Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Why Are Millennials Leaving Church?

Why Are Millennials Leaving Church? Millennials Explain


\Nearly one year ago, Sam Eaton, a millennial from Minneapolis, wrote a blog post detailing "12 reasons millennials are over the church." Since then, he has received thousands of hateful and angry comments. But what he wants Christians to know is that that was his love letter to the American church.

"I got a lot of hate for this," said Eaton, an elementary school music teacher and founder of a suicide prevention ministry called Recklessly Alive. "I love the church like Christ loved the church. I want to see it prospering and I look around and I see my generation has left."

Eaton was joined this week by two other millennials to discuss his controversial blog post on "The Table" podcast, hosted by Dr Darrell Bock, executive director for Cultural Engagement at the Hendricks Center at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Bock invited them to try to better understand what millennials are thinking and why so many are leaving the church.

For one, millennials want to be mentored, not preached at.

"Preaching just doesn't reach our generation like our parents and grandparents. See millennial church attendance. We have millions of podcasts and Youtube videos of pastors the world over at our fingertips," Eaton wrote on his 2016 blog.

"Millennials crave a relationship, to have someone walking beside them through the muck. We are the generation with the highest ever percentage of fatherless homes. We're looking for mentors who are authentically invested in our lives and our future. If we don't have real people who actually care about us, why not just listen to a sermon from the couch?"

Eaton clarified on the podcast that he's not advising churches to stop preaching the Gospel to the younger generation.

"But if you're relying on that to drive millennials into your church, it's just not going to work because if I'm struggling with fear today, I can sit at home with my sweatpants and find 50 sermons by Francis Chan about fear," he explained. "Yes, keep preaching but also come around us … teach me how to live these things out."

Millennials not only want to be mentored but they also want to be heard and valued for who they are in a world that says they're not good enough.

Another reason millennials are "over the church" is that they're sick of hearing about values and mission statements.

"Stop wasting time on the religious mambo jumbo and get back to the heart of the gospel," Eaton wrote.

Expanding on that, Eaton said this week that though churchgoers need a common mission, they're not impressed when the church spends more time talking about the mission statement than putting it into action.

Kat L. Armstrong, executive director of Polished, a ministry for young professional women, believes integrity is a big issue among millennials.

"I think millennials are serious about integrity in a way we've never seen before," she said on the podcast. "Let's have some integrity behind our words."

Part of that includes serving the "least of these," Eaton noted.

While many churches schedule countless "church-type activities" such as Bible studies, social functions and planning meetings, very little time is being devoted to helping the poor or least fortunate, Eaton argued.

"I'm not saying we shouldn't be studying the Word of God; we should be studying that every single day. You should be in a Bible study … [or] in a small group but if that's it, you're kinda missing the point of this book (Bible)," he explained.

"I just don't know how you can read James or Matthew 25, the least of these, and just go back to your normal American life and not live it out."

Millennials are also tired of the church blaming the culture for everything, Eaton noted.

Nika Spaulding, director of Women's Equipping and Curriculum at Watermark Church in Dallas, said the young adult generation needs help interpreting the culture.

"Rather than hearing it's evil and dangerous, help us interpret it," she said on the podcast. "That kind of teaching requires nuance … to help you navigate this world that is utterly broken and yet has redemptive value throughout it that we can find."

The church also needs to start addressing controversial issues rather than avoiding it.

Issues include career, education, relationships, marriage, sex, finances, children, purpose, chemicals and body image.

"We don't like how the world is telling us to live, but we never hear from our church either," Eaton, who once struggled with suicidal thoughts, lamented.

"Tell us what the Bible says about these issues and then give us some space to wrestle with it ourselves and let us talk to God about what the Bible says," he said.

Another big issue millennials have with churches is distrust and misallocation of resources.

"Over and over we've been told to 'tithe' and give 10% of our incomes to the church but where does that money actually go? Millennials, more than any other generation, don't trust institutions for we have witnessed over and over how corrupt and self-serving they can be," Eaton wrote.

What millennials want is "painstaking transparency" - such as a document on the church website tracking every dollar, he suggested.

Spaulding noted, "We're being lectured all the time, 'you're living beyond your means' and then you look at this $5 million debt of a [church] building."

She said her church has a rule "where if my budget went on the front of the Dallas Morning News, would I be comfortable with that?"

"I think that holds me to a different level of accountability," she noted. "Would I feel comfortable telling the 20-year-old who gave 10 per cent of their $12,000 salary and the 60-year-old who … also gave me 10 per cent of their $150,000 salary, am I valuing their contributions?"

According to a 2013 Barna survey, 59 per cent of millennials (born between 1984 through 2002) who grew up in the church have dropped out at some point. Over a third said they left because of the church's irrelevance, hypocrisy and moral failures of its leaders. Meanwhile, two out of 10 said they feel God is missing in church.

Armstrong said she hopes that churches can put "some defenses down" and "take some ownership on this" as they try to bring millennials back to church.

Bock agreed that change is needed.

"How can we preach and teach transformation and then not be willing to change? That doesn't make sense at all," he said. "So to be challenged to do better is not something that should threaten the church, it's something the church should welcome."




Cred: Christian Post

Resting in His Omniscience

Today's Scripture: Ecclesiastes 8 (KJV)


Ecclesiastes 8 (KJV)
1 Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man's wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.

2 I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God.

3 Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.

4 Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?

5 Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.

6 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.

7 For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?

8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

9 All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt.

10 And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.

11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:

13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.

14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.

15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.

16 When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:)

17 Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea farther; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

Scripture Meaning

(1-5) Commendations of wisdom; (6-8) To prepare for sudden evils and death;  (9-13);It shall be well with the righteous, and ill with the wicked. (14-17) Mysteries of Providence.

