In this season of COVID-19 where many people are forced to stay home, what does it mean to rest? Continue reading “Reflection: Rest and Refresh”
For many Christians, this is probably the first Easter where we will not celebrate the resurrection of Jesus in a packed church building with celebratory pomp and music due to Covid-19. Yet, if Jesus is risen, how can we truly experience this reality? What if the resurrection of Jesus is experienced in our lives not as a blaze of glory but a candle flame in the dark?
Evolve or go Kodak
Generations grew up referring to “Kodak moments” as photo moments to capture on film. Today, many young people do not know Kodak. In 2012, it filed for bankruptcy. Kodak was disrupted. Kodak lost its purpose. It did not see the changes happening all around which fundamentally changed what it meant to capture moments—people were shifting from film to digital photography.
I fear many churches in Singapore will go down the same path as Kodak. I wonder whether church leaders are fully cognizant of the fundamental changes in the horizon. When these changes come around, they will hit hard. And who will suffer but the remnant, including the young future leaders of the Church?
Evolution is necessary. Not that we fear the death of the Church, for that wouldn’t happen because God will not permit it. But we should fear becoming a Church that has forgotten her first love and her first works, and become lukewarm and be spit out of Jesus’s mouth.
A song I wrote based on a word from the Lord in Psalm 72.
Please feel free to lead, sing or play this song in your church worship services.
YouTube Music link
Watch Youtube video of version led by Ethel Yap & Woodlands Evangelical Free Church worship team.
In a typical cycle of a male migrant worker coming to Singapore, there is the risk of encountering various problems. A list of the common problems are as follows.
This is a chapter I wrote for Calvin Chong, ed., Servant at the Fringes: Christians Serving Foreign Workers in Singapore (Singapore Bible College, 2018).
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. – Acts 9:31
Saul’s turn to Christ also led to a turn of the tide of persecution against the early Church. Yet, this was at his personal cost. He was now the one being persecuted, hunted down like a prey.
5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” – Acts 9:5
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” – Acts 9:15-16
Acts 9 continues the narrative of the persecution of Christians, starting from the stoning of Stephen, which Saul of Tarsus participated in. We have seen how persecution led to dispersion of Christians and the gospel to Samaria. The next part of the narrative shows us how persecution gave rise to the apostle to the Gentiles. The chief prosecutor surrendered to Christ and became the great apostle of the Gospel.
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. – Acts 8:26
What if one day, you feel a strong sense that you must go to a faraway deserted place? Would you go? What for God?, you would ask. There’s nothing there, you would say.
20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!
21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. – Acts 8:20-21
Have we taken a wrong attitude to the gifts of God and to God, the giver of good gifts?
14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,
15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
16 for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. – Acts 8:14-16
Is receiving the Holy Spirit always a matter of being prayed for by a leader? Is it always marked by an outward manifestation of the Spirit?