Announcements (29 Jan 2017)

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Jan 292017
 

Please note that there will be No SS Classes Today!

Catechumens’ Interview Today, 11.30am @Kindergarten Office.
Those who wish to join New Life BPC, please come and meet Pastor Gan/Elders.

SAF will meet on 5th February 2017 in the Chapel from 12:00 – 1:15pm, after the Sunday Service fellowship brunch. Elder Sim will share a short exhortation on “Encouraging One Another!” followed by a short discussion among the groups. All are welcome to attend and SAF “regulars,” please invite friends or visitors as well.

ACM/Election will be held on 21 May 2017. Nominations open on 5 Feb and closes on 26 Feb @12pm. Nomination forms and the necessary instructions will be given on 5 Feb.

29 Jan 2017 – The Seasons of Life – SAF Meeting on 1st Jan 2017

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Jan 292017
 

Thanks be to God for His blessing and encouragement in the excellent attendance of the newly scheduled SAF meeting for 2017. We began this year’s meeting on January 1st at the Church Chapel, which was after the church fellowship brunch that was introduced for the first Lord’s Day of the month.

First and foremost, I really wanted to thank all the faithful supporters of the SAFers, and especially the ladies for the labour of love in providing for all the yummy food and beverages that has made our fellowship meeting a little “special” over the years! I am sure we will miss the great food and yummies; thus will be planning to have one or two special meeting to allow our ladies to share their goodies with us in the second half of the year.

Our new format consists of a short exhortation and includes a discussion segment to allow members to share their perspectives and applications of the message that they have heard. Pastor Gan had blessed us with the message entitled “The Seasons of Life” based on the scriptural text from Ecclesiastes 12:1-8; 3:1-8. He began with the Chinese adage of 生老病死, which depicted the natural cycle of being born; aging process; onset of sickness and passing on finally.

Life would have been meaningless as described by the preacher of Ecclesiastes, if we just allow ourselves to be encircled with just this natural pattern. Another form of describing our stages of life would be childhood, teenage period, early adulthood and late adulthood; which could be represented metaphorically by the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter. Of course, life for each one of us cannot be compartmentalized as the seasons, since we are created as individuals differently.

I will just like to reproduce the excerpts from Pastor Gan’s message: –

“There are five facts about the seasons of life inferred from the Bible:

  1. They are beyond our control (Dan. 2:21).
  2. They are often confusing or perplexing (Eccl. 3:11).
  3. God has a purpose for each season (Rom. 8:28).
  4. The seasons include both good and bad (Eccl. 3:1-8) – note the contrasts.
  5. What I sow in one season, I will reap in another (Gal. 6:9).”

Another way is to describe ourselves chronologically based on the number of birthdays we have celebrated. However, we all know that each of us could also have a vastly different biological age, both physically and mentally. For born again Christian, we are even more blessed because we now do have a spiritual age, so to speak.

1Cor 3:1-2 “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.”

The reality of life is we will move on from one transitional stage to another, regardless of the physical or emotional or spiritual classifications we choose to describe our seasons of life. The Preacher concludes in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

Those who attended were divided into four discussion groups (two men and two ladies), and the summary answers to the questions below are found in the prayer focus insert.

Q1: What struggles are you facing in the present season of life?

Q2: How can we help each other to age gracefully and overcome these struggles?

Shalom,

Bro. Chin Hong

Announcements (22 Jan 2017)

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Jan 222017
 

Adults’SS Class @Chapel, 11.30am., Westminster Confession of Faith L2. All are Welcome! 

Catechumens’ Interview Today, 11.30am @Kindergarten Office.

Those who wish to join New Life BPC, please come and meet Pastor Gan and Elders.

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

Prayer Meeting Every Wednesday @Chapel, 8-9.30pm.

Format:

8.00-8.15 pm: Singspiration

8.15-8.30 pm: Devotional Sharing

8.30-8.45 pm: Thanksgiving & Prayer Requests

8.45-9.30 pm: Prayer in Groups

Chinese New Year Mandarin Service on 28 Jan (Sat) 9-10am @ Sanctuary

Rev. Lim Chee Boon will be speaking.  All are welcome!

