Day 269

by Rev Joel Yong

Acts 3:4-11
Peter and John stared at him. “Look at us!” Peter said. So the man watched them closely. He expected to receive something from them. However, Peter said to him, “I don’t have any money, but I’ll give you what I do have. Through the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, walk!” Peter took hold of the man’s right hand and began to help him up. Immediately, the man’s feet and ankles became strong. Springing to his feet, he stood up and started to walk. He went with Peter and John into the temple courtyard. The man was walking, jumping, and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God. They knew that he was the man who used to sit and beg at the temple’s Beautiful Gate. The people were amazed and stunned to see what had happened to him. They were excited, and everyone ran to see them at the place called Solomon’s Porch. The man wouldn’t let go of Peter and John.

You might be facing a problem – to which, you think it would be solved if only “… I had money/knew persons of influence/had a position of power etc …”

Sometimes what you think you need – is too small a request for God.

The man expected money or gold. But God knew he had a greater infirmity and so when Peter proclaimed healing upon him- it amazed him because it was more than what he had expected!

No wonder it says at the end of the passage that he “… wouldn’t let go of Peter and John.” He knew he had come across something wonderful.

Would you let go of what you think you need- and hold onto what Scripture teaches regarding the greatest Answer to the condition of mankind- Jesus the Son of God?

Day 45

by Rev Joel Yong

Deuteronomy 29:18-19 GW
Beware lest there be among you a man or woman or clan or tribe whose heart is turning away today from the Lord our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Beware lest there be among you a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit, one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart. This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike.

Moses reminded the people of the danger of having members in their midst who turn away from God and unto sin.

It wasn’t meant to promote a “holier than thou” mindset.

It was meant to show how quickly unbelief spreads.
Tolerating those who teach disregard of God’s ways in their midst, would lead to apathy developing in the faith community and ultimately a turn away from God’s teachings.

Who we associate with, influences us to become like them.
The one who occupies the dominant amount of time and focus in our lives- that is who we become to be like.
Be very careful to let God have an overwhelming amount of your time and focus in contrast to all others.

Luke 3:8

by Rev Joel Yong

In Luke 3:8, John the Baptist warns the people to “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance”,  emphasizing that it is more important for people to live lives testifying to one’s willingness to follow God, than to blindly follow a ritual, and think that through mere ritualism, we may achieve holiness.

Focus this day, on living life God’s way, rather than just speaking of God’s way of life.

Psalm 84:7

by Rev Joel Yong

Psalm 84:7 writes of the journey of pilgrims and says that: “They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.”

Though the journey is long and the distance is far, they grow in strength instead of weariness. Those who focus upon the LORD, as the end goal of their journey – are renewed as they progress closer towards meeting Him face to face. January is over and February is here – has weariness set into your life? Do keep your eyes upon Jesus, and when you do – may His strength fill & renew you as you walk in His light.

Luke 1:36-37

by Rev Joel Yong

Luke 1:36-37 records the angel saying to Mary: “What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but now she’s in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”

Have you been labelled as “hopeless”? When God looks at you, He sees you as His own, redeemed at the cost of Jesus’ life on the cross. Don’t give up – He has a purpose for you. His plans always come to pass.

Isaiah 24:4

by Rev Joel Yong

Everything comes to an end someday. Scripture teaches in Isaiah 24:4 that, there comes a day when: “The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish.”

So let us not put our hope in the things of the world. Instead, let us remember that Jesus tells us in John 16:33, that “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Remember, in Christ, we are more than conquerors.

Psalm 40:1-2

by Rev Joel Yong

Psalm 40:1-2 records the Psalmist’s thoughts: “I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.”

The dark situation that you might be in, won’t last. What lasts – is God’s love for you. He is faithful and will not just lift you from this low point, but He will place your feet on stable, solid ground so that you can walk forth in confidence.

Romans 13:1-2

by Rev Joel Yong

Romans 13:1-2 declares: “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted and they will be punished.”

Scripture tells us that in submitting to our authorities here on Earth, we honor God. We show that we trust that He is sovereign and in charge – by obeying, even when we find it difficult to submit to our authorities on Earth.

Psalm 38:15

by Rev Joel Yong

Psalm 38:15 declares: “For in You, O LORD, I hope.”

The foundation of our hope matters. A man placing his hope in his one ticket to win the lottery, has a very unstable foundation for his belief. We trust however in God who has proved Himself, to be powerful and loving throughout the centuries in Scripture and in our lives. We will not be disappointed for the God we trust ourselves to, has no rivals or parallels.

Luke 13:13

by Rev Joel Yong

Luke 13:13 records Jesus as saying “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

Jesus pointed out the fallibility of humans to become slaves to wealth that they have accumulated. The riches they have make it tough to focus on God as the center of their lives. Note that the Bible never teaches that it is wrong to have wealth – many texts speak of the likes of Abraham and others being blessed with many possessions. However the danger is when these blessings of wealth distract us from the Source of blessings – God Himself. Choose today, to serve God and not money.

