What is our purpose in Life? How so?
Written by Pastor Eric Kwan
Each one of us has a life. It is given to us by God; to be in our custody, for our stewardship. He first blesses us with life on earth towards eternal life in Heaven with Him eventually. The terms (and there are only a couple of them) or purpose of life on earth are the same for everyone, being made in His image and likeness. “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’” (Genesis 1:26). But each may have a different life span. Abide by these terms and receive “true riches” in Heaven at the end of one’s earthly life; reject them and be eternally condemned. It is very obvious, throughout the Bible, of Jesus’ loving invitation to us to accept His terms. Jesus says,”Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29).
"...exercise good stewardship of the life given to your custody."
Almighty God, in His sovereignty and supremacy, with love, determines the span of life on earth of everyone. He gives some a few years and more to others. So, why worry over “when will I die?” Why bother with “my strategies and plans to ensure I live long and to enjoy my life”? Why preoccupy with trying to manipulate something which you have no control over? Rather, exercise good stewardship of the life given to your custody; and, to give a good account of your stewardship of it when required in the end, and enjoy Him forever. Do you ever wonder what God’s purpose is for your life? Why are you here?
If you are like most Believers, you know God created you for a purpose. The Bible exhorts us to know His perfect will of us and walk in His perfect will. While the specifics of what God wants each of us to be humanly responsible for will vary, there is a common thread to God’s plans: We are to love. For God, in all His supremacy and sovereignty, is all love.
Love is the essence of God’s character. He wants us to love people just like He does. In God’s amazing provision for us, His love transforms us, making us our true selves, so that we actually radiate His love to others.
"You are the salt of the earth". (Matthew 5:13)
Jesus highlighted this love on the night before He was betrayed. He gave His disciples a going-forward command - that came with a promise. He told them, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35).
There is one tangible purpose in your life on earth – live Christ-like and serve all with love, simultaneously, throughout our God given life. Leading a Christ-like life is the “passive” part. This is, being the salt of the earth. “You are the salt of the earth”. (Matthew 5:13). But there is the “active” twin part too – being the light. “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)
With focus on the elderly:
Just as with all people as among our elderly, this tangible purpose is not manifested because people have been “blinded” by the Evil One distracting them to the things of this world. They are good people; they sage with age; they need to be gently navigated away and to realize their true spiritual worth and enjoy living it.
Therefore, rooted in prayer, SALT Ministry operates over Six Domains, encompassing Four Key Areas - all on one Platform - as befitting our SENIORS. As the salt to the world, they are to know (to know is to accept and to apply in their lives) and be always living the Christ-like life. And, as the light of the world, to do so as to share their Christ-like life with others and to witness and testify for Jesus Christ. We, who are called to establish this ministry to the elderly will, by the grace of God, facilitate. Facilitation is active rather than passive, through a slew of appropriately developed SALT Ministry Activities.
"They still bear fruit in old age."
For we are encouraged by the Bible where it says of the elderly: “They still bear fruit in old age; they are full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; and there is no unrighteousness in him.” (Psalm 92:14-15). We believe none can better help old people to come to faith than other old people. So, our SALT’s two-fold mission is to remind the elderly, through our regular Ministry administered slew of activities, to continue in the role of being the salt and the light of the earth and, join in the work of the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and leading other old people who are non-Believers to come to faith.
We are all to be responsible for the development and sustenance of our spiritual well-being; and, our physical, mental, emotional and social well-being through a simple lifestyle. Enablement and empowerment in the realization of these come from God who stands ready to bless us with if we pray and supplicate, with thanksgiving of Him. Remember: “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7). Thus, with special focus on the elderly, SALT’s mission is to enable them to age actively in Christ and to influence others, especially the yet unsaved elderly, to salvation through Jesus Christ.
The Six Domains:
The one platform: Simple Lifestyle.
The Four Key Areas:
Spiritual Gerontological Care
Active Ageing Activities
Life Transforming Resources
Training in Evangelism and Counselling
“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men and in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1Peter 2:4-5).
The experts in medical, health and sports and others keep exhorting that regular walking is a good exercise to stay physically, emotionally and mentally healthy. SALT Ministry Activities organized include exercises, walks, hikes and expeditions, in Singapore and nearby countries for SALT Beneficiaries and Associates led by SALT Volunteers which include the elderly. Many Retirees (be it from employment or self-declared) and elderly people complain of being marginalized, alienated, forgotten and, even rejected. They get demoralized and even slip into spiritual decline as a result. But in an earlier period, they were treasured and highly valued.
The elderly sage with age. To the Believer, Retirement is walking away from the things of the world having been progressively transformed to Jesus Christ. With the available physical time they should continue their spiritual walk and glorify God to their peers.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23).
The idle and neglected (either by choice or circumstances) elderly very often slip into aimless and, even hopeless, living. Such poor mental or emotional state of mind need not be and can be prevented if they continue bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is a harvest of virtues sustained in the life of the Christian by the Holy Spirit.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians10:31).
The elderly have to maintain good physical health. They need nutritious eating and not depend on health supplements and medication. It is not necessary that old age and poor health go together. There are many who are elderly and in the best of physical health. Being in good health, you are able to serve; being of poor health requires of others to serve you.
One of our missions is to bring together the elderly and nutritional experts for the elderly to be enlightened by these experts in the ways and means of nutrition so as to pre-empt poor health and health improvement.
“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13-11).
As we enter old age there may be some situations of interpersonal relationships requiring closure and to move forward in love and peace; to continue with others and even to start new ones. There is no need to withdraw just because former colleagues ditched you because with your employment retirement they decided that you would be of no value to them anymore.
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age’.” (Matthew 28:18-20).
The Great Commission of Jesus Christ does not have a limitation of time; it does not have any restrictions. We have to reach out to others near and far. The elderly are in a far superior position in outreach having experienced Christian living and with their wisdom to share the Word of God with their peers and other; to testify and witness for Jesus Christ.
“All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3)
When God created the world He saw to it that everything was good before turning them over to Man to have dominion and to enjoy. Being a Christian is not all about being secluded and in isolation, penitential and solemn. There is joy. As the Preacher of the Book of Ecclesiastes states – there is a time to laugh, to dance, etc. Experts and professionals have never ceased to advise us, and especially the elders, that recreation improves physical (including mental and emotional) and social health. SALT conducts several recreational activities to cater for needs and interests.
All SALT Ministry Activities supporting the 6 Domains are conceptually simple and earthly but spiritually oriented. There is nothing we do which is rocket science. One does not have to be a clergy to do His will. Let us be simply people of God, living simply Christ-like lives which are dynamic to the end - like the incarnate Jesus – doing His will of us, to His glory.
You can see that there is so much excitement going for the elderly being in His service and in service to our fellowman to His glory. As faithful stewards of the time the Master has given in our custody, do we go up to the master to declare retirement and stop serving? As we sage with age do we lose being salty and place our light under a lid? In His sermon on the mount Jesus Christ told His disciples then (and applies to all those who come after) “You are the salt of the earth....You are the light of the world…..”. Dare we say “No!” or “Not after I grow old! I am a retiree.” Was age a factor or even mentioned in the Sermon? Discipleship knows no age limit. Discipleship and is not the right of just the clergy only. We invite all of you to stand up and be counted for Christ.
May the Lord lead us! God bless!
Updated: Dec 31, 2021