27 February 2020
Dear Friends & Partners,
I believe every pastor’s heart is to reach out to a wider community to connect with them the good news of the gospel of Jesus. I know there is no formula or recipe in church growth except to understand the heart of God. Ever wonder why the crowd are drawn towards Jesus in his ministry? And how the new testament church grew so fast and quick. I like us to understand what is a church without borders.
A church without borders
Read: Lk 4:18 / PR 14:31/ Rom 12: 9- 14
How to be a church without borders? You asked. God intended the church to be a family not a program. Relational not institutional. Therefore, we must strive for things which are of eternal purpose. And when we do that, we are delighting the heart of God, Amen. When we build a church with no borders, you are going to replica heaven.
The word church, or Ecclesia (or Ecclesia) in Christian theology means both a particular body of faithful people and the whole body of the faithful. A church needs to be relevant in the context of what is happening in the world today.
Are we sensitive to the needs around us and outside of the 4 walls?
Are we wise and living as light & salt?
Do we do what Jesus did ?
Let’s not fall into a state of running church and not seeing souls saved, lives transformed and never witnessing any miracles, signs and wonders. Such daily happenings in the churches of the early apostles are sadly missing. What is the heart of God for the local church?
God is drawn to places filled with pains, sufferings, brokenness, hunger, sickness and discrimination. If you're looking for God, you will find Him in such places. Jesus came and healed a man who was crippled for 38 years at Bethsaida when others were immune to the man already. Similarly, Peter and John, commanded the lame beggar at the temple gates to rise up and walk, when many church goers were busy walking past him. The believers were already desensitised seeing him lie there for ages.
Are we too quick to get into our religious duties and missing the miracle at the church door steps? Pray and ask God to help you to be sensitive to needs around you in order to build a church without borders.
May you have an amazing week to let God lead you to needs and meet that need.
13 February 2020
Dear Friends & Partners,
I am aware of the continuing bad news from all media sources daily. Be it social media, TV, printed media or electronic. Lets face it, our daily world is a spiritual battle. Good against evil is the plot of many great television shows and movies because it is a prevalent force among us. Where do Christians stand in the midst of it all? The only good news is found in the Word of God. Amen?
The Armour of God
Read: John 10:10 & Ephesians 6:10-18
Who is responsible for the bad news? The answer is very clear in John 10:10 which mentions “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ The reality is the final battle has been won. But we will continue to be engaged with the enemy till Jesus returns. It will be a daily battle and struggles we all havewe are strong Christians or not. The attacks come in many forms. Can be physical through sickness nd diseases, mental through our mind and thoughts through fears, doubts and lies. Relationships conflicts, quarrels leading to breakups, unforgiveness and separations. But there is a defence that God has given us. Paul’s reminder to the Ephesians to put on the armour of God. It’s a 6-piece suit or covering. It is a garment and equipment that the Roman soldier dons before he goes into battle. Starts with belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and your feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Put on the helmet of salvation and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And be alert and ready always. So, friends, do ensure you put on the full armour of God daily to win your battles.
Glory to God
5 February 2020
Dear Friends & Partners
This week has been filled with global concerns over the coronavirus affecting many lives across the world with over 400 deaths in China. In addition, the bush fire continues to ravage many residents and communities in Canberra, Australia. Let's keep praying for the mercy and hand of God to intervene and out of these crisis, miracles and many people will turn to Him. Amen. In my message last Sunday I spoke on the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. A quick summary here.
God's System of Justice
Read: Mt 20:1-16
The workers who only worked one hour was paid the same as the one who worked 12 hours. 3 distinct factors which stand out from this parable are injustice, expectations and grumbling. One denarius was paid to both the one who was hired last and the one who was hired first. That was injustice and unfair practices in all logical and common sense by today's standards. That upsets the first group as they "expect' to be paid more which is normal.
And so, they 'grumble' against the injustice. Jesus always use parables to explain about the kingdom of heaven. In this instance, Jesus wants to unlocked the worldly mentality of people that the kingdom principles are different from the world standards. God's system of justice can never be understood by the people outside the kingdom. Hence, Jesus cited in Mt 13 “.... the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. This is why I speak to them in parables. In reality, injustice can permeate our lives too, as we judge others unfairly and hold others to a different standard than we are willing to abide by ourselves. Next time you faced with some injustice anywhere, remember not to set expectations and grumble but to trust God. For God takes account of your hard work. He knows everything that happens at your workplace, homes, relationships among friends and so on. He will fight the battles for you if you give Him the time and space to act on your behalf. Amen