New Beginnings can lead to ... curiosity ... excitement ... awe ... happiness ... confusion ... fear ... anger ... sadness ... denial ... gratitude ... heightened awareness ... acceptance ... and many other emotions because along with a New Beginning is change and change effects us in ways that we cannot predict and we often go through most of these emotions as we experience change.
Last week, Julie asked for you to pray for our home church as the church goes through its own New Beginning. This morning as we worshiped with our home church through the internet, we too are experiencing many of these emotions. It is exciting to us to see how God is reconciling brothers and sisters in Christ and bringing these three churches together in unity to create a new body of Christ in Camden County, Georgia. Even as we are full of excitement and wonder at what God is doing, we realized that suddenly overnight there are now more people in our church family that we don't really know than there are that we know. Without doubt, many of the families of those three former churches will experience that same realization. They will experience that things are no longer as they were.....BUT GOD! God said, "Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old (Isaiah 43:18)". In other words, don't drive around spending most of your time looking in the rear view mirror. We are still very much in our own transition here in Honduras, but we have been far enough in it to know that we cannot focus on what was or we would want to return to where we were rather than press forward with what God has now called us to do. As God led the Israelites out of slavery and persecution in Egypt, the Israelites looked back and wanted to return because it was what they knew and the future was unknown.
God continued his exhortation in Isaiah, "Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it (Isaiah 43:19)?" God is doing a new thing in Camden County, Georgia -- do you perceive it? While churches all over the USA are fighting, splitting, and focusing on their own selfish desires, God is at work in Camden County reconciling His Body and is bringing three churches from different backgrounds together in order to be Better Together". This morning was the kickoff celebration service to celebrate what God has done, but it is a work that continues as the members of these three bodies figure out how to become one body.
God is always at work to bring about His will and to bring glory to His name! God is at work here in Honduras as He does a new work in our lives so that through us He can give a New Beginning to children and to the people of Western Honduras. God is at work in Camden County Georgia as He creates this New Beginning for the members of these faith families and for the people of Camden County. God is at work in your life, wherever you are, to give you a New Beginning. Maybe you are in a really bad place right now and you desperately need a New Beginning for yourself -- God wants to give you that New Beginning through Christ Jesus. Maybe you are in a good place and want to stay there -- remember God is still at work and wants to do so much more with you for His glory so allow Him to do a new work in you as well.
And finally, if you have found yourself in the middle of a transition -- you will go through all of these emotions at some point. Don't loose focus -- keep your eye on the goal that is before you and stay the course -- finish the race .... for the glory and honor of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In the Name of Christ Jesus
-- Ben Agee