2006-07-25

Kindness 1st then Truth 2nd

Pro 3:3 NASB Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.


Truth must be Package in Grace.
It is all too easy to point out the errors in others. But if our intention is to help, it must be done out of love. Correction without love and kindness only strengthens the bad behavior and defeat the objective of the correction. This is because truth could expose our faults and weaknesses. Hence truth must be packaged in grace. Or, grace comes first before truth.

The recipient must first recognize that you are for him before he can receive any word from you. Hence, it is always relationship and trust first before any correction.

See also Tough Decision Making - Loyalty vs Righteousness

Be Selective
We must be wise in selecting the persons to whom we share.

Not all people want to know the truth or are willing to learn.

Pro 9:7-9 GW (7) Whoever corrects a mocker receives abuse. Whoever warns a wicked person gets hurt. (8) Do not warn a mocker, or he will hate you. Warn a wise person, and he will love you. (9) Give advice to a wise person, and he will become even wiser. Teach a righteous person, and he will learn more.

2006-07-20

God's Sovereignty and Man's Responsibility

It is always a balance between God's sovereignty and man's responsibility.

On the one extreme of God's sovereignty, man is entirely at God's mercy and has no responsibility whatsoever. God chooses and saves as He wills. On the other end, man is fully responsible for his own life and for saving himself.

In the parable of the Sower, we can see that man does has a part to play in determining the outcome of life. The seeds sowed on different grounds of man hearts are the same seeds. The potential to produce are the same for all the seeds. However the outcomes are determined by man's hearts; or more specifically, man's reactions to external factors.

We have the hard heart that allows Satan to take the seed away.
We have the shallow heart that allows persecution to destroy the growth.
We have the choked heart that prevent the grow to produce fruits.
Lastly, we have the good heart that allow the seed to grow and to produce harvests of different sizes.

The seeds are the same, but the our hearts determine the harvest size.

God's love to everyone is the same, but our reception and response to God determine the abundance of the life in us. Some Christians struggle through life while some live in great joy and successes.

Related posts: God Initiates & Man Follows

2006-07-13

The Really Good News

The Gospel - Good News, is not just about after life. It is about this life here on earth as well. Jesus came to give us abundant life now and forevermore. Do not forget it starts now in this present life. Eternal Life (original word is ZOE life - God's Kind of Life as compared to Animal Life and Plant Life) starts now. We don't have to wait till we die to enjoy the abundant life.

Abundant life begins now with Jesus in and with us. He forgives and empowers us. He reconciles us back to Him and to our Father in Heaven. He came to set us free; free us from sin, sickness, poverty, and bondages. He empowers us now to live a victorious life. But we need to accept Him into our life first and to change our mind with the Word of God. Our degree of our abundant living depends on our commitment in practice to His teaching. As we yield our life to Him, we get to live this abundant life now! His yoke is easy - for we just yield to His power.

The Good News is also about God, Jesus, breaking into this world to be with us (to those who choose Him). It is about bringing Heaven on Earth through us and touching others. It is not just Jesus and us, but Jesus and us and others.

2006-07-12

Surrender Means

Surrendering to God's will does not mean that we kill off our desires.
Desire is not wrong or sinful. It just needs to be directed.
In fact, we want to pursue God's will with great intensity and passion.
A better phase for surrendering or obeying God's will can be "As you wish" or more precisely "As God's wish".
We serve Him as he wishes. This gives a sense of willingness and a motivation of love.


29 Jan 2011 add..... 
So surrender does not just mean giving up of oneself but of adopting and following another - the one we surrender to. It is the transfer of our Lordship, from self to Jesus.

2006-07-11

The Greatest Moment is ...

What is the greatest moment of your life ?
Birth ? Graduation ? 1st Job ? Wedding Day? etc....
The Greatest moment according to John Ortberg (Author of "God is Closer than You Think"), it is NOW!

The past is gone and we can never go back. Living the now in the past only trapped you.
The future is yet to be. In fact, the future is influenced by what you do now.
There is also no point in trying to live in the future by worrying now.

Now is the best moment - to live with the Presence of God.

What is the The Greatest Commandment?

In the OT, we have the 10 commandments. They are summarised as "love God and love others as oneself" (Mat 22:37-40).

In the NT, we come across other commandments. Below is a list:

Mat 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Mat 28:19-20 The Great Commission
(19) "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

1Jo 3:23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. (Joh 13:34)

Joh 13:34-35 NASB
(34) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (35) "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Mat 22:37-40 (37) And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' (38) "This is the great and foremost commandment. (39) "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' (40) "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

The "LOVE GOD" part in the OT is now "Believe in His Son Jesus Christ" of 1 Jo 3:23 and then love one another with His love.

So which one is the greatest of all ? How are they related ?

Luk 10:40-42 (40) But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me." (41) But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; (42) but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

The Only One Thing is to be at Jesus's feet. i.e. to be with Jesus all the time as His disciple. To know and to have intimate relationship with Him.

There are other Supporting Verses:
If you go through Paul letters and his prayers for the Believers, you will find that he often prayed that they know Jesus more. Phil 3:8 Knowing Jesus is the most valuable thing of all.

Eph 1:16-19 (16) ... making mention of you in my prayers; (17) that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. (18) I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (19) and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might.

Eph 3:18... to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God

Col 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

Conclusion

To know Jesus Christ intimately is the basic and greatest commandment.
  1. The knowing is not just mental but with the heart and with experience through following His will for us. 
  2. It is to know of His love for us that we may trust and obey His will for us. 
  3. Being rooted in His love, then we could love others as He loves them. 
  4. We can then execute the Great Commission to go to share the gospels and mentor them to be a like-Christ too.
John 13:35  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

2006-07-10

The fellowship of the like-minded

The fellowship of the like-minded
This is the summary of our Bible Study Group.
We like to share what we learn and also want to learn from others.
Please gives us your comments.

(29 Jan 2011)
It becomes the Friday Bible Study Group.

The Singapore Pledge & Christainity

Every student in Singapore has to recite the following pledge every day.
As Christains, perhaps we should has similar pledge to remind us too.
Below is the "Singapore Pledge"

We, the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society based on justice and equality so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.

There is a slogan too: "One people. One nation. One Singapore."

Propose The Church Version:

We, the citizens of Heaven and Children of our Father-God,
commits ourselves as one united body of Christ,
regardless of race, language or religion /1
to build a victorious/2 community
based on Christ and His love
so as to bring forth Heaven on earth,/3
giving love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control

notes:
/1 Christianity is relationship with God, not man created religion. It reaches to people of different religious background.
/2 Victorious: free from sin, sickness, poverty,... enpowered to love, good works, etc.
/3 His Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. It is of people hearts and not a political kingdom.