Be You. Bring Your Heart!

Building an authentic Biblical community takes more than just weekly attendance – it requires an intentional opening up of our hearts to one another. Deep relationships don’t just happen because we spend a few hours together in the same room once a week, because it’s so easy for us to throw on a façade to cover up the reality of our lives.

In 1 John 4:20-21, the Bible says “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” Our love for God is manifest in our love for people, for the Christian life was never meant to be lived alone.

Innate in each person is the desire to be part of something larger than ourselves and to experience real connection with others. Yet the concept of community goes head on with our fear of rejection and being different. We want to feel part of a tribe or community, to feel love and a sense of belonging so much so that we may compromise our true selves in order to fit in and gain approval.

This is not only an inferior stopgap for connection but it can become an obstacle to authentic relationships. We end up feeling lonelier in the midst of a crowd because our true selves were never brought to the table!

The happiest people are ones who open their hearts and let others share their lives. A true sense of belonging is forged only when we present our most authentic self to the community. Self-disclosure is key to deep, meaningful relationships. Yet that also brings vulnerability, uncertainty, and risk. If I open up my heart, will it be met with love, acceptance, and understanding? Or with rejection and disdain? 

We’re so uncomfortable with feelings of vulnerability and uncertainty that we’d try ways and means to avoid them. So we build emotional walls around ourselves thinking that they’d prevent us from being wounded, not knowing that we’re imprisoning ourselves within these walls.

This self-preserving, self-protecting way of relating to one another produces a sterile environment that looks good externally but is superficial. We put on defensive ‘armour’ to avoid feelings of fear, insecurity, anxiety, shame, and uncertainty. We may feel safe and a sense of control momentarily but it’s really doing us more harm than good. We never become known by the people around us and the community never gets close enough to sharpen one another.

‘Koinonia’ is a Greek word that appears in the New Testament 20 times. It primarily means ‘oneness in friendship, fellowship, and relational commitment’. The essence of ‘koinonia’ is believers in Christ coming together in love, intimacy, friendship, faith, and encouragement. It also denotes a relationship which is one in heart and purpose. True ‘Koinonia’ can happen only with vulnerability and self-disclosure, when we bring our true selves to the table and wear our hearts on our sleeves.

Being part of a community can feel like navigating a labyrinth of emotions, fear, challenging people, and deep uncertainty. We may feel part of a tribe, a movement, a family, and at other moments feel alone, different ,and disconnected from everyone else. Therefore, realise that vulnerability and self-disclosure take great courage.

Take small steps to bring the relationships in your life deeper and be encouraged when you do. Let go of the misgivings you have about what others think of you. Most people are not focused on you but on their own issues. Relational wounds can only be healed relationally. Without vulnerability, there can be no love, intimacy, and belonging.

We must open our arms if we want to be held, and open up our hearts if we want to be loved. As we move towards one another in courage and love instead of shying away, may we achieve ‘koinonia’ – becoming one in heart and purpose.

Not one person on earth can live in isolation. Community and belonging cultivate life and onward movement. The Lord commands in John 13:13-35 that we love one another as He loved us. May the contagious nature of the love we have for one another in Cornerstone draw others from outside into this family, that all will know we’re His disciples.


Ps. Sng Peh Han

Now, Go!

What a power-packed weekend we had with our special guests – Robby Dawkins, Tyshone Roland, and Todd White. We’ve received many testimonies of healing and breakthroughs, especially from our young people at the FOPx ‘GO’ Conference. Many were blessed and inspired by the evangelists’ ministry to fulfil the Great Commission and go into all the world to preach the Gospel to all creation.

This December, we’ll be sending out 15 Couriers teams (short-term missions) comprising 133 members, into 10 nations. Here are a few simple truths that I’ve gleaned from John 17, generally known as the Farewell Prayer or the High Priestly Prayer, given that it’s an intercession of Jesus for His Church and the apostles (‘the sent ones’).

1. You’re Loved

Several times in these verses, Jesus mentioned that the Father loved Him. God’s love for us is read more…

Seize The Day!

I’m writing this from the Bible College of Wales where we’re witnessing the graduation of 33 students of Batch 9. In the past few years, we’ve seen hundreds of students graduate from 37 nations and it never tires.

These past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for my wife and I. We had the privilege of inaugurating our new church plant in Johor Bahru in West Malaysia two weekends ago. The week before, my wife was part of the team that dedicated our new church building in Kuching, Sarawak. And last weekend, we inaugurated our new church facility in Tullamore, Ireland.

All this is really very surreal. Not in my wildest imagination could I have foreseen this 29 years ago when I first stepped out by faith to quit my job and serve God full-time, I had no read more…

Get Engaged!

I’m penning this from The Bible College of Wales (BCW) in Swansea, UK, as we graduate the 9th batch of students from the 2019 Autumn Term. It’s been an amazing journey with these 33 students from seven nations, together with our awesome BCW staff members.


With ages ranging from 19 to 71 years, you couldn’t tell the difference when you witness their fervency and faithfulness towards the purposes of God. This thrills my heart because God sees beyond the years and ages, and the possibility of using anyone who avails himself or herself to Him.

Your age doesn’t have to label you as not having enough experience nor cause worry about what others think – that you’re incompetent to complete the work God has called you to do. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, ‘Don’t let anyone look down on read more…

Your Face, Lord, Will I Seek

I was reading Psalm 27:8 and soon found myself crying out to God, “When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.’ ” Then I heard the Holy Spirit ask me, “Why?”

