As we enter the second half of this decade it is good to think about the future facing Christians in Britain and Europe. Prophetically, I can say that the 2020's will bring some particular challenges to us in Britain. Significant social, political and religious changes are coming in our nation. These will place additional pressures on being a follower of Jesus. Any alert the Holy Spirit gives us is to be welcomed with joy and enthusiasm, because alongside the difficulties always come assurances of increased manifestations of his presence and power.
What is our response to this? First the Spirit is calling us to deeper levels of faith and knowledge. Over the next five years we must get to know more than ever what we believe in, why we believe in it and, above all, who we believe in. Only confident and faithful commitment to drawing closer to Christ and knowing him more fully will make us strong enough to stand in the days ahead. Take every opportunity to go deep with God.
Second, as society becomes increasingly intolerant of true Christianity it will become increasingly dependent on it. We must be prepared to show what it means to be a follower of Christ. Serving our communities at every point of need will not only open doors of credibility for the gospel but will actually rescue many people who will be forgotten or neglected by society. This is what it means to work for the kingdom of God. Take every opportunity to serve others at their point of need.
Finally, it is important to stand together making the focus of our goals and energy to grow, develop and extend Christian community. Increasingly, we will discover that living and growing together is the only way to retain the purity of our faith and to live for God faithfully in the contemporary world. Make every effort to build community.
As we begin 2015, let us make these things our primary interest. KT will give you many opportunities this year to grow, develop as believers and follow him as his disciples in the world. We are called to reflect the light of the glory of Christ into a dark world. Let the light of his love continue to shine upon you and through you. May we all have a truly happy and productive year together flowing with much joy and passion for the glory of his name.