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2011-12-04 A Transformed Life

Time: 2011-12-10 Click:

By Paster Andrew
04 Dec 2011 Sunday

 

 

 

 

Worship song: Worthy is Our God

Psalm
95:1-7
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. 
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! 
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. 
诗篇
95:1-7
来啊,我们要向耶和华歌唱,向拯救我们的磐石欢呼!
我们要来感谢他,用诗歌向他欢呼!
因耶和华为大神,为大王,超乎万神之上。
地的深处在他手中;山的高峰也属他。
海洋属他,是他造的;旱地也是他手造成的。
来啊,我们要屈身敬拜,在造我们的耶和华面前跪下。
因为他是我们的神;我们是他草场的羊,是他手下的民。
Verse 1 Poor and wicked, Rich and righteous
All you nations rise and sing
Weak and needy, Sick and thirsty
Sing to Jesus - King of Kings
Chorus All the oceans roar
All the mountains tremble
Lord, all of creation sings Your praise
Worthy is our God
Respected, feared, exalted
We will lift our hearts
to worship You - King of Kings
Verse 2 CN 生命之水灌溉万物
sheng ming zhi shui guan gai wan wu
生命之粮我渴望你
sheng ming zhi liang wo ke wang ni
主的大能是我们福分
zhu di da neng shi wo men fu fen
将会一直到永久
jiang hui yi zhi dao yong jiu
Chorus CN 群海在喧啸 群山在震颤
qun hai zai xuan xiao qun shan zai zhen chan
世上万物都来颂扬你
shi shang wan wu dou lai song yang ni
主应受尊崇 万物敬畏你
zhu ying shou zun chong wan wu jing wei ni
高举火热的心灵敬拜你
gao ju huo re di xin ling jing bai ni
Verse 2 Living Water, come and fill us
Bread of Life, we long for You
God Almighty is our portion
And He will forever be
Witness(Original Songs & music by Jordan Wendt & Lily Wendt) The story behind this song is simple. I was in a small group, and the brother leading the group asked if I would be interested in leading the singing. It had been a long time since I had led music, and I was not feeling very confident. I was walking home one day and I prayed a simple prayer "Lord, give me a song for this group". To my amazement, when I got home and picked up my guitar the chords and melody just came to me. I started writing the words that day too. Over the next week or so, I would write some more words in English and my wife, Lily, would help make some small changes. When all the words were written in English, Lily helped translate them to Chinese. Many of the lyrics are borrowed from scripture, especially Psalms and the Gospel of John. It has been a joy to share this song with others, and tell of God's power in helping me write it. God's Spirit can help us to do many creative things for His glory. I was amazed when I heard the story of the Chinese woman Xiao Min in rural Henan province who has written over 1,000 hymns (迦南诗歌). I encourage everyone to ask God in faith, that He would use them to do new and exciting things to glorify His name. He deserves all the glory, honor, and praise.     --- By Jordan Wendt

 

 
 

 

Scripture Reading: Philemon 1:6
I Pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.

 

 

Sermon:

 

 

 

Greetings:

Thank you, Brother Larry. Did I turn my thing on? Is it OK? (Yes, it is on.) I can hear you. What a privilege to be with you today. I forgot there is no translation now. I will say this, “Zhe zhen shi mei hao! (This is wonderful!)” It’s OK? I have a long way to go but I am practicing. Some day my Chinese will be good. And I am glad to speak to you. My name is Andrew Palau. And I bring greetings from my father, Luis Palau. … Hello, hello. That will work. I’ll hold it here. Amen? (Amen.) I am sorry. Well, we had a beautiful service this morning before you came. But this looks like a very special service today. Amen? (Amen.) Amen!

 

I am privileged to be with you on this day of celebration for Jessica and Dong Li. And I’d better hurry because I know that’s the main event for today. Amen? (Amen. ) Amen! Congratulations, Jessica and Dong Li! We will pray for your life together and your service in honoring the Lord in your marriage and in your ministry.

 

I bring greetings from Beaverton, Oregon. That’s where our family and our ministry  are. Our ministry , you may recognize, is a sister, one of your many partners and sister churches from around the world, one of them is in Beaverton. And my friend Mark has made the introduction to Pastor Peter. And we felt like we are new friends, and we look forward to great days of ministry together. Three of your friends are over in Beaverton right now. We bring greetings from Rachel  He ,  Liyu Yang and Gloria Li who are spending some time with us in Beaverton. So it’s like an exchange program. They are there and I am here. I am so happy.

