TOPIC: IF YOU WANT RESULTS, BE.
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 2 TIM 2:1-8.
A simple definition of “result” is thing that is caused or produced by something else, meaning a consequence or outcome of your action. Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy to encourage, empower and equip him to continue the ministry he started. Today, what God entrusted to you in sharing the Word you have to be responsible to pass on the Word of God faithfully. How can someone be “strong” in Grace? Grace means “undeserved favour.” Just as we are saved by Grace, we should live by Grace. This means trusting completely in Christ and His power, not trying to live the Christian life in our own strength. Depending on and living in Grace stands in sharp contrast to the world’s values, and in contrast to those like Phygellus and Hermogenes who deserted Paul and the faith.
Disciples need to be equipped to pass their faith on; our work is not done until new believers are telling others the Good News they have learned. As Timothy preached and taught, he would face suffering, but he would be able to endure, for the results are well worth it. Paul used a comparison with soldiers, athletes, and farmers who must discipline themselves and be willing to sacrifice to achieve the results they want. Like soldiers, we have to give up worldly security and endure rigorous discipline. Like athletes, we must train hard and follow the rules. Like farmers, we must work extremely hard. But we keep going despite suffering because of the thought of victory, the vision of winning, and the hope of harvest. All our suffering is made worthwhile by our goals of glorifying God, winning people to Christ, and one day living eternally with Him. The soldier only care about the one that enlist him. You need to stay within the boundaries of the rules and regulation in your job description. Similarly, the farmer work hard to produce good quality produce. What about a Christian? We want to produce spiritual believers of God, hallelujah amen!!
TOPIC: THE GREAT FLOOD (PART 2)
SPEAKER: PETER & LIAN NGOH
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: GEN 1:7-8, 7: 1-4,11-14, 6:1-9,13,22, 9:1.
God created the perfect earth which was altered and changed forever following the Great Flood. Scientist believed that there was a vapor canopy which was mentioned in Gen 1:7-8, encapsulating planet earth. Advantages of the vapor canopy included:
- Absorb sunlight and equally distributes the heat evenly around the planet.
- Reflect cosmic radiation –promotion of health and long lifespans of up to 1000 years.
- No violent weather due to even temperature around the globe.
- Visualization of stars made possible.
It is for this reason that we think that this suitable environment resulted in people living very much longer and healthier, increasing in physical stature and intellectual abilities, due to staying alive many hundred years longer. Besides, this also applies to the animal and plant kingdom. Both land and marine lives/animals, also plants grew into sizes many times larger to those following the Great Flood.
The Great Flood recorded in Genesis 7: 11-12 described how it happened and its impact on planet earth afterwards. Sources of water were contributed by:
- Sub terrain fountains bursting forth.
- Rain from canopy above.
- Water from the existing oceans spilling into the land.
Please watch video clip from this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tzSqV0RTbs which contained a possible scientific explanation of what happen during the Great Flood.
In Genesis 7, we see that only Noah and his family got into the ark that God instructed him to build. In terms of animals, a pair of each kind got into the ark. It took Noah and his family one week to gather the animal and bird into the ark. Scholars believe there were about 45,000 animals. Gen 7:14 commented there was every kind of breathing animal – domestic and wild, large and small along with birds and flying insect of every kind.
There are many lessons that could be learned from this experience:
- Faith = Genesis 6:13 Noah must have felt a strong desire to preach and teach people that God was going to destroy them unless they repented. He had to wait a long time until the Flood occurred.
- Obedience = Genesis 6:22 Noah did what God has instructed.
- Righteousness = Genesis 9:1 God does reward righteousness. The wicked will indeed be destroyed in the end. Just as God delivered Noah and his family. God is just and fair.
- Hope = God always give us a way out through Repentance.
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
TOPIC: ARE YOU HEARING?
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JAMES 1:19-25, 2:18.
This letter is written to the Jewish Christians who were scattered throughout the Mediterranean world because of persecution. James reminded the believers that when we talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that we think our ideas are much more important than theirs. Thus it is important to ask ourselves that when people talk with you, do they feel that their viewpoints and ideas have value?
James advised us to get rid of all that is wrong in our lives and be humbly glad for the salvation message we have received (“the grafted word”) because it alone can save us.
It is important to know what God’s Word says, but it is much more important to obey it. We can measure the effectiveness of our Bible study time by the effect it has on our behaviour and attitudes. Seek God and ask Him to make you humble. When you receive God’s Word into your life, you humble yourself and allow His Word to work into your life and you will start to realise that your actions will begin to change. Be doers of the Word, not merely listeners only!!
TOPIC: SEAT OF LOVE: SIMPLE BUT SEARCHING
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 1 JOHN 4: 7-13, 1COR 10: 13.
Love is an action word with an expression through our heart, soul, mind and strength. Life issues through love, thus love is not purely expression of emotion. True definition of love is what Christ teaches in the Scriptures, one that stand firm regardless of time and circumstances. Thus the heart, soul, mind and strength must come under the subjection of the Holy Spirit. An author commented this “….the design of the work of redemption was to maintain the honour of the Creator, and to restore man to the allegiance he owes to God as his Maker”. Man and all humanity owe allegiance to God, who is none other than his Maker. However, the reality the world is experiencing today is ruled by evil in the hearts of man, an absence of the true and living God.
A seat is supported and held together by its legs. Similarly, the seat of love requires fundamental elements of equal importance that help to support and make it stable. These elements include: the ability to listen, a sense of openness without prejudice, able to validate without ignoring, and always encouraging despite any circumstances.
1) Learn to listen
Listening is a skill acquired through time as we practice the act of becoming a good listener. It also requires patience and endurance. An active listener not only listens but also learns and acts upon what he/she has heard.
2) Openness without prejudice
We should all learn to have attitude like Jesus when he walked among men on this earth. He remained open without prejudice so that people can continue to hear Him and be led into Salvation. Jesus chose to mingle and associate freely with tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, beggars and Samaritans (they are regarded as half-castes).
3) Validation is acceptance
Validation let the person say all that’s bottled up. Bad or good, Validation let a person pour out without any interruption. Validation also give affirmation that their mistake is acknowledged to help them to move on. Validation is giving affirmation to people for both their positive and negative.
Apply this to yourself and in dealing with other as an active listener that our “God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it”. The verse of encouragement is found in the Scriptures, 1 Cor 10:13.
True love like how Jesus described it in the Scriptures is one that is not selfish, genuinely caring for others just as much as you care for yourself. It takes practise to improve and become better in it. It is like learning to swim or ride a bicycle. May we learn to love one another by learning to be open to one another; always validate one another and always encouraging one another.
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
TOPIC: PRAYER WITH ATTITUDE
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: COL 4:1-6, 12
Every believer should be devoted to a healthy prayerful living. Apostle urged the believers in Colosse to “continue in prayer”. Persistence demonstrates our faith that God answers our prayers. Faith should not die if the answers come slowly, for the delay may be God’s way of working God’s Will into our life. When you feel weary in your prayers, know that God is present, always listening, always acting, maybe not in ways you had hoped, but in ways He knows are best. A person who is devoted to prayer possesses qualities of dedication, determination, always with an attitude of worship and steadfast.
Epaphras, founder of the church at Colosse, is a man of prayer. He is a person who labours in prayer for his church. He prayed for congregation to have maturity in the things of God, to remain steadfast and faithful to complete the Will of God. Establish a sense of consistency and perseverance in your prayer life as if like an athlete who kept going despite the odds. Dictionary definition of prayer is a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession. Prayer also includes interceding on behalf of others. A person who is constantly in an attitude of prayer is always alert and quick to notice anything which is abnormal. The act of giving thanks to God in prayer shifts the attention from you to God, taking the eyes off yourselves. It will help change your selfish attitude.
“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without” means we should be wise in our contacts with non-Christians, making the most of our chances to tell them the Good News of salvation. When we tell others about Christ, it is important to be gracious in what we say. No matter how much sense the message makes, we lose our effectiveness if we are not courteous. Just as we like to be respected, we must respect others if we want them to listen to what we have to say. Stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit and He will certainly guide you along.
TOPIC: GRATITUDE: GIVING GLORY TO GOD
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 1 THES 5:18, EPH 5:20, DEUT 31:8, HEB 13:5, 1 COR 3:1-15, JOHN 10:10, PHIL 4:10-13, ACTS 16:22-26, PSA 23:4-6, DEUT 8:18, JOHN 16:30-33.
Through our life journey as a believer in Christ, let us learn always to have an attitude of gratitude for how He chooses to direct us in everything that concerns us. The foundation of the church, of all believers is Jesus Christ. Whoever builds the church must build it with high quality materials which include right doctrine and right living that meet God’s standards. In the church built on Jesus Christ, each church member would be mature, spiritually sensitive and doctrinally sound. A building is only as solid as its foundation. The foundation of our lives is Jesus Christ; He is our base, our reason for being. Everything we are and do must fit into the pattern provided by Him. Are you building your life on the only real and lasting foundation or are you building on a faulty foundation such as wealth, security or success? The day of judgement will reveal the sincerity of each person’s work. God will determine whether or not he or she has been faithful to Jesus instructions. Good work will be rewarded; unfaithful or inferior work will be discounted.
Experience of painful situations in our lives could become a blessing for us to draw closer to our all- inclusive Christ if we remember to commit ourselves and our situations to Him. In such time of experiencing physical or emotional pain, we reach out to God and discover His ability to meet our every need and touch of healing from within us which become a worthwhile experience.
To be in need or the experience of poverty could be very challenging. There are certain custom in a particular culture where the poor and the rich are distinctively identified. One could feel trapped if they are born into the lesser family. However, let us learn to have the right attitude in this matter like the Apostle Paul. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul said that he knew how to be content whether he had much or little. The secret was drawing upon Christ’s power for strength. Do you have great needs or are you discontented because you do not have what you want? Learn to rely on God’s promises and Christ’s power to help you be content. If you always want more, ask God to remove that desire and teach you contentment in every situation. He will supply all your needs, but in a way that He knows is best for you.
In our Christian walk, learn to praise when you experience punishment for your faith in Christ. In the Book of Acts, we see how Paul and Silas were thrown into prison, stripped, beaten, whipped and placed in stocks in the inner dungeon. Despite this dismal situation, they praised God, praying and singing as the other prisoners listened. No matter what our circumstances, we should praise God. Others may come to Christ because of our example.
During the time of prosperity and plenty, always remember our God who is our Provider. Have an attitude of not only knowing where your blessing of prosperity comes from but also willingness to share and return to God who has richly provided for you. Throughout the Bible from Old Testament to the New Testament, God showed He is no mean and stingy God. He was and is and will remain God who blesses and provides but plenty and prosperity must never be our idols. That’s the only condition with God’s plenty and prosperity.
May the roller coaster ride of our lives teaches us to have a deep consciousness and realisation that we remember to consider God in each situation, learning to return our gratitude to Him for each one as He work Himself into our lives, hallelujah!!
TOPIC: THE GREAT FLOOD (PART 1-PRE FLOOD)
SPEAKER: PETER NGOH
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: GEN 6:1-6, DEUT 7:3-4, 1 SAM 18:5, 2 SAM 10:7, 17:10, 23:8, PSA 145:8, MICAH 7:18, LK 19:10.
Genesis 6 describes the revolt of the pre-flood world. After a period of silence in the historical record of the pre-flood world, Genesis 6 opens with mankind falling away from the presence of God, indulging in acts of disobedience which as against God’s teaching such as wickedness, sexual immorality, hatred and evil deeds in the eyes of a Holy God. In fact, man in the pre-flood world was in such a state of corruption that the intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Through Noah, God still gave another one hundred and twenty years of mercy to mankind to repent, whilst Noah obediently build the ark according to God’s specification. The Lord was sorry that He made man on the earth and the blotting out of the pre-flood world was quickly approaching. Everything would be destroyed!
But Noah found favour in the eyes of the LORD. Noah lived a blameless life; he walked by faith. He was obedient to God. God spoke to Noah, reaffirming that the pre-flood world would indeed soon perish. God commanded Noah to build an ark, a great big ark. Just how big was it? It depends on whether the 18 inch cubit is used or whether a larger cubit is used, but regardless, the ark held everything that God commanded Noah to put in it. The ark held Noah, seven others in his immediate family, the animals of the earth, and an enormous supply of food.
Perhaps the most astounding part of Genesis 6 is that God says to Noah: “But I will establish my covenant with you (Genesis 6:18)”. The mighty and all-powerful God would make a promise with fallen man. Thus while Genesis 6 is certainly a chapter which describes the violence and wickedness of man, it is also a chapter filled with grace. Even though it would have been perfectly just for God to blot out all men, not all men would perish in the flood. Through the means of an ark, grace would live on.
The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. Our God loves us. We know that in our minds, but often we don’t live that way. The reality of God’s love surrounds us day by day, as revealed in the Bible about God’s love. The characteristics of God’s love include:
- God’s love is steadfast and unchanging.
- God’s love comforts us.
- God’s love is revealed to us through Jesus Christ.
- God’s love is poured into us through the Holy Spirit.
- God’s love compels us to love one another.
TOPIC: REPENTANCE IS RIGHT AND GOOD FOR US
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: GEN 1:28, 4:3-7, JOB 41:11, ROM 5: 10-11, 2 COR 5:18-20, COL 1:20-21, JOHN 14:13-14, 4:10, 13-14, 8:31-32, 1 KING 8:47, 2 CHR 6:37, JOB 36:10, JER 15:19, 26:3, EZE 18:30, 33:11, MATT 4:17, 11:20, LUKE 17:4, ACTS 3:19, 8:22, 17:30, ROM 2:4, 2 COR 7:9, 2 TI 2:25, 2 PET: 3:9.
In the Book of Genesis we see that God’s original intention in creating mankind is so that they propagate and rule over all the other creatures that He had created. However, Sin crept in and hindered this initial purpose of God. Repentance should not be misinterpreted as a sense of guilt that draws us away from God himself but rather it should be a means of drawing us nearer to God. Beware of Satan who will try very hard to distract and under mind us not to seek repentance but instead uses tactics to draw us further away from the presence of God.
Reasons for need of Repentance:
- Repentance helps you to break free from Sin. This principle is reflected in the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, their different attitudes shown in their offerings to God. When you begin to experience the favour of God, Sin will have no hold on you!
- Repentance reconciles us to God. This principle is reflected in the story of the Prodigal Son. The truth about reconciliation is vital because if we are not reconciled to God, we will remain but as strangers, separated and rejected! However, repentance will bring about acceptance into the presence of God, worthy to be called His sons and daughters because we received by faith His sacrifice on the cross for all mankind, redemption from our sin.
- Repentance leads to the issue of blessings from God. Our God has every intention to bless us richly, not withholding the presence of the Holy Spirit in our daily living.
- Repentance reveals the truth in the Word of God.
- Repentance will bring about great revival. History bears all the records of great revivals happening because the Church preached repentance, the people of God humbled themselves in repentance and sinners were so convicted of their sins that they sought God to repent. If there is a culture of chaos and confusion, revival brings spiritual awakening and stability.
TOPIC: LIVING A NEW LIFE AND THROWING OUT THE OLD
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: COL 3: 1-10
Apostle Paul explained the true Christian behaviour – putting on the new nature by accepting Christ and regarding the old nature as dead. We change our moral and ethical behaviour by letting Christ live within us, so that He can shape us into what we should be.
“For we are dead” means we should have as little desire for this world as a dead person has. The Christian’s real home is where Christ lives. This gives us a different perspective on out live here on earth. To “set your affection on things above” means to look at life from God’s perspective and to seek what He desires. This is the antidote to materialism; we gain the proper perspective on material goods when we take God’s view on them. The more we see the life around us as God sees it, the more we live in harmony with Him. We must not become too attached to what is only temporary.
Christ gives us power to help us live now, and He gives us hope for the future – He will return again. “Mortify therefore your members”, means we should consider ourselves dead and unresponsive to evil desires: sexual sin, impurity, lustful desires, and materialism. Just like diseased limbs of a tree, they must be cut off before they destroy us. We must make a conscious, daily decision to remove anything that supports or feeds these desires and to rely on the Holy Spirit’s power.
Apostle Paul wrote to “put off” these sins can also be translated “lay aside the old self and put on the new”. This action was not so much mystical but practical and moral. Be done with your old moral and commit yourself to those Christ teaches. Paul was appealing to the commitment the believers had made in their baptism and urging them to remain true to their confession of faith. They were to “put off” the old life and “put on” the new way of living given by Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit. If you have made such a commitment, are you remaining true to it?
Lying to one another disrupts unity by destroying trust. It tears down relationships and leads to open war in the church.
The Christian is in a continuing education program. The more we know of Christ and His work, the more we are being changed to be like Him. Because this process is life long, we must never cease learning and obeying. There is no justification for drifting along, but there is an incentive to find the rich treasures of growing in Him. It takes practice, review, patience and concentration to keep in line with His Will.
TOPIC: ENDURANCE IN CHRIST
SPEAKER: BEN WRIGHT
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 2COR1:1-11, 11:23-31
It is always considered a great honour to be called to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. SRE Coordinator of Greystanes High School shared his experience in his service to God comes with many challenges and was encouraged and reminded by Apostle Paul’s dealing with the troubled church in Corinth. The apostle blesses God for comfort in, and deliverance out of troubles.
We are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. The Lord is able to give peace to the troubled conscience, and to calm the raging passions of the soul. These blessings are given by Him, as the Father of His redeemed family. It is our Saviour who says; Let not your heart be troubled. All comforts come from God, and our sweetest comforts are in Him. He speaks peace to souls by granting the free remission of sins; and he comforts them by the enlivening influences of the Holy Spirit, and by the rich mercies of His grace. He is able to bind up the broken-hearted, to heal the most painful wounds, and also to give hope and joy under the heaviest sorrows.
The favours God bestows on us are not only to make us cheerful, but also that we may be useful to others. He sends comforts enough to support such as simply trust in and serve Him. Their hope and trust were not in vain; nor shall any be ashamed who trust in the Lord. Past experiences encourage faith and hope, and lay us under obligation to trust in God for time to come. And it is our duty, not only to help one another with prayer, but in praise and thanksgiving, and thereby to make suitable returns for benefits received. Thus both trials and mercies will end in good to us and others.
In 2 Corinthians 11: 23-31 Apostle Paul gives an account of his labours and sufferings; not out of pride or vain-glory, but to the honour of God, who enabled him to do and suffer so much for the cause of Christ; and shows wherein he excelled the false apostles, who tried to lessen his character and usefulness. It astonishes us to reflect on this account of his dangers, hardships, and sufferings, and to observe his patience, perseverance, diligence, cheerfulness, and usefulness, in the midst of all these trials. See what little reason we have to love the pomp and plenty of this world, when this blessed apostle felt so much hardship in it. Our utmost diligence and services appear unworthy of notice when compared with his, and our difficulties and trials scarcely can be perceived. It may well lead us to inquire whether or not we really are followers of Christ. Here we may study patience, courage, and firm trust in God. Here we may learn to think less of ourselves; and we should ever strictly keep to truth, as in God’s presence; and should refer all to His glory, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for evermore.
TOPIC: THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
SPEAKER: DAVID MILLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: PS 23
In describing the Lord as a shepherd, David wrote out of his own experience, because he had spent his early years caring for sheep. As the Lord is the good shepherd, so we are His sheep, obedient followers wise enough to follow one who will lead us in the right places and in the right ways. This psalm focuses on the discipleship qualities of those who follow God’s leading.
When we allow God our shepherd to guide us, we have contentment. When we choose to sin, however, we go our own way and cannot blame God for the environment we create for ourselves. Our shepherd knows the “green pastures” and “still waters” that will restore us. We will reach these places only by following him obediently. Rebelling against the shepherd’s leading is actually rebelling against our own best interests. We must remember this the next time we are tempted to go our own way rather than the shepherd’s way.
Death casts a frightening shadow over us because we are entirely helpless in its presence. We can struggle with our enemies- pain suffering, disease, injury- but strength and courage cannot overcome death. It has the final word. Only one person can walk with us through death’s dark valley and bring us safely to the other side-the God of life, our shepherd. Because life is uncertain, we should follow this shepherd who offers us eternal confidence.
In the Middle Eastern culture, hosts were expected to protect their guests at all costs. God offers the protection of a host even when enemies surround us. In the final scene of this psalm, we see that believers will dwell with God. God, the perfect shepherd and host, promises to guide and protect us through life to bring us into His home forever, hallelujah!
TOPIC: BRICKS – THE CHURCH BUILDING BLOCKS
SPEAKER: JASON LEE
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: GAL 3:16, 26-28, 6:2, 1 THESS 5:11, COL 3:13-16, HEB 3:4, 10:24-25, EPH 2:19-20, 4:16, ISA 28:16-17, 1 PET 2:6.
God’s house, His church is but a living organism, consisting of people/believers who had accepted Christ Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. This concept can be illustrated by analysing the construction of a physical building made from cementing many bricks together to lay its foundation. Each individual brick has to undergo a process before it is transform into a block of brick. This process includes blending, crushing, refining, mixing, trimming and heating before a brick is produced.
The Bible mentioned about how we should carry each other’s burden, encouraging one another to build each other up. Colossian 3:16 mentioned about how we should let the message of Christ dwell among us richly as we go about teaching and admonishing one another with wisdom through psalms, hymns, songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in our hearts. In Hebrew 10:24-25, we are also reminded how to encourage one another toward love and good deeds, not forsaking to remind and encourage one another to come together as we faithfully wait for Christ’s return. We share the same vision, having the same goal to serve our Lord God with all our heart. Learn to forgive one another if when we have misunderstanding amongst us. Practise loving one another which has the power to unite us as one body in Christ. Ephesian 2:19-20 mentioned about how we are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. Let us come together in unity to build the house of God with Him as our centre.
Points to ponder:
- Pray about what areas have you been serving/or plan to serve in the next 6 months.
- In your area of serving, have you been impactful and find areas of growth to develop further?
- What is/are the areas you wanted to serve or are you comfortable at the current state?
TOPIC: SUPERIORITY OF THE GOSPEL
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: GAL 3:1-10, ROM 1:22
The believers in Galatia were drawn away by false teachers even bewitched. Magicians used both illusions and Satan’s power to perform miracles. Many were drawn into it, not realising the danger. Here Paul stresses that just as we were saved by faith in Christ, so also we grow by faith in Christ. The Galatians took a step backward when they decided to insist on keeping the Jewish laws. We must realise that we grow spiritually because of God’s work in us, not by following special rues.
The Galatians knew they received the Holy Spirit when they believed, not when they obeyed the Law. People still feel insecure in the faith because faith alone seems too easy; people still try to get closer to God by following rules. By asking these questions, Paul hoped to get the Galatians to focus again on Christ as centre of their faith.
The Holy Spirit gives Christians great power to live for God. Some Christians want more than this. They want to live in a state of perpetual excitement. The tedium of everyday living leads them to conclude that something is wrong spiritually. Often the Holy Spirit’s greatest work in us is teaching us to persist, to keep on doing what is right even when it no longer seems new and interesting. The Galatians quickly tuned from Paul’s Good News to the teachings of the newest teachers in town, they needed the Holy Spirit’s gift of persistence. If our Christian life seems ordinary, we may need the Spirit to stir us up to see the challenge of everyday living.
The main argument of the Judaizers was that Gentiles had to become Jews in order to become Christians. Paul exposed the flaw in this argument by showing that real children of Abraham are those who have faith, not those who keep the Law. Abraham himself was saved by faith. All believers in every age and from every nation share Abraham’s blessing. This is a comforting promise, a great heritage, and solid foundation for living.
Paul quotes Deuteronomy 27:26 to prove that, contrary to what the Judaizers claimed, the Law cannot justify and save, it can only condemn. Breaking even one commandment brings a person under condemnation. Because everyone has broken the commandments, everyone is condemned, and the Law can do nothing to reverse the condemnation. But Christ took the curse of the Law upon Himself when He hung on the cross. He did this so we would not have to bear our own punishment. The only condition is that we accept Christ’s death on our behalf as the means to be saved.
TOPIC: THE MAGNIFICENCE OF THE CREATOR GOD AND YOU
SPEAKER: PETER & LIAN NGOH
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JOHN 1:3, 3:16, 13:34-35, JOB 12:10, PSA 19:1, 139: 14, GEN 1:26, COL 1:16-17, GEN 1:1-31, 2:1-4, EXO 3:14, 1 JOHN 4:16, HEB 11:3, 1 JOHN 4:16, ROM 5:5, DEUT 7:9, PSA 86:15, 136:26, ZEP 3:17,
Our awesome God created all things within the known and the unknown universe and created mankind who holds a special place in His heart. The vastness of His creation is beyond words to describe. As a comparison, one of the methods we can use is analysing the speed of light. Light travels at a speed of 186,282 miles/sec. It would take 100,000 light years to travel from earth to the Milky Way Galaxy! Just imagine this: In Oct, 2016, image of the universe taken by The Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey released a discovery that there are at least 200 billion galaxies in the known universe, contrary to the discovery made in the 1990s’ that it was estimated 100 billion galaxies (see this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U to watch the video clip).
