Fruitful February - Bearing Good Fruit for Christ
Pictures above: Training and equipping the church in Western Australia for 3 Sundays in February.
Jason and I are glad to be invited back to tailor their trainings for them after an introductory session with the church, as we build line upon line, precept upon precept.
"Let Your work [the signs of Your power] be revealed to Your servants, and Your [glorious] majesty to their children. And let the beauty and delightfulness and favour of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands–yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it."
Psalm 90:16-17 AMPC
We have been pleasantly surprised on the increased turnout at the 2nd training session, as the pastor who invited us to run the training, was interviewed and publicised our training sessions on radio 98.5FM.
Only after 1 week of training, what blessed my heart deeply was to hear the stories of how those who attended from the youngest to the oldest put to action what they have learnt!
Two teens (13 and 15 year olds), started a youth gathering in their secondary school and by week 2 have reached and engaged about 15 friends to join them to learn more about God!
One very elderly lady in aged care residence prayed for God to use her even though she believes herself to be the only follower of Christ there. She prayed for God to help her to have boldness to connect with others and to share Christ with them and she is experiencing more favour with others.
It only goes to show that it is not about how much one knows, but how much one obeys God puts into action what they have already been taught. To me that is bearing fruit and it glorifies God.
The 3rd and final training ended off with a powerful move of the Spirit. We laid hands on many who responded to receive the Holy Spirit and they were filled with the Holy Spirit!
What a wonderful reminder of this declaration made by Captain Pedro de Quiros an explorer and navigator hundreds of years ago on 14 May 1606 (on the day of Pentecost) that this land is ‘Terra Australis del Espiritu Santo’, the Southland of the Holy Spirit!
My prayer is that: as summer was coming to an end, and as we entered into a new season of autumn, may the rain of the Holy Spirit fall upon the good soil of hearts causing the seeds that have been sown to bear forth good fruit and fruit that last! (John 15)
Year 2020 in Review - “Expect the Unexpected!”
We ended 2020 with a BIG SPLASH! #WaterBaptisms
God is good! 2 days before the year ended, another family of 4 just got water baptised. We celebrate the story of repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation and God's beautiful handiwork in another family's life. 👏🏻👏🏻
I remembered the words that struck me when Jason and I moved on from the institutionalism of Church-ianity in 2011 and started focussing on making and multiplying disciples; starting house church communities and baptising new disciples.
The Holy Spirit impressed on my heart: "You will go from baptising individuals to baptising households".
And it has been the case since then. We have been baptising whole households, and their oikos. This included migrant food court workers in working in the foodcourts in Singapore who were an oikos in their relational community, to a typical family of parents and children living with their extended family members like their elderly parent/s who also came to Christ after the subsequent conversion of the first person of peace.
This was indeed so in the early church described in Acts 16 - when the Philippian jailer and his whole household were water baptised after he got saved! In other words, this is how the gospel of the kingdom works: it affects entire families or households. ("oikos" in Greek).
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” 32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34 He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.
However, this time round Jason and I didn't do the baptising. All we did was to encourage and celebrate the obedience of those we mentored and empowered as they teach others to walk in faith and obedience to our Lord!
Afterall, Jesus's mission given to His disciples in Matt 28:18-20 extends to all disciples of Christ and includes baptising new disciples in water (this being a command we should teach others to obey as well!).
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
So with these words I enter into 2021 with my hopes and expectations in the Lord! - "EXPECT the UNEXPECTED!"
"Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]– To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it)." Ephesians 3:20-21 AMPC
What a day of rejoicing where we can baptise 2 young disciples of Christ in water as they repent from their sins and turn to Jesus Christ to walk in the newness of life!
With Jesus present in our midst, the body of Christ and friends and family as witnesses, as well as some pastors/co workers in the harvest fields we are relationally connected with in this city present and praying, what more could we ask for!
The black swans gliding by in the beautiful Swan River with the city of Perth as the backdrop, and the gorgeous weather, were truly God's blessings and a real bonus!
It is a new season!
#perth #discipleship #disciplemaking #waterbaptism
This is not the first that we have baptised others in water. In fact we have done it many times in starting "house churches"/missional communities in different settings and even countries.
What you may not know what goes on behind the scenes of the considerable time to individually discipling them, teaching for renewal of mind, prayer and encouragement and walking with the 2 girls on personal issues, time spent chatting, hanging out and genuinely getting to know and love them, before they wanted to get water baptised. Both faced severe testings in their relationships with family and others (very common happening); after they decided to be water baptised. But praise God, He worked miraculously in their lives, hearts, and their situations too.
Jesus gave us a fail-proof plan of disciple-making in Matt 28:18-20.
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 NLT
If so, why have we failed?
Is there anything you personally or you see the organised church have missed the mark on? What have hindered you to be part of His fail-proof plan?
I had such a wonderful time with A, a uni student from China today going through the 1st miracle Jesus performed in John!
During this COVID-19 period, i started an online English Conversation Time with her and her housemate for a few weeks now.
She's a "person of peace" (POP) whom the Holy Spirit nudged me to get a hold of her contact number, when I met her in the lift of my apartment during week 1 in Perth in mid Feb. And characteristic of any "POP" , she was receptive of *Man, Message and Mission*.
China is a very unreached country with over a billion people who's never ever heard about God or Jesus or ever heard of the Bible. Pretty much total clean slate.
Generally anyone from China who is overseas becomes a great person to sow the gospel into their lives.
Today A was so awed by Jesus. She said "wow He's magical, he's amazing, He's incredible and.. !"
She's really at a loss of words to describe Him. It really warms my heart to hear someone so excited to read about Jesus and so excited about Him. (most of the times in countries where there is so much bible, church etc, people become skeptical)
I m personally refreshed today!
I used 7 signs of John and these questions to help her to realise and discover for herself who Jesus is. After going through the 1st sign of how Jesus turned water into wine in 20 min, She said "now I can ask Jesus for help me in my problems and trouble too" .
Please pray with me that she will want to believe in Him. The kingdom of heaven is near!
Oh and V wants to share this miraculous story with her friend too!
I also had opportunity to pass a book of John to her housemate too today!
I hope and pray you all will find "persons of peace" too!
Who says covid19 can stop us from reaching out and making disciples for His kingdom?