2017, soaring w J.

In every season, You are still God

In 2014 (1st year), I wanted to learn to love myself, accept myself, and believe that God is still not done in my life.

In 2015 (2nd year), I wanted to learn to trust others, stand with others and fight with others.

In 2016 (3rd year), I wanted God’s love to manifest out of my life, into the life of others.

In 2017 (4th year), I wanted to recognize the seasons in life, and know clearly i was born for a time such as this.

“4” speaks of creation, separation of night and day, and marking off the seasons. 

And, “Seasons” in the hebrew is “Moed” which meant “appointed times”.

In Psalms 107, “oh, and that men would give thanks to the Lord for His grace”, has this verse appearing 4 times, after 4 different seasons. The garden of Eden has a river that parted into 4 other rivers which represents 4 different seasons. (Genesis 2:10-14).

This 2017 will be my forth year in church, committing my whole life to God, and set in a whole pursuit of Him. And amazingly, I was reading the book of Esther, and having some deep revelations of her life in the story. And the interesting thing that got to me in this morning devotion, was the fact of what the number “4” meant in the bible.The 4 witnesses of God on earth are miracles, wonders, signs and gift of the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 2:4) and 4 gospel accounts of Jesus’s life ministry, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John has gone through 4 different seasons that has a unique aspect of sacrifice and ministry.

The number 17 meant – overcoming the enemy and complete victory.

1 Corinthians 13:13, has 17th mentioned of the word love. And in that verse, it wrote, “the greatest of this is love” and by this love it meant in John 3:16, God’s agape and sacrificial love that have overcome the evil with goodness.

True Christians, however, will gain the ultimate victory over God’s adversaries when he resurrects them back to life (Revelation 15:2; 20:4). One of the major themes of the Day of Atonement, which occurs in the seventh Hebrew month on the tenth day, is the binding of Satan (see Revelation 20). Thus, 10 plus 7 equal the number 17, which testifies to Christ’s perfect overcoming of Satan.

In Romans 8:35 the apostle Paul asks a simple question which is “What shall separate us from the love of Christ?” . He extends his question a little more by asking if the following seven things could separate us, which are tribulation, persecution, distress, nakedness, famine, the sword or any other danger. He then tells us ten things that CANNOT get between our God and us, which are life, death, principalities, powers, angels, things present or to come, depth, height or anything created. Thus we have 7 + 10 = 17, representing a Christian’s perfect and eternal standing with God through Christ.

Could it be, that God have appointed me in this season to overcome the devil, through my standing with Christ? 2017, I am looking forward to soar with God. Looking forward to go on missions in the Philippines, more moments of standing in the gap between the living and the dead. To grow in capacity and understanding of Christ.

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The time is now. (Esther)

I was born for a time such as this.

Esther 4:14-17 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.


Background: In the book of Esther, Esther was a Jew who lived in the time of Persia. She was brought to the palace when the King was looking for a new queen. Esther won the favor of the king, and became the queen. Haman wanted the Jews to perish, but Mordecai went to persuade Esther to stand up for her people. Esther got her people to pray and fast and stand in one accord together with her. Esther rose up to the time, and made her request to the king and saved the Jews.

Esther is a woman, like all of us here. I pray that whenever I read the story about Esther, I will know that as a woman, I can do great things for God. 

So, here is 3 things I learnt from Esther: 
#1 We need to know our position when we serve. (Esther 2:9,17)

Esther 2:9, And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king’s palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem. 

Esther knew what she needs to do when she was in the palace. She needed to be at the top, to be able to be the queen. Similarly for us, we need to know our position when we serve, and do what we are good at. We must not be envious of who other people is. We are all made uniquely by God. Can you imagine what will happen if Esther was being envious of others?
In Ephesians 4:16 “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Esther knew her position in the palace, and she gave her best when she served. Similarly, we need to know our position, and work together with one another so that God’s glory can come upon us. When we do that, people will begin to see God’s love in us.

