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Showing posts from 2021

Acts 7:44 – 53

In these verses, Stephen was preaching to the Jewish leaders the history of Israel, from Abraham to Isaac, to Joseph, to Moses and so on. He kept emphasizing the fact that Israel always seemed to reject God's true witness. Stephen mentioned in v51 that they “always resist the Holy Spirit”. They did not allow God to cut away the carnality of their inner being. They would not allow God to speak to them through His messengers. They were self-righteous and self-sufficient.  Today, we can resist the Holy Spirit by rejecting what He has revealed, ignoring what He has said, and disobeying His commands. We are resisting Him when we close our ears to what He has to say because we find it offensive. Everything the Holy Spirit reveals to us is true. We must approach God's Word with a heart that submits to its authority, a heart that wants to know "the mind of the Spirit," and a heart that wants to conform to what the Spirit says. Let us not be people who are stiffnecked and woul

Isaiah 9:2 - 7

May the light of Christ fill your heart and mind as you celebrate His birth today. Blessed Christmas! Isaiah says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” While Isaiah is announcing good news, did you notice that he is also admitting the reality of the darkness? Darkness can be real, powerful and painful and it’s not something that’ll easily go away. The worst thing about the darkness is that the evil one behind it has a list of ways to keep you in the dark. Hurts and aches cast a shadow on the lives of many. Halls aren’t decked with boughs of holly when families go through pain and sorrow. And there’s not a lot of Fa la la’s when finances are tight and the bills aren’t paid. Another of Satan’s greatest weapons for keeping us in the dark is sin; which permeates all of our lives especially when we try to rationalize them. The darkness can seem unrelenting and unending, but the truth is, the

Search Me, O God (Psalm 139:23 - 24)

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Stephen Covey stated that “We judge ourselves by our intentions. And others by their actions.” I have thought much about it and realized that this is quite true. Covey was implying that we ought to be aware of our hypocrisy when we make our judgments on others based on our own good, but often flawed, intentions. Hypocrisy is a real problem! In Matthew 23:27-28, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law of their hypocrisies. They seemed righteous on the outside but were wicked on the inside. In Isaiah, we will find God confronting His people of their hypocritical worship for they worshipped him with their lips but their hearts were far away, for they do not fear Him (Isaiah 29:13-14). What do you suppose God will find in your heart? Will He find a true worshipper or a hypocrite? Will He find a heart that delights in Him or des

Zephaniah 3

God created us to be worshipers of him. If we do not worship God, we will worship something or someone else, and worship of anything but God is self-destructive. If we worship God alone, however, he fulfills us. This is seen in Zephaniah’s prophecy as he describes the city of Jerusalem in two very different conditions – in a state of rebellion and distance from God, and then in a state of restoration and fellowship with God. At the heart of the contrast is misdirected worship stemming from the disease of pride. Pride shuts down the flow of worship, is toxic in our lives, and fools us into serving false gods. Humility is the medicine – when we turn and humbly seek God, a life of joy and righteousness results. God gives us “pure speech” and transforms us into true worshipers as we accept his grace and yield to his lordship over all things (Zeph. 3:9). As both our Judge and Redeemer, God is “the mighty one who will save” us from ourselves (v.17). God’s redemption was ultimately fulfilled


Briefly, in the book of Hosea, for the first part (Hosea 1 – 3), is about the family life of Hosea. His marriage to an adulterous woman, Gomer, is symbolic of the relationship between God and the Israelites. When you read from Hosea 1, you will note that it was the Lord who ordered Hosea to marry Gomer “because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery” (Hosea 1:2). Their sins have broken the relationship with God, but yet God continued to love them and longed to take them back. In Hosea 3, it started by God asking Hosea to love his wife again even though she has been unfaithful to him and left him for other men. He obeyed and paid 15 shekels of silver plus barley to bring her back as it was evident that she has become a slave thus need to be bought. Then in verse 4, it states that Israel would go through many days “without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol.” This indicates the fallen state of Israel. After that (verse 5), then they will return a

Prince of Peace

Jesus is often referred to as the Prince of Peace. This name comes from Isaiah 9:6, a passage often quoted during the Christmas season. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 THE BRINGER OF PEACE This title, “The Prince of Peace,” implies that Jesus is the one who can and will bring peace. He is the peace giver, and is the ruler of peace. Jesus said this of Himself in  John 14:27:  “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” THREE LEVELS OF PEACE The peace that Jesus brings has three different levels. First and most significant is that we have peace with God. Through Jesus Christ, we are redeemed, forgiven, and reconciled to God forever. Though we were dead in our sins living as enemies of God, Jes

