As part of PPHBC’s 40/140 Anniversary celebration, we will be releasing a devotional every day from 19 July to 27 August 2022. Do check back daily to follow along!
Devotional day 6
Devotional day 5
Devotional day 4
Devotional day 3
Devotional day 2
Devotional day 1
Day 1 =>
Day 40 | 27 August
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7
Running the Race
By Elder Timothy Shim – Men’s Network
Read: Hebrews 12:1–2
At one of our church camps a few years ago, a group of runners gathered for a daily early morning run before breakfast. It was a mixture of older and younger runners. The route was about 10km and involved several uphill segments. As you read this, you would think that the younger runners must have been pacing the group. Actually, the senior runners were the ones leading the pack – right at the front were our brothers Casey Teo and Paul Lim, both veteran marathoners and triathletes. The rest of us were barely making itup those hills. Our focus was kept by the breakfast awaiting us at the end!At the two-third mark, Casey and Paul, having finished the distance, turned back to encourage the rest of the pack. Simply amazing!
The Christian journey is sometimes likened to that of a race – one that lasts a lifetime! Running well requires consistent training and perseverance. In the Christian race, we must engage in spiritual disciplines and continually train ourselves in God’s ways. Like the hills, life’s journey is beset with trials that hinder us. But we are called to persevere and keep focused on Christ to claim the eternal prize.
The ones ahead in life ought to also keep a lookout for those further back, encouraging and pushing them to keep running. Unlike conventional races where there is only one winner, we can all be winners if we finish well. Let us, as a church, together as one body, run this race together and finish well!
- The unity of the church – that we will continually support and encourage one another.
- Each generation to pass on the flame well to the next so that collectively we will all remain faithful and finish well.
作者: 沈永好长老 – 弟兄团契
几年前的一次教会营会，一群跑步者聚在一起，准备进行早餐前的晨跑。队伍中既有年长一些的，也有年轻的。这条路线长约 10 公里，包含几个上坡路段。当你读到这篇文章时，你可能会认为年轻人一定是跑在前面引领节奏。而实际上，有经验的年长者才是领跑者——在最前面的Casey Teo和Paul Lim弟兄，他们都是马拉松运动员和铁人三项的老手。我们其他人能坚持到山顶已经不错了，我们的目标可能更多是在终点等待我们的美味早餐！我们在三分之二的位置，凯西和保罗已经完成了整段，并转回来鼓舞其他人。简直太神奇了！
- 教会的合一 —— 我们可以不断地彼此扶持和鼓励。
Day 39 | 26 August
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
The Church We Will One Day Be
By Cheong Yu Jia – Woman to Woman
In the allegorical story, “Hind’s Feet on High Places”, a young woman named Much Afraid embarks on a journey up to the High Places that belong to the Good Shepherd, where she will be able to dance as sure-footed as a hind (a female deer). With her clubfoot and deformed hands, the climb is difficult and the going slow. On one occasion, she begins to complain aloud to her two companions, Sorrow and Suffering, whom the Shepherd has left to help her on the climb. Impatient about her weakness, and grumbling about the difficult path and the Shepherd’s absence, she suddenly realizes mid-lament that the Shepherd has been walking behind her for a while and has overheard her complaints. Ashamed, she falls silent. Yet instead of rebuking her, the Shepherd patiently encourages her that he is looking forward even then to the fully healed and radiant woman that she will be on the High Places.
While praying for the church one night, God reminded me of this verse in Ephesians 5. Beyond the truths that the above allegory contains for us individually, it is also true for the church. Christ, the Good Shepherd, looks upon His church with love and awaits the day when she will be with Him in the high places. And not only the Church of all times and places, but our church, too – Jesus knows and loves Pasir Panjang Hill Brethren Church, with our stains and blemishes (perhaps hidden under a new coat of paint!) and wrinkles (possibly remedied with younger elders…). In the moments where we are discouraged by where our church is, where we are tempted to compare ourselves with how other churches around us are doing, where believers around us seem disgruntled at each other for some reason or another, Jesus still loves PPH.
When Much Afraid reaches the High Places, she looks back and realizes that “… you, my Lord, never regarded me as I actually was, lame and weak and crooked and cowardly. You saw me as I would be when you had done what you promised and had brought me to the High Places, when it could be truly said, ‘There is none that walks with such a queenly ease, nor with such grace, as she.’”
Are we discouraged or disgruntled with what is broken or left undone in PPH? Let us pray that in these moments we may temper our frustration with the same love for PPH that Jesus has. This is the church that He gave His life for – with his eyes fixed on the holy and blameless church that we will one day be.
- At a recent ‘Gather’ event, a third of the women participating were young adults, and many of the discussion facilitators were younger women as well. Thank God that He has allowed us to gather and to get to know women of all ages in the Women2Women events, and for the willingness that different individuals have to share. Being able to hear stories of God’s faithfulness across different generations is a foretaste of what we will experience one day with the church of all ages.
- That God will continue to unite our hearts across generations, to be humble and loving towards each other.
作者: 张于佳 – 姐妹事工
在经典寓言作品《稳行高处》中，一个名叫“惊恐小姐”的年轻女子踏上了去往好牧人所在高处的旅程，在那里她将能够像一只母鹿一样稳健地跳舞。她的手脚畸形，这旅程很慢，也很艰难。牧羊人让两个同伴:“忧伤” 和“ 苦难”帮她爬山。有一次，她对自己的软弱感到不耐烦，开始向她们抱怨道路的艰难和牧羊人的缺席，她在哀叹中突然意识到，牧羊人已经在她身后走了一段时间，也听到了她的抱怨，她羞愧地沉默了。牧人没有责备她，而是耐心地鼓励她说，他盼望着那完全痊愈、容光焕发的妇人，她将登上高处。
Day 38 | 25 August
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
1 Timothy 6:6-8
Learning to Be Content
By Jackson Tan – Men’s Network
Our natural minds equate contentment with abundance. With nothing, we despair. In plenty, we think we will be happy, and then often we forget God.
Even as a child of God, I hanker after things – a good career, a comfortable life, a secure retirement. Yet, Paul teaches that food and clothing are sufficient for contentment. He reasons that whatever else you have, you will not be able to take out of this world anyway.
Encouragingly, this perspective did not come naturally to Paul. In Philippians 4:11, Paul writes that he “learned” to be content, whatever the circumstances. Through the soaring heights and crushing depths of Paul’s life, God taught him that only one prize matters – his salvation in Jesus Christ.
This prize is available to you and me, and all who call Jesus Lord. In Jesus, Paul finds the strength to be content in all his circumstances (Philippians 4:13). We find contentment in offering our simple trust and obedience to God, who gives and takes away.
As we turn our eyes upon Jesus, all the things of earth will grow strangely dim. We see clearly that while we cannot take anything out of the world, we have a great reward in His peace – not a peace as the world gives, but as Jesus alone can give. Thus, we can declare as the psalmist did, “Return to your rest, O my soul, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you” (Psalm 116:7).
- That God would teach us, so that we may be content in any circumstance.
作者: 陈泽盛 – 弟兄团契
Day 37 | 24 August
They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
By Lim Chwee Seng – Steadfast & Faithful
Read: Psalm 92:12-15
I remember attending a church in Australia in the late 1970s. I was very encouraged and inspired by elderly members, in their 80s/90s, who were faithfully serving as ushers, musicians or congregants. As a young Christian then, I thought to myself, “Will I still be serving God at that ripe old age?”
In PPH, we have a greying population. Do our seniors step back and watch the world pass by? Do they still have a role to play? The answer is clear. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green. How can we help them to remain as such? Some do have practical concerns and face challenges even if they wish to play their part. For example, the environment and technologies are evolving so fast. Some seniors have difficulties coping with these changes. Will they be left behind?
Living Well, Leaving Well
How can we bear fruit in old age when we feel we lack the drive and energy? As we get on in years, we often face challenges such as the feeling of isolation, loneliness, and physical and mental limitations. Close friends we knew have passed on. At times, we even question our usefulness. Should we leave this task of bearing fruit to the younger ones?
For seniors especially, the words in Psalm 92:12-15 are so relevant and encouraging. To produce fruit is to testify to God’s great name and His gracious, loving and holy character, as we see in Jesus. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Producing fruit is exhibiting Christ-likeness in word, deed and character. Our activities change over time but our life is always a testimony to who our Lord is and what He has done for and in us. It is not about how wonderful we are or how great things were back in our younger days but how great and wonderful God and his grace are and continue to be. Therefore, can we not bear fruit for the Lord, even in our old age?
Our hair may be turning grey. Our bodies are not as supple as they once were. Still, if we live the way God intends for us, if we continue to be rooted in Him, if we rely on His strength and grace, we can live a purposeful life. We will still bear fruit in old age. We will stay fresh and green.
- We will continue to live our lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith (Colossians 2:6-7), even in our old age.
- We will flourish and bear fruit through the continuing work of our gracious, loving and faithful God in our lives and through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
作者: 林水生 – 坚定&忠实
我记得在 1970 年代后期参加了澳大利亚的一个教会。我深受那些乐龄会众的鼓舞和启发，他们80/90岁高龄仍忠心地作为招待员、乐手或会众参与服事。那时，作为一个年轻的基督徒，我在想，“等我到了这个年纪，还会事奉上帝吗？”。
在 PPH ，我们的会众也趋于老龄化。我们的长辈会退后一步，“眼睁睁地看着世界过去”吗？他们还有发挥作用吗？答案很明确。他们年老时仍不断结果子，他们会保持青翠。我们如何帮助他们青翠？有些年长弟兄姐妹确实正在遇到一些实际问题或者挑战，即使他们也希望发挥自己的作用。例如，环境和技术发展得如此之快，一些老年人难以应对这些变化，他们会被抛在后面吗？
Day 36 | 23 August
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us
Let Us Fix Our Eyes on Our Spiritual Journey
By Benny Tan – Men’s Network
Read: Hebrews 12:1-2
The book of Hebrews was written to former Judaists who were persecuted for their allegiance to Christ. Some had “fallen away” from their Christian faith.
The author presents a wonderful picture of the supremacy of Jesus Christ and exhorts the readers to persevere in their faith, looking to Jesus as the pioneer and perfecter of their faith. Some of the glorious truths that are revealed about Jesus – His incarnation as God-Man, His superiority over angels, His obedience to the will of God unto death, Him as Mediator of the new covenant, merciful and faithful High Priest, and constant intercessor for the saints – must have been uplifting for the readers.
We face different kinds of outward challenges compared to the original audience of the book of Hebrews, but the enemies of our soul–the world, our flesh and Satan–are nonetheless real and can trip us in our journey with Christ. However, we can be encouraged by the truths about Christ and take heed of Hebrews 12:1-2, to fix our eyes on Him. Let’s make it our top priority to deepen our relationship with Him through consistent Bible reading and study, prayer, worship and service. He longs for us!
- To entrust the remaining years of our lives to do God’s will.
- That Jesus will help us to prioritise our relationship with Christ.
作者: 陈光发 – 弟兄团契
Day 35 | 22 August
Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.”
Am I Blind?
By Lincoln Teo – Men’s Network
Read: Matthew 9:27-31
I am blind too. I do not know the road ahead. Is it a wide road, a narrow path or a bend that leads to a dead-end.
Who can help me to see? Only the One looking from above. Only He can help us to navigate round the potholes ahead. Only He can put a plank across the stream that I may walk through safely.
But I need to be like the blind men. To cry out in earnest prayer. With urgency and believing that He can help me.
