verse for you to meditate on:
 
1. Being in God's sight means many things,  example, God's favor, blessing and so forth.  I want to emphasis here that it also means God's protection. In God's sight is like sheep in the shepherd's sight where protection and safety is guaranteed. Thus this verse means God actually removes his protection and allows sin to take it course in the sinner's life.  This is the road to destruction. When
 
God removes his presence and protection, sin has freedom to destroy. Think of the example of Saul or Samson. Think of broken marriage due to sin. Think of the permanent effect from long term drug abuse. Sin is suicidal. Thus choose not to sin.  When it does happen, never let sin stay long in our heart, quickly confess and repent.

2. Numbers 6:24-26 tells us that God makes His face shines upon you. Instead of looking away with pain, sadness and anger because our stubborn sins, here God is delighted.  It is liken to delightful parents, smile and joy in their faces over their child. When we walk with God in faith and obedience, God's face beam with joy and delight over us. Seek to please God always. Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.
 
Prayer: 

Lord, help me know you deeper that I won't ever want to hurt you and break your heart. Let me instead bring delight and joy to you. Let my life be a worship to you, pleasing and honoring you. I love you, Jesus. Amen

Thursday, October 29, 2020

#ThursdayDevotion: Psalm 79

 Date: 29th October 2020

Psalm 79 is about the collapse of society, social, religious and political ruin in ancient Israel. Jerusalem was invaded and destroyed. God’s people were unfaithful and disobeyed God’s laws. Many of us have not experienced such a disaster but one can draw similarities with some areas of our current society. Many brothers and sisters live in fear and have no freedom to worship. The Open Doors website says 260 million Christians are persecuted. No different from the time this Psalm was written, not many people fear God (including Christians), many have disregarded God and His ways. The line between sin and righteousness is blurred. Everyone wants to be politically correct- leave them alone as long as they are happy. Even the most fundamental aspect of what God intended a family to be has redefined. We live in a society where movies and Tv shows use our Lord’s name in vain and some even mock God.

As Asaph was facing this trial, he pours out his plea: “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!” In spite of the turmoil and violence around him, Asaph turns to God in prayer and trusting that He will be faithful. When we are faced with trials or the brokenness of the world has moved our hearts to lament, we must seek the Lord and desire His Presence. Turn to God in prayer and pray for God to be glorified in all nations. In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come” (Luke 11:2), and this reminds us that the world we live in needs the refreshing goodness and wholeness of God’s kingdom. As we recognize that the world is profoundly broken, we know that its ultimate healing will occur only when the fullness of God’s kingdom has finally come. Until that day comes, we must continue to be ambassadors for Christ. To be salt and light, to show His love and grace in us and through us. As God’s people, we know that a new heaven and a new earth awaits us where we will live for eternity. Regardless of the situation, we continue to praise him and remain confident of His grace and mercy (v.13).  

Prayer

Lord, the pain of life in this broken world leads us to cry out to you for help. Lord, heal our hurts. Lord, bring your kingdom. Even when things seems to be falling apart, Lord, be our peace. Give us wisdom to carry on glorifying Your Name in our workplace and our society. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

#TuesdayDevotion: Hebrews 10:19 – 39

Date: 27th Oct 2020

Can a Christian lose their salvation? According to this passage, yes. If we turn back to sin, there no longer remains a sacrifice in place that covers our sins (vs 26 – 30, 39). Many cultures and religions understand the need for regular blood sacrifices for forgiveness, protection and so on. But as Christians, this came once in the form of Jesus’ crucifixion and is the only way to receive acceptance, forgiveness, healing, deliverance, everything from God. If we intentionally sin, we need to repent and get right with Him as our sin separates us from God. Romans 11:8 talks of a spirit of stupor that comes upon His people who put their trust in things other than God, and as a result cannot hear His voice. That is scary, because it means we become blind to our conditions.

We are exhorted to:

·         Approach God (that’s what a relationship is about, spending time together!)

·         Approach Him with confidence because we have been made clean by what Jesus did

·         Stir up love and good works. This is an intentional, active choice, choosing to love (1 Corinthians 13 – if you need a refresher). We must also ‘stir up’ good works – making effort to go out of our ways to do good.

·         Look out for each other.

·         Build each other up and encourage each other (not judge, criticize and tear down)

·         Meet with other Christians regularly.

·         Hold on! No matter what. Hold on, hold fast, stay steady because our God is faithful.

Know that He loves us and welcomes us and is at work in us for our good.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

#SundaySermon: Beatitude Series (Merciful & Pure in Heart)

 Date: 25. 10. 2020

Shalom, church! Come and join us for the Sunday sermon on Beatitude Series! Have a blessed Sunday and stay safe everyone! God Bless!


