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Scripture Memory: Repentance
Luke 5:31,32 
"And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

18 March 2012
8 am & 10.45am Worship Service:

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Are You Contented? Lk 12:16-21)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Charles Seet (How to be Effective for Christ, Col 4:2-6)

25 March 2012
8 am & 10.45am Worship Service:

Rev Calvin Loh (Are You Ready? Mat 25:1-13)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Matthews Abrahams(Watch and Be Sober, 1 Thess 5:1-11)

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ARE YOU COVETEOUS?

God views covetousness as a terrible evil, but man views it as the least of all human problems and in fact encourages it as the route to personal fulfilment. We call it materialism or kiasu-ism, but these are just milder terms for greed and avarice. It is a very frustrating way of life because one can never be satisfied in it. The more you get, the more you want to get!

Covetousness is the sin of misplaced trust. Many fall into it because they do not trust in God, but in things that are not worthy of their trust. They think that material possessions can provide all the joy, power and satisfaction that they want in life. They put their trust in their riches and seek to get more riches to trust in. Jesus stated this in Luke 12:15 – "And He said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." Covetousness will be one of the dominant characteristics of the perilous times which will come in the last days before Christ returns (2 Timothy 3:1,2).

The desire to have things is not evil in itself. When we are hungry we desire food to eat. When we are thirsty, we desire something to drink. When we are tired we desire rest. But when these God-given desires become distorted, and aims to get whatever God has not intended for us, they become evil and destructive.

The covetous spirit will easily lead a person to give very sparingly and grudgingly to help others. It is opposed to God’s greatest commandment: the commandment to love. Covetousness is only interested in getting; love is always interested in giving. Covetousness is also a root sin that leads a person into other sins. Those who covet often resort to cheating, lying, stealing, dis-honesty and corrup-tion in order to get what they want, and no means, ethical or unethical is spared to get the things that are coveted.

Non-material Coveting

When you desire anything that is not yours in the will of God, you are coveting. That thing may be non-material, like the position or abilities of another person. One can also covet the affection or popularity of another person. We call these sins "envy", a particularly pernicious and destructive form of coveting. Envy is condemned in Galatians 5:21 as one of the "works of the flesh."

How can you tell if you are envious or not? Can you rejoice when others are getting better grades than you, or when others are successful in areas that you are not? If you cannot rejoice when others increase or get promoted ahead of you, then envy lurks in your heart, and it must be dealt with before it destroys you!

Another form of non-material coveting is coveting a desired outcome. This often leads to the sin of bribery and corruption. These sins are hated in the Bible (Exodus 23:8; 1 Samuel 8:1-3). When a judge can be moved to acquit the guilty by receiving a gift from a person, both that person and the judge are guilty of covetousness. The person covets an illegitimate result while the unjust judge covets the gift.

Sometimes people get their desired outcome through a legal loophole. E.g. to be able to buy property with no money down, or to be able to fill their property with cash-paying tenants before they have even purchased it in order to obtain a huge residual income.

Should you do things like these? Remember this: Something that is not illegal may still be unethical. When faced with such an option ask yourself two questions: Firstly, will it give you an unfair advantage over others? Secondly, will it put you in a bad light if it becomes known to the public? If the answer is "yes" to either of these questions, then steer clear from the option in question.

Gambling

Gambling is built entirely upon covetousness. The gambler covets a desired outcome in order to obtain his coveted material gains. He dreams of becoming rich quickly by hitting the jackpot. Some gamblers will even resort to using deception to get the desired result – e.g. placing chips on winning bets after the results are declared. In many sports or games events, gambling takes the form of betting, and these games are sometimes fixed to end in a certain way.

In Judges 14:12-18, we are told that Samson made a bet with the Philistines for thirty sets of expensive clothing, that they would not be able to solve his riddle. They took on the bet but found that the riddle was too hard for them. Since they did not want to lose, they coerced Samson’s wife to trick him into revealing the answer. So Samson lost the bet. Such evil scheming still goes on even in organised or legalised gambling today. We should have no part in it!

Gambling is also a social evil that has ruined many lives. Legalised gambling has been touted as an economic goldmine which promotes visitor arrivals, huge revenues and employment. But its harm to society will be evident from growing rates of bankruptcy, broken families, depression and suicide. Last year, the SOS hotline reported a sharp increase in the number of suicide-related phone calls specially featuring loan sharks issues and gambling problems.

In a February 2012 report by the National Council of Problem Gambling it was revealed that 47% of Singaporeans aged 18 and above have participated in at least one form of gambling activity in the last 12 months. What is of great concern is that 2.6% are classified as probable pathological or problem gamblers and that their average monthly betting amounts had increased over the last 3 years from $619 to $1,713! There is also heavier gambling among a small group of low-income gamblers, frequent gamblers, and poorer self-control in gambling among online, horse racing and casino gamblers.

It is known that 30% of the gamblers inside a local casino are Singaporeans. Despite the availability of treatment for pathological gamblers, less than 1% of them are actually seeking help. Youth problem gamblers are not stepping forward for help although they make up 2.8% of youths aged 13-17. A local director of youth services recently commented, "Two equations are present today: Easy money and a materialistic world. When you take this combination, it’s like a time bomb for our youths in Singapore."

