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Scripture Memory: Parenting.
VERSE : Proverbs 22:6 
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

16 June 2013
8 am & 1045 am Worship Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Biblical Family Relationships, Eph 6:1-4;)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Christ Will Reward Us, 2 Tim 4:8; 1 Pet 5:4)

23 June 2013
8 am & 1045 am Worship Service:
Rev Colin Wong (Victory through Spiritual Restoration,Jas 5:19-20)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Calvin Loh (Christ, the World’s Greatest Ruler)

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LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

On this Father’s Day, I would like to share with you (fathers and fathers-to-be) the following account written by Todd Wilson to his dad for our reflection and edification.

Hey Dad,

Remember that old 70’s anti-smoking commercial that coined the phrase, "Like Father, Like Son?" Well, I felt a tinge of that today with my son, Jed (5), and it felt good … and scary.

It started out just like any other day. I was getting dressed and about to grab the first shirt on top when I remembered my wife telling my mom that I always wear what’s on top—which ends up being the same thing over and over. So I decided to dig deep and wear something different.

I chose a blue-striped rugby shirt out and pulled it over my head. Later, I bumped into Jed, and he looked up at me in surprise and beamed a big smile.

"We match!" he said pointing to my shirt. "I’ve got one like that."

He disappeared and then reappeared a few minutes later, proud as all get out, wearing a shirt almost identical to mine. We took a picture together and my little boy hugged his rugby-clad papa. I could almost hear that soothing narrator’s voice say, "Like father, like son." It felt good knowing my son wanted to be like me … and then it felt scary knowing my son wanted to be like ME!!!!

It’s a two-edged sword. If that doesn’t terrify you, nothing will. But that’s what makes what we do so powerful. That’s why we can’t afford to coast, slack off, or quit. There’s too much riding on it. Jed needs me to show him how to be a dad, a husband, and a man. Actually, all eight of my children do.

Guess what? So do yours … like father, like … you know.

You ‘da dad,


© 2013 Todd Wilson. Used by permission

The above account reminds us the grave responsibility that every father has towards the family that he raises. As Todd correctly pointed out, our children emulating us is a double-edged sword - what we do is what they will do, for better or for worse. Like father, like son. We reap what we sow! We can’t expect to tell our children, do what I tell you to do and don’t do what I do. We lose the moral ground to command their respect if we are not self exemplary. Yet in all probability, even the best human father with the most noble intention will fail, because we are sinful creatures. As James said of the tongue in Jas 3:2, "For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man". Likewise, there is no perfect dad on earth. God knew that and sent His Holy Spirit to indwell us to enable us to be the father that He wants us to be. All who would humbly submit to His control can be the God-like father the Word of God commands us to be.

Two Father Models

Like father, like son. Every son resembles his father. The key question is who is your father? The Bible tells us that spiritually, there are two kinds of father models; God-like father and Satan-like father. Before we are saved, we are of our father the devil (Jn 8:44-45).

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not."

These are the very words of Christ, the Son of God. God’s characteristics are diametrically opposite to those of the devil. It follows then that every born again believer must bear the resemblance of God our Father because we are begotten by Him.

JI Packer once said, "If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of his thought of being God’s child and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and his prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means he does not understand Christianity very well at all … Father is the Christian name for God."

Dearly beloved, the acid test of our faith is whether we resemble Christ who is the express image of God the Father? Do we bear the characteristics of God in our live? God’s characteristics are best seen in the parable of the prodigal son recorded in Lk 15:11-32. The parable is a very familiar one, yet it is so full of sacred meaning that it always has some fresh lessons for us. On this day, let us pause and reflect on how much we resemble our heavenly Father in His characteristics in daily dealing with our family and fellow men. What are the characteristics of God?

He is Merciful and Forgiving

The prodigal son was on his way to his father; but he would not have reached him unless his father had come the major part of the way. In the same way, when you are "yet a great way off", He will run to meet you. We do not know that the prodigal saw his father, but his father saw him. The eyes of mercy are quicker than the eyes of repentance. Even the eyes of our faith are dim compared with the eye of God’s love. He sees a sinner long before the sinner sees Him. The prodigal son was resolved to come, yet he was half afraid. But we read that his father ran. Yes, God can run where we scarcely limp, and if we are limping towards Him, He will run towards us. Herein is the mercy of God. Are we merciful towards those who have done us wrong? Just as we plead for God’s mercy towards us, we must also be merciful to others (Matt 5:7). The more willing we are to own our sin, the more willing is God to forgive us. Slow are the steps of repentance, but swift are the feet of forgiveness.

He is Love

God never gives an expression of love without feeling it in His infinite heart. Oh, how God loves the sinner! You who repent, and come to Him, will discover how greatly He loves you. O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! Beloved, God has wondrous ways of opening His people’s hearts to the manifestation of His grace. He can pour in, not now and then a drop of His love, but great and mighty streams. The poor prodigal in the parable had so much love manifested to him that he might have sung of the torrents of his father’s affection. That is the way God receives those whom He saves, giving them not a meagre measure of grace, but manifesting an overflowing love. It is easy to love the lovable yet some have failed in this duty – what a shame! God’s Word admonishes us also to love the unlovable! If we fail to do so, it is akin to what is written in 1 Jn 4:20 – "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." (1 Jn 4:7). Like father, like son.

