1 Thessalonians 5:11

by Rev Joel Yong

1 Thessalonians 5:11 reminds us: “Therefore, comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”

Our interaction with other members of the church, must lead to them being encouraged and yet also being built up so that they might be able to press on in serving and following after God. It shouldn’t be a shallow ‘Hi & Bye’ relationship that does not lead to life changes. Rather it should spur one another on to good deeds and faithfulness to Christ.

Acts 13:47

by Rev Joel Yong

Acts 13:47 reminds us: “For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.'”

You and I have a purpose to our lives. We have a task to live our lives in such a way that it shines brightly for others to follow. That they too, might be able to say, “Behold, how good it is to follow God’s ways.” and desire to follow Him too.

Matthew 28:5

by Rev Joel Yong

Matthew 28:5 records the angel’s proclamation: “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”

Jesus rose from the darkness of the grave. He came back to life, and even Death couldn’t hold Him back. That’s great news for us all. No matter how dark today gets, trust God for a beautiful outcome – He is faithful, true and just.

Mark 15:34

by Rev Joel Yong

Mark 15:34 records: “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’”

Upon the Cross, Jesus bore the sins of the world upon His shoulders. With the Holy One enveloped in sin, God the Father, who is all holy, turned his face away from the sin that amassed upon His Son’s shoulders. Jesus declared Himself forsaken by God at that moment. But what Jesus did, freed us and cleansed us – and God can now turn His face TOWARDS us because Jesus took our place – the Innocent punished, so that the guilty might be free. Praise God indeed.

Matthew 26:21

by Rev Joel Yong

Matthew 26:21 states: “And while they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”

The disciples were with Jesus for about 3 years, and they watched what He did, from the time they arose, right till before they went to bed. Yet in spite of this, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus. We can be seeing, but not understanding. We can be exposed to the Truth, but never internalizing it. Let us seek God’s face as we gather to celebrate Maundy Thursday, not out of routine, but out of a desire to encounter Him.

Nehemiah 9:9

by Rev Joel Yong

Nehemiah 9:9 states: “You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heard their cry by the Red Sea.”

The Israelite slaves were in Egypt for almost 400 years. I wonder if they doubted if God heard their prayers for freedom. But in retrospect, we now know He delivered them with great acts of miracles for He had heard their cries. God is able to save us, and willing to save us – let’s not mistake His silence for a lack of care or ability. Trust in Him.

Luke 23:34

by Rev Joel Yong

Luke 23:34 records this: ‘Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided His clothes and cast lots.”

He was stripped and then crucified on a cross, and while he hung there, dying – his persecutors gambled for his clothes. Truly, if only they knew whom they were killing – they would not react this way. They were blinded by what their limited vision could perceive. No wonder the Bible teaches us to walk by faith and not by sight.