Friday 29 June 2012


Why does the Bible single out the young – and especially young men – when it comes to keeping ourselves morally pure?

Some of us are familiar with the following verses:
  • “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your Word” (Psalm 119:9).
  • “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22).
This is not difficult to understand when we realise that the Bible correlates well with physiological functions. Young men have ten times more testosterone (a sex hormone) than women which accounts for the former’s powerful sex drive. After peaking at early 20’s, male testosterone levels dip about 1 percent each year. So by the time men reach 50’s, their libido and performance would have diminished.

Now we understand why young men have to pay special attention to keeping themselves morally pure. Their hormones are “working overtime” at that phase of their life!

Even so, we should not say, “It’s my hormones that made me do it” when we yield to temptation. The biblical stance is clear: There is no provision for any alternative lifestyle* for sexual fulfillment apart from a monogamous, heterosexual relationship between a man and a woman who are committed to one another by marriage.

Instead, youths should channel their energies towards productive activities for the benefit of the community and church. This process is called sublimation. Sexual drive should be contained just as a powerful river is dammed up so that it produces hydroelectric power.

When you are young you have lots of energy. You can make many varied choices in life. You can choose the good or bad. You can mix with the right or wrong crowd. You can go to the places which build your character or to sleazy joints. Make sure you choose well.

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
(Ecclesiastes 11:9).

But if you choose to fear God and glorify Him, He will honour your commitment and bless your life abundantly so that you will in turn bless many others.

It is not going to be easy. But with God’s help and godly company, you will succeed.

* No fornication, cohabiting, extramarital sex or homosexuality.



Thursday 28 June 2012




It all began with a  lustful gaze culminating in stolen moments of sensual delight.

At a time when kings were supposed to lead armies into battle, King David was idling. A naked lady bathing at the rooftop caught his eye. And the ‘man after God’s own heart’ fell for the charms of another man’s wife.

Like tumbling dominoes, events unfolded swiftly, moving David from temptation to lust to adultery and to murder. It is unfathomable that bathrooms then were so open. If Bathsheba had bathed in an enclosed area, would David be spared such sorrow?

For sure, we will never know. Suffice to say, this incident warns us of the deadly consequences of yielding to sexual temptation.

Whereas temptation also lurks in areas such as money, fame and power, the sexual variety is especially difficult to resist when we’re caught flat-footed at a vulnerable moment – when we’re lost, lonely, confused and out of communion with God. Or idle, as in David’s case.

No wonder Hollywood bad girl, Mae West, quipped: "I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it."

Temptation is not necessarily something that swoops down on us like a hawk when we’re vulnerable. Circumstances may conspire to prompt our moral failure but often we ourselves are partly to be blamed. The ability of temptation to exert its power over us is actually decided much earlier – in our hearts.

In the first place, are we dead serious about preserving our moral purity? Do we fear God enough to want to honour Him in all areas, including our bodies?

If so, we would have put in place measures to shore up our defenses even before temptation strikes. So the moment it hits us, we would know how to deal with it – and hopefully escape unscathed.

How then do we build our moral reserves?


King Lemuel was taught by his mother not to spend his strength on women, his vigour on those who ruin kings (Proverbs 31:3).

Elsewhere, the Bible is replete with warnings against yielding to sexual temptation. How can young men stay on the path of purity? By memorising, delighting in and meditating on scriptures so that they can live by it (Psalm 119:9-16).

It’s interesting to note that this injunction to young men correlates with normal physiological functions. Young men have ten times more testosterone (a sex hormone) than women which accounts for the former’s powerful sex drive. After peaking at early 20’s, male testosterone levels dip about 1 percent each year. So by the time men reach 50’s, their libido and performance would have diminished.

But we should not say, “It’s my hormones that made me do it” when we yield to temptation. The biblical stance is clear: There is no provision for any alternative lifestyle* for sexual fulfillment apart from a monogamous, heterosexual relationship between a man and a woman who are committed to one another by marriage.

The next time, when temptation strikes, identify with the truth by confessing aloud:  I am the temple of the Holy Spirit. I have been bought with a price. So I have to glorify God in my body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). If Jesus confronted satan’s temptations by quoting scriptures, can we do any less?


