Weekly Bulletin

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)

  4 Feb 2018

(Our missionary, Edsel Locot, sent the following report about a new Gospel outreach in a place called Anda in the island of Bohol. Let us praise the Lord for yet another Gospel-door being opened. Let us pray for the Lord to bless this work for the furtherance of the Gospel and salvation of many more souls.)

Dear Pastor Koshy,

Greetings to you in the blessed name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

The LORD has sustained and preserved the Bohol mission church, and we thank the Lord for His abundant mercies. We also praise the Lord for bringing back members of two families who left the church several years ago but had recently begun to come for Sunday worship services. The present members of the mission church are persevering in their service to the Lord in spite of the many trials and difficulties they face. Praise the Lord!

A special thanksgiving to God is the new Bible-study outreach in Anda. The town of Anda is situated about 100 km east of the mission church. Anda is the hometown of Sis Roscelle Lim’s mother. The majority of those who joined the Bible study are cousins and relatives of Sis Roscelle. One of her cousins, Hansel Timaan, was a member of Cebu Church while he lived in Cebu. He went back 5 years ago from Cebu to Anda for good. Though he made constant effort to come to our mission church for worship on Sundays, it was difficult for him to travel 100km due to lack of funds to make that long journey. He needed 600 pesos every Sunday for him and his wife to travel for worship.

Pastor Reggor encouraged Bro Hansel to prayerfully consider having a Bible study every Saturday in Anda, so that Hansel could continue to worship the LORD and learn from the Scriptures. Above all, it would provide an opportunity to reach out and share the Gospel with his cousins and neighbours. Hansel shared the burden with his wife, mother and cousins in Anda. All of them expressed interest. So, on the fourth Saturday of July 2017, I went to Anda and conducted the Bible study at Bro Hansel’s house. Since then, the Bible study has a regular participation of 15 persons, though since Christmas, the number has reduced as some had gone away for vacation.

For our Bible study, we use the book “Westminster Standards” as a guide. Those who attend are very attentive and cooperative. They ask many questions. All of them testify that this Bible study is the only opportunity they have to open the Bible to read and hear its words. They have been Roman Catholics. Now having heard and understood the truth of the Bible, their eyes are being opened to see and understand Christ and His Word. It is my prayer that the Lord will continue to work in these people as they hear the Word and learn precious doctrines, so that they will forsake their sins, unbiblical beliefs and traditions, and truly stand for the truth. May the LORD enable me to travel the long distance and to teach them the Word of God.

Pastor, I have also distributed your book, “365 Daily Exhortations”, as well as many issues of Bible Witness magazines, to each of them. They are very happy and have received them with eagerness. Furthermore, the people in Anda were all very happy and excited when I told them that God willing, on April 7, Elder Mah and a group of brethren from Singapore will visit them and join the Bible study.

Thank you very much for your encouragement and prayers!

In His service,
Edsel Locot

Serve the LORD with Gladness
(Matthew Peh’s testimony of his call to full-time service in BWMM)

Iwrite this testimony not only to ascertain my calling, but also to give thanks to God for His goodness in my life. I have grown up with sound preaching in Gethsemane, yet I have oft times been distracted by the allure of the world. Indeed, “[t]he backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways” (Pro. 14:14a). For a long time, every waking thought was focused on the things of this earth instead of my blessed Redeemer. While I was frequent in attending church, there was a certain spiritual lethargy. But God is faithful and healed me from my backslidings (cf. Jer. 3:22).

The greatest sin that plagues me is pride — a struggle I continue to face every day. The first sin that disrupted peace in heaven and on this earth was pride. Satan’s pride led to his banishment (Isa. 14), while man’s pride to be like gods (Gen. 3:5) brought death into this world. Alas, while oft reminded of its dangers, I allowed it to fester in my teenage years. A prayerless spirit ensued: ‘Why pray when everything is going well? Why pray when I’m doing well? Why bother with devotion? I’m alright.’ Like the wicked who seek not after God, God was not at all in my thoughts (Psa. 10:4) as I entertained my pride.

Fast forward to university, where by the grace of God, I did well in my first semester. I still remember a lecturer suggesting to me: ‘Have you considered doing a PhD?’ Oh how that comment made me puffed up! While studying in university, I remained regular in church. A part of me was thinking: ‘I better do my church duties well or I’ll lose these blessings.’ Oh, what a Pharisaic view of things! But the LORD is gracious indeed. Because of His love for me, He has graciously chastised me for my pride and sins (Heb. 12:5-8). Looking back, I see how the many experiences I went through were the LORD’s chastising hand upon me. I want to highlight three such incidents.

