Gladness In God’s Presence

Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Psalm 100:2

Today millions of Christians in many countries will come together to worship. Some who are unable to gather with God’s people will worship in their homes by way of television or radio. Others will gather in small unimpressive buildings, or in cathedrals or parish churches, or in spacious church auditoriums. Others, for fear of persecution, will meet in secret locations.

But regardless of how and where we worship, we are all called to worship the Lord. The psalmist says, “Worship the LORD with gladness,” and in John 4:23 the Lord Jesus says that “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” In the words of a song, we are called to “forget about ourselves and … worship Christ the Lord.”

We come to church to celebrate God’s grace and to praise God for His faithfulness. According to the psalmist there is no excuse for sitting through a worship service with a long face.

During this coming week, pray for all who are responsible for the worship services in your church. Before you come to church, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with the joy of the Lord so that you’ll be able to come before the Lord with praise and thanks. Ask God to send His Holy Spirit into your church so that together you’ll be able to worship the Lord with gladness.                                                                              (ARTHUR SCHOONVELD)

 

For Your Reflection:

 

  • What is your general attitude about going to church? What motivates you to go to church?

 

  • If you have a complaint about the worship at your church, how do you think God wants you to respond?

 

•  Do you think it’s fun to go to church? If not, is it more about the church or about you?                                                        (RICK WARREN)

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Lifelines

Birthdays are milestones . . . significant points in the passing of time . . . specific yet mute reminders that more sand has passed through the hourglass. But they pass so quietly, so
consistently, they fool you. That’s part of the reason C.S. Lewis used to say:

The safest road to hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. . . The long, dull, monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather for the devil.

We mark our calendars with deadlines—dates that set limits for the completion of objectives and projects. To ignore those deadlines brings consequences. To live without deadlines is to live an inefficient, unorganized life, drifting with the breeze of impulse on the fickle wave of moods. We set deadlines because they help us accomplish the essentials . . . they discipline our use of time . . . they measure the length of our leash on the clothesline of demands.

God, however, brings about birthdays . . . not as deadlines but lifelines. He builds them into our calendar once every year to enable us to make an annual appraisal, not only of our length of life but our depth. Not simply to tell us we’re growing older . . . but to help us determine if we are also growing deeper. These lifelines are not like that insurance policy you invested in last year. There’s no automatic promise of annual renewal. Obviously, if God has given you another year to live for Him, He has some things in mind . . . He has some very special plans to pull off through your life. Surely it includes more than existing 1,440 minutes a day!

The psalmist gives us the perfect prayer to pray every year our lifeline rolls around. So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)

Now let me caution you. Don’t expect wisdom to come into your life like great chunks of rock on a conveyor belt. It isn’t like that. It’s not splashy and bold . . . nor is it dispensed like a prescription across a counter. Wisdom comes privately from God as a by-product of right decisions, godly reactions, and the application of scriptural principles to daily circumstances. Wisdom comes, for example, not from seeking after a ministry . . . but more from anticipating the fruit of a disciplined life. Not from trying to do great things for God . . . but more from being faithful to the small, obscure tasks few people ever see.

Stop and reflect. Are you just growing old . . . or are you also growing up? As you “number your days” do you count just years—the grinding measurement of minutes—or can you find marks of wisdom . . . character traits that were not there when you were younger?

Take a look. You really don’t have a lot longer, you know. As a matter of fact, one of these years your lifeline will be God’s deadline. (CHARLES R. SWINDOLL)

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The Prayer Life Of Jesus

And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
— Mark 1:35

This incident occurred after our Lord experienced a tremendous spiritual victory over Satan. He had endured the fierce onslaught of Satan in the wilderness. But after this ordeal

the angels ministered unto Him. — Mark 1:13

There is a peril in assuming that we are strong after a victory, and Jesus realized this fact.

I wonder what was the subject of the Lord’s early dawn experience in prayer?

Jesus went with such easy power through life; what did He do in those solitary moments with God? The fame of the Lord Jesus Christ grew steadily; people brought all the diseased and the demon-possessed to Him, and He delivered them.

Yet, in the midst of such a marvelous career of relieving and blessing people in need, He spent practically the whole night in prayer.

Do you realize that after eminent success in God’s work, there is more need for prayer than when we are at the foothills of a struggle for survival? The moments of victory and success are more dangerous than moments of darkness and depression.

