md-chairman

Rev. Michael Dissanayeke, Chairman / General Superintendent

Restoring Honor
Building the ‘Kingdom Culture of Honor’

When Jesus promised to Build His Church in Matthew 16: 18-19, He also said that He has given us the ‘Keys of the Kingdom’ of Heaven. Just as keys are small objects which have the power to open great doors or start powerful vehicles, the “Kingdom culture of honor” can open great opportunities for you and your church. Jesus spoke more about the Kingdom of God (90 times) than the Church (twice), which implies that the Church should be having the Kingdom culture as it’s model.

 “Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)

God in creation gave man the primary place of honor above all creation and it is said that God

“crowned him with glory and honor … made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands”. (Psalm 8:5-6)

However, sin caused man to ‘fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:2) and ever since humanity is greedy for honor, seeking it through fame and accomplishments. Since honor is reserved for few in society, many who are denied of honor suffers from poor self-esteem, brokenness and poverty. The church is given the ministry of restoring back this lost honor.

God’s plan to ‘Restore Honor’ was through Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. Instead of wearing a royal crown, Jesus wore a ‘crown of thorns’ which was intended to mock Him, which represented the ‘thorns’ of curse inherited by Adam in the garden. Jesus took ‘all’ shame and dishonor inherited by humanity to restore to you the ‘crown of glory and honor’.  

Therefore our culture should be different from the world’s culture of shame and guilt, instead we can restore honor and give value and Honor to our brothers and sisters above ourselves. God’s honor is not expendable; the more you give – the more you receive! 

The Church must develop this Kingdom Culture of honor, because God not only restores honor individually, but also to the whole Body of which you are a part. Today the Church represents that Kingdom inclusive of diversity of people churches, cultures and languages.

If we can unite in purpose together, there is so much God can do through every member and church in our nation. We should be giving “greater honor to that part which lacks it… that the members should have the same care for one another” (1 Corinthians 12:24-25).

Can you imagine if all our churches and believers will rise up together in ‘One Vision’ and “One Purpose” giving honor to one another, what God can achiever through such ‘Kingdom culture of Honor”?

It will heal the wounds of shame, brokenness, and poverty in our Nation, and will restore esteem and value to release God’s blessing over our Nation.

I urge you to commit yourself to living in this ‘Kingdom culture’ and be an example to the world we live in. To see this culture looks like, I encourage you to read Romans 12:9-21 every day for a month, and see the transforming effect of this Kingdom culture in your life and church.

We also encourage you to commit yourselves to fulfilling this “One Vision” by uniting, praying and engaging in this Kingdom Culture.

Article in Sinhala and Tamil available in the “Revival”

Image  —  Posted: January 31, 2017 in Excerpt from Newsletters

md-chairman

Reverend Michael Dissanayeke – Chairman / General Superintendent

2017 is more than another year in a calendar or another page in your diary. It is Your Life.  It is the best time of your life!

Therefore, before planning for 2017, ask yourself: “What will I do with My life?

Here are 3 things to challenge yourself to do in the new year with your life:

Change.   Change is the only evidence of life and growth. New year is a great opportunity for change.

Only “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever”. You are not. You are called to change from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18) strength to strength (Ps 84:7), faith to faith. (Rom 1:17) Write down areas of change you desire in your life and ministry. Remember, if you don’t change to what you want to be (better), situations in 2017 will eventually change your life to something you don’t want to be (bitter).

Enlarge.    We all have the capacity to grow and enlarge our personal lives. God has no limits or boundaries to what He can do through you using your gifts and capacities. God’s invitation in Isaiah 54:2 is to “Enlarge the place of your tent” and you will always find keys and opportunity to ‘stretch’, ‘lengthen’, ‘strengthen’ and ‘expand’. 

If you don’t expand, you will shrink, and lose significance; even though you may still maintain a position or a title as Pastor.  Without enlargement your life will end in frustration. So pray like Jabez: “Oh Lord, enlarge my boundaries…”  (1 Chronicles 4:9)

Relate.   Relationships are so important to life.

Begin with your relationship with God and don’t let it become a ritual or a religious one.

I decided that the most important thing this year is my ‘love relationship with Jesus’. Get to know God and His Love in a greater way. Enrich relationships with your wife and children and don’t take your family members for granted, but spend more quality time with them. Those having children, remember, older they grow, the tendency is to grow away from relationships. Keep family relationships alive.

In your church and ministry, get over the hurts and disappointments of last year, and choose to build better relationships. 

In AG, let us develop a ‘friendship group’ like David and Jonathan, who can help you to live an accountable life and protect you from pitfalls. Remember our theme: “Be kindly affectionate to one another with Brotherly Love. In honor giving preference to one another”.   Romans 12:10.

May the Lord Bless you,


Pastor Michael & Debi

Image  —  Posted: January 10, 2017 in Chairman

Rev Gerald Senn

Rev. Gerald Senn – General Tresurer

GOD’S UNFAILING ECONOMY

You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich. 2 Cor 8:9

Dear friend,

Two important factors that assists the progress of a family and a nation are :

A stable government

A stable economy

Focusing on the latter, we see much failure worldwide.  The much spoken about China is today struggling. 

