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The Miracle Lunch Box

On a day, near the Sea of Galilee, I decided to offer my lunch, consisting of five barley loaves and two fish to Jesus. Little did I anticipate that this simple gesture would transform into a feast for thousands of people.


As the crowd gathered around Jesus, eager to hear His teachings, I searched for a spot where I could listen attentively. Despite my hunger, I knew that my meager lunch wouldn’t suffice for such a number of people. Jesus started to speak. His words captivated us all for hours on end.


As the sun started its descent, hunger began to gnaw at the crowd. Jesus turned to His disciples and inquired about acquiring food for everyone. Philip expressed doubts about the feasibility of feeding such a multitude. It was then that Andrew noticed my lunch box and led me towards Jesus.


With anticipation, I presented Him with my offering. Jesus offered up a prayer to His Father, blessed the food before Him, broke it into pieces and started distributing it among the crowd. To my amazement, those five loaves and two fish multiplied miraculously, continuously satisfying everyone’s hunger. Enough to feed 5000 men, and there were even leftovers!


This miracle extended beyond satiating their physical appetite; it touched their hearts deeply and provided them with spiritual nourishment as well. From that day I dedicated myself wholeheartedly as a follower of Jesus Christ. Spreading His teachings with unwavering enthusiasm.


Word quickly spread about the event, attracting people from near and far who were eager to witness the power of Jesus. I eagerly shared my account, emphasizing the profound truth that even the smallest offering can hold immense significance in the hands of the Almighty.
The miraculous occurrence, with the lunch box served as a reminder of God’s unwavering provision and boundless love. Every time I encounter bread or fish it instantly brings back memories of that day by the Sea of Galilee.


As time went on I was fortunate enough to witness an array of miracles performed by Jesus, – healing, feeding, and even raising the dead. However, among all these awe-inspiring events there was something about the miracle involving that humble lunch box. It reminded me to offer everything I have to Jesus, no matter how small, and trust that He can use it in amazing ways.


Reflecting upon that day fills my heart with gratitude for having been a partaker, in such a divine moment. My simple meal transformed into a testament to God’s provision and unending love. Now countless individuals are inspired by this memory – it continues to ignite faith and instill hope within their hearts.

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devotion

Binding of Isaac: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

box set

Setting

The Hebrew word for the binding of Isaac is Akedah. This was God’s ultimate test for Abraham. After waiting patiently for 25 years, God commanded Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice! Abraham passed the test with flying colors. 

God called Abraham by name and told him to take Isaac his only son, whom he loved, and go to Mount Moriah. The name Moriah has a beautiful meaning in Hebrew – it signifies being handpicked by God. Moriah was mentioned only twice in the Bible, and this was the first mention. 

With Isaac carrying the wood, Abraham took a journey to Mount Moriah. The wood on Isaac’s back was a foreshadow of the cross behind Jesus’ back. 

Genesis 22:9-14

9 They came to the place which God had told him of. Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order, bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, on the wood. 10 Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. 11 Yahweh’s angel called to him out of the sky, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” He said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Don’t lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now, I know that you fear God since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw that behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 Abraham called the name of that place “Yahweh Will Provide”. As it is said to this day, “On Yahweh’s mountain, it will be provided.” 

Reflection

The angel of the LORD called out Abraham’s name twice and stopped him from stabbing his son. Scholars believed that this Angel of the Lord was a Christophany of the pre-incarnate Christ.

Abraham passed the test with flying colors. He obeyed the God’s command. God provided a sacrificial ram trapped in the bush, just at the right moment. After sacrificing the ram as a burnt offering, Abraham called the place, Jehovah Jireh, which means, God will provide, in Hebrews.

God promised Abraham posterity as numerous as the stars of the heaven and the sand on the seashore. The whole world will be blessed by Abraham’s ultimate descendant Jesus Christ.

Application

Abraham is a type of God the Father. Isaac is a type of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. 

Ancient Mount Moriah is present day Calvary.

At the same place two thousand years ago, God provided His only Son to be the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. 

Whoever believes in Christ shall not perish but have eternal life, John 3:16.

Do you believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross 2000 years ago?

