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Scripture Memory: The Vine.

VERSE : John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

26 March 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Calvin Loh (The God Who Rescues the Righteous, Dan 6:4-28)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Yeo Seow Phong (Trusting Jesus That Is All, Ps 20)

2 April 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (The Vision of the Four Beasts, Dan 7:1-28)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (There is Victory For Me!, Ps 21)

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My dear Reader,

 

ACCELERATING THE GOSPEL THROUGH MATERIAL GIVING

 

Can the world be reached for Christ without material giving? Yes, but in a limited way (Acts 8:4).  However, with the help of material giving, the Gospel can be proclaimed widely and faster to the end of the world.  The Church needs your dollar and cent to evangelize the world. 

Missions is costly.  Before a missionary can go to the field, one of the first things the mission society wants him to do is to raise his own financial support.  If he is not able to do so, then he is not allowed to go to the field.  He has to stay back home and raise enough funds for his mission work.  Many missionaries who are in the field do not have the full support from their own churches. They have to trust God to provide their needs by some other means.  That is why missionaries have to come home every two or three years to do deputation work to raise funds for their ministry.  We thank God for missionaries who do not need to go about raising funds for their ministry because their church support them. 

The Ministry of Jesus 

Even the Son of God needed financial support in His ministry.  When Jesus was on earth, who supported his ministry financially?  The answer was the womenfolk.  Luke tells us that the women served him with their own substance or possessions (Luke 8:2, 3; 10:38-42).  The word “ministered” has several meanings - to wait at a table and offer food and drink to the guests, to supply food and necessities of life, to relieve one’s necessities (e.g. by collecting alms), to take care of the poor and the sick, as those  who administer the office of a deacon, in Christian churches to serve as deacons, or to attend to anything, that may serve another’s interests.  

If Jesus needed financial support, how much more His children who have given up their lives for the Gospel's sake. 

The Ministry of Paul 

Paul was thankful to the Philippian church for her faithful contribution to his Gospel ministry (Philippians 4:10-19).  He had reasons to rejoice in the Lord (10).  Over the years he had developed an intimate relationship with the Philippians.  On several occasions they had supported him monetarily in the Gospel ministry (15, 16, 18).  For this, he greatly rejoiced in the Lord.  

The word “rejoice” signifies a specific experience of rejoicing.  Paul was here referring to a specific experience of joy which had come to him through the Philippians’ contribution to his ministry.  For reason(s) unknown, they had stopped sending funds to him temporarily.  However, after a period of time, their support for him was resumed.  

Paul used an interesting word to describe the Philippians’ revived concern for his ministry.  He said that their care of thinking of him had flourished again.  The word “flourished” means “to sprout,” “to blossom again,” as a plant previously dormant which puts forth new shoots and thereby manifests new life (John F. Walvoord).  He did not forget their previous kindness to him.  He said, “…wherein ye were also careful” shows that the Philippians were all along looking for opportunities to be a part of his ministry but lacked opportunity.  The use of the Imperfect Tense “lacked opportunity” indicates that up to the present time they were lacking this opportunity to serve him.  We do not know why there was a lack of opportunity.  However, now at last, there was a revival of concern in them for the Gospel ministry.  

Though Paul rejoiced greatly for the revived support he received from them, he at the same time wanted them to know that he did not want them to think that he was demanding support from them (11).  He wanted them to know that he had learned in the school of life “how to live with little or much means,” in all circumstances (12).  He was content in all circumstances because his sufficiency was in Christ and not from the abundance of things.  Beet aptly says, “Christian contentment is not a narrowing down of our desires to our poor possessions, but a consciousness of infinite wealth in Christ, in whose hands are all things already working for His servants moment by moment their highest good.  He who has this consciousness is independent of his environment."  He also acknowledged Christ to be his source of strength (13).  To him, it would be impossible to accomplish anything or to be content in all circumstances without Christ’s empowerment.  

Paul was satisfied with his present condition.  He did not want to take lightly the gifts sent by the Philippians (14).  Instead, he commended them for sharing with him in his troubles and helping to relieve him by their contribution (James 2:14-17; 1 John 3:17, 18).  He wanted them to know that in the past they had been very supportive to his Gospel ministry (15).  “In the beginning of the gospel” certainly refers to the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel in Europe – in the province of Macedonia about 10 years ago.  The Philippians had made themselves fellow-partakers with Paul in the responsibility of spreading the Gospel through monetary gifts from the first day until now (1:5; 4:16).  

What determines giving to missions? Paul made it clear that it was not his character or habit to seek monetary gifts from the Philippians (17).  He did not want them to think that he was looking for something for himself, but he desired something that may credit to their account.  He was pleased with their contributions because they were “an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God” (18).  This kind of expression is often found in the Old Testament to describe a sacrifice acceptable to God (Genesis 8:21; Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17).  The monetary support of the Philippians was an offering brought to God (Matthew 25:40).  Giving is sacred (Matthew 6:1-4).  

Why did Paul say that the giving of the Philippians was “a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God?” Could it be that the gifts they sent were indeed sacrificial? There is a possibility that the Philippians gave out of their poverty to support Paul’s ministry (19; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5).  Such giving is praiseworthy (Luke 21:1-4). 

The Example of Gaius 

Why support missionaries? Missionaries do not live on air alone.  They deserve every cent of our support.  3 John 5-8 teaches us why every Christian ought to support those who give their lives for God’s service. 

Gaius was not only faithful in living out the truth but he was also faithful in Christian hospitality to itinerant ministers (3 John 5; Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:2).  His love (his real source of hospitality, not out of necessity or ulterior motives) for the brethren had caught the attention of the church beyond (3 John 6; Romans 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8).  Thus John highly commended him.  However, hospitality must not be given to preachers who deny the teaching of Christ (2 John 10, 11). 

How can Christians best serve God’s servants?  How can Christians best take care of them?  John said, “…whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well.”  The meaning is simply this: God's people are to make adequate provisions for God's servants, both while they stay and at the time of their departure.

 John gives the reason why Christians need to show hospitality to preachers of God’s Word(7).  First, these preachers have gone out into the world to preach and teach God’s Word for the sake of His Name.  There is no doubt that the “Name” here refers to the Name of Jesus.  To go out on behalf of that worthy Name was a supreme honor.  Luke tells us that the persecuted disciples counted it an honor to suffer shame for His Name’s sake (Acts 5:41).  What an honor to be called an ambassador for Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:20) 

Second, it was inappropriate for them to seek help and support from people who did not believe in or honor that Name.  The Lord’s servants must be supported by the Lord’s people (1 Corinthians 9:11, 14; Galatians 6:6).  Therefore, it is not wrong for God’s servants to solicit funds from God’s people for the Gospel ministry.    

3 John 8 tells us why Christians ought to support them (8).  “We ought” conveys the idea that Christians are under a moral obligation to help them.  So, how can we play a part to help to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  The answer is found in the purpose clause "That.”  The purpose for giving hospitality to God’s servants and supporting them is that we can play a part in the Gospel ministry.  Gaius helped them to proclaim the Gospel (indirectly) by showing hospitality (i.e. by giving them a good meal, a good bath, and a good rest) to them and by contributing to their needs.  Every child of God can do something to promote God’s kingdom.  

Dearly beloved, when was the last time you took care of God's servants? Paul said, “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:14).  God’s servants have any right to request support from God’s people.  But they would not do it lest the Gospel ministry be hindered (1 Corinthians 9:1-18).  Again Paul said, “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things" (Galatians 6:6). Amen.

Pastor Colin 

 

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Life BPC VBS 2017, Truerassic Park, a Bible Adventure in Creation & Dinosaurs is now fully open for children and helpers registration at www.lifebpc.com/vbs! The event is hosted at Life BP Church from 31 May to 2 Jun 17 (during Jun school holiday). We wish to invite parents to sign-up for your children earlier due to limited slots, as well as for the helpers to sign-up to serve along side with us! For inquiries: Mr Yeo Hock Seng at 97406547, or visit our VBS booth. 

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1) Church Camp 2017 will be held from June 12-15 (Mon-Thu) at Batam Holiday Inn Resort. Theme: Behold I come Quickly by Rev Ho Chee Lai. Registration closes by May 14 or when rooms are fully allocated. Please register soon at www.lifebpc.com/church-camp-2017.

2) Missions Seminar - White Unto Harvest. Sat 1 Apr 2017. 3-5.45 pm (Dinner at 6pm). Beulah MPH. Register at http://lifebpc.com/missions-seminar.

3) Israel Biblical Tour 24 Nov-6 Dec 2017 (13D10N). For details, please email Rev Lee: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

4) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 1. A written review exercise of the verses is obtainable at the front counter. Please submit by 2 Apr 17.

5) The family of the late Mdm Yeo Siong Gean (mother of Lim Chwee Eng) wishes to thank members of Life B-P Church for their prayers, presence and generous giving during their recent bereavement.

6) Sisters Grace Tay and Hannah Khoo & family would like to thank members of the church for their condolences, presence, prayers and thoughts during the homegoing of their paternal grandmother on 13 Mar 17.

 

Preaching appointments: Rev Wong at Herald BPC, 9.30 am.  Rev Khoo on mission trip (16-26 Mar 17).

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