Volume. XXX, No. 47
Sunday, 15 May 2016


Thanksgiving, Considerations, and Expectations


I have read a few chapters from the book of Numbers this morning for my daily devotions.  While I was reading through the chapters of lots of names and priestly duties in the book, the working age of the priestly tribe, the Levites, caught my attention.  The population of the Levites was numbered from one month old and upward (4:39), while their working ages were between thirty years old and upward until fifty years old (4:3).  Then, I began to relate the thirtieth anniversary celebration of Hope BPC to the service of the Levites for the Lord, beginning at the age of thirty years old.  It reminded me that her celebration should be not only for the reflections of the past but also for the readiness of another level of her service for the Lord at the present time and in the future.  Hope Church is just coming into the age of active service.  Thus, I’d like to think of this exciting time of celebration from three different stages of Hope Church ministry, though it has to be brief.

Thanksgiving
All of our thanksgiving must originate from a profound understanding that God is the owner, builder, and preserver of His Church.  As Psalm 127:1 says, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”  There is no other foundation for His Church but Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11).  It is also God Himself who has given her any degree of increase (1 Corinthians 3:6).  Therefore, it is more than appropriate to say that all glory must be given unto Him alone.  His Church is also the Church of the Living God.  It is called the house of God, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15).  It is no wonder that Paul advised Timothy to know how to behave himself in the house of God.  God has founded, blessed, and preserved Hope Church for the last thirty years.  Thank God for His unspeakable grace.

God has used various instruments to establish and to sustain Hope Church over the last three decades.  I cannot but make mention of the mission agency, The Independent Board For Presbyterian Foreign Missions.  Hope Church is a child of missionary work.  Though the Hopefuls do not know those who have been involved in this missionary endeavour to establish Hope Church thirty years ago, there are countless numbers of people who have remembered the name, Hope Church, in their prayers since she was birthed into the world.  Many people have contributed to the church ministry, spiritually and financially.  There are many others who have given financial and spiritual support sacrificially from overseas, especially, the Singapore BP churches.  The late Rev. Dr Timothy Tow was the Lord’s instrument in encouraging fellow BP churches to provide financial means to purchase a place of worship, affectionately known as the Stone Mansion.  Many individuals responded favourably to his call and to the appeals from the Hopefuls.  Of course, many people within the church have also responded to the Lord’s call.  Thank the Lord for them.

Faithful preachers have come and ministered in the church.  Especially the founding pastor, Rev. Dr Ed Paauwe and his wife, Lehia, deserve proper recognition from the Hopefuls for their outstanding ministry and service.  They did such sound and faithful work in building up a body of believers in Adelaide.  Rev. Paauwe, lovingly called Pastor Ed, preached and taught sound doctrines and practical Christian life so well and effectively.  Many of the Hopefuls from his days are still serving the Lord faithfully.  Mrs. Paauwe’s loving and kind spirit has touched many hearts over the years.  Rev. Peter Chua served as an interim pastor and Pastor David Weng also served here for five years.  

The Hopefuls have grown up physically and spiritually over the years.  They are privileged in having two outstanding elders and the faithful Session.  There are people who work behind the scenes in the church office, sanctuary, treasury room, kitchen and dining room, Sunday School classes, computer and internet room, and even at various individuals’ homes.  Music and hospitality ministries are also to be remembered.  Thank the Lord for His faithful servants.

Present Considerations
Thank the Lord for the steady growth of Hope Church and the spirit of unity amongst the worshipers.  The Lord has cultivated the spirit of unity, charity, and edification amongst the Hopefuls.  The Session has been working together in unity.  There is no single decision made by the Session without an unanimous vote amongst the Session members at least since 1999.  Every Fellowship group has sought for Christian unity and mutual edification.  For example, the YAF committee have studied together to prepare for their Bible study.  When they prepared the study materials, they sent them to the pastor for his review.  The AFG and church musicians, including the choir, have shown the same spirit.  As the church grows in number, so challenges may grow.  However, I trust that the Hopefuls will pay attention to the biblical mandate as Paul says in Ephesians 4:3, “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  

Thank the Lord for faithful men and women.  They have given their time and efforts to serve the Lord and to minister to other people.  Many of them have not even sought for any recognition.  Thank the Lord for the ones who have witnessed the growth of this church for almost thirty years, if not the whole duration of the church’s existence.  Thank the Lord for many young people including babies and infants.  They are the backbones and future of Hope Church.  Especially, thank the Lord for Brother Kevin Low and his family.  I am looking forward to hearing him preach the Word of God.  