PRAYER THOUGHT
Dear Father, may the spiritual success I experience be fortified with seasons of earnest prayer.

REFLECTION THOUGHT
Whether we are in a season of great success, or a season of great trial, just like the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to pray. We need to rely on the power of God every day of our lives to walk in sync with Him. (DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE by OSWALD CHAMBERS)

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Victory Keys

Gideon was an unlikely hero for sure. When God called him, he was hiding in a wine press and threshing wheat, getting ready for an attack by the Midianites. He ultimately would defeat the huge Midianite army, needing just 300 men. But three key steps were involved in his victory:

KEY 1: Encounter the Supernatural: When Gideon was at his lowest point, living in fear and desperation, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said he would save Israel from the Midianites (Judges 6:21-22). Without seeing something supernatural, it’s doubtful Gideon ever would have found the courage to step out and obey God.

KEY 2: Get God’s Perspective: Despite Gideon’s dismal circumstances at the time, the Angel of the Lord said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!…Have I not sent you?” (Judges 6:12, 6:14). Instead of seeing Gideon’s weaknesses, failures, or mistakes, God saw a man of fearless courage—a victor instead of a victim. Yet Gideon didn’t initially accept God’s evaluation. The Lord had to change his perspective and get him to start seeing himself differently.

Perhaps you’ve had the same struggle as Gideon did with low self-esteem. “How can God use me?” you ask. “Look at what I’ve done and all the times I’ve failed.” If this has been your mind-set, you need to let God give you a new perspective.

KEY 3: Rely on God’s Power: The Lord told Gideon, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man” (Judges 6:16). How was one man supposed to defeat an army that was “as numerous as locusts” (Judges 7:12)? Only one way…with God’s power.

God is asking you to do the impossible, too. He allows you to face problems you can never solve in your own strength. If you see a situation that looks impossible, remember that God says, “I’m not limited to the natural. My power has no limits. If you could do it in your own strength, you wouldn’t need Me.” As soon as you acknowledge that you can’t do it on your own, God will step in and bring you victory. And when He gives you victory in an “impossible” situation, He alone will receive the glory.

When he accepted God’s plan and became willing for God to use him, “the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon” (Judges 6:34). Gideon wasn’t given additional human strength—he received the very strength of God. In the same way, God wants to clothe you in supernatural power, enabling you to step into your destiny. He will never leave you to fight your battles in your own strength and ability.

Friend, it’s time to start looking at the bigness of your God instead of the bigness of your need. You may be in your darkest hour, surrounded by enemies like Gideon was. But fear not! God is going to come and meet you at the point of your need. He’s the God of abundance and overflow, ready to give you overwhelming victory. (BEN CERULLO)

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Healing & Deliverance Seminar By Rev. Aow Kwong Bu


Rev Aow Kwong Bu graduated from Singapore Bible College with a Bachelor in Theology in 1982 and an MA in  Intercultural Studies from Bethany School of Missions in 1998. Over the years, He had the privilege to pastor several  churches and planted more than 40 churches. These churches are in 10 different geographical locations in Asia.

Currently, Pastor Aow planted and is pastoring His Arrow Church, Singapore. He firmly believes that in this era, God is actively restoring the Five-fold office, as in Ephesians 4: 11–12. He is also actively involved in equipping Christians to enjoy intimacy with God through the Ministering Spiritual Gifts Training, where Christians are activated to hear God’s voice (John 10:27), receive visions and flow in the prophetic gifts. Rev Aow is happily married to Mei Peng and God has blessed them with two wonderful children.
For more information, please contact Wesley Klang Church Office
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Talk On Marriage By Pastor Damien Chua

Pastor Damien & Mei Ying, Chua
Damien & Mei Ying are a husband and wife team who founded Arrows Resource Centre in Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya. In the year 2004, God spoke to both of them to start a school, Arrows Resource Centre. The school, has since grown to over 400 students. In the last few years, they have seen the hand of God move in marvellous ways in the lives of the students. Depressed and difficult kids are changed by the power of God’s love, and many go on to do well in their studies. In dealing with young people, God has also opened doors for them to counsel and minister to parents and assist  whole families to seek God as the solution to problems in marriages & other family relationships. They share from the  testimony of their own marriage issues, and how God miraculously brought healing and restoration to them as a couple.
God has blessed them with 2 beautiful children, Rachel & Samuel.
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What Defines A Christian Disciple?

Those who followed Jesus truly were His disciples. Because of their love for Christ, many left their jobs, homes, and security to walk with Him as He ministered to people throughout Palestine. They had
the benefit of walking with Christ in the flesh. So, what does it look like now – with Christ risen and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us – to be Jesus’ disciple?

Characteristics of a Christian disciple:
1. A true disciple of the Jesus worships God. If you are a new creation in Christ, you are someone who brings glory to God and recognizes His honor.
2. A disciple must be confident in the power of Christ’s death and resurrection for his salvation. He must know that he is a child of God and Christ dwells within him.
3. A disciple walks in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is responsible for everything that happens in the life of a believer—his new birth, daily walk, understanding of Scripture, prayer, etc. He produces the fruit of the Spirit in us, which enables us to live holy lives and witness for Christ.
4. A disciple demonstrates love for God, neighbor, fellow disciples, and enemies. Jesus commands us to love God with every fiber of our being and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
5. A disciple is one who knows how to read, study, memorize, and meditate upon the Word of God, to store its truths in his heart. It is impossible to walk in the fullness of God’s Holy Spirit without understanding God’s Word. The reverse is also true: you cannot understand God’s Word without the Holy Spirit.
6. A true disciple of Jesus is a man or woman of prayer. Jesus models throughout Scripture that communicating with God is one of the most important things in a Christian’s life. He models that those who are children of God seek the Father.
7. A disciple is one who obeys the commands of God in a lifestyle that honors Christ.
8. A disciple is one who trusts God and lives a life of faith. Scripture reminds us that, “without faith it is impossible to please God.”
9. A disciple understands God’s grace. God loves us unconditionally, whether we obey Him or not. This is the opposite of legalism – a heretic way of thinking that urges us to try to obey God’s laws in our own wisdom, strength, and power.
10. A disciple is one who witnesses for Christ as a way of life. If you love Jesus, you are spurred on to tell people about Him, testifying to what He has done in your life.

For Reflection:
1. What are some characteristics of a true Christian disciple you are noticing in your own life?
2. What are some characteristics of a true Christian disciple that you struggle with? Have you given that over to the Lord? (ERIC RUSS)

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Prayer And Character

A man’s character is his fate. Thomas Jefferson,
the third President of the United States said:
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

As a servant of God, I have watched pitiably how people self-sabotage themselves by seeking spiritual solutions to character-deficit issues. They look around at everybody as suspects for their predicaments when their greatest demons lurks within them – their character. What we often call our destiny is truly our character, and since that character can change, then destiny can be altered. Character is destiny.

Most people believe that we can pray ourselves to success and get away with virtually anything if we become a stickler to some prayer routines. THERE IS NO AMOUNT OF SPIRITUAL PENANCE THAT CAN SUBSTITUE FOR CHARACTER. Sometimes, you need character, not prayer.

Dutch Sheets said: “Prayer is not a cheque request asking for things from God; it is a deposit slip – a way of depositing God’s character into our bankrupt souls.”

British writer and politician, Thomas Macaulay said: “The measure of a man’s character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.” I have often said that what would ultimately destroy a man going to high places in life is not really the enemies that are waiting for him there, but the character that followed him there.

I want to emphatically underline the fact that this write-up is not meant to trivialize prayers in any way. I have observed that many people take character for granted, while overzealously tuning on into their spiritual mode – prayers. We have become so spiritually in tune through prayers that we neglect the place of character and our relationship with people. Many are actually ‘heavenly’ bound, but with no earthly relevance. You can speak with spiritual eloquence, pray in public and maintain a holy appearance, but it is your behavior character that will actually trigger the manifestation of all that God has for you.

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. The way we treat people we think can’t help or hurt us, like housekeepers, waiters, secretaries and the less fortunate, tells more about our character than how we treat people we thing are important. How do you treat people?

Prayer is not EVERYTHING! Build relationships, and don’t forget that God will always use man. Be mindful of your words and how you speak to people. Work seriously on your character and attitude towards life.

I want to say emphatically that character is not optional; it is sacrosanct to the future that God has planned for you. No matter where you place prayers, character matter. The greatest fraud in life is religion without character. A man without character is recklessly alive.
(SOURCE UNKNOWN)

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