Being at a Place of Rest

This morning I was at an “all churches in Singapore” gathering to worship our Father as one. I left the place moved and changed! There had been 2-3 testimonies, but I will just share one encounter…

Most of you might know I became one year older recently. I had my usual chat with God just reflecting and thanking Him for the journey this far. And at where I am today with God, I have arrived to a position and place of REST.

That REST is that of being secured of His love for me; that He will never forsake me or fail me. After all the trials and past experiences with Him, I am confident of His everlasting and unconditional love.

That REST is also founded on His grace; that I’m saved and fully accepted in Christ. There’s nothing more or less that I could do which would affect my position in Him. That’s the truth. It’s the cross and His precious blood.

So I was pleasant surprised but encouraged when a brother gave me a prophetic word of encouragement. Nothing bombastic but simply these words: “God takes great pleasure in you. He is pleased with you.”

Wow… Those words were like God Himself talking to me and finishing off the conversation or chat I had with Him 2-3 days ago! Simply amazing!

I hope my less-than-spectacular testimony would encourage you to find your place of REST in Christ; to know how much He truly loves you and the richness of His grace lavished on you.

If you have found that place, guard it tightly. Don’t allow the enemy to deceive you out of it no matter what. Amen.

The Next 50 Years

Singapore celebrates her 50th birthday.

The 50 years has passed with much accomplished in one generation. The question to ask ourselves now is WHAT’S NEXT?

“Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed.”

Acts13:36

All of us will live and die like David. But not everyone lives to serve and fulfill God’s purpose in his own generation.

Today, will you and I serve the purpose of God in your own generation?

Jubilee Day of Prayer for Singapore

Today, I was at the Jubilee Day of Prayer for Singapore with more than 50,000 from the Body of Christ.

It was definitely an appointment from God for my wife and I to be there, especially it being shortly after our return to Singapore. And the tickets were given to us!

As the session started, I was constantly welling up with tears of joy and thanksgiving.

Who are we?

Singapore is but a small nation, a little red dot. Despite this, look at what we have accomplished?

Our small in size and lack of resources have not prevented us to be overachievers and to grow in affluence.

Today, we are able to punch above our weight and stand tall among the other giant nations in the world.

But make no mistake, we are where we are because of His grace alone.

As a people, the Church must never forget that our success is because of His grace. It’s by His grace. And we must continue to stay strong in His grace.

The peace and prosperity that we are enjoying is because of God’s grace and mercy.

Where we are?

Sitting there before Him and in the presence of 50,000, I am grateful that I can be part of God’s Church at this defining period of the Jubilee.

I’m grateful for those spiritual leaders who have gone before us. I do not know them, but we are where we are today because they paid the price in standing in the gap.

I wish I could thank them personally, but I’m grateful for the pioneering generation of the unsung heroes of faith who have took up the role of ‘watchmen’ for our nation.

Their lives spent on bended knees cannot be left unrecognised or ignored. Today, the Church stands tall now on their shoulders.

Without them trail blazing His kingdom, we would not have a spiritual heritage as a Church in Singapore and to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

What are we to do?

I believe the Church is flipping the page towards a new era for Singapore in the year of jubilee.

The torch of the pioneering generation is going to be passed on to the next generation. And that generation has to step up to grab that torch to lead this nation as the next custodian and watchmen for Singapore.

What we see today of Singapore after 50 years is nothing in comparison to what lies ahead. Because each generation goes further than the generation preceding it.

God is not finished with His plan and purpose for this nation. And the Church is the reason.

It is my desire to be counted and be part of whatever He’s doing in and through Singapore, for I believe this is the reason He called me back!

Church, we’ve messed up

Today in His presence I wept.

I felt the anguish and deep grieving of the Holy Spirit from the aftermath of the recent development of the Supreme Court in making same-sex marriage legal in America.

Truth be told, the grief I felt is not so much because of what Obama did or the Supreme Court or even the LGBT. Because the legal law has never been the answer to address the matter of homosexuality.

The grief I felt is because the Church has messed up. Instead of manning up, we have shifted blame and looked at all the possible perpetrators except ourselves.

God have always reminded us that judgement will fall upon His people first as the custodian of the Gospel who are responsible to shine His light in our dark and fallen world.

So we, as the Church have messed up.

We were (and still are) the answer but we never did provide the answer in being the light for the world.

We had and have the authority to define marriage which is based on truth; to accurately represent and strongly defend this institution. But we messed up.

How can the Church have authority when people in general perceives “Christians divorce are at the same rate as non-Christians”?

How can we defend the sacredness of marriage between man and woman when the Church is constantly afflicted with scandals of adultery or sexual abuse?

Clearly because we have failed to firmly define marriage in society that other people groups are stepping in to redefine marriage according to their own pleasure rather than God’s pleasure.

We’ve messed up. Forgive us Lord. We repent. Please heal our land.

