Announcements (24 Apr 2016)

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Apr 242016
 

Deepest Condolence to the bereaved families of Sis. Ley Lee whose mother passed away last Monday.

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 2016 (Sat 21/5) is an annual evangelistic outreach for students from Pri 1 – 6. Registration closes on 8/5. All are welcome to participate so do invite friends and relatives! If you can volunteer for this event, please contact Daniel Wong (97377997) or James Pang (90228956) or any of the YAF-ers.

Parents Appreciation Night on Sat 28/5 will be held at Safra Yishun Pin Si restaurant. Adults $45, Students and senior citizens $27.  Registration 24/4 to 15/5. Sign up early!

Rejoice Hymns: Copies for sale – Please enquire in the Church Library.

Recruitment for Audio Visual ministry: The AV ministry is looking to grow the team with individuals who are reliable and open to learning new skills. Training will be provided. Please approach Bro Henry or Dn James if you are keen.

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

24 Apr 2016 – Faith and Obedience

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Apr 242016
 

By Eld. Yap Chee Kian

Rom 1:5 “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name”

Rom 16:26 “But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.

Faith

What exactly is faith? The on-line Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “strong belief or trust in someone or something.” Hebrews 11:1 gives us more details. It is the substance of things hoped for. In other words it is based on someone or something tangible [substance] for what we want but have not received. Therefore, we hoped for it. For example, let’s say that you are preparing for an important assignment. You have confidence in yourself and trust in your abilities that if you work hard and put in effort you will succeed in getting what you want. Confidence is an element of faith and in this case the object of your faith is yourself.

There is a parallel in the spiritual realm and what the author of Hebrews is referring to is persevering or saving faith. The object of our faith is anchored in God who “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Eph 3:20). Does this matter? Yes, absolutely. Many times, we hear Christians exhorting one another to have more faith. They may even chide another as faithless when one expresses doubt. But more important than having faith, we need to ask what our faith is based on. For faith to have any value, the object it is based on is important.

I came across an illustration which I found insightful. If you were taking a flight to Paris, you would probably look for an airline with good track records. You want to be sure that the plane would be fueled, mechanically reliable, the pilot trained and the flight would leave at the time you chose. You also want to be sure the airport security is adequate that no terrorists would get on board. Your faith is useful in getting you on the plane; however, is NOT going to get you to Paris. What actually gets you to Paris is the plane, the pilot and good airport security and the fact that you act on it. So what matters is the object of your faith – is it reliable? If our faith is based on the wrong object, it does not matter whether you have faith or not.

Faith has been likened to our muscle. We need to exercise it to build it up. Polycarp was a 2nd-century Christian bishop of Smyrna. He was martyred for his Christian beliefs. Tradition and history recorded that this was what he said when burned at the stake. “Eighty and six years I have served Him, and He has done me no wrong, how then can I blaspheme my King and Savior?” Polycarp’s faith was built on his King and Savior and he had experienced his goodness and mercy for 86 years of his life. We need to start remembering God’s goodness and mercy in our lives. Pray and thank God in your daily quiet time with Him.

Obedience

In Rom 1: 5 and 16:26, Paul explains how faith and obedience are related. This must be of enormous importance because Paul said this at the beginning and repeated it again at the end of his Epistle. John Piper in his exposition on these two verses said that the gospel produces the obedience that come from faith. Other commentators have taken this to mean that faith produces obedience to Jesus Christ. Our obedience exalts God and glorifies Him. When we live in obedience to God, our lights shine before men and we glorify our Father which is in Heaven (Matt 5:16).

It is not easy to be obedient to our Lord and Savior in a sinful world. We constantly struggle with the world, our flesh and the Devil. Obedience has to be developed and God has promised us help. One of the reasons of our lack of obedience is unbelief. Our first parents doubted God’s word and chose to believe what Satan accused God was doing is to deprive them of something good. We will also be tested to keep trusting God especially when bad things happen to us. In Mark 9:14-28, Jesus Christ healed a boy possessed by an impure spirit. Even his disciples were chided because of their lack of prayer and fasting. The father of the child immediately confessed his unbelief, repented in tears and asked Jesus for help. We can ask God for help and He will supply us our needs according to His riches in glory (Phil 4:19).

