Jurong Outreach

"whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ."

Leave a comment

Remember the Duck

In his book, “Will Daylight Come?” Robert Heffler pens this moving illustration.

There was a little boy visiting his grandparent on their farm.  He was given a slingshot to play with, out in the woods.  He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target.  Getting discouraged, he headed back to dinner.  As he was walking back, he saw Grandma’s pet duck.  Just out of impulse, he let fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it.  He was shocked and grieved.  In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to see his sister watching.  Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch that day…  Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.”  But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today,  didn’t you Johnny?”  And then she whispered to him,  “Remember the duck!”  So Johnny did the dishes.  Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing, and Grandma said, “I’m sorry,  but I  need Sally to help me make supper.”  But Sally smiled and said, “Well, that’s all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help.”  And she whispered again, “Remember the duck!”  Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed!

After several days… of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, he finally couldn’t stand it any longer.  He came to Grandma and confessed that he killed the duck.  She knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, “Sweetheart, I know.  You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing.  But because I love you, I forgave you.  I was just wondering HOW LONG you would let Sally make a SLAVE of you.

Like Johnny, YOU and I are guilty of committing sin: “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God(Romans 3:23).


The GOOD NEWS (the Gospel) is that forgiveness is AVAILABLE!  Jesus died on the cross so that we can be forgiven of our sin. (Romans 5:8). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us

God has promised that: –IF WE WILL

place our trust in Him: (Hebrews 11:6), “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

repent of  our  sins  (2  Corinthians 7:9-10),  “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance:for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might  receive  damage by us  in nothing.  For  godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised  him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

be baptized (immersed) into Christ (Acts 2:38)  “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  (Galatians  3:27)  “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.. and live in faithful obedience to Him” (1 John 1:7),  “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

THEN HE WILL– wash away our sins.

You would think…  that once we receive forgiveness from God, Satan would leave us alone, but he doesn’t!  He CONTINUES to accuse us and tries to make us feel guilty.  That’s what he does best – HE’S AN ACCUSER.  (Revelation 12:10).  “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven,  Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which  accused them before our God day and night.”  Sometimes we make the mistake of listening to him – REMAIN a slave!

Forgiveness offers freedom – freedom from “GUILT” as well as freedom from “SIN”.

How long will  YOU allow Satan to make a SLAVE of you? Accept the Lord’s forgiveness by TRUSTING and OBEYING Him today!!!

Leave a comment

A Life That Counts

One morning in 1888, Alfred Nobelinventor of dynamite, the man who had spent his life amassing a fortune from the manufacture and sale of weapons of destruction, awoke to read his own obituary.  Of course, it was a mistake.  Alfred’s brother had died, and the reporter inadvertently wrote Alfred’s obituary.

For the first time, Alfred Nobel saw himself as the world saw him“the dynamite King,”; the great industrialist who had made an immense fortune from explosives.  This, as far as the general public was concerned, was the entire purpose of his life.  None of his true intentions surfaced.  Nothing was said about his work to break down the barriers that separated persons and ideas.  He was quite simply “a merchant of death,”; and for that alone would he be remembered.

Alfred read the obituary with HORROR!  He felt that the world must know the true meaning and purpose of his life!  He resolved to do this through his last will and testament.  The final disposition of his fortune would show the world his life’s ideals.  And at that time came into being yearlyprizes for chemistry, physics, medicine, literature — and the famous Nobel Peace Prize.*

If you were to read YOUR OWN obituary today, what would it say?

How would others describe what truly mattered to you?

A wise person has written:

A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove,

how much money I made,or where I lived.  What will be important is that I…

How would YOU finish the quote?  How you answer that question will be reflected in your obituary.  The rest of the original quote is:  “What will be important is that I… made a difference in the life of a child.”  Indeed, to make a positive difference in the life of a child is extremely important and commendable.  However, THE MOST IMPORTANT factor in our lives, when all is said and done is: “WAS I A CHRISTIAN?”  Everything else is secondary.

