Dear church family

The recent Thailand Tham Luang cave rescue of the 12 boys and their football coach had captured the attention of the world. There was great relief when they were found after being lost for 10 days. There was even greater joy when they were successfully rescued by a team of courageous divers with significant help from hundreds of support workers and concerned citizens. We thank God for his mercy for this dramatic rescue. I would like to share three reflection responses in my heart and mind.

Firstly, I asked myself how I would have felt or responded if my son had been among those boys who were initially lost and fully trapped. At those painful moments, nothing else about my son (such as his studies, grades, health, future, etc) would matter anymore to me, if only I may see him again, give him a good hug and have the joy of loving him and watching him grow up. We need to treasure our family and love them unconditionally.

Secondly, I find myself praying for the boys’ salvation in Jesus Christ, hoping that there would be a Christian amongst the boys who would share the good news of Jesus Christ at such a critical time when they were facing a situation of “life and death” when trapped so deep in the cave system. We need to be urgent in our evangelism and be committed in missions.

Thirdly, I admired and respected the deep courage and selfless sacrifice of the team of divers. They took great risks and experienced difficult struggles to rescue a group of people whom they do not know personally. Two thousand over years ago, Jesus Christ told his disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Thereafter, Jesus walked the way of the cross and sacrificed his life as a ransom for many. Praise be to God for such a great spiritual rescue.

 

Maranatha

Pastor John


Dear church family

World Cup soccer fever has gripped the world in the past 3 weeks. The whole nation of Argentina mourned when Lionel Messi and his countrymen crashed out in defeat. The victorious England team brought great joy to their country when they (finally) won their penalty shootout against Colombia. In some countries, football is like a religion which draws millions of faithful “worshippers” of their beloved team. Some citizens have been reported to die of a heart attack while watching the game due to the pressure, anxiety and perhaps huge gambling losses. The late Bill Shankly, a successful manager of Liverpool Football Club in the 1960s & 70s, once said wittily: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”

In the first century, someone also spoke about a very important matter concerning life and death. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  What matter on earth could be more important than being rescued from eternal death?  What matter could be more urgent than to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who have never heard? Much as we like to hear about the love and mercy of God, we must also remember the holiness and judgment of God. Only in Jesus Christ will there be forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life.

At the One Choice Encounter camp in Vietnam last week, I encouraged the Vietnamese youths and young adults of both Anglican churches to share the gospel with their families, friends, colleagues, neighbours, etc. The apostle Paul told the Ephesian church elders in Acts 20:24 – “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”  Only one life to live, let us make that one significant choice to live our life purposefully for the glory of God.

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear church family

 Youth Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of July in Singapore. The children and youths are very happy, because the next day will be a school holiday, resulting in a long weekend and a wonderful time of rest and play. Our youths face many challenges in their growing years, such as the pressure of education, the pleasure of social media, the diversity of temptations, the rise of secularism, the shifting of values etc. There is a gradual increasing number of youths struggling with mental illness, depression, pornography, materialism, etc.

As God’s people in community together, it is important to come alongside the youths in our church in their discipleship journey. Let me suggest some practical ways.

  1. PRAY: Remember the youths in fervent prayer at our personal devotions and corporate prayer times. May they have the fear of the Lord and committed love for Jesus.
  1. ENCOURAGE: Youths need lots of encouragement and guidance as they grow in their Christian faith and Christlike character, and as they cope with struggles in life.
  1. MODEL: As we live and model the life of committed discipleship, it is a wonderful example and exemplary encouragement to the youths.
  1. DISCIPLE: Make time to disciple a group of youths to help them grow in their discipleship journey and also train them to disciple others.

Singapore Youth for Christ has this motto when reaching out to youths for Jesus: “If we do not win their hearts (for Christ) today, they will break our hearts tomorrow.”

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear church family

When we were young curious children, we may ask some questions as we observed the world around us. For example, how is it possible for a big heavy plane to fly in the air. Or we may wonder how can it be that a huge metal ship can float on the waters. As we study science and the environment, we begin to learn and understand the physical world better. We may ask, “How did life on earth begin?” or “Who created this world?”

When we grew older, we start to ask more important questions about life. There are three common questions.

Firstly, about our Identity – “Who am I?”.

