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  • Grace B-P Contributor

Grace Church 48th Anniversary

By Rev Tan Eng Boo


 


 “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night” (Psalm 92:1, 2)

 

Every anniversary Grace church celebrates is always a reminder of the faithfulness of God upon His people. The church exists by the grace of God. After 48 years of existence in the eastern part of Singapore, we can look back with gratefulness to the Lord for His sustaining grace on this “Light House.” It is always a humbling experience to be reminded by our Lord that


“for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). 

 

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow

Grace church grew quickly after the initial years of our establishment in January 1976. The building was too small to accommodate a growing congregation. We had to do two major renovations to make space for a bigger sanctuary and office space. We also had the desire to bid for a HDB church site, but somehow, we were not able to obtain the sites in Hougang and Simei. God seemed to be closing the door in those directions. So we stayed on in this place and witnessed Lord’s plan for Grace church to have daughter churches, beginning with the Mandarin Service in March 1978, Shalom BPC in September 1981 and Gethsemane BPC in March 1988. You can see a detailed timeline of Grace church’s ministries from 1976 to 2010 in our Grace church 35th anniversary magazine, done by Sis Catherine Ng.

 

We should remember the past and acknowledge the Lord for His blessings. There are also lessons we can learn from our past just as Paul told the Corinthians to learn from Israel’s past from the Old Testament (1 Corinthians 10:11). Similarly, Nehemiah gave the Israelites a history lesson,


“And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea,….” (Nehemiah 9:9ff).


Do not belittle the past and what the Lord has done for His church. It’s also not about glorifying the past but to be thankful to God as we are reminded of His working through it.

 

48 Years and Beyond

As we press on towards our 49th year of service and beyond, there are three things that we can work on with the Lord’s help:

 

Let us be a holy people for God!

Before Joshua led a new generation of Israelites across the Jordan river, the first thing he told the Israelites was to get themselves sanctified.


“And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you” (Joshua 3:5 KJV).


Some version use “consecrate” instead of “sanctified.” The words simply means “holy.” This is a good reminder for Gracians, especially church leaders, to live a holy life. To be holy is to be godly. It takes godly people to lead the church. It takes godly people to work together to build the church. It takes godliness to see the power of God in action through His people. The apostle Paul prayed for the Thessalonians


“that he (God) may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints (I Thessalonian 3:13). 

 

We must be good soldiers of Jesus Christ!

When a new generation of Israelites was about to enter the Promised Land, God told Moses to number the fighting men (Numbers 1). The total number was 603,550. For Israel, it was a physical warfare and it was tough. Thank God we don’t have to engage in a physical war. I pray that we will never have to go through a physical war of any kind.

 

For us Christians, it will be a spiritual battle. A spiritual warfare that is even more subtle. We  face a spiritual enemy (Satan and his demons) who is going all out to destroy the Christian individual as well as the church (1 Peter 5:8). As soldiers of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:4), let us be prepared for opposition as we move into 2024.

 

Every good soldier of Jesus Christ must prepare himself/herself by having a good knowledge of how to handle his/her personal weapon. It is the same with the Christian soldier who will have to know his/her Bible well. He/she must have a good knowledge of and how to apply God’s word to his/her life.


“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).


This is a vital weapon and we must know how to handle it. Those of us who have been through National Service know the importance of handling our personal weapon. We cannot afford to be clueless about it. We must know, for example, how to resolve a misfiring or we will be dead in a real battle field.

 

Remember, the words of Moses:


“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it….” (Deuteronomy 6:1).


See 1 Peter 3:15.

 

Be a humble servant of the Lord always

The apostle John says,


“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).


If we don’t have a mentality of servanthood, we will always be a proud person in church, defined by  who we are in society, our reputation, our achievements, etc. But who am I? Paul says,


“But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10).


Moses was known as the servant of God (Deuteronomy 34:5). Jude was called a servant of Jesus Christ (Jude 1:1). Jesus emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant (Philippians 2:7). No task in church is too low for anyone to do.

 

May the Lord challenge us with these three reminders. Blessed anniversary!

 

Be a holy people – sanctified for the Master’s use

Be a good soldier of Jesus Christ – master your personal weapon (Bible)

Be a humble servant of the Lord – servanthood in service

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