Forget The Past And Press On

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 3:12-14 ESV)

Although Christians are called to be like Christ, we continue to make mistakes.

We have not “arrived” yet. We fail. In fact, we’ll never obtain complete sanctification until we stand before the Lord. But, God uses our imperfections to “grow us” in the faith.

We have a problem to deal with called “the flesh.” Our flesh pulls us toward sin and away from the prize of the upward call. Our flesh keeps us painfully aware of our need to diligently press on toward the goal.

The Apostle Paul was laser-focused on the race, the goal, the finish line. Like an Olympian runner, he would not look back at his failures. Now, remember, Paul was Saul who persecuted the church violently. He played a part in the stoning of Stephen, and he could have let guilt and shame cripple him for that. But Paul forgot the past. He didn’t dwell on his sufferings, beatings, shipwrecks, and imprisonment. He looked forward resolutely toward the finish line where he would see the face of Jesus Christ.

The author of the Book of Hebrews made a similar statement in Hebrews 12:1-2: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Paul knew that God alone was the source of his salvation as well as the source of his spiritual growth. The closer we get to completion, the more we realize how much further we have to go to become like Christ.

So, be encouraged by Paul’s emphasis here on forgetting the past and straining forward to what lies ahead. Don’t let yesterday’s failures derail you from the goal of your upward call. Press on for the prize until you meet the Lord Jesus at the finish line. (MARY FAIRCHILD)

 

 

 

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Duty Verses Love

Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I appeal to you on the basis of love… (Philemon 8-9)

During the American Civil War a woman sent Abraham Lincoln a letter asking for his autograph. She also requested that he include a sentiment with the autograph, perhaps hoping for something like “Best Wishes” or “Your Faithful Servant.” Lincoln was annoyed by the selfish nature of her request and wrote back: “Dear Madam: When you ask from a stranger that which is of interest only to yourself, always enclose a stamp. There’s your sentiment, and here’s my autograph. A. Lincoln.”

Paul wrote to Philemon also to ask him for a favor, but the apostle’s request was not prompted by self-interest. Paul’s motivation was his concern for Onesimus and for the church. Onesimus had come to faith in Christ while Paul was in prison. It’s possible that Onesimus was himself a prisoner at the time. As a fellow Christian, this would have been reason enough for Philemon to rejoice. But the language Paul uses in describing Onesimus’ conversion is designed to remind Philemon of other things he and his former slave had in common. They both had Paul as their spiritual father. Now Paul was asking for a favor.

Yet Paul did not want Philemon to forgive Onesimus merely out of obligation. It’s true that as Philemon’s spiritual father and as an apostle, Paul had spiritual authority. “I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do.” But Paul wanted Philemon to comply with his request willingly, not under compulsion: “I appeal to you on the basis of love.” Still, the apostle did make it clear that Philemon was also obligated to do what Paul asked.

Philips Brooks said, “Duty makes us do things well; but love makes us do them beautifully.”

What do you have on your agenda today that might qualify as a duty? Do you plan to fulfill it out of a sense of grudging obligation or will you be motivated by your love for Christ and gratitude for all that He has done in your life? Choose at least one task on your “to do” list and consider how being motivated by gratitude will change the way you approach it.
(SOURCE UNKNOWN)

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What Should You Do On The Sabbath?

We all must make a conscious decision to make time for things other than work. If we don’t, we’ll never rest. I make a conscious decision about how many hours I’ll work each week, and I stick to it. I encourage everyone to do the same thing. Otherwise, we’ll quickly burn out.

It’s like a bow and arrow. When a bow is constantly strung tight, it loses its power. It has to be unstrung periodically. You need to force yourself to set realistic hours and then hold yourself accountable — and ask someone to check up on you in the process.

Getting proper rest isn’t pop psychology or just good advice. It’s so important that even God rested on the seventh day when He created everything — not because He was tired but to give us an example of how we should rest. It’s so important to the heart of God that He put it in the Ten Commandments — along with “Do not murder,” “Do not lie,” and “Do not steal.” “Take a day off every seven days” made it on God’s top 10 list of moral behaviors. Shouldn’t it make it on ours too?

