Friday, 31 July 2015

“Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last 'trick', whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school.
'But how?' we ask.
Then the voice says, 'They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'
There they are. There *we* are - the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life's tribulations, but through it all clung to faith. 
My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.” 
― Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

Such a beautiful sharing. My spirit cheered and whooped as I read this because THIS IS THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. 

Our place today is to love and love people back to Jesus, not to nag and ostracise them away from Him. 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

OVERCOME - passing over into His completeness

We have always known ‘Pasach' as passover, but do you know the other ‘pass over’s in Exodus 12?

Exodus 12:11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover. 12 “On that same night I will pass over Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over to you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

God said on the night of the pasach (Passover- the religious festival’s name), He would avar (also pass over) the land of Egypt. He later goes on to further says that when He sees the blood of the lamb upon the door post, He will alekem pass over to you so that no destructive plague shall strike you when He strikes Egypt.

Pasach is not just the name of the Jewish festival but means - MERCY or TO HAVE COMPASSION
Avar is translated as to OVERCOME.
Alekem is translated as PASS OVER TO YOU, BE UPON YOU.

Today we pass over on 3 levels too.

1) We are on the mercy seat, covered by the blood of the lamb. No longer condemned.

2) As a result we are more than conquerors in Christ. We have overcome our place of tribulation (Egypt) through His finished work.

3) Christ is UPON us. His shalom is upon us. His glory has been pass over to us just as our sin debt was passed over to Him and paid beyond its price on the Cross.

The number 3 is also a picture of COMPLETENESS and RESURRECTION (eg. There are 27 books in the New Testament, which is 3x3x3, or completeness to the third power; Jesus prayed 3 times in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest. He was placed on the cross at the 3rd hour of the day (9 a.m.) and died at the 9th hour (3 p.m.). There were 3 hours of darkness that covered the land while Jesus was suffering on the cross from the 6th hour to the 9th hour. Christ was dead for three full days and three full nights, a total of 72 hours, before being resurrected on Saturday, April 8, just before sunset.)

This calls to mind John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” =) Our freedom through His complete work is perfect and absolute. Hallelujah!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Sorry for not posting of late - Speak to me & I am strengthened…

I have been contributing to : where we post Pastor Prince's notes as a team (so there are 1-3 people who post up sermon notes each week). If you are looking for sermon notes, please check my notes out there along with my friends'. =)

 Here is a grace reflection that I recently posted on the site: Speak to me & I am strengthened… MARCH 28, 2014 BY GERI 

It has been a pretty long week for me with two phone calls from my son’s teachers about his homework and generally me struggling to cope with both being 7m pregnant (and waddling) as well as parenting our 2 boys (12yo and 3yo). In the natural, it is so easy to be tired, cranky, discouraged and frustrated with the various hiccups and bumps that come our way. I know several other mothers of boys who are going to have their PSLE this year who are also tearing their hair out. It isn’t just studies and grades that are making us fed-up, our 12yo boys are also going through their pre-teen “not a boy, not yet a man” phase where they feel as if they are all grown up and can make independent decisions, but behave like kids when it comes to responsibilities and priorities.

 Today, I finally had time to breathe and do some quiet time earlier today and I came across this:

 “Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.” – Daniel 10:19 NLT

Daniel, in this chapter, was touched by the one who looks like a man and strengthened. Who is this person he speaks of? Jesus in his old testament incarnation!!

And I felt like Daniel at that moment- refreshed by the reminder that my family members and I are very precious to God so we can be full of shalom, full of encouragement and full of strength in the face of our trials. His ‘now’ word was really timely and like Daniel, I whispered to the LORD, “Please speak to me, Jesus, for You have strengthened me.”

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Let your fear be a visitor but not a resident

The presence of fear does not mean you have no faith. Fear visits everyone. But make your fear a visitor and not a resident. – Max Lucado

This reminds me of the Monopoly square 'just visiting'... not imprisoned by the fear. =D Perfect love casts off ALL fear. Not some. ALLLLL!

Monday, 22 July 2013 Be blessed by tonight's Quiet Time :)

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All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of GOD, your God: Deu 28:2

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I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye has seen You. Job 42:5

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21/0/2013 Sermon notes - Ps Joseph Primce, New Creation Church

Sister served time in prison and started work with no guarantee of a perm job after her contract. She started attending New Crea. Received word she had gotten the full time position. But the company HR initially rejected her but they later accepted her on a probation & her pay is 23% higher than her part time contract pay.

A brother from Virginia was saved since 7yo but never led a good Christian life. Gave up. Later watched PP's sermon. Wondered why he had not received healing in lower right back. Just then, PP said healing happening for someone w pain in lower right back! He received the healing right there and then. No more pain. Note video not live but healing took place.

---- sermon starts

God wants you healed more than you want to be healed. Loves that we are healed. Jesus ministry- healed all who were oppressed by the devil. Sickness is oppression. If u seen me, u have seen the Father. Jesus healed all. God wants all healed too. The thought God wants me well= path to healing. Some warped messages out there about healing. Know God wants u well.

Job has been the centre of PP's message lately. PP is a broken man who has seen the truths book of Job has shown him. Not in a bad way but astounded by how good God is.

Job is largely a conversation. What is God doing? Is God behind my affliction and trial? Is it because of my failure? How is Satan involved in this?

Job is one of the three wisdom books of the Bible.

Written in prose but not English poetry. Not focused on rhyming but Hebrew poetry where truth is prominent.

Proverbs- 2 lines. Both either are similar in meaning or tow contrast the truth and what isn't.

Job's trial lasted 9m. Only 9m. Many think it was longer due to the 42 chapt.

Job was not a sinner. He was a believer. Made righteous by His blood.

Job 1:1-3

Job was blameless and upright. When Satan accused Job and God, said Job had a hedge of protection.

Job was great in prosperity. (V3)

Satan said remove that hedge and see if he will still praise u.

It wasn't just Job's fear that brought him into the situation. God is not a God of no choice. There was an amount of protection.

Don't worry. Won't happen to us. Devil can't go to heaven anymore. Job wished there was a mediator w power of God to stand btw Heaven and Earth. Job didn't have Jesus. We have! God looks to spare us, to give us mercy and kindness and compassion. But he is also a God of justice. Anarchy will reign if God isn't just. But God is love and doesn't want us punished, but He is just and has to punish sins. Long before Adam sinned, God knew Jesus was already ready to die in our stead. John 3:16- salvation John 3:17- recall that! Not to condemn but to save. We should not condemn today.

Jesus intercedes for us.

Satan was in heaven amongst the angels when he challenged God. God's purpose isn't destruction. When he allows certain things to happen, it is not to teach us a lesson. He isn't the kind of Dad that will let car to run across kid's legs so that he learns a lesson.

God allowed Satan to affect only some areas pertaining to self-righteous.

Child training. God trains us with the Word. But those not yet i the Word, learn through circumstances. Disappointments until they are no longer self reliant and reliant on God.

Moab is described as a washboard. When Israel is puffed up, Moab would attack. Your colleagues may be your washboard; if u are v impatient u find yourself behind a slow car= washboard. Accidents and disease is not God's way of training.

A lot of sufferings of Job cannot happen to us because Satan has no access to Heaven. Jesus cleansed the heavenly places with his blood. God told PP when Pp asked why heaven needs cleaning, that Satan had defiled heaven. God gave Adam the spot to come to him at any time, but Adam sinned and gave up that spot to God. So Satan had access to heaven to accuse mankind. But now, he can't access that spot anymore because of Jesus' victory on the Cross. :)

Job's friends = miserable comforters. Advised him then started blaming him. Learn what not to preach or share to further strengthen their self-righteousness. Learn how not to comfort people like these friends.

Blow after blow struck Job- lost property and his kids, then boils from foot to hip (healing is from head to the feet). Disease is from below/ hell. Healing is from above/ heaven.

Job wrongly declared that God gives and takes away. Statement in the bible but not a truth. Some of Job's friends applied truth but misapplied truth.

Job's friend were genuine. Eliphad, Bildad, Zophar. When they were mentioned, Satan not mentioned anymore because they made accusations

Job 4:7-9
Eliphaz wrongly accused Job. He argued from experience (represents this) but wrongly applied to Job.

Eg "I have never seen cases like yours before, from my experience." "People usually lose a baby because of sin, not saying you. But from my experience." :(

Experience is not the Teacher. This holy book is. Don't need to grow old and grow experienced to be wise.

Job 8:8-13

Inquire of former age... Discovered by the fathers... Can the Papyrus grow without the marsh? You have all these sufferings because there is a marsh (sin) somewhere.

Argues from tradition.

No wonder Satan could take a nap because these three were doing a good job making false accusations.

Pastor Prince went to an all night prayer meeting when he was younger. The pastor there said the rest all would go work the next day, and the rest had to go work next day. Pastor did not agree with it. It is not our church tradition. But we don't accuse each other because of our different church traditions.

Eg. of things we don't give grief others over - Celebrating Christmas. Some do. Some don't. Some think it is related to pagan worship. Some choose to see Jesus worshipped. Don't condemn each other.

Job 11:13-20

Zophar - Legality. Legalism.

This is not the truth we can use to help people.

Similar btw the three - something is wrong with you.

Root none of them addressed. What caused Job to rise up in self-righteousness? Legalism. Makes them angry and defensive.

