Thursday, April 24, 2014

Disquiet On The Western Front

Even though I had been a First World War tourist for only a few hours, by the time I reached Ypres my soul was shell-shocked. Arriving too early for the daily act of remembrance for the war dead at the Menin Gate, I ended up at the cathedral.


On entering, I saw various depictions of Jesus’ crucifixion. The raw brutality seemed strangely in keeping with all the slaughter on Flanders Fields. Soldier and Saviour had shared the experience of what war does to a person. As I left the church, I was confronted with a larger-than-life crucifix, positioned at floor level.

In my imagination, I was transported back 2,000 years and was standing on a hill just outside Jerusalem. I tried to conjure up the scene, hear the sounds and sense the atmosphere as men were being put to death in front of my eyes. Surrounding me were Roman soldiers, religious leaders, excited crowds, Jesus’ frightened friends and heartbroken mother.

Then, I noticed underneath the nailed feet of Jesus there was a collection box. It seemed so out of place; somehow, so wrong. I was offended but not sure why. Maybe it is because I know I cannot buy or earn my salvation. Forgiveness and eternal life are gifts from God.

The Bible reminds me that ‘it is by grace you have been saved, through faith… it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast’ (Ephesians 2:8, 9 New International Version).
God is not impressed by my bank balance, good deeds, charitable giving or lifetime achievements. Even if I put them all together, they are not good enough to atone for my wrongdoing. It is through trusting in Jesus that God saves us - not as a reward but as a gift.

When I think about the generosity of such grace, I realise that my gratitude cannot be contained within a collection box. I have to find a greater way to express it.

by Ron Thomlinson

UK & Ireland War Cry 19 April 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dead and Buried, But It Was Not The End

In the build-up to Easter, ROSEMARY DAWSON looks at key events in the life of Jesus. This week: Resurrection (John 19:38 to 21:14)

When a celebrity dies, especially in tragic circumstances, the papers and news bulletins are full of reports, pictures and reflections on that person’s life. Close friends talk about happy times. Commentators offer analysis of a lifetime of achievements. Fans shed a silent tear. Sometimes national grief pours on to the streets. Vigils are held, flowers are laid, silence is maintained.

During his ministry, Jesus often attracted large crowds. They followed him wherever he went, listening to his every word, watching him do amazing things. On a couple of occasions, he fed the thousands who had gathered to hear him. Many people, including his closest followers, believed him to be God’s long-promised Messiah.

But when Jesus died a slow and painful death on a cross on Good Friday, there were few who stayed with him. With sunset approaching, Jesus’ body was hastily buried in a sealed tomb. There was no ceremony, no flowers and no eulogies.

When his followers arrived at the tomb early on Sunday morning, they found that the stone sealing the guarded entrance had been moved. Looking in, they saw that the tomb was empty. The body of Jesus was gone. All that remained were his folded burial clothes. At first, they feared the body had been stolen. But as Jesus revealed himself to them in a number of appearances - in a garden, in a locked room and by the seashore - they gradually realised he was not a ghost, but had indeed risen from death.

The Resurrection is the central truth of Christianity. If it didn’t happen, then there is no point having faith and there is no life after death. But if the Resurrection is true, then Jesus really did defeat the power of sin and death, and eternal life is a possibility for all who put their trust in him.

That’s why Easter is the most important Christian celebration and deeply significant - and not just for a select few, but for every man, woman and child on the earth. By his death and resurrection, Jesus has opened up the way for us to find forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Easter celebrates not only a past event but also a present reality - Jesus alive in the world today. How will you be celebrating?

UK & Ireland War Cry 19 April 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Prayer Points

1. Please intercede for Bro Tong Sing, Sis Iris, Jesslyn and Hui Man Family.

2. Please intercede for upcoming event, Church Sport and Outing, Mother's Day Celebration and Senior Citizen Fellowship

3. Please intercede for one another in your pray, especially those that are not feeling well.

• Pray for our Territorial Leaders, Colonels Lyndon and Bronwyn and Lieut. Colonels Paul and Evelyn. Pray for God’s continuing anointing on their leadership and for God’s wisdom and courage to lead us forward!

• Pray for each officer and Salvationist in Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar as we prepare for Holy Week and Easter. Pray for a new sense of wonder and commitment as we focus on God’s love and mercy, and the grace we receive because of Jesus’s death and resurrection.

• Continue to pray for Malaysia and the continuing search for MH370. Pray for the families of passengers and crew.

• Pray for one another’s needs as shared in your prayer group. Pray also for the sharing of God’s Word during the coming weekend. Pray for people to be transformed by the Word and the Spirit of God.

