Six Lessons about God and His People
Pastor Sam reflects on his past 2 years serving on staff at GBC and shares some of the lessons he’s learnt.
I’ve been spending the last few weeks packing in preparation for the move and clearing away old things. The process became an unexpected walk down memory lane as I sorted through various past gifts, photos and notes, and started reflecting on how God has used various people and situations to love and bless me. As I’ve reflected on my past 2 years serving on staff at GBC, I’d like to share 6 lessons that I’ve learnt about God and His people.
1. God is more powerful than we can ever imagine, and more loving than we could ever deserve.
In the midst of our busyness, it’s really easy to lose sight of who God is, or to find ourselves in situations that seem impossible. Romans 8 (which our sermon series is currently at) is an excellent passage to reflect on God’s power and love in our lives.
2. God will never ever give up on us.
The parable of the prodigal son is one of my favourite passages of Scripture, as it is a reminder of God’s relentless, persevering love that assures us that even when we’re not looking for him, He’s still searching for us. It’s a parable that I have constantly sought to be a backbone of my own approach to ministry. Not only does it remind me that I am loved by God, it also reminds me that everyone else is loved by God, and so I should love them too.
3. God is at work, even when we don’t see it.
In my previous jobs, it was common for each employee to be given key KPIs by which our performance could be measured. It can be so different in ministry, and it can feel a little unnerving after teaching or preaching God’s Word, as there is often no ‘immediate’ indication on the impact of the lesson or sermon. Especially when serving in the children or youth ministry, often the impact of what we do does not surface for months or years, and that can sometimes feel a bit discouraging. But God is at work, even when we don’t see it. So, as I shared during the sermon, if you haven’t already done so, why not tell someone about how God worked in your life through them to affirm them for their love and service!
4. We can all be used by God.
There was one week that I was feeling a bit discouraged. And then out of nowhere, Aunty Miauw Suang came up to my desk in the church office and handed me a packet of Lor Mee, saying “I heard you like Lor Mee, this one is from Old Airport Road, very famous, so I bought one packet for you.” I don’t think she realised it (she probably will after reading this), but that moment was a turning point for me that week as God used her simple act of love to remind me of His love for me. Through simple acts of kindness and authenticity, we can all be used by God to love His children.
5. We are first sheep before we are shepherds.
Francis Chan once preached a sermon on Psalm 23 at a conference for pastors. It left a deep impression on me, because instead of using Psalm 23 to teach pastors how to care for their flock, he used it to remind the pastors that they are sheep before shepherds. I’ve found out that burnout amongst Christian leaders (both full-time and lay) is extremely common. For those of us who are leaders, let’s not forget that we are first sheep before we are called to be shepherds. Let’s also take time to care for the shepherds that God has given us.
6. We love because He first loved us.
God’s love is the basis for everything else He tells us about himself and ourselves in the Bible. It gives us the model, the means, and the motivation to love Him with everything we have, everywhere we are, and with everyone we meet. Let’s pray that we at GBC would grow more and more into a loving church that is a conduit of God’s love to our community and beyond.
It’s been a privilege and joy to serve at GBC these past 2 years. Jess and I are thankful for the love, encouragement and support that so many of you have showered us during our time at GBC. We would love to continue our gospel partnerships with you even as we leave for Vancouver, and will be sending out a newsletter from time to time. Please do keep in touch, drop us an email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be on the mailing list, and do let us know if you’re ever in the area.
Last Sunday, the church prayed for the Behs as they prepare to leave for Vancouver. They will be sorely missed.
EQUIP will be organising a biblical counselling seminar: The Compelling Community: Bearing One Another's Burdens on 23-24 August. Members are encouraged to sign up at: tinyurl.com/compellingcommunity.