26 May 13 – Behold, a door was opened in heaven…(Revelation 4:1a)

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May 262013
 

By Pr. Lek Aik Wee 

There is a day coming when all believers in Jesus Christ shall enter the glorious door of heaven.In Revelation 4, the apostle John, led by our Lord Jesus to behold an open door in heaven, and being translated in the spirit, had a foretaste of heavenly worship. Jesus said, “Come up hither and I will show thee things which must be hereafter” (Rev 4:1b).

The focus in heaven is the throne of God. Herein is the central command of the entire universe where God rules. Every purpose under heaven and in heaven emanates from the throne of God.

Behold the greater greatness of God as we consider the vastness of the universe. Behold the Creator, Sustainer and Judge of the universe. Surely, the vastness of God’s glory is unimaginable as we consider who He is.

The perfection of God in the fullness of His glory was a scene that John had the great privilege to witness – And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald (Rev. 4:3).

This is a description of the glory of God. The glory was described in terms of precious stone, even like a jasper and sardine stone, clear as crystal (cf. Rev. 21:11; Exod. 24:10), as a sea of glass like unto crystal (Rev. 4:6a). The rainbow is the symbol of the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon earth that the waters shall no longer become a flood that destroy all flesh (Gen. 9:16). What a refreshing aura of peace in heaven, showing forth the kindness and mercy of God (Isa. 54:9-10)! The scene must cause the beholder to fall upon his face in worship (Ezek. 1:28).

Surrounding the throne were 24 seats and 24 elders sitting upon the seats clothed in white raiment. They had on their heads crowns of gold (Rev. 4:4). The 24 elders represent all the saints triumphant, with their white garments washed every whit clean by the blood of the Lamb, out of every kindred, and tongue and people and nation (Rev. 5:9), in grateful adoration. For God has made the saints to be kings with their kingly crowns and priests with their whited garments. They will reign with Christ on earth a thousand years (Rev. 20:4b) after the Great Tribulation of 7 years (Rev. 6 to 19). They cast their crowns before Him that sat upon the throne and worship Him with these words of praise, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour and power: for thou hast created all things and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev. 4:10, 11).

Man is the epitome of God’s creation. When God created the universe, earth was the focus. When God created the earth, man was the focus. For only man was made in the image of God, to reflect the glory of his Creator. The glory of the redeemed man standing justified before God is echoed the words of Robert Murray McCheyne:

When I stand before the throne

Dressed in beauty not my own,

When I see Thee as Thou art,

Love Thee with unsinning heart;

Then, Lord, shall I fully know

Not till then how much I owe.

There in heaven, we will worship together with our loved ones who had gone home before us. There will not be that empty seat on the pew of a departed friend or loved one but all will be reunited in glory for eternity. A blessed reunion in heaven where there will be no more pain, nor sorrow, nor tears nor aging. We look forward to that glorious day. We work for that glorious day by sharing the gospel to our loved ones and friends who are still outside God’s kingdom. By the grace and mercy of God, they may believe and be saved for that glorious day. Lord, come quickly! Amen.

Announcements (26 May 13)

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May 262013
 

Kindergarten VBS Mon – Tue 3-4/6 9am to 12: If you are free to come and help at this annual event, please give your name to the office. It is good to have that connection with our kindergarten children so that they may feel welcome to our Sunday School. You may help in the games, crafts, photo-taking etc. Lunch is provided.

Sharing by Bro. TannHeng on Wed night prayer meeting 5/6. All are welcome to receive an update on the Cambodian work. Come and pray for the work.

Pastoral Visitation on Sat 8/6 2pm: If you would like to open your house for visitation, or you are interested to join the visitation teams, please contact PrLek by 2/6.

Parents’ Nite(Sat 22/6)Venue: YishunSafra Country Club Pin Si Restaurant. Price: $35pax. Registration with Bro. Ronnie Pang continues in the Fellowship Hall.

Announcements (19 May 13)

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May 192013
 

Session Meeting: Session members are requested to attend the meeting TODAY at 1.30 pm. in the Conference Room.

The Ultimate Quest 2013 Theme: Lost and Found! Date: THIS Sat 25 May. Time: 9.30am – 5.30pm. For all children P1 – P6. For more details, contact Bro. Daniel Sim @ 81121677.

