Announcements (28 Feb 2016)

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Feb 282016
 

Worship the Lord – let us come early and prepare our hearts for worship. Be punctual.

Children Ministry Training on 5/3 Sat 2 – 5pm. by CEF trainer for all Sunday School teachers, Junior Worship leaders including Toddlers’ Club and Nursery. Anyone interested to serve in this area is also strongly encouraged to attend. Registration fee: $5. Please register with Eileen Tan at the fellowship hall after worship today, or via email at sh_et2003@yahoo.com.sg Please contact Eileen Tan or Elder Yap for more details.

Boys Brigade Outreach (Sat 12/3) 4pm Venue: NLBPC. Join us for an afternoon of games, dinner and movie with the BB. Please register as Joy Agents by 6/3 with Bro. Joel Yap or Dn. James Goh.

Stewardship Report 2015: Fellowships, Ministry groups and Missions are to send in their reports to the church e-mail nlbpc@singnet.com.sg by 27 March 2016.

Hymnal Fund: An excess of the fund: $5002.33/= will be transferred to the General Fund. There are 100 copies of the new hymnal available for sale to members at cost price: $24.57/=. Dn. Ronnie Tan has more details.

Israel Trip (19 – 30/11): vacancies open. If you are interested, please see Sis. Julia Ong.

28 Feb 2016 – To be a part of the family of God

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Feb 282016
 

By Eld. Prasad

The Bible teaches us in John 1:1-4, that the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father are One, and that the Lord Jesus is also the only begotten Son of God, (Hebrews 1:1-4). This familial term indicates that God regards the Lord Jesus as a family member. Born-again believers are told that we, too, are members of this family, (Romans 9:8; 1 John 3:1-2). How do we become a part of this family of God? When we hear the gospel, confess our sins, and place our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, we are at that moment born into God’s kingdom as His children and become heirs with Him for eternity:

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ

(Romans 8:14-17)
While the Lord Jesus Christ is referred to as the only begotten Son of God, believers are referred to as children born into God’s family who need to grow and mature in our faith, (Ephesians 4:11-16), and as sons and heirs adopted into His family, (Galatians 4:4-7). God’s infinite grace and mercy are revealed in Ephesians 1:5-6, which says He redeems sinners, whom He has “adoption of children, by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved”,

In other words, we are adopted as His sons through Lord Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will, to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us to be accepted in the One He loves.

As children of God, what do we inherit? Nothing less than the kingdom of God, (Matthew 25:34; 1 Thessalonians 2:12 and Hebrews 12:28). Ephesians 1:3 tells us that believers are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. These spiritual blessings are infinite, eternal, and reside in Christ, and by God’s grace we are given these blessings as His children. As earthly children we eventually inherit what our parents leave behind for us after their death. But in God’s case believers are already reaping the rewards of our inheritance by having peace with Him through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. Other rewards of our inheritance include the gift of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at the moment we believe in Christ, (Ephesians 1:13-14), which empowers us to live for Him in the present, and in the knowledge that our salvation is secure for eternity, (Hebrews 7:24-25).

Being a part of the family of God is the greatest blessing bestowed upon believers and one that should drive us to our knees in humble adoration. We can never do anything to deserve it for it is His gift of love, mercy and grace to us, yet, we are called to become sons and daughters of the Living God:

25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. (Romans 9:25-26)

May we all respond in faith to His invitation!

Announcements (21 Feb 2016)

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Feb 212016
 

Session Meeting: Session members, please attend the meeting TODAY at 1.45 pm. in the Conference Room.

YF 31st Anniversary (THIS Sat 27/2) 4pm. Join the YF as they look back over the years of God’s faithfulness to this ministry. Please come!

Boys Brigade Outreach (Sat 12/3) 4pm. Join us for an afternoon of games, dinner and movie with the BB. Register by 6-Mar with Bro Joel Yap or Dn James!

Stewardship Report 2015: Fellowships, Ministry groups and Missions are to send in their reports to the church e-mail nlbpc@singnet.com.sg by 27 March 2016.

Israel Trip (19 – 30/11): vacancies open. If you are interested, please see Sis. Julia Ong.

Children Ministry Training on 5/3 Sat 2 – 5pm. by CEF trainer for all Sunday School teachers, Junior Worship leaders including Toddlers’ Club and Nursery. Anyone interested to serve in this area is also strongly encouraged to attend. Registration fee: $5. Please register with Eileen Tan at the fellowship hall after worship today, or via email at sh_et2003@yahoo.com.sg Please contact Eileen Tan or Elder Yap for more details.

