Dear HCMC, 

Our church theme for this year is “Hear God’s Word, Do God’s Word”. God’s Word should be the constant guiding light for our lives. As our theme verse Psalm 119:105 proclaims: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Furthermore, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 declares: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 

How shall these truths make an impact to our lives this year? Are we ready to seek new breakthroughs in hearing and doing God’s Word?

 John Wesley described the pursuit of God’s Word as a “means of grace”, a channel by which God might convey to us preventing (prevenient), justifying, and sanctifying grace. In other words, through the Bible, we receive God’s all-sufficient grace, which enables us to grow and mature wherever we are on our faith journey. Wesley called this means of grace “searching the Scriptures”, drawing this phrase from John 5:39. Welsey also described the ways by which we are to diligently search the Scriptures: by hearing, reading, and meditating upon God’s Word. 

A few years ago, in my former church, I worked with the church leadership team to rationalise Wesley’s process of searching the Scriptures into a 4-step method called “Rhema”. Interestingly, “Rhema” is an English transliteration of the Greek word ῥῆμα which literally means “word”, often referring to God’s Word, or spoken words, in the New Testament. In relation to searching the Scriptures, it can also be an acronym for Read, Hear, Meditate, Act (“RHeMA”). 

The 4 steps are as follows: 

  • Read: To read God’s Word in Scripture every day
  • Hear: To hear God’s Word through Scripture, sermons, and sharing from others every week
  • Meditate: To reflect on God’s Word spoken specifically to us, and how we should respond
  • Act: To apply God’s Word in our daily life

This is a method we can use this year as we seek to encounter God through His Word. I find that the distinctive merit of this method is that it encourages us to encounter Scripture not just individually but as a wider community of faith, by not just reading and hearing Scripture on our own, but also by hearing from others and sharing our meditations. There are many opportunities in our church to journey through the Bible collectively, whether through our fellowships, small groups and courses, or by joining the WhatsApp or YouVersion Bible App groups which have been set up. 

Most importantly, whatever the method we use, the Bible is not just to be informational but transformational. We have to put it to practice! God’s truth ought to make a difference in our lives. Doing all this on our own is difficult. We need to support and encourage one another to press on in the journey ahead.   

 My late maternal grandfather was a pastor, and one of the legacies he left behind was his Bible. It was extremely well used, with many notes and markings inside, reflecting his many years of reading it and seeking to live it. In the coming year, I truly hope our Bibles (or Bible Apps) will be well used. Rather than to have beautiful unused Bibles on our shelves, let us instead have well-used, worn-out Bibles that produce beautiful lives!

Rev Timothy