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)
Lam Kok Hiang has over 30 years of experience in full-time Christian vocational ministry. He holds a MA (Biblical Studies) from Dallas Theological Seminary and has led Cru Singapore as National Team Leader since 2006. An avid runner, Kok Hiang shares a love for books with his wife, Sharon. Together, their desire is to see young leaders rise up in local churches and missions agencies across Asia.
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