In Philippians we are told to "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." What does it take to put on the mind of Christ? We begin our Christian journey and then continue educating ourselves through study and experiences. This year's Feast Sermon Video focuses on the education required for a changed mind.
The core part of the message is by Church President, Victor Kubik, expounding God's Word and explaining how we can all have the mind of Jesus Christ as we seek first the Kingdom of God. He is joined by three member's and their stories of how a changed mind works in us and in those around us.
As we look forward to God's Kingdom and anticipate the time when all of humanity will be learning of His ways—pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles—this message will help all of us to be even more committed to having the mind of Christ in everything we do.
[Joy Lawson] "...and when I think about this mind being in you, they're reaching, and they're doing this because they care."
[Brett Wood] "Once I started studying the things that were presented on the Beyond Today programs, it led me to, certainly, a lot of change."
[Lloyd Nelson] "When Jesus Christ returns, and those that are living into the Kingdom, they can't say, ‘Well, why didn't you tell us?'"
[Victor Kubik] Greetings to everyone during this joyous Feast of Tabernacles! I hope that you find this time to be a profitable time of spiritual refreshing – for you, personally, and for your family.
The Feast, which is the high point of the year, represents a time for us learn more about how we can love and fear God, all the while spending time together with family and friends. Every Feast is unique in its own way and it seems that God always seems to inspire spiritual messages that will refresh and powerfully guide us from now all the way through the coming months. This year, I hope that you will take the festival theme diligently to heart, and ponder on it, and ask God to make it come alive to you today and in the months to come. The theme for this year's Feast is found in Philippians, chapter 2, and verse 5, which reads:
When we speak about mind, we speak about intellect. When we speak about intellect, we speak about understanding. When we speak about understanding, we speak about learning. And what we learn comes from education.
In the greatest commandment, we are told to love the Lord our God with all our mind, as we read in Matthew 22, and verse 37 – love Him not only with your heart, but with all your mind. But the Bible says that this is not a natural thing, because the natural mind is hostile towards God. It is not subject to Him. It is not governed by Him. It is a mind that is driven by the flesh.
So let us understand that access to the powerful mind of Jesus Christ represents a spiritual gift from God. We must humbly ask for it. And we must be ready to receive it. To have the mind of Christ, we have to learn what it is and then we have to apply it to every facet of our thinking, our thoughts and our innermost ideas.
What is the spirit and mind of Christ and how can we know it? I, first of all, what to affirm and remind all of us, of the presence and sovereignty of Jesus Christ and His Spirit in the church, because it is the critical foundation to this message. Jesus Christ is here in spirit. He's guiding and directing the work of God. He is guiding and directing everything that happens. He knows everything about us – our thoughts and our motives and our desires.
I'd like you to turn to Colossians, chapter 1, and verse 18 – Colossians, chapter 1, and verse 18, which underscores this. It is said that the book of Ephesians is about the body; the book of Colossians is about the head of the body, which is Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1:18 Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
American King James Version×– He is the head of the body – the church – who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
I truly believe this with all my mind and heart. And this is where my faith lies. Jesus Christ is the one who guides, directs, inspires and intervenes in the affairs of this world, but also in His church and in our personal lives. I have seen this happen time and time again. And our job is to understand that will and to do those things that accomplish His will.
In Colossians 1, and verse 1, we read:
Colossians 1:1 Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
American King James Version×– Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy our brother. Paul, from the outset, states the he was sent by Jesus Christ by God's will, not his own. He did not appoint himself. He was not self-appointed. He was sent by the will of God. He continues in his greeting – verse 2:
V-2 - ...to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ, who are in Colasse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul wishes grace and peace to be upon the church. That wish of grace and peace is repeated in almost every single letter that Paul writes to either a church or to individuals. The United Church of God is moving forward in peace. Continued peace is my wish, as well, and my vision. It's only in an environment of peace that we will be able to fulfill our mission to preach the gospel and to care for the people – for the brethren of the church. It is something we must cherish, protect, and it is something that we must build on.
Colossians – further, in verse 3:
V-3 – We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you. And in so many of his letters, the apostle Paul, talks about how he prayed continually for the people in thanksgiving.
