“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84:10). By those words, the psalmist testified that worship time in God’s house is the best time of his life, and that the house of God where the worship was held was the best place he would love to be in. To a child of God, no activity or place in this world is as wonderful as the time and place of worship of God.
Firstly, about the psalmist’s presence in the house of God, he says that there is no time like the time spent in God’s house! “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand.” One day in the house of God (“thy courts”) was more beneficial than living a thousand days elsewhere in this wicked world! So, the psalmist said, “I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God”. Even serving the Lord at the door of God’s house is a very great and delightful experience.
Our minds are drawn to His greatness and goodness when we are in His courts. In such times, our minds are filled with reverence and awe for His greatness, and gratitude and joy for His goodness. We also delight in remembering His wonderful and mighty works in His house. Thinking of His works grants us confidence and courage.
Today, when we come to the Lord’s house, which we call “church”, we are blessed by hymns, prayers, and reading of the Scriptures. The opportunity to meditate on His glorious truths revealed in His Word helps us to increase our knowledge of His will, which will guide us to live in accordance with His purposes and for His glory. Then, through the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, we rejoice in the blessed communion with our Saviour! How wonderful it is to draw near to God in His house!
So, David said that even serving at the door of God’s house is better than enjoying luxurious pleasures offered in houses of wickedness. “God’s (so-called) worst is better than the devil’s best!” God’s doorstep affords a happier rest than the majestic pavilions of sinners living the high life and pursuing a lifetime of luxury!
It has been said, “Time spent in worship is time best spent.” Indeed, “a day in thy courts is better than a thousand”, that is, than any number of days elsewhere. The blessedness of dwelling in God’s house is incomparable to any other place of people’s gathering.
Let every child of God esteem the worship of God very highly, and prepare daily to be in the place of worship. Let us look forward to delighting in God’s glory, grace, and truth proclaimed on the Lord’s Day and other solemn gatherings of His people before His presence.
Samuel Teo (Kuching)
I thank God for the opportunity to join the 23rd BW-GYF Retreat in the Philippines. The retreat brought me great spiritual encouragement through the faithful preaching of God’s Word, as well as the sweet fellowship with the Filipino and Singaporean brethren. The five sermons on the theme “Prepare to Meet Thy God” – in Salvation, in Sanctification, in Chastisement, in Rapture, and in Judgment, drive home the importance of living our lives sanctified, holy and separated unto God. This is so that we may be prepared to meet Him here in this present life as we serve and live for Christ, and also when we meet Him when He comes again.
Visiting the mission churches in Cebu, Bogo, San Antonio and Bohol, and witnessing the various great works and missions in places across the Philippines made me rethink about how I can serve God more here in my hometown – Kuching. Truly, there is more to be done for the Lord’s kingdom here on earth, as “…The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2).
I pray therefore that the Lord will help and guide me in my spiritual growth to be prepared for His service, according to His divine calling until the day He returns!
I praise and thank God for the rare opportunity He has given me to join the recent BW-GYF retreat in Cebu, the Philippines (18-22 December 2023), together with my eldest son Norefel, his wife and children. Since this was my first time attending a retreat, I was very excited about it. To me, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience because of the following:
1) It was a “heart-pricking” experience and a wake-up call after hearing the five messages from our pastors and preachers about preparing oneself to meet God in salvation, sanctification, chastisement, rapture and judgment. 2) It allowed me to visit and see different places like Bogo and Bohol in a short time. 3) I was quite amazed at how well the activities went, and also at the discipline, active participation and cooperation of all the participants in moving about to the different meeting venues (with everyone, young to old, sticking to the timetable). 4) I had tears of joy hearing the wonderful voices of the choir singing beautiful hymns of praise and worship, which made me feel God’s presence during that time. 5) Lastly, I was touched by the sincere fellowship among the Filipino and Singaporean brothers and sisters, as if we have already known one another for a long time.
Thank God for the 5 days of fellowship but as the saying goes, “there is always an end to every good beginning”, and I was saddened to see our brethren departing to return to their homes in Singapore and other parts of the Philippines (Cebu, Pangasinan). Moreover, I’m saddened that my son and his family have to leave me without knowing when we will see one other again. But I find comfort in the Lord Jesus Christ by reading 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” May the Lord bless us all.
Elder Eliezer Ortega
The Lord be praised for the recent BW-YF Retreat. It was a time of spiritual nourishment and showers of blessings. The messages during the retreat were great blessings and have better prepared me to meet God. I thank God for enabling the preachers to preach the Word of God for our learning and edification.
Blessed be the Lord for the apt and fitting messages of the hymns and carols sung by the Gethsemane B-P Church Choir, Youth Choir and Children’s Choir of Singapore. The Cantata was a time of great contemplation on the condescension of the Lord Jesus Christ. And how my heart greatly rejoices of the blessings of “Good Tidings of Great Joy”! Equally rousing is the message from John 1:1-14, preached by Pastor Koshy. All glory be unto God! Praise the Lord for how He has enabled the members of the choir to sing the hymns and carols despite their coughs, colds and sore throats. The Lord is good and He is to be praised in using every member of the choir for His glory. Thank God for the strength, patience and wisdom upon Pr Cornelius in leading the choir. It was indeed a great blessing to have attended and heard the Christmas Cantata, as what one septuagenarian Christian visitor exclaimed after the Cantata in Bogo, “Never had I heard such a moving and wonderful Cantata!”
All glory be to God for the wonderful and blessed time of fellowship with all the brethren, both “new and old faces”. I praise the Lord for the presence and fellowship of the brethren which have given us great joy and encouragement. Praise the Lord for all the words of encouragement and blessings!
Truly, how great Thou art, LORD!