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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

With An Unchanging God In Changes And Challenges

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My beloved Gethsemaneans,

Another year-end is here; and such the first decade of 21st century is coming to a close! What will it be like in the next decade? Many changes are to be expected in the society, Christian realm and also in our individual life. As a church, we will have to face many changes as well. But we thank God that we have an unchanging God.

Our unchanging God

We take great comfort in such declarations as recorded in God’s Word: "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed" (Malachi 3:6). The Lord whom we trust and serve is a God “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17). He is infinite, eternal and unchangeable in His being.

God's nature or character is immutable! God does not change, both in His being and in His will. The constancy of His character, His nature or His being is our confidence in our changing circumstances. Even if our situations seemingly change for the worst, He will remain with us unchanged. Not only in His character but also in His design and purpose, He is unchanging. This constancy guarantees that we can trust Him at all times. As Paul reminded his protégé, Timothy, "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself" (2 Timothy 2:13).

God's immutability assures us of the trustworthiness of His promises and providence towards us. So let us keep our hearts strong and resolve to serve Him readily anywhere. Serving such an unchanging Master who is perfect in holiness, wisdom, grace, power and glory is a privilege and honour that Christians have. Let us therefore rejoice and look forward with eagerness to serve Him even more in the coming year.

Possible changes in our church

It appears that our church programmes will be seriously affected because of a new directive from URA to our landlord, Singapore Post Centre. The seminar room on the second level which we use for Tuesday and Saturday activities will no longer be available. But the auditorium is available for our worship service on Sundays.

The Session has met to discuss the course of action. We have decided to appeal to URA to allow us to use the auditorium on Tuesday nights for the prayer meeting. If our appeal would not be granted, then the Session's present plan is to hold several neighbourhood Bible study and prayer meetings.

As for Saturday activities, we are presently unable to secure the auditorium for our fellowship groups since another group is using it during the whole afternoon. So the Session has decided to move the Saturday fellowship groups to Sunday afternoon (More details of the changes will be announced in the coming weeks). We will have to implement the changes by February, next year.

Wonderful, blessed Church Camp (6-10 Dec)

On Friday morning, the last day of the camp, all the participants gathered together to testify and praise God for the blessings that they received in the camp. Thirty participants stood up and gave glory to God for a wonderful and blessed camp that provided spiritual and physical refreshing in great abundance.

The messages were centred on two topics. The first topic was “Be Strong and of a Good Courage”. Our guest speaker, Rev Lee Kim Shong, expounded on this theme in the evening sessions. It was taught from four psalms (Psalms 23, 46, 84 and 124). The second topic we studied was “Earnestly Contending for the Faith”. This was a book study of the Epistle of Jude; and I thank the Lord for the grace He has given me to teach it.

Each day began with morning devotions led by two of our preachers, Dennis Kabingue and Jeremiah Sim. There were also two prayer meetings, and two question and answer sessions. The brethren from the Chinese congregation met every afternoon, and Preacher Daniel Lim led them in their study of the Word. The Filipino brethren also held their special prayer times.

The camp master (Dn Pawa), the camp committee and many who laboured cheerfully throughout the camp have enabled us to have a very smooth, comfortable, enjoyable, blessed fellowship around the Word. May the Lord’s richest blessings be upon all those who lovingly laboured for mutual edification.

Conclusion

Before this year ends, there are more programmes for us to bring others to Christ and to edify one another. Plan to invite your friends and relatives for Christmas Eve Service. The youths can look forward to their youth retreat (27-30 Dec). May the Lord bless all our plans and activities for His own name’s sake.

Pastoral Exhortation