Those of us who have myopia (i.e. short-sightedness) will know the importance of our spectacles. Without them, we are not able to see or discern clearly. There will be no way for us to go about our daily activities. We are effectively blind. Thus, opticians are classified as essential service providers during the nation’s circuit-breaker.

If physical sight is important, then spiritual sight is even more so. Without spiritual sight, we will not know the way of everlasting life.

The Bible tells us that man on his own cannot find his way to heaven. Though natural revelation (i.e. creation) declares the glory of God day and night (Ps. 19:1-6), yet the image of God in man is so corrupted, he will never acknowledge the one living and true God as his Lord and Saviour, and will continue in his wicked and pernicious ways (Rom. 1:18-32).

What man therefore needs is a pair of spiritual spectacles. And not just any pair, but one that is perfectly calibrated to help him see clearly. Otherwise, he will be in trouble. This I learnt recently, during a visit to an optician due to peculiar circumstances. A check at the optician revealed that the degree of my left eye had decreased by 125! This explained why I had to take off my specs to read clearly, and why I often skipped lines while reading. Wrong spectacles, no sight!

Did the Lord grant us a perfect pair of spectacles for spiritual sight? Yes, it is none other than His special revelation, the Holy Scriptures (Ps. 19:7-9). This is what Calvin had to say about the matter:

“We have seen how the light of nature has revealed God before the eyes of man, so that man has no excuse not to know God. But since man has not perceived the goodness of God by the light of nature, it is necessary for God to give us another light, and a better one, to lead us to Himself, viz., the light of His Word. The light of His Word leads us to a knowledge of Him, as Creator and Saviour, and it is given to those whom He intended to be brought closer to Himself.

“The light of His Word, even Holy Scripture, is likened to a pair of spectacles. As old people with dim eyes brighten up immediately when given spectacles to read a book, so, with the help of His Word, we obtain a clear view of the true God. All dark and confused notions of Him are thereby dispelled.” (An Abridgement of Calvin’s Institutes, Chapter VI, Tow)

Besides the Holy Bible, the Lord has also given us the Holy Spirit that indwells within us, leading us to discern spiritual things which are impossible to the natural man (1 Cor. 2:12-13). As we continue to study the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit will lead us to clearer sight. Just like the blind man who initially saw men walking like trees, yet with more teaching by the Lord from the Scriptures, we shall be able to see with exceptional clarity (Mk. 8:22-26).

In these tumultuous times, what men need most is the Bible to be their spiritual spectacles. Yet, it is troubling to note that despite the pestilence that is now in our midst, many men, including professing Christians, still cannot see that Jesus Christ is coming very soon. They are still making plans on how to return to a life of buying and trading after the circuit-breaker ends. There is little spiritual retrospection. If you refuse to put on God’s perfect spectacles, you will never see.

Dear friends, put on the divine spectacles and you will be able to perceive the times. It will also grant you peace and stability in your ways. Do not be blind but seeing.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew

Weekly Devotion 10/5/2020

“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 25:28

The illustration given in this proverb is of an open and vulnerable city. Her buildings are “broken down” and weak, without maintenance or repair, vulnerable to both rain and wind. Without walls, her inhabitants are open to all sorts of attacks, both from beasts and men. Nothing is safe in the city, it is just a disaster waiting to happen.

The person that “has no rule over his own spirit” is likened to this city. Just as the city has no walls to defend it, with its dangerous crumbling buildings, the person that has no self-control, is a dangerous person to be around. Without restraint, the person is prone to anger and bitterness, or easily given to any lust and temptation that comes along the way. All it takes is the slightest provocation, and just like the city, everything can be wrecked in a moment!

This proverb emphasizes on the need for temperance, one of the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal  5:23). Every Christian has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom 8:14). The Holy Spirit also works through the Word of God to guide us spiritually, “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God..” (1 Cor 2:10).

In the same passage on the fruit of the Spirit, we are also exhorted to live and walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:16, 25). If we are to yield to the Spirit, we would not be left vulnerable to our own sinful flesh. How often have we done or said things that are destructive and spiteful? As the proverb implies, we are very often the cause of our own downfall! How often do we cause ruin to our own testimony, simply because we did not “rule over” our own spirit, guarding ourselves against our own sinful flesh?

The city “that is broken down, and without walls”, cannot blame invaders or the elements for its own ruin. The fault lies in itself for failing in its own maintenance and defenses! We likewise, must be honest and aware of our own sins and vulnerabilities, and not to deflect blame and to influence others. In the confines of our own homes when our guard is down, during this “circuit-breaker” period, we are surely well aware of how tension and frustration gets to us really quickly!

Let us make sure that our spiritual maintenance is done right daily, and our defenses will be up, may the Lord help us to exercise a good rule over our own spirit in temperance!

Preacher James Tan