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Showing posts from October, 2021

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

Build and Pray (Jude 1:20 ‭-‬ 21)

"But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life." I was extremely anxious on my daughter's first day at school. I was not sure if she’ll be alright without her parents being near her. My little girl’s hand was firmly clasped in mine as we crossed the threshold of her classroom. And guess what? I was not alone. A dozen others, parents like myself, were as anxious as I was. Jude, like an anxious parent, was very concerned for God’s children. He was concerned for their salvation and eternal life. He knew that they had faith, but there were also many threats that they would face that could harm their faith, thus their eternal life (v.19). To this, Jude urged the Christians: keep yourself in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life . But how were they to do i

Finish Strong (Jude 1: 5 - 11)

We now see a world that embraces a culture that is drifting further and further away from the truth of God's word; we see more churches, pastors, and believers lay down their bibles and embrace the world's teachings; and we grieve the many Christian leaders who have abandoned their high calling in Christ to instead teach or seek sexual sins in order to please themselves. The Book of Jude is placed as the Bible's second last book, with its unique warnings and encouragement for end-time believers are fitting for us to finish strong as Christians. Jude writes about the danger of false teachers. In verses 5 – 11, he gave examples from the Old Testament to show the wrong beliefs and actions of these teachers. To teach wicked ideas and actions will certainly bring God’s severe punishment on people like that. The God who saves can certain also destroy those who do not believe.  God rescued the people of Israel from Egypt but afterwards destroyed those who did not trust Him (v.6).

Help, Hinder or Honour? (3 John 1:1 - 14)

3rd John is a private letter between the Apostle John and a Christian named Gaius. It provides glimpses into the character of three different men in the early church, from whom we can learn our lessons today. A man who helped God’s work: Gaius Gaius, the recipient of this letter, is John’s friend (3 John 1:1). John calls this man a “dear/ beloved friend” (verses 1, 2, and 11). Gaius is commended for his hospitality to traveling preachers of the gospel (verses 5, 6 and 8); for his faithfulness (verse 5); for his love (verse 6); and for walking in the truth (verse 3).  That is probably why John Bunyan, needing a name for his innkeeper in The Pilgrim’s Progress, chose the name “Gaius.” Gaius’s means “happy” or “one who rejoices,” and Gaius seem to have known the joy that comes from serving the Lord and walked in the truth. John says “I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth” (v 3).  Gaius was also generous and loving to

Protect the Truth (2 John 1:7 - 13)

7 I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.12 I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.13 The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings. As I begin this devotion, I want to ask a question DO YOU KNOW THE TRUTH ? I am sure you all know that Bible is the true word of God and our foundation is bui

Prayer First (1 John 5:14 - 21)

When COVID-19 gripped the world in 2020, we not only heard stories of how the hospitals or economies were struggling, but churches were also struggling to make sure that everyone was still connected and united. Even within churches, cases of domestic abuse and unmarried couples cohabitating due to lockdown were becoming a trend almost simultaneously with the rise of positive COVID-19 cases.  During last Sunday’s service, Pastor Tim shared how almost 78,000 divorces were recorded nation-wide in Malaysia since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak began. As humans, our first instinct would be to pass judgments on these couples, turn to the next person to gossip or even look at ourselves and think if we were in their shoes, surely we would be able to do better than them.   Yet, in John, he reminds us that if anyone sees his brother sinning, ask and He will give him life (verse 16). When we see a brother or sister in sin, John tells us the first thing to do is to pray for the person. All too ofte

1 John 5:1 - 5

Loving God and obeying his command When one believes that Jesus Christ is Lord and places is his faith in him, everything should change. It is not just merely an intellectual exercise but a transformation of our minds and hearts as His Spirit lives in us. The inner transformation must be accompanied by an outer display of love for others and love for God’s commands. John was probably writing at a time when there were people who claimed to be Christians but did not have love for their brothers and sisters in Christ. It is no different from today. Many call themselves Christians but disobey God and says things contrary to God’s commands. To love God is to obey his commandments. Normally, when one thinks of commandments, one thinks of instructions or orders and there is no joy in carrying those commandments out. Yet, John tells us that God’s commands are not burdensome. Only when we trust God and place our faith in him then we can understand what John is saying. The Scottish minister, W

