Monday, 30 July 2012

Signed up to Serve the Lord! =)

Sorry for the delay of yesterday's sermon preached by Pastor Kenneth! The sermon was indeed refreshing and conveyed with a different approach altogether, alongside with real life examples, to provide greater relevance for people to relate their particular circumstances to the Word of God. The sermon was so powerful and impactful that it eliminated all my possible doubts and once again pulled me up from my slight depression. Oblivious of the attack from the devil, I fell into a state of mild depression a few days ago, with the thought that I wasn't doing adequate enough. I became dubious with my own conviction on Christianity, and I couldn't feel God's presence (although He was right beside me all the time, and still is!).

These are a few signs that I had low self-esteem thinking that I wasn't good enough in the eyes of God. For instance, I have never brought anyone to church. I have never preached gospel to anyone and impact other people's life. The most I did was consoling my friends with biblical scriptures and praying for them. I have never served in church. There are many people in church whom never failed to inspire me and I wish I could be like them. They are so faithful to God and has been trying hard to bring new souls to church every Sunday, to connect people one step closer to God. All these require courage and faith, which I believe I am somewhat devoid of. The spirit of doubt still hit me from day to day despite me praying hard (not hard enough, maybe?) to God. Being a rational person who always think objectively by logic, the consistent occurences of miracles performing throughout the centuries sounds like legendary myths to me. But by God's grace, I have had so many opportunities to witness miracles happening to my brothers and sisters in church! God has been so faithful to Acts Church and to all of us, although sometimes some of us (me, for example) continue to commit sins that irate Him, and do not please God in any way.

I have been praying hard for my family's salvation, and anyone who is close enough to me would have knew that I am a first generation Christian. It wasn't easy to get permissions from my parents for me to attend Sunday services, and I had many quarrels with my parents. Yet God has been so faithful to me, provided me countless opportunities consistently. I have once brought my younger sister to Acts Church (about 5 months ago), and I wasn't sure of what she thought of the service as she just answered my question with a simple reply, 'okay la'. Just a few days ago that she finally responded to the calling. She asked me about Christ, and intended to be a believer of Christ! WOW! Praise the Lord! All glory to God!

So, what is the problem now? Perhaps it is not even a problem after all. I wasn't fully convinced of my sister's conviction, neither am I fully convinced of my own. Doubts strike me over and over again, but the faith in God will usually pull me up from the deathly trap. Yes, I will describe doubt as a deathly trap, spiritually! Once you fell into doubts, you will only be dragged further and further down by the devil like a gravity of Black Hole, unless something pull you up, in my case, faith. I was having doubts for this matter, on God's power! Just a brief introduction for all of you, my younger sister is a Lower Six student now in Catholic High School PJ, and is very busy with her studies and co-curricular activities. It will be hard for her to spend a whole Sunday in church since she is already preoccupied with so many activities during weekdays, including her tonnes of homework assigned, time of spent on travelling back and forth, and tuition. On Saturday she has to go to school for her extra co-curricular activity. My parents wouldn't agree if she spent Sunday outside at church or any other activities planned by interest groups.

All these are just my worries and personal thoughts, and I know God has a greater and perfect plan for me and my family. Recall that I wrote 'perhaps it is not even a problem after all', that's true! I have been worrying too much, and underestimating, to a certain extent, God's mighty power. The key word here to solve this 'problem' is faith. Just by firmly believing that if that's God's Will, it will happen regardless of the process. It will still happen in the end. To bring my family to the light of Christ is an insurmountable task, but nothing is too difficult for God. We might be able to plan out our best, but eventually God is the one who touches people's hearts through various means. Same thing goes to thoughts. God's thought is always greater than mine, and the reason I would have worries and doubts overwhelming me is solely due to lack of communication with God. There, I have pointed out the solution - pray. But before started pouring out everything to God, set your heart right. Diverting your heart to God's goodness, instead of pouring out all your problems soliciting God to fulfill our personal desires in life, will definitely make wonders in your prayer, for that I can testify. It worked for me when I was praying for a brother sitting next to me yesterday prior to the sermon. Instead of merely praying for the brother, I diverted my focus to God's goodness and the aftermath was rather different.

