Announcements (27 Nov 2016)

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Nov 272016
 

Adults SS @Chapel, 11.30am. L 24: Keeping Your Soul Quiet by Dr. Jim Berg. This is the final lesson of the series, “Quieting a Noisy Soul.” All are Welcome!

Christmas Eve Service (24 Dec 2016)@7.30pm. Please invite your loved ones and friends. Sp: Rev Lee Hock Chin from Life BPC.

Watch Night Service (31 Dec 2016)@7.30pm. Let us come together to share God’s goodness and mercy for 2016. Sp: Eld. Prasad.

 Note the following new events in 2017:

 Fellowship Meal on the 1st Sunday (11-11.45am). Members and friends are encouraged to interact and get to know each other. If you like to sponsor for the meal, please see Bro Nicholas Ng. There will be no SS Classes.

 Senior Adults’ Fellowship on 1st Sunday (11.45am-1pm). All are welcome to attend.

 Visitation of Members and Visitors from Feb 2017 by Pastor/Session. More details in Dec/Jan.

27 Nov 2016 – Commitment to Christ

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Nov 272016
 

New Life B-P Church, 27th November 2016

Text: Luke 9:23,24

Introduction

  • Commitment to Christ is not optional, but required from all Christians (Luke 9:23,24; 14:26,27,33).
  • It should be your willing response to the love of Christ for you
    (2 Corinthians 5:14,15).
  • There are four things you must do if you are to be committed to Christ:
  1. Count the Cost Carefully

“If any man will come after me…”

  • After spending three years with Jesus, the disciples concluded that He is the Christ of God (vv.18-20).
  • Jesus wanted them to know that the road He had to take as the Christ of God was one of self-denial and cross-bearing (v.22).
  • Therefore anyone who follows Him must be willing to bear the same cost (v.23)
  • Application: Have you counted the cost of following Jesus carefully? Are you willing to give all that you have for Him?
  1. Cut off the Contender Conclusively

“…let him deny himself…”

  • The world encourages us to follow self.
  • Since your worth comes from God’s kindness to save you from sin, you have no rights to claim for yourself.
  • Instead of building self-esteem, you should build Christ-esteem
    (cf. Philippians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 12:9,10).
  • Application: Will you choose to deny self and follow Christ?
  1. Carry Your Cross Constantly

“…and take up his cross daily…”

  • The cross is not Christ’s but the man’s own cross.
  • Each of us has a different cross to carry depending on the situation we live in and the specific will of God for each of us. E.g.
    • Persecution and death for preaching the Gospel
    • Personal loss, sickness or grief
    • Inconvenience for holding to one’s Christian convictions in an ungodly environment.
    • Resisting the attractive offers of the working world.
    • Persevering in love and patience for loved ones at home.
  • Following Christ is not easy, as it requires constant effort and courage to do God’s will and obey His Word.
  • But it is worth all the effort because of our future glory with Christ. (cf. vv.28-35)
  1. Cleave to Christ Completely

“…and follow me.”

  • You need to be single-minded in following Christ (cf. Philippians 1:21; 3:13,14).
  • If you cleave to Christ, nothing will bring you greater joy than to see Him exalted by your life (cf. John 3:30).

Conclusion

  • The commitment Christ requires of you is not unreasonable, since He was fully committed to save you from sin and eternal death.
  • Bring all things in your life under one thing that you want to accomplish: Commitment to Christ!

Questions for Reflection:

  • How should denying self affect your worship of God and your prayers to God?
  • What kind of response does denying self require from you…
    1. When your good is evil spoken of, your advice is disregarded.
    2. When you are praised for a job well done or a great achievement.
    3. When your friend or brother is prospering and being praised.
  • Why is it so hard for a person to take up his cross and follow Christ?

Announcements (20 Nov 2016)

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Nov 202016
 

Adults SS @Chapel, 11.30am. L 23: Overcoming Your Lust and Sinful Habits by Dr. Jim Berg. All are Welcome!

