I am reading...
When you can't go outside, go inside! Find out what God is saying to different ones through His Word.
Journey with different individuals as they share their reflections in their Time Alone With God (TAWG). Come back monthly for more! Share with us your own via firstname.lastname@example.org!
Pastor David Chan
In June, God reminded me through Matthew 5:13-16 that I am the salt and light of the world. During the pandemic, I had been wondering how I could continue to the salt and light in my world. As part of heightened measures, my technicians (who are foreign workers) could only venture out of their lodging to work. Employers were to take care of their daily needs, such as their meals and laundry. As the manager of a project site, I took on this task. For two consecutive weeks, I travelled to various shopping malls and markets to buy lunch and dinner for them. Often I would be drenched in perspiration carrying these heavy packets of food to my work site at Bay Front Avenue. Caring for my staff's daily needs and well-being allowed me to demonstrate my Christian faith and love in action. The staff were so appreciative that they thanked me two days in a row. I thank God for the open door and I look forward to sharing the gospel to them in coming days. I have learned to serve my staff, including foreign workers, in humility. God loves all races. And whether they be locals or foreigners, so will I.
I am reading the Psalms in a different light, not just for selected verses that are popular in motivational cards. The Psalms record the cries of Psalmists who don’t understand the world they live in – be it personal struggles, injustice or suffering around them.
The cry “If God is loving, why does He allow suffering?” is still heartfelt for many in today’s pandemic. The Psalmist wrote: “When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God” (Psalm 73:16-17).
As I enter God’s sanctuary in this season of nursing a newborn, I am repeatedly reminded of the words “fullness of God in helpless babe”. When my baby wails with her helpless face, struggling to express her basic needs for which she is wholly dependent on us, I am once again amazed at the love of God. He is anguished by our faithlessness (Psalm 78), yet our powerful God chose to come as a helpless babe, experiencing all our human limitations, to fulfill His promises in the Psalms. On the cross, “love and faithfulness met together; righteousness and peace kissed each other” (Psalm 85:10). With such a love for us, surely He would care and provide for us, and “in His presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).
Brother Carlos Escobar
There are many ways to live our lives. While I was reflecting on what kind of person I would like to become, how I want people to see me, the Lord spoke to me through 1 Corinthians 13.
There are many ways to define love, but here Paul is writing to the church about “the most excellent way”. This phrase introduces one of the most beautiful descriptions of love, and it is a way of life.
The way we live is shown through our actions, thoughts, aspirations, expectations, and words. In this chapter, Paul is submitting them all to love: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
This love is to permeate all of my life – relationships, personal projects, at work, or in church, with friends, family, or complete strangers. These verses weigh in strongly in my heart.
In what ways are we living our lives? How am I living my life? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 expresses the way I want to live! Love, the most excellent way.
Pastor Melvin Wong
Since the start the Circuit Breaker, I have been drawn to the book of Psalms.
I remember during a challenging week; I was reading Psalm 40 during my TAWG. I was impacted by Psalm 40:1, “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.”
The words “inclined to me” caught my attention. I found myself reading that verse repeatedly. These words gave me an image of a loving father who leans towards me as I am talking to him. This verse tells me that God is not a God who is distant and cold.
Rather, He is a loving Father who will lean towards us when we converse with Him. It is a posture that signifies intimacy. He pays attention to us and hears our cries. This brings me great comfort and reminds me that I am loved by God.
Pastor Alice Chia
During my recent TAWG, the Holy Spirit led me to read Hebrews 13:5. God will never fail us.
When reflecting on the verse, the Holy Spirit reminded me of an encounter I had with Him a few years ago. “Search me, O God, and know my heart ......Point out anything in me that offends you” (Psalm 139:23a and 24a). At that time, I responded to the above Scripture by asking God to point out anything in me that I might have offended Him
The Holy Spirit said,“Man has failed you.” Thinking that I misheard, I asked again. Repeatedly the Holy Spirit said “Man has failed you”.
I started to cry. God revealed what was buried in my heart – my disappointments and fears. Let down by a few relationships during that period, I was fearful that God might fail me too.
So, when I was meditating on Hebrews 13:5, I felt the Holy Spirit say, “I will never fail you!’. His strong manifested presence once again ministered to me. I wept because He reconfirmed who He is and His promise to me!
