Volume. XXXiii, No. 34
Sunday, 17 February 2019

From the Pastor’s Heart: How to be Godly (Part 15)

The last in the list of the private means of grace is none other than reading.  There are five “W”s and one “H” question that we must carefully study to understand how reading could help us become godly. 

What should be read? 

The number one answer is the Bible, which is the Word of God.  Then, second, I would say that we should read good and sound books.  Of course, we should know what good and sound books are.  There are so many printed books out there dealing with a variety of topics.  For sure, we do not have enough time and energy to read them all, even if their contents are good.  Some books are good but may not bring any profit to our souls.  Some books are interesting and not necessarily harmful, but they do not help our spiritual life.  Reading some books makes us weary.  There are books that make the readers wise and skillful in the knowledge of the things of God including John Calvin’s Institutes, Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Common Places, and Theodore Beza’s Confessions.  William Perkins’ writings are also worth reading.  He has often been called “the father of Puritanism.” 


Who should read?

  1. Children should be urged to read. We know that Timothy was brought up in the Scriptures since his childhood, and also the children of the elect lady in 2 John.  The result was that they walked in the truth.  Therefore, children ought to be taught with the doctrines of the Scriptures and to be encouraged to read the Bible.  If children are capable of knowing God and walking after His truth, why do we not encourage them to read spiritual and devotional books more?  The profane and irreligious may read wrong books and do not like to read good books and are led by error.  However, the well-advised Christian should know that children are to be exercised in reading good books.  They ought to stay away from too much games, TV, computers, or worldly books and magazines. 
  2. Young people should read books. They should fight against the devil and his instruments with their spiritual weapons.  It is often the case that the unmarried young people should be taught to care for the things of the Lord.  Titus said, “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded” (2:6).  They must search the Scriptures and read good books.  Reading will establish and strengthen them against their enemies and corruption.  They will be built up in the most holy faith. 
  3. Fathers and mothers should read books. Instead of having delight to hear and tell stories and laugh and be merry in vain and profane manners, they ought to nurture themselves continually by reading the Scriptures and godly and spiritual books that can feed their minds with clean and pure things.  They ought to refuse to give themselves to foolish talks, idleness, and worldliness.


When should we read?

There are people who do not like to read.  However, I feel that all believers ought to read.  Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”  Blessed is the one who reads….  All Christians must read and take efforts to read.  They must train themselves to read even a bit at a time.  When should we read?  Not everyone has an equal amount of time to read.  Therefore, we should read when we can.  Probably, a more important principle of reading is its consistency.  We should keep our practice constant, especially when we first begin.  Once we break a constant reading pattern, we may lose a momentum to read and our reading becomes irregular.  We also should not read for show but with sincere desire to benefit from it. 

There are people saying that they do not like to read.  It is a very curious excuse for not reading the Bible and good books regularly.  It is because there is no one who acts because of pure joy and likes.  There are things that all of us must do.  There are words like responsibility, accountability, or duty.  We go to school to learn, take time to do extra work for improvements and even go out on rainy days to run for daily exercise.  Why do we do things we do not like at times?  It is because either it is our duty or it is good for us.  Instead of developing a good habit like reading, people follow the world one way or another.  They find leisure in something other than in reading.  Sometimes we do not read because we are idle, or we fill our minds with swarms of vain thoughts or dangerous lusts.  Even if our reading may not be very long, daily reading is always helpful. 

How should we read?

Reading benefits us a lot.  As a theology student, I do read the Bible and theology books.  However, I try to read a variety of subjects from humanities to engineering and economics.  They include philosophy, history, management, politics, science, or even arts, if I can find a good title.  It is because reading gives me insights over things that I have not known and experienced before.  These extra insights help me understand people whom I minister to.  There are lots of things private persons cannot attain apart from reading.  At this point, I need to put a great emphasis on the importance of our catechism, confession of faith, and Bible knowledge through regular Bible studies and devotions.  If we do not know the Bible well enough, we do not have any discernment to know if the books we are reading are good or bad.  We could be wrongly influenced by not so good books, and we may form our convictions on the basis of such wrong influences.  Therefore, we must make sure we read and meditate upon the Bible first.  If we do not know the Bible well, even the reading of good books will not help us have the right use of it.  As a result, we may have much fragmented knowledge from here and there, but it is not beneficial at all.  Rather, it could be harmful for us to read books!  We must read books with understanding.  Only then, will we be more enlightened and helped in reading.  Through insights and knowledge gained, we can take opportunities to confer with the learned, which will help us even more.

Why should we read?

Well, we must begin with the Bible.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us about the authority of the Scriptures and its purpose.  “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”  By knowing and reading the Bible, we will receive more and more profits for instructions (doctrine), reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness.  The end result is that we become well equipped to do all good works.  We correct our wrong views, ideas, conducts, prejudices, attitudes, and manners of life through reading!  Knowing God is important, and knowing God rightly is the most important thing to us.  Only then, we will be able to believe and serve Him rightly.  Consider Proverbs 19:2, “Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.”  Also, Romans 15:4 says, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”  Reading the Bible comforts us, too. 



Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



  • Adult Sunday School commences next Lord’s Day. All worshippers are encouraged to attend.
  • YAF will be roaming along North Terrace on Thurs, 21 Feb & Tues, 26 Feb for O-Week. Those willing to help please contact Sisters Jillian Chia, Megan Lim or Jasmine Tanuwijaya.
  • Baptism Service on 8 Mar. Please submit your testimonies to Pastor Ki by 27 Feb.
  • New overseas students & family will be coming to our church in coming weeks. Please make them feel welcome.
  • Lunch Duty: This week: YAF. Next week: Neighbourhood Groups.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Missions to House of Hope, Cebu .
  • Missions to Sis Ang Liang Phoa, Filadelfia BP Church, Batam – Elder Michael & Sis Alice Lee
  • Journey mercies: Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Adl); Elder Michael & Sis Alice Lee; Dn Kevin Low (S’pore/PhnomPenh); and others who have travelled.



  • Special prayer for healing: 
  • Missions Trips: Cambodia: Elder Michael & Sis Alice Lee, Dn Kevin Low (15-26 Feb), and from Ebenezer BPC (19-26 Feb).
  • Missions: Sis Ang Liang Phoa & family & ministry; Filadelfia B-P Church, orphanage, kindergarten, primary school (Batam).
  • Journey mercies: Returning & new students; & others who are travelling.








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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041