Monday, 24 April 2017

Losing Someone Hurts

Hello All,

Losing someone hurts.

The grief that we feel over that loss is one that we can never fully capture in words.

Over time, the grief may lessen, but it never fully departs.

The loss of a loved one is brought about by a myriad of circumstances – death, conflicts, misunderstandings, divorce, breakups, separations, etc.

There are times when we wish that we could just turn back time to reverse the loss. Could we have done something to prevent the loss? If only we had been more careful, thoughtful, and mindful. Regrets fill our hearts with possibilities of how things could have been.

When we lose someone, it often feels as if we have lost a part of ourselves. We reach out to touch that someone, only to find that she is not there. She has left. She is gone. And that hurts.

Losing Someone Hurts
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling

Nothing seems to erase the pain
Of losing someone you love
Memories return now and again
Come; bring your hurts to God above

Losing someone hurts; now that's true
Death snatches him from your hands
Circumstances separate her from you
Come; place your pain in Jesus's hands

'Could I have prevented that loss?'
'If only I could turn back time...'
Come; lay your regrets at the cross
God unfolds His plans in His time

Grief leads our eyes to God's mercy
In brokenness, He comforts us
In loneliness, He keeps us company
No one knows grief better than Jesus

His disciples abandoned Him
When His enemies took Him away
The Father turned His face from Him
As He bore our sins on that Day

Cling to Christ, our loving Saviour
Though you can make no sense of grief
When you're unsure and filled with fear
Fix your gaze on Him and find relief

Points for Reflection:
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:4-5 ESV)
·       No one knows grief better than Jesus. He was betrayed by Judas, abandoned by His disciples, and denied by Peter. Although those were heart-breaking moments for Him, He still had the constant presence of the Father to comfort and strengthen Him as He endured the rejection, abandonment, and cruelty of mankind.
·       But as He hung on the cross and took the punishment due to sinful humanity, the Father had to turn His face away. The Father had to treat Jesus like a rebellious sinner to save sinners like us.
·       Can you imagine the grief that Jesus felt when the Father turned His face away? All the physical pain He endured could not compare to this heart-rending pain. He endured that separation from the Father so that those of us who trust in Him need not endure such separation, for we have been eternally reconciled to God.
·       We may not be able to make sense of the grief we are enduring. But Jesus knows our pain. He walks with us in our grief. He is there to comfort us when we feel that we cannot go on.
·       Come; bring your hurts to God above. Come; place your pain in Jesus's hands. Come; lay your regrets at the cross. Fix your gaze on Christ and find relief.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

God’s Power in the Rain

Hello All,

Today is Easter!

Easter is not about chocolate eggs or adorable bunnies. I love chocolates and baby bunnies, but Easter is so much more than food and furry pets.

Easter is a special day set aside to commemorate a daily reality – Christ has risen from the dead! Jesus did not only foretell His death but He reminded His disciples repeatedly about His resurrection. The eyewitnesses, the empty tomb, and the written records give us more than we need to have full faith and confidence in this miraculous reality.

As Christians, this knowledge may have lost its significance to us. We may have forgotten the joy we felt on that first Easter morn when we embraced Christ as our risen Saviour.

God’s Power in the Rain
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling

Why is Christ so small in my eyes?
Why are trials insurmountable?
Christ has risen to the bright sky
This miracle is no fable

Why is Christ so small in my eyes?
Is He not the great, risen King?
Why do I, on my strength, rely?
When to Him, my trials, I can bring

Why is Christ so small in my eyes?
Why are my eyes fixed on my pain?
Why do I take in Satan’s lies?
I see God’s power in the rain!

No, Christ is not small in my eyes!
For His Spirit dwells within me
His great strength, He’ll daily supply
He’ll lead me on clouds of glory

Points for Reflection:
And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.  And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.
(Mark 16:5-6 ESV)
·         Jesus is alive! Do you believe that? If so, then has that reality lost its meaning to us?
·         In the trials and troubles of this life, it is so natural for us to get distracted from the joy of knowing the risen Lord.
·         We often lose sight of God in our pain and rely on our own strength and resources to get us through the day.
·         Have you been bringing your worries, struggles, and sadness to God in prayer? Or have you been placing full confidence in your resources?
·         The resurrection of Jesus Christ should be the driving force that propels us from the valleys that we are so deeply entrenched in.
·         Ask Him to give your fresh eyes to look in wonder and amazement at the greatest miracle of all time. Because of this miracle, we do not have to keep searching for new ones, but we can rest in the assurance of our salvation through Christ’s death and resurrection.
·         Jesus autem vivit!

Monday, 10 April 2017

The Cry of Sorrow

Hello All,

Have you ever committed acts that you are too ashamed to tell anyone?

Are there filthy thoughts and skeletons in your closet that you would rather keep hidden from the world?

