Announcements (28 Sep 14)

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Sep 282014
 

Catechism Class continues today 11.30am @ Kindergarten Office

Adults Sunday School TODAY 11.30am:All are welcome.

Cambodia Mission Trip (14-18 Nov) There will be a meeting for participants at the Chapel today (12.30-1.15pm).

Combined BP Youth Camp: 15 – 18/12 @ Oldham Hall, ACS (Barker) Theme: The Lordship of Christ Sp: Rev. Isaac Ong Fees: $70/- (Early Bird Special before 30/9); $90/= (1/10 – 30/11). Register online @ HTTP://CBPYC14.COM/ Closing Date: 30/11. All youths are welcome!

Teens’ Retreat: 28-30/ 12 Venue: National Service Resort & Country Club Theme: The Fantastic Four. All youths under 16 are encouraged to participate.

Teen’s Retreat Committee Meeting next Sunday at Pastor Gan’s Office (12.30-1.15pm).

ECM 19/10: New Lifers, have you checked the electoral roll yet? It is on the notice board together with the photos of the candidates. The Notice of the meeting and Agenda will be handed out next week – please be sure to collect them – one per family – otherwise the church office will have to mail them to you. Let us not waste postage.Kindly note that Dn. Wee Boon has withdrawn his candidacy of Eldership from this ECM.

Book Table: All the books at the book table in the Fellowship Hall are free. Please take for your own reading pleasure or you may give them to your friends. There are some very good titles and some materials are evangelistic.

BB/GB Funding needed – please give generously so we can continue our outreach in Riverside Secondary School.

28 Sep 14 – True intimacy with God

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Sep 282014
 

True intimacy with God.

By Eld. Prasad

True intimacy with God is something that has been sought by Christians since Christ walked the earth. It is natural for Christians to long to experience the closeness of an intimate relationship with God. But true intimacy with God is not simply a feeling on par with a romantic relationship. It goes much deeper than emotion, down to our very souls and reflected by our actions. “For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous (Proverbs 3:32). God cannot have an intimacy with evil persons or with disobedient Christians. True intimacy with God begins with drawing near to Him.

God will never draw near to those who do not draw near to Him, and the way we “draw near” is through righteousness. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded” (James 4:8). Certainly, God will never draw near in intimacy with the unrighteous. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says thatthose who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ and have received His righteousness at the cross have the hope of intimacy with God. In fact, Ephesians 2:8-9 says that it is only those who have been saved by grace through faith who have that hope, because Christ is the hope through which we draw near to God (Hebrews 7:19).

Lord Jesus is the model of intimacy with God because He and the Father are one (John 10:30), and no relationship can be closer than that oneness with the Father that the Lord Jesus experienced. His relationship with the Father was characterized by love and obedience. In love, the Lord Jesus came to earth to do His Father’s will. He did nothing on His own, but in all things He did the will of His Father (John 5:30). This was most evident in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. Suffering the agony of anticipating what was to come, the Lord Jesus asked that the fate He was about to suffer might be removed from Him, but He ended the plea by saying, “…nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42). Here we see a perfect example of true intimacy reflected in obedience as our Lord Jesus yielded His will to that of His Father.

If we hope to attain true intimacy with God, the Lord Jesus must be our model. We love God because He first loved us (1John 4:10), and we prove our love for God by obeying Him. The Lord Jesus told His followers, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). When we obey God and keep what He has commanded, God promised that we will remain in His love, just as the Lord Jesus remained in the love of the Father by doing the Father’s will (John 15:10). There can only be intimacy with God when we are in good fellowship with Him through obedience. Then we can know the joy and peace that comes from trusting God and yielding to His will, just as Lord Jesus did.

Announcements (21 Sep 14)

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Sep 212014
 

Session Meeting: TODAY at 1.30 pm. in the Conference Room.

Catechism Class is taken by Dn. Yap Chee Kian this morning.

Adults’ Sunday Schoolis conducted by Rev. Joshua Wong today. All are welcome.

Children’s Day Programme (5/10): Kindly see insert.

Funds needed for BB to pay for the bagpipe tuition ($720/=). Please give as you are led by the Lord.

Combined BP Youth Camp: 15 – 18/12 @ Oldham Hall, ACS (Barker) Theme: The Lordship of Christ Sp: Rev. Isaac Ong Fees: $70/- (Early Bird Special before 30/9); $90/= (1/10 – 30/11). Register online @ HTTP://CBPYC14.COM/ Closing Date: 30/11. All youths are welcome!

Teens’ Retreat: 28-30/ 12 Venue: National Service Resort & Country Club Theme: The Fantastic Four. All youths under 16 are encouraged to participate.