Not only do we arm ourselves with the Word and affirm it when tempted, we need to flee from the scene of temptation. When Joseph was tempted to sleep with Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:7), he fled. Had he lingered on, he wouldn’t have the strength to resist the wiles of this femme fatale. Many lesser men had become her victims whenever she batted her eyelids, flicked her hair and twirled it round her fingers.

There is no point praying for strength if you are walking towards temptation or indirectly acquiescing to it. You must mean serious business. In practice this might mean surfing in an open area or clicking away from a sexually enticing image. Or giving up the habit of frequenting karaoke joints with bad company as this corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33).

While temptation is not sin, the line demarcating the two is so thin that it’s wise to nip it in the bud – while we’re still able to. We cannot stop the birds from flying over our heads but we can prevent them from nesting on our heads. Leave – no, you must run – while you’re still strong enough.


But it’s not only about resisting and fleeing from temptation. We are also told to celebrate the joys of sexual union in marriage. Rather than “embrace the bosom of an adventuress”, we are exhorted to “drink water from our own cistern” (Proverbs 5: 15,20).

If intimacy – sexual and emotional – is lacking in a marriage, the tendency is to look for it outside.

For men, this intimacy is mainly sexual in nature; for women, it is predominantly emotional. If these areas are compromised in a marriage or when familiarity reigns between the sheets of the marriage bed, the propensity is to dispel the humdrum with some excitement from outside.

The apostle Paul was down-to-earth and forthright regarding provision of conjugal rights within marriage: “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife” (1 Corinthians 7: 4).

A sex-starved spouse is more likely to be lecherous though this is not absolutely true. Some are so incurably wayward that they prefer “exotic culinary delights” to “home-cooked food”. They are constantly thinking of spicy tom yam and how to inject some pizzazz into their sex lives.


What if one has a genuine desire to keep God’s moral law but still has difficulty overcoming sexual temptation?

By choosing to “walk by the Spirit”, one will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16): Draw near to God; be exposed to people and situations where God is glorified; pray in the Spirit; listen to uplifting messages; worship God; fellowship with other believers.

Remember that other believers are also facing similar struggles (1 Corinthians 10:13). Jesus was tempted in every way just like us – and that includes sexual temptations (Hebrews 4:15). Seductive women of ill repute crossed his path as He ministered but He knew how to handle the situation.

Sure, you might say, for He is divine. But we too have the power of the Holy Spirit within us at our disposal. Praise God “the law of the Spirit who gives life has set us free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). This does not imply we are sinless but sin’s stranglehold in our lives has been broken.

By being accountable to someone of the same sex (preferably one more mature in the faith), our struggles and progress can be shared.


What if we fall? We simply come to God, ask for forgiveness and begin on a “new” slate again. But, truth be told, prevention is better than cure. Though God in His mercy forgives, the consequences of sin often remain.

For David, the aftermath, as spoken by the prophet Nathan, was brutal: Violence constantly pursued him, his son Absalom rebelled against him and the “love child” with Bathsheba died despite the king’s desperate prayer.

Even today, moral failure continues to leave a trail of destruction in its wake. The aggrieved spouse finds it difficult to trust the offender. It may result in divorce, loss of job, position, dignity and honour, financial loss and venereal disease. A moment of indiscretion, a fling, a one-night stand can result in a lifetime of regret. Many are constantly wracked with worry that they might have contracted AIDS.

As the saying reminds goes: “Sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than what you are willing to pay.”

Repentance does not necessarily erase the temporal effects of sin. In exchange for fleeting delights, there is so much at stake, so much we stand to lose.

Is it worthwhile savouring “forbidden fruit” though apparently it tastes so sweet? #
* No fornication, cohabiting, extramarital sex or homosexuality.

# Eternal consequences of sexual sin:    
 “Stolen water is sweet;
 food eaten in secret is delicious!
 But little do they know that the dead are there,
 that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead” (Proverbs 9:17-18).

The above article was first published in Asian Beacon magazine, Aug 2012, issue 44.4


Wednesday 27 June 2012


Yes, it is true we should walk the talk. Not just advise but also live out the values and principles we say we cherish.

