Pastoral Perspectives

Looking Out For Others!

On 23 October afternoon around 2 plus, I had this thought of writing this pastoral perspective:  “Looking out for others!” I pondered over this for a while and realised that it is crucial for us as people of God: a special, unique and marvellous people of the New Covenant and been given a new commandment by our Lord Jesus, to be consciously looking out for one another. What does our God expect of us as recipients of His grace and love to be doing for one another in this community of faith?

Two questions flash through my mind: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” and “What happened to so and so?” This was someone’s cries: “I go missing for a while, yet nobody knows about it! Nobody asks about me or even find out what happened to me! No one seems to be bothered whether I am around or not!” Would you then ask: “Am I my brother’s or my sister’s keeper?”

In the first place, why is there a need to look out for others? The reason is obvious. It is because we belong to one another in the Body of Christ. Do you agree with me that everyone has their sorrows and struggles? We usually would not know them until something surface it out! The question that we need to ask ourselves is: “How open and transparent are we in sharing our sorrows and struggles with others?” Not everyone is comfortable to open up and share, right? The key is: “Relationship!” To have good relationship, one has to cultivate, develop and then establish it in this community of faith. This would take time and effort to relate with one another. It can be done with the grace and help of God. “Looking out for others” is something which we need to address here!

Sharing about “Looking out for others” reminds me of God. God is looking out for you and me, isn’t He? He is lovingly searching for us to come back to Him, especially those who have drifted away from church and from their faith in Christ. Let us look at the book of Genesis and learn some truths there. In Genesis, after God created Adam and Eve, what happened to them? You can read it in Genesis 2 and 3. In Genesis 3:9, it was written: “But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?” You see here that God was looking out for Adam and Eve. When they had disobeyed God’s command, they were afraid and hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. God took the initiative to look out for them lovingly.

God gave them the opportunity to tell what had happened to them. God did punish them for their disobedience. With His grace and love, God provided garments to cloth them. (See Genesis 3:21).

Sharing about “Looking out for others” reminds me of: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” In Genesis 4, you will read about Cain and Abel and how Cain killed Abel. When Cain knew that his offering was rejected by God but Abel’s one was accepted, Cain became very angry (See Genesis 4:5-8). Then he killed Abel. In Genesis 4:9, it is written: “Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ He said, ‘I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?’

God has put us in this community of faith. Each Sunday, as we come to Church to worship the Lord our God, we should also be looking out for others. We need others to encourage us and so do others need us too! When we look out for others, we are demonstrating the love of Christ to others just as we are commanded in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” We are also each other’s keeper too. Let us be concerned for others’ well-being and be willing to go and talk with others so as to encourage and to build up others in the faith. If we are always looking out for others, no one will be left out and all will be accounted for. God will be pleased with us for taking care of others with His grace, His love and His gifts used for others. May we do all to the glory of God! Amen.

Preacher George Ang

October 27, 2019