Mar 20, 2013

A Den of Thieves

I'm sure most of us are familiar with the scene of our Lord Jesus Christ, laying His footsteps into the temple of Jerusalem and flipped the very tables that were trading for the people who wanted to 'worship the Lord with unblemished sacrifices.' Apparently, the traders were taking advantage to make money as to provide convenience for people to buy their 'sacrifices' instead of preparing them on their own.

To further add on the grandeur of this scene, people were laying down their outer garments on to the streets to greet Jesus on the colt as He entered the gates of Jerusalem prior to this commotion. As He slowly progressed into the streets, the whole multitude of disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice, for all the might works they had seen!

So you may be wondering, "Yeah, it's pretty cool that Jesus entered with a grand entrance and flipped some tables, but what else about it?"

God was very clear as I sat at His feet, calming my heart to listen to His still voice while reflecting upon His Word. It comes in 2 important blocks:-

Firstly, how would I regard Jesus Christ if He enters into my 'Jerusalem'?

Would I immediately remove my outer garment and lay it on to the streets, and praise God for He is here? Or would I shrug and continue with my own affairs?

And next, notice that upon Jesus entering Jerusalem, the first location He decided to go is none other than the temple itself!

Would I be seen making His temple (my heart) as a place of 'trading' to my own selfish desires, and be called a 'Den of Thieves"? Or a "House of Prayer"?

Take heart as for Lord Jesus Christ who was often time than not seen to be a mellowed, gentle person who walked side by side with the oppressed and the poor, if He were to raise His arms in righteous anger, I can only cry for mercy!

He then further assured me that I have a lot more clutter to be cleansed in my heart and it's a daily process. Mentioned in Luke 19:47, Jesus then continued to stay in the temple daily, and was teaching the people there! And what made it even more significant was the fact that the authorities of the temple couldn't touch Jesus or do anything about Him although they despised His very presence there, affecting their own self-centered plans - simply because, the people were very attentive to hear Him.

So just a little sharing as we prepare our hearts for this upcoming retreat this weekend.. Are we preparing our hearts for Jesus to enter our 'temples' and be very attentive to hear Him as He teaches us?

- daryl 's u n d a e' heng

Images taken from:

Mar 12, 2013

David and Jonathan

When I read the passages of 1 Samuel, I felt uneasy to note that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David (1 Sam 18:1). However, when I read the following chapters, I realized that I was being skeptical of their friendship (May God forgives!).

As I read on, I was very touched by the fact that David and Jonathan are both having genuine concern, trust and friendship with each other and of each other's family. The preamble begins with David gaining favour with Saul, after he has defeated Goliath.
1 Sam 18:1-4, NKJV
Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.  
Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore. 
Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.  
And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.
After Samuel the prophet proclaimed judgment of the Lord to Saul, Saul began seeking to kill David. Jonathan secretly informed David and spoke well of David in the presence of Saul and Saul halt his plan to kill David at that moment.

Not long after that, Saul attempted to get rid of David and David ran for his life. When David returned from the first escape with Saul, both David and Jonathan had an argument. Jonathan was defending his integrity and his father – Saul and David was questioning Saul and Jonathan’s actions. Below is the gist of the conversation between David and Jonathan. Here, their covenant with each other was renewed.
1 Sam 20:12-17, NKJVThen Jonathan said to David: “The LORD God of Israel is witness! When I have sounded out my father sometime tomorrow, or the third day, and indeed there is good toward David, and I do not send to you and tell you, may the LORD do so and much more to Jonathan. 
But if it pleases my father to do you evil, then I will report it to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. And the LORD be with you as He has been with my father. And you shall not only show me the kindness of the LORD while I still live, that I may not die; but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever, no, not when the LORD has cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” 
So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “Let the LORD require it at the hand of David’s enemies.”Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul. 
During a feast, Jonathan noticed that his dad – Saul was determined to kill David and thus Jonathan and David both bid farewell.
1 Sam 20:41b-42, NKJVDavid arose from a place toward the south, fell on his face to the ground, and bowed down three times. And they kissed one another; and they wept together, but David more so.  
Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘May the LORD be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.’” 
So he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.
After David had escaped from Saul’s presence for the second time, Jonathan quietly went to David’s stronghold (1 Sam 23:16-18). Bear in mind that it poses so much risk for Jonathan to trace David’s whereabouts and visited him as his father might kill him along with David. What is more amazing is that Jonathan was even selfless to acknowledge David’s kingship over his father’s and willing to be his “side-kick” (second man)!

Following those events, David being a righteous man and his covenant with Jonathan, he spares Saul twice and became king of Israel. However, the ending of Jonathan was tragic - he was killed along with Saul and siblings during the war with the Philistines. David, being the “brother” of Jonathan mourned and wept and fasted for Saul and for Jonathan. (2 Sam 1:11-12)

Such was the mutual love, care and friendship between Jonathan and David which were seldom heard of in our circles of friends. I urge you therefore, if you have someone who hears you, cares for you genuinely, instead of swaying you away from the truth or influencing you for bad habits, may you strive to work out your friendships with one another.

If indeed anyone has disappointed you/betrayed your trust, would you be willing to be the first to reconcile with the person?

In Him,
Yit Mun (aka IP Man)

Images taken from:

Mar 7, 2013

March Retreat 2013!

We are glad to announce that we have a retreat filled with 40 eager participants so do continue to keep all of us in prayer, as we seek the Lord to be faithful and obedient disciples for His kingdom and glory! Our retreat speaker, Alwyn Lau will be imparting with us teachings from His Word so do keep him in prayer as well. 

Here are some official details of the retreat:

Venue: Methodist Bungalow, Frasers Hill
When: 23 - 25 March, Sat - Mon
Speaker: Alwyn Lau
Theme: Christian Discipleship
Camp Fees: RM170.00

WHAT IS THIS?? μαθητεία is Greek for discipleship. It's actually the name of our coming March Retreat, where we'll explore the idea of what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus.

WHY SHOULD YOU COME? I don't know what is a disciple. I don't know what it means to be one. I want to know how to be one. Am I a disciple!? If you have any of those questions, έλα! (Greek for come)

WILL IT BE HEAVY/BORING? There would be an experienced youth speaker at the camp. The schedule will allow enough free time and games (outdoor and board games).

Feel free to ask Wen-Li, Yit Mun or Ivan if you have any questions.

Camp form available for download here: