Volume. XXXii, No. 44
Sunday, 29 April 2018

From the Pastor’s Heart: Thoughts for Improvements

It is a blessing for us to witness Hope Church’s 32nd Anniversary.  There are many reasons to appreciate and enjoy this special blessing and privilege to be a part of this celebration.  First of all, the Lord has kept and preserved her in His truths.  God’s Word is honored and faithfully proclaimed.  From Children’s Sunday School to Adult Sunday School, the importance of God’s Word has been taught, emphasized, and believed.  Second, the Lord has provided her with faithful laborers.  From the founding pastor, interim pastor, visiting pastors, elders and deacons, Sunday School teachers, various committee members, musicians and church choir, kitchen helpers, cleanup and maintenance helpers, church library and office volunteers over the years, Lively Hope editors, welcoming people every Sunday, technical people for internet ministry and AV system running, translation team, bookshop carers, to everyone who has spoken to the newcomers, visited the sick, comforted the discouraged and the grieved, cooked for various occasions, driven people to church or their homes, prayed for others, offered helping hands to the feeble, the lonely, and the weak, these are people who have built up this church till today.  Thank God for them. 

As I ponder on God’s grace upon His church, so I am thinking of her weaknesses or areas to improve for the testimony of Jesus Christ in the coming years.  Probably, for such considerations, we need to be frank before God and to examine ourselves from God’s perspectives.  I think of two such areas requiring us to pay more attention to.  The foremost important area of our improvements is “Soul Winning.”  Jesus came into this world to save sinners.  He worked and worked, because the Heavenly Father works.  His first public act was to preach the message of repentance for salvation.  His last act was to be hung on the cross for the completion of His redemptive work.  His last command was to wait for the filling of the Spirit of God in order to go out everywhere with the Gospel.  When His disciples were filled with the Spirit of God, they preached Jesus to the Jews who had brought Him to the cross, in Acts 2.  It is easy to sit in the church and to talk like saints.  It is easy to talk about our opinions of the messages we hear, but it requires hard work and thinking to practice what we have learnt.  His Great Commission to us is to go out to all nations and to teach them what He has taught us.  Bring the lost souls to Christ Jesus.  It has been the slogan and motto of all God’s faithful people for the last two millennia. 

God is merciful to us and to the lost souls, and even before we go out and meet strangers, He brings them to us every Sunday.  Helping them to understand the reason why we come to church and worship God while they are visiting with us is as important as going out to the streets and even to other nations to tell people about the Lord and to distribute Gospel tracts.  Many of us feel shy about going out to speak to total strangers in the streets.  However, when God sends them to us, we can offer ourselves to them with kindness and an hospitable spirit.  As our church is growing and she is already 32 years old, so it can be easily seen that cliques are made amongst more familiar and known people.  As a result, the newcomers are lonely in the midst of God’s church!  They come to know us, but we do not show our interest in them.  It is not a good testimony for our character and spirituality.  In particular, I was told by a few newcomers without much of an English background that they were embarrassed to be left alone during lunch hour.  People were not coming to them to say a few words and getting to know them, though the visitors desired to know them and the church better.  Basically, none of them knew the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior.  These feedbacks from newcomers give me a sense of urgency for all of us to be rekindled with evangelistic zeal.  Thus, may I suggest that all Hopefuls meet the newcomers and share a few minutes with them for fellowship at least?  Find new faces during lunch fellowship and introduce yourselves to them.  Let them feel at home and find out if they know the Lord.  They are the Lord’s gifts to us.  In particular, Mandarin speakers will find many opportunities for such. 

The second area that we need to consider more is not second in its importance but only in writing.  It is an earnest desire and prayer for the filling of the Spirit of God.  To say that the Christian Church begins and ends with the Spirit of God is not an exaggeration.  Christians are the ones quickened by the Spirit of God in the first place, without which there is no life in them.  From the moment of their rebirth, their life is a life in the Spirit.  (1) Believers must be led and filled by the Spirit of God to know and understand what the Bible teaches about.  The Holy Spirit is the author of Scripture.  The human authors of the Bible are  “scribes of the Spirit,” according to John Calvin.  The Spirit, who has spoken through the mouths of the prophets, must penetrate into our hearts to persuade us that the Bible is a faithful testimony of Jesus as divinely commanded.  Thus, the Holy Spirit must illumine us that we may understand God’s Word.  Therefore, all believers including preachers and Bible teachers must depend on the Spirit of God to understand His Word.  (2) Believers without the Spirit of God are unthinkable.  1 Corinthians 12:3 says, “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”  Their faith begins with the work of the Spirit.  He indwells the believers.  Besides, believers are expected to walk after the Spirit.  They are not just Spiritual but Spiritually walk.  (3) Believers bear the fruit of the Spirit as Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”  It appears that a Spiritual person grows in character that is conformed to the image of God. 

Let me stop here and pause a bit and say that we must be filled with the Spirit of God.  It is a command in Ephesians 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”  It is a life ruled by the Spirit.  It is a life fully and completely surrendered to the leading of the Spirit of God.  None of us feels it strange to hear that we should be led by the Spirit of God.  It is almost like a Christian cliché.  However, in reality, most of us live by the flesh.  I am not necessarily speaking about the lust of the flesh but everything related to the flesh affected by depravity.  In the flesh, I include our reason, will, emotion, intelligence and all our faculties.  They are all important to our existence.  However, we often forget that they are also affected by sin.  The things of God or leading of the Spirit of God is higher than our reason, will, and intellect.  We want everything to be certain and to make everything certain, so that we depend on our plans, calculations, and reasoning.  By which we forget that, “the preparations (plans) of the heart in man and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.” (Proverbs 16:1)  We often recite Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  Unfortunately, until we taste the bitterness of utter failures, we do not understand that we have been relying on our own understanding and plans. 

If everything can be precise and certain, there is no room for faith.  Why do we believe in what we see, taste, and touch?  They do not require faith.  The Spirit of God leads us to His truth and teaches us all things.  He brings all things to our remembrance whatsoever the Lord has taught us (John 14:26).  The Spirit reproves the world of sin (John 16:8).  The Spirit shows us the things of Jesus (John 16:14).  Are we led by our reason, intellect, will, emotion, experiences of the past, and things we have learnt so far?  Or, are we filled with the Spirit of God and led by Him?  Let us consider these things.


Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



  • Warm welcome to Rev McCoy to our pulpit today. Welcome also to Mrs Michelle Chow & Mikaela, & all our guests.
  • 32nd Anniversary Congratulations & Greetings to Hope BPC from Rev Edward & Mrs Lehia Pauwee; Rev Alfred Ngoma (Wagga); Rev Mathews Abraham (Ebenezer BPC – Melb); Rev Mark Chen (Covenant BPC – Perth); Rev Gabriel & Mrs Alice Gan (New Life BPC – S’pore); Rev Willy Ng (Criswell Tabernacle Church, S’pore); Rev Paul Sun Sokha & family & Faith Krang Angkrang Church (Phnom Penh); Pastor David Weng (Providence BPC – Adl); Preacher Hai Seng Lim (Melb); Bro Surish Dharmalingam & family (Vientiane); Bro Jose Mangco & family & House of Hope (Cebu); Bro Nathaniel & Sis Eileen Lim (New York); Sis Esther Kim (House of Grace, Bandung); Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Filadelfia BP Church (Batam).
  • Deepest sympathy to Sis Yashu Qin on the home-going of her father in Wuhan, China.
  • Help needed with dishwashing & cleaning the church hall after the fellowship lunch.
  • Please DO NOT park your vehicle on the kerb or on council property. Fines will apply.



  • God’s comfort in their grief: Sis Yashu Qin & her mother.
  • Journey mercies: Rev McCoy & Mrs Michelle Chow & family (Syd); & others who are travelling.
  • 32nd Anniversary speakers: Rev McCoy & Mrs Michelle Chow.
  • New pastor from 2019.
  • Those looking for jobs; PR application: .


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Journey mercies: Rev McCoy & Mrs Michelle Chow & family (Adl); Elder David & Sis Geok Yeo (Syd);  & others who have travelled.
  • Evangel BPC’s 12th Anniversary (PJ, M’sia)
  • Covenant BPC’s 9th Anniversary (Perth)






© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041