from the pastor’s desk :Rev. Francis Chan

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

God promised Abram: “I will make you a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing to the others.” God then instructed him to follow his lead. The Bible does not reveal what Abram was thinking at that time. He, who was apparently obedient and trusting, took his wife Sarai, nephew Lot, servants and livestock, and left Haran for the Promised Land. He was then 75 years old.

Upon arrival, there was a famine. Without asking God, Abram took his people to Egypt, where there was still food. Because he was afraid that the Egyptians would kill him for coveting Sarai’s beauty, he asked his wife to tell outsiders that she was his sister. Because of his selfishness, cowardice, stupidity, and little faith in God, Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had almost slept with Sarai. Yet God revealed the truth to Pharaoh, and Pharaoh sent Sarai back to Abram. After returning to Canaan, God promised Abram that He would give to his descendants the land from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates. After 10 years, Sarai still bore him no child. Abram’s problem of little faith broke out again. Without asking God and listening only to Sarai’s advice, he slept with her maidservant Hagar, who gave birth to Ishmael. He was then 86 years old.

God appeared to Abram again when he was 99 years old and asked him to change his name to Abraham, meaning that he would become the father of all nations, and Sarai also changed his name to Sarah. Through circumcision, God made an eternal covenant with Abraham and his descendants, giving them the land of Canaan as their eternal inheritance, and the LORD God would be their eternal God. However, the descendants of Abraham who were entitled to this covenant could only come from Sarah, his legal wife. When Abraham was 100 years old, the God’s promise came to pass, and Sarah gave birth to Isaac. When Abraham lived in Gerar, he also told the locals that Sarah was his sister. Before long, King Abimelek of Gerar brought Sarah to the palace. God again intervened and protected Sarah’s innocence.

All these things tell us that Abraham was not an extraordinary person with the strongest faith at all times but an ordinary person whose faith could become weak from time to time. However, when he experienced God’s salvation and fulfillment of God’s promises time after time, his faith in God grew stronger and stronger. In the ultimate test, because he believed that God could raise the dead, he obeyed God’s command and offered Isaac as a sacrifice. Of course, God was only testing his faith and obedience. In the end, the angel prevented him from killing Isaac; God prepared a lamb for him as a sacrifice; and he was even called in the Bible father of the faith and a friend of God.

Dear brothers and sisters, are you struggling in your journey of faith? Do you have doubts about God’s leading in your life? Are you hesitant to place your life entirely in God’s hands? Please do not feel guilty or afraid. Accept the fact that you are only an ordinary person, firmly believe that God’s grace is always sufficient, continually follow God’s leading, and continually experience God’s presence… and you will be just fine.

Thanksgiving Sharing: After more than 20 years of prayers, my father-in-law/Winnie’s dad accepted the Lord in Hong Kong at around 1:30 pm on June 30. Winnie and I would like to express our gratitude to all brothers and sisters who have interceded for us in the past. May all glory and praise be to the loving and faithful God.

His Servant
Pastor Francis Chan