Wesley Methodist Church Alor Setar

Wesley Methodist Church Alor Setar

Written by Chan Weng Seng   

LOOK TO JESUS

EPHESIANS 6:18

OVERVIEW OF MESSAGES ON MASTERLIFE 3

This series of messages on Masterlife 3 THE DISCIPLE’S VICTORY is taught to enlighten us on how to be victorious in spiritual warfare. While in Masterlife 2 THE DISCIPLE’S PERSONALITY we focused on inner victory, in Masterlife 3 we focus on outer victory as we learn how to advance into enemy territory to defeat our enemy in spiritual battles. We have been taught how to use our SPIRITUAL ARMOR as a defensive weapon to protect us and how to use it as an offensive weapon against the world, the flesh and the devil. In Masterlife 3 we also learn how to demolish spiritual strongholds ‘to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.’ 2 Cor 10:5 These series of messages are meant to to obeyed. Act on what you’ve been taught to receive the victories promised to you as a disciple of Jesus.

I started this series on how to Overcome The Enemy by teaching on 1John 4:4 You dear children are from God and you have overcome the enemy because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. In sermon 2 on Truth and Faith the relationship between truth and faith was explained to encourage us to exercise our faith in God’s Word to pray about our personal needs & other peoples’ problems. 2 Timothy 3: 16 -17 was chosen to test how teachable we are in obeying. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. In sermon 3 entitled Rely on God’s Word we realized how important it is to depend on God and how to use God’s Word as the Sword of the Spirit in spiritual warfare. For our survival and for victory in spiritual warfare Our delight is in the law of the Lord and on His law we meditate day and night We are like trees planted by streams of water which yield fruits in season whose leaves do not wither. Whatever we do we prosper. Psalm 1: 2 -3 In sermon 4 entitled Pray in Faith we were taught how to experience victory in spiritual battles by claiming God’s promises found in Scripture. 1 John 5: 14 -15 is one of many Scripture we can claim for ourselves. This is the confidence we have approaching God; if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we ask of Him.

Tonight in sermon 5 I teach on the topic Look To Jesus. Each of us are encouraged to discover our purpose for living and state our priorities in life as we look to Jesus to reveal to  His vision and His mission for our life. We ask for His vision & mission for our lives by obeying Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Tonight I intend to answer these 3 questions.1 WHY look to Jesus?  2 Look to Jesus for WHAT?  3 HOW do we look to Jesus for victory?Let me begin with point #1: WHY LOOK TO JESUS? Why look to Jesus when we’re preparing for spiritual warfare? Why look to Jesus when we’re in the midst of spiritual battles? Let me give us 2 reasons why we should look to Jesus.

Reason #1: We look to Jesus because He’s our armor in spiritual warfare. Spiritual weapons by themselves cannot save us. They can only help us to defend yourselves. Spiritual firepower by itself cannot ensure us the victory They can only help us defeat the enemy. Only Jesus and Him alone will ensure your survival as His soldier. Only Jesus and Him alone will guarantee you success in spiritual combat.Do you know that when we put on 5x..

  • the helmet of salvation, Jesus become our salvation.
  • the breastplate of righteousness, Jesus become our righteousness
  • the belt of truth, Jesus become our Truth
  • the shoes of the gospel, Jesus become the gospel in and through us
  • the shield of faith, Jesus become our shield against the fiery darts of Satan and
  • when we fight using the Sword of the Spirit, Jesus become our Sword in spiritual combat.

When Satan and His demons see us in God’s armor, they see Jesus in us. They tremble and fear because they see Jesus in us. They know they are defeated when they see Jesus in us. We are victorious because Jesus in us is greater than the enemy we face. That’s why for our survival we are insttructed to look to Jesus. We succeed in spiritual warfare when Jesus become our spiritual armor..

Reason# 2: Look to Jesus because He’s the author and finisher of our faith. I read from the NKJV Hebrews 12: 1 -2 let us lay aside every weight and sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.. As an athlete we are encouraged to run with endurance God’s race set before us by looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. As an athlete we are told to lay aside every weight that slows us down; to strip off any sin that easily entangles us that holds us back from completing the race. This same principle apply even though the analogy used is different Whether athlete or soldier, this exhortation holds true. Because Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, as soldiers preparing for battle, as soldiers in the midst of battle we fix our focus on Jesus and not on anyone or anything else. We do this by putting aside useless weapons that are of no use to us. We make sure we’re free from sin so that we fight knowing God is with us.. When we’re free from sin Satan has no hold over us. When he has no hold over us, he is powerless against us. Satan is not the author and finisher of our faith. Don’t look to him nor talk to him.  Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith. Look to Him for strength when preparing for spiritual combat. Look to Him for stamina when fighting the enemy. Look to Him for success when in spiritual warfare.

Church we are not on a picnic or a party in this world. We are in a big and bloody war against Satan and his kingdom. When we are at war, we need an overarching vision to stay focused on what God wants us to accomplish through us, the destiny He has purposed for us before we were even born into this world. You must know clearly what is God’s purpose for your life; why He created you and for what purpose He saved you. You need to know this clearly so that in the midst of warfare Satan cannot distract you from what God wants you to do. Satan cannot dissipate your energy fighting unimportant & unwarranted battles. This brings me to point # 2 in tonight’s message

LOOK TO JESUS FOR WHAT? To avoid being distracted, to make sure our energy & resources are not wasted on unimportant things and unwarranted battles, we need to look to Jesus for these 2Ps namely purposes and priorities in life..

Firstly: LOOK TO JESUS FOR YOUR PURPOSE IIN LIFE. Nothing in all creation can hide from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done. Heb 4: 13 NLT You must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak.The words you say now reflect your fate then; either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned. Matthew 12: 36 -37 NLT. On Judgment Day each one of us has to account before God how we have lived our life here on planet earth. Have we lived it according to His purposes? Have we lived it according to His will? I pray we will not hear these words from God on Judgment Day. Why did you waste your life doing all these things I didn’t want you to do? Why have you not done all these things I expect you to do?

Jesus’ life purposes were to glorify His Father and to accomplish God’s plan for the salvation of the world. In John 17 He described how he had fulfilled His vision and mission by by revealing God the Father, by reconciling the world to Himself, by discipling those the Fahter gave Him to carry on His work.

My purpose for living God is found in my name ‘Seng’ which means star. My purpose for living is revealed to me in Philippians 2: 14 -16 Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked & depraved generation in which you shine like a star in the Universe as you hold out the Word of life.

Do you know for what purpose God created you for? For what purpose are you still alive today? Are you clear why Jesus saved you and for what purpose He saved you for? If you don’t know, if you’re not clear concerning this, now is the time 2x

  • to ask Father God why He created you and He will reveal it to you
  • to look to Jesus for your purpose in life and He will show it to you.

Write a few sentences to express your purpose for living as revealed to you by God the Father or quote Scripture to summarise your purpose for living as shown to you by Jesus. If you have difficulty doing this consult those who have finished Masterlife 3 Better still sign up to join Masterlife 3 when the next discipleship class begins.

Secondly: LOOK TO JESUS FOR YOUR PRIORITIES IN LIFE

Our purpose in life determines the priorities we set for our life. When our purpose for living is clear, it’s easier to set our priorities. When our purpose for living is confused, we’ll find it hard to set our priorities. Our priorities in life should include these 6 important aspects of our life. Starting with the most important

Our first priority concerns our foundation in Christ Just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him,rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thanksgiving. Colosians 2: 6-7 Root your life in Jesus. He ‘s the foundation of your life. Then build your life with Jesus as the only foundation of your life. Build your life with God’s strength and with thanksgiving. No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, gems, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is because the Day of Judgment will bring it to light, It will be revealed with fire and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 1 Corinthians 3: 11 -13 These verses illustrate the concept of building a life on Jesus. We first begin with the foundation and then we select the building materials. As builders we are responsible for the building process and the type and quallty of materials we choose for building.. When it is completed, God will test and examine it. Be certain you build every aspect of your life on Jesus as your foundation. Be sure you choose the right materials for building. Be sure your building process is right and sound. Look to Jesus as you check your foundation and build your life in Him by asking this question: Is Jesus the first & foremost priority in my life?

