Wednesday, December 24, 2014

God is good - cliche or truth?

We often say "God is good all the time and all the time God is good". Do we really believe it? Do we really trust Him that all things work together for good?

As for me, let me recount the ways God has been good even through trying times this year.
1. The year began with challenges at work - new assignments and projects. Much leaning on God's grace to tackle them.
2. In April, the multiplication of one to two cells started. The 'breaking' of long-time relationships to form new ones is often trying and tests our faith in Him who knows all. As I trust Him, I see the fruit of obedience in the past outreach events especially this Christmas. Two cells are able to reach out and see more souls saved. The 'pruning' process has borne fruit!
3. This year also is a year of different milestones - turning 55, 30 years of marriage, 27 years in post-secondary education, becoming grandparents. I humbled that the Lord has led me to this point in time to look back and see His Hand in all things.
4. The birth of my grandson is a joy and a delight. Little did I know that 2 months after his birth, my wife and I had to experience a testing of our faith as he was hospitalised for meningitis. The 12 days in hospital was a time to hold steadfastly to Jehovah Rapha to heal and restore. We experienced the love and unity of the cell community as they prayed with us for him.
5. This unity was translated in many ways recently during the Christmas outreach events. Seeing God's favour in many groups and working together as one body, our Lord is pleased.

The old year is closing and the new is coming. Are there more challenges? Yes. Are there perhaps suffering and tests? Yes. Is God good despite the tests? YES!
"For me to live is Christ, to die is gain" - this is no cliche but the transforming grace that enables us to believe, to trust, to obey and to live or die fully assured that God is fully in control and all He does is GOOD! Hallelujah!
Blessed Christmas and Joyous New Year to all!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Believe, Obey, Pray - Key to the Unstoppable

Unstoppable life of faith is possible as we believe, obey and pray.
This 3-step key can be illustrated with the picture of the train engine on a track.

The train engine is analogous to believing (trusting) in God and His ability and power. We cannot on our own strength do anything great without His help. Like a engine-less train, we cannot move in unstoppable faith without His enabling. We need to continue believing and trusting even when we do not see (yet) in the natural what we ask for.

The track is analogous to obedience to God and His plan. When the train remains on the track and move along it, the train will be able to reach its destination. Hence we too, when we obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to achieve what God has purposed for us to accomplish.

Prayer is analogous to the oil that is necessary to lubricate the wheels of the train as it moves along the track. Without prayer, which is the most important part of any ministry or service for God, we move in God with much difficulty even when we believe and obey. For in prayer, we 'oil' our service, bringing all our petitions to Him who in return gives us peace, joy and love in the midst of all our work. Then like the well-oiled train, we move in unstoppable faith with a burden that is light and a yoke that is easy.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The 'So Much MORE' God

The Lord God that we serve is truly a 'so much MORE' God as seen in the Scriptures:

1. We are MORE valuable than all of His creation. Matt 6:26,  12:12
2. He loves us MORE than we realise. " much MORE will your Father in heaven give good gifts (to us)" Matt 7:11
3. We are worth MORE than many sparrows. Matt 10:31
4. He says "Whoever has will be given MORE, and he will have an abundance." Matt 13:12
5. He has MORE mercy than we can imagined. "one more year..." Luke 13:8
6. There is so much MORE rejoicing in heaven over all who repent and turn to Him. Luke 15:7
7. Because of His words many MORE become believers as we dare to preach them. John 14:41
8. He prunes us so that we will be even MORE fruitful. John 15:2
9. He tells us that He has so much MORE to say to us. John 16:12
10. We are MORE blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
11. How much MORE shall we be saved from God's wrath through Him! Rom 5:9
12. How much MORE did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to (us) the many! Rom 5:15
13. His grace increased all the MORE. Rom 5:20
14. In all these things we are MORE than conquerors through Him who loved us. Rom 8:37
15. (Through Him), will not the ministry of the Spirit be even MORE glorious and how much MORE glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 2 Cor 3:8-9
16. (He) is able to do immeasurably MORE than all we ask or imagine. Eph 3:20
17. He enables our love that it may abound MORE and MORE in knowledge and depth of insight. Phil 1:9
18. He enables our faith that it is growing MORE and MORE each day. 2 Thess 1:3
19. He reminds us to encourage one another--and all the MORE as we see the Day approaching.
Heb 10:25
20. He gives us MORE grace. James 4:6

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Trust AND Obey

Trust and Obey - key words for our daily discipleship living. We long for revival and transformation for our lives, our church and our nation.

To see this happen, we need to ask the Lord to give us a burdened heart for the lost, bended knees to continue persistently praying for them, a clear mind to visualise the goal of winning/consolidating/discipling/sending and calloused hands to do the work each day (seeking God's divine appointments and opportunities)

Let us NOT negate the small but significant faith that we have by the words of our mouth by declaring the difficulties BUT let us speak forth that we can see salvation of the 12 and 144 in these next 10 months!

Just like Elijah when praying for rain (1 Kings 18:41-45) and Peter walking on water (Matt 14:28-31), we look to Jesus ignoring all the negative things that are thrown at us and confessing that the God of the impossibles is able and willing to move in and through us to do the very thing He desires - to see the harvest brought in and discipled!

Jesus said that we will have what we say if we do not doubt but speak faith!
Mark 11:22-24: "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

So let us arise, shine! This is the season of harvest!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Free Thinking?

I have always wonder why someone would call themselves a freethinker. What does that mean? That you are thinking freely or you are freely thinking?
What does mean to be truly a free thinker or a thinker who is free?
Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." He also said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
It is obvious that freedom is tied to truth - knowing the truth will set one free. Deception or deceptive thinking will cause one to be in bondage but Truth or 'truth' thinking will set one free.
Knowing the truth is more than just cognitive knowledge but it is actually knowing the very Person who embodies all truth - the Truth Himself, Jesus Christ.
So if you really want to think freely or freely think - you need to know the Truth then truly You are free to think as the Truth thinks.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

'Smooth and Rough' Blessings

In this life, we often want everything to go smoothly and we pray for blessings from the Lord to make all things work according to our plans. Yet there are times when it seems everything is falling apart and it is a rough and bumpy road we travel on.

I learn that God's blessings are for both the 'smooth sailing times' as well as the 'rough seas'.
He never rescinds on His promises and His purposes. He is always there with us whether we experience smooth or rough situations. This is the first and greatest blessing - He is ever-present (His omnipresence).

In the smooth times, we may experience all things are in our favour and all things seem to fit nicely. We rejoice as we see God answering our prayers and see His omnipotent power at work.

But in the rough times, we tend to forget and start to question why our prayers seem to go no where. We realise often after reflecting when the rough time has passed, that He knows all things (His omniscience) and what we think was a loss was actually working out for our good according to His plans.

So the test comes - will we continue to trust and rejoice in the rough times just like the smooth times or do we start to grumble, criticise and forget He is there?

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Longing for heaven

Have been thinking about heaven recently. Read about it, thought about it and spoke about it. Perhaps I am getting to an age where I am a step closer to the door that leads to it.
Often people do not want to think about what lies beyond death preferring to focus on the here and now.
But I submit that we cannot truly live till we are ready to die. 
Our purpose and meaning for our lives are tightly coupled to our readiness and understanding of what lies beyond the doorway of death.
Jesus said "I am the door, if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture". 
Incredible words but how true its promise - only one door to eternal bliss and rest - Jesus Christ.
The other door (of self-effort, self belief, self-centredness) leads to eternal misery and unrest.
Heaven is for real for God is real and where God is, there is heaven.
Hell is for real for where there is no presence of God, that is hell.
Dear reader, choose this day which door you will enter for eternity starts today.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Creator, Servant, Saviour King

Truly God is our Creator King!
He did not just create us and let us fend for ourselves. Nor did He rule us with an iron hand as a dictator. No, He created us AND desire to reign over us for our good (if we allow Him to do so).
We are NOT created as robots but as free-will agents with choice - to choose to love Him and submit to Him or to reject and rebel against Him.

Truly God is our Servant King!
He came to serve us and not to be served. Yet His servanthood does not diminish His dignity and authority as King of kings. His exemplary Servant model of leading us shows us what His kingdom is like - leading by serving.

Truly God is our Saviour King!
He gave up His life willingly for us on the Cross of Calvary. He is the righteous King who judges and punishes all who are evil. All of us are evil sinners - we all know our hearts. Yet our King, after pronouncing the sentence, took upon Himself, our punishment so that we do not have to do so. Do we willingly allow Him to reign in us with the thought of "Amazing Love, how can it be, that You my God would die for me!" or do we reject Him and treat with contempt His salvation freely given to us?

This Good Friday/Easter, let us be reminded to continually thank our Lord Jesus, our Creator, Servant and Saviour King!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ungratefulness - the scourge of mankind

It is increasingly evident that the trend towards ungratefulness is increasing as many nations and societies become more affluent. Ungratefulness results in many boorish behaviour exhibited in society - whether road bullies, inconsiderate neighbours and habitual complainers.
Ungratefulness breeds a wrong mindset that assumes a right to be served first and always - requiring all to meet the needs and wants of the ungrateful.
To counter this, all of us need to learn to be grateful and thankful each day. 
Gratefulness to God who created us and all things for us to enjoy.
Gratefulness to God for those people He brings into our lives that encourages us and even rebukes us in love.
Gratefulness to God in His sovereign purpose and will that places us where we should live and work.
And the list goes on... being thankful never ends as long as we live.
Why not start today to thank God for one thing? Then continue each day to add one more and one more till you have 10,000 reasons or more why we should be grateful.
May we, made in the image of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus and daily being filled by the Holy Spirit, exhibit an attitude and mindset of thankfulness always.
"To thank or not to thank, there is no question about it - always be thankful"

Monday, February 17, 2014

Can Jesus find faith when He comes again?

