January is typically a time for past performance review and new goals setting. Wise workers would not wait till year-end to work on their goals, instead they would immediately start work upon receiving them. This is to ensure they are prepared to give a good account for their assigned work and the resources that their bosses had entrusted them.
Similarly, at the end of life, all believers will want to be prepared to give a good account of their lives to their Master Jesus at the Judgement Seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10). Jesus will evaluate everyone’s work and richly reward those who had been faithful to their given assignments (Rev 22:12, 1 Cor 3:8, Matt 25:21, 23). Those who are found lacking will suffer shamefulness (1 Cor 3:12-15), though they will not lose their salvation, but how dreadful it will be because their shame will last eternally.
Jesus modeled it for us. He was always clear about His calling (John 4:34); He stayed close to the Father through regular prayers and always did them according to His Father’s plan and timing (Matt 4:17, 16:21, John 17:1).
No wonder He could say at the end, “It is finished” (John 19:30) i.e. completed.
In our discipleship journey, do we constantly seek to know what our Master has planned and assigned to us to do each season of our lives (1 Cor 3:5-11)?
In Singapore, we have been blessed with much (financial, health, safety, religious freedom, work, time to pursue personal interests/development, etc). Because we will have to give an account for every blessing entrusted to us (Matt 25:14-30), do we know what the Lord expects from them?
Each year, I would do a half-day personal retreat to seek His assignments. I would start with worship and thanksgiving for the highs and lows of the year past, pray and wait upon the Lord about the next. I journal these and use it to guide my focus for the year. I would also write them in the YCKC’s Discipleship handbook. I summarize God’s calling into 5 areas and review each with questions.
1. Personal growth as a disciple
– Which part of me is the Lord re-moulding to make it more conformed to Christlikeness? Am I working with or fighting against His work? How much am I using of His blessings to bless others
2. Disciple as a husband & head (or as wife /children)
– Is Jesus pleased with how I carry out my role at home? How are my relationships with other members?
3. Disciple as a worker
– Do my attitude, behavior, decisions and relationships at work reflect me as useful salt and guiding light in my workplace?
4. Disciple in Ministry
– Do I know my spiritual gifts? Am I deploying them in the Body of Christ according to His calling and season?
5. Disciple as a friend
– Do I have a harvest list of specific pre-believers I am burdened with regarding their salvation? How regularly is He calling me to connect with and minister to them? How regularly do I pray for them?
– Do I have spiritual mentor/s (or mentee/s) I walk with, account to and pray with? How regularly must we meet?
Let’s make it a practice to always to seek to know our given assignments and thereafter, urgently, faithfully and diligently do them till the end (John 4:34b). We want to always be prepared to give a good account to our Master. We do not know when we will be called home.
By Sam Tan, Deacon (YCKC Bulletin 21&22 January 2017)