Dear Brethren,

August is the month in which our country Singapore celebrates her National Day. This year on 9 August 2011 is our 46th year of independence. How does a Christian relate to his country and what are the duties and responsibilities to exercise as a good Christian citizen? Here are some bible verses for our learning and application which I entitled “A Christian and his Country”.

 “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people”  Proverbs 14:34

We thank God for a prosperous and peaceful Singapore. There is a great danger for any nation which prospers materially to indulge in sin and despises God and the truth of His Word. We see the decline of many nations who once upon a time governed the country by biblical principles but today sin has become a reproach to them. Let us pray for Singapore to uphold righteousness in all her policies and endeavours. Every Christian in Singapore has a responsibility to live a righteous life so that our country Singapore will be a righteous nation which will then be exalted by God.

“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” Matthew 22:21

The Lord Jesus taught us this important principle of the separation of the State and the Church. The Church is not to be involved in social revolution to change the rulers nor to stage protest to overthrow the country. There is a clear distinction drawn for us to fulfil our duty as a citizen to our earthly country and also fulfil our greater duty as a citizen of Heaven to our Lord Jesus Christ. As a citizen of Singapore, we do our duty to obey the laws of this land and to pay our taxes. As God’s children, we have a duty to preach the Gospel and obey His Word.

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God”  Romans 13:1
“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme”  1 Peter 2:13

We must acknowledge that God, in His divine sovereign will, has appointed and ordained the rulers in our country. In the days of the Apostles, the Roman Emperors called Caesars were persecutors of the Christian faith but we were taught in the Scriptures to submit and honour them despite their wickedness. This is the testimony of the Christians being the light and salt of this world.  It is true that the leaders of our country do not always conform to biblical principles in their dealings but this is no excuse for us to dishonour and rebel against them.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” 1 Timothy 2:1-2

One important Christian duty to our nation is to pray for those in authority. Have we prayed for the leaders of our country? We ought to pray for one another and also not forget to pray for our country leaders. What should we pray about for those in authority? Pray for their salvation if they are not believers. Pray for them to rule wisely and justly so that there is peace in this land and we can live peacefully in godliness. Imagine living in a country with war and unrest everyday. It is not easy in that condition to do what we sometimes take for granted now i.e. go to Church worship service, prayer meeting, fellowship meetings, evangelism, Church camp etc. Be thankful for what God has given us now in peaceful Singapore and give every attention and participation to these godly activities.

May the Lord help us to shine for the Lord Jesus in the small corner He has placed us in Singapore!

Elder John Leong

My Last Children’s Camp

The recent children’s camp was my last children’s camp but it was the most memorable camp I have attended. As I think about this camp I am reminded of the 6 to 8 children camps I have attended. I am also quite sad that I will never be able to attend a children’s camp as a member again. However, I definitely want to attend as a helper next year. I still remember a camp in about 2004, I was sent home because I was misbehaving in the camp. This camp however, I tried my best not to misbehave and I think I behaved a little better this camp.

During this camp I learned a verse that I will always hide in my heart. The verse is: 1 Timothy 4:12, ‘Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.’ It tells us that even a young Christian can be a good Christian too. I remember a bedtime story Jian Jun gor-gor told me. It was about the young Elisha not sleeping as he wanted to learn as much from Elijah as possible. Elijah was then carried to Heaven in a chariot of fire the next day. As young Christians, we must not despise our youth but keep learning from older Christians.

The activities I enjoyed most in this camp were sleeping, the telematch, soccer and the messages. This was the first time I had slept on an air mattress and I found it to be a rather pleasant experience. The telematch was also very interesting and fun even though my group lost. The soccer match had to be nice as my hobby is soccer. Sister Yi Jie’s messages were very inspiring to remind us to fight to defend God’s name.

I have enjoyed this camp very much and it will always live in my memory.

Brother Javan Koh

All Glory Is Given To The Lord

I thank God for the opportunity to serve the Lord in the recent mission trip to Vietnam. By God’s grace, we had about 100 children coming from 4 different churches. I believe the children did enjoy studying God’s Word and all the activities throughout 3 days of VBS. Although majority of the children claimed to be believers, some were not and for that the pastor of the church gave the altar call on the last day of the VBS to those who wanted to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. In response to the call, more than 30 children willingly came up to the pulpit for the pastor to pray for them and instructed them to pray to Jesus Christ and accept Him as their Saviour.

All the children stayed back in the church during 3 days because their homes were very far from the church. It is very inconvenient for them to come often to church every Sunday. Therefore, when the church organises VBS, the children, youth and young adults get the opportunity to learn God’s Word.

I would like to thank God for sending the mission teams from Singapore to Vietnam to minister to the children. I felt touched by the sadness of the children the moment when they say “goodbye” to us on the last day of VBS. l felt more touched when the children presented a song item to the mission team as a gift out of their gratitude to the teachers. There were many who sang with much tears. I hope through this trip the children learned much spiritual lessons which will help them to grow spiritually in the Lord.

I pray that the Lord may send more people to share God’s Word in Vietnam. As Jesus truly said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:37-38). All glory is given to the Lord. Amen!

 Sister Tran Thi Kim Hoa