by Steven Chan
- As revealed by the Holy Spirit-inspired Scriptures, it was in accordance with the eternal purpose of God that the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church – that through the preaching of the gospel, everyone -both Jews and Gentiles, can be added to His church, which is His Body, purchased by the shedding of His blood (Eph 3:1-13; Rom 1:16, 10:13-17). Jesus is the saviour of the Body of baptized believers (Acts 2:47; Eph 5:23;1:22-23)
- God intends the church to be growing and to glorify Him (Eph 4:11-17; 3:21). We are exhorted to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever.” (2 Peter 3:18).
The early church also grew in numbers: “believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women” (Acts 5:14). The Holy Spirit inspired this to be written about the church of the Lord: “Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.”(Acts 9:31)
- To achieve our vision of being a growing and God-glorifying church, we urge every member of the Klang congregation to commit themselves to be active disciples of Christ, walking in His steps (1 Pet 2:21), “walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit” – having proper reverence and respect for God (Heb 12:28-29) and deriving comfort from Him on a daily basis as we rely and trust Him for His guidance and blessings (Prov 3:5-6; Heb 4:16; 1 Cor 10:13) and then DOING HIS WILL as stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Pet 4:10-11).
The Power to live and to work for God comes from Him: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever” (Eph 3:20-21; Rom 8:26-39). “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God” (Eph 6:10-11). We cannot be used by God for his honor and glory if we do not prepare ourselves to become sanctified vessels for His use by being diligent students of His Word handling accurately the Word of truth and “laying aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us” (2 Tim 2:15-26; Heb 12:1)
Having prepared ourselves to be instruments of righteousness to God (Rom 6:10-23), we need to forget those things which are behind and reach forward to those things which are ahead, (and) press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 2:13-14).
The New Year gives us an opportunity to start anew. Don’t worry about lost opportunities in the past.
Look forward to “wait upon the Lord, and renew our strength; to mount up with wings like eagles, to run and not be weary, and to walk and not faint.”(Isa 40:31).
- This is what the church in Klang has encouraged every member to do:-
▪ Help bring one soul to Christ in 2018
▪ Be an active bible student;
▪ Attend every public assembly of the church (i.e. Friday night Bible Class and Sunday Bible Class and Worship service) and
▪ Visit those who are in need of special help and support.
- Here are some ways we can help someone know and obey the gospel in order to be saved:-
▪ By inviting them to church services and activities
▪ By enrolling them in the Bible Correspondence Courses – we have both snail mail and internet-based courses.
▪ By helping them feel welcome in church
- By speaking to them; not ignoring them
- By getting to know them and inviting them for meals
- By thanking them for visiting
- By visiting them
- By helping them with any challenge that they may be facing in their lives
▪ By arranging for a personal bible study for them
▪ By seeking the help of brethren to assist us in sharing the gospel with others
Recently, the Sunday School had an Open Day and invited the people in the community to come and enroll their children so that they can be taught to love God, to honor their parents and have a moral compass for their lives. When the parents brought their children on Sunday morning, they waited outside the classrooms. The Sunday School teachers saw the need/opportunity and asked for someone to come and speak with the parents. As a result of the Sunday School teachers having the mind-set of being soul-winners for Christ, three personal bible studies have been set up with these parents.
That’s the readiness of mind that each and every member needs to possess (1 Pet 3:15; 2 Tim 4:2). Be ready and be on the lookout always for various opportunities to help someone come to know the God of the Bible. We need to open our mouth with boldness (Acts 4:29) and let people know the God who created the universe and who sent His Son Jesus Christ into this world to save sinners and give them an inheritance in heaven (1 Pet 1:3-5). Let’s not be ashamed to share this good news (Rom 1:16)
- Here are some ways we can grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord through our daily walk with God:-
▪ Have a plan to study the Bible systematically and regularly – enroll in the Concentrated Bible Study program (CBS) – speak with bro John Quek on this
▪ Get help from brethren to assist you in the study – speak with elders, deacons, evangelists, bible class teachers and more spiritually-matured Christians
▪ Enroll in one of the Bible Correspondence Courses under the Christian’s Ongoing Program for Edification (COPE)
▪ Have a regular Prayer session with God to seek His guidance and blessings – pray when faced with anxieties (Phil 4:6-7), pray in time of need for God’s grace and mercy (Heb 4:16; 2 Cor 12:9), pray when faced with trials and temptations (1 Cor 10:13; James 1:2-8), pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17)
- Avail yourselves to the encouragement of fellow brethren through attending all the public assemblies of the church (Friday night bible classes, Sunday Morning Bible Class and Worship services).
”God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism/division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” (1 Cor 12:24-27). The Bible says in Heb 10:24-25: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” The public assembling of the brethren is to enable us to encourage one another to further love and good works.
When we fail to attend all our public meetings, we deprive ourselves of the encouragement of fellow brethren from brethren “singing, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Col 3:16) as well as from the learning received from the teaching of the Scriptures (1 Cor 14:31). When we fail to do our part as a member of the body by being absent from the assembling of the saints, then the body will not grow to its full potential (Eph 4:16). We also put ourselves in danger of having an “evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” (Heb 3:12).
Let’s be wary of giving excuses for not coming to the assemblies of the brethren. Recall the parable of the wedding invitation taught by Jesus in Luke 14:17-20: “’Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’
Today, the most frequent excuse is that “one has to work and/or the traffic jam is horrific”. We often sing: “I know the Lord will find a way for me. If I walk in heaven’s light, shun the wrong and do the right, I know the Lord will find a way for me.” Do we pray for God to help us overcome whatever obstacles we face so that we may be able to come to worship God together with the brethren?
If we really want to attend the assemblies of the brethren, then we will find a way there. Let’s not be like the lazy man who does not work because he says: “There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!” (Prov 26:13) Is there a lion preventing you from coming to church services?
- Let’s truly “bear one another’s burden so as to fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2) The Bible says in James 1:27: “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” Listen to what the Lord said to the righteous in the day of judgement in Matt 25:34-36,40: “’Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me…. Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
A core aspect of the Christian faith is that of loving one another fervently from the heart in the same manner as Christ has loved us (John 13:34-35; I Pet 1:22) even to the extent of laying down our lives for our brethren (1 John 3:16). “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Phil 2:4). Let’s think of how we can help one another bear the trials and tribulations that we face in this life.
Let’s help one another: “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:17-9)
- Some brethren in Klang have undertaken the task of exploring ways and means to help each one of us improve our service to God. They are considering how we can better organize ourselves so that we can know each other better, as well as be able to work together as a team – just like Jesus sent them out in teams of two (Mark 6:7) and the Holy Spirit chose Paul and Barnabas to work together in the first missionary journey of Paul. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.” (Eccl 4:9-10). They will be coming out with their plans by the end of January, 2018. Let’s give them our support.
- The Bible exhorts us in 1 Cor 15:58: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Matt 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
What do people see in our lives? Do they glorify God because of us?
There is real danger in doing nothing for God, not being rich towards God and acting like the one talent man: “’Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt 25:45-46)
Let’s contribute towards making the Klang church a growing and God-glorifying congregation.