Dear St John’s family and friends

We warmly welcome all the youths and children from the Boys’ Brigade (64th, 52J, 59J) and Girls’ Brigade (31st, 52nd, 59th) to St John’s Chapel for the annual Enrolment and Dedication service. A very special welcome to all the parents & family members, the school principals & teachers and the officials from BB & GB HQ. We are honoured to have bishop Kuan Kim Seng to grace this joyful occasion as our Guest of Honour.

St John’s Chapel is thankful for the opportunity to serve the community through BB and GB. I am very encouraged by the commitment and love of many church members who serve as officers and volunteers. We live in very challenging times. It is our joyful privilege to inculcate important values and build good character in these precious lives. We hope that through all the various learning experiences and friendships, the children will grow in maturity and character and be bright shining lights in their family, school and society.

Today in the church calendar, we commemorate Palm Sunday, remembering Jesus Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11). The Jewish crowd spread their cloaks and threw palm branches on the road, having the expectant hope of a conquering messiah and king to liberate them from the Romans. But Jesus the Messiah chose to walk the way of the cross. By his crucifixion and death on the cross, Jesus has set us free from our bondage to sin and death and we can receive the gift of eternal life.

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

In Christ

Revd John Lin

Vicar

Dear family in Christ

The apostle Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 1:18 – “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”  Is the cross of Jesus Christ the central focus and firm foundation in our daily spiritual walk with the Lord? Have you been experiencing this transforming power of God at the cross in your life?

The transforming power of God is at work in our lives:

  • To redeem and save us from spiritual death
  • To experience the peace and joy of having our sins forgiven
  • To set us free from our bondage to sin
  • To know deep security in the unfailing love of God
  • To receive healing for our brokenness and pain
  • To transform us into the likeness of Christ

Thanks be to God for his grace and mercy to bring us out of darkness into His marvellous light. Let us walk in the light and grow in Christlikeness, by the transforming power of the sovereign Lord.

Jesus, keep me near the cross; there a precious fountain,

free to all, a healing stream, flows from Calvary’s mountain.

In the cross, in the cross, be my glory ever,

till my raptured soul shall find, rest beyond the river.

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

In this season of Lent, we seek to realign our life and priorities to the will of God. As we focus on our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and walk the Calvary Road, let us draw nearer to our Abba Father in personal relationship and grow in Christlikeness.

Let us consider the following practical ways to grow in Christlikeness:

In relation to GOD

Abstain from dwelling in sorrow; experience the joy of God’s presence.

Abstain from hiding in sin and darkness; walk in the freedom and light of God.

Abstain from worry and anxiety; rest in the love and care of God.

Abstain from depending on our own strength; rely on God’s transforming power.

In relation to OTHERS

Abstain from judging others; look for Christ living in them.

Abstain from words that tear down; use words that build up.

Abstain from self-concerns only; exercise compassion to care for others.

Abstain from idle gossip; find ways to encourage those in need.

In relation to SELF

Abstain from discontentment; count our blessings with gratitude to God.

Abstain from the pain of bitterness; experience the peace of forgiveness.

Abstain from thoughts that discourage; trust in God’s promises that inspire.

Abstain from concentrating on problems; turn to God in prayer that strengthens.

Growing in Christlikeness is a lifelong journey. Let us encourage one another in growing together.

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

We rejoice in God’s faithfulness, goodness and grace to St John’s (Jurong) and St John’s Chapel for these past 133 years. We give thanks to God for several generations of men and women who have gone before us in the faithful proclamation of the gospel and in building up the Body of Christ.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone for your presence, prayers and encouragement at the Vicar Induction service last Sunday. To all the staff and leaders, thank you for your joyful and encouraging partnership in ministry together. To all church members, thank you for warmly embracing my family and I into the koinonia community of St John’s Chapel.

It is my joy and privilege to receive the responsibility in the ‘Cure of Souls’ from our Diocesan bishop. I value your partnership in ministry service and gospel proclamation together. I seek your fervent prayers in being your faithful shepherd under God. We need the power of the Holy Spirit in serving God courageously in His grace and wisdom.

The Lenten season is a meaningful time to focus on the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. May I encourage all cell groups and church members to gather for the Lent devotion teaching for the next three Fridays (24 Mar, 31 Mar, 7 Apr).  Rev Dr Andrew Peh will share on the theme “Encountering Christ” (with Mandarin translation). May we grow in Christlikeness and in spiritual maturity together.

May we always be found faithful to the Lord as we await the Return of Jesus Christ.

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

During this Lent season, let us take time to reflect on the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Jesus Christ, “who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8). May we be ever grateful for His “emptying himself” and for His servanthood, humility, obedience and sacrifice. May our hearts be in reverent worship of our loving Saviour and exalted Lord. May we follow the example of Jesus to walk in humility and obedience.

At the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39). The Son of God walked faithfully on the Calvary road to be crucified painfully on the cross, in full submission and complete obedience to His Father’s will. Jesus drank the cup of suffering and bore all our sins on the cross. By the grace of God, may we walk in the way of the cross along the Calvary road. Let us deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Jesus faithfully and closely.

Lest I forget Gethsemane, Lest I forget Thine agony

Lest I forget Thy love for me, Lead me to Calvary


Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

In the Anglican Church calendar, we begin the 40-day season of Lent on Ash Wednesday, 1 March. During the Ash Wednesday service, the priest places some ash on our foreheads as a reminder that our bodies (sinful fallen nature) are mortal (“… you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:19b). Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift, Jesus Christ, that by his death and resurrection, we are set free from our bondage to sin and death.

