TWC 20111114: Anger Destroys

Monday 14 November 2011

Spanish philosopher Baltasar Gracian said, “Never do anything when you are in a temper, for you will do everything wrong.” American editor George Jean Nathan said, “No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.” Anger is destructive and the one who wins at the end of the day is never the one who got angry but the one who exercises self-control over his anger. I have met angry people and they are hardly ever happy, their face always flushed (a sign of high blood pressure) and their countenance …. what countenance? James tells us that we should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry because an angry man will not live the righteous life God desires him to live. In fact, people with a strong temper tend to do the exact opposite – slow to listen, quick to speak and quick to become angry! They usually end up bitter, miserable and worst of all, missing God’s plan for their lives. Do you have a propensity to get angry? Better be careful for it can destroy you and the people around you including your family. What can you do whenever you feel anger rising up from within you? Take James’ advice: be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry – in short, just shut up and listen! And what do you do after you have listened carefully? I recommend that you postpone your response. Go away, pray and ask God for wisdom, sleep over it and think about it again when you wake up. Write a letter or email in response by all means, just don’t send it. Also, don’t forget God’s grace and forgiveness towards you – “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespassed against us”. If there is something that makes you angry today, commit how you feel to the Lord and let the Prince of Peace step in and take over. Have a peaceful day!

19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (Jas.1:19-20)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: The Skit Guys on God’s grace ……

TWC 20111113: Remember How Good He Is

Sunday 13 November 2011

The Bible says every good and perfect gift is given by the Lord. Somebody once shared that whenever you feel low and disappointed, just grab a pen and paper and start to write chronologically a list of all the blessings God has given you (starting from the year you became a Christian), and you will start to feel great again. I have tried this several times in years passed, and it certainly works! When I started to remember what God has done for me, when I started to remember every good and perfect gift from Him, my heart began to be filled with gratitude and before long, all the things that made me feel low started to look insignificant. The giants that stood against me started to look like flies that were fleeing away. As you begin your day today, remember how good God is and recall to mind all the wonderful things He has given you and has done for you. Remember, and give thanks. Have a great day!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (Jas.1:17)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Everything is beautiful ……

TWC 20111112: Persevere My Friend

Saturday 12 November 2011

A sportsman who perseveres and trains hard will always taste success in the end. A worker who perseveres and works hard will always do a good job and bring delight to his employer. A student who perseveres and studies hard will always get the grades that offer her many options for the future. Every sportsman, every worker and every student perseveres because they know that they will be rewarded for their hard work in the end. James says the man who perseveres under trial, who continues to trust the Lord and love Him, will be blessed by the Lord and will receive the crown of life. If you are going through a trial today, may I encourage you to persevere, keep your eyes on God and trust Him who loves you, knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose. When you can’t see His hand, trust His heart. Have a great day!

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (Jas.1:12) 

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Trust His heart ……

TWC 20111111: Stumped?

Friday 11 November 2011

Have you ever felt stumped by the circumstances you find yourself in? Like paying a surprise visit to your girlfriend only to find her ex-boyfriend hiding in her room? Or when your gorgeous little boy becomes a violent teenager who would attack his own parents? Or when the employee you trust the most turns around and rips you off? Or when a leader you respect turns out to be a little man with zero integrity? Have you ever had such heart-stopping moments when you were at a total loss, not knowing how to react and what to say? James says if anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives wisdom generously to all who turn to Him. I have had moments like these in my life and I can tell you, I never want to go through any of them ever again! I was once betrayed by a friend and amidst the confusion and frustration, while praying and asking God what to do, the Lord showed me my friend’s pitiful state before God. Instead of anger, I felt a wave of sadness and compassion for my friend. This led me to pray and intercede. We were eventually reconciled to one another, thanks be to God! As you begin your day today, if you’re finding yourself between a rock and a hard place and do not know what you ought to do, look to God and ask Him for wisdom. Take time, wait on Him and He will surely reveal Himself and His path to you. The Lord who was Himself betrayed by the kiss of a close friend understands and will guide you today and everyday!

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (Jas.1:5)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Be strong in the Lord ….

