Jurong Outreach

"whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ."


Leave a comment

Getting our feet wet

“And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest).  That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city.  Adam, that is beside Zaretan, and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.” (Joshua 3: 15-16)

I.   God gives the command

1.   For the priests that bare the ark, it was necessary—commanded that they get their feet wet in the flooded banks of the Jordan. (Joshua 3: 9-13)

2.  Likewise, the Christian is commanded to get his/her feet wet in teaching God’s word (Matthew 28:18-20)

II. God’s Instructions are clear and concise

1.  God did not leave it to Joshua’s discretion as to how to cross the river Jordan. (Joshua 3:9-13)

2. Likewise, God has given us specific instructions in evangelism.

A. The child of God is told to “Go” (Matthew 28:19; Mk16:15)

B. The child of God is told to “teach the Gospel” (Romans 10:14-17; Matthew 28:19; Mark 16: 15), and no other gospel or philosophies of men. (Galatians 1:8-9)

C. The child of God must teach God’s word in its entirety.  (2Timothy 3:14-17; 4:2-5)

III.  God promises to be with all those who obey Him.

He promised to be with Joshua and Israel (Joshua 3:7)

He promises to be with us as well. (Matthew 28:20)

IV.  Satan will try to flood the Christian’s heart with those things that would prevent him from obeying God, from “Getting his feet wet in Evangelism.”

A. The flood of fear—Satan wants us to be afraid to teach others about Christ.  He tries to make evangelism a frightening thing by creating misconceptions about it in the minds of Christians everywhere.  Some misconceptions are:-

1. You have to go far away from home to be involved in evangelism.—On the contrary, often times the most effective             evangelism is not accomplished by speaking to the masses on foreign soil.  It is done at home, work or school, sitting across dining room tables sharing a meal, one soul at a time; friends, co-workers, neighbours, family.  Don’t let Satan deceive you into thinking you are ineffective if you do not  teach in some foreign country.  While such is necessary and commanded, it is not the only form of evangelism.

2. I do not know enough to teach someone else.—Satan wants us to doubt our knowledge and ability to teach others.  While we will never know the answer to every question we may be asked, we must understand that there comes a time in every  Christian’s life when we ought to be teachers.  (Hebrews 5:12; 1 Peter 3:15) at the very least, the child of God ought to be able to share with others the plan of salvation, and the hope we have in Christ Jesus.  If we cannot do this, then perhaps this is where we need to begin our personal study of God’s word.

B. The flood of doubt—Satan wants the child of God to doubt that God will do what He has promised to do.  God has promised to be with us, but Satan wants us to feel alone and afraid.  Satan doesn’t want us to remember passages such as (Philippians 4:13)  “I  can do all  thingsthrough Christ which strengtheneth me.”   He magnifies our weaknesses in an effort to shrink our courage.  The child of God’s only defence against Satan in the word of God, for he hath said, I will never leave thee,  nor forsake thee.  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper,and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.  (Hebrews 13:5-6)

C. The flood of procrastination—Satan is the originator of Procrastination.  He loves to deceive man into always assuming there will be a tomorrow.  Forgetting that tomorrow is no guarantee.  (James 4:13-17)   Procrastination in evangelism is a sin.  It is a choice not to do today what we know we ought.  It is arrogant to assume there will be a tomorrow.  Teaching the lost should take precedence over all else.  This point is well Illustrated in Jesus reply to the man who asked to put off following Jesus until he buried his father.  Jesus told him to,  Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:60)   Stressing the importance of setting cares of the world aside and putting God first. (Matthew 6:33)

Getting our feet wet in evangelism is a command requiring both faith and obedience.  The child of God must continually resist Satan’s attempts to flood our hearts with fear, doubt and procrastination.  We must have the faith of Joshua, and the priests who were willing to get their feet we at God’s command.  When we obey God we know that HE will be with us and HE will do all that He has promised.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Remember the Duck

In his book, “Will Daylight Come?” Robert Heffler pens this moving illustration.

There was a little boy visiting his grandparent on their farm.  He was given a slingshot to play with, out in the woods.  He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target.  Getting discouraged, he headed back to dinner.  As he was walking back, he saw Grandma’s pet duck.  Just out of impulse, he let fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it.  He was shocked and grieved.  In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to see his sister watching.  Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch that day…  Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.”  But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today,  didn’t you Johnny?”  And then she whispered to him,  “Remember the duck!”  So Johnny did the dishes.  Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing, and Grandma said, “I’m sorry,  but I  need Sally to help me make supper.”  But Sally smiled and said, “Well, that’s all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help.”  And she whispered again, “Remember the duck!”  Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed!

After several days… of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, he finally couldn’t stand it any longer.  He came to Grandma and confessed that he killed the duck.  She knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, “Sweetheart, I know.  You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing.  But because I love you, I forgave you.  I was just wondering HOW LONG you would let Sally make a SLAVE of you.

Like Johnny, YOU and I are guilty of committing sin: “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God(Romans 3:23).

We CANNOT –DENY IT– or –HIDE IT–.

The GOOD NEWS (the Gospel) is that forgiveness is AVAILABLE!  Jesus died on the cross so that we can be forgiven of our sin. (Romans 5:8). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us

God has promised that: –IF WE WILL

place our trust in Him: (Hebrews 11:6), “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

repent of  our  sins  (2  Corinthians 7:9-10),  “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance:for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might  receive  damage by us  in nothing.  For  godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised  him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

be baptized (immersed) into Christ (Acts 2:38)  “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  (Galatians  3:27)  “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.. and live in faithful obedience to Him” (1 John 1:7),  “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

THEN HE WILL– wash away our sins.

