Volume. XXIV, No. 2
Sunday, 12 July 2009


"Tithing - An Act Of Love" and "Planning to Watch the Latest Harry Potter Movie?"


“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).

What an instruction. What a challenge and what a promise form God. What had prompted God to send his prophet to speak to His people? It was during a time when the Jews were experiencing spiritual decline. Amongst their other practices, they had neglected their tithes and offerings to God. They had become cynical, doubting God’s love and promises and even questioning His justice. As their faith dimmed, they become mechanical and insensitive to their observances of worship. They had been robbing God of His tithes and offerings.

Malachi 3:10 clearly reminds us that we must give one-tenth to God. The word TITHE is specified. This is a command from God. This is proportionate giving. The earliest documentation of tithing in the Bible was revealed in the book of Genesis in chapter 14 when we were told that Abraham gave a portion of what he had plundered to Melchisedec. Hence, tithing is biblical. Tithing is not random giving. Tithing is planned giving. Tithing is proportionate giving. Tithing is putting aside every week a portion that is due to Him.

In historical times, the Babylonians followed the Assyrians and gave to their God Maduch one tenth of what they had. The Persians, Phoenicians, Hetites, Carthaginians, Greek, and Romans gave to their non existent god one tenth of what they had too. The Egyptians were known to give two-tenths to the Pharaohs. If these pagans gave one-tenth of what they had to honour their pagan gods, shouldn’t we honour our God, a living God and a provider of all our needs? God does not ask us to give Him 50% or even 20%. God only wants 10% of what belongs to Him.

Tithing is the duty of every Christian. Tithing is an anecdote to greed. Tithing is fulfilling our obligation to God. If we love God we will tithe. At the heart of tithing is the notion that God owns everything and we are His stewards. We have no rightful ownership of our possessions. So, let us make a conscious effort to tithe to show our love and appreciation in return for all He has blessed us with.

To quote Arthur Pink, “There are few subjects on which the Lord’s own people are more astray than on the subject of giving. They profess to take the Bible on their own rule of faith and practice, and yet in the matter of Christian finance, the vast majority have utterly ignored its plain teachings and therefore it is no wonder that the majority of Christian enterprises in the world today are handicapped and crippled through the lack of funds. Is our giving to be regulated by sentiment and impulse, or by principle of conscience?”

I would like to share with you the four principles of tithing. The first principle is that we are not our own. We have been bought with a price. We belong to God. We are His. We are debtors to God. As debtors, let us acknowledge that our talents are not our own. All are the Lord’s.

The second principle is that it is God who gives us the power and health to get wealth. He gives us the strength to work each day. “But thou shall remember the Lord the God: for it is he that giveth the power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto the father as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:18). Never for a moment say that it is by your own effort that you amass your wealth. For without God we are nothing and we can do nothing.

The third principle is that every Christian is a care taker of God (1 Corinthians 4:1-2). Christians must regard the wealth that they have not as personal wealth or security. Rather, they must relinquish their wealth and place their resources in the hands of the Lord for use in His kingdom for the furtherance of Christ’s cause on earth and for the salvation and needs of others. They must be generous, ready to share and rich in good works. We are His stewards.

The fourth principle is that we must give with the right motive. Give in such a way to glorify and to please God. Give out of love not necessity. God wants you to be obedient and to give out of love. God wants your heart. Tithing is one of the ways you can express your love to God.

When we give, the primary thing that God wants is our heart. God wants us to give out of love, not of necessity, compulsion or persuasion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Also, when we give, our hearts must be right with God to receive His blessings. If not, then we have given in vain.

Dn Tony Law

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Planning to Watch the Latest “Harry Potter” Movie? 

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is a 2009 fantasy-adventure film based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the sixth film in the popular Harry Potter film series. It is directed by David Yates, the director of the fifth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org). This movie is scheduled to be released Australia wide on the 15th of July, 2009. Some of you may be planning to watch this movie with your family this weekend. However, before you purchase your movie tickets, please spend sometimes reading this article as a word of advice from your pastor.

Let’s be fair. Harry Potter movie series is not the first or only movie series that introduces to big screen viewers about magicians, wizards, goblins, fairies and orcs. There are many other similar movies that contain the aforementioned imaginary characters such as “The Lord of the Rings” or the “Chronicles of Narnia”. However, what makes the “Harry Potter” movie series so different from other movies is that the main theme of the movie glorifies witchcrafts, sorceries, divinations and other occultic practices, and even encourages young children to learn them or imitate the example of the protagonists. How did it encourage children to learn witchcrafts or sorceries or divinations? In the Harry Potter movie series, the “good” guys practice “white magic”, while the bad guys practice the “Dark Arts”. Most young viewers become fascinated with the magic used. God is clear in Scripture that any practice of magic is an “abomination” to him. God doesn\'t distinguish between “white” and “dark” magic since they both originate from the same source – Satan. Witchcraft is witchcraft and sorcery is sorcery. Deut 18:9-11 says, “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

Some may argue, “But I am not teaching my children witchcraft or sorceries or divinations. I just want my children to explore for themselves what is good and evil so that they can learn to tell the difference.” The problem with this argument is that there is not a verse in the Bible that says that we should have our children explore for themselves and let them decide what is good and evil, but secular Humanism does. Your job as parents is to protect your children from evil and Satanic influences and instil in them what is pure, lovely, holy and etc. Phil 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Children have a natural tendency to imitate whatever they are exposed to, especially the evil, and do not have the ability to tell between what is right and wrong (because of our fallen nature) and we are forbidden to imitate anything heathenistic. Jer 10:2 says, “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.” Yet unfortunately, since the release of the Harry Potter books, interest in Wiccan [witchcraft or sorceries] materials, schools, spells, etc has increased over 200% in the U.S. (Souce: Retail Trends, 2004) God’s people are commanded to flee from temptation (2 Tim 2:22) and abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thess 5:22) and Christian parents should enforce these practices, starting from the home. I pray that none of you would be found watching Harry Potter movie with your family when the Movie is released this week. Instead of watching “Harry Potter,” gather your family and draw closer to the Potter who is our Father and Our Creator who desires us to separate ourselves pure and holy unto Him. Isa 64:8 says, “…O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

Ps Weng


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements

Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Yick Ho Lam

Laos Missions: Anyone wishing to join this Mission trip in August, please let Dn David Yeo know ASAP.

If you are interested in Sunday School teaching or as a helper, please let Sis Josephine Wong know. Training will be held in August.

All fellowship groups, ministries & committees, please submit your 2008-2009 reports to Dn Edwin D’Mello, &  submissions/proposals for expenditures for 2009-2010 to Dn Yaw Chiew Tan by Sat, 18 July. 

RPGs & Daily Manna for Jul-Sep available now.

For this year’s ACM, except for financial details, reports to members will be sent by email. If you prefer paper reports please let Dn Edwin D’Mello know.

Special thanks to all those who provided hospitality to Pr Hai Seng Lim; & to Sunday School teachers, helpers, refreshment & transport providers for the VBS.

Deepest Sympathy to Sisters Alice Lee & Agnes Ho, & their families.

Please Note: Christmas Concert on Sat, 5 Dec. Please remember this date in your diary.

 

Looking Ahead

ACM on Saturday, 29 Aug, 7:30 pm. (All members are expected to attend.)

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Pr Hai Seng Lim (Adl/Melb); Bros Samuel Ki (Perth) & Jason Tan (Adl/Kapunda) & Sisters Alice Lee & Agnes Ho (Kuching), & Wendy Liang (S’pore); & all those travelling during the school vacation.

Church activities: AFG Bible Study; BBK Class; Ladies’ Fellowship Meeting; Men’s Fellowship Meeting; Reformed Hermeneutics & Apologetics Class; Sparks4Christ;  Wed Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; YAF Bible Study.

Vacation Bible School last week: Speaker - Pr Hai Seng Lim; assistants, helpers, parents & children. God’s guidance & grace; Gospel preached to non-believing children & their parents; & good attendances.

Recovery & healing from surgery: Sis Joyce Gong

Daily mercies, protection & guidance.

Bro Richie Hornung’s wedding (Cebu) yesterday.

 

Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev John & Mrs Christine McKenzie; Rev Stephen Khoo, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi, Elton Law, Alan Marion, Len & Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Fred Volvricht & Hans Ziegelmann; Mr Swee Liang Ng, Mr Yeom; Grandpa Ki (surgery in Korea); Auntie Oei; Sisters Mabella Booth, Nita Chong, Annie D’Mello, Myung Ki, Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Aranka Rejtoe, Sally Teng, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; Mrs Win Hooper; & others in affliction.

Missions - Cambodia (Rev Stephen Choi & ministry in Phnom Penh & Kandal Province; Pr Zhang & ministry in Sihanoukville); Kuching Ministry (Teo family).

Special Prayer: Bro Surish Dharmalingam - for his family & ministry in Vientiane & Siem Pang.

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Pr H S Lim

Pastor & Sis Ki - ministry in New Life BPC, London; UK visa application.

Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions (IBPFM - USA) - For missionaries & funds.

Journey mercies: Bro Jason Tan (Kapunda/Adl); Sisters Alice Lee & Agnes Ho (Adl); those going for Retreat this week & those travelling during  school vacation.

Pastor Weng: family & ministry in Hope BPC.

Job - Bro Cong Pham; Sisters Marion Chan, Tabitha Heah, Judy Li & Corinne Teng.

God’s comfort, strength, guidance & care: Sisters Kathleen Creaser & Margaret Hooper.

Bro Max Opaskiatikul serving the Lord in MV Doulos.

Fellowship Exams - Bro John Wong (July)

God’s comfort: Sisters Alice Lee & Agnes Ho on the home-going of their father, Mr Chong Jin Ho (Kuch).

YAF & AFG retreat next week – for speaker, organisers & participants that God may be glorified.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063