Without prayer, without my seeking, asking and knocking, He cannot reach out His hand to touch my eyes.
“two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”” (Matthew 9:27)
What does this mean for us?
- We must recognise that we are blind; we cannot forecast and control many things.
- We need to follow Jesus closely to hear what He has to say to us.
- We need God to grant us a humble spirit to seek His guidance.
- That PPH men may walk closely with Jesus
- That PPH men will develop and deepen their roots in Him through daily quiet time
作者: 张天顺 – 弟兄团契
Day 34 | 21 August
For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
One Who Serves
By Winston Chin – Men’s Network
Read: Luke 22:24-27
Titles – such as King, President, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Director – are marks of success, a sign that you have made it in life. Authority – having the power to direct and command others to do your will – is coveted by many. The way of the world was deeply ingrained even among the disciples who had spent three years with Jesus.
Titles and authority are not in themselves evil, but they have the power to change us. They can make us feel that we are superior to others. They can foster an entitlement mentality that we deserve to be served. And power can create a lust for more power.
Jesus turns this natural hierarchy upside down, declaring that in the Kingdom of God, the greatest are those who serve others. And every day, if we are willing to open our eyes, there are opportunities to serve those around us. Perhaps that little chore at home or in the office that needs to be done. Perhaps that downhearted friend or colleague who needs a pat on the back or a word of encouragement. Perhaps that struggling foreigner who needs help adjusting. Perhaps that small sacrifice of money or time to help feed the hungry and homeless. But it may require us to put aside our titles and authority, swallow our pride and entitlement, and humble ourselves.
Remember that Jesus had a title, “King of the Jews,” but it hung above a dreadful wooden cross where He suffered and died for you and me. Jesus had the authority to call down thousands of angels. Yet, He willingly laid that aside to go to the Cross. He is our supreme model of what it means to serve others, to the point of laying down His own life. May we follow His example.
- That the members of the Men’s Network, and indeed all members of the church, will practise sacrificial service to others in everyday life, following the example of Jesus.
- That the members of the Men’s Network will find new and creative ways to serve the families, communities and workplaces that God has placed us in, in demonstration of God’s love.
作者: 秦志伟 – 弟兄团契
Day 33 | 20 August
Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
By Chek Poh Tin – Woman to Woman
I can vividly recall heartwarming memories of growing up in New Bridge Road Chapel (NBRC), from which grew the PPH we know today. My siblings and I walked to church every Sunday until a kind brother fetched us in a van which we nicknamed, “Carnation.” Other delightful yet purposeful moments include cooking a special dinner in the kitchen for children, presenting skits for announcements, raising funds to purchase the plot of land our church now stands on, and going on picnics and hikes. I was enriched by the teaching of God’s Word in Sunday School and at morning services. I was impacted by the pioneers of NBRC, as they evidenced their passion for the Lord and their love for people, as well as their commitment to serve. Those were the formative years of my spiritual journey.
As I reflect on the history of PPH, I am reminded of Exodus 3:6, where God called Moses in the form of a burning bush and revealed Himself. God’s message to Moses was to assure him of God’s unchanging character and to remind Moses that His presence has endured through every generation.
This is the same God who directed and guided our NBRC pioneers to start morning and evening services, and the Tiong Bahru, Nelson and Neil Road Sunday schools. He is the ONE who called men and women through each generation and established His work through them. We can trace the presence of a faithful God in every moment of our church history. This is a great privilege.
The faithfulness of those who had served before us exemplifies a faith that had a long-term view, one which held tenaciously to God and His purposes for us and our church. It spurs us to faithfully persevere in the roles that God has called us to.
Will you respond positively to God’s call and trust in His faithfulness? How will your life story read at the end of your generation?
- Endurance and faithfulness in stewarding the work begun for us as a church.
- For whatever work we have personally begun – that we will carry on in God’s strength.
作者: 戚宝珍 – 姐妹事工
我可以生动地回忆起在新桥路教堂 (NBRC) 成长的温馨记忆，我们今天所熟悉的 PPH 就是从NBRC发展出来的。我和我的兄弟姐妹每个星期天都要步行去教堂，直到后来一位好心的弟兄驾一辆小货车来接我们，我们给这辆小货车起了个绰号叫“康乃馨”。其它一些愉快而有意义的时刻包括在厨房为孩子们准备一顿特别的晚餐；表演短剧来作报告；筹集资金购买我们教会现在所在的土地；去野餐和远足。主日学和早间聚会教导的上帝的话语让我非常充实。新桥路教堂的先辈们证明了他们对主的火热和对人的爱，以及他们对服事的承诺，使我深受影响。那就是我的属灵成长岁月。
当我回顾 PPH 的历史时，我想起了出埃及记3:6，上帝从燃烧的荆棘中向摩西显现他自己，上帝给摩西的信息，是再次让他确信上帝恒久不变的本质，提醒摩西上帝的同在持续在一代又一代人当中。
Day 32 | 19 August
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
By Julia Spiess – Woman to Woman
Definition of “stir up”: To cause (someone) to feel a strong emotion and a desire to do something.
As children of God, we experience His love when He heals our brokenness and overcomes our fears and insecurities. Knowing we are deeply loved and valued causes us to be stirred up with love and do the same for others. It pleases our Heavenly Father to give us abilities to do good works. Some are polished, but some still need to be rediscovered and worked on. It requires courage to overcome insecurities and believe that these gifts are worth pursuing as His instruments of love.
My childhood home was located just opposite one of the most famous music schools in Latvia. Every day, I would hear the sound of instruments and vocal warm-ups from my window. My mom was a graduate of that school, and it was natural for her to stir up in me a passion for singing from a very young age. However, after eight years of intensive training in the school, I was still only average compared to other students. I became so insecure that I totally gave up singing and playing the piano.
I remember the first time I stepped into PPH. During the first song, my heart broke and I burst into tears. Strong emotions were awakened in me, and every song brought healing. Not long after, I, a newborn Christian, was asked to join the worship team as a backup singer, and later as a keyboardist. It was challenging for me, having not touched the piano for 16 years. However, different members of the worship team encouraged me, stirring me to sharpen my skills to serve the body of Christ. After serving in church for a while, a brother approached me to teach his daughter piano. This opened the door for me to teach music to children. I was being stirred up to reach out to my community in Singapore. The more I use my gifts, the more I am strengthened, because the source is God’s love, not fear nor insecurity.
The world is in need of Love that transforms, as shown through our good deeds. As we see the Day draw near, let us respond to invitations to come out of our comfort zone, and see what God can do.
- Abba Father will help us recognise the potential in each one of us and will stir up the PPH body to love and do good deeds.
- Abba Father will help us let go of our past experiences and respond to invitations to use our gifts to serve in love. That He will fan the desire in our hearts and use our gifts to spread love and encouragement to those we meet who do not yet know Christ.
作者: Julia Spiess – 姐妹事工
Day 31 | 18 August
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”
The Neighbours in Our Midst
By Yap Chee Meng – Chinese Assembly
It is often said that we can choose our friends but not our family. Well, guess what? The church is our family. Since everyone in the church worships the same God, it should be easy to get along right? Maybe not. We may think, “Ignorant people fail to see gaps in their knowledge and disagree with me. Troublemakers in church, these people are.”
Meanwhile, life in church continues as per normal: Sermons are preached, Bible studies conducted, small groups meet and missionaries sent. We pat ourselves on our back for being a wonderful church because we check all the right boxes.
But we must realise that everyone in church is our neighbour, disagreeable or not. If we cannot follow the edict of “Love your neighbour as yourself”, whatever we do, we are only a “resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1 Corinthians 13:1)
Let us ask God to give us the courage to love those around us. It is much harder than giving money for missions; the challenges that come from interacting with others would not have to be dealt with. It is easy to love humanity but tough to love the person beside you. But, it is necessary for our souls that we love as true disciples manifesting the authentic love of God made visible through Christ.
- That we will renew our minds by adopting new thought patterns, if we have labelled others in our minds. That we will remember that we are all uniquely different.
- That we will be courageous and obedient enough to befriend and love those whom we find difficult to get along with. That we will do this in a tangible way – love is an action verb.
- That each church member can form strong ties with at least three other church members from different families.
- That we will love enough to make it a point to visit those who have stopped attending service.
- That PPH will become a haven and light to the community, as church members extend their love to each other.
作者: 叶志明 – 华文聚会
Day 30 | 17 August
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Aligning Our Minds for Battle
By Brenda Tan – Woman to Woman
I have faced much discouragement in my 30+ years as a teacher. Whenever I set my thoughts on worldly standards, I would feel defeated.
As a mother of four children, my priority was to always be available whenever they needed me. However, I would often feel guilty about not giving them enough time.
Read: Romans 7:15-18
Upon reflecting on this passage, the conflict between what I had ought to do and what I actually did taught me to be a “mind warrior” – to have control over my thoughts. I had to admit my failures to God truthfully, and anchor my thoughts on His Word. Through doing this consistently, I developed convictions and the will to act according to His Word.
I also discovered another powerful spiritual weapon – prayer, which can counter the fiery darts that the devil throws all the time. Specifically, I found that it counters pride, which can easily creep in, especially when our children excel in a certain area of their lives.
- For God to help our PPH mothers counter negative thinking or pride, by anchoring their thoughts on His Word; whatever is true, honorable, excellent, praiseworthy and right (Philippians 4:8).
- That God will help them to live this life well and never to seek a crown, for their reward is in giving glory to Him.
- For grace to be good role models to their children and to each other. That they will know that they are not alone, and make time for building spiritual friendships in the Women2Women ministry.
作者: 傅慧萍 – 姐妹事工
Day 29 | 16 August
He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.
The Creative Spirit of God
By Pastor Joanne Chow – Media
Read: Exodus 35:30-35
In this passage we see how Bezalel was filled with the Spirit, not for an overtly spiritual/religious purpose, but to make artistic designs and crafts. Others had God-given skills to engrave, design, embroider and weave. It appears that God likes His people to create things artistically for Him. Sometimes we may not think much of it when people serve in practical ways such as designing a PowerPoint slide, a post for social media or framing the stage well so it will look good on the livestream, but the talents and skills we are naturally gifted in are gifts from God; even things like photo-editing skills and expertise in media and communications! It is our job to take what God has given to us and use it! If God has blessed us with artistic talent, we would want to show our gratitude by using it to the best of our ability to glorify Him and serve His people.
Reflect: What are some skills and talents God has blessed you with? How can you use it to glorify God and serve His church?
- Every effort by the media and livestreaming teams will be Spirit-filled and dedicated to the glory of God.
- God will raise up more people with the right skills, talent and expertise to serve and lead in this area.
- Smooth running of the livestream every week.
作者: 周恩惠传道 – 媒体
在这段经文中，我们看到比撒列如何被圣灵充满，不是为了特别属灵或宗教的目的，而是为了艺术设计和制作手工艺品。其他人则拥有上帝赐予的雕刻、设计、刺绣和编织等技艺，看来上帝喜欢他的子民为他创造艺术品。有时，当有人以实用的方式服事时，例如设计 PowerPoint 幻灯片、社交媒体的帖子，或精心布置舞台以使其在直播中看起来不错，我们可能觉得这没什么。但我们自然而然的天赋和技能都是来自上帝的恩赐；甚至像照片编辑以及媒体和通信方面的技能！我们的工作就是把上帝赐给我们的拿去使用！如果上帝赐予我们艺术天赋，我们会想要尽我们最大的能力来荣耀他并服事他的子民，以此来表达我们的感恩之情。
Day 28 | 15 August
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.
