wearethechurchseries-devo

DEVOTIONALS – WE ARE THE BRIDE (15 OCTOBER 2014)

Posted on in The City Equips

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready.” – Revelation 19:7

We are the Church. We are the bride of Christ. As Jesus’ bride, let’s prepare ourselves for him. A bride’s desire is for her groom alone. Our desire (as his Church) should be for Jesus alone. No one else. He should be our one desire. There can be no other idol before Jesus. Not ministry, not our jobs, not money, not success and not even our families. Christ should be unabashedly, unashamedly first in our lives. Our focus, desire and love should be for him and him alone.

In our relationship with Jesus, we need to aim for intimacy with him. Let’s actively practice the presence of God in our lives. In whatever we do, have him in mind. Do your work for Jesus. When you’re raising up your children, remember that he’s there with you. When you minister in church, know that he’s ministering through you. Spend time with Jesus whenever, wherever.

Action Item of the Day: Take some time out, find a private place and ask God to simply fill the place with His presence as you commune with Him.

 

by ERIC SUNG for THE CITY

Bookmark and Share
wearethechurchseries-devo

DEVOTIONALS – WE ARE THE BRIDE (14 OCTOBER 2014)

Posted on in The City Equips

“I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” – 2 Corinthians 11:2

The best husbands know that marriage is not about them. It’s about their spouse. How can I help my wife to become better? How can I support her? What can I do for her today? We often quote Proverbs 31 about the godly wife, and rightly so. But we also forget that behind this godly wife, there is a husband who loves her and empowers her to become the woman God meant her to be. “Her husband has full confidence in her” (Prov 31:11) and “he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’” (Prov 31:28-29).

These are marks of a husband who empowers his wife, trusts her and praises her in front of others. A husband who wants his spouse to reach her fullest potential. An empowering husband is quite rare in male dominated ancient Israelite society, but that is what God wants husbands to do.

Similarly, Christ wants his bride to blossom. He wants the best for his Church. He encourages, guides, leads and empowers us (his Church) to where he wants us to be. We belong to him, and he is preparing us continually for that beautiful day when we will be in perfect union.

Action Item of the Day: Ask Jesus to reveal any area of your life which is not pleasing to him. Ask him for the power to change. In doing so, we are preparing ourselves to be his beautiful bride.

 

by ERIC SUNG for THE CITY

Bookmark and Share
wearethechurchseries-devo

DEVOTIONALS – WE ARE THE BRIDE (13 OCTOBER 2014)

Posted on in The City Equips

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” – Ephesians 5:25

A few passages in the Bible talk about the Church being the bride of Christ. For example, 2 Corinthians 11:1-2 talks about the Church being betrothed to Jesus. And the Apostle John speaks of a future marriage in Revelation 19:6-9; and the Church is preparing herself for this wedding day.

Ephesians 5:25 gives us the foundation of this marriage; and that foundation is love. Christ loved his Church so much that he gave himself up for her.

Luke 9:51 says, “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” When the time came for Jesus to go to the Cross— to the cruel pain, suffering and eventual death— the Bible says that Jesus neither turned to the left or to the right, but he set his face to go to Jerusalem. Meaning that he was absolutely determined to go to Jerusalem to die on the Cross for you and for me, so that with his blood he can purchase us as his Church, his bride. And nothing was going to change his mind in his pursuit of us. Knowing Christ’s sacrifice for us, let us gladly be his bride. We love because he first loved us.

Action Item of the Day: Give thanks to Jesus for what he did for you on the Cross. So that we can be his Church, his bride.

 

by ERIC SUNG for THE CITY

Bookmark and Share
wearethechurchseries-devo

DEVOTIONALS – WE ARE A TEMPLE (10 OCTOBER 2014)

Posted on in The City Equips

DEVOTIONALS – We Are A Temple (10 October 2014)

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” – Romans 12:1

As the church, surrendering our will to His is also our way of presenting sacrifices to God. When you love someone, you would want to sacrifice for that person (husbands, you know what I’m talking about back in the days when you were pursuing your wives).

As Andy Elmes once said, “The depth of our love will determine the length of our journey.” If your child was traveling in Europe and got into trouble and made a phone call to you, asking for help, you would immediately drop everything and buy an airplane ticket to find her. If you did not have money to buy that airplane ticket, you would definitely be willing to swim, run, hitchhike, walk and crawl your way to Europe to find her. Because the depth of your love will determine the length of your journey.

