Galatians 4:4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman,
born under the law,5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to
sonship.6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the
Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and
since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
Whatever present you may or may not have received this year for Christmas. Know that if
you are a Christian, you have received the best gift of them all and for all time. The
Christian has received adoption to sonship through God's Son and God's Spirit. In other
words, if you are a Christian, you are in the family of God, a son or a daughter of God who
calls out to God as dad and who is a child of God not a slave of God.
When we take a step back and are not caught up in the frenzy of opening presents - it is
clear what is truly important a Christmas. It is the people present are always worth much
more than the material presents. It is the giver and not the gift that we ought to take time to
appreciate. It is our relationships that count and have significance, not our stuff. How much
more then, should we value our relationship with God.
God sent his Son and the Spirit of his Son for us so that we might receive adoption to
sonship. Whatever the sin may be. Whatever separated us from the love and the family of
God, it is no more for those who would put their hope in the work of Jesus. There is
forgiveness of sins and there is reconciliation between man and God.
Don't let the fickle presents, or anything for that matter, get in the way of your family
relationship - whether it be biological or spiritual. If you know that there are relationships
you need to repair and restore, then don't wait any longer. Start that process of
reconciliation with others. After all, Christmas is a time for gathering together to celebrate
the Son of God who brings us into the family of God.
Give thanks and praise for our families and most of all for the family of God!
Blood is thicker than water, but the blood of Christ is thicker still.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Where do you find instruction?
Oprah? Dr. Phil? Talk show hosts? Parents? Friends? Your intuition? Psychologists?
Counsellors? Pastors? Mystics? Facebook? Reddit? Google? Traditions? Ancestors?
Where do you find strength?
Within yourself? your muscles? Capabilities? Attributes? Gifts? gods? Governments?
Gyms? Authorities? Networks? Experiences? Practices? Other People? The Mob? The
Majority? The Military?
Where do you find lasting love?
Family? Friends? Spouse? Children? Work? Colleagues? Money? Sex? Internet? Social
clubs? Fellowships? Community groups? Materialism? Religion? Career? Approval of your
Where do you find rest?
Sleep? Ignorance? Not knowing? Lack of conflict? Death? Quiet? Isolation? Retirement?
Holidays? Annual Leave? Festivals? Food? Presents? Thrill Seeking? Adventure? Soft
Isaiah tells us that a day is coming when there will be no more gloom for those who were in
distress. As it was true for the faithful Israelites in that day, that their hope was in the Son
that was to be given, so it remains true for us that our hope is in the Son who has been
given. For a child has been born, and a Son has been given and his name is Jesus.
In Jesus we find the counsel that lights our path.
In Jesus we find the might that empowers us for the fight.
In Jesus we find the fatherly love that warms our hearts.
In Jesus we find the peace that refreshes our weary souls.
My dear friend, receive the gift of the Son for he longs to be your Wonderful Counsellor,
your Mighty God, your Everlasting Father and your Prince of Peace.
Last Sunday was the second of our Advent sermons. In the first sermon we prepared
ourselves for the coming of Christ as it is a time for celebration, salvation and reconciliation
starting with God’s promises in the beginning. In the second Advent sermon, Promises in
the King, we see the promises given to us through the line of King David which we inherit
as the New Covenant.
Genesis 3:15 tells us that the head of the serpent will be crushed by the offspring of the
woman; at the Cross Jesus is victorious over Satan and death. We were told that all
peoples on earth will be blessed through a Jew (Genesis 12:3) and that he will be from the
tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) through the line of David (2 Samuel 7:16).
In 2 Samuel 7:8-11, God chose a young shepherd, David, to eventually lead the nation
Israel. God gave David successes in military, political and religious spheres. But God did
not allow David his heart’s desire to build a Temple in Jerusalem for him. David must have
been disappointed. All of us do face and must learn to accept disappointments in life. God
may choose us for some appointments but not for other appointments. Our disappointment
is God’s appointment. However, one thing God has promised is that he will be with us and
his presence is always a blessing in ways that we may not be able to anticipate.