Family is the Bedrock of the Church, and of Society
By Tan Cheng Bin – Chinese Assembly
Read: Psalm 127
Over the years, I’ve seen some good examples of parents raising their children in a Godly manner. But this constitutes the minority. What saddens me is that many parents conform to the patterns of this world, leading secular lives and getting caught up in the competitiveness of our society. Where is God in the raising of their children at home?
In Psalm 127:1, we see that without God’s work and blessing, we labour in vain. Just as God builds houses and cities, He also desires to build families! On our part, we need to work hard and depend on God to build Godly families. Families are the most fundamental and important building blocks of society. When families break down, society collapses.
Children are God’s gift to us and are an important part of families. They are described as arrows in the hand of a warrior. Just like arrows, children must be:
- Carefully and skilfully shaped
- Guided with skill and strength in the right direction
- Given care so that they hit the target of becoming who God intended them to be
We cannot raise a Godly family without God.Is God the centre of our lives? Is Christ the head of our homes? We need to be Godly archers to launch these arrows.
Let us raise a quiver full of children in Godly homes as well as spiritual children in the Church.
- That we will raise godly offspring (Malachi 2:15)
- That we will have meaningful conversations around the family meal table, knowing that God is listening (Malachi 3:16)
- The hearts of the fathers will be restored to their children and the hearts of the children will be restored to their fathers (Malachi 4:5-6)
作者: 陈贞民 – 华文聚会
- 我们能养育虔诚的后裔 (玛拉基书2:15)
- 我们与家人在餐桌上能有有意义的交谈，时刻记得耶和华侧耳而听 (玛拉基书3:16)
- 父亲的心转向儿女，儿女的心转向父亲 (玛拉基书4:5-6)
Day 27 | 14 August
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Recapturing the Child-Like Wonder of Our Lord
By Pastor Bernice Tan – KOOL
While I was teaching about the story of creation, a five-year-old child raised her hand and asked innocently, “Did God hiccup when He said, ‘Let there be light?’” The innocence and intense curiosity she displayed brought me such joy in engaging with her. The words of Jesus echoed in my ears, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)
Children matter greatly to God. They begin their lives full of innocence and joy, with a powerful capacity for faith. Today, let us learn from children to recapture child-like wonder at the work of our Lord.
It is written repeatedly in Scripture how people were astonished and amazed at the work of the Lord. How about us? The same God who was at work then, is the Prince of Peace at work today, working out His purposes through each of us. Have we lost our wonder of our Almighty Lord?
Children are experts at awe and wonder. We can reclaim our wonder as we learn to experience the Bible through their eyes. Often when telling Bible stories to children, I enjoy watching their expressions as they listen with wide-eyed wonder – could God have hiccupped while creating the world?
The next time we sit down and read our Bibles, let us invite God to blow our minds and remind us of how amazing He is, how sinful we are, and how much we need His mercy. Let us be awestruck by His steadfast love and His mercies which are new every morning.
This anniversary, we not only want to commemorate God’s hand and His faithfulness in building the church, we also want to look forward and continue to pray for the work of God amongst the next generation. We look on with anticipation as God continues to carry out His purpose in the Church through the young people.
- Think about all you have seen God do in PPHBC in your generation. Thank God for how you have seen Him at work within you and around you. Tell God all the things that come to mind as you reflect on His faithfulness, His power and strength. What do you want to see more in the next generation? You may refer to Philippians 1:9-11 to lead you in prayer.
- That we will pass on the truths about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about His power and mighty wonders to the next generation, that they may set their hope anew in God. That God will give us every grace we need to make known the path that leads to life (Psalm 78:4-7).
- That God will stir within our hearts to pray for the next generation regularly, that God will encounter each of them personally, and that each child and youth will continue to follow after God.
- That God will make us a generation of parents, grandparents, educators, resource developers, and more, who will teach the next generation faithfully according to His Word.
作者: 陈瀅竹传道 – 儿童主日学
在讲关于创造的故事时，一个五岁的孩子举起手，天真地问：“神说 ‘要有光’的时候是不是打嗝了？” 她表现出的天真和强烈的好奇心在我与她交往时带给我莫大的喜乐。耶稣的话在我耳边回荡，“让小孩子到我这里来，不要禁止他们；因为在天国的，正是这样的人。”（马太福音19:14）
- 想想在你自己的年代，你在 PPHBC 所看到神所作的一切。感谢上帝让你看到他在你的内心和周围所作的工。当你思想他的信实、他的大能大力时，将所有想到的一切告诉神。你想在下一代身上看到什么？你可以参考腓立比书1:9-11 带领你祷告。
Day 26 | 13 August
If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.
Sacrifice, Sagacity, Sight
By Chua Xyn Yee – Young Adults
I’ve walked some years with Christ, but have I actually grown more mature? Or have I slowly fallen by the wayside?
Frankly, God, I think I struggle with being envious, foolish and blind. Sadly, I see myself in the three older brothers I know I should not be:
- Like Cain, I am envious: I angrily say, “Hello, I am better than him/her. Praise me instead.” (Genesis 4:4-9)
Cain was furious and envious of Abel for the Lord had regard for Abel and not Cain. However, unlike Abel, Cain had not offered God the sacrifice that God desired. Cain later killed Abel and asked, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Reflect: Have I looked at someone else’s blessings and praises, and wanted them for myself? What am I envious about?
- Like Esau, I am foolish: I tiredly lament, “Why should I continue keeping my heart and hands clean?” (Genesis 25:29-34)
Esau was exhausted and just wanted to eat. He said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” So he sold his birthright, which he despised, to Jacob.
Reflect: Have I not myself said, “Hmm… what’s wrong with just one curse word / one pornographic photo? It’s not like I will lose my inheritance with God.”
- Like the prodigal son’s older brother, I am blind. I bitterly complain, “God loves and blesses him/her more.” (Luke 15:25-32)
The older son was angry, envious and refused to go join the celebration. His father came out and entreated him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.”
Reflect: How, God, can I crucify my flesh and my navel-gazing desires?
Looking at Jesus, I learn instead that:
- Jesus could have been very envious of me: Jesus could have said, “I am better than all of you, I should not be the One to die.” However, Jesus sacrificed Himself for me.
- Jesus could have foolishly given up His inheritance: Satan had offered Jesus all the world’s kingdoms when tempting Jesus. However, Jesus clung to His future exaltation in God (Philippians 2:9).
- Jesus could have blindly considered Himself short-changed on Earth, being made a servant: However, Jesus saw His true state, that He and the Father are one (John 17:11).
- For our young adults to be secure in God’s love, as God’s children, and in our inheritance in Christ.
- For our young adults to trust in our heavenly Father’s provision and care, and not to be anxious about our future.
- For our young adults to crucify our flesh (sinful desires) and keep in step with the Spirit daily (Galatians 5:24-25).
作者: 蔡欣瑜 – 青年团契
- 我像该隐一样嫉妒：我生气地说：“喂，我比他/她做得好。我才应该被赞赏。” （创世记4:4-9）
- 我像以扫一样愚昧：我疲倦地哀叹：“我为什么要继续保持手洁心清呢？” （创世记25:29-34）
- 我和浪子的哥哥一样盲目。我痛苦地抱怨说：“上帝更爱他/她，更祝福他/她。” （路加福音15:25-32）
Day 25 | 12 August
Remember your relative Elizabeth. It is said that she cannot have children, but she herself is now six months pregnant, even though she is very old.
Different Seasons, Same God
By Janet Yap – Woman to Woman
Read: Luke 1:34-39
In God’s wisdom and grace, God had the angel tell Mary, “Remember your relative Elizabeth” (Luke 1:36). Perhaps God wanted Mary to have a companion on her journey, and likewise for Elizabeth. Though Mary and Elizabeth were in different seasons of life, they had both been given “God-sized” assignments that no doubt left them feeling bewildered, frightened, and joyful!
In our modern world, women have become more isolated as they balance many responsibilities and relationships. We often put ourselves last in terms of meaningful relationships beyond our husband or children. How wonderful to have an “Elizabeth” to go to for just a coffee or lunch break? Or a “Mary” to welcome in her time of need?
As a foreigner and young mother in Singapore, I was, and still am, greatly blessed by friendships with different women. Over the years, some have moved on and others have come in but the common thread is that we made time for each other and for sharing our journey with God. Our journeys were not as dramatic as Mary’s or Elizabeth’s, and yours may not be either, but they are valuable relationships all the same, and I don’t know what I would have done without these spiritual friendships! Woman to Woman was born for that reason–to help PPH women gather and build supportive relationships that are rooted in a common relationship with Jesus.
For those who have grown up in PPH, those relationships may just need re-visiting now and then. But for those who “marry in” or come by way of a friend, the relationships may not be as natural. What about when there’s a setback, will anyone be there to come alongside? We connect, not only for our own benefit, but to bless one another. As our church family enters a new era, let’s make sure we take advantage of opportunities to connect with Jesus and each other. Together, woman to woman, we will say nothing is impossible with God!
- A bond of love and unity among the women in PPH, that women will see the importance of intentional relationships with other women and set aside time for them, especially those who are new to our church family.
- The Women2Women team, for ongoing sensitivity and creativity in planning gatherings for our women, their friends and beyond!
作者: Janet Yap – 姐妹事工
对于那些在 PPH 长大的人来说，这种关系可能只需时不时地重温。但是对于那些“嫁进来”或通过朋友介绍来到我们当中的人来说，这种关系可能并不那么自然。
Day 24 | 11 August
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
Renew Our First Love
By Richard Wong – Men’s Network
Do you remember your “first love” for God? When we first tasted the goodness of God, it was so exciting; we would eagerly spend more time to learn more. We enjoyed God as the first place in our heart. We were delighted to do His will. Obedience came naturally from our sweet love for Him. Over time, however, we face internal struggles and spiritual battles that wear us out. We drift from God and our love grows cold. We lose the joy we once had. Our focus has turned to the form rather than the substance of our faith and we become insensitive to the Holy Spirit. We are content with the status quo instead of being driven to Christ-likeness. Consequently, we have little or no time for God daily and have grown to love something or someone more than Christ.
- Do you find yourself unwilling to give your all to Jesus, but are content with investing time, energy and resources on entertainment, sporting or social events?
- Are you afraid of witnessing because others may think you’re fanatical?
- Has your life become focused on self-advancement rather than that of the Kingdom of God?
Maybe this is why you haven’t sensed the presence of God lately.
Let us seek renewal from our good and loving God.
- Firstly, let us remember the intimacy and closeness we once enjoyed with the Lord.
- Secondly, let us admit that forsaking our first love is a sin.
- Finally, let us do the things we first did when we tasted the goodness of our first love.
As God has promised to draw near to those who draw near to Him (James 4:8), let us pursue the Lord with all our being and surely our God will fully restore to us our first love!
- PPHBC’s men to stir up one another to love and good works
- An increase in fellowship with the Holy Spirit amongst men
作者: 王明华 – 弟兄团契
Day 23 | 10 August
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
Sure and Steadfast
By Jonathan Seet – Boys’ Brigade
I learnt to dive at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, where we were out at sea for three days living aboard a 25m dive boat. I remember after a dive one evening, we surfaced in the middle of a rain shower with dark clouds on the horizon. It took us by surprise as we had no idea of the surface conditions while we were underwater. We quickly got on the boat and stowed our gear and headed inside to seek shelter. The captain updated us that we would be staying the night moored at the same reef instead of travelling to a new location due to the weather.