Paul continues in verse 4:
V-4 – Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all of the saints – Paul only heard second hand; it's evident that he was not there, but heard from others – from teachers and elders who had been there to manage the church.
We see here, people who began to trust and to obey Jesus Christ. How could this happen? How does it really happen that someone hears, and then starts believing, and starts acting on what he has been taught?
In Romans, chapter 10, and verse 17, we see how one gains faith.
Romans 10:17 Romans 10:17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
American King James Version×– Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Faith is not something that is just spontaneous combustion in us. It is something which is taught and then acted upon. And it's taught by someone – becomes part of our cognitive thinking – and then translated into action, and into trust and belief.
In this case, he says, "I saw your faith. I heard of your faith. And I saw how you began to love the brethren. That faith was converted to action – to loving the brethren. The brethren had to learn it. They had to be educated by those who taught the word of God or by their own reading of the scriptures.
We have to acquire to understand the mind of God. It is something that does not come naturally. In verse 5 – Colossians 1:
Colossians 1:5 Colossians 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
American King James Version×– Because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of truth of the gospel – in other words, in what they were educated – which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it has also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth. This education is something which not only is absorbed and acquired, but is converted to fruits that develop – good that develop as a result of learning God's ways.
Let's stop and ask ourselves, "How does the Word of God come to us? How does the mighty Word of God ignite in our minds?" Well, first it goes back to the source – the Word of God – the Bible. It needs to be read, but, also, it needs to be explained, in most cases. Yes, someone can pick up the Bible and learn basic truths, but the church is for the purpose, also, of teaching, expounding, explaining and magnifying the teachings of the Word of God.
The United Church of God has many resources to help us understand the Word of God. We have the Bible Study Course, which has been taken by thousands of people, to help them be acquainted with what is the Word of God? What is the inspiration of it? What is the history of the Word of God? And what is its authority?
We have the Good News magazine, which has a circulation into the hundreds of thousands, in reaching people with hundreds of articles that expound further on doctrine, on Christian living, about the meaning of our times, about prophecy.
We have more than thirty booklets on various subjects – also, of doctrine and practice in various languages – that deal with the very basics and core beliefs of the church – our fundamental beliefs, the Sabbath, the holy days, the nature of God, the big questions of life and death – of what is life and what is death?
We have an internationally broadcast television program – Beyond Today television. We also have the BT Dailies, as they called – the Beyond Today short videos that are produced daily.
We have growing Website presence and ranking.
We have the United Youth Camps, in which hundreds of children, every year, are taught principles about God, His love and His behavior.
We have ministerial and leadership training that takes place around the world. We have a leadership weekend here in Cincinnati. We have online training for our ministry. We have leadership seminars around the world. One is to be conducted in South Africa. Others are to be conducted in Malawi and Zambia, as they have been conducted in various places around the world, to train future leaders for the Church of God.
We have developed and started a Youth and Young Adults Services to bring more training of leadership and service, primarily, to our young people – to our young adults.
We have the Ambassador Bible Center. We have the Ambassador Bible Center online. Did you know that all the classes of the Ambassador Bible Center are online and can be listened to – the audios? We have Continuing Education through ABC – not only here at the home office, but also in locations around the country.
We have study papers on various doctrinal matters that are available on the members' site.
We have children's lessons online.
And we are continuing to look at how we can expand and improve what we have. These resources are available to anyone and to everyone who is seeking God's truth and way of life.
There's a young from southern Minnesota who is new to the church. He has an absolutely wonderful story of how his life was changed through studying these resources and acquiring the mind of Christ.
[Brett Wood] Well, there was a point in my life where I had been seeking God's truth a little bit. I wondered if there was more to it than I had been getting before in the Protestant churches I'd been attending. And so I finally just sat down with the computer one day, and I went to Google, and I typed in true Christianity. And I think it was one of the first Websites that came up...was a UCG article that had those words – true Christianity. So I read that article and it clicked in my head for me.
