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bible study devotion

Sowing and reaping

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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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

Commentary

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.

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devotion

Worship in spirit and truth

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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John 4: 19-29

Setting

Jesus ministered to a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. He offered her living water and told her to bring her husband. When she said she had no husband, Jesus exposed her life of sin. She had previous 5 husbands  and was now living with a man out of wedlock. She was shocked by this revelation. Here was a man who knew everything about her. 

19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father. 22 You worship that which you don’t know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah comes, he who is called Christ. When he has come, he will declare to us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who speaks to you.” 27 At this, his disciples came. They marveled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, “What are you looking for?” or, “Why do you speak with her?” 28 So the woman left her water pot, went away into the city, and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?”

John 4:19-29

Commentary

The woman called Jesus a prophet. The Samaritans worshiped God on Mount Gerizim while the Jews worship God on Mount Zion. She wanted to know where was the right place to worship God. Jesus replied, it was not the where but the who. God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. The Samaritans got it wrong. Their theology was wrong. Their Samaritans Bible was incomplete, inaccurate, and adulterated. They only accept the first 5 books of the Bible and they changed the words extensively. Salvation was for the Jews first and then only to the Gentiles, Romans 1:16.

God is spirit and truth. A true worshiper worship God in spirit and truth, with correct doctrine and theology. Jesus revealed His Messianic identity to her i.e. I AM. When the disciples came back, they were shocked to see Jesus talking to a Samaritan woman.

She left the bucket at the well with the joy of living water (Holy Spirit) bubbling within her.  She went to town with her testimony.  She invited them to come and see Jesus who knew everything about her. Could this be the Messiah?, she asked. The town people followed her back to the well.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek

Romans 1:16,

 

I AM who I AM

Exodus 3:4

Application

Jesus knows everything about you and me. You cannot hide anything from His omnicient power. If you sinned, you must confess, repent, and come clean, 1 John 1:9.  

Have you ever told anyone what the Lord has done for you in your life? Share out your testimony. Your testimony is very powerful and life saving. No one can dispute your testimony. 

God is spirit and truth. You must worship God in spirit and truth. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life. Speaking of Himself as truth, Jesus said that you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. Jesus is I AM, YHWH, the pre-existing, self-existing, eternal, and only true God. 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

1 John 1:9

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we pray that You will open our hearts to hear, feel, touch, and understand what You are saying to us. We asked for the presence of the Holy Spirit to teach, guide, comfort, convict, rebuke, and train us in righteousness. You came to seek and save the lost, the weak, the poor, the rejected, and the marginalized. May we never walk away from You unchanged after every encounter with You, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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devotion

Devotion: woman, water, and well

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Prayer

Heavenly Father, we commit to You our daily devotion. Holy Spirit we pray that You will explain, teach, reveal, and give us spiritual insight and understanding, in Jesus’ name, Amen

Setting

Jesus took the shortest route from Judea to Galilee by traveling directly northward stopping in Samaria. This was not the usual route. The Jews bypass Samaria by going through Perea, eastward, northward, and westward into Galilee. Jesus took the road less travelled. 

Jesus arrived at Jacob’s well in Sychar at noon, tired, hungry, and thirsty from the long walk,. The disciples went into the city to buy food. Jesus, who was fully man and fully God felt tired, thirsty, and hungry. A Samaritan woman came to draw water. This was most unusual. Woman came to the well in the morning or evening to draw water, socialise, and gossip. This woman came at 12 noon knowing that no other women would be there. 

John 4:7-18

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. So where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his children and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I don’t get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered, “I have no husband.”Jesus said to her, “You said well, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly.”

John 4:7-18

Commentary

Jesus had a divine appointment to seek and save this unnamed Samaritan woman. When Jesus asked her for a drink, she was shocked because Jews and Samaritans were sworn enemies. In the first-century world, a woman was not allowed to talk with a man in public. This was forbidden, unacceptable, and even scandalous. Jesus broke the social, cultural, and gender divide in His opening gambit! Jesus, the gift of God, spoke to her! If only she knew! Here was a spiritually thirsty woman who looked for satisfaction in the well of relationship with other men but could not find it. Jesus’ brilliant ice breaker was to ask for water and He was ready to give her the living water of the Holy Spirit, John 7:37-39.

The woman was shocked. Here was a Jewish rabbi asking her for a drink!  Jesus spoke spiritually but she thought physically. She blurted out a rhetorical question, are you greater than Jacob?  Jesus responded that drinking water from this well would not satisfy her spiritual thirst. 

The woman was caught, hook, line, and sinker!. She wanted the living water! When Jesus told her to go home and bring her husband, she could not answer. With omniscient power, Jesus exposed her sin revealing that she had 5 previous husbands and the present man in her life was not her husband. Jesus exposed her sin to convict her to repentance. 

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them’. By this, he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified 

John 7: 37-39,

Application

Here is evangelism 101 masterclass. How do you talk with a stranger? How do you break the ice? Ask a simple question. Jesus was thirsty and the woman came to draw water with a bucket. It was very natural to ask for water. Use this approach. Start a small talk by asking a question with eye contact to build a bridge. Be sincere, friendly, and genuine. You are trying to break into a stranger’s world and he/she may be going through some hard times. Break down social, racial, political, gender, or religious divide. Jesus did it and so must you and me. 

Drinking water will only quench the thirst temporarily. What she, and everyone need is Jesus Christ, the living water of eternal life. Only Jesus can satisfy the thirst of relationship with the God of creation. Physicist Blaise Pascal said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ”. 

What wells are you drinking from? Are you drinking from the material wells of the world? None of these wells can satisfy the longings of your heart. Only the well of Jesus Christ can give you true inner and lasting satisfaction. Will you turn to Him?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, the waters of worldly pursuit makes us thirst for more. We need a drink from You to satisfy us for eternity. Fill us with Living Water, Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth, and Spirit of Life. You came to seek and save those that are lost. You went out of Your way to save to a lowly, unnamed, despised, and immoral woman of Samaria. Thank You for Your grace, mercy, loving-kindness, and faithfulness, 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.

Description:

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.

Reviews:

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 greatest of these is love

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Prayer

Heavenly Father, open our spiritual eyes to see, ears to hear, minds to understand, and hearts to apply and obey the truth of Your words. Help us engage in Your word for the transformation of hearts and renewal of minds, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Love is not a spiritual gift but it is the first fruit of the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Commentary

1 Corinthians 13 is the love chapter.

The Greek word for love is agape, which means selfless, sacrificial love, and unconditional love. Agape is the highest form of love. 

Without love, speaking in tongues is noisy and irritating. Without love, prophesy, words of knowledge, faith, selfless giving, and even martyrdom are valueless in God’s eyes. 

Paul spelled out the 17 characteristics of what love is, what love is not, and what love does and does not do. Love is patient, kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, not rude, not abusive, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not rejoice in evil and injustice, rejoices in truth, never gives up, always trusts, always hopes, always persevere, never fails. Even, prophecies, tongues, and knowledge will fail but not love. 

On this side of eternity, we do not have full revelation, perfect vision, and comprehensive knowledge. Our speech, understanding, and thoughts are only partial at best. We are works in progress being sanctified by the Holy Spirit into spiritual maturity. 

Comparing the three virtues of love, faith, and hope, the greatest of these is love.

Application

Love is the first and greatest fruit of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23. Love covers a multitude of sins, 1 Peter 4:8. Love is the greatest commandment, horizontal love to others, and vertical love to God, Matthew 22:23.

Do you love the Lord with all your hearts, souls, and minds? Do you love your neighbour as yourself? 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23, NIV

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8

Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

Matthew 22:23

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for teaching us to love. Help us to obey Your commandment to love You with all our hearts, souls, and minds and to love our neighbours as ourselves. Help us to love others just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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bible study devotion

Devotion: charge that to my account

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Philemon: 10-25

Philemon is a story on providence. Onesimus escaped to Rome and met the great apostle Paul. Paul saved his soul and gave him a new life, a new faith, a new hope, and a new beginning. Reconciled to his old master Philemon and freed from slavery, he served his new master Jesus Christ. 

Philemon 10-25

10 I beg you for my child, whom I have become the father of in my chains, Onesimus,11 who once was useless to you, but now is useful to you and to me. 12 I am sending him back. Therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, 13 whom I desired to keep with me, that on your behalf he might serve me in my chains for the Good News. 14 But I was willing to do nothing without your consent, that your goodness would not be as of necessity, but of free will. 15 For perhaps he was therefore separated from you for a while, that you would have him forever, 16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much rather to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. 17 If then you count me a partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 But if he has wronged you at all or owes you anything, put that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it (not to mention to you that you owe to me even your own self besides).20 Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in the Lord. 21 Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even beyond what I say. 22 Also, prepare a guest room for me, for I hope that through your prayers I will be restored to you.23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Philemon:10-25

Commentary

Paul converted, mentored, and adopted Onesimus as his spiritual godson. Onesimus in Greek means useful. Note the wordplay. The Greek word for useless is “achreston”. The Greek word for useful is “euchreston”. Onesimus, (useful), who was once useless (achreston) to Philemon was now useful (euchestron) to him. 

When he knew that Onesimus ran away from Philemon, he quickly sent Onesimus back to him. He urged Philemon to extend his right hand of fellowship to Onesimus.  

Paul wanted to keep Onesimus but not without Philemon’s blessing. Paul urged Philemon to receive Onesimus as a brother in Christ and set him free. In the first-century world, a runaway slave had committed a capital crime. Paul took a risk by sending Onesimus back. Onesimus could face capital punishment. 

Paul told Philemon to charge all of Onesimus’s crimes into his (Paul’s) account reminding him (Philemon) that he owed him (Paul) his soul. Paul emphasised that he hand-wrote this letter. 

Paul urged Philemon to forgive and release Onesimus. Paul requested Philemon to pray for his own release and prepare a guest room for him

Paul was a team player with a personal touch. He sent greetings from Epaphras, Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke. Epaphras was also a prisoner in Rome. He pronounced a blessing of grace to Philemon. 

Application

Onesimus ran away from his master. Have you run away from your master Jesus Christ? If you have, you must come back to Him and be useful to Him again, 1 John 1:9. 

No matter what circumstances you may be facing today it will eventually work for good in your favour. You may not see it now but you will see it in the future, Romans 8:28. 

You and I are sinners before a Holy God. We owed a debt of sin to God that we could never repay. Jesus Christ paid for our sin debt 2000 years ago, when He died on the cross. Jesus charged our debt of sin into His account.

According to tradition, Philemon forgave and freed Onesimus and he became a bishop of Ephesus. Onesimus was arrested, tortured, and martyred for his faith.

Jesus Christ forgave us. He restored us to fellowship when we come back to him in repentance.

Romans 6: 23, “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord’’.

2 Corinthians 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”.

Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”. 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the epistle of Philemon. Thank You for the promise of Romans 8:28. Thank You for the forgiveness of sins, salvation by grace, justification by faith in Christ, sanctification, and the gift of eternal life. We pray for those who have run away from You to return back to You and be useful to You in the kingdom again, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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bible study book launch devotion

Book Launch

Manna of Life Daily Devotions, by Dr. Andrew C S Koh, 18/1/2023

Hey shalom, we hope this finds you well. We thank God for His grace upon us this New Year to have achieved Amazon’s No 1 best-sellers for three books, Memoirs of a doctor, kindle edition, 1 Corinthians, kindle edition, and Acts, kindle edition. We are launching our new book, Manna of Life, Daily Devotions, on 18/1/2023. Please help us by purchasing this book from amazon.com or other participating retailers for $ 0.99 on 18//1/2023 as this will help us in our ranking.Please leave a review after reading.  Here are the retailer’s links to Manna of Life:

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Thank you for your support!

Reviews

Manna of Life is a unique 20-day devotional book. Each day’s devotion contains a selected scripture, then provides a commentary on the verses for us to gain a fuller knowledge of God’s Word, Brad Simon, Amazon, Goodreads, 5 stars

In this devotional booklet, each day starts with a verse-by-verse commentary, followed by application and prayer. I enjoyed reading this devotional booklet, Ruth wu Wong, Amazon, Bookbub, Goodreads, 5 stars

This is the perfect book to read a passage daily, contemplate the word of God, and enrich your life daily. It is a concise yet enriching book for a Christian, Rowan E. Creech, Goodreads, 5 stars.

It’s a daily devotion that encourages readers to further enrich their lives to love God better and practice their faith which gives more meaning to their lives, J. Sharmani, Goodreads, 5 stars

Dr. Andrew C S Koh has created daily devotions from 20 carefully selected Bible passages and given them new life with his original insights. Each devotion includes practical ways for the Christian to apply Scripture to his or her everyday situations, and a prayer to bring the reader closer to God. My favorite is Stones of Remembrances, Hilary Walker, Goodreads, 5 stars

A 20-day devotional book. The dialogue in each passage will assist in the reader’s understanding of the scriptures and how they apply to our daily lives, PAR, Goodreads, 5 stars

Easy to read and study God’s Word devotional. A perfect reflection on the Journey of Christ. Recommend this book to all, T Townsend, Amazon, Goodreads, 5 stars

Manna of Life Daily Devotions by Dr. Andrew C S Koh is an inspirational book, it touches on lots of important topics that cause the reader to stop and think, Borgia Swaby, Goodreads, 4 stars

It is a nice devotional to stop and ponder about the word of God, Malgorzata B, Amazon, 3 stars

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book review books

1 Corinthians: the greatest of these is love

By Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Amazon Ranking No 1 in King James Christian Bibles.

