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Cause for celebration!

This coming Sunday New Durham Chapel will be celebrating our 90th anniversary. The theme of this Sunday’s activities is – “Celebrating God’s Great Faithfulness – Past, Present, and Future”. When I think of God’s great faithfulness, I’m reminded of the verse that we’ve been looking at in our blog the last couple of weeks. God is the one who is faithful to fulfill what He has promised for us. As we remain faithful to His calling on our lives God will show up in amazing ways. In the last two weeks, we have seen that our heavenly Father knows best how to answer our prayers and He knows best how to use our circumstances for His glory and our good. We read Paul’s statement, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose,” (Rom. 8:28 NKJV). We see in this promise two conditions that are required of us if this promise is to be fulfilled in our lives.

The first condition of this promise is that it is reserved for “those who love God”. Our heavenly Father does not seek the work of our hands, but the love of our hearts. This is agape love which is a supernatural love that should dominate our sense of values as it relates to our relationship with our heavenly Father and with His Son our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. So, we see the first condition of receiving this blessing, if God’s going to work everything out for our good, is that we must love God in our heart and life. I ask you – does your life reflect this love of God in your activities and priorities?

The second condition out of which this promise functions is that we need to be “called according to His purpose”. Love is a sure sign that we have been called into a relationship with the God of the universe. The center of God’s purpose for us is the ultimate source of assurance on which our salvation rests. We do not need to be very old to look and see things that we thought were disasters that God turned around for our good and His glory. I certainly find that to be true when I reflect back on my job history of different jobs that I lost, that I never would have quit, but getting laid off turned out to be one of the best things that could’ve happened to me. Because even before I knew the Lord Jesus Christ, He had something better in store for me that ultimately led to me being “called according to His purpose”. So, we see that this promise in Romans 8:28 is only for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

When I reflect back on God’s calling me to be the pastor at New Durham Chapel almost 18 years ago, I am thankful for the opportunity He has given me of serving Him and being in the center of His will. The realization in the history of God’s eternal purpose in our lives is a profound discovery. I am truly grateful for God’s presence in the journey of faith in my life as we gather together this weekend to celebrate the great kindness and goodness of the One who is promised to work all things together for our good. Let us remain faithful to the task that He has set before us and delight in His loving comfort, even in the midst of difficult trials. Looking forward to seeing you all this coming Sunday.

In the service of the King,

Pastor Rich Sivo

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