We are a group of earnest learners with ages ranging from early 20s to 70s, studying the Word of God each week – seeking to be grounded and established in our faith and applying this faith through the various seasons of our life.
As a Sunday School department, we worship GOD together, focussing our minds and hearts on HIM, singing praises and giving thanks to HIM. In our classes, we study the Word of GOD carefully, seeking to discover and deepen our knowledge of GOD, the authorial intent of the Bible passages and applying the lessons into our daily lives. We pray together and learn to support one another in prayer. As the Apostle Paul says in Colossians 1:10-11:
“That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.”
Our hope and prayer is that at whatever phase of our life, our faith would be one that is alive, strong, real and distinctive – marked by our Christian walk and evidence of fruits in our lives.
Teachers & Classes
Book of James - (Tan Yu Guang)
Over the past few months of study into the book of James, we have learnt about many lessons that direct us towards harnessing a faith that is both real and practical. I appreciate the straightforward tone that the book of James is written in; it does not afford excuses to those who do not measure up in terms of real faith and gives clear, succinct instructions to go about approaching our Christian faith. Of the lessons we have learnt each week, I find that the concept of Christian liberty stands out to me, as expounded in James 1:25 – 27. This Christian liberty that we possess with Christ as our Lord grants us freedom from sin, legalism and also the Mosaic customs that the Jews were bound to in the Old Testament. With it, we are now granted access to God through Christ, even as Gentiles, to be part of His people and be ordained as His royal priesthood; this spoke immensely about the mercy and grace of God, to extend His love to an undeserving people.
James 1:25; “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
This perfect law of liberty needs to be truly understood, known and appreciated before it is possible for us to become a “doer of the work” and cultivate genuine servanthood for the Lord, producing good works of faith. As I learnt more about the Lord Jesus’ ministry, sacrifice, and God’s immaculate plan for His Son, I discovered that His work done on the Cross was indeed perfect. From the initiative to sacrifice His sinless Son, the intricacies of perfect timing with perfect circumstances with regards to His birth, circumcision, ministry, to His sacrifice and eventually revival, the works of our Lord Jesus Christ was indeed flawless; every portion of His plan was flawless. As I began to understand more about His perfect law, it struck me just how unimaginably great God’s love is for us; to draw up such a seamless plan to sacrifice His son for an undeserving people, what amazing love!
James 1:26-27; “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
Surely, we need to treasure the grace of God that has been given to us, embracing this perfect law means to follow His command, His word and never to deny His name; to stay faithful and produce the good works of faith that have been asked of us. However, the temptations of the world are beset on all corners around us, it takes a consistent and purposeful effort to continue in His perfect law of liberty to take His yoke upon our shoulders. While we, as Christians, are able to comprehend His law as liberty, I find that those of the world find it hard to acknowledge it the same way; to them, commitment to Christ seems more restrictive than liberating. Hence, there lies a possible trap and pitfall: that we were to fall away from Christ and be lured into this thinking of the world. How should I ensure that I do not fall into this trap? I find that it is important that I am able to discern what is in my heart, that it is inherently and desperately wicked, and make sure that I deny the selfish dictates of this sinful heart; to distinguish worldly pursuits from that of Christ, so as to avoid deceiving our own hearts. Also, I need to make the concerted effort to bridle my tongue and encourage or edify others, to strive to be one of exemplary and genuine faith; to closely follow His most important commandment: to love one another.
This has been a very encouraging lesson personally, I am motivated to hold onto this perfect liberty closely, while striving to stay hidden, unspotted from the world, choosing to be illuminated in His light.
Book of James - (Carolyn Lim)
“But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1: 25 (NKJV)
One thing that stands out from the last few weeks of studying James during Sunday school, is to have genuine faith, that is lived out and seen through works that reflect the Lord’s Word. As I reflected on the many lessons, the lesson on being doers of the Word particularly stood out. In that lesson, we learned about how the Lord’s Word is like a mirror, and it is through this Word that we constantly reflect on our lives. Indeed, it is through the reading and abiding in His Word, that the sins of my life and the aspects that I need to work on are revealed. Thankfully, and in God’s grace, it doesn’t stop there. More importantly, the Word contains many examples of faith which inspire and set the example for us to follow, examples of what it means to live godly lives, examples which we can measure our own faith against and seek to work towards.
