I Am With You Always

This blog is written especially to all students who are taking their year-end exams, and to those going through a stressful and challenging season in their lives. It’s an excerpt from a short study I did on the ‘Names of God’. I trust that it’ll encourage you.

There’s power in a name. It’s what we’re known by (identification) and it says who we are (identity). Just think of all the names of those influential and powerful world leaders. God is known by many names in the Bible. Learning to know each of His Name(s) opens up the door to a deeper relationship with Him – to understand His nature and character. The Bible says in Prov 18:10, “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” In a world that’s getting more chaotic and filled with uncertainty, God’s Name is the only anchor we can put our trust in.

In Gen 17:1, God appeared to Abraham as El Shaddai – The Lord God Almighty; and later revealed Himself to him as Jehovah Jireh – The Lord Who Provides, when He provided a ram caught in the bushes as Abraham’s faith was tested when he was asked to sacrifice his son, Isaac (Gen 22:14). God revealed Himself to the Children of Israel in Exodus 15:26 as Jehovah Rapha – The Lord That Heals. To Gideon, God revealed Himself as Jehovah Shalom – The Lord Is My Peace, after he had a terrifying encounter with an angel of the Lord (Judges 6:24).

Yet, there is a ‘Name of God’ which we say all the time without even realising it. In fact, many in the world, regardless of their faith, mention this ‘Name of God’ all the time, no matter who they are. This Name is found in Exodus 3. God had chosen Moses to deliver the people of Israel out of Egypt. But Moses was reluctant to do it and was deliberating with God over why he was not qualified for this great assignment. In one of their exchanges, Moses asked God how he should reply (to) the people of Israel if they asked him what was the name of the God who sent him. God told Moses to tell them the ‘I AM’ has sent him to them. (Exo 3:13-14)

Here, we’re introduced to this ‘Name of God’ known as the ‘I AM’. Some Jewish rabbis explain it this way – whenever you introduce yourself, you’ve to say ‘I am’ first, followed by your name. e.g. I am Kevin. God has woven this into the fabric of our society and system. So, before you speak about yourself, you’ve to speak about God. You exist because of God’s existence. That’s the reason you can never find the purpose for your life apart from God. You have to find it in God. You find your life when you put the ‘I AM’ first, and not yourself.

And here’s the beautiful part. When you say, “I am alone”, you’re not really alone because the ‘I AM’ is with you. When you say “I am sad”, the ‘I AM’ is there to comfort you. When you say, “I am discouraged”, the ‘I AM’ is there to lift you up. When you say, “I am weak”, the ‘I AM’ says to you, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9)

There’s this part in Matt 28:19-20 that baffles me. As we go forth and do God’s work, Jesus promised us, “I am with you always.” Have you ever wondered how this promise can be true, especially when you don’t feel God’s Presence sometimes?

Psalm 32:8 gives us the key. God said, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” The revelation of this verse came through my 6-year-old boy, David. He wanted to go to the playground to play with his friends. So he took his mini scooter and left the house. I followed behind just to ensure he made it safely there.

As he scooted to the lift lobby, he turned back and asked me to go back home. He insisted on going on his own as he was a ‘big boy’ now and very insistent about it. So I sent him off at the lift lobby. I watched the lift door close and he waved happily at me as the lift went down. Then I did what all good fathers do – I raced all the way down the staircase to the ground floor and found creative ways to hide myself from being seen by David (I realised they don’t build beams that are ‘thick and broad’ anymore).

From where I was hiding, I could see him playing happily with his friends at the playground. To David, I was still at home and ‘out of his sight’ as I wasn’t visible to him. But he was never out of my sight – I was at the playground, watching out for him.

Here’s my point. Sometimes, when we’re unable to feel the tangible presence of God around us, it doesn’t mean He’s not there. His eyes are constantly watching over us. And the Lord will say unto you this day, “Peace, be still. I AM with you, always!”


Ps. Kevin Koh

Unforgettable

I had an interesting conversation with my daughter recently where she quipped, “I can forgive but not forget … is that ok?” As a father, I’m confronted with the fact that my daughter is asking increasingly thought-provoking questions and oftentimes, a Biblically-correct answer doesn’t adequately satisfy – especially for a PK (pastor’s kid).

For those who are parents, here’s a great promise from Isaiah 54:13:  
“All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children.”

At that moment, I felt I needed to share with her not just what’s in God’s Word, but also what’s upon His heart. Whenever our children come to us with a question we don’t have an answer to, we can always turn to our Heavenly Father. Most of the time, He wants to teach read more…

Two Extreme Mentalities

Biblical economics have gone through a rollercoaster ride. 100 years ago, it was almost fashionable to be poor if you were a believer. Hardly anyone spoke on this subject. Pastors were kept poor, churches were kept poor, and wrong teachings kept God’s people in poverty.

