Resources

Opportunities in the Midst of Loneliness

As a Christian, you may feel lonely, but you are not alone.

When our Lord Jesus was thinking about His impending trials before the authorities and crucifixion on the cross, He knew that all His disciples will desert Him and leave Him alone. Yet Jesus knew that He was not alone, for the Father was with Him:

Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.  (John 16:32)

Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ has the Holy Spirit living in them and therefore experiences the presence of God in their lives (John 14:12-17, 20). The Holy Spirit teaches Christians all things, reminds us of all the words of Jesus and guides us into all the truth (John 14:25-26; 16:13). Although God is always with Christians, we may very often not realise that He is present with us due to our plain inattention. Other reasons include fear, pain, loneliness, emptiness, guilt and shame in our lives. May all those drive us to God, rather than away from God! The reality is that God’s Spirit is with every Christian at all times, wherever one may be and whatever one may be going through. The truth is that God sees, God knows and God cares! Therefore, while we may feel lonely, especially in situations of restricted movement and social isolation, we can be confident that God is with us and learn to draw close to Him in prayer.

Some Christians have cultivated a close relationship with God and thereby learned to be better listeners to God’s voice through His Word and by His Spirit. If we want to grow in our relationship with God and the love of God, we would be wise to learn from fellow-disciples who are more advanced in the Christian spiritual life through their discipline and consistent practices. Below, we have recommended several books on that subject for your prayerful reading and personal practice. May this year truly be for all of us a year of spiritual transformation and greater discipleship!

Written by Ps Ivan Ho

During the ongoing pandemic crisis, here are some recommended resources, so that you can take opportunities to connect with God and to care for your body and soul.

Connect with God

SERMON

“Taking Opportunities in the Midst of Loneliness”, by Ps Matthew Lo: https://sermonresources.cefc.org.sg/file/1553

MEDITATING ON SCRIPTURE

Psalm 25:14-18

Psalm 27:9-10

Psalm 68:5-6

Psalm 147:3

Isaiah 41:10

Isaiah 41:13

Matthew 28:19-20

John 14:12-20

John 14:25-27

John 15:4-5

John 16:29-33

1 Corinthians 10:13

Hebrews 13:5-6

1 Peter 5:6-11

READING BOOKS ON THE CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL LIFE

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald S. Whitney

Celebration of Discipline, by Richard J. Foster

Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God, by Dallas Willard

Listening to God, by Joyce Hugget

Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life, by Marjorie Thompson

Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation, by Ruth Haley Barton

 

LISTENING TO HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS

Songs by Keith & Kristyn Getty with great lyrics and beautiful melodies:

The Lord Is My Salvationhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjOGX5zT8KU

My Heart Is Filled With Thankfulnesshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qntf2Y_VNok

The Perfect Wisdom of our Godhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSnzYnOe6kI

 

Care for self

ENGAGING IN HEALTHY ACTIVITIES

Walking:

Jogging:

While you walk or jog alone, you can pray to God, meditate on Scripture verses, listen to Christian songs or sermons.

When you walk with your spouse or family member or close Christian friend, you can engage in deeper conversations, pray for each other or intercede for other people.

 

SEEKING TRAINED AND PROFESSIONAL HELP

Wesley Counselling Serviceshttps://home.wesleymc.org/counselling

(Wesley Counselling Services provides trained Christian counsellors to assist individuals and families during their times of struggle. They also provide non-religious counselling for non-Christians.)

The Haven Counselling Centrehttps://www.sbc.edu.sg/resources/haven-counselling-centre/

(The Haven is the counselling centre in the School of Counselling in Singapore Bible College. They provide face-to-face counselling for individuals, couples and families seeking help to address relational, emotional and psychological issues in their lives.)

Care Corner Counselling Centrehttps://www.carecorner.org.sg/counselling-centre

(Their centre seeks to instill hope and build resilience in individuals, couples and families through the provision of highly subsidised counselling services and groupwork to those affected by intra and interpersonal challenges and functioning. The Mandarin hotline is free and helpful for seniors.)

Psycare Consultantshttps://www.psycare.com.sg/

(Psycare Consultants Pte. Ltd. is a private psychological practice with a culturally diverse team of clinical psychologists and psychotherapists, who are committed to apply effective techniques of Neuro-Science and psychotherapy to meet the needs of people who consult with them.)

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Daily Devo

Daily Devotional Journal

Scripture:
John 8:12-29; 17:1-8
Thu, 30 June 2022

To Glorify God in the Marketplace

Observation:

What did Jesus mean when He said, “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him” (v.29)?

Deeper Reflection
THE LORD JESUS HAD A CLEAR PURPOSE IN HIS LIFE AND ministry while on earth. It was to do the Father’s will and accomplish the mission that the Father had given Him. Jesus had a singular focus on, and an unwavering commitment to, His mission. Jesus told people that He was the light of the world − the only way to salvation and eternal life (vv.12, 23-24). He revealed the Father to the people (v.19). He spoke what the Father wanted Him to tell the people (vv.26-28). By keeping mission clear, mission focused and mission true, Jesus brought glory to His Father (Jn 17:1-4). How can we do likewise in our life and ministry as disciples of Jesus Christ?The word “ministry” comes from the Greek word diakonia69, which can also be translated as “service”. Our work in the marketplace is our service to God and to the people whom our work touches. Our work and the interactions with people that it entails are therefore rightly to be considered our marketplace ministry. Christians are during the workweek primarily marketplace ministers, or God’s servants in the marketplace. In all that we do and say, we represent God and serve God. In our interactions with people, we are to (just like Jesus) tell them the Father’s plan of salvation in the Son, reveal the Father and speak the words that the Father wants us to tell them. If we do none of these in the marketplace, we are not mission clear, mission focused and mission true. For Jesus sent His disciples to continue His mission until He returns (Jn 20:21).
69 For example, Ephesians 4:12.
Application:

What must I do now so that at the end of my present life I can also say (like Jesus) to the Father, “I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave me to do” (Jn 17:4)?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for Outreach/Missions/New Life leaders: To always seek to please and glorify God in their life and ministry
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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