Words of Truth

I’ve heard this said, “Don’t mix your words with your mood, you can change your mood but you can’t take back your words.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently complimented our Prime Minister for controlling the Covid-19 situation effectively. It said his words turned out to be meaningful compared to other leaders. Two months after his first speech, we got over some huge bumps in the ‘controlled’ environment.

He communicated the situation to Singaporeans and I don’t think they’ve an easy job manoeuvring through some of the landmines. But what was key was their commitment to communicate, to keep the country in a state of peace and security amid uncertainties.

Our Lord Jesus was a master communicator and people were always amazed at His authority, power, and insights. His words evoked mental and emotional responses; they involved hearing, understanding, encountering, and responding. Jesus didn’t just speak the words, He DID the works of the Father. He did impossible things that no one could do.

Jesus also used contrast constantly and in His parables – the seed falling among good soil and bad soil; a tiny mustard seed becoming the largest tree; the landowner who paid the workers who laboured an hour the same wage as those working a full day; the foolish and wise builders constructing on rock and sand; the end-time judgment of the sheep and the goats – and many more.

He turned His disciples’ focus towards the ‘whys’ and answered the ‘whats’ when He said, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat … Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap… and God feeds thm… do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink … but seek the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you” (Luke 12:22-31).

Some say the Sermon on the Mount takes seven minutes when read aloud, so Jesus must have been doing something along with His message. He crafted the message to suit the situation, to address needs and everyday problems. Not only were people taught and inspired, they received revelation of the Truth.

I believed Jesus took on all the emotions – from joy to deep pain, anger to compassion, zeal to sorrow, grief to groaning. He loved the people as the Good Shepherd and He connected with them. In every encounter they had with Jesus, Truth was revealed.

Communicating is a way of life; it isn’t a skill set. We’re instructed in Proverbs 4:17 that wisdom is the principal thing and in all our getting, to get understanding. People will respond to our character much more than to any communication technique we use.

Jesus never conducted a media campaign nor took university courses in communications, yet He influenced the world more than anyone who ever lived because of who He was. 

Choose authenticity, because people will respond to you if they see that you’re being real as success isn’t about getting what you want but giving what you have. Jesus gave of Himself to us with the power of the same Holy Spirit whom He gave to you and me – to communicate His Father’s message of truth, righteousness, and love.

When we communicate through words, it may not always be truthful and revelatory, and we don’t want to rely on theories which God has not given. Jesus said, “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it” (Luke 17:33). And if we lose our lives, we’ll gain what truly matters in the end. 

In this Circuit Breaker season, let’s ask God to set our hearts in the right direction and for grace to walk well on the path of truth. May we become a more just, more productive, humble, and equitable society where Christians shine.

May we show how to live differently and so motivate others to seek God. And, from the letters of John Wesley who said, “Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.”


Pastor Daphne Yang

Caves of Hope

“David… escaped to the cave of Adullam.” 1 Sam 22:1

While you may not necessarily think so at the moment, staying home for a few weeks may not be so bad. Consider 3,000 years ago, David was involuntarily quarantined in a cave called Adullam. Now, a cave is not a very inviting nor desirous habitat. The indoor plumbing is horrendous. Beds are rock hard. Even a 2-watt bulb would be cause for celebration. Your wife will definitely not like the kitchen. And, no Netflix.

Still, if you plan to be there for long, you ought to head over to the stores to pick up a broom, mop, and a few supplies to make your cave a bit more homey. Put a few pictures up on the walls (if you can figure out how!) You shouldn’t have to walk far to read more…

Fulfilling The Great Commission Amidst Covid-19

For the past 10 years, our Couriers short-term missions programme would’ve been launched around this time to send our people out to the nations. Without fail, God always shows up in wondrous ways as they go – thousands are saved, healed, and blessed. Our Couriers volunteers come back rejoicing and transformed!

However, the Great Commission is not just an annual short-term missions programme. If that was our perspective and endpoint of missions, we’d have greatly failed. The Great Commission is Jesus’ final commandment to His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:16-20). Mission opportunities abound around us while we’re homemaking, working, commuting, etc, in Singapore or anywhere in the world. It’s to be our daily mission.

There’s a greater urgency for The Great Commission in the COVID-19 global pandemic. Many people read more…

The Key Is In The ‘Beginning’

If you’re like me during this ‘Circuit Breaker’ lock-in with young children, you start your day early with your morning devotions and emerge full of faith and grace. Then, when the clock strikes 8am, the first giant called ‘Home-Based Learning (HBL)’ is unleashed, followed by the second giant called ‘Work From Home (WFH)’ at 9am.

As the day wears on, these giants often end up fighting each other, competing for the trophy called ‘Wi-Fi connectivity’, with the winner enjoying smooth and seamless video conference calls and online streaming.

If you and your spouse are working, there’ll be this internal struggle within you – “Whose job is more important?”, so that the one with the ‘less important’ job will have to fight that HBL giant and rescue the helpless child. When it’s lunch-time, you think it was just read more…

’Ritardando’* Time

2020 began with a bang for me. On the first day of the New Year, I was caught on camera for speeding and slapped with a hefty fine and demerit points for failing to conform to a red light signal. The traffic light had just turned amber and I had thought I could make it across at my current speed. I was wrong! It wasn’t the happiest way to start the year, but I felt that the Lord was teaching me some precious lessons in preparation for the coming days of peril. 

