Arise

Based on a sermon by Pastor How.

“The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.” – ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭14:2-3‬

Through the ages, God has always been looking for that one man or woman. He constantly searches for that one person who would rise up to make a difference in their generation. Just one is all God needs. Though not many, there are heroes throughout history who have answered His call.

Today, God continues His search. He looks at our schools, workplaces, army camps, communities, businesses, and even social media for the ones who would make a difference in this generation. It’s time for us to arise.

“So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” ‭‭- Ezekiel‬ ‭22:30‬ ‭

God is just looking for one! One can make a difference. However, there is a short universal supply of young men and women who will seek God and hear His call. We can be the ones to do so. Instead of thinking it’s someone else or anyone else, why not think it’s no one else… but us?

There is great need around us in these times. And only the love & power of God displayed through us can comfort and restore hope in the people around us.

“This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.” – Genesis 2:4-6

In the Bible, rain speaks about revival. God wants to send “rain” into our classrooms, offices, homes and lives. He wants to bring love, joy, peace, faith, miracles and reconciliation, among many other things into our midst!

However, God does not send the rain when there is no man to till the ground and do the hard work. Instead, He sends a mist. A mist is nice, but it’s nothing like rain. So the question is – do we only just want a mist in our lives? Or do we want to experience a rain too?

Don’t be satisfied with just a mist, reader. Arise! Arise to serve, lead and pray. If there is no one to take care of a harvest when it comes, it will all rot and perish! In the same way, if there is no one taking care of a revival when it comes, it will fade away.

God is waiting for us to rise up. If nobody is going to do anything, let us do something. Around us, people are hurting, dissatisfied with their lives, struggling with insecurities, trying to find a meaning for their existence; the list goes on and on.

All they need is for someone to rise up, love them and point them to Christ. Of course, it might not be easy all the time. But with God, all things are possible. He wants to change history and the world through us.

Maybe we won’t change the world as how heroes like Martin Luther King Jr. did. But we can change our world and make a difference wherever we are. It all starts with one. With one, God can multiply.

I believe the church that I belong to already existed in Heaven and in God’s imagination a long time ago. But before it became a reality, He was waiting for someone to rise up. And my pastors did. They worked hard, believed in the next generation and loved people despite their flaws. Even today, their heart for God and for others remain the same.

That’s why God sent the rain. That’s why I have a church now to call Home. That’s why I’m here writing to you today. So if you want great change, miracles and revivals to happen in your life and around you, arise. Seek God & His direction and go.

Never think that you are not good enough to do something significant. Here’s one last verse to encourage you.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” – ‭‭Acts‬ ‭4:13‬ ‭

Even though the apostles Peter and John were presumably uneducated and untrained, they could still make a difference! The Bible even mentioned that God impacted 5000 people through them.

What does that mean for us today? It means that it doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, you can make a difference. It doesn’t matter whether you have a diploma, a degree or a PHD, you can make a difference. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been in church for a year or 5 years, or if you see yourself as trained or as a leader, it all doesn’t matter! As long as you are with Jesus, He will be with you and you can do anything.

So what are you waiting for? Arise.

Dreams

Dreams. There are so many kinds of them. There are the ones that you get while taking a nap in class and the kinds that you get when you get woken up by your teacher. What’s the word for that again? Oh, I believe it’s called a “nightmare”. 😛

Then there are those that you see in movies, you know? The kind that you struggle to understand? *cue Inception music* 😄 But what about those that you’re having right now as you’re reading this? Maybe you have a dream, and it’s not the kind that you have while sleeping. Instead, it’s the kind that keeps you from sleeping, because you’re just too excited about them.

Well, a wise man I know once said, “if you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.” I have dreams too. And if there is something I’ve learned from the Bible, my Pastors and the history of my church, it is that dreams require patience, hard work and faith. But believe me, dreams do come true.

We just have to allow ourselves to go through a journey with our dreams! Let’s look at Joseph in the Bible as an example. From his story, we can learn that the journey of a dream goes through 5 stages – birth, delay, death, resurrection and fulfillment.

