Category: Faith

Key points:

  • Put no confidence in the flesh (vv. 4-6)
  • Seek to know, gain & be found in Christ (vv. 7-11)
  • Forget the past; press on (vv. 12-14)

Special shoutout to @jedsmiley for giving permission to share about her experience meeting #TaylorSwift & her baptism.

Slides here.

Beyond our bubbles

I came across this outside a local restaurant recently – Covid-safe dining in isolation. Is this indeed the new normal? It also made me wonder if as Christians & the church, are we guilty of living in our isolated bubbles? Another way of putting it is, do we exist in our own echo chambers? 2 Tim. 4.3-4 warns us that a time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but gather teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear, suiting their own desires, turning away from the truth. May we instead heed Jesus’ instruction to be salt of the earth & light of the world, not hidden, but to shine our light before people that they may see our good works & glorify God our heavenly Father (Matt. 5.13-16).

Shadow of the Almighty

Sitting in mandated quarantine back in Singapore this morning, returning with my family after 2 years in the States for my PhD studies, God has been reminding me of His sovereignty and protection, especially throughout the Covid pandemic (since early 2020).

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from … the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield & bulwark.

Psalm 91.1-4 #psalm91
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Carey Nieuwhof writes on emerging divides and church splits which are probably already happening or accelerating (largely due in part to the Covid pandemic) or coming in the near future. Each of these (and collectively) will likely greatly influence and impact whether churches will be well-positioned, effective in accomplishing their mission, and thrive in the future post-pandemic world.

  • Online-optional vs. fully hybrid
  • Bringing people back vs. moving people forward
  • Judging vs. embracing (loving)
  • Ideology vs. gospel-driven

Read the full article here.

Of stars and wars

What is this fascination that we have with space adventures and science fiction? Two of the largest sci-fi franchises, Star Trek (1966) and Star Wars (1977) book-end the epic first landing on the Moon by Lance Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin via Apollo 11 in 1969. Both franchises have sparked and amassed a huge cult following of superfans, through various media forms, e.g. film, television, comics, animated series, toys, gaming, etc.

Without going into a heated debate over which franchise is better or superior, here are some basic observations. Whilst both introduced us to alternate galaxies with multiple planets and species, Star Trek mainly focused on space exploration, and it debuted in television. The main protagonists are the Star Fleet team on board the USS Enterprise. The story plotline is more believable and probable in the not-so-distant future of human history. Hence, perhaps its draw especially amongst science geeks and space nerds, especially with the recent resurgence brought about by the highly successful Big Bang Theory, with its cast of brilliant, nerdy, fanboy physicists obsessed with comic books, video games and sci-fi movies.

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God’s grace is sufficient

A rainbow appeared over Tohoku on the 9-year anniversary of the Mar 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant disasters. (2 Cor. 12.9) #tohoku311

Photo credit: NHK Japan

Life is short


Amidst the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) & news of Kobe Bryant’s death, stay safe everyone. Keep close to family & friends. May we have wisdom to live life well (Ps. 90.12).

The paschal lamb

2019 marks the fourth time this 20th century that the Jewish Passover (20 Apr) and Easter (21 Apr) coincide on the same weekend, according to Western Christianity following the Gregorian calendar. Even as we explore the events of the Exodus, we see that it foreshadows the culmination of God’s sovereign plans, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In Jn. 1:29 (and later repeated the next day in v.36), John the Baptist proclaims, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

The Hebrew word pesach (from pasah, to pass over) corresponds with the Greek pascha (29 occurrences in the Greek NT, mostly in the Gospels referring to the Passover feast or lamb). Paul uses it to describe Jesus in 1 Cor. 5:7b, “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” The connections are clear – John quotes Ex. 12:46 when he observes, “Not one of his bones will be broken.” (Jn. 19:36). In the Mosaic Law, the paschal lamb was not a sin offering; instead, it was a special sacrifice tied to Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery. The blood of the lamb marked the doorposts of the Israelite houses, so that the angel of the Lord would spare those houses from the dreadful tenth plague which was visited on Egypt on the night of Passover. In Isaiah, the motif of the Suffering Servant further reinforces this link, when he declares, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth (Isa. 53:7).” Peter in his epistle writes, “For you know … that you were redeemed … with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect (1 Pet. 1:18-19).”

As we wrap up the season of Lent and Easter, and look towards Ascension and Pentecost in the liturgical calendar, let us remember that all God recorded in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, finds its fulfilment in the person and work of Jesus Christ, some 2000+ years ago, but also one day in the final judgment and second coming of our Lord and Saviour. May it be our heart’s desire to exalt Jesus in our lives and ministry, our sacrifice, our Redeemer and Lord, our worthy Lamb of God.

As part of his CRU speaking engagements in Singapore, we had the privilege of having Josh McDowell speak at our morning service on the topic “Is Jesus really God?” from Matt. 16.13-17. Years back, I was able to attend an apologetics talk he gave, but did not get to talk to him.
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Immanuel (God with us)

The mystery of the incarnation of Jesus Christ the Son of God still continues to bring wonder and awe to those presented with the facts of the gospel message – for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son to dwell among mankind in order to save us from our sins by dying on the cross (Jn. 3:16). Yet what does it really mean for God to be in our midst? Well, for one, it would not be like the satirical, almost blasphemous, 1995 song by Joan Osborne titled “What if God was one of us?” It would not even be like the storyline of the comedy movie “Bruce Almighty” where God bestows an unsuspecting human with His powers for a day, leading only to sheer disaster and calamity when things go awry.

The Bible tells us that “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel– which means, ‘God with us.’” (Matt. 1:23) which the apostle Matthew recorded in relation to angel Gabriel’s pronouncement to the virgin Mary of Jesus’ impending miraculous birth. This was just one of over 300 messianic prophecies to be fulfilled by Jesus found in the Old Testament (cf. Isa. 7:14), written hundreds of year before His birth. Mathematicians calculate that the probability of one person fulfilling just 8 of these prophecies would be 1 in 1017, and it would be 1 in 10157 for 1 person fulfilling 48 such prophecies, let alone one person fulfilling 300+ prophecies! Only Jesus, the true son of God, could accomplish this, and it is the magnificent detail of these prophecies that mark the Bible as the reliable and inspired Word of God.
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