Announcements (26 Apr 15)

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Apr 262015
 

ACM Meeting TODAY 11.15am: Please bring all the ACM papers and stay back for the ACM – we need a quorum before the meeting can proceed.

The Ultimate Quest (TUQ) on Sat 23/5 @Church is for all children P1 – P6. Registration starts TODAY till 17/5. Those who are able to volunteer for this event (games, food, facilitators etc) can also sign up at the registration table or contact Min Wei (96421907), Daniel Wong (97377997), Daniel Sim (81121677) .

TUQ Tracting: ROF invites all to come and distribute flyers to inviting neighbourhood children for TUQ TODAY 1.45 pm – 3.30 pm. If you can help, please meet at kindergarten classroom opposite church office. Also next Thu 30/4 night 7.30 pm – 9.30 pm. Other Sundays: 3/5, 10/5 and 17/5. For more info, please contact Dn. James@97461740.

Church Camp (17 to 20 June 2015) Registration is open TODAY and closes next week (3 May). Please pick up your registration form in fellowship hall & submit early together with payment to avoid disappointment as allotted rooms are limited during June holidays season. Venue: Lotus Desaru Beach Resort, Johor Bahru. Theme: “Be Ready for Christ’s Return!” Speaker: Pastor Gabriel Gan. Visit http://nlbpc.org/web/camp2015.

Parents’ Appreciation Night (Sat 30/5): A gospel outreach to show our love for parents/ grandparents. VENUE: Toa Payoh Safra. COST: $40(Adult) /$25 (Student/ Sr. Citizens 60 years and above) pax. Speaker: Rev. Ng Boh Khoon. Registration continues.

26 Apr 15 – Peace, Be Still

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Apr 262015
 

By Eld. Prasad

35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? Mark 4: 35 – 41

The crises of life have often been compared to stormy seas. They come upon us whether we like it or not and they terrify us. They knock us around and threaten to destroy all our stability and security. We neither know whether we can survive them nor do we know how long they will last. At least, that’s how a storm at sea would be for most of us.

The Sea of Galilee is 680 feet below sea level and is surrounded by hills. Winds blowing across the land intensify close to the sea, often causing violent and unexpected storms. The disciples were seasoned fishermen who had spent their lives fishing on this huge lake. However during this particular thunderstorm, they panicked because the storm threatened to destroy them all.  Theirs was a physical storm, but there are other types of storms – think about the situations that cause you great difficulty and anxiety. Whatever difficulty or anxiety, you have two options: You can worry and assume that Lord Jesus no longer cares, or you can resist fear, by putting your trust in our Lord Jesus Christ. When you feel like panicking, confess your need to God and then trust the Lord Jesus to care for you. As Mark tells the story, the disciples were terrified that the boat was going to break up and everyone would die. But Lord Jesus was asleep, apparently oblivious to their pending doom. They awoke Him and cried, “Master, carest thou not that we perish.”

Of course, Lord Jesus does care and quiets the storm with the words; “Peace, be still.” How would the disciples have responded if they had faith? They would not have awakened Him and asked if He cared. They would have trusted His very presence to keep them safe. Stormy circumstances are inevitable. Although our first reaction may be to run from the problem, we can instead ask God to teach us how to trust Him to navigate us through the storm. Storms in our lives don’t worry our Lord Jesus. He’s right there with us during our storm, but He’s perfectly calm. The Lord Jesus isn’t impatient and neither is He worried. In fact He’s so calm that He slept! When we are troubled and the Lord Jesus is silent, we wonder why on earth God doesn’t get up and do something. We start to wonder whether He even knows the trouble we’re in, whether He cares, and whether He even can do anything about it.

After their brush with death, Lord Jesus doesn’t comfort, but he rebukes the disciples, “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” Why were the disciples still terrified even after the Lord Jesus calms the storm? Their fear was not produced by the storm, but by the calm. The sudden storm and sudden stillness were too much for the disciples to understand. They were in wonder and fearful of the Lord Jesus who possessed authority to rebuke the wind, waves and themselves.

