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Scripture Memory: God’s Deliverance. 
VERSE : Psalm 34:19 
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. 

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

9 November 2014
8 am & 11am Worship Service
Lee Hock Chin (A Church to Thank God For, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Jack Sin (Overcoming Evil with Good, Romans 12:17-21)

16 November 2014
8 am & 11am Worship Service
Rev Charles Seet (Signs of the Lord’s Coming, 2 Thes 2:1-8)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Quek KK (Godly Attitudes to Authorities, Rom 13:1-8)

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THE REMEDY FOR SPIRITUAL EBOLA

Reports of the deadly Ebola virus have spread faster than the highly-contagious virus itself. Ebola is the most feared virus because once a person is infected, its ability to spread and cause death is astounding. 

But the fear of Ebola is even more infectious than the virus itself. Fear causes governments to shut their borders to countries affected by it. As fear spreads like wildfire it makes people overanxious about their safety and health.

Fear is a spiritual Ebola that can infect even the most faithful God-fearing Christian. Numbers chapters 13-15 tell the account of how it infected the Israelites terribly even though they had witnessed God’s awesome power as He led them through the wilderness from Egypt to the Promised Land.

Upon reaching its southern border, the Israelites sent twelve spies unto Canaan. Forty days later they returned with glowing reports that Canaan was truly a “land flowing with milk and honey.” They brought back bunches of grapes so huge that two men had to carry them. But ten of the spies gave an exaggerated report. They claimed that the Canaanites were giants and the sky-high walls of the Canaanite cities made them impregnable. Therefore the Israelites could never overcome them.

Although Caleb and Joshua tried to convince the people to move in and occupy the land, the Israelites chose to listen to the ten spies. Their immediate response to the unfavourable report was fear. This became an epidemic that grew out of control and spread through the whole camp until all the congregation cried and wept.

This spiritual Ebola soon produced symptoms of doubting and complaining against God. They said,“And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey?” (Number 14:3) Finally, the disease became full-blown in acts of disobedience. They decided to overthrow their leaders and return to Egypt. They were about to stone Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb when God suddenly intervened. The ten spies who were the primary source of infection were struck dead. A whole generation was denied access to the Land of promise, quarantined as it were, because of their sin. Only their children would be permitted to enter and enjoy its blessings.

The Remedy: Trust in God

Let us be careful not to fall into the same sin as the Israelites. In order to do this, we must learn what it means to trust in God. To trust in God is to depend fully upon the Lord. It means laying down the whole weight and hope of our expectation of mercy or deliverance upon Him.

The Bible makes it quite clear that God’s people are required to trust in Him: Psalm 9:10 – “And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee: for Thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee.” Psalm 18:2 – “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”

It becomes especially needful for us to trust in God when fear grips our hearts. This enables us to see that our God is much greater than all the things we fear. As Psalm 56:3 tells us, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.” There are several things we need to trust God for.

1. Salvation – Ephesians 1:12,13 – “That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” This trust is exclusive. When we trust in God for salvation, we are not to trust in anything else – our good works, our family background, upbringing, church membership, etc. God alone must be the object of our trust.

2. Deliverance: We should trust the Lord to preserve us or to deliver us whenever we are sick or in trouble or going through difficult trials: Psalm 25:18-20 – “Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in Thee.”

3. Daily Provisions: We should also trust in the Lord for our daily provisions. Hence we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” The term “bread” here means “necessities, conveniences of this life, food, raiment, housing.” One verse that clearly shows this is Philippians 4:19 – “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Our Efforts vs. Trusting God

While we need to trust God for things in life like health, food and provisions, this does not mean that we should make no efforts at all for our own deliverance or daily provisions.

Abraham’s servant was commanded to find a wife for Isaac. In the prayer he made, he trusted God to guide him to the right woman for Isaac. But he then took the initiative to approach Rebecca and ask for a drink, and God caused her to give the sign he had requested for: She not only gave him a drink but also gave water to his camels. So the servant later testified, “I being in the way, the Lord led me”(Genesis 24:27).

The same principle applies to God’s provision for our health. While we pray that the Lord will grant us good health, this does not mean that we can then stop taking precautions in our lifestyle and diet. It does not mean that we do not have to see a doctor and that we can refuse to take medicine when we are very sick. We need to do these things, recognising the biblical principle that God uses ordinary means to accomplish His purposes in our lives.

