Executive pastor Bobby Chaw preached a thought-provoking message on the first weekend service of 2016.
The first City Harvest service of the year on Jan 3 started with a bang: the smiles on the music team’s faces shone brighter than the spotlights on the stage as they led the church in praise and worship.
Their rendition of “Back Where I Belong” was particularly uplifting, encouraging CHC members to continue staying rooted in this house of God. The service was immersed in an atmosphere of faith and hope from start to finish.
This weekend was also special for the fact that it was the first time pastor-in-charge of missions and Dean of the School Of Theology, Bobby Chaw, preached a full message at the English service.
He preached a message on two famous brothers in the Bible, Cain and Abel. One was a farmer and one was a shepherd, and their outlooks and attitudes towards God and giving was something we could all learn from. Both brothers gave differently: Abel gave a lamb while Cain brought his harvest as an offering. The Lord showed respect towards Abel, but did not honor Cain and his offering.
Opening the message with 2 Corinthians 8:12, Chaw said that since God accepts us regardless of who or what we are, it was clear that Cain’s problem did not lie with what he brought as a offering.
Chaw challenged the congregation by asking them, “What is your response when God’s answer is no?”
Referencing 2 Corinthians 5:21, Chaw encouraged the church, saying, “Whenever there’s sin, there’s sin offering as well, so each time you think you are going to fall into sin, Jesus is there to save you too.” He added that we need not focus on the despair of the sin, but we can choose to focus on the grace of God and the way out that He has provided for us.
Drawing on how Cain became jealous of Abel and eventually murdered his brother, Chaw shared Romans 7:25 with the church and emphasized that unresolved bitterness or anger always bring forth death—death in a relationship, separation, drifting apart. Thus, addressing this bitterness and anger and resolving whatever sin one has is crucial.
Chaw broke the sobriety with a joke that one should not worry if he or his children were named Abel, even though the original Abel was murdered by his brother. Instead they should rejoice, because in the Bible, Abel is remembered today as one who brought forth his best, choicest first offering to God, and nothing less.
It was apt that Chaw reminded the church at the first service of the year that the Christian faith is an “in spite of” faith. He added that whatever this year might throw at us, we should continue trusting and believing in God’s promises.
Sharing from Colossians 3:23, Chaw said, “It is not what is going on in your life that matters, but what is going on in your heart that matters.” He exhorted the congregation to guard their hearts and to constantly be positive and focus on His Word instead of the world. He ended the service with these words, “If your attitude is wrong, you will lose your destiny.”
It was a timely reminder that one’s attitude determines one’s altitude, and each City Harvest member should go from strength to strength in this brand new year and go further in his walk with God.