Resolute. This word has been ringing over the last few weeks and I believe is a word in season. This word is characterised by determination, to be firmly resolved and set in purpose. A comparative word will be steadfast, to be unwavering and fixed in direction.
To stay focused isn’t always easy, as there are events and circumstances that will come along to keep us off task. There’s a need to awaken our spirit to our life’s mission and to a purpose bigger than who we are. So how do we stay on this quest?
As a people, we’re contending for the prophetic release of the Antioch call given by Evangelist Billy Graham in 1978 and the cyclical review of Singapore. Can we see from Scripture that this call is tied to the land from which the preaching of Jesus Christ originates; and it’s also tied to acts of giving to the nations, apart from the prayer and fasting which we’ll engage in?
It all started in the book of Acts chapter 11, where Barnabas was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch to check on the Greeks who believed and came to faith. Barnabas witnessed the grace of God on them and rejoicing, he exhorted them to be resolute of heart and to remain true to the Lord.
Then setting off to find Saul of Tarsus, he returned again with Saul and spent a year with the believers in Antioch, and we’re told it was here that the disciples were first called Christians. Following this, a prophecy was given concerning a famine which would come across the world. How were they to remain true to the Lord? Aid was sent from Antioch to those living in Judea.
And to the Corinthian Church, Paul in his letter in chapter 16 reminds them to keep their eyes open, hold tight to their convictions, to give it all they’ve got, be resolute, and to love without stopping. He speaks about relief to be sent to Jerusalem, to those in need and mentions by name the first Greek disciples, Stephanas and his family.
What was Paul highlighting but that they were the first to become Christians in Greece, and they were spending their lives helping and serving Christians everywhere and in Jerusalem. He encouraged the Corinthians to please follow their instructions and do everything they could to help them as well, and all others like them and not to be distracted.
In Cornerstone, helping and serving the Christians in the nations to fulfil our Antioch call with like faith devotion involves the area of giving where it’s a true test, and in helping those in need.
If we’re to come into this Antioch call, prayerfully consider this word, that apart from prayer and fasting; giving, helping and serving were the acts by the first Christians. Jesus Himself taught in Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
This year can end with us engaging with decisions and events revolving around ourselves, who we are and what we want to do and we can forget the very purpose He has called us to. And so Jesus said, “For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.”
May you allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you and may we remain resolute in heart this year, as we’re now in the third weekend of 2018, that this year will pass with you having many memories capturing the goodness of God, of how you were able to practise the love of God! For it’s in Christ that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden for you.
Pastor Daphne Yang