Monday, November 28, 2011

Someone helps me to win

by. Rev. James Wong

Almost all of the Chinese Kung Fu stories revolve around the theme of revenge and selfishness. This is a succinct summary: ‘It is not too late to take revenge after ten years … the master will never teach all his martial art to his students for fear that they may revolt against him one day.’ This philosophy is rooted in centuries of Chinese struggle for survival and it continues to have a strong influence in our  life today. Jesus’ teaching is antithesis. He teaches us to forgive our enemies and also to love others as he had loved us.

Our natural tendency is to put people down. We have the habit to spot peoples’ weaknesses and criticise them but seldom do see what they can become in the future. That is the reason why Jesus says,
"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults — unless, of course, you want the same treatment. 2 That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. 3 It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. 4 Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? (Matt 7:1-4 MSG).

To help others to win is to help others to rise to a higher level of success or accomplishment. We all have our own unique influence, position, skills and knowledge that we can impart to others. What does it mean when we ask God to make us a channel of blessings? Are we not asking God to give us a generous heart so that what he has given to us will not get stuck with us but will flow to bless someone else? With a helping hand and some encouragement most people can rise to a higher position and win in life.

The Dead Sea is known for its infamous character. Nothing can survive in that sea because its water does not flow to anywhere. Any water in your compound that is not flowing to anywhere will soon be a breeding ground for mosquito. A life that is self-centred will wither as a plant.

Where would I be if there is no one who gives me a helping hand along life’s path?

I first learned to read music from a brother who took time off to teach me when I was a kid in the choir. He opened my eyes to the beauty and greatness of music and he set a fire burning in my heart for the love of music that lasts to this day. A few days ago we were sitting at the same table over a dinner in the church in Tawau, reminiscent of the past. I thank him for teaching me to read music when I was a kid. He humbly told me, he learned music while studying overseas and he passed on to me what he knew. Today, he is the chairman of the Chinese General Council, Mr. Ng Shau Kee. Here is a man who helped me win. I owe my progress in life to many people like him. Wherever God has placed us, let us help someone to win and in return, God will give us the victory that we need .

Helping Others To Win

Rev. James Wong

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”                                                                                                              ~Rom 12:10 (NIV)

"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults — unless, of course, you want the same treatment. 2 That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging.”
                                                                                                          ~Matt 7:1-2 (MSG)

1. Believe In People
“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
~John 14:12 (NIV)

26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.”  ~Acts 9:26-28 (NIV)

2. Give People Hope
“God said to Moses: “But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see.” ~Deut 3:28 (NIV)

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.”             ~Heb 3:13-14 (NIV)

3. Help People Win Through A Process
“Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” ~Acts 11:25-26 (NIV)

4. When you help others win, you Win
“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” ~Prov 11:25 (NIV)

Where Change Begins, Part 1

Let us help the Fire Victims Together!

Investing in God’s Mutual Fund (Fellowship)


Is your hut burning?

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What are u doing?

by Rev. James Wong

Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4 NIV)

When the sun shines we are able to work but when the night falls, the workday is over. The common problem today is that we may not get a lot done during the working hours; either people or things make us waste our time. Here are the important famous few that impair our productivity.

1. Personal disorganization. It is not so much of time management but it is personal management. If fact, we cannot manage time, we can only manage our activities. If we don’t get organized and decide what to do we will waste plenty of time. Every day, spend some time planning your daily activities. Group similar tasks together so that you can do them in one go. For example, if you need to buy a few items for the office and send the computers for repair, group these tasks together and get them done in one trip rather than many trips.

2. Unclear goals. Unless your Weekly Schedule is determined by your boss, you have a week of free time to do what you like. In this case, without determining your goals for the week you will not know what to do. I use a Weekly Schedule to guide my work for the week. For example, by Thursday my sermon outline and discussion questions must be ready so that the weekly bulletin will be ready for printing on Friday. However, in reality, the urgent often takes over the important. The Weekly Schedule is adjusted regularly to ensure better productivity. Unclear goals make us drift through work.

3. Lack of concentration. A lot of time thieves are internet related. The internet could be our greatest distracter in our work place. Ask parents, most of them complain about their children being addicted to the computer. Adults do not have better control. Surfing the net, replying personal emails, answering chats on social networks, getting the latest news, update the latest happenings on Facebook, watching movies on Youtube and movie sites, answering instant messages, engaging in private calls, reading magazines of interest – all during office hours will seriously hamper our productivity. All these distractions consume time and before we know it, another day is gone. The workday is not really used for working.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:15-16 RSV). The wise man has a good strategy to use his time wisely at work and living for God. “Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Col 3:23 NLT). Imagine, Jesus is the CEO in your office, we would all give our best to our work.

Caring for the Poor

Welfare Sunday
Rev. James Wong

1. The Dilemma of the Poor   
The poor are shunned by their neighbors, friends and relatives. (Proverbs 14:20, 19:4, 19:7). They  are powerless and they have little.

