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Aying Hey ( 5775)

12 Sep

Sermon excerpts from Senior Pastor Niko, at worker Prayer, 11-sep-14.
(Summarized by Ps Gilbert Khoo).

On the 24 Sep, the Jewish will celebrate a new year.
Aying Hey ( 5775) – Year of Shaking and God will show that He is coming very soon.

1. ‘Hey’ means year of Shaking
To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our God, Until He is gracious to us. (‭Psalms‬ ‭123‬:‭1-2‬ NASB)

Blood moon
15 April 2014 (Passover)
8 October 2014 (Sukkot)
4 April 2015 (Passover)
28 Sep 2015 (Sukkot)

Eclipse of the Sun (talks about judgement). Let us be heavenly minded.

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭1-4‬ NASB)

But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭7‬:‭29-31‬ NASB)

The 10 virgins are Christians
We should be 5 wise virgin be ready for the coming of Jesus.
The oil is life that is holy before a God

2. ‘Hey’ also means God’s Grace
Don’t treat the grace of God with disrespect. Jesus paid a heavy price.
Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. (‭Romans‬ ‭11‬:‭22‬ NASB)

3. ‘Hey’ also refers to the breathe of God. Also the door of God. Let us be open to the Holy Spirit
3 important aspects that senior Pastor Niko stresses in his ministry:-
1. Presence of God
2. Anointing of God
3. Speaking in tongues

Abraham believed in something impossible and he experience creative miracle.

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Worship is our heart response to God

11 Aug

Sermon excerpts Pastor Bob Fitts (summarized by Ps Gilbert) , 10-Aug-14

Worship is our heart response to God

King David is a worshipper

Thus the ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household. (‭2 Samuel‬ ‭6‬:‭11‬ NASB)

We bring the presence of God
We bless the nation wherever we go
David knew how to celebrate God’s presence
We should have the heart of worship

The Father in Heaven loves us to celebrate His presence

Few principles:-
1. Ask and rejoice
Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. (‭John‬ ‭16‬:‭24‬ NASB)

God is a loving Father and He wants to ask
Never be afraid to ask

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭7‬ NASB)

Ask – God commands us to ask

2. Rejoice and be strengthen
Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (‭Nehemiah‬ ‭8‬:‭10‬ NASB)

The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. (‭Psalms‬ ‭16‬:‭5-11‬ NASB)

When u are in difficulty, God will prepare feast in front of your enemies
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. (‭Psalms‬ ‭23‬:‭5‬ NASB)

3. Strengthen the Weak
2 Samuel 9:1
Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; (‭Isaiah‬ ‭61‬:‭1‬ NASB)

THREE WAYS TO LIVE WITH JOY – PART 2

22 Jan

THREE WAYS TO LIVE WITH JOY by Tim Challis

Part 2

(Continued)

#2. Acknowledge a Coming Judgment

The Preacher gives a second way to enhance our joy in life. He says to enjoy life but to do so by acknowledging a coming judgment. We might think that it’s far too risky for our Preacher to call a young man to live “according to the ways of his heart and the light of his eyes” (verse 9). This could easily be seen as a call to hedonism, to live only for the pleasure of this life. A parched man wrings a wet cloth to get every last drop of water out of it, and we could see the Preacher calling us to wring every bit of selfish pleasure we can out of life and then to go to the grave smiling. But it’s not this simple. The Preacher offers this warning: “Know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.”

Our joy in life is to be an innocent, pure, moral joy. When we look elsewhere in Ecclesiastes and elsewhere in the Bible, we find that God gives us boundaries and tells us to live within them. God cares for our joy so much that he tells us what to avoid and what to pursue in order to find the highest joy. These days of youth and all of their pleasures are lived out before God who will weigh and assess each one of them. Our challenge in all of life is to believe what God tells us and to live within the good boundaries he provides, trusting that this is where we will find the greatest and most lasting joy.

#3. Acknowledge the Vanity of Life

The third of the joy-enhancers is this: Enjoy life but acknowledge the vanity of it. After he calls us to enjoy life the Preacher reminds us that “All is vanity” and “youth and the dawn of life are vanity.” The ESV translates this word from the Hebrew as “vanity” but it has been translated many other ways. Some translations say “meaningless.” Others go with “futility” or “pointlessness.” The meaning is in there somewhere and they are all pointing to the same reality. Literally the word means “vapor.”

All that comes between life and death is vapor. It isn’t quite meaningless and it isn’t quite futile, but it is vapor, something that is here and then gone, like dust blown away by the wind, like steam that rises from the kettle and disappears into the air.

What we do in this life matters. What we do in this life has real significance, but nothing here will ultimately satisfy because nothing here will last forever. Earlier in Ecclesiastes the Preacher says that God has put eternity in our hearts. How could anything less than what is eternal give us ultimate satisfaction? We were made for this, but we were made for so much more than this.

This is a warning for us that we are surrounded by false, fraudulent joys, things that try to convince us that they will satisfy, but they will only leave us empty. Really, this is a warning that we will always be tempted to be idolaters, to make the gift into the god. We find the greatest joy when we accept the gifts for what they are and acknowledge that they, like everything else in this world, will end. The sun that rises will set again.

That sunrise challenged me anew with both the brevity of life and its signifiance. That sunrise challenged me to grasp the fullest joy and signifiance from each day, to acknowledge that God tells me where the highest joys will be found, and to know that misery often masquerades us joy. This life is vapor, but this life matters. It matters to God that I pursue joy—the truest and highest joys—and that I pursue it for his glory.

http://www.crosswalk.com

joy in life

THREE WAYS TO LIVE WITH JOY – PART 1

21 Jan

THREE WAYS TO LIVE WITH JOY by Tim Challis

Part 1

Last week I was captivated by a sunrise. I am one of those people who is “early to bed, early to rise” and have watched many sunrises. I love the dawning of a new day because every day is so full of promise and possibility. Every sunrise lays a new day before us and asks, “What will you do with this day? What will this day be?”

The sunrise that so gripped me is described in the book of Ecclesiastes where the author, a man who identifies himself only as The Preacher, writes “Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.” This man is a poet and he looks at that sunrise and sees it as a picture of youth. The brightness of the sun as it cuts through the darkness and ushers in a new day is like the radiance of youth with all its excitement and energy and possibilities. Youth lays a whole lifetime before us and asks, “What will you do with this life? Who will you be?”

The Preacher’s great concern is that youth does not go to waste. He wants us and commands us to enjoy the days of youth—not just the days of childhood, but all of the days before old age comes. “So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all … Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 11:7-9). He speaks to each of us and tells us to take advantage of this time to do what makes us happy, what brings us joy, what we are passionate about. These are the days when we are young and strong, energetic and optimistic. These are the days when the possibilities are limitless, when the whole world lies open before us. He wants us to do what we love and to love what we do, and he wants us to do it now, in the days of youth. He knows that a day will come when joy will be far more difficult to find. If we are going to be joyful in old age, we will need to be joyful now and carry joy with us into those days.

This Preacher has been speaking on behalf of God and teaches us that the Lord wants us to enjoy life and to acknowledge all the good things life brings. Isn’t that amazing? God wants us to enjoy life! God wants us to linger over a good cup of coffee and walk hand-in-hand with the person we love and savor that delicious meal and enjoy making love and appreciate the beauty in a rainbow. These are his gifts and he wants us to enjoy them. Life is a gift and he wants us to enjoy it.

The Preacher is so concerned with our joy that he gives us three joy-enhancers—three things that will help us get every bit of joy we can from these years. These are things each of us would do well to keep in mind.

#1. Acknowledge Youth Will End

The Preacher says, “If a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many.” He wants us to savor life as we live it. If we are granted many years, we are free before the Lord to live them all without sadness and without regret. But even as we take joy in life, even as we live with youthful exuberance, our Preacher calls us to have an awareness that the light of day will eventually give way to the dark of night. The sun that rises will need to set again and darkness will come. The joy of youth will be followed by all the difficulties of old age and the difficulties of old age will be followed by death. It is right and good to really live, to live all the way, but we live best when we keep one eye on eternity, when we keep in mind that these good days will come to an end.

Acknowledging the end helps us. It reinforces that we only get one chance, one opportunity. This life cannot be lived well in retrospect. It can only be lived well in the moment. None of us will get a second chance to do life well; none of us will get a second chance to live today well. So don’t waste your day, don’t waste your youth, and don’t waste your life!

