2019 EM RETREAT: Sat 22–Sun 23 June
The annual EM retreat is a great time for fellowship, fun, and spiritual growth. This year’s retreat will be held in beautiful Taichung, on the theme: “How has Jesus saved us?”. Join us for 2 days of fun, food, and friendship! Adults: 1,300NT, kids (5–12): 600NT, kids under 5 free! Sign up now at the Welcome Table, or contact Yvette at: firstname.lastname@example.org
SNACK SERVICE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
We are looking for friendly volunteers who can help serve at our snack table after service on Sundays. Can you make coffee and tea, and help serve people after Sunday service? If so, come speak to our secretary Yvette for further information at email@example.com
EM ENGLISH KIDS’ CLUB!
The EM English Kids’ Club is for kids from 0–12 years old. It’s a fun time when kids can get together to sing songs, play together, and learn about God. Join us from 11:00–12:00 every Sunday in the 7F Kids’ Room. Please send your child’s name and age to Yvette at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bible Verse for the Week
“This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel:
It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit,
says the Lord of Hosts.”
Weekly Reflection: 9–15 June 2019
Devotional texts follow the SLPC Bible Reading Schedule. If you would like a copy of the reading schedule, please contact our EM Secretary Yvette at email@example.com Devotionals for previous weeks can be found in our Devotionals Archive.
Proverbs 24 opens with the simple words: “Don’t envy evil people.” This plea is then repeated again in verse 19: “don’t envy the wicked”. At first it sounds like strange advice. Why would we ever envy evil and wicked people? But sadly this temptation is very common, very real, and very painful.
All of us know that living a good and righteous life is not easy. Keeping a check on our behaviour, focusing our hearts and minds on what is good, and working each day for love and goodness all take effort. But it gets even harder when we see people who aren’t interested in goodness doing much better than us. We see the way others bend the law to take what they want, the way they lie to customers to get the sale, the way they gossip, intimidate others, and violently push others around for their own benefit. And we see them using these techniques to succeed. Not only can that make us angry, it also hurts us deeply. It’s painful to feel left behind, and so we think to ourselves that if we just gave up on integrity and goodness then maybe we, too, could do better. We end up resenting the good life we are leading, and that pulls us down into bitterness and regret. But it’s in that moment that Proverbs quietly urges us: Don’t envy evil people, or be tempted by their apparent successes.
Proverbs encourages us instead to hold onto wisdom and truth, which are the true foundations of a good life: “A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense” (v. 3). And while some may find a fast-track to riches through wicked ways, Proverbs reminds us that knowledge and wisdom are the true treasures that we should seek (v. 4). And although the strong may use the violence of their words and actions to get ahead, “the wise are mightier than the strong” (v. 5).
It can be painful to watch the wicked get ahead, because it makes us feel like we were wrong to choose lives of wisdom, goodness, and love. And so we get tempted to give up on the right way of living. But appearances are so often deceiving. Throughout history, every kingdom and empire has come to an end; only the Kingdom of God, grounded in love, has continued undefeated. That’s why Proverbs stresses again, that no matter how painful the temptation may be to leave the right way behind, don’t fret because of evildoers and don’t envy the wicked, because in the end there is no true success there (vv. 19–20).
With blessings for the week ahead, Pastor Stephen Lakkis