From the Advisory Pastor
Dear Members in Christ,
The Measure of a True Believer
Proverbs 15:21 “Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.” [Antithetical parallelism]
In times like now, when physical Christian fellowship to provoke one another unto love and good works is nearly impossible (except for private gatherings of no more than five and church gatherings of no more than 50 without singing and eating fellowship), it is important and needful to know how God measures us as a child of God, walking alone with little help from brothers and sisters in Christ. As children of the almighty God we know there are no accidents. What is happening in 2020 was known to Him before the foundation of the world.
The LORD sent Covid-19 to show the world the folly and vanity of trusting what it offers – which is nothing! The LORD sent Covid-19 to teach believers to be ready for His return by taking their eyes off the attractions of the world, and to keep their focus on Christ, and be a holy witness and tell their loved ones and friends about the love of God in Christ. Thank God for Covid-19 that has shaken the world to its core! The world is more fearful of death than the loss of school time, work life and making money! This is something no man can do except God. In one bold stroke the LORD God almighty stopped every human being on earth from what they were doing, halted every planned holiday, all hopes and wishes were changed instantly, and 2020 will forever be etched in man’s memory as a momentous and perilous year for all humanity.
Hopefully sinful man will turn their eyes and hearts in another direction away from earth. Man needs God's children to help them see, for they are blind and dead in sin. They cannot see Christ if God's children do not live rightly. The words we say and how we live must be the same and according to God’s Word. This has always been God's teaching. This had always been God’s greatest concern for His children as they witnessed before Israel was born, after Israel was born and after the church was born to replace Israel. God's concern has not changed one bit. Proverbs 15:21 measures the life of a true believer.
This is a literal translation of the verse, “Foolishness is joy to the one destitute of heart but a man of understanding will make straight to walk.”
What makes you happy? – Joy or happiness is what all man seeks to accomplish in all he does. At the end of his life he wants to have a happy life in all areas, beginning from his home. If the accumulating of money makes him happy, he makes more and more money. If making the family happy makes him happy, he will do whatever he can to make his family happy. Happiness is weightless and odourless and cannot be quantified or held in one’s hand. Yet we all know it is real, for we have experienced it and want it to never end. So, what makes you happy? The Bible says here that to the one whose heart is bankrupt, foolishness gives him joy. Foolishness includes being motivated by money in whatever man does. A man goes to work for money and promotion and he gets all that his heart desires at the end of 40 years of his working life. Now he is in his sixties and his life is almost over. What does he have after spending all his life and energy in gaining? Nothing! He cannot bring one single thing with him when he dies, for naked he came into this world, naked he will leave. He dies in his sin and ends in hell. Is it not foolishness to waste
the only life one has for nothing? Is it not foolishness to study for only grades and scholarships?
What is a bankrupt heart? It is a heart filled with sins such as the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. As long as the heart is filled with any one or all of these sins, it is a bankrupt heart. His works might appear good, even Christian works, but when the heart is sinful these so called good works will categorically be rejected by God instantly. God will never accept such contradictions in behaviour! To do so would be to approve of sin. It is even more foolish when done inside the Land of Promise where he had all things ordained by the LORD to show him the way of wisdom. But he turned his back on wisdom and walked toward foolishness. It is many times worse if he finds joy in his folly. He would be
smiling his way to hell in the Land of Promise!
The modern day example is a person who is smiling his way to hell while attending Bible Studies, fellowship groups and worshipping in church every Lord’s Day. Can there be a tragedy that is worse than this? He knows the way to heaven in Christ but
he repeatedly chooses the way of folly with a smile on his foolish face. He behaves in such a manner because his heart is empty of Christ and His love. His heart is still hardened by sin. The most frightful part is that he might not be aware of it as he keeps smiling till he breathes his final breath.
How walks your life? -- The contrast from the use of the antithetical parallelism is that of a man of understanding. He understands the Word of God. This understanding comes from being born again as true believers of Christ. The indwelling Holy Spirit illumines his heart and mind with the Truth of God. Therefore, he delights in God's Truth daily. The Word of God is his daily diet. It is the food and drink for his hungry and thirsty soul. His heart and mind continue to be transformed and sanctified by the Word. His life becomes more and more like his Saviour Jesus Christ. He studies the Word of God firstly to live and then to share. He shares the Word of God with his life more than with his lips. He knows that this is the only way to live for Christ.
If the path in front of him is crooked he will not walk there. He will not follow anyone who is not walking the straight path regardless of who he or she is and how he is threatened or enticed. The straight path is a path that is according to Holy Scriptures. The more he knows the Scriptures, the straighter will his path be. This is all important to him. That is why he studies and meditates on God’s Word daily with the right understanding. It is not blind memorization without right understanding. His life is either black or white with little or no grey. The Word of God is truly a light unto his path and a lamp unto his feet. He is holy before God and all men.
Food for Thought – How will God measure our lives? How will our friends and loved ones measure us? Will both have the same conclusion?
Rev (Dr) Quek Suan Yew