But what would parents do when their children deliberately refuse to follow their example – despite the parents' good intentions – and remain wayward?

By the way, there are many such strong-willed children of Christian leaders who drive their parents crazy.

If this is your predicament, you might want to check out a recent article by Focus on the Family which I found useful:


Understanding the significance and power of this act, drawing from examples in the Old and New Testament.

This act is to impart blessing, authority and healing according to Bible teacher, Derek Prince.

Some of us are familiar with the following verses:

"Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you" (1 Timothy 4:14).

"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands" (2 Timothy 1:6).

In the above verses, we see something similar: The mature apostle Paul telling young Timothy to stir up (ie. not to neglect developing) the spiritual gifts which were imparted to    the latter through the laying on of hands by those with higher authority.

What is significance of laying on of hands? 

Let us turn to renowned Bible teacher, Derek Prince:

For full article by Derek Prince: 

Friday 22 June 2012


Yes, you read it correctly. It’s not a typo error. You can walk your way to wealth because you are going to save money in terms of reducing the number of outpatient visits to the doctor and reducing the need for hospitalisation, all other factors being equal.

It is a cheap and convenient way to enjoy health and wealth.

If you do not believe me, take this challenge: Do a baseline blood profile of your fasting glucose and cholesterol before you start a six month’s walking regime. *

Then repeat the above blood tests after six months and watch the improvement of the blood indices. Also, watch how you improve subjectively in terms of your mood, outlook and stamina. You may shed some flab in the process.

If you are on medication for diabetes or hypertension, you may require lowered doses of medication after a significant period of time spent walking regularly. With lowered doses, you not only save money but reduce the likelihood of side-effects of medication. But please consult your doctor first before altering the dose.

As you walk you can even pray, worship, and praise God along the way but beware of traffic. Walk facing oncoming traffic. Better still walk in a park or garden where the air is fresher and there is no traffic. Try to incorporate walking during your lunch time break.

As a rough guide, the current American Heart Association/American College of Sports Medicine standards call for able-bodied adults to do moderate-intensity exercise (such as brisk walking) for at least 30 minutes on five days each week or intense aerobic exercise (such as running) for at least 20 minutes three days each week.

*Those above 40’s should consult a doctor before embarking on an exercise programme.
Disclaimer: The above is not intended to replace professional medical consultation.

How walking works
The cardiovascular benefits of walking are biologically plausible; like other forms of regular moderate exercise, walking improves cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, vascular stiffness and inflammation, and mental stress. And if cardiac protection and a lower death rate are not enough to get you moving, consider that walking and other moderate exercise programs also help protect against dementia, peripheral artery disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, colon cancer, and even erectile dysfunction.

The above, “How walking works”, is an excerpt from the original article from:

Related post:

Monday 18 June 2012


Financially speaking, is it wrong to plan for our retirement since we are supposed to live by faith?

The government’s intention to raise the retirement age in the private sector to 60 is in line with longer life expectancy in Malaysia. *

Some welcome this move as it would mean they will be in a better position to settle their mortgage, fund their children’s education as well as build their retirement nest egg.

The upside that people are living longer with better medical care has to be balanced with the fact that staying alive is expensive. Recently, my mother was hospitalised for a fall in a private hospital and the bill came up to RM 20,000.

How do retirees continue to live for the next 15 to 20 years or so without a regular source of income, given that the cost of living is constantly escalating? In fact, private hospital bills have been increasing by at least 10% every year.

Undeniably, the blessing of long life – and more opportunities to serve God – comes with added responsibility and burden. It means we have to give financial planning for our retirement serious thought if we have not done so as yet.

Some say planning implies we have little faith. Since God cares for us as He would care for the birds and the lilies, we should just concentrate on seeking and serving Him (Matthew 6:25-33).

Others become obsessed with financial planning for retirement. They save and scrimp so much that they become niggardly towards God’s work and often exclude themselves from social functions.

How do we balance these two extreme viewpoints — faith and planning?

Isn’t God’s planning evident in His creation and the instructions He gave for the building of the ark, and the tabernacle and temple of Jerusalem?

