The Code of Honour

‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ Acts 13:22

I can think of no greater epitaph than to be known as a man after God’s own heart. This was God’s accolade of David, not just man’s. Wow! There are many reasons why David fits this description, but the one I’d like to share with you is this – David lived by a Code of Honour. Let me explain.

Perhaps the first thing that came to your mind was the fact that David had refused to exact retribution on King Saul. After all, this is the very person who had attempted to skewer him with a spear and who had relentlessly pursued him to snuff out his life. David felt horrible just for cutting off the skirt of Saul’s robe! Because of honour, he dared not stretch forth his hand against God’s anointed.

Or perhaps you thought of 1 Samuel 30, when David’s family and all his possessions had been taken captive by the marauding Amalekites. David’s men found a sickly Egyptian slave in the field as they were in hot pursuit. These same men knew David honoured outcasts, for he had taken them into his cave when they were a mess and had turned them into true warriors.

So they ‘brought him to David’ (1 Sam 30:11). In the mould of dear Heidi Baker, David ‘stopped for the one’, giving this unvalued man bread, water, a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. What was David’s reward for showing this man honour? The Egyptian showed the way for David to recover every member of his and his band’s families.

The story continues. David originally had 600 soldiers, but 200 were too exhausted to fight. The 400 strong ones felt justified in demanding full rights to the spoils. They had, after all, risked their lives while the others probably had a grand picnic and a nice long snooze.

David would hear none of it. The strong and the weak share alike in the spoils. Sounds to me like the same spirit which inspired the Apostle Paul to write these beautiful words about the Body of Christ: ‘Those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think are less honourable, on these we bestow greater honour.’ 1 Corinthians 12:22-23

David, like Paul, knew that showing honour to all is the heart of God.

I recently read two successive stories from David’s life that magnified his honouring ethic. In 2 Samuel 9, David woke up one day, probably after a sweet time of worship in the Presence of God, and decided he wanted to show the kindness of God to a survivor from the household of Saul.

Remember, this is the man who sought David like a flea and hunted him like a partridge (1 Sam 26:21). He found one. Mephibosheth was crippled. He had been 5-years-old when his father and grandfather died, which was also when the accident left him disabled. So what does David do to this one at a time when people like him were stigmatised? He brought Mephibosheth to the palace and gave him a seat at his own table next to the princes and princesses of the Kingdom. David honoured him.

Even the rulers of rival nations could qualify as objects of honour in David’s world. In the next chapter, 2 Samuel 10, David recalls a time when the King of Ammon had been gracious to him. So he sends an entourage to show kindness to his son Hanum after his dad died. Though the show of honour was repelled, David did not show honour only when honour was returned. He honoured because he was a man after God’s own heart. It was natural and spontaneous for David. I pray it’d be so for me!

Do you ever get up in the morning and have the urge to show someone the kindness of God? One thing God led me to do during this time of COVID is to find ways to honour people who have had an impact on my life over the years.

Honour is a part of the everlasting song of heaven (Revelation 4:11). Let’s make it a code that we live by until we get there.

Ps. Kevin Graves

Don’t Enter Heaven Empty-Handed

As economies restart in the post-Covid 19 reset and gear towards rebuilding in the ‘new normal’, one area which needs to be redefined and re-evaluated in our lives is the way we value the things important to us – our treasures.

Jesus has something to say about this. In Matthew 6:19-21, He admonished us not to store up for ourselves treasures on earth, but in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Then He concluded in verse 21 with this truth, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

If all our money is invested in the things of this world, then our desires will also be constantly earthbound. In other words, your heart will always follow what you value as your treasure.

In verse 20, Jesus tells us where we read more…

What Happens to a Cow If You Don’t Milk It?

A healthy milk cow produces 30 litres of milk daily, twice as much needed for feeding her calf. That’s good news because humans need the excess it produces. If a cow isn’t milked at least once a day, the build-up of pressure in her udder causes great discomfort and could lead to skin rupture and serious conditions like mastitis. Can you imagine what happens on a farm where the farmer prohibits work on a Sunday?

A farmer who’s good to his animals knows that cows need to be milked – even on Sundays (I do fully believe in the blessings of Sabbath and the principles behind the 4th Commandment, to enhance our relationship with God and others). In Jesus’ time, He made it clear the Sabbath is made for man and not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27).

In agrarian read more…

A Tribute to Bishop Satish Raiborde

What can one man do? To put it personally, how often have we wondered, “What can I do as just one person?”

The first time I was truly staggered by how much one single person can accomplish in his lifetime was when I was at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina. Walking through the 40,000 square foot complex that traced the life and work of Billy Graham left me breathless, mouthing to myself, “How can one man do so much in one lifetime?” There’s one more life that I know of that makes me think likewise – Bishop Satish Raiborde.

On Monday, 5 October 2020, around 11am, Bishop Satish was called home to glory. Bishop’s son, Pastor Nicky Raiborde, is a regular in our church. In fact, to be more poignant, Pastor Nicky has not missed a single read more…

What Does Jesus Think Of Our Generation?

