Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… Since starting as your President, I have sought the Lord each year for a theme verse for our movement of Churches.
· In 2012 our theme verse was Romans 15:13 (NLT):
“So I pray that God, who gives you HOPE will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in Him. May you overflow with HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
· In 2013 it was 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NLT):
“For we walk by FAITH, not by sight.”
· In 2014 it was John 13:35 (NLT):
“Your LOVE for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
· The theme verse for 2015 is Luke 19:10 (NLT):
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to SAVE what was lost.”
I believe the Lord wants us to celebrate Christ’s redeeming work throughout 2015. We should do this every year, of course, but let’s especially pray for a harvest of souls this next twelve months.
The New Testament describes salvation with five words:
1. “Justification” (Romans 8:33)
2. “Redemption” (Romans 6:18-22)
3. “Forgiveness” (Ephesians 1:7)
4. “Adoption” (Ephesians 1:5)
5. “Reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)
· The NIV uses the word “justifies”, the KJV “justifieth”, and the NLT “right standing”. God acts like a judge who declares His people innocent. We stand before God guilty and condemned, but our Judge chooses to declare us righteous.
· In Romans 6:18-22, Paul illustrates the meaning of “redemption” through the story of a slave who has been purchased back and given their freedom. We are sinners who stand before God as slaves, but God grants our liberty.
· In Ephesians 1:7, the Bible declares that “our sins are forgiven”. We as sinners stand before God as debtors and God pays our debts, and chooses to forget about it.
· In Ephesians 1:5, the Bible tells us that “[God’s] unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family….” We stand before God as complete strangers, but God takes pleasure in making us His children.
· In 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, the Bible describes how sinners, once enemies of God, can become His friends.
In Colossians 1:19-23, the Bible lays out details concerning God’s amazing plan of reconciliation:
1. God’s pleasure in reconciliation (vv. 19-20a)
2. God’s means of reconciliation (vv. 20b-22a)
3. God’s purpose in reconciliation (vv. 21, 22b)
4. The evidence of my reconciliation (vs. 23)
Why not take a brief moment and read over this precious portion of God’s Word? Be encouraged—be inspired to make 2015 the year you double your efforts in reaching those whom Jesus came to “seek and to save”!
Sometimes we forget just how “good” the Good News really is! People love to hear the Good News.
Get involved in Jesus’ Mission
Let’s tell people about the Good News of reconciliation in 2015. Jesus has come to “seek and to save” our family, friends, work colleagues, school buddies, neighbours, and the casual strangers we come in contact with daily.
Our recently created Fellowship Strategic Direction Document (FDD) identifies how we as an Association of Churches seek to accomplish the mission of reconciliation. It has been a two-year project to complete a “Statement of Mission” for our Fellowship as an entire movement. To view the FDD and a brief explanatory video, go to www.wearethefellowship.ca.
Over the next few weeks, I am going to be sharing about our FDD in my weekly emails. My hope and prayer is that this simple document that clearly states our mission, vision, values and strategy as a movement will encourage and challenge you, challenging each of us and our churches to get on Mission with Jesus in 2015.
Have a blessed week,