Be Mindful of God's Presence

Written by Pastor Eric Kwan

- with special reference to our Seniors in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic

Introduction


In the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic which is affecting the whole world, I have been praying and meditating on God’s Word over how I am to circumspect all that is unfolding before my eyes – from a spiritual perspective – and to share with others, especially our Seniors. God is in full control. He has a message for all of us – His creation - whom He loves and cares for. I believe the LORD is using the situation to remind us to focus on and give priority to the most important obligations in our lives for which we have been created. Perhaps we have been distracted by worldly things for so many years and strayed away. As Seniors, our days on earth are significantly numbered. We don’t have much time to get back on track. So, let’s be more discerning and finish well for the only prize of considerable value as Kingdom people. Death is looming at our door steps. Are we prepared to die? Death is no respecter of persons, Christian or non-Christian, rich or poor, educated or uneducated. Are we putting our hope in Christ who is the Saviour of our souls from eternal condemnation? Or, are we still fighting His call to repent and to abandon our sinful ways?


In Christ Alone!

I am using the acronym C.H.R.I.S.T. to share with you what the LORD has laid upon my heart – six contemplations for action during these difficult times and beyond. They are not listed in any order of priority. In fact they are equally important as they merge seamlessly to pattern Christian living.


In the shorter catechism of the Westminster Confession of Faith, the first question asked is: “What is the chief end of man?” The answer is: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” Question 2: “What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him?” Answer is: “The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.”



These contemplations are biblical reflective. So I’ll highlight just a few essential bible references for each.


1. C – Creation

Psalm 104:14-15 “You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.” Psalm 104:24 “O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” Psalm 104:33 “I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.”

Main Focus:


We are to be mindful of God’s Creation and to be attentive to His design and purpose. We are to glorify God and to take delight in all that He has created – for our direct benefit. We have to humbly admit our limited knowledge of His Creative acts as we look at nature. We will be amazed when we observe carefully and admire His Creation.



Simple Action Step:


Take time to learn all the names of His wonderful Creation. Perhaps, we could start by focusing on the animal kingdom or the plant kingdom.


Prayer of Confession:


O Mighty God and Creator, please forgive us of our failure to admire and to appreciate your Creation and to thank you. We have failed to adore and to glorify your holy and majestic name because we focus on man’s inventions more than we focus on your Creation. We have neglected in our duty to care for your Creation. We have even disregarded the sanctity of human lives created in your image by terminating the lives of unborn babes. We have sinned against you. In your mercy and grace, please forgive us and grant us repentance. Help us to take time to investigate and to observe the beauty of all your creative acts. Give us the wisdom and understanding we need to enjoy the wonders of your Creation. In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.


2. H – Health


1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

Main Focus:


We are to be mindful of our body which is a temple of the Holy Spirit. We are to glorify God in our body. We have to admit how we have often neglected to care for our bodily health, and we are not glorifying God with our unhealthy lifestyle and bad habits.


Simple Action Step:


Take time to understand our body by going for a medical health check. Pay careful attention to our ailments (if any) and manage diligently to improve our physical, mental and emotional health. Do everything within our control to stay healthy, this could relate to our daily diet, physical activity and bodily rest, and our emotional wellbeing.


Prayer of Confession:


O Lord our Heavenly Father, we have failed to glorify and to honor you with our body. Instead of exercising responsibility in keeping fit and well so as to serve without health hindrance, we have abused your temple by living a wanton life indulging in all kinds of lustful desires to satisfy our sinful flesh. We live in gluttony and in drunkenness and we willfully neglect to nourish and to care for our body and soul. We have sinned against you by mistreating our body. Help us, O Lord to be disciplined in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your glory. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


3. R – Reminiscence


Psalm 77:11-12 “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” Psalm 9:1-2 “I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.”



Main Focus:


We are to be mindful of all His wonderful deeds in our lives, recalling with thanksgiving His providential care. Like the Psalmist, we are to praise the Lord with thanksgiving in our hearts for all His past blessings


Simple Action Step:


Count our many blessings and rejoice. Write a testimony of how the Lord has led us to put our faith in the Lord Jesus as our personal Saviour and share our testimony with our relatives, neighbours and friends. Write down how the Lord has graciously provided all our needs and share with others the Lord’s goodness to us.


