Dear brethren, the long-awaited day of Thanksgiving & Dedication Service of the new premises – Gethsemane Media Centre – is now literally within sight. God willing, we shall meet this Saturday in two services (10:30am & 4:30pm respectively) to praise our God. To prepare our hearts to praise Him, I exhort you with the following article, and thereafter a poem written by Bro. Cornelius Koshy.
The prophet Isaiah says, “I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth” (Isaiah 25:1b). Praising God is the outflowing of a thankful heart. When a heart is full of gratitude towards God, it hastens to bless His name. A thankful heart is resolute in praising God’s name, just as Isaiah said, “I will praise thy name”. Here the prophet was determined to praise God.
In chapter 25, Isaiah (speaking in the first person) described the great wonders which will occur when the LORD’s kingdom is established on the earth. His heart, being full of adoration and thanksgiving, was greatly excited to express itself to magnify the LORD. It is those who are so stirred up within themselves to praise God that will stir up others also to do the same. Isaiah thus began with an intensely personal affirmation that the LORD is his God. He had already laid claim that the LORD is his God; he had earlier said, “O LORD, thou art my God”. Such acknowledgment of the LORD as one’s God provides the desire and motivation to exalt Him.
Having in his heart the knowledge of the great wonders of God which will occur when the LORD’s kingdom is established on the earth, the prophet determined to praise God. Here he gave two specific reasons for praising the LORD. The first reason for exalting the LORD is that He “hast done wonderful things”. In fact, Scripture presents our God as “the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things” (Psalm 72:18). Even when the LORD acts to chasten us or try our faith, we must confess that all His works are wondrous. His works are perfect, great (cf. Psalm 92:5), marvellous (cf. Psalm 139:14), powerful (cf. Psalm 111:6), merciful (cf. Psalm 145:9), holy (cf. Psalm 145:17), and in truth (cf. Psalm 33:4).
The second reason for Isaiah’s dedication to the LORD’s praise is that His “counsels of old are faithfulness and truth”. The ancient counsels of God’s Word are perfectly trustworthy. All that God has revealed from the days of old remain steadfast and true even today. Not a word of His revealed counsels shall fail. The fact that His promises and prophecies continue to be fulfilled assures us of the veracity and profitability of all the counsels of the Scriptures. Isaiah later declared that “the LORD of hosts… is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working” (Isaiah 28:29). Praise the LORD!
A poem by Bro. Cornelius Koshy
Excited though we may be,
Patient, and trusting still in Thee.
We look towards the day of dedication,
after five years of prayer and supplication.
Five years – (was it too long?) –
Did you once think that it was wrong
that God who promised to supply
would, seemingly, pass us by?
This journey was a test,
of our Faith when sore distressed
by the regulations, laws and more
when buying a property in Singapore.
Oh! that we were reprimanded
to have the blessing of God demanded.
When we gave as His Word commanded,
He never for a moment left us empty-handed –
God blessed us according to our need
with a place and funds: did they not far exceed
our expectations of just “a bigger space”?
He gave us 4-floors in an ideal place!
Never once we turned to the banks,
so that to God alone we can give thanks,
as we do now with grateful hearts,
and sing with joy in our four parts:
Come, let us raise our voices incessant!
Fill the halls of 33 Ubi Crescent!
Soprano, Alto, Bass and Tenor
sound forth in Gethsemane Media Centre!
The First floor with its ceiling high,
greeted by Care-brothers whose lives testify
of God’s saving grace which transforms –
their hands His Work now perform.
A spacious lecture hall on the Second,
Gethsemane Bible Institute beckons
every believer to hear and hide
His Word and in Christ abide.
Dwelling richly in God’s Word,
Let’s go up to the studio on the Third!
Singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
with instruments unto Whom praise belongs.
Each labourer of God doing his best –
Our church office works with little rest
on the Fourth floor – where a library of books
sit on shelves for them – Go, have a look!
And when the sun begins to set,
Climb to the roof (children, not the parapet!)
To have fellowship “with a view”
Around his Word, and maybe barbecue!
When God has blessed us manifold,
It is required of us as His household
to be courageous for the Lord and bold
That for His Kingdom we reap a hundredfold.
May our love for God never grow cold,
neither for his Word – more precious than gold.
The Gospel of Jesus must be told
to all the four corners of the world.
The isles of Philippines yearn,
The land of Ethiopia must learn,
The Indians must be taught to discern
And to God the Chinese must turn!
We in Singapore must be careful:
Pride comes if we are not prayerful;
None of these blessings we deserve,
so God’s truth we must preserve!
O Lord, sanctify us with thy Truth!
That in the strength of our youth,
and with clean hands and pure hearts,
we may produce Christian Media and Arts –
To nurture the heart of the young child
and the youth, that they be not defiled;
The adults, too, by the Spirit’s leading,
guide Gethsemane to be God-glorifying!