Sunday, April 29, 2018

Former Church

It wasn’t easy. It was only on Friday that I was asked to preach in my former church in Ranau. It was double duty as there were two Sunday services in separate places for different congregations. So I prepared two messages and with a 7.20am drive from College I got back just after 1pm. When I reached the church I saw in the church bulletin that I was also conducting the Lord’s communion and it is our custom to say a few words of exhortation based on Scripture before the emblems were distributed and prayers said before and after. Today was especially poignant because two of the church members were standing for the 14th General Election on May 9th. In the first service I led prayers for an opposition candidate from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and the second service an BN candidate. A good friend to both, perhaps closer to the BN candidate as he was a church member in my former church in KK.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Abundant Life

I lectured on John 10 a couple of weeks ago about the aim of Jesus' coming into the world so that those who believe in Him may have life and have it abundantly. There is no Scripture in the New Testament that praises the rich or that Christians will be rich in any sense of the word but there is also no Scripture to say we should boast about poverty as if it is a badge of honour in following Christ as the poor of this world. I told my students that in our denomination's context where 99% of their pastors are poor that we do well to consider Jesus' offer of abundant life which must include material blessings to survive in this world with a measure of dignity and honour. I could testify since I entered full time ministry 24 years ago, the truth of Matthew 6:33 that if you seek first the kingdom of heaven and his righteousness all these things shall be added to you.

Friday, April 13, 2018

True Family

It has been a struggle all my Christian life, almost 36 years on now. Who and what is my true family? I just lectured on John's Gospel where Jesus' own brothers did not believe in Him (John 7). In fact, Jesus said that they represented the world and for the world everything is relative, no absolute truth. For the world every undertaking is an opportune time but for Jesus he had to walk to the tune of His Father's bidding. Also in the Gospel of John, Jesus rebuked his mother for trying to command him to do something which is within the purview of Jesus' Father's authority alone. If Jesus' mother and brothers caused him heartache, our own mothers and brothers can also cause us heartache, much more if they do not believe in Christ. I told my friend that one most important thing in my ministry is the sense of belonging to a community of people and to the SIB family of pastors and members specifically. Everywhere I go, I am called "pastor" not something to boast about, but that to me it is a honorific title of respect due to the decades of ministry I have had among SIB members throughout the state of Sabah.