Verses 1-5 
None of the rich, the powerful, the honourable, or the accomplished of the sons of men, are so excellent, useful, or happy, as the wise man. Who else can interpret the words of God, or teach aright from his truths and dispensations? What madness must it be for weak and dependent creatures to rebel against the Almighty! What numbers form wrong judgments, and bring misery on themselves, in this life and that to come!

Verses 6-8
God has, in wisdom, kept away from us the knowledge of future events, that we may be always ready for changes. We must all die, no flight or hiding-place can save us, nor are there any weapons of effectual resistance. Ninety thousand die every day, upwards of sixty every minute, and one every moment. How solemn the thought! Oh that men were wise, that they understood these things, that they would consider their latter end! The believer alone is prepared to meet the solemn summons. Wickedness, by which men often escape human justice, cannot secure from death.

Verses 9-13
Solomon observed, that many a time one man rules over another to his hurt, and that prosperity hardens them in their wickedness. Sinners herein deceive themselves. Vengeance comes slowly, but it comes surely. A good man's days have some substance; he lives to a good purpose: a wicked man's days are all as a shadow, empty and worthless. Let us pray that we may view eternal things as near, real, and all-important.

Verses 14-17 
Faith alone can establish the heart in this mixed scene, where the righteous often suffer, and the wicked prosper. Solomon commended joy, and holy security of mind, arising from confidence in God, because a man has no better thing under the sun, though a good man has much better things above the sun, than soberly and thankfully to use the things of this life according to his rank. He would not have us try to give a reason for what God does.
But, leaving the Lord to clear up all difficulties in his own time, we may cheerfully enjoy the comforts, and bear up under the trials of life; while peace of conscience and joy in the Holy Ghost will abide in us through all outward changes, and when flesh and heart shall fail.


Scripture Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Ecclesiastes with Chapter 8. In our text today we see Solomon ask the question, "who is as the wise man?" bringing up the fact that the wisest person will not know everything and this causes many to question God and not experience the joy of the Lord because they cannot understand everything about our Lord.

In making application we see that our relationship with our Lord is and eternal one. We will understand everything one day but for today we need to be Saved, Trust the Lord, Obey the Lord, and rest in His Omniscience. Don't let the enemy steal your joy because you cannot comprehend everything about our Lord here on Earth. How about you? Do you question God? Let us learn from our text today to remember that our Lord know all, He has given us Salvation,  and he wants us to experience His Joy as we rest in His Omniscience.




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Thursday, 6 December 2018

Not of the world, though in the world


My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. -John 17:15-16

How are God’s people supposed to engage the broader culture around them? There is much confusion about the topic of cultural engagement. Whereas some Christians choose to ignore culture, others rail against it. And others are seduced by it.

The Bible calls us to engage the broader society while retaining a distinctive Christian identity and purpose. We need to think deeply and clearly about what it means to engage secular, pluralistic culture, especially in our work.

Many Christians are confused about how and to what extent they should engage the world. For this reason, discussing cultural engagement requires humility and submission to God. We need to realize that if we do not think carefully about how to engage the culture, we may succumb to the ways of the culture that are not pleasing to God when we decide to engage it. Pastor and theologian Tim Keller explain:

“The reality is that if the church does not think much about culture - about what parts are good, bad, or indifferent according to the Bible - its members will begin to uncritically imbibe the values of the culture. They will become assimilated to culture, despite intentions to the contrary. Culture is complex, subtle, and inescapable…. And if we are not deliberately thinking about our culture, we will simply be conformed to it without ever knowing it is happening.”

Keller then reviews four different models of cultural engagement:


-Being relevant to the culture to live winsomely (joyfully)
-Transforming culture into the decrees of Christ when possible
-Living counter-culturally to shine the light of Christ
-Recognizing that there are two kingdoms- the kingdom of the world and the kingdom of God

According to Keller, each of these four Christian approaches to cultural engagement can help us discern how to engage the world in a fruitful and faithful way. There is not one uniform approach that should dictate how a Christian engages the world. Rather, there is a need for significant spiritual discernment in the difficult balance of being in the world, but not of it.

Every day we are faced with decisions about how we should engage the world in our work. For example, many of us have to make decisions about which clients to take on, whose lead to follow and what causes to stand for. And our decision-making inevitably entails all sorts of trade-offs, compromises and ambiguity. We often find ourselves living and working in gray areas, questioning how intentional or effective we are with respect to engaging the world distinctly as Christian.

How do we know where we can and should be flexible for the sake of a greater good? How far is too far before we lose our distinctiveness as Christians? The answers to questions like these will need to be considered case by case, with the wisdom of Scripture and other Christians. But the four approaches provided by Keller above are a good starting point. We must realize, with humility, that different situations require different approaches. Nevertheless, as Christ’s disciples we are called to engage the world so that we might win some to Christ and see his kingdom advance on earth.

How can you engage culture distinctly as a Christian in your day-to-day life?




Cred: Bible Connection News

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Prayer Requests

Today's Prayer Requests


VERA BANKSTON-JONES | Father God, You saved me again, me seeing You got something for me to do! Keep me, Lord safe!.......SELAH

Margie Chance | please pray for my son Merle who is dying from cancer he has bone cancer and leukaemia and is in a lot of pain the blood they give him does not seem to be helping any more thank u

VJ | plz  pray for me a financial miracle in my life 

TINA | Please pray for understanding and wisdom, due to which there is a problem for me at the workplace. I face a lot of criticism due to my lack of understanding regarding work. Please need assistance with prayer very desperately, I don't know how long I can tolerate this

Danny | in need of prayer my life is haywire right now every time I get 2steps ahead I get pushed 3 steps backwards wife is better now her mom is in rehab for a crack in her back love them to death so pray for good health and wealth and good times

MB | May God help me find a job with a financial stability in Jesus name!!

