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EDITOR’S NOTE
EDITOR’S NOTE

Brian Lim Heylo dear readers,

• •

This issue of the Uth Chronicle comes to you one quarter late, and for that I apologise. By the grace of God, however, we are able to publish it now, together with the issue for the second quarter.

This issue’s theme is a reiteration of the Youth Fellowship’s focus for the year, and through the articles we explore various aspects of it. Although the original intention was for this issue to supplement the exploration of the new theme in the first quarter, we hope it will still serve its purpose by helping us to look back over the messages that have already passed, and bringing some things to remembrance.

To further elaborate the YF’s theme on top of all we’ve heard in YF thus far, Bro Kenny Cheong examines what it means when we talk about “Manning the Discipleship” – despite the many ‘ARRR- lusions’ to the contrary, it’s not about being a pirate, YARRR know!

Continuing on the present series of examining the lives of the disciples of old, Rev Dr Jeffrey Khoo and Rev Prabhudas Koshy have written a “Who’s Who?” of the 12 disciples, giving us a succinct introduction to who they are and the things we can learn from them. One thing most readily apparent to us as we read of them is how they were ordinary people, called to eventually do extraordinary things. May we take note of how God was able to work through them, and how today we are called to

able to work through them, and how today we are called to exhibit the same faith
able to work through them, and how today we are called to exhibit the same faith

exhibit the same faith in Him so that we may bear fruit!

Concerning “The Cost of Discipleship”, which we delved into through the messages in March, Bro Danny Quah writes to us in “Over 25” from the perspective of a married man and the lessons he has learnt about discipleship in the past months, giving us a more contemporary example in conjunction with the ones we have already looked at from Scripture.

On a final note, with all that has been said and written on the topic, we have hopefully gained a deeper understanding of what discipleship is and all that it entails. For us, however, the true test is not in the ability to explain what it means – it lies in our acceptance of and obedience to what we have learnt from God’s Word. May the rest of this year see the effective and wise application of all our head knowledge, so that when the time comes and we depart this earth, our lives can be wholly and simply surmised in the same manner of Simon Peter and Andrew: “And they straightway left their nets, and followed him” (Matthew 4:20).

Manning the Ship

Manning the Ship by Kenny Cheong • • • “Let a man so account of us,

by Kenny Cheong

• •

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.” 1 Corinthians 4:1

Ahoy me hearties! I heard that you’re all here to board “The Discipleship” – BUT! Hold your horses! Before you board “The Discipleship” there are a lot of things that we need to check to see if you are really ready and know what you’re in for!

YARRRR! I know many of you are dying to hoist the anchor, but this is important! “The Discipleship” isn’t like any other ship. Once you board this ship, there’s no getting off and there’s no turning back! So this is a decision and commitment that you must make NOW before it’s too late. It will be the most important choice in your life and actually… it’s

a matter of life and death! BUT don’t let this

scare you away, be˘cause after being on this ship for nearly half my life, I know it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me!

Today is The Day and I am hoping that by the

end of this briefing all of you will be ready to board and man “The Discipleship”, but what is

it that I need you all to know? Well… I can

see that many of your eyes have already been distracted by the luxurious “Mammon” cruise ship over there, but don’t be deceived! What that ship offers you is only temporary and it will only take you to the broad seas that lead to destruction. On the other hand, “The

Discipleship” offers something that the “Mammon” would never be able to offer. It’s something that you won’t be able to buy, neither will you be able to work your whole life to obtain it. It’s a gift that is given only to every person (a disciple) on “The Discipleship”.

However, “The Discipleship” does not promise you smooth sailing seas. Instead, in comparison to the “Mammon”, it’s a small ship with far fewer people on it and it is certain that while being on it, you will face big waves and stormy conditions even from the beginning of its journey. But through whatever hardships and difficulties you may face onboard, you can find peace, safety and assurance, for this is something that the Master of the Ship guarantees, and there is no master like Him for His name is Christ Jesus. And only those who have truly decided to follow Christ are eligible to be disciples on this Ship.

So if we want to be on “The Discipleship”, we

must learn our ABCs and Acknowledge our

wretched sinful nature; Believe that Christ Jesus died for our sins, was then buried and rose again on the third day and who is living and the only Saviour of the world; and finally

Confess our sins to Him and surrender our lives as a living sacrifice to Christ as Lord of our lives which is our reasonable service.

And as soon as we have fully surrendered and denied ourselves to follow Christ, we are His servants and truly He is our Master. As a servant on “The Discipleship”, we must come under the subordination of Him. We must really understand and know the calling that we have been assigned because when He tells us to pick up those oars and row the boat, a true disciple should have no second thought of doing otherwise, but with great joy

and humility accept the great honour and do as the Master commands. This is the true meaning of what it means to be a minister of Christ. But do you want to be a minister of Christ?

Sure at times we may become tired because our flesh is weak and we may even forget and take our new Master for granted because He’s so merciful and gracious and loves us so much! But we must always draw nigh to Him and ensure that we are free from all known sins, for He is holy and desires us to be holy as it only then are we really able to be good and proper representatives of Him, not just as His ministers, but also His stewards.

Because as a steward, we are placed in charge of the mysteries of God and this is no small task, but rather a huge honour. And it’s our responsibility to manage the task that has been appointed to us by our Master. BUT I hear some of you asking, “What are the mysteries of God?” Well these mysteries are not mysterious in the sense that they are too puzzling, obscure in nature, or cannot be explained; these mysteries of God are the truths of God which for period of time are hidden, but in due time are revealed and manifested.

As disciples on “The Discipleship” we are meant to be “the stewards of the mysteries of God” – the very ones who are placed in charge of not only administrating and dispensing of God’s truths, but ones who must ensure that it has been rightly divided! To do this, you must really be a true disciple and study God’s Word with much diligence. God’s truths, the doctrines of God, are found for us in the Scriptures and teach us about the Gospel itself; salvation in Christ; the wisdom of God; and even the Kingdom of God among many other truths.

