I ended 2016 and began 2017 in the house of God. At first I had apprehension it’s gonna be quite draggy with hours of praying and listening to sermons, but it turns out to be exactly the contrary. I mean yes, we spent time praying and listening the message and direction for the church in this new year but God’s presence was so palpable and spirits were high. Every worship is a resounding declaration of how God has been so real to the 4,000 strong congregation that packed the room. I had no idea celebrating New Year in church could be so refreshing.
The pastor shared his vision for the church in 2017, titled “Decade of Expansion”. He encouraged us to break out of the limitations we have physically or mentally and expand the horizon for our vision. This is especially important since we’re facing what the economists are predicting to be a slow year ahead. We need to discern the fact from God’s truth. Bad economy is a fact but the truth is God is still our provider and in control.
As for my personal direction for the year, the word I have is Responsibility.
I know it doesn’t sound sexy. In fact it sounds like impending hard work. But as I prayed over the word and seek God’s direction, I know this is the year that I need to rise up to the opportunities and be responsible for my own growth be it spiritually, career wise, etc. Events in 2017 are pre ordinate, but how I respond to them will determine the outcome of 2017 for myself. With that in mind, I want to be deliberate in being responsible and doing things as an example for others instead of finding the easiest way like there’s no one following.
While it’s easy to say how I want to do this and that because it’s still the holiday season, tomorrow my conviction will be put to test as the first work day of the year commences. I’m stepping into the new era of my life in faith for good days ahead (or at least God’s days) and not dwelling on former things.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”
Church Building Fund can somewhat be a controversial topic. However, last night was my church’s, Trinity Christian Centre, Vision Rally and the congregation submitted our faith promise for the Church Building Fund. As I was watched the amount of money being pledged, I’m proud to be part of a church that knows the importance of giving to the Kingdom of God.
I’ve experienced God’s love for me through the ups and downs of my life and I want to share of His goodness to as many people so that they too can experience God’s love. By giving to the church with the same mission, I’m building that dream of reaching out to more lives and it is also a sign of faith. e.g. we might not have 20,000 members but we’re building a facility to accommodate 20,000 people because we believe our members will grow to that size. Faith is believing in what we have not yet seen.
I know many people or you might still think it’s stupid to give so much to the church and the church is spending all these “donation” lavishly. To be honest, I don’t really care. I mean I’m happy that my church leaders have so far been transparent about how the church funds are being utilized. But if I belong to a church that misused the church fund, I might be disappointed with the management but it won’t stop me from giving to God. I give because I desire to see extension of God’s kingdom. That’s all. How the church uses the fund, is between them and God. Between me and God, I’m doing what I can to build the church. If the money I gave help to bring one person to come to know Christ, that is good.
I can understand why members left the church if they found out their tithe/church building fund is misused. But I don’t really understand if they choose to leave God altogether. When we placed our trust in man, they may fail us. But our God is still the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. May we continue to become a generous giver to the society and wherever we are placed.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”