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Scripture Memory: Christ Gives Rest.

VERSE : Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

19 April 2015

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (Can I Divorce and Remarry? 1 Cor 7:10-16, 27)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (A False Balance, Prov 11:1; 20:10,23)

26 April 2015

9am: Combined Service

Rev Colin Wong (Doing Things Decently and Orderly, 1 Cor 14:40)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Lee Hock Chin (God or Mammon? Prov 11:28)

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THE MERCY MINISTRY

All Are Called to Mercy

In the early church, when the Greek widows were neglected, the church called seven Spirit-filled deacons to provide food and spiritual care for the practical needs of the widows (Acts 6:1-5). But mercy ministry is not just for deacons.

Our Lord Jesus Christ called all believers to be the salt and light of the world (Mt 5:14-15), so that by our good works done out of true faith (James 2:15-17), others may be drawn to Christ.  “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their afflictionand to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27

In the early church, a compassionate lady named Dorcas devoted her life to sewing coats and garments for poor widows (Acts 9:36, 39).  In Prov 31:20, the godly wife “stretcheth out her hand to the poor ... and the needy.”  And in Lev 19:9-10, God instructed Israel not to completely gather the entire harvest of their land, but to leave the corners and some grapes in the vineyard for the poor and stranger to glean. This speaks of God’s kind mercy and care of the poor and needy. 

If we see a brother or sister hungry, we can do more than saying “I’ll pray for you” or “May God help you.” We must provide practical and timely help to the needy. God calls all Christians to show mercy to people in need, such as a family strapped with medical bills, or a brother struggling to earn enough for a growing family and elderly parents.

The Biblical Basis for Mercy

1.  A believer’s life is a ministry of mercy.

(a) Sheep commended for showing mercy.  In the parable of the sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31, 35-36) Jesus commended the sheep for their loving deeds to those in need. “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”  The sheep, which symbolised true believers, were puzzled and asked, when did we do that to you, Lord? (v.37-39). Jesus answered in verse 40, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  What Jesus means is that the lives of believers are characterised by giving to fellow believers in need: giving a drink to the thirsty, giving “meat” (food) to the hungry, giving clothes to the naked, and giving friendship to the sick and the imprisoned.  These donations are simple acts of mercy that flow from hearts touched by God’s mercy.  

(b) Goats condemned for not showing mercy. Conversely, the lives of non-believers (“goats”) were characterised by a rejection of the Saviour and His people. They did not love or care for others, but were selfish, self-centred and self-indulgent.

2.  A believer’s mercy stems from God’s mercy.

(a)  If we do not show mercy, is God’s love really in us?  “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:17)

(b) Touched by God’s love, we love others. When we were in need, God loved us and reached out to us in the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we have received God’s love and mercy, likewise we show kindness, mercy, love, forgiveness and compassion to others.

3.  How do we show mercy.

(a) With sincerity and generosity (Rom 12:8b “he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity”).

(b) With cheerfulness (Rom 12:8d “he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.”).  Giving to others, not grudgingly, but cheerfully, as it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Indeed God promised to bless those who minister to the poor (Psalm 41:1).

Cautions on Mercy Ministry

1.   Mercy ministry is costly.

(a) Financial. “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” Luke 10:33-34.  The Samaritan provided immediate medical first aid treatment, bound up the man’s wound to stop bleeding, set him on his animal and brought him to an inn. As the injured man was robbed of his possessions, the Samaritan offered to pay all charges for the man’s stay in the inn until he recovered fully or until he returned. As the man was almost half-dead and would have needed an extended stay, it was an extremely generous financial offer.

(b) Time, energy & emotions.  Mercy is costly not just in monetary terms. Helping people find food, housing, friendship, jobs, tuition for children, detox programmes and providing biblical counseling are time-consuming and emotionally exhausting. Getting involved with needy people can also be really messy.  Their problems are often complex and not easily solved by money. Hence, the mercy ministry committee in our church takes a holistic approach in evaluating and prioritising needs.  It’s not just about giving money, but be-friending them, helping them to track their expenditure, encouraging them to upgrade their skills and keep a better-paying job, working hand in hand with pastors to counsel and help them overcome sinful habits and acquire biblical communication and parenting skills, etc.

(c) Balanced approach. The problems in mercy ministry may seem overwhelming and we are tempted to give up as we do not have enough resources. For every one genuinely needy person, there seems to be at least one other who is just trying to take advantage of you. We need a balanced approach. We should first ensure that we provide for our own family (1 Tim 5:8) with a moderate, not lavish, lifestyle.  After our family is cared for, we should set aside a modest sum for helping needy people. In God’s progressive regime, He specifically exhorts the rich in 1 Tim 6:17-18, to share their wealth with others in good works. The rich, who can afford to give more, should contribute more to mercy ministry.

