Singapore stands out in the world as a city blessed beyond measures. As Christians, we believe God has provided opportunities for Singapore and enabled our leaders and our people to work together to seize them. These have been God’s work and His abundant provision to Singapore at this time in history (Dan 2:21).
I am thankful even as I contemplate, but I also ask, “Why are we so blessed?” “Who are we or what did we do to be so blessed?” Yes, I do not deny that we have done some things right and we are now enjoying the fruits of our decisions and labour. But throughout man’s history, oftentimes similar well-meaning decisions and efforts were made by leaders and people but with very dissimilar results. What we enjoy have been nothing but God’s work and God’s providence.
But God blesses a land and its people not just for their own enjoyment; He does it for His purpose and His glory. I believe God has a purpose for the Church in Singapore and that there will be a time when she will be called to account for these blessings (Matt 25:14-30,Lk 19:12-27).
Therefore, the Church in Singapore must go beyond thankfulness and praying for continued blessings. We must consider God’s purpose and how He intends for us to use these blessings for His purpose, so that we can be ready and accountable when Christ comes (Matt 25). One of His highest purpose for the church is to make disciples.
How many amongst the approximately 620 million people living in Singapore’s neighbouring ASEAN countries have placed their trust in the Lord as their Saviour? (Answer: only about 15%)
In our church’s immediate neighbourhood lives approximately half a million people; 82 out of every 100 people do not yet know the Lord.
Amongst people whom we regularly have contact with – our immediate family members, neighbours, close friends and colleagues – how many have yet to know Jesus?
The next time you travel to a neighbouring country or take a walk in the neighbourhood, have lunch at a coffee shop, walk past a wake at a HDB void-deck or are with your family members or close friends, ask yourself, “What is their eternal destiny?” Jesus saw the crowd around Him and He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd (Mk 6:34). They do not know their dire eternal destiny.
As I contemplated, I asked the Lord, “Who?”. After seeking for a while, the Lord burdened my heart for a few people and people in the neighbourhood. I put them on my “Loved Ones’ List” (LOL). I started to pray for them regularly. I make intentional contact with them regularly.
I attend to their needs whenever one arises. I look out for opportunities the Lord opens to share a testimony, invite them to church or share the Gospel. Through it all, I pray, pray…pray ceaselessly.
If your burden is for unbelievers in YCKC’s neighbourhood or unbelievers in a certain country, plug yourself in regularly with reliable sources of information. Join a neighbourhood outreach program or mission trip. Befriend a small group of people from amongst them. Visit them regularly and look out for opportunities to share your testimony and the Gospel. Through it all, pray, pray…pray ceaselessly.
As we celebrate Singapore’s 49th birthday, may we go beyond just counting our blessings and be willing to work out a personal accountability plan. May we all be found ready when the Master returns.
By Sam Tan, Deacon (YCKC Bulletin 9&10 August 2014)