Monday, August 30, 2021

Decision Time is Getting Near

It was a tension-filled council meeting, the first that I had felt such strong emotions as one last night. Nevertheless, it was a healthy and robust discussion without rancour and it shows the maturity of the leaders involved to freely speak up as the occasion demands it. We discussed whether we wanted to open the church premises for Sunday services as the government had granted us the permission almost three weeks ago with our HQ giving the green light last week that any church could start opening for Sunday services with SOPs' compliance. The sticky point is that only those who had had double-dosed vaccination could enter the premises and one thing that surprised me was that no one asked whether it is biblical or theological sound to impose such vaccine "passport" for church entry.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

In Abundance and in Want (Phil 4:12)

I know how to abound and I know how to live in want, so says Paul, the apostle in Phil 4:12. It would be mean that there would be times that Paul had access to funds and lived rather comfortably. But more often than not, Paul was living in humble circumstances, or by faith so to speak as he would not know where the next gift or funding would come. Amazingly, God has been faithful to His promise to me and only in the 8th year of being back in Sabah that I could see clearly the great works of God. Not that I have much abundance but it was God’s fulfilment of His promise to me that He would bless me if I returned to Sabah. I suppose it is God’s way of saying that He was not restricted to work miracles of financial blessings in Singapore but works marvelously also in Sabah, despite Sabah being rated having 5 or 6 times less per capital income than Singapore’s.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Before Sunrise

Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord until sunrise. The angel told Jacob that he must go before sunrise and before the first ray of light of the morning, the angel disappeared just as quickly as he had appeared to Jacob. Angels are sent to do a task or tasks, after which they leave the scene often without a trace. I spoke about angels sealing the servants of God in their foreheads before the blowing of the winds and the 7 trumpets in Rev 8 onwards. Probably no one on earth knows what is going on, but the angels do their work without fanfare and without publicity but the recipients of the angelic blessings are left without doubt what they have encountered, a divine sealing and protection from all the woes to come on earth.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Genesis' Creation Accounts (Gen 1-2)

Tonight I shall complete my Bible Study with my church members on the first two chapters of Genesis. When one compares the Hebrew MT and Greek LXX versions, one comes up with a number of differences. In the Hebrew, Gen 2:2 has God completing the work of creation in 7th day while in the LXX it is in 6 days, and hence the usual 6-day creation narrative. Second, on the day the Lord completed the heavens and the earth, pointing to just a day or one day (yom) in Gen . Thus, the creation account although said to be over 6 or 7 days, it is actually just one day or a day understood symbolically that God created the world at a particular time, known only to Himself and revealed to Moses of what we have in the Genesis' creation accounts.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Preaching Again this Sunday

I had a premonition an hour before my deacon called me. I felt I might have to preach this Sunday though I am not scheduled to do so. I had already prepared a sermon a week before but I preached what I preached last Sunday on the key theme for August-Nov "faith, hope and love". When I saw my deacon's name on my phone I knew what he waa going to say. Perhaps the Lord wants me to speak on something this Sunday. There are several issues playing on my mind but I might just speak on one of them.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Adult Bible Class (Genesis)

While preparing for the Bible Class held last night, I was astonished with how much work I needed to put in for the 90 mins session. Chapter 1 of Genesis presents many interpretive possibilities. Is the day literal 24 hours day or is it symbolic such as one day is like a 1,000 years which could be million of years. There are many clues in the text. The first is that it is not called “first day” but day one instead. In Hebrew it is echad (one) and not rishon (first).

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Speaking as the Oracles of God

No matter how one is to preach for God is the one who tests our hearts, it is never going to be easy. Not many people like to receive instruction or even mild rebuke because most people are quite complacent and think that they are on the right side of God. No wonder Jesus says "many will come to Me on that day and say, Lord Lord have we not done this or that in Your name, have we not prophesied, have we not cast out demons and do works as if for God's glory but ultimately Jesus will say to them - "Be gone! I never knew you. You workers of iniquity."