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Great and Gracious God!

Hallelujah! May God bless you richly in His grace!

I have been worshiping at Wesley Methodist Church(Simgapore) since 1992. The environment and the people at Wesley is really quite wonderful, not to mention the pastors and staff too!

This is one of the many new sections at this website and I hope to hear more about your Opinions and Suggestions about it.

Sermon at Wesley on Sunday(28/05/00) was about ...

The Power of One.

by Rev.Juliette Arulrajah with limited adaptation

Scripture reading from 2 Chronicles 20:1-30

Do you really believe in God and that He will deliver you from times of great distress?

Well, Jehoshaphat (future king of Judah) and all of Judah did. There was a time when a great multitude of soldiers were arrayed against God's chosen people. That army so huge that the people of Judah had no hopes of surviving the ensuring battle. In their time of trouble, the whole of Judah came together to seek the Lord, and the Lord answered, "...Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's." (2 Chr 20:15). So God defeated the enemies of His chosen people and "...no one had escaped" (2 Chr 20:24).

How awesome is the power of our Almighty God!

We can also be transformed by God's power and we may approach it with the acroynm P.O.W.E.R.

P - We must have a purpose in life and that purpose is directed by our acknowledgement of His divine power over everything as well as His commandments to all mankind. From that acknowledgement also comes fear of the Lord and with that fear we can be sure to live a holy and purposeful life. Do not misunderstand the above statement. Our God is a loving and merciful God, but He is also strict and stern, just like our earthly parents. Though He cares for us, He will also not hesitate to punish. Let us bear this in mind and not take His boundless grace and love for granted.

O - Approach God's word with openness and obedience. God speaks to us in many ways. You may have found Him whispering to you when you were doing your quiet time, praying or even when you were in the shower. However, we often choose not to listen and obey His commands, shrugging it off as unimportant. Sometimes we choose not to obey because what He wants us to do may cause us great embarassment and discomfort. However, when God really insist that we do what He says, it may be difficult to say no! (Read the book of Jonah).

W - Means Word and worship. We must worship our God passionately and hunger for His word daily, even at times of trouble. True worship is Holy Spirit inspired. When a person confessed his sins to the Lord and asked for forgiveness, acknowledging God as his Saviour, the Holy Spirit will then reside in him. And when he worshipped sincerely to God, the Holy Spirit within him will also rejoice, imparting an overall sense of joy and happinesss. Worshipping with the wrong attitude is just form without substance, about as real as the christian who comes to church on Sunday and break all the commandments during the rest of the week.

E - Endurance in God's presence and in our prayers is always crucial. A friend shared with me his prayer for his parents salvation. Ever since he came to know the Lord, he had been praying for his parents, hoping that they too will one day experience His presence. That prayer were to be on his daily prayer list for the next 25 years and he is still praying that prayer. What trust he has in the Lord that He will deliver in His time. We can also refer to the book of Job and learn the meaning of endurance from Job's experiences.

R - Restoration and Renewal are the keywords here. Remember always "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13 KJV). I recall the tough times I spent while studying for my exams. On top of that, I had committments to the ministry in the hostel as well as hostel activities to cope with. However, I will always look forward to spending time with God every morning and before I sleep, worshipping Him with a few songs and learning from His Word. It hardly fails to refresh me despite my tiredness from the loads of activities. (My confession: The times when I find doing my QT a drag was when my heart was not in it and was just doing it out of obligation.)

Let us all experience God's power and love by letting Him work fully in our lifes. Let us show the world we are not merely paying lip service but showing true faith through actions of compassion in His Name and Glory.

Sermon at Wesley on Sunday(21/05/00) was about ...

When Judgement Comes...

by Rev. Lim Jen Huat with limited adaptation

Scripture reading is taken from Matthew 25: 31-46.

After reading from the mentioned section, I am sure everyone will want to be the Lord's sheep on His right hand and not the goats on His left. But who amongst us will the Lord chooses to be sheeps or goats?

Our Lord chooses His sheep from the flock whom have shown compassion and love without asking for reward or recognition. Small actions of love and kindness, which may be insignificant to us, like giving up a seat in a crowded bus, God will know.

Many times, however, we render our assistance with expectation of returns and recognition from the people the help was given. Haven't we, to a certain degree, expected them to express their gratitude? And when they do not, we would fume and grumble?

What about people whom have done great works that God would have been proud of? Surely these people will be God's sheep! Not so, if we examine the motivation behind their mighty acts. Were they motivted to do what they have done by out of love, compassion and goodness of their hearts, or were they motivated by selfish thoughts? Even God's specially chosen people were not exceptional to this failing.

