Announcements (27 Oct 13)

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Oct 272013
 

Reformation Sunday: Thank God that we commemorate the Reformation today. We will show a video during the Sunday School hour at 11.30am. All Senior Sunday School classes are welcome to the video in the Chapel.

Farewell lunch forPr. LekAik Wee today at 12.30pm. All are welcome.

Lost and Found: Please check the Lost and Found Table. Unclaimed items shall be disposed of today.

Mission Fund: We are raising funds (target: $6000)for the Philippines and Cambodia Mission.

Love-gifts for any persons not worshiping in New Life BP Church will not be forwarded to the designated parties.  The money will instead go into the church general fund. This will take effect from November 2013 onwards.

Church Broadcast SMS This number is for broadcasting only and members are requested not to reply to the SMS at this number. As the service limits the number of characters in input, it is not possible for the sender to include in the SMS that you do not reply to this number.

Amazing Grace Book 2 with CD is ready for distribution at the fellowship hall. Please take copies for your families as you have use.

27 Oct 13 – The Reformers – Men Who Feared God

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Oct 272013
 

THE REFORMERS – MEN WHO FEARED GOD

By Rev. Lim Chee Boon

Solomon writes in Proverbs 29:25, “The fear of man bringeth a snare:  but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”  The word “snare” means a trap, an allurement to evil.  Androphobia, or the fear of men, has great adverse effect on us.  It causes us to act against our conviction, ethical and moral behaviour and oftentimes to act wrongly.  It has a paralysing effect.  Some people are stupefied by fear; some become speechless.  Unfortunately the fear of man has silenced some people from speaking the truth.

Twice Abraham lied about his wife Sarah.  He connived with Sarah to lie to Pharaoh and Abimelech the king of Gerar that she was his sister.  Abraham feared the kings and so he acted against his conviction.  He could have lost Sarah his wife to other men if God had not intervened.  In 1Samuel 21 David feared Achish the king of Gath and so he feigned insanity.  David’s fear caused him to change his behaviour. (verses 10-15)   And in the New Testament, Peter feared men and he denied the Lord Jesus three times.  (Matthew 26:69-75)  Will we also deny the Saviour who gave His life for us?

Today marks the 496th year of the Protestant Reformation.   We celebrate Reformation Sunday with gratitude in our hearts to God for setting the Christian Church free from the yoke of the Church of Rome and spiritual darkness.  We remember the people who brought about the Protestant Reformation – the pre-reformers like Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, John Hus and the reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, John  Knox and many others.  Of all these reformers, many were martyred but all of them suffered persecution by the enemies of the Cross.  The Reformers fought for the right for all men to have the Bible; they were convinced all men should read it for themselves the Word of God.  “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)

When we read about the reformation, nothing is mentioned about the people who supported the movement but later recanted because of the fear of men and persecution.  I am quite sure there were many people who chose an easy way out of the opposition by forces of evil.  They stood with the Church of Rome and her inquisitors.  History is right because there is nothing worthy to record the denial of these people.  Dear New Lifers, I want you to realise that androphobia is real.  This fear causes us to deny Christ before our family members, colleagues, friends and the world.  Before we condemn Peter and those forsook the Reformation movement, let’s check our own lives.

What differentiates the Reformers from the betrayers?  The Reformers are men who fear God and the betrayers fear men.  I believe the best weapon against the fear of men is to exercise in our livesthe fear of God, or that supreme desire to honour God and to do His will.Daniel feared God as he went home, opened the windows and prayed to his God as he did always despite King Darius’ edict that no man prayed to his God.  When Peter and the apostles were forbidden to teach in the name of Jesus, they replied, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)  The Reformers were men who had chosen to obey God rather than men.  Obedience is the best proof that Christians fear God.  Let us look at two reformers:

John Wycliffe (1329-84) Wycliffe is called the “Morning Star of the Reformation” because his teaching matched that of Luther, Calvin and other reformers.  He lived almost 200 years before the Reformation.

Wycliffe criticized abuses and false teachings in the Church.  He agreed that the government should seize the property of corrupt clergymen.  He wrote against the doctrine of transubstantiation, indulgences and private confession made to priests.  Concerning the Biblical teaching on faith he said,”Trust wholly in Christ; rely altogether on his sufferings; beware of seeking to be justified in any other way than by his righteousness.” In 1377 he was condemned by the Pope for committing 18 counts of heresies.

