The Priority of LOVE (Part 4) - Awkward Love

The Christian God exists eternally in a Trinity of loving relationships – Father, Son, and Spirit. God created us as the object of his love and invites us to participate in a community of loving friendships. As we fully understand how much God loves us, we are able to love others from a strong foundation of acceptance, significance, security, and purpose. A Community Characterised by Forgiveness Because of sin, loving others is not always easy. In fact, sometimes it is awkward. This is especially so when people act in ways that offend or cause hurt to us. Situations such as... Read more →

The Priority of LOVE (Part 3) - I Am Loved

The foundation of our love for others is a revelation of God’s love for us. The most important question in your life is not how much you love others or even how much you love God. It is how much do you think God loves you. Everything flows from this. Once we grasp and fully understand how much God loves us and allow that love to transform our lives, we are in a much better place to reach out in love to those around about us. In contrast, when we are unaware of God’s love for us, we can tend... Read more →

The Priority of LOVE (Part 2) - Original Love

Relationships in Turmoil Despite the fact that there are many good things happening in our world today, it doesn’t take a lot of insight to realize that we are a time of turmoil – especially in our relationships. At our very core, human beings are relational creatures. We have this tendency to ‘herd’ - to want to be together with other people. Deep inside, we have longings for belonging, for acceptance, for love, for intimacy and for meaning – all of which are found in a relationship with others. Yet despite our obvious need and our best efforts, there is... Read more →

The Priority of LOVE (Part 1)

The fairly new church in the bustling seaport city of Corinth back in AD 65 was booming. It was a dynamic charismatic and Pentecostal community attracting pagans and religious people alike. The meetings were pumping - inspiring worship times, sensational preaching, insightful teaching, as well as regular healings and miracles. It was the place to encounter God. The Holy Spirit was at work in powerful ways. But something was wrong. In the midst of all the growth and hype about this church, a kind of spiritual cancer had subtly set in. Yes, it was good at pretty much everything ...... Read more →

The Book of Job and the Question of Suffering (Part 3)

Today, we conclude our reflections on the book of Job. What the book of Job CAN do for us: 1. It teaches us to be careful and compassionate in how we respond to people who are suffering. When people are suffering, they don’t need theological debates (“maybe this is an attack from the devil”), personal accusations (“maybe God is punishing you for sin in your life”) or advice for a ‘quick fix’ to their calamity (“if only you had more faith in God …”). They need our empathy, our support, and our friendship. In the end, Job’s friends became his... Read more →

The Book of Job and the Question of Suffering (Part 2)

Today, we continue our reflections on the book of Job. What the book of Job does NOT do for us: 1. It does not answer the question as to 'why' there is suffering in the world today. Theodicy (the search for the origin and nature of suffering and evil) remains an unsolved mystery. Suffering is not merely a theological or philosophical problem, it is a human problem that no one is immune to, though some people suffer more than others. Yes, God does intend our good (Romans 8:28) but that doesn't mean that we will always figure out how our... Read more →

The Book of Job and the Question of Suffering (Part 1)

Over the last few months, I have been slowly reading through the book of Job in The Message Bible translation, reflecting on it, and also reading John Walton's excellent commentary on Job in the NIV Application Commentary series, as well as Tremper Longman III's book on Job in the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms. The book of Job is a 'classic' in ancient literature and one of the most intriguing books in the Bible. It outlines the story of a man named Job who was one of the wealthiest people in the ancient Near East. Suddenly,... Read more →

The Greatest Love Song of All Time (Pt.2)

Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to read through the Song of Songs - an extraordinary love poem. How can we apply the insights from this love poem to our own lives today? What efforts are you making to keep the romance of your love relationship alive? What things can you do to cultivate a greater desire for the one who you love? In what ways can you further affirm the value and dignity of the opposite sex/gender? Wisdom calls us to loving and exclusive commitment, not to a rampant promiscuity which turns sex into a mere commodity. Read Proverbs 5:15-19... Read more →

Easter Reflections

The signs of Easter are all around us - cooler weather, school holidays, an upcoming long weekend, hot cross buns and extra church services to cater to people's faith which comes in all shapes and sizes. For many people, it is also a time to reflect on some important events that took place over 2,000 years ago - the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No doubt, this is the foundation of the Christian faith. If Christ did not die and rise again, then our faith is useless (1 Corinthians 15:13-14). The Gospels all tell us WHAT happened during... Read more →


A few years ago, when I was on a week-long prayer and silent retreat, I had just finished dinner and I walked out to the retreat centre's garden area. A lot of it was over-grown and unkept but there were some beautiful spots. Great places to sit, meditate, reflect and pray. I had this image of being invited into fellowship with the Trinity. I put 3 chairs in a semi-circle in front of where I was sitting - one for the Father, one for the Son, and one for the Spirit. It was quite impacting. I could feel their warmth... Read more →

OMEGA: How Will It All End?

