Pastoral Perspectives

“Excuse me are you a pilgrim”?

In our Christian life, we may forget that we are not traveling overseas or to some other place in the world, but to heaven. The journey has begun. It is a spiritual journey and yet it is also a journey of body, soul and mind. We are reminded of this from the book “The Pilgrim’s Progress” by Paul Bunyan. On this journey there are many events happening in a Christian’s life. The believer must escape temptations, the attractions of the world, the devil’s tricks and deception to make us forget who we are as Christians; and the traps that we must not fall in. The author explains that God is always with us and helps us in our journey. We need to trust in Him, being prayerful and persevering on for the hope and joy of reaching heaven; where our loving God waits for us.

If someone were to ask you, what are you doing here on earth, what would be your answer? On the other hand, would the people around you recognize immediately who you really are and would asked you this question “Excuse me are you a pilgrim”? Would your answer be-maybe, not sure or a very clear yes?

Therefore, when you think of a pilgrim in a Christian sense, he a person who is passing through this world. In many ways he suffers for not being like the people of this world, simply because he is a citizen of a different place, heaven is that.

We can see this appeal when we read I Peter 2:11-12, “Dear brothers and sisters, you are foreigners and aliens here. So I warn you to keep away from evil desires because they fight against your very souls. Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world”.

Today, we need to examine ourselves. Are we aware of the journey we are traveling to heaven? Have we made the necessary preparation, as we know we should not be like the rich man trying to enter the gates of heaven with many ‘barang-barang’ of this world?

Let us learn from this passage and see where we can apply it today in our lives. In everything, we do whether in business or in our day-to-day living, we need to do some stock-checking. There are things that need to be thrown, to re-adjust our spending, looking into our time management; how much time we spent with God against the TV, our work, our family, and with our friends also.

So, we need to keep away from evil desires. Avoid the attractions of the world and our desires which are stumbling blocks to us.

Be watchful of our priorities because we are now citizens of heaven. We have a Christian code of living based on the OT and the NT. It is summarized in Matthew 22:37-39 – Jesus replied, “you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind; and love your neighbour as yourself”.

We ought to have a respectable behavior. This kind of godly living makes our conduct honourable, and those who don’t know God will believe and honour Him.

The Bible describes also this journey like a race we have to run, as an individual and as a community. A race that must be run without the things of the world; and a race to be run with patience looking unto Jesus as our Shepherd. The strong are to help the weak along the way so that all will complete the race.

Therefore, let us continue to encourage each other in our journey to heaven.

Rev Eddie Chandra

August 23, 2015