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Reflections of a Believer 24 April 2011 Elder William Seah

Reflection should be a believer’s constant pre-occupation because of our forgetfulness which is further aggravated by the cares of this world which in themselves are legitimate. We are reminded in the ‘Parable of the Sower’ that “..the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becometh unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19). Let us rather be like the seed which has been “…sown on good ground; such as hear the Word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” (Mark 4:20). More so during the past week as we recall how 2,000 years ago, the fulfillment of God’s promise in Genesis 3:15 recorded thus, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This is further confirmed by the prophet Isaiah 700 years before the event that “the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His Name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14) and fulfilled as recorded in Matthew 1:18-25, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His Name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called His Name JESUS.” So it was at the first Christmas when the ‘Son of God became the Son of Man that we, the sons of man might be made the sons of God by faith in His finished work at Calvary.’ How marvelous His love for us that “..when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). He was willing to leave heaven’s glory for our sakes, and “..made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8) Dearly beloved, our reflection must certainly cause us as believers, to resolve in loving the Lord above all things because He first loved us. If the things of this world have captivated our lives and we have left our first love for the Lord, let us heed the words of Revelation 2:5 and “…repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” We “…were dead in trespasses and sins….But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by (grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:1, 4-7). May the Spirit of God bring conviction upon our hearts to turn us back to Him so that we may be able to echo the words of Elizabeth Prentiss “More love to Thee, O Christ, More love to Thee!” O may Christ increase, and we decrease so that our lives may show forth His praise “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) Dearly beloved, our reflection must certainly cause us as believers, to remember all of God’s faithfulness and mercies in spite of our constant waywardness. Having reached down to us when we “…were dead in trespasses and sins….in time past ….walked according to the course of this world….fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others”. (Ephesians 2:1-3) He saved us. How He has helped us in times of trouble and crying out like David we can echo the words of his prayer, “I sought the

LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears….. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles” (Psalm 34:4, 6). Time and time again, the Lord has blessed us beyond all human expectation in answer to our prayers, yes, beyond all that we have asked. Pause and consider the times when He spared our lives and has given us health and strength which we so often take for granted. In remembering all of God’s goodness to us in so many ways, let us never forget to give thanks and praise Him for the psalmist declares thus, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23) It has been said that ‘remembrance is the hallmark of gratitude’ and it is my prayer that this may be characteristic of our church at Tengah as we echo the words of David, “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His Name together…..wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Psalm 34:3; Philippians 2:9-11)
Dearly beloved, our reflection must certainly cause us as believers, to re-consecrate our lives to serve Him with clean hands and a pure heart. To be in the service of the King of kings and the Lord of lords, is to say the least, both a joy and privilege…..it is the work which God does through us having saved us from our sins and sanctified us by His Spirit, set apart for His service. God forbid that there should be any among us who has been redeemed with the blood of Christ be found guilty of either quenching or grieving the Spirit who indwells us and abides with us forever. But in the spirit of meekness and humility, let us re-consecrate our lives to live for Him, serving Him in whichever ministry or ministries He has called us, to be faithful to the end for we are reminded that “..it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). The world crowns success but God crowns faithfulness. What a joy if at the end of life’s journey, we can hear the Lord say to us, “..Well done, thou good and faithful servant….enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matthew 25:21) Therefore, until we enter into our eternal rest, let us re-consecrate ourselves to Him to serve Him with our very best!