 “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” The disciples lived with the Lord Jesus, but they underestimated Him. They did not see His power applied to their very own situation. The Lord Jesus has been with His people for a very long time, and yet we, like the disciples, underestimate His power to handle crises in our lives. The disciples did not yet know enough about the Lord Jesus. For us Christians, we cannot make the same excuse.

Some of the lessons in the story are obvious. The Lord Jesus has power over the storms of life, and experiences them alongside us, loves us, saves us from them and wants us to trust Him more than we do. Like the disciples, we the children of God believe the Lord Jesus is there in every storm of our lives. In the disciples’ case, they could actually see Him lying there asleep. We don’t have that privilege. We believe He’s there, but most of the time He seems just as asleep as He was during that stormy day on the Sea of Galilee. The psalmist had the same grief in Psalm 44:23-24: “Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off forever. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?”

The application to our lives is that: “Ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). We too can rest in faith during the storms in our lives. Our boat isn’t going down, because the Lord Jesus is on board.

When the disciples faced trouble, they ran to wake up the Lord Jesus. Maybe, like the disciples who were struck in a life-threatening storm we too should run to the Lord Jesus. Sometimes we may try to bail ourselves out of trouble by seeking revenge, slandering the one who has caused our problem or just cowering fearfully in the corner as we sink into despair. We need to learn from the disciples who fled to the Lord Jesus as their only hope. He may not bail us out immediately, but remembering that He is always with us in the storms of life, saying things like “Peace, be still.” So, look for our Lord Jesus in our storms and let Him fill us with the peace that comes from knowing He is near. So in our prayers, when we are tempted with fears, let’s ask our Lord Jesus to give us His rest of faith, and let us worship Him who commands all manner of winds and waves.

In conclusion let’s ask ourselves: What would we do when we are stuck in a troubling situation, say, poor health, terminal illness, money problem, job problem, marital problem, or family problem – with nowhere or no one to run to?  Are we tempted to respond with fear rather than faith?

The Lord Jesus hears the cry of His children, the born again Christians. To be born again means you confess you are a sinner heading for hell and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the saviour and son of God, who died on the cross for all your sins and arose from death after three days and ascended to heaven. When you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your saviour and invite Him into your heart, you become a child of God. As a child of God, the Lord Jesus will hear your cries while you are in a storm and one day when you leave this world, you will live eternally with Him in heaven. Are you a child of God? May the Lord Jesus Christ be our first option when the storms of life threaten us.

Announcements (19 Apr 15)

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Apr 192015
 

Adults Sunday School @Chapel 11.30am – All are welcome! Lesson 11: Being A Word-filled Teacher.

YA3 Sunday School: The class is studying the book of Exodus. Do you have burning questions? Why did God choose a murderer – Moses – for His work? Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? Did the River Nile really turned into blood? Teacher: Bro. Goh Mia Hock Venue: Balcony – behind the Chinese YF room.

Session Meeting: Session members are requested to attend the meeting TODAY at 1.45 pm. in the Conference Room.

Parents’ Appreciation Night (Sat 30/5): A gospel outreach to show our love for parents/ grandparents. VENUE: Toa Payoh Safra. COST: $40(Adult) /$25 (Student/ Sr. Citizens 60 years and above) pax. Speaker: Rev. Ng Boh Khoon. Registration starts TODAY. .

Church Camp (17 to 20 June 2015) Registration opens TODAY, through 26 Apr & 3 May (last day). Please pick up your registration form at counter in fellowship hall & book early to avoid disappointment as allotted hotel rooms during June holidays season are limited. Venue: Lotus Desaru Beach Resort, Johor Bahru. Theme: “Be Ready for Christ’s Return!” Speaker: Pastor Gabriel Gan. Visit http://nlbpc.org/web/camp2015 for more details.

