A Call to Focus on the Lord
For the past several months Covid-19 (The Coronavirus pandemic has been the focus of the world, our country, state, cities, local communities, families, personal self and churches. In America alone, at the end of June it is projected to claim the lives of over 140,000 individuals. Worldwide it has claimed several hundred thousand lives.
Dear God for the lives lost here in America and worldwide, we pray your presence with the families of our dearly departed loved ones and give them your blessed reassurance that you will never abandon or leave them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Our focus on the Lord is intended to remind all of us as believers, that God is still God and we must shift our focus from death to life while still practicing proven medical professionals’ recommendations. However, in Exodus 20:5-B God says…for I the Lord your God, am a jealous God…let us always put God first.
Jesus said in Luke 2:49 that He must be about his Father’s business. Jesus’ purpose was to save His people from their sins and introduce us to the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is wherever, and whenever we focus on God. “Let us renew our focus on the Lord.”
As we turn our attention back to our life in Christ, the church is called to “Stand firm and take our position in God and in faith”. Moving forward, the way we do church will be somewhat different; however, the word of God remains the same. In this new era, the delivery of God’s word is different, but the purpose of the church is still to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation (Conversion) of the world. During the rest of this administration please find below the focus for us as believers in the Shawnee Valley.
• The practice of Spiritual growth and development (Making our relationship with God our number one priority). James 4:8 says it best, …draw near to God and God will draw near to you. (Making it our daily habit of spending time with God in prayer, listening, scripture reading, sharing, and practicing our faith).
• Practicing the Great Commandment and the Great Commission (The Great Commandment is to love the Lord our God with all your heart, soul, strength and to love our neighbors and enemies as we love ourselves. Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37-39 & Matthew 5:44—The Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:19-20), always remembering that He will be with us always.
• Developing the practice of sowing and giving of our time, talents, skills, tithes and offerings, and surrendering of ourselves for the cause of Christ. (Cultivating an attitude and heart of Extravagant Generosity) When we choose to focus on the Lord and put God first, God promises to give us not only what we stand in need of, but according to Psalm 37:4, He will give us the desires of our hearts.
Your Co-worker in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Calvin Alston, Jr., Superintendent
Shawnee Valley District