He is Kind and Compassionate

In the parable, Christ would have you know, poor sinner, that God will own you, if you come to Him confessing your sin through Jesus Christ. He will gladly receive you; for all things are ready against the day you return. Like the father saying, "My boy, you are my son. Despite all that you have done, you belong to me; however far you have gone in vice and folly, I own you. You are bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh." Come to your Father’s bosom now, and He will hear your prayers; and, before many days are over, you shall have the clearest proofs that you are fully restored to divine favour by answers to your intercessions that shall make you marvel at the Lord’s loving-kindness to you. God’s compassions fail not (Lam 3:22). In similar fashion, as God’s children, we are to show compassion to those in need, especially to the helpless and penitent ones.

He is Just

God always does what is right and good toward all men. It is true that we cannot fully understand God and our finite minds cannot grasp the greatness and power of God. Even though there are mysteries that we cannot understand, we are assured by the Word of God that He is just and has no respect of persons in assuring that all have the opportunity to be saved (Acts 10:34-35).

We go on to consider the prodigal’s brother and yes, there is no question that we have all been that brother. We have each judged our neighbour and presumed them guilty. We have mistakenly found ourselves to be greater/holier than others and forgotten that we are called to love unconditionally as God does. How many times do we allow the grace of God reflected in us to become a device of pride and ridicule to others? We must remember that when we do not fail or take the wrong path it is only by the mercy of God and help of others. Never should we use that God-given success as a means to withhold pity from the one who has taken a wrong turn (Ps 103:13). Also, we must remember that we rarely, if ever, know all the circumstances of anyone’s life or the events that has led them to where they are. When we accept this reality we lose the desire to judge them or to feel they are unworthy of our full acceptance and love. God calls us to be inclusive of all, without asking questions, knowing that by love and care - not hatred and judgment - each will find their path to completeness and true holiness. Let us be like our Father who is just, and be a shoulder to cry on, not a vessel of wrathful words.

Conclusion

The father in the parable represents God and all those who choose to be godly examples of the Holy One. God is calling us to be like the Father in the parable of the prodigal son. We may have failed in many ways from our heavenly Father-like model. We are unmerciful, unforgiving, unloving, unkind, uncompassionate and unjust to those around us. Who is a perfect father? None! Only our heavenly Father above is perfect. Let us therefore confess our failings to God and He will be just and faithful to forgive us (1 Jn 1:9). By His grace, let’s heed His call and look for the prodigals while they are yet far off and not miss them when they are in front of us weeping in pain. Run and seek the hurting and be compassionate to those seeking for a father’s love.

"Dads for life" was printed on a decal which I saw on a car windscreen and how biblically true it is for every dad on earth! The Bible tells us, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (1 Tim 5:8). This verse implies more than just providing for the physical needs of the family. It includes emotional, mental and more importantly, spiritual needs. The rest are transient but the house that builds upon Christ the Rock shall be able to withstand the test of time (Matt 7:25). This Father’s day, may we pray to God that by His grace all fathers may fear God and strive to be the perfect God-honouring father fulfilling their God-given role joyfully and responsibly. Let our children remember their father not for their worldly estate, but rather, for their godly heritage. God help us. Amen. —Elder Chia Ah Lak

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GOSPEL SUNDAY

Date: 30th June 2013

Time: 8 am & 10:45 am

Topic: O Grave, Where Is Thy Victory?

Speakers:
Rev David Wong (English Service)

Pastor Willy Ng (Mandarin/Hokkien)

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

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ERBL LECTURES (JUL-NOV 13) : Expanded to Day Lectures!

Day Time Course Lecturer

Mon 7.30 - 9.30 pm OT Survey I Rev Charles Seet

Tue 10 - 12.00 pm Basic Greek I Rev Ho Chee Lai

Wed 10 - 12.00 pm Ten Commandments Rev Charles Seet

Thu 10 - 12.00 pm 1 Corinthians Rev Isaac Ong

7.30 - 9.30 pm NT Survey I Rev Ho Chee Lai

Fri 10 - 12.00 pm Christian Education Rev Dr Jack Sin

Closing date for ‘Early Bird Discount’ of $5 is TODAY! Lectures begin on 8 Jul 13. Please complete registration forms and place them in the box, together with payment.

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Campers are to assemble at Life B-P Church tomorrow at the following reporting time:

Group                    Church (taking coach to TMFT*)            Going directly to TMFT*

G, H, J, O                 7.00 am                                                    8.00 am

A,B,C,D,E,F             8.00 am                                                    9.00 am

*TMFT = Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal

Campers are to know your grouping by referring to the display board outside the Church sanctuary.

Please remember to bring along your passport.

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1) Pastoral Help: Members who need pastoral help during the church camp week (17-20 June) may contact Rev Peter Chua at 9838-7010.

2) "Morning by Morning": Daily Devotional by C H Spurgeon, Vol 3 (Jul to Sep 2013). Available at the front counter. The same devotions are available online at http://www.lifebpc.com/devotions.

3) Catechism Class for Anniversary 2013 Baptism will commence on 7 Jul 13, 9.30 am at Rm 5-4, Beulah Centre. Those seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith and transfer of membership must attend the Catechism Class.

4) Congratulations to Ann Huan Taow and Nita on the gift of a baby girl on 8 June 13.

Preaching appointment: Rev Wong at Shalom BPC, 9 am and Thai Service, 2.30 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