Category Archives: Spiritual Growth

Settling for Second Best

When Israel was a child, I loved him,
And out of Egypt I called My son…
I taught Ephraim to walk,
Taking them by their arms;
But they did not know that I healed them.
I drew them with gentle cords,
With bands of love,
And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck.
I stooped and fed them. (Hos 11:1, 3-4)

From my parents’ retelling of childhood stories, old photographs, recollections and memories of the past, I can piece together some parts of my childhood. And some things, though unsaid and un-narrated, I can recall. Because both my parents were working when I was a year old or so, I lived with my maternal grandparents for the first few years of my childhood after I turned one. Inherent in those years was an old memory, or rather an old feeling I recall – a constantly longing I had for my absent parents while we were apart, especially my mother. Though there was nothing more I could ask for while I was under my loving grandparents’ care, I often missed my parents and would sometimes fall sick because of that, according to my grandmother. I had everything I needed or could ever want, but I missed my mother. That feeling is hard to describe. But it did make me a pensive child in my earlier years.

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Be the Master of Time

Partly translated from the article by Lirio in the Holy Spirit Monthly, June 2018, Issue 489, pp. 70-71.

Today, people become more and more dependent on their cellphones. Do you spend a lot of time on the cellphone? Have you ever thought how your time passed by? Everyone has 24 hours in a day. So how do we grasp hold of the limited time and make the best out of the available time? Let’s see what the Bible says.

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He Is the Best Friend

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)

Jesus Christ has offered His friendship to all of us. Through His death for us, the Lord Jesus has given us the love of a dearest friend. The Bible says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

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Be A Doer

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (Jas 1:22)

In this information-rich world, we might have noticed that our time for God and focus on God, particularly in Bible study or meditating God’s word have been dwindling. Thus, the prerequisite in being a doer of God’s word is to strengthen our spiritual foundation by making Bible study a priority in our lives (Jn 1:1; Mk 4:20). If we continue to do this on a daily basis, gradually Bible study becomes a habitual activity likened to taking a shower, brushing teeth, eating and drinking, etc.

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He Is the Great Physician

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. (Mat 9:35)

Matthew used ten miracles to illustrate the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew Chapter 8 and 9. He summarizes Jesus’ ministry by three things in Matthew 9:35: Jesus was teaching, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness.

People came to Jesus or brought to Jesus the sick and demon possessed for His healing. The Bible said that “He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.’” (Mat 8:16-17)

Jesus is the great physician. He said that “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick… For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” This language connects Jesus’ healing of sinners to His healing of physical sickness. He identified Himself as the one who calls people to Him and the healer of souls. We can come to Jesus to seek for the healing of any “disease”, whether it is physical illness, emotional distress, or the burden of sin.

We can pray for the sick and know that God will heal them. Facing financial turmoil or other challenges and difficulties of life, we may have fear or other negative emotions. If we believe in God’s sovereignty and ultimate control, we exchange our fear and worry for peace and contentment. When painful memories surface, we can bring them to Jesus for healing and restoration, allowing Him to remove the shame and sorrow that have been linked to those memories.

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. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:15-16)

Jesus knows by experience all our trials and temptations. Yet, He never failed or sinned. Jesus Christ is able to understand our weaknesses and miseries, for He Himself has experienced these very things. We are encouraged to approach God boldly with faith and seek His healing of any kind of “disease” – physically, emotionally, socially, or spiritually.