2. Mercy ministry can be dangerous.

(a)  It can distract church leaders from gospel focus. Pastors and elders may find themselves distracted from the proclamation of the gospel by the demands of mercy ministry.

(b)  Solution: encourage the use of “helps” and “mercy” gifts. “God hath set some in the church” with the gift of “helps” (1 Cor 12:28) i.e. some in the local church are gifted in serving the poor and needy.  Leaders are to identify these brethren and encourage them to exercise their gifts so that the pastors and elders can focus on the ministry of the Word and prayer (see Acts 6:1-5).  In addition, all of us can do our part to lighten the burden on leaders by providing immediate support and help to our circle of friends. 

Conclusion

As recipients of God’s mercy, we are exhorted to do works of mercy by caring for needy people. This is not the task of church deacons alone, but the fundamental duty of every believer.  It is costly, though, and God calls Christians to adopt a moderate standard of living so that we can sacrificially give to help others.

                                         —Rev Lee Hock Chin

 

Disbursement of Christmas Eve Offering 2014

At our Christmas Eve worship service that was held on 24 December 2014, we thank God that worshippers responded to the call to help the poor, needy and underprivileged through Christian ministries in Singapore and overseas.  An offering of S$67,089.30 was collected, which has been distributed as follows:

Local:

1.  Needy families of students in Life SCC Ltd...S$6,089.30
(Our student care ministry in two centres in Yishun)

2.  The Helping Hand.............................................S$5,000.00
(A Christian half-way house for the rehabilitation of ex-drug addicts and ex-offenders)

3.  Breakthrough Missions .........................................S$5,000.00
     (A Christian drug rehabilitation half-way house)

4.  Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled......S$5,000.00
     (A joint effort of the MSF and Bible-Presbyterian Welfare Services)

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

6.  Christian Outreach to the Handicapped.............S$5,000.00
(An interdenominational not-for-profit organization for the intellectually disabled)

7.  Ju Eng Home for Senior Citizens.........................S$5,000.00
(A non-profit charity home with 334 residents)

8.  Ling Kwang Home for Senior Citizens................S$5,000.00
(The first voluntary welfare organization that was set up by Bible-Presbyterian Welfare Services)

9.  The Hiding Place 
(Christian Home Mission) Ltd...............................S$5,000.00
(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.)

10. The Turning Point..................................................S$1,000.00
(A Christian charity reaching out to women seeking recovery from substance abuse and crime.)

11. Zion Home for the Aged ........................................S$1,000.00
(A ministry of Zion Presbyterian Church for aged women.)

Overseas:

12. Filadelfia Shelter Home in Batam, Indonesia ..S$3,500.00
(A ministry of Filadelfia B-P Church, Batam for abandoned children)

13. Children of poor Christian families from Ottreth village..................S$3,500.00
(A ministry of Rev Moses Hahn, our Partner-in-Missions in Cambodia)

14. Operation Hope Foundation.................................S$5,000.00
(A Christian charity that helps orphans and the poor in developing countries)

As the Lord has moved Lifers to give superabundantly there is a surplus of S$7,000 left from this offering after apportioning the above amounts. The Church Session has decided to use the surplus to help our own members with financial needs with a sum of S$1,000 each.

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Notice of Annual Congregational Meeting, Lord’s Day, 26 April 2015, at 10:45am

All members of Life B-P Church are reminded to attend this meeting. The combined English worship service begins at 9am.

A yellow “Voting Member’s Record Verification Form” (VMRVF) has been post-mailed to all resident voting members in good standing. 
For your convenience, please remember to bring the yellow VMRVF for the exchange of ballot paper before the ACM commences.

Otherwise, there will be processing delay in your membership verification. 

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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 Briefing: 24 May 2015

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

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1) 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.

2) Church Library Relocation. Due to the relocation of the church library to the sanctuary balcony, the library will be closed today.

3) Clean socks for Cambodian Mission. We have received the required numbers. Thanks to all those who have given.

4) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 1. A written review exercise of the verses is obtainable at the front counter. Please submit by today.

5) Chinese Service Parents’ Night. 2nd May (Sat). 5:30 to 9pm. Venue: Pin Si Restaurant @ Yishun Safra. Program: Gospel Sharing by Rev Daniel Khoo.Testimony by a brother from Helping Hand (Both in Mandarin). Choir Presentation. Chinese 8-Course Dinner. Fees: $30  (13 years old & above); $20 (4 to 12 years old). Free (infant to 3 years old). Please register at Beulah House MPH after 11 am service.

6) Preaching appts: Rev Seet at AF Mtg, 1.15 pmRev Wong at Olivet BPC, 9.30 am and Thai Service, 2.30pm.

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