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8886 Hudson Street

Vancouver, BC

 

Ministry Centre

#110 - 1200 West 73rd Ave

Vancouver, BC

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Tel: 604-261-3339

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Keep Praying
Written by Conrade Yap   
Friday, 16 September 2011 09:02

This article is first published at YAPDATES.
TITLE: KEEP PRAYING
Written by: Conrade Yap
Date: 16 Sep 2011

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thess 5:17)

Have you ever prayed but felt that God is slow in answering your prayers? Have you ever prayed for a loved one to come to Jesus, but to no avail? Have you ever fasted and interceded for someone in your family to get right with God, but nothing seems to be happening?

You are not alone. This is one of the biggest mysteries surrounding prayer. Does prayer work? Is prayer hallucination? For all the questions and all the uncertainties, all it takes is one clear answer, and like smoke evaporating into the sky, the doubts will clear up. In the meantime, we need to learn to pray. We need to cultivate holy waiting. We need to practice spiritual mindfulness that God will work according to His good time. One of the most intriguing verses in the Bible is the one on prayer, where Peter writes about the Lord’s patient work.

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-9)

I like to draw attention to three things in this passage. Firstly, it is not our time but God's time. The Scripture tells us that time is determined by the Lord. We can plan our ways, but it is the Lord who directs. We can structure our time schedules, but it is the Lord who decides. We can try to move things along, but it is the Lord who dictates. We can move bodies, but it is the Lord who moves hearts. The Lord moves by His Spirit. We need to move in step with the Spirit, primarily in prayer.

Secondly, what is slow to man is not slow to God. If we acknowledge that time is in God's hands, our definition of 'slowness' takes on a whole new meaning. Think about how our impatience has brought more trouble. Think about how foolish it is to overtake the car in front of us, only to be stopped at the next traffic junction a block away. Think about the frustrations inside us, when our version of fast, is not fast enough for our bosses. It is not slow or fast but timely that matters. A friend of mine said this to me many years ago that has stayed with me.

"God is seldom early, never late, but always on time."

Last Updated on Sunday, 09 October 2011 09:53
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Concerns or Worries?
Written by Conrade Yap   
Friday, 17 February 2012 11:38

Is it a sin to worry? Some say that biblically, worry is a sin. Others disagree saying that there are legitimate concerns. Whether worry is a sin or not, the fact is, humanly speaking, we all worry. Some worry more, others worry less. After all, when Jesus say, DO NOT WORRY, He is speaking into the reality of the human condition. He is not concerned about intellectual gymnastics about whether worry is a sin or not. He is interested in the FREEDOM from worry. Jesus tells us about the more important things in life, that our lives comprise more than mere food, clothing, or feeding ourselves.

Jesus tells us the futility of worry.

 

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Matt 6:27)

 

He tells us about how the wisest man on earth, Solomon, could not even be compared to how God dresses up the flowers of the fields (6:29).

 

Last Updated on Friday, 17 February 2012 12:00
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Wildflower Lessons - Deep Roots
Written by Conrade Yap   
Friday, 27 April 2012 13:58

Wildflower Lessons - Deep Roots

 

Every Spring, they suddenly appear. Out of nowhere, they invade our lawns.  At the twinkle of an eye, the weeds that have been cleared last year reappear fresh. Why is it so difficult to get rid of weeds? I remember Jesus telling the disciples about the story of the good plants and the bad weeds. The good seed refers to the Kingdom of God. The bad seeds refer to the work of the evil one.

 

"Jesus told them another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared." (Matthew 13:24-26)

 

 

All over the lower mainland in Vancouver, it is common to find wildflowers sprouting all over lawns, public parks, and walkways. They grow near the edges of gated properties. They flourish in the wild parks. Where the pretty flowers and green pastures are, there the weeds will be also. There are three things to learn from the wildflowers in Spring.

 

Firstly, the good plants and the bad weeds come up together. This is because while man does the good works by day, the evil one does the evil works by night. While man tries to be good and to do good in his neighbourhood, we cannot but observe that amid the good, there are also bad eggs around us. It can be a rude gesture, an evil scheme, or simply a bad behaviour. After all, the human condition is a sinful condition. Since both the good plants and the weeds come up together, it is important for us to discern the good from the bad. This means that discernment has to be foremost in our minds. Pray to the Lord for help to sense the gentle leading. Read the Word of God regularly. Like the Psalmist who says:

 

"I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You." (Psalm 119:11)

 

Last Updated on Friday, 27 April 2012 14:28
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