1. Birth

Joseph had a dream. He knew in his heart that one day, he will be an official, much like the Prime Ministers of our modern day. Do you have a dream? If not, get one and hold on to it.

Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more.” – Genesis 37:5

2. Delay

Soon after Joseph told his brothers about the dream that he had, they got jealous of him. They threw him into a pit and sold him away as a slave. Because of this, Joseph’s dream got delayed for many years. Though most of us here will not be sold as slaves or anything like that, we must not be discouraged by delays and frustrations that will come when we chase after our dreams. Dreams do not come to pass overnight!

“Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison.” – Genesis 39:20

3. Death

You might think that having our dreams delayed is bad enough, but more often than we would like, our dreams get dashed too. Joseph after becoming a slave stayed a man of character and honor. However, he was thrown into jail! That must have been the lowest moment of his life. He must have felt that his dreams were no more.

We might go through seasons when we doubt ourselves, when things just don’t seem to go the way we intended it to. We might even go through a huge setback like Joseph, and feel like our dreams are dead. But you know what? God will use these times to train us and build us in our character. We will learn to fight discouragements. Dream on!

4. Resurrection

As we keep our character and our dreams, God will remember them. Don’t forget that we serve the Lord Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life. He was crucified and killed, but He didn’t stay dead. He rose again on the third day! The problem with life is that it is has a way of killing our dreams. Sometimes, we just let our dreams die and stay dead. We must know that just like the God that we serve, our dreams will also be revived as long as we keep the faith.

If you feel that your dreams are dead right now, don’t stop believing. Stay true to your character and stay true to God. Joseph, despite being left in jail, continued to keep his heart pure and even cared for others enough that he would interpret their dreams for them. I believe it is because of the way that he responded to the death of his dream, that God revived it.

5. Fulfillment

And most of you would know the story. Eventually, Joseph helped to interpret the dream of Pharaoh and was promoted to become the Prime Minister of ancient Egypt. You know what we can learn from this? It is that when we make the dreams of others come true, God will see our character & heart and make our dreams come true.

So what is your dream? If you have a dream, go tell somebody about it. Find people who will encourage you, cheer you on, and even help you fulfill that dream. If you don’t have a dream, get one! And get a big one. Dreams will change the way you think, the way you act and the way you live. Dreams will change your life. I have a dream, and it is for this dream that I wake up every morning full of joy and full of purpose; it keeps me going.

Dream on, reader! 😉

Why Do You Give?

Giving is something we do all the time. We give in the form of gifts, time, energy and finances. But today, I want to ask you (and myself), “Why do you give?”

Because while many of us give in different forms, be it to a cause we believe in, to our family and friends, or to the church, this is a very important question that we must ask ourselves so that we give with the right heart. From what I’ve observed from myself and also other people, there are usually 5 reasons why people give.

1. Insecurity

Some people give because when they look around, they see their peers doing it; and in order to sort of fit in or not appear to be selfish, they give too. And while in a way, it is good because they still gave in some way, this kind of giving gets painful in the long run. That’s not how giving is supposed to feel! I believe giving is meant to be a joyful thing.

“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7

2. Instruction

There are also people who give because someone told them to do so. Maybe it’s a parent, a senior, a leader or an elder. And while it is good that we obey all these people, we must also have our personal convictions in giving. If not, we will eventually be unwilling to give. Giving by instruction is one of the lowest levels of giving. Let’s not stop here!

3. Intention

Then, there are others who give with personal motives. They give out of their own will but there is an expectation for something in return. Some people give to their “friends” so that in the future, they will lend a helping hand when they need it. Some Christians give to the church and to God because they want to be blessed by Him.

While we will be blessed by our loving family and good friends and God will also honor our giving, we must not give with this dangerous mindset. Because there is always a possibility that we will not get anything in return! Are we going to throw a tantrum and stop giving then?

If we give with expectations to get something in return, it is NOT giving, it is buying. You go to the cinema, buy a ticket with your money and expect a great movie. You go to the restaurant, buy an expensive dish and expect a great meal. You go to the store, buy something with your salary and expect a great product. And if it turns out that any of them doesn’t meet your expectations, you’ll get upset.