This is the calling in which Christ, the Master of the ship, has commanded us to serve Him, that while under His subordination as the

ministers of Christ, we are living testimonies of the mysteries of God, which we have been called to be stewards of and to dispense and share God’s truths. To do this, we must preach forth God’s Word. A steward of the deep truths of God must reveal and dispense these truths! And it is with these truths that others will finally be able to see the light over all the seas and truly know what it means to be on “The Discipleship”.

truly know what it means to be on “The Discipleship”. So we on “The Discipleship” are

So we on “The Discipleship” are the very light of the sea. And in all that we do, we will be watched, we will be examined, and we will be seen. Whether we like it or not, in this dark, dark world, this light should never be hidden. And when other men see us on “The Discipleship”, we are meant to be different! Our lives must be different!

We will be transformed! We won’t be looting anybody or anything anymore. We’ll even have the ability to give up grog and that bottle of rum. We’ll even learn to treat those scallywags with a whole new perspective and you’ll do your best to be blameless in every way! And these are just some of the things that happen to everyone that’s on “The Discipleship” as being on “The Discipleship” really means you’re a whole new person! This is how men should see us when they think of us as the minister of Christ, and the stewards of the mysteries of God.

ARRR! I think that’s about all… So the question is, are you ready to board and man “The Discipleship”? You must truly decide to follow Christ and be His minister, and the steward of the mysteries of God! The Master of the ship would love for everyone to come onboard (and yes there’s more than enough room for everyone!) but this is the choice that you must make today, there must be no going back. So if you’re ready… encourage all those who are around you and…

Come on, come on! Why are you still standing!? Hoist the anchor – let’s get moving!

those who are around you and… Come on, come on! Why are you still standing!? Hoist

Who’s who? Part I

Who’s who? Part I by Dr Jeffery Khoo • INTRODUCTION • • We know that the

by Dr Jeffery Khoo INTRODUCTION

• •

We know that the 12 disciples were indeed great men of God, instrumental and pivotal in the establishment of the early Church. They were special men handpicked by the Lord Jesus Christ to walk with him, learn under his wonderful tutelage, and later become the Apostles who would bring the gospel far and wide. They, together with their early converts to Christianity, were accused as being “these that have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).

As Christians and students of the Bible, we would do well to know a bit more about these 12 giants of the faith. They were the ones who made up the foundation of the

church, with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone. Yet if we were to quiz any one of us, I’m sure we would have difficulty even naming all 12 of the disciples, and not know much at all about them, except maybe of Peter and Judas, or of John.

In this article, we would endeavour to take a closer look at 6 of the 12 disciples of Jesus. As we get a glimpse of their lives, we would come to realize that they are but normal, ordinary people, not much different from you or me. Yet through the discipleship of Christ, and the filling of the Holy Spirit, they were able to go forth and accomplish so much for the Lord. As we as the YF ponder on the theme ‘all aboard the discipleship’ , may we all realize also that every single one of us can and should be effective disciples of the Lord as well!

JUDAS - THE ONE WHO HATED CHRIST

We look first at perhaps the most infamous one on the list, and that is Judas Iscariot. We all know of his life, we all know his dastardly deed. Whilst the subsequent disciples that we study on would be for our encouragement, what we can take away from him is a very stern warning never to fall in to the multitude of sins that he fell into, never to betray our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who loved us and died for our sins.

Of all the 12 disciples, Judas was probably the only one that was not from the Galilean region. The name ‘Iscariot’ likely refers to the fact that he was a man from the region of Kerioth, which was a small down south of Judea. Little else is known about his life and background subsequent to joining the 12. What we do know however, was that he was a willing disciple who heeded the call of Christ, and left his all to follow Jesus, walking with him together with the 11 other disciples for the whole three years. There was probably a point of time, at least initially where he respected Jesus and saw that he was worthy enough for him to follow.

In his time as a disciple, he probably portrayed a certain amount of responsibility and integrity, for he was the one entrusted with the keeping of the bag (John 12:6), playing the role of the treasurer for the group. In so doing, he showed that he was a master of deception who put up a façade well. No one at all

suspected that he would be the traitor who betrays Christ. (Matt 26:22-23). From the rest of the story we would come to see that he never really loved Christ, but in time, actually grew to hate him so much that he would want to see him die. He probably joined expecting that Jesus would be the one to deliver them from the Roman oppressors and would establish the Kingdom of God right there and then. When that did not happen, he just looked upon his closeness with Jesus as an opportunity for profit, and thus schemed to betray Him through the most heinous plot, for the personal gain of 30 pieces of silver. He took advantage of the trust that he possessed, and then used it to stab Jesus in the back. Indeed Jesus was fully justified in passing this damning judgment upon him: “The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.” (Mat 26:24)

Judas in indeed a tragic example of lost opportunity and wasted privilege. He had the golden opportunity of walking with Jesus, hearing his words day by day, and was as close to him as any human had been in history. Yet he spurned his chances, savoured the sin of greed and ambition as things far more to be desired than eternity with God. He was deceitful, greedy and merciless, who never really repented, but took his own life and damned his soul to destruction. May none of us who have had the wonderful opportunity to hearing the words of God and fellowshipping with His saints ever go the way of Judas Iscariot.

wonderful opportunity to hearing the words of God and fellowshipping with His saints ever go the

JOHN - THE ONE WHOM JESUS LOVED

In stark contrast to Judas, who was a disciple who hated Christ, we have John, who was often known as the disciple of love. Although he was one of the more prominent disciples, there actually isn’t much material about him, his conversation or his acts. What we do know about him would come more from his writings, of the gospel of John, 1-3 John and the book of Revelation. His writings are filled with the compassion, love and empathy of one who has truly known and understood the love of God. The theme of his books are often centred around the idea of love, for he tells us to love one another, as Christ had loved us (John 13:34, 15:12, 1 John 3:11, 4:7 etc.). He also spoke tenderly of the love that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit has for us in passages like John 13-17, 1 John 4 etc. In his more personal epistles of 2 and 3 John, you can read of the paternal affection that the elderly apostle has towards his friends in Christ. In fact, it is said that he wrote more than any other New Testament author about the importance of love.

