Nov 12 2012, by Adeline Lum-
Starting at 11 am, the service is perfect for churchgoers who are not early birds. As I sat down, I appreciated how personal the church is in reading out the names of newborns, first-time visitors and people who need prayers at the pulpit.
On November 11 2012, I attended the service at PJEFC (Petaling Jaya Evangelical Free Church) led by Elder Tan Nget Hong, who is also a professor at University of Malaya. He shared a series called, “Our Anchor in Uncertain Times- is my arm too short to deliver you?” continuing from last week’s series which was headed by Elder Loh.
I find the sermon rather poignant, touching on the importance of trusting and obeying God.
Elder Nget Hong expounded on Isaiah 49-50, verse by verse. Straightening up, I felt like a student catching a glimpse of a theologian class. The Jews, which was represented by the word “Zion”, had been in exile for 70 years. Their natural response was that God has abandoned and forgotten them.
But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”
But God assured them that not only He remembers them (Isaiah 49:15), He would restore His people to their families and their properties while destroying their enemies (Isaiah 49:23).
However, instead of celebrating with joy, His people questioned God’s ability instead.
Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives be rescued from the fierce?
The Lord responded, “yes” to their doubts (Isaiah 49:25)! And He said that He would always be faithful to them because they are His children (Isaiah 50:1). In fact, it is also in this verse that tells us why His people were sent into exile.
Because of your sins you were sold; because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.
They suffered not because of God wanted to disown them, but because of their disobedience, that displaces them from the power of God’s protection.
And again, in verse Isaiah 50:2, God reassured them that He is able to do what He said.
When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to deliver you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert; their fish rot for lack of water and die of thirst.
Hence, these verses showed that God is faithful to His children, and those who hope in Him will not be disappointed (Isaiah 49:23).
On a side note, in my humble opinion, how many times do we follow our own ways by “lighting our own torches” and suffer for our bad decisions? We do not need to go far, bad driving cause accidents for example.
But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.
Hard but true, again in my opinion, remember that God love us either way whether we sin little or big. Of course, as often said, God loves the sinner but hates the sin. He desires joy, peace, comfort, and wisdom, everything that is good for us. But why do we find it so difficult to follow Him at times?
I find that sometimes, we do not take time to know God. How do we trust a person we do not know? How do you trust a stranger? With that said, if we do not trust, how can we expect ourselves to follow and obey Him?
Like how we build a normal friendship, don’t we first know the person by spending time with him or her? And through time, we build trust. After building trust, wouldn’t following the advice of our friend become easier, even natural and desirable?
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
I am definitely enlightened by the sermon given by Elder Nget Hong and Elder Loh.
Expounding the bible passage verse per verse, PJEFC is strongly grounded in the Word for God. Started by a Canadian missionary in 1965, it is a growing church attended by a vibrant mix of the young and old crowd alike.
As I leave PJEFC’s hall which was robust with a crowd chit-chatting and catching up with each other, I am thankful to visit such an awesome church to grow in the Lord and build friendships in.