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REDISCOVERING CHURCH

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REDISCOVERING CHURCH

Preaching By Sis Jasmine Magcalas

Summarised by JILC Publishing Ministry

Scripture:  But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people.

You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.

As a result, you can show others the goodness of God,

for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

“Once you had no identity as a people;

now you are God’s people.

Once you received no mercy;

now you have received God’s mercy.

1 Peter 2:9-10 The Message (MSG)

We do not play church. We do not do church. We do not attend church, because we are the church. God has designed, identified and called us.  It is vital that we know our purpose and rediscover God’s intention for the church, otherwise we would be missing the whole point and we all end up in tragedy.

The church of Corinth had come a long way from God’s original design.  The Apostle Paul has written an open letter by reminding the church about their calling in the hope that they will rediscover God’s beautiful plan for His chosen people.

CHURCH IS CALLED TO BE HOLY (1 CORINTHIANS 1:1-9)

We are reminded of our high calling and our position in Christ. The Greek work ‘Ekklessia’ means “a called-out people”. We have all been set apart by God and for God’s enjoyment and use. We are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be His holy people. God has graced us and enriched us in every way- with all kinds of speech and knowledge. We do not lack any spiritual gifts for it has all been given to us through our Lord Jesus. The God who called us is faithful and is able to bring us and keep us firm to the end, so that we will be blameless on the day of God’s return.

In Corinth, the church was defiled as they lived in compromise and accepted sexual immorality and also arrogant about it. They were living a life full of wickedness, sin, greed, envy, and murder. The Lord rejects all kinds of defilements. Acceptance of any forms of defilement in the church is wrong, for a defiled church is not that is seeking God’s will.

CHURCH IS CALLED FOR FELLOWSHIP AND SERVICE (1 CORINTHIANS 10-25)

Division in the church is always a problem. There were quarrels among the Corinthians, that is why The Apostle Paul addressed the people of Corinth to live in unity and harmony, to be perfectly united in mind and thought. He reminded them that Christ alone has the power and wisdom above all. Even of Paul and Apollo’s, Christ is Supreme above them.

It is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 1 Corinthians 1: 19.

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human hands.” 1 Corinthians 1:25

We are called into fellowship because of our union with Jesus Christ. He was crucified and died for us. We were baptised in His name. We have been identified and reconciled with God through Jesus Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross. We have been called into one family, knitted together and perfectly joined together in the name of Jesus Christ.

People in the church are diverse, but this should not create disunity. In fact, the Lord himself loves diversity. In 1 Corinthians 12, the church is compared to a body with many parts. Each having a distinct role to play and a specific function. There would be no sense if all of us were to do the same thing.  God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. Being in one body and with same Spirit, we should not take others for granted, as they also are a necessary part of the whole. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.

In 1 Corinthians 13, it shows us that love is the excellent way and the greatest foundation of our service. Love is indispensable. Church membership is founded on love;  authentic, biblical, unconditional love.”

 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,] but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3

CHURCH IS CALLED TO GLORIFY GOD

We care called to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, for our Father delights in the glory of His son. We do not glory ourselves, but we give glory to the One who deserves it all. The grace we have received from God, leaves no room for personal boasting.  What we were and what we are now is because of God’s works in us.

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-31

“The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23 – 24

God is calling His church, his Bride

Commissioned for the great mission

Enabled to strengthen the weak

To uplift the oppressed

To bring comfort to those who are mourning and in need

Enabled and established to accomplish great things

So, the glory of the One true King might be displayed and bring honour and glory to Him.

Wake up all sleepers it’s time to set those eyes on The One.

Let the grace of God overflow and drown the pride of life and unify His Bride.

Let us learn all the more as we open our hearts and our ears to hear His loving voice saying,

“I am your beloved, You are mine.”

Let us all delight in His shade and taste His goodness.

Let us be light in the dark

Let us stoke the fire and keep it burning

Burning as we all serve.

Open our eyes

Fix them on the prize!

Let everything, Yes everything be poured to the One true King!

Hail Jesus!