Prayer

Dear God, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross 2000 years ago to save us from sin. Thank You for salvation by grace through faith in Christ. Thank you for sanctification and eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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devotion

Exorcism: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

book cover

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we praise You and thank You because You are worthy to be praised. You are Holy and righteous, perfect and pure. We listen to You in humility and obedience, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Setting

Jesus taught in a synagogue on the Sabbath in Capernaum. Synagogue in Greek means a place of gathering. After the destruction of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem, the exilic Jews built synagogues in Babylon as gathering places to meet and practice Judaism.  After the exile, the Jews continued to build synagogues throughout Israel. The elements of a synagogue service include prayer, worship, and teaching from the Old Testament.

Mark 1:21-28

21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. 22 And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘’Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘’What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority, He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.’’ 

Mark 1:21-28

Commentary

Jesus taught, preached, and exorcised a demoniac man in the synagogue on a Sabbath day.

Sabbath is between sundown on Friday and sundown on Saturday.  The Jews were not allowed to do any work during the Sabbath. The Jewish leaders accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath because He healed the sick and exorcised demons on the Sabbath.

A demonized man manifested when Jesus taught with authority. 

The demon knew Jesus of Nazareth by name and called Him the Holy One of God. It trembled with fear at the sight of Jesus because He was God.

Jesus commanded the demon to come out of the man and when it didso, the man had a convulsion.

The people were amazed and immediately His fame spread throughout Galilee. Note the word ‘’immediately’’.

Application

The demon knew Jesus’ identity and called Him Jesus of Nazareth and the Holy One of God.

The demon was terrified at the sight of Jesus because He was God. 

Jesus taught with authority because He was, and is God. He did not have to study the Bible because He is the author of the Bible, 2 Timothy 3:16.

2 Timothy 3:16, Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us a glimpse of Jesus preaching, teaching, and exorcising a demonized man in a synagogue in Galilee 2000 years ago. Thank You for the testimony of Mark, a disciple of Peter, a cousin of Barnabas, and a missionary worker, who gave us this fast-paced book. Thank You for the blessings You give us, In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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bible study devotion

Faith: devotion

Prayer:

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

3 D book cover

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for all that You have done for us in our lives. We acknowledge that You are the creator of the universe and God of the Bible. Thank You for speaking to us through the inspired, infallible, and inerrant words of the Holy Scripture, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Setting

A centurion is a Roman soldier who had 100 soldiers under his command. In the first-century world, masters treat their servants like a piece of furniture. They were not obligated to treat their servants with kindness. However, this centurion was very kind to his servant when he was on the verge of dying. Even though he was a Gentile, he loved the Jews and helped them build a synagogue. He sent Jewish elders to beg Jesus to come to his house and heal his servant. 

Luke 7:6-10

6 Jesus went with them. When he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. 7 Therefore I didn’t even think myself worthy to come to you but say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I also am a man placed under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9 When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude who followed him, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel.” 10 Those who were sent, returning to the house, found that the servant who had been sick was well.

Luke 7:6-10

Commentary

As Jesus was approaching the centurion’s house, the centurion had a sudden change of heart. He realized that he was not worthy to receive Jesus into his home. He sent his friends to Jesus asking him not to come to his house but to pray for healing from a distance. 

His faith was incredible and amazing. He recognized Jesus’ authority. He knew that His word was as good as His presence. He believed that Jesus could cure his servant from a distance. 

Jesus was amazed at the faith of the centurion. Even the Jews did not have such great faith. The centurion’s friends returned to the centurion’s house to find the servant recovered! Jesus was omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. He healed the centurion’s servant through a private miracle from a distance. The public was not privy to the miracle. Only Jesus, the apostles, the centurion, his family, and his friends knew about the miracle. 

Application

Faith moves mountains. Even a mustard seed faith is enough to start a miracle. How big is your faith? Do you pray with faith? Jesus will mountains for you if you pray with faith according to His will. 

Faith is to know that you will get what you hoped for even when your physical eyes cannot see it coming. 

You cannot please God if you do not have faith, Hebrews 11:6.

Faith is your third pair of eyes. Walk by faith with your spiritual eyes, 2 Corinthians 5:7. 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen

Hebrews 11:1

Without faith, it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.

