The Chinese New Year is coming very soon. Many of us will be observing this festive celebration, which is steeped in thousands of years of tradition and symbolism. This presents Christians with several pitfalls, challenges and opportunities to shine for Christ. What then are some of the things we should take note of?

Firstly, let us be careful not to engage in practices of superstition and vice. One example of superstition is the hanging of the word “prosperity” or “福”, so that material prosperity can flow down from heaven. Another example is the incessant proclamations of “luck” and “fortune” before the eating of the yusheng (鱼生). Yet another example, is the frequent gambling sessions over mahjong which is now regarded as a so-called “indispensable” tradition. Such practices reflect the materialism and covetous spirit of the world.

On the other hand, the Christian understands that it is the Lord who provides us with our daily bread and the power to get wealth (Matt. 6:11; Deut. 8:18). He is to pursue after godliness and exercise contentment for God’s provision in his life (Matt. 6:33-34; 1 Tim. 6:6-10). Let us therefore avoid participating in any practice that denies the goodness and sovereignty of the one living and true God. “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thess. 5:22).

Secondly, let us seek to be good witnesses for our Lord Jesus Christ. The frequent occasions of family reunion are times for us to bear the name of Christ before our loved ones. Colossians 4:6 comes to mind – “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” Seek to be a blessing and not a terror at the reunion table!

We must never forget that true blessedness can only come from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Chinese New Year can be a time of great rejoicing for Christians because we have received salvation from our Lord. Christ is our all in all. The best red packet (ang pow) we can give to the world is thus the gospel of Jesus Christ. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16)

To encourage all of us to witness for Christ during the Chinese New Year season, we have included an ang pow tract with our weekly. The content of the tract is easy to understand. Familiarise yourself with the tract and share it with a friend. Do something good for Jesus over the Chinese New Year period.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)

WATCH AND BE SOBER (1 Peter 5:8)

During last year’s Watchnight service, we learnt that we should be watchful and sober because the day of our Lord’s return is very soon. “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” (Rom. 13:11)

Another reason why we must be on guard is that we are thrust into a spiritual battle upon the earth. It is not peace time but Code Red! No soldier sleeps during the time of war. One slip of attention and it may mean not just the loss of one’s life but also the battle.

Who then is our adversary? 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that it is Satan who seeks to corrupt our testimony for Christ. In 1 Peter 5:8, he is described as a roaring lion who seeks to devour his prey. The lion is the king of the jungle. You better run when a lion roars because it means that he is on the kill for his food. Moreover, the Bible here describes Satan as a constantly roaring lion. Thus, we must be always on the guard against his wiles and devices. No room for spiritually sleepy Christians. Awake, sleepy ones!

How then can we win this battle? That will be the topic for today’s sermon. May the Lord bless you through His precious Word.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew

One Shall Chase a Thousand (ll Kings 6:8-23)

When the Syrians surrounded Dothan to take Elisha because he was a hindrance to their war plans (II Kings 6:8-17), Elisha’s servant was greatly troubled. Said Elisha to his assistant, ‘Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (II Kings 6:16). As he prayed, the Lord opened the eyes of the young man and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha!

Though we say we are living in perilous times of the last days, the Lord has specially given peace to Singapore and Malaysia, so that we become complacent and delinquent. But, any time disaster can strike! War, famine, earthquake, flood ! ln such circumstances can we remain calm like Elisha? Can we say like David, “Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise up against me, in this will I be confident” (Ps. 27:3). “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them” (Ps.34:7). Let us be further strengthened by the Word of the Apostle, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. (1 Jn 4:4). ln these perilous times of the last days, Satan will persecute the Church through the secular powers (Matt. 24:9). The preaching of the Gospel will be restricted more and more. But our Lord assures us of His presence, “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak’ For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you” (Matt. 10:19,20).

lndeed, the Lord has given us who serve in His army the strength of one to put a thousand, and two, ten thousand, to flight (Deut. 32:30). “Nay, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom 8: 37).

Encamped along the hills of light, Ye Christian soldiers, rise, And press the battle ere the night shall veil the glowing skies. Against the foe in vales below let all our strength be hurled; Faith is the victory, we know, that overcomes the world.

Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory that overcomes the world.

On every hand the foe we find drawn up in dread array; Let tents of ease be left behind, and onward to the fray!
Salvation’s helmet on each head, with truth all girt about:
The earth shall tremble ‘neath our tread and echo with our shout.

Rev Timothy Tow ( Prophets of Fire and Water)