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designed for all who love the Bible which is God's Word
and who desire that God would be active in their lives.
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This page was last updated on 19 October 2006
web site was established on the 13th August, 2000
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A Prayer for October 2006
Lord, you are the Lord of the earth and the sky and of the whole
universe. You are the Lord of the seen and the unseen. We come to you in praise
and joy. For all our littleness, you still condescend to take notice of us and
for this we praise you. Lord for all our imperfections, sins and unrighteous
deeds, you still forgive us and would give the ultimate sacrifice of your
beloved son to die for us, for this we praise you.
Lord we have been unfaithful to you. We have done those things
which we ought not to have done and have not done those things which we ought to
have done. Forgive us, we pray. And now Lord, come, and give your healing touch
to a hurting world. We pray for the Tsunami victims and their immediate families
left behind. We pray for succor and comfort. We pray for courage and strength
both for those who would receive help and for those who would give that help. May you grant
us the courage to go where your hand directs
and to tread where your foot has trod. You have been our fortress in all the days of
our lives. You have
given your all for our well being. We thank you that your love supports us like a
lover's hand upon our head. Thank you. And may the Lord bless you and keep you.
Father, I thank you for all that you have done. What ever the
joys and sorrows, you have given them to me so that as I pass through this vale
of tears, I will learn the transforming lessons that will usher me finally into
your presence. Thank you that you have made us for yourself and that our
ultimate journey's end will be to bow down at your feet. In
Jesus Name. Amen
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CodeMD Genesis 49:6 10/19/06 The secrets of sin
"Let me not
enter their council, let me not join their assembly"
are found in Jacob's blessing of his sons. When he thought of the cruelty which
Simeon and Levi showed to the men of Shechem, he said, "Let me not enter their
council, let me not join their assembly".
I would like to
borrow the words and use them in a broader sense. There are secrets connected
with wicked men and their sin which it is better never to know.
on its best face and suggests that we can never be happy until we have been
initiated into its mysteries. It offers thrills, physical gratification,
emotional highs, and the lure of the unknown.
especially those who have lived sheltered lives, are stirred by these appeals.
They feel that they have missed out on true pleasures. They consider themselves
disadvantaged. They think they can never be satisfied until they get a taste of
The trouble is
that sin does not come alone. There are built-in hazards and enduring
consequences. When we come to experience any sin for the first time, we unloose
a flood of pain and remorse.
temptation lowers our resistance to sin. Once we have committed a sin, it is
always easier to do it the next time. Soon we become expert in the sin. We even
become slaves to it, bound by the chains of habit.
The moment we
give in to temptation, our eyes are opened to a sense of guilt that we never had
before. The exhilaration of breaking the code of sin is followed by a terrible
sense of moral nakedness. It is true that the sin can be confessed and forgiven,
but all through life there is the embarrassment of meeting former partners in
transgression. There is the stabbing of memory when we unavoidably re-visit the
places of our folly. There are unwanted occasions when the whole sordid episode
flashes back during our most holy moments -- when our bodies actually pulsate
and our lips muffle a groan.
While it is
wonderful to experience the forgiveness of God for these sins, it is still
better not to enter into their secrets in the first place. What poses as an
attractive secret proves to be a nightmare. Pleasure soon turns to horror, and a
moment of passion results in a lifetime of regret.
In the hour of
trial, our response should be, "Let me not enter their council, let me not join
us from evil and evil men. Help us to forsake sins, never to hanker after the
leeks and melons of Egypt. Help us to be content and to fix our eyes upon
Jesus. In Jesus Name. Amen.
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This week's sermon outline. Preached at the
Kepong EFC on the 13th February 2005
The Jesus Parables on how
to live successfully
A. Setting the scene: Jesus’ Parables
What is a
A parable comes
from the Greek word ‘parabole’ and the Hebrew word ‘mashal’
It is an
earthly story with a heavenly meaning
mainly using parables
How do we
understand the parables
The context of
the parable is important. They are historical context, the ministry of Jesus
context and the context with the rest of the gospels
The form of the
parable which have their own emphasis
Bridge: Jesus used the parables to teach about how we can
live successfully in the new Kingdom of God that he is establishing
B. The new ideas of self - We are important and of great value – Salt
and light, preserving and presenting
important because through you God preserves the world. You are the salt
of the earth. You are the salt of the earth and if the salt loses its
saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything
except to be thrown out and trampled by men (Matthew 5:13)
Salt is of
great value as it preserves and flavours food. Without salt, life will not be
pleasurable. Jesus declares that we are the salt of the earth, an important
component of the earth and thus of immeasurable value
important because through you God presents himself to the world. You
are the light of the world. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill
cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before men that they may see your good
deeds and praise your father in heaven (Matthew 5:14)
important. One who has light cannot stay hidden. People who are light are
useful to others. The sole purpose that God makes us people of the light is
that we can illuminate God’s deeds, so that people will praise God.
teaches that we are of immeasurable value. If we think that we are of no
value, then we contradict Jesus teaching about his children.
C. You are of value and Jesus loves you and has a
plan for your life – Birds and grass, providing, protecting and planning
He loves you
enough to provide for you. Therefore I tell you do not worry about
your life, what you will eat or drink or about your body what you will wear.
Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in the
barns and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable
than they? Who of you by worrying can add single hour to his life. (Matthew
The birds of
the air are provided by God because he loves them. They do not worry about
life, eat, drink and clothes. God feeds them. God loves you and will provide
for you, so do not worry.
