Pastor Dr Daniel Ho spoke about three critical things about life to over 300 pastors and full-time ministers in the 5th annual Pastors’ Appreciation & Anointing Gathering (PAAG) at Emmanuel Christian Assembly, Taiping, held on 25th till 27th of August.
Organized by Rev Dr Bernard Teh (DD), Senior Pastor of FGA Taiping, PAAG was birthed in year 2012 to appreciate, anoint and refresh pastors and full-time ministers. Since its inception, which drew over 160 pastors and full-time ministers, God has been faithfully providing for this expanding ministry ever since. All glory to God!
#1 Life is about a fight
I have fought the good fight. (2 Timothy 4:7a)
We need to ask ourselves – who we are fighting for and what are we fighting against? – so that we do not get into the wrong fight. Pastor Daniel shared how a father commanded his daughters to leave his mother’s funeral due to his bitterness towards her.
“What a wrong and terrible fight! It’s not uncommon for people in the same family to fight and kill each other,” said Pastor Daniel, especially for position, power and possession.
“When the church quarrelled, the church has no energy to reach out the world due to division and disharmony, and Satan wins at the end of it all.”
But instead of fighting each other, we are called to fight our carnal nature and evil spiritual forces. ‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’ (Ephesians 6:12).
#2 Life is about finishing the race
I have finished the race. (2 Timothy 4:7b)
John Stephen Akhwari, a Tanzanian Olympic marathon runner made news in 1968 for enduring his injury and finishing the race. When interviewed why he continued running, he said, “My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race.”
“The amazing thing is that although we do not start well, we can finish well. In fact, starting well is no guarantee of finishing well.”
The six things to guard in finishing well include power, position, pride, purse, passion and practices.
In guarding against ungodly use of ‘purse’, Pastor Daniel shared five fund-raising principles in church. The principles include not holding fund-raising campaigns, not pressuring church members to give, not persuading rich individuals to give, treating every church member without impartiality regardless of giving, and rallying the church to pray to God as one for the fund-raise.
Also, in guarding against ungodly ‘practices’, he shared how everyone including pastors need to be vigilant – that is not cutting corners and taking shortcuts – especially later in life. Reading the Bible daily, for instance, should remain as a practice regardless of knowledge. Pastor Daniel also shared how he had a close circle of friends who provide him support, encouragement and accountability.
#3 Life is about faith and keeping faith
I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7c)
We are not called to finish our race in mediocrity but in a strong faith. “I constantly pray for myself to finish strong, vibrant and passionate in God.”
To keep the faith, we need worship to centre us. David prayed to God, “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I see: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4). “Everything must be integrated around God. The church must be built around God and not men.”
We also need to have the Word to feed and guide us. Mary chose to sit by Jesus to hear His Word and she was commended for her choice (Luke 10:42). The Word is also here to inspire and fire us, opening our eyes to see from God’s perspective (John 9:25).
The end of a matter is better than its beginning (Ecclesiastes 7:8). Like Paul and Pastor Dr Daniel, let us all run together till the end and say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
For more information on Pastors’ Appreciation & Anointing Gathering (PAAG) in Taiping, please email Pastor Bernard Teh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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