The Herald Weekly Vol XVI : 5

We are celebrating Herald B-P Church’s 14th Anniversary this Lord’s Day. Our theme is to thank and praise our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ for these 14 years of guidance, provision and growth as a church, and we as members of His flock.

Saying thank you is not enough; in fact, that is the least we can do. We must add to a thankful heart, the voice of prayer and an expression of praise to God. This is the correct response for all that He has done in our church and also in our lives.

In today’s worship service, we have several members to say a line or two of thanks to our Almighty God. We also have five overseas members who have sent their congratulations to Herald on this Anniversary celebration, and their expression of thanksgiving to God for making Herald a blessing to them.

1. Praise God for His Greatness and Provision (Ps 111:1-9)

Praising God in the assembly of the upright was boldly done by the Psalmist. He was not shy about expressing the greatness of God within the four walls of the Temple, and before the assembly. God deserves our sincere praise.

We need to praise God for His wondrous works done in our midst. The Jews remembered the mighty works done in Egypt, and during their forty years of wilderness travel. For us in Herald, we have 14 good years to look back to, and to tell God how great He is. From a small group of us with nothing even to start a church, He has given us two sanctuaries to praise and worship His great and mighty name for all these 14 years. We did not come organised or had a plan in mind to do this or that with any 5-year plan. But He did it all by granting the leaders, helpers and servers the courage and wisdom to be part of all the church ministries willingly, cheerfully and with diligence.

The Psalmist sought out the incredible things God has done in this world, and in the lives of God’s people. For those who are unaware, or are new to Herald, do study Herald’s history and it will surprise you that it has been our Saviour who answered our prayers. When our own pianists went overseas, the Lord prepared and moved the people’s hearts, and volunteers from other churches came to provide music for our worship services. When we stop and reflect on all the great things God has done among us and in our mission stations, we begin to see how faithful God has been in our lives and how He has taken care of and provided for all our needs.

God’s provision for all the Israelites’ needs (food and land, vv 4-9) shows His loving kindness and grace. God’s wonderful character of being faithful, just, trustworthy, stedfast, upright, holy and awesome are found in verses 7 to 9. The Psalmist is praising God as he pens these attributes of God.

We must remember God’s compassion as He enabled us to start our first worship service in a sister’s condominium. When we needed a passenger van to transport our elderly folks to meetings and to places for gatherings, God moved 2 sisters to help purchase it. God knew our every need. For the Holy Communion, Rev Philip Heng got the support of his church (Galilee) to provide a set of the utensils for it.

2. Praising God Out of Love and Respect for Him (Ps 111:10)

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. This ‘fear’ means giving respect, or reverence, or submission to God’s Lordship. Basically, it means loving and obeying God. It describes how we are to relate to God.

In John 7:17, Jesus said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” If we are in God’s will, we will obey His commands, and live in a right relationship with Him. Then He will give us understanding of His Word. When we keep close to God, our faith will blossom, and with faith many things can be accomplished on earth with His strength.

“His praise endures forever” – a commentator said this is a fitting wrap- up to a psalm dedicated to remembering and praising the good works which God has done in our lives. It also encourages our response to God’s greatness with PRAISE! We are called to respond to God’s faithfulness in our lives by offering to Him eternal praises. In other words, we are to praise Him without ceasing. This response truly is the best way to show God how thankful we are for His many blessings in our lives.

3. Praising God for the Vision He Has Given to Us.

“Be Thou my vision” ought to be the way things are seen, understood, accomplished and done for His kingdom. The need to have a permanent venue for the worship of God, that is, not in rented premises, became a vision for us. We saw the need, and God provided us with our present church premises.He called us to gather to establish Herald, and He moved many to support the Building Fund. That vision of ownership was wholly realised last month when the final and last interest-free payment was made. Praise the Lord!

We need to have vision, if not we will perish. Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

What is next for us? More space for the two sanctuaries? More people brought to the Lord, and joining as members through baptism at Herald? More full-time workers for the expansion of the church? Or revival of souls so that the church will be on fire in the Lord? The vision must come from God to the leaders or to faithful members in order to know that it is authentic and blessed of the Lord. Whatever our vision, it must be like the Apostle Paul who said, “Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor 2:1). We must “know Christ, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering” (Phil 3:10). We may have a big church building, fantastic Bible programmes or great leadership training courses; but, without Christ and His blessing all that we may gain will all be in vain. What is done on earth will be like vapour in the air; here today, and gone tomorrow. Only what is done for Christ will truly last.

So may the Lord be pleased with all our endeavours – be it evangelism, training of leaders, mission work abroad. Let us be Christ-centred in all that we do. Let us all acknowledge, “Not I, but Christ”. Let us do all for the glory of God, guided by the Holy Spirit, and done according to Biblical principles.

Let this Anniversary be a season in which we pause from our many schedules and demands to give God the praise and thanksgiving that are due to His Almighty name.

Pastor Bob Phee

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