NOTHING ELSE MATTERS MORE!  Your eternal destiny hinges on the answer…  Because of our sins, WE are lost, doomed to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14) “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

However, because of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross, YOU and I can be forgiven of our sins and have the hope of eternal life with Him in heaven.  God provides these blessings to those who will: 

  • place their trust in Him (Hebrews 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”,
  • repent of sin (2 Corinthians 7:9-10) “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
  • confess Christ (Romans 10:9-10) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”,
  • be baptized (immersed) in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
  • and live for Him the rest of their lives (2 Corinthian 5:15)  “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”.

Chances are, you will not be reading yoour own obituary. But you have already begun to WRITE it — day by day, moment by moment.

Live YOUR todays for Christ, and tomorrow you will look back on a life that counted!

Leave a comment

Repent or Perish


When we consider the sins so prevalent and common today, we are reminded of the urgent call to repentance – a change of mind leading to a change in life. Some people seem recklessly stubborn and persistent in wrong-doing no matter what the social consequences, while some toe the line between decent and deviant behaviours.

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish (Luke 13:3).” What Christ is stating here is of more dire consequence. He was not talking about serving time in a man-made prison for violating the law of the land. He was talking about eternal punishment for transgressing the divine law of God.

Calamities are not a measure of men’s spiritual conditions.

In the opening verse of Luke 13, some people reported to Jesus of Pilate’s massacre of the Galileans. “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices (Luke 13:1).” Jesus understood the implication of their words and corrected their erroneous conclusion that the Galileans must therefore be great sinners to suffer such a fate.

“And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things (Luke 13:2)?”

He explained that there was no difference between those who suffer disasters and those who don’t – they all need to repent or perish. “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish (Luke 13:3).” To further drive home the pertinent point, Jesus reminded them of another calamity. “Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem (Luke 13:4)?”

Once more the Lord delivered the pithy statement: “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish (Luke 13:5).” When we behold disasters that befall others, we must recognise the warning call for man to consider the fickleness of life and the call to repent. Disasters befall the righteous and unrighteous alike.

The impenitent shall surely perish.

The Lord’s statements made in verses 3 and 5 leave no room for argument – repent or perish. Not perish the same way as the Galileans and the eighteen did, but perish in a state of sin, unsaved.

‘All’ – there is no exception. Jesus’ warning applies to every person. ‘I tell you’ – it comes from the mouth of the Lord Himself. This certifies the authority and truthfulness behind the statement. This leaves men with no excuse arguing that it is the mere opinion of Jesus. “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day (John 12:48).”

False repentance.

As impenitence leads to destruction, so conversely, true repentance leads to life. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death (2Co 7:10).” Here a clear distinction is made between true and false repentance.

Esau is an example of worldly sorrow. “And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father (Gen 27:34).” The writer to Hebrews has this to comment on Esau: “For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears (Heb 12:17).”

How repentance is produced in the soul.
Let it be known that true repentance can only be the fruit of receiving the word of God in all humility. “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces (Jer 23:29)?”

The Jews on Pentecost were clearly affected by the preaching of the gospel. “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do (Act 2:37)?”

True repentance comes by the power of the gospel. Therefore, we must more earnestly preach the gospel to the lost. At the same time, we must search our hearts carefully against sins unrepentant of and seek God’s mercy.


Leave a comment

The Cross is not a Pretty Sight

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it (Luke 9:23-24).”

These words of the Lord, when first spoken over two thousand years ago, must have come as quite a shock to His first century audience. Unlike today, the mention of a cross in Roman-occupied Palestine in the life and times of Jesus Christ was nothing short of revulsion. This carpenter from Nazareth, whom many acknowledged as an extraordinary teacher (cf. Mat 7:28-29) and a wonder-worker (cf. Mark 1:32-33) risked the displeasure and perhaps even the ire of His listeners by referencing a cross!

