Is It Worth It?

>>> Mandarin version of this article 这是否值得?

Photo by TIM MARSHALL

 

Dear Ministry Partner,

Some years ago, my family and I went on a mission trip to a remote village. We had the privilege of witnessing a baptism service at a river. 15 people were baptised that morning, many of whom had become Christians for barely a year. The service ended with the celebration of the Lord’s supper and a time of sharing. This was “church” in its simplest form, yet at its zenith as we saw the reality of transformed lives!

We spent time with the “transplanted” missionary families who obeyed God’s call to move to this country to minister to the locals. Naturally our conversations drifted to topics such as physical and financial security, concerns over their children’s education, and not being around to care for ageing parents back home. Yet they continued to soldier on in obedience to God’s call for their lives.

From the local believers who risked persecution to the missionary families who left the comforts of home to minister cross-culturally, their obedience to our Lord came at a high price. Is it worth it?

In consumeristic Singapore, we tend to see our commitment to God as a form of sacrifice. We are cautious when called upon to serve, and perhaps even calculative when this calling requires us to put our plans on hold or surrender our material possession. As obedient disciples of Christ, we may have to say “no” to many pleasures of the world in order to remain pure and holy before the Lord. Like Asaph in Psalm 73, we struggle when others prosper and live carefree lives. Is it worth it to keep our faith?

Our faith becomes self-centred and transactional when we ask, “Is it worth it?” It becomes all about us and what we have to give up. It would be difficult for us to mature in our walk with Christ by holding on to this attitude. The more appropriate question to ask would thus be, “Is He worthy?” This is a God-centred question. Paul writes in Romans 8:32 (NIV), “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”. This is why Jesus is worthy of our worship

Because Jesus is worthy, all our acts of “sacrifice” become acts of worship to Him. We serve Him with delight and humility. Perhaps the song, “Is He Worthy?” by Andrew Peterson will seal our conviction that He is worthy! (https://cru.sg/IsHeWorthy)

 

Blessings,
Lam Kok Hiang
Country Leader


 

这是否值得?

 

亲爱的事工伙伴,

好些年前,我和家人到一个偏远的乡村短宣。某一天,我们有幸参与在河畔进行的浸礼聚会。那天早晨有近十五人受洗,大多信主还不到一年。在聚会的尾声,出席者共领圣餐并与彼此分享跟随上帝的经历。那天,我与家人目睹的“教会”形式尽是如此简单,也透过印证生命改变的真实欣赏“教会”最巅峰的荣美。

在那趟旅程中,我们也得以花时间陪 伴蒙主呼召、携妻带儿移居到当地服 事的同工们。谈话间我们不期然地提 起生活,诸如柴米油盐,孩子的教育,无法时时照顾远方年长的父母 等 等。尽管如此,他们仍然坚守岗位, 顺服上帝的呼召。

不论是冒着被逼迫的风险而信主的, 或是离乡背井在异乡服事的宣教士 们,顺服上帝的代价是高的。这诸多牺牲是否值得?

在新加坡消费主义社会的环境里,我 们倾向于把决志跟随上帝视为一种付 出。进而对各种事奉需求的呼声保持 观望态度,又或者当响应呼召需要我 们搁置个人计划或放下物质享受的 时候,我们甚于锱铢必较。作为基督 徒,我们还得拒绝许多世上的情欲, 才能在主面前谨守清心圣洁。如诗篇 七十三篇里的亚萨,我们或许看见恶 人蓬勃兴旺,安逸享乐而心怀不平。 谨守信仰是否值得?

当我们质疑“这是否值得?”时,个人信仰已沦为自我中心的交易。仿佛 (信仰的)一切都关于自己与个人得 失。抱着如此态度与基督同行会让我 们灵命呆滞不前。或者我们可以换个 角度问自己,“主是否值得?” 这是 以上帝为中心的问题。保罗在罗马书 八章32节说:“神既不爱惜自己的儿 子,为我们众人舍了,岂不也把万物 和祂一同白白的赐给我们吗?” 这位 神 的独生子 耶稣是值得我们的敬拜。

既然耶稣基督是值得的,我们所有 的“牺牲”也因而化成敬拜的献礼。 我们带着喜乐与谦卑的心服侍祂。也 许安德鲁·彼得森 (Andrew Peterson) 的 歌 [Is He Worth?] 能帮助我们共勉之。

https://cru.sg/IsHeWorthy

 

愿 神祝福您,
蓝国贤会长