COVID-19 Updates | Service Livestream (5 Dec)| Register for Worship (11/12 Dec)

 

Register for Christmas Eve Service (24 Dec, 5pm)

 

Women of Grace - Forming Life-giving Friendships

Last Saturday, 16 Feb 2019, some women gathered for the first Women of Grace event of the year. Ranging from 3 months in GBC to > 30 years in GBC, there was a wide range of women who attended!

IMG-20190221-WA0000

These ladies have been at GBC for over 30 years! From L-R: Pat, Esther, Poh Leng, Kitty.

women-of-grace-1

Icebreakers led by Bibianna where we learnt more about each other's likes and preferences.

After a time of worship led by Kiyoko and Eunice, Claire spoke from Titus 2:3-5, 11-14 about life-giving friendships. These are friendships that help us continue to live in the new life that we have already been given through salvation in Jesus Christ.

women-of-grace-2

TItus 2: 3-5, 11-14

3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

...

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

We are called to continue living holy lives and teaching other women to do so, until Christ appears, living in that grace and helping one another do that. We were challenged to think about the last time they talked about purity, pursued purity, and encouraged one another to be pure. Holy living starts now (vs 12 “in the present age”), not only in heaven.

With that in mind, how do we build friendships that train us for holiness? Women can encourage other sisters in their Christian living by (i) being examples of godly living, by (ii) teaching and training other women to follow Christ in their relationships with their husbands, children, at work, at home, and by (iii) mutually helping one another to live lives of self-control, purity and kindness. Married women don’t need only married women to encourage them; a single woman can also help point out ways where a married woman might not be honouring her husband. Likewise, single women can invite themselves into the lives of married people to teach them how to submit to Christ in their lives. Importantly, we have to first allow people in to speak truth to the parts of our lives that are most difficult.

And the end goal of such relationships is HOLINESS. Titus 2:14 reminds us that God desires "to purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works". The dynamic of relationships changes when the end goal is not our own personal happiness but to see our friends holy and blameless for eternity. These relationships together then build up the holiness of the body in GBC.

Some helpful questions that friends pursuing holiness in the lives of their friends can ask or think through:

  1. Are you using your time wisely?
  2. How is your marriage?
  3. Is your relationship with ... drawing you away from Jesus?
  4. Do we encourage single friends struggling in their holiness as unmarried people?
  5. How do we encourage faithfulness in a person's current life situation?

The fruit of such relationships is the joy of helping one another persevere through difficult times; watching your friends turn away from sin, and seeing reconciliation happen. We can remind each other when we feel weak and defeated that Christ has come, his grace is sufficient, he has defeated death, and there is hope in his steadfast love!

In the second part of the session, four ladies shared from their lives to help us think through how we can walk with women in different life situations and apply God’s word to their lives.

women-of-grace-3

From L-R: Claire (moderating the session), Lily Pang, Jena Tang, Carrie Chong and Tiffany Tan.

women-of-grace-4

 

After all that heartfelt sharing, we split into groups to brainstorm on what we found encouraging in GBC, where GBC can grow in, and what roles can we play in fostering deeper relationships.

women-of-grace-5

Brainstorming in groups.

women-of-grace-6

Peixian sharing the ideas from her small group. 

women-of-grace-7

Here’s the collation of shared ideas!

Responses from some women who attended the event:

Seok Eng - “I am encouraged just being in the fellowship to hear the voice of ladies in church whom we otherwise only exchange greeting or nod of acknowledgement. I’m also challenged to open up to visitors after hearing new worshippers say we are a warm church.

Emily Seck - “It was a lovely time spent with fellow ladies in our church of all ages, the 'seasoned' and new, young and old. It was a sweet reminder that God is real and walking with us through all seasons of our lives, and in whatever stage we are at, we can be a blessing to others.

 

Do be praying for the women of GBC as they seek to deepen life-giving friendships within the church body! Pray that we may strive individually and together to lead holy and blameless lives, honouring God who gave us new life in Christ.

Look out for the next Women of Grace event and in the meantime, apply what you have learnt in your lives today!

For more information, contact Jena at ptjt0201@gmail.com,  Claire at wong_claire@yahoo.com.sg, or Sherri at bsherri@gmail.com.