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Scripture Memory: Contentment.
VERSE : Proverbs 15:16 
"Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

10 February 2013
9 am Combined Lunar New Year Service:
Rev Peter Chng (Looking Forward to 2013, Rom 15:5-6; Rev Peter Chng)

17 February 2013
8 am Worship Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Victory Over Vain Religion, Jas 1:22-27)
1045am Worship Service:
Eld Ng Beng Kiong (Victory Over Vain Religion, Jas 1:22-27)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Dn Joel Seah (We Have Found Christ! Jn 1:43-51)

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SUCCESS IN THE LORD

According to the Chinese zodiac, today is the first day of the year of the Snake 蛇In the Bible, the snake or serpent is a symbol for both evil and good. The serpent was the deceiver in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:4), whereas those Israelites who looked in faith to the brazen serpent lifted in the wilderness were saved (Num 21:5-9). We are warned to beware of the old serpent, the accuser of the brethren and the father of lies (Rev 12:9-10; Jn 8:44). Yet we are to be wise as serpents and be harmless as doves (Matt 10:16). Well, brethren, what does the Lunar New Year have in store for us? Is it going to be good or bad?

For Chinese all over the world, today is an auspicious day. Popular greetings include: 新年快乐万事如意 生意兴隆学业进步 阖家欢乐身体健康。 All these greetings have a common wish - success. Success in the New Year, success in whatever you endeavor; success in business, study, family, health, etc … There is a greeting that businessmen and those with high aspirations particularly like 马到成功- It means success immediately upon arrival; success as swift as the horse. Beloved, while everyone pur-sues after success, we must not be ensnared in this rat race and chase aimlessly for things that do not profit our souls. As God’s people, we must be wise as serpents to discern right from wrong and take heed of God’s precepts for true success.

What is Success?

Success has different meanings for each of us. For one person it could be a general sense of happiness. Another might think of success as making a lot of money and accumulating wealth. Yet another might just see it as finding a special lover or soul mate.

Everyone has his own definition of success. The dictionary defines success as the achievement of something desired or the attainment of wealth, eminence, power etc. Some define success on two axes; money and happiness. If you have more money, you are happier. Beloved, is this your definition of success?

God’s Perspective of Christ’s Success

If the attainment of wealth, eminence and power are the criterion for a "successful" life, then the earthly life of the Lord Jesus Christ left much to be desired.

He was never married, never had children, was rejected by members of His earthly family (Jn 7:5; Matt 13:55-56), did not continue with the family carpentry business, did not own property (Matt 8:20), and did not have an advanced secular education. His "popularity" diminished when He did not to live up to the expectations of many who followed Him and was deserted by even those who were closest to Him.

As Isaiah prophesied, "…He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not." (Isa 53:2-3).

In fulfilment of God’s plan, Christ’s naked, battered, bruised, and bleeding body covered with sweat was hung on a Roman cross. In His agony, He quoted Psalm 22:1, "My God, My God, why have thou forsaken me?" With spit on His swollen face (Isa 50:6) and plucked beard, spikes driven through His feet and hands and a crown of thorns pressed into His head, He appeared to all the world to be the biggest failure to have ever lived. Yet in the eyes of His Father, He was succeeding in accomplishing the greatest work of God since the Fall of Man.

This work of the Lord Jesus Christ becomes precious, indeed priceless, to each and every soul who believes in what the Person and Works of the Lord Jesus Christ can do for him/her – the forgiveness of all his/her sins and the gift of eternal life. Dear readers, do you believe?

The life of our Lord Jesus Christ was a complete success. Yet it certainly appeared that in His defining moment it was anything but a success. The world has a wisdom that promises life, but gives death; God’s people follow Jesus by embracing death to gain life (Gal 2:20). The Bible promises that he that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it (Matt 10:39).

Different Perspective of Success

Very often we find God’s teaching to be directly opposite to what the world teaches. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (1 Jn 2:15-16).

The Bible is clear that NO THING or NO ONE is to come between our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ (Lk 14:26). We are clearly warned that personal relationships (1 Cor 7:28) and the desire for material things can be great distractions for us (Lk 8:14). While there is nothing essentially wrong with either one, they must be kept in their proper place if we are to "succeed" in the plan of God that He has ordained for our individual lives.

Relationships, family, career, health, and the pursuit of wealth all have their proper place in our lives, but are not necessarily what determines our success or failure in the eyes of God. In fact, when such things are given an improperly elevated place on our list of priorities, we reject or neglect the post-salvation spiritual life and no fruit is produced (Lk 14:26).

God and man have criteria for evaluating success and failure that are diametrically opposed. Man judges by what can be seen with his natural eyes, but God judges by what can only be discerned with spiritual eyesight. It is for this reason that in the eternal state, "... many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first" (Matt 19:30).

Learning and applying the biblical definition of success to our system of thinking may result in being seen as losers in this life, but God’s Word assures us that we are winners in the eternal state.

God’s Measurement of Success

The world measures a person’s success by his fortune, fame and friends. How much is in your bank account? How popular are you? And how many people do you know? The more you have, the more successful you are! All these are good so long as they don’t come in between you and God. They must not draw you away from God and cause you to lose the heavenly vision. Moreover, they are temporal and no one can bring them to heaven.