Someone is wrong. I am always right. It cannot be me. It must be the govt, the family member...

Sometimes they even condemn God that they might be justified. They say the Bible is wrong, we are modern now.

Before scientists said the world is round, in the book of Job (Job is before Abraham or Moses) c25- says God hangs the earth upon nothing.

Many of the things they say are scientific truths God has allowed to be recorded for us.

Another record of condensation long before Science discovered it. Long before finger printing was used, a few centuries ago, Job states how we have individual finger prints.
Blood letting was practiced then stopped because not right. Bible says blood goes out, life goes out. If only they knew then.

People think the bible is fanciful and imaginative. Last time things happen in Jerusalem and somewhere else cannot see. Now can.

Self-righteousness is so subtle, you might not realise when you get steeped in it.

Job 16, 19:1-6----> Job got to a place of self righteousness. Declared God has wronged him.

Read Chapt 29--- never seen a man more full of himself. Job was justifying himself, self-focused. Referred to self more than 40times. OT's Romans 7. Only mentioned God 5 times. Job was really a do gooder. Not the problem. Problem is he valued himself through these, made the deeds his credentials. If u ask him to serve today, prob only wanna serve as a Benefactor. Ego.

Bible says we will have to suffer for Jesus' name- only suffering. If u did wrong, that's not persecution if u are being punished. U can go to God, surrender and declare who u are in Christ.

1Jn1:9 is not to make yourself right with God. We can wrongly turn 1Jn1:9 into a form of self righteousness.

God wants u to come before him just as you are. Today we are his sons and daughters, Righteousness of God in Christ.
U still have your flesh. Albeit being a new creation. Your righteousness is not apart from Jesus. Wisdom is Him. Righteousness is Him. What is your emphasis? Jesus or you?

If u stand before God and Jesus is your justifier you cannot be lost.

Job 32:1-9 Elihu son of Barachel

If God has called u, u know when to wait.

At age of 12, Jesus didn't preach to the teachers. He asked questions and they answered but bus questions astounded them.

You can have a truth but the truth preached out of season, is best not shared yet. There is a timing for everything.

Elihu- spoke for God.

33:23 - spoke about the ONE MAN who speaks about the grace of God and God's uprightness. Emphasis on God. No man.

V24- "ransom" = atonement. If u find a ransom, can it be good? But if God finds a ransom, it is perfect. Not about does the Cross satisfy me but does the Cross satisfy Him?

God's holiness is emphasised in the Cross. God is righteous to make us righteous. The holiness of God is on our side because Jesus made it so and God was the one who sent Him.

God's love wants to justify us because Jesus died in our place. Righteousness and peace met at the Cross. Grace is not a compromise. Devil doesn't understand grace. Understands the law.

Devil always fights but loses but he still fights. The very thing he did was the basis for the pronouncement of his ruin. The very place he attacks, that place blossoms because of Grace.

Peter instead of faith failing, became a pillar to strengthen his brothers. The Cross, he thought was the end to all of Jesus' work, had he known better, would see Cross was where the work was perfect and finished.

42- come to place of victory.

Hebrew = 40 years of wilderness but reached the promise land after 42 stations.

Job 33:25- let my flesh be young like a child and we shall return to the days of our youth. Amen.

When Elihu spoke for God, Job stopped speaking. Because God's righteousness magnified.

After Elihu spoke, God spoke. Amazing chapter of scientific Accuracies and beautiful creation.

Southern Cross in the sky- guides lost soldiers home. The cross leads us home.

Our SINGAPOREAN FLAG has 5 stars (grace), and red representing His blood that washes us white as snow. :)

No man can judge God. He is always right. He doesn't have to apologise. He never mistakes. He is compassionate. Doesn't have to repent or backtrack. U and I are a different deal.

Unbelief is having a high opinion of what u believe and a low opinion of what God says. Condemns God. Justifies self. Hideous to God.

Faith gives glory to God.

James 5:11

The LORD is very compassionate and merciful. Although he did not afflict Job, restored him

Job 42:5- Job had a r/s with God but second hand relationship. Heard preaching of God. But through the trials, he came to see God. When I experience God, I see all that I am and have is because of His goodness. Without u I am nothing and have nothing. Live life seeing His blessing.

Who am I to justify myself and condemn God? I am nothing. Apart from you I have nothing. = right abhorring of self.

U will feel so rich and no longer fear future.

And the LORD restored Job's losses--- twice as much as before.

Even when your friends are wrong and come to you, don't add to the wrong by propagating the wrong. God restored his losses when he prayed for his friends. Lifted out of self.

God doesn't just bless w qty. Even when we go through trial because of our own stupidity, he still is compassionate to make sure we are better off later than when we were before. See the good endings.