Brother Stanley Yow Since the announcement of the Circuit Breaker, I've have been wondering what I can do to draw near to God without the onsite church service. I decided to embark on a one-year Bible reading plan for my TAWG.
As I did my TAWG on Luke 6, I was timely reminded to build my foundation on God's Word, with or without onsite church service.
"But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don't work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss." - Luke 6:49, MSG Bible
This verse also reminded me that the wise person hears the message and puts it into practice. I am reminded to not just know God’s Word, but also live it out. This is building my foundation on God's Word. It is what will hold me close to God, no matter what is happening around me.
The Circuit Breaker changed many things for my husband Christopher and I. We started doing morning walks and dedicated time to do our TAWG thereafter; anchoring and helping us start our day in a God-focused mind. On one morning, dark clouds loomed and it rained. Then, as quickly as it started, the rain stopped, the clouds cleared, revealing a beautiful blue sky. Witnessing this, I was reminded of Isaiah 43:19 "For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." This reminded me that God always has the final say, despite how things seem; He is in control of everything. Looking at the dark clouds, I assume rain will follow, just as forecasted; but I was wrong. Beyond those dark clouds, blue skies awaits. Just as any impossible situation, if I learn to look beyond the impossibility, and fully trust that God is in control, I will know that everything will be alright. Praise God for His plans that are always to give me hope and a future. Thank you God for this revelation and promise.
Sister Jasslyne Ng
The parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) warned about our tendency to justify our choices whenever the Word of God challenges us. It demonstrated that being a good Samaritan requires time, money, and can inconvenience. It's also not a ‘touch and go’ but requires follow up.
Soon after, I was challenged to apply this Word.
Before the Circuit Breaker, my friend’s son was hospitalized. I started to justify how sending a text message would be sufficient encouragement. After all, I was very busy with my assignments. "There really wasn't any need to visit the hospital. And she wasn't a close friend, so she might feel awkward if I showed excessive concern," I reasoned with God.
But I kept being prompted to visit. So I did, and had the chance to share Jesus with my friend's son. Before going for surgery, he smiled and said that he was no longer afraid because he knows that Jesus was with him.
God's Word is the same today as we ride the COVID-19 crisis. I am still in touch with my friend’s son now. The joy of seeing someone knowing Jesus far outweighs the inconveniences one has to make, and will continue to spur me towards love and good deeds.
As I was reading Hosea, I could feel God’s love and heartache.
Hosea married an adulterous woman, redeemed her from her lover, reconciled with her & loved her despite what she had done. Though I cannot imagine anyone in his right mind would do that, I believe it sends out a strong message of God’s love for His people. Hosea 2:14-23 is a beautiful love letter. How can anyone remain nonchalant by such relentless love pursuit?
As I was reflecting and thinking how ungrateful & disloyal the Israelites were, it dawned on me that I am also capable of being ungrateful & disloyal to God. When times are good, let me not cast God aside and forget what He has done. In bad times, let me run to His open arms for comfort and strength. He desires to be loved by us too.
In these uncertain times, we are blessed to have a God who loves and cares. Let us make room in our hearts for Him.
Pastor Beatrice Kang
A couple of days before Pentecost Sunday, I was drawn to read Acts 1 and 2. I was reading carefully and I was reading aloud. I felt the Holy Spirit showed me several revelatory pointers. Let me share just two.
Firstly, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit did not happen in the temple or in the synagogue. It happened in the home where the disciples were staying (Acts 1:13). Imagine, we are all in our homes now. What can stop the Holy Spirit from doing something incredibly new where we are, even in our respective homes all across the nation of Singapore?
Secondly, Jesus gave them a clear command as recorded in Acts 1:4 – remain in Jerusalem and wait for the gift from the Father. But there were no other information or instruction. They were not told to expect some strong wind and tongues of fire. So they could only pray and wait with no idea what to expect. This tells me that we cannot expect anything familiar and usual from the Lord. But it would be something totally new and not experienced before by any of us.
We need to posture ourselves for unfamiliar and unusual outpouring from the Holy Spirit – in our homes!
