Volume. XXI, No. 49
Sunday, 03 June 2007

The Importance of Being Earnest

No, this is not a critique about Oscar Wilde’s play which is a comedy of errors set during the Victorian era in England. Rather, we want to reflect on how we can be earnest in what we do in our lives for our God. Being earnest for God means that we have a serious intent, purpose and zeal in our daily lives for God. Why is it important to be earnest for the right things? It is because we are easily swayed by other priorities and life goals that we may shift our focus away from God. Several years ago I remember a miserable time when I made it a priority to chase after more dollars and to build a bigger and more profitable business. My excuse for not participating in many church activities was that it was too time consuming, taking my precious time away from business and family and that church activities was susceptible to politicking.


There are many facets of our lives that needs to be honed so that we live our lives truly and only for the glory of God.  The following are but a few suggestions that we can take heed of and be more earnest for our Lord.


Being earnest for missions to spread the Gospel message


For many years, our church has organised mission trips to Cambodia and we are now seeing the beginnings of evangelistic outreaches in Cambodia and recently the bible study group in Kuching. Pastor Ki has preached and practiced this calling to evangelise in several countries. We can all take part in many of the evangelistic events that our church organises, from local to foreign opportunities where we can reach out to the unsaved to tell of the wonderful gospel message of salvation brought about by the once and for all sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Many of us have not come from Christian families but have been blessed to have heard the gospel message through the missions work of other Christians. It is now our duty to do the same missions work for others. Fanny Crosby clearly illustrates the importance of our duty towards missions by penning these words in the Hymn : Rescue the Perishing:


Rescue the perishing,

care for the dying,

 Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;

Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,

Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.


There may be reasons why some may not be able to participate in the Cambodian missions work of our church. Legitimately there may be family, work or study commitments. However, if it is God’s will that one day you make the journey to Cambodia you will be blessed by how much the Cambodians actually minister to us and realise that we too are beneficiaries of the work in the missions field. However, if it is not His will for you to ever make a trip to Cambodia, then you may consider to do your best to enable others to follow His command to “ Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” ( Mark 16:15). Some practical steps you may take are to help others prepare their material for teaching, providing financial assistance and volunteering to look after homes and family of those who have gone overseas for missions . Do this earnestly because there is indeed another command of Christ to obey: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). Be earnest for the Lord’s work in the missions field by participating directly or assisting others in the work. For Hudson Taylor, the missionary who worked in spreading the Gospel message in China, once said “ The great commission is not an option to be considered; but a command to be obeyed”.


Being earnest to do and not only hear


Each week we look forward to hearing the Word of God preached. How much better if we also do what has been preached? Doing is harder than hearing or even preaching. I remember some words on a billboard sometime last year, when I drove pass a church on Glynburn Road, Leabrook. It said: “It is easier to preach ten sermons than to practice one.”


Our Lord encouraged us to be doers when he taught us : “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  And the rain descended, and the floods, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-27).


The Epistle of James  also teaches us “ But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).

Let us be encouraged to practice what we learn from the lessons of the Bible. Let us do what we hear from Pastor Ki’s messages and be earnest doers of the Word of God.


Being earnest during worship service


Many of us have commitments for work, family, studies and even hobbies that we may use as excuses not to attend Sunday worship service, not to arrive on time or not to participate enthusiastically and listen attentively to the preaching during service. It is indeed a misplaced sense of priority if we have fallen into this sorry state when we place more importance in our worldly activities. Let us for a moment assume that we had an interview for a job with a prospective employer. Would we be late for the appointment and  not be attentive or participate zealously during our meeting? If we have answered an emphatic  “No” then how much more should we be look expectantly to being in the Lord’s house each Sunday, not being late, singing hymns with vigour, reading scripture during responsive reading or when referred by the speaker and learning from the messages delivered during worship service.


