Proverbs 10:2a cautions us: “Treasures of wickedness profit nothing”. This warning is more pertinent than ever before. Countries, organisations and individuals who once advocated and promoted a morally upright way of life, and who also flourished economically, today appear to have lost their determination and mettle to continue in the same perspective about life. In the name of economic security and progress, immorality and destructive lifestyles are accommodated everywhere. This tolerance of an immoral lifestyle for economic reasons will not bring any true gain, according to the Bible.
The Hebrew word for “treasures” (אֹוצָר [ʾowtsar]) refers to wealth and possessions. “Treasures” are often mentioned as God’s gift, and as His reward to His servants. The Bible promises “treasures” to those who will love God and live by His Word. For instance, Proverbs 15:6a says, “In the house of the righteous is much treasure”. Likewise, Proverbs 21:20 affirms, “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise”. Therefore, treasure (or wealth) is in itself not evil.
However, if wealth is regarded above all other matters of life, especially spiritual and moral principles and duties, it becomes an evil thing. So says Scripture: “Labour not to be rich” (Proverbs 23:4). It is a great evil to give pre-eminence to affluence and prosperity. Scripture also warns, “He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him” (Proverbs 28:22). So, let our conviction be thus: “Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich” (Proverbs 28:6)!
“Treasures of wickedness” refers to ill-gotten wealth. Greed and covetousness lead man to earn money through all kinds of unjust, deceptive, violent, sensual and cruel methods. “Treasures of wickedness” are the fruits of selfish desires.
That kind of wealth which men get unjustly will do them no good, because God will blast it. Proverbs 22:16 says that there is one that “oppresseth the poor to increase his riches”. There are also those who borrow much to appear rich (cf. Proverbs 13:7a), thus making themselves enslaved to worry and work.
Proverbs 13:11 warns against “wealth gotten by vanity”. It is referring to wealth gotten through greedy and wicked means; such will prove to be of no lasting value. James 5:1-5 decries such wealth gained through vain means — “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.”
“Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.” Such rancid wealth rots the heart of the one who gets it, and it cannot save one from his ultimate demise. Righteousness, however, is a far more precious treasure. The righteousness of the Eternal God – a gift endowed on us by grace through faith – is greater than the limits imposed by our mortality, and it is powerful enough to redeem our souls from death.
“Treasures of wickedness” may dazzle and furnish a greedy heart with gratification. The treasures of wicked people – even the treasures which they have acquired through wicked or ungodly means – will profit nothing, no matter how safely they are laid up. They will profit neither the soul nor the body. They will not secure any true comfort or happiness. Instead, such treasures, gained through wicked means, will bring much trouble and sorrow!
Dear readers, keep yourselves away from every ungodly and filthy place set up to provide jobs and businesses. The money they offer may be huge and very attractive, but do not forget the warnings of God’s Word. Working in such places can destroy you, your family, friends and others. It is better to be poor and pure than wealthy and filthy.
Being in a Christian family, my parents have always faithfully brought my siblings and me to church every week to attend worship services and fellowship meetings. I thank the Lord that my parents have been strict with my spiritual growth from young. My family came from a traditional Methodist background, and my mother tried for several years to find a more suitable church for my family’s spiritual growth. I thank the Lord that my mother came across Calvary Kuching BPC back in 2015 “by accident”, when she went to a nearby bank. In the beginning, it was difficult to be accustomed to BPC’s lengthier worship services; I was still young and was used to attending shorter services in our previous Methodist church, so sitting through the service was arduous. I thank God for granting me strength and patience during this transition.
As I grew older, my understanding of God’s Word increased. But this led to new challenges. In secondary school, I was often asked, “Is Jesus real?” and “Can you prove that he is real?” I had many non-believing friends, and they raised many questions about Christianity. I’ve tried to answer as much as I could, but at times the things they said seemed to make more sense, which caused me to waver. I was often made fun of for being the “Christian girl”, because I turned down many group hangouts during the weekends to attend church activities. Before this, I was certain that I loved and trusted in Jesus Christ, but I realised that I lacked earnestness and sincerity. I was not reading God’s Word every day and often fell into temptation. I’ve also started to doubt the words of the Bible. But as I continued attending church services, I came to understand that this was a trial for me. During this difficult time, I’ve learned to look to God and pray for guidance and wisdom. I also became more aware of my sins and the need for Christ, the Saviour, whom I trusted for salvation. I am grateful for the assurance of salvation that Jesus gave me through His Word. “O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me” (Psalm 7:1).
I thank the Lord for guiding me to Gethsemane BPC, and giving me the opportunity to study God’s Word weekly. I thank God that I am able to attend the Youth Fellowship and serve Him in the youth choir. Through Pastor Koshy’s teaching and Catechism lessons (by elders), I realise the importance of taking my stand as a Christian. The world will not get any better, and it is crucial that, as God’s children, we will not be swayed by worldly distractions. I pray that I will continue to have trust in the Lord and not allow worldly distractions to draw me away from serving and loving Him. I also pray that the Lord will help me to guide more people, especially my close friends and relatives, to believe in the Lord.
God’s love for us is so great that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins, to grant us everlasting life. “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:15-16).
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
I am grateful for the various different struggles that God has put me through in my life. Whatever they be, I thank God I still trusted and relied on Him. Having godly parents and being in a Bible-teaching church certainly help me in this regard. I thank God for my parents’ teaching, which I think have laid the foundation for me to further understand the teachings during the Catechism Class, especially on the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF). I understand a lot more about the acronym ‘TULIP’ and many other things that I’ve learned from the WCF. So, I am really thankful for both parents and church leaders, who teach me the ways of the Lord.
