Weekly Bulletin

“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)

  1 Feb 2015

David, the King, trusted in all of God’s words because he believed them to be perfectly pure. In today’s article, I would like to consider the purity of God’s words based on David’s two testimonies.

His first testimony in Psalm 12:6 is:

“The words of the LORD
are pure words: as silver
tried in a furnace of earth,
purified seven times.”

The excellence of the Holy Scriptures is powerfully presented here by David. Firstly, the phrase “the words of the LORD” points out that all the words of the Scriptures are the LORD’s. Every word of the Bible proceeds from the LORD Himself. He used men, who were His servants, to write them down. As 2 Peter 1:21 declares, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Likewise, 2 Timothy 3:16 declares, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” The LORD is the actual author of the Bible.

Secondly, we are told that all the words of the Bible are “pure words”. The Hebrew word for “pure” has also been translated as “clean”. It points out that the Scriptures are absolutely free from all impurities of falsehood and error. Proverbs 30:5 also declares, “Every word of God is pure.”

The purity of the Word of God is illustrated and affirmed by these words, “as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times”. This evidently refers to the ancient process of purifying silver. The “furnace of earth” is where the metal was tried and purified. It refers to something like a crucible placed on the ground, around which a fire of intense heat was made. Such structures were found near the mines where ore was obtained. The ore was then purified by smelting it repeatedly till all the dross was removed from it. Here it is said that the ore was purified “seven times”. In other words, a time-consuming and meticulous effort was made to ensure the purity of the silver. Likewise, the LORD had seen to it that every word of His is pure in His infinitely pure eyes. He shall also keep every word of the Scriptures pure through all ages. So the next verse says, “Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Psalm 12:7). We can be absolutely sure that every word in the Holy Scriptures is kept pure in all ages. Today, just as David had pronounced in Psalm 119:140, so can we also assuredly say, “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it”!

The Holy Scriptures need no updating, editing, or refining. It is eternally pure and faithful. It is God’s infallible, inerrant and perfect Word. It is eternally true, relevant and enduring. It is God’s revelation kept pure for every generation. Because it is pure, it shall purify all those who live by it.

His second testimony in Psalm 119:140 is:

“Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.”

David always had the highest regard for Scripture. He always considered it as belonging to God; hence he referred to it as “Thy word”. In Psalm 119 alone, 35 times David used the phrase “Thy word” to refer to the Holy Scriptures.

We too must read the Scriptures in the belief that we are listening to the words of our God. Through the Scriptures, God communicates with us. So with great reverence and joy, we must attend to God’s Word. We must receive the truths it teaches as divine and glorious. Nowhere else have we such a perfect body of divine truths revealed for our blessing.

We have no reason to doubt what God’s Word says, for it is “very pure”. The Hebrew words “very pure” literally means “much tried or refined”. As David said in Psalm 12:6, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” God’s Word has been utterly tried and has been proven to be absolutely pure and perfectly righteous. Its purity is the purity of its Author, the infinitely holy God.

Like David, many men, who have repeatedly relied on all that Scripture says throughout their lives, have testified unto us with utmost certainty and joy that all that it says are pure. David also confessed, “therefore thy servant loveth it.” Would anyone declare his unabated, unbounded love for God’s Word if it has ever been found defective, deceptive or unreliable? David’s open declaration of his love for God’s Word is a grand testimony to its trustworthiness. Those who trust all that it says shall not be ashamed, as it has already been tested and proven pure.

Because God’s Word is pure, it will also purify and preserve those who trust and obey its pure words. Earlier in this psalm, David said, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9). It could very well have been David’s own experience, for he confessed later that “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). He also testified, “I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word” (Psalm 119:101). The beauty of God’s holiness shines through every word of His Word. Those who walk in the light of His Word shall have the joy of walking in the beauty of His holiness. The pure Word of God shall keep us away from all defiling ways. So, let us love it as David did.

  25 Jan 2015

In Hebrews 3:12, churchgoers were forewarned, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”

Everyone in the church is admonished to see to it that he has no evil heart. It is with brotherly love that such an admonition is given. The author of Hebrews addressed them as “brethren” to show that his admonition is given, not out of any hard feelings or distrust or jealousy, but rather out of a loving care for their spiritual safety.

What does “an evil heart of unbelief ” imply? It implies negligence and rejection of divine truths while pursuing sin. Such a heart would not submit to the claims of the Gospel of Christ. Indifference to the grace exhibited in the Gospel would be apparent. It would refuse the application of the Gospel truths to itself. That is the ultimate sign of unbelief. Just as it is by faith that a person receives Christ as his Saviour and Lord, it must also be asserted that it is a vivid manifestation of unbelief if one rejects Him. As submission to Christ’s righteousness is the greatest act of faith, rejection of His righteousness is conversely the greatest act of unbelief.

Some openly reject Christ and scorn His Word. Others do so secretly by merely paying lip service in their profession of faith. Their profession of faith is employed only as a cloak for their sins. While they claim to have given their hearts to Christ, they continue to yield themselves to hidden lusts lurking in their hearts. Their natural inclination is to sin, as sin reigns in them. It is impossible for unrestrained love for sin and faith in the Saviour to thrive in the same heart. While faith in Christ leads to sanctification, unbelief paves the way to more sins.

In an evil heart of unbelief, love for the world and for its pleasures, riches, honours always supersede the eternal things of God’s kingdom. In such a heart of unbelief, spiritual matters are deemed unworthy of its pursuit. Loss of material gain or comfort for Christ’s sake will not be tolerated, as it glories in the things of the world more than the things of Christ.

Such an evil, unbelieving heart will inevitably depart from the living God. Apostasy (or departure from God) first exists in one’s heart, and then is manifested in one’s life. Apostasy finally exposes the prideful, self-willed heart of an individual. Such departing from the living God is an immense evil and the greatest insult to God! It is the worst tragedy one can bring upon oneself. So brethren, be vigilant against the apostasy of your hearts.

  18 Jan 2015

]In Psalm 119:11, we read the confession of David which gives us understanding to the secret of His victorious life over sin – “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” This confession to the LORD reveals to us that he was very conscious of the possibility of being overpowered by temptation of sin. Temptation of sin is a terrible evil that lurks around every man to seek to destroy his testimony, peace and spiritual well-being. There is also a propensity in man to fall into this evil. So David sought for an effective precaution against sin. It was a very wise act by David to safeguard himself against sin. What a good desire it was to fight off sin!

Sin will weaken and degrade every man. Sin will ruin his nature, and destroy his happiness. We are all in danger of falling into it, especially if left to ourselves, and to our own ideas, inclinations and desires. We need to be ever on our guard. We must always be vigilant and pray for the Lord’s help to safeguard ourselves against sin’s assault.

David had found for himself an excellent precaution against sin in the Word of God. By its very nature, the Word of God is a counter-remedy against sin. Because it is God’s revelation of His truth and wisdom, it promotes holiness and prevents sin. It is the source of everything good and holy, which equips us to stand against sin.

Like David, we must hide God’s Word in our hearts. Having a copy of the Bible or occasionally listening to its preaching is not enough. We must lay it upon our hearts. It must be allowed to cast its light upon our desires, passions, motives and ambitions. If we give it the most prominent place in our hearts, it will teach us what is holy and acceptable to God, and thus will fortify our resolve against every sin.

God’s Word hidden in our hearts will alert us to sins’ stealthy invasions. If we know God’s Word well, we will be able to recognise those things that God abhors and detests. It will not only reveal what God’s will concerning us is, but will also expose the presence of sin. In fact, it will warn us before sin starts its assault. It will sound the alarm before rudes into our life – so we will have enough time to resist and thwart its attack. It will also teach us how to avoid sin and escape before it strikes. It will point us to the “secret” door of escape through which we may flee and be safe. God’s Word will also strengthen and steel our resolve in times of sin’s threats. So, let us hide God’s Word in our hearts like a sword in its sheath, ready to be drawn out at a moment’s notice to fight off sin’s attacks!

  11 Jan 2015

In Matthew 4:19, Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” This verse records the words which the Lord Jesus spoke to Simon and Andrew. This special invitation by Jesus Christ was first extended to those fishermen of Galilee. He took great pleasure in those people who were at the lower strata of society and offered them what they could not have otherwise inherited. These words are full of invitation, incentives and promises. They are for the joyful contemplation and obedience of all who have trusted Christ, regardless of their social status.

Firstly, we notice that herein is a warm invitation from our gracious Lord. He gently beckons us, “Follow Me.” He is sure of the way, for He Himself is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). What a great honour it is for us to receive an invitation from the Son of God to follow Him all the way to His glorious heavenly abode…

Secondly, He beckons us to accept His leading and demands total commitment from us. We cannot be halfhearted followers if we are to be partakers of the blessings unto which He is leading us. We must give Him our absolute allegiance. He makes no other demand here except that we faithfully follow Him.

Thirdly, He assures us that He will not fail to lead us. The words “Follow Me” are very assuring, for they bespeak Christ’s role as our unfailing leader. He is ready to lead us all the way. He does not give us any notion that at some point in our lives, He would desert us.

Fourthly, He gives us a personal promise, “I will make you fishers of men.” Simon and Andrew were only familiar with mending and casting nets. How could men, who had only been accustomed to boats, nets and fishes, be at home in preaching sermons? How could men of the sea become men of the Word? Nothing is impossible with the Son of God. Just as He promised, He used those fishermen of Galilee to conquer the souls of the rich and poor, the kings and peasants, the scholars and barbarians from around the world. We know, with hindsight from biblical and world history, that they became great soul-winners just as Jesus has promised.

Are you brought low by a sense of your own unworthiness? Do you feel that you can never be useful to lead men to Christ? Do not doubt any more. Accept His call. Follow Him and His will. Then His wisdom and power will transform you to be a soul-winner for His kingdom!