Foreword:

by Archbishop Ng Moon Hing, Anglican Archbishop of Southeast Asia

Many people, including Christians, are looking for a perfect church. Someone once said this aptly, ‘

If you find a perfect church, please do not join it; because once you join it, it will become imperfect.’

Christians today are always very critical of their church and leadership. They seem to think that the grass is greener next door. They are unconsciously hoping for a ‘Garden of Eden’ within their church. Unfortunately, some Christians resolve to leave their church, which is imperfect, and journey to the next church, which they think is better.

Reviews:

Dr. Andrew C S Koh has done a wonderful job in creating this Bible study on 1st Corinthians. As a Religious Studies major, this book of the Bible was one of my favorites to study and it was nice to have this book to revisit those favorite passages and dwell in thought on them

R E Creech, Goodreads, Bookbub, 5 stars

1 Corinthians is a Christ-centered, life-changing, Bible study, and daily devotional guide for readers from all walks of life. Dr. Andrew C S Koh emphasized that all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and all are given for us to learn and grow. The study is well-written, and broken down into units for each participant to review and learn from the word of God. I received this novel from StoryOrigin. This review is my honest opinion

P A Reinert, Goodreads, 5 stars

A Great Read and a very inspiring book on the teaching of Apostle Paul. A clear explanation of each chapter for a good Bible study. Apostle Paul did not mince words but was very direct in his words. His great love for God was shown in these teachings. There are inspiring prayers too in each chapter. I found this book very informative and better understand these teachings. I am on the ARC team. I leave an honest review. I also recommend this book to other readers

S Jeyaram, Amazon, 5 stars

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bible study devotion

New Year Devotion: breaking 400 years of silence

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

For a permanently free book go to: https://books2read.com/u/3kYJlN

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Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us hungry and thirsty hearts 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.

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.”

Mark 1:1-8

Introduction

The 4 gospels gave us 4 perspectives of the life of Jesus from 4 camera angles. 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.  He used the three words, ‘and’, ‘now’, and ‘immediately’ as he moved from one scene to the next. Scholars believed that Mark wrote about himself in Mark 14: 51. Mark was not an eye-witness of Jesus. According to traditions, Mark relied heavily on the input of his spiritual god-father and mentor Peter, an eye-witness,1 Peter 5:13. Mark, or John 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. 

Commentary

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. Mark did not begin his gospel with a genealogy of Jesus. In the first-century world, a servant’s genealogy was not important. Malachi prophesied John the Baptist’s coming as a forerunner of Jesus 400 years before Christ. Isaiah prophesied John the Baptist’s coming as a forerunner of Jesus, 740 years before Christ.

John was a hairy and rough-looking man who wore a garment made with camel hair and a belt around his waist. His appearance resembled Elijah’s. John the Baptist was a Nazarite, from birth Luke 1:15. He ate locusts and wild honey. Some bible scholars believed he ate the carob pods from the carob tree and not the real locusts. The carob pod is also called the locust bean or St. John’s bread. He probably ate wild honey derived from the dates palm and not real honey. Referring to Jesus, John the Baptist said that he was not worthy even to be His slave. John the Baptist baptized his disciples with a water baptism of repentance. Jesus will baptize His disciples 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.

Application

Jesus Christ’s appearance in Jordan broke the 400 years of prophetic silence between Malachi and Mark. After 400 years, God finally spoke in the voice of a real person, Jesus Christ, the God-Man, the Second Person of the Trinity., Hebrews 1:1-2. God became a man and moved into the neighborhood, John 1:14, the message paraphrased version. 

Malachi and Isaiah prophesied the coming of John the Baptist as the forerunner of Jesus Christ 400 and 740 years before Christ respectively. The statistical chance of this happening is 1 in 10 to the power of 17. What if I tell you that Jesus Christ fulfilled 381 Old Testament prophecies? This proves beyond any doubt that the Bible is from God, 2 Timothy 3:16.

Jesus Christ came to earth 2000 years ago, lived a perfect life, and died a cruel death on the cross to pay the punishment for people’s sins. God loved people so much, He sent His Son to die for them so that whoever believes in Him will not die but will live forever, John 3:16, paraphrased. Do you believe this? John the Baptist was the messenger and waymaker for God. Jesus Christ is the message, and Way to God. 

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.

Hebrews 1:1-2

The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.

John 1:14, the message

Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness.

2 Timothy 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Prayer

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 when You send Your Son to the world as Messiah. Thank You that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the punishment of our sins for us. Thank You for the forgiveness of sins, salvation by grace, justification by faith, sanctification by the Holy Spirit, and the promise of eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Categories
bible study devotion

Devotion: spiritual heartburn

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Prayer:

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

Context

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

Commentary

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?

Application

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

Prayer

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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