Monthly Archives: August 2012
Revival and Renewal
Every church hopes to experience revival. This is because though revival, we can see many people coming to know God and the church would grow. In addition, there are the so-called prophets who prophesied that revival is coming to town. This causes the church to further grow in excitement.
Actually, revival is a good thing, but it usually results in more activities as well. The church is willing to spend more time and money to organise activities, but it ends up running out of time for personal discipleship. The church assumes that the believers would grow naturally and that they are able to take of themselves. But more often than not, believers neglect their spiritual life because of their service to God. The church also wrongly assumes that they already have their pulpit ministry, cell group and Sunday School in place to guide the believers, but they are actually not enough. To let whatever we hear or learn change our lives, we actually need someone to guide us just like how Jesus spent time to disciple His followers.
If the church were to experience a revival, we need renewal in the church first besides praying earnestly. If the believers are renewed in their minds, we know that revival is near. But if there is no renewal of the minds, the church may get into deeper trouble after the revival. Hope that we would make time for personal discipleship to renew the minds of the believers and fight a good fight for the Lord rather than just waiting for revival to come.
Here I am in Your Presence
Interpreting the Great Commission
The Great Commission has been used to drive many churches today. Indeed, it is a commandment of the Lord and there is a great urgency to spread the Good News. However, the Great Commission has often been taken solely as a task. It has been used as a great excuse to build bigger churches. As such, many churches today emphasize more on growth in numbers than true discipleship. They are prone to use fruitfulness to refer to the number of converts the believers won rather than their Christlikeness. There’s a great need to interpret the Great Commission correctly. I humbly suggest three important aspects after I reflected on what Senior Pastor Edmund Chan said about it being more an alignment than an assignment.
The first is that it gives us a purpose rather than a project. When Jesus gave the Commission to the disciples. It was not a project, but a purpose. This purpose would reorientate the disciples’ lives so that they would go after the heartbeat of the Father.
Secondly, it gives us a process rather than a point. The Great Commission is not about making converts so that churches can report a greater number and show their results. Some churches today are just playing the number game. In Jesus’ ministry, He never went for numbers. Besides going out to make disciples, the Church is supposed to go teach and baptise the disciples as well. Jesus is more concerned about putting the disciples through the discipling process. It is only through this process that the disciples can become more like Christ and embrace the purpose of God.
Thirdly, it is about His presence rather than our performance. Many a times, we are measured by our performance. Those people who can bring more people to church are seemingly more important. Evangelism is reduced to a matter of goals, strategies and methods. We forget that evangelism is actually the work of God. We can only sow, but it is God who make them grow. It is not dependent on our performance. Evangelism without God’s presence is meaningless. Jesus wants us to know that the Great Commission is about bring His presence on earth, just as His kingdom is here with us today.
Step by Step
How we wish we can know all of God’s plan for us all at one time. We don’t like the feeling of uncertainty and unpredictability. That’s why some people turn to fortune-telling or horoscopes. They didn’t know that these occults only whet our appetite. Worse, they create self-fulfilling prophecies which cause our hearts to fear our tomorrow. The reason why God doesn’t tell us what’s going to happen and why some things are happening is because God wants us to know that He is greater than our tomorrow. We should trust Him and seek Him. He will guide us by our hands and show us one step at a time. Don’t complain that one step is too little when we cannot even walk properly, not to even say run properly. If God were to unveil all of His plan for us today all at one go, I wonder how many of us would fall off our chairs and die of heart attack. For our sake, God only reveal what our faith can take lest we get scared to death. If we want to know more about our future, the only way is to increase our faith.