Monday, May 21, 2012

Expository Thoughts On Matthew - Matthew 7:21-29

Expository Thoughts On Matthew - Matthew 7:21-29 J.C. Ryle:

The Lord Jesus Christ winds up the Sermon on the Mount by a passage of heart-piercing application. He turns from false prophets to false professors, from unsound teachers to unsound hearers. Here is a word for all. May we have grace to apply it to our own hearts!

The first lesson here is the uselessness of a mere outward profession of Christianity.Not every one that saith "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven. Not all that profess and call themselves Christians shall be saved.

Let us take notice of this. It requires far more then most people seem to think necessary, to save a soul. We may be baptized in the name of Christ, and boast confidently of our ecclesiastical privileges; we may posses head knowledge, and be quite satisfied with our own state; we may even be preachers, and teachers of others, and "do many wonderful works" in connection with our church: but all this time are we practically doing the will of our Father in heaven? Do we truly repent, truly believe on Christ, and live holy and humble lives? If not, in spite of all our privileges and profession, we shall miss heaven at last, and be forever cast away. We shall hear those awful words, "I never knew you: depart from Me

The day of judgment will reveal strange things. The hopes of many, who were thought great Christians while they lived, will be utterly confounded. The rottenness of their religion will be exposed and put to shame before the whole world. It will then be proved that to be saved means something more than "making a profession." We must make a "practice" of our Christianity as well as a "profession." Let us often think of that great day: let us often "judge ourselves, that we be not judged," and condemned by the Lord. Whatever else we are, let us aim at being real, true, and sincere.

The second lesson here is a striking picture of two classes of Christian hearers. Those who hear and do nothing, and those who hear and do as well as hear, are both placed before us, and their histories traced to their respective ends. The man who hears Christian teaching, and practices what he hears, is like "a wise man who builds his house upon a rock." He does not content himself with listening to exhortations to repent, believe in Christ, and live a holy life. He actually repents: he actually believes. He actually ceases to do evil, learns to do well, abhors that which is sinful, and cleaves to that which is good. He is a doer as well as a hearer. (James 1:22.)

And what is the result? In times of trial his religion does not fail him; the floods of sickness, sorrow, poverty, disappointments, bereavements beat upon him in vain. His soul stands unmoved; his faith does not give way his comforts do not utterly forsake him. His religion may have cost him trouble in times past; his foundation may have been obtained with much labour and many tears: to discover his own interest in Christ may have required many a day of earnest seeking, and many an hour of wrestling in prayer. But his labour has not been thrown away: he now reaps a rich reward. The religion that can stand trial is true religion.

The man who hears Christian teaching, and never gets beyond hearing, is like "a foolish man who builds his house upon the sand." He satisfies himself with listening and approving, but he goes no further. He flatters himself , perhaps, that all is right with his soul, because he has feelings, and convictions, and desires of a spiritual kind. In these he rests. He never really breaks off from sin, and casts aside the spirit of this world; he never really lays hold on Christ; he never really takes up the cross; he is a hearer of truth, but nothing more.

And what is the end of this man's religion? It breaks down entirely under the first flood of tribulation; it fails him completely, like a summer dried fountain, when his need is sorest. It leaves its possessor high and dry, like a wreck on a sand-bank, a scandal to the Church, a by-word to the infidel, and a misery to himself. Most true is it that what costs little is worth little! A religion which costs nothing, and consists in nothing but hearing sermons, will always prove at last to be a useless thing.

So ends the Sermon on the Mount. Such a sermon never was preached before: such a sermon perhaps has never been preached since. Let us see that it has a lasting influence on our own souls. It is addressed to us as well as to those who first heard it; we are they who shall have to give account of its heart-searching lessons. It is no light matter what we think of them. The word that Jesus has spoken, "the same shall judge us in the last day." (John 12:48.)