Conclusion

Every day, we need to live in dependence on our Lord and thank Him for the salvation that He has given to us. Our gratefulness result in faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ and enables us to trust in His goodness. We choose to obey Him and as we do so, we glorify and exalt our God and Heavenly Father.

Announcements (17 Apr 2016)

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Apr 172016
 

ACM 2016 NEXT SUN 11.15am: Please bring all the ACM papers and stay back for the ACM – we need a quorum before the meeting can proceed.

Combined (Eng/Chinese) service 24/4 @ 9.30am: Because of the ACM we have a Combined service next Sunday. Sp: Rev. Jack Sin

The Ultimate Quest 2016 (Sat 21/5) is an annual evangelistic outreach for students from Pri 1 – 6. Registration begins TODAY and closes on 8/5. All are welcome to participate so do invite friends and relatives! If you can volunteer for this event, please contact Daniel Wong (97377997) or James Pang (90228956) or any of the YAF-ers.

Parents Appreciation Night on Sat 28/5 will be held at Safra Yishun this year. Be ready for an evening full of fun and memories! Registration starts NEXT SUN 24/4.

Rejoice Hymns: Copies for sale – Please enquire in the Church Library.

Recruitment for Audio Visual ministry: The AV ministry is looking to grow the team with individuals who are reliable and open to learning new skills. Training will be provided. Please approach Bro Henry or Dn James if you are keen.

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

17 Apr 2016 – Journey of Praise in Adversity (Psalm 43)

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Apr 172016
 

By Eld. Sim Chee Seng

The Yishun NBC met in Bro. Norman Tan’s home last Friday.  We used Pastor Gan’s sermon on “Joy robbers” for our sharing and discussion. We praise the Lord for blessing us in the study of His Word and our fellowship one with another.

One question we considered was on the difference between happiness and joy. Examples of happiness are:  winning a lottery, getting married, receiving  a promotion or become grandparents. Bro. Norman gave thanks for his third grandson, Bro. Ronnie Pang praised God for two lovely grandchildren as too my wife for our grand-daughter, Faith. Others are thankful that they have a job, families are well and generally life has been smooth so far.  We agreed with Pastor Gan that happiness is dependent on circumstances.  When times are good and circumstances favourable, we are happy. The converse is also true.

What about joy? We considered Job, a righteous man, who suffered successive tragedies – loss of livestock, property, children and personal health – yet refused to “curse God and die.” (Job 2:9)  He persevered in his faith and trust of God and he could even say “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord,” (Job 1:21) in the face of these severe trials.

We also considered Jesus’ suffering. In Heb 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.”  Unless one is a masochist, nobody in their right mind enjoys suffering. Jesus suffered not because He enjoys it. Rather He suffered for our sins and He became the author and finisher of our faith.  Those who believed in Him may become the sons of God. The joy that Jesus experienced was not the suffering on the cross but the knowledge that He persevered and accomplished His Father’s will.

We concluded that joy is not based on circumstances but it is anchored in the Lord.  Usually, joy does not diminish with the severity of adversity / trial (but on some occasions may be intensified)   due to the grace of God working through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We made reference to Psalm 43 which taught us precious lessons on how to cope with distress. Seen from another perspective, Psalm 43 is about the journey of praise in adversity.  Surrounded by enemies, the fearful and despondent Psalmist firstly cried to God for deliverance and vindication.   If the psalmist did not have such a close relationship with God, he would not have this problem.  He wonders where God is and why He is silent at this critical moment of need. “Why dost thou cast me off”  “Why go I mourning” (v2).  The world is never a friend to the godly. Our Lord has warned us before: “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. ” (John 15:20) Indeed, many Christians are being persecuted for their faith in some parts of the world.

Secondly, the Psalmist requested for God to lead him by His light and truth. He is in the dark about what is happening and how to respond to the situation, he needs help. God must send His light and truth so that he will be rightly guided by Him and to Him. Spurgeon says “We seek not light to sin by, nor truth to be exalted by it, but that they may become our practical guides to the nearest communion with God.”

