Trustworthy faith strives to end chapters in life and ministry well. Why, because “Christ’s love compels us” (2Co 5:14-15). Effective evaluation for the purpose of preparation are part of living life “for the glory of God” (1 Co 10:31). Why? Because faith longs to have God honoured above all else, “your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages” (Psa 135:13).
It’s important to learn well from the lessons of life. Acquiring wisdom, maturity, and readiness for the future is significant. You see, faith begins by looking back on God’s blessings and training. Next, faith looks forward, seeking to be equipped for new chapters in life and service for Jesus. Faith desires to be equipped with strength and courage for whatever lies ahead.
From one year to the next
Remember, as you transition from one year to another, God “will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Heb 6:10).
I notice that King David anticipated the Lord’s future blessings. You too, should look forward to His blessing as you prepare for serving Christ throughout 2019. David said; “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psa 27:13-14). God’s blessing, in God’s timing, delivered via God’s methods are what we live and serve for.
A healthy exhortation is found in 1 Chronicles 28:20, where David encouraged his son Solomon. “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.”
Even though you live in a in vastly different culture, and hundreds of years later, God’s principles remain the same. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10).
For those in Christ, the Lord has planned good works for you to do. And His plans are accompanied by his spiritual resources which the Holy Spirit enables through internal and external means. It’s through obedience to the truth of God’s Word, the controlling of His Spirit, and the support of gifted believers, that God’s people can become well equipped for future service.
The reality of faith should look like this. Before you seek Christ’s power for the courage and strength for the year which lies ahead, first rejoice over God’s victories in your life during the past year.
Heads up people
If you are reading this, knowing deep within that you are resisting the Lord Jesus Christ; I leave you with His invitation:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mat 11:28). “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb 3:15).
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil” (Pro 3:5-7).
“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Ac 3:19-20).
I encourage you; have faith which ends 2018 well and begins 2019 strong.
A special thanks to all the wonderful brothers and sisters in Fiji (Vinaka, Vinaka vaka levu). You have been a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to me in the Lord’s work. May the Lord continue to work His mercy through you as you lead others to the Saviour. I pray for you as the apostle John prayed for Gaius; “that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3Jn 1:2).
I shall be taking a break over the Christmas holiday session and look forward to joining you again early 2019. May God bless you as you celebrate and live Christ this Christmas.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.baybiblefellowship.co.nz