I once read in a devotion, “Pride is the only disease in the world that the person who has it doesn’t know he has it but everyone around him does!” Scary isn’t it? Thus, regular self-examination and humble listening to what loved ones and close friends say to us about us is so important and necessary. Remember, God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. So always be humble in the sight of the Lord and in due season, He will lift you up for the Lord fights for you and you only need to be still. As Paul McGee puts it, S.U.M.O. – Shut Up Move On! (Jas.4:6,10; Exo.14:14)
by Rev Lai Kai Ming
Readings: Acts 23:11-35; Proverbs 10:17
READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
I found out that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but had nothing charged against him deserving of death or chains.
The above words were spoken by a Roman commander, who felt that Paul should not be handed to his Jewish enemies. Whatever we might say about the Roman empire, there was a basic justice system that punished evil and protected the innocent. This is evidence that even those who do not know God were guided by their conscience, and benefited from a general revelation of justice. Let us not be too quick to dismiss everything that do not fit into our religious systems (or laws).
The Christian church is often guilty of not recognizing the goodness of God in places that don’t look “Christian”. For example, we criticize our “secular” government for their mistakes, but fail to give thanks for the many things they do right. Or we would judge non-Christians for their bad habits (like smoking), without affirming their filial piety and good work ethic. This is a reflection of our own narrow mindedness, which in turn reveals a lack of biblical understanding. No wonder so many people are not attracted to our faith! 😦
Lord, open our eyes, that we might see Your image in all that You have created. Grant us compassion to love those who don’t look or sound like us.
by Rev Joel Yong
1 Corinthians 4:14-21
I’m not writing this to make you feel ashamed but to instruct you as my dear children. You may have countless Christian guardians, but you don’t have many spiritual fathers. I became your father in the Christian life by telling you the Good News about Christ Jesus. So I encourage you to imitate me. That’s why I’ve sent Timothy to you to help you remember my Christian way of life as I teach it everywhere in every church. Timothy is my dear child, and he faithfully does the Lord’s work. Some of you have become arrogant because you think I won’t pay you a visit. If it’s the Lord’s will, I’ll visit you soon. Then I’ll know what these arrogant people are saying and what power they have. God’s kingdom is not just talk, it is power. When I come to visit you, would you prefer that I punish you or show you love and a gentle spirit?
Do you have spiritual children? People whom you preached the gospel to and led them to Christ and the ministry continued on – nurturing them towards maturity in Christ.
That is what Paul is talking about.
As their spiritual father, he speaks to them- warning them not to grow conceited or mistakenly think that he will be soft on them if they wander from the path.
His advice to his spiritual children- is that they are to imitate him.
It’s simple but it’s clear – they are to follow Jesus’ ways by watching their spiritual father.
Who did you lead to Christ?
How is their walk with Christ now?
Are you still checking in on them?
What about your own journey- is it a good example for others to imitate?