Have All of My Heart

So blind and adulterous is my heart! Lord, have mercy on me!” I want to love Jesus fully, but feel like I can never make it.

Jesus gives me hope. The Gospel according to Mark has become ever more a deeply cherished sacred biography that speaks into the brokenness of my life. I am half-blind and half-faithful in my relationship with the Loving, Sovereign, Mighty God who gave Himself for me. 

I am half-blind in my view of God’s world. I can only lean on Jesus’ mercy and grace, revealed through His healing of the blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26). The blind man said upon Jesus’ first touch, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking”. How I need Jesus’ continuing touch upon my spiritual eyes, opening them and restoring them, so that I can see this world more clearly as God sees it!

So often, I am inclined to see people in their roles and stereotypes, rather than their beloved personhood, as humans marvelously made in the glorious image of God. Worse still, my deceitful heart persuades me to define myself in terms of my roles too. The roles then lead to temptations to keep up with the image of those roles—what to say, how to say it, what to wear, what fits the expectations of the world. I am not proud of this. The apostle Peter was not proud of his follies too. But Peter in his authenticity would confess his follies and learn to boast of the living hope in Jesus Christ, through whom God’s people received God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness. Therefore, I must pray: “Lord God, please remove the scales from my eyes so that I see people as God’s beloved, not as walking trees!!”

I am half-faithful in my relationship with God. I have high aspirations to live a holy life, but I fail badly. This is clearly so when I try to live my Christ-redeemed life partly by relying on my own securities, titles, education, competencies and strengths. This is a huge danger for everyone who has anything to boast about. Our wealth (what we have) and our competencies (what we can do) can so easily minimise our being—our trust and dependence on the Lord God. We have been enamoured by God’s gracious gifts, but have forgotten God the Giver and our identity in Him. There is nothing wrong with having much and doing much, as long as our confidence is built on the foundation of our life being hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3-4), and we faithfully steward our time, talents and treasures for His glory alone.

Yet this continues to be daily challenge, like what we see in Mark 9:30-37. Soon after Jesus’ second foretelling of the way of the cross for Himself (and likewise for His disciples, cf. Mk 8:34), they argued with one another about who was the greatest! They missed Jesus’ teaching—and so often I missed it too.

Jesus did not give up on His disciples. He knew what they were made of. Yet, He forgave them and entrusted to them the mission to proclaim the good news in His name. Today, I bow once again at the feet of our Lord Jesus:

Merciful God, please forgive me. Change and cleanse me for I am a part of this “adulterous and sinful generation” (Mark 8:38). In my unbelief, Lord, help me to believe. In my partial-faithfulness, Lord, grow my faithfulness to deny myself, take up my cross daily and follow You (Mark 8:34). Thank You that the blessed assurance I have is that You, Lord, are wholly faithful to keep me for life eternal as You keep me abiding in You. Amen.

Written by Pastor Adrian Chan

For further exploration to know the God who calls us to the fullness of life in Him, please check out the following recommended resources.


SCRIPTURE

Mark 8:22-26  (Jesus heals a blind man in Bethsaida)

Mark 8:34-9:1  (Jesus’ call to the crowd and His disciples alike)

Mark 9:30-37  (Jesus’ disciples missing the point about the way of the cross)

Psalm 49  (Wealth cannot never save our souls)

Isaiah 57:3-13  (Israel’s adultery and idolatry lead to futility and God’s judgment)

Jeremiah 3:1-14  (Adulterous, unfaithful Israel called to repent of sins and return to God)


SERMONS

Don’t Hold Back”, by Rev Tan Kay Kiong: https://sermonresources.cefc.org.sg/file/1562

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”, by Rev Tan Kay Kiong: https://sermonresources.cefc.org.sg/file/1264

What Does It Profit If You Gain the World But Lose Your Soul”, by Ps Valerie Chan: https://sermonresources.cefc.org.sg/file/940

Delusional Discipleship”, by Rev Barney Lau: https://sermonresources.cefc.org.sg/file/781


SONGS

Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me”, by CityAlight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zundjUFazfg

Just As I am (I Come Broken)”, by Travis Cottrell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEUsOXdTLlM

Follow Me”, by Kelly Willard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdesAwnlqWw

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Daily Devo

Daily Devotional Journal

Scripture:
1 Samuel 22:20-23
Sat, 18 September 2021

God’s Church Will Not Die

Observation:

What is the significance of Abiathar’s escape from Saul’s slaughter of the priests?

Deeper Reflection
GOD’S FULFILMENT of His word of judgment on the house of Eli through the unjust and brutal slaughter of the priests by Saul is a divine mystery. Out of this comes another divine mystery: “But one son of Ahimelech… named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David” (v.20). In His judgment on Eli’s house, God preserved one descendant of Eli. Such is the sovereignty of God. And we must peg divine mystery to divine sovereignty. God’s preservation of one priest – albeit a descendant of Eli – out of the massive slaughter points to a divine principle: God always insistently preserves His people in the midst of destruction. The narrator shows the sharp contrast in Saul and David’s treatment of the priests to underscore this divine principle. To Ahimelech, Saul said, “You shall surely die” (1 Sam 22:16); to Abiathar, David said, “You are safe with me” (v.23). The priests of God were destroyed, but not completely. “The people of God may often be put down, but never put out. Abiathar’s escape does not mean that all God’s servants are immune from the world’s butchery, but that the world’s butchery can never wipe out all of God’s servants. The Lord does not promise that we will not die for the Kingdom of God, but the Kingdom of God will never die.”34 Jesus has made His commitment and promise that His Church will not die: “I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matt 16:18).
34 Dale Ralph Davis, 232
Application:

What does it mean for me that the Church of God will not die?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise:
  • For Church Board: To see the church as God’s Church that will not die
  • Pray for significant people:
  • Pray for those in need:
  • Pray for self:

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