Exhortation-English - 2017
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 19 March 2017
The patriarch Abraham’s life was a life of great faith; hence he was regarded as a hero of faith. His faith has been the subject of scrutiny of believers of all ages, and even today he continues to be a pattern for all of us who are in this journey of faith. I would like to consider an elucidation of Abraham’s faith, which the Spirit of God recorded in Hebrews 6:15 – “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” It is a concise commentary on Abraham’s long wait for the fulfilment of God’s promise, “Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee” (Hebrews 6:14).
Have you noticed that Abraham’s remarkable faith is succinctly explained with a short phrase of just two words “patiently endured”? This phrase is the translation of one Greek word, makrothumeo, which is made up of two words – makros (meaning “long” or “far”) and thumeo (meaning “agitated”, “be angry”, etc.) So, the word means “bearing up under provocation”, “have long patience”, “bear long”, “suffer long”, “be longsuffering”, “patiently endure”, etc. The word depicts a man persevering patiently and bravely in the midst of difficulties and troubles...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 12 March 2017
Fear can grip our hearts anytime. It can develop within us due to tragic circumstances, such as failures, sickness, urgent financial needs, the death of a dear one, etc. It can also emerge due to overwhelming responsibilities, anxiety over the future, etc. Whatever be the cause of fear, if we do not appropriately deal with our feelings of fear, it can cause considerable damage to our lives. Fear is a tyrant – who subdues our senses, emotions and even numbs our mind and body. Worst of all, it can cause us to act dishonourably and defiantly before the Lord. So, Scripture urges us to act decisively to expel fear from within us.
Our modern world, with all its immense research and medical advancement, has not been able to cure people of their phobias. There is a very long list of phobias that people suffer from. Modern society is a world of phobia and panic attacks. People are looking for cures, but to little avail...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 05 March 2017
(A lesson based on the life of Job)
To know that someone loves us is a joyous matter. It is a tremendous pleasure to know that someone is really happy about us. When parents, relatives, teachers, bosses or friends commend our efforts, we know our labours have not been in vain.
However, very often people forget or neglect our real efforts. Worse still, some people repay our efforts with false allegations, slander and even persecution. Very often, the labours of God’s people have gone unnoticed and unrewarded...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 26 February 2017
Today, Christians at large “entertain” themselves by watching others break all of the Ten Commandments. It seems that for many, God’s eternal standards do not apply to their modern artistic and media entertainment. This problem is especially acute for Christian youths who find that their friends (Christian and non- Christian) attend nearly all of the innumerable movies targeted at their generation.
While it is true that it is very difficult to produce a list of dos and don'ts, it is totally wrong to assume that as long as an activity pleases one’s heart, it should be alright to engage in it. The natural thoughts, imaginations and desires of human hearts are always evil. “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). But through the law of God, we can know and fulfil God’s righteousness and truth...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 19 February 2017
Colossians 4:5 exhorts us that we “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” Christians are instructed here concerning their conduct “toward them that are without” the church.
Relating to people outside the household of faith poses peculiar challenges to the Christians. Unbelieving family members, colleagues at work, fellow students, neighbours and other associates – all have principles or philosophies of life and conduct that are contrary to the biblical counsels that God has given for believers to live by. Many things that are lawful in this world are unlawful according to God’s Word. For example, while there exist legalised gambling and prostitution in our societies, Scripture prohibits them completely. While many think that participating in different religious worship ceremonies / activities is good, such conduct is condemned in the Bible as abomination. Christians cannot join those who practise things that are prohibited in the Bible....
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 12 February 2017
Examples and Consequences of Unpreparedness
If one has a petition to make before a king, one will be mindful to prepare oneself before an audience with the king. One would think through very carefully what to say, what clothes to adorn for the occasion, and the proper conduct to behave before royalties. It would be audacious to rush into the king’s palace without proper preparation. Similarly, it is inappropriate for Christians to demand God’s attention without proper preparation.
The Most High God has graciously provided ways to interact with Him. He has not saved us to leave us alone, but wants us to involve Him in all aspects of our life. We can sing praises to Him in hymns, psalms and spiritual songs, pray to Him and intercede on others’ behalf, and go before Him in worship and devotion...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 05 February 2017
Ye cannot serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:19) – that was exactly what Joshua asserted to the Israelites who had said, “therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God” (v. 18). It must have been a crushing statement to a people who expressed their zeal to serve the LORD. But why such a staggering admonition? Why would Joshua tell them that they cannot serve the LORD?
John Calvin commented that such a harsh mode of rebuke was necessary “in order to rouse a sluggish people, rendered more lethargic by security… Joshua does not deter them from serving God, but only explains how refractory and disobedient they are, in order that they may learn to change their temper...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 29 January 2017
That most sublime historical document of biblical doctrine, namely the Westminster Confession of Faith – which is also our church’s doctrinal creed – states in chapter 21 (on “Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day”), section 6:
“… God is to be worshipped everywhere, in spirit and truth, as, in private families daily, and in secret, each one by himself; so, more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God, by His Word or providence, calls thereunto.”
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 22 January 2017
God willing, the 5th Missionary Conference of Gethsemane B-P Church will be held in Kuching (Sarawak, East Malaysia) from 5th to 9th of June this year. We thank God that about 170 people have already registered to attend this conference. (If you have not yet registered for the conference, I would encourage you to immediately register and book your flights to avoid disappointment of missing this blessed occasion that the Lord has helped us to organise).
Missionary conferences are held for a twofold purpose. Firstly, that Gethsemane B-P Church, Singapore, as a whole may renew itself concerning her God-given vision of global Gospel advancement – “… ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Secondly, that the church may bring together her missionaries, mission-partners and preachers, as well as like-minded preachers of other churches...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 15 January 2017
There are all sorts of opinions about what should characterise a church. Many ideas are being offered to church leaders by the so-called church growth experts and business strategists who claim to have developed powerful ideas, having studied many opinion surveys of the people. Their ideas and activities are enthusiastically considered as vital to becoming an effective church.
It appears that churches which implemented the opinions of the ‘experts’ have grown in huge numbers. They recommend more entertainment in the church services – entertaining music, dance and light-hearted preaching, etc....
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 08 January 2017
Personal worship or devotion is a time when each individual devotes himself to meditation of God’s Word and prayer, as a special means of communion with God. During this special time of individual worship, singing of psalms and hymns can enhance one’s adoration and worship of God. Such a special time with God can be observed early in the morning or in the evening. Some devout Christians, like Daniel of old, would even have their personal time of worship with God three times a day (Daniel 6:10, 13; Psalm 55:17)!
Private worship is most necessary to one’s faithful, triumphant and fruitful Christian life. It is also the root of family and public worship. A man who neglects personal worship would fail to render genuine and fervent family and public worship. Just as he who labours must have his three meals, a fervent Christian must also have his spiritual feeding and communion with God daily...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 01 January 2017
“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication…” (Acts 1:14).
This a report on the patient and prayerful waiting of 120 followers of Christ, including the apostles (except Judas Iscariot), after His ascension. They were facing a hostile and uncertain future after the Lord has been captured and killed by the dwellers of Jerusalem. Yet they had a mandate from their Master to fulfil in that city, even to preach Christ to those who crucified Him, before they move on to other parts of Judea and then to the ends of the earth. Their situation was indeed very dire. What would they do? Call for a planning meeting? Or hire famous consultants? Or quit being followers of Christ and go back to their old professions like fishing and tax collection?
They resorted to an upper room in Jerusalem so that they might pray together. There, with one accord, they besought the LORD for guidance and help. It was the only solution that the infant church had in their dreadful circumstance, but the best...