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Scripture Memory: Sufficiency.

VERSE : Psalm 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness 

6 March 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Mark Chen (Compassionate Waiters in the Church, Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim 3:8-13)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Mark Chen (The Four Hearts, Matt 13:1-23) 

13 March 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Lee Hock Chin (The History of Israel’s Failure, Acts 7:1-53)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Colin Wong (Who Is My Neighbour?, Lk 10:29-37)

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My dear Reader,

WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR?

God’s people must remember their calling to be ministers of mercy.  Like missions and evangelism, nurture and worship, the ministry of mercy is fundamental in the Church of Jesus Christ.  Every Christian needs to identify his or her role in order to respond appropriately to the needs of his or her brother and sister in the Lord and the surrounding community.

Visiting the poor, feeding the hungry, nursing the sick, clothing the naked, or taking care of the needy is not only the job of social workers but Christians.  The ministry of mercy is more than a job; it is a God-given ministry.  Jesus says, “Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37).

The Bible repeatedly expresses the obligation to help those who, for whatever reason, cannot help themselves.  The ministry of mercy does not begin with the parable of the Good Samaritan.  It has its beginning in the Garden of Eden.  After the Fall, man became alienated from God (Genesis 3:10).  Consequently, his relationship with fellow human beings was shattered (12, 13), and so was his relationship with nature itself (17, 18).  Now, sickness, hunger, natural disaster, social injustice and death dominate.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, their eyes were opened and they realized that they were naked.  They took fig leaves to cover themselves.  But that could not cover their nakedness for long.  So God clothed them with animal skins (6, 7, 21).  That act was the first act of mercy ministry.

Even before the giving of the Law of Moses, God made his will known concerning this ministry.  Job, who lived in an early pre-Mosaic age, knew that the righteousness God required includes meeting the needs of the needy such as food, shelter and clothing (Job 24:1-21; 31:16-23).  As a matter of fact, Job did more than simple social service.  He tells us, “I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.   And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth” (Job 29:16, 17).

Like the Old Testament, the New Testament is filled with biblical injunctions concerning treatment of the poor, widows, orphans, travelers and people in need.  Mercy is not optional.  It is not to be considered a secondary duty.  It is not something we get to if there is time and money in the budget.  Christians are called to help the poor and needy. 

A young lawyer asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” And answering him, Jesus told him a parable.  The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 teaches the necessity of mercy as fundamental to being a Christian.  The lesson in the parable is that Jesus commands us to provide shelter, finances, medical care and friendship to people (“especially unto them who are of the household of faith,” Galatians 6:10) who lack them.  He sees care for the poor and needy as part of the essence of being a Christian. 

Both James and John used the ministry of mercy as a test of our Christian faith.  James argues that a profession of faith unaccompanied by work of mercy is not a genuine faith – “Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14-17).  John insists that real love is expressed in works as well as in word – “How dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:17, 18).  Proverbs 14:31 and 19:17 remind us that to ignore the needs of a poor man is to sin against the Lord.  No passage is clearer than Matthew 25:31-46 which describes Jesus’ examination of mankind on Judgment Day.  On that day, Jesus himself will separate those who are truly His from those who are not by examining their fruit, namely, their concern for the poor, homeless, sick and prisoners.

There is no doubt that the early church practiced mercy ministries (Acts 2:44, 45).  The believers had an intense feeling of responsibility for each other.  They recognized that they were ONE in the Lord.  They knew that whatever they possessed belong to the Lord.  They were only stewards of what God had entrusted to them.  So, whenever there was a need, the people sold what they had to meet that particular need (The verb “sold” is a customary imperfect which means that the believers sold from time to time to meet a particular need).  As a result, no one was in need (Acts 4:32-37).  A real Christian cannot bear to have too much when others have too little (Romans 12:13).

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, a priest and a Levite soon came along in turn, and each passed by on the far side of the road, not wishing to become involved in the man’s needs.  Whatever excuses they might give, they had violated the clear teaching of Scripture – to have mercy on even strangers in need (Leviticus 19:34).  They had neglected the principle that to obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).

Though the young lawyer did not deny the need to take care of the needy, he still asked, “Who is my neighbour?” There is the question of the scope and dimension of the ministry of mercy.  This is also our concern. 

How far should I get involved in mercy ministries?  Here are some excuses people give: “O Lord, let’s be reasonable.  We know we are to help out the unfortunate, but just how far do we have to go?” or “O Lord, you don’t mean every Christian must get deeply involved with hurting and needy people.  I am not very good in that kind of work; it’s not my gift.” or “I have a busy schedule and I am extremely active in my evangelical church.  Isn’t this sort of thing the government’s job, anyway?” or “I barely have enough money for myself!” or “If I give to him, I am encouraging him to be lazy and to depend on others.” or “If I start to give to him, he will take advantage of me.”