Judges 15:15

by Rev Joel Yong

Judges 15:15 states: “He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand, took it, and killed 1000 men with it.”

Samson had no proper weapon – neither sword nor spear. But he took what lay before him – a donkey’s jawbone, and with it, slew 1000 men. He was able to do this because it is said in verse 14, that the Spirit of the LORD took control of him. When God is with us, it doesn’t matter if we have the right tools, or if we have the right support. He is more than enough and with Him on our side, victory is assured. This week, would you call out to God, in your time of struggle? When you seek Him, with all your heart, He will come alongside you and lead you to a victorious life. Trust in Him, not in the strength of your arm nor the power of your sword.

Nehemiah 4:6

by Rev Joel Yong

Nehemiah 4 begins with the likes of Sanballat and Tobiah, who were enemies of the Jews, cursing them and predicting that their efforts would come to naught.

The people paid no attention to these things, instead Nehemiah 4:6 records: “So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.”  They were focused on what they needed to do, and did not waste their time thinking about the negative words, and discouragement that came from their enemies. Set your eyes on God, nothing else, as you seek to follow Him with all your heart.

Matthew 4:5

by Rev Joel Yong

Matthew 4:5 records: “But He answered, “It is written: MAN MUST NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT COMES FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD.”

Whilst fasting in the wilderness, Satan came to tempt Jesus. Here, Satan was asking Jesus to stop his fast. Satan was asking him to cease dependence on God the Father and challenged Jesus to produce His own food. Sin attempts to draw us away from God and try to be our own providers. Jesus’ reply, states that only God can give us life. Our own efforts at providing for ourselves, produce no real life. Lean on God this day, won’t you?

Psalm 5:7

by Rev Joel Yong

Psalm 5:7 records: “But I enter Your house by the abundance of Your faithful love; I bow down toward Your holy temple in reverential awe of You.”

The Psalmist outlines 2 key considerations in worshipping God. Firstly, we enter into worship, not as our right – but rather out of God’s gracious love towards us, He makes it possible for mankind to encounter Him. Secondly, we approach Him not flippantly, but with deep respect, aware of how powerful and yet loving this God is. Let’s approach God in thanksgiving for His grace and in awe of His greatness and love.

Romans 12:2

by Rev Joel Yong

Romans 12:2 states “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”

We can become like the people of this world – because of how and what we think in our minds. We become used to the world’s way of thinking. But rather, God wants us to be changed, and He does this by changing our minds – the way we think and consider the issues of life. So doing, we will be able to live in the way that God desires of us. Fill your minds this day with the things of God – whatever is godly and pleasing unto Him, think about these things!

Psalm 138:4

by Rev Joel Yong

We live in a world that honors our kings and leaders, and they are often greeted with bows made in reverence.

But Psalm 138:4 records: “All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord. When they hear the words of Your mouth.” But even kings and the other leaders of the world alike, will have to praise God when He speaks.  For there is none like Him in power and none like Him in mercy. Verse 6 says: “Though the LORD is on high, Yet he regards the lowly.” We can trust that God is not only willing but also able to save us.

Isaiah 11:6

by Rev Joel Yong

Isaiah 11:6 records that “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”

On the day when God comes and dwells with us forever and ever, the enmities between animals shall cease. It is a sign of the kind of peace that only God can bring to our world. We should all yearn for that day and pray for God’s grace to lead us in this life, and this world, until that day comes.

Jeremiah 44:5

by Rev Joel Yong

Jeremiah 44:5 records: “But they did not listen or incline their ear, to turn from their evil and make no offerings to other gods.”

The people persisted in evil even though God was warning them, urging them to turn so judgment wouldn’t befall them. They were stubborn in their rebelliousness. God want us to stop our sinning and turn, for our sakes for He loves us. Have you wandered astray? Turn back to Jesus who loves you so much that He died to save you.

Psalm 40: 1

by Rev Joel Yong

Psalm 40: 1 records: “I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.”

The Psalmist was able to wait patiently because of the degree of conviction he had, that God was worth waiting for. We get flustered while waiting, only because we are unsure if the other party is coming. This is never the case for God. He is faithful unto His people and will never make our wait futile.

Psalm 116:15

by Rev Joel Yong

Psalm 116:15 records: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.”

God cares for the lives of those who follow after Him. The suffering of the believers in this world, does not come upon unseeing eyes. As we ponder the suffering of the people of God in this world, let us take heart that God will never forsake nor abandon His people, but is with us at our lowest and most painful moments. We matter so much to Him, that in exchange for our salvation, Jesus gave His life upon the Cross for us.