Being earnest in the activities organised by our church


 Be earnest in participating in church fellowship and Bible study group and activities. Our church provides many opportunities for all to be part of a fellowship and bible study group. There must be a group that we can belong. Please do not let family, career, hobby and commitments, lack of time or distance to travel be reasons that we do not  participate. Consider joining at least one or more groups listed below:

Women’s fellowship

Men’s fellowship

Adults’ fellowship

Young Adults’ Fellowship


Neighbourhood Bible Study Groups

Wednesday Church Bible Study Group


There are several other yearly events such as the Christmas Concert, Family Camp, Youth Camp, Vacation Bible Study organised for your participation. There is much work that has to be done and you can consider volunteering or attending. On a regular basis there is also much that we can consider in contributing our labour and time  for the Glory of our Lord. There is much that each one of us can do each Sunday service such as:



Responsive reading

Instrumental Music


Lively Hope publication




Sunday School

Sanctuary Set up

Audio visual equipment management

Lunch preparation, serving and wash up


Some of the tasks above require a good measure of humility, for us to forget our social status or wealth but to do what may seem lowly jobs. But, remember what the Lord says in Proverbs 22:4: “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.”


Hospitality and looking after lonely or sick Hopefuls, helping new migrant and student church attendees settle into Adelaide, or keeping in touch with new visitors to our church are other opportunities we have to serve God. We can also participate in praying for the various concerns and praising God for thanksgiving, collectively as a single voice.


Should we not actively participate in any of the above, are not interested in missions nor have the right attitude in worship service it may be a good time to examine our priorities  and to turn away from our current  life goals to being earnest in what we do to glorify God. After all, the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him for ever. It is important to be earnest in what we do to glorify God.


 “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” (Hebrews 2:1)


Dn David Yeo



More Lively Hope



Congratulatory messages & warm greetings for our 21st Anniversary Thanksgiving from:

Rev & Mrs John Gross Snr & family (New Jersy, USA)

Rev Errol Stone, Faith Presbyterian Church—Perth

Bro Joseph Lo, City Fellowship (Melb)

Praise & Thank God for safe delivery of a healthy son, Jayden, to Bro Boong & Sis Mariam Atijatuporn on Thur, 31 May, at FMC ward 4A. 

Budget 07-08 proposals to be submitted to Church Treasurer, Dn Tan, by 17 Jun.

All reports for ACM from fellowship groups, committees and ministries to be submitted to the Clerk of Session, Dn D’Mello, by 8 Jul.


Looking Ahead:

Baptism, Confirmation & Transfer of membership on 1 July. Please see Ps Ki if interested, by 3 June.

Vacation Bible School, 17-21 July. 

ACM & Session Election on Sat, 28 July. All members expected to attend.


Praise and Thank God for:

Journey mercies - Mr & Mrs Lawrence Tan, Bro Jan Bennik; Sis Shu Ai Cho’s family (Adl), & others who have arrived safely at their destinations.

Blessed 21st Anniversary Thanksgiving Service last Lord’s Day.

AFG Video Sermon

Men’s Fellowship - Biblical Counselling

Sparks4Christ - Teens Fellowship

YAF Prayer & Share


Please pray for:

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, & Winston Selvanayagam; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Aranka Rejtoe, Chrisanthi Selvanayagam, Juanita Tong, Susan Veradi, & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction.

Sis Shu Ai Cho - surgery tomorrow.                                                 

Sis Mariam Atijatuporn - healing & recovery from delivery.

Pastor Ki’s ministry (Camp Speaker at Calvary Jurong) in S’pore & Cambodia.

Cambodia Missions - Rev Moses Hahn (Sihanoukville); Bro Samnang & Sis Shulamy.

Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam.

India/Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers.

Kuching Missions - Teo family.

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim (South East Asia).

Journey Mercies - Ps Ki (S’pore/Cambodia); Sisters Joyce Gong, Alice Lee (Adl) & Gillian Ong (Melb); Bro Hai Seng Lim (Missions) & all those travelling this week.

Jobs: Sisters Nikki Ching, Gillian Ong, Juanita Tong & Mag Yu.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041