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14 & 15 August 2021 (Pastoral Page) YNWA

By Elder Tan Chin Tiong

In the finals of the 2005 UEFA Champions League in Istanbul, Liverpool was losing 3-0 to AC Milan. Legend has it that the motivating effect of the fans singing the song, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ gave the players hope when all seemed lost. This song in the face of adversity galvanised the Liverpool team and they managed to pull themselves up and win the match on penalties, crowning them European Cup Champions that year. Their conviction of the essence of this song is so strong that they even embossed these four words as part of their football club emblem.

In the individualistic world in which we live, we are easily deceived into thinking that we can do the Christian life on our own. Whilst it is important to carve out private space for personal reflection and solitude, it should not be done at the detriment of excluding community living. We are not made to walk alone.

I am not sure how many of you have been walking alone and feeling isolated especially during this Covid-19 pandemic season. If you are, you need not be struggling or feeling this way because God has a solution for this problem.

This solution is not a propaganda invented by the church leaders but it is found in scripture.

Acts 2:46-47 “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those that were being saved.”

The believers during the time of Acts were experiencing persecutions from the Romans and as a result, it is reasonable to conclude that it was not easy for them to gather for worship and fellowship. However, from these two verses we can see that they persisted and as a result benefited from it.

1) Every day they met

– They met often and regularly despite the challenging environment.

2) They continued to meet together

– They intentionally disciplined themselves to meet.

3) They met in temple court and in their homes

– They met both corporately and in small groups.

4) They broke bread

– They gathered primarily to remember Jesus.

5) They ate together with glad and sincere hearts

– They encouraged each other through shared life stories. They enjoyed each other’s presence as they genuinely opened their hearts to one another.

6) They praised God

– They accorded praise and honour to God in the midst of their gathering.

7) They enjoyed favour of all the people

– Their meeting together resulted in favour received from other people around them. People around them experienced positive effects from their testimonies.

8) The Lord added to their number daily

– As they met together and fulfilled the purpose of the gathering, God provided both personal and corporate growth consistently.

From these verses, we see that as believers meet together, the individual is blessed, the testimony of the group is amplified, people are drawn to God, the Church grows and God is glorified!

The Bible Church CARE Groups seek to be the platform for believers to live out these two verses. We hope to see the CARE Groups providing opportunities for all members to:-

- Exercise hospitality

- Pray for each other

- Learn from each other through studying of scripture

- Learn from each other through shared life experiences

- Encourage each other to grow spiritually

- Support and help each other through life’s journey

- Hold each other accountable

- Help each other to identify our spiritual gifts

- Challenge each other to serve out of our giftedness

- Build lasting friendship/Be like an extended family

- Strengthen the church

If one song can lift up the spirit of a football club, what more can the eternal truth of God do for the church and for us?

Therefore, for those already in CARE Groups, I challenge you to hold on to the ‘Acts 2 principle’ for meeting together so that we can enjoy the full benefits that God intended for us. For those not in CARE Groups, I strongly urge you not to wait any longer. Look for a group nearest to your home and join in.

Don’t walk alone.

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