'End Times' Fever One of the last questions Jesus’ disciples asked him was about the end of the world (see Matthew 24:1-3). After the resurrection and at the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth, he ascended up to heaven. As he did, two angels appeared and boldly proclaimed, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:10-11).” The last recorded words of the ascended Jesus are in the book of Revelation. They were... Read more →

End Times Fever

The topic of the ‘end of the world’ has been one of interest to humans since time began but it has intensified in recent years. Church History Here is a quick overview of what has taken place from the end of New Testament times up until today: 1. Many people have speculated about the time of the second coming and the end of the world as we know it. Even in 100 AD there were believers who thought it was immanent. In the early 200s, Hippolytus of Rome predicted that Christ would come in 496 AD, working out this date... Read more →

A Church United

John 17 is the longest recorded prayer of Jesus and it reveals what was important to him. After praying for himself (vs.1-5) and his disciples (vs.6-19), he prayed for all who would believe in him – for the church yet to born (vs.20-26). Nearest to Jesus’ heart was his concern for the unity of his followers. So how are we doing at being “united”, as Jesus prayed? The Centre for the Study of Global Christianity estimates that there were 34,000 denominations in the year 2000 rising to 43,000 in 2012. These are all “Christian” denominations, not those of other faiths... Read more →

Jesus: I AM the Way

John 14:1-7. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we... Read more →

Life is Not Fair, But God is Good (Pt.6)

God will create a better future. The future will be different than the past. Our ultimate hope lies in the future return of Christ and the promise that, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more mourning, crying and pain will be no more” (Revelation 21:4). Good will triumph over evil. Until then, like Job, we must persevere in the face of suffering, placing our hope in the goodness of God that promises us that, “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).” Jesus... Read more →

Life is Not Fair, But God is Good (Pt.5)

God can bring good out of our pain. God can use it for a positive purpose. Adversity can bring out untapped depths of character and faith. Beethoven was at his zenith, a well-known, respected, loved composer in Vienna. Then, tragedy of tragedies, his hearing began to go. A degenerative disease destroyed his hearing until he was totally deaf. He could not hear a sound. Unfair? Of course! Of all people to be denied hearing, Beethoven should have been the last. It was a loss for humanity. He left the music world of Vienna and it seemed as if he would... Read more →

Life is Not Fair, But God is Good (Pt.4)

God is also just. Belief in God’s sovereignty alone is not enough to get Job through his terrible suffering. Job also believes that God is just. God rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked. This is the belief of double retribution, which according to Harley, declares that “the righteous are always blessed and the wicked experience untold hardship, leading to premature death”. However, daily experience is often not in harmony with this belief. The wicked may seem to prosper and the righteous may seem to be cursed. Job’s current situation is definitely a vivid example of this kind of contradiction.... Read more →

Life is Not Fair, But God is Good (Pt.3)

God did not create the world “bad”. God did not create the world the way it is today. When the world was created it was “good” (Gen.1-2). There was no pain or suffering. It was a paradise. But man rebelled against God’s commands and sin came into the world. We now live in a damaged, fallen and sinful world where things are not as they should be. Evil, injustice and wickedness are very much alive. This is a fact of life and not to be confused with the acts of God. Can we blame God for all the evil in... Read more →

Life is Not Fair, But God is Good (Pt.2)

There are many examples of suffering and pain: Moral evil relates to choices that people make that end up hurting others. This includes things such as violence, abuse and war – all which cause much pain – and the slaughter of innocent people, such as occurred in the Holocaust. At the office, it could be that you've been working hard but your friend gets a promotion and you get laid off. In the family, it could be a divorce, abuse, conflict or a painful argument. Natural evil are catastrophes and includes things such as injury and suffering caused by disease,... Read more →

Life is Not Fair, But God is Good (Pt.1)

The question of pain and suffering is one of the most difficult issues to address of any area of human life. At some point in our life journey, we ask, “If God is good, then why does he allow such terrible suffering and pain to exist?” Despite many attempts throughout the centuries, there are no adequate answers to this question. Evil continues to exist in our world and “all our reflections on providence and evil remain broken and incomplete (Migliore).” There is also a real danger of merely giving trite or simplistic answers, but the truth is that there are... Read more →