How To Be A Good Father And Husband : An Example From The Nativity Story (Matthew 1:18‭-‬25)

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate t

When the church needed to learn to treat all the widows fairly (Acts 6:1 - 8)

6 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews[a] among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests beca

Who do you obey? (Acts 5:22 - 32)

The background of today’s passage is that the apostles were arrested for the second time. They were just freed from prison by an angel of the Lord and the apostle went back out to Jerusalem to preach the Gospel. Again, the Jewish leaders threaten the apostles to stop teaching about Jesus, salvation and resurrection (v.28). Incredibly, Peter and the other apostles defied their warning and replied “We must obey God rather than man”. Obedience to God. In the face of real persecution and arrest, Peter and the apostles essentially told the Jewish leaders, we will not listen to you. We will not stop preaching about Christ. When human values conflict with biblical values, it is clear, biblical values and God’s commands must prevail. In today’s culture, there are many opposing human values that threatens biblical values and people might find themselves confuse or under pressure to accept what the world says. So much so that, it is unfortunate to read in the news that some churches have succu

Acts 5:12 - 21

This passage describes the difficulties the apostles faced in preaching the Gospel and carrying out God's will. The early church experienced the Lord’s power through many miracles performed by the apostles (5:12,15,16). Jesus had told the apostles that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them to be His witnesses (1:8). Sometimes obeying God will put us in a place of danger and harm. But as soldiers of the cross, we must be ready and willing to obey our Commander without hesitation or complaint. The apostles were performing miracles of healing and deliverance, and then got put into prison. The Lord sent an angel to deliver them, and in doing so, they were commanded to “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life” (5:20). That command will surely put them into trouble again. They did not question the command and went to the temple courts at daybreak (5:21).  Because of their obedience to God, they feared the Lord’s holiness and know

TO MYSELF AND TO GOD (Acts 4:32 to 5:11)

Today’s passage starts like this: Vs 32 “All the believers were one in heart and mind”, they sold their possessions and brought the money to the apostles, leaving it to them to administer the funds. They were so committed to God and to one another that they were willing to “have all things in common.”. One of those who sold a field and gave the proceeds to the church was a man named Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas. (Verse 36) A question for us to think about this morning is “What made those early Christians sell their property and give to the poor through the church? It’s in verse 33 that Luke reveals the source of this amazing community’s unity and generosity. While only the apostles were endowed with “great power” to testify to Christ’s resurrection, the entire church receives “great grace”. Grace enabled these early Christians to transcend the fascination with self and replace it with concern for the whole community as the highest priority. So along

Been With Jesus (Acts 4:12-22)

What keeps you for being special as a Christian? We have different reasons, example, lack of education, not much gifting, don't know any VIP and so forth. Seriously, what is your reason? Whatever it may be, consider this verse, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled". Peter and John were merely fishermen, no chance of going school, not to mention graduate with a degree, yet they were special. The religious leaders were marveled by them! Something extraordinary about them. What were their conclusion of the disciples' 'special-ness'? Here it is, "And they realized that they had been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13) Simply "they had been with Jesus." Have you been with Jesus? No one can remain the same when "they had been with Jesus." Habitual negative thinking and emotion lose control over our lives. We have power to overcome sins and temptations. We kn

Daniel 2

I remember when I was younger and would go through my mom’s magazines, there was always an advert page dedicated for psychics and their contacts, horoscope readings detailing what all the signs would be facing that month. As I was reading Daniel, I thought to myself that if magazines were a thing back in Babylon, it would’ve sold well. In the ancient world, it was the New York City of style, glamour, beauty and astrology. Like Babylon, our society is fast, affluent and captivated with new-age mysticism. This is why Daniel 2 is so relevant today; it’s an amazing account of how a believer should live in the midst of an idolatrous, sensual culture where it’s being swept by the latest new-age trend. Nebuchadnezzar has a bizarre dream, and he demands that his astrologers not only interpret it but also recount it. And should they fail, it’s “off with their heads”! In response, Daniel shows deep concern, not only for himself and his friends but also for hundreds of others who were at risk. D

