Blessed to be a blessing (30 Aug 2015)

By now, September 11th is one major talking point among Singaporeans – General Elections Polling day! As Christians, it will be our duty to pray for God’s blessings on Singapore.

This date of course is reminiscent of the sad memory of what is better known as 9/11 in 2001, where a series of four coordinated attacks against America took place.  Among other destructions, the 110-story twin towers of the New York World Trade Center collapsed.  Almost 3,000 lives perished in the incident.

In the aftermath of the horrific incident, I read of a special newspaper edition, an article  written, beginning with the words, “In the days immediately following Sept. 11, 2001, the most often used slogan was ‘God Bless America.’”

Yes, we too need to ask God to bless Singapore.  The Lord has blessed us in the last 50 years, enabling us to celebrate SG50.  But as has often been reminded, we are blessed to be a blessing.  This surely includes blessing others with the good news of Jesus Christ, much as we ourselves have been blessed.  Having known Him, it is our responsibility to make Him known.

Some years ago, apparently, the month of August seems to be THE chosen month by many a church in Singapore, using it to focus on missions.  I don’t know if it still holds true today.  At any rate, there isn’t anything ‘sacred’ for August to be earmarked for  missions emphasis.  Some churches do not even have missions emphasis month, much less that it should be held in August. What is important is that all Christians be constantly reminded, the way someone described, that ‘missions is the mission of the church.’

To this end, Bethesda Chapel is desirous in doing our part in bringing the gospel to the ends of the earth.  We must see it as our  responsibility for the worldwide spread of the Gospel.  Many people today are resurfacing talk on the world nearing its end.  Maybe yes, may not.  But if indeed this is so, the word of the Lord must first be fulfilled – Mt. 24:14, ‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.’

Today is the last Sunday of missions month 2015.  However, our engagement in missions must continue.  If anything, it is our hope that our missions emphasis in the last few weeks will give us further push to be involved in the cause for missions.

The imagery of ‘The Gap’ has often been used to challenge Christians to bridge the gap between a people lost in sin and that of the message of salvation.  Hence the call to us Christians to, – ‘Stand in the Gap.’

In an article from the Lausanne Movement, whose tagline is ‘The whole gospel by the whole church to the whole world,’ it wrote,

‘The heart of God longs that all people should have access to the knowledge of God’s love and of His saving work through Jesus Christ.  We recognize with grief and shame that there are thousands of people groups around the world for whom such access has not yet been made available through  Christian witness.’

They went on to say these sobering words – ‘. . . their presence among us in our world 2,000 years after Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations, constitutes not only a rebuke to our disobedience, not only a form of spiritual injustice, but also a silent ‘Macedonian Call.’  This is in reference to a vision recorded in Acts 16 that appeared  before Paul, where a man from Macedonia urged and said to him, “Come over to Macedonian and help us.”

Yes, in view of September 11th polling day in Singapore, we should pray and ask for God’s continuing blessings for our beloved nation of Singapore.  But we cannot be only on the receiving end.  We need to reach out and bless others with what we have been blessed.  May we respond to the  Macedonian Call to do our bit, by standing in the gap.


Elder Richard Lai