Time to Tell A Story

“Facts tell, stories sell.” This is the mantra of advertising. It holds true because we all remember a good story, but facts are quite easily forgotten.
 
Is it any wonder that much of our Scriptures are brought across to us as a testimony of lives and events? Amazing that our God would weave truths and principles within the fabric of human stories that can be far more easily remembered and retained in our memories. Jesus, did likewise, by the parables that He told us.
 
I once heard this, that a vital difference between the United Kingdom and America can be seen in the monuments that they’ve built. Consider the British wartime Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. Perhaps the most important British Prime Minister in the 20th Century.

He had a statue built to his honour that sits in front of the Parliament house. On it, are merely inscribed the words – “CHURCHILL”. Across the Atlantic, in the Lincoln memorial, is not just a statue of Abraham Lincoln. The memorial is replete with images that tell a story about the American struggle to save the Union. The Second Inaugural Address is also inscribed on the walls of the memorial containing those famous words – “With malice toward none, with charity for all”. In my travels to the US and the UK, I’ve to say that it’s far more common to see homes flying the American flag in America than to find the Union Jack being flown in the UK.
 
What’s my point? My simple point is that in line with the nature of Scriptures, Christians need to learn to tell our stories better and more frequently. Perhaps we’ve not fully understood the importance of telling those accounts from Scriptures and also of the stories of God’s work in our lives. Consider for a moment these verses:
 
“And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’” Exo 12:26
 
“When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord our God has commanded you?’” Deut 6:20
 
These are just two instances of many others found in the Bible concerning things that we’re to talk about, recall and reminiscence. In the most unusual of insights, we see in Malachi 3:16 that God comes and listens in on our conversations about Him. The emphasis is evident. The reason for doing so is clear. What’s needed then is for us is to make this a practice in our lives.
 
The interesting thing in Scriptures is that God is seldom into the building of monuments in order to tell a story. Instead, rituals are often the vehicles used to convey an opportunity for the stories to come forth.

Yet in the forming of these rituals, they consist mostly of things that are embedded into the routines of life. May it be over a celebratory meal, or over our weekly Sabbath rest, or through the paying of our tithes – our stories of God are meant to come forth in the process of living out the lives that He’s blessed us with.
 
I want to encourage you to create “rituals” in your lives that create opportunities for His-story to be told, especially to the children that God has blessed us with.
 

Pastor Lim Lip Yong

Why Jesus Wept

John 11:35 is one of my favourite memory verses which happens to be the shortest verse in the Bible. Just two words, “Jesus wept”. So simple, yet so profound. Contained within these two words is the full expression of the humanity and deity of Jesus; fully God yet fully man.

Most commentaries explain this verse as Jesus identifying with the pain and loss of a loved one. Yet there’s this “holy dis-satisfaction” in me that says there’s something more which God wants to show us, perhaps an invitation to enter into something deeper than those who viewed things superficially (v 36) and those who doubted Jesus (v 37) would never enter in nor understand.

This chapter was punctuated twice (John 11:33, 38) with the phrase that Jesus “groaned in the spirit and was troubled”; in between the “Jesus wept” verse. read more…

What Astonishes And What Transforms

In the Parable of the Sower found in Matt 13: 5-6, Jesus described the seed that fell on stony places this way. He said, “Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.”
 
Beware of ministries that spring up overnight without preparation. You’ve never heard of them and all of a sudden, like shooting stars, they’ve huge crowds flocking to their meetings. People are attracted to the razz-ma-tazz. They’re attracted to what glitters. But look at what the Scripture says. These seed fell on stony places, where there was not much earth, and they immediately sprang up, why? Because there was no depth. If read more…

The Feast of Booths

And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” Zechariah 14:16

The Feast of Booths, or Sukkot, provided the Jews a time to remember how God had delivered His people from bondage, in addition to making provision for them in the wilderness. This moment allowed them to reflect upon their deliverance, while looking forward to something new. 

Of all the Feasts, Sukkot is surely the one that speaks most powerfully to our time. As believers, we celebrate Sukkot due to the prophetic purpose hidden in this unique festival. Its significance is unfolding today which includes its link to the Second Coming of the Lord.  The Feast of Tabernacles points to read more…

The Price for His Presence

The account of Mary’s anointing of the Lord is found in John 12. This may seem like a beautiful account of Mary’s devotion to the Lord, but really, if you could be present at that moment, you’d have found it awkward and intense. Awkward, because she broke cultural norms in order to step into a moment reserved only for men, to anoint the Lord. Intense and perhaps hostile, because her actions were misunderstood and totally inappropriate in those days.