Services and Sunday Schools on 29 January  All services are as usual except that there will be no mandarin evening service. There will be no English and Mandarin Sunday Schools.  Tamil Sunday Schools are as usual.

ECM: Thank God for all who attended the meeting and the successful passing of the changes to the Constitution.

22 Jan 2017 – The Story behind the Hymn “Rejoice in the Lord”

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Jan 222017
 

THE STORY BEHIND THE HYMN “REJOICE IN THE LORD” (REJOICE HYMNS NO. 680)

My sense is that this hymn has become a favourite of many in our church. It speaks of how one should rejoice when God seems far away when nothing seems to be going right for us. The words by its composer, Ron Hamilton has encouraged many who are undergoing or have undergone trials and tribulations in life.

In 1978, cancer was discovered in Ron Hamilton’s left eye. Many people in his circumstance would be emotionally devastated and cave in, yield to self-pity or even leave the faith. Although Ron and his wife Shelly never fully understood why God allowed him to go through this ordeal, they committed everything to God’s gracious hand and let His will be done. He said,

Hearing a doctor say I had cancer and may die was a very sobering experience. Many people would see the loss of my eye and the need for wearing a patch as a great trial. But I see it as one of the greatest blessings of my life. It reminds me that God teaches us the greatest lessons in the deepest valleys.

Immediately after the loss of his eye due to cancer, Ron Hamilton penned a song based on Philippians 4:4, which says

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

He also read the Book of Job to understand why God allowed Christians to suffer. In Job 23:10, it says

But he knows the way that I take: when he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.

We are further reminded in James 1:2-4 and 1 Peter 1:7

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:2-4)

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (1 Peter 1:7)

In the case of Ron Hamilton, one of the outcomes of the loss of his eye was the writing of this much-loved hymn, which has ministered to and blessed the lives of many.

Were there people in the Bible who also rejoiced despite their suffering? The Apostle Paul was a good example. He suffered greatly for the sake of the gospel. For instance, he was whipped and cast in prison together with Silas (Acts 16). Yet, in Acts 16:25, we were told that Paul and Silas were singing in prison despite their ordeal, and the eventual outcome was that the Philippian jailer and his entire family became Christians.

Paul and Ron Hamilton had in one thing in common – they knew that God had a purpose in allowing them to go through trials and tribulations. This was aptly stated by Paul in Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose

Sometimes, we may not know why God allows us to go through trials and tribulations. However, if we surrender ourselves to his will and say, “Lord, not my will but Thine be done.” God may reveal to us why He allowed those seemingly adverse events to occur our lives. In my case, I did wonder why God allowed me to go to a not-so-prestigious junior college but to a “neighbourhood” one instead. I fact, to this day, I can never thank Him enough for sending me to a “neighbourhood junior college because I was ministered to by a number of Christian teachers and friends and was truly blessed by them. Indeed,

O rejoice in the Lord, He makes no mistake.

He knoweth the end of each path that I take.

For when I am tried and purified,

I shall come forth as gold.

Sources

About Us. (n.d.). Majesty Music. Retrieved from https://www.majestymusic.com/about-majesty-music

Connor, G. (2011, May 19). Rejoice in the Lord: Trusting God through trials. Ministry 127. Retrieved from

http://ministry127.com/christian-living/rejoice-in-the-lord

By Dn. Ronnie Tan

15 Jan 2017 – Parable of the Lost Sheep and Coin

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Jan 152017
 

Parable of the Lost Sheep and Coin  (Luke 15:1-7, 8-10; Matthew 18:12-14)

One evening I came home after some doing household chores. I was emptying my pocket when I realized that I could not find my pen. Many of us had misplaced or even lost an item before. You would say that that is not important. After all, I must have dozens of pens and indeed this is true. But it is a fountain pen that was given to me as a birthday gift by someone dear to me and it means a lot. I looked high and low and I was relieved when I finally found it. This reminded me of the parable of the Lost Sheep and Coin that Jesus told to the publicans and sinners in Luke 15.

