Text: 1 Peter 2:3 – “If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

One of the symptoms of contracting COVID-19 is anosmia (i.e. the loss
of smell). This is often accompanied by ageusia (i.e. the loss of taste).
Food now tastes bland, and this affects the appetite.

Alas, because anosmia is often regarded as trivial, patients with
permanent loss of smell often delay or neglect treatment. This can be
dangerous for the patient. Firstly, the loss of smell and appetite can lead
to a distaste for eating, resulting in weight loss and other nutritional
deficiencies. Secondly, the loss of smell impacts our ability to sense
potential dangers, for example the presence of leaking gas, smoke or
rotten food.

If suffering from physical anosmia can be dangerous, the impact of
spiritual anosmia is far more dangerous. With spiritual anosmia, we are
referring to how a person has lost his sense of spiritual appetite and taste.
He may have been passionate about God and His Word at one point of
time. However, as time goes by, and being buffeted by the temptations
and cares of the world, he has gradually lost interest in spiritual things.
Quiet time becomes a routine or totally neglected. The worship of God
becomes mechanical. Serving in the ministries of the church become a
burden and a matter of keeping appearances. There is a lack of true joy in
his life.

1 Peter 2:3 talks about a person who has tasted of the graciousness of the
Lord. This ought to be the experience of every Christian. We who are
sinners are fully deserving of eternal condemnation in the lake of fire.
However, the Lord in His love has saved us from our sins in the Lord
Jesus Christ. We now have eternal life, and a place reserved for us in the
new heaven and new earth. This salvation is not by our own merit, but
wholly by the merit of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the amazing grace
that we have tasted in our Saviour.

If it is true that we have tasted of the graciousness of the Lord (like how it
ought to be for a Christian), then what should be seen in our life is a
passionate longing for the Word of God (1 Pet. 2:2). This longing is akin
to that of a new born infant crying out for milk when he is hungry. To the
infant, this milk is the tastiest food in the entire world, and he is desperate
to lay hold to the precious milk. Similarly, a Christian who has found
salvation in the Word of God will also long after it as the most preciousand
sweetest food in his life, for it is only God’s Word that can feed his
soul. “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to
my mouth!” (Ps. 119:103)

An unbeliever will never have such a desire for God’s Word to feed His
soul. This is because he is still spiritually blind and is thus devoid of any
spiritual smell and taste. However, if a professing Christian is not careful,
he may find himself losing that spiritual smell that he ought to have. How
may that happen? When one is not careful in guarding his heart, and lets
sin and worldliness to creep into his life. The fixation to sin causes
“blockage” to our spiritual senses, and causes us to lose that appetite for
spiritual food. As a result, the “patient” becomes malnourished. At the
same time, as his spiritual senses are dulled, he is now unable to perceive
and discern that which is evil from that which is good. He continues to
wallow in ungodliness, and he may not even be aware of it.

Sadly, just like physical anosmia, many who suffer from spiritual anosmia
do not regard it as a serious problem. Rather than acknowledging it as
danger, they fool themselves that all is fine. “I am in good health and
strength. I am doing well at work. I am getting a good pay. My family is
prosperous. All is good with my soul.” On the occasion when the Lord
shows His chastitive hand, they may not even recognise it and dismiss it
as just a facet of life. Some may even blame others for their problems,
rather than acknowledge that these issues arise from their spiritual
anosmia. Tragic indeed.

Unlike physical anosmia though, spiritual anosmia can be highly
contagious. The distaste for spiritual taste can so easily affect others
around us, for those with such condition will often times pull others in the
same way. Their ill-behaviour discourages others. Their pratting words
causes divisions among brethren. We should fear such a contagion more
than COVID-19!

Dear friend, how is your spiritual smell and taste? Is it like that of an
infant desiring the sincere milk of God? If we are suffering from spiritual
anosmia, we must address it immediately, for spiritual anosmia will not
only impact our lives but others too. If there is a lack of joy in your walk
with God, and an apathy towards spiritual things, sin and worldliness has
entered your life, you must address it. We must humble ourselves before
the Lord, confess our sins before Him and repent. The Lord is the only
doctor who can address this, for He is the only Divine Physician. Do not
delay your treatment.


We are barely out of the recent Omicron wave and have received sad news of a war
in Ukraine. What was first declared as a “peace” mission has now grown into a
full-scale military operation. As Christians, we ought not to be surprised that this has
happened. “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not
troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation
shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines,
and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of
sorrows.” (Matt. 24:6-8) This war, like many other wars to come, will eventually
lead to a global war that will end all things. Keep a good watch of the events in

Not long after the declaration of war on Ukraine, some of us in Singapore felt
tremors due to an earthquake of magnitude 6.2 in Indonesia. After a pandemic, a war,
and after a war, an earthquake!

Now all these signs were present since the destruction of the Temple by Titus in A.D.
70. The precipitation of all these signs only serve to remind us that Jesus Christ is
coming soon. But the signs of all signs will be the restoration of Israel. The
beginning leaves of that restoration can be seen in the formation of the modern state
of Israel in 1948. Are you ready for the return of Christ Jesus?

It is a good time to revise the lessons which we have learnt in the church camp last
year from God’s Word. “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of
the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be
condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.” (Jas. 5:8-9) It is time to
pursue godliness, and be united in the labour for Christ. Let us march on in the truth
of God’s Word to the city fair and bright above.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew