Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spiritual Distance

The people stood afar off, but Moses drew near... where God was." - Exodus 20:21 NKJV

Moses alone knew what God's presence felt like, what His voice sounded like, and what His radiant glory looked like. And apparently the people of Israel were happy to leave it that way. They said to Moses, 'You tell us what God says... but don't let God speak directly to us... ' (Exodus 20:19). What were they afraid of, that God might tell them something they didn't want to hear? Hello?

When you haven't carried out God's last set of instructions it's hard to get excited about His next set. John writes: '... We can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, '"... I know God... "' but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God's word truly... love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did' (1 John 2:3-6 NLT).

So, are you content to be an onlooker, watching God move in the lives of others instead of accepting the discipline required to have a personal relationship with Him yourself? Do you want His gifts and His favour, but not the commitment that goes with them?

God doesn't want you to be infatuated with the Bible, or the church, or His blessings. No, He wants you to fall in love with Him. He's not looking for a date; He's looking for a bride! He wants someone who'll stick with Him when the going gets tough. Are you ready to put on the ring of commitment today?

Be Blessed.

Note: The article above is taken from daily devotion email from The Word for Today brought by TheVine in association with The Rhema Broadcasting Group Inc, New Zealand and UCB International Ltd

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Avoid the mines!

John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.

John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

In a documentary mini series called “Against All Odds” a remarkable story is told about an Israeli platoon who found themselves in the midst of a minefield along the Syrian border during the Yom Kippur War. When the platoon realized they were in a minefield they pulled out their bayonets and started to dig out mines and to disarm them. Suddenly, a fierce wind began to blow, removing the sand from the minefield. Each and every mine was exposed and the soldiers ventured through the minefield unscathed.

If you found yourself in the midst of a minefield, but had someone with you that knew where every mine was and could guide you through, then you’d be sure to stay as close to him as possible! My friend, life is a minefield; and the enemy has planted mines all across your path — the mines of temptation! You have Someone with you who knows where they are and how to guide you around them. But how closely are you walking with Him?

God’s word and His Spirit equip us thoroughly for life and godliness. Obedience to His word and abiding in His Spirit we can avoid every deadly trap of the enemy and even if He calls us to martyrdom, we can go joyfully in His power.

But in the meantime, let’s not ignore the presence and counsel of our Heavenly Guide. It’s too easy to become distracted by fears, entertainments, and even real responsibilities. But all these can pull us away from Him….so that we suddenly find our foot on a mine about to explode under us. The discipline of practicing His presence was never more important than it is now in these last of the last days. The Bible warns that “because iniquity abounds, the love of many shall wax cold!” Let us stay awake, fully conscious of our Helper’s presence. Led of His Spirit we will dodge every one of our enemy’s mines, and navigate both ourselves and others to safety, bearing fruit all along the way!

This devotional was provided by Worthy Devotions.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mission Trip to Cameron Highlands

Anyone that’s been a believer for very long realizes how small the world is these days and how the Lord has connected people with one another in miraculous ways. We meet hundreds of people from various backgrounds, and I’m often amazed how lives of those we meet are crossed over with others that we know. One thing for sure, everyday we come across people from different walk of life and at the same time an opportunity is established for us to be a blessing to them.

Last weekend, 14 of us from Youth Impact@TOP went on a mission trip to an Orang Asli(OA) village in Cameron Highlands. We were there doing a children program but above all we simply want to be a channel of blessing to this group of people. We have been so blessed with this opportunity that God has given us. A special appreciation goes to Timothy and Evelyn Cheng for coordinating and making all the necessary arrangement and helping us in many ways.

The team did extremely well. There was no one who was a “mission tourist” in the team. Everyone played an important role in impacting the life of these precious young children. The 25 minutes downhill hike and later the 45 minutes uphill hike never stop our group of young people to deliver the Good News and the love of Christ to the village kids.

We spend about 3 hours of ministering to the kids through songs, games, craft and message. The only place available in the village to do this activity is a church building that is made of few planks, some bamboos and a zinc roof. All of us were amazed how the fragile church building able to take the heavy activity we were doing. Sometimes we need to reflect and be thankful for all that God has given us in a city church. We have nice building, electricity, air-condition, sound system and other luxuries but yet we grumble and complain. The church at the OA village has nothing except an old guitar. There is no electricity and treated water supply.

