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Pastoral 2015

Our God Above, Our Nation on Earth Below

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In Commemoration of SG50

The apostle Paul, in defence of the Gospel, testified of God our Creator: “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). “O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 117:1-2)!

Today, as Singapore celebrates the 50th year of its nationhood, we look towards the LORD with hearts full of joy and thanksgiving for His providentially blessing our nation with 50 years of stable and efficient government, peace, prosperity and religious freedom. It is indeed remarkable that we Christians can live and thrive in this beautiful city-state without the terrifying conflicts and persecution that Christians in many other parts of the world are facing. The strife-free, tolerant, harmonious nation that Singapore has become is indeed a very special blessing from the LORD to us. So let us give thanks to Him.

Our LORD expects His people from every nation to be thankful and to praise Him for His blessings. As the Word of God exhorts us in Psalm 117:1-2, let us praise Him for His merciful kindness to our nation. Certainly, it is the LORD who has blessed us, so that we “are multiplied greatly”; it is He “who suffereth not their cattle to decrease” (Psalm 107:38).

In the midst of our joy and celebrations, let us not forget the LORD our God. Our hearts and minds must acknowledge that He is the Sovereign One who reigns above all nations, including our Singapore. “For the kingdom is the LORD’s: and he is the governor among the nations” (Psalm 22:28). “For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth… For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness” (Psalm 47:2, 7-8).

While we dwell in this country as her citizens and residents, let us live as God’s honourable and holy people. The Christian faith and virtues that we pursue are most certainly advantageous to the well-being and prosperity of any nation. “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). Nothing in Christianity undercuts a morally wise polity. Instead, its precepts and practice support and exalt a nation that is committed to righteousness and justice.

How wonderful it is that through the preaching of the Gospel, the church can turn many who live in sin to the salvation and righteousness of Christ! Our church’s Gospel ministry has turned many who have been entangled in vices and crimes to live in righteousness and peace. The Gospel dispels vice from the hearts of people and fills them with a steadfast love for godly virtues. Moreover, the Gospel of Christ and its accompanying biblical counselling have brought peace to many homes, relieving them of painful, destructive conflicts and troubles. Hence, let us continue to exalt Christ so that those who live in the darkness of sin may see His light.

However, we also need to be wary of the rising tide of immorality in our nation, as is also the case all over the world. Whatever is morally wrong cannot be politically right! It will cause great upheaval to individuals, families and the society. So Scripture warns us in Ephesians 5:11, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” We are further cautioned: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17; cf. Colossians 4:5). May God give us wisdom and vigilance!

 

Greetings from Kenya

Dear Rev. Koshy,

GGreetings in the blessed Name of our Lord!

I hope you and your family are doing well in the Lord. I also trust that the ministries of the Gethsemane Bible- Presbyterian Church are flourishing by His grace.

My family, by God’s grace, is doing well in the Lord, and our kids are growing also. God has sustained and protected us all these years in all our ministries as missionaries. By the way, we had just celebrated in June the 10th anniversary of our being missionaries in Kenya. As we look back, we have much to thank God for His grace in our lives. Also, we are thankful for the love and prayer we have received from His people, especially from you and the Gethsemaneans. For such long years of love and support, we are debtors of His love. Thank you once again for your pastoral heart and love towards our family.

Well, I would like you to know that we are taking a furlough from this month onwards. I believe I have mentioned it briefly last year when we attended Gethsemane’s Missionary Conference. The mission board has strongly advised us to go on furlough every five years. We had never imagined that we would actually take a year’s break from the mission field. The idea was suggested to me by Rev. Kim after he has observed our family, as we were showing signs of stress due to many struggles from cultural differences, and other problems we had faced. So we thought it was not a bad idea to take a break from the mission field for a year. We thus prayed and decided to take a break for one year from our mission work in Kenya.

We are considering the requests and suggestions from the mission board to go to the US. We are also thinking of taking up some theological studies. Please pray for me that I will remain faithful to all that I have learned from God’s Word in FEBC. And if the Lord permits, we hope to return to Kenya in August 2016. Please pray for us that we may come back with joy, peace, readiness and strength for another term to serve the Lord there.

Once again, thank you for the support and prayer from Gethsemane B-P Church all these years. May the Lord continually bless, strengthen and protect the church ministry in these last days.

In Christ,
Rev Eben with his students Eben Yoon