Announcements (22 Feb 15)

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Feb 222015
 

Lunar New Year:  The Session wishes all worshippers a blessed Lunar New Year.

Adult Sunday School @Chapel: Rev. Tan Wai Choon will teach:  How to “master” a book of the Bible, using the example of Luke’s book, “The Acts of the Apostles”. All are welcome.

YF 30th Anniversary (THIS SAT 28/2) 4pm. Sp: Eld. Yap Chee Kian Pot luck dinner by parents and other well-wishers is provided. All are welcome.

Stewardship Report 2014: Fellowships, Ministry groups and Missions are to send in their reports to the church e-mail nlbpc@singnet.com.sg by 29 March 2015.

Funds: Please give generously to the Camp Fund and BB/GB Fund for 2015.

22 Feb 15 – Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

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Feb 222015
 

“….woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16b)

By Eld. Sim Chee Seng

The good news of God to sinful man is that He had sent His begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to this world to die for our sins. Jesus Christ died, was buried and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor 15:4). Now in heaven, He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us. (Heb 7:5; 10:12)

After he was “blinded” by the heavenly vision at the road to Damascus, Paul’s life was reoriented. Now it revolved around Jesus Christ and not on external things or religious activities. For all things gained, he counted them lost or dung for the excellency of knowing Christ and experiencing His resurrection power and love. (Phil 3:8, 10) To everyone, Paul owed a gospel debt. So long as he knew that there was someone who had not heard the gospel, he would go out of his way, compelled by the love of God, to reach such a one for Christ. Such was his devotion to Christ that he even counted his life as nothing compared to gaining Christ. “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21) Literally, he lived and breathed Christ. He was totally gospel saturated.

In 2 Timothy, an epistle written towards the end of his life, he asked Timothy:

  • to guard the gospel through the help of the Holy Spirit, (1:14),
  • to entrust the gospel to trustworthy disciples who can teach others (2:2),
  • to continue in the gospel, keeping faith in the truths taught and not deviating from them (3:14) and
  • to preach the gospel as the time is short and opposition to the word of God is increasing.

What was Paul’s calling? He stated in 1 Cor 1:17 that the call of God to him was to preach the gospel “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel…” Again he said in 1 Cor 9:6b “…woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!”  Oswald Chambers commented “The one passion of Paul’s life was to proclaim the gospel of God. He welcomed heartbreak, disillusionment, and tribulation for only one reason – these things kept him unmovable in his devotion to the gospel of God.”

Listen to his parting testimony to the elders in Ephesus (Act 20:18-24) “And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

Are you saved in the Lord? Are you a disciple of Christ? Have you felt the call of God to “preach the gospel”? If so, let no other competing calls or earthly afflictions hinder you from preaching the gospel. Go ahead, be brave, obey God and lift up Christ. The Lord shall honour your obedience. Amen.

Announcements (15 Feb 15)

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Feb 152015
 

Lunar New Year:  The Session wishes all worshippers a blessed Lunar New Year.

Chinese New Year Worship Thurs 19/2 @ 9am: All are welcome to the worship service which is conducted in Chinese. Sp: Rev. Daniel Khoo

No Wed Prayer Meeting on 11/2 since that day is Chinese New Year’s Eve and most of us will be having our family reunion dinner.

Adults Sunday School @Chapel: Review of Lessons 1 – 5. All are welcome.

YF 30th Anniversary (28/2) 4pm. Pot Luck dinner provided by parents and kind well-wishers. All are welcome.

Stewardship Report 2014: The following Fellowships, Ministry groups and Missions are to send in their reports to the church e-mail nlbpc@singnet.com.sg by 29 March 2015.

  • Fellowships: – YF, YAF, AF, SAF, NBCs
  • Ministries: – Sunday School, AV, Choir, Library, Ushers
  • Outreach: – ROF, New Life Kindergarten, Ju Eng Home, BB and GB
  • Missions

New Visitors’ Corner is set up in the Fellowship Hall near the entrance. Please take time to welcome our new visitors.

Funds: Please give generously to the Camp Fund and BB/GB Fund for 2015.