To be continued

http://www.crosswalk.com

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EVANGELISM AS A JOURNEY INSTEAD OF A DEAL

15 Jan

EVANGELISM AS A JOURNEY INSTEAD OF A DEAL by Daniel Darling

I’ve been reading quite a few books on evangelism lately for some of my Mdiv work at Trinity. I don’t agree with all that I have read, but one of the things that I think I’m learning is the simple idea that evangelism is less of a “deal” that we must close and more of a journey, a conversation we must initiate.

The passion to win people to saving knowledge of Christ is good, but sometimes in our zeal we misguidedly think we, and only we, are the ones who have to witness the conversion. And we put all kinds of undue pressure on ourselves to get it all right. In reality, it is the Holy Spirit who does the saving. We are simply ambassadors. We share this great story. Empowered by the Holy Ghost, we go into the world and deliver the message.

And sometimes it is our message that needs tweaking. For instance, many people think witnessing is simply applying a few verses in Romans or Galatians or John and sort of hitting someone with a dump truck of salvation verses. This method may work with someone who has a base in Protestantism or Catholicism. Or it may work with someone who is at the end of years of careful gospel nurturing by someone else. But by and large, starting with the dump truck is ineffective and turns people away. Instead, we should begin by initiating conversation, building a friendship, establishing a repoire. And we might approach the gospel in ways that share the entire narrative rather than skipping ahead to the New Testament.

Recently I had the privilege of sharing the gospel with a Hindu friend. In previous years I might have been intimidated. I don’t have all the answers to rebut Hinduism with Christianity. But this time I was confident. First I asked him about his faith journey. Then I shared the narrative of the Bible. I said something like this, “I know you probably disagree with the Bible and affirm your own holy book. I understand that. Let me just share with you the story of the Bible.” And I started with Creation, then the fall of man and worked through the story of Israel up until the revelation of Jesus on the cross and on through Revelation and the coming Kingdom. I said something like this, “The reason I believe this is because it answer the deep questions people have better than any other narrative I’ve heard or read.”

My friend didn’t bow the knee on the spot and trust Christ. But the dialogue was open and he was intrigued. You see, most people don’t even know what the Bible’s true story is. They react against what they think it is or some misguided ways Christians have presented the gospel message. And again, having been released from the pressure of “closing the deal” so I could have another “notch on my belt” I was free to share only what the Spirit led me to share and then direct the conversation that didn’t make my friend want to shut down and never talk about it again.

We have to start looking at evangelism as less than a one-time, do or die opportunity and more of a journey. The Spirit is working and you may be one of several Christians used by God to win their hearts. When we approach evangelism this way, it takes much of the fear out of it. We don’t have to get out all of our Christian sales pitch in one moment. Instead, we can feel our way around, depend on the Spirit’s leading, and apply the gospel to each person’s differing lives. Sometimes your witness may involve a detailed explanation of the gospel story. Sometimes it may be a question or two that merely cracks open a seemingly shut door. Sometimes it may be as simple as doing a kind work of charity for a person that gets them to ask about why you do it. Other times it may be as simple asking someone to that church function.

The key is to be obedient to the Spirit’s call and be confident in His ability to convert seemingly stone-cold hearts.

Source:www.crosswalk.com

Prospect-to-Evangelist Webinar

A WORD AGAINST ANGER

6 Jan

A WORD AGAINST ANGER by John Ritenbaugh

Proverbs 15:18

(18) A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention.

Proverbs 15:1

(1) A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 16:32

(32) He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Proverbs 19:11

(11) The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.

Ecclesiastes 7:9

(9) Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.

Psalm 37:7-8

(7) Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. (8) Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm.

Psalm 145:8

(8) The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.

Ephesians 4:31

(31) Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

Colossians 3:8

(8) But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

Colossians 3:21

(21) Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Proverbs 22:8

(8) He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will fail.

New King James Version

Hostility seems to be a hallmark of this church age in a similar way that road-rage is to the world. It is alright for us to be righteously indignant as long as we do not sin. There is a place for righteous indignation, but God does not permit much anger because it is difficult not to sin when angry. That kind of anger is a “mark of the beast.”

Frequently, hostility is simply a denial of reality. People do not have tempers born in them; angry tempers begin to be created in childhood. Parents allow tempers to burst forth, and each time it happens, it becomes easier—and the next time and the next and on and on until it is ingrained in the personality.

Anger is nothing more than a passionate response to some sort of stimuli, and it is almost always a self-centered response. It usually begins when we believe that what should or should not have happened either did or did not, and conflict arises. We can believe, either strongly or weakly, it should or should not have happened. Therefore, anger can be either strong or weak or anywhere in between.

