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 Scripture Memory: Right Motives.
 
VERSE : Proverbs 21:2 "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

3 March 2013
8 am Worship Service:
Rev Colin Wong (Victory Over Dead Faith, Jas 2:14-26)
1045am Worship Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Victory Over Dead Faith, Jas 2:14-26)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Colin Wong (Christ, the True Friend of Sinners, Mat 9:9-13)

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)

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My dear Reader,

SERVICE THAT IS ACCEPTABLE TO GOD

Being assured of a place in heaven which is unshakable, immovable and unchangeable, how should Christians respond to serving God? The writer of Hebrews reminds us to be grateful to God for what He has done for us through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:28a; John 3:16). Jesus did not need to come to the world, but he became lowly out of love for us in order to bring us salvation (Philippians 2:6-8).

Paul said that it is "your reasonable service" to show your gratitude by offering your service to God in a way that pleases Him. As a matter of fact, that was his basis of appeal to the Roman Christians. He said, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God" (Romans 12:1a). What Paul was saying is this: In view of what Jesus had done for them (Romans 1-11), it was natural for them to offer their bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God which is their spiritual worship (Romans 12:1b).

A Christian who fully understands the mercies of God will not withhold himself from consecration or argue against consecration, but will gladly offer himself for the Lord’s service. He will say, "O God, this is my life, take it and use it to the praise of your own glory."

Is our service to God acceptable? Hebrews 12:28b says, ""Whereby we may serve God acceptably." The thought is very similar to Paul’s. Since Christians know where they will spend their eternity, not in hell but in heaven, it is natural for them to show gratitude by offering their service to God in a way that pleases Him.

"Serve" here means "to participate in the worship service, to serve, in a religious sense to worship God"(Matthew 4:10; Luke 1:74; 2:37; 4:8; Acts 7:7; 24:14; 27:23; Romans 1:9; Philippians 3:3). The meaning of worship and service are intertwined. The word occurs some 90 times in the Septuagint and 21 times in the New Testament.

We all serve the Lord in one way or another. We are happy to be of service to God. But have we paused and thought for a moment whether the kind of service that we offer to God is acceptable to Him? Surely we do not want to be like the Pharisees whose practices and service were for men to see and applauded (Matthew 6:1-18; Colossians 3:22).

Here are two aspects of the Lord’s service. Negatively, service that is not from a heart of praise is not acceptable to God. That kind of service is sloppy and full of complaints. Positively, service that is pleasing to God is a worshipping life offering holy service to a worthy and awesome God. God desires a worship lifestyle of praise (as the Psalmist said, "Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing,"Psalm 100:2) and a hearty service that pleases Him (as Paul said, "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men" (Colossians 3:23).

Acceptable Christian service is more than just a good program because it is done out of a grateful heart. Such service is sincere and free of hypocrisy. A program may run well and receive men’s praise, but if it is run by ungrateful people, it will be run by self and for self and for people to see and admire. We need to constantly remind ourselves that whatever we do, we are to work at it with all our hearts, as unto the Lord and not unto people.

Finally, the writer of Hebrews adds, "… with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28c). Reverence and godly fear come from an appreciation of who God is. Hebrews 12:29 gives us a description of who God is. He is a God who consumes (Deuteronomy 4:24). We cannot play the fool when it comes to serving God. That is why having the right approach and attitude to serving God is important lest we be consumed by Him.

I would like to suggest to you three essential ingredients to Christian service. First, live a holy life. God is holy and He expects us to be holy (1 Peter 1:15, 16). Before King David died, he charged his son Solomon to walk with God (1 Kings 2:3) because apart from Him, he could do nothing (John 15:4, 5). Robert Murray M’Cheyne aptly said, "A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God."

Second, serve God wholeheartedly (Colossians 3:23). Why did Paul use the word "wholeheartedly?" Maybe he was warning some half-hearted Colossian Christians to give of their best to the Master (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).

One good example in the Old Testament where God’s people served God wholeheartedly was the building of the temple. Because King David was a man of war, he was not allowed to build the temple, but his son Solomon was allowed. However, he was able to make preparation (as much as possible) for Solomon to do it (1 Chronicles 29:1-5a). Then he challenged the congregation - "And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?" (1 Chronicles 29:5b) And the leaders of Israel responded readily and enthusiastically (1 Chronicles 29:6-8). Then we read how King David and the people of God rejoiced greatly because the leaders had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the LORD (1 Chronicles 29:9).

When God commanded Moses to build the tabernacle, the people of God responded enthusiastically also (Exodus 35). The key word here is "willing." The people gave out of a willing heart (2 Corinthians 9:7; 8:1-5). Interestingly, they had to be told to stop giving to the project (Exodus 35:20-24; 36:4-7). In addition to material gifts, many of the people of God willingly offered their skills and talents to build the tabernacle (Exodus 35:25-29).

Third, serve God with gladness (Psalm 100:2). A grateful Christian offers his service to God happily. He serves Him with gladness. There is no holding back. There is no complaint from him. Whenever he is called upon, he willingly and happily offers his service to the Lord.

Can you do less for Life Church? There are so many gifted and talented people in our midst. There are so many opportunities to serve God. But why are they not coming forward to meet the challenge of the church? Could it be that they have never understood the love of Calvary? However, if you have, you would have responded in deep gratitude to offer yourself for service to God.

Conclusion

What motivates you to serve God? Why are you involved in Christian service? I hope your motivation and involvement in Christian service is out of a grateful heart to God for giving you a kingdom, saving you from sin and misery, giving you life everlasting and life superabundant (John 3:16; 10:10; Romans 6:23), promising you a place in heaven (John 14:1-3) and giving you a blessed hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Only such service pleases God and is acceptable in his sight.
Amen.

— Sincerely in Christ, Pastor Colin

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Men’s & Ladies’ Combined

Fellowship Meeting

8th March 2013 (Friday, 8pm) at Beulah MPH

Speaker : Rev Tan Soon Yong

Topic Learning to Wait

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1) "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.

2) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 1. A written review exercise of the verses is obtainable at the front counter. Please submit by 10 Mar 13.

3) 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.

4) Our condolences to the family of Oh Hui Xuan (10 years old) on her homegoing on 27 Feb 13.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet in Batam.

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