To the Jews, the cross was a curse. The Law of Moses stated in Deuteronomy 21:22-23 “And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”

When Joshua sacked Ai, he hanged its king on a tree in a public exhibition of the latter’s damnation and judgment under the Law (cf. Joshua 8:29). The Romans’ cruel form of executing non-Roman criminals by crucifixion – nailing them to a wooden cross – was understandably perceived by the Jews as an ultimate shame and separation from the mercy and grace of Almighty God.

How else could the Jews of Jesus’ days have reacted to His teaching? Certainly not with the poetic sentimentality so common to our own days. The cross today is largely viewed to represent the giving up of bad habits and of suffering inconveniences. It has also evolved into a beautifully crafted fashion accessory to compliment one’s choice of dressing for the day. We find it commonly worn around the necks of many who profess a form of “Christian” piety but whose lives leave much doubt as to their true religious affiliation – from the “celebrities” living in open immorality to the skimpily dressed heartland girl.

The cross is simply not a pretty sight. The Lord was not making some sentimental statement designed to arouse warm and fuzzy feelings in His hearers. He was telling them (and us, let us not forget) something of a graver nature.

All three synoptic writers reveal that this statement was made in the context of Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Christ, the Lord telling the disciples of His impending death and resurrection, Peter resisting Him and receiving a rebuke in return and the paradox of losing one’s life to save it (cf. Matthew 16:13-27; Mark 8:27-38; Luke 9:18-26). The cross is a picture of certain death.

There is nothing romantically sentimental about the cross. The Lord lays down the price of discipleship. Those who are determined to follow Him must surrender their will and self-interests to Him. The surrendering of the will, that is, to say with one’s entire being as Jesus has said, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt (cf. Matthew 26:39)” is a true test of our resolve as disciples.

Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Christ led to the revelations of His imminent suffering and death. It was, in a very real sense, a challenge for the disciples to count the cost of following Jesus. Were they prepared to follow the Master to the death, if need be? Are we prepared to follow Him to the death?

It is extremely improbable that any of us today would suffer crucifixion as the Lord did. Nonetheless, disciples are expected to endure sufferings for His sake. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2Ti 3:12).” The early church was persecuted. James was the first apostle to be put to the knife. Stephen was stoned for his faith. Many were dragged off to prison and lost their lives.

The inspired Luke penned the words of Jesus, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Disciples carry the cross daily. Every single day we are prepared to die for the Lord; every single day we die to self and sin and the world. If anyone should think the price too heavy, let him reconsider. But mark the words of Jesus, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

Paul said, in 2Co 4:10-11, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”

The Lord who makes this stunning demand on all who would follow Him gives us great comfort and cause for rejoicing in His words recorded in the Sermon on the Mount.

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Mat 5:10-12).”

Are you paying the price of discipleship everyday by going to the death for Jesus Christ? If you are, blessed are you! If not, it is time to deny yourself and surrender your will to the Lord’s demand.

Leave a comment

The First Step

Two unmarried sisters had so bitter a ruckus that they stopped speaking to each other. Unable or unwilling to leave their small home, they continued to use the same rooms and sleep in the same bedroom. A chalk line divided the sleeping area into two halves, separating doorway and fireplace, so that each could come and go and get her own meals without trespassing on her sister’s domain. In the black of night each could hear the breathing of the other. For years they coexisted in grinding silence. Neither was willing to take “the first step” to reconciliation.  How sad! What could have been a fulfilling relationship became a terrible burden because neither would take the initiative in restoring the severed relationship.  Just think of what they missed!

Due to our sin, you and I are separated from God. Our relationship with God has been severed by SIN. “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

When a relationship is severed, love takes the initiative in mending it. If one of the sisters mentioned above had just taken it upon herself to seek reconciliation, it could have been saved. Yet, neither would take “the first step”, and so…the relationship died.