Notwithstanding David’s disappointment in not being able to build the Temple, God
recommissioned David to be shepherd of the nation (2 Samuel 7:10). God will enable
David to provide a place for God’s people Israel, to grow them and enable them to have a
home of their own. They are no longer to be disturbed, and God will bless David.
The Davidic covenant is an unconditional covenant. Unconditional means that it is given to
David without any strings attached, without him having to do anything. God has given
unconditional covenants to Noah (Genesis 9:8-17), Abraham (Genesis 15:9-21), Phinehas
(Numbers 25:10-31) and David (2 Samuel 7:5-16). We have inherited the Davidic covenant
through the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34) where it is a covenant of pure grace.
Jesus in the line of David has given us salvation unconditionally. All we have to do is to
accept the covenant of pure grace given to us through Jesus who came to save sinners
and reconcile us to God. If you have not accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and
Saviour, the season of Christmas is a very good occasion to do so. Hallelujah and God
bless as we usher in Christmas.
Pastor Boo Teong Khoo
Last Sunday was the first of our Advent sermons. Advent is the season before Christmas,
it is the season of Christ. We prepare ourselves for this season by knowing that it is a time
for celebration, salvation and reconciliation. We also learn of the promises given to us in
the Old Testament beginning with the first promise.
The season of Advent is a time for celebration, salvation and reconciliation. Celebration
because God loved us so much that he gave his one and only Son for us (John 3:16). His
Son is with us always to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20) and God is for us
(Romans 8:31). It is also a time for salvation because the very birth of Jesus was to save
his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21) for God’s purpose (2 Timothy 1:9) by grace
through faith (Ephesians 2:8). For those who are seeking it is time for reconciliation with
God: through Christ (Romans 5:1), within ourselves because of the peace that Jesus gives
(John 14:27), and reconciliation with others just as God reconciled us to himself through
Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
The season of Advent for salvation and reconciliation can be seen in the first promise given
to us recorded in Genesis 3:8-15. God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to work
and take care of the garden. God allowed them to eat from any tree in the garden but not
from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden. For when they
eat of it, they will surely die (departed or separated from God). They ate of the forbidden
fruit, lost their innocence and realised that they were naked. In sin, they did not want to
face God but ran away and hid from him. Nevertheless God still sought them out and
spoke into their lives showing them their errors, causing them to contemplate and take
responsibility. The cost was very high for all parties. The serpent was reduced to crawling
on its belly, Eve will have greatly increased pain in childbearing, and Adam will have to
work by the sweat of his brow to put food on the table. The cost for God was also very high.
To redeem us, God had to send his one and only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our
Yet, in the midst of this pain, toil and suffering, God gave hope in the first gospel in Genesis
3:15. The offspring of the serpent will strike the heel of the offspring of the woman. The
offspring of the woman will crush the head of the offspring of the serpent. At the cross the
serpent struck the heel of the offspring of the woman. But it was also at the cross that the
head of the offspring of the serpent was crushed. At the cross Satan is vanquished, death
is defeated and the Son of God at his resurrection has given us victory over death and
Satan. Indeed, the season of Advent is also a time of celebration. Hallelujah and God bless
as we usher in Christmas.
Pastor Boo Teong Khoo
Persecution often has the opposite effect of its intention. When the
church in China faced persecution it went from 14 million to 100
million. Paul who is writing this letter to the church in Philippi is in
chains but says it is actually advancing the gospel.
When Paul was in Philippi (Acts 16) he was beaten and imprisoned
for his faith. This letter is an encouragement to the believers there
who he knows are facing persecution. We as believers don’t need to
fear persecution, but need to act in a Godly manner under it.
Prayer is one of the most important tools we have in fighting the
Christian fight. It is our direct channel to God and it is where we can
be provided our greatest joy. Paul is clearly joyful here and many
persecuted believers today are the same. If we are to have joy in the
Christian life, we must be praying.
Tim Reid (Open Doors Australia)