Title: Finishing Well
By: Shaun Ling
Text: Philippians 1:21
“For me to live is Christ, to die is gain”
One of my favourite movies growing up is “Back to the Future”. In one scene, the main protagonist, Marty went back to the past (1955) and informed Doc Brown that the latter will be shot dead by assassins in 1985. He passed him a note which Doc Brown tore up when he realized Marty was going to tell him the future. Fast forward to 1985, Doc Brown was chased by assassins and was gunned down. Marty in his despair, approached Doc Brown only to find that Doc Brown had survived, as the latter had actually reconstructed the torn note and put an iron plate on his chest for protection.
If you could turn back time, what would you tell your younger self? I know that I had frittered away a lot of my time and one of the things I would tell my younger self is to focus my time on things of the Lord. I would tell my younger self to ask what is my measure of success in the eyes of the Lord. Indeed, the past 30 years, I felt I could have done better in many ways. My perspective could have been better, my priorities could have been set right and my focus could have been sharper. Maybe I will share some of that another time.
An example of someone in the Bible who has got his life sorted is Apostle Paul. He believed his life belonged to God – “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21). He was focused that in all that he did, Christ be glorified through his life. He said in verse 20 that “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death”.
Going back to my reflections, I thank God that I still have a few good years ahead of me. What is past is past. I cannot change that. But what lies ahead is an adventure. I am grateful that I am still relatively healthy and still have energy to serve the Lord in various capacities. I am neither an earth shaker nor an influencer. And I pray that I could be as focused as Paul. To seek God and to have the courage to do things that will glorify His name.
In the past few months or so, I have had the privilege of giving food packs to many families near my home or at my workplace. I not only realize how I should be grateful for what God has given me materially, but I now better understand Jesus’ heart for the downtrodden and poor. Jesus reached out to the poor in their despair when others shunned them. So, it was indeed a privilege to have had contact with these people and in some small way, to be Jesus to them.
Last night at midnight, I received another message to help a family with food items. The food I gave them earlier had run out and the woman who requested is still out of a job. Her father had died of Covid19 a couple of months ago and she is the sole breadwinner of seven at home – her younger siblings, mother and grandmother. The needs are still out there.
I struggled a lot whether I should share what I have been doing for fear of being labeled as a “show off” or even, God forbid, taking advantage of the poor. But I give glory to Him and thank God for brothers and sisters who are truly dedicated to helping out in the Food Aid initiative. He has truly made PBC the hands and feet of our Lord Jesus to the community. May His name be glorified.
I may not have done well when I was younger but I hope to finish well.
Lord, You are the Lord of our lives. You know us before the earth was formed and we belong to You. Help us each day as we live our lives, that we remember the penalty that the Lord Jesus has paid for us that we may have the privilege of being reconciled to God. Let us not take this truth for granted and let us be like Jesus to our community. Amen.
我成长过程中最喜欢的电影之一是《回到未来》。在一个场景中，主角马蒂回到过去（1955 年）并告诉布朗医生，后者将在 1985 年被刺客枪杀。他递给他一张纸条，当布朗医生意识到马蒂要告诉他未来时便把纸条撕掉了。快进到 1985 年，布朗医生被刺客追赶并被枪杀。绝望中的马蒂走近布朗医生，却发现布朗医生幸存了下来，因为他已经把撕破的纸条重新拼好，并在他的胸前放了一块铁板作为保护。
如果时间可以倒流，您会对年轻的自己说些什么呢？我知道我已经浪费了很多时间，因此我要告诉年轻的自己的一件事就是把时间集中在主的事情上。我会告诉年轻的自己，问问自己在主眼中，我衡量成功的标准是什么。的确，在过去的 30 年里，我觉得我可以在很多方面做得更好。我的观点本可以更好，我的优先事项可以设置正确，而且我的注意力也可以更清晰。也许下次我会再分享多一些。
圣经中一个将自己的生命处理得好的例子是使徒保罗。他相信他的生命是属于上帝的——“因为我活着就是基督，我死了就有益处”（腓 1:21）。他专注于他所做的一切中，基督通过他的生命得到荣耀。他在第 20 节说道：“照着我所切慕、所盼望的，没有一事叫我羞愧。只要凡事放胆，无论是生是死，总叫基督在我身上照常显大。”
我对于是否应该分享我一直在做的事情而感到万分挣扎，因为害怕会被贴上 “炫耀” 的标签或甚至，但愿不会如此，在利用穷人。但我将荣耀归给祂，并为那些真正致力于帮助粮食援助计划的弟兄姐妹感谢上帝；祂确实使班底浸信教会成为我们主耶稣对这社区的四肢。愿祂的名得荣耀。