What is a parable?

The encyclopedia tells us that “A parable is a succinct, didactic story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles”. One study breaks down the parables in the Gospels into three groups. They are given the names  –  similitude, parable, and  exemplary story (sometimes called illustration). The word “parable” is thus used in two senses, in the broad sense to refer to all the parables generally, and in the narrow sense to denote one of the three types of parables.  Another that says a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning and I think this summarizes this rather concisely.

Why did Jesus choose to use this parable?

Parables were used even in the Old Testament. The prophet Nathan confronted King David with his sin when he used a parable of how a rich man took a poor man’s only sheep and killed it even though he had many. David was pricked in his heart because he understood this well as a former shepherd himself. Parables were a common form of teaching in Judaism during Jesus’ time. Our  Lord Jesus frequently used parables as a means to illustrate a profound, divine truths. The Greek word is παραβολή (par-ab-ol-ay’). It is like a word picture. Through the parable, Jesus expounded a doctrinal truth without getting distracted by technicalities of the Jewish laws. He was able to draw attention to the heart attitudes.

We can understand why Jesus spoke in this parable when we look at the context in v1,2. The publicans and sinners were gathering around him to hear him. The Pharisees and scribes were also there and they were murmuring that Jesus “receiveth sinners, and eateth with them”. Note that they were not complaining that Jesus is teaching sinners as they also considered themselves as righteous teachers. However, their self-righteousness had blinded them and they thought it to be inconsistent for someone so knowledgeable in the Scriptures to “eat with them”. They should be compassionate for the lost as our Lord is. Without reprimanding them for their heartlessness, Jesus asked them to put themselves in the position of a shepherd who had lost a sheep and rejoicing when it was found (v4). The imagery of the shepherd ‘layeth it on his shoulders’ (v5) is especially endearing of God’s tender love for repentant sinners. In contrast, the ninety nine who ‘need no repentance’ pointed to the Pharisees who do not see their need for repentance.

The parable in Luke 15 is a trilogy of three – 1 of 100 sheep, 1 of 10 coins and 1 of 2 sons. Each expresses the loss of something valuable and ends in joy and rejoicing over that which was lost. It culminates in the personal restoration of relationship between father and son. In the same way, it demonstrates God’s personal love for each of us who return to Him.

Warning and Blessing

In Matthew 13:10-17, Jesus’ disciples asked him why he “speakest unto them in parables” (v10). I would urge you to read this passage yourself and it is instructive for us to reflect on this. From this point in Jesus’ ministry, when he spoke in parables, he explained them only to his disciples. There is a warning and a blessing here for us. Jesus made a clear distinction of those who persist in unbelief, ever hearing but not understanding (v14) and those who are blessed because they see and hear (16). In accepting Jesus’ truth, the disciples were given spiritual discernment so that the things of God were made clear to them. We need to examine ourselves daily for God has given us His Word so that we may be able to discern the things of God (Hebrews 4:12).

Conclusion and Application

The teaching of Jesus is timeless despite the changes in culture and technology. In our busy schedules, we often find it hard to give time to go deep into Scriptures. God has given the guidance of the Holy Spirit who will guide us until all truths. May God help us to apply His word in our lives so that we may be salt of the earth and light of the world.

By Eld. Yap Chee Kian

Announcements (15 Jan 2017)

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Jan 152017
 

Prayer Meeting Every Wednesday @Chapel, 8-9.30pm. Devotional sharing on “How To Pray” (adapted from R.A. Torrey). Do come to pray with other believers at least once a month!

ECM will be held TODAY 15 minutes after the Combined Service. We appeal to all voting communicant members (21 years & above) to be present as a two-thirds majority is required for the changes to be approved. Please sign in at counter near the main door of the sanctuary before the meeting begins.  Signing in will be in individual names by alphabetical order. Non-voting communicant members and observers are welcome to observe at the balcony on the 3rd floor. There is no sunday school today.

