Read John 14:1-6; 18

I have preached recently on this topic on 10 May 2020. And I thought it was most appropriate to be preached also at the vigil service of Mdm Lee Ah Lui (Elder Douglas Ho’s mother and Sister Tammy Ho’s grandmother).

There are times in life when we can feel so alone. We may feel this way when we are cooped up in our homes during the circuit-breaker. We can also feel the same way, when a loved one has been taken away from us.

This was the situation faced by the disciples in John 14. The disciples by now, were accustomed to following Christ in His earthly ministry. They travelled with Him. They ate with Him. They learnt from Him. They     laboured alongside Him. Whenever they were in need, Christ would provide. Whenever they needed help and protection, Christ would be there as their Rock and Fortress. But now Christ was about to go to the cross to die for the sins of mankind. The disciples are thus in need of comfort, for they felt that they will soon be left alone. Christ gave them two assurances in His Word:

  1. The physical parting is temporary. Christ must go to the cross to die, and thereafter to rise from the dead and ascend to heaven. Without this, there will be no salvation for man. Christ must therefore go to prepare a place in heaven for His disciples. Once Christ’s disciples had completed their tasks on earth, they will be with Christ in heaven.

For our loved ones who have believed in Christ, we can rest assure that one day we will meet with them in heaven too. Our parting is but temporal. We will spend eternity with each other in the presence of Christ.

  1. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter. Once we believe in Christ, we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Thus, we are never “comfortless” (John 14:18). This expression “leave you comfortless”, is where we get the English word for “orphan”. An orphan is one who is lonely because he is bereaved of his parents. However, a believer is never deprived of the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit has already taken residence in his heart. The Spirit serves to assure us that we belong to Christ. The Spirit also leads and guides us to know and to obey the truth. We are thus never alone, for we have the Spirit who is our Divine Comforter.

If you are a true believer in Christ, you can be sure that you will not be alone nor comfortless in this life. The critical question is, have you genuinely believed in Christ? You must make sure of this as soon as possible.

“What is your only comfort in life and in death? That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Saviour, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life9 and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.” (Heidelberg Catechism Question 1) Only Christ is our true comfort in this life.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew

Weekly Devotion 21/5/2020
Preacher James Tan

The Ruler of Every Heart
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” Prov 21:1

In the ancient world, kings and emperors are the highest figures of authority and power in any country or empire. Their rule affects the lives of many, for the better or worse. In history, we are familiar with evil dictators and benevolent rulers. According to their heart’s desire and command, millions could be killed or saved.

Likewise today, we do realise that the economies of the world hang precariously right now. Jobs and livelihoods are at stake, the health and social welfare of many are seemingly dependent on those in power today. As we read the news daily, the words of these politicians are often quoted, charting a nation towards disaster or recovery. Sometimes, we cannot help but feel a sense of worry or dread, when we see the direction that some world powers are moving towards. What does it mean for us?

The proverb here is one of great reassurance to every believer, to know that the LORD is sovereign above all. The heart of every man is within the control of the hand of the almighty God. The illustration given is “as the rivers of water”. These are water channels used for irrigation, where farmers can dig and divert these channels to the different areas of the field to help areas of the field where the plants are wilting. God can easily, and fully direct the heart of the most powerful man in the world as He wishes.

In the Scriptures, we see that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened judicially, where God would drive him to his destruction (Rom 9:17). Likewise, God also turned the hearts of heathen kings, like Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Cyrus, to fulfill His own purposes in preserving and restoring Israel, God’s own people.

This proverb applies to us too, to know that all those who are above us, our government, superiors, bosses, teachers, parents, are all within the hand of the Lord. In our moments of weakness and fear, we tend to forget that they cannot do anything that the Lord does not allow. Job security, results, promotions, decisions made, are all within the hand of the Lord. The godless man would use all kinds of ways and influence to get their desired outcome, politics, backstabbing, trying to gain favour, etc.

As believers, our trust is in the hand of the Lord, that He will decide what is the best for us, moving the hearts of all men by His ways that are higher than us. Whether it be the most powerful leaders on earth, or our family and friends around us, let us learn to trust in the Lord’s hand who rules over every heart.