mmmm matthew 6 mmmm

Mmmm Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken with Tomato Rice Mmmm

In Sydney, we have delicious Asian Food thanks to multiculturalism!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

No one can serve 2 masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Matthew 6:24

There is an old saying “Money makes the world go round.”

Many people watch their bank balances & stock markets closely.

Everyone is worried that we don’t have enough money.

We just want more and more money.

Even when we are wealthy, we are never satisfied.

Our wealth and livelihoods are at the mercy of global stock markets.

We cannot predict with certainty when the next crash will occur.

The Bible passage above is a challenge to all who follow Jesus.

Jesus was teaching his disciples about how to live in his kingdom.

A large crowd was also listening to his teaching.

Jesus’ teaching was revolutionary and counter-cultural 2,000 years ago.

His teaching is still relevant and a stark reminder to us today.

It is impossible to serve 2 masters because they have conflicting demands.

Anyone who has ever worked for 2 bosses knows this.

1 boss wants something & the other wants the complete opposite at the same time.

Money can be very demanding if we constantly worry about our financial security.

Pursuing wealth through workaholism can damage our health & family relationships.

Instead Jesus reminds everyone to be fully devoted to him instead.

We are to trust him with our lives instead of worrying about money:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33

We need to ensure that we are actually in his kingdom.

Do you know him as your King and Saviour?

He promises that if we follow him, he will look after us.

He knows that we need food, clothes and shelter in our daily lives.

So where do we place money in our lives?

  1. God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit occupy No. 1 place in our lives.
  2. Our relationships with family, friends and other followers are in 2nd place.
  3. Money is in 3rd place.

So if we trust Jesus, what does it mean to “seek first his kingdom”?

Here are some suggestions:

  • We spend time ensuring that our family & friends know Jesus.
  • We encourage other followers to pursue righteousness.
  • We may even give up our careers to tell the world about Jesus.

How are you seeking God’s kingdom?

Do those around you know that you are in His kingdom?

How can others see that God is in No.1 place in your life?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm john 3 16 mmmm

Mmmm Sydney Italian Pasta Mmmm

In Australia, we have delicious European Food thanks to waves of migration!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

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

John 3:16

Sydney has been shocked by another radical terrorist attack:

A 15 year-old boy targeted a Police station and shot dead a civilian employee.

America has been shocked by yet another mass shooting:

A 26 year-old gunman targeted a College in the US state of Oregon and killed 9 people.

The Syrian Civil War has claimed more than 200,000 lives since 2011.

Death tragically robs families of loved ones, often unexpectedly.

Is there any hope in our world so stained by death?

The verse above is the most famous and most quoted in the Bible.

Why? Because it sums up the message of the entire book so succinctly.

The Bible tells us that God created the world and mankind.

The devil tricked Adam & Eve into rebelling against God.

God punished them with death.

God still loved mankind and gave us a second chance.

He promised that 1 of Adam’s descendants would defeat the devil in the future.

The Old Testament follows these descendants such as King David in Israel.

King David ruled over a peaceful kingdom, but did not defeat the devil.

Within 2 generations this kingdom was divided and eventually invaded by Babylon.

Prophets predicted that a Saviour would redeem his people.

The Jews desperately wanted freedom and the restoration of their own kingdom.

Jesus was born during Roman occupation of Israel.

He did not defeat the Romans as the Jews expected.

Instead Jesus came to save the whole world by dying on a cross.

His death gives us life and signals the devil’s defeat is imminent.

Jesus will finally defeat the devil and eliminate the stain of sin and death.

This Earth with terrorism, mass shootings, wars and death will be destroyed.

Jesus offers eternal life and entry into God’s kingdom.

This offer is open to everyone in the world including the Jews.

We have the chance to live again after we die.

God will create a new Earth that will be free from pain and death.

How can you have hope while surrounded by death in this world?

What will happen after you die?

For Christians, do those around you know your hope for the new creation?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm mark 10 mmmm

Mmmm Japanese Beef Udon Noodles on a Freezing Day Mmmm

In Australia, we have awesome Asian Food because we are so close to Asia!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:45

If we believe our world’s news media, the goal for humans is to be rich, powerful and famous.

