Sunday, 21 March 2021
Topic: Living the Life in the World
By Elder Tan Seng Kee
Bible Verses: Matt 4:8-10
In my monthly devotions, I have been sharing on PBC’s 2021 church theme “Living the Life” and in my first devotion in January 2021, I shared on Living the Life in the church. In church I encouraged all of us to live a life trusting God fully for every situation and timing and to be confident that God always welcomes us into His presence and He will answer our prayers. In the February 2021 devotion, I shared that Living the Life in the family requires that I listen and speak more to my family members. I must also work on developing the fruit of the Spirit already within me so that I can live the life of obedience to Jesus in my family.
Today, I will share on Living the Life in the world. In Matthew 4:8, in the 3rd temptation from the devil, the devil took Jesus to the peak of a very high mountain and there the devil “showed him the nations of the world and all their glory.” And in verse 9, the devil told Jesus that “I will give it all to you” he said, “If you will only kneel down and worship me.” The devil offered Jesus all the wealth and riches of the whole world on condition Jesus acknowledge and worship the devil. So often in the world and especially if we are young men and women just starting out in life, we will naturally be in a hurry to gather as much wealth and riches as possible in order that we can amass resources to accomplish more or to be set up for life without struggling every step of the way. Gathering wealth is not wrong if we have some of the following perspectives towards money and prosperity:
- In Matt 6:33, Jesus tells us to live for the glory of God in obedience to Him, and daily, to make the Kingdom of God our primary concern and focus. In other words, in everything we do each day, we must determine to live out the life of a disciple/follower of Jesus. From the first day we became a Christian and more so, with time as the Holy Spirit sanctifies us as disciples of Jesus, we will be more awakened to what is right and wrong. I must therefore check what I see, I must watch out for what I say and I must flee from what is wrong and is a sin. I have to work hard for a living but I must not sacrifice my life as a Christian for the sake of worldly success and glory.
- In Matt 16:26, Jesus asks us “How will we benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your soul in the process…?” Loving and serving God is finally the ultimate and most purposeful objective of a human being created in the image of God. Rejecting God for temporary earthly pleasures and wealth is foolish compared to heavenly splendor for all eternity with God and everyone we loved in Jesus. So today, let us choose wisely “to worship the Lord our God and only Him shall we serve” was Jesus’ reply to the devil in Matt 4:10. Let us, together as a church, check that our worshipping life is lived in tandem to a serving life as well. Be involved in PBC’s many ministries.
- Proverbs 10:22 says “The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” God’s blessings may not be seen in physical wealth and material riches where there are much sorrow and pains in our lives accompanying such acquired wealth and riches. The blessings of peace, joy and assurance of His presence will see us through more storms in life than material blessings. Both, however, have a place in our life in this world but Jesus mentions the hundred times blessings in Mark 10:30 that comes from a life of putting our faith totally in Jesus in spite of persecutions. When we fully trust God and patiently wait for Him without compromising our faith, He will make up to us, on earth, many times more than what we may seem to have given up for Jesus in terms of time, resources, energy, skills and whatever we hold on as precious. Material possessions are necessary in our daily lives and we can be happy and rejoice in such blessings when we continue to walk close with God, to serve Him and depend on Him for all our needs. As in the case of Jesus after He resisted the three temptations from the devil in Matt 4, the bible records that “angels came and cared for Jesus” (Matt 4:11). Let us all resolve to Live the Life well in the world and trust the angels of God to come and care for each one of us.
God please help us all to live the life in the world with unwavering focus to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness and then fully trusting that Your angels will continue to be there for us and to care for us at all times. In today’s turmoil and in whatever situation I am in right now, I want to trust You Jesus that You will care for me and bless me in areas I need so much. Amen.