VIDEO Begin With Prayer

In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.  Daniel 10:2-3

When it comes to assembling new purchases we think,  “When all else fails, read the directions!” The Christian version of this approach says, “When all else fails, pray!” Sadly, when we are faced with a need or a crisis, we try everything to solve it on our own. And when our efforts fail, we finally succumb to prayer.

This wasn’t Daniel’s approach. When he had a vision of a great conflict that was to take place (Daniel 10:1), he was greatly burdened by what he saw. So what did he do? He immediately set himself apart to seek the Lord. For three weeks he fasted and prayed for greater understanding of the vision he had seen. A heavenly messenger came to him to answer his prayer at the end of the three weeks and granted him the understanding he sought.

Let us follow Daniel’s example by beginning everything with prayer: meals, our day, meetings, problems. Let us pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.  Corrie ten Boom

The Vision of Glory | Daniel 10 | John MacArthur | The Book of Daniel Series

Hungry for God

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight.  Jeremiah 15:16

A new believer in Jesus was desperate to read the Bible. However, he’d lost his eyesight and both hands in an explosion. When he heard about a woman who read Braille with her lips, he tried to do the same—only to discover that the nerve endings of his lips had also been destroyed. Later, he was filled with joy when he discovered that he could feel the Braille characters with his tongue! He had found a way to read and enjoy the Scriptures.

Joy and delight were the emotions the prophet Jeremiah experienced when he received God’s words. “When your words came, I ate them,” he said, “they were my joy and my heart’s delight” (Jeremiah 15:16). Unlike the people of Judah who despised His words (8:9), Jeremiah had been obedient and rejoiced in them. His obedience, however, also led to the prophet being rejected by his own people and persecuted unfairly (15:17).

Some of us may have experienced something similar. We once read the Bible with joy, but obedience to God led to suffering and rejection from others. Like Jeremiah, we can bring our confusion to God. He answered Jeremiah by repeating the promise He gave him when He first called him to be a prophet (vv. 19-21; see 1:18–19). God reminded him that He never lets His people down. We can have this same confidence too. He’s faithful and will never abandon us.

By:  Poh Fang Chia

Standing on Your Convictions

2 Timothy 3:1-17
When we watch the news, whether domestic or international, we can sometimes detect initiatives to bring down the Christian faith. The church is constantly under attack by the enemy, who influences the world to fight against our beliefs. Therefore, we must be willing to stand for our biblical convictions.

Ideological threats are a very real part of the arsenal used against Christians. As believers, we are under the guidance of Jesus Christ, and the way we fight is not with physical weapons but with the Word of God. We are His representatives, and there isn’t room for compromise with a self-indulgent culture. Instead, we should live in obedience to God and His Word. Therefore, we must be careful not to get caught up in the widely accepted values of our culture and those around us.

We need to remain strong regarding God’s truth. Then we’ll know what’s true and what’s not and be willing to take a stand for Him, regardless of the consequences. Genuine convictions are unaffected by the times, the values of the culture, or the popularity of current ideas. Christian beliefs aren’t always popular, and defending them can be uncomfortable. But remember that the Lord promises to be with us.

My Glory

“O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.” (Psalm 108:1)

This seems a somewhat strange expression. A similar statement is found in Psalm 30:12: “To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent.” Also, note Psalm 57:8: “Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp.”

The Hebrew word is the normal word for “glory,” as in Psalm 19:1, for example: “The heavens declare the glory of God.” But what, then, is meant by “my glory”? The explanation is found in the way the New Testament quotes Psalm 16:9: “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth.” In Acts 2:26, this verse is applied to Christ, and translated “Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad.”

It becomes clear, then, that in such passages “my glory” simply means “my tongue.” In fact, the word was translated “tongue” in these and other similar passages in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament.

But why, then, did the inspired Hebrew text here use the words “my glory” instead of the usual Hebrew word for tongue? The answer probably is that when our tongues are used to praise the Lord, they do, indeed, become our glory!

It is this very ability, in fact, that primarily distinguishes man from the animals. Animals can bark, roar, grunt, and send out sonar signals, but they cannot speak in intelligible, symbolic, abstract speech. This is an unbridgeable evolutionary gulf that cannot be crossed, because only men and women were created in the image of God.

Mankind alone has the ability to speak, for the simple reason that God desires to communicate with us so that we can respond in praise to Him. This is our glory! “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 89:1). HMM

A File-Card Mentality

My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times…. Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.

—Psalm 119:20,24


When religion loses its sovereign character and becomes mere form, this spontaneity is lost also, and in its place come precedent, propriety, system—and the file-card mentality….

The slave to the file card soon finds that his prayers lose their freedom and become less spontaneous, less effective. He finds himself concerned over matters that should give him no concern whatever—how much time he spent in prayer yesterday, whether he did or did not cover his prayer list for the day, whether he gets up as early as he used to do or stays up in prayer as late at night. Inevitably the calendar crowds out the Spirit and the face of the clock hides the face of God. Prayer ceases to be the free breath of a ransomed soul and becomes a duty to be fulfilled. And even if under such circumstances he succeeds in making his prayer amount to something, still he is suffering tragic losses and binding upon his soul a yoke from which Christ died to set him free.   OGM079, 081

Oh, Father, I pray that prayer might never become for me “a duty to be fulfilled.” Fill me with freedom in my times with You. Amen.


A Sound, then a Voice, then a Word

—Psalm 91:1

It is important that we get still to wait on God. And it is best that we get alone, preferably with our Bible outspread before us. Then if we will we may draw near to God and begin to hear Him speak to us in our hearts.

I think for the average person the progression will be something like this: First a sound as of a Presence walking in the garden. Then a voice, more intelligible, but still far from clear.

Then the happy moment when the Spirit begins to illuminate the Scriptures, and that which had been only a sound, or at best a voice, now becomes an intelligible word, warm and intimate and clear as the word of a dear friend.

Then will come life and light, and best of all, ability to see and rest in and embrace Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and All. POG074

O God and Father, I repent of my sinful preoccupation with visible things. The world has been too much with me. Thou hast been here and I knew it not. I have been blind to Thy presence. Open my eyes that I may behold Thee in and around me. For Christ’s sake. Amen. POG064


The Christian Armor

Ephesians 6:10-18

Paul’s passion heats up in the closing chapter of Ephesians. He is about to end his letter and must make one last strong attempt to convey his message. What image will best explain the Christian’s duty in God’s divine plan?

The chain that binds Paul to the guard is cumbersome, allowing the prisoner to take only a few short strides in either direction. Perhaps he pauses at the end of the chain’s reach and gives the soldier a penetrating glance. There it is, the metaphor that will clinch his argument: “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11).

Paul describes two distinct spheres: first, the dark world, malevolent forces on the attack from within. These could include the temptations of money, sex and power. The second realm is a heavenly one. Paul implies that Satan himself would war against the Christian. He alludes to the devil’s ability to dwell beyond the confines of this world. Either sphere portends danger and calls for the Christian’s full protection. The full armor of God is not for special occasions only; it is an everyday necessity.

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,” (Ephesians 6:14) Paul writes. He likely lists it first to underscore that we need the truth because our enemy is a liar and the “father of lies” (John 8:44).

The breastplate reminds us that Christ’s righteousness can guard our hearts from all evil. Paul’s metaphor leaves out any protective gear for the soldier’s back. There can be no retreating from the war, only steady advance, shielded by faith. “Take the shield of faith,” writes Paul, “with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16).

Training his gaze on the soldier’s gear, Paul calls his readers to stand firm “with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace”

(Ephesians 6:15). The “helmet of salvation” (Ephesians 6:17) referred to reminds us that salvation provides not only forgiveness for past sins but also strength to deal with all future attacks of sin.

Now Paul comes to the greatest weapon of all, prayer. Paul makes it clear that the twin disciplines of prayer and Bible study will enable the Christian to advance into the battle for righteousness and to be protected in enemy attack.

“Take the… sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions” (Ephesians 6:17-18). Let God’s armor protect you in the fight!

Marlene Chase, The War Cry