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Dec 31 2016

Looking Forward to 2017

Without a doubt 2016 has been a very challenging year for Lighthouse Tabernacle Church.  Many of us and members of our family have had to face many kinds of trials this past year.  Some are still experiencing them even as we speak.

During this Christmas season, as I was reading about the events and experiences surrounding Mary, Joseph and the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:18 – 2:23), I came to realize that very often those who God commissions for a special purpose face great opposition and challenges.   It could even be said that the greater the purpose, the greater the opposition.

For example, both Mary and Joseph were commissioned by God to be the earthly parents of Messiah!  Imagine what Joseph had to deal with trying to explain to his family and friends that Mary had never been with a man and was pregnant by the Holy Spirit and carrying Messiah?  Imagine what Mary had to deal with from her family and friends?   I thought about what happened after Mary gave birth to Jesus.  One minute they are visited by Magi who are worshipping Jesus, opening their treasures and showering Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Then soon after, Joseph having been warned by an angel of the Lord in a dream, is fleeing to Egypt with his family! Can you imagine what was going through the minds of Mary and Joseph, especially after hearing how Herod had all boys two years old and under killed in their home town of Bethlehem in an attempt to kill Jesus prematurely?

But even if no one else understood Mary and Joseph’s commissioning or the challenges they had to endure in completing it, Mary and Joseph knew they had heard from the Lord and that God was with them and actively helping them finish the good work that He had given them to accomplish.   That good work resulted in “the sins of the land (the whole world in fact) being removed in a single day.” (Zechariah 3:9).

Whatever trials and difficulties 2016 may have brought, I urge you to remember and hold fast to what the Lord has spoken to you regarding your purpose and the purpose of the Lighthouse Tabernacle Church family.   The devil has attempted to kill the work (and me personally), but the Lord has not allowed it because God has not changed His mind!  Just as He said He would do, He restored me to perfect health after having been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.  He will do no less, bringing His word to pass for Lighthouse Tabernacle Church in 2017!

So as it is written:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. – James 1:2-5

May the New Year be filled with God’s best for you and your families!

Pastor Neal