Our 2nd priority is our personhood as a disciple of Jesus. God is more concerned about who we are than what we can do for Him. He is more interested in our character than our career or our calling. Are we Christlike in character as portrayed in the Beatitudes? cf Matt 5:1-12 As you look to Jesus to be like Him ask yourself these questions: What kind of person am I becoming? Am I becoming more like Christ in character?

Our 3rd priority is our life message to the world. You are your life message. You are your own advertisment to the world. Your life message reveals to others who you are and what you do. Are we the salt of the earth and light to the world described in Matt 5:13-16 ? As you look to Jesus for your life message to the world, ask yourself these questions: What do others see in my life? What does my life say to others?

Our 4th priority is our ministry to others. God has called us to a life of ministry. No disciple is exempt from God’s call. As you look to Jesus to reveal what ministry He wants from you ask yourself these questions: Am I unselfishly sharing my life with others? How can I share more my life with others?

Our 5th priority is our home. Your home & your family do not belong to you. God owns you, your family and everyhing there is in your home. Your home can be a powerful base for ministry Is it free and available to God for ministry? As you look to Jesus to use your home for ministry ask yourself these questions.How can I make my home a platform for my ministry? Who is the best person I can marry to make our ministry together effective? How can I use my singlehood to increase my ministry?

Our 6th priority is our daily work? Whatever your job, work at it with all your heart as serving the Lord and not the paycheck. Be christlike in your attitudes & relationships, work habits & decision-making, Your mission is to touch lives and transform your workplace for Christ As you look to Jesus to spell out your mission in your daily work, ask yourself these questions . What career would best enable me to have an effective ministry in the world? How can I allow Christ to use my career to minister to others?

These life- priority questions are difficult to answer. Without Jesus’ help we will not be able to answer them. We need to look to Jesus for answers that He alone can reveal. And when He reveals, write and record the answers He gives you for each of these life priority questions. If you have difficulty doing this, consult those who have attended Masterlife 3. Better still sign up to attend Masterlife3 for the next discipleship class begins. We cannot give you the answers but we can struggle alongside you and agonize with you as you look to Jesus for answers.

I have answered the 1st 2 questions of tonight’s message..1 WHY look to Jesus for victory as a soldier in spiritual warfare? We look to Jesus for victory because He is our armor and He is the author and finisher of our faith. 2 Look to Jesus for WHAT? We look to Jesus to reveal to us our purpose for livingand to help us set our priorities for living. Our purposes and our priorites in life must be clear and focused as a soldier before and during spiritual combat to ensure victory over our enemy.. I close by answering the 3rd & most important question or tonight’s message.

HOW DO WE LOOK TO JESUS FOR VICTORY IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE?

The answer to this question is given in tonight’s text, Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Let me unpack this verse for us by asking these questions.  How do we pray in the Spirit - Spirit in capital S?.How do we pray in the Spirit on all occasions? – not some occasions How do we pray in the Spirit with all kinds of prayers & requests – not some kinds of prayers and some requests? How do we pray in the Spirit all the time for all the saints? - not some of the time for some of the saints. How do we pray in the Spirit with awareness and alertness? – not with ignorance and unalertness. 2 answers are given in Masterlife 3. They are 1 Guide to intercession 2 How to develop your personal prayer journal. I won’t elaborate on the details of these 2 answers not because it’s not important but because it takes up too much time. It’ll require another hour of sermon time to properly explain it. If you’re really interested buy Masterlife 3 and sign up for the next Discipleship Course on Masterlife 3..

What I have spoken thus far is teaching. When teaching is given from God’s Word you’re obligated to obey it. Now I change mode and move from teaching to sharing. When sharing is given you’re not obligated to obey it. Feel free to ignore, reject or use what I share. I close by sharing with you 3 ways how I daily obey Ephesians 6:18 . Consider what I share as tips on how to obey Ephesians 6:18 .

Tip #1: Pray when you wake up and pray before you go to sleep and in between pray as much as you can by practsing the presence of God..Your prayers need not be long. Short one or 2 sentence prayer will do.

Tip #2: Every day write one prayer or petition to Father God. by telling Him what matters most to you in your heart. Or you can download a prophecy from God by writing down what He is telling you to heart to heart.

Tip #3: Record your prayers using the Prayer-Covenant List Format.: Date My petiton Bible Promise God’s answer Date.

If you don’t think these tips are good for you, ignore them..If you feel it will be useful to you, go try them and improve on them.I personally have found these simple and useful and I enjoy doing it. If you’ve other enjoyable & useful tips on how to obey Ephesians 6:18 , I’ll be glad to learn from you. Look to Jesus for victory in spiritual warfare by obeying Ephesians 6:18 . May God grant you the will and the wisdom to Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

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Written by Chan Weng Seng   

OVERCOMING THE ENEMY

1 JOHN 4: 4 cws/wmcas/220412

OPENING PRAYER

I read from the Living Bible 2 Kings 6: 8 -17. Once when the king of Syria was at war with Israel, he said to his officers “we’ll mobilize our troops at such and such a place.” Immediately Elisha warned the king of Israel “ don’t go there for the Syrians are planning to mobilize their troops there.” The king sent a scout to see if Elisha was right, and sure enough, Elisha had saved him from disaster. This happened several times. The king of Syria was puzzled. He called together his officers and demanded “who among you is the traitor? Who has been informing the king of Israel about my plans?” “It is not us, sir” one of the officers replied. “Elisha, the prophet tells the king of Israel the words you speak even in the privacy of your bedroom!” Go and find out where he is, and we’ll send troops to seize him the king exclaimed. And the report came back, “Elisha is at Dothan.” So one night the king of Syria sent a great army of many chariots and horses to surround the cityWhen the prophet’s servant got up early the next morning and went outside there were troops, horses and chariots everywhere. “ Alas, my master, what shall we do now? he cried out to Elisha. “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “Our army is bigger than theirs” (Those who are with us is more than those who are with them.) Then Elisha prayed “Lord open his eyes and let him see!” And the LORD opened the young man’s eyes so that he could see horses of fire and chariots of fire everywhere upon the mountains!

The Church in Malaysia is under attack. Lies are published to stoke hatred against Christians in Malaysia. False accusations are propagated as a prelude to more persecution to come. We see the physical might of our enemies, we know how powerful they are. They are more in numbers and they have more weapons against us. WMCAS is under attack. Satan knows how to use worldly christians in the church to destoy us. He knows how to demotivate the church from praying for that is what he fears most. You may not be aware of it, but it’s real if you have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Like Elisha’s servant, many of us 3x…

  • when under attack see only the troops, horses & chariots of our enemies
  • are frightened by the physical might of our enemies
  • are fearful when we have to fight enemies that are more superior in weapons and in numbers.

Let us pray.

Almighty God! Open our eyes and let us see 2x..

  • your horses & chariots of fire protecting us when we’re under attack.
  • your army of angels that is more in numbers & far superior in power than the enemies we fight.
  • Grant us boldness & courage not only to face & fight but more so to defeat and overcome your enemies.

We pray this believing You’l’ answer our prayer because we pray this for your glory in Yeshua’s name. Amen.

SERMON STRUCTURE

Tonight’s sharing entitled OVERCOMING THE ENEMY is from 1 John 4:4 . Hear these words from our heavenly Father. “You dear children who are from God have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” I have dissected this verse into 3 parts and I have structured tonight’s sermon under these 3 headings.

1You dear children are from God : Your status as a child of God.

2 You have overcome them :Your success as a soldier of God

3 The one in you is greater than the one who is in the world: Your strength as a disciple of Jesus.

If what is shared overwhelms you, just remember these 3 points.

1 Your STATUS as a child of God    2 Your SUCCESS as a soldier of God.    3 Your STRENGTH as a disciple of Jesus.

My prayer for all of us present this evening is this. In response to what has been taught

  1. as children in God’s family we desire to know God intimately
  2. as soldiers in God’s army we succeed in spiritual warfare
  3. as dsciples of Jesus we be strengthened by God to defeat His enemies.

I begin with point #1: YOUR STATUS AS A CHILD OF GOD - You dear children are from God.

You not only have a human father, you also have a heavenly Father. You not only belong in an earthly family, you also belong in God’s family. How were you born into God’s family? How did God become your heavenly Father? John 1:12 -13 gives us the answer.."To all who received Jesus as the Son of God, who believed Jesus as Messiah; God gave them the right to become children of God. They were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but born of God. God willed you to be His child, you were born into His family when you 2x..

  • believed in your heart and confessed with your lips that Jesus is the Son of God
  • invited Jesus into your life and made Him your LORD and Savior.

This truth is fundamental and foundational. It’s fundamental because you can’t be God’s soldier unless you’re His child. You can’t be Jesus’ disciple unless you’re God’s child. It’s foundational because the intimacy of your relationship with God it determines 2x..

  • your success as a soldier of God
  • your strength as a disciple of Jesus.

Embed this truth in your mind and God will grant you strength and success. Treasure this truth in your heart and Satan will not be able to discourage and defeat you How do we treasure this truth in our hearts? How do we embed this truth in our minds? How do we protect our minds & hearts from the attacks of God’s enemies? To protect our hearts we need to put on the breastplate of righteousness. How do we put on the breastplate of righteousness? The answer will be given next Sunday. To protect our minds we need to put on the helmet of salvation. How do we put on the helmet of salvation? The answer to this question I give tonight.

3 things you need to do to put on the helmet of salvation.

1stly: We put on the helmet of salvation when we praise God for our eternal life. In John 17: 3 Jesus tells us what is eternal life.. This is eternal life: To know You as the only true and real God and to know Jesus as the Christ, the Anointed Messiah whom You sent. You not only have eternal life after you die, you enjoy eternal life before you die. You enjoy eternal life when you know 2x..

  • Father God intimately as your only true and real God
  • Jesus Christ personally as your LORD and Savior.

And when we praise God for our eternal life; we praise 3x..

  • God for the after life we willl enjoy when our earthly life is over.
  • God for the intimacy we can have with Him while we’re still living
  • Jesus for being our LORD and Savior.

At Masterlfe 3, for those who sign up,

  • together we’ll learn how to have intimacy with God the Father.
  • We’ll learn from each other how praise to God for our eternal life
  • as we help each other put on the helmet of salvation.

2ndly: We put on the helmet of salvation when we thank God we’re His children.

We truly thank God as His children when we understand these 5 things.

1 The source of our thanksgiiving is grace

2 The condition of our thanksgiving is agreement.

3 The response of our thanksgiving is worship.

4 The occasion for our thanksgiving is everything

5 The reward of our thanksgiving is the enjoyment of God’s blessings.

Learning without doing is futile. Understanding without practice is incomplete  We truly thank God as His children when we do these 5 things.. At Masterlfe 3, for those who sign up, we’ll have fun learning from one another how to do these 5 things together & how to thank God as His children

 

3rdly: We put on the helmet of salvation when we claim the mind of Christ.

I was amazed by this truth when I looked up 1 Corinthians 2:16 "Who can know what the LORD is thinking? Who can give Him counsel? We can understand these things for we have the mind of Christ. NLT

We have the mind of Christ; not we will have the mind of Christ. The mind if Christ has been given to every disciple of Jesus. The mind of Christ was given to us with our salvation. (Illustrate by giving away RM 10. What is given is not yours until you claim it for yourself. The mind of Christ is not yours until you claim it from God. Many do not have the mind of Christ because they don’t know how to claim it. Many do not think like Jesus because they have not claimed the mind of Christ for themselves. At Masterlife 3, we’ll learn how to claim the mind of Christ as we help one another put on our helmet of salvation.

Let me recap before I move on to point #2. We put on our helmet of salvation

  • when we praise God for our eternal life
  • when we thank Father God we’re His children
  • when we claim the mind of Christ.
  • Notice these 3 words, praise, thank and claim.

This is what we do on the 1st Thursdays of every month where we as a church meet to praise God, give thanks and claim the mind of Christ in our praying. If you can’t sign up for Masterlife 3, I encourage to be regular at our monthly PTIs. Let me give you 3 benefits you will receive from attending our PTIs. When we praise & thank God, when we claim the mind of Christ in our praying

  • our minds are protected against the attacks of Satan
  • our hearts are prepared against the emotional onslaught of Satan
  • our thinking is made ready for spiritual combact.

Satan is not happy 2x..

  • when we are united in prayer against him and his kingdom
  • when our minds are protected against his attacks

Satan is distressed 2x..

  • when our hearts are prepared against his emotional onslaughts
  • when our thinking is ready for spiritual combact.

Don’t allow Satan to destroy our PTI by discouraging you from attending. Don’t allow him to defeat us as a church because we don’t want to pray.

This brings us to point #2: Your SUCCESS as a soldier of God. - You dear children have overcome them..

3 questions I answer now.

Question 1: WHO have we overcome? Who are we fighting against?

Ephesians 6:12 give us the answer. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

We are fighting a very organized centrally governed, invisible spiritual kingdom, the kingdom od Satan. Satan is not confined in hell or Hades nor does he reside on planet earth. His residence and headquaters is in the heavenly realm. He rules over rebellious angels who assume the role of principalities to influence the world for evil. In the lower ranks of his kingdom on earth, Satan controls countless demons and evil spirits. Under Satan there are also sub-rulers with delegated areas of authority on earth over empires, kingdoms, states, communities and cities. Can we afford not to pray when faced with such a formidable enemy?

Question 2: WHAT have we overcome? What are we fighting against?

The answer is in one word, the word stronghold. A stronghold is an idea, a thought, a habit or an addiction through which Satan sets up occupancy in our life & in the world, a place where he is strong, where he has the advantage and where he sets up his kingdom.

There are 3 kinds of strongholds - the personal, ideological and cosmic.

Personal strongholds are areas in our lives where we are most vulnerable to Satan’s attack, where he takes advantage of us. Satan first attacks the flesh which is the inner capacity to sin. Through the flesh Satan influences our minds, our will & our emotions. Footholds he gains in us become his strongholds if not defeated by spiritual weapons. Examples of personal strongholds are bitterness & resentment, lust & addictions; pride & greed, selfishness & unforgiveness..

Ideological strongholds are built around systems of thought & ideas that are embodied in cultures where they exert pressure on people to conform. Through this influence which the Bible calls the world, societies and civilizations propagate & perpetuate philosophical systems, value systems, economic systems, educational systems, religious systems & political systems. Examples of ideological strongholds include homosexuality& pornography, gambling & alcoholism, promiscuity & abortion, secularism & communism.

Cosmic strongholds include satanic worship, occultism, idolatry & religions that reject Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons to demolish Satan’s strongholds. With these weapons we demolsih every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10: 3 -5 NLT

God’s weapons are mighty to tear down Satan’s strongholds. Using these weapons we destroy every proud argument against God and we break down barriers that keep men from finding God.

This bring us to Question 3: HOW do we demolish Satan’s strongholds?

How do we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ? Logic and physical efforts cannot demolish Satan’s strongholds. Positive thinking and psychological tactics cannot defeat Satan. Only God-given weapons have the power to pull down Satan’s strongholds.

We demolish Satan’s stronghold using these 5 steps.

1 Identify the wrong idea or false argument that opposes God. Identify what’s wrong with it.

2 Identify the ways the stronghold was established. Was it through sinful nature or wrong desire, through society or through demons?

3 Identify your spiritual weapons for battle in contrast to worldly solutions.

4 Declare war on the thought or argument that opposes God

  • by using thoughts & arguments from God’s Word.
  • by claiming the mind of Christ
  • by using our spiritual weapons as we pray in the power of the Holy Spirit
  • by boldly making the truth of the gospel clear
  • by claiming victory by faith in Jesus’ name

5 Do whatever God tells you to win the victory promised.

For those attending Masterlife 3;, we’ll have the opportunity to be trained and then to practice these 5 steps in demolishing Satan’s strongholds. I am looking forward to do this with those attending.

Mana boleh? I don’t think we can overcome the enemy. We don’t have the power to defeat our enemies. If this is what you think. If this is how you feel

Consider point #3: Our strength as disciples of Jesus.

Consider this truth given to strengthen us as disciples of Jesus. It’s recorded in 1 John 5: 4 -5: Every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory. The one who wins this battle against the world are the ones who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

Every child of God has been given God’s power to defeat evil in this world. The one who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world. We defeat Satan and this evil world by trusting Jesus, the Son of God.

Let’s now trust Jesus by wanting to receive this God-given power. Raise your hands to receive God’s strength to fight in spiritual warfare.

Receive now the incredible greatness of God’s power. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead. This is the same mighty power that seated Christ in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now Christ is far above any ruler or authority, power or leader or anything else in this world or in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ Now receive Christ’s delegated power as a church. Receive Christ’s delegated authority as a disciple of Jesus. Receive Christ’s authority which is greater than any human ruler or leader, any authority or power in this world or in the world to come. In Jesus name weI pray. Together we say amen.

God has put all things under the authority of Christ. Christ’s authority is higher than any other authority on earth & in heaven. Church! We have Christ’s authority which is greater than the authority of Satan. We have God’s power which is greater than Satan’s power. We possess God’s power which is greater than any human power. The one in us is greater than the one in the world. I pray that we will understand this and act on it in faith. In spiritual warfare, we don’t pray for victory, we pray from victory. We don’t fight for victory, we fight from victory.

SUMMARY & CLOSURE

I end by quoting 1 Peter 5: 8 -9 Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the devil your great enemy He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him and be strong in your faith. Remember that your christian brothers & sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering as you. NLT.

This year I celebrate my 50th year as a disciple of Jesus. I thank God He has not allowed the evil one to devour me the many times I was attacked & ambushed. Now as I study Masterlife 3 I understand why I had been attacked & ambushed. I had not been careful nor watchful.. I was not strong in my faith. I didn’t know how to fight him in prayer. I was unprepared for spiritual warfare. I didn’t know how to use the spiritual weapons God had given me. I didn’t put on God’s armor because I was not taught or trained to do it. I didn’t know what God meant when He said put on the helmet of salvation. As a soldier in God’s army I was not trained to succeed in spiritual warfare As a child in God’s family I didn’t know Almighty God intimately As a dsciple of Jesus I didn’t know how to be strengthened by Him . Satan had many strongholds in my life until I was delivered from them. It’s by the grace of God that I had not been devoured by Satan. Now 50 years later I can say 1 Corinthians 10:13 is very true for me. God had been faithful to me. He kept trials from becoming too strong to defeat me. When I wanted to give up He showed me a way out so that I did not have to give in to Satan in defeat. Time does not permit me to share the specifics and the details. If you want to hear them, sign up for Masterlife 3.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Satan prowls around you like a hungry lion. He wants to devour you. He’s waiting to ambush and attack you. You don’t have to be his victim. You can be careful and watchful. You can be strong in the faith. You can put on your god-given armour and fight him in prayer. You can prepare yourself for spiritual warfare and be victorious over him. Tonight’s message is the 2nd message in this series of sermons on Masterlife 3. There are 5 more messages to come. Don’t miss anyone of these messages. Masterlife 3 Disciple’s Course starts next week. Sign up for it and commit yourself to 7 weeks intensive training. You won’t regret your decision. God willing some of you will survive to celebrate your jubilee as Jesus’ disciple.

In James 1:22 we’re told to be doers of God’s Word and not be hearers only lest we deceive ourselves. This is a message to obey, not just to listen to If we don’t obey, we are only fooling ourselves. Here are the 6 doable things we can do to put on our helmet of salvation. Seated where you are pray this to your heavenly Father

1Thank God you are His child.

2 Praise God for your eternal life.

3 Claim the mind of Christ for yourself

4 As His child tell Father God you desire to know Him intimately.

5 As His soldier ask Him to grant you success in spiritual warfare

6 As Jesus’ disciple ask for strength to defeat His enemies.

 
Written by Chan Weng Seng   

RENEW YOUR MIND: ROMANS 12:2

OPENING PRAYER: Abba Father! We want to hear You speak. Your Truth we seek. To You we want to be true. Tell us what to do. We ask this in Yeshua’s Name. Amen.

BIG PICTURE OF SERMON SERIES :What is this series of sermons on the Disciple’s Personality all about? To help you see the big picture of your personality as Jesus’ disciple;  to provide you with the theological understanding of what’s happening inside of you; watch carefully and listen attentively to this video presentation. If ever you forget what is shared in this series of sermons, don’t forget this video presentation on The Disciple’s Personality. It’s the heart and soul of who you are, what’s happening in you and what God intends you to be as Jesus’ disciple. For God is at work in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. DISCIPLE’S PERSONALITY PRESENTATION Last week pastor spoke on DO GOD’S WILL. Tonight I continue with

RENEW YOUR MIND: Tonight’s message is based on one verse in the Bible.Romans 12:2 . Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. NKJV Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is. NLT Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you and develops well-formed maturity in you. Msg 2 things are emphasized in Romans 12:2 which becomes the 2 points of tonight’s message. 1 Reject the world’s ways.    2 Renew your mind God’s way. I now begin with

Point #1: REJECT THE WORLD’S WAYS: Romans 12: 2a.  Do not be conformed to this world. Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world. Don’t be so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Adam and Eve sinned against God when they chose to listen to Satan instead of God; when they chose to believe Satan instead of God; when they trusted Satan more than they trusted God. Whose voice are you hearing when you are thinking? Who do you choose to believe when you have to decide? Who do you trust when it really matters ? God or Satan? The world or yourself?

Reject these thoughts from Satan. They deceive and cause you to sin.

  • You’re so unlovable God cannot love you; you’re so insignificant God doesn’t see you.
  • God doesn’t care about you. How you live doesn’t bother Him.
  • It’s alright to sin against God once in a while. He wouldn’t know..
  • When you sin, no need to repent, God has already forgiven you.
  • God cannot be trusted. He cannot be trusted to provide and protect you.

Reject these lies when the world says these things to you.

  • Sin as much as you want as long as it doesn’t hurt others.
  • Right and wrong, good and evil isn’t important anymore because there’s no heaven and hell after you die.
  • It’s alright to hurt others when you’re hurting. Go do it. It will make you feel better.
  • Your happiness is more important than your holiness. God wants you to be happy not holy.
  • Why pray? It’s a waste of time. It’s only meant for those who’ve nothing better to do.

Reject these unhealthy thoughts from your sinful nature.

  • If God really knows who I am, He won’t love me.
  • My problems and hurts are too big for God to help me.
  • God is love. He cannot hate sin..
  • God will not punish me for the wrong things I enjoy doing.
  • God doesn’t appreciate all the things I do for Him.

Don’t entertain these negative thoughts in your thinking.Don’t nurse and rehearse these unhealthy feelings in your heart. All these sin-inducing thoughts come from Satan, the world and your sinful nature. Shut the door of your life to Satan and never ever listen to him. Don’t even dialoque with him. He’ll deceive you like He deceived Adam and Eve.

This is not my advice to you. It’s God’s command given to you as recorded in 1 John 2: 15 -17. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world. The world is passing away and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. NKJV Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for Fahter God. Practically everything that goes on in the world; wanting your own way; wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important, has nothing to do with Father God. It just isolates you from Him. The world with all its wanting is on the way out, but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. Msg

Therefore! Watch your desires, they become feelings. Watch your feelings, they become thoughts. Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.  

You’re not a human being on a spiritual pilgrimage. You’re a spirit being on a human pilgrimage. Reject the world’s ways and God starts you on the trip to eternity with Him. It’s not the starting that’s important, how you end is more important. To move forward in your pilgrimage, one other thing you need to do. When you have rejected the world’s ways, to proceed further you need to renew your mind God’s way. This brings me to

Point # 2: RENEW YOUR MIND GOD’S WAY: Romans 12: 2b Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what God wants from you, and quickly respond to it.How do we let God transform our personality? How does God change the way we think? How do we become a new person from inside out? How do we know what God wants from us as He works in us to will and to act according to His good purpose? How do you and I renew our minds God’s way? 4 things we are told to do. 4 things we can do.

1stly: Surrender your mind to God. I read from the NLT Romans 12:1 Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice, the kind He will accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is it too much to ask? Our mind is an integral part of your physical body. When you surrender your body to God, you also surrender your mind to God. Once surrendered, your body and mind is no longer your possession. Once surrendered, God owns you, He owns your mind as well as your body. As Master He’s in control of your life? As Lord He’s incharge of your life? Is God in control of your thinking? Is He Lord and Master of your mind? Is your mind holy, set apart unto God? Is your thinking acceptable to God? I pray your answer to these questions is yes, yes, and yes.

2ndly: Saturate your mind with God’s Word. Psalm 1:1-2 tells us how to saturate our minds with God’s Word. Blessed is the man who…delights in the law of the Lord and on His law he meditates day and night. NIV Oh the joys of those who delight in doing everything God wants them to, day and night always meditating on His laws and thinking about ways to follow God more closely. LB
God will not bless you when you neglect to meditate on His Word daily, when you refuse to memorize His Word. You deprive yourself from experiencing divine joywhen you agonize in obeying God’s Word; when you don’t want to know God intimately when you saturate your minds with things other than God’s Word. But God will bless you when you day and night meditate on His Word; when you diligently memorize God’s Word. Divine joys awaits you when you delight in obeying God’s Word; when you think about ways to follow God closely; when you saturate their minds with God’s Word Do you want God to bless you? Do you desire to experience joy in your life? If yes is your answer, then saturate your mind with God’s Word.

3rdly: Seize every thought and secure it under Christ’s lordship. I read from the NIV 2 Corinthians 10: 4 -5 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. God has given you His power to demolish demonic strongholds entrenched in your mind; to destroy anti-god arguments corrupting your mind; to decimate satanic wisdom deceiving your mind. You have God’s power to capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ. When these thoughts occupy your thinking impure and indecent thoughts; lustful and immoral thoughts; idolatrous and adulterous thoughts; fearful and anxious thoughts; resentful and revengeful thoughts; use God’s power to capture them and destroy them in Jesus name. When these thoughts persist in your thinking envious and jealous thoughts hateful and murderous thoughts; unkind and unloving thoughts; foolish and evil thoughts; greedy and covetous thoughts; use God’s power to seize them and demolish them in Jesus’ name.

When you do these 1st 3 things as commanded. When you surrender your mind to God; when you saturate your mind with God’s Word; when you seize every ungodly thought and destroy it in Jesus’ name God will do His part .He will

4thly: Spirit-controlled in your thinking. John 16: 13 LB When the Holy Spirit, who is Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not be presenting His own ideas, but will be passing on to you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future.

1.The Holy Spirit is God’s Holy Fire. He burns away all unholy thoughts in our thinking..He purifies our minds from all sinful thoughts.

2 The Holy Spirit is God’s Truth Spirit. He exposes all lies and deceit in our thinking and He drives them out of our minds.

3 The Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit of Revelation. He reveals what Father God wants us to know. He tells us about the future.

4 The Holy Spirit is God’s Counsellor. He helps us understand God’s truth. He guides us when we have to choose and decide. He convinces us to follow God’s wisdom. He convicts us to do things God’s way. He comforts and consoles us.

5 The Holy Spirit is God’s everpresent Spirit. He’s in us and with us all the time. He is always available to you. He is ever ready to help you. He won’t impose Himself on you. He waits for you to humbly ask when you need Him.

When you are Spirit–controlled in your thinking, as your mind is being renewed; you will know what God wants you to do and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is. Rom 12: 2c NLT You will readily recognize what God wants from you and you will quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you and develops well-formed maturity in you Msg You will experience and enjoy the good, acceptable and perfect will of God in your life.. NKJV
Do you know what God wants you to do at this point in your life? Do you readily recognize what God wants from you? Are you experiencing the goodness of God’s will in your life? Are you enjoying the perfect will of God in your daily liiving? Are you Spirit-controlled in your thinking? Is your mind being renewed by God, not once in a while, but daily? If yes is your answer to these questions, praise and thank God before you leave His presence this evening. If no is your answer to these questions, why not come to the altar after the benediction and tell God what ‘s in your heart.

I close with this short testimony. 50 years ago I became a disciple of Jesus. I denied myself, took up my cross and followed Jesus from then on. I was blessed with a godly pastor who preached powerfully and passiontely. I was so impacted by his ministry that I told God that when I grow up, I want to be like him, preaching and teaching wherever God sends me. But 50 years ago I had no money to travel. I was still schooling. I was not mature. I was a spiritual baby in God’s family. I had no mission. I did not know God’s purpose for my life. I had no ministry. I was too young to be trusted with responsibilities.

50 years later, this year I celebrate my jubilee as a disciple Jesus. Now I have more than enough money for me to live and to travel. I am mature enough to be trusted to disciple others for Christ. I have a purpose for living until God calls me home to be with Him. I have a ministry to preach and teach in 7 small congregattions up north; to preach, pray and to prophesy in missions local and overseas other than the things I do in this church.

My 1st 30 years as Jesus’ disciple had plenty of ups and downs because I was a worldly christian. My soul was a continual battleground because I was not properly discipled. I was not taught to shut the door of my flesh to Satan. I was not shown how to crucify my mind, my will and my emotions to God. My last 20 years as Jesus’ disciple was better because by then I had learned how to reject the world’s ways and not conform to its values and vices. God has been renewing my mind His way through the Holy Spirit. As I now daily surrender my life to Father God; I saturate my mind in God’s Word ; I seize and secure every thought in obedience to Christ I become Spirit-controlled in my thinking. And what a difference it has made in my life and ministry.

If only God had sent someone to properly disciple me much earlier, I would have been spared much pain and regrets, much mistakes and disappointments. If only I had been discipled much earlier with The Disciple’s Course what a great difference it would have made in my life and ministry. Spare yourself much pain and regrets, spare yourself mistakes & disappointmets Don’t miss out on this opprotunity and appointment with God to be properly discipled. You won’t regret the time spent and the effort put in doing this course. Masterlife 1 The Disciple’s Cross starts this week on 14th October with pastor. Masterlife 1 The Disciple’s Cross also starts this week on 13th October with me and Charis Care Group. Masterlife 2 The Disciple’s Personality starts this week on 11th October with me..Sign up and see how God works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.Thank you for listening so attentively.God bless each one of you in Jesus’ name.


 
Written by Chan Weng Seng   

Finishing Well by Mr Ch’ng Yeang Boon

2 Timothy 4:1-8

Today we observed “The Call to Ministry” Many of us in the church are already involved in some form of ministry. Some are involved in providing pastoral care, while others are involve in students and children works. Other ministries are in the area of worship as worship leaders, ushers, communion stewards, musician, sound system and even preparing the church service bulletin. While many work behind the scene supporting, praying, giving of money and doing a lot of works that few people notice.

In any church ministry there will be some in the front line preaching, teaching and shepherding the flocks while many would want to stay in the back line doing caring and other supportive role like praying. Ministry like serving the community in the area of the church schools, the church community tuition and medical projects giving their time and energy for the Lord are also important.

But here Paul charged Timothy to do this one very important thing in vs 1-3

I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom. Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction. For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching.

So whatever ministry or works we maybe doing for God, we need to remind ourselves that we are entrusted with a message to share. Because a time will come when people will not tolerate our message and sound teaching. Jesus himself said to his disciples, work while it is still day when night comes we may not be able to work anymore.

However one thing that we must eventually ask ourselves is “How do we want to be remembered? What do you hope people will say about you after you are gone? How will the people who knew you best, summarize 40 or 50 or 60 or 70 or 80 years of your living?

A man visited the family cemetery for the owners of the 19th-century plantation. He climbed over a low wall and began inspecting the gravestones, most of them 150 years old.

Most of the markers contained phrases like, “Loving father,” “Beloved mother,” “Darling son,” “Rest in Peace,” “Asleep in Jesus,” and so on. Eventually he came to the grave of the man who had owned the plantation for many years. Under his name there was the date of his birth and the date of his death.Then there was a five-word statement that summed up his whole life: “A man of unquestioned integrity.” Just five words. Nothing more, nothing less.Suppose it was our tombstone. What five words would your friends choose for you ? How do we want to be remembered by others?

Here is Paul’s answer to that question. Writing from a Roman jail, with the certain knowledge that he would soon be dead, he looked back at his journey with Christ, and then he looked forward to what would happen after he died. Then he wrote his own epitaph: “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8 ).

After an exhaustive study of the men and women of the Bible, Howard Hendricks of Dallas Theological Seminary concluded that there are approximately 100 detailed biographies in the Bible. He notes that approximately two-thirds of those men and women ended poorly. Either they turned to immorality or they drifted away from the faith or they ended their life in a backslidden condition. The Apostle Paul was not among them. He finished well.

Once when John Wesley was asked to explain the spiritual strength of the early Methodists, he replied, “Our people die well.” But in order to die well, you have to finish well. And tonight our text tells us how that happens. Finishing well doesn’t happen by accident.

John Bingham, “The Penguin”. Serious runners will recognize the name. He has inspired hundreds of thousands of men and women to run for fun, fitness, and self-affirmation. His book, "Marathoning for Mortals", co-authored by Coach Jenny Hadfield, revolutionized long-distance running and walking. Now with another book "Running for Mortals" John and Jenny bring the joy of running to everyone.

Once an overweight man with a glut of bad habits, including smoking and drinking, at the age of 43 Bingham started running. Since then, he has completed 40 marathons races—and developed a whole new outlook. He is both a runner and someone who knows how to motivate others to successfully run marathons. What is his secret? This man used to say this to people “As I stand at the starting line, I know that somewhere out there is a finish line.” That’s a good principle to keep in mind.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, out there somewhere is a finish line for all of us. Most of us probably think the finish line is a few years down the road—maybe ten years or 20 years or 30 years away. For me personally, I don’t know what to expect. If I live as long as my father now, I’ve got at least 26 more years in front of me. If I live longer than my father, I have probably more than that. All I know is, the finish line of life is “out there” somewhere. And it may come sooner for me than I expect. But whether sooner or later, it will come because the Bible said in Hebrews 9:27 “it is appointed unto man once to die”I have an appointment with death. All of us have that appointment with death. We cannot escape that appointment. I don’t know when or where or how, but it’s in God’s book in heaven. That’s one appointment I won’t miss and can’t postpone. As Paul approached his own death, he drew some conclusions about his own life and what would happen next. Based on his words, Iwould like us to think about three questions together.

I. What kind of departure will you have? (v 6)

When Paul says he is being poured out like a drink offering, he is referring to an Old Testament ritual that accompanied certain sacrifices. The Law mandated that when a worshiper brought an offering, part of it was consumed upon the altar and part was given to the priest for his own use. When the offering was consumed by fire, the worshiper would sometimes pour a “drink offering” of wine upon the burning sacrifice. All the wine was to be poured out. None was to be given to the priest. As the wine hit the burning coals, it evaporated and a sweet smell rose from the altar. Keep in mind that wine was a symbol of joy in the Old Testament. The drink offering was a symbolic way of saying, “I gladly give all that I have to the Lord. This sacrifice that I offer is given as a symbol of my wholehearted commitment to God. Nothing is held back. All that I have, I gladly give to my God.” Paul knew that his death was close at hand. He was on death row in Rome and he would never be set free. By speaking of his death as a “drink offering,” he was saying to Timothy, “When you hear of my death, don’t think that Nero has executed me against my will. I gladly lay down my life for my Lord. Nero cannot take my life; I gladly offer it to Christ. My own blood will be like the wine of the drink offering, gladly given to the One who loved me and gave himself for me.” It was Paul’s way of saying, “Don’t weep for me, Timothy. Know this: When I die, I will die smiling.” Paul had already given everything to Jesus. The only thing left to give was his life—and that he gladly gave.


The word “departure” in verse 6 has three word pictures behind it. It refers to a ship hoisting the anchor, raising the sails, leaving the harbour, and setting sail for a distant port.

It also refers to an army that has made camp near a battlefield. To “depart” means to break camp, leave the battlefield, and head for home. It also pictures a man who has been carrying a staggering burden. Now the call comes, “My friend lay your burden down. It’s time to come home.” For Paul, death was like setting sail, breaking camp, laying down his heavy burden, and finally going home to be with the Lord. Was Paul afraid to die? Not at all. Written over his whole life these two words: NO REGRETS. Since he had no regrets, he viewed his death as simply going home to be with the Lord. What kind of departure will you have? Do you have that same confidence about your own death? You can face death with that cheerful faith if you will do what Paul did—offer your life as a “living sacrifice” to the Lord with nothing held back.


II What kind of legacy will you leave? (v. 7)

Billy Sunday, though many people do not know his name, in the first half of the 20th century, he was America’s greatest evangelist—preaching face to face to over 100 million people. He personally shook hands with over one million people who give their heart to Jesus. Engraved on his tombstone are the words of 2 Timothy 4:7 in the King James Version: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” This was the legacy he left behind.

Paul too left a legacy for all of us to see.

First, he lived a disciplined life. “I fought the good fight.” This speaks to the continual struggle that he faced. Think of the words Paul used to describe his own life: trouble, distress, tribulation, trials, and hardships.

In 2 Corinthians 6:4-5 , he described the normal Christian life as including these elements:

But as God’s servants, we have commended ourselves in every way, with great endurance, in persecutions, in difficulties, in distresses in beatings, in imprisonments, in riots, in troubles, in sleepless nights, in hunger

In other passages he spoke of the spiritual opposition he faced—Satan, the forces of darkness, the indwelling power of the flesh, and the spiritual darkness of paganism.

Whatever else can we say about Paul? We can’t say he had an easy life. He never stopped fighting for Jesus until the day he died. Now at last, the struggle is almost over.

Soon his Commander-in-Chief will grant him an Honourable Discharge from the battles of life. He will be promoted from the Church Militant to the Church Triumphant. By God’s grace, he had fought well and for him, the battle would soon be over.

Second, he lived a directional life. “I have finished my course.” We must not read and think that Paul means, “I did what I wanted to do.”He is not like Frank Sinatra singing, “I did it my way.” Paul means that he followed the course the Lord Jesus set out for him the day he saved him on the road to Damascus. Ever since that day, he had been following the Lord, doing whatever the Lord had for him to do. Whether in good times or bad times, whether in happy circumstances or in the midst of pain and suffering, Paul had walked in the way of the Lord. Now that journey was almost over. He could look back and say, “It wasn’t easy, it was often hard, and sometimes I wondered if I would make it, but now I can see that Jesus led me all the way.” He had reached the finish line at last.

I read about a professor at a Christian college, who along with his son, went on a 1,000-mile backpacking trip from British Columbia to southern California. Together father and son hiked through the mountains of Washington, Oregon and California.

For many days they were alone on the trail, often camping above the 10,000-foot level. They faced every sort of discouragement—lack of food and water, danger from wild animals, danger from robbers they might meet, days of rain and mud, incredible physical exhaustion, the very real possibility of physical injury, not to speak of loneliness, blisters, mosquitoes, and the extremes of heat and cold. Before leaving on the trip, the professor discovered that over 90% of those who set out to hike more than 500 miles never make it. Fifty percent never get started and 40% quit after they start. Only 10% ever finish a long-distance hike. After studying the 10% who succeed, he came to certain conclusions.Some of it involved strenuous training and meticulous logistical preparation. But there was something else involved. He discovered that those who succeeded versus those who failed understood that the biggest block was mental.They knew that their real enemy lay within, not without. Those who succeeded make two important decisions: First, they decided they would finish the trip no matter what happened, and second, they expected bad things to happen and decided they would not be surprised or dismayed. So when the rains turned the trail into a swamp, they didn’t quit because they weren’t surprised. When black clouds of mosquitoes descended like some Old Testament plague, they didn’t quit because they weren’t surprised.

When they faced days of loneliness and nights of hunger, they didn’t quit because they knew it would be like this.In essence, the successful backpackers adopted a certain mindset. They knew that the key was simply putting one foot in front of the other. You take a step and hit the mud. You take another step and see a bear. You take another step and your legs begin to cramp. You take another step and the crazy people come out of the woods. It doesn’t matter. You aren’t surprised because you knew the crazy people would show up sooner or later. So you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually your journey is finished.

I believe this was Paul’s approach to the Christian life. No matter what happened to him, he just kept moving forward by the grace of God. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time, one day at a time. He wasn’t deterred by opposition because he knew it was coming eventually. Our problem is that we’re surprised by trouble. We think the Christian life ought to be easy. It’s not easy, and it’s not supposed to be easy. Today is the day of struggle, combat and warfare. Today we march to battle in the name of the Lord. The day of rest comes later.

Third, he lived a doctrinal life. “I have kept the faith.” This simply means he refused to compromise the truth. When other people fell away, Paul preached the Word. When the world was against him, Paul paid no attention. When it would have been easy to trim his message to save his own life, Paul proclaimed the whole counsel of God. He did not back down, he did not compromise, and he would not preach what people wanted to hear. He kept the faith. Because Paul knew that nothing could touch him that did not come from the hand of God, he never gave in to discouragement. He truly believed that everything that happened to him was for his good and for God’s glory. Therefore, he kept on going for God to the very end. Even the chains of a Roman jail could not destroy his faith or shatter his confidence in God.