Chistmas Eve Service (24 Dec 2016)@7.30pm. Please invite your loved ones and friends. Sp: Rev Lee Hock Chin from Life BPC.

Watch Night Service (31 Dec 2016)@7.30pm. Let us come together to share God’s goodness and mercy for 2016. Sp: Eld. Prasad.

Note the following new events in 2017:

  1. Fellowship Meal on the 1st Sunday (11-11.45am). Members and friends are encouraged to interact and get to know each other. If you like to sponsor for the meal, please see Bro Nicholas Ng. There will be no SS Classes.
  1. Senior Adults’ Fellowship on 1st Sunday (11.45am-1pm). All are welcome to attend.
  1. Visitation of Members and Visitors from Feb 2017 by Pastor/Session. More details in Dec/Jan.

20 Nov 2016 – Christianity and Prayer

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Nov 202016
 

I read a story about a man who owned a Model T Ford that broke down on the side of a road. He knew a lot about cars and was trying to fix the problem. An old man came along, and seeing a car broken down, he stopped his car to help. The newcomer opened the hood of the car, made a few adjustments, got into the car and started it with ease. The owner of the car was surprised. He had been working with no success and this man had fixed the car within seconds. He asked him, “Who are you?” “I am Mr. Henry Ford.” He replied. He was the man who built the car and he knew every detail of the car he made.

In the same way God knows exactly what are our problems. He has created us – our soul, our mind and our body. If there is one reason why we need to pray, this would be a good one. We need to come humbly to our Heavenly Father instead of depending on our own strength and wisdom. Our creator knows the answers to our problems.

Does Prayer Make Any Difference?

In his book “Has Christianity failed you?” Ravi Zacharias, a Christian apologist shared that many people have turned away from Christianity because of unanswered prayers. A man confided “There were just a few things I had wanted in life, none of them have turned out the way I prayed.” Zacharias himself struggled with this when his mother died at the age of fifty seven after a stroke despite fervent prayers. G.K. Chesterton, a lay theologian surmised that when belief in God becomes difficult, the tendency is to turn away from Him. The apostles were confronted with the same question in John 6:66-68 “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”

Will you walk away from the Lord when things are tough and your prayers seem unanswered?

Men who knew how to pray

In 1 Kings 18, the Scripture tells us of a man who prevailed with God in prayers. Elijah prayed for rain during a time of severe drought and had to run for cover [v46] when God answered his prayers. George Mueller of Bristol, England, was another man of prayer. He ran an orphanage he ran, and whenever there was often not enough food for those under his charge, he would commit them to prayer. Numerous eyewitnesses have testified to his prayers of faith when food arrived at the eleventh hour. Yet we know from our own experiences, such answers are not common.

John Chrysotom, one of the early Church fathers, and the Archbishop of Constantinople wrote this of the power of prayer, “Prayer is an all-efficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky unobscured by clouds, a heaven unruffled by the storm. It is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings.” This should encourage us to want to build our lives on the solid footing of prayer.

Unanswered Prayer

In our personal prayers, we may be too focused on ourselves rather than on God and His wisdom. In our anxiety we cannot see what God is trying to tell us. How often instead of seeking the Lord’s guidance, we rely on our own strength. We do not forget to pray but we do not plan to pray. Prayer is not magic and it is not a fixed formula that we just utter some words. Martin Luther was said to pray for three hours each time. If we remember it is communication with our Heavenly Father, it would inspire the sense of awe Isaiah felt before a Holy God, when he exclaimed “Woe is me!” The prophet said in Chapter 59:1-2, “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear:  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

Many times, we are not asking according to God’s will. In simple terms, it means we have placed value in the wrong place; on what we are asking rather than on what God wants to accomplish in us. One of the first verses I memorised as a young Christian is Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Lastly, prayer teaches us faith. Our contemporary language interprets faith as “having no basis for belief”. Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is our dependence on God, our conviction that even though we do not get what we want, we know and love Him who knows what is best for us.