We are created in the image of God after His likeness.
- Mental Likeness. Man is created far more superior to animals He made. Man was given a mind capable of hearing and understanding God’ communication with him, emotions capable of responding to God in love and devotion, and a will which enabled him to choose whether or not to obey God. Only man has a spirit or God-consciousness. The intelligence of mankind today is observed in creativity, discoveries in science and expression of the soul in music and paintings.
- Moral Likeness. Only man, of all God’ creatures, has a spirit or God-consciousness, that is, a capacity for knowing God and holding spiritual communion with Him through prayer, praise, and worship.
- Social Likeness. God who is love, created man with a social nature and a need for love. Before He created Eve He said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him’ (Genesis 2:18). He then made Eve out of a bone taken from Adam.
Our beginning lies in one microscopic cell from our mother, and one from our father. These form one new cell, with a totally new and unique set of DNA. It contains three billion characters of code. This one tiny cell contains all the information and instructions needed to produce us.
This one cell divides, and soon an embryo becomes a baby which becomes a child which becomes an adult. The single cell now gives way to 75 trillion cells in the human body. Every one of these cells has all three billion bits of our genetic code. Every three seconds 50,000 cells die and are replaced in our bodies.
The Book of Genesis revealed to us that God created the earth in an orderly fashion. For example, He created light first before the plants. He created men and women as unique beings capable of communication with Him. God created all things by the Word of His power. He spoke and the universe was framed.
The Bible not only tell us that the world was created by God, more importantly it reveals to us God’s personality, character and His plan for His creation. It also reveals God’s deepest desire which is to relate and have fellowship with the people He created.
TOPIC: NOTHING HAPPENS BY ACCIDENT
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: ISA 14:24, ROM 8:28, MATT 5:43-45, 1JOHN3:8, ACTS 26:22-23, ROM 14:8
Christian must always remember that God has a purpose and plan for each one of us, thus nothing happen as a mere accident in your life. It is important to realise that the choices you make in your life is totally up to you, hopefully by the grace of God, may you choose to live a life according to God’s purpose and plan for you.
Jesus came and died on the cross to redeem us of our sin so that we can have eternal life. On the contrary, Satan came to rob and destroy! It is good to check with ourselves whether if in our daily living, we choose to follow God’s ways or become a victim for Satan to manipulate with our lives! Make God the centre focus in your life, so that everything that you do, you will place God as most important in your life.
Checklist to observe whether you are living according to God’s purpose and plan:
- Is God in it or not?
- What does the Word of God says?
- Am I prepared to listen?
- Am I prepared to change?
- What am I doing to honour God’s Name?
Learning to live a life of purpose and according to God’s plan is not easy but truly a worthwhile one. As you learn to do this, ask God to grant you the grace to remain consistent to live an upright life, in line with what He had planned for you.
The fundamental purpose of a Christian is to remember that our called us to share the good news of the gospel to unbelievers within our sphere of influence. We can learn to be like Apostle Paul who always recognises his calling to be used as a vehicle to share the message of the gospel throughout his lifetime. We can be distracted by many things in life but always remember these:
- Our God will not fail and will not fail us.
- Our God knows us and everything about us.
- God’s purpose will stand.
God saved us from eternal damnation and promised us eternal hope but kept us here on earth so that we can shine as His light, to share this same promise of eternal life to many who are yet to know Him. . We remain on earth as sowers to scatter good seed; as ploughmen to break up the fallow ground; as heralds publishing salvation. We are here as the “salt of the earth,” to be a blessing to the world. We are here to glorify Christ in our daily life. We are here as workers for Him, and as “workers together with Him.” Let us see that our life answer its end. Let us live earnest, useful, holy lives, to “the praise of the glory of His grace”, amen!
TOPIC: CALL TO GOD AND HE WILL ANSWER
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JER 33:3, EXO 14:9-16, MATT 5:13-14, JAS 4:3, JOS 23:14-16, 1SAM13:8-14, JOHN 12:24, PHIL 2:5-8, LUKE 18:9-14.
God will surely listen and answer to your prayers made to Him out of sincere heart, desperately requiring an answer from Him. An example can be observed in the Book of Jeremiah when this Judean prophet called out to God for help! Fundamental key points could include:
- Totally committed to God to the point of having no rights of your own.
- Unquestioning Faith.
- Total dedication.
However, sometimes your expectation maybe quite different compared to how God choose to answer your prayers.
Helpful points to remember regarding prayers:
- Answer through you in unexpected ways. Do not be surprised to know that certain times you could be the answer to some prayers you made to God. Consider the situation Moses faced with the Egyptian army getting closer to the helpless Israelites and the Red Sea blocking their way to safety. God’s answered Moses cry to God in a desperate situation when the Israelites were pursued by the Egyptian army by parting the Red Sea, allowing His people to cross, drowning the pursuing army at the same time! Throughout the history of the Israelites journey The Lord showed them they are the answers to many of the problems. In particular, the problem of murmuring and complaining got them nowhere but even untimely death. Today, we are the answer to God’s call to preach the good news to those who are yet to know Him, we are called to be “salt of the earth and light of the world”, mentioned in Matthew 5:13-14.
- Be prepared to receive NO as an answer to some of your prayers.
- Stand on the Word for an answer. Our God is righteous and faithful, certain to fulfil the promises He made to His people. However, be careful not to take His Word lightly for the consequences of your disobedience could be hard and painful. Have an attitude in your life to take heed to His Word in all avenues in your life and you will experience His blessings coming your way.
- Always be patient and await God’s answer to your prayers. In the Book of 1 Samuel 13 you read about an example of impatience and the consequence as a result of it. Rather than waiting for priest, Saul took matter into his own hands and offered the burnt offering himself to God before the crucial battle. Likewise, our true spiritual character is revealed under pressure, as was Saul’s.
- Need to empty yourself so that God can fill us with His presence and promises. When we come to God with hands full, we cannot expect to be filled. Only when we come to Him with our hands empty, can He then put something in it to send us on our way.
- Repent for answer. Repentance is not putting us down but for our own good, repentance is humility before God. No one is ever driven away from God when there is repentance.
Ultimately, let us learn to call to God and let God answer us according to His Will and Purpose.
TOPIC: AUTHENTICITY OF THE GOSPEL
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: GAL 1:1-24
This is a letter written by Apostle Paul to the churches in Galatia, in order to encourage the church he planted and to offer correction for some of the ways they had gone astray. Paul began the letter by claiming himself as the author, which is important. Some New Testament epistles were written anonymously, but Paul made sure his recipients knew they were hearing from him. The rest of the first five verses are a standard greeting for his day.
After Paul left the church in Galatia, a group of Jewish Christians entered the region and began denouncing the gospel of salvation Paul had preached. These Jewish Christians were often referred to as “Judaizers” because they claimed that followers of Jesus must continue to fulfil all the regulations of the Old Testament law, including circumcision, sacrifices, observing holy days and more.
Paul was completely against the message of the Judaizers. He rightly understood that they were attempting to twist the gospel into a process of salvation by works. Indeed, the Judaizers were attempting to hijack the early Christian movement and return it to a legalistic form of Judaism.
For this reason, Paul spent much of chapter 1 establishing his authority and credentials as an apostle of Jesus. Paul had received the gospel message directly from Jesus during a supernatural encounter.
Just as importantly, Paul had spent most of his life as a gifted student of the Old Testament Law. He had been a zealous Jew, a Pharisee, and had dedicated his life to following the same system the Judaizers wanted. He knew better than most the failure of that system, especially in light of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
That’s why Paul used Galatians 1:11-24 to explain his conversion on the road to Damascus, his connection with Peter and the other apostles in Jerusalem, and his earlier work teaching the message of the gospel in Syria and Cilicia.
TOPIC: GOD IS FAITHFUL
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 1COR10:13, ISAIAH 55:6-11, GEN 18:14, EXO 13:10, 23:15, HAB 2:3, NUM 23:19, MATT 28:18, JOHN 16:33, DEUT 32:4, REV 4:8.
Our God is faithful and faithfulness reflects His true character and nature. Just remember that no matter how situations and circumstances change in your life, God remains faithful.
F: Fulfilling His Word, Plan, Ways, Thoughts and not ours.
A: Always perfect in timing, never slow neither late.
I: Immovable, unaffected by the wiles and evil plots of Satan.
T: Triumphant, overcoming all and every obstacles.
H: Holy, untouchable, pure and constant in power.
God is a righteous, trustworthy and faithful God who remembers and will fulfil His promises. In the Book of Isaiah chapter 55:6-11, we read about how God offers us free nourishment that feeds our soul. How do we get it? We come, listen, seek, and call upon God. God’s salvation is freely offered, but to nourish our souls, we must eagerly receive it. We will starve spiritually without this food as surely as we will starve physically without our daily bread. Despite failures in our own lives, always remember that our faithful God will never fail.
Perfect timing refers to Kairos time not Chrono’s time. Kairos time is reflected in the changing seasons. There is an appointed time, a Kairos time, for every encounter and every experience. Nothing happens without God permitting it. In God’s Kairos time, Sarah was blessed with Isaac. In certain books of the Old Testament, we see the Kairos time set for the celebration of certain feast commanded by God for His people. We need to learn to wait for God’s Kairos in our own lives.
We need the understanding that God is ultimately the person that holds us in His palms, bringing our lives into fulfilling what He intended for our lives. God needs our obedience to walk with Him with complete trust. Our God is not only faithful but He alone had triumphed over all power. This faithful God that we believe and trust is also a holy God. I pray that you will always have a sense of deep assurance that our faithful God will never fail or forsake us, amen!!
TOPIC: BY THE GRACE OF GOD.
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 1COR15:10, PHIL 4:13, JOHN 1:14,GEN 1:3-4, 31, MATT 19:16-17, JOHN: 11-25, 14:13, 2COR6:2, ACTS 11:23, 14:26, 20:24, ROM 12:3, 15:15, 1COR 3:10, 15:10, 2COR1:12, EPH 3:7.
Count it a true blessing if you can learn to understand and find the hands of God working in every corner your turn in your life, in each and every circumstances as you journey through your life. Grace is not a simple act. It is the greatest act of God for even the least in humanity. All and every one can receive the grace of God. Grace which is undeserving mercy from God, reaches down to us when we confess to God that we are sinners. The Grace of God operates in our daily life whether we consciously realise or not realise it.
Acronym for Grace:
- G: Goodness of God.
- R: Rightness beginning with God.
- A: Assurance from the Highest.
- C: Confirmation of God.
- E: Enabling by God.
G – Goodness of God is first expressed in His creation as recorded in the Book of Genesis. God escalated His goodness when He created Man and Woman. Our God is the perfect expression of perfect goodness. Thus, when we believe in God, we see the goodness of God in our lives.
R- Rightness beginning with God. Learn to put your complete trust in God for every situation in your life for in doing I can guarantee you that God’s favour will turn all tables to bring justice and a good outcome in your favour. Pray that we all learn to live our lives in this way for our God at all times for in doing so we will be able to save ourselves from numerous heartache not needed.
A- Assurance from the Highest. By the Grace of God, we have the assurance of an eternal hope, a place in eternity with God (see John 11:25). God will fulfil the promises He has for your life in accordance to His Will and purpose for your life.
C- Confirmation of God. Grace leads us to confirmation form God’s Word for His purpose in our lives. God’s grace is without limits and boundaries. In Acts 11, we see God’s grace reaching out to the Gentiles and many accepted and turned to God. Barnabas was sent on a mission to minister to the new believers. Grace confirms the purpose from God for our life and let us be always committed to testifying and sharing the hope of the gospel for all mankind.
E- Enabling by God. Apostle Paul learned the secret in living a life of dependence on God’s goodness and grace. For this reason, he was able to remain faithful to the calling of God in his life to the end. This is made very obvious in all his writings in the scriptures.
Grace operates in our life whether we realise it or not but for those who are aware of the presence of the Grace of God, life is made the sweeter to the end, HALLELUJAH!
TOPIC: AN EYE FOR THE FUTURE
SPEAKER: PS PETER. CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 6:19-21, PROV 9:10, 19:23, PHIL 4:11-13, MATT 16:1-4, NUMBERS 23:19.
In the Book of Matthew chapter 6, Jesus taught the disciples on how to view certain issues in this human life. Likewise we ourselves can learn from His teachings to apply it in our own life. Jesus talks about how our heart is naturally drawn to matters of value to us. It is too easy to be attracted into ambitions that eventually will end in empty pursuit. If there is no sense of eternity, then it will end up a total loss. The Lord came and taught us values and living that will hold us dear before God and anything that’s dear before God will always last.
Issues to take note:
- Laying up, storing, working to gain and have no thought for eternity. In life, one could become so engrossed in gaining wealth for himself/herself, neglecting values which will last for eternity.
- Wealth extends more than just material possessions. People can be asset rich, having plenty of money but they can still have a poverty mind-set evidenced by miserly and stingy ways. Rich but not wealthy. Real wealth includes spiritual riches.
- Moth, rust and thieves point to how earthly possessions and riches are only temporary and cannot last for eternity. It will be so good if we can be reminded to not only work hard for our material needs but also to invest our time and energy working toward gaining spiritual riches that will last eternally.
- Treasures of the heart. In this area, we need God’s constant reminder to keep us balance to set right priority in life.
Key points to remember on how to embrace the teaching of Jesus:
- Spiritual Riches – Learn to live a life in the fear of the Lord that will furnish you with spiritual wisdom and understanding on how you should live. We must learn not to regard God’s Word too casually or carelessly or else we will miss the opportunity to gain spiritual riches.
- Tangible living with contentment – Learn to live with an attitude like Apostle Paul who had learned in his life the secret of abiding in the presence of God in every situation in his life. The opposite of contentment is not dis-contentment; it is greed hidden in over-ambitiousness. Greed is a spirit, a demonic one and does not work alone. Other demonic spirits help the spirit of greed like lying, stealing spirit and spirit of lust. A greedy person lives in bondage of wanting more and more; not in contentment.
- Learn to be objective – Know the times we live in and keep close to God.
- Remind ourselves the promises of God. Always remember that our God is a faithful God and He will fulfill all His promises according to His will and timing.
- Externalize your lifestyle – Grant God first place in your life.
Be spiritually minded and turn to God; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. This week: Press in, into God’s Presence. Have open Bibles in our homes. Don’t let the Bibles remain closed. Open them, place them in prominent places. And reach into The Word as often as we see an open Bible.
TOPIC: DO NOT GIVE UP AND STAY HUMBLE
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: LUKE 18: 1-14
In the Book of Luke chapter eighteen, Jesus shared two parables, the first story about a persistent widow and the second reflected on the attitudes of two very different people.
In the first parable, Jesus paints the picture of a widow who came tirelessly before a judge who fears neither God nor man to consult with him all her problems. The judge ultimately gave in to her due to utmost persistence. This parable was related back to our attitude towards prayers. To persist in prayer until the answer comes does not mean endless repetition or painfully long prayer sessions. Always praying means keeping out requests constantly before God as we live for him day by day, always believing He will answer. When we thus live by faith, we are not to give up. God may delay answering, but His delays always have good reasons. As we persist in prayer we grow in character, faith and hope. If evil judges respond to constant pressure, how much more will a great and loving God respond to us. If we know He loves us, we can believe He will hear our cries for help.
In the second parable, Jesus compared the attitude of a Pharisee and a tax collector. The Pharisee did not go to the temple to pray to God but to announce to all within earshot how good he was. The tax collector went recognizing his sin and begging for mercy. Self-righteousness is dangerous. It leads to pride, causes a person to despise others, and prevents him/her from learning anything from God. The tax collector’s prayer should be our prayer because we all need God’s mercy every day. Do not let prides in your achievements cut you off from God.
Reminders from the parables:
- Pray without ceasing and never loose heart.
- Do not “label/put a tag” on someone else.
- Remain humble always.
TOPIC: OUR POTENTIAL ACCORDING TO GOD’S PLAN
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: EXODUS 4:1-2, 18.
Do not belittle the God given abilities and potential that our God so richly bestow into our lives to do His service. In life, we could be faced with a variety of challenges, and just as we approach certain crossroads in our lives, we must remember to seek the answer within the Word of God for His leading, guidance and direction. Such was the case recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible in the life of Moses when he was faced with the responsibility entrusted by God into his hands to lead the Israelite out of the land of Egypt into a land promised by God. Before taking on this huge task, Moses first had to confront these major issues:
- Doubts – from past failures.
- Disabilities – stuttering.
- Denial- social outcast.
Doubts work against us by drawing on our past failures. Do not dwell in past failures because if you consciously or unconsciously do so, these could hinder/deter you from realising the motivation and passion to live a life fully entrusted to serve our living God! Moses struggles with a lack of self- confidence, what more utterly fearful to face Pharaoh! Moses faced the uncertainly and fear that the people that God instructed him to lead out of Egypt will not listen to him. Memory of his past mistake returned to torment him. He killed an Egyptian guard, trying to defend one of the slaves. In the conversation between him and God, Moses was instructed to throw the staff in his hand onto the ground which turned into a snake, later again to pick it up and it transformed into his wooden staff again. The snake reminded him of his past, his life lived in the palaces of Pharaoh and the snake represented dark spiritual powers Moses will have to deal with. What is most important here is that reassurance God gave to him that He himself will empower him to overcome each obstacle.
This is an obvious miracle demonstrating the power of God at work. But there’s great significance and lessons for us to learn:
- First, what is nothing in our hands can turn into a miracle if only we listen to His Word.
- Second, even if it is nothing more than dead wood, God can give life to it.
- Third, if our past stand in the way, God will help us out of it; He will give us the confidence we need.
The Lord also commanded Moses to put his hands in his bosom and draw it out. When he did, it turned leprous. Then he was instructed to put it back into his bosom and when he did and drew it out, it became normal again. This is a sign of God who will draw us close to Him and when we draw close to Him, God will help and heal us.
Moses suffered the handicap of a stutterer. For this, Moses didn’t feel like he was capable to saying anything when he faced Pharaoh. The Lord intervened to help him deal with this and He gave Aaron to Moses as a spokesman.
Deep within his heart, Moses knew his heritage as a Jew, not an Egyptian, a slave not a prince and this spirit of bondage consistently worked against him! Now as a social outcast, he needs to overcome the spirit of rejection.
In conclusion, allow God to transform you to become an instrument for His glory and service.
TOPIC: EASTER: THE INCOMPARABLE TRUTH.
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 16:15-21, 1 COR 15:12-19.
Easter is traditionally called Resurrection Sunday. This long weekend is courtesy of a celebration dating back more than 1200 years ago, adopted by Europeans aka Anglo-Saxons celebrating a fertility god during spring time. Christians adopted this festival to celebrate the work of Christ on the Cross and His Resurrection. Good Friday was the day Jesus was crucified and died for humanity on the cross. The next day, there was confusion amongst the people in the land. Easter come as the reminder that the tomb was empty – He died but where was His body? The answer is obvious. He wasn’t there! He has risen from the dead!
In the Book of Matthew 16:15-21, Jesus had a dialog with His disciples, questioning them about His true identity. There were multiple responses but only Simon Peter revealed that He is the Son of the living God! At some point in our life we must be clear about who is Jesus Christ and we acknowledge Him accordingly. We can call ourselves Christians but the crucial issue is who we are to Jesus Christ. How would He call us? Today is a good time to seriously think who Jesus is to us personally? And if we don’t seem to have any deep belief about Him, it is also a good time to start searching again.
We believe and serve a resurrected Christ. This truth is clearly revealed and recorded in the Bible. Religions of this world talk about stories based on myths and legends, however the Bible talks about the evidence of a resurrected Christ whom we believe and serve. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the final covenant of His promise that He has made a way of escape from death and destruction. Eternity now promises every believer a place in Paradise to live in His glorious presence free from pain and sorrow. This is our destiny. And it is offered only through faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus snatched the keys of hell from the hands of Satan and now the demonic grip Satan has on the destiny of humanity is broken! The way to heaven is now opened, hallelujah!
TOPIC: WHERE ARE YOU?
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: GEN 3:1-5, 8-9, 22-24, PSALMS 103:8-12
The scene was set in the Garden of Eden where the serpent approached both Adam and Eve and created doubts within their minds of the instruction that God gave them re- partaking of the fruits from the garden. They nevertheless fall for the serpent’s deceitfulness and sin against God by eating from the Tree of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, which is to disobey God’s instruction. Likewise, in your Christian walk, be careful not to fall for Satan’s deceitfulness which is to create doubt within your mind and before you know it, you have fallen into sin. The fatal mistake here is Adam and Eve heard what God told them but did not take heed to His instruction by falling for the deceitfulness of the serpent. In the same way today, you must not only hear the truth in the Bible but more importantly to take heed to what it is telling you.
Having partaken from the Tree of the fruit of good and evil, their suddenly became very aware of their nakedness and ran away to hide from God when He called them! God called out to them and asked “Where are you?” The consequences of Adam and Eve disobedience to God created many problems which include:
- P: Paradise lost.
- R: Relationship denied.
- O: Opportunity cost.
- B: Blessings blocked.
- L: Love gone cold.
- E: Eternity blocked.
- M: Miracles meddled with.
The consequences of man’s disobedience towards God’s instruction resulted in a high price that they have to pay. In one unguarded moment, lured by the temptation to defy what God has commanded, the toxic virus of sin that will forever infect all generations of humanity took hold and eternal damnation came upon mankind. Adam and Eve were thrown out from the garden, never to have an opportunity to partake from the Tree of life, but instead from henceforth they have to toil the ground.
Today, ask yourself this question, “Where are you?”
Here is where we seek to return to the command position: To learn to obey the Word of God for our own good and for the good of our future. Remember God’s promise in Psalm 103:8-12.
TOPIC: THE LORD’S PRAYER
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MAT 6:9-13
The Lord’s Prayer should not be recited lightly and carelessly but instead should be recited with reverence to God. The phrase “Our Father which art in heaven” indicates that God is not only majestic and holy, but also personal and loving. Do not be presumptuous about who God really is, instead learn to appreciate and treasure how we are regarded as the children of God, hence addressing Him as our Father. “Hallowed be thy name” is a statement of praise and a commitment to honour God’s holy name. We can honour God’s name by being careful to use it respectfully.
“Thy Kingdom come” should not be mistaken/should not be understood as if we give permission for His Kingdom to come but instead it should be God giving us His permission to come into His Kingdom, where all negative elements fail to exist. It is a reference to God’s spiritual reign, not Israel’s freedom from Rome. God’s Kingdom was announced in the covenant with Abraham, is present in Christ’s reign in believers’ hearts, and will be complete when all evil is destroyed and God establishes the new heaven and earth.
“Give us this day our daily bread” means we are acknowledging that God is our Sustainer and Provider. It is a misconception to think we provide for our needs ourselves. We must trust God daily to provide what He knows we need.
“Forgive us our trespasses” relates to our own repentance before God. Repentance has to first begin in us.
“As we forgive those who trespass against us” brings the awareness to us that it is not possible for us to forgive others by our own efforts, without firstly receiving the forgiveness from God for ourselves. Here we clearly see that God demands us to forgive others not just a mere persuasion/advice.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (NIV) means asking God for our deliverance from Satan and his deceit. All Christians struggle with temptation. Sometimes it is so subtle that we do not even realize what is happening to us. God has promised that He would not allow us to be tempted beyond our endurance. Ask God to help you recognize temptation and to give you strength to overcome it and choose God’s way, amen!
TOPIC: THE PARABLE OF THE SHREWD MANAGER
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: LUKE 16:1-14
Cambridge dictionary defined the word shrewd as having or based on a clear understanding and good judgment of a situation, resulting in an advantage. In this portion of the scriptures, Jesus was relating the parable of the shrewd manager/accountant to his disciples. This parable relates to how we use our finances that God bless us.
Our use of money is a good test of the Lordship of Christ.
- Let us use the resources we have wisely because they belong to God, not us.
- Money can used for good or evil, let us use ours for good.
- Money has a lot of power, so we must use it carefully and thoughtfully.
- We must use our material goods in a way that will foster faith and obedience, essential for the next life.
“Mammon of unrighteousness” is a term for money that is acquired unjustly. We are to make wise use of opportunities, not to earn heaven but so that heaven (everlasting habitations) will be a welcome experience. When we obey God’s will, the unselfish use of possessions will follow.
Our integrity often meets its match in money matters. God calls us to be honest even in small details we could rationalize away. Heaven’s riches are far more valuable than earthly wealth. But if we are untrustworthy with our earthly wealth, we are unfit to handle the vast riches of God’s Kingdom. Do not let your integrity slip in small matters, and it will not fail you in crucial decisions either.
Money has the power to take God’s place in your life. It can become your master. Money is a hard master and a deceptive one. Money promises power and control, but it often cannot deliver.
