By Richard Lim

The ICC has been a yearly affair held normally around the middle of the year.  For this year, it would be held at Gambang Resort, Kuantan from 28 to 30 July 2014. This resort has a nice Water Theme Park and an award winning Safari Park.  This year’s theme for the camp is taken from 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God…”

As such, we hope that many will sign up for this event for a great time of learning and fellowship together  with brethren from various congregations.  Perhaps for those who have yet to make up their mind, let me just give you a few reasons why you should go for this camp.

Firstly, when the church was first established,  the Christians were said to continue spending much time together in fellowship.  In Act 2:42  “ And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers”.   Act 2:44 “ And all that believed were together, and had all things common”.  The question is do we have the eagerness to want to be together like the early believers?

Heb. 10:24 tells us that we are to consider one another how we can provoke unto love and good works.  Thayer’s dictionary defines the word “consider” as “to perceive, remark, observe, understand, to consider attentively, fix one’s eyes or mind upon.” The question is how often do we consider one another attentively.  Often times, when we come for worship services or attend Bible classes, we hardly spend much time with one another to really discover each other. Some even rush home immediately after service.  Some would stay back but the time that we have is rather limited.  It’s mostly ‘Hello’ and ‘Bye.. see you next week’.

Thus, we need more time for us to get to know each other better.  What better opportunity for us than the church camp which serves our purpose, providing us the avenue and golden opportunity to spend several days together in closer bonding with one another.   It is a time to eat together, play together and share things in common with one another just like the early Christians.  (Eccl 3:1-10)

The other word that is used here is “provoke” which according to Thayer’s means “an inciting, incitement, irritation” .  It is where we get the English word “paroxysm”.   It carries the idea of “much effort and with great intensity”.

Again in the camp, we will have the opportunity to talk and discuss with one another about our faith and our experiences in life which will in turn help us in our challenges in life.  Often times, we do not realize that there are some brethren who may be going through the same challenges as we are. But with much sharing on occasions like this, we can learn from one another on how to overcome them.  We also get the opportunity to meet up with brethren from other congregations.  We probably have not met some of them for a long while and would have lots to catch up with each other.

Besides, this event serves as an opportunity to reach out to our family members, relatives and friends to experience the rich Christian fellowship and thus provide opportunity to win them to Christ.  Jesus gave us the great commission in Matthew 28:19-20.

We need to extend our invitation that we may win them to Christ. In John 1:39, Jesus extends the invitation by saying “come and see” and likewise in John 1:46, Philip said the same thing.  Christianity is open to investigation.

The Samaritan woman was so astonished and impressed with Jesus that she extended the invitation to others when she said in  John 4:29  “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”.  We need to let our friends have this opportunity to experience Christian love.  Jesus said “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have loved one for another” (John 13:34-35).

As Christians, we need to shine forth our light that people may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16). Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” (Matt. 5:14-15)

Therefore my  brethren, let us start inviting our loved ones  and friends for this event so that when they experience our love and warm fellowship, it might stir them to turn to worship God and report that God is among us ( 1 Cor. 14:25).

Finally, we have the opportunity to study the scriptures together, especially as this year,our theme is based on 2 Timothy 2:15.  We will be able to learn how we can improve our Bible studies from  the various brethren from different congregations.

It is important that we know the scriptures because Jesus said in John 5:39 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me”.  We will then “be able to be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (1 Pet. 3:15).

In conclusion, let us not linger any longer while it is still day to grab whatever opportunity that presents itself for us to be closely knitted in the body of Christ and at the same time reaching out to the lost.

The ICC is one of the ways.  Let me urge you to wait no more but to sign up as soon as possible for this event.  Do not only ask, ’What I can get from this camp’ but rather ‘What I can give to help strengthen the faith of my brethren and win souls for our Lord.’ Your presence would definitely encourage someone in the faith.

The dates, 28th to 30th July 2014 (Mon to Wed) are specially selected to accommodate everyone as they fall during the Hari Raya week with two public holidays for everyone. No more leave problems, etc.

See you guys at the…