Betraying God

I was reading the usual passage of Scripture for Holy Communion in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread…”, when my eyes zoomed in on the word ‘betrayed’. Betrayal has to do with being unfaithful in guarding, maintaining or fulfilling the trust given, especially in times of need: it’s to deliver or expose someone to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty.

We find great comfort that, whenever we’re betrayed, we’ve a Saviour who can understand and identify with our pain, even as He was betrayed by His disciple Judas Iscariot, and even Simon Peter who denied Him three times. Yet, that day, in my time of searching my own heart, I found myself asking this question which we seldom ask, “Lord, have I betrayed You in any way?” While Judas and Simon Peter betrayed Jesus on the outward, we can inwardly betray Him in our hearts.

“How so?”, you may ask. Let me share with you.

We betray God…

1. When we behave like hypocrites.

William Shakespeare said in his play, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”. Very often, we see people having two separate lives – their ‘public’ and ‘private’ sides. But I believe the Lord wants us to live the ‘authentic’ life where the person you see on stage is the same one you see off stage. God desires ‘truth in the inward parts (heart)’ (Ps 51:6). Authenticity is who we are in Cornerstone. We don’t claim to have it all or know it all. We’re not after perfection, but progression. We are a ‘work-in-progress’. So, get real!

2. When we don’t ‘re-present’ Him correctly before people.

The sons of Aaron (Lev 10) and the sons of Eli (1 Sam 2) had no regard for God and did evil in His sight, and God eventually judged them. Before we point our fingers at them, sometimes knowingly or unknowingly, we could’ve twisted God’s Word for our own benefits, said things God didn’t say or adopted a compromised approach when making decisions that are inconsistent with His Word,  attributes, and character. Do our actions and decisions reflect the fear of God in our lives?

3. When we treat His Word like a theory more than a testimony in the making.

Jesus said, “Just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” (Matt 7:20, NLT). You’ll know whether God’s Word is just a concept or theory in your head or a ‘living faith’ being worked out by your actions and decisions.

During this time of the COVID-19 outbreak, are you producing the fruit of faith and wisdom, or the fruit of fear and anxiety? Christians shouldn’t be involved in the recent panic buying and hoarding frenzy when the Ministry of Health (MOH) raised the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) risk assessment level from Yellow to Orange. How real is Jehovah Jireh to you? God didn’t save us from hell to let us die on earth. He’s preparing us for heaven while on earth!

As God’s people, we sometimes behave like ‘mere men’, which I’m guilty of. Our behaviour is nowhere near what God’s Word said of us: “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.” (1 Pet 2:9, NLT)

4. When we start with “what we don’t have” instead of “what we have”.

In the story where Jesus fed the 5,000 men and their families (John 6:1-13), the disciples saw the great multitude and concluded that they didn’t have enough. A young boy saw Jesus and came forward with all he had – five loaves and two fish. It was more than enough and they ended up with 12 baskets full of leftovers. Interestingly, John 6:6 tells us that Jesus was testing the disciples and wanted to stretch their faith.

Like that young boy, sometimes all that God needs is already in your hands. You just need to surrender that to Him and watch Him multiply it. Jesus said even our tiny ‘mustard seed’ faith can move mountains. (Matt 17:20). He’s the great Miracle Worker after all.

Hence, the other reason the Holy Communion was instituted in the atmosphere of betrayal was because when we’ve betrayed Jesus in some of the ways mentioned above, we can repent and the Lord will restore and reinstate us. This is amazing grace!

Borrowing a statement which Pulitzer Prize winner Ms Laurie Garrett said recently of Singapore and the COVID-19 outbreak when she alluded that, if Singapore couldn’t contain the virus, there’d be no hope for the rest of the world because “we’ve got the best system in the world”. She added, “So now, they’re being put to the test.”

Similarly, the churches in Singapore (you and I) are also being put to the test. Will we shine with faith and wisdom? Or will we cower like those with no hope? Jesus said we’re the salt of the earth and the light of the world that cannot be hidden (Matt 5:13-15). The Church is God’s answer to the world. Let’s fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6:12) and continue to be a blessing to our community (Prov 11:25).


Ps. Kevin Koh

When God Seems Silent

Upon receiving disappointing results for her first school assessment, my dejected daughter came to ask me, “Why didn’t God answer my prayer and help me in my test?” I immediately shot up an emergency prayer to heaven for inspiration to help me satisfactorily simplify a theological enigma for my 7-year-old.

Since the beginning of this year (2020), my family has been diligently incorporating the daily creed of ‘Praying First for ALL Circumstances.’ Before sleeping each night, we take Communion, recite Psalms 23, 91, and The Lord’s Prayer, and then pray for one another. That’s why I knew I had some solid explaining to do for my little one’s ‘unanswered prayer’ conundrum. 

My first attempt didn’t go down too well. “I think God answers all our prayers in His perfect way, but we’re the ones who see our requests as unanswered.” That read more…

Be Still

It’s amazing how quickly things change. Last month, my daughter woke up to tremors and snow-like ash falling outside her window in the Philippines from a nearby volcano. Meanwhile, the coronavirus erupted too, spewing panic like poisonous ash on unsuspecting populations.

Masks have dawned overnight like sandbags amassed to keep back swollen rivers. Once-teeming cities of millions in China have become ghost towns. Young and old, rich and poor now huddle behind feeble defences, hoping the virus won’t ‘Pompeii’ its way towards them.

The ‘Be still and know’ verse in Ps 46:10 begins with a frightful description of waters roaring, mountains shaking and being carried into the seas. It reads like a modern-day newspaper, and yet breathes hope into these chaotic events.