When it comes to OUR broken relationship with God due to our sin, God took the initiative to reconcile US to Himself. 

Although you and I are the offenders, the Offended One made the first move to heal the broken relationship. God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us … For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Romans 5:8, 10).

God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins so that we can be forgiven through Him. When we accept God’s offer of forgiveness, He accepts us! We become His children, related to Him by BLOOD – the cleansing blood of Christ that washed away our sins – the cause of our separation.

God took the initiative in mending our broken relationship due to sin, but you and I must respond to His love. The appropriate response to God’s love through Christ is to place our faith in Him (Hebrews 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Repent of our sins (2 Corinthians 7:9-10), Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death

Confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

And be baptized (immersed) so that our sins can be washed away (Acts 22:16). And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord

Then, as we walk in the light of His Word, the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:7). “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Due to our SIN, we are separated from our loving Creator. But Love took the initiative. “In this is love, NOT that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

Leave a comment

Might This Thing Be?

Toward the end of 2 Kings 6, we are told about a terrible famine in Samaria. Benhadad, the king of Syria, had surrounded the city of Samaria at the same time.
The people inside the city of Samaria were starving. It was so bad that people were even cooking and eating their children.

When the king of Israel heard that people were even eating their children he became angry at Elisha the prophet. Evidently Elisha had told the king to wait on God to correct the famine and defeat the Syrians. The king sends a servant to kill Elisha. Then the king follows the servant to Elisha’s house.

The king asks Elisha, “Behold, this evil is of the Lord; what should I wait for the Lord any longer?” Elisha tells him that at the same time the next day that there would be plenty of food for everyone (2 Kings 7:1). The king’s right hand man, his most important advisor or soldier and called a lord, laughs at such talk. This lord mocks Elisha by stating, “Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?”

The king’s lord’s statement is a mocking reference to the Flood. The word he uses for windows is the same word used in Genesis 7 for the windows of heaven which were opened by God to rain for the Flood.

This man is saying that God could not give that much food even if he opened the windows of heaven. This man did not believe the promises of God.

Elisha tells the man that indeed he shall see this happen but he will not partake in the blessings. The next day the Syrian army is deceived by God and runs away leaving all their food and belongings. The king places his right hand man at the gate of the city to try to keep the Samarians in orderly fashion to go to the Syrian camp and gather the spoils. The people run over the man and he is killed.

The prophecy of Elisha regarding the man and his statement is given twice more at the end of 2 Kings 7. That makes three times that it is given in the one chapter. We should learn from this that God is emphasizing the importance of believing what He says.

Even when we can’t seem to see the end result as yet, we must believe that God has promised us when we are suffering that He will be there for us, (John 14:27) and our trials will not be too much for us to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13 ).  We will have victory in Christ ultimately. God has told us that if we will obey His word that we will live with Him in Heaven. He has also told us that if we do not believe and obey His word that we will live eternally in Hell. I want to live with God in Heaven. I do not want to go to Hell. I am sure you want to go to Heaven as well. Do not be like the king’s lord who mocked by saying, “Might this thing be?”  God has shown us through His words how we can obtain this eternal life which He has promised to those who trust and obey.

You must have faith, a faith that trusts God (Hebrews 11:6).

You must repent of your sins (2 Corinthians 7:9-10), confess Christ (Romans 10:9-10), be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38), and continue to follow God for the rest on your life (1 John 1:7).

Do you fully believe in the promise of God?  Or are you asking, “Might this thing be?”


Sweet is the Promise
Sweet is the promise, “I will not forget thee,”
Nothing can molest or turn my soul away,
E’en tho’ the night be dark within the valley,
Just beyond is shining an eternal day.

Trusting the promise, “I will not forget thee,”
Onward will I go with songs of joy and love;
Tho’ earth despise me, tho’ my friends forsake me,
I shall be remembered in my home above.

