bible study devotion

Devotion: leprosy

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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After the calling of Peter, John, James, Andrew,  and the miraculous catch of fish in the Sea of Galilee, Jesus went His way, bumped into a leprous man, and miraculously healed him. 

Luke 5:12-16

12 While he was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man full of leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face, and begged him, saying, “Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean.” 13 He stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, “I want to. Be made clean.” 14 He commanded him to tell no one, “But go your way, and show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing according to what Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.” 15 But the report concerning him spread much more, and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. 16 But he withdrew himself into the desert, and prayed.

Luke 5:12-16


Jesus left Galilee, came to another town, and met a man with leprosy. The leprous man fell forward prostrate on the ground and begged Jesus to heal him. Jesus touched him and immediately healed him. The leprous man sought Jesus’ will, asked Him, “if You want”and Jesus replied, “I want” .

Leprosy is caused by a bacterium called mycobacterium lepra. Today, it is curable by taking antibiotics. In the first-century world, leprosy was a dreadful, contagious, fatal, and incurable disease. Leprous people were ostracised by society and confined to leper colonies. This was a living death sentence. Lepers must not come near or touch anyone. When they see anyone from a distance, they must shout, unclean, unclean. They were social outcasts. No one dared to touch the leprous man for fear of contracting leprosy. But Jesus touched him and healed him. Jesus touched him with love, compassion, acceptance, and friendship. The power of His touch healed the man instantly. The ministry of touch is very important in any relationship.

Jesus commanded the man not to tell anyone but to present himself to the priest for cleansing and offering sacrifice according to Leviticus 14:2-4 and following. But he could not keep quiet and told his testimony wherever he went. Words spread fast and everyone came to Jesus for healing. Jesus went into the desert alone by Himself and prayed. Luke gave us a glimpse into Jesus’ humanity. He needed to pray and be recharged before He could minister effectively. 


Jesus told the man to present himself to the priest to testify to him that he was cured of leprosy. If God had cured you of some ailment, show yourself to others as a testimony to them.

The leprous man told his testimony wherever he went. Did you tell your testimony where ever you go?

The leprous man asked Jesus to heal him according to His will. Did you pray according to God’s will?

Jesus touched the leprous man. Have you touched someone physically or through acts of kindness.? The ministry of touch is so important in a personal relationship. Give someone a hug when it is appropriate.

After healing the man, Jesus retreated into the mountain alone to pray. If Jesus needed to spend time alone with His Father in prayer, how much more that you and I needed to spend time with Him in prayer?

This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the priest, and the priest shall go out of the camp. The priest shall examine him. Behold, if the plague of leprosy is healed in the leper, then the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two living clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. 

Leviticus 14:2-4


Heavenly Father, help us to spend time alone with You in prayer to seek Your will and to listen to You. Help us to touch someone with love and compassion today. Help us to share our testimony with others so that they will come to know You as their Lord and Savior, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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bible study devotion

Devotion: from fishermen to fishers of men

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Heavenly Father, we pray that You will enable us to log in to Your channel, frequency, and wavelength. Help us to fine-tune our spiritual antennas to receive divine signals from You. Help us to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s voice, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 


By this time, Jesus’ popularity was at an all-time high. People were coming from everywhere to listen to Him. He was surrounded by a massive crowd in the Lake of Gennesaret or the Sea of Galilee. There were two boats, one belonging to Simon Peter, and the other to James and John. Jesus alighted Simon Peter’s boat and told him to move deeper into the water. He sat down and taught the people in the floating pulpit of the boat.  

Luke 5:4-9

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered him, “Master, we worked all night, and took nothing; but at your word, I will let down the net.”  6 When they had done this, they caught a great multitude of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 They beckoned to their partners in the other boat, that they should come and help them. They came and filled both boats so that they began to sink. 8 But Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord.” 9 For he was amazed, and all who were with him, at the catch of fish which they had caught; 

Luke 5:4-9


After teaching the people, Jesus commanded Peter to go into deeper water and throw in the nets. Simon Peter reluctantly threw in the net because he did not expect any result. He had been throwing the nets one whole night to no avail. To his surprise, the net was so full of fish and so heavy that the net was going to break. This miracle is unique to Luke. 

