Anger, Reflection, Calm, and Peaceful Sleep (Psalm 4 Bible Study)

Anger is a secondary emotion – it usually comes from a deep sense of hurt and injustice.  It’s a cry of unresolved pain that seeks justice and comfort.  Yet if we ignore it, suppress it, and try to shove it away it still stays there before it oozes out in ways that harm others in aggression.  Aggression doesn’t need to be ‘hot’ and violent – it can manifest in passive ways such as brooding silence.

But is anger a sin?  Surprisingly, the Bible doesn’t say that.  Our world insists that it is, especially in the West, and tells people to hide it all away and just ‘try to be nice’, but Psalm 4 won’t let us get away with that.  Because we are made in the image of God (who Himself has emotions, such as grief, anger, love, and joy), we have emotions too.  So what are we to do with our anger?  Here, I have written a Bible study on Psalm 4 which explored all this.  When we have safe ways to get out anger, we can be calm, sleep well, experience God’s presence, and go on to love others.  Here is the Bible study: Psalm 4 Bible Study.

God bless, Pastor Haydn.  

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20th of May 2018 Pastor Haydn’s Sermon – Being Whole in Body, Spirit, and Soul

The most important reason why Jesus died on the cross to save sinners in this world was to take them out of sin and work in their lives so that they are completely holy in spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23).  But what strategy are we to have to accomplish this?  What is a soul?  What is a spirit?  How does it connect with the body?  Here is my sermon today on this from 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (c.f. Deuteronomy 6:1-9).

God bless, Pastor Haydn.

Should Christians pray for divine vengeance? (Psalm 109 Bible study)

Many people today, even Christians, may think that asking God for divine vengeance upon enemies is an ‘unloving thing’ to do.  They reason that because God wants “everyone” to be saved and no one to perish that therefore divine punishment is a horrible idea on the basis of texts like Ezekiel 18:32 and John 3:16.  And since Jesus commanded His followers to love enemies and not seek retaliation, how is it even possible for Christians to plea for God to punish His enemies and those who harm His children?  So how exactly does a love for mercy sit alongside the understandable demand for divine justice (which we see in places like Revelation 6:10 and 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10)? In Psalm 109, King David asks for such a thing, and many find it a hard prayer to digest and even to pray; even the famous CS Lewis had difficulty with it.   It seems to me that we in the West struggle with this because Christians here have not (yet) had to stand for their faith to the point of bloodshed.  Nonetheless this prayer is in the Bible for a purpose and it has much to say about the role of anger and how we can take it to God so that He can settle all scores.

Here I have written a Bible study on this Psalm.  I have also translated the passage and provided notes.  I have also written in some suggested prayers on how to bring anger to God, and some practical advice on how to process anger with Him.  May it bless, encourage, and instruct you: Psalm 109 Bible Study.

God bless, Pastor Haydn.

29th of April 2018 Pastor Haydn’s Sermon – What is Church?: Holding Fast

Getting into an expensive, privileged school is not meant to be an end in itself; it’s actually meant to be a means to an end (a decent job, etc).  So what it means to be a Christian: merely being saved and waiting to die and go to heaven – with no change in between those two events – is to miss the whole point of Christianity entirely.  We’re meant to be growing to be more like Jesus in the interim, which is what my sermon was about this morning from 2 Thessalonians 2:13-18 (c.f. Deuteronomy 28:1-14).

God bless, Pastor Haydn.

22nd of April 2018 Pastor Haydn’s Sermon – What is Church?: Yearning for God’s Justice

For Christians, deception about the return of Jesus Christ is dangerous and unproductive; nonetheless, Paul describes in broad brushstrokes what that day will look like.  It will be a bumpy ride, but the Christian will not be caught off-guard but make it through to the end, as long as he endures and keeps firm in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God.  Here is my sermon on this from 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (c.f. Daniel 7:1-10).  Other passages that are helpful to accompany this are Luke 17 and Matthew 24.

God bless, Pastor Haydn.

