Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Email 3 - 30 March 2007 : Discovery of my late father’s markings of Hymns and Bible passages

Dear brethren,

Thank you for your prayers for me. Thank God for His continuous mercies and faithfulness. Thank God that last night, for the first time in so many weeks, I was able to sleep through 5 solid hours! This morning I am up again very early but felt very refreshed. Thank God and thank you for your prayers. Apart from praying, meditating on God’s Words and doing some reflections, here I am again at my keyboard typing out my thoughts and feelings to share with you and some other brethren. Thanks again for making time to read this very long email! I am continuing to find it helpful to verbalise my thoughts and feelings to share with you and some brethren while my pen is hot.

Thank you for sharing my burden and joy as I recounted God’s dealings with me. I could sense the genuine brotherly concern you feel for me and am comforted by your prayers for me. I felt very privilege that I am cared in this way by many of God’s beloved people, and I thank God for all of your kindness and friendship. It is a tremendous source of strength and support to me in this difficult trial. I know you are praying with me and I want to encourage you, as well as give praise and glory to God, for His faithfulness and mercies by sharing the following testimony with you.

God in His mercies and faithfulness balance this fierce storm in my life with His great mercies. Admist my deepest trial, He gave me my deepest joy! My late father passed away of heart failure in April 2001 without making an open profession of faith despite having gone to church for many times, heard the Gospels many times, been visited by many brethren in the Lord and at times he had expressed his faith in God to me. I am thankful to God of the many wonderful ways He had used our church and other brethren to reach out to my family and especially to my late father. I am grateful for the way many gave of their substance selflessly to contribute to my late father’s operation fees and for visiting him when he was sick. This indirectly was used by the Lord to be a testimony to my unbelieving family members and friends through my mother’s sharing with them. Thank and praise God!

For so many years I have cherish the hope that my late father did know something of the saving grace of God because of some of his conversations with me when he was alive. At times he had expressed that he believed Christ is the living and true God although he also said he cannot become a Christian due to various reasons. I thank God for the peace and sweet assurance in my heart that somehow God has wrought a work of grace in his soul because of his past conversations with me. Thank God for the peace of God and comfort of many brethren at my late father’s funeral when he passed away 6 years ago though he didn’t openly profess faith in Christ. At that time I did not have the privilege to give him a Christian burial neither do I have any firm assurance of his actual spiritual estate, while some of our other Christian brethren have the joy and privilege of giving their parents a Christian burial and were given the sweet assurance of their parent’s entrance into eternal rest. I sometimes do feel very painful when I see this happening. I do rejoice with our brethren whenever they have the assurance of their parent’s salvation but I sometimes, in my weakness, wondered why I was denied the same joy even after many years of prayers and faithful services to our Lord? What went wrong? Am I more sinful than our other brethren? Or God loves them more than me? How ashamed I am now to realize that in my sins and weak faith, I have doubted God’s love and faithfulness in the past! Yet the Lord is long-suffering and forgiving, He did not hold this against me. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed my transgressions!

The Lord in His mercies and faithfulness, has now given me a new glimpse into the possibility of His secret work in my late father’s heart although I have no way to know for a certainty the actual spiritual estate of my father, for only God alone knows his heart. I am so greatly comforted recently, to discover some of my late father’s markings of Hymns and Bible passages in his Chinese/English Hymnal and his Chinese Bible. This is a pleasant surprise in the midst of my trials! The joy of knowing that perhaps my late father did know something of the saving grace of God because he did read the Bible and Hymnal and make some markings on some very significant passages and Hymns, far surpasses whatever trials that I am going through now. How can a dead and lost sinner understand the Bible and the significance of those blessed Bible verses which my father had marked apart from the saving grace of God working in his soul by the power of the Holy Spirit! How comforted I am! How merciful is the Lord to sustain me in this deep trial by giving me this sweet glimpse into the work of grace He possibly could have done in my father’s soul! How I praise and thank Him for His love and faithfulness to unworthy me. And I thank you and our brethren for praying with me and reaching out to him when he was alive.

