2 Corinthians 5 : 17 : Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Today we are gathered in worship and celebrating Passover. With the theme: “Encountering Christ” we are entering the presence of the Lord together to experience a personal encounter with Him.
In 2016, the Lord gives us such a special and strong message: to draw near to Him and be more intimate with Him; to set aside quality time to encounter the Lord daily, worship the Lord and enter into His presence in a deeper level, read and meditate on His Word more seriously. And with this, the Lord will bring us to know Him more. He will bring us from glory to greater glory. We will experience the blessings of Jubilee, which are complete restoration and blessings in abundance.
To have a personal encounter with the Lord often is very important because it will result in a drastic change in our lives. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says we are a new creation when we experience a personal encounter with the Lord. The old life that is full of sin, evil, bad habits, bondages and etc will be gone when we are born again and when we continue to have personal encounter with the Lord. The good examples from the Bible are James and Paul. James was a deceiver; but when he met the Lord in Bethel, his life was completely changed. Paul was a murderer of Jesus’ disciples; but when he met Jesus in Damascus, he turned his life around and became an apostle who preached the gospel of the Lord Jesus.
When we experience a personal encounter with the Lord, our lives will change and we will start to love the Lord in a new dimension. We will start to understand the verse from Matthew 22:37: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
We will also express our love to the Lord by living according to His calling. Like Paul, after he encountered Jesus, he dedicated his life to become an apostle of the Lord. The same goes with Moses, Joshua, Peter and many other examples in the Bible. Moses led the Israelites out of the Egyptian slavery after he encountered God in the burning bush. Joshua led the Israelites to enter the Promised Land after encountering God as the commander of the Lord’s army. And Peter became a fisher of men after meeting Jesus in his boat.
Today, let us expect something great to happen. When we worship the Lord whole-heartedly, we will experience a personal encounter with Him. The glory of the Lord will be revealed in our lives and His church. We, as senior pastors, pray for all of you to experience the Lord’s love and encounter Him personally in this Passover service today; and may you also understand the Lord’s calling in your lives even more.
Happy Passover 2016 and may you experience a personal encounter with the Lord. God bless us all.
Pastors Raymond and Juliet Pranoto