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Scripture Memory: Love Your Enemy.
VERSE : Proverbs 24:17 
"Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

15 September 2013
8 am & 1045 am Worship Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Commitment to Christ, Luk 9:23,24; 2 Cor 5:14,15)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Jehovah Shalom: The LORD is Peace; Judg 6:24)

22 September 2013
8 am & 1045 am Worship Service:
Dn Lee Hock Chin (Courage for Christ; Jos 1:8,9; Ps 1:1; Prov 1:10-19)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Jehovah Jireh: The LORD who Provides, Gen 22:14)

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FREE INDEED

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." – John 8:32

To one who is suffering from an illness and especially a disease like cancer, how does this verse help him/her?

For the spouse who has to face a partner who is unfaithful and/or very difficult every day, can this verse help one solve the problem?

For young persons swamped by work, struggling with how others are treated better and paid better, how does this verse help them? With such busyness also comes the fear of being "left on the shelf", going through life lonely.

When we are in such situations, many of us do not experience the freedom that this verse talks about. We are lost and we start to feel discouraged. This may lead to distress, depression and, in very extreme prolonged sufferings, suicide.

Did not Christ promise us the abundant life? Many of us may say we have tried our best yet things are still not getting better. What is wrong? How do I make sense of all this and find real comfort and encouragement to press on for the Lord?

Can this verse help us?

May I encourage you that God is incapable of making mistakes and these words of our Lord Jesus Christ will give us the hope we have been looking for. From these words of Christ, we will also see how we can be helped and what else we can do. It is my prayer that this article will start you in the right direction towards the solution you have been looking for.

Since we know that God cannot be wrong, what is stated in this verse is not wrong. What then has gone wrong and how did this happen? Let’s go back to the verse again and we will find the answers.

In verse 32, the words just before "shall make you free" are "the truth". The Lord Jesus is saying it is the truth that will set us free and lead us out of darkness. In this life, God promised that His truth will set us free. But we always exchange this for a lie. For someone suffering from cancer, the lie we often hear is, "There is no hope. The illness is terminal if it is not detected early." Is this what God is saying to His children undergoing sickness and pain? NO! Our hope is in God and not in the doctors nor modern medicine. These are merely God’s instruments that He may choose to use. We need to know that modern science can fail us, but God will not fail.

Another truth that we need during times of suffering is that God never promised us a better life on this earth after the fall of Adam and Eve at the Garden of Eden. But God did promise hardship in Genesis 3:17-19 "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." We need to acknowledge that death and sickness will be part of our life on earth. Ignoring this truth will not make it go away, but recognizing it does help us cope or deal with it.

How do we deal with hardship, death and sickness? Let us go back to the same narrative in Genesis chapter 3. At the end of that chapter, we see that God provided Adam and Eve "coats of skin and clothed them." There is very great significance here. God still cares for people even when they have sinned against Him. This is the truth that comforts us: "...God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) God cares, even to the point that He gave His only begotten son to die for us (John 3:16). The question I must pose to you is, "Will He not care for us when we are sick, suffering and lost?" The answer must be YES! God never stopped caring. The problem was that we stop believing and trusting.

In times of suffering and difficulties, like in our marriage and at work, we often want emotional relief and that the problem will go away or be resolved. The longer we endure having this problem, the more intense our cry for relief becomes. We would most likely be praying too, but a time will come when all we want is for the problem to go away. Some may want their husband or wife to change. If he/she cannot change, they may even consider changing them for someone else. Others may wish for the replacement of their boss or supervisor or for a new job to "drop" down on their lap. They may also wish for the sudden inflow of cash that they believe will end all their problems. What often happens is that God does not give them what they ask for, and after a while they stop praying and start to ask if God is really listening. In some very extreme examples, they may even question if God is real.

