Dearly beloved,

We are more than midway through this year and in October, the session will be planning for the Church programs for 2012. Please pray for your leaders to serve God more effectively and by the same token, to appraise your own spiritual walk with the Lord. In the last weekly article on “worship”, one of the points highlighted to us is “what we must do to worship God acceptably?”. The Church is the appointed place for believers to worship and serve God, and to give Him the glory. The Lord has ordained the Church for the proclamation of His truth and the administration of the sacraments. And as Christians, we are committed to the life of the Church. It is good for one to abide within the order of the church but a daily appointment of devotion with God is what He really desires from each one of us. We have appointments with important people throughout the day and week. But as Christians, our one to one appointment with God should be a source of great joy and delight to us. In reality, we may be struggling to maintain our quiet time and personal devotion with the Lord. Can we then say with the Psalmist in Psalms 63:1, “O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” It makes sense to say that we want to spend as much time with someone that we love. But what does it mean when we say we love God and yet we cannot spend time to be alone with Him? We know the importance of balancing work with family and single life by making sure that work does not become an obsession. And yet we allow the “busyness” of life, work and leisure to rob us of the joy of laying hold on the riches of Christ! If we need to keep appointments with people as part and parcel of our relationship and association with them, how much more the Christian life with God to be a daily appointment?

When should we commune with Him?

There is no such time that when we call on Him, that He will not hear us. But very often what is left after a hard day’s work, is little strength in the night to call upon God. Godly men of the Bible like the Psalmist often sought God early. Psalms 5:3, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” The best preparation for the day is to seek the face of God before we seek the face of man in the early hours of the morning.

Where should we meet Him?

God is omnipresent but on our part we are to seek Him in a private place and to talk with Him without distraction and interruption. The Lord Jesus Christ sets us the example in Mark 1:35, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” It can be anywhere in the room, in the balcony, the kitchen corner but the key point  is to be alone with Him for personal devotion and quiet attention.

What is the purpose of meeting Him?

It is to be deeply rooted in Him and for Him to provide us with guidance to live the Christian life according to His will. Communion with God is a two-way street. When we mediate upon His Word, He speaks to us. When we pray to Him, we speak to Him. The mediation of God’s Word and prayer are both a part of our appointment with God.

We may say that we don’t need an appointment because God is omnipresent and He is always with us. But the Lord does not merely want to be present with us, He wants our attention and it is in the one to one appointment that we can focus on Him.

Elder Douglas Ho

“…. for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5)

In March, God gave me a new job. During my second visit to the house, I saw the owner worshipping his Japanese idols, and chanting very loudly. I admired him in my heart because this was the first time he saw me and he did not stop his chanting. But I thought in my heart, why am I so foolish. I know my God is a true and living God, a God who hears prayer and will help. Others are sincerely worshipping an idol but I know my God is the only true God. I must not stray away from Him. I acknowledge my sins before God and I thank God He does not leave me but takes care of me. John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you ….” Although I do not own a home now, and do not fully understand why I experience all that I experienced, but I know God has prepared a place for us. I only need to wait for God’s timing and to pray fervently. Ephesians 3:15, “Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Revelation 2:9, “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) ….”

I know I cannot sing well. In the past, in Karaoke I also will not sing, even if a friend gives me $300 to sing, I will still refuse. At first, I was afraid that people will laugh at me, and do not dare to sing. But thank God, I understood that I am singing to Him, and not to man. I know that no matter how bad I may sing, God will still hear them. Some people think that I am poor and lonely, and ask me to find a new boyfriend to re-marry. But I have Jesus Christ who takes care of me, and I know I am very blessed to have His love. So I am not poor and lonely. The first time I attended Sunday School in Tabernacle BP Church, brother Nick taught from Luke 2:30, “For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” Thank God for His Word. Every Sabbath day is the day that I love the most because I can listen to His Word and be comforted. This gives me confidence and strength.

When I first come to believe in Christ, my friend asked me if I was a Christ. I said no. But I thank God at night I read from Matthew 10:32-33, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Thank God He showed me where my mistake was, and let me repent. A few days later I saw this friend again and I told her that I have trusted in Christ and am a Christian now.

Thank God Brother Boon How took time and showed love and patience to give tuition to Matthew. Thank God for Elder and Mrs. Ho, Elder John, preacher Yap, brother Nick and brothers and sisters in Christ for teaching and caring Matthew and James. I am very thankful for all of you. May glory and praise be to God.

Sister Jin Ye

“Train up a child …” (Proverbs 22:6)

A God-fearing community consists of godly families, and godly families begin with godly parents who heed the teaching of God’s Word by indoctrinating their children while they are young enough and open to the instruction of God’s Word : “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6) is still good advice.

“How soon should I begin to train up my child?” a young mother asks. Answer : As soon as the child is able to say “Ma” or “Pa.” In other words, the earlier the better. I asked a Chinese celebrity pianist whose child of four came top in a tri-city piano competition : “what age did you begin to train your child?” Answer : “When I was carrying her in my tummy!” She was ambitious and determined that her child should follow in her tradition and become a world class pianist.

O that all our godly parents would cherish such holy ambition to “train up their young children in the ways of God.” Do not miss the golden opportunity, mothers and fathers! Wait until your child is a teenager and you would have lost a lifetime opportunity!

Dr. S H Tow
Calvary Pandan BP Church
(Adapted from Calvary Pandan BPC, Pandan News Weekly on 31 July 2011)