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Showing posts from August, 2023

Introduction to Bible Study Methods

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show yourself approved by God, a worker that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.   The Bible, as we all know, is the inspired word of God and a fundamental cornerstone of the Christian faith. It serves as a guide, a beacon of light illuminating our path in the darkness. It is a source of hope, wisdom, and salvation. These realisations are crucial for young Christians as they navigate through their journey of faith. Hence, it becomes essential for the youth to comprehend and appreciate the Bible in its true essence, fostering a deeper connection with it. Today, I will explore a few effective methods of Bible study Christians can adopt.   To begin with, one of the simplest and most effective ways to study the Bible is the 'Observation, Interpretation, and Application' method. This three-step process begins with observing the text carefully. This requires reading the passage several times, noting essential details like

21 Parables of Jesus Explored

Today we will explore parables, our Lord Jesus often taught in parables, short allegorical stories with metaphorical meaning. This was a novel teaching device he explains in Matthew 13:10-16 was to fulfil prophecy and to be grasped by those with the Holy Spirit and understanding:   “ The disciples said to Jesus, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” He answered and said to them, “Because to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but it is not given to them. For whosoever has, to him more shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever does not have, even that which he has shall be taken away. Therefore, I speak to them in parables: because though they see, they do not see; and though they hear, they do not hear, neither do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Esaias is fulfilled, which says: ‘By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed g

Hearts on Fire, not Lukewarm or Waxing Cold

John 5:35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.   In the book of Matthew, in chapter 24, verse 12, it says, " Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. " These words were spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ as he prophesied about the end times. It is a harsh reality, but it is an issue that we must open our hearts and minds to understand and address. It is a warning, a wake-up call, that as disciples of Christ we must heed.   The world today is brimming with uncertainty, chaos, and deceit. There is an increase in moral decay, discord, and division. It can at times seem as though darkness is overshadowing the light. And all too often, in the face of such wickedness, the love within us does indeed grow cold and harden like wax or ice. We become indifferent, desensitized, and even apathetic. It is a chillingly easy trap to fall into, but we must resist.   We are Christians. We are f

Overview of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ

John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.   Today, let us explore the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, whose footsteps we strive to follow. From humble beginnings in Bethlehem, Jesus' life was a testament to God's omnipotence and unfathomable love for mankind. Born in a humble manger, Jesus' life serves as a reminder that God's ways are not our ways. Despite His divine origin, Jesus grew up in a modest environment, showing us that material wealth is not a measure of God's favour or our worth.   Jesus began His ministry after being baptised by John the Baptist. He spent three years preaching, teaching, healing, and showing God's love to all who would listen. His teachings were revolutionary, challenging the religious and social norms of His time and laying the foundations of the Christian faith as we know it today.   One of the vital messages Jesus taught us about was love. In Matthew 22:39, he states, &

Sharing Your Faith by Writing with Grace

Luke 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I wish to share a message with you about writing. I know it might seem like an uncommon topic for a devotional, but I assure you that writing, like many other forms of creative expression, has roots reaching deep into our faith.   In the beginning was the Word. John 1:1 reminds us that the Word was with God, and the Word was God. God spoke, and the universe sprang into existence. Words have power, and writing, my dear friends, is an act of creating with words. When we write, we echo the creative power of our Heavenly Father, pouring a part of ourselves into our creations.   Take for a moment to think about the books of the Bible. They were inspired by God and written by men. God used writing as a vehicle to communicate His truths, promises, laws, and the hope of salvation. Writing allowed His words to transcend the limitatio

Living Christianity Sincerely and Faithfully

Psalm 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.   Today, I wish to write about two virtues that are fundamental yet profound: sincerity and faithfulness. As believers, our actions, words, and thoughts should reflect sincerity — genuine and without hypocrisy. It is through sincerity that our worship becomes pure and our relationship with God becomes intimate and personal.   Consider the example of our Saviour, Jesus Christ: he did not merely teach love, kindness, and forgiveness; He lived them sincerely. He was the embodiment of sincerity and truth, and He calls us to follow in His footsteps.   Now, let us consider faithfulness: written in Proverbs 28:20 we read, " A faithful man shall abound with blessings. " Faithfulness is remaining steadfast in our devotion to God, in our love for our neighbours, and in our commitment to righteousness, no matter the circumstances.   Think of the story o

How does Prayer work in Christianity?