When at the golden portals I am standing,
All my tribulations all my sorrows past,
How sweet to hear the blessed proclamation,
“Enter, faithful servant, welcome home at last”

“I will not forget thee or leave thee;
In My hands I’ll hold thee,
in My arms I’ll fold thee;
I will not forget thee or leave thee;
I am thy Redeemer, I will care for thee.

Leave a comment

Don’t Be Fooled!

Don’t be fooled by me! Don’t be fooled by the face I wear, for I wear a MASK!
I wear a thousand masks, masks that I am afraid to take off, and not ONE of them is me! Pretending is an art that is second nature with me, but don’t be fooled. I give the impression that I am secure, that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without, that confidence is my name and coolness is my game, that the waters are calm, and that I am in command and in need of no one. But DON’T believe it; PLEASE DON’T!

I idly chatter with you in the suave tones of surface talk. I tell you everything that’s really nothing, nothing of what’s crying within me!
So when I’m going through my routine, don’t be fooled be what I’m saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I’m NOT saying; what I would like to be able to say; what for survival, I need to say – but I cannot say! I dislike the hiding, honestly I do. I dislike the superficial phony games I’m playing. I’d really like to be genuine, spontaneous, and me; but you have to help me! You have to help me by holding out your hand, even when that’s the last thing I seem to want or need. Each time you are kind, gentle and encouraging, each time you try to understand because you really care, my heart begins to grow wings, very small wings, very feeble wings, but WINGS!

With your sensitivity and sympathy and your power of understanding, I can make it!
You can breathe LIFE into me. But it will not be easy for you. You see, a long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls. But love is stronger than strong walls, and therein lies my hope. Please help beat down those walls with firm hands, but with gentle hands, for a child is very sensitive, and I am a child.

WHO AM I, you may wonder? I am every man, every woman, every child, every human that you meet! –Charles C. Finn (adapted)


We ALL share in the human experience don’t we? Each one of us has a need to be loved, to be understood, and to be accepted.
And as part of this human family,
EACH ONE OF US — regardless of who we are, where on this earth we may happen to live, or the colour of our skin – also has a “desperate need” for GOD—for His LOVE, His MERCY and His GRACE!

Because of His great love for us (John 3:16), “the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to ALL men” (Titus 2:11)
Because of His great love for us, Christ “gave himself for us TO REDEEM us from all wickedness and TO PURIFY for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:14). He paid the price for our condemning sin, so that YOU and I might find significance, belonging, purpose, and hope in Him.


We receive God’s MERCY and GRACE when we: place our trust in Him (Hebrews 11:6), repent of our sin (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), are baptized (immersed) in Jesus’ name for the forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38), AND commit the rest of our lives to follow His will as revealed in His Word (1 John 1:7; Psalm 119:105).

Don’t be fooled! We ALL need God!

Will YOU accept His MERCY and GRACE?


I Would Be True
I would be true, for there are those who trust me,
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.

I would be friend of all the foe, the friendless;
I would be giving and forget the gift;
I would be humble for I know my weakness;
I would look up, and laugh and love, and lift.

I would be prayerful through each busy moment;
I would be constantly in touch with God;
I would be tuned to hear the slightest whisper;
I would have faith to keep the path Christ trod.

Leave a comment

Let Your God Be My God

Jeroboam was told by a prophet that God would give him rule over ten tribes of Israel God was doing this to punish Israel for her sins against God.

1 Kings 11:26-35
26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon’s servant, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king.
27 And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father.
28 And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.
29 And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field:
30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces:
31 And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:
32 (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:)
33 Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.
34 Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant’s sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes:
35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.

Jeroboam did indeed become king over all the tribes except Benjamin and Judah. Jeroboam’s kingdom is known as Israel. The other two tribes are referred to as the nation of Judah. Jeroboam ends up setting up idols in his kingdom for the people to worship. He appoints priests out of all the tribes. Priests were supposed to be appointed only  of the tribe of Levi, according to God’s law.  Moreover, Jeroboam participates in offering sacrifices to the idols.

