I would like to exhort you to give your utmost diligence to worship the Lord in a way that is worthy of His great name.
Firstly, let all worshippers in Gethsemane show utmost reverence for the Lord during the worship. Worship is a sacred activity. Our mannerism must be express solemnity and reverence for the presence of the Most High God whom we have come to call upon. Scripture exhorts us, “O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth” (Psalm 96:9).
- Be punctual for worship service and be seated 5 minutes before time.
- Be silent and prepare your hearts for worship. Read “the Word on Worship” in the bulletin’s front page and quietly pray for the blessing of the service.
- Be reverent in your behaviour throughout the service. Do not be engaged in any activity that will distract you or other worshippers from fully participating in the service.
- Keep your mind from distraction, and actively participate in praise and prayer.
- Be attentive to hear the Word of God expounded in the preaching Be prepared to stay back and fellowship with God’s people for mutual encouragement and service.
Secondly, let us all get together for the Watchnight Service tomorrow night at 9 pm. Like the psalmist, let us say, “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:3). Worship is grandest when all of His children gather together to praise Him. Like a musician who plays his instrument with passion and precision, in harmony with the rest of the orchestra, every worshipper must happily join with others to exalt the name of the Lord. As it has been said, “God’s praises sound best in concert.” We have an excellent opportunity tomorrow to get together to praise our God during the Watchnight Service. Come well-prepared with short testimonies of praise, so we can rejoice in one another’s thanksgiving to the Lord.
Report and Testimonies from Youth Retreat 2018
Report by Cornelius Koshy (on behalf of the GYF Committee)
All glory to our Heavenly Father who gave 57 youths and 21 adults a blessed spiritual and physical retreat in UK Farm Resort, Kluang, Malaysia, from 24th to 26th December 2018.
Pastor Koshy preached 5 messages on the doctrine of adoption under the theme, “Children of the Most High”. We were taught on how our adoption as children of God is the highest point of our salvific experience on earth, and that it stands distinct from the regenerative experience of justification, forgiveness, reconciliation in the Ordis Salutis (Latin for “Order of Salvation”). While regeneration deals with our nature before God, adoption deals with our status in relationship with God. Adoption upgrades our status in relationship with God, from “bastards” (cf. Hebrews 12:8) to children of the Most High! With this new identity, we owe nothing to the flesh, fear no pressure from the world, and look forward to the eternal hope of glory with our Father (Romans 8:12-16).
This year, Pastor introduced a new segment, “Bible Reading”, in the retreat programme. In these 5 sessions, Pastor rekindled our love for the Word of God by training us to read with understanding, and to listen with attentiveness to the public reading of Scripture. After establishing the occasion for the public reading of Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments, Pastor gave the youths reading assignments to teach us how to divide Scripture according to its thought-progression, and to read Scripture with sense, so that all who hear may understand.
Apart from the spiritual feeding, the participants were physically nourished with the homemade food provided by the farm. Our afternoons were spent interacting with the farm’s animals (such as goats, sheep, ostriches, deer, rabbits and many more), as well as having a time of sports and games together.
As youths of Gethsemane, we thank God for this annual retreat through which we could grow closer to one another and, crucially, to our Heavenly Father! We also thank God for the many adults who joined us to take care of and support us in our retreat. To God be the glory!
Thank God for a blessed YF camp, where we could learn about the theme, “Children of the Most High”. Truly, what a blessed privilege it was to learn of the love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Now that we are adopted as heirs of the Most High, we are to shine as lights in the world, and be blameless and harmless, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. Thank God for courageous young men of old, like Daniel and Joseph, who proved to us that we are never a fool to lose the whole world to keep our souls with God. Thank God that we can pattern ourselves after them, and to purpose in our hearts, that we might not defile ourselves with the world, but go onward, forward and upward till Jesus comes again.
Thank God for the opportunity to come for this camp. It was difficult for me initially to apply for three days of leave due to my NS commitments. But I thank God that He has made a way for me.
Thank God for the Word faithfully and powerfully preached. Through these few days, one thing that has touched my heart the most was this sentence said by Pastor: “Adoption is God’s gracious and merciful act which bestows unworthy sinners the admission and rights into the family of God.”
Oh, the magnitude of His love, grace and mercy! If left alone, we would just be helpless and pathetic creatures seeking for a little comfort and so-called acknowledgment from people of this world (who are in the same miserable state as we were). But, by God’s infinite decree, we are called sons of God who now receive the ultimate acknowledgment, approval and acceptance of the eternal most High God through Christ. This is the greatest honour one can ever receive. May this truth stick in my heart, that it may continue to guide every word and deed I do.
In conclusion, I pray “that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ;” (Ephesians 4:14-15). All praise to God!