Thursday, December 31, 2009

God Is Preparing Something Good For Me (and you) In 2010

In the last Sunday service of 2008, Pastor Prince said that God's message for NCC for 2009 was that it would be the dektos year of the Lord, a year when His salvation and free favours profusely abound on us (I blogged about this here).

Last Sunday, the last Sunday service of 2009, before Pastor Prince came out to preach, a video was shown chronicling the dektos year of NCC eg. average attendance increased by 10% to 19,000 and over 3,000 salvations received.  Excerpts of some members' testimonies of healing, career and financial breakthroughs were also highlighted.

As I sat there watching the video, I was thankful that God greatly blessed NCC's ministry and broke through for those NCC members whose testimonies were highlighted but I couldn't help feeling a touch of envy; I was thinking "What about me, Lord?" Yes, I did receive some favours for which I am grateful eg. my sisters and mum helped sponsor two trips to Bangkok for my family, and my wife's brother recently gave us two LCD TVs but the major financial breakthrough I was hoping for has not materialized yet and my ex-landlord "opened" another dessert stall again after the last one went bust.

After the video, Pastor Prince stepped out to preach and he opened his sermon by saying that he especially want to address those of us who felt left out of God's 2008 promise. I immediately perked up and listened intently. He said that generally we know how to thank God when we see ourselves being rescued from disasters or bad events or when we receive good things and we thus see ourselves having received favour from God.  However, we are not conscious of the bad things which God prevented from happening to us; this is also God's favour.

Pastor Prince also showed us from the story of Jacob that even though we may see that nothing seems to be happening or maybe things look bad, we should trust God that He is doing His work, preparing something good for us which will manifest in due time. Jacob, for over 10 years, thought that his favoured son, Joseph, was dead but all this while, while Jacob was mourning the loss of Joseph, God was using Joseph in Egypt to prepare the blessings for Jacob in his time of greatest need, a time of famine.

I am thankful that Pastor Prince was sensitive to the prompting of the Lord and preached a rhema word to me.  I needed that assurance from the Lord, to be reminded once again that while we are many, Daddy God remembers each and every single one of us. I trust that He is preparing something good for me (and you) in 2010.

Happy 2010!    

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

3 Christmas Wishes

Last Sunday, towards the end of New Creation Church's Christmas celebration service at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, in his usual tradition, Pastor Prince asked us to think of three wishes to ask God to fulfill for us in the coming year, and he would pray over us at the end of the service.

I have actually forgotten about this tradition and also forgotten about my 3 Christmas wishes last year.  As I was thinking about what wishes to present to God, my heart was not really hopeful because I recalled that one of my wishes for this year was to become debt-free but it has not happened. Then the Holy Spirit reminded me about another wish of mine: that my three sons will do well in their studies and be among the top ten in their class (their results have always been average and my two elder sons were usually positioned in the lower half of the class).

Well, my second son was first in his Secondary One class and fifth overall in his standard this year.  While I was very happy when my wife told me his result, I had forgotten that this was one of my Christmas wishes last year and I did not thank God for fulfilling that wish.  I only remembered that my wish to be debt-free was not fulfilled.

This is how we are usually, isn't it? We are not thankful for and take for granted what we have received; we are preoccupied with what we haven't got, and moan and gripe about God not answering our prayers.  Thank God for reminding me that He did and does fulfill my Christmas wishes, maybe not all at once but He has given me the faith to believe that He will bring them to pass, sooner or later, in His time.

With that little grain of faith, I made my 3 Christmas wishes last Sunday. Make yours today, it's still not too late, Christmas is still two days away ;-)

My 3 wishes:
1. I will be debt-free and overflow with abundance.
2. My 3 sons will be top ten in class and the youngest will score more than 200 in his PSLE
3. My in-laws will come to know and accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Introducing Victor King Ministries


I first heard of Victor King when his testimony was read out during Sunday service at New Creation Church. At that time, I was just grateful that God's grace has brought a young man out of a youth gang and into His kingdom through NCC's youth service.  Little did I expect that this young man would grow in such a short time to have his own ministry, Victor King Ministries, which has impacted many young lives.

I just read his latest note, "Favour in the midst of your fiery furnace" on facebook which greatly blessed me, a timely Word as I was getting frustrated at the evil intent of my ex-landlord in renting out his stall to yet another dessert seller to try to put me out of business. I think it will bless many others who are facing personal trials too, and I would like to share his note here:

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ,

Favour in the midst of your fiery furnace – Victor King


19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he commanded certain mighty men of valour who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counsellors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. - Daniel 3:19-26

Have you been in a fiery furnace before? Or maybe you are going through a fiery situation now. The heat is being heated up "seven times" or the problem is becoming worst. It could be your work, family, children, relationship, health, finance, ministry, addictions and struggles. It could be anything. Do you feel like everything is against you and there is no Grace or Favour in the midst of you fiery furnace?

Sometimes, when we talk about Grace or Favour, we speak from a very positive perspective. When we have closed a deal, got a pay rise or a dreamed job or even getting in more customers, we tend to say that we have Favour or Grace and rightly so. Some of us have children who are more obedient and getting very good results in school and we say that we have Favour and rightly so. Maybe you might have a better relationship or a better family and you are telling everyone that you have Favour or maybe your boss likes you more than the rest of you colleagues and you call it Favour and rightly so. Maybe a couple of us have been delivered from certain addictions and struggles and we call it great Favour. Some of us, ministers of the Gospel have a lot of people coming in to our meetings and getting in all the finance, gifts and results and we call it Favour and rightly so. But If God’s favour is only “activated” when things are fine and good, then God’s Favour is quite weak and not constant because not all the time, things are perfect for us. Isn’t that right?

My other question is what happens when you don’t close a deal or lost your job or got a bad report from the doctors? What happens when your children doesn’t do well in their exams? What happens when your family is always in turmoil or your loved one has just left you or you have lost a family member? What happens when you don’t get in the customers for the whole week or your business has no results? What happens when no one comes to your meetings? What happens when boss picks on you all the time and does not like you? What happens when you are still with that addiction or sickness for a long time? What happens when you have lost a child? What happens when you are praying for years and your loved one is not saved yet or someone abused you? What happens? Don’t we have any Favour or Grace? Is there Favour when things don’t happen the way it should be? When we are caught in the fiery furnace, is there any favour?

The Bible tells us that, while these 3 children of Israel were going through a tough time and they were going to be killed, they were still leaning on the saving power of God’s Grace. Everything was against them. The reason, these guys were placed in that fiery situation is simply because they had Favour with God. They carried the Favour of God that they did not bow down to the king’ gods and they were punished for that. And because of the Favour they carried, Favour and Grace Himself showed up. Please keep this in mind, Grace is also known as Favour and Jesus is the Grace of God (Titus 2:11). The 3 children were tied and placed in the fiery furnace but when Favoured showed up, He loosed them and they were walking around in the midst of the hot fiery furnace. They were having a fellowship in the midst of their circumstances.

The king saw the Favour of God who is the fourth man in the midst of the fiery furnace. He saw Jesus, the Son of God. Think about it, how can a gentile, evil, unholy and unbelieving king see Jesus? How did he know that it was Jesus?? How does he know the Son of God? Well, there was an evil spirit that was instigating him. The bible tells us in the New Testament that Jesus had to drive and keep the evil spirits away because they knew Him. The spirit that was instigating the king to kill the children of God and was against the Favour they had with God. The evil spirit knew that these favoured children of God can turn this lost nation of Babylon to the true God. The spirit knew that these children can destroy hell’s movement and plans. We fight not with flesh and blood but with spirits that are against the Children of God.

Sometimes, when things don’t go right in your life and whatever you see may seem so discouraging because everything is against you. Your problem seems to get “heated up” more, don’t think that you have done something wrong or you have no Favour. The reason you might be going through this fiery furnace is because you are carrying the Favour of God in your life. You have Favour with God. You have things from God that you don’t even know but your enemy knows it. Just like that king who was instigated by an evil spirit. Sometimes people don’t like you and say all kinds of bad things about you is because you have too much of Favour. You are carrying the Favour of God. Nothing is wrong with you. Your deals or your business has not been good because you have too much of Favour. The enemy knows if he allows your deals and your business to go through then the finance will go to the Glory of God and He will be exalted and praised. If people are not coming to your meetings or buying your products is because you have too much of Favour and the enemy is stopping them. Whatever the situation or the circumstances is, you have so much Favour that things are going crazy for you because God has something great in stored for you. Things are against you because you carry the Favour of God, God is not weak. Grace is not weak. Favour will show up in the midst of your fiery furnace.

The king saw the Son of God and the bible tells us they were not harmed in that fiery situation and the king Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.” 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.

My dear friends don’t give up when things are not going well in your life. You are carrying the Favour of God and Favour is always perpetually activated in your life. Favour is also known as Grace and the bible tells us in Titus 2:11 that Jesus is the Grace of God. Jesus is still your Favour even in the midst of your fiery furnace. Favour will surely show up and whatever is against you, will be for you like what we have just read in this story from Daniel 3:19-30. Like how Jesus loosed the 3 children of Israel and was walking with them in the midst of the fire, Jesus will loose the bondage of fear, guilt and condemnation and will walk with you in the midst of your problems. Good or bad, all things will work together for good for His namesake. David said in the 23rd Psalm that though he walks through the “fiery furnace”, he shall not fear for God is with him. Good times or bad times, you still have Favour. Grace or Favour is not weak. When people think of Grace, they think weakness or being “soft”. Well, Grace and Favour is your strength and power. When the Apostle Paul was going through his “fiery furnace”, Jesus gave Him Grace. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. - 2 Corinthians 12:8-9.

Grace and Strength is synonymous. Grace is the foundation, the pillar and the covering of your Christian life. You have Grace and Favour 24 hours, 7 days a week. Let this message speak volumes to your life and don’t give up in the midst of your fiery furnace, FAVOUR will show up because Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you. Even if you are faithless, He remains faithful. Jesus is full of you and He loves you too much.


Grace
Redeems
And
Cleanses
Everyone



(P.S. Victor's personal testimony was also featured on ChristianPost. Read it here.)

 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

iPhone


While again all is quiet on this blog, my previous post "The New Has Replaced The Old" generated quite a debate on my facebook page which led my facebook friend, C to comment that "I think we have more in common in our faith than areas of disagreement. Having said that, I wonder why there are those who embraced the new covenant teachings tend to denigrate the “old “ teachings in the old testament."

Yes, C and I may have more in common in our faith than areas of disagreement but it is precisely these few areas of disagreement that is the key to the difference in our Christian experience. Continuing with my current lust for a new smartphone, let me illustrate my point with the iPhone: 

The iPhone is the best selling smartphone model in the world bar none - more than 4 million sold since its introduction in 2007.  Have you heard of people queuing up overnight outside a mobile phone retailer shop just to be among the first to get their hands on a newly launched phone? Yes, there are such people (in the USNew Zealand, Australia, England, Japan, even Singapore) but ONLY for the iPhone, not just any phone!



On the surface, the iPhone shares many similarities with other phones eg. a large screen, camera which can film videos, 3.5mm headphone jack, etc but what makes it so special that people are willing to camp overnight to BUY it?

I don't own an iPhone (but Daddy God, I do so love to have one!) but one of the most common comments I have heard from iPhone owners is that it is so easy to use and they can do so many things with it. My sister-in-grace, Angie told me that her husband loves to play with his iPhone, even at home! He showed her one nifty software where he sings a few lines of a song into his iPhone, and it can tell him the title of that song! How cool is that! Anyway, my point is that it is the iPhone's superbly user-friendly user interface that has attracted millions to buy it and millions more to lust for it (that includes me ;-) )

I've heard iPhone owners say "Once you've owned an iPhone, you'll never want any other phone." Does it sound like they are denigrating other phones? Maybe, but to me, it just shows that they love their iPhone so much that they feel like they would be settling for less if they choose any other phone.

This is the same way I feel about the New Covenant. I feel that Christians who cling on to the Old Covenant mindset are settling for less because Hebrews 8:6 says "But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises."  I am not trying to "denigrate the “old “ teachings in the old testament" but rather put it in the proper context against the New Covenant.

Yes, C and I may have more in common in our faith than areas of disagreement BUT it is the little differences that in the end make such a BIG difference in our Christian walk.


Food for thought: The genetic make-up of man and chimpanzee differs by only 1.3% but what a difference that 1.3% makes!