Pastoral Perspectives

God’s Agenda

In any meeting, what steers it smoothly and successfully? An excellent agenda! What is an agenda? It is a list of items to be discussed at a formal meeting. It can also be an appointment diary. You may have heard this statement before: “You must have an agenda in mind or else you would not have done this.” Every agenda comes with an ulterior motive, right? Not necessarily so! Each one of us understands what an agenda is like. You cannot have a meeting without an agenda unless it is an informal meeting. Even this kind of meeting requires some form of pointers to guide the running of the meeting. We have heard of men’s agenda, but have you heard of God’s agenda? Let me share what I have known and learnt about God’s agenda.

God’s agenda is basically God’s heartbeat! It prepares people to come into God’s kingdom. It began when Jesus began to preach, saying: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17). It is embedded in God’s kingdom. If indeed the kingdom of heaven is already here, then we ought to repent. There is no room for any delay whatsoever. Similarly, it is reiterated in this that Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15). Repentance of the sinful heart is crucial to reception of the salvation plan of God. It is no longer pursuing our own agenda but God’s agenda. We ought to humble ourselves before God, know our wretched condition and realise that we need God’s saving grace. In 2 Peter 3:9, it clearly spells out God’s agenda: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” This reflects the grace of God and the love of God. God is patient and kind towards you and me. Let us turn to God in repentance. He will fulfill His promise to you and me.

God’s agenda is also reflected in this wonderful Bible verse: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33a). God does not want us to look elsewhere for fulfillment and satisfaction. He does not want us to be distracted by the world but be attracted to His amazing and awesome love. He has graciously presented to us the kingdom of God and His righteousness through His beloved Son Jesus Christ. Let us seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then we will discover the reality of our necessities being met by our loving God. His agenda is the best for you and me. The wonderful change will happen in your life when you pursue God’s agenda. This is reflected in the lives of the Thessalonians where it was mentioned that “For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” The Thessalonians believers no longer followed their old ways but walked in God’s ways. Repentance, in this sense, is turning away from idols to following the Almighty God and serving Him, the living and true God. If we say that we have truly repented, we should no longer be doing what we used to do, engaging in sinful acts which displease the Almighty God. For those who steal, they should stop stealing. For those who tell lies, they should stop telling lies. For those who cheat, they should stop cheating. What kind of people ought we to be is clearly mentioned in 2 Peter 3:11-12, “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!

With true repentance, we receive true righteousness! As we turn our hearts to Christ Jesus the Lord, we receive His righteousness. This is reiterated in 1 Corinthians 1:30-31, “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” How wonderful it is – from repentance to righteousness! God’s agenda is embedded in His beloved Son Jesus. What was Jesus’ agenda? This was what Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” God the Son Jesus was involved in God’s agenda. Are you willing to be involved in God’s agenda? Let us know Jesus, love Jesus and magnify Jesus. Let us, like Jesus, desire to do the Will of God and to accomplish the Work of God. When we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, we will make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:14).

Let us be ambassadors of Christ, imploring others on behalf of Christ, urging them to be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20). Repentance brings about reconciliation and breeds righteousness! The ministry and the message of reconciliation have been entrusted to us who have repented, realised our helpless condition and in need of God’s salvation, and being reconciled to God and restored to a right relationship with God through His beloved Son Jesus Christ. Let us always put God’s agenda above ours, doing all for God and bringing glory to Him. Amen.

Preacher George Ang

November 6, 2022