Dear family in Christ

This weekend is the First Sunday in LENT, a season of repentance and restoration. King David experienced the painful process of restoration after he committed two sins against God. One, David committed adultery with Bethsheba, the wife of his army general Uriah (2 Sam 11:2-5). Two, he plotted the death of general Uriah by sending him to the battle frontline to be killed (2 Sam 11:14-15). God was displeased and disciplined David for his sins, through the prophet Nathan.

Psalm 51 is a record of King David’s humble contrite prayer. David’s repentance and restoration can be seen in the following process:

  1. Know God’s character: David cried out to the merciful, compassionate, gracious and loving God for His forgiveness and cleansing of his sins (51:1).
  2. Acknowledge our sinful condition: David knew that he had disobeyed God’s commands and done evil in God’s sight (51:3-4).
  3. Seek God’s forgiveness: David humbly sought the forgiveness of God, crying out to God – “blot out my transgressions”, “wash me thoroughly from my iniquity”, “cleanse me from my sin”, “purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean”.
  4. Receive God’s restoration: David prayed asking God to create a clean heart and renew a right spirit within him. True Repentance involves turning away from evil and turning towards doing what is right. As we often confessed in prayer, we need to “firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments”. We need a spiritual heart transplant to have a clean heart, a right spirit and a restored life. Being mercifully forgiven and loved by God, we are revived, restored and renewed.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”   Psalm 51:10-12

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

 

Dear family in Christ

On 14 February, we begin the 40-day season of LENT on Ash Wednesday. Lent is an intensely penitential time of prayer, fasting, reflection and self-denial. During this Lent season, I encourage us to do three things.

Firstly, let us REFLECT and give thanks for the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He walked faithfully in the way of the cross in obedience to His Father’s will. The death and resurrection of Jesus has redeemed us and set us free from the bondage of sin and death, bringing peace and reconciliation with God the Father. May our hearts be ever grateful to Jesus as we follow his godly example.

Secondly, let us REPENT of our sins as we open our hearts to the powerful work of the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sins and unrighteousness. When we truly repent in sorrow and remorse, the loving gracious God will forgive us. Repentance involves a transformative change of heart and a definitive change in one’s way of life. May we seek to live a life of holiness and godliness that pleases God.

Thirdly, let us RENEW our first love and deep passion for God. Take time to slow down during Lent and spend time in unhurried communion with Abba Father in the Word and in prayer. Let God examine our life by His Word and His Spirit. May we grow daily in our relationship with God and transform in Christlikeness.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

As pastors, we have the joyful responsibility to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ”. The important ministry of Edification in the Body of Christ and Evangelism in the world cannot and should not be done by full-time workers alone. It involves the whole church community in unity and whole-hearted commitment to our calling and mission to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth.

I had the opportunity last Sunday to witness this “whole-church-in-ministry” biblical principle in action as I spent time with two groups of church members.

1. Children Ministry Teachers Training – I thank the Lord for a dedicated team of teachers who love the Lord, having a clear vision and deep passion to teach God’s Word to the children with love and commitment. Some of them had taught for many years, yet the passion remains. Pray for the teachers to find strength and wisdom in the Lord always and their lives will make a significant impact that leaves a deep spiritual legacy in the hearts of these precious children.
2. Mandarin & Dialect congregation Leaders meeting – Praise the Lord for many lay leaders who anchor certain ministries or play a key ministry role alongside the pastoral staff. These lay leaders have been serving faithfully in various areas at the Sunday worship service, in the teaching of new believers, in the discipling of believers in the Cell groups and in fulfilling the Great Commission to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in the heart languages of Mandarin, Hokkien and Cantonese.

“And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastor-teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…” Ephesians 4:11-13

We have a Master to serve
Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

Our Lord Jesus Christ spent much time and energy in his interactions with people in his earthly ministry, showing love and compassion to everyone. As children of God, we have a joyful calling to reach out to the people around us and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

At St John’s Chapel, there are ministry opportunities to share Christ and touch lives. May I encourage you to consider serving in these ministries as the Lord leads you.

  1. Teaching God’s Word to children: It is a joy and privilege to invest time and effort in teaching God’s Word to children and guiding them to grow in spiritual maturity. Let us build up the next generation to be strong in their Christian faith and walk faithfully with the Lord.
  1. Spiritual mentoring of BB boys and GB girls: The church is currently overseeing three BB and three GB companies. We need church volunteers to serve on Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings. Growing children need good guidance and exemplary modelling in their lives.
  1. Befriending at Lighthouse chaplaincy: The Lighthouse is a drop-in centre at St Margaret’s Secondary school. The students drop in during recess and after school hours to chit chat, play games and seek counselling. If there are sisters in Christ who can avail some time, you can make a significant impact in touching lives.
  1. Tutoring students in their studies: We tutor a group of St Margaret’s Secondary and Fu Hua Primary students in their studies on Saturday afternoons. You will be a great blessing, help and encouragement to these students.
  1. Visiting needy families of those in prison: Praise God for many church members who served in the Angel Tree Hamper project last December. As a follow up, we are partnering with Prison Fellowship Singapore to do visitations and food distribution to families in need.

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”  Matthew 25:40

 

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

As children of God, it is good to give thanks to the Lord for his grace and goodness. As I reflect on the happenings in our church in the past 2 months, there are many matters for joyous thanksgiving to our gracious God.

