Announcements (27 Dec 15)

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Dec 272015
 

Adults SS Class @ Chapel, 11.30am Lesson 12: The Core Value of Courage for Christ  by Dr. Jim Berg. All are Welcome!

Note of Thanks to all generous contributors for the Combined Youth Camp!

Catechism Class will begin on 10/1/ 2016 Potential candidates, please get the form from Ps Gan and register for the class. Closing date for registration: 3/1/2016.

No Wed Prayer Meeting on 30/12: As we will congregate for Watchnight Service on 31/12 and proceed with a prayer meeting, we will not have our usual Wed night prayer meeting.

Watchnight Service for all three congregations on Thurs 31/12 @ 8pm:  Sp: Rev.S. V. Nathan All are welcome.

27 Dec 15 – Putting God First

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Dec 272015
 

Putting God First

By Eld. Prasad

We may have failed to put God first in the year 2015. Much as we regret, our loving God will not punish us but in His mercy offers forgiveness. As we start the New Year, 2016, let us prayerfully come before our Lord in repentance and will in our resolution to put God first throughout the New Year.

We commonly hear, “God first, family second, work third.” But what does it really mean to put God first? Deuteronomy 6:5 tells us to “love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might”. But what does it mean? If we are to actually follow this command, what would our lives look like?
Think for a moment about the impossibility of this command and of the standard God sets for us. When we do not follow His commands, it is sin. And, if we are honest, we know that there has never been a moment when any of us have completely followed this command. As believers, we all love God to some degree, but we never succeed in loving Him with all of our being at every moment, as the command suggests we should. On the other hand, in Lord Jesus’ life there was never a moment when He does not love God with all of His being. The only way we can do what Lord Jesus did is to become completely like Him.
But being sinners, it is impossible! But the good news is that God has made possible the impossible. He has exchanged our sinfulness for Lord Jesus’ righteousness on the cross, making us completely a new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). With this transformation we are now able to love as He loves because we are now in Him. Therefore, our only hope to succeed in putting God first is to begin by trusting fully in His promise to cover our sinfulness with His righteous life (1 John 4:10).


The Lord Jesus’ life was perfect in putting God first, and knowing that we should look at the way He lived His life and imitate Him and walk in the manner that He walked (1 John 2:6). The Lord Jesus’ life was characterized by submission to the Father’s will, service to others, and prayer. The Lord Jesus never pursued worldly ambition and never pursued the glory of this world. The Lord Jesus had every gift, talent, and ability to make Him the most famous and wealthiest man who ever lived. However, there was only one goal that He considered worthy of His talents, to glorify the Father.
Let this be an example to believers. The time, resources, energy, gifts, and knowledge of God that we have been given should be used not to gain influence, make money, or fuel pride, but instead to multiply glory for the Kingdom and to save the souls of the lost as we trust in God to protect us and provide for us. The Lord Jesus sought first the Kingdom of God, and laid down His life for His friends (John 10:11; 15:13). Truly the Lord Jesus’ life was a perfect picture of loving God with heart, soul, and strength, and putting Him first.
In the Gospels we do not see the Lord Jesus expressing His love for God by singing praise to God or dancing for joy. That is not to say that the Lord Jesus was not joyful. He was joyful. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Furthermore, the Lord Jesus knew that His actions on earth would mean God’s glory and the joy of His people. In Hebrews 12:2 – “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” As the Lord Jesus went to the cross He anticipated great joy and was even motivated by it. Likewise we are to emulate the Lord Jesus, which in 1 Peter 2:21 says, “For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps”. Peter is writing about suffering that comes as a result of doing good. It is not primarily a picture of freedom and happiness and songs and laughter. Even the Lord Jesus’ love for God was most often in hardship, tears, sorrows, trials, and ultimately a painful and horrific death.
Loving God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength is not easy. (Luke 13:24). The life of a Christian is a life of joy, despite trials, and a life that anticipates great joy (2 Corinthians 7:4). But we should not expect our life in this world to be easy or successful or fulfilling in a worldly sense. The world is at enmity with Christ and is therefore also at enmity with His followers (John 15:18-19). The world will tell us to strive for success, to achieve, and to live the good life in this world. But sadly, Paul in, 1 Timothy 6:9-10, warns that it does not bring fulfilment but only pain and disappointment to those who give their lives to such worldly values.
Conversely, the life of a Christian should be characterized by moment-by-moment selfless service to God that flows from love for Him and His people.  That is what it means to put God first. Any wealth that comes our way should be used to generously give and bless others especially the poor and needy (Mark 10:21). Moreover, any success or influence or talents that we have should be used to multiply Christ’s influence (Matthew 25:14-30), and any strength or health we enjoy should be spent in His service (Philippians 2:14-18).

