From Calling to Covenant

I’m often asked regarding the calling of God “How do I know the call of God in my life?” or “How do I know if God has called me into full-time ministry?” And I’ve come to realise that while giving them some guiding principles and advising them that “You’ll know when the time comes” was helpful to a certain extent, I wasn’t really answering their question. Neither will I be able to fully do so.

I can share from my personal testimonies of God’s divine leading and providence in my life, and listeners will be wowed and encouraged by my journey of faith in the Lord. Yet, as sincere as that may be, I’d then see an ‘encouraged face’ turned into a ‘blank face’ because, after all, the calling of God is a personal journey that you need to embark on and experience for yourself. Everyone has his own story in answering the call of God in his life.

I asked the Lord to give me a ‘more excellent way’ of answering this all-important question that many are asking so that, after hearing my testimonies, they can go on and write their own journey of faith.

I felt the Holy Spirit saying to me, “Why do you get so caught up with the calling of God? What about your covenant with Him?” This hit me like a bolt of lightning piercing through my being – Don’t just think calling,Think covenant!. Don’t be fixated on or overwhelmed by the ‘call of God’ – it’s unique and different for every person. However, when you make ‘covenant’ your focus and starting point, then all of us can identify with that because we all have a personal relationship with God.

There are some things that we do for the Lord, not because we’re ‘called’ to do them nor are we the best or the brightest, but simply because we love Him and that’s the least we can do for Him in any capacity that would please Him. When you ‘think covenant’ and truly understand what that means, I believe you’ll not be making these statements – ‘I’m not called to lead a cell group’, ‘I don’t feel led to serve in the usher ministry’, ‘I don’t do admin work, I want to preach the Gospel.’

The call of God in my life is made up of many ‘small callings’ – the seemingly insignificant, mundane, and routine tasks that, when I’m faithful in doing each one of them excellently, these pieces will come together and eventually form ‘THE’ call of God for my life.

Jesus said in Luke 16:10, “The one who manages the little he has been given with faithfulness and integrity will be promoted and trusted with greater responsibilities. But those who cheat with the little they have been given will not be considered trustworthy to receive more.” Ultimately, the call of God in my life and yours is sustained by His covenant with us. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV), “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”

Covenants are like the ‘backbone of the Bible’ upon which the entire redemptive story was built. From Genesis onwards, God enters into one formal relationship after another (i.e. covenants) with various people so as to rescue the world. These divine-human relationships reached their climax in Jesus. Thus, to tell the story of God redeeming His people through Jesus is to tell the story of God’s covenantal relationship with them.

A covenant is a chosen relationship in which two parties make binding promises to each other and are accompanied by oaths, signs, and ceremonies. In a marriage, a husband and wife choose to enter a formal relationship binding one to the other in lifelong faithfulness and devotion – that’s a covenant. The difference between covenant and contract is evident when someone breaks one of the agreements. A contract is void when one of the involved parties violates it.

On the other hand, a covenant remains intact even if one of the parties breaches it – it’s unilateral, unconditional, irrevocable, and indissoluble. And the most solemn covenant of all is one that’s been established through the shedding of blood – first mentioned in Genesis 15 which recorded the dramatic encounter between God and Abraham, and in the New Testament, where the blood covenant was made by God through the sacrifice of Jesus.

Bill Johnson once said, “Anytime you hear a testimony, there’s a covenant from God to duplicate the miracle. It’s important to adjust our thinking to come into alignment with what God is doing.”

We recently concluded our 12th annual Cornerstone Global Network Summit where we were privileged to host the overseas and local pastors in our network and observers from 19 nations. Collectively, they’ve planted churches, bible schools, kindergartens, schools, orphanages and shelter homes. What an amazing work the Lord has blessed us with all around the world!

In an atmosphere filled with faith, fun, and fellowship, I didn’t see these pastors comparing their ‘calling’, but I saw them serving and being real with one other. I see covenantal relationships being forged. Even the quietest among us were engaging in the best way they knew how. Language wasn’t a barrier. You know the Lord has done a deep work in our midst when the time to part and return to their home countries was met with much reluctance.

Cornerstone is not built on clever ideas, systems, formulae or personalities. We’re built on our covenant with God – that we’ll do all that brings Him pleasure and puts a smile on His Face. We’re covenant people of the Most High God!


Ps. Kevin Koh

A Place For You!

What an amazing time to be alive! I’m so excited that it’s Cell Month once again – where we get together to celebrate and build the Body through the cell community.

We can never underemphasise the importance of community in the Christian faith – it’s a place for transformation, edification, and fellowship. If you watched the Cell Month video last weekend, you’d have gotten a sneak peek of what cell’s all about.

1. A Place For Transformation

In 2001, Malcolm Gladwell authored a secular marketing book entitled ‘The Tipping Point’. A tipping point is when an idea, product or movement becomes accepted by the masses. One of his studies revolved around John Wesley and the Methodist Movement. ‘Wesley realised that if you wanted to bring about a fundamental change in people’s belief and behaviour, a change that would read more…

The House That Built Me

Over 10 years ago, we planted a tiny plant in our garden, slightly more than a foot tall, not knowing that one day, that tiny plant would grow into an imposing, gigantic tree that would dominate our entire garden and even the street we’re on.
 
It’s now grown to well over 60 feet, but it hasn’t come without a cost. The roots of the tree now spread threateningly all over the garden, absorbing much of the nutrients, and the whole area around it is just sandy. No grass seems to be able to grow, because it cannot compete. So, really, the tree has been able to rise but only at the expense of the rest of the other plants in the garden. 
 