Hebrews 11:16

for we walk by faith, not by sight

2 Corinthians 5:7

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the lesson on faith. Help us to walk by faith and not by sight. Open our spiritual eyes of faith to see into the spiritual dimension. Increase our faith. Help us with our unbelief, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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bible study devotion

Parable of the sower: devotion

Dr Andrew C S Koh

book cover

Prayer

Heavenly Father, bless us as we listen to Your word and be transformed. May the soil of our heart will be fruitful so that Your word will be able to take roots deeply and produce fruits. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Setting

Jesus taught by the Sea of Galilee. In the last chapter, Jesus’ mother and half-brothers thought He was mad. The Jews accused Him of being demon-possessed. Now He spoke to the multitude from a boat, as a floating pulpit, teaching them in parables. A parable or parabola in Greek is an earthly story, usually an agricultural story, to explain a spiritual truth. It is a worldly story with a heavenly meaning. One-third of Jesus’ teachings were in parables.

Mark 4:3-9

3 Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside, and the birds of the air came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased, and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred. 9 And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Commentary

A sower went out to sow seeds. Some seeds fell on the wayside, trodden by feet and eaten by birds. Some seeds fell on stony ground, and grew immediately but dried up just as quickly. Some seeds fell among thorns, grew but choked by thorns, and yielded no crop. Some seeds fell on good ground, grew healthily, and became fruitful.

The seed is the word of God, the gospel message. The sower could be Jesus, the disciples, or Christians,m. This is the sower of the seed of the gospel message. The soil is the human heart. The human heart is deceitful and unfruitful, Jeremiah 17:9.

Jeremiah 17:9, ‘’The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?’’ There are four types of human hearts.

Application

When you preached the gospel, it will land on four kinds of people, represented by the soil types:

1). Wayside, the indifferent heart, where seeds cannot penetrate and are eaten by birds or satan. They are not open to spiritual truth, stubborn, and will not listen.

2). Stony ground, the emotional heart, where there is no depth or roots. They had an initial shallow response but when hardship or suffering comes along, they fell out of faith and stop growing.

3). Thorny ground, the divided heart, a lukewarm Christian. They believed but could not dissociate with the world. The cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for material things made them too busy for God.

4). Good ground, the fruitful heart, who heard, believed, grew, and bear fruits, Psalm 1:3

Evangelism is very rewarding because the return of investment is so incredible. A 30-fold increase is 3000%, a 60-fold increase is 6000%, and a 100-fold increase is 10,000%. There is no earthly investment with such returns!

Psalm 1:3, He shall be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the key to understanding the parable of the sower. Thank You for showing us that evangelism produces such an incredible return of investment. There is no investment in the world that is able to match a return of this magnitude. Help us to s

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bible study devotion

Your sins are forgiven: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

boxset

Setting

When Jesus taught the people, Pharisees and teachers of the laws came from Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem to spy on Him. Four men carried their paralytic friend on a stretcher to Jesus. Mark informed us that there were four men, Mark 2:3. When they could not come near to Jesus, they went up the roof, broke the tiles, lowered the stretcher from the ceiling, and presented the man to Jesus. 

And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

Mark 2;3

Luke 5:20-26

20 Seeing their faith, he said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” 22 But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, answered them, “Why are you reasoning so in your hearts? 23 Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you;’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk?’ 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (he said to the paralyzed man), “I tell you, arise, take up your cot, and go to your house.” 25 Immediately he rose up before them, and took up that which he was laying on, and departed to his house, glorifying God. 26 Amazement took hold on all, and they glorified God. They were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today.” 

Luke 5:20-26

Commentary

The four friends of the paralyzed man had tremendous faith, determination, perseverance, and persistence. The massive crowd did not hinder their effort. They overcame the crowd by thinking out of the box. Acknowledging the faith of his friends, Jesus told the paralyzed man that He forgave him of his sins. The scribes and teachers of the law thought in their hearts that Jesus was a blasphemer. With omniscient power, Jesus knew what they were thinking and said that He had the power to forgive sins because He was the Christ, the Son of Man. He told the paralyzed man to take up his mat and walk and he walked! Jesus had authority over nature, sin, sicknesses, evil spirits, and death. The man got up, left the room, and walked home glorifying God all the way! The people were afraid, astonished, and amazed at the miraculous healing. 

Application

The man’s friends had faith. Nothing could stop them from bringing the paralyzed man to Jesus. Do you have faith in Jesus? Do you believe that He can do all things, even the impossible things?

Jesus can forgive sins because He is God. Jesus is fully man and fully God. He is the second person of the Trinity. 

