18 Jan GS Letter January 2019
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1, ESV
I reflected upon the above verse at the dawn of 2019. Our life on earth is like a race, which many of those before us have finished well. They are now the “great cloud of witnesses” cheering and encouraging us to do similarly. The writer of Hebrews then gives us three strategies as to how we can attain that finish. These three have become my resolutions for 2019. Allow me to share them with you.
First, less weight. Few people carry heavy bags when they run for a race. Most runners will attempt to run as light as possible. So, I would scrutinise my heart to see if there are any unnecessary burdens and impenitent transgressions that I continue to hold dear. If there are, I will by all means, throw them out.
Second, less distraction. Running with endurance not only requires pace, but also more importantly, focus. Runners must run in the right track and with the right amount of energy. Hence, I would relentlessly focus on the tasks and responsibilities God has set before me. He does not call me to do everything, but I must do everything He has called me to do.
Lastly, more gaze. What I mean is a steady and intent “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2) so that I “may not grow weary or fainthearted” (12:3). I would rely on myself less and count on God more – in His way and in His time. Imitating Christ, I will also endure my “cross” and even “hostility” aiming for the joy that is set before me (12:2).
Besides the above reflections, I also began the year of 2019 with much thanksgiving. In November 2018, I appealed for a special giving towards the ‘Christmas Gift’ or 13th month bonus, for our staff. With deep gratitude, I can update you that as of early January 2019, close to $120,000 has been raised. This means that we can disburse the bonus to our staff team this month without having to dip into our reserves.
This gratefulness comes with an amazing awe to our Lord, “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Eph. 3:20) and therefore, “to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (3:21).
Let’s walk through the New Year with less weight, less distraction, and more gaze upon Him. Let’s see how He will do far more, immeasurably beyond what we ask or think. Then, let’s anticipate ending the year with giving back sole honour to our Lord, Jesus Christ.
In His grace,
FES General Secretary