27th November 2012 by Natasha Kim – CM
SSMC (Sungai Way – Subang Methodist Church) is located strategically at Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara, Damasara. This particular Church started off in the year 1975, many years ago with a total of 50 people that gathered together at SS3, Petaling Jaya. SSMC then continued holding their services from there until the year 1994, when they finally moved to the location that they are currently in.
At first the location was questionable; did they really want to be located in an area where which was not taken care of properly? It was not clean and there wasn’t any basic amenities available, and this was only some of the “hindrances”. Founder of SSMC, Pastor Phua Seng Tiong shared however, that “….the Lord wanted us to be here; He made it possible; He provided the money for it; He opened the door. He cleared the spiritual atmosphere. “Who were we to question Him?” We are here to bless the people of this kampong. It was hard work learning how to bless a community that was so different from what we were used to.”
Of course, nothing comes easy as there were many instances of confrontation from the enemy on their part, but eventually God paved their road to success. The street lights were set up for the first time in that area! This meant that the kampong would no longer be in darkness. Then the people rejoiced as the Church kept growing in numbers and in size as more people started coming in for services. They currently have their services namely the Chinese, Malay, Cambodian, Children’s and Main service all on Sunday and at the same time beginning at 9.30 a.m.
Today, SSMC had Holy Communion, and me not having been to a Methodist church before got to see just how their service is. Two things that I found interesting during their service, one is the fact that everyone who wanted to partake in Holy Communion lined up horizontally across the front. Besides that, I also found it interesting that they had a performance before and after the preaching, where two youths from the sound ministry one playing the guitar and one that sang, played out a song that they had rehearsed of Psalm 4. It was beautifully played.
Scripture is inspired to build us up
The founder’s son known as Brother Phua preached today, placing much focus on Psalm 4. Reading the book of Psalms is like reading Hebrew poetry, a song of trust and confidence in God. To understand the full impact of the Psalm one has to read all of it, not just take a line out from your favourite verse. Read further to see what can we learn from Psalm 4.
1) Approach and Experience – Psalm 4:1
– In verse one the Psalmist makes his appeal to God not once but twice. He was passionate and honest. Now one may wonder how someone could speak to God like that, with demand and with that kind of tone. Does he not know that God can choose to answer his prayer or not? Brother Phua says, “Answer me when I call you” is like a direct hotline to God. However we can’t just hear God, we need to also obey him. In his tight spot, he tells God to hear his prayer.” “..my righteous God” can also be translated to mean God of my right and wrong or God who vindicates me. Brother Phua says, “Other people may say he’s wrong but in his mind he knows, he’s right. He’s confident not only that he is right but that God thinks so.” This is because the Psalmist has experienced God before and he remembers that when he was in a tight spot, that God was there. That made him bold and confident in his prayer to our Almighty God. “Some of us are really pushed into a tight space, emotionally and spiritually. We are pressed in by our fears, worries, regrets, mistakes and through our traumatic memories or phobias. Sin then pushes us into a tight corner wondering, “How will I ever get out?” but trust God in tight spaces”, brother says. Today as Christians we can have this confidence in our approach because Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
2) Identity and Response, Psalm 4: 2 – 5
– When the Psalmist speaks to men, specifically to people of high social status and influence saying, “How long shall my honour turn into shame?” His reputation is being attacked. “How long will you seek after lies and falsehood?” Brother says, “The Psalmist enemies calls to false Gods but the Psalmist has remained faithful to God even when the others had forgot who they were. They had an identity crisis.” In his tight spot he knows who he is in God. Put your trust in the Lord and remain steadfast, know who you are in him and how we can respond the same way even when we are wronged by our own people. With that he says, “Trusting God means allowing the God of your righteousness to vindicate you.”
3) Greater Joy and Peace – Psalm 6 -8
– The Psalmist returns back to God with joy and peace after talking to men. Those men contrasted with the Psalmist. They were thinking only of themselves, saying “Who will show us some good? Who will give me prosperity, wealth and fame? Now, that is whom I shall serve.” Instead he prays to God saying, “Let the light of your face upon us.” This can be remembered in Numbers 6:24-26 which says, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
Brother Phua says, “In the Old Testament God also included material prosperity but here it is focused on the real thing, that is, God’s presence saying, “there is no place I would rather be than here in your love” Nothing compares to the joy the Psalmist has from God. Grain and wine satisfies temporary. The Psalmist challenges us and our values. A lot of people are searching for deep, true and lasting peace and our God trust in Him as He is able to change hearts.
Glory to His name!
For more information on SSMC or to listen to Brother Phua’s full sermon please visit, http://ssmc.com.my/