That night, as I slept in my windowless bunk down in the hull of the boat, I could hear the waves hitting the hull and, without a reference in the dark, every movement seemed amplified. Waking up the next morning, I noticed that the sea looked calmer than I had remembered it ever looking in the last few days, and that the reef we had dived at yesterday was still there, on the same side of the boat as before. Our moorings had held us steady through the storm of the night. The large movements I had felt below deck the night before had no impact on the boat’s location or operation. In fact, with the calm sea we were able to move to a new reef and continue our exploration.
In the same way, the Bible tells us that the hope that we have in Jesus of our salvation is an anchor for our soul. That though the storms of life may try to drag us away from the goodness of God, this anchor remains firm, something that can be relied on, and secure, something that is unchanging. Furthermore, this anchor is set on the priestly work that Jesus has performed for us once and for all. We now have full access to God through Jesus. So no matter how rough the storm may feel from where we are and when it feels like we do not have any point of reference to ride it out, our Anchor will hold, the storm will pass, and we will move forward on our journey through life with Christ.
As we reflect on the faithfulness of God over the past 40/140 years and how He has brought our church through the challenges of church-building to where we are today, remember that it is that same God who continues to see us through life today. We can continue to rely on His unchanging grace and look forward to the day where all is made right and we can see Him in person. In the words of the song “Cornerstone” by Hillsong: “When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. Through every high and stormy gale, my Anchor holds within the veil.”
- Thank God for all your support over the years, both financially and in providing manpower to run the BB company!
- Thank God for His faithfulness in providing good teachers, officers, and primers throughout the years who are dedicated to the growth of our Boys, and willing to go the extra mile for them.
- Thank God for the many Boys who have come through our company, and are doing well in life.
- Pray for continued good relations with the school, parents, Boys, and other stakeholders as we face increased pressure to show that we are beneficial for the students, or be shut down due to falling enrolment in schools.
- That the Boys will continue to be interested in what we do and be able to grasp the values that we teach and the good news of Christ.
- That we will continue to be able to teach about Christ and His Word in schools.
作者: 薛宗豪 – 男军旅
我在澳大利亚的大堡礁学会了潜水，我们曾乘一艘 25m 的潜水船出海了三天。我记得有一天晚上我们潜水完，在一场阵雨中浮出水面，地平线上有乌云。这让我们大吃一惊，因为我们在水下时不知道水上的状况。我们很快上船，收起我们的装备，然后进去里面寻找避难所。船长告诉我们，由于天气原因，我们将在这礁石上下锚过夜，而不是前往下一个地点。
当我们思想上帝过去 40/140 年中的信实，以及他如何带领我们的教会渡过建立之初的种种挑战直到今天，请不要忘记，是那同一位上帝今天仍继续看顾我们每天的生活。我们可以继续倚靠他不变的恩典，盼望直到那日所有一切都与神和好，我们可以得见他的面。用Hillsong的一首歌曲“Cornerstone”中的歌词：“黑夜来临遮蔽荣面，安息在主恩典不变。每次经历狂风暴雨，我避难所在主里面。”
Day 22 | 9 August
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
May the Youth Arise
By Ng Wen Wen – LOUDGEN
Jeremiah was given a massive task as a youth. He was to declare God’s impending judgement to the people of Judah. Anyone given such a task would be terrified. Yet, God reminded Jeremiah not to let his youth or inexperience hinder him in fulfilling God’s call over his life.
In 1 Timothy 4:12, Apostle Paul similarly exhorted Timothy not to let anyone look down on him because of his youth, but to be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in faith and in purity. God does not require us to equip ourselves; He equips the people He calls. Most importantly, He assures us of His presence that will never leave us nor forsake us.
- Have you felt inadequate about yourself? Remember that your availability and obedience to God matter more than your competence or confidence.
- Is God calling you to do something today? Will you surrender your doubts to Him, take this leap of faith saying, “Where You lead me, I will follow?”
- That the youths will live their lives worthy of the calling they have received
- That every youth will come to own his or her relationship and walk with God and not just be passed down an inherited faith
- Strength and wisdom for Pastor Joanne and the leaders in LOUDGEN, who are shepherds over God’s flock, and for them to be good examples to the flock
- That LOUDGEN will be a united, loving and Godly community, encouraging and spurring each other to love and good deeds
- For an increased burden for souls; for the youths to have boldness to share the gospel with their friends and loved ones
作者: 黄温温 – 年轻一代
耶利米年轻时被赋予了一项艰巨的任务。 他要向犹大人宣告上帝即将来临的审判。 任何接到这样的任务的人都会感到害怕。 然而，上帝提醒耶利米不要让他的年轻或缺乏经验阻碍他履行上帝对他生命的呼召。
在提摩太前书4:12，使徒保罗同样劝告提摩太不要让任何人因为他的年轻而看不起他，总要在言语、行为、爱心、信心、清洁上，都作信徒的榜样。 神不需要我们自己装备自己； 他会装备他所呼召的人。 最重要的是，他向我们保证他永远不会离开我们，也不会抛弃我们。
- 你是否觉得自己不能胜任？ 请记住，你的摆上和顺服比你的能力或信心更重要。
- 上帝今天呼召你做什么事吗？ 你是否愿意把你的疑虑交给他，迈出信心的一步向神说：“无论你要带领我到哪里，我会跟随你”？
- 周恩惠传道和年轻一代 (LOUDGEN) 的领袖们作为上帝群羊的牧人能够满有力量和智慧，可以成为羊群的好榜样
- 年轻一代 (LOUDGEN) 成为一个团结、有爱和充满敬虔的团契，互相鼓励激发彼此的爱心和善行
- 更有负担去拯救灵魂； 让年轻人有勇气向他们的朋友和亲人分享福音
Day 21 | 8 August
Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.”
An Excellent Thing for the Lord
By Elder Edwin Chua – Men’s Network
Read: Matthew 26:6-13, Luke 23:39-41,43
How many stories do you remember of beautiful things people did for the Lord? I can think of two.
I recall Mary’s choicest possession of very costly ointment which she used on Jesus. When the perfume was used on Jesus, the disciples were indignant. Can you hear them saying, “What is that stupid woman trying to prove in wasting all this perfume?” Our Lord, deeply touched, said, “She has done a beautiful thing to me.” (Matthew 26:10)
One day a lady brought to church chrysanthemum flowers which she said she wanted to present to God. I thought to myself, “Would anyone even notice or appreciate her flowers? Why waste the money on what we won’t use?” I told her we had no need for them. I regretted my words immediately. I sensed in my spirit that the Lord had something else to say–money may be more useful, but her gift was more beautiful.
The second narrative is even lovelier. From the moment of Jesus’ arrest, all the Lord heard were malicious lies, hateful accusations, cruel insults and scornful laughter. The barrage of jeering, ridicule and mockery drowned the faint sounds of weeping. Towards the end of that dreadful day, someone mastered all his strength and spoke out for Jesus, “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “… We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” (Luke 23:39-41)
Those were the first kind words spoken the whole day. This criminal was completely immobilised by the nails hammered through his hands and feet. He could only move his lips. With his mouth, he offered a word in defence of Jesus’ innocence. Those words must have meant so much to the Lord. Using every bit of energy that was fast waning, Jesus responded, “today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
I recall having had an opportunity to speak up for Jesus in a situation where he was misrepresented, but the environment was unfriendly. It was easier to remain quiet. A testimony of God’s goodness would have been a fitting gift to my Master, and His presence would have changed the atmosphere. But that didn’t happen.
- Have you held back doing something lovely (maybe “silly”) because you cared too much about what others may think?
- What can you bring to the Lord this year that is “holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship” (Romans 12:1)?
- That we may be encouraged by each other’s faith (Romans 1:12) as we offer our best to God, even if people do not understand our intention.
- That we may stimulate one another to love and good works, by our own example and our devotion (Hebrews 10:24).
作者: 蔡仲南长老 – 弟兄团契
阅读: 马太福音26:6-13，路加福音23:39-41, 43
第二个故事更温馨。从耶稣被捕的那一刻起，主听到的都是恶意的谎言、可恨的指责、冷酷的侮辱和轻蔑的讥笑。嘲讽奚落的弹幕淹没了那微弱的悲泣声。在那可怕的一天将要结束时，有人用尽全力为耶稣说话：““你不是基督吗？可以救自己和我们吧！” 那一个就应声责备他，说：“… 我们是应该的，因我们所受的与我们所做的相称，但这个人没有做过一件不好的事。””（路加福音23:39-41）
Day 20 | 7 August
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
By Pastor Wu Xia – Chinese Assembly
Read: Genesis 12:1-3
In Genesis 15, God’s covenant with Abram included the following promises:
- His descendants would be numerous
- The whole land of Canaan, where he had resided as a foreigner, would be given to him
- He would be greatly blessed, and that blessing would be passed on to many nations through him
This sacred covenant was passed down from generation to generation. Abram and his wife, Sarai (later known as Abraham and Sarah), tried to use their own means to fulfil God’s covenant, which resulted in the birth of Ishmael through their slave, Hagar. In spite of this, God firmly kept His word and prepared Isaac, whom Sarah gave birth to in her old age, as the promised son, thus sustaining the purity of the covenant.
And each generation experienced the fulfilment of God’s covenant differently.
Even though Isaac wanted to stick to his own plan and give his blessing to Esau, God gave the birthright to Jacob instead, continuing with His covenant plan.
Jacob found that all his gains eventually slipped away from his fingertips, regardless of the tricks he had used to fight or win. Only a life surrendered to God would ultimately prevail.
Joseph learned that when he feared God, the worst circumstances could eventually turn around and usher in the blessing of the covenant.
It was only from the third generation that we see God fulfilling His covenant with Abraham that his descendants would be numerous; the Israelites still didn’t possess Canaan, even after Joseph’s death. However, what was always there was the blessing of God’s presence. To this day, God’s blessings continue to flow to all nations and peoples, including you and me, through His covenant with Abraham’s family.
What kind of spiritual legacy will we pass down to the next generation? “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9) These verses are at the centre of the Bible and hopefully, they will also be how we centre our lives today.
- For our Chinese Assembly leaders to be fully committed to God’s family
- For our leaders to have healthy relationships with God
- For our leaders to be Christ–like in all their interactions with one another
- That our leaders will pass on a spiritual legacy
作者: 吴霞传道 – 华文聚会
这个神圣之约代代相传。亚伯兰在这圣约中经历：即使他和妻子撒莱 (后来的亚伯拉罕和撒拉) 尝试靠自己的方法来实现神的约，最后通过奴隶夏甲留后以实玛利，上帝依然坚定地为他预备了亲生儿子，撒拉年老才出生的以撒，延续圣约的纯正。
Day 19 | 6 August
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every matter under heaven
In His Time
By Patsy Tan – Library
Read: Romans 8:28
In times of change and transitions, it’s easy to lose direction or feel overwhelmed due to all the uncertainties; for example, when a loved one leaves, a change of career, growing up, marriage or becoming parents. Have you ever experienced this?
I recall the months and years after 15 October 2011, the day my husband died – the drastic and many changes that I had to make then, to adapt and accept these changes. It was not easy. I recall the many initial months digging into God’s Word, looking for answers to questions that flooded my mind. As I read His Word, God, in His perfect time, convicted me to look at things not from my human perspective but from His. In the many seasons of one’s life, at the appointed time, He would work all things together for good! Indeed, my God is in full control! Accepting life according to His will and time gave me renewed strength and purpose.
