FacebookTwitterRSS FeedPinterest

Scripture Memory: The Power of Faith. 

VERSE: Matthew 21:22 “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” 

* * *

O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

 

14 January 2018

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Lee Hock Chin (Behold the Lamb of God, John 1:19-34)

6 pm Evening Service

Eld Khoo Peng Kiat (Our Shield and Exceeding Great Reward; Gen 15:1-6)

 

21 January 2018

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (Finding Him Who Found You, John 1:35-51)

6 pm Evening Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Choices and Consequences, Genesis 13:5-18)

 

* * *

Reflections from Biblical Tour of Israel

(24 November - 6 December 2017)

Part 1

 

I am grateful to God for making it possible for both Eric and I to join this year’s Israel tour.  Since we attended the 2015 EBRL course on Jesus & the Gospels by Rev Ho Chee Lai, it had been my prayer to visit Israel with the aim that it may lead us to love God more.  

 

Our tour itinerary was well organized with daily doses of spiritual truths and delicious meals accompanied by many lovely brethren gaining spiritual insights together.  The tour had its fair share of fun-filled outdoor adventures such as mountain trekking, tunnel walks and the unforgettable camel ride in the desert wilderness.   

 

This tour had indeed reinforced biblical truths as our knowledgeable guide, Mickey, read and expounded relevant portions of scriptures at each site.  Seeing the actual dimensions of the Tabernacle at Timna National Park in the wilderness helped me worship God with greater reverence. Another memorable event is the Sunday worship on board the boat on the Sea of Galilee - enjoying the gentle breeze while listening to Rev Lee's sermon on Silencing Our Storms of Life.  I wished the boat ride were longer.  At our visit to the Garden Tomb, our guide is a retired UK pastor who shared spiritual insights on the death and resurrection of Jesus with great passion for Christ, pleading with us not to be a secret disciple and to love Him more each day.  Still thanking the Lord for being so good to us throughout the trip, graciously nurturing us in His truth.   - Siew Hoon

 

I thank God for the opportunity to visit Israel.  First, I was reminded that God's perfect plan will come to pass. In His time, He arranged for the Jews to return and form the nation of Israel after decades in exile, after being destroyed many times. What seems humanly impossible is possible with God. Against all odds, God is able to fulfill all His promises. I am reminded to be patient and to trust in God's perfect plan for my life. He has a purpose for all that he will allow to happen in my life.

 

At the Nazareth village, the guide said that the hardened, rocky or thorny soil cannot tell the farmer not to rake it because it’s painful and because it does not want to be good soil. Yet, we often tell God that we do not want God to rake our soul; we do not want trials sent by God to mould us into what He wants us to be. Enlightened by this divine perspective, I pray that I will be willing to let God change and shape me into a useful vessel fit for His kingdom.

 

Through the trip, the guides reminded us not to focus too much on the physical places themselves, but the biblical significance or lesson behind them. The trip has helped me to better understand the Bible and visualize HIStory, to see God’s glory and hand in all that has happened, and to remain faithful in the future.           — Melissa Wong

 

God’s sovereignty in the making of world history and man’s responsibility in redeeming time

  1. Having gone on a biblical tour of the seven churches in Turkey and Greece in 2013 and seen how that door is now shut due to political instability, I thank God for the opportunity to join a biblical tour of Israel. One never knows whether the volatile political situation would allow visits to the country in future. The outbreak of fresh violence following US President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on the day we flew home was a timely reminder that Jesus Christ is coming again soon. While we rest assured that God is in sovereign control over Jerusalem’s future, it is my responsibility to do His work with urgency as the ‘evil days’ are here.

 

  1. Besides delivering us from a political storm, God’s favour was also upon our group in protecting us from a potentially serious accident when our bus had a brush with a gigantic truck while traveling in Palestinian land on our way to the Dead Sea. None of us were wearing seat belts and the bus could have toppled on its side. Yet we all emerged unscathed by the grace of God. We were all reminded of how fragile our lives were. We were also spared from cold rainy weather forecasted for our day of departure.