God has again reassured me that He is with me regardless of the waves of obstacles coming my way. There will be days that I feel very passionate on God, and days that I could hardly feel His presence (consequently doubts strike and temptations come). Testings come in hard times and what hold most of the Christians is conviction. High confidence on my conviction to God will definitely bring me through the hard times. Jesus at the Center of It All (by Israel Houghton) is a very simple yet powerful and meaningful song, emphasising our attention on God in everything we do. The song sounded so simple yet how many of us actually put God at the center of our life? To be honest, there are times when I don't put God at the center of my life and that's something I shall start working on. Times of adversity, times of doubts and temptations. That's when Holy Spirit comes in to assist us, giving us strength to fight against the devils.

Yesterday after Pastor Kenneth finished preaching the Word, he opened up the altar for members of congregation to come forward for him and a few of the church leaders to pray for. I stepped forward and Pastor Kenneth prayed for me. What remains vivid to me is this: God told Pastor to tell me that I shall forget my past. My past? This question has been sticking with me, and I'm still thinking. Perhaps the past that Pastor mentioned, was something that has been molding me into who I am all this while, something that has been dictating my life? I am still not quite sure, but I will continue to pray about it, to seek for revelation.

Remember last week I mentioned something about serving the church? I had so many choices but this one had never crossed my mind, Revo store. I was contemplating on which one to join, and even considered joining Acts TV! Personally I'm interested in Acts Stream, but given the length of period of time I have before flying off (1 month), I decided to join something else. Acts Host (usher ministry) and Actspresso (hospitality) were amongst my choices. I couldn't make up my choice while I was standing in front of the booth of volunteers registration. Opposite the booth was the Revo Store. Just in case you don't know what it is all about, it's a store opened after the Sunday service to sell stuffs such as Revo T-shirts, Revo buttons, Chin Up (a book written by Pastor Kenneth) etc. In short, Revo Store is an business operating for everyone, as part of the church's source of income. So I thought, why not Revo Store? Yeah, why not? Eventually I signed up to serve the Lord through Revo Store. Finally! =)

Without further ado, I will include yesterday's sermon here, and I believe you will definitely benefit from it! As I've promised, a very powerful sermon that is apt to be the basis of a perfect church. 'These sermons are going to be a series', said Pastor Kenneth. So I hope this sermon will inspire you, to bring you closer to God. Here it goes:

Bible Verses: Psalm 139:1-18, 23-24; Proverbs 21:2

- The way to victorious living begins from the inside out!
- Problems always stem from inside.
- Eg: Wash the internal part of the cup, not the outer part of the cup.
- Church lives on and grow stronger regardless of result of the upcoming General Election.
- It's easier to take us out from external bondage than internal bondage.
- Check your heart!
- Proverbs -> Wisdom for victorious life.
- Survive all the obstacles and succeed!
- We are living in a world not devoid of pains and sufferings!
- Offences cannot be avoided.
- You can be the richest man on Earth, but you can be not happy as happiness is from the inside!
- Everyone can try to stress you up, but you can choose not to be affected.
- It's at the bad times that we find our true self. 'Why me?'
- During bad times, ask 'Why not?' instead.
- It's during bad times that God is doing works that build characters.
- There are different toppings on bad times (different circumstances).
- No matter how severe the damage, you still have choice to trust God.
- Eternal life -> internal.
- The reason God understands all of us is because He created us!
- He doesn't have to be in your position to understand your problems.
- We are made the same, and God knows the inner part.
- Many of our problems stem from anxieties/fears.
- Religion is not under authority.
- The difference between God and god is who is in charge.
- God -> He is in control; god -> we are in control.
- Conviction comes when you are serving the big 'G'.
- Anything can be an idol (small 'g') from inside (unforgiveness, bitter, doubts etc).
- Argument starts when both parties think they are right.
- Anyone who gives their best will not come down without sweating.
- There is no perfect church, if there's one, don't join; cause once you join, it turns imperfect.
- Perfect = 100%; +/- 1% from 100% = imperfect.
- Perfect church can only exist when everyone changes from the inside out.
- The whole world change when all of us change from the inside.
- Everything thinks he's right, until someone checks him; until God weighs his heart.
- If you tell yourself not going to be someone you don't want, chances are you will end up there,
  or worse.
- Stop the situation before it gets worse.
- Let's become people we want to be, don't allow us to become people we despise now in the
  next 10-20 years.

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