What though is important to note is that she was the one who changed the atmosphere in that place and brought a pervading fragrance. While the guest list included the apostles – Lazarus, who was raised from the dead, Martha, the one who was the epitome of service, and many others; it was Mary who brought the fragrance. She brought the read more…

Be Like The Wind

Once during my devotion time, I asked God an audacious question, “How do I defeat the evil one?” Now, I know that Jesus has won the victory for us on the Cross and furthermore, Rev 12:11 exhorts us that we’ve defeated the “accuser of the brethren” by the Blood of the Lamb and by our testimony, not loving our lives nor renouncing our faith even when faced with death.
‬ But I was looking more for some practical steps to apply in my life. I was led to John 3:8 which I’ve come across before and it’s one of those verses which baffles me. It says, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Yup, I read more…

The Inner Chamber

A 25-hour day? In December of 2016, researchers at Durham University and UK’s Nautical Almanac Office discovered that we could spend an extra hour either in bed or at work. Scientists have claimed that the earth’s days will get an hour LONGER in the future due to the planet’s slowing orbit and clocks will become outdated.

However, earth’s citizens have been advised not to throw out the clock just yet, as the day is lengthening only by two milliseconds every 100 years and getting an extra minute in the day will take 6.7 million years. And the length of the day will not extend to 25 hours for around another 200 million years. 

It’s not uncommon to hear of someone saying, “I’ve so much to do and so little time to complete them and having one more hour in the day read more…

Success or Victory?

One of the key things in life is to distinguish the difference between success and victory. Oftentimes in life, we tend to focus on success rather victory. Success is a term that’s often used commonly in the business world. Victory is a term that’s used for combat. And which is the better picture of a church? A business or an army? Did Paul not exhort us to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ?

Here’s another way of looking at it. When Jesus died on the Cross, did He look like a success? Everyone thought He was a failure. All His disciples forsook Him. As far as they were concerned, Jesus failed. But what happened at the Cross? The victim became the greatest victor! He gained the victory and overcame the power of sin and death. He didn’t look successful, but read more…

Tests of Success

When the LORD your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you… then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” Deut 6:10-12

This is a marvellous promise of the blessing of God to the Children of Israel. Now here’s the surprise. Moses reminded the people by stating the following, “When this happens… Be careful that you do not forget the Lord” (6:12). To forget the Lord doesn’t mean to forget that He exists. It simply means that you no longer have Him in mind as in times past.

The message to us is clear. Say for example you’re blessed with a new or upgraded home; does God come to mind? Is the Lord read more…

When Your Work Becomes Worship

I’ve been asked on several occasions this question, “How do you juggle between work and ministry, the secular and spiritual?” Well, I see work as an extension of ministry. They’re not competing for my time, but complementing. The key is that I don’t make a distinction between work and ministry because of the understanding of this one word, “Avodah”.

“Avodah” is a Hebrew word used in the Bible whose root has three distinct yet intertwined meanings – worship, work and service. For example, in Exodus 8:1, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Let my people go, so that they may worship (avodah) Me’.” In Exodus 34:21, “Six days you shall work (avodah), but on the seventh day you shall rest…” In Joshua 24:15, “But as for me and my household, we will serve (avodah) the Lord.” What Joshua meant was read more…

The Truth About Salt & Light

I believe there are some essential descriptions of Christians given by our Lord Jesus Christ that’s crucial for us in deciphering how we’re to respond in an ever-changing world. I’m certain that the Lord foresaw the days of every generation right up to the days of His Second Coming, and gave us keys to understanding how we’re to thrive in it.

Two of those descriptions given to His followers are that we’re the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” (Matt 5). These are two very interesting descriptions, because each functions quite differently. On one hand, salt functions by quiet influence. When added as a seasoning, only a small quantity is required. It buries itself in the dish that it’s being used to season, but its impact on the flavour of the dish is immense.

On the read more…

The Grace of Yielding

Last weekend, we wrapped up an exciting Cell Month campaign for the month of July. Here are some follow-up thoughts in line with the theme of Discipleship, taken from Derek Prince’s book entitled, “The Grace of Yielding.” We’re often taught concerning the price of discipleship; but there’s also grace and reward in responding to God’s call.

1. The Test of Yielding
The more willing we are in yielding our all to the Lord, the easier it becomes for Him to reveal His will and ways. It’s possible to maintain a firm grip on activities or position that results in having a work for God, rather than an all-consuming focus for God Himself. As Corrie Ten Boom puts it, “We must not grasp things too tightly, lest our fingers get hurt when He prises them from us.”

Sacrifice, surrender and read more…

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