Jurong Outreach

"whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ."


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One of Us

Joseph Damien was a nineteenth – century missionary who ministered to people with leprosy on the island of Molokai, Hawaii.  Those suffering grew to love him and revered the sacrificial life he lived out before them.  One morning before Damien was to lead daily worship, he was pouring some hot water into a cup when the water swirled out and fell onto his bare foot.  It took him amoment to realize that he had not felt any sensation.  Gripped by the sudden fear of what this could mean, he poured more hot water on the same spot.  Again, there was no feeling whatsoever.

Damien immediately knew what had happened.  As he walked tearfully to deliver his sermon, no one at first noticed the difference in his opening line.  He normally began every  sermon  with,  “My  fellow  believers.”  But this morning he began with… “My fellow lepers.”

Now Damien could FULLY RELATE to the lepers because he BECAME a leper.  He knew personally the struggles that they faced.  He could actually feel their pain!

Damien’s experience portrays the wonder of the Incarnation – how JESUS, “being in the form of God, … made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” to live among us (Philippians 2:6-7).

The Hebrew writer informs us of the importance of the incarnation: “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.  For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18).

Because Jesus was “made like His brethren” (human), He understands us.  He “knows all about our struggles” as He has shared the human experience with us AND – He knows how to help!

He ALSO knows our deepest need: salvation from sin and a relationship withour Heavenly Father.  In order to provide for our deepest need, Jesus lived among us, and then died for us, “to make propitiation [to pay the price of redemption] for [our] sins.” “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, EVEN… the death of the CROSS” (Philippians 2:8).

The ONLY one who could take our place and pay the price for our sins has to be one who is  like us, yet  without  sin.  Jesus  was  that  One  (Hebrews  4:15-16).  He became “ONE of US” to save us!

There IS a response on our part: Jesus saves those who: believe in Him and trust Him (Acts  16:31),  repent of  their  sins  (Acts  17:30-31),  confess Him before  men (Romans 10:9-10), are  baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38),-AND- who commit their lives to faithful obedience (1 John 1:7).

He became “LIKE YOU” in order to “SAVE YOU”.  Won’t you accept His offer?

Salvation Is Free

Salvation is free… if you want to take hold of it today

The choice is yours… will you choose to obey?

Salvation is waiting… but only you can save your soul

God wants you to be saved… but you are in control!

God has the ability… but you must heed His call

To obey… be baptized… take heed unless ye fall!

Salvation truly is the most precious gift for man

So seek out your salvation… by following God’splan!

Salvation is wonderful… salvation is free

It’s yours for the taking… what will your answer be?

Philippians 2:12 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as In my presence only, but now much more in my absence, Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

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Every Man in His Place

In Judges 6-8, we learn about Gideon.  God chooses Gideon to deliver his people from the Midianites. Gideon calls the Israelites to war against the Midianites.  Thirty two thousand men respond to his call.  Twenty two thousand go home because they are afraid to fight.  God tells Gideon that there are still too many men.

God does not want the Israelites to believe that they defeated the Midianites.  He wants them to know that they defeat the Midianites only because God is on their side.

Gideon is told to have the men go to the water and drink.  Those who drink from the water by lapping water from their hand will be the ones who fight.  Only 300 men drink  water  this  way.   Gideon  takes  these  300  men  and  divides  them  into  3 companies.  The three companiess then surround the Midianite camp in the middle of the night.  Each man has a trumpet, an empty pitcher and a torch light.

At the appointed time each blows his trumpet and breaks the pitcher.  And each shouts “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.”

The Midianites are surprised and end up fighting among themselves.  Many kill each other.  The rest run for their lives. It is a huge victory for the Israelites.  They won the battle without having to use swords.

It is interesting that in chapter 7, verse 21, we read, “And they stood every man in his place round about the camp…”  Each of the 300 men had their appointed place to stand.  Each had his job to do.  Their success depended on each staying in his place.

Those in the church have a place.  Each person is needed if the church is to be successful in the community.  God expects us to all work together to evangelize our community.  God is the one who wins the battle but each of us must do our part.

There is a need for team work in preaching the gospel.  Some individuals can read the Bible out loud.  Others are good at explaining what the text says.  Others are good encouragers.  There is a need for those who plan the work of teaching and preaching.

Just like in the days of Nehemiah and Ezra.  After the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt by Nehemiah and the Israelites, the people gathered to hear the law of God read.

Nehemiah 7:66-67, tells us that the population of Israel at this time was about 50,000.

On the first day of the seventh month, the people all gathered in Jerusalem They asked Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses and instruct them in what they were to do.

Ezra stood on a pulpit of wood which had been made especially for the occasion.