 

Gaining a Richer Understanding about Biblical truths

  1. On hindsight, I realized that God had graciously prepared me with background knowledge for the Israel trip. He led me to study the Beatitudes and The Twelve Apostles in the past one year, thus enabling me to be familiar with the places we visited most associated with Jesus’ ministry in Galilee e.g., Bethsaida, Capernaum, port of Jaffa (Joppa), Mount of the Beatitudes where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. So it was personally meaningful touring Galilee even though the scenery and architecture did not have the wow factor. Rather, their relative insignificance compared to the landscape in the other regions of Israel that I passed through, reminded of what I learnt in Sunday School lessons on The Twelve Apostles — that God picked five uneducated fishermen from the insignificant town of Bethsaida to become his disciples and apostles. Yet these men were mightily used by God to make a significant impact on world history through their work in building the new churches of the New Testament. God often uses the weak so that it is clear the glory belongs to Him.

 

  1. I thank God that I could see and walk the biblical sites and listen to its history backed by Scripture verses. This enabled me to appreciate why Israel is the Land of promise given by God to His chosen people. It is a showpiece where I saw its past, present and future story coming to pass and all laid out in the Bible. God keeps His promises. Hence I know Israel would continually be under the care and sovereign rule of God.

 

  1. I didn’t expect to find the desert landscape so beautiful in its colours. Riding camels and having lunch in “Abraham’s” cool tent under the hot midday sun amidst the desert ‘Genesis Land’ was so enjoyable. At Golan Heights, the visible presence of both Israeli and Arab military installations and their patrolling security forces was a reminder that peace was fragile and political survival remained a mindset of Israel. It was intriguing to learn about how Jerusalem was ruled by different powers over the centuries after the Roman Empire fell. At the Temple Mount, our guide vigilantly reminded us to behave appropriately so as not to draw attention to ourselves. At Shiloh, we saw the ongoing excavations of the Ephraim mountains. This was the place where in the days of Joshua, the 12 tribes of Israel built a tabernacle and returned annually to worship God and celebrated the major feasts as a nation (Josh 18:1). The excavation was led by a family whose ancestors came from the Ephraim tribe. They returned to the area 40 years ago. It was an inspirational moment when the local guide remarked that the Bible was their GPS in directing their archaeological findings.

 

God desires a seeking heart

  1. Tel Dan national park presented a change in scenery. It is a nature reserve and the source of the Dan and Jordan rivers. While sitting amidst the greenery and listening to the flowing waters there, Mickey highlighted that water is often used in the bible to illustrate life from God. And he also read a Psalm of David, who found refuge from his enemies (Ps 42:1). The scene reminded me of two songs, “ Like a river glorious” and “As the deer.” Just like the deer that pants after the water after a heated chase by enemies, I reflected on how, likewise, my soul must daily yearn for God. I resolved to wake up each morning desiring to worship God and to be refreshed by His grace. Thank God for a memorable blessed trip. — Mabel Choong

 

I thank God for giving me an opportunity to visit Israel again. Despite the weather forecast being rainy and wet, thank God that we had daily beautiful sunshine throughout that enabled us to climb the rocky mountains, walk through the wet Hezekiah Tunnel as well as descend into the Golan Heights bunkers bordering Northern Israel, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

 

Our guide Mickey, read the various passages of the Holy Scriptures at the sites where our Lord Jesus ministered to the needs of His people, preached the Gospel, fed the multitudes, healed the sick and taught His disciples during His life on earth.  The Bible came alive as we followed the footsteps of our Lord Jesus.

