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Scripture Memory: Contentment.

VERSE : Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness 

14 February 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Growing in Boldness and Grace, Acts 4:23-37)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Eld Lim Teck Chye (The Rich Fool, Lk 12:16-21)

21 February 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (Serving God with Purity and Fear, Acts 5:1-16)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Pastor Tan Soon Yong (More Love to Thee, Lk 7:36-50)

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TRUE LOVE

Valentine’s Day is a reminder that God intended Adam and Eve to have an intimate relationship. After Adam was created, God said in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”

As the world looks for love in relationships, we realize that true love is rare, even between married or courting couples. Rising divorce rates add to many singles’ fear of committing to marriage. Why is it that when we try to love someone, we often hurt them instead?

We Are Self-Centered Sinners

Alan Dunn explains: “Getting to know my wife was a privilege, but what I learned about myself was painful. I was not the loving, caring, romantic guy I thought I was in my singleness. I had deceived myself. ... I needed intimacy... Yet the prospect of being intimate repelled me because the closer I got to my wife, the more I discovered my sin ... The pain of our sin made us pull back from each other... and threatened to separate us. Learning to be intimate was painful.”  - Gospel Intimacy in a Godly Marriage.

Help! I Married A Stranger

As Stanley Hauerwas said “We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary problem is ... learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.”

Shortly after the honeymoon, you begin to notice more flaws in your spouse. You suddenly feel that you don’t know the person you have married. Just as distressing is the discovery that your spouse finds you a stranger and begins to confront you with a list of your shortcomings.  

You then realize that your marriage would need a lot of effort to make it work.

Actually, marriage brings out traits and reveals sins in you that had been there all along. Though you were blind to your sins, your spouse sees them clearly.

You are hurt and disappointed by your spouse’s criticisms. You are tempted to respond in various ways. Some flee their marriage. Some withdraw, lowering their expectation of happiness, while others enter a period of cold war, blaming their spouses for their unhappiness.

So What Can You Do?

First, recognize that marriage shows you the truth about who you are. It isn’t ultimately your spouse who is exposing the sin in your heart, but marriage itself.

This may sound discouraging, but actually it is the road to hope. If a doctor finds a small cancer tumour in your body, would you have said, “Oh I wish the doctor had never found that lump. I am distressed now. I wished he had just overlooked it and not made such a big fuss”? No, you would have thanked God that the tumour was discovered and removed early, and you could now enjoy an abundant healthy life.

It’s the same with your sins. The sins that will enslave you are the ones you are blind to.  If you deny that you have sinned, then you are deceiving yourselves (1 Jn 1:8), and allowing that sin to control you and destroy your relationships.  Now that you know your sins, you can start dealing with them.

God has given you the spouse to hold you accountable, to help you see your own sins and encourage you to grow out of your sins. “But exhort one another daily, ... lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb3:13).

So, the next time your spouse points out your sin, instead of being defensive, why not humbly acknowledge and confess your sin without shifting the blame. Next, deal with your sin – repent and seek the blood of Christ to cleanse you and reconcile you to God (1 John 1:9). Then pray for God’s all-sufficient grace and strength to overcome future temptations to sin (2 Cor 12:9) and grow in holiness. But how can I do this?

Only Gospel Love Rescues Us.

Christ is the answer. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Only gospel love is able to overcome the sin that threatens to wreck our relationships. 

And if your spouse sins against you, be gracious to forgive, because Christ has forgiven you of all your sins. If I am not merciful towards my spouse, neither would God be merciful towards me (see parable of the unforgiving servant, Mt 18:21-35).

God is the epitome of true love: “God is love” (1 John 4:7-11). God’s love is manifested in sending His only begotten Son into the world to die on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins, a sacrifice that appeases the wrath of God and averts our divine condemnation. Christ has paid the penalty for all our sins. By His death He defeated sin and satisfied God’s demand for justice. By His resurrection, He defeated death and gave us new life, abundant life and eternal life.

Having received Gospel love from Christ, I can now show Gospel love to my spouse.

Gospel Love in Marriage.

Gospel love is a supernatural love that overcomes sin and selfishness. We can choose to live for self and remain immature, or live for God and grow in Gospel love towards our spouse.

God intended marriage as a means for spouses to encourage each other to grow out of their sins into the new persons that Christ wants them to be (Gal 2:20).

Paul Tripp described Gospel love in marriage (What Did You Expect):

•   Love is self-sacrifice for the good of your spouse that does not require reciprocation or that he/she is deserving. 

•   Love is being willing to have your life complicated by the needs of your spouse without impatience or anger.

•   Love is a daily commitment to admit sin and failure, and not offer excuse or shift the blame.

•   Love is being willing to ask for forgiveness and always granting forgiveness when it is requested.

•   Love is the daily commitment to overlook minor offenses, refuse to be critical, but to encourage and meet the emotional and spiritual needs of your spouse.

•   Love is being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding and being more committed to unity and love than to winning arguments or being right.

•   Love is speaking kindly and gently in moments of disagreement, and refusing to launch personal attacks.

•   Love is not retaliating when you have been wronged, but trying to overcome evil with good.

•   Love is a commitment to grow in love for your spouse in selflessness and patience.

•   Love is recognizing the high value of trust in a marriage and being faithful to your promises. 

•   Love is being willing to serve and help even when you are busy, lazy or tired.

•   Love is confessing that you are not able to love this way without God’s forgiving and rescuing grace.

How do we love like that? “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” Eph 4:15.

The loving and affirming words from your spouse have power to heal your deepest wounds. In times of poverty, adversity and sickness, we are to love our spouse with Jesus’ sacrificial love for us. When we  commit ourselves to love and cherish our spouses till death us do part, those priceless shared memories would  strengthen and sweeten our marriage bonds.

I wish for all married and courting couples the blessings of true love. Blessed Valentine’s Day! 

                                                                     —Rev Lee Hock Chin

     

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1) Infant Baptism on Easter Sunday, 27 Mar 16. Parents who intend to have their infants baptised must register by 19 Feb 16. Please call the Church office (65949399) or email Yin Chan giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

2) Far Eastern Kindergarten Online Registration

2017 Intake: Pre-Nursery (YOB 2014) & Nursery (YOB 2013). Priority registration in February for church members at http://fek.qoqolo.com/cos/o.x?c=/ca4q_fek/registration. Please visit our website http://www.lifebpc.com/fekedu/ or call 6251 3676 for more information.

Priority registration for members ends on 29 February 2016. Public registration begins on 1 March on a first-come-first-served basis.

3) Traffic Safety: To avoid accidents, worshippers are advised to exercise care and to watch their young children when crossing the car parks as vehicles are moving in or out of the church premises on Sundays.

4) The Life B-P Church Camp 2016 will be held from 13 to 16 June 2016 at Novotel Melaka Hotel, Malaysia.  Speaker: Rev Edward Paauwe. Theme: “The Fruit of the Spirit”  Please book your annual leave now to avoid disappointment. Registration is open.

Preaching appt: Rev Seet at Filipina Service, 11am, AF Mtg at 1.15pm and Indonesian Service at 4pm.  Rev Wong is overseas till 20 Feb. Rev Lee at JB Sunset Service, 6pm. Rev Khoo is teaching overseas from 20 to 27 Feb.

 

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25