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Scripture Memory: God’s Greatness

VERSE : Psalm 147:5 “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

2 November 2014
8 am & 11am Worship Service
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Brethren, Pray for Us! 1 Thes 5:25; 2 Thes 3:1,2 )
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Colin Wong (How Christians Ought to Conduct Themselves Socially, Rom 12:11-16)

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)

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My dear Reader,

INVESTING IN ETERNITY

Recently I read a story about a farmer who received a calf from a rich man.  Hopeful that the calf will be able to help him have a better life, he did his best to take care of it.  But as the calf grew, so did his expenses.  One day, he said to himself, “I don’t want to wait anymore for this calf to become an ox.  I’ll just sell it and buy several sheep which are easier and much cheaper to take care of.”  And so he did just that.

After a few months, the farmer realized that breeding sheep were not as easy as he thought and so he said to himself, “It takes too long for these sheep to give birth.  I better just sell them and buy myself several hens which can lay eggs for me everyday.”  And so he did just that.

The plan worked very well, the farmer was earning good from selling all the eggs.  Life improved for him.  But after a couple of months, the hens started to lay less and less eggs until one day, they couldn’t produce anymore.  He was devastated.  In his anger, he cooked all of them and had himself a feast.  Later that week, he remembered the single calf that started it all and realized that after all his hard work, nothing had changed in his life.

Are you like the farmer who often becomes impatient when investments take so long to grow and gives up when things become hard? Remember that there’s no shortcut towards success and time is your ally.  Be patient and persistent and the money will come soon enough.

And when it does, do you make the mistake of spending all your earnings? To become rich, you must learn to delay gratification and use the profits as leverage to earn more.  Again, be patient and soon enough, you’ll have more than enough to spend for both your needs and your wants (The Farmer and The Calf: An Investment Story.  Edited).

This is the kind of mentality I think most Singaporeans would have.  How about you? Generally speaking, I reckon Christians with such mentality have great difficulties investing in eternity. 

Jesus has a timely message for a culture like ours.  He said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).  What Jesus said is a mandate, not a recommendation.  Invest in eternity!

J. H. Jowett aptly said, “The real measure of our wealth is how much we would be worth if we lost all our money.”  He was right.  Earthly riches or the lack of them has nothing to do with real wealth.  The only treasure that matters is the treasure you lay up in heaven.

Singapore is an affluent country.  According to a new report from the Boston Consulting Group, Singapore has retained the honour of having the highest percentage of millionaires in the world.  She had 188,000 millionaire households in 2011 or slightly more than 17% of its resident households.  Effectively, that equates to more than one in every six Singapore households having disposable private wealth of over US$1 million, excluding property, businesses and luxury goods. If those were included, it would likely push the number of millionaire households even higher, since property in Singapore is among the world’s most expensive (“Singapore No. 1 For Millionaires – Again” by Shibani Mahtani, June 1, 2012).

People in our society are wealthier than the past generations.  Sadly, many of them rapidly squander their blessings on things that have no eternal value.  Their buying habits show little concern for anything of eternal value.  If our wealth reveals the condition of our hearts (as Jesus said in verse 21), I think this generation is in serious spiritual trouble. 

Many Singaporeans are chasing the Singaporean Dream of the 5Cs – Cash, Credit Card, Condominium, Car and Country Club Membership.  I remember the recession in the mid 80s.  People who survived through it thought that Singapore was going through another “Golden Age” where economic growth proceeded at break-neck speed creating wealth and making the Singapore pledge come true … “so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for the nation.”  Prosperity did come and hence the 5Cs were the be-all and the end-all of the so-called Singaporean Dream in the 90s.

But how many of them would admit that the Singaporean Dream is nothing but an illusion, and chasing its dream can become destructive (Ecclesiastes 1:2).  Statistics indicate the more money you have the more likely you are to commit suicide.  Life expectancy decreases as income increases.  Money adds to stress, and that in turn takes years off your life.  One study shows that wealth also intensifies moral decline and family disintegration.  Marital infidelity and divorce rates rise with income levels (Singapore is ranked number 16 on World’s Highest Divorce Rate according to NationMaster). 

The Bible says, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10).  The greed for money incites crime, destroys families, wrecks lives and the ultimate price for loving temporal things is eternal damnation.  Didn’t Jesus say, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36

Dearly beloved, as Christians, how would you invest your life, time, money and energy on earth? Do you think you need a radical paradigm shift? Do you need a new way of seeing things? Perhaps, you need to look at things from an eternal perspective.

In the Parable of the Hidden Treasure, Jesus used a treasure in the field as an illustration of heavenly treasure (Matthew13:44).  The lesson is that no matter how great an earthly treasure is, it is still worthless in the eyes of eternity.  As a matter of fact, this is the kind of treasure that most people waste their lives on. 

As children of God, not of the world, you and I ought to dream of investing our life, money, energy and time where it matters most.  If God has blessed you with abundance in wealth, good health and strength, why don’t invest it in eternity?

Some of us may think that the man in the parable who sold “all” to buy a hidden treasure in the field is a fool.  He is no fool.  He did it with joy.  He knows his payoff is much greater than the cost because he is making short-term sacrifices for long-term rewards.  He sees it an incredible opportunity to cash in earthly treasure for heavenly treasure.  Yes, it may cost him everything he had but what matters is it will gain him everything.

Jim Elliot who evangelized the Auca Indians in the 50’s aptly said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Does it sound like he didn’t care about gain? No, he cared about the right kind of gain – gain that would last, not just for the short today but for what A. W. Tozer called “the long tomorrow.”

In my last trip to a mission field, I ministered to one church and visited two.  The pastor of the church told me that a brother in the church offered a piece of land to build a church and another brother offered his whole house to be converted for worship service.  Are these brothers fools? No.  They see the treasures of eternity far more than earthly treasures and become so consumed by them that nobody could keep them from giving them to the Lord (Acts 2:44, 45; 4:32-37).

Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:19, 20).  Writing to Timothy, Paul exhorts the rich not to put their hope in wealth which is uncertain, but in God who richly provides for them everything for their enjoyment.  Then he commanded them to do three things – to be rich in good works, to be generous in giving and to be ready and willing to share their wealth with others (1 Timothy 6:17-19). 

A story is told of John Wesley visiting a vast estate.  The proud plantation owner rode him around on horses all day and saw only a fraction of the estate.  At the end of the day when they sat down to dinner he said, “Well, Mr. Wesley, what do you think?” Wesley thought about it and said, “I think you’re going to have a hard time leaving all this.”

Dearly beloved, some of you may find it hard to invest in eternity (because this is your hard-earned money), but when you catch a vision for what it means to invest in eternity, any reluctant feeling of sacrifice will be overwhelmed with pure joy and excitement.  At the end of the day when you see your Saviour face to face, He will say to you, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21, 23) and you will hear the applause of heaven.

John Wesley aptly said, “I judge all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity.”  There are many ways to lay up treasures in heaven.  You may give your money and possessions to invest in God’s kingdom.  However, these are not the only ways.  You may also use your God-given gifts, talents and skills to serve God (Acts 9:36; 18:24-28; Romans 16:1-4, 6, 9, 12; 2 Timothy 1:16; 3 John 5-8) and promote the Gospel beyond the shore of Singapore.

Dearly beloved, I am reminded of the words of a veteran missionary C.T. Studd of England in the 1900s, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”  Let me encourage you to give some thought to these words.  You may not be called to the ministry but that should not keep you from investing in eternity.  As a member of the Body of Christ, you ought to play your part to advance the Gospel to the uttermost part of the world (Acts 1:8).

So, the question before us: How would you like to spend the rest of your life on earth? Invest in earthly things in order to build your own kingdom on earth? Or invest in eternity? As for me, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is my greatest eternal investment.  Amen.                               —Pastor Colin

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GOSPEL SUNDAY

Date: 30th November 2014

Time: 8 am & 11.00 am

Topic: Prepare to Meet Your God (Amos 4:12)

Speakers: Rev Colin Wong (English Service)

Rev Kew See Seong (Mandarin/Hokkien)

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

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Men’s Fellowship Meeting

8 Nov 14 (this Sat) at 8 pm, Greek & Hebrew Rm

God’s Mission by Bro Tan Thiam Hong

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.

Contact Elder Lim Ching Wah (9183-6783) for more information.

Love gifts to defray the cost of the camp are greatly appreciated.

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ERBL LECTURES (JAN-MAY 2015)

Day Time                   Course                                Lecturer

Mon 7.30 - 9.30 pm     The OT Historical Books      Rev Charles Seet

Tue  10 - 12.00 pm      The Doctrine of the Church   Rev Isaac Ong

Wed 10 - 12.00 pm      Daniel                                Rev Ho Chee Lai

Thu 10 - 12.00 pm       Colossians                         Rev Colin Wong

         7.30 - 9.30 pm   Equipping Lay Leaders        Rev Dr Jack Sin

Fri    10 - 12.00 pm     Westminster Standards        Rev Isaac Ong

Closing date for ‘Early Bird Discount’ of $5 is 7 Dec 14. Lectures begin on 12 Jan 15. Please complete registration forms and place them in the box, together with payment.

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1) Corrigendum: In the weekly of 26 Oct 2014, the sentence immediately before ‘Chronology’ should read, “Upon returning to Singapore, Rev Tow and Eld Quek Kiok Chiang founded Life Church English Service on the 3rd Sunday of October 1950, which later became the first B-P church in Singapore.”

2) 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.

3) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 5. A written review exercise of the verses are obtainable at the front counter today. Please submit by 9 Nov 14. Review Nos. 1-4 are also available for those who missed them.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet in Batam. Rev Wong at Olivet BPC, 9.30 am and Life Evening Service, 6.00 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