Dear family in Christ

What kinds of worries and anxieties do you feel each day? In the struggles and difficulties of life, do you feel helpless and hopeless and desperately look to God for his gracious help?

Take heart in God’s Word in Psalm 121:1-2 “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 ancient 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 dangers of the journey, e.g. exposure to the elements in the deserts and mountains, suffering from thirst and hunger, attacks by robbers, etc. When the psalmist declared “I lift up my eyes to the hills”, it reflected a posture of prayerful dependence on God his Creator and his Helper, trusting by faith that “my help comes from the Lord”. He took great comfort in God’s presence, protection and power, feeling assured of God’s watchful loving care day and night.

As children of the loving Abba Father and the gracious Creator, we can look to God and depend on him for help in the painful circumstances of life. God is our Helper and our Keeper. The Lord will watch over you. He will keep you, preserve you and guard you. Many can testify to the countless times when they cried to God for help and had experienced his peaceful comfort, strong help and loving presence. Because of this promise of help and the presence of God, let us face our present struggles and future difficulties with confidence, courage, strength and hope.

In Christ

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

Today is Pentecost Sunday in our Anglican Church calendar. We remember the day when God the Holy Spirit came in power to indwell the lives of the disciples of Jesus and initiated the beginnings of God’s Church called to be witnesses for Jesus in the world. As children of God, we have and need the power of the Holy Spirit to live a victorious Christian life in the midst of life’s challenges.

Firstly, let us walk in the Spirit. The apostle Paul encouraged the Church at Galatia – “Walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16). There is a constant battle in our heart and mind concerning our sinful nature (flesh). The indwelling Spirit of God will grant us the grace and strength to live in obedience to God’s Word and overcome our sinful desires.

Secondly, let us bear the fruit of the Spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (Gal 5:22-23). May our hearts be transformed daily by the Holy Spirit as we grow in Christlikeness in our attitude, behaviour and conduct in every area of our life.

Thirdly, let us exercise the gifts of the Spirit.Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.” (Rom 12:6). By the grace of God, He has given various spiritual gifts to His people for the edification of His church here at St John’s Chapel. Let us use them well humbly to encourage and strengthen one another in the Lord.

Come Holy Spirit, we need you.

In Christ

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

A few days ago on Ascension Day (25 May), pastor Bernard Yee baptised an elderly couple. What a great joy it was for the family who have been praying for their parents/grandparents for many years and also for our whole church family. The Lord is gracious and merciful.

We thank the Lord for the wonderful “Parents Day” celebration this weekend. It was such a delight and joy to see many church members honouring and loving their parents and inviting their relatives and friends to hear of God’s unconditional love through Mr Chew Chor Meng’s impactful testimony, meaningful song & dance items and a good lunch fellowship. We pray that the greatest gift that our parents can ever receive would be the gift of eternal life in our Lord Jesus Christ and a reconciled relationship with God.

This weekend is camping time for the Boys Brigade (52J and 59J) and Girls Brigade (52nd, 59th and 31st). We thank the Lord for the faithful committed team of officers and helpers who will oversee the camps and care for the children. Please pray for a meaningful camp filled with good learning, great friendships and enjoyable fun and pray for the children to grow in good character, find purposeful meaning in life and experience the love of God.

Ascension Day brings a message of hope as the people of God await expectantly for the Return of Jesus Christ (see Acts 1:11). Jesus, our loving Messiah and victorious King, is coming back again to bring us home. This is our joyous blessed hope.

In Christ

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

When things are very difficult and painful in our life, how do we cope? Who do we turn to?

An American couple, Horatio Spafford and his wife Anna, exemplified complete trust in God in life’s painful situations. In 1871, their only son died. Later that same year, their personal property were burnt in the Great Chicago fire. But their greatest testing came in 1873. Anna Spafford and their four daughters boarded the French ship “Villa de Havre” on their way to England. Sadly just off the coast of Ireland, the ship sank, with 226 persons losing their lives. Horatio received a cable from his wife, which read “saved alone“.

As Horatio sailed to England to comfort his wife in the devastating loss of their four daughters, he found gracious strength in God as the Word of God ministered to his aching heart. As his ship sailed past the spot where the ship had sunk, he penned the words of this hymn It is Well with My Soul.

In the first stanza and the chorus, Horatio found rest and peace in God to say “It is well with my soul”.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows, like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, It is well, with my soul.”

In the final stanza, he looked forward with faith and confidence in the Return of the Lord Jesus.

O, Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight; The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;

The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, “Even so” it is well with my soul.

Whatever difficulties you are going through in your life right now, may God’s grace strengthen you to sing “It is Well with my Soul”.