First, failing to get a scholarship with MOE after my ‘A’ levels. Friends who did not do as well as me could get the scholarship, but I couldn’t. I was disheartened, but I ‘comforted’ myself by saying at least I wasn’t tied down to MOE. Second, not doing well for my honours thesis (HT). My HT was cross-disciplinary, combining insights from linguistics (my major), geography and sociology. I was so proud of it, for few undergraduates would attempt such an ambitious topic. I thought I’d do well, but alas, I didn’t! Third, the struggle with unemployment for half a year upon graduating in 2016. I was very sure that my good results would yield many job offers. Yet, I wasn’t even called up for interviews. Having no choice, I took on a job through someone’s recommendation, but I found little joy and quit in July 2017.

Yet as I reflect on these things, I see God’s providence at work. If I had a scholarship, I would be bonded and wouldn’t be able to serve God immediately at His call. If I had done well in my HT, I would have been overcome by pride and would have furthered my studies. If I was employed in a government agency, I would have been too comfortable earning thousands a month; I wouldn’t quit in eight months. I wouldn’t have had the time to learn the necessary skills and programmes for use in BWMM. As I sit to write and reflect on these experiences, truly, only God can make all things work in such a manner.

Since November 2017, due to the nature of my freelance work, I could help out in the church office. I offered to revamp the BW website, and had the opportunity to review some of the older issues of the magazine. Volume 15, Issue 5 (‘Redeeming the Time’) caught my attention. It contains sermons preached by Rev Reggor during the 2009 church camp, which I was unable to attend due to National Service. An article, ‘The Brevity of Time’, discussed Psalm 90. Verse 10 talks of the years of man being “threescore and ten”. It dawned upon me that should God grant me life till the age of 70 or even 80, I have already lived out about a third of my life. Oh, how the past 26 years of my life have been so poorly used! Oh, what a poor steward of God-given time I was!

The Lord then reminded me of Ecclesiastes 12:1, where Solomon tells the reader to “remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth”. What else can I do but to serve my Creator? If I do not use my time wisely for God, then what point is there in living? Indeed, “[w]hatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work… in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Perhaps then, I can freelance and help in the church office in my spare time? That was my train of thought for a while. But on a Tuesday prayer meeting, Pr Kee How reminded us through his message on Matthew 6:24 that we “cannot serve God and mammon”. Two weeks later, during the YF-YAF retreat, Pastor commented that the work of the LORD is labour and toil, and is ‘no place for volunteers’. Helping out in the office made me realise how time-consuming the Lord’s work is; there isn’t enough time for both my freelance work and the Lord’s work. What then?

The answer is clear: I have to serve God. In the short months helping out in the office, I experienced a joy unspeakable, a joy indescribable. This joy is different from other feelings of happiness. Recently, one of my evening devotions was from Psalm 100:2a — “serve the LORD with gladness”. Psalm 100 exhorts the congregation to praise the LORD for His goodness and everlasting mercies upon His people. After reading that evening’s devotion by Spurgeon, I read Matthew Henry’s commentary on the same psalm, which reflects God’s will “that we should serve the Lord, [that we] should devote ourselves to his service and employ ourselves in it”. I want to experience this great joy every day! Indeed, nothing else can be better than this! I know my own heart: if I continue outside the safety of God’s house, I will easily lose myself in the world. I will lose this joy that I have been so marvellously filled with. If that be so, I would rather die! “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84:10).

Is there not fear for the future? Is there not fear about financial security? I would be lying if I deny having such fear within me. But in the last 26 years of my life, I see God’s hand at work. Even though I had failed to get a scholarship, the LORD provided for my education through various monetary awards and bursaries. I didn’t have to take any loans, and about three-quarters of my university fees were paid through the awards and bursaries. If the LORD takes care of the fowls and the lilies, what more His own child (cf. Matt. 6)?

What then of hard work? I know that there will be exacting labours, for Paul told Timothy to “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:3-4). I pray that the Lord will help me to keep my sights set on things above, and that my service to Him in BWMM would be reward enough for me. What a great privilege it is to serve the One who has created and redeemed me! As the hymn-writer put it, may I “give of [my] best to the Master” and “give of the strength of [my] youth”!

