The Small Things in this Big World

There are some things in this world that we often don’t notice. Yet these things are the very proof of how amazing the creation is.

The creation, as described in Genesis 1, tells of how God created the whole earth.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

God’s attributes are proclaimed through His creation. Everything that God created was ‘good.’ Yet there are many facts on God’s creation that have been ignored and have gone unnoticed by humans. Did you know an alligator’s brain weighs the same amount as 5 Oreos? Yet it still has the ability to be a top predator! Let’s see some more examples of God’s attributes in nature.

  1. God is Loving

This may seem a little cliché, but in reality, this is a valuable truth. Without God’s love, we would be lost in sin and far from the people who we were supposed to be. God’s love is no ordinary love. God’s love is described in the New Testament as ‘agape’ love. Agape love is a sacrificial love, that looks to the benefits for people around them. A love that loves God. Just like in Mark 12:30-31, 

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.””

The most obvious but meaningful example of God’s agape love is when He Himself died on the cross to save us from our sins. 

In nature, an example of love can be shown when Giant Pacific octopuses sacrifice themselves for their eggs. The females guard their eggs for 4 years – a time where they don’t even get to eat! Another example is seen when dolphins identify humans by checking our skeleton structure using their sonar. They often help shipwreck victims fight sharks and stay afloat, all because they too are mammals. Dolphins are willing to help other mammals survive!

  1. God is Selfless

God is not selfish. Selflessness is difficult, as sin is all about the opposite – selfishness. But, if God was selfish, He would have every reason not to care about us anymore after we fell into sin. But He loves us and sent his Son down to save us. Jesus was selfless when he died on the cross. He obeyed His Father’s will over his own. Just as it says in Philippians 2:5-8,

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!”

In zoology (the study of animals), selfless animal behaviour is often referred to as altruism. In 2008, two whales beached on the shore and yet were successfully led to the deeper waters by dolphins. In 2013, a deformed dolphin was ‘adopted’ by a pod of whales. Elephants have been documented helping other baby elephants trapped in mud holes to escape! Acacia trees are able to send out warnings to other acacia trees surrounding them, alerting them of any imminent danger.

Proof that God exists is everywhere. Every intricate detail in this world reflects who God is. It’s up to us whether we want to observe, take note and believe. Or if we want to be ignorant and think that only other humans can solve our mysteries about our origin. 

Nature around us resounds that God is real and almighty. Are you listening to it?

The Untold Story of C.T. Studd – The Cricketer turned Missionary

I am no cricketer, but I do love a good story. Missionaries, apart from famous ones (like Jim Elliot and the Auca Five), are often unknown. But, their stories are inspirational and have affected so many people – even those we don’t know.

Charles Thomas (C.T. as he was often called) Studd (1860 – 1931) was a professional cricketer from England. During the 1880s, he was one of England’s greatest cricketers. He grew up in a wealthy family and was educated at prestigious schools.

Studd’s father, Edward Studd, became a Christian during a meeting held by D.L. Moody and Ira Sankey. The newly evangelised man deeply wanted to share the good news. As a result, the Studd Mansion turned into a centre of meetings and discussions with pastors and missionaries. Though his three sons tried to avoid the topic of Christianity, their determined father was not going to stop there.

Who do you really live for?

One afternoon, whilst on a break from college, Studd’s father invited a visiting preacher. The preacher confronted each of Edward’s sons, and they all came to faith in Christ that day. He asked them if they believed in God’s promises to give eternal life, quoting John 3:16. He questioned them on who they really lived for. This very challenge convinced C.T. Studd, and he became a Christian. From then on, his life was changed.

The Ashes

Even before his conversion, the Studd brothers were cricket enthusiasts. Not only did they admire the game, but they were also talented and soon shone out among other players. C.T. stood out, particularly on one occasion, when an Australian team visited their university. The Australian team was undefeated and in their first victory, C.T. was pronounced the best player. 

He then captained his university team, and soon a bigger opportunity arose. He and his brother George were selected to represent England at the Ashes.

The first ever victory of England in the 1882-83 Ashes Series was incredible to the people at the time. Cricket was growing in popularity at that time and the fact that England had won greatly excited the people.

But in 1884, George, his brother, fell gravely ill. The realisation that his brother’s achievements and cricket career meant nothing in comparison to eternity, made Studd rethink his actions and direction in life. Studd even questioned:

“What is all the fame and flattery worth … when a man comes to face eternity?”

He realised that everything in this world is nothing in comparison to heaven. This realisation called him to be a missionary.

“I know that cricket would not last, and honour would not last, and nothing in this world would last, but it was worthwhile living for the world to come.”

