Rev Dr Jose Lagapa
“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13)
The original Greek word translated in the KJV as “occupy” (Luke 19:13) is used only once in the whole New Testament. The meaning is “to busy oneself with” or “to do business.” This does not mean that Jesus is telling us to be wealthy businessmen and businesswomen. In fact, the context of this parable has to do with Zacchaeus a tax collector who gave up his wealth and returned what he had unjustly taken from others because he found Christ as his Saviour and Lord! The main example is Jesus Christ who came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Hence, from the context, the command for us to occupy is a spiritual one. We are to be busy with the things of God and to do the business of the King of kings! It is spiritual because the work is to bring the gospel of salvation to as many as we can so that they may hear the good news and prayerfully believe and be saved. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom 1:16). This makes a Christian busy for he or she does not have enough time to tell everyone.
Yes, there is not enough time because our life here is limited. Even if we spend our whole life preaching, we cannot reach out to all even in our own hometowns. In fact, even if we are granted another lifetime to evangelize, we still cannot make it. So, while we still have time, we must make use of it for His glory and honour. It is vain to spend our whole lifetime enriching ourselves with what are not true riches, things that will be lost and will fade away! Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt 6:19–21).
The Lord Jesus Christ is coming soon. Do not be deceived by the glitters and pleasures of this world. If we are truly children of God who look forward to live with Him in His kingdom in heaven forever and ever, we have to think correctly. We should prepare ourselves for this eternal future and not be blinded by the things of this present evil world which will not last for long.
For us to think rightly, we have to listen to the wise counsel of God from His Word. Please desire always to come to church and be early if you can so that you can benefit more. David said, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps 119:105). If you cannot come because it is not your day off, please worship with us or watch the recorded worship service. Take note, it is very important because it is the food for our spiritual bodies or else we cannot occupy till Jesus comes.
We praise the Lord for the continuous zeal and passion of our brethren to go for evangelism. Others may think it is not effective and successful as we still have a few people coming to our worship service. Although it is our prayer and desire that they will come, what is more important in our evangelistic work is for our Kababayans to hear the Word of God, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17). When they listen, it is the Holy Spirit’s work of conviction in their hearts that we pray for so that they might be saved. We know not when but we trust that God who is all-knowing has appointed the day when His children will come to repentance and confess Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
Please join our evangelism sessions. Aside from the great privilege of being instruments of God in bringing the Good News to others, we also learn from one another how to share the Word of God. It is through this that you will learn from the mature brethren how to approach people and start sharing the gospel. By joining the evangelism sessions, you will realize how much work still remains to be done. You will see that there are many out there who are still ignorant of the truth. They are enjoying their lives here on earth but they do not know that Hell and the eternal Lake of Fire await them if they reject the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself is our prime Example for He said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). So let us spend our 2nd and 4th Sundays for the work of evangelism. May the Lord grant us the grace to occupy until our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ comes!
The Family Bible Fellowship (FBF) organised a seminar entitled “Biblical Parenting through the Seasons”, on National Day, 9 August 2023. Close to 100 persons, comprising toddlers, young children, teens, young adults, young parents and matured parents attended the event. The seminar held at Godhill commenced at 9.30 am and ended at 2.45 pm with a one hour lunch break in between.
The speaker was Pr Samuel Joseph and he focused on two important areas of parenting: (1) The Promise of Parenting (Gen 1:26–28, Prov 22:6) and (2) The Duty of Parenting. (Eph 6:1–4). Pr Joseph commenced his message with the question, “Who are our children?” This was followed by the sobering proposition, “Our children are sinners but God promised salvation to them.” He challenged parents to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6). Further, he discussed the challenges of Christian parents in the area of discipline, instruction and nurturing them in the way of the Lord. It is a vital responsibility of parents to be good examples themselves in order to teach their children the right Christian values. As a parent of young children himself, he shared practical and humorous examples of the trials and tribulations of parenting.
Participants enjoyed the seminar greatly and learnt much on applying biblical principles to good parenting. It was a time of good interaction and Christian fellowship amongst members young and old.
Concurrently, there was a programme for the children on the theme: “Children Obey Your Parents” (Eph 6:1). Sisters Celeste Lagapa and Sophia Cheow were the teachers with assistance from some youths and FEBC students. Besides the Bible lessons, there was also a screening of a Christian movie, a time of fun & games and art & craft. An outing to a nearby playground was also organised.
The seminar ended with a breakout session where parents formed different groups depending on the age of their children to discuss some thought-provoking questions. Each group had a lively discussion and there was so much to discuss that we went overtime.
A video recording of the seminar will be made available soon to those who missed the event.
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