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Scripture Memory: Prayer.
VERSE : Psalm 25:1 “Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

3 August 2014
8 am & 1045am Worship Service
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (A Plea to Pray for Our Country, 1 Tim 2:1-4)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Colin Wong (Esteem the Goodness of God, Rom 2:4-11)

10 August 2014
8 am & 1045am Worship Service
Lee Hock Chin (Let Us Love One Another, 1 Thes 4:9-10)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Walk the Talk, Rom 2:17-24)

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RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTS A NATION

This week we celebrate our nation’s 49th birthday. May our hearts be stirred with gratitude as we remember our nation’s many achievements. We thank God that despite the lack of natural resources, and despite the wide diversity of its people, Singapore has grown so well.

Hence, it is only right that we should acknowledge God and give all glory and thanks to Him for what our nation has become today. Let us seek His blessings upon our land, and pray that the Lord will continue to grant us good leadership in our government, and guide our leaders as they make policies that will have an important impact on our nation’s future.

God Is the Supreme Ruler of all Nations

Romans 13:1 tells us plainly that there is no power but of God and the “powers that be are ordained of God.” This means that every government can only be in power because the Lord grants it the right to exercise authority in this world for a limited time.

None can stay in power longer than God permits. “The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.” (Daniel 4:25). When the Lord sees fit to change the leadership of a nation, He will replace it with another through various means. The outcome of general or presidential election is determined by Him, as is the result of every war and political change.

This then explains the rise and fall of every nation that this world has seen from the beginning of time until now. They all received their allotted time of glory in this world from the Lord. Why did God not allow any of these world powers to remain forever? The answer for this can be found in the latter part of Proverbs 14:34 – “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

God Is the Supreme Judge of all Nations

The Lord takes notice of the sins of every nation that has existed in history. They are a reproach to the nation, and sin has been the cause of each nation’s downfall. As every nation grows and develops materially, it gradually degenerates spiritually. Prosperity often brings affluence, materialism, sloth and decadence which breed complacency, pride and corruption.

As the supreme Judge of all the earth, the Lord watches these things happening, and decides when a nation’s sins have reached such a level of reproach that it is ripe for judgment. One example of this is the judgment that befell the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. These twin cities were thriving because of their excellent location in the very fertile and well-watered Jordan valley. But prosperity made them utterly hedonistic and decadent, to the point that sexual immorality and homosexual sins became acceptable in society. The Lord brought such a great cataclysmic destruction upon them that they have disappeared without a trace! It is significant that when Abraham pleaded with the Lord to rescue his righteous nephew Lot from Sodom just before this awful judgment came, he said to Him, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25). Like Abraham, we too must always acknowledge that God is the supreme Judge of all the earth. When the sins of any nation have exceeded the limit He has set, He has every right to bring an end to it.

In like manner, God brought an end to several other nations because of their sins. The book of Nahum issues a death sentence on the city of Nineveh. Although this city had been mercifully spared from judgment when its inhabitants repented at the time of Jonah, they had returned to their old sins, and after 100 years they were ripe for God’s judgment. Nineveh was one of the largest cities of ancient times, large enough to accommodate 600,000 people. It was located on the eastern bank of the river Tigris, and had been occupied from about 4,500 BC. But when the sins of the Ninevites brought God’s judgment upon the city, its destruction was so thorough, that it literally disappeared, and for centuries no one knew where Nineveh was until the site was discovered in 1842.

Such is the awful judgment that the Lord, the Judge of all the Earth, will bring upon nations that refuse to heed His words of warning. As the Psalmist said, “He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.” (Psalm 107:33,34)

When we hear of such awful judgments of great nations that existed in the past, does it make us wonder if it will happen one day to our own nation? If God were to judge our nation today will He find us ripe for national judgment? Let it be our fervent prayer that this will not happen to our own homeland. We must take heed to the message from the Lord in Proverbs 14:34 – “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

The verb “exalt” here means that the people’s condition in that nation is elevated. The prosperity and the power of a nation therefore depends on its righteousness. By God’s grace, Singapore has been blessed with strong moral foundations. Over the years, good moral values have been emphasized in our education system. The administration has been kept clean of all graft and corruption. We have been enjoying a low crime rate all these years because of severe penalties imposed on lawbreakers (Romans 13:3-4). We have also enjoyed an unparalleled era of progress. Doesn’t this indicate that the strength of our nation lies not only in good government alone, but in having strong moral foundations? Doesn’t it show us that “righteousness exalteth a nation”?

Israel prospered greatly under the reign of King David because he was a righteous God-fearing king, who loved the Lord with all his heart. Under his leadership, Israel enjoyed the best blessings it ever had: 2 Samuel 5:12 – “And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for His people Israel’s sake.”

A more recent example is the British Empire, which reached its zenith during Queen Victoria’s reign. There was even a saying that “the sun never sets on the British empire.” Victoria was a god-fearing queen with a good administration. There were spiritual revivals in England during her long 64-year reign, which produced godly preachers and missionaries like Charles Spurgeon, George Muller, William Burns, David Livingstone and Hudson Taylor. The godly legacy that has been left by the British Empire still abides with us till this day.

But the British Empire no longer exists today. This is probably due to the erosion of its moral foundations. British Christianity has declined tremendously within the past century. The result of that is that churches in UK are closing down. In April this year, Lord Williams, a former archbishop of Canterbury, said that Britain is no longer a country of believers but rather has entered into a post-Christian era. He added that the time of habitual worship is over and that a further decline of widespread faith is likely. Although we can thank God that there are still a significant minority of faithful believers, the country has lost much of its once-great spiritual and moral strength. In March this year the first same-sex marriages were solemnized throughout England and Wales.

It would be a very sad day if our own nation were to suffer a similar loss of spiritual and moral strength as Great Britain did. As Christians, we ought to watch the things that are happening in our own nation with much prayer and concern. An unwise change in national policy with regard to moral issues may open the floodgates for a host of unwelcome trends.

If the moral foundations of a nation are destroyed, can its future be a promising one? The Word of God assures us that it cannot. As God, the Supreme Judge of all nations has already judged Sodom, Gomorrah and the Ninevites, will the Republic of Singapore one day become as one of them? Will the Lord turn His face away from our nation in the days to come and bring about a reversal of all the prosperity and progress that we have enjoyed for so many years? We pray that this will not happen. Pray fervently for our leaders and policymakers, that they will uphold the righteousness and sound morality of the nation, and not allow anything to compromise them, for these are the very foundations of our nation!

The question that may be asked then is, “What is the standard of righteousness for our nation?” Even though we live in a secular society, we who are Christians must ultimately take the Word of God as our standard of moral values. Whatever arguments that may be adduced from human philosophy, psychology and sociology cannot be used to define what our moral foundations should be. Only the Word of God can accurately define for us what righteousness is, and what constitutes sound morality.

Finally, the message of righteousness that we should be declaring to our whole nation is that of righteousness in Jesus Christ alone (Philippians 3:9). Our nation needs this righteousness badly. Let it be our prayer on this National Day, that we will have a new resolve to bring the righteousness of Christ to our beloved homeland, so that it will be a righteous nation, as sinners receive Him into their hearts and turn from their unrighteous ways. —Pastor

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Results of Scripture Memory Verse Programme Review Exercise No.3 

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.   Claire Tan

7.   Daniel Ooi

8.   Daniel Tan

9.   Eunice Chew

10. Fidelia Beatrice Alvina

11. Flora Lau Seck Hong

12. Ian Liu

13. Iris Loe

14. Janice Lee

15. Jennifer Goh

16. John Lee

17. Joyce Ang

18. Leong Li Peng

19. Leong Sow Mun

20. Leslie Tan

21. Mark Liu Liwen

22. Melina Te

23. Nicholas Lim Song Ping

24. Nigel Teh Tian Li

25. Ong Phei Hong

26. Patrick Kok

27. Peggy Heng Siew Ngen

28. Russell Joel Indran

29. Ryan Cheung Hao Han

30. Ryan Lim

31. Samuel Quek Yixin

32. Sharon Quek

33. Sim Siew Hoon

34. Sim Yen Hua

35. Tan Khoon Lee

36. Tan Kwee Mui

37. Tessa Teh

38. Theodore Lee

39. Timotheus Lee

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1) The new songbook, “Then Sings My Soul” will be made available to Life Church Members through a loan scheme. Due to copyrights obligation each Member of good standing is allowed to loan a copy of the songbook either in hardcopy or PDF softcopy. This loan is extended for as long as you are a Member of Life Church.  Please fill up the Letter of Undertaking form enclosed in the weekly and deposit it into the collection box at the Front Reception Counter. The date for collection will be announced at a later date. This pre-order exercise is only available today and next Sunday. This loan is made available while stocks last.

2) Infant Baptism on Anniversary Sunday, 19 Oct 14. Parents who intend to have their infants baptised must register by 31 Aug 14. Please call the Church Office (6594 9399) or email Yin Chan giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

3) Our condolences to Franz Teo and family on the passing away of his mother, Mdm Ng Ah Oon on 29 Jul 14.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet in Batam. Rev Wong at Life Chinese Service, 10.45 am and 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

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