But this is not how things work with giving! With hidden intentions or expectations in our hearts, we will not be giving, we will only be trying to buy people’s favor and God’s blessings. We want to be givers, not consumers.


So there are people who give out of insecurity, instruction and intention – motivations that makes the spirit of giving temporal, unpleasant and even selfish. But there are also another two groups of people whom I’ve really seen giving with the right attitude, and we want to be just like them.

4. Intimacy

The first of these two groups give because of intimacy. They give out of a heart of love and thankfulness towards someone. It is natural to give to someone whom we love or are intimate with! Have you ever seen how a loving couple would give to each other?

If you’ve ever wondered how to be a “cheerful giver” as described in the Bible verse above, this is it. When we give out of our hearts to love, we will do it cheerfully. We can give without loving, but we can never love without giving. There is a joy in giving to people we love. We are cheerful in doing so. Let’s give with a heart of intimacy towards our friends, family and God.

5. Involvement

Last but not least, there’s also a group of people who gives to be involved. They give to a disaster relief because they want to be involved in helping people. They give to a loved one because they want to be involved in their lives. They give to someone or something that once helped them and now want to be involved in doing the same for others because they are grateful. They give to a vision and a cause they believe in because they want to be involved in making a difference – in changing the world.

Today, let’s give out of intimacy. Let’s give to be involved in something greater than ourselves. Most importantly, give with a smile on your face. God loves a cheerful giver, but I believe a cheerful giver also loves God.

Pain

Pain. It is something that can come in many forms. It could come in the form of a sickness or a discomfort; you know the kind of feeling that you get when you have a fever or the sore that you have after exercising for the first time in a long while? Or how about that sensation that you feel at your fingertips after playing the guitar for an hour? Accidentally stubbing your toe against something? That’s pain.

Yet beyond all that, we know that pain can also come in less physical forms of disappointments, discouragements and rejections. I’m sure that you and I have had a fair share of all that. But I guess only those who has been in pain will understand it. And only those who understand pain can relate to those who are hurting.

So in a sense, could God use our current pain for a future purpose? Because it is true that we connect to others not by our strengths, but through our weaknesses; that we relate to others not by our personal gains in life but by our personal pains in life. So maybe God can use our pain for a greater purpose – if we have the right perspective and allow Him to do so.

Besides, if there is one Person that we should use as the ultimate example of pain with a purpose, it is Jesus Christ! He was nailed to the cross for the remission of our sins. He was betrayed, He was tortured, He was humiliated, He was abandoned. He went through the most physical, emotional and spiritual pains and suffered more than any of us just so we can be set free. Yet after all these things, He is perfect, He is alive and He is all powerful.

Maybe right now as you’re reading this, you’re in the midst of a painful season in your life. Never think that no one understands your pain. Because even if the people around you don’t, Christ does.

Before I conclude this last post for the week, let me just say one final thing. Pain never lasts. Sometimes it feels like forever, sometimes it might even really take forever to subside. But trust in God and one day sooner or later, He will bring you through it. Jesus came to loose the chains of eternal pain in our lives, and essentially also – eternal death. Of course, I pray that as much as possible, you do not experience pain in your life. But if it does happen, have faith.

And also, remember that there is always the possibility that your pain could have a purpose. At times, your pain can even make you stronger. Out of painful experiences, victors can be made. Go ask any Olympics champion if winning was ever easy. I think we all know the answer. Pain can either drain you, or train you. Choose what it does.

Alive

Hi everyone. Today, I have officially existed for two decades! 😄 Haha, I know that’s an unconventional way to put it. But more than just growing another year older, I also realized this year that I have been a Christian for a quarter of my life! 5 years ago, I stepped into Heart of God Church as a 15 year-old boy and my life truly began.

It’s funny because you can be breathing physically and yet not really be alive. As I looked back on the past 5 years, there’s just so much to be thankful for – my church, my friends, my family, those are just some people I never want to take for granted.

But if there is just one person that I need to mention and thank on this day, it would have to be Jesus. Over the past 1800+ days, God has changed my life so much and given me a purpose and a destiny greater than myself.

The reason why I could elevate my mindset, grow in my character and change as a person from the inside out is because of Jesus. Without His grace, I would never have become who I am today. I mean 5 years ago, I would have never thought I will be writing like I am now!

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

So today, I just want to thank Jesus. I am a sinner and I never deserved the life that I am living now – the life that He has given me. But that is what grace is all about, isn’t it? We were all doomed for death because of our sins. We had no choice; we had to go down the pit; we didn’t deserve life. But He still came for us, showed His love for us on the cross and pulled us out of the darkness.

I never once regretted having known and accepted this amazing grace & love that our God has for us. Because now, I am no longer in captivity. I am no longer a prisoner held in chains. I can now have the ability to let Christ cleanse me from all unrighteousness and come into an intimate relationship with Him.

Grace does not say “I am allowed to sin”; grace says “I am free to change.” His overwhelming love for us does not remove our necessity to lead a holy life – it gives us the freedom to do so!

Grace does not give us the license to sin; grace gives us the power to change. That is why I want to change and grow in my character – because with God, I can. And think about it, anything that is alive and healthy grows. 

Today if you have never known the love of Jesus, the empowerment of His grace and the joy in being in a relationship with Him, know that you can have all of it. Don’t just breathe. Live. Eternal life is about this relationship of knowing Jesus. And today, it is a free gift that He is extending to you. But like I said, gifts have to be accepted. So the question is, will you take it? :)

I Believe

Today if you walk down a street and see coins scattered all over the floor, what would you think? You’d probably think the same thing as me, “Someone must have dropped it there accidentally. Finders keepers!” 😛 Haha. But let’s change the scenario a little. What if you walk down a street and don’t see a mess but instead you see two neatly stacked coins? I guess you would react very differently. You would think that it’s some kind of trap or that somebody must have placed it there on purpose! That’s exactly how I feel when I look at the world around me.

Reader, I believe the world is not an accident. When I look around and see the beauty of nature, I cannot ignore the great possibility that Someone was behind it all. I read about our universe, its solar systems, our planet, and I know that there is an intelligent design in everything. From how perfectly placed our Earth is in distance to the Sun for us to live to how it is tilted at an axis for seasons to occur to how water falls on land and goes back up to the sky in a cycle, I am so convinced that the world in which we live is not an accident. If I believe that a simple stack of coins is not an accident, it is natural for me to believe that a world which is exceedingly more sophisticated and complex than that has a Creator and a purpose. And even more so for you and I.

Because I believe that we are not an accident. I believe that we are results of something far greater than that of a cosmic explosion. When I look at our bodies, our minds and our systems, I just know in my heart that God has made us and in a way that no machine or artificial intelligence can replicate a 100%. I’ve seen accidents and know they don’t make things better. A car crash will never produce a Ferrari! Accidents make things worse and leave chaos & destruction at its wake. These things left to itself will then decay and decompose into disorder, the total opposite of what we and our world are.

I believe that we are fearfully and wonderfully made as we are. When I look at the animals in the zoo, I can see our similarities. Both they and us have a body and a soul. We can feel emotionally, they can too. We can think, and albeit at a lower intellect, they can too. But there is one huge difference I see even between my friends who behave like animals and the animals themselves. Only us humans have a spirit. And only spiritual beings can worship. I’ve never seen an animal with an inclination to pray or look to a greater power even in their most helpless state. But our species has since ancient times looked in many places to find God. I believe that we are different from animals.

I believe that God wants to have a relationship with us. Christianity is not just a religion in which we attain eternal life and are able to go to Heaven. Christianity is a relationship. In fact, eternal life is about knowing God. It can begin right here, right now.

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” – John 17:3

I also believe that God is our Father. He is not just a divine cosmic power or a Creator. Because a creator can always create something and throw it away if he doesn’t like it. A creator can create something and give it away if he feels good about it. A creator can make something and sell it away to earn profit from it. A creator can always destroy his creations and start over again. But a father can’t do all that. You can’t father a child and just throw it away. You won’t father a child and give it away. And of course you wouldn’t father a child just to sell it away. Even if a child turns out to be rebellious, disobedient and defiant, his father will never end his life and have another one.

Similarly, I believe that our Father in Heaven is the same. Even though we as His children have turned away from Him, He can never just wipe us out from the face of this corrupted world. Instead, He wants to redeem us, change us and bring us home. It’s always been His plan. I believe that He wants to bring redemption to our lives and to our world.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23

I believe we are all sinners! We are born selfish and have to be taught at a young age to be selfless. That is why we need God. But we also need Him because only a Creator knows the purpose of His creation. Friend, I believe you and I have a purpose. Do not ever think that you are an accident because accidents don’t have a purpose. Accidents are unplanned for, accidents are unwanted. When I look around me, at this keyboard that I am typing with, at this screen that I am looking at, at this chair that I am sitting on and at this bottle that I am drinking from, I realize that everything was made with a purpose. And wouldn’t it be the saddest thing to believe that lifeless objects have a purpose, but we don’t? Your parents might have told you that you were an “accident”, but today God is saying to you that you’re definitely not His accident. Because if you are, He would not have come to die for you.

Yes, I believe that Jesus Christ came to die for you and I. I believe that He came to restore His relationship with us that was previously broken by sin – a relationship no amount of success and good works can mend. Just think about it; if today you had a row with your father and you ran away from home, would becoming a huge success or a philanthropist (though all are good things that we should be) earn back your relationship with your dad? No. Only if we were to go back to Him, apologize and ask for forgiveness, would that relationship be restored. It is the same for Jesus, just that He made the first move. Why? Because there is a penalty of death that we need to pay for our sins.

And here is why I believe that our God is both just and loving. Imagine that you got yourself into a car accident due to drunk driving.  You end up in court and to your horror, your father who is a judge is sitting right there on the bench. As a judge, he has to mete out justice & punishments and cannot be biased towards you just because you are his son or daughter. So in all fairness, he reads out all the penalties that you will get including a fine and a suspension of your license. But at the end of it all, something interesting happens. He gets down from his bench after the court session, walks towards you and puts his arm around you. He then tells you not to worry, because he will pay the fine for you and drive you around until your suspension ends.

“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

I believe that is what God has done for us. God is not just a judge in Heaven who metes out punishment, but He is also our loving Father. That is why God became Man to die on the cross on our behalf to pay for the penalty of our sins. Now, if we accept that love and just believe, our sins can be washed away and we can be made clean in this relationship with Him. That is why I believe. I believe that He gave His life for me. I believe that He rose again. I believe that He is 100% Man and 100% God. I believe that He is good. I believe that I am forgiven. I believe that I have a purpose. I believe in Heaven and I believe in the name of Jesus. Do you?


If you want to believe, all you have to do is pray this prayer with sincerity:

Dear Father God, I admit that I am a sinner
And I ask for your forgiveness.
I believe that Jesus Christ died for me
On the cross and rose again.
I confess that Jesus is my Lord and Savior.
Holy Spirit, help me to obey and follow God.
Change me from the inside out.
In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.


p.s. If you happened to have stumbled upon this post and have just prayed the prayer above, I want to congratulate you because you have made the best decision in your life! This is only the beginning for even greater things to come and I would like to tell you more. So if you have just believed in Jesus through this post, don’t stop there! Let me know by messaging me through Facebook, and especially so if you live in Singapore! Hope to hear from you soon! 😄

Unbelief vs Disbelief

Hi readers! After a 2-week break over Chinese New Year – eating all the food there is to offer and spending all the time we had with our families, all of us are finally back in church! Now it might have been the re-opening weekend for our church, but it is also only our second weekend here in our New Home! If you do not understand what I’m talking about or have not been keeping up with the happenings of Heart of God Church, check out this previous post of mine. If you are on the same page as me (or have just returned from reading that post), let’s get into what I’m going to be talking about today.

What I’m going to be writing about today is basically the message preached by Pastor How over this re-opening weekend. After an emotional testimony was shared by one of the leaders in our church, Pastor How encourages her and takes the stage – the stage some of us now call “Cross Stage 2.0”. Haha, you got to come check it out for yourself. But anyway, he begins his message with the word “humility”. It was a weekend when many people are going to come to God, be it for the first or not. That didn’t matter. What mattered was they did. However for them to do that, they got to first be humble.

Because it is not our strength that will bring us to God, but our humility. And in that case, humility becomes our strength. Many people would need just that to believe in God and His power that can change their lives. But I know for sure that there are some who needs more. Maybe a little evidence? Maybe a personal encounter? Well to me, Imaginarium isn’t just a place, it’s a story. In fact, it’s God’s story. I know I’ve said this before, but the very existence of our New Home is an evidence of God’s faithfulness and a memorial that glorifies Him.

As I stepped into this place for the first few times, I couldn’t help but be reminded again and again of the journey that God has brought us through. If not for Him, we will really not be who we are today. So if anyone asks me, “How do you know God is real?” I will bring them to this place, show them around and tell them, “Because I see Him here – at every corner, in every person, in every life.”

So really, if you have never stepped into our church before, come and see it for yourself. Let it be an inspiration for you; we had such humble beginnings. If God could do for us what He did all these years, then He can do anything for anyone who has faith – including you. Pastor How used the scripture in Mark 9:17-27 (NLT) to illustrate this.

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” – Mark 9:23 (NLT)

In these verses, we find a man coming to Jesus for help because an evil spirit has possessed his son. To cut the long story short, Jesus successfully cast it out. The boy also regained consciousness and recovered. But within this story lies a few interesting things that we can learn from. Firstly, note what the desperate father says to Jesus in verse 24.

The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” – Mark 9:24 (NLT)

Sounds paradoxical, doesn’t it? You must be wondering whether this father believes or not. But the thing is, sometimes we do this ourselves too. Sometimes, we find ourselves having a conflict between our mind and our heart, just like the father! Maybe you’re a Christian, maybe you’re not. But you can definitely relate to being in a situation whereby your heart wants to believe in something, be it for a miracle or a breakthrough, while at the same time your mind is full of doubts about it. Well you know what? Christianity is that kind of faith; the kind where at times, our hearts and minds go into a conflict, where we experience a little of what the man in verse 24 had – unbelief.

doubt-tolerance

What is unbelief? It is a lack of faith or trust, most commonly appearing in the form of doubts. For example, you may have heard that Jesus can heal, that He wants to have a relationship with you, that He can change your life for the better. But because you’ve never personally experienced those things before, you find it hard to believe in them. And as a result, you may not believe in Jesus too. Fortunately, that is normal. Let me repeat myself. It is totally normal to oscillate between faith and doubt, even as Christians! One thing you must know is that our God is doubt-tolerant. He will not release His wrath & curses upon you just because you have some doubts. It’s not Him.

That is why sometimes Christianity is called the Fight of Faith! We constantly fight doubts in our own mind. Even the Bible contains multiple examples of this fight. You see, the Bible is not propaganda. It doesn’t exaggerate the good and cover up the bad; it tells us both and everything in between. In it we see the victories & the defeats, the good men & the fallen men. In the same way, our Christianity is not a “bed of roses”. We find ourselves at the mountaintops where believing is easy, and we also find ourselves in the valleys where having faith is difficult.

If you have your Bible with you, just look at the Book of Psalms. It is an emotional and spiritual journey of a man, consisting of both the nice and not-so-nice parts. Flip to chapter 23 and you’ll see the faith, the joy and the praises. Flip one chapter back to 22 and you’ll see the struggles, the frustrations, the pain. Just a chapter apart, and the contrast so huge. So once again I must say, it’s normal. Some days we’re at chapter 22, some days we’re at 23. For the man in Mark 9:24, he was swinging between these two. What’s most important was that he was honest with God about his feelings. We should do the same.

disbelief

But while it’s okay to have a little unbelief in us, disbelief is a realm we should never step into. Disbelief is when a person decides NOT to believe. It is very different from unbelief, because regardless of evidences, people of disbelief have already made up their minds. They don’t listen to explanations, they only think about arguments. The Bible describes this as a very dangerous hardening of the heart.