  28 Jan 2018

The upcoming BW retreat (14-16 March) is just about 6 weeks away. I would like to encourage you to sign up for the retreat without delay. Come and join the retreat for three days of rest and spiritual nourishment. Please pray for the blessing of this retreat.

The messages will explain the biblical meaning, manner and benefits of “Heavenly-Mindedness”. We who are journeying to heaven must “set (our) affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).

Modern Christianity has become earthly-minded, consciously pursuing worldliness and disregarding the biblical exhortation to live with heavenly-mindedness. Many are seduced to think that “a person may be so heavenly-minded that he becomes no earthly good”! They seem to despise the blessed hope of heaven, as their thinking has become earth-bound.

However, the truth is that heavenly-minded Christians are the most effective servants of God on earth. The more we focus on eternity, the greater the impact we will have on earth for God’s glory, and for the salvation and edification of souls.

Moreover, heavenly-minded people can discern and dispel the corrupting, destructive powers of worldliness. They are motivated and determined, courageous and hopeful, for they work out their calling in this life for the glorious, eternal rewards from their soon coming King.

Brethren, we must not be seduced by the world’s vanity. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit by His Word will stir our hearts and minds to stretch out for the things of heaven. If our minds would remain trapped within the confines of this perishing world, we shall not enjoy the power and hope of heaven. While we realise that those “whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things”, let us also know that “our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:19-20).

Meditate on the following verses that teach heavenly-mindedness

Psalm 73:24-26 – “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”

Matthew 6:19-21 – “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (cf. Luke 12:32-34).

Matthew 19:21 – “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”

Ephesians 2:5-6 – “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and he hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:10 – “That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.”

Philippians 1:20-21 – “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

2 Timothy 4:7-8 – “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Hebrews 10:34-35 – “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.”

1 Peter 1:3-4 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you”.

  21 Jan 2018

As we recall God’s bountiful blessing and goodness upon this ministry to the Lions Home for the Elders (Bedok and Bishan) in the year 2017, we look forward to yet another year of fruitful Gospel ministry in 2018. Indeed, we count it a joyful privilege to serve the Lord among the elderly. Every Lord’s Day, after our church worship and Bible study (now GBI class), we would set out to visit the elderly people in the Lions Home.

The primary purpose of this ministry is to declare the Good News and glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray that the seniors whom we visit will come to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

This is a very challenging ministry as many of the old folks in these homes are physically impaired, and some also suffer from dementia. Not a few of them have come to think of life as futile and meaningless. To minister in such circumstances, we also need the Lord’s strength and comfort to patiently attend to them with the Gospel. We believe, as it is written in 2 Corinthians 4:7, that “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

We rejoice in the Lord that several old folks have received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. We exhort them during our weekly visit to continue to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith (Hebrews 12:2). All glory be to “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

God willing, two more elderly folks who have trusted in Christ will be baptised soon. They are Miss Lee Lai Kuan from Bishan Home and Mr Tan Tiang Poh from Bedok Home. Sis Lai Kuan accepted the Lord as her Saviour a few months ago and has been joyfully attending our meetings regularly. Bro Tiang Poh, who believed in the Lord a few years ago, had been isolated from us due to surgery and ill health. He could not attend our meetings for quite some time now that he is completely bedridden. However, the Lord has been gracious and good to him, and he now seeks baptism. We thank God that permission has been granted to us to visit him and also to baptise him. By the grace of God, I have been visiting both to prepare them for baptism through biblical exhortations. Both of them joyfully look forward to their baptism, which certainly bring tremendous joy to the team of brethren who labour every Lord’s Day to bring the Word to the residents of the Lions Home for the Elders.

Let us continue in our service for the Lord, with full assurance of His guidance and enabling. “And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8). We continue to seek the prayers of the church, that through this ministry, our Lord will be greatly praised. Amen.

  A Note of Appreciation

(Hearing that our preacher Eld Eliezer Ortega, who is serving in the mission churches of Bogo and San Antonio, has to urgently pay arrears to the housing authority in order to avoid eviction and also to have the option to purchase it through an instalment payment scheme, our Session decided to request the brethren (during last Tuesday night prayer meeting) to offer their help to Eld Eliezer. The required amount of S$4,500 has been promptly received from the participants of the prayer meeting on the same night – through gifts and promises. The amount was duly transferred the next day (Wednesday, 17 Jan 2018). Helping those who are really needy honours and is most pleasing to God. Proverbs 19:17 says, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” A note of appreciation received from Eld Eliezer is published below.)