Jonah was a prophet whom God had commanded to declare to a city full of sinful people that God will perish in 40 days. When the people of Nineveh heard that message, they became greatly fearful and were repentant before God, and God spared them. Jonah, however, became very unhappy because he felt that if God was not serious about punishing those sinful people, then why command him to travel to Nineveh, which was a long 3 days journey, and prophesize? We must always bear in mind that though there will be those who quarrel with the goodness of God and His pardoning mercy to others (to which we all owe it that we are out of hell), yet God will justify Himself in the methods of His grace towards repenting sinners.

Believing in God alone is not sufficient to beecome His chosen sheep. We saw from the scripture reeading that both the selected and discarded cried out "Lord", but only one group let God work in their lifes. We may proclaim to our friends or to strangers, "I have received God's love!", but the evidence of His love is expressed in the way we live our lifes. If God is truly living within us, then we are all conduits of His love and that love will simply flow out from us to touch the people we come to know. Is faith being lived out in our lifes?

James said in 2:20, "But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" and affirmed that in 2:24, "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." It is not enough to just believe in God and that He saves, for "...Even the demons believe - and tremble!" (James 2:19 KJV)

So brothers and sisters, leet us not appear before our Father on the day of judgement and give Him excuses for not having shown love and compassion. We have to recognize what we can do and not we could not do, for we can always do something to help build His kingdom in heaven.

Sermon at Wesley on Sunday(14/05/00) was about ...

Joy of Holiness

by Mrs Ann Chan with limited adaptation

What is the soucre of happiness?

When our innermost needs are fully met, we will be happy. Like a newborn baby who cries when he is hungry will be happy again when his needs are answered.

The next question is: What are our deepest needs? To be truly happy, such needs must surely transcend beyond the mere physical and material to our soul and conscience. Only when we can look back in the past, to the present and to the future without guilty feelings of remorse lying heavy on our conscience are we truly in a state of joy.

People have all too often looked for happiness in the wrong places. Many had coveted after wealth, career, fame, knowledge, pleasure seeking, good food etc, but without ever feeling really happy, as if there is an empty spot in their hearts.

A well know actor by the name of Hugh O'Bryan(I think mispelled the name...oops) once said there were five stages in his life as an entertainer.

  1. "Who is Hugh O'Bryan?"
    He is still a nobody when he just started out.
  2. "Get me Hugh O'Bryan."
    As he gain fame and recognition, more people want to hire him.
  3. "Get me a Huge O'Bryan type."
    At the peak of his career, he is so famous that although directors want him on their cast, they cannot afford him and had to look for cheaper alternatives.
  4. "Get me a young Hugh O'Bryan."
    As he grow older, he is no longer so famous. His absence is no longer so improtant. People can easily do without him.
  5. "Who is Huge O'Bryan?"
    Eventually, a once famous star fades into obscurity and a nobody again.

How sad a life of seeking after fleeting secular pleasure can be! I must thank him for his brave and frank testimony.

There are many religious groups preaching the so-called "feel-good" teachings, that God really wants us to be happy and blessed, and that all who comes to Him will be blessed because it is His wish. This is a very powerful message as it reflects the thirst for joy and happiness what many people are lacking of in today's world.

That is unfortuantely a false teaching.

The truth is God's primary purpose when He deals with us is not to make us happy, or to give us what we want. God's primary reason when He came to us in the form of a man we all know by Jesus Christ is to save all of mankind by sacrificing Himself on the cross, so "...that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16 KJV)

Yes, God loves us so much that He "...sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:17 KJV). However, making us happy is not God's primary intention.

God does want us to be happy and joyful, but that joy must come from a life of obedience and love in God. "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Rom 14:17 KJV)

True joy and happiness can only come when we serve God's will, love God's Word and desire God's presence. For is not the first and greatest commandment "...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (Matt 22:36 KJV) ?

We cannot possibly feel genuine joy and happiness when we go against God's will and seek worldly pleasures instead. How can we be joyful when every sin we committ "...grieve the Holy Spirit of God..." (Eph 4 :30 KJV).

After we have to come know and accept God in our lifes, it does not mean that we will not longer feel upset and anxious, or suffer from hunger and death. We will still suffer the same problems as people who indulge in the secular world. The differences are, however, when we are in the dumps, we will still be upbeat and sing praises to our Lord God for we know that He has given us the assurance of Salvation, and that we will only die once for Jesus Christ had already saved all those who beileved in Him from eternal damnation (as opposed to desciption in Rev 20:15). For I ask you all, what is more precious than the promise that of life eternal in heaven with our heavenly Father?

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