“Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the people. Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him, talk ye of all His wondrous works. Glory ye in his Holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD”
(I Chronicles 16: 8- 10).
Our hearts are full of joy as we think of God’s rich blessings upon us at our 5th Anniversary/Thanksgiving Service last Lord’s Day. Thank God for a meaningful time of worship. As we gathered before the Lord in quiet reverence and sobriety, He blessed us with His gracious presence. For the first time, our little sanctuary was full! Praise the Lord for the many friends who came to rejoice with us on this special occasion.
Also on hand to grace the thanksgiving service were seven East African students from FEBC who rendered two appropriate items in English and Kiswahili (East Africa’s national language): “I would be true” followed by “To God be the glory.” Indeed, their beautiful rendition of the hymns enhanced our celebration of this happy event. Do pray for their theological studies at FEBC, and their future ministries in their homeland.
“O thou of little faith”
Our speaker Elder John Leong challenged us with a stirring message on the topic, “O thou of little faith” based on Matthew 14: 22-33. We may have little or weak faith; nevertheless it is still genuine faith. It is important that we have true faith as opposed to mere professing faith. Having genuine faith will ultimately get us to Heaven.
Elder Leong highlighted five characteristics of weak or little faith: 1. Found in people whom we expect to do great things for God - often they are second-generation believers who grow up in Christian homes but have become complacent in their faith. 2. Found in matured Christians - after some time, they tend to be sluggish, comfortable and cosy in their spiritual environment. 3. Found in church leaders who are expected to have great faith - they used to be zealous in the Lord’s work, but soon lose their fervour. 4. Found in those who look for signs: “And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be Thou …” (v. 28a). This is the “show me” syndrome that is always looking for external signs. Their obedience and return to the Lord is conditional: “Lord, if you help me pass my exams, I promise to attend church every week.” 5. Found in those who focus on “Self” – not anybody, not someone else but the big “ME”: “… bid ME come unto Thee on the water” (v. 28b). Let us learn to humble ourselves, like John the Baptist who said: “He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn. 3: 30).
Our speaker challenged us to check whether our faith is determined by life’s circumstances. When Peter “saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me” (v. 30). The winds and waves brought a cry of distress from the apostle. He had little faith in the Lord Who was right there before him. Our faith in the Lord should rise above the storms and adversities of life. In Peter’s case, his faith swung from one extreme to the other. One minute, he had the faith and courage to take to the water and walk towards the Lord despite the stormy winds and boisterous waves. The next moment, he was fearful as he felt himself sinking. Our faith must not be unstable - like a yo-yo, swinging up and down, tossed from one end to the other.
Though “little”, believing faith is still true saving faith. However, we must not be satisfied with it. We must cry to the Lord to increase our faith. On our own, we are weak and vulnerable, so easily affected by adverse circumstances. But there is hope for us. Consider Peter again. In desperation, he cried, “Lord, save me” – just three little words – and the Lord “stretched forth His hand, and caught him” (v. 31). God does not need us to pray long prayers. A simple, sincere, trusting cry from our heart is all that is needed for Him to help us. May the Lord increase our faith in Him.
Annual Congregational Meeting
After our fellowship lunch, we adjourned to the sanctuary for our Annual Congregational Meeting. Pastor opened the meeting with prayer. He commenced the report with a significant item – the move to our present premises. Thank God that the change has enabled us to switch our worship service and Bible classes from the afternoon to the morning. Our members have happily adjusted to worship the Lord early each Sabbath morning.
Pastor highlighted the various ministries of the church – the Annual Family Camp this coming December, Evangelism and Outreach, the Young Adults’ Fellowship and Sunday Bible Classes. With the help of Dn Isaiah, he also gave a Powerpoint presentation of the financial status of the church. The report included a vote of thanks to our book-keeper Mrs Teo Siok Kee; our two internal auditors, Sisters Lena and Juliana; and our webmaster, Brother William Lee for faithfully maintaining our church website. Dn Hock Leong closed the meeting with prayer. All glory unto God for His blessings!
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