Monday, 25 February 2013

The Next Chapter of Your Life by Bernard Chan dated 24.2.13

Bro. Bernard Chan is a Singaporean.  For the first 20  years he was with the Navigators and the last 20 years he and his wife has been mentoring individuals, leaders and families.  His present work is helping home-based church, families like building godly marriage, families and raising the next generation for Christ.
Bro. Chan is a graduate of Columbia Biblical Seminary & Graduate School of Mission, USA.


Bro. Bernard Chan started his sermon by giving a message for our church.  He said, “Behold I will do a new thing”.  He said he did not know what this sentence really meant to our church, but he felt God asking him to deliver this message to us. 
Bro. Chan said he observed that many of our members are in the 50s so his message is “What we are to do for the next chapter of our lives?”  He advised that this question can well apply to members who are younger.  Assuming many of us live up till 85 years old, so between 50 to 85 years we can do a lot in 35 years.

Story of Abraham

When Abram ( his original name ) was 75 years God called him to leave his country.  For 40 years he regretted because he did not have any children.  God asked him to look at the sky and the sand and He said He will bless him with descendants like stars in the sky and sand on the ground.  Abraham left Haran for Canaan.  While in Haran Abraham and his family were happy.  Like us today when we settled in our “Haran” we are in our comfort zone.  But God wants to do a new thing in us.
When God blessed Abraham, He also will blessed all his descendants.  

God’s Plan for Next Chapter of Our Life

In the Bible God already said He had a plan for us.  Our lives are not accidents.  In Psalm 33:11 says “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His hearts through all generations”.  We also have to ask God for the specific plans for our lives.  Different people are given different talents.  If God leads you to be a mega church pastor that is fine, if He leads you to do a international ministry well and good.  But it is not necessary that He will ask us to do big things, He also can ask us to do small things.  God gives us meaning, but Satan wants to steal our blessings.  Satan kills our spiritual lives and destroy our spiritual potentials. 

At the end of your life it does not matter what you own materially, and whether you had power.  All these things do not have any meaning in heaven.  What really matters when you meet God is when He ask, “What did you do regarding what I told you to do?” Bro. Chan said it is frightening that in a passage in the Bible God said even if you called Him “Lord, Lord” saying we did this and that, didn’t you see?”  He will said, “I do not know you!” According to Bro. Chan these people were Christians, so the implication is important. 

Things that have eternal values are important.  He said, “Everything that is eternal is eternally satisfying”. Our life in Christ is eternal, therefore only eternal things mattered and not temporal things.

When we meet Jesus at the end, He will say two things:

        a)      “Good and faithful servant”
        b)      “You fool”Luke 12:20-21, the man was rich towards himself but not God.

Why Does It Matter to Decide Our Next Chapter?

Matthew 25: 31-46

The story of God separating Christians like the shepherd separates between the sheep and the goats.  The sheep were those who obeyed and carried out His commands, whereas the goats were those who disobeyed.  We are saved for works and not saved by works.

2 kinds of Christians:

        a)      Sheep – you did for me (Jesus).
        b)      Goats – you did not do for me.

The evidence of our salvation is in our works after we are saved.  We must have faith.  We will be judged for our contributions to the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 3:10-15

Bro. Chan quoted E.M Bounds:  “Man look for better methods, God look for better man”.  In this passage is about the work we do which must have Jesus as the foundation.  The quality of man’s work will be tested by fire.  If his works survive the fire, he will be rewarded, otherwise he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved as one escaping through the flames.

Bro. Chan said he observed in many churches only 20 percent of the members do the church’s work and 80 percent are not doing anything.  Bro. Chan challenged our members to commit ourselves to do something for God in our next chapter of our lives.  Like he said, everyone is given different talents, some are called to do greater work, some are called to do smaller work.  Everyone can do something.  He told a story of attending a Christian meeting in the US, and he was surprised that the leader of the organization was a person on wheelchair!  We able bodies can certainly contribute to the kingdom of God.


