My Read of the Month:

Title: Every Man’s Battle Workbook: The Path to Sexual Integrity Starts Here (The Every Man Series)
Author: Arterburn & Stoeker
Published: 2000
Genre: Christian Living
Ratings: 2.0 out of 5 stars

I picked up this read to re-visit God’s perspective on the issue that plagues most men- lust.

Men’s fight against sexual purity is a life-long battle. There’s no silver bullet to eradicate this as it is very much interlinked with our manhood. And the author was right to say that not even marriage solves this issue.

In my opinion, true freedom from lust can only be found in the person of Jesus. It is when we are compelled by His grace and liberated by His truth that we truly experience sexual purity.

However in this book, it seems to draw on alot on obeying the law. The author’s main focus and motivation for attaining sexual purity is to upkeep God’s standard or law; the doing and not the being.

This book fails drastically to provide an accurate perspective on this issue through the lens and heart of God. Because the right basis for pursuing sexual purity should be stemmed from a love relationship with Jesus (c.f. Galatians 2:20).

Though I strongly believe what men need is a book that serves to inspire, empower or equip, and not to heap more guilt and self-condemnation. But still this book is helpful in introducing fundamental aspects on this issue.

Who should read it: Any men who might like to learn more on sexual purity.

The Principle of Financial Sowing

I am a firm believer in the universal principle of sowing in the aspect of finances.

This principle of sowing is biblical and similar to that of contribution- an overriding principle of societal trust.

It’s the intent to create value instead of destroying, and to give back instead of take.

We are owners of nothing

It is a fact and reality that all of us are born on this earth with nothing and eventually, we will also leave this earth with nothing.

Nothing on this earth ( which includes our finances) truly belong to us as we will leave them all behind upon our demise.

Since that is true, it leaves with us with a logical response to use whatever we have, especially our finances wisely and purposefully during our lifetime.

Our approach in living life should be one that aims to take advantage of our God-given “window” of opportunity to make difference and impact in our generation by readily giving back.

Going against conventional wisdom

For most of us, this principle of giving clearly goes against conventional wisdom that teaches us to hoard and splurge on ourselves.

This has led us in becoming willing slaves to consumerism in our modern society.

Evidently, we have allowed consumerism to define who we are; which equates to our personal happiness with the consumption and the purchase of material possessions.

Therefore, an effective cure towards unhealthy consumerism is adopting the principle of sowing in one’s lifestyle.

Living a life of giving

William Colgate, the founder of the Colgate-Polmalive Company, maker of soaps and dental-care products was a regular giver.

Throughout his long and successful business career, he gave not merely one-tenth of the earnings of Colgate’s soap products; but he gave two-tenths, then three-tenths, and finally five-tenths of all his income to the work of God in the world.

During the later days of his life he revealed the origin of his devotion to the idea of tithing.

Since his death in 1857, he left behind a company that is successful to this day and a college that bears his name.

In 2006, Warren Buffett announced that he would give $37 billion (85 per cent of his net worth) to charity.

Two years later in 2008, Forbes ranked him as the richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of approximately $62 billion.

Clearly, his net worth did not deplete with his generous giving, instead he reaped more from what he had sowed and remained massively wealthy.

This is the universal principle of sowing at work.

Reaping from the giving

Many of us (including myself) are no where near Warren Buffet’s net worth, but I believe we can still start sowing whatever little ‘seeds’ of finances we may have.

Personally, I started sowing nine years ago. My main practise of this is in the form of a monthly tithe to my local church.

Since then, I have experienced steady and accelerated growth in my personal finances with promotions and salary increments.

I know I’m have been blessed as I do not have any material lack. Now I also do not need to borrow on occasions like I had to in the past, just so that I could tide through the rest of the month.

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25

I had also experienced many miracles of practical providence from various avenues that helped me to be where I am today.

For instance, my fully-sponsored degree education and love offerings when I was unemployed whilst transiting between jobs.

Start sowing your ‘seeds’ of finances

Having experienced this principle at work, I realised that my earning capacity and value-add does increase with my desire and my readiness to give generously.

However, please do not be misunderstand that I’m promoting giving to help others with the intent to gain something back or to expect  financial returns.

My reasons for citing those examples including mine is to attest that giving isn’t that horrifying as one might think.

In fact, it is so…ul rewarding.

Even if one is not a Christian, I believe this principle is universally applicable. And for instance, anyone can start sowing regularly (a tithe or one-tenth) towards a humanitarian cause or some charitable programme.

True living comes from real giving. We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give.

Let’s start sowing!

Power in the Word of God

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge…”

Hosea 4:6a (Amplified Bible)

“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

Joshua 1:8 (New Living Translation)

The Bible: The Living Legacy

Last Sunday, I visited the “Dead Sea Scrolls & the Ancient World” exhibition at The Arts House.

It was a good platform to gain a condensed overview of the bible’s history spanning over 5,000 years which included four fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest—known Hebrew manuscripts of the bible.

The Bible- God’s word

Growing up as Christian, I was taught that the bible was the word of God and the authority to which man should abide as their life and moral compass.

However, these claims remain both controversial and debatable. I guess this lies on the reason that the bible though inspired by God, was written through man.

But for me, I believe and I’m equally convicted of the bible’s claims as I have experienced how it has provided me much needed knowledge and insights to shape and transform my life for the better.

Personally, I think the bible is a living legacy that has been left for us to discover His promises and to understand His will towards a successful and powerful life.

The Bible- Eternal word

I found the exhibition rather helpful in appreciating the rich history that has went into the bible that we presently know and have today.

