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Love in Turbulent Times

love-in-turbulent-times

Assoc Pastor Thian Chye shares three practical ways we can love one another in words and deeds during these turbulent times.

It has been two months since I started serving with the pastoral team as an Associate Pastor (Pastoral Care and Community). I thank the Lord that during these two months, I have the privilege and joy of ministering to some members in need. Everyday we are fed with so much news and information from the media with regards to COVID-19 and it is inevitable that these updates do create some level of anxiety and fear in our hearts. 

The pandemic has caused all of us to go through difficulties and struggles in one way or another. For some, it meant that they have to suffer a pay cut and for others the loss of a job or business. There are also others who are homebound due to existing medical conditions that make it challenging for them to attend worship service in person. We do have members in our midst who are also physically separated from their loved ones for a long time, to the extent that they could not be there with their family to grieve over the loss of their loved ones. These are real issues happening in our church. How do we respond? Have we made an attempt to try to reach out to them? In their moments of anxiety, pain and grief, what should we do as members of this household of faith? 

I would like to encourage all of you with these three practical ways where we can love one another in words and deeds as a spiritual family of Grace Baptist Church. It is our duty as beloved brothers and sisters in Christ to help each other face these challenging times in this journey of faith. We have been reciting the Members’ Covenant at the end of every Quarterly Congregation Meeting (QCM). It is also important that we live out what it says in our everyday lives. 

1. Pray: As simple as it sounds, it is in fact difficult to cultivate the discipline to pray daily. As members of one body in Christ, we ought to pray for and with one another. As Ps Eugene mentioned, one way is to get hold of the membership directory and pray individually through the list. You can also take a screenshot of the prayer items that are presented during the worship service’s pastoral prayer time and use it to pray for these needs during the week. Platforms such as Care Groups (CGs)Monthly Prayer Meeting and the Special Prayer Meeting (which was held on 12 Sep) are just great opportunities for us to come together to pray for the needs around us. We must recognise our need to turn to God, to rely on Him and not to trust in our own efforts, for that will surely fail. Prayer is the essence of the work to which God calls us.

2. Practise: Besides praying, how can we bless our members in tangible ways? Romans 12:12-15 says: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Just to list a few examples, we can offer babysitting help to young parents so that they may spend time as a couple or get some much needed rest. We can also get a meal (cooked or bought) delivered to a member to express our love and concern for them or invite them over to our homes for a meal or meet them outside over a cup of coffee. This is also an essential part of personal discipleship as we learned during the recent EQUIP series. These are acts of love that bring encouragement to our members who are going through “turbulent” times.

3. Pursue: In our Members’ Covenant, part of it says “We will strive to pursue personal holiness in our lives and grow in Christ-likeness with the help of the Holy Spirit by resisting conformity to this world and submitting to the authority of Scripture. (Tit 2:12; 1 Pet 1:14)” What does pursuing Christ and His holiness look like for us? In the last article, Yanadi spoke about maintaining a consistent walk with our Lord as a form of spiritual discipline. This is one way of growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus. Be committed to a CG and be blessed by studying God’s Word together and be accountable to each other's growth in holiness. May we know Christ more so that we may love Him more and serve Him more! 

pray-practise-pursue-2Let us not to be distracted by all that is happening around us but fix our eyes upon Jesus who is the founder and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:1-2). The fact that we are called to be one in the family of Christ speaks volume of the importance of community. This is where we encourage and build up one another in the faith and where the strong support and strengthen the weak and weary. This is our obligation and responsibility of being a member of Grace Baptist Church especially during these turbulent times.