Yet when we read the gospels, we actually see a rather different side of John. In many instances, he is paired together with his older brother James, and collectively known as the sons of Zebedee. But they were also known by a different name, which was given to them by Jesus himself: “and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, the sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17) – which was probably an apt description of what Jesus saw of them, that they were as thunderous, tempestuous, passionate and zealous as thunder. John was the one who in Luke 9:49

indignantly forbade someone else from casting out devils in the name of Christ just because he was not one of them. James and John were also the ones who passionately called upon the Lord to allow them to command fire to come down from heaven and consume the Samaritans who refused to receive Jesus (Luke 9:51-54). For these they were rebuked by Jesus, and told them that He was not come to destroy but to save men’s lives. It was also these two brothers, who were filled with pride and ambition, and requested that they be given positions of prominence, to sit on the right and left hand of Christ in His kingdom (Mark 10:37). This request sparked of no small amount of strife and contention amongst the disciples.

Why is it then that when we read the writings of John, it seems to be a rather different person? Well the difference between John and Judas, was that John listened and harkened to the words of Christ. Through the time spend together, he listened. He yielded to the working of the Holy Spirit in his life, to change him, mould him that he grew from the ambitious, brash and volatile young man that he was to the apostle of love whom we know him to be. Each time he erred, the Lord rebuked and instructed him, and he learnt from his mistakes. The thunderous spirit remained with him, for he still had hard and sharp words against those who would turn from the truth or err in certain ways (e.g. 1 Jn 2:11,22, 2 Jn 7-11, 3 Jn 9-10), but his zealousness is now tempered and directed with love, and is readily evident from the mature writings that we read of in his gospel and epistles. May we learn to be like John, always ready to learn from our Lord, to learn from our mistakes, and to love God and His Word with a passionate zeal.

JAMES - THE ONE WHO WAS FIRST MATYRED

Although James is often listen together with Peter and John as the three main disciples of Jesus’ ‘inner circle’, little else is known about him aside from the instances where he was privileged to hear and witness Jesus’ special miracles and teachings. Along with the few events in which he acted in conjunction with his brother John that we have discussed earlier, James was perhaps most known for his death. Of all the 12 disciples, James is the one that would be martyred first, beheaded by the wicked King Herod to vex the church and please the Jews (Acts

2:1-2).

In the incident mentioned earlier about James and John jostling for position around the seat of Christ, Jesus warned them that a place of proximity to Christ would not promise power and honour, but instead would entail a cup of suffering that they would have to endure. To this they stubbornly and proudly proclaimed that they could! At that point of time, they did not understand what those words truly meant, and were just speaking out of their pride and foolhardiness. Yet Jesus was true to His word, for these two disciples did go on to endure much for the Lord, with James as the first disciple to be martyred, and John the last surviving one who faced a lonely exile on the isle of Patmos. Although it began with pride and vainglory, I am sure that in the end, James was fully willing to suffer for His Lord and Saviour. He was unafraid to declare his faith in Jesus, and in the serving his Lord, he lost his life for His sake. At the end of his life, he was no longer ambitious for worldly fame and self-glory, but rather he was motivated by a desire for the glory of God, and sacrificed his life that the message of Jesus Christ would go out to the world. He persevered to the end, never recanting his faith or giving in to

the threats of Herod, but maintained his testimony for the world to see. He truly did share in the same bitter cup of suffering of Christ, as he channelled his passion and zeal for the glory of God.

ANDREW - THE ONE WHO BROUGHT MANY TO JESUS

the glory of God. ANDREW - THE ONE WHO BROUGHT MANY TO JESUS It is interesting

It is interesting that Andrew, though a lesser known disciple of Christ, was actually the first of all the disciples to be called (John 1:35-40). Together with his more famous brother Peter, they were disciples first of John the Baptist. One faithful afternoon, and afternoon I am sure he would remember for the rest of his life, Andrew and another unnamed disciple heard as John looked upon Jesus and proclaimed him as the ‘Lamb of God’. Straightaway they followed Jesus for they knew that He would be the Messiah whom they had all been waiting for. As they followed him to his dwelling place, he and that disciple spent glorious hours fellowshipping with Jesus as they abode with him that day. The next day, Andrew did not remain idle, but wasted no time in introducing his brother Simon to Jesus, excitedly sharing the news that he had found the Messiah! Thus in so doing, Andrew became the first recorded evangelist of Christ, spreading the good news of Jesus to those around him. This act would become a consistent pattern

that would characterize his ministry – of quietly bringing others to Christ. Andrew was unlike his more vocal and outspoken brother, for he preferred to stay out of the limelight. But that did not in any way diminish his usefulness for the Lord. Instead what we see is the quiet humble service of one who loves the Lord and has the zeal for others to know the Lord as well.

The few other incidents that we would encounter Andrew would be when he brings the young boy who had five loaves and two fishes to Jesus (John 6:9); and when he leads the enquiring Greeks to Jesus (John 12:20-22). In both these accounts Andrew would be the one who takes the initiative to quietly introduce the individuals to his master. We might not all be like Peter and Paul, who would preach to great crowds or go on epic missionary journeys. However we can all be like Andrew, to quietly bring people to seek Jesus, to seat them at the feat of Christ that they too might know our master. Who knows, if you would one day lead a Peter to Christ who would go on to preach to thousands, or to lead a young boy who wants to give all that he has to serve Jesus?

