I really enjoy this time of year. The celebration of the birth of Jesus who brings newness of life into the world is my highlight. Then comes the New Year. With the holidays comes added time for family and reflection on what is important in life. There is time to think about what we have accomplished and what our plans will be for the year ahead. How can we achieve more for the Kingdom?

For many, this is not an easy time. Many cannot afford to eat differently from normal or to go away for holidays. For some of our mission partners there is the challenge of being away from family and friends as they serve in other parts of the world. Its all too easy to measure our success and failures by what we have in terms of worldly goods or Kingdom accomplishments (how do we measure those?).

So much of what we are to be as followers of Jesus is about ‘being’. And yet we measure things by what has been done. The Psalmist provides God’s perspective on our striving:

Be stilland know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”  Psalm 46:9-11 (NLT). Isn’t  it great that the results are up to our sovereign Lord. The blessings is that we are invited to participate with him in his mission in the world.

As Jesus was referring to his departure he reminded the disciples of the gift he would leave that is available for all his followers:

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:26-28 

This newness of life comes to us as a revelation tied up in our relationship with the giver of life. Its to be found in stillness and in a gift that we need to take the time to receive daily. Its okay to rest, to do little and to be- be still.

Being churches and individuals in mission with God is about getting involved where he is at work. Our plans and ambitions may be skewed if we don’t take the time to listen and to see what God is up to.  Take time to observe and see where God is at work. What gifts, abilities, and interest has he given to your church community that can be used for him? What do you need to learn and develop in order to be more useful?

There is a risk in getting involved. God will make old things new as we open ourselves up to his plans. Change can sometimes be difficult and yet God is more pained by our lack of movement, our lack of risk taking. Jesus shared a parable with his followers about this (Luke 19:11-27). We are not to hide what we know and understand and have to offer the Kingdom away for fear of losing something. We are to get involved so that God can multiply what we give.

This year our South East Asian family of churches are hosting a Brethren missions conference in the Philippines (28th – 31 August). The theme is ‘Pass it On’. GC3 will be involved in the conference and we would love to see others from New Zealand join us. The church in South East Asia is growing rapidly. If you are interested in learning more about where God is at work and the possibilities of being involved, the conference would be a useful beginning. If you are interested in specific opportunities in the Philippines, then be part of a group that will travel to the conference a week earlier so local Philippine relationships and opportunities can be explored.

For further information contact Russell Thorp, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone Russell on 021481088 or 09 8340035.


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