Archive for the ‘Personal Reflection’ Category

NAAC Weekend Away – Reflections

In June, our church went to Blue Mountains for a ‘Weekend Away’. The theme for this weekend was ‘Time Away’. Most of us are not only busy and tired from our daily life but we also placed meditation on God’s word after all the other things we see as important.

It was time away from the distractions, busyness and daily routines of our life. It was time away to build each up other through loving, knowing and serving. It was time away to listen and talk to God and be reminded of how to live as God’s people.

Read about the experience of a group member, Mel, and how she found it this year with a bub. Mel’s Reflections on NAAC Weekend Away

Gospel-Centred Living

puzzle

After a discussion on the article Simplified Missional Living the general feeling is that living with a mission-mind isn’t a typical mindset that we have as we go through our habitual week. Some ideas sound too foreign while others seem so simple we wondered why we didn’t think about it sooner. Perhaps the question to ask first is what is ‘missional living‘? It is a buzzword that is rapidly adopted by many Christians. It simply means to live a lifestyle with the intention to share the gospel message. The understanding is that all Christians should be involved in the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.

Is a reason why we don’t actively participate in missional living because we don’t have that same understanding?

Recently we were reminded in Genesis 1 & 2 and Revelations 4:11 that all of creation spells out the glory of God. But as we take a look around in our society, we see that God is not honoured. Instead, we see the idolatry of man-made things all around us. Since we know who is the true and living God, is this one of the several reasons why we should seek to lead our friends to Christ?

The article isn’t titled Simplified for no reason. It lists some clear and simple ways for Christians to make opportunity to engage with others to tell the gospel. While we may not feel comfortable with some of the ideas, the basic principle is there. Make every opportunity to not only be personal witness of Christ but to spread the gospel.

Sharing the gospel isn’t just reserved for evangelistic events organised by the church. Why not reflect on your week and see what new connections you can make. Coming up… is an opportunity for the group to engage in the community to help promote our church. Stay tuned!

Parable of the Sower

seed

I found Sunday’s sermon really challenging, “other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain” Mark 4:7 that is “the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things” Mark 4:18-19 chokes the word. I fall in this category. Do you?

In the midst of our busyness, where do you place the word of God?

Suggestions

How can I pray for you personally?

In Christ,
ming

“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”
Romans 8:7

A chance to grow in grace

The Quiet Time is not a Performance, it is a chance to grow in grace. Read it on The Quiet Time Performance by Tim Challies.

Recently, I’ve been reminded that our Christian life is not about performance but it is all about grace. We don’t do things to earn a place in heaven. Christ has done it once for all by God’s grace. Instead, we ought to grow in this grace and out of His grace do we do the things that bring glory to him. For example, I meditate on his word and I pray because of His grace.

Lovin’ it

Loving it

‘If I had the money, I would send every Christian to this course’ – this was the comment made by one of my classmates at the ‘Introduction to the Bible’ PTC course and I have to say I agree with her 100%.

It is a bit silly to say, but it’s only until the end of the course that I realised I never really got the bible. I might have read and heard plenty of sermons on the bible, but I never knew there was a central message, let alone knew what it was! And the Old Testament… well they were just some very cryptic lyrical whose meaning would only be apparent between the author and God.

And so I avoided the Bible, not only because I didn’t understand, but I didn’t enjoy reading it.

But, I enjoyed this course. I looked forward to reading the material every week and even read beyond the requirement material to get a better understanding of the historical developments in the bible. And, finally I can say I get it. I get that there is a central theme to the bible and from beginning to the end, it’s just one big plan of God’s to reverse the effects of sin planted in Genesis and to restore people to himself. And all the events and people like, Moses, Abraham, David, Solomon, even Christ were just instruments to bring this goal to fruition. How simple!

So it is also my prayer that every Christian and even non-Christian will get to understand the entirety of this message in their life time. That the bible is not only about Jesus, or resurrection or sin, but it is simply God’s unrelenting way to bring us back to Him, so we may once again live in the way we are designed to and enjoy the blessings that are only available through Him.

