New Life

Announcements (13 Aug 2017)

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Aug 132017
 

Special Sunday School TODAY @12.30pm:  Do stay back for the Special Sunday School (12.30-1.30pm) taught by Dr. Michael Barrett.  All are welcome!

Catechism Class Interview @11.30am: Elders’ Interview of Catechumens will be held TODAY in the K-Office @11.30am. If you wish to join the class for Baptism, Reaffirmation of Faith or Transfer of Church Membership, kindly get the form from Sis Min Ling.  Application closes TODAY.

SAF Meeting (19 Aug, Sat):  In the NLBPC Chapel from 4:30 – 6:30pm. Short exhortation on “Fake News and Biblical Truth” by Eld Sim and followed by a pot-luck dinner in the Fellowship Hall. All are cordially invited and welcome to attend! SAF’ers,  please invite friends or visitors as well!

Family Day (2 Sep): A time of fun, games and bonding @BB Sembawang Campsite from 8am-1pm. Cost: $10 per pax (inclusive of buffet lunch and transport).  FOC for children <4 years old and senior citizens >60 years old.  Registration has started and will end on 27 Aug.  Please register with Bro James Pang or Sis Min Ling at the Fellowship Hall.

13 Aug 2017 – Humility

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Aug 132017
 

By Dn Ronnie Tan

 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6)

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

(1 Peter 5:5)

 God hates pride. The Bible has a number of verses which reminds us how God values humility. Apart from the two verses mentioned above, there are other verses such as Proverbs 16:18; Philippians 2:3, 29:23; 1 Peter 5:5. In addition, God also hates those with “a proud look”. (Proverbs 6:17)

The Bible contains a number of lessons showing how God deals with the proud. Some of the consequences are terrible indeed! Here are some examples:

– Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt even though he had seen for himself how neither he nor his magicians can never outmatch God’s power. (Exodus 7:8-12) Pharaoh’s intransigence persisted despite Egypt having to go through 9 plagues before he finally let the Israelites go – after the tenth plague claimed his son’s life. Even after that, he pursued the departing Israelites and saw his pursuing army of 600 chariots drown in the Red Sea. (Exodus 14)

– Goliath defied the army of the living God (1 Samuel 17:10). In modern parlance, he called the Israelite army cowards and insulted them. As the story goes, Goliath paid for his pride and folly with his life.

– King Saul foolishly thought he could offer sacrifices to the Lord, even though he knew that was the sole domain of Samuel and the high priest. (1 Samuel 15). His pride not only caused him to lose his kingdom but it would also cost his sons their lives, one of whom was David’s best friend, Jonathan.

– In Daniel 4:30-33, we are told how God punished Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar for giving all glory to himself for making Babylon great, instead of acknowledging God’s sovereign power. He ended up living in the field and eating grass like cattle for seven years! It was only after he had acknowledged God’s sovereignty that he was restored. (Daniel 4:34-37)

– The Pharisees loved to be seen and praised for their “piety”. However, our Lord Jesus was not impressed at all. (Luke 18:9-14) On the contrary, our Lord clearly made it known that he found their behavior repugnant.

Often time, it is hard to be humble, even though we may know for sure that being humble in certain situations would not be to our advantage. However, the Bible showed us this was not an impossible task, with the story of Jonathan being a case in point. On one occasion, he was nearly killed by his father for standing up for David, even though he knew he would not be the next king if David was allowed to live. (1 Samuel 20:30-33) Indeed, Jonathan’s willingness to humble himself by letting David be the next king holds an invaluable lesson for us.

Years ago, before I started my National Service, I had developed a stereotyped image of my Hokkien-speaking peers, largely because most of my early encounters with them were unpleasant. Sadly, I carried on having such prejudiced views of them when I started my NS. God certainly wanted to put a stop to it. To humble me, God put me in a platoon full of Hokkien-speaking soldiers during my basic military training and when I was posted to a unit! I wondered, “God, why did you throw me into the deep-end?” As the days went by, God showed me why he wanted me to live, work, and eat with them; He wanted to humble me and show me how prejudiced I was and that I should come down from my lofty perch, get to know them better and love them as the Lord would.