The Pharisees loved money and took exception to Jesus’ teaching. We live in an age that measures people’s worth by how much money they make. Do we scoff at Jesus’ warnings against serving money? Do we try to explain them away? Do we apply them to someone else – the Pharisees, for example? Unless we take Jesus’ statements seriously, we may be acting like Pharisees ourselves! Application of the teaching of Jesus in this parable in our own lives:
- Be faithful to God in everything.
- Be “shrewd” in your effort to evangelize.
- Do not act like a hypocrite; be truthful/genuine in your intention to serve God.
TOPIC: GET SERIOUS WITH THE WORK FOR GOD
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: ACTS 5
In this portion of the Bible, we see both internal and external problems facing the early church. Inside, there was dishonesty by a couple, Ananias and Sapphira and other administrative issues of concern. Outside, the church was being pressured by persecution. While church leaders were careful and sensitive in dealing with the internal problems, there was not much that they can do to prevent the external pressures. Through it all, the leaders continued to focus on what was most important – spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
When God choose to use you for His service, He has to firstly do a serious clean-up of your life! The sin Ananias and Sapphira committed was not stinginess or holding back part of the money. Their sin was lying to God and His people, saying that they gave the whole amount but holding back some for themselves, trying to make themselves appear more generous than they really were! This act was judged harshly because dishonesty and covetousness were destructive in a church, preventing the Holy Spirit from working effectively. Both of them were struck dead! This event produced shock and fear among the believers, making them realize how seriously God regards sin in the church.
- The presence and power of the Almighty God always journey together. Dwelling in the presence of God liberates you. It is most important to learn to abide in His presence all the time.
- Signs and wonders will follow without you even knowing. God performed miracles of healing through His apostles, and many committed their lives to Jesus. Likewise, you need to come before God each day with expectation to receive what He intend to give you.
- Be prepared for opposition to come and our God will similarly protect and guide us. God will never leave or forsake you!
TOPIC: FOLLOWING THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE EARLY DISCIPLES – MOMENTUM OF THE EARLY CHURCH.
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: ACTS 4:4, 7,13,19,31,33.
Key points to reflect based on the example of the early disciples:
- They were to step into the Great Commission only after they were empowered by the Holy Spirit.
- They were to fulfil the Commission by faith in the God they trust.
- They stepped out in prayers and stepped into power, empowered by the Holy Spirit, bringing glory solely to the Name of Jesus Christ, whom they declared as Jesus of Nazareth.
The miracle recorded in Acts chapter four reflected and recognised there was special power at work. Here we witness the boldness of Apostle Peter, empowered by the Holy Spirit, in conversation with the people present. We can have the same confidence that we will be similarly helped when challenges and tests confront us as we share the Gospel Message of Salvation. Salvation was and is the biggest and only issue; it will be the same for all generations. For as long as there is birth, living and finally, death, this issue will not go away. When we stand before God, this will be the only issue. If we received Salvation, then we are saved with deliverance from eternal destruction, the inevitable outcome for Satan and every sinner who refused to be saved. If we received Salvation, then we are saved with deliverance from eternal destruction, the inevitable outcome for Satan and every sinner who refused to be saved. The immeasurable value of Salvation is kept hidden from unbelievers who remained blinded by Satan’s deception. And even for believers, the unsurpassable gift of Redemption through Christ on the Cross is often poorly understood. But it will all be shown and revealed when we stand before The Lord.
Peter and John were but only uneducated and ordinary people. Likewise today, as believers in Jesus, God can use us all even if we are poorly regarded by the world and considered nameless and faceless. All we need to do is continue to remain in Jesus and grant Him the lordship in our lives! At some point in our walk with The Lord, the momentum of the Gospel will be challenged. And it could have stop but only if we are timidly submit to the threats. Just as the Apostles risked it all to defy the threats so also the steps have been made for us to follow. The momentum is now unstoppable. It is our mission to continue to be witnesses in the face of opposition and obstructions but God will be with us.
In the gathering momentum of the early movement a church community was birthed, bound together in common by faith, united (one heart and soul) and everyone has the same importance before the Lord. They enjoyed “Great Power” and “Great Grace”, the descriptions of divine favour which I pray the Church and Christians will be blessed with. Amen.
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
TOPIC: PRACTISE RIGHTEOUSNESS NOT SIN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 1 JOHN 3:1-10, 1 JOHN 5:13.
As believers, our self-worth is based on the fact that God loves us and calls us His children. Knowing that we are His children encourages us to live as Jesus did. The Christian life is a process of becoming more and more Christlike. This process will not be complete until we see Him face to face, but knowing that it is our ultimate goal should motivate us to purify ourselves. A believer who commits a sin repents, confesses and is forgiven. A person who remains in sin, by contrast, is not sorry for what he is doing. Thus he never confesses and never receives forgiveness. Jesus lived a perfect life and sacrificed Himself for our sins, we can be completely forgiven.
Three steps are necessary to find victory over prevailing sin:
- Seek the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
- Flee lustful desires.
- Seek the help of the Body of Christ- accountability to others and the prayers of others.
We are “born of God” when the Holy Spirit lives in us and gives us Jesus new life. God forgives us and totally accepts us. The Holy Spirit gives us new minds and hearts, lives in us and begins helping us to be like Christ. We have a mind that is renewed day by day by the Holy Spirit. So we must begin to think and act differently. As we abide in God’s righteousness, His love manifest through us to one another. Eternal life is not based on feelings, but on facts. You can know that you have eternal life if you believe God’s truth.
TOPIC: FULFILLING THE GREAT COMMISSION
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 28:16-20
When you commit to the lordship of Jesus for your life, you will sense the complete closeness of God in your everyday living. The purification process thus begins in your life, step by step. In the Book of Matthew 28: 16-20, we read about Jesus giving the Great Commission.
Submitting to the lordship of Jesus for your life, you need to embrace the Great Commission. Here in verse twenty, Jesus also reminded the disciples to go far and wide, teaching all nations to observe all things He commanded. The fundamental key to remember here is the emphasis of first loving God than people afterwards. This important commandment was quoted many times in the Bible. In the Book of Mark chapter 12:30-31, Jesus replied this way to one of the scribes asking Him what is the most important commandment, saying ‘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.’
Important points to remember:
- 1) Jesus commanded the disciples to preach the gospel of the good news. God authorised us in His name, doing it in His power. Thus, there are no limits/boundaries to what you can do for Jesus. Start within your circle of influence and seek God for opportunities and purpose He places you within your environment.
- 2) Baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is very important to remember when you lead someone to Jesus, their personal acknowledgement of Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. Baptism unites a believer with Jesus Christ in His death to sin and resurrection to new life. Baptism shows submission to Christ, a willingness to live God’s way and identification with God’s covenant people.
- 3) Engage the entire teaching of God. It is important to recognise that our God is a god of grace and also of judgement!
- 4) In everything you do, let Christ be manifested in its entirety!
- 5) Complete every task assigned to you.
It is possible to fulfil the Great Commission in your life. You need to understand your gifting and usher people to understand the power of God’s love for all mankind!
TOPIC: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE LORD JESUS (PART 2)
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JOHN 21:25, LUKE 9:23-27, 57-62, 3 JOHN 1:2
To follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus is a journey in the life of a believer which mature, grow and deepen throughout his/her earthly living. It is however important to remember that there is both a cross to carry and a cost to following in His Steps.
- The cross of following Jesus:
In conversation with His disciples in the Book of Luke chapter 9, Jesus mentioned what is required to follow in His footsteps. To take up the cross means to deny selfish desires to use our resources of time and money our own way, and to choose our own direction in life. Following Christ is costly now but in the long run it is well worth the pain and effort. It is an absolute commitment to Jesus, whole heartedly not half- heartedly! It also means not to walk/live in the way of the world but according to the teachings of Jesus. Sometimes in following Jesus, you may find yourself in unsafe, unhealthy or uncomfortable places. You will risk death but you will not fear it because you know Jesus will raise you to eternal life. Nothing material can compensate for the loss of eternal life.
- The cost of following Jesus:
What does Jesus want from us? Total dedication, not half- hearted commitment. You cannot pick and choose among Jesus ideas and follow Him selectively; you have to accept the cross along with the crown, judgement as well as mercy. You must count the cost and be willing to abandon everything else that has given you security. With your focus on Jesus, you should allow nothing to distract you from the manner of living He calls good and true.
Jesus died on the cross for all mankind. Today, as a follower of Jesus, remember there is a cost attached to be His follower and it begins right away. I pray that He grants you a pure heart completely yielded to Jesus in following in His footsteps. Truly Jesus wants the best for your life living according to His Will, amen!
TOPIC: IN THE FOOT STEPS OF JESUS CHRIST (PART 1)
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JOHN 14:6, MATT 4:18-22, 1 COR 3: 12-15, ROM 12:1-2.
As believers in Jesus Christ, have you ever ask yourself how you should respond when He calls you. Let us look into the scriptures and observe the response of His first disciples when He calls them. In the Book of Matthew chapter four, it was recorded: “And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. They did not give any excuses or reasoning to wait/linger but their response was immediate. They left what they were doing and left where they were with who they were with immediate effect; no hesitation.
How do we learn to live in the footsteps of Jesus Christ? The answer can be found in the Book of John 14:6 where Jesus said in reply to Thomas, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Let us now unpack this portion of the scriptures and find the key elements in it.
1.The Way: The purpose of living. The Way is more than a subject of study; it is the purpose of living. People may not be writing about it or reading about it but their life itself shows what the purpose of living is about. Thus, for the measure of time frame that God bless our existence here on earth, may we choose to experience Him as a Father, not merely as a Judge who will judge each and every one of us when we leave this earthly dwelling? It is important to ask yourself these questions:
- What exactly are you living for?
- At the end of your life, are you ready to meet God?
2.The Truth: Foundations of living. These includes:- Living by faith as against hard facts by physical evidence. Dependability as against lies and deceit which are undependable. Consistency and unchanging principles as against spin and political correctness.
As a believer in Christ, we have to be familiar with the scriptures, deeply grounded in the Word of Truth so that we will be able to stand firm, unshakable when distractive wind of false doctrines blow into our path. In other words, ask yourself what is your Christian foundational believe build upon? Please read 1 Corinthian 3:12-15.
3.The Life: Biblical pattern of living. Abide and be obedient to the teachings of Jesus. Live in accordance to how He teaches us to live. In the book of Romans Chapter 12: 1-2, Apostle Paul urged us to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, not to be conform to the trend of this world but instead constantly renewing our minds so as to discern what is good and acceptable to God.
Every believer should have a clear understanding that you are living for a purpose, based on sound doctrine and guided by Biblical principles. This will lead you to live a life according to the teachings of Jesus, with eternity as your ultimate destiny. I challenge you to make a start if you have not begun this journey, to walk in the footsteps of Jesus!!
TOPIC: THEME 2017: THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: PHIL 1:21, 2:5, 10-11, IS 45:23, ROM 12:10, 16, 13:8, 14:11, 13, 15:7, 14, 2 CHR 30:8, PROV 3:6, EPH 4:2, 32, 5:21, HEB 3:13, 10:24-25, 12:9, 13:1,17, JAMES 4:7, 1 PET 2:13, 18, 4:9, 5:5, PS 133:1, 1 COR 1:10, 12:4-7, 2 COR 13:11, GAL 5:13, JOHN 13:34-35, 1 JOHN 1:7, 3:11, 23, 1 JOHN 4:7, 11, 1 PET 1:22, 3:8, JAMES 4:11, 5:9, COL 3:13, 16, 1 TH 4:18, 5:11, 2 TH 1:3.
Let us together as the Body of Christ in FOC embrace this theme for this year and labour on it as a church, own it as our resolution for 2017! However, in order to embrace this theme, we need to be on the same page.
- To be on the same page with His Word. (Keyword: Submission).
- To be on the same page with one another. (Keyword: Exhortation).
Submission in the context of the teaching in the Bible simply means obedience to God’s Word out of your own free will and choice, not forced. This is reflected in the Garden of Eden where God places both trees within the garden before Adam and Eve, and consequences of the choice they made led to the fall of mankind.
Categories of choices we make:
- Good choice – decide on what is good, based on your own intelligence.
- Best choice – the best among options available.
- Right choice – a decision that is consciously made with good outcomes.
- Only choice – the ultimate decision leaving no other options, as reflected in Apostle Paul’s life.
David expressed the joy of harmonious relationship in Psalms 133. Living in harmony does not mean we will agree on everything; there will be many opinions just as there are many notes in a musical chord. But we must agree on our purpose in life, to work together for God. Our outward expression of unity will reflect our inward unity of purpose.
How to be on the same page with one another?
- It is an undeniable fact that we are all different in many sense of the word. However, we can come together despite all our differences and work together in unity for the glory of God’s Kingdom! Invest your energy for the common good of people around you!
- Learn to lay down yourself and commit yourself to love one another in the Body of Christ for this is the teaching of the Word of God!
- Learn how to build up one another instead of falling into traps of criticizing, condemning, or complaining! Do away with self- righteousness or elitism, love unconditionally!
Yes, let us pray believing that we will learn to live such a life, beginning from now, allowing the Lordship of Jesus Christ to become our central focus, both in our daily living and in the life of His Body, amen!!
TOPIC: THE TRUE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION.
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JOHN 3:16, LUKE 3:1-5, 12-16.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Today, both believers and unbelievers celebrate this annual event. For some who do not understand the true meaning of the celebration, soon after were led to know what it is all about.
So you may ask, “What is so special about Christmas?” Christmas is special because of YOU! The reason is because God loves us! In the Book of John chapter 3, we read about a conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus. Nicodemus was a ruler and a member of the Pharisees, a group of religious leaders. Jesus revealed to this devout Pharisees that the Kingdom would come to the whole world, not just the Jews, and Nicodemus would not be a part of it unless he was personally born again. This was a revolutionary concept, the Kingdom is personal, not national or ethnic, and its entrance requirements are repentance and spiritual rebirth. Jesus later taught that God’s kingdom has already begun in the hearts of believers.
People come to church for different reasons. Some go to church to socialize, connect with others, and many other personal reasons. Above all, the most important reason is to come simply to worship the Almighty God! It was His love for mankind that God the Father sent His Son, Jesus to come to us to redeem us from sin and be reconciled to God. Unless you know Jesus, Christmas loss it’s true meaning. It is not sufficient just to have knowledge of God, more importantly we must know Him in spirit! Thus when we come together to celebrate Christmas, it is actually celebrating a supernatural event in history! Do you know Jesus personally? There is but only two possibilities in life, either we are for God or for Satan for there is no in between.
TOPIC: PREPARATION BEFORE THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: PS 50:23, LUKE 1:17-20, 26-30, 2:25-26, 36, MATT 1:1-4, 2:1-11.
The Bible record the fulfilment of the prophecy made that God will send the Messiah into the world to redeem man from their sin and be reconciled to God. The scriptures recorded different group of people who heard this prophecy and how they individually prepare for this timeless event.
- Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, parents of John the Baptist. Zechariah’s response to Angel Gabriel was doubts and fear when he was told that Elizabeth will fall pregnant with child who will be called John the Baptist. Fear is associated with timidity, which reflected the personality of someone like Zechariah who has hidden reasons to fear. Zechariah doubted the power of God to fulfil the Word simply by looking at his own inability or his circumstances and thus was completed off-focussed with the Word of God.
- Angel Gabriel also appeared to Mary and revealed to her that she will also fall pregnant and give birth to the Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ. Mary’s response was one asking practical question, revealing to the angel that she is still a virgin. Thus for her, the preparation was to leave this matter in God’s hands and believe in God’s Word.
- Simeon waited for as long as it takes. He is a righteous and devout servant of God and the Holy Spirit revealed to him that he will personally meet Jesus. God timing may not be our timing. However in this matter, Simeon kept faith with God and lived to see the fulfilment of God’s Word.
- Anna, the prophetess continues in worship and never wavers. She continues her worship, fasting and praying diligently.
- Joseph do as the Lord commanded. He took Mary home to be his wife.
- Wise man from the East came bearing gifts to celebrate the birth of Jesus. They followed the star from the East until they meet Jesus.
Preparation speaks a lot about our anticipation and attachment to the actual event. The better we are prepared, the greater our sense of purpose for the event. Christian living is all about preparations to honor and meet with the Lord. The greater the preparations we made, the greater our sense of honor, and humility to receive the King of kings and the Lord of lords!
TOPIC: THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 1 COR 5:1-8, 1 COR 6:12, JOHN 4, JOHN 10:10, PHIL 3:13-14, JAMES 5:16.
Paul condemns immorality taking place in the Corinthian Church, to discipline flagrant sin among its members. Such actions, left unchecked can polarize and paralyze a church! The Corinthian Church had a specific sin in their midst, but they had refused to deal with it. Paul was telling the church that they had a responsibility to maintain standards of morality found in God’s Word. God tells us not to judge others, but He also tells us not to tolerate flagrant sin that opposes His Holiness and has a dangerous influence on other believers.
In the Book of John chapter four, Jesus had a conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well that a true worshipper of God must worship the Father in spirit and in truth because God seek after such a true worshipper. Thus, we need to be consistently abiding in the Spirit to resist ungodly temptations around us but it can be a challenge to maintain this way. Satan is always trying all avenues to steal from us. In contrast to the thief who takes, Jesus gives. The life He gives now is abundantly richer and fuller. It is eternal, yet it begins immediately. Life in Him is lived on a higher plan because of His overflowing forgiveness, love and guidance. Thus we enter into the New Year, it is very important to do serious house cleaning in the church. We have all done things for which we are ashamed and we all live in the tension of what we have been and what we want to be. Because our hope is in Christ, however, we can let go of the past guilt and look forward to what He will help us become. Do not dwell on your past. Instead grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on your relationship with Him now.
How to resist sin and temptations:
- Keep with the right company.
- Do not compromise.
- Be mentally guarded at all times. Deliverance can only come if you confess your wrong doings before God, apply His cleansing blood to purge you from sinful thoughts. King David committed sin due to the weakness in his flesh. The devil is very cunning to work slowly, and if you are not spiritually alert at all times, he will gradually get his way in your life. Paul reminded us to stay in the presence of God, for unless we live in the fear of God, we will continue to dwell in sin!!
- Learn to confess our sins one to another. Christ has made it possible for us to go directly to God for forgiveness but confessing or sins to one another still have an important place in the life of the church. Jesus Christ must be lord over all our lives. He should be our master, provider and peace. Through this way, we will be able to receive every blessing that He so choose to bestow upon our lives!!
TOPIC: STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF THE SAINTS AND SERVANTS OF GOD. RATHER THAN SUCCESS.
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 1 COR 4: 5-21.
In the natural environment, we live and adapt to the changing season, varying our attire to suit the changing season. In the same way, we too experience changing seasons in our spiritual life. It is important to be reminded to live more and more in Christ.
In 1 Corinthians 4:16, Apostle Paul encouraged the believers in Corinth “…. be ye followers of me.” Likewise the same would apply to us today, to live a life totally committed to God. It is a good thing to imitate good qualities we see in others, but more so, we should imitate the good things we learned from the Scriptures.
Christmas is about sharing the love of God not only in due season but every day of our life. It is the celebration of Christ, having its origin in the Catholic circle.
To learn to live a Christ centred life is a learning process and we need role modelling. In the secular world, there is a need to relate to others in a courteous and polite manner. In the learning process, we need role modelling. A life-long learning comes from our everyday circumstances/challenges, the application of which should come from the Scriptures for all believers. Most stories of success in life for the rich and famous of this world is one sided, that is you hear only the success bit but not the failures they faced. In contrast, the Bible recorded both success and failure of mankind, starting from the beauty in the Garden of Eden, leading to man’s disobedience and fall, the issue of sin into the human race!
A simple word of encouragement and advice, Be faithful in the things of God! You cannot lie or deceive God, for He discerns not the outward but rather the state of your heart towards Him! Paul urged the believers in Corinth to live with a clear conscience for ultimately it is our God who is going to judge each and every one of us! Besides, Apostle Paul also reminded the believers in Corinth not to seek after self- pride, striving for self- gain. Rather, they should pursue and render their deepest loyalties to Christ and not man. Those who spend more time debating church leadership than declaring Christ’s message do not have Christ as their top priority. Some people talk a lot about faith but that’s all it is- Talk! They may know all the right words to say, but their lives do not reflect God’s power. Paul says the Kingdom of God is to be lived, not just discussed! There is a big difference between knowing the right words and living them out. Do not be content to have the right answers, about Christ. Let your life show that God’s power is really working in YOU!
TOPIC: THE FEAR OF THE LORD
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: PS 111:10, PROV 1:7 2:1-5, 9:10, 10:27, 14:27, 15:16,33, 16:6, 19:23, 23:17, 2 TIM 3:1-5, 10-12, JOB 28:28, 2 CHRO 1: 5-12, 1 KINGS 11: 1-3, PS 19:9, 34:11, 1 COR 10:33, ISA 23:6, 11:2-3, 33:6, ACTS 9:31.
Why bother with the Fear of God?
The Fear of God does not mean to be terrified with God, but rather to take delight in our God, our desire to please Him in everything that we do. None get rejected or burden in their quest to please God. Consistency is important in our walk with God. However, each one of us has many weaknesses, amongst which impatience is one of them. In 2 Timothy 3, Paul reminded the people of God to live godly lives, giving himself as an example, one who God sustained and preserved despite persecutions and many sufferings! Paul also described the end time situation and how the believers should continue to live godly lives. How do you know that you are living a godly life? Yes, it is by living under the Fear of God. So how do you live with the Fear of God?
- You will shun Evil, by resisting and refusing it. If you do not, Evil will pursue and gradually devolved you! We sometimes do things in the dark thinking no one will notice us. A good illustration is observing the life of King Solomon. In the Book of 2 Chronicles, we see how Solomon initially chose to live a life pleasing to God. God was glad with him and in return seek to grant his wish. Solomon requested wisdom to govern his people and God fulfilled it. Thus, we remembered Solomon as the wisest king during his time. However Solomon fell and come short of God due to his weakness in his lust for women who unfortunately led him to serve other gods. In fury, God punished him. If one as wise as King Solomon could fall, how about us? The only way is to learn to shun evil.
- Have Confidence in the Word of God.
When we praise God, His presence is with us. To have confidence in the Word of God is simply to believe every word He says! See Psalms 19:9.
- When you have the Fear of God, you are teachable. See 34:11.
- You are serious with God. See Proverbs 2: 1-5.
- You get to know the Holy Spirit. See Proverbs 9:10.
- You receive more from the Lord. See Proverbs 10:27.
- You avoid dangers. See Proverbs 14:27.
- You are never threatened with any lack. See Proverbs 15:16, 19:23.
- You are divinely taught and honoured. See Proverbs 15:33, 22:4.
- You know who to keep company with. See Proverbs 23:17.
- The key to God’s Treasure Throve. See Isaiah 11:2, 33:6.
- Certainty in growing the church. See Acts 9:31.
What is there to take heed of today?
- Do not fall away or lose your salvation for there is eternal destruction.
- Remember our God is both a God of Judgement and of Love. Do not take His grace and mercies for granted.
- The Devil will destroy you if you allow him.
- We are not perfect and we need each other to correct each other beginning with ourselves.
- Behold, Jesus will return at the designated time, known only to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, amen!
SPEAKER: BRO JASON WELLS
TOPIC: DIVINE APPOINTMENT
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JOHN 4:7-15, 39-42, 20:30.
In this section of the Scriptures, Jesus approached a Samaritan woman for a drink. Usually a Jew like Jesus does not associate with a Samaritan simply because the latter is regarded as unclean. The path Jesus took that lead Him to the woman is consider a zone that no Jew should set foot on, it is regarded as a “red light” district!
- Jesus had a Divine Appointment with this Samaritan woman. Jesus crossed all barriers to share the Gospel, and we who follow Him must do no less. If you are willing to be used by God, He will have a divine appointment for you.
- Here we see an unusual situation, this place is but a “no go zone”. Despite that, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to speak to this woman.
The Lord Jesus cut across cultures, religious background and gender. As believers in Jesus, we need to do the same, to reach out and interact with the unsaved to lead them to Jesus! The word water is used six times in this portion of the scriptures. Living water symbolizes the Holy Spirit. Sixty five percent of the human body consist of water and we will surely die if we are deprived of water. Water helps to keep the human body in equilibrium to aid every part of our body to function properly. Living water here which refers to the Holy Spirit is symbol of blessings. The Holy Spirit is a gift from God, the central point in our spiritual life! Only the Holy Spirit can satisfy our human soul. To conclude, mankind needs Jesus and there is no exception!!
SPEAKER: BRO JASON LEE
TOPIC: BUILDING THE “T” KINGDOM LIVING
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: ROM 12:2, PHIL 4:6, 1 THESSALONIANS 5:18, LUKE 5:25, 6:29-30, ACTS 7:60, PS 1:1, ROM 12:1, 1 KINGS 17:13-15, 2 TIM 2:8, 2 TIM 4:7, 1 JOHN 5:14, JOHN 14:13, PS 107:28-30, HEB 11:8, MATT 25:14-30, JEREMIAH 31:19, ISAIAH 30:15, 1 THESSALONIANS 5:11, PS 14:2, ISAIAH 55:6.