Receive all the glory, honour and adoration!

All the reverence we give to You Our Lord and King!

~~A poem by Jasmine Magcalas~~

THE SEVEN CHURCHES IN REVELATION REPRESENTS

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THE SEVEN CHURCHES IN REVELATION REPRESENT

Preaching by Pastor Neo Doce

Scripture: Revelation 2 and 3

The Book of Revelation addresses seven letters to seven churches in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) (Revelation 2-3). Each letter, as proclaimed by Jesus and recorded by John the Apostle, declares the triumphs and failings of the recipient churches and warns each congregation to repent. The advice in these letters is prophetic, forewarning present-day Christian communities of the snares that can lure us away from our faith.

1. Ephesus – The Church that Has Abandoned Its Love for Christ and His Teachings(Revelation 2:1-7)

Ephesus was the prominent commercial and cultural centre of Asia. Christ’s letter to the Ephesian church praises the congregation for its “deeds…hard work…and perseverance,” and for its rejection of false apostles (Revelation 2:2-3).

Despite its hard work and doctrinal integrity, Christ faults the community for having “forsaken the love [they] had at first” (Revelation 2:4). This “forsaken love” can mean that the Ephesians had become less devoted to Christ or that the work they did was no longer motivated by love for one another. The letter to the Ephesian church does offer the community hope if they repent and rekindle their love for Christian living (Revelation 2:5-7).

2. Smyrna – The Church that Remains Faithful Amidst Persecution (Revelation 2:8-11)

Smyrna was home to a large Jewish community hostile to Christians. The Bible notes that slanderous accusations by Jews against Christians had led to Christian persecution by Roman authorities (Acts 14:2, 19: Acts 17:13).

Christ’s revelation to Smyrna commends the community for its material poverty but spiritual wealth and acknowledges its wrongful persecution (Revelation 2:9). Christ does not reprimand this church but warns of impending imprisonment for some of its members, urging them to remain faithful “even to the point of death” and remember the promise of their “victor’s crown” (Revelation 2:10).

3. Pergamum – The Church that Compromises Its Beliefs  (Revelation 2:12-17)

The city of Pergamum was renowned for its pagan practices. The letter to the church there lauds the congregation for upholding its faith despite the city’s pervasive pagan influences (Revelation 2:13). The letter then addresses the church’s sin by denouncing some of its members for following false teachings that brought about religious and moral compromise (Revelation 2:14-15).

The Lord calls on the community to repent or risk the judgment that will emanate from the “sword of [His] mouth” (Revelation 2:16). Those who repent will be given the “hidden manna” that is the grain of Heaven (Psalm 78:24), and a “white stone” or clean slate with a new identity in Christ (Revelation 2:17).

4. Thyatira – The Church that Follows False   Prophets (Revelation 2:18-29)

Thyatira was a wealthy commercial city. Jesus’ letter to Thyatira praises the church for having grown in faith and service (Revelation 2:19). The church’s downfall was its devotion to a false prophet that led some members to commit idolatry and immorality (Revelation 2:20). Although the false prophet remained unrepentant, Jesus affirms that the congregation can still repent by turning away from the prophet’s ways (Revelation 2:21-22).

The Lord reminds us in this revelation that He will repay each of us according to our deeds (Revelation 2:23). The payment for sin is death. Those who persevere in faith, however, will receive a share of Christ’s messianic authority over all nations and triumph over death (Revelation 2:26-28).

5. Sardis – The Church that is Spiritually Dead  (Revelation 3:1-6)

Sardis was a city that had endured two surprise attacks despite its fortifications. Our Lord faults the church in Sardis for maintaining an outward appearance of being “alive,” while actually being spiritually dead (Revelation 3:1). Alluding to the city’s history of prior surprise attacks, Jesus warns the congregation to “wake up” and repent, lest he “come like a thief” to bestow His judgment (Revelation 3:2-3).

Those in Sardis who heed Christ’s warning will be “dressed in white,” a symbol of purity and victory, and will be acknowledged in Heaven’s Book of Life (Revelation 3:5).