NLBPC Combined Church Camp 2013: Dates: 12 -15 June 2013 (Wed – Sat).  This year’s church camp is at Bayou Lagoon Park Resort, Melaka. Fees: Adults $200, Senior Citizens (=>60yrs) $160, Full Time Students $160 and Children S$140. Theme: A Gospel Worthy of Your Life. Speakers: Rev. Bill Mills (Eng), Rev. Matt Hanna (Chinese) & Mrs Matt Hanna (Children). Registration is closed and today is the last day for fees collection. Payment is accepted in cash or cheque (made payable to New Life Bible-Presbyterian Church).  Campers are to indicate their transport arrangement (whether self-driving or taking the coach). They also are to submit their camp T-shirt size at the booth in the Fellowship Hall.  The church camp T-shirt is to be worn on the first day of camp for identification purpose and there will be a group photo taking session. COME AND BE BLESSED!

Parents’ Nite (Sat 22/6) Venue: Yishun Safra Country Club Pin Si Restaurant. Price: $35 pax. Registration with Bro. Ronnie Pang starts today in the Fellowship Hall.

19 May 13 – The Snare of Worldliness – Remember Lot’s Wife

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May 192013
 

The Snare of Worldliness – Remember Lot’s Wife – Luke 17:32

By Pr. Lek Aik Wee

Lot’s wife had her heart completely swayed, mesmerised and immersed by the attractions of the worldly life in Sodom and Gomorrah. She did not escape God’s judgment. Genesis 19:24-26 describes for us the last moments of her life:

24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 26 But his (meaning Lot’s) wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

She was turned into a pillar of salt: her lingering heart and the hesitation in those critical moments of escape sealed her end. She was enshrined as a monument for posterity to behold, a monument signifying folly and wasted opportunity for eternal life. The indulgence of life in Sodom – its luxury, ease and pleasure – numbed her senses and her conscience was seared. She failed to comprehend the heinous nature of the ungodliness that warranted God’s judgment on the city. Sodom was a city filled with immorality especially the sin of homosexuality. It was a perverted world in Sodom that totally rebelled against God’s order for society. The godless behaviour of the inhabitants were appalling, men with men doing that which was against their nature. When Lot invited the two angels into his home, the evil men of the city came seeking them for sexual favours. Lot offered his virgin daughters to those men instead (Genesis 19:7-8). Whose parents would do such shocking acts? All these things demonstrated the sad state of perversion in Sodom, of which Lot’s family were partakers.

The Apostle John has this timely warning for us in 1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Indeed, Lot’s wife did not possess that love for God and for godliness. Her heart was in total bondage to sin. She did not take hold of the free grace of God to help her break that bondage. She paid a heavy price. The family was broken. It led later to the incestuous relationship that the daughters had with their father, Lot. The love of the world has such devastating effects on family life and it breaks up the family.

We have the modern equivalent of Sodom in every metropolitan city in the world. Homosexuality and lesbianism are fast becoming alternative life-styles with the gradual legalization of same sex marriage. The family unit breaks down. It is against God’s order for society. God had to judge Sodom for the filth of immorality that polluted His creation.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God’s judgment is near, even at the doors. This world is going to be destroyed. But for God’s people, Christ will return to bring His bride, the church, to heaven. Jesus gave this grave warning against indulgences in the pleasures of the world in Luke 17:28-36, “28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”

Loving the world, longing for the things of the world was the Achilles heel of Lot’s wife. She looked back as she could not bear to leave what she had and enjoyed. It then sealed her doom. We are exhorted to remember Lot’s wife, to remember how she turned back to the world and was consumed by it although she had the opportunity to escape. God’s angels were sent to lead the family out of trouble but she refused God’s grace. God’s Word, the message of the gospel, has been preached to you many a time. Has God’s Word taken root in your heart or is there that longing for the things of the world?

What is the antidote to counter this overwhelming tide of wanton, unrestraint, euphoric and hedonistic – eat, drink and be merry kind of mentality? This world appears to be so attractive but the sanctified heart will see the danger of its seductiveness, and flee.

May the Lord help us to be rich toward God and not rich toward the things of the world for the world will eventually disappoint and destroy us. In examining the life of Lot’s wife, it must cause us to examine our own lives. May the Lord help us to flee the materialistic and immoral life-style of this world for the eternal well-being of our souls, and live each day keeping Christ’s coming and judgment in view. Amen.