Over 100 trees uprooted at Changi

Intense storms, strong winds wreak havoc over weekend

The Straits Times

May 8 2012 By Grace Chua

More than a hundred trees were uprooted after intense storms and strong winds hit Changi Beach Park over the weekend

The National Parks Board (NParks) said 13 trees near a footpath at the coastal park fell on Sunday afternoon while 100 toppled trees were found deeper in the park's wooded areas.

They were casuarina trees, a slender, multi-branched type adapted to growing in coastal areas, said Mr Simon Longman, NParks director of streetscape.

He noted that exceptionally strong localised winds had downed the trees. Heavy rain over the weekend had also softened the soil in the area.

According to Meteorological Service Singapore, 33.5mm of rain fell over one hour in the Changi area on Sunday afternoon. The highest wind gust recorded there was 78kmh at around 1.10pm.

The strongest wind gust ever recorded in Singapore was 144kmh in April 1984. The storm was a Sumatra squall, said a Meteorological Service spokesman. These eastward-moving thunderstorms, which bring strong winds and heavy rain, can develop at any time of the year.

Dr T. Appasarny, director of landscaping firm Flora Landscape said the sandy soil in beach areas tends to become loosened more easily than clayey soil elsewhere.

"When heavy rain occurs, the sand cannot hold the tree root properly," he explained. Trees with thick crowns are also vulnerable to being toppled by the wind. Another 10 trees were also hit by strong winds in other parts of Singapore.

No reports of injuries were received, and all trees causing obstruction have been removed, NParks said. Its officers are also conducting additional tree inspections in areas affected by storms.

Torn branches will be carted away while trees which show signs of instability because the soil around their roots is water-logged, will be cut down.

NParks has advised the public of not to visit parks and nature reserves during and just after a heavy storm.

Tree-fall in natural areas after soil severe storms is not uncommon. Last October, towering casuarina, the trees were no match for strong winds which uprooted them at the southern island of Pulau Hantu. Earlier last year, storms flattened a 1.2km swathe of trees at Mandai.

Weather reports can be obtained from radio broadcasts, the National Environment, Agency's. (NEA) weather forecast hotline on 6542-7788, website, mobile weather service at or Twitter at @NEAsg.

For feedback on fallen trees, the public can call NParks on 1800-471-7300. The weather outlook for the next one week is for inter-monsoon conditions to prevail over the region, with thundery showers in the late morning and afternoon.

Rainfall this month is likely to be average to slightly above average, the NEA said. Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

21 trees topple over at Pasir Ris Park

21 trees topple over at Pasir Ris Park

By Leslie Kay Lim

Twenty-one trees, some as tall as seven storeys, toppled over near Carpark C of Pasir Ris Park on Sunday night.

The National Parks Board (NParks) was notified of the damage at 7am on Monday, and it set about removing those causing obstruction. It will take a few more days to clear the debris, it said.

Its spokesman said the cause of the incident is being investigated, and would not be drawn into speculating what caused that many trees to fall at one go.

Nobody was hurt and no property was damaged.

Copyright © 2011 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Better Than My Best by Annie Johnson Flint

I prayed for strength, and then I lost awhile
All sense of nearness, human and divine;
The love I leaned on failed and pierced my heart,
The hands I clung to loosed themselves from mine;
But while I swayed, weak, trembling, and alone,
The everlasting arms upheld my own.

I prayed for light; the sun went down in clouds,
The moon was darkened by a misty doubt,
The stars of heaven were dimmed by earthly fears,
And all my little candle flames burned out;
But while I sat in shadow, wrapped in night,
The face of Christ made all the darkness bright.

I prayed for peace, and dreamed of restful ease,
A slumber drugged from pain, a hushed repose;
Above my head the skies were black with storm,
And fiercer grew the onslaught of my foes;
But while the battle raged, and wild winds blew,
I heard His voice and perfect peace I knew

. I thank Thee, Lord, Thou wert too wise to heed
My feeble prayers, and answer as I sought,
Since these rich gifts Thy bounty has bestowed
Have brought me more than all I asked or thought;
Giver of good, so answer each request
With Thine own giving, better than my best.


