Sunday, 25 January 2009

A New Day Dawning – Transforming Singapore

A few of us just returned from the annual Pastor's Prayer Summit organised by LoveSingapore. It was a good time of personal renewal, united worship and intercession, and catching the vision and passion of being involved in transforming Singapore this new year.

As we celebrate the Lunar New Year, a season normally associated with blessing and fortune, it is appropriate to consider God's blessings on our lives and how we can be a blessing to others. A key lesson that came out of the Summit was that true transformation begins with us as individuals, returning to the Lord, recognizing that we are, first and foremost, His precious and beloved children. This, in turn, leads to a renewal of our hearts and re-aligning of our wills to God once again. “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” (Matt 3:17) Note that God's approval of His Son came even before Jesus began His public ministry. Often we approach God with the priority of serving and doing things for Him, whereas He firstly wants us to come before Him to simply rest in the knowledge that each of us is a child of God, deeply loved and with whom He is well-pleased. Do we as believers place our identity primarily as a servant of God, or as a child of God?

As we come to recognize our identity as His children, soaking in the depths of the Father's love, God works to tranform and mould us increasingly to the image of Christ. God also works in our hearts to begin to see the world through His eyes, and feel His compassion and heart for mankind, especially those who are lost. “For Christ's love compels us ... He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Cor 5:14-15) In this season of feasting and catching up with relatives and friends, let us trust God to provide timely opportunities and divine appointments, to speak a word of comfort, to share a testimony of His goodness, to spread a blessing of His love, to sow a seed of His good news. Ultimately, let's step out in faith, believing in God's promises – that as He blesses us, we can thus be a blessing of His grace and an agent of faith, hope and love – be it to our families, our colleagues, our neighbours, our nation, our world. How can God use us this year to be a blessing to others?

In times of uncertainty and crisis, let us receive God's unfailing love anew and trust in His promises afresh. Let us in turn bring forth hope and blessing to those God places in our midst. And let us prayerfully anticipate and expect God to work powerfully to bring about transformation in our lives, our family, our community, and our nation this year. “For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” (Isa 61:11) Indeed, a new day is dawning!

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