bible study devotion

Saved by an angel: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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


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

Acts 5:17-23

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

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

Acts 5:17-23

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Ephesians 6:12


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

bible study devotion

Persecution: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh



Heavenly Father, we pray for Your presence to be with us as we open up the book of Acts. Thank You for making us right with You through the atoning sacrifice of Your Son. Nourish our souls, water our hearts, and deepen our roots to bear the fruit of the Spirit. Reveal Your truth to us. We pray for ears to hear, eyes to see, and minds to understand scripture, and willing hearts o obey, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 


The high priest and Sadducees and who did not believe in the resurrection arrested the apostles and threw them into jail. Meanwhile, another 5000 Jews believed in Jesus and were added to the church. The next day, the high priest and the religious rulers questioned the apostles’ authority and power to heal the paralysed man.

 Acts 4: 8-13

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “You rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we are examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 may it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, this man stands here before you whole in him. 11 He is ‘the stone which was regarded as worthless by you, the builders, which has become the head of the corner.’ Psalm 118:22. 12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that is given among men, by which we must be saved!”

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled. They recognized that they had been with Jesus.

Acts 4:8-13


Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, testified that is was Jesus of Nazareth who healed the paralysed man. Peter accused the religious leaders for murdering Jesus of Nazareth but God raised Him back to life on the third day. 

Peter quoted Psalm 118:22 that Jesus was the chief cornerstone whom they had rejected. 

The Jewish leaders were amazed at the anointing of the apostles who were uneducated, untrained, and unlearned, but noted that they were followers of Jesus.

The Jewish leaders could not deny that a great miracle had taken place.They issued a gag order to the apostles forbidding them to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.  

Peter and John rejected the gag order saying that they must obey God and not men. The Jewish leaders released them because they had no case against them. The apostles glorified God, returned to the house church, and prayed. 

The stone which the builders rejected, hath become the chief cornerstone

Psalm 118:22


The apostles were not afraid of men. Are you afraid of men? The secret is prayer. If you are able to kneel before God in prayer, you will be able stand before men. Prayer is powerful. Pray faithfully, regularly, persistently, consistently, continuously, and unceasingly.

Your testimony is powerful. Share it.

Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. There is no other name under heaven by whom we can be saved Him. Believe Him.

The apostles were ordinary people who had no theological training but they were followers of Jesus. Follow Jesus.


Heavenly Father, today, we saw the boldness of the apostles. Even though they were uneducated, they spoke, preached, and prayed very well because they knew Jesus and they were Spirit filled. Help us to walk with You and follow You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

bible study devotion

Master of dreams: devotion

Dr Andrew C S Koh

Image with the word Dream
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Joseph was thrown into the prison, but the LORD was with him and prospered him. The prison warden trusted Joseph so much that he made him in charge of the prison. The Lord gave Joseph the gift of leadership, prophecy, and dream interpretation.

Pharaoh was angry with his chief cupbearer and chief baker for something that they did. He threw them into the prison where Joseph was in charge. One night, both of them had a dream, and they were disturbed. Joseph assured them that God would interpret their dreams.

Genesis 40:9-13

9 The chief cup bearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “In my dream, behold, a vine was in front of me, 10 and in the vine were three branches. It was as though it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters produced ripe grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.” 12 Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. 13 Within three more days, Pharaoh will lift up your head, and restore you to your office. You will give Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, the way you did when you were his cup bearer. 

Genesis 40:9-13


The chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph. In his dream, he was holding a vine with three branches that budded, blossomed, and produced ripe grapes. He pressed the grapes into Pharaoh’s cup and Pharaoh drank from it. Joseph replied that the three branches represented three days. Pharaoh would restore him back to be his chief cupbearer in three days.

Upon hearing this, the chief baker also told his dream to Joseph. In his dream, he had three baskets on his head. The uppermost basket contained all kinds of bread, but the birds came and ate them all. Joseph replied that the three baskets represented three days. In three days, Pharaoh would hang him on a tree and the birds would eat his flesh. 

Sure enough, Joseph’s interpretation of the dreams came true to the exact details. On the third day, Pharaoh celebrated his birthday with a grand feast. He restored the chief cupbearer but hung the chief baker.  However, the chief cupbearer forgot about Joseph and did not plead his case to Pharaoh.


Joseph prospered because the Lord was with him. He prospered in the face of adversity, in Potiphar’s house and now in the prison. 

Joseph acknowledged the Lord as the interpreter of the dreams. He gave all the glory to the Lord. He did not boast about his ability. Did you give all glory and honour to the Lord? The Christian life is all about Him and nothing about you and me. He must increase and we must decrease.

Potiphar threw Joseph into the prison because his wife tempted, seduced, and framed him with false charges.

If you are successful in your career, you will face many temptations. This is when you must be extra careful. You need to walk humbly before the Lord and be obedient to His calling. Claim the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13.

No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13


Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us spiritual gifts to serve You in the kingdom. We give You all the praise, glory, honour, and power. We acknowledge that without You, we cannot do anything. The kingdom of God is all about You, and nothing is about us. You must increase, and we must decrease, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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bible study devotion

Charge it to my account: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Philemon: 10-25

Philemon is a story of 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.



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. 


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”. 


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. 

bible study devotion

Grace and Peace: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Paul wrote 4 prison epistles during his first Roman imprisonment between AD 60-62, Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon. Nero arrested Paul and put him under house arrest in Rome where he awaited trial. He lived in a house chained to a Roman Pretorian guard 24 hours a day. Epaphras visited Paul with a love gift from the Collosian church. 

Philemon was a wealthy man from Colossae whom Paul converted and mentored in Ephesus. He (Philemon) returned to Colossae and planted the Colossian house church. Onesimus was one of Philemon’s slaves who ran away and escaped to Rome. There, Onesimus met Paul who converted and mentored him. Tychicus accompanied Onesimus to Philemon with this personal letter from Paul, Colossians 4:7-9. Ancient Colossae was a Roman province along the Lycus River valley in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey.

Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him

Acts 28:16

 Philemon: 1-9.

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon, our beloved fellow worker, to the beloved Apphia, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the assembly in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers,hearing of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints, that the fellowship of your faith may become effective in the knowledge of every good thing which is in us in Christ Jesus. For we have much joy and comfort in your love because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.Therefore though I have all boldness in Christ to command you that which is appropriate, yet for love’s sake I rather beg, being such a one as Paul, the aged, but also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. 



Paul mentioned his spiritual godson, Timothy, as his co-worker, in his opening salutation. Paul considered himself a prisoner of Jesus Christ and not Nero. Paul had great insight. He new that it was Jesus Christ and not Nero who put him in prison.  Nero had no power to incarcerate and imprison Paul unless Jesus Christ sanctioned it.

Paul greeted Philemon, Apphia, and Archippus, his co-workers in the gospel. Scholars believed that Apphia was Philemon’s wife and Archippus was Philemon’s son, who was also a pastor of the Colossian house church. The Greek word for grace is “charis”, which means getting what we do not deserve to get. The Hebrew word for peace is “shalom”, which means tranquility. Paul combined the Greek greeting of grace with the Hebrew greeting of peace. Grace and peace come to us from God, the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace precedes peace. Justification and forgiveness of sin result in triple peace, peace with God, peace from God, and peace of God, Philippians 4:6-7, Romans 5:1-2. Paul was a prayer warrior. He wrestled with God in prayer every day, remembering all his friends, and co-workers, by name, and interceding for them. Paul took the time to pray specifically for Philemon.

Paul was encouraged by Philemon’s love for the Lord, love for the saints, and love for the Gospel. The Greek word for saint is “hagios”, which means holy or separated. Christians are saints because they are holy and separated to serve God. Christians are holy people and a royal priesthood, 1 Peter 2:9.

Paul was refreshed when he remembered the time he spent with Philemon in Ephesus. The Greek word for refreshed is “anapsucho”, which means relief. Paul found joy, encouragement, comfort, and relief in Philemon’s love and faithfulness.

Paul was old by now. Although he had the apostolic authority to command Philemon to free Onesimus, he preferred to be diplomatic.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

1 Peter 2:9

For this reason, I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church

1 Corinthians 4:17

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

1 Peter 2:9

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

Philippians 4:6-7

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God

Romans 5:1-2


Paul was a prayer warrior. Even though in chains, he spent time interceding for everyone. Are you a prayer warrior? Do you pray for all your family, relatives, friends, colleagues, church members, acquaintances, and co-workers, mentioning them by name and interceding for them at a personal level?

Paul rejoiced even though he was in chains. Paul thought about others even though he was incarcerated. He was Christ-centered, and others-centered but never self-centered. Are you Christ-centered, others-centered or self-centered?

Have you experienced the peace from God that transcends all understanding? Have you experienced the triple peace, peace from God, Peace with God, and the peace of God? 


Heavenly Father, help us to rejoice even when things are not going smoothly in our lives. Help us to be Christ-centered, and others-centered but never be self-centered. Help us to be prayer warriors. Help us to take the time to intercede for our family, friends, and co-workers by name, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

bible study devotion

My God shall supply: devotion

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

photo of 2 rainbows
2 rainbows

Philippians 4: 17-20


Paul, the author of Philippians, wrote this thank you letter to the Philippians Christians between AD 60-62 in the Roman prison, chained to a Roman Pretorian guard, According to church tradition, Emperor Nero released Paul in AD 62, but rearrested and beheaded him in AD 66 at the Mamertine prison in Rome. 

This is one of the 4 Pauline prison epistles,. Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon. 

The theme of Philippians is “joy and rejoice in Christ”. 


17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. 18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Philippians 1:17-20


Paul was not greedy for money. He encouraged the Philippians Christians, and us, to give generously out of a grateful heart, to receive God’s blessings in return. Paul was in chains, hungry, secluded, and needy, but his spirit soars like an eagle. He was contented, at peace, and grateful. He thanked his supporters  for their timely and generous support. God will supply all that he needed out of the abundant riches of Christ. God is no debtor to anyone. He owned every cattle on a thousand hills.  


“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully”

1 Corinthians 9:6

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” 

Luke 6:38

Memory verse

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”

Philippians 4:19


What have you got to worry about? God knows all your needs and all your problems. He will supply all that you need. Surrender your life to Him. Let Him take over the driver’s seat of your life. God will replenish the things that Covid pandemic took away. and eaten Do not throw in the towel. Trust Him. Do nor fear, just believe.


Heaven Father, thank You for abundant provisions. Help us to sow generously to the work of Your kingdom. Help us to store up treasures in heaven that lasts into eternity, in Jesus’ name, Amen