His Beloved

The character of God can be best understood when looking at his love, affection and faithfulness to His Church. The OT traces a story-line of how God sets apart a people or a church for himself, of how he shows his faithfulness by constantly guiding them along in mercy and love.

Isaiah 27 is an assurance from God that he will keep His promise to Israel. That he will re-establish His Church. I will watch over the fruitful vineyard, He says in verse 3 and declares that Jacob will take root in verse 6. He even prompts the people to look in retrospect to prove his faithfulness to his church in in verse 7.

Chapter 28 in Isaiah shows that even with God loving his Church or Israel the way he did, they constantly gave in to their sinful desires. We, his beloved are sinners and have been born into iniquity. However there is a truth mentioned in verse 5 of chapter 28 that in the face of the sin of the leaders of Ephraim and Judah the Lord Almighty will be a glorious crown and a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people. He will be their source of strength and he will be their righteousness.

Our churches today are not perfect, we are broken and sinful and are inclined to the ways of the leaders of Ephraim and Judah. But it is here, in our brokenness that he will be our glorious crown, it is here that the cross of Christ will be our source of strength and righteousness. We see this clearly in Acts 21 where the church, although sinful works as a unit to carry the love of Christ. This is seen in the way they welcome Paul on this journey.

Let us also, knowing our brokenness, be ever so filled with the knowledge of his love that it overflows from us to the people and the world around us.


The More I Seek You, the More I find You.

Today’s reading is taken from Song of Songs 3 & Acts 4:32 – 5:11.

In chapter 3 of Song of Songs the bride speaks of, or dreams about a time when her beloved was far from her. There was a separation between the two and she tirelessly, sacrificing comfort and sleep, sought after him. What spoke to me as I was reading this passage was the earnestness in her voice and a certain innocence in her motives. She says with resolve that she will search for the one [her] heart loves’ (v.2).

In Matthew chapter 7 at the Sermon on the Mount Jesus himself implores his listeners ‘seek’ and gives the confidence that if done within the will of the Father they will indeed ‘find’. Further down in the gospel of Matthew in 21:22 Jesus builds further on this point to say that “if you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer”. Believing and praying both are spiritual acts that transform the posture of our hearts to being more like Christ’s. When we ask or seek by believing and in prayer we ask within the will of the Father, seeking His will and not ours, His glory and not our gain.

In the passage from Acts we are firstly given a picture of the spirit bathed early Christians who do not live for their advancement but the Church’s. We can see in 4:32-35 that they were earnestly and sincerely seeking the Lord, and there were results! Then we are given a picture of early Christians who lived for their own glory and gain. They were ‘Christians’ but only as long as it served their purposes. They were seeking their own advancement and not Christ’s.

As we read through these passages today, what are costs we are paying to seek Christ? Are there any? The Shulamite walked the desolate city streets in the middle of the night in search for the one she loved. She had a resolve – do we have a resolve to chase after the One we love, and who loves us enough to have laid down his life for us? Are we willing to give up a little bit of our comfortable lives to seek and to find him? Let us aim to be more like the Shulamite, more like Barnabus, more like Jesus and less like Ananias and Sapphira. Let’s resolve like the Shulamite to seek him, and find him.

Have a listen to this song by Kari Job. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI_1YliutzA

You Cannot Serve Two Masters

Today’s reading is taken from Amos 7 & Luke 16:1-15.

James in chapter 3 asks his readers, what I think is, a rhetorical question – “can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” It doesn’t take a genius to answer this, only some primary school level science and perhaps some common sense… yes, definitely some common sense. Although the context here is of bridling the tongue, the core of the statement remains the issue and posture of the heart. The heart is what drives our motives and sets our course. Our hearts are either set on things of God and glorifying him or they are set on glorifying ourselves and our mortal flesh.

Luke in chapter 16 talks about a manager whose heart was deceitful. He was a child of the world in contrast to one of the light (v.8). Although on the surface he was serving his master, in his heart he was serving himself. His heart wasn’t set on service and honesty but was set on riches and selfish gain. When he started off he probably thought he could keep working for his master and perhaps have the occasional shoddy business on the side. But by the looks of things he’s gone too far. It’s come to a place where his greed and ambition are no longer subtle. It’s come to a place where his master has to end his tenure. He probably thought that he could serve two masters but as Luke clearly puts it in verse 13, that is not possible.

Amaziah in Amos 7, on the surface is an agent of God, a priest in the temple. His heart too was set on the wrong thing. When spoken to directly by a prophet of God, Amaziah wasn’t able to discern. Instead he tried to drive out Amos from Israel. He was busy serving the evil regime of King Jeroboam (2 Kings 14:24) instead of serving the God of Jacob. Here too, it is abundantly clear that Amaziah wasn’t able to serve two masters.

