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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2011

O, His Goodness!

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God's promises of His goodness to His people are plenteous in the Bible. There are also abundant testimonies of His people about His goodness in their lives. Here are a few:

  • "And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth" (Exodus 34:6).
  • "For thou preventest (goes before) him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head" (Psalm 21:3).
  • "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever" (Psalm 23:6).
  • "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living" (Psalm 27:13).
  • "Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!" (Psalm 31:19).
  • "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple" (Psalm 65:4).
  • "Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness" (Psalm 65:11).

While Psalm 21:3 assures us that His goodness will go before us, Psalm 23:6 assures us that it will also follow. What great blessing it is to be surrounded by His goodness.

By going ahead of us, His goodness prepares the way before us. How wonderful it is that as followers of Christ, we will never be led to walk through any path where His goodness has not set its foot.

By following behind us, His goodness protects us. When we follow the leading of His goodness, there is no need to be overly anxious about what the outcome will be. It can be nothing but goodness that will follow us.

His goodness in our Ethiopia Building Project

 

It was after much prayer and careful evaluation of our thoughts and desires in the light of God's Word that we set out to construct a Bible college and a church in Ethiopia. We were sure that the Lord has called us to accomplish this task as we prayerfully considered it. Nonetheless, we have no idea what a mammoth task the Lord would enable us to carry out.

Initially, we thought that the whole project can be completed with S$350,000/-. We did not dare to imagine in those days that we could even bear that burden. Knowing our weak frame, I believe that the Lord did not show us the magnitude of the whole project we would have to undertake. Slowly, He unveils before our eyes both the extent of the project and the funds that His good hand has prepared for us. Many things were hidden from us - the need of a fence around the property, deep drainage and a small bridge, a bigger dormitory, the sharp rise in the cost of materials and labour. If all these were known to us at the very early stage, I am sure that our hearts would have been too overwhelmed by the burden of the huge fund we have to raise in a short period of time. It was His goodness and mercy that we were given a partial view of the whole project. He gently guides us to a fuller view of the whole project as He makes provision for each stage of the project. How marvellous is His goodness!

The greatest demonstration of His goodness towards us for this project came last week. Prior to this, there were many brief periods of burdens throughout this project, but never was there such a great and sustained burden we felt over the last one month. We needed to have altogether S$500,000/- for the last two payments to the building contractors. We turned to the Lord in prayer, even with fasting. We have never turned to anyone to ask for help except the Lord who promised us His goodness. As we prayed, the Lord was working through the pastors of Calvary Pandan B-P Church (Dr S. H. Tow and Rev Quek Suan Yew) to provide the remaining funds. They enquired about our needs in the Ethiopia Project and consulted with their Board of Elders as to how they could help to complete this project. This has led to the Lord's provision. The following is the letter from Calvary Pandan that we have received together with a cheque for S$500,000/-.

Four times in Psalm 107, we read, "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" (vv. 8, 15, 21, 31). We should have a special thanksgiving service for the Lord's goodness. I would like to have it in conjunction with our Tuesday prayer meeting on the 15th November. Trust that you will join us.

"Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant" (Psalm 135:3).

 

 

My Testimony for 2011
Chin Jia Wi

 

I would like to thank the Lord for preserving me throughout this year though I have sinned constantly. Nevertheless, I have drawn closer to Him through this year’s difficulties and trials. This year, I even found out that God can make things possible, just like in the song “Only Believe” which we sang in the children’s choir during the cantata entitled “SOLA FIDE”. The Lord granted me the chance to sing in this cantata as my last presentation in the children’s choir.

I knew that God is truly wonderful because I had to sit for my PSLE this year and indeed, it was a tough year as I must keep on studying without resting in school. In fact, there was even no CCA for half a year! I thank the Lord for sustaining me through the exams with peace of mind and good teachers.

Recently, a brown scarab beetle, which is in the subfamily (Melolonthinae), flew into my ear and scratched the skin in my ear without tearing the eardrum apart. Indeed, this is the mercy of God. The pain I felt was like a thousand needles piercing me but I thank the Lord for seeing me through with peace in my heart. Now when I remember His goodness, I feel as if my father, who had passed away when I was still very young, is staying at my side, encouraging and comforting me through my troubles. However, the Lord is a father to the fatherless and He is the greatest of all. He can do lots of miracles as He had appointed a kind and loving specialist to remove the beetle from my ear earlier. Indeed, the Lord is good and we must trust in Him. May the Lord bless us and keep us.

Before ending this testimony I would like to thank all the brethren who have prayed for me and helped me. I feel like it is just a very big family in Christ.

 

Pastoral Exhortation