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Scripture Memory: Peace
Isaiah 26:3 
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

8 July 2012
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Noah: He Did All that God Commanded, Gen 7:5)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Dn Lee Hock Chin (The God Who Speaks, Ps 19)

15 July 2012
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:

Rev Colin Wong (Stephen: Full of Faith and of the Holy Spirit, Acts 6:5)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Kiss the Son, Ps 2)

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CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE

Dearly beloved, would you be free from the burden of sin? Would you over evil a victory win? Would you be free from your passion and pride? Would you live daily His praises to sing?

The Word of God says, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (Jn 8:36). Yet many Christians including long time Christians are not enjoying this freedom. Why? Didn’t the Word of God say, we shall be free indeed? Yes, but the trouble with us is that not many take the Word of God seriously and are therefore victims of Satan’s continued oppressions. The test of true faith is contingent on the conditional clause in Jn 8:31 – if ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed. True freedom can only be experienced by those who faithfully obey and delight in God’s laws and precepts.

Best of both worlds

God’s Word is non-negotiable and we cannot have the best of both worlds. We cannot be saved comfortably and yet live carelessly the way we please. What do I mean by that? The world and God are diametrically opposed to one another and obviously we cannot expect God to bless us if we cling on to both. The Bible tells us that no man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matt 6:24). The world is at enmity with God. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves 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).

Duty of man

Man is called and has a duty to fear God and to enjoy Him forever; yet, modern circumstances render it a seemingly impossible task. Pride, sexual promiscuity, dishonesty and covetousness are just some of the many self-gratifying indulgences that we – secretly or otherwise – enjoy, and the world is getting better at pandering to these soft spots we continually fall for. One can easily picture that on this earthly battlefield, there are many Christians lying defeated on life’s bed of roses of carnal pleasures; is the spiritual warfare all Christians are called to a lost cause? God forbid.

Now, let’s not be overly pessimistic; after all, aren’t there many other Christians boldly fighting this war (but losing their battles in secret sins)? The church may be ‘defending the faith’ and ‘holding forth the Word of Life’ but these contribute little to living victorious Christian lives if there is no genuine love for God and obedience to His Word in the members’ personal lives as typified by the church of Ephesus in Rev 2:2-5. How to win the war?

Get on to the winning team

Are you in the Lord’s army? Only His is the winning side ("Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world"). The enlistment criteria are simple: love God and obey Him; without this, any professor of the Christian faith would be fighting on the wrong side of the battle to begin with. Being on the Lord’s side demands our unreserved allegiance to the Captain of our lives and to abide by the rules of the true winning team. We must not be ashamed as soldiers of Jesus Christ and we are to hold the banner high in highest standard of holiness and purity. Obedience is not a choice and we must not be entangled with the affairs of this life so that we stay focused on the King’s business who has chosen us to be on His side (2 Tim 2:3,4).

Start winning small battles

There is some virtue in giving thought to the saying that we should not ‘win the battle but lose the war.’ However, rarely can wars be won without winning any battles. Many Christians are preoccupied with the ‘war’ – ensuring that the gospel is proclaimed, that souls are saved and that the Bible is defended – but give little emphasis to the ‘battles,’ the sins that so easily beset us in our own personal walk.

Recently, there is a morning radio program on "Small Talk, Big Returns" where experts shared on getting big returns for career and business success by focusing on a small critical few. Similarly, we must focus on winning small battles of life in order to gain big returns for the Lord.

There is little use of praying for wisdom to think how we can overcome our sins when we do not think of how to overcome our sins after praying. How is this supposedly God-given wisdom meant to work then? After a contrite prayer, we should be plotting against ourselves, the devil and the world with regard to the besetting and habitual sins in our lives meaningfully; for example, if we have a habit of being covetous, are we thinking of ways NOT to fall into such a sin – whether it be through asking a friend to keep us accountable, continually meditating on Scripture verses pertaining to contentment, etc?

As we slowly but surely overcome the ‘easier’ sins in our lives (with the help of the Holy Spirit), the more ‘difficult’ sins will become more apparent and present themselves as a more challenging hurdle to overcome – after all, the ‘dearer’ sins in life would be more difficult to forgo. This is but a part of the ongoing and increasingly challenging process of sanctification: as we draw closer to God, we could either hate our sins more or have our love for God put to the test by our love for the dearer things in our life. But through winning the small ‘battles,’ we grow in confidence that we are fighting with the Lord’s strength, and this puts us in a better position to confront the sins closer to our hearts.

However, we should always be wary that while it is likely that one will grow in confidence, it is as likely that one can grow in complacency and develop a weak spot for the devil to take advantage of. The roaring lion is most certainly cunning enough not to strike us at our strongest but to exploit our vulnerabilities.