No one aspires to be a servant at the bottom of our social hierarchy!

The Bible takes a completely different view that is counter-cultural and anti-establishment.

The verse above is unique to Mark and Matthew’s gospel accounts.

It encapsulates Jesus’ mission so simply and yet so clearly.

Judea was under Roman colonial rule during the 1st Century AD.

The Jews hated Roman occupation of their land and paying taxes to Caesar.

They were hoping the promised Messiah would free them from foreign control.

They were looking forward to a mighty warrior like King David who conquered the Philistines.

They expected to live again in peace and prosperity under their own king.

Jesus was not the Messiah the Jews were expecting.

Jesus came from humble beginnings being born in a manger, not in a palace.

He liked calling himself the “Son of Man” to honour his human parents.

There was nothing about Jesus’ human appearance that was attractive or “kingly”.

He did not carry a sword or lead a rebel mob aiming to attack the Romans.

He was not a champion like King David who killed Israel’s enemies.

He was not surrounded by multitudes of servants, as most kings are.

Instead, Jesus was the complete opposite to everyone’s expectations of royalty.

Inexplicably, he came to serve, not to be served.

How many kings do you know who choose to be the lowest servant in society?

How did Jesus serve?

He gave his life as a ransom for many.

Everyone is captive to sin which results in death.

Jesus sacrificed his life to pay the price for our freedom.

He took the punishment that we deserved by dying in our place.

Jesus gave up his kingship and became a servant to save us.

God raised him to life again as King of the Universe.

Jesus offers eternal life with him after we die and exit this world.

Death is not the end for those who trust in Jesus.

No one can avoid death.

A common saying states that the 2 certainties on earth are death and taxes.

What will happen to you after you die?

Do you want to live forever after you die?

Who do you trust to save you?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 1 john 4 mmmm

Mmmm French & Italian Patisserie Mmmm

In Australia, we have beautiful cakes & pastries made by Europeans!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:7-10

Our world is constantly searching for love.

We are born into families and are loved by our parents.

Our parents love us selflessly and seek the best for us.

As children we depend on and love them in return.

Growing up, we love our friends at school, university & work.

We enjoy fun times laughing with our mates.

As we leave home, we seek love in finding the right partner.

We settle down in a new home and begin a family.

And the cycle of love starts again with the birth of children.

Our society bombards us with countless love songs & movies.

We are conditioned to believe that love = sex.

Society tries to convince us that erotic love is the ultimate goal in life.

But many of us don’t find a partner and remain single.

Many marriages end in divorce leaving people single again.

Some relationships end tragically with domestic violence.

The Bible passage above talks about love better than sex.

In fact, God is love.

God’s love is supremely higher than anything else in the universe.

God loved us humans even when we were his enemies.

He did not wait for us to love him before trying to save us.

God sent his only son Jesus to pay for our sins by dying on a cross.

Our sin is the barrier between us and God.

Now that Jesus has removed this barrier, we can experience true love with God.

We now have “real” life and a relationship with the Creator of the Universe.

This amazing love now motivates us to love & care for everyone else.

Because of God, Christians reach out beyond their immediate family & friends.

Christians also care for their neighbours & the disadvantaged in our community.

Christians share Jesus with everyone who needs physical & spiritual help.

Have you found the “true” love that is better than sex?

Do you have a loving relationship with God that is eternal?

For Christians, how are you helping your neighbours & sharing Jesus with them?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 2 thessalonians 2 mmmm

Mmmm Fettuccine Marinara with Prawns & Scallops Mmmm

In Australia, we have the freshest seafood caught locally!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College last semester, I ate big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Our world continues to be shocked by global terrorism.

France, Kuwait & Tunisia have seen deadly attacks recently.

Christians are being openly persecuted in Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan & Syria.

The New Testament letters were written to persecuted Christians.

2000 years ago, Christians were under attack from jealous Jews and the Roman Empire.

They faced discrimination, violence and even death for following Jesus.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians to encourage these suffering Christians.

He reminded them that God chose and saved them through the gospel.

Through the Holy Spirit, they were made clean to stand before God.

They would share in the glory given to the risen Jesus.

This was amazing news to downtrodden people.

Paul encouraged them to stand firm and remain strong in the faith.

They were to remember the gospel teaching about Jesus.

Only Jesus gives eternal life to those who trust in him.

There is no other way to heaven and no other name that brings salvation.

Christians do not place their hope in money and careers which are only temporary.

Christians hope for eternal life with Jesus.

So those who are terrorised in this world will eventually see peace in heaven.

Death and fear will be replaced by life and love in God’s presence.

Do you fear death?

What do you hope for?

For Christians – are you living today with an eternal perspective?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm james 1 mmmm

Mmmm Cha Siu Bao (BBQ Pork Buns) at Yumcha Mmmm

In Australia, we have excellent Cantonese Food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, my Missions subject has been delicious.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

James 1:2-5

Nepal has been hit by 2 major earthquakes recently with thousands dead.

Our TV screens have been filled with scenes of complete devastation.

How are we to understand this suffering and misery?

Eastern religions may say that angry gods are punishing humans.

These “gods” may be displeased with poor sacrifices offered to them by followers.

Christianity takes a different view.

Christians experience real pain and are not immune to suffering.

Much of the New Testament was written to encourage suffering Christians.

2000 years ago, Christians faced natural disasters, shipwrecks, famines and sickness.

They also faced religious persecution, imprisonment, torture and even the death penalty.

Suffering was part of normal life and expectations of Jesus’ followers.

James wrote to Christians and even called them to be joyful in suffering.

This sounds like a crazy idea, but he gave a good reason for joy.

Suffering tests our faith in God and produces perseverance.

If we persevere in trusting Jesus, we develop a stronger and more mature character.

We can even ask God for wisdom and strength while enduring suffering.

Suffering causes us to cry out to God in pain – this is a natural response.

God wants us to closely depend on Him in prayer during good and bad times.

We can pray that He will comfort and give us the peace that surpasses understanding.

Jesus understands our suffering – he suffered death on a cross to bring us forgiveness.

God does not promise us a pain-free life.

He does promise us eternal life if we trust in Jesus.

So how does this give us hope?

We know that this world with earthquakes is not our permanent home.

We are only passing through on our way to heaven.

So this pain and suffering is only temporary – it will eventually come to an end.

So let us pray that emergency aid and comfort reaches Nepal soon.

But let us also pray that the Nepali people will trust in the one true God.

How do you cope with suffering?

Who do you call for help and are they trustworthy?

Is your pain-relief temporary or everlasting?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 1 thessalonians 4 mmmm

Mmmm Har Gau (Prawn dumplings) at Yumcha Mmmm

In Australia, we have the freshest seafood!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College last semester, I ate big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

1 Thessalonians 4:14

The world has just witnessed the mass slaughter of Christians in Kenya.

Islamic terrorists burst onto a university campus and killed 148 innocent students.

These gunmen asked the students whether they were Christian and shot them.

Sadly these terrorist attacks are not isolated to Kenya.

Christians are also being terrorised in Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.

Death is a tragedy robbing families of loved ones.

The bible verse above gives hope to those who believe in Jesus.

Jesus died and rose again – this is what is celebrated at Easter.

Jesus took our punishment and died on a cross in our place.

God raised him to life again as King of the Universe.

Jesus will return again to judge the whole world.

1 Thessalonians 4 describes the second coming of Christ.

The New Testament author uses an interesting euphemism in this verse.

Those who have died have “fallen asleep”.

This is like our polite expression “passed away” for our dearly departed.

Fallen asleep” suggests something temporary instead of permanent death.

Those who fall asleep will wake up again feeling refreshed.

So Christians who die will rise again to have new life in heaven with Jesus.

Non-Christians who die will face permanent death in hell.

So even though it is a great tragedy, those Kenyan Christian students are now in heaven.

Their Christian parents will see them again – they are not lost forever.

What will happen to you after you die?

Do you want to awake again in heaven?

Or do you want to be lost in hell forever?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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