“T” for treasure which is defined as something valuable can mean different things to different people. For example, money, time, career, family, love life, finances etc.
How to build Treasure in our lives?
- Have an attitude of Thankfulness. Learn to be thankful for changing circumstances and situation, look unto God in problem solving, learn to give and to serve. See Phil 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
- Our Response in different situations/circumstances.
Instead of walking away, face the circumstances instead. Return kindness to those who acted unkindly towards you. Practise goodness unto all people, show mercy unto others always. See Luke 6: 29-30.
Respond to Deliverance. See Luke 5:25.
Respond to Enemies. See Acts 7:60.
Respond to Evil. See Psalms 1:1.
Respond to God’s Mercy. See Rom 12:1.
Respond to Miracles. See 1 Kings 17: 13-15.
- Learn to Endure.
It is true that life is not “a bed of roses”. In the Book of 2 Timothy, Paul wrote to Timothy, exhorting him to embrace for the sake of the Gospel.
- Learn to Ask in Prayer. See 1 John 5:14, John 14:13, Psalms 107: 28-30.
- Step into the Unknowns. See Hebrew 11:8. Each of us faces many different challenges and situations. For example, in a situation where you or your dear ones are diagnosed with an illness or cancer which could leave you feeling helpless and hopeless. Thus, remember God’s sovereign and merciful character, learn to have complete faith, trust, reliance and dependence amidst all troubles!!
- Learn to utilize the gift/gifts God had given you. We should use to the fullest the gift/gifts God gave us, not limiting it to work alone but also use them in the church and the marketplace. See Matthew 25: 14-30. Remember that all your skills are God given, and to utilise them is an act of returning your gratitude to the Giver, God Himself.
Repent and make right with God. See Jeremiah 31:19, Isaiah 30:15.
- Learn to Encourage. Paul is always full of encourage in his letters to the churches. Learn to build each other up in the Body of Christ. See 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
- Seek the Lord. Always learn to seek the Lord in everything, to seek His wisdom. See Psalms 14:2, Isaiah 55:6.
TOPIC: PARABLE OF THE LOST SHEEP
SPEAKER: BRO JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: LUKE 15:1-10
Here, Jesus was seen mingling and eating with those considered by the Pharisees and scribes as “unclean”. On the contrary, Jesus risked defilement by touching lepers and by neglecting to wash in the Pharisees prescribed manner. He came to offer salvation to sinners, to show that God loves them. Jesus did not worry about these accusations. Instead He continued going to those who needed Him, regardless of the effect they might have on His reputation. Today, we should be like Jesus, carrying the message of the good news to the unchurched and sinners. What is important here is that you maintain your distinctiveness as Christian living and mingling with those who do not yet believe in Jesus.
In the parable of the lost sheep, the shepherd searched diligently for the one lost sheep. In the same manner, God’s love for each individual is so great that He seeks each one out and rejoices when he/she is ‘found’. Jesus associated with sinners because He wanted to bring the lost sheep-people considered beyond hope-the Gospel of God’s kingdom. Before you were a believer, He sought you, and His love is still seeking those who are yet lost! A sheep that had strayed away from the flock is in danger and vulnerable. Likewise, a person who had gone astray also is exposed to all kinds of dangers and has a tendency to fall into sin. As believers in Jesus, we need to put effort in seeking the lost, to bring him/her back to the saving grace of God.
Palestinian women received ten silver coins as a wedding gift. Besides their monetary value, these coins held sentimental value like that of a wedding ring, and to lose one was extremely distressing. Just as a woman would rejoice at finding her lost coin or ring, so the angels would rejoice over a repentant sinner. Each individual is precious to God. He grieves over every loss and rejoices whenever one of His children is found and brought into His Kingdom. Learn to take and share the message of the good news in your everyday living.
SPEAKER: BRO CHRIS HALL
TOPIC: A JOURNEY
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: PS 1:1-6
Earthly life is a journey that takes us from our birth to the day we die. We faced different seasons on this earthly journey, experiencing our own challenges, struggles and happiness. Death is evitable. There two different paths that we can choose to take and whilst we can decide on which one to take, the heart of the journey is the same. What journey are you on?
One who chooses to be in the path of blessing must be distinctive and different from the world. It is not enough just to stay amongst Christians but to mingle with unbelievers, having them in our hearts and prayers, inviting them into our lives. Be warned not to become like the unbelievers, embracing their lifestyle for if we do so then we will lose our distinctiveness and God’s blessing for our lives! How? One way is church can be involved in community service, reaching out and helping others in the community yet stays distinctive as Christians! Take heed not to compromise with the world for in doing so we lose our identity! So be distinctive both outwardly and inwardly!
In Psalms 1:1-2, we see God’s blessing results in joy. To obtain God’s joy, the psalmist says we should avoid the company of mocking sinners. In addition, we should seek an understanding of God through His Word. When we remain preoccupied with God and His Word, we do not see it as a commandment but an enjoyment! Choose to delight in God’s Word every day!
If we choose to live a life of blessing by God, we need a changed heart. Psalms 1:3 explained to us that we will still go through changing seasons in our lives, no immunity from failure or difficulties or guarantee of health, wealth and happiness. However, when we apply God’s wisdom to our lives, the fruit we bear will be good and receive God’s approval. As a tree soaks up water and bear luscious fruit, we also are to soak up God’s Word, producing actions and attitudes that honour God. We need to maintain our spiritual life despite our difficulties. It is easy to follow Jesus when all’s well but not so easy when faced with challenges! Thus, we need to ask ourselves, “What would it take for my life to be changed, a change both in my head and heart!”
Psalm 1:4 mentioned about chaff. Chaff is the outer shell (or husk) that must be removed to get at the valuable kernels of grain inside. Chaff is a symbol of a faithless life that drifts along without direction. Good grain is a sign of a faithful life that can be used by God. Unlike grain, we can choose the direction we will take! We need to ask ourselves this, “What are the useless parts in our lives that we need to deal with get rid of!” What path will you choose to take? So today, will you choose to live a distinctive life, a life well pleasing to God?
TOPIC: END TIMES
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 24:1-20, 1COR10:12.
In life, one experience defining moments, know where you come from and where you are heading. In creation, we see how God created the heavens and the earth. Later, we learnt about how humanity fell, God’s gift to mankind, His only begotten Son to die for our sin to redeem us back to God. It is without a doubt that today, we are living in end times.
Here in the beginning of the Book of Matthew chapter 24, Jesus forecasted the destruction of the temple built by King Solomon. The soldiers burnt it, melted and harvested the gold found in the building material. This took place 40 years after Jesus forecasted the destruction of the temple. Jesus continues the conversation with his disciples about the signs of end times. Jesus mentioned clearly to them that it is a time of deception, so he warned them not to be deceived! So, how can you be deceived? Deception does not issue from being ignorant; rather it is not having the truth to support us from being deceived. “Half- truth” can equal a white lie. Here, we are talking about the deceiver, Satan. He does not have a distinctive look or form; rather he is a spirit that has the ability to work through your mind. The greatest method of deception Satan used was in the Garden of Eden where he said to Eve, “Did God says?” This inflicted a doubt in Eve.
God created us distinctive as man and woman. How do you resist deception in this matter? Do not engage in conversation which creates doubt. You need to be clear in your own mind. Satan is interested in destroying the creation of God-mankind! Abomination in the sight of God is living a life style that opposes God’s design in His creation of mankind. Issue of gender can divide our nation. Today, we need to be very clear where we stand in this crucial matter, not giving in to deception and become accountable to one to another.
TOPIC: NO EXCUSES
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: LUKE 14:15-24
The man with Jesus saw the glory of God’s Kingdom but he did not yet understand how to get in. In Jesus’ story, many turned down the invitation to the banquet because the timing was inconvenient. We too can resist or delay responding to God’s invitation, and our excuses may sound reasonable. For example, we could say that we are busy with work duties, family responsibilities, financial need, or whatever they may be. As believers of Christ, we may be on fire for God in the beginning but after a while, we may grow cold or indifferent to the preaching of the gospel of His good news, compromising where we should not. Preaching/sharing the message of the good news is not the responsibility of an evangelist/preacher but also the responsibility of each believer, in our everyday living. All excuses that we give preventing us from sharing the good news, is a reflection of how we truly value the things of God in comparison to what is important to us. Ultimately, to those that give excuses from coming to the banquet, they will not taste of the goodness that the banquet has to offer.
Questions we should ask ourselves on this matter:
- Are we distinct?
- Do we make excuses?
- Are we obedient in sharing our Christian faith?
- What things do we put before God, for example our careers, habits and hobbies.
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JOHN 17: 1-26, JOHN 18:1, MATT 26: 36-44.
What is the Bible to you in your life? Is it a book where you acquire useful information or is it a book where you acquire revelation? If it is but a book of information only, then it provides you with good knowledge but no revelation! What does Gethsemane mean to you? John called it the olive grove. Gethsemane means the olive press. Jesus was the olive and He went to Gethsemane where He was pressed!
In Matthew 26:38, Jesus said to His disciples saying, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me”. Jesus suffered death, both physical and soul. Imagine if Jesus did not go to Gethsemane but instead to somewhere like Galilee, then Judas would not have found Him. Nevertheless, to Jesus, Gethsemane was a place which is unavoidable! Is there a place for you that seem unavoidable, a place where you feel pressed? Some may experience it as a place of resentment, anger and bitterness. Jesus on the other hand considers it a place where redemption for mankind was accomplished, though a very lonely road. For those of us who choose to follow Jesus, sometimes out journey can be a very lonely one.
When Jesus talks about “this cup”, He meant an issue of death! In the olden days, the wine tester will partake of the wine before the king to ensure it is safe to drink. Likewise Jesus took the cup of death on our behalf so that we do not have to eternal damnation but instead enjoy eternal life. Gethsemane is a place of life and death. To Jesus, Gethsemane was a place in preparation for the cross. At Gethsemane, Jesus agonises the death of His soul that He felt.
The ancient Greeks had two words for time, Kronos and Kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time lapse, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens. Jesus was born at Kairos time. The Son of God is all about to glorify the Father. Thus, we should also learn to serve according to the Will of the Father. What did our God put in your life at such Kairos time in your life? We will all die one day. Death is the transition from earthly living back to God. If we have to experience Gethsemane ourselves, may the precious oil of God issues out of us, hallelujah!!
TOPIC: THE FUNDAMENTALS OF COMPASSION
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 9:35-38, MATT 14:14-16, MATT 15:30-32, MARK 6:34.
True believers of Christ will possess/reflect Christ-like nature in the way they lived. Compassion is a word repeated many times in the Bible. Compassion does not equal pity. Thus there is a significant difference between helping someone out of compassion compared to out of pity for the person. Pity means feeling for others, particularly feelings of sadness or sorrow, and is used in a comparable sense to the more modern words “sympathy” and “empathy”. Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
Fundamentals of Compassion:
- Compassion is a concern for those who are harassed and helpless. In response to helping them, learn to do it as a team, not on your own. Assistance does not only include helping someone in needs for living but also emotional, mental and spiritual healing. Jesus not only feed the hungry but He also teaches them how to help themselves. Sometimes when you act out of compassion, you may be taken advantage of, but do not stop there because the Lord know your true intention.
- Remember each person that you assist have needs not only physically, but also emotional, mentally and spiritually (read Matt 14:14-16).
- Compassion extends beyond caring for someone’s physical needs only. It is difficult to have compassion for all people at all times. Jesus can use us, as His believers, as channels He can operate through in various aspects of ministering to those in need.
What are the elements nowadays that stop us from wanting to help others in need? Extensive usage of multimedia nowadays could desensitize us from helping people in trouble around us. We should continue to have compassion for others in need and though we could be limited, let compassion remain always in you, amen!
TOPIC: OUR IDENTITY IN CHRIST
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: GAL 4:1-11, ROM 8:15
Paul in the Book of Galatian chapter three, warned the believers not to be deceived by false teachings that distracted them into believing in magic that could harm them. Here in chapter four, he uses the illustration of slavery to show that before Christ came and died for sins, people are in the bondage of the Law. The Good News is that we who were once slaves are now God’s very own children with an intimate relationship with Him. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice because, although He was fully human, He never sinned. His death brought freedom to us who were enslaved to sin so we could be adopted into God’s family.
Under Roman law, an adopted child was guaranteed all legal rights to His father’s property. As adopted children of God, we share with Jesus all rights to God’s resources. As God’s heirs, we can claim what He has provided for us-our full identity as His children. Paul firmly warned the believers to beware of false religion, to turn away from practices of false religion, for example paganism. Flee from the bondage of slavery and live with the realisation that we who believed are heirs of God through Christ who died for us all, hallelujah and amen!
TOPIC: THE FUNDAMENTALS OF SERVANT HOOD
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 20: 20-28, ACTS 6:4, 1 COR 9: 25-27, MATT 25: 14-30, LUKE 10:27, PROV 7:2
Every builder who intends to build a building would have to ensure firstly to lay a solid/strong foundation and survey any related problems which have to be taken into consideration. Once the building is completed, many will come to admire the completed masterpiece. Likewise, the Christian faith is based upon its foundation which is none other than the Word of God.
A servant is not a career seeker, neither a wage collector. Rather, a servant gets his/her reward from his/her master. The greatest commandment in the Bible is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” The greatest commandment that a Christian can choose to obey is to learn how to serve sincerely. Jesus is a great and true example of what it really meant to be a servant. In the Book of Matthew 20: 20-28, Jesus was showing that He was under the authority of the Father, who alone makes the decisions about leadership in heaven. Such rewards are not granted as favors. They are for those who have maintained their commitment to Jesus in spite of severe trials. Jesus described leadership from a new perspective. Instead of using people, we are to serve them. Jesus mission was to serve others and to give His life away. A real leader has a servant’s heart. He appreciates others’ worth and realizes he is not above any job. If you are see that something need to be done, do not wait to be asked. Take the initiative and do it like a faithful servant!
Fundamentals of Servant hood
- Responsibility as a servant. A born again Christian has been given the right of responsibility. You should not push it to someone else but must bear it yourself. A servant has the responsibility to point others to Christ. The greater the blessing the greater the responsibility.
- Role of a servant. The role of a servant is intense. It is intense with focus and you need to know the requirements from the master for you.
- Requirement of grace. We serve by grace. You should serve in any environment that God place you, for example, in the church, school or workplaces. Working among people will require from us much grace from God in order to work well with others.
- Right of a servant. Right of a servant is a matter of trust. In Matthew 25: 14-30, Jesus taught the parable of the loaned money. Here, the master divided the money (talents) among his servants according to their abilities. No one received more or less than he could handle. If he failed in his assignment, his excuse could not be that he was overwhelmed. Failure could come only from laziness or hatred for the master. The talents represent any kind of resource we are given. God gives us time, gifts and other resources according to our abilities, and He expects us to invest them wisely until He returns. We are responsible to use well what God has given us. The issue is not how much we have but how well we use what we have. Be a servant of God where He can trust you with bringing people to Himself. As a servant in Christ, know who you serve.
TOPIC: JESUS TEACHING THE LORD’S PRAYER
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: LUKE 11:1-4, MATT 6:9-13
Live a life that is filled with purpose for God. In these portions of scriptures, Jesus taught the disciples to be sincere in their prayers, not wanting to be seen in public but rather choose to pray in private unlike the hypocrites who are more concern in putting on a false front. Though we worship an invisible God, He truly knows and understands our thoughts. Do not utter empty words to God but instead choose to pray to Him with sincerity.
The Lord’s Prayer can be used as a guide on how we should live. In the opening of the Lord’s Prayer, we are taught as children of God to address Him as our Heavenly Father. “Hallowed be Thy name”, meaning to honour God’s name. Also praising God first put us in the right frame of mind to tell Him about our needs. Elohim refers to the true God in the Hebrew bible. There are many names of God mentioned in the Bible, amongst them Jehovah and Hayah meaning the existed one or usually referred to as the “I Am”. It is God’s intention of creating man so that He can have a relationship with man.
God’s provision is daily, not once for all. We cannot store it up and then cut off communication with God, and we dare not be self-satisfied. If you are turning low on strength, ask yourself – how long have I been away from the Source?
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He made forgiveness the cornerstone of their relationship with God. God has forgiven our sins; we must now forgive those who have wronged us. To remain unforgiving shows we have not understood that we ourselves deeply need to be forgiven. Think of some people who have wronged you. Have you truly forgiven them? How will God deal with you if He treats you as you treat others? When you are totally yielded to God, the power of darkness has no authority in your life. If you live a life with conviction to God, God will surely reveal His purpose for your life here on earth!
TOPIC: THE BEAUTITUDES
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 4:23-25, MATT 5:1-12.
Beatitude inherited its blessedness from the Latin word beatus, meaning both “happy” and “blessed.” In the Bible, the Beatitudes are a series of eight blessings, mentioned here in the Book of Matthew chapter 5 from verses 3-10. You need to start by having a godly attitude. When Jesus was giving this Sermon on the Mount, He was referring to Himself. The crowds gathered and heard His message but the true meaning of His message is directed to His disciples. God chose to come into this world not with fame and glory but born in a manger so that all could come to see Him. In this sermon, Jesus is the one poor in spirit though in reality He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! He came through the lowliest way to show us that by humility we can know God.
Each of the beatitude shows you how to be blessed. Other translations use the word fortunate or happy. These words don’t promise laughter, pleasure, or earthly prosperity. Jesus turns the world’s idea of happiness upside down. To Jesus happiness means hope and joy, independent of outward circumstances. To find hope and joy, the deepest form of happiness, follow Jesus no matter what the cost.
Jesus began His sermon with words that seem to contradict each other. But God’s way of living usually contradicts the world. If you want to live for God you must be ready to say and do what seems strange to the world. You must be willing to give when others take, to love when others hate, to help when others abuse. By giving up your own rights in order to serve others, you will one day receive everything God has in store for you!
Jesus said to rejoice when we’re persecuted. Persecution can be good because:
- It takes our eyes of earthly rewards.
- It strips away superficial believers.
- It strengthens the faith of those who endure.
- It serves as an example to others who follow.
We can be comforted to know that God’s greatest prophets were persecuted (Elijah, Jeremiah, Daniel). Our persecution means we have shown ourselves faithful. In the future, God will reward the faithful by letting them enter His eternal Kingdom where there is no more persecution!
TOPIC: THE QUALITIES OF AN ATHELETE
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 1 COR 9: 24-27, 2 TIM 4 : 7, HEB 12:4
In a race, there are many participants but only one becomes the winner of the race. All athletes are discipline in training with the goal to win the ultimate prize. Likewise, Christians are also like athletes, but training to win not an earthly prize but an eternal prize that never fades!
Winning a race requires purpose and discipline. Paul used this illustration to explain that the Christian life takes hard work, self-denial, and gruelling preparation. As Christian we are running toward our heavenly reward. The essential disciplines of prayers, Bible study, and worship equip us to run with vigour and stamina. Do not merely observe from the grandstand; do not just turn out to jog a couple of laps each morning. Train diligently, because your spiritual progress depends on it.
At times we must even give up something good in order to do what God wants. Each individual’s special duties determine the discipline and denial he must accept. Without a goal discipline is nothing but self-punishment. With the goal of pleasing God, our denial seems like nothing compared to the eternal (incorruptible) reward that is ours.
When Paul said he might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside (a “castaway”), he did not mean he could lose his salvation, but rather that he could lose his privilege of telling others about Christ. It is easy to tell others how to live and then not to take our own advice. We must be careful to practice what we preach.
Our Christian walk should be one like an athlete who trains hard daily, exercising discipline and self- control to win an eternal reward that never perish!
TOPIC: BACK TO THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE WORD OF GOD
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: LUKE 18:1-8
Though we all come from different denominations, the fundamental teaching of the Word of God should remain the same. Our Christian journey should be one that is rich and meaningful. If your Christian journey become some-what doubtful, you should stop and ask yourself if you are in the right path. In the beginning of this chapter, Jesus reminded the importance of praying without ceasing. To persist in prayer until the answer comes does not mean endless repetition or painful long prayer sessions. Always praying means keeping our request constantly before God as we live for Him day by day, always believing He will answer. When we thus live by faith, we are not to give up. God may delay answering, but His delays always have good reasons. As we persist in prayer we grow in character, faith and hope.
Jesus told the story of two people, a widow seeking justice before a judge. Both were equally uncompromising, the widow was persistent to seek justice for herself and the reluctant judge ultimately considered her petition due to her persistence which wearied him. The world today follows its own course of direction it wants to take according to its own abilities and strength, like the judge. The widow in this story is like Christians today. There is much injustice in the world and here the widow wanted vindication.
Two aspects of weariness:
- Weariness as an enemy weakens you. It has the ability to make you give up your faith.
- On the other hand, weariness can get you to a place where you had given your utmost without any good expected outcome. Situation like this makes you turn to God to commit/surrender your all to Him and in doing so, you acquire true strength from God!
TOPIC: REVELATION AND ACTIVELY LIVING THE WORD OF GOD
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 13:34-35, MATT 16:13, GEN 1:2-3,26, GEN 3:8,
Building the Body of Christ requires us to have spiritual insight for we cannot do it with our natural abilities, understanding and strength. We must have revelation in the Word of God, followed by the understanding, then actively putting it to practice. In Matt 16:13, when Jesus asked the disciples who did they thought He was, Simon replied saying that Jesus is the Son of the living God. Jesus responded to Simon saying that he did not received the revelation from his natural understanding but instead it was the Father that gave Simon the revelation of Jesus true identity. Thus, to obtain revelation in the Word of God, we need spiritual insight from the Father, for without it, the Word becomes mere prints! Many today could have heard the theory of who Jesus is without having the spiritual revelation in the Word. We should have an attitude of coming to God with sincerity of heart, opening to the Holy Spirit so that we can receive the revelation in the Word.
Genesis spoke of creation of God, the details of how God created the universe. The Word of God is written for mankind but we need faith to believe. We have no idea what language God spoke in to bring about creation but the important matter is to remember that He spoke the language of empowerment! Following creation, Christ came as the perfect man to pay the price of redemption, reconciling man to God. In Genesis 3:8, God called out to Adam and Eve, wanting to know their situation following the partaking of the fruit of good and evil.
Revelation in the Word could come in the form of inspiration. The Word of God can be an inspiration in your daily walk if you use it daily wherever you maybe, at work or at home. One crucial point to remember is that all of us have but only one enemy, called Satan! In the church, we can become a danger to one another. Satan is good in using our weaknesses to create disunity within the Body of Christ. If a pastor in the church fall, his whole congregation will be deeply affected. We need to help each other and not hurt each other. Learn to share the revelation in the Word of God that you received so that it would encourage others who hear it. Pray according to God’s heart desire and though the answer may not come immediately, in God’s own time, He will bring it to fulfillment.
TOPIC: BUILD WITH CHRIST
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 16:13-19, MATT 9:37, MATT 10:28
In the Book of Matthew 16, Jesus asked His disciples who they think He is. Peter answered that He is the Christ, the son of the living God. Jesus replied saying that it was the Father who gave such revelation to Peter. Likewise, we too need such revelation in the Word, the understanding of it and undertaking it. Jesus continues to say “That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. In reading God’s Word, we do need to seek God to guide us to fully comprehend it.
The church must stand strong and resist the attack from Satan. Satan is lurking and waiting for an opportunity to shake the foundation of the church. We all have a desire to come together to build the church of God. Unfortunately, Satan’s desire is to tear down the church and create chaos. It is important to remember that the only way to build the church is to invite Jesus into our midst to help us to resist the attacks of the devil. In order to build the church, we need these five elements/characters:
- We need boldness. Often the church requires us to take risk to move away from our comfort zone. Boldness is the same as being daring. To be daring is to give you a challenge, often accompanied with a rush of adrenaline. Boldness comes when God is with you. If you never step out of your comfort zone, you will never realise the reality of God being with you. Our God is a God who builds. We need to be bold and listen to what God is saying to us. If you have heard from God, nothing can shake you. We should have a desire to extend a helping hand to others who need it.
- Have an attitude of praying without ceasing. Never underestimate your prayer life.
- Be intentional. Have an attitude to finish what you started.
- Labouring spirit. In Matthew 9:37 Jesus said to His disciples that the harvest truly is plenteous but the labourers are few. When you come to serve in God’s house, it involves hard work. Building the church is building people which is not an easy task. We need to have an attitude to build God’s body with Him as the centre.
- To be determined is to have an attitude to persevere, not giving up quickly, but instead to just hang in there! Determination will stretch us! In order to be determined, we really need the support from one another. Jesus reminded us not to labor for this world but instead to labor for the kingdom of God. So let us come to build the body of Christ with the best we have!!