Brethren, in our desire to put God first in year 2016, let us be reminded to love our Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our might. Blessed New Year!

Choir Presentations at Christmas Combined Service 2015

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Dec 252015
 

We have recorded the choir presentations at our recent Christmas Combined Service 2015, and hope the beautiful songs sung and the words in them will encourage and be a blessing unto you:

Sunbeam:

English Choir, Part 1:

English Choir, Part 2:

English Choir, Part 3:

Chinese Choir:

Announcements (20 Dec 15)

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Dec 202015
 

Adults SS Class @ Chapel, 11.30am Lesson 11: The Core Value of Commitment to Christ by Dr. Jim Berg. All are Welcome!

Catechism Class will begin on 10/1/ 2016 Potential candidates, please get the form from Ps Gan and register for the class. Closing date for registration: 3/1/2016.

Floral Gift and Fellowship Tea 2016: The new charts are on the notice board. Please fill in as the Lord leads you.

Christmas Carolling on Thurs 24/12 (8.15-9.45 pm):  at the Home of Bro. Nicholas & Sis. Li Ping (Address: 42 Corporation Walk 618445). If you are taking church transport, please be at church by 7.15pm. Bus leaves at 7.45 pm. Registration is now closed.

Christmas Worship Service (English & Chinese) on Fri 25/12 @ 10 am: Sp: Rev. Joshua Wong All are welcome. Lunch provided after the service.

Watchnight Service for all three congregations on Thurs 31/12 @ 8pm:  Sp: Rev.S. V. Nathan All are welcome.

20 Dec 15 – Emmanuel

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Dec 202015
 

Emmanuel

By Eld. Sim Chee Seng

Matthew 1:18-25 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

Christmas is about Jesus Christ

  1. His birth. The incarnation of Christ is the central message of Christmas. The doctrine of the incarnation is central to a biblical Christian celebration of Christmas and it is a truth currently under attack. But the doctrine of the incarnation is also one which is vital to the Christian faith because other biblical doctrines will stand or fall with it. (Bob Deffinbaugh)

The birth of Jesus was a miraculous conception, conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of Virgin Mary. The object of this paragraph is to show that the Messiah was in origin not of man but of God. The virgin birth of Jesus was according to God’s word spoken in the past by His prophets who prophesied: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isa 7:14) Both the descent of Jesus and His mission were revealed long before His actual appearance on earth. His birth, His name, and His work were equally from the Holy Ghost. (Lange).

  1. His mission: To save us from our sins. Nothing could be more clearly documented in the Scriptures than the fact that the principal purpose of the incarnation was to save men from their sins. The salvation of man involves the cradle and the cross of Jesus Christ:

“For the son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10; cf. Matt. 9:13; Mark 10:45).  “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Gal. 4:4-5). “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (ITim. 1:15; cf. I Jn. 4:10).

In the divine plan, Christ who is fully God became human in order that He might identify with us. He came to earth and “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Gal 4:4, Rom 8:3). Though human, He was tempted in all points, yet without sin (Heb 4:15) and so He is able to deal compassionately and justly with those whom He is not ashamed to call His brethren (Heb 2:11, 17 and 4:15). He partook of human nature that “through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (2:14) and by “being made in the likeness of men and being found in fashion as a man” has really identified with us.

The identification of God the Son with us in his death on the cross is vividly stressed in Isaiah 53:4-5 “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

Paul states that Christ died for our sins (1 Cor 15:3). Again, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor 5:21) We should thank God for “His unspeakable gift” (2 Cor 9:15).

  1. His promises. He is Emmanuel, God with us. The Bible teaches that Christ sustains the very universe in which we live (Col 1:15-18) and in Him “all things consist.” (v. 17) and the things of the universe are actually held together by the power of Christ (Heb 1:3).

God promises to be with his saints on a daily basis. He was with all the patriarchs of old: Joseph (Gen 39:2-3, 21), Moses (Exo 3:12) and Joshua (Josh 1:5). The Psalmist could confidently claim: “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” (Psalm 46:7). In giving the Great Commission, Jesus gave the assurance: “… lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt 28:20).

If not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father’s knowledge, and if the very hairs of our head are numbered (Matt 10:29-30), we may be assured that the Lord watches over us and that he sees our ways and numbers our steps (Job 31:4).  How comforting it is to know that God will never leave us nor forsake us.

Conclusion

“If the salvation of man takes such drastic measures as a cradle and a cross, surely God is rightly angered by man’s efforts to save himself and thereby rejecting the person and the work of God’s Son. Because God has chosen to save sinners by sending His only begotten Son, surely God is righteous to demand that men find salvation only in His Son. How foolish it is to seek to stand before God in any righteousness which rejects Jesus Christ, God incarnate.” (Bob Deffinbaugh)

The Bible warns us “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries …It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:26-27, 31). Christmas is about Jesus Christ. Christmas is the time of giving and the best gift we can give to our loved ones is to share the good news of His incarnation with them.