That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts…” – Hebrews 3:7-8 (NLT)

Never harden your heart, reader. Big problems arise for those who do so because they have already closed & locked up the doors to their minds and their hearts. Even if good things are presented to them, they see it as bad. When testimonies and stories of changed lives are shared, they see it as a  scam. When churches are mentioned, they immediately think they’re all bad. Indeed, a quote from Stuart Chase could not be more true.

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” – Stuart Chase

What is faith? It is believing in something even though there may not be a physical proof of it yet. That’s called faith! If we need proof to believe in Jesus Christ, then it’s no longer faith anymore. I can tell you, I have never seen Jesus physically before. I’ve never heard His audible voice. Haha but you know what? My life has been changed by Him since I believed in Him. I have had many of my prayers answered. I have felt His love and His presence. And I’m not alone. Sometimes, you just got to believe first before you see.

If you harden your heart, you will go from unbelief to disbelief. Just think of two of Jesus’ disciples for a minute. Peter had unbelief and so did Judas, but both of them had witnessed the works & miracles of Jesus in the flesh. One of them repented and became one of the greatest apostles ever. The other one betrayed Jesus and committed suicide. You know which of them moved into disbelief. Unbelief is fine. Disbelief is not. Unbelief says that “I want to believe but I can’t!” Disbelief says that “I simply do not want to believe.” They are very different.

faithfulness

“If we deny him, he will deny us. If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful…” – 2 Timothy 2:12-13 (NLT)

Today as you are reading this, you might be a believer, a non-believer, or an ex-believer. But one thing you must know is that there is a difference between denying God, and losing faith. Denying Jesus is a very serious thing, but I don’t think any of you reading this would deny Jesus in disbelief and hate Him. Even if today, you’re no longer going to church or hanging out with your friends whom you met in church, I’m sure that deep down in your heart, you still believe in Jesus. You just simply went through a season when you were unfaithful. But just like the verse above says, even if we are faithless, God remains faithful. It’s just who He is.

So come back to Jesus. He loves us regardless of all the sins we might have committed. Look at some of the great men in the Bible, they all had their past! Abraham slept with his maid, but now we call him the father of faith. Moses had anger issues, so much so that he killed a man; but we now know him as the one who parted the red sea. Noah was a drunkard, but we know of him as the one who built the ark. Told you the Bible wasn’t propaganda, right? David committed adultery and many more atrocities that broke at least 4 of the 10 commandments. Now we call him the man after God’s own heart. Peter denied being affiliated with Jesus, but as previously mentioned, moved on to becoming one of the greatest apostles ever. What does that mean?

saints-sinners

It means that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. And it is only possible because of the love & the power of God that we can have in our lives when we believe in Him. We are all not perfect. But with the power of the blood of Jesus Christ in our lives, we can be redeemed and have a future, just like the saints in the Bible. All we got to do is to be humble, put away all the pride that we have and come back to Jesus.

Let me end this post with one last analogy by Pastor How. If you’re driving towards a certain destination today and you find yourself making a wrong turn somewhere, what would you do? Would you get all frustrated and beat yourself up against the steering wheel for making such a mistake? Would you stop the car, get out and give up driving? Or would you keep on driving in the wrong direction? No. You make a U-turn. It might cause a little bit of delay, but at least you turn around and rectify that wrong turn. In the same way, most of us will not have a perfect path to our spiritual destination in God. What matters is when we make a “wrong turn”, we repent and turn around to go back on track. If you need to, make that U-turn today.

p.s. Pastor Tan Seow How & Pastor Cecilia Chan, more affectionately known as Pastor How & Pastor Lia are the senior pastors of Heart of God Church – my spiritual home.