This new series aligns with the 40 Days of Community program which Clayton Church is pursuing as a church-wide initiative.
In returning to this series after a short few days break, it is also appropriate to recap and help frame the entire 40 day series. The entire 40 days are split into six modules, each covering a seven-day period except for the final one which has five. The six modules are:
- We are compelled to love God’s family
- We are commissioned to reach out together
- We are chosen to fellowship together
- We are connected to grow together
- We are called to serve together
- We are created to worship together
Thus, the first theme on loving God’s family is covered by the first seven journal entries:
- Because God loves us
- Because God commands it
- Because it is how we love God
- Because it shows we are saved
- Because we are a family
- Because it is practice for eternity
- Because it is a witness to the world
In moving on to the second theme, of being commissioned to reach out together, the focus for today is to be intentional. Today’s point to ponder is to “make the most of every opportunity to share.” The key bible verse is from Colossians 4:5:
Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity.
The question to consider is:
Will anybody be in heaven because of you?
Even though my journal was interrupted for the last few days, since Friday saw me transition into the middle leg and highlight of the current family holiday, God in His wisdom knew to continue using the time to manifest His glory. Without delving into too much detail from the events of the last five days, there have nonetheless remained key moments throughout the time when I was non-stop spending time getting to bond with my extended family in Kuching, Malaysia. Whilst our faith was not discussed too much, the topic did arise on the odd occasion because the wedding service included Catholic mass and majority of the family are Catholics. Still, just by virtue of our differing denominations of faith allowed for some healthy discussion and affirmation of God working in the family – I can now testify to God having transformed my entire family across both parents to doubling up as brothers and sisters within the wider Kingdom of God. Praise God!
Now, over the years, I do not think God has called me to be an evangelist or preacher, but to rather emphasize the solid teaching and encouragement of believers, particularly if they are young in faith, and to help them mature their faith. Therefore, my focus has been on the back-door, where believers leave the Kingdom and fall away. You see my heart and focus here at XBOP where I write up testimonies of my faith experience where it is my hope that my audience can take inspiration, comfort and encouragement that working out our faith is not easy, but with God helping and guiding us, we can all experience His grace and fullness of love.
To answer the question specifically and directly, I know that I helped demonstrate a loving, God-centered culture for many years to all my friends, and in doing so, have perhaps contributed to shining God’s light and love in the darkness. I know, that collectively, as a team effort, numerous people have come to faith, and as part of the cultural groups, I would no doubt have played a minor role in showing that God loves us unconditionally, without prejudice or judgement. Where I can help people with the little that I have, I try my best to share, be selfless and serve, following in the example of Jesus’ teaching that it is better to serve than to be served.
in previous years, I have, as a life group leader, been instrumental in guiding young believers through baptism, which is part of strengthening their faith and God’s place in their lives.
I often am one of the people in my group refocusing our attention on God and influencing people to consider what God’s Word and wisdom teaches us about the various situations and opportunities he presents to us. One life group member earlier this year was prioritizing their personal affairs above attending church or life-group during the week, and all I could suggest was that perhaps God wanted to be a part of the solution, if only that person would let Him help them. It also reminded me then and now too, of story/analogy where a drowning man keeps crying out to God to save him. Ships of varying sizes all come the mans way and offer assistance but he refuses to accept their assistance and instead arguing that he was waiting for God to save him. The man drowns, dies and is before God in the afterlife where he asks why God did not save him. God’s response was that he did, and kept sending all those different forms of assistance as his way of saving him. The challenge and takeaway from that story is to adopt a God-centric mindset and attitude so that we can see the opportunities He places us in where we can be His witness, hands or feet. After all, as this theme expouses, we are part of a bigger Kingdom of God, and each have a different role to play.
The final thought here goes back to the title – being intentional. This exact challenge and mindset was given to me two years ago in the context of commencing my service at the time to Christians 20/30. It was through this teaching by a brother in Christ, that I started to be strategically intentional in the use of my time, money and resources. Back then, this translated into me making the hard decision to wind up my then association with various not-for-profit organizations. Ever since, being strategically intentional has been coupled with the principle of “less is more” such that the season with Christians 20/30 has also ended. A big part of my focus now is on quality over quantity. Both my church and life-group have benefited from this approach, and thus this all aligns well with the current 40 Days of Community program that we embark upon.