A Divine Pattern for Families

The birth and the progression of Abraham and his family gives us much insight into God’s divine order for the family and His prototype for us. As we talk about “Kith and Kin”, we need a brand new understanding and mindset about God’s order for the family. Far too often, our perspective about family is rooted in our Asian upbringing and in Confucianism rather than in God’s biblical pattern. I want to share with you four aspects of what a biblical family must contain and undergo:

1. Separation
God’s call to Abraham begins with a call of separation. In Gen 12:1-3, God calls Abram to separate from his natural family in order to establish himself in the call of God. One of the fundamental principles of a Christian family is that of “leaving and cleaving.” Gen 2:24 gives us this principle when Adam was joined to Eve. It makes it clear that couples have to leave their families and be joined to each other. They become a new, independent unit of society in the eyes of God.

All too often, because there’s no proper leaving, there also isn’t a proper cleaving. Parents hang on to their children, trying to dictate their lives instead of separating themselves to permit the newly-weds to start making their own decisions. Or newly-weds take the opportunity of convenience to continue staying with their parents. A proper separation is required in order for a newly-wedded couple to launch into a place of independence as a new family unit.

This is why here in Cornerstone, we’re strong advocates that newly-married couples should move out and stay on their own as soon as possible. The physical separation is often required in order for the couple to establish themselves in how they make decisions, hear from God and step out in faith. It’s for them to set up proper boundaries for their own family that should not be infringed upon by parents and other relations. While couples are encouraged to seek advice and counsel, it has to become clear and real to them that they now have to be responsible for their own decisions and plans.

2. Descendants
The next three elements come from the nature of the promises that God made to Abraham. Right throughout Genesis, God made and reiterated His promises to Abraham in three particular areas: descendants, land and impact. He promised Abraham that he’d have many descendants; that he’d be given land to possess and that he and his family would be a blessing to the world.

The divine order in the Bible is that children are a blessing and gift from God. They’re not a burden. In our modern day context in Singapore, we may see a couple come to church with six kids and wonder what went wrong for them. This is a horribly wrong way of thinking. Instead of celebrating with them, we’ve come to view children as a problem. The divine default is that every married couple should have children and have many. Let me say one thing – children come from God. If God doesn’t bless, there’s no way we can have offspring.

There are some who do not have children, but that’s often because God has a specific purpose for them. The Lord displayed a great love for children and they were never treated as an annoyance by Him. He pointed out their childlike faith as something that we can all learn from and emulate. More importantly, embedded in every child is a piece of God’s heart and plan for His Kingdom expansion. In Abraham’s case, all the promises of God were fulfilled, not in his lifetime, but in the lives of his descendants.

3. Possessions
The second element of God’s promises to Abraham has to do with the possession of land. My interpretation of this is that it relates to entering and possessing the works that God has designed for us. The nature of the Promised Land is that Israel may find their placement and prosper. For us, it’s to do with entering what God has created us for – a place of fulfilment and convergence. A place where we’re doing what we’re designed to do and prospering in them.

4. Impact
Finally, five times in Genesis, the patriarchs were told that through them, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. As we build our families according to the divine pattern, God’s intention ultimately is that our families will become a source of blessing that extends far beyond ourselves. Imagine what all this potentially means. There are families out there waiting for our witness to bring them to the light of salvation. There are children out there whose future will be much brighter when our families step up to the plate. There are marriages looking for a model to help them get healed and whole.

May the Lord visit and encounter every family in Cornerstone.

Pastor Lim Lip Yong

What Does God’s Word Mean To You?

There were many radio ministries during the Charismatic Movement that helped nurture and strengthen my walk as a believer. One such programme was the ministry of Dr. Douglass, a man who taught a simple message while carrying a burden for India. The opening theme song to his programme has always stayed with me and it serves as the catalyst for this exhortation: 

“The Word is working mightily in me;

The Word is working mightily in me; 

No matter what the circumstances; 

What I feel or see; 

The Word is working mightily in me.”

Does the Word of God have this level of impact in your life? Cornerstone just concluded its Training and Equipping (T&E) classes which consisted of seven different modules with 349 registered students. The classes are not meant to be just a seasonal encounter with read more…

Our Common Identity

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

It’s fascinating when you look at various societies, religions or nations – how each of them would have their own elites: priests, bishops, gurus, saints, mystics, shamans, or holy man. These form a distinct class that’s set apart from the rest. They’ve special knowledge and access and accordingly, authority that’s exclusive to them which the rest of the populous do not have. Yet in the New Testament, Peter calls us back to the origins of God’s intention when He called Abraham out from amongst the nations to establish a people that would be unique upon this earth.

Peter gave three distinct read more…

The Cornerstone Family

What does the thought of family mean to you? It’s no secret that the family structure has been under attack for a number of years. The driving force in today’s modern day culture has had success in dividing homes and redefining its values. The eventual fallout can be a loss of identity and purpose. The consequences are not limited to just an individual family, but it’s showing to be a national issue. What does this mean to Cornerstone as a church?

The Cornerstone family continues to see growth both here in Singapore and in the nations. The favour and blessing of God upon the church is undeniable but it’s a trust that comes with great responsibility. Though we rejoice at the increase that God has brought to us, we must never lose sight that we’re a corporate family; a gathering of read more…

Of Dreams and Ideals

“Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim, nor his natural visor diminished.” Deut 34:7

This was the description of Moses just prior to his death. Moses did not die of old age. He died simply because he had accomplished all that God had for him to do and it was time for him to return to his Creator. There’s no better way to die than this.