God offers a challenge to the Christian to experience His unfailing provision much different to what the world system says.

World –  ‘save and you will have more’

God –  ‘Give and you will be given more’

Remember that God says, He is the source and he chooses whom he will use in the process of giving.

When the widow gave to the man of God, she really honoured God and as a result her blessings were plentiful and lifesaving. 

Though the practice of saving is good, the habit of giving is excellent.

The scriptures clearly encourage us in the area of giving. Luke 6:38

In saving, we keep part of what we had, but in giving to God, He gives back to us in full measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, from God’s resources and not from what we had.

Do not miss out on God’s unfailing economy! Giving is in God’s heart and He started the process, so we may be blessed abundantly. 2 Cor 8:9

In giving we become part of His plan to bless our families and our nation.

God actively interacts with us in the following two ways:

1. God rewards giving 

In Malachi Ch. 3, He challenges the giver to prove His faithfulness

He promises unlimited provision from heaven’s resources and assures abundance. Vs 10

Failure to give exposes man to be as a thief. Vs. 8

Ensure that you flow in God’s plan of blessing.

2. God commends our generosity

In Mark 12:41-44, the description of giving by various groups of people are highlighted and at times it makes us uncomfortable. Jesus does not condemn the poor widow for giving her all!  He measures giving not by the quantity (amount) given but rather in the proportion or percentage given.  Jesus carefully watched the giving by the various groups of people-rich, middle class, poor and taught His disciples the essence of giving.

God’s economy surpasses all other worldly systems.  Are you linked to God’s economy? If not get into it now.

Image  —  Posted: March 31, 2016 in Excerpt from Newsletters

SdeS-GenSec

Rev. Dr. Senaka de Silva, General Secretary

A Window of Opportunity

“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Revelation 3:8

Dear Friend

As we approach the end of yet another year and most of us are thinking of what God has in store for us in 2016 I appeal for us to be clearly focused on what the Spirit is saying. Numerous incidents in the past few months have repeatedly challenged us to see the opportunities God has placed before the church in Sri Lanka. If we are sensitive today we will realize this is an opportune moment divinely orchestrated.

Despite the circumstances in the past, spiritual renewal has revived our pastors and churches. They recognize the forces of darkness against the church and exercised their spiritual authority. They pressed on to fulfill the mandate of the church. However, the increasing obstacles or the regional spiritual atmosphere, for too long has made us to only blame the darkness. Sadly, some of us are still living in that same mentality. The light has already dawned on us and a new window of opportunity is before us. Let us be reminded that the purpose of our existence as a movement is for the sole purpose of being Christ’s witnesses and touch our communities with the A Window of Opportunity Power and Love of God. We may choose to do so in our own little way, but the time has come for us to accelerate all our efforts. Let us be careful to not let anything hinder us that would divert our attention elsewhere and toward other petty issues. There should be no barriers caused by us the church to reach the perishing world. We must support and be involved in every possible way to make Christ known. At times this may result in us having to do things that are uncomfortable. But let us commit to deal with such things, because the world that is perishing cannot wait.

 The words of Jesus to the church in Philadelphia were a call to action. It is a call to engage, to see, to move and take hold of the divine opportunities created for the church. However, some may choose to take those same words only as an encouragement and fold their hands with expectation for God to accomplish His purposes. Jesus also warned the church in the same passage to hold on tight to the things that the church has received. He warns of being complacent and losing out on what Christ has granted when He says ‘hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown’ (3:11). In the past we have stumbled over many things but today we cannot afford to. Instead when God opens the door we must be sensitive enough to seize the moment and do what He prompts us to do. Some of us have been sensitive to the voice of the Spirit and stepped out in faith to reach the lost. Some have employed innovative strategies as prompted by the Spirit. It is those who touch heaven that can change earth.

Let us also commit to pray and seek His face, be in His presence and receive divine guidance. With the goal of fulfilling the divine mandate before us we must also unite and build our relationship amongst the breatheran that alone will bring God’s favour and propel us towards achieving our objectives. We have a window of opportunity to join our hands, pray on our knees and commit to serve the communities in need as Jesus promises us to give us His favor, His anointing and His continual presence. 

Image  —  Posted: November 27, 2015 in Excerpt from Newsletters

Rev. Dishan Wickramaratne, Chairman / General Superintendent

Rev. Dishan Wickramaratne, Chairman / General Superintendent

The world we live in today is increasingly loosing their faith in the future and the desperation of the end times is leading people to look for a illusive solution. As we watch events unfold right before our eyes what is our response.

I am reminded of the Lord’s words “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor?” So, it is important that we, as a Pentecostal church with a hundred years of maturity behind us, do influence our nation effectively.

We live in rapidly changing times. Our nation is experiencing change and the wider Christian community is also experiencing change. We can see clearly a move of God in an end time context. There is a new and refreshing breeze of the Spirit over our land and we must be sensitive to what God is doing. As Paul says in Galatians “since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Many of our churches are refocusing on the work of the Spirit, and it is my deep desire to see a return to the first century patterns, with the free flow of the gifts in our services. We have taken meaningful steps in this direction as a body. We held the Senior Pastors’ Encounter camp in April, with a focus on the prophetic ministry, and the next Encounter camp would be in September at Pamunugama and conducted in the Tamil language.

In keeping with the spirit of evangelism I am happy to see that over the past few years our churches have been encouraged to develop a congregation that is involved in witnessing. Pastors need to keep this constantly before their people. We need to be involved in both personal and mass evangelism. We should be working on this in cooperation with other churches too – the world in which we live is desperately in need of the gospel. In this context the work of Rev. Roy Isaac with a vision for a mass witness to the nation conducting successful mass rallies in Colombo, Kandy, and Batticaloa, working together with the wider church community is commendable. At Batticaloa the President of the country accepted his invitation to be present, and made a very positive speech assuring Christians of his commitment to ensuring that all enjoy the freedom they are entitled to.

His presence gave additional recognition to the mission to bless the nation.

Our influence must reach the whole community, and ultimately the nation. I encourage you to be an agent of change in what God is doing in our land in these crucial days.

You are constantly in my remembrance and prayers.

Your friend and brother,

Image  —  Posted: September 15, 2015 in Excerpt from Newsletters

March 2015

Posted: March 19, 2015 in Excerpt from Newsletters
Rev. Dishan Wickramaratne, Chairman / General Superintendent

Rev. Dishan Wickramaratne, Chairman / General Superintendent

I thank God for the team He has given us as we step out with new confidence, knowledge and vision as we move forward in building His Kingdom. I also thank God for the Regional Presbyters and the Credentials Committee, that in their capable hands our organisation will continue to grow from strength to strength. The year 2014 has been a landmark year for the Assemblies of God of Ceylon. We commemorated ‘A Century of Blessing’-100 years of AG in Sri Lanka – with a grand celebration at the Havelock Sports Club and overflowing to the adjacent Colts Cricket Club Grounds in Colombo together with 23,000+ believers from across the country. This milestone served to validate the legacy of our forefathers; to demonstrate in a vibrant way that this is not a mere mushroom denomination, but an enduring and growing body of believers. It was indeed a wonderful occasion to see worshippers from all corners of Sri Lanka gathered in one place praising God, and ushering in the next century together in prayer.

December 2013

Posted: December 19, 2013 in Excerpt from Newsletters
Rev. Dishan Wickramaratne, Chairman / General Superintendent

Rev. Dishan Wickramaratne, Chairman / General Superintendent

We have had a fine Annual Conference in August and are looking forward to a wonderful 2014 as we commemorate 100 years of the Assemblies of God of Ceylon. This is truly a significant period for us all. I want to thank all who made the conference a blessed time and those who are working together to make the Centenary year a success too. Let us look to the Lord as He guides us through a time which is also significant in our nation.

Ordination

The six candidates for ordination and their spouses being prayed for by the leadership and their spouses.

Ours is a nation emerging from a military conflict that engulfed us for so many decades. While we strive for justice and reconciliation a new wave of religious conflict has appeared on the horizon. It is now no longer only attacks on Churches; attacks on mosques and businesses owned by Muslims have been on the rise. We have to carry out the mission of the Church (Mathew 28:16-20) – to go, to make disciples, baptize and teach them to obey in the midst of this.

Christ was the embodiment of good tidings of great joy (Luke 2:10). He went about healing the sick, giving rest to the weary and salvation to those who were lost. He was the good news. But one day as the disciples were following him Jesus said to them “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children…. he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26–27). A second dimension of the gospel became evident. Following Christ would not be easy. Persecution, personal sacrifice and even losing one’s family awaited those serving God.

Today the majority will prefer the comfort of Christ rather than the humiliation of following Christ at great personal cost. The temptation to us shepherds of the flock is to preach a gospel of comfort rather than a gospel of challenge. The risk of losing the crowd can keep us from preaching the whole message. It is only the disciple who has been birthed in the Gospel of Challenge that will be able to withstand the wave of persecution.

The early Church in Acts 4 was

  • A Praying and a Spirit-filled Church. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (vs.31); a Church with the Lord’s favour and a holy Church •
  • A Witnessing Church. “And (they) spoke the word of God boldly” (vs.31)
  • A United Church. “All the believers were one in heart and mind” (vs.32)
  • A Sharing Church. “No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had” (vs.32)
  • A Powerful Church. “With great power the Apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus” (vs. 33)
  • A Favoured Church. “… and much grace was upon them all” (vs. 33)

I am indebted particularly to those of you who have been insulted and suffered physical and psychological abuse during the past few months. Dearest partner in the Gospel, it may look like a long night but the morning will dawn. Sri Lanka is the land of our birth. God, who placed us here, has called us to plead on behalf of our countrymen for salvation and healing. Let us continue to discharge our God ordained responsibility irrespective of the cost. You are constantly in my remembrance and prayers.