But Wycliffe was not deterred by the opposition of the church. He translated the Bible from Latin Vulgate into English and this project was completed in 1384.  His conviction:  the common men should have a Bible in their vernacular language and should study it for themselves.  This project could have cost him his life.  But Wycliffe said, “I am ready to defend my convictions even unto death.”  Wycliffe and all the other reformers had this testimony in their fight against errors, “they loved not their live even unto death.”(Rev 12:11)

Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) Luther started the Protestant Reformation on 31 October 1517 when he nailed the 95 Theses of Contention on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.  His argument on the corruption of the church was very much on the same premise as the pre-reformers.  He was threatened with death but persevered in the work of reforming the Church.

Christians sing Luther’s reformation hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God.”  I quote stanza 4, “That word above all earthly powers – No thanks to them abideth; The Spirit and the gifts are ours Through Him who with us sideth.  Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also; The body they may kill:  God’s truth abideth still – His kingdom is forever.”  In Matthew 10:28 the Lord says, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul:  but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  ”

Conclusion

This page does not allow me to write about the rest of the Reformers.  They all had the same spirit – fear God and do what is right.  The second part of Proverbs 29:25 says, “but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”

Announcements (20 Oct 13)

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Oct 202013
 

Farewell: Pr. Lek Aik Wee has resigned and his last working day is on 27/10. There will be a farewell lunch for him next Sunday 27/10 at 12.30pm. All are welcome.

Condolence to the bereaved families of

  1. Sis. Selvi Rose (Tamil Cong) The Lord took her home to glory last week.
  2. Sis. Alice Gan whose mother passed away last week.

Session Meeting TODAY @1.30pm. All Session members, please attend.

Church Broadcast SMS This number is for broadcasting only and members are requested not to reply to the SMS at this number. As the service limits the number of characters in input, it is not possible for the sender to include in the SMS that you do not reply to this number.

Amazing Grace Book 2 with CD is ready for distribution at the fellowship hall. Please take copies for your families as you have use.

Love-gifts for any persons not worshiping in New Life BP Church will not be forwarded to the designated parties.  The money will instead go into the church general fund. This will take effect from November 2013 onwards.

20 Oct 13 – For the Lord shall be thy confidence

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Oct 202013
 

For the Lord shall be thy confidence

(Proverbs 3:26a)

By Pr. Lek Aik Wee  

Christians can safely trust in the Lord to be our all sufficiency. We can safely trust in the Lord to care for our every need. We can truly rely safely on the Lord’s presence and help in every situation and circumstance in the pathway to heaven.

The world would scorn, mock and sneer at the Christian who believes that Jesus Christ is God but for us who are saved, Jesus Christ is the fullness of the power of God, the way the truth and the life. We live in a sin-cursed and dying world; it is a suffering world. We live in a wanton and pleasure-mad world that brings no true satisfaction to its inhabitants.

True satisfaction and meaning in life is found in a meaningful relationship between man and his Creator, when man would acknowledge his Creator, as Lord. God, being Lord, must not be misunderstood with the notion of worldly masters who take advantage and oppress their subjects. The Lord of the Christian blesses His people with all spiritual riches and adds no sorrow with it (Prov. 10:22). God’s blessing is true, sincere, and wholesome. The Lord is the Christian’s only true confidence.

How do we build confidence in our Lord? I suggest to you two ways – in worship and in His Word.

(1) In Worship

In worship, we bring our worries and weariness to God and in return, He gives to us His wisdom. Our souls are refreshed and our hearts are uplifted. Our God is the fountain of life, the source of true strength and encouragement, as well as the source of true peace and joy. We draw life from Him through worship. Every part of Christian worship is designed for our spiritual nourishment that our hearts may be strengthened. In so doing, the Lord shall indeed be our confidence.

Have you been weary with the troubles of life? Does it seem there is no solution in sight for that trouble that is confronting you? My encouragement for you is that you may decide to rest confident in God. He never fails – He is always faithful! This is our God of the Bible.

In worship, we sing the hymns of praise and worship, we are reminded and instructed of God’s faithfulness to surely help His people and His infinite ability to do so. In worship, we meditate upon the promises of God given in His Word and we are strengthened. In worship, we come to the throne of grace in prayer to find help in times of need.

