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Scripture Memory: Protection

Psalm 33:18,19 "Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

 14 October 2012
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:
Rev Colin Wong (Philip: The Evangelist Who Preached Jesus Christ, Acts 21:8-10)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Calvin Loh (Peace in the Midst of Troubles, Ps 46)

21 October 2012
62nd Church Anniversary Combined Baptismal Service
Rev Tan Choon Seng (Living a Life With No Regrets, 2 Tim 4:6-8)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Colin Wong (Blessed Is He Whose Transgression is Forgiven, Ps 51) 

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GIVE ME AN UNDERSTANDING HEART

Whenever King Solomon is mentioned, people immediately associate him with two things: Great wealth and great wisdom. Many who are not believers will probably take greater interest in his wealth. Under his reign Israel enjoyed a Golden age – a time when it overflowed with gold. It is estimated that over a 30-year period Solomon amassed about 500 tons of gold!

But to us who are believers Solomon’s golden wisdom is of far greater value than all his golden wealth. Solomon himself testified of this in Proverbs 16:16 – “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” And Solomon’s wisdom was quite amazing – It is seen in the many wise sayings that he composed in the Book of Proverbs. It is seen in the philosophical forays he took, as described in the Book of Ecclesiastes. It is also seen in the complex legal cases he was able to solve.

I am sure that we would all like to know how Solomon became so wise. How did he acquire all his wisdom? Did he attach himself to some aged sage or guru? (That is how many today try to get wisdom) Or did he amass a lot of books of wisdom and philosophy and study them? (Libraries already existed even as far back as the 10th century BC.) Or did he go on a long personal retreat to meditate deeply under a tree until he attained enlightenment? Solomon did none of these things. His wisdom was given to him by God.

This happened when he was young, at the time when he had just become the king of Israel. He wanted to begin his reign well, and what better way is there to do this than to seek for God’s help. So Solomon went to a place called Gibeon and offered a thousand burnt offerings to God. And after that the Lord appeared to him in a dream and offered to grant him anything he would ask for. What would you have asked for, if this happened to you? Let us see how Solomon replied:

“O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” (1 Kings 3:7-9)

What Solomon said here revealed his great sense of inadequacy. He felt terribly unequal to the task of being a king. And so he asked God to give him a wise and understanding heart to judge God’s people so that he may be able to discern between good and bad. God was more than willing to grant Solomon his request, and as an added bonus, God gave him things he could have asked for but did not ask – wealth and honour, long life and victory over all his enemies. That is how Solomon became so wise. From this we learn to do at least four things in order to become wise:

1. Admit your own foolishness or lack of wisdom

This is the hardest part. It requires a great deal of humility. I think that most of us would rather think that we are not foolish or at least not unwise. Many would like to think that they have developed some discernment to help them judge situations or people correctly. This may happen just after they have gained some new knowledge or insight – they glory in that newly acquired knowledge and think that they are better than the rest of the crowd, and they start to flaunt their ‘wisdom’ at every opportunity.

Those who have been through college would know that when students reach the second year, they are no longer called freshmen, but sophomores. But what does the term ‘sophomore’ means? It is derived from the Greek words sophos which means ‘wise’ and moron which means ‘fool’. A second year student is therefore a ‘wise fool’! He thinks he is wise because he has completed his freshman year, but he is still a fool because there is much more that he has not learned yet.

Please be careful not to be a wise fool, as that would only be deceiving yourself. If you want to be as wise as Solomon, admit that you are a fool and that you lack wisdom.

2. Ask God to give you wisdom.

God is the ultimate source of all true wisdom. That is why He is referred to three times in the Bible as the ‘only wise God.’ And this only wise God delights in giving wisdom to those who ask Him for it.

This wonderful truth is reiterated in James 1:5 – “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” We should therefore be bold in our prayers to ask God for the wisdom we need, since He is so kind and generous to us. However there is a condition we must meet in order to receive such wisdom from our kind and generous God. We must “ask in faith, nothing doubting” (v.6). This is the third requirement we must fulfill in order to have wisdom…

3. Believe that God will give you the wisdom you need.

The Lord looks for stable, consistent trust in Him. If you seek wisdom from God, you must believe that He will give it to you. When Christ was on earth, he was always ready to praise those who asked Him for things in faith. One example was the Syro-Phoenician woman who sought help from Jesus to cast out a demon from her daughter. When He told her that it would not be right to give the dogs bread that was meant for the children, she pleaded that the dogs still get to eat the crumbs that fall from the table. Jesus then said to her, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” (Matthew 15:28).

Therefore if you need wisdom, ask God for it in faith, believing that God will grant it to you.

4. Keep exercising your God-given wisdom.

Wisdom is like a muscle. It must be exercised. The more you exercise wisdom, the wiser you will be. This truth is found in Hebrews 5:14 – “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

How can you exercise wisdom or discernment? One way to do this is to assess everything you come across, instead of blindly accepting everything. For instance, you can exercise discernment when you read the news. Discern between truths and opinions. And when you discern opinions, evaluate them with the wisdom that God has given you – Are they valid and reasonable opinions? Or are they unsound or biased opinions? Do they contradict what God says in His word?

When you read a novel or watch a show on TV do you approve of everything that the protagonist does? Those who are immature in wisdom and discernment are prone to accept whatever he does without detecting the flaws in his character or morals. You must recognize that the sinful nature is found in everyone no matter how good he is. While you should learn and emulate the good that you can see in others, you should learn not to emulate their faults and weaknesses. The best way to discern such things is to use Jesus as your standard of perfect character. Ask yourself – would Jesus have done what this person or that person did?

So please make an effort to get into the habit of exercising discernment. As you do this you may sometimes make mistakes. At times you may interpret a person’s actions wrongly, or jump to wrong conclusions. But after you realize that you have done that, learn from your mistakes. Learn to give others the benefit of the doubt and not to make premature judgments (1 Corinthians 4:5). May the Lord help us all to increase in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. – Pastor

Words of Divine Wisdom

Contentment – Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me. (Proverbs 30:8)

Discernment – The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. (Proverbs 14:15)

Slothfulness – The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. (Proverbs 13:4)

Pleasure – He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich. (Proverbs 21:17)

Moderation – Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it. (Proverbs 25:16)

Faithfulness – A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. (Proverbs 11:13)

Doing Good – Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. (Proverbs 3:27)

Boasting – Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. (Proverbs 27:2)

Integrity – A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. (Proverbs 22:1)

Counsel – Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:14)

Handling Conflicts – A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

Confession – He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)

Self-Control – He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. (Proverbs 16:32)

Generosity – The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. (Proverbs 11:25)

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62nd Church Anniversary Combined Baptismal Service 

Lord’s Day, 21 October 2012, 9.30 am. 

Fellowship Lunch after Service 

(Offerings to defray the cost of the lunch are welcome. Please contact Dn Benny Goh, 9743-3383.) 

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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) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 3. Deadline for submitting the written review is today.

2) Our condolences to: (1) Jenny Lee and family on the homegoing of her mother, Annie Tan (84) on 6 Oct 12. The family would like to thank the pastoral team, Session members and church for their condolences, presence and prayers. (2) Karen Chung Tung Chin and family on the passing away of her father, Chung Koong Siong (94) on 9 Oct 12. (3) The family of the late Chia Yeow Hai (76) on his homegoing on 9 Oct 12.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet at Life Chinese Service, 10.45 am and Indonesian Service, 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