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Exhortation

Title: WEEKLY BULLETIN
                Date: 06 September 2020
Description: 1. FROM THE BOARD OF ELDERS 2. EXCERPT FROM THE BIBLICAL PATTERN OF WORSHIP: "HISTORY - INVOCATIONS IN THE BIBLE"

From the Board of Elders

Dear Members in Christ,


“... but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15.


God raised up Calvary Jaya BP Fellowship (CJBPF) 36 years ago. Today we gather together to thank and praise God for His faithfulness, goodness and provisions for all these years. We thank Him for raising faithful leaders and congregation members to stand firm together for the faith that was once delivered unto the Saints. May we continue to be “… stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” 1 Corinthians 15:58.

Lest we forget, remembrance and thanksgiving are the hallmarks of gratitude. Our future generations must not forget the goodness and blessings of the Lord. “And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.” Ezra 3:11.

I am glad that both services, the English and Chinese sustained until today because of God’s faithfulness. I pray that we will continue to serve and prosper God’s work together for many more years to come. There is more work to be done for the harvest is plenty. We need to seek God and plan. We need to sow and reap as God directs us. God will add more souls into His kingdom.

In answer to the late Mr. Chew Fook Wah’s prayer, God had called the late Rev (Dr) Tow Siang Hwa and the brethren from Singapore to plant His Gospel work in Petaling Jaya. Just as men such as Moses and Joshua were called to lead God’s people into the promised land, these the first generation leaders initiated and established the work of CJBPF.

Today we, the second generation, carry on the Gospel work. Like Joshua, we declare as a family in Christ, “ … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD:” Joshua 24:15. Let us not be weary in well doing but continue as a body of Christ to serve Him even more fervently with One Spirit and One mind. Let us occupy ourselves till He comes “that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” Philippians 1:27.

Let us prayerfully and courageously conduct ourselves. We pray and hope that at the end of our days, we may be able to say, as the Apostle Paul had written, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” 2 Tim 4:7. To God be the glory!

Finally, may our children, the next generation, otherwise known as the third generation, continue to grow, teach, uphold and defend the Word of God “… earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3) for the years ahead.


Elder Choe TS

 


Excerpt from the Biblical Pattern of Worship: “History - Invocations in the Bible”

The series of excerpts from the book “The Biblical Pattern of Worship” covers various aspects of worship. This was written with the aim of explaining the reason and purpose of the different parts of the order of worship. In the last excerpt, we read of the invocation and how it is distinguished from the more general opening prayer which is said at the commencement of any fellowship activity. The following is a sequel on theme of“Invocations” which records Biblical examples of invocations used by the saints of old in their prayer. The prayers of King Solomon at the dedication of the temple of the Lord, the prayer of Elijah the prophet and the prayer of Nehemiah are highlighted below. Most notably, we begin by considering the invocation uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ in what we know commonly as the “Lord’s Prayer.”

 
History – Biblical examples of invocations

There are many examples of the invocation beginning with praise and thanksgiving to God. The Lord Jesus Himself gave us a good example in Matthew 6:9. Often referred to as the Lord’s Prayer, the Lord Jesus in His prayer begins with an invocation “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…”. The opening phrase praises God for the holiness and sanctity of His name, i.e. His divine attributes. 

Another example previously mentioned is the oft quoted invocation of the prophet Elijah calling upon God in 1 Kings 18:36, 37. In this passage, the prophet Elijah invokes the True and Living God of his forefathers in calling out, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and of Israel…”. The true sense of invocation “call upon” is voiced by Elijah when he says, “Hear me, O LORD, hear me…”. What is significant about Elijah calling out to God in His covenantal address and petitioning God to listen to his prayer? 

A background of this narrative will help the reader understand the purpose of Elijah’s invocation. This is a prophet calling upon God at a time when the people were fully engaged in syncretistic worship. The people practiced a mixed worship of Baal and other idol gods with Jehovah, the True God with whom they have made a covenant with. It is as if the people have forgotten the covenantal God of their fathers. Thus, Elijah calls out to the covenant God of their forefathers, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” to remind the people of their covenant God. And he cries out “Hear me, O LORD, hear me” (1 Kings 18:37), to petition God to reveal His glory in the assembly. 

In the period of the kings, we also have examples of invocations. King Solomon at the installation of the first temple prayed a prayer to God in 1 Kings 8:22-25 and 2 Chronicles 6:14. In this inaugural service of the temple, the people were gathered to praise and worship God for His goodness. King Solomon begins by addressing God as the Covenant God of Israel, the “LORD God of Israel”. This is a covenantal address of God which is known to the Old Testament worshippers. As he continues in his prayer, King Solomon in 1 Kings 8:23a praises God for there is none like God on earth or in heaven. The King then goes on to express praise and gratitude to God who is faithful and merciful to His people in 1 Kings 8:23b. He expresses God’s faithfulness in fulfilling His promise to David. The pattern of opening an invocative prayer by giving praise and thanks to God is exhibited.

Another example of the element of praise and exaltation may be found in the invocation of Nehemiah when he prayed in Nehemiah 1:5-11. Nehemiah’s opening to his prayer was addressed to the “LORD, God of Heaven”. Again, it is seen that Nehemiah addresses God by the covenantal relationship known to him. He ascribes to God greatness by the adjective “great and terrible”.


In these examples above, we see how the Old Testament saints begin their invocation prayers by addressing God in the most exalted manner. The invocation is calling upon the great and omnipotent God, surely it is befitting that address be expressed in the highest terms of exaltation and praise.


In Christ,
Dn. Lim Seh Beng



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