Announcements (26 Sep 2016)

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Sep 252016
 

Adults SS. Quieting a Noisy Soul Lesson 18 by Dr. Jim Berg@11.30am Chapel. Facilitated by Eld. Sim. All are Welcome!

Catechumens please proceed to the kindergarten office @11.30am for the Catechism Class with Pastor Gan.

Children’s Sunday (9 Oct) – All children are invited to join this special program.

In-Conversation & Lay-Leaders’ Training (29 Oct) – All New Lifers please plan to attend. More details next week.

Philippines Mission Trip (5-14 Dec 2016). If you are interested to join this Mission trip, please register with Sister Li Ping. Closing date: 30 Oct.

25 Sep 2016 – Lean Not On Your Own Understanding

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Sep 252016
 

by Elder Prasad

What does it mean to lean not on your own understanding?

First, let us understand that our own understanding comes from a heart that is deceitful above all things, blind to its own faults, etc.  Jeremiah 17:9“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”.

As a result of being in the flesh, the natural man acts accordingly. For a regenerate man the following is true: Proverbs 16:9“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps”. Job 32:8 – “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding”.

We need to look outside of self to God, and not lean on our own faulty understanding of things, for God knows the end of a matter from the beginning.

How do we begin to get a right understanding?

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”.

The above verses are familiar to many. Verse 5 is a complementary pair of commands. We are told, positively, to trust the Lord and, negatively, not to trust our own understanding. Those two things are mutually exclusive. In other words, if we trust in the Lord, we cannot also depend upon our own ability to understand everything God is doing.

1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known”. We only see part of the picture God is painting. If we are to truly trust Him, we have to let go of our pride, our programs, and our plans. Even the best-laid human plans cannot begin to approach the magnificent sagacity of God’s plan. 1 Corinthians 1:25“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men’.

Most of us have a desperate desire to understand, but in so many areas we must acknowledge that we cannot understand. We must accept God’s ways, even when we can’t comprehend them. Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us why we often don’t understand what God is doing: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”. God sees the whole picture, while we only see a tiny corner of it. To trust in the Lord with all our heart means we can’t place our own right to understand above His right to direct our lives the way He sees fit. When we insist on God always making sense to our finite minds, we are setting ourselves up for spiritual trouble.
Our limited understanding can easily lead us astray. Proverbs 16:25 says, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”. When we choose to direct our lives according to what seems right to us, we often reap disaster (Judges 21:25). Every culture has tried to get God to approve of its definition of right and wrong, but God never changes and His standards never change (James 1:17). Every person must make a decision whether to live his or her life according to personal preference or according to the unchanging Word of God. We often will not understand how God is causing “all things to work together for good” (Romans 8:28), but when we trust Him with all our hearts, we know that He is, and He will never fail us (Psalm 119:142, Philippians 2:13).

Psalm  111:10“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endures for ever”.  Proverbs 2:6“For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding”.

Even Lord Jesus didn’t do anything without the guidance and direction of His God and His Father whose Spirit was in Him without measure (John 5:19, John 5:30). Lord Jesus did nothing without being in subjection to his Father’s will. He carried out to perfection the commission He had been given and when He had done all He cried out “It is finished” (John 19L30). What an example for all of us who are in Him

In the flesh and on our own we cannot have the right understanding on how to proceed according to the will of our God and our Father. Only as we maintain close communication with Him in prayer, seeking to have more of the direction of His holy spirit and submitting to the spirit’s guidance, can we achieve real and true understanding in order to or conduct our lives according to His will. May our God and our Father give all of us more of His spirit to carry out all He has called us to do!

Announcements (18 Sep 2016)

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Sep 182016
 

Session Meeting (TODAY @1.45 pm): All Session members, please attend.

Adults Sunday School: Quieting a Noisy Soul by Dr Jim Berg @Chapel, 11.30am. All are welcome. Facilitator: Eld Sim Chee Seng

Catechumens – please proceed to Kindergarten office for the class at 11.30am.

Children’s Sunday (9/10): All children are invited to this special event!

