By Dn Leong Pei De
This weekend, we celebrate with 3 of our brothers and sisters who have taken the step of obedience to be baptised. Along with them are 19 others who are transferring their membership and formally committing to be a part of the Bible Church community. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know some of them through the baptism and membership classes, community meals and interviews. What a joy to welcome each one into the church, and what a privilege it has been to hear their stories. Do take time to read the testimonies published, and marvel at the goodness and faithfulness of our God.
Our God is amazing beyond our imagination, endlessly loving and willingly pursues us through our unique circumstances. God is there. Just as King David in Ps 139 expresses God’s relentless presence in the heights, depths and farthest ends of the sea, our 22 brothers’ and sisters’ testimonies are personal proofs of this. We have some who have taken detours and pit stops through life, prioritizing work and family before God. Others who had gone through personal tragedy and loss before finding God in their search for meaning and purpose. Some who have had to practice their faith in secret as families were in abject opposition, and others who had the blessing of being raised by faithful Christian parents; we have those who experienced miraculous healing or heard from God in a dream; and even someone who was nudged to think about the Christian faith because he was pursuing a Christian girl. Whatever the circumstance though, our God knows each of us and has his way with us. He has intervened, pursued and provided.
Do you recall your own baptism? Since that written testimony was requested of you, how has the story of your faith developed? Are you in a deeper relationship with Jesus today- one that is characterised by growth and fruitfulness?
As part of the baptism and transfer process, we do have the candidates sign off on a Member’s Pledge and Declaration form. One of the items we commit to is to “Serve faithfully according to our giftedness” and “Support the community of faith in prayer and service”. This is included as we do view serving as an integral part of one’s growth into Christ-likeness. While this is a commitment made, I certainly hope that we instead serve God simply because He deserves our service.
We were reminded last weekend of the need to be ready for Jesus’ return by being good stewards of our time, treasures and talent. All that we currently possess, yes including our lives, are given to us bought through the blood of Jesus. Thus, our service is our response to God for our salvation, our offering of self as a living sacrifice for him (Rom 12:1-2), done willingly and joyfully. I encourage you to inspect your life today and find evidence of God’s overwhelming provision for you (Matt 6:33) even in the midst of challenging and dark moments. Will you in response be rich towards God in your family, office or within the church? Ask God to weed out any barriers preventing you from serving Him whole-heartedly, and open opportunities for you to do so. If you are unsure of where to start, please speak to any one of the ministry staff, pastors, or church leaders. You can also scroll to the Service Opportunities of our E-bulletin to find out more.
Why be a part of the Bible Church? Our baptism and transfer candidates mentioned various motivations including our Word-focused teaching and preaching, our blended worship format, the strong children’s ministry and even the presence of Alpha. Praise God for His faithfulness. However, the word that was most frequently mentioned by our baptism and transfer candidates was ‘home’. The church certainly is not perfect, but neither is a home. In fact a home I think is frequently rife with disagreements, bad habits and conflict. But it also where we can be ourselves, where our needs are taken care of, where we learn to contribute and serve to build it up. The Bible Church has become a home for many precisely because each of you has made a difference. Will you continue availing yourself, your time, treasures and talent to establish God’s kingdom in the Bible Church and in the West Coast community such that it will be a home for these 22 brothers and sisters, but also for many more to come?