From the Advisory Pastor
Dear Members in Christ,
Wise Counsel Needs Counsellors
Proverbs 15:22 “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.” [Antithetical parallelism]
Many years ago when I was working in an architectural firm, I met a very independent young man. He shared with me that ever since he was a child, he had been taught by his parents to be independent and not ask anyone for help or advice. Whatever he needed to decide upon he must seek it out himself. This became a way of life for him as he interned in the firm. This manner of thinking left a deep impression. I was a young Christian then and was not able to counsel him. Perhaps it is good in a world of sin and wickedness, for if one were to seek advice from a wicked person, he might not get help but hurt! Such a cautionary approach to life can result in cynicism and aloofness. Imagine a world where no one depends on anyone and everyone minds his own business and asks no one anything!
This is not how God wants His children to live. The LORD sends into the lives of His children men and women of God and sometimes even little children to help us make important decisions in life. All of us have experienced and know that crossroad decisions are life changing and one small mistake can ruin a promising witness and life. To not seek counsel when counsel is readily available is like a hungry man who arrives in a new town and refuses to ask the locals, even though he is surrounded by them, for direction to a restaurant.
God’s children are witnessing and serving Christ in a sin infested and Satan controlled world. It is a minefield that they fight in. God does not want them to fight alone where necessary. He wants all of them to succeed and be victorious in their life of Christ. We all need help to ensure that we make the right decisions, thus the warning from the LORD to His people in Proverbs 15:22.
The literal translation of Proverbs 15:22:
“Disappointed are the purposes that are without counsel but in the multitude of advisors they will come to pass.”
Bad Counsel Disappoints – We all plan our lives but some more than others. We all face disappointments when plans go awry. We jump for joy when our plans are established. The weeping comes when important and life changing plans are thwarted. It would have been different if counsel had been sought. Regrets that will not go away fill our hearts and minds for life. These are the consequences that we must try to minimise and avoid if possible. But when counsel is not sought and we make independent decisions we pay the heavy price. Counsel is not sought in the following ways:-
• Without Scriptures – The Bible is the best and most objective guide. It gives the best counsel. The ones who do not study the Bible do not have counsel from God. Every counsel they receive under such circumstances will be bad for them. It will not glorify God. It will result in sin as it is man-centred.
• Without spiritual advice – Mature believers like leaders of the church can give spiritual counsel. The reason is that sometimes the issues involved require the application of the principles of the Holy Scriptures. These mature believers are better able to evaluate the people and the circumstances from Scriptures. Their counsel will be objective and biblical.
• Without a teachable heart – Ultimately the person has to make his own decision. If he does not have a teachable heart then all the godly counsel will come to nought. All believers have the mind of Christ which results in a teachable heart. It does not mean that we are teachable all the time. There will be times when we are stubborn due to pride and refuse to listen to wise counsel. When this happens, we will make a mistake. It is such times that we must be most careful of, for that one mistake can change our lives for the worse.
Wise Counsel Comes to Pass – The contrast in the use of the antithetical parallelism is obvious. Conversely, the one who seeks a multitude of advisors will most likely make fewer mistakes. The choice of these advisors is critical. If we are surrounded by a multitude of evil advisors their counsel will still be evil. It is not just the “number” that matters but the type of advisors. The verb for “counsel” and the noun for “counsellors” are not from the same root. The verb “counsel” in the first line refers simply to having a session of communication with others. The noun “counsellors” means one who gives advice to resolve a matter, thus the use of the word “advisor” here to capture the different nuance. The multitude of advisors must be wise in the things and knowledge of God. The advisor is more than just possessing head knowledge like a Bible dictionary. He must firstly be a man of God by his life. He has lived out the Word of God in his own life. This is the type of wise advisors that we need to seek help from.
Joash the king of Judah is a prime example for receiving bad advice. When Jehoiada the high priest was alive, he gave Joash good advice and thus Joash was a good king. After Jehoiada died, Joash listened to the bad advice of the princes of Judah. 2 Chronicles 24:17-18 “Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them. And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.” Joash did not end well at all because he listened to bad advice. His good years were neutralised by his own folly when he ended his reign in idolatry. Only God knows how many thousands of Jews were ruined by him.
When bad advice is given by leaders, the damage is catastrophic. The nation dies. In NT times, the church dies. Lives are ruined. When wise advice according to the Bible is given and heeded, the blessings that follow are priceless. The lives of God's people are strengthened and built up in the inner man. Families become godly. The church is a haven of rest for tired souls. Sinners find salvation and are delivered from sin, death and hell in godly churches with a godly environment provided by God through these godly people. Wise counsel needs wise advisors.
Food for Thought – Be faithful in seeking counsel in the least and thus be faithful in seeking counsel in the much.
Rev (Dr) Quek SY
ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING on 17th October 2020
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen". Matthew 28:19-20
The Lord commanded the Church to do His work of salvation according to the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 and also "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Hebrews 10:25.
CJBPF is to serve the Lord faithfully and profitably in the exhortation, edification, building and growing of the faith of the saints in Jesus Christ. In fulfilment of the Great Commission, CJBPF is also to reach out to the lost souls in order for them to be saved into God’s eternal kingdom of life.
Each year, the congregation of CJBPF is required to come together to examine and give account of how the Fellowship had progressed in achieving the mandates of 1) spiritual development and growth of the Fellowship and 2) outreach in soul winning for Jesus Christ, in the year just past.
Please note that the responsibility and accountability of the 2 mandates mentioned are not for the leaders only BUT the whole congregation. We are all required, as a body of Christ, though we have different roles and functions, to work together, for the kingdom of God. We are all saved to serve. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10.
Let us come together on the 17th October 2020, to examine, share and discuss the progress of the spiritual activities, growth and development of the Fellowship - what needs to be done, how much had been done, how are all these to be done and how all of us are to do the work of God together for His Glory.
"For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon." 1 Corinthians 3:9-10.
Thus, it is important and expedient to come together to participate, if able, in consideration of the RMCO SOPs, which we are obliged to follow.
It is indeed a great honour, opportunity and responsibility to plan ahead for His work as well. For we are all co-labourers in Christ.
Elder TS Choe