On behalf of every one of us at CICC, I welcome you to yet another weekend of Renewal and Re-dedication at CICC. For us at CICC this annual program is about taking stock of our walk with God, taking note of things that could be done better and renewing our covenant to walk with Him all the days of our lives. The program this weekend is tailored to lift our spirits, to strengthen our body, and to encourage us to stay the course. Please enjoy these programs spread over three days as much as you can. It is most important that even as you enjoy the program, find God in them and let them strengthen your resolve to love God even more.
Our prayer at the beginning of this year was for God to perfect everything that concerns us. The most important perfection we talked about involved having a heart for God. We prayed that as God perfects all that concerns us, He will also put His love in our hearts. As God would have it, it has been a roller-coaster of a year. It has been a year in which many have found it difficult to love the Lord except, of course, when He has placed His love in our hearts Himself. It has been that kind of year in which only those who are close to God can get by. It has been a year that has presented many opportunities to show how much we love others through concrete actions. It has been a year that has presented many opportunities to enter into a deep, intimate relationship with God just in the same way Apostle Paul longed to know Christ intimately. It has been a year where the survival of our minds and spirit is predicated on how much we love God with all our hearts and minds.
As we have learnt throughout this year in our studies, surviving a time like this requires that we train our thoughts on how to win over worry. Doing all of these requires that we think the truth and take every thought captive. That is God’s word for us in this year. The more we think the truth and think the right thing, the more the love for God grows in our hearts. We love God because He first loved us, but the more we love Him, the more His purpose for us is fulfilled by His grace and power. How comforting and empowering it is to know that if we are passionately pursuing God’s word and purpose, in truth and in Spirit, God Himself has passionately committed himself to fulfilling His purposes in us.
Brethren, no matter how hard or difficult things may have seemed this year, with the horrible circumstances of Covid-19 notwithstanding, God’s truth is that He will never abandon the work that He has lovingly and painstakingly invested in us, and He will ultimately bring that work to perfect completion. “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands” (Psalms 138:7-8). That is the truth of God’s word for us.
So, is your heart fully committed to him? If it is, then God will find you, and sooner or later you will come into the greatest joy that anyone can ever experience in this life: God fulfilling His purposes for you and through you. Despite the calamity of Covid-19, you are still here and, God is still on the throne, still at work perfecting all that concerns you and He will not be late. Whatever your needs may be today you should listen to the voice of the Lord and do what He is telling you to do, love Him with all your mind and all your heart, and all your soul.
In this Renewal and Rededication season, concentrate on your relationship with God. Where you are headed on a wrong path, ask for redirection; where you are getting weary, plead for a new lease of life; and where there are losses, pray that whatever is lost will be restored. God’s truth in Psalm 71:20-21 says, “You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.” My prayer is that after this Renewal and Rededication period, all those who are sorrowing will be comforted, those who are troubled will know peace, and those who are seeking God will find Him in Jesus’ blessed name.
– Pastor Simbo Odunaiya