Simon Peter signaled to his partners James and John in the other boat for assistance. They came alongside and collected the fish into the two boats. The fishes were so heavy that the two boats began to sink. Amazed at such a great miraculous catch, Peter knelt in front of Jesus and confessed that he was a sinful man. 

Even James and John, the sons of Zebedee were astonished. Jesus told them not to be afraid.  From now on Jesus would make them fishers of the souls of men. When the boats reached land, they left everything and followed Jesus. Here, Jesus chose four fishermen from Galilee as His apostles, Peter and his brother Andrew, James, and his brother John. 


When Peter was fishing by his own self-effort throughout whole night, he could not catch any fish at all. When Peter followed the direction of Jesus, the catch was so great that they filled up 2 boats! The catch was so bountiful and beyond his wildest imagination. Convicted of his sins, Peter fell prostrate before Jesus, and worshiped Him.

You will not be successful when you share the gospel with your self-effort. You will be successful if you listen carefully to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and follow God’s instructions. You need to pray before you make a move and listen very carefully. Evangelism must be done according to God’s will and direction. You need to do evangelism Jesus’ way. He is the way, the truth, and the life, John 14:6.. No one can come to the Father except through Him. 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.

John 14:6


Heavenly Father, thank You for making us fishers of men. Help us to equip ourselves with the tools and skills of personal evangelism. Help us to share the Gospel with non-believers. Help us to walk by faith and not by sight. Help to do things according to your ways and not be our own self-effort, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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book review books

Acts volumes 1 and 2: from Jerusalem to Rome

by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

Amazon ranking No 1 in Life Application Christian Bibles.


Acts is a sequel to the gospel of Luke, written by Luke between 70-90 AD, in Rome. This is a historical narrative of the first-century Christian church from 33 to 60 AD. It is an action-packed, fast-moving, Hollywood-style narrative on the adventures of Peter, Paul and others.


This is an educational journey in the Book of Acts as only Dr. Koh can so brilliantly explain. A good book

R E Creech, Bookbub, Goodraesd, 5 stars

A very informative read about the travels of Peter and Paul, two Apostles who greatly influenced Christian teachings. Those amazing miracles and sermons help us to think differently about our lives. Very inspiring book. Beautiful prayers accompany each chapter. I am on the ARC team. I leave an honest review. I recommend this book to other readers

J Sharmani, Amazon, 5 Stars

What an excellent novel to use as a guide for a weekly Bible Study Group. Many of us do not know that Acts is a sequel to the gospel of Luke. It is written by Luke somewhere between 70-90 AD. Luke looks back on the world of the first-century Christian church. Take a chance to step out of our tightly conservative view of the church and follow along with Luke, Peter, Paul, and others as they journey through the world of the first Jewish Christian believers. We travel with the first believers from Jerusalem to Samaria all the way to Rome. This book will introduce the reader to the sermons and testimonies of Peter and Paul. You will come across many “firsts” in Acts, e.g., the birth of the first-century Christian church, the first miracle, the first sermon, the first Christian martyr, the first Christian burial, the first Gentile convert, the first European Christian convert, etc. This is the time of the first hundred years of our heritage. What a joy for the reader. I received this novel from StoryOrigin. This is my true and honest review

P A Reinert, Bookbub, 5 stars

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bible study devotion

Devotion: the Gospel of Mark

Devotion: the Gospel of Mark


Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us hungry hearts and thirsty souls to seek after You. Thank You for the privilege to study Your word. Thank You Holy Spirit for teaching, convicting, correcting, transforming, and training us in righteousness, in Jesus’ name, Amen.


The 4 gospels presented 4 perspectives into the life of Jesus Christ. Matthew presented Jesus as King of the Jews for a Jewish audience, emphasizing what Jesus said. Mark presented Jesus as a Suffering Servant for a Roman audience, emphasizing what Jesus did. Luke presented Jesus as the Perfect Man for a Greek audience, emphasizing what Jesus felt. John presented Jesus as the Son of God for all people, emphasizing who Jesus was. 

