Arise & Build 2016: The Covenant Blessing
Kingdom abundance is based on a covenant God has made with His children. Kong Hee preached on the covenant blessing of God in City Harvest Church’s Arise and Build weekend.
Amidst a trying period for the church and difficult economic climate, City Harvest Church arose once again on the weekend of Nov 5 and 6 and gave to the church’s building fund. Arise and Build 2016 was a little different–instead of the usual four-month pledging, the members did a one-time giving on that weekend.
Delivering the message that weekend, CHC’s senior pastor Kong Hee reminded the members that the “power to get wealth” mentioned in Deuteronomy 8:18 is a covenant blessing.
He began with Psalm 25:14 where the Bible says, “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.”
“Our God is a God of secrets and the Holy Spirit helps us to unwrap these mysteries,” Kong said. “One heavenly secret is that God wants to empower us for kingdom blessings and abundance.”
Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” This means that kingdom abundance is based on a covenant God has made with His children.
Kong explained that a covenant is a spiritual contract or agreement initiated by God, built on well-defined terms and sealed by an oath. In Psalms 89:34, God says that He will not break His covenants. A covenant carries much greater weight than a promise. Because it is a covenant, as long as His believers do their part, God will do His part.
“Since it is not a promise, God is not moved by praying and fasting,” said Kong. “Many Christians are struggling financially because they are applying a wrong treatment to their problems. Praying and fasting is very very powerful, but its place is not in abundance and prosperity.”
The first time a covenant was mentioned, it was right after the flood in Noah’s time. In Genesis 8:22, God said, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” All throughout the Bible, “seedtime and harvest” refers to “giving and receiving”—it means to sow financial seeds and reap financial abundance in return.
Kong pointed the congregation to Abraham who walked under the covenant blessing of God. Isaiah 51:2-3 says that God has blessed Abraham and Jesus said in John 8:39, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham”.
Firstly, Abraham was the first tither recorded in the Bible. Abraham lived in a time when there was no Bible, so God must have revealed to him the secret of tithing, Kong said. The senior pastor recalled how he personally learned about tithing in 1980 and has never once missed giving his tithe since. One example of the power of faithful tithing was how, in 2001, the church managed to build their Jurong West campus debt-free even though majority of the congregation was youth.
Secondly, Abraham was generous. Proverbs 11:24-25 says that “the generous soul will be made rich”. Abraham was so giving that he was ready to give the most precious possession in his life—his one and only son, Isaac. Years later, David and Solomon built the temple at that same spot.
“The house of God is always built on the sacrifice of the generous,” Kong said.
Psalms 112:2-3 says, “His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches will be in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.” The blessings that Abraham had was still evident in Israel today.
“Our giving to God is not adding anything to Him, but receiving everything from Him and creating a future for ourselves.”
Kong went on to teach that God responds to giving in three ways:
Firstly, He releases divine favor upon the giver. Exodus 3:21 says, “And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed.”
“This means that you attract promotion and business, people will rush to do business with you because your giving provokes the release of divine favor.”
“This means that the Holy Spirit will give us divine ideas, insights and creativity.”
Kong gave Biblical examples of how God gave tithers divine ideas that caused them to prosper in their time. 2 Chronicles 26 recorded a young man called Uzziah who made engines on the towers to shoot arrows and his name spread far aboard.
Jesus, who was also a tither, always knew what to do. He fed the 5,000, gave the fishermen advice on where to fish; He was always able to find a solution.
Thirdly, the release of divine blessing on the works of the giver’s hands. The Bibles says in Psalms 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”
Without the blessings of God, there is no guaranteed for the future no matter how intelligent a person is.
Kong ended his message blessing the congregation with Haggai 2:18-19: “’Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid—consider it: Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.’”
by Dawn Seow