Resident Minister's 2018 Message
The New Year, 2018, is with us and to God, be all the glory. Already, the good Lord is faithfully and gradually taking us through it, one day at a time. We have the confidence as well as the assurance that, “Because He lives, we can face the days, weeks and months that make up the year, 2018”.
As a church, we are coming from a year which was blessed with the Annual Theme, STRENGTHEN AND CONFIRM! … Isaiah 35:3; and, the good Lord, through this Theme, taught us many things. Primarily, we have been taught to be conscious of the Times we find ourselves in and do well to respond accordingly. The Signs of the Second Coming of the Lord seem more prominent now than ever before. Apostle Peter has this timeless reminder for us,
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (Emphasis mine) 2 Peter 3:8-14
Hence, we could not simply afford to grow weary but remain vigilant. From the Annual Theme, we did appreciate four basic areas we would always need to work on or Strengthen and Confirm in order to stay abreast with the Times. These included our Study, Prayer, Fellowship and Witnessing lives. Pursuit of His knowledge, intimacy through prayer and fellowship as well as obedience to all of His commands are lifetime ventures for every believer in Christ. We were encouraged to see ourselves as work-in-progress and continue to work diligently at our salvation with fear and trembling.
Upon the leading of the Holy Spirit, we borrow from the Apostle Paul, our Theme for the year, 2018, as, HOLD FAST THAT WHICH IS GOOD! (1 Thessalonians 5:21b). The Lord of the Church by this Theme, is calling us to fully respond to Him in many areas. As tripartite beings, it is a call to take responsibility to develop our spirits, souls and bodies. In the first instance, being part of the Body of Christ will afford us the opportunity to identify and prioritize spiritual things and Hold Fast to the Good. In much the same way, being part of society, this wonderful Theme is creating in us the awareness to be on the lookout for That Which Is Good and Hold Fast!
Despite the obvious moral degeneration of human society, there would always be something good out there for the diligent seeker. We are, thus, encouraged to live with the desire to be good ourselves and to look out for the good in and around us and adopt and celebrate them. Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu did emphasize the good in and around us in their book, MADE FOR HIS GOODNESS. To them, “We are fundamentally good” (pg. 5). There is good out as well as evil out there; we are to see the good and hold on to it.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is primarily one of hope. Isaac Watts in his famous hymn, Jesus Shall Reign, affirms this basic truth in one of the stanzas:
Where He displays His healing power,
Death and the curse are known no more:
In Him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their father lost.
The Advent or Coming of Christ into our world has ushered in restoration and, as such, hope. His goodness in His creation should, therefore, be evident or accessible to as many as may seek it diligently. And, in finding it, Hold Fast on to it. However, through it all, let’s Stand up for Jesus and do well to Stand in His strength alone!
Happy 2018 and may the gift of 2018 bring us the very best of God. Do not be afraid! Let’s only endeavor to HOLD FAST THAT WHICH IS GOOD!