Thirdly, he prayed that God’s truth and light may bring him closer to God using the imagery of “holy hill, tabernacle, and altar.”  The tabernacle is where God meets with his people who are assembled there in a special way. At the altar, through confession & repentance of sin, the worshipper anticipates God’s answer to his prayers.  At the altar, he acknowledges that God is his only treasure: “O God, my exceeding joy.”  Ultimately nothing really matters in life but God.  We are going to die and we will die. The real issue is this – what do I treasure most in this life?  If they be my career, children, possessions, success, advancement, prestige – all these will pass away. But God is from everlasting to everlasting.  We will meet our Maker one day.

The Psalmist then broke out in praise on the harp. He has reached his destination on his journey of praise – he started by seeking God in prayers, and then led by His light and truth, he came to the house of God, the altar of God, seeing and experiencing God as his exceeding joy, and then the psalm culminated in praise.

Finally, he spoke to his soul. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?”   He has hope of God’s redemption, but it has not come yet. He will not “give up nor give in” to his feelings of despondency. He challenges himself to trust God still and believe that God will come through again.  Though the circumstances around him have not changed, yet we see that his attitude did.  O what a difference that makes!

“Not yet has the answer come. The darkness and the mystery are still about him, but the shinning way is seen, and again the soul is forbidden to despair and hope is encouraged in God.” (Morgan)

Prayer “O Lord, guide us to seek Thy light and truth and be led by them to a personal communion with Thee.  Open our eyes and our hearts to know Thee experientially, O God, our exceeding joy. Grant that Thy name be praised and exalted in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Announcements (10 Apr 2016)

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Apr 102016
 

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.

Floral Gift: Please fill the ONE free slot for 17/4. The Lord bless you!

SAF Meeting @ NLBPC Chapel on 16/4 at 4:00-6:30pm. Sp: Elder Khoo Peng Kiat. Topic: Christian Character – Walking with God -Enoch. Pot-luck dinner to follow. All are welcome.

Session Meeting (17/4 @1.45 pm): All Session members, please attend.

The Ultimate Quest 2016 (Sat 21/5) is an annual evangelistic outreach for students from Pri 1 to Pri 6. Registration begins NEXT SUN 17/4 and closes on 8/5. All are welcome to participate so do invite friends and relatives! If you are able to volunteer for this event, please also contact Daniel Wong (97377997) or James Pang (90228956) or any of the YAF-ers.

Parents Appreciation Night on Sat 28/5 will be held at Safra Yishun this year. Be ready for an evening full of fun and memories! Watch out for our registration starting 24/4.

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

10 Apr 2016 – I am the Bread of Life

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Apr 102016
 

By Eld. Prasad

John 6:35 – “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

I am the Bread of Life” is one of the seven “I AM” statements of the Lord Jesus. The Lord used the same phrase “I AM” in seven declarations about Himself. In all seven, He combines “I AM” with tremendous metaphors which express His saving relationship toward the world. All appear in the book of John.

Bread is considered a staple food, i.e., a basic dietary item. A person can survive a long time on only bread and water. Bread is such a basic food item that it becomes synonymous for food in general. We even use the phrase “breaking bread together” to indicate the sharing of a meal with someone. Bread also plays an integral part of the Jewish Passover meal. The Jews were to eat unleavened bread during the Passover feast and then for seven days following as a celebration of the exodus from Egypt. Finally, when the Jews were wandering in the desert for 40 years, God rained down “bread from heaven” to sustain the nation (Exodus 16:4).

All of this plays into the scene being described in John 6 when the Lord Jesus used the term “bread of life.” He was trying to get away from the crowds to no avail. He had crossed the Sea of Galilee, and the crowd followed Him. After some time, Jesus asked Philip how to feed the crowd. Philip’s answer showed his “little faith” when he said they did not have enough money to give each of them the smallest morsel of food. Finally, Andrew brought to Jesus a boy who had five barley loaves and two small fishes. With that amount, the Lord Jesus miraculously fed the throng with lots of food to spare.

