TMC Youth Min Devotio n Part 2: 10 Minutes with God

Hello Everyone!
Firstly, well done on finishing Devotion: Part 1! We do hope you have learnt something new or affirmed your faith in God! We also hope you are starting to get into the flow of doing devotion every night! 3 weeks on from Encounter 09, and I pray that you are still encountering God every single day of your life! We have all indeed experienced God in our own special way, and there is a fire burning in our hearts now that we can’t deny. It is my prayer that all of you will continue to seek the Lord each and everyday of your lives, and that He too will reveal Himself to you when you seek Him! I look forward to embarking on this second leg of devotion with you. And do continue to develop the spiritual habit of doing a devotion and quiet time with the Lord every night! It will work wonders! As mentioned in our earlier booklet, we will continue with the next 14 days of devotion here. Each night, we have assigned a youth leader to share their reflection on the day’s devotion on our Encounter blog. Do pop in every night if you are able to, to read the reflections of our leaders. After all, you might see things in a different perspective! Videos and Songs that are related to the devotion will also be posted on the blog, so tune in there! In case you have forgotten, our blog is http://encounter-09.blogspot.com. Do try to leave a tag once in a while when you visit the site so we know it’s still being looked at! And if you’d like to share a testimony or share your reflection, you can either email it in to tmcyouthmin@gmail.com or make a comment on the blog itself. Also, I’d like to encourage everyone to go out and get a journal. And pen your thoughts or your reflections down on that personal journal. I’ve kept one myself for quite a while, and looking back at it from time to time, it affirms me to show how God has continued to answer my prayers. I do hope you will start keeping one too! So here we go! In His Love, Hernshung

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

Before You Start Each Day’s Devotion

1. Decide on a time and place to meet with God each day. Try to find a place with few distractions
where you will be able to concentrate on reading the Bible and talking with God.

2. Switch off your phone or turn it to silent. And switch off your MSN, TV, Radio, iTunes etc. You don’t
want any ringtone to interrupt God!

3. And yes, put aside that iPod/iPhone as well! Sometimes, His voice is so soft, you need to be quiet
and listen carefully, or you might miss it!

4. Bring only a bible, this booklet, a notebook and a pen with you. Get comfortable and prepare to
listen to God! Answer the questions of each day in the notebook, as well as journal down any thoughts that came to mind. Or any questions that came to mind.

5. On some days, we will ask you to check out a video online (either on the URL stated, or on the
Encounter blog). Do check it out BEFORE you start devotion, and watch the WHOLE thing, not just the beginning. (Sometimes the best part is the end!) Also refrain from going on Facebook, or checking that other cool YouTube Link on the side!

6. Start some spiritual warm ups! (Huh?)
Spiritual breathing, no matter how ridiculous it might sound, is like warming up for an athlete. It will help you get in the right frame of mind to hear from God. Try this exercise: Slowly breath out, releasing all air from your lungs. Now breathe in fresh air till your lungs are filled. Spiritual exhaling is like breathing out and releasing all the sin in your life to God. Spiritual inhaling is like breathing in God’s truth and His commands. Exhale: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” – Psalm 139: 23-24 Ask God to check your heart and mind for anything that is impure. Then listen! If he brings anything to mind, agree with Him that it is sin, turn from it and thank Him for sending His Son to die for that sin. Inhale: “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no long I who live, but Jesus lives in me.” – Galatians 2:20 Ask God to help you live in a way that is pleasing to Him today. 7. Try to memorise 10 passages from the Bible by the end of the 30 days! “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” –Psalm 119:11

Day 1: Undignified

2 Samuel 6:21-22 “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel – I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.” Listen to the song “Undignified” by Matt Redman Have you ever been so happy and overjoyed, that you started dancing and singing about it, like a crazy person? We read of King David in the scripture verse today, about how we rejoiced in the Lord and celebrated before the Lord by dancing in the streets. Before you say, “That ain’t so bad…”, remember he was a King! And king’s don’t do that kind of stuff! But because He was so glad in the Lord and so overjoyed, that he just could not contain Himself any longer. And he said that I will become even more undignified than this! What does undignified mean? It means to be foolish and embarrassing. And to be undignified for Jesus, it means to do what King David did. Not have a care in the world about what other people thought, because He was willing to become foolish and embarrassed for Jesus! Imagine that! So often, we are so careful about our image in church or in school. We are always wary of whether other people are looking at us, or judging us by our actions. We think, “Man, if I do that, I’ll be like the un-coolest kid in Singapore.” But Romans 12: 2 says “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It talks about not caring of what the world thinks of you, but only care of what God thinks of you. Because in the end, He is the only one who’s opinion really matters. This verse about being undignified also applies to our worship. So often we are distracted by what people would think of us in worship. “Should I lift my hands up? But no one else is doing it.” “Everyone else is going on their knees; should I do the same?” Often we ask ourselves questions like that because we care so much about what other people are thinking of us. But we need to be ready to be undignified for God. It’s not asking you to strip and dance in the streets, but more of just doing what you feel called to do as your act of worship to God. Because really, your relationship with God is personal, but never private. Next time you enter into a time of worship, just be yourself. Let the spirit lead you into expressing your own act of worship to God. Because that’s all that matters. Today’s Prayer: Lord, help me be undignified for you. Let me dance and sing and just to be glad because You have set me free. Set me free from caring about what others think about me, because in the end, what you think is the only thing that is important to me. Thank You Lord. Amen.

