Sometimes the unexpected happens. We have to expect the unexpected as we serve a God most High and most powerful. If only expected things happen as expected then there is no need for a God. Last Sunday many unexpected things happened. I did not expect to preach such an impactful message as it was my third and the day before was a struggle against many things. An early drive from KK to Kota Belud reaching there at 7.15am when the meeting was supposed to start at 9am. Then there was an 9 hours wait to the evening service during which I had to endure 6 or 7 times power cut and despite the room being air conditioned there was no table or chair for me to sit and write. So at night I slept barely 4 hours after a long hard day with two intense sessions.
I told the pastor not to wait for me at breakfast. In fact I arrived at church 5 mins past the start time at 9.30am somewhat on purpose so that they did not have to drag me to the dining hall for breakfast. I was ready to preach at 10.30am and the sermon went for about one hour and I could hear a pin drop with no fidgeting or murmuring at the back benches. I spoke about loving God’s house and shared about David’s experience of hardship not allowing sleep to his eyes until he found a habitation for the Lord. Then from 1 Chronicles 29 I shared how David made extensive preparation to build the Temple and offered up many offerings, gifts of gold and sliver from his own possessions. Do we love God’s house in such a way? To serve Him devotedly and come into His presence with thanksgiving and praise. Do we give of our money and possession to beautify God’s house and let it run down or dilapidated?
A fellow pastor who attend the Missional church seminar exclaimed to me after he visited the English sanctuary and asked why it was so different from the Malay congregation? The aircon was cool in the English side while our BM side we were sweating and felt sorely unconfortable. The pastor also noticed the general cleanliness and if God’s house is left unattended it will decay and fall into ruins. Sometimes we justify that it is the heart that matters but if we let the worship hall deteriorate it may be an indicator of our spiritual condition. Our souls likewise are in disrepair and fallen down or as Haggai pronounced that people cared more for their own houses than God’s house.
I spoke about Jesus’ love for His Father’s house in Luke 2 and in John 2. So many unexpected things happened. When the congregation rose up after the sermon and greeted me as preacher they brought gifts and offerings to the Lord for his servant’s sake. I received more than the official honorarium for preaching 2 sessions. One person may give RM10 or RM20 ringgit but when 20 or 30 people do that it adds up. I returned to KK full of joy not because of the love gifts but because the people responded to God’s Word and honoured His servant as any servant of God is honoured for the Lord’s glory.