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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

1 July 2012
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:

Rev Charles Seet (Enoch: He Walked with God, Gen 5:21-24)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Yap Beng Shin (Embracing Grace Again, Luke 15:1-2, 11-32)

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)

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FAITHFUL AND WISE STEWARDSHIP

All tithes and offerings collected by the Church are given to God and belong to God. If charitable organizations are required to exercise great care in their stewardship because they handle funds from the public, how much more should the officers of the Church do so when they handle God’s funds. Any mismanagement of these funds will bring them not only under public prosecution but also under God’s righteous wrath!

Last Tuesday we heard the news about the alleged mismanagement of church funds by five officers of a local mega-church. While we hope that this may somehow prove to be untrue, we ought to consider how any mismanagement of funds can be prevented.

The Scriptures teach that those who handle such matters must be faithful. Our Lord Jesus emphasised the need for faithfulness in money matters when He said, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?" (Luke 16:10-12)

God requires all who are responsible for the management of Church finances to be faithful. This principle has been in force since Old Testament times. For example, when Nehemiah appointed treasurers to manage the tithes and offerings which were brought to the Temple in Jerusalem he chose men who were faithful – "Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries. And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren." (Nehemiah 13:12-13)

You may notice that these men were also spiritually qualified for service – They were a priest, a scribe (i.e. an expert in the Law of God) and two Levites. Hence they were faithful not only in material matters but also in spiritual matters. The same thing was true of the seven deacons who were appointed by the New Testament church to handle the distribution of food to its widows. According to Acts 6:3, they were "men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom."

While the key to prevent mis-management of funds is to be careful to select men who are faithful, it is also needful to have sufficient checks and balances in place to serve as a measure against misuse. These should be enshrined in a constitution to ensure that they will always be complied with. For instance, our Church Constitution states the following under Article 21, on ‘Finance and Audit’:

21.1 The work and programme of the Church shall be supported by the freewill offerings and tithes of its mem-bers and gifts, donations from friends and by such other income as may be derived by the Church according to the Holy Scriptures.

21.2 The funds of the Church shall be used in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

21.3 The Session shall elect one of its members as Treasurer and another member as Assistant Treasurer, if necessary. The Treasurer and/or the Assistant Treasurer shall not hold office for the same or related post for another consecutive term. The Session may appoint a Finance Committee from among its members to take charge of the financial affairs of the Church. The Treasurer may keep a cash balance but the amount at any one time shall not be more than the limit established by the Session. All monies exceeding this amount shall be deposited with a bank designated by the Church Session. All cheques shall be signed by a minimum of two persons appointed by the Church Session.

21.4 The Church Session may appoint an auditing firm as external auditor to audit the accounts of the Church.

21.5 In addition to the external auditors, the Church shall elect two internal auditors who are not members of the Church Session, at the Annual Congregational Meeting of the Church.

21.6 The internal auditors shall hold office for one year and shall not be for reelection.

21.7 The internal auditors and/or the auditing firm shall certify the correctness of the accounts for presentation to the Annual Congregational Meeting at the end of each financial year which shall end on 31 December.

Besides having a Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Finance Committee, external auditors and two elected internal auditors we also have a full-time accountant to take charge of the financial affairs of the church. The Treasurer presents a monthly report to the Session and an annual report to the Congregation. Approval limits for various expenses have been defined for all sub-committees in our church. Any proposed expense that exceeds $5,000 has to be approved by the Session. All these checks and balances have been implemented to ensure that the Lord’s money is being managed faithfully.

However, while we are confident that there are sufficient measures in place to ensure faithful stewardship of the Lord’s money, we need to pray for the Session to exercise wise stewardship of it. In Luke 12:42-44, Jesus commended a servant for being both faithful and wise in the stewardship of his master’s resources. The Session needs God’s wisdom to decide how to use the funds wisely to bring the greatest gains for God’s kingdom. Some corporate decisions are made only after much time is spent in discussion and prayer. Please pray that the Lord will grant wisdom for our Session members to make such decisions.

James Hudson Taylor, the founder of China Inland Missions, once said, "God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply." Hence we are confident that Lifers will continue to bring in their tithes and offerings as the Lord blesses. May we all take heed to the commandment in Malachi 3:10 – "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

Please do not forget that everything you have comes from God (1 Chronicles 29:16; Job 1:21), and therefore you are a steward of whatever He grants to you to possess for a time. Be faithful and wise in using what you have. Do not overspend or buy things you do not need. Do not be wasteful. Refrain from being in debt. Save wisely for future needs, and give wisely as the Lord enables you to give. —Pastor

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TESTIMONIES FROM CHURCH CAMP 2012 (PART II)

TWO ARE BETTER than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.(Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

I thank God for the opportunity to attend the church camp and to learn from His Word. The message and fellowship at camp reminded me of the above verses, especially regarding how one can encourage and assist another when a friend faces daunting situations. After reflecting about the camp, I would like to thank God for placing many precious friends in my life and for the joys of Christian fellowship and prayer.

