The last six months of this decade

How crazy is it that this month finds us in the second half of 2019? The realization that we only have six months to prepare for the next decade is a sobering thought.  What are your next ten years going to look like? Where will you be in ten years? More importantly, who will you be in ten years? Every decision, every action, every mouthful of food, contributes to who you are becoming and where you will be in ten years time.


We sat with a doctor at a dinner a while ago. We began to dialogue about health and how what we eat, and drink contributes to what our future will look like.  We were saying how expensive it is to eat healthily.  It is cheaper to feed the family Macdonalds that to feed them healthy food. Her answer was simple, you are going to pay either way. Either pay for the healthy good food now or pay for the medicine and medical care later.

We have six months left of this decade, what will the next decade look like for you. When we get to the end of 2029, what will life look like?  What we do, say, engage with, read, watch, study, eat and drink will either contribute or stand in the way of you becoming more Christlike.  Who are you becoming, at the end of the next decade, will you enjoy who you are?

Jesus is the light of the world, we are called to be a light-bearers and to follow Him.  Jesus is forever crossing the lines of what we feel is proper conduct. My prayer today is that we have the courage and strength to follow Him across those lines, both outwardly to the world and inwardly within ourselves. That our very lives prompt people to open up to God.

In my opening I wrote that this week finds us in the second half of 2019, that we only have six months left of this decade! Take a moment to reflect on what the next decade and beyond will look like with the following thought – the fact that you are on a mission that will ultimately end with your death.

The fact is we have to admit that we are going to die–and then what?  What will we be able to say when God asks us what we have done with this one human life of ours? When He asks, and He will ask, what will your response be?

A Pastoral note on church

In the busyness of life, so much comes before our faith.  As we look at our lives and what lies ahead, there is one thing we can depend on.  The one thing that is universally true, has been, is and always will be true.  The thing you can depend on is this: “If we have died with Him we shall also live with Him; if we hold out to the end we shall also reign with Him" (2 Tm 2:11-12). 


Since this is true, instead of seeing our faith and church as something we have to do, or something that we only do when it is convenient, we should rejoice that the Lord has chosen us to be members of His Body. His invincible, persecuted Church. We are called to love the Church as Christ did.  Remember Paul’s words to the Ephesians as to how much Jesus loved the church, “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph 5:25)

What is this thing called church and why is it so important to be a part of it? The church exists when we gather.  Without the gathering, there is no church.  Down through the centuries the gathering of God’s people took place, and it was fed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  We are only part of the church when we are part of the ongoing and recurring gathering.  In between the gathering of the church we are scattered into society as salt and light.  The gathering and scattering goes on continually, like breathing in and breathing out.  When it stops, the church stops breathing and dies.  The church is therefore a living, functioning and moving organism of God's people.

We are not called to just attend the gathering and be a consumer, we are called to be contributors. Jesus is coming back for His church; how will you feel when He does?  The writer of Hebrews encourages us in the context of the gathering to joyfully and humbly, “Be responsive to your pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them?” (Heb 13:17 MSG) Did you care for His church?  Did you participate in His church?  Did you contribute in his church? Did you love His Church?  Did you serve His church?  Did you invite as many people as possible to give themselves to Jesus and enter His Church?

In a nutshell, did you take your part in the Church and in doing so, build the Church. 

The reality is that there is a growing Christian consumerism and individualism which tends to isolate us in our search for peace, purpose and well-being apart from one another. So much comes before His purposes for our lives.  Pope Francis brings wisdom in terms of what a church community should be when he says, "A community that cherishes the little details of love, whose members care for one another and create an open and evangelizing environment, is a place where the risen Lord is present" Yes! That's the foundation of what church should be.

This insight by Ray Ortland sums up this pastoral letter well – “If your relationship with your church is ambiguous and sporadic and subject to convenience, the problem is not your relationship with your church. The problem is your relationship with Christ. He has made his loyalty clear. He even delights in his church. He is committed to the revival of the world through the revival of the church. To God, the most important thing in all of created reality is his church, a crown of beauty in his hand. Your own greatest happiness is the revival of your church.”

We are called to live holy lives for Jesus and on our path to holiness we can identify all the more with Jesus’ prayer “that all may be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you” (Jn 17:21).

I leave you with the writer of the book of Hebrews words, “Pray for us. We have no doubts about what we're doing or why, but it's hard going, and we need your prayers. All we care about is living well before God.” (Heb 13:18) 




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The Team

imageAndrew Christie (Senior Pastor)
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image Rob McDonald (Pastor)
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image Steph McDonald (PA)
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