A young man is sent by God to tell him about his sins. Jeroboam attempts to have the man arrested. But instead, Jeroboam’s hand is dried up by God. He asks the young man to intreat “the Lord thy God” (1 Kings 13:6). Jeroboam is admitting that Jehovah God is the one God but does not recognize Him as his god. After the young man intreats God, Jeroboam’s hand is healed. But as we read in 1 Kings 13:33, Jeroboam did not turn from his evil ways. His actions continue to be sinful and he takes all the people into sin.

Jeroboam is like some people today. They recognize God as the God of the universe. But they do not obey God’s commands. Instead they do what they want to do, rather than what God wants them to do. But when things look bad, or something unfortunate happens to them, they want God to help. They will ask Christians to pray for them. They will tell Christians to keep them in mind. Their situation may even get better. And they will thank the Christians for their prayers. But they will not turn from their evil ways. They continue in their sins and encourage others to sin as well.

Do not be like Jeroboam. Study the Bible. Learn all you can from it. And then obey God and do His will. Do not only acknowledge God but also obey Him.

THE GOOD NEWS is that Jesus died on the cross so that each of us can be forgiven of our sins. Those who place their trust in Him (Hebrews 11:6), repent of sin (2 Corinthians 7:9-10), confess Jesus (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38), are forgiven of past sins. Then as we walk in the light of God’s Word, the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us from sin (1 John 1:7).

Leave a comment

Your Reason for Living

A man had the good fortune and insight to take a chance with a credit card company in the Baltimore area several decades ago. He retired as a wealthy, high-ranking executive. In the course of his career, he put together a streak so impressive (35 years in which he never missed a day of work) that Cal Ripken wrote him a letter commending him for it. When he retired, the company gave him a classic car as well as many other lavish gifts. He had many benefits and perks, the admiration of peers and competitors, resort town houses, and considerable wealth. Yet, one day very soon after he retired, a doctor visit changed his life dramatically. He was found to have an aggressive form of cancer. Two or three months later, he was dead….

This is not a commentary on the morality or priorities of this man. Frankly, I know nothing about either. His story points out that his well-laid plans and successful career building could not forestall or avoid the inevitable end result common to every man. It also should provoke a question. For what are we living? Is our identity tied up in our career? Do we want to be known as the life of the party? Is it all about travel and adventure? Does life revolve around going to the river, the campground, the fishing hole, the beach, or the mountains? Is it sports, shopping, spending, or spirituality? Of necessity, all of us have a central focus. It is the thing that forms the bull’s eye at which we repeatedly find ourselves aiming.

The Scriptures reveal that Jesus should have the preeminence in our lives (see Colossians 1:18). Jesus is to be FIRST PLACE in our list of priorities. When it comes to our jobs, Jesus must take FIRST PLACE. When it comes to our recreation, same thing. When it comes to relationships, He deserves primary position. Whatever we say or do, Jesus must be at the forefront.

Only God knows the heart, but is it ever the case that we often choose money, sports, pleasure, recreation, hobbies, career, children, parents, spouse, or some other thing over Christ? The teaching of Jesus indicates that we often struggle in these areas. He warns that we may invest in the wrong kind of treasure rather than the true riches (Matthew 6:19-21). He implies that money can trump the Messiah as master of man (Matthew 6:24). He admonishes disciples to seek the kingdom first over “things” (Matthew 6:33). He warns against choosing family members over Himself (Matthew 10:37).

When life draws to a close, one will be confronted by the reality of what he or she made first place. Certainly, when one crosses the sea from time to eternity, there will be no denying, rationalizing, debating, or arguing about what one has chosen as his/her “bull’s eye.” But, in our heart of hearts, don’t we really know what’s most important to us… right now? It’s what occupies the greatest amount of our interest, time, energy, emotion, and effort. It is what we live for.

