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  Midweek Music: Scandal Of Grace
3 May 2013 | Lawrence Kam


Song Title: Scandal Of Grace
Album: Zion (2013)
Artist: Hillsong United
Scandal of Grace is a single from Hillsong United's latest album "Zion". The song speaks about grace in a paradoxical light, that there is nothing we have done or possibly do to deserve it. As the first verse goes, "grace" was murdered for us and accused in the absence of wrong. Maybe the nature of "grace" is best summed up by this line: "the scandal of grace / you died in my place / so my soul will live".

Joel Houston explains the intriguing title of the song. "When we think about scandalous, we think about something that is wrong, negative, but I love the paradoxical nature of the Gospel and the fact is the grace of God through Jesus is completely scandalous," he says.

"It is the reason they crucified Jesus, because of who he said he was and what he was there to do and it is the reason why so many people now have a hard time accepting the love and grace of Jesus."

What is your take on God's grace?



Lyrics:
Grace, what have you done?
Murdered for me on that cross
Accused in absence of wrong
My sin washed away in your blood

Too much to make sense of it all
I know that your love breaks my fall
The scandal of grace, you died in my place
So my soul will live

Oh to be like you
(To) Give all I have just to know you
Jesus, there's no one besides you
Forever the hope in my heart

Death, where is your sting?
Your power is as dead as my sin
The cross has taught me to live
In mercy, my heart now to sing

The day and it's trouble shall come
I know that your strength is enough
The scandal of grace, you died in my place
So my soul will live

And it's all because of you, Jesus
It's all because of you, Jesus
It's all because of your love
And my soul will live

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Sunday Wrap: A Time To Be Born
29 April 2013 | Lawrence Kam


Topic: A Time To Be Born
Bible Passage: Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
Speaker: Pastor Andrew Yeo
Last Sunday, we had the privilege of having Pastor Andrew Yeo speaking at JYM. He is a local singer-songwriter signed to Integrity Music, as well as a pastor of The City Church, a church plant of Cornerstone Community Church. Sharing his life story and testimony, it was a wonderful opportunity to hear from a young man who had been radically transformed by the grace of God.

Pastor Andrew reminds us that we all have the power of choice. We can choose to be happy or sad, living in the victorious life in Jesus or remain in our sin. However, there are certain things we cannot choose, like our names, our parents and our families' social status. We may have been born into difficult or unpleasant circumstances, broken or financially-challenged families.

However, the Bible tells us that God knew us even before we were born. Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you" and in Psalm 138:13, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." We have been "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). God knows what we were created for. He created us for a purpose.

We can find ourselves in the worst of situations, just as Job did. We may seem to lose everything, but God challenges us to praise Him still. This is the choice we can make. We can choose to praise God in spite of our circumstances and live with the purpose that God has created us for. As John 10:10 states, the devil comes to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus came so that we may have life, and have it to the fullest.

Do visit Pastor Andrew Yeo's website and support his work and ministry!

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Sunday Wrap: Forgiving
11 March 2013 | Glenn Chan


Sermon Series: Characters of Jesus Christ
Topic: Forgiving
Speaker: Glenn Chan
Jim Elliot, with a group of missionaries, were trying to evangelise to the Quechua Indians in Ecuador. They begin to search by plane for a way to establish contact with the Waodoni tribe. After several attempts and friendly gestures, they finally made contact with a small group of Waodoni. As the missionaries were on the way to visit the village, they were brutally murdered by the tribe. However, the story does not end here. Elisabeth Elliot, Jim's wife, decided to forgive the very same group of people who murdered her husband and visit them. She lived with them for a few years and shared the gospel. As a result, a church was established and many Waodoni Indians became Christian.

In our lives we may never need to forgive others who have hurt us to such an extent, but have we forgiven those who have hurt or offended us in any way? Or, on the flip side  have we sought forgiveness from those we have offended?

"Forgiving and being forgiven are two names for the same thing. The important thing is that a discord has been resolved." - C.S. Lewis

A character of God is forgiveness (see Psalm 86:5, 103:8-12, Ephesians 1:7). Jesus, on the cross, said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Even while hanging on the cross, Jesus forgave the people who crucified him. Alexander Pope once said, "To err is human, to forgive divine."

The devil tells us two things to two groups of people. First, that our problem is so bad we cannot be forgiven. However, God can forgive the worst of sins ("with God all things are possible", Matt 19:26). Second, the devil may tell us that we have nothing to be forgiven for. But there might be a sin we commit but we are oblivious to. Ultimately, forgiveness is for everyone.

