Devotion for the beginning of 2018

by Matthias Lübke

Dear Readers and Friends of Msinga Organization,

With the start of 2018 I’d like to greet you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart. Whether prayer partners, financial contributors, sponsors of children, project sponsors or voluntary helpers – each individual has a valuable share in the active support we have been able to provide for our mission partners abroad. We are the voices of those who have no voice of their own in order to be heard. I know I can say this to you on behalf of our sponsored children in Africa and Asia who so greatly appreciate your loving care and help, as indeed do our project partners with whom we stand side by side in Jesus´ ministry.

At the close of 2017 – so much has happened! There were beautiful and difficult things, joyful news and perhaps some unspoken pain or sorrow. At the turn of the year, what will be in store for us? Simply scrolling on to the next page of life? Are we ready yet to “turn the page”? Wondering about unsettled questions or missed opportunities? How many more pages will we be turning? What is my life all about?

Questions, questions and even more questions. The Gospel zooms right in on our grievances and valleys of life, calling us to Jesus who died on the cross for us sinners and rose on the third day. Jesus is not on the lookout for heroes but for people who recognize their need for help, by faith laying hold of His rescuing hand. That gives me hope since I am one of those who daily seeks and experiences His love and acceptance that extends beyond this life into eternal live.

An example of this is Martin Luther. Turn back 500 annual pages and you arrive in the year 1517, just in time for his theses to be fixed to the door of Wittenberg’s castle church (Schlosskirche). With his 95 theses Luther wanted to draw attention to the abysmal state Christendom found itself in. In the end, however, and in his great despair and hour of need Luther not only found access to God’s Word but also to the God of the Bible. Encouraged, he set about translating the Bible into the German language as faith does not originate in the brain but comes from reading or hearing the word of God. It is not until Jesus’ word is heard and accepted that faith becomes possible. Luther was courageous enough to act as a guidepost, pointing to Jesus who by the wounds he suffered on the cross opened the way to our heavenly Father, achieving for us the forgiveness of sins and a new life in Him. Church membership alone is not enough, rather “the righteous will live by faith” (Rom 1,17b). By faith, Luther found refuge in the resurrected JESUS CHRIST, the true reformer of all life. “Back to Jesus” continues to be highly topical in our day.  Prior to turning the page to the New Year 2018, we may align ourselves anew with Jesus in order to be ignited by Him in repentance and turning around. In the forgiveness He offers, Jesus erases any smudgy pages in your life, drawing His love onto you instead! Will you grant Him access to your life? There is a big reward awaiting you!

Wishing you every blessing as you turn over the leaf to 2018,

Matthias Luebke

On behalf of Msinga e.V. board

 

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