Jesus is omniscient. He knows everything about you and me. Nothing is hidden from Him, Hebrews 4:13. He knows your thoughts, and He knows your past, present, and future. He even knows the number of hairs on your head, Matthew 10:30.

Jesus is the Son of Man, which means that He is the Messiah (Christ), Jesus is the fulfillment of the Son of Man described in Daniel l7:13.

Jesus spoke the word and the man was healed instantly. 

.

There is no creature that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account

Hebrews 4:13

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Matthew 10:30

I saw in the night visions, and behold, there came with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him

Daniel 7:13

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Messiah, the Son of Man. Thank You that You came to seek and save those who are lost. Thank You for justification and salvation by grace through faith in Christ, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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bible study devotion

The corrupted church: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

picture
Photo by Aleksandra Zadiraka on Pexels.com

Today, you can the archaelogical ruins of the church of Pergamon in western Turkey as a tourist. You can see the seat of satan in the ruins of the church of Pergamon. If you visit the Berlin, be sure to visit the Pergamon museum. This museum showcased many archaelogical finds from the church of Pergamon which flew all the way from Turkey in the 1900s I was fortunate to visit this museum 30 years ago. 

Revelation 2:12-17

12 “To the angel of the assembly in Pergamum write: “He who has the sharp two-edged sword says these things: 13 “I know your works and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. You hold firmly to my name and didn’t deny my faith in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to throw a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans likewise. 16 Repent therefore, or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows but he who receives it

Revelation 2:12-17

Commentary

Destination

The destination of the third letter was to the church of Pergamon. Ancient Pergamon was a rich and powerful Greek city in Mysia, Asia Minor, which is in modern-day Turkey. Pergamon was a demonic stronghold, home to the seat of Satan’s throne. 

Jesus’ Title

Jesus called Himself, “He who has the sharp two-edged sword”. The two-edged sword is the word of God and sword of the Spirit. Hebrews 4:12.

Commendation

Christ commended them for their loyalty and faithfulness. They they did not deny His name, in the face of persecution, when one of their members, Antipas was martyred. 

Censure

Christ censured them because some of them followed the doctrine of Balaam and Nicholas. The doctrine of Balaam is embracing pagan worship and committing sexual immorality. The doctrine of Nicolas is Gnosticism. Nicolas was a first-century Christian of Acts 6:5, who had apostasized and promoted Gnosticism. 

Warning

If they do not repent, Christ will wage war against them with the two edged sword of His mouth. 

A promise of reward

To those who overcome, hear, and obey His word, He will give them the hidden manna, and a white stone with a new secret name written on it. 

The hidden manna is Jesus Christ, who is also called, the living manna, the bread of life, the bread of God, and the bread from heaven. He is the food that sustained our spiritual health. 

The white stone is a symbol of Christ’s righteousness imputed to believers. Christ will give believer a white stone with a new secret name that only the recipient knows. 

For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

These words pleased the whole multitude. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch

Acts 6:5

Application

Do not compromise your faith by partipating in pagan worship and sexual imorality.

Do not follow the teachings of false teachers and cult. Beware of the prosperity doctrine and the word of faith movement. There are plenty of false teachers today peddling false doctrines and leading believers astray. It is a good practice to check the credentials of any preachers before listening to them and countercheck what they say with the Bible.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for this timely message to remind us that there are false teachers in our society today. We pray for biblical education and literacy ad a tool to discern false doctrines. Help us to know the truth and be set free from deception, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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bible study devotion

Rekindle your first love: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

mock up image of a book cover

Setting

Revelation 2 and 3 are Christ’s seven letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor i.e. Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. These letters had a seven-preset template consisting of, the destination church, a description of Christ, initial commendation, censure, a call to repentance to avoid serious consequences, final commendation, and a promise of rewards for those who overcome. Christ is omniscient. He knew all the strength and weaknesses about each of these churches. Each letter always ends with, “he who has a ear to hear, let him hear“, which is a call to listen very carefully. The letter to Ephesus was the first letter to first of the seven churches of Asia Minor, which is Turkey today. 

Revelation 2: 1-7

1 “To the angel of the assembly in Ephesus write:“ He who holds the seven stars in his right hand, he who walks among the seven golden lamp stands says these things: 2 “I know your works, and your toil and perseverance, and that you can’t tolerate evil men, and have tested those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and found them false. 3 You have perseverance and have endured for my name’s sake and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly and will move your lamp stand out of its place, unless you repent. 6 But this you have, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of my God

Revelation 2:1-7

Ancient Ephesus was infamous for pagan worship. It was home to the temple of Artemis, the centre of pagan worship of the Greek goddess Diana. Paul lived and ministered in Ephesus for 18 months during his third missionary journey. He taught in the synagogue for 3 months but when the hostile, unbelieving Jews persecuted him, he relocated to the school of Tyrannus, Acts 19: 9-10.. Here, he taught, preached, and shared the gospel to the Jews and Gentiles from Asia Minor. Timothy and apostle John also played prominent roles in the Ephesian church at various times. 

The destination church of this letter was Ephesus. Christ described Himself as “He who holds the seven stars in his right hand, he who walks among the seven golden lamp stands”. The seven stars represent the seven angels of the seven churches. Christ holds the seven stars in His hands. The seven golden lamp stands or menorahs symbolize the seven churches of Asia Minor. Christ walks among the seven golden menorahs i.e. the seven churches. He had close and personal contact with the churches and was never far from them.

Now, the initial commendation. Christ is omniscient. He knew everything about the church of Ephesus. He knew about their suffering, perseverance, and faithfulness. He commended them because they discerned and  rejected evil men and false apostles. They endured hardship and persecution for Christ’s sake and in Christ’s name, and yet were faithful to their calling.

Now, the rebuke. Christ censured them for losing their first love for Him. They neglected personal time and intimacy with Christ such as quiet time, prayer, praise and worship, communion, and bible study. Christ encouraged the Ephesian Church, to repent and take steps to return  to Him. Work of the ministry cannot substitute personal time and fellowship with Christ. They must repent, dethrone self, enthrone Christ, surrender to Him, and make Him centre of their life.

Now, the warning. If they do not repent, Christ will come quickly and dismantle their church.

Now, the final commendation. Christ commended them for rejecting the works of the Nicolaitans. According to the second century church father, Irenaeus, Nicolaitans were followers of a Gnostic sect, founded by Nicolas of Antioch in Acts 6:5. Gnosticism is a dangerous, heretic cult to be rejected at all cost

Now, the promise of rewards. Those who overcome, hear, and heed His words will be rewarded with the fruit of the tree of life in the new heaven and new earth in the new Jerusalem.. 

God placed the tree of life in the centre of the garden of Eden for Adam and Eve to enjoy.  After the fall, Adam and Eve were banished from the garden of Eden. But God will bring back the tree of life into the new heaven and earth in the new Jerusalem, Revelation 22:2. Those who make it to heaven will be able eat the fruits from the tree of life. 

But when some were hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

Acts 19:9-10

On this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruits, yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Revelation 22:2

Application

Remember your first love for Christ? Remember how fervent you were when you first became a Christian?

Do not lose your first love for Christ. Do not allow your love for Christ to go cold. Do not neglect personal quiet times, bible study, prayer, praise and worship, and communion with the Lord. 

Do not give in to persecution, trials, and tribulation. Persevere and be faithful to your calling. Christ will reward you with the tree of life, crown of life and eternal life in heaven. 

Discern and reject false teachers and have nothing to do with them. 

Repent and take steps to come back to Him. The works of the ministry cannot substitute personal time and communion with Christ. Repent, dethrone self, enthrone Christ. surrender and make Him the centre of you life.

Even the church needs to repent. If they do not repent, Christ will come quickly and dismantle our church.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help us to not to lose our first love for You. Help us to cultivate personal intimacy with You. Help us cultivate the daily habit of quiet time, bible study, praise and worship, prayer, and communion. Help us discern false teachers and reject them, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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bible study devotion

Saved by an angel: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

angel
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we pray for enlightenment, wisdom, insight, and sensitive spirits to hear from You, in Jesus’ name, Amen,

Setting

Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold possessions and decided to give only part of the proceed.to the apostles. Peter rebuked Ananias for his dishonesty. Ananias immediately died and young men came to carry him out and buried him. Three hours later, Sapphira came in, told the same lie, and met with the same fate. The church members were overwhelmed by fear. The church of Acts grew rapidly, amidst signs and wonders, and miraculous healings. The anointing of Peter was so strong that even his shadow could heal the sick. 

