Bishop's Message

Being channels of God’s blessing

Feb 2017    

In the hymn ‘Channels Only’ by Mary E. Maxwell, the lyrics of its last verse are as follows:

Jesus, fill now with Thy Spirit

Hearts that full surrender know;

That the streams of living water

From our inner man may flow.

Refrain:

Channels only, blessed Master

But with all Thy wondrous pow’r,

Flowing through us, Thou canst use us

Every day and every hour.

 

Scripture also tells us that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35), and “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full – pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back” (Luke 6:38, NLT).

It is a call for every Christian to be a channel of God’s blessing, in the same way that the Lord saved His people to have them become a blessing for all nations.

Many may think that before we can help and bless others, we need to ensure that we have enough. This is understandable, but we can also learn to bless others in faith especially when exceptional circumstances require immediate help.

The Bible tells of a poor widow of Zarephath. She and her son were left with very little to live on, but she used all that she had – a handful of flour and a little cooking oil – to prepare bread for Elijah who had asked her for food (1 Kings 17:8-16). There is also the story of the young boy with his five loaves and two fish. He offered it all to Jesus at the end of His teaching, to bless the five thousand who had gathered to listen to Him (John 6:1-14).

Life presents us with many unexpected challenges, which may sometimes include unfortunate happenings one after another. The afflicted will need much help and some time before they can get back on their feet again. Some counsellors suggest, however, that the best therapy is to encourage the persons affected to engage in helping those who are less fortunate, so that the former can be healed through these interactions. (Editor’s note: See ‘Small deeds with great love’ in this issue for further discussion on this topic.)

To be a blessing for others, we can begin with a small step of faith. Ambient streams flowing through a pond will keep its water clean and fresh, and will maintain its bountiful aquatic resources. Do you believe that you will not be left wanting when you bless others? Many testimonies, including my own, have shown: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.” (Luke 12:31, NLT)

 

Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung –

was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2016. He served as President of the Chinese Annual Conference for two quadrennia from 2008 to 2016.

Background photo by powerbeephoto/Bigstock.com

REACH OUT

School-building in Timor-Leste

School-building in Timor-Leste

Dec 2017     53% of the population in Timor-Leste is under the age of 19*; therefore, Christian education has immense potential for shaping lives and transforming this nation. Timor-Leste is a country ravaged by decades of war, disease and unemployment. When the conflict with Indonesia ended in 2002, few teachers were left and...
Enabling little miracles

Enabling little miracles

Dec 2017     Getting back on his feet When the previously strong and healthy Mr Ang suffered a stroke last June, his world came crashing down. The 58-year-old production soundman had to quit his job, and was grappling with medical bills and paralysis on the right side of his body. Without a source...