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Scripture Memory: Right Thinking.

VERSE : Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

4 December 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Colin Wong (Almost A Christian, Acts 26:1-32)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Jesus is Lord, John 18:1-11)

11 December 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Ps Mark Chen (Safe Through Shipwreck, Acts 27:1-44)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Ps Mark Chen (A Desperate Woman, Mk 5:21-34)

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My dear Reader,

BECAUSE THEIR CRY IS COME UNTO ME

Does God listen to His people all the time? Does He answer prayer? Then why didn’t He answer my prayer?

There is no doubt that God answers prayer.  He is a prayer-hearing God and a prayer-answering God.  He answers every prayer we make but it must be in His good time and according to His will.  His answer to your prayer cannot go against His holy Word.

What encourages us when we come to prayer is that God knows everything about us.  He knows each of our inner needs and struggles.  Everything is open before Him (Hebrews 4:13).  Since He is the all-knowing God, we do not need to withhold any information from Him (Psalm 139:1-6).  We simply tell Him our needs.

Will God ever turn His ears from us? Yes (Isaiah 59:1, 2; Psalm 66:18).  However, He is also a God of patience.  Despite our waywardness, He still reaches out to us in love, care and concern (2 Chronicles 36:15, 16a).  He may desert us for a while in order to teach us a lesson or two (Psalm 30:5) but He will not leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  But having said this, we must not take His lovingkindness for granted because judgment will come (2 Chronicles 36:16b-21).

A Tender-Loving God

Israel wanted a king (1 Samuel 8:6).  The people insisted on having a king like the other nations (1 Samuel 8:20).  Samuel thought that God’s people had rejected his leadership but God said that they actually rejected His leadership (1 Samuel 8:7).  The people rejected theocracy.  They did not want God to rule over them. 

Despite the people’s insistence on having a king and rejecting His theocratic rule, God still acceded to their request (1 Samuel 8:22).  He even revealed to Samuel His divine choice of a king a day before Saul met him (1 Samuel 9:15-17).  The reason for appointing him to be king over Israel is given in verse 16 – “… and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.” 

Here is a wonderful characteristic of God.  He was concerned for the welfare of the people.  Because the Philistines had begun to make a fresh attempt to contend for dominion over the Israelites, God decided to deliver His people from the hand of the Philistines.  His action showed that He was a tender-loving God.  He could not bear seeing His people oppressed by their enemies.  He had pity on them.  That is why despite Israel’s waywardness and rebelliousness, He still looked upon His people because their cry had come to Him.  The Septuagint has it this way: “I have seen the affliction of my people because their cry has come to me.” 

Now I would like to call your attention to these words, “… for I have looked upon my people.”  These words tell me that God is not a heartless God.  Despite Israel’s sin of wanting a king, God still looked upon them when they were in trouble.  He never deserted His people.  He would patiently bring them back to the path of righteousness. 

When the children of Israel were groaning because of their slavery in Egypt, they cried out to the Lord for help.  God heard their cry for rescue and looked upon them and showed concern for them (Exodus 2:23-25).  Exodus 3:7 says, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people … for I know their sorrows” (Exodus 3:9).  God saw the misery of His people.  What did He do? Did He do nothing? No.  God’s look upon His children was not a quiet, inactive look, but an energetic look, a look which caused Him to act accordingly.  This led God to appoint Moses to confront Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 4-14).

Dearly beloved in Christ, I would like you to think of God in this manner.  Think of Him as one who knows our suffering, miseries, sorrows and struggles.  Think of Him as one who knows our inner needs.  Because He understands us, He will not reject us nor forsake us.  Oftentimes, we feel rejected and forsaken by our friends for our inconsistencies of life but not God.  Our friends avoid us for hurting them but not God.  How often have we hurt God? Yet He continues to reach out to us despite and in spite of our weaknesses (John 13:1) because He is a tender-loving God. 

A Compassionate God

The other words which I would like to call your attention to are “… because their cry is come unto me.”  God is not deaf.  He hears the cry of His distressed children.  King David was a good example.  Being a king, he was not spared from distress.  Many a time in his prayer to God, he cried to God – “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears” (Psalm 18:6). 

Day and night, he cried to God continually.  He was so distressed that he could not stop crying to God – “O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent” (Psalm 22:2; 55:17).

If God hears the cry of his disobedient children, how much more will He hear the cry of those who desire to live righteously – “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry” (Psalm 34:15, 17).

Sometimes we feel discouraged praying to God.  We pray and pray and pray, but there seems to be no answer from God.  It is as if God is deaf to our cry.  Is that so? No.  God will respond to us in His good time – “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1; Jeremiah 42:7).  And when God answers our prayer in His perfect time, we will know that God is for us – “When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me” (Psalm 56:9).