ACM Meeting 26/4 NEXT SUNDAY 11.15am: There will be a Combined Worship – English and Chinese that morning @ 9.30am. Please bring all the ACM papers and stay back for the ACM – we need a quorum before the meeting can proceed. It is good that members come to be updated on the state of our Church.

SAF Meeting: Speaker : Elder Prasad. On 25/4 (4-6:30pm)@Bro Chin Hong’s Place, 43 Jalan Mata Ayer, S759127. Transport leaves church @3:30pm – Bro Robert Tan. Pot Luck dinner – Contact: Sis Lynda Kuan @ 96709007 Further information: Contact Bro Ronnie Pang @ 81335574

The Ultimate Quest (TUQ) on Sat 23/5 @Church is for all children P1 – P6. Registration will start next week 26/4 till 17/5. Those who are able to volunteer for this event (games, food, facilitators etc) can also sign up at the registration table or contact Min Wei (96421907), Daniel Wong (97377997), Daniel Sim (81121677) or any YAFers. More info in the flyer inserted in the Newsline today.

19 Apr 15 – Threescore Years and Ten – Time for Godly Introspection

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Apr 192015
 

By Bro. Neoh Kuan Soon

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Psa 90:10

2015 is a milestone year of reckoning for me, as I moved past the 3rd score of Psalm 90:10.  Some of us here are approaching this milestone, and others have travelled past this post, and perhaps some are even plodding towards the 4th score.  In each case, it is the sovereign will of the LORD God which prevaileth.

Day-by-day, this mortal body deteriorates a little bit and no amount of medicine (TCM or Western chemical weapons), or health supplements (modern con-jobs or traditional swear-bys), or pumping iron at gyms can arrest and reverse this inexorable decline:-

  • Failing eyesight and hearing
  • Pains and aches all over the body
  • Mouldy memory, slurry speech, confused thoughts
  • Command-defiant limbs
  • Incredible Bulks of blubber that have replaced one-time Incredible Hulk muscles
  • Renegade organs that have started to war against our bodies or simply quit functioning

And the list goes on.   Many among us are suffering varying degrees of pain and discomfort in one form or another.   And while I believe that all still have enough faith to trust the LORD, undoubtedly, in the hour of struggle, some may ask these questions: “Why me?” “Why the suffering?” “Is there any more joy or cause for joy left for me?”  Or “Where is the LORD when I need Him?”

However, as true Bible-believing God-fearing Christians who have been redeemed unto Himself via the propitiatory work of His only begotten Son on the cross, those who are in affliction will have the grace of God to comfort them, to give them strength to endure the pains and discomforts, to be able to yet praise the name of the Almighty One, and to show the expectant joy of the everlasting hope that is promised unto us.

  And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. Isa 46:4

Daily, even more so than ever, let us therefore come boldly and humbly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in these times of need – bodily and spiritually. The Lord has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2Cor 12:9

Do remember that in everything the Lord has a purpose, the end of which is to glorify His name.   And yet in our infirmities, it shall be a great opportunity for a powerful witness unto the unsaved of the unmistakable proof of the love, mercy and sovereignty of the eternal God our creator and redeemer.

Sick, old, infirm as we may be, we shall still be as vessels still fit for God’s use – He who has prepared a house with many mansions for us and those who would acknowledge and believe on him through Christ Jesus.   And He is coming back for us.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Rev 21:4

In conclusion, let us re-visit the comforting words of Titus who wrote as moved by the Holy Spirit:

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13

Announcement (12 Apr 15)

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Apr 122015
 

Congratulations to Joel & Esther Pang on the birth of their second child, Chloe. May the Lord grant them wisdom to bring up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

Sunday School for YA3: The class will begin the study of the book of Exodus from TODAY. You may have burning questions: Why did God choose a murderer – Moses – for His work? How did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? Did the River Nile really turned into blood? Teacher: Bro. Goh Mia Hock Venue: Balcony – behind the Chinese YF room.

Adults Sunday School @Fellowship Hall: Lesson 10 – Being a God-loving Example. All are welcome.