Prayer of Confession:


O Merciful Heavenly Father, we have forgotten all the blessings you have bestowed upon us. We have failed to witness and to testify to others your kindness, goodness, and providential care towards us. We have taken all your past blessings for granted. We have been ungrateful children. Please forgive us. Help us, O Lord to set aside time each day to recall and recollect all those wonderful personal experiences of your kindness and faithfulness to us. Grant to us the courage to share with others what you have done for us. May we always glorify your Name with thankful hearts. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


4. I – Interpersonal Relationships

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” James 2:8-9 “If you really fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself,’ you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”

Main Focus:


We are to be mindful of God’s command to love our neighbour as ourselves and to focus on cultivating godly virtues to establish good interpersonal relationships: patience, kindness, humility, compassion, forbearance, etc…


Simple Action Step:


As we go through this challenging period, let us show more love and care for our immediate family members by spending quality time and bonding with them. Discuss important issues with them relating to their physical, emotional, social and financial wellbeing. Let us share our experiences with them and give attention to their concerns too and giving assurances and comfort.


Prayer of Confession:


Gracious Heavenly Father, we have sinned against you because of our pride. We are often unwilling to forgive those who wronged us, and we allowed bitterness and hatred have a hold on us. We have failed to love our family members and our friends. We have slandered, gossiped, mocked, accused falsely, and said many unkind words against our neighbours. We have sinned against you with our tongue. Please forgive us. We look up to you to help us to love our neighbours, and especially our family members. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.


5. S – Simplicity


1 Timothy 6:6-10 “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

Main Focus:


We are to be mindful of God’s providential care and not to lust after the material things of this world. By keeping in mind that “we cannot take anything out of the world” should motivate us to keep life simple and yet of quality value. At the same time, not forgetting God’s promise of His care for us.


Simple Action Step:


As our days are significantly numbered on this earth, we should seek to declutter our home by disposing of things that are of no further utility to anyone and recycle those which can serve in alternate ways. Yes, keep things simple. We must avoid hoarding and accumulating things just to satisfy our fleshly desires; things that are of no significant value to enrich our spiritual walk with the Lord. Let us look for ways to share and to help those who are in need of help.


Prayer of Confession:


O Gracious Father, forgive our worldly mindedness in focusing on material things for our personal pleasure and lust. We have devoted our lives by accumulating many non-essential things to boost our ego and pride. We love things more than we love you. We have failed in seeking first your kingdom and your righteousness. We have conformed to the fashion of this world instead of being transformed by the renewing of our minds for spiritual things. O Lord, as we age, help us to give up those things that are of no eternal value and anything that will hinder us in our spiritual walk and service for you. In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.



6. T – Transforming Communities


James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

Main Focus:


We are to be mindful of God’s command given to us to preach the Gospel to every nation and also to love our neighbours. In his classic work “Religious Affections”, Jonathan Edwards writes, “A person who has knowledge of doctrine and theology only – without religious affection – has never engaged in true religion.” Just as it is important to care for the souls of men, we are also reminded to care for the physical needs of the afflicted too.


Simple Action Step:


Be a volunteer to serve those who are weak and physically afflicted. Look for opportunities to be befrienders to the orphans, widows, physically weak and destitute at various residential homes, social centres and elderly care centres. Be mindful to serve them with the intention to share the Good news of Christ.



Prayer of Confession:


O Loving Father, we confess our lack of compassion for those in need of our help and support. We have failed in our duty to care for the under-privileged and weak in our midst. O Lord, open our ears to the cry of those who are lonely. Open our hearts to those who need a friend. And to respond with Christian affection. Bless us O Lord with the strength to make it our priority to attend to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the weak. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.


Conclusion


In order for us to be effective in abiding God’s directive to fulfil all those areas above, we must give more time to search the Scripture carefully to build a stronger conviction to what we plan to do. As we progress together, we add in more action steps to help us to live a fruitful and fulfilling life to the glory of God. Be motivated by how our Lord considers us Seniors as we age:


They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green! (Psalm 92:14).

Here is a loving hymn and prayer for us to follow to live a fruitful and fulfilling life for His Glory and Honour:





5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All