This year, City Harvest Church’s youths are being challenged to give their all to God.
Passion precedes power. Without passion, there can be no power.
This was the message Wu Yuzhuang, the CHC pastor overseeing Emerge, preached at the first Emerge meeting of the year, on Feb 24.
That set the tone for Emerge this year. The theme for Emerge 2017 is Passion; the focus is to help youths find and achieve their passion.
Wu told the youth that Jesus was passionate about the Word of God and about serving the purpose of God. The pastor’s prayer was that the young people of CHC would be like Jesus: passionate for the Lord, for His house and for His people.
Reading from Acts 1:3 and 8 (KJV), Wu explained, “The greatest power on the Day of Pentecost was released after the greatest expression of passion. If you have passion, you have power!”
He listed five things that passion produces: faith beyond logic, power to break new ground, intimacy with God, compassion for the lost, and holiness.
The story of the woman with the issue of blood illustrated faith beyond logic. Logically, the woman with the issue of blood could not and should not have touched Jesus.
“But her passion made her say: ‘if only I can touch the hem of Jesus’ garment’. Her passion drove her beyond logic. When she touched Jesus, He perceived power coming out of Him!” said Wu.
That woman’s passion broke new ground. In Matthew 14:35-36, people started bringing the sick to Jesus, who healed them.
In John 4:3-4, Jesus went to Samaria because He knew that there was a woman searching for God. While Jesus reached out specifically to the woman, the disciples passed her by. They were too preoccupied with buying food to notice her.
“Jesus told the disciples, ‘My food is to do the will of the Lord’. What about us? Are we hungry for the same things Jesus is hungry for?” Wu asked the youth. “If the 12 disciples can miss the woman, we can miss her too. But if you are hungry for the same thing as Jesus, you will have His passion for souls.”
In Luke 8:47-48, the Bible says that Jesus did not just heal the woman with the issue of blood, He made her whole—body, soul and spirit. Wu explained that Jesus wants all His followers to be whole, to be holy for Him.
“The things of this world have captured our flesh,” Wu warned. “They can control your mind, your imagination and fantasy; they tell us we can do anything in the name of passion. But the passion of this world will leave you burnt out.
“The passion for God, however, will never leave you feeling burned out; it will lead you to holiness. Let us be passionate for the Lord, and let Him lead us into His holiness,” Wu concluded.
PASSION IS ABOUT GOING FURTHER
The second Emerge meeting happened on May 28. Continuing on the theme of Passion, Wu opened his sermon with this statement: “Passion is all about going a little further”.
Sharing from Matthew 26 when Jesus was in Gethsemane, Wu elaborated on how it is Jesus’ nature to go a little further, to bless and give abundantly in His ministry.
Wu then shared his personal testimony of Jesus’ work in his own life. In his teenage days, Wu struggled with low self-esteem; church was a place he sought solace and love. Eventually, he was richly blessed with more than what he had initially desired.
“All I wanted was some love,” he told the youth. “But I got more than what I came for.
“Not only did Jesus give me some love, He forgave me of my sins. He healed me of my sickness, He gave me the power to overcome temptation. God cleansed me,
God washed me, He gave me a calling and purpose in my life.”
Using the story of the paralytic in Mark 2:5, Wu explained how Jesus went beyond what He was expected to do. Not only did He restore the man’s physical health, He also forgave him of all his sins.
However, Wu also emphasized that it was the determination of the man’s four friends that resulted in his physical and spiritual restoration. Likewise, Wu urged the youth to have the same strong determination and spiritual hunger in order to receive blessings and miracles in their lives.
The pastor challenged the youths to increase their spiritual hunger and passion in four areas of their lives: to go a little further to seek His presence, to see His purpose, to seek permanent change and to see people saved.
To illustrate the need for spiritual hunger, Wu used the story of the three wise men who were looking for the Messiah. Unlike the three wise men, the chief priests of that time knew exactly where to find Jesus, the purpose of His birth and what He was going to accomplish during His time on Earth. Yet, they did nothing to pursue Him.
Wu used this stark contrast in their attitudes to warn against complacency amongst Christians. He urged the youths not to become too comfortable in their walk with Jesus that they stop pursuing Christ.
“Let’s go a little further! Let’s come a little earlier! Let’s jump a little higher! Let’s clap our hands a little louder! Let’s go a little further to seek God’s presence!” he exhorted.
Wu emphasized that God has a purpose for every one of His children and it is only when His people learn to yield to Him that they are able to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.
“We need the power of God to change us; to transform us,” he said. “To change our values, to mold our characters and to alter our perspectives.”
Wu wrapped up the meeting by reiterating the urgent need for salvation emphasizing that soul winning should be the mission of all Christians.