Afterward, Lord Jesus and His disciples crossed back to the other side of Galilee. When the crowd saw that Jesus had left, they followed Him again. The Lord Jesus took this moment to teach them a lesson. He accused the crowd of ignoring His miraculous signs and only following Him for the “free meal.” The Lord Jesus told them in John 6:27, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” In other words, they were so enthralled with the food, they were missing out on the fact that their Messiah had come. So the Jews asked the Lord Jesus for a sign that He was sent from God. They told the Lord Jesus that God gave them manna during the desert wandering. The Lord Jesus responded by telling them that they needed to ask for the true bread from heaven that gives life. When they asked the Lord Jesus for this bread, He startled them by answering: “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” This is a phenomenal statement!

First, by equating Himself with bread, the Lord Jesus is saying He is essential for life.

Second, the life the Lord Jesus is referring to is not physical life, but eternal life. The Lord Jesus is trying to get the Jews’ thinking away from the physical realm and into the spiritual realm. He is contrasting what He brings as their Messiah with the bread He miraculously created the day before. That was physical bread that perishes. He is the spiritual bread that brings eternal life.

Third, and very important, the Lord Jesus is making another claim to deity. This statement is the first of the “I AM” statements in John’s Gospel. The phrase “I AM THAT I AM” is the covenant name of God (Yahweh), revealed to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). The phrase speaks of self-sufficient existence, which is an attribute only God possesses. It is also a phrase the Jews who were listening would have automatically understood as a claim to deity.

Fourth, the words “cometh” and “believeth” indicate an invitation for those listening to place their faith in the Lord Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God. This invitation to come is found throughout John’s Gospel. Coming to the Lord Jesus involves making a choice to forsake the world and follow Him. Believing in the Lord Jesus means placing our faith in Him that He is who He says He is, that He will do what He says He will do, and that He is the only one who can.

Fifth, the words “hunger” and “thirst” – the Lord Jesus isn’t talking about alleviating physical hunger and thirst. The key is found in another statement the Lord made, back in His Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 5:6,Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” What the Lord Jesus is saying is that He will satisfy our hunger and thirst to be made righteous in the sight of God.
The history of human religion tells us that people seek to earn their way to heaven. This is such a basic human desire because God has placed the desire for eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The Bible also tells us that there is nothing we can do to earn our way to heaven because we’ve all sinned (Romans 3:23) and the only thing our sin earns us is death (Romans 6:23). There is no one who is righteous in himself (Romans 3:10). Our dilemma is we have a desire we cannot fulfil, no matter what we do. That is where the Lord Jesus comes in. He, and He alone, can fulfil that desire in our hearts for righteousness through the Divine Transaction: 2 Corinthians 5:21 “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.” When Christ died on the cross, He took the sins of mankind upon Himself and made atonement for them. When we place our faith in Him, our sins are imputed to the Lord Jesus, and His righteousness is imputed to us. The Lord Jesus satisfies our hunger and thirst for righteousness. He is our Bread of Life.

If you want God’s greatest blessing, the only way is to believe in the Lord Jesus. God loves you and invites you to enjoy eternal life with Him in heaven. So come and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour.

Announcements (03 Apr 2016)

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Apr 032016
 

Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Gilbert Foo on the birth of their baby boy, Matthew. The Lord bless them and enable them to bring up their son in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

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

In- Conversation (Sat 9/4 @ 4pm): Members are encouraged to send in questions to the church email by TODAY 3/4 – this will allow Session time to deliberate the questions.

Parents Appreciation Night on Sat 28/5 will be held at Safra Yishun this year. Be ready for an evening full of fun and memories! Watch out for our registration starting 24/4.

Floral Gift: There are still some free slots in the charts (17/4 and 25/9) – do take a look and see if we can fill all the slots. The Lord bless you!

