My prayer for 2020 is that peace, produced by a fresh revelation of the nearness of the risen Christ, will stir faith and enflame your passion to sacrificially pursue your purpose!
“That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
(John 20:19–22, NLT)
As the disciples waited in fear, filled with uncertainty of the future, suddenly, Jesus appeared and began to enflame their passion to step into their calling in an even deeper way. He had said many troubling things to them about persecution, trials, rejection and even martyrdom. But Jesus first words to them are in themselves a revelation. He knew that if they were to fully embrace their purpose they needed to be at peace knowing their Lord was with them.
As Jesus spoke peace to their spirit and revealed Himself and the wounds he carried, their response was profound. Even in the face of the insurmountable challenges, 'They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!' (20:20). Some months ago as I reflected on the missional potential of the 2020s, I felt the Lord reminded me of this passage, spoke peace to my spirit and ignited a fresh passion to follow Him into whatever He has prepared! It's obviously interesting that this encounter climaxes in 20:20 and as the Holy Spirit whispered hope to me, peace turned to faith and enflamed my passion to sacrificially follow Jesus in 2020, whatever the cost! I believe 2020 will be a year where we'll be filled with joy as we see Jesus at work in Ireland, and we all have a part to play!
The missional intention of Jesus here is undeniable as His next comment affirms: 'Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you."' (20:21). And so our Missional God sends His followers to fulfil this Great Co-mission. The Holy Spirit is given and 2020 brings 365 opportunities to step out in faith with the One who is faithful in bringing peace, provision, prophetic power and possibilities that are limitless.
So, will you step out beyond the norms of 'church' to see God's Kingdom erupt in communities throughout Ireland (or wherever you're called). Will you draw near to Jesus? If you do He will draw close to you with a fresh revelation of His nearness, provide peace and fresh faith that will enflame your passion to sacrificially fulfil our purpose!
'They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!' (John 20:20)
Praying you have a blessed 2020
Happy New Year