The drivers I worked with were, of course, not averse to using colourful language and some “tricks”. However, what surprised me was their work ethic. They were prepared to work hard and some of them were even more conscientious while carrying out their duties than the better-educated NS men! Despite their tough exterior, they had hearts of gold too, as some showed they were not averse to going the extra mile for me when I needed their help. I not only learned to understand them better and I also ended up learning a lot more from them than I thought! I thank God for showing me the beam in my own eye and for stopping me from focusing on the mote in the eyes of others (Matthew 7:3-5) and most importantly, for humbling me during my NS years.

It is not easy to eat the humble pie. However, when God shows us where we have gone wrong, may we remember that God does so because He loves us as a father would love his child. (Proverbs 3:11-12) When friends and loved ones show us our mistakes, may we remember that they care (Proverbs 27:6,17) and God’s Word commands us to help those who are at fault. (Galatians 6:1) Furthermore, if we humble ourselves, God’s word says He will give us grace (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5) and exalt us. (1 Petr 5:6) O Lord God, humble me, so that I can receive Your grace and be used by You for Your intended purposes. Let not pride take hold of me! Amen!

Announcements (06 Aug 2017)

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Aug 062017
 

Wed Prayer Meeting:  There will be NO Prayer Meeting on 9 Aug due to R500 Conference & National Day.

Combined B-P Churches Reformation 500 Conference (9-12 Aug):  Speaker:  Dr. Michael Barrett.  Venue:  Calvary BPC (9 & 10 Aug) and Life BPC (11 & 12 Aug). For those who signed up, please attend!  Note:  Parking in Calvary BPC is very limited; please park in the multi-storey carparks nearby (free for National Day).

Combined Worship Service (13 Aug):  There will be a Combined Worship Service next Lord’s Day followed by Fellowship Lunch.  Do stay back for the Special Sunday School (12.30-1.30pm) taught by Dr. Michael Barrett.  All are welcome!

Catechism Class: Elders’ Interview of Catechumens will be held on 13/8 in the K-Office @11.30am. If you wish to join the class for Baptism, Reaffirmation of Faith or Transfer of Church Membership, kindly get the form from Sis Min Ling.  Application will close TODAY.

Family Day (2 Sep): A time of fun, games and bonding @BB Sembawang Campsite from 8am-1pm. Cost: $10 per pax (inclusive of lunch and transport).  Registration starts on 6 Aug and ends on 27 Aug.  Please register with Sis Min Ling.

Floral Gift / Fellowship Tea:  There are still some blank slots to be filled.  Floral Gift is $30/slot and Fellowship Tea is $40.  For Fellowship Tea, you may give $20 each if you can find someone else to share the week with you. Kindly mark on the envelope ‘Floral Gift’ or ‘Fellowship Tea’ and drop your contribution in the offering bag.

06 Aug 2017 – The Danger of Materialism

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Aug 062017
 

(From Matt. 6:19-24) by Rev Gabriel Gan

From the day they are born, modern young people are taught that money is the secret to happiness, that only those who possess the latest fads, trendy clothes, designer labels can truly enjoy life. All this flies in the face of what truly rich people have known since time began. Money does not bring happiness. King Solomon wrote, “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver” (Eccl. 5:10); “the abundance of the rich will not suffer (permit) him to sleep” (v.12). Many have seconded Solomon’s God-inspired words. Benjamin Franklin said, “Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it.” Andrew Carnegie observed that “Millionaires seldom smile.”

The second half of Matthew 6 builds on what has come before. Followers of Jesus not only shun hypocrisy in religious duty, but, more positively, they comprehend that all of life is to be lived and all its attitudes are to be formed according to the perspectives of the kingdom of God.

