One MCS - Annual Conference Highlights

Be watchful, power corrupts

Mar 2011    

NATHAN’S COURAGE

“Risking his life Nathan took courage to tell King David of his sin against God. Nathan’s courage saved the king from going farther away from his God and his plan for the Kingdom.”


PONDERING OVER THE VERSES OF PSALM 51
sends us back to look into the life of David from the time he was a mere shepherd to be chosen as Israel’s king. It makes us realise how true that power does corrupt.

King David was indeed blessed by God. He was given the position, power and together with it every blessing that God bestowed on him.

However, power corrupted David and led him to commit the sins of adultery and murder. For a moment he must have thought he was above all rules and the law. He had forgotten the holy God whom he worshipped. He had forgotten how from a shepherd boy he had been raised to the throne.

Prophet Nathan’s illustrative story is so powerful. It brought out the righteous anger of David. “He burned with anger” and called for punishment on the rich man who had bullied the poor peasant whose one and only ewe lamb he had robbed to feed his guest. But David’s anger turned to shame and sorrow when he faced the reality of the situation.

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! is is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes?”

If not for Prophet Nathan’s reminder of God’s presence, I wonder whether David would have sunk deeper into sin. Risking his life Nathan took courage to tell King David of his sin against God. Nathan’s courage saved the king from going farther away from his God and his plan for the Kingdom.

Do we identify ourselves in this story? Do we identify the attributes of King David or Prophet Nathan or the mean-spirited rich man within us? en perhaps we could ponder over these questions.

• Has power corrupted me?

• Have I abused the blessings of God?

• Am I listening to God’s warnings?

• Am I bold enough to speak God’s truth?

Perhaps these thoughts will help us as we enter the season of Lent. It is important that we employ the disciplines of reflection and contemplation. Together with fasting, praying and almsgiving, let us take time to retreat and reflect on our lives. We need to contemplate and respond obediently to God’s Word.

The Church has lost many of these practices that were put in place to help us slow down in a fast-paced world. Let God’s voice be heard during this Lent season; come before Him, and repent and respond that God’s favour may rest upon us as it did with King David!

The Rev James Nagulan is the President of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference.

DEVOTION

God’s Word is just right

“Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”

– Deut. 12:32.

THE STORY OF “GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS” has the fair-haired heroine in search of what suited her perfectly; not too hot, not too cold, not too hard, not too soft …

It all had to be just right. at’s pretty typical of human nature, is it not?

We prefer things to be just right. But how do we know? Isn’t it just a matter of our preferences? at might work for things like porridge or beds, but it doesn’t work for everything.

When the Bible gives the warning that the Word of God isn’t to be added to or taken from, it is saying it is just right. We may not always agree with what God has to say in the Bible. We might prefer that it said some things differently. Altering God’s word carries some pretty serious consequences (Revelation 22:18-19).

This actually identifies one of the key issues of mankind’s relationship with God. When a discrepancy exists between His word and our preferences, what will happen? What will change? Us? Or will we try to change God’s Word? Or, will we just walk away as if nothing were amiss? The fact is, God’s Word does not change. Actually, it cannot change. If we attempt to alter it, it’s no longer God’s Word, but ours. His Word still stands. at is what is behind Jesus’ words, “the Scripture cannot be broken”. (John 10: 35).

God’s Word, as it is, is just right. If we are not comfortable with it, it is us, not it that needs to change. God’s Word is just right to make us just right. – KneEmail.

David Deffenbaugh and Bill McFarland contribute to KneEmail, a Christian resource organisation.

REACH OUT

Galvanising Methodists in aid of social concerns

Galvanising Methodists in aid of social concerns

Jul 2018     Over 4,000 individuals participated in the recently concluded The Giving Methodist campaign, which was jointly spearheaded by The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) and Methodist Welfare Services (MWS). Over 1,000 people volunteered their time; nearly 3,000 gave their voice; and over 380 donors contributed over $260,000 to help the poor...
New leaders for a new season

New leaders for a new season

Jul 2018     Thailand was one of the earliest mission fields for the Methodist Missions Society (MMS). Starting in 1995, the ministry in Thailand has grown from strength to strength. We now have 28 churches and preaching points. Our major focus has been in church planting through our community development programmes. One major...