6. Philadelphia – The Church that Patiently Endured Despite Weaknesses (Revelation 3:7-13)

Philadelphia was home to a synagogue community hostile to Christians. Christ praises the Philadelphians for remaining faithful in the face of trials despite their limited strength (Rev. 3:8).

Jesus does not reproach this congregation but condemns its persecutors. (Revelation 3:9). Christ promises that if Philadelphia’s congregants remain faithful to Him, He will protect them from the “hour of trial” and make them pillars in God’s heavenly temple (Revelation 3:10-12).

7. Laodicea – The Church with a Lukewarm   Faith (Revelation 3:14-22)

Laodicea was a prosperous industrial and commercial centre. Jesus’ letter to this church wastes no time denouncing the congregation for its lukewarm faith, threatening to “spit” the congregation out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16).

Christ scolds this church for allowing its economic prosperity to cause it spiritual bankruptcy and reveals that, despite its economic wealth, only He can provide spiritual wealth (Revelation 3:17-18). Those in Laodicea’s church who open the door to Christ will share in His Heavenly banquet and have the right to sit with Him on His throne (Revelation 3:20-21).

Declaration of the JIL Church Worldwide Distinctive

The JILCW believes that the church to be raptured is a glorious church: without spot, wrinkle or blemish and is an embodiment of the following attributes:

1.Worshipping Church
We are a Church that consistently takes part in experiences of GOD’s love and forgiveness and is unashamed to present our love to GOD. As a Church, we seek to lead others to truly see, hear and experience GOD’s presence and to show how they, too, can be confident in discovering, responding and expressing their love to GOD.

2. Healing Church
We are a Church that testifies to the holistic healing that GOD gives to the hurt, the sick and the lost. As a Church, we recognise the power and willingness of the Great Physician to heal the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual wounds of every man, woman and child and thus undertake to be used as both testimonies and instruments of GOD’s healing ministry.

3. Soul-Winning Church
We are a Church whose heart feels the heartbeat of GOD for the salvation of perishing souls.
As a Church, we exemplify a lifestyle of evangelism so that souls are won for the eternal Kingdom of GOD.

4. Praying Church
We are a Church whose backbone and life blood is Prayer. As a Church, together with the Body of CHRIST, we fight the good fight of faith in prayer and fasting, intercession and spiritual warfare with corresponding action.

5. Visionary Church
We are a Church with glorious prophetic destiny. As a Church, we endeavour to reach the realization of GOD’s glorious Vision through wholehearted obedience, devotion and commitment, Spirit-led and strategic planning under His Divine Enablement. As a Church, we believe we cannot do anything apart from GOD, but we can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens us.

6. Spirit-Filled Church
We are a Church whose way of life is to seek out the Spirit’s baptism as well as His anointing in everything – praying, sharing, preaching, teaching, listening, performing, writing and so forth. As a Church, we humbly submit to the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit in doing the works of GOD in the church and society.

7. Nation-Loving Church
We are a Church called to zealously love our country, believing that every nation must be under the Lordship of JESUS CHRIST. As a Church, we accept our divine mandate to love our country by influencing and transforming every pillar of society – church and family, government, business and economics, education, science and technology, media and entertainment, arts, and environment – through programs, projects and other ways and means that trumpet truth, justice and righteousness. 

8. Faith-filled Church
We are a Church that puts our absolute trust in the revelation and power of the Living GOD. 
As a Church, we live with absolute confidence on GOD’s sovereignty and guidance, acknowledging His power, knowledge and presence in every part of our life.

9. Prophetic Church
We are a Church who firmly believes that our GOD also reveals His Word, will and instructions through His genuine Prophet to the nation and the Body of CHRIST. 
As a Church, we recognise GOD’s commands and revelations and pursue the fulfilment of His glorious plan for the Church and nation.

10. Apostolic Church
We are a Church that submits to spirit of apostolic leadership established and ordained by the Living GOD through JESUS CHRIST. As a Church, we operate and experience the blessings of the five-fold ministry gifts that empower our dynamic apostolic church gloriously reflecting the character and power of the Living GOD and effectively reaching all parts of the world through evangelism and church planting. 