In Matthew 6:19-24, Jesus did not condemn wealth but rather the love of wealth. He did not rule out earthly possessions, positions, or pleasures but instead the improper emphasis on them. Nowhere did Jesus magnify poverty or criticize the legitimate getting of wealth. God made all things, including food, clothing, and precious metals. God has declared that all things He has made are good (Gen. 1:31). God knows that we need certain things in order to live (Matt. 6:32). In fact, He has given us “richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17). Hence, it is not wrong to possess things, but it is wrong for things to possess us.

From time immemorial, mankind has always focused on the possessions and positions that this life has to offer. But such earthly treasures, being temporary and uncertain, are unworthy of the believer’s primary attention. By “treasures of earth” Jesus refers to any valuable which is perishable or which can be lost in one way or another. Now, earthly treasures need not be limited to material possessions. Anything that men value, including position, status, work, and family, can become a treasure. There is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying the good things that this world has to offer, provided one does not have to leave the will of God to enjoy them. What Christ taught is a proper perspective toward earthly things.

The reason Jesus gives for prohibiting the storing of such treasure is that it will be destroyed. You cannot take it with you. Job understood this perfectly: “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked will I return thither” (Job 1:21). That is the truth! We can take none of our earthly treasures with us. No money, no fame, and no position will go with us. How should we live? Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 6:17–19 are helpful for all of us:

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

  1. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes, “If we have a right view of ourselves in this world as pilgrims, as children of God going to our Father, everything falls into its true perspective.” (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, p.28). We, like the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, will learn to look beyond the present and grasp the eternal.

Instead of “treasuring up treasures on earth,” Christ’s followers are to daily “treasure up” for themselves “treasure in heaven” that will endure. No moth can ever corrupt them; nor can any thieves break through and steal them away (v.20).

What does it mean to lay up treasures in heaven? It means to use all that we have for the glory of God. It means to “hang loose” when it comes to the material things of life. It also means measuring life by the true riches of the kingdom and not by the false riches of this world. It means to “set your affections on thing above …” (Col. 3:1).

This is not a call for a life of negation and asceticism. Believers are to enjoy life fully and authentically.  But the Christian does not hold tightly to what he has in this world.

Beloved, the sin of covetousness is as dangerous as the sin of hypocrisy! Thus, Jesus warned against living for the things of this life. He pointed out the sad consequences of covetousness. Materialism will enslave the heart (Matt. 6:19–21), the mind (Matt. 6:22–23), and the will (Matt. 6:24).

As believers, we must evaluate what is truly important to us. What are we living for? This life or the life to come? Where is your heart? Where is mine? And which master do we serve—God or Money?

Announcements (30 Jul 2017)

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Jul 302017
 

Mission Sunday (TODAY):  The Philippines Committee will be giving the presentation at 11.30am at the Chapel.

Wed Prayer Meeting @8pm:  Members are strongly encouraged to come and pray as a Church.  The Church that prays together, stays together!

Catechism Class: The next class will begin on 20/8. If you wish to join the class for Baptism, Reaffirmation of Faith or Transfer of Church Membership, kindly get the form from Sis Min Ling.  Application will close on 6 Aug.

Pioneer Generation Ambassadors (PGA) needed! If you are interested in community service, please register your interest with Bro Steve Tan.

Ju Eng Home:  Volunteers are needed for this outreach.  If you have a burden for this ministry, please register your interest with Ps Lim Chee Boon.

30 Jul 2017 – Encouraging Each Other in God’s Work

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Jul 302017
 

By Elder Yap Chee Kian

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)

One day, a small child came home from school and gave a paper to his mother. He said to her “Mom, my teacher gave this to me and told me only you are to read it. What does it say?”

His mother’s eyes were tearful as she read the letter out loud to her child: Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself.

After many years, his mother had died and the child was one of the greatest inventors of the century. One day he was looking through old family stuff when he saw a folded paper in the corner of a drawer in a desk. He opened it up and read what was written: Your son is addled [mentally ill]. We won’t let him come to school any more.

He cried for hours as he wrote in his diary: “Thomas Alva Edison was an addled child that, by a hero mother, became the genius of the century.”

The veracity of this version of events is not totally accurate as belied by the actual account given by Thomas Edison himself in a rare interview. However, there was indeed an incident in which he was labelled “addled” by a school administrator that led his mother to remove him from school underscoring the importance of encouragement.

Power of Encouragement

Words have the power to heal as well as the power to kill. Proverbs give us many practical examples and we are exhorted to apply them wisely in our lives. This is especially so with our fellow brethren “for by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another”. Encouragement is emphasized in God’s word because it is absolutely necessary in our walk of faith.

We live in a time when encouragement is often lacking and criticisms are rampant. This is exacerbated by easy access social media which propagates fear and negative sentiments. Even the great prophet Elijah was not spared. In 1 Kings 19, we read that after he had defeated the false prophets at Mount Carmel, he was intimidated by Jezebel and ran for his live. God had to send an angel to encourage him.

Misunderstandings and hurt feelings can become sources of distress and hinder the work of God. There is a man in the early church by the name of Joses [Acts 4:36]. His other name, Barnabas is probably more familiar to us and is worthy of mention. It means ‘son of encouragement’ or ‘son of consolation’. Barnabas certainly lived up to his name. We cannot read Act 15:36-41 but be moved that despite their contention, Paul and Barnabas continued to depend on God. They moved forward peacefully and must have been mutual encouragement as recorded in (1 Tim 4:11)

What does encouragement do?

Discouragement is a common human experience. It may be difficult to find meaning in the seemingly inconsequential things we do and we may want to give up. Yet He who calls us is faithful, and He gives us the power to be faithful, too (1 Corinthians 1:9).

Encouragement makes it easier to live a holy life in a fallen world. Encouragement through the word of God brings hope (Romans 15:4). Our depraved nature requires constant reminder that God is working in our lives. It helps us exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit by nurturing patience and kindness (Galatians 5:22-26). Encouragement makes it easier to sacrifice our own desires by seeing things from God’s perspective with eternity in mind.

Let us all aspire to be a Barnabas. By God’s grace each one of us can be ‘a son of encourgement’. We can touch lives and be a beacon of hope and comfort to those around us especially those who are outside Christ.

Announcements (23 Jul 2017)

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Jul 232017
 

Wed Prayer Meeting @8pm:  Members are strongly encouraged to come and pray as a Church.  The Church that prays together, stays together!

GB, Fortnight (16-30 Jul):  Please support the students by filling up their donation cards.

Songleading Training Session (29/7):  There will be a Songleading Training Session for all Worship Service chairman and songleaders on Sat at 4.30pm – 6.30pm in the Chapel to be conducted by Sis Tsai Ping and Sis Michelle Lee.  All those interested in the songleading ministry are most welcome!

Gospel Sunday (30/7):  Please pray and invite your friends and loved ones to this service.  Speaker: Eld Sim Chee Seng.

Mission Sunday (30 Jul):  The Philippines Committee will be giving the presentation at 11.30am at the Chapel.

R500 Conference (9-12 Aug):  Please sign up with Sis Min Ling at the Fellowship Hall if you are interested. Registration will close TODAY.  Attendance for the conference is free but not for the packet meals.

Catechism Class:  The next class will begin on 8 Aug.  If you wish to join the class for Baptism, Reaffirmation of Faith or Transfer of Church Membership, kindly get the form from Sis Min Ling.  Application will close on 7 Aug.

Pioneer on Ambassadors (PGA) needed! If you are interested in community service, please register your interest with Bro Steve Tan.

Ju Eng Home:  Volunteers are needed for this outreach.  If you have a burden for this ministry, please register your interest with Ps Lim Chee Boon.