Saturday, October 24, 2020

#SaturdayDevotion: Hebrews 9:11 - 28

Date: 24th October 2020

Jesus Made The Perfect Sacrifice To Save Us.

Hebrews 9:1-10 describe the rituals and repeated sacrifice of blood that the high priest made every year for himself and for the sins of the people. However, these sacrifices were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper (v9). They were external regulations that applied until the time of the new covenant. Hebrews 9:11-15 tell us that Christ came as the High Priest who made a perfect sacrifice by shedding his own blood for us in order to cleanse us from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God. Jesus is the new covenant; the new promise of salvation from our sins. Those who are called to Him and who follow Him (and who do not turn their backs to Him), are promised an eternal inheritance, which is eternal life in God’s presence! How awesome is the promise in Hebrews 9:28 that Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

Unless we hold onto Jesus and the promise of salvation through Him, we are all sinners destined for punishment and destruction. Nothing that we do, no other “sacrifice” we make can cleanse us of this sin. The first part of Romans 6:23 states that the wages of sin is death. However, Jesus has made the ultimate, perfect sacrifice. He was specially sent by God to die so that we could receive God’s forgiveness and our eternal inheritance as part of God’s household (Hebrews 3:6). He needed to do this only once because no other sacrifice was necessary after this. We are saved through the shedding of Jesus’ blood when He died on the cross for us. Therefore, we receive assurance from the rest of Romans 6:23 that the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is a demonstration of God’s perfect love. We no longer have to fear punishment and destruction, because perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18).

Personal reflection

Spend some time thanking God for loving you so much that he wanted to save you and welcome you into his family. Thank Him for sending His son Jesus, who became the perfect sacrifice for your sins. Think about the pain and suffering that Jesus was willing to endure for you, and remind yourself of how much He must love you.

Worship God through this song, and remind yourself that the blood of Jesus has saved you. Nothing else is required but that you should follow Him and accept His offer of salvation.



Thursday, October 22, 2020

#ThursdayDevotion: Psalm 78

 #ThursdayDevotion: Psalm 78

Date: 22.10.2020

This Psalm was written by Asaph. Asaph was both a prophet (1 Chronicles 25:2) and a poet. He was one of King David’s chief musicians and one of the Levites who led the music before the ark in Jerusalem.

“O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.” (Psalm 78:1) When Asaph says “Listen to the words of my mouth,” Asaph is talking about an active, eager and responsive listening which results in learning and obedience. How often we listen only what we want to hear, tuning out everything in between.

In verse two he tells us “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old.” (Psalm 78:2) he cautions us that if we don’t listen closely, we are going to miss out something. Asaph sets forth the history of Israel as a parable, as a story with a lesson to be learned. The rest of the Psalm recounts the history of Israel — from their going out of Egypt, to their entering of the Promised Land, to the reign of King David.

Verses 34-38 provide a good summary to the Psalm:
Whenever God slew them, they would seek Him; they eagerly turned to Him again. They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. But then they would flatter Him with their mouths, lying to Him with their tongues; their hearts were not loyal to Him, they were not faithful to His covenant. Yet He was merciful; He forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. (Psalm 78:34-38)
When we read the whole Psalm there are two things that Asaph sets his focus on:
• the need to remember God’s mercy and faithfulness
• and to tell the next generation of what God has done
We must be faithful to remember and not forget, but the temptation is to forget, which leads to doubt, which turns to unbelief and rebellion. If we are going to remain faithful to God, especially in difficult times, it’s essential that we remember who God is and all that He has done on our behalf. In verses 9-72 the psalmist recounts the history of the nation of Israel from Zoan to Zion (Egypt to Jerusalem). The retelling emphasizes both the faithfulness of God and the forgetfulness of the people.

Throughout the Old Testament the people of God are told that they have a responsibility; not only to remember for themselves, but to tell the next generation about what God has said and done (Ex. 10:1-2; Deut. 6:6-9) We must teach our children the works of God. We must tell them what God has done. Look at verse 4: “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.” (Psalm 78:4) “Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.” (Psalm 78:7)

Finally, in Psalm 78:65-72 the psalmist highlights God’s faithfulness to his people. While the tribe of Ephraim was unfaithful and Shiloh is taken, God chooses to show favor to the tribe of Judah and establishes Jerusalem (Zion). David, is introduced as the one through whom God establishes an everlasting throne.

That is the faithfulness of our God. He will establish us and has promised us an everlasting life. Our hope is that, God is merciful and faithful and that He will keep His promise to save us no matter what!

Recommended Prayer:
Dear God,
Yes, I put my hope in you. Help me to always remember all that you have done for me, specially the work of salvation in Jesus. Let me be diligent in teaching the next generation more about you and your goodness. Increase my faith Lord, to see what a powerful promise keeping God you are! Let me be known for my love for you oh Father! Amen.