11. Giving Church
We are a Church that faithfully lives according to the Biblical principle teaching us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. As a Church, we seize every opportunity to selflessly and cheerfully give to His Ministry and to the people in need.

12. Serving Church
We are a Church that follows the example set by our LORD JESUS CHRIST in genuine humility and Godly servanthood. As a Church, we devise and spearhead programs and projects that enable us to passionately serve God, His Ministry, our country and the rest of the world.

JESUS IS LORD OVER MY CHURCH

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“Upon This Rock, I Will Build My Church”

Preaching by Pastor Ricky Rontales

Scripture: Matthew 16:13-18

13 Jesus went to the territory near the town of Caesarea Philippi, where he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14 “Some say John the Baptist,” they answered. “Others say Elijah, while others say Jeremiah or some other prophet.”

15 “What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 “Good for you, Simon son of John!” answered Jesus. “For this truth did not come to you from any human being, but it was given to you directly by my Father in heaven.

18 And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it.

19 I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

18 And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it.

19 I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

We can relate this passage to the context of God having a plan for us – for our church. Having this assurance gives us feelings of great comfort and safety that in any circumstance, He will build up and empower us to be the persons He designed us to be. In Matthew 6:18, Jesus describes Peter as being a small rock (Petros in Greek), and Himself, as the bedrock (Petra in Greek) upon which His Church shall be built.

The Greek word for church is “Ecclesia” which means “to call out”. The church described is not a physical structure, but a group of Christians empowering each other through fellowship, prayer and worship, all for one purpose- declaring the Lordship of Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:25 “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another…”

It is crucial for us to be built on a solid foundation. As to building a structure, it needs to be built on something that could hold it in its place. Without a solid foundation, whenever a test of our faith is encountered, we would be shaky and unstable which would then lead to a collapse.

1 Corinthians 3: 10-11 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

Isaiah 59:19 “… When the enemy shall come in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”

“Church, if you want to remain strong, stand on solid ground – the Cornerstone of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Lordship of Jesus Christ

When we declare that Jesus is Lord over our lives, it means that He is our Master. And being our Master, we give him the authority over our mind, spirit, possessions, life, and even death.  It is because of His love that we are empowered to love and obey Him. We were given the capacity to follow His commands and have the passion to worship and bring pleasure to our King.

“The more we love God, the more we will obey Him.”

Deuteronomy 6:5
“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

Understanding the Christology of Jesus Christ

The scripture reveals that the Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who always existed with the Father and the Holy Spirit. It is this sinless union of the divine and human natures which qualifies Him to be the only sacrificial mediator between God and man, His death would pay for our sins.

Philippians 2:5-11 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Christology studies the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:5-11 displays how Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not lift Himself up, but surrendered himself to the will of His Father, embracing humanity and servanthood that He may be the perfect illustration of God’s love for us, and how we should love and find delight in Him as His people.

Pre-existence and Eternality of Christ

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God.All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”

Jesus Christ (the Word) was already there in the beginning – before everything was brought to existence. This unfathomable truth is something our mortal minds can never grasp. He is sovereign and absolute.

Christ’s Eternal Purpose

  • To Save us

Romans 5:8

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

  • To Restore us

1 Peter 5:10

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”

  • To Present us to the Father

John 19:30

“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

Jesus laid down His life to save us, to restore us, and to present us to the Father. God brought His Son into the world so that we may be saved from His wrath and that we would be brought back to our “original state” – free from the consequences of the disobedience of man, and into everlasting life. Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we are presented to the Father, clean, blameless and free from sin.

The Church’s Divine Mandate

The Function. It is our responsibility as God’s stewards to function according to our calling. Without a functioning body, the Church will not survive.

The Destiny. Our life’s testimony matters. The future of the Church lies on who God uses, and how we use the gifts imparted to us so that we, in the future, be an inspiration to the generation to come. God deserves excellence and nothing less.

We have been given the spiritual authority through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that even the gates of hell will have no power over us – God’s Church.

