Volume. XXVII, No. 52
Sunday, 23 June 2013


Spiritual Encouragements for 2013 - Part 1


We have ushered in a new year. I am very sure that most of us have our own New Year resolutions to make. Aside from making all the resolutions, I believe even more of us need to be encouraged in this New Year. For without spiritual encouragement from the Word of God, we  Christians  will not be able to work toward many of those resolutions that we have made. So, I want us to look into one of the most positive and encouraging books of the New Testament to gain some insights on the attitudes and actions that will help Christians make the most of their year. First Thessalonians is a letter drenched with love and care from the Apostle Paul. It contains some of the most encouraging words in the Bible. I hope you will be encouraged by reading what Paul has to say. So* let us consider this short but amazing letter that deserves more attention than it gets.

Pray For One Another

(1 Thessalonians 1:2-3): “…making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing…”

Prayer is such a great challenge for so many Christians. It’s not the sentence-prayers scattered throughout the day that are difficult—it’s that intimate one-on-one time with God, quietly seeking His face. The Apostle Paul reminds his first readers that he is praying for his readers and thanking God for them without ceasing. Do we have people in church or friends in our lives who need to be upheld with constant prayers? Paul encourages us to pray with thanks to God, pray without ceasing, and pray specifically (e.g. work of faith, and labour of love and patience of hope, v.3). He recalls their faithful work, the love that moves them to labour for Christ, and the endurance they demonstrate. It is not just their presence in his life, it is their discipleship that he notices and by which he is moved. I can’t think of anything more powerful for us to pursue than to pray diligently for one another, especially the office bearers of the church.

2. Be Good Examples For One Another

(1 Thessalonians 1:5b): “…as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.”

All of the godly people that have had a great spiritual influence in our lives have one thing in common: they learned their walk from Christ! We follow the Christ we see in the lives of other believers, imitating their faith, and thus becoming examples for those who are watching us. Sometimes we lecture our young people about being good examples, but that is something we never outgrow. Thus, we effectively become hypocrites.

3. Ring Out The Message

(1 Thessalonians 1:8-10): “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord….in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”

What do people hear from us? Griping and complaining about the church? Not very original. People have been doing that since they walked down dirt roads from Jerusalem in the very early days of the church. What people need to hear from us in our church, in our circle of friends, in our city, in our nation and world is the message of the Gospel and the testimonies of God’s people. Let the message of the Gospel, Christ and Him Crucified, ring out from us, not only in words about Jesus or how much growth in number we have achieved, but in testimonies of lives changed by Jesus Christ, our Lord and Master!

4. Please God Above All

(1 Thessalonians 2:4-6): “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.”

It is a natural tendency for all of us to become man-pleasers. So many churches have fallen prey to the snare of Satan and become so-called seeker friendly churches. Let us be reminded that our goal in this life is not to please everyone we meet. Church members are not customers; they are sheep needing to be guided by prayerful men of God who know and live by the Scriptures. We will do all we can to reach out to become all things to all men but our singular goal is to please God, not man. He is the witness of our lives, and we serve each day under his graceful gaze!

5. Share Your Life With Other Christians

(1 Thessalonians 2:7-8): “But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.”

I am deeply impressed by the love and compassion demonstrated here—the compassionate care, love, sharing of lives! This is what the community of faith is all about. Our Lord did not envision a version of Christianity that was a one-hour weekly appointment (i.e. Sunday Worship). These new lives we have in Christ are made to connect with others through fellowship and communion. Our spiritual genetics draw us to one another so that we can work together.

6. Urge Others to Live For God

(1 Thessalonians 2:10-12): “Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe. As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children.”

All children need fathers who are involved and care. That is no less true in our faith family. We need people who care enough to urge us to do what is right, who call us on our failures, who stick by us in our struggles. We need to call one another to live the worthy life – a life that lifts up God as our ultimate Father. Sometimes, such urging may come in the form of reproof and rebuke with the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16), but if it is that which you are called to do, you had better fulfil that duty well even if the whole world is against you.

……. To be  continued next week.

Pastor Weng

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements
*Kitchen Roster: Today’s Team Leader: Bro Phil Surman. Next Lord’s Day: Bro Raphael Ng
*Hope Bookstore: Open today: 12:30 - 1:45 pm
*Warm Welcome: Ps & Sis Myung Ki
*Junior & Adult RPGs, Mandarin RPGs & Daily Manna for next QTR available. Donation $1 per copy.
*Those seeking Baptism, Confirmation or Church Membership, please see Pastor Weng or Elder Michael D Lee ASAP.

Praise & Thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Ps & Sis Myung Ki (Lond/S’pore/Adl); Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong & family (Pt Douglas); Bros  Raymond Chia (Adl), Houston Li, Raphael Ng (Barossa/Adl) & Joseph Selvanayagam (USA); Sisters Christabelle Selvanayagam (Canada) & Mary Ting (KK); & others who are travelling.  
Church Activities, in the past week.
Working Bees - for helpers.
Session Meeting last Lord’s Day.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Visitors & new worshippers.

Prayer Items
Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev Edward & Mrs Lehia Paauwe; Rev & Mrs James White; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bros Surish Dharmalingam (Laos), Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (S’pore); Sisters Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Margaret Pearson, Corinne Teng, Susan Varadi (Nursing Home) & Audrey Yeo; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Mr Mang Soo Ong; Bro Peng Cheong Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello & Mrs Chuilin Yap (Malacca); Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.
Special Prayer: Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki (healing); Bro Tian Nan Lee (Pr Zhang, S’pore; healing) & Bro Len Pearson (Lobethal).
Vacation Bible School: Speaker (Pastor Currell); organisers & children
Ministry in Singapore: Rev Edward & Mrs Lehia Paauwe (teaching & preaching).
Cambodia Missions - Rev Srun Chivan & Ministry.
Kenya Missions: Deaconess Purdee Yeo & Sis Sarah Carpenter (12 - 25 June); wisdom, strength, health, journey mercies & protection.
Ministry in New Life BPC (London) & God’s guidance for the future: Ps & Sis Ki.
Ministry in Hope BPC; God’s guidance for future - Ps & Sis Weng.  
Journey mercies: Rev Edward & Mrs Lehia Paauwe (Adl); Dns Purdee Yeo & Sis Sarah Carpenter (Lond); Bros Houston Li, Raphael Ng (Barossa/Adl) & Joseph Selvanayagam (Adl); Sisters  Mary Ting (Adl/S’pore); & Josephine Wong & family (Melb/Adl); &  others who are travelling.  
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
Full-time Job - Bro Timothy Ngoma; Sisters Felicia Tan, Corinne Teng & Sharon Ying (Per); & others looking for  stable jobs.
Australian Visas - Sisters Clara Sim, Felicia Tan (work) & Sharon Ying (now in Perth - for PR)
God’s guidance & provision - Pastor for Hope BPC.
Uni students - study & preparations for exams.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063