Senior Citizen Fellowship of the Chinese Congregation is organizing a 3-day 2-night (13 – 15/10) trip to Malacca. The fare is $200/= which include meals, transportation, and accommodation. This event is open to members who are 60 years old and above. For enquiries, please see Sis. Sok Ngo or Sis. Siew Hah.

Attention All Drivers! Please note that there will be strictly No Parking or Waiting along the side of the Church’s front porch, i.e. the areas before and after the yellow box. Your kind co-operation is greatly appreciated!

Appreciation: Bro Robert & Family would like to thank the session, pastoral staff and members for their offer of condolences, prayers, love gifts, and most of all, those who came for the vigil and the funeral services of his beloved mother. Your presence has indeed comforted us.

18 Sep 2016 – “Inner Beauty and Reverence”

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Sep 182016
 

“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”

Psalm 29:2

Introduction:

“WORSHIP” is the most important activities of a Christian church and Christians from the beginning of Biblical history of mankind. Yet it is the most 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 words for our short contemplation which are found in this verse – “worship” and “beauty of Holiness”. What does it mean to us?

1.  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 of 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, the 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.

 2. Beauty of Holiness:

The next word or phrase “in the beauty of holiness”, which denotes the total aspect of the act of worship must be in accordance and clothed with inner and outer beauty of His holiness. According to Matthew Henry “the glorious majesty of God is called the beauty of holiness”. The beauty of holiness is something which God’s standard that expects from His children in our worship services are the kind of sanctity, purity, holiness in mind, heart 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, and adore him, not only as infinitely awesome and therefore to be feared above all, but as infinitely amiable and therefore to be loved and delighted in above all; especially we must have an eye to the beauty of his holiness.

[2.] The place of worship. The beauty of the sanctuary was the exact agreement of the worship there performed with the divine appointment – the pattern in the mount. Now, under the gospel, solemn assemblies of Christians (which purity is the beauty of) are the places where God is to be worshipped.

[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.

What kind of attitude is expected here in this passage? We are expected of the purity of mind, heart, and actions. Therefore, worship is an act of heart not of actions alone, outward beauty is not essential but it is inner beauty that is demanded. In the parameter of purity, sanctity or holiness, everything must be done, not only in the worship services, even in every day walk of our life (Psalm 15).

As 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.” so I urge and encourage one and all to do a meaningful worship service, by showing the true repentance and service to Him who has called us to be His children, understanding what really God expects from us.

Conclusion:

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

Man may see outside of our life but God does see our inner heart and mind. God is not interested in our lip service or mockery in worship service to Him. So God 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 holy relationship with each other, in our presentation, relationship and conduct. Especially our relationships must be sacred and not violating the law of God’s standard of His holiness, which may edify and encourage one another to worship our awesome God with due reverence and highest honour with proper attitude, as a result that, we may please God, and lead others to the Holy God to worship Him in the inner beauty of His holiness. Let us give our best of all to Him, who is worthy of our sincere Worship through Inner glow of beauty.

Announcements (11 Sep 2016)

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Sep 112016
 

Condolences: The Session expresses our deepest condolences to Bro Robert Tan on the home-going of his beloved mother, Mdm Gan Whatt Neo on 7 Sep. May God comfort your hearts.

Adults Sunday School: Q&A on Christian Music with Dr Bachorik @Chapel, 11.30am. All are welcome. Facilitators: Ps Gabriel Gan & Dn Ronnie Tan

Catechism Class: Catechumens please note that our lesson today is at 12.30pm at Kindergarten Office. Teacher: Ps Gabriel Gan

Music Seminar 2016 (12 Sep): Please attend the final sessions tomorrow (10am to 4pm). All are Welcome. For more details: Dn Ronnie Tan @ 9237 4719.

Senior Adults Fellowship (17 Sep): 4-6pm@Chapel. Sp: Eld Lim Teck Chye on Godliness. Pot-luck dinner at Fellowship Hall. Further information, please contact Bro Ronnie Pang@81335574 or Bro Chin Hong@96348085

Session Meeting (& Bible Study on Biblical Separation) on 18 Sep at 1.45pm.

