“The new year is coming and some of us, finishing the old one, are making a revision of their life… what they have managed to do, what they have achieved, what mistakes have been made…”

After the traditional worship the Sunday meeting of the church “Philadelphia” on 12 December was continued by pastor Vladimir Batalov’s sermon. He called the world we live in “the world with changed tags”. This conclusion was based upon a story of one robbery: the thieves came into a shop but didn’t take anything. There was one interesting detail though: the next day all the price tags were changed. Expensive things became cheap, the cheap ones — expensive; shop assistants couldn’t understand what the correct prices were. The minister made a point that there should be some point of support. There must be something from what we make a start. This year is soon over and we should make a kind of inspection and revision, but where the correct tags are? Jesus once said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23) and “Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27). The pastor called the church to revise their relations with the Savior, to ask Him and themselves: was there anything we chose and doing it ignored Him? Is there anything that stops us from following Him? Are we ashamed of Him? Do we commit our life to Him in the way He gave His life for us? (John 17:19).

This year is almost over, the new one is coming. These were the first words of senior pastor’s sermon. Pavel Zhelnovakov asked all the present: “What will motivate us to change?” People tend to make New year resolutions to change something in their life. Will the commandment help to do it? Maybe the promise? No, it won’t. For a long time both these things have been supporting man but nothing could give us a bigger motivation than an actual look into the future we are building. The heavens start here, on earth and the Bible confirms it: “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). Isn’t it the true motive to see here on earth His perfect reign? How can we do it? Who is going to give us wisdom to be able to see this kingdom, being far from this vanity we live in? The Bible says that God gave us more than mere wisdom — Christ “has become for us wisdom from God” (1 Corinthians 1:30). This is a privilege to know “the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18). Still it is always sorrow (Ecclesiastes 1:18). The choice is up to us: reckless ignorance or sobering  wisdom letting us know the part of that wonderful kingdom we are heading to. What is your choice?


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