“The Church deserves excellent ministry, and ministry deserves quality leadership.”

PROCLAIMING THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS

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“The Light Of The World”

Preaching by: Pastor Bong Puyat

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:5-7 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

Not My Light, But His

When we proclaim the Lordship of Jesus, the light of God is continuously seen in us. Whether we are in the church, at home, or at work. In all that we do, and everything we achieve, it is God who is working “behind the scenes” – the great orchestrator, who created and continues to enable us.

Being the light of this world means that we understand that it is not our light, but His alone. It means that in everything we go through, may it be in defeat or accomplishment, we recognise that it is all because of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  2 Corinthians 4:6-7

“I am the vine you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Our lives are completely dependent to the Lord. A branch cannot function when detached form the Vine- the source of its sap and nourishment. So are we, we cannot function and bear fruits apart from Him. We need to be connected to our Lord Jesus. He is the very reason why we live and move and have our being.

But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so, the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Jeremiah 18:4

“We are containers into which God poured His light.”

The Purpose Of His Light

The movie “Hacksaw Ridge” depicts the life of Desmond Doss, a devout follower of Christ during World War II who volunteered as a medic to serve his country. He was mocked and ridiculed because of his dedication to Christ and his belief of going into war without carrying any firearms. Having faced with all the discouragements, he was able to save 75 soldiers on his own and he did it without ever carrying a weapon.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, whichGod prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, Hebrews 10:24

“The hallmark of Christianity is showing good deeds.”

“The greatest formula as we proclaim Jesus Christ is His love, nothing else.”

John Was A Lamp That Burned and Gave Light

John stood for Jesus

John the Baptist, knowing the sins and wrongdoings of Herod, one of the tetrarchs, stood up and rebuked these acts knowing that it would mean trouble, even at the cost of his life, to oppose someone in power. He knew that who he was up against was no greater than who he stood up for – Jesus our Messiah.

John stood up for righteousness

But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison. Luke 3:19-20

As representatives of Christ in this present day, where “Compromised Christianity” is rampant, it is of utmost importance that we take a stand on what is right and Biblical. We should bear in mind that there’s no “middle ground” or “grey area” in our faith if we are to be the light of the world.

VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

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VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

Preaching by Pastor Neo Doce

Summarised by JILC Publishing Ministry

Scripture:1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

  • OUR TESTINGS BECOME OUR GREATEST TESTIMONIES

It is not uncommon for any believers to go through hills and valleys in life. Each of us has our own share of struggles and frustrations, difficulties and failures.   We have our own fears and doubts and unbelief. Yet, its purpose is not to totally crush us but that we would be able to come out on the other side, with a refined character and with a greater faith.

            Our great stories and testimonies are often birthed when we go through seemingly hopeless situations. It is when we have exhausted all our efforts and find ourselves again on our knees that God works wonders and miracles in us. We experience Him more when we are in the deep waters. God always rescues and delivers us with His righteous right hand. Our answered prayers are proof that God is listening to our cries.

  • OUR MESS BECOMES OUR POWERFUL MESSAGE

We were all wandering in different directions until we met Jesus. Suddenly,

            our lives are never the same again. God found us in our miserable and sinful state, but He did not leave us there. He carried us on His arms and allowed us to experience His love and transforming power. We can all testify how God lifted us up from the miry clay and that is our message of hope and love. Our God is able to turn our mess into a powerful message. And this is true until now.

God invited us to come to His table to experience all that He is. He puts His Holy Spirit in us, transforming us from glory to glory. “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

He turned our heart of stone to a heart of flesh. We are new creation in Christ Jesus- the old has gone, the new is here! 1 Corinthians 5:17.

  • THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST THAT GIVES US THE VICTORIES

Through our God we have a victory in Jesus name. Our enemy has been defeated 2000 years ago at the cross of Calvary where Christ overcame sin and death. We are set free and victorious in Christ. He is our banner over all our battles. Thus, we call all say, “Victory, victory is mine! Hallelujah!”

