Friday, January 15, 2010

Joseph Prince's Answer to an Ailing World, Economy

ChristianPost Singapore's article introducing Pastor Prince's latest book "Unmerited Favor" - "Joseph Prince's Answer to an Ailing World, Economy" (click on link to read)

An excerpt from the article:
"In a world of complexity Prince is a refreshingly one-track guy; he taught and continues to teach that the revelation and reception of God’s grace is the only answer to human sinfulness. A first-rate systematic theologian he is not; but this pastor majors on what the Apostle John in his first epistle tells you is truly major: God’s forgiveness and acceptance of wicked sinners; the starting point for any true life transformation."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Touched By An Angell

Yesterday, just before the 2.30pm service, I had a brief face-to-face meeting with Ted Angell (an American whom I "met" on facebook just 2 weeks ago) and Jimmy Tan (a fellow Singaporean whom I "met" on and later on facebook many months ago) for the first time.

As Ted and Jimmy were going to attend the 2.30pm service together, our chat was short and sweet but I did find out that Ted is a bus-driver BUT not just any regular bus-driver.  He drives a tour coach for Nashville celebrities [I did not have time to ask which celebrities :-( ], ferrying them from city to city for their concert tour engagements.  Anyway, as he does not have any tour engagements in December and January, he is currently on holiday in Asia, having travelled to Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, etc  but will be returning home to America today. Ted has been touched by the grace message and had also visited New Creation Church last month.  It was a blessing that he decided to visit again yesterday before flying home, and I had a chance to meet him face-to-face.

Jimmy and I have been "talking" online occasionally for months but have never met even though both of us attend NCC but we finally met yesterday as Ted wanted to attend the same worship service as Jimmy.  By the way, Jimmy has a girlfriend whom he met online (but met face-to-face only for the first time last November in Canada).  I also know her and have "chatted" with her online.  She attends the church pastored by Peter Youngren.

I have said that I first met Ted, Jimmy and his girlfriend online but I must stress that it is not just in any regular online social setting but rather we "met" through this network of "friends" through blogs, facebook as well as other social sites but who are now mainly congregated on facebook talking and sharing mostly about the gospel of grace.  This informal network is growing bigger day-by-day as we are introduced on facebook to more and more friends who are being blessed by the gospel of grace, so much so that some of us have coined this facebook network as Gracebook ;-)

The traditional way of spreading the gospel has been through evangelists or preachers physically hopping from city to city, country to country, speaking in rallies or church services but technology has now made it even easier and more cost-effective for preachers to reach out to people all over the world, through the internet, television, radio and video; Pastor Prince's sermons are now broadcast daily on the biggest Christian TV network (Trinity Broadcasting Network).

However, technology has also enabled lay Christians like us to become "preachers" and share the gospel with others and encourage one another in the Lord.  While the preachers may not be able to minister to us on a one-to-one basis, this informal network of brothers and sister-in-grace can fulfill and are in fact fulfilling this role of ministering to one another. Our journey of faith is usually not always on the up and up but rather is full of ups and downs [although still on an upward trend ;-)] and it is during our down time that we really need and appreciate those on the up time to lift us up.  There were so many times that I have been lifted up by the words of my Gracebook friends, friends like Geri, Kat, Simon, Randy, Murphy [in no particular order of merit ;-)] just to name a few.  

Thank you Daddy God for Gracebook and may it grow and grow, and touch more and more lives.       

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Lord Is Longing To Bless You

This is my first post of 2010 and I want to begin by declaring to you Good News: the Lord is longing to bless you!

For those of you who do not have a good opinion of God, you would probably be thinking that this is just wishful thinking on my part, that I am preaching a feel-good gospel which is not based on scripture. Take a look at Isaiah 30:18 (Amplified Bible):

And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!

God wants, in fact, He is expecting, looking and longing to bless you (and me)! You protest: "But look at me, where is my blessing? I am still in a lousy state!" Let me ask you: Have you been expecting, looking and longing for Him? Have you been expecting, looking and longing for His victory, His favour, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship? No? Then how can you be blessed? Because Isaiah 30:18 says Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!

How about those who have been longing for His victory, His favour, etc but still have not seen them manifested? Take note that Isaiah 30:18 begins with "And therefore", so we have to look at the earlier verses to see the reason for the "And therefore":

Isaiah 30: 15-17 (Amplified Bible)
15For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not,
    16And you said, No! We will speed [our own course] on horses! Therefore you will speed [in flight from your enemies]! You said, We will ride upon swift steeds [doing our own way]! Therefore will they who pursue you be swift, [so swift that]
    17One thousand of you will flee at the threat of one of them; at the threat of five you will flee till you are left like a beacon or a flagpole on the top of a mountain, and like a signal on a hill.

Can you see it now? The Lord is longing to bless you but He is waiting for you to return to Him and rest in Him.  We can long for His blessing but we will not see it until we rest in Him. This is the Word of the season; this is the message which God wants us to hear, through the lips of Pastor Prince last Sunday - "Restful Increase", so let us labour to enter His rest.