John Prasad. | PRAISE THE LORD  I thank God for this wonderful opportunity to share my testimony. I greet you in the name of the lord and saviour Jesus Christ.  I am Pastor from India. My name G.John Prasad. My wife name Param Jyothi. I have Three Children, two sons and one daughter 1. Brenham Kumar 2.Enosh Kumar 3.Blessy Angel  My sons they are going to Study Bible College. My daughter is studying 8th Standard.  I am doing ministry in a good manner in India at Gorripudi Village. Full name of my Church, JESUS PRAYER TOWER CHURCH CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION.  Our family is in full-time ministry since 11 years. We are doing Church ministry,   Not only church ministry, but also We are doing Social activities. That means 1. Mainly...  By proclaiming the Word of God We are giving Salvation for those who are walking under the Darkness in this World. By listening that preachings and sermons, we got 290 souls at in this few years. 2. We are keeping eye camp twice in a year and providing treatments for old age people and eyes operations for many people. *As well as we are keeping medical camps once in a month. 3. And we are helping the poor and needy people. 4. We took care of the needs of orphans, Widows and handicaps. 5. At every Christmas vacations, we are inviting the leprosy people and handicap people. 

Alex | This is my prayer request, 1. Prayers for work, 2. Health,3.Financial and Protection for my families. Have a Blessed Weekend

Sandra Thompson. ||I have been blindsided by my husband of 25years.   He has announced he is having an affair and is no longer "in love " with me.  But he loves me.  I have followed him all through his military career but now he wants to throw me away like garbage. I  love him more today than I did 25yeays ago when we were married. I am asking for prayers that he will talk to me and give counselling a chance.  I am willing to do almost anything to work this out.  Thank you,



Saturday, 1 December 2018

Why Should I Go to Church?

Prayer Team

When you decide to follow Jesus, you are not following a religion, but beginning a personal relationship with God through Christ. However, your faith isn’t just a personal thing that has no implications for connection with other people.


Scripture gives six reasons why the Church—the worldwide body of Christians—is important in your faith journey.



1. Church Was God’s Idea


God wanted to have a people for himself: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3). Jesus, too, spoke of the church. He made it clear that establishing the church was one of his primary missions and that, despite opposition, nothing would stop it: “….on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18).

2. You’re Already Part of Church


In God’s family, no one is an only child. You are part of a huge multinational, multicultural, multiethnic enterprise. The metaphor often used in Scripture is that of a body. This speaks of how utterly important each member is, including you. Each Christian needs the other parts of the body—those that are totally unlike each other—in order to see the full picture of who God is and to serve him effectively in this world. Check out I Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 for more.

3. You Have Spiritual Gifts to Offer


All believers are given spiritual gifts. These gifts are intended to be used to build other believers up. Again, Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12 have something to say about gifts, but also look at 1 Corinthians 14 and I Peter 4. The church should be a place to discover and develop your spiritual gifts. It can enable you to exercise your spiritual gifts through serving in different areas of mission and ministry in and through the church.

4. It Teaches You about Community


The Bible is filled with verses like “bear one another’s burdens” and “love one another” (read John 13:34, Romans 12:16, Galatians 5:13 and Colossians 3:13 for just a few). And the church is where you can learn to live out all these “one another” verses. You were never intended to do life alone, but rather in the company of brothers and sisters. Your transformation in Christ will start showing up in your relationships with others.

5. Church Gives You Role Models


As you interact with people across generational lines, you’ll learn what healthy, biblically-rooted relationships look like. You can find models of vitalized marriages. You can receive kindness from an older woman who fills the void your own mom was never able to fill. You can reprogram your concept of “father” (which is important for how to relate to God, your heavenly Father) when you have healthy relationships with men of integrity and purity.

6. Church is Ultimately about God


Last but not least, the primary reason the church gathers is to give God the praise he deserves. Unfortunately, that’s not always how it goes: In the same way people rate restaurants for service, presentation, and taste, they sometimes come to church with a “consumer mentality.” People wind up appraising the preacher or the band, either positively or negatively. Nonetheless, you and the rest of the church are called to “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness” (1 Chronicles 16:29).


What about you? If you’ve started going to church, have you seen any of these six reasons become a reality in your life yet?


by Mindy Meier

Original Source Link

Finnish Christian missionaries held in Malaysia return home

Christian Finns deported from Malaysia


COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Four Finnish tourists who were arrested in Malaysia last week for distributing Christian materials in public places on a resort island returned to Finland on Wednesday according to AP News

Timo Valtonen held up a pen — similar to ones inscribed with Bible verses that were seized in Malaysia — as he and three others were greeted by supporters at Helsinki’s Vanta airport.

They were detained last week in Langkawi and investigated for allegedly causing disharmony and violating their visa status. Police seized 47 pens and 336 notebooks containing Bible texts. They were deported Tuesday.

Proselytizing of Muslims by members of other religions is forbidden in Malaysia, although the reverse is allowed. Muslims, who comprise nearly two-thirds of Malaysia’s 31 million people, are also not legally permitted to change religion.

Spokesman and group leader Timo Valtonen, centre, holds up a pen as he makes a statement to the press upon his arrival, with three other Finns after being deported from Malaysia, at the airport in Vantaa, Finland, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018.

Four Finnish tourists who were arrested in Malaysia last week for distributing Christian materials in public places on a resort island have returned to Finland. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Lehtikuva via AP)


The four — two men and two women aged between 27 and 60 — were deported on Tuesday, 27 November, AP said.

District Police Chief Mohamad Iqbal Ibrahim told the media the arrests were made following complaints by the public. Since the arrival of the Finns on 18 November at least three reports regarding their activities had been filed, he said, according to Free Malaysia Today.



Friday, 30 November 2018

Will I Lose My Individuality as a Christian?


