Friday, September 22, 2017

Wandering in Mountains (Hebrews 11:38)

I did not expect to return to KK within 72 hours. After attending the biggest event organized by SIB in its history where 35,000 turned up over 2 nights in a stadium I drove back to College last Monday to prepare for my lectures on 3 consecutive days. Lecturing on Romans then Hebrews followed by the Malaysian Constitution yesterday I was feeling tired and as I drove at 1pm from Namaus to Ranau town then up Mount Kinabalu which took an hour for 40kms due to traffic I was struggling to keep awake. It is dangerous to drive while feeling sleepy and four days of exertion took its toll and the 3-hour drive back to KK only made it worse. LORD why do I toil and wander around mountains?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

"Inheriting Wealth" (Provide 8:21)

In the ode to Wisdom the personified Christ, the voice of wisdom says, "I traverse the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice that I may cause them who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries". Yesterday in Chapel I preached a 25 min sermon. I touched on many things in light of Malaysia Day today which is in fact our National Day when all the components came together to form the Federation of Malaysia. But my main emphasis was to encourage the College community to give thanks to God for Sabah and Sabah's place in the plan of God. As our theme for September is "all the days of the righteous" from Psalm 37,18 I spoke about how the righteous is to inherit the land, in particular the land of Sabah for the glory of God. Not in the political sense but how the State of Sabah will be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the seas. I talked about the peace that the righteous possess and that to have peace in our lives material blessings are important as well.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Romans Detour: Galatians

After reaching the middle of Paul's letter to the Romans I realized I had to make a detour to Galatians. So tomorrow in 3 hours I shall be expounding on the six chapters of Galatians especially Paul's insistence that the Gentile believers do not submit to the Law of Moses represented by the circumcision rite. Galatians is an amazing letter. Everytime I read Galatians I am fired up to stand up for the truth of the Gospel and say like Paul "if I still please men I am no servant of Christ". The truth of the gospel so vehemently defended by Paul essentially is the coming together of Jews and Gentiles as one people of God with the only mark of identity being faith in Jesus Christ.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Paul's Upbringing

"...he [Paul] had learned a craft, he had probably been trained for ownership and management. He knew how to use a secretary...Paul knew how to organize and plan...This evidence of a relatively prosperous upbringing (what we may think of as good middle-class conditions) helps explains the degree he felt his poverty, and his previous prosperity is probably part of his laments in the Corinthian letters. This poverty, however, was voluntary, and in Paul's letters we do not hear the voice of the lowest level of Greco-Roman society, though sometimes he lived in abject conditions." Paul - The Apostle's Life, Letters, and Thought (EP Sanders, 2015), 144.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Ardern's Ascent

I have been watching the NZ election campaign closely since 1st August when 37-year-old Jacinda Ardern ascended to Labour party leadership. Today's polls put her party at 43% and National with just 39% the first time National fell below 40 for many years. Ardern is also winning the Prime Minister's preference stakes over Bill English by a whisker but this gap is likely to widen after the third and final leaders' debate. What has caused the change in fortune for Labour? The short answer is leadership.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Romans & Septuagintal Studies

For the past couple of days I have been struggling with the concept of sin in Romans 7. No exegete can escape the complexity of Paul's argument. Time and time again I wrestled with the Greek text looking at several English translations and penning my notes in Malay with reference to the Indonesian Bible (and occasional reference to the Bahasa Malaysia version). Teaching in a Bahasa-medium College is not easy, no less the distance one travels from the biblical text either in Hebrew or Greek and with my familiarity with the English and Malay mixed together. I am no linguist but I have to contend with these four languages almost daily in my ministry as a Bible teacher.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Taking Delight in the Lord (Psalm 37,4)

Psalm 37 is a key Psalm in many respects. It teaches the righteous person to be patient when wicked are in power because the Lord knows the days of the righteous and their vindication will come. The Psalm also teaches that despite the bleakest of circumstances inward and outward one is to take delight in the Lord. We rejoice in the Lord in afflictions and in great difficulties. It is like Job's test...shall we serve the Lord only when things are going well and the road is smooth? Shall we not love the Lord in good and bad times?

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