 

There was one unforgettable incident which occurred while we were on our way to the Dead Sea. We met with a potentially serious accident when a heavy-duty trailer carrying 2 x 20 feet containers swerved into our path, grazing the left side of our coach. We thank God that our driver was alert, calm and skillful to avoid a disastrous collision. This incident awakened us to the mercies of God in sparing us from death.  God can call me home any moment as my life is in His hands.  It caused me to re-examine my walk with God. I resolved to serve Him more faithfully, with greater diligence and fervent zeal. I must also be prepared to face death anytime without fear.  I trust that God will help me to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him.

 

45 of us thoroughly enjoyed our fellowship together and made new friends.  Lessons learnt  helped me appreciate what our Almighty God has done for us, extending the Gospel to us Gentiles all over the world! May the Lord keep us faithful till He comes again. Amen!            — Judy Loon

 

This trip to Israel has made the Bible come alive to me and strengthened my faith in God. Firstly, in the past I mistook Assyria for Syria and Philistine for Palestine. In fact they are not related at all.  Secondly, God is faithful to us and never fails to keep His covenant. Thirdly,  seeing the replica of the Tabernacle where the Israelites worshipped God during their 40 years in the wilderness reminded me to be serious in my worship of God every Sunday.  Viewing the huge plain of Armageddon, where the final battle between Jesus and Satan will take place, makes the Bible so real to me. Now as I read the Bible, I do so with greater understanding and faith.  — Yeo Hoon Huat

 

During this Israel trip, thank God for giving me the chance to witness to one Beijing lady, three Jewish ladies and one from Singapore on their need for salvation and Jesus’ redemption plan.  Thank God for opportunity to see archaeological evidences of biblical accounts and events. The explanation on the significance of the Tabernacle was excellent. The service conducted by Rev Lee on the Sea of Galilee and the Lord’s Supper at the Garden of Gethsemane were memorable and meaningful. The camel ride in Genesis Land was thrilling and hilarious. The hospitality given by “Abraham” and his servants was commendable. By His providence, we rendered an impromptu choir performance of Amazing Grace to visitors at a church at the Pool of Bethesda.

 

Last but not least is the granting God’s answer to my prayer, when I cried out, “Lord, help me!” after our coach was hit by a trailer at the early part of our journey. Thereafter, we were blessed with smooth journey and fine weather throughout our pilgrimage. Blessed be the name of the Lord.  — Chng Suat Neo

 

We arrived at Tel Aviv on 25 Nov and breezed through the immigration.  First stop was Jaffa (Joppa), followed by Caesarea Maritima. Beautiful and scenic. At each site, our guide Mickey, a Messianic Jew, shared relevant Bible passages. One notable story was about Herod Agrippa I (not his grandfather Herod the Great, the baby killer) who was struck down for proudly allowing people to worship him as a god. We sat in the Caesarea theatre arena where this event recorded in Acts 12 had probably taken place. In the late morning sun, Mickey gave a vivid description of how the sun’s rays reflected off Herod’s shining garments as he gave that speech on stage made him glow and glitter. He proudly basked in the glory that rightly belongs to God and was justifiably punished. We were impressed with Mickey’s extensive Bible knowledge and clear explanation of complex contemporary issues.  For example, he said that as there is hardly any wood in Israel in a mainly rocky and hilly terrain, our Lord’s occupation was not a carpenter (working with wood), but more likely a builder (working with stone and wood).

 

Our first meal was a delicious brunch of free flowing flat focaccia bread with olive oil, salt and herbs, pasta, salad, yummy fried fish, meat balls and dessert. Every day we were treated to 3 big meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner with wide selections of fresh salads, grilled vegetables, hummus and other dips, breads, soup, meats, fish and dessert. If not for lots of daily walking, we would gain lots of weight.  We also enjoyed an Indonesian Chinese lunch in Bethlehem, a welcome change from days of Mediterranean food. 

 

Many sites brought the Bible to life as we saw the physical terrain, and gained a clearer understanding of the Bible and current news.  For example, I can now appreciate the sensitive  complicated issues surrounding the Temple Mount hotly contested by three religions. The problem cannot be solved until Christ returns.  We learnt the history of Israel effectively through archaeological excavations, preservation of national parks and tunnels, computer generated videos, models, and museum exhibits. We visualised how Jerusalem could have looked like in the past and how it developed into modern Israel today. I would not have appreciated this without being there.

