Luke 2:16

by Rev Joel Yong

Luke 2:16 records “They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough.”

This was how the shepherds found Jesus to be – in a lowly, humble state. Jesus didn’t come in royal robes or to be born into a palace. He was born just like the average Joe and less. Never think that he cannot understand the circumstances that you are going through right now. He walked in our shoes for a 30+ years before his excruciating sacrifice upon the Cross for the sake of all mankind.

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Is Christ really enough?

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4; Psalms 28:1-9

READ (Verses chosen for reflection)
1 Corinthians 2:12-13 “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.”

REFLECT
Believers of the Lord Jesus Christ are given the promise in John 14:26 that when Jesus ascended into heaven; the Holy Spirit will dwell in the children of God to teach them all things.  Paul affirmed this promise by saying that the wisdom of the Holy Spirit is far greater than the wisdom of even the wisest in this world. The wisdom of the Holy Spirit is needed to understand the things given to us freely by God. Indeed we need the Holy Spirit to interpret spiritual truths so that as disciples of the Lord Jesus, we can walk in the truth. We need the Holy Spirit because God has chosen to reveal to us and help us in our walk with Him; not only through God the Son, but God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

RELATE
Many of us have probably heard or can sing the following by heart: “Christ is enough for me, Christ is enough for me, Everything I need is in You, Everything I need …” It’s probably one of the most beautiful song written about the joy of salvation by Hillsong Worship. Christ is indeed everything we need if we are just talking about the salvation of our souls. However, it dawns upon me that the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross is not really “enough” if we talk about the sanctification of our souls. The Holy Spirit is given to believers so that we can grow in holiness in Christ. Post conversion, believers will also need to understand the love of God the Father as well as the work of the Holy Spirit in order to “abide” in God’s Word and hence becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ.

REST
Lord our God, help us to know that the Holy Spirit is sent to us to help us in our walk with You. And as the Holy Spirit is God and Person, may we be of confidence to go to Him in times of need, celebration and even despair. Amen.

Luke 1:13

by Rev Joel Yong

Luke 1:13 records: “But the angel said to him: Do not be afraid Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.”

Elizabeth and Zechariah were both old. Yet in their aged years, God brought a child forth from their bodies. As recorded: Nothing is impossible with God (1:37). There was a reason for the miracle though, the child served God and grew to be John the Baptist. Let go and let God take what you have, however little, and use it for His purpose.

God’s promises and our prayer

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Reading: Ezra 1:1-2:70; Proverbs 20:22-23

READ (Verses chosen for reflection)
Ezra 1:1-2 “In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.”

REFLECT
According to Ezra 1:1-2, it is clear that God has moved the heart of Cyrus to set the Hebrews free. This is to fulfil what the Lord has promised in Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10. This is an encouraging passage to read. No matter how dismal the situation may seem; God’s promise will be fulfilled. This is because God’s promises are as sovereign and true as God Himself. What He said will happen; will happen.

RELATE
Many nations around the world are facing the horror of civil wars. Millions of people are displaced; thousands of civilians are brutally killed. As we read these news, there could be times when we lose hope in praying for these nations. It seems that God is not acting. It seems that such wars will just rage on forever. Yet, if God can move a powerful king such as Cyrus to set His people free; He might do likewise for some of these nations to experience peace. We do not know what the Lord has planned for these nations, but we can trust in His sovereign will and just keep on praying. We pray because God wants us to. We pray because we are called to intercede for those in need. We pray because we can totally trust in a sovereign God who will carry out His purpose in spite of our failings and the sins of this world.

REST
Lord, may you help us to keep on praying for people who are undergoing persecutions, abuse and displacements because this is what You want us to do. Build us as a house of prayer for Your glory sake. Amen.

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.