2. God’s law to Protect the Poor
“Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him.”
~Prov 14:31 (NLT)
9 "'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the Lord  your God. ~Lev 19:9-10 NIV
“Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.” ~Lev 19:15 (NIV)

3. God’s  Reward for Us in Helping the Poor
God command us to be generous to the poor:  “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.” ~Deut 15:11 (NIV)

God will bless us if we are generous to the poor: “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” ~Prov 22:9 (NIV)
God will reward us if we help the poor:  “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord , and he will reward him for what he has done.” ~Prov 19:17 (NIV)
“If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.”
~Prov 21:13 (NIV)

4. What we can do today.   
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.” ~Luke 4:18 (NIV)
“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” ~1 Tim 5:8 (NIV)


The Shoe Box

Your Sacrifice Is a Fragrant Offering to God


The Devil's Convention

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Staying Focused!

by Rev. James Wong

“An intelligent person aims at wise action, but a fool starts off in many directions” (Prov 17:24, TEV).
An intelligent person aims at wise action that leads to the result that he desires. Whereas a fool is not focused because he starts off in many directions. His eyes are looking everywhere, and they wander to the ends of the earth! Having no focus can make us end up a fool … this is serious!
1. Focus is not easy. Our lives are surrounded by infinite choices and opportunities that can distract us easily and before we know it we may be heading for many directions. There are so many things that clamour for our attention. We need to intentionally concentrate our energy to a focal point. Without certain goals in place, we will just drift in life. Out of focus pictures are ugly pictures.
2. Focus is power. To get any thing done we must know our target. Success comes to those who persist towards a clear target. Failure is simply broken focus. That is the reason why so many people got stuck in the pit of mediocrity—they get worst, not better in the things they do. They are lagging behind because others are getting ahead. When we narrow our focus and set goals, we will achieve something. Common people achieve uncommon results because of their focus. Diffused light has no power to hurt whereas laser beam can cut steel because of the concentration of light.
3. Focus must be intentional. We do not naturally remain focused. What we want to achieve must be in the forefront of our eyes. Write down your goals and stick it somewhere you can see them easily. This will keep you focused. Focus must be intentionally sustained. Being intentional in focusing is to do the things that you should do, day by day, month by month and year by year in a consistent way.
Faith can be weaken and our conviction sways. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, …” (Heb 12:2).

Paying the Price

The Best Financial Investment You Can Make

Pray For Thailand

Serving God Without God

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week

Monday, November 7, 2011

Doing it without complaining

by Rev. James

“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”  ~Phil 2:14-15 (NLT).

It is so easy to do things with complaining and arguing when we have over scheduled ourselves. Working in an over demanding environment affects our mood and sets our heart burning with anger. When our efforts are not appreciated and the results are not forth coming, we become depressed and angry with people. Under such circumstances there is no reason why we will not complain.

When we are overcome with the attitude of complaining, we will do things grudgingly and reluctantly. The feeling of sadness or grief grip us. We feel that we are forced to do things and we do them unwillingly and out of sorrow. We end up having many sob stories to tell.

The Bible teaches that there are many good things and spiritual things that we can do with the wrong spirit of complaining. Our hospitality can be done with complaints (1 Pet 4:9 TEV). Our offerings can be given grudgingly (2 Cor 9:7)  and we can have a lot of complaints about our relationships with others (James 5:9). Here are a few steps that can help us to avoid a complaining attitude.

1. Identify the root cause of complaint. Are we having too much on our plate? Prioritize and do the important things. This will also define what we don’t do. We need to be focused and strategic. When we have too much to do  or when we feel that we are treated unfairly we will complain. Identify the root cause and nip it in the bud otherwise we may wind up doing good works with the wrong attitude.

2. Doing more than expected. This is a Christian virtue of humility and sacrifice founded on the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. You alone know how much you can carry. The cross I carry is different from the cross you carry. Don’t live a life conditioned by the expectations of others and get frustrated about it, but you must be able to be accountable to those you are responsible to and to the Lord.

3. Choose a better attitude. Our circumstances may be unfavorable but God has given us the power of choice to choose the attitude we want. Avoid complaining and “serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men” (Eph 6:7). We worship God through our work. Our work is a test of our heart of worship. Let not complaining defiled our hearts. So, let us deal with our complaining attitude objectively and “shine like bright lights” (Phil 2:15).

Chosen For A Mission

2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Rev. Johnny Wong

I) Why are we chosen?

1)  Continue the mission of Jesus
Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47, John 20:21, Acts 1:8

2)  A wonderful privilege
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: ~ 2 Corinthians 5:18

II) How to fulfill our mission?

1)  Accept God’s agenda for our life
13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. ~ Romans 6:13

2)  Care about what God cares about