Sunday, 5th January 2020
Pastor Kathy Poon
The theme of 2020 for our church is “Arise and Shine”, which comes from Isaiah 60:1. We need to understand the meaning of this verse: “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.”
First of all, let us look at the Book of Joshua, where it also mentioned to arise:
“Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.” (Joshua 1:2, 3, 9)
1. Be strong & courageous – It won’t just appear for no reason.
Usually when there are some emergencies that we need to be strong and courageous. There are three scenarios mentioned in the Bible:
Scenario 1: Possess the land – Deuteronomy 31:23
Here it tells us that Joshua received a mission from God, so he needed to be strong and courageous. For us, it means when we are to expand the kingdom of God, we also should be strong and courageous.
Scenario 2: Build Holy temple – 1 Chronicles 28:20
In this chapter, David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.”
Solomon would require a lot of resources to build the holy temple, which would last a long time, for us, it is just like building our church now, we need to be strong and courageous for God’s temple.
Scenario 3: Attack of the enemies – 2 Chronicles 32:7
Again God told King Jehoshaphat, “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him.”
We have attacks in our health, marriage, finance, etc. that will make us feel terrified. In the same way, God is telling us to stay strong and courageous.
2. Be strong & courageous – will experience God’s Presence with You
Every time when the Bible mentions “Be strong and courageous”, it is always followed by “God will be with you”. With God’s presence, we will experience victories in our life.
3. Be strong & courageous – Not the absence of fear, but to overcome fear
In order for us to live our a strong and courage life, Ps Kathy has given us the GPS to overcome fear:
- G = Grace “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:1) – Paul was strengthened in God’s grace
- P = Promise “Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you.” (Joshua 10:8) – Joshua receive and hold on to God’s promise
- S = Spirit “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,” (Ephesians 3:16) – you may not look tall and strong from outside, but by the power within us, we can be strong. So we always need to ask the Holy Spirit to fill us.
And the final reminder is to pray, because by prayer we will continually to receive from God, receive His strength to be strong and courageous, as well as to receive the grace, the promise and the Holy Spirit from above!