As much as I felt loved by God being there for me, in return, I wanted to do more for God. God provided the Library Ministry as a source of comfort. In His good time, He provided me with more opportunities to serve in other areas in church and also in para-church services. Through it all, after 10 years, I can indeed say, “there is an appointed time for everything” (Ecclesiastes 3:1), and “You still reign and You’re still God.”
No experience nor time is wasted and God is not just with us during the good times but also in our darkest moments, embracing and carrying us through. Knowing God is always there, emboldens one to come out stronger for the Almighty God after each difficult moment. So whatever season you are going through now, take heart, trust and hope in our Lord, Jesus Christ, for “there is a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
- Direction for the Library Ministry in this digital age
- For God to provide talents to help with revamping, if we digitise the PPHBC library
作者: 蔡丽贞 – 图书馆
Day 18 | 5 August
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
2 Timothy 1:6
Purpose for the Season Ahead
By Lim Se Ern – Young Adults
Read: 2 Timothy
For better or worse, 2 Timothy 1:6 is among the most commonly quoted verses of Scripture. Yet the fleeting Instagram post or beautified postcards often fail to capture the deep sentiment behind Paul’s words to his pupil and co-worker Timothy. The letter comes at a time in Paul’s life when he fears the worst: His prospects in prison are bleak and he has been forsaken by other followers, such as Demas. He wonders if his ministry on Earth may be drawing to a close. There is an air of finality, tinged with hope, that echoes throughout this intensely personal letter. Paul sees a new generation, embodied in Timothy, taking the baton from him.
The closing of every chapter also marks a new one. It seems that Timothy, a faithful servant of Christ, has already begun his part in this new chapter of the church. We know from the earlier letter of 1 Timothy that he has been on assignment in Ephesus, dealing with issues such as false teaching, divisions amongst different social groups in the church, and the appointment of new leaders. The gravity of Paul’s words spelt out Timothy’s purpose for the season ahead–to guard the faith that has been entrusted to him by Paul, and to fan into flame the gift of God.
Scripture does not reveal to us how Timothy felt upon reading Paul’s words, nor do we ever hear from Timothy’s perspective on how his life and faith have brought him to this point of service in the church’s history. Yet, we see plainly, by the grace of God, that he was someone who was called, and has gone before us in serving and being part of the church.
Likewise today, we have PPH, by the grace of God, participating in this unique chapter of the church: In Singapore in the 2020s, building on our history at New Bridge Road; with an English, Chinese and Telugu ministry; and serving in Teban Gardens, through Care Channels International and our missionaries abroad. My prayer is for the young adults in PPH, like Timothy, to be ready to embrace a new season and to discern our purpose for the road ahead. As a young adult myself, I would like to exhort my contemporaries–to cultivate our peculiar burdens for God’s church, to grasp on to a greater sense of ownership of our ministries in PPH, and to hunger for God’s word and spiritual maturity in a world where it is easier to be superficial and distracted.
- For the young adults in PPH to cultivate a burden for God’s church in PPH, starting with the opening of our eyes and ears to the needs of those around us in church, and to those whom we have been called to serve in Singapore and abroad.
- For the young adults in PPH to build a greater sense of ownership of our ministries: up to this point, we may have been more used to following rather than leading, due to our age or stage in life. We need to start building the habit of having ownership over the work in church, and to not hesitate due to our age.
- For the young adults in PPH to hunger for God’s word and spiritual maturity. Perhaps the greatest struggle for a young adult is how to prioritise our many new responsibilities in life. We are at a stage of our life where there are never-ending changes and it may be tempting to instead prioritise what society tells us to (be it hustle culture, or the Singaporean dream).
作者: 林溪恩 – 青年团契
同样在今天，我们有 PPH，靠着上帝的恩典，参与了教会这一独特的篇章：在 2020 年代的新加坡，在新桥路书写我们自己的历史；我们的英文、华文和泰卢固语事工；在德曼花园的服事，Care Channels International的服事，以及我们的宣教士在海外的服事。我的祷告是希望 PPH 的青年人能像提摩太一样，准备好迎接新的季节，并确定我们前面道路的目标。我自己作为一个青年人，想与我的同辈共勉——让我们培养自己对上帝教会的特殊负担，以更强的主人翁意识对待我们在 PPH 的服事，在这个容易让我们分心和停留在表面的世界里，继续渴慕上帝的话语和属灵的成熟。
- PPH 的青年人会在 PPH 中培养对上帝教会的负担，首先求神开我们的眼睛和耳朵，看到教会中我们周围的人的需要，以及在新加坡和海外我们被呼召去服事的人群的需要。
- PPH 的青年人会以更强的主人翁意识对待我们的服事：到目前为止，由于我们的年龄或人生阶段，我们可能更习惯于跟随而不是带领。我们需要开始培养对于教会事工的主人翁意识，并且不要因为我们年轻而犹豫不决。
- PPH 的青年人会渴慕神的话语和属灵的成熟：对于一个青年人来说，最大的挣扎也许是如何优先考虑我们在生活中的许多新责任。我们正处在一个不断变化的人生阶段，有可能会被诱惑去优先考虑这个世界所教导我们的事情（无论是喧嚣的文化，还是新加坡的梦想）。
Day 17 | 4 August
because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.
Jesus, the Rising Sun
Anonymous – Chinese Assembly
Have you ever sat in darkness, in the shadow of death? In 2010, the San Jose copper mine in Chile collapsed and 33 people were trapped 600 meters deep. The flashlights were out of power and there was darkness everywhere. After all the food was consumed, people were so hungry that they could not even stand; they were literally in the middle of the shadow of death. Fortunately, these miners were rescued after 67 days. Can you imagine how they felt when they first saw the sunshine after two months of darkness?
Although we may not have such extreme physical experiences, our spirits would have also sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, in despair and helplessness. But Jesus is the morning sun that came to us from heaven. His light is full of love and hope that will lead us out of darkness and the shadow of death and into the path of peace. Dear brothers and sisters, think back to the time when you were saved and born again. How sweet is salvation! The best gift we can give to those around us is the gospel; it is Jesus!
Dear brothers and sisters, let us take on the great mission–whether it is at work or among our neighbours and relatives–let us be lampstands, and illuminate our little area through our separation from the world and our good deeds, and let people see the light of Jesus. When many little lamps come together, we become like the rising sun of Jesus giving light to the whole earth, bringing love and hope.
- For God to unite the Chinese Assembly around Jesus.
- For God to move people in the church to boldly witness for Jesus in their workplace, and among their family and friends.
- For the annual Alpha course to bear fruit.
作者: 匿名 – 华文聚会
Day 16 | 3 August
But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see.
The God Who Speaks
By Wan Jun Mei – Ushers
One day, on a bus journey, I felt my stomach churning and as I responded to how my body felt, I realised it was because I was really scared and worried about all these uncertainties with my research project. I told God my fears, and tears just streamed down. To hide my tears I had to turn my face to the side panel of the bus. I tried to stop crying and in the spur of the moment, I told God, “I really need Your answer for this situation.” Then I closed my eyes and waited for Him.
After a few seconds of waiting, I was beginning to lose confidence, “Perhaps He will not respond after all,” But at this moment, an image came to my mind. It was a picture of a tall man stretching out his arms and encouraging a little girl who stood across the other side of the chasm saying, ‘Jump, don’t be scared, I am here. I will protect you and help you’. The man looked like Jesus, while I was the little girl. My tears streamed down again – only this time, they were tears of joy and gratitude.
I used to envy my friends who could receive God’s words during their prayer and devotional time. Not only was I envious, I felt greatly disappointed and helpless. I could not help wondering: Why could I not have the same close, conversational relationship with God? Does God show favouritism just like people would?
However, after the above event, I often received God’s conversational response in prayer. What changed in my communication with God? I believe several factors made the difference:
- Firstly, being in touch with one’s emotions is an essential condition to connect with others, including God.
- Secondly, the sincere expression of my emotions, both verbally and bodily, somehow drew God’s response. I believe it was God who created human emotions, and healthy emotions have certain adaptive capabilities; for example, sadness attracts others to give comfort.
- Thirdly, calling on the Lord’s presence awakens my awareness of Him.
- Finally, waiting provides time and space for me to receive His reply.
The picture of Jesus and the little girl that day was God’s way of showing me the conflicting desires of my heart – how I long for adventure yet am struggling with fear and at the same time. God’s reply to me deeply impacted me far beyond what I asked for. He showed me that He is present with me and is not a distant God far beyond my reach. Neither does He show favouritism, for He loves me, and I am safe in Him.
That’s why He is different from idols made by human hands. God is a God who speaks – and His words bring love, truth and healing.
- Do you have sadness, disappointment or fear that you don’t think you can easily share with anyone, not even God? You are not alone. I used to be like this, due to the fear of being judged or denied, of not being understood. Tell God your deepest pain, and give him space and time to respond to you.
- Do you have a hard time recognising your own emotions or connecting emotionally with people and God? Pray for a heart-to-heart connection with people and with God.
- Do you find it challenging to host new friends or invite people back to church? Pray for God to help you.
作者: 万俊梅 – 招待
短短几秒的等待，我已经失去了信心：“这不太可能吧！“ 就在这时，脑海中出现了一幅画面。一位高大的成年男子伸出双臂鼓励和接应他对面的小女儿跳过一个鸿沟， 说：‘跳，不用害怕，我在这里。我会保护和帮助你。’ 这位成年男子看起来像耶稣，而我就是那个小女孩。再次泪流满面，这回却是喜极而泣惊喜感恩的眼泪。
- 用语言或者身体语言真诚地表达自己的情感在这里吸引了神的回应。我相信神造了人类的情感，健康的情绪有适应性的功能， 比如表达悲伤能够吸引他人给与安慰。
Day 15 | 2 August
Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
The Joy of Prayer
By Koh Seng Loo – Prayer
Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the privilege of talking to You, as a child to the Father. Grant to us the joy of a child coming to the Father who is ever so attentive to us, knowing that You will provide. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Do you remember yourself as a child waiting for your father to return home, and rushing to tell him all that had happened in the day? The sheer joy of being in his embrace, wrapped in his arms or sitting on his lap, as he listens patiently to you. For many of us as parents and/or grandparents, I am quite sure you would have experienced your child and/or grandchild coming to you seeking your attention. Our hearts fill with joy as we listen to them. I believe the same is true when we come before our Heavenly Father in prayer. He is delighted when we choose to confide in Him. In fact, He says in Isaiah 65:24, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”
Our Heavenly Father knows what we are going through, yet He desires to hear from us. Prayer helps us to gather our thoughts. It allows us to pause, review the day, and give thanks for God’s leading and protection. It shifts our focus onto God and away from the problems. It is not so much telling God how big our problems are, but to remind ourselves how big our God is. God Himself says in Jeremiah 32:27, “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”
So, you see, this joy works both ways, we experience joy as we bring before our Heavenly Father our cares and burdens knowing that He is able to do what we ask of Him, and our Heavenly Father delights in our thanksgivings and praises, as we trust in Him.
May God grant us joy and delight as we come before Him!
