Category Archives: Devotionals

Devotionals

Devotional – Persistent Prayer – Luke 18:1-8

Prayer is so important in our Christian life but very often Christians struggle with prayer. Here in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells us a parable to teach us to pray consistently and do not lose heart. Why is it important? Two reasons: First, it is a timing issue. Sure, God will listen and answer our prayer. But most of the time, He has His own timing which is usually different from ours.  We want to see things happen right away, but God wants to teach us to be patient and trust Him more. Second, prayer is not magic.  Prayer is a process to help us align our heart to God’s heart.  Prayer helps us to understand God’s plan so that we will be keeping in step with Him.  That needs time and again needs patience.

Note that the judge in this parable is NOT representing God’s character.  Jesus is using the “Rabbi formula” – giving an earthly example and tells us “how much more” God is better than that example. Even that unjust judge would listen to the helpless widow.  Our loving God sure will listen to us.

“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (v8)

What is your burden in your heart? Have you persistently prayed for it?

Devotional – Jesus Cares – Luke 7:11-16

11 Soon afterward  he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” (ESV)

I could understand sometimes, we would distance ourselves from the unfortunate. Perhaps, because we feel like we could not do anything, or we are so afraid we would get “infected.  Once I read, “Care is compassion, to care is to be human”.  Indeed, we are capable because we all receive this gift from God.  We just need to make the first step.

Jesus shows us: He cares.  His heart went out to this poor widow.  “He had compassion on her”.

Will you have compassion to the poor, to the sick and to the sinner?

14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

Once we care, the Spirit will prompt us to ask God to give His grace.  It is not that we have power. But it is His healing and His power.

When I care for someone, I will pray and ask God what would be the best for this person.  God is gracious, He would give us what we need to reach out to this person.  Then we will see God’s glory and know that God is among us!

16 Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”

 

Devotional – He shares in our humanity – Hebrews 2:14-18

“No one is an island”, we all need friends, especially when we are suffering and in pain. There are so many people who are lonely, feeling depressed and they couldn’t find anyone to talk to. Even though we don’t know how to help them, sometimes, just being with people in suffering is already a great help.  The word compassion literally means “to suffer with.”  Suffering with us: it is the theology of incarnation. The letter of Hebrews tells us Our LORD Jesus came in to this world as fully human in every way. Sure, He wants to identify with us and much more than just a friend, he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God (Hebrews 2:17).  Priest is someone standing between human and God. His task is to make atonement and pray for the people.

Praise God we have our LORD Jesus Christ. He walks with us and gives us help in every moment.  Let us always come to Him and ask Him for mercy and compassion.  Let us also act like Jesus, to offer our presence to those who are in pain and suffering.

Devotional – All of them may be one – John 17:21

Before Jesus left the disciples to go up to the cross, He prayed for them.  Not just for the twelve but for all who had believed and will believe in Him.

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

We are all connected in Christ’s love.

Some may have a misunderstanding that our spiritual life is personal only: What we do will not affect the others. We just need to withdraw and practice spiritual disciplines, like prayer, reading bible, then we will become spiritual.  Then the worst comes when we start to compare our spiritual maturity with the others and think we are better.

But we forget we are indeed just one body.

Spirituality is not measured based on our personal achievement.  In fact, the purpose why we receive love of Christ is we can pass it on, in the service of love to the others (perhaps first to our loved one in our own family). This love, which we found in Christ, helps us to seek good of the others rather than our own momentary interest or pleasure. This is how we continue Christ’s ministry with His sacrificial love.

John 17 is consecration for the disciples.  Jesus prepared them for the mission ahead. They were being sent to the world to witness Christ.  And Jesus prayed for us too, so let us get ready (always), to love the others like Jesus does and bring the Gospel to them, like someone brought it to us.

Devotional – And whoever touched him became well – Mark 6:56

The Gospel tells us:  Wherever Jesus went, village or town or country crossroads, people brought their sick to the marketplace and begged him to let them touch the edge of his coat.

There is something never changed in this world. That is the world is full of sick people.  Not just physical sick, but spiritual sick. In fact, spiritual sickness is much disastrous.  People commit sin with all kind of excuse and reason, hurting themselves and hurting the others, bringing destruction and death.

Then we human developed a punishment system in our society: prison or even death penalty for crime.  But it’s never an effective solution to sin.  What this system achieves is just to hide it that we can turn our face away from it.  It is still there, active and torturing us every moment of life.

We desperately need a doctor can heal us: who can wash away our sin and help us not to commit sin again.  Praise the LORD, we have Jesus Christ.  He is filled with compassion.  He is the fountain of life, the perfect image of GOD.  He will restore us to beautiful image of God deep inside of us.  Jesus said “I’m here inviting the sin-sick” Mark 2:17

I pray that we would come to Him and receive healing. He is willing. And whoever touched him became well” 

Devotional – Total dependence on God – Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble (v1)

A theologian once said, “Faith is the awareness of our total dependence on God”.   Do we believe in our own ability or do we depend on God only when we cannot depend on ourselves?  As Christian, we are to trust and believe in God every situation, to admit our limitation as human and acknowledge that there is “One True” God who is all powerful and everything can be under His purpose.  Even a war or other natural disasters are purposeful in His divine will (v4-6, 9).  When we face natural disaster, we feel so helpless. But if we admit that we are only human and God is all powerful, “we will not fear (v2)”

When God is with us, we will not fail (7, 11).  But we need to practice our faith. When we do not see it, do not experience it, we still trust and believe. “Be still and know that I am God (v10)”

In the beginning of 2018, let us focus on practicing how to depend on Him on every situation of our lives.

Devotional – How majestic is your name in all the earth! – Psalm 8:1

The theme of Psalm 8 is on God’s greatest creation – human being.  However, it begins and ends with praise: O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  I believe it is a great reminder that our proper response to our existence and our role in this world is to praise God.  Bless His name.

What is the name of God? From Exodus 3:14, God reveals His name to Moses, “I am who I am”.  I am – EHYH (in Hebrew) means “to be”.  The name of God tells us He is the Creator.  Life comes from Him.

The third person singular form of the verb “to be” becomes YHWH.  The Jews are very serious about this name and they would not pronounce it.  Whenever they see this name in the Bible, they will pronounce as “Adonai”, meaning the LORD.  Sadly, the reverence eventually creates a separation and isolates themselves from the LORD.

When we are away from God, He sent His only Son to this world.  God came to us!  In the Gospel of John,  Jesus Christ proclaims many times that He is the great “I AM”.

“I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live.” John 11:25

Jesus, our LORD is the life giver.  He creates and sustains life.  Believe in Him and we will have an abundant life.  This abundant life means we could seek help anytime in the name of Jesus Christ.  And there is no fear in asking Jesus.  

16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrew 4:16

Praise the LORD!