Worshipers and Doubters – TWC Daily Devotional – Saturday 29 August 2015

The first disciples of Jesus spent three years listening to the Master’s teaching, watching Him work signs and wonders, perform miracles, and love people. They were amazed by both His words and His works. They were convinced that He was the Son of God especially after the resurrection. Yet, at this point in Mt.28:16,17 when the eleven disciples went to Galilee to meet Jesus at the mountain just before the ascension, when they saw Him, some worshiped and others doubted! We might think that it was ridiculous that any of them should doubt Jesus – who He was and what He did and was doing. I agree it was ridiculous, but even more ridiculous is the fact that many who call ourselves Christians today are no different from those doubting disciples in Mt.28! We sing about how great He is, how holy He is, how He loves people, how He came to save the lost and how we want to be like Him and surrender our lives to Him, yet we walk out of church each week unchanged. Many amongst us are so often not committed to holiness, nor His work, nor any sacrificial service towards one another, nor the work of saving souls, etc. We say in church, “God, it’s all about You” but we walk right out and live afterwards as though it’s all about us! What have we become? The truth is many Christians today have become a self-indulgent people. There are different degrees of this self-indulgence in everyone of us, myself included. And we have to do something about it. As we walk with the Lord today, maybe we should ask ourselves if we are the worshipers or the doubters. How committed are we to living everyday reflecting that it is indeed all about Him, not us? It is so easy to dress nice and smell good going to church each Sunday isn’t it? But what about rolling up our sleeves and getting serious in God’s work? What about reaching out and ministering to those who are quite different from us whether it is in their socio-economic background, or in the way they behave in church? “The light that shines furthest shines brightest at home”, said Oswald J Smith in his book, The Challenge of Missions. So let us not only love non-believers but also fellow church members. Let us minister not only to those outside church but also to those inside church. Let our light shine brightly at home, and the brighter we shine at home, the further we will also shine in society. Have a great day!  

Barnabas Chong

Today’s Bible Text: 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt.28:16-20)

Click here for past TWC Daily Devotional posts

Today’s Recommended Video: Jesus, Lover of My Soul (Klaus Kuehn & Kari Jobe) …….

Day 31

by Rev Joel Yong

Joshua 3:13 ESV
And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.

It is when the priests’ feet were immersed in the waters, that God parts the Jordan River.

It is what is known as ‘Power Along the Way’.

Too often I have led Christians, who follow – sometimes grudgingly and asking me ‘Pastor, we’re not ready. Pastor, the old ways are better. Pastor, when is the harvest coming?’

To such as these- I teach them about the people in the wilderness. About how they wanted to turn back. About how they wondered if they were being led out into the desert to die. And I teach them that it is in OBEDIENCE that we find DIRECTION, that leads to our DESTINATION.

By obeying and committing themselves, getting their feet wet- they experienced God’s power along the way.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Other translations use ‘He will direct your paths’. It is not said we are to receive information first. ‘If you commit, God promises a 3.6% rate of growth, guaranteed’. NO.
It says ‘Trust in the Lord …’ as the very first act to gaining His direction for our paths, our journey in life.

If we do, we will see His hand manifest in directing us every step of the way.

Day 30

by Rev Joel Yong

Deuteronomy 33:29 ESV
Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph!  Your enemies shall come fawning to you, and you shall tread upon their backs.

The distinctive trait of Israel is that they are God’s people. Throughout the Bible, God does His work for the multitudes through electing specific individuals to carry out the task.

He could do it directly, but often He uses prophets, judges (who were leaders of Israel before they crowned their king), priests etc. He also reaches and does His work for the world by using an elected people to start with, that’s Israel.

These days, the New Testament teaches us that the Church is the Body of Christ, elected to do His work for the nations.

Let’s live out our purpose in Him as His vessels in this world today!

For it is in being a steward that we learn and mature, understanding God’s heart.
In being a father, I learnt a lot about God through the parenting journey as I learnt to take care of His child, shared with me in this lifetime.

Day 29

by Rev Joel Yong

Deuteronomy 21:4 ESV
And the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley.

This is the sacrifice made when an unsolved murder has taken place in the land.

This act has the sacrifice made at a running stream, and the blood spilled is pushed far away from the land where it happened.

Sin taints and corrupts the land. Even though the crime is unsolved and the murderer might be lurking in the midst, the sacrifice shows all who witness the ritual that this act is unacceptable and God will deal accordingly with errant parties.

The solving of the mystery is not the duty of the priests but rather the teaching of the severity of the act, and how unacceptable it is, is the priestly duty.

