Dear brethren, I would like to share the following exhortation based on Acts 19:20, which says, “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” As believers, we must know the divine power that we receive through the Word for our personal spiritual growth and for the ministry of the church.
When the apostle Paul and his team arrived in the city of Ephesus, they preached the Gospel to the Jews first. Paul went into the Jewish synagogue and “spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 19:8). But some of the hearers “were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude” (v. 9). He was forced to move out of the synagogue, and thereafter taught in the school of Tyrannus. The hostility notwithstanding, Paul undauntedly preached the Word, influencing the Jews as well as the Greeks in that city and its surrounding region (v. 10).
Another giant obstacle to the Gospel advancement in that city was its enchantment with sorcery and witchcraft. Ephesus was renowned for the statue of Artemis and her temple. The statue had mysterious engravings on the crown, girdle and feet. Those mystical writings, referred to as “Ephesian scripts”, were considered to have magical power. Sorcery was part of the Ephesian culture. Some of the Jews also practised wizardry, as revealed in Acts 19:13 – “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” When seven sons of Sceva, the chief of the Jewish priests, tried to exorcise some demons in the name of Jesus, they were violently attacked by the demonic man. This incident brought much fear among the people.
Nonetheless, the preaching of the Word of God turned many away from their diabolical practices. “And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver” (Acts 19:18, 19). Mightily did the Word of God grow and prevail in that city, where unbelief and fierce demonic activities stood in its way.
In our own day, many dabble with horoscopes, tarot cards, crystal balls, Ouija boards, séances and other mystical and demonic activities, which are dangerous to their minds and emotions. If the church is preaching the Word faithfully and fervently, we will see some people being delivered from unbelief, and the enticement and enslavement of the devil. The preaching of the Word shall prevail over all demonic powers!
DVBS 2018 Testimonies
Rufus Wang Ze Min (with my Mummy Yuting)
I would like to thank God for a very enriching DVBS. I would like to thank Pr Kelvin and his team of teachers (Pr Dennis, Bro. Cornelius, Sis. Sarah and Sis. Sharon), as well as helpers (Bro. Amoz, Bro. Jordy, Sis. Dorcas, Sis. Kamala and Sis. Rhodora) for preparing Bible lessons, songs, art & craft, food and games.
My friends and I learnt 6 important lessons about the Bible:
- The Bible is given by the inspiration of God;
- The Bible is preserved by God;
- The Bible contains instructions for us, as God’s children, to live godly and to produce good works;
- The Bible tells us about God’s love for man in John 3:16;
- The Bible is perfect and has no mistakes;
- The Bible is eternal.
We also learnt many hymns. The three hymns that remain in my mind are: “The Bible Stands” (theme song), “This is the Day the Lord hath Made”, and “John 3:16”.
I pray that God will keep the fire of faith burning in me long after DVBS, as I continue to learn more about the Bible, and sing hymns in church and at home.
I learnt that the Bible contains “God-breathed” instructions to help me be perfect as God our heavenly Father, and also to help me produce good works.
Testimonies from Youth Retreat 2018
Praise God for the privilege to attend last year’s youth camp. As in every youth camp, there are so many precious lessons taught and gleaned, of which I would share a few.
We are children of the Most High – elected, called, justified, forgiven, adopted and reconciled to God. God draws us to Himself – this is the highest privilege one can have. It is not the accolades of the world, nor the worldly ambitions that attract us; rather, the joy and peace that we are children of the Most High. No Christian is an orphan, for we are sealed by the name of God and are called the sons of God.
Our Most High King and Master has transferred us from the world to God. Hence, I pray that we will live no more after the flesh, nor in fear, but have full trust and dependence upon God who has so mercifully and graciously saved and loved us. We must not let the threatening things enslave us but rejoice in the sure hope of glory that each child of God has in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Prior to this camp, the aspect of Ordo Salutis (Order of Salvation) that charmed my soul most was Election, i.e. how God sovereignly had mercy & compassion on me, independent of my willing and running. Regeneration, i.e. having tasted that deadness in trespasses & sins, to be quickened by Him alone who is able, was a wondrous truth that occupied my mind too.
But this camp has given me a newfound love and appreciation for Adoption. It is a joy to know that it is He who bought us over, and likewise declared our new legal status – gladly on behalf of us, His powerless children – to the unbelieving world. Truly, it is not our entrance into, but His welcoming, sealing & safekeeping of us in this new, holy beloved family of His that makes adoption the highest point, even the greatest experience of salvation on earth.
As the new year draws closer (and I know not what to expect in 2019), I pray that I will stop being indebted to the flesh, having learnt that I don’t owe the flesh anything, but instead be a submissive child, a partaker of my inheritance, even if it entails persecution or chastisement.
Joy floods my soul for Jesus has saved me,
Freed me from sin that long had enslaved me
His precious blood He gave to redeem,
Now I belong to Him;
Now I belong to Jesus,
Jesus belongs to me,
Not for the years of time alone,
But for eternity.