Dear Pastor Koshy,

Praise be unto the Lord for His great mercy and abounding grace! The Lord is ever gracious and merciful.

On behalf of my family, I would like to thank you and the brethren in GBPC, Singapore for your love and care for us. We know that God has sent His blessings to us through the loving care and support of you all. As a result, the Lord has tremendously helped us to stay in our rented house through the help received from the church in Singapore.

I was informed yesterday by Sis Sharon about the transfer of funds. As soon as possible, I will confirm with the bank and then go to the housing authority to settle the amount we had owed them for rental.

Thank you very much, Pastor and all the brethren in GBPC, Singapore, for your prayer and generous support for my family and the work here.

Elder Eliezer Ortega

  14 Jan 2018

The psalmist David said, “My soul shall make her boast in the LORD” (Psalm 34:2). Similarly, in another psalm it is said, “In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah” (Psalm 44:8). “Boasting” in the Lord is all about duly and joyfully acknowledging and exalting the Lord above oneself and everything else. It is about rejoicing in the Lord and all that He has done. An elevated feeling of gratitude, praise and rejoicing overwhelms the man who boasts in the Lord, and he spontaneously and sincerely exalts the Lord.

Since the soul that boasts in the Lord is most concerned about the Lord’s praise, it will be least concerned about its own glory. When the glory of the Lord is the soul’s uppermost passion, the soul boasts in nothing but the Lord alone. That soul will be selfdenying and full of thanksgiving before the Lord. As one strives to give all glory to God, not only will arrogance and self-glorying dissipate, God’s praise alone will also fill one’s mouth all the time. The passion of every Christian then is to boast in the Lord!

Scripture instructs us, through many exhortations and examples, how we ought to boast or glory in the Lord.

Boast in the Knowledge of the Lord

The Lord has declared, “let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:24).

Intellectual apprehension of the truth of God and His character is an absolute necessity to engender pure, genuine boasting. The people who have neglected or forsaken the Lord have nothing at all to really boast about. Their boasting is in vain! Their confidence in themselves – be it in their own knowledge or strength or riches – would prove futile. Only the knowledge and experience of God and His goodness provide steadfast rejoicing. There is no greater glory than that we live to know God, who has made us for His glory.

The only appropriate basis for boasting is that a person knows and understands the Lord and His greatness, even His “lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness”. Real, perfect lasting glory belongs to God, and only in Him can there be legitimate boasting. Only in the Lord can His people find unfailing love, judgment and righteousness, which can grant them satisfaction, confidence, hope and joy. Only those who are given to enjoy God’s great glory can really have reason for proper glorying or boasting. As the Westminster Catechism states, “The chief end of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.” Until man subjects his passion and power to the glory and joy in the Lord, he has nothing worthy of boasting. True glory of man comes about only when he has known his glorious God.

Much of the religiosity of our time is generated through the use of sensory appeals in church worship services. It is built upon the philosophy of getting people to attain emotional elation. Very little is achieved when it comes to filling the minds of the people with the sacred knowledge of God with clarity and precision. The religious “boasting” of many modern churchgoers is spiritually weak, for it is not built on sound knowledge of God’s truth. They are like ancient Israel, whom the prophet Jeremiah rebuked: “For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge” (Jeremiah 4:22). Likewise, the emotionalism of modern churchgoers, being without deep-seated understanding of and total devotion to God’s glorious truths, is nothing but vain boasting!

What are you boasting about? Let it not be in any transient, perishing things of this temporal life, but in the unchanging glorious truths of our eternal God. Do you understand the truth of your God and proclaim it? Does your life show forth His righteousness and lovingkindness? Do you thus glory in the Lord? Rejoice in the Lord’s greatness and His wonderful works in your life!

Boast in the Cross of Christ

Instructively, the apostle Paul, while denouncing the glorying of the Judaizers who had infiltrated the Galatian church, unequivocally declared, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14). Here, Paul contrasts his own sentiments and behaviour in relation to the cross of Christ with those of the Judaizers. Those false Jewish teachers taught the people to take glory in ceremonial rites, such as circumcision, as something which would secure and confirm their good standing before God. Instead of totally trusting and rejoicing in the atoning work of Christ on the cross, they foolishly boasted in their own self-righteousness, based on their keeping of religious ceremonies.