PHILIP - THE ONE WHO WAS ALWAYS UNSURE

As we go down the list, we encounter disciples that we know less and less of. Little detail is given about Philip, aside from the fact that he was from the same city as Andrew and Peter (John 1:44), and likely to have been friends and fellow fishermen before they met Jesus. In all the gospels, only the gospel of John records a few incidents where we would see Philip being mentioned uniquely, and interestingly enough, they would be the same incidents that we saw Andrew in. Each time we see him, we see a rather pragmatic, perhaps at

times doubtful and slow. Though he had seen and witnessed the miracles and compassion of Christ and heard his teachings just like any of the other disciples, it seems that Philip was singled out as one who needed to learn and truly understand who Christ was and what he was capable of.

Similar to Andrew, he was one of the earlier ones to heed the call of Christ (John 1:43), and he too brought a friend to Christ, one called Nathanael (whom we would also know as Bartholomew). The next few incidents that we see him would not be as flattering. In John 6, at the feeding of the 5000, Jesus singled him out in particular to test him. Though Jesus already knew what He was about to do, he asked Philip about where they should buy bread to feed the multitudes. Philip gives a rather feeble reply that lacks faith, for he lamented that even if they pooled all their money together, they probably wouldn’t have enough for everyone to eat. He failed to consider the miracle-working Lord that was just standing before him. Next in John 12, before Andrew led the Greeks to Jesus, they had actually first approached Philip, signalling their interest in meeting Jesus. For some reason or other, instead of promptly directing them to Christ, he went to tell Andrew, and then the two of them went to tell Jesus about it. Perhaps he was timid, or perhaps he did not think that Jesus would want to speak to these Gentiles. Either way he missed a great opportunity to bring others to Christ. He failed to remember the compassion and love that his Master had, and how He desired to reach out to all around him. One final incident of note would be in John 14, where Jesus tried to explain his impending death his disciples. They could not understand, and were resistant to the idea of their Master leaving them. Jesus tried to

explain his impending death his disciples. They could not understand, and were resistant to the idea of their Master leaving them. Jesus tried to explain to them that He would be departing to His Father’s house, and that they would have to believe in Him, if they wanted to be there as well. He told them that “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. ” To this, came the ignorant reply of Philip, who said “Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us”. It seems he heard nothing of what Jesus was trying to say! It is no wonder that Jesus chose at this point to rebuke him: “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:7-9). Again Jesus singles out Philip as one that should really pay more attention and heed His words.

As we consider all these facts about Philip, one would think that he is in no way suited to become and Apostle of Christ. How could he be entrusted to be one of the 12 to lead the early church! Yet God in His infinite wisdom knew all that Philip was, and still made him one of the 12. Although nothing more is recorded for us about Philip, we do know that he retained his place as an Apostle, and certainly was instrumental in the early spread of Christianity. He must have learnt, through all the lessons and rebukes, to be less doubtful, less unbelieving, but more confident in the wonder-working power of his Lord and Saviour.

BARTHOLOMEW - THE ONE IN WHOM THERE IS NO GUILE

We come finally to the disciple Bartholomew, also known as Nathanael. Although the two names are never paired together in Scripture, a close comparison of the list of the disciples in the gospels would lead one to conclude that Bartholomew is most certainly the same person as Nathanael, the good friend of Philip who was called in John 1:47-51. Little is known about him, aside from that account of his call, where though he had his initial doubts, was quick to believe in Christ, when proof was laid before him.

When Philip first alerts him to the identity of Jesus as being the prophesied Messiah, Nathanael was initially sceptical. He asked “can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Yet he heeds to his friend’s persistence and meets Christ. Upon meeting, Jesus declares him to be an Israelite in whom is no guile (deceit, fraud or hypocrisy). True enough, he proves to be such a person, as he would simply take Jesus’ words at face value, and believe Him when He knew where he was prior to the meeting. With that one sentence, Jesus showed to Nathanael that he saw him not just in terms of his physical location, but probably of his heart’s disposition, his thoughts and his desires. Nathanael did not need much more prompting to know that this man was indeed the Son of God, King of Israel and expected Messiah. He must have been a faithful student of Old Testament prophecy to come to such a quick conclusion. Truly, as a man without guile, he openly declared his faith in Jesus, and became a follower of him. It is comforting to know that Jesus never did judge or rebuke him for his initial scepticism, but instead commended him for his faith, and promised that he would be a witness to

greater things than that – which he certainly experienced in his time as a disciple of Jesus. We too may bring with us our biases and prejudices, but the moment we see Christ, and understand Him for who He really us, we ought to be as Nathanael, a

man without guile and hypocrisy, and openly and truthfully follow Christ our Lord and Saviour. If we do, we would certainly be accepted of Him, just as He accepted Nathanael.

CONCLUSION

As we come to the close of this study, I would just like to point out and say that these disciples were not very different from many of us. They were not particularly talented or skilled in any way. In fact, they were the opposite - they were very ordinary people, with the same faults, failures and passions like many of us. Yet God called them, moulded them and used them to fulfil his will. Likewise, God can use any of us as well, if only we would yield to his calling.

In conclusion, I would just like to share a quote from John Macarthur’s book “Twelve Ordinary Men”:

God’s favourite instruments are nobodies, so that no man can boast before God. In other words, God chooses whom He chooses in order that He might receive the glory. He chooses weak instruments so that no one will attribute the power to human instruments rather than to God, who wields those instruments. Such a strategy is unacceptable to those whose whole pursuit in life is aimed toward the goal of human glory. With the notable exception of Judas Iscariot, these men were not like that. They certainly struggled with pride and arrogance like every fallen human being. But the driving passion of their lives became the glory of Christ. And it was that passion, subjected to the influence of the Holy Spirit – not any innate skill or human talent – that explains why they left such an indelible impact on the world.

