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Scripture Memory: God’s Salvation.

VERSE : Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

15 February 2015

8 am & 11am Worship Service
Eld Chin Hoong Chor (Being Stewards of God’s Mystery, 1 Cor 4:1-6)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Not Withholding Good, Pro 3:27-35)

22 February 2015

8 am & 11am Worship Service
Eld Ng Beng Kiong (Immorality in the Church, 1 Cor 5:1-13)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Tan Eng Boo (Take My Life and Let It Be..., Prov 4:23-27)

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GREAT EXPECTATIONS!

“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” —William Carey

Before the end of the year 2014, Australia was rocked by three horrific events, almost in succession, namely, the accidental drowning of toddler Sam Trott in Perth, the siege at a Sydney café and the tragic massacre of eight children in Cairns, Queensland. These naturally led to many crying out, “What on earth is happening? And what can we expect in the year to come?”

No doubt the three tragic events shell-shocked the whole nation, there are, however, many smaller but personal events—job loss, broken relationships, passing away of loved ones—that might have dampened our expectations for the New Year. We may also personally question: “What can I expect in the year ahead?”

This brought to mind the classic novel Great Expectations written by Charles Dickens. Several years before its publication, we’re told that Dickens went through the painful events of broken relationships. Could this be his yearning for great expectations? Could the desire of homecoming prompt him to write this novel?

Amid the prevailing gloom, I’m encouraged by the words of William Carey, a missionary to India: “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”

William Carey was raised in an obscure and rural village in England, and apprenticed in a local cobbler’s shop. Though little educated, his love for God’s Word motivated him to teach himself Greek, Hebrew and Latin. When his master died, Carey took up shoemaking, and married his wife, Dorothy. The business, however, wasn’t doing well, and the family sunk into poverty. Amid hard times, Carey persevered and continued his language studies. He wrote, “I can plod, I can persevere to any definite pursuit.”

Not only was Carey keen on biblical languages, he was also very zealous in spreading the gospel to other cultures. In 1792, as a minister of a Baptist church, Carey spoke at the inaugural meeting of the missionary society. His text was from Isaiah 54:2-3, which was God’s challenge to His people after He brought them back from exile: “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.” In it, Carey made the call: “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”

Within a year, Carey, John Thomas (a former surgeon) and Carey’s family were on a ship headed for India. He remained in India the rest of his life spreading the gospel, translating the Scripture into Bengali, Sanskrit and several other languages. He also left a great legacy in reforming Indian society. Carey lived out the maxim of his call.

Dearly beloved, we are not people who bury our heads in the sand, deluding ourselves as though everything is alright. We’re keenly aware that the world is going through tough times, both financially and socially. But at the same time we have a God who is infinitely greater than all the hardships we’re encountering. And more importantly, He cares for us. Hence, we can expect great things from God. And, amid the uncertainties and hardships, we can attempt great things for God.

With this in mind, I wish you all a blessed Chinese New Year and fruitful 2015.—Rev Peter Chng

[Come and hear Rev Peter Chng bringing God’s Word on the topic “He Leadeth Me” (Psalm 23) at our CNY service at 8:00 am this Thursday, 19 February 2015.]

TRUE BLESSINGS

With only four days left to Chinese New Year, it would be good to reflect on the real blessings God has bestowed upon us. This is a time also to consider the real value in eternity, of all our present pursuits in life, including the pursuit of wealth, posterity and longevity.

During CNY it is customary for people to wish one another “Gong Xi Fa Cai” which means, “May your wealth increase.” Fire crackers, twisted bamboo, pussy willow, and hong baos are all symbols of good fortune. Many homes have red banners or the Chinese word “Fu” placed upside down, supposedly to usher in good luck. The two oranges that are exchanged during visitation are believed to bring wealth because the word for gold and orange sounds alike in Cantonese. Fresh fish (yu sheng) is eaten because the word for fresh or raw also means life or grow. Eating groundnuts is supposed to bring long life, while eating melon seeds is supposed to bring more children.

CNY greetings often depict the Fu Lu Shou that epitomise happiness, success and longevity. This typifies the philosophy that dominates the life of many people: The pursuit of happiness in the things of this life. If this is all that we live for, our whole world will be shattered when we are unable to have these things or when we lose these things. The truth is neither wealth, posterity nor longevity can bring the real happiness that we need in life. King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, concluded, “All is vanity and vexation of spirit” (Ecclesiastes 1:142:17).

Wealth is not always a blessing. Added wealth brings added worries. More time and money has to be spent to ensure security against theft and kidnapping. Typhoons, floods and other natural disasters reduce material assets to ruins within a very short time. Thus, the blessing that riches bring do not last long and is outweighed by the burdens they bring. We must therefore stop entertaining the delusion that wealth always brings blessings.

Children are not always a blessing. Although it is true that they bring us joy, it is also true that every child’s birth brings added responsibility: one more mouth to feed, one more body to clothe and provide for, one more mind to educate, one more soul to train and discipline. Raising up children often places great stress and strain on parents.

