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Scripture Memory: Discernment
VERSE : Proverbs 14:15 “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness 

10 March 2013
8 am Worship Service:
Eld Lim Teck Chye (Victory over an Unruly Tongue, Jas 3:1-12)
1045am Worship Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Victory over an Unruly Tongue, Jas 3:1-12)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Dn Lee Hock Chin (Christ’s Prayer Life, Luk 6:12; Heb 5:7)

17 March 2013
8 am Worship Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Victory Over Foolish Wisdom, Jas 3:13-18 )
1045am Worship Service:
Rev Colin Wong (Victory Over Foolish Wisdom, Jas 3:13-18 )
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Christ, Worthy of Mary’s Sacrifice, John 12:1-11)

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WHY DO I COME TO LIFE CHURCH?

‘I follow my parents to church.’ ‘It’s a habit.’ ‘My friends are here, so I stay.’ ‘It’s a family church where I grew up, belong and serve.’ I admit that Life Church is imperfect. Some of us are unhappy with the preaching, “coldness,” deadness, or lack of leadership or vision. Perhaps you are trying out another church. Church–hopping/shopping is bad for your spiritual health. There is no perfect church on earth; never has been, and never will be, until Jesus returns. The only good reason for you to leave a church is - if the church preaches a false gospel. Committing yourself to an imperfect church is God’s will for your sanctification. When we are willing to bear with the sins of others, we grow in Christ-likeness. You will be blessed and grow if you commit to worship and serve in a local Bible-believing Church. Are you committed to Life Church?

Kent Hughes (Set Apart) identified six types of uncommitted Christians:

1. The Hitchhiker wants a free ride, ”You buy the car, pay for repairs, insurance and petrol, and I’ll ride with you. But if you have an accident, Bye.” Some Christians think: “I’m just visiting. If I’m comfortable, I’ll join your worship. But I can’t commit; keeping my options open.” Some attend church without accountability, without discipline, without discipleship, without the sacraments, and without responsibility. If I’m not committed, I’m not obliged to attend, serve or give; on a perpetual “take” mode without paying. Actually, the price may be higher than you ever imagine.

2. The Consumerist asks “What’s in it for me?” He picks and chooses the best church to fill a shopping list. Mother attends Life Church for its children ministry; teenager attends “happy-clappy hip-hop” dance concert-worship; father attends another for its great preaching. A church boasted, on its website, that its members’ children consistently did better than the national-average in the PSLE and ‘O’ level exams: join our church for the sake of your children’s ($$) future. A news report dated 4 Sep 2012: “Singaporeans are flocking to a new species of churches making appeals more in common with ‘Material Girl’ pop-singer Madonna … Wearing a white leather jacket and jeans, Senior Pastor XX asked God to reward a crowd of about 1,200 with houses, cars, jobs, pay raises and holidays if they contributed to the church’s multi-million dollar funding drive,” He prayed, “release upon them Father the power to get, to create, to receive wealth in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. … Prosperity is right. Amen.’ Then they showed a video about a woman who donated despite being saddled with debt from her husband’s cancer treatments, and images of a Volkswagen and a condominium as God rewards for their generosity. Other churches attract large crowds with miracle healing rallies. Some shop for a church that promises wealth and health.

3. The Spectator hangs at the church’s sidelines, deluded that viewing brings benefit. Spectator sport fans cheer the players on while they themselves would benefit from involvement. What the unfit obese football fans need is regular exercise through playing football on an actual field. What the spectator Christian needs is committing himself to regular spiritual exercise - worshipping and serving in a local church.

4. The Drive-through Christian. Drive-through restaurants provide convenient fast food in double-quick time, short queues and no parking. Many drive-through Christians get their “church-fix” conveniently out of the way on Sunday 8am or Saturday night, so they can have the whole Sunday for tuition, enrichment, parties, buffet, TV and marathon. The drive-through Christian is thus unfit and unprepared for the spiritual battles of life.

5. The Anonymous Loner. Not comfortable to make friends, he comes and goes quietly, unnoticed, slouching at a corner. Body language says, “leave me alone.” The best church is the one that knows you least and demands the least. Some churches promote anonymity by abolishing membership.

6. The Churchless think that Christianity is just between me and Jesus. Why go to church? I can wake up late on Sunday morning and from my home sofa, watch a TV worship programme or a live Internet worship webcast.

Do any of the above attitudes describe you? If not, perhaps, you’re the Over-Committed Christian: over-committed to your career (no time for Bible reading or prayer), over-committed to your family (taking PSLE with my kids; or busy full-time mother, maid & wife, in that order of priority and importance), and over-committed to church ministries (I’m too much of a nice guy to say No, so I serve in many ministries; must make time, right?). Bible reading bores you; pulpit preaching does not speak to your heart; fellowship is superficial; you’re tired serving in your current ministries; you can’t stand some of the leaders, you have problems at home with spouse and children, and yet don’t know who you can trust/turn to for help. Despite years in Life Church, you don’t really know anyone well. You feel spiritually dry and burnt-out. Is that your current state?

Lack of commitment leads to a barren unfruitful life; over-commitment causes burnout. Neither extremes are healthy or sustainable. Why do we go to church? Not for our selfish gain, but for the glory of God. We go to church because we’re a family. God is our Heavenly Father, Christ our brother. Every Lifer our brothers and sisters in Christ. Because we are family, we don’t reject one another because he is different, she is sinful or weak, or because we don’t get along.