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” (1Co 1:26-27)

Who’s who? Part II
Who’s who? Part II
INTRODUCTION In this article, the life and labours of some of the twelve apostles of
INTRODUCTION
In this article, the life and labours of some
of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ are
briefly discussed, namely Simon Peter,
Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus,
Thaddaeus and Simon Zealotes.
SIMON PETER
New Testament to refer to him (once in
John, 4 times each in Galatians and 1
Corinthians). Both the Aramaic and Greek
forms of his name mean “stone” (or
“rock”), an obvious indication of Peter’s
stature in the early church. It appears that
he was called “Simon” throughout Jesus’
ministry but came to be known as “Peter”
more and more in the apostolic age.
He was initially known as “Simon
Barjona” (Matthew 16:17), which means
“Simon the son of Jona” (John 1:42). The
double name “Simon Peter” (or “Simon
called Peter”) demonstrates that the
second name was a later addition. It was
Jesus Christ who gave him the name
“Peter” (Mark 3:16; Matthew 16:18; John
1:42). A number of times its Aramaic
equivalent “Cephas” has been used in the
Peter and his brother, Andrew, were
fishermen of the sea of Galilee (Matthew
4:18, 19). When Jesus called them to
follow Him to be fishers of men, they “they
straightway left their nets, and followed
him” (Matthew 4:20; 19:27). Leaving their
fishing trade immediately, and following
Jesus, was an evidence of their sincere
faith in Him. Their instantaneous
obedience teaches us that we too must
forsake all for His sake at His command. Are you prepared to follow Jesus wherever
forsake all for His sake at His command.
Are you prepared to follow Jesus
wherever He would lead you?
While following Jesus, Peter readily and
boldly confessed Him as the Son of God
and as His Saviour and Lord. He was the
most zealous and warm-hearted disciple
of Christ. The Gospel writers have
recorded his unmitigated confessions
about Christ (cf. Matthew 16:15-18; John
6:67-69). Nonetheless, he was susceptible
to temptations and spiritual weaknesses.
Once, Jesus alerted him to the danger that
surrounded him, saying, “Simon, Simon,
behold, Satan hath desired to have you,
that he may sift you as wheat: But I have
prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and
when thou art converted, strengthen thy
brethren” (Luke 22:31-32). Jesus also
warned him: “I tell thee, Peter, the cock
shall not crow this day, before that thou
shalt thrice deny that thou knowest
me” (Luke 22:34). This warning was
fulfilled when Peter denied Christ
repeatedly during His arrest and trial. All
Christians must learn from Peter’s tragic
error that self-reliance and self-confidence
will result in awful sins.
whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt
be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands,
and another shall gird thee, and carry thee
whither thou wouldest not” (John 21:18).
Ancient writers say that Peter was put to
death, by crucifixion, about thirty-four
years after this.
Peter played a very significant role in the
first-century church. His preaching of the
Gospel in Jerusalem on the day of
Pentecost upon the coming of the Holy
Spirit resulted in the conversion of three
thousand souls. According to Paul, he was
one of the pillars of the early church
(Galatians 2:2). The two epistles of Peter
in the New Testament testify to his
immense spiritual influence then and now.
MATTHEW
Before being called by Jesus to be His
disciple, Matthew was a tax collector of
Capernaum (Matthew 9:9). He was
appointed as one of the 12 apostles of
Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:2–4; Mark 3:16–
19; Luke 6:14–16). He is also identified as
the author of the first book of the New
Testament – “the Gospel according to
Matthew”.
The Lord lovingly sought to restore Peter
by repeatedly challenging him to
affirm his love for Him (cf. John
21:15-17). Three times, the Lord
asked Peter, “lovest thou me?”
Then He solemnly charged him to
be faithful and vigilant in the
discharge of the duties of the
pastoral office.
Jesus also predicted how he would
die as a martyr in his pastoral work
– “Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
When thou wast young, thou
girdedst thyself, and walkedst
Both Mark and Luke call him “Levi” in place of “Matthew” (cf. Mark 2:14; Luke
Both Mark and Luke call him “Levi” in
place of “Matthew” (cf. Mark 2:14; Luke
5:27). While “Matthew” was his personal
Greek name (“the gift of God”), “Levi” was
his Hebrew tribal name.
a brother of James, has compelled some
to think of him as the third son of
Alphaeus. In John 14:22, he was known
as “Judas, not Iscariot”, which is
distinguished from Judas Iscariot who
betrayed the Lord.
Matthew’s response to Jesus’ call to follow
Him was obedient, decisive and sacrificial.
“And he left all, rose up, and followed
him” (Luke 5:28). He dedicated all his
powers for the glory of Christ. He invited
Christ to a “great feast” in his house (Luke
5:29). What a joyous expression of his
unbound love for his Master!
JAMES - SON OF ALPHAEUS
Another name in the list of the apostle
appears to be Matthew’s brother. He is
“James the son of Alphaeus” (Matthew
10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13).
Since Mark 2:14 identifies Matthew as
“Levi the son of Alphaeus”, it is possible
that James and Levi (or Matthew) are
brothers. Whether both of them are the
sons of the same Alphaeus is debatable.
There are also other conjectures about
James’ identity, such as his relation as a
cousin of Jesus.
According to John 14:22, he asked the
Lord, “How is it that thou wilt manifest
thyself unto us, and not unto the world?”
To which Jesus answered, “If a man love
me, he will keep my words: and my Father
will love him, and we will come unto him,
and make our abode with him” (John
14:23). Jesus was quick to attend to
Judas’ concern about how He can
manifest Himself to those who love Him,
without being seen by the world. In this
instance, Jesus was not speaking about
physical appearance, but about His
spiritual presence in all those who love
Him, like Judas (Thaddaeus) did.
SIMON ZEALOTES
Matthew and James were among those
gathered to await the coming of the Holy
Spirit that they may be witnesses unto the
utmost part of the world (Acts 1:13). The
New Testament records nothing of their
activity beyond this point.
THADDAEUS
In the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, his
name is Simon the Canaanite (Matthew
10:4; Mark 3:18). Luke calls him Simon
Zelotes or the zealous (Luke 6:15; Acts
1:13). It is probable that he was one of a
small sect of the Jews called Zealots, a
group of Jews who ferociously fought
against the Romans who occupied their
land. Some believe that the reason for his
appellation “cannanite” is that he was from
Cana while some others explain it as a
word derived from Kann'an, the Aramaic
for "zealot".
Gospel writer Matthew identified him as
“Lebbaeus, whose surname was
Thaddaeus” (Matthew 10:3; cf. Mark 3:18).
Luke referred to him in both of his books
as “Judas the brother of James” (Luke
6:16; Acts 1:13). This reference to him as
Nothing more is known of him from the
records of the New Testament. However,
we observe an interesting fact about him,
i.e. his name was often paired with Judas
Iscariot at the end of the list of the twelve.
While Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord, he
remained zealous for the Lord.
CONCLUSION The lives and labours of most of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ are
CONCLUSION
The lives and labours of most of the
twelve apostles of Jesus Christ are buried
in obscurity. Though there are some
interesting stories of them in the church
traditions, we cannot be absolutely sure of
their validity.
Jesus Christ. What have you done for
Christ? Are you ashamed of the Lord and
His work?
But they were among the apostles whom
the Lord selected, trained, empowered
and sent out as witnesses. So they went
forth to preach the Gospel for the saving
of souls. They established churches and
glorified the Lord Jesus Christ. They faced
persecution and death for the sake of
The world may not know all that the
apostles have suffered and done for
Christ. In eternity, we shall know their
valiant deeds for their Master as they
receive their rewards at His coming. As
Hebrews 6:10 declares, “For God is not
unrighteous to forget your work and labour
of love, which ye have shewed toward his
name, in that ye have ministered to the
saints, and do minister.”

