Wesley Methodist Church Alor Setar

Wesley Methodist Church Alor Setar

Written by Siew Lan   

Topic : The God Worthy of my praise
Speaker: Mr Christopher Cheah (SU General Secretary)
Scriptures: Psalm 103
Date: 16 JANUARY 2011

David starts this psalm with ‘Praise  the Lord, O my soul…’

In Psalm 103:1-2

  • David is talking to his soul, innermost self
  • What is the thought in my inmost being?
  • To praise God from the depth of my being
  • Recollection of his experience of God

Most times in our inmost being we are thinking about issues other than God, or telling God ‘I’m so sad / so angry about this…’We are not always ready when we come to worship to ‘Praise the Lord’. Sunday worship service should be a time for us to turn towards the Lord and praise the Lord. David is here exhorting himself to praise the Lord from his inmost being.

This psalm is a record of his thoughts of who God is. Reminding himself and recollecting this enables him to worship God in a deeper way.

Psalm 103 can be divided into 3 portions.

  1. Psalm 103: 1 -5 – God as the Personal Saviour
  2. Psalm 103: 6 -18 – God as the Compassionate Father
  3. Psalm 103: 19 -22 – God as the Heavenly King

 

1.  God as the Personal Saviour
David speaks of his personal experience and knowledge. God to him is like a personal saviour/redeemer/ God who

  • forgives our sins
  • heals our diseases
  • redeemesus from the pit
  • satisfies our desires with good things

David knows what is God’s forgiveness from the depths of his own experience He stood before God absolutely guilty. David can say that God crowns him with love and compassion.

2. God  as a Compassionate Father
God is

  • gracious, slow to anger
  • will not always accuse, does not treat us as our sins deserve
    • His holy purity cannot see one dot of impurity
    • Yet He is patient, log suffering, to see us put away our waywardness, har-headedness and return to Him
    • We would be consumed by our own self-centeredness if not for his abounding love.,

Our sinfulness would result in total annihilation in the presence of the holy God. But God is gracious and slow to anger. God is long-suffering. God will remove the sin so that we can have a relationship with Him. Because of the death of Jesus we are covered from the wrath of God. He has removed our transgressions (Psalm 103:12 )

Secondly, God’s  compassion for us is as a Fathers’s to a son (Psalm 103:13 ). The Father’s compassion for His children

  • remembers that we are dust, frail , mortal
  • transitory, short-lived, soon forgotten
    • to remember – to have something brought to the front of our attention
    • what we were created for and what we have become
    • God responds with the stirring of compassion

David reminds himself of God’s covenant with us

  • An everlasting relationship is established
    • He is our Father, we are His children
    • To those who fear Him, who remember to obey His precepts (Psalm 103:13 , Psalm 103:18 )
    • Down through the generations, children to children
      • if we remember, and do not forget to obey
      • if we remain faithful

 

3. God as the Heavenly King

  • God is the King who rules the heavens and all the earth
  • The heavenly hosts worship Him, praise Him, serve Him, obey Him
  • His works are done in all dominions
  • We worship such a Redeemer, Father and King

The last sentence of Psalm 103 is the same as the first .

This is God who is truly worthy to be praised.

We learn from David that worship is not only for Sunday. What about when we are alone, on our own? David helps us to worship God from the depths of our souls, turning inwards, remembering and recollecting. Our worship and praise of God is linked to the condition of our soul. As we worship, our soul is renewed, refreshed, revived. There is fresh energy, fresh life again.

 
Written by Siew Lan   

Topic : Discipleship

Speaker: Pr Phua Seng Tiong

Scriptures: Luke 9:23

Date: 9 JANUARY 2011

 

Luke 9:23 – Jesus said ‘If anyone would come after me…’It is an INTENTIONAL choice, a decisive decision. Can choose not to come; can choose to say ‘some other time’. Our whole life is a life of choices. This is the greatest difference between man and all God’s other creation.

Discipleship is really a call for relationship. From the very beginning, in the Garden of Eden, God had an amazing relationship with his creation. It was meant to be like that. But when we chose wrong, we immediately disconnect ourselves from a harmonious relationship with God. Jesus is calling us to come after Him AGAIN. This is not a plan B. There is no plan B. Jesus' coming was an enabling to have a restored relationship with God. When we accept Jesus as Saviour God, we are not turning over a new leaf, not a new start. We are given a new ‘life’ to start with because the ‘old’ has gone (2 Cor 5:14 ).