Day 2: Wasting Time with God

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” How often do we take time out of our daily or even weekly schedule to just spend time in silence? One thing I’ve realised in the past few years is how important silence is and indeed how golden it is. With the new age of iPods, iTunes, and iPhones, we can now fill almost every living moment with music and noise. And we do! I find myself not being able to sit down in my room in quiet without having to turn on my iTunes, or to just sit in the train without plugging my ears with my iPod. But so often, these noises may do more harm than good. Apart from the obvious damage it does to your ears if you turn it too loud, it also does damage to your soul if you turn it on for too long! And with the earphones in, we sometimes take the wonders of God’s creation for granted and not appreciate it in its full glory. Sitting in the sanctuary during Encounter nights, I realised how important silence was in each and every one of our lives. Because it gave us time to just chat with our souls and with God. It was way easier to reflect on my life and my walk with God in the silence, than with any music on. And on Encounter Sunrise, I realised how awesome and refreshing it was to just sit there and listen to the waves crashing on the beach, the birds in the sky, even listening to the thunder reminded me of God’s wonderful creations! It just assured me that I was fearfully and wonderfully made and one his most prized creations! Sometimes the noise of our lives and the world drown out what God is saying to us. We just need to turn it down sometimes to watch out for the voice of God speaking to us! It’s like the story of Mary and Martha, where Martha is so caught up working while Mary just sits and listens. (Luke 10:38-42) We may have invited Jesus into our lives, but we end up missing out on His presence. Not because we intentionally reject Him or don’t believe in Him, but because we get overwhelmed by preparations for life. I have a book at home that I loved since I was young called “Where’s Waldo?” In the book, it contains a picture on every page filled with various characters in a scene, and our aim is to find this character called Waldo among all the others. (I hope you’ve heard of it, cos if not, you better go out and get one! It’s quite fun to do!) Our relationship with God is a lot like the Where’s Waldo book. We know that God is there (like Waldo) and He’s not hiding (like Waldo). It’s just whether we choose to seek Him or not (like Waldo). Whether we choose to not be distracted by the surroundings and the distractions around us, but focus on seeking God Himself. Then we will find Him. Sometimes we get so distracted by the things happening around, that we forget to look for God in our lives. And that’s why we need to be still and know He is God and look for Him. 1. If you have the time, in fact MAKE THE TIME, to head down to your local park in the morning or night, or even come to church early on a Sunday Morning and sit at the playground, and just spend some time in silence with God. As the passage says, let’s be still and know that He is God in our lives. 2. Write down in your journal what you felt God was speaking to you about. If you want, even draw out and colour out what you feel God is showing to you! Today’s Prayer Lord, teach me to be still and know You are the Lord of my life and all. I know You are speaking to me everyday Lord, but I also know the noises of this world and my busy schedule is drowning You out. Help me just spend some time with You in silence, so I know what Your will in my life is. Amen.

Day 3: Priority #1
Matthew 6:33 "He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the kingdom of God your primary concern." - Matthew 6:33 Stacie is back in school, which means back to Deven. Stacie and Deven have been dating for about 3 years now, and they are really serious about each other. Over the summer Stacie hated the time away from Deven. She called Deven every day at 2:00pm because she couldn't see him. Deven didn't mind because he loves her. That Wednesday Stacie goes to youth group mainly to see Deven. What Stacie doesn't know is that Deven has to work late and won't make it to youth. Their Youth Pastor starts his lesson on priorities. 'What comes first in you life?' he questions. Stacie, who isn't paying attention, is daydreaming about the next time she will get to see Deven. What is priority #1? God…Duh! In everyday life we have so much going on that it's hard to keep God priority #1. Once school starts it will be even harder. Between the big test on Friday and cramming at the last minute. How could we possibly keep God at the forefront of our minds? Every single aspect of life is screaming for our attention and wants out full focus on them. So how do we continue to keep God at the front and as our priority in life? Prayer and reading the Bible. Before cramming for that test or before going on that big date, pray. It doesn't have to be a big long prayer it can just be a whispered "thank you" or "help me". Trust that the Lord will hear your prayer. Remember that as long as You have a great need for Christ, You will have a great Christ for your need! Don’t try to fit Jesus into Your life; Rather fit your life around Jesus. Because You will never come second if you put God first in your life!

Today’s Prayer Lord, I want to put You as my priority in life. Help me continue to live a life that has You at the forefront and controlling it all. May I continue to live a life that is steered by You and a walk with you every day of my life. Amen.