In Esther 2:17 “The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”

Esther won the favor of the king and people by knowing her position.

2. We need to recognize the season of our people (Esther 4:14-16, Esther 5-6)
Esther 4:14-16 “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!””
Like how Esther recognized the season her people were in, and she stood with them. We need to learn to hear our people and have a greater heart to empathize with our people. 
So what do I need to hear?
H – heart: we need to hear the things on their hearts that has been weighing them down.

E – experiences: Everyone goes through different experiences in life, and we need to hear the things that people have gone through in the life.

A – agonized: We always think that we understand the pain in someone’s life, but we never really do. It’s like giving birth. I may have given birth before, but I will never know the kind of pain you have gone through, because we are not them.

R – rejoice: we need to learn to celebrate others.

I am chosen by God today to serve the next generation. Do not despise what we are doing because the children will be the leader of tomorrow. The ceilings we are building today are the floor for the next generation. Help can always arise from another place if we fail to hear the cry of our people, but we need to know that God has personally chosen each of us here today, to make a difference by learning to hear the cries our people.

Lastly,

3. We need to stand in one accord with our leaders. (Esther 4:15)

Esther 4:15-17 “Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.”

When Esther ask the people of the Jews to fast and pray, they did. Sometimes, we might not see the purpose of doing what our leaders ask us to do. During those times, can we still stand in one accord with our leaders?

We need to know and believe that our leaders are God’s appointed. At the walls of Jericho, the people might not understand why Joshua march around it 7 times, but they stood with him. It is during those times that we have to ask ourselves are we able to stand in one accord with the dreams and vision that God has placed in our leader. Lets me enlarge my heart today, and trust that God has placed them above me for a reason.

He qualifies the call. (Exodus)

One thing I am assured and thankful for is that, ” God don’t call the qualify, He qualifies the call.”

So while growing up, and still being a young Christian, I was filled with so much insecurities in my life. I always have negative thoughts about myself. The thoughts that usually fill me up was, “ Am I good enough?”, “Am I worthy enough?” and even “Did God really choose me?”. These thoughts eventually drowns me and became the stumbling block to my growth in the ministry.

Only God and my leader knows how many times over the past year, I have been saying the exact words, “I am scared”, ” I don’t want to do it” and “let me be invisible” whenever I was asked to do something out of my comfort zone. How many times it was easier to just run away, hide myself in the midst of the crowd, throw in the towel and simply ignore everything. It’s always easier to put the words in my mouth to say that I want to stand in that gap, and I want to do something great for God than actually doing it. 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in perfect love. But perfect love drives out fear. And I no longer want to fear anymore but trust in that perfect love. And only in His words that we are deeply rooted in this love. And the story of Moses is the perfect example of God qualifying the call.

When the Lord called Moses and appeared as fire in the bushes, and told Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and be a leader to His people, Moses doubted himself. (Exodus 3:11, 4:10-11). Moses first doubted his identity in Christ and afterwards doubted His own ability. Yet, God promised to be with Him. God promised to walk with Moses to the promised land. God could have chosen Aaron who was more eloquent, yet He chose Moses. And from this, we can begin to know that God is the one who qualifies the call. If God has called us into the ministry, no matter what we think about ourselves shouldn’t have mattered, because only One matters.

In the later part of Exodus, Moses begin to rise up, and understood the principle of a willing heart, and full trust in God. Moses started to be who He was in Christ, established his identity in God with his willingness, and trusted God to use him even though he felt that he was not good enough. After that, we all know that God uses Moses to perform many signs and wonders as well as great miracles like parting of the red sea. God was with Moses through it all. God is never looking for a perfect vessel. He was looking for only one thing. The words that could bring us into the ministry and perform the same miracles for Him.

He is looking for a broken, yielded vessel with a willing heart to say,
” Here I am, Lord. Use me.”