My point? There’s no such thing in the Kingdom of God as read more…

Community Is Life-Giving

We set aside each July to focus on life as a community as part of our church journey. And when we belong to the cell community, we can walk this journey out.

Community is life-giving and Scripture exhorts us that we’re better together than alone. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, ‘And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.’

This idea of community develops from the sense of responsibility we have for one another and we’re encouraged to take care of our brethren while following the Word of the Lord. God created us to desire companionship and we do better when we have someone to love, serve with, have fun read more…

Are You Stupid?

There’s a word that’s banned in our family. Actually there are lots of words that are disallowed in our home – profanities, rude language, angry vituperation, and the list goes on.

Essentially, that’s what you get when you’ve three boys in the home. Still, my wife, Wendy, hates it when we use the word ‘stupid’ on one another. I agree, we don’t use the word for its literary value, but more as a means to hurt one another.
 
But, guess what, the Bible uses the word ‘stupid’! If you haven’t read Proverbs recently, it’s time to make it one of your regular reads. After all, the whole book is about wisdom and, if there’s something we desperately need in all our lives, it’s more wisdom.

The word actually appears three times in the Bible, read more…

What About You, Daddy?

Four Sundays ago, on 26 May 2019, after I had served at the last service for the weekend and sent off some guests who were in town, I went to pick up my little boy, David, from the Children’s Church office as he had stayed back to play with his friends while waiting for me.

We came back to my desk and it was already 2.15pm. I was hungry and remembered I had a hot dog which was meant to be my breakfast. As I was about to bite into the bun, I suddenly remembered that my wife had texted me earlier to settle David’s lunch. So I offered him the bun.

What he did next touched my heart deeply. He asked me as he held the hot dog in his tiny hand and pushed it towards me, “What about read more…

The Promise of The Father

One of the biggest highlights of the church calendar is our Annual Family Camp. It’s probably the one event that we look forward to more than any other each year. We had an overwhelming response with more than 1,000 campers travelling up to Melaka for a 4-day convocation. In my opinion, this year’s camp is probably one of the best we’ve ever had as we grow from glory to glory.

Through the speakers, there was a deeper revelation of the spiritual realm and the things of God (1 Cor 2:9). Incidentally, the camp was held between Pentecost Sunday and Father’s Day Weekend. During the week, I was intrigued by the occurrence of a particular phrase that may not be altogether inappropriate for our consideration since it’s Father’s Day this weekend. It’s the phrase ‘The Promise of the Father.’

So the read more…

Send The Spirit Now, For Jesus’ Sake

BLESS WALES was a transformational event that went beyond our wildest expectations. After months of praying, planning, meetings, and interacting with pastors in Wales, it culminated in three days of power encounters that revitalised many Christians in Wales.

Organised by the Bible College of Wales, in conjunction with partner churches in Wales and Cornerstone Singapore, the conference featured powerful speakers such as Ben Fitzgerald and Dr. Sam Matthews. We knew things were going to be different after the first night, which really was epic – and I don’t say that lightly.

Ben Fitzgerald was up on the pulpit to speak but, even before he could get into his message, the Holy Spirit took over and wave after wave of worship, intercession, and prophecy just flowed from the congregation, and the whole meeting took a life on its own. And it read more…

God is Enough!

The last 6 days from Saturday, 25th May, have been incredible. It was 4 years ago on this day, after 18 months of restoration and decorating works, that we re-opened and dedicated the Bible College of Wales in Swansea. On this same day last Saturday, we held our first BCW-School of Ministry Alumni gathering. It was a most unforgettable celebration and a precious time of intercession for Wales and the nations by the alumni. Praise God for the fire that is burning strong in all of their hearts, with the Holy Spirit leading the way.

Moving from this glorious time to the next, was the astounding ‘Bless Wales’ Conference in Swansea. God was among us and His presence was awesome. Something significant lifted off as many testified of God blowing away the grey shroud that covered Wales, of old wells read more…

What Fostering Means To Me

The last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for us. It all culminated over the weekend as our foster care term came to an end, and we bade farewell to our foster daughter. It was a teary event as we handed our foster child, who had been with us the last two years, back to her parents. As we try to settle back to a family of five, the absence of the laughter and cries of our 2-yr-old reverberates like a jarring silence in the walls of our home. It’s not been easy and the sense of loss is felt all too keenly.

Little Ruth (not her real name) came to us in the middle of the night. Escorted by two officers from the government, she landed in our laps at just 4 months old. She was adorable, read more…

He Who Is Forgiven Much, Loves Much

The verse in Luke 7:47 baffles me. There, Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

Does it mean that only those with many sins and have been forgiven are able to love God deeply? And those whose lives are not so messed up will not be able to express and experience that deep love for God? I don’t think that’s what Jesus meant. To me, this verse seems like an invitation to those who are hungry to search out the hidden and deeper truths of God.

It reminds me of the ‘Super Lemon’ sweet, which is very sour on the outside but sweet on the inside. To get to the sweet part, you’ve to endure the initial sourness in read more…

The Gift of Tears

The Bible tells us God actually collects tears in a bottle. He knows what you’re going through and He cares about you so very much. He knows every thought and ache you have in your heart, and all your heart’s desires.

Psalm 56:8 says, “You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” This shows me that, not only does God capture every single tear you’ve cried, but He keeps track of what made you cry and what breaks your heart so that He can heal and comfort you.

Repeatedly in the Bible, figures of great strength and faith pour out their souls in tears and anguish. Two-thirds of the psalms are laments, complaints to God. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, wrote an entire Old Testament book entitled Lamentations. As did Isaiah and read more…

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