The burden of providing for their needs is supposed to be amply compensated when the children grow up and are able to take care of their aging parents. But this assumes that the children turn out to be good, independent, responsible and caring people who love their parents. There is no guarantee that every child will turn out that way. Every child is born a sinner (cf. Psalm 51:5), and will remain one unless he or she comes to salvation in Christ. This sinful nature brings rebellion against God and the child’s parents. Some grow up to become liabilities rather than assets. Thus, a person may have many children but if none of them are good and filial, the blessing of having them is only an illusion. We should therefore not look to our children for the happiness we seek in life.

Longevity is not always a blessing. Even if a person could live on earth forever, that does not necessarily mean that he will be happy. To live forever in a body and environment that is subject to the curse of sin is not a pleasant prospect. Longevity is a blessing only if we are able to remain physically strong and healthy in our old age, and if there is nothing better for us after death.

But we who belong to Christ have something better after death. Since we look forward to a better life after this present one, we do not need to anxiously prolong our present life. The only advantage of continuing to live is that we can be used by God to do His will on earth and to be a blessing to others as long as we are here.

Success is not always a blessing. Ambition, hard work and running a business successfully may have helped many to improve their lot in life. But many people do not remain content with what they have. They keep wanting to have more and more. They strive for what the world defines as “success” and that is an elusive goal to achieve.

On the other hand, some may not appear to be very successful but are contented with what they have. They do not dream of having great riches and making greater gains for themselves. A poor person who is contented is better off than a rich man who is not contented (cf. Ecclesiastes 5:12). It is therefore better to strive for contentment than to strive for success as defined by the world because the latter is a never-ending quest.

Here then is our dilemma: Man has no choice but to live in this world for a time. Therefore he ought to make the best use of his life. This is the only way to have a truly blessed life. But on the other hand, whatever man does leads to vanity! He cannot escape from it. So what is he to do?

The solution is found in God. God alone knows what is good for man in this life because He created man. And God has revealed this in the Scriptures: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8) Here we find three requirements for man to have a truly blessed life:  

1. Do justly – This implies putting our sins away and living according to God’s commandments.

2. Love mercy – This implies loving our fellow men as God has loved us and has shown mercy to us.

3. Walk humbly with God – This implies maintaining a close relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

While everyone celebrates the pursuit of wealth, success, posterity and longevity this week, let us be reminded to pursue these requirements for true blessings in life – to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. –Pastor

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Results of Scripture Memory Verse Programme Review Exercise No.6

We congratulate the following who have achieved  a score of 70% and above:

1.   Angela Tan

2.   Annette Kunst-Teh

3.   Betrand Lam

4.   Carina Teh

5.   Chan Sok Kheng

6.   Charmaine Low

7.   Claire Tan

8.   Daniel Tan

9.   Eunice Chew

10. Ian Liu

11. Iris Loe

12. Jennifer Goh

13. Joelle Heng Wee En

14. Joyce Ang

15. Leong Li Peng

16. Leong Sow Mun

17. Leslie Tan

18. Lim Buay Hock

19. Lorene Chee

20. Mark Liu Liwen

21. Nigel Teh Tian Li

22. Ong Phei Hong

23. Patrick Kok

24. Peggy Heng Siew Ngen

25. Russell Joel Indran

26. Ryan Cheung Hao Han

27. Samuel Quek Yixin

28. Sim Siew Hoon

29. Sim Yen Hua

30. Tan Khoon Lee

31. Tan Kwee Mui

32. Tessa Teh

33. Theodore Lee

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1) Notice of Ordination: Notice is hereby given that Mr Lee Hock Chin will be presented for ordination as a Minister of the Gospel at an ordination service that will be held in Life B-P Church on 29 March 2015. If any person knows any valid reason or impediment why he should not be ordained, he is to inform the Board of Elders immediately, and not later than 1 March 2015 (Please contact Rev Seet at 6594-9380).

2) Book Table (Today Only). Sunday school prizewinners are encouraged to choose their books today at the book table, even if they have misplaced or not brought their vouchers. All are welcome to purchase books and Bibles.

3) The Coffee Corner is open at the FEK corridor between the 2 Sunday morning Services (except for the Sunday School period). Lifers and visitors are encouraged to visit the coffee corner to fellowship over refreshments.

4) Infant Baptism on Easter Sunday, 5 Apr 15. Parents who intend to have their infants baptised must register by 1 Mar 15. Please call the Church office (6594-9399) or email Yin Chan  giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

5) Traffic Wardens are needed during the following time frames - before & after 8am worship; before & after Sunday school and before & after 11am service. Please contact Dn David Tan, 9667 9733.

6) Far Eastern Kindergarten Online Registration: 2015 Intake - Limited vacancies

2016 Pre-Nursery (YOB 2013) & Nursery (YOB 2012) - New Intake. 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 28 February 2015. Public registration begins on 1 March on a first-come-first-served basis.

7) Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Cornelius Kan on the birth of a baby boy on 6 Feb 14.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet at Thai Service, 2.30 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

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