All posts in Devotional

Jesus Understands What You Are Going Through

 


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.

Hebrews 4:15


Do you sometimes wonder if God really knows what it is like to be poor, rejected by people or sick with aches and pains. Perhaps you are asking, “Does God really understand what I am going through?”

My friend, Jesus was no stranger to emotional or physical pains, poverty or hardships. He was born into a poor family. He had a smelly manger for His birthplace. (Luke 2:7) From an early age, as a carpenter, He knew all about working hard with His hands, standing on His feet all day long and returning home with aches in His body.

The religious leaders of His day made life difficult for Him. They challenged His authority (Matthew 21:23) and tested His teachings. (Matthew 19:3) They also called Him a glutton, winebibber, friend of tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:19), and blasphemer. (Mark 2:7)

They said that He was demon-possessed and mad (John 10:20), put Him on the spot when they brought an adulterous woman to Him (John 8:2–11), attempted to stone Him (John 8:59, 10:31–39) and accused Him of perverting the nation. (Luke 23:2)

Have you been chased out of your home because of your Christian beliefs? Jesus understands what you are going through. He was chased out of His own hometown. (Luke 4:29) Have you been rejected by someone you love? Jesus also experienced the pain of being denied by a loved one (Luke 22:54–62) and betrayed by one considered close to Him. (Luke 22:47–48) He also knows all about the sickness you are suffering because He bore your sicknesses and pains on the cross. (Isaiah 53:4)

Jesus certainly understands all that we are going through because being born fully Man, He was “in all points tempted as we are”. He endured His sufferings for our sakes, so that we can have His peace and the anointing to rise above the troubles we are facing!

Thought For The Day
Jesus understands all that we are going through because being born fully Man, He was in all points tempted as we are.


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Jesus—A Brother Like No Other

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Fresh Grace Every Day

 


Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:34


“I am concerned about the big business deal that I have to close tomorrow.” “I am worried about tomorrow’s job interview.” “My medical test results will be out tomorrow. I am afraid it won’t be good.”

God does not want you to worry about tomorrow. He wants you to know that He gives you all the help you need for today, and when tomorrow comes, so will fresh help from Him.

This is God’s principle even in the Old Testament. When the children of Israel were in the desert, God gave them fresh manna from heaven every morning. (Exodus 16:13–16, 31) They did not have to worry about tomorrow because when tomorrow came, there was fresh manna again. He was their provision every day.

Today, God’s manna is the grace He gives you every day. If you are worried about a situation tomorrow, know that there will be sufficient grace for that situation when it comes. God wants you to simply rest in His ability to heal, deliver, protect and provide for you every day.

In the Old Testament, when the armies of Moab and Ammon came against King Jehoshaphat, God told the anxious king, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed… for the battle is not yours, but God’s… You will not need to fight in this battle… stand still and see the salvation of the Lord…” (2 Chronicles 20:15–17)

When the next morning came, King Jehoshaphat saw how God caused such confusion to come upon his enemies’ camp that it brought about their own slaughter. Amid all that fighting in the enemy camp, God’s people merely stood still and saw Him fight the battle for them just as He had promised.

My friend, when you see a problem looming in your tomorrow, don’t be afraid or dismayed. Look to the Lord, and see His grace and salvation deliver you.

God wants you to live a stress-free life, not one filled with worries about tomorrow’s problems. When tomorrow comes, His grace will be there for you as your help, protection, favor and enabling!

Thought For The Day
God gives you all the help you need for today. When tomorrow comes, so will fresh help from Him.


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Fresh Grace For Every Trial

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God Is In It With You

 


And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28


Do you feel misunderstood and forsaken by the people you love? Have you been falsely accused and stripped of everything, without a dime to your name? Maybe today, you feel that you have hit rock bottom and you wonder if you can ever rise again.

Joseph, who was sold by his brothers into slavery (Genesis 37:28), went through all these experiences and emotions. Still, he was conscious that God was in it with him every step of the way. Though his life was a “mess”, he believed that it was not an accident. Though the things that were happening to him were not good, he believed that God was making all things work together for his good. And it was indeed so — Joseph eventually rose to occupy the most powerful position in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. (Genesis 41:40)

Probably, this consciousness that God was in it with him was the reason he forgave his brothers when he met them again later in his life. Joseph told them, “But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:5)

So like Joseph, whatever you are facing now, be conscious that God is in it with you. Be Jesus-conscious. Though you may have nothing or not much now in the natural, the truth is that you have everything when you have Jesus!