  1. 25th anniversary of 64th BB and 31st GB on 19 Nov: Thank God for sustaining these two ministries, for committed staff and volunteers, and for ministering to many boys and girls with the love of God.
  2. Mission trips to Batam, ChiangMai and Mae Sot: Praise God for the mission trippers for their commitment in proclaiming the gospel of Christ to the Indonesian, Thai and Karen peoples. The ChiangMai team’s presence was a great encouragement to our church missionaries, Gerry and Yahui.
  3. Christmas outreach concert (English) on 23 Dec: Thank God for everyone’s heart and commitment in serving the Lord. Praise God for many friends and visitors who heard the message of Christmas. May their hearts turn to Jesus.
  4. Christmas evangelistic service (Mandarin & dialect) on 24 Dec: We are thankful to have many guests and friends who heard the testimony of musician Mr Anthony Png and also the joyous Christmas message. May the seed of the gospel bear much fruit of salvation.
  5. Year-end Thanksgiving (Mandarin & dialect) on 31 Dec: It was a joyful gathering of communal fellowship and thanksgiving testimonies of God’s grace.
  6. Youth camp (English): The youths had a fun camp of learning and fellowship. Praise God for one guest camper who believed in Jesus.
  7. Church office renovations: We thank God for his provision of second-hand good office furniture donated by a kind company and also new office carpets donated by a generous church couple.
  8. Financial provisions: Praise God for His people at SJCp who tithed faithfully and gave sacrificially in 2017. We ended the year with just sufficient funds to cover staff salaries, office operations, outreach ministries, missions giving and support for our overseas missionaries.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” Psalm 100:4

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

By God’s grace and enabling, I will be starting an expository sermon series on the theme “The Love Story of God’s Redeeming Grace”. It is a preaching series of 52 sermons covering salvific themes from Genesis to Revelation over the next 2 years of 2018 and 2019.

This sermon series will be:

  • Biblical        –  We will cover key biblical texts and theological themes from Genesis to Revelation
  • Historical    –  We will study the common thread of the sovereign Lord’s salvation plan in biblical history
  • Theological – We will know Almighty God as revealed in holy Scripture and row in our relationship with Him
  • Missional   –   We will see the loving God’s missional heart and obey his command to bring the gospel to the nations
  • Pastoral      –   We will reflect together for spiritual growth, committed discipleship and purposeful action

Let me share my Vision and Purpose for St John’s Chapel as we embark on this long sermon series:

As we see the gracious salvation plan of the missionary God, may we be a missionary church of Spirit-filled committed disciples of Jesus Christ, always ready to take the gospel to the nations.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”  Revelation 7: 9-10

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

As the Psalmist remembered the sovereign Lord’s grace and goodness to His people Israel, he declared in Psalm 90:1-2, “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

The well-known hymn-writer Isaac Watts faced difficult circumstances and uncertain times in the 18th century. As Isaac Watts read the Scriptures, Psalm 90 ministered deeply in his heart. Paraphrasing the words and expressing the thoughts of Psalm 90:1-5, he composed this wonderful hymn “Our God, our Help in ages past”.

In the first stanza, Isaac wrote such comforting words, “Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home.” What a great reminder that God is our faithful Help, our secure Hope, our strong Shelter and our eternal Home. God does not change and He stands above human time, for He is the everlasting God. May the six stanzas of this hymn encourage and strengthen your heart.

As we start the new year 2018, many of us may face challenges, uncertainties, struggles and fears. In the midst of the heavy storms of life and the difficult turmoil of this world, may we rest secure in the Lord God Almighty, who is our dwelling place in all generations. Let us trust in God and hope in his loving grace, because from everlasting to everlasting, He is the eternal mighty God.

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

As we come to the end of year 2017, may our hearts be joyful in praise of the Lord for who He is and be filled with gratitude to God for all His blessings in our life.  May we sing like the grateful psalmist, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” (Psalm 103:1).

As we reflect on all the issues, events and circumstances that have happened in the various areas of our life, let us give thanks to God and “forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2-5)
 √  who forgives all your iniquity
 √  who heals all your diseases
 √  who redeems your life from the pit
 √  who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy
 √  who satisfies you with good, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Thanks be to God for His loving forgiveness, merciful healing, gracious redemption, steadfast love and faithful goodness.

I know and remember that for some brothers and sisters in our church community, this past year has been filled with difficult, challenging and painful situations in your life or that of your family and loved ones. May you find rest and strength in the Lord and grow in trusting the loving Shepherd deeply.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

Blessings in Christ
Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

In the first week of Advent, the Spirit of the Lord moved powerfully at the unprecedented “Love Hanoi Festival”. For two evenings on 8-9 December, 6,000 Vietnamese inside the Indoor stadium and another 20,000 seated outside watching the giant screens, heard Revd Franklin Graham preaching on the love of God, the problem of sin, the cross of Christ and the forgiveness of God.

As I sat among the gathering, I sensed a deep hunger for God amongst the people. It was a joy to see thousands coming from the other provinces and the multiple ethnic minority people groups in their traditional costumes. I was deeply moved in my heart to witness the hundreds of Vietnamese responding to the altar call to believe in Jesus and receive God’s gift of eternal life. The power of God was ministering to many lives calling upon the name of the Lord because of the amazing grace and bountiful mercy of God.

Thanks be to God for 500 over churches in Hanoi (many of them are very small unregistered congregations) coming together in partnership with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North) to proclaim Jesus Christ publicly. Several key government officials were present at the opening ceremony of “Love Hanoi Festival”. Many Vietnamese pastors were encouraged to see the increasing openness of the Vietnam government for Christians to share about Jesus Christ openly, especially on such a large scale.

Let us continue to pray for the Lord of the harvest to do His mighty work in Vietnam. Praise be to God.

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”  Revelation 7:9-10

Maranatha

Pastor John