FacebookTwitterRSS FeedPinterest

Scripture Memory: God Sustains.

VERSE : Isaiah 46:4 “And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”

* * *

O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

3 May 2015

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (The Limits of Our Liberty, 1 Cor 8, 10:23-33)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Colin Wong (The Problem with Pride, Prov 11:2) 

10 May 2015

8am & 11am: Worship Service 

Rev Charles Seet (Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother, Mk 7:9-13)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Gracious Woman, Prov 11:16; 31:30-31)

* * *

My dear Reader,

SPIRITUAL GROWTH

“I have been a Christian for years, but why am I not growing spiritually?” asked a longtime Christian.  What is wrong with me? What is hindering me from my spiritual growth? Are there any “spiritual earthworms” hindering the growth of my plant of spirituality?

Spiritual growth begins when a person receives salvation in Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit of God comes in to live in him (John 14:16, 17).  He becomes a new creation in Christ.  The old sinful nature begins to give way to the new (2 Corinthians 5:17).  He begins to change from within and his nature is becoming more and more like Jesus as he strives for the purpose of godly living (Romans 8:29; 1 Timothy 4:7b).  He is being transformed from one degree of glory to another by the power of the Holy Spirit in a daily process (2 Corinthians 3:18).  He begins to suppress the works of the flesh and manifest the different aspects of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:19-23).

Spiritual growth is a lifelong process.  There is no instant spiritual development in God’s program.  The irony is that some people who have been saved for years have grown very little, but others who have been saved for a couple of months have grown very much.  Certainly time is a factor in spiritual development.  But in some cases, the amount of time is not important because it is a commitment to the principles of growth that makes the difference.  Simply put: At times spiritual development is not measured by the calendar.

Dearly beloved in Christ, do you feel like your faith is stunted? Perhaps, this is the message for you today.  What I am going to share with you is nothing new under the sun but is fundamental to the Christian life.  So please prayerfully examine your life as you read on. 

False Salvation

       As I said, spiritual growth begins when you become a Christian.  So if you are not a Christian, there is nothing for you to begin with.  Therefore, what you need to do is to check your own salvation (Romans 8:9).  Have you acknowledged that you are a condemned sinner? Have you realized that you can’t save yourself and you need Jesus to be your Saviour to save you from sin, misery and eternal hell? (Ephesians 2:8, 9) 

This is the first step that you need to take.  You need to be sure of your salvation (2 Peter 1:10) before you can begin your journey with God.

Faith Grows through Acquaintanceship with God

Faith grows by means of knowing who God is.  Do I know my God? How much do I know my God? Do I know God enough to put my life in His hand?

King David was a man who knows God.  He knew God so well that God called him a man after His own heart who would do all His will (Acts 13:22).  How did he know God so personally and intimately? The answer is found in Psalm 27:4 – “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 inquire in his temple.”  He had only one desire in his heart – to be in the presence of God daily. 

In another Psalm, he said, “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee” (Psalm 9:10).  What is this “name” here? “Name” here refers to the character of God.  The reason why David’s faith in God was so strong was that he knew God’s nature, character and the ways He operates.

Let me illustrate.  There was a three-storey house on fire.  There was a girl up in the upper room crying for help.  People were trying to persuade her to jump into their arms but to no avail.  Then the girl heard a familiar voice.  It was her father.  He shouted at her: Dear, daddy is here.  Jump into my arms.  Without a second thought, she jumped and safely handed on her father’s arms.  She trusted her father because she knew him as her daddy.  It was her faith in him that saved her. 

What a faith David had in his God! This faith was the fruit of years of cultivation.  Such faith did not happen just last night.  This growth of faith came with much self-discipline.  Every day at a certain time, he would be found communing with God.  That was the secret of his growing faith.

Dearly beloved in Christ, do you desire a strong, growing faith like David? There is only one way – intimacy with God.  The way to achieving it is by disciplining yourselves for the purpose of godly living (1 Timothy 4:7b).

Faith Grows by Means of the Word

When a baby is born, his immediate desire is mother’s milk.  He will cry for it.  He does not care where he is, he cries loudly for it when he is hungry.  A new Christian is like this.  He has a spiritual hunger.  He longs for the pure spiritual milk – “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:1).   

The Bible is one of the means of spiritual growth.  The Word is the food that makes faith grow – “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).  Faith grows by means of the Word.  Spurgeon rightly said, “The sight of the promises themselves is good for the eyes of faith: the more we study the words of grace, the more grace shall we derive from the words” (C. H. Spurgeon: Faith’s Checkbook).

However, faith comes not just from hearing or reading the Word.  We must take heed to what it says and make every effort to practice it.  The feeding of the Word and the appropriating of God’s promises will result in a growing faith (2 Peter 1:5-7). 

Dearly beloved in Christ, it is utterly important and necessary to read the Word daily.  There is no other nourishment or sustenance for our spiritual development than God’s Word (Matthew 4:4).  Our faith grows in direct proportion to our knowledge of and commitment to the Word.  Therefore, let the Word of God dwell deeply in our heart (Colossians 3:16) and let us cherish it more than our necessary food (Job 23:12).

Faith Grows by Means of Sharing the Word

A young man desires to have a muscular body.  So he bought many books on bodybuilding.  Every day he spends hours reading and studying the techniques of developing a muscular body.  But his body remains the same.  Why? The reason is that he did not practice what he read.  In the same way, a Christian may acquire much biblical knowledge in the passage of time and still remain weak in faith because he does not share with others what he has learned. 

Paul was in the city of Thessalonica for three Sabbaths preaching the Gospel to the people.  Many of them came to the Lord in the midst of persecution (1 Thessalonians 1:6).  He had to leave them and fled to another city because of persecution (Acts 17:1-10). 

Later Paul sent Timothy to Thessalonica to find out the spiritual condition of the saints.  Having gone there, Timothy returned with a glorious report to Paul (1 Thessalonians 3:1-10).  In his letter to them, Paul highly commended the growing faith of the Thessalonians.  He said, “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly” (2 Thessalonians 1:3).  The use of the Present Tense (“grow”) speaks of a faith that is growing over and above measure.

What was the secret of the Thessalonian growth? The answer is found in 1 Thessalonians 1:8 where Paul wrote,  “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak anything.”  The faith of the Thessalonians was strong because every one of them was sharing his or her faith with the unsaved wherever God placed them. 

Dearly beloved in Christ, evangelism is a means to strengthen our faith.  The sharing of our faith causes us to grow strong spiritually.  The more we share the more we affirm in our hearts what we believe and why we believe Jesus is the only way to salvation.   Paul said, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.  Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God” (1 Corinthians 15:15, 15).  Faith grows through sharing the Word of God.

Faith Grows by Means of Trials 

Trials of life are beneficial to the Christian.  The Bible says every trial in the Christian life is ordained by God for spiritual development – “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 1:3, 4).  That is why Peter said to the persecuted Christians in Asia Minor, “… if need be” (1 Peter 1:6b).   

Trials of life are only for a season (1 Peter 1:6a).  God’s purpose of sending them is to mould and shape us to be like Christ.  And when His purpose is fulfilled, God would withdraw them for a season.  But He would send them again when He sees fit to test us, for our faith does not only grow at all seasons of the year, but also in the winter of affliction.

That is why Peter told the suffering Christians not to be surprised by the fiery trials that are coming in order to test them, or to feel as though something strange is happening to them (1 Peter 4:12), but to count them all joy whenever they encounter various ordeals of life (James 1:2).  

Dearly beloved in Christ, are you facing certain trials of life now? Do not be despair.  God never sends them without purpose or plan.  You and I have to go through a refining process in order to grow strong spiritually.  And going through the crucible is of no joy but God’s Word encourages us to consider it all joy, knowing that the trying of our faith will make us more precious than gold that perishes (James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:7; Job 12:10).  Let us submit ourselves wholly to God and commit the keeping of our souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator (1 Peter 4:12, 19).

What is holding you back from growing spiritually? Perhaps your stunted growth is due to your failure to do what is required of you in the Christian life.  Do take time to reflect.  Amen.
                        —Sincerely in the Lord, Pastor Colin

A Carnal Life

Having a hard time,
living the truth and way
is your spiritual compass
up and down every day?

Aggravated one day,
the next, loving and kind
are the fruits of the Spirit
in your life hard to find?

Fighting with temptation,
battling with hidden sin…
is the enemy of your soul
on the constant win?

Needing others approval,
seeking worldly ambition
none of God’s plan for you
seem to come to fruition?

Looking for happiness
but, ending up with strife
could it be that…
you’re living a carnal life?

Deborah Ann

Sincerely in the Lord,

Pastor Colin

* * *

GOSPEL SUNDAY

Date: 31st May 2015

Time: 8 am & 11 am

Topic: Where will you Spend Eternity?

Speakers:
Rev Philip Heng (English Service)

Rev Tang Chee Keong (Mandarin/Cantonese)

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

* * *

VBS 2015 - Wilderness Escape!

Date:   3-5 June 2015 (Wed-Fri)

Time:   9am to 12:45pm (Wed -Thu) & 9am to 1pm (Fri)

Venue:         Life BP Church (Beulah Center)

For Children:            N2 to P4

Register at:    http://www.lifebpc.com/vbs

Closing Date:            3 May 2015

Volunteers Briefing24 May 2015

*IMPT: Participants need to cater for own transport please.

* * *

1) Election Result: By a simple majority vote of 97% Rev Lee Hock Chin was elected to the office of Assistant Pastor on 26 Apr 2015.

2) The Life B-P Church Camp 2015 will be held from 15 to 18 June 2015 at Bintan’s Nirwana Resort Hotel in Indonesia.  Speaker: Dr Carl T Martin. Topic: “Changed into His Image.”  Please register now to avoid disappointment. Closing date is 17 May 2015. Offerings to defray the cost of the camp are welcome.

3) YAF Retreat 2015!  How will being aware of Eternity change the way we live? Join us as we learn together from 13-15 June at Bintan Lodge, Bintan. Speaker: Eld. Lee Heok Seng. The YAF Retreat will end when the church camp begins on the 15th of June.

4) ERBL Seminar 2015 (by Dr Timothy Okman Ki).

Day Lectures: An Appraisal of Biblical Worship vs. Contemporary Worship, Mon-Fri (22-26 Jun), from 8.30am-1pm, Exams (Sat). Audit/Credit: $40/$80

Night Lectures: Effective Christian Discipleship in the Local Church, Mon (22 Jun) & Thu (25 Jun), 7.30 pm - 9.30pm. Free.

5) The MF & LF are away at a retreat from 2-3  May 15.

6) Preaching appointments: Rev Seet in Batam.

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