Secondly, about our Purpose in life – “Why was I born? Why am I here on earth?”.

Thirdly, about our Destiny – “Where am I going when I die?”.

The Bible provides the answers to these three important questions in life.

  • Who am I?” – We are loved and created in the image of God. When we believe in Jesus Christ our Saviour, we become the children of God.
  • What is my purpose in life?” – We worship and glorify God and enjoy God’s love, and to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
  • Where am I going when I die?” –  We have an eternal home in heaven in the presence of our loving Abba Father.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son (Jesus Christ), that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

 

In Christ

Pastor John

Dear church family

We warmly welcome our young friends from Vietnam at our Sunday English service today. They are in Singapore from 15 to 25 June for the Abba English Camp for the purposes of learning English and enjoying Singapore culture and hospitality. Appreciative grateful thanks to many church members who are serving as planning committee members (led by Yun Jing), homestay host families, group leaders, outing chaperons, logistics helpers, English lesson teachers and facilitators. Let us pray for a meaningful camp experience for our Vietnamese guests and may all the camp leaders & helpers be strengthened and encouraged in the Lord.

This past week has been exciting and historic when two well-known political leaders of USA and North Korea met in Singapore on a mission to discuss about world peace and stability. A joint statement was issued and things seem to look good on the surface. How will the promises and events turn out in the near future? Only time will tell. Besides this tension at the Korean Peninsula, there are many other places in the world with ongoing conflicts, political struggles and ethnic & religious tensions. When will peace come upon these troubled areas?

This pursuit of peace in the world reminds me of one very important matter of the need for every person to have peace with God, which is a matter of life and death. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:1  “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thanks be to God because of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, we have peace with God, reconciled to God and enjoy this loving relationship with our Abba Father.

Do you have this peace with God in your heart today?

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear church family

All praise to Almighty God for a fruitful, “fellowship-ful” and Spirit-filled church retreat. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Canon Yee Ching Wah preached biblically & relevantly and the Holy Spirit ministered deeply in many hearts. We rejoiced greatly in the “I want to believe in Jesus” decision of Mrs Christal Paul’s mother. We were encouraged to see the work of the Holy Spirit in touching repentant and revived hearts to respond to the Lord at the prayer ministry after each teaching session. We were edified and strengthened in the Lord when retreat participants prayed for one another, some in tears and others with joy.  And we had great fun and games together.

Our grateful appreciative thanks to the church retreat committee, ably led by Gabriel Paul and Kevin Lee, and to all those who helped and served in the various areas of ministry. Your labour for the Lord has been a blessing to the church community. We also thank those who gave generously to help those with financial needs and many others who contributed in kind such as food and sponsorship of message recordings. You can access the recordings and sermon outlines at this weblink address  http://sjcp.org.sg/downloadpage/church-retreat-2018/

Strengthened in the Lord, we are excitedly preparing for the arrival of the Vietnamese students to Singapore on 15 June (till 25 June) for the Abba English Camp for the purposes of learning English, enjoying Singapore culture and experiencing the love and grace of God. Grateful thanks to many church members who are serving as planning committee members (led by Yun Jing), homestay host families, group leaders, outing chaperons, logistics helpers, English lesson teachers & facilitators. I invite church members to drop by the campsite if your schedule allows. Please contact Fu Man or Patrick for info.

I call upon the whole church to be in fervent prayer for the salvation of these Vietnamese students and their families. Please see the prayer requests at the Intercession segment below. On behalf of the deanery of Vietnam, thank you everyone for your ministry partnership in the gospel.

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.” Psalm 22:27

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear church family

I am sure many are excited as we leave for our church retreat today. Such a joy to see the five congregations gathering together in community. Your presence is a great encouragement. For those who cannot come for various reasons, we miss you and hope that you may be able to attend the next church retreat in year 2020.

Our retreat theme is “Look, Walk, Rest”. Value all your prayers for our retreat speakers Canon Yee Ching Wah and Mr Darius Foo (children ministry). Please pray for journey mercies, meaningful fellowship, fruitful learning and spiritual revival.

My prayer for St John’s Chapel is expressed in these two words: “Revival” and “Community”.