 

Spectacular desert scenery greeted us at every turn at Masada and Qumran. Imagine Star Wars. Some of us who are young and young at heart chose to walk down from Masada’s peak instead of taking the cable car.  This is highly recommended. The reward was clocking of thousands more steps while soaking in the breathtaking landscape. No Israel trip is complete without a float on the Dead Sea. Just don’t learn about what goes into the Dead Sea. It was interesting to see Golan Heights’ trenches, bunkers and UN peacekeepers.

 

On this trip, we made new friends and deepened old friendships. Despite the estimated median age of the group being in the ‘wise and not foolish’ category, we were able to walk most of the sites. None held up the group despite our Singaporean passion to shop. For shopping, do check out old Jerusalem city shops around Jaffa gate.

 

Thank God for uncountable blessings: excellent weather (warm, sunny; not rainy), good health, uneventful flights, knowledgeable guide, skillful driver, comfortable accommodation, planning and care of Rev Hock Chin, much knowledge gained and, of course, protection from a traffic accident. I was seated near the middle of the coach and saw the entire event unfold. It was like a slow motion action movie happening right before my eyes. A huge articulated truck came into our path, and half the bus had swerved onto the sandy shoulders. Our bus just missed the metal barrier. I still can’t believe that we got away with hardly a scratch. It could have been a huge disaster. A really good reminder to number our days.

            — Dn Choong Chan Yong

 

This trip gave me a deeper appreciation of God's Word and His promises, a better grasp of the facts, history and spiritual lessons. Some misconceptions were also corrected.

 

Nazareth. Situated in the Galilean hills, Nazareth is a tiny village where Jesus spent his childhood years. I was impressed that despite rapid urbanization all around, a Christian organization is working hard to preserve the biblical heritage in this recreated village so that we pilgrims may have a better understanding of the daily life in the time of Jesus. The Nazareth biblical village is sited on the grounds of the Nazareth Hospital established in 1906 by the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society (EMMS), now called the Nazareth Trust.

 

  1. I learnt that Jesus was a builder, not a carpenter. The Greek word, Tekton, was used twice in the New Testament to describe what Joseph and Jesus did for a living - house construction. Houses in Nazareth were built mainly of stone, and roofs of wood. Hence, Jesus would have been a builder, a physically strong stone mason.

 

  1. I had imagined that the cross used to crucify Jesus must be a well-crafted piece of wood. But our guide explained that as Israel is a rocky land with few trees, good timber was scarce. Hence, the cross used to crucify our Lord was likely a rough (torturing) tree trunk made of olive, cypress, pine or oak wood, weighing perhaps 40 to 60 kg. He had to carry it over an estimated distance of 600 metres.  Later when I traced the undulating steps of Via Dolorosa, I remembered the suffering that Jesus endured for me at the cross for my sins. He stumbled and fell repeatedly such that Simon of Cyrene was ordered by the Roman soldiers to carry the cross part of the way. But at the Garden Tomb, the inscription inside the tomb says it well: "He is not Here - For He is Risen".

 

  1. The Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13 describes a sower who scatters seed, which falls on four different types of ground/soil (hard, stony, thorny, good soil), that represents four different responses to the gospel. Nathan (Nazareth Village guide) explained that the sower must apply the right farming techniques to different types of soil. He needs to work hard to prepare the good soil such that when the sower sow the seeds, the seeds will fall on good soil and bear fruit. The same apply to the sharing of the gospel. Connecting the parable with its physical environment was a wonderful moment of truth.

 

The Ancient Water System. Having visited Israel, I can better appreciate its geography, people and cultures and how it relates to Bible accounts. Almost everywhere we walked in Israel is dry and rocky. Little rain falls between November and March and only 20% of the land area is naturally arable. In our trip, we saw and walked through large water cisterns for water collection at Tel Megiddo, Masada, Tel Be'er Sheva, and Jerusalem’s Pool of Siloam.

