It has been an interesting Sunday. I did not get up terribly early as I was preaching only at the 2nd service. I went to church slightly later than usual thinking that the students had returned to their villages for CNY holidays. But lo and behold they were waiting at the gates in numbers and my slight cold got better at the sight of eager believers. The Lord was good. He knew I was struggling with my health and first service would be too much to handle. I needed time to warm up literally as early morning in Ranau is fairly cool though this morning the chill was gone from the air and normal summer weather is back in store. By 8am the church was full as I could feel the breath of those who sat behind me. Another 200 in a small shop unit meant for 120 adults. The Chairman gave a solid sermon and thank God there are at least 4 or 5 capable preachers in church. He spoke about making wise decisions in accordance with justice based on 1 Kings 3. There are some quotable quotes. Not making a decision is already a decision not to make a decision. It sounds better in Malay. I am fully back in my Malay ministry, how else would I think myself a modern missionary, serving in a culture foreign from mine, a rural setting far removed from urban Singapore. May the Lord's name be glorified. In the second service the District Superintendent came visiting and he gave a short speech perhaps due to the 10mins time limit I set but later retracted because I realized he had much in his heart to share and I would be happy to listen to him speak for at least 20mins. I had already shortened my message to 25 mins from the usual 35 to 40 mins. I continued from Matt 3,10-12 about Jesus baptizing us with the Holy Spirit and fire. John the Baptist also spoke of fire twice, the fire of judgement of the wicked, those who refuse God's salvation offered in his Son, Jesus Christ. I touched briefly on a hot issue about a Christian being converted to Islam which made headlines for several days. I told them why fear and be defensive since we knew whom we had believed. I shared my testimony how I was baptized with the Holy Spirit and received power to be his witness. If we are empowered by his Spirit and equipped with His word we will have a ready answer to those who question our faith and try to lead us astray.
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