31/3: What Has Been, What Will Be

Ps 98:1-9

Reflection:
God has saved His people, Israel from Egypt in the past. God has saved and is saving us from evil now and in the future will completely save us when He comes again. This salvation not only allows us to come to God directly and enjoying His presence, it also gives us hope in the future that He will come to judge the world and remove all the evil in this world.

Application:
Continue to trust God in His power and sovereignty. Stay joyful because of who our God is and what He will do in time to come and constantly praise Him for salvation and wonderful things God has done in my life.

Living Out God’sWill

Romans 12:1-2
NIV
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
NLT
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
AMP
12 Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].
MSG
1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
To live out God’s will (plan and purpose for you) means you need to
1) make a decision to set ourselves apart for God
2) make a decision to not conform to this world
3) be transformed by continuously changing the way we think
How do we achieve 3?
a. read the bible to understand how God thinks
b. pray for God to help us to understand how God thinks and also to help us to not conform to this world
c. listening to sermons. this allows us to constantly be reminded of God’s word and be challenged by it.
d. having spiritual conversations. i.e. like what we had today and in cell groups. Talk and discuss more about God and decisions in which you think you are not sure whether it is pleasing to God or not. And share your struggles with one another so that you will also know that you are not alone.

30/3: Hate Evil, Love God

Ps 97:1-12
Interpretation:
Characteristics of God
Mystery (v2). Righteousness (v2,6). Justice (v2,8). Victory (v3). Majesty (v4,5). Glory (v6). Honour (v9). Deliverer (v10).
Characteristics of God’s People
Rejoice. Joyful. Be glad. Love God. Hate evil. Faithful. Upright. Righteous. Offer praises to God.
Reflection:
With such a great God, how can I not be joyful and praise Him? He is on my side so nothing can be against me. Neither the devil nor sin has any power or authority over me.
Prayer:
Dear God, help me to always focus on You and not on my abilities to live my life. Let me be reminded of how powerful and victorious You are and not focus only on my weaknesses and limitations. Pray that every fear that I have will turn to courage in the light of victory.

God opening up Doors

Just something to share that I was really blessed today.

I was wanting to meet up with Bishop to share my desire to go Alphacrusis College to study theology/ministry. I was afraid cause Bishop, and other Reverends all advised me previously to study in TTC cause they all feel that studying in a local college would be better cause of the culture and also the people that I would work together in the future and also the exposure to the local churches will be better for me if I were to be in full time ministry all my life. I also worried that if I were to study overseas and not ‘listen’ to them then I might not get any support from All Saints’ Church, which would be quite a disappointing thing for me cause I still have a heart to serve the church.

Surprisingly though, the meet-up with Bishop was amazing. Bishop was open to listening to my desire to go to Hillsong (He doesn’t know the difference between Alphacrusis College and Hillsong) to study, and that he will ask the manpower dept to support me with the amount similar to what they would if I were to study locally. And the rest I would need to top it up myself. But he also asked me what I would do if I decide not to come back. I told him that I would return the money to church if I decide not to come back. He was very open to it and said he’ll discuss with the manpower dept in July/Aug this year and settle it just in case he will be moved out of ASC. I’m so glad that he’s open to this and hopefully for the next generation of youths who want to study what God wants them to, the church will be more open to that as well. God is really opening up doors for me to go overseas and study theology. And I’m really thankful for it.

28/3: Reason To Worship

Ps 95:1-11

Reflection:
God is described as the Rock of our salvation, the great King above all gods, who created the earth, who is our Creator, and our Shepherd. The psalmist wanted to remind them of the what their ancestors did, how their hearts have gone astray even though they have witnessed God’s miraculous powers in Egypt.

Application:
Always remind myself of the things God has done in my life (it’s difficult cause I’m forgetful). And to continue to trust in Him and not to complain when things turn out bad and lose faith in God. I realize that I’m not so easily discouraged, but I’m easily heartbroken. I’m heartbroken when I see people stray from God, when people lose sight of who God is because of the people and things around them that discourage them. I’m also heartbroken when people don’t value their lives because God created us to be so precious and in His image. I realized that when I’m heartbroken because of them I turn to God so much more than I used to. I turn to God to ask Him to strengthen me and to use to me to lift people up and to be Jesus to them. I know I’m not perfect but God can use me because he is my rock, my great God, and my Shepherd. And when I see people getting encouraged when I spend time with them, I have more and more reasons to worship this true and living God.

27/3: God’s Unseen Help

Ps 94:16-23

Interpretation
The psalmist was able to rejoice in times of suffering because God’s love supported Him, and God’s consolation brought him joy. God has become His fortress and His refuge. He knows that God is just and will uphold justice in the end.

Reflection
God has been my refuge and strength in my ministry. I have been trying my best to listen to God and obeying Him when I do ministry so when I’m misunderstood I am better able to trust God in guiding me through. I do get disappointed when I see leaders in the ministry feeling cynical or stagnant or lost even when things in church are changing for the better. God has been my encouragement through all these, and definitely there are people who have been encouraging me on this journey as well. I do pray for more people to see what God has for ASC, and to have greater faith to trust that He will make it happen through our limited resources.

25/3: When Injustice Comes

Ps 94:1-15

Interpretation
Discipline from God is a sign of His love. It is precisely that we are His people that He disciplines us. The purpose of discipline is so that we can live a life that has less trouble. The promise from God is that God will not abandon us cause we are His inheritance.
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” – Heb 12:11 NLT

Reflection
I need to be prepared for discipline when it comes. I need to remind myself of the purpose and outcome in times of pain and discomfort.