And then I started searching around the Website a lot more, and I came across some Beyond Today programs. The first one I remember watching was about Easter. You know, they got right to the Bible – right to the point. There wasn't a whole lot of extraneous story time explanations. They really pulled out the scriptures and made it very clear and evident of what the truth was and got right to the point.
Initially, I would say, when I first found the Website, I was looking for a better explanation of what the Bible had to say and a group of people who closely followed what the scriptures actually said.
I kept with the search and with the studies on the Website because it all just made so much sense. God let it click in my mind and it made sense to the questions I had. The answers were comforting. God gave me a lot of comfort in those answers and really tied up a lot of loose ends that were in my life. I felt like I had finally found what I was looking for – like God had finally revealed what He had been calling me to find for several years – where I'd been searching on and off – but I felt like the time had finally come.
And at first, I didn't feel like I would probably fit in well with a congregation of the church. And finally I felt like I was right, to a point, with God, where I needed to find the support and the fellowship of the church members. So I went to the section on the Website where it says, "Find a congregation," and I found the closest one, and I just kind of showed up one Sabbath.
I certainly find it very inspiring to be able to meet with the people I do every Sabbath to discuss God's truth – to unfold things that, maybe, I haven't understood yet, to discuss these things, to dig through them and understand more and see how those things have related to other people's lives – to seek that guidance and be able to understand what I might have to look forward to in the future – and those people that I can rely on for strength and guidance.
A big moment – when I decided to change the way my life had been going – was when I saw one of the Beyond Today programs that explained who was responsible for the crucifixion of Christ – that each of us, because of our sin, because of our separation from God, required that sacrifice as an atonement. And that really settled it in my mind and said, "For something that powerful to happen, I need to respond to that. And God's giving me that opportunity now." And I simply felt I couldn't pass it up.
Once I started studying the things that were presented on the Beyond Today programs, it led me to, certainly, a lot of change – a lot of change in my life. Looking back, things were so different back then. There is such a comfort and peace in my life knowing the truth – not having those questions unanswered, being assured of what God has in store for not only us in His church now, but for humanity going forward in the future.
I find the most exciting thing about God's plan – the future of looking forward to being able to help others understand God's truth, being able to explain to them the troubles from their life and that that wasn't the end of it – that they can come past that and understand so much more – and help so many people – innumerable people who have ever lived – to understand what God has in store for their future.
I think, if we look forward to God's plan of the Kingdom, when everyone will have an opportunity, there will really be no end to God's preaching of the gospel. So, as part of praying, "Thy Kingdom come," it's important for us to preach the gospel now and make sure that we're presenting that opportunity for anyone God might be calling at this time.
I found the truth about God's resurrection so exciting because it gives everybody an opportunity to understand God's truth. And it gives everybody, who understands now, the opportunity to look at the world in a new light – that they're not all doomed. They're not all going to be tortured forever. They're going to have the opportunity to understand what we understand now, the opportunity to be comforted by that, and to go forth and grow, with God's help, into the Kingdom of God.
[Victor Kubik] Back to Colossians – verse 7.
Colossians 1:7 Colossians 1:7 As you also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
American King James Version×- ...as you have also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ – he was the pastor; he was the teacher – on your behalf, who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.
In verse 9, Paul becomes more specific about the vision that he had for the church.
V-9 – For this reason – verse 9 – we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you. Once again, he talks about how he prayed for the people – not only thanksgiving, but also that they continue in growth. And here's what he prayed: and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding – these are all cognitive functions – functions of the mind. And he prayed that they would grow in this area. ...that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. How much more can we say that our great mission and our great purpose is to have the mind of Jesus Christ – to have the intellect, to be educated and to act on that knowledge.
V-11 - ...strengthened – verse 11 – with all might according to His glorious power for all patience and longsuffering with joy. See, it's knowledge that was converted to action, to fruits, to joy, to good works, to strength.
Paul, in his prayers, prays that those who hear the Word of God explained become filled with knowledge, leading to wisdom and to spiritual understanding.
Our vision is that the work of God be a whole church effort. It's not something that's done by an elite or select few or just by the ministry. We modified our vision to include everyone to help in the process of bringing many children to glory.
Do you consider yourself to be a living and important part of the work of God? Well, you should. What can you be doing with what you have learned? It's when you put what you have learned into action – into practice – that real satisfaction and joy comes. Your example of faith, your example of hope and love spread. Faith begets faith. Hope begets hope. And love begets love. There's no more powerful way than by example – by living it. In fact, we would be identified as God's people – not by what we know, but how we love – by the actions that we take. You can pass on these important principles to others. That's why I say, "When people see a peaceful church and they see a loving church – a church that has faithful and hopeful people of a future – there can be no greater proclamation – no greater influence or persuasion – than to see those fruits in our lives."
We wanted this year's Feast film to build off of last year's theme of Fitly Framed Together. Being fitly framed together requires us to let the mind of Christ work in us and through our actions. We're going to hear the story of a member from Cincinnati. We'll hear about her struggle, her faith and how her church brethren supported her during this time of need. At last year's Feast in Jamaica, she was stepping off of the stairs onto the beach when her right leg hyperextended and she dislocated her left elbow.
[Joy Lawson] ...on those days, I, pretty much, couldn't get up to walk or anything – had to be lifted to their medical facility. And from there, I was transported to a medical center in Montego Bay. We were actually in Ocho Rios, so it was about an hour and a half away. So, once I got to the medical center – MoBay Hope Medical Center – they immediately went into reconnect the knee back into the socket, and then shortly after that – about a day or so after that – they went back in to sew up everything that got severed. I was in the medical center at Montego Bay for six days – from the onset of the accident until the day we left.
The surgeon came back – so this is day five of being in this medical center – and it was in the morning, and he stopped by to check the leg out, and he said my foot was turning blue – that he wanted to immediately take me under again to do a scan – to find out where the blockage was, and, if there were any blood clots, to remove the blood clots. At that point, they had already tapped us out of our credit cards and we had already wired money to them for the second surgery – the first and second surgery – and I had no more money to hand them. And, because of that, they wouldn't touch me. So, at that point, I ended up asking for a medical transport to the states. So twenty-four hours after that request, I'm transported over to Jackson Memorial in Miami, Florida.
They were waiting for us – for me. I went immediately into surgery to see if there was anything alive at the lower half of the leg that they could save, only to find out there was nothing alive and that they would need to amputate above the knee.
When this accident took place – and now I'm in Jamaica in their medical center – at one point, I was lying in bed, thinking to myself, and praying to God, "I don't know what's going to happen. How am I going to get home?" And then you start thinking about all the things we've heard in the sermons and you've read in the Bible about leaving it in God's hands. So that's all I could do – literally – physically, mentally, that's all I could do – was just leave it in God's hands. And I didn't worry about it. It was almost too much to try to worry about it. I knew that God could make Peter walk on water, which would be an awesome thing to do, and that He was going to take care of me and things were going to work out. And how that was going to happen? I had no clue. I had absolutely no clue. But look, I had to trust and believe in what we read, because we're so used to just going through our daily lives, taking control, making it happen, and not really taking the time to look back and say, "Wow! How did that work out the way it did?" Well, it worked out the way it did, honestly, because God was there.
You can look at right here. When we were at Jackson Memorial, I came out of surgery – from the amputation – and the first person who standing next to my bed was Chuck and Mary Smith. He's the minister down in the southern half of Florida. And I have no idea who they are. So these two strangers, standing next to me...and I'm coming out of anesthesia, looking at them, thinking, "Okay, who are you?" And as soon as he introduced himself – with the church – he was the minister with church – my first reaction was, "I am so glad you're here. Can you anoint me?" It wasn't just a one-time visit. They came to see us several times and just were so wonderful to offer us anything that we needed. It wasn't just Chuck and Mary who showed up. We ended up having more visitors coming to see us...there were people coming in and out throughout the whole entire stay, even down at Jackson Memorial. And it was nice to have. Afterward, we had a chance to talk with Chuck and Mary, and their comment was that they had no idea what kind of reaction they were going to get from me or my family when they got into the room. And they're just realizing, at this point, that they're the first people there after coming out of anesthesia after the surgery and everything.
