“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:9-11
The good confession made by every true disciple prior to baptism is “Jesus is Lord”. (Romans 10:9) Encompassed by this statement is the willful submission to the supreme authority of Jesus Christ, and the decision to make His standard our standard, His dream our dream, and His people our people! Despite efforts to count the cost and to prepare people for their Christian walk, however, few are able to fully grasp what making Jesus Lord means until their words are tested against the trials and temptations of life. Consequently, confessing “Jesus is Lord” is not something done once, or twice even, but something that needs to happen time and time again – out loud or in ones heart – until Jesus is Lord of ALL!
Therefore, Lord Of All is the exciting title chosen for our 2015 Mission Bay International Christian Church (MBICC) Winter Workshop, and the theme for the new year! Before looking ahead to our 2015 prayer goals though, let us take the time to appreciate all of the incredible miracles of 2014:
Without question, the greatest miracles of any and every year are the new additions to God’s kingdom. Year 2014 was no exception, as we were able to witness 22 additions to the church: 13 baptisms, 7 restorations, and 2 placed memberships! These additions afforded us the opportunity to send out our very first missionaries to the mission field: Gabriella and Chris to Santa Barbara, California; and Glenn to Miami, Florida! All three missionaries have continued to serve faithfully in their respective cities!
Other highlights of 2014 included: Our 4th Annual Women’s Day, where 20 sisters had 85 women in attendance; our Bring Your Neighbor Day with almost 100 in attendance; the MERCYworldwideprojects, which included the annual Day of Mercy and the Christmas Toy Drive; and the collective Mission’s Contributions, where the church sacrificed a total of $64,400 – an astounding average of almost $1,500 per person! Perhaps most special to me personally though, was to have one of my longtime Kingdom dreams fulfilled as Kelly and I were appointed Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader at the 2014 City of Angels Winter Workshop! Truly, God is good to those who love Him! (Romans 8:28)
With the theme of this year being Lord Of All, we have decided to set forth before our God the following Prayer Goals:
1.“Not everyone who says, ‘LORD, LORD,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) Our first prayer goal is that every disciple will recommit themselves to making Jesus Lord of All in word and action, and therefore growing in their personal relationship with God to a place they’ve never been before! To do this, we are going to ask every disciple to go through the First 40 Days of Discipleship Quiet Time series to begin the new year!
2.“So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went of for two years, so that all who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the LORD.” (Acts 19:9-10) Excitingly in 2014, we were not only able to create a club at San Diego State University (SDSU) – home to 33,500 students – but were also able to expand our Campus Ministry to the University of San Diego (USD), where an additional 6,000 students attend. It is our prayer goal that in 2015 we continue to build the church through the campus ministry by hiring additional campus interns, and by establishing a new Bible Talk at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), where 32,000 students attend!
3.“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the LORD of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” (Luke 10:2) Jesus never commanded His disciples to pray for the harvest. The harvest was already promised. Instead, His charge was to pray for the workers that are needed to gather it! And so, we must accept the reality that the only thing that could potentially prevent a great harvest in San Diego is a lack of workers. It is therefore our prayer that we have the most fruitful year we’ve ever had through teaching the First Principles study series and by keeping one another accountable to being a worker in the kingdom of God.
To help us accomplish this task, we have several special events planned: Our 5th Year Anniversary Service on February 8th, Women’s Day on March 7th, Easter Sunday Service on April 5th, Bring Your Neighbor Day on August 30th, Campus Day on October 4th, and our Christmas Service on December 20th!
4.“And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the LORD and then to us in keeping with God’s will.” (II Corinthians 8:5) In 2014, like Paul speaks of the Macedonian churches, the Mission Bay Church gave more than expected! The $64,000 amount raised for missions exceeded the goals that were given by over $3,000. We commend and thank each one of you for your generosity and heart to give “first to the Lord and then to us.” It is our prayer that in the new year we continue with this same spirit of generosity and financial sacrifice as we aim to increase our weekly pledges from $2,200 to $2,500 by the end of January, to collect a 20 times Special Missions Contribution on May 17th, and a 6 times Thanksgiving Contribution on November 22nd.
5.“The LORD is full of compassion and MERCY.” (James 5:11) The “MERCY” in MERCYworldwide stands for “Maximizing Efforts For Relief, Care, and Youth.” This year, our prayer is that we will once again “maximize” our “efforts” and participate in the Day of MERCY on June 13th, and the MERCY Christmas Toy Drive on December 20th. Additionally though, we will also be participating in a National MERCY/Red Cross Blood Drive on September 19th, where each pint of blood raised retails for about $500 and can save up to 3 lives.
6.“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) It is heavy upon the Lord’s heart when brothers or sisters walk away from the faith – whether physically walking away or only “checking out” spiritually. Since it is heavy upon the Lord’s heart, it needs to be heavy upon our hearts! Our prayer for 2015 is that God will continue to bring back to the movement those who have fallen away and need restoration, along with those who are currently drifting away in our former fellowship. These disciples, when repentant, have the capability to take on leadership roles within the church very quickly since they now understand more than ever what it really means to make Jesus their Lord!
7.“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) Our last prayer goal is that each disciple in the church chooses an impossible prayer goal of their own for 2015. This can include a family member becoming a disciple, being chosen to be a Bible Talk Leader, being selected to go on a mission team, converting someone for the first time, going to a foreign missions conference, or even going into the full-time ministry!
It’s been said, “Jesus is either Lord of all, or Jesus is not Lord at all!” Let it be the former and not the latter for us who’ve made our “good confession in the presence of many witnesses,” (I Timothy 6:12) and let us give our ALL to the Lord of All in this new year as we fervently pray to see these prayer goals accomplished! And to Him be the glory!