Acts 13:36 – “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers…”
 
The God we serve is a God of generations. He’s the God who calls the generations from the beginning (Isaiah 41:4); the God Who’s forever known as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God who blesses the generations. And He’s the God who calls us to serve our generation as He did David.
 
Each generation is different from the one before and after it. Each has different characteristics but they’re interconnected. While God deals differently with each generation, what we do in our generation will have profound repercussions on the next.

It’s interesting that, when Jesus came, He dealt with the generation He was in and held them read more…

Seasons of Change

In Genesis 8:22, it says, ‘While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.’ Seasons come and seasons go and while Singapore doesn’t experience seasonal change like some countries, autumn officially begins on September 22 in the northern hemisphere.

God is with us in every season of our life and change is a part of life. Change can be perceived as good, like springtime bursting forth: with a birth, new friendships or jobs. Change can be perceived as negative when moving into the winter season: a death or friendships ending.

Change is a part of life. It happens whether we like it so we must learn to embrace it. Change for me has been moving homes five times since we started the work of the ministry, and staying in read more…

Being Hungry in a Place of Abundance

Nine years ago, I went through one of the toughest seasons in my life. For three years, I struggled in almost every part of my life. I faced discouragement in ministry, battled self-worth and identity issues, and my financial situation was not exactly rosy. To top it off, my family was also undergoing a financial crisis.

Yet, at the same time that season, I had the most powerful and significant encounters with God. They marked and defined who I am today. Looking back, I realised that, due to the trials in my life, I had a constant sense of need. I literally felt like if God didn’t break in, I wouldn’t make it through. I was desperate for God to move in my life. Crying out to Him on my bedroom floor till the wee hours for nights read more…

Wait for the Punchline!

I recently watched a very interesting segment on TED Talks where a comedian unpacked for the audience how comedy works. First there’s the setup, and then there’s the punchline. The setup is where the comedian uses his talents, observations, and resources to seize any opportunity to ensure that the audience is moving in the same direction as his storyline. The punchline occurs when he changes that direction in a way that they’re not expecting it. The results are revelation, fulfilment, and joy expressed through laughter.

Here’s an example:
Three men are about to be executed. The guard brings the first man forward, and the executioner asks if he has any last requests. He says “No”, and the executioner shouts, “Ready! Aim!” Suddenly the man yells, “Earthquake!” Everyone is startled and looks around. In the confusion, the first man escapes.

read more…

A Fail Grade Regardless Of What You Do

All great men in history were tested. They were men who went into their baptism of fire and emerged with their stories and wounds. There are also Biblical figures whom God delighted in, whose histories are less known, whose stories we never get to hear about. But for the most part, these men and women of renown had to undergo their tests.

While I’m a firm believer of tests and examinations, I have difficulty convincing my young daughters that these are good for their development, especially the one taking her Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) this year.

Abraham and Moses, Governors Joseph and Daniel, King David and the apostles, all underwent great and multiple tests. It was David, a man after God’s own heart, who cried out, “Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind” Psalm read more…

What The Black Death Taught Us

Get ready, this is going to be a long blog but I’m certain it’s going to be worth your time.

The ‘Black Death’ (Bubonic Plague) occurred in the mid-1300s, caused by a certain flea that lived off rodents’ blood. It particularly thrived among black rats in Central Asia. The bacteria carried by the rat attacks the lymph glands of the human body and hence the immune system. Victims experienced high fever and bled beneath the skin. This caused visible dark patches, giving the name ‘Black Death’ to the plague.

The Black Death shows remarkable similarities to the present pandemic that has brought the world to a standstill. I want to take time to point out some uncanny similarities.

1. It started in China

The plague started in Central read more…

Persecution

We recently hosted a Zoom prayer meeting on the International Day of Christian Martyrs. It was really encouraging to see the number of people and nations that participated. The uptick in destabilising and frightening trends worldwide has sounded an alarm. I think it’s a sign of the times. Are we witnessing the beginning of the End? Many of us are feeling the urgency to be better prepared, and rightly so!

Looking back, we realise God has been preparing us to face troubling times. A year ago, Brother Yun shook us up with his testimonies of surviving horrific treatment at the hands of cruel authorities. Canon Andrew White’s life story last October reminded us further of the price that’s being paid by Christians in other parts of the world. Then, in a series of messages at the end of the year, read more…

God’s Generational Treasure

Cornerstone’s youth ministry, relaunched as ‘Generations’ in 2000 after a 3-year hiatus, celebrated its 20th anniversary this month. It’s been my great joy and honour to watch many of these young lives journey into adulthood.

Many of our ‘then’ young people are now serving in Cornerstone as pastors and staff. These lives stoked in the fire of God are now effective ministers and some have been sent out as church pioneers, pastoring, labouring in the fire of the Holy Spirit, serving locally and in the nations. They’re no more young teens but men and women, many married with family.

What God has wrought through these yielded vessels are stories to be told – just like how my husband and I took the divine plunge into the ministry 30 years ago – life encounters still burning in the flames.

The God read more…

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