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.

Pitfalls in the “Sacred”

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Readings: 1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13; Psalm 34:1-10

READ (Verses chosen for reflection)
1 Cor 9:27 “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified”

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, the Apostle Paul exhorted the church in Corinth to make “discipline” and “control” of the body a priority of the Christian life. He was also aware that such a discipline cannot be attained by frequent preaching and teaching of the Word. In fact, the words in verse 27 “lest after” seem to suggest that preaching and teaching of the Word could themselves be potential pitfalls to sin.

Why is this so? Paul did not elaborate. However, as a preacher myself I could attest that this is possible. This is possible because the preaching and teaching of God’s Word could give us a false sense of security. The preaching and teaching of God’s Word could tempt the preacher to crave for people’s “likes”. The preaching of God’s Word could tempt the preacher to think that he or she is somebody when he or she is just a servant of Christ.

This passage is a good reminder that in whatever I do, even in the seemingly most “sacred” of things; evil is always knocking at the door. Yet the Lord gave the assurance in verse 13 that He will always provide a way out. It is really up to us to submit and walk that way out; no matter how painful to the flesh it might be. Indeed, lest I be disqualified!

Thank you Lord for this good reminder to keep my body under control for the sake of Your glory and purpose. Help me to remember that this is only made possible by the love of the Father, grace of the Son and work of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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.

Heart of the matter

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Readings: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Psalm 33:1-11

READ (Verses chosen for reflection)
1 Corinthians 8:13: “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”

As the Corinthians quarrelled about eating food offered to idols; the Apostle Paul sought to make peace by going into the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter was not so much about what to eat or what not to eat. The heart of the matter was whether the church have love for one another. Hence, the advice was that if eating meat sacrificed to idols causes my brother to stumble, then let me choose not to eat even if it doesn’t matter to my own soul.

Am I prepared to give up my “rights” in order that others can benefit from the sacrifice? Do I even think about these “rights” in the first place? When I come back from home after a tired day at work, I have the right to rest. Yet, when my children occasionally ask me to play with them the moment I come back home; will it benefit them to insist on my rest or could I have my rest later? It goes into the heart of the matter. Do I really love them and want them to know that Jesus is helping me to love them? The choice is clear but I struggle.

As the Lord wills it, may He who is able help me to deny my own rights for the benefit of others. Amen.

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.

The Finished Work of Christ (Part 2)

by Rev Barnabas Chong

We thank God for the finished work of Christ on the cross. We thank Him for the righteousness of Christ that has been imputed on all who believe. As recipients of such an amazing grace, we are called to live by grace and to walk in Christ’s righteousness. The Bible tells us that we have been saved (Colossians 1:21-22), are still being saved (Philippians 2:12) and will eventually be fully saved (Matthew 10:22; Mark.13:13; Colossians 1:21-23).

I like how the renowned Bible teacher, David Pawson, puts it: At conversion, we are saved from the PENALTY of sin; as we grow in holiness, we are being saved from the POWER of sin; and eventually, as we remain faithful to the end, we will be completely saved from the PRESENCE of sin. The work of Christ to redeem us from sin was finished at the cross in Calvary and what that means, is that Christ’s earthly work was done. But salvation is a process, not something that happens at a single point in time. And that process of lost sinners getting saved began when we first repented of our sins and believed in Jesus as Lord and Savior. While Christ finished His work, there is still an unfinished work in us – a work that would not eventually finish if Jesus had not finished His work first. So as you begin your walk with God today, know that you are loved, treasured, saved and still being saved.

We are to remain in the righteousness of Christ each day and that means we must choose to walk righteously. Be careful not to assume that Christ has done all the work and you need to do nothing, and need not walk in righteousness. Jesus told his disciples in John 15 to abide in Him and let His words abide in them so that they may bear much fruit. He warned them that a branch that bears no fruit will be cut off and thrown into fire. Continue to love God, hate sin and stay on the path of Christ’s righteousness.

Have a great day!

Today’s Bible Text: “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:30)

Read: The Finished Work of Christ (Part 1)