The Gospel of Mark is a fast-moving narrative.  Mark used three words, ‘and’, ‘now’, and ‘immediately’ as he moved from one scene to the next. Mark could be referring to himself in Mark 14: 51. Mark was not an eye-witness. Mark relied heavily on the teachings of Peter, his spiritual god-father and mentor, 1 Peter 5:13. Mark was a cousin of Barnabas, Acts 12:12 and Colossians 4:10. He traveled with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but abandoned them at Perga, Acts 13:13. Eventually Paul reconciled with Mark, 2 Timothy 4:11. 

Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophets, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you: Malachi 3:1, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord! Make his paths straight!’” Isaiah 40:3. John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins. John was clothed with camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. He preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and loosen. I baptized you in water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.”


The Greek word for good news is ‘’evangelion’’ which means Gospel. The Gospel of Mark begins with the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Gospel of Mark did not begin with a genealogy of Christ. Mark presented Christ as the Suffering Servant. In the first-century world, a servant’s genealogy was not all. Malachi prophesied John the Baptist’s arrival as a forerunner of Jesus 400 years before Christ. Isaiah prophesied John the Baptist’s arrival as a forerunner of Jesus, 740 years before Christ.

John was a hairy man who wore a camel hair jacket and a leather belt. He looked like Elijah. John the Baptist was a Nazarite, from birth Luke 1:15. He ate locusts and wild honey. Locusts are carob pods from the carob tree, also called the locust bean or St. John’s bread. He ate wild honey from the dates palm. John the Baptist said, he was not worthy even to be Jesus’ slave. He baptize with a water baptism of repentance but Jesus will baptize with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Malachi 3:1. “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, behold, he comes!” says Yahweh of Armies.

Isaiah 40:3, ‘’A voice of one calling in the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.’’ 

Luke 1:15, For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.


Jesus Christ’s appearance in Jordan broke the 400 years of prophetic silence between the book of Malachi and the gospel of Mark. God finally spoke in the voice of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, Hebrews 1:1-2. 

Malachi and Isaiah prophesied the coming of John the Baptist as the forerunner of Jesus Christ hundreds of years before the event. The statistical chance for this fulfillment is 1 in 10 to the power of 17. Jesus Christ fulfilled 381 Old Testament prophecies. This proves beyond any doubt that the Bible is the Word of God, 2 Timothy 3:16.

2000 years ago, Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, and died a cruel death on a Roman cross for our sins. John the Baptist was the messenger and way-maker; Jesus Christ was the Message, and the Way.

Hebrews 1:1-2, God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds.

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


Heavenly Father, thank You for the Good News of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Thank You for breaking the 400 years of prophetic silence. Thank You that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. Thank You for salvation, redemption, reconciliation, justification, sanctification, and eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

bible study devotion

Devotion: spiritual heartburn

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Heavenly Father, thank You for traveling with us on this amazing , incredible, and wonderful journey through the Gospel of Luke. Thank You for opening our eyes and giving us spiritual heartburn as You opened the scriptures to us. Thank You for giving us a glimpse into the life of Jesus Christ from His birth to His ascension. Thank You for the gift of spiritual faith, insight, growth, and maturity, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Luke 24:13-32


Before sunrise on the first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, the mother of James and John, and other women, came to the tomb with spices to anoint Jesus’s body. Finding the tombstone rolled away, they entered and were amazed to find it empty. Two angels clothed in shining dazzling attire appeared and proclaimed that Jesus had risen from the dead as He had prophesied when He was with them in Galilee. They hurried back to the eleven apostles and reported all that they had seen and heard. The apostles just could not believe what they heard. Peter ran back to the tomb, and saw the empty tomb with the empty linen clothes but could not connect the dots.

13 Behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was sixty stadia from Jerusalem. 14 They talked with each other about all of these things which had happened. 15 While they talked and questioned together, Jesus himself came near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?” 18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things which have happened there in these days?” 19 He said to them, “What things?” They said to him, “The things concerning Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that it was he who would redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Also, certain women of our company amazed us, having arrived early at the tomb; 23 and when they didn’t find his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of us went to the tomb and found it just like the women had said, but they didn’t see him.” 25 He said to them, “Foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Didn’t the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” 27 Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 They came near to the village where they were going, and he acted like he would go further. 29 They urged him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.” He went in to stay with them. 30 When he had sat down at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks. Breaking it, he gave it to them. 31 Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, then he vanished out of their sight  32 They said to one another, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us, while he spoke to us along the way, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?” (read the whole of Luke 24 on your own).

