In last weekend’s sermon, Pastor Kong Hee showed the church how the love of God can bring transformation to a person’s life. He encouraged the church to join him as he ventures into reaching the unreached people groups.
“Have a revelation of God’s love for you and learn to enjoy His love,” said Kong Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church as he opened his sermon on the weekend of Sep 9 and 10.
Moses had a close and intimate relationship with God. In Exodus 33, he asked God to show him His glory and when he saw just a fraction of God’s glory, his life was completely changed.
In Exodus 34:6-7, Moses described God as abounding in love. God forgives the iniquity and sin of those who come to Him in faith and repentance because wherever God is, there is an abundance of love.
LOVE IS THE SECRET TO THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Pastor Kong noted that when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, it was more than an outpouring of signs, wonders, miracles, and power—it was an outpouring of love (Rom 5:5).
“Love is the secret to the Christian life,” he continued to say. “If you miss this, you miss what it means to be a Christian.”
Loving Jesus is to have the desire to learn more about Him and to abide in His love. “Don’t be so busy that you miss the love of God. Enjoy His love and be changed by it,” Pastor Kong urged.
The more a believer keeps himself in the love of God, the more he will grow in his external life (Jude 1:21). The pastor told the church that whenever he feels tired, he will focus on the love of God. “The life of God energises and empowers me all over again,” he said.
Reading from Ephesians 3:19, Pastor Kong shared that the more believers allow the Holy Spirit to ground them in love, the more they will be convinced by that and be filled with the fullness of God.
Pastor Kong went on to cite various examples in the Bible, of men whose lives were transformed by the love of Christ. In Luke 19:1-10, the love of Jesus brought Zacchaeus, the tax collector, a miracle of salvation. Once he was materialistic and greedy, but when he encountered Jesus, he was completely transformed. He gave half his possessions to the poor and repaid those he cheated fourfold.
In Mark 1:40-45, the love of Jesus brought a leper the miracle of healing. Jesus could have simply said a prayer from a distance, but He reached out and touched the leper, showing him acceptance and love.
In Mark 5:1-20, Jesus braved the storm and crossed the sea to reach out to one man who had a legion of demons living inside him. “The devil cannot stand the presence of love,” Pastor Kong said. Jesus’ divine love brought the miracle of deliverance to the man and restored his dignity.
In Acts 4:32-35, the love of Christ brought the miracle of revival to the Early Church. The disciples served together in unity. Their tremendous love for one another brought great power for revival. Paul wrote that it was the love of God that compelled them to serve Him.
“That’s why despite the many challenges and hardship, Paul discovered the easy yoke and light burden,” Pastor Kong preached.
REACHING THE UNREACHED
The pastor went on to share that the Holy Spirit had been leading him in a new direction in recent years. “The Holy Spirit has placed in our hearts a love for unreached people groups,” he said.
Such a demographic is defined as a people group with less than two per cent Christians, with typically no church among them. One such people group exists in the Anambas Islands in Indonesia, where Pastor Kong recently visited with a team of seven.
It took the team half a day’s journey to reach the island. Upon arrival, they were mesmerised by the crystal clear waters of the island. The residents on the islands are mostly fishermen, and motorcycles are the primary mode of transportation on land.
The team visited a Pentecostal church with 70 members on the first day and held a meeting there that night. The next day was spent visiting the markets on the main island and travelling out to smaller islands to visit the villagers.
On the islands, they gave out stationery supplies to children and reading glasses to the elderly. They met with a few Christians and spent time encouraging them and praying for them. They also visited some homes where they prayed for the sick and even got to worship and pray with the families.
The team also visited an island where there were no Christians. They could only do prayer walks quietly and bless the villagers with crayons, chocolates and snacks.
In that short mission trip, Pastor Kong and the team identified three areas for potential churches to be set up in the island. He encouraged the members of CHC to join him on mission trips to Anambas Island in time to come. Admittedly, the journey and the condition on the island were not what city dwellers are used to, but the team experienced unity and joy on the trip. “It’s not easy, but we could sense the love of God and His love for the islanders,” Pastor Kong said.
Sharing from Ephesians 5:2, he reminded the church that while doing God’s work is important, God does not want His believers to serve out of guilt and obligation, but out of the overflow of His love.
Servanthood, carrying the cross and a sense of destiny are all important, but they need to be balanced by God’s love. If a person’s motivation to serve is to earn God’s love and approval, life would become wearisome.
He closed his sermon reminding the church that the Holy Spirit is the breath of life. In every breath, there is inhaling and exhaling. When God inhales, He draws His believers close to His heart, to enjoy His love. “As we enjoy Him in worship, we are so overwhelmed that His love is now overflowing out of us,” the pastor said.
God then exhales and sends His believers out, empowered by the joy and love they receive to share with others. When a believer embraces this, every day will be fulfilling and fun in God.