The church theme for 2016 is “Occupy Till I Come!” It is a most needful exhortation for all Christians in the light of our Saviour’s imminent return. Elder John Leong will be expounding on this topic today from Luke 19:11-27. Hear carefully what the Scripture has to teach concerning good stewardship.

In line with the above exhortation, the Session has chosen Ephesians 5:16 to be the theme verse of the year – “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” It is a call for us to examine whether we have spent our time wisely for the Lord Jesus Christ.

The word “redeem” is a commercial term that carries the idea of purchasing something that was under the power of another. It is often used to de-scribe how freedom is purchased for a slave. In Ephesians 5:16, time is pictured as being enslaved by “evil”. It is thus the Christian’s duty to make sure that time is redeemed for the sake of good. There is no grey area. Time is either used for evil or for good! We are to seize every opportunity to do good in the name of Christ and not to let time go to waste. If not, the time given to us will surely be used for evil.

How then do we redeem the time? The preceding verse teaches us that Christians should be constantly dedicated to “walk circumspectly”. The adverb “circumspectly” has the meaning of exactness and thoroughness. The Christian is to make sure that he walks exactly and thoroughly in the way of wisdom and not foolishness. This wisdom is of course the heavenly wisdom of the Holy Scriptures. In all his ways, the Christian must be dedicated to follow Christ and His Word. Time should not be wasted to follow the world and our sinful lusts. That is exactly how we should re-deem the time unto the glory of God.

Dear readers, how are you spending your time? Are you fully engaged in serving the Lord? Or are you idling away in the pursuit of the world and sinful lusts?

To the students – are you fulfilling your call to study hard for the Lord, or are you idling away in the realm of computer games, fashion and gadgets? Or are you wasting your time with idle talk that does not edify?

To those who are working – are you slothful or working hard for the Lord as a responsible employee in your workplace? Are you engaged in gossip, or are you truthful and Christ-like in your conversation? Have you shared the Good News of Jesus Christ to your colleagues?

To those who are parents – have you spent time with your children to bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord, or do you neglect your duty, choosing to focus only on the material aspect of their upbringing?

To those who are leader or ministering full-time in the Word – have we done our best for the Lord Jesus Christ? Have we been spending time studying the Word? Have we been seizing every opportunity to build up the congregation in the most holy faith? Have we fulfilled the burden and duties that has been laid upon us by the Lord?

Dear readers, surely there is much we can learn about what it means to occupy till Christ comes. In the year 2016, let us endeavour to have every second count for the Lord Jesus Christ!

Lovingly In-Christ,
Preacher Clement Chew