He never stopped fighting! He never stopped running! He never stopped believing!


III. What kind of reward will you receive? (v. 8)

“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8 ).


Here we see Paul’s faith shining so brightly that the darkness of the Roman prison cell seems to disappear. By faith he sees beyond his own beheading. The pain of that moment is now past and the suffering of this life is left far behind. By faith he sees a day (“that day”) when he will receive his reward from the Lord. What will that reward be like? It will be a guaranteed reward. It is “laid up” or “stored” in heaven for Paul.

It will be a glorious reward. It is the crown of righteousness.

It will be a personal reward. Paul will receive his reward from the Lord himself. Note how specific he is about this. It is the Lord, the righteous Judge, who will reward him.

In just a few days Nero, the unrighteous earthly ruler, will have him beheaded. But in “that day” the Lord himself will reverse Nero’s earthly judgment.The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Universe will weigh in on Paul’s case—and his judgment will be final. And it will be personal. Paul won’t be awarded his crown by mail and he won’t receive it from a committee. He will receive it directly from Jesus Christ.

It will be a future reward. Paul will receive his reward on “that day,” the day Jesus Christ returns from heaven.

It will be a shared reward. It is not just for Paul but also for everyone who loves the Lord and longs for his appearing.This is what is ahead for you and me if we will faithfully serve Jesus Christ in this life. Let us be encouraged like a child of God.

The Lord is not so unjust as to forget your suffering for him. He sees all that you go through. He knows all about your struggles. He sees how hard the fight is, how you are sometimes tempted to quit, and how you keep on going when others around you throw in the towel. He sees and he knows and in “that day,” the Lord himself will reward us if we are faithful to him now. So the word of Lord is this: Keep on fighting. Keep on running. Keep on believing. And the best of all is yet to come. It won’t be long now, just a little while and the Lord himself will return, and all our struggles will be over.This hot battle won’t last forever, this long road will soon come to an end, and this old world full of “dangers, toils and snares” won’t last much longer. Hold on to your faith, we as children of God. Keep believing. Stay strong. Put on the whole armour of God. Hold on to your faith and never give up. There’s a finish line out there somewhere, and it’s closer than any of us realize.

We need to Finish Strong! We need to Finish Well! We need to Finish in Faith

By the grace of God, let’s finish strong for Jesus.

Tonight we observe Call to Ministry Sunday… We may not be called into full time ministry like pastor but we definitely are call into some form of ministry for the Lord to serve Him in the church. Brothers and sisters-in Christ, our church is a very small church with about 100 memberships. But God’s ministries for this church are plentiful. Many people have worked hard without complain because they know the rewards ultimately comes from God himself.

The church needs you to serve in the Church School, youth, community tuition, medical project, Chinese service and even in the LCEC. If tonight the message has speak to you tell pastor what ministry you want to get involved. In fact every one of us is welcome to serve in the LCEC. The LCEC means Local Church Executive Council is itself a ministry because we learn from one another as how and what is the best way to serve God for this Church. We may not agreed with each other but we learn to listen, ponder, pray and try to understand others ideas and suggestion. Any decisions made in the LCEC in not by taking votes or sides but through praying and asking God to let us see the reasons for the decisions taken. There must be a unanimous decisions. That’s why some decisions take quite a while to make. This is because we want the best outcome for God in this church and we are accountable to God for any bad decisions taken.

If you want to grow in character and love to serve God, perhaps the LCEC is a good place to begin. I urge all of us to be involved in the church for God. Differences and Disagreements and Discouragement will come but it for the glory of God that we learn to consider other better than us and like Paul said, let finish the race that God has put us there.

We need to Keep on fighting. Keep on running. Keep on believing

How to finish strong, well and keep our faith? Paul told Timothy in vs. 5. You, however, be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfil your ministry.

What will be our response and how do we prepare ourselves so as to imitate what Paul has shown us. We need to ask ourselves 3 questions tonight:

I. What kind of departure will we have? (v 6)

II. What kind of legacy will you leave? (v. 7)

III. What kind of reward will you receive? (v. 8)

 
Written by Chan Weng Seng   

Text: 2 Timothy 2: 1 -13

 

OPENING PRAYER

Abba Father! Annoint our 6x

  • ears to hear You
  • eyes to see You
  • minds to understand You
  • wills to obey You
  • hearts to love you
  • hands to serve You

Heavenly Father! Open our 6x..

  • ears to hear Your voice
  • eyes to see Your holiness
  • minds to understand Your waysl
  • wills to obey Your Word
  • hearts to receive Your love
  • lips to sing Your praises

For we desire to

  • know You intimately
  • love You dearly
  • follow You closely
  • obey You wholeheartedly
  • serve You singlemindedly and
  • live for You sacrificially

We pray this in Yeshua’s name. Amen.

TEXT, TITLE & KEY VERSE

Tonight’s text is 2 Timothy 2: 1 -1 Tonight’s message is entitled Pass It On. The key verses in tonight’s message is 2 Timothy 2:1-2

Timothy, my dear son, be strong with the special favor God gives you in Christ Jesus.You’ve heard me teach many things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Teach these great truths to trustworthy peoplewho are able to pass them on to others. NLT

Oh, Timothy, my son, be strong with the strength Christ Jesus gives you. For you must teach others those things you and many others have heard me speak about. Teach these great truths to trustworthy men who will, in turn, pass them on to others. LB

Teach these great truths to trustworthy people who will, in turn,pass them on to others.

What great truths was Timothy asked to teach?

In addition to the preaching of the gospel, what other great truths was Timothy asked to pass on to people he could trust? Let me translate this question into an application question that is relevent to us today as a church. In addition to the preaching of the gospel, what other values & virtues are we urged to pass on as we nurture new christians, make Christlike disciples, mentor future leaders and train competent teachers? From tonight’s text, there are 6 core virtues that need to be passed on to the next generation of leaders and teachers. They are..

  • hardwork
  • persistence
  • overcoming spirit
  • optimism
  • commitment
  • rising above circumstances

From the epistle of 2 Timothy, there are 5 essential values that need to be passed on to the next generation of christians and disciples. They are

  • integrity
  • peace
  • love
  • devotion
  • compassion.

We are not to teach these truths to everybody or anybody. We are to told to teach these virtues to trustworthy men and women. Not just any trustworthy men or women but to trustworthy men who are willing to pass them on to others; to trustworthy women who are able to pass them on to others.

Who are these trustworthy people we are looking for? Like Paul and Timothy I’m looking for trustworthy people to invest my life in. I want to invest my time and energies; I want to share my experiences and skills with those who are FAT.

F stands for faithful ;those who are full of faith and faithful in what they are doing

A stands for available; those who are available to serve God anywhere, anytime anyhow no matter what.

T stands for teachable; those who are humble and willing to learn from God and from their mentors.

We are not to share the gospel in fear with trembling. We are not to timidly teach these virtues and values in our own strength. We are urged to be strong with the strength given to us by Christ Jesus. We are told to be bold because of the special favor given to us in Christ Jesus.

You cannot share what you don’t have. You cannot teach what you don’t know. To be authentic you must earn the right to share.To be effective you must earn the respect to teach. Before you entrust to others what God has taught you, you must earn the right and the respect to do it. Before you can entrust to others what God is teaching you. 3 happenings must be seen to be actively at work in your life. These 3 happenings are stated in 2 Timothy 2: 1 -13 as

1. Excite over what you have received

2 Endure what you are undergoing

3 Emulate what you are seeing

Let me begin with point number 1

EXCITE OVER WHAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED

These 2 things you have received from God should excite you.

1stly: Be excited over your salvation. I read 1 Timothy 1: 9 -10 from the NLT

It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserve it, but because that was His plan long before the world began; to show His love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus. And now He has made all of this plain to us by the coming of Christ Jesus, our Savior, who broke the power of death and showed us the way to everlasting life through the Good News.

God has saved you from the fires of hell; are you thankful for it? God has saved you to spend eternity with Him; are you excited over it? God saved you not because you deserve it. Are you grateful for it? God chose you long before the world began. Have you praised Him for it? God has chosen you to live a holy life; are you rejoicing over it?. God has chosen you to show His love and kindness; are you showing it? God has picked you to pour out His love and mercy to those who don’t know Him; are you happy doing it? Jesus Christ has broken the power of death over you; does this truth excite you Christ has plainly showed you the way to eternal life; are you eagerly sharing this with others? You are saved because someone shared the Good News with you; did you praise God for this? These are the biblical truths that you ought to be enthusiastic about. These are the spiritual realities that ought to excite you. If you’re excited by things other than these, you need to realign your spiritual values.

