Sharing of Family Matters
Thank God! Last Sunday afternoon many church members came back to indicate their concern for the construction of our assembly hall. At that meeting, the church-building committee reported in detail on the progress so far, and clarified for everyone the financial needs of the church. Some members also offered their comments on the project and on the sourcing of required funds. I am most thankful for God・s grace in the unity and love for the Lord・s house expressed by everyone. After the meeting, some members gave me encouragement through their testimony. They said that their family church in Taiyuan, Shanxi also experienced the miraculous providence of God when they wanted to build a church. At first, they had only $600 in their building fund. It was miniscule compared to the total cost. But when the brothers and sisters all saw clearly that the project was the will of God, they reached out from their love of the Lord and the church, and through their faith prayed fervently and offered sedulously. The outcome was the final completion of their structure. The Lord Jesus Christ we believe in is called the Faithful and True witness; the Ruler of God・s creation. (Revelation 3:14) He still abides living and true amongst us. Dear brothers and sisters, this time let us truly experience God together.
After consultation by the Elders and Deacons and the church-building committee, it was unanimously determined that the building plan should continue forward. Although at the moment the cost of construction has greatly increased from the initial budget, we do not see how halting and observing for a time would generate any better result. On the contrary, timidity, lack of faith and contentment could bring about neglect of the will to erect God・s house, just as the Israelites of old who were repatriated to Jerusalem and joined in the reconstruction of the city walls said, ：The time has not yet come for the Lord・s house to be built.； (Haggai 1:2) Dear brothers and sisters, if in the past we had prayed in one mind and spirit to God and discovered His will in the matter of the church-building, and if through His mercy and providence He had provided us with the first million dollars to purchase the land where we are to build, why do we still doubt that the Lord who is the Author and Perfecter of all things will not supply us with the additional 2 million dollars to accomplish His will of construction? Dear brothers and sisters, is anything impossible for God? Is He not called Jehovah-Jireh (God will provide)? Can God・s will in His work be both yes and no? Is it only a temple of external wood and stone that He intends to build? Will He not build us as well, the people who have been called to glorify the gracious work of the Lord?
As we all know, No. 5 Rd. in Richmond has been called ：Temple Street； because so many different religions are established there. We find institutions for Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindis, and a spiritual place for transcendental posture and meditation. Of course there are also Christian assemblies. Since God has also arranged for the PE Church to build there, on the face of it, that seems to be a consequence of governmental zoning policy. On a spiritual level however, it is the progression of territorial expansion of the Heavenly Kingdom. It is God choosing us to carry on the ：Journey to Athens；, so that we can validate the testimony of His glory in a place teeming with idols, conquering and fortifying the beachhead of the gospel of His Kingdom. So we should not regard the building of the church as the final goal. It is just a process (including the temple of wood and stone and we, the temple of the Holy Spirit). We must assume as our objective the pleasing of the Lord. Dear brothers and sisters, let us take concrete action to express to God our love for and our faith in Him. He has tested us in our adversity.
：Without faith it is impossible to please Him； (Hebrews 11:6)
By: Daniel To