Dear Brethren,

We often asked ourselves this question “What does God want me to do?” during some crisis or turning points in our lives. Sometimes we become perplexed over what God wants us to do in the following areas:

  • What job should I take?
  • What school should I attend?
  • What person should I marry?
  • What ministries should I be involved in?

I like to share 3 verses with you to show that the Bible actually wants us to put less emphasis on “What does God want me to do?” and more emphasis on the question “What does God want me to be?” In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 we find the daily and every moment tasks that God wants us to be and to possess.

16 Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Each of these commands is in the Imperative, which means these commands are not talking about our feelings; but it should be our focus and mindset. These are the 3 things that Christians are to do every day without fail.

Rejoice Evermore – Always Joyful

The Bible is not telling us that we should be happy all the time. There are many things in life that bring unhappiness.  Circumstances can bring sadness and grief. We experience changes in life almost every day and some people say the only constant in life is change. But our joy in the Lord is unrelated to the circumstances of life and it is anchored to our relationship with God.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We can rejoice evermore as our Lord Jesus Christ is “constant’’ in His righteous character, His grace and mercy to forgive us, His leading in our lives, His promise to come again for us. We can be joyful every day because of who our Lord Jesus is. Joy is not produce in our lives by our choruses, music, activities, games, meditation or anything else. The harder we try to create joy the more elusive it becomes. Joy comes from simply resting in Jesus Christ and trusting Him fully.

Pray Without Ceasing – Continually Praying

The second command is to “pray without ceasing” i.e. pray continually. Many dismiss this command quickly as if anyone can pray all the time, he would actually be quite useless in the world and cannot function at all. God is not telling us that we should spend 24 hours every day in a prayer meeting or in formal prayer. I am not saying attending Church prayer meeting is not important. In fact, we should all be attending Church prayer meeting to seek the Lord corporately as we are so needy and weak. In verse 17, the Bible is commanding us to be in constant communication with God.

People wonder, “What in the world would I talk to God about all day long?” Again, we have to adjust our thinking.  We think of prayer as “asking God for stuff”.  Prayer is much more than merely making requests.  Prayer is a time for us to align our hearts and minds with God’s will. There are times when we need to confess our sin; times when we can express appreciation for God’s creative wonders; times we should express our love to God; times when we should admit our fears or seek His guidance; and times we should be giving thanks.  There are times when we simply need to seek to align our hearts with the heart of God. To pray without ceasing means we are living and thinking in the presence of God all the time.

In Everything Give Thanks – Thankful in All Circumstances

God commands us to give thanks in all circumstances. No matter what happens in life, we can be thankful that :

1.     Nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38)

2.     God is working in every circumstance for our good (Romans 8:28)

3.     God will supply our needs (Philippians 4:19)

4.     God will give us the strength we need (Philippians 4:13)

5.     God will finish the work He started in our lives (Philippians 1:6)

In conclusion, we acknowledge that these 3 commands are not easy to obey. Too often we find ourselves swallowed up by complaints rather than gratitude; a sour mood rather than an attitude of deep-seated joy. We lack joy because we lose sight of God; we become lax in prayerfulness because we think to highly of ourselves; we find gratitude missing because we have put our focus in the wrong place. We must remember that doing the will of God starts by being the person God has called us to be.  May the grace of God enable us to obey His gracious and good commands for us!

Elder John Leong

Reformation Month 2012

Dear brethren,

The month of October is when our church commemorates the 16th Century Protestant Reformation. We will have a Reformation message on 28 October 2012 (last Sunday of the month).  There will also be a book sale and a video screening on both 21 and 28 October 2012.

On top of all these, you will find in the weekly, biographies of reformers (one each week for the whole of October) as we look back in history and see how God has raised men for His work and for His truth. The four reformers are John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, John Calvin and Martin Luther.

Each week, there will also be a simple crossword puzzle for all to solve. You can find all the answers in the biography of the reformer. We encourage everyone to take part in all these different activities and gain a deeper understanding of the 16th Century Protestant Reformation.

Brother Bo Hao