You would think…  that once we receive forgiveness from God, Satan would leave us alone, but he doesn’t!  He CONTINUES to accuse us and tries to make us feel guilty.  That’s what he does best – HE’S AN ACCUSER.  (Revelation 12:10).  “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven,  Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which  accused them before our God day and night.”  Sometimes we make the mistake of listening to him – REMAIN a slave!

Forgiveness offers freedom – freedom from “GUILT” as well as freedom from “SIN”.

How long will  YOU allow Satan to make a SLAVE of you? Accept the Lord’s forgiveness by TRUSTING and OBEYING Him today!!!


Leave a comment

Balance in Service

There should never be a moment in a Christian’s life when we say there is nothing to do. There are always things to do when we live for the Lord. An important thing, then, is to keep a balance in our service. But we are not always consistent; at times we go off the rail in spite of best intentions.

Martha was just like any of us. She had the best intentions, but in this case she lost sense of her balance and allowed herself to get caught up in the rush of activities.

“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he (Jesus) entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word (Luke 10:38-39).”

She hurried into the kitchen to prepare a meal, perhaps also to prepare thirteen extra beddings for her unexpected guests. Meanwhile Jesus used the waiting time to teach his disciples, and Mary sat in listening. Martha was unhappy with her sister and grumbled to Jesus, perhaps loud enough so everyone in the room could hear her.

“Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me (Luke 10:40).”

She was implying, “I’m doing a lot of work; I’m preparing for my 13 unexpected guests. Have you noticed how hard I’m working for you?” There was both pride and self-pity in this. She wanted the admiration and sympathy of the Lord. Her complaint was also an indirect criticism of Jesus. She believed he had failed to notice that Mary was not helping.

Jesus chided Martha. You could sense the patience and tenderness in the Lord’s voice. “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things (Luke 10:41)…”

Firstly, Jesus addressed Martha’s need for attention. He did notice what she was doing. But her own self-pity blinded her to the fact that Jesus was aware of her efforts. The Lord reminded her that he knew and he cared.

Next, Jesus addressed Martha’s criticism of her sister. “Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her (Luke 10:42).” How many opportunities were there for anyone then to be a participant in one of Jesus’ private teaching sessions? Mary saw the opportunity and took it.

Finally, Jesus addressed Martha’s criticism of Him. He told her, “But one thing is needful. Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” In other words, he would not order Mary into the kitchen; she had made the right decision. Martha was wrong for implying that Jesus was not sensitive to her needs.

Please notice that Jesus did not scold Martha for not being in the study group. He approved of her working in the kitchen just as he approved of Mary attending class. Everyone would go hungry if Martha had not performed her role as a hostess.

We have to learn to be like both Martha and Mary; it would be right for Martha to join the class after she had carried out her responsibility as the hostess, but not before.

We need to spend time in God’s word, learning from the Lord and deepening our understanding of God and His will. But let us also learn that we have to make time for the hands-on work of the church: “to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction (Jas 1:27).”

Working hard in one area does not excuse us from the other. We cannot neglect Bible study and prayer because we are so busy with everything else. But we also cannot say we only want to attend Bible studies and refuse to contribute to other works of the church. Neglecting either one of them is not right.

Martha wasn’t wrong for choosing to work in the back, making provisions for her guests. Hospitality is a wonderful quality in any Christian. Her mistake was in expecting everyone to agree with her: Mary ought to have helped her and Jesus ought to have known better that she needed help.

There is much to do for our Lord while we remain here. We must learn to discern the times when to prioritise one thing over another. Balance is important. The Lord knows our devotion and works.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (1Corinthians 15:58).”


Leave a comment

The Carpenter

A story is told of two brothers, who lived on adjoining farms, but fell into conflict.  It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labour and goods as needed without a conflict.  Then the long collaboration fell apart.  It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days’ work” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?

“Yes,” said the older brother.  “I do have a job for you.  Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbour; in fact, it’s my younger brother.  Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us.  Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll do him one better.”

“See that pile of lumber by the barn?  I want you to build me a fence – an 8-foot fence – so I won’t need to see his PLACE or his FACE anymore!”

The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation.  Show me the nails… and the post – hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”  The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.  The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing.  About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.

The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.  There was no fence there at all.

It was a BRIDGE – a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other!  A fine piece of work, hand rails and all – and the neighbour, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched. “You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.”

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other’s hand.  They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder. “No, wait!  Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.

“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but I have MANY more bridges to build.”

In like manner, OUR sin has created an enormous chasm which has separated YOU and ME from our Heavenly Father (Isaiah 59:1-2).

But, because of His GREAT love for us, God sent His Son – a carpenter – to “build the bridge” whereby we may “return to God” – to receive forgiveness for our sins and be reconciled to Him (Mark 6:3; John 3:16; Roman 5:8-10).

Mark 6:3  “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James,  and  Joses,  and  of  Juda,  and  Simon?  and  are  not  his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.”

John  3:16  “For  God so  loved the world,  that  he gave his  only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Roman 5:8-10  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall besaved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Building the bridge of forgiveness to close this tremendous gap cost the life of Jesus as He paid the price for our sins on the cross.

1 Peter 1:18-19  “We may “cross the bridge” through our obedient faith – believing in Jesus and trusting Him (Acts 16:31), repenting of our sins (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), being baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38), and faithfully following Him for the rest of our lives (1 John 1:7).

Jesus said, “I am the Way (theBridge“), the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes (“crosses over“) to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6)

Have YOU crossed the Bridge of forgiveness and reconciliation to God?