It is easy to picture my InterVarsity community as my personal gang. Colin—one of our chapter leader and hip-hop director of our school’s radio station—can throw down a mean rhyme on a moment’s notice, so I think that alone makes it a pretty good analogy for us. Our little gang has its own lingo, inside jokes, and knowledge that new Christians don’t have.

I should know. When I first joined our InterVarsity chapter, I understood about 80 percent of what the other students were saying...and I come from a Christian background. There were phrases thrown about that made me a little nervous, threw me off a bit.

So, I’m not surprised when I hear new Christians are concerned about losing their individuality in terms of how they talk, look, and act once they start following Jesus.

Jaime CastaƱer, InterVarsity Campus Staff at Ramapo College, said part of this misconception about losing our individuality comes from the language we use inside our Christian communities.

Phrases like being “born again” and “giving everything up” can seem intimidating, especially to someone new to faith.

“When we hear ‘giving everything up,’ we get this idea of losing all we have. Sort of like being in this desert, abandoned, where there is nothing around us,” Jaime said. “I rather see coming to Christ as a reorientation of our lives, rather than giving everything up. A refocusing of our life path.”

As someone who once heard this lingo and was a bit freaked out, I want to share what I’ve since found in my journey with Christ.

First off, I have not lost my sense of self. Sure, I have changed. A bit more patience, a bit more care in how I treat others. But I am still myself. I still love Diet Coke. I still nap way too much. And I’m still as determined and stubborn as I was before I started to follow Christ.

I think Jaime put it best when he said, “When you strive to be the best of who God made you to be, you discover your individuality.”

I can attest to that. After spending time in Christian community, I’ve learned my weaknesses and my strengths. I’ve learned what I need to work on, and with God’s help, I’m working to become who he wants me to be. At the same time, community has emphasized my strengths. God has given me a passion for writing, so I write blog posts like these and am part of a Christian-journalists group. I like storytelling, so I share other people’s testimonies and my own with my non-Christian friends.

God is the one who made us. He is the one who gifted us with strengths and weaknesses so we can improve every single day as human beings.

Psalm 139:14-16 explains it in a way I can’t:

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

Each of us was fearfully and wonderfully made. Why would God waste all that effort only for us to become mindless zombies? God loves our individuality because he is the one who gave it to us.

by Emily Brown

Original Source Link

Vanity

Today's Scripture: Ecclesiastes 1 (KJV)


Ecclesiastes 1 (KJV)
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.

18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

Scripture Meaning


Solomon shows that all human things are vain. (1-3) Man's toil and want of satisfaction. (4-8) There is nothing new. (9-11) The vexation in pursuit of knowledge. (12-18)

Verses 1-3
Much is to be learned by comparing one part of Scripture with another. We here behold Solomon returning from the broken and empty cisterns of the world, to the Fountain of living water; recording his own folly and shame, the bitterness of his disappointment, and the lessons he had learned. Those that have taken warning to turn and live, should warn others not to go on and die. He does not merely say all things are vain, but that they are vanity. VANITY OF VANITIES, ALL IS VANITY.
This is the text of the preacher's sermon, of which in this book he never loses sight. If this world, in its present state, were all, it would not be worth living for; and the wealth and pleasure of this world, if we had ever so much, are not enough to make us happy. What profit has a man of all his labour? All he gets by it will not supply the wants of the soul, nor satisfy its desires; will not atone for the sins of the soul, nor hinder the loss of it: what profit will the wealth of the world be to the soul in death, in judgment, or in the everlasting state?

Verses 4-8 
All things change, and never rest. Man, after all his labour, is no nearer finding rest than the sun, the wind, or the current of the river. His soul will find no rest, if he has it not from God. The senses are soon tired, yet still craving what is untried.

Verses 9-11
Men's hearts and their corruptions are the same now as in former times; their desires, and pursuits, and complaints, still the same. This should take us from expecting happiness in the creature, and quicken us to seek eternal blessings. How many things and persons in Solomon's day were thought very great, yet there is no remembrance of them now!

Verses 12-18
Solomon tried all things, and found them vanity. He found his searches after knowledge weariness, not only to the flesh, but to the mind. The more he saw of the works done under the sun, the more he saw their vanity; and the sight often vexed his spirit.
He could neither gain that satisfaction to himself, nor do that good to others, which he expected. Even the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom discovered man's wickedness and misery; so that the more he knew, the more he saw cause to lament and mourn. Let us learn to hate and fear sin

Scripture Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the Book of Ecclesiastes with Chapter 1.
In our text today we look at this book which means "the Preacher" as the wisdom of God preaches to us that all earthy things are futile. In making application we see that many spend all their time on earth attempting to gain the worlds riches, or knowledge, or pleasures when the truth is that there is no satisfaction in gaining these earthly treasures.

Today we see that the wealthy and self indulgent are among the most miserable folks on the planet. They have learned what our text proclaims that "things" do not make a person happy. How about you? Do you see that "things" do not bring happiness? Let us learn from our text today to see attain worldly things are vanity compared to the riches of knowing our Lord.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Persevere in Doing Good for our Nation

Day 40 (15 September 2018, Saturday)


Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

To succeed in its mission despite the mounting challenges, the Church must persevere on in doing good for the nation – to seek righteousness, justice and mercy; to bring the good news to all the people in this land.  We are called to press on.

Make no mistake, this is a long-term endeavour such as in running a marathon or a long distance relay.  It will need many hands to join together and it will take more than one generation to see its fruit and that is why the Church must continuously engage each generation’s young people so that hope and the mission is passed on and taken up anew.

“Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.  “For in this case the saying is true, “One sow and another reaps.  “I sent you to reap that for which you have not laboured; others have laboured and you have entered into their labour.” (John 4:36-38)

As we conclude another season of fast and prayer, let the words of Paul strengthen our hands and reassure our hearts to what God is doing through His people in our nation.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)



Pray for the Church of Sarawak

Mission Empowered by the Spirit of God

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

A Kingdom Oriented People

Daniel 7:27 And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.


