There are just forty days left before 2017 comes to a close. Have you borne fruits for the Lord this year? Are you satisfied that you have accomplished most of your goals which you set out early in the year? Time waits for no one. Everyone is a year older. I suppose no one who is above 40 years old wants his age creeps up quickly year after year. From 40 onwards we march on to middle age relentlessly. From 50 onwards we are right in our middle age whether they want it or not. From 60 onwards we are thinking of our retirement plans and whether we can truly enjoy the fruits of our labour in our sunset years. From 70 onwards we have reached old age and if we are strong this decade of the 70s can still be fruitful and significant. But by the time we hit 80, frailty sets in and even if we are granted long life, our dark days will be long as says the preacher in Ecclesiastes. So what have you accomplished this year for the Lord?
I am not talking about worldly or selfish ambitions or making money or more money. If making money is our gift have we given a great portion of it away for the work of God and the advancement of his kingdom? Is tithing the way to go so that we can keep the rest of 90%? Some can survive from giving away if not 90% but two-thirds of their incomes happily and yet live comfortable lives. Have our lives impact others around us for the Lord? When I reflect on this, I can only thank God I have somewhat endured the long weeks and months of 2017. In the beginning of the year I cried out to God whether I could survive another year at College hidden away in the wilderness with decreasing number of students coming in. We aim for increasing, not diminishing returns for God's glory.
For one, my preaching from 150 sermons a year in 2015 to at least 100 last year, this year's pickings have been lean. Perhaps I have preached only 30 times or with another 8 sermons to come until the end of 2017. If for impact, I can name only two sermons I preached at the Pastors' Conference last June. Praise God not a few pastors thanked me and said they were spiritually fed. My two sessions at the Elders' Seminar also received much positive feedback. I conducted two End-time seminars, one in Kota Kinabalu and one in Ranau district. I preached two sermons in my homechurch this year when I could have preached 10 times more since I was available. But alas it is time for silence and I will keep my peace until the Lord opens my mouth once more. I have 40 days left to the end of the year to finish my commentary on John's Gospel. I have been writing non-stop for the past 6 days. I have finished commenting on chapter 2 this afternoon and now I am onto the great chapter of John's Gospel, ch. 3. If I can accomplish writing in 40 days even if only until half the Gospel, the year of 2017 has not gone to waste. What about you?