Whether it is personal quiet time, family devotions, or corporate worship, we can safely say amen to Solomon’s encouragement to you – The Lord shall be thy confidence.

My encouragement to God’s people is that we neglect not to build that confidence in the Lord through worship. May it be the highlight of your life and your pillar of strength!

(2) In His Word

Do you ponder over God’s promises as a daily habit? I know of a person who memorized over 200 bible verses in the last 10 years by spending fruitful time meditating, pondering and musing over God’s Word. In temptations, God’s Word is a useful sword.  In afflictions, God’s Word gives true comfort. Just one verse for your encouragement in John 16:33, Jesus says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” The Christian finds overcoming strength by abiding in Jesus.

Short choruses, or God’s Word in song, can be very helpful. There may come situations in your life you cannot understand or comprehend, whether it is the loss of a loved one, the loss of job, a sickness that comes suddenly, or some failure in life.

The chorus of the hymn “Keep on Believing” remind the heart to continually put confidence in Jesus, our God.

Keep on believing

Jesus is near

Keep on believing

There’s nothing to fear

Keep on believing

This is the way

Faith in the night as well as the day.

CONCLUSION

The Lord strengthens your heart whatsoever may confront you, this day and every day and forevermore. Amen.

Announcements (13 Oct 13)

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Oct 132013
 

Deepest Condolence to:

  1. Bro. Chee Kin Mun and family. His mother went home to the Lord last week.
  2. Sis. Jacqueline Akiko Tan and family. Her mother was taken home by the Lord.

The Lord comfort the bereaved families.

Church Broadcast SMS This number is for broadcasting only and members are requested not to reply to the SMS at this number. As the service limits the number of characters in input, it is not possible for the sender to include in the SMS that you do not reply to this number.

JOY Sunday: All youths Sec 1 upwards are welcome to this youth programme @ the Chapel 11.30am. Today’s topic is: “Healing of the Nobleman’s Son” John 4: 46 – 54

Amazing Grace Book 2 with CD is ready for distribution at the fellowship hall. Please take copies for your families as you have use.

Love-gifts for any persons not worshiping in New Life BP Church will not be forwarded to the designated parties.  The money will instead go into the church general fund. This will take effect from November 2013 onwards.

13 Oct 13 – The Man of Encouragement

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Oct 132013
 

“The Man of Encouragement”

By Rev. S.V. Nathan

“And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite,  and of the country of Cyprus,”( Acts 4: 36)

Introduction:

“As a child, Walter Scott was considered a dullard. His accustomed place in the school room was the ignominious dunce corner with the high pointed paper cap of shame on his head.  Robert Burns the poet once visited Walter’s house. He noticed a picture under which a couplet was written. Burns found the couplet fascinating, and asked who its author was. No one knew. Timidly Walter crept up and quoted the rest of the poem. Laying his hand on the boy’s head, Burns exclaimed, “You will be a great man in Scotland someday.” Robert Burns’ encouraging words motivated Walter Scott to become one of the greatest poets in Scotland. (Dr G Francis Xavier, The world’s best Inspiring Stories for Successful Living, Vol One, page 43). Likewise, the words of encouragement or acts of encouragement can bring about immeasurable outcomes in one’s life.

Barnabas, the son of consolation or encouragement (Acts 4:36), made the greatest contribution to Christendom with his gift of encouragement for two great leaders in the history of Christianity. Though, both of them did not have a great past, Barnabas was instrumental in the early making of them, and they both later became great leaders and contributors to the body of Christ.

The first person was none other than Saul the persecutor of the church who became Paul. He wrote about thirteen epistles and planted many churches in Asia Minor. The second person is Mark, the gospel writer – John Mark who was considered by Paul as young, timid and unfit to the ministry. Let me highlight some of the past of Paul and John Mark from where and when Barnabas began to encourage and train them.

  1. 1.        Encouragement requires taking bold step beyond risk:

“And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 9:26-27)

Sometime after Saul’s conversion he came to Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples. We remember he had previously persecuted Christians. Now here he is claiming to be a Christian convert. The disciples were terribly afraid of him, and not willing to accept him as a disciple (Acts 9:26). Is there anyone who will take a risk for Saul? Is there anyone who can see in him the making of a great leader? One man came forward. Only one man took risk out of everyone else who were afraid to give Saul a chance to prove himself. It was Barnabas, who took him, and brought him to the apostles, and he became his advocate and vouched for him (Verse 27). Hence, the disciples and church accepted him and his ministry which flourished in Jerusalem later. He also took Paul as his companion in his early mission trips.

