Kith and Kin

What an amazing time we had last week at our Big Family Day Out. We had several thousand people present and the atmosphere was just wonderful. I remember at 6.45 am, it was raining with thunder and lightning. The sky was black. I think all of Cornerstone was praying. When I got there at 8.30 am, the skies were still cloudy but the rain had stopped. We were all on tenterhooks. The weather held up till about 30 minutes into the program when it started to drizzle slightly. I remember looking up to the clouds and praying and I had a prophetic moment. I caught a momentary glimpse of the absolute goodness of our Heavenly Father in a split second and I just knew all will be well. The weather forecast from 9 am – 12 pm was thundery showers all over Singapore but God answered our prayer and gave us gorgeous weather throughout the event. We give God the highest praise.

We had dubbed the event “Kith and Kin” and essentially, it was a celebration of the FAMILY and what it means to be a family and to belong to one. I think that there are very few things in life that are more important than FAMILY and Kith & Kin was to remind us of that. The family is the basic building block of society. If and when the family disintegrates, all of society will start to crumble and break down. Which is why we need to protect family values, we need to protect the family unit and the sanctity of marriage. Any attack on the family is an attack on our way of life.

I remember when we first began this church way back in 1990. We started out as two cell groups of about 80 people but we were a tight family. And over the last 20 years, 25 years if you include our Anglican years, that’s how we have built this church, member by member, on the basis of the family unit. The church has now grown to almost 5,000 people but we cannot lose the identity that God has forged in us. We are now a large extended family but we are still a family.

The early church was an amazing church that was birthed on the Day of Pentecost. The event that started it all was the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity. When Peter stood up with the 11 and preached, we are told that 3,000 men were swept into the kingdom. The church was in massive revival; make no mistake about it. But it’s one thing to have a move of God; it’s totally another to sustain the move. The apostles realized that this was a unique moment in history. They had to do something to organize themselves, because you cannot sustain a move of God on goosebumps and exotic experiences. So they prepared a wineskin that could contain what God was doing because something like this had never ever happened before.

So in Acts 2:46, we see the grand blueprint of the NT church. They met daily, with one accord, in the temple, and from house to house. The temple meetings were the congregational celebrations that we have over our weekends. But the house-to-house meetings were built around the family unit and that kept the FIRE burning. What did they do in these house meetings? We are told that they were taught the apostles’ doctrine, they had fellowship, they broke bread, they prayed together, and they took care of the poor. And this new wineskin contained the greatest move of God that the church has ever seen in her last 2,000-year history.

What happens over the weekend services is insufficient to sustain what God is seeking to do. The apostles realized that they had to somehow break down the size of the congregation into smaller units that could be and shepherded by leaders who could easily read the ground and make decisions. In Acts 4:32-35, we see a further development of the family structure. Those who were well off sold what belonged to them so that anyone who had lack was taken care of. They got involved with social initiatives that took care of the poor, and they became self-contained microcosms of the corporate church, all centralized through a leadership structure governed by the apostles. I like to suggest to you that this is the one big key in sustaining a revival in our church.

The early church is the divine plumb line and was built upon the family unit that met from house to house, and everyone in the church is interconnected through these family units. You see, a cell is more than just a place where we connect relationally and fellowship. People sometimes think that our cells are where we babysit God’s people. No. The cell is essentially the basic fighting unit of the church and out of these cells ought to come the brightest and best ideas and initiatives of the church. They are the incubators for believers to be prepared for their destiny.

So let’s learn to value community. God is seeking to place a mantle of community over the church.

Moving Forward As A Family

In the Old Testament, the Children of Israel would assemble and journey together under the banner of their respective tribes. Each of the 12 tribes would have a designated location allotted to them in proximity to the Tabernacle of Moses. In the times of travel, they’d be led by God via the cloud by day or pillar of fire by night (Exo 13:21). There were special gatherings or assemblies that would take place whenever the sound of the trumpet went forth. The trumpet sound could be a call to war, a call to journey forward or a call to assemble together for the purpose of instruction (Num 10:1-10).

This background may help give a greater appreciation for our “Kith and Kin – Big Family Day Out” taking place this weekend at Fort Canning Park. It’s interesting that this event read more…

Hinges of History

In the next five weeks, the United States of America will have a new president. It’s been described as the most pivotal and watershed election ever in U.S. history and whichever way the Americans will vote, one thing is for sure – America will never be the same again. They’ve crossed the Rubicon, so to speak.

But not only are there going to be seismic changes for the American people and their way of life, the rest of the world will go through similar great upheavals. I’m predicting that 2017 will mark the beginning of the most tumultuous times in our generation. The great prophet Isaiah prophesied that darkness and gross darkness will cover the earth. That’s a given. But while we know the world is spiraling downwards into chaos and great confusion, we also know that great read more…

The End of Blindness

On my recent trip back from the United Kingdom, I pick up the latest copy of National Geographic on the plane and on the cover was this title “The End of Blindness”. I got excited right there. The article had to do with the current global battle to end blindness on this planet. The stats are pretty staggering. Take a look at this – Roughly 1 in 200 people are blind. That’s about 39 million people in the world who cannot see, who live in total darkness. Another 246 million have very poor vision that severely limits their movements. About 90% of the world’s visually-impaired live in low-income settings. But here’s the good news – 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured.

So these numbers alone would justify our battle against blindness. The article goes on read more…

A Historic Event

Our recent trip to Wales was an amazing one. We’ve in this current semester a wonderful cohort of students from 10 different nations, as faraway as Argentina and Colombia. The barrier that separates the seen from the unseen is a thin wall that’s about to be broken. Each time I’m in the College, I’m filled with anticipation that “this trip” could be the trip where we see an open heaven. I assure you my friends, we’re not far away. God’s moving very powerfully in the Bible College of Wales. It’ll be once again a hub of incessant prayer and intercession, as it once was in the days of Mr. Rees Howells.

Apart from the College, we also have a house of prayer established at Pisgah Chapel and the momentum there is building. There’s definitely a residual of the read more…

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 read more…

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…

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