Catechumens’ Interview on 22 Jan 11.30am @Kindergarten Office.

Those who desire to be baptised, or reaffirm their faith or transfer their membership to New Life BPC, please obtain an application from the church office and have Pastor Gan sign it.

Chinese New Year Service on 28 Jan (Sat) 9-10am @ Sanctuary

For those who celebrate Chinese New Year are welcome to attend the mandarin service on the first day of the chinese new year.  Rev. Lim Chee Boon will be speaking.

Services and Sunday Schools on 29 January.  All services are as usual except that there will be no mandarin evening service. There will be no English and Mandarin Sunday Schools.  Tamil Sunday Schools are as usual.

Announcements (08 Jan 2017)

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Jan 082017
 

Adults SS Class @Chapel, 11.30am.  A Study of the Westminster Confession of Faith. All are welcome!

Prayer Meeting Every Wednesday @Chapel, 8-9.30pm. Devotional sharing on “How To Pray” (adapted from R.A. Torrey). Do come to pray with other believers at least once a month!

ECM will be held on 15 Jan 2017 at 11.15 am after the Combined English & Chinese Service. We appeal to all voting communicant members (21 years & above) to be present as a two-thirds majority is required for the changes to be approved.

Catechumens’ Interview on 22 Jan 11.30am @Kindergarten Office. Those who desire to be baptised, or reaffirm their faith or transfer their membership to New Life BPC, please obtain an application from the church office and have Pastor Gan sign it.

08 Jan 2017 – An Assessment – A Reflection

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Jan 082017
 

Have you done an assessment of your spiritual life? We understand the word assessment as an act of making judgment about something, or an idea or opinion about something. For those of you who are studying, you have an assessment by way of your exams to determine whether you have learned or not. We also use this word to know our health. So we go for health screening every year to know if we are healthy or not. When you want to sell your property; you want to know the current market value, so you ask for valuation. If you are working, every year your performance is assessed based on different methods and one of these methods is using KPI (Key Performance Indicators). The result will determine how much bonus you will get and for some get promoted or to others get fired for non-performance.

So when we say we want to make an assessment about our spiritual life; we mean to know whether we are progressing, or not in our Christian walk with the Lord. If indeed we are true believers of the Lord we must grow. This was clearly stated by the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 3:1-21And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” Paul could not speak to the believers in Corinth as having spiritual discernment or judgment in spiritual things as they were under spiritual decline rather than growing. Paul cannot even feed them meat as they cannot bear it.

In Hebrews 12:1-2 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking 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.” In these two verses the Apostle Paul liken our Christian life to a marathon race. So when we run this Christian race there is growth though  some may be slow and others may be faster but all the believers (young or seniors) are progressing into maturity running towards the Celestial City; not with bodily eyes but with the eye of faith; for faith is  a spiritual sight of Christ; the image of Christ fills one with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

Let’s then do an assessment of our Spiritual life based on the fruit of the Holy Spirit; which every one of us must manifest if we claim to be a true believer of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s look at the verses again in Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

By right each of us should  be growing in manifestation of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. How do you fare if you compare last 1st January 2016 and now 8th January 2017? Do you notice any difference? Are you manifesting and living the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Look at yourself and examine how you show your love to the unlovable even to your enemies; your joy in times of sorrows and griefs; your peace when you are heart broken or abused or rejected; your longsuffering in dealing with people who are very slow or to people that irritate you; your gentleness to the unkind and unforgiving persons; your goodness shown to people who make use or abuse your goodness; your faith in times of troubles and uncertainties; your meekness when you are ridiculed; and your temperance when you are challenged rather than revenge. Are you maturing in Christ?

The great preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon; said that “Every Christian is either a Missionary or an Impostor.” A friend has said in relation to this; “as a preacher, Spurgeon can be excused for using hyperboles. But Spurgeon also said; ‘Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that.’ ”

I quoted this from Spurgeon to let each one of us know that there are no watchers or viewers or spectators in the Christian race, all of us are participants of the race.  All of us must run the race that is set before us. If you don’t run the race; you will not grow in your Christian life. You will have no interest for others to be saved, then what Spurgeon said is true that you are not truly saved.