TOPIC: STAYING TRUE IN OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WORD
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: PSALMS 119:1-16
Remember God’s Word, the Bible, is the only sure guide for living a pure life. We are drowning in a sea of impurity. Everywhere we look we find temptation to lead impure lives. The psalmist asked a question that troubles us all: how do we keep clean in a filthy environment? We cannot do this on our own, but must have counsel and strength more dynamic than the tempting influences around us. Where can we find that strength and wisdom? By reading God’s Word and doing what it says.
Storing God’s Word in our hearts is a deterrent to sin. This alone should inspire us to memorize Scriptures. Memorization alone will not keep us from committing sin we must also put God’s Word to work in our lives, making it a vital guide to everything we do. God’s laws were given to free us to be all He wants us to be. They restrict us from doing those things that will cripple us and keep us from being our best. God’s guidelines help us follow in His path and avoid paths that lead to destruction. It is a good thing to crave after God.
Important points to remember:
- Good to have a mind that is tuned towards God saying, “All I want is you”.
- Live a righteous life. If you choose to live unrighteous before God, you will feel distant from God and everything around seems wrong.
- Keep God’s precepts diligently. If we choose to live righteously before God, be obedient to His Word, we will have a blessed life.
- We need to be committed to walk with God with an upright heart.
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
TOPIC: THE HEALING OF THE PARALYZED MAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MARK 2: 1-12, 1 COR 10:33
In the Book of Mark chapter 2:5, Jesus said to the paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven. None of us are perfect, we all had sinned and need forgiveness of sin from God. However, we need faith to believe that He is able to forgive our sin. If you do not have any compassion for others, you are already paralyzed. If you are paralyzed emotionally and physically, what can you do? You need to pray that God will give you good friends like friends of the paralyzed man to help you.
During His ministry in Capernaum, many came to hear and know about Jesus. Likewise today, many could have heard about Jesus but are paralyzed like the man in this story. This man was very blessed to have such good friends who took much risk themselves in order to help him. Christians need to have a heart of compassion like these friends in order to reach out to others in need. God knows our intention when we worked hard to lead someone to Christ. The job is not completed until they accept Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. What did Jesus do prior to healing the paralyzed man? Jesus forgave his sins then went about healing him afterwards. Likewise, the world today needs to know and hear that the root of the problem in this world today is Sin. God created us in His own image after His likeness but then Sin came in and destroyed the initial plan (1 Cor 10:33). There is a possibility that before this man came to Jesus, he could be carrying thoughts of not been forgiven for a long time. You need God on your side when you are ministering to people for God. In the case of the paralyzed man, faith emerged from within him after he was healed. People can tell you about miracles but there is no substitute when you experience one yourself. In Mark 2:11, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house”. The healed paralyzed man did exactly what Jesus commanded, went his way and testified of the goodness of Jesus who healed him!
TOPIC: VALUES – WHAT ARE THEY AND WHAT ARE THEY BASED ON.
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: GEN 7:1, JOHN 8:35, GAL 6:10, JAMES 1:27
The Ten Commandments are not classified as values but laws. Values are standard you have and how you react to them. So what are you values and do you live by them? You are people of God, to serve and to glorify Him. If you live a life that reflect God’s goodness, that is a valuable life.
Understanding of Values:
- Family Values– Respect for the elders – Every culture is unique and different but they are common grounds. In Gen 7:1, the conversation is directed to “thy house”, meaning the whole family. All cultures bear resemblance in the matter of children respecting the elders/parents. It was mentioned 177 times in the Bible. When God spoke to Noah, he is regarded as the head of his family, the one taking the ultimate responsibility
- Community Values– These include participation in supporting each other in health, happiness and success, also reaching across barriers and getting to know people who are different from themselves. Besides, there is also a sense of being considerate of neighbours and being polite to each other.
- Respect for the elders – Every culture is unique and different but they are common grounds. In Gen 7:1, the conversation is directed to “thy house”, meaning the whole family. All cultures bear resemblance in the matter of children respecting the elders/parents. It was mentioned 177 times in the Bible. When God spoke to Noah, he is regarded as the head of his family, the one taking the ultimate responsibility.
- Righteousness – An attitude of taking God’s righteousness as your own. For example, the life of Missionary John Sung. JS lived in the early 1930’s and possessed a doctorate in chemical engineering. He went to Germany to further his studies and on his way back to China, he surrendered his life to serve God. Even though he was the only son in his family, he was committed to serve God’s family and it became the priority in his life. The Bible teaches us to be compassionate to one another, especially to the less fortunate like the orphans and widows in James 1:27. We need to learn to live in harmony with one another.
- Spiritual/Religious Values
- Eternal Value – The Bible reminds us not to store our treasures on earth but in heaven. Learn to experience the reality of God in your everyday life. God extend His hand to you every day. On the day of Judgement, each one of us will have to stand before God.
TOPIC: GREATNESS FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JUDGES 6, ESTHER 5-9, BK OF RUTH, BK OF TITUS
Our Christian life is measured by:-
- Our Conviction
- Our Commitment
- Our Consistence
Greatness should not be misunderstood for self- fame but instead it should be in service to others so that they could rise up to be used by God mightily. If your choice is to be great, then learn to serve. Genuine greatness is to know how to serve our God. There are at least five personalities found in the Bible reflecting upon their greatness in their service to others:
Gideon considered himself insignificant in terms of birth and tribal decent. God commissioned Gideon to deliver His people from the oppression of the Midianites. In Judges 6:12, the angel of the Lord appeared unto Gideon and said to him “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor”. Gideon’s replied to God that he is but the weakest, not popular but God’s attitude of him is he is a mighty warrior, believing him to defeat the enemies. God believed in him and chose him to serve His people. Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal and built an altar unto the living God. Likewise today, we must have a right attitude towards our profession, taking it as a responsibility and not as an idol. It should not become something that you worship and eventually replaces God in your life.
Ruth is an amazing lady spoken of in the Bible. The story of the relationship between Ruth and Naomi showed how their lives were woven together so closely that they were almost inseparable. Strangely as mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, they were bound to each other. They shared deep sorrow, great affection for each other, and an overriding commitment to the God of Israel. Be like Ruth, one who is faithful in service all the way to the end. Ruth is also the great grandmother of King David.
Esther made a queen of King Ahasuerus, risk her life by approaching the king for the sake of her people. Esther told the king of Haman’s plot against the Jews and he was put to death, the Jews saved! Esther’s risk confirmed that God was the source of her security!
Aaron humbled himself to serve without status. Together, he assisted his older brother, Moses in serving God for the sake of His people.
Titus one of Apostle Paul’s most trusted and dependable co-worker was commissioned to Crete to maintain proper organization and discipline under the instruction of Paul.
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
TOPIC: UNITY IN CHRIST
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JOHN 14:6, LUKE 18:1-8
In the Book of John chapter 17, Jesus prayed the final prayer to the Father that the believers will be united just like the Holy Trinity is united. There is strength in unity. However, Satan hates unity and will try all avenues possible to create disunity and division. Remember and recognize that Satan is very subtle and has the ability to persuade you to do things that you cannot imagine possible! He is good in stirring up trouble and upset things in your life. Ask yourself this question, “Are you Christ-like?” Sometimes, unconsciously you may forget the message of your salvation. Gathering together as a church to worship God should be a priority, not an option! Our Christian life will become meaningful if we do not neglect coming together as a church, for our unity is not of ourselves but in Christ. Salvation through Jesus is fundamental. My life must treasure what Jesus accomplished on the cross for me, hallelujah!
Important points to remember:
- In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” This is the only crucial message that matter and you are to share it. It is important to consider the state of spirit when you are sharing the Word of God. Sharing the Word of God based on your intelligence and human understanding is not sufficient, you really need the Holy Spirit at the same time. Our life must reflect Jesus.
- Faith – Never give up your Faith! There could be some circumstances you may experience in your own life that causes you to give up on something. Is it possible to pray without Faith? If you are one who walks closely with God, with honesty of heart, then it is true that you cannot pray without Faith. Ask yourself this, “Can you still pray if the answer you are expecting is delayed beyond your expectation?” Sometimes, when prayer is unanswered, your faith is tested and you may feel like giving up. This was reflected in a movie called “Miracles from Heaven”, released March, 2016 which was based on a true story of miraculous healing in a Christian family. To persist in prayer until the answer comes does not mean endless repetition or painful long prayer sessions. Always praying means keeping our requests constantly before God as we live for Him day by day, always believing He will answer. When we thus live by Faith, we are not to give up. God may delay answering, but His delays always have good reasons. As we persist in prayer, we grow in character, faith and hope.
TOPIC: REMEMBER YOUR CREATOR AND OBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: ECCLESIASTES 12:1-14
The Book of Ecclesiastes is written by King Solomon, son of King David. King Solomon is a king who possessed intellect, wealth and earthly pleasures. Here in chapter 12 of the Book of Ecclesiastes, he began by saying “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth….”. Remember in Hebrew language mean to commemorate honour, think or keep in mind about God. This message is directed to all, both young and old. Consider God before you make a decision. Evil days here refer to the deterioration of the human body where disabilities, sickness and handicaps cause barriers to enjoying life. Make your strength available to God when it is still yours – during your youthful years. Do not waste it on evil or meaningless activities that become bad habits and make you callous. In verse six, the silver cord, golden bowl, pitcher and wheel symbolise life’s fragility. How easily death comes to us, how swiftly and unexpectedly we can return to the dust from which we came. Therefore, we should recognise life as precious resource to be used wisely and not squandered frivolously.
A goad was a sharp metal tip attached to a handle and used to keep oxen or cattle moving. Like a goad, a wise word or important truth might be unpleasant when first applied, but it will keep us moving in God’s direction.
Fear God and keep His commandments. This applies to each one of us. Obey God and His Words. Imagine if everyone lives such a life, there will be no problems and crimes on earth! Acts 9:31 recorded that the churches walked in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. To walk is to commit oneself to a certain lifestyle, and here it refers to a lifestyle that takes God seriously. Commit yourselves to remember God and submit to Him before you do something. If it is against God’s commandments, do not do it!
TOPIC: HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD
SPEAKER: JASON LEE
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: GEN 3:8, JOHN 10:27, JERE 29: 12-13, PSALMS 37:4, 46:10, PROV 16:3, COL 3:15
God work in interesting ways, sometimes quite the opposite to what we think. The voice of God is defined as a heavenly or divine voice proclaiming God’s will or judgement. How do we hear the voice of God? Sometimes when you are stress, it seems that you do not hear God. Our preoccupation with other things will prevent us from hearing God’s voice. It requires a two way communication. John 10:27 says “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”. You need a radio/television transmitter to hear a program with clarity. Likewise, you need to tune into the right frequency to hear God’s voice.
How do you hear from God?
You need time to discern God’s voice. The most important element is a humble heart. It is definitely not making demands upon demands.
How do we practise to hear the voice of God?
- Fix the receiver. (Psalms 46:10)
- Our thoughts do not necessarily mean His voice.
- There is a need for our spirit to commune with the Holy Spirit to hear Him speak.
- The Holy Spirit will impress our spirit to do something.
- Acknowledge that His will is higher than ours.
Read Psalms 37:4, Proverbs 16:3 & Cols 3:15
TOPIC: DIVINE GUARANTEE (ANCHORING POINTS IN OUR LIVES).
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: NUM 23:19, GEN 6:7-8, GAL 6:3 & 8.
Each one of us goes through life facing, experiences changing seasons and encountering many challenges that can bring you down. We need our Jesus to help us to face these challenges. For example, you plan to buy a house. Buying a house requires you to place a deposit of 10% of the price of house you intend to buy. Thus you would need financial support. Fortunately, you have a family member to assist and if so, you have found an anchor person, someone who would be willing to help you! Likewise if you are someone who likes boating, you would also need an anchor to secure your boat. In the case of you buying any equipment, you have a warranty attached to it which expires after a period of time. However, with God’s guarantee, there is no time limit. So when you meet your challenges, remember that God has given you a guarantee. His promises are found in His Word, your guarantee and your eternal assurance.
Numbers 23:19 portray the character of God who do not lie and is always faithful to keep His promise. Fallen humanity is just the opposite of God. In life, we do encounter people who do not keep their promises. Galatians 6:7-8 tells us that it is a law of life that we will reap what we sow. Every action produces a result. If you plant to please your own desires, you will reap a crop of sorrow and evil; if you plan to please God, you will reap joy and everlasting life. In this life, we live with two prospects:
- The promises of all that is good.
- The guarantee of all that is good.
In regards to promises, they issue from two sources, either from God or from Satan. Satan can only promise all that is good through this world but God promise all that is good through His Word. In the world today, many locked their money in shares, hoping to become rich. We need wisdom to invest. When you become too engross in this, unconsciously you can become enslaved by it. You fluctuate as your shares fluctuate!
What about Power? It corrupts! When someone becomes so powerful, they neglect/ignore others.
Popularity in God’s context is not for you but to influence others. Hence, the blessings of prosperity, power and popularity should encourage you to want to worship God more because our chief aim in this earthly life is to worship God! Every situation God put into your life is for you to turn your heart to worship Him. Together, the divine guarantee of God will come upon your life. Kingdom Living must be in the presence and power of God.
Two situations God’s Divine Guarantee do not work:
- Do not be deceived. Galatians 6:3 and 8 come as a reminder and warning against deception. When people are deceived, they mock God. To mock God is to make God look ridiculous, to consider God with contempt! When you do that, the divine guarantee does not work. However, God still show mercy.
- A man reaps what he sows. The one who sow from his sinful nature will reap destruction. Thoughts will become seed. If we sow sinful thoughts, we will reap a sinful habit, which reap a character that forms a sinful nature. Each Sunday as we come together for worship, it should be our reminder to anchor ourselves in the promises of God.
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
TOPIC: WHAT DO YOU REALLY KNOW ABOUT GOD?
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: IS 40:25-31, HEB 11:6, GEN 9, EXO 3:6, 3-14, GEN 12:4, GEN 17:1, NEH 1:8, MAL 3:7-10.
- God want us to know Him.
- God want us to take His Word as it is.
- God want us to return to Him.
When you come to God, two positions you can choose to take:
- Does He exist?
- Does He not exist?
So if you say that He does, your respond should be:
- If you are interested to know Him?
- If you are not interested to know Him?
Hebrew 11:6 says that “…for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”. Thus, when you come to the Lord, you must exercise your faith to believe everything the scriptures say He is.
In the Book of Genesis, God wants you to know that He is a God of continuity! Our God is a good God and also a God of continuity. Noah found favor with God in the midst of living among a wicked generation. Our God is known as a Covenant Keeping God. Following the great flood in the Book of Genesis chapter 9, God spoke to Noah, reminding him that He indeed is a covenant keeping God. Our God also want us to know that He is a God of Deliverance. The children of Israel forget their God and become too comfortable in the way they lived whilst in Egypt. To the children of Israel, God wanted to show them that He is their deliverer, from the hands of Pharaoh!
In Exodus 3, you see the meeting between God and Moses, a revelation of God to Moses through the burning bush experience. When God reveal Himself to you, you can develop a relationship with Him. For you to have an encounter with the Lord, you need to come to His Word. Come with an attitude wanting to be fed and His Word will come alive and speak into your life.
We see from the scriptures that our God have every intention for us to walk close with Him. Such is reflected in the days of Abraham and Nehemiah’s reflection of God’s leading for the children of Israel in the days of Moses. Our God is a faithful God who keep His promise, we need to be reminded that He has only good intentions for those who walk with Him.
TOPIC: LOVE ONE ANOTHER
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: ROM 12:9-13, ACTS 18:24-25
Let us love one another genuinely. Do not pretend to love, let it be real! Love like a family, practice brotherly love. Family love is not merely being polite to one another. Family love includes/demands self-sacrifice. An example is to be with your kids when they need you. It also demands time sacrifice, praying for one another. Family love may sometime demand your time, money or personal involvement. There is a need to learn how to practically love one another in the family of God. Rom 12:11 reminded us not to slothful, but instead to be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord! Be full-on in the service to the Lord. Try to make yourself available to serve God in the church. Passionate people have the capacity to influence others, source of which is none other than the Holy Spirit. Never be lazy in serving God, but instead always choose to get involve and be a source of encouragement for others. Rejoice in Hope, persevere in tribulation and in difficult times learn also to trust in our God and see Him carry you through it all! Always be reminded to pray and support one another, amen!
KINGDOM LIVING SEMINAR BY PS. JEREMIAH YAP (20.05.16 – 22.05.16)
Pastor Jeremiah has been heavily involved in church planting since 1981 and to date had helped planted 53 churches in Malaysia, South East Asia and Russia. The picture of the church around the world today is both complex and yet not too complex. But what is God about? Ever since 9 ½ years ago, Pr Jeremiah Yap has been excited about the church and the Kingdom of God.
There are many authors writing about the Kingdom of God, amongst them a book entitled “The Kingdom” by George Dana Boardman (1899) is one of the oldest. The church is about people but the Kingdom is about the King and divinity! The church is earth bound but the Kingdom is heavenly. There is a possibility that you may kind of know about the Kingdom but you may not be fully living in it. In the way Jesus demonstrated the Kingdom of God, it was in authority and in the Father’s love.
Our Christianity focuses on application to our immediate. The truth and idea of eternity is rather far from our everyday living. God made man consisting of three parts, namely the Spirit, Soul and the Outer/Physical Body. The pressure to see revival sometimes can affect us. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to assist us. More than wishing for local or national revival, there is the need for the church to focus on discipleship and personal revival.
You may ask “Why are there so many issues in churches, keeping people under their circumstances?” The answer is most of the time it has to do with your Soul. Jesus said, “Repent, change your mindset, the kingdom of heaven is near”. During the ministry of Jesus on earth, we see power, where the Holy Spirit did great and mighty things through Jesus.
The Soul cannot convey the spiritual power of the Holy Spirit to the physical if it is not redeem. The Soul is related to Mind, Emotion and Will. The Soul is often clogged up by many things that may distance us from God (Matt 16:23). Kingdom of God and His righteousness are spiritual things. We need a change of mindset to effectively live God’s higher purpose! For that to happen, we need renewal of the mind to think kingdom instead of what we used to think, merely around church activities and personal issues.
Purpose, Presence and Productivity
You may ask “Why some people after being saved are still full of problems? Where is the power of God?” People look at their problems and seek answers but missed understanding that they are saved for a purpose. There is no end to problems. Is your life merely to grow up, be educated, find a job, set up a family, have babies, grow old and die? Yes, God is capable to bless you with all that you need at every stage of life. But these are not all. They need to redirect their attention to God’s purpose for their lives. So what is your purpose?
Salvation is so that Heaven can come down, through YOU! The whole purpose of Jesus’ existence is for the Kingdom of the Father! His church, his Body, is to live the same way too. Why then is there still the strife to fulfil the desire of the Soul? There is something in the Soul of man that always strives to express himself. For this reason he has to experiment on many different things to find his identity and self-worth. The truth is that the Soul needs to be filled with the purpose of God. Jesus once said that his “meat/food” was to do the purpose (the will) of the Father. Do you realise that you exist for God’s purpose? God’s Kingdom has to be your focus. If you only know it in your head but is still unfulfilled and unable to touch the lives of others, one of the reasons could be your Soul is clogged up! There is Power and Authority in this King awaiting you. Learn to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul! Learn to value Luke 17:21 that says “For behold, the Kingdom of God is Within You.” Emmanuel is God with us, particularly you! It means the King in you, the Holy Spirit in you and also the kingdom within you!
How can it be manifested? It is only possible through you experiencing God at work in your life!
Unless and until the presence of God is real in your life, for anything that you do will be discounted in effectiveness in giving God glory! God’s presence is experienced in reality, moment by moment, in your encounter with God. How you live in this present life determines what legacy you will leave behind for your future generations! The Father’s blessing from the time of Adam, Noah, Abraham …then to you to confer to your children. It is God’s presence that transforms people in power.
You are born-again to serve God’s Kingdom Purpose!
Knowledge, wisdom and revelation
For this to happen, you need to know God and His plan for you. In Ephesian 1:17-18 Apostle Paul prayed for the “spirit of wisdom and revelation and the knowledge of Him …” Wisdom here is heavenly wisdom applicable to earthly life. How are you used by the Lord to pass on God’s kingdom legacy? You need to know the Word of God that gives life. It has to be very real to you to be life changing. You need knowledge, wisdom which is the application of knowledge, and you also need revelation (illumination) of knowledge to understand God, His purpose, His kingdom and His heavenly will on earth. Most importantly, you understand your gifts and roles in your family, the church family, the kingdom of God and in society.
From these you apply yourself to live out your kingdom life, and be useful to God in whatever calling and vocation in His plan for you in your environment. For some it may be serving in the church, for others it may be out in the field of arts, education, politics, commerce, sciences or social justice on behalf of the poor or disadvantaged. But these personal callings are not divorced from your greater community called the church. Personal salvation and usefulness to demonstrate the kingdom of God is supported by the church which Jesus is building even today until he comes again.
Productive in responsibility under authority
Personal activation of kingdom tasks is to be done with responsibility to the church. Whatever you do, you must not divorce from the life of Jesus the Head and Church. Put it in another way. Church under Jesus means members of the church are under the church. Everyone in Christ’s Body altogether live and moves in reference to the Head, Jesus. Church is under Jesus means members in it are under him. It is a vertical relationship, moving in alignment, so that members are not only faithful in attendance but fruitful in reproducing spiritual fruit like new souls discipled for Jesus due to their life and work.
Productive in adversity
Church must be involved in equipping members with understanding the purpose of the church and its people. Besides developing faith, hope, love, develop the vision that significantly shows forth God’s nature and His heavenly rule on earth. This is despite the negatives (including evil) that dominate this world. Kingdom living and service have spiritual undertones. It is not just social work. There are real under-currents of the evil forces of Satan in this world.
Unfortunately many underestimate or do not understand it. For that, many who try to serve the church or the kingdom have been de-railed in their faith. Some have their lives and relationships damaged, not recognizing the hand-print of the devil of whom Jesus said is a thief, out to kill, steal and destroy (Jn 10:10). Many attribute failure in God’s service as human weaknesses in themselves or others. The devil gets away scot-free. People then battle against people, even within the church. This is sad. Some move from church to church to avoid un-pleasantry.
In the light of the above, you must recognize the importance of the church that is able to move in the corporate anointing and authority that Jesus confers to his church. Moving away from the church and doing you own thing means moving from God’s appointed community which you are part of, and you become vulnerable to the enemy of the soul, the devil. There is a danger in what is just said. A small number of leaders use this to control people. This is not God’s intention. Where there is undue control and manipulation in any church, they will not prosper. It is in danger of deception. Church leaders and members alike must be true in their faith and to God in serving His kingdom in His nature and way.
Productive into the Generations
Our salvation is not merely to have a personal relationship with God. God has a corporate mentality called church as said above. God’s mentality is also into generations. His Kingdom is from generation to generation. Allow God to impart His essence to you to pass onto the next generation. For this to be successful, everyone who comes to Christ must address some foundational issues.
Productivity due to Healthy Soul
The Soul plays a dominant part in your life, both backward and forward. Some people are bound in their past hurts and wounds, preventing them from moving forward in service to the King. The devil tries to attack your Soul to paralyse you, rendering you ineffective in God’s Kingdom.
When a person comes to Christ, there is a need for Soul Healing. Some have long history of soul wounds. For God the King to expand His impact into the whole earth, there is a need for healing of the Soul first, than the blessings of God will come forth!
For this churches must learn to take converts through Encounter Camps where people are taught in a series of teachings about love, Fatherhood of God, forgiveness and release from fears, bitterness, envy or hatred. In some they have to be delivered from demonic strongholds and bondage must be broken by the facilitators. They must understand that their misery in life is not necessarily their fault but it could be inherited or caused by trauma in their past. In the compassion of Christ, people are set free in their soul and are able to learn of God’s Word with greater receptivity. They can be trained to be very useful servants in the kingdom of God.
Lord, help us to have a mindset of the kingdom of God. Alert us to our purpose in ushering the kingdom of heaven on earth. It is needful that I take responsibility of what I am leaving behind for the generations I have brought into this world. Alert me to prevent the devil to damage me, my family and my children and children’s children.
Help me to leave a legacy of God’s kingdom blessing, divine health, kingdom favour and prosperity of the soul. For that, keep me from traps of the spirit of this world and the devil. Prevent me from his deception thinking that everything that is right in the eyes of the world is also right in God’s eyes.
Help me to serve you in making disciples of my children and those you bring to me. I need to learn to make disciples because this is in the will that Jesus left behind. It is called the Great Commission. I do not know how to do it. I left it to the Pastor to do it. The church has been left to disciple my children when it should be my responsibility. Lord help me in this.
