All posts by Nam

About Nam

Nam is the International Director of the Truth Centered Transformation program which keeps him moving. He spends 40 weeks a year on the road! Beyond seeing the world, his great passions are coffee and photography.

The Local Church

The Local Church


There is undeniable dissatisfaction with church among Christians around the world these days. People leave one local church for another or even stop gathering. The reasons could be worship music, length of sermon, leadership style, facilities…but I believe the underlying reason is that we misunderstand some fundamental things about the local church.

One of the truths that God used to open my eyes and affirm His call for me is the centrality of the local church. As I understand more about this truth, I learn to love and serve His church more. Let me share a few things with you.

Who owns the church?

Pastors often have a habit of saying “my church” when they talk about the congregation they pastor. Most don’t mean to imply that they own the church; but the problem is some pastors do act like owners. They are controlling and treat other members like slaves. Jesus is the one who established His church (Matthew 16:18), so He is the real owner. He loves and gave his life for her and sanctified her so that she might be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:25-27). Does the local church we are gathering reflect the ownership of Jesus? What can we do to help others realize that Jesus is the owner?
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Love Your Enemy

Love Your Enemy


Recently, we had friends visiting our place and we had good conversations about ministry and life in general. Somehow the topic of loving your neighbor came up, and one of them said that this is one principle he struggles putting into practice the most. I appreciate that he admitted it publicly and, even though I teach this idea everywhere, I have to say that this is also my struggle.

We define ‘our neighbor’ in different ways, but in general, we agree that they are people we encounter everyday, acquaintances and strangers. Interestingly, in the ‘Sermons on the Mount’ Jesus raised this truth to the next level. He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’” (Matthew 5:43).
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partnership-through-prayer

Partnership through Prayer


We often think about the relationship between the Apostle Paul and the New Testament churches as a one-way street. Paul’s impact on the churches is obvious, as his letters instruct them about God’s truths. But we don’t think the other way round, about how the churches impacted Paul’s life and ministry.

Recently, I had an opportunity to study Philippians. As I studied the core message and the context of this letter, I realized how much Paul’s success in ministry was dependent on the churches that he wrote to. I can see that these churches impacted his ministry greatly. That’s why, in all his letters, he commended them for such great support. In Philippians, he called that a partnership in the gospel. What does a true partnership look like? There are two elements— material support and prayer—and they go both ways.
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Silent Hero

Silent Hero


A few weeks ago, I heard a sermon on Saul’s conversion to Paul in Acts 9:1-18; 22:4-16. While I was amazed by God’s power to transform a person like Saul and that no one is too far from God’s reach, I was struck by another person and his contribution in this story. What he did is something that I often overlook. But he played a rather significant role in God’s plan and indirectly impacted so many people.

You can probably guess who I am referring to as there are only two main people in this passage, Saul/Paul and Ananias. For sure, every Christian is inspired by Paul’s life and I am no exception. We are named and name our children after Paul but, sorry Paul, it’s not you this time. Now you know who I am talking about. Bravo! It’s Ananias. We don’t have much detail about Ananias’ life besides that he was a disciple in Damascus, a devout man according to the Law and well spoken of by all the Jews there (Acts 22:12). But one thing we know is that he was the first person to pray for Paul to receive Jesus.
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Mustard Seed Actions

Mustard Seed Actions


We are living in a world that is hostile to God and His Word. It says that you can be great and do big things with your own strength, and you don’t need God. People value and uphold the ‘strong,’ ‘big,’ and ‘fast.’ The world says that if you are not strong you will be defeated, if you are not big you are insignificant, and if you are not fast you will be left behind. If you want to be successful, then words like ‘weak,’ ‘small,’ or ‘slow’ shouldn’t be in your vocabulary.

I often hear church leaders talking about their big plans, organizing big revival crusades, and implementing big projects to impact their nation. These plans require big budgets and manpower that only a few big churches have available. The desire to be effective for the Lord in a big way is a great thing, but the problem is they seem to think the way the world thinks. They look down on small actions and are in danger of believing a lie that says, “Bigger is better.”
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August 4

Evangelizing Cross-Culturally


I remember somebody once said, “Either you do Acts 1:8 or Acts 8:1 will happen to you”, I find this statement funny and yet there is some truth in it. Either “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Or “And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” God wants His name to be proclaimed throughout the nations. His plan is to use His people empowered by His Holy Spirit to make His name known, to become His witnesses among nations wherever they live.
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july 14

Evangelism or Social Justice?


Help the needy or evangelize? Which is more important? Is one superior to the other? 
It’s a question that believers around the world wrestle with. In Asia most Christians tend to believe that evangelism is key, anything else is a distraction. And yet is that really true?

In the 6th chapter of Generous Justice, Keller addresses the question that every Christian who wants to impact the world around them often asks, “What is the relationship between the call to help the needy and the Biblical command to evangelize?”

These two concepts are everywhere in the Word of God whether in form of direct commands or implication of commands.
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june 11

Radical Generosity


Giving and sharing with other people no matter what it is, whether it’s small or big is always a blessing, especially for the giver. We feel good about ourselves when we give, just as God promised ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ Acts 20:35. As Christian, we are called to give and share, but what motivates us to give and what does our giving look like? How is Christian giving different from the others?

People are doing charity around the world. We see millions and millions of people who are giving in one way or another, there are thousands of organizations raising fund to help the poor no matter what kind of religion they follow. In chapter one of Generous Justice, Keller described the private giving to the poor as doing justice not doing charity. Continue reading