21 Feb 2016 – Return to God Joel 2:12-13

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Feb 212016
 

By Rev. S. V. Nathan

Introduction:

We are drawing nearer to the Holy Week to commemorate Good Friday and Easter. Good Friday is the dramatic demonstration of the Love of God for our lost mankind through the redemption story of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross. At every Good Friday, we are reminded to reflect upon the very act of the sacrificial love of Christ for us. As we are preparing for the Holy Week, let us seek and search our heart to repent and return to God. Let us heed to Joel 2:12-13, which very aptly says how we need to repent and return to God.

  1. The Components of true Repentance: (vs 12-13b):

“Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God:”

 

According to these verses the true repentance consists in the immediate turning of the soul to God, in a mood of deep sorrow for sin. This turning to God must be,

  1. Immediate – The prophet tells the people of Judah that they must turn “also now” to the Lord. There is no time for delay.
  2. Sincere – The prophet says to the people of Judah, turn unto the Lord “with all your heart.” They were to turn to God in their thoughts, in their affections, in their wills, and in every faculty and capability of their souls.
  3. Inward – The prophet says to the people of Judah, “Rend your heart, and not your garments.” Sin is an inward thing, and so must be the repentance which puts it away.
  4. Sorrowful – The people of Judah were to turn to the Lord “with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.” A true turning of the soul to God is always accompanied by intense sorrow because the law of God has been broken, because the soul has been injured by sin, it has moved the anger of God.

These components constitute the true repentance such as, through a strict self-examination, with humble confession of sin, in earnest prayers of godly sorrow, and a contrite heart to resolve. Thus, there is call to one and all, to realise and to sincerely repent from our rebelliousness and disobedience, and return immediately to Him. Are you willing to truly repent and return to Him immediately with a sincere heart?

 

  1. The Blessings of True Repentance (vs 13c):

“for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”

 

The true repentance is encouraged by our knowledge of God’s  Divine nature, and by a hope of the Divine blessing.

  1. From our knowledge of the Divine character (vs 13c) – The prophet Joel gives a very beautiful revelation of God’s Divine mercy which should be an encouragement to the repentant. It is natural for God to have mercy upon the repentant soul.
  2. From our hope of the Divine blessing (vs 13d) – God does not leave the Jews in some uncertainty as to whether God would “return and repent, but God often leaves behind Him a blessing in the repentant soul, even a joy unspeakable and full of glory.

Thus, true repentance will lead us to discover the divine nature of grace and mercy and receive the divine blessings of love and forgiveness in our lives. Are you willing to know Him more closely and receive His abundant blessings of forgiveness and joy of salvation in your life?

Conclusion:

The ultimate purpose of examination and self-denial is to produce repentance and cleansing. This season of Easter is about the solemnity and sacrifice of our Lord. And it is right and good that we observe these things in our everyday lives, being living witnesses of the power of Jesus and His resurrection in us. And if the season teaches us anything, it should show us that our brokenness of spirit and the contriteness of our hearts are sacrifices the Lord does not despise, no matter when or what circumstance we may find ourselves in.

God is still looking for a people that are sorrowful over their sins. He is still looking for a people who are honest, open and repentant before Him. He is still looking for a people He can bless. His blessings are only for those people who will be honest about their condition and who will deal with their sins His way (Pro. 28:13; 1 John 1:9). Until God’s people repent, there will be no power, no glory and no hope for our people. As long as the church continues to walk in rebellion against God, the world will mock us and our God. When we repent and are restored to a place of blessing, the world will be forced to acknowledge the God Who dwells among us. The only hope the church has is repentance. Thus men should turn to God with full purpose of heart, that they should seek His mercy and expect His blessing.  As we prepare for the Holy week, shall we heed the prophet Joel by seeking and searching our heart to repent and return to God with sincere and contrite heart of repentance. May God bless you all abundantly.

Announcements (14 Feb 2016)

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Feb 142016
 

SAF Meeting (Sat 20/2) 4-6:30pm.Venue: Bro. Ronnie Pang’s home @34 Jalan Bumbong S739923(contact 8133 5574) Speaker: Rev. Quek Keng Khwang. Topic: Christian Character – Faith. Chairman: Bro. Kok Leong. Transport leaves church at 3:40pm: contact Bro. Robert Tan@96937945. Pot-luck dinner: contact Sis. Lynda Kuan@96709007. All are welcome.

YF 31st Anniversary (Sat 27/2) 4pm. Join the YF as they look back over the years of God’s faithfulness to this ministry. Please come!

Stewardship Report 2015: Fellowships, Ministry groups and Missions are to send in their reports to the church e-mail nlbpc@singnet.com.sg by 27 March 2016.

