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.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Holy Saturday

Historically, holy Saturday is celebrated with solemn reflections and prayers of lamentation and hope. With Christ dead and the disciples scattered each to his own place, what would happen to the nascent movement begun by John the Baptist and then Jesus himself manifested to Israel? After three short years at the most, it was all over with the crucifixion of the leader of the new movement. Often times, over the course of this Semester, I have lectured on John's Gospel and consistently over 10 or 11 chapters of the Gospel, Jesus spoke in conflict with the authorities of the day, especially the Jews led by the High Priest, chief priests and leading Pharisees. Often times, Jesus could only respond that it was His Father who witnessed to Him and that Jesus was sent by the Father and had come in the Father's Name.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Passover is Here

This morning at Borneo Theological Seminary we are celebrating Passover. So quickly we have moved along to the end of March, a quarter of the year is gone.  Passover is a spring festival in Israel where grains of barley are harvested (Ruth). It is the beginning of the harvest seasons followed by wheat at Pentecost fifty days after Passover and at the Feast of Tabernacles grapes and olives. It is also called the Feast of ingathering, spritually speaking a harvesting of souls and maturing of the church at the end times.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

End-Time Seminar

This College break has gone passed too quickly.  Tomorrow is my last day off before heading to the mountains to conduct an End time seminar on Saturday. It will be an 90 mins drive up the mountain just before reaching the foot of Mount Kinabalu. I hope to get there by 8.30 am to start off my 5 session seminar that will go on to 5pm. I managed to get the organisers to cancel the night meeting with the carrot that I would be preaching on Sunday. I remember this place well when more than 20 years ago they had asked me to preach times in 9 services over the Friday to Sunday revival meetings. I was in my early 30s then and generally the spiritual condition of the church was much more fervent compared to what I could see in the last 10 years.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ready for War

I am enjoying teaching Early Church History. Finally I felt my specialty and interests besides biblical studies are being whetted. I love the Church fathers. They are my heroes. They fought against wild beasts and false prophets and they won the martyrs’ crown. They struggled against ungodliness and lukewarmness and they brought great revivals and spiritual refreshments. They were at war against fleshly lusts and most lived in relative poverty and scarcity and yet they triumphed. In some small measures I feel my past 3 years plus have been a struggle against many things. Against natural elements of heat and cold. Against village lifestyle that I am unaccustomed to. Against racial and social prejudice. Serving in a foreign culture and among the tribes. In more ways than one Singapore was more than a natural home for me, among people of the same race and educational attainments.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Teaching & Preaching

I missed Chapel today. It could be my second time missing morning Chapel in more than 2 years. Last night I taught a class until 9.45pm and stopped by at a colleague’s place to have supper. When I reached home at 10.15pm I found that the tap water restored after almost 5 days without tap water since the earthquake struck Ranau. There was a massive crack in the water pipe nearby and it took 5 days for the Water Dept to fix it. This morning I taught my third 3-hour block class from yesterday. Preaching on Sunday also took a lot of my energy as the Chapel with only zinc roof without ceiling was boiling hot by 10am.

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