Its 1030am in the morning and here I am sitting at the basement of Terminal

4, in JFK airport, patiently waiting for the boarding gate to open in about 2 hours time. The lugging of two heavy piece of luggage, a laptop bag and a backpack to catch a 6am train from Albany to NYC has left me feeling rather exhausted. It’s a nice feeling to sit at an airport and people- watch,

wondering

where they’re

heading and

how they feel about the flight or journey

ahead of them. As I look back at my past 4 months or so in America, my heart is filled with gratitude towards God. He saw me through all the difficult periods, be it the many hiccups that occurred on my way to Troy; the heavy school semester with a

particularly difficult module (even to pass); the journey mercies for all my trips in America and one to Canada; and the protection from ‘weird people’

and also from robberies/gunshots around Troy. If I were to list down each blessing I have received over the past months, it’ll probably occupy a couple many-a-more pages! If there is one lesson I’ve learnt and relearnt again and again, it is that in

all things, God is always in control. No matter how difficult a

circumstance, or how impossible a task may seem, I’ve learnt not to lean on my own wisdom but to commit my ways to Him and have the confidence that He who put me through this will lead me through, in His perfect way.

ways to Him and have the confidence that He who put me through this will lead

by Hui Min

ways to Him and have the confidence that He who put me through this will lead

One of the blessings I would like to

share and give thanks for is the process of my FYP (Final Year Project) topic selection. I was thankful that most of the professors I’ve approached through email responded fast and were willing to conduct the selection interview via Skype even though was inconvenient

on their

part. Oh and I was allocated my first choice too!

on their part. Oh and I was allocated my first choice too! Being in Troy has

Being in Troy has made me appreciate the things we have in Singapore more, be it the

so much

transportation system (even with the SMRT issues, it is still way better); the privilege to walk home with peace of mind at 6pm in the evening; the convenience in shopping (I’m referring to household items/medicine/groceries); and of course, the FOOD. The feeling of homesickness did kick in occasionally but I guess it was mellowed by the company of nine other students who lived with me under the same roof. Living with others taught me patience and tolerance as each of us have our own unique ‘traits’ that can be a tad annoying at times. And of course, the thing about ‘why is it always me who does the grocery’ or ‘why doesn’t he wash the dishes’ or ‘why does he have no

initiative to clear the garbage ‘ or ‘why do they leave the empty toilet roll in the bathroom without taking a new one’ can lead to frustration and disharmony in the apartment. It was during this time that I learnt to watch my words and my attitude towards others. Sometimes, gossiping seemed to take a central place in our conversations and whenever I realise I am going down that line, I’ll pray for strength and discipline to lock my tongue.

It has been a wonderful experience and I thank God for this opportunity. I have tasted of His goodness and faithfulness every passing day, especially so for the difficult periods during my exchange. Would like to leave you a verse!

Psalms 121:3-4 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:

he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

See you and God bless!

Lovingly in Christ, Hui Min

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. See you and God bless! Lovingly
OVER 25
OVER 25
OVER 25

The cost of discipleship @ 25

Hello my dear brethren in Christ,

As I write this article, it is only 2 more days to my marriage with my beloved Lisa Ang. That is the biggest thing that is on my mind right now, and I thought I would use it as the backdrop to this article to share my thoughts on the theme of discipleship at the age of 25.

I remember praying very hard sometime in January 2011 as to whether I was ready for marriage. But I did not get an immediate answer from God. So I took the cautious route and sought the advice of my older brethren and my parents as to how they knew when it was time to get married. Unfortunately, none of them could pinpoint the exact point in time when they knew that they were ready. The impression that I got from their various answers was that it was a very natural progression from dating to marriage. They just knew! Their answers frustrated me even more.

Unlike them, I did not instinctively know that I was ready for marriage!

It’s not like in taekwondo where you know that you are ready for the next coloured belt when you have learnt the various moves and stances required of that level of skill. In marriage you are taking on responsibility for another person’s life. It is a really heavy responsibility that cannot be quantified.

The reason why I say this is because of the instruction from God’s Word in Ephesians

5:25-27:

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”

From this passage I understand that readiness for marriage is when I am able to give myself up for my wife. I must love her with an unconditional love that prefers her welfare over

my own. I must also be able to lead her spiritually such that she is sanctified and cleansed by God’s Word. That is my responsibility as a husband.

So I prayed hard and endeavoured to take on this responsibility to gear myself up for marriage. I must say it’s no easy task to mentally prepare oneself for such a great responsibility.

Fast forward to about a month ago when I was doing my morning quiet time. I came across a passage on discipleship that put my faith to the test.

Luke 14:26-27, 33 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife , and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple… whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all he hath, he cannot be my disciple”

This passage instructed me to HATE my wife and be ready to forsake her if I were to follow Christ. I even had to FORSAKE her to be Christ’s disciple! Suddenly, question marks popped up in my head. Earlier, I read that I had to love my wife as I loved myself and as Christ loved the Church, yet in the later passage I had to forsake all that I had to be Christ’s disciple!

How could I reconcile these two seemingly contradictory passages? How was I to fulfill my responsibility as a husband without

breaching my responsibility as a disciple of Christ? How could I love my wife and yet forsake her at the same time?

As I read deeper and delved into the context of the passage in Luke, I came to realize that the passages were not contradictory at all.

Firstly, the Greek word for “hate” is not as strong as the English word suggests. It is used here as a comparison with the word love. In other words, “hate” merely means to love less. Therefore, the verse suggests that our devotion to Christ must be above all else. We must prefer Christ over our family, to the extent that we give them all up for His name’s sake. It does not mean that we must “hate” them per se.

Secondly, the instruction in Ephesians was specifically to husbands, but the instruction in Luke was of general application as it was addressed to the multitude that had gathered to listen to Jesus as he made his way towards Jerusalem. The instruction in Ephesians applies to all Christian husbands. In contrast, the instruction in Luke applies to everyone (in particular the unbelieving Gentiles). The thrust of this passage is that it would not be an easy life to be a Christian. If we face opposition from our family in the pursuit of Christ, and if we face opposition from within ourselves perhaps because of our ambition and pride, we must be ready to give them up, to love them less than Christ.

In short, nothing should stand in the way of our devotion to Christ.

That is the true cost of discipleship.

than Christ. In short, nothing should stand in the way of our devotion to Christ. That
than Christ. In short, nothing should stand in the way of our devotion to Christ. That

But that’s hard. Family is probably the most important thing to me. And I love my wife tremendously. Yet I know that I must be ready to give them up if they hinder my pursuit of Christ and his work here on earth. I think the example of Abraham illustrates this best. Isaac was his only son in his old age, and he was extremely loved. Yet when God instructed Abraham to sacrifice Isaac for His sake, Abraham willingly went ahead to do so. I can only imagine the agony and torment Abraham went through as he made his way up the mountain to perform the sacrifice. To give up someone whom you love so much is unimaginable to me. And I have to do the same if I were to be a committed disciple of Christ.

1) Christ

2) Wife

3)

Me

So my “least” starting point is to love my wife above myself, so that hopefully when I am called to take the next step of loving Christ above my wife, I might be able to take it.

And how do I love my wife in a practical way that prefers her over my interests/welfare? I can generalize, but I thought it might be more interesting to share some of the things that I have learnt to do up to today (not always in an easy way):

Listen to her when she’s down/ frustrated even if I’m tired so that she feels better thereafter

even if I’m tired so that she feels better thereafter Thankfully I have not been called
even if I’m tired so that she feels better thereafter Thankfully I have not been called

Thankfully I have not been called to do such a thing just yet.

But still I must work towards being ready for such an event. And the only way I know how is by being “faithful in that which is least”, because it is a portent for being “faithful also in much” (Luke 16:10).

Here I draw a parallel to loving my wife. I am instructed to love my wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it. Then I am also instructed to love Christ more than any family on earth. So the order of priority is:

Apologize and ask for her forgiveness when we argue and fight, and attempt to patch up no matter how late it is because she doesn’t like going to bed feeling angry/irritated

Remember to put down the toilet seat after peeing for her convenience

Walk the dog in the morning for her so she doesn’t have to wake up 20 mins earlier especially since she still has to work since I’m a morning person anyway

Choose to stay with her and take care of her when she’s sick rather than go out with my friends

Fold her laundry for her so it takes less time for her to keep them in the cupboard

Find time for her no matter how busy I am with work and other matters, and sacrifice other commitments for her

Pray for her and her various supplications every morning so that all things are committed to the Lord

etc

I must caveat that this list is probably much shorter than Lisa’s list, because I think it’s generally more difficult to love me (because of my greater number of faults). But I share this list to suggest that it take an extremely conscious and deliberate effort to love someone more than loving oneself. It is my prayer therefore that as I also endeavour to put Christ first in my life, that I will be able to learn from the “least” that I have done for my wife and extend the application to loving Christ.

In the same way, I also pray that all you youth will also endeavour to be faithful in the “least” things whatever and wherever they may be – personal ambitions, school work, service in church, testimony at home or CCA commitments. Hopefully, it will translate to being faithful in the “greater” things when it comes to crunch time. The cost of discipleship is great because of the sacrifices we must be prepared to make for Christ’s sake. And at 25, I am still learning how to bear my cross for Christ. I hope that you are too!

