Volume. XXII, No. 31
Sunday, 27 January 2008

From The Pastor's Heart

 Today, I’d like to talk about a few vocabularies.  Basically all the definitions of these words are from Noah Webster’s 1828 English Dictionary.  The first word is selfish, defined as “Regarding one's own interest chiefly or soley; influenced in actions by a view to private advantage.”  The definition of selfishly may enlighten us more about selfishness: “The exclusive regard of a person to his own interest or happiness; or that supreme self-love or self-preference, which leads a person in his actions to direct his purposes to the advancement of his own interest, power or happiness, without regarding the interest of others. Selfishness, in its worst or unqualified sense, is the very essence of human depravity, and it stands in direct opposition to benevolence, which is the essence of the divine character.  As God is love, so man, in his natural state, is selfishness.”  In other words, if we remain as who we are, we cannot but be selfish seeking only for our own interest and happiness.  A selfish person’s motto may be, “leave me alone, unless I need your help.  If you want to be kind to me, that’s fine with me, but do not expect me to return.”  He may be a good person and good citizen, but he lives for himself only.  His supreme goodness is to meet his needs and please himself.  He may be sympathetic towards people in miseries, but does not move forward to them for assistance.

 The second word I want to talk about is sacrifice.  Probably the most suitable definition of the word is “To destroy, surrender or suffer to be lost for the sake of obtaining something; as, to sacrifice the peace of the church to a little vain curiosity.  [For example] We should never sacrifice health to pleasure, nor integrity to fame.”  Probably, we can find lots of biblical examples.  One of them is Hebrews 10:12, “But this man [Jesus Christ], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.”  He suffered the loss of His life for the sake of bringing us into the kingdom of God.  Philippians 4:18 says, “But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.  Paul received sacrificial financial support from his beloved believers in the Philippian church.  They made sacrifices for the sake of Paul’s gospel ministry.  Philippians 2:17 says, “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.  Paul offered his life for the sake of other believers.  Hebrews 13:16, But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”  Good and edifying way of life is a disciplined life for the honor and glory of God, which does not please fleshly lusts.  Hebrews 13:15 says, By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”  Choosing right words to say and singing praises to God are sacrifices for the sake of Him and others.  This teaching is well summed up in Philippians 2:3-4, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  We also need to remember that the definition of sacrifice implies a form of destruction of the one sacrificed.

The third word I want to look into is love.  The basic meaning of the word has a sense of being prompt, free, willing from leaning, advancing, or drawing forward.  Out of so many definitions of the word, the most suitable one is “an affection of the mind excited by beauty and worth of any kind, or by the qualities of an object . . . It is opposed to hatred . . . Love is excited by pleasing qualities of any kind, as by kindness, benevolence, charity . . . benevolence or good will.”  As I am thinking about the medical mission team to Cambodia, I cannot but think of these words.  The members of this team had to raise their own funds for expenses such as air tickets, room and board, gifts to Cambodian people and missionaries and other travelling expenses within the country.  Many of them have saved their pocket money in order to make this trip possible.  Some have sacrificed their holidays to help people and to share the Word of God with the lost.  Some of them have suffered with diarrhoea and viral infections.  However, they had to begin their mornings with devotions at 5:50.  All day long they have taught in various classes and gone out to villages for medical works.  It is very hot every day, and everybody is sweating a lot and drinking water all the time.  The mission team has led four chapel services daily at Life University.

These brief descriptions of the mission team are far away from definition of selfishness.  They only indicate acts of sacrifices and love.  Many of the members have expressed their thanks to the Lord for opportunities and privileges in this mission field.  Some have already expressed their desire to return in the future.  I thank and praise the Lord for all the team members, their families and friends, and brothers and sisters who have supported this missionary endeavour.  Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  Travelling around this country is free, but it does not mean that anyone can guarantee safety.  There are potential dangers from roads, to water and food.  However, those who have committed all things to the almighty God came and served the Lord.  Not all team members came from Hope Church, but various churches.  This diversity of members’ backgrounds did not cause any conflict or schism, but there has been a united spirit.  I personally want to thank their parents and families.  Some parents were worried about the safety of their children, but eventually allowed them to come to Cambodia.  There are also people who have contributed to missions’ fund and supported team members financially.  I must say thanks to all who have been praying for the team.  Elder Michael is an excellent leader and organizer for the mission team.  There are able young people who can make various plans for the team including travelling schedules, teaching plans, room arrangements, and daily devotions.  All of male members were encouraged to preach.  It is always a humbling experience to preach God’s Word.  Ladies led chapel services for Kindergarten and Primary school children.  They also gave devotional messages every evening for the team.

 I also thank the Lord for the Session members who have led the church so well during my absence.  The Hopefuls graciously understand my frequent absence for mission trips.  Thank you for your contributions to the church ministries.  I also thank the Lord for other churches sending their people to join us for mission trip.  It is always good to see the same minded brethren working together.  I’ll see you soon.  God bless! Your pastor



More Lively Hope




Sixth Cambodian Missions 2008 in progress. Please continue to pray for team members and their ministry.

Senior Citizen’s Meeting: Food, drinks and transportation are required.  Please see Sis Peng Ha Yeo if you are able to assist.

Please note: No Joy Bible Study on 2 February 2008.



Family Bible Camp at Victor Harbor: 24-26 April 2008. Speaker: Bro David Weng.



Journey mercies: Bro Yick Ho Lam, Jason Tan, Richard Tee, You Wen Yeap (Adl); Sisters Joyce Gong, Suzanne Lim, Serene Wong (S’pore); Gillian Ong (Melb) & other Mission Team Members travelling to Siem Reap and S’pore, Sis Alice Lee (M’sia).

Church activities: Ladies’ Fellowship Prayer & Share Meeting; Wednesday Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; YAF Bible Study; Working Bee; Preaching, Teaching, Medical & Dental Work in Cambodia.


Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Chua, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Edward Paauwe, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam; Grandpa Ki; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Sylvia White & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction.

Cambodia Missions - God’s guidance & protection for all team members & a fruitful ministry; Rev S Choi (Phnom Penh) & Rev D Koo (Sihanoukville).

Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam & family.

India/Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers.

Kuching Missions - Teo family - encouragement.

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim (KL).

Journey Mercies - Ps Ki (Adl); Elder Michael & Sis Michelle Lee (M’sia); Brothers Joshua & David Chung (Adl); Sis Min Yen Chia (Melb); Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong (Qld); and others travelling.

Jobs - Bro Daniel Volvricht; Sis Juanita Tong.

The Lord’s provision for a new church van and floor coverings for our Sunday School rooms.

Bro Richard Tee will be having surgery on 6 February 2008. 

Sister B-P Churches in Australia.

Persecution: Believers suffering in Islamic countries.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041