At this point, the Holy Spirit reminded me that He is Immanuel- God is with us. He is with us even in the midst of darkness. That’s His promise.

As long as His light shines,there is Hope. Unless the Church stands in agreement on His truth, we cannot reflect the fullness of His light to disperse darkness.

Without light, people will remain in darkness. And currently, the world is not able to see the Light through the Church.

“… if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

God knows you

“You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.”

Ezekiel 28:13

I have been reading the book of Ezekiel for my daily devotion. And this verse intrigued me for quite awhile.

You see I don’t even know the specific names of every gem stones. When I see one or more or another coloured one, to me they are all the same. For sure, I won’t be able to name them.

But interestingly, God knows the names of these gem stones! He created them and named them. He knows how each one is different from the other.

Similarly, the Holy Spirit showed me how God knows each of us by name. He created us and He calls us by name. If He can name and call out each gem stone, how much more precious are we?

Although we might be the same species called humans. But like gem stones, to God each of us are different from one another. He designed each of us uniquely with our own individual characteristics.

So if you think you’re not special, think again. And if you think God doesn’t pay attention to you or doesn’t love you think again. These are far from the truth, you are precious to Him and He knows you by name.

Remember there is only one YOU. If you’re a diamond, don’t try to be an emerald. You will never be an emerald. And you will never be truly fulfilled as you are not being you. He created you to be YOU. So love YOU like how God loves you!

A rainbow from God

After 4 years in Vietnam, God called me back to Singapore for His next assignment in Singapore. And on my flight back, God gave me a message through a rainbow.

As the plane was in mid air right after take off, I spotted a rainbow (above pic). I thought that was a miracle sighting since its in mid air. I was quite happy to see that although it was a faint glimpse of a rainbow.

But as the plane went higher, I realised what I had seen earlier was just the beginning of the rainbow. In next scenes (above and below pics), I saw the whole arc of the rainbow with full spectrum of colours. It was beautiful!

This was what God impressed upon my heart with what He showed me:

1. He is a covenant keeping God.

He will keep His promise to see Vietnam saved cos He loves His people. That’s why He gave us Jesus as the atonement. So what He started in our church community in Saigon, He will see it to completion. Our group is part of His grand purpose to reach the lost and disciple this nation.

Personally, it was an assurance and reminder that God is in control and He is leading our group with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

2. The best is yet to come!

Like how I thought my first glimpse of the rainbow which was only the first part was wonderful. And I was quite happy about that but God showed me more than I had expected and beyond.

Similarly, I might think that the first 3 years as a community was the best thing that happened to us. But God is saying that this is just the beginning, we aren’t seen nothing yet.

If we keep trusting in Him and stay on this journey of faith with Him, He will show us even greater things and the full spectrum of what He had planted in this community.

In other words, God has great plans for each of us and for our community. This is just the start of experiencing His love and abundance that will be revealed more to us as we trust in Him!

I don’t usually sit at the window seat. But I chose the seat this time as I was returning. So to see this is significant and to have the rainbow over Saigon is even more significant.

God is good!

Follow me as I follow Christ

1 Corinthians 11:1 “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ”

I never quite understood Paul’s words until now where I can relate with his situation in why he said those words and the intense emotions he must felt when he said those words. To know His word is one level, but to see those words coming to life is a whole new level.

Paul planted many churches and I can imagine how it must have been difficult for him when he had to move on to his next assignment. He planted churches not by franchising but for each church community, he personally laid down his life as a seed for God to germinate and develop into a plant to give birth to a church just as Jesus did.

One concern: What happens next?

Would the purity of the gospel be eroded after he leaves. Would people slip back into trusting in the law (religion) over the grace of God for their salvation? Would they live according to their flesh or walk in the Spirit?

He implored, IMITATE ME as I imitate Christ. He meant please do not compromise on the standard of His word that I have set with my teachings and my example lived out during my time with you. That is how you should also live your life sold out for Christ and the gospel.

Second concern: Who will they follow?

After Paul move on, it would be possible for the community to be at lost in the transition. And at such a state, it would be easy for people to follow or look to people or personalties over Christ Himself.

Paul implored, imitate me as I IMITATE CHRIST. He meant please follow Christ as your priority like how I have. Paul wasn’t part of the original 12 disciples or apostles of Jesus. Although he submitted to them, but he did not blindly follow any of them. For e.g. when Peter erred, Paul did not hesitate to correct Peter.

I can imagine the clout, reputation and superior status the original apostles such as Peter or John must have had. Almost everyone would have readily followed and obeyed them at a command. But Paul wasn’t into that. He stood his ground on His word and had such an intimacy with God that gave him the strong loyalty and obedience to Christ first to the point even in the face of death (he was beheaded for the gospel).

So today, let the words of Paul not just be a reminder to follow and trust in Christ alone, but also an inspiration to continually challenge you to live your life in such a way that you are able to persuade and convince others to imitate you because those around you can see Christ in you!