Whatever excuses we may give, Jesus says in Matthew 5:42“Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away” (Proverbs 19:17).  We should not withhold ourselves from giving to people (especially those who are in the family of God) who are genuinely in need.  Hebrews 13:16 reminds us not to forget to do good and share with others who are in need, for in doing so, God is well pleased.   

Dearly beloved in Christ, a young lawyer asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” If your answer is, “The one who showed mercy,”then Jesus’ immediate reply is, “Go and do likewise!” May God help us.  Amen.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).                                                      —Pastor Colin

 

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DISBURSEMENT OF CHRISTMAS EVE OFFERING 2015

At our Christmas Eve worship service that was held on 24 December 2015 we collected an offering that was designated to help the poor, needy and underprivileged through Christian ministries in Singapore and overseas. We thank God for the generous giving at this worship service which amounted to S$59,956.35. This has been distributed as follows:

 

Local:

1. Needy families of students in Life SCC Ltd...S$2,956.35
(Our student care ministry in two centres in Yishun)

2. The Helping Hand.............................................S$3,000.00
(A Christian half-way house for the rehabilitation of ex-drug addicts and ex-offenders)

3. Breakthrough Missions ....................................S$3,000.00
(A Christian drug rehabilitation half-way house)

4. Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled.................... S$3,000.00
(A joint effort of the MSF and Bible-Presbyterian Welfare Services)

5. Prison Fellowship Singapore ......................................... S$3,000.00
(A Christian ministry to help inmates of prisons in Singapore)

6. Ling Kwang Home for Senior Citizens ............................S$3,000.00
(The first voluntary welfare organization that was set up by Bible-Presbyterian Welfare Services)

7. The Hiding Place (Christian Home Mission) Ltd .............S$4,000.00
(A half-way house for the rehabilitation of drug addicts, ex-prisoners, alcoholics, gambling addicts, homeless orphans, inhalant abusers, wayward teens, young offenders, troubled youths and those in need of help.)

 

Overseas:

8. Filadelfia Shelter Home in Batam, Indonesia ....................... S$1,000.00
(A ministry of Filadelfia B-P Church, Batam for abandoned children)

9. Children of poor Christian families in Cambodia ................... S$1,000.00
(A ministry of Rev Moses Hahn, our Partner-in-Missions in Cambodia)

10. Operation Hope Foundation ............................................ S$4,000.00
(A Christian charity that helps orphans and the poor in developing countries)

11. Mr David Teo, a needy Christian from Batam, Indonesia who is undergoing cancer treatment in Singapore...............S$5,000.00

12. Dr David Allen, a deputation speaker of the Trinitarian Bible Society undergoing cancer treatment in Britain..............S$1,000.00

 

There is a surplus of S$26,000 left from this offering after apportioning the above amounts. The Church Session has decided to use it to help ten of our own members with financial needs: Eight members with a sum of S$3,000 each, and two members with a sum of S$1,000 each.     —Pastor  

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Good Friday & Easter Services

Good Friday (Bilingual Service), 
25  Mar, 9 am 
“Father, Forgive”
 (Luke 23:26-38) by  Elder Lim Teck Chye.

(The Lord’s Supper will be served.)

From this year onward, the Good Friday Service will be held at 9.00 am in the morning instead of at night.

 

Easter Sunday (Baptismal Service), 
27 Mar, 7am (followed by Breakfast Fellowship).   
“Do You Believe in the Resurrected Lord?” 
  (John 20:24-29)  by Rev Calvin Loh.

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1) “Daily Manna”: Daily Devotional by Rev Isaac Ong (Apr to Jun 2016). Available at the front counter. The same devotions are available online at http://www.calvaryjurong.com/index-4.html.

2) “Disciplines of a Godly Man.” All brothers are welcome to join this fortnightly study facilitated by Rev Lee HC. Choice of either Saturday 3pm or Friday 7.30pm (starting 25 & 26 Mar). Please register at the front portico or onlinehttp://goo.gl/forms/HmdOQQavLv.  For enquiries: Jonathan Tan (96268648).

3) Parenting Seminar (Part 3) organised by FEK

“A Wise Son Makes A Father Glad”. All are welcome!  Date: 2 April 2016.  Time : 0900h - 1200h. Speaker: Pastor Tan Soon Yong. Venue: MPH, Beulah House.

Registration is open at www.lifebpc.com/fekedu/fekseminar.htm.   Topic: Discipline Your Son while there is Hope, And Do Not Desire His Death. Register before 11 March 2016 to enjoy Early Bird Rate. Closing date for registration: 25 March 2016

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.

5) Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Chong Jia Zhen for the birth of a baby boy on 26 Feb 16.

Preaching appt: Rev Quek in Batam. Rev Khoo at Chinese Evening BSF, 7.00 pm. 

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

December 3 & 10 - Holy Living

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 2 Peter 3:11