McMinnville Seventh-day Adventist Church


Starting a New Year

How does one start a new year? I don’t want to repeat the same’ole, same’ole as last year, do you? I want to let go of the controls and allow God to work in His way through my life to make me a powerful witness for Him in 2013. How do I do that? For an answer, I once again went to the story of Pentecost in Acts 2, and Ellen White’s commentary in her book, The Acts of the Apostles.

What was the secret of the power of Pentecost? In Luke 24:49, we read, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” This Scripture says the disciples had to “stay” and wait in the city until God empowered them.

Our world church leaders have invited all Adventist churches to participate in a 10 Day Prayer series, January 9 to 19, at 7 PM each day. I would like to invite you to join me in this special time of spiritual renewal. What were the disciples doing while waiting? From my reading I found five important activities that give content to the word “STAY”.

  • PRAISE: Luke 24:53 says “And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.” Each evening of January 9-19, we, too, will sing and share our testimonies of praise to God. Come prepared to sing and share.
  • REPENTANCE: “As the disciples waited for the fulfillment of the promise, they humbled their hearts in true repentance and confessed their unbelief.” AA36. It’s not easy. When last have you tried to mix humility, repentance, and confession? This always proves to be a powerful, life-changing experience.
  • MEDITATION: “As they meditated upon His pure, holy life they felt that no toil would be too hard, no sacrifice too great, if only they could bear witness in their lives to the loveliness of Christ’s character.” AA36. Where best to find a focus for our meditation than in the Word? We will plan to share Scripture and meditate upon the life of Jesus, our Model and Savior.
  • RECONCILIATION: “Putting away all differences, all desire for the supremacy, they came close together in Christian fellowship.” AA37. Searching our own hearts and being convicted of relationships that need mending will lead to reconciliation and spiritual intimacy that give new meaning to the term “Christian fellowship.”
  • PRAYER FOR POWER: “The disciples prayed with intense earnestness for a fitness to meet men and in their daily intercourse to speak words that would lead sinners to Christ.... These days of preparation were days of deep heart searching. The disciples felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them for the work of soul saving.” AA37. Empowerment to witness as the apostles did at Pentecost must be preceded with earnest prayer.

Join me each evening, January 9-19, in the Friendship Hall around the fireplace and participate in these five powerful activities. You will never be the same. Let’s make a new beginning in 2013.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me;
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Break me, melt me, mould me, fill me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
- Pastor Jerry Joubert