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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

He Will Prosper us, So Let us Arise and Build


Happy New Year! Blessed 2010!

As we are brought by the Lord to the dawn of another New Year, let us arise with great joy and enthusiasm to do all His will concerning us.

In this New Year, many Gospel doors are opened before us to go in and achieve great things for the Lord; among these the chief is our 2010 Ethiopian project. We must prayerfully rise up with all our might to accomplish this project for the glory of our great Redeemer. Herein we have a wonderful opportunity to make a mark for Christ in the continent of Africa through this project in Ethiopia.

We have already purchased a piece of land (9,546.25m2) to build a Bible college and a church. By God's grace, we have obtained this large piece of land at a cost of S$270,700. If we can raise S$550,000 this year, we will be able to erect a building that will be suitable for the beginning of a Bible college and the church.

We will also strive by His grace to make every opportunity count both in Singapore and in all other mission fields that the Lord has opened before us.

For your encouragement and strengthening, I would like to publish the following article which I wrote some years back:

“The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build” (Nehemiah 2:20). That was Nehemiah’s reply to Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem who laughed and scorned at the plan of God’s people to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. When the enemies despised them, Nehemiah and his co-labourers trusted in their God for help.

God’s people are never left to be alone in their labour for Him. The Apostle Paul said to the Corinthian believers, “We are labourers together with God” (1 Corinthians 3:9). What a comforting and reassuring thought! Praise the Lord!

In the work of the Lord, we can do nothing without Him. Jesus said, “Without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). But once our hearts are led by His counsels and established in His promises, nothing can stop us from labouring and building for Him.

He will prosper us!
Nehemiah declared before his enemies, “The God of heaven, he will prosper us.” What a bold affirmation! Can we be this sure of God’s help? Most certainly!

As far as Nehemiah was concerned, it was not a presumptuous claim. He was not making a hasty, incautious, self-conceited, presumptuous, overconfident assertion in order to derail his enemies’ plans.

His confidence in the Lord’s blessings was the result of his prayerful determining of God’s will concerning the rebuilding of Jerusalem and His temple. After carefully assessing the needs of the rebuilding of the city of His people, Nehemiah took time to pray. He prayed, “O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy . . .” (Nehemiah 1:11). He personally sought the Lord concerning the work. As he sought Him in prayer, he was assured of God’s sure blessings.

Everyone who seeks God’s will in prayer and then stretches forth his hand to fulfil that which God has led him to do, can be assured of His good blessings. God will not forsake those who labour to do His will. He will most certainly prosper them.

So if you make sure that your desires are His desires, and your plans are His plans, you will have all of His guidance and blessings in the future, so much so that you can say, “The God of heaven, he will prosper us.”

This was the case in Gethsemane B-P Church. We saw the need for a building for a Church Resource Centre. We sought the Lord in prayer and were ready to fulfil whatever He would lead us to do. We carefully examined our needs and understood what we needed. We then sought to obey the Word in meeting the need of the church. When the Spirit of God began to lead us by His truth and providence, we too affirmed in our midst the words of Nehemiah, “The God of heaven, He will prosper us.”

These magnificent words of faith and confidence have serious implications in our midst. It meant that we would not seek any man’s help in a way that would contradict God’s Word. By His grace, we boldly decided not to approach banks for loans, or people for interest-free loans! We believed that if we would go forward by the way of the Lord, He would prosper us. He did just that! Praise the Lord!

Hitherto, we experience the same kind of provision from God in publishing the Bible Witness magazine. We thank the Lord for seeing us through 9 years of publishing. Men may despise, but God will help. Men may reject and oppose, but God will bless and prosper! We can trust God to keep His promises.

We will arise and build!
Nehemiah 2:20 not only talks about divine leading and help, but also the responsibility of His servants. It calls us to duty - “Let us arise and build.”

God’s promises do not make His servants sluggish or lethargic. On the contrary, recognising God’s good hand in a project grants great motivation to press on even in the midst of opposition. It gives His servants willingness and readiness to sacrifice, and also to set themselves apart to accomplish the work that He has called them to do. The only proper response to the goodness and promises of the Lord is to “arise and build”. People’s resolve to do His work is a token of their conviction of God’s sovereignty and faithfulness.

We found this truth being illustrated powerfully among the brethren in Gethsemane B-P Church. Having been convicted of God’s leading and goodness, they gave themselves wholeheartedly to acquire the building. They sweat and shed tears. When disappointment and anxiety arose, they went to the Lord with renewed trust. The Lord was always there to strengthen hearts and hands to work even harder. Many prayed earnestly. Many gave generously. While some searched for an appropriate place, others gave plenty of thoughts to prepare and furnish the new place.

God prospers His people! They arise and labour! God’s work is done!

Pastoral Exhortation