By Elder Yap Chee Kian

Announcements (13 Nov 2016)

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Nov 132016
 

Combined Youth Outing @ Marina Barrage (26 Nov 2016, Sat, 2-8pm): All youths are encouraged to join and register with Bros. Isaac Kua or David Lim.

Holy Land Trip Trip (18 Nov – 1 Dec 2016). Pray for God’s protection and blessings as 28 New Lifers embarked on this Pilgrimage.

Devotional material:  Daily Manna (Adults & Junior) will be subscribed with effect from 1 January 2017 in place of RPG.

13 Nov 2016 – Testimonies of Baptismal and Transfer Candidates

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Nov 132016
 

Asher Lau

I was born into a Christian family, and because of that, I did not really get to experience what life was as a non-christian. However, as I grew up, I continuously prayed. That made me realise the importance of faith in prayer because I recalled how blessed I was as a young child who constantly prayed.

One day, as a person largely fascinated in science, this thought came to my mind – is God actually real? If so, what was before time and what is the universe really like? Throughout my seven years in New Life BP and two years in a Methodist church and school, I searched for the answer within my own shallow mind. I never found it until one time when God finally let me know the answer. Coincidentally, at a church camp a pastor preached about how God was real. It was when I was thirteen, but when he did the altar call, I gladly walked up to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior. Science is unable to question the awesomeness of God. That was when I became a true Christian, one who trusted in God fully.

From then on, I humbled myself, knowing that God is almighty. Through the many sermons I have listened to in my life, New Life BP church played a huge role in my salvation and knowledge of His word. Hence, I decided to join this church and hope to grow spiritually in Christ.

Chen Jee Meng

I grew up in a Buddhist family, and since childhood, worshipped idols along with my parents. I remember back then, I liked wearing cross pendants that I bought from the night markets out of pure curiosity. Once, as I was climbing a tree to pluck rambutans, the branch I was standing on (about 4 to 5 metres above ground) gave way all of a sudden. But as I fell, it seemed like there was a strange force protecting me, allowing my hand to grab hold of another branch right before I hit the ground, and my feet to land just perfectly. While I escaped unscathed, the cross I was wearing mysteriously disappeared, and could not be found. Another harrowing incident soon followed. Whilst swimming in a canal that expelled water out to the sea, I was caught in a sudden onslaught of water that swept me down the canal. Right before I was carried past the point of no return, the same mysterious force caused my hand to seize a rung of the nearby canal ladder, thus saving me. Upon recovering, I discovered that my replacement pendant had, once again, disappeared. After puzzling about it initially, I gave it no more thought as time passed.

It was not till my daughter attended New Life Kindergarten, and my family started attending church regularly every Sunday, did I come to know God and finally understand what happened to me years ago, along with the meaning of the disappearing crosses: the two incidents in the past were likely the work of God. I know now that God is the one in control of all things, and He created all that is on the earth. The Bible has taught me much about God, changing the way I live my life, from what was one of a worldly view to living according to the Ten Commandments. When I make mistakes, I will confess my sins and sincerely seek forgiveness from God; when particularly frustrated, pray for His guidance, of which He provides in unexpected forms. I believe that He is the one and true God, unlike all the false idols I once worshipped, which will never be able to do the things that the Lord God has done for me. We are but travellers here on Earth, and this temporary stay is fraught with many evils and temptations. Only when one accepts the Lord and becomes a Christian, and hand over the reigns of their life to God, then can he find meaning in this short earthly journey, and be blessed with eternal life in heaven with God.

Chen Xuan Zhi

I was first introduced to the concept of Christ when I began attending New Life Kindergarten. I remember always having to thank God for the food before we were allowed to proceed with meals, as well as how the teachers made us memorize the Lord’s Prayer and recite it almost daily. While I never really understood why we did all that we did, I would follow along without any complaint. I knew that the Bible existed; it was where all the verses we were taught came from. It was not until one teacher encouraged me to go for Sunday school when I started primary school, that I got to understand who was this God that I had been learning about for the past few years, and just how mighty He is. I received my first bible from one of the Sunday school teachers after a few lessons, but deciphering the words in the KJV bible was extremely hard for a seven year old child, so my mother bought me a kid’s bible, those kinds where all the Bible characters had their own “superhero” stories. That piqued my interest, and I began to appreciate the Bible, admittedly in an incorrect manner for I viewed the Bible as just a very true storybook.

