Saturday, April 11, 2015

20150412 Wounds

Where are your wounds?
Dr Leow Theng Huat
12 April 2015
Wesley Methodist Church

Faith seeking understanding
Faith and live push us
To want to know more
To understand

Good theology nurtures faith

A small peek at the resurrection body

Physical in nature
Can see and touch

Able to suspend some natural laws

Can eat and drink

Can enjoy fellowship

Limitations removed
No decay
No disease
No deterioration
No death 

This helps you to face your own mortality with courage and joyful expectation
By God's grace!

Why did the resurrected Christ still bear wounds ?
Scars in hands

Why did He remain mutilated?

His body without the wounds
Would be far less perfect
Far less beautiful

His wounds are
Wounds of sacrifice
Wounds of love.

Beauty and perfection in God's eyes 
Are not in external appearances

If beautiful outside
But self-centered 
= hideous in God's sight
= a deformed human being

The world has excessive emphasis
On external outward appearance.

God sees a persons
Acts of love
Acts of sacrifice
Wounded by loneliness

Take home message
Have you ever really made a sacrifice?
Where are your wounds?

Do you have beautiful hands?
Look nice,
But never did any work?

Or do you have scarred hands
Rough from carpenters work
With wounds of love
Of sacrifice
Of giving?

Hands constantly open in the act of giving?

Closing prayer
Dear God
Give us eyes to see
Beauty as you see
Perfection as you see.

Give us
Deep love for people around us
Love that drives us to sacrifice
Even sacrifice that wounds

Sunday, April 5, 2015

20150405 Easter Gifts

This is the word of God
Thanks be to God!
"BUT in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead"

When we think of gifts we usually think of Christmas
Jesus came at Christmas to give us
FREEDOM from our past
POWER for our present and
ASSUARANCE for our future.

We also think of spiritual gifts

At Easter we think of
New Life (as symbolised by Easter egg)

With Easter comes three gifts
* PAST is forgiven
* POWER to change
* PROMISES secured.

* PAST is forgiven
Christ has taken our charge sheet and 
stamped on it "acquitted"
"not guilty"

SIN is living your life not according to God
Centre of SIN is the letter "I"

How do you spend your

HOW to receive this forgiveness?

*CONFESS your sin to God
  are you CEO Christian?
  Christmas and Easter Only?
  Never mind
   If you confess you sin you will receive mercy

*CLAIM God's promise
  God will forgive you
  How many times should I forgive?

  Phrases taught 3 times
  Peter answered 7 times
  Jesus responded 70X7 times
  = 490 times
  = no limit

God's forgiveness is unlimited
God's love is unlimited

Reconciliation takes time
Trust takes time.

If you are a habitual sinner, God's grace applies.

*CONFESS your sin to one other person
Sin lurks in the dark
Bring it out into the light (By confessing to another person)

Your confession should be

* POWER to change

*CONFESS you can not do it (change from sin) alone
  you can not do it in your own strength
   "Apart from me you can do nothing"
*Develop spiritual discipline
  Read bible
  memorise bile verse
*COUNT on God to change you

* PROMISES secured.
  Jesus is Risen
All promises of God have been fulfilled in Christ

Have you received these these three Easter gifts?
* PAST is forgiven
* POWER to change
* PROMISES secured.

New believer's prayer
"God I have not figured out everything.
I believe Jesus rose from the dead.
Because of that I believe in Jesus.
I believe in your promises
I welcome Jesus into my life"

20150405 Sunrise Service

Made alive in Christ

The Jewish court sentenced Jesus and sealed His tomb
The Roman court sentenced Jesus and posted guards at his tomb

Yet God vindicated Jesus 
by breaking the seal
Paralizing the guards
And raising Jesus from the dead. 

Defining moments of the Holy Week narrative
Death on the cross
Which completed his work on the cross

Good Friday only makes sense though the perspective of Easter

Post resurrection
Jesus came to the disciples
They were guilt stricken

"Don't be afraid"
Words of comfort 

He brought gift of the Holy Spirit

Gift of forgiveness to be shared with others.

Don't be caught in the cycle of revenge

The vampire bat has enzymes in saliva that prevent blood from clotting
Bat can keep licking blood.

Likewise satan tempts us to 
Spiritual Zombie

How to move from Victim to Hero?

Constant flow of forgiveness.

Pathway to forgiveness

* NAME the hurt
  acknowledge it

* ACCEPT that whatever happened can not be undone

  Choose forgiveness over revenge

* RELEASE that person with action

NO turning back
To wholeness
Bless them with God's love
with acts of kindness

Unforgiveness locks us into our pain
Walk out of the tomb of unforgiveness

"An eye for an eye" would only end up in the whole world going blind!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Half a loaf rather than five loaves two fish

This is photographer Henry Lim. And on Good Friday he shared with me something that spells out for me a nice "five loaves two fish" story; or rather a "half a loaf" story.

At Chinese New Year our church had an outreach service for "Chinese speaking" with TV personality Moses Lim sharing his testimony.  We brought a  Chinese speaking friend along, a dear friend who is comfortable in dialects but not English.  We sat through the service even though my Chinese language understanding is poor, "half past six", as they say, and that is where my "half a loaf" comes in.

 I don't really understand Chinese wel 
 but as I listened I found I could understand enough to take notes. This is my notes of that Chinese session

Yesterday Henry Lim the photographer told me that he was at that service and had shot a full 90 minute video. He had wanted to trim the video but in order to do so he needed to understand what was being said. And Henry said his command of Chinese language was practically non-existent. Then one of his friends pointed him to my blog and that was clear enough to help him edit his video.

So my "half a loaf of Chinese understanding" was taken and blessed by the Lord  and multiplied to feed .. well hundred, if not thousands.

I felt so blessed to hear this from Henry Lim

The week before from Benny Ho on Malachi
A) God's unchanging love, unmerited and universal
B) on Worship 
     with heart of honour
      life of authenticity
      attitude of gratitude
C)Setting your heart
     Honour the Calling by God to priesthood
     Honour the Character of God
     Honour the Covenant of marriage
D)Four phase of renewal
E) The day of the LORD
     Retribution for the wicked
     Reward for the righteous
    Church to repent and return to God

Then from Holy Week I felt God love me so much
Palm Sunday: HOW do you respond to Jesus the Messiah
Holy Monday: Exposing barren lives:
                         Are you all show, no fruit?
Holy Tuesday: Exerting Authority:
                        Jesus is Lord or all or not Lord at all!
Holy Wednesday: Extravagant love
                         For Jesus , From Jesus
Maundy Thursday: Cup of love
Good Friday: Freedom
And I feel energized to live the abundant life by God grace

And AND today I get my name called out by Pastor from the pulpit
It was so funny. 

We were early. 

Pastor came around to say hello to early comers

He says "Good morning" to every one when he shakes their hands

When he came to my turn he shook my hand in greeting and said  "Good morning"
 I replied "Good Friday" the same way I say "good morning".

He liked the idea
 and smiled. "I was wondering what greeting to use this morning"  he said  "I am going to use this."

And he did! So after we welcomed the new comers it was time to greet our fellow church goers.

Pastor announced "Su Min said 'Good Friday' in greeting. 

So turn to your neighbour and say 'Good Friday'  ".

Not every day I get my name mentioned in church!
I think God was smiling with me!!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

20150403 Freedom

We all want freedom
Singapore wanted freedom
Mandela wanted freedom

Jewish people wanted freedom

Barabbas wanted freedom

Barabbas set free because Jesus gave up his life for Barabbas.

Do you want Jesus to give you freedom from DREAMS unfulfilled?
Three steps
1) Give Jesus your dreams
open your fists
release what you are grasping

Story is told of a 5 year old girl who saw a $2.00 pearl necklace in a shop window.
She wanted it very much
He mum told her she could use her savings and her breathy money and earn more by chores.
And she did.
And she loved her $2 pearl necklace.

At night after her daddy told her a bedtime story
He asked her "Do you love me"
"Yes I do"
"Will you give me your pearl necklace?"
"No but you can have another toy"
"Thats ok" said daddy, kissing her.

Next week same thing happened

Third week, even before he told her her bedtime story
she tearfully surrendered her $2.00 pearl necklace to daddy.
And he pulled out a blue velvet box with a real pearl necklace,
which he had had with him right from the start.

Moral of the story
We need to open outfits to receive from God
Let go of your broken dreams

2) RECEIVE God's dreams
could be small dreams: thats ok
could be big dreams

3) MOVE towards God's dreams by faith

Jesus comes to give us freedom
From DREAMS unfulfilled
From DARKNESS of guilt
From  DEATH forever

Jesus comes to give us freedom from DARKNESS of guilt
3 steps
1) ADMIT your sin
    Dont hide behind

2) ASK God for forgiveness
    No need to beg
     no need to bargain
     God wants to forgive you, fir free
     He as already paid the price

3) ACCEPT God's forgiveness

Jesus comes to give us freedom from  DEATH forever
How to get this?
Easy as A,B,C

A) ADMIT you need Jesus
B) BELIEVE Jesus died for you and rose from the dead for you.
C) COMMIT to follow Jesus

Jesus comes to give us freedom
From DREAMS unfulfilled
From DARKNESS of guilt
From  DEATH forever

Cup of love

Silence: Novel
Set in 17C Japan
True how Japanese Christians were persecuted
driven underground
hidden faith
use kwan yin with child

after 250 years
some kept the faith
others kept the form but forgot the faith

Take Home Message
Remember the Redemption of Christ
Relive the Re-enactment of the last supper
Revelation of God's Real love
Receive theReality of God's forgiveness

Practice of placing your hand on bull's head as it is decapitated
I should have died

Father Lawrence walked with a stone in his open sandals
It hurt so much
He had walked but could not enjoy his surroundings.

Is there pebble of sin in your life?
Let Jesus come in to remove it so you can enjoy the abundant life.

The cup of love
is cup of pain
is a cup of forgiveness

The new believer's prayer....