Volume. XXVI, No. 14
Sunday, 02 October 2011


What is your life? (James 4:14) - Part 1


(Gospel Rally message by Dn Edwin D’Mello on The Lord’s Day, 7 August 2011)
 
This evening I would like to share with you some aspects of our life. What is life all about? What is the point of living in this world? Is our earthly life all that matters? What will happen after we die? And then I shall tell about Jesus Christ, the One who can give us Eternal Life.
 
The brevity of life
 
To begin with, we all know that life is short. We will look at one passage from the Bible, which is God\'s Word to Man. Everything that is recorded in the Bible is true, because even though it was written by men, they were inspired by God, to write the words that God wanted them to write. They were God\'s instruments and they wrote down whatever God wanted them to write.
 
This passage was written by one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, whose name was James. “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (Jas 4:13-14).
 
James is talking to those people who make all sort of worldly plans about the future. They plan about how they can gain material prosperity, without asking God to lead them. James asks them - What is your life? Do you know how long you will live to carry on with your own plans and fulfil your own selfish desires? Your life is just like a vapour, or a mist. We can see the water vapour or steam or a mist for sometime and then it disappears. That is how short our life on earth is. We all know about this and we don\'t need to prove it. We can see this happening everyday.
 
We hear reports of accidents, killings, natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, and floods. One moment people are enjoying life, then the next moment they are gone. Death is no respecter of persons. You could be the strongest person in the world, very young and very fit and healthy. But then one day, you may step into the car to go to work and suddenly a drunken driver will come and crash into your car. Or you may be walking down the street and all of a sudden there will be an earthquake and a building will collapse and fall upon you.
 
Well there are many ways that a person can die, and I don\'t take any pleasure in relating these sorts of events which could happen to anyone. But even if we live for a ripe old age, we will still die. The number of years that we will live in this world is still very very short.
 
The futility of living for this world and of earthly possessions
 
So now let me tell you about the futility of living only for this world and of accumulating earthly possessions.
 
There is a passage in the Bible, from the book of the Prophet Isaiah, which says "..All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: 7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. 8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."(Isa 40:6-8)
 
Over here the Prophet Isaiah compares the lives of human beings like the grass and flowers of the field. Just as the grass of the field looks green for sometime and also the flowers bloom for sometime and look very beautiful and give lovely smell, so also is human life, we bloom and flourish for sometime, are very active and strong for sometime, but in a few years our strength withers just like that of the grass and the flowers, and then we die and our bodies are buried in the ground, and becomes dust.
 
This is exactly as it is written in the first book of the Bible, where God speaks with Adam the first man whom He created. God told him - "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. " (Gen 3:19)
 
You know friends, living for this world only is a futile experience. Chasing after the things of this world is like chasing after the wind, you cannot hold onto it. Everything perishes away. Things lose their lustre in the passage of time. Technology gets outdated. What is a marvellous gadget today will be useless the next day. Things of this world don\'t last. Possessions cannot be held forever.
 
In the Bible there is a record of the richest and the most wisest king who lived on the earth at that time which was about 3000 years ago. He was King Solomon. And this has also been verified by archaeological findings. God blessed King Solomon with great material wealth. He was the richest king on earth during his time. An account of his earthly riches and splendour is given in the Bible in a book called the first book of Kings. In the 10th chapter of this book from verses 14-23, it says “Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of goldtalents of gold, … And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target. And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold. The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays. …And all king Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver …So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.”
 
But all the riches that Solomon had did not profit him, later on in life. He went astray from God, so God took away his kingdom when his son Rehoboam became king. Finally in his old age, God brought him back to his senses. He repented and wrote the book of Ecclesiastes which is also in the Bible. In this book in chapter 1:2, 3 he says   “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? Then in verse 14 he goes on to say - “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit".
 
All our labour to get hold of things in this world is apparently in vain. There is no lasting fruit for all our selfish labour.
 
King Solomon again tells about all the things that he did, which is again given in the book of Ecclesiastes 2:4-11. He says - “I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:  I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”
 
So King Solomon realised how unprofitable it is to be seeking for wordly things and wordly pleasures. He came to realise – what shall it profit a man if has all the pleasures that this world can offer, but misses out on the divine and everlasting pleasures that God only can give.
 
I’ll give a few more examples from the Bible and also from current history and from our day to day life about the futility of earthly things which I suppose we all know just too well.
 
……………..to be continued next week.

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements
*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Boong Atijatuporn. Next Lord’s Day: Sis Suzane Lim.
*Hope Bookstore (open 12.30-1.45pm) every Sunday
*RPGs & Daily Manna (Oct-Dec), &Bible Witness (Mar-Jun) available on the literature table.
*The Korean Presbyterian Church of Adelaide presents “Night of Praise - Surprised by Joy” on Sat, 8 Oct, at Concordia College, 45 Cheltenham St, Highgate, for Cambodia Missions. All are invited to attend.
*Session thanks Sis Clara Sim for her years of dedication & contribution to Hope BPC.
*Preparations for the Christmas Concert will begin. Please help to make this an occasion to bring the Gospel Message to the public.
 
Looking Ahead
*Christmas Concert, Sat, 3 Dec.
*Christmas Worship Service, 25 Dec.
 
Praise and Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies: AFG Retreaters (Mcfd); Dns Purdee Yeo & Sis Peng Ha Yeo (Adl); Bro Charles & Sis Peng Ha Yeo; Bros Simon Yeo (Melb), Raymond Ang, Samuel Ki & Jonathan Liao (Adl); Sis Clara Sim (S’pore); Mrs Soonja Bak (Mah) (S Korea); Mrs DeokHyun Nam (Han) & family (Adl); & those who travelled.
2. Church activities - over the past week.
3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
4. Anniversary Thanksgiving of Sister B-P Churches: Calvary Jaya B-P Fellowship (KL) - 27th Anniversary on 4 Sept; Sharon B-P Church (S’pore) - 49th Anniversary on 11 Sept; True Life B-P Church (S’pore) - 8th Anniversary on 25 Sept.    
 
Prayer Items
1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Margaret Hooper, Myung Ki (Lond), Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction.
2. Cambodia Missions - Rev Srun Chivan & Ministry (Sihanoukville); Bro Sun Sokha & Ministry (Phnom Penh); Bro John Saray & Ministry (Kampot).
3. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry; Next year’s missions trip: 4 - 7 Jan 2012
4. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr H S Lim (Melb).
5. IBPFM (USA) - Rev K Coleman, Board & Missionaries around the world.
6. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.
7. Ministry in New Life BPC, London - Ps & Sis Ki;
8. Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries
9. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family
10. House of Hope, Cebu, Philippines
11. Journey mercies: Rev George van Buuren; Bro Aaron & Sis Monica Tan & Annabelle; Bro Charles & Sis Peng Ha Yeo; Bros Simon Yeo (Adl) & Jonathan Liao (Melb).
12. Job - Those looking for a job.
13. Studying in Logos International School (Phnom Penh) - Bro Peter Koo
14. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.
15. God’s comfort - For those in grief.
16. Street-Evangelism - Protection of participants & Salvation of those who received Gospel tracts.
17. Mission work in the Philippines - Bro Richard & Sis Myra Horenung (Mindanao).
18. Sis Edna Obed (Vanuatu) - good health with twin pregnancy, & safe labour.
19. Christmas Concert - God’s help and guidance in preparation. Speaker: Rev Ed Paauwe.
20. Sis Clara Sim - guidance & direction in job interviews in S’pore, & her future plans.
21. AFG Retreat - participants to grow closer to the LORD.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063