Luke 24: 13-32


This was now Easter afternoon or evening. The disciples had a very significant day and were confused and lost in words. With heavy hearts, Cleopas and his/her companion went on a walking trip from Jerusalem to Emmaus which was about 7 miles to the west. While they were deep in discussion, the Risen Jesus quietly came alongside them to join in the conversation. He had closed their eyes to prevent them from recognizing Him. Jesus gently asked what they were discussing so intensely. Not knowing the identity of the stranger, Cleopas responded ironically that Jesus did not know what happened to Himself in Jerusalem in the past few days! Cleopas clarified that they were discussing Jesus of Nazareth, a prophet, whom the Jewish leaders betrayed and condemned to death at the hands of the Romans.They were so sure that He was the Christ but now He had died, and all their hopes were shattered. What was even more incredible was some women’s testimonies about the empty tomb and seeing angels who told them that Jesus was alive. In the first-century world, a woman’s testimony was unreliable and not even valid in a court of law! Jesus censured them for their ignorance of scriptural prophesy and lack of faith. Didn’t they know that Christ had to suffer first suffer before He could enter into glory? Jesus gave them a comprehensive expositional Bible study about Himself in the Old Testament beginning from Moses until the prophets. After this, He wanted to leave but they persuaded Him to stay on. By this time it must be late in the evening. Jesus had dinner, broke bread, opened their eyes, and vanished out of sight. Did they see the nail marks on His hands when He broke bread and recognized Him?


Jesus gave a comprehensive expositional Bible Study to the two disciples. Today, Jesus is still giving you expositional Bible studies. When you open the Bible devotionally, the Holy Spirit comes alongside you and speaks to you revealing truth after truth.  

The disciples’ eyes were opened, and their hearts burned when Jesus opened the scriptures to them. Your eyes will open and your heart will burn when the Holy Spirit opened scriptures to you during Bible study. God’s word can be sweet in the mouth but bitter in the stomach. The word of God is a double-edged sword. It can cut you in both ways. Hearing God’s words may be sweet but applying them to your life can be bitter Rev. 10:9. 

Christ died, was buried, rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven. He will come back again at the end of world history to set up His millennial kingdom on earth, Rev. 20:4.. We do not know when He will come back but we have His promise. We must follow the current events in Israel and the Middle East, be vigilant, and be prepared for His return. 

Are you prepared for His second coming? Have you received Him as your Lord and Savior? You can do this right now, where you are. In a simple prayer, confessed that you have sinned against Him, believe that He died on the cross to pay the punishment for your sin, and surrender your life to Him. This is the first step but is the most important. If you prayed this prayer, find a local bible believing church and tell the pastor about your decision. 

I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. He said to me, “Take it, and eat it. It will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth, it will be as sweet as honey.

Revelation 10:9

I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as didn’t worship the beast nor his image and didn’t receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:4


Heavenly Father, thank You for all that You have done for us in our lives. Thank You for making us better disciples, day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. Thank You for the renewal of our mindsets and transformation of our hearts, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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bible study devotion

Devotion: Joy to the world

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

“Get my books for free from 17/12/2022 until 31/12/2022! Just go to””: Devotion: Joy to the world
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Heavenly Father, we pray for divine insight, understanding, and a clear mind to read, study, understand, and apply scripture. We pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit and divine enablement, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 


The nativity story is unique to Luke. Seemingly out of the blue, Caesar Augustus issued a decree to take a population census of the entire Roman world because he wanted to tax the people. To comply with this decree, the Jewish people had to travel back to their place of birth. Joseph and Mary had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register for this population census because they were descendants of Dovid. Mary in the late stage of her pregnancy made this 70 miles journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. This must have been a very difficult journey for Mary. This was to fulfil the prophecy of Micah 5:2, that Christ shall be born in Bethlehem. 

Passage, Luke 2: 6-17

While they were there, the day had come for her to give birth. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in bands of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough because there was no room for them in the inn. There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field and keeping watch by night over their flock. Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. 11 For there is born to you today, in David’s city, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough.” 13 Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” 15 When the angels went away from them into the sky, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 They came with haste and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in the feeding trough. 17 When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child (Read the rest of Luke 2 on your own).

Luke 2: 6-17


When Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem, they could not find any accommodation anywhere. Mary delivered baby Jesus, wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes, and placed Him into a manger, an animal feeding trough made out of stone. An angel of God appeared to some shepherds in Bethlehem in a field at night. The glory of God manifested in dazzling majestic lights and frightened the shepherds. 

After calming down the shepherds, the angel announced to them that Christ was born in Bethlehem, the city of David. They shall find Him wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger. Immediately, angels sang, worshiped, and praised God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth, peace to those on whom his favor rests”. God announced the birth of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the Good Shepherd, the Shepherd of souls, to some poor lowly shepherds in Bethlehem. 

After the angels left, the shepherds went to Bethlehem to look for baby Jesus. They found Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes, according to the angel’s announcement. After witnessing this, they went away and testified to all the people about this, and all who heard it were amazed. The shepherds returned to Bethlehem glorifying and praising God. 

Imagine the creator of the universe chose to be born in a feeding trough in an insignificant town called Bethlehem, witnessed by poor and lowly shepherds without any fanfare! As the King of the universe, He could have been born in a grand palace with great fanfare, and witnessed by royalty but He chose not to. 

Micah 5:2, But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, being small among the clans of Judah, out of you one will come out to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings out are from of old, from ancient times.


Micah prophesied the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem 800 years before He was born! This astonishing prophecy proved beyond any doubt that God is the God of the Bible. This is not the only Old Testament prophecy that Jesus fulfilled. Jesus fulfilled 351 Old Testament prophesies and these are recorded in the Bible. The statistical chance of fulfilling all these prophesies is 1 in 10 to the power of 17. This is a mathematical impossibility.  Based on this, there is absolutely no doubt that the God of the Bible is the God of the universe. 

Today, if you go to Bethlehem in Israel, you visit the church of Nativity, and see for yourself the place where this event took place. The Bible is about real events, real people, and real places. Bible is God’s word to us. Acronym for BIBLE is Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

When Joseph and Mary (with Jesus in her womb) arrived in Bethlehem, there was no room for them in the city. Even today, there is no room for Jesus in many people’s hearts because of unbelief. Do you have room for Jesus in your heart this Christmas? Open your heart to Jesus. Invite Him into your life. Believe, and you will see the glory of God. 


Heavenly Father, let us open our hearts to receive Jesus Christ into our lives as our Lord and Saviour this Christmas. Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ into the world to be the perfect Christmas gift to all mankind. Thank You for the grace and truth that Jesus brought to us. Thank You for the forgiveness of sin. Thank You for salvation by grace,  justification by faith in Christ, sanctification by the Holy Spirit, and the promise of eternal life. Thank You for Immanuel, God with us, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

bible study devotion

Devotion: Immanuel, God with us

DR. Andrew C S Koh

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The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel


Heavenly Father, please direct our thoughts to connect with You and speak to us from Your word. You are pleased when we talk to You. Help us to pray without ceasing. Nourish us spiritually through the living Bread of Life. Revive our hearts, renew our spirits, restore our faith, ignite our souls, and transform our minds in service and obedience, in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Luke 1: 26-35

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” 29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. 34 Then Mary said to the angel,’’ How can this be since I do not know a man?”35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. He, therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God

(Read the rest of Luke 1 and Matthew 1)

Luke 1:26-35


In the 6th month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to visit a teenage Jewish girl, Mary of Nazareth, who was a virgin. Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, had miraculously conceived even though she was barren and advanced in years. Gabriel pronounced a blessing on Mary saying that she was highly favoured by God. Mary was shocked by the unexpected angelic visitation. Gabriel announced to Mary that she shall conceive and give birth to a son and shall call Him Jesus.  Jesus, Son of the Most High God shall reign over the throne of His father David. At this time, the throne of David did not exist! 1000 years before Christ, God covenanted with David that his house, kingdom, and throne, shall be established forever.  One of his descendants shall reign on this throne as Messiah. Jesus fulfilled this Davidic covenant in 2 Samuel 7:16. House of Jacob refers to the nation of Israel. Jesus, the Messiah shall reign over the nation of Israel and His kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom. 

