“CELEBRATING A MILESTONE” By Pastor YAU
Text: Joshua 4:1-8 June 29, 2008.
milestone: As in other people and
cultures, there were milestones in the history of
monument: There are also milestones
in the history of our church. It all began with the mission work of Dr. Paul
REASONS FOR CELEBRATION: So we remember our past.
1) Remember God’s blessings: “The land you are crossing to take for possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drink rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God in continually on it from the beginning of the years to its end.” (Deut. 11:11-12)As God gave the Promised Land to the Israelis and asked them to remember the caring eyes of the Lord God, we are to remember the caring eyes of our Lord God and His caring eyes on this land, our beloved church and her works at this location. We see the caring eyes of God watch over this land and this church and blessed this church that we won’t forget.
pioneer: “The Lord has said to
Abraham: Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to
the land I will show you . . . you will be a blessing to all the people and all
the people on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3)We all know
that this is the call of Abraham thousands of years ago. Over 50 years ago, God
called a young preacher to leave his hometown in
3) Remember the forerunners: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses pass on to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2)As Paul instructed Timothy to pass on the baton of teaching the gospel to reliable men so they might continue to teach others, Dr. Caudill passed on the baton of the Chinese Mission to reliable men like Dr. Jachin Chan, Rev. Ulan Ho, Rev. Chi Wu, Dr. Paul Wong, Rev. Joseph Yip and Rev. Paul Li. Among these reliable men, Rev. Wu and Dr Wong served the longest years as full time pastors of our church. Many good things happened in those years of faithful and fruitful ministries by these good men. Dr. Wong led this church into a chartered church and moved to our first property in 1988.
faithful: “I thank my God every time
I remember you. I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the
gospel from the first day until now.” (Phil. 1:3-5)As Paul prayed and praised
the Christians at the church in
VISIONS FOR CELEBRATION: And we look into the future.
Build on the
foundation of the Bible: “The Bible
is the supreme authority of our faith and practices.” These are the words in
the Baptist Faith and Message a faith
statement of all Baptist churches in the
2) Build for the salvation of souls: “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some souls. I do all this for the sake of the gospel that I may share its blessings.” (1 Corinth. 9:22-23)As times changes, we face more diverse ways of doing ministry in the church. Some churches have turned into tourist hot-spots. But we will remember that the sole purpose of our church is for saving lost souls to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. As we teach, preach, plan and execute all programs and activities, we do all these to bring lost souls to our Lord.
dedicated people: “Therefore my
brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself to the work of
the Lord because you know your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinth. 15:58)Paul
commended the Christians in the church at
4) Build on growth concept: Church growth is relatively a new concept in the past few decades. There are dimensions of growth fro numbers to methods, from quality of spiritual life to quantity of ministries. Since the church is the Body of Christ, a living organism, growth is a natural process. When we plan our programs, activities, organize functions, teach a lesson, we need to focus on HOW we can attract our friends, neighbors, colleagues and others so they will learn more about the salvation knowledge.. If we do all things with this soul-winning concept, we will accomplish the Great Commission in a faster pace.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? (Joshua 4:1-8)
It is an “all
out” approach: “When all the people
had finished crossing the
2) It is a command of God: “The Lord said to Joshua.” (4:1b)Growing a church is not an idea from a pastor or a few leaders of a church but a command of God. He asked that all His people followed His order. As people of God, we are to listen and obey God’s command without any reservation or personal interpretation. Jesus is our leader. We are to listen to our leader to win a battle.
3) It is about leaders: “Choose 12 men from then people, one from each tribe.” (4:2)In every group, every church, God asks that some be set aside as leaders or representatives to shoulder responsibilities. There are the people who will take the lead to obey and follow God’s command, to set standards of commitment and sacrifice and to lead others in doing things so others may have someone they may follow.
4) It is about sacrifice: “Tell them to take up 12 stones from the bottom of the river.” (4:3)While all others may bring their personal belongings crossing the river, these 12 men will bring stones big enough that they have to carry them on their shoulders. (4:4)People who God has called to leadership role are to take care of God’s business before they take care of their own business. This means personal sacrifice. What they have is not a title or position, it is the sacrifices they will bring to the church and the people.
5) It is about monument: “(These stones) are to serve as monuments amount you.” (4:6)Monuments are built to commemorate the sacrifices of others, their sacrifice and hard work. We are all called to build new monuments so others may see God and His power.
It is about
testimony: “In the future when your
children ask you: What do these stones mean? Then tell them that the flow of
7) It is about obedience: “So they did as Joshua commanded them. They took 12 stones from the center of the river as God had commanded, one for each tribe.” (4:8)There was no question asked. No one argued the necessity or wisdom of doing so, everyone followed God’s command through Joshua and the monument was built as a testimony for generations to come. We all are going to obey God’s command to build a new monument and if anyone may ask in the future, we will have a beautiful story to tell them.
1) Time to celebrate: Celebration is about thanksgiving to God and remembering the great contributions of those who came before us. Thro celebration, we learn where we come from to know our roots. So, we came from and what others have done.
2) Time to move on: As we celebrate our past and the sacrifices our forefather had done for us, we are to commit to take the baton, the torch and to carry it to a higher ground.
3) Time to glorify God: In whatever we do, we give glory and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ. We will compete with God for His glory. He is the only one serves all the glory.