Snapshots of Jesus Part 8: Do You Know Why On Earth Are You Here? – TWC Daily Devotional – Thursday 24 September 2015

Today’s Recommended Video: I Will Never Be The Same Again (Hillsong) ……

Jesus-Preaching-610x350

Do you know why on earth are you here? What is the purpose of your existence? What is the meaning of your life? When a person discovers the reason for his or her existence, that person lives with passion and purpose. They look forward to each new day with zest. They have spark in their eyes and there is conviction in their speech. They go to bed feeling content, looking forward to another day of great adventure! Jesus was like that. After He had spent an extended time in communion with the Father, He arose with fresh wind and fresh fire, ready to continue in His mission. And He said to His disciples, “let us go somewhere else to the nearby villages so that I can preach there also; that is why I have come!” (Mk.1:38) THAT IS WHY I HAVE COME! Those are amazing words, aren’t they?! When a man or a woman is be able to say that today, “that is why I have come!”, that man or woman has found something worth dying for. And when you have found something worth dying for, you have found something worth living for! Everyone was created unique and we each have a unique set of gifts to fulfill a different purpose. What we must do is to discover God’s purpose for our lives and then live to fulfill it! When we do that, we will experience the greatest satisfaction and God gets the greatest glory! The fleeting moments of happiness we get occasionally from a hobby, an activity or a work cannot compare with the joy and satisfaction of fulfilling our life call. When we become all that we have been created to be, the joy we have is unspeakable! So what is your call? What is God’s destiny and purpose for your life? I believe God’s call for my life is to preach the gospel and to build up His church. As you walk with the Lord today, take time to discover God’s divine destiny for your life and then live to fulfill it! Have a great day!

Barnabas Chong
twcdaily@gmail.com

Today’s Bible Text:  Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so that I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” (Mk.1:38)

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Snapshots of Jesus Part 7: Jesus Christ Superstar? – TWC Daily Devotional – Wednesday 23 September 2015

Today’s Recommended Video: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (Gateway Worship) ……

 

jesus praying in the morning

Today’s snapshot of Jesus is the picture of Him rising up very early in the morning, while it was still dark, to pray in a solitary place. This was Jesus’s time alone with God before the flurry of activities for the day began. It was His time of communion with His Father. His time of personal strengthening for the purpose of His mission. His time of alignment with the Father’s heavenly design and purpose. What a great picture! And clearly, this snapshot should also be a key feature in our lives everyday. If Jesus needed to spend time with the Father, we need it more. If He needed strengthening and alignment to the Father’s will, we need it far more. It is so easy to be distracted by the people and the issues around us, so easy to be drawn away from God’s purposes in our lives, and so easy to just indulge in our desires and our wants. We are prone to wonder, prone to leave the God we love. That is why it is so important, so critically important to keep going to Father to be reminded of how much He loves us, to re-align ourselves with His design and purpose for our lives and to be strengthened by Him. Bill Hybels wrote the book, Too Busy Not To Pray, and that is exactly what we need to bear in mind, we are too busy not to pray. The busier we get, the greater our reliance needs to be on God and the more we need to pray. There’s just no way that the Lord would ever create a day where we get so busy that we have no time left to spend with Him. It is a theological impossibility! Whenever we are too busy to pray, it simply means that we are doing a lot of stuff that God does not intend for us to do which also means that those things have zero real value even though it may give us fleeting moments of pleasure. As you walk with the Lord today, make time for communion and time alone with Father and let Him tell you how much He loves you. Let Him remind you of His design for your life and let Him strengthen you to live the life He has called you to live, one that does not follow the pattern of the world. Have a great day!

Barnabas Chong
twcdaily@gmail.com

Today’s Bible Text:  “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mk.1:35)

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Snapshots of Jesus Part 6: Jesus Christ Superstar? – TWC Daily Devotional – Tuesday 22 September 2015

Today’s Recommended Video: Break Every Chain (Jesus Culture) ……

Jesus was like a superstar, or maybe a great hero may be a more appropriate term. The whole town where He was, gathered at his door and they brought all the sick and demon-possessed to Him so that He could heal and deliver them! People were attracted to Him and they were convinced that something good would come out of being near Him or being in contact with Him. And Jesus did heal the sick and delivered those who were possessed. What a great picture of Jesus, His magnetic attraction and His powerful ministry! Wouldn’t it be great if that happens in the church today? There have been many moments in church history where people would flock to a meeting to be touched by the Lord. His power has manifested tangibly in many places and in many meetings. Thousands if not millions of lives have been transformed. But wouldn’t it be great if it happens today or soon and for it to happen in your church and mine?! It can happen, it certainly can but do we want it, do we expect it and do we/can we intentionally desire it and do something about it? Whether you take the position that we can NOTHING about it or we can do SOMETHING about it is immaterial. The ONE THING we can do is to strongly desire it. Strong enough to start talking about it, stirring one another up about it, start praying for it and yearning for it increasingly. Maybe we can start to think out of the box and make room for it in our church services and meetings too. And when we do, maybe we will start to see people being drawn to the church of Jesus Christ today, the way they were drawn to Jesus back then. Maybe we will see people getting healed of all kinds of sicknesses and delivered from all evil spirits too. Maybe we will see hundreds if not thousands turning to the Lord in a single church instead of the tiny trickle we get today! Why not??!! I want that for my church! Don’t you?