Mary was shocked because she was a virgin. The angel Gabriel proclaimed that nothing was impossible with God. The power of the Holy Spirit shall come upon her and make her conceive miraculously. This shall be a sign to her from the Lord, Isaiah 7:14.  He shall be called Immanuel, Holy One, and Son of God. Mary willingly submitted to the will of God and called herself maidservant of the Lord. Immanuel, in Greek, means God with us. Jesus is God with us in the flesh, through His incarnation. Incarnation, which means embodied in flesh. 

Joseph was Jesus’ legal father but not his biological father. because Mary was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary was a descendant of the tribe of Judah and a descendant of David. 

Your house and your kingdom will be made sure forever before you. Your throne will be established forever

2 Samuel 7:16

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel

Isaiah 7:14


Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born by the virgin Mary. Isaiah prophesied this 700 years before Christ was born. No one can make a prediction 700 years earlier and make it come to pass 700 years later. Only God can do this because He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.  This was only one of 351 Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Christ. The statistical chance for all these prophecies to be fulfilled by random chance is 1 in 10 to the power of 17. This is mathematically impossible, but with God all things are possible. This proves beyond any doubt that the Bible is truly the word of God. 

Jesus is God in the flesh. 2000 years ago, God step out from eternity and entered the time-space continuum to become a human being through the virgin birth of Mary. He lived a perfect life and died a cruel death on a Roman cross to pay the payment of your sins for us. All we have to do is believe in Jesus and weour shall be saved. This is the good news of the gospel. 


Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to us today. Strengthen us in the faith for personal life enrichment. Engage us with Your word daily. Feed our weary souls and quench our spiritual thirst. Develop in us, a desire to know You more. Let Your word dwell richly in us. Thank You for including us in Your plan of salvation for the world. Thank You for the hope that we have in You. Even as we read about the birth of Your Son, we are humbled by His humble beginnings. We pray that You help us understand what we read today, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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bible study devotion

Devotion: what must I do to be saved?

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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The Jew’s favorite question to Jesus was what they must do to inherit eternal life. The rich, young ruler man was no different. Luke 18:23 described him as very rich. Matthew 19:20 described him as young. Luke 18:1 described him as a ruler. Mark 10:17 said he ran to Jesus and knelt down to worship Him. He was very sincere and desperately wanted eternal life. 


Luke 18:18-24


18 A certain ruler asked him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 Jesus asked him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good, except one: God. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Don’t commit adultery,’ ‘Don’t murder,’ ‘Don’t steal,’ ‘Don’t give false testimony,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”, Exodus 20:12-16, Deuteronomy 5:16-29. 21 He said, “I have observed all these things from my youth up.” 22 When Jesus heard these things, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have, and distribute it to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was very rich. 24 Jesus, seeing that he became very sad, said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter into God’s Kingdom! (read the rest of Luke 18 on your own)

Luke 18:18-24


The rich young ruler asked Jesus what he must do to possess eternal life. He addressed Jesus respectfully as a Good Teacher. Jesus asked why he called Him good. Was he implying that Jesus was God?  Jesus quoted the last 5 of the 10 commandments. The man happily ticked all the boxes. ‘I passed’ or so he thought! But Jesus gave him one more box to tick. Liquidate all his assets, donate all the proceeds to charity, follow Jesus, and inherit eternal life. He could not tick this box. He walked away from the deal with great sorrow because he was very rich. 

What went wrong? Jesus diagnosed his spiritual condition as covetousness. Here was a man who loved possessions more than God. The radical surgery for this condition is to take away possessions. He chose to walk away from Jesus. He was very close to inheriting eternal life (salvation) but missed it. Sincerity will not do it. Keeping a set of laws will not do it. Only a radical change of heart will do it. Salvation required a spiritual heart transplant. He must be born again, John 3:3.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”

John 3:3, NKJV

Here was a sinner who thought he was righteous (self-righteous). Did he pass the test of law-keeping? No way! Jesus exposed his true spiritual condition and gave him a chance to confess his sin. When asked to liquidate and donate to charity, the rich young ruler walked away from Jesus. It is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. This is a hyperbole, an exaggerated figure of speech. The eye of a needle is a tiny little aperture. The camel is the biggest animal in Israel. But God can make this happen. Zaccheaus was a very rich man but he was saved, Luke 19:1-10.