However, after many more years of Sunday school and services, I began to realize that I should not have treated the Bible as a mere storybook, but rather the means that God uses to speak with us and educate us about how we should lead our lives. The “superhero” stories actually held lessons that we should learn from and apply in our daily activities. As I entered secondary school, I was exposed to more of the world and its temptations. It was a rocky four years as I struggled through studies and keeping away from the earthly evils, and while sadly I did stray quite a few times, the Lord was good and kept waiting for me to turn back to Him, and poured out His blessings when I finally did.

Looking back, I could not have made it this far if it were not for His unwavering love for me, and this sparked the decision for me to take the next step of faith and be baptized. I always thought I could lead my life the way I wanted to, but in the end, it always ended up the way God had meant it to.  While a short 18 years may not be substantial in proving how much God has directed the sail of my life, it was enough to prompt me into handing over the reigns to God and trusting that wherever He leads me from now on, it is His will, which is the best for me.

Li Wei

Having predestinated us unto the 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. (Ephesians 1:5-6)

That God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5b)

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

I am a 26-year old service staff, and I returned to NLBPC a year ago, after dropping in and out of church for 12 years. I grew up a miserable person, because I was trying hard not to be like the world, yet without the happiness, joy, peace and abundance of life that comes with true Christianity. I was always in between my secular and Christian friends, useless to serve either.

God in His perfect patience brought me here last year. At the time, I was struggling in school, on anti-depressants (which did nothing), and searching the Bible for God’s glory. I dropped out of NLBPC for 2 months, looking for assurance of salvation, and came back none the wiser.

I had wasted years desiring relationships that I thought would fulfil me, all the while unaware of this transcendental love that God offers in Christ. This idol seeped into my church life, and I knew I had to call out to God to deliver me.

God saved me in a moment of deep repentance, and life has been different since. I thank God for progressively killing the idols of my heart, and setting my strong desires straight.  My predominant desire now is to know God more, to gaze upon the beauty and fullness of God in Jesus Christ! God can slay me, but I know that by the strength of his Spirit, I will continue to trust in him. I look forward to being with you all. Let us look to Jesus’s return with patience and hope!

Toh Seok Kheng

The first time I heard about Christ was when I was eight, where my aunt shared the Gospel with me, and said “Jesus loves you”. She invited me to church, but it was the action of kneeling down in prayer that struck me the most. I did start praying whenever I met with trouble, but it was just going through the motion, as I did not know the true meaning of prayer then. Even when I reached my teenage years and was given a Bible by a teacher, attending church every Sunday was nothing but a mundane routine for me.

After marriage, I had a complicated childbirth, and once again, I cried out to the Lord for protection. Miraculously, my prayers were answered and my daughter grew up healthily. Years later I was diagnosed with a serious illness, by God’s grace I recovered. Yet what comforted me the most during those trying years was when my daughter, then attending New Life Kindergarten, said the Lord’s prayer to me, albeit in babbles, and also sang the children’s hymn “Jesus loves me” in a bid to lift my spirits. The kindergarten teachers and pastors of New Life BP Church visited us too, and once again preached the Word of God to me. 30 years had passed since I first heard about Christ, but it was only then that I came to understand and think about salvation seriously. From then on, we started attending Sunday service regularly as a family.

I have been deeply inspired by the Bible, and my faith in the Lord has grown by leaps and bounds even as I constantly meditate upon his Word, which acts as a reminder of the life He commanded us to lead. Through it, I learn to respect my husband, and also allowed me to realise that I should be a good role model for my child. I thank God for His mercy and guidance that has allowed us to conduct family prayers daily and bring us closer to God with every passing day.

Announcements (06 Nov 2016)

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Nov 062016
 

Special Session Meeting @1.45 pm: All Session members, please attend.

