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Pastoral 2012

Discerning Youths

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It was my great pleasure to have an opportunity to interact with our youths and to teach them in the recent Youth Retreat (June 8-9). I thank the Lord for Ruth Low, Donald dela Cruz, Andrew and Lynn Koh, Sis Diana Chan and Sis Lee Kim Lei who have co-laboured with me in this retreat. About 30 youths participated in the retreat. How I wish that more youths had taken advantage of this opportunity to learn His Word and to draw close to God!

Every youth will have to make many choices concerning his studies, friends, activities, entertainment, etc. Youth are often under pressure from the world to conform to its ways which are displeasing to their Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. So every Christian youth needs to be discerning to make choices that will please Him. Only if they are skilful in applying the Word of God correctly in their making of choices, they can please Him. “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13-14).

So I would like to urge all the youths who worship the Lord in Gethsemane BPC to join the Youth Bible Hour on Sundays and other activities that you may be well equipped to discern that which will please the Lord. For the encouragement of every youth, I am publishing some of the testimonies of participants of the Youth Retreat. (More will be published next week.)

 

 

Testimonies of Youths (I)

 

Joey

The Youth Retreat has taught me that the Bible is the wisdom of God, with the fullness of knowledge contained within. By searching the Scriptures, the young man will gain “knowledge and discretion”, for only God is all-wise and allknowing. The retreat also made me think more about how God knows the hearts of all men, even more than we know ourselves, and that we tend to lie to ourselves and dismiss the gravity of sin when we sin. “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits” (Proverbs 16:2).

The video “Courageous” taught me the role of the man in the spiritual leadership of his family, and that he, being the head, must be a God-honouring man.

 

 

 

Qian Hui

Thank God for the opportunity to attend the Youth Retreat 2012. Praise God for Pastor Koshy’s instruction on “wisdom” from the book of Proverbs. I have learnt that wisdom is instilled in us by God. We must have wisdom and discernment in all decisions we make in life. Proverbs 4:7 says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

We watched a video entitled “Courageous”. There are many lessons to learn from it and I will mention some. The role of fathers in godly Christian families is crucial. Every father must be courageous and say he will be the head of the house, to lead the family in a godly way. He must love God with “all [his] heart, and with all [his] soul, and with all [his] might” (Deut 6:5). He must be willing to say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Hence the entire family must also be willing to serve the Lord together.

In conclusion, we must be eager and have a thirst for God’s Word so that we will be wise. His Word is the perfect standard and we must follow all His counsels.

 

 

 

Sze Huey

I thank God for this year’s Youth Retreat. This year’s theme “Discerning Youths” has been very applicable to me. As a student, I can be rather heavily influenced by my peers and may sometimes carelessly accept certain behaviour (as seen around me) as normal. Pastor’s messages have taught us that we need to exercise prudence and careful discernment so as to bear a good testimony for Christ. To be a discerning youth, I must first acknowledge that my weaknesses are too much for me to overcome on my own, and I need to ask God for His help and grace to guide my path, so that I may become who He wants me to be.

The message, “Being Who God Wants Me to Be”, specially resonated in me. Pastor taught that only God knows His plan for us, and that His plan for us is the best. We need only to trust, pray and follow Him. Even as I am now confused about my studies, I need to only trust and pray, leaving it in His hands and simply be ready to follow where He leads me.

Another important lesson was taken from Hebrews 5:14—“…even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Studying the Scriptures is important. We need to continuously study God’s Word thoroughly, completely and exercise it in our hearts, to the extent that we are able to discern or instinctively “sense” good from evil.

This retreat has been a very blessed, fruitful and enlightening one. It has been a timely reminder for me, that even as I will soon start school again, I need to keep learning and abiding by God’s teaching, and to be ever alert and discerning so that I may shine for Christ. All glory be to God!

 

 

 

Marcus

Through this retreat, I have learnt many things. I’ve been worrying about my future. Will I be able to get a stable job? Will I have a family? Am I able to stick close to God? These are questions I ask myself everyday. But in this retreat, Pastor Koshy taught us how to lead a family, and that leading a family starts with my own spiritual growth. If I do not set an example to my family in the future, things will turn out bad. I don’t even want to imagine that. If I want to have a family that is devoted to God, I’ve got to start being a good example in God’s eyes.

During the retreat, we watched a Christian film called “Courageous”. I remember one of the scenes in which the pastor said, “Through this life’s journey, it may be tough, but remember to keep trusting the LORD.” Indeed, oftentimes we forget about the LORD. When we are in trouble, we often neglect God and go astray. But this retreat has reminded me that God is a present help in trouble. This is also a reminder to every single one of us. Let us always remember that we are not alone. God knows when we are in trouble, and He will help us because He has promised so. WHY WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW?

 

Pastoral Exhortation