“Please, let us make a little walled upper chamber and let us set a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; and it shall be, when he comes to us, that he can turn in there.” - 2 Kings 4:10 NASB
This passage is about the Shunammite woman making room for the prophet Elisha. Pastor Dominic has also been talking about making room for God. But what does it mean to make room for God? A compartment of my heart? But that cannot be, because God wants my whole heart.
I came to these conclusions:
1. Giving God room to speak to me. I’m learning to have pauses in my prayer to give God space to speak to me. Conversation is two-way so it can’t be me praying (talking) all the time and God doesn’t quite have the chance to speak.
2. Giving God room to work in my life, in His way. Many times I want God to work or answer my prayer according to my method and what I want. But God’s ways are higher than mine, so I should give Him free reign.
3. Giving God room to fill me with the knowledge of His Word and filled in the spirit.
This means Time Alone With God, studying, and engaging Him in His Word.
This past Circuit Breaker had freed up my busy schedule to give me more time to engage with God.
Brother Foo Yoong Heng & Pastor Phebe Ngan
Since we started dating, we regularly shared how God spoke to us through the Bible, sermons, and ministry. During the Circuit Breaker, we decided to read and discuss Ephesians.
There were timeless truths that spoke to us and helped to strengthen our knowledge of God and our identity in Christ.
For example, Ephesians 2:10 assured us of God’s purpose and plan in our marriage and ministry, as we are God's masterpiece.
Not only there were timeless truths in the Bible, the truths are timely for us. Once, after a disagreement, we came across Ephesians 4:2 the next day - “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” After meditating on this truth, we prayed and came to an agreement on the matter.
God’s Word has indeed empowered us to be imitators of His love to each other. We are therefore able walk in the way of love in our marriage, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Ecclesiastes has so much wisdom to offer with its timeless advice.
This Circuit Breaker has been a time where “normal” life has gotten disrupted. In this reset of sorts, these two verses (Ecclesiastes 3:5-6) resound.
Implicit in it is human productivity with wise guidance that “one handful” is tranquil whereas humans have this skew in chasing after “two handfuls”.
One takeaway (and society’s) is my own focus on productivity, initially seeing that I needed to “make the most” out of this unwelcome disruption. I’ve gradually come to realize and experience it as a welcomed reset of life and perspective. This “one handful” means intentionally disengaging from social media and the news and instead, taking time and space to rest in God. This is meaningful rest and not just sleeping in!
Sister Ethel Chan
I have been reflecting on the topic of "God: My First Love" in this Circuit Breaker. As I did my TAWG on Psalms 23:1-2, I was overwhelmed by God’s love.
God is my good Shepherd that makes me lie down in green pasture. Green pasture signifies the ever-abundant supply that God has for me. Like sheep who has endless supply of grass to feed on, I have the same endless supply. I have everything in life, and there is no need for striving or craving. With God, I shall not be in lack. I am provided for - mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. I am blown away by His love for me. Who am I that God is so mindful of me and takes care of my everything? But because of His love, He, as the good Shepherd will take care of this sheep (me) always.
Amelia Koh (11)
Time Alone With God. Ephesians 5:1-2 and 6:1-2 I learnt that we should follow Jesus' example and be imitators of Him. Jesus showed His love for us by dying on the cross for us and taking away everyone's sins.
One thing I can do for my family is pray at 7pm for the people fighting COVID-19 and to pray God will help us overcome this pandemic.
Pastor Danny Leong
Since Apr 22, I've undertaken the challenge of reading through the Bible in 40 days. As I was reading through from Genesis to Deuteronomy, I was humbled by God’s grace and mercy towards His people. Though they sinned against God again and again, He remained faithful to them.
I thank God for His faithfulness to me. God commanded the Israelites to be holy as they left Egypt to enter the Promised Land. It was a journey of faith and conquest. There is never a more urgent time for me to be holy and an overcomer as I walk through this pandemic with faith.
Reflect & Respond
How has God's Word impacted you and been alive in your life?
Are you reading God's Word or is God's Word reading you?
What is God saying to you in this season through His Word? Send us your reflections in under 150 words and a photo (landscape), or a video under 1.5 mins (landscape) to email@example.com! You just may see your reflections published here.
This article is part of our R.E.S.E.T. Toolkit
Refresh. Encourage. Strengthen. Empower. Thrive.