New Year’s Wishes
At the start of every New Year, we often make some New Year’s wishes, hoping that they could be fulfilled in that year. What are your New Year’s wishes? A healthy body? A happy life? World peace? Truly, these are very important to all of us. As the Lord’s servant and your pastor, I too have some New Year’s wishes for all of you. May the Heavenly Father bestow these blessings on you in Jesus Christ according to His glorious riches.
1. May God give us “a heart to follow Christ” - Our Heavenly Father chose us to become the children of God so that we would live on earth according to His will, in the way His Son lived on earth in the past. We must hold fast to the attitude of life of Christ, including His views of commission, life, values, and eternity. By relying on the Holy Spirit, we should also bring alive the beautiful attributes of Christ, including His loving heart, patience, humility, obedience, compassion, compliance, holiness, wisdom and sacrifice. “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15: 5-6)
2. May God give us “a heart that longs for Christ” – Waiting for God is not an easily learned spiritual lesson. Yet God wants the church to testify fervently for Him on earth, to the extent of perseverance and joy even amidst suffering. For the Lord has promised that He would return, and we would truly receive His riches and glory at that time. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 1:3-4)
3. May God give us “a heart that is holy and loving” – Holiness and love are attributes of God. If we can manifest these two aspects of character in ourselves, God will be glorified because of that, and we will truly be children of God. Today there are many that call themselves Christians, but few that live out the attributes of God. “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones.” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)
4. May God give us “a heart to do His will” – God has some overall directions for the church, such as wanting us to be holy, do good deeds, spread the Gospel and testify etc. The Heavenly Father also has some unique directions for the persons of individual saints. We must seek knowledge and not be fools. And we must carry out His will faithfully and patiently and not abandon half way. For God really wants us to enjoy the blessings, both in Heaven and on earth, that come with carrying out His will. “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36)
These four wishes are also the four objectives the church will contemplate and pursue this year. In the coming year, I hope we will all forget what is behind and strain towards what is ahead, caring for and complementing each other in our service, and ardently interceding in prayer in our associations. Truly bring alive the goal of “Follow Christ In Unity – Do God’s Will Bound by Love”. May God be glorified through the Richmond Peace Evangelical Church. Amen!
By: Daniel To