In that same lesson, we were reminded that genuine faith has to be seen, through actions, through works — that we ought to be doers of the Word, instead of simply hearers. Having grown up in church, I’ve heard countless lessons being preached and taught from the Bible, week in week out, without fail. All these naturally become head knowledge such that giving the correct answers, saying the correct things was never too difficult. Very often, I thus fall into the impression that I’m doing okay, that I am a good girl, that because I have heard, I’m okay.
However, sin problems, problems of the heart, of anger and impatience, continue to exist, often times because I have not sought to check my faith, to apply vital lessons; and instead had chosen to ignore them. The lesson on being a doer of the Word, reminded me yet again, that as Christians, as believers of the Word, we are meant to go beyond simply listening, that we ought to continually work on our faith, to act on the lessons learnt each and every day- to let the words heard impact our lives in concrete action.
As I venture into the working world very soon, there are bound to be many challenges and temptations of the world. My commitment would be to continually seek the Lord’s Word, and to let His Word be reflected in my own life, through my actions, be it at work, or at home as well, instead of just seeing it as a “Sunday-thing”.
Book of James - (Jillian Chew)
Studying James chapter 1 has been so enriching! It holds a treasure chest of truths. For one, to count it all joy when we enter trials. I learnt that if we place our faith only on the comforts and good circumstances that God gives, then we would never have real joy and contentment. But when our faith is based on a close and personal relationship with God, we can in His very presence find ourselves perfect, complete and lacking nothing.
Another lesson that impacted me was learning the difference between trials and temptations. God gives trials to test and build faith for our good. But it is when we do not keep our own sinful desires in check, and nourish it, that we relent into temptation. And the danger of temptation is that it leads to one being embittered and disillusioned about God and life.
These lessons have given me a desire to guard my heart more diligently. To seek be a doer and not just a hearer of the word. To have it implanted in me. And most importantly to learn to sit at the feet of the Lord and find Him ever more real and precious in my life.
Book of James - (Angeline Goh)
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”
James 1:19-21 can be applied to all kind of situations. Being slow to speak and speaking with the right choice of words are important. I am praying that God will grant wisdom and grace so that I can better demonstrate a Christ-like character that overcome anger and frustration in any given situation.
Book of James - (林金玉女士)
Book of James - (林慧珠女士)
我承认自己常感到焦虑和沮丧，因为我总是希望神会照着我的时间和计划回应我的祷告。读了雅各书1章2-8节后，我开始懂得求神帮助我，在一切事上都要耐心等待 神所定的时候。我也要感谢 神派我的女儿和主日学同学关心和鼓励我
40+4 Anniversary (Alex and Shuhua)
Bethany has come to mean a lot to us.
Since we came to know the Lord and made Bethany our home, we have witnessed significant events. These include the transition from a tiny house church in Seletar Hills, to what it is today, a grand lady at Upper Paya Lebar Road, whom we affectionately call “Bethany IV”. Many more, who have been saved, were added to the Church, since the days of its humble beginning. From Bethany, missions were sent to far flung places in Myanmar, India and Australia. Even more souls have been touched, and set free from the bonds of sin and strife.
Closer to home, at a personal level, Bethany has come to represent the precious Word of God. Through Pastor Charlie and his team of pastors, they have tirelessly preached the Word of God to us, with great care and love. Rain or shine, in health or sickness, the Word of God is preached. From the pews in Bethany, we have been fed with the Truth, the wholesome Word of God. We have been impacted by the preaching, leaving the world of sin, embracing the Cross to a victorious living. From thence, we have found purpose and meaning in our existence. The Word of God is the solid pillar of Bethany, from which every action emanates, to save souls, strengthen the faithful, guide towards purposeful living and serve the One Great God.
We have experienced love in Bethany and therefore, we love others. Pastor Charlie and his team do not simply preach. They live out the lives to be worthy of the followers of Christ, our Lord. They care for us, pray with us and walk alongside us. We are never alone. When trials hit any one of the brethren, we will see the rest rallying to him or her, supporting in every possible way. The brethren in Bethany learned the example of the Pastor Charlie and his team, and render prayer and physical support to those in need. These supports come almost instinctively from the brethren. The establishment of Bethany IV is an evidence of the unity of hearts and love of brethren, towards Bethany. The love of Christ is therefore found in Bethany, in action. The fabrics that bind Bethany together, is strong and enduring.
We have blessed in so many ways. It is no exaggeration that Bethany is our home. Here, we found faith and came to know the Lord in a special and intimate way. We received, and continue to receive, wise and godly counsel, to live our lives well and resolve many life’s issues. We have built our family from the foundation of Bethany. Our little brood is loved by their Sunday School teachers. The teachers minister to our children and help us point them to the Lord, without expectation of any earthly rewards. Such is the conviction of their faith in the Lord. In this eco-system of faithful and like-minded Christians, we are in the company of the people of the Lord, to whom, God is our Father.
On this 44th Anniversary, once again, we renew our commitment to serve the Lord. And may He continue to bless us through Bethany. And may Bethany stay true to its mission of saving souls, caring and touching lives. To God be the glory!
“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17
40+4 Anniversary (Chiew Yen)
“One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.”
The Lord called me to Himself and led me to Bethany when I was a teenager. I remember as a young person listening intently as the first generation of adults in Bethany praise God’s works and declare His mighty acts. I remember standing outside 301 Upper Paya Lebar at our Ground Breaking Service before the physical building of Bethany 2 began. How my heart was stirred as we worshipped the God who gave us this place and led us here! I remember the affections I felt for God as I heard of His wondrous works in adding to our Church, souls He had rescued from darkness and lives He had transformed. I saw how God provided for our ministries through the generous giving by the older ones and recalled the impact that it made on my heart when I started working and could also give towards the Lord’s work. I cannot forget how Bethany responded to the Macedonian call from India and later, to Myanmar. Seeing how much the work has grown, I cannot help but be awed by how God had advanced His work on the mission fields. We owe the older generation a debt of gratitude, chief of all is this – they handed to us the knowledge of God’s ways. All these 44 years, they have remained faithful to this charge from God, of praising His works and declaring His acts.
My generation has received a rich heritage of faith. On our 40+4th Anniversary, we look back with thanksgiving and praise at the marvellous works that God has done for our beloved Bethany. We also look forward with commitment and hope.
May we who have been chosen by God to be His people in this place grow deep roots here. May we speak highly of God’s wondrous works to the next generation. May we extol God’s wisdom, power and goodness that are displayed in what He has done. May we be found faithful and remain committed to praise His works and declare His mighty acts to the next generation!
40+4 Anniversary (Patricia Lim)
Obedient to God’s Call
I am deeply grateful to the Lord for Bethany because it was here that I have come to discover so much more about Him and what it means to be one of His children.
The impact that Bethany made on my life when I first came was her faithful obedience to God’s call to be true to Him and His Word. This is demonstrated in her practices. Just to name two:
1. Living by His Word
As Moses taught the children of Israel, “You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, …” (Deut 4:40) Likewise, Bethany has been seeking to live by God’s Word.
I count it a real privilege to be amongst this special body of people who desire and are learning to walk in God’s way. Throughout my twenty-three years here, I witnessed and experienced together with many God’s bountiful blessing of goodness upon our Church. Bethany 4 is proof!
2. Leaving a rich heritage
Posterity takes up one BIG portion in God’s masterplan. Moses sought to impress upon the people of Israel that God’s blessing of goodness can and will span generations when the practice of obedience to His Word is faithfully upheld.
“…, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.” (Deut 4:40)
It is wonderful to see Bethany moving towards this direction. God has blessed us with rich spiritual heritage as a result of our faithful following of Him/His Word all these years. Many of different ages are making significant growth in their faith, evident in their services rendered to Him. Above all, there is the training of a new generation for the continuity of the Lord’s work.
Praying that the Lord will keep us faithful to Him so that generations that follow will always be blessed with a rich heritage of faith that would benefit their souls.
40+4 Anniversary (Adrian Foo)
I give heartfelt thanks to God for another fruitful year of worship, praise, bible study, and fellowship at Bethany.
In Bethany’s 40 + 4 year, we reached another significant milestone with the completion of Bethany IV, and also saw the expansion of our pastoral team with new student-pastors and church staff.