Bible Reading:        1 & 2 Peter                    Ezra 9 – 10



SOURCES


Hope that Gives

Preface for Day 36 - 40:  Harvest and Mission 


By sending off workers to the harvest fields

The Lord of the harvest is building His Bride who will unconditionally to enhance the work of the Kingdom/global missions.

Focusing on East Malaysia (Sarawak)

Sarawak:  2,354,048 (Ethnic Groups:  Iban 30.3%; Malay: 24%; Bidayuh: 8.4%; Malanau: 5.2 %; Other Bumiputera: 6.6%; Chinese: 24.5%; Indian: 0.3%; Others: 0.7%).  Sarawak is the largest state in Malaysia.  It is known as “The Land of Hornbills” for it is the home of a vast number of hornbills, and Sungai Rejang (590km) is the longest river in Malaysia.  The state capital, fondly known a Kuching, “Cat City”, is located on the banks of the wide Sarawak River.

James Brooke was the first “white rajah” who ruled Sarawak from 1841, and the legacy of the Brooke Dynasty and the British can be seen today through many colonial buildings in Kuching.  Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia were Christianity is the major religion (44%), followed by Islam (30%) and Chinese (24.5%).  The Christians in Sarawak are mainly Ibanese, Chinese, Bidayuh, Lumbawang, Kelabit and Other Bumiputeras.

Focusing on praying and implementing mission work on the Great Commission


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SOURCES




Friday, 14 September 2018

Church Exists for Its Non-members

Day 39 (14 September 2018, Friday)


Acts 13:2 – 3 While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  Then after fasting and praying

Although hope can be fragile and elusive, hope is also a resilient and inexplicably tangible commodity.  Hope drives us on, often when it is in the direst of times.  It motivates us to do the best.  It energises us to turn visions into reality.  In whatever circumstances, hope in the coming Kingdom of God should galvanise Christians to extend his love to a lost and hurting world.

Beyond the Biblical accounts, godly Christians through the ages have acted boldly when faced with dwindling hope.  They persevered on and some paid the ultimate price – Dietrich Bonhoeffer when speaking the truth in the face of Hitler and the Nazification of German society and the German Church; Martin Luther King Jr. in confronting institutionalised racism in the so-called ‘Christian’ nation of America.

Today in our country, the hope to heal a nation that is increasingly fractured by racial, religious and economic differences is steadily bringing the Church together to pray, network, collaborate and partner in a whole range of ministries that build bridges, defend the truth, protect the weak and empower the poor.  There is still much room for improvement and greater inclusion but is it crucial for the Church to build on these initiatives as an output of being sent out by the Lord Jesus to demonstrate the Kingdom of God.



Pray for the Families of Sarawak

The Homeless & the Deprived

Psalm 10:17 – 18 O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.


Fear God and Bear Fruits

Psalm 128:3 – 4 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.  Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.


Bible Reading:        James 4 – 5              Ezra 1 – 8


SOURCES


Thursday, 13 September 2018

Hope of Healing a Nation

Day 38 (13 September 2018, Thursday)


Luke 9:2 “and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.”

Although hope can be fragile and elusive, hope is also a resilient and inexplicably tangible commodity.  Hope drives us on, often when it is in the direst of times.  It motivates us to do the best.  It energises us to turn visions into reality.  In whatever circumstances, hope in the coming Kingdom of God should galvanise Christians to extend his love to a lost and hurting world.

Beyond the Biblical accounts, godly Christians through the ages have acted boldly when faced with dwindling hope.  They persevered on and some paid the ultimate price – Dietrich Bonhoeffer when speaking the truth in the face of Hitler and the Nazification of German society and the German Church; Martin Luther King Jr. in confronting institutionalised racism in the so-called ‘Christian’ nation of America.

Today in our country, the hope to heal a nation that is increasingly fractured by racial, religious and economic differences is steadily bringing the Church together to pray, network, collaborate and partner in a whole range of ministries that build bridges, defend the truth, protect the weak and empower the poor.  There is still much room for improvement and greater inclusion but is it crucial for the Church to build on these initiatives as an output of being sent out by the Lord Jesus to demonstrate the Kingdom of God.




Pray for the People of Sarawak

Minority People Group:  Eastern Penan

Isaiah 45:8  “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the LORD have created it.

(Eastern Penan:  Unchecked logging activities have destroyed forests and its natural resources that are a source of their food and trading items, and polluted rivers as their key source of drinking and washing up.  Girls have been raped by loggers.)

Recognize our Creator & Respond to Him 

Genesis 1:26 – 27 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.  And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.


Bible Reading:        James 1 – 3                             Nehemiah 7 – 13


Remember

Today's Scripture: Ecclesiastes 12 (KJV)


Ecclesiastes 12 (KJV)
1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

8 Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

9 And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.

10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.


Scripture Meaning

(1-7) A description of the infirmities of age.
(8-14) All is vanity: also a warning of the judgment to come.

Verses 1-7
We should remember our sins against our Creator, repent, and seek forgiveness. We should remember our duties, and set about them, looking to him for grace and strength. This should be done early, while the body is strong, and the spirits active.

When a man has the pain of reviewing a misspent life, his not having given up sin and worldly vanities till he is forced to say, I have no pleasure in them, renders his sincerity very questionable. Then follows a figurative description of old age and its infirmities, which has some difficulties; but the meaning is plain, to show how uncomfortable, generally, the days of old age are. As the four verses 2-5, are a figurative description of the infirmities that usually accompany old age, verse 6 notices the circumstances which take place in the hour of death. If sin had not entered into the world, these infirmities would not have been known. Surely then the aged should reflect on the evil of sin.

