July 2, 2006

Half Time Reflection

Half the year of 2006 has flew by... I still remembered welcoming 2006 with fireworks... and wondering what will the year bring... before I knew it, 6 months have gone by.

In church, we had taken a break from our regular study of books in the Bible. We will be starting on 1 Samuel in the coming week. Pastor preached on half time reflections on Hebews 13:1-10 today. It was a good reminder to check on my walk with God and if I have been living out the Word that I know.

Have I stop to love?
(13:1) Keep on loving each other as brothers It is a serious failure not to love. Have I stopped loving? Has the standard of love dropped? When have I made the decision to stop loving people? We take a risk when we love someone but we have to take this risk continously. We can be betrayed, bitten but we should not harden ourselves and cease to love. As a believer of Christ, I should never stop loving His people. It is not a question of whether the person deserved my love, for we did not deserve God's love when we rebel against him and sinned big time. But God still loved us and gave us His Son Jesus Christ as a sacrifice, so that the relationship between us and God can be reconciled.

Have I been generous and hospitable?
(13:2) Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. It is a serious failure not to be generous and hospitable. We should be people with big-heartedness, expressing generosity and hospitality. When we discharge generosity and hospitality, we will be vulnerable (e.g. opening our house to others). But we also ought to be prayerful and discerned. Pastor illustrated how his old-aged mother once asked him how she would know if the people entering their house were people from the church (pastor stays in church premises). She might unknowingly invite a thief into the house! So the need to be discerning...

Did I engage in selective fellowship?
(13:3) Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. It is a serious failure to embark on selective fellowship and association. Have I chose to only associate and fellowship with some people whom are 'more worthy'?

Am I sexually pure?
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. To the marrieds: Do not commit adultery. To the singles: Be sexually moral. This is a serious thing - to keep our bodies pure for it is a temple of God.

Am I contented?
(13:5-6) Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Discontentment is a time bomb. Is my life free from the love of money? If it is not, when can I be free and how can I be free? It is a serious failure to love money and be discontented. It is different to need money and love for money. Be contented with what I have. God will provide all that I need.

Have I obeyed and submitted to my leaders?
(13:7, 17) Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith... Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. Have I rebelled against leaders that are put over me? Do I obey my leaders and submit to them? Have I 'terrorised' them? Submission should characterise Christians.

Is salvation through Jesus Christ sufficient?
(13:9-10) Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them.
We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat. Salvation by grace through Jesus Christ is sufficient. Do not allow others to tell you "You have Jesus but you also need to have...." My salvation is by grace and grace alone, Christ and Christ alone. Nothing else do I require to gain salvation. Nothing that I can do to earn my salvation but only by grace and through faith in Jesus Christ. We have to reject false teaching as part of our worship to God.

So what are my challenges ahead?
To love unceasingly, even when it is difficult and impossible to love;
not be ashamed and share the gospel boldly with my family, my colleagues and my friends; and most of all...
To love God by obeying Him and living a life in full submission to Him.

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