Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia:
Every morning I pray for you. A part of my prayer includes these words, “… and God bless the South Georgia Annual Conference and my role as a bishop here. Help us to have better health, clearer goals and make more disciples that the world may be more Christlike.”
As an Easter people, we look forward with hope and excitement as we are being propelled into a wonderful future knowing firsthand how much God loves us through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
God is good and merciful and those who receive God’s love have started their faith walk. Immediately the person of faith enters a war zone where the spiritual life is challenged by the way of the world. I find it interesting that as soon as Jesus starts his ministry on earth, following his baptism, he was tested by Satan. As we seek to do the work of God with joy and thanksgiving in our hearts, the ways of the world shout back with a loud voice, “we will not give up our ways,” and thus begins the spiritual battle.
The Bible teaches us that after Jesus had arisen he met with the disciples and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:46-49
Jesus reminds us today, just as he did the first disciples, that we need the Holy Spirit to guide us, comfort us and give us strength for growing the kingdom of God (a Christlike world) because it will not be easy.
A well-known author was quoted as saying that the average person has 60,000 thoughts per day and of these more than 80% are negative. Hurt and pain are pervasive in the world today. The church must recognize that if hurt and pain are not reconciled by God’s grace they will have a strong presence in the center of our Christian fellowships. What we are to accomplish as disciples of Jesus Christ cannot be done without the spirit of God empowering us.
In the near future many of us will gather in Tifton for our annual conference. Regarding the annual conference I would suggest to you that one of the primary purposes is to highlight the importance of staying spiritually centered as disciples of Jesus Christ. For when we gather for conferencing we will bear witness to the challenges of our faith as we point to our battle scars but also as we sing Victory in Jesus.
Beautiful people, stay connected to God by practicing the spiritual disciplines of our faith.
Until next time, remember, God’s will for us is good. We must do the rest.
James R. King, Jr.