Verses 8-14
Solomon repeats his text, VANITY OF VANITIES, ALL IS VANITY. These are the words of one that could speak by dear-bought experience of the vanity of the world, which can do nothing to ease men of the burden of sin. As he considered the worth of souls, he gave good heed to what he spake and wrote; words of truth will always be acceptable words.

The truths of God are as goads to such as are dull and draw back, and nails to such as are wandering and draw aside; means to establish the heart, that we may never sit loose to our duty, nor be taken from it. The Shepherd of Israel is the Giver of inspired wisdom. Teachers and guides all receive their communications from him.
The title is applied in Scripture to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The prophets sought diligently, what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. To write many books was not suited to the shortness of human life, and would be weariness to the writer, and to the reader; and then was much more so to both than it is now. All things would be vanity and vexation, except they led to this conclusion, That to fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole of man.

The fear of God includes in it all the affections of the soul towards him, which are produced by the Holy Spirit. There may be terror where there is no love, nay, where there is hatred. But this is different from the gracious fear of God, as the feelings of an affectionate child. The fear of God, is often put for the whole of true religion in the heart, and includes its practical results in the life.
Let us attend to the one thing needful, and now come to him as a merciful Saviour, who will soon come as an almighty Judge, when he will bring to light the things of darkness, and manifest the counsels of all hearts.
Why does God record in his word, that ALL IS VANITY, but to keep us from deceiving ourselves to our ruin? He makes our duty to be our interest. May it be graven in all our hearts. Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is all that concerns man.


Scripture Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Ecclesiastes with Chapter 12.
In our text today we see the preacher advise us on how we are to remember our Creator about who we are and where we came from to remember where we are going as we obey His Word.

In making application we see that we too should remember where we have come from and how the Lord has delivered us from our sin. To remember too where we are going and who we are in Christ to live the Christian life. How about you? Do you see who you are in Christ Jesus? Let us learn from our text today to remember where we came from and our eternal home Heaven as we allow the Lord to live His life in and through us as believers in Him.




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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Our Responsibility to Spread Hope

Day 37 (12 September 2018, Wednesday)


John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

Where does hope spring from?  It sprouts from God because when there was no hope, he sent his Son to give life and to inaugurate his Kingdom.  Jesus’ momentary renunciation of his privilege position changed forever the dynamics between life and death, mercy and judgment, hope and hopelessness.

“who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross.”  (Philippians 2:6-8)

But it also changed the dynamics of our responsibilities.  No longer strangers but his children and co-heirs, the task of continuing his work has fallen on all who believe in him.

Today in our country, Christians may be a minority in the national population (making up about 10% of the population only) but we need to understand our calling as God’s people and play our appointed roles in His mission whether as vocational ministry workers, people in the marketplace, students, retirees, homemakers or any other category.  This way, hope will spread far afield and we will see communities and nations transformed.




Pray for the Land of Sarawak

Cleansed from the Ancestral Tribal Strives & Worship

Ezekiel 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.

Righteousness in Dealing with the Issues of Land

Nehemiah 5:11 Return to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive orchards, and their houses, and the percentage of money, grain, wine, and oil that you have been exacting from them.


Bible Reading:        Philippian 1 – 4                         Nehemiah 1 – 6



SOURCES



Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Self-denial for the Sake of Others!

Day 35 (10 September 2018, Monday)


Luke 9:23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

If one were to follow Christ, one has to deny himself/herself and be self-sacrificial.  What is self-denial?  Is it self-abandonment?  Is it self-sacrifice?  Is it without self-confidence?  Is it self-loathing?  Many times, legalistic Christians are over-rigid and they are concerned that self-confidence, self-respect, and even self-love violate the very demand of God for us to be self-denial.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian, described that Christ is “a man for others” when he concluded the life of Christ.  He discovered that Christ had lived his life fully and completely for others.  He gave up Himself in order for others to receive God’s blessings.  A sacrificial life that carries his or her own cross is on that is willing to pay the price, to not prioritize other’s needs.

Bonhoeffer thought of living for Christ as more than being a godly religious follower, and for us to imitate Christ, and to live for others.  Therefore, living for Christ is living for the needs of others.  When there is a group of selfless people who are willing to die to selves, they will definitely bring changes unto this world of apathy and indifference.




Pray for the Church of Sabah

A Church that is discipled by the Lord

John 8:31 -32 … If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Willing to Pay the Price of Following Jesus

Luke 9:23 – 24 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.


Bible Reading:        Hebrews 12 – 13                        Daniel 1 – 8



SOURCES




Monday, 10 September 2018

Dare to Hope in the Coming Kingdom

Day 36 (11 September 2018, Tuesday)


Jeremiah 20:8 – 9 “For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, “Violence and destruction!”  For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long.  If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name, “there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.”

Hope is often times a fragile and elusive commodity.  Just when one thinks relief has come, it can so easily be snuffed out by despair or oppression.  The prophet Jeremiah was a person in such a situation, caught between a rock (God) and a hard place (his hard-headed people).  It seemed an impossible position with little hope for anything positive to come out of this task to proclaim righteousness and justice in a wicked environment.

Still, he stayed the course because he felt overwhelming compelled by God’s calling for him to speak His Word to his people.  Jeremiah was sent for this task and there was no turning back.

Today in our country, there is ostensibly dwindling hope for righteous governance and a more just society; for a healthier climate and a sustainable environment.  Dare we hope in the coming Kingdom of God?




Pray for the Head & Government of Sarawak

Voice of Righteousness

Proverbs 31:8 – 9 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The Reign of God over those in Authority

Psalm 103:19 The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.


Bible Reading:        Galatians 1 – 6            Daniel 9 – 12


Sunday, 9 September 2018

Men Who Faithfully Impart the Truth

Day 34 (9 September 2018, Sunday)


2 Timothy 2:2 And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.

Genuineness “become something very rare and precious in a market filled with counterfeits and fakes.  Likewise is our faith.

