A woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?” (Mt 26:7-8)
Imagine that you are invited to a friend’s house for dinner one evening. Another friend at the dinner brings out a box of delicious, exotic, and costly desserts—just for you. And as you are enjoying the first bite, some of your closest friends at the party whisper among themselves: “Wow, that is super expensive, yet the other friend is giving it all to him?! Why this waste?” This would be hurtful, not to mention disrespectful.
In the eyes of the disciples, the value of the fragrant oil far exceeded that of Jesus. Continue reading
“So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.” (Lk 16:8)
In the parable of the unjust servant, it was odd that the master commended the unjust steward who was facing imminent dismissal for his shrewdness. In light of his deceit, why did the master commend the steward? Why did Jesus use such a character as the unjust steward, and even tell of his commendation? Continue reading
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.” (Heb 6:19)
Lately it has become normal for me to deal with the challenge of facing new duties and new technology at work. Learning new skills, finding solutions, and meeting deadlines have become endless battles. However, any worthwhile endeavor involves risk and effort. The possibility of failure is always present. Stress and fear can come upon us like sailing through the turbulent sea amidst a storm.
God knows all our inner fears, including fears that are unknown to us. Continue reading
Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. (Eccl 4:6 NIV)
One Friday evening, the sermon topic “Better One Handful than Two Handfuls” caught my eye. This topic is a good reminder for us to meditate on – living a balanced life with contentment and moderation. We are often encouraged to work diligently, for laziness brings poverty. However, excessive toil of a workaholic can be destructive and also needs to be avoided. Exhaustion and stress can lead to many problems and diseases.
The driving forces of a workaholic can be personal motivations such as perfection, ambition, greed, or even jealousy and competition. But some may involuntarily overwork because of either company demands or a sense of job insecurity. One who works endlessly out of a sense of greed never ends up satisfied with what he has acquired. Fame and popularity quickly fade and are not remembered. Even a prestigious position does not provide lasting happiness and contentment. Continue reading
Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. (Ps 86:11).
In our speed-addicted, technology-centered society, we’re used to driving, riding, and flying everywhere. We’re very busy, extremely late, and have to get wherever we need to be ASAP. It’s no surprise that many of us even drive to the store at the corner instead of taking the dozen footsteps that could get us there.
Walking? Who has time for walking? Why tire yourself out when you can roll comfortably on a four-wheeler (enjoying the plush leather seats, air conditioning, and a sun roof)?
Despite the many comforts of modern-day transportation, several studies have shown the benefits of walking: Continue reading