Ps 15, when read in light of the world’s events and even what we struggle with in our lives and heart make us realise that we are not holy. Thus, the opening verse of this Psalm is our cry — “O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?”
Praise God that He is the just and the justifier (c.f. Rom 3:26), and in Jesus Christ, we have the righteousness that we need and do not deserve! Now let us come boldly and offer our prayers to Him.
The news can really be overwhelming these days. News — both good and bad — never seems to stop, and it’s easy to tune out the “breaking news” coverage. But as the Psalms show us, the Psalmists pour out a range of emotions to God in prayer. Praise, lament, confession, sadness — these are some of the emotions recorded as a response to both personal and larger, corporate circumstances. God can bear the burden of our emotions and the weight of the world.
So as we read the news, we can bear this in mind and turn our emotions into prayers.
We're finally down to the last 4. One of these European nations will end up winning the World Cup this year. These nations are also similar in their struggles in recent years with the immigration and migrant crises.
In yesterday's prayer list, we tried to identify Christian footballers in the national team. However, for these countries today, it was hard to find information about the religions of the players. This reminds us of the task at hand and the opportunities in these countries.
The book of Jonah is about a God who loves even His enemies. It is also about the hard and unloving heart of the prophet of God. At the lowest point of his life, Jonah utters these words of confession. He confesses his own vain idols and renews his vows to God because he recognises that salvation belongs to the Lord!
1 Chron 1 is also part of God's divinely inspired Word and each name has been placed there for a reason. It reminds us that God knows each person in each generation, and they have a role to play in His mission. God is not just a big picture person interested in getting His work done in broad strokes. He is also detail-oriented, working with and in the lives of each person listed in this genealogy. Nothing escapes His sight!
What do you think is the biggest problem that countries have to address? For some, it could be a corrupt government and political instability. For others, its economic downturn and rising inequality, or even war and unrest. But, the Bible reminds us that our greatest problem is sin, and salvation comes not by our works but only through faith in Jesus Christ.
Who is supposed to carry out the Great Commission? This is not a trick question – many of us Christians would have read in the gospel of Matthew or heard in sermons that all who believe are called to this mission; Jesus was clearly directing His command to believers “to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20) who would far outlive His faithful eleven disciples. One way to live this out, where we are, is to reach out to and pray for the nations who have come to us, here in Singapore. Singaporeans are blessed with economic prosperity and physical safety, both conditions that make Singapore attractive to foreigners, many of whom have not heard the gospel.
Civilisations and countries then and now all seek political, social and economic stability in order to flourish and grow. These are good things, but the Psalmist recognised something else in this Psalm. Israel as God's people was to be different. They knew that their ultimate trust and hope was not in providing for and protecting themselves, but in the name of the Lord. This God hears and saves His people. What will we trust in to save us today?
God promises that His word will accomplish His work. Praise God for His wisdom, sovereignty and power. We too, have experienced the power of His proclaimed Word. We in Singapore received the gospel because years ago, Christians believed in this promise and shared the gospel faithfully. Let us also continue to be people that boast in nothing but the cross, and share this good news with the nations!
The Creator God with all power to fashion the stars also promises to heal the broken, hurting hearts of His people. God knows and sees the hurts in this world and He will act justly. Some of the nations at this World Cup are struggling from a war-torn past, or even with disunity and injustice in the present. Other nations are at the pinnacle of technological development, but still find that technology still can't heal broken hearts. We all need the Lord. Pray that the gospel will go out into the world!
Today, God is reigning and looking down from heaven. He sees all that's going on in our world, even every single match that has been going. He sees the citizens of the bustling cities, and also the nomads in the desert. He sees us going about our lives in busy Singapore, and He also sees the unreached and unknown people group tucked away in the jungles of the Amazon. None of our deeds escape Him! Praise God for His might and power and pray that more will come to know Him for who He is.