Mel

Mother’s Day Celebration

This week Mel and I have been reminded about the transient reality of life in this fallen and decaying world. News and events concerning life and death is depressing because it reminds us of the passing of life and the loss of all that is related to relating to a person. A verse from James 4:14 comes into mind. “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (ESV). Life is short and we will disappear. It is important that we keep this view of life in mind. Lets remember what we learnt from Easter about Jesus and the hope of eternal life that is found in him.

In a few week’s time it will be Mother’s day. It is a special occasion to honour our mother, to say thank you for their part in giving life, for their unconditional love and for nurturing us. Our church will have a mother’s day lunch. It will be a good time to celebrate this day with our mum and a chance for them to hear about Jesus if they do not trust in him yet.

So come celebrate mother’s day with your mum and the new mum’s at NAAC morning! Start thinking about other mums that you could ask along to join in this celebration.

Table Talk – Sparking Curiosity

Pizza @ WB

Nilansh, Lex, Renate, Bungie, Mel, Ming, Phil, Quy

Introducing to you the WorkBuddies… as you can see we are well concerned about our diet. Friday Pizzas is the most fun and relaxing part of the week; when everybody can really hang up their keyboards or headsets and just talk about anything and everything.

Typically after Friday lunch we’d leave the table feeling satisfied, not only with a tummy full of fattening and unhealthy food but with yet another interesting and engaging fact. O, the many things we’ve learnt about bikes, places around the world, house of representatives, mountain climbing, 4wd, more bikes, sports, and on and on…

But for the last few weeks religion has been the most interesting topic. Thanks to a scientific-minded person who likes to point out that there is no physical evidence that shows proof of the existence of God… not yet anyway. For him and others who don’t believe in the bible, it is a great leap of faith to put all their trust in the one person in history who claims to be the Son of God.

It is, however, this gospel which sparks curiosity and fuels the debate about God and other religions. How can the bible be reliable when there is so much inconsistencies, or when it has passed through so many hands and translations? Don’t all religion point to the same God anyway? Isn’t religion just a vivid imagination of man’s quest to find a God?

There is no magic on how to bring up such topic. Deep inside each of us there is an incurable ‘spirituality’. However, it isn’t a topic of conversation that can be introduced easily but it takes just one person to put forth their view or belief and everyone would be engaged.

An effective way to open doors for opportunity to talk about the gospel is not to defend or attack but to show meekness. What has meekness got to do with sharing the gospel? Meekness will help you hear and understand the other person and their belief. Meekness will help you be a good witness. Meekness will help you trust in God in your conversation. By doing this you may have more opportunity to continue the conversation. If you want to find out more about meekness read Blessed are the Meek – John Piper.

Frequently, when we are asked about our faith in Christ, we tend to talk of the gospel rather than what the gospel says. The difference seems subtle but in a conversation, speaking of the gospel would be like raising some certain facts about the history of the gospel and its authors, the bible and how it’s the word of God, and other evidences that may prove the gospel is reliable. The question asked normally puts us into such position and it is sometimes difficult to talk about what the gospel says about Jesus. But you don’t have to. It may not always be in that conversation that you have to share the gospel, so instead, listen and understand the person first and most importantly pray for that person for the next conversation.

After a conversation you can follow up by pointing them to other resources. At our work, one book that seemed to have sparked some interests was a book called “If I were God, I’d make myself clearer” by John Dickson. It is a short book and its intention is to get people who asks similar questions to the title, to look deeper into the different religions and see how Christianity is unique. Well, the book did just that for a colleague and is wanting to read a few more books on this matter. In fact, it was so effective that it caught onto two other colleagues, simply by how “interesting” he found it. This must be the grace of God.

There is no one effective way or one effective tool that will bring a person to Christ. As Rev Michael Bennett writes in Christianity Explained.

“There must be the backing of prayer, and a genuine concern for the state of people around us who are living without Christ. Unless we have the compassionate heart of an evangelist, any tool such as [Christianity Explained] will just be wasted ink!”

The same can be said for our words and our efforts. So let’s first seek the glory of God’s kingdom first, have the heart to see the lost saved, and pray for those around us.