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.   What honestly is prayer? How does it work? Simply put, prayer is our direct line of communication with our Heavenly Father. It is not just us talking to God, but it is also creating space for God to speak to us.   Prayer is not a one-way street, but a dialogue, a relationship, a communion with the Creator of the universe who loves us more than we can comprehend. It is a sacred time to express our gratitude, confess our sins, express our needs, and intercede for others. But it is also a time to listen, to seek wisdom, guidance, comfort, and strength from the Almighty.   But how does it work? Can we change God’s mind with our prayers? Can our prayers heal? Do some prayers go unanswered? These are questions that have puzzled believers for centuries.   The first thing we need to understand is that prayer does not change God; it changes us. James 4:8 tells us, " Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. " When we

How to Live a Christ-Centered Life

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, living a Christ-centred life is a call to order our lives under the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. In doing so, we bring honour to God and cultivate a life that is fruitful, peaceful and marked by love, joy, and hope.   In the Gospel of John 15:4-5, Jesus tells us, " Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing. " This statement by Jesus is a perfect depiction of what a Christ-centred life should look like.   To live a Christ-centred life means to remain connected to Jesus, drawing our strength, guidance, and nourishment from Him. Like a branch conn

Exploring the Core Beliefs of Christianity

Christianity, a monotheistic religion centred on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, is the largest religion in the world, with about 2.3 billion followers. Though the various denominations differ, they hold fast to the core tenets, which have deeply influenced the course of Western history and continue to shape contemporary societies. This short essay aims to illuminate the core beliefs inherent in Christianity, exploring its central doctrines. The first and perhaps the most fundamental belief of Christianity is the concept of monotheism. Christians believe in one God, the creator of the universe, who is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. This belief is encapsulated in the Nicene Creed, a confession of faith recited in many Christian denominations, which starts with the affirmation: "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible." The second core belief is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God – the onl

Elements of Faithfulness: What being Faithful Means

Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. Faithfulness is a word we hear often in church gatherings, prayer meetings, or even casual conversations. But have we ever paused to truly consider what it means to be faithful? It is not merely about regular church attendance, nor is it confined to following religious practices. It is the very essence of our relationship with God. It is a commitment, a promise of steadfast love and unwavering loyalty to our Lord and Saviour.   Imagine, if you will, a tree. It starts as a small sprout, vulnerable to the harsh elements. It has no grandeur, no majesty to draw the eye. Yet, this tiny sprout carries within it the promise of life. With time, given the right nourishment, it stretches towards the sky, its branches spreading wide, its roots digging deep into the earth. This tree becomes a beacon of life, sheltering creatures, providing fruits, casting

Christian Prayer for Healing and Strength

Heavenly Father, we gather today in Your holy presence, with hearts full of faith and spirits yearning for your divine intervention. We come before You, acknowledging our frailties, and the uncertainties that life sometimes presents to us. Today, we seek Your divine healing and comfort for those among us who are afflicted with sickness and pain.   We gather before You to offer up this prayer for strength. We come seeking Your embrace, Lord, in our times of difficulty and uncertainty, when our spirits are low and our bodies weary. Lord, You are our rock and our fortress. You are our shield, our stronghold, our refuge. You are the God in whom we trust, the God who promises not to forsake us. We come before you humbly, acknowledging that our human strength is no match for Your divine power, and in our weakness, Your strength is made perfect. In Your word, our Lord, we find solace, strength, and healing. Your word says in Exodus 15:26, "For I am the Lord who heals you", and w

Nurturing Seeds of Faith: Christian Parenting Tips

Proverbs 22:6 " Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it. "   Parenting is indeed one of the most challenging yet rewarding assignments from our Heavenly Father. A task that calls for patience, understanding, love, and, most importantly, nurturing our children in the ways of God. In Proverbs 22:6, the Scriptures point us to the importance of this role, encapsulating the essence of Christian parenting, which is not just about guiding our children through life but guiding them towards God’s path.   Lead by Example Our lives are the first Bible our children read. They watch how we live, act, and speak more than we might realise. Hence, our actions should reflect Christ's love and teachings. Strive to live a life of honesty, kindness, forgiveness, and generosity. It is not about being perfect, but about being a living testament of God's grace.   Instil Godly Values We live in a world filled with diverse va

Understanding Why a Loving God Allows Suffering

Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.   Today, I wish to share with you a message of faith, resilience, and hope. A message that seeks to answer a question that has crossed every believer's mind at one point or another: Why does God allow suffering?   The scriptures tell us in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ” This is a powerful verse, yet it is one that can be difficult to grasp when we are in the throes of pain and adversity.   At first glance, it seems paradoxical, even absurd, to suggest that pain and hardship can serve a beneficial role in our lives. However, our heavenly Father's ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. His viewpoint is eternal, while ours is temporal, most cannot perceiv

Nourishing the Soul: Meditating on the Word of God

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.   The significance of meditating on God’s word is often overlooked, yet it is the cornerstone of our spiritual journey. As Psalm 1:2-3 reminds us, the blessed man's " delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. " The bible paints a beautiful picture of a spiritually nourished life, akin to a flourishing tree, underpinned by the discipline of meditation on God's Word.   What does it mean to meditate on the Word of God? The essence of biblical meditation involves pondering, contemplating, and reflecting on God's Word so that it permeates our very being,

What is the Holy Bible and How to Read It?

