Sunday, February 9, 2014

Walk Worthy of Our Calling

This Sunday, CCF was graced by the presence of Pastor Sam Lim as he discussed how we should walk worthy of our calling as believers of Christ. His singlish suggests that he is a Singaporean local, which is for me a great blessing seeing Singaporean pastor speaking in front of a Filipino congregation church.

He started the message with the main Bible verse:

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:25-32 New International Version (NIV)

In a capsule, he summarize the topic in three bullets:

  1. Our lives reflect the God we worship - sometime the only chance people know and see Jesus is through our lives.
  2. Putting off and putting on - putting off our bad habits and putting on Christ-likeness.
  3. Highly personal but never private - we are saved as individuals to be placed in a community.
Pastor Sam not only teaches Bible scripture he also shared with us practical ways how we can walk worthy of our calling. There are four ways, he highlighted:
  • Put on TRUTH. Put off FALSEHOOD (Ephesians 4:25)
 For love to be meaningful, it has to be expressed with the presence of truth.
  • Put on ANGER that is righteous. Put off ANGER that controls (Ephesians 4:26-27)
Just a single angry person affects the mood of the entire community, which could bring division to the congregation. He suggests that if you are angry, have a set of close friends to whom you can express your anger. Friends who would understand you. Friends who can tolerate your temper but will not tolerate your misconduct if you act on it.
  • Put on GENEROSITY. Put off THEFT (Ephesians 4:28)
Theft or stealing does not mean only taking things that are not yours. Theft comes in different forms - misuse of the property entrusted to us; extortion; not returning lost items etc. Generosity is recognizing God's authority to all the blessings entrusted to us. We should always remind ourselves that we are owners of nothing and stewards of everything.  We should ask ourselves, are we only generous with whatever is left from us? Because the true measure of generosity - it's not how much you give, it's how much left after you give.    

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Mark 12:43-44 (NIV)

  • Put on BLESSING. Put off CURSING (Ephesians 4:29-30)
Some people majored on spotting the mistakes of others. As child of God, be the person who speaks of encouragement and blessings to others.

But among all these ways, if there's one thing he wants us to remember that Sunday:
Put on CHRIST-likeness. Put off OLD SELF

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

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