Persevering on in faith

While we should concentrate on winning the small battles in order not to live a ‘defeated Christian life,’ we rest on the fact that Christ has conquered sin and the world. Our spiritual lives may be peppered with many defeats by Satan and the world but the war has already been won by our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

However, this should not lead us to slack off and let our guard down. We need to continue to be watchful and put our FAITH in action. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 Jn 5:4).

F is to literally have Faith in God without which, we cannot please Him (Heb 11:6). Faith just believes what God says He can do. This marks the difference between Caleb, Joshua and the other ten spies. Whereas Caleb and Joshua saw opportunities, the others saw obscurities. Faith believes it’s a done deal because God says it, that’s settles it!

A stands for Action. We cannot sit idle and do nothing. Again from the Exodus account, Caleb and Joshua encouraged all to go at once into the Promised Land, trusting and relying solely upon the grace of God. God controls the start and stop button. We must act when He signals so. Inaction and procrastination are the two greatest hindrances to spiritual progress. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might" (Eccl 9:10).

stands for Imbibing the Word of God. The Word of God provides the godly counsel and divine guidance. It is a Lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our path. His Word is able to make us wise and to keep us from the evil ways. Through His precepts we are able to discern the right from the wrong which can save us from many piercing sorrows. If any lack wisdom, let him ask of God and waver not.

T is for Thanksgiving, giving thanks always for this is the will of God concerning you. A thankful heart is a grateful heart. When the Lord healed the ten lepers, only one returned to thank Him. Where are the nine? Did not I heal ten lepers? A grateful heart demonstrates our dependence on God without whom we can do nothing.

H stands for Heaven. Yes this world is not my home, I’m only a passing through. "For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself" (Phil 3:20-21). Yet how many of us live as though we are permanent residents of this temporary world. Thank God for the privilege to look after two aged parent and parent-in-law. They remind me how true the Word of God is. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away (Ps 90:10). From cradle to grave, what are we living for? Christians are not pessimistic but realistic! While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Cor 4:18). Dearly beloved, turn your eyes heavenward and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

Conclusion

The modern warfare rages on and our duty is not yet done. The hymn writer has aptly sounded the battle cry, "Rise up, O men of God (that includes all women, boys and girls, young and old), have done with lesser things [of life]. Give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of kings". The demands and trials of life will always be with us so long as we have breath but let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Gal v:9). Fierce and long the battles rages on but our Help is near. Onward comes our great Commander – cheer, my comrades, cheer!

CH Spurgeon says, "We must love the truth, feel the truth, and obey the truth". Yes, know the truth and the truth shall set you free (Jn 8:32). Only then, can we r%ally experience the joy of being truly freed to fulfil our duty to reverently fear God and enjoy Him forever. Amen. —Elder Chia Ah Lak

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GOSPEL SUNDAY

Date: 29th July 2012

Topic: You’d Better Be Sure!

Speakers:
Dr Paul Choo (English Service, 8:00 am & 10:45 am

Pastor Willy Ng (Hokkien with interpretation to Mandarin, 10.45am)

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

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EMMANUEL REFORMED BIBLE LECTURES

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

Mondays: Historical Lessons from the Ancient and Medieval Church (Rev Jack Sin)

Thursdays: The Epistles of Peter: Triumph & Truth (Rev Isaac Ong).

Lectures begin on 16 Jul 12.

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1) Church Camp 2012 Message & Photo CDs are available at the Front of Sanctuary after 1st & 2ndServices TODAY and 15/7/12. Thereafter, get the CDs from RTL Office after Service time. CD at S$1/- per copy.

2) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 2. The deadline for submitting the written review has been extended till today.

3) Catechism Class for Anniversary 2012 Baptism at 9.30 am at Rm 5-4, Beulah Centre. Those seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith and transfer of membership must attend the Catechism Class.

4) Adults Fellowship Mtg, next Sunday, 15 Jul 12, 1.15pm. Beulah Rm 1-5. "Christians Get Depressed Too" by Dn Lee Hock Chin.

5) Bus Shuttle Service from Newton MRT to Beulah House.The Chinese Service bus shuttle service between Newton MRT and Beulah House is now open to all.

Incoming (boarding at Newton MRT taxi stand - on the side heading towards Orchard Rd). 9.15am to 10.40am (15mins interval). Outgoing (boarding at Beulah House driveway shelter). 12.05pm to 12.30pm (15mins interval)

6) Our condolences to the family of the late Mrs Donna Kam Beng Tong, 77 yrs old, who went home to be with the Lord on 4 Jul 12. Wake service tonight at 8.00 pm at Harmony Service Hall, Mount Vernon Sanctuary, 121 Upper Aljunied Road. Funeral tomorrow at 9.00 am, cortege leaves for Mandai at 10.00 am.

Preaching appointment: Rev Wong in Cambodia, 2-10 Jul. 

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