At City Harvest’s Chinese Church service on Valentine’s day, Sun Ho preached a revelatory message on the love of the Father.
Valentines’ Day weekend was extra special at City Harvest’s Chinese Church service this year. Besides enjoying the first short film produced by Chinese Church’s members, the congregation also heard a message from Sun Ho, co-founder of City Harvest Church.
The service focused on the relationships. While the short film focused on the relationship between married couples, the sermon focused on the relationship between the heavenly Father and His children.
How can two people stay happy in a married life? The heart-warming film attempted to answer this question through a look at a day in the lives of a young married couple. Seeing that his wife has worked late the night before, the young husband cooks breakfast for her. He forgets to take out the trash, and worse, leaves behind documents when he sets out for work. His wife throws out the rubbish without complaint and even delivers the documents to his office. When her husband reaches home later that day, he sees the dishes sitting on the breakfast table and washes them with a smile.
It is that little things husbands and wives do for each other demonstrating accommodation and understanding, that go a long way in a relationship. In the film, the husband asks his wife if it is tiring to keep reminding him about things. She replies that God made Eve to be a helper to Adam, similarly, she was made to be his helper. She, in turn, asks if he is tired of doing all the housework since she does not like doing them; he replies that he does not mind.
Ho shared a message with the congregation about having a personal and intimate relationship with the heavenly Father. She shared her personal experiences in relation to the sermon to encourage the congregation.
The Holy Spirit inspired this sermon when He prompted Ho to go to Luke 11:2 in The Message Bible, during a pre-service prayer meeting a few months ago. The verse reads, “So he said, “When you pray, say, Father, Reveal who you are.”
In this generation where many are fatherless—through divorce and absentee fathers, for example—some people feel that God is a distant God while others might relate to God too formally, Ho said. There are also those who imagine God as someone waiting for them to make mistakes so He can mete out punishment upon them. Hence, many Christians find it easier to think of God as a Holy God, Great Creator, and the Mysterious and Powerful One.
“For them, to think of Him as a wonderful Father is hard,” said Ho. Jesus came to reveal who God is; He desires that each of His believers experience God as their Father.
Ho told the congregation about a prophecy she gave during the Emerge meeting last year. She strongly felt that it was a revelation for everyone in CHC: God sent His Son not just to overcome the death but to allow His children to commune with God. Jesus died so the children of God can develop a genuine love relationship with God.
In John 14, Jesus’ disciples, Thomas and Philip, did not understand Jesus when He told them that He was leaving them soon. “Jesus was using the situations to tell His disciples to seek reconciliation with the Father,” explained Ho. Jesus’ reply to Philip in John 14:9 set Ho thinking. She said, “It is possible to be extremely and busily involved in our ministries and miss the most important thing.”
“The essence of Christianity, everything of our existence and why do church is that we can have first-hand, intimate and personal revelation of God as our Heavenly Father,” Ho stated.
Ho also shared on the parable of the prodigal son from Luke 15. She wondered why the father would give his money away to the insensitive son without batting an eyelid. After receiving revelation from God, Ho finally understood. The father yearned for a heart-to-heart relationship with his son. By giving his son his inheritance, the father was giving his son unconditional love. It was an action showing that his son was more important than all his resources and reputation. He knew that one day, his son would return and he would be waiting for him with arms wide open.
“That is what God wants too,” said Ho. “God wants us to establish a relationship with Him more than our religious duties, time and money.”
Ho reminded the congregation that they are God’s beloved and are deeply loved by God. “When we have this revelation, we will have His presence, power and glory so the first thing each morning, think of God as your loving Father and how much He loves you.”
The service ended with an altar call for those who wanted to reconcile with God. It was a powerful time of healing and many fell under the power of the Holy Spirit.
The message touched the hearts of many in the congregation. “Today, I received the revelation from God that He loves me and He is my Heavenly Father,” said Yu Pei Shi, 33, a customer service executive. “Our earthly father may fail us, and we may not feel loved or may lead a broken life. But I have a loving Father who will support me, Who wants me to be the head and not the tail, Who loves me unconditionally,”
Anna Hsiao, 26, a trader shared, “I was depressed recently but hearing this sermon today, I want to open up my heart to God again. I know that God loves me and He is always with me through ups and downs. I was really moved by the Holy Spirit during the service!”
Her husband, Chan Jun Xiu, 25, a product engineer, said, “I saw a different side of Pastor Sun today. She has displayed her most honest side without hiding her past from us. Her sharing made me recall of my dark secrets which I surrendered to God today. I am no longer a person who puts on a mask to face people.”
This young couple also agreed with the message in the film that forgiveness and patience are essential in their marriage. Each partner should accept the other’s weaknesses and every couple should work towards complementing each other.