12 May 13 – “A Mother’s Faith”

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May 122013
 

“A Mother’s Faith”

“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” (2 Timothy 1:5)

By Rev. S. V. Nathan

On this Mother’s Day, let us pause to honour our mothers and to reflect on the important contribution they have made to our lives. We may even try to imagine what our lives would have been like without them. We all owe to our mothers a great deal and agree with George Washington: “My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all of my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her.” In every Christian walk of life the mother’s contribution to our faith is very important and eternal in nature. In 2 Timothy 1: 5, Paul commends Timothy’s faith. First of all, we have to thank God for his mother’s faith. Why  did Paul commend his faith? I want to recognize three things that can happen when a mother places her faith in the promises of God in a child. (George Washington’s quote from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/g/george_washington.html).

  1. I.                    The Inherited Faith (vs 5a):  

 “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee,”

Firstly, Paul praises Timothy’s faith as the unfeigned faith, which dwelt in his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice. Hence, this is to be understood that the gracious faith was providentially and successively passed from his grandmother down through three generations. Thus, Timothy’s faith was inherited from his mother. Can you see here the pattern of a godly mother who passes on her faith and makes a godly home whereby her children are taught and brought up in the Lord’s fear? This caused Paul to give thanks to God for it.

One of the most important gifts that any mother can give to her child is the faith in Christ and leading him/her to accept Jesus as personal Saviour.  Thus Paul exhorts the aged woman to teach the sound doctrine and good things (Titus 2: 3). Every Christian mother is obligated to present the faith to her children at the very tender age – Proverb 22:6a.Train up a child in the way he should go.

Very sadly, what I see in our churches today is that children are not coming to church or they dropped out, and are backsliding or they have become wayward and worldly. I believe that it is every Mother’s vital responsibility to bring her child to Christ. It is my sincere request to mothers on this Mother’s Day to make a vow to lead our children to saving knowledge of Christ and help make them commit their lives to Christ. Many great people in history have testified that it is their mother who made an indelible mark in their spiritual walk with God. This is true with St Augustine through his mother’s continual prayer and later he became a great servant of God.

  1. II.                  The Influenced Faith   (vs 5b):

   “Which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice

Secondly, Timothy’s faith is commendable because it is faith influenced by his mother and grandmother. From this verse, we know that they were faithful believers. In other words, Grandmother Lois and mother Eunice lived their faith by setting an example and model to Timothy and they influenced him in and through his life. It is very easy to teach rather than live the teaching so as to impact our children’s lives.  Therefore, influential mothers are sensitive to the spiritual needs of their children and they will sacrifice self to plant those seeds of eternal value. She especially needs to live a God-fearing life before her children.

The best thing a mother can do for her children and family is to let the humility of Christ flow in and through her. A Christian mother who has been taught of the Lord on how to apply this principle in raising her children will know the joy of sacrificial living. The influence of a godly mother plays a vital part in a child’s development of his potential to become a leader.  We can see this in Abraham Lincoln, “All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother. I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life” Do our children see in us the very faith lived in our lives? Are we giving the right place and value to faith in Christ? (http://quotationsbook.com/quote/31959/#sthash.wUTDWmfB.dpbs).

  1. III.                The Invested Faith (vs 5c): “and I am persuaded that in thee also.”

Thirdly, Timothy’s faith is commendable because, we can infer that it is faith invested in him by his mother and grandmother. The very faith which was inherited and influenced was a great investment by his mother as it was reciprocated by him becoming a minister of the gospel. Hence, mother’s godly influence kept her children spiritually healthy and well equipped for the work of God as they grow.

We must understand that every child is a God-given gift to us (Psalm 127:3) and we are commanded to bring forth godly offspring (Malachi 2:15) as we are called to show forth the praises of Him who separated us from the darkness (1 Peter 2:9). Thus, I see a mother’s faith as a lifelong investment in our children’s lives, which will promote our children, like Timothy, as a living testimony or minister of the gospel.

But what we see today is that mothers invest a lot of time, energy and money in their children by sending and equipping them for various lessons so that they may succeed in their future. But do we spend enough time for their faith and do we give the importance to spiritual growth and their salvation? If we invest in their spiritual walk in the light of eternity, I am sure that our children will be tomorrow’s Timothies.  Let us begin to invest in our child’s spiritual walk with God, so that they may not depart from it even in their old age. (Pro 22:6b).

