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Scripture Memory: Journeying Mercies.
VERSE : Psalm 121:8 
"The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

11 November 2012
8 am Worship Service:

Rev Colin Wong (Elijah: Effectual Fervent Praying, Jas 5:16-18)
1045am Worship Service:
Eld Lim Teck Chye (Elijah: Effectual Fervent Praying, Jas 5:16-18)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Dn Lee Hock Chin (Living in Light of Eternity, Ps 90)

18 November 2012
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:

Rev Charles Seet (Rahab: Testimony of a Living Faith, Jos 2:9-11)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Colin Wong (David’s Psalm of Praise, Ps 145)

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WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

First Thessalonians was the first epistle addressed to the churches; one of the earliest documents of the New Testament. It was written in AD 50-51.

Paul’s second missionary journey brought him to Thessalonica, where he founded a church, but he soon faced opposition from the unbelieving Jews. He therefore had to leave Thessalonica prematurely. Although he was not able to return there, God provided someone in Paul’s place, in the person of Timothy. He went there and later brought a very encouraging report, which warmed Paul’s heart, and which moved Paul to write this epistle to encourage the Thessalonians to stand fast and walk worthy of the Lord, despite persecution. He also comforted them concerning those Christians who had died earlier by reminding them of the blessed hope of the Lord’s return (4:13-18).

Nehemiah also faced much opposition (Nehemiah 4-6).

He was ridiculed when he was given the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 4:1-3); the work of the Lord was hindered (vv.7-9); he faced discouragement from the discouraged Jews (vv.10-23); he faced opposition from within (5:1-19). Did he give up and "throw in the towel"? No, he never did. Instead he looked to God in prayer, and his prayer was wonderfully heard and answered! (See also Psalm 34:4; 91:15; Isaiah 65:24; Jeremiah 33:3)

Life’s Application

The same is true with us in our work for the Lord. Let’s face it, there is bound to be opposition even from our own brethren! But we should never ever be discouraged because God has promised us that He will not fail us (Joshua 1:5); He will not forget us (Isaiah 49:15); and He will not forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) Like Paul, let us move on and press on, not looking back!

Paul’s Words of Encouragement (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

1. Be joyful (v.16)

2. Be prayerful (v.17)

3. Be thankful (v.18)

1. Be Always Joyful regardless of circum-stances. (2 Corinthians 6:10; Philippians 3:1; 4:4).

Here is a beautiful inspirational hymn entitled: "What God Hath Promised" written by Annie Johnson Flint in 1919.

(1) God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

Chorus:

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

(2) God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.

(3) God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river, turbid and deep.

Examples of Joy in Suffering

Paul wrote the epistle to the Philippians, the epistle of joy, while he was in a Roman prison! One can be joyful even in times of suffering.

• The Apostles suffered for Christ’s sake. They were jailed, but they rejoiced because they counted it worthy to suffer (Acts 5:41; see also 2 Corinthians 4:8-9; 2 Corinthians 11:23-28).

• James said, "Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations" i.e. various trials (James 1:2). This is the proper attitude to adopt when we, as Christians, are faced with trials to test our faith.

• Jesus said that in this world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer because I have overcome the world (John 16:33). The word ‘tribulation’ is used of crushing grapes or olives in a press.

• Rejoice if you are facing fiery trials for your faith in Christ (1 Peter 4:12-13). It is to be expected that the people of the world will hate you because you are a Christian (John15:21).

• Blessed are you if you are "mocked and persecuted and lied about" because you are Christ’s disciples (Matthew 5:10-12).

• The Apostle Paul was imprisoned for preaching the gospel, yet while he was in prison he was able to encourage the Christians in Philippi to rejoice always whatever the circumstances.

• Job went through much suffering, yet he was able to say "though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." (Job 13:15; see also Ps.23:4).

Joy is one of the graces of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). He is the Source and Author of Joy. The Joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Christian joy is not temporal, not external; it is internal and abiding. The joy of the world is temporal, external and fluctuating. It is based on circumstances.

Why Be Joyful Always?

