Executive pastor of CHC, Derek Dunn encourages church members to stay united in challenging times.
Contributed By Annabelle Low
Just after the Church Growth International Asia Conference 2010 concluded on Sunday, May 30, an unexpected news report on City Harvest Church appeared the following day which took many people by surprise.
In spite of it all, CHC members turned up in full force for the four services held at the Singapore Expo and Jurong West Street 91 last weekend. Helmed by the executive pastor of CHC, Derek Dunn and service pastor, Aries Zulkarnain, the service ran smoothly as usual and was anything but gloomy. Services on both Saturday and Sunday began as usual with songs of praise and worship to God, followed by the customary Holy Communion service and offering message. Members were also updated on the current status of investigations and were asked to keep the church and its leaders in prayer.
Dunn then preached a simple and practical message to remind members to strengthen themselves in the Lord. He referred to a passage from 1 Samuel 30:1-6, which showed David returning to Ziklag on a spiritual high, only to find that the Amalekites had raided Ziklag, burned it, and taken captive the women and all who were in it. Everything they had was taken away, and the people rose up in anger.
Dunn explained that whenever a bad situation or a crisis arises, there would be three common human reactions from a person: He would feel lost and confused; angry and bitter; and finally, he would start to shift blame. David was no exception as he too experienced great distress. However, the Bible says that David found strength in the Lord his God and using this as reference, Dunn then went on to share three ways to strengthen oneself in the Lord.
|CN PHOTOS: Alvin Low and Jere Chong|
The first way to strengthen oneself is through prayer. Another person in the Bible who understood tough times was Paul. He encouraged the Ephesian church in Ephesians 3:16, to pray that God would strengthen their inner being with His power and Spirit. It is through prayer that a believer can find peace. Therefore, the believer should always look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of his faith.
The second way to strengthen oneself in the Lord is through the Word of God which provides a strong foundation for the believer. Just like David who drew strength in God as recorded in Psalm 119:25, a believer too should strengthen himself by speaking forth the promises of God found in the Word.
Thirdly, one can strengthen himself by receiving revelation from the Lord and knowing the hope of His calling and purpose for one’s life. In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul encouraged the believers to forget the things that have happened and press on forward to the prize which God has called them to.
Dunn concluded his sermon by reiterating the importance of standing in agreement as a body of believers, because “the place of agreement is a place of power,” and a church with about 32,000 believers who love Christ can only come out stronger and better in Jesus’ name.
A Word Of Encouragement From Phil Pringle
“Hey, City Harvest Church, this is Pastor Phil Pringle here. I wanted to be with you in the service today, but I couldn’t make it and so I thought that we would send this video to let you know that we love you, we’re standing with you, we’re praying for you, and we’re believing with you as you face this very difficult and challenging moment in the history in the life of your church.
“Understand this. Jesus said, ‘I will build my Church,’ and that no trouble or trial that comes into the Church, or that the Church travels through, will ever bring an ultimate defeat. I have been pastoring for 40 years now and one thing I’ve come to understand is that the Church is extremely resilient and tough, and that tough material she is made of, is you and I—the people.
“As we stand together immovable and united, we will find ourselves emerging from any difficulty, any challenge, any trial, way more blessed than even when we went into the trial. God is big and there is no trial, challenge, or difficulty that any of us will face, individually or as a church, that is bigger than God is. Greater is He that is in us, the Bible says, than he that is in the world. We are going to find ourselves with victory in our soul as we stand strong and true, and keep walking through the trial to the other side.
“City Harvest Church is a leading church in the world. You have accomplished so many marvelous, unbelievable, incredible things for the Kingdom of God and still are. So I know that God has plans for your future that are enormous and are wonderful. He has so many great plans for City Harvest Church in the future, and I know that as you and I stand together, and believe together, and pray together, we will see His plan come to pass. “This is not the time for falling to the side but actually for staying strong and being true and say ‘You know what? We gonna pray together, and stand together and we will see ourselves through into the future and grasp the vision that God has for City Harvest Church and we will see a great plan unfold before us.’
“We love you and rest assured that all things work together for good to those who love God. God bless you.” ~ Transcribed by Reuel Eugene Tay