The Bible says, “You have six days in which to do your work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to Me” (Exodus 20:9-10). We call this the Sabbath, which simply means a “day of rest.” What do you do on your Sabbath?

1. Rest your body. If you don’t take time off, your body will make you take time off. Your back will go out. You’ll get a headache. You’ll get the flu. God didn’t design our bodies to go without rest. That’s why sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do on your Sabbath is to take a nap!

2. Recharge your emotions. Everyone does this differently. For some recharging happens through quietness. Others rejuvenate through recreation. Still others rejuvenate through relationships. Discover what it takes to recharge your emotions and make it a regular part of your Sabbath.

3. Refocus your spirit. You need to worship on your Sabbath. Take time to focus on God instead of all of your problems. Worship puts everything else in perspective. It shrinks your problems. It reminds you that God is still on His throne. He’ll help you through whatever struggles you’re going through. Suddenly the problem you’ve stressed over all week long won’t be near as big any more.

We all need a Sabbath in our lives. It doesn’t have to be on Sunday. It can be any day of the week, but you need to take one day off a week to rest your body, recharge your emotions, and refocus your spirit.

For Your Reflection:
• What kinds of mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical signs do you notice when you aren’t getting enough rest?
• What tends to be your biggest obstacle to taking a weekly Sabbath?
• What’s the best way for you to recharge your emotions? (RICK WARREN)

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View From The Donkey

All 4 Gospels give the account of the Triumphant Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Let’s look at that day from the unique perspective of the donkey.

First of all, Jesus had a plan for the donkey. In our lives He has a plan for each of us. Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” His plan for us is that we enter into a relationship of grace with God the Father. (John 3:16)

The donkey was chosen to fulfil that plan. God’s Word tells us that we too have been chosen to fulfil God’s plan. John 15:16 – “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you.” We are chosen that we might be used for His purposes (Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.)

The donkey wore new clothes. Garments were placed upon the donkey that Jesus might take His place upon the donkey. When we come to Christ we receive new garments of life. The Bible tells us that we are clothed in Christ. Galatians 3:27 – For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

To be a part of the plan, the donkey had to go where it was led. God does not always give us the route or even the destination…we must show our love by following obediently. God told Abraham in Genesis 22:2 – “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

To me, the greatest point is that the donkey’s position of service made Jesus more visible to the crowd. When we humble ourselves, Christ becomes more visible to others. Jesus did not choose the proud, prancing horse. Nothing about the donkey took away from Jesus. Because Jesus was visible, a crowd was drawn. Jesus told us that when He is lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself. It’s not my kingdom to build, it’s Jesus’ kingdom! It’s not me that should be exalted, but Christ! When we allow Jesus to be more visible in our lives people will talk and want to know more. When we live our lives in humble service Jesus will be glorified.

To live as a donkey, you must recognize that God is requesting your presence, so that you might be used of Him. His plan for you is that you would let Him be Lord of your life. Daily clothe yourself in the fullness of Christ. Allow the Spirit to lead you and follow obediently. Humble yourself that others may see Jesus more clearly and…serve Christ faithfully that He might be glorified…for He is worthy!

Jesus wants to make a triumphal entry into your life…will you take Him there? (JERRY SHIRLEY)

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Discover Your Life Purpose Seminar

Pastor Lam Kee Hing is an associate pastor with Skyline SIB Church with a heart for the indigenous church in East Malaysia. He and his wife are co – founders of Cornerstone Resources Bhd; a faith ministry focused on raising indigenous Christian leaders and pastors in Malaysia. He is married to Mei Chan and they are blessed with two children. He holds regular leadership seminars and Station of Life for pastors and leaders in Bahasa Malaysia.

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The Marriage Course

What is The Marriage Course?

The Marriage Course is very practical, giving any married couple the tools to build a strong and healthy marriage that lasts a lifetime. Over seven sessions spent together, couples talk about important issues that can get swept under the carpet in the rush of daily life. This is followed by The Marriage Course Celebration Party.