Similarly, our love for God should inspire us to do what He wants us to do. Whatever His will may be. That is at the heart of surrendering to God. And we can love Him because He first loved us. And His plans for us are perfect, never intending to hurt or harm us. They are intended to bring us life. So “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Rom 12:1).

Action Item of the Day: Are you facing a tough decision in your life right now? Commit it to God. And tell Him you’re committed to do His Will. Get your heart right with Him. As you do so, He will lead you to the right decision.

 

by ERIC SUNG for THE CITY

Bookmark and Share
wearethechurchseries-devo

DEVOTIONALS – WE ARE A TEMPLE (9 OCTOBER 2014)

Posted on in The City Equips

DEVOTIONAL – We Are A Temple (9 October 2014)

“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” – Hebrews 13:15-16

In the Old Testament, the priest offered up sacrifices of burnt offerings to God. But now in this new age, we “offer up a sacrifice of praise to God.” When we worship Him together as a church, we are offering up a pleasing sacrifice to Him. And what matters is not how well we sing, but how well our heart sings.

Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s church, New Hope, had been aiming for excellence in its musicals and services. One night, during a musical performance, a down syndrome girl stepped up to the stage and performed “Shout to the Lord” to the audience. Her innocent heart and genuine devotion left no dry eye in the auditorium. At that moment, Wayne heard God say to him, “I have silenced all of heaven and commanded everyone’s attention while she danced. I heard her heart, and that is the most beautiful sound in the Kingdom.”

When we sing together in church to God, we don’t need to be Grammy award winning vocalists. But let’s sing from a thankful heart for all that He has done for us. He deserves nothing less.

Action Item of the Day: Find some time today or tonight to just sing a worship song to God. Sing a song which you’re familiar with. And most important of all, sing from your heart.

 

by ERIC SUNG for THE CITY

Bookmark and Share
wearethechurchseries-devo

DEVOTIONALS – WE ARE A TEMPLE (8 OCTOBER 2014)

Posted on in The City Equips

DEVOTIONAL – We Are A Temple (8 October 2014)

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

The “you” in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 is not singular, but plural. So what’s the big deal? The big deal is that we the Church are the very Temple of God! Meaning, He is dwelling in our midst! His presence is right in the midst of us! When we come together to worship as a church, He is there! He shows up! We experience God together as one family! Wherever and whenever the Church gathers today, we are His temple! Jesus himself says in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Amen! Hallelujah!

If the community of believers is the very dwelling place of God, how is it possible for a Christian to be disassociated with that?  We must gather together, and when we do we experience the very presence of God when we worship together!

And not only is the Church the Temple of God, for individual believers, the Holy Spirit dwells in us! (1 Cor 6:19-20). We were bought at a price— the blood that Christ shed for us on the Cross. And because of him, God dwells in us as individuals. And God also dwells in the midst of our fellowship. There is indeed no more powerful way of worshipping God then coming together with likeminded believers to praise Him as His Temple! Hallelujah!

Action Item of the Day: Think about this coming Sunday service in church. Prepare your heart, soul, strength and mind to worship the LORD together as one body!

 

by ERIC SUNG for THE CITY

Bookmark and Share
wearethechurchseries-devo

DEVOTIONALS – WE ARE A TEMPLE (7 OCTOBER 2014)

Posted on in The City Equips

“With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” – Mark 15:37-39…

In the old days, the curtain of the Temple separated the rest of the Temple from the Most Holy Place. Only the high priest could enter this room, and only once a year through the blood of sacrificed animals (Hebrews 9:3-7). The blood was offered to cleanse him and the people of their sins, in order for him to be able to stand in the very presence of the Holy God. For sinful man could not stand in the presence of our Holy God without blood for atonement.

But whose blood, once shed for man, did not need to be shed again? Whose blood could cleanse a man eternally of all his sins so that he could forever be in the presence of God? That’s right, Christ’s blood. The blood of the pure, innocent lamb— once shed, did not need to be shed again.

And by his blood, the curtain hiding the Most Holy Place was torn. Meaning, now everyone who believes in Jesus has been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb and can now enter directly into the very presence of God! Those who believe in him can now have direct, uninterrupted access to God! Worshipping intimately in His very presence!

Mind boggling indeed. But that’s not all. Jesus not only saves us and welcomes us into God’s presence. His sacrifice allows another mind boggling event to happen— we’ll talk about that tomorrow!

Action Item of the Day: Wherever you are, be it in the MRT or bus or at home, just soak in God’s presence. Remember that it is because of Jesus’ sacrifice that you can now instantaneously enter into the presence of God! No more curtains! Only His magnificence!

