Volume. XXI, No. 44
My Dear Readers
My Dear Readers,
Our Future –“be careful for nothing”
In January this year, Ps Ki announced his intention not to stand as a candidate for the position of pastor in the Session Election in July 2007. Since then, Session members and many Hopefuls have persuaded him to stand for the coming Session Election and, if elected, which he will, to remain as our pastor until a new pastor is chosen and confirmed. Ps Ki has always reassured us, from the very beginning, that he will not leave us without a shepherd, and that he will be there for us. So, we are to “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”(Phil 4:6).
As we look back over the last 9 years, we must “Bless the LORD,…. and forget not all his benefits:” Ps 103:2).Ps Ki has been a faithful minister of God and a dedicated shepherd of His flock. He has strengthened the doctrinal position of our church and faith of our people by using the frame work laid down by the previous two pastors. Our first pastor, Rev Edward Paauwe, laid the foundation. This was then consolidated by our second pastor, Rev Peter Chua. Ps Ki guided our church to a higher level. Under his pastorship, our worshippers have increased greatly in faith and in numbers, more people have come to receive Christ as their Lord and Saviour, and we have become actively involved in The Great Commission in Cambodia, to a lesser extent India and Pakistan, and more recently, in Kuching, Sarawak. Our Session members are encouraged to study, preach, and teach the Word of God, and lead the various ministries, and to assume greater responsibilities in the administration of our church. The fellowship groups have become more evangelistic in their endeavours.
God Is Our Helper
“Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Ps 124:8).God has been guiding us over the last 20 years. By faith we had achieved what seemed to be impossible. For sure He will help us again and bless us as He has always done. Some of us now feel insecure, but sometimes this sense of insecurity may lead us to an opportunity to develop ourselves by waking us up from our comfort zones to become available for God’s ministry. We have an example in The Word of God where the disciples were left alone when our Lord ascended into heaven. Then, God transformed them into fearless men. They became courageous preachers of The Word of God, and were even willing to die for their Lord Jesus Christ! When they were martyred or exiled, other believers stepped in and took over their duties and continued with the work of God. Likewise, some of you may have grown spiritually and may want to recommit yourselves to serve the Lord. Our Lord Jesus has opened an avenue for you to serve Him with faithfulness. Until we find the right man to be our pastor, the Session are working on this matter to ensure the stability of our ministry by setting up a Pulpit Committee.
Effectively, Ps Ki becomes a “care taker” pastor from August 2007. Meanwhile, Session has set up a Pulpit Committee, consisting of Deacons Tony Law and David Yeo, and myself. Our functions are to advertise, interview, vet and select a list of potential candidates for Session to choose the best candidate for the pastorship of this church. Once these candidates are chosen they will be presented to the membership for election. Once this fourth pastor is elected and confirmed by the members, Ps Ki will formally resign. The Pulpit Committee therefore needs your prayers for wisdom and support.
Missions to Kuching and Cambodia
Recently, Ps Ki went to Kuching, Sarawak, 20 – 23 April, to help our members, Brothers Jeremy & Lip Kah Teo, to start a Fellowship there. By all accounts, he had a blessed time there with these two brothers and those who came to the meetings. Ps Ki is now in Cambodia, from 24April till 3 May, helping this couple, Bro Samnang and Sis Shulamy, to start a ministry there. For the first time, we may say that we have our own missions work in Sarawak, and Cambodia. Pray for the Teos, and Bro Samnang and his wife, as they try to reach out to the unsaved. For a full report on this mission trip, we have to wait till Ps Ki returns next week.
I want to share with you all about a man called Demas. He is mentioned three times in The Word of God, in the Apostle Paul’s letters. From these three occasions, Demas is revealed as a sad case. In Philemon 24, “Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers,” Demas was described as a fellow labourer. In other words, he was considered a true believer, a dedicated person and very involved in God’s work. The Apostle Paul, at the time of writing Philemon in 60 or 61 AD, must have confidence in Demas. Demas must have shown the characteristics of a believer and a great help for the Apostle Paul. He was linked with three faithful followers of our Lord Jesus - Marcus, Aristarchus, and Lucas. Then in Col 4:14 Demas was only mentioned by name: “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.” Paul did not make any special mention of him, not even describing him as “fellow labourer”. Then in 2 Tim 4:10, written in 67 AD, Paul wrote that “…. Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica”. It seems that Demas has succumbed to the pleasures of this world. Over a period of time, Demas has deserted his first love for our Lord Jesus Christ for the world. “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Luke 16:13).What happened to this once follower of Christ? What changed him? The Bible is silent as to what had happened to him. Whether he is saved or not, we cannot tell, but we must remember that only“The Lord knoweth them that are his” (2 Tim 2:19).
Be Not Like Demas!
Now that we are in the process of searching for a new pastor I would like to encourage you to spend more time in prayer, and to come forward to serve God – more than ever before! Do not become lukewarm for the Lord. Let us learn a lesson from The Word of God about the situation with Demas. Let us not be a Demas by turning to the world and “depart to our Thessalonica”! Get ourselves right with God and serve Him with all that we have in our faculties and possession. This is the time that we do not run away and embrace “mammon”, but to turn to God for help and to live up to His expectations. Let us put our trust on Him, and pray that He may raise up a brother in our midst who may take up the challenge to be a pastor of our church in future.
May God bless you all.
Elder Michael D Lee