Saturday, April 28, 2012

Effective Discipleship

To be a real disciple of Jesus is challenging.  But if we have some guides they will help us to go in the right direction.  Here is a guide of being an effective disciple from Charisma Magazine.

I pray that this list is helpful in your walk with Jesus:

  • Practice spiritual disciplines. Read the Bible daily, confess and repent of your sins and pray for the lost. Your relationship with Christ is a priority and the key to effectively discipling others.
  • Remain conservative in your ethics. Remember that pride can be dangerous. Pride may imply that you are judging others falsely, and is said to be the mother of all sins, because pride resides in each one of us.
  • Lead by example. "Do as I say, not as I do" is not an effective way to disciple someone. Make sure your life is worthy of emulating.
  • Be patient with people who anger you. Forgive those who may have hurt you. You must learn to love your enemies and teach others to do them same. God loves everyone, and we all need to, also. Say farewell to selective loving. If you have a hard time loving your enemies, pray to God for help. Teach anyone you are discipling the importance of forgiveness.
  • Be there. Many times the simple act of letting someone know that they can call on you for help, advice and prayer at any time can make a difference in their life. Be sure to use wisdom and discernment to keep healthy boundaries. But letting someone know you care and are there, can go a long way.
  • Admonish with grace. Being harsh, rude and "in your face" only tear people down. Be understanding and try to help people through their struggles and faults with love and wisdom. Remember you, too, were once a sinner saved by grace.
  • Be a humble servant. We read in Mark 10:43-44 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all." Our attitude should be that of a servant of Christ and we should live this out by serving those around us.
  • Put Christ first in all things. As disciples of Christ we need to be set apart from the world. Our focus should be on our Lord and pleasing Him in every area of our lives. We must put off self-centeredness and put on Christ-centeredness.
  • Try to see the perspectives (point of view) of others, even if you personally disagree with them.
  • Be accountable. Have an accountability partner you can turn to for encouragement and wisdom and to discuss any weaknesses you may be encountering. Accountability is being responsible for one's own actions. You may not be able to share everything with your disciple, even though they may share a lot with you, but you should find someone you can discuss your struggles with to help maintain your integrity.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Korean Christians Praying Against Lady Gaga

South Korea has the second largest Christian population after the Philippines.

The Christians there are outraged that Lady Gaga will be performing in their country this Friday.  A group of Christians are praying that the concert will not materialize.  The organizer said, “We will pray to God that the concert will not be realised so that homosexuality and pornography will not spread around the country,”

Many people believed Lady Gaga is promoting Satan from the lyrics of her songs to her dressings and props in her performances.  What she is doing is negative and dark.  No right thinking people would do such things unless they want to exploit the situations.  Her songs attracted many young people, and they do not realized that these songs and messages are working on their subconscious minds.  Before they know it, they are caught in darkness.

Christians should stay clear of her performances.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Belief in God Increase With Age

Researchers at the University of Chicago found that as people aged their belief in God also increased. The report also said perhaps as we aged and approach death we tend to believe in God. Perhaps there are some people who felt this way, but many just believe as they grow older. Recently there is a research which find the "God spot" in our brains. The spot is not in specific area but covered several areas that triggered spirituality in human. It seems we human are "hard wired" to believe in God after all. From personal experience and observations it seem that many people turn to God when they are in their middle age. Some realized that there is a "God" but which God people turn to is critical.

John 14:6 "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

The highest percentage of people believing in God is Catholic country like Philippines at 94%, the lowest is in Western Europe at 13%.

To read further click on the title of this post.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Church Service

This Sunday our Church had the honor of hosting Bro John Carter, Elder Holborn Church, Leeds, United Kingdom. He is no stranger to us as he has been here to preach and share for about three years now. Prior to this Sunday message he had two other sessions on Saturday afternoon and evening. These sessions were most enjoyable. His teaching is practical and he shared his personal experiences of more than 50 years as a Christian.

