The True Treasure of Life

Philip Ng shares how Jesus Christ has brought true meaning to his life.

Some may know me as a property developer, but I am really a servant of the most high God whom I know through my Lord Jesus Christ. Property development is for me, just a way of making a living. Before I came to faith in God, I had always wanted to know Him, perhaps in an intellectual way. I did not realise that knowing God involved a relationship. So I searched, as there was something missing in me.

“Believe so that you may understand and not understand so that you may believe.”In 2000, I attended the Alpha Course to find out more about Christianity, and that was where I got to know Jesus. Coming to faith was a struggle until one of my friends in the Alpha Course told me, “Believe so that you may understand and not understand so that you may believe.” I dwelled on that and I believed. I knew then that life only had meaning in God and through God.

As I read the Bible, to me, the most stirring, piercing statement that Jesus made is in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” This life is not just about the after-life, but our earthly one. When we come to see Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, our life begins anew. We have a new life and we are renewed as people. It is for me also a journey of transformation.

Fourteen years into this journey, I have learned much from Jesus. Let me make reference to this wonderful truth in Matthew 6:20-24:

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also… No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

In this world, we trade in the currency of money. But the currency in the kingdom of God is love.These are stirring words. I am in business and business is about money. But money and possessions can possess us. How then do I serve God as a business person? The way to do this is to realise that I am a steward; God has entrusted money to me to be managed responsibly. At the end of the day, we take nothing with us. As a steward, I do not, therefore, have to contend with building treasures on earth, where moth and rust do destroy. As a businessman, I also have to guard against covetousness. If you have much, you will worry because you do not know what can happen; markets can go awry, property and stocks and share prices can change suddenly. So you see the wisdom of Jesus telling us to store our treasures in heaven.

In this world, we trade in the currency of money. But the currency in the kingdom of God is love. How do we make that conversion from the currency of money to that of love? Jesus will teach us how. Guided by Jesus’ teaching, I tell my people in the organisation that we want to do good business and do good in business. This is my call to them. My values in life and business are informed by my Christian faith, but we welcome and certainly include those from other faiths. We hope that our message of love can truly find a place in their hearts.

I count myself so blessed to have had this journey of transformation. I know this transformation must always start with oneself in Christ; the old self must die with the Lord and be resurrected as new. I have aspirations to serve God and share His message of truth. It now behoves me to be a light for my family and my organisation.

What is the difference between the time that I did not know Christ and now? Situations are the same, in a sense; there continues to be turmoil in the world. We continue to be faced with problems and are vulnerable to temptations. What has changed is that there is only one certainty now: my certainty of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ – without whom life would have no meaning.

Edited excerpts reproduced with permission from Diocesan Digest,
Issue No 262 – November 2014. ©The Diocese of Singapore.

Channels, not storehouses

Giving is an expression of our worship to God and a privilege we have as believers to participate in the Lord’s work. Scriptures are replete with examples of generous giving: we have the story of the widow giving out of her poverty (Mark 12), businesswoman Lydia extending hospitality out of her wealth (Acts 16), the widow giving her last meal to Elijah despite her trepidation (1 Kings 17), and Mary anointing Jesus with a costly jar of ointment out of devotion to her Master (Mark 14).

We also have negative examples of those who hoarded: Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5), Elisha’s servant Gehazi who became greedy (2 Kings 5), and the rich fool who built storehouses for his own enjoyment (Luke 12).

What matters in our giving is not the amount, but our attitude. We give out of a grateful heart for all that God has blessed us with, and we give in faith as God leads us to give sacrificially. When we give to the Lord, we trust that He will provide for our needs, multiply our offering and use it for His glory.

God desires that we become channels of His blessings and not mere storehouses. God releases His abundant resources through His people and the church. As channels, our giving becomes an extension of God’s grace to those in need. Those who receive are also enabled to fulfil God’s calling and mission. On the other hand, we become storehouses when we hoard God’s resources for our own enjoyment or out of worry that our needs will not be met.

A generous heart does not reflect our economic or social standing; it reflects our desire to bless the Lord and His work through what He has given us. We give because we want to, and not because we have to. With right attitudes, our giving in faith will fill both the giver and the recipient with praise and thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 9:12-14). The wise man writes in Proverbs 11:24 (NLT):

“Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.”

The storehouse of all good things belongs to God (James 1:17). From that infinite source of blessing, He will replenish all that we sow, whether material or spiritual, so that we become channels of His blessings.

In this festive season, would you be a channel of God’s blessings by partnering with us to Win-Build-Train-Send multiplying disciples for the Kingdom?

My prayer for all of us in 2016 —

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; and establish the work of our hands for us.”

Psalm 90:17

Blessings,

Lam Kok Hiang
Country Leader


Photograph by Bert Heymans