21 Sep 14 – Godly parents with ungodly children

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Sep 212014
 

Godly parents with ungodly children

By Eld. Sim Chee Seng

 

It is a very great calamity to godly parents to have wicked and ungodly children. “A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him” (Pro 17:25). To the same purpose: “He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy” (Pro 17:21) – a foolish son dampens all his joy. And, “A foolish son is the calamity of his father” (Pro 19:13).

The shame and disgrace that comes to the parents of ungodly children is very great. They regularly groan over their ungodly children. The godly parents suffer greatly in the knowledge that their children are defiled and in bondage to sin, and that their children are under the curse of God. The terror they must have felt each time they read the Scriptures reminding them how their children shall be cut off from the Covenant of grace. It is tormenting when ungodly children refused to change even after repeated counselling, pleading and prayers. It is the worst pain when everyone is ready to reflect upon the parents and to condemn them: “surely you have not taught your children about God and have failed to discipline them.” Unless we are in their shoes, how well do we understand their fear, anger and sorrow? “My days are spent with grief, and my years with sighing” (Psa 31:10).

Some biblical examples of godly parents with wicked children

  1. Adam & Eve gave birth to Cain who killed his brother Abel. “He was of that wicked one” (1Jo 3:12), meaning the devil.
  2. Noah’s wicked son Ham was cursed for his disrespect and irreverence to his father. (Gen 9:22, 25).
  3. Isaac & Rebekah gave birth to wicked Esau whom God is said to hate (Rom 9:13).
  4. Eli was a holy priest of God, but his two sons were devils incarnate, monsters of men, scandalous, and perverts whom God struck down without mercy.
  5. King David (a man after God’s own heart) was father to wicked Absalom who bloodily murdered his brother Amnon and shamefully died in treason and rebellion against his father. David’s bitter lamentation is yet in our ears, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2Sa 18:33).

There was a recent survey on “prodigal pastor’s kids, fact or fiction” by the Barna Group, a Christian polling organization. They wanted to know whether it is true that “those who’ve grown up closest to the church are the quickest to leave it.” Let me give you their shocking findings:-

  1. 40% of the pastor’s children went through a period where they significantly doubted their faith.
  2. 33% are no longer actively involved in church and
  3. 7% no longer consider him or herself to be a Christian.

The same group asked those same pastors why they thought their children struggled with faith and they gathered a list of seven reasons:

  1. 28% – unrealistic expectations others place on them
  2. 18% – exposure to the negative aspects of the church
  3. 17% – pastor is too busy for them
  4. 14% – faith is not modeled consistently at home
  5. 9% – worldly influences or peers
  6. 7% – self discovery and free will, resulting in rebellion
  7. 7% – failure to make their faith their own.

Recently a pastor shared with us how his prodigal son returned to the Lord, sought for his forgiveness and promised to return to serve the Lord. The son had drifted from the Lord for a few years. This pastor & his wife had agonized over him. He confided that God was gracious to not let his ministry suffer and was merciful to restore his son to faith. He believes in “second chances” for all genuine “doubters in the faith.” Thank God for not giving up on either this pastor or the prodigal son.

So the question may be asked “Should parents be made to pay for the sins of their children?” From the OT examples, the answer would be an obvious “No.” What about: “Should fathers be disqualified from leadership in the Church if their children become ungodly?” On the basis of the passages in 1Timothy 3 and Titus 2, the biblical injunctions are that leaders must be able to rule the family & Church well.

Parents generally do not have serious problems of obedience and faith with young children. However, all this may change when their children reached legal age and began to question their beliefs and faith. Some may become apostate. Try as they may, parents are unable to change their mind or beliefs. Further, these adult children continue to stay with their parents for many years out of the latter’s kindness of heart.

From the OT examples just given, we understand that God did not disqualify these leaders on the account of the wickedness of their children but indeed continue to bless their leadership and ministry.

Let none presume to censure godly parents for their wicked children. “To him that is afflicted, pity should be shewed from his friend” (Job 6:14). If you must judge them, ensure that you are as wise and holy as those saints were in the past. (Rom 14:4). Pray for them and help whenever possible, but not judge them.

(Ref: (1) Parents’ groans over their ungodly children by Edward Lawrence and (2) Prodigal Pastor Kids: Fact or Fiction? See barna.org

Announcements (14 Sep 14)

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Sep 142014
 

Gospel Sundays:Do bring unsaved friends and relatives. Let us pray God to save many!

  • Chinese: TODAY@11.30am & 7pm Sp: Rev. Daniel Khoo (am) and Bro. Job Yeo (pm).
  • English: NEXT Sunday 21/9 @9.30amSp: Rev. Joshua Wong

SAF Meeting 4pm THIS Sat 20/9 @ home of Bro. Chin Hong  Speaker: Sp: Rev. Tan Wai ChoonTopic: “God’s Will for my Life”. Pot Luck Dinner @ 6pm: Contact Sis Lynda Kuan. Mini-Bus leaves church @ 3:45 pm. All are welcome.