The Bible tells us that God measures man’s success by his faithfulness (1 Cor 4:2). "Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful". For a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth (Lk 12:15). For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world but lose his own soul? (Matt 16:26). Without doubt, it is better to lose the whole world and be found in the Lord. Paul counts the loss of all things of this world as dung that he may win Christ (Phil 3:8).

Therefore, as a child of God, we should be concerned with how God see us and not the world. For man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7). It is important to be what God wants me to be rather than what I want to be or what the world wants us to be. What is the point of being highly successful in the world but a failure in the Lord, a failure at home with spouse and children, a failure with loved ones? Let a man therefore acclaim his success in the Lord for it is far better to have the Master’s ‘Well done’ than the world’s applause (Matt 25:21, 23).

Aim for Success in the Lord

Although we are 1 month and 10 days into the New Year, it is not too late to have a spiritual stocktaking. Since success can be defined as achievement of goal(s), what goals have you set for yourself in the Lord in the following areas of your life and how have you fared?

a. Your walk with God

- How consistent is your daily personal devotion and prayer with God? A victorious Christian is one who lives close to the heart of God; for without Him we can do nothing (Jn 15:5).

- Do you strive to have a real experience with God? Are you able to affectionately call God ‘Abba, Father’? Only sin can separate us from God’s presence.

- Are you growing in grace and in the knowledge of God? The application of His Word is true wisdom.

- Have you consciously examined your heart to see if you have offended God in words, deeds or thoughts?

- Have you violated the clear illumination and conviction of your conscience, knowing that God explicitly forbids this sin in His Word?

- Are you holy and living a life that is godly and sanctified, always having the fear of the Lord with you? A low view of God will displace Him out of our lives.

- Can you sincerely and honestly ask in faith, believing that God will answer your prayers?

b. Your values

- Re-examine your priorities in the light of eternity for only what’s done for God will last.

- Is your life choked with the cares of the world, family, work, studies and leisure only?

- Is your mind often filled with worldly thoughts or the edifying thoughts of God?

- Do you pray to seek the will of God in making major decisions of your life?

- Do you live to prepare yourself for eternity’s sake or just for the temporal?

- Are you prepared to die now and to meet the Lord if it is God’s will?

c. Your relationship with your loved ones

- Do you show genuine love to your spouse, children, church members and friends, and parents and grandparents as well?

- Do you care to spend quality time to bond with them?

- Do you care enough to visit or call to comfort, encourage and exhort someone in the Lord? Oftentimes, we do not treasure our loved ones until they are taken away.

d. Your stewardship

- Do you remember to honour God with your time, treasures (in giving) and talents (in service)?

- Do you truly adore and serve God with love and zeal regardless whether you are noticed by man?

- Do you care for the lost and consciously seek the Lord’s help to witness and share the Gospel of Christ with them?

The Secret of Success

There are volumes of secular books written on success and how to achieve success. It will be foolish for us to seek the world’s counsel and neglect our Maker’s Manual and instruction! Josh 1:8 is a timeless advice to all who desire to be successful in the Lord. "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thoushalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."

The Bible tells us that the entrance of God’s Word giveth light; it gives understanding to the simple (Ps 119:130) and the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord (Ps 37:23) and if the law of his God is in his heart, none of his steps shall slide (Ps 37:31). We are privileged to have the Word of God and there is no lack in understanding. What is required of us is to trust and obey for there is no other way. To be happy andsuccessful in Jesus is to trust and obey.

Dearly beloved, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matt 6:21). There are a lot of things vying for our heart, as this is the control centre of your life. We must therefore guard our hearts and watch over them so that our heart follows hard after the things of God and is not distracted by the things of this world. We must ask ourselves, "Where is our focus?" What are our eyes focused on? Are they focused on the seen or the unseen (2 Cor 4:18)?

Today if we hear His voice, Jesus is asking us to repent from where we have fallen (Rev 2:5), to change our minds about success in the world, to live a life of faith, and to serve Him the one and only true living God. Strive for success in the Lord and strive for it in God’s way. Always remember that what we are is by the grace of God. Let no man rob God of His glory. May our heart’s desire for success be as expressed in the song below. Amen.

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold,
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands, 
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.

Than to be king of a vast domain,
And be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything,
This world affords today."

—In His Service, Eld Chia Ah Lak

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Book Table (17 & 24 Feb 13)

Winners of Scripture Memory Verse Review and Sunday School prizes can use your vouchers to purchase books at this booktable.

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Men’s Fellowship Meeting. 
15th Feb 2013 (Fri, 8pm) at Greek & Hebrew Rm 
Speaker 
: Bro Tan Thiam Hong. 
Topic
: "Overcoming Temptations in Men" (Jas 1:12-15)

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1) Lord’s Supper for the 8.00 am service will be held next Sunday.

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. Registration opens today! 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 atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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) Infant Baptism on Easter Sunday, 31 Mar 13Parents who intend to have their infants baptised must register by 24 Feb 13. Please call the Church office (6594-9399) or email Yin Chan giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

5) Far Eastern Kindergarten Registration for 2014 Intake : Priority registration in February for church members. Pre-Nursery-YOB 2011, Nursery-YOB 2010. Please visit our website athttp://www.lifebpc.com/fekedu/ or call 6251 3676 for more information.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet at Indonesian Service, 4.00 pm. Rev Wong at Shalom BPC, 9.00 am. 

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