Dear Brothers and Sisters of CBCGL，
Greetings in Christ! How time flies! The end of June is coming! Many of you may know that, my family is going to leave soon, returning to my own country. Today, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the topic: What do I want to do to spend the rest of my life? When I say this, I am mainly talking about our career, on which we spend most of our time. However, it’s not limited to it. It can be understood more broadly as: How do we spend the time in our life? What kind of life is more meaningful to me?
My family is going to start a new phase of life at a new place (well, at least for the kids). Before it starts, I need to make an important decision. “What?” You may say, “Do you still need a decision? Have you not decided long time ago?” Yes, I still need make the decision one more time, because now we are a family of five. After these years, (I hope) I have learned to make important decisions not from temporary passion, nor from the expectation of others. Instead, I try to take multiple things, including the Bible teachings, into consideration, and then make my decision. I would like to share with, in the following paragraphs, 4 little thinking tips when I try to answer the question “what do I want to do to spend the rest of my life”. I hope they are a little bit helpful to you.
First of all, we have to consider reality. We all have the need of surviving in this world. That is reality. I won’t tell you to sacrifice everything, even your family, for your dream or calling. This is not responsible, and it’s not Biblical.
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8). Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living (2 Thess 3:12).
Therefore, if you are not able to live independently, or if you have family members to take care of, please try your best to fulfill this responsibility first.
Second, we have to consider meaningfulness, even more. The lifetime of man is not just one hundred years. We all know, that we live for eternity. One thing I know for sure: If we don’t consider eternal meaningfulness when making major decisions, we will regret when we stand in front of God on that day. So please, consider your faith, when you make major decisions. Am I helping to spread the gospel? Am I helping to build up the church? Is this reflecting the will of God which has been revealed in the Bible? Is this meaningful in eternity? What is my mission? Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)
Third, it takes perseverance. We all understand this when we work outside the church. But, when it comes to serving God, we will easily forget. When we encountered difficulties in some serving areas, we tend to get frustrated and say, “I don’t have the gift to do that”, or, “God has not called me for this.” However, we ignored the simple need for perseverance. Just as our professional skills, our serving skills will not be perfect in one day. Things like leading worship, leading Bible studies, sound controlling and basic teaching, which one of them can be easily mastered without learning and practicing? The gift of God will not immediately turn us into masters. Instead, the gift of God puts a burden in our hearts, and provides for us a path to improve the skills, so that we can gradually become a good vessel through our continuing efforts. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).
Fourth, it’s not too late. We were not Christians at birth. Some of us even did not become Christians at a young age. We may feel sorry and regret for those many years. But God has His own time. He has the best plan for each of us. Those years will not be useless. God is able to use them to shape us into His qualified workers. It’s never too late to do the right thing. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14 ).
These 4 tips that I have shared with you has been crucial in my own decision-making process. So, what’s my decision? Don’t worry, I will tell you right now. After much prayer and careful consideration, I have confirmed my calling once again. I have decided to follow the original plan, to become a pastor in a local church, dedicating my life interpreting and preaching the Word of God.
For my family, the time in CBCGL will be a special and never-will-forget memory. We are honored to have the privilege to serve in this church, and we are really grateful to have received such love and support from brothers and sisters. We wish each of you a life full of God’s blessings. We pray that each of you will find your own mission, and become God’s vessels and co-workers. We firmly believe, that we will meet again in our Lord Jesus Christ! Take care!
(Photo Title: Good Bye)