How can we sustain a long-term and healthy commitment to Life Church? I suggest three things:

1. Commit yourself to be a disciple of Christ.

(a) A disciple dies to self and fully commits to Christ. A Christian without commitment is not a Christian at all. Jesus said in Mt 16:24-25 “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Stress comes from one’s selfish ambitions, unrealistic career aspirations, and perfectionist inclinations. Dying to self immediately removes the stress; just live for Christ, do God’s will.

(b) A disciple feeds on Christ. Jesus said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (John 6:53). Eating and drinking is a metaphor for mutual indwelling of Jesus and His disciples. The spiritual bread satisfies your soul, and you will be able to feed others also. Further in John 15:4-5, when we abide in union with Christ our vine, we, His engrafted branches receive water and nutrients, grow and bear fruit.

(c) A disciple relies on Christ & pray! Serving others is draining. Our sins discourage us. We need to draw near to Christ to be cleansed, refreshed and recharged. Pray privately and corporately. Christ prayed often relying on God the Father, through the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us (John 14:16-20).

(d) A disciple feeds on Christ’s Word. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God (Mt 4:4). Cultivate a daily habit of reading the Bible systematically. When I joined this Church, I was well-fed in the Sunday School, YAF Bible studies and night class. However, at some point, I got so caught up with serving, part-time MBA studies, career, family and young kids, that I neglected my daily Bible reading. Home life was in disarray; I was struggling spiritually. I could not go on. Things improved when I got back to Christ - prioritise my daily feeding of God’s Word, reduced my number of church ministries, and work on my marriage.

2. Commit yourself to be discipled by others.

(a) Discipled by others in Bible studies. Psalm 1:1-3 describes the secret of the blessed Christian. He is like a tree planted by rivers of water, whose leaf never withers, and is fruitful in season because he meditates on and obeys God’s Word. In Titus 2:2-6, Paul says spiritually mature men are to disciple and teach younger men God’s Word; likewise, spiritually mature women should disciple younger women. Commit yourself to be discipled in God’s Word: by pastors in pulpit preaching, Bible study leaders, and Sunday School teacher.

(b) Discipled by others in worship & fellowship. As you worship, partake the sacraments, and fellowship with God’s people, you are discipled to obey Christ. We need mutual encouragement to love and do good works (Heb 10:24-25).

3. Commit yourself to disciple others.

(a) Teach. In Mt 28:19-20 Christ commanded all Christians to disciple others, teaching them to observe God’s Word. In the church (Heb 5:12-13; 1 Pet 2:2; Titus 2:2-6), we are to feed new believers with milk (catechism class) and maturing believers solid meat (Sunday School, Bible studies, ERBL night class). New believers are discipled by mature believers; children are discipled by parents while mature Christians and parents are in turn taught by elders and pastors.

(b) Serve. A true believer visits the fatherless and widows in their afflictions (Jas 1:27) because he loves them with Christ’s love. That is teaching in action, living out Christ’s commandments in good works. Is Life Church cold? Open your eyes to the loving things that Lifers do for one another, visiting the sick & praying for those in hospital, taking trouble to learn to play ukulele to reach out to others, boiling soup and cooking for Lifers afflicted with cancer, praying for others on Tuesday night, helping new members settle in, inviting Lifers home for meals, spending time to have coffee to share and counsel, sacrificing time to prepare Bible studies and teach Sunday School. Lifers spend time evangelising, reaching out to kids club, helping missions. These are significant sacrifices Lifers make every week, constrained by the love of Christ. If you see that the church is cold, perhaps you have the gift of hospitality. Use your gift, instead of complaining or judging others for their lack of hospitality – that’s not their gift. If you want to befriend others, you must be friendly to others (Prov 18:24). You may be unwittingly rebuffing others because you do not have time for them eg. not promptly returning their calls, sms/emails. You are busy; and people are afraid to trouble you. Teach and serve. Walk the talk – that’s a true disciple of Christ.

Conclusion

Every Lifer should commit to be a disciple of Christ, to be discipled by others, and to disciple others. This is God’s sustainable plan for every Bible-believing church where every member counts, and is accountable to each other to live victoriously in a modern stressful world. If you are struggling spiritually, call your pastors and elders you can trust for advice, who can deal with the issues and root problems. —Dn Lee Hock Chin

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1) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 1. The deadline for submitting the written review is today.

2) The Young Adults Fellowship will be holding our Retreat from 21 - 24 Mar 13 at La Grandeur Palm Resort in JB. The theme for the retreat is “Building, Bonding and Bridging”. Speaker: Rev Quek Keng Khwang. We warmly invite all young adults to join us for a short getaway! Today is the closing date! Register now! Sign up at our regustration table outside the sanctuary today or Simply go to the link:http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9G6XYNJ to sign up! For any queries, please contact Mark Liu at 9667-4268 or Jeremy 9179-7061. You can also contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

4) Life B-P Church Camp, 17-20 June 2013 at Bintan Lagoon, Indonesia. On-line registration at the church website, www.lifebpc.com. Registration forms are also available at the front entrance for those who have no internet access.

5) The family of Oh Hui Xuan would like to thank the church members for their prayers and condolences during her homegoing on 27 Feb 13.

Preaching appt: Rev Wong at Shalom BPC, 9am.

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