So, Paul cautioned the Galatian Christians against glorying in circumcision: “As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh” (Galatians 6:12-13). One of the reasons why Judaizers despised the cross of Christ (whereby Christ has achieved our redemption), was that they might escape persecution that was unleashed against Christians. They were lovers of themselves and were cowards, having nothing to show for themselves. While they ostentatiously spoke of their preference for circumcision, Paul gloriously spoke rather of his fascination with the perfect work of salvation accomplished on the cross of Christ. Though Christ’s cross was sneered at by the Gentiles and abhorred by the Jews, Paul boasted of its infinite preciousness. It was the cross which had freed him from the servitude and guilt of sin, on top of the Pharisaic Jewish ceremonialism.

As for Paul, everything else in the world pales in significance in the face of the glory of the cross. The world, he says in Galatians 6:14, is to him a thing “crucified”. It has no more attraction for him. He loathes everything that this world presents to him which distracts him from the cross of Christ. “The world” – i.e. the unregenerate men and their distorted philosophy of life – holds no pleasantness or value to Paul. The world’s allurements, fleshly displays and religions of human effort are tossed aside by Paul. The world has become absolutely distasteful and repulsive to him; he is instead totally absorbed by the fascinating glory of Christ and His redemption, which was effected in the cross. Paul thereby boasts in Christ and His cross.

Do you boast of Christ or of your worldly achievements? Do you boast of His cross or of your self-righteousness? What is your greatest fascination – Christ, the flesh or the world?

  7 Jan 2018

While on earth, Christ – though worshipped by the heavenly hosts of angels (cf. Hebrews 1:6; Luke 2:9-14; 1 Peter 3:22; Revelation 5:9-12) – habitually took His place among the worshipping people. Luke, the inspired historian, records concerning Christ: “as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read” (Luke 4:16).

We might rightly wonder why He, who is fully God and full of glory and power, would join men of low estate in their worship. Even so, it was customary for Him to be in the place of worship on the Sabbath day. Though the worshippers could offer Him nothing to benefit Him, He disregarded not the assembling of the worshipping community. Luke’s record in chapter 4 shows that Christ was the most eminent of all the worshippers, being the One who had total victory over Satan’s temptations (vv. 1-13), and the One who was filled with “the power of the Spirit” (v. 14), as well as the One who was “glorified of all” (v. 15). Yet He quietly sat with men with weakness and infirmities, men of ignorance and failures, to render glory to God. That was the custom of Christ our Saviour which we ought to follow.

Can we be greater than Christ? If He who is perfectly holy and glorious could take His place among lesser men in the worship of God, would any of us dare to be indifferent to worshipping and fellowshipping with fellow brethren in the church? To anyone who says, “I would rather worship God on my own than with those immature people in the church”, I implore such a one to consider Christ’s example – He went every Sabbath to worship and serve God, side by side with all who had gathered to worship God. No one should think of himself so lofty that he would rather be a lone worshipper! If the unblemished Christ did not detach and remove Himself from ordinary men and women, may we as Christ’s disciples also be found where all His people gather together to have communion with God and with one another in worship and service.

We ought to be inspired and guided by Christ to make it our “custom” to also join all who gather where “prayer is wont to be made”. If the Sabbath gathering was Christ’s delight, let us also make it our delight. No trivial hindrance should prevent us from congregating in the house of worship, prayer and fellowship.

Let us not be like the one who says, “I can pray as well at home.” Such contempt for the gathering of God’s people for worship and prayer is abhorrent to Christ, whom we claim to trust and adore. If you are a true follower of Christ, can you afford to have any other custom than that which Christ has embraced? Is it reasonable for a genuine Christian to reject the pious custom of regular participation in the gathering of God’s people in His church? Let all who would fain be like Christ see to it that they be imitators of Christ in customarily participating in the common gatherings for worship, prayer and the learning of His Word.

Furthermore, we observe that Christ “stood up for to read” the Scriptures while He was in the midst of the worshipping people. Luke reports, “And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth” (Luke 4:17-22).

Christ was not a mere spectator in the crowd. He readily rendered Himself to read the Scriptures before all and to expound it. The Spirit of God was upon Him. With great grace and power, He ministered to the people from the Scriptures, and the fellow congregants received His gracious speech with incredulous wonder. Like our Christ, we should also readily avail ourselves to serve God and His people according to the spiritual gifts and opportunities that we are accorded with. We too must make it our habit to serve God among His people. Indeed, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness” (Romans 12:6-8).