THE INITIATIVES OF FAITH

Posted on July 11, 2010

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– A message delivered to the Graduates Christian Fellowship Malaysia Inaugural Graduation Commissioning at St Mary’s Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur on 10 July 2010 –

The leading characters in Luke 5 had one thing in common: they all believed Jesus, trusted Jesus and obeyed Jesus. Similarly, you who are gathered here this evening are followers of Jesus. Like Simon Peter the fisherman, the leper and the four friends of the paralytic, you answer the call of Jesus, not the call of this world. Your eyes must be on Jesus. Observe what he was doing, and see how he was doing things and who he was doing these things to. Jesus had a different way of looking at people, at things, at situations. Jesus came upon situations and people, and He didn’t leave things and people as they were. When people met Jesus, they were affected, changed transformed.

In Luke 5, Jesus did something different. There was a crowd of people, the sea and two boats. He got into the boat, asked to go a little way from the shore and that became his platform and stage to address the crowd and to teach them. Then he instructed Simon Peter to put out into the deep. Don’t just stay where it seems safe and comfortable. Leave your comfort zones, venture into deeper waters. Go further out to sea, put out into the deep. Then Jesus told Simon Peter to let down his nets for a catch. Simon Peter was a professional fisherman and protested that they had done that the entire night and had just returned to shore empty-handed. Nevertheless he said to Jesus, (Luke 5.5) “But at your word I will let down the nets.” He obeyed Jesus and was rewarded with a bonanza catch of fish.

Friends, do you see what was happening? Are you catching the point here which can change your thinking, your mindset, your mentality, your understanding of life and your life itself. You follow Jesus, and you should be out there in the deep doing the unusual, braving the consequences and implications of following Jesus. You should be out in the deep, formulating new ideas, trying new things, daring to be different and doing things differently, so that you can be meeting people’s needs.

We are followers of Jesus. We are in the business of helping others not ourselves. A Christian Church is a church for others. It is not about making church buildings bigger and more comfortable for its leaders and members but to make other people’s lives more meaningful and secure spiritually and emotionally.

You are called upon to put your learning, training and education to serve others. Look at what the four friends of the paralytic did. They found a way to lower the paralytic through the roof. It was an unusual way, a different way. It took brains, effort and determination. They could have taken one look at the situation and concluded that there was no way to get through the crowd to Jesus. They could be negative, discouraged and decide to go away unfulfilled. But they persisted and Jesus noted their resolve and credited their faith: Luke 5. 20 And when he saw their faith he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

The stories you see in Luke 5 are success stories: the fisherman caught a lot of fish; the leper was healed; the friends of the paralytic achieved their intention; the paralytic was healed. Behind their success was faith in Jesus. What they did were initiatives of faith. By faith, the fishing nets were cast into the sea; by faith the leper “fell upon his face and besought Jesus”; by faith, the friends of the paralytic found a way to lower him to Jesus.

This is how we must pray for one another: that we have faith in Jesus; that driven by our belief and faith in Jesus, we will initiate activities and programmes throughout the country and wherever God sends us to alleviate the health, economic, emotional and spiritual suffering of people. If we stick to our usual ways of doing things this won’t be enough to achieve such a goal. We must dare to be different. Chart new courses, find creative and ingenious ways. Christian graduates must be innovative and inventive and resourceful. Groups of Christian graduates must come together, combine their capacities, resources, and engage in R & D and come up with brilliant solutions to the people’s needs.

For your inspiration, I mention three examples I have seen: the missionary among the pacific islanders who invented a self-operating record player so that poor electricity-less people can hear the gospel; and the Korean who invented a barcode which could detect expiry dates of food products in time to release potentially millions of tons of consumable food to the hungry from the world’s supermarkets; and the Indonesian aid worker who invented a hydraulic pump which does not require electricity to deliver water to hilltop villages.

If there is a will, there is a way. Correction, if there is faith, there be a will and a way. The Jesus way. Jesus said, “Put out into the deep…”

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Posted in: Leadership