Sunday, 27 December 2020
Rev. Dr Daniel Poon
2020 has been an exceedingly difficult year for the whole world. In 2019, many people predicted that many things would happen in 2020 and there would be a great revival, but Covid-19 stopped everything. The pandemic is like a pause button for 2020 and many large conferences were cancelled. 2020 was a big challenge for everyone who lives on this planet. One out of every five people lost their lives. Now even though the vaccine is finally available, the virus has mutated in the United States, Britain, and Australia. When I look back on 2020, the first thing I see is the scripture God gave to our church.
Isaiah 60: 1-3
1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Pastor Kathy (Shimu) spoke on the topic of “Arise and Shine” at the beginning of 2020. Now we look back at what God has done in our lives during the past year.
- THE GLORY OF THE LORD’s PRESENCE
BE STRONG & COURAGEOUS – It won’t just appear for no reason
Shimu mentioned this point on the first Sunday’s service in 2020 – everything happens for a reason. God brought me to New Zealand out of my father’s house, and He also brought Shimu’s sister’s two sons here. They now stay in a city where they have no family members, just like when I first came to New Zealand. I did not know English and did not know anyone. My life was in complete darkness. However, when God brings us to a certain situation, He always has a reason. The Lord came to us to bring glory, not darkness, and He wants us to shine like Jesus. Now we are in New Zealand with no one else able to influence us, so our faith is just between us and God. This is a test to let us know ourselves more clearly. When I was in Hong Kong, I really wanted to follow God. When I came here, I lived at homestay family and could not understand the language, so this became a test for my relationship with God and my faith in Him. Just as Shimu said things will not appear for no reason. God does not want those things to knock us down. God wants us to know who we really are. Because when we are under the bondage of religious spirit, we may appear to be holy, but when we have the freedom, our true self will be revealed. When we look back on 2020, there is no way for people to go anywhere. Everyone has to stay at home, work and study from home, and everything we do is related to our family. We were busy before, and now when we stay home, we can see more clearly about ourselves. That is what God’s glory will bring. When His light enters darkness, everything will be revealed.
2. GOD’S CHILDREN COME FROM AFAR
BE STRONG & COURAGEOUS – will experience God’s Presence with You
3 Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts.
Isaiah 60: 3-4
The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. 4 “Lift up your eyes all around, and see:
They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side.
When God lightens the darkness within us, we will see many things we have ignored in our lives. When the light of God came in, we found that what we had thought was right before was wrong. God brought all His children back from afar and brought them into the presence of God. In the past, we did not know why we prayed. We just thought prayer and going to church are what Christians do. In 2020, God has sounded the alarm for us. No one knows who can survive tomorrow. This year, one in five people died. The leaders of all major countries face the same problems. People realize that the only thing they can rely on is to pray to God. People came to the street and knelt down to pray. Christians are not going to hold large gatherings, and people realize that they need to pray. Only through prayer can their lives be saved by God. Remember in the times of Jonah, God wanted to destroy the city of Nineveh; and in Abraham’s time, God wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but God changed His mind because of prayer. People repent and pray, for nothing but prayer can stop the disasters.
In 2019, our church copied other churches to serve the community with the intention to attract new members to the church. We went to plant trees and visit the elderly in rest homes, but God said that in 2020, He did not want us to copy others. He asked us to calm down through prayer. We had already begun morning prayers before the first lockdown. Then we kept on doing morning devotion from Monday to Saturday, and we did not stop even on Christmas. Because we know that God wants us to return to the organic, not copying what others do, but focusing on the relationship between us and the Father. Through prayer, we establish this relationship. It is not easy for the sons of God to return. We always want to do something, but what we need is stop everything and pray only.
3. GOD’S SUPPLY
BE STRONG & COURAGEOUS – Not the absence of fear, but to overcome fear
5 Then you shall see and become radiant, And your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.
How do we return to the most organic state? When facing the pandemic, people grab toilet paper, flour, and masks. They do not want to rest or return to what God wants us to be. In 2020, God gave us a Bible training institute out of our plan. It is no longer teachers from other countries who come to our church, but through the Internet and zoom, we can have Bible training and we can control what we want, and talk about what our church needs, which is completely organic. It is specially tailored for our church. God’s provision for us in 2020 is not planned by ourselves, as it was given to us by others. Because of this, the students in the school have restored the value of their lives. They truly see who God is and what their beliefs are, and they no longer fear what is happening around them.
Shimu mentioned GPS at the beginning of the year. G is for grace, P is for promise, S is for the Spirit. Because of grace, promises, and the Holy Spirit, we have the protection from God. Many people do not want to use GPS. They feel that they know the route and know more than GPS. But God has given us His GPS as gifts, only to His children. How can we get GPS and experience God’s grace, promises, and the presence of the Holy Spirit? It is through the morning prayer. Prayer is a very powerful weapon.