In Christ

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

Despite the commercial hype surrounding Mother’s Day, it is still useful to set aside a day each year to remember and appreciate all mothers for their love, care and sacrifice. I am thankful to God for my mother who laboured so hard and sacrificed so much, so that my brother and I can have a good education.

HONOUR your parents:  In the Fifth Commandment, the Lord commanded his people to “honour your father and your mother”. Jesus highlighted this command on several occasions during his ministry. Paul gave this warning in 2 Timothy 3:1-2 “in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful…” As disciples of Jesus Christ, let us honour, respect and treasure our parents and bear a Christlike testimony to them.

FORGIVE your parents:  It is a reality of life that we have imperfect parents, just as we ourselves are imperfect and needing the grace of God. If there may be hurts, resentment and bitterness in your heart towards your parents for what they had done (or 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:  When my mother and my wife’s mother were baptised several years ago, it was such a tremendous joy in our hearts. The greatest “gift” we can share with our parents is God’s gracious gift of eternal life. Please invite your parents to our church Parents’ Day celebration outreach on 27 May.

In Christ

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

It is that time of the year again. Parks and playgrounds are quieter. Shopping malls are less crowded. Chicken essence sales increase and parental anxiety levels go up. Yes, it is exam fever in Singapore.

Many children and students experience great pressure and deep anxiety to perform well and get good grades. How can we as Christian parents and the church family be an encouragement, support and help to our children to alleviate their pressure and stress and to help them grow into resilient mature adults?

1. Teach our children on the value of hard work, perseverance and resilience and motivate them to do their best.

2.  Encourage our children to look out for their classmates who need help and encouragement in their studies.

3.  Remind our children that the exams cannot measure their good character, special gifts (talents) and care for others.

4.  Assure our children that our love for them is unconditional and will not change, regardless of their study grades.

5.  Anchor our children in the love of God and find their true worth and spiritual identity in Jesus Christ.

As we await eagerly for the Return of Jesus Christ, let us keep things in perspective & priority and let us focus on the things that really matter in the light of eternity in our Relationship with God, the Salvation of lives and the Glory of God.

In Christ

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

We are thankful to the Lord for a good Annual General Meeting (AGM) last Sunday. Thanks and appreciation to all who attended. For church members unable to attend for various reasons, I hope that you can be at next year’s AGM, scheduled for 22 April 2018.

The AGM is a good time to hear the vicar’s report, receive the ministry reports and be encouraged by what God is doing in and through his church and the committed team of staff, cell leaders, ministry leaders and members. It also provides accountable stewardship of financial resources used for the work of God’s kingdom.

We thank the Lord for the joyful committed service of Parish Church Council (PCC) members who had served the past one year. Most will continue serving in the new term. Special thanks to our brothers Paul Lim and Alvin Ang for their heart and commitment in serving faithfully in PCC for many years.

Value your prayers for the PCC team 2017/18: Kenneth Sng (Vicar’s Warden), Hidehito Ie (People’s Warden), Elly Chiu (Hon. Secretary), Florence Ho (Hon. Treasurer); PCC members Justin Chan, Francis Foo, Gan Pak Lim, Benjamin Kirk, Kevin Lee, Nellie Nam, Enoch Ng & Sheryl Sim; Synod representatives (2017-2020) Ho Boon Sing, David Lui and Peter Soon.

Let us press on together to be God’s Ekklesia to the nations.

In Christ

Pastor John

Dear family in Christ

It has been my great joy and privilege to be your shepherd for the past 10 months. My family and I are thankful to the Lord for the loving welcome and encouraging support from St John’s Chapel family across all the congregations. Thank you for your Christ-centred faith, communal love and committed ministry in the Lord together.

As we gather for our Annual General Meeting today, let us give thanks to the Lord for another year of his grace, guidance and strength in our journey together as his beloved people. We are called be his ekklesia to the nations. Jesus Christ calls all who follow Him as his disciples to “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Praise and thank God for the many brothers and sisters who have been serving the Lord faithfully in the multiple ministries and outreaches across the congregations. May your spiritual lives grow in godliness and maturity as you serve God’s purposes. May your hearts be encouraged as you see children, youths, adults and the elderly coming to salvation faith in Jesus Christ or to see them being restored in their relationship and walk with the Lord.

Let it be our prayer and vision that St John’s Chapel will continue to be a caring community growing in Christlikeness and spiritual maturity and to be a people of God delighting in the Word, deepening in Care, depending in Prayer and declaring in Evangelism.

To God be the glory.

In Christ

Pastor John

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