From the Board of Elders
Dear Members in Christ,
To love God is to know and serve Him
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15
How do we love someone if we do not know the person? In order to know the person, we need to be close. We need to communicate, through prayers and His Word, frequently and in due time we can surely say that we know the person very well to the extent that we love to do and share things together.
We love to please the person and do things that will make the person glad. We do not complain nor murmur despite the sacrifices and time spent for the person.
What about God? Many of us would confess without hesitation, that we love God. Do we know Him intimately? Do we walk closely with Him? Do we know His will and purpose for us? Do we know what He expects of us and what pleases Him?
How do we know God? Yes, we know God through prayers, reading and meditation of His Word, the Bible.
1. Just by worshipping and listening to the Word of God on the Lord’s day is insufficient. We need to beef up with more studying and meditation either on our own or in a group. Like new born babes, and as matured Christians, we need to partake good and nutritious spiritual food of faith and doctrines daily to “... grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…” The more we know God, the more we understand and love Him. The more we want to trust and obey Him, do His Will and work and to please Him.
2. We cannot just love God and be ignorant of Him. Our love should not be blind but of knowledge. To love God is to have the knowledge of God. His Word reveals to us His love, mercy, grace, will and purpose for us. We will love and understand Him even more. Our faith in Him will grow and blossom. We taste His sweet fellowship, care and daily provisions. We will trust and obey Him in whatever life’s situation that He allows and permits us to be in. Love cannot and must not be stunted and unproductive. It must grow and translate into good works for Him.
3. He loves us. We know that in times of adversity, through His Word, He encourages and delivers us. Our trials and temptations are just for a moment. We will come out of adversity in victory and with greater faith in Him. And we can indeed testify for Him to others who do not know Him.
4. God’s Word is the shield and sword which helps us to fend and fight victoriously against the evil ones. Jesus, Himself, uses the Word of God to fend off the temptations of Satan when He was in the wilderness. What more for us. We should do the same “... the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” Ephesians 6:17.
5. He loves us and gives us His Word which makes us wiser, and, is a lamp unto our feet which lead us into the path of righteousness. “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105.
Where can we learn more of God’s Word?
The Church weekly bulletin has a list of Bible Study Groups where everyone can participate. For the English Congregation, there are: 1) Bible Study Groups i.e. Agape, Mamre 2) Fellowship Groups i.e. Youth, Young Adult Fellowships 3) Weekly Bible Study and Prayer Meeting.
As we are still in the RMCO, these groups are held online. Kindly refer to the Church bulletin or the Church office for more details. If you have not known Him intimately yet, it is not too late. Do begin today. Be hungry for the Word of God. You will love Him more and more each day.
Loving God is also to serve Him. We can serve Him in the various ministries e.g. the Welcoming & Greeters, Choir & Music, the Library, Visitations, Missions, Prayer group, sharing the gospel, giving of tithes and offerings etc.
To conclude, we cannot confess our love by mere words without manifesting our love through our actions for His Kingdom sake. Let us not be found guilty, and ashamed, when the Lord says “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” Matthew 15:8.
Elder Choe TS
How Should We Address God in prayer?
We know that the Lord God is Almighty and Sovereign, so how do we address Him in prayer? How do we honour our Great and Omnipotent God when we speak to Him in supplications and petitions? These are questions often asked by believers of varying stages of spiritual maturity. On social media, we may have come across some preachers in liberal churches addressing God with a casualness that is both dishonouring and blasphemous. Such errors stem from a poor understanding of God’s attributes and holiness. As bible believing Christians, our prayers are to be in accordance to the scriptures.
Perhaps a new believer may be wondering what is the appropriate way to address God in prayer? Or perhaps you may be a mature Christian chairing the worship or fellowship services or leading in congregational prayer. The question is - how should we address God in a public prayer such as an invocation? Does the Bible give us a pattern and guidance for addressing God in prayer? The following article from “The Biblical Pattern of Worship” gives some biblical examples of how God is addressed in prayer. We prayerfully hope that the examples given in this article will help us all to have wisdom and understanding in the way we address God in prayer.
How do we address God in Prayer?
How ought we to address God in our prayers? There are examples in the Bible which gives us guidance on how we ought to address God. For example, in the Lord’s Prayer – The Lord Jesus taught His disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9 by addressing God as “Our Father which art in heaven.” This opening address to God is followed immediately by “Hallowed be thy name,” praising God for His attribute of Holiness.
The Lord Jesus in His High Priestly prayer in John chapter seventeen opens His prayer with “Father, the hour is come…” In the high priestly prayer alone, the Lord Jesus uses the address “Father” six times. The Lord’s pattern of address in prayer is calling out to God as “Our Father”. In this prayer, the Lord is also teaching us about our relationship with God, that He is our Father in heaven. The address of God our Father in heaven with the honorific prefixes such as “Almighty,” “Loving,” “Gracious,” “Merciful” and etc. is befitting of our worship for the Omnipotent God.
The Pauline epistles also contain examples of opening lines for invocations. The Apostle Paul in Colossians 1:3 prays “God and the father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In this opening expression, the Apostle Paul addresses God by the believer’s relationship with God as the heavenly father. In Colossians 1:12 the believer is urged to “give thanks to the Father.” In the epistles, the Apostle Paul addresses God as “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…” In fact there are two such examples, one in 2 Corinthians 1:3 and another in Ephesians 1:3. The invocation with a doxology is expressed by Paul in his writing in Romans 15:6, where it is recorded, “That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In Ephesians 3:14, Paul writes, “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is an obvious reference to prayer, and the Apostle addresses God with reference to the relationship between God the Father and His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a pattern of address in which our Lord Jesus has taught His disciples to use in their prayers.
In summary, we address God in prayer as our “Father” or our “Father in heaven” as taught by the Lord Jesus to His disciples. It expresses our understanding of the relationship between God and the believer. A relationship in which the worshippers addresses God the loving heavenly Father, and the worshippers await as dutiful children the blessing of God as they gather in worship.
Excerpt from “Biblical Pattern of Worship” pages 28-29.
Dn. Lim Seh Beng