Scripture: Ephesians 5:1-14
Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John,
Prayer bells need ringing! Prayer bells need ringing!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong. Continue reading
Scripture: Ephesians 4:26; Psalm 4
Anger, when accumulated, can result in bitterness, so it is not surprising to see Paul talking about handling anger just before talking about bitterness.
Ephesians 4:26 says “In your anger do not sin.” Many people have read this verse but not realized that Paul is quoting the Old Testament. Continue reading
Scripture: Ephesians 4:31 – 5:2
Sometimes bitterness just crept into our lives. We know it should not be there, but it is.
What exactly is bitterness? Dictionary definitions of bitterness mention severe pain, suffering, distress, deep anger, hurt, disappointment, resentment, and the like, but bitterness is not just one occurrence of such experience or emotion. Continue reading
Greetings in the Lord!
I haven’t been posting for a while because of a teaching trip in another country. It was a fruitful and blessed one. As people from different places gathered and studied the gospels, it was especially meaningful and moving to us as we recited the saying of our Lord, “I will build my church, and the gates of death will not overcome it.” (Mat 16:18 TNIV)
Then I left the country and came to Indonesia to spend some time with my mother. Things were nice for about a week until we suddenly received a bad news that my brother had a severe stroke in Melbourne, Australia. He has been in induced coma and critical condition for over a week. For the first week it sounded like he might not be coming back, but the latest news was that he had showed some improvement and responded to pinch tests. We thank the Lord for this news!
At the time of this writing, we are waiting for the visa to Australia for my mother, and then she and I will be visiting my brother who is still in the intensive care unit in Melbourne. Your prayers would certainly be greatly appreciated!
Lastly, here is a guest article that I wrote a while ago. It was published on October 11 but was actually written in September before I left home for teaching:
Giving Thanks Despite Our Weaknesses
Thank you and blessings to you all!
Scripture: Ephesians 4:20-27
It takes some efforts for the word of God to have effects in our lives. In addition to meditating on it and memorizing at least some part of it so that our lives can be transformed by renewed minds, we sometimes need to deeply search our souls in order to recognize our spiritual problems and to find comfort, solution or necessary changes through the word of God. We also need commitment and discipline to follow God’s word and God’s will. Continue reading
Scripture: Ephesians 4:20-25
As believers in Christ, we have new lives, but from time to time all of us need to be reminded to live up to the new lives. To put off the old self, to be made new in the attitude of minds, and to put on the new man, are reminders that Paul gave to believers in Ephesians (4:22-24). In the rest of the book, Paul talks about practical matters that believers should pay attention to in applying these principles. Continue reading
Scripture: Ephesians 4:17-24
As people who have received spiritual blessings from God (1:3-14), we are called to live our lives worthy of his calling (4:1). As members of the Church, we learn to maintain unity so all believers may be rooted in the truth, speak truth in love, and continue to grow toward Christ (4:1-16). As individual believers, we learn to conduct our life according to the teaching of God, and the first step toward such maturity is our willingness to change. Continue reading
Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-16
A lot have been said about the maturity of believers and of the church. In 4:12 we have the threefold purposes of the church: to equip the saints, to do the work of ministry, and to build up to body of Christ Then v. 23 describes the three goals of the church: to reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, to become mature, and to attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
But what do all these mean to us? What kind of manifestation of these purposes and goals could we see in the lives of believers and in a church? Continue reading
Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-16
Different people seem to have different images of Christian maturity, so it is important to look at what the Bible says about it. It is also important to realize that this particular passage is talking about corporate identity, the church, rather than about individual believers. Earlier Paul has mentioned that that all should maintain unity and work toward maturity of the whole. Now he is giving some explanation of what maturity means. Continue reading
So we have the unity of the Spirit; we make every effort to keep the unity through the bond of peace; we understand the spiritual basis of unity; and realizing the gift of Christ, we all serve with diverse roles and positions.
But what do we actually do? What are we trying to achieve? What is the ultimate goal of all our services and ministries? Continue reading