Session Meeting: Next Sunday at 1.30 pm. in the Conference Room.

Combined BP Youth Camp: 15 – 18/12 @ Oldham Hall, ACS (Barker) Theme: The Lordship of Christ Sp: Rev. Isaac Ong Fees: $70/- (Early Bird Special before 30/9); $90/= (1/10 – 30/11). Closing Date: 30/11. Register online @ HTTP://CBPYC14.COM/ All youths are welcome!

Teens’ Retreat: 28-30/ 12 Venue: National Service Resort & Country Club Theme: The Fantastic Four. All youths under 16 are encouraged to participate.

Funds Needed: Members are urged to prayerfully give to the Mission Fund to support the teams going out at the end of the year.

Extraordinary Congregational Meeting with Election on 19/10:Members, please note the following procedures in preparation for the ECM:

  1. Please check the Notice Board for the candidates.
  2. The electoral roll is on the Notice Board. Please check and sign against your name. If your name is missing and you are entitled to vote, please inform the office.
  3. The Notice of the ECM cum Election will be served on Sunday 5/10.

14 Sep 14 – What is Life?

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Sep 142014
 

What is Life?  By Rev. S. V. Nathan

“I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life”

Ecclesiastes 3:12

Introduction:
              “It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered & protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions. After a while, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone & frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive. The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others & can admire the other person’s good qualities. Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet.”(Taken from http://www.videoinspiration.net/blog/inspirational-famous-short-stories/). This story reminds us that our life is relational, as the porcupines give warmth to other porcupines and receive the warmth from others, likewise as we bless, we will be blessed. Hence, King Solomon wants us to live by serving others (Ecc 3:12). Let us heed his advice:

1.  The Life’s Combination (verses 1-8):

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecc 3:1

The first and foremost thing that we must understand is that life presents a combination of good & bad, ups & downs! (vv 1-8). Just as a coin has two sides, so life has two sides. Changes such as Time and Seasons are God’s creation – day and night, the four seasons keep on changing in turn. So life needs changes and variations. If there is only summer, with no rain, Life will become a desert. Otherwise life will be monotonous and boring, and we are not going to enjoy it. Moreover it is time and again a reminder to us to draw near to God during the good and bad times. For both happy and sad moments will come in turns: “for the good things of it are of no certainty, no continuance” (Mathew Henry’s Concise Commentary).

2.  The Life’s Control (verse 11a):

He hath made everything beautiful in his time

Secondly, our life is controlled by God, He is the one who gives and takes away life. Everything in everyone’s life is ordained and ordered by Him. All will come to pass in His time as He sees fit. Though death is an experience that is universal, it is an enemy to humanity, but it is not out of God’s control. The number of days that we will live on this earth is ordained by God. He has the power to shorten or prolong it.  Remember the rich man and Lazarus, both died. Death is equalizer to all. Hence it is grave truth; life on this earth is not in our hands.  Hence, it is a reminder to all of us to ponder: “How long? How? When am I going to leave this earth?” Hence, Moses says So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12). Let us be wise and diligent in our earthly life, because our days are numbered.

3.  The Life’s Contribution (verse 11a):

I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.  Ecc 3:12

Thirdly, we may mistake if we think we were born for ourselves. “It is our business to do good; it is in doing good that there is the truest pleasure, and what is so laid out is best laid up and will turn to the best account.” (Mathew Henry). Our meaningful contributions to our generation in loving, serving, and sharing with others, shall pave the way to eternity. These prepare us for the eternal kingdom on this earth as we render reverence and fear for Him on this earth, by saving the treasure in the heavenly bank.

Remember, the rich man in Luke’s gospel was blessed by God, but he did not bless anyone with his blessings and ended up in hell (Luke 16:19-31). Hence James warns us “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4: 17). Let us ask ourselves, during my short stay on this earth, how did I live or what I have done for the glory of Him by serving and sharing with my blessings. Hence, our life is short, and it is up to us to make it sweet and blessed.

 Conclusion:

As Adam Clarke says, “Since God has so disposed the affairs of this world, that the great events of providence cannot be accelerated or retarded by human cares and anxieties, submit to God; make a proper use of what he has given: do thyself no harm, and endeavor as much as possible to do others good. Enjoy, and bless thyself; let others share. The transient blessing: ‘tis the gift of God.” Therefore, let’s remember that we must live together by giving and serving while we yet live. Remember: “Life is short, and it is up to you to make it blessed by blessing others”. Thus, let us seize all the favourable opportunity for every good purpose and live a meaningful life by serving and glorifying God.  May God bless you abundantly.

Announcements (07 Sep 14)

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Sep 072014
 

J.O.Y. Sunday:All youths Sec 1 upwards are welcome to this youth programme @ the Chapel 11.30am.