God bless,

for Christ’s sake. And at 25, I am still learning how to bear my cross for
2011 CHRISTMAS Cantata  z The Unfinished Story z
2011
CHRISTMAS Cantata 
z The Unfinished Story z

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen.

T e nal words of te book of Revela ton an d

indeed, the entire Bible may seem like a

st ange way t conclude a Christmas cantata.

One would expect a Christmas cantata to

include carols focusing on angels, shepherds, te

star in te East and te babe in a manger. Te

p rophecies of Isaiah might even be tuched on,

but tat would probably be it. It s a l about 0

A .D. Or tereabouts.

For te 2011 editon of te Christmas cantata,

however, we set out t present a cantata wi t a

s lightly different emphasis. The title Th e

U n nished S tryhighlights te twist, tat te

s tory told at Christmastime is essentiall y

u nfinished. True, the story of Christ s firs t

c oming as t e babe in t e manger is, for a l

in tnts and purposes, complet – He walked on

tis eart for tree and tirt years, and wa s

t ied, su ered, cruci ed and rose for our sins.

But as we al know, te s try doesn t end tere.

While Christmas is a tme when we look back a t

Christ s rst, humble, coming, as Chris tans w e

are always looking forward towards Christ ’s

second, glorious, coming, at which point te s try

of salva ton wil be completd.

I could f rter expound on te point, but m y

eorts wil pale in comparison t te beaut an d

p oet y wit which te lyrics of one of te pieces

p resen td at te cantata conveys te message:

O day of joy, when in etrnal splendor,

He sha l return in His glory t reign.

When every tngue due praise t Him sha l

render,

His pow r and might t a l na tons proclaim!

A tril of hope our longing hearts rejoices,

For soon sha l dawn tat glad etrnal morn:

Fa l on your knees! Wit joy lift up your voices.

O day divine, O day when Christ te Lord sha l

come.

R ev Quek s message af tr te cantata, en ttled

The Creation Finally Restored , th e

c ulmina t on of a series of messages on God ’s

p lan of e t rnal redemp t on, provided anothe r

tmely reminder for us. Rev Quek spoke f om

R omans 8, where te Apostle Paul writs: For

w e know tat te whole crea ton groanet an d

t availet in pain tgeter un tl now. And not

only t ey, but ourselves also, which have te

rst f uits of te Spirit, even we ourselves groa n

w itin ourselves, waitng for te adopton, t wit,

te redempton of our body. Let us always look

longingly tward tat glad etrnal morn when

Christ our Lord sha l return, te conclusion of

our un nished s try. Amen.

Lingwei

PERSONAL POINTS Name: Gabriel Woo Age: 17 Hobbies: Playing Soccer What are you doing now?
PERSONAL
POINTS
Name: Gabriel Woo
Age: 17
Hobbies:
Playing Soccer
What are you
doing now?
Studying in Pioneer
Junior College
What do you
want to do next
time?
Soccer Player
What is your
most epic
(memorable)
promise you’ve
ever made?
A promise (to self) to
become a
professional soccer
player!

Short and Broad

to become a professional soccer player! Short and Broad OCTOBER 15th—our YF president turns 22, HAPPY
OCTOBER 15th—our YF president turns 22, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRIAN! 21st—dotk study on Fear of the
OCTOBER
15th—our YF president turns 22, HAPPY BIRTHDAY
BRIAN!
21st—dotk study on Fear of the Lord
17th—Poly students return to school for another term
of studying and another term of relying on God’s
strength.
23rd—Esther returns from Beijing.
— Elvin and LingQng take the Teenz Sec Four class for a
lesson.
30th—Alanna, Ivan and Ruth take over as Teenz
teachers for a day.
NIE-NTU FCM embark on a group study of the book of
Daniel.
Lingwei returns from UK.
The future Dr Joanne Khor gets her posQng to Tan Tock
Seng Hospital.
Gabriel a\ains silver for his IPPT.
Sec Four students officially graduate and start their
holiday!

Short and Broad

November Uni, JC and FEBC students start their school holiday as well. 15th—Jonan takes another
November
Uni, JC and FEBC students start their school holiday as well.
15th—Jonan takes another overseas trip to Brunei after just returning from a
holiday in Japan. 18th—DotK and Guys BS enjoy a blessed time of fellowship over
dinner at Dn Han’s place followed by Bible study on The Virtuous Woman and 1
Corinthians 11 respectively.
20th—William leads in the distribution of the Church Directory after about 5
months of labour in service for its production.
22nd—Jan shows her DRIVE and determination in taking her driving exam.
26th—Serena and Lingkang tie the knot in Holy Matrimony, awwwww! <3
29th—Elvin brings out his artistic talents and designs a beautiful mural for
the kids to paint at JW camp for Lentor residence. And Ern Min, Joanne Chan,
Zach, Grace Wong, Daniel, Claire and Joelle assisted with the mural as well as
the camp itself.
December • 12th-17th—By God’s providential hand, Kenny was able to speak during Teenz camp on
December
• 12th-17th—By God’s providential hand, Kenny was able to
speak during Teenz camp on Our Providential God even with
a bad throat.
• 19th-24th—YF camp!!! :D a really blessed time of
fellowship, re-enactments and spiritual feeding.
• 25th—BLESSED CHRISTMAS!
• —Men’s choir, Ladies’ choir and YPC sing joyfully for the
Lord for Christmas cantata.
• 27th—Ivan’s cafe at SUTD officially opens.
• 31st—YF remembrance night ends of the year of
2011 with a time of remembering God’s
blessings.
• Jason Liew returns for reservist.
• Joyce Huang goes to Cambodia for CIP.
• Raphael showcases his skill in photography by
being asked to do a photo montage for a
wedding.