Thursday Devotion: 1 JOHN 4:12-16

12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us. He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. Amen. In today’s passage of just 5 verses, the Apostle John repeated over and over again the words, “God lives in us” and “we live in Him.” I believe he wants to give all believers the assurance of this abiding relationship with God. The day that we acknowledge who Jesus is and accepted Him as our Lord and Savior, He (the Holy Spirit) has come in to stay. He has personally taken up residence in us. He lives in every believer. God in us and we in God. As we continue to walk with Him faithfu

Can You Tell The Truth From Lies? (1 John 4:1 - 6)

There is a game call "Truth and Lies' where a person shares 3 things of himself but one of the 3 is a lie and the others is guess which is the lie. It's an icebreaker game to get to know one another. 1 John 4:1 - 6 tells of lies and it is not a game and it affects our salvation in Christ. It tells of the end time where the anti-Christ is active is using lies to trap believers.  Today it is more real than ever. Truth has been made to look bad. Lies has been made to look like normal or even beautiful. In church it is not surprising that prosperity is preached as Gospel Truth, e.g., if you are a real Christian you should prosper materially. In the world, sex outside marriage is a norm and if you are against it, you are 'out of touch'. The amount of information online is not just endless but also you cannot tell the truth from the lies. Opinion is made to be facts. Truth is made to look 'out of date ' or judgmental.  After a while no one bothers about truth. As

The Original Love (1 John 3:11 - 15)

Be ready for a confusing devotion. I will explain at the end.  John brings us back to Genesis, before sin, "... you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another ..." When it says that God created human beings in His image, one of the meanings is that we are relational being. Another way of putting it is we are made for relationship. We are to relate to God and one another.  The next thing you want to pick up is that relationship is simply define as loving one another. There is no otherwise. Human only had capacity to love in relationship. There was no room for hatred. In fact there was no such thing as hatred. Hatred came in only when Adam and Eve sinned against God. God made us for relationship and to love God and people. It was perfect love. No such thing as hurting one another,  talking bad, jealousy, impatience,  unkindness, ... and hatred.  Imagine there was no such thing as forgiveness because there was no wrong against one another.  But ... when sin entere

I am like my Father (1 John 2:28 - 3:6)

Here it highlights our identity as believers, that we are children of God. Then it tells us the significance of being children, we are loved (3:1) and we grow into the likeness of Christ (3:2). In a class the teacher asks the students what do they want to be when they grow up. One by one, each raises hand in excitement to tell the teacher what they want to be. Artist, engineer, doctor, teacher and fireman make it into the list. All has raised their hand except for little Kelvin. Kelvin is a shy and quiet boy. The teacher asks him, "Do you need any help?" He shyly answers, "No, thank you. I know what I want to be when I grow up.... I want just to be like my father." Silence. Then he goes on, "I want just to be like my father, strong, caring, always there for mommy and I. He does chores in the house to help mommy. He sings with me, plays with me, prays with me, hugs me when I cry ... He is my hero. When I grow up I just want be like him." 1 John 2:28-3:6

Do Not Love The World (1 John 2: 15 – 17)

Today's passage from John's first letter serves as a good reminder to all of us about how we should relate to “the world" that is, the non-Christian environment that we live in. While we live and breathe, we have no choice but to live in the world. In general, the world, that God created, is good or, at least, that is how He intended it to be. However, this world has been tainted by sin. While there is still beauty and much that is good in the world, we must remember, by the grace of God, that the world's goals and values are not those of Christ, and should not be those of his followers.  Verse 15 begins with a command “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him”. In other words, the reason you shouldn’t love the world is that you can’t love the world and God at the same time. Love for the world pushes out love for God, and love for God pushes out love for the world.  I am sure most of us know that we

1 John 1

For the next few weeks, we’re going to be walking through this epistle, 1 John .  There are times when it’s hard for us to believe that the authors of the Scriptures actually were real people.  The author of 1 John is John.  He had some pretty unique experiences in his life.  He was one of the best friends of Jesus while Jesus walked the earth.  He was one of the twelve disciples; who leaned right on Jesus.   John’s writing to a group of churches that are in the region of Ephesus, here’s what he says:  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life…  (1 John 1:1-2) Step into Fellowship with God When John says, “We’ve heard him.  We’ve seen him.  We’ve touched him,” he emphasizes, Jesus actually came! He lived!  He actually walked and talked with John!     1 John 1:3-4 — That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship