Vacation Bible School Report – 2 September 2023
By Nathan Lim

We thank and praise God for the second Vacation Bible School this year, which was held on 2nd September 2023. The theme of the VBS was, “Living For Jesus– The Life of Apostle Paul”, which taught the children of how God had changed Saul. God was gracious to provide over the entire VBS.

Venue: The Lord provided a suitable place for the VBS to be held at Holy Grace Presbyterian Church. The VBS started from 9.30am to 4.30pm. The space was adequate for all the activities for each age group. We thank God for Holy Grace Presbyterian Church who generously provided the venue for us.

Children: Thank God for a total of 21 registrations. There were many children from other churches and a few who had attended VBS for the first time. Most of the children were attentive during lessons and we pray that they would have truly learnt from the VBS.

Speakers: We thank God for the speakers, Preacher Maritus and Sisters Rachel and Hadassah who taught the Upper, Lower and Pre-Primary children respectively. They taught from Acts 9, the account of Saul’s conversion ,when he was travelling to Damascus to persecute Christians. We pray that the children will remember the Word of God and to hide it in their hearts.

Helpers: Thank God for the abundance of helpers that helped to take care of the children and to ensure the smooth running of the VBS. The youths from the Ebenezer Youth Fellowship helped in setting up the classrooms, and took care of the children. Sisters Esther and Hannah led in the time of art and craft for both the Primary and Pre-Primary children. For the games Deacon Boon How, Brothers Harris and Bevan planned and carried out the games for the Primary children, while Sister Tammy planned and Sister Hannah executed the games for the Pre-Primary children. The youths from Ebenezer also put on a skit to reiterate the lessons which the children had learnt. Thank the Lord for the labour of the youths in the skit.

Before closing, Sisters Shu Hui and Arielle conducted the Bible quiz to recap through the messages in the VBS. We thank the Lord for the labour of all who served. May the Lord continue to work in the hearts of the children who attended the VBS, that they may truly come to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour. May the Lord also grant us more opportunities to reach out to the children through God willing through future VBS to come.

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8

The end of verse 8 talks about how the believer can be watchful and sober in this wicked and corrupt world, by “putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” This sounds like the description of the whole armour of God as found in Ephesians 6:11-20. However, while the passage in Ephesians includes the Sword of the Spirit as an offensive weapon, the focus here is on the defensive portions of the armour of God. The reason for this is the need for the believer to take steps to prevent himself from falling into slumber and thus ceasing to be aware of the spiritual dangers that are all around him. This is not to say that the believer is wholly on the defensive. As Hendriksen rightly notes, that the exercise of calm and steadfast faith in God and a love for the Lord Jesus Christ becomes an “aggressive testimony” in the midst of this sinful world.

First, the believer must be constantly putting on “the breastplate of faith and love”. Faith here firstly points to the objective faith, which is the written Word of God. A believer must know God’s Word thoroughly if he is to be aware of the spiritual reality around him. Thus, he must engage in a humble study of God’s Word. In addition, the believer is expected to exercise his subjective faith in receiving the Word of God, and living in the light of it. This will enable him to be ready for the dangers he will face till
the time comes for him to be taken home to be with the Lord.

We then have “love” which is included in apposition to faith. A person who walks in faith also walks in love before the Lord. He will guard his heart with all diligence and ensure that the love of God is the motivation for everything that he does here upon this earth. “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mk. 12:30)

Lastly, we have the helmet of “the hope of salvation”. In the context, this “salvation” not only points to the deliverance from our sins through the Lord Jesus Christ, but also deliverance from God’s wrath during the Day of the Lord via the rapture (c.f. 1 Thess. 4:15-17). This salvation finally culminates in the receiving of a glorified body from the Lord, and we will be forever with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth. A focus on this sure heavenly hope that we have keeps us spiritually sensitive in our daily lives, as we know our citizenship is of heaven and not of this earth. Our affections will not be on earthly things, but only on the things which pleases Christ.

Just as it is necessary for a driver to be alert while driving on a road full of hazards or for a soldier to be fully prepared in a time of war for attacks can occur at any moment, so the believer must watch and be sober for the Day of the Lord is imminent. The end-time Day of the Lord will discriminate between the believers and unbelievers. For the unbelievers, it is to be a sudden time of judgement and condemnation for their sins.

However, the Day of the Lord will be a time of deliverance and vindication for believers of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is an expected and most comforting day for us. Thus, we must be prepared for it and be ever alert of our spiritual reality in this world of sin.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew