Every new year we begin by establishing goals and objectives. We tend to look for ways to improve and find better results. In this same manner, or better yet, with more effort and dedication, we should find growth in a spiritual sense.
The Light of the World Church concluded 2020 with a special end of the year service, a practice that has been held for many decades. Although the current guidelines have made it different, some gathered in the houses of prayer, while others connected via online live streaming. Every end of the year service is a way to express gratitude to God for allowing us to end a year and at the same time, to welcome a new year with His blessing.
One of the very first topics that was heard at TLOTW this 2021 was the following: The Doctrine of Christ calls us to be doers of the word and not hearers only. As the scripture says in James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” The doctrine teaches us to produce and not just to hear the word of God. There are several steps or phases that we must pass in order to become disciples of Christ. The first step is to hear the word of God. Many people might hear the word, but not everyone understands it. While Christ was preaching the doctrine sent from God, hundreds and thousands gathered to hear. Did everyone understand the doctrine? No. John 6:60-68: “Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” Furthermore, many people then decided to leave and no longer hear the word. Verse 66 says “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” Thus, hearing the word and understanding it is only the first phase.
The second step in the process is to accept the word of God. This step may become difficult for many. When the apostle Paul was preaching, many people listened to the word of God from his lips, but not everyone accepted it. However, we do have accounts of many who did accept the word of God.
For example, in I Thessalonians 2:13, “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”
Not only had they heard the word of God through Paul, but more importantly, they accepted that word.
Finally, the last step in the process of becoming a disciple of Christ is to practice the teachings. It is not enough to simply hear the word of God. We must become doers of the word. The Lord said in Matthew 7:26, “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” If we want to be those true disciples, then we must practice the teachings day after day. Our life must reflect a change for good and be the light of the world.
In conclusion, a new year is a new opportunity that God gives us to become those true disciples of Christ. It’s a time to place more effort and dedication to that spiritual growth that we have always wanted. Remember the words of Christ in Luke 11:28, “…More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” May God bless you in this new year of opportunity.
I would like to end by extending an invitation to join us at any of the daily online prayers to hear the word of God. Links are available at TLOTW.org or The Light of the World Facebook page. Feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. God bless you!
• Joab Cano is a missionary for the Light of the World Church. “Living Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders.