LCEC Members’ Covenant

We as members of the LCEC of Wesley Methodist Church Klang, join in covenant this day to the following:

We submit to the commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ reflected in John 13:34-35 that we will be known by our love one for another:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you,
so you must love one another. By this all men will know that
you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

We also purpose in our hearts to fulfil our Lord’s prayer for unity and oneness in John 17: 21: “… that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

We further answer our Lord’s call to servant-leadership and total commitment by these actions:

To faithfully uphold the doctrines and policies of the church.
To faithfully participate in the weekly Saturday / Sunday Worship Celebrations.
To read and meditate on the Scriptures (Bible) daily.
To pray for our church, community and nation daily.
To participate in the church weekly prayer meetings regularly.
To have family worship and devotion regularly
(especially those who are married).
To be a regular member of a church cell/small group.
To be accountable to at least, another church member
and pray and fellowship together regularly.
To make available our talents, gifts and resources for the extension of God’s Kingdom everywhere.
To faithfully & punctually attend all LCEC meetings.

We as leaders and LCEC members make this covenant before God and this church in total commitment to all that are stated above on this day, Amen!

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Rejoicing In Our Trials & Troubles

“Since then it is by faith that we are justified, let us grasp the fact that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have confidently entered into this new relationship of grace, and here we take our stand, in happy certainty of the glorious things He has for us in the future. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we have only a hope of future joys—we can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troubles. Taken in the right spirit these very things will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will never disappoint us. Already we have some experience of the love of God flooding through our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us.”
ROMANS 5:1-5 (J.B. PHILLIPS NEW TESTAMENT)

This passage is a good “big picture” for believers. It has good Christian “keywords”: faith, peace, grace, rejoice, hope, glory. Then some harder words: suffering, endurance, character. Thankfully we finish with more great words: hope, love, the Holy Spirit.

Hope is mentioned several times. Humans need hope, and when hope is gone, we despair. When I find myself losing hope, it usually comes from focusing on specific, short-term situations. Even months- or years-long situations are short-term, in view of eternity. We are promised a share of God’s glory, through His grace!

“That’s great,” you say, “but I can’t always focus on the hope of eternal life and ignore the present.” This is our constant tension: the now and the not yet. It’s where the harder words come in: enduring suffering that builds character. In our instant gratification culture, we love to share glory. Endure suffering, rejoice in suffering? Not so much.

Truth be told, this cycle – suffering, enduring, building character, and obtaining hope – is the cycle of our Christian lives. We experience it in big and small ways, no matter our situation. If we rejoice in sufferings, knowing that the end result is the building of our character, this gives us hope. God is refining us!

Finally, sharing in God’s glory is not restricted to the future in heaven. We share in His glory now, in the present, as we receive His grace and peace, and trust Him for our hope in all things big and small, present and future. (BETH KIRBY)

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Advent week 4 – Living The Advent LOVE (John 3: 16-17)

C. S. Lewis put it like this:

“Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

There is no way to have a real relationship without becoming vulnerable to hurt. And Christmas tells us that God became breakable and fragile. God became someone we could hurt. Why? To get us back. And if you believe this and take it into your life, you’re blessed. As you take in the truth of what He did for you—how loved and affirmed you are—you’ll be able to let down your defenses in your own relationships with other people. You won’t always need to guard your honor. You’ll be able to let down the barriers down. You’ll be able to move into intimate relationships with other people.

What is in the package of Christmas? His vulnerability for intimacy with us, which gives us the vulnerability to be intimate with the people around us. If you believe in Christmas—that God became a human being—you have an ability to face suffering, a resource for suffering that others don’t have.

For Reflection:
• What is the definition of true love? How does God show his love to us?

• How does vulnerability in our relationships affect how we love? What defenses or barriers do you naturally have up that you need to let down in order to have intimacy with others?

• How can you show love to others during this Christmas season? (TIM KELLER)

 

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Advent, Week 3 – Living The Advent Joy

What do you get excited about during the Christmas season? What do you wait for with glad anticipation? You probably have traditions in your family you look forward to every year. Maybe it’s the lights or the special music. Maybe it’s the time spent with family or the peculiar customs that make your Christmas memories unique. Whatever it is, these are some of the reasons so many people love this time of year. For others, though, Christmas is a reminder of the absence of a family member who is no longer with us or broken relationships and memories that bring us pain.

So far, we have looked at Hope (the confident expectation of the fulfillment of the promise in the future) and Peace (the ability to live with our hearts at rest in the midst of difficult circumstances). In this third week in Advent, we turn to Joy: happiness that supersedes circumstance. The prophet Isaiah gives us a glimpse into true Joy. It is the natural response to really good news. The fact that God’s people find themselves in difficult circumstances only heightens the level of excitement for the promise of peace, salvation and redemption the comes because He reigns and He will return.

We are people marked by good news. The Gospel promise of Jesus is the best news! We have received it with faith and wait in anticipation like we wait to open a present wrapped and set under the tree. Joy becomes our natural response the more we comprehend the magnitude of what we have been promised and see its value. Many of the presents we unwrap year after year lose their appeal as a newer, shinier gift takes its place. The amazing truth at Christmas is that Jesus will be more glorious and good than we expect Him to be. He will blow the doors off our meager expectations when we see Him.

For Reflection:
• When you take account of your life, what past, present or future gets you most excited?

• When things are difficult, what situations tend to make it hard for you to live with joy?

• Spend time praying and thanking God for all the difficult things that will no longer exist when Jesus returns.

• Spend time asking God to give you perspective, excitement and anticipation for what it will be like when Jesus returns so that you have lasting joy.
(JON LOWDER)

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Living The Advent Peace – Luke 1: 68-79

After 400 years of silence, Israel waits in the midst of darkness for God to speak. As Zechariah enters the temple and receives the news of God’s plan, once again God’s message is met with unbelief and doubt. How fitting that He would silence a man so that God’s Word would be heard.

God’s message of a coming Messiah had been promised right from the very beginning. In the Garden, man’s rebellion broke God’s perfect world and their perfect relationship with Him. Perfect union with God was replaced with enmity and peace on earth was only a flickering hope. Even in the darkest moments, God’s promise to restore and redeem has been a constant. The prophets spoke to pronounce God’s judgment on injustice and His punishment for a people who seem hell-bent on living out from under the sovereign reign of a good and loving God. Over and over again, we have rejected God’s message, doubted His promises, and lasted on our own wisdom. Choosing to trust our own hearts and to live out our best ideas has only brought more hurt and pain and injustice to our world. When would we experience the peace we so long for?

When God finally allows Zechariah to speak, he bursts forth with prophetic praise that shatters the silence and announces a new dawn. God’s hard-hearted people will be rescued. The Redeemer is coming soon and He will have the power of salvation. Though we sit in the darkness of death, Jesus, the Light of the world will lead us into a new kingdom where we will finally experience lasting peace!

For Reflection:
• When you think about the world we live in, where do you see turmoil? What would it look like if God’s peace replaced the strife and injustice you see?

• Spend time praying for God’s kingdom to come in ways that would point people to the peace only Christ can bring.

• Where in your relationships is there division or conflict? Would you say your home or workplace is a place marked by peace? How could you be a peacemaker in those situations?

• Pray for those in your life who need the peace of Christ and ask God to show you where your heart needs to be transformed to live at rest, trusting His promises.
(JON LOWDER)

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Advent Week 1 – Living The Advent HOPE Isaiah 9:2,6-7

The Old Testament chronicles the journey of God’s people. In it, we see a growing desire for the fulfillment of a promise, the arrival of a king that would lead them. This king would be different from all the others and His kingdom would be an everlasting one. The Messiah, the Christ, the anointed one would come from God and begin a revolution that would change the world forever. This would begin a time when God would come to live amongst His people in a new and profound way. We often forget that these were dark times for God’s people. Sin had led to injustice and oppression. They needed to be delivered, but not just from the problems that surrounded them, but from the brokenness that resided in their own hearts. As we prepare our hearts for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, we can experience the tension of the deep longing and joyful expectation because we know the end of the story.

What we may easily overlook is that Advent is not just a time when we look back but also a time when we look forward. We also live in dark times. Sin still gives birth to brokenness in every sphere of existence. As you study the news cycle you might be tempted to despair, but God’s plan is still working. We don’t yet see the fullness of His kingdom, but we catch glimpses of it as we labor to make Jesus known in our own families, in our city, and around the world. God will make good on His promises and Jesus will, once again, come for His people. This is a time to remind ourselves, not just of the reality of Christ’s incarnation, but also His promise to come again and forever set things right. On that day we will be finished with sin. No more will we carry the heavy burden of living in a sin-sick world where pain and tears seem to often prevail.