Beauty is part of the category of the restoration and blessing. If beauty is wrong, God won't bless Job's daughters with beauty. Not just physical beauty but inner beauty, favour and charisma.

Job lived 140y more after the blessing. Died old and FULL of satisfying (not evil) days.

God I am nothing without you. Who am I acting like someone when I am no one? What I have is all of you! Skip the 42 chapter journey of Job to get to this realisation Job had at the end. :)

Recall Prayer of Jabez.

You don't know how self-righteousness u are? Symptoms
- impatient with others, but see self v humble and others at fault.

Fear also self-righteousness manifestation. Job feared his sons might have sinned, but not himself. Eg like us saying wow this sermon is good for someone else but not seeing it is good for u too!

Job was fearful. But after restoration, no more record of fearful. Looked at them w adoration.

Removal of self righteousness= removal of fear.

Marriage is series of saying sorry. Thank God u have a spouse or a child. Some people complain about their husbands and kids but there are those who are fasting and praying for a spouse or a child.

God always confirms the word that is preached with signs and wonders. God will touch our skin and make it fresh, restore our losses.

Tell God- This is not a cliche God, but truly I am nothing without you. Even righteousness is a gift. Always a gift. Help me be patient with others. This ability to see answers to solution first came from you. Give me wisdom and largeness of heart. Strip yourself of pride of church or numbers. Both riches and honour come from U, Jesus. No such thing as self made man. Behind it all, God is the source. Don't be a rich poor man. Even my health. Thank U Lord u are the life and length of my days.

Thank U Jesus is the ransom and atonement for my sin.

What Judge loves the offender enough to take his place in punishment and to that all he has (estate and inheritance) to the criminal? That is how much God loves us. He is our justifier when we acknowledge we are sinners. When we say we don't need him. We are judged. And if we are justified, we will not be lost.

You truly love me. And you gave Jesus to die on the Cross as the lamb of God to take away all my sins. When you justify, who can condemn?

and then he told me, My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. - 2 Co 12:9

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Friday, 19 July 2013

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it. 1 Co 10:13 >> How true! He doesn't let us down and although He allows testing from the devil, it is not to torture or to punish us- if it were, He would not help us overcome or give us a means to escape. There is a hedge of protection established around us that the devil cannot penetrate unless our own free will - ie. wrong believing and speaking negatively, sees us stepping outside of that hedge and into the wilderness (aka falling from grace). The devil's weapons are fear, guilt and condemnation. This leads to negative confession and receiving the wrong outcomes due to our wrong understanding of the Word. This is not something Daddy God can prevent due to the gift of free will we have been given, but He always sends people to edify us, to speak over us, to intercede for us, to clarify to us, to share with. We learn how others have encountered similar challenges- how they got out of them and were restored and recompensed for their trouble. These walking testimonies (and more importantly, His Word!) are divine tools or weapons He sends our wav to do battle with the enemy. Now it is up to us to choose to believe the good being prophesised over us and His unconditional love plus unmerited favour over our lives- that is choosing to step back into that hedge of protection, of saying we surrender the battle to the LORD because the battle belongs to Him. Job acknowledged that all his merit earning, all his sacrifices were as Paul puts it, "like filthy rags"; they reeked of self effort, ego (I did this, I did that so why God why?). It was this aspect of him that allowed the attack to take place. And when he surrendered and let the LORD take over by admitting I cannot but You can, I dunno but You do, that was when restoration took place, when he was restored to an even better position than when he came under the attack. This is because when Daddy God wins the victory, He does not just carely win it; it is a resounding victory! When Jesus, our advocate, thrashes the accuser, the devil, at his own game, he doesn't just win the case for us, He justly wins us compensation and rewards above and beyond our imagination. =)

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Today, my meditation is Ephesians 3's prayer: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Such a rich verse to meditate on. So full of His goodness and the Father's heart for us. =D

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Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain. =D

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Love this quip: The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.

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Worship is our pathway to deeper waters in God's presence. Choose to remain in God's presence today - Frank Damazio

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God's looking 4 people thru whom He can do the impossible. What a pity that we plan only things we can do by ourselves. - AW Tozer

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"Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.” - C. S. Lewis What a truth!

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The secret to successful relationships is living from completeness, not from deficiency. - Judah Smith My reflection: Jesus completes us. We keep believing and hoping confidently (not wondering if He will, but knowing He will) because His is a PERFECT and FINISHED work. And the Word says when The Complete comes, the incomplete has to flee. When Jesus enters into a circumstance of you, whatever is broken, whatever is empty, whatever is not will be whole because Jesus is. He is the Word that spoke being into existence. He is the Word that is the same yesterday, today and forever. =)

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Jesus didn’t care about the scandal. He cared about the scandalous.- Judah Smith

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