 

Jerusalem. Jesus saw the city of Jerusalem and wept over its imminent destruction (Luke 19). In AD70, the Romans destroyed the Jerusalem city and temple. It was poignant to walk amidst the 2000-year old large stone ruins, pushed by the Roman soldiers from the Temple. It was surreal to walking on that ancient street that Jesus once trod.  After we left Jerusalem, we read of President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the subsequent uproar.  It is a solemn reminder of the biblical prophecy that will be fulfilled with the new Jerusalem (Rev 21).       — Philip See

 

This was my first trip to Israel. I was excited as I was looking forward to visiting the Biblical sites to enhance my understanding of the Bible.  The Lord blessed us with extremely good weather. We were also involved in a traffic accident when our coach was hit by a truck. The impact resulted in some of us sitting on the left side of the coach being thrown off from our seats. Thank God we didn’t suffer serious injuries except for some bumps.

 

Praise God for protecting us or we would not be able to continue the trip. This incident reminded me of the frailty of life. We are like grass in the fields that will soon wither away.  Each day of our life on earth is an extension of God’s grace to us. Hence we must seize each  day to fulfill God’s purpose for us on earth before being called to our heavenly home.

 

I was awe-struck by many sights in Israel. One which left the deepest impression was En Gedi (Spring of the goat) - a desert oasis in the wilderness with waterfalls and gurgling pools of spring water. This was the very place where David took refuge when he was pursued by King Saul (1 Samuel 23:29). In one of the caves he spared the life of King Saul by cutting off a corner of Saul’s robe rather than killing him when he had the opportunity to do so. This would have ended his misery.

 

In life, we too will face many “deserts” of hardship and trials. But God will provide us with the oasis we need in these desert situations if we continue to trust in Him, to thirst after the living water that only He can provide and to seek Him and His will for us.  Psalm 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

 

We must also be merciful to our enemies though they persecute us because God is merciful to us and we are called to be like Him.  Micah 6:8 ... and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

 

The sight of the Mount of Olives gave me a sense of awe and peace. This was the place where Christ ascended to heaven (Acts 1: 9-12) and this will also be the very place He will return to deliver His people (Zec 14: 3-4).  This trip was not only an eye opener for me but also a reaffirmation that my faith is real and our God is real.                                    — Dr Phoa Lee Lan

   

* * *

AF 37th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service

Date: 20 Jan 2018 (this Sat).  Time: 4:30pm - 8:00pm

Venue          :           Multi-Purpose Hall, Beulah Centre

Speaker       :           Rev Daniel Khoo

Message      :           We Serve God by Serving Others

Text  :           John 13:1-17

Dinner will commence from 6:00pm in Beulah House, Room 1-6 

* * * 

1)        Membership Roll Update Exercise: If you are a member of Life B-P Church, please fill the form and put it in the box at the church entrance.

2)        Life B-P Church Camp 2018 will be held from June 11-14 (Mon-Thu) at Palace of the Golden Horses, KL, Malaysia. Do book your annual leave now to join us for a blessed time of fellowship, and exhortations from God's Word. Registration commences on Jan 21. Registration details will be released soon. Love gifts to defray the costs of the camp are welcome.

3)        GAF Meeting cum CNY Lunch on Wednesday, 24 January 2018, 10am, at Beulah MPH. Speaker is Eld Joshua Lim. Forms available at reception counter.

4)        Music Seminar: All church members are invited to attend the upcoming Music Seminar on 3 March 2018 (Saturday), 9am to 6pm with lunch provided. Venue: Church Sanctuary. Please refer to: lifebpc.com/music-seminar for the programme and registration. Do register early. For more details, contact Dn Russell Indran .

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

February 18 & 25 - Fruit of Obedience

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. John 15:10