My dear Zion Memorial Missionary Baptist Church Family,
I am typing this message to you less than an hour before the new year of 2020 will begin. In a little while, my family and I will kneel together and pray in the new year with hearts expecting for God to bless us greatly in 2020 as He did in 2019.
While it would be common to wish you a Happy New Year, I think, as a Christian, it may be more appropriate to pray that you will have a Joyful New Year.
I believe that we have all had our share of things that have made us happy or unhappy in 2019; but, through it all, while happiness may have ebbed and flowed like the waves on the sea, our joy should be persistent through it all.
The joy that we seek can only come from acknowledging and receiving the love of God.
In John 15:10-11, Jesus said, "If you keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."
Beloved, I hope and pray that 2020 will be a year full of the joy and love of God being bestowed upon and revealed in us as a church family, individually and collectively.
God has shown me that Zion Memorial Missionary Baptist Church is embarking on a journey of making God's love something that is evident in all that we say, think, and do. And, I believe that if we are earnest, focused, consistent, and persistent in seeking to please God first, great things are going to happen within this church family.
Yolks will be broken. Lives will be changed. Captivity will be defeated. Chaos will be cleared. Souls will be saved. And, the saved will live out their salvation in ways that will reveal a desire to live transformed rather than conformed lives.
Sound daunting and difficult. Good. It should. All of this will come to pass only to the extent that we are willing to have faith, trust, and belief in God. Nothing less will do.
We, Zion Memorial Missionary Baptist Church, do not come to church. We do not do church. We are church.
And, in 2020, I am praying for greater revelation to all of what we can be.
To give you a sense of what is possible, I took the initials of Zion Memorial Missionary Baptist Church - ZMMBC - and tried to create attributes that I believe, if pursued and instilled, cannot help but move us closer to the church family that will be pleasing to God and a church family others will desire to join.
The Z stands for Zealous. Titus 2:14 reveals, "(Jesus) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, ZEALOUS of good works."
The M stands for Marvelous. John 14:12 encourages, "Verily verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the (MARVELOUS) works that I do shall he do also; and greater (MORE MARVELOUS) works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."
The M stands for Mighty. 2 Corinthian 10:3-5 commands, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but MIGHTY through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
The B stands for Bold. Proverbs 28:1 counsels, "The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are BOLD as a lion."
The C stands for Courageous. Joshua 1:7 inspires, "Only be thou strong and very COURAGEOUS, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest."
Imagine if all of the Zion Memorial Missionary Baptist Church Family, individually and collectively, dared to live out these words. What kind of church family would we have and what great works might we accomplish for the glory of God?
I do not believe that God gives us vision to frustrate us. I believe God gives us vision to inspire us to do more than we can think or imagine on our own without God.
Beloved, with God, nothing is impossible. Said another way, with God, all things are possible.
The Apostle Paul put it this way in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
Beloved, I hope and pray that you will prove God's word to be true in 2020 and approach every opportunity God presents to you with an attitude and mindset that reveals you to be zealous, marvelous, mighty, bold and courageous. And, in you being revealed as such, it will be a revelation of ZMMBC, Zion Memorial Missionary Baptist Church, your church family.
I am excited to be your pastor. I am encouraged by what I believe God is going to do with us. And, I am grateful to be a part of this wonderful, growing church family.
May 2020 be a Joyful New Year for all of us!!!
And, remember, God loves and I love you too!