We praise God for the good attendance at our Watchnight Service last Tuesday. We were especially glad that some brethren came from as far as Bukit Timah to Tampines where the meeting was held. We are also grateful to the Lord for blessing us with a meaningful evening of worship and thanksgiving.
My exhortation from God’s Word was on the topic: “What to remember and what to forget”. As we reflect on the events of the year, what should we remember?
1) God’s Word – which will guide us to live righteously for His glory (Ps 103: 17-18; 119: 101, 105);
2) God’s past mercies – in redeeming us from our lost estate (Eph 2: 1-9); His help in our time of need; His answers to our prayers; His power (Deut 7: 17-18);
3) The kindness of others.
The things we should forget include:
1) Incidents that caused us negative feelings like discontentment, anger or resentment (Num 11: 4-6);
2) Offences or wrongdoings against us. Learn to forgive others and forbear (Eph 4:31-32; Ps 130: 3-4).
My message ended with a challenge for the New Year: “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” (Prov 3: 5-6). We are reminded to commit our cares wholly to the Lord Who promises to lead us according His blessed will. Knowing our tendency to depend on ourselves, let us resolve to seek the Lord’s guidance in every area of our lives.
In the Berith tradition, the brethren testified of God’s gracious dealings with them in 2019. Our hearts were filled with thanksgiving as we recalled God’s guiding hand and providential care over the past twelve months. All glory and praise to our Lord God Almighty for leading us safely through another year.
The following are some testimonies of God’s blessings:
o God’s help and provision
Our deacon was among the first to share. He gave thanks for God’s grace and help in his service as a session member. He hoped to continue serving the Lord faithfully in the year 2020. Jobwise,
the Lord had been kind to provide him with regular part-time work in the food and beverage sector.
o Opportunities for witness
A sister shared of her struggles with her colleagues over an unfair allocation of work. Despite the heavy workload, she did her part to fulfil her daily duties without complaint. Her good work attitude impressed her colleagues and she hoped to use this opportunity to share Christ with them.
o Comfort in bereavement
Another sister spoke of her deep grief when a dear friend passed away a few months ago. Though she was much saddened by the loss, she did not question the Lord, but sought His grace to see her through the time of sorrow. Graciously, the Lord rewarded her faith and comforted her through His Word and the brethren in the church.
o Blessings from the Church camp
Some brethren recalled the spiritual blessings they enjoyed at our recent church camp. Many were the lessons learnt by a sister who was deeply convicted by the messages from “The Beatitudes”. Besides the blessings from the camp, she thanked God for her recent retirement which enabled her to spend more time in the study of God’s Word.
Others who benefitted from the camp were our Sunday school students who shared that they had found the lessons on the Ten Commandments most profitable and enlightening.
o Strength and grace in studies
Our two students from Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC) testified of God’s help and strength in seeing them through a difficult semester. God willing, they will be graduating in May this year.
One of them gave glory to God for his salvation and call to the ministry. As a former Roman Catholic, he had felt “compelled” to enter the Bible College in Batam because his elder sister had bought him a plane ticket to travel to study there. Through his theological studies he was converted and subsequently called to full-time service.
Another brother shared that he had a challenging semester with “difficult people, difficult spirits and difficult studies”. Despite his struggles, the Lord graciously saw him through. May the Lord continue to strengthen our two brethren as they prepare for their future ministry.
We are grateful to the Lord for His spiritual blessings at our Watchnight Service. As we start afresh this New Year, let us be mindful of God’s grace and goodness. Look to the Lord for strength and wisdom to live wisely for His glory. Resolve to depend on Him to guide us in every area of our lives. May the Lord use us as His channels of blessing in the year 2020.