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Showing posts from March, 2013

Risen.

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It's resurrection sunday! The story did not just end with Christ's brutal torment and death on the cross, it did not end with the burial in the tomb, but just as Jesus prophesied, he rose from the grave three days later (John 2:19). This is the best part of the gospel, that Christ has risen. He has defeated the grave, he has conquered over death and he is victorious over sin. The stone was rolled away, and Jesus came out, and appeared to many! Thomas was one of Christ's disciples, and even those Jesus appeared to him, he did not and could not believe. Jesus asked him to touch his hands, to see the nails that pierced him, to touch his side where the spear had pierced him, and it was then and only then Thomas believed. But we on the other hand have not physically seen the Saviour himself but, 29  Then Jesus told him,  “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” - John 20:29 If we could prove God, and "

Buried.

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I came across this article by John Piper about the second day of Christ's death and resurrection. Where was he? Some people believed that he went to hell that day, and it is based on two different scriptures, both 1 Peter 3:18-20 and 1 Peter 4:4-6. I think going through this article is appropriate for such a time reflecting on Christ's death. To be clear, im only summarizing John Piper's thoughts, none of this belongs to me. Piper tackles each passage one by one, first with 1 Peter 3:18-20. 18  For Christ also suffered once  for sins,  the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body  but made alive in the Spirit.   19  After being made alive,  he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits —   20  to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently  in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.  In it only a few people, eight in all,  were saved  through water. - 1 Peter 3:18-20 It is verse 19 that

Crucified.

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In light of Easter weekend, I wanted to spend the three day weekend reflecting on what Christ did for us. I think so many times it is sugarcoated or we don't spend enough time recognizing and realizing the pain and suffering he went through, while at the same time, the fight that was been won. Good friday was the day Christ was crucified, and I'm sure we all know that he was whipped, and then nailed to the cross, but i know I myself find it difficult to imagine that, so I looked it up, and here's a brief description of how it all went down that day. Even before the actual crucifixion, Jesus was praying on the Mount of Olives and it says in scripture that he had sweat blood (Luke 22:44). Medically speaking, this is called hemathidrosis. This happens under great emotional stress and it causes capillaries in the sweat glads to break, thus causing blood to flow instead of sweat. When he was condemned to crucifixion, he was already in a battered state. He had been spat on

Live Wisely

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Day 26 13  Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it  by their good life, by deeds  done in the humility that comes from wisdom. - James 3:13 "if you are wise and understanding, may it be reflected by how you live your life, demonstrating humility from that wisdom you possess." God calls us to live wisely in every moment in our lives (Ephesians 4:15), he wants us to live according to his word and live as righteous people. We must use our lives to express that, just as reminded yesterday, that faith without deeds is dead. I think being wise is definitely something I want to strive for in my life, not just to be knowledgeable but to be wise. I have the hardest time discerning God's will, always doubting if the choices I make are the right ones that God wants, and I pray for wisdom that he will grant me the ability to hear his voice clearly. I hope one day I can be someone who answers the question in the passage, and will show it humbly in my life.

Faith and Acts

Day 25 17  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  18  But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”  Show me your faith without deeds,  and I will show you my faith  by my deeds. - James 2:17-18 "faith and deeds go hand in hand, your faith is to be shown through your actions. Without it, your faith is hidden and meaningless. Show your faith through what you do." I think this is applicable to almost everyone, especially those who have been Christian for a while now. We know all the rules, we know all the right things to say, but it's so much more than that. We have to believe it and apply it to our lives, actively working our faith and showing it through our works. Let us live out our faith as we walk with the Lord so others can see. My Prayer: Heavenly Father, you have told us that our faith without actions is dead. Transform and move us so that we act and live out our faith according to your Word. May others s

More Than A Glance

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Day 24 22  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.   23  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror   24  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.   25  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,  and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. - James 1:22-25 "when we read or hear the Word of God, let it not pass through from one ear to the next, but instead let us apply it to our lives in the present. Those who do not apply it are like someone who forgets their image after looking at their reflection. Let us look deeply into the God-breathed scripture that has been granted to us and be blessed by it." I do struggle with this from time to time, especially when I feel like the sermon or the passage I'm reading seems irrelevant to my l