Is there a way for us to lead and assist others in becoming true disciples of Christ?  The key lies with us first becoming Christ’s disciples.  Regardless of the stage of life, we are in, the position we hold, the title we claim to be in church, and whether we are parents, instructors, mentors or bosses, etc., there is an inevitable fact we all have to face.  Only those throughout their lifetimes who are disciples of Christ are capable of influencing others to become disciples too.

Paul exhorted the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitated Christ.  His former statement will sound too arrogant if there were no subsequent facts to support it.  We end up with mere religious forms and outlooks and are not considered as His disciples the moment we stop following Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Only true disciples magnify their Lord and humble themselves by following Christ step by step, in order to live like Him and to reveal His love and fragrance.  People can see within them virtuous values they have been holding and defending as they live for Christ.  Only people with such values are able to bring forth excitement in others, and they will experience deeply in their hearts the reality of Christ’s life and confess that “You are my living testimony”!




Pray for the Families of Sabah

Parental Discipleship

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk to them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontless between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Breakthrough from Poverty Cycles

Psalm 121:1 – 2 I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.


Bible Reading:        Hebrews 6 – 11                  Isaiah 63 - 66



SOURCES


Saturday, 8 September 2018

Follow Me!

Day 33 (8 September 2018, Saturday)


Matthew 4:19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

There is a scene in the recent Spanish Biblical movie of “Son of God”, which goes like this: Jesus asked Peter, who failed to catch any fish and returned empty-handed in the morning, by the seaside, “Do you need any help?”

Peter looked fatigue and frustrate, and said “You can’:t be of any help.”

Jesus went on board Peter’s boat bluntly.  Peter asked, “What are you doing?”

“Go fishing with you, “Jesus smiled and said.

“I already told you there is no fish to be caught, “Peter said as he intended to leave, but at last he rowed his boat into the deep water and cast down his net.  Finally, the net was almost broken and it was too heavy for him to pull it up.

Peter was exhausted in pulling the net, and he asked, “How could this happen?” while puffing away.

Jesus did not answer Peter.  He gazed at Peter and said, “Follow me!”

“What are we supposed to do?”

“Change the world.”

Neither flattery nor lofty speech was given to the audience, the interpretation of this movie was so straight-forward.

“Come! Follow me!”

“What are we supposed to do?”

“Change the world!”

Brothers and sisters, if there were a choice to be made in this life, will you be willing to follow Jesus and change the world?

Pray for the People of Sabah

Harmony in the midst of Diversity

Romans 12:16-18 Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.  Never be wise in your own sight.  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honourable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Divine Encounter with the Living God

John 1:9, 12-13 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world…  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but God.


Bible Reading:        Hebrews 1 – 5              Isaiah 58 - 62


SOURCES



Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Teaching One Another

Day 30 (5 September 2018, Wednesday)


Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

While the Lord has established a teaching ministry in the church, and while we are thankful for faithful pastors, elders and teachers, Paul reminds us that we have a “teaching” responsibility towards one another.

While we should refrain from judging one another, and not be busybodies, we need to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.  The church cannot be just a place where individual Christians come for one or two hours a week just to worship, sing, listen to a sermon and afterwards, say a few polite “hellos” to a few people and go back to our own lives.  We should not treat the church as a concert or lecture event; we don’t go to church the way people go to temples.

The church is a family and a community.  We are a body, Christ’s body, and we are members of the Body.  When one suffers, all suffer; when one rejoices, we all share in that joy.

Singing in church should be and is, a wonderful family and communal activity.  Our songs and hymns should not just be directed to God.  There should also be occasions of teaching and admonishing, which include encouraging and warning, for one another.  A more contemporary sitting arrangement in church that have worshippers seeing one another’s faces rather than the backs of their heads is worth considering.


Pray for the Church of Selangor & Federal Territories


Fear God & Know Him

Isaiah 33:5 - 6 The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with  justive and righteousness, and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is Zion’s treasure.

Love the Word and be Word-centred

2 Timothy 3:16- 17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.


Bible Reading:        2 Corinthians 1 - 5                   Isaiah 41 - 45



Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Teaching or Instructing our Children

Day 29 (4 September 2018, Tuesday)


Psalm 78:5 He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children.

Psalm 78 is an important and long psalm that merits prayerful meditation.  It is the will, command and even a law that fathers (and mothers) passed on their traditions of faith to the next generation.  We need to be reminded that the primary duty of teaching our children the things of God falls on the parents – not the Sunday school teacher, the Children Church’s pastor, the Youth leader or Senior Pastor.  It is rather, Father and Mother. 

We can’t expect to raise godly children when we send our children to a non-religious school five days a week, 5 hours a day and only once a week for one hour of godly instruction in church.  That instruction in church.  That is unreasonable.

Teaching or instructing our children in homes takes place all the time, whether you intend it or not.  How do you expect your children to pray if you don’t pray for yourself?  How you expect your children to read the Bible if you don’t read it yourself?  How do you expect your children, to be honest, to be kind to others, to be unselfish, etc., if you don’t teach them by words and example?

Parents, don’t outsource the primary responsibility that God has given you.  Your children do not belong to you.  They are God’s gifts to you and you have a responsibility to bring them up in the fear of the Lord.  What profits a parent if they gain the whole world but lose their son or daughter?



Pray for the Families of Selangor & Federal Territories


Positive Atmosphere in Family Communication

Isaiah 50:4 The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary.  Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.

Build their Houses/Homes with the Presence & Wisdom of God

Psalm 127:1 – 2 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it in labour in vain.  Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.  It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.


