Volume. XXXiii, No. 35
Sunday, 24 February 2019

From the Pastor’s Heart: How to be Godly (Part 16)

In the previous article (no 15), we thought about the importance of reading books, both the Bible and good books.  As we glean more knowledge and insights through reading, we will be able to discern the byways, to correct our wrongs, to follow the right way, and to grow into maturity.  We take comforts from the Bible.  Today, we may think about two tips to gain even more benefits from reading.


When we read the Bible

I personally think that reading a chapter here and there is not a good way to read the Bible.  If we are studying any particular subject, we may have to read a chapter here and another chapter there.  However, it is most desirable to read the Bible in order as much as we can.  In this way, we can get acquainted with the histories and the whole course of the Bible.  When we read the Bible, we’d better settle ourselves for the time of reading to be more attentive and to avoid the wandering of the heart. 


When we read good books

There are so many printed materials covering a variety of topics.  We do not know how to choose books and where to begin.  I would say that we’d better choose one or two recommended and well-written books first in order to attain some understanding of a topic.  Then, when we read other books on the same topic, we will find it very easy to read them and to discern whether they are good or bad, or good and better.  When we read, we ought to have a sincere desire and intention to learn something out of it, even if there are some opposing views we find from it.  Different views can sharpen our views and strengthen our convictions.  If we do not learn through reading, we will be trapped within the endless rounds of circular thoughts coming only from our minds.


Reading good books cannot but give us benefits.  Usually, they are written by people who have devoted themselves to study on certain subjects and to write what they have learnt and found from it.  Therefore, we can glean their wisdom and knowledge through reading their books.  A few weeks ago, Pastor Willy Ng sent me a small article he found somewhere else.  Its title is “10 Tips for Reading in 2019.”  I thought it fit this article well. So I am going to use my version of it, which has been modified. I do not know the author’s name.  Therefore, I cannot quote the source of it.  My list has only seven tips for reading this year.  By the way, the author of this article has an annual goal of reading 26 books, which requires him to average one book every two weeks by the end of the year!  If you beat it, please write an article about your reading for everyone’s benefits.  By the way, I have not counted the number of books I read each year.  All I do is to try to read as much as I can.  Here comes a list of reading tips.


  1. Don’t worry about how you read. There are so many ways to read these days.  Whatever your reading goal . . . there are a variety of different ways to achieve this.  There are printed reading materials, digital form (ebooks), and even audio form. Yes, even audio form! If we have to drive to work, we can listen to audio books.  Of course, we have to be careful when driving.  While you are doing chores at home, you can listen to audio books too. 


  1. Think about when reading might be best for you. There are certain times we can foresee not to have much time for reading.  There are children’s school holidays, work related projects, or times to visit families and friends, etc.


  1. Choose books you think you will like. There are a lot of different books out there and in many different genres.  Read whatever tickles your fancy you first.  Of course, I mean that selections from worldly and lustful books are out of question.  What I am trying to say is that you should stretch yourselves in another genre or area of knowledge.  Try books outside your interests or current knowledge.  Out of many such books, to begin with and to get yourselves going, just pick something you think you’ll enjoy.


  1. If reading a non-fiction book, read with a pencil in hand. It is because we need to pay attention to what we are reading.  There must be lots of spiritual nutrients in such a book.  Markers are needed.  If not, there should be immediate note-taking to remember what you have learnt from it.  As for me, books are there to be used and so underlining, writing in the margins, and even dog-earring pages are all acceptable uses of books.


  1. Make sure you read a fiction book sometimes for rest. And also, I found that poetry is another interesting genre for our reading. 


  1. Be willing to not finish a book. You don’t have to finish every book you start.  Sometimes we lose our interest in reading because our current reading material is  boring and we feel obligated to finish it.  Thus, we stop reading any book.  Avoid such a mistake.


  1. The world will not end if you don’t meet your goal. Setting a goal is good, including your reading plan, but do not be a servant to your own goal.  Take a book out and enjoy reading it.


While you are reading all the books in the world, don’t forget the reading of Scripture. There is no substitute for Scripture.  Now we come to the last in the list of private means of grace, which are thanksgiving and fasting. 



A thankful heart is a blessed heart.  All godly men and women were thankful people.  They have yielded praises to God and rejoiced in Him, despite hardships and trials.  They remembered God’s grace in the past.  They renewed their vows and testified of the goodness of God, though they were in afflictions.  I cannot think of any godly person who was not a thankful person.  Probably, David is the most outstanding person even amongst all godly and exemplary people regarding his attitude of gratitude.  He says in 1 Chronicles 16:8-10, “Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. 9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. 10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.” 



“Fasting is a most earnest profession of deep humbling of ourselves in abstinence with confession of sins and supplications to God, to turn away some sore calamity from us or for obtaining of some special blessings” (Rogers, Kindle loc., 2022 or 2097).  In fasting, we humble ourselves far more than ordinary abasing of ourselves.    We also deprive ourselves of food and drink, and earthly matters, which effectively declares that we are not worthy of even taking these necessities for a while.  The duration of fasting could be varied and all depends on our personal circumstances.  The godly people of God fasted when there were great calamities (ex. 2 Chronicles 20:6).  “Thanksgiving raises us up to a joyful remembrance of God’s wonderful kindness, while fasting brings us low as we remember our vileness.  Both greatly draw our hearts in more love and obedience to God” (loc. 2050 of 2097).




Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



  • The staff of House of Hope (Cebu) convey their greetings to Pastor Ki, the Session & all Hopefuls.
  • Special thanks from Rev & Mrs Stephen Choi, Rev & Mrs Sun Sokha, Bro Jose Mangco & Sis Ang Liang Phoa for our financial support.
  • YAF will be roaming along North Terrace on Tues, 26 Feb for O-Week. Those willing to help please contact Sisters Jillian Chia, Megan Lim or Jasmine Tanuwijaya.
  • Baptism Service on 10 Mar. Please submit your testimonies to Pastor Ki by Wed, 27 Feb.
  • IF is organising a Games Day for the church. Please register your participation for planning purposes. Registration table is at the entrance of the Fellowship Hall.
  • Lunch Duty: This week: Neighbourhood. Next week: Volunteers.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Missions to Sis Ang Liang Phoa, Filadelfia BP Church, Batam–Elder Michael & Sis Alice Lee.
  • Journey mercies: Those who have travelled.



  • Special prayer for healing for those afflicted.  
  • Missions Trips: Cambodia: Elder Michael & Sis Alice Lee, Dn Kevin Low (15-26 Feb), and from Ebenezer BPC (19-26 Feb).
  • Missions: Rev Sokha & Sis Nam Soon Sun & family & ministry (PhnomPenh).
  • Journey mercies: Elder Michael & Sis Alice Lee (Adl); Dn Kevin Low (S’pore); & others who are travelling.




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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041