I found myself yearning to enter a time machine, propelled back to the feet of David. I’ve a read more…

Safe Under God’s Covering

I’ve spent a lot of time being upset about things I couldn’t do anything about and, along with it, the companions of guilt and condemnation aren’t too far away either. And it doesn’t help when you don’t have peace and are unable to enjoy life.

Psalm 5:11 says, ‘But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirit’. (AMP)

The key to trust is to develop a habit of learning to trust God at all times, in every area of our lives. Christians are called believers, and we should not be behaving like unbelieving believers. Often, we trust our friends, the bank, read more…

Not All Is Well

As we celebrate Chinese New Year, there are so many things to give thanks for. We thank God for the family that He has given us, the roof over our heads, the jobs that supply our needs, the community that we’ve planted ourselves in. Yet, for everyone who has, there are many other who have not. 

Perhaps rightly, as we celebrate a festival that’s all about abundance and prosperity, we should consider especially those who are in a place of lack. What can be sadder than to return home on Chinese New Year’s Eve to an empty house? Or to look around the reunion table, and see an seat empty that should’ve been filled. Or perhaps to be found under an ever-looming shadow of depression. While some are celebrating, others are shackled to their struggles inwardly. 

Genesis 34 is a read more…

Failing Forward

I know – Failing Forward isn’t a very exciting nor inspiring title to kick off a New Year’s blog. We’ve not even crossed the first month of the new year and we’re talking about ‘failing?’

People look forward to a new year because it presents an opportunity to start afresh on a positive note, a new beginning, much like a ‘reset’ button. Besides, this year isn’t just another new year. It’s the turn of a new decade. It’s the year of moving forward with a ‘20/20 vision’, filled with expectations of what the Lord is going to do.

I started this year experiencing quite the opposite. Things started ‘going south’ as each day passed. The things which I normally do well started to turn on me – I messed up a simple family lunch reservation, used the wrong choice of read more…

The Shaking, The Sifting & The Shaping

Let me qualify myself from the outset. I’m neither a doomsday prophet who continually spouts dark and foreboding scenarios, nor am I a dominionist who believes that Christians have to take over and monopolise the world before the return of the Lord Jesus.

I’m simply a disciple who wholeheartedly believes all that Jesus Christ taught, warned, and promised – and since spiritual revelation requires participation to be fruitful, I desire to be a spiritually-effective participant in what God is doing in the world these days.

Not surprisingly, 2020 has already begun choppily with riots in Hong Kong, fires in Australia, floods in Indonesia, the U.S. airstrike which killed an Iranian general in Baghdad, and the tragic air crash which killed 176 innocent passengers caught in the crossfire of a retaliatory Iranian missile.

According to End Times expert Michael Snyder, it read more…

Be Prepared. Be Ready. Be Vigilant.

People often ask me, as a pastor, what’s the one thing that influences the decisions I make with regard to the church. I’ll tell you right now, it’s my theology that determines my decisions, especially my theology on the last days.

The Word of God is very clear on what’s coming in the last days and, because I know what’s going to happen, it influences and has a bearing on every decision I make. I believe we’ve to have a crystal clear vision of what the future is going to be.

The apostle Paul preached that the Kingdom of God is entered into by many tribulations. Yes, salvation is a free gift. Yes, I’m saved by grace through faith. But tribulation is part and parcel of the Gospel and any pastor who neglects to warn his flock is negligent and read more…

Keep Your Lamps Burning Brightly

Attending Sunday School as a young girl, I often sang this song,
“Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.
Give me oil in my lamp, I pray.
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.
Keep me burning ’til the break of day.
Sing hosanna! Sing hosanna!
Sing hosanna to the King of kings!”

A chorus like this seldom leaves you when it’s etched in your memory. It’ll cling to you like truth, if you allow it to wrap you.

One day as Jesus went up on a mountain, a multitude of ordinary men, women, and children followed Him. When He was seated, He said to them, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor read more…

Ask Yourself This

I should be writing something about Christmas. I know a year is almost over and a brand new one is just around the corner, and maybe I should say something about the new year. But somehow, I feel compelled to say something else. Something completely unrelated to this week of celebration, parties, gifts, and friendship. Instead, I ask us a simple question – Is Christ in us?
 
Is that even an appropriate question to ask in a blog addressed to Christians? I’d like to say that I’m taking the lead from the Apostle Paul. In 2 Corinthians 13:5, this is the exact question he asked in his letter to the Corinthians – to the Church, to Christians, to those professing a belief in Jesus.
 
If Paul saw fit to raise such a question in read more…

From God, With Love

During my recent ministry trip to India, I shared with a group of leaders from John 14:15 where Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” 
I was talking about the key to keeping God’s commandments and overcoming temptations.

For many years, I had tried my best to keep God’s commandments as proof of my love for Him. That was how I always interpreted this verse. However, I soon realised that it was tough to maintain this walk.

There were times where I felt victorious over temptations, but there were also times where I felt utterly defeated and let God down. It was both frustrating and discouraging to live life like a ‘yoyo Christian’ – one moment you’re up and the next, you’re down. I was striving to keep God’s commandments with my own strength.

Then one day, the Holy read more…

Be You. Bring Your Heart!

Building an authentic Biblical community takes more than just weekly attendance – it requires an intentional opening up of our hearts to one another. Deep relationships don’t just happen because we spend a few hours together in the same room once a week, because it’s so easy for us to throw on a façade to cover up the reality of our lives.

In 1 John 4:20-21, the Bible says “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” Our love for God is manifest in our love for people, for the Christian life was never meant read more…

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