Waiting! Yes, patiently waiting!
Till next steps made plain shall be;
To hear, with the inner hearing,
The Voice that will call for me.

Waiting! Yes, hopefully waiting!
With hope that need not grow dim;
The Master is pledged to guide me,
And my eyes are unto Him.

Waiting! Expectantly waiting!
Perhaps it may be today
The Master will quickly open
The gate to my future way.

Waiting! Yes, waiting! still waiting!
I know, though I've waited long,
That while He withholds His purpose,
His waiting cannot be wrong.

Waiting! Yes, waiting! still waiting!
The Master will not be late;
He knoweth that I am waiting
For Him to unlatch the gate.

J. Danson Smith

Friday, May 4, 2012

O Help My Unbelief by Isaac Watts

O Help My Unbelief

1. How sad our state by nature is!
Our sin, how deep it stains!
And Satan binds our captive minds
Fast in his slavish chains
But there's a voice of sov'reign grace,
Sounds from the sacred word:
"O, ye despairing sinners come,
And trust upon the Lord."

2. My soul obeys th' almighty call,
And runs to this relief
I would believe thy promise, Lord;
O help my unbelief!
To the dear fountain of thy blood,
Incarnate God, I fly;
Here let me wash my spotted soul,
From crimes of deepest dye.

3. Stretch out Thine arm, victorious King,
My reigning sins subdue;
Drive the old dragon from his seat,
With all his hellish crew.
A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
On thy kind arms I fall;
Be thou my strength and righteousness,
My Jesus, and my all.

Help My Unbelief by John Newton

I know the Lord is nigh,
And would but cannot pray,
For Satan meets me when I try,
And frights my soul away,
And frights my soul away

I would but can’t repent,
Though I endeavor oft;
This stony heart can never relent
Till Jesus makes it soft,
Till Jesus makes it soft.

Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
My help must come from Thee.

I would but cannot love,
Though wooed by love divine;
No arguments have power to move
A soul as base as mine.
A soul so base as mine.

I would but cannot rest,
In God’s most holy will;
I know what He appoints is best,
And murmur at it still.
I murmur at it still.

Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
Help my unbelief.
My help must come from Thee.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Creed to Live By

Creed to Live By

Don't undermine your worth
by comparing yourself with others.
It is because we are different
that each of us is special.
Don't set your goals by what other
people deem important.
Only you know what is best for you.

Don't take for granted
the things closest to your heart.
Cling to them as you would your life,
for without them, life is meaningless.
Don't let your life slip through
your fingers by living in the past
or for the future.
By living your life one day at a time,
you live all the days of your life.

Don't give up when you
still have something to give.
Nothing is really over
until the moment you stop trying.
Don't be afraid to admit
that you are less than perfect.
It is this fragile thread
that binds us to each other.
Don't be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances
that we learn how to be brave.

Don't shut love out of your life
by saying it's impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love
is to give love; the fastest way to lose love
is to hold it too tightly; and the best way
to keep love is to give it wings.
Don't dismiss your dreams.
To be without dreams is to be without hope,
To be without hope is to be without purpose.

Don't run through life so fast that you
forget not only where you've been,
but also where you are going.
Don't forget, a person's greatest
emoti need is to feel appreciated.
Don't be afraid to learn.
Knowledge is weightless, a treasure
you can always carry easily.
Don't use time or words carelessly.
Neither can be retrieved.

Life is not a race, but a journey
to be savored each step of the way.
Yesterday is History,
Tomorrow is a Mystery and
Today is a gift:
that's why we call it
The Present.

By Nancy Sims. Cited on Graphic Humor & Inspiration. To subscribe send a blank email to with Subscribe to GHI in the Subject line. Editor: Richard G Wimer.

People leave managers not companies

Dear friends

You may have seen this article before, but it is always a different feeling whenever I read it time to time. Really an important point for us to ponder on and wonder!!!

Come to think of it. This is almost 100% true. Read below & find out the answer. Early this year, Arun, an old friend who is a senior software designer, got an offer from a prestigious international firm to work in its India operations developing a specialized software. He was thrilled by the offer. He had heard a lot about the CEO of this company, charismatic man often quoted in the business press for his visionary attitude. The salary was great. The company had all the right systems in place employee-friendly human resources (HR) policies, a spanking new office, the very best technology, even a canteen that served superb food. Twice Arun was sent abroad for training. "My learning curve is the sharpest it's ever been," he said soon after he joined. "It's a real high working with such cutting edge technology."

Last week, less than eight months after he joined, Arun walked out of the job. He has no other offer in hand but he said he couldn't take it anymore. Nor, apparently, could several other people in his department who have also quit recently.

The CEO is distressed about the high employee turnover. He's distressed about the money he's spent in training them. He's distressed because he can't figure out what happened. Why did this talented employee leave despite a top salary? Arun quit for the same reason that drives many good people away. The answer lies in one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization. The study surveyed over a million employees and 80,000 managers and was published in a book called First Break All The Rules.

It came up with this surprising finding: If you're losing good people, look to their immediate supervisor. More than any other single reason, he is the reason people stay and thrive in an organization. And he's the reason why they quit, taking their knowledge, experience and contacts with them. Often, straight to the competition.

"People leave managers not companies," write the authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. "So much money has been thrown at the challenge of keeping good people - in the form of better pay, better perks and better training - when, in the end, turnover is mostly manager issue." If you have a turnover problem, look first to your managers. Are they driving people away?

Beyond a point, an employee's primary need has less to do with money, and more to do with how he's treated and how valued he feels. Much of this depends directly on the immediate manager. And yet, bad bosses seem to happen to good people everywhere. A Fortune magazine survey some years ago found that nearly 75 per cent of employees have suffered at the hands of difficult superiors. You can leave one job to find - you guessed it, another wolf in a pin-stripe suit in the next one.

Of all the workplace stresses, a bad boss is possibly the worst, directly impacting the emotional health and productivity of employees. Here are some all-too common tales from the battlefield: Dev, an engineer, still shudders as he recalls the almost daily firings his boss subjected him to, usually in front of his subordinates. His boss masculated him with personal, insulting remarks. In the face of such rage, Dev completely lost the courage to speak up. But when he reached home depressed, he poured himself a few drinks, and magically, became as abusive as the boss himself. Only, it would come out on his wife and children. Not only was his work life in the doldrums, his marriage began cracking up too.

Another employee Rajat recalls the Chinese torture his boss put him through after a minor disagreement. He cut him off completely. He bypassed him in any decision that needed to be taken. "He stopped sending me any papers or files," says Rajat. "It was humiliating sitting at an empty table. I knew nothing and no one told me anything." Unable to bear this corporate Siberia, he finally quit. HR experts say that of all the abuses, employees find public humiliation the most intolerable. The first time, an employee may not leave, but a thought has been planted. The second time, that thought gets strengthened. The third time, he starts looking for another job.

When people cannot retort openly in anger, they do so by passive aggression. By digging their heels in and slowing down. By doing only what they are told to do and no more. By omitting to give the boss crucial information. Dev says: "If you work for a jerk, you basically want to get him into trouble. You don't have your heart and soul in the job."

Different managers can stress out employees in different ways - by being too controlling, too suspicious, too pushy, too critical, too nit-picky. But they forget that workers are not fixed assets, they are free agents.

When this goes on too long, an employee will quit - often over seemingly trivial issue. It isn't the 100th blow that knocks a good man down. It's the 99 that went before. And while it's true that people leave jobs for all kinds of reasons - for better opportunities or for circumstantial reasons, many who leave would have stayed - had it not been for one man constantly telling them, as Arun's boss did: "You are dispensable. I can find dozens like you."

