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10th May 2020

Rejoicing in God’s Word!

The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16).

God’s Word Found:

“Thy words were found…” Have you found God’s Word? It is the wisdom and truth of God’s Word. Every soul that discovers the immense value and power of God’s Word would have great joy in all His words. Therein, he will find the Gospel of salvation, sanctifying truths, exceedingly great and precious promises, perfect guidance, blessed hope, etc. The written Word of God is all about Christ, the Living Word. It reveals to us His greatness and His truths, by which we may be ushered into His salvation and all spiritual blessings. It is the sacred treasure trove of Christ to His people.

God’s Word Eaten:

“…and I did eat them…” He, who has found God’s Word for what it really is, would quickly consecrate himself to enjoy its dainties. By looking at good food and merely analyzing it mentally, no one can enjoy it. Everyone must eat the food to be nourished up by it, and so it is with God’s Word. It is the soul’s food – wholesome, savoury, saving and nourishing. Looking at it with an intellectual understanding of its contents would not suffice for our enjoyment of it. But everyone should consume it by making it the principle of his life. It will delight his soul and excite him to pursue all its truths and counsels with an irrepressible passion.

God’s Word Enjoyed:

“…and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart”. When God’s Word is consumed through the reading and studying of its contents, one will be encouraged to apply its truth, wisdom and counsels in his life. Thus, God’s Word will provide a delightful experience of spiritual joy and rejoicing to one who savours it. He would then be fully assured of the gracious calling of God to His wonderful and glorious salvation and all the eternal blessings, as Jeremiah said: “for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts”.

The following testimony by Bro. Tan Eng Huat, who has been diligently studying God’s Word through the courses offered by GBI-Online, will cheer you to pursue the joy that comes through the study and application of His Word.

Testimony

Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matt 5:6).
I have been puzzled by the Beatitudes, including this verse in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5, after becoming a believer in my early 20’s. Thanks to God for faithful preachers and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who illumines, I have a progressively better understanding of this verse and passage. God knows the need for His children to be instructed in His ways, for He “gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph 4: 11-12). For when the Spirit puts in my heart the sense of poverty of spirit, and the grief over my sins and failures (Matt 5:3-4), He also puts in my heart a strong desire to seek wisdom and understanding through the Scriptures. I was struck by the apostle Paul’s zeal and love for Christ. Though he was an apostle and endued with deep understanding through special revelation (2 Cor 12:4), he expressed the need to continue to pursue after the “excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord”, that he “may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Phil 3: 8, 10).

I am grateful that God has put in place excellent teachers and preachers in Singapore to enable me to have clearer understanding and interpretation of His Word. The FEBC courses that I have attended for quite a number of years have blessed me greatly in my spiritual growth. I learnt of the GBI online courses when I came to Gethsemane BP Church for worship last year. Since starting on the GBI online courses in January 2020, I have come to appreciate the limitless immensity of the knowledge of God. Though incomprehensible, yet God allows Himself to be known of His children, that we may rejoice in this knowledge and render a deeper worship in greater awe and understanding of His presence. I am also more conscious of my need to learn more about the Triune God and how much I need Him to help me in my earthly sojourn, that I may always bring gladness to Him in the way I live my life, as well as how I may be a blessing to the people around me and how I may edify the brethren of the body of Christ.

Through the course of Bibliology, I can better appreciate God’s goodness towards us in not forsaking man even after Adam failed Him in the garden of Eden. He left us not without witness (Acts 14:7), but put in each and every one of us an awareness of His presence in our conscience, that we may seek and find Him (Acts 17:27). For this reason, my heart is filled with thanksgiving and gratitude to God for revealing Christ to me and providing me the faith and the way to embrace Him as my Saviour. I also thank Him for the priceless gift of the Holy Spirit that indwells me to help me understand His Word. For all His mercy and grace, and His gifts and providence, I am made more aware of the need to diligently seek Him through the study of His Word. And I realise that I can only seek by His power and enabling to obey Him, that my life may be consecrated to my Saviour. As I grow in the faith, I am also more and more conscious of my weaknesses and my proneness to pride and carnal desires. But God is gracious and full of tender mercies in that He has not left me without help. The Holy Spirit is also my Teacher and my Comforter. He impresses upon me the imputed righteousness of Christ, which is perfect. He also comforts and encourages me when I feel disheartened and helpless.

The GBI online courses are a treasure trove for believers and lovers of His Word. The Bible which has been preserved faithfully through the ages is the only treasure worthy of my time and effort to study, understand and live by (Matt 13:44-46), for the Book is true, totally reliable, and a Light in my earthly sojourn. Knowing His Word is the only way for the carnal self to decrease and Christ to increase in my life. Just as Paul has set his heart upon Christ as his righteousness, so must I (Phil 3:9). Just as Paul has set his heart on the ultimate prize of resurrection to that of a glorified presence with Christ, so must I, that I might not be ensnared by worldly things (Phil 3:11). Just as Paul continues to crave for more of God’s grace to be manifest in his life (Phil 3:12-14), so must I never cease to use every opportunity to revel in the knowledge and experience of God’s grace through the study of His Word.

I am thankful for the extra time given by God due to the Covid-19 pandemic to study His Word through the GBI online courses. I am also reminded that the study of God’s Word is not merely for knowledge acquisition, but that I may be sanctified and be fit for His use. May God’s name be praised and magnified through His people.


Posted under 'Pastoral Exhortation'