This make me feel assured that I never have to be good enough, be a number one for God to use me. God can use me. Even though I am broken, jaded and hurt in so many ways, Jesus can still use me. He looks at my heart. And here is my heart, one that never stops beating Jesus. He qualifies the call. He can use an ordinary me, to serve an extraordinary God. 1 Corinthians 1:27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.

Many times, when I was growing up, so many people has put doubts in my heart, telling me I am not good enough. And this words that were spoken too many times have led me to believe it. And slowly by slowly, I was drained off by my emotions of worthlessness. I started to grow and be afraid of stepping out. What if I fail again? I had given up on life three times, given up on myself and was flawed in many ways. I gave up on trying, and live in that resentment. So many people have walked out of my life when I failed, or was not at my best. And such thoughts do haunt me as it still does.

But this few weeks have made me realize that its time to believe in myself. That I could believe in the dreams and visions God has placed in my heart, to be a leader and serve the kids. That at the altar, I once saw myself preaching to a group of kids with emotional needs, and through my experiences, and testimony, many of them encountered God in ways I could never comprehend.

And I was affirmed that deep in my heart now, that God has called me. He could use Moses, who felt inferior to the call, but stood up with his willing heart that says, ” Here I am.” and placed people around to support him, then God could use me too. The simple words that my leader sent to me, ” I believe in you” would have taken me further than where I was to bring glory to my King. It spoke more than just words but affirmations that was poured out into supporting my dreams and visions. I am thankful.

I pray Lord, that as I rise up to my call for Your glory, use me. Use me as You can for our kingdom cause. I place my dreams and visions into Your hands, knowing well that it is done in Your name. That You alone could have called me. You qualified the call. You chose me. You saw me. You heard my cries and picked me out from the wilderness. Let my life pour out the sweetest offering into Your hands. That I may be lacking, but I am made perfect in You. Thank You Jesus. Amen.

Stay faithful. (Matthew 25:14-30)

Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)

The story: This was the parables that spoke of a Master entrusting his servant with the talents before he went away. He gave five, two and one to each of the servant respectively. And when he got back, he entrusted the servants who were faithful to the talents they have with greater things. 

It was like how God placed those talents in each and every of His children. And the fact that God has placed this talent in each and everyone of us, meant that God has already know that we have the ability to multiply these talents.

In the story, the first servant took the five talent and multiply it and had ten talents in the end. The master was well pleased that he was faithful to the small things that was given to him and entrusted him with greater things (Matthew 25:19-21). The second servant took the two talents that were entrusted to him, and multiply it and had four talents. The master was well pleased that he was faithful to the small things that was given to him and entrusted him with greater things (Matthew 25:22-23). However, the third servant was afraid to use his talent and hid it. The master was furious with him. And his master took away the talent from him (Matthew 25:24-28).

This parable taught of two simple truths:

(1) Staying faithful to what God has entrusted us with.

Whether it was five, two or one talent, God has placed it in our hands knowing that when we stay faithful in doing what we do, with that little we have, he will entrust us with greater things.

(2) Never be afraid to use your talent. 

As I was reading through this, I realize that the master would not have been as furious if the third servant tried to multiply the talents and failed. He was furious that the servant hid his talent away. God has placed that talent in us and He would be furious if we hide it away instead of using it. God wants us to use our talent to glorify His name.

The Father’s heart was knowing that indeed His child is capable of being faithful to the things that they were entrusted too. And using the talent in us to lift Him higher.

Lord, I pray that as I lift up my thoughts to You, help me to stay faithful to the little things that were entrusted to me, so that it could bring glory to Your name. Help me to not be afraid to use the talents that you place in my hands, but only believe. 

 

A little more goes a long way.

Psalms 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadows of death, I will fear no evil. For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff; they comfort me.

Exactly one year ago, I lost someone whom I loved dearly. Someone who was that special to me, a fatherly figure. I lost him to the fight of cancer, and at that point of time, my life went downhill. I lost sight of God, lost sight of His hands. It came as a big blow in my faith and in my trust for God. I fell into depression and hid inside a hole and prayed that no one would find me, no one would pulled me out. I was so lost at that moment that I started hurting myself, hoping that it would make me feel better, but it did not.

In that darkest moment of my life, I met someone. She is really beautiful inside out. She was none other than my leader, Vivien. Through the times of my weakest moment, she gave all she could to be there for me. When I called her on the day where he passed away, I was screaming and shouting on the phone. She put down everything she was doing, and rushed over to be by my side. Even though, she wanted to cry, she just sat there to be my comfort. No one had ever done such things for me, and its through this, that I really felt her love.

Even after the funeral, I lost sight of God’s hands in my life, yet she still remained there for me. I was angry at myself, at life, at God, at what miracles did not happen for me. I shunned away from her, because I no longer felt worthy to be in that part of her circle. I felt that God did not love me. Even though I went to church constantly, I had already left God. In my heart, I was angry, and I shoved her away. Yet, she did not leave me. She prayed for me, she shed tears after tears for me. Even though she did not show it, but I saw her sadness when she talked to me. I was rebelling against whatever love people had shown me. And I know I have really hurt her.

What really touches me the most, was that I was constantly in her mind. She loved me, more than I could have imagine. Even though I was tired, was hurt, was broken and was jaded, she felt as much as I do. She would do just that little more for me, meeting me, loving me and just praying for me. Every struggles that I went through, she was there to shed my every tear, hold me in her arms and lead me back to God. She readily forgive me of all my mistakes and accept me back into her arms again.

She was special, because she made it a point to be there for me, at every single milestones of my life. Every single tears, and happiness that I had, she was there. When my uncle got baptized, she was there. When my uncle went passed away, she was there to embrace me. On my birthday, she came to celebrate the birth of me, and on my baptism day, she appeared to love me. And when I decided to put away my emotions and love God even more on Christmas 2014, thank you for celebrating me. That little extra more, the time she would squeeze out for me, made me feel her love. She showed me that one will never be too busy for the one they love. Even this year, she made it a point for me to be by her side, running through rehearsals, seeing her serve so faithfully, and being here lovingly faithful for me, has made me feel so blessed.

I came to a revelation for the bible verse Psalms 23:4. The shadow word stood up to me. Death don’t last. Shadow only appears when there is a little light shining on darkness. So even if there’s darkness, I know there’s still a light that I could hold on too. And surely that light will be what I could hold on too and it will comfort me even as I am passing through the shadow of death. And it encourages me that God is still that light, and He will send people over for me, even when darkness closes in. And God has placed her to be my comfort in my life. He uses people to show His love. And through her, I saw God even more. And I held on to this love even more than before.

And to this very special person, Vivien. I would like you to know that, a little more does goes a long way. A little more of your time, your love, your faithfulness towards me, toward God, your prayer and every tears and smiles and celebration you did for me, changed my life much more than you know. You being there at every milestones, allowing me to be close by watching you love and serve, has made an impact on me. You would give me that little more I needed, and through all this, I grew closer to you, closer to God. And I am doing what I am dong now, taking heart and joy in serving the Lord. Giving my all to serve a generation that need Jesus. Serving and expanding my capacity to love people wholeheartedly, being genuine in whatever I do. From your life, I saw what it meant to be more like Jesus. I spent my whole life to know that I am far from close to being like Jesus. But watching you, I want to more like Jesus, more like you.That little things that you did, it went a long way. Thank you for being here one year ago, when I was lost and uncertain of my future. Thank you for holding on to me, and giving me that little more, because I will never imagine doing all that I am doing without you. I just caught that heart of wanting to give a little more to people because of you.

Thank you.

Using my mess to serve Others.

