by Pastor Roseller S. Espere
Events happening in a time like ours and things permeating the world today clearly display that the world is in oblivion of what Scriptures say or prophesy. In many societies, evil is proliferating in varying degrees, heavily overshadowing truth and morality. People get easily influenced by tales and new philosophies rather than what is morally acceptable and good, some even making themselves accomplices through their approval and practices.
Henson Lim puts it this way in his book Say To Archippus, “We are living in very urgent times. The days are evil, the time is short. One cannot miss the declining morality that is happening at an alarming rate like never before. The push for human and personal rights has never been stronger. The voice of the LGBT Movement has never been louder.” We also cannot dismiss the menaces of drug abuse, escalating divorce rates, and diseases like AIDS. The Word has come to its pinnacle of revelation that many will be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5).
The Church of Jesus Christ must repent of our own complacency, roll up our sleeves and stand up for the truth, and do what we ought to do – proclaim the Gospel to the world. This is more easily said than done. The Church has gone cold in preaching and evangelism, many of her members today merely awaiting to be fed with a word from God on Sundays, much less having a memory verse to guide them for the day. The world gears towards a system of universalism that generates the belief that everything can be acceptable and propagated for man’s own pleasure and consumption. In light of eschatological times, we might be sooner in the brink of spiritual collapse and apostasy than we think.
Given this severe situation at hand in the world and its spiritual and moral decline, there is an urgent need and call for kingdom alignment. A kingdom alignment is an assessment of what most entangles us, pushing us away from priorities, and realigning ourselves back to what is of priority, namely, one’s kingdom assignment. A kingdom alignment brings to light things that seem to grip us from being passionate and obedient to the task God has given.
This second book authored by Henson Lim entitled Alignment Check has given much insight to leaders and laymen, church workers and church members alike, in seeing and dealing with the current theo-political situation and moral issues that plague our Christian world today. As you walk through the pages, you will recognise how the author clearly conveys a realistic biblical approach to strategise ministry works, while giving doable steps to take to be aligned and focussed on each individual’s kingdom assignment.
One chapter which particularly struck me is “Pursue Godliness” in Part Three: Empowerment. As a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, I cannot deny that ‘godliness’ is one of the most misunderstood terms in many believers’ conviction. The author himself acknowledges that a misunderstanding of what godliness is could quickly reduce the concept to a certain religiosity of taking pride in one’s goodness but missing God’s standard of godliness. More than anything else, as exemplified by Christ Himself, we are admonished time and again to be godly and not just mere role models that everyone can look up to.
To pursue godliness, as the author explains, is to see it from the viewpoint of a soldier who dutifully performs tasks afforded to him from his officer; and for the Christian soldier, to obey at all costs only to please Jesus, his Commanding Officer. A godly man or woman is obedient, the author writes, if not, his acts of piety are useless and of no value to anyone. In this respect, the author also elaborates, “The pursuit of godliness and the practice of the spiritual disciplines are all means of experiencing His grace. It began with Jesus. It continues with Jesus. And it will always be Jesus!”
We know we are saved by grace through faith, and not by good works. Here the spiritual chemistry of discipline and the pursuit of godliness is entwined together, not as an attainment of righteousness but a means by which one can experience the grace of God. Nothing can be more important than fleeing from temptation and sin, but this is a spiritual ingredient that is much to be desired, that we may be strong and dependent upon the power of the Almighty, to PURSUE GODLINESS. To whatever extent our desire can go, our pursuit of godliness as taught and learned from the book Alignment Check, ultimately amounts to what Christ has taught to us in the Bible from the very beginning, “Be holy as I am holy.”
Pastor Roseller S. Espere
Living Hope Community Church
Butuan City, Philippines