Preacher: Pastor Gary Chia
Date: Sun, Oct 29, 2016
It can be hard to grasp the love of God. Growing up I always knew God “loves” me…but I also loved my parents, my siblings, my friends, and many other things. I knew God’s love meant more than everything else … but how much more?
As Pastor Gary preached on the unconditional love of God, it was as if God is calling me to a deeper walk of love. Not only in the area of loving others, but understanding first and foremost how greatly He truly loves each one of us, and me personally. I feel that most of my life I have fallen short in this area, in that I have tried to love others, even asking the Lord to help me love the 'tough ones'. But doing so without really searching out how He first loved me. We all know the saying, 'you can't love someone unless you first know what love is'. But how can we truly know love until we know the Father's love for you and I?
God’s love for me personally changed my life. Growing up as a 2nd generation Christian, I knew God, but I always assumed that I had to, in some way, earn the love and blessings from Him. I thought by serving actively in church as a Keyboardist, Celebration Host, Cell leader.. etc in the past 6 years, all these would 'clock up points' to Heaven. And if I don't, God would deny me access to Heaven. But then I read in the Bible that it had nothing to do with what I could do, but what HE has already done. He gave Jesus - and he still would have sent Jesus to die for me even if I was the only person on the planet to take him up on the promise He made to us in John 3:16.
Like what P Gary said, don't make God's love complicated. I want you to understand that also. If you were the only person who would believe in Jesus, you and you alone, God still would have sent him because you are worth it to God. He desires to be in a personal relationship with you now. Because He loves YOU. So I would like to encourage all of you to pursue an intimate relationship (or an even more intimate relationship) with God, and begin to learn for yourself how amazing and indescribable His love truly is.
What a timely reminder that before being a daughter, a friend, a colleague, a leader, I am first and foremost a child of God. That even in my imperfections, He still loves me. And when I'm tired/lonely/sad, He will be there to comfort me. Psalm 71:20-21 says, "Though You have made me see troubles, many and bitter, You will restore my life again; from depths of the earth You will bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more."
Just like this song we sang during service, the chorus touched my heart greatly. I realised that God wants me to set my priorities right. There are times where I struggle with loving myself and the desire to be loved by the people around me. I questioned my self-worth, whether am I good enough. As I sang the chorus, God's love just banished all those thoughts and it flooded my heart till overflowing. To feel the immense love that no worldly love could offer and compare truly made me so thankful I am His beloved child. And for that, I can't help but sing..
My heart is full
My love and desire for you will know no end
让我走向 你的身旁 贴近你
Let me walk to your side that I may be close to you
Lord I long to pursue You
I pray that this song will be our heart's cry - that all the days of our life, in the good times and bad, may we always long to love and to pursue Him. For He is our good, good Father who loves us so very much ♥ #allforJesus
Sister Pamela Lam
Title: What in the world are you chasing for?
Preacher: Pastor Gary Chia
Date: Sat, Oct 16, 2016
In the world today, we are all challenged by what we experience. Going through polytechnic, national service and now university, God’s hand has always been there guiding me through, but there were times where I would doubt God’s plan for me. Many times my ideals were being challenged by God.
Ideals were things that created the comfort zone for me in situations, from simply lying to stay within that comfort zone or saying yes to temptations of using vulgarities or even smoking. I was reminded of all these instances when Pastor Gary shared that when we follow God, He will challenge our ideals, challenging us out of our comfort zones to follow Him. What he said struck me and reminded me that ‘what the world offers is different from what God has to offer us’.
The sermon really made me think as it focused on King Solomon and how he had experienced ,when he was younger, what King David had accomplished through God’s empowerment. In Ecclesiastes 12:1 it read “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them…”” It spoke of a wise and old King Solomon looking back and remembering God’s goodness when he was younger and flourishing in God’s blessing. The message was for us to treasure now, as we experience God’s glory and blessings.
How did these all tie up? What the world offers is to stick to the worldly path, the comfort zone, the worldly ideals by the media, by what we see and what we hear. But we, as followers of Christ only need to follow God and His word. Treasuring what we experience now as we follow Christ, such that when we grow older, when things get tough, we can look back and remember the Creator who took care of us, before this troubling time and then look ahead and move forward, remembering the God that has been faithful.
Thus, this reminded me of all the times I was set up against the world, it’s trials and temptations. And now even when I am challenged, I remember those times where God has brought me through, where His faithfulness prevailed. Where I would doubt God’s plans but remember His faithfulness and just pull through, knowing He was there for me.
I learnt that we need to treasure where we are right now in God’s plans, for when we are faced with greater things, we will remember this time where God had already brought us through. To treasure and make full use of this time now, Pastor Gary then challenged everyone, from youths to leaders, to love God because we were loved with no condition, to honour Him because we were given the freedom to honour, to treasure today because it is a gift from God and to sacrifice what we have for the narrow path because the wider path will always get easier and easier to take and turn to as life progresses and gets more complicated.
In every circumstance, I choose to give God praise because as I treasure these moments in life, I know I will be able to be a testament of God’s goodness and faithfulness, knowing He is before me, with me and He will never forsake me. The real life lessons I want to remember are those taught by God and His guiding hand in my life.
Bro Boaz Koh