Pastoral 2014

A Special Season to Show Special Hospitality

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 01 June 2014

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A dozen preachers of God’s Word, who are linked to our church, will be here in Singapore to participate in our 4th Missionary Conference. It will be an excellent opportunity for all of us to show the love that we have for the servants of God. May we take this opportunity to encourage and edify them in love.

Whenever the Apostle Paul sent a servant of God to the early churches, he would tell the saints to take good care of those co-labourers of God’s kingdom. For instance, he exhorted the Philippian church concerning Epaphroditus, whom he had sent unto them, saying “Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation” (Philippians 2:29).

Paul wanted the Philippians to receive Epaphroditus joyfully and with proper honour. He told them, “Receive him therefore in the Lord.” In other words, Paul’s advice to the Philippians was that they must receive Epaphroditus as the servant of the Lord. Paul also commanded the Philippian church to “hold such in reputation”. This was an exhortation regarding the proper treatment of those who laboured for the Lord in His field.

It is our Christian duty to honour those who ought to be honoured, to respect the virtuous and the pious, and especially to honour those who evince fidelity in the work of the Lord.

The following are some suggestions as to how to show respect and love for God’s servants who will be with us:

May the Lord use all of us to refresh His servants who will soon be with us. Let us pray earnestly that the Lord will prepare us to be a blessing to all who come from far to be with us in the 4th Missionary Conference. In love, let us serve the servants of the Lord that they may return to their churches with renewed hearts to serve Him. True Christian hospitality seeks not self-praise or self-promotion, but the praise of our Father in heaven and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ who bless us with His Spirit and all good things to minister to others.

 

A Testimony Given at the Youth Gospel Rally 2014

Greetings to you all in the name of the Lord Jesus. My name is Jia Wi. I have been a Christian for 10 years. I was only five years old when I put my trust in Jesus. I was baptized on Easter day, 2005, and have been in Gethsemane Bible Presbyterian Church for nine years. Today, I stand here by God’s grace to share with you all my testimony of how the Lord has drawn me to Him, guided me and taken care of me.

When my father, who suffered from leukaemia, passed away on November the 12th, 2004, he left behind my mother, two older brothers and myself. At that age, all I could understand was that my father will never be back home to play with me. And that’s all I could understand about his death.

Later that year, my mother brought my two brothers and me to Gethsemane B-P Church. With my mother’s help and guidance, I learned more and more about Jesus Christ and His wisdom from the Bible. At first, I was very bitter about the loss of my father. I realized that many things are different after his passing away. I was angry that God took my father away. I was angry that my dad left my family alone. I started to be angry with everything. But my mum prayed and taught me from the Bible. I understood that God has a plan, and we need to submit to it. Through my dad’s sickness, we started to seek God. My father trusted in the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and died as a Christian. So I cannot grumble. Now I am very grateful the Lord has taken my father to be with Him in heaven, and no more in this world of sin and misery.

I thank the Lord for leading me to this church and for people who care, love and pray for me. I enjoy the Christian fellowship in the church. It is because of the Lord’s goodness that I am standing here to testify to you of my faith in Him. Though I had a lot of struggles in my studies, somehow, by God’s grace alone, I managed to pass my exams each year and be promoted to the next class. I am greatly thankful for that.

2010 is the year in which I received much blessings from the Lord. The Lord made me realise that I cannot do anything without Him. When I become downhearted, He encouraged me through His Word and hymns. One wonderful song was “The Steps of a Good Man”, which spurred me on to trust in God and stand up again. There is a line that says, “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down. For the Lord upholdeth him with His hands.”

Also in that year, the Lord helped me to improve in my music skills. Although I was already learning piano and was in my primary school’s brass band, I have always been average in my musical pursuits. However, in 2010 the Lord granted me a greater interest to learn music. God also strengthened me with His promises of help in the Bible. God willing, I hope that I can pursue a path in music that can bring praise to God.

In the year 2012, I attended the basic Bible knowledge class in our church, known as catechism class, and affirmed my faith on Christmas Day that year. It was a joyous occasion for me that I could publicly confess Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord. Today, I am happy to have yet another opportunity to testify of God’s grace to all of you. I thank God for His Word, the Bible, which has often corrected me and guided me in the way I should walk.

Recently, when I invited a friend to church, he asked, “Aren’t you afraid that your God is fake?” My answer is “No!” I have seen God’s goodness working in my life. He has forgiven my sins and given me peace. He gives me wisdom and understanding through the learning of the Bible. As one of our hymns says, “How can I fear, Jesus is near? He ever watches over me. Worries all cease, He gives me peace, how can I fear, with Jesus?”

So I would like to thank the Lord for keeping me in His peace and helping me every day in my life. Without the Lord Jesus in my life, I am sure I would have gone the wrong way. Indeed, He is the Father of the fatherless. He is the Prince of Peace. He loved me and gave His life to save me from my sins. So I love Him; and now I thank Him again for allowing me to stand here and praise His name. All glory be to God!

Chin Jia Wi