Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Tess Quek, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 27 January 2019.
TURNING POINT FOR CHANGE AND GREAT THINGS OF GOD
The biggest and most important turning point that took place in human history was when God sent His only Son Jesus Christ for us.
Isaiah 9:2, Isaiah 9:6, Galatians 4:4, John 1:14
The Lord is going to turn our life around for 2019, God wants us to rise up and reach out to the lost. The world needs believers to rise up so that we can do great things for God. Our capacity has to be stretched out like an enlarged tent, our love for Him needs to be stretched out, the love in our family and to our fellow neighbours. Even our patience has to be lengthened, our faith needs to be strengthened and we need to go deeper into His promises.
Many times, we want God to use us to be His vessels, but first we need to turn away from our own old ways and old man. It takes a process to be stretched out and it can be painful to enlarge our capacity. God wants us to increase the capacity in our heart, in our agape love which is the highest form of love that God requires from us. This is not easy to achieve, only the Holy Spirit can manifest this agape love in our life before we are able to do great things for the LORD. When we go through difficult situations but we continue to persevere, refusing to give up on God’s promises, staying in the Word and we continue to be faithful in the LORD, then we are allowing the Holy Spirit to stretch our flesh.
This love is the picture of the total humility of the LORD JESUS, His love suffers long and is kind, it does not envy, does not parade itself, not puffed up, does not behave rudely does not seek its own, is not provoked and thinks of no evil. This is the total picture of God’s love for us. It takes humility to apply all these in our life. 1 Cor 13:4-8 – These verses should be the foundation of our Christian life. This is the turning point that will cause God to enlarge our tent. God wants to stretch us to lengthen our cord to the fullest, we must not hold back and resist the process of growing in Christ.
We need to be nameless, faceless, and selfless. These are the costs that we need to pay to be the vessel of His glory, we cannot win souls without the agape love of Christ. We cannot be used mightily by God without touching others with the love of Christ. Believers who are gifted, but who lack agape love and humility, will have no impact on others. Gifts without love is hypocrisy, though we bestow all our goods to the needy but do not have love, it profits us nothing (1 Cor 13). Gifts are temporary but the love of Christ is eternal, God is love. It is a tool for us to being one more person to Christ Jesus.
Everything we do must be founded on the agape love of God, otherwise our ministry will just become religious activities.
This year 2019 God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh, our sons and daughters shall prophesy (Joel 2:28).
Love suffers long – we are able to be slow to anger or resentment, not hasty to take revenge; when offended we are able to exercise self-control to those who annoy us or hurt us. Love is kind – showing kindness to the people who irritate us. We are able to be gentle and courteous to all men. Our temper will be tested when we need to be kind even to people who are unkind. God may put us in the situation that we can escape from rude or ill-mannered people.
Love does not envy. Envy murdered Abel in Gen 4:3-8. Envy enslaved Joseph, Gen 37:11. Envy put Jesus to death, Mat 27:18. Many Christians are plagued with the spirit of envy, they like to find fault with others and nothing can please envious people.
Love does not parade itself. Pride is self-glorification or affirmation. Love works without recognition it does not have to known or to be in the limelight or any appraisal to do good job.
Love is not full of one’s self, love is not puffed up. We may have pride, be it hidden or obvious, pride only God can see. We must be self-focused, inferiority and live by the judgement of others. It thinks of the needs of others.
Love does not behave rudely. Love does not seek its own and is not provoked. Love does not store up ugly memories of any wrongdoings. Love will put away the hurts of the past instead of clinging to them. Love wants the best for others.
Love stands in the truth because love rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, in bad situations, when hurt and in disappointing times. Love believes in all things, all that by the Holy Spirit God says in His Word, all His truth and His promises even when hopeless like Abraham did. Love hopes all things because our hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts, Romans 5:5. Love never fails, God’s love is unconditional.
2 Cor 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
God is going to start Joel 2:28 in this year of new birth 2019. It may be challenging but we must become a more mature believer. We should not be afraid because His Spirit will cooperate with us to birth the agape love of Christ. Phil 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you
We are being aligned to the will of God and to manifest the agape love of God. The heart of Jesus Christ, the heart of the Father, will be manifested as we are stretched and we will be used by the LORD for His Glory to this hurting world.