Even though our hearts and flesh may fail, God is the strength our hearts and our portion forever. Psalm 73:26.

Let the weak say I am strong Let the poor say I am rich because of what the Lord has done for us.  

Conclusion:

√ Only God can turn our Testing into our Great Testimonies.

√ Only God can turn our Miserable life into a Powerful Message to the whole World.

√ Only God can turn our Trials into Triumph.

√ Only God can turn our Wrong Decision into Conviction and Realisation.

√ Only God can turn us from being a Victim into Victorious.

“TO LIVE IS CHRIST”

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“TO LIVE IS CHRIST”

Preaching by Pastor Rene Sanqui

Summarised by JILC Publishing Ministry

Scripture: “For me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.”-Philippians 1:21

How do we define success? We probably have different answers, but our definition of this word has a great impact to the way we live our lives. It dictates the direction of our lives. When we view success as having the abundance of material things and accumulating worldly wealth, then the tendency is for us to be working towards attaining it. In a biblical context, success surpasses all the things that we could ever accumulate but rather it is having Jesus Christ our Lord and as our real treasure. Christian’s success is when we are able to live our lives for Christ as what Paul’s confesses in the book of Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” This is what Apostle Paul wants, that we understand what really matters, so that we will be able to live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return (Philippians 1:10).

“Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope.”- Rick Warren

  • LIVING AS CITIZENS OF HEAVEN (Philippians 1:27-30)

As Christians we have our identity in Christ and our citizenship is in heaven. We have the privilege of both trusting God and suffering for Him at the same time. It means that when we become Christians, God did not promise us with an easy life as what others think it would be. In fact, there would be struggles and sufferings of all kinds. Yet, even though we have to go through difficult and painful moments, God is telling us that the fulfilment of His Statutes- His Words and His promises to us, will surely come. And having the Supremacy and Sovereignty overall, He watches and upholds His people and those who love Him.

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

  • LIVING WITH THE ATTITUDE OF CHRIST (Philippians 2:5-11)

Our inclinations to ourselves and our achievements and entitlements often become a source of our bragging and pride in our hearts. We think highly of ourselves and we sometimes demand things we think we deserve. Human nature is exactly opposite to what Jesus Christ demonstrated to us- He modelled a life of humility. He gave up His rights, privileges and entitlements. Although He was in very nature God, He did not consider equality with God. He gave up His divine rights, humbled Himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross! This is the life that Christ wants us all to imitate.

The moment we cling onto your rights, privileges and entitlements is the moment we lose your sight of Christ.”

“Humility is never a weakness. Humility is a sign of strength.”

Philippians 2:5-11 New Living Translation (NLT)

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Though he was God,
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges
    he took the humble position of a slave
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honour
    and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

  • LIVING BRIGHTLY FOR CHRIST (Philippians 2:12-13)

We should work hard to show the results of our salvation. We should have no room for complacency. We need to hold firmly to the Word of life and desire a life that pleases God. For God Himself would give us both the desire and the power to do whatever pleases Him.

Our salvation must bear fruits and that is by denying the desires of our sinful nature. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.” – Galatians 5:22-23

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:12-13)

Rejoicing in the Lord is a way of living brightly for Christ. This joy should be manifested in our lives as we are in Christ. In Philippians 4:4, it says,” Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify      your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 King James Version (KJV)

God’s Heartbeat For The Nation

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(The Book of Jonah)

Preaching by: Pastor Rene Sanqui

Summarised by: JILC Rockdale Publishing Ministry

God has certainly have plans for our nation. He is the one who appoints leaders to redirect and lead the nations. In Daniel 2: 21 it says, “It is He who changes the times and the seasons; he removeth kings and setteth up kings.”  In the old testaments, we can see how the Lord uses ordinary men to preserve the nation of Israel.  From the story of Joseph, the dreamer, he was used by God to protect his family from famine and the Lord made them into a great nation. Moses, who had to run for his life after murdering an Egyptian was used by God to lead the Israelites to the Promise land. Queen Esther was used by God to save the Jewish nation.  All these ordinary people were used by God to accomplish extraordinary things. This is a great encouragement to us all that no matter how unfit or unqualified we may think of ourselves, the Lord can still use us to accomplish great things. He is the one who will enable and who bestows power and authority to his chosen people (Romans 13:1)

The Book of Jonah reflects God’s heart towards His nation and His people. The land of Nineveh was a land of convicted murderers. Its people had drifted away from God and chose to live in wickedness. Hence, God ‘s plan is to save and to deliver them.