Conclusion:

Finally, as we are celebrating Mother’s Day, we are reminded to love, respect and remember our mothers who are the reasons behind our existence.  Every one of us should not forget to thank her for her sacrificial love and sincere service in our lives on this earth.  A mother’s faith in her child can cause him to succeed where he would otherwise fail. Where would we be without the love, prayers, and support of our mothers? I encourage you to take time to thank your mother for her faith—the faith that brings heaven to earth, gives you a godly legacy, and changes your circumstances for the better. “A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.” (Cardinal Mermillod – http://blog.nancythinks.com/2012/05/05/donna.aspx). A blessed and Christ-centred Mother’s Day to all mothers in our church. May our God bless you abundantly.

Announcements (12 May 13)

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May 122013
 

Blessed Mother’s Day! Session would like to wish all mothers worshipping with us this morning a blessed Mother’s Day!

Session Meeting: Session members are requested to attend the meeting NEXT SUNDAY at 1.30 pm. in the Conference Room.

Youth Fellowship meets on Sat 18/5 Time: 3.30 pm @Chapel. Dinner provided. All youths and parents as well as other fellowship groups are welcome to their “Go” meeting. Sp: Rev. Lim Chee Boon More details in the insert.

The Ultimate Quest 2013 Theme: Lost and Found! Date: Sat 25 May. Time: 9.30am – 5.30pm. TODAY – last day for registration! Registration is free for all children P1 – P6. For more details, contact Bro. Daniel Sim @ +65 81121677.

NLBPC Combined Church Camp 2013: Dates: 12 -15 June 2013 (Wed – Sat).  This year’s church camp is at Bayou Lagoon Park Resort, Melaka. Fees: Adults $200, Senior Citizens (=>60yrs) $160, Full Time Students $160 and Children S$140. Theme: A Gospel Worthy of Your Life. Speakers: Rev. Bill Mills (Eng), Rev. Matt Hanna (Chinese) & Mrs Matt Hanna (Children). Today is the last day of registration!  Fees collection starts today. Payment is accepted in cash or cheque (made payable to New Life Bible-Presbyterian Church).  Campers are indicate their transport arrangement (whether self-driving or taking the coach). They also are to submit their camp T-shirt size at the booth in the Fellowship Hall.  The church camp T-shirt has to be worn on the first day of camp for identification purpose and there will be a group photo taking session. COME AND BE BLESSED!

Announcements (05 May 13)

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May 052013
 

J.O.Y. Sunday:All youths Sec 1 upwards are welcome to this youth programme @ the Chapel 11.30am. Today’s topic is:“I am the Good Shepherd”John 10: 11 – 14

Pastoral Visitation on Sat 11/5 2pm: If you would like to open your house for visitation, or you are interested to join the visitation teams, please contact PrLek by TODAY.

SAF Meeting on Sat 11/5 4pm at the home of Mr and Mrs Gan. Address: 2 Sembawang Walk #01-103,Spring Hill Singapore. Opp. Sembawang Shopping Centre. Contact: 91261519. Sp: Eld.SimCheeSeng. All are welcome.

Children’s Choir: The practices will be held every Sunday except the first Sunday at 10.50 am immediately after the Junior Worship in the Music Room. The contact person for the choir currently is Bro. Christopher Tan. Parents, please take note and encourage your children to stay for the practices.

The Ultimate Quest 2013 Theme: Lost and Found! Date: 25 May 2013 Sat. Time: 9.30am – 5.30pm. Registration begins TODAY till 12 May! Registration is free for all children P1 – P6. Contact Person: Bro. Daniel Sim@ +65 81121677 For more details, please see insert.

NLBPC Combined Church Camp 2013: Dates: 12 -15 June 2013 (Wed – Sat).  This year’s church camp is at Bayou Lagoon Park Resort, Melaka. Fees: Adults $200, Senior Citizens (=>60yrs) $160, Full Time Students $160 and Children S$140. Registration continues till 12 May.  Camp fee will be collected on 12 and 19 May.  Theme: A Gospel Worthy of Your Life.Speakers: Rev. Bill Mills (Eng), Rev. Matt Hanna (Chinese), Mrs Matt Hanna (Children). More details are in the NLBP church website.