Are you letting out a silent cry of anguish, despair, and pain? A silent cry that only you can hear.

The Cry of Sorrow
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (12 March 2017)

A cry of anguish escapes me
I fall helplessly to my knees
Looking within leads to despair
The weight of my sins; I can't bear

A cry of despair escapes me
I kneel desperately on my knees
Where can I look to ease my pain?
The filth of my sins; I am stained!

A cry of great pain escapes me
I stay fervently on my knees
The pain within can't be perceived
The sting of my sins, who can relieve?

A cry of sorrow I now hear
A cry that drives away my fears
A cry of great love and mercy
A cry of One who died for me

'My God! Why have you forsaken me?'
Jesus cried out in Calvary
He's nailed my sins upon the Tree
I am forgiven and set free

Points for Reflection:
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
(Matthew 27:46 ESV)
·         The only cry of sorrow that can vanquish all our silent cries is the anguished cry of Jesus Christ who hung on the cross for our sins.
·         Christ, the sinless One, was forsaken by the Father so that we, unworthy sinners, can be accepted by the Father. He died the death that we deserved.
·         Is the burden of guilt getting too heavy to bear? Are there secret sins that you are having trouble keeping silent about?
·         Lay your burdens at the cross where God’s forgiveness is found. God’s grace cannot be earned but can only be accepted with open hands. Are your hands opened to the loving forgiveness that God offers?

Monday, 3 April 2017

Linked to the Divine

Hello All,

Are you weighed down by the burden of sin? Are there sinful thoughts, words, and actions that you cannot seem to rectify or overcome?

Do you think that you are a good and morally upright person with no need for repentance? Do you truly realise the sinful state of humanity and your heart?

Are you looking for help in your sinful state?

Linked to the Divine
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (17 March 2017)

My heart is filled with guilt
Defiled; choked up with silt
Unclean, unclean, unclean!
Filth that no one has seen

Lord, I cry out to You
My sins, I truly rue
Cleanse me and make me whole
Cleanse the filth in my soul

You are the faithful Vine
I’m linked to the Divine
Though pruning may be hard
There are sins to discard

Help me abide in You
Help me love what’s true
Help me cling to the Cross
Where Christ paid sin’s high cost

Points for Reflection:
Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
(John 15:3-4 ESV)
·         We are not made clean by good works but by abiding in Jesus Christ, the faithful Vine. If our good works could purify us, there would be no need for Jesus to die in our place and cleanse us of our sins.
·         Are you bringing your struggles with sin to God in prayer?
·         Are you abiding in Christ and nourishing your mind with His Word?
·         Are you relying on the Holy Spirit to transform your heart and give you the desire to live for Christ instead of just trying to change your external behaviour? It is possible to look good on the outside but it is only God who can cleanse the filth in our hearts.
·         Do not lose heart in your combat against sin. We are living in a fallen world and there are many things that will strive to pull our hearts away from righteous living. But you are not alone in this battle for God’s Holy Spirit dwells within you and enables you to overcome sin.

·         Look to the cross and find mercy in the arms of the Saviour who bled and died for sinners like you and me.

Monday, 27 March 2017

No Longer Looking for More

Hello All,

Are you looking for something? Are you searching for someone?

Are you hoping for something? Are you yearning for someone?

In this life, we are constantly yearning for something or someone that will satisfy the longings of our hearts. ‘There must be more to life than this,’ we often whisper to ourselves.

No Longer Looking for More
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling

No longer looking for more
I've found Someone to adore
No longer unsatisfied
For me, Christ was crucified

No longer looking for more
My Lord Jesus, I adore
No longer looking for gold
In Christ are treasures untold

No longer looking for more
Jesus, my King, I adore
No longer looking for fame
For God has called me by name

No longer looking for more
Christ, my Saviour, I adore
No longer looking for praise
I boast in Him who was raised

No longer looking for more
Christ is the One I adore
No longer striving for love
Divine love comes from above

Points for Reflection:
“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
(John 4:13-14 ESV)
·         In Christian gatherings, we often sing songs that speak of the sufficiency of Christ. ‘Christ is Enough for Me’ is one of those songs.
·         If we are honest with ourselves, we are often looking for satisfaction somewhere else apart from Christ. Those places may not be bad and may, in fact, be good gifts from God. But attempting to derive ultimate fulfilment from them leads to disappointments and disillusionment.
·         When God withholds something or someone that we are yearning so badly for, it is very natural to ask Him, ‘Why?’ God’s ways are higher than ours and we may never know the reasons He is withholding those things from us. However, one of the possible reasons is that He wants us to find ultimate fulfilment in Him and not in those things. He wants us to delight in Him.
·         Are you delighting in Christ? Drink from the well of His living Word. Grow in your knowledge of Him. And not just knowledge, but abound in your love for Him.