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Scripture Memory: Sin
Jeremiah 27:9 
"The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

12 February 2012
8 am & 10.45am Worship Service:

Rev Charles Seet (Are You a Witness? Mat 5:13-16)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Quek KK (What Prevents Maturity? Col 2:8-23)

19 February 2012
8 am & 10.45am Worship Service:

Eld Ng Beng Kiong (Are You Serving? Mat 25:14-30)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Charles Seet (How to Really Love Jesus, Col 3:1-11)

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My dear Reader,

HE RESTRAINED THEM NOT

One of the saddest verses in the Bible is "… and he restrained them not" (1 Samuel 3:13). As a father, Eli failed to stop his sons from committing sins. He let them get away with it (1 Samuel 2:22). He lost control of them. As a result, he could not do anything to stop them from their evil deeds.

Eli had served faithfully for many years in the office of the high priest. He had apparently been faithful also in influencing and instructing Samuel from the Word (1 Samuel 2:21, 26). Despite his faithfulness and diligent as a high priest serving the people of Israel, he had one serious problem, and it had to do with his lack of discipline toward his own children (1 Timothy 3:4, 5).

Can you imagine how reluctant Samuel was when Eli asked him to tell him what the Lord had spoken to him in the night? Having grown up in the temple under his guidance and bountiful care, Samuel found it hard but eventually he told him what the Lord said to him. And Eli accepted it as from the Lord (1 Samuel 3:17, 18).

The Bible has a lot to say on the subject of disciplining our children. Parents are to discipline them while there is time and hope. Yes, it may hurt us to hear them cry or react violently or speak vehemently. However, it will even hurt us more deeply to see them go to hell if we don’t offer them guidance, discipline and correction (Proverbs 23:14).

We have enough warning from the Word especially from the Book of Proverbs to exhort us to exercise this God-given responsibility (Proverbs 13:24; 22:15; 23:13, 14). Therefore, we must not allow our emotions to keep us from correcting our children. We have a God-given responsibility to teach them the way of the Lord.

J.C. Ryle, in his treatise on "The Duties of Parents" said, "Fathers and mothers, I tell you plainly, if you never punish your children when they are in fault, you are doing them a grievous wrong. I warn you, this is the rock on which the saints of God, in every age, have only too frequently made shipwreck. I would fain persuade you to be wise in time, and keep clear of it. See it in Eli’s case. His sons Hophni and Phinehas "made themselves vile, and he restrained them not." He gave them no more than a tame and lukewarm reproof, when he ought to have rebuked them sharply. In one word, he honored his sons above God. And what was the end of these things? He lived to hear of the death of both his sons in battle, and his own grey hairs were brought down with sorrow to the grave" (1 Samuel 2:23).

He continued, "See, too, the case of David. Who can read without pain the history of his children, and their sins? Amnon’s incest, Absalom’s murder and proud rebellion, Adonijah’s scheming ambition: truly these were grievous wounds for the man after God’s own heart to receive from his own house. But was there no fault on his side? I fear there can be no doubt that there was. I find a clue to it all in the account of Adonijah in 1 Kings 1:6 (AV): "His father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?" There was the foundation of all the mischief. David was an overindulgent father, a father who let his children have their own way, and he reaped according as he had sown."

What a warning to all of us parents! Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that all these things happened to them as examples for others, and they were written down as a warning for us. We thank God for these examples of Eli and David written in the Holy Scriptures for our warning so that we will not follow in their footsteps.

Parent, God has given us a grave responsibility to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). We are told not to forget the Word which God has entrusted to us to teach them. We are to repeat these words to them in every possible way. We can do it at home, in the park, in the car, or whenever and wherever we are with them (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).

Godly Christian parenting is a long term process. How long should we parents discipline our children? How far do we go with them? At what age should we quit? 18? 21? 30? A common belief is that when a child turns 21, he has become an adult, and therefore, he should be left on his own and must not be told what to do because he has his own mind.

Though there are no hard and fast rules here, let us not forget that Eli’s sons were definitely adults when these words were said to Samuel about him, "…and he restrained them not." Therefore, Eli was held responsible for their sinful actions.

Parent, God is saying the same thing to us today. As long as our children live under our roof, it doesn’t matter whether they are 3 years old or 21 or for that matter, 35 or 55, we are responsible for them. We must discipline them in the ways of God, and part of that discipline is to restrain them from acting like sons of Belial and making sure that nothing that is contrary to the Word of God may be allowed to go on without restraint.

What if our warning and instruction fail, what should we do? If there is impenitence and rebellion of our children, then we must use chastisement even as our heavenly Father chastises us. It may sound ridiculous to chastise a 18 or 25 year old child, but if we love him or her, we will surely do what God’s Word teaches.

Children of the covenant, you need to understand why your parents are doing this to you. You are gifts from God to us parents (Psalm 127:3). A gift is precious and therefore, it is to be treasured and cherished. Paul in Ephesians lays upon Christian parents, and especially upon the fathers, the awesome responsibility of bringing up children in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Therefore, to avoid or withhold discipline when it is deemed necessary is to sin against God.

Your parents are simply obeying what God’s Word commands. They have a responsibility and this parental responsibility comes with God-given authority. For that reason, you need to know that the administration of discipline comes from God’s authority. You are to subject readily and willingly to your parents’ discipline. Parents are instruments of God for discipline.

Discipline is not hate; discipline is love (Proverbs 13:24). Love necessitates discipline. There is no antithesis between love and discipline. The writer of Hebrews says, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth" (Hebrews 12:6).

So, dear children of God’s gifts, your parents have a God-given obligation not only to instruct you in the Christian faith, but also to discipline you accordingly. Therefore, do not rebel or reject your parents who exercise this God-given responsibility which includes warning you, questioning you, confronting you, instructing you, admonishing you, and disciplining you. Rather you should thank God for them who love you and care enough for you to do God’s bidding so that you may grow up to be a man or a woman of God.

My fervent prayer for myself and my fellow parents is that our heavenly Father will help us to be faithful in executing His Word to our children and that our children, in response to our teaching, will humble themselves and receive the warning of God’s Word to restrain themselves from doing things which are not pleasing to the Lord. Amen.

A Mother’s Gift

Alice Leedy Mason

She could not give her children gold

So she gave them faith to have and hold.

She could not give them royal birth

A name renowned throughout the earth.

But she gave them seeds and garden spot

And shade trees when the sun was hot.

She could not give a silver spoon

Or servants waiting night and noon.

She gave them love and a listening ear.

And told them God was always near.

She could not give them ocean trips

Aboard majestic sailing ships.

But she gave them books and quiet time,

Adventures found in prose and rhyme.

She could not give them worldly things

But what she gave was fit for kings.

For with her faith and books and sod

She made each child aware of God.

—Lovingly in Christ, Pastor Colin

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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.

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

Venue: Nirwana Resort Hotel, Bintan, Indonesia.

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

Speaker: Pastor Tan Soon Yong from Fishermen of Christ.

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YAF RETREAT

Theme: Did you think to pray?

Date: 15-18 March 2012

Venue: Pulai Desaru, Johor Bahru

Speaker: Elder Ng Beng Kiong

Retreat fees: Working – S$285 ; Non-working – S$235

Contact: Tim Goh @ 9876-8654/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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1) Infant Baptism on Easter Sunday, 8 Apr 12. Parents who intend to have their infants baptised must register by 26 Feb 12. Please call the Church office (6594 9399) or email Yin Chan giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

2) Book Table by Tulip. There will be a book table today from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm. Memory verse prize winners, please bring your vouchers to exchange for books/items.

3) Far Eastern Kindergarten Registration for 2013: Pre-Nursery (2010); Nursery (2009). Priority for Members’ Closing Date: 28th February 2012. Please call 6 251 3676 or log on to www.lifebpc.com/fek/ for more information.

4) Our condolences to : (1) Barbara Seow & family on the homegoing of her father, Edward Lee Hee Seng (85) on 4 Feb 12. (2) Bob Toh & family on the homegoing of his mother, Mdm Qua Chai Sim (90) on 7 Feb 12.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet at Indonesian Service, 4pm. Rev Wong at Life Chinese Service, 10.45am. 

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