Both of these characters although may seem to be serving one master, were in essence serving another. Instead of serving the God who created them, they were in essence serving themselves, their own agenda, and their deceitfulness which would in both cases ultimately lead to their downfall. Salt water and fresh water cannot come from the same source. In the same way our hearts cannot be set on things of God as well as things of the world. We cannot serve God and serve our evil desires. We must make the conscious decision to submit our hearts to the things of God to acknowledge Him as our master and live to serve his cause.

Sam J.


Jesus my Captain

Today’s reading is from Numbers 1, 2 & Luke 1:26-38.

The story that starts in Exodus and continues through the rest of the Pentateuch is a story where God draws out his chosen people so that he could eventually draw them into His presence. He authors their story of slavery to freedom, of darkness to light. He redeems them from the clutches of Pharaoh’s tyranny to a land flowing with milk and honey where a life of blessing is to be enjoyed. As they made their way there He guides them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. What he required in return is that they be His people, and He their God. He gave them the law at Sinai and other instructions and required that they live according to it and be set apart for His purposes.

Numbers, the fourth book in the Pentateuch is about how the Israelites were organized into a fighting force as they made their way to the Promised Land. In Numbers 1 & 2 we see how every man twenty years of age and older is chosen to fight in Israel’s army. The prominent theme through these chapters is how God, through Moses meticulously gives out instructions or standard operating procedures on how the army is to be formed and functioning. The Israelites were God’s chosen people and needed to be set apart from those around them in order to live for God’s purposes. Here in these chapters He is giving them a certain way of living that would see to it that they are set apart, living as God’s people, under God’s rule and soon to be in God’s land. We can see that although God is working here through Moses, He is their captain, their ultimate commander in chief. The newly formed Israelite army is God’s army, assembled for His purpose and to fight His war.

Luke chapter 1 announces the birth of Jesus who is to lead Jacob’s (aka Israel) descendants forever. Jesus is the fulfillment of all that has been revealed through Israel’s redemptive past. God blessed Israel and ruled over them. Jesus came so that the promise given to Abraham may be fulfilled and that His Kingship and rule would extend beyond the borders of Israel so that we too may live as God’s people, under God’s rule and in His Kingdom. Jesus is our captain, our commander in chief. The Word of God today gives us the means to be set apart as God’s people as the Holy Spirit moves within us. As we live and fight the evils of our age let us be reminded that we serve on the army of the one true King and Captain. Let us pray that we can be set free in the knowledge of his leadership and love for us.

Have a listen to this song – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_oR5Twx-RU

Is Life Really Meaningless?

Today’s reading is taken from Ecclesiastes 3:16 – 4:16 & Ephesians 2:1-10.

I work in the corporate world and some days it just feels like the saying that goes – ‘another day, another dollar…’ It’s not like I’m saving lives, is it? How is what I do achieving anything real, anything worth mentioning? Is what I do meaningless? Is life itself meaningless?

The book of Ecclesiastes can be called one of the strangest books in the Old Testament. Its contradictions, skepticism and ambiguities make it a hard contender to be part of the inspired Word of God. The ‘teacher’ who narrates or authors the book questions his surroundings and points to the realities of corruption, oppression, toil and loneliness. His conclusion – it’s all meaningless! (3:19b; 4:4b, 7, 8b, 16b) Our every effort to try and make something of ourselves, or our very attempt at surviving the odyssey of life is it seems – a chasing after the wind (4:16b).

The ‘teacher’ I would say is provisionally right. He makes a good case on all human endeavor which is futile and unable to achieve any ultimate or lasting good. The purpose of the writing is to remind us of the kind of confidence we should have (or not have) in the things of this world. As you compare the excerpt from Ecclesiastes to the one in Ephesians, you start to see the other side of the picture. Yes, all human endeavor which is anchored in our own strength is meaningless and will achieve nothing worthwhile. However, as Christians reading Ecclesiastes, we know a great truth the ‘teacher’ -at the time he wrote the book- didn’t. We know of Jesus Christ who demonstrates the very purpose of his creation in Eph. 2:3-10 and whose death and resurrection announces hope for a world that has been frustrated by sin. A world where men base their rise and fall on their own merits and mistakes. What they/we fail to understand is that without Christ and the Holy Spirit aiding every breath we take and every move we make, all our efforts amount to a donut.

As I go back to work today, I am reminded that if it weren’t for Jesus Christ my savior, my toil would be meaningless – a chasing after the wind. But I have been made alive in Christ, by grace through faith. His life and work gives meaning to mine. Every effort I make, rooted in faith yields fruit – not for my glory but for His. For I am God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do (Eph. 2:10).

Check out this skit on Eph. 2:10 — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QCkBL2DfVg

Have a blessed day!

