I Hear, I Obey

Our modern western culture, which is influenced by Greek philosophy, segregates the words “listen” and “obey” into a mental and a physical activity respectively. First, we hear, then we evaluate to gain understanding and then make a choice based on our evaluation. But in the Hebrew language, there’s no word for “obey”. The Hebrew word for “listen” and “obey” comes from a singular word, “Shema”, which means to hear AND to follow through what you’ve heard with tangible actions and commitment.

Observant Jews will recite Deut 6:4-5 every day, “Hear (Shema), O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” By saying this, a Jew would remind himself of his commitment to love God, to dedicate himself to following God and doing His will. Similarly, when Jesus said in Matthew 13:9, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”, He’s calling us to put His words into action, not just listen.

Some of you might be wondering why God has stopped speaking to you. Perhaps it’s because He had spoken on several occasions but you had no intention of obeying Him. Oswald Chambers said, “The call of God only becomes clear as we obey, never as we weigh the pros and cons and try to reason it out.”

I remembered shortly after I came into full-time ministry, I received my income tax assessment notice which was based on my previous year’s tax record. I was shocked as the amount payable was quite substantial and would cause a big financial strain on my family. Then I recalled Pastor Yang’s testimony on God’s provision when he entered full-time ministry. So I prayed, “God, if You’ve called me into the ministry, You’ll provide for me.” Some time later, I received a call from my previous company requesting for my help to do some consultancy work, at my own time and I’ll be remunerated based on my last drawn salary. When the seven months were up, I tallied up the total income earned and it was just the right amount to pay off my income tax. Praise the Lord!

Pastor Yonggi Cho started Yoido Full Gospel Church about 60 years ago with just six people and has since grown phenomenally to about half a million people. He was once asked how he built such a great church and without hesitation, he replied, “I pray and I obey”.

On the cover of the book “The Intercessor” read these 5 words – “A life lived for God”, which summed up the life and legacy of Mr. Rees Howells, a man who lived surrendered to the Lord, confronted his humanity, overcame the struggles and progressed in his faith and intercessory prayer. That, together with the praying saints at the Bible College of Wales (BCW) impacted the course of World War II and other global events, and turned the course of human history.

A particularly notable event that BCW had impacted was the evacuation of Dunkirk when Hitler came into power in Germany in the years leading up to WWII. Mr. Rees Howells was disturbed in his spirit and knew that he had to wage warfare and gain victory so that the Gospel would not be hindered from spreading, and that Britain would not be invaded by the Germans. He rallied the entire college to pray and sought God to stop the war and they prevailed in their prayers. They also prayed through the 1948 mandate when the UN was voting if Israel was going to be a new nation and again, their prayers prevailed.

Once, Mrs. Howells was showing Leonard Ravenhill the estate from the verandah they stood at and she said, “Everyone read in the book that my husband had only two shillings in his pocket when he signed the documents to buy this beautiful estate. What they didn’t know was that for nine months, 11 hours each day, he’d spend his time on his knees in prayer, storming heaven for the breakthrough of finances. That’s how the victory came.”

By redeeming this estate and restoring the bible college, Cornerstone has access to the legacy of intercessory prayer laid by Mr. Rees Howells and all the spiritual and historical significance that it carries.

And it’s with this faith and confidence that we’re serving as the anchor church for the Central Zone to kick-off the 40-Day Solemn Assemblies from July 1 to 7 of this prayer and fasting initiative. It’ll be a powerful time as we unite as the Body of Christ in Singapore. As you prepare yourself for this time of personal and corporate prayer, I believe God will show you things which He’ll require of you. Will you be the answer to your prayer? May these four words then be your response to Him, “I hear, I obey!”

Pastor Kevin Koh

Timeless Eternity

Discovering why we were created and knowing our purpose on this earth are the two things that will significantly alter the way we live. It’ll change the way we approach life, view life, and live life.

Perhaps one of the most affirming and transforming passages in the Bible is found in Ps 139:15-16. The psalmist declares, “My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skilfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all are written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

We were conceived in the mind of God long before we were born. All our measurements, each intricate detail of our lives were then written in a Book and at the time read more…

Thriving in the Culture

Quite recently, I heard a message from Pastor Chris Hodges of Church of the Highlands and he was preaching from the book of Daniel. The message got me thinking quite a bit. While this is not a reproduction of his message, many of these thoughts were catalysed by that sermon and I want to give due credit to that.

Daniel and his friends were captives in Babylon and they were placed in a culture and system that was diametrically different from Israel’s. If a parallel could be drawn, it’d be that of the culture of the Kingdom of God and the culture of the world. In many instances, we become the product of the culture that we’re immersed in; but for Daniel and his friends, not only were they not sucked into the culture of Babylon, they thrived and succeeded read more…

Examine Our Hearts

Over the last couple of weeks, there were several things that deeply concerned me about God’s people. These are not new problems, but somehow, I sense the Holy Spirit placing an urgent emphasis on them.

The first concern is about our ability to hear from the Lord. As a pastor, my job is not to be an intermediary between God and His people. My office as part of the five-fold ministry is to train the saints and equip them, and that includes training believers to hear from the Lord for themselves.

