Let’s Not Deceive Ourselves!
Pastor Thian Chye shares the ways that our church camp encouraged him personally, and exhorts us to continue to persevere in doing spiritual good to one another.
A month ago, we had our church camp with about 280 participants in total. As I reflect
on the camp and the theme “Doing Spiritual Good to One Another”, I give thanks to God for every single camper that came. All church camps are always the same, aren't they? Campers will tend to have many feel good factors such as intake of solid spiritual food, delicious physical food, sweet fellowship with church members and taking some rest from work and busyness of life.
These are all great blessings from God to us. Should we then be content and wait for the next camp to come in 2025? Certainly not! On the contrary, we should take steps to practice what we have learnt such that it becomes our lifestyle. To this, I’m pleased to share that many campers have taken heed of James 1:22-25, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
It encourages my heart to hear and know that many campers are living out what they
learnt during the camp. While there are many things to be thankful for, let me highlight just four areas for us to give thanks to God for:
1. One-to-one Bible Reading
After the session ended in the morning, the next moment, campers took the initiative to connect with people they may not be familiar with. They have this desire to walk alongside one another in discipleship with the tool that they have equipped themselves with. They want to practice what they learnt and know that it will build up one another in the faith. No structure or formal program—many did it!
2. Workshop on following God in our golden years
Campers of various ages attended the workshop on how in our golden years, we can still do spiritual good to others. Attendees were encouraged on how they should not let their age be a hindrance in doing spiritual good. Indeed, we should take care of our physical body and look into ways to stay healthy. While doing so, we should also look at how we can continue to be active members of this local church, GBC. Though we may not be as active or mobile as in our younger days, there are some ways we could still do life together as a church.
So in the coming weeks, the seniors will be reaching out to younger and new members through hosting Sunday lunches. Hosting such lunches is one of the ways that they have learnt from the talk on “hospitality”. These lunches are not only to fill our stomach
but ways we can love and serve one another in the Lord. And likewise for our younger and newer members, you can follow the examples of the senior saints by inviting others as well for fellowship.
3. Learning about peacemaking
During one of the sessions, Pastor Eugene spoke on the topic of “Peace Making in Conflict”. Many campers were encouraged and led by the Spirit to resolve their relational issues that they had struggled with for some time. Such reconciliation is made possible because of who we are in Christ and that we are empowered by the Spirit to live out the Gospel.
4. A recipient of others doing spiritual good to me
Paul writes in Romans 15:14, “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another”. This was our camp theme verse, and I was able to experience what it means recently.
Recently, I went through two surgeries, (one before and one after the camp). Many members, though some were not present in church camp, wrote encouraging words, prayed for me and showed love in practical ways which encouraged and strengthened my family. Through these members' acts of love and desire to do spiritual good to others, we were able to experience the love of Christ through the church! Thanks be to God! Dear beloved, let’s “Press On” (which is the camp theme song), and do not grow weary of doing spiritual good to others!
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