Day 4: Loving my Enemy

Matthew 5:44 “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” Forgiveness is a word we juggle around a lot as a Christian. We know we’re supposed to do it, but yet sometimes it’s just so hard to do it! But yet, it’s an important part of our Christian life and as our aim in being as Christ-like as possible. Every one of us definitely has at least one person who we just can’t get along with and is easily irritated by. I used to really dislike a guy in my workplace, because he was just so sloppy in all he did, and he used to say things that irked me for the entire day. Jesus teaches us to be graceful in all we do, but sometimes, I feel that I left my grace at home since I was in such a rush. Anyway, it came to a point where I one day snapped back at him during lunch in front of our colleagues after he made a comment. I thought I was in the right and didn’t have a second thought about it. Until that night. I read this verse in my devotion and realised that I needed to seek his forgiveness for the remark I made during the day. I struggled with it all morning as it was so hard for me to do as I felt I was still in the right. But with the strength from God, I did just that and he too apologised for making insensitive remarks and that he didn’t know it was affecting me and the other colleagues until I told him so. It made me realise indeed the power of forgiveness. If we continue to judge others, we will have no time left to love them! There is a P-E-A-C-E process to undertake to love our enemies. P- Pray for ourselves and for them. E-Empathize with our enemy and see it from their perspective A-Act to extend compassion steps to them. C-Confess E- Emulate and imitators of God. Basically, think What Would Jesus Do? Through this process, it will be tough to do so. After all, as the song goes, Sorry seems to be the hardest word sometime! But remember that the Lord says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So think of it this way. It’s a team effort. You supply the weakness and God will supply you with the strength! 1. Take some time to think of someone over the past week who you are not on good terms with or who’ve you made an insensitive comment to. 2. Start the P-E-A-C-E process with them. Record the proceedings in your journal and keep praying about it! 3. Don’t just read this and say I’ll think about it. Actually do it! Today’s Prayer Lord, I know forgiving someone is so tough to do. But I also know that with the strength you give me, I will be able to do it. Help me to start loving my enemy just as you have loved me. So that I can continue to be a light shining in the dark places and on all my friends as well. Amen.

Day 5: Forgiveness – The Heart of the Matter
Luke 6:27-29 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.” Mahatma Gandhi is someone who I respect a lot from a different religion. If you ever have the time, do read about Mahatma Gandhi’s life as it really gives you a different perspective to life. Anyway, Gandhi was an ambassador of peace. Instead using violence to fight violence, he chose to use peace to fight violence. He chose to teach on the powers of peace in the world and tried his best to start a revolution that showed peace as a solution to problems. One quote he said stuck with me in my head ever since I read it. He said, “You can take an eye for an eye, but soon the whole world will be blind.” One of the best things about Christianity, that what other religion finds so radical, is that Jesus said if someone slaps you on one cheek, you turn the other cheek and let him slap the other one. While other religions such as Buddhism teaches about Karma and you getting what you deserve, Christianity teaches us about forgiveness. Forgiveness is indeed a divine act that Jesus teaches us. Forgiving someone may be the toughest thing to do, especially when someone has crossed your path quite badly. But if you did, it would feel a lot better than getting your revenge on them! A grudge is a very heavy thing to carry. It’s like trash in your house. Usually you would have to take the trash out everyday. But what happens if you don’t? It stinks up the place. Likewise, we should not store up any grudges against anyone, as it will stink up your soul and mind, and more importantly, your walk with God. As the sun rises each morning, each new day brings a new choice, do you want to be Bitter or do you want to be Better? Forgiveness is a choice. YOURS! If you are forgiven by God for your sins, then forgive others for theirs. It’s what we recite in the Lord’s prayer every Sunday, that we forgive our trespassers as He has forgiven us! In the end, remember this: Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven! And you must be the change you wish to see in this world! 1. Think of someone who you are holding a grudge against. Someone who has angered you and you can’t seem to let this go. 2. Pray about it. Ask for the courage to forgive him/her. And once you do, seek to rebuilt the friendship with them. Today’s Prayer Lord, teach me to forgive others as you have forgiven me. I know it will be hard, but I pray that with the strength you provide to me, I will be able to. Because there is freedom in the name of Jesus! Amen.

Day 6: Do not be anxious
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Check out the cool video on the Encounter Page before or after you start! One of the most persistent problems for Christians is anxiety. Yet the bible tells us not to be anxious repeatedly. Why is God so concerned with our level of anxiety? It’s because an anxious heart weighs a man down. This is the opposite of the victorious life Jesus meant for us. Worrying will stifle our spiritual life and prevent us from enjoying God’s presence and doing his will. If we are absorbed in the threat of difficult circumstances or difficult people, we are not absorbed in God. God may have given us many responsibilities but He doesn’t want us to be burdened by them. If we feel anxious or worried, it means we are not letting Jesus carry our burdens for us. We cannot witness His strength while bearing our burdens with our own strength. We must choose one or the other. We must choose the burden bearing God. Submit your anxiety and burdens to Jesus in prayer by name. Let Him lift your burdens and set your free to soar. Also pray for someone you know who is anxious or worried. Pray that they will experience the peace of God. Remember, if you worry, you didn’t pray. If you prayed, don’t worry! After all, the bible contains 365 promises of “Do Not Fear”, one for every day of the year. Today’s Prayer Lord, I present my anxieties to You. All my burdens and worries, won’t You take it away. Because I know You will give me peace and will give me strength to see it through. Amen. “Beware of anxiety. Next to sin, there is nothing that so troubles the mind, strains the heart, distresses the soul, and confuses the judgment” -William Ullathorne