Likewise, we need to plan. But we must first acknowledge God as the source of wisdom; we may plan but it is God who directs our steps (Proverbs 3:5,6).

The industrious ant forages for food in summer so that it will have sustenance during winter (Proverbs 6:6-11).

Similarly, Joseph had the foresight to plan. And his family and a nation were saved when famine came (Genesis 41:35,36).

Lack of planning may cause us to outlive our finances. We may then have to depend on handouts from relatives or friends. We may even have to come out of retirement and go back to work but will our health permit it? How can we avert this potentially dangerous financial time bomb?


The above has been adapted from Talking Ringgit and Sense Before You Retire:

Sunday 17 June 2012


The Pendulum of Beliefs

The beliefs of Christians today seem to swing to two extremes. On one side, there is a line of thinking that essentially amounts to the following: “God only wants to heal; thus, if you are still sick, it is not God’s will for you.  Therefore, God cannot accomplish any good from it.  The only good He can accomplish from the illness is to remove it from you.  Therefore, all moments in which you remain ill are bad and wrong from God’s perspective.  They are useless.  Worthless.  Nothing good can come from your situation until God heals you.”

This kind of thinking (that isn’t according to the whole counsel of God’s word) has muddied the water of theology. It has led to the idea that resting in God’s sovereignty and faith/expectancy do not mix. But they do! It is not an either/or scenario.

To believe that God in His sovereignty has allowed the circumstance we are in today, does not mean that we quit believing He has plans to change it tomorrow. It simply means resting in Him today. And letting Him be the one to determine when and how He makes good on His promises.  That’s all. It doesn’t mean you stop believing in His promises.  It just means, to me at least, that He is God and I am not.

The above article “The Pendulum of Beliefs” has been extracted from:

You might want to check out the following articles below:

Finally, I like this post by well-balanced material by Alpha course:

Brother and sisters, do you think the lives of Nick Vujicic and Joni Eareckson Tada and Helen Keller would have made such great impact if they were healed?

Does healing of the physical body invariably bring the highest possible glory to God? 

Why didn't apostle Paul pray for healing in the following two instances?

2 Timothy 4:20: Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus

1 Timothy 5:23: Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

Our mind is like a parachute. It only works if it is openThe views expressed in this article are entirely my own. Let us keep in mind this saying: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” (Voltaire).

Related earlier posts:

Thursday 14 June 2012


We are the ones who stand to benefit when we forgive others.

As we go through life, painful experiences will inevitably be etched in our memories. The human brain comprises 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) embedded in a mass of glial tissue. In many ways superior to a computer, the brain processes thousands of thoughts in a day.

Whereas computers have a ‘delete’ function, there is no corresponding ‘erase’ button we can push to rid ourselves of unwanted and unpleasant memories in our brain. These memories continue to haunt us for a lifetime.

But no matter what burns in our memory, forgiveness is one of the important keys in overcoming our inner pain — forgiving the one who has wronged us. Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is an act of obedience on our part in response to God’s word.

The world says, “You must get even. An eye for an eye.” But we have to demolish such thoughts, taking them captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). By doing so, we do not allow anger to fester (Ephesians 4:26) or bitterness to take root (Hebrews 12:15). We are told to put off the old nature, put on the new nature and be renewed in the spirit of our minds (Ephesians 4:22-24).

It does not mean we condone the act of injustice inflicted upon us. But we do it (forgive) anyway. It not only restores our relationship with the one who offended us but also restores our fellowship with God. But most of all, we stand to benefit in many waysphysiologically and psychologically.

When we align ourselves with God’s word, that we are to forgive as we have been forgiven by Christ, we will experience release and healing.

God is like the Master Potter. When the lump of clay is deformed and unsightly, He crushes it and reshapes it. One way this is achieved is when the Holy Spirit brings a particular verse to our attention and applies it  like a balm or arrow to our lives. A balm soothes while an arrow convicts. Forgiveness restores us so that we do not have to walk around wounded inside.

For the full article on INNER HEALING:

Tuesday 12 June 2012


Beware of heart disease and stroke!