Discipleship is also a journey. From Genesis, since the Fall, to Revelation – it is always a call to return, a call to be reconciled. Because we are reconciled to Him, now God gives us a ministry of reconciliation and He gives a a message of reconciliation. 2 Cor 18:20 - We will never be in any good standing before God except through Jesus’ righteousness. When we come to know Jesus we begin to change to be more like him. Romans 8:29  –  we need to be conformed to the image of God. The more  we conform, the more we will understand  what discipleship is all about. A disciple is someone who learns to live the life of his teacher. A disciple has a ‘L’ licence.  Paul, after Damascus experience, took a turn and flip-flop for Jesus. Everything that Jesus taught, he taught, everything that Jesus did, he did – so that he will be like Jesus. We pay no subscription fees to come into God’s kingdom. There is no associate membership. Jesus paid the price with His life.

Jesus said ‘If anyone would come after me, he must  deny himself…. Every christian should have a funeral service everyday because the self must die. If the self doesn’t die it is hard for the life of Jesus to be seen. Martin Luther said …’God creates out of nothing, therefore until a man becomes nothing, God cannot make nothing out of him.’ Bonke said…’I am 0(zero).When I am there with Jesus, Jesus is 1(one). ..When I stand beside Jesus, I am a 10(ten)… the more zeros I am, the more I am..’

John 6:36 ….many turned back…-  Jesus is not saying …don’t have an identity; Jesus is saying… when you take up my identity you never know what is going to happen

…and take up the cross…most people think this refers to suffering. But it is not only that. Everyone needs to be a zero so that we can take up the cross, that is take up the same mission as Jesus. From the time of his birth, Jesus was on this mission to the cross. Myrhh is for embalmment.

…and follow me…following him means to become more and more like Him. Romans 12:1-2

 
Written by Siew Lan   

Topic : Abiding in Christ – The Disciple’s Cross
Speaker: Pr Lee Peng Chiat
Scriptures: John 15:1-17 ; Luke 9:23
Date: 2 JANUARY 2011

 

As we start 2011 – any resolutions?  With the Lord’s help, we can do better, we can live a life of significance. Where to get directions and guidance? Look to our Lord.

Matthew 4:12-22

Jesus began his ministry by going to north of Palestine, to the tribes of Napthali and Zebuun,to fulfil the prophecy found in Isaiah 9 . He brought light to the people there, He preached, He continued the ministry of John the Baptist, He called disciples, He made disciples.This new year we also want to ‘make disciples’.

For some, the year ahead may look gloomy – election...?  strife ... uncertainties. Are we like people living in darkness -  in the land of the shadow of death – because of terminal illnesses, because we do not know our position in Christ?

What is Jesus’ solution? He says – Repent, for the kingdom is near; Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men. This is the Lord’s desire. As we hear this we must move in this direction.

Jesus wants us to abide in Him. John 15:1-17 . If we are His disciples, we need to abide in Him. Which is better… abiding in our own abilities or abiding in the will of God?

Luke 9:23 – this is a continuation of what Jesus wants us to do – deny ourselves and carry the cross.

John 15:8 – we all desire to be Jesus’ disciples, His followers, to call Him Lord and Master. As His disciples, we must follow Him and make disciples of others.

What is Discipleship?

“Christian discipleship is developing a personal lifelong obedient relationship with Jesus Christ in which He transforms your character into Christlikeness, changes your values into kingdom values, and involves you in His mission in the home, the church and in the world.”

You will experience and develop a deeper relationship with Christ through the 6 disciplines embodied in the disciple’s cross involving the 3 elements of denying/renouncing a self-centered life, carry the cross and following Jesus.

The 6 disciplines:-

1. Spend time with the Master –  Christ is to have priority in everything. John 15:5 –without Christ  we can do nothing. Abide in Him and we will bear much fruit.

2. Live in the Word –  the Word is our food. John 8:31-32 – we can receive the Word by hearing, reading, meditating and applying

3. Pray in Faith – John 15:7 teaches that if we abide in Christ and His words abide in us, ask whatever  we wish and it will be done for you.

4. Fellowship with believers – John 13:34-35 – God has provided us an ideal place to go to – the church – in order to grow in Christ.

5. Witness to the world – John 15:8 – A life in Christ involves sharing Christ with others. Witnessing is a natural outgrowth of living with Christ.

6. Minister to others – John 15:13 - As the fruit of the Spirit grows in our life we will natural reach out to others. A life in Christ should continue to grow and expand, to reach out and move out.

The goal of discipleship is to grow in all these:-

ONE  Lord

TWO Relationships – vertical and horizontal

THREE Commitments – deny self, carry the cross, follow Christ

FOUR Resources – Word, Prayer, Fellowship, Witness

FIVE Ministries – Teaching & Preaching, Worship & Intercession, Nurture, Evangelism, Service

SIX Disciplines


Will your new year resolution be……..

Be a  fruitful disciple for Christ and make your life count for the Lord

 

 
Written by wmcas   
Speaker : Dr. Choy Yin Weng
Scriptures : Romans 12:5
Date : 26th December 2010

Everyone knows that no man is an island. This phrase came from John Donne, a philosopher in the field of metaphysical sciences. He lived in the 17th century. He later became an Anglican clergy. Today we will look at the power of community. As the verse says, we are all part of Christ, the church and each other. God wants us as a community to do better. God intends for us to experience life together. We were designed for relationships. We formed for fellowship in God’s family and created for community. It’s not God’s will that you go through life by yourself.

There are 6 steps to building a strong community; committing, respecting, supporting, getting along, being patient, being honest.

A community is built through commitment. The word commitment puts fear into many of us. But when we talk about marriage and children, it is actually committing. Our God is a covenantal God. God is calling us to be more committed to each other, not the superficial kind of commitment. A healthy Christian community stays committed to each other. It means loving each other no matter what and being there for each other. We also benefit each other. God gives us unique abilities to be shared with each other. Everyone has different talents and gifts. There are people who need your gift.

A community also is built through respect. Respect is an area we have to deal with it. So long as there is relationship problems. We need to be tactful, to know the whole truth and tell it in love. We must be understanding but not demanding. We should be gentle and not judgmental. If we are not better together we will not be able to move forward.

Supporting here is in the sense we create a loving environment where we can share our difficulties, hurts and needs. Perfect love casts out fear. We need tender hearts and humble minds; that it’s okay to share our joys and grief. We learn to rejoice in the blessings of others and share in their sufferings and grief. Likewise people know that we as a church are very supportive, that we are able to seek for help and be helped.

Getting along with each other; we should stop trying to win arguments. Rick Warren reminds us to go for the love and not for the win. Some Biblical guidelines include letting mercy guide your response. Let God determine the truth. Many a times we actually do not know the truth. Look for God’s presence. Lean on the mind of Christ and lay down our human weapons. Once we fire away, sometimes we cannot stop. Learn instead to use spiritual weapons. Have you ever thought of praying when you are upset with someone?  Also practise forgiveness. All these are not easy but it’s what needs to be done.

We also need to be patient with each other. The ability to understand is a sign of patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults. One of the most practical steps toward real patience is learning to listen. We should not evaluate what someone has done or what we hear. God gives us 2 ears and one mouth, perhaps to tell us we should listen twice as much as we talk.

We also need to be honest with each other. No more lies, no more pretenses. Honesty deepens our relationships and keeps our community open and authentic, freeing us to speak in love. Lies of commission (there is no truth) and lies of omission (half truth) and pretenses should not be the norm. There should no need to read between the lines because we should speak the truth.

A strong community leaves a strong impact where everyone is committed to growing deeper in our relationship with Go, with one another and going further in our calling to transform the surrounding community for His glory.

In Acts 2:44-47 , the believers met together and shared everything they had. They broke bread together in different homes and shared their food while praising God. God added to their group those who were saved. The people need to be a strong community. If people can see that we love each other as brothers and sisters, they will come.

In our church, our outreach ministries have reached out to the community. We need to work on that. We need to be an Acts 2 community. Are we ready to be that?

 

 

 
Written by wmcas   

Speaker: Dr. Moses Khor
Date : 25th December 2010

Dr. Moses Khor grew up in this church. He was part of the youth group. Even though has left Alor Setar for 24 years, it is always in his heart.

Back then there was no internet. Letters from home took 1 week to get to me in Melbourne. Replies took another week to get to my parents. Today, the internet has sped up communication. With Skype, we can even have video conferencing. The internet has been great for us. But not everything from the Net is good. You get spam and lots of junk. You even get computer viruses. Every now and then I even receive emails which promise me money if I open the files they send me. But often these gifts are too good to be true. For those who use the Internet often you also experience such things.

Christmas also talks about gift. It’s a time to exchange gifts with each other. As we have sung and shared this morning, we sang about God’s gift to us. We’ve read from Romans 6:23 ; that the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. So, God offers us a free gift but some of us may feel that God’s free gift is like those ‘too-good-to-be-true’ promises in those emails. It promises too much. For those who have heard the Christmas message, we believe that we receive forgiveness, have eternal life, enjoy his healing, peace and we receive His love and share it with one of another. For some this is just too good to be true.

We feel that there could be some hidden costs. The world’s media is always emphasizing this. It also says that Christianity is intolerant. That we are against fun and freedom. Christians don’t know how to enjoy life. We don’t drink or smoke or gamble. So these are the reasons why some of us might feel that we should be cautious about unwrapping God’s gift for us.

But what I want to share is we should unwrap this gift from God. We should receive this gift God has given us and receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.

Why should we do it? I believe that the testimony of the Bible is true. Today, I want to also suggest that perhaps you could trust the testimonies of your friends. Because they are our friends, we trust them. All we need to do is to confirm with them. Just as in the suspicious emails, we can confirm with our friends that what they send to us is good and is for my benefit.

It is likewise when we open the gift from God. If it comes along with the recommendations and testimonies of your friends, you can be confident of opening it. When I first went to Australia, there were not many Malaysian restaurants. It was hard to find cheap and authentic food. So often we had to rely on the recommendations of our friends. And because of that we were confident that going there would not be a waste of our hard earned money.

Today I am sure you have many friends here who recommend to you to open God’s gift. Their testimonies is reliable because you know them. They know you. They want you to benefit. I was pleasantly surprised when I came here and opened the bulletin. There is a testimony in it from brother Kim Seng. I am sure his is not the only testimony. Your friends here would have their own testimonies too. Those of you who celebrated my parents’ 50 years Wedding Anniversary would have heard their testimonies about how Jesus entered their lives and how that has changed their lives. We as their children benefitted too because we received God’s love through them. You would have heard how God has changed their lives for the better.

This brings me to the next reason why you should open God’s gift. You can see positive changes and transformation in their lives. You can see changes in their attitudes. You can see their life’s goals be transformed for God and not for their selfish reasons. You can be confident of opening God’s gift for you because you can see the power of God in their lives. You can see the effectiveness of God in their lives.

But let me say not everyone changes to the same degree. I have to confess that the changes in my life cannot be compared to my mother’s spiritual maturity. She is one of the most patient person I know. To raise 4 children, especially me, required a lot of patience. But I will confess you that God has changed my life. My changes may not be as dramatic as my parents but God has changed my life for the better.

Growing up in Kulim, I’ve been deeply impressed by the works of Rev Khoo Boo Leong among the drug addicts; how changes affect the lives of people who have been enslaved and destroyed by drugs. They were able to give up all these drugs and turned to God because Jesus came into their lives. The changes were so dramatic. The hope they received from Jesus was so great that quite a number of them became Pastors.

So friends, today I want to share with you that you have the confidence to unwrap God’s gift for you. You can be confident that it is good for you, that there can be positive changes in your lives. It is as simple as this. First consider the message we’ve shared with you. Secondly is to consider the testimonies of your friends and to witness the power of God in their lives. Thirdly is to receive the free gift of God in your life. Don’t put it off or delay. Don’t think that you can wait another time; that the gift can still be there.

Let me share a story. Last year I was given a gift card for a book store by my student. I put it away and forgot about it. When I remembered, I forgot where I put it. Last month I found the card. But when I looked at it, it had expired. So we should open God’s gift. Life takes many twists. There are changes unexpected. We do not know what awaits us.

 
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