ADDRESS

20 Norman Spencer Dr
Auckland 2104, NZ

God’s Dwelling Place is Among Us

Sunday, 5th December 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

Rev Daniel and Kathy received the prompting of the Holy Spirit to move from Epsom to South Auckland in 2016. It was not an easy decision and it seemed like an unwise move because Epsom is a high profile area and a good school zone. But when we look back, this is God’s guidance to lead their family and our church to the Promise Land flowing with milk and honey. In the past few years, Pastor’s house in South Auckland has accommodated many pastors all over the world, including the family of the current Senior Pastor of our Mother Church, Bread of Life Christian Church in Taipei. God’s grace is always with us, but we do not realise it. This time when the Government declared Traffic Light System, and with all the restrictions in place, we are unable to use our church hall or hire the lecture room in AUT. Finally we have decided to build a big tent in the basketball court in Pastor’s house, and that’s why we experience God’s dwelling place on earth. When God told us that we must start physical gathering, He will provide everything for us, we do not need to worry.

This world-wide pandemic has made everyone worried, and in order to ensure everyone is safe while gathering physically, we have done a lot of preparation. It seems that when one virus is gone, another has come, but God wants to bless everyone, who is willing to come to His Temple and worship Him. ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

The Pandemic makes people worried and afraid, so how can we live out a life to rejoice in the Lord always? This is what we all have to do as the ones being called, this is not a choice but the destiny for our life from the Lord. We must understand, when we are called, believed and baptised, this is not just a ceremony, but to resurrected with Jesus. Our old life will be completely put to death, this is a miracle, the power from God, not our old life resurrected but a new life is born, like a new born baby, growing up in the Kingdom of God.

Paul tells us in the Bible, God still rules and reigns in all troubles and challenges, even in the Pandemic, there is always hope in God. It’s just like how the sisters being pregnant for 10 months, no matter how tired and how hard they will be, they are willing to go through the pain, because they believe the babies will bring blessings to them. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.’ (Romans 8:28) Everything happened will work for good of those who love God, so we must believe that in all circumstances God will bless us and let us receive the benefits.

1. Difficult situations and the pandemic give us the opportunities to return to God

We often work so hard to have time to seek God and follow God’s way to bless us. God created Heaven and earth for us to enjoy, when we are connected with God, His blessings will come to us. But the world makes us salves and to work hard everyday. God did not release the virus to harm us, but He allowed it to happen, because when we face problems we cannot solve, we will turn to God. When Peter listened to Jesus and walked on water, he was afraid and when he looked down, he fell in the water. At the time he used the shortest prayer in the Bible, ‘Lord save me.’ Then Jesus saved him. A lot of time we don’t need to say a long prayer, as long as we put down our ‘doing’ mode, seek God with all our heart, then we can experience the salvation like Peter did.

2. Difficult situations and the pandemic help us to grow

A lot of time we pray to God to take away our problems, but these problems will not disappear by itself. When we face difficulties, we have two choices, first, we can choose to run away from them, we may use our own way or the worldly way to solve the problem, but when we solve one problem, another one may emerge. Another choice us what we should choose as the ones being called, to seek God. We must give everything we do and everyone we care to God, God will make the way for us. Because His Will is to bring peace for us. When we face difficult situations, we must pray for the strength and wisdom from God to manage, not to run away from them. Just like Joseph, who was sold to Egypt, he did not run away, but used his ability to manage his master’s household. Even when he was put to jail, he still excelled in his position as the manager in the prison. Finally when he was lifted up by Pharaoh, he managed the whole kingdom of Egypt wholeheartedly and faithfully. Joseph experienced the blessings from God because he was willing to face his difficult situations with the strength from God. God allowed the pandemic, not for us to run away, but to give us wisdom to experience miracles, even develop new territories, experience the glorious changes in life. God wants to turn our difficulties around and make them our blessings.

Sun. 2021.12.05 – 首次户外实体聚会 信息记录:

潘锡安牧师 – 主日信息分享:

我们的牧师师母在2015年受圣灵感动从奥克兰的名校区Epsom搬到现今这个南部偏远的地点,当初看来是不可思议的决定,但这其实是神为我们预备的流奶与蜜之地。过去的这几年,这里招待过很多神所重用的牧者,甚至包括母堂台北灵粮堂现今的主任牧师周巽正牧师一家。很多时候神的恩典摆在我们面前,我们没有意识到。直到这一次奥克兰长达3个多月的lockdown结束后又变成红绿灯系统,要找一个符合政府规定又满足教会需要的聚会地点是非常艰难的。然而,神既然感动我们要恢复实体聚会,他就必会供应,如今在牧师师母家的户外场地就可以以优惠的价格搭设了这个大帐篷, 又有小帐篷给儿童主日学,我们能够来到这里聚会就是一个神迹奇事。今年4月份我们教会开始在AUT 大学聚会,每周主日前扛抬器材,设置音控设备,主日后又收拾场地,看似很辛苦,但原来神用AUT的这段经历预备我们今天的聚会,我们所拥有的一切设施、装备使我们成为一个可移动的教会。这个帐篷搭好时,神让我们看到“神的帐幕在人间”,能够来到当中的弟兄姐妹都是蒙福的,搭建的过程不管多辛苦也是值得的。