A faithful servant of God in his early 60’s has just discovered that all major coronary arteries supplying his heart are more than 90% blocked. So he is scheduled for coronary bypass surgery. Earlier, he had “chest tightness” which brought him to consult a doctor. Thank God he did not die suddenly of a heart attack.

Some of us may be walking time bombs if we’re not careful. We might just drop dead suddenly, what with our stressful life, indiscriminate eating habits, lack of exercise and failure to go for preventive check-up. We often think it will happen to others but not us

How will we leave this earth one day? Morbid come to think of it but let’s face it. We should not run away from reality.

The commonest way of exiting is not when we get cancer or meet with an accident. By far the most likely terminal event will be a heart attack or stroke, which is related to clogging of our arteries supplying the heart and brain.

The major risk factors for heart disease are:

1. Family history.
2. Hypertension.
3. Diabetes.
4. High cholesterol.
5. Smoking.

You might also add stress, lack of exercise (sedentary life) and obesity. When the obesity is concentrated in the abdomen (pot belly), it is even worse as it is associated with “metabolic syndrome”.

Pot belly is not just something cosmetic. It is a sign of poor health; many risk factors for heart disease are associated with it (pot belly).

Better beware when the only exercise we get is by clicking the mouse or remote control.

You can do yourself a whole lot of good by taking more walks, being wise and selective with your diet, learning how to manage stress (techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises), going for your annual medical check-ups and regularly taking your medications if you have been instructed by the doctor. Be updated on health issues by reading widely.

Those above 40’s should consult a doctor before embarking on a vigourous exercise programme.

Remember it’s all about keeping your coronary arteries unclogged:

Disclaimer: The above is not intended to replace professional medical consultation.

Sunday 10 June 2012


In my earlier post,*   I mentioned that I believe there is a definite place for supernatural healing today: “What if a healer claims to have received a rhema word from God that a patient will be miraculously cured without medical intervention? Is there a place for such a stand? Yes, I believe God can heal in so many different ways, with or without medical means; we should not attempt to limit an infinite God.”

Yes, I am not for a moment doubting that God can heal. Or that the prayer of faith can heal:
“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).

But when reality confronts us in the real world – that some are still not healed despite being prayed for – what are we to do? There are so many cases of non-healing which does not gel with theology that says “God will heal always”. For example, have you seen a Down’s syndrome child being healed completely back to normal?

If God heals always when people get prayed for sicknesses, then we will not have to die and will hypothetically live forever. Then how are we going to expire? We have to die, in most cases, of some illness (eg. heart attack, stroke, or cancer) if we don’t die of accidents. Are there any modern-day Enochs you know of who get translated to heaven without dying?

I wonder whether spiritual healers report their cases of non-healing with the same degree of enthusiasm as they do with their successes.

As a doctor of 30 years and a Christian of the same duration, I have been grappling with this issue day after day. Let us not frame a theology (“God will heal always”) that does not take into account real world considerations.

“Joni Erickson Tada was paralyzed in an accident as a teenager. She prayed in faith many, many times, and has written about those experiences. So why is she still in a wheelchair? Why does Billy Graham have Parkinson's? Why do men and women of God wear glasses or walk with canes?”

“God is glorified by healing, sure, and I've seen it happen. But God is also glorified through a life well-lived in spite of debilitating injury or a damaging illness. I know that I am inspired by a Christian whose faith is not destroyed even if their normal "healthy" body is. Praise God that He is thus glorified!”

Finally, I like this post by well-balanced material by Alpha course:

There are certainly more factors in the equation than just harping on the fact that God heals in every instance.

The other factors to be considered include: God’s sovereignty, the fall of man (sin) and consequent disease and degeneration, inevitable death that confronts each of us.

God does not answer all our whys this side of eternity when we’re confronted with non-healing – even when all the prerequisites have been fulfilled for spiritual healing. His thoughts and ways are higher than that of ours.

Salvation is the ultimate “miracle” – to get transported to heaven when we die. Healing, if He grants it, is an added blessing – but it should not be viewed as our inalienable right as children of God.

Only in heaven will all our tears be dried up. Perhaps, then, all our perplexities on why God heals some and not others will finally be resolved.

Related posts: