Dearly Beloved,

I greet you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I thank the Lord for the opportunity to speak in Cantonese in the Chinese congregation and with God’s help on the topic, “I am the bread of life.” When the Lord Jesus Christ says, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth,” it is not to forbid us to labour for food and the necessities of this earthly life. But we can be as mistaken as the people in Jesus’ days, who thought that they were seeking Jesus for the right reasons. And because they sought Jesus with the wrong reasons, Jesus had to correct them in John 6:26 and 27, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” The disciples were impressed to see such a huge crowd of 5000 in seeking their Master. But Jesus was not impressed with numbers. The people first sought Him for the miracles but their main reason was for food. Jesus pointed out to them that there were two kinds of food: Food for the body and Food for the spirit. The real need of the people is not food per-se but life. Food can only sustain this earthly life but Jesus the Bread from heaven gives eternal life that nobody else can give. The crowd sought the Lord after the loaves and the fish. What about you? What are you seeking to have in this life? The only place that you can find real joy, peace and escape from this life is in Christ. John 4:34, “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”

The food and water of this world have three characteristics. They are for:
1. Enjoyment
2. Satisfaction
3. Strength.

The Lord Jesus says that to do the will of the Father is food for Him and for those who love Him, whether in sowing the seed of the Gospel or reaping the harvest, their labour and service to God is one of joy and purpose. The meat of this world is perishable meat but the meat which endures unto eternality is the meat that the Son of God shall give unto us.

Elder Douglas Ho

Testimony by Brother Daniel Koh
The Sandwich Stage

I thank the Lord for blessings and joy in my life for the past few years. As I looked back, there were many moments of tears – both joy and sadness. There were ups and downs, comfort and pain and some of those moments didn’t last for considerable length. It was only for a season – just a season.

Being as ambitious as a man, I always looked for opportunities to be a better youth. Some of you might have remembered how I gave the best for my studies and hoped to be a doctor one day. There were many opinions and advices but however most of it was left unheeded. Did I ever regret in making some decisions? Yes, for some, especially issues relating to interpersonal relationship. My apologies to those whom I have hurt along the path of my life.

The sandwich stage is a stage where men ask themselves why they made those past and ambitious decisions which might invariably affect their future. It is a stage where men look back to their past and tell themselves how foolish they were back then. It is also a stage where men ask themselves whether their decisions for the future are right and appropriate. It is typically a sandwich stage with many uncertainties and worries.

Almost everything is in the sandwich stage. One of the examples is my current job. I thank the Lord for this new job. Surprisingly, it is an undergraduate job and God has graciously given it to me out of His kindness. He knows my family’s needs. However, given the work experiences I have along with my on-going studies, there are still many questions as to where I might be heading to in my life. Isn’t it also a sandwich stage?

My wife and I are expecting a child this August. It is also a sandwich stage because we are expecting our first child and we completely do not have experiences in child rearing. We have our own expectations based on our life experiences but however what lies ahead as a first-timer parent is uncertain.

We marvel at the protection around us; having the top bread which is our group of senior counsels as our help and the bottom bread which is our pile of experiences as our support. However, the fillings are often neglected. What is a sandwich if it doesn’t have savoring fillings?

I believe God has allowed us to go through different life stages and has also constantly provided us help from senior counsels in our midst. (c.f. Proverbs 12:15) However, no matter how prepared and guarded we are in our comfortable sandwich, without God, we’re like a sandwich with decaying fillings. With God in our midst, we savor the sandwich stages in our lives and move on as a family and a branch in our church.

There are so many uncertainties and at times it seems worrisome ahead. However, God is our Chief Captain in our lives who directs us and orders our step. Each sandwich stage of our lives are carefully crafted and prepared towards the end of our life journey. So what worry do we have, knowing that our lives are guided and taken care of by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? I think there are enough worries for each day. (Matthew 6:34)

Joshua being the young uprising leader had no clue as to how much he had to face against the confronting powerful enemies in his days. The death of Moses definitely had some impact on Joshua which might had added to his list of worries and uncertainties. He was like us in a sandwich stage, although both of us varies in degree and situation – he had the senior counsels and the training under Moses. Yet, God deemed it perfectly right and appropriate to encourage Joshua in Joshua 1:6. This is a great comfort because God is a loving God who knows our weak flesh. He gives us comfort so that we may use it to comfort others in affliction (2 Corinthian 1:4). He perfectly knows our concerns and just like how He encouraged Joshua, He encourages us also in like manner. What a great God we have in our lives! It may be centuries since God encouraged Joshua and it may also seem that God has forgotten how frail men are on earth. However, God is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and He remembers us today.

May our good Lord watch over us and guide us to the day we see Him face to face.