Sam, KIC



He is Faithful, we are Sinful, His Grace Covers Us

Today’s reading is taken from Nehemiah 11 & Matthew 21:23-32.

The Israelites through the ages have been a people who have had front-row seats to witness the faithfulness and patience of the Lord. Time and time again these ‘stiff-necked’ people tested Him beyond reason. Starting with the ‘golden calf’ incident at Mount Sinai all the way to the Asherah Poles in Josiah’s day, the people responded to His faithfulness with scorn.

Reading Nehemiah 11 the first time round will not give you much, just a list of names which are not the easiest to pronounce. However, what unfolds here is part of the restoration of Jerusalem and the revival of Israel. You see God had made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12 and created Israel, a chosen nation through his seed. Turned out this nation had a knack for sinfulness and at every turn they challenged God’s authority and purposes. God himself famously states: “I have seen this people, and they are a stiff necked people”. However, not for one moment did God forget his promise to Abraham to make him into a great nation. Although like a father disciplines his child, God disciplined Israel. But never did He throw in the towel and say ‘Okay, I’ve had enough!!’

Throughout the Old Testament God displays his faithfulness and patience to a sinful people despite their explicit rebellion. A part of Israel’s disciplining was the exile to Babylon and Assyria, and after the time was completed emerged a remnant that ensured the Abrahamic covenant didn’t end there. Nehemiah 11 is a record of how God in His Grace restores a people that constantly rejected him.

Now fast forward the story of Israel to the Gospel of Matthew. Chapter 21 reveals to us that not much had changed with these people. They were still as determined to question God’s authority as they were in Nehemiah’s day. God, however had been faithful to Israel and had preserved them through the centuries and had now brought to them their Savior, the culmination of the Abrahamic covenant, to finally reverse the curse of Genesis 3. But even here, His chosen people responded to His relentless faithfulness with contempt.

But because of His grace, even then, God refused to throw in the towel and say ‘Okay, I’ve had enough!!’, but instead decided to lay down his very life ‘for the joy that was set before him’. This is what His faithfulness to the Israelites looked like, and this is what His faithfulness to us looks like today. That ‘while we were still sinners He redeemed us’ through the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. Our God is faithful, although once sinners we have been set free from the bondage of sin by His grace that covers us every time we stumble. Let us be a people determined to trust in Him and not question His authority, to worship Him and not replace him with useless idols like the Israelites did at Mount Sinai.

Have a listen to this song. Blessings!


Sam, KIC

His Glory in our Weakness

Today’s reading is taken from Psalm 71.

In my experience every time before the Lord brings a blessing into my life he first takes me through a trial of sorts. I’m not sure I completely understood the significance of this process during my early stages as a Christian. However, as I started familiarizing myself with the writings of Paul in 2 Corinthians I started to grasp the logic and wisdom behind it. It was the Lord in his love, gently showing me my weakness, my helplessness and my desperate need for him. And in a way setting the stage for a blessing so that when it came, I knew that it wasn’t me, but Him. When God decided that he wouldn’t remove the thorn from Paul’s flesh, it wasn’t out of spite or judgement. But so that Paul could encounter his own weakness and ultimately experience the Grace of God!

In Psalm 71 David in his old age -probably on the run from Absalom- cries out to the Lord for His grace and consideration during this time of trial. It is quite evident in this chapter that the great King David who slew tens of thousands of Philistines (1 Sam. 18:7) as a young man now feels the inability and helplessness of losing all his strength (v.9). And what makes things worse is that he is being pursued by his enemies. Is this happening to David because God wasn’t powerful enough to stop it? I think not! This in my opinion is God designing a place in time where David can come face to face with his own mortality and be reminded once again that he in his flesh is not able, but God is.

Now we know that David throughout his life has had front-row seats to experiencing the goodness of God. Yes, David has seen some tough times and has been on the run before (from Saul). But by the looks of things David by now understands just how God works out his purposes in him. In verse 20 David gives us a glimpse of what he knows of the character of God. He has ‘seen troubles, many and bitter’ and every time, God has restored his life again. At the end of each trial God has always without fail increased his honour and comfort. And it is with this confidence that he able to praise the Lord ‘with the harp’ (v.22) and sing of his ‘faithfulness’. Even when his own fragility is staring him in the face, David has a peculiar resilience that enables him to see the bigger picture and continue to be assured of the love of God.

We as Christians, like David have walked through some great seasons and have experienced the goodness and love of Christ but when those not so savory seasons come around we begin to get a sense that God may have abandoned us. David in Psalm 71 shows us through example what it means to walk with God and how encountering our own weaknesses can be God perhaps setting the stage for a breakthrough. As we make our way to the various services today let us ask for a greater discernment to understand the purposes of God in the trails that we face and constantly like David be determined through whatever situation to ‘praise Him more and more’ (v.14).