1.       1.  John 4:34-38 – Go and win souls for God
2.       2. Open our eyes to look around, the harvest is plentiful.
3.       3. Invest your talents e.g give money to the needy, help others in need of help.
4.       4. 2 Corinthians 5:21 – Be accountable to God.  Ask Him what we can do for him.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Genesis 3- Crisis In Creation

Genesis 1 – 11 remind us of one of the Core Realities/Principles/DNA that govern the world in which we find ourselves, foundational building blocks of the Bible.
The Fall: our human rebellion against our Creator God impacts absolutely everything about our world –the struggle with good & evil, the relationships: marriage & other relationships, work, gender, our ultimate & eternal destiny.
Pivotal truths in our minds and our spirits so that we can make sense of ourselves, our world & the rest of the Bible - we live in a world that is fundamentally broken and that we can’t fix it.
The Devil's Snare – 3 Great Lies (3:1-5)
Lie about God’s Good Government
Show it isn’t clear (3:1)

We live in a broken world because Adam & Eve, and every man & woman who has ever lived has bought the oldest lie in the book: that to break free from God’s good government will give us liberty. 
The tree of the knowledge of good & evil symbolizes God’s position as authoritative ruler – it’s symbolic of his perfect government. Only God can decide what is good & what is bad. So the tree of knowledge of good & evil is God’s right to govern & to rule, and there has to be order & government in order for there to be freedom.

Lie about God's Judgment
Show it’s unenforceable (3:4)

Doubt God will punish disobedience. Although the Bible says that God is loving & patient, the Bible is also unmistakably clear that God is holy & just, that God cares about what happens in his world, about right & wrong. God will judge us. He will hold us to account.

Lie that you don’t need God, you can be God
Show it isn’t fair (3:5)

This law isn’t fair. “It doesn’t make sense for you to obey this law, Eve. How come God can have it and not you?”

The climax of the 3 lies: the tree of the knowledge of good & evil represents the divine right of God to govern. This is a temptation to seize hold of the throne of God himself & for me to decide how I’m going to live in his world with no reference to him. I’ll make the decision, not God.

They became law breakers because they wanted to be law makers.
It is Satan & his temptations that promise much, and deliver little. We are to resist the devil, firm in your faith. We are to turn a deaf ear to his lies & instead listen to the words of Jesus.
THE FALL (3:7-24)
Conflict (3:7-13)
·         Humanity & God (3:7)
Eyes opened but all they could see their nakedness. In trying to hide their shame, they only manage to draw attention to it. Their guilt makes them afraid to meet God. The trees that have been pleasant to sight & good for food are now used as cover for Adam & Eve.
The once perfect, open, intimate relationship between God & humanity is now gone.
God does not begin with a shout of judgment but an invitation for Adam to face up, to recognize the mess he’s made of their relationship, to recognize what’s been lost.
·         Man & Woman (3:7, 11-12)
Blame Game begins with Adam & Eve as they cover up from one another with their fig leaves, shift responsibility, pass the buck and accusing God as well.
·         Humanity & Creation (3:13)
Rather than ruling creation, Eve was ruled by it. The created order is distorted – a complete reversal and inversion of Genesis 1 & 2.
Curses (3:14-19)
·         The Serpent (3:14,15):
The serpent is cursed & punished for deceiving Eve – he will face a life of humiliation.
The woman should never have listened to a creature rather than her Creator: relationship turned into enmity.
God’s sovereignty is re-asserted. His order is restored.
·         Eve (3:16) :
God created humanity to be fruitful & multiply & fill the earth but marred by this punishment of pain & danger in childbirth.
Marriage also affected with the beginnings of marital strife, as to love & to cherish becomes to desire & to dominate. The temptation has been for wives to usurp their husband’s authority ever since Eve. Christian wives not immune since we now live after the Fall.
A similar danger is the temptation for husbands to rule over wives in an overbearing, dictatorial way, to ride rough-shot over what they want & what’s best for them.
Marriage is part of God’s good creation but it’s now marred by the Fall.
·         Adam (3:17-19)
Adam’s lot is tough toil, then definite death.
Like marriage, work was part of God’s good creation but now it has been tainted & spoiled. Work now is fallen.
It is foolishness to look for ultimate satisfaction & fulfillment in work when the ultimate end is Death.
In yet another reversal, Adam who is made out of the dust is now destined to return to it.
Cast Out & Cut Off (3:20-24)
·         Adam’s death was a change of place – from within the garden to cast out, and a change of relationship from fellowship to cut off from God.
Adam & Eve died when God cast them out from the garden and placed cherubim with a flaming sword between them & the tree of life - cut off from the source of life and the tree of life.
In yet another reversal, Adam & Eve were to guard Eden & now they are guarded from it.
What they experienced outside Eden is not life as God intended but spiritual death with their physical death inevitably following.  
These verses make it crystal clear that Adam & Eve & all their descendants are cast out of the garden & cut off from God. Ever since Adam & Eve, we are all cast out & cut off.
Cure (3:15, 20-24)
·         In judgment, Adam & Eve were cut off from the tree of life but it also stops them from being stuck forever in an inescapable life of sin.
God, in his mercy & grace, provides a covering for their shame at the cost of an animal’s life. It reminds Adam & Eve of their sin but also it’s part of God’s mercy.
In Martin Luther’s commentary, Adam names Eve as mother of all living (in Hebrew – the name Eve and “to live” sounds similar); he saw through to life when everything around him was being subjected to death.
Luther calls Genesis 3:15 the first comfort – this source of all mercy & fountainhead of all promises – the promise of the serpent-crusher.
There will come one from Eve who crushes the head of the serpent. That word “head” sums up all that a person is – Satan will be totally & utterly smashed – but at a cost to this serpent-crusher.
We begin to see the first hint of what God will do at the Cross. There isn’t a way back to innocence but there is a way on to the Cross. The amazing wonder of the Cross is that Jesus doesn’t just defeat Satan, he also shares this victory with his people and opens up a new & better garden paradise for his people.
The curtain in the Temple was embroidered with cherubim that barred the way to God’s presence. When Jesus died on the Cross, the curtain was torn from top to bottom. God himself reopened the way into his presence - the way back to the tree of life through the cherubim, to a new & better Eden.
At the end of Revelation, we see all who have put their trust in Jesus’ death will have access to the tree of life, when the dwelling place of God will be with man.
No more conflict, no more curse, no longer cast out nor cut off, but we’ve got it perfectly & forever.
Only if we understand that we are utterly lost sinners, living in a world fundamentally broken which we can’t fix – with no hope in ourselves, unable regain paradise in our own strength, in need of an undeserved Saviour, will we make sense of ourselves, our world & God’s Word.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Scrpiture Union Sarawak dated 10.2.13

