Pastoral Exhortation

Do You Truly Follow Christ?

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 11 January 2015

Print

In Matthew 4:19, Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” This verse records the words which the Lord Jesus spoke to Simon and Andrew. This special invitation by Jesus Christ was first extended to those fishermen of Galilee. He took great pleasure in those people who were at the lower strata of society and offered them what they could not have otherwise inherited. These words are full of invitation, incentives and promises. They are for the joyful contemplation and obedience of all who have trusted Christ, regardless of their social status.

Firstly, we notice that herein is a warm invitation from our gracious Lord. He gently beckons us, “Follow Me.” He is sure of the way, for He Himself is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). What a great honour it is for us to receive an invitation from the Son of God to follow Him all the way to His glorious heavenly abode...

Secondly, He beckons us to accept His leading and demands total commitment from us. We cannot be halfhearted followers if we are to be partakers of the blessings unto which He is leading us. We must give Him our absolute allegiance. He makes no other demand here except that we faithfully follow Him.

Thirdly, He assures us that He will not fail to lead us. The words “Follow Me” are very assuring, for they bespeak Christ’s role as our unfailing leader. He is ready to lead us all the way. He does not give us any notion that at some point in our lives, He would desert us.

Fourthly, He gives us a personal promise, “I will make you fishers of men.” Simon and Andrew were only familiar with mending and casting nets. How could men, who had only been accustomed to boats, nets and fishes, be at home in preaching sermons? How could men of the sea become men of the Word? Nothing is impossible with the Son of God. Just as He promised, He used those fishermen of Galilee to conquer the souls of the rich and poor, the kings and peasants, the scholars and barbarians from around the world. We know, with hindsight from biblical and world history, that they became great soul-winners just as Jesus has promised.

Are you brought low by a sense of your own unworthiness? Do you feel that you can never be useful to lead men to Christ? Do not doubt any more. Accept His call. Follow Him and His will. Then His wisdom and power will transform you to be a soul-winner for His kingdom!

 

Youth Camp Testimonies (24th – 27th Dec 2014)

 

I thank the Lord for enabling me to attend this year’s youth camp. Thank God for the GYF committee who has laboured tirelessly in ensuring the smooth running of the youth camp, as well as the safety and protection of the youths. This youth camp’s theme is on spiritual growth and through Pastor’s messages, I’ve learnt that it is indeed very important to grow in the Lord. This divine work of God is an indication of being born again and God will be glorified through our growing faithfully in Him. Pr Andrew’s messages were a reminder to me to be careful of the hindrances that could choke my spiritual growth. Thank God for all the timely messages; I pray that I will not only be spiritually revived but also grow in the Lord.

Esther Quek

- - - - - - - - o o O O o o - - - - - - - -

I like to thank God for this camp as it has been a timely reminder to check on my spiritual growth. Thank God for the GYF committee for planning this camp for the youths. The messages on spiritual growth given by Pastor and Pr Andrew have edified me. In the new year 2015, I pray that I can achieve greater spiritual growth.

Benjamin Quek

- - - - - - - - o o O O o o - - - - - - - -

Thank God for the provision of an opportunity to study His Word in an environment of brief respite from the cares of the world. Thank God for sound, clear and strong preaching from His Word, and for the grace to comprehend it, for spiritual things are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:13–14). Thank God for grace and wisdom upon the preachers to deliver the messages at the camp, explaining and emphasizing the need for spiritual growth as well as divine provisions for it, and alerting us to the various forms of hindrances to spiritual growth.

Thank God for making me realise that spiritual growth is a divine work and an experience promised to every born-again Christian, which is necessary for the glorifying of God’s name, for the assurance of our salvation, and for preservation from backsliding as well as for the prevention of the reproach of Christ’s name. To this end, God has prepared various provisions, namely His grace, His Word and fellowship with Christ and with Christian brethren. Thank God also for the assurance that spiritual growth will not be impeded by circumstances God has providentially arranged if believers respond correctly to these situations with genuine understanding of God’s working of all things together for our good, and appropriate the Lord’s provisions for our spiritual growth. Thank God also for the exhortation to ‘put away childish things’ (1 Corinthians 13:11), that we might overcome our inhibitions and imperfections and grow to be fruitful in service, as well as to labour hard in all our God-given appointments while trusting in the Lord’s sufficient grace.

Moreover, I also learn the importance of praying for correct understanding and humble receiving of God’s Word, for deep conviction of God’s Word that is able to withstand trials and tribulations. Our faith must not merely be theoretical; our lives must be aligned to God’s Word in our seeking spiritual things over earthly preoccupations. Every portion of God’s Word He has helped us to understand should enable us to overcome hindrances to further learning of His Word. Thank God as well for teaching me the importance of Christian fellowship, that we may bring comfort to fellow Christians in times of suffering, be encouraged to maintain our testimony and be effective in our service for the Lord. In the process, we must not be ignorant of Satan’s devices in hindering our spiritual growth, ‘lest Satan should get an advantage of us’ (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Thank God also for the youth committee and various adults whom He has used to plan, organize and manage the camp. Thank God for the good turnout, physical provisions, physical facilities and weather at the campsite, including the rain on the second night of our stay that brought some relief in an otherwise warm and stuffy dormitory. Thank God for keeping the health and safety of the camp participants although the conditions on the campsite were not necessarily ideal.

Thank God also for the spiritual provisions in the camp, for mutually edifying and encouraging Christian fellowship, and especially for the prayer-time where we were able to give thanks to God for His goodness and to pray one for another. Thank God also for the morning devotions prepared for us in the camp booklet to align our hearts to the Word of God each morning, which helped prepare us to receive His Word preached later in the day.

May the Lord be gracious to revive all who have attended the camp, that we may zealously pursue spiritual growth and jealously guard against spiritual hindrances, seeking the Lord’s aid with humility in prayer. May the Lord also help us retain the precious lessons we have learnt from His Word and to rigorously apply them to our lives, trusting in God’s grace.

Leow Tze Yan, Valerie