A few weeks ago, our neighbour’s BBQ gas tank burst when they were having a BBQ, causing a huge fire. Our neighbour called the fire brigade and while the firemen were making their way to the house, our neighbour and my father were using the water hose to try and contain the fire. The fire was burning quite fiercely and thank God that the constant water applied to the gas cylinder prevented it from erupting.
As it was happening my initial thoughts were, “What if the fire spread to our house? Where are we going to live?” At the same time I also feared for my father’s safety, “What if the tank did burst, he would be injured quite badly!” My mother and I decided to pray to God while we all waited for the firemen to arrive. They finally did and managed to put out the fire altogether.
This incident left an impression in me–that is, the importance of having prayerful spiritual friends and family members in our lives. Whilst life for most of us is quite smooth sailing, unexpected “fires” may come our way. That is when we need our spiritual friends and family members to “offer up their safety and hold out their water hoses”–we need their support in prayer. Prayer is so powerful. But when we pray by ourselves we may lack power. And often when we face with “little fires or even big fires” our physical strength diminishes. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:20, “Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” God did not mean for us to walk this path of salvation alone. While we may have many friends, it’s the ones that are able to pray for you that are most precious.
What’s in a Dead Man’s Chest?
Disney claims it’s the still-beating heart of Davy Jones, but the Bible tells us it’s a heart of stone.
The terms “heart of stone” versus “heart of flesh” are found in Ezekiel 36:26-27, where the LORD tells His people, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
While a heart of flesh comes with the promise of restoration, cleansing, and hope, a heart of stone is associated with evil, wickedness, and the wrath of God. In other words, when our hearts are stone, we are as good as dead. Continue reading
I imagine that sometimes when people say, “I’m sorry for your loss” it can be a little frustrating because it does not seem like they could possibly understand or if it would even change anything.
Recently, a good friend got me to open up about my grievances and she turned out to be an incredible listener. When I was finished, she said something very simple but really meaningful to me. She said, “That’s unfortunate and I’m sorry you felt it, but do you think you are a stronger person now? You’ve grown and gained more experience.”
I felt like her consolation was different because she really meant it and showed genuine care even though I had not told her every single detail. Later, upon reflection, I wondered to myself why she would so sincerely apologize to me. I thought, “Why should an innocent third party have to apologize on anyone’s behalf?” I concluded that this was simply out of the pure love of friendship.
Similarly, isn’t Jesus an innocent arbitrator who apologizes for our sins on our behalf every day?
Our Lord Jesus also gives us the best consolation because, like an earthly father, it is hard for Him to see His dear children in pain “for we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15).
And with faith, perhaps we can hear His gentle whisper through friends who tell us, “That’s unfortunate and I’m sorry you felt it, but do you think you are a stronger person now? You’ve grown and gained more experience.”
My life is Yours.
I will do everything You want me to do.
I will go wherever You want me to go…
In Graduate Class this past week, we touched upon the parables of Jesus in Matthew 13. One of the parables the Lord Jesus uses to describe the kingdom of God is the parable of the fine pearl.
Matthew 13:45-46 says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
Deacons and elders in our church have interpreted this pearl to be the Holy Spirit. What does this parable teach us about the Holy Spirit? Continue reading