Please note, the following slides are from the sharing of Scripture Union's actives in Sarawak by Bro. Jim Nging

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Sought, Found and Laid Hold by Jesus Christ by John Carter 3.2.13

Sought, Found and Laid Hold by Jesus Christ by John Carter 3.2.13 
The Bible set the agenda of how we think because we are sinners. Look at Scripture and see how God communicate with us. Paul in his letters to the Corinthians showed how God proclaimed the testimony of God, how the Holy Spirit taught us and transformed people to the likeness of Jesus Christ. Look to the Scripture for what is the truth.
Isaiah 65 v.1 and Romans 10 v. 20/21 
Both passages spoke about God being found by those we did not seek Him. Amazing that God seeks us! In Scriptures we must see the story line, like in Babylon Israelites rebelled against God.
 Isaiah 64:5
People sinned against God and did not call on God. But God love us and He seeks us. God said “I was found by those who did not seek me”, “I am here, I am here”. God spoke to a nation that did not call on His name. Same today, we are rebellious and we want to do our own things. But yet God came to seek us, He said, “here am I, here am I”,
Isaiah 65:1.
We must be inward Christians not only outward Christians. Like in Britain there are very few inward Christians.
 Philippians 3 v.8 - 10
These verses spoke about God finding us even though we are unrighteous. He made us righteous and it came from God by faith. It was the power of the Resurrection that redeemed us and made us righteous in Christ, also sharing in His suffering. Vs 10 Jesus became our identity. In the power of His Resurrection Jesus took our sins, past, present and the future and He saved us. He sought us out, took all our problems and all our troubles. We are to die daily to our sins because we are a new Creation.
Philippians 3 V. 12
 Jesus got hold of us, and we got hold of Him. We press on towards the goal.
Philippians 3 V.13-14
Paul said he did not considered himself yet taken hold by Jesus, but he forgot the past and press on towards the goal of upward call of Jesus as his prize.