- That God will stir within the hearts of our church members a deeper desire to draw closer to God in prayer, both individually and corporately as a church
- That we will find it a delight to converse with and encounter God through prayer, to know Him more, to know the “awe of praising his glory, the intimacy of finding his grace, and the struggle of asking his help, all of which can lead us to know the spiritual reality of his presence.” (Timothy Keller)
作者: 许成裕 – 祷告
- 我们可以乐于通过祷告与神交谈、遇见神，更多地认识祂，知道“赞美祂荣耀而来的敬畏，数算祂恩典而来的亲密，以及寻求祂帮助而来的挣扎，这一切都可以带领我们更经历祂同在的属灵现实”（蒂莫西·凯勒（Timothy Keller））
Day 14 | 1 August
Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
By Guo Xian Jing – St. Luke’s Eldercare
In early 2022, I had the chance to join the St. Luke’s Eldercare Ministry. The team and I meet with the elderly; we sing songs, play games and listen to Bible stories with them. We also pray for them, and introduce them to our Heavenly Father.
I used to feel that caring for the elderly and talking with them was quite a task. I don’t speak any Chinese dialects like Hokkien, and sometimes, they don’t quite understand my accent either. Some of them don’t even know what’s going on, as they are suffering from dementia. However, I feel God’s love the moment I step into the eldercare centre. This is God’s hand at work, shining His light upon these 80, 90, even 100 year olds. This is because they are all made by His hand, and they are His children.
Read: Leviticus 19:32
What God wants us to do is actually quite simple–to respect the elderly, and to honour and care for them with a heart that fears God. Regardless of whether we can communicate with the elderly or not, His love will flow freely among us, as long as we fear God and rely on Him. With just a wink, a smile or a short prayer, God’s love will enter the heart of everyone, including those with dementia.
In ministering to the elderly, the elderly have ministered to me. A grandma shared with me how her children have come to believe in Jesus, and how her family is blessed. Her grandchildren and she herself have gotten to know Jesus and believe in him. She is 80 years old and has many illnesses, yet she feels joyful every day. She said it is just like in the old song: Jesus is really good. I can’t help thinking of my parents, my children, my grandma and family members who have yet to accept Jesus into their lives. May they all come to know the Lord and follow Him one day. How beautiful would that be!
As Psalm 71:9 says, even one day when we are old and our strength is gone, may the Lord still be pleased with us and be with us.
- For the health/salvation of the elderly at St. Luke’s/Teban Gardens
- For God’s love to fill all our brothers and sisters who serve in the eldercare ministry, and for more volunteers to join this ministry
作者: 郭贤京 – 圣路加乐龄关怀
Day 13 | 31 July
He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us
2 Corinthians 1:10
Hoping Against All Hope
By Matthew Ng – Men’s Network
Read: 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
I first encountered what I now label as burnout in my second year of university in 2018.
As a young person, I had grown accustomed to being able to power through sleep deficits from procrastination and unhurried time spent with others. It was strange to now experience this persistent weariness that hung over my daily life. Regular breaks and changes to habits helped, but as each academic term progressed, all too common became the feeling of thinness, like butter spread over too much bread (to borrow an expression from Tolkien).
As the year passed, things did not improve, and I found myself feeling greatly overwhelmed and ill-prepared as my final exams (100% weightage) drew closer. The weekend before my exams, it was a late Saturday night, after a Bible study when some friends stayed with me to pray and to worship. I had decided to and had shared about my intention to rusticate (repeat the year). But as we lingered in the presence of God, the Spirit came upon one of my friends, who felt led in the stead of God to ask what it was that I would ask the Lord for. Very much shaken to the depths of my heart by this, I asked for God’s nearness and the ability to carry on. This request was answered in tremendous ways over the coming days, especially on painfully early mornings where I would get up at 4/5-ish to prepare for an exam at half past nine.
The week before that Saturday, late one night (Day 1) in the college’s gardens where I usually took my breaks, God was near when I was feeling very overwhelmed. It felt like that moment in 2 Kings 13 where Elisha was dying and told the king of Israel who came to see him, to take some arrows and strike the ground; arrows of victory over Aram. As the simple of heart are often rather fond of doing, I took God at His word, and decided to strike the ground a truly ridiculous 35 times without thinking too much about it, one for each day that I wanted Him to see me through. An early Friday morning weeks later, the logistics company had just come to collect my boxes for shipping for which I had woken up very early to pack, when the realisation suddenly hit — it was the 35th day. Much laughter and many tears followed; the emotions of everything that I was seen through both recently and in the previous 3 years.
Why is it that these kinds of things happen to us? Do we feel like Moses, who wrote in Psalm 90:10 of the trouble and sorrow that accompany even the best of our days. Like David in Psalm 62 who felt like a bending wall about to give way, assailed on all sides by his enemies?
There is a fragility in being a jar of clay that contains a surpassingly great power—it’s from God and not from us. If we keep looking at what we can see, outwardly we might be wasting away; the smallness and frailness of the vessel is keenly visible. Instead, it’s like the widow in 2 Kings 4 who cried out to Elisha for help when creditors came to enslave her two sons. Her small jar of oil was able to keep pouring out into other vessels to be sold to pay off her husband’s debts—something is happening beyond what we can see.
Our Shepherd is shaping our hearts to rely not on ourselves, but on Him, who raises the dead.
- An overflow of hope (Romans 15:13, 1 Thessalonians 1:3)
- Opportunities to comfort others with the comfort that we have received; praying for them with confidence as recipients of God’s promises (2 Corinthians 1:3-7,11,20)
- Power to endure and have patience as we wait (Psalm 40, Psalm 121, Colossians 1:11)
作者: 黄智仁 – 弟兄团契
我在 2018 年大学二年级时第一次经历我现在称之为力竭的一段时间。
一年过去了，情况并没有好转，随着期末考试（100% 的分数比重）越来越近，我发现自己不知所措，准备不足。考试前的那个周末，是一个星期六的深夜，一些朋友和我在学习圣经之后一起祷告和敬拜。我向他们分享了我打算复读一年的决定。但是当我们在寻求神时，圣灵降临在我的一位朋友身上，他觉得神感动他，并问我要向神求什么。这让我内心深处非常地震撼，我祈求神的亲近和让自己坚持的力量。在接下来的几天里，我的祷告得到了极大的回应，尤其是在那个痛苦的清晨，我要在早上 四五点起床准备九点半的考试。
那个星期六的一周之前，深夜，在我通常休息的大学花园里（第一天），当我感到非常不知所措时，上帝来到我身边。那感觉就像在列王纪下13章，以利沙将死的时候让以色列王来到他面前，拿一些弓箭击打地面；战胜亚兰的胜利之箭。像许多怀着简单信心的人喜欢作的一样，我没有多想，按照神所说的话，击打地面35次，而每一次代表我希望他与我同在的一天。几周后的一个周五清晨，物流公司来取一些我很早就起来打包要邮寄的箱子，我突然意识到——今天是第 35 天！欢笑和泪水随之而来；最近以及过去3年所经历的，神带领我走过的这一切，所有的情绪都在那一刻倾倒出来。
一罐带有超乎寻常力量的粘土依旧有他的软弱——这力量来自上帝，而不是来自我们自己。如果我们只继续看我们能看到的东西，表面上我们可能正在消瘦；这器皿的渺小和脆弱是显而易见的。相反地，就像列王纪下4中，那个寡妇在债主来抓她的两个儿子作奴仆时向以利沙寻求帮助。她的一小罐油能够不断地倒在其他容器中，最后出售以偿还丈夫的债务 – 一些正在发生的事情是超过我们所能看见的。
- 神所赐的盼望充满我们 (罗马书15:13, 帖撒罗尼迦前书1:3)
- 有机会用神给我们的安慰来安慰其他人；为他人可以凭信心承受神的应许祷告 (哥林多后书1:3-7,11,20)
- 神赐给我们力量和耐性来等候他 (诗篇40, 诗篇121, 歌罗西书1:11)
Day 12 | 30 July
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
By Teh Ai Kian – Chinese Assembly
Read: 1 Kings 9:1-5
Worship can be divided broadly into two categories: corporate or personal worship.
In the Old Testament, perhaps the most impressive corporate worship is found in the dedication of Solomon’s temple. In 1 Kings 9:1-5, God appeared to Solomon a second time after the temple dedication and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever”
Men may have been impressed with Solomon’s temple but God was more concerned about Solomon’s heart, that he should walk before God in integrity and uprightness.
Worship of God was commanded in the first of the 10 commandments, In both the Old and New testaments, our coming together in corporate worship is not only to glorify and thank Him for all He has done in our lives, but it is to be a beacon of light drawing believers and unbelievers alike to a greater knowledge and understanding of this holy God we worship.
Worship is more than coming together on Sundays as a congregation. It is worshipping God with our lives, our words and choices. Romans 12:1 says “to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
As the people of God today, how are we worshipping Him as living sacrifices?
- That worship team members will each offer their best at every worship session.
- That God will use the worship team to inspire the congregation to truly worship God in spirit and in truth, offering holy and acceptable worship to God.
作者: 周爱虔 – 华文聚会
在旧约中，最令人印象深刻的团体敬拜可能是在所罗门圣殿的奉献的时候了。在列王纪上 9:1-5 中，神在圣殿奉献后第二次向所罗门显现，并对他说：“你向我所祷告祈求的，我都应允了。我已将你所建的这殿分别为圣，使我的名永远在其中；我的眼、我的心也必常在那里。你若效法你父大卫，存诚实正直的心行在我面前，遵行我一切所吩咐你的，谨守我的律例典章，我就必坚固你的国位在以色列中，直到永远，正如我应许你父大卫说：‘你的子孙必不断人坐以色列的国位。’”
Day 11 | 29 July
You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.
What Worth Have We Attributed to Our God?
By Elder Caleb Phang – Worship
Read: Luke 7:44-47
A sinful, outcast woman. She brought her most valuable possession and poured it out in an expression of worship. Pressing through fear, shame, prejudices, she exemplified one of the most intimate and loving moments of worship in the Bible. The woman knew that Jesus’ honour and worth were far more important than her insecurities. Wiping Jesus’ dusty feet with her hair was not beneath her. She did not think twice before pouring the expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet. She gave all she had, recognising His worth and lordship. Her worship to Jesus was humble yet extravagant.
- There should be no difference in our approach to worship on Sundays, and worship on other days. Songs of worship arise from a life of worship. How have I been worshipping God on days when I am not worshipping with God’s family?
- Take a snapshot of your life today – what does it say about God’s place in our life? Pause and pray for yourself.
- “Oh come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” – are we approaching God with an all-too-easy familiarity, or do we still approach God’s throne with reverence and awe?
- That the worship ministry will continue exercising creativity in serving a creative God, and pursuing excellence in serving an all-deserving God.
- That the worship ministry will be grounded and united in prayer, so that we remain single-minded in giving our best.
- Protection over and strength for the worship team; since the start of 2022, there have been many instances of members on duty falling sick. While the evil one seeks to hinder our worship to God, we will pray more and praise more.
- That we will realise the magnitude of God’s being. Being reminded that God is not merely a god of convenience or god of Sundays, our songs will become more than songs, and our worship will become our role, not our duty.
作者: 彭君凯长老 – 敬拜
Day 10 | 28 July
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation
2 Corinthians 5:18
Reconciled That We May Reconcile
By Pastor Sharon Tay – Missions
One was hated by his own people. Another so ashamed that she did not want to be seen. Still another, so tormented that he had to be locked up. Such was their lives before they met the Lord Jesus: Zacchaeus, the hated tax-collector; the anonymous Samaritan woman at the well’ and the demon-possessed man at Gerasene.
They had one thing in common. Their encounter with Jesus so changed their lives that they could not help but speak of what Christ had done for them! Neither of them were super evangelists like the apostle Paul or Billy Graham. They simply had a story to share. Their lives were a mess, but Christ stepped in, made things right and so the next natural thing to do was to tell others about it. Absolutely no shame!