Lord, please help me. I pray this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
TOPIC: WALK BY THE SPIRIT
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: GAL 5:13-26
Living within the body of Christ, in the church, we have to be mindful of one another, to learn to coordinate and work together. In this portion of the scriptures, Apostle Paul warned that conflict and disagreement between one another has the ability to consume us. However, if we obey the Word, we will have liberty in the spirit. We must not allow hatred to take root and ruin our lives. On the contrary, we were reminded to love one another, to exercise to walk by the spirit and we will not fulfil the desire of the flesh. When we are not motivated by love, we become critical of others. We stop looking for good in them and see only their faults. Soon the unity of believers is broken.
There is always a constant struggle between the flesh and the spirit. People go to the gym to acquire results with regards to weight loss, to improve their physique etc. Business people aim and set goal to make good profits. In the manner, if we exercise to walk by the spirit, we will get results. However, in order to achieve this goal, we need commitment. Similarly, the secret to master the skills of good martial art requires much dedication and training in order to achieve results.
How do we overcome the battle with our flesh? Main issue with the flesh is selfishness. In our old life, the Law keep us in line but when we are saved by the Grace, it is the Holy Spirit that is our saving grace, helping us to keep the Law. If we practice the works of the flesh, we do not qualify to inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5: 19-21 refer to elements relating to our live styles, habits and attitudes. Those who ignore such sins or refuse to deal with them reveal that they have not received the gift of faith leading to a transformed life. Thus, if we choose to walk by the spirit, it will keep us from submitting to the practices of our flesh. Just as fruit trees produce fruits naturally, so if we live by the spirit, the fruits of the spirit will naturally be manifested. Galatians 5:24 urged us to crucify the flesh to the cross, lay down the old, and learn to live anew. Ask the Holy Spirit to help us to live a life pleasing to Him. This is a life style that please and glorify God.
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
TOPIC: WHERE IS THE POWER?
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MARK 16:17-18, LUKE 24:46-49, JOHN 3:1-12
This power refers to the manifest presence of God and it should not be misunderstood as political power or even authority to control others. It is spiritual power which is God-given, which originates from the Word of God as mentioned in Book of Mark 16:17-18. It has the ability to bring healing to those that need it and miraculously change the course of one’s life which led to the path of righteousness. Power as we know it from the Scriptures is the display of God’s intervention, manifestation and demonstration of His Presence!
Even as food preparation need a recipe, using specific ingredients, power mentioned here also require a list of ingredients to realise the full manifestation of spiritual power.
- 1) Prayer – to wait upon the Lord.
- 2) Obedience – To submit to the Word of God absolutely.
- 3) Walk with the Holy Spirit.
- 4) Evangelism – eager to share the Word.
- 5) Revelation – Simplicity with substance.
In Luke 24:46-49, Jesus instructed the disciples to wait upon God until the power from heaven descend upon them. Waiting will test your patience. There should be an urgency in your individual lives to commit to pray. Praying need our participation and practice. The more you are in an attitude of prayers, the closer you draw to God. Waiting upon God requires patience, never in a hurry! In the church, often times we need to agree among ourselves to get things done. Thus, we need to forget our differences in order to get things done and get on with our God!
We need to be in tune with the Holy Spirit. In the Book of John, there was a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus regarding the second birth, to be born again not physically but spiritually. To be born again of the Spirit will enable us to live a life without boundaries!
Evangelism is one of the biggest draw of power from God! When you evangelize, God will always work with you. You do not need special skills, intelligence or gifts but a heart for God!
A victorious Christian life requires a personal encounter with God! At different season in your life, you will experience different encounter with God. You will not be in control of your own destiny but God is our security because truly He is Alpha and Omega!
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
TOPIC: THE HUNGER FOR THE WORD
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JOHN 1:1, JOHN 1:40-41
Our God has a particular way of caring for each one of us. Each one of us journey through seasons in life, as if taking a roller coaster ride, experiencing the ups and downs. For those of us who may be experiencing hard times, I encourage you to hang in there for a while, do not give up as our God always save the best for last. The church is in the course of building a dam used to generate power. Time is a factor but once the dam is filled with water to the brim, it will overflow with rivers of living water just as how it is written in the Book of John.
As a Christian, you can be either hungry or not for the Word of God. There will always be a challenge! The Word of God must be an eye opener for believers. The challenge today is the reminder to get back to the Word of God. In your Christian walk, you will experience ups and downs. In the course of events, you can be lost in it but always remind yourself to look back into the Word of God!
Who are you listening to in your life or who has God send into your life? Hope the one God send into your life is someone who strengthens and encourages you in the Word, not someone who chooses to use you. The condition to become a child of God is to believe and acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is very important to have an attitude of wanting to hear from God each time you come to His Word. When you receive Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, followed by baptism, you are baptized into the Triune God, which include God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
TOPIC: CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TRUE GOSPEL
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: GAL 1: 6-7, 5: 1-13
The book of Galatians is Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches and within this letter he laid emphasis on the characteristics of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which include authenticity, superiority and freedom. Paul wrote to defend his apostleship and to defend the authority of the Gospel. In the letter, Paul explained that following the Old Testament laws or the Jewish laws will not bring salvation. A person is saved by grace through faith. Paul wrote this letter about A.D 49, shortly before the meeting of the Jerusalem council, which settled the Law versus Grace controversy.
We are saved by faith, not works, but love for others and for God is the response of those whom God has forgiven. God’s forgiveness is complete, and Jesus said that those who are forgiven much love much. Apostle Paul was persecuted by both Jews and Judaizers for teaching the truth about the Gospel .
Paul distinguished between freedom to sin and freedom to serve. Freedom to sin is no freedom at all, because it enslaves you to Satan, others or your own evil desires. “The flesh” is not a reference to the body, but to the sinful nature that attempts to use our bodies to lead us into sin. People who are slaves to sin are not free to live righteous lives. Christian by contrast should not be slaves to sin but instead they are free to do right and glorify God through their actions, hallelujah!!
TOPIC: LIVE YOUR LIFE AND MAKE THE BEST OF IT
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 7:13-14, LUKE 13:23-25, NUM 4:20-28, PSALMS 131:1
1 COR 10:31,1 COR 15:33
Each one of us should aspire to live a life and make the best of it. This however does not mean that you should be preoccupied with so many things but in the end achieved little or nothing. Rather you should concentrate on what you are good at doing and produce the best outcome from it. You should choose to live your life with responsibility within your boundary assigned to you.
When the Israelites journeyed out of Egypt, Moses showed the people their service within the tabernacle as per God’s instruction. Gershon is the first born son of Levi and hence the descendants of Gershonites followed afterwards. The Gershonites were given the task to mind the curtains in the tabernacle. They obediently carried out their duties without question. If however the Gershonites belittled their charge, situation could have not work out the same.
God assigned us specific duties/responsibilities at different seasons of our lives. Whatever you do, always remember to point/direct others to God, not to yourself because you can fail and if so, they too will stumble!
The primary factor influencing you to live out your responsibility is your will to do it. The greatest hindrance is not having the will to act upon it. However, during such time when we feel weak in the will to act, the Word of God will convict us.
If you want to make the best of your life, you need to make good choices. We do not need to live through life making the same mistakes others had. Stupidity is usually the end result of not listening. Our God gave us freedom of choice but bear in mind that you will never escape the consequences of the choices you made. In Matthew 25: 1-13, Jesus told the parable of the 10 bridesmaids. Here Jesus made a comparison between the wise and foolish bridesmaids. Due to their foolishness, they totally missed out on the feast. Likewise in our Christian we must ensure we always carry sufficient oil to keep us going in our lengthy Christian walk. Do not be an “occasional Christian,” rather keep your fuel burning continually as you walk with God everyday of your life. Reflecting upon the lives of those that had gone before us, for example, Moses, Joshua and Apostle Paul, they too had to make important choices in their own lives. In conclusion, live your life and make the best of it, have a responsibility to make good and wise choices for there, the Lord’s presence is with you!
TOPIC: BODY THINKING
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: ROM 12:1-21, MARK 10:17-18
The church must not carry a vague identity, rather it should reflect its true identity. The church is not a physical building but a living organism, consisting of living members with Christ in them as their Lord and Saviour, consciously functioning as members one for another, always body centred/conscious. Today’s world should be peaceful but in reality it is in a state of turmoil. Romans 12 spoke about being body conscious/centred. Let’s ask ourselves “How are we thinking today?”
The Word of God is spirit and life and has the ability to work itself into your human spirit. In fact, your thought pattern can be spiritual. How you live is dependent upon how you think. Thus, if you think evil, you live evil and vice versa. This is something we all need to work on. In the church today, we need to develop “Body Thinking”. You can choose to think individually and the result is you become individualistic, or in other words, you become self-centred. Body thinking equals corporate thinking. Each time we come together, it is not about us or for us but about God. Thus, when you preach, it is not your words but God’s word.
In the early days, Christian carry God’s message from nation to nation under extreme pressure, but the greater the persecution, the further the message of God spread. These early Christians are not self-centred but their thoughts are for others. How you serve today will benefit many generations to come. So, do not under estimate yourselves! So, how do you develop body thinking?
- Romans 12:2 said “And be not conformed to this world….” Either you conform to God’s way or else the way of the world. Remember that our God is never against your ambitions, achievements etc. However, if these things rob you of God’s presence, it will become a problem. By coming together to worship our God, we practise to think corporately.
- Romans 12:3 said “… not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think…” Do not over rate or under rate yourselves but rather think of yourself with sober judgement.
- Fill your thoughts with thoughts of God. When your thinking is right, the church becomes right and many will come to know God. The growth of the church is dependent upon you, how you live your life. If you live right before God, you automatically attract others to want to know Jesus become others can see Jesus is alive in you! Our worship need to be as spontaneous as our heart beat. In conclusion, let us remind ourselves to be constantly Body Conscious/Centred!
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 27:50-53, JOHN 21:1-4, 15, ACTS 23:6, ROM 8:25.
When you have conviction, you are steady and not easily shaken. You will trust and obey God’s command for your life and bold to do what He requires of you.
- Every believer must take responsibility for their own Faith.
- The church must be a place to help others to find that conviction in God.
So how do you obtain such conviction? Conviction becomes like a defining moment in one’s life, a line of demarcation. God said “I am the Alpha and the Omega”. Your life and death is dependent on God. Our God gave each one of us a free choice, to accept or reject Him!
Where do you find your conviction? Looking back into the past, Jesus came, lived among mankind. Jesus suffered much pain and agony, even death on the cross to accomplish redemption of sins for all mankind. Today, you may celebrate Easter but do you celebrate this occasion with conviction? How do you live your life? As for Jesus disciples, conviction did not come until much later. In Matthew 27: 50-53, we read about Jesus resurrection which was witness by many, even the doubting Thomas!
If you have conviction that the Lord is the Lord over your life, you will be at peace in everything that you do in your life, not easily shaken or weaver. Following the crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples were in a state of shock, uncertain, not knowing how to act or what to do next! Likewise in the church, if you are caught in a similar situation, you too will be unclear, not knowing what to do, just drifting along with the crowd! Christ made it very clear to His disciples that His death is not to be taken lightly, not simply a joke, but something to be taken seriously for it has a reason and a purpose. The disciples need the clarity in their hearts to have a reason and purpose for living.
If you go fishing alone, without God in your life, you will probably catch nothing! However, if you have God like the experience of His disciples, you will catch in abundance! Jesus died, rose from the dead so that we can live with conviction! It is accurate to say that we are the product of the conviction seen in the lives of His disciples some 2000 years ago!
The death of Jesus reminds us to bury the past in order to live effectively for Jesus! In John 21:15, Jesus asked Peter how much he loved Jesus. In reply to Peter’s answer, Jesus replied and reminded him to serve and be of good service to others. Be minded what source you are drinking from. If you drink from the world, you will surely experience dryness and death!
What is your conviction of hope? Romans 8:25 said “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it”. Though we believed in Jesus, we have not fully received all the benefits and blessings of salvation that will be ours when Christ’s new kingdom is completely established. While we can be confident of our salvation, we still look ahead with hope and trust towards that complete change of body and personality that lies beyond this life!
TOPIC: LIVING AN ACTIVE FAITH IN CHRIST
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 1 COR 15:1-11
In this portion of the scriptures, we see how Apostle Paul emphasized on gospel received and stand by. Receive means to take in or to welcome. To stand for the gospel means to endure and live day by day in God’s grace. Hence if you have received the gospel, you must exercise an active faith, not just looking at it but it is an action word! The Christian gospel is that Christ died and was rose again on the third day. Aspects of sins include adultery, sex before marriage, cheating, stealing, dishonesty, or even murder. Ask yourself this question, “Do your friends see Christ living in you?”
To hold fast is to cling to something stubbornly. Yes, as a Christian, you should hold on to the gospel firmly. Today, if at all you have not received the gospel, I pray that you receive it. Seek the pastor/leader of the church that will be most happy to pray with you.
There will always be people who say Jesus did not rise from the dead. Paul assures us that many people saw Jesus after His resurrection; Peter (Cephas), the disciples; more than 500 Christian believers (most of them were still alive, although some had died); James (Jesus’ brother); all the apostles and finally Paul himself. The resurrection is a historical fact. Don’t be discouraged by doubters who deny the resurrection. Be filled with hope because of the knowledge that one day you, and they will see the living proof when Christ returns. Today, many believers in different parts of the world are persecuted for their Christian faith!
It is also very important that you have a personal encounter with Jesus in your life. Paul certainly did have a memorable personal encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Be a testimony for Christ for in doing so it also proved what Jesus had done for you in your life. I would to conclude with a scripture verse which can be found in 1 John 5:12 that said “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life”.
TOPIC: TURNING BACK TO GOD
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: LUKE 15, 1 JOHN 1:9
Scriptures confirms with us that Jesus will return and when He returns, are you happy to see him? In Luke 15, Jesus told three parables, the first one is the Parable of the lost sheep. The second being the Parable of the lost coin and the final one is the Parable of the lost son. In the Parable of the Lost Sheep, Jesus said clearly that if just one sinner is brought to repentance, the heaven rejoices. The religious group in the scriptures criticises the action of Jesus who mingled with unbelievers/sinners and the lower class. Jesus attitude was totally different from the religious because His reason is save sinners rather than to condemn them. Likewise, have a right attitude like Jesus to reach out and make yourself available for others helping them to come to the full knowledge of God.
In the Parable of the Lost Son, we see the involvement of children and family. It tells of a story of how the younger son choose to depart with his wealth acquired through his father and lived life as he so wished. Similarly, if you choose to depart from God and go your own way, you will face a famine in your heart and spirit. In the story, the younger son realized his mistake and later returned home to his father’s household. Likewise, Christians can fall away but when it happen to you, do not blame yourself, instead find it in your heart to return to God, amen! The father showed compassion to his younger son when he returned home. Similar, in your own life, with compassion in your heart, help someone turn back to God. In God’s eyes, we are very valuable to Him. Remember that you are God’s representatives here on earth.
In conclusion, BE THE CHANGE, have the heart of compassion to bring the prodigal sons back to God!
TOPIC: GOD HAS A PURPOSE FOR YOU
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: EXO 9:16, PROV 19:21, ISAIAH 46:10, JOHN 1: 46-47, 3: 1-8, 7:50, 19:39, ROMS 8:27-28, 1 COR 3:8-9, JOHN 8:32.
“God’s purpose” was mentioned 42 times in the Bible. On the first occasion that it was mentioned in the Old Testament, God spoke to Moses to deliver His people out of the land of Egypt. In Exodus 9:16, God is saying that all the wickedness in this world will not threaten Him. Henceforth, be reassured that your life is in God’s hand. Do not do good works for the sake of it, rather follow and do according to what God purposed for your life instead. So, how do you know God’s purpose in your life?
- The Nicodemus Approach – Nicodemus who is a ruler and a member of the Pharisees, came to Jesus and Jesus revealed to him that the Kingdom would come to the whole world, not just the Jews, and that Nicodemus wouldn’t be a part of it unless he was personally born again. The revelation of the Word of God comes through the Holy Spirit.
- Come and see.
- Come as a true believer of God. There are two requirements which include:
- You must learn to trust God completely/totally without any doubts. The best time to do that is when you are faced with difficult circumstances that seemed to worsen each day.
- Whatever that you do, do it for the common good of the church.
TOPIC: BEWARE OF SPIRITUAL DECEPTION
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: LUKE 4:16-19, ISAIAH 61:1-3, JOHN 9:39-41, 2 COR 4:4, EPH 3:20-21, LUKE 10:38-42, EPH 2:8-10, ROM 4:2, JOHN 17:11, 21-22, PSALM 133, TITUS 3:10-11
Today, we lived in a world that is constantly undergoing changes and progress in many areas of science, social, economic, technology and politics. At the same time, we are also living closer each day to the return of Christ Jesus. As the return of Christ Jesus draws nearer, we realized that spiritual blindness is intensified and becoming more obvious. There a lack of discernment, inability to distinguish what is good from evil, living shamelessly and selfishly. Satan used this strategy to blind the minds of people with deception. Deception can present in various forms:
- Dilution – God must always take first place in our lives. The classic and on-going work of dilution by Satan is Busy-ness! This is well illustrated in the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. In this story, we see that Martha was so busy in her desire to serve that she neglected to spend quality time with Jesus himself. Are you so busy doing things for Jesus that you are not spending any time with Him? Do not let your service become self-serving! It is possible for service to Christ to degenerate into mere busywork that is no longer full of devotion to God!
- Doing good works – Good works do not earn us the right for salvation! Eph 2:8-10 clearly show us that our salvation is not dependent on or good works but the grace of our God who loved us! Good works applies not only in doing charities but also in ministry to God. True ministry for God does not stand on how much you have done, not something done to acquire personal display but instead it is a response to serve God which issued from a grateful heart in return for all that Christ had accomplished for us.
- Divisive Spirit – It is dangerous and most ugly form of deception! Why? It works to accomplish its own selfish agenda! Be careful and be alert on this! In John 17:21, Jesus prayed to the Father for oneness in the body of Christ just as the oneness manifested in the Godhead. If ever we want to see blessings flow freely, we need to be united – by choice and commitment.
Spiritual blindness is a condition and the means that lead to it is by deception. When you see people too busy for God, emphatic about doing good and act only to weaken the Church, deception is at work; people are being blinded. The ultimate blindness is losing the way to salvation in no other name but the Name of Jesus.
But when you put in your efforts, no matter how small, and selflessly give your time to the things of God, to bless others for the sake of the Gospel and to add to the Church, you will always see and experience the Truth in Christ Jesus and thus understand and treasure The Kingdom of God.
TOPIC: THE CORE OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JOHN 14:6, JOHN 4:23-24, PSALMS 73.
What would be your answer if you are asked “What is the core of your faith and thus the commitment you have towards this Christian faith? For instance, how would you share your faith in the absence of a Bible as your point of reference? Yes, the answer lies in how you live your life in the eyes of people around you! You become the beneficiary of a faithful prayer when God answers your prayer. Our mind wishes for the fact or hard evidence. Faith does not give us the fact, but it will present us the truth. Truth is not known in your head but in your heart!
Likewise, you do not love your wife/husband with your mind but with your heart. If you know Jesus, you know the truth. How do you relate the truth as a person? If you look for truth, there are many out there but honestly you need to ask, “Who is the truth?”
In the Book of John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” If you accept Jesus as the Way, you become followers of Jesus. Our outreach sharing of Jesus has to be real. The Way has to reflect our lifestyle, the way we come together to worship God. No one knows eternity, only God knows. Eternity is God’s promise to all faithful believers. As the Way, Jesus is our path to the Father. As the truth, He is the reality of all God’s promises. As the life, He joins His divine life to ours, both now and eternally.
We need a main menu in our faith. It is a living that trust not on our feelings but believing in the Truth. In John 4:23-24, Jesus talks about “True worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth….” Worship is unending in heaven, likewise it should be the same for us the believers to worship Him unceasingly daily.
Our faith in Christ can be tested and it can be especially difficult when Satan attack your loved ones. In Psalms 73, Asaph, a leader of one of the Temple choirs wrote about the temporary prosperity of the wicked and the lasting rewards of the righteous. We should live holy lives and trust God for our future rewards. Asaph realised that the rich who put their hope, joy, and confidence in their wealth are living in a dream. A dream exists only in the mind of the dreamer. Don’t let your life goal be so unreal that you awaken too late and missed the reality of God’s truth. Happiness and hope can be a reality, but only when they are based on God, not on riches. Because reality is in God, we should get as close to Him as we can in order to be realistic about life.
TOPIC: BE PREPARED FOR THE KING
SPEAKER: BRO JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: LUKE 3: 3-17, EXO 29:7, 20
The Book of Luke 3 spoke about the significance of the Baptism of Repentance. Baptism denotes immersion/dipped or to be totally covered. Let’s look at the ordination of the Levitical Priests in the Old Testament in the Book of Exodus 29:7, 20. Aaron and his sons went through an elaborate ordination ceremony. The anointing for Aaron, the High Priest, is described in Exodus 29:7. The oil symbolized God the Holy Spirit. The head symbolized authority. Pouring the oil on the head was a demonstration of Aaron’s promotion to High Priest. His authority was the work of God the Holy Spirit. As the oil anointed his head, so the Holy Spirit would sustain his authority. Aaron was given a new occupation in the nation of Israel. God the Father planned it; God the Son authorized it; and God the Holy Spirit performed it (Exodus 29:9). Next, a ram was to be sacrificed and its blood placed on the right ear lobe of Aaron and his sons. The ram was sacrificed after the sacrifices of a bull and another ram. The sacrifice of the second ram was for the sins of Aaron and his sons. The blood represents Christ our sacrifice and Redemption. The blood on the thumb represents the purification of the Levitical Priests for service through the blood of the Redeemer, who is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the same as Jehovah, the Savior of the Old Testament.
Repentance has two sides-turning away from sins and turning towards God. To be forgiven, we must do both. We can’t just say we believe and then live any way we choose and neither can we simply live a morally correct life without reference to God, because that alone cannot bring forgiveness from sin. John the Baptist told his listeners to make their lives ready so the Lord could come to them. To prepare for Jesus coming to us, we must focus on Him, listen to His words, and respond obediently to His directions.
In Luke 3:8, we see the religious leaders relied more on their family line than on their faith for their standing with God. For them, religion was inherited. But a personal relationship with God is not handed down from parents to children. Don’t rely on someone else’s faith for your salvation. Put your own faith in Jesus and then exercise it every day.
John’s message demanded at least three specific responses:
- Share what you have with those who need it.
- Whatever your job is, do it well and with fairness.
- Be content with what you are earning.
Here, we can see that John was calling the people to right living. So what changes can you make in sharing what you have, doing your work honestly and well, and being content?
TOPIC: PUT ON THE FULL ARMOUR OF GOD
SPEAKER: PS JOHN RHODES
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: EPH 6:10-17, EPH 4:21
Our struggle on this earth are not earth bond but in the spiritual realm. In the letter to the church in Ephesus, Apostle Paul prayed for the believers to be empowered by presence of God. God’s armoury is available for us and truly, He is in control. We are in this battle and our God wants us to be strong to walk with Him. So be strong in the Lord and realise His mighty power! Be available for God in your life.
Our talent will not help in spiritual warfare/conflict, neither our wisdom. Satan is smart and cunning beyond all created beings. We cannot defeat the devil with our human wisdom because he is cunning and deceitful! In the Christian life, we battle against “principalities and powers”, ( the powerful evil forces of fallen angels headed by Satan who is a vicious fighter. To withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armour. Paul is not only giving this counsel to the church, the body of Christ, but to all individual within the church. The whole body needs to be armed. As you do battle against “the rulers of the darkness of this world”, fight in the strength of the church, whose power comes from the Holy Spirit.
Full Armour of God includes:
- Belt of truth.
-Truth reflects elements of sincerity, honesty, truthfulness and genuineness. There is a need to check it out, to know whether it is right or not. The key is to hold on to the truth which is only found in Jesus Christ. God will intervene when we have the armour of God.
- Breastplate of righteousness.
Live a righteous life and the presence of God will be with you. Do the things that please God. When we repent, we need to change our ways. Put off the old nature and put on the new nature with God as the essence. We need righteousness in our life, otherwise we will be defeated.
- Footwear of peace.
Satan wants us to think that telling others the Good News is a worthless and hopeless task – the size of the task is too big and the negative responses are too much to handle. But the “shoes” God gave us are the motivation to continue to proclaim the true peace which is available in God – news everyone needs to hear!
(Note: There are six altogether, Pastor Rhodes covered three of them in his sharing).
TOPIC: GUIDANCE TO GROWING CHRISTIAN
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 2 PETER 1: 1-11
The Book of 2 Peter combats the heresies of the false teachers in 1 Peter, by denouncing the evil motives of the false teachers and reaffirming Christianity truths – the authority of Scripture, the primacy of faith, and the certainty of Christ’s return.
To enjoy the privileges God offers us freely, we have to combine getting to know Him better (“knowledge of God”) with complete trust! The power to grow does not come from within us, but from God. God by His Spirit empowers us with His own moral goodness.