JOY Sunday 11.30am this morning – all youths Sec1 and above, please go to the Chapel

Biblical Counselling Seminar this coming Saturday, 18 April (3.30-6.30pm) at the Chapel. All those registered, please remember to come.

Session Meeting: Session members are requested to attend the meeting NEXT SUNDAY at 1.45 pm. in the Conference Room.

Parents’ Appreciation Night: A gospel outreach to show our love for parents/ grandparents. DATE: 30/5. VENUE: Toa Payoh Safra. COST: $40(Adult) /$25 (Student/ Sr. Citizens 60 years and above) pax. Speaker: Rev. Ng Boh Khoon. Registration will start NEXT SUNDAY 19/4.

Church Camp (17 to 20 June 2015) Venue: Lotus Desaru Beach Resort, Johor Bahru. Theme: “Be Ready for Christ’s Return!” Speaker: Pastor Gabriel Gan. Registration opens NEXT SUNDAY, and continues: 26 Apr & 03 May. Visit http://nlbpc.org/web/camp2015 for speaker’s foreword, camp fees, photos and more details.

ACM papers: Please sign for the papers at the Fellowship Hall after the worship today. Make every attempt to collect your copy (one per family) so that the Church saves on postage mailing to you.

Transfer Between Congregations: If you would like to transfer from one congregation to another (eg. From Chinese to English congregation or vice versa) you need to fill in a form from the office. This form must be signed by the pastors of both congregations.

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

12 Apr 15 – Biblical Obedience

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Apr 122015
 

By Eld. Yap Chee Kian

The passing of a great man over the last week had brought many people together. It also caused many to reflect and ponder. But first, let me relate to you a story.

It is told that King Xerxes on his retreat from Greece after his great military expedition boarded a Phoenician ship along with a number of his Persian troops. They met a fearful storm, and Xerxes was told there was no hope unless the ship’s load was substantially lightened. The king turned to his fellow Persians on deck and said, “My safety depends on you. Now let some of you show your regard for your king.” Immediately, a number of the men bowed to Xerxes and threw themselves overboard!

That is obedience! Interestingly, we note God’s mercy and grace in His way of deliverance in Acts 27-44. Biblical obedience glorifies and honors God.

A few events over the last few weeks also led me to self-reflection. Last week, on the way to church, the taxi driver spoke of how his life was changed because of our first Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. But he is saddened by the self-centeredness of the current generation. In the message “Not I but Christ” taken from 2 Cor 5:14-15, Rev Joshua Wong spoke on the challenges of “I, Me and Myself” that the world view imposes on us. In the Adult Sunday School, Dr Jim Berg shared on “Walking in Wisdom” and challenged us to be faithful and obedient to our Master. Peter T. Forsythe, a Scottish theologian was right when he said, “The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master”. Otherwise, we will gradually forget who we are, and fall into the sin of sins which is pride. The sin of pride is a preoccupation with self.

Hearing to Obey and Obedience to the Word of God

Before we obey, we need to hear what God has to say. We must remember that we cannot hear unless the Holy Spirit teaches us God’s Word (1 Cor 2:9-16). The Holy Spirit reveals to us God’s truth even as He searches (v10) all things including ourselves. God speaks to us in His still small voice as He reveals even our inner thoughts and motives. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin that hinders our fellowship with the Father, teaches us more of Christ and assists us in our work for Christ.

Jesus has promised us the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,26) who indwells us. This is a privilege of every child of God. The Holy Spirit is also called the comforter – παράκλητος paraklētós and he is an advocate who will intercede on our behalf (Rom 8:26). For the Holy Spirit to be effective in our lives, we have to allow him to fill us (Eph 5:18). The word fill is not referring to quantity but to control – as in the expression: filled with rage, or filled with fear or filled with lust. It clearly refers to one of control and submission to its power.

Why do we obey?

