40.Day.Week4

JULY 23

THE WINNERS’ CIRCLE

HEBREWS 11:32-34 | And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets — 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection.

Faith accomplishes great things (JOHN CHRYSOSTOM). Looking at his watch, so to speak, the Preacher sighs. What more shall I say? Then he quickly rounds off his illustrations with a grand finale of faith exploits by God’s people.

Gideon routs an army with trumpets and lanterns. Samson brings down a pagan temple with his bare hands. David topples a mighty giant with a sling and a stone. Daniel sleeps with a pride of hungry lions and wakes up in one piece. Three youths emerge from an incinerator with hair unsinged and no smell of smoke.

The heroes of faith in today’s text enforced justice, obtained promises, escaped death, grew strong in weakness, and mighty in war. They tasted the thrill of victory and the joy of vindication in the here and now.

By including ambivalent examples such as Jephthah and Barak, the Preacher assures his most ordinary and practical listeners that conquest faith is within their grasp. They too can become strong in weakness and overcome the challenges that sap their energy and tempt them to abandon faith and church (3:12-14; 10:25).

God has also given each of us a seed of faith that can move mountains. Don’t waste it. The alternative to persevering faith is a poisoning despair that leads to depression or suicide in the long run. Faith is compulsory. All who approach God must believe that he exists and that he will do great things for those who seek him.

Thou shalt believe. Trust in God and his promises at all times, in every situation, through every test. Draw courage from all the examples in Hebrews 11. These faith heroes shine like stars in the best-selling book ever written — the Bible. Celebrate their victories. Trust God for yours. Satan cannot possibly win every battle. The final victory belongs to the Lord and all his people. This is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith (1 JOHN 5:4).

Attempt great things. Accomplish great things (WILLIAM CAREY).

THE WINNERS’ CIRCLE

HEBREWS 11:32-34 | And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets — 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection.

Faith accomplishes great things (JOHN CHRYSOSTOM). Looking at his watch, so to speak, the Preacher sighs. What more shall I say? Then he quickly rounds off his illustrations with a grand finale of faith exploits by God’s people.

Gideon routs an army with trumpets and lanterns. Samson brings down a pagan

 

JULY 23

temple with his bare hands. David topples a mighty giant with a sling and a stone. Daniel sleeps with a pride of hungry lions and wakes up in one piece. Three youths emerge from an incinerator with hair unsinged and no smell of smoke.

The heroes of faith in today’s text enforced justice, obtained promises, escaped death, grew strong in weakness, and mighty in war. They tasted the thrill of victory and the joy of vindication in the here and now.

By including ambivalent examples such as Jephthah and Barak, the Preacher assures his most ordinary and practical listeners that conquest faith is within their grasp. They too can become strong in weakness and overcome the challenges that sap their energy and tempt them to abandon faith and church (3:12-14; 10:25).

God has also given each of us a seed of faith that can move mountains. Don’t waste it. The alternative to persevering faith is a poisoning despair that leads to depression or suicide in the long run. Faith is compulsory. All who approach God must believe that he exists and that he will do great things for those who seek him.

Thou shalt believe. Trust in God and his promises at all times, in every situation, through every test. Draw courage from all the examples in Hebrews 11. These faith heroes shine like stars in the best-selling book ever written — the Bible. Celebrate their victories. Trust God for yours. Satan cannot possibly win every battle. The final victory belongs to the Lord and all his people. This is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith (1 JOHN 5:4).

Attempt great things. Accomplish great things (WILLIAM CAREY).

Prayer Track

■ There is a seed of courage hidden (often deeply, it is true) in the heart of the fattest and most timid hobbit, waiting for some final and desperate danger to make it grow (J.R.R. TOLKIEN). The worst things that happen to us can be the best things for us (CHARLES COLSON). Ask God to use Covid-19 and other desperate dangers to grow seeds of faith and courage that he has hidden deep in your heart. Tough times don’t last, but people of faith do. Confess boldly: Lord, you have given me ample faith to meet every test. Christ in me is greater than all other powers in this world (1 JOHN 4:4). The worst they can do to me will only bring out the best in me. It’s not the size of the Goliath I face, but the greatness of Christ in me. When I pass through the fire, I shall not be burned. When I am surrounded by lions, you will shut their mouths. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear (PSALM 27:3). I wait for your salvation, O LORD (GENESIS 49:18).

■ Covid-19 is a crisis we will never forget. Is it bringing out the best of the Singapore Church? Pray for the heads of denominations and all pastors in our city. Ask God to use the crisis to grow seeds of faith and courage in their hearts. In the fear of the Lord, may they speak with one another more than ever before (MALACHI 3:16). May they listen to one another, learn from one another, pray with one another. May they put their heads and hearts together to re-imagine the Church of the future — not based on cool technology and consumer preference (bewitched by convenience), but based on sound theology (persuaded by why we do what we do as the Body of Christ). With wit and will and wisdom from above, may they unite to topple the goliaths of our day. May we together emerge from this crisis a winners’ circle, a healthier Body, wiser, sharper, bolder, stronger in faith.

■ During the Circuit-Breaker, SaltandLight and Thir.st did a deep dive survey on the emotional and spiritual state of Christians in Singapore. The biggest takeaway is this: A person’s walk with God has a significant, statistically provable impact on how he/she responds to circumstances (EDRIC SNG). The findings show that those aged 18 to 25 were the worst affected in terms of their emotional state, anxiety level, and walk with God. To their credit, these young adults said that, post-Covid, they would prefer in-person gatherings to online church. Pray. Turn these findings into mighty intercession: May we listen. May we self-examine. In what ways have we contributed to their inability to cope? An over-abundance of the trite and trivial at the expense of solid discipleship and nurture? May we learn lessons from this and respond rightly. Each young person is a precious work in progress. Each one is a future leader of faith at home, at work, at church, in the public square. A potential mountain-mover, history-maker, shining star in the Hall of Faith. Pray.

Prayer Track

■ There is a seed of courage hidden (often deeply, it is true) in the heart of the fattest and most timid hobbit, waiting for some final and desperate danger to make it grow (J.R.R. TOLKIEN). The worst things that happen to us can be the best things for us (CHARLES COLSON). Ask God to use Covid-19 and other desperate dangers to grow seeds of faith and courage that he has hidden deep in your heart. Tough times don’t last, but people of faith do. Confess boldly: Lord, you have given me ample faith to meet every test. Christ in me is greater than all other powers in this world (1 JOHN 4:4). The worst they can do to me will only bring out the best in me. It’s not the size of the Goliath I face, but the greatness of Christ in me. When I pass through the fire, I shall not be burned. When I am surrounded by lions, you will shut their mouths. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear (PSALM 27:3). I wait for your salvation, O LORD (GENESIS 49:18).

■ Covid-19 is a crisis we will never forget. Is it bringing out the best of the Singapore Church? Pray for the heads of denominations and all pastors in our city. Ask God to use the crisis to grow seeds of faith and courage in their hearts. In the fear of the Lord, may they speak with one another more than ever before (MALACHI 3:16). May they listen to one another, learn from one another, pray with one another. May they put their heads and hearts together to re-imagine the Church of the future — not based on cool technology and consumer preference (bewitched by convenience), but based on sound theology (persuaded by why we do what we do as the Body of Christ). With wit and will and wisdom from above, may they unite to topple the goliaths of our day. May we together emerge from this crisis a winners’ circle, a healthier Body, wiser, sharper, bolder, stronger in faith.

■ During the Circuit-Breaker, SaltandLight and Thir.st did a deep dive survey on the

emotional and spiritual state of Christians in Singapore. The biggest takeaway is this: A person’s walk with God has a significant, statistically provable impact on how he/she responds to circumstances (EDRIC SNG). The findings show that those aged 18 to 25 were the worst affected in terms of their emotional state, anxiety level, and walk with God. To their credit, these young adults said that, post-Covid, they would prefer in-person gatherings to online church. Pray. Turn these findings into mighty intercession: May we listen. May we self-examine. In what ways have we contributed to their inability to cope? An over-abundance of the trite and trivial at the expense of solid discipleship and nurture? May we learn lessons from this and respond rightly. Each young person is a precious work in progress. Each one is a future leader of faith at home, at work, at church, in the public square. A potential mountain-mover, history-maker, shining star in the Hall of Faith. Pray.