I’m also thankful for the lessons learnt from Youth Fellowship meetings, which help me understand more about discipleship and spiritual vigilance. One thing that I feel that I have not been doing is following God’s will. I sometimes follow my own desires when deciding on major things. But from the Catechism Class, I now understand that I must follow God’s will. I acknowledge that my salvation is only through Jesus Christ, that I am a sinner and that Jesus died for sinners to save us from our sins. As such, I trust in God to lead me all the way through trials and testings. To end my testimony, I like to draw inspiration from Jesus’ example – “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
Growing up in a Christian family, going to church easily became a routine for me. My parents are faithful to the Lord and they took my siblings and me to church weekly, without fail. However, my childish idea of a church was that it was a place where I could play with friends, and where sermons and children’s Bible classes were simply background programme. My parents often told me stories from the Bible and helped me memorise parts of Scripture, but the precious meaning never sank in until much later.
After moving to Kuching, I joined my school’s Christian Fellowship group, but it didn’t bring me any closer to God. Eventually, God led my family to Calvary Kuching BPC, where my spiritual eyes were opened through video recordings of Pastor Koshy’s sermons, as well as preachers who flew over to minister to us. I started to have an interest in the Word of God. After moving back to Singapore and attending Gethsemane BPC, I can still feel my love for hearing His Word grow more and more. I’m thankful to God for Pastor Koshy and the many preachers and elders who are devoted to serving Him, especially Pr Samson.
I thank the Lord for saving me and I am learning to fully trust Him with all my troubles, for He is the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God. The Lord has been gracious to bless me with many blessings, such as godly parents and a God-honouring church, despite my many sins and spiritual shortcomings. He has helped me resist following my worldly friends down a worldly path, even giving me the opportunity to share the Gospel with some of them. Praise God for sending His only Son to die in our place, that we may have the gift of salvation and eternal life. May my faith not falter, and I pray the Lord will continue to lead me in my spiritual walk with Him, for He is my Shepherd.
Goh Xin Yi
Growing up in a Christian family, I have been taught by my God-fearing parents to love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul and all my might. Even though I had been exposed to biblical doctrine at a tender age, learning about the truths and Gospel preached, I felt I was still lacking something: the desire to find out more of God’s truths. There were countless times when I felt lost, when I could not resolve my troubles not only in school but also troubles that were all bottled up inside me. Instead of going to the Lord in prayer, I would often try to find a way out through listening to music. However, I felt that the content in the music I listened to was in fact not biblical, but actually erroneous and not God-honouring.
Slowly, I felt myself drifting away further and backsliding, which in turn caused me to act a lot like my non-Christian schoolmates for a period of time and made me seriously doubt my salvation. I felt the need to change, and I am thankful that God has called me back to His flock. Through the series of lessons in the Catechism Class, I learnt precious spiritual lessons that have changed not only my mindset, but also rekindled my love towards learning more about God and His truths. As Jeremiah 17:9 tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Indeed, even though I have sought the forgiveness of my Lord, this verse reminds me of how evil the heart is, serving as a lesson that I never want to forget and repeat. All praise and glory be to God!
Growing up, I always thought I was different, for I am homeschooled. Now, I appreciate why my parents made that decision. I understand that they wanted to expose God’s Word to me at an early age, that I may have a strong and firm foundation in the Lord, and not be too greatly influenced by the world and its devices. I am truly grateful for all the godly influences in my life – God-fearing parents at home, godly examples in church and, most importantly, God’s Word, the Bible. I only realised I was a sinner and that all have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), when God pricked my heart through the messages from the Bible and from admonitions of godly people.
Now I can say, “I am a sinner saved by grace!” Praise be to God! My prayer is that I will continue to bear a good testimony and to live my life for the Lord. Knowing that all things of this temporal world will come to an end, except the Word of God, may I echo the words of Jim Elliot, that my life may be so – “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” As the psalmist says, “Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified” (Psalm 70:4; cf. 40:16). Amen!
My name “Parousia” was given to me by my parents as they wanted me to look to the “Coming” of the Lord. When I was young, I did not give much thought to its significance even though I understood its meaning. Over the years, as many teachers and friends have commented that my name is unique, its significance slowly dawns upon me.
I thank the Lord that I was brought up in a Christian family. Since young, my parents have been bringing me to attend Sunday services, prayer meetings, GCM sessions, and other activities organised by the church. These gave me an early exposure to Bible truths, which led me to confess my sins and trust in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to redeem me.
As I grew older, I started to encounter people who have ungodly views and behaviour in school and other places that I frequent. At times, they could be very influential and it is a challenge for me to uphold a good Christian testimony. However, through the Word ministered clearly by our pastor and preachers in church services and Youth Fellowship meetings that I regularly attend, I have gained a deeper understanding of the doctrines and commandments in the Bible, and have understood that I have to separate myself from the world – “for what fellowship … hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor 6:14). I am encouraged by the fact that Jesus has promised to send the Holy Spirit to believers, who will guide us and prompt us to turn back to Him when we have sinned.
I also thank God for the recent Catechism Class that I attended, where Eld Francis and Eld Choy reinforced in us the key doctrines of our Christian faith, including the signs of the last days (warning us to be ready for the Lord’s “Parousia”) and the characteristics of the true Christian church. I pray that I will continue to place my trust in God and grow in my walk with Him. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is” (Jeremiah 17:7).