2018, A Year to Proclaim

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2018, A Year to Proclaim


Saturday, December 30, 2017
As I reflect on 2017, I am beyond amazed at how the Lord answered our calls to Him (Jeremiah 33:3)! A year ago, like many, I was burdened by the effects of the August 2016 flood and was still wondering how the pieces of life, community, and ministry were going to connect and be "normal" again. In God's plan, we saw God move thoughts and things to make a new and improved "normal." We lost much from the flood, but we have gained much more than we lost. Besides new paint, decor, and a smooth church parking lot, our faith has grown as we strove to trust God and His Word, knowing Christ and His Word are the only sure foundation (Luke 6:48). Last January, we worked through our focus. We needed to. Life was different, and our church was different–everything except for our unchanging Lord (Malachi 3:6). As we tightened our grasp on Him, He directed our steps to recommit ourselves and retool some of how we do what we do. We organized ministry teams, and a higher percentage of church members are now taking an active role in doing God's work. Sunday nights and other times during the week were set aside to focus on training, communicating, worshipping, and witnessing. I look back at some of the changes and know not everything we did was perfectly executed, but the pattern we set was a precursor to seeing more of God's guidance and goodness as we let God's Word light our way (Psalm 23:6; 119:105). As we endured our slow struggles, we took time to apply Psalm 46:10: "Be still, and know that I am God." As a result, progress followed in the form of spiritual fruit. Lives have been changed as souls continued to trust and follow Christ!

Our lives and ministry produce the most good when we are preparing and providing for the opportunity of proclaiming Christ. In fact, by faith 2018 promises to be another year of progress for us as we take the next step to proclaim Christ by telling others of His loving salvation. We've taken the theme of "Proclaim" from Isaiah 61:1-3. Jesus claimed these verses as the mission of His earthly life when He went into the synagogue and officially declared the beginning of His ministry. He said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:18-19). (Note: Meaning the same thing, where the translators of Luke used the word "preach," Isaiah's translators use "proclaim.") My prayer is that we will be able to cast an abundance of Gospel seed and a wide Gospel net to produce an abundant spiritual harvest. To do this, I am encouraging each of us to set aside the first and best part of a little time, a little treasure, and a little talent to follow the pattern of Christ's mission.

We'll be sure to "Proclaim" Christ and His Word better as we focus on it. Set aside Saturday and Sunday, January 20-21, to participate in the conference we'll have with Dr. Charles Shoemaker. 

I pray you have a great start to the new year by worshipping the Lord tomorrow!

In Christ,

Pastor Dennis M. Schaffer

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Open Door Baptist Church, 7000 Gloryland Way, Denham Springs, LA 70726

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