Minister's Message-New Year 2022

       Revd Josephine Soon, 1 January 2022 A servant of the Lord Jesus Christ

Greetings to you all, sisters and brothers in the Lord, church, we have learn that we cannot do this by depending upon our own wisdom and energy. Instead, we must ground ourselves in prayer and the promises of God in His Word. I hope you are well and have had a reasonably good Christmas Day. What a year we have all shared in 2021! So many ups and downs and trials we each have faced, as well as with all the changes we are experiencing in being the church of today. Thanks be to God who has made promises to all who have entered a saving relationship with Jesus. He promises us that: God will be present with you (Isaiah 43:1-2), God loves you (Romans 8:39), God will trade His peace for our anxiety (Philippians 4:4-10), God gives us spiritual protection (1 Peter 1:3-5), God will always provide a way for us to say no to temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13) and God will make all things right (Revelation 21:1-4). God is the Promise-Keeper. He keeps promises because there are never circumstances beyond His control, never situations He did not foresee. We can trust in His promises and find comfort and peace in His Word. Did you grow in 2021? Not many has made new believers in 2021. If we want to be serious about making new disciples of Jesus here, first, we shall pray for courage and the desire to do something about this aspect of our life. However, if you are not sure how to do it or what to do to help someone to have a relationship with Jesus, then you need to make a commitment to this goal. It is like learning how to read and write or learning how to drive a car or learning to use a computer! If you want to make disciples for Jesus, you must be one and then take a course to learn how to make disciples! The thing about Church Growth or your growth in faith – it can be viewed in two perspectives: (i) growth in making new believers and (ii) grow deeper in our belief as a Christian. We can all do something about it to grow stronger in faith – to become more open to talk and share about your faith and belief and to have the confident to open your mouth and pray (with word and voice) for one another. Why does praying out loud matter to Christians? Praying is breathing spiritually. We need to breathe in and out the air to live or we die. Christians need to pray in and out the word with voice to live spiritually or die! As a presbyter, I wish to offer our congregations the opportunity to begin your new year by renew your covenants with God using Covenant prayer. The Covenant Prayer I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee, Exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, Let it be ratified in heaven. Amen. What a privilege that through the saving grace of Lord Jesus that we come together or individually at home to make this our personal covenant with God. But, if to make this covenant a reality in your life, pay attention to these admonitions: 1. Set apart some time, more than once, to be spent alone before the Lord; in seeking earnestly God's special assistance and gracious acceptance of you; in carefully thinking through all the conditions of the covenant; in searching your hearts whether you have already freely given your life to Christ. Consider what your sins are. Consider the laws of Christ, how holy, strict, and spiritual they are, and whether you, after having carefully considered them, are willing to choose them all. Be sure you are clear in these matters, see that you do not lie to God. 2. Be serious and in a spirit of holy awe and reverence. 3. Claim God's covenant, rely upon God's promise of giving grace and strength, so you can keep your promise. Trust not your own strength and power. 4. Resolve to be faithful. You have given to the Lord your hearts, you have opened your mouths to the Lord, and you have dedicated yourself to God. With God's power, never go back. I will continue to pray for you and to offer our congregation the opportunity to learn more about God-in Jesus through bible and theological reflection. Please sign up to one of the courses: • Bible Course in person 21/1/2022 at Wesley Methodist Church. You can start a new group if you get together at least 5 people. • Thursday Discussion on Zoom • Revisit the meaning of Christian Marriage and Christian Parenting courses. It is my hope that you may continue seek to grow in faith, in love and in the Kingdom of God according to His will. In Christ,

Revd Josephine Soon