“Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD” (Psalm 34:11). It is a divine mandate to teach our children the Word of God with all dedication. As a church, we prayerfully commit ourselves to making every effort to teach our children to fear the Lord and walk in His ways. May God be pleased to bless our efforts at home and in the church to nurture our children in the Lord.
Daily Vacation Bible School, held a week ago (29 Nov - 01 Dec 2023), has been a joyful and blessed event for about 45 children who gathered. They were nourished in the Gospel truths through the Bible lessons, spiritual songs and other activities prepared for them. Many brothers and sisters co-laboured with the GCM committee. The GCM Committee’s meticulous efforts in organising this event are praiseworthy. Our preachers, together with other GCM teachers, laboured to bring the Word of God to the children. We also rejoice in the labour of many in various areas – transportation, refreshments and meals, art and craft, singing, media presentations, etc. – for the smooth and efficient running of the DVBS. We also thank God that through this event, we could reach children from outside our church with the Gospel. May the Spirit of God work in the children’s hearts to grant them regeneration and sanctification through His Word which they heard in the DVBS.
Psalm 100:1, 3 – “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands... Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
I thank God for another opportunity to attend DVBS, with the theme for 2023 as: “Be Strong in the Lord”. I wish to testify of God’s goodness towards me through the lessons I learnt from our preachers.
On Day 1, in the morning session (taught by Pr Kelvin Lim), the main focus was on the words, “Finally, my brethren” in Ephesians 6:10. They remind us that God has saved us and called us out of sin. Therefore, we can call one another brothers and sisters in Christ. We also have a unique relationship with God, whereby we can be strengthened in Him.
In the afternoon session, Pr Ho taught us from Matthew 13:1-8 on the Parable of the Sower. Jesus taught by the seashore, and told the people a parable of a sower who sowed seeds on a farm. Some seeds fell on the wayside, and the birds came and ate them up. Some fell onto the stony places where there was not much water and minerals. When the sun rose, the plants’ roots died because it was too hot for them. Other seeds fell among the thorns, and when the plants grew, the thorns choked them until they died. But the seeds which fell on the good ground bore fruit. The seed represents God’s Word, and the grounds represent the hearers’ hearts. The wayside refers to people whose heart is hardened, while the birds represent the devil. The stony places refer to people who have a shallow response to God’s Word. They are very excited to hear the Word of God, but they have no interest in God controlling their hearts wholly. When they are under pressure, they give up. The thorny places represent those who are over-worried and too concerned about things in this world that their interest in God’s Word dies off. The good ground denotes those who hear God’s Word with a receptive heart and, hence, are enlightened by it. From this parable, I learnt that we must fight sin and not let sin control us. We must not be overly worried about the world, but we must be concerned about the things of God (because He will provide for all our needs). We must ask ourselves 2 questions: 1) Do we have time for God? 2) How do we accept God’s Word? Let us put aside time for God and accept His Word wholeheartedly.
On Day 2 (morning), I learnt from Pr Kelvin that the phrase, “Be Strong in the Lord”, is a command to be strong in the Lord, resist temptation, read the Bible and pray. “Be Strong in the Lord” also involves a combat. We must put on the whole armour of God so that we can withstand in the evil day and prepare for the spiritual battle. God gave His children a command to combat the evilness of their day. In the afternoon session, Pr Jeremiah taught us the Parable of the Wheat and Tares (from Matthew 13:24-30, 34-43). In this parable, a sower sowed good seeds in the field. While people were sleeping, his enemy sowed tares among the wheat. In due time, both wheat and tares sprung up. The servants of the sower were very curious about where the tares came from. The sower explained that an enemy had secretly sown the tares. The servants then asked whether to pluck out the tares. The sower said no because they might accidentally pluck out the wheat. Instead, they should only gather the tares at harvest time to burn them up. The sower is Jesus, while the good seeds are Christians. The field is the world, the enemy is the devil, and the tares are ungodly people. From this parable, I learnt that when Jesus Christ returns, He will separate the godly from the ungodly. He will judge the ungodly, and will no more show them grace and mercy. There will be punishment, judgment and hellfire for eternity. God gives us chances to repent. When we do something wrong, we must repent quickly.
In the morning of Day 3, Pr Kelvin gave us 3 points to remember the DVBS theme. First, I learnt that “Be Strong in the Lord” is to make Christ known (Ephesians 6:19), and to make known the truth about the Gospel. The truth of the Gospel is the greatest knowledge that anyone can have. Second, it is for the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 6:20; Romans 1:16). We must not be ashamed to stand up for Jesus, as it is the divine duty of Christians to speak a word for Christ. Third, it is for the praying for the saints regarding the work of the Gospel (Ephesians 6:18), so that more souls can be added to heaven. In the last session, Pr Samson taught us from Matthew 13:47-52 on the Parable of the Dragnet. This parable is about a fishing net that was used in the olden days (still in use today). The dragnet is a gigantic net that is pulled by the boats and is used to catch fish. The fishermen would bring the net to the shore when the net was full. Not every fish they caught was good, as there were also other sea creatures like squid, prawns, and even much dirt! The good would be separated from the bad. If you repent of your sins and believe in the Lord, you are the good fish. Those who believe in Christ will inherit the kingdom of God (Matthew 25:34). Those who reject God will be thrown into the fire (Matthew 25:41). We have to repent now (Matthew 4:17)! Jesus is coming soon!
I look forward to DVBS 2024, and pray for more children to join us for a blessed time of spiritual nourishment, God willing!