The reality is this: What happened happened. How will anger help the problem? Satan believes that it does because he wants to control, to win, to compete, to devour, to get the upper hand, to triumph. Do we really need the anger to drive us to manipulate or to punish? Why not just start working on a solution without the anger, knowing full well that the anger will likely create sin and cause additional damage to the relationship? In a way, it is all very logical, but our feelings get in the way.

Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” The first clause can be paraphrased, “There is a way that man thinks things should be.” This is where conflict arises: Two people see things differently. The question is, then, who is to say that it should be the way we see it?

Things happen because laws are broken, and whatever we sow we reap. Sometimes we get caught in other peoples’ ignorance and stupidity. This is a fact of everybody’s life, even to God in the flesh. He got caught in the ignorance and stupidity of His fellow Israelites in Judea, and it cost Him His life—yet He did not get angry. What an example! What an example of control. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

How far did He go to make peace? To the death. Even when the other person was totally, absolutely, completely wrong, He did not go to war against him.

The problem with anger arises when we turn our feelings and drives to set things right, as we see them, into absolute necessities. We feel it must be our way, but the reality is that others have the same rights from God that we have. Everyone has free moral agency. Anger arises because of the way we judge things: We apply the standard that we hold as being the right one.

— John W. Ritenbaugh

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A TIME TO SPEAK AND A TIME NOT TO SPEAK

2 Jan

A TIME TO SPEAK AND A TIME NOT TO SPEAK by John Stonestreet, BreakPoint

In the wake of the Aurora theater shooting, I noted here on BreakPoint that there is a time to speak and there is a time not to speak. For example, Job’s friends were wonderful in how they dealt with his tragedy until they opened their mouth. When they started to speak, they — according to God’s indictment several chapters later — spoke words without knowledge by trying to offer specific reasons for the evil Job was enduring.

The Apostle Paul was quite clear on what we are to do immediately in the face of tragedy when he said “Mourn with those who mourn.” As Christians, we do have many answers that the outside world lacks — about the source and depth of human evil and the hope of new life in Christ — and when it is appropriate, we ought not be silent. But only when it is appropriate.

There will be time to seek answers about tragedy — to probe the why questions of events like these, but Friday was not that time. And Twitter and Facebook are not that place. And yet, far too predictably, in the face of great grief, tragedy and hurt — people with an axe to grind immediately began grinding. And our social media tools allow us to do it from much more loudly and anonymously, from a completely detached place.

And too many Christians joined the noise by grinding their political, religious and moral axes too loudly and too early.

Look, I’m not saying we shouldn’t speak. We should. And, I am certainly not saying we shouldn’t speak our convictions argue for truth, sin, morality and redemption. We should in time. But immediately lobbing our political or theological verbal bombs via Twitter or Facebook like “This is what happens when you take prayer out of schools” or “It’s not a gun problem, it’s a sin problem” or “Here’s another reason to abandon the public schools” is just not something Jesus would have us do.

Speaking comfort, grace, mourning and prayer on Friday? Yes! And Twitter and Facebook might be appropriate places for that. But pontificating and posturing? No. And especially, not for the Christian.

Why do I think this? Because of the Incarnation that we celebrate next week. God became flesh. God, the creator of all people and all things, invaded the deep depravity and brokenness of this world and our hearts. He did not just hand us a book to read or proclaim moral truths for us to observe. He came Himself.

God made Himself known in Christ as the God willing to enter the suffering of His Creation. And, thirty some years later this same God walking around enters into the suffering of Mary and Martha before raising their brother Lazarus from the dead. He weeps with them.

There is a reason we’re told about the Life of Jesus Christ and not just about his birth and death. His life teaches us that those made new by Christ are asked to do more than just speak this truth at the world. We are asked to, like our Savior, embody truth in the world. Escape is never an option for a Christ-follower.

And, you and I will have plenty of opportunities in this broken world — and not just from afar via social media, but from our own backyard. We may need to comfort a friend whose child has been diagnosed with cancer or grieve with a neighbor who lost mother or father or child or do the shopping for a family member at the bedside of her dying husband or drive an elderly acquaintance back and forth for medical treatment.

Christians alone are able to offer a compelling hope to the world in the midst of great tragedy, but it’s done with more than words. Especially poorly timed words.

Source: http://www.crosswalk.com

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