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

03 Apr 2016 – Worship the LORD in the beauty of Holiness

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Apr 032016
 

Worship the LORD in the beauty of Holiness Psalm 29:2b

By Rev. S.V. Nathan

Introduction:

“WORSHIP” is the most important activity in a Christian church and Christians from the beginning of Biblical history of mankind. Yet it is mostly misunderstood by the majority and practiced variously. Here in this passage God’s word requires us to “worship Him in the beauty of holiness”(1Ch 16:29, 2Ch 20:21, Psa 96:9). We will consider two main points for our short contemplation which are found in this verse – “worship” and “beauty of Holiness”. What do they mean to us?

A. What is true Worship?

The word for “worship” in the original languages Hebrew and Greek denotes the idea, “to prostrate, bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do reverence, make to stoop, to kiss (like a dog licking his master’s hand), hold in awe”, to render religious service or homage etc. The term Greek latreia and its cognates are directly associated with both service & sacrifice when directed toward God.

In other words the right understanding of the word worship is ‘serve’, ‘service’ and ‘minister’. The word in English language literally means to ascribe worth to something. So, true worship begins with a deep respect or reverence for God, a frame of heart, an attitude. Thus, an “act” of worship is an act proceeding from or the result of that attitude. Consequently, worship is the highest form of reverence and is dedicated to God alone, in honour, service and sacrifice towards our awesome God. Yet we have failed to render the fullest service in the highest devotion for Him in many ways. So in layman term worship is a “heart service to God the Almighty with highest veneration to Him and Him alone.”

B.  Beauty of Holiness:

We are commanded to worship God “in the beauty of holiness.”  The phrase tells us that our act of worship must be clothed with inner and outer beauty of His holiness. According Matthew Henry “the glorious majesty of God is called the beauty of holiness”. God expects His children to have holiness in their mind, hearts and action. The areas to consider in our worship are:

[1.] The object of our worship: In the worship of God we must have an eye to His beauty of His holiness. We need to adore Him, for He is infinitely awesome and so needs to be feared. He is also infinitely amiable and therefore He is to be loved and delighted in.

[2.] The place of worship. In the Old Testament, God told Moses the place He was standing on was a holy ground. It is holy because God’s presence was there.  Today in the new covenant, when the Christians meet to worship, the gathering is a holy assembly.  It is holy because it is a divine appointment with God and His presence is in that place.

[3.] The manner of worship. We must be holy in all our religious performances, devoted to God, and to His will and glory. There is a beauty in holiness, and it is that which puts an acceptable beauty upon all the acts of worship.

The attitude expected in the phrase “worship Him in the beauty of His Holiness” is the purity of mind, hearts, and action. Therefore, worship is an act of heart not of actions alone. The inner beauty is more important than the outward disposition. We ought to be holy in all areas of our lives. (Psalm 15).

Paul exhorts us in Romans 12:1-2, “that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. and be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what  is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” I urge and encourage all of you to bring forth the fruit of true repentance and to serve Him who has called us to be His children.  This is the way to a meaningful worship service.

Conclusion:

I here exhort you beloved, that how you present yourself in the church shows your real honor and reverence to God. It also reflects the holy adorning of your heart. Beauty is an aesthetic value and sense – the beholder must be able see the beauty of His holiness in our life and service to Him through our conduct and behavior.

Man may see the outward aspects but God sees our inner heart and mind. God is not interested in our lip service or mockery in worship service to Him. God instead requires us to have sacred thinking, sacred feelings and sacred conduct. In other words, in order to have a right relationship with Him, i.e. to worship Him, we need the inner beauty of His holiness. Likewise we need to have a holy relationship with each other, in our presentation and conduct. Especially our relationships must be sacred and not violate the law of God’s standard of His holiness. Only then can we edify and encourage one another to worship our awesome God with due reverence and highest honour. As a result, we may please God, and lead others to worship the holy God in the inner beauty of His holiness. (Article first printed on 16/5/2010)

Good Friday and Easter Sunday Choir Presentations

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Apr 012016
 

Recordings of the choir presentations at Good Friday and Easter Sunday services are now available! We hope the beautiful songs sung and the words in them will encourage and be a blessing unto you:

Good Friday Combined Service

English Choir:

Chinese Choir (2 items):

Easter Sunday Combined Service

Sunbeam Children Choir:

English Choir:

Chinese Choir:

Tamil Choir: