I attended a seminar many years ago in which the speaker interestingly told us that we might not know exactly when, but the bible points us to a time called “soon”, and we should be ready.
Knowing that Christ might come tomorrow, years later or generations down the road, many of us are excited, because his coming would mark the end of a sinful world of suffering and pain; going to a heavenly home; having a perfect body without illness, weakness or being overweight; and having the wonderful job of worshipping and praising the Lord.
However, at the same time, many of us are also fearful: when we stand in front of the judgement seat, will we be able to give an account of what have we done for the Lord? At the end of the refining fire, will we come out as gold, or will our works have burnt up as straw?
Is God pleased with our life? Is there something that we can do today that we have been putting off? Are we giving to the Lord our time, our gifts and our tithes?
Recently, Dn Pak Choon gave our church’s financial updates, and he encouraged many to pledge. I was reminded of a challenge I was issued by one of my friends more than 10 years ago. She said she wanted to give more than 10% of her income to the Lord. And I asked myself if I could do the same. When I stand before the Lord, will I tell God, ‘Yes, I have grown the talents you have given me — my spiritual talents and physical talents have been financially invested back into God’s work’?
I was reminded that what I have belongs to the Lord, and I’m only giving back to the Lord what he has blessed me with. Each of us is called to work as different parts of the body, knowing that our tithes are used to further his Kingdom and support the Church body.
Deciding to give beyond 10%, the next thought that came was, how much more to give? My guiding verse was 2 Corinthians 9:7: Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
If I know I’m giving beyond a certain percentage, I might become proud of myself, or I might become so calculative that the heart turns unwilling. Knowing my own weakness, I break my offering up into smaller amounts for giving each week. If, in one month, the total offering adds up to more than 10%, then that’s the amount that I want to give cheerfully to the Lord. However, if giving monthly or yearly works for you, then continue to do so, for the Lord sees our heart, not how it is done. For the man who gives the two pennies that are all he has gives more than the rich man who gives plenty but only a small portion of his wealth.
Besides the tithings, can I be accountable to the Lord for my time? Would it be too late if the Lord came tomorrow? Would I be ready to give an account of my life to the Lord? Can I joyously say that I have run the race, guarded against false teachers and reminded myself of God’s grace and his Gospel? Am I fruitful or are my fruits few and little?
This last one year or so has been difficult, with all of us making adjustments in our work and home, and moving into digital communication and working styles. Many people’s livelihoods have been affected. Do not be misled by the scoffers in our midst who say that God doesn’t care, that we have placed politicians and scientists above God, and that we grow disappointed when we don’t see expected results. Remember our hope. The coming of the Lord is our hope. Our current difficulties are not faced alone but with the Lord. We look forward to Christ’s coming, and we know He is coming soon. Are you ready?
– Dns Justina Ng