Bible Reading:        1 Corinthians 11 - 16       Isaiah 37 - 40


SOURCES


Monday, 3 September 2018

Disciple with Love

Day 28 (3 September 2018, Monday)


Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Great Commission is not just about evangelism and making converts and making new believers.
It is about making disciples. Disciple-making involves not just leading a person to Christ. It involves
teaching them all the things that will make a good disciple.

It might surprise many that the word “Christian(s)” is found only three times in the New Testament:
Acts 11:26, 26:28; and 1 Peter 4:16. The most common word for Christians is “disciple.” It is used
261 times in the Gospels and Acts. Interestingly enough, it is not used elsewhere in the New
Testament. Literally, “disciple” means “learner”. Learners must have teachers, which is the gift that
Jesus gave to the church.

Just before Jesus returned to his Father, he instructed his disciples to make disciples and to teach
them to keep all his commandments – the primary commandment is that of love. Love God and
love people. Love one another.

It is important to remind ourselves of the theme of love in all our ministry, service and teaching. The
apostle Paul himself declared that it is the love of Christ that controlled him and his colleagues in their
ministry (2 Cor 5:14). To the Romans, he also wrote, “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom 13:10).
Love ought to be the motivation, spirit, content and goal of the Christian teaching ministry.

Pray for the People of Selangor and Federal Territories

 Minority People Group: Mah Meri

Psalm 68:4 – 6 Sing to God, sing praise to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the LORD; exult before him! Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
(Mah Meri: An aboriginal tribe in Selangor. While some have improved their living standards, others remain trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and social vices.)

 People with a Sense of Social Responsibility

Ephesians 4:28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labour, doing honest work with his
own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.


Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 6 - 10 Isaiah 32 - 36



SOURCES


Sunday, 2 September 2018

Jesus, Our Teacher And Example

Day 27 (2 September 2018, Sunday)

Luke 6:40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone, when he is fully trained, will be like his
teacher.

Some people see Jesus merely as a Teacher, or an Example to follow. This view of Jesus is sorely
inadequate. Jesus is the Saviour who gave his life to save us from our sins. He is the Lord and
Master, whom we pledge to obey. He is the Judge who will come one day to judge all peoples, all
nations and to right all wrongs. He is the Son of the Living God. That being said, Jesus is also our
Teacher and Example – an important truth to bear in mind.

This verse is part of a series of sayings about spiritual sight: “Can the blind lead the blind?” Jesus by
using humour, talked about a person trying to correct a minor fault of another while not seeing his own major fault.

Not everyone is a teacher in church but more often than not, we are tempted to teach others when we see something wrong in their lives. When we do that, we tend to be judgmental.

It is more important to have a humble teachable spirit than to have an arrogant, better-than-you, teaching attitude. The one who is fully trained will be like his teacher, Jesus, who is kind and compassionate, and who teaches to heal and not to hurt.

Pray for the Land of Selangor and Federal Territories

 Show Kindness and Hospitality to the Aliens

Leviticus 19:33 – 34 When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.
You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you, were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

 Declaring God’s Promises of Blessings Over the Land

Isaiah 55:10 – 11 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bright forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.


Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 1 - 5 Isaiah 27 - 31



SOURCES


A Time for Everything

Today's Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3 (KJV)


Ecclesiastes 3 (KJV)
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.

17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

Scripture Meaning


The changes of human affairs. (1-10) The Divine counsels unchangeable. (11-15) The vanity of worldly power. (16-22)

Verses 1-10 
To expect unchanging happiness in a changing world, must end in disappointment. To bring ourselves to our state in life, is our duty and wisdom in this world. God's whole plan for the government of the world will be found altogether wise, just, and good. Then let us seize the favourable opportunity for every good purpose and work. The time to die is fast approaching. Thus labour and sorrow fill the world. This is given us, that we may always have something to do; none were sent into the world to be idle.

Verses 11-15
Every thing is as God made it; not as it appears to us. We have the world so much in our hearts, are so taken up with thoughts and cares of worldly things, that we have neither time nor spirit to see God's hand in them. The world has not only gained possession of the heart, but has formed thoughts against the beauty of God's works. We mistake if we think we were born for ourselves; no, it is our business to do good in this life, which is short and uncertain; we have but little time to be doing good, therefore we should redeem time. Satisfaction with Divine Providence, is having faith that all things work together for good to them that love him. God doeth all, that men should fear before him. The world, as it has been, is, and will be. There has no change befallen us, nor has any temptation by it taken us, but such as is common to men.

Verses 16-22 
Without the fear of the Lord, man is but vanity; set that aside, and judges will not use their power well. And there is another Judge that stands before the door. With God there is a time for the redressing of grievances, though as yet we see it not. Solomon seems to express his wish that men might perceive, that by choosing this world as their portion, they brought themselves to a level with the beasts, without being free, as they are, from present vexations and a future account. Both return to the dust from whence they were taken.

What little reason have we to be proud of our bodies, or bodily accomplishments! But as none can fully comprehend, so few consider properly, the difference between the rational soul of man, and the spirit or life of the beast. The spirit of man goes upward, to be judged, and is then fixed in an unchangeable state of happiness or misery. It is as certain that the spirit of the beast goes downward to the earth; it perishes at death.
Surely their case is lamentable, the height of whose hopes and wishes is, that they may die like beasts. Let our inquiry be, how an eternity of existence may be to us an eternity of enjoyment? To answer this, is the grand design of revelation. Jesus is revealed as the Son of God, and the Hope of sinners.

Scripture Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the Book of Ecclesiastes with Chapter 3.
In our text today we look at the this text as a book of time and how there is a time for everything. I use this passage during funerals to point out that life is just a vapor. In making application we see that our life is just a few days. We dont live forever on this earth but if we are saved we will live with the Lord . How about you? Do you see that our life on Earth is just a few days? Let us learn from our text today to remember that life is just a vapor a we have a time for everthing, even death.




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