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 in it. It’s as Jesus said, “We are in the world, but we are not of the world.” 

This is what’s needed in the Church today. The culture of the world is increasingly immoral and unrighteous. How can we live lives that are so different from the world and yet thrive and succeed? Perhaps by looking at how Daniel and his friends did so, we can glean some keys for ourselves and our people.

1. A Change of Name
It’s interesting that the first thing the Babylonians did was to give new names to Daniel and his friends. That’s what the world does – rob us of our God-given identities and make us someone else. The original names of Daniel and his friends were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The new names that were given to them were Belshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. Their original names were beautiful names related to God’s call on their lives. The new names they were given were the names of pagan gods.

The intention of the world is to always cause us to forget that God has a plan and purpose for our lives and instead make us slaves to the systems of the world. One of the most crucial battles we’ve to contend in, is to help people discover their God-given identities. It’s to understand that we’re all uniquely-created with a destiny and purpose.

2. A Change of Diet
The next item on the agenda was a change of diet. The Jewish young men were now required to consume food that was not kosher. There’s a feeding that’s more important than the physical food we eat – it’s the things that we feed our minds and our spirit. 

The world is constantly bombarding us with things through our senses – whether it be through the movies and shows we watch, the songs we listen to, or through the influence of articles and books. It’s of utmost importance that we teach our people to maintain a staple diet of God’s Word. Romans 12:2 is of great application for us here that we should have our minds renewed so that it does not become conformed to this world. This happens primarily through the diet we feed ourselves with.

3. A Challenge to Compromise
Daniel and his friends were pressured to compromise by consuming the food that was taken from the king’s delicacies and his wine. They were told in no uncertain terms that they had to conform or there would be repercussions. 

Following Christ will inherently come with a challenge to compromise. It can come from peer pressure or from societal norms. We’re told to fit in and do what everyone else is doing in order that we may not be singled out. All-in-all, there’s always a price to be paid in order to follow Christ. Nonetheless, when we choose not to compromise, there’s also a marvellous deliverance that comes. Because of their stand for God, Daniel and his friends were not only healthier than their peers, they were also given knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom. God will always turn our disadvantages around and equip us with divine skill and gifts.

4. A Check on Competence
Finally, when the time came, Daniel and his friends out-performed their peers. On the one hand, God endowed them with knowledge, skill and wisdom. At the same time, I believe that as Christians, it’s our responsibility to always display excellence in all that we do. We must always put in the best piece of work that we can produce and excel in our conduct, ethics, integrity and quality of work. When we display diligence, a willingness to learn, and various qualities befitting a believer, we become a testimony to those on the outside. On top of that, we’ve divine help. 

As pastors and leaders, we need to learn to equip our people to flourish and thrive in the marketplace. Too often, we teach them how to excel in church, when what we really need to teach them is how to excel in their workplaces. It’s there where the non-Christians are. That’s where the harvest field is. May we raise up many strong followers of Jesus and release them to make an impact in the world.


Pastor Lim Lip Yong

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…

A Living Hope

On 24 March 2018, the Singapore Church was rocked by the shocking news of Ps. Rick Seaward’s sudden passing. He had met with a fatal car accident while he was in Brazil for a regional missions conference. For those of you who might not know him, Ps. Rick was the founder of Victory Family Centre (then known as Calvary Charismatic Centre) in 1977. Under his leadership, Victory Family Centre was raised to become a missions-sending force, which to date, has planted over 10,000 churches in over 90 nations.

Ps. Seaward was renowned for his revolutionary strategies in planting churches. He was a spiritual father to many, and dedicated his life to raising disciples and leaders who would have the same heart and vision for missions. While we take heart that he has entered into his glorious inheritance in heaven, we read more…

Kingdom Invasion 2018

One of the highlights on our annual calendar has to be the Kingdom Invasion Conference. We just concluded what was one of our most eventful conferences and here’s a brief recap of what we saw this year:

This is the 6th year of the conference, and in total, we had almost 4,000 day registrants; and close to 900 overseas delegates hailing from 47 countries – the highest count in a single KI Conference! Over four nights, we prayed for 1,465 people during the “Prayer for Healing” segment and recorded 207 healings. We also witnessed 229 individuals responding to the calls for salvation and re-dedication during the final two night meetings. 

But these are not just numbers. They represent individual lives that were impacted. Here are a few testimonies from the hundreds we received:

A young lady, who was born with read more…

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