This morning sharing was entitled "People who walk in God's way" based on the Book of Genesis. He said Abraham is a model of us today. He was obedient to God and trusted God entirely. It was no joke hearing from God for the first time and being led to leave his home for an unknown place. Yet Abraham obeyed. Today we live in a dark world which is modeled along Sodom and Gomorrah. Sins are everywhere. Bro John expressed his shock that the British government is about to legalize gay marriage. Utter nonsense he said, such union cannot produce any children. Abraham obeyed God and through him all nations were blessed. Similarly, we the people of God will bless others. Abraham carried out God's mission to spread his people to all nations, similarly we are to spread the Gospel to all nations.

The warning to us is to turn back to God. We are in this world and not of this world.

Free Lunch

Yes, our congregation had a free lunch at noon! Thanks to some brothers and Sisters who took the initiative to prepare lunch for our members. Malaysians like their foods. All in all about 300 members were served. Thank you Lord for your provision!

Chuck Colson Dies at 80

Chuck Colson founder of Prison Fellowship ministry and a former US senator involved in the Watergate scandal dies at 80. He was one of the prominent evangelicals and a defender of Christianity.

Christian Post writes:

"Evangelical Christianity lost one of its most eloquent and influential voices today with the death of Charles W. 'Chuck' Colson. The Prison Fellowship and Colson Center for Christian Worldview founder,,,,,,,

To read further clock on the title of this post.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Holy Robe of Jesus


Pilgrims try to touch the ‘Holy Robe,’ reportedly worn by Jesus Christ, during the 20th pilgrimage in the German Cathedral of Trier on Sunday. The ancient town of Trier marks the 500th anniversary of the first public appearance of the Seamless Robe of Jesus. Some 500,000 pilgrims are expected to visit to see the relic til May 13, 2012, since its last appearance dates back to 1996.


Source: Charisma news

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Living Like A Prodigal Son

Pastor Dan Delzel of Wellspring Lutheran Church, Nebraska wrote saying America is living like the prodigal son as written in Luke chapter 15. He said that there is strong correlation between sexual immorality and over spending. Like the prodigal son in Luke 15, he spent his fortune on wine and women and in the end he had nothing. Pastor Dan Delzel said, "America is bleeding badly today. Sexual immorality is rampant, as is overspending. This lack of self-control eventually catches up with the body, the soul, and the economic survival of the nation. The only way to fix both problems is to recognize where you went astray from God's plan. Without that recognition and a sincere turning to God in repentance, there is no way to avoid complete destruction."

Last Sunday a speaker in Church just reminded us to guard our hearts against darkness in this world. Our country is modeling America and it is also "living like a prodigal son". Sexual immorality seems to be on the rise. Everyday we watch T.V news of raids on nightclubs where women from countries like China, Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines worked as guests relation officers who usually provide sexual services too. Even in our small city there are so many reflexology centers supposedly providing massage services. However, they provide more than massage services. Men are attracted to these centers because of these "extra services".

The lesson is that God wants His people to return to Him. He is a loving God who forgives those who asked Him.

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
(2 Chronicles 7:14)

To read further click on the title of this post.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pastors Involved in Ponzi Schemes

Ponzi schemes promised high returns with very low or no risk to investors. The truth is that the returns given are from new investors.

Recently there are a number of cases in US. The most famous non church ponzi was Madoff Ponzi that involved USD$20 billion of investors' money. As for church related cases, the most prominent one is the one Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Church of Atlanta was involved that amounted to USD$11 million.

Usually in such cases, the pastors themselves are directly involved or they convinced their church members to participate in the investments. In the US as warned by an IRS agent if the investment has returns of 8 to 12% p.a the investor must be cautious. What he said is revealing,
"Good people go bad and it's always the greed factor or self-preservation. It clouds their judgment." Usually it is the greed of the individual that resulted in losing money.