Senior Citizen Fellowship (Chinese Congregation) is organizing a 3D/2N (13-15Oct) trip to Malacca. The fare is $200/= which include meals, transportation, and accommodation. This event is open to members who are 60 years old and above. Please register with Sis. Sok Ngo or Sis. Siew Hah at the Fellowship Hall (11-11.20 am or 1-1.20pm). Closing Date: 11/9.

New Staff: Thank God for the addition of Pr Job Yeo to the Church’s Pastoral Team.

Attention All Drivers! Please note that there will be strictly No Parking or Waiting along the side of the Church’s front porch, i.e. the areas before and after the yellow box. Your kind co-operation is greatly appreciated!

11 Sep 2016 – Going the Extra Mile

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Sep 112016
 

by Dn Ronnie Tan

And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. (Matthew 5:41)

Roman law required a Jew to carry a soldier’s pack for one mile. The Jews were then under the rule of Rome and hated their rulers. Since they had no choice, they made sure that they carried the Roman soldier’s pack up to one mile and would go no further. They would mark one mile in all directions from their home and would go no further than that.

Hence, when the Lord Jesus told His hearers to go the extra mile, they would have been utterly shocked because it defies human logic to do something more than what was already legally required for a hated enemy. The Lord Jesus certainly knew that the Jews thought His call was, humanly speaking, illogical. That was not the end, for certainly the Jews might have thought that He was rubbing salt into their wounds by telling them to love their enemies and to pray for those who persecute them. (Matt 5:44)

One could certainly recognise that for a Jew to carry the Roman soldier’s pack for a mile would require him to give up some time and effort just to do the bidding of someone he disliked, as well as opening him to the possibility of being abused by the soldier, given the animosity between the Jews and the Romans. It might also mean taking him away from other tasks that would be more important to him than just to carry the pack for one mile.

However, to voluntarily carry it for an extra mile would not seem to make sense but herein is the lesson that the Lord wants us to learn, i.e. we need to love those we hate, dislike, despise, detest, abhor, etc. It would seem impossible to do but with God’s help and strength (Phil 4:13), all things are possible (Matt 19:26). You might never know how far acts of love and kindness, like going an extra mile, might make a huge difference in a person’s life someday. Here is my testimony of how someone went the extra mile and made a huge difference in my life:

Years ago, after finding out that my A-level results were slightly better than that of my cousin who had taken the same exams a year earlier, I was very confident I could get a place in NUS, since she had already been accepted by the same faculty I was aiming for. However, to my shock and horror, I was rejected. Since going abroad was not an option, it meant that I had to re-take the A-level exams again. It meant going through the same set of notes again and again, to the point that I became despondent. I even wanted to give up the idea of going to university altogether.

However, in my moment of despair, somehow the Lord reminded me that I had a few teachers who really cared and one of them was my ex-form teacher. I called her and told her that I wanted to give up and hoped to hear some words of consolation from her. Instead, what I got from her was the best 10-minute tongue-lashing I had ever received in my life! The gist of her scolding was, “Since you are just a few weeks away from the exams, why give up? Why waste your time and money signing up for the exams again in the first place? I want you to take it because I want you to go to university and I know you can! To back up her words, she said, “Ronnie, you have my telephone number. If you have any difficulty, call me.”

My ex-teacher could have easily washed her hands off me. After all, I was no longer her student, which meant that she was no longer obliged to help me. Yet, she was willing to sacrifice her personal time to help me. Indeed, I called her countless times for coaching over the phone and she never turned me away. There was one occasion I called and then, I heard a baby crying in the background. She had just started maternity leave! I then told her, Mdm Tay, would you like to attend to your child first? Her reply was, Ronnie, don’t worry about my son. What were your questions? She then proceeded to help me answer every single one of them patiently for well over 10 minutes! Indeed, she taught me what it meant to go the extra mile! To cut a long story short, I made it to university after that.

It is sometime difficult to go the extra mile, even for someone we know and love. However, one’s preparedness to sacrifice time and effort to go the extra mile for the Lord can make a big difference in the lives of others. Lord, make me a blessing, to someone each day!

Announcements (04 Sep 2016)

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Sep 042016
 

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

Adults Sunday School: Quieting a Noisy Soul by Dr Jim Berg @Fellowship Hall 11.30am. All are welcome. Facilitator: Dn Ivan.