With Shimu’s prophetic gift at the beginning of the year, she had already talked about what would happen this year and what our response should be. But when Shimu gave us this message – which is to pray continually, how many people listened carefully and prayed earnestly with this “GPS”?
God knows what will happen. He wants us to be blessed. He does not look at the numbers so we should not be influenced by those who are not coming around us. Even the Bible has already said that there are few people chosen. We are all chosen. When we look back in 2020, we see that God is real. What about 2021? Do we enter the new year with our old lifestyle and ideas? God is real, and God always wants to visit us.
I share a picture with you I took yesterday from my kitchen after praying for my eldest son Joshua. He was suffering from stomach-ache in his room and I went into his room and laid my hands praying for him. Then I went back to the kitchen to wash my hands, all of a sudden, I saw the something from outside. It was late in the evening but the sky was so bright – and the clouds that looked like fire came from heaven to right before my eyes. It was a sign showing God was visiting us. It is the end of the world now. God cares about how we live. He does not want us to be left behind. When Jesus Christ returns, He must first judge all Christians, and how do we face Him? How many souls you have saved? God is real. He has been visiting us and has been telling us, through our authority, pastors, and prophecy, and He tells us what to do and return.
2021 is a new chapter. Brothers and sisters, as a father, my daily prayer is to meet everyone again in heaven. As long as I am still in New Zealand, I will not miss the Sunday Service and morning prayers. Because I know how important my prayer is to this family. In 2021, when the light of God enters us, we are willing to return and repent. This is not easy. But when we are willing to start, the grace of God will be with us.
“And the final reminder is to pray, because by prayer we will continue 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!”
Response: Let us humble and return, pray and seek, because the word of God will not return to Him void. Let us make God become the GPS for every aspect of our lives!
1兴 起 ， 发 光 ！ 因 为 你 的 光 已 经 来 到 ！ 耶 和 华 的 荣 耀 发 现 照 耀 你 。2 看 哪 ， 黑 暗 遮 盖 大 地 ， 幽 暗 遮 盖 万 民 ， 耶 和 华 却 要 显 现 照 耀 你 ； 他 的 荣 耀 要 现 在 你 身 上 。3 万 国 要 来 就 你 的 光 ， 君 王 要 来 就 你 发 现 的 光 辉 。4 你 举 目 向 四 方 观 看 ； 众 人 都 聚 集 来 到 你 这 里 。 你 的 众 子 从 远 方 而 来 ； 你 的 众 女 也 被 怀 抱 而 来 。5 那 时 ， 你 看 见 就 有 光 荣 ； 你 心 又 跳 动 又 宽 畅 ； 因 为 大 海 丰 盛 的 货 物 必 转 来 归 你 ； 列 国 的 财 宝 也 必 来 归 你 。
师母之前给我们很好的话语去总结我们的信息 – 就是要不住的祷告。师母在年初借着她先知的恩赐，已经讲了今年会发生的事情和我们该做的回应。但是当师母给我们信息的时候，有多少人认真地听，拿着GPS认真地祷告？感谢神的恩典，我们每周日的信息都记录下来，放在教会网站上，有多少人知道我们有网站，而且认真读？神很爱我们，很顾念我们，神为我们供应我们一切，就像父母一样，他们知道孩子需要什么，把一切都给了孩子。但是不幸的是，孩子们不觉得自己需要，就放在一边。
我特别找到师母年初给我们的信息，我找回2019年神给我们的异象重新学习。神知道什么会发生，他希望我们蒙福，他不是看数字，我们不要被周围没有来的人影响，因圣经已经说了，选上的人少 – 我们都是被拣选的。在回顾2020年时候，我们看到神是真实的。2021年呢？我们是否带着旧有的生活方式和思想进入新的一年？神是真实的，神一直想探访我们。
快要末世了，神也知道，他会造访我们，就像我们是在赛跑一样，人们会喊加油，因为神希望我们赢得比赛。分享一张圣诞节晚上照的照片 – 那天我的大儿子肚子不舒服，我去他房间，给他按手祷告。我平时很少这样做，因为他已经长大了。但作为一个父亲，看到儿子难受，我领受圣灵的话，就按手给他祷告，说，神你赐给他作为我们的长子，你已经告诉了我们他人生的目的，你让他出生在这个世界，不是让他来受苦，我就将我儿子完全交托给神。我从他房间出来，然后去了厨房，这是晚上，却发现房间外面好像着火一样亮，我就看见外面如图上一样的景像，有火一般的云彩从天堂一直到眼前，我就叫我的外甥一起看，神在造访我们。现在是末世了，神顾念我们如何生活，他不想我们落后，不是受洗了就会上天堂。神给我们马太福音28章的大使命，要我们完成耶稣未完成的使命。当耶稣基督回来的时候，他首先要审判所有的基督徒，我们如何面对他，你拯救了多少灵魂。神是真实的。他一直在造访我们，一直告诉我们，借着我们的权柄、牧师、预言，神告诉我们要怎么做 – 回转。