SAF Meeting on the 12th Nov (4:30-6:30pm). Speaker: Pastor Gabriel Gan. Topic: – Love:- Hosea. Meeting at Elder Sim’s place: 30 Li Po Avenue. Transport leave NLBPC at 4:00 pm:-Bro Robert Tan@96937945. Pot-luck dinner:-Sis Lynda Kuan 96709007. All are welcome!

Church’s 33rd Anniversary Service (13Nov @9.30-11.55am): Please note that there will be no intermission. Lunch will be provided.

Holy Land Trip (18 Nov – 1 Dec 2016). Pray for God’s protection and blessings as 28 New Lifers embarked on this “Pilgrimage.”

A note of Thanks to all who came for the Ops Clean-up. God bless!

06 Nov 2016 – Proving Your Faith

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Nov 062016
 

Proving Your Faith-James 1: 22-27

Introduction: The Book of James describes the practice of the Christian faith rather than its doctrines or precepts. James is telling his readers how to achieve spiritual maturity in compassionate, loving service, careful speech, and also in other areas of a Christians life, touching on what we say, what we feel, and what we do!

In today’s message, James touches on a crucial problem faced by Christians, many of whom do not realize it. He says “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

To use two similes or examples from the secular world: a) the doctor who knows how to cure the sick, but does not have any patients, is not a healer. B) The man who knows how to teach but has never taught is a teacher in name only but not in fact. The Christian who listens to sermons week after week, but does not put them into practice, is deceiving himself!

Hearing the Word of God without being doers of the Word will not benefit us, nor do us any good! The reason is Christianity is essentially a life to be lived! We should not treat a sermon as if it were just an interesting story to be heard, and therefore to be forgotten!

But the Lord in Luke 11: 28 gives a benediction to doers of the Word, saying, “Blessed are they that hear the Word ; and keep it.” Isn’t that motivational enough to us who are Christians to be doers of the Word, and not hearers only?

What we should do before listening to a sermon: But let us first consider: Is there anything that we need to do before listening to a sermon? How do we prepare ourselves before we come into Gods house to hear His Word preached? Do we come to church half asleep with our mind cluttered with idle thoughts and the cares of the world?

We need to put away all idle and evil thoughts; we need to cleanse our hearts, and come before God with newness of heart. Hence, we need to confess whatever sins there are in our hearts, and receive Gods Word with humility and meekness. Psalm 66: 18 reminds us: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

What else must I do? Words that are merely heard and not allowed to take root in the heart are soon forgotten! The benefit gained from hearing a sermon might be imperfect and short-lived. We must at least study God’s Word that has been preached and consider the practical applications for our lives.

We need to read and re-read God’s Word to keep our memories fresh- to remind us of what we should do as a believer! That is why our church distributes bible study notes quarterly to help believers in their private devotions!

Let us echo the words of the Psalmist in Ps 119: 97 “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”

Becoming a doer of The Word: Can we then, say confidently, that we are now doers of God’s Word, not hearers only? No doubt that is what most of us assume to have achieved! A comforting thought, but let James put us through the test:

Firstly, a person who is seemingly religious but has an uncontrolled tongue: a tongue that he uses for slandering or talking bad of others. This person is deceiving his own heart- he is a hypocrite. It is obvious that he is trying to make himself more important or better than others. Our speech should be edifying or building up rather than being destructive; otherwise our religion is vain!

Secondly, James shows us clearly that true religion includes care and concern for those truly in need! For example, we are exhorted to visit the fatherless and the widows who are particularly mentioned by James as they are the ones apt to be neglected or oppressed. In the same way, it behoves us to help other believers in distress and contribute to charities for the destitute, old and infirm, the chronically sick, not forgetting the refugees of war and conflicts or natural disasters.

Finally, James stresses the importance of being “unspotted”.

In short, If Christians are to influence the world, to bring non-believers into His kingdom, they must be doers of His word and not hearers only.

        Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. Psalm 85:7

(This article written by the late Eld. Tow Siang Yeow is reprinted for your edification)