2ndly: Be excited over what God has given you. I read from the NLT 1 Tim 1: 7 -8

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity; but of power, love and self-discipline. So you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me even though I’m in prison for Christ. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the proclamation of the Good News

The spirit of fear and timidity comes from Satan, not God. He instills fear in us and causes us to be timid so that

· we’ll be afraid to tell others about Lord Jesus

· we’ll be ashamed to identify with christians suffering persecution

· we’ll not have God’s strength to suffer for Christ

· we’ll not be ready to proclaim Good News to others.

God has not given to us the spirit of fear and timidity. God has given to each one of us the spirit of power, the spirit of love and the spirit of self-disciplne. When you are excited over what God has given you; when you stir up this gift of God which is in you, when you fan into flames this spiritual gift of God in you you’ll have God’s power, love and discipline ..

· to tell others about Lord Jesus

· to identify with christians suffering persecution

· to suffer persecution for Christ’s sake and

· to proclaim the gospel of salvation no matter what.

As a disciple of Jesus are you excited over what you have received? As a saved sinner are you thankful for your salvation?As a child of God are you stirring up the spirit of power, love  and self-discipline that is in you? If your answer is no to these 3 questions;I invite you to come to the altar after this evening’s message and we’ll pray for you to receive these God-given gifts;we’ll pray for you to stir up God’s Spirit of power,love and self-discipline in you; we’ll pray that God will excite you over what you have received from Him. If you’re not excited over what God has given you, you will find it very hard to endure what you are presently undergoing.This leads me to point #2 of tonight’s message.

.ENDURE WHAT YOU ARE UNDERGOING. 3 ways to endure suffering for the sake of Christ.

1stly: Endure suffering as a good soldier. 2 Timothy 2: 3 -4 NLT

Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. And as Christ’s soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in the affairs of this life, for then you cannot satisfy the one who enlisted you in his army.

A good soldier of Jesus refuses to be distracted by the things of this world. A good soldier of Christ does not love this evil world and all that it offers him. For all these worldly things, these evil desires; the craze for sex the ambition to buy everything that appeals to you and the pride that comes from wealth and importanc these are not from Go They are from this evil world. I John 2: 15 -16 LB

A good soldier of Jesus does not love this evil world and all that it offer because he wants to please Jesus, the One who enlisted him in God’s army.

2ndly: Endure suffering as a disciplined athlete. 2 Timothy 2: 5 NLT

Follow the Lord’s rules for doing His work, just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize.

Effort and determination are required to do the Lord’s work.  All the hardwork and discipline will be wasted if you fail to follow God’s rules for doing His work. Be like Paul who said this in 1 Cor 9: 26 -27

I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I fight to win. I’m not just shadow-boxing or playing around. Like an athlete I punish my body, treating it roughly; training it to do what it should, not what it wants to. Otherwise I fear that after enlisting others in the race I myself might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside. LB

I don’t know about you, but I am running hard for the finish line. I am giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me. I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. Msg

3rdly: Endure suffering as a hardworking farmer. 2 Timothy 2: 6

Hardworking farmers are the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. NLT

Hardworking farmers work long hours of back breaking labor under all kinds of conditions with the hope that their physical effort will be rewarded by a good harvest. Are you enduring suffering like a hardworking farmer? Are you willing to work long hours with difficult people under all kinds of conditions? If you are willing to do this for Jesus, you’ll be rewarded with a good harvest of souls and disciples, a good team of leaders taught and trained by you who then will be able to reproduce themselves in others.

Be like Paul who said this in Colosians 1: 28-29 Everywhere we go, we tell everyone about Christ. We warn and teach them with all the wisdom God has given us, for we want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. I work very hard at this, as I depend on Christ’s mighty power that works withiin me. Be like Paul who endured suffering as a hardworking farmerand you’ll be the first to enjoy the fruit of your labor.

What hardships are you undergoing as a servant of God? What sufferings are you undergoing in ministry for Christ? Are they

  • unlovable people & uncaring leaders
  • unappreciative co-workers & unreasonable expectations
  • uncommitted givers & unresponsive associates
  • unteachable disciples & unresolved conflicts
  • unscheduled interruptions & unsolicited criticisms
  • unavailable resources & uncooperative team members

Endure them as a good soldier, a disciplined athlete and a hardworking farmer. Do your best and God will do the rest for you.

Without good role models it’s difficult to be excited over what you’ve received from God. Without fatherly mentors it’s hard to endure the suffering you’re undergoing.This brings me to point # 3 of tonight’s message.

EMULATE WHAT YOU’RE SEEING 2 Timothy 2: 8 -10 LB

Don’t ever forget the wonderful fact that Jesus Christ was a Man, born into King David’s family; and that He was God; as shown by the fact that He rose again from the dead. It is because I have preached these great truths that I am in trouble here and have been put in jail like a criminal. But the Word of God is not chained, even though I am. I am more than willing to suffer if that will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.

Paul was in big trouble when he preached Jesus as fully man and fully God. Paul was thrown into prison for refusing to stop preaching. Trouble or no trouble, priison or no prison Paul was willing to endure more suffering to bring salvation to those God has chosen. Are you willing to emulate what you see in Paul? Are you willing to teach others to emulate what you see in Paul’s life? Before you decide consider these words recorded for your benefit. They are found in 2 Timothy 2: 11 -13 LB

I’m comforted by this truth, that when we suffer and die for Christ, it only means that we will begin living with Him in heaven. And if we think that our present service for Him is hard, just remember that some day we are going to sit with Him and rule with Him. But if we give up when we suffer, and turn against Christ, then He must turn against us. Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, He remains faithful to us and He will help us, for He cannot disown us who are part of Himself and He will always carry out His promises to us.

Now consider this illustration. There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge life too quickly. So he sent them each to go and look at a particular tree. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in autumn. When they had all gone and come back, he asked them to describe what they had seen. 
The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.

The second son said no it was covered with green buds and full of  promise. 
The third son disagreed; he said it was full of blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. 
The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment. 
The man then explained to his sons that they were all right because they had each seen only one season in the tree's life. 
You cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season. The essence of who we are; the pleasure, joy, and love that come
from our life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are added up. If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer and the fulfillment of your autumn. 
Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of living.  Don't  judge life by one difficult season.

Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come some time or later.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm30: 5 NIV

Our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long.Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever. 2 Cor 4:17 NLT

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. 1 Peter 1:6 NLT

CLOSURE

Let me end with this challenge. Though not perfect, your present set of leaders has earned the right to lead this church because we are 3x

  • excited over what we have received from God
  • enduring what we’re undergoing in ministry like good soldiers, diisciplined athletes and hardworking farmers
  • emulating what we are seeing in apostle Paul’s life and ministry.

Though not faultless, your LCEC has earned the respect to obey 2 Timothy 2:2 that is

  • to entrust to trustworthy people the gospel of salvation
  • to pass on biblical virtues to reliable men and women, boys and girls who are willing to be taught & trained.
  • and are able to pass on to others what they received.

We’re looking for FAT persons to motivate and to mentor. We’re looking for faithful stewards, available servants and teachable saints. Most of us in the LCEC are already in our 50s and 60s. Next year we will be pastorless as a church. We urgently need teachable and available servant-hearted persons in their 20s, 30s and 40s to teach and train, to mold and mentor before they are elected to replace us in the LCEC. Will you step forward and avail youself to be discipled. You can’t disciple others when you yourself have not been discipled. You can’t lead when you yourself have not been trained to lead. You can’t teach unless you yourself have been taught by God or by your mentors.

The 2nd intake of the Disciples Course will begin soon. I pray many of you will sign up for the right reasons, that is you want to be discipled so that you will be able to make new disciples for Jesus. Reflect over what I have said. I pray Abba Father will give you insight into all this. May the LORD give you

  • understanding to know His will
  • courage to obey His Word and
  • wisdom to follow His ways.

What you have received from God, pass it on. What you have learned from others, pass it on. cws/wmcas/31072011

 
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