Today, the pendulum has swung to the other extreme. Everybody is speaking on biblical economics. Being rich and wealthy has become a lifestyle and a goal. If you’re rich, it’s because God’s blessing you, and this has become known as the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ which has infected and corrupted a whole generation.

Now, while there’s truth to this teaching, the goal of the Christian in Scripture has never been to become wealthy. Wealth and prosperity are a result and outflow of walking in covenant with God. The common and popular teaching today is: If I give, read more…

Knowing He’s Here!

Our God is more than amazing, He’s awesome and we should never cease to speak of His goodness and mercy!

33 unique lives are going through a God makeover in Bible College of Wales School of Ministry (BCW-SOM) this autumn. Only a week has passed, and many things are falling into place for them. One testified, “Until now there were misplaced jigsaw pieces in my life, and I see them fitting into the right places.”

The joy of seeing these 33 faces light up when it’s only been the first week! And, though some have come from very challenging family circumstances, yet they’re trusting and looking into the eyes of their Beloved.

Who is like God, and who can compare with Him?

Matthew 28:16-17 tells us that, “The eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had read more…

Teachers For Life

On Friday, we celebrated Teachers’ Day. All of us have fond memories of teachers who have impacted and changed our lives. We often forget the people we might have encountered along the process of work, but a teacher, we almost never forget.
We remember them not just for the subjects they taught us but, more than anything, for out interactions with them. These interactions comforted us, affirmed us, gave us confidence, directed us in the right path, and let us know that someone cared.
 
In truth, the task of teaching and instruction is inescapable for all of us. As parents, we’ve to teach and raise our children. In the workplace, there’ll always be newer staff whom we need to show the ropes to. In our families, we’ve nieces and nephews whom we interact with and guide. In our read more…

Passion Triumphs Over Personality

Whenever we talk about being passionate for the Lord, we often hear people say, “…but I’m not like that” or “It’s not me to be so loud and vocal”. And then we launch into this lengthy discourse of trying to convince the person that God has already deposited passion in us, citing examples from our favourite soccer or basketball team winning the championship to how freely and naturally we express our emotions when watching a touching movie.

Sometimes, I think the only outcome from those discourses only proves that our adrenalin and tear ducts are working. More often than not, we leave them feeling bad or worse, condemned.

Well, here’s my little version of why I believe passion triumphs over personality. Pray that it’ll make sense to you.

19 August 2019 will be a day to remember for me because read more…

Hurt By God

“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.”

Isaiah 53:10 is a well-known messianic prophecy and picture of Jesus Christ crucified and raised from the dead hundreds of years before it happened. The bruising is the crucifixion and death of Jesus, making Himself an offering for sin. Verse 10 says it was the Father’s pleasure to do this. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him.

In the early days of my Christian walk, I used to have trouble reconciling how the Heavenly Father could find delight in bruising and hurting His own Son. Jesus told Peter in John 13:7, “You do not understand now read more…

A Hero of the Faith

This week, I had the privilege of having a meal with my hero in the faith – the evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. What a man. What a legacy. At almost 80, he’s still lucid, still strong, still full of the Holy Spirit, and still on FIRE. I related this story to Bro. Bonnke, of how I first met him in 1998.

I was a young pastor, with a fledgling ministry, and I get a call inviting me to lunch with the evangelist. It was a dream come true. I remember driving to the luncheon, praying all the way there, hoping I wouldn’t say anything embarrassing.

There were eight of us and the conversation revolved around what was happening in Africa. I took a deep breath, and I asked Bro. Bonnke to explain how the anointing works and how I could flow in read more…

The Journey of Faith

Over this weekend, we cross Singapore’s 54th year as a nation. I can consider my journey as a Christian living in Singapore and God’s faithfulness to us as a nation, but I’m thinking about my heavenly citizenship – I want to tell of my recent visit to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This is my most unforgettable encounter with a giant of faith in our lifetime. Words are insufficient to express the immense overwhelming presence of Evangelist Billy Graham when I stood on the grounds. Although he’s no more with us, who he was and all he’d done while on earth was tangibly felt that day.

As I entered the grounds, the first place I stood at was the grave of Billy Graham and his wife, Ruth Bell Graham. Memories, recollections of the innumerable scenes of thousands read more…

I Want To Help

A group of us has been in the United States of America this past week attending a conference on church growth. The unique thing about this conference is that it doesn’t advertise the conference. News about it spreads only through word-of-mouth. Into its 9th year, the 6,000 tickets for this conference get snapped up within hours of its release each year.
 
The vision is to help 1,000 churches break the 1,000 growth barrier. It isn’t focused on showcasing a lineup of incredible speakers but structured more like a school. Hundreds of their staff and volunteers walk around everywhere, ready to answer any question you may have about how something runs in the church. Everything you see and encounter is curated to reinforce what’s taught during the sessions.
 
Over the three days of the conference, read more…

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 read more…

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…

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