This helps us to see that a good and faithful disciple is to able to identify and encourage others to serve Christ. At times, one must be even willing to take risks on behalf of potential disciples or leaders. All the other disciples were afraid. But Barnabas had the courage to give this remarkable young man, Saul, a chance.

I want everyone to ask this question: what would I have done in a case like Saul? Am I worried or afraid too much about their bad past record? Whom should I follow: Barnabas or the rest of the disciples? We must be thankful to God for Barnabas, who identified Paul. He went on to advocate for him and train him for the glorious ministry of God. Later Paul became a spiritual giant, who shines in the New Testament through his work and writings. Shall we follow Barnabas by taking risk for the sake of the gospel? As a result we may become modern Barnabas and instruments of making many Pauls today.

  1. 2.         Encouragement requires seeing beyond shortcomings:

“And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;” (Acts 15:39)

There was a great contention between Barnabas and Paul because of John Mark; even it caused them to depart in different directions for their ministry. Paul thought it is not good to take Mark with them, and therefore he refused to take him (Acts 15:38), because he had behaved so cowardly, and had shown such a coldness and indifference to the work of the ministry, and had so shamefully left them.  Nonetheless, on the other hand Barnabas insisting on it, that John Mark should go with them, though he knew that Mark was a young man, and could not be thought to have that courage, determination, steadiness, and toughness, as Paul. However this did not stop him from taking John Mark along (vs 39c). This is the foremost instance of Barnabas’ patience with Mark’s shortcomings. Since he was the son of encouragement (Acts 4:36), he wanted to give John Mark a second chance and he wanted to do it straightaway. Later Paul found the formerly useless Mark “useful,” as revealed in the apostle’s concluding epistle. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. (2 Tim. 4:11).

We must realise that we all are weak and unworthy children of God in many ways. Let us have the heart of Barnabas to give second chances to those who have fallen short in our sight. When I see myself serving God and His children, I feel unfit and unworthy in many ways. However, it is His mercy and grace that enabled me to continue to serve Him.

Today we may infer that it is God’s providential will that they should be used. We must admit that both Paul and John Mark were weak in their flesh, yet God did not despise them, God chose them to serve in the first place (1 Corinthians 1: 27-29). At this point, Barnabas has played his role by encouraging them by obeying and participating in God’s will. Shall we join hand with God to encourage many more to the service of the Lord in our short life? Finally, God can use anyone with any background for His glory.

Conclusion:

  “Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed, (Robert H Schuller) Like this saying, we do not know who has what kind of potential, only God knows. Hence we must be an instrument in the process of God’s making we may be a God’s channel of blessing in someone’s life.

Every Children’s Day is a reminder to all, that children are God’s gift and His heritage in our life. We ought to appreciate and love them. They are the next generation leaders. Hence, never judge the book by its cover. Likewise we should not underestimate children and youngsters’ talents judging from their academic performance. The marks and grades obtained in schools and colleges are no indication whatever of their future growth and development. Also, any kind of genuine appreciation will be indelibly imprinted in the consciousness of the child and will greatly motivate him or her.

The words of encouragement are tonic and boost to all, especially for children and youngsters the most.  I take this opportunity to exhort you to encourage one another like Barnabas. As we all like words of encouragement and the people who encourage us, why can’t we practice what we expect from others? Barnabas is the man of encouragement; who lived out his name to the fullest.   Why can’t we too? May God bless you abundantly with His richest blessings.

Announcements (06 Oct 13)

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Oct 062013
 

Blessed Children’s Day! May the Lord continue to watch over all our children!

JOY Sunday will be postponed to NEXT SUNDAY 13 Oct(just for this October, it will be held on the second Sunday rather than the usual first Sunday because the Children Sunday needs to use the Chapel as its venue) – all Sunday school teachers and students in the Senior Dept, please take note of the change.

Adults Sunday School will be relocated to the kindergarten classroom nearest the office for this week.

Pastoral Visitation on Sat 12/10 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.

Amazing Grace Book 2 with CD is ready for distribution at the fellowship hall. Please take copies for your families as you have use.

Love-gifts for any persons not worshiping in New Life BP Church will not be forwarded to the designated parties.  The money will instead go into the church general fund. This will take effect from November 2013 onwards.

