THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2010
WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF OUR THEMES SINCE 2006
CFC celebrated its silver anniversary in the year
2006. In that year, the crisis that had been brewing
for the past few years would emerge strongly and result
in the split of 2007. In all these years, God was
speaking to us through the themes He gave us. God
wanted to guide us and ensure that we would go on
the right track. When we were unable to properly discern
His direction, we suffered the consequences.
we face the year 2010, with God having given us a
challenging theme from a challenging book of the Bible,
it is again imperative that we properly discern what
He is saying to us. In order to be able to do that,
we review the themes since 2006, and see how interconnected
they are, giving us a stream that then leads us into
our life and mission for 2010.
In 2006, God gave us the theme “Showing His
Power and Majesty,” from Tobit 13:6. As we were
celebrating 25 years, a milestone, we naturally gratefully
focused on what God had done in and through CFC. God
had blessed our work of evangelization and mission,
bringing us to 153 countries, exactly on the day of
our 25th anniversary, in accordance with His prophetic
word given over a decade previously that CFC would
be in 153 countries by the end of its 25th year. So
we rightfully celebrated 25 years of glory.
there was more that God was telling us. We did not
adequately consider the full line of the verse given,
which read: “In the land of my exile I praise
him, and show his power and majesty to a sinful nation.”
(Tb 13:6c). God indeed showed His power and majesty
through CFC, but just like Israel, where the very
instrument of His work had become a sinful nation,
CFC had started to veer away. CFC had started to sin.
from leading us to rejoice in our 25 years of work,
God was warning us as well. The verse continues: “Turn
back, you sinners! do the right before him; perhaps
he may look with favor upon you and show you mercy.”
(Tb 13:6d). God was calling us to turn back from our
that was God’s assurance, still a part of the
same verse: “When you turn back to him with
all your heart, to do what is right before him, then
he will turn back to you, and no longer hide his face
from you.” (Tb 13:6a).
anniversary year 2006 was a call not just to celebration,
but also to repentance. The year should have been
characterized by both joy for blessings and sorrow
for sin. Given the proper posture of turning back
to God, then indeed we would have had great cause
for celebration, not just for 25 years, but for what
more was to come. “So now consider what he has
done for you, and praise him with full voice. Bless
the Lord of righteousness, and exalt the King of the
ages.” (Tb 13:6b).
did celebrate, but we did not repent and turn back
from our veering away.
For 2007, God gave us the theme “Hope in the
Lord” from Lamentations 3:24. It was curious
for us that God took the theme from the book of Lamentations,
when hope is to be found in many parts of the Bible.
We wondered a bit, but we did not know at the start
the startling depth of God’s message.
we did not heed what God was telling us in 2006, He
now gave a stronger message. God was warning us of
impending doom if we did not turn back from our sinful
story of Lamentations is the story of God’s
people Israel. God had taken a slave people from Egypt,
entered into covenant with them in the desert, allowed
them to take possession of the promised land, and
built them up into a mighty kingdom. However, Israel
would, even right after the exodus from Egypt, turn
away many times from God, be unfaithful to their covenant,
rebel or turn to idolatry. God was very patient with
Israel. But finally, because He is a God not only
of mercy but also of justice, God left Israel to suffer
the consequences of her veering away. Israel was defeated
by the Assyrians, then the Babylonians. In this second
invasion by Babylon, Jerusalem and the temple were
destroyed. The Israelites lost everythingtheir
lives, their sovereignty, their freedom, their future,
even the temple where God resided. The writer of the
book of Lamentations expressed the collective despair
and hopelessness of Israel. They had lost everything.
story of Israel is the story of CFC. God brought us
out of our slavery to sin and the enemy, entered into
covenant with us, used us as His instruments to proclaim
the very salvation in Jesus, and build us up into
a big community that had renown throughout the whole
world. But God was giving us a clear warning. Unless
we repent and turn away from our sinful ways, then
we would suffer the same fate as Israel. We would
lose it all. God in His love and mercy did not want
that to happen. And so God brought us to the book
In the midst of what had happened to Israel, still
there was hope. The writer recalled to mind his reason
for hope: “The favors of the Lord are not exhausted,
his mercies are not spent; they are renewed each morning,
so great is his faithfulness.” (Lam 3:22-23).
This then led to our theme verse: “My portion
is the Lord, says my soul, therefore will I hope in
him.” (Lam 3:24).
were supposed to learn the lessons of Lamentations,
of what happened to God’s people Israel. If
we did, and we turned back to God, then God would
have blessed us, even more tremendously.
we did not learn the lessons of Lamentations. There
were elders who did not understand what God was telling
us, and those who simply did not accept, and still
others who persisted in doing the very things that
God was warning us about. The veering away continued
and even intensified.
result was disastrous: the crisis deepened, and CFC
For those of us who could see what was truly happening,
we clung on to the theme message of hope. Though the
split was painful and devastating, all was not lost.
had wanted the whole CFC to step back from the brink,
be restored, and continue to be blessed. But it was
not to be. However, God’s love for CFC, and
His purpose in raising CFC in the first place, continue.
God will not be thwarted by the enemy in accomplishing
His plan. And so God raised a remnant, which is CFC-FFL.
before the split, we had been working to restore CFC
to what God intended for it to be. We started the
restoration movement within CFC, to renew CFC from
the inside and bring it back to its authentic charism.
However, it was not to be. But with the split, now
we could work for restoration, without being held
so our constant prayer became this: “Lead us
back to you, O Lord, that we may be restored: give
us anew such days as we had of old.” (Lam 5:21).
We simply hoped in the Lord.
But in the meantime, we were experiencing the chastisement
of God. “For now you have indeed rejected us,
and in full measure turned your wrath against us.”
Our lamentations continued. “The joy of our
hearts has ceased, our dance has turned into mourning”
since God had raised a remnant, and we were striving
to restore the authentic charism of CFC, then God
was already at work. And so God brought us to our
theme “Joy in Christ” for 2008. Because
we were starting to get back on track, because God
allowed the emergence of a remnant, because He could
once again have a people who would be faithful to
Him, then God was starting to look once again with
favor on us. For that we could truly rejoice.
while our theme was our “Joy in Christ,”
that is not actually what the theme verse says. What
the verse says is this: “The Lord, your God,
is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice
over you with gladness, and renew you in his love,
he will sing joyfully because of you” (Zep 3:17).
It is God rejoicing in us! And it is only because
of that that we ourselves rejoice.
will God rejoice? This has to do with His purpose
in raising CFC. God had sent His own Son Jesus into
the world to win salvation for mankind. Jesus did
so on the cross. But God now depends on Jesus’
disciples to bring that salvation to the ends of the
earth. So God raises individuals and groups to do
this, sending them off with the Great Commission.
One such group was CFC.
we in CFC responded to the call, God greatly blessed
us. He indeed will bless those whom He calls who respond,
for this is His very own purpose and plan for the
world. But when we veered away, when we had our infidelities,
then God was grieved. God grieved not just for us,
but for the work that He intended which we would no
longer be doing.
with the raising of a remnant, the plan of God was
back on track. And for that, God rejoiced.
In this year, through the book of the prophet Zephaniah,
God promised restoration. “I will remove disaster
from among you, so that none may recount your disgrace.
At that time I will bring you home, and at that time
I will gather you; …. when I bring about your
restoration before your very eyes, says the Lord.”
(Zep 3:18b,20). With restoration would return our
anointing and empowerment, according to God’s
own purpose. Our work of worldwide evangelization
and mission would proceed, as God had already decided
from all eternity. “For I will give you renown
and praise, among all the peoples of the earth.”
indeed was cause for great joy.
God has raised a remnant in CFC-FFL. “But I
will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble
and lowly, who shall take refuge in the name of the
Lord” (Zep 3:12). It is important that we be
humble and lowly, knowing our sinfulness and our nothingness
apart from God, fully committed to His forming and
using us, and always dependent on His great mercy.
The 2008 theme referred to “a mighty savior.”
This now connects with our theme for 2009 from the
book of the prophet Isaiah. “God indeed is my
savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and
my courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior.”
(Is 12:2). Our theme for 2009 is “Trust in Jesus.”
context of Isaiah 12 also intersects with what we
have been given over these past years since 2006.
First, God’s anger against us has abated. “Though
you have been angry with me, your anger has abated,
and you have consoled me.” (Is 12:1b). Because
of this and because of our restoration, as we resume
our work of proclaiming the salvation of God to the
world, we rejoice. “With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.” (Is 12:3a). We
look to resuming our worldwide work. “Give thanks
to the Lord, acclaim his name; among the nations make
known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name.
Sing praise to the Lord for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.”
move forward with confidence, not being afraid, despite
the trials and tribulations that await us. We proclaim
Christ, who is our strength and our courage. We proclaim
the salvation Jesus won on the cross, which is that
great sign of His divine mercy.
Now we go to our theme for 2010. It is taken from
the book of Job. Already having experienced how the
2007 theme from the book of Lamentations was so intimately
connected with the story of Israel in her lamentations,
the story of Job can be quite intimidating and can
become a cause for great concern. This is why this
year we have been prepared to simply trust in Jesus.
lies in store for CFC-FFL in 2010?
one thing, Lamentations ought to be a continuing posture.
We continue to sin, and we continue to stray from
God’s narrow path for us. Ongoing repentance
is crucial. Full restoration to our authentic charism
is to be sought after.
For another, we must continue learning the lessons
given in these past few years. The themes given from
2007 to 2009 will always be relevant.
fact, we have gone full circle from 2006 to 2010,
in looking to the majesty of God. In 2006 we spoke
about God’s power and majesty. In 2010 we look
to “God’s awesome majesty” (Job
37:22b). The Almighty!
2006 we looked at Tobit; in 2010 we look at Job. Both
men were devout and wealthy Israelites. Both suffer
severe reverses and misfortunes. Both were mocked
by the people. Both were needled by their wives. Both
were grief-stricken in spirit. Both desire to die
due to their affliction. Both stories involve the
intervention of the enemythe demon Asmodeus and
the end, God triumphs! Both experience restoration,
and both live to a ripe old age, happy and fulfilled.
What our themes between 2006 and 2010 taught us are
enduring virtues that we will always need to have,
as we live our lives in the Lord and do His mission.
We must always have hope, joy and trust. These are
the essential foundations for facing the difficulties
and trials of life and mission.
God desires to use us in the power of His Spirit,
God will continue to mold us. Such can only happen
as we are purified through suffering, which is redemptive.
Tobit suffered. Job suffered. We too will suffer,
as we live our lives in righteousness and obedience
the end, all will work for our good.
seeming hopelessness we must always have hope in the
Lord. In inevitable times of grief we must rejoice
always in Christ. And in difficulties and challenges
we must always trust in Jesus.
whatever happens, we must always know that God is
just and righteous.
Just and righteous is He.
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Theme for 2010- Part 3[PDF]