While it is easy to let each Easter and Christmas celebration or church camp become routine and familiar, Pastor Charlie and the pastoral team have always kept us fresh in the teaching of God’s Word, new ministries and new initiatives.
Personally, the physical expansion of the church and pastoral team, coupled with the rich teachings from God’s Word, has been an awesome work to be behold. It is clear that the Lord has been present through it all.
My response is to count our many blessings as a church and as fellow Christians, and to continue to seek God’s guidance and strength through His Spirit working in us.
“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands.”
40+4 Anniversary (Hong Suen)
“I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvellous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”
We at Bethany truly have every reason to proclaim the Lord’s most marvellous works in our midst! Just this year alone, we beheld how the Lord wonderfully enabled the completion of Bethany IV, opened up new ministries – the Special Needs and Photography – and raised up choice men to be trained as Student-Pastors, one of whom will be commissioned at our anniversary worship service on 27 August! I stand in awe of how the Lord has unmistakably led and blessed Bethany all these years and cannot but praise Him with my whole heart! I pray that as people who are called by His name, we will also in turn always seek to love and honour the Lord with all our hearts, all our minds and all our strength!
40+4 Anniversary (Mary)
The Book of Acts showed how the first century church grew and the believers stepping up to see to the different needs of the church members. Bethany 40+4 Anniversary reminds me of the first century church.
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship in the breaking of bread and in prayers.”
“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
Thank God for His wonderful works in the different ministries in Bethany! Especially in the Special Needs Ministry, Children and Teens Worship and the next generation of pastors and leaders answering the call to serve.
May God continue to guide and lead Bethany in the deeper understanding of His words and continue to bless Bethany, God’s kind of church where people care for people.
40+4 Anniversary (Carol Chu)
“O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.”
God found me while I was a youth. He revealed Himself as a personal, loving and great God. He taught me His Word, revealing many things about Himself I had never known before. And all this through the ministry of Bethany, and the tireless devotion of Pastor Charlie.
God has done a marvellous work through His church and His faithful servants here. I have been privileged to witness the growth of Bethany from a small fledgling congregation to what the Lord has blessed us with today. More than the obvious expansion from a small house church to our latest Bethany 4 building is God’s mighty work of touching and transforming the lives of many who have come through the gates of Bethany.
May Bethany always be the place where
- the lost soul is led to Christ,
- the lonely soul is given a sense of belonging in the family of God, and
- the longing soul is fed God’s Word and equipped to serve and exalt Christ.
44 years of God’s goodness is surely reason to celebrate! To God be the glory!
40+4 Anniversary (Jane Tan)
I look forward to every church anniversary, because it is an annual reminder of how deeply grateful I am for Bethany, and how she must not be taken for granted. Bethany is truly God’s kind of church, with a strong emphasis on the Word of God and prayer, and where brethren sincerely care for each other.
I am very thankful for Pastor Charlie, who not only has a profound knowledge of Scripture, but is also a shining example of a servant of God. Bethany is also blessed with Pastors Mark and Mitch, the student-pastors and the session members, who labour ceaselessly for the church.
Most of all, the Lord is to be praised! It is particularly pertinent that Pastor has selected the theme “Establish The Work Of Our Hands For Us” as the theme for the months leading to the anniversary. It is evident that Bethany is where she is today because of the Lord’s establishment. I am reminded of the verse Zechariah 4:6 on our foundation stone:
“‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.
This is something that we must always be mindful of. To God be the Glory!”
40+4 Anniversary (Low Yong Jing)
“He Who Has Begun a Good Work in You”
The following words of Paul resonates with me as I reflected on our 40th+4 anniversary, and especially in contemplation of the works of God:
“…being confidant of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” Phil 1:6
At the personal level:
These words have taken on new meaning as I enter into the mid-point of my life while I continue to fulfil my role as a father. I thank God that I was led to Bethany in the most unlikely of situation while I was serving my NS some 20+ years ago. In retrospection, the faithful ministry of the Word of God at Bethany has amazingly seen me through many phases of life – army, university, work, marriage, and fatherhood – leading, exhorting and, at times, admonishing me each step of the way. This is the good work that God has started in me ever since I first stepped into Bethany. I am deeply conscious that I would not be where I am today, if it hadn’t been for the preaching and teaching ministry of the Word of God at Bethany. Truly, having been deeply impacted, I am thankful that God has also counted me faithful and extended grace to me, where I could be part of the teaching ministry here at Bethany. At the personal level, as we embark on the 40th + 5 year, I am deeply challenged to hold fast to these words of Paul, to be reminded that it is the Lord who establishes and completes the work He has started, and my role is to continue seeking His grace, wisdom and strength, in order to walk worthy of the sacred call to be a messenger of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ at SSS2.