15 April 2018 Pastor Haydn’s Sermon – What is Church?: Yearning for God’s Justice

The people whom God has saved through Christ Jesus are meant to be growing to become ‘worthy of their calling’ – and thus fit for heaven.  Thankfully, God’s just wrath will be coming on the disobedient who disobey Jesus and attack His church.  This is something that will Christians can look forward to, because then they will be with Christ and His people, to worship God unhindered.  Here is my sermon on this today from 2 Thessalonians 1 (c.f. Psalm 109:1-13).

God bless, Pastor Haydn.

8 April 2018 Pastor Haydn’s Sermon – What is Church?: Whole Soul, Spirit, & Body

This is my last sermon in my latest series on 1 Thessalonians, on 1) how church is to express love within its members; 2) how it is to direct its love and affection towards God; and 3) what the church’s goal is in being saved by the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is based on 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 (c.f. Nehemiah 13:23-31).

God bless, Pastor Haydn.

This is also a very special day for me.  Exactly 20 years ago this day (8 April 1998) I became a Christian in my final year of high school. I have not always been the most faithful son, but God has been so patient and good with me. That has become so obvious when the patience of others wore so thin due to my own sinfulness, and even when others gave up on trying to love and help me through my many trials. My favourite Bible verses to date are Psalm 27:10 (When my father and my mother foresake me, then Yahweh will take care of me) and Isaiah 40:11 (Yahweh Adonai shall feed His flock like a shepherd; He shall gather the lambs in His arm and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young). Jesus has been so good to me these past 20 years. They have gone by so quickly and I want the next 20 to be even better.

Bathing in the Blood of Jesus

Today I read a beautiful devotion (Evening of March 30) by Charles Spurgeon about the need for lapsing, half-hearted Christians to bathe again in the blood of Jesus and behold His face again.  I know I need this and it is an excellent reminder at this time of the year (Easter):

Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to Yahweh” ~ Lamentations 3:40

CHS The spouse who fondly loves her absent husband longs for his return; a long protracted separation from her lord is a semi-death to her spirit: and so with souls who love the Saviour much, they must see His face, they cannot bear that he should be away, and no more hold communion with them. A reproaching glance, an uplifted finger will be grievous to loving children, who fear to offend their tender father, and are only happy in his smile.

Beloved, it was so once with you. A text of Scripture, a threatening, a touch of the rod of affliction, and you went to your Father’s feet, crying, “Show me wherefore thou contendest with me?” Is it so now? Are you content to follow Jesus afar off? Can you contemplate suspended communion with Christ without alarm? Can you bear to have your Beloved walking contrary to you, because you walk contrary to Him? Have your sins separated between you and your God, and is your heart at rest? Oh let me affectionately warn you, for it is a grievous thing when we can live contentedly without the present enjoyment of the Saviour’s face.

Let us labour to feel what an evil thing this is: little love to our own dying Saviour, little joy in our precious Jesus, little fellowship with the Beloved! Hold a true Lent in your souls, while you sorrow over your hardness of heart. Do not stop at sorrow! Remember where you first received salvation. Go at once to the cross. There, and there only, can you get your spirit quickened. No matter how hard, how insensible, how dead we may have become, let us go again in all the rags and poverty, and defilement of our natural condition. Let us clasp that cross, let us look into those languid eyes, let us bathe in that fountain filled with blood–this will bring back to us our first love; this will restore the simplicity of our faith, and the tenderness of our heart.

Good Friday sermon (30th of March 2018) – Acts 2:29-39 – Behold the One Whom We Have Slain!

The writers of the biblical accounts of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection have often been accused of being ‘anti-Semitic’ and contributing to the deaths of Jews around the world by saying that they killed Jesus.  But is this true?  Didn’t both Jew and non-Jew kill Jesus?  And why then does that mean salvation for anyone who follows Jesus?  Here is my Good Friday sermon on this from Acts 2:29-39.

GF

God bless, Pastor Haydn.