Acts 3:11 - 21

In today’s passage, we read about the astonishment of the people who just witnessed Peter healing a beggar crippled since birth. The people who gathered around Peter and John could not believe what they saw. Like people today, they cannot believe that God could bring about a miracle in someone’s life. They would rather believe that somehow Peter and John possess magical powers rather than God. That is a consequence of spiritual blindness for those who does not know God. What did Peter do here? He used this opportunity to preach the Gospel to them. Peter understood that the people surrounding him needed healing as much as the lame beggar. Many do not realise it but their spiritual state has been crippled by sin and by their refusal to worship God. When we are given an opportunity, it is our responsibility to point them towards Jesus. Peter was prepared to share the gospel in that instant. Often some of us are not prepared to share the Gospel when an opportunity presents himself. For exa

The Church Devotion

They [devoted] themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer... And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved .” Acts 2:42, 47b. We have seen a great number of changes in our culture today and when it comes to being devoted, well, it is called into question. In our current age, our devotion – loyalty, faithfulness, dedication, love, worship – is being drawn in many directions. And if we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that our devotion is likely not to the apostles’ teaching, the fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer. At least not entirely.  Why not? Because, devotion is a matter of the heart. We can only be truly devoted to something and someone we truly love. So here lies the dilemma. What is it that you love? In our Bible reading of Acts 2:40-47, we see the birth of the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. It was phenomenal and miraculous. Who could ever imagine such a tremendous growth fro

Jesus is the Lord and the Messiah! (Acts 2:29 - 39)

By the beginning of Acts Chapter 2, we know that Jesus had been crucified, buried and resurrected on the third day after his crucifixion. Then he re-appeared to the disciples and His followers. During this time, He instructed them to wait in Jerusalem until they received the gift from God which is the Holy Spirit. After 40 days He was taken up to heaven, leaving His followers who waited faithfully until the Holy Spirit came and annointed them on Pentecost Sunday. They were enabled by the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues. Some people who saw this were amazed, but some people made fun of them and accused them of being drunk. Then the disciple Peter stood up to deliver the first recorded gospel sermon after the resurrection of Christ, recorded in Acts 2:14 – 40. In v29 he refered to King David, who had prophesied about the resurrection of the Messiah who would not die. Peter connected this to Jesus’ resurrection that they had witnessed with their own eyes (v.32) and informed them that Davi

ACTS 2:22 - 28

“ Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves  know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and  you, with the help of wicked men,   put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God  raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible  for death to keep its hold on him. 25 David said about him:  ‘I saw the Lord always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, 27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” Sometimes our greatest ministry occurs when we are forged in the fires of disappointment, pain and suffering. Try to


5 Now There Were Staying In Jerusalem God-Fearing Jews From Every Nation Under Heaven. 6 When They Heard This Sound, A Crowd Came Together In Bewilderment, Because Each One Heard Their Own Language Being Spoken. 7 Utterly Amazed, They Asked: “Aren’t All These Who Are Speaking Galileans? 8 Then How Is It That Each Of Us Hears Them In Our Native Language? 9 Parthians, Medes And Elamites; Residents Of Mesopotamia, Judea And Cappadocia, Pontus And Asia, 10 Phrygia And Pamphylia, Egypt And The Parts Of Libya Near Cyrene; Visitors From Rome 11 (Both Jews And Converts To Judaism); Cretans And Arabs—We Hear Them Declaring The Wonders Of God In Our Own Tongues!” 12 Amazed And Perplexed, They Asked One Another, “What Does This Mean?”13 Some, However, Made Fun Of Them And Said, “They Have Had Too Much Wine.” The promise that the disciples would receive the power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them (Acts 1:8) and that they would be empowered with power from on high (Luke 24:49) it is a promise

Acts 2:1 - 4

 This passage is about the Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Lord commanded the Jews to observe it in order to give thanks for the first fruits of their harvest, which pointed to the fuller harvest to come. Now the "first fruits" of the completed spiritual harvest are being brought in with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is for the church of Christ what the pay check is for the laborer, the financial profits are for the businessman, and the harvest is for the farmer. The Holy Spirit was poured out into the church.  “They were all filled by the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance” Acts 2:4. The ability to proclaim the mighty works of God in different languages was a supernatural gift. This work of the Spirit pointed to the spread of the gospel throughout the earth, with each nation hearing the gospel in their native language. It also means that all who believe will be united in their belief in Christ and wi

Who Is Making the Choice? (Acts 1:21 - 26)