WORLDWILE PRAYER MEETING
http://smm.salvationarmyspirituallife.org
Facebook: Spiritual LifeDevelopment.SMM

Announcements

26th - 27th April 2014: Visit of Colonels Lyndon and Bronwyn Buckingham.

26.04.2014: Worship Practice Venue: Worship Hall (5:30pm)

27.04.2014: Sunday School (9:15am), Prayer Meeting (9:45am), Holiness Service (10:30am), Youth Fellowship (7:00pm) Venue: Corps/Church

Lent Bible Reading Series - 20th April 2014

Bible Reading – John 20:1-18

For thine is the Kingdom, the Power and Glory, forever and ever. Amen.

• THE LORD IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!

How Mary must have ran to tell the disciples the amazing news that first Easter morning, “I have seen the Lord” she shouted!

He’s alive, he’s alive he’s alive forevermore
Jesus has risen from the dead.
Sin no longer has dominion; Satan’s power is broken down,
He is Risen hallelujah and he wears the victor’s crown
He’s alive, he’s alive he’s alive forevermore.
Jesus has risen from the dead.

(E Williams)

Consider
• Do we live as Easter morning disciples?

Pray:
• As we share in celebration on this Easter Day, may our gracious Lord transform our lives with his risen power, and teach us to praise him all our days. To our glorious King be praise. Amen

Easter Sunday


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lent Bible Reading Series - 19th April 2014

Bible Reading – Matthew 27: 57 – 6 and John 16: 1-4

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil

We pause today, and with Mary and Mary Magdalene watch and wait. Of course in our waiting we know Easter morning will soon be here but for those first disciples’ what did they think? Frightened for their safety some left the city; others maybe just found a quiet space to weep, for it seemed all hope was gone. Is this what Jesus had meant in John 16 when he told them they would be put to the test?

Consider:
• Taking part in a prayer vigil until Easter morning.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lent Bible Reading Series - 18th April 2014

Bible Reading – Luke 23:26-49

Forgive us our trespassers as we forgive them who trespass against us,

Who did Jesus pray this forgiveness prayer for, was it the Roman soldiers, the religious leaders, the crowd, you and I perhaps? Edmund Newell a writer of ‘Seven words for Three hours’, imagines the thoughts of a monk as he sits and translates this part of the gospel story, he writes. ‘As the story before him unfolds, it takes him to the crucifixion of the one about whom he writes. A phrase has come to mind; a familiar phrase ascribed to that man on the cross, and handed down by reliable witnesses. ‘Father forgive them; for they know not what they do’. His sheer revulsion at the crucifixion pushes away thoughts of forgiveness – instead the image evokes feelings of powerlessness, frustration, hatred and revenge. And yet this phrase will not go away, it challenges his instinctive feelings just like so much he knows about this man. That compassionate, understanding, forgiving phrase seems apt for the man about whom he writes –the man who gives his life meaning.

Pray:
• Amazing love how can it be that thou my God should die for me!

Good Friday


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lent Bible Reading Series - 17th April 2014

Bible Reading – Luke 22:7-20

Give us this day, our daily bread,

The meal was planned, the table laid, with all the best dishes for the Passover meal. Included would be unleavened bread, wine, candlesticks, and the cedar plate containing the bitter herbs, as well as fruit and nuts, and roast lamb. Each element of the meal had a meaning, which the disciples would have understood. Jesus took the bread and said the blessing, ‘Blessed are you Lord our God, ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth’, thanking God for his continued provision. However this time was very different for, as Jesus broke the bread he said ‘this is my body broken for you’. On this night the full implications of his words could not be denied, Jesus’, own body was to be broken for the sins of the world.

Consider:
• Sharing with friends in a Passover meal

Pray:
• ‘My life must be Christ’s broken bread, My love his outpoured wine.
 A cup o’er filled, a table spread beneath his name and sign.
That other souls refreshed and fed may share his life through mine.’
(SASB 512)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lent Bible Reading Series - 16th April 2014

Bible Reading – John 12: 27-36, Mark 14:32

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,

‘It was quiet the last time he went to the garden to pray, but tonight the peace had gone. It was a time of tension; Jesus struggling with himself, striving with God. Somehow, it’s easy to get smug, gloss over the struggle, and concentrate on Jesus decision “Yet not my will, but thine be done”. Nice and easy, “Ah, we say ‘He always did his fathers will’. True, but there was nothing easy about it, look at the struggle! It echoes our own struggles. The constant battle of our will versus God’s; we fight to go our own way and not God’s. Obedience, a free decision we make towards God, leads to a freedom from self.’ Eddie Askew

Pray:
• Be still, in quiet prayer.