This is a familiar situation of the driver who keeps to the speed limit. But as soon as he is out of the limit zone or he has passed the speed cam, he starts to speed up. Does this sound familiar to us? The fallen nature of the human heart cannot be obedient and do what is right on its own (Rom 3:10-12) especially when there is no one looking. Biblical obedience is not like that. It is not compliance to some abstract law or rule but it is the submissive response to the Person of the Holy Spirit who has revealed the will of God in our hearts through His Word. A love relationship is at the heart of our obedience (2 Cor 5:14-15). We are compelled and we want to please God because we love Him. The next time, we have to do something, ask ourselves: what is our motive for doing it? The greatest motivation is because we want to please our Master whom we love (Col 3:23). This type of obedience is enduring because it will continue even under pressure. It honors God and makes a living testimony of His power in our lives to the world around us.

It is important to highlight again the need to submit to the influence of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. George Müller in his book “Answers to Prayers” mentioned “I seek the Will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.” When we obey in this way, we will not fall into the danger of stubborn self-will where we refuse to give in because we believe we are right.

Growing the Image of Christ

Dr Jim Berg in the first chapter of his book, “Changed in His Image” said that “sanctification is a cooperative venture between God and me.” Sanctification is a process and will require much endurance. It is a marathon and not a sprint. Similarly, to grow in Christlikeness, our obedience must be an enduring one. We need to gaze daily upon the Lord Jesus (Heb 11:27, Heb 12:2) so that to have enduring obedience.

Summary: So what is obedience?

  1. It is NOT a test we must pass in order to gain knowledge of God. If there is obedience, it indicates evidence of knowledge of God. We do not “just memorize it,” but in obedience we enjoy the fullness and mystery that comes with wholehearted response to the God of our faith.
  2. S. Lewis wrote: “We might think that God wanted simply obedience to a set of rules; whereas He really wants people of a particular sort” (1952:77). Sanctification will make us the sort of people that God wants; those who hope to conform themselves to the very character of God.

1 John 2:5-6 summarize obedience succinctly:

But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Announcements (05 Apr 15)

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Apr 062015
 

SPECIAL PRAYER:  Pray for the catechumens who are seeking baptism and reaffirmation of faith as well as transfer of membership in NLBPC today. May the Lord bless them and strengthen them to follow after the Lord Jesus Christ in all things. “.. that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Colossians 1: 18

Biblical Counseling Seminar: Equipping Lay Counsellors: (18/4 & 9/5) Time: 3.30-6.30pm @Chapel Sp: Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel Gan Fees: $50/pax  and $60/ for couples. Note: Limit to 20 participants only. Please register with Sis. Aileen Goh by 5/4.

Church Camp (17 to 20 June 2015) Venue: Lotus Desaru Beach Resort, Johor Bahru. Theme: “Be Ready for Christ’s Return!” Speaker: Pastor Gabriel Gan. Registration on 19 Apr, 26 Apr & 03 May. Visit http://nlbpc.org/web/camp2015 for speaker’s foreword, camp fees, photos and more details.

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

PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION ACT (PDPA)

The provisions of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) take effect from 2nd July 2014. New Life Bible-Presbyterian Church (NLBPC) is committed to protect your personal data. In the course of the year, the Church will be collecting, using and/or disclosing your data for the purposes of maintaining the membership records or for the planning of Church-related activities/services for you. We seek your understanding to grant us your consent when the Church approaches you for your written consent.

In-Conversation (THIS SAT 11/4, 4-6pm.) Chairperson: Ps Gan

Members are encouraged to participate in the following topics:

  1. Evaluation of Church Theme 2014
  2. Future Plans of the Church (by Ps Gan)
  3. A Breakout Session into groups to discuss & present the following:
    1. Interpersonal Skills & Bonding
    2. How to encourage more members to join small groups or start new ones
    3. How we can fulfill the Great Commission as a church
  4. Q & A (if any) – kindly email your questions by TODAY 6pm. This will allow time for the Session to deliberate the questions.