Wesley Methodist Church Alor Setar

Wesley Methodist Church Alor Setar

Written by wmcas   
Scripture : John 13:34-35
Speaker : Dr. Lee Kok Tee
Date : 21 November 2010
In evangelism or missions, speakers would start with Matthew, when Jesus told his disciples to go and make disciples. I want to help us see there is another perspective to evangelism. There are profuse approaches to evangelism.
  1. Man Evangelism
  2. Message Evangelism
  3. Movement Evangelism (meeting the needs)
  4. Moment Evangelism (lifestyle / friendship)
Tonight I want to share about another approach which is usually not emphasized. Jesus told his disciples in John 13:34-35 . I call this Member or Body Evangelism. This new commandment is contrasted to the old commandment given at Mt Sinai, the 10 Commandments. When Jesus was asked by the religious leaders which commandment was the greatest, his reply was to love your God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength. The next is to love your neighbor as yourself. Loving your neighbor is not a
new command.

But if we look closely, you will notice that Jesus said to love your neighbor as He has loved us; to be selfless. If you look at John 13 , you will notice that Jesus knew his time was up and he wanted some time with his disciples in the upper room. Nobody wanted to wash each other’s feet. Jesus washed all his disciples’ feet. He later told them that they should do that for each other. But in John 15:12-13 ; he later went on to say greater love has no man than he who lay down his life for his friend. In 1John 3:16, this is how we know what love is, Jesus laying down His life for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Love is not just a feeling of intense deep affection. In Scriptures love is not defined as a feeling. It is a choice, a self giving love.

Self giving love is impossible on our own. It is only possible through our dependence of our salvation through his death on the cross. We can only love others as He has loved us. John 15:5 ; Love is actually the essence of the fruits mentioned in this verse. In Galatians 5:22-23 ; Love rejoices in the truth. There is joy, not selfish and keeps no record of wrong. As a result we will have peace and there will be unity. Love always does not delight in eveil, always protects, always trusts, always hopes , perseveres, not rude and not easily angered.

The fruits will be the fruits of righteousness. We will have the right attitudes. This is only possible when we remain in Jesus and the power of love will flow through us. Electrical appliances, it only works when we plug it into the power supply. When we love one another as Jesus has loved us through his power, other people can see that we’re His disciples. They will know and be attracted. Rick Warren says Jesus gave the world the right to judge the authenticity of our love by the way we love one another. Our love for one another is a reflection of God’s love for us. The best thing we can do to convince our community is by our love for each other. Jesus’ command that we love one another is not difficult to appreciate. Our world is confused about what love is. So when they can see what love is in a group of believers, they will be attracted. God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. Non-Christians can see the invisible God by seeing Him in how we love one another. The act of corporate love can bring people to Christ.

However, there are many challenges to love one another. Love is supposed to be the foundation and motive for all that we do. Evangelism is a crucial for any Christian.
Challenges:
  1. Examine ourselves
  2. Do we want to be served or serve?
  3. Do we want to be the first rather than the last
  4. Do we want to be honored rather than look for opportunities to honor others?
Scriptures always exhort us to be practical; not love in words but actions. In Romans we see some of the liberal injunctions. We are to function as members of one another. We are to accept each other. We are to instruct one another. We are to greet one another. We are to wait for one another. We are to carry one another’s burden. We are to be kind to another. We are to pray for one another. We are to forgive one another. We are to submit to one another. We are to confess our sins to one another.

The Bible tells us to do good not only for our family members but for others as well. It’s only loving that we share with them what we find to be good and true. The challenge: Are we asking God to help us? Are we praying for one person, reaching out and trying to share the Good News?

 
Written by Siew Lan   

Topic : Four Questions, Three People Groups, One Promise
Speaker: Jason Fong
Scriptures: Romans 10:12-15
Date: 31 October 2010

 

Romans 10: 14 -15 contains 4 most critical questions that anybody would ask regarding evangelism, ministry and service. We need to know why we ask these questions and the context of these 4 questions.
Anyone who calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. It is in the context of this promise that the 4 questions are asked.

But…

  • how then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?
  • how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard?
  • how shall they hear without a preacher?
  • how shall they preach, except they be sent?

I pray the Holy Spirit will touch our hearts and we will sense the urgency and desperation.

 

1. Out of these 4 questions, 3 questions are targeted at a people group I call SEEKERS:-

  • how then shall they call on him …..?
  • how shall they believe in him …..?
  • how shall they hear ……?

Who are the SEEKERS? They are the people near us.

There are many types of SEEKERS.

  1. Some SEEKERS are not seeking. They think there is no God; that life is all that they see; don’t believe there is heaven or hell.
  2. Some SEEKERS think they have found god. Their god is made of wood, stone, pictures, abstract idea, philosophy.
  3. Some SEEKERS think they don’t need god. ‘So what?’ There is no need for god in their life. Some things else – money, education etc.- are more important.
  4. Some SEEKERS think they are quite good, have quite a happy life
  5. Some SEEKERS are miserable, suffer broken relationships, are abused, alone…

SEEKERS are all around us – in our own house, in our offices, schools, neighbourhood, walking the streets . The problem is our hearts are so hardened. We see them but have no feelings for them. We need God to touch us, open up our eyes to this group of SEEKERS. When Jesus touched the eyes of  the blind man(Mark 8:24 ) the first time, the man saw people like trees walking; Jesus had to touch him another time so that he could see people as people

2. One question is for PREACHERS.

  • how shall they hear without a preacher?

I would like to replace ‘preach’ with ‘proclaim / tell’.  So the best replacement  is ‘how shall they hear without a Christian telling them. The responsibility of the Great Commission is not only for fulltime workers. We are ALL called to this responsibility.

My greatest struggle as Sec-Gen of SU Malaysia is human resource. Many things on God’s agenda, many things God wants to do, will never be able to be completed until we begin to think differently. How can they hear if we Christians do not want to pull up our sleeves and put our hands to the plough? Some think we have to be eloquent . We try to be but we don’t HAVE to be. Augustine says, ‘Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.’ Many times we do not need words. Reach out, touch people – do not have to use words. Attitudes, values… speak louder than words. Words are empty if our life is not aligned with our words. There are a lot of needs out there that do not need words to meet them. Why are we not doing anything? Because we don’t dare, we are scared, we don’t know how…. It becomes a problem when some don’t care.

3. Another question is for SENDERS

  • how shall they preach, except they be sent?

I would like to replace ‘sent’ with ‘supported / enabled’. What are the ways to support? One aspect of ‘sending /supporting’ is it requires money. But there are also many other aspects. One lady in a particular church told me she would circle every name in her church weekly bulletin and pray for every person. She is a ‘SENDER’. Other things we can do to ‘support’ includes sending emails, phone calls, driving the pastor, etc… SENDERS are :

  • enablers and supporters
  • trainers
  • organisers
  • intercessors / prayer warriors

Preachers and Senders are not mutually exclusive.  Some people put 10 cents in the offering bag and say they are ‘senders. Some people want to work in the background only. They can continue to do so but must be prepared to move to the forefront eventually.

If we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit we will feel the urgency of the 4 questions.

God is saying ‘GO’, we are saying ‘wait, let me make my million first’, ‘wait, let me retire first’, wait, let my children grow up first’, ‘wait, let me get my promotion first’.

We cannot delay.

Rev 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

What is the Holy Spirit saying to this congregation?

 
Written by Siew Lan   

Topic : Resting In Him
Speaker: Mrs Lorinda Souza
Scriptures: Matthew 11:28 ; Psalm 46:10
Date: 24 October 2010

 

3 years ago we were so busy in ministry that we forgot whom we were serving; so involved that we didn’t have time to pray; we forgot who called us to ministry. Our loving God stopped us in our tracks. It was a difficult transition time for us – giving up things we held precious  i.e. leadership in Restoration House  and other various ministries… but God is more interested in our character than in what we do.

Matthew 11:28 – story of struggle and exhaustion – a reflection of our own spiritual journey. Jesus gave us this powerful word. He is not saying ‘go to this person, or go to that person…’; yes we are to be there for one another, -  but if we are depending on people and not relying on God to meet our expectations then problems will come. Jesus says ‘Come unto Me…’ Jesus is very exclusive. He didn’t say ‘…if you want to…’  We are coming to the One who knows everything about us … the good, the bad and the ugly … who better go us to go to? When we start developing a relationship with God, we will go to Him because we will realise that He has the answers.

Sometimes we are ‘heavy laden…’ because we think God did so much for me so I have to give as much back to Him. So we keep doing things trying to please Him. The danger comes when we go off-focus in the ‘doing’.  A sister told me 3 years ago that we had ‘the saviour complex’ … taking over Jesus’ job … trying to meet all the needs of the children because we thought we had to carry this burden. But since this burden is not for us to carry… eventually we fall and are hurt. We need to learn to take our burdens to the Lord.

He will ‘give rest’ - refresh, intermission from business, chains fall off. Inner rest come when we focus on God. Rest comes when we develop a relationship with God… when we realise how great God is and how little we are. True rest comes when we go to the cross, leave everything there and do not go back and take it all back again. This can only happen when we really trust in the Lord.

In times of a personal storm God seems to take a long time to answer us. Psalm 46:10 exhorts us to ‘Be still’.
Exodus 14:13-14 – a relevation to me that God will open the ‘red sea’.
Remember to come to Jesus. He is the one who can meet our expectations. He will fight our battles.
The command to ‘Be still’ is because we are to remember what God has done for us before. Take a moment to reflect. Then we can say ‘Okay, He has a good track record and I can trust Him.’

 
Written by Siew Lan   

Topic : Worshipping Together

Speaker: Koay Kheng Chuan

Scriptures: Hebrews 10:19-25

Date: 17 October 2010

 

There are many different understandings regarding worship.

Rick Warren in his book ‘The Purpose-Driven Life’ makes 4 statements about worship.

1. Anything bringing pleasure to God is called worship

Psalm 147:11

Psalm 149:1 , 3

Psalm 149:4 – 6a – this portion describes some of the things we can do when we worship

 

2. Worship is more than music and singing

In the Bible, especially in the OT, there were times there was no music when they worship. Nehemiah 8:6 . There was silence, people bowed down in awe, they worshipped with faces to the ground – in gratitude and thanksgiving.

But God has also inspired many beautiful songs to be written . These help us to express our feelings. Worship includes many of the following elements:

  • praying
  • scripture reading
  • singing
  • confession
  • silence
  • being still
  • listening to sermons
  • taking notes
  • giving offerings
  • Holy Communion
  • coming forward for prayer
  • greeting others

Some things are hard to do . We should put in more effort.

 

3. Worship is not for your benefit.

Psalm 7:7 – when we come together for worship, the object of worship is God Almighty.  We come to worship not for what we can get out of worship. We should not be quick to criticise – e.g. the worship is not so good… the message is hard to understand. We come to worship God Almighty.

 

4. Worship is not part of your life, it IS your life

Romans 12: 1 -2

 

The word ‘worship’ is often talked about as ‘praise and thanksgiving’  incorporating so many elements - ‘praise’, glorify’, ‘give thanks’, ‘magnify’, ‘submit’ ‘be still’,…

 

What is your idea of worship?

Compare these 2 videos – Westlife ‘You Raise Me Up’ and Sidney Mohede ‘You Are My Father’

 

Sometimes when we attend a big church service, worship may look like a performance … but it may not be if the worship leaders are focused on worshipping God Almighty.

 

Here in our church, if a song is not familiar, never mind, join in and eventually we’ll join the flow.

Even in small groups, with no musical instruments, we can also worship.

Some things I saw on the internet:

i)  in some places in the US, one can park the car near a church and worship by following the broadcast. Worship in your car, just as you are. When it is time to collect the offering, someone will come to your car window.

ii) another calls it Welcome to your personal service, It is your worship service. You can just get online, click for a song, click for the message, click to send an offering in your own home.

 

Hebrews 10:24-25 exhorts us to meet together to have meaningful times of worship.

 

When we come together to worship, we see these:

 

1. Worship is for the redeemed - John 4:22-23

We worship one whom we all know , one whom we have a personal relationship with.

 

2. Worship is a responseRomans 12:1

We worship as a response to all that God has done for us. We can worship alone, but when we come together, we hear testimonies etc and we can respond in worship and praise.
Carl Boberg wrote the song ‘How Great Thou Art’ in response  after he experienced the beauty of nature and a storm.

 

3. Worship is reverence and awe – 2 Chronicles 29:27-30

the whole assembly ‘bowed’ and ‘knelt down’ in worship.

 

4. Worship has responsibilities

  • of coming together -      God has placed us here , so the question of ‘Shall I come for worship?’ is no longer to be asked
  • of giving our best
  • of participating
  • of encouraging
  • of understanding one another -  different ways and styles of worshipping…sit, stand, raise hands… all are okay.
  • of not distracting – we are not to distract others by what we do or do not do.

 

Worship is like

  • a child coming to his father to say ‘I love you’
  • a child trusting his father to take care of him
  • doing things together with God
  • just sitting in the presence of God and allowing God to speak to us
  • enjoying God lifting us up when we are down
  • just being joyful in the presence of God
  • feeling secure and resting in the presence of God

 

This is what God wants : worshippers coming in spirit and in truth
 
Written by Siew Lan   

Topic : The Three Voices of God (Christian Education Sunday)

Speaker: Rev. Woo Kit Sang

Scriptures: 2 Timothy 3:16 , 2 Peter 1:20-21 , & Eph 1:17

Date: 10 October 2010

 

God speaks primarily through His Word but also through convictions. God calls us in a community situation. He calls us out in a community situation.

 

Cell phones are both helpful and a nuisance. We feel frustration when there is a drop call. We feel the same way in our walk with God. We sometimes have no idea whether God is ‘on the line’ , listening to us or not.

 

God speaks to us in 3 different ways:-

 

1.  Through The Bible

Scriptures is the most powerful and direct communication with God.

a) Scripture provides God’s point of view.

2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that Scriptures is communicated directly from God Himself to build us up by teaching and training (positively) and rebuking and correcting (punitively) so that together we can learn to live in righteousness. God’s Word is a double-edged sword.

2 Peter 1:20-21 shows that God’s Word originated from the very mind of God, not man. So when we hear Him we are compelled to obey unless we want to go against His very purposes. If we want to know what God thinks – go to the Bible.

 

b) The Bible contains real letters to real people.

When people treat the Bible as a very different book, it is true because it is the Word of God. But the Bible was written for us not to us. We need to understand the context of the Word, therefore we need to exegesis (look at the context  and then apply) not to eisegesis (form ideas in our minds and then quote scriptures to support) To eisegesis is dangerous and many have gone astray

c) Worry about clear stuff not obscure stuff – 2 Peter 3:15-16

Peter refers to Paul’s letter as ‘hard to understand, but he also says that it is ‘ignorant people who distorts everything’. This is a warning to us. We don’t have to split hair – for example … rapture then comes tribulation or vice versa.

The purpose of the Bible is not to make us theologically smart but for correction and instruction in righteousness. Titus 3:8-9

Personal testimony- The Word of God directed me to what I am here today. In my struggle 2 verses of God spoke to me as I look to Him for direction in life and ministry. Matthew 29: 36 -38 is the truth of God’s word for me when He called me to full time ministry. It took me 10 years to respond. Later on in a small group meeting, this verse came to me – 1 Corinthians 15:58 . Such was my initial encounters with God’s Word.

 

2. Through the Holy Spirit

a) The Holy Spirit provides spiritual insight and understanding – Ephesians 1:17 ,  1 Corinthians 2:13

The Bible tells us what is right, what is wrong, who Jesus is…but the Holy Spirit guides us oh how to live out God’s Word with spiritual insights and understanding. We need to be sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit. Sad if too much emphasis on the written word leads us to forget that the Holy Spirit turns word into rhema.

When we begin to live lives that is right, pleasing and honouring to God and do not stifle the work of the Holy Spirit, God begins to make His word more real to us.

 

b)  What does the Holy Spirit do to us? He changes us from the inside out. John 8: 11 , 18

When we seek Him and allow Him to work His purposes out in our lives, He forgives us and He adopts us.

 

c) He primarily guides us through our thought processes. (1 Corinthians 2 , 10, 12, 14, 16b)

Paul consistently teaches us that we must have the mind of Christ. As we grow in Christ, our minds are transformed and guided by the Spirit of Christ and we see things from God’s perspective. Romans 8: 6 -9

 

The Word of God need to be energised by the Spirit of God.

The written word of God is the inspired word of God and is empowered by the Holy Spirit to become the rhema word of God.

 

3. Through the Community

The 3rd way God speaks to us is through the community setting. It is important to come together in small groups to seek God, to share with others, to seek confirmations and to seek wise counsel.

a) Together we can decipher things that we might otherwise miss or misinterprete. Ephesians 4: 11 -13, 15. We come together for worship, bible study and praying. God often speaks to us in the body.

b) Isolation is a sign of spiritual arrogance. Proverbs 8:13 , Hebrews 10:24-25

It is important to come together regularly to discern the work and the will of God. Treasure one another. Do not ‘cut down’ one another. A loving community will build one another up. Allow the word of God to work in us and through us. Allow Him to speak to us both as individuals and as a church, as a community.

What is God telling this church in Alor Star? How are we to be salt and light? Are we hearing what God is saying to us?

 
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