Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said:“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
“Jesus has many who love His Kingdom in Heaven, but few who bear His cross (Luke 14:27). He has many who desire comfort, but few who desire suffering. He finds many to share His feast, but few His fasting. All desire to rejoice with Him, but few are willing to suffer for His sake. Many follow Jesus to the breaking of bread, but few to the drinking of the cup of His passion. Many admire His miracles, but few follow Him in the humiliation of His cross. Many love Jesus as long as no hardship touches them. Many praise and bless Him, as long as they are receiving any comfort from Him.” -Thomas a Kempis (14th century Christian writer)
This cartoon* from a Rick Morgan article depicts this point well.
Questions for Personal Reflection: Are we similar to what Thomas a Kempis and Rick Morgan have illustrated? Do we long for Christ as long as it’s easy to follow His path? Easy Christianity just doesn’t work, though. Like the cartoon shows, if our cross is too short, we can’t get over the tough times in life. We will miss out on the celebration in heaven! Let us be willing to take up His cross, and through Christ we will see the victory.
*Take Up Your Cross by Rick Morgan
ICOC International Leadership Conference (27 to 31 August)
27 – 29, August 2014 : International Leadership Conference (ILC)
30 – 31, August 2014 : Conferences around the SEA Region ( please refer to page on SEA Region Conferences for details )
The SEA Region is humbled and honoured that Singapore was chosen as the site of the 2014 International Leadership Conference (ILC). This is a significant milestone, for it marks the first time in twenty years that an Asian country will be hosting an ICOC world leadership event.
The theme build! seemed to make sense for several reasons:
- The pages of the Bible are filled with inspiring stories of God’s people going up against all odds to build! His kingdom. Satan directs his fiery arrows at anyone who takes on the task to build! God’s church; most of those in leadership discover how costly and even dangerous such work can be. However, throughout history, whenever God’s people are led by courageous and Spirit-filled leaders, His kingdom eventually grows from strength to strength. The apostle Paul admonished the Corinthian disciples to build! on the right foundation (I Corinthians 3:10-15). While we cannot take credit for anything because we are all saved by and called to serve by God’s grace, we have to be careful how we build! The world is waiting for leaders and believers to build! His church!
- The theme build! reflects the heart of the Singapore story. Few gave this tiny island a chance of survival when independence was thrust upon her unexpectedly in 1965. The young nation’s leaders knew this 35-mile wide by 20-mile long city-state had to be extraordinary to survive. With vision, passion and determination, the Prime Minister and his team decided to build! Singapore in a very purposeful way, turning it from a sleepy developing-world backwater to a first-world nation in one generation. And build! it they did – today, with a population of over five million, Singapore is an English–speaking global city with one of the world’s highest per capita incomes.
- Partially inspired by such vision, diligence and determination, the SEA Region leaders are striving to build! on a strong and spiritual foundation, and they look forward to learning from the worldwide fellowship of leaders about how to betterbuild! in Asia. They are also trying their best to organise a faith-lifting and memorable event for all ILC participants, and at the same time, to create a compelling “Singapore experience” for everyone. We welcome you all to immerse yourselves in the rich vibrancy of sights, sounds and tastes, enjoying the colourful cultural tapestry that has come to represent our nation.
We started our very first HOPE MY Reading program with the help of the KL HOPE team to reach out and serve the community in Ipoh. God was truly amazing, on the first session in April, we had 7 youth beneficiaries. On the second week, we had 11. Currently we are serving 15 youth. God opened the door for us to have wonderful volunteers from Sunway Ipoh College. We also managed to be sponsored by Tower Regency for the venue.[vimeo 92949126 w=601&h=338]