Volume. XXXii, No. 37
Sunday, 11 March 2018

From the Pastor’s Heart: Meditation 2

We considered the importance of thinking and exercising our minds in the previous article.  I cannot emphasize enough the importance of thinking. 


We think in order not to be deceived.

The family of the word, “to deceive,” occurs 150 times in 143 verses with 13 different forms.  The fact that there is deceit in the world justifies our efforts to think and to discern.  Following are a few examples of deceit.  Jacob deceived his father, while Laban, his father-in-law deceived him.  Pharaoh dealt with Moses deceitfully, and people could deceive their neighbors for which they should offer trespass offerings (Leviticus 6).  We are told to take heed to ourselves that our hearts are not deceived (Deuteronomy 11:16).  Job lamented that his brothers deceived him (Job 6:15).  Some have deceitful tongues (Psalms 52:4).  There are wicked people who work deceitful works (Proverbs 11:18).  Proverbs 12:20 says, “Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.”  Some people think that deceits are games (Proverbs 26:19).  The Edomites deceived themselves because of the pride of their hearts (Obadiah 1:3).  Our tongues may be deceitful (Micah 6:12).  In the end time, we must be cautious not to be deceived by man (Matthew 24:4; Luke 21:8).  False christs will come to deceive people (Matthew 24:5; cf. 24:11, 24).  False and evil ones will try to deceive others with good words and fair speeches (Romans 16:18).  We should guard ourselves not to be deceived (1 Corinthians 15:33).  Some people will deal with God’s Word deceitfully (2 Corinthians 4:2).  There are deceitful workers who are transforming themselves as apostles of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:13).  There is a danger of deceiving ourselves (Galatians 6:3).  In the latter days, evil ones will attempt to deceive even the believers as 2 Thessalonians 2:3 says: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”  2 Timothy 3:13, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”  We must not forget that we can deceive ourselves as James 1:26 says, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:18).  There are many more examples of deceit, deceiving or being deceived. 


We think in order to discern.

Another reason that we must think and exercise our minds is that we ought to know how to discern between good and evil.  Interestingly, Hebrews 4:12 explains the work of God’s word as a discerner, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  Hebrews 5:14, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” 


We think in order to cultivate right character.

We should not forget that what we think will determine who we are.  We will bring our inner thoughts out into actions and practices eventually.  Our inner thoughts mould our characters and perspectives.  Paul admonishes us in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  The word for “think” means to reckon inward, reason, and meditate on.  By thinking on such things, we fill our hearts with true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and good things.  They will direct our hearts, minds, words, and actions.  Thinking on such things is a practice of meditation. 


We think in order to meditate.

These days people are used to visual and audio materials.  They are simply too lazy to keep habits of reading, thinking, reasoning, analyzing, and understanding deeper meanings.  God has given us His words in human language to communicate with us.  The Merriam-Webster English Dictionary defines language primarily as “the words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a community.”  This definition directly and indirectly demands and requires us to think and to meditate.  (1) Language consists of words.  A word is “a speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning. . . .”  It means that words must have meanings.  In order to properly think of and meditate upon the Word of God, it is necessary for us to understand the meanings of words, without which we can neither understand what they stand for nor have reasonable communications with each other.  It requires us to do word studies.  (2) Language is the methods of combining words.  It means that words are related and interconnected.  Thus, these words could be better, correctly, and more clearly understood, when they are studied and thought through within the whole sentence, and eventually within the context.  It means that we should not read the Bible casually but carefully by observing the connections and relationships between words, and their forms.  We need to see if the subject is a singular or plural word, or if it is first (I), second (you), or third person(s) (they).  We also need to observe, if the verb is passive (e.g., is done) or active (e.g. do), and if it is past, present, or future in its mood.  How these words are modified by adjectives or adverbs is also important.  It is called syntax, the arrangements of words within phrases and sentences.  It leads us to study grammatical relationships of words in the Biblical texts.  We must also know that words mean different things in different contexts.  Therefore, we should never apply just one meaning to all occurrences of any given word.  (3) Language is used and understood by the community.  After all, language is to communicate with one another in the same community.  Therefore, we ought not to twist and impose artificial and fictitious meanings to the language giving it a different meaning from the understanding of the community.  It means that the Biblical text should be understood according to the language of the times of its writing, the intention of the author, and its immediate (historical settings) and future applications (e.g. the OT prophecies were fulfilled in the NT: the NT authors quoted the OT passages and explained them in their books, by which we understand the meanings of the OT passages better).  We should put our efforts and time to study the Bible carefully, grammatically, and historically.


However, that is not enough for biblical meditation.  Biblical meditation goes beyond academic exercises.  1 Corinthians 2:12-14 says, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  Language studies can be done even by natural man.  However, Paul makes a difference between “us” and natural man.  We, spiritual ones, are able to know and discern the truth of God by the help of the Holy Spirit.  I’ll continue this subject next time.



Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



  • Welcome to our pulpit: Rev Edward Paauwe.
  • Congratulations to Bro William & Sis Kimberley Song on their marriage yesterday.
  • Special thanks to Sis Esther Kim for her testimony of her work in the House of Grace.
  • Easter Family Bible Camp forms available at foyer. All are encouraged to attend. 
  • Basic Bible Knowledge Class commences next Lord’s Day. Anyone interested, please inform the Elders.
  • All Fellowship groups: Please inform Lively Hope Committee of your meeting times & location by Thurs, latest.
  • Kitchen Duty helpers - This week: Team A. Next week: Team B.



  • God’s guidance as Bro William & Sis Kimberley Song begin their new life together.
  • Pastor Ki – Camp speaker at Ebenezer BPC (Melb).
  • Missions: Sis Esther Kim & ministry in House of Grace (Bandung).
  • Journey mercies: Ps Ki; overseas/interstate wedding guests; & others who are travelling.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Holy matrimony of Bro William Song & Sis Kimberley Gan yesterday.
  • Journey mercies: Ps Ki (Melb); overseas/interstate wedding guests (Adl); & others who have travelled.




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