Forgiveness is the basis of Christianity.

1. Forgiveness is not weakness, but strength. It is the ultimate portal to Jesus.

We accept the power of God when we forgive (Phil 4:13). However, forgiveness is not forfeiting justice, rather, it is allowing God to be the judge (Rom 12:17-21).

2. Forgiveness declares that the gospel is true, not by minimising sin but declaring that it has been paid full by Jesus' death on the cross.

When we forgive, we declare that God's plans are the best and we give up the possibility of a better past. Also, the blood of Jesus is the prerequisite to forgiveness and has paid in full for all our sins.
 
3. Forgiveness sets you free.

If we do not forgive and instead seek revenge, we harm ourselves in the process. Joyce Meyer said, "To be full of bitterness and unforgiveness is like drinking poison hoping it will hurt your enemies."

Unforgiveness, at the root of it all, is unbelief in God. 

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." Matthew 18:21-22

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Sunday Wrap: Faithfulness
4 March 2013 | Ryan Kam


Sermon Series: Characters Of Jesus Christ
Topic: Faithfulness
Speaker: Ryan Kam
"Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?" (Proverbs 20:6) Kenneth Liew, whose wife fell into a coma five years ago, kept his promise to cherish and love her in sickness and health. The Bible often uses marriage and romance to communicate faithfulness to us (see Eph 5:25, Jer 2:2). A great Biblical example is Hosea, encapsulated in Hosea 3:1. God asked Hosea to love his unfaithful wife just as how God loved the unfaithful Israelites.

Luke 21:34 states three things that will lure us away from God: carousing (overindulgence), drunkenness (temporal pleasures) and anxieties of life. However, we can follow the example of Jesus in being faithful to God.

1. Prayer

In Luke 5:16, Jesus "often withdrew to lonely places and prayed". The demands of school and work may leave us with supposedly little time to spend with God. However, we often find ways to make time for the things in love, be it playing games or watching shows. "No time" may have ended up becoming a convenient excuse. We should instead make time for the things that are important, not just for the things we like.

The Cambridge Seven were seven students who studied in Cambridge University and ended up becoming missionaries in China. During their days in the university, they set aside the first few minutes of their mornings to pray and read the Bible, "remembering the morning watch".

2. Obedience

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said, "not my will but Yours be done." (Matthew 26:39) Jesus was obedient to even death on the cross.

Is there something dear to us that God wants us to give up? We are asked in Luke 9:23 to deny ourselves and take up our cross DAILY. Obedience to God may sometimes be a one-off decision, but is more often a daily effort.

3. The Word Of God

Jesus was tempted three times by the devil in Matthew 4, and in all three times Jesus quoted the Bible to counter the devil. We need to submit to the authority of the Word of God.

---

Stephen Coffey, a youth pastor, was in a church prayer meeting when he prayed, "I'd give my life today if it would shake the youth of the nation". That night, he died as a result of a car accident. His best friend, John Mark McMillan wrote "How He Loves" the day after as a personal response. But several years passed and McMillan wondered when the youth movement would happen, until a mutual friend urged him to release the song he wrote as a tribute. Since then, "How He Loves" has become a Christian youth anthem worldwide and has led many people back to Jesus.

Just as God is faithful to us, we are called to be faithful to Him.

Related links:

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Midweek Music: Beautiful Lord
28 February 2013 | Lawrence


Song Title: Beautiful Lord
Album: Sound Of Melodies (2006)
Artist: Leeland
Leeland Mooring was just 17 years old when he wrote and recorded this song "Beautiful Lord". The album "Sound Of Melodies" was released back in 2006 and was Grammy-nominated for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel album the following year. We may be more familiar with his other song on the same album "Tears of the Saints" but here's a beautiful song (literally) about our God. Do take notice of the well-penned and meaningful lyrics!


Lyrics:
When the storm is raging all around me
You are the peace that calms my troubled sea
And when the cares of this world darken my day
You are the light that shines and shows me the way

Oh, the beauty of Your majesty
On the cross You showed Your love for me!

Beautiful Lord, awesome and mighty
I'm captured by this love I see
Beautiful Lord, tender and holy
Your mercy brings me to my knees
It's Your mercy that has made me free
Beautiful Lord

When my sin is all that I can see
Your grace remains the shelter that I seek
And when my weakness is all I can give
Your gentle Spirit gives me strength again

Oh, the beauty of Your majesty
On the cross You showed Your love for me!

And I am lifted by Your love to sing!
It's Your mercy that has made me free!

You're beautiful, my Lord
You're beautiful, my Lord

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