15 Feb 15 – An Act of Love

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Feb 152015
 

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”  (1 John 4:7-8)

By Rev. S. V. Nathan

“Doug Nichols (founder of Action Ministries), a missionary in India, contracted tuberculosis and was sent to a sanitorium. When he offered tracts, the other patients refused, wanting nothing to do with this American or his God.

One night, when he was kept awake by his harsh cough, Doug noticed an old man trying to get out of bed. The old man fell back because of weakness and finally, exhausted, he laid still and sobbing. It was soon obvious from the stench that he had been trying to get to a bathroom. Doug obeserved, “The nurses were angry because they had to clean up the mess. One slapped him.” The next night the same scene repeated. Doug went over, picked the old man up, carried him to the bathroom and, when finished, carried him back. Speaking an unfamiliar language, the old man kissed him on the cheek.

Drifting off to an uneasy sleep, Doug woke in the morning to a steaming cup of tea served to him by another patient, who motioned that he wanted one of Doug’s tracts. “Throughout the day,” says Doug, “people came to me asking for tracts or the Gospel of John, until everyone in the hospital had one.” (by Harold J. Sala,  “Stuck in the TB Ward”,  http://www.christianitytoday.com/moi/2000/005/october/stuck-in-tb-ward.html).

Doug told that, weeks later an evangelist who spoke the local language visited him, and as he talked to others in the sanatorium, he discovered that several had put their trust in Christ as Saviour as a result of reading the literature! What did it take to reach these people with the Gospel? It wasn’t health, the ability to speak their language, or a persuasive talk. The only thing Doug did was to carry the old man to the toilet.  It was a simple gesture of humanity and love.

He said, “Anyone could have done that”, but none came forward, because of the lack of love. He was able to accomplish with sacrificial love what he could not by giving tracts, a long sermon or gifts. “As he was touched by Love of Christ, it made him to act on the very love for the man who was in dire need of human help with love. Since he knew that “for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (1 John 4:7-8).

Here is a gentle reminder to all: it is not enough to know that God is love but we have to act on His love which is vested on us through Christ by His death on the cross. This is the whole story of the Gospel of Christ in the New Testament – again  and again repeated in all the parables and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Shall we bring God’s love in action to those who are craving for true love?  One simple humanitarian act with the love of Christ will make a great difference in your community. When you see or hear a man’s problems, it is an opportunity for us to act out of love with love of Christ and serve sacrificially. A human deed and word of love will lead those who are in need to God. Shall we act like instruments manifesting God’s love? “Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

Let me conclude, as we are waiting for the arrival of the Chinese New Year, which means a time of family celebration, of glorious food, of good wishes and good deeds, and oranges.  It is also a time for Christians to reflect Christ’s love for us, and His blessings in our lives all through these years, and at the same time, we should not forget the less fortunate and needy among us, remember “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done  it unto me.” (Mat 25:40b). A simple act of love will have greater impact and harvest in the kingdom of God. Let us use this festive season to serve our master by serving others those who are in need. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all a blessed and Christ-centred Chinese New year 2015.

Announcements (08 Feb 15)

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Feb 082015
 

Sunbeam Choir practices at 10.45am every Sunday at the Music Room

Adults Sunday School @Chapel: Lesson 5 Mortifying Your Flesh by Dr. Jim Berg. All are welcome.

YF 30th Anniversary (28/2) 4pm. Calling all youths and parents and everyone who was or is or will be connected with the youth ministry in New Life. Join the YF as they look back over the past 30 years of God’s faithfulness to this ministry. Please come!

BB/GB Enrolment Servic(Sun 22/3) Please pray for this special event.

Stewardship Report 2014: The following Fellowships, Ministry groups and Missions are to send in their reports to the church e-mail nlbpc@singnet.com.sg by 29 March 2015.

  • Fellowships: – YF, YAF, AF, SAF, NBCs
  • Ministries: – Sunday School, AV, Choir, Library, Ushers
  • Outreach: – ROF, New Life Kindergarten, Ju Eng Home, BB and GB
  • Missions

New Visitors’ Corner is set up in the Fellowship Hall near the entrance. Please take time to welcome our new visitors.

Funds: Please give generously to the Camp Fund and BB/GB Fund for 2015.