The Cambridge Seven

Through his brother’s illness and its effect on him, Studd felt called to pursue mission work. He joined the China Inland Mission, an organisation founded by Hudson Taylor. Studd encouraged other members of his university, Cambridge, to join. Together, they formed the Cambridge Seven and together they ventured to China.

The news of the departure of one of England’s best all round cricketers at the time came as a shock to the public. Leaving behind fame and fortune to pursue mission work in an unknown land didn’t make any sense. But, Studd was determined. Before his departure, he lead a series of ‘revival meetings’ to universities, impacting many. Then, in the February of 1885, less than three years after he had won the Ashes Series, C.T. Studd left for China.

China and India

During C.T. Studd’s time in China, many things happened. In China, he met his wife, Priscilla, an Irish missionary, and married her three years after setting foot in Shanghai. 

Also, when Studd was in China, his father, Edward Studd, died. Edward Studd left behind 29 000 pounds for Studd as his inheritance. Instead of using it all for himself, he gave away the money to various organisations such as the Moody Bible Institute, George Muller’s orphanage, a man working with the poor in England, as well as the Salvation Army. After serving in China for nine years and with deteriorating health, C.T. Studd returned home to England. But it wasn’t long before he felt a calling to India. He served there between 1900 and 1906.

Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade

However, during a return trip to England from India, he met Karl Kumm, a missionary in Africa. After visiting Sudan in 1910, he set his heart to Belgian Congo (now in modern day Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1913. Here, he spent the rest of his life, serving God wholeheartedly until his death in 1931.


C.T. Studd began his life for the world and ended it for God. So, what can we learn from him?

  1. Devote yourself to God

Devoting yourself to God doesn’t necessarily mean to be a missionary and go to the middle of nowhere. In the case of C.T. Studd, it was. But even before his missionary work, he devoted his life to God through cricket. As he grew in spiritual life, he realised that his life was not of this world and that he should focus his life on God and for God’s Glory. As he wrote in his poem, “Only One Life, ‘Twill Soon Be Past”:

Only one life ’twill soon be past.

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Let us remember the words of this poem.

2. Use your talents for God

C.T. Studd pursued his talents in cricket for God’s glory. As he used these talents and answered his call to be a missionary, he also used his fame and fortunes for the same purpose. His fame allowed him to give his testimonies to many people and his fortune gave him the opportunity to support those who needed support.

Conclusion and Summary

C.T. Studd was a man of talent who gave his life to God. But the question now is not about Studd – it’s about you. Will you too give your life and use your gifts for God?

Ethan Chow (14) is one of the website managers for RE Generation-Z. Through RE Generation Z, he hopes that this generation can be truly ‘RE Generated’. He is an avid chess player, learner of new things, listener and player of music.

A Truly Devoted Life

What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘devoted’? The first things that come to my mind are breadwinners. They devote themselves to supporting their family until they are literally unable to.

Even from a young age, hearing stories about breadwinners who sometimes became successful people was inspiring. I thought that, one day, I would also be able to work hard and become a successful person. Following the breadwinner’s example, I would be able to help people and support them. But, growing up, I learnt that this was not the case. Some people didn’t work hard at all. They didn’t even work, nor devote any of their time to doing anything beneficial to others.

Ever since the fall of men, things have become this way. The world was turned upside down. The rich hardly worked whilst the poor worked so hard. The rich earning lots while the poor earned close to none. Sin has corrupted the nature of humans and is obvious in what we do and don’t do. Even if we mean good, misunderstandings and temptations render us powerless versus the devil.

“I know I’ve promised my parents that I will study hard and get a good grade in my next exam. But, come on, just a few minute Youtube video won’t hurt my grades. Even if it does, I’ll just get a better mark next time to make my parents proud. I’m sure they’ll understand.”

This little anecdote is probably (in one way or another) quite relevant when it comes to study. But what about this:

I know I told God I’d read my Bible everyday and pray. I’ll read my devotion, and well, it’s not my fault – I need to check out what my friends want to tell me. I’m sure God would understand. I really tried my best to concentrate…”

Well, to ‘devote’ ourselves is more than just studying or reading the Bible. If we investigate the origin of the word ‘devoted,’ we find it has a much deeper meaning.

The True Meaning:

The word ‘devoted’ comes from two Latin words. ‘De’ meaning ‘from’ and ‘vovēre’ meaning ‘to vow.’ Vowing is a more generally used term in the modern age. Originally, vowing was used when one promised something solemnly to God, setting yourself apart and promising to keep that promise. If we put this together, we get ‘devoted’. 

Again, in the modern age, ‘devoted’ can be used in any context. Devoted to supporting your family. Devoted to playing games. Devoted to studying. But really, ‘devoted’ means ‘set apart for God.’