Expectations
Thank the Lord for His gift of faith.  The Hopefuls ought to grow in faith.  Faith is not something that is independent or self-reliant.  Faith neither serves nor performs a service in its own strength.  As William G. T. Shedd said, “faith is wholly occupied with another’s work, and another’s merit.  The believing soul deserts all its own doings, and betakes itself to what a third person has wrought for it, and in its stead.”  The Hopefuls ought to look unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of their faith.  He must be always in the centre stage of their life, ministry, and church.  His Word must be always honoured and believed.  Thus, they ought to give themselves to study His Word.  Their characters must be more conformed to the image of Christ.  

Thank the Lord for the Great Commission.  The believers of God have received the Gospel freely.  Thus, they ought to share it with others freely.  More active and committed missionary work must be encouraged.  The Church will provide more opportunities for them to get involved in missions in the future.

Thank the Lord for His abounding grace upon the Hopefuls, not only spiritually but also materially.  It is a Christian duty to remember the needy and poor brethren, both spiritually and materially.  As Paul and the Macedonian churches made efforts to help the suffering brethren in Jerusalem so the Hopefuls must do more for the suffering brethren.  

Thank the Lord for everything!

Your Pastor

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ECM 29/5 Agenda
To amend Clause 16.1 of our Church Constitutions from:
“The number of Deacons shall not be more than seven, or one to every forty communicant members, whichever is the greater number.”
to:
“There shall be a minimum number of two Deacons in the Session at all times.”
Please note that an email about this proposal was sent to members on The Lord's Day, 24 April 2016, at 6:36 pm.

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Kitchen Roster - Helpers this week: Bro Houston Li; Sisters Jen Xin Li & Jasmine Tanuwijaya. Helpers next week:  Bros Kevin Low & Jae Hoon Mun; Sis Kristy Low.
*Special welcome to Rev Keith Coleman, Rev & Mrs David Koo, Rev & Mrs Pong Sen Yiew, Preacher Hai Seng Lim, & all overseas & interstate visitors.
*Lively Hope Team welcomes Bro Lucas Yiew into the committee.
*New Basic Bible Knowledge Class will begin soon. Anyone seeking Baptism, Reaffirmation of Faith or Membership Transfer, please see Elder Michael Lee.
*Kitchen helpers please update your availability on the list in the dining hall. New volunteers welcome.
*No Neighbourhood Bible Study Meetings this month.

Praise & thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Rev & Mrs David Koo (Syd); Rev & Mrs Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore); Pr Hai Seng Lim (Melb); & others arriving safely at their destinations.
Visitors & new worshippers.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Church activities in past week.
Hope B-P Church’s 30th Anniversary.
Healing: Mrs Poh Lin Lim (Melb).

Prayer Items
Health & God’s healing - Pastor Ki; Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev Patrick Tan (S’pore) & Rev George van Buuren; Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe & others in affliction.
iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Melbourne.
Cambodia Missions: Rev David Koo & Ministry; & Life University (Sihanoukville).
Other missions: IBPFM & PMU- board members & missionaries all over the world.
New Life BPC (London) - Dr Carl Martin; God’s guidance & encouragement for congregation.
Future ministry at Hope BPC: Bro Kevin Low & family.
Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.
Providence B-P Church, Mawson Lakes - Ps David & Sis Susan Weng, & congregation.
Journey mercies: Rev & Mrs Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore); & all those who are travelling.
Safety in pregnancy: Sis Emily Zhang.
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
Jobs: Those seeking for jobs in Adelaide.
God’s guidance & provision of new church property for worship, office & fellowship activities.
Persecuted believers in Islamic & Communist countries.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063