Sunrise is always remarkable. The rise of another brilliant new day.
Sunrise reminds me of our human lives. Through God’s grace, a new day slowly emerged. We have another day of life, another chance, glimmering to new adventures, brightening to new hopes, and glistening to new beginning, as the shimmering beauty of the light tells us that God has laid valuable things ahead of us. The scriptures reminds us that “because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79
Katherine Britton wrote in her article “Christianized Karma” that Christians rely on the promise that “all things work for the good of those who love God” (Romans 8:28). We fight to believe that, while “no discipline seems pleasant at the time… later on it produces a harvest of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11). Like Job, we may never know the reason for our earthly suffering. But we know that, because of grace, suffering is not a quid-pro-quo retaliation for our sins. Even our suffering has been redeemed by God’s grace through Christ’s supreme act of love.
Written by: Teck Ming
We are so delighted to see Jared’s baptism today. Jared is the eldest son of Wee Keong and Joyce, the campus and youth ministry leaders. Jared’s has been praying to be a Christian since he was three years old. He is very eager to know God and have a very soft heart towards God’s Words.
Rom 1:7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul started and ended every one of his letter with this short but profound greeting, “Grace and peace from God be to you.” It must have meant something important to him that he penned it into his letter every time, “Grace and Peace from God be to You.” Read that statement again but this time slowly. Pause and think of its meaning to you. Can you feel the emotion? Can you feel the love? Do you feel the kindness?
So often in our results oriented and performance based world, we overlook this very simple but crucial statement while we read the bible. We love results, quick fixes, solutions, A’s, the best, and the strong. To us, this statement doesn’t produce results and thus we might not waste our time pondering over it. But God is into weakness, vulnerability, love, and grace. For He knows that we are only human made of flesh and blood. We are not superhuman, though our minds like to imagine we are. We watch the movie, “Superman” and our minds envision ourselves with the ability to fly. But in reality, we fall and falter. And it is not just one time but all of the time. Take a minute, think, and count, “How many times did you just messed up yesterday, everyday?”
Yes, we are a messed aren’t we? Work undone. Fall into sin. Fight with our wife. Forget to give the attention that we should to our children. Didn’t call the friend who needed our help. We were too lazy, selfish, and self-focus. What a mess?
Then entered the Lord. Grace and Truth comes with Him so that we may have Peace. Peace to live again. Peace to Love much. Peace to be connected with each other and our world. Peace to have courage. Peace to know that we will not be judged as God is the Judge of this world. If God will not condemn us, who can?
One minute of Grace and Peace: Everyday, take one minute, just one minute in the morning before you start your day; and just soak, drench your face with it, think, meditate, be mindful, and feel the words of Paul to us, “GRACE and PEACE from GOD to YOU.” Can you feel your chains unshackled? Do you hear the sound of it ringing and coming loose so that you can live and live freely for the Lord?”
And before each day ends, take another minute, yes, only one minute, more if you would like, and just meditate, soak again, let your whole body feel it as you soak into the bathtub of grace and peace. Do not rush it but just feel and think of what these words, “GRACE and PEACE from GOD to ME” means to you. Just let it sit quietly with you as you feel God’s warmth and love for you. Can you rest now? I can.
Further scriptures to soak in God’s bathtub of love:
- Rom 1:7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Rom 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
- 1Co 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 1Co 16:23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
- 2Co 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 2Co 13:11 Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
- 2Co 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
- Gal 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
- Gal 6:16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.
- Gal 6:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.
- Eph 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Eph 6:23 Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Eph 6:24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
- Php 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Php 4:23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
- Col 1:2 To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
- Col 4:18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
- 1Th 1:1 Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.
- 1Th 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- 1Th 5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
- 2Th 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 2Th 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
- 2Th 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
- 1Ti 1:2 To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
- 1Ti 6:21 which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you.
- 2Ti 1:2 To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
- 2Ti 4:22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
- Tit 1:4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
- Tit 3:15 Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.
- Phm 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Phm 1:25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
2Co 12:8-10 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Dr. Brené Brown, vulnerability researcher, studies human connection – our ability to empathize, belong, and love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. (Filmed at TEDxHouston.)
She is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. She spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness. She poses the questions:
How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?
In 1 John 1:7, the apostle John teaches us that this type of vulnerability is crucial to our living. It is by daring greatly, having the courage to be willing to take the emotional risk to expose ourselves, to show up, and to be seen truly as we do what’s matter to us, we’ll have the emotional connection with the people around us that we always wanted.
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
(Gen 50:20) You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Mistakes, even messy ones, whether committed by ourselves or caused by others are not fatal. In fact, with God, He will turn it around for our benefit if we let Him.
Joseph brothers messed his life up. Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him and got him thrown into prison. His fellow prisoners forgot to repay his gratitude for the help he gave to them. But God turned it all around for his good, all in due time. God was on his side.
(Rom 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.
Tian Yi was baptised last Tuesday night 24 July, 2013. Tian Yi has many good qualities. He is currently studying in Raffles Institution, which is one of the most prestigious school in Singapore. He is very humble and constantly ask questions and very teachable. One of his mother’s friend share about how loving he is towards his mum. For most children, they would not like their mother to be present in school. Yet Tian Yi not only welcome her mother but was so proud to introduce her mum to his friends. One of the things that touch me was that he always remember to do special things for his parents on their special days.
Alwin is the eldest son of Paul and Mabel. We are so delighted to see him make Jesus the Lord of his life last Sunday 14 July. What I appreciate about Alwin is his sincerity of heart and love. He was always eager to ask for bible studies. During one of the studies, there were tears in his eyes. He truly appreciates how much God loves him and the sacrifice of Jesus.