Final call TODAY: Registration for Church 30th Anniversary Thanksgiving Dinner Date: 9 Nov 13, Sat Time: 5pm to 8:30pm @ NLBPC.  $25/seat; $15/seat for child <=12 yrs old & seniors >=60 yrs old. Register @ Fellowship Hall. A celebratory segment will start at 5:30pm in the Sanctuary, and all are welcomed. The dinner (requires registration) will commence after the celebratory segment.

06 Oct 13 – Children Are An Heritage of The Lord

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Oct 062013
 

“CHILDREN ARE AN HERITAGE OF THE LORD” (PSALM 127:3)

By  Rev. Lim Chee Boon

Last Friday was Children’s Day.  I want to take this opportunity to wish all our children a Blessed Children’s Day.  Parents, do you know what our children want from us?  Many years ago I was assigned to help a delinquent teenager.  This boy was the only child in the family.  Both parents are business people and they travelled frequently.  To compensate their perennial absence, they gave the boy money and material things.  But money and material things did not make the son happy.  He wanted something else.  So one day he decided to commit a robbery. He committed the act with the intention of being caught.  Why did he do this? I remembered vividly his words, “I want my parents’ attention.”

Nothing can substitute our time and our presence for our children especially in their growing years.  You work very hard for your children and you want to give them the best in every area of their lives.  But unfortunately some parents lose their children due to neglect.  They did not abandon their children; instead they only failed to spend time with them.  The best gift we parents could give to our children is our wholehearted devotion and unconditional love for them.

The psalmist declared the preciousness of children in these words – “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” (Psalm 127:3)

I)              Children are the reward of the Lord

In ancient times, having children was perceived as a blessing and a divine favour from God.  Hannah wept daily because she was barren. Her adversary (a co-wife was her rival who was blessed with many children) scorned at her inability to conceive because“the LORD had shut up her womb.”  (1 Samuel 1:5-6)  So Hannah prayed importunately and the Lord eventually opened her womb and she bore Samuel who later became both priest and prophet to the nation of Israel.  The sorrow of infertility caused Rachel to cry out to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die.” (Genesis 30:1)

If you ask me what are God’s blessings bestowed upon all human beings, I would say they are the blessings of life, eternal life and having children.   These 3 things cannot be man-made; they are divinely given.  For this reason I think they are God’s greatest blessings for men.

One of the divine purposes of marriage is procreation (to have children).  But I have heard couples say they do not want to have children because children are a financial and emotional burden, and they interfere with their private life.  This attitude is both selfish and wrong.  Young people who are preparing for marriage must also be prepared for parenthood.  Children give us a special joy because they are God’s reward.  Do not miss out on this blessing on earth.

II)            Children are the heritage of the Lord

Our children are God’s; they are His heritage.  We are merely stewards of God’s inheritance.  Unfortunately some of us failed to realize this fact.  We raised our children to become what we want them to be.  A Christian parent once expressed his disappointment with a daughter to the pastor.  The girl went into fulltime Christian service and not into the medical profession.  Her parents have high aspiration for the daughter who has always been a precocious child.  When the girl chose to serve God, the parents felt let down.  Why the disappointment?  The reason is they wanted her to be in the profession of their choice.  But let us be reminded that we are merely stewards of His inheritance.  We give our children the best of education so that they may ascertain God’s will and serve Him.

What are our parental duties?

1.     To lead our children to Christ from a young age.

Mark 10:14 “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not.”

Parents we should not think that children are too young to know God and salvation.  We must share the gospel message with our children early.  They are capable of understanding the gospel and need for salvation in Jesus.  Win them to Christ now before they are won by the world.

2.     To teach them God’s Word so that when they are old they will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go:  and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Timothy was a good example of a child who was nurtured spiritually from young.  His grandmother and mother had imparted God’s Word to him (2 Timothy 1:5).  He was constantly reminded to stay focus on the Lord and His word.

3.     To encourage them to pass on the inheritance of the Christian faith to their children.

Some parents amassed a fortune with the intent of passing it to their children.  Some parents built business enterprises for their children to inherit.  What is the Christian parents’ legacy? Dear New Lifers, leave for our children a godly legacy.  The spiritual heritage has eternal value; we want our children to have it.  We want them to pass on this heritage to their children and their children’s children.