you're reading...
Church news, Tim Tseng update

Transformation of the Joyful

April 20, 2012

Dear Canaan EM’ers and friends,

“If God accepts us just as we are, why can’t she do the same?” My friend confided with me some of his recent struggles with his wife. After ten years of marriage and two kids, there was plenty of dissatisfaction and unfulfilled expectations to go around.

Certainly one of the key lessons for any relationship (with one’s spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, or even with fellow believers) is accepting and loving each other unconditionally – just as Christ did for us (Romans 15:7).

But alone, this is an incomplete lesson. Relationships become healthy when each person is committed to changing and growing. For Christians, this means a commitment to become more like Jesus. “To this you were called,” says Peter, “because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (I Peter 2:21, NIV, see also I John 2:6)

How does a person stay committed to growing and changing? The Apostle Paul’s answer is found in Romans 12. The first two verses are most critical:
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

First, believers stay committed to change and growth by staying focused on worshiping God. True and proper worship means regularly offering one’s body as a living sacrifice. Worshiping God is not a theory or a feeling. It requires that we physically give ourselves to God. That is why singing out loud is so important. So is attending worship services, fellowships, and study groups. In order to truly worship God, our bodies must be physically set apart from our everyday routines (i.e., holy) and presented before God. All this physical activity protect us from becoming isolated and sedentary, the two surest way to avoid change.

Second, believers stay committed to change and growth by allowing our minds to be renewed. This is more than acquiring knowledge. It means asking ourselves regularly “have I been conforming to the pattern of this world more than to Jesus?” Is my behavior towards my loved ones and my fellow believers more like Jesus’ way of relating to people? In fact, the rest of Romans 12 is a guideline for how to live like transformed Christians. It is difficult to be honest with ourselves, so we need each other as well as mentors and spiritual leaders to hold up a mirror of accountability to our faces regularly.

One caveat. In many relationships, your spouse (or significant other) may not be the best person to serve as your accountability partner – especially if both of you have not fully committed your relationship to Jesus Christ. Of course, it would be ideal if the couple mutually helps each other grow. But this can only happen when both are equally committed to changing. If not, prepare yourself for many years of frustration. If you are in a relationship of unequal commitment to change, then find another brother or sister to be your mirror. Also, it is probably not wise to insist that your partner change. Ask God to change your spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend – and yourself!

In sum, joyful Christians are all about transformation. Grateful for God’s saving grace, they restlessly yearn to tell the world how Christ changed their lives. They have a burning zeal to follow Jesus’ footsteps. They are hungry for bible and theological study. They are passionate about missions and social justice. They are committed to building up the church. They never have to be asked to serve. They bear fruit because they simply can’t contain their joy. Indeed, their lives overflow with God’s grace and love.

I pray that God will raise up a large company of joyful believers in our English ministry this year. To witness this would encourage and bless me more than anything else I can think of! And I’m sure that you’ll feel the same when you are surrounded by people who are committed to transformation!

See you Sunday!

Tim Tseng , Ph.D. 曾 祥 雨
Pastor of English Ministries

* * * * *

P.S. Don’t forget – come to worship early! Refreshments are served at 9:50 – a nice way to start our worship time! Also, join our exciting second hour offerings!

About these ads

About Tim Tseng

I'm Pastor of English Ministry at Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church (San Jose, CA), independent scholar and theological educator.

Discussion

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: The Transformation of the Joyful « Tim Tseng - May 13, 2012

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

English Service 10 AM

http://canaanpromise.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/stickman_walking_by_adscomics.gif

Thanksgiving Service

Worship Location (Hall 3)

Enter through door 1 or 8

Upcoming Events

  • Everglow Fellowship Night: November 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm Room 160
  • EM: English Leadership Team meeting November 22, 2014 at 8:30 am – 10:00 am WH3_max120 Agenda: Planning for 2015
  • Canaan EM Turkeybowl XBVII November 27, 2014 at 9:30 am – 1:00 pm John F. Kennedy Middle School, 821 Bubb Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014 , United States Bring water, cleats and friends.  Rain or shine, it'll be fun ! Contact John Tang.
  • English Worship: Tim Tseng "Mold Me" (Isaiah 64:1-9) November 30, 2014 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am WH3_max120
  • NO Everglow Fellowship Night: December 5, 2014 at 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm Room 160
  • English Worship: Tim Tseng "Comfort Me" (Isaiah 40:1-11) December 7, 2014 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am WH3_max120
  • Everglow Fellowship Night: December 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm Room 160
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers

%d bloggers like this: