BETHESDA CATHEDRAL – WORD EDIFICATION (30 May 2014) Announcements 1. Church Camp 2014: 23 - 26 June, Holiday Inn, Melaka. Special Price Adult: $350, Student/NS: $250, Child (with bed): $170 Child (w/o bed): $130. 2. Prayer & Praise: Every Wed, 8pm, Chapel. Word Edification: God is a Faithful God Speaker: Pastor Tay Cheng Kee Text: 2 Thessalonians 3:3 Introduction Three weeks had gone by and Pastor Tay wondered if he had heard correctly from God. The devil had been bombarding his mind with thoughts of doubt and unbelief. Monday was almost gone and Pastor Tay had four days left to be employed by Swissair. He received a call from the secretary of the church at 5.15pm, who read to him a fax message: The Church registration had been approved by the Registry of Societies. Bethesda Cathedral was born on that day, which was 25 May 1992, exactly 22 years ago from today. God spoke to Pastor Tay in January 1992 that he had to quit his job and submit his notice of resignation in the month of May. He was told that he would be out of his job to become a pastor of a church yet to be formed in the month of June. Though it was a difficult decision, Pastor Tay obeyed the call of God. When you obey God and are faithful to His Word, He will be faithful to you, strengthen you and protect you from the evil one (2 Thess 3:3). We were caught unaware when we became an independent and sovereign church. The Lord provided Republic Theatre as our worship place and we had our first worship service on 31 May 1992. When we were forced to leave Republic Theatre, we did not have to frantically look for a place to worship as Odean Katong was made available to us on a silver platter. When the management sold that place, we got LASALLE, College of Arts as our place of worship. When we were 10 months old as a church, with only 150 adult members and $130,000 in the bank, we embarked on a 8 million dollar project. God directed people not only from within the church but outside the church to bless us with financial assistance. The church cleared $8 million debt in 5 years! Last year through our evangelistic efforts, 273 souls were ushered into the kingdom of God. Many received divine healing from God. This includes the 4 elders who testified via video. We read in Luke 2:43 that after the Feast of the Passover, while the parents of Jesus, Joseph and Mary, were returning home, the Boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem but His parents were unaware of it. This is a lesson for each one of us. It is a good thing to be involved in evangelism and serving in the various ministries of the Church but we must not lose Jesus in the busyness of it all. Joseph and Mary were in the thick of religious activities and realized that Jesus was not in their midst. When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him (Luke 2:45). We must always bear in mind that in the thick of all religious activities, Jesus must be the center of it all. In Rev 2:2, Jesus was commending the church of Ephesus for their tireless activities and zeal for the Lord’s work. At the same time, He was rebuking them concerning their personal relationship with Him (Rev 2:4). Is Jesus the centre of your life? In our busyness of doing God’s work, do we neglect our relationship with Him? How do we know that we have left our first love? 1. When the delight in the Lord is no longer greater than the delight in the things of this world. 2. When we claim to be only human and give in to those things that displease the Lord. 3. When worship, prayer and bible reading become boring and not something which we used to enjoy. Conclusion We may be busy in our Christian commitment and yet fail to maintain a close relationship with the Lord. We are to remember where we have fallen, repent and do the first works (Rev 2:5). We remember the days where we were involved in witnessing and knocking on doors from house to house. Even though many times we were rejected, we rejoiced to suffer for the Lord’s sake. When we first became a believer in Christ Jesus, we were so childlike in our faith and discussed everything with the Lord in prayer. We need to remember those days when we were on fire for the Lord and repent of our wrongdoing. God is faithful and He changes not. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Application 1. Share with each other an experience of how God has been faithful to you. 2. How do we maintain a close relationship with the Lord in the thick of all our religious activities? 3. Memorize the verse 2 Thessalonians 3:3.