To Have Complete Fulfillment – TWC Daily Devotional – Friday 28 August 2015

We want all our needs met, all our desires satisfied and all our dreams come true. We all want to feel complete fulfillment! But what many people do not realize is that there is a God-shaped vacuum in every person that only God can fill (Blaise Pascal). That means God is the only One who can completely satisfy our real needs! He is our all in all, our complete fulfillment! Jesus said in Mt.6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” The phrase “all these things” refer to our basic needs and so Jesus said if we seek first His Kingship, His Kingdom and His righteousness, that means to always chase after the things of God, desire what He desires and do what is right in His eyes, led by His Spirit to bear the fruit of the Spirit, then we will have everything we need, and we will have complete fulfillment! But while we may know these things, we often find it so hard to do it. There are so many distractions and desires in our lives, many things we want and want to do. The more we chase after them, the lesser we would chase after God and His purposes. We become easily obsessed with sports, online games and online entertainment, doing well at work in order to move up the corporate ladder, hobbies of every kind, friendships, etc. While these things are not evil in themselves, but the way they take up our time, the way they clutter our hearts and distract our minds, they become evil in the eyes of God for they have become our idols and the reason why we have forsaken the better things – the things that God intends for us to be engaged in. An innocent weekly golf game, a daily swim in the pool, a daily run or walk, a regular book-reading  routine could either enhance our lives or rob us of what God has planned for us. Anything that causes our walk with God and our work in the Kingdom to be compromised is sin and must be eradicated. For we exist for a purpose, a purpose that God has prepared for us from the moment we were conceived in our mothers’ wombs. It’s a purpose that brings God great delight and great glory when fulfilled, and when God is glorified, we too are deeply satisfied. For this reason, the devil will work overtime to make sure you and I are fully distracted, make sure that we have a lot of fun doing other things – anything except what God created us to do. As parents, we should be quite familiar with this. So many fun and satisfying things our children and teenagers enjoy today and spend so much time on will eventually destroy their future. And therefore, every loving and responsible dad and mum will make sure that we regularly remind our children not to be distracted, to stop having so much fun and start getting serious and focused with their studies and their work. We tell them that they will have the sweet taste of success and victory in the end when they put in the hours and work hard now. For a while, it may not be so much fun, but in the long run, it will be sweet! If we can understand that as parents (or even if you’re not a parent, I’m sure you can appreciate the analogy as an adult), why then do we not listen to what our Heavenly Father tells us in His Word and simply live a life of radical obedience? For a little while, we may need to deprive ourselves of some fun and stop doing what we love, but in the long run, we will taste the sweetness of success and victory in the Lord! As you walk with God today, be focused and seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you! Have a great day! 

Barnabas Chong

Today’s Bible Text: 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Mt.6:31-33)

Click here for past TWC Daily Devotional posts

Today’s Recommended Video: You Are My All In All (Hillsong) …….

Day 28

by Rev Joel Yong

Deuteronomy 15:11 ESV
For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.

Unless you have been poor, one can never imagine what it is like.

Poor people don’t want to be poor.
They wish they can get out of it.
But sometimes because of the lack of exposure, they lack basic skills in financial stewardship and don’t know how to grow wealth.
Paying off existing debts also keeps them unable to rise beyond certain levels.
These are just some obstacles but there are many obstacles the poor have to navigate.

I know because I have been there.
I know debt.
I know envy.
I know lack.

God understands all things, poverty included. And that’s why He asks those He blesses with more, to help those who are struggling.

By aiding the poor, we become aware of the reality of lack. We mature in our faith by being grateful for our blessings, and aware of God as the true source of our wealth and show our trust in Him for our own futures. by obeying Him to help the poor today.

Blessing Others With Your Hands and Feet – TWC Daily Devotional – Thursday 27 August 2015

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God gave us life and He has given us hands and feet to bless those around us. With that in mind, many of our cell groups have embarked on a Hands and Feet Campaign this month to bless the community around us. We had a cell group delivering electrical appliances and other household necessities to families who need a fan, a pillow, a non-slip mat, etc. We also had the youths distributing a nice cold drink to migrant workers, construction workers and rubbish collectors. Another cell went to a soup kitchen to help cook, clean and wash up! The secondary one youth cell went to East Coast Park early Sunday morning to hand out chilled bottled water to joggers too. Jesus said, do not be anxious wondering what we shall eat, drink or wear. That’s right, instead of worrying about our own well-being, why not “worry” about the well-being of others. It’s not just about giving to the poor and blessing them, but to bless anyone and everyone around us. The poor needs to see God’s love demonstrated through God’s people, so does the rich. Too many Christians worry about our own needs and wants, we should really start think about the needs and even the wants of others. The people around us need to know that God loves them and cares about them regardless of their economic or social background, regardless of their educational and religious background. The God of the Bible is the Lord of all. He created the heavens and the earth. He makes the rain to fall on both the godly and the ungodly. He makes the sun to shine on both believers and non-believers. He cares for both the marginalised and the elites. He loves the whole world, not just a single nation or a single community of people. Like Him, we should also love people and nations regardless of their religious affiliation, ethnicity and wealth. As we walk with the Lord today, let’s stop worrying so much about ourselves, and let’s begin to be concerned about others. Have a great day! Enjoy the collection of photos today!

Barnabas Chong

Today’s Bible Text: 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (My.6:31-33)

Click here for past TWC Daily Devotional posts

Today’s Recommended Video: I Live For You Alone (3nity Brothers) …….