Israel Trip (19 – 30/11) There are six vacancies open. If you are interested, please see Sis. Julia Ong.

Children Ministry Training on 5/3 Sat 2 – 5pm. by CEF trainer for all Sunday School teachers, Junior Worship leaders including Toddlers’ Club and Nursery. Anyone interested to serve in this area is also strongly encouraged to attend. Registration fee: $5. Registration is ongoing. Please contact Eileen Tan or Elder Yap for more details.

14 Feb 2016 – Listening and Obeying

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Feb 142016
 

By Eld. Yap Chee Kian

Faced with Choices

We are faced with making many daily decisions. Various internet sources estimate that an adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day. In contrast a child makes about 3,000. This number may sound incredulous. But according to Researchers at Cornell University (Wansink and Sobal, 2007) we make more than 200 decisions each day on just food alone.

I was doing the grocery picking up the daily essentials and I was deciding what to buy at the bread section. There is Fairprice, Gardenia, Sunshine and some other exotic types. For Gardenia alone, there is white bread, soft white bread, enriched white bread, high fibre white bread, and whole meal bread. Which should I choose and more importantly, how should I choose?

What has a simple mundane task of choosing a loaf of bread got to do with seeking God’s will? I believe it does.  As I reflected on this, I realized that many times, we make decisions without being aware of why we make a decision. We may simply think it does not matter because it is too trivial. But nothing is too trivial for our God who has numbered every hair on our head. By seeking God’s guidance, we will learn to seek His will and listen to His voice when we come to the major ones.

Choices and Consequences

Although many of the decisions we make are mundane and routine, there are others that could be life changing. Here are two examples of life changing decisions that were made. In Gen 13:10-13, Lot chose to uproot his family and move to another country with promises of a better life. However, Gen 13:13 tells us the folly of his decision to live in the plains of Jordan because “the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly”.  Later on, we find out the devastating result of this decision: Lot became the father of the Moabites and Ammonites, both born through acts of incest, and these became enemies of Israel.

More than 1000 years later, another man chose to listen to ungodly counsel. In 1 Kings 12, Rehoboam “forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him” (1 Kings 12: 8). From this bad decision on, Israel was split into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.

Choice is a reflection of how we live our lives

These two passages instruct us that making godly decision is the result of our daily walk with God and comes about from reading, listening and obeying God’s word. An elder once shared how many of God’s children are satisfied with a routine involving maybe a half hour of reading God’s word in the morning and perhaps some minutes in the evening with the rest of the time spent in the world. Which would have a greater impact and influence in our lives – the Word of God or the world? This has left a deep impression in my heart.

Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”  Gal 6:7 warns us, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Often, our thoughts, attitudes, and actions are spontaneous. Therefore, it is important to cultivate a constant awareness of God in our daily walk.

Listening and Obeying

Who and what we listen to affects our lives. If we are living close to people whose mind is on the world, we would be affected. Conversely, if our thoughts are always on God’s word and listening to His still small voice, how we live our lives would be different. People around us will notice. Even our small actions such as how we answer another person’s request would be a testimony of God’s working in our lives.

The Chinese word for listen or hear is聽. It is made of an ear耳, a king王, ten eyes十目 (Ten eyes mean “full attention”) and one heart 一心. This translate into “Listen with your ears and your whole heart by treating the speaker as a king whom you pay full attention”. The Hebrew word for listen שָׁמַע šāmaʼ is even more instructive. It means to discern, to hear intelligently, attentively, carefully, to consider, to obey, to understand and to regard. It means listening to God’s word with the intention of  obeying it. Look at Deut 6:4 also known as Shema Yisrael. These first two words, translated as “Hear, O Israel”, serve as Jewish prayer for the morning and evening services.

In Psalm 143:8, David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, said, “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee” David knows that he can trust in God and he asks that God will help him to want to listen.

Conclusion

Do you really desire God’s will for your life? Do you trust Him to show you the way? This can come only from an intimate relationship with God. Seek Him daily, every moment, and listen to His voice, and be quick to obey.

Announcements (07 Feb 2016)

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Feb 072016
 

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

Chinese New Year Worship TOMORROW 8/2 @ 9am: All are welcome to the worship service which is conducted in Chinese. Sp: Rev. Lim Chee Boon

YF 31st Anniversary (Sat 27/2) 4pm. Join the YF as they look back over the years of God’s faithfulness to this ministry. Please come!

Stewardship Report 2015: Fellowships, Ministry groups and Missions are to send in their reports to the church e-mail nlbpc@singnet.com.sg by 27 March 2016.