I had a blessed time of fellowship during the camp. I was glad to be able to meet up with many Christian friends during the camp and was very thankful for the times of fellowship and prayer together. Truly, our fellowship is with the Father and with Christ (1 John 1:3). Despite being away for a while, it was wonderful to see how I was able to catch up with friends and speak of spiritual things comfortably with them.

I also thank God for the opportunity to serve Him by chairing a worship session. It was a timely reminder of learning to trust in Him (2 Corinthians 12:9) and of the joys of Christian fellowship. I was particularly encouraged by the support received while preparing to chair a worship session. As it was my first time leading such a large group of worshippers, I was naturally tentative. However, before the chairing, several brothers and sisters in Christ came to offer words of support. It was nice to hear them come up to me, saying that they had prayed for me and that the chairing would be fine. I was further encouraged by two particular brothers who came up to me and offered to pray with me before the chairing. By His grace, the chairing went smoothly and I thank God for answering our prayers. It was a tremendous blessing that God has placed good Christian friends in my life whom I can rely on and pray with. Praise God for His providence! – Wang Longzhao

THANK GOD for the church camp!

There were quite a few things that cropped up before the camp, and we contemplated missing it. But I’m so glad we made it.

Thank God for a time of retreat.

A time just to be away from the daily duties and chores, to rest physically, to sit at the feet of Christ, and to soak up the Word.

Thank God for the Word that was preached.

Appreciated especially the focus on the need to fear the Lord, as well as the practical lessons for the family. It was just good to be able to sit and listen, and to be blessed by the Word.

Thank God for a reasonably well-behaved toddler.

Thankful that Nathan was fairly well-behaved during the messages – that meant I was able to sit, pay attention (and even take notes!).

Thank God too for his long afternoon naps, which gave me lots of time to read and reflect.

Thank God too for the book table – for the many who brought the books up, and who manned the sales of the books.

I managed to pick up a book to read during the camp, and that kind of kick-started the long rusty engine. Something I have to endeavour to keep doing back home.

Thank God for fellowship too, for the opportunity to catch up unhurriedly with some friends, and to make some new ones. Thank God for the camp committee and their efforts, and for so many other blessings at the camp. It was a much needed refreshment to my soul. Thank God for the camp, and thank God we went! – Lim Hui Min

11-14 JUNE, this period was set aside a few months ago in anticipation to receive spiritual rest and nourishment from God’s words with my roommate Siew Li.

After listening to Pastor Tan at last year’s camp, one could expect the same rigour in uplifting of the spiritual mind.

It did not require any warming up for Pastor Tan to go straight into defining the characteristics that God seeks in His children: "But to this One I will Look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word" (Isaiah 66:1-2). Pastor Tan hit the nail on the head with the question – How big is God in your heart? Where we look to Jesus to be in the centre and focus of our lives, we would always seek to do things which please God before our very own interests. On this, it has also given me a new perspective of serving in church, that we perish any thought of our work to God’s work as "adding value" to Him. We serve because it is a privilege for us to serve in church, a place for displaying God’s glory. I cannot promise I will not miss any Introit & Benediction practices in the early morning in future but I will strive to serve the Lord with more zeal, more humility and obedience to his commandments. Personally for me, the messages for this camp are practical especially in 3 aspects: (1) our duty to God and the church; (2) our duty to our parents; and (3) our responsibilities to the leaders of our church.

Thanks to the Camp Committee for the well balanced programme and seamless logistics. I thank God for the opportunity to attend the camp, to rekindle my relationship with God, and renewing the interests to read and know Him through recommended Christian literature!

All glory be to God. – Nancy Wong

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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) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 2. The deadline for submitting the written review is today.

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

3) ParenTeen Group will meet this Sat, 7 Jul 12 from 3.00 to 5.00 pm at Rm 5-4.

4) Rev Quek Keng Khwang has received his licence to solemnize marriages, and is able to receive invitations to conduct weddings from now on.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet in JB Sunset Gospel Hour, 6pm. Rev Wong in Cambodia, 2-10 Jul. Rev Quek 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