The Morning Miracle

Last year, I faced one big challenge in our family – waking my daughter up for school. We tried threats and treats but to no avail. To make things worse, she’s as grumpy as her dad. So each morning, we find ourselves literally scrambling our way from home to her school, which is thankfully just across the street where we live.

At the start of the year, a miracle happened. She woke up on her own, got ready and waited for us to walk her to school before sunrise. It got me worried and asking why she wanted to go to school so early. Was she afraid of punishment for being late or did she want to be with her friends who were early?

When asked, she simply pointed to a wall plaque which said, “The miracle of God is seen in every sunrise.” Aha! It was one of those teachable moments Father God was speaking to me through this prophetic word from my daughter.

I was reminded of the wonderful principle Pastor Yang gave in a sermon – ‘Give God the first hour of the day, the first day of the week, the first cheque of the month, the first consideration of every decision, and the first place in your heart.’ I knew God was speaking about my first hour.

My reasoning to Him was, “You’ve my first thought and words – ‘Good morning, Holy Spirit’”, but my first hour would be a logistical challenge as I’d to prepare breakfast, take the girls to school, etc…” My final excuse? “I’m not a morning person!”

I needed a morning miracle, just like my daughter.

Tim Cook wakes up at 3.45am; Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi gets up at 4am; Disney CEO Bob Iger is a 4.30am kind of guy; and a man of God whom I know wakes up at 4.45am to pray. I’ve read countless self-help books on successful people who belong to the ‘5am Club’. Alas, my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak.

God is an early riser. The Bible is full of references of His prophets and saints rising early to pray or hear His voice. Soldiers must be ever alert and ready to respond to orders. God speaks to – and through – His servants early in the morning.

Listen to how the Lord instructed His prophets. To Jeremiah, He said, “I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking” (Jeremiah 7:13). In Isaiah we read, ‘He wakes me up in the morning, wakes me up, opens my ears to listen as one ready to take orders’ (Isaiah 50:4-5).

Jesus modelled for us that ‘morning person’, ‘Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left [the house], and went out to a secluded place, and was praying there.’ (Mark 1:35)

God knows the end from the beginning and He knows everything in between. Those are the things that He wants to reveal to you.

Job 38:12-13 reveals God’s interesting conversation with Job. At one point, God asked Job, “Where were you … when the morning stars sang together?” (v 4,7). He further inquired, “Have you commanded the morning since your days began?” (v12).

In a sense, God was saying, “Have you thought about speaking into your morning and bringing order into your day?” Perhaps this is a key He’s showing us, in ordering our day by the power of decree.

‘You will pray to Him, and He will hear you; And you will pay your vows. You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; And light will shine on your ways.’ Job 22:27-28

Light is not only the absence of darkness, but it’s also the yoke-breaking Presence of God, the liberating essence of faith, and the mind-transforming potential of every revelation of God. It’s all that’s good within and among us. All good things find their beginnings in Him, and without Him nothing exists. Every new day with God brings the dawn of new and better possibilities.

God wants to give you a prophetic jump-start to your day. Tap into His best will by rising early to spend time in His Presence. Let the Lord fill your heart with His peace and joy, stand firm on His promises, and get His Word in you so that you can declare His decree – on earth as in heaven.

Let’s start each day with the morning miracle, receiving His love and mercies. As the song goes:

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning, new every morning
Great is your faithfulness.


Pastor Timothy Chong

Holy Spirit, Revive Us!

Our personal commitment to God is revival, and the winning of souls must be at the heart of the Christian. From the beginning, the plan for a Saviour to be born was in place. Through the crucified Christ, He purchased for Himself a body of believers who will manifest what salvation looks like.

When we’re consumed by this fervent advocacy of the Good News, whether we’re planting, watering or reaping (1 Corinthians 3:6-8), God will bring forth fruit to His glory in His time.

Our life is often likened to sowing and reaping. While this may imply seasons of waiting, like the farmer who must be patient to see the fruit of his labour, we’re to faithfully labour in His field knowing that ‘at the proper time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up’ (Galatians 6:9 read more…

What If I’m Bored?

I remember years ago I was at the front of the auditorium after service at our prayer for healing segment when a lady came up for prayer. She sighed and looked listless. She said, “I’m bored.” I was like, “Excuse me?” She repeated, “I’m really bored I don’t know what to do any more.”

What’s interesting was that Pastor Yang was preaching about the glory of God in that service and almost everyone was on the ground sobbing. She said nothing in church excites her anymore.

People around you can be encountering the glory and power of God and you can feel bored, and it’s not the preacher’s fault? It has something to do with your heart!

I was very fascinated by that incident as I’ve never been bored since I’ve received my assignment. I’m not trying to be arrogant read more…

What If You Were Twice As Courageous?

I often ask myself if I could do more for the Kingdom if I were twice as courageous. This self-questioning usually exposes my reducing the possibilities in my life to accommodate my fears. When we insulate ourselves from what we’re afraid of, we don’t feel the emotions of fear and are therefore lulled into believing we’re free from it. We rationalise our greatest fears and call it practical wisdom. Fear often masquerades as pragmatism.

My first experience on a plane as a young boy was such a terrible one. I was air-sick and almost vomited my guts out from start to finish. It gave me an intense fear of flying till I was in my 20s. I refused to ever get on a plane again. Once, my father had to stay behind with me while my mother and brother holidayed read more…

Listen to the Science!

Sometimes, it’s good to be reminded that we’re the head and not the tail in this world, just as the Lord promised His children (Deuteronomy 28:13). On Christmas 2014, Eric Metaxas penned the unofficial ‘most popular article in Wall Street Journal’s history’, titled ‘Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God’.

In it, Metaxas rips open an Oz-like curtain where ‘scientists’ frantically try to keep some pesky facts silent. He wrote, ‘Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life – every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart … The odds against life in the universe are simply astonishing. Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing.’

The reaction to his article inspired Metaxas to begin a seminal work, recently-published and titled, ‘Is Atheism read more…

The First Miracle

Jesus’ first ever public miracle is recorded a little differently in the synoptic Gospels. Mark has Jesus casting out an unclean spirit, thus demonstrating His power over the forces of evil. But Matthew records the healing of the leper as His first miracle. When the leper said, “Lord, if you WILL, you can make me clean,” Jesus immediately stretched out His hand and touched him, uttering those eagerly awaited words, “I WILL, be clean.”

The word WILL in the leper’s request and in Jesus’ reply is the Greek word for WISH and DESIRE. The leper was asking Jesus what His deepest desire would be, and Jesus revealed it by healing him. Matthew, Mark, and Luke recorded Jesus’ first miracle as a compassionate response to human need, pain, and suffering. But John, the beloved disciple, recorded Jesus’ first miracle as the transformation read more…

I Believe!

As we cross into 2022, have you considered what should capture your heart and mind, what inspires you, and what are the possibilities for you in Christ? We often start with a list of goals with most of them unfinished by year-end as they’re either too vague, based on what someone said, or not realistic plans to achieve.

Some may ask if God will speak to you, and I want you to know He does. He may speak to you in a different way from His other children – ‘But to all who received him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God’ (John 1:12) – but our Father God speaks to all of us; our part is this – we must believe.

Some believed He was a miracle-working prophet sent by – and speaking read more…

Journeying with the Word

As we start on a fresh page this new year, I believe many of us have wrapped up our #365 journey in 2021. It’s been a joy reading the personal insights, and seeing the notes made by various church members. What an encouragement to see an increasing hunger for the Word of God!

Wolves thrive because there’s biblical illiteracy in the Church. We’re not called to be experts in what’s wrong, but we need to be very certain of what’s true. When the New Testament Church was born, the believers gave substantial focus to the apostles’ doctrine and teachings. They met often and the apostles taught from Scripture.

This was such a vital aspect of the Church that, as they grew, the apostles found it necessary to dedicate more time to prayer and the study of Scripture. This not only read more…

Glad Tidings To You and Your Kin

Christmas is the time for family to get together. Yet, for some, family can be a source of pain. Perhaps you’re estranged from a loved one or maybe the relational baggages are too overwhelming and time together is just another potential conflict.

Do your attempts to connect with a family member feel like a futile push against a mountain of defensiveness, awkwardness, and shame? Let’s explore tips to help chip at this mountain.

1. Remember where we came from
As a young believer, I avoided relatives who were pre-believers, thinking, “They’re living in sin, they won’t understand my faith and we’ve nothing in common to talk about.”

In my quest for righteousness, I unconsciously judged people whom I felt didn’t measure up. Truth is, I was once in sin, just like them, but someone reached out read more…

Isn’t He Wonderful!

“His name shall be called Wonderful…” Isaiah 9:6

Words, like fashion, adapt over time. These changes usually mirror shifts in attitudes or culture. So when I say, “I wonder if there are any tickets left for the 10.15am service”, what I really mean is I’m not sure. If I say, “I wonder if that’s really true?” I’m actually saying I doubt it is.

This is a completely different meaning from when Carl Boberg wrote his most famous hymn in 1885. When he begins, “O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder”, he’s expressing an overwhelming sense of God’s power and majesty that moved him to bellow the chorus now sung around the world in countless languages. “Then sings my soul… how great Thou art!”

This shift in usage prods me to ask – Do we even know what it read more…

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

Many years ago, I was a young officer with a real estate company that had a wide range of properties for sale. A man walked in one day and asked if he could speak with someone about buying one of the listed properties.

He was ushered into a meeting room and, when I walked in, seeing that he was clad in a T-shirt and Bermudas, I asked him rudely if he had the means to purchase the property in question. You see, I was totally unimpressed by his appearance.

I’ll never forget what happened next. The man had with him a paper bag and from it, took out a whole stack of share certificates that I estimated was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I immediately said to him, “Do you want tea or coffee?” I’d made a terrible mistake read more…

Why Do We Come to Church?

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:  “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” (Jeremiah 18:1-2)
 
The latest easing of social distancing measures brought much cheer in letting families gather in larger numbers. In Cornerstone, our ever-faithful Facilities Team again re-arranged the seating with joy, anticipating a larger congregation, now that we can. Just the thought of it makes me smile, seeing more of you, meeting folks I’ve not seen for some time due to circumstances. The weekend’s starting to feel like family reunion again.

While our members heartily embraced the ticketing system – even with tickets running out in mere minutes – this seemingly healthy situation in Cornerstone is not always reflected elsewhere in the Body of Christ. 

Surveys consistently tell of falling church attendance since the pandemic and a significant number of those polled had no intention read more…

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