The Lord Jesus has said, "The truth shall set you free." In this case the truth is that God never promised to take away all suffering or to keep suffering away from us. We need to first recognize that this truth is in the Bible. Often this is where we fail. We cannot submit to the truth that God deliberately puts us through such suffering for His glory for the purpose of making us more like Christ. We think God can do this to Job, David and our Elders but not me! They are "spiritual giants" but not me. All I want is a simple life. This idea is a lie and it is such lies and errors in our thoughts that keep us in darkness and away from the joy, comfort and freedom to live for God.

The words of our Lord in John 8:31-32 are meant for ordinary people like you and me who respond to God like the publican in Luke 18:13: "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." When such brokenness is found in our character God is moved to respond with "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified". God will not bless us if we do not believe and do what He says (Hebrews 11:6 and Deuteronomy 10:12-13). No wonder we have no peace nor comfort when we are too pre-occupied with ourselves.

When Paul was suffering what was most likely a physical ailment, he said "…there was given to me a thorn in the flesh…For this thing (thorn) I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:7-9) The words here are meant to encourage us by turning our attention to God and His truth. It is such truth of God that will set us free – just like Jesus said "Ye shall know the truth and the truth will set you free". For now, this truth is that "His Grace is sufficient for us" and in God we can deal with the problem head on. As this famous quote rightly elaborates: "God never leads us where He cannot keep us. His grace is always sufficient for us in any and every circumstance of life".

We must now go back to the first part of this verse "…ye shall know the truth…" We may have misunderstood these words if we interpret it as "maybe, just maybe, we will know." That is not the meaning of the original Greek text. A more accurate translation would be, "…and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." This assurance and certainty of knowing is absolutely crucial to our hope in such difficult times. All Christians will learn and can have the truth of God to deal with life.

This truth is further brought out by John when he wrote, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26) All Christians have the Holy Spirit and if one does not, he/she is not a Christian. The Holy Spirit will teach and show us from the Bible how to go through these difficult times. We need to know that God is more interested in helping us cope with the problem than in taking away our sufferings (cf. Matthew 9:5-6). It is not about seeing the problem go away but seeing God’s Word comforting, guiding and molding us – that is the goal. Thanks be to God that He loves us and will show us His truth.

I want to end with the point that it is not the intent of this article to go into the details of each type of suffering and problem so as to give you the solution now. I suggest seeking help from our Elders, Pastors and pastoral staff who will be more than willing to spend time with you and to show you from the Bible what God is saying about the situation you are in. We will also want to pray with you and for you. —Joel Seah

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The Answered Prayers

I prayed for strength, and then I lost awhile
All sense of nearness, human and divine;
The love I leaned on failed and pierced my heart;
The hands I clung to loosed themselves from mine;
But while I swayed, weak, trembling, and alone,
The everlasting arms upheld my own.

I prayed for light; the sun went down in clouds,
The moon was darkened by a misty doubt,
The stars of heaven were dimmed by earthly fears,
And all my little candle flames burned out;
But while I sat in shadow, wrapped in night,
The face of Christ made all the darkness bright.

I prayed for peace, and dreamed of restful ease,
A slumber drugged from pain, a hushed repose;
Above my head the skies were black with storm,
And fiercer grew the onslaught of my foes;
But while the battle raged, and wild winds blew,
I heard His voice, and perfect peace I knew.

I thank Thee, Lord, Thou wert too wise to heed
My feeble prayers, and answer as I sought,
Since these rich gifts Thy bounty has bestowed
Have brought me more than I had asked or thought.
Giver of good, so answer each request
With Thine own giving, better than my best.

- A. J. Flint -

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GOSPEL SUNDAY

Date: 29th September 2013

Time: 10:45 am

Topic: How Precious is Your Soul?

Speakers:
Rev Tan Soon Yong (English Service)

Rev Tang Chee Keong (Mandarin/Hokkien)

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

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1) Migrant Workers Outreach: Please meet in Church at 6.00pm in Rm 1-5 for prayer before setting off to Soon Lee Road Recreation Center at 6.30 pm.

2) Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Chong Jia Zhen on the birth of a baby boy on 12 Sep 13.

Preaching appt: Rev Seet at AF, 12.15 pm. Rev Quek in Sembawang BPC, 9.30 am today.

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