This year, even though it was not possible to have on-site year-end prayer meeting, thankfully, it was broadcast live from my house getting over 10,000 views. Everyone shared thanksgiving for the past year online. Many brothers and sisters had experienced God deeply and seen His presence during the seemingly difficult year.
On the first day of 2021, I was deeply drawn to the emerging dawn light. Immediately I captured the rising sun surrounded by clouds. On Tuesday morning devotion, we read “Judges” Chapter 5 when God used Deborah, a prophetess, to deliver the Israelites from their enemies. “Thus let all Your enemies perish, O Lord! But let those who love Him be like the sun when it comes out in full strength” (Judges 5:31). Through this chapter, God reminds us to ascend in this descending world and to devote ourselves to God unconditionally.
Not only does God talk to us through morning devotion, He also reveals to us His will the first Sunday every year. The first message last year was “Seeing 2020”. Psalm 20 tells us that when we call, God sees us. In the past year, we have indeed seen God’s presence and protection.
This year God prompted me to study Psalm 21. I realize that it is connected with Psalm 20, with many structural similarities between the two. The Scripture reminds us to give thanks for previous victories and upon that we would continue to have victory, leading to victory upon victory. Hence we titled the sermon of the first Sunday service this year “Victories 2021”.
Interestingly, there was a special sign from God to me: before I began working on my preaching, C-Mo had invited the curator staff for dinner and cooked “Braised Duck with Onion” and the “Duck Confit” for the very first time. Later on, I associated the dishes with my sermon because “duck” in Cantonese sounds like “gaining (victory)”. C-Mo had never cooked those dishes before, so I knew it was a prompting from God to C-Mo and an encouragement for me to preach.
Dear brothers and sisters, the key to victory is following God! Facing various hardships in the world, we are easily compelled by fear to make decisions, such as whether to immigrate. In making choices, we should follow God, but not the environment nor our inner fear.
In the year 2021, I bless everyone to follow God in faith. Your life will ascend and God will let you experience victory upon victory. You will be like the sun when it comes out in full strength and brighten up this generation with God’s glory!•[2020.01.10]