08 Feb 15 – The Distinctives of a Reformed Church (Part 3)

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Feb 082015
 

By Rev. Gabriel Gan

The first distinctive held by Reformed churches old and new is “Scripture alone.” Watts says, “A Reformed church must acknowledge Scripture, God’s written Word, as the sole authoritative expression of the divine will for all aspects of church life.” A second common distinctive is “God’s Transcendence.” A Reformed church emphasizes the divine sovereignty, majesty, and glory, and therefore the great gulf between God in His transcendence and man in his sin and misery. A third distinctive is “The Way of Salvation.” A Reformed church proclaims God’s scheme of salvation, which is plainly set forth in the doctrines of free, sovereign and distinguishing grace. Watts gives a brief exposition of the five points of Calvinism. The fourth distinctive is “God’s Covenant of Grace.”

God’s Covenant of Grace

A Reformed church understands that a covenant is at the heart of God’s relationship with man. Therefore, Reformed churches emphasize the unfolding and developing of God’s covenant of grace. John Murray called covenant theology “a distinguishing feature of the reformed tradition.”

Biblically speaking, a covenant is an arrangement into which God enters for the benefit of men and women. The Reformers recognized the importance of this concept, and made free use of it in their sermons and writings.

There are two covenants that relate to eternal life. They are usually referred to as the covenant of works and the covenant of grace, the former being that bond established with Adam, the representative of mankind, and the latter being the bond established from eternity with the Son of God, the representative and surety of God’s elect.

Proclamation of the Gospel

A Reformed church is committed to the work of bringing the gospel of salvation to the unconverted, not only in its own vicinity but also in other areas of the country and in other parts of the world. Historically, reformation and evangelism have gone hand in hand.

In 1559, Protestants in Sweden took the gospel to the people of Lapland, and in 1562, French Protestants evangelized Florida and, afterwards, Carolina. In 1566, the church in Geneva sent fourteen missionaries to spread the Christian faith in South America. Later, the Pilgrim Fathers became missionaries. Arriving at New Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620, they soon organized a mission to promote the conversion of the Indians.

Consecration of Life

A Reformed church will encourage the spirit of true devotion, which will find expression in lives wholly consecrated to God. Calvin’s emblem was a hand holding out a heart to God, and his motto was, “I offer my heart to God as a sacrifice.” Writing of the Christian life, Calvin remarked, “We are not our own, we belong to the Lord. We are not our own. Let our reasons and our wills then never predominate in our thinking and in our acting…. Let us then forget ourselves as much as is possible.”

That is the spirit of the Reformation. Those possessing it are willing to be mastered by God. What does the New Testament say? “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom. 14:8). In another epistle, we read, “Ye are not your own…. Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19–20).

If a church is really biblical and Reformed, its members will be fully committed to Christ. The time has come for self-examination. Do we sincerely love the Lord? What kind of service do we offer Him? My friends, could it be that we are Reformed in name only?

(Adapted from What is a Reformed Church by Malcolm Watts)

Announcements (01 Feb 15)

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Feb 012015
 

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

Adults Sunday School FIRST SUNDAY @Fellowship Hall: Lesson 4 Getting in your place by Dr. Jim Berg. All are welcome.

Sunbeam Choir – TODAY being the first Sunday – will begin only after the worship service. Subsequent practices will be held at 10.45am on Sundays at the Music Room.

YF 30th Anniversary (28/2) 4pm. Calling all youths and parents and everyone who was or is or will be connected with the youth ministry in New Life. Join the YF as they look back over the past 30 years of God’s faithfulness to this ministry. Please come!

BB Re-Union 85th Anniversary(28/2) 3.30-6.30pm Expo Hall 3 & 4. If you are interested to attend, please see Bro. Ronnie Pang or Rev. Gan.

Stewardship Report 2014: The following Fellowships, Ministry groups and Missions are to send in their reports to the church e-mail nlbpc@singnet.com.sg by 29 March 2015.

  • Fellowships: – YF, YAF, AF, SAF, NBCs
  • Ministries: – Sunday School, AV, Choir, Library, Ushers
  • Outreach: – ROF, New Life Kindergarten, Ju Eng Home, BB and GB
  • Missions

Funds: Please give generously to the Camp Fund and BB Fund for 2015.

