All posts by Pastor Richard

Favour with God

30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. Luke 1:30

  What a great truth lies in the reassuring words of the angel to Mary, “do not be afraid…for you have found favour with God.” It shows that God’s favour has no exception whatever circumstance or situation you are facing. God’s favour is based on His character, never based on your credentials.

A New Season with God

When God initiates a new season in our lives, He is actually creating another opportunity for us to embrace a fresh perspective of Him. When you stay too long at a particular place, you may find it more comfortable to stay the same than be open to change. When your comfort zone becomes a cage, you are stuck rather than soaring free.

Mary, Blessed Among Women

Grace appears in unusual ways and when we least expect it.  

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favoured one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Luke 1:26-28

  The extraordinary announcement of Gabriel to Mary underscores an essential gospel truth, that is, God's favour for us is not based on our behaviour but it is built on God's love and acceptance of us. This was why Gabriel told Mary to rejoice.

From Visitation to Habitation

23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23

  The Prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of Jesus some 800 years before Jesus was born. This prophecy was a message of joy and hope because the people of his time were looking for some fresh, encouraging and comforting words from the Lord. So when the Angel Gabriel announced Jesus as our Immanuel, it was truly good news because he was revealing an amazing truth, that is, God is not just coming to visit us but God in Christ is actually coming to stay with us.

Prophetic Words

76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace. Luke 1:76-79, New International Version

  If you do not understand your identity as a son or a daughter of God, you may struggle with feeling perfectly secure in God's love. Your insecurity will affect the way you do ministry and relate with people. You may have a fear of trusting people and may try to control them instead. In your attempt to fix people for their own good — you may end up breaking them and causing unnecessary hurt.

Restoration of Sons and Daughters

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.6 And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse. Malachi 4:6

  The last verse of the Old Testament spoke of our estrangement from God and how God will raise a prophet in the likeness of Elijah who will initiate a ministry of reconciliation to restore everyone to a right relationship with God. This was fulfilled through John as a forerunner who will prepare a generation for the Lord.

Pressed but Not Crushed

8 Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option. 9 We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. The Passion Translation

  Every one of us has gone through one of those times when everything seems so overwhelming that we feel like giving up. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians how he was affected by rejection, betrayal and broken trust with people who he felt would never hurt him. Still his faith in God never wavered.

Receiving Rest from Jesus

10 Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. Psalm 46:10, The Passion Translation

  How often do you remind yourself that God is with you? It is easy to let the day run by with very little thought of God in it. Between being overworked and hard-pressed for time, we often overlook this gift of rest that flows from the unforced rhythms of grace offered to us by Christ.

Discerning the Season for Change

1 And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us. 2 Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.” 2 Kings 6:1-2

  It is good to understand when there is a need for change and to embrace a good change. Sometimes we get so used to the way we do things in our personal lives and in church that we may not realise we are limiting ourselves from experiencing a more fulfilling life.

Honouring Others

10 Outdo one another in showing honour. Romans 12:10

  There are many people in our church who spend countless hours preparing, practicing and praying for our weekly worship services and ministries. They do it because they are compelled by the love of Christ. In serving wholeheartedly, they help create an ambience where the rest of us can worship God in His awesome presence. If we truly appreciate their efforts, then we need to find opportunities to honour them and support them the best way we can.