At the corporate level:
Appreciating the words of Paul from a greater perspective of the church, I am especially thankful that I could be part of the history of Bethany as we transited from Bethany 2 to 3 and 4 today, and be able to witness the good works of God manifested in the way our church and its ministry (especially the Sunday School Ministry) has grown from strength to strength. The most significant work to date has to be how God has raised up godly and committed young men in our midst. They have turned their backs to what the world could offer, and committed their lives to serve the Lord full-time and be trained as student-pastors instead. The continual work that God is doing in each of their lives is truly a remarkable testament to the words of Paul. While they represent the new generation of Bethanians, by their example of faith, our children shall be inspired and challenged to run the same race of faith. Indeed, we can have every confidence that the Lord will be faithful to complete the good work that He had started at Bethany some 40+4 years ago.
40+4 Anniversary (Jacob Chacko)
44 years have passed since the beginning of Bethany at 20 Jalan Lakum.
Except for a handful, many of the offices are run by a new generation of faithful believers.
Many new ministries have been added and many more are committing to serve God either as full-time staff or as lay people.
There is a dynamism in Bethany that is not seen in Singapore or in many other overseas churches. The regular and faithful older folks, the vibrancy of young adults, a committed teens group, a growing number of pre-teen youngsters and the preschool tiny tots have added to this unaccustomed growth. This must not be taken for granted. Almost all are committed to learn from the Word of God through the SS Ministry, Weekly Bible study programmes or through the various fellowship groups.
We thank the Almighty God for such gracious blessing upon Bethany. We thank God for the leadership that He has provided through His servant Pastor Charlie. I pray that this wisdom and leadership will be imitated by the next set of leaders.
Paul said in 1 Cor 11:1, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”
Bethany continues to grow. This growth cannot stop. We need to see our sister churches in Australia, India and Myanmar also growing. Till we see Christ returning, we must carry on this work that he has commanded us to do. (Mat 28:19, 20)
40+4 Anniversary (Tan Peng Hui)
Time has wings.
We are celebrating Bethany’s 44 Anniversary!
Few accomplishments span more than 40 years. Bethany’s 44 years of faithful ministry reflects the glory of God.
The Lord’s Presence with His chosen servants and His people these past years is evident. His blessings countless. We are the united people of the Lord. We have the same faith. We are filled by the same Holy Spirit. We serve the same Lord.
Let us allow God to continue to strengthen us with his might through His Spirit and allow Christ to dwell in our hearts through faith. (Ephesian 3:16-17) A church filled with Him will reflect His glory.
Wishing Bethany a blessed 44th Anniversary!
40+4 Anniversary (Alicia Foo)
“He has made His wonderful works to be remembered”
I want to offer a grateful heart of worship and praise to the Lord and extol His great name as we rejoice and celebrate Bethany’s 40+4 anniversary.
God has blessed Bethany richly over the years. His works in Bethany are many. By the grace of God, several ministries are sustained, some have expanded and new ministries are added.
More recently, we witnessed the reality of God’s grace through our Bethany IV project from inception to completion. God’s faithful hand has guided, protected, provided and His Presence was with us all the way. Getting the certificate of statutory completion for the A&A works within such a short time after TOP bears testimony to His amazing power and works.
I am also grateful for the several young men in our midst who have stepped forward and consider training for the full time ministry – this is a response to our prayers that the Church will have godly shepherd to lead Bethany to the future.
We pray that for generations to come, they will all see the significance and appreciate the glory of His works at Bethany and have their faith strengthened, a faith that will see them through the different seasons of life.
Happy anniversary Bethany!
40+4 Anniversary (Geraldine Lee)
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy Name.”