Slow to Anger

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Day 23 19  My dear brothers and sisters,  take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak  and slow to become angry,   20  because human anger  does not produce the righteousness that God desires. - James 1:19-20 "Everyone, know this well, that we are to be listening, sensitive, patient and understanding and not to be short-tempered. When we become angry, it does not please the Lord and will not lead to a God honouring life." Our God himself demonstrates these characteristics, slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to anger. I'm sure there are several things around us that can fire us up, whether if it is world issues, or something to do with faith, but we're reminded not to become angry quickly. I myself don't get angry often or easily, but I need to work on the listening and speaking. If you look carefully, it says "slow to become angry", not "cannot be angry". There are two types of anger, righteous anger and

Trials of Many Kinds

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Day 22 2  Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,   3  because you know that the testing of your faith  produces perseverance.   4  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature  and complete, not lacking anything. - James 1:2-4 It's a new week for 40 Days in the Word, which means there's a new method of scripture study to practice. This week it's called "Paraphrase It!" which I found is something I was already applying in the first week. The method is simple, you re-read the verse/passage over and over until you truly understand it and can paraphrase it. It helps support your understanding of the Word, therefore anchoring it deeper and deeper into your life.  "be joyful when we are given trials from the Lord because our faith is strengthened and perseverance us built for future trials. Through our perseverance and faith, we grow in Christ, in spiritual maturity and strength." In

Lack of Faith

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Day 21 1  When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices  so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.   2  Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb   3  and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”  4  But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.   5  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe  sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.  6  “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene,  who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.   7  But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”  8  Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. 9  When

The Ultimate Sacrifice

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Day 20 33  At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.   34  And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice,  “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”  (which means  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ).  35  When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”  36  Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar,  put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.  37  With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.  38  The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.   39  And when the centurion,  who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died,   he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” - Mark 15:33-39 S - is there a sin to confess? P - is there a promise to claim? A - is there an attitude to change? C - is there a command to obey? E - is there an example to follow? P - is there a prayer to pray? E - is th

One Encounter

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Each day is granted by God as an opportunity to do his will, share the gospel and bring him glory, and today God opened all doors of opportunity for me and my ACF family. Tonight's program was outreach night, where the committee had made several care packages with candy, small snacks and a small booklet on the gospel for us to give out and share. To be honest, I knew about this program for a while now, but the reality didn't set in until after the final prayer before we went out. I didn't realize what I was about to do, but the entire program was enriching, challenging and life-changing. The outline of the program was simple, go share your faith with a stranger. Here's my experience on the night, what went through my mind and what happened. I was paired up with a good friend of mine and we got five care packages. Given about 40 mins of time, I was really surprised thinking "how are we going to give these all out in time?" but I was reminded that there wa

100% and More

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Day 19 3  While he was in Bethany,  reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.  4  Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume?   5  It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages   and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.  6  “Leave her alone,”  said Jesus.  “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.   7  The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.  But you will not always have me.   8  She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.   9  Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world,  what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” - Mark 14:3-9 S - is there a sin to confess? P - is there a promise to claim? A - is there an

Forgiven

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Day 18 25  And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. - Mark 11:25 S - is there a sin to confess? P - is there a promise to claim? A - is there an attitude to change? C - is there a command to obey? E - is there an example to follow? P - is there a prayer to pray? E - is there an error to avoid? T - is there a truth to believe? S - is there something to praise God for? S - As the verse implies, I think the sin needed to be confessed is the grudge against others. I've learnt that a grudge does no good, it rots inside of you and makes you an overall more bitter person. Forgive and relieve that burden, not only for them but for yourself. P - God promises us that he will forgive us. We must learn to do the same, should we expect someone to do something for us that we ourselves dont even do for others? A - N/A C - Its simple, forgive.  E - Christ says earlier in Matthew 18:22 to

Leave Everything Behind

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Day 17 17  As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees  before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  18  “Why do you call me good?”  Jesus answered.  “No one is good—except God alone.   19  You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”  20  “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”  21  Jesus looked at him and loved him.  “One thing you lack,”  he said.  “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor,  and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”  22  At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.  23  Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,  “How hard it is for the rich  to enter the kingdom of God!”  24  The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is

The First and The Last

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Day 16 33  They came to Capernaum.  When he was in the house,  he asked them,  “What were you arguing about on the road?”   34  But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.  35  Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said,   “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” - Mark 9:33-35 S - is there a sin to confess? P - is there a promise to claim? A - is there an attitude to change? C - is there a command to obey? E - is there an example to follow? P - is there a prayer to pray? E - is there an error to avoid? T - is there a truth to believe? S - is there something to praise God for? S - Pride. Everyone has it, especially in such a world where being on top, being the best is so valued and prioritized, we all struggle and strive for power, but we easily tend to forget about what is more important, that God is above all things, that we are to have pride in Him, not in ourselves, our careers, or our relations