Topics covered include:

recognising each other’s needs, learning to communicate effectively, resolving conflict, healing past hurts, knowing how to make each other feel loved, relating to parents and in-laws, good sex, making time for each other and having fun together.

Privacy as a couple is always respected. There is no group discussion and no requirement to disclose anything about your relationship to anyone else.

What’s involved?

Each session begins with refreshment. There is then a Video Talk followed by an opportunity to discuss the topic, together as a couple. The setting is welcoming, relaxed and non-threatening.

Who is it for?

The Marriage Course is for any married couple who wants to build a strong and lasting relationship, especially:

  • those who want to enhance their marriage
  • those at a challenging stage in their marriage e.g. the birth of a child, a career change, teenagers at home, the “empty nest”
  • those struggling with issues in their marriage

The course, whilst based on Christian principles, is very helpful for any couple with or without a Christian faith or church background

Time :  10:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. begins with refreshment

Venue : Wesley Methodist Church Klang, 4 Jalan Bukit Jawa, 41000 Klang, Selangor

Cost : The cost of the course is RM150 per couple which covers refreshment, 7 Sessions and The Marriage Course Guest Manual

PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED AND ESSENTIAL.

Please note: Children are NOT allowed to accompany parents at The Marriage Course. This is a date for Husband & Wife only. Thank you for your cooperation.

For more information please contact :
Mr Raymond Tan (019-215 8868) or Mrs Elaine Tan (019-383 2868)

Click Here To Download the Brochure and Registration Form.

 

 

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5 Marks Of True Christian Friendship

1. True friends heighten our joy in God – Companionship always deepens joy. My favorite movie is
good when watched alone, but it’s better with a friend. Somehow a great meal is more satisfying when shared. We naturally drag our friends into what we enjoy. But of all the joys of life, God is the greatest! We were made for Him — to enjoy Him and center our hearts and lives on Him. And like any other joy, our joy in God will be fullest when we share it with other people. Christian friends help us enjoy God by enjoying Him with us.

2. True friends expose sin in us that keeps us from God – We need friends to lovingly show us our sin. We need friends to help us see our blind spots. We need friends to speak with brutal honesty and tender compassion telling us the truth about ourselves even when we don’t want to hear it. This is a vital function of community that few people want. We’d much rather have friends who always tell us what we want to hear, who show us the false grace of excusing sin and give us false hope that we can grow closer to God without repentance. But because sin is a poison to our souls and a thief of our joy in God, we cannot afford to forsake this kind of friendship.

3. True friends encourage us to obey God – While it is true we need friends to help us see any disobedience, we also need them to spur us on to obedience. Often, obedience to God takes more courage than we can muster alone. Without the faithful cheerleading of Christian friends, we easily shrink back into stagnant apathy, not wanting to willfully disobey, but also too afraid to step out in faith.

4. True friends bring us to God in our weakness – Walking through life in a God-belittling world, with our sin-ridden flesh, against a hell-bent enemy, is too hard to be attempted alone. Alone, we easily believe the lies of Satan. Alone, we buckle under the weight of our sin. Alone, we grow discouraged and weary. We need the help of other believers to carry us to God. So, how can we bring others to God? We listen to a sister confess a hidden sin and wash her with the truth that Christ has cleansed her and made her whole. We can meet the practical needs of those enduring intense suffering in Jesus’s name. Or we can simply bring our friends to God in prayer, asking Him to do greater things in their lives than we can do for them.

5. True friends love us for the glory of God – The world’s idea of intimacy in friendship is making much of one another: “I can’t live without you!” Compliments and pledges of devotion quickly give a brief and false adrenaline rush of importance and significance. We certainly need to encourage and affirm one another, but Christian friends should be far more focused on God’s weight and significance — not their own or their friend’s. Like everything else, the end goal of our friendships should be God and His glory. Since our hearts are prone to wander away and worship other things, we need these constant reminders of His glory and His worth in our friendships. (KELLY NEEDHAM)

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Easter 2018 Services

For more information, please contact our Church Office.

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