Day 7: Blessed Be Your Name
Job 1: 20-22 “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped. And said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Take some time to listen to the song “Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman I’m very sure we’ve all had days where we felt like everything that could go wrong, went wrong. It felt like everyone was against you, the world was against you and sometimes even God was against you. And what do we do when it happens? Do we curse God? Do we question God? We need to learn to praise and bless His name no matter what happens. Look at Job. One moment he had 7 sons, 3 daughters, 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 oxen, 500 donkeys and a large number of servants. Then, in the space of a couple of minutes, he finds out he has lost all of them. What would we do if we were in His situation? We’d probably curse God and question Him, “God, Why Me?!!!” But we need to learn from Job. No matter what happens to us, we need to remember that He has given to us and He can take it away. But we need to continue praising the Lord. We need to fall to our knees and worship God and rejoice in Him. It’s going to be hard to do. But remember what we learnt in Encounter Sunrise? No matter how cloudy, how stormy and how rainy our days may look, we know that the Lord, like the sun, is always there, shining. We just need to let these obstacles blow over and we’ll see Him clearly once again. As we look at the stone we picked up from the ground that day, let is remind us that the Lord is always there for us no matter what. When it looks like there is only 1 footprint in the sand during troubled times, remember that we’re not walking alone, but its God who is carrying us on His shoulders during this time. When in desperation, we frantically look for sources to find joy, and often forget that joy is found in the Lord. People are like teabags- You have to put them into hot water to find out just how strong they are! Seasons of doubts will bring moments of truth. It’s easy to worship God when things are going well, but it’s another thing when things go grey. What will you do? Will you question the Lord, or will you continue to praise the Lord? Today’s prayer Lord, help me to praise you and thank you even when times seem tough. Because I know You have blessed me with many blessings, and You too can take it all away. But like the sun shines every morning, I know You are there for me. And for this, I will continue praising Your name. Amen. “Don’t blame God for creating the tiger. Thank Him for not giving it wings.” -An Ethiopian Proverb about being thankful for everything.

Day 8: Giving Back To God
Psalm 116: 12- 13 “How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.” I used to, and still do, take my sister down to MacDonald’s once in a while for lunch. Whenever we go to MacDonald’s, she always gets a happy meal, while I sometimes sit and watch her eat before taking away some chicken rice from the coffee shop next door. There was one occasion, where I decided not to eat at MacDonald’s but have my usual Chicken Rice later. So I ordered and paid for a happy meal for my sister and sat down to watch her eat it. My sister is possibly one of the worst and slowest eaters ever. With the time she finishes her meal, I could have eaten about 3 meals! So as I sat there waiting, I grew a bit hungry and asked her for a French fry. Just one piece of French fry to munch on. And she says, “No!” and pulls away her fries from my reach (I could have pretty easily reached over and grabbed one, but I decided to be nice.) I was shocked! I mean, come on, I paid for that meal and bought it for her! If I wanted, I could have gone and gotten myself another meal! She offered me the pickles she took out of her burger, but I wouldn’t settle for anything less than a French fry! In the end, after much persuasion, I got my piece of French fry from her. Isn’t this situation quite like what we are in? God provides us with everything in our life. But yet, we are hesitant to give him just even a small piece of our life back! Instead, we choose the pickles and the leftovers in our lives to give to Him. We give to God what we want to give, not what He has asked us to give. BUT God has called us to give back to Him everything in our lives. And this means, He wants the whole meal back at Him! As we learnt from Job, the Lord gives, but the Lord can also take away. How can we give back to God? We commit our lives to Him. We must yearn to live a life that is Christ-like and one that is pleasing to God. Secondly, we need to learn to serve Him. Everyone plays a huge part in church, be it as a worship leader or as an usher. Just because you aren’t on stage doesn’t mean you are doing a less important job. Because you may not be prominent, but you are definitely significant! You may feel that what you are doing is only just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop! So what can you give back to God for the things He has poured on you? How can you lift God up in your life? Take some time to think it through and ask the Lord how you can live a life pleasing to Him and serve Him in church. Today’s Prayer Lord, I want to give you everything in my life. I no longer want to give you the leftovers, but I want you to get everything Lord. May you continue to be lifted high in my life. Amen.