Thank You, LORD, for Your faithfulness shown to us these 44 years in Bethany I, II, III and IV.
This year we witnessed the completion of Bethany IV. We saw the power of GOD throughout the whole A&A project, how GOD protected with zero accident and approval for building usage were given step by step as we had prayed. Now, we are worshipping in a beautiful two-storey sanctuary with the whole church space extended for expanded and new areas of ministries. GOD is amazing. Praise HIS Name.
The LORD has raised a new generation of pastoral team who have given their lives to be trained under Pastor Charles. Thank GOD for each person and for Pastor Charles who exemplifies as a good shepherd and teacher and a man of faith. Our work in Bethany is beyond Singapore and includes India, Myanmar and Perth. We pray for our pastoral team undergoing training that the work of GOD can be advanced in the years to come under their charge.
We have vibrant ministries in Bethany to enable us to learn and deepen our knowledge and faith in GOD. Let’s continue to build our lives strongly in HIM and be good testimonies to HIS glory.
Happy 44th anniversary!
Family Camp 2017 (Jarrod)
Family Camp ministry is special. Two years ago, when I attended my first Camp, “More than Conquerors”, I was looking for something to help me live better. I was given purpose. One year ago, at my second Camp, “Call to Me”, I was looking for how to pray better. I was given a closer relationship with God. This year, I looked forward to the Word being implanted in my heart (James 1:24). I was given so much more than I could ever have dreamt. We learnt not only about how we can be God’s people, but we also learnt how God saw His people, how God wants His people to become, how God has been so very gracious and merciful in giving us the promise of a wonderful future and hope in Him. Being His people is about God telling us to obey His voice, about Him giving us a heart to know Him, about Him causing us to be drawn to Him, about Him allowing us to pledge ourselves to Him, about Him giving us a New Covenant through Christ, and this cannot be broken. It is such a privilege and beautiful thing to be in Bethany and to be God’s. There is no greater joy than getting to know the Lord. Looking forward to living a life pleasing to God, to the Lord writing on our hearts and minds, to praising Him, now and forever!
Family Camp 2017 (Justina)
I liken Family Camp to a spiritual health check-up. It is a solid week of blocking time away from the distractions of the world and to come before the Lord, to learn from His Word. For me, Family Camp began 3 years ago when we were first introduced to the book of Jeremiah. At first, I was filled with apprehension, due to the difficulty of this book. 3 years have come and gone, and the apprehension has been replaced by an affirmation of faith.
There was a call to Obedience. There was a call to Return. There was a call to God’s Everlasting Love. This year, the call was to be His People. What does it mean to be God’s people? To me, it is Jeremiah 24:7: “Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.”
A trait of God’s people is that His people cultivate a heart to know Him. So I began asking myself: What is my heart like? Does my heart desire to seek the Lord? Is my heart still willing to be taught by His Word? And the answers are a resounding, “YES!”
Through this spiritual check-up, I am so glad this heart is responsive to the Lord and still beating for Him! I am going to hold onto this precious lesson and continue to allow the Lord to write on my heart and mind, so that I can be part of God’s people!
Family Camp 2017 (Juliana)
Attending Family Camp this year as a parent with 2 young children, there is constant demand to meet the needs of the children and the challenge of hearing the messages preached from the broadcast in the mother’s room. One can be at camp and yet feel distant from the other campers.
But coming to this Family Camp, I was determined not to let these challenges deter me from seeking God. This year, we learnt from the Book of Jeremiah that God has given us a calling to be His people and He will be our God. This has given me fresh assurance, that God is not distant in this season of my life as a parent of young children. Being God’s people is not about looking for a problem-free life or having an easy parenting solution where the church can help to look after my children. On the contrary, I have discovered God’s promises that He has given me a heart to know Him, has caused me to draw near to Him and will write His laws in my mind and heart.
These are precious promises from God that I will hold on to and hope to share with my children one day. But right now, I recognise I first need to deal with the problem of having my heart gone fallow from the lack of reading of God’s Word. My prayer is that God may break up this fallow ground, so that His Word may be able to take root and grow again.
Family Camp 2017 (Shirley)
This is my 2nd time at camp. My husband was able to join me at camp this year and I was really glad for the opportunity we had to learn from God’s Word and learn to draw near to God. At this camp, I learnt that obedience is key to having a relationship with God. In Jeremiah 7:23, “Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you that it may be well with you.” I want to learn to hear and obey God.
Family Camp 2017 (Albert & Min Li)
Albert and Min Li Nai
This year’s Family Camp holds a special meaning for Albert and me. It is our first Family Camp, a camp which we were both encouraged and motivated to attend and set aside time to learn God’s Word as a family.
There were many profound lessons from the book of Jeremiah to be learnt, but we were reminded time and again of God’s everlasting love despite our flaws, His promises, and how we should seek to know and obey Him.
While we are learning to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength, we are also conscious that these are lessons that we should teach our child. We should also strive to live out these instructions. Even as we prepare to be parents, we are reminded of the need to be committed to learning God’s Word, to grow in knowledge so as to be able to share it with our child. With knowledge of God’s unyielding love, we are reminded not to take His love for granted. As parents-to-be, we are even more motivated to teach our child to love and know God, while we continue our journey of learning more about Him.
I hope you have caught a glimpse of Bethany’s spirit of unity through the sharing by various church teams during the past few weeks. This oneness and unity have helped our Church through the many milestones that we went through from a house church to Bethany IV in due course. The demonstration of unity also empowers and underscores the missions work that Bethany supports in Myanmar, India, Australia and also the Internet ministry to many others outside of Singapore. As Bethany celebrates its 40+2 anniversary today, I pray that the unity that we have experienced all these years will continue and remain an important hallmark of Bethany.
ἓν σῶμα (Hen Soma - One Body)
One thing that stands out as I reflect on Bethany’s 40 + 2 Anniversary is the concept of oneness in the church. Paul’s writing on “one body” in Ephesians 4 truly highlights how important this is. I can see this in Bethany – in how we come together as one to diligently study the Lord’s Word, to serve the Lord and to minister to someone in need. These are wonderful aspects of oneness, yet they can easily be taken for granted and forsaken in time. May we always consciously seek to be of one body and one spirit, in order to honour the head, which is Christ.
I am deeply grateful to God for Bethany from which I have benefitted much.
My soul has been greatly nourished by the rich spiritual food that she imparts.
Whether they came in the form of instruction, correction or Words of guidance,
They were powerful Words that brought life-changing blessings in abundance.
God’s keeping of His promise in Matt 6:33 is one wonderful evidence amongst many.
As we, both leaders and people, did our part to seek Him first in our lives and ministry,
God honoured His Word of promise by meeting our every need promptly and faithfully.
As we step into the future may the Lord help us all to continue to seek Him first as this is key!
Am grateful for the Scriptures preserved for us – revealing God, His salvation plan, truths that correct, guide and comfort.
Grateful for being able to study the Word together with the class as Pastor takes the Sunday School.
Grateful that you (class) ponder the Bible lessons and ask meaningful questions during the week and seek to walk in paths of right living.
Praying that I, you, we – “we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God” (Ephesians 4:13).
A rich heritage of studying the Word of God is what makes Bethany so unique and special.
Her uncompromising approach to God’s truth is something to appreciate and treasure.
Our thriving Sunday School Ministry truly bears testimony of this precious tradition.
More so now, each Sunday Morning, as Pastor Charlie faithfully delivers His instruction.
Indeed, the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword; a true discerner of the heart.
With humility therefore, let us take heed in oneness, and to the λόγος, renew our allegiance.
Through 40+2 years, I have been keenly aware of my weaknesses and limitations. I thank God from the depths of my heart for a Saviour who saves me from myself and the world. The Lord Jesus Christ, preached and taught to be an example for us, has been the constant light shining through my fears, doubts and challenges.
I thank God for our unwavering Pastors, servant-leaders, loving brethren and friends; may we fix our eyes, hearts and minds on God’s will for His church. To God be the Glory!
God at work
I thank God for the Word of God given to us and the transforming work He is doing in our lives and the people around us, especially our young people. We are a family here in Bethany where we are alive to one another – encouraging and supporting each other through life’s challenges and milestones.
God’s kind of church… where God is touching lives… and people care for people.
I pray that in the years ahead, our God will continue to watch over us in Bethany and enable us to be His special people living distinctively with faith and love.