When my daughter was little, I often held up my fingers, pointer and tall finger in a V and asked her to touch one to make a choice. Little did she know that the choice was mine, but that was just to trick her into believing that she gets what she touches. We live in an age that prides itself in freedom of choice. Amidst the choices we make every day many decisions require much thought, consideration and even turmoil. No matter what the decision-making process, along with the freedom of choice comes responsibility and faith. How does our relationship with Jesus Christ come to bear on our decisions? How are decisions made as His body of believers in His church, under His Lordship? Today’s passage talks about the disciples’ concern for finding someone to serve as an apostle in Judas Iscariot’s place The disciples gathered for prayer felt compelled by the Holy Spirit through God’s written Word to fill the vacancy in order to complete their mission. The “qualification” of this pers


The wordings of today’s devotion, Psalm 133, is also a famous hymn which some of us may have sung in church many years ago and occasionally we do still sing this hymn. This psalm is declaring “how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” Would it be more practical to say that in order to have peace & prevent any troubles, people should live apart? Let me share why we should live together in unity. We know that it is not easy to get along with every people. We are all created differently. Our characters, opinions, behaviors, etc, are all different. During discussions over some matters, what others approve, we may disapprove. It is easier, of course, to get along with people whom we love and like because we know and understand them. How then are we to live together in unity as stated in Psalm 133?  In the Bible, we read of siblings not able to get along with each other. Example, Cain & Abel, Jacob & Esau, Joseph and his brothers, etc. Likewise, even

Acts 1:1 - 8

When I was a kid, a frequent question I would ask my parents in the car was “are we there yet?”. When I was still in school, I couldn’t wait till my exams were over and the school holidays could finally begin. Now that I am a working adult, I often catch myself looking at the clock, just looking forward to going home. Since COVID, I wait for the numbers of cases to go down so that we can all go back to our normal routine. It’s quite common to believe that the thing we anticipate will provide the relief we seek. This was no different with the early disciples. Once they recovered from the shock of seeing the resurrected Jesus, they returned to their preconceived agenda: “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). It’s a natural question, as so much of their faith history was centered upon the physical kingdom of Israel. But Jesus was doing much more than restoring the kingdom to Israel, He was establishing his own kingdom. Their faith wasn’t to be established

Jonah 4

In today’s passage, we have an unusual account about Jonah being unhappy that the people of Nineveh repented. Instead of rejoicing, Jonah was upset that God forgave the Ninevites. It was not because he did not understand God’s character because in v.2, he says, God is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love and a God who relents from sending calamity. Jonah was upset because he did not want God to exercise his grace on the Ninevites because Jonah considered them unworthy of God’s forgiveness. We should not be too quick to judge Jonah here. Sometimes we can wonder why God doesn’t judge a certain person or group of people when they had done something evil or when a wrong is done to us, we wish God would judge them.   Though these thoughts may be fleeting but it can come to some of us. Jonah wanted them punished by God so badly that he threatened God that he would want God to take away his life.     Are we not fortunate that God does not act according to our concept of

The Wrong & Right Queastions (Jonah 3)

And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them .' -  Jonah 3:4 - 5 Jonah 3 is the greatest crusade meeting that ever took place in the history of mankind. The whole city turned to God and repented of their sins. This took place because of one preacher, who grudgingly preached the words of God. The Ninevites understood their sins and the need for God because someone told them. Subtract Jonah the preacher it would have been judgment. And this is true for today. Without the Gospel very few realise their sins and the darkness they are living in. Without the light they will not see their darkness.   Whether someone be saved has a lot to do with whether they get to hear the word of God. In sharing Christ we often ask the question, "Would she believes?" That is the

It's Never Too Late To Repent! (Jonah 2)

In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.” We all know the Sunday school story about Jonah who refused to obey God’s command to him to preach to the people in Nineveh. The people of Nineveh were wicked and Jonah was probably too scared or too scornful of the people there, and he ran away instead. He got on a boat to go somewhere else to ‘escape’, but the boat got into a big storm. The sailors on the boat realised that they needed to pray in order to be saved from the storm. Jonah did not realise this himself, he had been sleeping soundly when the sailors woke him up! Eventually, Jonah told the sailors that he had been running away from God. He told them to throw him into the sea to save them all from drowning, so the reluctant but terrified sailors cried out to God and threw Jonah overboard as suggested. It is interesting that after Jonah ran away from God’s command, he encountered a grou

Jonah 1

1  The word of the  Lord  came to Jonah son of Amittai:   2   “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”  3  But Jonah ran   away from the   Lord   and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa,   where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the   Lord . 4  Then the  Lord  sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.   5  All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.  But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep.   6  The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.” 7  Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the l