Perhaps not all of us have such dramatic encounters, but we certainly have our own pain and struggles. Just like these Bible characters, our lives needed hope and restoration that only Christ can bring. And how can we who have tasted God’s goodness not tell others? How can we not do unto others what Jesus has done for us?
My eldest brother brought me to church and I came to know Christ when I was 7 years old. There were no dramatic turning points and I used to think that my experiences were too plain and ordinary. Can the Lord possibly use me? As I pondered, the Holy Spirit reminded me that the One who calms the raging storms is also the same Lord who used five loaves, two fishes and a little boy to feed five thousand. It is not about me. It is all about what He can do.
So, I said, “Yes Lord, use me in any way for Your glory.” With that yes, I answered the Lord’s call for missions and in His amazing way, God led me to PPH in 2005 as a Bible school student intern and three years later, PPH sent me in partnership with WEC International to the mission field in 2008. And since then, it has been a continuous journey of allowing God to show me His heart for those who are lost.
So, brothers and sisters in Christ, what has God done for you? What is He continuing to do in your life? Like Zacchaeus, the Samaritan woman and the demon-possessed man from Gerasene, would you consider reflecting on what God has done and is still doing, so that you also can share what He has done for you? In doing so, you not only reveal your restoration to God, but at the same time, God can use you to bring about reconciliation to your listeners as well. For such is our privilege: We have been reconciled in order that we may reconcile.
Pray: Lord, give me Your heart and help me to see those around me as You see them. Show me the opportunities and help me to be bold yet gentle for the gospel. Enable me to be wise in my speech and Godly in my actions so that others can see Jesus in me.
- Our eyes will be open to see, our ears open to hear, and our legs and hands ready to act.
- Many more souls be reached in the places where our workers are placed, and that these lives be built and be discipled to maturity. Our joy is to see Christ in each soul – the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
- The Lord will encourage our missionaries and refresh them in all their endeavours.
作者: 郑佩芬传道 – 宣教
我的大哥带我去教堂，我在 7 岁时认识了基督。没有戏剧性的转折点，我曾经认为我的经历太平淡和普通。主有可能使用我吗？当我深思时，圣灵提醒我，平息风浪的那一位，也是用五饼二鱼和一个小男孩喂饱五千人的主。这并非关于我自己。一切乃在于祂能。
因此，我说，“是的，主啊，为了祢的荣耀，请以任何方式使用我。” 以那一声是的，我回应了主对宣教的呼召，主以祂奇妙的方式，在 2005 年带领我这位神学生来到 PPH 实习，三年之后，PPH与环球福音会（WEC International）合作，于 2008 年差派我到宣教禾场。自此之后，这是一个持续的旅程，顺服上帝使祂向我显明祂对那些失丧者的心意。
- 在我们的同工所被安置之处，可以接触到更多的灵魂，并且这些生命被建造并培训以至成熟。我们的喜乐是在每个灵魂中看到基督 – 荣耀的盼望（歌罗西书1:27）。
Day 9 | 27 July
and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:24-25
A Home Away From Home
By Yeoh Chwen Hwe – Foreign Worker Fellowship
Have you ever been away from home for long periods of time? Have you ever experienced homesickness? What did you miss most? For most Singaporeans, it is usually a food or a dish. That is why we have the term “comfort food”. In the movie “Ratatouille”, the food critic was brought back to his childhood days after smelling and tasting the dish his mother had cooked specially for him.
We have in our midst Filipinas, Indonesians and Myanmar domestic helpers who have been in Singapore from a few months to many years. How do they cope with homesickness? Some are single moms who worry for the children they leave behind under the care of others.
My husband and I realized we can open our home to be hospitable to these ladies. Since the Covid restrictions, we have had at least five ladies come to our home once a month for worship and fellowship. After online church service, they cook or potluck their favorite dishes and we join them for a simple meal together. I am beginning to see how eating together engages the senses of smell, vision, taste and touch. I also understand “comfort food” better when I see them eat their familiar dishes.
After the dishes are cleared away, we play some card games. When they are comfortable and relaxed, that’s when they joke, say silly things and tease one another. Also, during the games, some are very competitive, some quite innocent of the schemes of others, but all having a good time. I would say it is a true Sabbath for them.
I used to wonder why the holy communion is such an important event in the life of the church? Just like the Israelites, it is easy to forget the goodness of God very quickly. The holy communion, when we assemble together and God engages our senses of sight and taste, to eat bread and drink the fruit of the vine, is also a time for believers to come together to worship, remember the death of Christ, be grateful for his sacrifice, and to pray for His second coming.
As hosts in our own country, let us be hospitable to foreigners in our midst. Let us welcome them as brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us invite them to join in the feast that Jesus invites all who follow him.
- For newly arrived women to adjust well in their foreign environments.
- For peace in their hearts, safety and good health for the family they leave behind.
- For salvation during their time in Singapore.
- For their spiritual growth, and that they may glorify God wherever they are.
作者: 周淳慧 – 外籍劳工团契
Day 8 | 26 July
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Who is the Neighbour? The One Who Showed Him Mercy.
By Lee Chee Yeng – Community Services Centre (CSC)
Read: Luke 10:25-37
We often view this merciful Samaritan as an exceptional model, impossible to follow. Yet Jesus tells his followers, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:37)
Ordinary ways of showing mercy to hurting people follow the Good Samaritan pattern. First, seeing (and discerning) the vital need of the person. Not just looking and then “passing by the other side” because we are busy or leaving the “problem” to other passers-by.
Secondly, feeling compassion for the person needing help. The Samaritan’s heart compels him to stop. His conscience prompts him to respond.
Thirdly, taking practical action. It would take our time. Disrupt our schedule. Touch our pockets sometimes.
Let us draw near and get involved with people who are poor and needy. Ask your friend for support. Who is your innkeeper, your partner in serving others?
Mother Teresa reminds us, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Look out for those who are “Jesus-in-distress,” disguised as strangers on the path of life. Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:35-36)
Through the Community Services Centre (CSC), our church has been serving the residents of Teban and Pandan Gardens for 20 years. They have been blessed through numerous acts of love. Some of us may recall these three stories:
- A sister befriended Mdm L, a divorcee looking after two unemployed, schizophrenic sons. In despair, Mdm L wanted to commit suicide. She was dissuaded and counselled. After some months, she accepted Jesus and was baptised at PPH.
- CSC helped a troubled three-generation family in various ways.
- M, the grandmother, has received emotional and spiritual support. CSC also facilitated the renovation of her flat, which was funded by a generous donor.
- D, M’s wayward son, has turned for the better. He now serves as an usher on Sunday mornings at PPH.
- Both M. and D. have received Christ and were baptised in PPH.
- B, M’s grandson, was given counselling support; he joined CSC’s tuition programme, without having to pay any fees.
- A, M’s granddaughter, has received help in managing her medical issues.
- An elderly gentleman, Mr T, used to endure backbreaking tasks in caring for his adult son (now deceased), who had been incapacitated with cerebral palsy since he was young. CSC arranged for his flat’s renovation, and also got them an adjustable hospital bed and a bed commode. Mr and Mrs T now receive groceries on a bi-monthly basis and join CSC programmes regularly.
We can do more at Teban Gardens. Help could be given to young families at newer flats. We should befriend lonely seniors and rebuild relationships disrupted by COVID. To serve well, CSC is looking for additional staff and volunteers.
- Thank the Lord for CSC staff members, friends, and relationships in Teban Gardens as well as His blessings and provision.
- Opportunities and discernment to serve more residents.
- More staff and volunteers.
作者: 李志营 – 社区关怀中心
我们的教会通过社区关怀中心 (CSC) 服事德曼花园和班丹花园的居民已经20 年，他们因无数爱的行动而被祝福。我们中的一些人可能还记得这三个故事：
- 一位姐妹关爱的L女士, 她离异并照顾两个失业的、患有精神分裂症的儿子。绝望中，L女士想自杀，最终她被劝阻和开解。几个月后，她接受了耶稣，并在 PPH受洗
- CSC 以多种方式帮助一个陷入困境的三代家庭。
- 祖母 M 得到了情感和精神上的支持。 CSC 还协助翻新了她的公寓，该公寓由一位慷慨的捐助者资助。
- M任性的儿子D变好了。他现在在 PPH 担任主日早上的招待员。
- M和 D 都接受了基督并在 PPH 受洗。
- M 的孙子 B 获得辅导支持；他加入了 CSC 的辅导课程，无需支付任何费用。
- M 的孙女 A 在处理就医方面得到了帮助。
- 年迈的T先生，为了照顾从小就患有脑瘫的成年儿子（现已去世），曾经承担着繁重的工作。 CSC 为他的公寓安排了翻新，还为他们准备了一张可调节的病床和一个床头柜。现在，T 先生和 T 夫人每两个月领取免费杂货，并定期参加 CSC的各项活动。
Day 7 | 25 July
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Assemble to Encourage
By Pastor Kevin Lim – Care Groups
Read: Hebrews 10:19-25
Our Lord Jesus offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice once and for all so that we could be restored to relationship and fellowship with God. In light of this, we are told to:
- Draw near to God (v. 22)
- Hold fast to our hope without wavering (v. 23)
- Pursue the community of God (v. 24-25)
The community of God is one of His great blessings to help us stay near Him and hold fast to our hope. In v. 24-25, we are instructed to:
- Consider and exhort one another
If we each come together with an attitude of thinking about others, encouraging others, our group meetings and we ourselves will be so much more blessed.
- Not forsake assembling together
There can be a tendency sometimes for us to give up meeting together–when it conflicts with other life commitments or when we are faced with life’s challenges. Does it take much for you to forsake meeting together? The Hebrew Christians were facing persecution and discouragement. Yet the injunction was not to avoid community as this was the time that they needed it most.
Here are testimonies from some Care Group (CG) members:
“My life has drastically been changed for the better…. We study the Bible together, discuss how it applies to our life and pray for one another. The Christian life is hard to live on your own. It is much easier when you have good friends living life with you.”
“CG has been a place to have discussions and a place to be vulnerable. If it wasn’t for the gathering of like-minded people, I know I wouldn’t have grown closer to God.”
“… my CG members are always there to care for, encourage and support me. From their love, I feel the love of God. And from their living examples, I learn discipleship.”
Join a CG to bless and be blessed!
- For yourself–that you will not give up meeting with God’s people (whether or not you are in a CG) at the slightest distraction or even the toughest discouragement.
- That in our meetings, we will be an encouragement to one another–to draw near to God, to hold unswervingly to our hope, and to spur one another to love and good works.
- For more CG leaders to be raised so that more people can meet regularly together to journey as disciples and make disciples.
作者: 林启文长老 – 关怀小组
- 来到神面前 (22节)
- 坚守所承认的指望，不至摇动 (23节)
- 追求神里面的聚会 (24-25节)
有些时候我们可能倾向于放弃聚会 – 当聚会与生活中其它责任冲突时或我们面对生活的挑战时。我们为聚会需要付上多少代价？当时的犹太基督徒曾面对的是迫害和灰心，然而这命令并不是要他们免去聚会，因为这正是他们最需要聚会的时候。
以下是一些关怀小组 (CG) 组员的见证：
“我的生活发生了翻天覆地的变化…我们一起学习圣经，讨论如何应用在我们的生活，并彼此代祷。 基督徒的生活靠自己一个人将会很难过。 而当你有好朋友们一起度过时，则会容易得多。”
“……我的 CG 成员总是在关心、鼓励和支持我。 从他们关爱中我感受到了上帝的爱。 从他们生命见证中，我学会如何做主的门徒。”
- 为自己祷告 – 即使在任何小小的分心或极大的灰心失望里，让我们自己不要停止在神家里的聚会 (无论你是否在小组中)。
- 在聚会中我们可以成为彼此的鼓励 – 亲近神，坚守不至摇动的指望，彼此激发爱心，勉励行善
Day 6 | 24 July
No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
1 John 4:12
How God’s Love is Perfected in You
By Rebecca Yeo – Woman to Woman
Read: 1 John 2:5, 1 John 4:12
The love of God is perfected in us when we keep His word.