Catechism Class: Catechumens please join the Joy Sun or Adults SS Class today.

Music Seminar 2016 (9-12 Sep): Please register @ http://tinyurl.com/nlms2016 by Today! All are Welcome. For more details: Dn Ronnie Tan @ 9237 4719.

Senior Citizen Fellowship of the Chinese Congregation is organizing a 3-day 2-night (13 – 15/10) trip to Malacca. The fare is $200/= which include meals, transportation, and accommodation. This event is open to members who are 60 years old and above. Please register with Sis. Sok Ngo or Sis. Siew Hah at the Fellowship Hall (11 – 11.20 am or 1 – 1.20pm). Closing Date: 11/9.

Attention All Drivers! Please note that there will be strictly “No Parking or Waiting” along the side of the Church’s front porch–i.e. the areas before and after the yellow box. You may still drop off and pick up. This is to facilitate smoother traffic flow. Your kind co-operation is greatly appreciated!

04 Sep 2016 – Synopsis of Matthew

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Sep 042016
 

Synopsis of Matthew (by Rev Gabriel Gan)

The Old Testament prophets predicted and longed for the coming of the Messiah who would enter history to bring redemption and deliverance. The first verse of Matthew succinctly announces the fulfillment of Israel’s hope in the coming of Christ: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.”

Matthew was placed first in the canon of New Testament books by the early church because it is a natural bridge between the Testaments. This gospel describes the person and work of Israel’s Messianic King.

An important part of Matthew’s structure is revealed in the phrase “when Jesus had ended” (7:28; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1; cf. 11:1), which is used to conclude the five key discourses of the book: The Sermon on the Mount (5:3–7:27), Instruction of the Disciples (10:5–42), Parables of the Kingdom (13:3–52), Terms of Discipleship (18:3–35), and the Olivet Discourse (24:4–25:46).

The Gospel of Matthew can be outlined as follows:

The Presentation of the King (1:1–4:11)

The promise to Abraham was that “in thee (Abraham) all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, is “the Son of Abraham” (1:1). However, He is also “the Son of David”; and as David’s descendant, He is qualified to be Israel’s King. The magi know that the “King of the Jews” (2:2) has been born and come to worship Him. John the Baptist, the messianic forerunner who breaks the four hundred years of prophetic silence, also bears witness of Him (cf. Mal. 3:1). The sinlessness of the King is proved when He overcomes the satanic temptations to disobey the will of the Father.

The Proclamation of the King (4:12–7:29)

In this section, Matthew uses a topical rather than a chronological arrangement of his material in order to develop a crucial pattern in Christ’s ministry. The words of the Lord are found in the Sermon on the Mount (5–7). The Sermon on the Mount presents new laws and standards for God’s people.

The Power of the King (8:1–11:1)

The works of the Lord are presented in a series of ten miracles (8–9) that reveal His authority over every realm (disease, demons, death, and disaster). Thus, the words of the Lord are supported by His works; His claims are verified by His credentials.

The Progressive Rejection of the King (11:2–16:12): Here we note a series of reactions to Christ’s words and works. Because of increasing opposition, Jesus begins to spend proportionately more time with His disciples as He prepares them for His impending death and departure.

The Preparation of the King’s Disciples (16:13–20:28)

In a series of discourses, Jesus communicates the significance of accepting or rejecting His offer of righteousness. His teaching (16:13–21:11) is primarily directed to those who accept Him.

The Presentation and Rejection of the King (20:29–27:66)

The majority of Christ’s words in this section are aimed at those who reject their King. The Lord predicts the terrible destruction that will befall Jerusalem, resulting in the dispersion of the Jewish people. Looking beyond these events (fulfilled in a.d. 70), He also describes His second coming as the Judge and Lord of the earth.

The Proof of the King (28)

Christ’s final ministry in Judea (beginning in 19:1) reaches a climax at the cross as the King willingly gives up His life to redeem sinful men. Jesus endures terrible human hatred in this great demonstration of divine love (cf. Rom. 5:7–8). His perfect sacrifice is accepted by the Father, and authenticating His words and works are the empty tomb, resurrection, and appearance, all proving that Jesus Christ is indeed the prophesied Messiah.