23 Jul 2017 – A People Mobilized For Action

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Jul 232017
 

By Deacon Emmanuel Gumapon

In Joshua 1:10-18 after Joshua received a Divine Marching Order from God: A Call to Trust and A Call to Obey. Verse 10 begins, “Then Joshua”, after God had made it clear that He would be with him wherever he went, it was time for him to move forward. Joshua needed to give a series of commands and the people needed to obey them. One commentator said, “The scene switches from God’s instruction to Joshua to Joshua’s instruction to the officers”.

A. The commands of Joshua (1:10-15)

Now there are two specific groups of people that Joshua commands:

1. Joshua commands the officers: vs. 10-11

Now the officers were recognized leaders of Israel. In the Book of Deuteronomy, we learn three facts about these officers: First, they were wise, discerning and experienced men chosen by the people and appointed by Moses (Deut. 1:13-15). Second, they were responsible to make righteous judgments in various situations among God’s people (Deut. 16:18-20). Third, they were responsible to hear the Word of God and then protect and preserve it (Deut. 31:28). They were to protect the people of God by making judgements in accordance to the Word and will of God. In verse 11, the officers were to go through the midst of the camp and command God’s people to prepare provisions because in three days they were going to cross the Jordan and enter to possess the Promised Land. The whole camp of Israel contained over 600,000 fighting men (Num. 26:2, 51). There are three things to note from this command to these officers:

a) These officers are not giving suggestions to Israel; they are telling them and commanding them as to what to do. We live in a day and age when commanding people to do something seems almost foreign to leadership. Most think it is never right. This is not true. Sometimes commands must be given and leadership must give them. Leadership is needed and it is expected to lead.

b) We do not know what the “victuals” or provisions (ESV) were. We may assume that the provisions included food. In fact, the Hebrew word is one that often refers to food (corn, oxen, sheep). The preparation was the people’s responsibility, not the leaders. God does not bless laziness.

c) There is no mention about the enemies in the land. These officers were focusing on the preparation and not the obstacles. The faith of the leadership is seen in the fact that they believe God was with them and would give them this land. When God is working out His perfect will, there will be enemies to fight, but God will give the victory.

2. Joshua commands the Transjordan tribes: vs. 12-15

Now Joshua had something very specific to say to the Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh. In order for these 2 ½ tribes to experience God’s blessings, they needed to follow through on what Moses told them. Joshua commanded them to remember the Word of God. There are people who think that when new leadership comes into existence they should just forget about the previous leadership that led them in the true ways of God. This will not bring the blessings of God. There will always be some in the church who aren’t dedicated and faithful or plain ignorant. They need instruction. They need to be challenged to obey God’s Word. They need to be warned that they better fit in with the whole if they want God’s blessings. Now looking at the total number of men of the 2 ½ tribes in Num. 26, the Reubenites = 43,730 in v. 7; Gad = 40,500in v. 18 and Manasseh = 52,700 in v. 34 (half=26,350); the total is 110,580. Now in Joshua 4:13 shows the total who passed over are 40,000. Where are the others 70,580? So you see the problem with the Israelites. God wants total obedience and not partial obedience.

B. The response of the people to Joshua’s commands: vs. 16-18

The leaders responded to Joshua by saying they would do all that he commanded. They would obey him like they did Moses and any person who rebel would be eliminated from the nation by death. They are dead serious about their accountability to Joshua. One commentator said if we had this policy in the church today, “you obey God or we will put you to death”, we will have daily funeral services and the next thing you will notice all the Church members disappear. These leaders knew the importance of obeying God’s leader.

C. Challenge

There is a very humbling verse of Scripture in the New Testament. In Hebrews 13:17 “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

There is a principle that you observe as you read through Scripture which is true with Old Testament for Israel and also true for the New Testament with the Church: God uses human leaders to get things done for Him. In spite of the fact that leaders are sinful and human and finite, this is still God’s method of moving forward. There must be leadership in any operation of God and that leadership must be committed to understanding and implementing and obeying the truth of the Word of God. By doing this as a Church, we will experience God’s amazing blessings

THUS IN ORDER TO MOVE FORWARD FOR GOD, GOD’S PEOPLE NEED TO RECOGNIZE GOD’S LEADERS, LEARN FROM GOD’S LEADERS, LISTEN TO GOD’S LEADERS, AND OBEY GOD’S LEADERS.