When we die, will what we live for help us live eternally or will it cause us to experience eternal death (cf. Revelation 21:8)? Let’s heed Paul’s urging to “set your affection on things above and not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2) by trusting God (Hebrews 11:6), repenting of our sin (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Christ (Romans 10:9-10), submitting to baptism (immersion) in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38), and living for Him for the rest of our lives (Revelation 2:10).

For what or for whom are YOU living?

Highs and Lows

If all the world were broad and flat
How dull the scene would be!
We’d wish instead for hills and vales
With changing views to see.

If all of life were free from care,
Devoid of tears and pain,
There’d be no failure or success —
No summits to attain.

But life is filled with ups and downs,
With happiness and woe.
Our joys are like the mountaintops;
Our sorrows lie below.

The Lord who made the lofty peaks
Designed the valleys too.
And He is there at every turn
To guide our passage through.

~ Amy Clarke Ellis ~

Leave a comment

What the Bible Has to Say About Homosexuality

Homosexuality is now constantly in the news.  Our denominational friends have made their stand clear.  Our Muslim friends have also made their stand clear.  So, what has the Bible got to say about this matter? Homosexuality or Sodomy is defined in the New Testament as literally “Men in bed with men.” Lesbianism is women having sex with women.  Both practices are sexual perversion.

(Genesis 19:5) “And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
(1 Corinthians 6:9) “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

Another term used for homosexuality is sodomy. Sodomy is named after the sinful practices of the men of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 19:1-29). There are other terms used in the Bible which refer to sexual perversion.  In Romans 1:26, it is known as vile passions. (Romans 1:26) “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.  In Romans 1:27, the Bible calls it unseemliness and lust.

(Romans 1:27) “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Those who practise such, is ungodly in the sight of the Almighty. (2 Peter 2:6) “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;”

Homosexuality is not a modern society problem as some may think. Such practices were around as early as Abraham’s time in Gen 19 and also in the 1st century as recorded in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.  The Scriptures clearly condemn such behaviour.  Another misunderstanding is that some were born with “homosexual  genes” and they can’t help but to live in such a manner.  However in Genesis 19:4, we find that both young and old, men from every walk of life, wanted to be engaged in such activity. They wanted to “know” the strangers that have come to their land.   Here, “to know” means to have sexual relationship and not just simply getting to know the person. To further illustrate: (Genesis 4:1) “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.” Can all of those young and old be born with “gay genes”?  There is no evidence at present to substantiate this biological theory that men can be born a homosexual just as there is no evidence to support any singular psychosocial explanation. In April 24 1999 the following was reported in The Straits Times: “Researchers in Canada cast doubt on the idea of a “gay gene”..,” saying they had been unable to find any genetic link between homosexual brother.

These researchers, of the University of Western Ontario, in studying pairs of gay brothers “found no evidence that they shared some sort of mutation in that area.” [William Byne and Bruce Parsons, Homosexual Orientation: The Biologic Theories Reappraised, Archives of General Psychiatry 50 (1993): 228-39]

The only union approved by God is between husband and wife. (Hebrews 13:4) “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” One of the single most important victory which the homosexual have attained has been to shift the debate from that of behaviour to that of identity.  This change creates the false view that those who upon the basis of God’s faith oppose the sin of homosexuality do so because of hatred and personal animosity toward those involved in such a perverse lifestyle.  So what does God say about homosexuality?  IT IS A SIN!

(1 Corinthians 6:9-10) “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (Leviticus 18:22-23) “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.  Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.

In conclusion, men are not born homosexual. They need not choose to live that way.  God clearly condemns such behaviour.  Nevertheless, as Christ has come to save those who are lost in sin, those who practise such sexual immorality can have their sins washed away on the basis of obedience to the gospel.

(Mark 16:16) “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 All those who repent and turn to God are welcome—yes, welcome into the Kingdom of God, His Church.