Acts 5:17-23

17 But the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy 18 and laid hands on the apostles, then put them in public custody. 19 But an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night, and brought them out and said, 20 “Go stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”

21 When they heard this, they entered into the temple about daybreak and taught. But the high priest came, and those who were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But the officers who came didn’t find them in the prison. They returned and reported, 23 “We found the prison shut and locked, and the guards standing before the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside!”

Acts 5:17-23

The high priest and Sadducees and arrested the apostles and threw them into the prison. An angel of the Lord came at night, opened the prison door, took them out, and told them to speak to the people in the temple.

The next day, the high priest summon the prison guards to bring the prisoners. But the prison guards could not find the prisoners.   

One prison officer reported to the high priest that the prisoners were teaching in the temple. The chief prison officer and his men went and brought the prisoners to the high priest for questioning. 

The high priest censured the apostles for breaking the gag order. Peter replied that must obey God and not men. Peter accused them of murdering Jesus of Nazareth, whom God raided back to life of and that they were witnesses of this. 

Application

Persecution of Christians is very real even until today.. We are not fighting against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, Ephesians 6:12. Our defence is the armour of God, which includes the sword of the Spirit, i.e. prayer and the word of God. Pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit and boldness to face persecution. 

The apostles were anointed by the Holy Spirit to fulfil their calling. They rejoiced to be counted worthy to suffer for Christ. They refused to be gagged, fearless, and unstoppable. As soon as they were rescued, they came back to the temple to preach. 

For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for anointing of the Holy Spirit. Help us to preach and teach the Gospel without fear or favour. Strengthen our faith. We pray for boldness to obey You and not people. You and not men, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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bible study devotion

Sowing and reaping: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

mock up image, box sets

John 4:30-45

After exposing and convicting the Samaritan woman of her sin, Jesus revealed  that He was the Messiah she was waiting for.  She immediately dropped her water bucket and went to town to share her testimony and invited the people to come and see the Messiah.

30 They went out of the city, and were coming to him. 31 In the meanwhile, the disciples urged him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” 33 The disciples therefore said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. 36 He who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” 39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, “He told me everything that I did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” 43 After the two days he went out from there and went into Galilee.

John 4:30-45

Reflection

Jesus told His disciples to open their eyes and see the Samaritan people coming towards them with their white hats. The field (Samaritan people) was ripe for harvest. The Samaritan woman sowed the seed of the gospel message into the Samaritan people (the field). The seed bear fruits, and the disciples reaped the harvest. In evangelism, the sower and the reaper worked as a team to win souls. 

Today, you may be sowing the seed of the gospel into someone’s life.  One day another Christian will come along and reap the harvest by getting that person to say the sinner’s prayer. This is how evangelism work, 1 Cor 3:6.

The woman’s testimony was powerful. Many Samaritans believed in Jesus through her testimony. Jesus stayed with them two more days, and more Samaritans believed in Him. The woman’s testimony brought the Samaritans to Christ. Their encounter with Christ convinced them that Christ is the Saviour of the world. 

The Samaritans acknowledged Jesus as the Savior of the world. Note the progressive revelation of Christ’s identity. In verse 9, she called Him a Jew, in verses 11 and 15, Sir, in verse 19, a prophet, in verse 29, Christ, and in verse 42, Savior of the world.

Jesus and His disciples travelled north from Samaria to Galilee, bypassing Nazareth.. The Galileans welcomed Jesus because they saw the miracles He did at Jerusalem during the Passover.

  I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow

1 Corinthians 3:6

Application

Many Samaritans believed and encountered Christ personally because of the woman’s testimony. Many of your contacts will believe and encounter Christ personally because of your testimony. Write out and rehearse your testimony. Include three parts to your testimony, the before, the during, and the after. Write about how you were before you know Christ, how you came to know Christ, and, how you are after you know Christ. Share it out on social media, with colleagues, friends, and family. You may be the only Bible that people will ever read. Personal evangelism is very satisfying and rewarding.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the beautiful story of this un-named Samaritan woman who met Christ and shared her testimony with other Samaritans. We pray for opportunities to share our testimonies to family, neighbours, colleagues, and friends. We pray for divine insight and understanding into Your word. We present our bodies as living sacrifices and spiritual acts of worship, holy and pleasing to You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.