By the grace of God, we have lived to witness the last day of the year. If God is willing, we may enter tomorrow into a new year. Let’s begin now by saying “A Farewell To 2020” which has been an unprecedented and tumultuous year for many and which, as you recall, was the title of last week’s Podcast Message. As your pastor, please allow me to encourage you in various ways.
New Year’s Eve is a great time to celebrate and usher in the New Year, but today is also dangerous depending on who we are around, where we are and what we are doing. Because so many are demented and intoxicated, we need to be even more careful; consequently, I strongly encourage us to stay home because this is probably the safest place we can be. If you choose to be among the public, make sure that you are wearing a mask, social distancing yourself at least 6 feet from others, and washing your hands thoroughly and frequently.
Close Out Well
To enter into a new year well, we often must exit the previous year well. In other words, if we want 2021 to be good, we need to end 2020 in a good way. We were blessed last Sunday in the Podcast Message to peruse Isaiah 43:18 which reads: “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.” We need to say farewell to “the former things” and “the things of old” in order to experience a Happy New Year which suggests that we ought to conclude 2020 well in order to begin 2021 well. Therefore, whatever is causing us to be out of God’s will should be rectified now unless we want 2021 to be a repeat or be worse than in 2020. For example, we still have an opportunity today to conclude 2020 well financially by giving as God inspires and directs us.
When we close out a year well, then we can begin a new year right, and to begin a new year right means to begin it living according to God’s will. I realize that we are not perfect; hence, we cannot live perfectly according to God’s will, but we must strive for excellence! The more we live according to God’s will, the more favor we have with God which is incumbent for a blessed, happy, safe and prosperous new year. Doing the following faithfully amid this pandemic will enhance our favor with God:
- Hearing & Sharing The Sunday Podcast Messages (every week)
- The Lord’s Supper (every 1st Sunday at 8 am and/or 1:30 pm)
- Grocery Giveaway Ministry (doing the work and/or financially supporting the work)
- Praying Three Times A Day (1st prayer between 12-6 am)
- Prayer Partners (pray together at least once a week)
- Prayer Meetings (every Wednesday at 12 pm and/or 6:30 pm)
- Bible Study (every Wednesday at 7 pm)
- Sunday School (every Sunday)
- Daily Bread (3 Old Testament chapters and 1 New Testament chapter daily)
- Tithes & Offerings (obediently, lovingly and faithfully)
I would like to commend our Children Ministry and A/V Ministry for a great job providing us A Virtual Christmas Experience entitled: “Jesus, The Light Of The World.” I applaud wholeheartedly our children, leaders and workers for their excellence in this presentation.
I would also like to express a special thank you to those of us who have been giving faithfully in the last nine months, and I encourage each of us who have done so to continue. I also would like to express a special thank you to people who were not giving but gave as a result of my special appeal to you this month because our finances increased in December. To those of you who were not giving but are now giving, prioritize your finances to enable you to continue. However, to those of you who are still not giving, I encourage you to be a good Christian and parishioner of St. John by supporting your church financially. I encourage all of us to prepare to consistently give Tithes and Offerings in 2021. If we do so, God promised to bless us abundantly (Mal. 3:10). We currently contribute by mailing or dropping off our Tithes and Offerings to our St. John South Campus (662 South 52nd Street—Richmond, CA 94804) or by giving online through our website (sjmbc.org).
May God bless and sustain each of us, and may each of us experience a very blessed, happy, safe and prosperous new year.
Your Servant In Christ,
Dr. Kevin B. Hall, Pastor