Greetings for the New Year!
Hello dear Members of Emmanuel,
Once again, here we are at the beginning of a New Year. As you and I make the transition from 2019-2020, we do it in a manner which has been done in the past, ring out the old and ring in the new. The last twelve months take their honorable place in history, as we now begin to set our sights on what the future holds for us in the next twelve months of our existence. Will it be a much better year than the last? Or will it be a more difficult year than before, one that may be filled with numerous trials and tragedies? Each of us can only ponder such deep questions and then merely speculate on the outcome.
As human beings we can never fully know what the future holds. But as Christians we can fully know who holds the future. For many people, in this world, there is a real fear of the future. These people allow themselves to worry about what might be coming down the road for them as the days and weeks unfold. In some cases they can be so mesmerized about what might happen, they miss out on the blessings of each new day.
The Lord through the Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” What the Lord Almighty is literally saying to the Philippians and us through Paul is this, “Do not worry about that which we do not know of, but be thankful and rejoice in that which we do know.”
As Christians you and I have the wonderful blessing of knowing we are redeemed children of our Heavenly Father. After having just celebrated the birth of the Christ-child, who is the Son of God and the Savior of the world, we are reminded how much God loves us. He loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son (Jesus Christ), to be born in the flesh, so that He could eventually give His life, so you, me, and all people, might be saved. Dear friends in Christ this is something we truly know for sure, and it is a promise we can definitely bank on and rejoice in, as we look to 2020 and the future with great anticipation.
As we ring out the old and ring in the new, what is in store for Emmanuel on the Ridge for the coming New Year? First and foremost, it is imperative that we continue to seek the Lord’s guidance and direction as we enter the next twelve months of ministry. Fellow members of Emmanuel, you and I have been called to be God’s servants in this world. Each of us has been given various gifts and talents which are to be used to glorify Him and build His Kingdom. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
How will you and I faithfully use all that we have been blessed with to do the work of the Lord in 2020 and beyond? As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks the words of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies, in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen I Peter 4:10-11
Dear brothers and sisters in faith, here at Emmanuel there are many opportunities to serve the Lord and His people. I would ask you to please take the time to prayerfully seek God’s guidance on how He would have you be involved in the Christ-centered ministry He has called us to in this place. And as you are moved to serve, let your desires be known so we can get you connected.
May each of you have a blessed and happy New Year, as together we go forth in confidence and hope, fully knowing that we are saved by the blood of Jesus. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 Do not worry about what may come, but take joy in the abundance of God’s love you have already been given!