Psalm 19:7-8 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.   I come before you eager to share with you a spiritual journey that lies within the pages of the most important book ever written - The King James Bible. With its eloquent language and timeless wisdom, the Bible is a gift, a profound source of comfort, strength, and guidance. Contained within is the Holy Word of God, punctuated with the Holy Spirit, refined many times like pure silver (Psalm 12:6) and His truth is preserved to endure to all generations (Psalm 100:5).   Embarking on this journey might feel overwhelming initially, given the depth and breadth of the text. But fear not, for just as Joshua 1:8 teaches us, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou may

What is Christianity?

Today, we will explore and discuss a fundamental question that is the bedrock of our faith: 'What is Christianity?'   Christianity, in its simplest form, is a religion based on the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who we believe to be the Son of God. It is more than a system of religious doctrines. It is a way of life, a journey towards God, guided by the teachings of Jesus Christ. Its essence lies in the message of love, redemption, and eternal life.   At the heart of Christianity is the belief in one God, who is eternal, all-powerful, and loving. We believe God revealed Himself to humanity through history, most completely through His Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, record this divine revelation and forms the sacred scriptures of Christianity.   Jesus Christ, the centrepiece of our faith, was a historical figure who lived in Israel over 2,000 years ago. His teachings, miracles, death by crucifixion, and resurr

The Big Question: Does God Exist?

How can we be sure God exists? To some, this may seem like a hard question. But I assure you, as we delve into the word of God and the world, the truth will be revealed in its purest, simplest form. Let us start by acknowledging that our God, in his infinite wisdom and love, has not left us without signs of His existence. We see His divine hand in the intricate beauty of creation, the depth of human emotion, and the profound complexity of the universe.   First, consider the universe. The beauty of a sunrise, the majesty of a roaring waterfall, the delicate intricacies of a blooming flower. The psalmist tells us in Psalm 19:1, " The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. " How can such beauty and complexity exist without a divine originator? The intricacies of our world point to a Creator who is not only vastly intelligent, but also deeply artistic.   Second, the very existence of human emotion and morality suggests a divine moral c

Enemies & Friends: King Nebuchadnezzar & Apostle Paul

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.   As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to a life of love, compassion, and forgiveness. This is not just for those who care for us, but also for those who persecute us. In Matthew 5:44, Jesus presented a radical teaching, unlike anything the world had ever known.   Praying for our persecutors may seem like an uphill task. It is not instinctive to pray for someone who causes us harm or distress. However, as Christians, we are called to a higher standard of love and forgiveness, patterned after Jesus Himself. His call to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors is not just a moral command; it is an opportunity for us to witness the transformative power of Christ's love.   Our persecutors can also become proponents of God’s glory if they open their hearts to His transformative love. Such is the case with King Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of Babylon in the Old Testament, and Apostle Paul from the

Live in the Present, Not Yearning for the Past

Isaiah 43:18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Today we will explore a topic that tugs at the heart of many of us — the yearning for the days past. We often get entwined in the glory of our memories and forget to live in the bountiful beauty of our present. Together, in the light of God's word, let us delve into the importance of being cautious about this longing for the past and the necessity to embrace the present that God has blessed us with.   Ecclesiastes 7:10 says, "Do not say, 'Why were the old days better than these?' For it is not wise to ask such questions ." This verse is an explicit reminder from our Heavenly Father about the dangers of excessive nostalgia. It is easy to look back and romanticise the past because we often remember the good times more vividly than the challenging ones. But we must remember, my dear brothers and sisters, God, in His divine wisdom, cautions us against yearning for the past.   W

Embracing Salvation: A Journey through the Gospel

Salvation, dear friends, is not merely a word. It is an experience, a divine transformation that elevates our spirit and brings us closer to our Creator. The Gospel, the holy Word of God, is the beacon that guides us on this path of transformation, leading us from the depths of despair to the heights of heavenly peace.   First, we must consider the perilous situation men are born into: sin and death. Sin is not just a transgression, a violation of God's commandments: it is a malignancy that manifests in our souls, causing them to wither and decay. It is a spiritual poison that contaminates our hearts and minds, distorting our perceptions and leading us astray from the path of righteousness.   Paul, in his letter to the Romans, reasons this so succinctly, " For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord ." (Romans 6:23). Death here is not just physical demise, but spiritual death – an eternal separation from our lov

The Gift of Grace: Our Pathway to Salvation

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one   I welcome you all in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Today, I want to share a message of hope, a message of love, and a message of grace. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the apostle Paul boldly proclaims, " For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast ." This scripture beautifully encapsulates the heart of the Christian belief in salvation by grace.   Grace is the unmerited favour of God upon believers, the love He has for sinners. It is His love and mercy given to us, not because we have done anything to earn it, but because He desires to give it. This grace is the gift that brings us salvation, the precious gift that covers all our sins and draws us into the embrace of our loving Father.   Salvation by grace is a truth that resounds throughout the scriptures. When Jesus Christ