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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

If We Would Not, The Stones Would!

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Will you praise the Lord, or hold your peace?

If you would not praise Him, then the stone would cry out His praise.

“And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:37-40).

What an improbable instrument to perpetuate the testimony! It is not said, “If these should hold their peace, the angels would cry out, or other men would cry out.” But Jesus said that “the stones would immediately cry out”.

Praises to God should never be held back. He is worthy of our praise all the time. “From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised” (Psalm 113:3).

It is an intolerable thing that we, who are created and redeemed to glorify God, would hesitate to praise His name. Would you not be careful to bring praise to God? If you would remain oblivious to your duty to praise God for His countless blessing, He may pass you by and ordain others to praise Him.

Since the beginning of this year, in our Tuesday night prayer meetings, brethren have been standing up to testify of God’s goodness in their lives. Will you not come and praise Him too? Can stones live? Can stones preach and write and translate the Scriptures? Can they aid in carrying out such a cause as this? Why not? He can employ, and often does employ, the most unlikely characters.

If your heart has been as unresponsive to the Lord’s goodness as the stone is, then I pray that you would be moved by His Spirit to cry out His praises before His congregation.

For your encouragement, I publish below the thanksgiving testimony of Bro John Peh, which he shared with the brethren who attended the Tuesday night prayer meeting. All glory be to God in the highest!

 

Shall I Not Praise Him?

Testimony of Bro John Peh given during last Tuesday Night Prayer Meeting


I would like to take this opportunity to thank God for His goodness and mercies in my family and my life. When there are no major events or upheavals in a year, I tend to take the Lord’s goodness for granted and forget to thank Him.

I was not thinking of testifying before you His goodness. But my heart was moved to give thanks to God after a conversation that I had with my wife while we were having coffee together last Saturday. She wondered what it would have been for our family if the Lord had not been merciful to call me back to His fold again. Frankly, I shudder to think of what my family’s life would have been without the Lord.

As many of you may know, my first son, Matthew, has recently joined the National Service. If it has not been for the Lord’s mercies and intervention, I would not have lived to see him entering the army. I dare not even think what sort of friendships my boys, Matthew and Marcus, would have found themselves in. My wife would also be without Christ.

I am not exaggerating our situation. The situation was very grave then. Only God, my wife and I know what it was like then. In my depressed condition, I attempted to take my life. Twice, I was close to death, but He delivered me from death both times. Oh, if it is not for the mercies of God!

When those memories came to me, my heart was so overwhelmed with gratitude to my Lord and Saviour that I must thank Him before you. I want to thank God for Pastor Koshy, Bro David and Sis Siew Lian, who were instrumental in my spiritual restoration and return to God’s fold. I want to thank God for pastor’s counselling. I have kept the passages of God’s Word which he shared with me in my heart. They still minister to me God’s wisdom and peace.

I also want to thank God for the much needed fellowship I have in Gethsemane. I would like to praise God particularly for the Tampines Neighbourhood Bible Study which provided close fellowship during my early days in the church. As pastor has preached to the Adults' Fellowship last Saturday from Hebrews, we must consider one another to provoke unto love and good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. I thank God for the Koshy family, Bro Danial Wong’s family, the Ratnams, Sis Suan Choo, Bro Ivan, Bro Lawrence and the late Bro Francis. Of course, there was also Sis Angeline and occasionally Bro Kenneth.

I also want to thank God for the encouragement my wife received from the sisters in our midst when she was a young Christian, particularly Sis Carolyn, Sis Luan Kheng and Sis Annie Ho. Another person I want to thank God for is the late Sis Monica who had with much love discipled my wife.

Lastly, I want to thank God for allowing me to serve in the bookroom. As you can see, God had sent so many people to minister to my family; and how can I not be thankful? With so many blessings, is there not a reason to thank God? Oh yes, there are many reasons to thank God. The late Rev Timothy Tow had always reminded his people to thank God during watchnight service or we might not sleep well. May God forgive me for my tardiness in thanking Him. It is not that I am now sleeping well, but I do not want to have sleepless night because I failed to praise Him. I do not want to wait until another ordeal comes along before I thank Him. There are plenty of reasons to realize that God is good to me and my family for the last 10 years since He has brought me to this church; and therefore I thank Him now.

The Lord has preserved my family. The Lord is good. The Lord is great. Great is His faithfulness. All glory and honour to God!

Pastoral Exhortation