 

Scripture Sharing:

This morning, we realize that all around the world, God’s people are gathering, and worshiping the Lord. It’s my privilege to be with you worshiping on this day. It is special to be back in China in the Christmas season. It’s beautiful to think of the work of God in these days, celebrating Christmas, that beautiful gift of God, sending His son, Jesus into the world. This Advent season is my very favorite. I am glad to be with you here. So between the wedding and the Advent season, we have much to celebrate. The verse that we read, Philemon verse 6, I’ll just leave it with you as an encouragement and a challenge to just continue the incredible work that is already going on here. Even in my short time here, I sense a great move of the Holy Spirit of God, through Haidian Church and through each one of you. This verse, I hope, will stimulate you to continue to work, to serve, and to love the people that He has brought into your life. Look at what it says. I won’t expound on it today because I think it is very clear. Even as you live your life, you can understand the depth of this verse for yourself as He reveals Himself to you.

 

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.

 

And even though we should share the good news and be active in sharing our faith just out of obedience to the master, right? We should just be active in sharing our faith out of obedience, simple obedience to our Savior. Look at what he says, because He is so good. He says this to us, not only do it because I’ve asked you to, but I want you to know that when you live life this way, it’s for your own good, it is for your own good. As you live and serve in the way that I have created you, it will come around and it will prove to fill your life with good things and with full understanding of all the good things you have in Jesus Christ. And if you just study your life, you will see how that comes to pass day by day. I am grateful that people took that verse seriously, and that they live their life actively sharing their faith. And that is what I really wanted to share with you this morning. We decided that if I could just share a little bit about my story, which might encourage you and challenge you about your activity, and especially that you may never give up praying for your friends and inviting them to know Jesus Christ. That just means actively sharing your faith.

 

 

 
 

 

Testimony:

Because I was born and raised in a great Christian home and my parents were in ministry, very faithful to me and my three brothers, I had a wonderful church just like this church. I did not see hypocrisy there, or any such things. But despite those blessings and many other blessings in my life, I chose to live in rebellion against God and I am ashamed to tell you that even from the youngest of ages I turned my back on the things of God and I went my own way. And I went that direction for 27 years. And I just loved to party. I was very foolish. Er… I got involved with alcohol and drugs and all the relationships that go along with that partying life style. And it was very unfortunate. Sin has its fun for a season. We know that’s true in our lives, and the Bible tells us, “There is fun in a season, but in the end it leads to death. There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12)” And I am afraid I had to learn that the hard way.

 

But I went to the university, and I went downhill very fast at the university. I graduated and I began to work my way up the corporate ladder, but I found no fulfillment in these things. And I found myself, after 27 years of living this way, in a very dark place, full of shame and guilt and fear about the future, fear about eternity. But I will tell you this, in all those 27 years, my parents and many other people never gave up on me. They continued to live a life as an example to me. They prayed for me faithfully and they shared with me the good news. Because they knew the good news of Jesus Christ had power to transform my life. No matter how far away from the Lord I had gone and I was very far from Him. I had a mask for the world to see: everything is fine with Andrew. But in my heart, I was in a deep dark place. But they never gave up and they tried many things over the years.

 

But eventually in 1993, Dad invited me to an event, where the good news was shared and he was the one sharing it. And I went to this place and it was my time. God had orchestrated my life and my circumstances very specifically for that moment that I would hear the good news. And it was a miracle. No one else could have orchestrated all of the things that would lead me to this place, but God was doing it and He was using so many different people sowing the seed, watering the seed all along the way. My parents prayed and then they shared with me the good news.

 

And in this moment, in a big stadium, in Kingston, Jamaica, which is where the event was, I heard that message and I responded. All of the shame and the guilt of my life and the pain of it were before me. And I called out to God in that moment. I said, “God, if this is true what I am hearing about Your Son Jesus that He came as a baby, innocent and humble, to bring transformation to the world; if He did that for the world but also for me, but then He lived this life with death and buried but rose from the dead with power, if He offers me that power and that salvation, Lord if this is true, I want to know. Reveal yourself to me.” And I called out to God.

 

Just like you might do even today in this beautiful celebration, you might say, “I’ve never known God like these people had known Him. And I want to know Him today.” You can do the same thing I did on that day. I called out to God, I said, “Reveal yourself to me.” And He did just that. I called out to Him and said, “What is keeping me from You?” With great sincerity in my heart, I said, “What is keeping me from You?” And He opened my eyes in that moment to see what was keeping me from Him. And it was just all of the garbage of my life, all the sins of my life: my lying, my cheating, my stealing, the abusive relationships, my arrogance, my pride and so much more had blocked me from the relationship that I was created for. And I saw all that, He was gracious and He allowed me to see it.