Barnabas Chong
twcdaily@gmail.com

Today’s Bible Text:  “32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.” (Mk.1:32-34)

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Day 61

by Rev Joel Yong

1 Kings 3:7-10 ESV
And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in.
And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude.
Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?
It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.

Solomon’s prayer showed:
1. Humility and self-awareness: he knew he was young and had much to learn as a king
2. Awareness of the enormity of the task: he knew he had an awesome responsibility to lead the people of God
3. Understanding of what skills the task required: he asked for discernment and wisdom to help him accomplish the task

At no point, is there any sense of arrogance or assumption that he had talent or wisdom to fit into his father’s shoes
He was TEACHABLE.

I love working with teachable people who are constantly open to new ways and learning all the time. The years spent with them are a joy even though we may face obstacles, and have to negotiate our way around these difficulties.

I detest working with people who are frogs in a well and small minded, for there is little if any hope of progress once a person closes up their mind, deciding that what worked in the past will get them to where they need to go today in this age and to reach the heights of tomorrow. I feel sad that they are unable to see into the realms of our giant slaying, oceans parting God – but instead box him up into four walls and shut the lid on the possibilities God can achieve.

Solomon could have easily assumed he knew best. He was son of David the giant slayer, leader over a numerous people.
But he didn’t.

That’s what’s so awesome about his prayer.
Even God is pleased.

Snapshots of Jesus Part 5 – TWC Daily Devotional – Monday 21 September 2015

Today’s Recommended Video: The Authority of God’s Word (Francis Chan) ……

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Jesus taught as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law (Mk.1:22). Jesus had authority because of who He was and who He still is. The man Jesus had equality with God – He was both the Son of God and God Himself. He was also the Word made flesh and that is why He taught with authority unlike the teachers of the law who were oppressing the people with the law and human traditions. Jesus taught with authority, He knew God’s truth and communicated it boldly and courageously. And God’s truth sets people free. Carnal teaching however keeps people bound and fearful. It’s the same today, Christians can either teach and preach God’s Word with authority and set people free from the lies, deception and devices of the enemy or teach and preach something that is not of God’s Word and cause fellow believers to be bound by the things of the world and to live in fear. Allow me to give an example of the latter. When a preacher preaches about wealth and tells his or her congregation that God wants to bless them with abundant wealth and all they need to do is to be faithful and to believe, to daily confess that they are blessed, to give generously to church and God will bless them a hundred or a thousand fold with a strong focus on the quantum, the people as a result lives in fear because they fear poverty, of not having enough. They give in fear because they are afraid that if they give less, God will give them less in return material-wise. On the other hand, when a preacher preaches God’s truth which is naturally accompanied with God’s authority, tells his or her congregation to study the Scriptures and see that God’s requirement is for us is to give cheerfully and generously. That when we are generous with God, He will be generous with us, and vice versa, understanding that God’s generosity as seen in Scriptures was not always translated into monetary or materials terms, we live in freedom and we give voluntarily, cheerfully and generously, trusting that the Lord will bless us in any way He wants and sees fit. We are then not bound by constant thoughts of material things and we will not desperately, anxiously keep looking for material and monetary returns from heaven. The Apostle Paul articulated this very well in Phil.4 saying, “12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Whether in plenty or in need, Paul learned what it means to be content and contentment releases freedom, while discontentment results in fear. When one constantly feels that he or she does not have enough and keeps wanting more and more blessings, that man or that woman lives in fear of poverty and that person cannot possibly enjoy real abundant life in God. Abundant life in God has much to do with detachment from worldly things. As you walk with the Lord today, read the Word of God for yourself, listen to preachers who preach the whole truth and not those who preach selected truths and harp on some personal pet topic. As you grow in the whole counsel of God’s Word, you will also find yourself able to communicate His truth with authority as one who knows the truth. Have a great day!

Barnabas Chong
twcdaily@gmail.com

Today’s Bible Text:  “21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.” (Mk.1:21-22)

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Day 60

by Rev Joel Yong

2 Samuel 19:5-6 ESV
Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters and the lives of your wives and your concubines,
because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have made it clear today that commanders and servants are nothing to you, for today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased.

David mourned the death of the usurper, his son Absalom.

While seemingly logical on the surface, it was unwise. His men risked their lives on the battlefield for this victory and his mourning downplayed the value of their lives which they risked for his throne.

Joab does the unthinkable, he chides his boss – the king.
But he does it – out of loyalty to ensure the continuity of his kingdom.
Not to prove he is smarter nor to get his way over the king’s way.

So doing, the king receives the feedback and follows Joab’s advice.

Good lessons here on how to influence superiors and value subordinates.

Day 59

by Rev Joel Yong

2 Samuel 13:3 ESV
But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother. And Jonadab was a very crafty man.

This is the account of Amnon raping his half-sister.

He came to do so, after receiving advice from Jonadab his friend on how to snare her in his chambers.

As I read this, 2 things came to mind:

1. Jonadab isn’t a friend but an enemy. He taught Amnon how to plot to commit rape and incest.
    So beware your ‘friends’ who get you what you want. It isn’t ‘help’ at all.

2. I see Satan here. Do you?
    The trait used to describe Jonadab is the same word used in Genesis for the serpent.

Genesis 3:1 ESV
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.  He said to the woman, Did God actually say, You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?

Demonic influence hides itself even in those who appear as helpers, when they are really destroyers.

A son of David egged to commit this inhuman act.
Satanic influence hidden in plain sight –  working to lead God’s favored, astray from the righteous path.