Pastoral Exhortation

Joy of Harvest @ Lions Home Ministry

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 23 July 2017


On 6th August, three elderly folks from Lions Home for the Elders (Bedok) will be baptised. They turned to Christ upon hearing the Gospel brought to them by those who serve in the Gethsemane Lions Home Ministry. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

We praise God for the commitment and zeal of all who serve in this Gospel outreach ministry, led by Pr Jeremiah Sim. “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15b).

Sometime ago, I saw a report that said, “In 2005, one out of every 12 Singaporeans was aged 65 or above. By 2030, they will number one in five” [Committee of Ageing Issues 2005, Report on the Ageing Population (Singapore: Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports, 2006)]. Today, many elderly are decrepit, lonely and shut up in their homes, in nursing homes, or in old-folks’ homes. Through your visits to the elderly, you can bring the Gospel to the unbelieving, and be a channel of Christian fellowship and cheer to the believing old folks. Sunday afternoons and evenings can be a good time to visit old folks. How wonderful it would be if more of such ministries to the elderly in our society can be carried out! “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). ■


Let the Strong Help the Weak

We then that are strong” says Romans 15:1, “ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” It is God’s design that we strengthen and edify one another through mutual care.

The first counsel that Paul gives in our text is let the strong help the weak. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak”. Paul’s use of the word “ought” (opheilo in Greek), which means “owe” or “be a debtor”, suggests that the strong ones must feel an indebtedness to God to help His weak children. The word “bear” (bastazō in Greek) has meanings such as “carry”, “endure” and “support”. Hence, it is the duty of every Christian to bear patiently with the weaker ones around him and help them to walk and grow along with him. He who is spiritually strong should neither despise nor neglect those who are weak. Instead, he graciously renders himself available to support and help them. “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye” (Romans 14:1). In 1 Corinthians 12:22-24 we read, “Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked”.

Paul’s second counsel for Christians is “not to please ourselves”. A Christian should not be self-centred if he is to help others as God expects. A person’s spiritual maturity is evidenced in his willingness to give up his rights so that others may be helped. We must be willing to deny ourselves if we can promote others’ happiness in doing so. Our conduct should not be motivated by our personal happiness or gratification, but rather by the welfare of others. We must, like Paul, be able to sincerely say, “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more... To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:19, 22).