The disciples left everything to follow Jesus and they will inherit eternal life, Luke 18:29-30.

He said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left houses, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children, for God’s Kingdom’s sake, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the world to come, eternal life.”

Luke 18:29-30


Jesus’ injunction to liquidate and donate to charity is a specific injunction to the man in this story. This is not a universal call to poverty as a prerequisite to salvation. His love for money prevented him from following Jesus. Instead of possessing money, money possessed him. 

The challenge to you and me today is to hold lightly to the things of the world. Prioritize your lives and put Jesus first before everything else. You can serve only one master. Will you serve Jesus or money?  

Follow Jesus wholeheartedly. Do not let anything stand in the way. 

So, what must you do to inherit eternal life?

It is not what you do. It is what Jesus had already done for you on the cross 2000 years ago. Jesus paid the price of your sin for you on the cross. All you need to do is to believe Him. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ and not by work. Ephesians 2:8-9.

for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9


Heavenly Father, thank You for the timeless lesson on the rich, young ruler. Help us not to covet. Help us to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness. Help us to surrender our lives to You and make You the center of our lives. Help us to love You vertically and help others horizontally. Thank You for salvation by grace through faith in Christ,  in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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bible study devotion

Devotion: the Lost son

Dr. Andrew C Koh

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Heavenly Father, thank You for Your divine appointment with us. Thank You for meeting us through the pages of scripture. Speak to us through the inspired, inerrant, and infallible word of eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Have you lost anything? It is very frustrating to have lost something. You will turn the whole house upside down until you find it. 

Luke 15 is a chapter concerning the lost and the found. Here is a triplet of three parables, the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. The tax collectors and sinners were coming to Jesus to hear Him teach. The Pharisees and scribes were incensed because Jesus was so friendly with the social outcasts whom they considered to be sinners. Jesus responded to this attack by telling these three parables. 

Luke 15:11-24

11 He said, “A certain man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of your property.’ So he divided his livelihood between them. 13 Not many days after, the younger son gathered all of this together and traveled into a far country. There he wasted his property with riotous living. 14 When he had spent all of it, there arose a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 He went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He wanted to fill his belly with the husks that the pigs ate, but no one gave him any. 17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I’m dying with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father and will tell him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. 19 I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 “He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’  22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and sandals on his feet.23 Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let’s eat, and celebrate; 24 for this, my son, was dead and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’ Then they began to celebrate ( read the rest of Luke 15 on your own)

Luke 15:11-24


Here is the famous parable of the lost or prodigal son. A man had two sons. The younger son demanded his share of his father’s estate when his father was still alive! In Jewish custom, the elder son will get 2/3 and the younger son gets 1/3 of the estate but only when the father dies. After cashing out the money, the younger son ran away to a Gentile country and wasted everything on irresponsible living. Very soon, he was bankrupt and destitute. To make matters worse, a severe recession hit the land. The only job he could get was to look after the pigs for a Gentile businessman. Here is the shocking part.  He had to feed the pig!  For a Jew to feed the pigs was terribly insulting as pigs are unclean animals. He was so hungry that he even wanted to eat the pig’s food! 

When the prodigal son hits rock bottom, he came back to his senses. He was dying of hunger. He decided to return to his father or he will be dead. He acknowledged that he had made a terrible mistake. He was willing to apologize to his father and become his servant. He made a 180 degrees U-turn to go home, rehearsing his repentance speech along the way. 

When he was still a long way off, his father spotted him from a distance. The father felt sorry for the son. He had been looking out for him ever since he left. He ran and kissed the son’s neck even though he was dirty and smelly all over. In those days, for a rich man to run was considered very shameful. Before the son could even complete his repentance speech, the father interrupted him. 

The father covered the son with the best robe, put a signet ring on his hand, shoes on his feet, slaughtered the fattened calf, and hosted a feast to celebrate the return of his lost son. 


A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. In a parable, every character represents something. The father represents God. The prodigal son represents the tax collectors and sinners. The best robe represents Christ’s robe of righteousness. The signet ring and shoes represent restoration to sonship. The signet ring is a stamp for authorizing family transactions. In those days, servants went around barefooted but sons wear shoes. 

