Pastoral Exhortation

Testimony of Calling

Written by Bro Sujith Samuel Saturday, 21 November 2015

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I always had the desire to serve God. But at the same time, I was hesitant to serve God full-time as I was not sure of my calling. After my Pre-university studies, I thought about enrolling in a seminary in India, but ended up studying computer engineering in university. While studying there, I backslided. But God’s grace brought me back and I began to study the Bible seriously, trying hard to practise whatever it says to the letter. Moreover, I regularly listened to the preaching of various pastors through the internet. I also began to read books and articles relating to the Christian ministry. In the process, I became very legalistic and soon took pride in my socalled spiritual growth.

While I was in my third year, I was made aware (through the preaching on the internet) of the reformed Calvinistic doctrines of the Bible, to which I fully agree as they are completely scriptural. Though my church does not hold to these doctrines, I continued to worship there as there is sadly no reformed church at all in my own state (Kerala). But deep in my heart, I was very convicted of the doctrines in the “Westminster Confession of Faith”. My prayer was that a church holding to the reformed confession of faith could be started in Kerala. The doctrines I learned from God’s Word through these reformed preachers made me understand that I cannot do anything to please God. It is only the sovereign grace of God which has elected me to taste the goodness of salvation.

Meanwhile, thoughts about serving God again came to my mind. But I was in a confused state as I had plans for higher studies and ambitions for a good career. I shared my concerns with one of my close Christian friends in the campus, and began to pray about it. I had been reading through the Bible and was reading Acts during that time. Verse 8 of Acts chapter 1 kept resonating in my mind: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” As I meditated on this verse, I became convicted that I should serve God to spread the Gospel.

After graduating from the college, I began to look out for a suitable Bible college where I could begin my theological studies. Though there are many seminaries in India, very few teach reformed theology. As I knew Rev Koshy, I expressed to him my desire to study theology and enquired about Bible colleges in Singapore, and in particular, about FEBC. He encouraged me to apply to FEBC. After giving much thought and prayer, I applied to the college and God opened the way for me to come and study in FEBC.

Even after coming to FEBC, I still doubted my calling, and frankly had several times thought about quitting my theological studies. At the start of 2015, I had to go back to India but did not come back to continue my studies. During that time, God, through many providential circumstances and through His Word, again convicted me of my calling. Luke 9:62 says, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” I became very sure that I have no option to look back. I must finish what I had started with the Lord’s prompting. Thus I came back and resumed my studies in July 2015. May the Lord grant me the grace to complete the training to be equipped to serve the Almighty God. ■

 

Pastor’s Library
Another Reason for A Larger Church Resource Centre John Peh

For the last 10 years, Pastor’s library has been made available for the reading pleasure and edification of God’s people through the Bible Witness Bookroom at Hong Lim Complex. When it was open to all, about 1,800 books were on display from Pastor’s own private collection. It has grown now to about 2,800 books, some of which have been donated by some like-minded brethren while others are from Pastor’s own acquisition. This library is a treasure house of knowledge in matters related to the truths of God’s Word. Pastor’s prayer and hope is that all the books in this library would be accessible to our church members and preachers.

There are still hundreds of books at CRC in Pastor’s office that are yet to be added to the library. Whenever I meet Pastor in CRC to discuss matters of the ministry, I have noticed that the book cabinets are filled to the brim with books, besides a lot more books being kept on chairs, small tables and the floor of his office. There is no more space for bookshelves in the bookroom or in CRC.

Presently, because the church office and library are in 2 different locations, the books are not easily accessible to Pastor and our preachers. A number of times, in the midst of their study, they have to come down to the bookroom to get the books they need. At times, to make it more convenient for them, I would bring the books down to the church office. When books are at different locations, it is also not possible to catalogue and keep track of them.

We also need space to archive, copy and distribute (in digital format) Pastor’s sermons and teachings, which have been recorded from past worship services, seminars, retreats, camps, etc. Through Bible Witness Media Ministry’s various initiatives, we hope the truths of God’s Word that we receive from Gethsemane B-P Church can be brought to His people in other places for their spiritual nourishment.

As the Lord has given me the opportunity to be more involved with BWMM’s efforts to make all these resources available to believers in our church, country and overseas, I am profoundly persuaded of the acute need for a larger Church Resource Centre. I feel moved in my heart to encourage all of you, my fellow Gethsemaneans, to earnestly pray and support our Church Session’s decision to raise 5 million dollars for procuring a bigger place for the Church Resource Centre. We are still short of 3 million dollars; hence, let us give generously to the church building fund and also pray fervently for the successful completion of this project soon.

May the Lord hear our prayers and speedily answer our request for a bigger place for CRC!■