Sunday, 17 April 2011
Recently, there was a commotion in the media about the Ministry of Manpower buying designer Herman Miller chairs priced at S$575 for their civil servants. People were asking if this was really necessary, and whether the government should be spending so much money. On a more personal note, my wife is expecting our first son, and we recently attended a public talk on storing of a baby’s cord blood in private banks. The suggested fee worked out to $1k for enrolment, and about $250 a year for 1, 5, or even up to 21 years. Of course, the organizers, who represented a particular company, would strongly encourage and convince you that it is really vital and beneficial for you to store your baby’s cord blood, as it can be used in future for medical treatments of possible blood-related diseases. These two incidents caused me to reflect about the worth or value that we place on items, or what one would be willing to spend for a certain quality of item or service.
Sunday, 13 September 2009
What would you do if you knew that you only had 1 month left to live? How about 1 week? How about 1 day? Would you live your life any differently, do all the things you always wanted to do, but never got the opportunity or time to? There’s something about the urgency of time when we know that our end is near. Somehow we abandon rational or logical thinking, such as saving up for a rainy day, or the perspective that we work hard today so that we can enjoy in the future. I believe that it is something that God tries to remind us, yet only when we realise the brevity of our fleeting lives, that life is short, and that many endeavors and goals in life are temporal, without eternal value or significance, that we stop to ponder and gain perspective of what is important and what we should focus on in life.
Jesus exhorts his disciples in Mk 13:33 to “Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come” and elsewhere, in Matt 24:42 to “keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Time and time again, throughout the New Testament, there is a consistent and imminent message, “The kingdom of heaven is near.” One day, sooner or later, Jesus Christ is coming again. As Christians, we have the assurance that either we will die and be united with Him in heaven, or He will return in our lifetime to reign over heaven and earth.
As we study the book of Revelation, there might be times when we ask ourselves, what relevance does the end times have with my life? Ask yourself, if Christ returns tomorrow, would you be ready to give an account for your life? What would be the things you wished you had done or accomplished, for yourself, for your family, for God? What would be the words that you would regret not saying to your loved ones, your friends, your spouse or children? Would you regret not spending more time or money on the things and people that matter most?
Don’t live your life simply for tomorrow. “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself … Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt 6:33-34) Live for Christ today. He exhorts us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him (Lk 9:23). Let us proclaim His good news with boldness and urgency, since “with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise … He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Pet 3:8-9). May we always be watchful, always alert, always prepared.
Saturday, 28 March 2009
by Lee Shelton IV, 02 Mar 2009
If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
Phil 1:20, 21
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
John Piper re-posted this pic on 19 Apr, with the title “Corrective Tract for the Prosperity Gospel“.
Guess his point was, where is the place of suffering and persecution in the theology of churches that promotes the “health and wealth” or prosperity gospel?
What says you?
Saturday, 26 April 2008
Temptation of Jesus
Matt 4:1-11; Mk 1:12, 13; Lk 4:1-13
A summary of exegetical insights into this familiar passage on the 3 temptations of Jesus.
Temptation to be (from Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus)
1. Relevant (stones)
2. Spectacular (throw from temple)
3. Powerful (kingdoms)
3 temptations correspond 3 worldly sins (1 Jn 2:12-17)
1. Lust of the flesh (stones)
2. Lust of the eyes (kingdoms)
3. Pride of life (throw from temple)
3 Ps of temptation
1. Pleasure (stones)
2. Possessions (kingdoms)
3. Power/Pride (throw from temple)