While it seems like there are plenty of other fishes especially in today's waters, consider for a moment the cost of losing a talented employee.There's the cost of finding a replacement. The cost of training the replacement. The cost of not having someone to do the job in the meantime. The loss of clients and contacts the person had with the industry. The loss of morale in co-workers. The loss of trade secrets this person may now share with others. Plus, of course, the loss of the company's reputation. Every person who leaves a corporation then becomes its ambassador, for better or for worse. We all know of large IT companies that people would love to join and large television companies few want to go near. In both cases, former employees have left to tell their tales.

"Any company trying to compete must figure out a way to engage the mind of every employee," Jack Welch of GE once said.Much of a company's value lies "between the ears of its employees". If it's bleeding talent, it's bleeding value. Unfortunately, many senior executives busy travelling the world, signing new deals and developing a vision for the company, have little idea of what may be going on at home. That deepen within an organization that otherwise does all the right things, one man could be driving its best people away.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fence Your Heart, Not Just Behavior

Fence Your Heart, Not Just Behavior
by Paul Tripp

Confession results in deeper personal insight. Further confession leads to greater insight. This is one of the graces of confession. You see this spiritual dynamic operating in the life of David in Psalm 51. This man, who was so completely blinded by his own lust, that he wasn't only able to use his God-given position of political power to take another man's wife, but also able to put a contract out on her husband and have him killed, is now not only able to see his behavioral wrongs, but the heart behind them as well. Whenever anyone is able to see himself with this level of clarity, you know that God's grace is operating in his life.

Hear David's words, "Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place." David is recognizing a new awareness. He is acknowledging a new sightedness. He understands what God is working on.

You and I will only ever be holy by God's definition if we put the moral fences where God puts them.

We tend to put the fences at the boundary of behavior. For example, rather than telling our children the importance of a respectful heart and the issues of heart that cause us to not respect others as we should, we instruct our children to use titles of respect when they're relating to others. Now there's nothing wrong with this as far as it goes. The problem is that enforcing certain behaviors won't create a spirit of respectfulness. A child, who's mad at his teacher for an assignment she's given may say, "Whatever you say Mrs. Smith!" in a tone that's anything but respectful. The teacher immediately knows that the child has used a title of respect to tell her that he doesn't respect her at all, but to tell her that in a way that won't get him into trouble!

This is where Christ's teaching, from the "Sermon on the Mount," is so helpful. Christ draws the fences in much closer. He calls for us to fence our hearts because he knows that it's only when we fence the heart that we'll willingly and successfully stay inside God-appointed behavioral fences. So he says, "You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:27, 28)

Consider the importance of what Christ does here. He isn't adding to the Seventh Commandment. No, he's interpreting it for us. He's telling us what the intention and extent of the command has always been. The commandments all address fundamental issues of the heart, or as David says, "the inmost place." The commandments not only depict God's claim over our behavior, but more fundamentally God's ownership over our hearts. But there's something else of importance here. God knows what lust lusts for. Lust doesn't lust for more lust. Lust lusts for the physical experience of the thing that's the object of the lust. A heart controlled by sexual lust won't be satisfied with better and more graphic fantasies. No, a lustful heart craves the actual experience and will only be satisfied when it's actually experienced the thing for which it lusts. This is why it never works to put the fences at the boundary of behavior. Even if I've placed clear fences there, I'll cut through them or climb over them if I haven't first fenced my heart.

Now again David speaks for all of us and his words are so echoed by Christ that it almost appears as if Christ was thinking of David and Bathsheba when he spoke these words.

Have you fenced your heart? Have you tried to stay inside of behavioral boundaries only to have climbed over them again and again? Go and read the wisdom of the "Sermon on the Mount" (found in Matthew 5-7) and ask God to "teach you wisdom in the inmost place." By God's grace, determine to fight the battle of thought and desire, knowing full well that it's only when you win this battle that you can be successful in the battle of behavior. And rest assured that when you fight this battle you aren't fighting alone, but your Lord wages war on your behalf."

This article is a resource of Paul Tripp Ministries. For more information visit

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