TWC 20111110: Lacking Nothing

Thursday 10 November 2011

We all know full well that when we push our kids to persevere and study hard or to be disciplined and excel in a sport, if they obey and cooperate, they will be successful. They may view these as trials, but we know that their perseverance will pay off and one day, they will be mature and complete in these areas. At that point, they would understand why we pushed them so hard and hopefully, they would appreciate us for it. In the same way, God allows trials in our lives so that as we persevere and trust Him, one day, you and I will be mature and complete, lacking nothing! Isn’t that a good place to be … lacking nothing? Think about it. Every time we were troubled, it was because we lacked something. When there was not enough money, food, time, energy, friends, love, favor, etc., we get upset and depressed. Imagine for a moment not lacking anything – always having enough money, food, time, energy, friends, love, favor, etc., isn’t that a great place to be? In His divine wisdom, through trials, the Lord matures and completes us and one day, we lack nothing. We will no longer lack faith, hope, love, wisdom, understanding, etc. That is why James tells us to count it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds. As you begin your new day, persevere and stay focus on the Lord no matter what trial the day may bring. Remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! Have a great day, for you are highly favored!

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (Jas.1:2-4)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Run the race ….

TWC 20111109: Pure Joy

Wednesday 9 November 2011

What do you do when trials come your way? What do you do when you’re on the brink of losing your job, losing your teenage child to worldliness, losing a loved one to terminal illness, losing your wife or husband to an adulterous affair? What do you do when these or other trials actually happen? Most people would certainly not be counting it pure joy, but that’s exactly what James told believers to do in his letter. He said, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Furthermore, James was speaking of trials that were life-threatening such as being persecuted and killed for being a disciple of Christ. Is it actually possible to count it pure joy when we go through trials? Is God asking for too much? This reminds me of something that happened in the year 1991. I came back in Dec 1991 from Australia during my summer vacation. I caught up with a friend who told me about the most significant thing that took place in that year for him. It was about his friend, the Sunday School superintendent in Wesley Methodist Church. He was a young man (in his late 20’s from what I can recall and I think his name was Roy) who had just been married for a couple of years. Roy found out that he had cancer shortly after the wedding and spent a couple of years after wedding fighting cancer. Many prayed for him to be healed but his condition did not improve. Yet throughout the entire period when this godly young man fought cancer, his wife and friends said that they never saw him depressed or angry with God. He continued to trust the Lord and was full of faith. When Roy got very ill and appeared to have little time left, loved ones and friends would be in tears when they visited him and prayed for him. And he would tell them, “we teach our Sunday school kids to sing Heaven is a Wonderful Place, and if heaven is indeed a wonderful place, then why are we afraid to go there?” Not long after that, Roy went home to be with His Savior, His King, His Beloved. During the funeral, the kids and the teenagers from the Sunday School showed up and sang Heaven is a Wonderful Place. His death brought many delinquent ones in Sunday School back to the Lord and many of his friends also believed in Jesus. As you begin your day today, maybe you are going through a trial too, why not look to God and ask Him to fill you with His perspective on the situation and fill you with His joy and let His joy be your strength? Choose to trust Him because He loves you. “Sometimes God permits what He hates to accomplish what He loves” – a quote I heard from Joni Eareckson Tada when she was in Singapore for the Eagles Leadership Conference in 2007 and she was quoting her pastor friend Steve Estes.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (Jas.1:2)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Heaven is a wonderful place ….

TWC 20111108: Looking Out For Someone

Tuesday 8 November 2011

James wrote to the twelve tribes of God’s people who were scattered among the nations. As a half brother of Jesus, James saw Jesus and the things Jesus did that others did not have a chance to see. James grew up knowing that there was something special about his big brother. With all that he has seen and heard, James wrote to encourage and strengthen believers everywhere. More specifically, James wrote to instruct believers on how we ought to live. James is the kind of church leader we need today. Someone who loves God’s people enough to instruct us on the way God’s people should exercise our faith and live boldly for Jesus. Someone who does not mince his or her words, someone who dares to speak the truth to benefit the body of Christ and someone who is not seeking to be a man-pleaser but a God-pleaser. When was the last time you did something like that – whether to write, text, email or speak to someone on how he or she should live as a believer. Not to do so condescendingly but to do so with love and sensitivity, yet boldly. We must speak the truth in love so that those who are weak may be strengthened, those who are depressed may be lifted up and those who have sinned may find forgiveness and restoration in the Lord. Why not speak the truth in love to someone today if there should be such a need and as the Lord leads you? Have a Spirit-led day!

“To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.” (Jas.1:1b)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Speaking the truth in love ….