Unlike traditional concepts of priesthood, where the priest or spiritual leader is the channel of communication between the people and God, Christianity does not hold to such a concept. God’s will is that all His people are able to hear from Him. His desire is that all should prophesy.

read more…

Theology of Work

We spend more time at work – whether paid or unpaid – than at any other waking activity. If God cares about our lives, He must care about our work. No matter what your profession or occupation, whether you’re a parent, bus driver, artist or engineer, God cares about your work.

1. Work of God
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:10

The Apostle Paul makes clear that we’re God’s workmanship, created for good works. The work of God is us and people. I propose recalibrating the Christian idea of work by placing our focus on people. This is biblical, seeing we’re to love both God and man. Many Christians define the doctrine of vocation around their gifting, work or place in the world. Believers read more…

The Manna Test

I’m always fascinated by the supernatural provisions of God, especially when the Children of Israel were in the wilderness. The feeding of the entire nation of Israel of at least 2 million people, was equivalent to providing food for about half the population size of Singapore, every single day!

And what about that super food called “manna” which literally means “what is it?” in Hebrew (Exo 16:15, 31). It looked like coriander seeds and tasted like wafers made with honey; equally agreeable to all palates and sustained the whole nation for 40 years. It came each morning, and couldn’t be kept overnight, except on the sixth day where a double portion could be collected and be miraculously preserved so that there was food on the seventh day – the Sabbath.

I want to draw two lessons from what I call read more…

A Roaring Tribute to Mothers

With the many hats a mother wears, whether she’s a stay at home or a working mother, what’s the exacted price for all that she does? It’s quite impossible to put a value for wanting to take care of her family. It’s a round-the-clock job, from waking up in the middle of the night to a hungry baby until the moment all the little ones are fed, bathed, and sound asleep in bed; she’s on call every second of the day.

She starts off with the basics as a laundry operator, housekeeper, transport minister, cook, janitor, logistics co-ordinator, interior designer, day-care teacher, grounds keeper, plumber, event planner, retail purchaser, nutritionist, nurse. And adding on to her ever increasing portfolio, the modern mother includes – a photographer, recreation therapist, accountant, coach, tailor, computer operator, educator, academic advisor, analyst and psychologist. She’s read more…

A Prescribed Way to Love

One of the things that’s very concerning in the Church today is an attitude where one does whatever is right in his own eyes. Using the pretext of God’s love, His nature of long-suffering and grace – believers pursue whatever they please to do, expecting that a loving God will condone and celebrate His children notwithstanding. 

However, this is far from the truth. The fact that God left us 66 books for our study indicates that He’s very meticulous about what He approves of and what He doesn’t. A key misconception that we must deal with is that we can love God however way we want or choose to express that love for Him in whichever manner we desire. On the contrary, God is very particular about how we’re to express our love for Him.

In the Old Testament, the read more…

Antidotes to Stress

I’ve just returned from a personal retreat in Wales two weeks ago and it’s been a life-changing and mountain-top experience for me. As Singaporeans, our quality of life has never been better, yet stress has never been more epidemic.

When I refer to stress here, I’m talking about “bad stress”. Bad stress can also be termed as distress, and manifests itself in chronic or ongoing distress that begins to hinder your everyday life and stops you from completing tasks that you need to undertake. This particular type of stress, if not relieved, can be extremely detrimental to your physical and mental health. 

Man was simply not fashioned to carry pressures, stress, anxieties, and worries; which is why the body breaks down when it undergoes these negative influ­ences for too long. We may be able to manage it for read more…

A Holy Spirit Alliance

Over the past five years, both Pastor Dominic Yeo, Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre, and myself, have been in conversation, on and off, about forming an alliance of churches where pastors are able to connect with one another, seek assistance and support, and find a network of other pastors who will truly care. We saw lots of pastors struggling, in need of assistance, in need of fellowship and we knew we had to do something about it.

This crystallised in 2015, when both the AG Churches and the FOP Churches collaborated on a conference called “FRESH FIRE”, with Rev. Samuel Rodriguez as our keynote speaker. It was at that conference where a prophetic word was released over both Ps. Dominic and myself, and over the alliance, that this is something birthed of God. From that read more…

Remember the Egg

Before I draw a parallel between humility and the humble egg, here are some fun facts especially for egg lovers. Unlike most cereals and yogurts, eggs contain only one ingredient – “eggs.” They don’t contain any sugar nor carbohydrates. And at only 15 to 25 cents each, they’re the least expensive source of high quality protein that’s also low in calorie and rich in nutrients. Okay, now for the analogy:

“If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends. If an egg is broken by an inside force, life begins. Great things happen from the inside.”

Being broken before the Lord is the first step towards greatness. Jesus said, “The Kingdom is within you” (Luke 17:21) and one manifestation of the Kingdom is humility. Here are some thoughts on humility.

1. Without Humility, there’s no Progression.
The read more…

My Peace I Give To You!

In the last week, Christians all over the world celebrated the Passover and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Greetings of “peace be with you” were exchanged. What does His death on the Cross for our sins and His resurrection to life mean?

In the Bible, peace is expressed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22). It’s also one of the many titles of God (Isa 9:6); a manifestation of the Kingdom of God (Rom 14:17); a position which we’re to continually exercise and maintain (Rom 12:18); and peace shall be evident in the latter glory of the temple (Hag 2:9).This list is by no means exhaustive. The KJV Bible has 429 Scriptures with the word “peace”. It’s found 397 times in the NKJV, 360 times in the NASU and 275 times in the Complete Jewish Bible.

What is read more…

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