Adult Sunday School @ Balcony Final lesson on Created for His glory. All are welcome.

In Conversation THIS Sat 13/9. Please keep the date free. Do submit any questions to the church office email nlbpc@singnet.com.sg  by TODAY.

Gospel Sundays:Do bring unsaved friends and relatives. Let us pray God to save many!

  • Chinese: NEXT SUNDAY 14/9 @11.30am & 7pmSp: Rev. Daniel Khoo (am) and Bro. Job Yeo (pm).
  • English: 21/9Sp: Rev. Joshua Wong

SAF Meeting 4pm Sat 20/9 @ home of Bro. Chin Hong (43 Jalan Mata Ayer) Speaker: Sp: Rev. Tan Wai ChoonTopic: “God’s Will for my Life”. Pot Luck Dinner @ 6pm: Contact Sis Lynda Kuan @ 96709007. Mini-Bus leaves church @ 3:45 pm. All are welcome.

Combined BP Youth Camp: 15 – 18/12 @ Oldham Hall, ACS (Barker) Theme: The Lordship of Christ Sp: Rev. Isaac Ong Fees: $70/- (Early Bird Special before 30/9); $90/= (1/10 – 30/11). Register online @ HTTP://CBPYC14.COM/ Closing Date: 30/11. All youths are welcome!

Teens’ Retreat: 28-30/ 12 Venue: National Service Resort & Country Club Theme: The Fantastic Four. All youths under 16 are encouraged to participate.

Cambodia Mission Trip:If you are interested to join this trip, it is compulsory for you to meet Ps Gan at the Balcony today at 1230pm.

Funds Needed: Members are urged to prayerfully give to the following funds: Family Day (Sat 6/9) Fund and Mission Fund.

Extraordinary Congregational Meeting with Election on 19/10

The candidates for the election are: Rev Gabriel Gan for Pastor, Dn Tan Wee Boon and Dn Yap Chee Kian for Elders and Bro. James Goh for Deacon. Photos of these candidates are up on the Notice Board.

The Election Officer is Bro. Ronnie Pang and the two Returning Officers are: Rev. Matthew Yong and Bro. Job Yeo.

In addition, at this ECM we will ratify the appointment of trustees (Dn. Ivan Lim & Dn. William Lee) of the church property.

Members, please take note of the following procedures in preparation for the ECM:

  1. We are checking the electoral roll TODAY. Please ensure your name is included in the roll if you are entitled to vote.
  1. The Notice of the ECM cum Election will be served on Sunday 5/10.

07 Sep 14 – What is Legalism?

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Sep 072014
 

From the Pastor’s Desk: What is Legalism?

By Rev. Gabriel Gan

Historically the term legalism has been used to describe the idea that a person can obtain salvation through fastidious adherence to a particular code of law, whether Mosaic or man-made. All Bible-believing people find legalism as an attempt to obtain salvation by works abhorrent. A Pharisee during the time of Christ would qualify as a legalist. Pharisaical righteousness was based on works and involved keeping not only the law of Moses but also the man-made accretions that supposedly kept a person from violating that law. The Pharisee’s “righteousness” was an entirely external affair. He thought that as long as he performed all the correct outward actions, he must be right with God internally.

Of course the Pharisees were entirely mistaken in their understanding of the law. They had no appreciation for the impact of the law in exposing the wretched nature of the human heart. The Pharisees also had perverted the intent of the law. God did not give the Israelites an external standard of conduct as a means of establishing a righteous standing before Him on the basis of man’s obedience. The giving of the law followed God’s redemption of His people from Egyptian bondage. His grace accomplished a completely miraculous deliverance based on absolutely no meritorious aspect of the Israelite nation. God instructed His people in the law to appreciate His grace:

The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deut. 7:7–8)

God gave His law to the Israelites so that they might respond in love to His grace by living in a distinctively different manner from their idolatrous neighbors. This unique lifestyle would bring honor to the one true God, Who desired all mankind to know Him. He therefore commissioned Israel in the law to be “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exod. 19:6).

The Pharisees’ perversion of the law into a religion of meritorious works rightly occasioned Christ’s most scathing denunciation. He had only tender compassion for the vilest of sinners who came to Him in humble trust for the forgiveness of sins, but our Savior warned the self-righteous Pharisees, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in” (Matt. 23:13). Pharisaic legalism was preventing people from accepting salvation by God’s grace. Because they were harming people with eternal perdition, Christ set Himself steadfastly against their doctrine.

The Scripture is quite plain that man cannot possibly meet the standard of God’s righteousness by his own efforts. Titus 3:5 declares, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Galatians 2:16 could hardly make the issue of salvation any clearer: “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

(Adapted from ‘ Love, Liberty and Christian Conscience’ by Dr. Randy Jaeggli)