Thursday, July 21, 2016

3 Sundays without Preaching

When my former student texted me and wished me God's blessings on my preaching, I realized that it had been 3 Sundays since I last preached in Singapore on 26th June. My last Sunday sermon in Sabah was in a nearby church from College on 12th June. This is like an eternity without rising to the pulpit. Last night I preached an impassioned message from 1 Tim 5,17-18, Eph 4,11-14 and Jeremiah 3:15-16 to a cell group of 14 adults, most of whom are my contemporaries belonging to my homechurch in KK. I spoke about three things as pastors or elders. First, to lead or rule well and the 2nd and 3rd things are ways by which leadership or rulership of the church is carried out, namely through preaching and teaching. I shared how I rejected several job offers in Singapore when the churches only asked me to preach occasionally like once in 3 weeks compared to what I had been doing in the past 18 months that is on average preaching 3 times a week. But suddenly I am taken away from the land of the living and now dwell in darkness of non activity.
I confess that it is hard to take and I thank several of my students who take time to befriend their former teacher and enquire of me. I told my friends that Isaiah 49,1-6 comes back to play in my life. It is a time of hiddenness like an arrow hidden in the quiver until the archer takes it out and launches it. From the MT Hebrew we read "polished arrow" but the LXX has a choice or chosen arrow. Many are called but few are chosen. The chosen ones go through more trials and tribulations lest they rest on their laurels or become complacent. The chosen ones receive further training for the tasks ahead. In the past fortnight I have been reading Scripture and commentaries. Although I went to sleep last night at 1am I rose at 4.30 am and cried out to the Lord. Last night out of the 14, at least 8 or 9 spoke out to say how they were truly blessed and enlightened by the message. One person said that it was too brief though I spoke for 40 minutes. When the anointing is operating and the gift is flowing 40 minutes passes by like 10 mins but when there is no anointing 10 mins seems to be 40 mins.  I was encouraged by their words and we prayed for one another and enjoyed supper together before I left the place at 10.20pm.

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