The prodigal son also represents people. People have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. People are like lost sheep who have turned to their own way. God waits patiently for people to repent and comes back to HIm. He will forgive people who come to him in repentance. He will cover them with Christ’s robe of righteousness and restore them to sonship. 

The prodigal son also represents Christians who have back-slided in the faith. God is waiting for them to repent and turn back to him. To repent is to make a 180 degrees U-turn and return to God in repentance. God waits patiently for back-slided Christians to return to Him. 

The father had to celebrate because his son was lost and found. He was given up for dead but came home alive. The elder brother in the parable represents the self-righteous, judgmental, and hypocritical Pharisees and scribes, who scoffed at the tax collectors and sinners.  They too needed to repent and come back to God but they would not. 


People are like lost sheep who had gone astray. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for them on the cross to pay the penalty of their sins for them. There will be great joy in heaven when one sinner repents and turn back to God. 

The prodigal son came back to his senses, returned home, confessed his sin, and repented. The four steps to salvation are acknowledgment of sin, return to God, confession, and repentance. God is waiting for sinners to return to Him. 

Have you walked away from God? You can return to him right now, right where you are. In a simple prayer, confess your sin, and surrender your life to God. He is waiting for you.


Heavenly Father, thank You for the wonderful and memorable parable of the prodigal son. Thank You for looking for us to bring us home to You through Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Thank you for the wonderful gift of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. If we have walked away from You, help us to return back to You. Help us to recommit our lives to You to serve You in the kingdom of God, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

bible study devotion

Who is my neighbour?

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Luke 10:30-36

 30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (read the rest of Luke 10).


To the Jews, Good Samaritan is an oxymoron because to them, no Samaritan is good. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. The parable of the Good Samaritan is unique to the Gospel of Luke. Jesus told this parable in response to a scribe’s question  “who is my neighbour?”  


A Jew was robbed and attacked by thieves when he was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They robbed, injured, stripped, and abandoned him by the roadside in critical condition. A priest coming down from Jerusalem passed him by but was afraid to even touch him. He turned a blind eye to the man and walked by on the other side as though he was transparent. A Levite passed him by and did exactly the same. These two pious religious Jews turned a blind eye to another Jew even though he needed assistance so desperately. They were hypocrites who did not do what they preached. They did not love their neighbour as stipulated in the Mosiac law. 

 A Samaritan man passed him by, stopped, rendered first aid, took him to an inn, and looked after him. The next day, he paid the inner keeper with a promise to reimburse all subsequent expenses. 

The irony of the parable is that the most hated person in the parable is the hero. The most unlikely person to help stopped to help. The most unloved person showed love to someone who hated him. The good Samaritan man took care of the wounded man and saved his life.

Jesus answered the scribe’s question with another question. Which of these three men qualifies to be a neighbour to the man?  This is the punch line of the parable. The scribe could not even pronounce Samaritan! All he could say was, ‘’he who showed mercy’’. 

Jews hated the Samaritans and vice versa. Jews considered Samaritans as half-breeds, unclean, pariahs, outcasts, and marginalised them. 


The priest and Levite showed no compassion to another Jew even though he was in dire strait. Here is the shocking part. A Samaritan man showed love and compassion to a Jew. He saw a wounded man and not a Jew. 

Will you show love and compassion to those who need your help? Will you turn a blind eye or stop to help?

Do you love your neighbour as yourself?

Your neighbour is someone who needs your help and whom you are in a position to help.

Your neighbour may not be someone you like. 

Your neigbout=r may even be your enemy.

If you want to know who your neighbour is, go and look out for the needy, the sick, the poor, the destitute, and the marginalised. There are plenty of needy people in your neighbourhood whom you are in a position to help.

Will you be a good Samaritan to someone today?


Heavenly Father, thank You for telling us this timeless parable. Help us to reach out to those who are in need of help. Help us to see suffering people through Your eyes of love, compassion, mercy, and grace. Help us to be good Good Samaritans who will reach out to the marginalised and needy. Do not let us turn a blind eye to anyone in need. Help us cultivate the spirit of the good Samaritans, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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