On the first night of the LoveSingapore Pastors’ Prayer Summit 2024, speaking as Chairman of LoveSingapore, Senior Pastor Jeff Chong delivered the first message of the Summit themed “The Time Is Now”.

He started by reemphasising the three-pronged focus that was first laid out one year ago:

  • Turning Singapore Godward
  • Winning the Youth
  • Blessing the Nations

With these focuses in mind, Pastor Jeff then turned to Matthew 28:16-20 for his message on the Great Commission.

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:16-20)

The Great Commission is perhaps one of the most famous verses in the Bible. Pastor Jeff proposed a fresh angle on it; suggesting that the Great Commission should be read it from the angle of how God wants us to experience it.

Pastor Jeff shared that God invites us to fulfil the Great Commission not because He needs us to do it, but because when He asks us to do something for him – He’s actually asking us to experience Him.

Declaring that the time is now for Singapore’s churches to experience God as who He is, Pastor Jeff pointed out that “we are not as excited about God because we don’t really know how He is”.

“We need to know God before we can make God known. God invites you because God loves you, and wants you to experience Him.”

So, what are the ways we can experience God through fulfilling the Great Commission? There are three miraculous ways, namely…

  1. God’s amazing grace (16-17)
  2. God’s complete authority (18-20a)
  3. God’s inseparable presence (20b)

1. Experience God’s amazing grace

Pointing out how some disciples doubted in verse 17, Pastor Jeff said that the disciples were a mixed bag of trust and doubt, oscillating between being faith-filled and faithless.

Pastor Jeff noted that even though the disciples were at different levels of faith, Jesus still commissioned all of them. He didn’t separate the disciples into those who worshipped and those who doubted.

“Jesus commissioned both because His grace is sufficient for us, and His power is made perfect in our weakness.

“His amazing grace enables us to fulfil His call for our lives. It’s not about us. It’s about God working in us and through us. Because of Jesus’ grace, these 11 disciples brought the Good News to the world.”

Pastor Jeff brought up the example of the apostle Paul who, despite his history and background of having brutally oppressed Christians, was used by God to write two-thirds of the New Testament.

Quoting 1 Corinthians 15:10, Pastor Jeff emphasised again that it’s not about us, but about God’s grace working in and through us.

Indeed, 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 tells us this: “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; fore the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.”

2. Experience God’s complete authority

Moving on to Matthew 28:18-20a, Pastor Jeff then examined the “authority” that Jesus was talking about: “Jesus already had great authority in His earthly ministry, but when He overcame death He received complete authority.”

Pastor Jeff shared that God wants us to experience His authority. He added that pastors and church leaders have to know the place that God has given to them, and because this authority is given by God, one is to lead with due diligence.

Beyond authority, it is also crucial to remember what carries the work. “Prayer is important,” Pastor Jeff added, noting that praying is the work and that it is what moves the hand of God.

“When we pray, God does things that we are not able to do on our own. Prayerlessness is pride. When we don’t pray, we are communicating that we can do it in our own strength.”

3. Experience God’s inseparable presence 

Surely. Always. Very end. Pastor Jeff said that Jesus used superlative words to “make sure you are listening well”.

“He wants to assure that He will surely be with you,” Pastor Jeff reaffirmed. “God’s presence is our antidote to fear!”

When we pray, God does things that we are not able to do on our own. Prayerlessness is pride. When we don’t pray, we are communicating that we can do it in our own strength.

Reading from Isaiah 41:10, Pastor Jeff resounded the call not to fear, something that is possible solely because of God’s presence with us.

This presence of God is why we lead with due diligence, knowing that we only have one life which soon will pass.

“50 years from now, no one will remember you,” he said with a laugh. “Only one life, make it count!”

Finally, to hammer home the point that the time for the harvest really is now, Pastor Jeff closed with a special message from Brother Yun, who had deeply impacted him while the latter was in Singapore.

Born in China, Brother Yun is a Christian convert who came to the faith through his family’s miraculous encounter with Jesus during the Great Chinese Famine. A lifelong evangelist since his conversion as a young man, he was imprisoned and brutally persecuted — but kept preaching the gospel.

Before playing a special message from Brother Yun to the Singaporean churches, Pastor Jeff read from John 4, urging pastors that the “the fields are ripe for harvest” and that the time is now. Here’s the message by Brother Yun:

This is the first article of our Summit 2024 series. Look out for more coverage to come – the next article features Pastor BENNY HO sharing his four mistakes made in ministry!