Thomas Diary - A walk through my life

30-Dec-2012, Sunday

On Sunday, Geenu and I, attended the City Harvest Church year ending service at Singapore Expo Hall 1. The service started with beautiful praise and worship. Since, Pastor Kong was in S. Korea preaching at Yoido Full Gospel Church,  the sermon was given by Pastor Bobby Chaw, the Missions director of CHC and Aries Zulkarnain, the Executive Pastor of CHC. It was our first time to hear sermon from them. Bobby started the sermon by quoting John 11:38-45 and talked from Lazarus perspective in a hilarious manner.

Lazarus Raised from the Dead

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.[a] And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him.

When bad things happen to good people, do you quit or stay? In Job 2:9, we read

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”

When God’s promises are delayed do you give up or do you stay? Abraham received God’s promises but it took a long time for the promise to manifest in Abraham’s life. In Romans 4:18-21, we read: 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”[a] 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

In Genesis 26:1-3, we read

26 There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar.

Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.

When in lack what do you do? In Genesis 26:12-13, we read

12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. 13 The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous;

Stay in the promises of God – said Bobby Chaw.  We read about Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:21-23

21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For[a] I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

Coming back again to the story of Lazarus, we read in John 11:39

39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

Jewish people believed that the spirit of man hovers around the dead body during the first 3 days and during the last 4 days it’s the time of lamentation when the spirt rests in paradise. In order to prove that God can resurrect impossible situation, Jesus performed the miracle on the fourth day. “Our Jesus is the one who specializes in impossible situation” quoted Pastor Bobby Chaw.

In John 11: 25, we read

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

“God will resurrect you also from dead situation so that the people will believe in God through your dead situation. God will transform your mess into life message. He will convert your test into His Testimony.” shared Pastor Bobby Chaw.

People applauded and cheered Bobby Chaw’s dynamic and enthusiastic preaching.

After his message, Pastor Aries shared the sermon during the remaining 30 minutes. He mentioned most of the Christians put the following priority in their life: 1. God 2. Family 3. Career. 4 Health

Pastor Aries suggested to keep Jesus as the center. See Jesus inside our family, our ministry, our health, our career.

In Colossians 1:15-18, we read

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

He shared the example of how to fit in rock, sand, gravel, pebbles, etc. in a small bucket. We start by putting the biggest rock first, followed by sand, gravel, pebbles. In the same way, we must put the biggest Rock – Jesus Christ in our life and rest of the things will fit in easily.

In Proverbs 3:4-10, we read

And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,[b]
And strength[c] to your bones.

Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.

We conclude the following points from the proverbs

1. Trust God for our difficult situation.
2. Listen for God’s voice. In 1 Chronicles 11:8-11 – David inquired God. We can listen to God in following ways 1. Impression. 2 confirmation 3. peace of God
3. Run to God for our health
4. Honor God for your financial life and career.

Pastor Aries exhorted the people not to compare our life, our children, with other people. Each individual has their own unique talent and ability. If you compare, you will fail to see the goodness of God in your own life. “Let’s not compare our life with others” encouraged Pastor Aries. Each one has their strong points and their weak points but we must exude gratitude for what God has blessed us with. The audience enjoyed his way of preaching. Finally, the service ended with beautiful praise song.  After the service, we headed off for lunch at Changi Point.

Praise God for an excellent time 🙂

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