It is with great excitement that the Session and I have been preparing for this upcoming event in our church. Under Elder Mah Chin Kwang’s leadership, a team of our Session members and fellow brethren have been hard at work in putting in place all things necessary for the conference. We thank God for their zeal in organising this conference.
However, it is of utmost importance that everyone in our church now quickly acts to do his part. Only about a month remains for us to firm up our bookings with the conference centre and restaurant. We need all of you to quickly sign up to confirm your attendance. Do not hesitate to join this conference, which will provide you with an “array” of pastors who will come well prepared to preach the Word of God to you. You will also have abundance of opportunities to fellowship with the participating pastors, missionaries and like-minded brethren.
I call on all the prayer groups in Gethsemane to make the matters of this conference one of your major items of prayer until the conference is over. Please pray for the blessings of the Conference in your family and individual prayer time. Pray for the organising committee, for those who lead the various sessions in the conference, for preachers, for musicians, for audio-video personnel, for the participants coming from foreign countries, etc. Pray also that God will stir the hearts of young men and women to give their lives to serve Him in the Gospel vineyard.
Please continue to give to the Missionary Conference Fund. We thank God that the fund is almost reaching the S$30,000 mark. We are now praying that the Lord would provide us with S$40,000 as expenses are expected to rise. Please earnestly pray and generously give that we may meet all the needs of this conference.
Please encourage one another to participate in the conference. Feel free to also welcome your Christian friends to come and attend the conference. I would also like to urge you to show Christian hospitality to our guests from foreign countries. Please think ahead about what you would like to do to encourage our missionaries and brethren who come from foreign lands. May the Lord help us to serve Him in this conference with joy and zeal.
Youth Retreat – Testimonies
Thank God for the wonderful opportunity to join yet another youth retreat. Thank God for the committee for taking the time to plan this retreat, that the youths may set aside time from their many preoccupations to draw closer to God.
I thank God for Pastor Koshy’s preaching on the topic of ‘Spiritual Hypocrisy’. We were clearly warned of how dangerous hypocrisy could be in our spiritual lives. It destroys our relationship with those around us, and most crucially, our relationship with God. Hypocrisy makes us “defend” ourselves at the expense of others. There is only one remedy for hypocrisy, that is, to confess our sins and draw closer to Him.
Praise God also for the retreat’s lovely location surrounded by beautiful nature, such as flowers, birds, butterflies…, the wonderful creation God made for man. I had a peaceful experience, especially in the cool of the night, when we had our prayer meeting held outside before we retired to sleep.
May Psalm 51:10 be my constant prayer: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” All praise and glory be to God!!
I would like to praise God for a blessed youth retreat. Thank God for Pastor’s messages on the theme of Spiritual Hypocrisy, and for the sobering lessons He has taught us through His Word.
Spiritual hypocrisy exists when one appears to be religious, but has no genuine godliness of heart. Though the sin of spiritual hypocrisy is hidden from other men, God sees it. Nothing is hidden from His view. Therefore, we must constantly strive to have a clean conscience and fight against every false way within us. My heartfelt prayer is that I will not just outwardly appear righteous, but be true and unfeigned in my every conduct, action, thought and motive.
This sin of hypocrisy also comes with many consequences. For example, we will have no peace of heart, and our prayers will not be answered. Furthermore, we may lead other Christians astray. May we always pray for God to purify our hearts and follow God with a good conscience, a conscience holding onto faith in Him.
All praise and glory to God for a blessed time at the youth retreat! Truly, this retreat has been a timely reminder for me to guard against spiritual hypocrisy in my walk with God. Thank God for the preaching of God’s Word on the need for a pure conscience – not only before men, but more so before our all-knowing God, who “searcheth our hearts and knoweth our thoughts”. Do not cease to pray for us youths, that we will flee all “youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace” (2 Timothy 2:22). Thank the Lord for the fellowship with like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ too. I certainly look forward to more such retreats to come!
The recent youth retreat, with the theme “Spiritual Hypocrisy”, has benefited me in my spiritual growth, just as the previous retreats had. Truly, I thank God for giving my siblings and I this opportunity to attend this retreat that has been carefully planned out by the YF committee, and to listen to the messages preached by Pastor. I have learnt precious lessons which I will keep close to my heart.
Before the retreat, I was unaware of how dangerous spiritual hypocrisy was, and how easily it could appear in our daily lives. Whenever I saw my friends who were modern Christians doing ungodly deeds, I had always silently judged them in my mind for being hypocrites, yet I didn’t know that I myself have allowed hypocrisy to exist in my life. The retreat has also reminded me that all things ought to be done for the glory of God, and not merely for the sake of one’s pleasure and benefit. It is frightening to realise how often we are blind to our own pride, and forget God, even when we engage in spiritual things like singing hymns, giving to the church, or praying! I need to be mindful of my thoughts and actions which may unwittingly lead others and myself to hypocrisy. May the Lord help me to guard against spiritual hypocrisy in my heart, and may He also help me to live a life with a clean conscience before Him.
Lastly, thank God also for the fellowship, games, good food, and safety of us all during this retreat.
Praise the Lord for the short but sweet youth retreat. It was not only a timely opportunity to get to know several newer youths in our midst, but more importantly, to be found in the presence of God and to increase in the knowledge of His Word. Praise God for endowing Pastor with strength and ability to prepare the retreat sermons among his other demanding engagements, and for unflinching boldness to deliver God’s rebuke firmly to us.
I was reminded that spiritual pretension manifests itself in many ways, and God sees all of them. All the more I have to be careful to ensure that my conscience is always clear before God, lest I lessen the severity of seemingly “smaller” sins and let them multiply. Some time ago, I was branded as too legalistic in the way I have been applying certain commandments in my life, but thank God for vindicating me through this retreat that strict obedience to His Word is what God expects of us. There is simply no room for duplicity under His watchful eye, and we cannot in any way distort God’s view of sin, certainly not by our foolish justifications. May the Lord empower us to admit our sins readily and abide by His standards.