Sunday, 22 February 2015

'Teach Us How to Pray' (Episode 2)

Hello All,
The part of the poem that we will be emphasising on today is highlighted in blue. The black colour text in the poem is a recap of what we have already done last week.
Let us now continue with the second episode of this poem…

'Teach Us How to Pray' (Episode 2)
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (February 12, 2015)
When was the last time you knelt down humbly to pray?
Was it this morning, yesterday or last Sunday?
Was it last week, last month or a few years ago?
Or only when you are face to face with a foe?

Prayer is not as complicated as it seems
It is sharing with God our feelings, needs and dreams
It is responding to our Lord with thanksgiving
As we look forward to the coming of the King

The Lord Jesus Himself showed us how we should pray
The Lord’s Prayer guides us when we don’t know what to say
It reminds us of our dependence on Jesus
To love, strengthen, encourage and provide for us

The Lord’s Prayer begins with, 'Our Father in heaven’
Which helps us to address the God of creation
As, 'our Father', who is sovereign and yet loving
To those He has called, 'Children of the King of kings’

TO BE CONTINUED...

Points for Reflection:
[8] Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
[9] Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
(Matthew 6:8-9 ESV)
·         Are you able to relate to God as your Heavenly Father?
·         Or do you feel like He is just a distant Being who does not play a significant role in your life?
·         Many do not realise how wonderful it is to have a Heavenly Father who is not only sovereign and in control of all things but is loving and cares deeply about us, His beloved children.
·         If we truly trust that we have a loving and sovereign Heavenly Father, why are we still so worried about the things of life?

·         Are there struggles in your life which you can be committing to your loving and sovereign Heavenly Father? 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

'Teach Us How to Pray' (Episode 1)

Hello All,
Many find prayer a burdensome task on a Christian’s to do list.

Some will just tell themselves, ‘Let us just get it over and done with. I will just say the right words to God and it will be fine.’

There are others who only turn to God in prayer when they are drowning in the sea of adversity.

But many do not realise that prayer is a great privilege for Christians to have conversations with their loving Heavenly Father; to unburden the anxieties of their heart and find joy in thanksgiving to the Giver of all things.

In the gospel of Luke 11:1-13, Jesus’ disciples asked Him, ‘Lord, teach us how to pray.’

The Lord’s Prayer can also be found in Matthew 6:9-13 which will be the Bible passage that this poem series, entitled, ‘Teach Us How to Pray’, will be based on.


'Teach Us How to Pray' (Episode 1)
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (February 12, 2015)
When was the last time you knelt down humbly to pray?
Was it this morning, yesterday or last Sunday?
Was it last week, last month or a few years ago?
Or only when you are face to face with a foe?

Prayer is not as complicated as it seems
It is sharing with God our feelings, needs and dreams
It is responding to our Lord with thanksgiving
As we look forward to the coming of the King

The Lord Jesus Himself showed us how we should pray
The Lord’s Prayer guides us when we don’t know what to say
It reminds us of our dependence on Jesus
To love, strengthen, encourage and provide for us

TO BE CONTINUED...

Points for Reflection:
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
(Colossians 4:2 ESV)
·         When was the last time you prayed?
·         Do you find prayer a burdensome task? If so, then why?
·         What are the anxieties, disappointments and hope that you can be talking to God about?
·         Are there things in your life you can be thankful for? Have you said a prayer of thanks to God?

·         I pray with all my heart that you will find great joy in prayer.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Contentment – In Christ Alone (Episode 4)

Hello All,
The part of the poem that we will be emphasising on today is highlighted in blue. The black colour text in the poem is a recap of what we have already done last week.
Let us now continue with the fourth and final episode of this poem…


Contentment – In Christ Alone (Episode 4)
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (12th December 2014)
Why are our hearts unsatisfied and not at rest?
What are they seeking in their neverending quests?
Where do they run to for fulfillment and meaning?
What are their unmet wants, desires and longings?

For the things we do not have, we yearn and desire
To procure and gain them at all costs, we aspire
Just when we thought we have secured them in our hands
They slip too easily through our fingers like sand

Our dreams are shattered with broken expectations
Disillusionment sets in with disappointments
Are we able to thank God in spite of failures?
Are we able to find joy in our Creator?

When was the last time we paused to count our blessings?
To rest by the meadow and delight in its springs?
Have we been too focused on our pursuit of dreams?
That we fail to notice the flowers by the stream?

Perhaps we have neglected the overflowing
Providence, loved ones, family, friends and blessings
That God has so graciously bestowed and given
Do we take the time to thank the God of heaven?

Some may too conveniently equate contentment
To one who seeks no progress and is complacent
This notion gives way to laziness - an excuse
The meaning of contentment is sorely abused

Contentment is not akin to complacency
She seeks to do her best with the abilities
And resources given by her God Almighty
She finds rest and thanks the Lord for His great mercy

Contentment finds its fulfillment in Christ alone
Who is our sturdy foundation and cornerstone
When we learn to surrender our desires to Him
Our joy from contentment will flow over the brim

Our quest for meaning ends at the foot of the Cross
Where Jesus died to redeem sinners who were lost
But through faith in His act of love, we are now found
Contented in the arms of our Lord, safe and sound

THE END.

Points for Reflection:
[13] Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,
[14] 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)
·         Has contentment felt like such a fleeting and transient attribute to you?
·         We are always grasping in vain for that something that will satisfy our deepest longings.
·         At the end of the day, we find that we have become thirstier than when we have first begun in our quest for life’s meaning.
·         That thirst is meant to lead us to the Fountain of eternal life – Jesus Christ.
·         The water that He gives will bring new life to our perishing souls and quench the deepest desires in our hearts.
·         It is through Christ that we are saved from the futility of this life and spiritual death.
·         Would you drink deeply from Jesus Christ, the Fountain of living water?

·         There is a song sung by Elvis Presley that I would like to share with you. This song, ‘Crying in the Chapel’, talks about finding contentment in God and it is a song that is close to my heart. 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Contentment – Equals Complacency? (Episode 3)

Hello All,
The part of the poem that we will be emphasising on today is highlighted in blue. The black colour text in the poem is a recap of what we have already done last week.
Let us now continue with the third episode of this poem…


Contentment – Equals Complacency? (Episode 3)
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (12th December 2014)
Why are our hearts unsatisfied and not at rest?
What are they seeking in their neverending quests?
Where do they run to for fulfillment and meaning?
What are their unmet wants, desires and longings?

For the things we do not have, we yearn and desire
To procure and gain them at all costs, we aspire
Just when we thought we have secured them in our hands
They slip too easily through our fingers like sand

Our dreams are shattered with broken expectations
Disillusionment sets in with disappointments
Are we able to thank God in spite of failures?
Are we able to find joy in our Creator?

When was the last time we paused to count our blessings?
To rest by the meadow and delight in its springs?
Have we been too focused on our pursuit of dreams?
That we fail to notice the flowers by the stream?

Perhaps we have neglected the overflowing
Providence, loved ones, family, friends and blessings
That God has so graciously bestowed and given
Do we take the time to thank the God of heaven?

Some may too conveniently equate contentment
To one who seeks no progress and is complacent
This notion gives way to laziness - an excuse
The meaning of contentment is sorely abused

Contentment is not akin to complacency
She seeks to do her best with the abilities
And resources given by her God Almighty
She finds rest and thanks the Lord for His great mercy

TO BE CONTINUED...

Points for Reflection:
[32] For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them;
[33] but whoever listens to me [God] will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
(Proverbs 1:32-33 ESV)
·         No, contentment does not equal complacency.
·         Contentment means being thankful to God for situations or things that you cannot change after having done your best.
·         Complacency is turning a blind eye to the efforts required to improve yourself or your circumstances.
·         A person who listens to God and obeys His Word will give no way to complacency in every area of his life.
·         He will strive to live his life for God’s glory and the good of others.
·         Are you ever tempted to equate contentment with complacency?

·         In what areas of your life do you tend to be complacent with? Your duties at work? Your responsibilities to your family? Your friendship with others? Your accountability to the church? Your lack of enthusiasm in evangelism? Your quiet time of prayer and reading God’s Word? Your walk with God? Your love for Jesus Christ?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Contentment – With What We Have (Episode 2)

Hello All,
The part of the poem that we will be emphasising on today is highlighted in blue. The black colour text in the poem is a recap of what we have already done last week.
Let us now continue with the second episode of this poem…


Contentment – With What We Have (Episode 2)
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (12th December 2014)
Why are our hearts unsatisfied and not at rest?
What are they seeking in their neverending quests?
Where do they run to for fulfillment and meaning?
What are their unmet wants, desires and longings?

For the things we do not have, we yearn and desire
To procure and gain them at all costs, we aspire
Just when we thought we have secured them in our hands
They slip too easily through our fingers like sand

Our dreams are shattered with broken expectations
Disillusionment sets in with disappointments
Are we able to thank God in spite of failures?
Are we able to find joy in our Creator?

When was the last time we paused to count our blessings?
To rest by the meadow and delight in its springs?
Have we been too focused on our pursuit of dreams?
That we fail to notice the flowers by the stream?

Perhaps we have neglected the overflowing
Providence, loved ones, family, friends and blessings
That God has so graciously bestowed and given
Do we take the time to thank the God of heaven?

TO BE CONTINUED...

Points for Reflection:
[6] But godliness with contentment is great gain,
[7] for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.
[8] But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.          
(1 Timothy 6:6-8 ESV)
·         We are often so distracted by the things we do not have that we fail to be grateful to God for the many undeserved blessings which He has showered upon our lives.
·         So immersed are we in our search for greener pastures that we do not take the time to enjoy the beauty of the flowers by the stream.
·         What are things and who are the people you should be grateful for?
·         In the midst of all the gifts that God has bestowed to us, the most precious gift is found in His saving grace lavished lovingly on undeserving sinners like us.
·         Have you come to trust in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ?
·         Is your heart overflowing with joy and thankfulness for God’s gift of salvation? Or has familiarity with this wonderful gift bred contempt in your heart?

·         Why don’t you take some time thanking the God of heaven for those wonderful gifts?