Category Archives: Spiritual Growth

Gather up the Fragments That Remain

A reflection on John 6:4-14:

Here, a familiar story of Jesus Christ demonstrating His limitless power that transcends all physicality. The story of the five loaves and two fish.

As we know, Jesus fed five thousand men with five loaves and two fish, a miracle witnessed by the apostles. But, there was also a second miracle when Jesus commanded the apostles to collect all the fragments, all the remains, for nothing to be lost. This again shows his overwhelming power, that even when the five thousand men were filled, there were enough to fill twelve baskets from the same five barley loaves that fed them.

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He Is the Redeemer

“Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people.” (Lk 1:68)

Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. Just as Boaz bought back land to guarantee Ruth and Naomi’s inheritance, by His death on the cross, Jesus has redeemed us from sin to secure our eternal life. In the book of Ruth, Boaz, as a close relative of Ruth’s dead husband, was the kinsman-redeemer for Ruth. In marrying Ruth, Boaz revived the lineage and patrimony of Naomi’s family.

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Cling to God

“For You, O God, have tested us;
You have refined us as silver is refined.
You brought us into the net;
You laid affliction on our backs.
You have caused men to ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water;
But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.” (Psalm 66:10-12)

As the people of God, we will undoubtedly go through periods of refinement. There will be times of affliction, times when burdens press hard against our backs. There will be times when we seem to be dragged into the net, when people will “ride over our heads,” when we will go through the fire and through the water. 

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Never Enough

For my people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
And hewed out cisterns for themselves,
Broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Jeremiah 2:1

Have you ever had a tasty bowl of soup that leaves you wanting more, but after drinking a few
more bowls, you only become more thirsty? Yes, that’s the power of Monosodium Glutamate
(MSG)! The bowl of soup tastes so good when you are drinking it, but it will never satisfy you.
In a world full of stress and worries, we often seek activities we find joy in, such as watching
films, playing video games, or scrolling through social media. After consuming all of those
media, however, we are no more joyful than when we started. In fact, we find ourselves craving
for more interesting films, or more exciting video games, or the next juicy celebrity update. This
joy is only temporary and but leaves us thirstier than before, just like drinking the bowl of tasty
soup made with MSG.

These are the broken cisterns we have hewn for ourselves, since they cannot truly satisfy. By
watching more films or playing more video games, we lose our time and draw our focus
away from God, the source of living water. As a result, we fall into a state of constant
dissatisfaction.

The next time we encounter a long day of work, rather than using all our effort and time to hew
broken cisterns, let us seek enjoyment in the Lord instead. By meditating on God’s Word,
journaling about God’s love and blessings, listening to hymns, having a meal with brothers and
sisters, or giving a call to a brother or sister you have not seen for a long time, we can feel
fulfilled by God. By drawing near to Him we are able to find lasting joy and satisfaction, for He
is the one who created us and knows our wants and needs. Our souls will be refreshed
and satisfied like having a sports drink after a long run.

Reflection Question:
Are you hewing any broken cisterns in your life today?