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Scripture Memory: Love for God’s Word
VERSE : Psalm 119:15 
“I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

9 March 2014
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Delighting in God’s Word, Ps 119:9-16)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Colin Wong (Christ’s Gifts to Men, Ps 68:18)

16 March 2014
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:
Dn Lee Hock Chin (Rejoice in the Lord! Ps 33:21)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Mathews Abraham (The Unchanging Christ in a Changing World, Ps 102:25-27)

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HOW TO LISTEN TO A SERMON

By Philip Ryken 

Shortly before college I read Mortimer Adler’s little classic How to Read a Book. That may sound like an odd title. After all, how could somebody read the book unless they already knew how to read? And if they did know how to read, then why would they need to read it at all?

How to Read a Book turned out to be one of the most important books I have ever read. Adler quickly convinced me that I didn’t know how to read a book after all—not really. I didn’t know how to ask the right questions while I was reading, how to analyze the book’s major arguments, or how to mark up my copy for later use.

I suspect that most people don’t how to listen to a sermon, either. I say this not as a preacher, primarily, but as a listener. During the past thirty-five years I have heard more than three thousand sermons. Since I have worshiped in Bible-teaching churches all my life, most of those sermons did me some spiritual good. Yet I wonder how many of them helped me as much as they should have. Frankly, I fear that far too many sermons passed through my eardrums without registering in my brain or reaching my heart.

So what is the right way to listen to a sermon? With a soul that is prepared, a mind that is alert, a Bible that is open, a heart that is receptive, and a life that is ready to spring into action.

The first thing is for the soul to be prepared. Most churchgoers assume that the sermon starts when the pastor opens his mouth on Sunday. However, listening to a sermon actually starts the week before. It starts when we pray for the minister, asking God to bless the time he spends studying the Bible as he prepares to preach. In addition to helping the preacher, our prayers help create in us a sense of expectancy for the ministry of God’s Word. This is one of the reasons that when it comes to preaching, congregations generally get what they pray for.

The soul needs special preparation the night before worship. By Saturday evening our thoughts should begin turning towards the Lord’s Day. If possible, we should read through the Bible passage that is scheduled for preaching. We should also be sure to get enough sleep. Then in the morning our first prayers should be directed to public worship, and especially to the preaching of God’s Word.

If the body is well rested and the soul is well prepared, then the mind will be alert. Good preaching appeals first to the mind. After all, it is by the renewing of our minds that God does his transforming work in our lives (see Rom. 12:2). So when we listen to a sermon, our minds need to be fully engaged. Being attentive requires self-discipline. Our minds tend to wander when we worship; sometimes we daydream. But listening to sermons is part of the worship that we offer to God. It is also a prime opportunity for us to hear his voice. We should not insult his majesty by looking at the people around us, thinking about the coming week, or entertaining any of the thousands of other thoughts that crowd our minds. God is speaking, and we should listen.

To that end, many Christians find it helpful to listen to sermons with a pencil in hand. Although note taking is not required, it is an excellent way to stay focused during a sermon. It is also a valuable aid to memory. The physical act of writing something down helps to fix it in our minds. Then there is the added advantage of having the notes for future reference. We get extra benefit from a sermon when we read over, pray through, and talk about our sermon notes with someone else afterwards.

The most convenient place to take notes is in or on our Bibles, which should always be open during a sermon. Churchgoers sometimes pretend that they know the Bible so well that they do not need to look at the passage being preached. But this is folly. Even if we have the passage memorized, there are always new things we can learn by seeing the biblical text on the page. It only stands to reason that we profit most from sermons when our Bibles are open, not closed. This is why it is so encouraging for an expository preacher to hear the rustling of pages as his congregation turns to a passage in unison.

There is another reason to keep our Bibles open: we need to make sure that what the minister says is in keeping with Scripture. The Bible says, concerning the Bereans whom Paul met on his second missionary journey, “that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11). One might have expected the Bereans to be criticized for daring to scrutinize the teaching of the apostle Paul. On the contrary, they were commended for their commitment to testing every doctrine according to Scripture.

Listening to a sermon—really listening—takes more than our minds. It also requires hearts that are receptive to the influence of God’s Spirit. Something important happens when we hear a good sermon: God speaks to us. Through the inward ministry of his Holy Spirit, he uses his Word to calm our fear, comfort our sorrow, disturb our conscience, expose our sin, proclaim God’s grace, and reassure us in the faith. But these are all affairs of the heart, not just matters of the mind, so listening to a sermon can never be merely an intellectual exercise. We need to receive biblical truth in our hearts, allowing what God says to influence what we love, what we desire, and what we praise.

The last thing to say about listening to sermons is that we should be itching to put what we learn into practice. Good preaching always applies the Bible to daily life. It tells us what promises to believe, what sins to avoid, what divine attributes to praise, what virtues to cultivate, what goals to pursue, and what good works to perform. There is always something God wants us to do in response to the preaching of his Word. We are called to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only,” (James 1:22). And if we are not doers, then we were not hearers, and the sermon was wasted on us.

Do you know how to listen to a sermon? Listening—really listening—takes a prepared soul, an alert mind, an open Bible, and a receptive heart. But the best way to tell if we are listening is by the way that we live. Our lives should repeat the sermons that we have heard. As the apostle Paul wrote to some of the people who listened to his sermons, “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” (2 Cor. 3:2-3).

(Note: This article is taken from Reformation 21, the online magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is reproduced with permission from the writer, Dr Philip Graham Ryken, is the Pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church (PCA) in the U.S.A.)

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LIFE B-P CHURCH CAMP 2014

This year’s church camp focuses on the subject of holiness. In order to live the Christian life we need to understand what holiness is and why we must be holy (Leviticus 11:45 – “…ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”) Come and learn about this from the camp messages based on passages from the book of Leviticus.

Much prayerful effort has been put into planning every detail of this camp to make it as pleasant and profitable as possible for you. Here are the details:

English messages by Dr John J Davis -

•   A Holy God: His Nature - Leviticus 11:45

•   A Holy God: His Deeds - Leviticus 11:45

•   A Holy Name - Leviticus 24

•   A Holy Priesthood - Leviticus 8-10, 21-22

•   A Holy Sacrifice - Leviticus 1-7, 16-17

•   A Holy Life - Leviticus 11

•   A Holy Ministry - Leviticus 21-22      

Chinese messages by Rev Tang Chee Keong, pastor of Zion Presbyterian Church.

Children’s messages by various speakers, on the theme, “For Him I Will Live

This camp is open mainly to Lifers and visitors who are worshipping in Life B-P Church. However, non-members are welcomed if there are vacancies. Acceptance is based on a first-come-first served basis.

Please book your leave and register early to avoid disappointment. The closing date for registration is 18 May 2014 or upon full allocation of the available accommodation, whichever is earlier.

To register, please log into the Camp Registration Website:

http://www.lifebpc.com/churchcamp2014.htm

All the details on the camp schedule and camp fees are also found at this website. Registration forms are also available at the front entrance for those who have no Internet access.

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GOSPEL SUNDAY

Date: 30th March 2014

Time: 8 am & 10:45 am

Topic: GPS - God’s Plan of Salvation

Speakers:
Rev Tan Eng Boo (English Service)

Pastor Hendro (Mandarin/Hokkien)

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

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1) “Evening by Evening”: Daily Devotional by C H Spurgeon, Vol 2 (Apr to Jun 2014). Available at the front counter. The same devotions are available online at http://www.lifebpc.com/devotions.

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

3) We thank God for the good response to the Spiritual Leadership Seminar. If you have missed it, the audio recordings are available for your downloading at our church website www.lifebpc.com. Further enquiries can be made with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

4) Infant Baptism on Easter Sunday, 20 Apr 14. Parents who intend to have their infants baptised must register by 16 Mar 14. Please call the Church office (6594-9399) or email Yin Chan giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

5) Life B-P Church Camp, 16-19 June 2014 at Awana Genting, West Malaysia.  On-line registration at the church website, www.lifebpc.com/churchcamp2014.htm. Registration forms are also available at the front entrance for those who have no internet access.

Preaching appointment: Rev Wong at Life Evening Service, 6pm.

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