 

And I was broken and I was crying. I had never cried a day in my life that I remembered. And now I cried everyday when I think of the good things of God. And I saw it there and I said “please forgive me”, and can you guess what He did? Exactly what He promises. He says if you confess your sins, I am faithful and I am able to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. And that is exactly what He did in that moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Change after Conversion:

And it was a radical change in my life. And I begun to grow and understand the things of God more and more. And now I have an opportunity to share this message around the world and I am very privileged and I hope that little testimony will encourage you in two things. One, to be active in sharing your faith and never give up even on the most difficult people who really seem to resist the Lord. You never know what the Holy Spirit of God is doing in their lives. So never give up.

 

Continue to pray and share the good news. And then some of you might be hearing and you say, “I would love to pray and share the good news with my friends. But actually I am here and I am much more like where you were, and I’ve been hearing God calling me, I think. I feel like God is doing something in my life and I’ve been investigating that.” I pray that today maybe you would allow this to be the day that God transforms your life and you will never forget it, because it is a day of celebration, it is a day of Christmas and it is a day of the great wedding of Jessica and Dong Li and it will be a great way to remember that this was the time that God transformed your life. And maybe I could just help you if you are willing when God has been calling you in this kind of way, orchestrating your life and your circumstances for this very moment.

 

The Message:

Maybe I’ll just share with you in a few moments the good news that my father shared with me that transformed my life. It’s quite simple really, simple for us, but not simple for Him, because He is the one that paid the penalty. But this is what it is. The good news is simply this. God says, and I pray you’ll receive it as from Him, directly into your life in this moment, not my words, but the living God speaking to your heart. And this is what He says, “I love you.” Isn’t that good news? He sees your life from start to finish, and He still loves you. It’s beautiful! He says, “I love with an everlasting love.” And in the book of Jeremiah, one of my favorite places where He describes this love. He says,

 

“Before I created you, in your mother’s womb, I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

 

Isn’t that beautiful? He created you, He knows you inside and out, and He loves you, and He created you for a purpose, which is to be in a relationship with Him. One of the pictures that He uses for that relationship between God and His churches is like husband and wife. We are made to be in a relationship with Him. And that relationship is broken, because of all of the garbage of our lives. I shared a little bit of my life with you but you have your own life. The Bible says this,

 

“All of us are like sheep have gone astray, each one to his own way.” (Psalm 53:6)

 

So I would just ask you, which way have you gone? Here is the good news, He says, all of us are like sheep have gone astray, each one to his own way, but God laid on Jesus the sins of us all. That is the good news, there is a penalty to be paid. We sense that in our spirit if we are honest, we know that there is something happening. But He says, “I paid the penalty.” And He says, “If you confess your sins, I am faithful, I am able, I will cleanse your sins, forgive your sins, cleanse you for all unrighteousness.”

 

Invitation Call:

If you are willing I could just leave you with a little prayer, and this could be your day. I know my message is short, but if the Lord has been preparing your life, you would have been ready. So I will be happy to lead you. Let us just bow our head and pray. And any body, we rejoice with you that you have come. God has led you to this place, so that you can receive all the good things of God, and soon you will have a full understanding of every good thing you have in Christ. John 1:12 says this, “To all who receive Him, that is Jesus, to those who believe in His name, Jesus, He gave them the right to become children of God.” That is just the beautiful picture of the relationship that you are made for, made whole again. You could just pray this prayer, not my words, but your heart connecting to the living God:

Heavenly Father, I love you. Thank you for loving me and never giving up on me. I believe in you. I receive you. Come into my life. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Thank you for coming in. Thank you for heaven. I’ll never fear death again and I’ll never fear life again, because now I know that you are with me. Show me what to do and use me. I want to be active in sharing my new faith, so I can come to a full understanding of all the good things that I have in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen! Amen! Hallelujah!

Well, it’s a beautiful day and we rejoice with you, if you pray that prayer, it would be wonderful if you would promise me to do one thing before you leave this place. Tell someone about the decision you’ve made, because we want to help you to grow and we want to encourage you. So you could either tell one of the pastors or one of the ministry leaders or the friend who brought you.   Just say, “I have to do what I told Andrew what I would do. I promise him I would tell someone and I am telling you, will you help me?”And they will help you, OK? We will rejoice together. And let’s let the ceremony begin.

 

 

 

Transcribed and edited by Chuck Huang, Heyun Nie, Hui Ren and Franz Hong with strength, grace and love from our Lord, Jesus Christ.


 

 

Wedding: Dong Li & Pastor Jessica Wang

link to here

 

 
 

 

Media Resources:

Sermon: A Transformed Life video audio doc
Wedding: Dong Li-Pastor Jessica Wang video    
Worship song: Worthy is Our God video audio lyric
Worship song: How Great Thou Art video audio lyric
Worship song: Power of Your Love video audio lyric
Worship song: Meng Yue 盟约 video audio  

 

  
 

 

 

 

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