Some Little Thoughts

Saturday, November 18, 2006



Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."

When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

- Matt 26:36 - 44

We often place lots of value on what we want. Whatever it is, we want it done our way. We have learnt to request in such a way that 'if it is God's will it will be granted'. But how often do we mean it? When we have prayed in that way, and not received what we asked for, we still feel disappointed and angry that we did not have our way.

But what Jesus showed in his life was submission. When he prayed "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.", he meant it. And by meaning what he said in his prayer, he was submitting himself to God's will, obedient to death, even death on a cross.

This has been something I've struggled with. Deep down inside, we always want things to go our way. But when true submission comes it does not matter what happens, because God's way is the best. God's has a purpose for each one of us.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Soaring on the wings of God's Love

Many know the famous verses of Isaiah 40 - verses 30 and 31.

But if you read the entire chapter, it will give u much insight, and increase the depth of the meaning of the last two verses.

3 A voice of one calling:
"In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD [a] ;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God. [b]

don't these verses sound familiar? These verses were quoted in all four gospels by John the baptist, when telling people about God's purpose for him.

4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

We start to see the power of God in these verses; God has power over his creation and can change the landscape by His power.

6 A voice says, "Cry out."
And I said, "What shall I cry?"
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever."

Here we continue the see the greatness of God. These verses make the pursuit of success or greatness on this earth seem aimless, as all of us are like grass and flowers. How much do we really stand out? The grass and flowers don't have a very long lifespan, they eventually wither and die and are replaced by new ones.

The reference to men as grass leads us to the image Christ used in his sermon on the mount in Matthew 6:28 - 30: "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Matthew 24:35 is echoed by the second half of verse 8: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."

11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

God is our good shepherd, he leads us by quiet waters, comforts us; in Him we shall not want.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has understood the mind [d] of the LORD,
or instructed him as his counselor?
14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge
or showed him the path of understanding?
15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales;
he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations are as nothing;
they are regarded by him as worthless
and less than nothing.
18 To whom, then, will you compare God?
What image will you compare him to?
19 As for an idol, a craftsman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and fashions silver chains for it.
20 A man too poor to present such an offering
selects wood that will not rot.
He looks for a skilled craftsman
to set up an idol that will not topple.

Indeed God cannot be compared to anything, no image or idol could represent the greatness of God. 1 Cor 1:25: For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

21 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught
and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted,
no sooner are they sown,
no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
25 "To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.
26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God"?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

This chapter is indeed one of the most powerful chapters of the Bible I've read, and painted on the back of my Bible is an eagle with part of verse 31. I did not always understand the significance of the verse, it was almost quite stereotyped to me because it was quoted so much everywhere. But after I've read through the entire chapter of Isaiah 40, I can now see how great God is, and because of God's greatness the amount of comfort he can provide and the strength he provides is greater than anything the world has to offer.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Passion for Christ

What comes to mind when you see pictures of these people?

World class footballer Ronaldinho.. (ok i couldn't find the exact picture i used for my sermon.. and cheryl says he looks like a horse. lol)

Chef Jamie Oliver..

and some of you may not know him, but this guy is andres segovia, often considered to be the greatest classical guitarist who ever lived.

Well, the thing they share in common is that they all have or had passion for what they do. and we should learn how to develop our passion for Christ.

Well firstly, what is passion?
Passion can be described as boundless enthusiasm for something, something you can keep doing again and again and not get tired of it. Some people can eat and eat and not seem to get tired of it haha. teachers also appear to have boundless enthusiasm, especially primary school teachers.

“When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn." – John Wesley
Many famous musicians have great passion for what they do, and hence people come from all over to hear them.

"You never achieve success unless you like what you are doing.” – Dale Carnegie
How many of us say we have passion for maths or chinese? if we did we would probably do much better.

"One person with passion is better than 40 people merely interested." - E.M. Forster

Passion is something circumstances can only weaken, but cannot kill
Beethoven started to lose his hearing, something so valuable to a musician, but committed himself to composition, and among the pieces composed during his deafness was the 9th Symphony, that ends with an Ode to Joy chorus. all this despite not being able to hear or conduct properly. if you want the account of the premiere, can go to wikipedia and search.

but of cos all this besides the point that beethoven was going crazy, just an example to show haha.

Passion for Christ
Christ had boundless love for us, so shouldn’t we serve God with all our hearts? – Matthew 22:37: 'Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”' Shouldn’t we value our salvation more than anything else? the chorus boundless love also reflects how our focus should be like towards God.

Passion for Christ is the drive that helps us work tirelessly for the Lord.
Matthew 6:21: 'For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'

In the course of developing passion faith is needed: wise and foolish builders – Matt. 7:24 – 27
24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

in my opinion, i think the two men took an equal amount of effort to build their house, i mean, you try building a house on sentosa beach la. haha. but in the end, it was the wise man's house that stood through the problems.

Example of Paul – Paul was someone who had incredible passion for Christ, suffering a lot more than what we as followers of Christ would suffer in our lives. see 2 Cor. 11:16 – 33

Passion can spread
A fantastic example is the World Cup. i think the 2nd universal language besides music must be soccer. to have fans from different areas of the world cheering and cheering in one voice and to see the unitedness that stems from the World Cup, it must be something big. even i who know nuts about soccer knows that zidane headbutted materazzi. lolol.

and of course another example would be National Day. Even though the songs are sometimes like -.- but when you see the fireworks at the end of the parade (this year 3 times haha) and see the amount of effort put into the performance, you indeed can feel a sense of nationhood.

Developing Passion for Christ
Passion is not developed overnight.. if it could it wouldn’t be passion already!!

and by the way for those who didn't notice, my points spelt out the acronym PASSSION!! haha.

Pray Always – Eph 6:18: And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Phil 4:6 – 7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Prayer is powerful. An example would be the everyday prayer that we did leading up to youth camp. i prayed for my group every day, and even though i had doubts whether we would be able to cohere well together or not, in the end it turned out okay, and we even emerged the top group!! yay for KOTL!! haha.

Armour of God: put it on! – Eph. 6:10 – 17
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

1 Peter 3:15: ‘But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,’

Study the Bible constantly and meditate on it – Romans 8:6: 'The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;'
Committing scripture to memory is a powerful sword. songs are also a good way to keep the mind pure, and what we think about defines our actions and words.

Strength in weaknesses – 2 Cor. 12:9: But he said to me, '"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.'
This is a very powerful verse for me, as it often reminds me even though how weak i am God still can use my weaknesses for his glory. as many of you know, i was a very soft spoken person, and still am. but in a given situation, God has provided opportunities for me to develop my public speaking skills so that i may inspire others and give glory to God.

Serve unceasingly
Service is a gift of our time back to God
Jesus washes his disciples’ feet: John 13:1 – 17
1It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.[a]
14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Our attitude should be that of Christ, one of humility. my example here is CAS, something like CIP that we have to do thats part of our IB diploma programme.. we need to clock 150 hours of it. what some of my school friends did was to clock their church youth activities as CAS. even if it was allowed, i wouldn't do it, cos it it is like forfeiting your service for God for something else.

I am not alone: make time to be with your Christian brethren – Hebrews 10:25: Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

It's kind of like a piece of coal that you take out of a fireplace.. it slowly turns cold, while the rest of the coal in the fireplace is still blazing.

Open your eyes to the harvest – Matt 9:37: Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
This is an issue that i've often struggled with, as the situation in Singapore is often one of Tolerance vs Truth. We are often taught about inter-racial and inter-religious harmony, but we all know about John 14:6..
God has given each and every one of us our unique gift of influence. this gift differs for all of us and only each of us has this unique circle of influence. we should use this gift to touch lives so that others may see God through us.

Never give up – Parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1 – 8
Parable of the persistent widow:
Luke 18
1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'
4"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "
6And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
If our intentions are pure, if we are persistent we will succeed.

Hebrews 12:1: ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.’

Closing verses

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, Col 3:23

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8

It's difficult for both good and bad thoughts to coexist at the same time in our minds. if we keep thinking about all these things that are good, then all those other troublesome thoughts and worries would have to take second place in our mind.

in closing, i have a question for all of you.

Where is your treasure?

cos theres where your heart will be also.

Monday, August 21, 2006

This Is My Father's World

While panting on my way back from my once-a-month jog, i couldn't help noticing the greenery: the trees and their flowers, and the grass in the warm late afternoon light.

And i realised the pounding reality of God's presence.. man can only do so much to capture nature's beauty in paintings, pictures, and man can try to replicate plants by cloning, but man cannot create even an atom of grass, or leaf. Even Solomon in all his splendor was not dressed like a blade of grass.

In Psalm 19:1 King David praises God's creation: 'The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.'

How true it is. We all do need to go and take in the beauty of nature some time.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Boundless Love

There are many teachings popping up that all religions lead to salvation, just like there are many paths up a mountain.

If God made Christ die on the cross, with all these other ways to heaven, God must surely be a cruel god.

But you see, John 14:6 says 'Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'

By this, God is really the most loving God. ever.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Shout to the Lord of the earth, let us sing

These following verses, do they remind you of some songs that we sing?

Psalm 34:1 - 3
Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left.
1 I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.

1 John 4:7 - 8
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

well, i never knew where some of the song lyrics were taken from, but its remarkable how well we remember them. such is the power of music.

Colossians 3:16 says, 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.' through all the hymns and songs that we sing, they have the power to unite our hearts as one, and also let God's word dwell in us richly. recalling and singing hymns or choruses while we are alone reminds us of God's presence, and grants us comfort in our daily lives.

First Post

some little spiritual thoughts of mine.