Announcements (16 Jul 2017)

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Jul 162017
 

Session Meeting (Today):  At 1.45pm @ Conference Room.  Session members please attend.

GB Fortnight (16-30 Jul):  Please support the students by filling up their donation cards.

Gospel Sunday (30 Jul):  Please pray and invite your friends and loved ones to this service. Speaker: Eld Sim Chee Seng.

Mission Sunday (30 Jul):  The Philippines Committee will be giving the presentation at 11.30am at the Chapel.

R500 Conference (9-12 Aug):  Please sign up with Sis Min Ling at the Fellowship Hall if you are interested. Registration closes on 23 Jul. Attendance for the conference is free but not for the meals.

Catechism Class:  The next class will begin on 20/8. If you wish to join the class for Baptism, Reaffirmation of Faith or Transfer of Church Membership, kindly get the form from Ps Gan.  Application will close on 7 Aug.

Pioneer Generation Ambassadors (PGA) needed!  If you are interested in community service, please register your interest with Bro Steve Tan.

16 Jul 2017 – Be Thankful Always

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Jul 162017
 

Be Thankful Always by Eld Sim Chee Seng

 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thess 5:18

Paul stated in the above text that we are to give thanks in all circumstances, whether favourable or unfavourable, and he added that “this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.”  Thanksgiving is not a natural virtue but a fruit of the Spirit. We are naturally inclined to welcome the good times and complain about the bad times. Thanksgiving is an admission of dependence upon God. Because God is sovereign, wise and good, we can complete trust Him in all circumstances. In times of adversities, we recognize the hand of God in our life and knows that God is at work in a preactive (not reactive) fashion. This truth is taught in the life of Joseph when his brothers betrayed him and sold him to slavery. God did not respond to Joseph’s adversity in life to make the best of a bad situation.  Joseph himself was convinced that God knew before He initiated and permitted the adversity exactly how He will use it for his good. His reply to his brothers is illuminating –   “So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”  And “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Gen 45:8 and 50:20)  Indeed, the promise of  Rom 8:28 is closely connected with command of 1 Thess 5:18. We are to give thanks in everything and under all circumstances because we know that in all things God is at work for our good. God is sovereign and He is fully in control of all circumstances. Understanding this truth, we should be thankful always.

In the New Testament, there were 10 lepers who came to Christ for healing (Luke 17:11-19) and all of them experienced the healing power of Christ and were made whole. The punch line of that story is that only one came back to say “Thank you Lord.”  How fast and how prone we are to forget to be thankful when we have received help from someone.  Are we aware of His grace and love to us each day and do we even stop to say “Thank you Lord” at all?  It is said that our problem is deeper than mere forgetfulness, it is the spirit of ingratitude and complaining. Murmuring and moaning put our focus on lack. Thanksgiving is aware of grace and abundance. Our attitude towards God and the life He has given us, will determine the quality of the “soil” of our life.  Having a thankful heart, God can plant seed there that will lead to an abundant harvest of blessing. However, ingratitude and complaining against God lead to anger and anxiety. Someone puts it beautifully “Gratitude waters the garden of our heart with wonder, joy and faith.” And again “Gratitude is adoration for the glory of God.”

Thankfulness results in a willingness to surrender to God’s will for our lives. “Come what may,” I will still trust in my heavenly Father because He is trustworthy. We trust Him to be who He says He is for us – the perfect Father.  Let us, therefore, cultivate the spirit of gratitude, which the Holy Spirit has implanted and is growing in us.  Let us obey His commandment that “in everything to give thanks.” Amen!

[Ref:  Trusting God by Jerry Bridges, 2008, by NavPress, pg 209-212]