GOD’s BUSINESS.  God is in the business of calling ordinary individuals.

In the story, Jonah was commanded by God to preach against the City of Nineveh, but he refused to obey and went to opposite direction. We can learn from this story that God is the God of second chances. Although Jonah failed to obey at first, but the Lord redirected him to his call.

  • Our simple act of obedience could lead to someone’s salvation.
  • God is calling ordinary people who would not make excuses but rather obey.
  • One step of obedience could be use by God to really capture your God-given purpose.

GOD’s MESSAGE.  God’s message calls for humility, repentance and transformation.

A call for humility

“Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”  When the people of Nineveh heard this message from the Lord, they believed it, a fast was proclaimed and all of them from the greatest to the least put on sackcloth. Even the King of Nineveh, rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.

  • When we receive a message or any warning that comes from the Lord, this will make us see the authority of God and will make us realise our need of God.
  • Humility is not as the same as timidity nor insecurity.
  • Humility is being under the authority of God.
  • There is power and authority in the word of the Lord.
  • We need to have the humility of hearts and acknowledge the authority and power of the Lord and obey the command of the Lord.

“The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63

A Call for Repentance

In Jonah 3:8, everyone in Nineveh call urgently to the Lord, they confessed their sins, they repented earnestly to God.

  • We have all sinned against the Lord.
  • Repentance is personal, absolute, ultimate, unconditional surrender to a Sovereign God.

A Call for Transformation

“Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.”

  • The message that was delivered by the Lord through the life of Jonah brought transformation of hearts and lives.
  • Through the Word of the Lord, there is newness of life in Christ. The old has passed away and the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • It is time for us to really pray and fast for our nation. Like the people of Nineveh, they prayed, fasted and humbled themselves and God listened to their prayers.

God’s Heartbeat

John 3:10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

  • God’s love for his people is so great that instead of destroying the city Nineveh right away, he did not do it. He called an ordinary man, Jonah to warn his people.
  • The Lord’s heart beats for the nation. He loves the nation that He founded and created.
  • In Jonah chapter 4, God’s allowed Jonah to see a leafy plant grew and withered so that Jonah will capture and understand God’s heart.  The Lord said to Jonah “it is for me if I wanted to do it or not, to withhold the destruction of that place. All I want is for the people to turn back to me and know me as their Lord, their Saviour and their King,”
  • God has a heart for those people who are known to be wicked, violent and criminals.
  • God needs an ordinary people who will be a messenger to these people whose heart is in sync with God’s heartbeat.

Living In The Moment

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LIVING IN THE MOMENT

Preaching by Pastor Jerry Ignacio

Summarised by JILC Publishing Ministry

SCRIPTURE: Mark 9:2-8 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.

There are three facets of time: the past, the present and the future. In Greek, they have two words for time which are Chronos and Kairos.  Chronos refers to chronological or sequential time. Whilst, Kairos refers to an opportune time.  It is during the opportune time and the given moments that we often missed.

In the story of the transfiguration of Jesus, the disciples missed the extraordinary moment of seeing the two old heroes of faith-Moses and Elijah. Their fears blocked them from grabbing that opportunity. We can relate to them because even us have missed God-given moments and failed to seize the moments because our minds are occupied with other things.

  1. MISSING THE MOMENT IS RELATED TO TIME. “And who of you by worrying can add one hour to the length of his life (Matt 6:27).  Regardless of how worried you are you cannot add a single digit of second to your life.