Israel Trip (19 – 30/11) There are six vacancies open. If you are interested, please see Sis. Julia Ong.

Children Ministry Training on 5/3 Sat 2 – 5pm. by CEF trainer for all Sunday School teachers, Junior Worship leaders including Toddlers’ Club and Nursery. Anyone interested to serve in the Children Ministry is also strongly encouraged to attend. Focus is on material preparation and engaging the children. There will be a live demonstration at the Children Easter Special Program. Registration fee: $5. Registration starts today. Please contact Eileen Tan or Elder Yap for more details.

07 Feb 2016 – Celebrating the Lunar New Year 2016

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Feb 072016
 

By Eld. Sim Chee Seng

I have always loved the Lunar New Year. When I was young, I delighted to follow my parents to the temple to pray to the idols. Everyone in the house will be kept busy during this festive period – spring cleaning the house, preparing the offerings to the gods for mid-night prayers, and family reunion and feasting on New Year’s eve. Finally, on the actual New Year’s day, the children would greet and gave their best wishes, usually for longevity and good health, to their parents. In return, they would bless us with kind words of encouragement and “hong bao.” The visitation to the homes of my relatives and the joy of fellowship and feasting with them had always been one of the highlights of the Lunar New Year. In the past, we used to light fire crackers and which was later banned in Singapore. Like our parents, we played cards and gambled with our “hong bao” money.

Traditionally, the Chinese had celebrated the Lunar New Year over a period of 15 days. It was held to welcome the arrival of Spring, therefore, it was also known as the Spring Festival.  Many of the customs observed during the festive season are based on superstition while other customs are essentially neutral. For example, idol worship, depending on the Chinese Zodiac and predicting the future events based on observation of the courses of the heavenly bodies have been associated with divination, sorcery, witchcraft or occult spiritism. The firing of crackers and loud noise were thought necessary to drive away the evil spirits.

After I became a Christian, I had to discard many of the customs contrary to teachings of the Bible. I stopped visiting and worshipping the idols in the temple. Now I no longer consult the Zodiac signs nor depend on astrology or geomancy to tell me about the future or to protect me. As a Christian, I celebrate the Lunar New Year with a deep sense of thanksgiving to the Lord for the following:-

Spring cleaning and renewal – This is a beautiful custom. Just as we spring clean our house completely, we need more to “spring clean” ourselves. This reminds me of Paul’s exhortation to “put off the old man” and to “put on the new man in Christ” (Eph 4:22-31, Col 2:11; Col 3:8-10). This is the new year and a new beginning. We need to renew and start right with God at the beginning of the year. It is customary for the Chinese to adorn their homes with flowers and “chunlian” (spring couplets). However, Christians can replace the latter with Bible verses that speak of the goodness and promises of God.

Prayer and worship – The Chinese congregation has done well in that, for the past many years, they have continued their practice of starting their celebration of the Lunar New Year with prayer and worship in Church on the first day. This is to honour the Lord from whom all blessings flow and to whom all glory, worship and praise is due. (Ps 103:1-2)

Reunion dinner and celebration – This is a time for every member of the family to share a common meal. It is a time to come together for celebration and rejoicing after a period of hard work and labour. It is a time for fellowship, renewal and mutual encouragement. It is also time to acknowledge God’s blessings, providence and protection of the family. He is our heavenly Father who takes care of our family.

Respect and filial piety– On the first day, children usually gather at home to pay their respects to their parents according to tradition practice. This does not conflict with Scriptural principles which teach all Christians to show filial piety and respect to parents. A word of caution – for Christians, we should not use worldly greeting eg. Cong Xi Fa Cai (To be blessed with wealth). Our usual greeting to each other should be: “Blessed Lunar New Year.”

 Visitation and giving – Giving and receiving “hong bao” is customary and practiced among friends and relatives as is the exchange of gifts. These practices emphasize the importance of building good relationships with family members and friends. Usually, there is a conscious effort on the part of everyone to forgive and show kindness to one another. Scriptures affirm this truth that we ought to “be kind, tender hearted, forgiving one another.” (Eph 4:32, Col 3:13)

There will be some Christians who are opposed to celebrating the Lunar New Year. They have their good reasons and I respect them for their convictions. As I mentioned before, some the customs or practices are neutral. They do not contradict Scriptures and indeed, they promote good family and interpersonal relationships.

Let our conduct in this Lunar New Year edify the saints and glorify the Lord in the things we do and say. (Col 3:17) The Lord grant you grace in the days ahead. Have a blessed Lunar New Year 2016.