The same Jesus who went around enriching others with 12 baskets full of leftovers, a net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fishes, and who never impoverished anybody, will empower you to prosper and succeed in life. The same Jesus who went about doing good will cause good to explode in your life. The same Jesus who went about healing the sick and never giving anyone sickness will keep you in divine health and protect you from harm.

Beloved because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), as He was with Joseph, He is with you right now. And He will empower you to live the high life — the abundant life in which you will see God’s promises manifest!

Thought For The Day
God is with you every step of the way and making all things work for your good.


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Pray Perfect Prayers In The Spirit

 


Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Romans 8:27


Wouldn’t you like to pray effective prayers that are always in line with the will of God and which always hit the mark? Well, when you pray in the Spirit, you can.

You see, when we pray in English or our known language, and according to our limited understanding, we can pray amiss. Sometimes, our heads get in the way and we find ourselves asking, “Isn’t it selfish of me to pray like this?” or “Am I praying in line with God’s will?”

My friend, that is why God gives us the gift of praying in tongues. When we pray in tongues or in the Holy Spirit, we can never pray out of God’s will because the Holy Spirit “makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God”.

In other words, we pray perfect prayers in line with God’s will when we pray in tongues. And the Bible goes on to tell us that “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him”. (1 John 5:14–15)

Isn’t it wonderful that God has put in you the Holy Spirit who prays perfectly? He knows the heart of God and precisely what you need. And He makes intercession for you because He loves you very much.

The Holy Spirit is like your lawyer or legal counselor. He knows what belongs to you legally. He knows what your blood-bought rights are in Christ. Best of all, He knows exactly how to enforce them in your life!

Beloved, when you pray in tongues, you allow the Holy Spirit to pray perfect prayers through you. He pleads your case before God. He knows where you have gone wrong and what the root of the problem is. He also has the wisdom, solution and power to win your case. With the Holy Spirit on your side, you cannot but come out victorious!

Thought For The Day
We pray perfect prayers in line with God’s will when we pray in tongues.


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Moving By Grace In The Holy Spirit’s Gifts – Part 1

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Blessed With Every Pneumatikos Blessing

 


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

Ephesians 1:3


Some people think that the term “spiritual blessing” refers to only non-visible and intangible blessings like peace and joy. To them, God’s promise of “every spiritual blessing” excludes the tangible blessings of health, prosperity, a healthy marriage and so on. They say things like, “Don’t expect God to remove this tumor because our blessings are only spiritual.”

Beloved, do you know what the word “spiritual” here means? In the original Greek text, it is pneumatikos, which in this context means having properties and characteristics belonging to the Spirit of God. So if you have the pneumatikos blessing of health, for example, it means that it is of the Spirit of God, and therefore does not depend on your exercising or dieting.

A church member had high blood pressure which did not normalize even after he started exercising and eating well. So he stopped being preoccupied with his exercise and diet regimes, and simply rested in the truth that a normal blood pressure was a pneumatikos blessing from God already given to him. In a short time, his blood pressure came down to a healthy level!

The same goes for the pneumatikos blessing of prosperity. It is of the Spirit of God and does not depend on our toiling seven days a week or monitoring the stock market closely.

A church member, who owns a small company, received her pneumatikos blessing of prosperity when she believed that God would cause her small company to be publicly listed. He did. In fact, the company was over-subscribed seven times within the first week! Later on, it even made inroads into Dubai in the Middle East. For a woman to find favor in a male-dominated society like Dubai, it can only be the pneumatikos blessing of favor, which is not subject to the laws of man.

My friend, believe that you have received every pneumatikos blessing, and you will find yourself enjoying blessings that are eternal, just as God is eternal, and of a quality that only the Spirit of God can give!

Thought For The Day
You have received every pneumatikos blessing and each one is of a quality that only the Spirit of God can give!


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What Have You Been Saying?

 


Death and life are in the power of the tongue…

Proverbs 18:21


Many things in life can cause us to fear — losing our jobs, deadly diseases, terrorist attacks and so on. When these things confront us, we tend to give in to worry and fear, and start talking about our fears.

