We have asked various worshipers what they have gleaned from the pulpit series,
with a guiding question:
"How have you been instructed or inspired to follow Jesus more closely or faithfully this year?"
I am glad that the church decided to spend this year focusing on one book of the Bible, the Gospel of Luke, because this means that we have had the time to delve in detail into the context of the events recorded in Luke. Studying this book with the specific theme of "Following Jesus" in mind has also been very good because it has meant that we have been consistently looking for the practical applications of the Word of God for our own personal walk with God.
I have gained many lessons from the pulpit series and CG discussions. I will highlight just two points. (1) In conjunction with the parable of the narrow door, we were challenged with the question: "Is it evident to others that we have a King in our lives and it is God?" (2) In conjunction with the parables of the mustard seed and the yeast, we were reminded that nothing is too small to be used mightily by God; our work in the Kingdom may seem invisible but God sees all and can work through our tiny contributions in His own timing. These have been good reminders to me. As I interact with others, make decisions and fulfil responsibilities in the workplace and at home, choose my leisure activities etc., how do I reflect that Jesus is the Lord of my life? And when I am discouraged at the thought that there doesn't seem to be very much that I can do for God's Kingdom, I am reminded that God desires first and foremost our hearts, and as we seek to live faithfully for Him, even if we cannot see how He can use what we bring to Him, we can still persevere, trusting in Him to work in His own timing and in His own ways.
Some lessons I have learnt through this one year through the Gospel of Luke
- God has great compassion for the marginalised and for those physically or spiritually impoverished. This is demonstrated by his many acts of miracles. Additionally, his teachings and parables often elevate those who are deemed insignificant in society's eyes.
- Salvation is not by earned by works but that does not mean that Christians do not need to put in effort. This was exemplified in the parable of the narrow door.
2) How have I been instructed or inspired to follow Jesus more closely or faithfully this year?
- I feel inspired to put in more time and commitment to be a disciple of Christ. These includes spending more time in fellowship, reading and understanding God's word.
I am thankful for the way the Gospel of Luke was preached and presented. It is a timely reminder of essentially 2 things:
1) God’s unfathomable love for the believers and yet-to-be believers. We are not to enjoy God’s blessings in isolation but to extend ourselves as blessings to others and be part of His plan to reach out to the lost. We do not need to lose hope because God is always on the lookout for the lost to return to Him.
2) God’s desire for us to be a good neighbour and to demonstrate genuine love for people. It is a tall order to love our enemies and to “reach out and touch the leper”, something which we could never have done with our own strength. We need to constantly pray for the desire and willingness to reach out, to be a good neighbour in a world which has increasingly turn cold and selfish.
Watch out for this space... video testimonies coming soon!