Friday, 14 May 2021
What does God expect of Me?
By : Prathab V
John 10: 10b (HCSB)
“I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. ”
In his 2009 book, The Hole in Our Gospel, the former CEO of World Vision Richard Stearns asks some very pointed questions: “What does God expect of us? What is the Christian faith about? Going to church every Sunday, saying grace before meals and avoiding the most serious sins – or does God expect more?”
These are simple questions. But the answers are never simple.
“What does God expect from me?” is a very profound one but not an easy question to answer.
As I look to the scriptures, especially to Jesus as a guide, I notice that Jesus had a mission statement for His life on earth: “ The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10, NIV). My favourite Bible version, the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), renders the verse as “ A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.”
Abundant life! This means “more than one would expect or anticipate.” Surely then, the Gospel is more than merely attending church, saying prayers and reading the Bible daily. Stearns goes on to say that for many of us, the Gospel has been “about saving as many people as possible – for the next life.” As a result, it has “minimised any concern for those same people in this life.” Perhaps, we have gotten dull preparing for the next life that we have forgotten about those who are suffering in this life with a bleak future caused by poverty, lack of food, water shelter – the basic needs. Many more are suffering abuse in silence, being forced against their will, not allowed access to education or even to seek jobs.
Women and children have suffered the most. But suffering and poverty hit boys and men too. It is a pandemic that has been with us for a long time. Perhaps that is why Jesus said, “ You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.” (Matthew 26:11, HCSB).
So, what does God expect of you? This is a very personal question. You will need to ask and settle the question with your Creator. To some, it may be serving in church worship team, joining the ushering team or presenting tithes and offering. But I am very certain that it is not just about going to church weekly and praying daily over meals. Don’t get me wrong. Attending church and praying daily are important. More than that, Christ’s Gospel of love, mercy and grace needs to be told to a lost world. “ Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8c, NIV)
How do I share the Gospel? I leave you with the words of St Francis of Assisi who put it simply as such: “Preach the gospel always; when necessary, use words.”
Father, please forgive me if I have been lulled to comfort and to my own needs in this world. Please ignite in me a desire and the courage to share your Word to those who have not heard of your Gospel. Use me as an instrument in Your hands Lord, as per Your will alone. In Jesus’ name, I ask, AMEN.
我如何分享福音？我留下阿西西的圣弗朗西斯（St Francis of Assisi）的一段简短而有力的话：“经常传福音；必要时使用文字。”