Firstly, let us seek the Lord together for a spiritual revival in our lives and in His Church, as we consider the work of God’s eternal kingdom in the light of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. May these words “Revive us, O Lord” be the cry of our heart as we walk in obedience to God, and as we seek the power of the Holy Spirit to transform us to be more like Jesus.

Secondly, let us encourage one another to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love one another as God’s Community. We have a collective privilege, as well as responsibility, to be actively involved and mutually edifying one another in the Body of Christ.

Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”  Jeremiah 6:16

 

 Maranatha

Pastor John


Dear church family

Life can be overwhelming at times. We may face difficult circumstances in the different seasons of life. It may be in our family situations, at our studies, at our work, in our health and finances, or in our relationships. During those periods of pain and struggle, we look to the Lord for his grace, comfort and strength.

In recent months, I had experienced challenging circumstances in my family life (in particular, the health of my wife and my mother), and also in my ministry work, especially the work in the Deanery of Vietnam. One day during a moment of quiet reflection before the Lord, our loving Abba Father spoke to my heart, “John, I will give you grace and strength that will be sufficient and enough for each day to sustain you”. Thanks be to God for His sovereign goodness and grace.

King David faced numerous struggles and difficult circumstances in his life. In Psalm 27, David expressed confidence and hope in the Lord as he seeks the Lord and find refuge in God in the midst of challenging situations. David trusted in the goodness of the Lord and find strength and courage in God as he waited upon the Lord.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:13-14

 

Maranatha

Pastor John


Dear church family

After the Day of Pentecost when the presence and power of the Holy Spirit had come upon the Church, the people of God preached the gospel courageously and they prayed in community fervently. They were “continually devoting themselves to … prayer” (Acts 2:42). They prayed after the release of apostles Peter and John and “were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). They prayed when apostle Peter was arrested and put in prison (Acts 12:5,12). They were praying and fasting when the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:1-3).

It is my prayer that St John’s church community will be a people of prayer, individually and corporately. I encourage all to meet for corporate prayer monthly – on second Fridays for the Mandarin/dialect congregations, and on the last Friday for the English congregations. Come and pray together as a Cell group. At the English congregation prayer meetings, I am doing a devotional teaching series on “Church as a Community of Prayer”.

Please keep the following in prayer:

  1.  52/59 Boys Brigade and Girls Brigade Camp, 26-27 May: For a fruitful enriching camp; for strength and joy for the officers and   volunteers in their service; for the boys and girls to know and experience the love and grace of God.
  2. Church retreat: For fruitful learning in the Word and edifying fellowship in the Lord; for camp speakers Canon Yee Ching Wah and Mr Darius Foo; for the camp committee in all their hard work; for all retreat participants to experience a deep spiritual revival in their hearts.
  3. Abba English Camp, 15-25 June: For the Vietnamese youths to experience the love of God and come to salvation faith in Jesus; for the camp committee and volunteers in their planning and labour; praise God for all the church volunteers and host families.

 

Maranatha

Pastor John –>

Dear church family

Despite the commercial hype surrounding Mother’s Day, it is good to remember and appreciate all mothers (and fathers too) for all their love, care and sacrifice. The recent serious illness and hospitalisation of my mother brought some reflections concerning growing old and reaching the end of life’s journey. In the Fifth Commandment, the Lord commanded his people to “honour your father and your mother”.

SPEND TIME with your parents: A church member sent me a video this week about a daughter who was too busy at her work to spend time with her elderly father. She arranged for a time to meet a month later. A few weeks passed and one day, she received a call. She rushed to the hospital emergency, but was too late to say her goodbyes to her father. The best expression of love and honour is to spend time with those whom we treasure and love, for tomorrow may never come.

FORGIVE your parents:  It is a reality of life that our parents are imperfect, just as we ourselves are imperfect. Everyone needs the grace and mercy of God. If you are still holding hurts, resentment and bitterness in your heart towards your parents for what they had done (or what they did not do), may you find grace and strength in the Lord to forgive them. Let restoration, peace and joy come upon every parent-child relationship.

PRAY for your parents’ Salvation:  The greatest “gift” we can share with our parents is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and God’s gracious gift of eternal life. Some of you have been praying and sharing for many years. Press on, do not lose heart and keep on praying. By the grace and mercy of God, we look forward to that joyous day of salvation in the hearts of your parents.

 

Maranatha

Pastor John