In Luke 18:8, the Lord Jesus asked this question: "when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
This faith is NOT faith in ourselves though many (even Christians) profess faith with their mouths in the Lord but inwardly their faith is in themselves and their abilities.
This faith is NOT faith in systems though there are good ways of doing things but ultimately these systems cannot replace doing God's will (which sometimes may seem illogical or foolish).
This faith is NOT faith in leaders and their teachings though they may be walking in God's purpose for every human person cannot always be right and never make a mistake.
True faith is in the Lord Jesus that we can say and act on the premise that Forsaking All I Trust Him only and this is sufficient to make all things possible and to do all things.

Where is your faith today?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Story 10 (the final chapter)

How time moves!
I realised that I have been working for 30 years since my first job in 1983.
I was introduced to the world of work in my third year of university which was the year of industry attachment. The Lord enabled me to work in two different companies for 6 months each. It was an interesting learning experience to work in companies with different management style and culture.

The first company was a British company dealing with computers. The division I was attached to was the research and development arm of the company. Hence I had the opportunity to work on projects related to state-of-the-art computer technology back then. I learned that following Christ in the workplace meant that I will do my best at work and being a listening ear to colleagues whom the Lord bring me in contact with.

The second company for the second half of my year in industry was a Japanese manufacturing giant. This particular division was manufacturing television sets, refrigerators and other home appliances. What an interesting exposure I had to a totally different management style and culture! Morning exercise was mandatory back then! Dress code was company shirt (dark grey) with the unwritten but widely followed rule that junior executives cannot leave work before their bosses leave. It was good that I was not an employee and hence I could leave at the end of the day without waiting for my supervisor to leave! I learned that even though the company had a regimented (almost military) style of management, the Lord could open opportunities to witness. I managed to start a short Bible study during the lunch hour with a few operators with the help of a sister-in-Christ who used to be with Jehovah Witness. She said she left the cult because one day she realised that Jesus is God because the Bible said "Jesus is the Shepherd" and in Psalm 23, the Lord is the Shepherd and hence Jesus must be the Lord. How wonderful is the Holy Spirit to illuminate her with understanding and bringing her to Himself. It was during this six months too that I had an opportunity to rent a room from a house church. The pastor and his wife even gave me opportunities to lead worship and share the Word during some of their meetings.

My first job after graduation was a miracle orchestrated by God. When I returned from England after my studies, I applied for a dozen jobs but none replied. Then I tried this company - an American multi-national dealing with wafer fabrication and testing. They replied within the week and asked me to come down for an interview. They offered me a job on the spot and I joined them as an Equipment Engineer in September 1983. It was training on the job as my degree was in telecommunications and the work I was doing in the company was software maintenance and assembly level programming. What a challenge it was to learn as I worked! In terms of workplace ministry, the Lord opened up an opportunity to start a office group in which we even had a bi-monthly newsletter. We had many opportunities to sow the gospel and I believed some of the seed sown have borne fruit though I was only in the company for 3.5 years. Flexibility and innovation were key values of this first company I worked in. When I conducted a training class for some technical staff because of some software changes that I did, the Lord used that to kindle the desire in my heart to consider training and education as my next step in my career.

I applied to a local polytechnic in the west and after two interviews, I joined the institution in 1987 to start my career in polytechnic education. This is a milestone in my working life as I have been teaching in post-secondary education since then (more than 26 years!) Learning to teach and teaching to learn - this is the life of an educator. Over the years I have taught many different subject areas ranging from hardware-related to software programming. I spent 7 years in this polytechnic in the west of the island before joining my current institution in the east. In those seven years, I worked under 2 principals. The second principal was a man of character and integrity. He was one who lived out his Christian faith openly (he literally wear his faith on his shirt collar with a miniature cross pinned to it everyday). Under his leadership, I had the opportunity to see various para-church organisations reached out to staff and students with the gospel in various events such as having Andre Kole, a professional illusionist, presenting the gospel through magic. (It is interesting that many years before my own pastor began his magic/illusion ministry, I had an opportunity to have a front row seat to this kind of ministry!)
I continued to share my faith at every opportunity that God gave. A few years ago, I met an ex-student in church and he asked whether I remembered him. I vaguely remembered that I taught him before. He said he remembered the day I shared with the class my testimony. Praise the Lord for the seed sown!

In 1994, the opportunity came for me to move to the east in terms of workplace. I had been travelling every day for about a hour from my home in the east to work in the west. Now, I have been working in my current place of work, which is my third employer, for almost 20 years. When I came in, we were among the early pioneering batch of staff and most things (including the current location) were not in place. It was challenging but enjoyable to be part of that work in doing things from scratch. Being a small number, relationships were closer and I managed to use the early years of email to encourage the first group of believers among the staff. Most of them have left over the years. Even my years are numbered as I approach retirement age. But God has been working and I believe His Word will go forth to accomplish His purposes in my workplace (Lord, revival and more salvation!).

Dear reader, always remember that we are called to serve wherever we are and when we work, we work for the glory of our Lord and to do His will. May you experience His leading in everything you do even at your work place. Arise and shine for His glory is upon you!