The same principle is true about our work – God provides for us, but He uses the work we do for a living to make these provisions. The only exception is when it is clearly God’s will for us not to work but to depend on Him alone to provide for us by other means. E.g. A person who is unable to work because of sickness or permanent disability that results from an accident. Since God is in control and has allowed this situation, it must be His will for him to depend upon Him to provide for him by some other means.

For the majority, God’s will is to work for a living. Those who refuse to work and claim that they are trusting God to supply all their needs are rebuked by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 – “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” The Apostle Paul himself demonstrated this principle when he made tents with Aquila and Priscilla at a time when he had no livelihood and support in Corinth.

Trusting God also does not mean making no effort to save for the future, especially in anticipation of future needs like one’s retirement. When Joseph was the prime minister of Egypt, God gave him the wisdom to save all the surplus produce of the land during the seven years of plenty so that there would be enough provisions during the seven years of famine.

However, to work hard in order to build up super-excessive savings is to trust in your own ability to provide for yourself. This kind of trust is misplaced. Jesus addressed this problem in His parable of the Rich Fool, who said to himself, “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” (Luke 12:19,20)

The rich are often tempted to trust in their riches: 1 Timothy 6:17 – “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” Trusting in riches makes a person covetous, and trusting in one’s own ability to provide for oneself makes a person proud. Both of these are sins that God hates. And trusting in these two things will bring forth even more sinful results. When a person has to forsake the ability to provide for himself in order to obey God, or when his riches are suddenly taken away, fear and anxiety will lead him into despair, doubt, and disobedience.

But if one is trusting fully in God, the loss of such things will not affect his obedience to God and his trust in God. Like Job he will be able to say, “The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21) True contentment comes from trusting fully in the Lord.

Hence, if we still cannot earn much despite all our diligent efforts, we do not see this as a major setback. God provides for our needs through ordinary means like our own efforts, or through extraordinary means like the kindness of others. If we have yielded our lives to seek and to do His will, we will always be careful to discern what God wants us to do in any situation – whether to take a second job, or to take a housing loan, or to buy a car. Each of us has to ask, “Lord, what do you want me to do?”

God’s will for some may be to hold two jobs and trust Him for grace not to compromise their daily walk with Him. For others it may mean having one job, and trusting Him to help them live on that alone. For yet others, God’s will may be to have no job at all for a time, and to live entirely by faith. Whatever choices you make, always have a clear conscience that it is God’s will is for you. Doing anything beyond that will result in trusting in yourself and not in God.

 May the Lord help us to live by faith and not by fear.                                                        —Pastor

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Men’s Fellowship Meeting

15 Nov 14 (this Sat) at 8 pm, Greek & Hebrew Rm. 
God’s Mission 
by Rev Goh Seng Fong. All are welcome.

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LTF Camp 2014 (8-12 Dec)

Theme: Spiritual Exercise. Speaker: Mr. Lim Chien Chong (Grace B-P Church). All teens aged 12-17 are invited! Registration ends on 23 Nov.  To register: bit.ly/LTFcamp2014Contact Elder Lim Ching Wah (9183-6783) for more info. Love gifts to defray the cost of the camp are greatly appreciated.

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Date of Founding of Life English Service (which is now Life Bible-Presbyterian Church): All our church publications since 1971 have indicated our date of founding as 20 October 1950. However through recent research it is now known that the actual date was Sunday, 15 October 1950. We thank Elder Joshua Lim for highlighting this to us and for confirming it with those who were present at the inaugural service.

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1) The Adults’ Fellowship is organizing a retreat in KSL, JB from 15 to 17 Nov and we would like to extend invitation to interested Lifers to join us. Speaker: Rev Matthews Abraham. Theme: Knowing Christ. Topics: 1. The Alpha and Omega. 2. The Pre-Existent One.    3. The Pre-Eminent One.    4. The King of kings and Lord of lords.Please email your interest to us by TODAY, giving us details of your full name, date of birth, passport expiry date to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will get back to you with confirmation.

2) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 5. The deadline for submitting the written review is today.

3) Chinese Vacation Bible School (CVBS), 3 - 5 Dec 2014.  Closing date for registration is NEXT SUNDAY. For enquiries, please call Weng Kit, 9621-0280. 

4) Infant Baptism on Christmas Sunday, 21 Dec 14. Parents who intend to have their infants baptised must register by 23 Nov 14. Please call the Church office (65949399) or email Yin Chan giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

5) Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Jeremy Goh on the gift of a baby girl on 2 Nov 14.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet at Young Lifers Worship, 11am and Indonesian Service, 4pm.Rev Wong at New Life BPC 31st Anniv. 10am.

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