Behind any successful mission work are bended knees, begging hands, sobbing hearts and tearful eyes before God’s throne of grace. The more we pray, the more we deeply understand the importance of prayer, and certainly, the more we realize that missions and prayers are inseparable. This is exactly what the team members did prior to the mission trip. We seek the Lord earnestly and pray for HIS will to be done through us. The Lord was gracious to us in many ways. The bond of love among the team members was strong. We know we are in the center of God’s will.

We believe our purpose to the OA village is to sow the seed especially the seed of the love of God. We are called to sow seed not knowing where it might spring up. There’s a saying, “What goes around, comes around!” It’s amazing how God has a way of doing that. Let’s keep sowing, because we shall certainly reap if we faint not!

To all the mission team members - Aaron Tan, Lin Ken, Melissa, Yi Lin, Theresa, Woan Sein, Ayen, Sara, Sue Lyn, Sam Teoh, Jo Cho, Terence and Sathy – thank you for your dedication and for your faithfulness. The LORD will bless you richly for your obedience in doing HIS will. Tim and Evelyn, thank you for opening the doors for us and guiding us through this mission trip. We have learned a lot of things from you especially stuff like BOOR, ABOOR, GAO and etc.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Renewing of our mind.....!!!

In today's busy lives, everyone is approaching a hectic life where we have to slog ever minute. Normally, when we wake up in the morning, the engine of our mind gets ignited and we began to think about many stuff. For some it may start with a random song lyric stuck in our head, or something related to the first thing we need to do at work. But sometimes it’s weightier than that. We’ve woken up thinking of friends we haven’t talked to for months or a problem in our life that needs resolution. Those mornings feel different, and those half-formed thoughts will linger until we act on them.

The Bible encourages us to renew our mind and this process will help us not to conform to the pattern of the world. Romans 12:2 says "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve God's will; His good, pleasing and perfect will." It simply says that renewing our mind implies taking on another world view. The influence of our minds on our spiritual lives is often grossly underestimated. We need a paradigm shift from the values and attitudes of the world toward the values and attitudes of Christ.

How do we renew our mind then? The Bible says in Deuteronomy 11:18 "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and mind". The most essential avenues in renewing our mind is through the study of the Scripture. Paul encourage this further by saying "Let the word of God dwell in you richly" in Colossians 3:16.

The outcome of renewing our mind daily with the Word of God is unimaginable. Psalms 119:105 says "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Only a mind renewed with God's word is able to cling to the dream God gives. Only a renewed mind is able to rise above the daily problems, imperfections and worries. Only a renewed mind can persist in dreaming, developing and living out those God-given visions, despite resistance. And there is so much more!

Be Blessed.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Time is precious!

We have already crossed the 1st half of 2010. Wow time indeed flies. The long waited 2010 World Cup is coming to an end pretty soon. We have seen a lot of surprises especially with the early exit of some of the world's top team. Well, my posting today is nothing to do with World Cup. Instead, it is topic on time management.

The Psalmist express beautifully in Psalms 90:12 - "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom". One thing given equally to every person, rich or poor – is time. Each year, we are given 365 days to live that equates to 8,760 hours and 525,600 minutes. How did we spend our 1st half of 2010? Reflecting over the last 6 months, I am astounded how quickly the year seemed to pass – almost like the proverbial blink of an eye. And looking back over it has caused me to ask, am I really carefully managing my time…the one commodity I “spend”, that I can never buy back? Wisdom comes only when we see the value of our days. We can value our days only when we know they are limited in number.

The phrase "number our days" expresses the thought of putting in order, arranging the use of, or prioritizing time because the end of one's life is fast approaching. It is important for us us to remember that our remaining number of days grows smaller each day. There is a need today for us to reorder our life and focusing on things that matter most to the Lord. We are saved to serve God. God's work should take priority over all our earthly demands. Jesus said that "no man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit (usable) for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62).

Let us redeem our time and occupy it till our Lord comes. It may be sooner than we think! Let us seize every opportunity to glorify God with our time - the only resource that is given to all of us equally. Let’s apply our hearts to wisdom to do the will of God and to glorify Him in all that we say or do.

Time is precious. Time is limited. Time is purposeful. Time is under God’s control, and we can do mighty things in time. Time can be of eternal significance. Expect great things from God, and attempt great things for God today.

Be Blessed.