TWC 20111019: Grace Amidst Disobedience

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Our God is a gracious and loving God. While He is also holy and righteous who will one day come and judge the nations, separating the sheep from the goat, until then, His grace is truly amazing. In Hosea chapter 11, the Lord said, “My people are determined to turn from me. Even if they call to the Most High, he will be no means exalt them.” He had decided not to respond to them even if they were to call on Him. He was angry with their headstrong sinfulness. However, within the next breath, the Lord said, “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is changed within me, all my compassion is aroused.” God appeared to be struggling with His earlier decision and He spoke like a human being with intense emotions saying, “how can I, how can I, how can I?” He went on to say that He will not carry out the judgment He pronounced earlier. He also spoke of how His people will one day return to Him. This is our God – and He is still the same today!  This is grace amidst disobedience. As you begin your day today, take time to give thanks to God for His amazing grace, and go about your day embracing and dispensing the grace you have received from above. Have a great day!

“”How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.” (Hos.11:8)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Jesus forgives a sinful woman ….


TWC 20111018: Grace Amidst Wrath

Tuesday 18 October 2011

When the nations plotted against God, God laughed and scoffed at them. God was also ready to strike and punish the ungodly. Yet He issued a warning to the rulers of the earth and called them to serve Him. Psalm 2 then ends with “blessed are all who take refuge in him”. This is grace amidst wrath! The merciful God gave the rulers of the earth a second chance and those that responded and turned to Him were blessed. It is the same today, we all frequently experience grace amidst wrath. You and I have probably done many things many times that qualified us for God’s swift wrath but by God’s grace, each time a lost sheep or a repentant sinner turns back to God, we are met with the throne of grace, not a judgment seat, at least not yet. And we hear the words Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery echo in our hearts, “go and sin no more”. Today, if you need grace amidst shame and sinfulness, you must go quickly before our gracious Savior and humbly repent. And the God of grace and mercy will hear your prayer, forgive and restore you so that you can live as a light to the nations again. Have a God-filled day!

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1Jn.1:9)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Your Grace Is Enough …

TWC 20111017: Never In Vain

Monday 17 October 2011

Do the nations plot in vain against the Lord today? Well, in some way, the nations do, people do. Whenever someone speaks ill and behaves unkindly towards Christians, undermining what we believe and what we do, they plot in vain against the Lord. In vain because the Lord is victorious in the end! As our speaker Rev Dr David Page said on Sunday morning, “I know God will win in the end because I’ve read the ending!” Jesus said, “the world will hate you because of Me”. Should we be surprised then when we meet with hostility as we serve the Lord and proclaim Him? Jesus also said, “be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world!” Let us continue then, to be steadfast and immovable, abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labour in God will never be in vain! Are you facing hostility today because of your Christian witness? Be of good cheer, know that your labour in the Lord and your mission of love will never be in vain! Have a God-filled day!

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1Cor.15:58)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: The legendary final scene from Saving Private Ryan showing the perseverance of brave men who fought to the point of death to fulfill their rescue mission …

TWC 20111016: As Each Part Does Its Work

Sunday 16 October 2011

A soccer team is at its best when every player goes all out and plays his best. All it takes is one slack player, and the team’s performance is seriously compromised. The same principle applies to all sporting teams, dance troupes, business organizations, military contingents, etc. It applies to God’s church too. The church is at its best when every member goes all out and serves his or her best. All it takes is one slack member, one who has either lost interest, direction or vision, and the mission and growth of the church are seriously compromised. What if more than one member is not doing his or her part? What if 80% of the people are watching 20% do the work? Oh, God forbids that any church should ever become that way! As we end this week’s focus on equipping the saints and the five-fold ministry, will you ask the Lord what your role and responsibilities are in His church, His Kingdom?  As He shows you, will you quickly take a leap of faith and get right behind the team? The Apostle Paul says in Eph.4 that the body grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. May every part in your church and mine do its work. Have a God-filled day!

“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Eph.4:16)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Amazing performance as each part does it work …

TWC 20111015: Rightly Divide The Word

Saturday 15 October 2011

Teachers, we need teachers in the church today! We need teachers who would rightly divide the Word and teach the whole counsel of God’s Word, not just selected parts that promote a different kind of Christianity. For example, many like to quote in their prayer, “I am the head and not the tail, above and not beneath” and they quote it out of context. The original verse in Deut.28:13 is accompanied by a demand. It says, “The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.” They want the promise of the passage but not its demand. This endangers our faith because it will produce believers whose convictions are too shallow to help us in times of need. Are you a teacher of the Word? Be sure to study and teach the whole counsel of God’s Word. Have a God-filled day!

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2Tim.2:15)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: A great video about Jesus, the Living Word made flesh – proclaim ALL of Him …

TWC 20111014: You The Pastor

Friday 14 October 2011

According to the Apostle Paul, the pastoral function in the church is not intended to be practiced by the pastor only. I’m sure that this is a relief to all vocational pastors (myself included)! While some are called to be vocational pastors, many are called to be pastoral. These would include leaders at every level in the church such as children’s leaders, youth leaders, cell group leaders, ministry leaders, etc. Before I forget, the co-leaders of each of these groups of leaders are included too. As long as you’re a leader, you have followers and as long as you have followers, you are to provide pastoral care towards them. You might not realize this, but you probably have people that you’re supposed to lead and look after. Who are they? Have you exercised your pastoral function towards them recently? Do not, do not be a cell leader who only connects with your members during cell meetings. Cell life must also exist between the meetings. Take time today to sms, email or call and connect with them. Have a God-filled day!

“1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal.6:1-2)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: A humorous skit about a shepherd’s life 🙂

TWC 20111013: We Are All Commissioned

Thursday 13 October 2011

Jesus said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and save what was lost.” Spoken in Zacchaeus’ home, these words made clear to everyone present, the mission of Christ. Earlier, the first words of Jesus to His disciples were, “come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”. And later on, His last words were, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”. These words spoken at significant points in the life of Christ revealed the heart and the mission of God in our world.  Outside Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Coral Ridge, Florida, is a sign that reads, “His last command, our first concern”. While some in the church of God are appointed to be evangelists, ALL of us are commissioned to preach the gospel wherever we go! There is no exception, we are ALL Christ’s ambassadors to bring about reconciliation between God and lost sinners. As you begin your day today, make this your prayer, “Lord, give me an opportunity today to share Your love and truth with someone.” You’d be surprised at how God would answer the prayer of your heart. Have a God-filled day!

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Ac.1:8)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: A moving rendition of “People Need The Lord” by the composer himself Steve Green and Song Jung Mi on Korean Christian TV

People Need The Lord

Everyday they pass me by, I can see it in their eyes.
Empty people filled with care, headed who knows where?
On they go through private pain, living fear to fear.
Laughter hides their silent cries, only Jesus hears.

People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
At the end of broken dreams, He’s the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize, people need the Lord?

We are called to take His light to a world where wrong seems right.
What could be too great a cost for sharing life with one who’s lost?
Through His love our hearts can feel all the grief they bear.
They must hear the Words of Life only we can share.