Monday, March 29, 2010

The Decisive Journey

This Sunday is Palm Sunday and Christians celebrate the Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, a week before his death and resurrection. For many churches, Palm Sunday is referred to as “Passion Sunday,” which marks the beginning of the Holy Week that concludes on Easter Sunday. The biblical account of Palm Sunday was recorded in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19.

Why was this last journey of Jesus to Jerusalem known as the Triumphal Entry? Jesus knew in advance Jerusalem was the final journey of his earthly life and he knew full well the kind of suffering and death he would have to undergo for the salvation of the world.

A journey of suffering: He told his disciples that he would be betrayed into the hands of the chief priest and teachers of the law. They would condemn him to death and would hand him over to the Romans who would mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him (Mark 10:32-34). Jesus had this detail picture in his mind concerning his suffering yet the Bible tells us that “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). It takes surmountable courage to take a journey that leads to one’s death in full cognizance!

The journey to Jerusalem was not a sudden decision of Jesus taken on the moment. It was something which he had prepared in advance. Apart from telling his disciples the detail of his suffering he sent them into the village to collect the donkey and her colt and the phrase, “The Lord needs them” was a password by which the owner would know that the hour which Jesus had arranged had come (Matt 21:2).

A journey of humility: On that road to Jerusalem Jesus was traveling towards his death, burial and glorious resurrection. And while the road led Jesus to Jerusalem, the Jerusalem road will lead us to heaven. If we are willing to follow Jesus we must be willing to travel the road that Jesus traveled, that road to Jerusalem. He chose the road of humility, riding into town on the back of the colt of a donkey. And it wasn’t even his donkey but a borrowed one.

A journey of service and servanthood: Jesus was the king coming to Jerusalem as the Messiah, the Anointed One of God. When Jesus spoke of his kingdom he spoke in terms of it being one of service, servanthood, and one of humility. He showed that he came, not to destroy, but to love; not to condemn, but to help; not in the might of arms, but in the strength of love. He would conquer not the enemies’ land but their hearts.

To follow Jesus means going down that road, the road of the cross. It means giving up our selfish desires, it means denying ourselves, it means putting not only God first in our lives, but putting others first as well; our family, our friends and even our enemies.

It was a Triumphal Entry because Jesus completed the journey and became our savior

Sermon Outline

The Triumphal Entry

Palm Sunday

Matthew 21:1-11

It was Passover time. Jerusalem and the whole surrounding neighborhood was crowded with pilgrims. It was estimated that there were two and a hall million people had crowded their way into Jerusalem for this national festival. The law required that every adult male Jew who lived within twenty miles of Jerusalem must come to the Passover.

Three things about the Lord Jesus Christ in his journey to Jerusalem.

1. It Shows Us Jesus’ Courage: He took the final journey.

Jesus knew that the journey to Jerusalem was his last, a journey that would lead to his death, burial and resurrection.

17 Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, 18 "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!" ~Matt 20:17-19 (NIV)

2. It Shows Us Jesus’ Claim: He is the Messiah

He is the Messiah, the Anointed One, the chosen one of God to be the savoir of the world. He is the righteous Savior bringing salvation to the world.

9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. ~Zech 9:9 (NIV)

3. It Shows Us Jesus’ Appeal: He is the King of Peace

Jesus comes as a King of Peace. Jesus came humbly and riding upon an ass. Often a king came riding upon an ass, but when he did, it was the sign that he came in peace.

9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. ~Zech 9:9 (NIV)

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. ~Matt 5:9 (NIV)

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." ~Rom 12:18-20 (NIV)

Weekly Article


By Pastor Kong Hee, founder of the City Harvest Church, Singapore.

As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. Acts 13:2-3

The leaders in the Antioch church were ministering to the Lord with prayer and fasting. Fasting is often a neglected spiritual activity among believers. Yet it is referred to all throughout the pages of the Bible. Fasting is defined as the voluntary abstaining from food for spiritual purposes. It is often done with prayer because fasting intensifies your praying.

The most natural thing for us to do every day is to eat. When we give up eating, we deliberately turn away from the natural by turning to God and to the supernatural. By fasting, we are really renouncing the natural to invoke the spiritual. All throughout the Scriptures, we see how God attached tremendous importance to fasting as the appointed way for His people to humble themselves before Him. (Ezra 8:21-23).

Before Jesus entered His public ministry, He had to pass through two critical experiences: (1) He had to be filled with the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, and (2) He had to fast for 40 days in the desert (Luke 4:1-2). Even Jesus had to humble Himself and focus on the spiritual! The result of His fasting was the great personal victory He had over Satan’s temptations. Besides that, His fasting released the power of the Spirit to flow without any hindrances through His life and ministry. If we want to follow in the other great works that Jesus did, then it seems logical that we must also begin where He began - by fasting!

In the Early Church, prayer and fasting were the standard ways by which the New Testament leadership operated. In the Antioch church, the sending of Barnabas and Saul for missions was entirely a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:4). But it was only through fasting that the leaders were able to move from the realm of the natural into the supernatural.

Finally, fasting is God’s appointed way to bring your carnal nature into subjection. Your body makes a wonderful servant but a terrible master. If you really want to succeed in the Christian life, you must ensure that your body does not dictate you or control you (1 Cor. 9:27).

Rather, you are controlled by God’s destiny and purpose for your life. By regular fasting, you serve notice to your body and your carnal nature: “Body, you don’t control me. I’m not subject to you. You’re my servant. You’ll obey what the Holy Spirit in me declares I have to do!” (

He Died For You

How to Fast?

The Marriage Course

We had the Session 3 of the Marriage Course on last Wednesday. In this session we learned about Resolving Conflict. The following is a short extract of what the participants had gone through.

Some conflicts are inevitable in marriage. We have different opinions and we are naturally selfish. When we fail to handle anger properly it can cause conflict. Some people are like rhinos, they attack when provoked. Whereas, some are like hedgehogs, they withdraw when threatened. In any case, unresolved conflict leads to ‘trench warfare’ There are four principles for handling conflict.

1. Expressing our appreciation of each other. Make this a daily discipline and be thankful for what your partner does. Be appreciative for who your partner is. Participants are asked to write down six things that they appreciate about their husband or wife and then share their notes. In this way, husband and wife experience something positive out of the conversation.

2. Recognizing our differences. Husband and wife each has differences of temperament, personality, background and expectations. So, there is no need to change each other but rather seek to complement each other. Look for each other’s strengths and support each other’s weaknesses. Participants were given an exercise to discover their differences and then discuss on an issue where their differences can be a source of strength for their relationship.

3. Negotiating areas of conflict. To resolve conflict it is important to negotiate rather than attack, surrender or bargain. The six steps to peace are: (1) Find the best time (the 10 o’clock rule) (2) identify the issue (3) discuss the issue rather than attacking each other (4) Work out the possible solutions (5) decide on the best solution for the relationship and see if it works and (6) be prepared to re-evaluate. In this slot the participants were given the time to do an exercise ‘Changing our behavior’. It is a very helpful exercise for couples to discover their areas of conflict and practice using the proper method to solve

4. Learning to pray together. Through praying for our partner we put God at the centre. When we expect our partner to meet all our needs, we inevitably fail each other and get hurt. Only God can meet all our needs. Praying together as a couple will strengthen and sustain a marriage relationship over a lifetime and build intimacy. Christian marriage involves a couple seeking God’s will together. The couple that pray together will always stick together.

News Information

Government, Church at impasse in ‘Allah’ talks

By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Talks between the federal government and the Catholic Church over the “Allah” issue have reached a stalemate, with both parties not backing down on their respective stands. The Attorney-General’s Chambers have now gone ahead to file a formal appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruling which allows the Catholic Church to use the word “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of its Herald newspaper.

Representatives from the AG’s office, Cabinet Ministers Idris Jala and Koh Tsu Koon, have been engaging in regular talks with Father Lawrence Andrew, the priest-editor of Herald and lawyers from the Catholic Church.The Malaysian Insider understands that the AG has been trying to convince the Catholic Church to drop its claims to be allowed to use the word “Allah.”

Church officials have refused to do so, citing the fact that it had won the original High Court ruling, which has since been suspended pending appeal. It is understood that the Church is willing to abide all future court rulings even if they were to lose. The government is keen on finding a compromise solution to the dispute because of the racial and religious tensions the dispute has sparked. Earlier this year, several churches, mosques and a Sikh gurdwara were hit by a series of attacks that followed close on the heels of a High Court ruling upholding the Herald’s constitutional right to use the word “Allah” to refer to God in a non-Muslim context.

According to sources, certain Muslim groups are lobbying the government to pressure the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur to withdraw the church’s case despite the fact that the ball is now in the government’s court. The next step is for the Court of Appeal to set a suitable date to hear the case, said counsel for the Church, S. Selvarajah, but the AG, who has the power to push the legal suit along, has delayed doing so. The court registry may also step in to set a date.

But Lawrence, who is also in charge of the St. Anne’s Church in Port Klang, is worried that the longer the case drags out, the greater the risk the dispute will spiral out of control and truly become the threat to national security as the government claims.“The recent controversy of Biro Tata Negara (BTN) is indeed a case in point. Are we training our young to respect people of other faiths?” the Catholic cleric questioned in the Herald’s latest issue out last Sunday.

He noted reports from students who were obliged to attend the
controversial courses over the high-handed way some lecturers
taught certain subjects, including on Islamic Civilization, where they
mocked other religions. "Such pedagogical methods of ridicule have
hurt the feelings of Christians and created unnecessary polarization
and tension.

Church Activities For This Week

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Generation 412

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12).

Generation 412 is a fellowship for teenagers from age 12 and above (those in bridge class and above). This fellowship will officially kick off on the 27 March, at 7:30pm. Why do we need such a fellowship?


We have about 90-130 BB and GB members with us on every Sunday afternoon. Apart from the Christian education courses we run for them we have a bi-monthly service from 4:00pm—5:00pm. The majority of them do not join a church.

As to the 444 registered BB & GB club members in Sung Siew Secondary School we have dedicated teacher advisors to lead the necessary activities. To support theses teachers we provide training and also invite them to annual officers retreat so that they are encouraged and share our vision of reaching these young people for Christ. Captain Raymond Wong, Captain Carol Lai, BB full-time-officer Alex Liew and our youth worker Jacky Tan were behind the design of the BB &GB programs for the school. There will be 10 Saturdays where the BB & GB members would be in church for the various courses and functions.

As to the BB & GB members in the Chi Hwa Primary School and the Sung Siew Primary School with a membership of 172, we are blessed with dedicate teachers who are passionate in this ministry. The programs in these school are handled by Alex Liew, Captain Raymond with the assistance of Jackey Tan and the senior BB members from Sung Siew Secondary School.

Many of our present members are Christians and they have a home church but the majority of them do not. Thus the idea of Generation 412 was conceived.


It will be a fellowship for youngsters to meet to have fellowship on Saturday evening at 7:30pm to encourage them to grow in the Lord. We need to create a conducive environment for them to nurture great friendships and establish a vibrant relationship with God. It is a fellowship beyond the BB & GB circles where everyone can invite their friends to come.

Young people have different needs. For example, the use of mobile phones and facebook show that communication and friendship are at the core of their lives. With the availability of the internet, we have a generation that has no patience with things that are boring beyond school work. Can we win them for Christ so that they can “set an example in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity,” being the light and salt of the world? This is our challenge. This is where we need your prayer support.

Sermon Outline

Saving Planet Earth

Genesis 1: 26 - 28

Introduction: The beauty of God’s Creation.

1. Mankind’s partnership with God to care for the earth.

26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." ~ Genesis 1: 26

2. The reasons our earth is sick.

· Climate Change

· Deforestation

· Environment Pollution

3. What should our response be?

We should repent from our wrong doings and take active steps to protect planet earth.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. ~ Psalm 139: 23-24

5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. ~ James 1: 5

Weekly Article

The Mission Mandate

Ps Kong Hee is the founder of the City Harvest Church in Singapore. It is the largest mega church in Singapore with a membership of 32,700. Its income for the year ending on 31 Mar 2009 was S$34.7m which mainly came from tithes and offerings.

But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake."
Acts 9:15-16

Paul constantly exhorts us to pattern our lives after his (Phil. 3:17). His is the life of a missionary. So must ours be. Missions can be defined as God sending the whole church with the whole gospel to the whole world to meet the spiritual and social needs of humanity.

Why is missions so important?
(1) The purpose of Jesus dying on the cross is for world missions. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”(John 3:16). God sent His Son as a Missionary to our fallen world. His heart is in missions. Jesus died so that every nation, tribe, people and tongue could enter the kingdom of God (Rev. 7:9-10).

(2) The purpose of being a child of God is for world missions. God charged man to subdue and have dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:28). That means to change the spiritual environment by saving the lost in every town, city and country.

(3) The purpose of your calling is for world missions. “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles”(Is. 42:6). God didn’t call you just to be an entrepreneur or a marketplace professional, or even a fivefold minister per se. His primary calling for you is to be a light to the unreached in the mission field.

(4) The purpose of Pentecost is for world missions. The anointing of the Holy Spirit was given so that you can do missions (Acts 1:8). Only when the 11 disciples obeyed the Great Commission and went out into the mission field did the Holy Spirit confirm their preaching through signs and wonders following (Mark 16:15-20).

(5) The purpose of prosperity is for world missions. The reason why God pours out His abundant blessings to you is so that “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed”(Gen. 12:3). God gives you the power to get wealth so that the Abrahamic mission covenant can be established (Deut. 8:18). How many mission trips are you planning to go on this year? Don’t procrastinate anymore. Prayerfully sign up for one as soon as you can!