Faith is more than belief in certain facts, it must result in action, growth in Christian character, and moral discipline, or it dies away because it does not demonstrate a truly transformed life. Faith in action does not come automatically, it requires hard work. They are not optional, they must be a continual part of the Christian life.
We are saved so that we can grow to resemble Christ, to serve others. God wants to produce His character of active love in us. But to do this He demands discipline and effort from us. As we obey Christ who guides us by His Spirit, we will develop self-control, not only of food and drink, but also of our emotions.
Our faith must go beyond what we belief, it must become a dynamic part of all we do, resulting in good works and spiritual maturity. Salvation does not depend on good works, but it results in good works. A person who claims to be saved while remaining unchanged does not understand faith or what God has done to him.
Peter wants to rouse the complacent believers who have listened to the false teachers and believe that because salvation is not based on good works, they can live as they want. If you truly belong to the Lord, he says, your hard work will prove it. If you’re not working for God, maybe you do not belong to Him. If you are the Lord’s, and your hard work backs up your claim, you will never be led astray by false teaching or glamorous sin. An eternal hope awaits you in the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, amen!!
TOPIC: LANGUAGE OF KINGDOM LIVING: PART 3
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 4:1-11, 19, MATT 8:1-3, 5-10, 13, MATT 8: 19-22.
In the Book of Matthew 4: 1-11, Jesus was confronted with three challenges.
- Satan said “….command that these stones be made bread.” To this, Jesus replied “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceed out of the mouth of God.” Here, the challenge is whether you are listening to the Word of God, no selective hearing allowed. Our physical self is always limited but the Word of God has no limit. If you have a desire for ministry, you need to have that type of heart.
- In Matt 4: 7, Jesus replied to Satan saying, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” How do you relate to the absoluteness of the Word of God? We are soldiers of Christ, thus when He commands, we do not question Him but obey Him absolutely. Self-made mindset is controlled and govern by self. On the other hand, a soldier mindset is trained to follow the commander that is well trusted.
- In Matt 4: 10, Jesus said to Satan, “Get thee hence Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Satan will flee away from you if you focus your attention on worshipping God instead. The heart of the Word is Repentance. Repentance is the open door for God to come in and heal. We need the kind of language that speaks Life into our being, only God can bring Life into His Word.
Characteristics of the Language of the Kingdom:
- Language of Discipleship:
In the Book of Matthew, Jesus called Simon to follow Him and instead of being only fisherman, He will make him fisher of man. Here, they fish at the Sea of Galilee that had boundaries. On the other hand, when God called us to be fisher of man, there is no boundaries, no limitations. As Christian, we are awesome tools of God!
- Language of Willingness:
When a church grows, there will be much need that needed to be met. We need to be people called by God who is ever willing to be trained to disciple the new believers. The opposite of willingness is prejudice. In Matt 8: 1-3, we see a leper who is unclean, avoided by people around him. Thus this leper has to endure the prejudice others have against him. The leper said to Jesus, “…. Lord, if thou will, thou can make me clean.” The prejudice had to be overcome.
- Language of Faith and Commitment:
In Matt 8: 5-10, we learnt of a centurion who came to Jesus, seeking Him to heal his servant who had taken ill. This man’s genuine faith amazed Jesus. Jesus told the crown that many religious Jews who should be in the Kingdom would be excluded because of their lack of faith. We must be careful not to become so set in our religious habits that we expect God to work only in specified ways. Don’t limit God by your mindset and lack of faith!
- Language of Sincerity:
Jesus challenged those who seemingly have an intention to follow Him. He made sure they counted the cost and set aside any conditions they might have for following Him. His direct challenge forces us to ask ourselves about our own priorities in following Him.
TOPIC: LANGUAGE OF KINGDOM LIVING (PART 2)
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 9:1-8, 9: 9-38, 1 KINGS 8:30, PHIL 4:8
Characteristics of the Language of the Kingdom:
- The language of transparency which exposes all hidden thoughts. We must be on guard always with what we are thinking because God knows our thoughts. It is vital for us to learn to have a healthy thought life! Whether we live in the Promises and Blessings of the Kingdom, our thought life will affect our standing. A healthy thought life can be found in Phil 4:8.
- A language of Mercy. For as much as God extended His mercy to each one of us, likewise we too must be merciful to others.
- The language of propriety, meaning doing the right thing at the right time.
- The language of resurrection power.
- The language of mercy. Mercy goes beyond attention and assistance. There is restoration.
- The language of compassion and harvest (as in pastoral care). In the church today, there is always a need to guide, lead and nurture the new believers to enable them to walk the Christian journey with faith and full of hope.
TOPIC: LANGUAGE OF KINGDOM LIVING (PART 1)
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 12:36-37, JOHN 18:36-37, MATT 3:15, MARK 1:15, LUKE 2:39, LUKE 10:27, MATT 22:37, MARK 12:30, DEUT 6:5, JOHN 1:38-39, MATT 8:23-27, MATT 9:20-22
The focus/heart of the pursuit on Kingdom Living is centered upon The Great Commandment which commanded us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Luke 10:27, Matt 22:37, Mark 12:30, Deut 6:5). The pursuit on Kingdom Living requires us to learn the Language of The Kingdom, speaking in line with the pattern and power of the Kingdom of God. The basis of living in the Kingdom of God is Truth, realised within the Holy Bible.
Characteristics of the Language of the Kingdom:
- Reflect God’s power, order and divine authority.
- Revelation of the reason Jesus came not to change destiny but to fulfil it.
- Language of repentance and believing in Christ.
- The revelation of the meaning of His calling in our earthly living and for eternity.
- The language of perfect calm verses the perfect storm (Matt 8:23-26).
- The language of conviction which issues from a believing and pure heart (Matt 9:20-22).
TOPIC: WHAT SHOULD I BE?
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 1 PET 5:1-11
Each one of us is a member one to the other in the house of God and has our part to play and serve in the house. Each one of us should be keen to serve with eagerness in the church.
Characteristics of good leaders in the church:
- Be ever ready and eager to serve God in church.
- Be a role model for others to follow.
- Submit to your elders.
- Be humble for God’s recognition counts more than human praise. Obey God regardless of present circumstances, and in his good time, He will reward you.
- To learn to cast all your cares on God. Letting God have your worries is active, not passive. Do not submit to circumstances, but to the Lord who controls circumstances.
- Be firm in Christ.
- Remain steadfast in the faith.
- Hold fast and remember the promise by the God of all grace, who had called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus. All of God’s faithful followers are assured of an eternal life with Christ where there will be no suffering (Rev 21:4).
TOPIC: CHRISTIAN LIVING
SPEAKER: IVAN CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: PHIL 1:20-30, JOHN 1:1,14, GEN 1:26, JOSH 15:6-11.
There are at least four things that we can learn reflecting on the life of Apostle Paul.
- Continue to live BOLDLY for Jesus. Each day we should continue to live boldly for Jesus. Sometimes, it may seem to us to choose to live for Jesus is politically incorrect, making you feel out of place. Caleb is an example of one bold for God in the Old Testament. He was sent into the promise land, Canaan to see/spy of the land. He was then 40 years old. In Josh 15:6-11, Caleb recalled what Moses promised him at the age of 40. Now at the age of 85, he realised the fulfilment of that promise. Likewise, apply this same principle in your life that God does not forget His promise for your life and in His own time, He will surely fulfil it, meantime continue to stay strong and bold for Him.
- LIVE TO HONOUR JESUS.
- DO MORE FRUITFUL WORK FOR JESUS. What is fruitful work? One example is to help others to grow in the Lord, to live and love God.
- STAY UNITED. Live as citizens of heaven. Stand firm in one spirit, one mind. Similarly, for a country to go forward, the citizens have to stay strong and united.
TOPIC: THE UNCHANGING CHRISTIAN MESSAGE
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: ACTS 20:21-24
Many things in life changes but the significance of the true Christmas message does not change. Christmas is to know and to remember the essentials for our Christian living. The world celebrates Christmas in a secular way but for Christians it should be celebrated to remember the true essentials for our Christian walk. Have you ever asked yourselves these questions?
“What is your life worth living for?” or “What is the meaning of your life?” For some, life resembles an onion. You continue to peel the layers until there is nothing left to peel. During the process, you could experience much tears and in the end there is but nothing left! On the contrary, Apostle Paul viewed life differently. Life to him was worth something and his aim in life was to finish the race that he started (Acts 20:24). Likewise, we should imitate Paul and have the similar aim that is to start and finish the race. Christmas is a good time for each one of us to reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas.
- Christmas festivity vs faith.
- Christmas showing vs Christmas spirit.
- Christmas gift vs Christmas giving.In the secular world, Christmas is yet another annual calendar event where people indulged in frantic shopping! True significance of Christmas is none other than the fulfilment of prophesy in the scriptures bringing God to mankind, seeing the fulfilment of God’s plan for each of our lives.
- The gospel of grace in Jesus Christ is that He did not wait for us to be perfect, faithful to Him, but instead He came, took the punishment and redeemed us! Hallelujah, praise be to God!
- We are not against Christmas celebration. What is crucial is to have the right attitude re- celebration. Every Christmas should be a reminder to us, that God had given us His son, and we should regard it as a season of miracles and faith.
TOPIC: THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ESSENTIAL TO OUR CHRISTIAN WALK
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JOHN 14:16, 26, 16:5-16, ROM 1:4
Who is the Holy Spirit? Jesus in the flesh is limited in time and space but the Holy Spirit is omnipresent and omniscience.
- The Holy Spirit testifies about Christ. In the Book of Acts, we see the activities of the Holy Spirit as the Helper and Advocate.
- The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit manifests the holiness of God. It is contrary to bad/evil. Thus when you do something wrong, it will prompt you to do the right thing. When we dwell in the spirit, we are easily responsive to God, unlike when we chose to dwell in sin. Once we confess our sins and make right with God, we are able to commune with God again with ease.
- The Holy Spirit discloses/make known things of God to us.
- The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ.
- The Holy Spirit convicts us.
- The Holy Spirit teaches us.
- The Holy Spirit guides us.
TOPIC: CHOOSE WISELY
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: LUKE 10:38-42
What would be your answer if you are asked “What is the most important thing to you?” We are busy people with many commitments to fulfil in life so much so that we may forget to stop and think what life is all about. It is a fact of life that we worked very hard during our working life so that we can retire comfortably. Life involved making good choices; choose what is better that will not be taken away from you.
In this passage in the Book of Luke 10, we see two main characters namely Martha and Mary. Though Martha opened her house to Jesus, it is questionable whether she also opened her heart to Him. On the other hand, Mary was one who chose to sit at the Lord Jesus feet, actively listening to what He had to say to her. Mary sitting at Jesus feet meant that she had the intention of getting close to Jesus. By the example of how you lead your life, you could be heard but maybe you have not been listening. Martha was distracted by doing many things then complained to Jesus about the behaviour of Mary, not helping her. Each message preached is for the one who hears it, not directed to the person sitting next to you. Jesus replied Martha saying that she is too busy with many things but clueless to ask what the Lord Jesus wanted from her. The better choice that Mary made was to be at the feet of Jesus, learning what God had chosen for her. Hence, it is very important to learn the art of listening.
TOPIC: THE NEXT GREAT MOVE OF GOD
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
MATT 26:13, MARK 1:1, MARK 8:35, MARK 10:29, MARK 13:10, MARK 14:9, LUKE 9:6, LUKE 20:1, ACTS 8:25, 40, 15:7, 16:10, 20:24, ROM 1:1, 9, 15-17, 2:16, 11:28, 15:16, 19-20, 16:25, 1 COR 1:17, 4:15, 9:12, 14, 16, 18, 23, 15:1, 2 COR 2:12, 4:3, 8:18, 9:13, 10:14, 16, 11:4,7, GAL 1:6-9, 11, 2:2, 5, 7, 14, 3:8, 4:13, EPH 1:13, 3:6, 7, 6:15, 19, PHIL 1:5, 7, 12, 16, 27, 2:22, 4:3, 15, COL 1:5-6, 21:23, 1 THESS 1:5, 2:2, 4, 8, 3:2, 2 THESS 1:8, 2:14, 1 TIM 1:11, 2TIM 1:8, 10, 2:8, PHIL 1:13, HEB 4:2,6, 1 PET 1:12, 4:6, 17, REV 14:6
REASONS TO ASK THIS QUESTION
- Jesus Christ will return soon.
- Today, the church needs to feel an urgency to rise up and stand for the Christian faith in a spirit of unity.
- We need faith in action moving towards gaining victory for Christ.
- The evidence of the gospel of the kingdom being preached far and wide till the second coming of Jesus Christ mentioned in the scriptures.
- Records of scriptures from the Old Testament leading into the New Testament showed us the creation of the universe, the beginnings of mankind, sequence of events that followed leading to where we are today. The world situation today (extremism, volatility, instability, lull before the storm), are all signs of the beginning of the end recorded clearly in the scriptures. Christ will come for His bride, the church and today God is in the process of transforming her to become the perfect Bride.
- Today, with this ultimate goal in mind, we need to exercise an active faith to live for Christ in our everyday.
TOPIC: WE NEED TO BE REMINDED
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JOHN 14:26, JAMES 1:19, 20, ROM 15:1-15, 1 COR 4:17, 1 COR 15:1, 2 TIM 1:6, 2 PET 1:12, JUDE 1:5
There are useful reminders in the scriptures to assist us on how to relate to others in our everyday living.
- Learn not to please ourselves (Rom 15:1-4). It is definitely not an easy task but with help from our Lord, we will reap good outcome.
- Unity requires us to accept one another. We need to seek and ask God for “a spirit of unity” to assist us in the church to realise genuine unity with a common motive and expression to love God and in accepting one another despite our differences in temperament, culture, background, abilities, age, and interests. It is God’s spirit of unity alone that is able to cut across all barriers and unify His people, bringing glory unto His name.
- To make it possible for non-believers to come to know Christ (Rom 15:8-12).
- Learn from one another (Rom 15:13).
- Be acceptable to God (Rom 15:15).
- Reminded by the faithful (1 Cor 4:17). Less we be disappointed, the Lord will always remind us to focus on those who are faithful to Him.
- Reminded of The Gospel (1 Cor 15:1).
- Reminded of the gift of God (2 Tim 1:6). Do not neglect your gift, use it to the fullest!
- Always to be reminded (2 Pet 1:12).
- Not that we do not know but that we be not careless (Jude 1:5).
May we carefully meditate on the above to assist us in our everyday so that become an effective believer in the house of God, amen!
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
TOPIC: WHAT DO YOU PUT INTO YOUR ENVELOPE?
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: GEN 1: 1-5, GEN 2: 2-3, HEB 11: 1, ROM 4: 17, 1 PET 5: 14
You are an entity, a vessel or it can also be illustrated by an envelope. When you hold up an envelope, look inside, what do you see? Yes, it is empty!! Look into your life and ask yourself this simple question? What fills your envelope, is it the world or God? Anyone who wants a touch of God, need a touch of FAITH.
Many a time we read the Bible but choose to keep it in the book! We need to take up this challenge and that is to see the word of God become alive in our daily living. In Gen 1, God spoke to emptiness and it became alive! Gen 1:2-3 “….and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light”. And God called the light Day ….” God wants to reveal everything to us and He wants us to experience and live out all that He said/spoke in the Bible. Words can either make or break you. If you want to fill your envelope with God, you must learn to speak God’s word into your life. Light stands for truth and enlightenment and it brings life. Everything about light is strategic and specific. Put into your daily living that you learn to speak God’s word into your life.
Sabbath should not be kept like a ritual but instead our faith in God should be active, the faith that goes with you wherever you are, enabling you to enjoy the presence of God anywhere you may be! In Gen 2: 17, God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of good and evil for if they disobeyed and do so, they will surely die! When we choose to disobey God, we will experience Death! This is not a physical death, but rather an absence of relationship, hope or feeling. Hebrew 11: 1 says “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Similarly in Romans 4: 17 “…and called those things which be not as though they were”. In conclusion, today, let us choose to exercise our faith to speak God’s word into our lives,amen!
TOPIC: LEADERSHIP AND YOUR SERVICE TO GOD
SPEAKER: JASON WELLS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 1 THESS 5: 12-22, PHIL 4:4, ROM 12:12
Respect leadership ordained by God, learn to respect and also to encourage him/her. This could be either your pastor or worship leader etc. It is not easy to be a leader. Today, we lived amongst people who originated from diverse cultural back ground. Qualities to be found in Christ for leaders:
- Must be diligent ( 1Thess5: 12 ).
- Living out a godly life.
- Have love towards others.
- Must be genuine, always looking unto Jesus.
- Sincere, with no hidden sins. If there are any, they must be fully dealt with God.
- Able to admonish – One that has the ability to advise and instruct for example the idle that are going nowhere. As the body of Christ, we need to support the spiritually weak, always exercising to be patient towards others.
- Learn to rejoice always (Phil 4:4, Rom 12:12)
- Pray without ceasing – Possessing a mental attitude of prayerfulness, maintained a continual personal relationship with God, dwelling in His presence daily. When you maintain such a living, your Christian walk will experience greater dimension.
- Do not quench the Spirit – The Holy Spirit is like a raging fire. Daily, you have to exercise your human spirit to commune with the Holy Spirit by you praying, rejoicing and giving thanks to God and in so doing you will stay within the realm of the Holy Spirit.
- Abstain/Keep away from all evil. Be discerning and stay away from things that are not of God, example witchcraft, false teaching, sexual immorality, deceitfulness etc.
Jesus is our best role model and we can follow His example to become an effective leader to be used by God for the advancement of His kingdom here on earth.
TOPIC: DREAMS AND VISION
SPEAKER: PS GIDEON
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: ACTS 2:17, NUM 12:6, ECCES 5:3, PROV 18:21, HAB 2:2-3
Vision is seen when the person is awake whereas dream is a series of thoughts, images and sensations occurring in a person’s mind whilst asleep. Numbers 12:6 said that the Lord we worship is neither deaf nor dumb but a living God. God is always ready to speak to us in vision and dream. So use the power of your tongue to render praises to God. We are not living in the natural realm but in the spiritual realm. What is the vision that God put in your heart? When you pray, God impart something into your spirit. Vision is what the Holy Spirit put into your heart to do for Him.
Why do you think God choose ordinary people to do His Will? Spiritual dreams and visions are the ones that speak about what God want to achieve through you! What is your vision today? What are you doing for the Lord? Daily we need to ask God what we should do for Him.
D – Dedication
R – Remember to do what God said.
E – Engage yourself. Try and work on your plan and fulfil it step by step. Every believer has to take note when God speak to him/her. When God give you a dream in your heart, you need to engage/align with His plan.
A – Align yourself with what God wants to achieve through you.
M – Move on with His favour and leading to fulfil His purpose.
What is your call? Always look for opportunity to share the gospel to people around you. For example, look at the life of William Carey, a man who understood God’s calling for his life. So learn to expect and attempt great things for God. William Carey, an ordinary man, had a vision and came to India and served for 41 years! So, what is your dream? Where do you think you are heading?
TOPIC: LESSON S FROM THE TEMPTATION OF CHRIST CHRISTIANS MUST ALWAYS BE ON GUARD
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 3:16-17, MATT 4:1-11.
Every good and faithful Christian will always become target for Satan, which will come in many forms, thus be on guard against his attacks at all times.
Lesson 1: Coming out of a high to face the low.
In Matt 3, Christ was tempted by Satan immediately following His baptism. In the same way, during your own Christian journey you will face both mountain top and valley low experiences. The question to ask yourself is how will you respond/react when you are in the valley low experience? Do you get overwhelmed by it or do you learn to bounce back? So it is so important to be both prepared and well equipped so that you will resurface with renewed strength from God who provides.
Lesson 2: Every believer will face temptation.
Just as Jesus was led into the dessert to be tempted by Satan, every Christian at some point in their life will similarly be tempted by Satan as well. So do not be so surprised that God will allow us to be tempted. The truth, however, is that God will not let us to be tempted and fail. We do not have to fail; we can overcome the temptations of the devil. Be warned though that the greatest temptation that the devil will put to believers is not necessarily the violent, brutal and offensive kind; on the contrary, they could be in the form of half- truths, lies, deception, some of which are nothing short of enticing and looks very attractive!
In the dessert environment, we will encounter:
- Faith vs The Flesh: Faith will be a test of following Christ faithfully and fulfilling His commands, but The flesh is always vulnerable to fall, to be faithless and to fail God, the Church and the fellowship of believers.
- Isolation in the dessert: When faced with this situation, some living in isolation, having an impression that God does not see, may unconsciously act and think as if we will not be found out. Instead of choosing to give up, be reminded that your hope is in God and it is best to return to God’s Word, with an attitude of total surrender to God’s Will for your precious life.
Lesson 3: Spiritual preparations for a spiritual battle.
Beware that Satan can use anything to deceive and distract you. We can become spiritually- puffed up, full of religious pride for what we had achieved. A forty day fast is undoubtedly an achievement but unless we acknowledge that it was spirit-led and therefore accomplished only by the strength of the Spirit, we will be puffed up! Spiritual hunger for power is dangerous!
Lesson 4: Know the Word correctly.
In Matt 4, Jesus reminded Satan not to misquote the scriptures. Nowadays, misquoting the scriptures to mislead people is nothing new. Be warned against this type of falsehood!
Lesson 5: The devil wants to be God.
Once again in Matt 4 Satan tried his hardest to persuade Jesus, this time to worship him! Satan seemed to forget, even too blind to see/admit that Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, God in the flesh, the Perfect Man and God, cannot be defeated! Hallelujah!
An important reminder to all of us in this reading is that Jesus defeated Satan by His obedience to the Word, by knowing the Word and by honouring the Word! Amen Lord!
TOPIC: BACK TO BASICS IN THE BEATITUDES
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 5:1-11, EPH 4:22-24, PHIL 2:5, 1 PET 4:1, HEB 4: 12-13, MATT 4: 17, 23-25, NUM 12: 3.
The Beatitudes also termed the Be-Attitudes was taught by Jesus in the Book of Matthew chapter 5 which were highlighted from verse 3 – 5 as follows:
- Verse 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.
- Verse 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”.
- Verse 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”.
The Be-Attitudes in simple words could mean what we are called to Be and that we can by our Attitudes. The Beatitudes is like coming under spiritual surgery by the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit and we are about to be confronted but if we commit ourselves to the Lord’s teaching, we will be totally transformed!
Going back to verse 5 where Jesus said “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”, those who heard these totally misunderstood what Jesus really mean by speaking these words. To the Jews, their perception was for a conquering Messiah King, not someone meek and humble. The meek therefore refer to the one in power and authority but chose to exercise power and authority for the good of the people and showing patience and being peaceable even if provoked to anger, for this is called humility when people do not deserve it at all. Thus, when Christians are given positions of recognition and greatly rewarded for their skills and abilities, that’s a good time to be meek. Moses was recorded in the scriptures as a man who was very meek (Num 12:3). Above all the only one who surpassed Moses was the Lord Jesus Christ. Second part of verse 5 said ….for they will inherit the earth”. An inheritance is never earned but a privilege granted. So the “meek” will find themselves in a position that will permit them to inherit, in this case, the earth.
Verse 3 said “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. This verse spoke about humility which is linked to “the kingdom of heaven”. We can thus conclude that the “poor in spirit” are those who are repentant, teachable and ready to come clean with the Jesus.
Verse 4 said “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”. Those who experienced hardship, challenges, oppositions, and give their lives, self- sacrifice for the Gospel, these people will be comforted by Jesus.
In conclusion, let us be constantly reminded about the beatitudes mentioned in Matt 5, how we must live according to it. Let us choose never to deviate from the foundation of truth. Just as we need three main meals to sustain us every day, the same will apply to feasting and meditating on the word of God, which sustained and preserved us.
TOPIC: BE YIELDED TO GOD FOR A HARVEST
SPEAKER: PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: MATT 13:23, MATT 16: 24-28.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we should be fruitful and not otherwise. In the Book of Matthew chapter 13, Jesus used the parable of the sower to illustrate the point he was making. Seeds sewn on good soil will yield good crops which multiply many folds and yield a great harvest. Thus, as faithful followers of Jesus Christ, to become fruitful, an essential requirement is to know how to be completely yielded to God. Therefore, a life completely yielded to God will see the evidence of becoming fruitful at every stage in life, yielding a rich harvest. The difference between to yield and to submit is that the former is done willingly whereas the later may be done unwillingly.
The seed in Matthew chapter 13 is referring to the word of God. As faithful followers of Jesus Christ, we must be ready to listen and hungry to learn to grow and become fruitful in their daily living. Here the soil refers to the condition of the heart of the listener. A heart completely choosing to be yielded to God after receiving the word of God will naturally respond with a positive attitude, filled with faith and ever ready to cooperate with God.
In Matthew chapter 16 Jesus taught about the essential requirements for every faithful follower of Jesus Christ to have in order to lead a fruitful life, yielded to God. This is revealed in Matthew 16:24 which talk about what the follower is required to do:
- Must deny himself – it is about Him not us; to serve, not to be served; to give and more.
- Must take up his cross – it’s about my responsibility not others; sufferings if need be.
- And must follow Him – no other but Him, follow or be left behind; follow or fall out; follow and do not let go!
The gift of the Father is sending the Holy Spirit, looking for someone, yes anyone who will choose to lead a life completely yielded to God for God’s Plan and Purpose. Let us choose to become the good soil for God to sow His word and we will definitely see amazing growth in our Christian faith, progressing from one level to another! Hallelujah, all praise and glory to His name!
DATE : 06.09.15 ( FATHER’S DAY )
TOPIC : OUR HEAVENLY FATHER
SPEAKER : PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES : MATT 6, JOHN 14:8-16, JOHN 14:9, 23.
When Moses met God, he asked God, “What is your name?” Thus God replied him saying, “I am the great I AM, the Almighty God. King David addresses God as the Father to the fatherless! Why would God call Himself the Father and not the grandfather? Being the Father to us, we are in a privilege position to have the direct connection to Him as our Father. Indeed Father’s Day is for every child of God. In Book of John chapter 14, Jesus comforted His disciples saying “Let not your heart be troubled …..there is a need to learn to trust God. Our God is faithful to His words and will work it out in your lives according to His plan for your lives.
Jesus replied to Thomas saying “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me”. Thus, if you want to find the way to God, you need to find it through Jesus.
Philip on the other hand needed the naked truth, a physical manifestation of the Father in the Book of John 14:8 “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus responded by telling him that He is consistent with His reply always. If you have a honest connection to your heavenly Father, then you can be reassured that He will be always there for you when you needed Him, hence you should open yourself to Him. Jesus in reply was puzzled to hear Philip’s response and they should understand Him better because they had been with Jesus.
Taking a quantum leap from loving to knowing God, we need to grow in our understanding about God. How? The answer is through loving God.
In John 14:22, Judas asked “Lord, how is it that Thou will manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus replied saying “If a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him”. Ask yourself this important question “Do you desire God?” Today, God continue to love all mankind, regardless of whether they love Him or not, His love is unchanging and will remain the same.
DATE : 16.08.15
TOPIC : HOLINESS
SPEAKER : PS. PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES : LEV 11: 44-45, HEB 12:14, 1 PET 1:16, GEN 2: 1-3, MATT 1: 18, 12:7, REV 22:11
Holiness is a huge topic/subject. Holiness enables us to become yielded to God, hence making us a blessing to those around us. So what will holiness lead on or lead to? For every believer, it is only natural as you walk closer to God each day, there will be built into you a desire to reverence God, a hunger to want to know God.
Likewise you can see the likeness of Jesus in the lives of those people who choose to serve Jesus. The face of Jesus when He was human was holy. When we come before God, there should be a preparation, a reverence for God. Holiness does not need a definition but it need a desire to hunger for God and His glory. Holiness must be our desire whether in whatever realm of experience we may have in life. Holiness is the nature of God.
Thus when we come together to church you need to ask yourself this question. “Are we into service or are we into God? So why did God make the Sabbath Day and the seventh day holy? To God, following creation after doing everything that He intended, God want to sit back and look at His own creation that He so wonderfully placed together. Holiness is by association, like how we are associated with Christ who is holy. An effective weapon to fight against ungodliness. Exercise PRAYERS EVERYDAY OF YOUR WONDERFUL LIFE!
TOPIC: SACRIFICING FOR THE PLAN OF GOD
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: ACTS 20:24, JOHN 10: 10,17, 2 SAM 24: 22-23, 2 TIM 4:8, 2 COR 9:13, 2 COR 8: 14-15, LUKE 2: 22-24.
The primary purpose of God is for redemption of His created, mankind. Following the fall of man, everything else fell with it. When humanity is redeemed, all else get redeemed with it. If your life is not one to glorify the name of God, then it is but a worthless life. Salvation is free but it is not cheap for it caused Jesus His life. In the secular world, you are rewarded based on your hard work. The word “sacrifice” should not make you feel that it is but too hard. Elements related to the act of sacrifice include:
- The cost factor. Story recorded in 2 Sam 24, the significance of the burnt offerings that King David offered up to God.
- The value factor. The greatest value of sacrifice is the crown of righteousness. Read 2 Tim 4:8, 2 Cor 9:13 and 2 Cor 8:14-15.
- The deepest end of sacrifice is consecration ( Luke 2:22-24 ). Learn to live a life consecrated to God, meaning that you are set apart for God, for holiness, righteousness, living according to the grace of God in humility.
God requested Moses to build a tabernacle in the Book of Exodus, a place God dwells in the midst of his people. Likewise, in the church life, to live a life consecrated to God can be likened to the layout of the tabernacle having the outer court, inner court then the Holy of Holies. The outer court is like you coming to check out what activities are available in the church. Moving from there into the inner court is the stage whereby out of the willing to come, you then begin to discover what is represented, thus going deeper into the word of God. Ultimately you reach the Holy of Holies where God is serious about you!
SPEAKER: PS PETER CHAN
TOPIC: BE AVAILABLE FOR GOD
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: LUKE 9: 51-62
God must be first priority in your life. Learn to put God first in your life and everything else will fall into place. The situations illustrated in the Luke 9 revealed to us some hindrances in obeying the calling from God.
- If you choose to follow Jesus, do not put your comfort or convenience before the priority or answering to the call form Jesus. William Carey, the father of missions, had to battle diseases and experienced the loss of his wife to illness during the course of his service to God. An obvious hindrance in prioritising God in our lives is when we are too comfortable. Learn to take some risk in God by faith.
- In Luke 9:59, the man replied to Jesus calling was that he needed to do his duty for his family first before Jesus. In the Asian culture, you are expected to perform your obligations and duties to your family first.
- Luke 9: 61-62 talked about regrets. Challenges and difficulties will come our way if we choose to follow Jesus but God will give us strength. God will not allow any rituals/rights to hinder us from following Him.
SPEAKER: PS GIDEON
TOPIC: THE POWER OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: JOHN 1:4, EPH 2:4-13, 1 PET 1:19, ROM 8:1, 1 JOHN 1:9, REV 1:5-6, 1 JOHN 4:19,
1 PET 2:24
In order for God to use you, you must firstly be a clean and desiring vessel. God do not want your money but a praising heart. Building a church is not an easy task but the anointing of the Lord can do it.
Qualities of the blood of Jesus:
- Precious blood – Undefiled and pure. We are living both in natural and spiritual realms. Those who accepted and walk with Christ are covered under the precious blood of Jesus. Thus if you walk under the blood of Jesus you will not be under the snare of the devil. When you are under the covering of the blood of Jesus, you are protected under Jesus. However, if you do not live under the covering of the blood of Jesus continually, your life will be doomed. We should be constantly connected to God daily. The quality of the blood of Jesus changed our status.
- Jesus blood cleanses us all our lives. How we need to be washed by the precious blood of Jesus. Rev 1:5-6 declared that He loved us, washed us and made us kings and priests.
- The precious blood of Jesus heals you.
- There is protection in the blood of Jesus.
DATE : 21.06.15
TOPIC : RESOLUTE IN GOD ( PART 8 : ENJOY THE BLESSING OF GOD )
SPEAKER : PS PETER CHAN
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES : HEB 11:1, DEUT 8:18, MARK 9:14, MATT 17:14, DANIEL 10:12-14
Build up your life to be resolute in God. In Deut 8:18, the children of God were reminded that it is God that provided and blessed them with wealth. So what do you understand by Blessings and Wealth? Wealth does not only refer to money alone. It includes our well- being in which one could ask, “Do I have a sense of contentment?” It also relates to care and welfare reflected by a church belonging to the community, depending upon the daily mercy from God.
One acquired riches either by inheritance or handwork. Wealth on the other hand has to be more than riches. How can we enjoy the blessings of God? The answer is by remembering the word of God and in so doing you become productive. Do a self- check by asking yourself these questions:
- Are you productive with your time?
- Are you productive in your thoughts? Dwell on thoughts that give meaning to your life. It is only natural to worry but do not linger there.
- Are you productive in your tasks? Any task given to us should be undertaken with eagerness with the aim of doing it well.
How does one go about enjoying the blessings from God?
We need help from God to overcome our unbelief. Some Christian could be believers for many years yet never really enjoy the blessings from God. It is possible that unbelief could be the deterrent. Unbelief always points us to what is bad which sort to work against us. We need to ask God to help us overcome our unbelief. We need faith to help overcome our unbelief. Some blessings do take time, so wait upon the Lord patiently for in due time, it will be manifested and surely come to past.
Speaker: Jason Wells
Topic: The heart of the message in the Book of Jude
Scripture References: Book of Jude
Main themes in the study of the Book of Jude include false teachers and apostasy. Jude warns against false teachers and leaders who reject the lordship of Christ, undermine the faith of others and lead them astray. These leaders and any who follow them will be punished. We must stoutly defend Christian truth. Make sure that you avoid leaders and teachers who change the Bible to suit their own purposes. Genuine servants of God will faithfully portray Christ in their words and conduct. Jude also warns against apostasy – turning away from Christ. We are to remember that God punishes rebellion against Him. We must be careful not to drift away from a faithful commitment to Christ. Those who do not seek to know the truth in God’s Word are susceptible to apostasy. Christain must guard against any false teachings that would distract them from the truth preached by the apostles and written in God’s Word.
Jude gave three examples of rebellion:
- The children of Israel – who although they were delivered from Egypt, refused to trust God and enter the Promised Land (Numbers 14:26-39).
- The angels – who although they were once pure, holy and living in God’s presence, some gave in to pride and joined Satan to rebel against God (2 Peter 2:4).
- The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah – which were so full of sin that God wipe them off the face of the earth (Genesis 19:1-29).
A solemn warning that to those who do not seek forgiveness from God will face eternal separation from Him.
Jude offers three examples of men who did whatever they wanted ( 1:10 ) – Cain who murdered his brother out of vengeful jealousy ( Genesis 4: 1-16 ); Balaam who prophesied to get money not out of obedience to God’s command ( Numbers 22-24 ) and Korah who rebel against divinely appointed leaders, wanting the power for himself ( Numbers 16:1-35). These stories illustrate attitudes that are typical of false teachers – pride, selfishness, jealousy, greed, lust for power, and disregard of God’s will.
Effective witnessing saves people from God’s judgement. We witness to some through our compassion and kindness; to others we witness as if we are snatching them from the fire of hell itself. “Hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” means we are to hate the sin, but we must witness to and love the sinner.
The audience to whom Jude wrote was susceptible to heresies and to temptations toward immoral living. He encouraged the believers to remain firm in their faith and trust in God’s promises for their future. This was all the more important because they were living in a time of increased apostasy. We too are living in the last days, much closer to the end than were the original readers of this letter. We too are susceptible to doctrinal error. We too are tempted to give in to sin. Although there is much false teaching around us, we need not fear or give up in despair – God can keep us all from falling, and if we remain faithful, He guarantees that He will bring us into His presence and give us EVERLASTING JOY.
Date : 07/06/15
Speaker: Ps Peter Chan
Topic: Resolute In God (Part 7: Total surrender to the will of God)
Scripture References: Matt 26:36-44, John 4
Life challenges can come upon you real hard, you may also experience tough battles in your life but because of your deep roots laid in God’s word as your foundation, you will not stumble.
- The will of God
- The surrender
- The total surrender
The will of God: This can either be consequential or circumstantial will of God. You reap what you sow. Australia is regarded on the whole as a peaceful country but there are amongst us those that create havoc. However, God, regardless of good or bad, still allow the sun to keep shining. Whatever is right by God is right by me. Thus, having this right attitude, we will try to do it in a willing manner, to the glory of God. However, in the same manner, when it comes to the will of God, sometimes we could be found to be unwilling.
- The surrender: Surrendering to the will of God gives us total freedom. The will of our human nature always opposes God. The battle is between the flesh which seek after its pursuit for pleasures verses the will of God. To surrender to God should not be mistaken as giving up but instead it is the choice to choose God’s will, gaining the freedom in Christ.
- Total surrender to the will of God:
- It is not about accepting what fate had done to us.
- It is not about karma as if this life will translate to another.
- It is not about giving up.
- Total surrender is to believe that God is in control over our lives.
So how do you learn to surrender to the will of God? This can be either easy or difficult. It could be difficult if you are spiritually dead, if you are unteachable having a mind of your own, or if you are one who choose to rationalise everything.
In this journey of faith, the keyword to guide you is TRY. When we fail, we can try again. Never give up! In anything you do, whether be it small or big, do it very well. Are you completely under God’s mercy? If not, then you will always experience yourself resisting rather than obeying God. In the Book of John chapter 4, Jesus explained to the Samaritan woman how His life is all about fulfilling the will of the Father. Similarly, at the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus also prayed to the Father for His will to be carried out through Him, Jesus.
Date : 31/05/15
Speaker : Ps Peter Chan
Topic : Resolute in God (Part 6 : Being under the unction of the Holy Spirit)
Scripture References : Rom 8:9, Act 10
The unction of the Holy Spirit is it either makes you move or pushes you to move. The Holy Spirit is not visible, not something to be analyse with the human mind. Can you see your mind? The answer is NO. However, just because we do not see it, this does not mean that it is not there! Even this morning, the Holy Spirit arrived before we do, and was here even before FOC was built. Today’s message is directed to two categories of people:-
- The believers who are leaving separated from the Holy Spirit.
- The believers who are hazy about the Holy Spirit.
To understand the working of the Holy Spirit, you need to get rid of:-
- Your usual kind of thinking.
- Your negativity.
- Forget about your comfort zone.
- Forget about your tunnel vision.
- Forget about your indecisiveness.
- There will be no opinion.
- There will be no opinion.
- Get rid of your neutrality.
In the Book of Acts 10, the heart of the story focused on Cornelius, a Roman centurion. The early days of Christianity were exciting as God’s Spirit moved and people’s lives were changed. Four significant aspects of Cornelius’s character were noted in Acts. He actively sought after God, he revered God, he was generous in meeting other people’s needs, and he prayed. God told him to send for Peter, because Peter would give him more knowledge about the God he was already seeking to please. And Cornelius obeyed. When Peter entered Cornelius’s home, he broke a whole list of Jewish rules. Peter confessed he was all that comfortable, but here was an eager audience and he couldn’t hold back his message. No sooner had he started sharing the Gospel and God demonstrated his overwhelming approval by filling that Roman family with the Holy Spirit. Peter saw that he had no choice but to baptize them and welcome them as equals in the growing Christian church.
Cornelius is a welcome example of God’s willingness to use extraordinary means to reach those who truly desire to know him. He does not play favourites, and he does not hide from those who want to find him. God sent his Son because he loves the whole world – and that includes Peter, Cornelius and you!
Date : 24/05/15
Speaker : Ps Peter Chan
Topic : Resolute In God (Part 5) : To love God and to love people
Scripture References : Matt 22:35-40, Deut 6:5, Rom 8:1.
In the world today, we lived amidst an environment of changing trends and innovations. Unconsciously, churches nowadays could also fall into this, adopting new trends to attract people to service, possibly missing the real meaning of worship which is none other than coming back to the word of God. We need to come back to the fundamental of our Christian faith which is allowing God’s word to take root in us. Ask ourselves, “Do we always exercise our own agenda in everything that we do, having a tendency to see something through our own perspective?
In Matt 22:37-39, one of the Pharisees, who was a lawyer asked Jesus what he thought was the greatest commandment and Jesus replied him as stated in these verses ie to love God absolutely and secondly to love his neighbour as himself. So what does it mean to love God?
Four dimensions of love:-
- That you can live a life without condemnation. Rom 1:8 ……there is no condemnation to them that are in Jesus Christ …..God reaches out to us, redeemed and pardon our sins, saved us under His covering blood so that we can now face God without condemnation. A child experience the love of his/her parents but as we mature, love carries with it maturity and responsibility. Likewise, Jesus answered Nicodemus that he needed to be born again in order to see the kingdom of God.
- To love God is to obey His word. When God commanded us to love Him and obey His word, it is for our good. To obey God’s word is an obligation, not an option. Jesus came to die for us and in so doing had acquired redemption for us, thus the Holy Spirit had connected us, even our hearts and minds as well.
- Victory. This is the victory through Calvary. God won the battle for us, victory in Christ accomplished 2000 years ago over all the condemnation that Satan tried to put upon us. We need to believe and draw from it.
- E is for Eternity. It waits for us. Is it eternal damnation or eternal deliverance? To live without condemnation is to live with eternal hope which is what God had given us. Thus to conclude, the greatest love of all from God is not to live a life in isolation but to be part of a community, serving Him together.
Date : 17/05/15
Speaker : Jason Wells
Topic : The call of the Barnyard
Scripture References : Rom 8:1-8, Heb 10:4, Gal 5:16-26
Tale of a wild duck :
A flock of wild ducks were flying in formation, heading south for the winter. They formed a beautiful V in the sky, and were admired by everyone who saw them from below.
One day Wally, one of the wild ducks in the formation spotted something on the ground that caught his eye. It was a barnyard with a flock of tame ducks who lived on the farm. They were waddling around on the ground, quacking merrily and eating corn that was thrown on the ground for them every day. Wally liked what he saw. “It sure would be nice to have some of that corn,” he thought to himself. “And all this flying is very tiring. I’d like to just waddle around for a while.”
So after thinking it over a while, Wally left the formation of wild ducks, made a sharp dive to the left, and headed for the barnyard. He landed among the tame ducks, and began to waddle around and quack merrily. He also started eating corn. The formation of wild ducks continue their journey south, but Wally didn’t care. “I’ll rejoin them when they come back north in few months,” he said to himself.
Several months went by and sure enough, Wally looked up and spotted the folk of wild ducks in formation, heading north. They looked beautiful up there. And Wally was tired of the barnyard. It was muddy and everywhere he waddle, nothing but duck doo. “It’s time to leave,” said Wally.
So Wally flapped his wings furiously and tried to get airborne. But he had gained some weight from all his corn-eating, and he hadn’t exercised his wings much either. He finally got off the ground, but he was flying too low and slammed into the side of the barn. He fell to the ground with a thud and said to himself, “Oh well, I’ll just wait until they fly south in a few months. Then I’ll rejoin them and become a wild duck again.”
But when the flock flew overhead once more, Wally again tried to lift himself out the barnyard. He simply didn’t have the strength. Every winter and every spring, he saw his wild duck friends flying overhead , and they would call out to him. But his attempts to leave were all in vain.
Eventually Wally no longer paid any attention to the wild ducks flying overhead. He hardly even noticed them. He had, after all, become a barnyard duck!!
If you are in Christ, the power of sin is broken. Sacrifices made in the Old Testament cannot deal with the problem of sin, it is but a reminder. However, what Jesus did on the cross deal with the problem of sin. To walk in the Spirit and not after the flesh is a life style. Your walk is linked in with your thinking. The Bible said to walk according to the Spirit, not the flesh. Flesh depicts sin nature. We are to live and move in the Spirit. When you sin, it destroys your walk with God. Read Rom 8:7, Gal 5:16-26. So exercise to be holy, flee ungodliness and yield yourself unto God! So walk and live habitually in the Holy Spirit and you shall not yielding yourself unto ungodliness as per your flesh!
Date : 03/05/15
Speaker : Ps Peter Chan
Topic : Standing on the promises of God
Scripture References : Num 23:19, Heb 6:13, Gen 22:14-18, Isaiah 7:14, Deut 8:18, Jer 32:17, Gen 8:18, Matt 24:35
In our Christian faith, though our circumstances may change, God always reassure us that His promises remain unchanged ( Numbers 23:19 ). What God promise He will fulfil. You and I need to believe that these promises made by God are not just for us to believe in but also more importantly to stand upon. If we stand on the promises of God, we can expect the following:
- He will personally guarantee it.
- He will reach out to fulfil it.
- We can expect God to make it happen.
- He is impartial to all man.
- He says what He means and mean what He says.
- His promises endure forever.
The word of God is guaranteed by God Himself. Just like in a court situation, you are bounded by an oath that you swear upon. Faith began through the life of one man called Abraham. In the case of Abraham, since there was nothing to swear by, God swear it upon Himself. In other word, God guarantees what He swears upon. The word of God is not a case for argument, rather it is meant for us to take in and believe. Abraham’s obedience to God was reflected in his willingness to sacrifice Isaac his beloved son. Abraham was prepared to do it because he believe that God will surely raise his son to life again ( Gen 22:14-18 ).
Our faith is not only a “Sunday” thing but it is real and practical for our everyday living. When it comes to God’s guarantee, there are no racial or geographical boundaries to limit it. Isaiah 7:14 speaks of a promise a thousand years prior to it fulfilment. Today, God want us to trust Him totally, absolutely and irrevocably.
Message : 26/04/15
SPEAKER : Ps PETER CHAN
TOPIC : EXALTING THE NAME OF THE LORD
SCRIPTURES : 1 JOHN 3 : 21- 22, PHIL 2 : 9-11, JOHN 3 : 13-14, ACT 16 : 25, 2COR13 : 5, PSALMS 126 : 6, PROV 11 : 30, DEUT 28 : 12-13
Never give up prayer and praise in your Christian journey. In the world today, we often hear of how people commit suicide because they give up all hope for living. However in the church, some may manifest giving up by drifting away from God. On the other hand, today we do hear of Christian who lay down their life for their faith. We must not grow weary but instead press on in prayers until we see outcome. In his own life, Ps Peter realised that God want him to continue, press on and not give up!
Four reasons why we are to exalt His name :
- It is the third commandment within the ten commandment not to take the name of the Lord in vain ( Exo 20 : 7 ).
- The name of the Lord is His authority. Hence, it is also very important not to use the name of the Lord to “bully” others but instead use it with Godly authority. ( 1 John 3 : 21-22, Phil 2 : 9-11).
- It is the pillar of our faith ( John 3 : 13-14 ). The gift of eternal is way above what this world can offer us.
- There is power in praise to God ( Act 16 : 25 ).
Requirements in exalting the name of the Lord :
To examine our spiritual life ( 2 Cor 13 : 5 ). How do you check yourself? Ask yourself this “Am I a good example?”. In the church environment, it is easy to be good, but the real test comes when you are outside the church!
- Amplify your spiritual life. Do not analyse your weaknesses but concentrate on your strength, uncompromising, the pursuit of God with the spirit of excellence.
- Load up your spiritual life. Ask this “Am I leading anyone to God?” ( Psalms 126 : 6, Prov 11 :30 ).
- Start talking up your spiritual life. For example, Moses with the Israelites in Deut 28 : 12- 13, talking to them regarding the blessings of God. So talk up your position in Christ, your faith, your spiritual life. Always think of yourself as a , and not a . because in your life you are to continue to exalt God and not stop. Thus in conclusion to the message today, you must learn to praise God in every and all circumstances in your life.
BE RESOLUTE IN GOD BY REMEMBERING THE WORD OF GOD
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES : Gen 8: 1, Gen 9: 3-4, 15, Deut 8: 18, 2 Pet 1: 1 – 9
Prayer is not aimless but must have a strategy. Prayer must be purposeful and we must learn to be resolute in God so that we will not give up. God is faithful to His Word and He will never deny His Word. It is God who picks up pieces of puzzle, connects them so that eventually we can visualise the whole picture.In the context of a very troubled world today, this year’s theme, “Prayer and Intercession”, makes it all the more urgent and is our focus.
To be resolute in God, firstly we must remember the Word of God. Remembering the Word is more than memory recall.
Consider the first mention: “And God remembered Noah…” (Gen.8:1). And again in Gen.9:15: “And I will remember my covenant…” Did God have a poor memory? Absolutely not; God remembering is His act of honouring His Word, to perform and fulfil the Promises in His Word. When God remembers His Word as He remembered Noah, it is about His perfect timing; the Kairos timing of God is Him keeping His Word according to the Covenant He made when it is the right time.
Remembering at the simplest level is to do what we are told but don’t quite understand. The Israelites smeared the blood of a lamb on the door post and we now understand it as the Passover (when the Angel of Death passed over the houses when he saw blood).
At the deeper or second level, we remember what we are told and understand. Noah was told not to drink the blood of animals and everyone will be accountable if blood is shed.
At the third and deepest level, remembering is honouring the Word of God, to obey and fulfil the commandments of the Word. At this level, the Holy Spirit will empower us. Forgiveness, for instance, is one of the most difficult acts but we honour His Word when we remember that we are forgiven of our sins and we are to forgive everyone who sin against us. Temptation is another area of testing but just as the Lord Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, overcame temptation by honouring the Word, so too the Holy will empower us to overcome temptation. This is what remembering is about and the Holy Spirit will give us understanding.
The learning process is found in 2 Pet. 1:1-9. We are reminded the faith we have is in the same standing as the early apostle; just as precious but faith must grow. Faith grows by added goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love which all help to yield a productive outcome in our lives.
And, so to be resolute in God, never to give up praying, we must learn to remember His Word, to live to honour the teachings and the Word as taught in Scriptures.