Sunday, October 11, 2015

Every Ounce of my Energy

Man shall not live by rice alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt 4,4). Today despite preaching twice over two services, I preached a longish sermon expounding on Deuteronomy 10,12-22. Eleven verses to explicate and if 4 mins are given to one verse, something of an impossibility, I would have taken 44 mins. But the sermon went for 50 mins from 10.30 to 11.20am. By then, I had spent every ounce of my energy and after a freshening up back home I went for lunch with my guitarist, a man in his late 30s and the only person in church whom I could speak English with. What a relief! We talked for more than an hour until 1.30pm and I went home to rest.
One deacon spoke to me just before the start of the 2nd service. He acknowledged how the both congregations have grown and very soon there will not be enough space for the 2nd service. So we prayed again at the intercessory prayers for a larger space and I cried out unto the Lord. With the strength of oxen the harvest multiplies. It is the hard working farmer who gets to taste the fruits of his labours.  A soldier does not get entangled with civilian affairs so that he could be devoted to his commander. LORD, You know I have soldiered on despite some people not seeing that the Lord is doing. But enough of leaders know what is going on and they are beginning to show their appreciation. Enough church members are voting with their feet turning up in church in numbers.  One church member shared with me that she had not stepped into a church for 25 years but came back to the Lord and now worships with us. She was all smiles today.  One mother was so excited about the discipleship programme that I was talking about and she insisted that I bought the Gospel of Luke and Acts Study Guides for her daughter. These are low wage workers and to see them invest in books is a great joy.

Seniors as well as youths come together and sit side by side in the Lord's presence.  I was taken aback in some Singaporean churches when I was told youths hold their own Sunday services and there is this generation gap. I don't know whose fault that might be, perhaps the preacher could not relate to youths and when speaking to youths, the seniors feel left out. The beauty of a congregation with young and old is that God's message speaks across generation for He loves the young and the old for the young shall see visions and the old men shall dream dreams.

But today I have spent the last ounce of my energy. Normally I might go down to KK to enjoy my Monday off day but usually I am too tired to drive and I stay put in Ranau. There must be a purpose in everything.  Ministering across cultures, speaking a second language and even today English which is my natural language came naturally several times. Ignorance is no bliss. Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. Malay is a beautiful language but English is richer in vocabulary and Greek richer still with all the nuances. Only last week I preached about love, agape, Philia, eros, philotimia (the love of honour among the Greeks).

For relaxation, I am reading Koester's 880 page commentary. It will come in good use since I will be teaching Revelation again next February. I even showed up the commentary to make a point why studying the word of God is important and requires efforts, time and energy for man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.

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