Job was no different. He constantly feared that God would punish him and his family because he kept thinking that his sons had sinned against God. He would get up early in the morning to offer burnt sacrifices, saying, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” And the Bible tells us that he did this “regularly”. (Job 1:5)

So Job kept confessing the sins of his sons and fearing that something terrible would happen to him and his family. In fact, his sin-consciousness didn’t just produce fear, the Bible tells us that he “greatly feared”. (Job 3:25)

It is important that we understand that it was Job’s sin-consciousness that opened the door to Satan. His preoccupation with sins that his family may have committed gave Satan the opportunity to bring death and destruction into his life. God had a hedge of protection around Job. But when he started being sin-conscious and having a fearful expectation of judgment, the hedge was removed and Satan could attack him. (Job 1:9–12)

My friend, today, if you have sinned, don’t say, “I have failed again. I deserve to be punished by God.” Know that you already have forgiveness of sins because Jesus was punished and condemned in your place! (Ephesians 1:7) So say, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ. Jesus, You are my holiness and perfection.” (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21)

We must be mindful of what we believe and say regularly because “death and life are in the power of the tongue”. So when you hear of a deadly virus taking many lives, don’t say, “I’m next because I have not been a good Christian!” Instead, say, “Jesus, You are my righteousness and protection. Surely You shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence!” (Psalm 91:3)

Beloved, such believing and confessing not only please God, but they also shut the door on Satan so that he cannot make any inroad into your life!

Thought For The Day
Be mindful of what you believe and say regularly because death and life are in the power of the tongue.


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Speak What You Want To See, Not What You See!

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God Is Easy To Take From

 


So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land…

Exodus 3:8


When the children of Israel provided for themselves in Egypt, they ate cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. (Numbers 11:5) These were types of food which required them to bend down close to the ground and pull out to eat — a backbreaking work.

But when God provided for them in Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey (Numbers 13:27), He gave them grapes, pomegranates and figs. (Numbers 13:23) These fruits were not found on the ground and the Israelites only had to pluck them to eat them.

God wants you to know that when He provides for you, you will see a flow of provisions coming your way, and all you need to do is to just stretch forth your hand and take from Him!

So if you are planning to get married, don’t say to yourself, “Well, if I work harder and start saving now, I will have… oh my goodness, not much! The cost of the wedding banquet will wipe out everything! How can I get married?”

As a child of God, know that your Daddy God is excited about your upcoming wedding, and He is very rich! I have not seen a single couple in our church lacking on their wedding day. What I have seen is money coming in on the wedding day itself. And before the last drop of champagne is drunk, everything is paid up. So instead of trusting your efforts to have enough for your big day, God wants you to fix your wedding date and put your trust in Him to provide for you richly.

Are you faced with a financial debt? How much do you think you can save by working overtime and taking on a second job? Some of our church members will testify that God simply turned their financial situations around. In fact, Pastor Mark, our Hokkien and Mandarin services pastor, had a sizeable debt before he became a Christian. After he got saved, he handed his debt problem over to God. Within two years, his debt was supernaturally cleared and he even had a surplus!

My friend, faith is the hand that takes from God. And He is easy to take from!

Thought For The Day
Faith is the hand that takes from God who provides for you richly.


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The Law Demands, Grace Supplies

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God Can Qualify The Disqualified

 


who [the Lord] redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

Psalm 103:4


Four women are mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. (Matthew 1:1–16) Interestingly, they are not Sarah, Rebekah, Leah or Rachel, wives of the patriarchs of the Old Testament. Instead, they are Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba, women who had morally questionable backgrounds.

Tamar resorted to deception and prostitution to produce children through her father-in-law. Yet, it was from her line, the tribe of Judah, that the Messiah came. (Genesis 38) Rahab was a Gentile and a prostitute in Jericho, who became a believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Joshua 2:1–21) She also became the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth. (Ruth 4:13)

Ruth was morally upright. But as a Moabitess, she was a Gentile and therefore considered unclean. Yet, she became the grandmother of David (Ruth 4:13–17), whom the Jews regard as their greatest king. Bathsheba committed adultery with David. (2 Samuel 11:4) Later, she gave birth to King Solomon (2 Samuel 12:24), from whose royal line Jesus descended.