Indeed, the bible has endured the tests of time and prosecution (and will continue to).

In the past, only few elites had the privilege to read the bible. It was not not easily accessible to the common people for various practical and political reasons.

Things only change because of the many unseen and untold sacrifices (to the extend of death) of those that have gone before us. And today, all of us are able to freely read and learn the word of God.

But the irony of today’s reality is that majority of us neglect the reading and studying of the bible.

I mean if there are so many people who were willing and actually sacrificed their lives in order for us to read it, then there must be something in this book that is so important for us to know. No?

The bible, dead or alive? That’s left for each one of us to discover and decide.

Power To Get Wealth

Below is a daily devotional message (dated 25 March 2009) taken from Kong Hee’s website on truths about prosperity with a kingdom mentality.

 “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

Deuteronomy 8:18

We all know that money can’t buy us happiness, a good name, a happy marriage or lasting friendships. Money certainly can’t buy us eternal salvation or the anointing of the Holy Spirit. But nevertheless, God still wants us to have money-the more the better!

There is a reason why Jesus, for your sakes, became poor that you, through His poverty, might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9). Deuteronomy 8:18 says that He gives you the power to get wealth for the purpose that His covenant with all mankind can be established.

So, the reason why God wants you to have money is so that you can use it to bring the gospel to the whole world. No wonder the psalmist says, “Let the LORD be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant” (Ps. 35:27).

Because the more we prosper financially, the more we can preach the good news and magnify our Lord. There are two contrasting covenants in the Old Testament. One is God’s covenant with Abraham which is eternal, and the other is God’s covenant with Moses which is temporal. Under the Abrahamic covenant, God blesses you to be a blessing to others. God told Abraham, “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3).

But under the Mosaic covenant, there is another set of promises found in Deuteronomy 28. It is about God’s favor and blessing for our individual lives. Now, you have to be very careful which covenant you lock your mind onto.

If you focus exclusively on the temporal Mosaic covenant, you could become self-serving and greedy, and end up destroying your life. But if you mature to focus on the eternal Abrahamic covenant, then the more prosperous you are, the more you can be effective for the cause of the kingdom.

The truth is this: you can’t be a blessing if you haven’t been blessed. If you can’t even feed yourself, how are you going to feed the hungry? If you can’t even clothe yourself, how are you going to clothe the naked? If you have no money for your church projects and world missions, how are you going to take the good news to the world?

Meditate on this thought right now: “God has given me the power to get wealth, that I can use it to bring the gospel to the world!”

Singapore’s 40 Richest

The nation’s ecnomy is improving and so too are the fortunes of its richest tycoons as their total wealth has jumped 20%.

Singapore is emerging from its deepest recession since the island became an independent nation in 1965.

Though the economy may shrink up to 6% this year, there are signs that the worst is over. GDP expanded in the second quarter for the first time in a year.

Exports and manufacturing were up in July, and property prices and sales are picking up. The country’s main stock index has jumped almost 90% since its March low.

All of this has meant a boost in the fortunes of the nation’s richest. The total net worth of Singapore’s top 40 is $39 billion, up 20% from last year’s $32 billion.

Ng Teng Fong is No. 1 again, worth $8 billion, $1 billion more than last year. Kuok Khoon Hong’s net worth is up $2.2 billion to $3.5 billion, thanks in part to a 70% jump in the stock price of palm oil firm Wilmar International.

View the list of rankings of Singapore’s 40 richest here>>>

Prosperity comes from God

Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.

Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”

But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

Deuteronomy 8:6-14, 17-18 (NIV)

As He is, so am I…

Funny as this may sound, but I do find myself feeling guilty or embarrassed when I think I have received too much of God’s blessings or favour.

Have you felt the same way?

Responding to His blessings

I would also find myself in an uneasy situation where I would feel embarrassed to share those awesome testimonies with others when required to.

The common struggle would be my overly concern about what others might think of me and perceived that I am boasting or bragging.

This is especially so when it happens to be in the aspect of material/practical or financial prosperity.

I guess this might have to do with a wrong self-image or being rooted in a wrong theology towards finances that had not been addressed before.

However, I have being unlearning, re-learning and learning these matters and realised that I should neither deny nor be ashamed of His blessings and favour over my life.

By doing so, I would be de-valuing who I am as His child and not allowing Him to be fully and accurately reflected in my life.

Learning from Joseph

I read in the Bible that among all of Jacob’s sons, he doted and loved Joseph the most.

When Jacob gave Joseph a beautiful robe, he put it on despite knowing that it would have incurred the wrath of his brothers.

But he still did it because he was more interested in honouring his dad than gaining the approval of his brothers.

Likewise, I recognised that God loves me unreservingly. And His blessings and favour are bestowed upon me undeservingly.  This is for His glory, not mine.

More importantly, my self-image and identity are held up in God as His child; His beloved and anointed son.

As He is, so am I.

Updates on My New Job

Today marks the first month for me being in my new job.

My transition into this new organisation has been somewhat smooth with nice colleagues and an awesome office environment to boot.

This new job is a blessing. It was an unexpected ‘door’ opened as I was headhunted by my current employer.

Initially, I wasn’t interested in the job that was offered as I had just settled into my newly appointed marketing position then.

But after much prayer and deliberation, I saw it as His move and went ahead.

God is good. Taking that step of faith has led me to a promotion which also came with a generous increment.

But of cos, these are just some of the perks. More importantly, this has brought me another step closer to His plans for me.

Personally, this was clearly a miracle that had God’s finger prints all over.

This was His acceleration at work. And without His grace and favour, this would not have been possible.