1 May 2013 by Timothy Tai CM-
As Christians, we know that this world is not our home and that we are merely passing through. And while we may currently hold Malaysian passports and identity cards, our true citizenship is in heaven and we eagerly await our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from there (Philippians 3:20). But just because we belong to a heavenly kingdom doesn’t mean that we don’t have any duties to carry out here on earth. On the contrary, there is much work to be done.
In light of the crucial 13th Malaysian General Elections this weekend, here are some things that we know the Bible says regarding our earthly responsibilities:
1. We know that we have to abide the law and pay our taxes.
Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. – 1 Peter 2:13-14 (NKJV)
“Well then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” – Mark 12:17 (NLT)
2. We know that we are to pray for our leaders and our fellow man.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV)
3. We know that God also tells us to do what’s good for our cities and nation.
And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare. – Jeremiah 29:7 (NLT)
4. We know that Jesus has called us to be the light and salt of the world.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.” – Matthew 5:13 (ESV)
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)
5. We know that our lives are short and we need to make the most of our time here.
Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. – James 4:14 (ESV)
Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. – Ephesians 5:16 (NLT)
6. We know that we sin whenever we don’t do the good that we ought to do.
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. – James 4:17 (ESV)
7. We know that our struggle is not against man but against powers and principalities.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
8. We know that we will all stand before God one day.
For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. – 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NLT)
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. – Romans 14:12 (ESV)
Looking at God’s word, it’s crystal clear that as Christians, we have a duty to both God and country. We are called to be the salt and light of the world, and for us Malaysian Christians, it starts with us being the salt and light right here in our own country. So as we fulfill our civic duties and exercise our right to vote this weekend let us also remember to pray and fast for our beloved country. May God’s kingdom come and may His will be done here in Malaysia as it is in heaven. Amen.
Note: Timothy grew up in Kuching and worked in KL before jumping off the corporate ladder in 2006. He moved to New York City where he served at an inner-city kids ministry for almost 6 years. He has since returned to KL and has just married his Irish fiancee Sarah.
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