在这前所未有的疫情之下,全世界人心惶惶。我们为了能够安全的实体聚会,各人也都做了很多预防保证工作。疫情的结束看似遥遥无期,一种病毒结束另一个病毒又来了,但神要祝福每一愿意来到他的殿中来敬拜他的人。锡安牧师用帖撒罗尼迦前书5:16-18鼓励我们面对不明朗的未来:

“要常常喜乐, 不住地祷告, 凡事谢恩,因为这是神在基督耶稣里向你们所定的旨意。”

疫情的发生让人担心、害怕,活在惶恐当中,我们如何活出靠主“常常喜乐”的生命呢?这是我们每一人蒙召的人都要做的事,这不是一个选择,是从主而来的命定。我们要明白,我们蒙召的人在受洗的时候不是只是参加一个仪式,而是与耶稣基督同死同埋葬同复活了。我们旧有的生命已经完全死去,所以浸礼是一个力量,是神迹奇事。神借着受洗要改变我们,医治我们,挪去过去一切的诅咒。我们要靠着耶稣与罪和诅咒一起死、一起埋葬,然后一起复活 – 不是旧有的生命醒过来,而是带着一个重新的生命活过来,好像一个新生宝宝一样。教会的责任就是去教导这些新生宝宝,在神国度里长大。

我们如何能拿走疫情带给我们的彷徨?就是要成为新造的人,受洗加入教会。保罗在经文里告诉我们,在一切困难中神依然作王掌权。就如姐妹怀胎十月,不管自己多辛苦,她们都承托着孩子,因为她们相信肚子里怀着的孩子会带来祝福,所以才能经历产难的痛苦。我们也要这样对神有坚定的信念。罗马书8:28 告诉我们,所有发生的事情都是给我们的益处。在困难和疫情中,我们要相信神给我们的是益处。

1. 困难和疫情可以给我们机会回转归向神

在平时我们想的只是去做工赚钱,忙到没有时间去寻求神的方式来祝福我们。神创造天地是要人享受其中,当我们与神连结时,神所命定的福就会临到我们。然而世界让我们为奴为仆、让我们忙碌。神没有放病毒来伤害他所爱的儿女,但他允许疫情发生,因为当我们遇到用人的方法解决不了的问题时,我们才会回头寻求神。当初彼得听从耶稣的吩咐行走在水面上,当他往下看时,由于心里害怕,就跌落进水里,这时他只做最短的一句4个字的祷告:“主啊,救我”,耶稣就拯救了他。我们不需要写很长的祷文,只要我们愿意放下自己的doing,全心去寻求神,我们就能经历彼得所经历的拯救。我们不需要怕疫情,但出于尊重社会的原因我们行事要小心。害怕是不能解决问题的,彼得害怕就跌进水里,当他呼求神的时候他就得生命。

2. 困难和疫情也可以帮助我们成长

很多时候我们祷告求神把我们的困难拿走,然而,困难是不会自动消失的。面对困难,我们有两个选择。第一,我们可以选择逃避。我们可能会用自己或世人的方式尝试去解决一个问题,然而在我们解决一个问题时,因此而产生的新问题又出来了。另一个选择是我们蒙召的人要选择的,就是寻求神。我们要将自己所在乎的人和事都交给神,神会为我们开路,因为他向我们所怀的意念是赐平安的意念。当困难来时,我们要祷告神给我们能力去管理环境,而不是逃避。正如创世纪里记录的约瑟的故事,约瑟被卖到埃及后,他没有逃跑,而是在主人家管理一切;被关进监狱后,依然在里面有卓越的人生;出狱后,被法老提升,成为埃及一人之下万人之上的宰相。神给我们疫情,不是去逃离这片土地,而是给我们智慧能力去经历神迹奇事,甚至发展新的领域,经历荣耀的改变。神要我们经历祝福,在困难中使危机成为转机。

神给我们恩典的时候,我们是否看到这是恩典,还是抱怨神给我们的一切,抱怨我们为此所花费的时间精力?神给我们这片土地,我们不要用抱怨来诅咒它,要按手为它祷告。神给以色列人的是应许之地,所以我们要看重神赐给我们的地业。我们要在疫情中经历神,不讲抱怨的话,而要靠主常常喜乐,不管遇到什么事我们都感谢神。遇到困难,才会更能看到神给我们的恩典,因为万事都互相效力,叫爱神的人得益处。

“要常常喜乐, 不住地祷告, 凡事谢恩,因为这是神在基督耶稣里向你们所定的旨意。”- “旨意”是给我们一定要做的事,是没有选择的。所以我们不用担心,人虽然在困境中不知道怎么办,但是神都知道。在一个人心惶惶的时刻,我们活在埃及里,但神要让我们离开埃及,去享受他所为我们预备的福。我们若带着恐惧害怕来到神的面前,神要医治我们,使我们经历他出乎意料的平安。