01 Feb 15 – The Gaze of the Soul

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Feb 012015
 

By Eld. Yap Chee Kian

Some weeks back, Elder Sim in his message exhorted us to “Gaze Upon Christ”. When we gaze upon our Lord Jesus Christ, we are looking at God. The Bible tells us that no man can look at God and live (Exodus 33:20). When we realize our own sinfulness, we cannot bear to look at God. In Genesis, we are told that after the fall Adam and Eve hid from the presence of God (Gen 3:7-10). The fellowship they have with the Almighty had been broken. God, however, in His mercy and grace, looked at them and provided the means to restore man back to God. What about you, dear Reader? Have you gazed at God lately? Do not let sin get in the way of our looking at God. Let us consider the saints who showed us the merits of looking at God.

People who had seen God in the Old Testament

The Bible bears record of many people in the Old Testament who saw God. Among them were Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and Isaiah; and their lives were changed forever after their encounter with God. Abraham became the father of many nations (Gen 17:3, 5). From an arrogant person, Moses became the meekest man (Num 12:3) whom God called his friend (Ex 33:11) and he led God’s people out of Egypt. Joshua met the Angel of the Lord of host (Joshua 5:13-15). Bible commentators call this encounter a theophany and based on John 1:1, it is a Christophany, or a manifestation of the pre-incarnate Christ. After this encounter, Joshua led the Israelites to victory in the Battle of Jericho. Lastly, Isaiah, when he saw God’s glory, was cleansed, convicted and called (Isa 6:1-8).

People who had seen God in the New Testament

God fulfilled Simeon’s desire to see Christ. The record in Luke 2:25-32 tells us what his eyes of faith saw: God’s salvation, the light to the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. That was even when Christ was then a baby.

John tells us in the New Testament to behold the Lamb of God (John 1: 29, 36) who came to take away the sins of the world. If we gaze upon Jesus in this manner, we will see Him as our Saviour. We need to look not only in faith but also know that Jesus is the object of our faith.

Peter and his brother Andrew were called by the Lord when they were fishermen (Matt 4:18-22; Luke 5:1-11). Luke 5:8 tells us that Peter realized that he is a sinful man. Jesus’ words to him were “Fear not” (v10) and they forsook everything to follow the Lord. Peter witnessed Jesus’ miracle in the feeding of the 5000 (Matt 14:19-22). In the verses following, Peter had a teaching moment when he looked at his circumstances and left sight of Jesus. Only when he looked upon Christ again, was he saved.

It is interesting to note that the Bible tells us in Matt 14:23 that Jesus was praying alone. Even Jesus needs to spend time praying to God alone. Jesus himself taught that His power lay in His continuous look at God (John 5:19-21).

Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles met and encountered Christ in the most dramatic way and his life was forever changed. Read all the book of Acts and the epistles and you will agree that many wonderful things can happen when we gaze upon God.

Are we looking at Jesus?

W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God: Chapter 7 – The Gaze of the Soul), an American Christian pastor, preacher and author, quoted Heb 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” to encourage his readers to take time to look at our Saviour. In the Old Testament, when the Israelites sinned because of their unbelief, Moses made a brass serpent (Num 21: 8, 9) for them to look upon. It is said that “when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived”. This is identical to looking and believing on Christ in the New Testament. There were those who did not and died. We see many around us in unbelief and they will die unless they look to Jesus. Sin has twisted our vision and made it self‑serving. Unbelief has put self where God should be, and we are perilously close to the sin of Lucifer who said, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God” (Isaiah 14:12).

The Bible exhorts us to lift up our eyes unto our Lord and draw near to Him and let the work of faith begin. When we do that, we are sure to meet our God (James 4:8). If you are not a believer, looking at God will save you from death. For those who are children of God, we need to remind ourselves of Peter and look continuously at God. When we gaze upon Jesus, we often need to do this alone. A. W. Tozer said, “Private prayer should be practiced by every Christian. Long periods of Bible meditation will purify our gaze.” People around us will soon notice the difference of one who had spent much time with God alone. Moses’ face shone when he came down from Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:29,30). We will develop a new perspective which is that of our Lord. Let the gaze of our soul be upon our God.