Friendships

If there was a lesson I had to learn this year, it’s that life is about relationships. If we fail in our relationships, then, in essence, we fail in life. Relating to others is one of the most important things to learn and it’s a key to success in life.
 
If you think about it, the Bible is basically a record of men and women who walked with God and one another. The Garden of Eden was created as a meeting place between God and the man He had made in His own image. The Lord God would come in the cool of the evening to commune with Adam and there was unbroken fellowship and uninterrupted communion between them.

It was for this purpose that man was created. But when sin inhabited the human race, the first thing it did was to sever man’s communion with God. Adam became alienated from the Lord. God then set into motion His plan for salvation, which really is to restore us to that original place of intimacy and fellowship we had with Him before the fall. But the second thing that sin did was to sever man’s fellowship with his neighbour.

It wasn’t too long after the fall that Cain murdered Abel and man’s relationship with others became fractured. Sin not only separates us from God, it also separates us from one another. God then gave us the 10 Commandments to point us back to Him. In essence, the first four commandments help us understand how He wants us to relate to Him, and the next six tell us how we’re to relate to our neighbours. Then Jesus came; and it was He who restored our broken relationship with the Lord, and the Cross broke the enmity and restored us to God and to man.
 
When David was king over Israel, he had many people serving him. 1 Chronicles gives an account of tens of thousands. From 1 Chron 23-27, we find the family of Levites, the family of priests, the musicians and their families, gatekeepers, treasurers, military leaders, generals, captains, cabinet ministers and the elders of Israel. All came to serve David in Jerusalem. 

But in 1 Chron 27: 32-34, we read of another group of people. ‘Also, Jehonathan, David’s uncle, was a counsellor, a wise man, and a scribe; and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king’s sons. Ahithophel was the king’s counsellor, and Hushai the Archite was the king’s companion. After Ahithophel was Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, then Abiathar. And the general of the king’s army was Joab.’

This was David’s inner circle. This was the nerve centre of his kingdom. We’re introduced to Jehonathan, a counsellor to David. Then we’re introduced to Jehiel, who most likely was a tutor to the king’s sons; and lastly, a very important person called Ahithophel, referred to as the king’s counsellor. He would go on to betray David. But there’s another man mentioned in the same verse – it’s Hushai, whom the Bible describes as the king’s companion.

If I could say this, these two men were the right and left hand of David. I’ve often wondered what it must’ve been like for someone to be the king’s companion, to be someone whom the king can confide in, like a confidante. David had all these people, thousands upon thousands, serving him. When David spoke, his wishes were carried out immediately. When someone serves you, you call that person a ‘servant’; but when someone is your companion, you call that person a ‘friend’. And that was what Hushai was to David. David had thousands and thousands of servants, but he only had one whom he called ‘companion’. There were others like Barzillai, Zadok and Jehoiada, who were his close friends; but Hushai was special – he was David’s companion.
 
To put this into a bigger perspective: God has millions upon millions of servants who do His bidding. His Word is law and when His Word leaves His mouth, it’s done immediately by His servants. But as you look in the Old Testament, you’ll discover that God has not many He calls ‘friend’. I can think of only a few; Abraham was called ‘friend of God’; Moses was a man who spoke to God face-to-face, as a man would speak to His friend. Elijah the prophet was the man who stood in the Presence of God. Enoch was someone who walked with God. In other words, they were men whom God could confide in. He’d speak to them as He would with His companions. And the marvellous thing about this is: they’d be His companions for all eternity.

So, this must be our quest as well, to become a friend of God. Jesus said to His disciples, “No longer do I call you servants but friends.” Then He added, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” John 15:14. Seek this with all your heart.


Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong

‘Tis the Reason for the Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly, to bring gifts and be merry! It looks like the world is celebrating and rejoicing with you over the birth of Jesus. Secularised in every way, commercialised to make a profit and I can just hear the ‘ka-ching’ of whirring cash registers.

With each passing year, this sacred holiday has become more and more secularised, with even the infamous Christmas Disney-themed light-up along Singapore’s shopping belt. What have Mickey Mouse and Cinderella to do with Christmas?

Luke 2:10-12 says, “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the read more…

What Is A Breakthrough?

A breakthrough is something we’ve all heard about very often. It’s something we pray for and perhaps something we pray over others. Personally, I’ve often wondered what a breakthrough really is. Is it a situation in our lives that stands like an immovable mountain that’s suddenly removed? Is it a sense of barrenness in our lives that’s broken? I suppose, those are all pictures of breakthrough.
 
In the realm of the secular, a breakthrough is often much more easily defined. A medical breakthrough represents a new discovery that enables us to combat a sickness or disease we were previously powerless against. An innovation breakthrough probably comes in the form of a new technology for us to do things we previously couldn’t.
 
For the longest time, men were confined to the realms of earth and read more…

When the Obscure becomes the Obvious

“Have you seen a key as big as the door?”, a rhetorical question the Holy Spirit asked me, which later led me to journal a series of personal devotions about finding keys to unlock the hidden truths in the Bible.

Doors are generally used to ‘keep good things in and bad things out’. Doors keep you safe by shutting out external harm. But doors can also prevent you from seizing the opportunities that await you at the other end; your dreams, your breakthroughs and even your freedom. There are primarily two ways to go through a door – you can either break it down, or simply use a key.

Keys give us access to what’s protected behind the door which is not privileged to unauthorised people. Hence, keys are often symbolic of authority over what we own or where we read more…

It’s Harvest Time!

Missions have always been at the heart of Cornerstone. In the months of November and December alone, we’ll be sending 21 Courier teams to 10 different nations. Just this week, some of our pastors, together with 50 volunteers from Cornerstone were in Mauritius for our KI ‘Bless Mauritius’ outreach. The teams participated in street evangelism, leadership training, meetings for the women and youth, including a national gathering for the churches in Mauritius.

1. Leap for Joy
As teams return from their trips, we often look forward to hearing their good reports and testimonies of salvation, healings and breakthroughs. It’s like Jesus when He sent out the 70 in Luke 10 and they returned with joy. “At that very hour, Jesus rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit.” Luke 10:21

The word ‘rejoiced’ in Greek is ‘agalliao’. The literal definition of the read more…

A Night To Honour Israel

The 7th of November 2018 will go down in Cornerstone’s history as one of our most significant days ever. Almost 900 people gathered at the Marina Bay Sands to witness, celebrate and support the honouring of the Jewish community in Singapore and to celebrate 70 years of Israel’s Independence.

The occasion was graced by Her Excellency, Ambassador Simona Halperin, Chief Rabbi Mordechai Abergel, Lt. General (Retired) Winston Choo, Singapore’s Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Victor Sassoon, President of the Jewish Welfare Board and many other dignitaries. What an evening it was! The atmosphere was pregnant with joy and friendship and if I could sum up the whole evening, it was a God-moment that released grace from on high.



Many members of the Jewish community came up to me at the dinner to express their gratitude and the common read more…

You Can Make A Difference!

This has been an amazing week and time of journeying in prayer as a church, praying with a single purpose for God’s divine plan and doing it with one mind. The power of our prayers is only as strong as the agreement behind them, both with one another and with heaven. I believe the Lord is urging us to participate with His Spirit in a bond of fellowship that’s so deep until we think like one person, and on the same things!

The Apostle Paul exhorts us to be of one mind, that we be like-minded. In Phil 2:1-2, “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfil my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” read more…

The Slingshot, Sword and Sceptre

David was anointed on three different occasions. 
He was first called and anointed at Bethel (1 Sam 16:13), then chosen and anointed at Hebron (2 Sam 2:4), and finally as he remained faithful with what he had been given, he received his final anointing at Zion (2 Sam 5:3), which established his rule over Israel for 33 years. In Hebron, David reigned over Judah for a period of seven years and six months. He was then 30 years of age when he became king and he reigned for a total of 40 years. Pastor Yang often quotes the following statement, “David’s life could actually be defined by the battles he fought.”

It’s interesting to study the various weapons of warfare David used for each battle. I believe God makes available an appropriate weapon accompanied by a fresh anointing for each season and battle we read more…

Time to Tell A Story

“Facts tell, stories sell.” This is the mantra of advertising. It holds true because we all remember a good story, but facts are quite easily forgotten.
 
Is it any wonder that much of our Scriptures are brought across to us as a testimony of lives and events? Amazing that our God would weave truths and principles within the fabric of human stories that can be far more easily remembered and retained in our memories. Jesus, did likewise, by the parables that He told us.
 
I once heard this, that a vital difference between the United Kingdom and America can be seen in the monuments that they’ve built. Consider the British wartime Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. Perhaps the most important British Prime Minister in the 20th Century.

He had a statue built to his read more…

Why Jesus Wept

John 11:35 is one of my favourite memory verses which happens to be the shortest verse in the Bible. Just two words, “Jesus wept”. So simple, yet so profound. Contained within these two words is the full expression of the humanity and deity of Jesus; fully God yet fully man.

Most commentaries explain this verse as Jesus identifying with the pain and loss of a loved one. Yet there’s this “holy dis-satisfaction” in me that says there’s something more which God wants to show us, perhaps an invitation to enter into something deeper than those who viewed things superficially (v 36) and those who doubted Jesus (v 37) would never enter in nor understand.

This chapter was punctuated twice (John 11:33, 38) with the phrase that Jesus “groaned in the spirit and was troubled”; in between the “Jesus wept” verse. read more…

What Astonishes And What Transforms

In the Parable of the Sower found in Matt 13: 5-6, Jesus described the seed that fell on stony places this way. He said, “Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.”
 
Beware of ministries that spring up overnight without preparation. You’ve never heard of them and all of a sudden, like shooting stars, they’ve huge crowds flocking to their meetings. People are attracted to the razz-ma-tazz. They’re attracted to what glitters. But look at what the Scripture says. These seed fell on stony places, where there was not much earth, and they immediately sprang up, why? Because there was no depth. If read more…

The Feast of Booths

And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” Zechariah 14:16

The Feast of Booths, or Sukkot, provided the Jews a time to remember how God had delivered His people from bondage, in addition to making provision for them in the wilderness. This moment allowed them to reflect upon their deliverance, while looking forward to something new. 

Of all the Feasts, Sukkot is surely the one that speaks most powerfully to our time. As believers, we celebrate Sukkot due to the prophetic purpose hidden in this unique festival. Its significance is unfolding today which includes its link to the Second Coming of the Lord.  The Feast of Tabernacles points to read more…

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