MESSAGE OF HOPE
‘In all that we do, we do not forget to take every opportunity to proclaim the message of hope, the Good News of Jesus.’
THE Chinese Annual Conference’s theme for the 2009-2012 quadrennium is “To be a Disciple-Making Church: to Study God’s Word, to Show Mercy, to Act Justly and to be Sent Forth in Missions.”
The theme appeals to the church to re-examine and rekindle the Methodist spirit in its midst. It also challenges the pastors and members to work on the uniqueness of the Methodist tradition. This is our biblical belief and is relevant to our society today.
The message of prevenient grace, justification grace and perfection grace motivates us to love the Lord deeper and to share the Gospel with others. The theme also reminds us of our heritage of humility and magnanimity in our daily interaction with God’s people and the community.
In our pursuit of individual holiness and social holiness, the CAC is stepping up its involvement in the Outreach and Social Concern ministry. It is supporting the rehabilitation ministry on gambling addiction through the One Hope Centre. The Oasis Family Life Education Centre provides family with pre- and post-marital counselling. These services are extended to people both in and outside the church.
The local churches are also encouraged to respond to families affected by the current recession due to the global financial crisis. In all that we do, we do not forget to take every opportunity to proclaim the message of hope, the Good News of Jesus.
Being a multi-lingual conference, the CAC is able to reach out to fellow citizens and the international community in Singapore. It has 16 local churches and they hold worship services in two languages, Mandarin and English, and six Chinese dialects, Hokkien, Foochow, Hinghwa, Cantonese, Hakka and Teochew.
Reverse mission is reaching out to workers from China as well as those from India and Myanmar. There are many others in our midst waiting for us to reach out to.
Do remember us in your prayers. May we also be of service to the other Annual Conferences and society at large.
Maintaining a good reputation
“And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him (Jesus) eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, ‘How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?’ ”
– Mark 2:16.
THE tax collectors of Jesus’ time were some of the most despised people in the land, considered untrustworthy, cheats and traitors …
Yet it was Levi (Matthew) whom Jesus called to follow Him. This brave man rose from his tax office and went with the Lord. Later, as Jesus dined in his house, the scribes and Pharisees began their grumbling.
No doubt, Levi was used to this kind of backbiting talk. Now his honoured guest was being criticised for even associating with him.
Jesus heard their talk and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Our Lord knew their hearts, their needs and their resistance to Him.
This is not to say that we should not seek to maintain a good reputation through godliness and an exemplary Christian lifestyle. We should live in such a way that our critics have no just charge to level against us.
Still, I am glad that Jesus cares more about sinners than He did about what the social and religious elite were saying about Him.
Regardless of what other people say against us, we must not stop doing what is good and right. We must not sacrifice our search for truth for tolerance of every false teacher in the neighbourhood.
We may be accused of being narrow and closed-minded. We may be told that we will be excluded unless we are unconditionally inclusive of all other ideas and dogmas. Think about that!
When it comes to others around us, we need to remember that Jesus came and died for the sins of the whole world, not just for those whom the world says are worthy.
We need to have the heart of Jesus, reaching out to all of our friends and neighbours, rich and poor, powerful and powerless, because they all need Christ’s saving blood and the hope of eternal life that only He can give.
Let us be bold in caring for others and always reaching out to them. Let us seek God’s approval and not the approval of the crowd and bring the lost to Him.