6 Ways to Care for Malaysia
‘Malaysia Prihatin’ or ‘Malaysia Cares’ is the theme for this year’s National Day and Malaysia Day celebrations. It was chosen to recognise the caring, determined and resilient nature of Malaysians in facing the challenges caused by Covid-19.
With 2020 being a difficult year for everyone, there may be no reason to celebrate. But as believers, this year’s theme is a great reminder for us to continue loving and caring for our nation, something God instructs us to do. Here are 6 ways we can care for our country:
1. Celebrate our differences
Malaysia is a multi-racial country, and our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” In that context, Paul was referring to the gift of eternal life that is in Jesus Christ, available to all who respond by faith in Him. While Malaysians are not of one faith, we are made up of different walks of life and we have a shared heritage in one national identity. So let’s celebrate – not discriminate – our differences.
2. Love our neighbours
Loving our neighbours is a basic principle of Christian living and is one of Jesus’ two greatest commandments – to love God and to love others. Philippians 2:4 says, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others too.” We can practise this by asking after a colleague, buying lunch for the cleaner, or giving someone a lift home. There are plenty of needs around us, especially in the wake of Covid-19. In fact, I personally know of people who have gone beyond to care for those with desperate needs, regardless of their faith.
3. Respect those in authority
Some of us may find this difficult to do. But consider that Paul and Peter’s letters were written during times of Christian persecution under authoritarian emperors like Nero and Domitian. “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities…” (Romans 13:1), “Fear God, and respect the king” (1 Peter 2:17). If God commands it, then let’s trust in Him despite the realities we face, because respect for authority brings glory to God.
4. Seek Malaysia’s prosperity
To seek a country’s prosperity is to look after its welfare. Other translations of Jeremiah 29:7 say to pursue its well-being, to work for its good, or to work hard to make it prosperous. Here, the Prophet Jeremiah as God’s spokesman was telling the deported Jews in Babylon to plant roots there, as they will be there for the long haul. The verse goes on to say, “…Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” For us, this means making Malaysia a better place during our time here as earthly citizens. We can do this through our chosen professions or through various charity works – all the while keeping our eyes fixed on our heavenly citizenship.
5. Pray for our country
Praying for our country and its leaders is productive towards God’s plan and purpose for our nation. 1 Timothy 2:1-3 says that we are to pray, intercede and give thanks for kings and all people in authority. Every year around August/September, the Council of Churches of Malaysia and the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship issue calls to pray for the nation, providing a list of specific items to pray for. At Our Daily Bread Ministries we are doing the same. Do join us on our Facebook page for a 6-day prayer for Malaysia in the lead up to 16 September 2020.
6. Proclaim the Gospel
As disciples of Christ we are called to be His witnesses by deeds and by words. The Apostle Paul reminded his audience that he is not ashamed of the gospel, “because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16). Where the opportunity arises, we should want to speak of the love and grace of God to all who would listen. Why not browse our outreach booklets to help you get started? As in Habakkuk 2:14, may our nation be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
Happy Malaysia Day!
About the Author
Wan Phing Lim is a contributor to Our Daily Bread Ministries Malaysia.
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