There was a moment of silence because I’ve never thought of the ‘why’ apart from seeking Him to know Him more. And so, gleaning from the prophet Ezekiel’s wise reply in Ezekiel 37:3, I replied, “O Sovereign Lord, You alone know the answer to that.” Then the Holy Spirit continued, “It’s so that you’ll not be deceived!”

Immediately, I understood what He was telling me because, just the other day, I was walking in the shopping mall when suddenly I felt a little hand grab mine. The toddler seemed oblivious to what just happened and was rather comfortable with read more…

Judge Not?

If there’s a Scripture that’s abused, misused, and yet at the same time unavoidable, it’d be Matt 7:1 – ‘Judge not, that you be not judged.’ Abused and misused because it’s so often used to silence valid correction and discipline that should be administered. Those who pursue their own sinful nature often use this Scripture to put others on the back foot so that they may not be confronted by their own sins.
 
At the same time, we find it impossible not to judge as our lives do indeed consist of making decisions and weighing what’s right and wrong, and what’s good and better. How can we go through life not judging? That seems impossible.
 
In truth, this is not meant to be understood as a stand-alone verse. Instead, it needs to be read read more…

Prisoners of Hope

I’ve often pondered on the significance of the verse in Ephesians 3:1 where the Apostle Paul said, “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles…”

What did Paul mean about being a prisoner of Christ for our sakes? In what way were his constraints benefitting us? And then, I thought of people like Heidi Baker, Brother Yun, and Canon White. These tremendous heroes of our faith have modelled lives of sacrificial surrender to bring the Good News to the poor and those imprisoned and persecuted for the Name of Jesus. 

During the Kingdom Trilogy meeting last week, Canon Andrew White, also known as the Vicar of Baghdad, shared many testimonies of miracles in his church and among the thousands of refugees who were displaced from their homes in Iraq by the vicious read more…

The Feast of Great Rejoicing

The Feast of Tabernacles, which is the 7th and concluding holy day in the Biblical calendar in Leviticus 23:33-44, ends this week. This is the 7th Feast in the seventh month, otherwise called Sukkot. The Feast started at sundown on 13 October and ends at nightfall on Sunday, 20 October.

This Feast is also called the Feast of Ingathering as it’s observed after all crops had been harvested and gathered. This is a time of great rejoicing and we’re to ‘rejoice before Yahweh, our God for seven days.’ (Lev 23:40)

This Feast points to the fullness of God’s plan for Israel, for her salvation, for God to dwell among His redeemed remnant, comprising both redeemed Jews and Gentiles. This is also the time of ultimate eternal rejoicing in the long-awaited Messianic Kingdom.

So how does this Feast apply to our read more…

The Indomitable Canon Andrew White

For a long time, I had wanted to meet the indomitable Canon Andrew White. The stories I heard about him were legendary. The opportunity came one day as my wife and I were having lunch with one of our dearest friends, Canon J John and his wife Killy. I had asked him if he knew Canon Andrew White and J immediately lighted up and told us they were very close and even went on holidays together.

He recounted some amazing stories about Canon White and what God has done through the man in Iraq and I just knew I had to meet him. To cut a long story short, we connected through Canon J, invited him to Singapore and, in just a few days, we’re going to have the privilege of Canon White speaking at our Kingdom Invasion Trilogy on read more…

I Am With You Always

This blog is written especially to all students who are taking their year-end exams, and to those going through a stressful and challenging season in their lives. It’s an excerpt from a short study I did on the ‘Names of God’. I trust that it’ll encourage you.

There’s power in a name. It’s what we’re known by (identification) and it says who we are (identity). Just think of all the names of those influential and powerful world leaders. God is known by many names in the Bible. Learning to know each of His Name(s) opens up the door to a deeper relationship with Him – to understand His nature and character. The Bible says in Prov 18:10, “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” In a world that’s getting more read more…

Unforgettable

I had an interesting conversation with my daughter recently where she quipped, “I can forgive but not forget … is that ok?” As a father, I’m confronted with the fact that my daughter is asking increasingly thought-provoking questions and oftentimes, a Biblically-correct answer doesn’t adequately satisfy – especially for a PK (pastor’s kid).

For those who are parents, here’s a great promise from Isaiah 54:13:  
“All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children.”

At that moment, I felt I needed to share with her not just what’s in God’s Word, but also what’s upon His heart. Whenever our children come to us with a question we don’t have an answer to, we can always turn to our Heavenly Father. Most of the time, He wants to teach read more…

Two Extreme Mentalities

Biblical economics have gone through a rollercoaster ride. 100 years ago, it was almost fashionable to be poor if you were a believer. Hardly anyone spoke on this subject. Pastors were kept poor, churches were kept poor, and wrong teachings kept God’s people in poverty.

Today, the pendulum has swung to the other extreme. Everybody is speaking on biblical economics. Being rich and wealthy has become a lifestyle and a goal. If you’re rich, it’s because God’s blessing you, and this has become known as the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ which has infected and corrupted a whole generation.

Now, while there’s truth to this teaching, the goal of the Christian in Scripture has never been to become wealthy. Wealth and prosperity are a result and outflow of walking in covenant with God. The common and popular teaching today is: If I give, read more…

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