When Jesus fed the multitude with two fish and five loaves, a certain disciple cried out and said, “Lord it is already dark, there is no more time, you better send the people away. We do not have any more time. But during those elements of time, Jesus made a miracle. Jesus never missed a moment. He is not bounded nor pressured by time. He enjoyed and seized every opportunity.  

In comparison to the 1950’s to the millennials in the 21st century, the advancement in technology have expedite the process of completing tasks. But we wonder that in spite of these developments it still feels like as if we are always lacking in time. We tend to always rush therefore missing the moments especially with our family. We can no longer able to rewind the wonderful moments.

It is time for us to take it slowly for a while and enjoy the moments. Let us be present and capture and seize the moment with our God.

2. MISSING THE MOMENT IS RELATED TO LACK. “So do not worry, saying. “What shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or, ‘What shall we wear? For the pagans runs after all these, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (Matt 6: 31-32)

Worries rob happiness and cause us not to enjoy the moment. That is why Jesus said, “Cast all your cares upon me.” (1 Peter 5:7). You should live a life joyfully and not being tormented with worries.

God wants us to be in a position of wealth so we would be able to bless others. But when we chase the things that we do not have and put our hearts to the earthly wealth then we would be missing the moment.

The standard of living versus the standard of life has a big gap. Whether we live in a shanty or in a mansion. It does not matter because after all what we desire a is a good sleep at night anyway. The standard of life should go higher than the standard of living. There should be no competition between the two. The quality of life is what matters most.

“If money is all what you have, then you are poor.”

“The richest man on earths is not the one who have the most wealth but is the person who though does not have anything but still he has the smile and happiness of life.”

Live a life with the joy of God and live in a life of being content. Do not chase the blessings. Let the blessings chase you. As God promised in His words, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt 6:33)

We do not chase our lack. God will reward our needs.

  • MISSING THE MOMENT IS RELATED TO FUTURE. “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough of its own. (Matthew 6:34)

Nowadays, people have mentality of working hard and enjoying the fruit of labour on their retirement. But the bible principle says that now is the time to rejoice!

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

GOD’s PROMISES ARE “YES” and “AMEN”

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GOD’s PROMISES ARE “YES” and “AMEN”

Preaching by: Pastor Neo Doce

Summarised by: JILC Publishing Ministry

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:20 “20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so, through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

We are assured in the scripture that God’s promises will never fail. Surely, no one could ever thwart Him from accomplishing His plans and purpose for His people. If God says He will do something, then He will.

Joshua 21:45 says, “Not one of the good promises

that the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed—all of them

God’s promises could be categorised into two.  Firstly, these are the promises made without attaching any condition whatsoever, hence, these are called unconditional promises. Secondly, these promises are subject to certain qualifications or requirements, hence, these are called conditional promises. Believers must be able to distinguish the difference between the two and understand the context of a promise.

The following points are foundational and significant in a believer’s life.

  1. God’s promises are Yes and Amen. Jesus is the assurance, the surety, of God’s promises. You can count on God’s Bible promises because Jesus is saying, “YES and AMEN” to them on your behalf. Always remember that Jesus is our assurance that the Scripture promises will be fulfilled. All the promises of God are “YES in CHRIST”! You can depend on God’s promises, because Jesus is their guarantee.

Numbers 23:19 (NIV) God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he

should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfil?

  1. God’s promises are true. If God made promises in His Word, those Scripture promises are true, and God will not change His mind. You can count on the promises of God.

Proverbs 30:5 (NIV) “Every word of God is

flawless; he is a shield to those who take

refuge in him.

 Isaiah 55:11 so is my word that goes out from my

mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will

accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose

for which I sent it. 

Lamentations 2:17 (NIV) The Lord has done what

he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he

decreed long ago…

  1. The God who promise is faithful. We can trust Him and have our faith in Him. No man can change or reverse the promise of God.  There is no broken promise with God. If He has spoken, He will do it.

2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV If we are faithless, he remains faithful- for he cannot deny himself.

Psalms 145:13 The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.

2 Cor. 1:18 “God is faithful”  You can rely on God. 
 Thessalonians 5:24 (KJV) Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.