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

I always thought the things and mess I had to go through was because I didn’t know God. But recently, to my own amazement, I thank God for putting me through my mess. It was through all my mess that I was in a better position to serve others and meet the needs of others. It was also through this mess that I could become a testimony to God and all His works. Turning all my wounds into wisdom, so I could serve and love others in ways that not many people can.I realize the things we go through could be put to better use if we just trust in God, looking from His perspective. Instead of looking at our wounds, we could look from the way God look at it.

most people do not know was that I suffered from depression. There were unbearable days where I wanted to end my life as hope seems lost. Walking out into His light wasn’t easy. There were many times that I fell back into depression. One of those times that I lost someone I loved, I went back to hurting myself. Later on, when I walk into the light of Christ, I actually hid my past away due to embarrassment. However, in later times, I realized that when I looked from God’s perspective, He had actually placed me in a position to reach the needs of many teens who went through what I did. I was in a position where I could serve God, and bring His great love to others. It was from His perspective, that I was equipped and empowered to do what I was called to do. When I begin to see God, I was compelled to share my story from His great love. Therefore, positioning myself to serve others better.

The trials and ordeal that we went through, I think we all go through it for a reason. And one of the reasons was so we could be in a better position to relate and serve others. If I had not been through such trials and ordeals, I would not been able to relate and serve others. I would not have been able to understand what exactly do the person need. When we begin to position ourselves looking from God’s view, thats how we get to serve others.

The Impact of Leadership.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

I think leadership is one of the core factors for the rise and fall of a ministry. The leadership will bring us to greater heights, or make us withdraw from His Kingdom. I have personally been under 2 leaderships. Both which I cannot define if they were good or bad. But somehow, this 2 leadership had a great impact on me. And this shows that what leadership can actually do to us.

When I was I XXX Church, I was under a leader who no doubt was great. But under her care, I did not grow or flourish well in His Kingdom. I am in no means of blaming her, because I might be the one who wasn’t ready to commit my life. However, many circumstances have led me to believe that she did not trust me enough to teach me or grow me, or rather, I did not feel the sense of security. Slowly by slowly, because of all the factors surrounding me, I left. I left heartbroken and I felt bad about myself. The feeling of me being not enough and unwanted was strong.

When I came over to City Harvest Church, I was placed under a leader named Eng Wee from Children Church. He was a leader who does not work in a conventional way. It scared the wits out of me. He always put me in situations that made me struggle and he did not end there. He will put surprises that gave me shock after shock. However, in this situation, I realize that I should lean on God’s presence, and hang on to God even more. He helped me to realize God’s love even more. He was a leader who cared, and even more so, understood the feelings of his member. He knew that throwing me into the ocean would suffocate me, before I even learn how to swim, but he never let me go. He was there to guide me.

Honestly, when he first thrown me into this deep sea, I was unhappy, and I blamed him for all the emotional breakdown that I had. But even with all this, he has shown me his care and concern, like a father does to his daughter, he never let go of me. He wanted me to experience and encounter God’s move in the ministry by myself. He is someone who is full of love and compassion. I might have err many times, but its his love that made me see God even more.

A leader who had done so much things for me, had impacted my life a lot. He put the confidence and hope in me, and it helped me see what I could offer. Even at times when I looked down on myself, I am not afraid of showing it. I know that a leader like this would help me up. And what impact did he leave on me? He helped me saw Jesus. He helped me see myself, where I belong and what I could do for Him. He left an impact that was not removable. He made me want to love like him, and be like him. He made me want to humble myself before God, and love God even more.

To my leader, if you saw this, please know that of all the things you have done, it could only mount up to this 7 words. Thank you for believing in me. I felt unworthy, but you showed me what I could be for Jesus. I was lacking, but you opened up doors that were closed. Thank you for the times you meet me just to answer my unending questions. For making sure I emerge as a conqueror. You made me believe in myself a little more. You left an impact on me.

Thank you.