Day 203

by Rev Joel Yong

Jeremiah 12:1
O LORD, even if I would argue my case with you, you would always be right. Yet, I want to talk to you about your justice. Why do wicked people succeed? Why do treacherous people have peace and quiet?

Job knows that there are things he may not fully understand and his argument may be flawed.

But yet he is perplexed that the unjust seem to prevail.
He cannot help but ask God “Why?”

Note that Job asks this – in the context of his own suffering. He wonders why he who is “less wicked” is suffering so badly while the “more wicked” ones don’t seem to be.

Have you ever been there?

If so, I’d like to assure you that such frustration is normal.

We live in a fallen world.
It is not what God intended it to be.
Since sin and evil entered our world, it is but a deformed reflection of the world God created in the Genesis account – the world He saw as ‘good’.

In this world, bodies break down, people betray the trust they have been given, and evil seems to prevail and escape punishment.

While we may feel like Job- let us also remember what Job first confessed – that God knows the full picture.

My friend, He knows what you are going through and what the evil are doing.
He also knows what He has got planned for you at the end of this journey.

My advice?
Hang in there.
Trust Him. The One who loves you, is still in control.

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Worth

by Rev Lai Kai Ming

Readings: John 3:22-4:3; Proverbs 3:16-18

READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
John 3:25-26
Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!”

REFLECT
It is interesting to note that ministry competition is not a recent phenomenon! Because of a dispute, people started going to Jesus instead of John. And some Jews (most likely the Pharisees, cf. 4:1), seizing the opportunity to sow some ministry discord, went to tell John about it. To their surprise, John readily accepted the “loss”, and affirmed Jesus’ person and work instead!

RELATE
How easy it is for us to be discouraged by the success of others. And there will always be some who delight in stirring strife and causing envy. If I am not sure about my identity and calling, then someone else’s glory makes me glum and grumpy. Learning from John the Baptist, the next time I am tempted to discount another man’s success – I will take the opportunity to affirm his work, and encourage his soul. In so doing, I might just deepen a friendship, and my own soul would certainly be strengthened.

REST
In You, Lord, I find my worth. Help me to rejoice when another man is blessed.

Day 202

by Rev Joel Yong

Jeremiah 11:1-4
This is the message that the LORD spoke to Jeremiah. He said, “Listen to the terms of this promise, and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem. Say to them, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Cursed is anyone who doesn’t listen to the terms of this promise. I made this promise to your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, which was an iron smelter. I said, “Obey me, and do everything that I have told you to do. Then you will be my people, and I will be your God.

The most important proof of our relationship with God is that we obey Him.

It’s not about showing Him photo proof or certificate that we have church membership or that we underwent a baptism event.

The thief on the cross was welcomed into Heaven despite being unable to get down off the cross and do anything else!

With all his heart, he believed in who Jesus was and what Jesus could do for him!
But for the rest of us- with years to spare- we would do well to consider, “What does it mean to say ‘I believe in You Jesus’?”

Is the way we live our life and the words we profess, consistent?

Saying “You alone are God” and AT THE SAME TIME living as if He alone is God- is the kind of relationship God desires to have with us.

Think about it – for a man to say “You are the only one for me.” to his professed love, whilst running around with other women – what does that do??

Day 201

by Rev Joel Yong

Jeremiah 10:2-7
This is what the LORD says: Don’t learn the practices of the nations. Don’t be frightened by the signs in the sky because the nations are frightened by them. The religion of the people is worthless. Woodcutters cut down trees from the forest. The hands of craftsmen prepare them with axes. Craftsmen decorate them with silver and gold and fasten them together with hammers and nails so that they won’t fall over. These trees are like scarecrows in cucumber gardens. They aren’t able to speak. They have to be carried, because they can’t walk. Don’t be afraid of them. They can’t harm you. They can’t do you any good either. No one is like you, O LORD. You are great. Your name is powerful. Everyone fears you, O King of the Nations. This is what you deserve. No one is like you among all the wise people in the nations or in all their kingdoms.

The Israelites were purposed to be God’s light – living a way of life that exemplified what it meant to follow God.
They were meant to STAND OUT for God.

But instead of doing so, they became just like the surrounding nations.
They followed in their idolatrous ways.

It’s a lesson we should pay attention to, even today.
Have we become like the rest?
Or do we stand out for God?

Now I don’t mean – that we stick out like a sore thumb in society.
But we need to hold on to the distinctives of our faith- and ALL of it rather than some.

For example – the Bible teaches us about a Truth- Love balance.
We speak truth and yet show love.

For example-
If we only hold onto the distinctive of love (ignoring truth) , then we end up saying “It’s okay- God will understand.” when it’s not so – and that such a way of living will destroy a person and our society.

Then we cease to shine as the light that God calls us to be- condoning sin and misleading the people around us.

But if we only hold onto the distinctive of truth (ignoring love) then we would be overly concerned about being right all the time and the expense of not exemplifying the love that God teaches us to show!

Then we cease to resemble our Lord Jesus and present an inaccurate picture of His Good News for the world!

That Jesus came to bring us life and life in abundance!
Life change is possible through Jesus Christ our Lord, Son of God and Savior of the world!
He died that our mistakes might not have a hold over us and we can live a transformed life through the power of the Spirit.