Romans 6:13

by Rev Joel Yong

Romans 6:13 reminds us “Give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.”

There is no partial following of Christ. We either follow Him wholly or not at all. On Stewardship Sunday, let’s lay all we have – our body, our resources, our time, our finances, our talents before God for His use and His Kingdom’s work. Before these were ours, they were His – He gave them to us.

What Legacy?

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33; Proverbs 20:19

READ (Verses chosen for reflection)
2 Chronicles 33:22-23 “And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, as Manasseh his father had done. Amon sacrificed to all the images that Manasseh his father had made, and served them.  And he did not humble himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself, but this Amon incurred guilt more and more.”

REFLECT  
What is significant for me is that Amon sinned upon what the father (Manasseh) had left behind. Even though the father repented; his son did not manage to do so. When I passed on from this world; what would I leave behind? Would it be possessions which cause my children to sin or to be blessed in the Lord? Would it be teachings that cause my children to prosper in Christ or that which cause them to linger in disastrous habits? Would it be a life journal which help them to journey with God; or would it stir them towards unbelief?

RELATE
A real life story was told to me that a father had a hidden stash of pornographic materials. It wasn’t left behind for his children, but they discovered it. Unsurprisingly, the children grow to sin like the father. We often hear of “generational sin” which suggest that children are bound to inherit the “seed” of their parents’ particular sins. Hence, a parent who loves to gamble will pass the “generational sin” of gambling to their children. I am not convinced of such an argument. What I know for certain is that if parents are careless and indifferent about our faith in Christ; then there is a high probability that our children will sin upon what we left behind or failed to do.

REST
Lord, may you help us as parents to leave behind a legacy which will help our children to grow in the faith. Such a legacy does not merely count on what is done towards the end of our lives, but what is done throughout our lives. Help us as children also to know that in Christ, we can overcome whatever sins that we may have carried from our parents’ legacy. Have mercy O God and save us. Amen.

Psalm 119:18

by Rev Joel Yong

Psalm 119:18 says “Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.”

We are often distracted by many things in life. May we learn to spend time poring over the Word of God on a daily basis. In doing so, may our lives be transformed day by day into His likeness and we grow from strength to strength.

True Harmony

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Reading: Romans 15:1-22; Psalm 25:1-15

READ (Verses chosen for reflection)
Romans 15:5-6 “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

REFLECT
“Harmony” is a beautiful word. It speaks of people coming together in agreement and order. It speaks of people playing different roles and yet working towards similar objectives. However, there are times when the word or idea of “harmony” is misused to fulfil personal needs; or when we find it troublesome to confront the truth. This is especially so when “harmony” is rooted in our own flesh; rather than what is suggested in Romans 15:5 to be “in accord with Christ Jesus”. The Apostle Paul was not suggesting that the people of God must agree with one another at the expense of biblical truth. Rather, he was suggesting that we find “harmony” with one another according to the Person and teachings of Jesus Christ.

RELATE
There was a time when I was asked to forgo the seeking of truth with a fellow brother in Christ for the sake of “harmony”. I thought on it and found that indeed, it was so much easier to seek “harmony” than to confront. Yet, when I thought of the reality that my Lord Jesus Christ would die on the Cross in order to provide me with the truth; how then can I forsake the truth in order to preserve my own skin? Would I also prefer that someone tell me the truth (no matter how painful) rather than hide it for the sake of “harmony”? In the end, I chose to confront my fellow brother in Christ for the truth in love. It was a painful process but the end result was that transformation took place. True harmony does not forsake the teachings of Christ; anything other than that are tempting whispers from the evil one.

REST
Lord God, may you give us the courage and love to seek harmony according to the ways of Christ. This is so that the Body of Christ can be truly united with one voice to glorify God. Amen.

Ecclesiastes 5:10

by Rev Joel Yong

Ecclesiastes 5:10 tells us “Those who love money will never have enough How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!”

Only God can give a person true happiness. This is because we are beings that are not just physical, but emotional, and spiritual as well. Only our Creator can bring us true fulfillment in life. Come to Him today.

Going to the Chief Shepherd

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Reading: Romans 13:1-14; Psalm 23:1-6

READ (Verses chosen for reflection)
Psalm 23:3 “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

REFLECT
With the Lord as our Shepherd, our souls are able to be restored and we can be led in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. The problem is not whether we recognise the Lord as our Shepherd, but whether we want to go to Him even though we know that He is our Shepherd. Even when our souls are wretched from committing sin again and again, suffering near burn-out from work or wandering away in unbelief; we can be so hard-hearted as to hold on to our position and not want to go to the Shepherd.

RELATE
I spoke with a group of Life Group Leaders today on the idea of shepherding. Unlike what is portrayed in some movies (green grass, blue sky, docile lamb), shepherding is probably one of the toughest job in the world. A shepherd needs to learn how to work tirelessly under harsh conditions; cope with the possible loss of sheep to wolves, diseases or hypothermia; and going after sheep that would wander off or escape despite the best precautions. An experienced shepherd said that a person would need at least 40 years to complete apprenticeship in order to be recognised as a “true shepherd of the flock”.

In some ways, shepherding God’s people is similar to shepherding sheep in the mountains. It is hard work and takes a lot of emotional strength and patience.  More importantly it requires a heart of humility to seek God. No matter if we are the shepherds of God’s flock in the family, church or workplace, we need to learn to go to the Chief Shepherd regularly. This is because He is able to restore our souls and lead us in paths of righteousness.

REST
Chief Shepherd, may You help us, as Your under shepherds, to cultivate a heart of humility and surrender to go to you regularly for sustenance and spiritual nourishment. This is so we can journey well with those You have entrusted to our care. Amen.

Proverbs 17:17

by Rev Joel Yong

Proverbs 17:17 teaches us “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born of help in time of need.”

Do we consider ourselves friends of others – just because we are with them in celebratory moments and painful moments? What about being there for our friends – for an eternity? I long to walk into eternity with those I call my friends. Consider how to bring a friend, a step closer to Christ today!