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Life is vapour

11 Mar

Ecc 1:2 – “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

Last Saturday I attended a wedding in the morning. Later that afternoon I attended a funeral. I would never have imagined that these two diametrically opposed events would happen on the same day, but they did.

I had to ask God why it happened this way. But having them both on the same day got me to look at my own life from a more objective point of view – soon I’ll be that groom getting married to my bride, taking photos with friends and creating memories. By the same token, I will also eventually pass on from this world and have friends and family gathered to say goodbye to me, temporary as it may be.

That’s when the Ecclesiastes verse came to mind – “Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless”. So I thought, “What’s the point? If everything I do in this life is meaningless, then why bother, why care about anything?” And I was kind of bothered. To someone else I would just be that young guy who’s fallen in love, to someone else I would just be another name on the funeral director’s running sheet.

While the author of Ecclesiastes says that everything in life is “meaningless”, is he saying that our lives mean nothing? Is he saying that no matter what joy or sorrow we experience, it’s futile? Actually, the Hebrew word translated is “hebel” which literally means “vapour” and gives a better description of what the author is trying to say. Our lives aren’t so much meaningless, but really it means that our lives are fleeting and momentary. Life is short so make the most of it.

This proper understanding of the verse got me to see that while seemingly different, the wedding and funeral were actually not too dissimilar – they are both temporal events in a temporal life. One day you go to school, before you know it you’re in University. Soon after you might get married and have a few kids. In no time your back pain is getting worse and you’re finding it hard to remember things. I can say from personal experience that the speed of life when you’re 28 is much quicker than the speed of life when you’re 21. Life is short so make the most of it.

This week I was listening to the song by Switchfoot called “This is Home” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0ykm1v9xbU) and it really hammered home the point that God had been trying to teach me this past week – that by accepting Jesus, we’re now called children of God and have his inheritance, including his home which is much, much more glorious than the brief time we have here on earth. So while we enjoy beautiful weddings, while we are moved by touching eulogies, God’s plan for us is not to see events in our lives as the be all and end all, but to appreciate them in the context of a very temporary life. Life is short, so make the most of it.

So let’s recognise that while God has blessed us on this earth, it is only for a very short time. We need to make the most of it by concentrating on the things of God and remembering what the glimpse of our real home in heaven is like.

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Thought for the day-

29 Sep

‘We have seconds to work, to serve Him, but eternity to rejoice.’

Amy Carmichael

Devotion: Summary from Chapters 2 & 3 of Prodigal God

26 Jul

Reference from Luke 15: 11 – 32.

From the Tim Keller’s chapters and the parable this summary hit me:

One end, two d i f f e r e n t means.

Let me explore this:
Both sons didn’t have the willingness and desire to be in a relationship/get to know the father. With the end point being to gain possession of his “things” instead, whether that be material or non-material things to be used at the son’s discretion. They wanted to be in charge; they are boss.

So the being boss part was attempted via two different means:

1. being detached from the father, physical freedom, spontaneous actions/thoughts
or
2. by obeying rules, maintaining/responding to order, in a hope that the son deserves the reward. In effect he would be thinking it’s my birth right to have what the father owns but I’d do the right rituals and keep tradition to look good and earn respect for myself along the way.

This parable reminded me of the world we live in. People reach the same ultimate end point position (ie. neglect the Lord) but the means of doing so and how they got there are so vastly different. Some say I had a bad experience with religion, other say you can practise whatever you wish as log as you are happy. But
are they really?

Jesus’ parable really highlights that we have missed the point as to how to live life to the full and in the truth. He redefines sin were we rejected God and not let God be God in our lives. We aren’t humble but proud, and proud of the fact we are proud! Are we fooling ourselves?

We must be patient and willing to listen to others. To here them out as how they got to such end and hopefully with the guidance of God, may we point them to Him appropriately.

Leaders Retreat Devotion

29 Mar

Hey All!,

These are some ‘notes’ that were taken from the devotion time that we had on the weekend at our leaders retreat.

I thought I’d share with all of you what God has shown us through His word. In Timothy 2:1-14


2 Timothy 2:1-14

Context Letter from Paul to Timothy who was pasturing the church who (Tim was young) instructions to how to be a pastor to the church amidst tough times.

V1 strengthen by grace in Christ.

V2 Keep training worthy leaders up.

Loves this passage, starts with the grace of Christ, this is the beginning point, salvation and grace from Christ Jesus.

Trust these things to faithful men

Teacher

  • Entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others too (trust and accountability
  • James 3:1 Teachers will be judged more strictly

Soldier

  • Fighting in a war (Spiritual Battle)
  • Bear the burden of it until the work is done
  • Sharing in the suffering for the sake of the mission
  • Mission –v10
  • Follow your leader, emulate Jesus
  • Jesus commanding officer, so we obey him.
  • Not to be entangled in civilian affairs.
    • Tasks to be undertaken and progression

Athlete

  • Compete according to the rules
    • Rules require us to do things a certain way
    • Play within confines of the game
    • Rules are God’s mission
  • Crown 4:6-8
  • Athlete has support around them
  • Eyes on the prize
  • Practice what you preach, leading people to get crown of righteousness that we are also seeking after.

Farmer

  • Times of preparation of the soil
    • Sow the seeds
    • Water
    • Harvest
  • Preparation , fighting with the elements, time and elements, knowledgeable and learn from experience.
  • Persistence will be rewarded.
  • God makes the plant grow.
  • Process takes time, depending on what type of tree.

They are a bit disjointed, but ask your cell leader if you have any questions 🙂

Remember NO youth group this Friday as it is Easter Friday

There will be a combined Church Service in the Chapel @ 10:30am. See you all there!

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