Volume. XXXiii, No. 30
Sunday, 20 January 2019

From the Pastors Heart: How to be Godly (Part 11)

Last week we considered two of the categories of hindrances to meditation.  One category keeps God’s people from meditating at all, and the other category abuses meditation.  Having considered hindrances, today we are going to consider a few of the rules of meditation suggested by Rogers (Kindle, loc, 1033-39 of 2097).

Four rules of meditation

Rule 1: Whoever desires to benefit from meditating should consider how slippery, fickle, bad, wandering, and infinite are the ways of his heart (Jeremiah 17:9), and how this leads to his exceeding harm.  Therefore, he must necessarily appoint a set time to check, reclaim, and wean his heart from these ways. 

Rule 2: Whoever desires to benefit from meditating should watch over his heart (Proverbs 4:21-23), since he has so often been deceived by it.  This he must do throughout his whole life, holding his own heart in suspicion, so that it may be more fit to be drawn and remain in such heavenly exercises.

Rule 3: Let him (if he is able) draw matter for meditation and prayer from his own needs and infirmities, from God’s benefits, and from the changes and mortality of this life.  He should chiefly meditate upon love, humility, meekness, peace of conscience, the glory of God’s kingdom, His love, and those things contrary to it. 

Rule 4: If he cannot do this, let him first read part of Psalm 119, some of the epistles from the Apostles, some of Christ’s sermons (e.g., John 14-18), some part of this direction, or some of the meditations which follow, or any other good matter fit for this purpose, that he may season and well affect his mind.

Eight daily goals or directions

  1. That every day we should be humbled for our sins, as through due examination of our lives by the law of God we will see them.
  2. That every day we be raised up in assured hope of the forgiveness of them, by the promises of God in Christ.
  3. That every day we prepare our hearts “to seek the Lord” still, and keep them fit and willing thereto.
  4. That every day we strongly and resolutely arm ourselves against all evil and sin, fearing most of all to offend God.
  5. That every day we nourish our fear and love of Him, and joy in Him more than in any thing, and endeavor to please Him in all duties, as occasion will be offered, looking for His coming (2 Thessalonians 3:5).
  6. That every day our thanks be continued for benefits received, and still certainly hoped for.
  7. That every day “we watch and pray” for steadfastness and constantly in all these.
  8. That every day we hold and keep our peace with God, and so lie down with it (loc. 1061-69 or 2097).

Some Puritan books about daily directions

There are a few well known books that could help us pursue godliness.  The following short list is of books are written mostly by Puritan authors, except the last one.  They are: Lewis Bayly’s The Practice of Piety (c. 1611), John Downame’s A guide to Godliness (1622), Henry Scudder’s The Christian’s Daily Walk (1631), Richard Baxter’s The Christian Directory (1673), and Charles Hambrick-Stowe’s The Practice of Piety: Puritan Devotional Disciplines in Seventeenth-Century New England (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982). 

The Armor of the Christian

In His mercy, God appointed the armor (means) to equip and strengthen the Christian against all spiritual battles.  The spiritual equipment will enable the Christian to be delivered from all the power of the enemy.  It also helps him to obey the will of God.  One outstanding result of putting on the spiritual armor is to bring the mind and thoughts to God.  2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)1 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  The Christian is able to overthrow every imagination that exalts himself.  Ephesians 6:14-17 describes this armor as: the belt of truth (sincerity?), the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation (hope also?), and the sword of the Spirit (God’s Word).  

  1. The belt of truth: it could refer to our sincerity or uprightness. There is no guile, pretense, of hypocrisy in us, not by a few actions, but in the whole life.  It must be toward both God and man.  The Lord Jesus called Nathaniel a true Israelite in whom there is no guile (John 1:47).  It is a sad thing that there are not many people like him.  Proverbs 20:6 says, “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?”  “Faithful man” here could refer to “trustworthy man.”  Men are infested with sin and corruption.  They must be changed by God to uphold and keep the truth in good conscience.  Rogers argued that “sincerity requires all opinions to be measured and censured by the Word” (loc., 1122 of 2097).
  2. The breastplate of righteousness: in righteousness, our hearts are bent to “all manner of goodness and righteous dealing, approving it, and delighting in it, and disliking and hating all wickedness and evil.” We resist all manner of unrighteous things against God and man, as far as our knowledge guide us.  Our testimonies will be like that of Job in 31:35-36, “Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book. 36 Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me.” 
  3. The shoes of peace: just as we have to put on shoes to take a long journey, we ought to deny ourselves and to take our cross and follow Christ no matter what. In order not to faint or be discouraged, even by trials, we ought to bearthe burdens of Christian life and ministry.  Our peace surpasses anything, as Paul says, “it passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).  Perfect peace comes when we are convinced “if God is for me, who can be against me?” (Romans 8:31).  Psalm 27:1 says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”  We ought to be fully persuaded by His promises. 
  4. The shield of faith: faith rests on Christ Jesus, which implies that we ought to not only believe in Him, but also know Him intimately. The shield of faith requires not only our knowledge of Him but also our relationship with Him.  The shield of faith is to build on God’s faithful promises that Christ is ours, we are forgiven, and all things work for good for us.  It is because faith affirms the truth as follows: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). 
  5. The helmet of salvation: we are fed on the hope of salvation. We are delivered from the condemnations of sin and will be delivered from all our infirmities including tears, sorrows, sighs, illnesses, etc.  The helmet of salvation rescues us from all despairs and temporal losses, because it leads us to the everlasting hope in God.  All other hopes are only vain and deceitful. 


Your Pastor


More Lively Hope



  • Reminder: Please either turn your mobile phone off or to silent mode during the Worship Service.
  • Parking – to avoid fines, please take precaution & obey all signs when parking your car outside church property.
  • Family Easter Bible Camp - those willing to serve in the committee please contact Dn Kevin Low or Bro Edy Lok.
  • Adult Sunday School, Wednesday Bible Study, various fellowship Bible Study & group activities will resume in Feb. Please make a commitment to study God’s Word & to be active for the Lord.
  • Missions teams going to Batam, Cebu & Phnom Penh next month. Please give your encouragement, prayers & support.
  • Hope Bookshop has selected cards for sale for $1 each.
  • Daily Manna (Adult & Junior) for Jan-Mar 2019 available at the Foyer. Donation $1/copy.
  • Lunch Duty: This week: Neighbourhood Bible Study Groups. Next week: Volunteers.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Visitors & church activities this past week.
  • God’s daily provision, guidance & protection.
  • Students accepted to their chosen uni courses.



  • Wisdom for pulpit committee: New pastor for our church.
  • Missions Trips: Cebu: (2-12 Feb). Batam: (13-14 Feb). Cambodia: (15-26 Feb).
  • Missions: Rev Sokha & Sis Nam Soon Sun & family & ministry (Phom Penh); Sis Ang Liang Phoa & ministry; Filadelfia B-P Church (Batam).




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