God’s Faithfulness To All Generations
26/27 DECEMBER 2020 | TRADITIONAL AND PRAYER & PRAISE SERVICES
Rev Stanley Chua
Scripture Passage: Psalm 100:1-5 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
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READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | As this is Pastor Stanley’s last sermon in Wesley Methodist Church as Pastor-in-Charge (PIC), he has used this opportunity to give thanks to the Lord and to testify of God’s faithfulness. Ps 100 is a psalm for giving thanks, a doxology for giving God the glory.
Do you know where you were 44 years ago today? Ps Stanley remembers exactly, for on this day 44 years ago, he accepted Christ as his personal saviour. However, the joy was short-lived as he received no welcome in the church he attended. After six months, he stopped going to church and decided he would live as an atheist. However, Prov. 16:9 (NLT) reminds us that “we can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” We can plan all we want but God determines the outcome. Ps Stanley’s plans to join the hotel industry did not transpire and he ended up in the Military Security Department of the Singapore Armed Forces. At his first meeting with his superior, he was asked “You are a Christian, right?” Too embarrassed to deny this, he said “yes”. This superior became a good friend and mentor. More significantly, he brought Ps Stanley to church – Wesley Methodist Church. There, Ps Stanley had an Aldersgate experience, where his heart was strangely warmed. In 1992, a mere eight years later, he received God’s call to full time ministry and enrolled in theological college. His first assignment was as Assistant Pastor in Wesley Methodist Church. During this period, he became a father at the age of 39, after nine years of marriage. Five years later, he was appointed PIC of Ang Mo Kio Methodist Church (AMKMC). How inadequate he felt. He did not want the posting, but God spoke to him through Isa 55:12-13. How did this verse on going out in joy and being led by peace apply to him, he wondered? He had no experience in casting church visions or overseeing building projects or handling personnel. But he stayed a full 12 years in AMKMC, where he loved and was loved by the congregation there. During that time, his second son was born, and he had the privilege of being in charge of the re-building of the church. In 2014, he spent two years in Asbury Theological College to study for his Master’s degree. There, he re-discovered the Methodist heritage.
For a second time in his ministry, he was given a posting he would rather not have – as PIC of Wesley Methodist Church in 2016. Again, feelings of inadequacy came upon him. In spite of his experience in AMKMC, he knew Wesley was much bigger and more complex. His prayers to be spared were denied and on 1 Nov 2016, he became Wesley’s PIC. Reflecting on his past 23 years of ministry, he would have been paralysed by fear if he had known what was in store for him. “God reveals enough about the future to give us hope but not too much that we don’t have to walk by faith.” (Ben Witherington III). Life is better lived one day at a time. As the Lord Himself reminds us: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34).
As he looks back, Ps Stanley can clearly see the Hand of God in every matter. His fears were unfounded. Overwhelmed by God’s love and faithfulness, he declares with the psalmist: “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;” (Ps.100:5a). The second part of the verse “his faithfulness continues through all generations” echoes Ex. 20:6 “showing love to a thousand generations”.
Ps Stanley was elected President of TRAC in November last month. He shared that for the third time in his ministry, he had prayed not to receive this appointment. But God had denied this prayer for a third time. However, he knows that come what may, God will remain faithful. God’s faithfulness is immutable. It does not depend on us but on His unchanging character. As Charles Spurgeon shared: “As our fathers found him faithful, so will our sons and their seed forever”. Indeed, Ps Stanley testifies that God’s love and faithfulness go far beyond our human comprehension. We can trust God for all our tomorrows because He is a good and faithful God. What does the future hold for him or for us in Wesley Methodist Church? We may not know the details but we know for certain that:
- The Lord is good
- God’s mercy endures forever
- His faithfulness continues from generation to generation.
The sermon concluded with the song “Goodness of God”. The lyrics encapsulate all of Ps Stanley’s testimony. “All my life You have been faithful, All my life You have been so, so good.”
(Sermon Notes by Angela Goh)