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Pastoral 2016

Have A Godly Celebration of Our National Day

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As Singapore celebrates its 51st National Day, it is good that we, Christian citizens and residents of Singapore, know our godly duties in this nation and rededicate ourselves to them.

  • We must give glory to God as the One who reigneth supreme over our nation. As Psalm 67:4 declares, “O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth.” In the midst of our joy and celebrations, we must not forget that “the LORD is high above all nations” (Psalm 113:4a). So, all that we do during this happy occasion must be done for His glory and in the fear of Him who reigns above us. We should not be found in any event or activity that defies His holiness and great sovereignty.
  • We must not be prideful in our prosperity and achievements. It is very easy for our hearts to become boastful, and glory in ourselves and our accomplishments. Humility can quickly vanish from our hearts, and our minds become swelled up with undue pride and misguided self-righteousness. Let us remember that His Word cautions us that “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. … All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. … That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity” (Isaiah 40:15, 17, 23). The words of the great king Nebuchadnezzar, who was severely dealt with by God for his pride, remind us: “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Daniel 4:35).
  • We must praise God who has mercifully nourished, protected and blessed our nation. All good blessings we enjoy in this country are of the LORD. Let us gratefully worship the LORD. Scripture commands, “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).
  • We must thank God for the freedom to worship Christ our Saviour and Lord, and to serve Him in a Biblical manner. Let us remember Christians in other nations, where they face severe restrictions, hostility, physical persecution and even death. Many of them are fleeing their own countries to live as Christians. Oh, what a blessing it is that in Singapore, we can enjoy religious freedom!
  • We must thank God and pray for the government of Singapore to continue to rule this nation with equity and justice. The apostle Paul instructs us: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
  • We must show respect to the higher authorities and pay our dues to the government. Consider the solemn exhortation of Romans 13:1- 7, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”
  • As citizens of our country, we must “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:2b). In our communities, we are to be courteous, friendly and kind-hearted people. We must not be troublemakers, but rather “Follow peace with all men, and holiness …” (Hebrews 12:14a).
  • As Christians, we must witness Christ to the unsaved around us so that more from Singapore may escape their sins and judgment through faith in Christ. We must go beyond our nation, even to the ends of the earth, for “… ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8b). ■

 

A Testimony

Dear Pr Jeremiah Sim (preacher-in-charge of the Gethsemane Seniors’ Ministry),

In the blessed Name of Jesus, warm greetings to you and your wife. I also greet all the members of the Gethsemane Seniors’ Ministry group. I hope and pray that this letter may find you all in the best of health.

I cherished those days when I was with you because it was during those times that I realised how good and great our God is. I am greatly thankful to God that He has since extended my life, not to suffer but to enjoy.

I am very grateful to our loving and merciful God for blessing me with loving and caring children, who are serving in God’s ministry. They are my only treasure here on earth. I do not have glittering gold or abundance of money but I have Jesus. And in Jesus, I have what the world cannot give and this is the eternal life that all His children will enjoy after this life. Jesus has said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions … And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3). That is His promise, and I trust Him.

Truly, as the hymn goes, “’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, and to take Him at His Word”. I thank God for His words in the Bible. Verses like Psalm 37:4; Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 46:4 and Philippians 4:6 have helped me overcome my peculiar problems and made my trust and faith in God stronger, especially now that I am old.

I encourage those who are in your old age like me to learn more Bible verses and apply to your daily life – you’ll be spiritually stronger and more refreshed physically. When the spirit is strong, so is your body.

Thank you also for the gift of a computer. God really has His amazing ways in answering prayer (Psalm 37:4), very often through the giving from good friends. Undoubtedly, God is really faithful to His Word.

I am hoping and praying that I can come back and be with you again, God willing. Again, thank you very much. Praise be to our God, hallelujah! To God be the glory.

In Jesus’ Name,
Rebecca Delina, the Philippines
(She is the mother of Eric Delina)

 

 

Pastoral Exhortation