THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2013
ENTERING INTO THE SABBATH REST
God is a God who works wonders. We can look to “the
praiseworthy and mighty deeds of the Lord, the wonders that
he performed.” (Ps 78:4b). These wondrous works started
from creation, as “his works were accomplished at the
foundation of the world.” (Heb 4:3c). Just look at the
heavens. Be awed by what you see on a clear night or through
a powerful telescope, but be more awed by what you do not
God accomplishes these wonders for the benefit of His people.
How do we appropriate the wonders? We do so by faith. Faith
the case of the paralytic. His friends brought him to Jesus
through the roof. “Jesus saw their faith” (Mk
2:5a), and forgave and healed him miraculously.
In the work of the New Evangelization, we proclaim faith in
Jesus. Such proclamation can bring faith, which brings salvation.
However, for some, what they hear falls on barren soil. Thus
there is no benefit for them. Thus “the word that they
heard did not profit them, for they were not united in faith
with those who listened.” (Heb 4:2b). Jesus saves, and
people are saved through faith.
those of us who evangelize do have faith. In fact, we became
evangelizers because we were first evangelized. “For
in fact we have received the good news just as they did.”
(Heb 4:2a). But faith means accepting Jesus as Savior and
Lord. That means we need to follow and obey him, in every
way. If we do not, then we forego the benefits of salvation.
So it is that “those who formerly received the good
news did not enter because of disobedience” (Heb 4:6b).
do not just hear the gospel, but we accept Jesus as Savior
and Lord, and then we live the life of Christ. Therefore
we need to grow in faith, and that means a number of things.
must “not forget the works of God” (Ps 78:7b).
We must remain in awe of Almighty God. We must thus look
to His dominion over our lives. Once we lose our awe of
God, then we can begin to marginalize Him, ignore Him,
turn away from Him, and even become antagonistic to Him.
must look to constantly “keeping his commandments.”
(Ps 78:7c). We must know that since He is our Creator,
He knows what is best for us, and we appropriate what
is best for us as we obey His commandments.
must not be like His people “whose heart was not
constant” (Ps 78:8b). Our hearts and our gaze must
be constantly fixed on God. We must strive to love Him
with our whole being. We must not waver in our resolve
to follow Him and live for Him.
must not be like those people “whose spirit was
not faithful to God” (Ps 78:8c). We must be faithful
in every way to God’s call. We must keep God’s
covenant and walk by His law (v.10).
must always “put (our) trust in God” (Ps 78:7a).
If He is our Creator who knows what is best for us, if
Jesus gave his very life to redeem us, if the Holy Spirit
grants us grace and empowerment, then we must confidently
trust in God’s ways, no matter how we fail at times
to understand these.
Such posture of faith is for us who have already met Christ
and are already living Christ, but is surely for those others
who still have to meet Jesus. Thus we evangelize. In doing
so, we do not neglect our closest neighbor, that of our own
families. Thus “we do not keep them from our children,
we recite them to the next generation” (Ps 78:4a). The
faith is to be passed on from generation to generation. “What
he commanded our ancestors, they were to teach their children;
that the next generation might come to know, children yet
to be born.” (Ps 78:5b-6a).
When we do the work of the New Evangelization, we should expect
that faith will work wonders, as we serve and are instruments
of the God of signs and wonders. This is the way by which
many more will be attracted. “They were all astounded
and glorified God” (Mk 2:12b).
now almost 2,000 years old, is not new. But the call to the
New Evangelization is about second chances. Jesus commissioned
his disciples 2,000 years ago. The Church has responded through
the years. We too have responded. But now there is a call
to a second wind, a renewal, a revival, a greater outpouring
of the Spirit. Thus God has “once more set a day, ‘today’”
we hear this call, what should be our response? “Oh,
that today you would hear his voice: ‘Harden not your
hearts.’” (Heb 4:7c).
what is the fullness of our response as CFC-FFL? It is to
BE.LI.EV.E! When we meet, live and share Christ, then we can
expect to enter heaven. This is our ultimate rest. “For
we who believed enter into that rest” (Heb 4:3a). When
our work on earth is done, then we enter into that rest. “And
whoever enters into God’s rest, rests from his own works
as God did from his.” (Heb 4:10).
let us be on guard while the promise of entering into his
rest remains” (Heb 4:1a). We look to E after we BE-LI-EV.
“Therefore, a sabbath rest still remains for the people
of God.” (Heb 4:9). “Therefore, let us strive
to enter into that rest” (Heb 4:11a).