If you are like me, you have grown weary from the brokenness within your own hearts. Day after day we are forced to wage war against our flesh and the sin that so easily deceives us. Jesus has dealt with the penalty for our sin, but we still experience its pervasiveness and power. Soon, He will come and remove its presence completely and we will be with Him forever. This is a time to look back. To see God’s promise fulfilled in His coming and to look forward with eager anticipation for His return.

For Reflection:
• Think of an event in your life where you waited with a longing expectation. What were you waiting for? How did you feel in the waiting? What was it like when the event finally happened?

• Think about someone you know who might be feeling overcome by darkness. What are some ways you can point them to the hope of Christ’s advent this week?
(JON LOWDER)

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Finding Unity In Diversity

The history of the church has not always been very edifying, has it? And I am sure that God weeps when He sees how Christians have constantly failed to work through their divisions whilst holding on to love and compassion and kindness.

Paul told the Christians in the church at Corinth – who are not handling their divisions very well – that the way they speak to one another, the way they interact with one another, the way they cope with differences, is actually a reflection to the wider world of how Christ responds to difference and how Christ wants to interact with the world.

The Church is the Body of Christ – and how we are with one another speaks to the reputation of Christ in the world.

The Church is the Body of Christ – it is not just another interest group, it is not just another club we can join.

The Church is the Body of Christ in the world – and we must keep that foremost in our minds every day of our lives because you and I are representing Christ to the world in how we live and how we speak and in how we love…

Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12:12-20 that we shoulder a great responsibility as we participate in the community life of our church. We are reflecting God to the world in our words and our deeds: what people see of us, they see of God – and we need to live up to that responsibility. That means, of course, that each one of must be mindful of how we conduct ourselves at work during the week, within our family lives, and when we are out socialising – because what people see of us, they see of God.

But as a community together, we must shoulder the responsibility of being the Body of Christ together, which is a holy calling. We must hold fast to our unity. We must embrace and celebrate our diversity. We must move as one body, supporting and encouraging one another. And, as we pursue this holy calling together, we must keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus and remember that it is only through Him that we have a sense of community; a sense of purpose, and a destiny to fulfil.

God has chosen us and gifted us to represent Him to the world, to our community. We are stewards together of that calling, stewards of the gifts He has given to us, and we must resolve increasingly to use them wisely, and with compassion and with kindness and with love. (REV DR STEVE GRIFFITHS)

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Rejoicing In Trials

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-5)

No one delights in suffering. It’s not natural to rejoice as we lose our job or wade through relational conflict. It doesn’t feel good to disagree with our spouse or be the recipient of an offensive comment. We like when things go our way—so when they don’t, it’s unsettling.

When Paul wrote to the Romans, he addressed their problems and trials. Yes, we live in a land where sin abounds. Yes, there will be political strife and moral decay. Yes, the future would be filled with question marks and suffering may lie ahead.

But Paul said we can still rejoice. How? How did he expect them to do that, and how does he expect us to do that today? Because of what we know.

Paul says we know what Jesus Christ has already done for us. We know how we stand in this place of undeserved privilege. We know that our endurance is being developed. We know our character is being strengthened. We know our confident hope of salvation will never disappoint. And we know how dearly God loves us and how He has given us the Holy Spirit.

So even when our plate is full of trials and challenges, we can have peace—because we carry this inside knowledge. We can look ahead and know how it’ll all pan out. Since God showed us His great love by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners, certainly He will not abandon us now. He will use it for good. Salvation is coming.

Reflect:
• How well do you know the Bible and God’s promises—are you familiar with His storyline? If so, do you trust His narrative and His promised ending? The more we know, the more we can rejoice in our current challenges.

• As a friend of God’s, you can approach His throne confidently and boldly. In prayer, lay your trials before the Lord today and find peace in knowing that He will help you in your time of need: “Lord, this is my plight and my biggest heartache: ___________. Bring your truth to light and help me to remember your promises, so I can find peace in the hope that does not disappoint.”
(EAGLE BROOK CHURCH)

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