Tuesday, January 5, 2016

First Few Days of 2016

I finally got my hands on Russell Morton's Recent Research on Revelation. I have been reading it in the past couple of days and had it with me everywhere I go. I read it during visits to hospital, waiting in my car, over dinner and took back with me to Ranau early this morning.  We walk by faith and not by sight. Humanly speaking there is no reason I am doing what I am doing but I am trusting that my ministry is in God's hands and it is His work and not mine. I did not choose Him but he chose me and he chose me to bear fruits and fruits abundantly for his glory. In a way I am contented with what the Lord has done in this past one year. LORD establish the works of Your hands...you accomplish your purpose for me....my times are in your hands O Lord.  Trusting God and moving forward this year with greater expectancy and greater faith in what a God can do through weak and sinful men and women. Lord if you should mark iniquity who could stand? I repeated my sermon on Sunday and it worked pretty well.
First, I did not have the anxiety of preparing two sermons which is double work. This is a change in 2016 I am ready to make. Second, the two congregations are different and they should hear what the pastor has to say whichever service they attend. Last year was tough, almost 60 Sunday sermons in all, not including Wednesday and Friday meetings. Third, I will focus on discipleship class so I need more time to prepare for the class and 2 sermons a week are max what I could do. Perhaps I should even lessen my preaching duties mid-week. It was one of the strangest opening sermons I had preached in my time as pastor. "Living a life of wisdom, managing finances prudently" or in Malay, "Hidup berhemah, Mengurus Kewangan". I made several theological justifications to talk about financial prudence. First, almost a third of Jesus' parables is focused on money or property. I even spoke about putting money in the bank based on Jesus' teaching in Matt 25,27. For the natives of Borneo, mostly poor I think it is important that they think and plan about their finances no matter how small or big the sums. I told them if you put RM50.00 per month in 10 years you will get RM10,000. And how in the bumiputera government guaranteed accounts you can double your money every 10 years with compound interest of 8% p.a. I told them to live moderately and be spendthrift. Don't splurge on wants and waste money on non essentials. At the end of both services the congregations thanked me. I had one lady telling me that it was a good sermon. I don't get commendation like these as natives are very reserved and at most they will just say thanks. For a long time I have not heard, "good sermon, pastor". We don't look for men's applause because our praise comes from God who knows our hearts and He will reward us.

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Recent Research on Revelation

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