Reasons:

¨ We are a redeemed people. (1 Peter 1:18; Revelation 5:9; 14:3 )

¨ Our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Luke 10:20; see also Philippians 4:3; Revelation 21:27)

¨ We have the blessed hope. (1 Thessalonianns 4:13-18; Titus 2:13)

¨ We have the indwelling Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16)

¨ We are serving the King of kings and the Lord of lords. (1 Timothy 6:15; see also Revelation 17:14)

2. Pray Without Ceasing

This means to keep on praying; never to give up; be persistent and consistent in praying. (Luke 18:1; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2; 1Peter 4:7).

Be always prayerful and be steadfast in attitude. Watch and pray. Prayer is the best weapon we have in keeping in touch with God to protect us from evil temptations. Prayer is God’s ordained way of communicating with Him.

What is Prayer?

Prayer is "a communication between God and us whereby we expound to Him our desires, our joys, our sighs, in a word, all the thoughts of our hearts." (John Calvin)

"Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God hath promised, or according to the Word, for the good of the Church, with submission, in faith, to the will of God." (John Bunyan)

Prayer is "heaven’s greatest weapon...One-half of our calling as ministers and elders is prayer (Acts 6:4), but in reality we spend no more than 5 percent of our time in prayer...All Christians are called to pray (Colossians 4:2). Is anything more essential, yet more neglected, among us than prayer? " (Joel R. Beeke)

"Prayer...moves the hand that moves the world." (J.A. Wallace)

The Apostle Paul: A Great Intercessor

Paul Prayed For His Co-Workers and His Flock:

In almost all his epistles, Paul mentioned his remembrance of his flock in prayer: "I thank God.... that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day." (2 Timothy 1:3; Romans 1:8-9; 1 Corinthians 1:4; Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:3-4; Colossians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3; Philemon 4)

3. Give Thanks Always

Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians (and to us) is not to be anxious for anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving we are to make our requests known to Him (Philippians 4:6).

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ". (Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 3:17; see also Philippians 4:6; Hebrews 13:15)

We ought always to give thanks to God in all circumstances of life because all things work together for the good of those who love God, and those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). His grace will always be sufficient for us when facing adverse circumstances (2 Corinthians 12:9).

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (Colossians 3:17; see also Psalm 92:1; Ephesians 5:20)

You ought always to give thanks because "this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." The will of God is always good, and acceptable and perfect (Romans12:2). And so whatever befalls you as children of God cannot work against your good but for your good (Romans 8:28).

Conclusion

Thank God for Paul’s words of encouragement to the Thessalonians (and to us).

What is the will of God? It is to:

1. Rejoice evermore.

2. Pray without ceasing.

3. Give thanks always in everything.

Elder Khoo Peng Kiat

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EMMANUEL REFORMED BIBLE LECTURES

Time: 7.30 pm – 9.30 pm; Venue: Beulah House.

Mondays: The Poetic Books of the Old Testament (Rev Charles Seet)

Thursdays: The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev Ho Chee Lai).

Lectures begin on 7 January 2013.

Please complete registration forms available at the reception counter and place them in the box.

‘Early Bird Discount’ of $5 will be given to those who register before 3 Dec 12.

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1) LTF Camp 2012. Speaker: Rev Peter Chng. Theme: "Metamorphosis!" (2 Cor 5:17). Dates: 10-14 Dec. Age: 12-17. Please register early. For more information, contact Elder Lim Ching Wah at 9183-6783.

2) YF Camp 2012. Theme: Fear of the Lord. Speaker: Rev Jack Sin from Maranatha BP Church. Camp dates: 17-21 Dec. All youth aged between 16-24 are invited. Registration opens today, ends on 18 Nov. Contact John Lim (9660-5446) for more information.

3) Infant Baptism on Christmas Sunday, 23 Dec 12. Parents who intend to have their infants baptised must register by 25 Nov 12. Please call the Church office (65949399) or email Yin Chan giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

4) Catechism Class for Easter Baptism on 31 March 2013 commences on 2 Dec 12 at Beulah Centre Rm 5-4, 9.30 am. Those seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith and transfer of membership must attend the Catechism Class.

5) Congratulations to: (1) Philip & Jenny Kan on the gift of a grand-daughter on 25 Oct 12. (2) Mr & Mrs Mark Wee on the gift of a son on 2 Nov 12.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet at Thai Grace BPC, 4.00 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