Slow Down to Stop

For those like me who need a refresher course, amber means slow down and prepare to stop! Period. 

One of the characteristics of modern life is that of ever-increasing speed. Let’s be honest; even during this period of quarantine and enforced rest, it’s still very read more…

Unprecedented

In all my life as a believer, I’ve never seen what I’m witnessing right now – this Covid-19 crisis is certainly setting the Church up for the ‘Return of the King’!

Everywhere in the world, there’s a spiritual awakening. It’s unprecedented. Various ministries are launching major global prayer initiatives, and seers are exploding with incredible visions. I believe this growing crescendo is building up to that one moment where we’ll see the spark light up a massive global revival. Yup, the day we’ve all been speaking about is now here. It has come!
 
For starters, this week we celebrate Passover on Apr 8. It’s epic. For the first time in 2,000 years, Passover 2020 will be celebrated the way they did on the 1st Passover evening in Egypt, in family units. I find this remarkable. In the read more…

Presence & Provision

The Parable of the Prodigal Son comprises three central figures – the father, the prodigal, and the older brother. While a substantial portion of the narrative focused on the prodigal, the title of the parable in fact points to the real target audience rightly being the older brother. After all, the Lord was addressing a complaint from the Pharisees and scribes about the sinful company Jesus was keeping.

I point our attention to Luke15: 31 – the father’s response to the older brother who complained about his once-profligate sibling. The father said, “Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.”

Let me categorise the reality that escaped the older brother – he had presence and provision without limit. He had the two most highly-prized assets in the household, and yet, neither realised it nor luxuriated read more…

Maturing Through Crisis

This Covid-19 pandemic is like a huge reset button that ‘rudely and forcefully’ interrupted our routined lives; without ample warning and without our consent. It’s heavily featured on every country’s news headlines and dashboards. Suddenly, things that once mattered to us don’t really matter anymore.

Every day, we’re forced to evaluate and decide on what are the truly important priorities in life. Our values & convictions are constantly challenged against this backdrop. And just when you think one wave has subsided, another wave sweeps in. Our National Development Minister Lawrence Wong just said on 25 March 2020 that Singapore is only at the “beginning of a very long fight” against Covid-19.

The fight against Covid-19 is not just a collective battle, but an individual and a personal one. Perhaps the greatest revelation during this crisis – one that has eternal value – is not the medical read more…

Possessing the City Gates

Cities don’t have walls anymore. We don’t have to pass through massive, guarded gates which are impenetrably barred at night, or in times of danger. People come and go at will, bringing with them their wares and cares. There’s no inspection, no questions asked. There may even be a big ‘Welcome’ sign.

We’d have to go back a millennia or more to fully grasp the importance of walls and gates of the city to the people in Biblical times. What was their purpose then, and what’s their relevance to our lives today? If we fail to understand their meaning, we may inadvertently be leaving ourselves vulnerable and defenseless. This is no time to be caught unawares! We need to increase our vigilance, and ensure our gates are secure.

The first mention of possessing the gates of our enemies came as read more…

Thriving Through The Seasons

In 1 Chronicles 12:32 is a description about the sons of Issachar that we’d do well to emulate – they had understanding of the times and knew what Israel ought to do. We can be swayed by the circumstances and uncertainties of the times we’re living in or we can find answers to these questions ‘What season am I in? What is God doing in my life? How do I respond?’

When we don’t know the season we’re in and what we ought to do, we might wish we’re in someone else’s season, resist what God is doing in our lives or try to get out of His timing. Instead of going through each season victorious, we barely survive because we don’t recognise what the Teacher is trying to teach us. The process of learning and growing can be frustrating read more…

God’s Faithful Witnesses

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is when good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

I seldom have people witness to me about their Christian faith, though many have confessed their faith after I initiated a conversation. It’s highly true that the vast majority of Bible-believing Christians don’t witness to others about their faith in Christ. We may invite our friends to church, but the majority don’t win others to Christ, and many of us are guilty.

Our Lord Jesus commissioned each of us to share the Good News and “seek the lost.” He said, “Go and make disciples of all nations”; and “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15).

This is our greatest calling, which is to share His love and read more…

Faith or Fear

As a church, we’re into a full month of increased precautionary measures against the spread of Covid-19. We issued a set of advisories on the first weekend of February, and engaged a cleaning company to do a thorough cleaning and sanitisation of our facilities weekly.

The following week, we cancelled our Toddlers’ classes, all non-urgent meetings of over 50 people, introduced mandatory temperature-taking and weekly live-streaming of our services. We essentially trimmed our gatherings to just our weekend services, and on Feb 15, announced the cancellation of our Kingdom Invasion Conference.

These last four weeks have been intense as we sought to put measures in the church to ensure our members’ safety. For any other organisation, it’d be pretty straightforward. But for a church, there’s always a lingering question as to whether we’re acting in faith or fear.

This is read more…

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