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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2011
(Part 15)

RESTORATION AS PREPARATION

The restoration of CFC, through CFC-FFL, started in 2007. Since that time, God has been preparing a restored CFC, faithful to its charism and call, to go forth according to God’s plan and to experience the fullness of His strength for the work ahead

Our themes for the year have been preparing us for this time. In 2008 our theme was joy. In 2009 our theme was trust. In 2010 our theme on the Almighty was focused on redemptive suffering. Now for 2011 our theme is strength in God. All the past three themes now come together in our current theme.

This is what we learn from the Bible:

“rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength!” (Neh 8:10b)

“in trust your strength lies.” (Is 30:15)

“bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.” (2 Tim 1:8b)

Joy in Christ

In 2008 we rejoiced because God answered our prayer for restoration (Lam 5:21) and raised a remnant, true to the authentic CFC charism. But as the theme verse (Zep 3:17) showed, it was not so much that we rejoiced in restoration, but that God rejoiced in us. God rejoiced because now He had the CFC that He raised in 1981, now back from veering away, now restored to its true vision and mission. Now God could do His work once again through His chosen instrument.

What was God’s intent for CFC? He is the “mighty savior” (Zep 3:17a), and He intends His salvation to be proclaimed throughout the earth. That is CFC-FFL’s task, to do the work of worldwide evangelization.

For this, God raised a remnant that He intends to be humble and lowly, who will take refuge only in the name of the Lord (Zep 3:12). If we have learned these lessons and are becoming the people God intends us to become, then God will use us in His strength and give us renown and praise, among all the peoples of the earth (Zep 3:20). The way God says this today is similar: “You are my servant …. through whom I show my glory.” (Is 49:3).

Today we must always rejoice­for God raised us in 1981, restored us in 2007, and desires to use us as His strong instrument from here on. Whatever happens, through the ups and downs of mission, as long as we strive to be faithful to our calling, then we rejoice. “Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength!” (Neh 8:10b)

Trust in Jesus

In 2009 we were called on to trust more in Jesus. Why? God reiterates that He is the savior (Is 12:2a), whose pours upon us His divine mercy. He is our personal Savior and Lord, and He calls us to bring His salvation to the whole world. With Jesus by our side and with the Holy Spirit empowering us for mission, we are confident and unafraid (Is 12:2b).

We know that the work of worldwide evangelization is very challenging. We come against the very forces of darkness, which are very powerful. In fact, we experienced the enemy’s onslaught that caused the crisis and eventual split in CFC. If not for God raising His remnant, CFC would have been severely weakened or even would have disintegrated.

Now we are once again along the right path God has destined for us. Again we are called to worldwide evangelization. Again we encounter the might of the enemy. But knowing that our God is the victorious Savior who has already crushed the head of the serpent, we go forth with confidence and in His strength, trusting fully in His protection, guidance and care.

In 2009 God impressed us with the truth: “My strength and my courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior.” (Is 12:2c). Thus “I will trust, and will not be afraid” (Is 12:2b, RSV). God continues to impress upon us this truth: “in trust your strength lies.” (Is 30:15b). And this year God affirms our destiny and our calling (Is 49:1,3,5), enabling us to exclaim: “my God is now my strength!” (Is 49:5).

The Almighty, Just and Righteous is He!

In 2010 God allowed us to enter more deeply into our understanding of and our relationship with Him. God did this through the story of Job. God impressed upon us the basics that we need to really know if we are to do His work from here on, and that is: the reality of spiritual warfare, the awesomeness of His divine majesty and our response of awe and worship, the call to justice and righteousness or to holiness, and the blessing of redemptive suffering.

Job was a blameless and upright man, whom God even extolled before Satan. We are to be as just and righteous as Job, we are to be God’s witnesses, we are to truly reflect His image and likeness, we are to grow in holiness and perfection. How can that happen? One necessary aspect is suffering. Suffering purifies us and our intentions. Suffering brings us into a deeper relationship with God. Suffering gives us the privilege to follow in the very footsteps of Jesus, all the way to the cross, and beyond.

In suffering, we are to rejoice, for we suffer for the sake of the Name. In suffering, we are to trust God, for we know God is working out our very holiness. Through suffering, setbacks and challenges, we know that we do not toil in vain, nor uselessly spend our strength for nothing (Is 49:4a). It is all for God and for His will to be done.

So we are to boldly go forth, with joy, with trust, embracing the cross, not ashamed of our testimony to our Lord (2 Tim 1:8a), but bearing our “share of hardship for the gospel” (2 Tim 1:8b). We are able to do all these because we do so “with the strength that comes from God.” (2 Tim 1:8c).

Are we now ready?

With the crisis and split of 2007, God raised His remnant, faithful and true to its original call and charism. In the next three years, God impressed upon us in CFC-FFL the virtues that are very much needed in order to live out our call­joy in Christ, trust in Jesus, embracing the cross. If we have opened up our hearts to God’s call, if we have truly humbled ourselves and allowed Him to form and re-form us, if we are eager to be His servants and witnesses, if we have learned the lessons of Lamentations and the lessons of Job, then we can look to being made glorious in the sight of the Lord (Is 49:5).

Simply because God would now have His instrument, sharp-edged and polished (Is 49:2). Simply because God intends to show His glory through His servant people (Is 49:3). Simply because God calls us to be His light to the world and to bring His salvation to the ends of the earth (Is 49:6).

Indeed, we can say, “and my God is now my strength!” (Is 49:5).

* * *

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