During worship at 10.30 service yesterday the Lord gave a word to one of our members and he shared it with me before I preached. He said, “During worship, I sense the Lord is saying ‘There is no other gods beside Me. I am the Lord who makes the heaven and the earth. I am the God of Abraham. Isaac and Israel. The Lord reigns!'” And that was the message the Lord gave me to preach too – not phrased the exact same way, but it’s the same point! Church, the Lord really wants us in CMC (and I believe for every Christian in every church too) to come back to the place of reverence, putting Him first above all else and be completely delivered from everything and every sin that ensnares us so that we are free to live for Him and for His glory! And our worship yesterday blew us away too – there was such an amazing awesome presence of the Lord that brought many tears – tears poured out and rising to the Lord as sweet incense – a fragrant offering to the Lord! Lord, give us a passion for Your Name, let our worship be as incense that rises to You day and night – WE EXALT THEE!
by Rev Lai Kai Ming
Readings: Acts 18:23-19:12; Psalms 39:1-13
READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
“Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am.
Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You;
Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor.”
Whether we are talking about Joseph Schooling (young and promising, at his “best state”) or an old man sitting in a food court, both are “but vapor”. Perhaps the old man was also a swimming legend in his time, but now his end is near. According to the Psalmist, it might not matter whether we are young or old, rich or poor. What matters is that we know our days are numbered, and we are weak as humans. For humility is the beginning of a blessed life.
This morning I received news that a friend had died of a heart attack. I will always remember him as a humble man. Though from a wealthy household, he did not look down on the poor, and lived a simple life. Perhaps he would say that he was a humble-d man. Humbled by many decades of trials and troubles, but never letting go of his faith in God. This week many will celebrate his life, and mourn his death. Praise God for you, my friend. See you.
Lord, teach me to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom. (Ps 90:12)
by Rev Joel Yong
Fearing we might hit rocks, they dropped four anchors from the back of the ship and prayed for morning to come. The sailors tried to escape from the ship. They let the lifeboat down into the sea and pretended they were going to lay out the anchors from the front of the ship. Paul told the officer and the soldiers, “If these sailors don’t stay on the ship, you have no hope of staying alive.” Then the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away.
The soldiers cut away their logical means of escape – and instead hung onto a seemingly doomed ship because Paul told them that God had given him a vision that all would be saved. But Paul said here – the condition is that the sailors stay onboard till it runs aground.
It made sense to run.
It made sense to follow the only path of escape envisaged by their eyesight.
But it took faith to trust that what God had said would come true.
The ship would have to run aground though.
This is the vision Paul had-
Since hardly anyone wanted to eat, Paul stood among them and said, “Men, you should have followed my advice not to sail from Crete. You would have avoided this disaster and loss. Now I advise you to have courage. No one will lose his life. Only the ship will be destroyed. I know this because an angel from the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood by me last night. The angel told me, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul! You must present your case to the emperor. God has granted safety to everyone who is sailing with you.’ So have courage, men! I trust God that everything will turn out as he told me. However, we will run aground on some island.”
So friends, what do we do when all seems lost but God has explicitly told us to trust Him and given us a word on our eventual deliverance …
Do we change the plan midway and engineer our own escape?
Or do we stick with believing that what He has said would come to pass?
I think the sailors trusted Paul because their commander Julius did. Julius did because he probably heard of how Paul conducted himself in the trials prior to this and was found innocent by various judges.
Paul could do this – because he had a heart and mind set on following God.
Nothing could turn him to the left or right and God knew that and thus delivered him time and again – for Paul was on a mission from God.