So, a devoted life is not any old life; it’s a life devoted to God. But what does that mean? What does it mean to be set apart for God? Romans 12:2 says:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

There’s our answer. We shouldn’t conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Conform[ing] to the pattern of this world simply means following what the world values and how it behaves. The world is different to those in Christ. So, resisting the temptation to be like the world is important to Christians. We need to be different from those around us. Different in behaviour, values, thoughts, and words. 

But that’s not all. We should also be transformed by the renewing of … our mind[s]. Our mind needs to be transformed in how it thinks, so that we will not conform to the pattern of this world but be able to test and approve what God’s will is. This doesn’t mean that we will always know what God’s will for us is, but God will reveal it to us through being transformed by the renewing of … our mind[s]

The Westminster Catechism also describes our life like this:

Question 1: What is the chief end of man?

Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

This is another aspect of the ‘devoted life.’ Not only should we resist the temptation of this world and be transformed by God, but we must also glorify God and enjoy him forever. This is our purpose in life, and this purpose is reflected in a devoted life. Living for God is our purpose. Psalm 57:2 confirms this:

“I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

But remember, being devoted is being devoted to God. Not anything else. Remember the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42? They both ‘devoted’ themselves to God but in different ways. Mary sat down and devoted herself to listening to Jesus. Martha tried to tend to the house, ‘devoting’ herself to making the house look clean for Jesus. Though they both ‘devoted’ themselves to Jesus, Jesus commended Mary for sitting down and listening. But to Martha, he told her to join her sister as she had ‘devoted herself to the wrong thing.’

Remember your motivation too. Are you devoting your life to God for God? Or is it just to impress others?


Though these verses contain lots of wisdom, it’s hard to understand what the Bible is trying to show us. How can we live a ‘devoted life’? How can we truly live a ‘devoted life’ according to the Bible and God’s Will? Here are some ways:

  1. Read the Bible and Pray (But not just for the sake of it)

Yes, this is a very big cliché. But it really is true. The Bible is not some sort of magical book where certain words will pop up and transform you. But, it is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Prayer is your way of communication with God. What kind of relationship involves not talking to the other person?

  1. Set yourself apart

This is probably something you’ve heard before if you’re a Christian. But in reality, it’s hard to put into practise. Remember, we are not to be conform[ed] to the pattern of this world. The Bible says this in 1 Peter 2:4-5: “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 

The world rejects God’s ways, but we are called to live this way. Who do you want to follow, the world or God? James 4:4 says, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”. But remember, the world will reject the way you behave; John 15:18-19 says: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

  1. Use your talents for God’s Glory

Talents are gifts from God. One way to live a devoted life is to use these talents for God’s glory, rather than our own. Though some of us may be ‘more’ talented than others, there is an answer to that in the Bible. In Matthew 25:14-30, there is the ‘Parable of the Bags of Gold’ (in other translations, ‘Parable of the Talents’). These ‘bags of gold’ really represent our talents. Even if we have one talent or five, we can still use them for God’s Glory!

  1. Tell others (even if it’s awkward)

Yes, it’s awkward to get a conversation starting about this topic but, try. I, too, struggle with this so let’s all try together! There are people that we walk past each day who don’t know the Good News. It would be selfish of us to keep it to ourselves!

  1. Trust in God!

This is the most important and fundamental thing to do. Though sometimes it’s hard, always remember, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28. 

But pay close attention. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Do you love God? God called us according to His eternal purpose and sovereignty. We did nothing to be worthy of this calling. Are you answering his call?

We’ve talked about all of this ‘devoting our lives to God’. But in reality, God is the one more devoted to us than we ever will be to him. God is the one devoting himself to us. But, we must try our best to live a life devoted to him. Remember this famous verse? John 3:16

Conclusion & Summary:

If I lost you along the way, here’s a recap:

  • A devoted life means to be set apart for God.
  • Living a devoted life isn’t easy, because it means going against the flow, against the world.
  • Living a devoted life can be lived through everyday things.
  • If you want to devote yourself to God, make sure you devote yourself to God in the right way (remember Mary and Martha).
  • Remember your motivation – are you devoting yourself for God or for others?

In conclusion, God is calling us to live a Devoted Life. Again, I ask you, will you answer his call?

Want to know more?

This article was a brief touch on what living a Devoted Life means. If you would like to know more, come join us at the RE Gen Z Retreat, which is all about ‘The Devoted Life.’

Ethan Chow (14) is one of the website managers for RE Generation-Z. Through RE Generation Z, he hopes that this generation can be truly ‘RE Generated’. He is an avid chess player, learner of new things, listener and player of music.

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