Day 9: The Theme Song of Your Life
Hebrews 2:18 “Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted Every one of us probably has a theme song of our life. A theme song that describes how your life is, or how you choose to live your life. What would yours sounds like? If I could guess what Christ’s song is, the chorus would probably be “I’ve been there.” Ever feel as if you need to get away? So did Jesus. (Mark 1:35) Ever had so much work that you couldn’t even stop for lunch? So did Jesus (Mark 6:31) Ever been in a misunderstanding with your family? So did Jesus (Mark 3:21) Ever been falsely accused? So did Jesus! (Matthew 26:59) Ever felt your friends had let you down? So did Jesus! (Matthew 26:40) Ever felt that someone’s out to get you? So did Jesus! But why, you ask?! Why all these similarities? Why did the Son of God go through all that, when He could have easily avoided it? Why endure it all? So that “Heis able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18) Whatever you are facing, He knows how you feel! When you turn to Him for help, He will turn to you to help! Christianity is for everyone! Jesus was the Light, so that electricians will understand Him. Jesus was the Door, so that carpenters will understand Him. Jesus was the Way, so that traffic police will understand Him. Jesus was the Truth, so that lawyers will understand Him. Jesus was the Bread of Life, so that bakers will understand Him. Jesus was the good Shepherd, so that farmers will understand Him. Jesus was the True Vine, so that gardeners will understand Him. If the world needed money, God would have sent us an economist. If the world needed entertainment, God would have sent us a comedian. If the world needed good food, God would have sent us a chef. But the world needed forgiveness and salvation, that’s why God sent us a Saviour, Jesus Christ, who came down to earth, suffered and died for us. The next time you feel that no one understands you; remember that He does because He’s gone through it all as well! And remember that God’s central promise in the bible is “I will be with You.” After all, if God is with you, if He is for you and if He is in you, whom do you have to fear?! Today’s Prayer Lord, I thank You for sending Your Son down to earth to suffer and die for us. I thank You for the love you have poured out on me. Help me remember that the next time I feel alone, I know You are there with me. Amen.

Day 10: Dear God, I have a problem... It’s me.
Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” Imagine and think of your mind as a computer. Think of your strengths as software. People who can sing or play a musical instrument are probably loaded with music programs. Others who are good in sports are probably loaded with EA sports games. Each of us are different in our own way. The smarter ones have a faster ram speed, while the slower ones, like me, have less ram speed. However, because we have software, we too have viruses. These viruses represent our sins. Satan is like a spam email. When you open the email, it starts installing viruses into your system. It injects these viruses that will start doing your system harm, until finally when your system cannot take it anymore, you crash. There are viruses like the “I Hate You” virus (Anger), the “Guilty” virus, the “Greed” virus, the “Shame” virus, the “Bitterness” virus and even the “I Love You” virus (Lust) (which is a real name of a virus by the way!). These viruses cause our system to not only slow down, but also starts causing our system to disintegrate. It causes your system to crash, and sometimes even invites other viruses to your system to corrupt it. But Jesus is the anti-virus (like Norton Anti-Virus). All you need to do is install Him into your system (aka believe in Him!) and He will wipe out all the viruses and save your system from crashing! Only with the Christ anti-virus software, can you truly be clean again and will your system go back to full efficiency. Jesus has already paid the ultimate price for you, so that you don’t have to pay anything. Sin is indeed like a virus that corrupts your soul. It chains your soul and mind in, so that you are slowly corrupted and kept in by the weight of sin. And it will continue weighing you down and pulling you away from God. But the bible offers a solution to it. All you need to do is believe in the Lord and His ability to take away all sin and break your chains of sin. And He will do it. All you need to do is believe. As Psalm 124 says, we are like birds in a cage with sin trapping us in. But God has come to set us free and open the cage door for us. All we have to do is believe in Him. In the end, remember that if you live as if God doesn’t exist, you better be right about it! The forgiveness of sin has a catch; It’s only for the guilty. Have you come before God yet and confessed you have sinned and asked for forgiveness? More importantly, do you truly believe in God and want to install Him into your heart? Then do so today! Heaven’s door has one key, and Jesus holds it. Today’s Prayer Lord, I confess my sin to You today. I know only You can take away and break the chains of sin. I believe in You and I want to live a Godly life. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You, and deny any ungodly and worldly desires in me. Amen.

Day 11: Like Jesus
Romans 8:28-29 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Mahatma Gandhi, a well-respected man of peace from India, once said of Christianity, “I like your Christ. I don’t like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” This quote has been stuck in my head for quite a while, as it just shows that it is not Christ who is unattractive to non-believers, but instead, it’s Christians who are. After all, God offered His Son to die on the cross so we can all get eternal life, when all we have to do is believe in Him! (John 3:16) God’s love is a magnet. But who are we attracting? What are the components of being Christ-like? Rev. Dr Tan Soo Inn, a local preacher, has divided it into 4 components- Knowledge, Character, Relationships and Service. Knowledge is important as we learn more about God’s Word and Truth. And with this truth that we learn from the Bible, we need to translate it into application in every sphere of our life. The Word of God must become the framework of how we live our life! We also need to develop a character that is more like Christ. In Galatians 5:22, the Bible list the fruit of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Because since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit by practicing the fruit in our everyday life! The greatest commandment is to love your God and the second is to love your neighbour. Relationships are important as it gives us an opportunity to practice to be Christ-like in our lives. We need a community to bear the fruit of the Spirit (Colossians 3:12-17) and to learn to love each other. The last component is our service to God. Philippians 2:4 says that “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.” The bible explains in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) that we need to continue to care for our neighbours and people in general in whatever we do. So we can be more like Christ in our love for others. In order for us to be more Christ-like, we need to also surrender to God our lives, become free of sin and to grow spiritually. We need to live a life that is pleasing to God, that others will see us and know that we are His disciples. Today’s Prayer Lord, teach me to be more like You. Teach me to put Your word into application in every sphere of my life and to show love to everyone around me. So that when people see me, they see Christ in me and they see a disciple of Yours. Amen.

Day 12: Being Salty and Bright
Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Today’s scripture passage is one which we are all familiar of. Even though its been used before in devotion book 1, we probably would have heard it way before that. It’s such an important (& catchy) verse of the Bible that describes how we should live our life as Christians. We need to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. But have you ever wondered why SALT and why LIGHT? Where in the world did that come from? Why can’t be sugar and be super sweet? Or why can’t we be fire and be hot? Jesus wants us to be the salt of the earth and light of the world for positive reasons. Have you ever tried eating salt by itself? It causes you to be thirsty and drink more water. Salt is also used in the kitchen as things that spice up your food and makes it more tasty (we put salt on our French fries!). And salt is also used as preservatives in the olden days, when they didn’t have the luxury of a fridge. They would sprinkle salt on the food and it would keep the food from decaying for a while longer. So when Jesus said we were to be salt of the earth, he wanted us to cause others to thirst for God! He wanted us to share God’s love with them, so much so that people would thirst and hunger for more of it! He also wanted us to spice up the world with love and make our world a better place to live in. And lastly, He wanted us to be the salt of the earth that retards the moral decay of society. We live in a world with very badly warped morals that is unpleasing to God. And He wants us to the salts that stops this moral decay of society! Jesus also says He wants us to be the light of the world. Why light? Because He wants us to live the kind of life that illuminates His truth for people. He wants us to shine His compassion into the dark places where there is so much hopelessness and despair. And He wants us to shine so that we draw people closer toward Him, the light of life. Imagine you are in a dark room. But if you have a lit candle, it will always illuminate the room. Because light always conquers darkness, and we need to be that light that conquers darkness! But we also need to take note that we learn not to be salt that stings (like it does to an open wound) or a light that is glaring (and causes others to stumble!) He wants us to be salt and light in the positive way, so that we can shine like stars in the universe! The next time you pick up a packet of salt or turn on your light, remember this: You are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. So that everyone will see your good deeds and praise our Father in heaven. Will you choose to be salty and bright? Today’s Prayer Lord, I want to be salty and a bright light for You, so that I can shine like the stars in the universe and spread Your light to places and people living in darkness. May You use me to cause others to thirst more for You. Amen.

Day 13: 3 months to live
Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Someone once showed me a website on the internet once. It tells you of the exact date you would die. Obviously, it is in no way true or accurate and is just a hoax to amuse people. So you type in your age, weight, height, your lifestyle and other information and it would project the exact date when you would ‘die’. (It said I would meet God in 3 months after I took the test, but obviously God didn’t think my work on earth was done yet!) But imagine knowing when you would die. You could remember not to make any appointments after it. You could plan your days down to the minute on what you want to do before you leave earth. In fact, you could even arrange your own funeral beforehand to how you’d like it to be. But forget all that. After reflecting on this, I realised it may have been a site used to amuse others, but it also opened my eyes and got me thinking about a question. If you had 3 months to live, would you change the way you live your life? Read the question again and just reflect on it. If you had 3 months to live, would you change the way you live your life? It’s about reflecting on how you have been living so far as a Christian. Have you been living life to the fullest in terms of your spiritual life? Our journey in life is like a room with 2 doors. We enter the room through the first door at birth. As we walk and hang around the room, it represents our journey in life. Until death, where we walk through the other door into eternity. And as we walk through that final door, we need to ask ourselves 3 questions: 1. What have I done with my life? 2. What did I do with Jesus in my life? 3. Am I ready for what happens next? Personally, I use these to question myself and reflect on my life every month. I question whether my walk with God has been good and what areas I will have to work on in the future in order for me to live my life to the fullest in Christ. Take some time to ask yourself these questions and journal it down. Every month, come back to these questions and ask yourself again. Find out in what way can you change how you live your life to make it more pleasing to Christ. Live as though Christ died yesterday, rose from the grave today, and is coming back tomorrow! Today’s Prayer Lord, I pray that you will help me to live a life pleasing to You. May You give me the strength to live a life that is Christ-like, and help me to live my life to the fullest, so that when You call me back to Your arms, I will leave with no regrets. Amen

Day 14: Fire for the Journey
Scripture: Luke. 24:13-35 The ancient mythological figure Prometheus was said to have suffered the punishment of being tied to a boulder with a vulture biting into his liver every day. His sin? He stole fire from heaven and brought it down to earth to teach human beings how to use fire for warmth, light and cooking. In that myth, the lone promethean figure paid the price for the enlightenment of human beings. There is another lonely figure etched in our minds, more powerfully than the promethean one. This Galilean (Jesus) hung on a cross. Unlike old Prometheus, he had no sin and he did not steal fire from heaven. He himself was that fire. In coming down to earth from heaven. He hung on the cross, bereft of all comfort. He died and it looked as if the fire had been snuffed out cruelly, like a candle’s flame bullied by a fierce tornado. But like the flame of one of those special candles, the flame appeared again after disappearing for a while. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and instructed them to wait for God to act. On Pentecost Day, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. Tongues of fire landed on them (Ac. 2:3). Fire had indeed come down from heaven. But what exactly is this fire? How do we know that we have this fire in us? The fire has to do with the heart. On the original Aldersgate Day (24May, 1738), John Wesley was walking along Aldersgate Street in London. He was searching for the reality of God in his life. He visited a prayer meeting and heard someone read Martin Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans. It was then that Wesley had a powerful experience, which he described as having his heart strangely warmed. This was not a new phenomenon for, centuries ago; there were two disciples who were walking along the road to Emmaus, after the death of Jesus. The risen Christ met them and talked with them, explaining the scriptures to them. Later, they recollected the event and said, “Were not our hearts burning within us?” (Lk. 34:32). And so, whether it is Aldersgate Street or Emmaus Road, fire can come down from heaven to touch our hearts. We need that fire for our journeys. We must note here that in both the instances above, fire in the heart was experienced in the context of the study of scripture. This is something often forgotten or neglected today. Any fire in the heart that has nothing to do with scripture is probably a strange or false fire (cf. Lev. 10:1). In our worship services, we can sometimes hear worship leaders saying that the congregation needs to “warm up”. What they really mean is that the congregation needs to rev up its enthusiasm to create a superficial sense of passion. This type of warming up may not have anything to do with scripture, but may be the result of creating the right atmosphere for gushy, mushy feelings warmth. The fire from heaven is the fire of truth understood and experienced. This was clearly the case in the experience of the disciples on the road to Emmaus as well as that of John Wesley at Aldersgate Street. It is possible that one can have zeal without knowledge, but as scripture teaches us, that is a dangerous thing (Ro. 10:2). Spiritual fire that does not arise from the truth of God can be destructive. In these days when how we feel is often manipulated through the psychological creation of the “right atmosphere” and the pleasant comforts that technological wizardry can produce for the eye and the ear, it is possible to whip up zeal without knowledge. We may end up celebrating our personal and organizational successes rather than the truths about God. Our passion, and what we perceive as fire within, may have to do more with personal and corporate ambition rather than the fire lit by truth from above. For a generation more concerned about success rather than truth, there is always the danger of being burned by false and destructive fires. If true fire has to do with the truth, it also has to do with love. Many Christian spiritual writers have written about the fire of love. The coldness in our hearts is removed by the flame of God’s love. This fire then manifests itself as compassion, gentleness and kindness. If the truth is the basis of true spiritual fire, then love is its evidence. Here again, there can be much confusion unfortunately, for often what goes in

the disguise of love for others is in fact love for the self. It is not uncommon for Christians to gush all over with what appears to be love. In reality such enthusiasm is often that of someone trying to sell a product. It lasts until the sale is completed. It evaporates soon after that. But there are many Christians who thankfully go beyond trying to sell the gospel. They truly attempt to love the seekers who have become brothers and sisters in the Lord. However, the enthusiasm that seeks to help and love others may come from one’s own needs rather than from the others. There is always a danger of loving others for our own sake rather than for their sake. We have to realize that true love is focused on the other rather than the self. That alone is the evidence that we carry heaven’s fire in our hearts. And how do we keep this fire burning? It is kept aflame by sacrifice. What is lit by truth and evidenced by love must be maintained by sacrifice. We are challenged by the Lord to deny ourselves, carry our crosses and follow him. The Christian passion and fire cannot be maintained conveniently simply with the whipping up of emotions or with the latest fad in managing ourselves. The fuel for this fire is selfsacrifice. This may not sound great in the ears of modern people but it is the truth. Fire is needed for the journey. Whether we are on the road to Emmaus or on Aldersgate Street, the fire from heaven must touch us and set our hearts aflame. We must carry this holy fire in our hearts as we journey home, and on the way people will be blessed. But fire is dangerous. The bible describes hell also in terms of fire – lake of fire (Rev. 20:14, 15). We must know the difference between the fire from heaven and that from hell. The old warning must be heeded: “do not play with fire”. We need the fire but we should not carelessly play with it. 1. 2. How can one know the difference between personal ambition and true godly zeal? How is spiritual fire related to truth and love? How this fire is kept burning in your heart?

Today’s Prayer Lord, I have encountered You and I know that You are so real in my life. I now have a fire in my heart that is burning brightly for You. May it never be extinguish. Lord, please continue to fan the flame in my heart that I will continue to burn for You. And that this fire for the journey will be one that will set others ablaze to yearn for You. I do not want to go back to living a lukewarm life. Instead Lord, May I be living a life that is on fire for You! Amen.

Day 15: The Why? Generation
The world is made up of places and every place has a history. And every place’s history is reflected in what becomes its culture. And culture is ultimately defined through its people. And the people, well they are the future! And so if we can reverse this around, people, and ultimately, we are the ones creating history. So here’s a question for us to ponder on: If we are the future, how is it going to look? If our generation is remembered for iPods, Facebook and Youtube, then I think we’ve missed it! If history speaks of our generation as self indulgent pioneers of the digital age and reality television, then we have failed in our writing of history. The world will change by itself, for better or for worse. It changes every single day. But who will be the ones who shape it? And, how will it look? Those who study history know that history is marked by revolutions. Be it social or political; some represented freedom, victory and justice, while others represented despair, oppression and injustice. I think it’s time for a revolution driven by a desire and passion for truth, love and justice. Thomas Jefferson once said, “Every generation needs a revolution.” Our generation needs one to look, sound, walk and breathe a lot like love. It’s not a new concept, It’s an eternal concept. It’s basically the reason why we are alive! It’s a fundamental call of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Love God, Love People and Love life. That’s it. It’s about the people in the places being the answer for the places. And together, we can be the answer to the bigger problems. It’s about your backyard and it’s about my backyard. The world has watered down love to slogans and t-shirts, lollipop songs and popcorn munching excursions. But we throw the word “love” around without any meaning. We confuse its definition and we diminish our understand of God’s command. Love is the quintessential human emotion. It is the desire of every human being to experience and express love. God Himself is love. And He desires for us to love Him and to love others. That’s His two greatest commandments! He commands us to be on a mission to be a generation that expresses our worship, and expresses our heart for worship in the action of love. Towards God, towards the world we live in and the people in it. It’s not just about highlighting the darkness, but becoming the light that diminishes the darkness. We need to inspire our generation to BE that generation that makes a change. A generation that speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves, defend the rights of all those who have nothing. I’m not implying that we can change the world, because we probably can’t. But I’m saying that when a generation stands together arm in arm, we can change our worlds. It only takes one person to cause change, only one to make a difference, one person to start a revolution and one person to make history. If this is the case, imagine what ten, a hundred, a thousand or even a generation can do?! Instead of being the Y generation as we’re often called, let’s be the WHY generation, asking ourselves WHY are we on earth, WHY do things happen and truly make a difference. After all we’re not sent on earth to mark time, God sent us here to make a difference. You must be the change you wish to see in this world. Being saved costs us nothing, but being a disciple will cost us everything. Many Christians just live saved; But the bible calls us to live called! Rather than be a generation that serves history, let us be a generation that makes history! How will you choose to live your life today onwards? Today’s Prayer Lord, I want to be living a life called to do Your will. Show me how I can make a difference to the people around me and to the world at large. Help me to be a shining light for You! Amen.

“The single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lives, then walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyles. That is what an unbelievable world simply finds unbelievable.” –A famous Atheist.

Hello again!
Well done on finishing this journey with us! We hope you have learnt something along the way about this God we pray to, worship to and seek! I hope your faith has been strengthened, your understanding of God has improved and that your walk with God is now well on the way. As we carry on from here, I hope this will not be the end of your quiet times. I hope you will continue and carry on doing quiet time and devotion every night. If you need resources, do feel free to approach your youth leader or email us at tmcyouthmin@gmail.com and we will direct you to some appropriate resources or you can search for it yourself below. On top of this, we hope you now have a yearning to know God more and to walk a deeper walk with the Lord now. Here are some steps on what you could do from here on to continue to grow deeper and further in the Lord:

1. Join a small group- We have a few small groups already set up, but are
always looking to either add to the numbers or to even start one if we could! So do let us know if you are interested in being part of a small group and we can find you one! It’s really not as boring as you think! Ask those that are already in one! 2. Join an accountability group – One of the best ways to keep up your walk with God is to keep each other accountable. Find 2 other friends of the same spiritual level and start an accountability group with them. Meet with them on a fortnightly basis and share how your walk with God is going, as well as any burdens or struggles you are facing. If you do set one up, please inform a Tim, Terri or myself (Hernshung) so we can help the group through it as well! 3. Find yourself a mentor- A mentor is very important in each person’s walk with the Lord as the mentor will hold you accountable in your life and will be seeking to help you in any problems. Mentors tend to be quite a bit older than you and will be ‘trained’ in helping you grow in your walk with God. I highly advise each and every person to get a mentor as from a personal experience, they will be vital in helping you with any obstacles faced in your walk with God. Do approach Tim, Terri or myself if you’d like a mentor and we will try our best to find you an appropriate mentor that will walk with you in your Christian life. 4. Join a Baptism/Membership Course- If you are 16 and over and have yet to be baptised, you may want to consider joining the next baptism class available. Please watch out for announcements on the main church bulletin. We hope to hear from you soon! And we look forward to continuing to help you develop your faith and draw you into a deeper relationship with God. Remember that the YMMs are here to help you in your walk with God in any way we can. All you need to do is approach us! Continue to be God-loving children of the Lord and shine His light on everyone around you, so that they may see your good deeds and praise the Father in heaven. The Lord bless you and keep you each and every day of your life.

In His Everlasting Love, Hernshung

More Devotional Resources
YOU WANT MORE?!

The Internet is an excellent resource of daily devotions as
well. You can check out some at: • • • Our Daily Bread: http://www.rbc.org/odb/odb.shtml Heartlight: http://www.heartlight.org/ Our Daily Journey: http://www.ourdailyjourney.org/

OR IF YOU PREFER A BOOK ON HAND…
pop down to a Christian bookshop near you to hunt for a devotion you are comfortable with. Here are two which we recommend: • • SKS Books: http://www.sksbooks.com; 315 Outram Road, Tan Boon Liat Building, #09-03 Tecman: http://www.tecman.com.sg/; 231 Bain St, Bras

Basah Complex; #04-01

OR APPROACH US TODAY FOR RECOMMENDATIONS!

This Devotional Booklet Brought to You by:

TMC youth ministry
Website: http://tmcyouthmin.blogspot.com Devotional blog:http://encounter-09.blogspot.com Email: tmcyouthmin@gmail.com