The following are some of the Hymns and Bible passages which my father had marked in his Chinese/English Hymnal:

“1) Hymn: The Solid Rock

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand-
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound
O may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne

2) Hymn: Is my name written there?

Lord, I care not for riches,
Neither silver nor gold-
I would make sure of heaven
I would enter the fold.
In the book of Thy kingdom
With its pages so fair
Tell me, Jesus, my Savior
Is my name written there?

Is my name written there
On the page white and fair?
In the book of Thy kingdom,
Is my name written there?

Lord, my sins they are many,
Like the sands of the sea,
But Thy blood, O my Savior,
Is sufficient for me;
For Thy promise is written
In bright letter that glow
“Tho your sins be as scarlet,
I will make them like snow.”

Is my name written there
On the page white and fair?
In the book of Thy kingdom,
Is my name written there?

O that beautiful city
With its mansions of light,
With its glorified beings
In pure garments of white;
Where no evil thing cometh
to despoil what is fair
Where the angels are watching-
Yes, my name’s written there.

Yes, my name’s written there
On the page white and fair;
In the book of Thy kingdom
Yes, my name’s written there!

3) Revelations 7

9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living

fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

4) And with a pillar of cloud Thou didst lead them by, and with a pilar of fire by night to light for them the way in which they were to go. Nehemiah 9:12

(KJV - Neh 9:12 “Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go. “)

5) The Lord will protect you from all evil, He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever. Psalm 121:7-8

(KJV - Psalm 121:7-8 “The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. “)

6) Peace I leave unto you; My peace I give unto you; Not as the world gives, do I give to you, Let not your heart be troubled, Nor let it be fearful. - John 14:27

(KJV - John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”)

7) And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

(KJV - Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.)”

I was so overjoyed to see my father’s markings for the above 7 items. I was especially thrilled to see my father’s marking on Revelation 7:9-17! What a blessed and comforting passage! How could my late father had appreciated such a blessed passage of Scripture unless He knows something of the saving grace of God? I often found Revelations to be a difficult book. So even as believer, I little appreciate the preciousness of this passage of Scripture. But now this passage has a new meaning to me, it is not only my own blessed hope of one day being found before the Throne and before the Lamb of God, but that perhaps my late father did have some secret assurance of this blessed hope too! Oh, how wonderful it will be on that day, when we all appear before His throne, to see our parents and loved ones also there! Surely, the Lord shall lead us unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes. What a sweet assurance!

May we continue to labour on in the outreach to our parents and the elderly and friends from our neighbourhood. For those of us who do not have the joy of the assurance of our departed parents’ eternal estate, may these elderly be like our own parents and the Lord give us the joy and privilege of seeing them knowing Him savingly, enjoy Him in this life and entering into their eternal rest. May we labour on for His glory!

Thanks again for all your prayers, encouragement and support. May we have the sweet assurance of God’s love and faithfulness always in all the changing scenes of life. May our Lord enable us to run this pilgrim race with patience and joy in the Lord until the day He calls us home to be with Himself, to enjoy His love and fellowship forever, and our eternal rest. How I long for that day!

Please take care. Covet your prayers as I meet up with my doctor this afternoon at 3.30pm. Thanks!

“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.”

Psalm 52:8

With thanks and praise to God,

Some replies from my friends and brethren-in-Christ whom I shall keep anonymous unless they give me permission to put their names on this webpage:

Dear sister,

Thank you for your letter. It is a pleasure to hear from you and to read of your love for Christ even when your health has been difficult. We are all of us feeble creatures and much need the mercy of God in this short life. It is good to know that your dear father had a love of the things of God, from what you say.

My wife and I have an embroidery of yours on the windowsill. It has lovely texts on it: “All things work together for good to then that love God”. This was a kind gift which you gave to us some years ago while we were with you all over there at a conference in Singapore.

May God bless and reward you, sister, for all your kindness and may He comfort your dear heart with His grace….

Yours sincerely in Christ

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