 

by ERIC SUNG for THE CITY

Bookmark and Share
wearethechurchseries-devo

DEVOTIONALS – WE ARE A TEMPLE (6 OCTOBER 2014)

Posted on in The City Equips

“When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD.  And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.” – 1 Kings 8:10-11

Have you ever wondered why the Temple was so important in the Old Testament? Because in the Old Testament, the Temple represented the very presence of God (Deut 12:5).

Sometimes, in a time of sweet intimacy with God, the very literal presence of God appeared amongst the Israelites. In Exodus 40:34-35, we see the presence of God appearing at the tabernacle (prototype of the Temple): “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”

And then in 1 Kings 8:10-11, we see the presence of God entering the temple as God is pleased with His children. But when the Israelites constantly sinned against God, we also see Him taking away His presence from them in 2 Chronicles 36:18-19, represented by the destruction of the Temple: “And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his princes, all these he brought to Babylon.  And they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem and burned all its palaces with fire and destroyed all its precious vessels.”

But that’s in the Old Testament. You know what Jesus did when he came into the world? He brought the very presence of God into the midst of man! A presence that is available to everyone and anyone: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’)” (Matthew 1:22-23).

Action Item of the Day: Thank Jesus for coming into the world, literally God with us. Soak in his love, in his presence.

 

by ERIC SUNG for THE CITY

Bookmark and Share
wearethechurchseries-devo

DEVOTIONALS – WE ARE A FAMILY (26 SEPTEMBER 2014)

Posted on in The City Equips

wearethechurchseries-devo

“…bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” – Colossians 3:13

A church is made up of imperfect people. And where there are people, there will be conflicts and hurts. Sometimes the hurts can be caused by miscommunication, misunderstandings or legitimate reasons. So what happens when we get frustrated or angry of the people in our church family? What can we do?

Paul gives believers two key advice in combating fights within our family. The first is to “bear” with one another. In the Greek, it means “to be patient with” or “to endure”. This gives an image of loving someone unconditionally, accepting this person and like an athlete who endures much trials, to do likewise. A lot of quarrels that family members go through are unnecessary. Yes it’s important for us to clarify differences in opinion, but at the end of the day we can agree to disagree. Just like in a marriage, we don’t have to be right all the time. We can learn to compromise. (Or as the famous saying goes: “If at first you don’t succeed, try doing it the way your wife told you to!”) We should learn to save our energy and time for the conflicts which really matter.

The second advice is to forgive one another. Just as Christ forgave us for the trillions of dollars which we owe him, we need to forgive the five dollar debt which others owe to us. We’re family, and family members get angry with one another. But we shouldn’t stay angry.

Remember: As a church grows bigger it becomes harder to maintain a sense of family. But

it isn’t our numbers that determine how strong we are. It is the size of our love!

Action Item of The Day

Is there a brother or sister in Christ (could be from a previous church family) who has offended you in the past? Pray to God and forgive him/her. If possible, try to do an act of reconciliation, e.g. send a text message, email or meet up to talk with the person.

 

by ERIC SUNG for THE CITY

Bookmark and Share
wearethechurchseries-devo

DEVOTIONALS – WE ARE A FAMILY (25 SEPTEMBER 2014)

Posted on in The City Equips

wearethechurchseries-devo

“Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NLV)

One of Paul’s favorite names for believers is “brothers and sisters”. He used it at least 60 times in his letters! In the two letters to the church in Thessalonica, he used it twenty-seven times![1] To Paul, the local church was a family. A family made up of brothers and sisters because of Jesus Christ. A family where God is our Father. A family that disregards race, wealth and social status.

And in this family, we are to respect and honor the leaders above us. They have a tough job, and they do their best (even though they make mistakes at times). But let’s not give them a hard time because of it. Let’s give them the credit they deserve.

In our church family, we are also to live peacefully with one another. But you may ask, “That’s easier said then done! You don’t know how difficult this person can be! You don’t know the frustrations I’ve been through.” That may be true, but the Bible also provides the solutions to our problems! Want to know the solutions? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s devotion.

Action Item of the Day

List down the names of 10 brothers and sisters in church. Thank God for them. Pray for each of them. And end off by praying for your pastors and church board.



[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 186). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

 

by ERIC SUNG for THE CITY

Bookmark and Share
Error: Only up to 9 modules are supported in this layout. If you need more add your own layout.