Some of us may weep until our tears run dry.  Our problem is too overwhelming.  We can’t bear it anymore.  So, we cry, “God, are you there? Are you listening to my cry?” David was like this.  In Psalm 56:8, David said, “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”

God took note of David’s journey of life – his suffering, afflictions and troubles – which had caused him so many tears.  But what encouraged David was that God collected every tear shed by him in a bottle.  That is to say, God remembered his trials of life and the tears shed by him.  And because of that fact, he could say confidently in Psalm 56:9 – “This I know; for God is for me.”     

The above verses give us great assurance and comfort that God is not deaf to our cry.  Therefore, may I encourage you to cry to Him continually, for in doing so, He will fulfil His purposes for your lives – “I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me” (Psalm 57:2).  The context of this verse is that God would deliver David from his enemies (Psalm 57:3ff).

Trust God No Matter What

Habakkuk was perplexed.  Wickedness and violence seemed to go unchecked.  Would there be no end to the rising tide of sin? So, the prophet cried, “O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear!” (Habakkuk 1:2) 

Why didn’t you do something? And God answered, “I am doing something.  Judah will be punished by Babylon.”  Today, we also ask the same questions.  Why is there so much oppression? Why all the injustice? Why do evil men prosper? Why do the righteous suffer? Why doesn’t God do something? Why doesn’t God clean up this mess? Why?

Despite the worst possible consequences – Fig trees may no longer bloom, or vineyards produce grapes; olive trees may be fruitless, and harvest time a failure; sheep pens may be empty, and cattle stalls vacant – Habakkuk was prepared to trust God and rejoice in the Lord because God is the God of his salvation (Habakkuk 3:17, 18).

How about us? Despite the challenges of life or the economic downturn, has our faith in God wavered or waned? Do we have peace that God is still in control? Habakkuk’s inner peace did not depend on outward circumstances.  His source of peace and joy was in total dependence on the sovereign God.  His key to life is the God of his salvation. 

Dearly beloved in Christ, let us be reminded that even in the midst of life’s challenges or a global financial crisis, God’s people can still have joy because our happiness is not found in circumstances – good or bad.  Joy is found in God (Philippians 4:4).  Even in the worst of circumstances God’s people can still smile – with Christ in the vessel, we can smile at the storm.

Our God is a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God.  He listens to every prayer.  We must continue to cry to Him even when things do not seem good to us.  He is still on the throne.  We must have faith in Him continually; for He changes not (Hebrews 13:8). 

“… for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.”  Amen. 

                                                                            —Pastor Colin

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Christmas Programme

Sunday School Christmas Gathering 17 Dec 16 (Sat) at 10.00 am

Christmas Carol Service (English & Chinese) 24 Dec 16 (Sat) at 8.00 pm

Combined English Christmas Service 25 Dec 16 (Sun) at 9.00 am 

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EDD is organizing a Street Evangelism at Orchard Road. Please come and join us.

Date           : 17th Dec 2016 (Saturday)

Prayer Time               :           6.30pm in Beulah House 

Evangelism Time     :           7.00 to 8.30 pm (commence at outside CK Tang Entrance and witnessing at Orchard Road walkway)

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ERBL LECTURES (JAN-MAY 2017)

Day  Duration                    Course                 Lecturer

Mon 9 Jan - 15 May 17      Esther                  Rev Charles Seet

Thu 12 Jan - 2 Mar 17       Galatians             Rev Colin Wong
        23 Mar - 11 May 17   Bible Geography  Rev Quek Keng Khwang

Lectures commence at 7.30 pm. Register before 9 Dec 16 for early bird discount. Please complete registration forms and place them in the box, together with payment.

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1) Bright Sparks. From 1 Jan 2017, the Children’s Ministry will start a Bright Sparks Worship for children born in 2014 and 2015. It will be held concurrently with the 11am worship service in FEK Room 1 (Green Doors). A short briefing and registration for interested parents will be held on 18 Dec 2016, 12.30pm in FEK Room 1.

2) The YF Camp Fee collection will happen today, outside at the booth in front of the Main Sanctuary! Do register for the camp at the booth or online at http://tinyurl.com/jlx46jm if you have not done so! Hope to see you there!

3) Catechism Class for Easter Baptism on 16 April 2017 commences on 8 Jan 2017 at Beulah Centre Rm 2-1, 9.30am. Please pre-register by emailing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or filling up the form available at the front counter. Those seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith and transfer of membership must attend the catechism class. Closing date: 1 Jan 2017.

4) Our condolences to Tan Ling Ling & family on the demise of her father, Tan Khay Ho (70 yrs old) on 2 Dec 16. The non-Christian funeral will be held today. The cortege will leave 50 Telok Blangah Drive and proceed to Mandai Crematorium at 12.45 pm.

Preaching appt: Rev Seet in Batam. Rev Quek at Life Chinese Svc, 11 am. Rev Khoo at Chinese BSF, 7 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