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27 & 28 April 2024 (Pastoral Page) DELIGHTING IN JESUS

By Elder Lynette Shek

I have been a Christian since I was a child. Like many children brought to church from a young age, I “accepted” Christ as my Saviour many times in Sunday School. What I mean is that there would often be altar calls, and I remember raising my hands many times. At that time, I did not know what the assurance of salvation meant. It only struck home when Oi Leng (who is now our member-in-missions with Child Evangelism Fellowship in the US), who was my Sunday School teacher when I was seven, asked the class - “who is sure they will go to heaven”? No one in my class raised their hands, and she then brought us through the understanding of what salvation meant.

Since then, I have been sure of my salvation. The Bible itself has many promises of our eternal salvation, such as in John 5:24, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life”. So, if we have repented of our sins, acknowledged Jesus as our Saviour and desire Him to be the Lord of our lives, we are saved. However, the Christian journey is often one of struggles and periods of lukewarmness. Lately, I have had to revisit the basics of the Christian walk, and I thought it would be good to remind everyone (myself included) what these are.

1. A daily Bible reading. This is known as the quiet time with God, when we read a passage of Scripture, spend some time thinking about what it says and decide how to apply it to our daily lives. This is so important because we need to fill our minds with the truth of God and have a compass for each day. Read it as a letter of God’s redeeming love in Christ, not as a rulebook. However, it does help us to deal with sin. Dane Ortlund in his book “Deeper” says – “There is no special technique to mortifying sin. You simply open your Bible and let God surprise you each day with the wonder of His love, proven in Christ and experienced in the Spirit.” Note what he says. We mortify sin as we experience more and more the wonder of God’s love.

2. Communing with Him through the day. I was heartened when we did the survey on prayer in our church about 1 year ago, when the majority said that they speak to God throughout the day. For those who struggle to do so, try it. For me, I tell myself that when I am walking or waiting for the lift, I should have a conversation with God. Find your own little pockets of time when you are alone to commune with Him.

Of course, there are many more spiritual disciplines important in the Christian life, but these two are like breathing – inhaling and exhaling. We need to keep our Christian walk alive through inhaling the beauty of Scripture and breathing out our thoughts and requests to God.

One caution though. Dane Ortlund again – “A great mistake is to slather rules on our behaviour and think that external behaviour is what fosters, or even accurately reflects, spiritual growth. There is a powerful human reflex towards works righteousness. But it is the internal realities that define true growth in Christ. The Christian life is at its heart not a matter of doing more or behaving better, but of going deeper into the gospel of Jesus, of knowing His love and experiencing His presence everyday.”

Dear friends, may I invite you to join me in the journey of delighting in Jesus more and more. We start by opening our Bibles everyday and finding there the deep, deep love of God. As we are settled in the belief that God loves us more than we can imagine, let us enjoy talking to Him throughout the day, about big things and small. As you do, you will grow. You will not feel it immediately, but you will find that little by little, your own love for God will grow, and your inner person will be transformed into the person you want to be.

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