Our church theme is Reaching In to Reach Out. We have been on an interesting journey this past year. I have sought to challenge you firstly, to reach in so that you may exactly know who you are ‘in Christ’. And then secondly, to encourage you to reach out to others by showing your love for Jesus in action. We have spent time in the Psalms of Ascent, the Book of Acts, looking at the exploits of the reluctant prophet Jonah, Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and 1 Kings as we examined the rise and fall of a king. There was much for us to learn, consider, take in and apply to our lives so that we could truly reach out to those whom God brings into our lives.
In an effort to reach out as a church family we decided to be more intentional in our outreach and thus changed the name of our congregation to Grace Church International Congregation. We did this to reflect God’s heart for the nations and the many nations that He has brought, and is bringing, to our community. It is exciting to see how God is impacting our church and we can only look forward to see who He brings to become part of our family in the coming year.
I have been thinking that at the start of a new year that it would be good to be given a call to ‘action stations’. As we have noted with heavy hearts our world is not in good shape. We witness evil on a large scale and what we are seeing almost on a daily basis is starting to make many people think that we may be in the last days. The horrors of the Middle East, Africa, the Sub-Continent, and even in our own backyard, are beginning to weigh us down with very heavy hearts.
The letter of James is therefore timely for us. It is not a time to withdraw but a time to stand up, dig in and fight! And what I mean is to ‘fight the good fight of the faith’! James is a fantastic motivator in encouraging us to do this. It is my hope and prayer that in 2015 we will all be moved to stand firm, persevere and fight the good fight of the faith with strategic and wise action. There is much for each one of us to do as we take our rightful place in growing God’s kingdom! Let us do this together with zeal, enthusiasm and love! Let us spur each other on, particularly as the Day approaches!