UpReach, InReach, OutReach

By Rev Anthony Loh

We are halfway through 2023. Our AGM 2023 has concluded, and the JCC retreat 2023 will remain a cherished memory. We hope that it will serve as a spark to propel us strongly forward spiritually.

What will the next six months look like for us?

How will God work through us?

One day, DL Moody was walking down the street when he approached a man and asked if he would like to meet Jesus. The man was irritated and said, “Sir, mind your own business.” Moody’s response was, “But sir, this is my business!” The man said, “Then you must be Dwight Moody!”

Will we receive the same reaction when we interact with people?

The answer depends on us. If we are truly committed to following Christ, then we will be compelled to share our faith with others. We can expect to be challenged and even ridiculed. But we can also expect to see God work in mighty ways through us.

Be challenged and changed!

As we go through the book of Acts in our preaching calendar, how much are we challenged and changed by it?

The book of Acts tells the story of how the early church was transformed from a small group of scared believers into a movement that changed the world. But this transformation didn’t happen overnight. It began with the hearts of the believers being changed inside out by the Holy Spirit.

As we follow the story of the early church in Acts, we are reminded of three important things that we need to do if we want to be effective disciples of Christ and bolder disciple makers:

1. We need to be up-reachers!

This means that we need to be constantly reaching out to God in prayer and Bible study. We need to be hungry for God’s presence and willing to be transformed by His Spirit.

How do we do this?

  • We stop asking questions about the end and start praying and seeking God in the present. We focus on our relationship with God, not on what the future holds.

  • We obey the clear commands Jesus gives us. The apostles obeyed Jesus, and they were empowered by the Holy Spirit to do great things.

  • We devote ourselves to the study of His Word from which we gain wisdom.

Up-reach is about getting our hearts and minds in spiritual consonance with God. It takes our attention off unimportant things and distractions that can weaken our walk with the Lord.

The 40.day prayer devotion organized by “LoveSingapore” (a unity movement with a purpose: loving Singapore together, turning Singapore Godward) from 1 July to 9 Aug is a great opportunity to renew our up-reach with God. This is a time to focus on our relationship with Him and to seek His power for our lives.

2. We need to be in-reachers!

This means that we need to be loving and supporting our fellow believers. We need to be committed to building up the body of Christ and willing to help others grow in their faith.

This is when God looks into our hearts and lives and shows us our true condition. He exposes our sin and guilt, but he also offers us forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ.

When we experience in-reach, we realize how far we have fallen from God’s perfect standard, but we also see His love and grace for us. We are convicted of our sin, but we are also filled with hope.

In-reach is essential for salvation, we cannot be saved without first being convicted of our sin and turning to God in repentance. But in-reach is also essential for our growth as Christians. When we experience in-reach, we are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit

The early church experienced in-reach in a powerful way. The Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and were able to do great things for God. We can experience the same kind of transformation if we allow God to reach into our hearts and lives.

3. We need to be out-reachers!

This means that we need to be sharing the gospel with others. We need to be bold in our witness and willing to let our light shine before others. The great commission of Christ is not just for the apostles. It is for all of God’s people.

Outreach is the plan of God for the work of His people. We don’t need to know when Jesus is coming back, or when the end times will happen. We just need to do the job Jesus gave us to do: Love God and love our neighbors.

When we share the gospel with others, we are not just telling them about a historical event. We are inviting them into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We are offering them the hope of eternal life.

Outreach is not just about telling people about Jesus. It is also about showing them the love of Jesus through our actions. We can do this by serving others, being kind to them, and showing them compassion. We are bringing people into the family of God, and we are making the world a better place.

If we are willing to do these things, then we can expect to see God work in mighty ways through us in 2023. We can expect to be challenged and changed, but we can also expect to be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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