05 May 13 – Exhorting One Another Daily

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May 052013
 

EXHORTING ONE ANOTHER DAILY

“But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today;

lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)

By Rev. Lim Chee Boon

In Hebrews 3:7-19 the writer reminded the readers of his letter the experience of the Israelites in the wilderness.  The children of Israel challenged God’s authority over them by their rebellion in the wilderness (Numbers 14-21).  Because of this, they failed to enter into the rest of dwelling in Canaan and instead they perished in the wilderness.  The younger generation wandered in the wilderness for forty years.

This part of Israel’s history is a lesson for all Christians.  The writer of Hebrews says in verse 12, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”  We may condemn the unbelieving generation and say that they deserved the punishment. But when we look at our own lives in retrospection, how many times have we departed from God because of unbelief?  A young man left his church because he could not find a girlfriend in the church.  An elderly man also left the church because he could not give up his sinful habits.  Both men not only left the church, they left God.  The writer of Hebrews warns us against an evil heart of unbelief.

The hearts of men are deceitful and desperately wicked. (Jer. 17:9)  The reason is we are fallen in our nature and we are inclined to sin and sinful acts.  The condition would be worse when we have a heart of unbelief.  This is why the writer called it an evil heart of unbelief.  Unbelief is a grievous sin.  The sin of unbelief causes a person to question the character of God, and in his deeds, he shows disobedience to the clearly revealed will of God.

There is another reason why a heart of unbelief is evil.  It causes the heart of the man to be hardened.  In verse 13 the writer of Hebrews says, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” It is a real thing that a man could be so used to sinning that he no longer feels his act is sinful.  If we are used to lying and now do not feel bad about lying, then we have become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  For this matter Proverbs says “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”  Hebrews 3:13 tells us to do another thing – “Exhort one another daily, while it is called Today.”

 

What are we to exhort one another? 

  1. We are to exhort one another to worship God.

The text in Hebrews 3:7-13 is a direct quote from Psalm 95:7-11.  The theme of Psalm 95 is a call to worship God. In verse 6 the psalmist says “O come, let us worship and bow down:  let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”  I believe the writer of Hebrews has the same theme in mind when he quoted Psalm 95.  He calls us to exhort one another daily by worshiping God.  He reminds us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together on a regular basis.

A Christian who is not going to church or is not attending church meetings regularly is susceptible to falling into sin.  God knows we are not able to withstand the onslaught of the world without the spiritual support of the church.  Coming to church does not keep us from sinning but it does constantly remind us that we are to draw close to God for strength to face the temptations of the world.

  1. 2.        We are to exhort one another to obey God’s Word

“Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts” (Heb. 3:7-8)

When the Israelites were in Egypt, they cried to God for deliverance.  God raised up Moses to lead them out of the land of bondage.  They witnessed the death of all the firstborns belonging to the Egyptians.  They saw the water of the Red Sea parted and they walked on dry land.  When the chariots of Pharaoh tried to cross the Red Sea, they were covered by the water and drowned.

God promised to take the Israelites to the Promised Land.  How long would they take to reach Canaan?  A Christian writer says it should take about 2 weeks.  Perhaps we do not know exactly how long it would take to reach the Promised Land – but definitely it should not have taken 40 years!  Why did they have to spend 40 long years in the wilderness?  The reason was the Israelites did not obey God and His Word.

God wants obedience. 1 Samuel 15:22 says:“To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” The people of Israel could not obey God and Moses Himself also failed the test of obedience when in anger he smote the rock instead of speaking to it for water.  God said to Moses “because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” (Num. 20:12)

Obedience is the best evidence that we believe in God.  Sadly many people claimed to believe in Jesus but they would not obey His commandments.  Jesus says:“If you love me, keep my commandment.” (John 14:15)

  1. 3.        We are to exhort one another to cleave to the Lord

“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” (Hebrews 3:12)

“But ye that did cleaveunto the LORD your God [are] alive every one of you this day.”  (Deut. 4:4)

Some people turned away from the living God because of sin; some because of weaknesses in life.  They cannot withstand the opposition of others to their new faith.  Sadly, some have given up their faith.  Therefore it is good for Christians to meet regularly. We encourage one another to stand firm and grounded in God and His Word.

When Jews meet, the first words from their mouth will be “shalom aleichem,” meaning “peace unto you.” The other person will response by saying “aleichem shalom,” meaning “unto you peace.” The purpose is to remind each other of God and His goodness.  My brethren, let the words of our mouth first be acceptable unto God and second be edifying to men.  Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.”