   “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Remember to let our celebration of Christmas be with Christ as the centre of our worship. Beware of and reject worldly distractions – the music, dancing, feasting and festivities. Our focus should be on Christ and Him alone. He is our Lord and Saviour. He is Emmanuel, God with us. Have a blessed Christmas 2015.

Announcements (13 Dec 15)

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Dec 132015
 

Adults SS Class at Fellowship Hall, 11.30am @ Fellowship Hall.  Lesson 10: Cultivating Love by Dr. Jim Berg. All are Welcome!

Catechism Class will begin on 10/1/ 2016 Potential candidates, please get the form from Ps Gan and register for the class. Closing date for registration: 3/1/2016.

Children Christmas Special (TODAY from 9.30 to 12.30pm) at the kindergarten classroom, Speaker: Sis. Virla, who was our church camp children’s speaker this year. Lunch is provided. Do bring the children down for this Special!

Combined Youth Camp (beginning THIS THURS 17-19 Dec): All who have registered, kindly remember to come for the camp! Love gift of $3,000 needed for combined youth camp – please give generously.

Christmas Carolling on Thurs 24/12 (8.15-9.45 pm):  at the Home of Bro. Nicholas & Sis. Li Ping (Address: 42 Corporation Walk 618445). Transport leaves church at 7.45 pm. Please register your attendance. All are welcome.

Floral Gift and Fellowship Tea 2016: The new charts are on the notice board. Please fill in as the Lord leads you.

13 Dec 15 – Time (by Eld. Tow Siang Yeow)

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Dec 132015
 

TIME

By Eld. Dr. Tow Siang Yeow

Time, thou unfathomable entity
inscrutable and intangible,
beginning in the mists of antiquity,
lasting till the end of time.
Variously described by sages:
“Illimitable, never resting thing
rushing swift and silent”,
“The subtle thief of youth”,
“An ever flowing stream that
bears all its sons away”.

Yet, a gift of God to all as
it is the stuff that life is made of.
For does not Solomon intone, “There is a season
and a time for every purpose under heaven,
a time to be born and a time to die” … (Eccl. 3:2)

A time when we were young and naughty,
viewing the world through blinkered eyes.
Ensconced with doting mums and dads…
A time to leave the roost!
Learning to fly the hard way –
one day soaring aloft; the nest is empty,
The scene is over: time to reminisce!

It’s God’s allotted time to run the race
patiently and unswervingly to victory –
or straying from the straight and narrow
path, regretfully, falling by the wayside!

So teach us, O Lord, to “number our days
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom”. (Ps. 90: 12)
Ever prepared to be on time for
that “blessed hope”, the glorious
appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ
and at the last trump,
to ever be with the Lord. Amen.

(This is a reprint of Eld. Tow’s poem. We hope that we will continue to enjoy his writings.)

Announcements (06 Dec 15)

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Dec 062015
 

J.O.Y. Sunday@Chapel 11.30am. All youths Sec 1 upwards, welcome to this youth programme. Sp: Rev. Gabriel Gan

Adults SS Class at Fellowship Hall, 11.30am @ Fellowship Hall. Lesson 9: Christian Brotherly Kindness. All are Welcome!

Catechism Class will begin on 10/1/ 2016 Potential candidates, please get the form from Ps Gan and register for the class. Closing date for registration: 3/1/2016.

Children Christmas Special (13 Dec from 9.30 to 12.30pm) at the kindergarten classroom, Speaker: Sis. Virla, who was our church camp children’s speaker this year. Lunch is provided. Parents, please help your children to prepare a gift of less than $5 for gift exchange. No food please. Do encourage children from your colleagues, friends and relatives to attend! Please see insert for more info.

Combined Youth Camp (17-19 Dec): Thank God for 44 youths who signed up. Love gift of $3,000 needed for combined youth camp – please give generously.

Christmas Carolling on Thurs 24/12:  at the Home of Bro. Nicholas & Sis. Li Ping (8.15-9.45 pm). Transport leaves church at 7.45 pm. Please register your attendance. All are welcome.

Floral Gift and Fellowship Tea 2016: The new charts are on the notice board. Please fill in as the Lord leads you.

06 Dec 15 – To the Praise of His Glory!

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Dec 062015
 

By Rev. Gabriel Gan

 “Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name.” (Psalm 29:1-2a).

It’s been almost two years since the Lord called me to serve in New Life BP Church. So I guess it is time to do some reflection and review. Allow me to share honestly.

Frankly, this is the most stressful of the three churches I have pastored so far. The two previous churches I pastored have less than a hundred members. Pastoring a church which has over 200 members requires much more time and energy and has taken a toll on my health (please pray that God will provide a younger assistant soon, to whom I can pass the baton). But it has also stretched my faith as there are numerous challenges to face.