  4 Jan 2015

Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). This is an immensely concise divine precept that applies to every word and action of a Christian. It is a succinct, yet comprehensive rule for a victorious Christian life. In any circumstance of life, it will serve as a golden rule for a God-honouring life. All of life’s scope is addressed with the words “whatever you do” and “in word or deed”.

Though the principle specifically mentions every word and deed, it also concerns our thought and motive. It presents to us the purest motive for every word and action – “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus”. If this motive would govern every speech and action, our life will be holy and acceptable to God. Only when we do all things in our Lord Jesus Christ’s name can we dispel selfishness and ungodliness from our conversations and activities.

The “name of the Lord Jesus” provides us with the blessed assurance that all matters of our relationship with God (i.e. worship and prayer) and all matters of our daily activities, are acceptable and pleasing to God. Living our lives in Christ’s name will grant us the confidence that the Lord is pleased with us, and that our ways will redound to His glory.

Let us also take note that “the name of the Lord Jesus” concerns His authority, His character, His truth, His will, His purposes, His pleasure and His glory. So living in accord with His name means to live in harmony with His revealed will, in subjection to His authority, and in dependence on His power. In other words, we are most concerned about His repute and glory. We will thus do nothing apart from His approval and blessing.

Let us also take note that “the name of the Lord Jesus” concerns His authority, His character, His truth, His will, His purposes, His pleasure and His glory. So living in accord with His name means to live in harmony with His revealed will, in subjection to His authority, and in dependence on His power. In other words, we are most concerned about His repute and glory. We will thus do nothing apart from His approval and blessing.

Youth Camp Testimonies (24th – 27th Dec 2014)

All praise and thanks be to God for this camp. Like a few other youth participants had shared in this camp, I also noted myself having grown lukewarm in my faith, and thus have been most refreshed by sitting at Christ’s feet and continuously feeding on God’s Word during the 4 days.

During the icebreakers, in the midst of my excessive excitement, I banged hard against my brother’s elbow and for the following 2 days, my nose was very painful. This minor hit was a striking reminder to conduct myself in a self-controlled and gentle manner, especially during the games.

I’m particularly grateful to be exhorted to seek constant spiritual growth; yes, it will assure myself of my salvation, but more importantly and wondrously, it will glorify my Heavenly Father

Through the second theme message, God has taught me that there are many areas of my spiritual life which I need to seriously take heed of; I must beware of relying on my personal strength to overcome tripping obstacles and reach greater heights. Praise the Lord for His exceedingly, amazingly and bountifully plentiful ocean of grace, from which He provides for my growth. I pray that I will launch out into the deep and be “lost” in the depths of His infinite grace.

All glory to God.
In Christ,
Dorcas Koshy

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).

Through the message ‘Need for Spiritual Growth’, I learnt that if one is truly saved, spiritual growth must be present. I have not been walking close with the Lord and spiritual growth has been absent from my life. By God’s grace, through this youth camp, He has allowed me to see my depraved state. I felt so “tormented” at my malnourished spiritual state; yet thank God that through the very same grace, He reached out to me and I repented in my heart.

During the second message, Pastor asked us for words to describe God’s grace. “Marvellous”, “amazing” and “incredible” came up. But the one word that rang out to me was “undeserving”! Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Despite how wretched I was, God never forsook me and always called me back to Him. As fallen creatures, we really do not deserve His grace, mercy and love. And yet He continues to care for us and to teach us as we walk with Him.

I’ve also learnt that I should put aside all childish things and be spiritually mature, not to be like the seeds that fell by the wayside, on the stony ground or the thorny ground but rather, to be like the seeds sown on fertile land. As I continue to walk close with Him, I hope that I would keep growing like a blooming lotus flower, for His glory.

Love in Christ,
Abigail Tan

Praise God for a really blessed GYF camp. Thank God for all those who had laboured to make this camp a fruitful time of studying God’s Word concerning spiritual growth and hindrances.

I have learnt a lot of lessons, which helped to clear the uncertainties that I have regarding my spiritual walk with God. The verse that pricked me most, is 1 John 2:13 – ‘I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.’ I discovered I was still a “little child”, because I haven’t overcome the wicked one yet. This struck me because I thought that being in a Christian family, I knew a lot about the Bible.

Last year, I had some heart-searching struggles which unfortunately drew me away from God and good Christian fellowship. I thank God for the close fellowship all of us had during the camp, in games, singing of hymns, meals, etc. Oh, how wrong I was in thinking that if I avoided fellowship, then no one would know about my struggles and I could still continue projecting a good testimony. In fact, fellowship is the best medicine against spiritual dejection as we gather with true Christians and feast on God’s Word together!

Through this camp, the Lord slowly drew me back to Him and I pray that 2015 will be a year where I lean upon Him, no matter what happens along the way. I pray that I will be like a lotus, blooming brightly for Christ after pushing up through the dark waters. ‘But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen’ (2 Peter 3:18).

All glory be to our gracious Father in Heaven!
Duaine Kabingue