FES Lecture Series (1)

Fellowship of Evangelical Students (FES) Singapore is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year. I am involved in the committee for the series of events that will be held within these two weeks, so I know that if you can come to these events you will be very blessed. We are having 3 series of lectures this Thursday to Saturday in St. Andrew Cathedral by Prof. Alister McGrath (you can see his biography here). Today, the lecture is on “A vision for our lives: How the Gospel inspires us”. It has been a talk full of blessings to me, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t share it with you =). There will be a video recording as well if you’re interested haha..

I write the summary of this lecture especially for those who can’t come today. Please pardon me if this summary is hard to read since it is very hard to listen and write in details at the same time =p. For you who came to the lecture today please correct me if there’s anything wrong in what I write =)


“A Vision for Our Lives: How the Gospel Inspires Us”

Gospel was not only a set of ideas, it is more. It opens up our mind and it brings live changing experiences. Gospel to believers became a vision, it became something that inspires us, give us a new horizon, inspiration on what we can do and sense on who we are. As Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3, the Gospel gives us total rebirth from our old nature to one that is of Christ.

The apostle Paul said to the believers in Rome: “Do not be conformed to this world, but continually be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God's will is-what is proper, pleasing, and perfect.” (Rome 12:2, ISV). This is a wonderful verse for us who think about discipleship. It talks about renewal, to see ourselves in a new and authentic ways, since when we look at the Gospel, we know ourselves and we see the world around us. We need to remember that we are living in the same world as everyone else. The difference is that with Gospel, we see a life full of glory and meaning, while others who don’t know it will see a life without direction, life full of despair and meaningless. Gospel becomes our vision to help them see the hope.
“Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep focusing on the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Keep your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life is revealed, then you, too, will be revealed with him in glory.” (Col 3:1-4, ISV)

As this verse says, the one thing that keeps us going forward is “looking up” to God as our vision. He gives us hope, here and now. We need to introduce th
e Gospel to others for them to know what this hope is and why it can change our lives. Paul simply says that Christian life is a journey with hope to the future, by looking upwards where we get refreshed and refuge.

The New Testament is written in Greek. In Greek, there are two words to express ‘life’. The first is ‘bios’ (the same word which originates the scientific field, biology) which means the functional, day-by-day living of organisms. The other is ‘zoe’ which means life from Christ that has purpose, worth living for, with direction. A life that is from God. The Gospel gives us this ‘zoe’.

So to come back to our central theme, there are three main need of building vision in our life:
1. Building of vision of who God is
2. Building of vision of what the Gospel is
3. Building of vision of what we are and what God wants from us

As we celebrate FES 50th Anniversary, we need to see the future to find what God wants from us, to be able to know them more closely and intimately.

Why is worship important? There are many answers to this question, but one of them is to understand how great God is, with adoration and commitment. It might be surprising but there are many people that became believers through worships. Worship acts as a signpost, pointing to God. Isaiah 6 tells us the story of Isaiah who experienced a vision of God and His seraphs, how He cleansed Isaiah from his sins, God’s call for one who want to go for His purpose, and how Isaiah willingly accept his role as a prophet. God is not experienced as an idea, but as a living reality, not what we simply discover but we hold Him in our hearts. Worship can help us understand who God is, and by this vision of God, we are compelled to spread His Gospel.

Building a vision of God gives us spirit and focus. Building of vision of Gospel implies the need of not only discover and know about it but appreciate the Gospel as well. We need to let all the facets of the Gospel to flash and enlight on others, but for it to happen we need to be able to appreciate what that Gospel meant to us, like the parables of the pearl. Everyone in this world is looking for things that really matters. They search for many things and turns away with disappointment. Our job is to become the signpost, showing the world: “There! That is the endpoint of what you are searching for!” Evangelism is about pointing, about saying: “Come and discover!”

We need to build a vision for our life. Many of us think that we are inadequate. We realize that there are many things that need to be done, but we realize that we are not suitable, not the correct person, or don’t have what it takes. However, this lecture wants to say that: “All of us are special”. Christ died for each and every one of us. We can say to ourselves: “He died for me” and that means that we are special. That is why we can serve Him humbly and with confidence. Humility doesn’t mean that we say “I’m not good” at all times. Humility is about reflecting our weakness on the strength of the Almighty God, and admit that He is the one that enables us to do all we can do.

Many of us should be very familiar with the parables of talents. The talents are entrusted, it meant to be grown, but there are people who denied it by burying it. We need to ask ourselves: What are the gifts that God has entrusted to us? What are we good at? God give that gift that we need in order to serve Him. We know and acknowledge that the job is enormous, but we are not alone.

Joshua experienced the same struggle. After Moses died, he was chosen as the leader of Israel. He was asked to lead his people to Canaan. But he was afraid and felt insignificant, compared to Moses who have done so much before him. But God says to him otherwise. This encouragement from God is also directed to us. He is the Almighty God, and we are not alone, but we are serving under the companion of God who raises Christ from the dead. Christ said to His disciple when He told them to spread His Gospel that “I am with you each and every day until the end of the age” (Matt 28:20, ISV). The Scripture is full of people who are weak, incompetent, sinful and imperfect, but God made them matters. Build a vision for ourselves, on what is entrusted to us.

Individual vision is a big question but something that we need to think of. Look to God and we will find strength. Remember that God also said to Paul that “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12: 9, KJV). Remember that we are not struggling on our own! Take time to think about our vision. Forget for now about those that are around you. This is about you and God. Tell to yourselves: “God think of me as special”. He wants to do something through us, something that we can do. Grasp it, and go run for it.

Think of Joshua, Joshua who looked back at Moses who did so much, compared to him who must lead Israel. He had these challenge to be done and he need to face it. It’s the same to us. We need to do what God wants us to do. God said to Joshua “Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, NKJV) and He said that also to all of us.

“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12: 9, KJV).

Let there be light!



There was a time when I lost my desire to write and to share. There was a time when I didn't see the point of doing a blog to express my thought. I am who I am though, inconsistent as I am in doing this blog, but I do want to share and I do long to write. Today I'm giving it another go. Fingers crossed. But I still wish that "Let there be light" is the message that I convey.
  • January 1st 2012, Kristo