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Showing posts from February, 2021

Gospel Reliability by Mike Licona

  Shalom Church! This week we were blessed by a preaching on Gospel Reliability by Mike Licona via zoom. Have a blessed Sunday & a good week ahead!

Saturday Devotion: 1 Corinthians 16:13 - 14

Paul was writing to the Corinthian church to encourage them as he knew there were issues in the church such as divisions within the church, sexual temptations, and questions about worship. Be on your guard. Paul commands us to stay alert and watch. This brings to my mind military movies that watched where the soldiers are asked to keep around the clock watch of their military base as the enemy can attack at any time. The Bible has told us repeatedly to be on the watch and put on our spiritual armor because we are told that Satan is constantly prowling. He has come to kill, steal and destroy. For those of us who have gone hiking, we need to always be on the lookout for branches of trees overhead and especially on the guard for the roots of branches on the path because it can trip us. I know many friends who have sprained their ankle tripping over those roots because they lost attention for a split second. The moment we think the path is safe and lose our focus, we may trip and fall.

Thursday Devotion: The Power of the Empty Tomb (1 Corinthians 15:50 - 58)

Source: Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? — 1 Corinthians 15:55 Life on this earth is not without dark times. We can identify periods in history when evil and darkness seemed to be in control. We can look back on our own lives and recall times of grief, hurt, loneliness, or despair. Or maybe those times are happening right now, and life seems empty of meaning or purpose. Maybe all of life seems like a dark, empty space. Jesus knows what that’s like—and even more. On the cross he suffered the agony of complete separation from God so that we wouldn’t have to—and his body was placed in a tomb till he rose to life again on the third day. Jesus’ work of salvation for us would not have been complete if he did not suffer the full punishment of “unspeakable anguish, pain, and terror of soul” on the cross to pay the price for all our sins. And on the third day he rose in victory over death so that w

Tuesday Devotion: 1 Corinthians 15:29 - 34

Does the resurrection power of Jesus transform your life today?   29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptised for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptised for them? 30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our. 32 Lord If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”  34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.  Paul begins chapter 15 by telling the Corinthians they needed a reminder of the Gospel. Some of them were seriously straying away from the gospel. In this passage Paul focuses on the importance of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. We know Jesus died on Good Friday an

Sermon Series: Equip The Saint II

 Have a blessed Sunday and stay safe. God bless!

Saturday Devotion: Nehemiah – Rebuilding Life’s Ruin (Chapter 5 and I Corinthians15: 12-19)

Nehemiah Chapter four ended on a note of great victory. The people of God were doing the work of God, and they did it despite all obstacles. And, they would not let their enemies stop them. But in chapter five, the mission of rebuilding the Jerusalem wall was nearly wrecked by internal dissension and strife, famine, food crisis, taxation. The wealthier Jews had taken advantage of the terrible situation of those who were less fortunate and reduced many of them to slavery. Nehemiah was under tremendous pressure. There is nothing like the test of your leadership from within your own organization. It is said that, an internal enemy is potentially more dangerous than the external threats, because it threatens the unity of an organization. Here the rich Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were ill-using the poor. Nehemiah says, "Then I was very angry when I had heard their outcry and these words" (Vs 5:6). This is the anger of a righteous man. There are times when the only response to a s

Thursday Devotion: Broken walls (Nehemiah 1-3, 1 Cor. 14:34 - 40)

Broken walls are not uncommon. In Nehemiah, it was the broken wall of Jerusalem. Without the wall, the enemies entered with ease and no resistance. The Israelites lived in fear.   In Corinthians, it was the wall of unity and worship. This was in bad shape. Thus, Paul's words sounded harsh and often misunderstood. It was every person for themselves, abusing the spiritual gifts, using them as a trophy for self-glorification. And in today's reading, we often interpret it as Paul disallowing women to speak in church. This is not so. This was for the church in Corinthians only, not something to be applied to all churches. The women had added to the confusion and disorder in worship. In simple terms, the wall of unity and worship was broken and required repair. Here the believers lived in pride and comparison, fighting for attention. Paul reached out as God's apostle to mend the wall. The epistle to the Corinthians must be remembered as first and foremost a pastoral letter.

Tuesday Devotion: Godly Sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:10)

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” The context in which Paul was writing is that he has been correcting and rebuking wrong behaviours and actions in the Corinthian church. Although he was sorry to have hurt them, he rejoiced that his letter brought them godly sorrow. Godly sorrow is that which brings the repentance that leads to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:8–9). There are a couple of biblical examples we can read about in order to understand how Godly sorrow is different from worldly sorrow.  After David’s sin with Bathsheba, David confessed and repented before God. He wrote Psalm 32 and Psalm 51. David cries out “Against You, You only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight.” (51:4) And again, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” (51:17) We can see his heart and we can see that he was a broken man. In contrast, we read about the do

Tuesday Devotion: How to Be a Wise and Godly Leader (Nehemiah 2)

The book of Nehemiah is an encouraging book to read because it describes a season of restoration and revival for God’s people. Nehemiah is a great example of wise and godly leadership. When this book starts, we know that the Israelites had been scattered outside Jerusalem and were living in exile after it had been attacked by Nebuchadnezzar’s army. The city and its walls had been demolished. Nehemiah was living in Susa (current day Iran) some one hundred and fourty years later, serving King Artaxerxes as his cupbearer. 1. Prayer and repentance. In Chapter 1 we read about how upset Nehemiah was when he heard the news about how the city remained in ruins with the walls broken down, and how the Jews who had returned to the province were in great trouble and disgrace because they had no safe place to live. The interesting thing about this is how Nehemiah responded to the news. He mourned and fasted and he prayed. He confessed his sins and the sins of the people. He remembered the many w

Sermon Series: Equip The Saints - Prophecies and Speaking in Tongues

Good afternoon, church! Today we are blessed with the message on the studies of 1 Corinthians 12 - 14. Have a blessed CNY and stay safe. God bless!