He opened the book and read from it in front of all the people.  In Nehemiah 8:7, we read, “Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.”  Nehemiah had led the people in completing the wall of Jerusalem and in encouraging the people to follow God.  Ezra was able to read the law well.  He also had encouraged the people to rebuild the Temple.  The men named in our verse above were talented in explaining the text. The chief of the fathers andthe Levites and priests led the people in a desire to know more about God’s word (Neh. 8:13).

Every member of the Lord’s church is important in playing a part to encourage one another to serve the Lord and remain faithful to Him.  May you find a place of service to the Lord in His church in 2015 and resolve to serve Him diligently throughout the year. (1 Cor 12:14-27) 

Verse 14 For the body is not one member, but many.

Verse 25 That there should be no schism in the body;but that the members should have the same care one for another.

Verse 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.


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Peace in a Troubled World

The story has been told about a shipwrecked sailor.  He had spent three long years on a desert island when one day he was overjoyed to see a ship drop anchor in the bay.  He anxiously watched and waited as a small lifeboat made its way to shore.  But then, to his surprise, instead of calling to him to get in, an officer of the ship presented him with a big batch of newspapers.  The officer said to this marooned sailor…

“The captain suggests that you read what’s going on in the world, and THEN let us know if you STILL want to be rescued.”

We live in a troubled world…  There is so much conflict in the world that to be marooned on a desert island can be an attractive thought.  “Peace” is a concept that so often seems to be found only in the dictionary.  This is true not only of world peace – peace between countries, but also of inner peace – peace within the individual.  Jesus warned, “In the world you WILL have tribulation…,” but He also promised, “In ME you may have peace” (John 16:33).  Jesus comforted His followers with words of assurance: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

The peace that Jesus promises is not the absence of conflict on the outside, but an inner confidence within the individual – a calm center in the eye of the storm!  It is based on trust in a God who cares and provides for His children,

Luke 12:22-31  And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you,  Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.  The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.  Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?   And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?  If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?  Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?  And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

This peace is found in a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus, which sustains His children even in difficult circumstances.

Jesus Christ died on the cross so that YOU and I might have THAT peace.  Through His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus conquered the Number One problem that keeps us from having peace: SIN.  His death served as payment for the sins of those who will submit their lives to Him:

  • believing in and trusting Him.   Acts 16:31 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”,
  • repenting of sin.   2 Corinthians 7:9-10  “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death”,
  • confessing that He is the Son of God.   Romans 10:9-10  “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
  • and being baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of sin.    Acts 2:38   “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

The “peace of God which surpasses all understanding” will CONTINUE to “guard” the hearts and minds of those who CONTINUE to walk with God obediently. (Philippians 4:6)

 


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A Life That Counts

One morning in 1888, Alfred Nobelinventor of dynamite, the man who had spent his life amassing a fortune from the manufacture and sale of weapons of destruction, awoke to read his own obituary.  Of course, it was a mistake.  Alfred’s brother had died, and the reporter inadvertently wrote Alfred’s obituary.

For the first time, Alfred Nobel saw himself as the world saw him“the dynamite King,”; the great industrialist who had made an immense fortune from explosives.  This, as far as the general public was concerned, was the entire purpose of his life.  None of his true intentions surfaced.  Nothing was said about his work to break down the barriers that separated persons and ideas.  He was quite simply “a merchant of death,”; and for that alone would he be remembered.

Alfred read the obituary with HORROR!  He felt that the world must know the true meaning and purpose of his life!  He resolved to do this through his last will and testament.  The final disposition of his fortune would show the world his life’s ideals.  And at that time came into being yearlyprizes for chemistry, physics, medicine, literature — and the famous Nobel Peace Prize.*

If you were to read YOUR OWN obituary today, what would it say?

How would others describe what truly mattered to you?

A wise person has written:

A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove,

how much money I made,or where I lived.  What will be important is that I…

How would YOU finish the quote?  How you answer that question will be reflected in your obituary.  The rest of the original quote is:  “What will be important is that I… made a difference in the life of a child.”  Indeed, to make a positive difference in the life of a child is extremely important and commendable.  However, THE MOST IMPORTANT factor in our lives, when all is said and done is: “WAS I A CHRISTIAN?”  Everything else is secondary.

NOTHING ELSE MATTERS MORE!  Your eternal destiny hinges on the answer…  Because of our sins, WE are lost, doomed to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14) “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

However, because of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross, YOU and I can be forgiven of our sins and have the hope of eternal life with Him in heaven.  God provides these blessings to those who will: 

  • place their trust in Him (Hebrews 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”,
  • repent of sin (2 Corinthians 7:9-10) “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
  • confess Christ (Romans 10:9-10) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”,
  • be baptized (immersed) in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
  • and live for Him the rest of their lives (2 Corinthian 5:15)  “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”.

Chances are, you will not be reading yoour own obituary. But you have already begun to WRITE it — day by day, moment by moment.

Live YOUR todays for Christ, and tomorrow you will look back on a life that counted!