By Gabe Gary
And just like that another decade is in the rear-view mirror. So much life happens in a ten-year span. I’ve had children marry, grandchildren born, my wife and I both lost our fathers, some relationships came to necessary endings, new friendships were found and have been forged. There were vocational changes, some health challenges… I could go on. The last decade was challenging physically, intellectually, and emotionally.
With this experience in mind the passion of my heart for 2020 is to see the people I serve at The Bridge Church and beyond established. Established in knowing who God is and the purpose he has for their lives. If our eyes are opened and we discover his purpose for our lives we will become settled, always full of faith and hope, and able to live and manage well through seasons of life.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you…” (Eph 1:18). Here’s what has worked for me:
- Established in God’s presence. The great Christmas scripture in Isaiah 7:14 describes that the son would be born of a virgin and his name would be Immanuel, meaning, “God with us.” His intention was and is always to be with us. It’s our choice, like in any other relationship, if we want to be with him. He’s still with us today and his presence is what lifts the heaviness off my soul. It’s a passion of the heart. “As the deer pants for water so my soul pants for you, my God,” (Psalm 42:1-2). It’s a desirable place. “How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty,” (Psalm 84:1-2). As he walked with Adam and Eve in the garden in the cool of the day, I believe he still desires intimate friendship with us now. Involved in the details of our life. He’s a great friend.
- Established in God’s Word. Jesus once asked his followers if they were going to leave him. Peter replied, “Where else can we go? You have the words that give eternal life,” (John 6:68). God’s Word will illuminate and transform your life. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path,” (Psalm 119:105). Pick up your Bible, or download the YouVersion Bible App, and re-discover God’s Word.
- Established in God’s house. If it wasn’t for the local church, I doubt I’d be here today. It was God’s way to physically keep His hand on me. Ever heard the term, “a banana that gets away from the bunch gets peeled?” Don’t underestimate the benefits of attending church. It has been a place of refuge, a house of hope and encouragement. It’s life giving every Sunday! Jesus said that when we gather, he’d be there, (Matt 18:20). And where he is there is life.
Gabe Gary is pastor at The Bridge Exeter. She may be reached by calling 559-592-4828.
Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.