Saturday Devotion: Ezra 9 - 10

This passage relates to the exiled Israelites who had returned after Babylonian Captivity. It was reported that many of them including many priests and Levites had taken foreign wives, something God has expressly forbidden in Deuteronomy 7:3. God had commanded them not to marry pagans. Ezra did not stand idle. He tore his clothes, pulled some hair from his head and went into a public posture of mourning (9:5). Ezra communicates to all people the seriousness of this act and his complete disapproval of it. Ezra then prayed a prayer of confession. What would have happened if Ezra did not react the way he did? Perhaps, the sinful behavior would have continued. But Ezra did not take it lightly, as a leader, he showed his disapproval. As a result of Ezra’s actions, people gathered around him, see their own sins and wept bitterly over them (10.1). Shecaniah (10:2), confesses the sin and proposes to Ezra that the people make a covenant to correct the sin. What I draw from this passage is tha

Thursday Devotion: L O V E (1 Corinthians 13:1-8).

This is a very familiar passage that almost every believer knows. This same passage is often used for wedding sermons, printed onto cards, posters, fridge magnets, t-shirts and many more.  It is a chapter about what love is. From this passage, we can gather that LOVE is vital, and it is absolutely necessary to have love in our life as everything that we do needs love. Here, Paul was telling the Corinthians of their need to have love for one another because love matters far more than their spiritual gifts. He was showing them the right way to exercise their spiritual gifts mentioned in chapter 12 as they were competing with each other as to whose spiritual gifts are greater. What is this ‘LOVE’ that Paul is talking about? He stated that love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil, rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always persev

Tuesday Devotion: Diverse ministries and identities but one Body in Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-26)

The Christian church is perhaps the most international, varied body of people in the whole world.   We are in every nation, and we are called to speak the good news of Jesus Christ to every person alive. Verse 18 indicates, our diversity is God’s plan for the church. God has given us many types of gifts, ministries and points of view. However as human nature is in a fallen selfish, immature state, we have to guard against the danger of excluding different groups. Examples of these are differing preferred theological positions, nation groups, age groups or interests. Sometimes, there is a danger people become so focused on their own point of view, ministry, personality traits or theological position that they begin to despise others. Paul describes this situation in his analogy in verses 15 onwards. People with for example, pastoring (or other gifts) prioritise this ministry and may not be so focused on other important ministries. We need to be aware of this tendency in ourselves. We

#SermonSeries: Equip The Saint - Q/A Panel (1 Corinthians 10)

Good morning, church! Today we are doing a panel of Q/A session on 1 Corinthians 10. Have a blessed Sunday and stay safe. God bless!

Saturday Devotion: I Corinthians 11:27-34

Did you watch or listen to Timothy Chin, our youth who shared the devotion yesterday? Today’s devotion is a continuation of yesterday’s thought. Paul is correcting problems in the church in Corinth. Among many churches described in the New Testament, probably the most troublesome church was the Corinthians church due to the conflict among church members. We were reminded to examine ourselves and prepare our hearts before we walk our way to receive the Lord’s supper. It is about an unworthy manner, not an unworthy man. I Corinthians11: 27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup In Verse 28 Paul tells the Corinth’s, that they should examine themselves before eating the bread and drinking the cup, the Lord's Supper" (v. 28) Paul didn't say, "examine others", but "

Thursday Devotion: Who is Your Head? (1 Corinthians 11:1 - 17)

“But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” (verse 3) Introduction : Today’s reading (1 Corinthians 11:1-17) has caused many divisions in churches with regards to men’s and women’s roles in the Church. It has been used by many church es to insist that women are not permitted to be in key leadership positions. In certain denominations, this passage has led to the formation of the doctrine that women are required to cover their heads during church worship. When studying this text, Paul is addressing the use of head coverings in worship that was commonly practiced in the Hellenistic culture in Corinth. This passage is to be understood in the context of marriage, church worship and Hellenism in the 1 st century A.D . (Please read the brief context in the comment) Christ, the Church and Worship While it may sound like Paul was being a sexist, it is clear after careful study, that he was def

Tuesday Devotion: Flee from Idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14 - 22)

Paul was warning the Corinthian church against falling into idolatry. Some members of the church were eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols in the pagan temples. Paul warned against this because participating in any of the rituals in the temple, including eating at the table with temple worshippers, meant that Christians were involving themselves in idolatrous practices. Here, Paul uses the sharing of communion and fellowship with other believers to demonstrate his point to them. When we share bread and wine with other believers, this is a symbolic participation in the body of Christ. It is not the kind of food or wine that is important, but the participation of it by the church members in fellowship together. Similarly, it was not the sacrificed meat that was the problem but the act of sharing this meat and participating in rituals with the idol worshippers in the temple. We cannot be faithful to one God but at the same time participate in the worship of other ‘gods’ or idols.