Wesley Methodist Church Alor Setar

Wesley Methodist Church Alor Setar

Written by Amelia   
Topic       : What Is Your Yield? (The Parable of the Sower)
Speaker    : Khor Teik Hooi
Date         : 27th Sept, 2009
Scripture  : Matt 13:3-8 ; 18-23

Parables are used for evangelism, revelation and warning to us. In this parable, Jesus talks about a farmer sowing seeds.

What is the seed?
What is meant by Jesus here is the Word of God (John 1:1 ). During His time, many rejected Him. Today, many still reject Him. John 15:18-25 ; He gave Himself to the world but the world rejected Him. Similarly, often, Christians are not well received too. Many face persecutions all over the world

Who sows the seed?
Firstly, God Himself sows the seed. As Jesus preached, He was sowing seeds. So do the redeemed ones. We are called to spread the word. Remember The Great Commission. We have the duty and privilege to be the Sower. How many of us take up this challenge? The Bible is full of examples of those who sowed the seeds – Paul. And there are others who will help water it but God is the one who makes it grow.

What kind of seed are we? There are 4 examples of seeds given.
  1. Some fell along the path with no soil and where the birds pick them up almost immediately. These are the ones who reject the Word outright. These are the hard hearted.
  2. Some fell on rocky places with shallow soil. They receive the Good News with joy but their faith is short lived because they have no roots. They respond fast but also die equally fast. These are the emotional responders.
  3. Those who fell among the thorns; apparently the soil is quite good. The seeds germinate but the thorns choke them. What are these thorns who choke our lives? There are many. For some, it is the unwillingness to pay the price or come out of our comfort zone. As a result we don’t grow. Sometimes it’s our family who blocks us from moving on. At other times it’s our work or wealth. The thorns that choke us are many. God gives different spiritual gifts and talents but very often we do not use them because we are choked by the ‘thorns’ in our lives. Ask yourselves why you have not grow and produce more seeds?
  4. Those who fell on rich and good soil which grow with different kinds of yields. Some produce 100, 60 and 30. (Refer to the sermon on the Parable of the Talents) There is also sometimes dilution, hence the different yields. These are the ones who are willing. They hear, receive, believe the Good News and understand it. As a result they keep it and bear the fruits.The reflection for tonight is what kind of soil we are. Do we let the seeds germinate and grow with good yields?
The challenge tonight is what kind of soil we are? Pray that we prepare our soil well to be faithful disciples with willing hearts. And that we will hear the Word of God, understand and be willing to act; with the power of God within, change and produce fruits. (2 Cor 5:17 )

But bear in mind too that in farming, sometimes we use fertilizers. So what is the fertilizer here? It is again the Word of God. But there are also a lot of ‘fertilizers’ outside and some are harmful.

For example, there are many who say that it is easy to prepare sermons now as there are many available online. We have to watch out for the false ‘fertilizers’ here. So be on the watch. We need to be the soil that nurtures and nourishes the seed.

 
Written by Amelia   
Topic         : How Beautiful Are The Feet That Spread Good News
Speaker     : Kenneth Wong (Malaysian CARE)
Date           : 20th September, 2009
Scripture   : Isaiah 52:7 , Rom 10:15


And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15 )

When Jesus preached the Good News – he did not only talk about salvation but also the Kingdom of God, the mercy and love of God.

The challenge here is to be the feet that bring good news. Many of us are way too comfortable with our lives. We still try to bring the Good News but to the places and people we are comfortable with. We reckon we do that little bit within our abilities and that is enough.

However, when we reach out the needy, poor, hungry, God says our righteousness will go before us and His glory will be behind us protecting us (Isaiah 58:8 ). Jesus humbled himself and gave away his glory to become Man. He went to places which were spiritually and physically dirty. He needn’t have gone but he did anyway. His feet brought Good News.

So where are we bringing the Gospel to? Is it to the people and places we’re comfortable? We have to move beyond this comfort zone. We need to challenge ourselves to reach out to those who cannot be reached and touch people who have no where else to go. This is what ails many churches today, working from their comfort zones. The beggars, drug addicts, homeless – how many of us reach out to these people? We need to be careful not to be complacent and stay in our comfort zone. We need to go to places where the Gospel is not heard, where it needs to be received the most. The challenge here is also for us to go beyond just caring for the that which we’re comfortable with.

Caring for the needy is the responsibility of every Christian. It is only when we care that can we say that we love God. Matthew 25:31-46 – when we care for these people we care for Jesus.

We often give excuses of no time, insufficient finances, lack of giftings,physical shortcomings and so on why we cannot bring the Good News to these people. But God says He will provide. Luke11:9-10 says "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

The only thing that stop us is our own selfish nature. We need to open our eyes to the needs around us and do what God wants us to do. In times of doubts, remember that the Holy Spirit is with us. So we have no excuse not to do what we are supposed to do. We need to move beyond this self-deception because we are all called to bring the Gospel to everyone, especially the poor and needy. We need to come before God and ask Him to help us do what we’re supposed to do.

 
Written by Amelia   
Topic        : Heavenly Principles, Earthly Issues
Speaker    : Dr. Choy Yin Weng
Date         : 13th September, 2009
Scripture : Matthew 20:1-16


Parables make us listen, think, reflect. Very often we think we've understood only to have it blow up in our faces.

As Christians we are supposed to apply the heavenly principles on earthly issues.

The Parable In A Nutshell
The landowner paid one denarius for one day’s work. He took in workers at different intervals of the day. And at the 11th hour, he continued to go out to hire workers. The workers he took at the 11th hour had told him that no one had hired them.

There are 3 aspects which the parable teaches.

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Written by Amelia   
Topic         : Freedom and Forgiveness Are Not Free
Speaker    :
Pastor Lee Peng Chiat
Date          :
6th September, 2009
Scripture  :
Luke 7:36-50

Paradox
: Freedom is never free

Illustration
: Nov 19, 1863; President Abraham Lincoln went to Gettysburg to dedicate a the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. His 2-minute speech followed a 2-hour speech by Edward Everett, a noted orator of that time.

Some excerpts: It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

That freedom for the slaves were purchased at a price - the lives of those who died fighting for it. History is dotted with war represented by carnage to preserve freedom – Iwo Jima, Omaha Beach, Desert Storm

In the same way our freedom from sin, darkness, bondage of sinful desires and habits has been paid.

Freedom is not free. Forgiveness too is also never free. Before freedom and forgiveness take place, there is always a price to be paid.

In the parable, Jesus was invited by a Pharisee, Simon to his home. Simon thought of himself as religous and pious. The custom of the day demands that the host makes the guest welcomed. It was common the guest’s feet be washed as his feet would be caked with dust or mud. After that the host would greet him with a kiss to welcome him. It was also a practice to anoint the head with some oil. All these show that the guest is welcomed at the home.

When Jesus visited Simon’s house, none of the above took place. Jesus sat at the table without all the customaries. But as they ate, a prostitute came and fell at the feet of Jesus and started weeping. She broke a vial of expensive perfume and began anointing Jesus’ feet. Simon watched on and was offended and embarrassed because the prostitute was doing the things that he failed to do.

Then Jesus proceeded to tell Simon the tale of 2 person who owed different amount of denarii. One owed more than the other. Neither could pay their debts. The money lender decided to free them from their debts. Simon was asked which one would be more grateful. Simon replied that the one who owed more. Jesus said that he had answered correctly.

In the parable the woman acknowledges her sins that condemns her and therefore receives an astonishing forgiveness. She justifies God, agreeing to His standard of holiness. Simon on the other hand probably agreed to some extent that he was a sinner. But he would not agree that his sins was as great as the prostitute because he justifies his own minds.

Forgiveness and freedom correlate with one another.

  1. Everyone is spiritually in debt. Everyone is a debtor to God. An important asset here is a good memory because if we cannot remember our sins we will fall short. Simon must have thought of himself as rather righteous. He must have felt that he had mastered the art of being a Pharisee. But Simon forgot that he was a sinner. His sins were sins of heart and he failed to see that he stood in the need of forgiveness. It is easy for us to forget those who paid the price for our freedom. Christ paid that price for us.
  2. We can never repay that debt. Some of us owe more than we can pay. If we think of the debt of freedom from our forefathers, it is also a debt we can’t pay. If I think of the debt for the price that our Father has paid for our sins, it’s also impossible to pay that debt. All the prostitute was telling Jesus was gratitude for forgiving her sins. She was not paying the debt but was expressing her gratitude.
  3. Forgiveness is available to everyone. Based on the second premise because we can never repay the debt, forgiveness is available to everyone. But it is not free. It comes with a price. For the money lender, it cost him the price of the amount of money the two men owed him. The forgiveness Christ paid for us – the death on the cross, the burial and resurrection. But Christ paid for us - on the Cross!

Tradition tells us that Abe Lincoln went to an auction of a black woman. He won the bidding and then released the slave woman. From incredulity of being given freedom with no strings attached, the slave woman decided to follow Abraham Lincoln - because he set her free.

Abe paid for the slave's freedom. Freedom for that slave woman is not free. It cost Abe something. Forgiveness is also never free. There is always a price that must be paid. Like the slave woman who decided to follow Abe, we need to remember the price, thank God for that forgiveness. We should follow Him because He set us free. Christ made that freedom and forgiveness available to us. He invites us all to receive His forgiveness.. and freedom from sin, being saved by our faith.

God promises us that if we come to Him.

 
Written by Amelia   
Topic        : God Gives Talent
Speaker    : Ch’ng Yeang Boon
Date         : 30th August, 2009
Scripture  : Matt 25: 14 -30


Challenge
: God has invested talent in each of us. Are we working our talent with maximum effectiveness.

Question
: What will you do with what God has given you?

Each of us can make a difference in the world today and eternity. But we must first choose to use what God has given us.

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