Jesus prophesied in Matthew 7:21 21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” You must take this prophesy seriously or else it will be fulfilled in your life in the last day.

May our Christian life be fruitful and growing spiritually year after year even though our progress maybe slow but there is progress and we are growing in grace;  so we will not be liken to the fig tree which our Lord Jesus cursed for having leaves but with no fruits. In Mark 11:12-14 12And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: 13And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. 14And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.”

By  Emmanuel T. Gumapon

Announcements (01 Jan 2017)

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Jan 012017
 

Fellowship Brunch Today after Worship Service: Members and friends are encouraged to stay back for this meal and get to know one another. There will be no SS Classes on every 1st Sunday of the month.

SAF will meet Today in the Chapel from 12 – 1.15 pm, after the Sunday fellowship brunch. Pastor Gan will share on “The Seasons of Life,” followed by a short discussion. All are welcome to attend!

ECM will be held on 15 Jan 2017 at 11.15 am after the Combined Service.

We appeal to all voting communicant members (21 years & above) to be present as a two-thirds majority is required for the changes to be approved.

Note: Please collect the envelope containing the agenda for the ECM and the proposed changes to the Church’s Constitution TODAY after the Worship Service at the Fellowship Hall. If you require extra copies, please see Bro Steve at the office.

01 Jan 2017 – How to Begin a New Year

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Jan 012017
 

By Pastor Gabriel Gan

Time flies! As we say goodbye to 2016, and welcome 2017, I would like to thank all New Lifers for your faithfulness in the past year: attending regularly the worship services, serving in the various ministries of the church, giving financially, and praying constantly both privately and corporately. I trust and pray that you may continue to press forward in 2017 “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:13).

It is of utmost importance that we begin a New Year with a right relationship with God, and also with one another in the family of God. Yes, relationships matter! Thus we must make time to fellowship with our heavenly Father, using the means of grace provided for this purpose: studying and applying the Word of God, being involved in prayer, and worship. This will help us to know our God more intimately, and grow in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:18). Our relationship with God is fundamental, and it affects all our other relationships in life. Therefore, keep your heart close to God!

We must also seek to have a right relationship with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Let me urge you to start 2017 with a “clean slate,” by forgiving the offences of others, and putting the past behind. Like a piece of blank paper, you can write or create new experiences and build bridges with fellow believers (Micah 6:8). Instead of focusing on ourselves and our hurts, let us move forward and begin afresh in our relationship with one another!

 Our church theme for 2017 is “Reaching Out to One Another!” (Galatians 6:10).

God has not saved us to live a “lone ranger” Christian life but to be part of a community of believers who have these blessings in common – “one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Eph. 4:4-6). The New Testament is littered with numerous “one another” passages to emphasize the importance of community as a local body of Christ (esp. Pauline Epistles).

The fact is, we cannot really love and care for people we do not know. Hence, I encourage all New Lifers to seize the opportunity to interact with one another during the monthly Fellowship Brunch. Let us be intentional in reaching out to one another. Don’t stay in your cliques. Get out of your comfort zones (your NBC group, your Fellowship group) and purposed to make acquaintance with other members, friends and visitors whom you hardly talk to – reach out to at least 3 persons each month. It may seem artificial for a start, but with God’s help, we can make NLBPC a warm and friendly church family.

How 2017 will turn out for the church depends on how much New Lifers put in. As John Maxwell says, “Your attitude determines your altitude! “ May God help us to have a Christ-like attitude (Phil. 2:3-5) as we serve Him and minister to one another.

In Zechariah 4:6 the Lord God says, “Not by power, not by might, but by My Spirit.” This verse is a good reminder that we must rely on God in all we do for Him. The reality is, we can’t change people; only the Spirit of God can.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord! (1 Cor. 15:58; cf. Gal. 6:9; Phil. 2:13-15).

Soli Deo Gloria!