by Lim Chong Teck
Two months ago, after the Friday night service was over, Bro. Eng Boon said, “Good job” to me. I gave him a puzzled look. Then he said “for bringing your cousin”. “Oh…” I replied. Then very quickly I followed with “it was God’s job.” Now it was his turn to give me a funny look. What I meant to say was it was God who played the major role in bringing this soul to Christ. The story began a few months before she accepted Christ according to His teachings.
We met our cousin, Ng Ai Keng, during her mum’s birthday gathering in May. During the course of eating and chit-chatting, Ai Keng and her sister made an observation of how good it would be if all our family members were attending church services. She mentioned that she was trying to find a church which she could be comfortable with. She said she was not comfortable with certain groups that make a lot of noises and some even writhed on the ground. She was looking for a peaceful way to worship God. We told her we do not practice such teachings. We described to her what we normally do in our services and invited her to join us and see for herself. We exchanged our phone numbers to keep in contact.
The following Sunday morning we called if we could pick her up but she was not free. The next Sunday morning she called us to pick her up for Sunday service. During the Lord’s Supper, my wife Annie told her that it was only meant for those who have been baptized. After the service ended she began to describe how she followed her mum and was sprinkled for baptism at a denomination. She did not understand what that baptism was for. She continued to ask many questions on the subject.
During the car journey and throughout lunch, we explained to her how baptism was a burial with Christ and it was for the forgiveness of sins. She was also surprised to know that her mum ( Madam Ang) was re-baptized in the watery grave after she studied with bro. Allen.
I recall that my aunty, Madam Ang, had told me one Sunday many years back that she understood the importance of baptism and wanted to be baptized into Christ the following Sunday. I encouraged her to do it the same day itself as “today is the day of salvation”. My aunty agreed and was baptized on that Sunday itself. She was rejoicing after following God’s command.
We sent Ai Keng home hoping she will continue to come the following Sunday. In the evening we attended a birthday party of one of our relatives. Ai Keng’s sister came to our table and mentioned how Ai Keng had called her and chatted for more than an hour about the things she had learned. She spoke of her initial reluctance and fear of getting mixed up with a cult. In spite of her reservation she admitted that our service was different and she had joy and peace during the service. We explained to Ai Keng’s sister that due to her persistence to seek answers we had to tell her what the bible teaches.
That night I was wondering whether we had moved too fast or said some wrong things. I prayed to God that the seed that was planted in her heart may not be taken away by the devil. The following Sunday we avoided calling her as we didn’t want to seem to be pushy hoping she would call us but she didn’t. We continued in our prayers to God for her, that God may open her heart to accept His words.
The next Sunday we hesitated to call thinking whether we had given Ai Keng enough time to think things through. We had a pleasant surprise when she called us and said she had arrived at church for service. We later found out that she had driven to Klang on Saturday to find the place so that she could come punctually on Sunday.
After about two Sundays later, we thought it would be good to have personal studies during bible class to address her needs. Bro. Allen kindly consented to teach her on that Sunday. Bro. Allen had mentioned that perhaps it was God who was leading her to Him as she was trying to seek His church. She agreed to be baptized the next Sunday. I thought a week would be a good time for her to consider before making her decision to be baptized into Christ as we had mentioned that she had to put away idol and ancestral worship, come for services to worship God and she needed to change as she would be a new creature in Christ. That week was critical as her faith needed to be genuine. I prayed for God to keep her safe so that she could be His follower.
The next Sunday she was baptized. After the baptism, she told Annie how relieved and happy that she had done what was necessary according to God’s word. We rejoiced too having seen another soul obeying God out of a genuine heart. It was indeed God’s work leading this soul to Himself. We and the other brethren were just instruments to do His will. I believe together we can do more for God. May we allow God to work in us both to will and to do for God’s good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).
Psalms 111: 1-7 begins with the writer’s call to praise God and his own desire to praise God. The following verses tell of God’s great works that are reasons for his call and heart’s desire to praise God. Indeed if we seek out God’s great works we would be in the same state as the writer. Indeed it is pleasurable to seek out God’s great works for there is much to discover and appreciate and they are also being mentioned as wonderful works. His work is honourable and glorious. His works attest to His power, greatness and character. Apart from being holy, reverend and eternal, God is described as gracious and compassionate. Below are some of His great works that I like to mention in brief.
1. His creation is a great work (Ps. 111:2). Psalms 19, Isaiah 40:22-26, Romans 1:19-20 are some passages that makes mention of it. There are many that find great pleasure in studying them.
2. His providential care is a great work (Ps. 111: 5). Even Jesus mentioned this in Matt 6:23ff. It brings great comfort to those who know and rely on God.
3. His miraculous care and work (Ps. 111:6). There were people whom God has shown through direct miracles to show He is the only true God (Ps. 78: 43-55, Ps.105:27-45,Acts 2:22,Hebrews 2:3-4). It brings great assurance to those who have experienced them and now to those who read of their experiences.
4. His commandments/word (Ps. 111:7-9).The word of the Lord spoken, taught and preserves to this day (Ps. 19:7, Ps.105:8, Heb. 2:1-4, 1Peter 1:23-25, 2 Timothy 3:16, Romans 15:4). It brings comfort, hope, joy, guidance and instruction to those who study them.
5. His redemption plan (Ps. 111:9). God’s redemptive plan from the very beginning (Eph. 1:3-14, Eph.3:1-11, 1 Peter 1:3-11, Gal 3:6-29).It reveals a powerful and loving God that cares for mankind and plan for his salvation from the very beginning.
There are two great works that God continues to do that I like to share with the story of my cousin’s conversion. The first is God continues to look for those who are seeking for Him and He will be found by those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6 ,Acts 10:30-35, 2 Chronicles 16:9).
Secondly, when God saves a man through grace, by faith he is created new, for those in Christ are new creatures (Gal.3 :27, Gal 6:15,2 Cor. 5:17,Eph.2:10). This new man is created in Christ to do good works. Indeed we become God’s co-worker with God and one another (1 Cor 3:6-9) to win more for Christ. My cousin too has become a new creation to bring others to Christ. Now our prayers are that she will be faithful and continue to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ai Keng has a 16 year old son. She is currently working for Energizer Malaysia as a merchandiser. Let’s welcome her into God’s family.