Our country is not spared such scams. Scams in church may be isolated in Malaysia, but there are cases of Pastors involving themselves in multi level marketing (MLM) who solicited business from their congregations. Really these are clear conflict of interest. If these businesses are for personal gains, pastors should not be involved at all. They should be in God's business, looking after their sheeps and not doing a business for personal gains.

In my home town Kuching, I know of a pastor who is involved in a social enterprise that rear exotic fishes for export. Here he started this business to help the poor rural folks to earn a living. All profits are used to help the needy in rural areas. He is doing it for the love of God's children not for personal gains.

To read an article click on the title of this post.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Church Gives Away Cars

Would your Church give away cars, TVs, Ipads etc to attract members?

It has been reported that Fellowship Church in Texas gave away several cars during Easter. It seems like this is not the only church in the US doing this.

Just wondering what happened to Jesus' teaching of laying our treasures in heaven. Don't seem that these churches are teaching the right message by giving away "earthly treasures".

This can only happen in the US.

Watch this video

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Christian Fellowship

Last night in our Life Group(cell) we studied 1 John Ch. 1 especially on the theme of "fellowship". Many of us think of fellowship as a gathering of Christians for some conversations and to part take some foods. But is this type of gathering a fellowship? If we study the meaning of fellowship more deeply we will find it is more than gathering to talk and eat.

1 John 1:3
"what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."

Christians fellowship is given to us by the grace of God. Those who believe in the Gospel are united in the Spirit through Christ to the Father and that unity is the basis of our fellowship. We are united to one another by common beliefs, purposes and goals. God unites us.

Christians fellowship is also building each other up in love. We are not to judge others, but as fellow Christians we are to encourage each other in our faith and also in our walk with God. We are bound to stumble at times, and in the fellowship we can support each other in order to come back to God. It is like "iron sharping iron" ( Proverb 27:17) here we "sharpen" each others.

Basically we are doing life together as Christians.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Should Christians Leave Church?

A Newsweek author Andrew Sullivan wrote an article Christianity in Crisis in which he said Christians should leave the church and worship Jesus individually. Essentially he said, "Christianity has been destroyed by politics, priests, and get-rich evangelists," and that Christians should walk away from the church all together and follow the teachings of Jesus individually.”

There are certainly problems in the Church but to leave Church altogether does not solve any problem. Many commentators disagreed with his assessment.

We can see from the New Testament that a gathering of believers to worship and encourage each other was a pattern set up when the first Church was instituted. Christians are encouraged to congregate to worship as well as to encourage and support one another. How is an individual going to do that? Even if you have a strong will, you are bound to be discouraged sometimes in your life. Without any support, you are sure to go your own way, and not what God wants you to do.

Leaving the Church is not an option as far as the Asian experience is concerned.

Martin Luther said, "he who would find Christ must first find the Church."

Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor

To read an article click on the title of this post.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How to Find Hope in Any Situation

This summary is based on Dr.Kenneth Hutcherson’s book, Hope is contagious: Trusting God in the Face of Any Obstacle. In our life we are bound to face ups as well as the downs. Thankfully we have a God who gives us hope in any circumstance, even if your health fails, you lose your job, your spouse leaves, or other tragedy hits you. I find these guides helpful, and I pray that they are helpful to you too.

Here is how to find hope in any situation.

Stop simply surviving and start thriving. Don’t let difficult circumstance stop you from making the most of each day you are alive. Life is a gift from God and you can enjoy it to the fullest even in the middle of difficult situation. Pray for the Holy Spirit to renew your mind everyday so that you have the positive attitude to thrive no matter the circumstance.

Choose to trust. No matter what happens to you, trust God, He does not make any mistake. God allows things to happen for a purpose in your life.

Learn and grow from your struggles. God allows challenging situations in your life so that you can learn to trust Him in deeper ways, and you can grow more mature, develop stronger characters to be more like Jesus. Pray to God to let you see the difficulties from His perspective. Let the struggles teach you whatever God wants you to learn.

Resist temptations to sin. In trying circumstances, do not turn to sin because you will never find your solution there. Instead pray to God to help you resist temptations God will respond by giving you comfort you can’t find anywhere else.

Attract others to faith as they watch you. Other people are watching you as you deal with your struggles. If you response in faith in Jesus people will be drawn to Him by your examples. Let them see your faith in actions. Rather than wallowing in your difficulties, have faith in God and show others how Jesus’ light shine in your life even in difficult situations.

Want what God wants for you. God knows what is good for you. Sometimes He does not give you what you asked because He knows better. God has a greater perspective than you, so trust in Him to know your needs. Also pray to Him that your desires are in line with His will for you.

Overcome fear. Do not be afraid because God is always with us and He has our interests in mind because He loves us. When fear creep into your life, turn to God for help, He will help you to navigate out of the situation.

Keep heaven in mind. Let the anticipation of heaven motivates you to meet your current challenges with hope which will strengthen you to overcome your situations.

Don’t give up. As you face tough situations, do not give up, pray to God to renew you with a fresh dose of hope to deal with your situations. Be confident that at the right time God will reward you for your faithfulness if you do not give up your faith in trying circumstances. Count on God.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday

Easter is a significant date for Christians all over the world. We at FBC, Kuching are no different and we mark this day with worship, prayers and praises to God. This Easter is another historic event for our Church as this is the first Easter we celebrated at our new facility. Elder Dr.Tiong shared this morning that actually our Church started 40 years ago in Kuching on 2nd April 1972.

This morning service was a joyous occasion for our members as well as invited guests. Because we were able to worship together with friends. Majority of our guests were from Kuching, but a few came from as far as Vancouver, Canada.

Our youths led by Bro.Chung Chek and Sis. Pek Imm performed an Easter skit as well as sang two songs. The performances were entertaining. Praise God for our young people! As part of our worship, the flag bearers worshiped as the worship songs were sang. The bearers were led by Sis. Lily Ngu.

Dr. Thomas Chung preached an Easter message especially on the death of Jesus and its meaning. He pointed out three significant points what Jesus did for us.

1. He carried the sins of mankind.
2. He was made sin although He was sinless.
3. He carried our curse, the spiritual death of human who do not know Christ.

He said all heavens and earths have been shaken. In the realm of politics, economics, social, and even natural systems e.g earthquakes. Jesus is shaking everything until those that cannot be shaken will remain. Those who do not know Jesus will have a meaningless life. We can have eternal life only if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. There is no other way. Towards the end of the service Dr.Chung challenged those who do not know Jesus to come and accept Him as their personal Savior.

He is risen! He is Alive!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Social Media Easter

John 11:25

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die".

The Story of Easter Told Through Social Networking from neids on GodTube.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why Good Friday

Many believed that “Good Friday” is derived from “God’s Friday”. This seems like a reasonable evolution of language as “Good bye” is derived from “God be with you”.

Let us stop and think through why we called it “good” when a human was crucified on the cross. Crucifixion is a terrible way to die. If we do not stop and think for a while, it is easy to assume that this significant Christian day “Good Friday” is just what we Christians refer to this day, the day Jesus was crucified on the cross.

It is amazing that the “good” of Good Friday is part of the “good” declared by God during Creation. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31, NIV). The fallen state was no good, man sinned, but the redemption by the death of Jesus for the atonement of man’s sins was part of the “good” of God’s creation.

The event of Jesus’ death on the Cross was certainly not good, and Good Friday is not about this event. Good Friday is about the result of this terrifying event. It was Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross which resulted in the cleansing of our sins, He took our sins, and gave us eternal life. The result – His Redemption is one of the greatest gifts to mankind. By the grace of God this is the goodness that He gave us freely especially to those who accept Jesus as their personal Savior.