The love of God is perfected in us if we love one another.
What is “perfected”? Is this saying that God’s love is not perfect and it has to be made perfect? The Greek word for “perfected” is “teleioo”, and it means “to complete”, i.e. to add what is yet lacking in order to render a thing full. It is the same word used in James 2:22, that by works, faith was perfected; and in 2 Corinthians 12:9, that His strength is made perfect in weakness.
What 1 John shows is not that God’s love is lacking. His love lacks nothing. Instead, what I learnt from the verses is that the love that I received and experienced from God should result in:
- Keeping His word, and
- Loving one another
If we, as a people of God, do not keep His word and love one another, His love in us has not yet been perfected. It is incomplete and it is not supposed to be that way.
We know God is love. Many of those around us have not seen God; how are they to see and know that God is love? Through us, His people! Jesus said the same thing–love one another, by this, all men will know you are my disciples (John 13:35).
I recall that my dad was moved when the church showed love to my grandma who came to Christ when she was hospitalized. The church fully supported the funeral arrangements and wake services. My dad said he saw the love of these brothers and sisters, and decided to go to church to know this God. My dad became a Christian and was baptized some years later. How marvelous is that?
- How would it look like if the love of God is perfected in you and I at our workplaces, in our families, and in church? May we allow God to accomplish and complete what His love is supposed to do, both individually and as a collective church body.
- That the world would see Him through us.
作者: 杨慧霞 – 姐妹事工
什么是”完美”？难道是说神的爱并不完美，需要成为完美吗？希腊文中的“完美”是“teleioo”，它的意思是完全，即添加尚未完成的东西以使事物变得完整。雅各书2:22 中使用的同一个词，信心因着行为，得以成全。在哥林多后书12:9 说道，他的能力在人的软弱上显得完全。
Day 5 | 23 July
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
God’s Gift of Grace
By Teo Shu May – Woman to Woman
“What gift of grace is Jesus my redeemer
There is no more for heaven now to give
He is my joy, my righteousness, and freedom
My steadfast love, my deep and boundless peace
To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus
For my life is wholly bound to His
Oh how strange and divine, I can sing, “All is mine”
Yet not I, but through Christ in me”
From “Yet Not I, But Through Christ In Me” by CityAlight
What I am most grateful for is how the PPH family and my parents planted the seeds of faith in my heart since I was a child. I recall how I was exposed to the Gospel from my time in PPH Kindergarten and Sunday School, and the faithful Sunday School teachers who taught me about who Jesus is and God’s incredible love for me. Over the years, these seeds have grown and blossomed, and I give thanks for the joy of knowing Jesus from a tender age and seeing His transforming work in my life.
Romans 8:31-32 reads, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
How amazing that God, who had every right to punish us, chose instead to give His Son and redeem us from our sins! Indeed, ‘there is no more for heaven now to give’. My prayer for PPH as we step into the next 40 years is that we will continue to hold fast to Jesus and bind our lives wholly to Him. As we serve each other and the community around us, may we always remember that it’s not by our own effort, but ‘through Christ in us.’ God has been and always will be faithful. To Him be all glory!
- That we will continue to plant seeds of faith in the lives of the next generation
- That Jesus will continue to be lifted high and glorified through all our church programmes
- For men and women to devote themselves sacrificially to serving God, whether locally or overseas
作者: 张淑媚 – 姐妹事工
我坚定 唯有耶稣 我的盼望
Day 4 | 22 July
But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.
See, Stop and Spend
By Pastor Tang Kok Fai – Men’s Network
Read: Luke 10:30-35
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the priest and the Levite looked at the stranger by the road, but they did not really see him. They saw just enough to change their pace and pass by on the other side of the road. They were absorbed in whatever more important religious activities they had in mind, except the practice of compassion.
Compassion starts with seeing, at times behind the people’s masks, but it also requires one to stop. To stop long enough to make a human-to-human connection, to see, to hear, and to empathise. And then to take the action of “spending” or investing in someone’s life–to help, to bless. We leave the “return on investment” to God.
The Good Samaritan bound the wounds of the injured man, spent two days’ wages to house him at a safe inn, and wrote a blank cheque to the innkeeper to underwrite any additional expenses. The injured man was a stranger, but also a neighbour, someone who was near enough to elicit the milk of human kindness.
In our going out and coming in, what do we really see? And if we see, do we stop? And if we stop, do we “spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” (Isaiah 58:10)
- Eyes to really see
- Compassion to stop and to bless
- Hearts that will never be self-absorbed nor hardened, but always flowing with the milk of human kindness
作者: 邓国辉牧师 – 弟兄团契
怜悯的心是从看见开始的 ， 有时我们需要‘看到’人面具后真实的一面，但这也需要我们停顿下来。我们要停下足够的时间来建立人与人之间的联结，去看，去听，去感同身受。然后采取行动去“付出” ，或是投资在某个人的生命当中，去帮助，去祝福。我们把 “投资的回报” 交托给神。
Day 3 | 21 July
Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
Before They Call, I Will Answer
Anonymous – Men’s Network
What reassurance is His word, though we are used to the idea that God has three answers to our prayers – yes, no and wait. It does not help that God’s time frame is drastically different from ours–a thousand years may be equivalent to a day. So it is often implicit that we are to pray hard and long for our petitions to deserve the attention of God and to badger Him to get what we asked for.
In reality, God sometimes acts even before we finish our prayers!
Read: Genesis 24:12-15
“Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder.” (Genesis 24:15)
The account of how Abraham’s servant found a wife for Isaac shows how promptly God took action. No pestering was necessary. God puts events into motion even while we are still praying, though they can be behind the scenes and away from our view.
God may be slow to anger but He is certainly not slow to act for our welfare.
Let us remember what God says – “Before they call I will answer” (Isaiah 65:24).
- That the men of PPHBC will call on the Lord frequently in prayer, and that their walk with God will be ever strengthened by their personal prayer life.
- That the Men’s Network can be an impetus for PPHBC men to bond with God and with men.
作者: 匿名 – 弟兄团契
Day 2 | 20 July
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Cultivating Our New Selves
By Julia Kwek – Woman to Woman
Learning about my faith often gives me two opposing feelings, that of grief and of joy. Grief at how susceptible I am to sin and how damaged our world is. Yet, joy knowing that I am redeemed and loved by God. At times, I find myself holding on to that grief, and even questioning how I could be a child of God if I still have that sinful self inside of me. There were times when I held on to my old self instead of letting the new self take over my life. Eric Johnson, a professor in Christian Psychology talked about how the old and the new self come with their own desires, emotions, beliefs and ways of relating. I know I want to be that new creation in Christ.
When we were redeemed, a seed of new life was sown in us; this seed requires embracing and intentional cultivation! Timothy Keller’s book, “The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness”, spoke about how a truly gospel-humble person is not a self-hating person or self-loving person, but a self-forgetful person. Let us stop holding on to our identity that is connected to sin, but embrace more tightly our redeemed selves, in enjoyment, love and worship as we remember the beauty of who our God is.
- Take time to reflect if you have truly been embracing the new self that you have in Christ or are being weighed down by sin.
- Give thanks to God that sin no longer has its hold on us and we now have the freedom to embrace our new lives in Christ with joy
作者: 郭美吟 – 姐妹事工
我们蒙救赎的时候，新生命的种子已经在我们心里，这颗种子需要特别有意识的培育。提摩太·凯勒(Timothy Keller)的书《自我遗忘的自由》(The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness)讲述了一个真正谦卑的人不是一个自怨或自恋的人，而是一个自我遗忘的人。让我们不再纠缠于自己与罪相连的旧我身份，而是在愉悦、爱和敬拜当中紧紧拥抱已经得蒙救赎的新的自己，时刻记得我们的神是如何美善。
Day 1 | 19 July
He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Staying on the Mission
By Helena Huey – Woman to Woman
Read: Luke 24:44-48
Jesus’ utmost priority was to proclaim his death, resurrection and the forgiveness of sins for the humbly repentant. Similarly, this formed the crux and the core of the early church. This proclamation, fuelled by the Holy Spirit, was mandated to reach the nations (Acts 1:8). These would be unsurprisingly familiar to us, but hopefully not in the manner of contemptuous familiarity. The age-old message of repentance and forgiveness remains the one thing we must preach in our sermons, in our Bible studies and in our outreach. Just as the model of the early church in Acts has demonstrated; the mission of the church. whether global or local, remains to preach, proclaim and speak the key message concerning Jesus’ death, resurrection, and his blood-bought forgiveness for repentant sinners.
How easily are we tempted by the felt needs and contemporary issues of the world today, that we neglect preaching the gospel to the world – in word, as well as, in deed! Personally, it has been easy to sweep the mandate of proclaiming the saving gospel under the rug of Christian service and the humdrum of life. Yet, I have been repeatedly reminded that we are all walking immortals, only differing in our path at the diverging fork, one which leads to eternal life,the other to eternal suffering. And precisely because there is “no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12), the gospel of salvation has to be proclaimed, despite the feelings of fear, incompetence and sometimes even slothfulness, that we may have.
PPHBC has been privileged to be recipients of the saving gospel of our good King Jesus, and then to have been able to do the work of the Lord, which is the work of proclaiming the gospel,as a church, to sinners over the past 40 years! Though the world’s work is often frustrating and fleeting, how exciting that gospel-work bears fruit for eternity! And the time is now. There is no more waiting for the ‘right’ moment, for the Lord declares the harvest ready (John 4:35). In the next 40 years, let us relentlessly and faithfully stay on the mission of preaching the gospel that our Lord died to give us, even as the world grows increasingly hostile to it.
- Boldness, amongst the women in PPH, to use every opportunity to hold out the truth of the gospel to the non-believers around us.
- Mutual edification amongst the church community, that will encourage one another to be steadfast in their proclamation of Jesus, even in the midst of persecution and fear.
- Deeper conviction of the need for the preaching of the gospel, that leads to fruit.
- The community of believers at PPH to be laser-focused, not distracted by the demands of life, but growing in intentionality to engage and preach the gospel to others in the workplace, at home, and even amongst strangers.
作者: 许莉萱 – 姐妹事工
PPHBC有幸从救主耶稣基督承受了救赎的福音，使得我们可以在过去 40 年里为主做工，即作为一个教会向罪人传福音！世上的工作常常令人沮丧，转瞬即逝，而福音工作所结出永生的果子是多么地令人兴奋！现在就是时候了，再没有所谓的等待“正确”的时刻，因为主说庄稼已经熟了（约翰福音4:35）。即使世界越来越充满敌意，让我们在接下来的 40 年里坚持不懈，忠于传福音的大使命，这是主为我们牺牲生命而赐下的。
- PPH 姐妹们能刚强壮胆，勇敢利用每一个机会向我们周围的非信徒宣扬福音的真理。
- PPH 的弟兄姐妹能够完全专注，不会被生活的需要分心，而是有意识地在工作场所、家庭甚至陌生人当中传扬福音。