Witness the Bounty and Glory of the Lord
¡§Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for Him.¡¨ (Psalm 98:1)
This week, the writer would like to share with you a matter for much thanksgiving. Thank God for listening to our prayers, so that the construction of the church is finally concluded in a debt-free situation. The God that we seek, that we rely on - our loving and faithful Heavenly Father has indeed met all our needs according to His glorious riches in Jesus Christ. (Philippians 4:19)
On April 4, a month after the church moved into the new hall for our gatherings, Brother David Ng called and told the writer that an overseas member had been touched and compelled by the Holy Spirit to willingly convert the interest-free loan originally offered to the church into a full donation. Upon hearing this, the writer loudly proclaimed thanks and exaltations. Because of the solemnity of the situation, I asked Brother Ng to communicate once more with this member and assert certain arrangements. We, the pastoral team also persisted in praying for this matter. Last Saturday, Brother Ng phoned again to confirm this member¡¦s gift of love.
Since the Church Dedication and 11th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service on March 5, the writer had continuously petitioned God for the outstanding $500,000 in construction costs. I was worried that after settling into the new building, the brothers and sisters would assume that the job was all done and, mindful of the safety net of $560,000 in interest-free loans, they would neglect to keep on praying and offering. The writer was aware that everyone had exhausted their financial capabilities, so I beseeched God to do His work for the sake of His name. If building the church was initiated by the Lord, He would surely be the author and perfecter as well. Thanks to the mercy of God! He did not stop dispensing His Grace because of our lack of faith. The Lord has completed our church-building plans for us and met all of our needs.
As per last Sunday¡¦s (April 16) income and expenses statement for our building project, donations from our own congregation totaled $1,095,614. Overseas and outside gifts were $1,651,297. Add to that the $347,760 from the sale of our office, and the total cumulative income for our venture was $3,094,671. If we append the extra offering of $438,439 from this overseas member, the latest cumulative income for the church-building comes to $3,533,110. On the other side, as of March 31, we had paid total expenses for the project of $3,134,374. Subtracting estimated unpaid outlays of approximately $310,000, we have a surplus of around $88,736. (This sum will be reserved for installing the irrigation system for the agricultural land and renovation of #8280.) Dear brothers and sisters, God is indeed faithful and wonderful! As well, last week we had only $16,738 remaining in our building fund. The deadline for payment of the last big sum to the construction company (over $200,000) was Thursday. Although there was the interest-free loan of over $560,000 held in reserve and we would not have had to worry about any cash-flow problem, the faithful and wonderful Lord willingly allowed us to terminate the church construction in a debt-free state so that His bounty and glory would be thus revealed.
The writer had all along exhorted everyone to pray ardently and offer earnestly for the church construction, because the Bible reveals to us that building of the temple and the building of man are intimately related. You have all heard me say, ¡§Only those who pray are worthy to build the temple of prayer.¡¨ This time the church has surely experienced once again supplication being acknowledged by the Lord. The writer hopes that everyone understands this spiritual principle. God listens to prayers when man obeys His word. (Of course God can also work by His abundant love and according to His will.) Imagine if that overseas member had rejected the urging of the Holy Spirit or given some lame excuse when moved to offer by the Holy Spirit, we would have continued to testify in a deficit state, and the glory of God would have been hindered. Therefore, everyone should learn another spiritual principle. There are some things that we have to do ourselves, and do so conscientiously. God would not do them for us, Some things can only be done by God. We cannot do them, and are not able to. We must pray that God will bestow us the spiritual wisdom to distinguish between the two.
¡§Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts. Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.¡¨ (1 Chronicles 16:8-11)
By: Daniel To