Life is a Marathon of God’s Grace and Presence

Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

Ps 84:10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Life is a marathon and not a 100 meter race. We race so hard in life, to replace our phones, to upgrade our job and education, to upgrade from a three bed room housing board development to a condominium, from a Japanese car to a European car, etc. At the end, this is all in vain, for we cannot bring it all along to our next life.

What is better, and what is more value in God’s scheme? In Ps 84:10, King David reminded us that one day in the presence of the God of Israel, is better than a thousand days in the world. The presence of God is the focus, not whether we are the pastor or the high priest, for as David said even the gate keeper would be a privelage as long as the presence of God is there.

What takes away from the presence of God? when we focus on self – our own good works, intellect, and our own righteousness? The devil attacks the church indirectly by making us focus outside of God’s presence. When Love Singapore wear white asserting their righteousness over gays, when we put on intellect claiming special progressive knowledge denying the fullness of the revelation of Jesus Christ, we make ourselves the centre.

When Jesus is the centre, there is God’s presence, for Jesus is God incarnate. We can’t see God without seeing Jesus as Lord, saviour and Messiah, and not just another good moral teacher or religious activist. God’s measure of success is how we treat His presence, how we dwell in the presence of the Holy Spirit. We enter into God’s presence by prayer and supplication, replacing our burdens and anxiety with the assurance of God’s salvation in Christ Jesus both on earth and as in heaven.

In many inclusive churches, their mind and intellect is their god, and the Holy Spirit is just another visitor whilst they play religion. That is why there is a big back door, when people do not find a temple of God, an altar to God in the church, but a worship of human intellect, and religion.

When Jesus, His death, resurrection, Kingship, Priesthood, and servanthood are at the centre, we are no more an empty building. The church is made up of people building an altar to Jesus in their own lives.

At the end of life, the pursuit of racing ahead of others, and blaiming others for our own sins (just as FCBC and Love Singapore and the National Council of Churches blame gays for the destruction of marriage), is not worth it, for all is meaningless under the sun. The campaign against gay marriage in US is now forgotten after only a few months. Few remembers us for being harsh and judgemental. We are remembered when we show grace and mercy.

At the end of life, what is maningful is the times spent with family, friends, and in the presence of God. Would people remember us for our gentleness or kindness? I see those who are fighting against gay marriage, and in Singapore even fighting to ensure that gays are put in prison. This is all meaningless under the sun!

At the end, what would be Christianity be known as? Would they know us by our grace, love and mercy? Do they see Jesus in us rather than the zealous pharisee who has a log of sin in his eyes? whose life and church members are filled with abortion adultery, and divorces yet blame the gentle lambs? When we keep living in sin by insisting that others are greater sinners, we can become great hypocrites such as Josh Duggard of the Family Research Council.

We can only be kind and gentle, when we find joy in the Lord of Hosts. Rejoice in the Lord, Paul tells us in Phil 4:4, rejoice for God is a good God and His grace and mercy to us is new every morning. Everyday, we are to be thankful just for being alive, for the daily living and needs, mindful of God’s underserved grace. Contenment comes when we realised God is good and appreciate the simple goodness of God that even being a gate keeper in God’s presence is a great blessing.

Life is not about getting a new and better boyfriend, continuously upgrading ourselves, life is about rest, being kind and gentle to others, and being contented and humble in the presence of God in Christ Jesus. At the end, it is not about what we do, our financial and social status, our gender or sexual orientation, but our generosity to others, and our heart to be and abide in God’s Holy Temple.

In everything, let us live our lives in thanksgiving and prayer for the love, mercy and grace of God in our lives, and always rejoicing putting on gentleness, wisdom to one and all. For we are not to be anxious for anything, but in prayerful expectation that God’s grace is sufficient for today and tommorow knowing that of faith and Hope of eternal Glory is not in vain but abiding in the presence of God.