Being new, there are many adjustments I had to make: the difference in church governance (polity), keeping office hours and working in a new environment, trying to find out and understand how things work (system and processes), learning many, many new names and trying to put faces to them, and coping with outreach ministries (BB, GB, Kindergarten, JEH) besides the usual pastoral work-load (prayer, preaching, teaching, counselling, visitation, marriage, funeral, etc.). I thank God for my co-workers and other church staff. Although these two years have been tough, I am encouraged by my beloved wife’s faithful support and also the positive responses and kind words from many members.

God has once again shown that His grace is sufficient for my weakness. I am re-learning the lessons of faith—when God calls us to a task, He will enable us to accomplish it. Like Peter, we will only be able to walk on the water if our focus is on the Lord and not on the boisterous winds and the waves. Problems and difficulties will overwhelm us if our eyes are turned away from the Lord. I am reminded to fix my eyes on Jesus and the task given.

Besides, I also realize that we need to depend on God, and that the prayer meeting is the powerhouse of the church. If you recall, our church theme for 2014 was “Revive Us, O LORD!” (2 Chron. 7:14). My priority is to encourage the leaders and members to pray together because only God can revive His people. I sensed that some members were cold, others indifferent, and a minority hypercritical. There were also many hurting people in the church, and relationships needed repair and reconciliation. Hence, our camp theme for that year was ‘From Faith to Forgiveness’ with messages from the life of Joseph. As relationship matters—both our relationship with God and our relationship with men, especially those in the household of faith—this was my goal and emphasis for 2014. We prayed that God will revive His people and heal broken relationships in families and the church.

The next task is to restore unity in the church as the Apostle Paul exhorts in Ephesians 4:1-3. Since my coming here, I observed that the many church activities and programs can run without the guidance of the leadership—the church is on auto-pilot. This is both good and bad. Let me explain. On the one hand, it shows that the church has many zealous volunteers who are exercising their gifts and talents to serve God – that’s good! But, there is a flip side: people are doing “their own thing”—there is no coherence and unity in working towards a common goal. In short, the church is “fragmented,” and we need to get everyone moving in the same direction. This will take some time as the leaders need to formulate the vision and mission of the church.

This year (2015), our church theme is “Renew Us, O LORD!” We can see that the fallow ground is slowly breaking up, and the seeds sown are bearing fruit. The Spirit of God is renewing New Life!  Thank God for working in all our hearts to walk humbly before Him and one another. We see a more united Session, a hunger and thirst to learn God’s Word and more spiritual vibrancy. The Session has had eight consecutive weeks of Bible study together and the Adults SS Classes are seeing very good participation. More members are ordering books by Jim Berg for personal reading and reflection after listening to his series of lectures. I trust there is also renewal in our fellowship groups and NBCs. The church is seeing more members going for mission trips: 13 to Cambodia, 14 to India, and 20 to the Philippines. And not forgetting the recent evangelistic movie outreach. What a blessing to see a zealous team praying & working diligently and God bringing in 40 new visitors, and more than a hundred people to this event exceeding our expectation! Praise the Lord!

There is one more thing I must give God the glory. It’s been almost 2 years since I stress the vital importance of praying together as a church. After much constant reminder and plea to the members to attend the prayer meeting at least once a month, I’m glad to report that since 2014, we have 137 New Lifers coming to the prayer meeting at least once. Our average prayer meeting attendance has also increased from an average of 20+ last year to 30+ this year. Our lowest attendance this year is 20 and the highest is 43. But what thrills my heart as your pastor is that even the youths are coming to the prayer meeting in recent months. Hey, there is hope for New Life!

Praise God, we have a mix of age groups coming to pray during the mid-week: from ages 4 to over 70. Bro. Robert Yuan came to the prayer meeting about a month ago and shared that this was his first time attending after so many years in New Life (and he came again last Wed)—that, beloved is revival! Yes, God can revive both the young and the old. I hope to see more of our YFers, YAFers, AFers and SAFers come regularly to pray. Now, if the Queen of Scots feared the prayer of one man, John Knox; think of how a church of 200 faithful prayer warriors will shake the kingdom of darkness!

But, New Lifers, we are not out of the woods yet. There are many obstacles we still have to overcome and some “giants” to fight. So let us not be complacent, but continue the good work, and be alert to the wiles of the evil one. I urge every New Lifer to do his/her part for the edification and growth of NLBPC. Together, let us press upward and onward!

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord!” And “let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Dear Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You for reviving and renewing New Life BP Church. And dear Lord Jesus, King eternal, lead us onward from victory to victory by the power of the Holy Spirit, to the praise of Your Glory! Amen.