The description given of Moses was not mere adjectives of his condition and state but they were consequential statements of who he was even at the end of his life. What it means is that because his vision was not dimmed, therefore his strength remained unabated, even at the age of 120. To put it simply, Moses never lost his ideals and therefore read more…

Missions In Our Hearts

Our global network of pastors met this week in Johor Bahru for our Annual Summit. This is a time when all our key pastors from the nations come together for a time of recalibration, refreshing and fellowship. All in all, we had 65 pastors coming together from 16 nations. It was amazing to hear the stories and testimonies from different pastors, and to realise the impact we’re making as a network of churches, in reaching the lost, feeding the poor, setting captives free, and also discipling and releasing believers into the nations.

As I reflect on the time we had together this week with the pastors, a few thoughts come to mind:

1. MISSIONS IS IN OUR DNA
When Pastor Yang and Pastor Daphne started the church years ago, the Lord spoke to them specifically that Cornerstone should read more…

Transformation

Recently, I’ve been led to read three books simultaneously on my Kindle – “Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting” by Derek Prince; “The Power That Changes The World” by Bill Johnson and “The Book That Made Your World” by Vishal Mangalwadi. The paperback version of Loren Cunningham’s book entitled “The Book That Transforms Nations” was also part of my reading collection. The titles and the messages conveyed in these books are clear and consistent – TRANSFORMATION.

Was that not the message of the Great Commission which the Lord left for His disciples in Matt 28:18-20? They had the Book (Old Covenant), the Holy Spirit and the teachings of Jesus. They also demonstrated courage which enabled them to shake the world. These men faithfully fulfilled their call and mission. Throughout history, faithful disciples brought the Gospel to the nations read more…

The Erosion of Truth

Just recently, the leaders of the United Methodist Church in San Francisco voted to ordain their first female gay bishop. The Episcopalian Church has ordained not just gay pastors and bishops, but bisexuals as well. Many large denominations are now following suit. What in the world is happening?

Well, for starters, there’s a gradual erosion of truth in society and this is very diabolical. Ancient landmarks that God had set up to protect society are now being removed. And it’s happening not just in the world. It’s also in the Church. And of course, if one dares to speak up against it, they call that hate speech. Whether we like it or not, truth is now the new hate speech. People don’t want to hear the truth any longer and each day, it’s slowly being eroded.

Every year, Merriam read more…

Wisdom from a Wise Man

RT Kendall is a mentor and a dear friend. Twice each year, he writes an open letter to his friends and supporters, once on New Year’s Day and once on his birthday. I read his recent letter when he turned 81 and it’s packed with sound wisdom. So I’ve asked for permission to reproduce it. Hope it blesses you as it did me. I’ve edited a little of his personal travel schedule out but kept the bits of wisdom. Enjoy!

“Today, I’m 81. I often think of the funny line, ‘If I knew I’d have lived this long, I’d have taken better care of myself!’ But it’s true in my case. And yet God graciously gave me a wake-up call shortly after we retired – when I was 67. The late John Paul Jackson (I still grieve with read more…

The Power of Meekness

On the 1st Dec 1955, a public bus pulls to a stop in Montgomery and a black woman in her 40’s gets on. She sits on the row reserved for coloured people and watches quietly as the bus is filled with new passengers. Then came the defining moment in the history of the United States. 

The driver orders her to give up her seat to a white passenger and this black woman utters a single word that ignites one of the most important civil rights protest of the 20th Century. She said NO. The driver threatens to have her arrested.

She refuses to budge. A police officer arrives and she still wouldn’t budge. She’s arrested for disorderly behavior and on the afternoon of her trial, 5,000 people showed by at a Baptist church to support Rosa Parks’ single read more…

Respecting the Terms of Engagement

In the classic book “Needless Casualties of War”, well-known prophet John Paul Jackson shared about a time when there was a spate of problems in people’s lives who were coming to him for counseling. Women were at the verge of miscarriages, children in terrible rebellion, broken marriages, unexplained diseases and sudden illnesses, and even loss of life. So John Paul was perplexed by what was happening and went to seek the Lord about it. The Lord answered him by giving him a dream.

In the dream, he saw a night sky and a huge luminous moon that filled the horizon. Then he saw leaders, standing on circular platforms, pointing to the moon and shouting at it, urging others to follow them. As their crowds grew, their platforms would rise higher, some to precarious heights. Then the leaders, who each read more…

Takeaways from the Internship Class

One of my favourite experiences in my years of association with bible schools has been the chapel sessions where the students take part in leading worship, in addition to sharing short devotionals. This year’s class of interns at Cornerstone is no exception. Their testimonies provide “real-time” accounts of what God is doing during this unique period in their lives. This past week, four interns shared messages that had common themes; messages that should not be limited to the Internship class alone. The following four points represent a brief summary of what God has been speaking.  

1) Seeing from God’s Perspective 

Everything changes when we begin to see situations and people through His eyes. This results in our priorities and prayer life being greatly affected. It produces the burden and largeness of heart that our Lord has for read more…

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