Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
There is a big difference between acquaintances and friends. Accquaintances are people that we know. They pop into our life (whether you want them to or not) as the result of our circumstances. So, we have acquaintances at work, in our neighbourhood, and at church. These are the people who may be very nice, but our relationship with them is defined more by contact than by commitment.
One characteristic that distinguishes acquaintances from friendship is loyalty. Friends are committed to each other. They are willing to make personal sacrifices for each other. They don't keep score of who owes a favor to whom. If you have true friends, then thank God for them. They are rare commodities. If you need to increase your friendship network and find a few, then start by being the king of friend you would want to have.
My 1st row buddies With Pst Yong (Dannon, Carinne, Magdeline,Pst Yong, Eric, Ailyn & me)
On the 1st day Pst Ming told us about finding a need and meet it and a hurt to heal it, we might be wondering how to find a need and hurt when we dun really now anyone...then he shared with us there is a couple...they have rented a house in the central and find a day care there for their child...initially our lessons were supposed to be at riverwalk...but changed to jurong west a week before we started, so the couple got to find a room and a new day care, they found it but the child is having a hard time settling in the new day care...i was wondering who are they, what we know is only that they are overseas students, both parents are in SOT... i told myself even if i cannot help this couple, i want to find a need to meet and a hurt to heal...
during the 1st week, we were given our 1st assignment-think is the spirit filled book..dun really remember the full title, we were supposed to write 3 points on every chapter and the summary of the whole book...hmmm..i chiong my assignments cause i dun wanna drag it...neither do i want to hand in any late assignments...and i kept to that rule throughout SOT, the 4 months despite the busy schdule, God always gave me the strength and energy to finsh my assignments and bible reading on time...I finished the 1st assignment bout 2 weeks before the deadline and one day i was just sitting in the 1st row waiting for lessons to start...then i turn and talk to this lady, her name is Ailyn...and i discovered that she have to share the assignment book with her husband and they share 1 laptop..normally the husband will do the assignment when the wife is putting the child to sleep and the wife would do her assignment when the husband showers...i ask how can they finish their assignment on time, she told me she is not sure...at that time, i just say if she dun mind, she can borrow my laptop to do the assignment...can u imagine what great faith i have in God for Ailyn, i knew her barely for 5 mins and i m lending her my laptop which i bought less than a month...she kept thanking me and that is how our friendship starts, the next day i was thinking its a bit useless for me to hold on to the assignment book so i lend it to her as well, and both her n her husband submitted 1st their assignments on time..then i realised they were the couple Pst was mentioning on the 1st day..Ailyn and I became very good friends, but she sit the left side of the 1st row and i sit on the right side...Kok Siang would always sit in the middle...and a few others...i also made friends with 6 taiwanese students (Amy 姐，Chiu Chin 姐, maggie who is Pst Wayne's PA in taiwan, Wei lu, ah mao and another i forgot the name cause now din contact le) who always sit on the 2nd row, they are very nice people...remember once i was sick and i reach church like 8.35...i thought i need to sit behind but the taiwanese students have reserved a seat in the 1st row for me, knowing i was sick and i could not be so early that day...really touched..
Amy 姐，Chiu Chin 姐, Wei lu and Ailyn are the few overseas friends who was there, to pray for me, pray with me and be there for me...though we know each other for a short time, but it seems we know each other for a veyr long time, during my last month in SOT, i was having difficulty in paying my sch fees and Amy 姐，Chiu Chin 姐 blessed me S$50 each...
Still remember there is 1 event was i was preparing for my preaching test, i got everything, the points and everything..but i dun have the opening verse for it...both Jin Lian and Jerb ask me to change my sermon, it was already bout 10pm that day, i have to preach at 2pm the next day...i din wan to write a new sermon again cause i was really tired...i din noe what to do and i call Amy 姐...i shared with her...normally a friend's reaction will be i pray for you or give advice right? her reply was go and sleep...i was like huh..then she ask me even if i think till 2am...can i get the verse...i say maybe not...then she told me i need have enough rest cause next day still got lesson and i would need the energy, i would not be able to perform my best when preaching if i dun have enough rest...then she say she pray for me...that night when she pray for me...by hearing her prayer...i know she had been praying for me in her daily quiet time...can feel it and i was really touched...i had a good night rest that day...and the next day...6 hrs aways from my preaching test...i still dun have the verse...during worship, this particular verse kept coming to my mind, i check it up when we sat down...and the verse match every point that i had written down for the sermon...Praise God...
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
The Declaration of Independence happened long before 1776. In fact, humankind declared its independence from God in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve believed the lie that they could live independent of God. Since then, we humans have been constantly struggling to do it our way.
God knows that true independence is impossible. There's no way we can function effectively if we are cut off from his His help. We are like branches in a vineyard. Once cut off, we die. Jesus is the true vine (John 15:1), and unless we are connected to Him, we will never truly be productive. And our so-called independence won't lead to freedom but to our own destruction.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.