So what is God saying to us here?

He is saying that He is greater than our sins — where sin abounds, His grace abounds much more. (Romans 5:20) His grace is greater than our sins, so that even when the world disqualifies us, He can qualify us to receive His blessings!

God is also saying that He is a God of many chances. These women’s stories show us that even when our troubles are of our own making, they are neither final nor fatal. When we turn to Him, He will turn our situations around until we see His glory upon us!
Finally, God is saying that He is a God of supernatural positioning. Even when all our earthly connections are gone, the moment we turn to Him, He will find ways to turn our captivity into blessings.

My friend, don’t look at your natural circumstances and be discouraged. Trust the One “who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies”. Trust Him who qualifies the disqualified!

Thought For The Day
God’s grace is greater than our sins, so that even when the world disqualifies us, He can qualify us to receive His blessings!


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Made Righteous To Reign

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Don’t Be Judgment-Focused

 


…God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them…

2 Corinthians 5:19


On which two ancient cities did God rain brimstone and fire? If your answer is Sodom and Gomorrah, you are right. But if you think that God was all eager to destroy the two cities, you are wrong!

God wasn’t willing at all. He was not on a sin hunt. He was on a righteousness hunt so that He could spare the cities. (Genesis 18:23–32) And I believe that if Abraham had asked God, “What if You can find just one righteous man?” God’s answer would have been the same: “I will not destroy the place for the sake of one righteous man.”

Today, the righteousness of one Man — Jesus — has come. Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our justification. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting our sins against us!

Therefore, no judgment will fall on you today because it fell on Jesus 2,000 years ago at Calvary. And if God was gracious enough to remove Lot and his family before the judgment fell (Genesis 19:12–22), how much more will He do for you who are no longer under judgment!

And because God does not judge you, don’t be like Lot’s wife, who became a pillar of salt when she turned around to look at the brimstone and fire. (Genesis 19:24–26) She wanted to see God’s judgment, even though the angels had warned, “Don’t look back, lest you be destroyed.” (Genesis 19:17)

So don’t be judgment-focused and look back at the sins you have committed. God is not against you. He is for you and on your side. He remembers that He has already judged and punished your sins in the body of His Son. And because He is faithful to His Son and to what His Son has done, He will never judge or punish you. Any trouble that you might have today is not from Him. But He will show you a way of escape because He is on your side. He loves you and has your best interests at heart.

Beloved, God is not out to get you. He is out to bless you. And He wants you blessed more than you can ever ask or imagine! (Ephesians 3:20)

Thought For The Day
Don’t be judgment-focused because God is not against you. He is for you and on your side.


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Grace — The Victory Over Sin, Guilt And Condemnation

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God Justifies The Ungodly

 


But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

Romans 4:5


Boldness is what God wants you to have when you come to Him. He does not want you to be afraid to come to Him, feeling unworthy because of your sins. He wants you to come boldly to Him, knowing that the death, burial and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ has justified you and qualified you to boldly receive from Him.

This was the kind of boldness that the woman with the issue of blood had when she touched Jesus. (Mark 5:25–34) Now, by touching Jesus, she knew that she was breaking a Levitical law which states that anyone with a bodily discharge is unclean, and should not appear in public, let alone touch another person. (Leviticus 15)

But she refused to feel condemned by the law. She believed what she had heard about Jesus, and was confident that there would only be love and compassion, not condemnation, from Him. She believed that Jesus would justify her and qualify her to receive the miracle she needed. That was why she boldly pressed her way into the crowd to touch Jesus, who indeed said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.” (Mark 5:34)

What was it about her faith that made her well? Romans 4:5 talks about faith that believes God justifies the ungodly. When you believe that God justifies the ungodly, it will give you boldness to come to God, even when you feel unclean because you have just blown it.

When you fail, don’t run away from God. Run boldly to Him, knowing that you are justified by the blood of Christ and not by your good behavior.

The devil may say to you, “How can you do that? Who do you think you are?” Don’t listen to him. Pick yourself up and thank God for the blood and the gift of no condemnation. (Romans 8:1) If God justifies the ungodly, how much more you, His beloved child!

Thought For The Day
You are justified by the blood of Christ and not by your good behavior.


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