You are more
valuable than the birds and so God will provide even more
He loves you
enough to protect you. See how the lilies of the field grow. They do
not labour and spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour
was dressed like one of these. If that is how the Lord clothes the grass of
the field which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he
not much more clothe you. O you of little faith (Matthew 6:28-30)
The grass of
the field is clothed and protected by God because God loves them. The grass of
the field are transient and yet God cares enough to see how they are clothed.
God protects and clothes them.
You are more
valuable than the grass. Jesus teaches us that we should not worry about life.
He loves you
enough to plan for you. Do not worry saying what shall we eat and what
shall we wear. The pagans run after these things and your heavenly father
knows that you need them. But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness and
all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about
tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of
its own. (Matthew 6:31-34)
God’s plan is
that we would turn to him in complete trust and would only seek after his
Kingdom and his righteousness. This key of complete trust will then open the
door of His will to us. On our part we cultivate trust by learning not to
us of his immense love through other parables like The parable of the prodigal
son, the parable of the two debtors and the parable of the lost coin.
D. Jesus loves you and wants you to love others. Learning to love -
Sheep and debts
We love others
because he first loved us. What do you think? If a man owns a hundred
sheep and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the
hills and go look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell
you the truth, he is happier about the one sheep than about the ninety-nine
that did not wander off. In the same way your father in heaven is not willing
that any of these little ones should be lost (Matthew 18:12-14)
father leaves all to look for one sheep which has wandered off. He braves
dangers and difficulties to find the sheep which probably has gone to an
inaccessible place on the craggy hills.
When he finds
the sheep, he is happy. We must remember that we are immensely loved by God.
And if we are loved then we should have the resources to love others.
We begin our
love for others by learning to forgive. Peter came to Jesus and asked
the Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?
Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you not seven times but seventy
seven times. The Kingdom of heaven is like a King who wanted to settle
accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement a man who owed him ten
thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master
ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to
repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. Be patient with me
he begged and I will pay back everything. The servant’s master took pity on
him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went out he found
one of his fellow servant who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and
began to choke him, pay back what you owed me he demanded. His fellow servant
fell on his knees and begged him be patient with me and I will pay you back.
But he refused. Instead he went off and had the man thrown into prison until
he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened they were
greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had
happened. Then the master called the servant in. You wicked servant he said. I
cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have
had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger his master
turned him over to the jailers to be tortured until he should pay back all he
owed. This is how my heavenly father will treat each of you unless you forgive
your brother from your heart. (Matthew 18:21-35)
To those who
have been forgiven must also forgive others. The greatest sinners who have
been forgiven by God are usually the most forgiving. These men truly
understand what grace means. Maybe we do not easily forgive because we feel
that we have done no wrong and has not experienced great forgiveness.
We learn to
love others by first learning to accept God’s forgiveness in our lives and
then learning to forgive others.
We learn true
love, when we see Jesus example of love. Jesus love for us extends to
his sacrificing himself for us. I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and
my sheep knows me. Just as the father knows me and I know the father and I lay
down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.
I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice and there shall be
one flock and one shepherd. The reason my father loves me is that I lay it
down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take
it up again. This command I received from my father (John10:14-18)
Jesus is the
good shepherd and loves the sheep. He will lay down his life for the sheep
because he loves them.
We who are
learning to love must understand that true love is sacrificial love.
Ultimately having forgiven the erring brother we must continue to love him
sacrificially. This is hard but is a challenge to us.
also that love for others must cross cultural and racial boundaries as in the
parable of the good Samaritan
E. We must learn these lessons of life correctly because there will be
judgement. Fig tree, servants and the thief
surely come. Now learn this lesson from the fig tree. As soon as its twigs
get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. (Mark
13:28). Judgement comes as sure as the fig tree blossoms every year..
Judgement is inevitable. There is a map to future events and Jesus reveals
them to us.
We must wisely
prepare for judgement because it will come in unexpected ways. Be dressed
ready for service and keep your lamps burning like men waiting their master to
return from a wedding banquet so that when he comes and knocks they can
immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose
master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth he will dress
himself to serve will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on
them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready even if
he comes in the second or third watch of the night. But understand this if the
owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming he would not
have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready because the son of
man will come at an hour when you do not expect him (Luke 12:35-40).
Because of the
unexpectedness of Jesus return we must at all times be prepared. We cannot
slack in our zeal of service.
We must also be
prepared to protect his household when the thief unexpectedly comes.
of Jesus by parables on the unexpectedness of his return can be seen in the
parable of the watchman, the parable of the foolish and wise virgins, , and
the parable of the talents and the pounds
F. Decision time. The choice of the narrow gate or the broad gate
There is a
choice either for life or for destruction. Enter through the narrow gate. For
wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many
enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life
and only a few find it (Matthew 13-14)
The road that
leads to destruction is wide, well paved and easy to ride on. It ends in a
wide gate that will let everyone pass. The path to destruction is an easy
one. It does not need any discipline and is purely instinctual. Choices made
are easy to follow.
The road to
life is narrow , unpaved and rocky. It ends in a narrow gate. Those who choose
it finds it difficult to see it and when on it will find the going tough. Yet
the end brings life and fruitfulness.
recognize our status in the Lord by the fruits we bring forth. Watch out for
false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are
ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Every good tree will
bear good fruit and every bad tree will bear bad fruit. Every tree that does
not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus by their fruit
you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:15-20)
to choices and choices leads to results or fruits.
Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom
of Heaven but only those who does the will of my father who is in heaven. Many
will say to me on that day Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name and in
your name drive out demons and perform many miracles. Then I will tell them
plainly. I never knew you. Away from me you evil doers. (Matthew 7:21-23)
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