The truth about gambling is that it is addictive and causes people to lose sight of reality. Gamblers live in a dream world of riches, hoping for that unreal ‘chance of a lifetime’ to fall right into their lap. It makes people believe that good luck rather than hard work is the way to prosperity. It goes against the Christian work ethic. It causes people to become intensely self-centred. Nothing else matters to them except the thrill of risking their assets to make some quick gains.

In the light of all these, we should abstain completely from any form of gambling. To participate in it or promote it is to help create an atmosphere in which others will certainly fall into sin.

How about speculating in stocks and shares? The important element in gambling is the taking of risk. The one who gambles risks his assets on a speculated result in the hope of getting gains for himself. If the speculated result does not occur, he loses whatever he has risked. There is no gambling involved when there is no risk of loss. Speculating on the stock, currency or property market can result in huge capital losses. Therefore it is a form of gambling.

Faithful Stewardship

The Bible tells us that God is deeply concerned about our attitudes toward our possessions. He wants us to regard them as things that He has entrusted to us. We are stewards of all our possessions only for a very short time (cf. the parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:15-28). With that attitude, we would seek to sacrificially use and invest these possessions as wisely as possible for His glory. They are not to be used for our own glory. Neither should we covet what God has not entrusted to us to manage, but be content with what He has. —Pastor

ILLUSTRATIONS

Billion Dollars Not Enough

One of the richest men in the world, oil tycoon Paul Getty, was being interviewed in London. "If you retired now," asked a reporter, "would you say your holdings would be worth a billion dollars?" Getty paced up and down the room, mentally adding. "I suppose so," he said, "But remember, a billion doesn’t go as far as it used to." – Clipper Travel (from Encyclopaedia of 7,700 Illustrations)

Drama with 26,000 Actors

On the night of November 16, 1930, Mrs Henrietta Garrett, a lonely 81-year-old widow, died in her home in Philadelphia and unwittingly started the most fantastic case of inheritance litigation in history.

She had failed to leave a will, or no will was found, to her $17,000,000 estate: a mystery left unsolved. She had expertly handled her financial affairs since the death of her husband in 1895 and therefore she must have realised that without a will, her fortune would become involved in many legal battles. Although Mrs Garrett had, at the time of her death, only one known relative, a second cousin, and less than a dozen friends, attempts to prove relationship to her and to claim a part or all of her estate have since been made by more than 26,000 persons from 47 states and 29 foreign countries represented by more than 3,000 lawyers.

In their frantic efforts, these alleged relatives have committed perjury, faked family records, changed their own names, altered data in church Bibles and concocted absurd tales of illegitimacy. As a result, twelve were fined, ten received jail sentences, two committed suicide and three were murdered. The estate has in the meantime increased to $30,000,000 and is not expected to be settled for some time – Freling Foster (from Encyclopaedia of 7,700 Illustrations)

Stinging Ants

Recently I laid a small circle of poison around a hill of stinging ants. Thinking the tiny granules of poison were food, the ants began to pick them up and carry them throughout the colony. I returned later to see how well the poison was working. Hundreds of the stinging ants were carrying the poison down into their hill. Then I noticed a hole in the circle of poison. Some of the poison was moving the opposite way—away from the hill. Some smaller, non-stinging ants had found this "food" and were stealing it from their ant neighbours. Thinking they were getting the other ants’ treasure, they unwittingly poisoned themselves.

When we see someone with more than we have, we must beware. The hunger to beg, borrow, or steal our way into what is theirs may poison us spiritually. – Bob James (Source Unknown)

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Notice of Annual Congregational Meeting on Lord’s Day, 22 April 12, at 10.45 am sharp

All members of Life B-P Church are reminded to attend this meeting. The combined English worship service begins at 9.00 am.

Please collect the ACM package which will be given out on Sunday, 8 Apr 11 after the Combined Easter Service which begins at 7.00 am.

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Life B-P Church Camp 2012
11-14 Jun 12 (Mon-Thu)

To register, please log in to http://www.lifebpc.com/churchcamp2012.htm for online registration.

Venue: Nirwana Resort Hotel, Bintan, Indonesia

Theme: ‘One in Christ, Unity in Diversity’.’

Speaker: Pastor Tan Soon Yong from Fishermen of Christ.

Registration forms are also available at the front entrance for those who have no internet access.

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EMMANUEL REFORMED BIBLE SEMINAR

Spiritual Insights into The Minor Prophets

by Dr John A Battle

18-23 June 2012 (Mon-Sat) ; 8.30 am – 1.00 pm; at Beulah House, 10 Gilstead Road.

Details are available at http://www.lifebpc.com/erbl.htm

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2012 Combined B-P Youth Conference

Sat, 5 May 12, 9am to 4pm. Beulah Centre.

Theme: Always Reformed, Always Reforming

Speaker: Rev Ho Chee Lai.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. *Lunch will be provided.

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1) Our condolences to the family of Elder Charlie Chia Chin Sim (84 years old) who was promoted to glory on 10 Mar 12.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet at AF, 1.30 pm and Evening Service, 6.00 pm. Rev Wong at Calvary BPC, 10am and in Vietnam, from 18 to 28 Mar.

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