Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve Jones here… Happy New Year! I trust you experienced a wonderful Christmas season with family and friends.
May the Lord bless you greatly in 2016. An entire year stands before us. What will you experience? What will you pursue? May we all be found devoted to the task of making disciples in 2016.
Our Fellowship theme verse for 2016 reminds of the virtue DEVOTION. We read in Titus 2:12(b):
“We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct and DEVOTION to God.”
Who do you think of when you think of someone who is devoted? Your parents, your spouse, an aunt, a friend, a missionary? Which Bible character do you think of?
I think of Daniel. A man devoted to God in a very foreign, even hostile environment. A man so devoted to his Creator he was willing to live out counter-cultural values which would cause pause, misunderstanding and even violence.
Read Daniel 3:8-30 and learn of three Jewish teenage boys who remained devoted to God despite the consequences. They would not devote themselves to the Babylonian gods nor prostrate themselves to the golden image of the King. They were accused, bound, renounced and thrown into the fire. But they were unharmed by the flames.
The King was amazed, he marveled. I would suggest this is a step or two short of worship. The King promoted these Jewish teenagers and passed a decree to destroy anyone that spoke against the boys’ God.
◼ What lessons do we learn about DEVOTION:
1. There are those who will always be hostile to you because of your devotion (Daniel 3:8).
2. It may significantly cost you to remain devoted to the truth (Daniel 3:12).
3. God’s sovereign will is perfect whether our devotion causes us hardship or not (Daniel 3:16-18).
4. God blesses those whose devotion causes them to go through the fire for His sake (Daniel 3:23-27).
5. If you continue to remain devoted, you may make your enemy your friend (Daniel 3:28-30).
Devotion to our beliefs and values are critical to living an effective life. The same can be true of any church or ministry.
So at the start of a new year, let’s all be reminded of our VALUES as a Fellowship Movement. What makes us who we are and what we want to be?
And how do we demonstrate this Mission (Why we exist?) and Vision (What do we want to look like?). These daily operational virtues are our VALUES.
Take a moment to read over the “SEVEN VALUES” that make up who we are as a Fellowship of Churches from coast to coast. Are we demonstrating these values in our churches, our regional and national ministries and in our own personal lives? At the start of 2016, join me in re-committing ourselves to these honorable pursuits for the glory of God and our great benefit.
Take a four minute break right now, click > HERE < to watch this video and be reminded why “We Are the Fellowship”. Enjoy!
Have a blessed week,
Our 2016 Fellowship theme verse is:
“We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct and DEVOTION to God.” Titus 2:12(b) (NLT)