3/6: You Belong To God

1 Kings 17:17-24

Reflection:
The widow was quick to forget the daily food provision that God provided her and her son with food or maybe she thought that the miracle was for Elijah and she and her son was just benefitting from it. Once the tragedy of her son dying struck her, she blamed Elijah/God because she thought God might be punishing her for her sin by killing her son. However, we see God have mercy on this widow by bringing her son back from the dead. This helped the widow to see the truth about Elijah and God.

Application:
I was reminded to take note of all the small miracles that happen around me and not let the problems/issues of my life overwhelm me and try to put the blame on others or on God. I recalled a book that I read that reminded me to think that every problem that I have is a potential miracle waiting to happen. That allows me to pray differently, and with the faith that God is moving and will change things. Let me be more like Elijah, to trust in God more and more and go to God always because He loves me and His mercies and indeed new every morning.

1/6: Training to Depend on God

1 Kings 17:1-7

Reflection:
Elijah was asked to leave from where he was, go and hide in the place that God wanted him to. That was the place where God provided him bread and meat using the ravens in the morning and evening and provided him water using the brook. God provided water for him while the land was having neither dew nor rain.

Elijah was able to see God’s miracles because he moved from his comfort zone (where he was born) to a place where God commanded him to. The place where God called Elijah was Kerith, and that meant “cutting” or “separation”. It probably has the meaning that God wanting Elijah to be separated from the people of Israel who were worshipping idols. This was a place where he needed to be completely dependent on God.

Coming into full-time ministry for me was a step that I took when God asked me to and I have been seeing God performing miracles in my life and in people’s lives. It is also a place where I had to depend a lot on God, because I know if I am doing things that are not from God, I will cause more harm to His people than good. It’s only when I depend on Him that I will continue to see miracles and breakthroughs in people’s lives.

Prayer:
Dear God, I pray that I’ll stay dependent on You in everything that I do, everyone that I meet and everything that I say to them. I pray that I’ll be prepared to step into new ground, new places, new challenges when you ask me to. To trust that You will provide for all my needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Phil 4:19

31/5: The Blessings from Fearing God

Psalm 103:15-22

Reflection/Application:
Am I going to leave behind a legacy or a vacancy? When I live a life of obedience to God, God will bless the work of my hands and allow me to leave a legacy of love and obedience that will last generations. However, if I live a life that indulges in my own selfish desires and wants, then I would leave behind a vacancy (v2 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place rememebers it no more).

I need to use the life that I have to obey God, to establish His kingdom in my life, my family’s lives and the lives of the people around me. To live a life that is fully dependent on Him, so that others can do the same. I’m reminded of the verse Matt 6:33 to seek first His Kindgom and His righteousness, and all the things I need will be given to me.

“28 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
– Matt 6:28-34

30/5: Blessings to Remember

Psalm 103:1-14

Interpretation:
In v1-2, the Psalmist encourages us to praise the Lord with our heart and soul, and remember the good things God has done for us.

In v3-6, the Psalmist records all the good things
1. forgives all our sins
2. heals our diseases
3. redeems our life from the pit
4. crowns us with love and compassion
5. satisfies our desires with good things
6. youth renewed like the eagle
7. works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed

In v7, God is a God who reveals Himself, to Moses and to the people of Israel

In v8-9, the Psalmist writes down the characteristics of God
A. compassionate
B. gracious
C. slow to anger
D. abounding in love
E. not always accuse
F. not harbour anger forever

v10-12 talks about the extent of His mercy, His love, and His forgiveness
Mercy: does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities
Love: love for us is as high as the heavens above
Forgiveness: removed our transgressions as far as the east is from the west

The Psalmist concludes that our God is like a compassionate Father to us, who we are since the day we are formed.

Application:
When I read the Old Testament last time, I do get an idea that God is judgemental, always punishing His people when they do wrong. It can be quite scary. But when David writes a Psalm like this, it makes you question the impression of God in your head. Our God is such a compassionate, gracious and loving God and does all the good things in v3-6 for His people. Indeed Jesus came to reveal the Father’s heart to us. When I think of Jesus and His time on earth, indeed He revealed who God is to us so that we can better understand who our God is. And once I know how wonderful God is, I will not fail to give thanks and praises to our God.

God of All Comfort

– 2 Cor 1:3-11 (NLT)

“3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.
– God is our merciful Father and that is why He wants to comfort us
– God is the source of all our comfort, even when our friends comfort us, God is using their willing hearts to comfort us

4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
– There is no need for comfort if we do not have troubles
– We are comforted by God so that we can offer comfort to those in need. We need to offer comfort to non-Christians who do not know God. We also need to offer comfort to Christians who are far away from God.
– We can only comfort others when we ourselves have been comforted by God.

5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
– When we go through more troubles and suffering, God will shower on us even more comfort. He will not allow us to go through something we are not able to bear.
– When we comfort others, they will be able to go through sufferings like we did.
– Our sufferings and troubles are not unique. Everybody goes through suffering and troubles like we do.

8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.”
– Relying on God and depending on Him is the way through all troubles and suffering. Our faith will grow once we start to place our confidence in Him and seeing Him come through in our circumstances.

– 2 Cor 1:3-11 (NLT)

29/5: Through God’s Eyes

Ps 102:23-28

Reflection:
“You stood before creation, eternity in your hand” – The Stand, Hillsong United.

It comforts me to know that our God is one that has eternity in His hands, that this life is not the only life that I should be limiting my perspective in. I remember the time that a preacher encouraged me that when we pray for Christians to be healed, we can pray in faith because it will be answered all the time. God wants to heal us, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Even if we pray for a Christian to be healed, and eventually he passes away, he will be healed because he will be given a new body. So no matter what happens, God’s healing will prevail. That’s why we can continue to hope even in times of troubles, for our God is an eternal God.

Application:
I’m reminded of these verses. To fix our eyes on things that cannot be seen.

“8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
– 2 Cor 4:8-10, 16-18 (NLT)

Devotion with Choir

35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” – Luke 6:35-38

In v35, Jesus talked about loving your enemies and doing good to them. I don’t know whether you think this is an impossible task or whether it’s possible. It is a crazy thing to ask of us, but Jesus reminded us that it is possible because we are made in the image of God and that only by God’s strength that we can do it.

A lot of times we rely on our own strength to do things. We rely on our wisdom, what we have learnt, our experience, what we have done before to do things. Is there any part of our lives that we really need God? For me, I will always have an area in my life that requires God to perform His miracle for it to happen and I will continuously pray for it. Cause sometimes when I pray, it’s just a ritual and just commit to God because I should be praying. So if loving your enemy is something that is hard, continue to draw close to God and pray for strength.

V43 says “因为没有好树结坏果子,也没有坏树结好果子”. So only if you are constantly having a relationship with God, then you will be able to produce the right fruit in your life.
Application: Would be to establish a good relationship with God. So it is not having good behaviour -> good relationship with God, it is having a good relationship with God -> good behaviour.

In v37, it’s talking about judging others, condemning others and forgiving others, and I think we know that we shouldn’t judge, condemn and we need to forgive people. But it’s really hard isn’t it? It’s really hard to do that sometimes.

“我们是我们自己最坏的评论家”

There is one mother’s day video that showed how a mother was unsure about how she was doing as a mother and wished that she could have always done more for her sons and daughters. This is the way we treat ourselves and that’s how we would treat others as well. Sometimes to our spouses, or to our sons and daughters. We always think we are not enough and must be doing more. That will lead us to think that people around us are not doing enough and must do more.
Application: Don’t judge yourself, condemn yourself and learn to forgive ourselves.