During this Lent season, I encourage us to do three things. Firstly, let us REFLECT on the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He walked faithfully in the way of the cross in submission and obedience to His Father’s will. His death and resurrection has redeemed us and brought us eternal life and peace and reconciliation with God the Father. May our hearts be grateful to Jesus and follow his example.

Secondly, let us REPENT of our sins as we open our hearts to the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in convicting us of sins against our heavenly Father. God will forgive us when we truly repent in sorrow and remorse. Repentance requires a transformative change of mind and heart and a definitive change in one’s way of life. May we seek to live a life of holiness.

Thirdly, let us RENEW our first love and deep passion for God. Take time to slow down during Lent and spend time 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 in Christlikeness.

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

In the busyness of life, it is easy to forget the “nearness of God”. The psalmist wrote in Psalm 73:28: “But for me, it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”

As beloved children of God, we have this wonderful privilege to draw near and walk in close relationship with our Abba Father, in whom we can take refuge and find strength in the struggles of life. We take heart that the sovereign loving Lord will hold our right hand and guide us with his counsel. The Shepherd of our soul will lead us beside still waters and restore our soul.

Life can sometimes be challenging. There may be struggles at work or studies, in family life, in ministry service and in relationships, health & finances. There may be times of discouragement, disappointment and disillusionment. Whom can we turn to? Who should we lean on? Thanks be to God for the nearness of God. He is our refuge and our strength.

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

In Christ

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

Psalms 120 to 134 are given the title “Song of Ascents” (Pilgrim songs). The Israelites were required to make a pilgrimage to the Jerusalem Temple at least once in their lifetime. The pilgrims needed to be on guard against the perils of the journey, e.g. exposure to the elements in the open deserts and mountains, suffering from thirst and hunger, subject to illnesses and accidents, sudden attacks by robbers, etc.

In Psalm 121, the psalmist confidently declared, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” The posture of his heart is one of prayerful dependence on the mighty sovereign Creator of heaven and earth. It is a declaration of trust that “my help comes from the LORD”. It expresses assurance and hope in God’s help, watchfulness and protection day and night.

As children of God, we can depend on God for his help. We can be assured that the Lord watches over us. God will keep you, preserve you and guard you. We are safe in his loving, everlasting arms. Praise God for the countless times that we have cried to God for help and had experienced the comfort of his help and his presence. Because of this promise of help and the presence of God, we can face our present struggles and even future troubles with courageous faith, renewed strength and confident hope. Let us lift up our eyes to the Lord.

In Christ

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

We see “chickens” everywhere in Singapore. They are printed on red ‘ang pows’, sold as cute soft toys and displayed as giant roosters at Chinatown and shopping malls. According to Chinese astrology, there are 12 zodiac animal signs in the Chinese calendar. People born under each animal sign have different characteristics and personalities and experience varied seasons of luck and wealth and in compatibility of relationships. For example, it is not advisable for a “rooster” to marry a “rabbit” because it will result in many relational conflicts.

As born-again believers and disciples of Jesus Christ, what should be our response to the Chinese zodiac, or for that matter, to the modern zodiac (horoscopic astrology) that is deeply rooted in Egyptian and Babylonian astronomy? Firstly, do not worship the stars. This is clearly forbidden by God (Deut 4:19; 2 Kings 17:16). We can appreciate the stars as God’s beautiful creation and we can use the stars as a guide to navigation, but never treat the stars as objects of worship.

Secondly, do not seek guidance from the stars. Astrology as a form of divination is forbidden by God (Deut 18:10-14). In the practice of divination, man seeks knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means. The stars (or the zodiac chicken) do not exert any influence on human destiny or affect our human personality. As children of God, we trust in the sovereign gracious hand of God Almighty in protecting, transforming and guiding our lives.

There is only one Star to whom we must fix our eyes on, 24/7 day and night – Jesus Christ, the bright Morning star.

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” Rev 22:16

In Christ

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

During this celebrative Chinese New Year season, I share a few thoughts and reflections in my heart concerning family, friends and forgiveness.

Family: In God’s divine plan, He has placed us in our family of origin. Let us honour our father and our mother as commanded by the Lord (Exo 20:12). Let us treasure and care for our siblings, grandparents, cousins and family members well. May we be the light that shines brightly for Jesus amongst our family members who have yet to come to salvation faith in Christ. For those who have started your own families, treasure your spouse and children well and love them with commitment and agape sacrificial love.

Friends: Social media affects many areas of our life. We may have hundreds of Facebook friends, but yet lose the personal touch and lack face-to-face interactions and meaningful conversations. I wonder if there is space, energy and time to build deep friendships in a busy and internet world. The Lord has placed friends in our life for a purpose, for mutual help, support and encouragement. More importantly, for us to share the love of Christ and exemplify it through our lives, that our friends may also know the joy of salvation.

Forgiveness: We live in a broken sinful world. We may have imperfect families and broken friendships, even as we ourselves are imperfect. Over the years, we may experience pain and bitterness because of family relationships & circumstances and also difficult friendship issues. May we find grace and strength in the Lord to offer forgiveness to those who have wronged us, and to seek forgiveness from those whom we have offended. Forgiveness is the crucial key to unlock the pain and brokenness and opens up the door to freedom, love and joy.

Have a joyous blessed time catching up with family and friends during this Lunar New Year period.

In Christ

Pastor John