I was a little surprised to think that anybody from the church – all people from the church – was there to see me to see if we needed anything. I didn't expect that whatsoever. Like I said, "Nobody knew we had flown from Jamaica to Jackson Memorial, except my immediate family."
The prayers...when they say our prayers reach God and He hears us, there is no doubt in my mind. He was hearing those prayers from those silent servants, from those writing notes and visiting, saying, "I'm praying for you." And when I think about this mind being in you, and they're reaching out, and they're doing this because they care, it gives you hope in a whole different sense – on a whole different level – of what God's Kingdom is all about. I don't think there's any doubt that the words that God shares with us through the Bible are for real. It is for real. I can remember reading these things, and you dream about situations – what happens if... – and would I have the same faith as all these other forefathers and people that have been talked about in the Bible? And to be thrown into a chaotic situation to find out what kind of faith you're going to have, I wouldn't recommend it, but I'm glad I experienced that. There is a hope. There's a whole new level of hope that I didn't have before, that I wish I knew the words to share that with people. Don't just sit there and just be a "show up" Christian. There's a lot of growth and there are a lot of cool things to learn from God's words.
[Victor Kubik] Let me remind you of something else. The theme of our last General Conference of Elders, which was held this past May, was Edifying the Body Through Spiritual Gifts. How are you using the gifts that you have, because we all have something of value. When we have become baptized, God promises to give us gifts. Not everyone has the same gifts. But we can pray for some aptitude to come to the fore to be used in a very special way.
Many long time members continue in faithful service to Jesus Christ and His church. Lloyd Nelson distributes up to four hundred Good News magazines every month in his home city of Rochester, Minnesota. Since the light of God's truth came into his life, he has faithfully contributed in his part of God's work.
[Lloyd Nelson] We distribute anywhere from two hundred to four hundred now. So we've had really good results. It depends a little bit on the cover of the magazine and also what the heading is on the magazine. So there are some that people seem to be hungry for. So we try to send to John LaBissoniere...we make requests from him to send certain ones when we can.
The one time in my life since I came into the church, I realize that we are living in the end time, so why wouldn't I want to do it? It was very important to get as much of the gospel of the Kingdom as I could. I started out with distributing about twenty-five a month. And that has grown to two to three hundred – up to four hundred – copies of the Good News every month.
I think it's very, very important, and, certainly, when Jesus Christ returns, and those that are living into the Kingdom, they can't say, "Well, why didn't you tell us?" So it's our duty to be telling them now that the things that are going on in this world.... I certainly don't want someone to come to me and say, "Well, you had all this truth and you never let us know about it." So this is what I feel part of our calling is.
The rest of us can preach the gospel by distributing tapes or magazines, but also by encouraging one another so that we can all be stronger and be lights. In our own lives, my wife and I will meet many people in the community. And we have an opportunity to talk to and encourage a lot of people.
You know, even those that just pray and do nothing else, they're praying for Christ's Kingdom to come, as Christ said we are to do in Matthew 5. Satan is certainly stirring things up, but we can't let down, because he wants to stop us from preaching the gospel. We do everything we can and we can't let ourselves become discouraged, because there will be more persecution as time goes by.
I know what family life is like through the church. It's so important. And that's going to be in the Kingdom, too, because we are family. It's a spiritual family.
So these are things that I've learned and that are so important to me. And I just want to share that. I want other people to have family life – so many are alone, so many are suffering. And, if they only understood how important now, in this life, that family is – a mother, and father, and children, and grandparents, and the spiritual family in the church – all of that is so important.
[Victor Kubik] There are three places in the New Testament that speak of spiritual gifts as vital tools to doing the work. It's not something done only by the ministry, but something which is to be done by everyone. Romans 12, verse 4:
Romans 12:4 Romans 12:4For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
American King James Version×– For as we have many members and one body – but all the members do not have the same function – so we, being many, are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to you, let us use them – not just talk about them, but let us use them. If prophecy, let us prophesy. If we have been asked to and if we have the capacity and aptitude to speak, then do it well. ...in proportion to our faith; or ministry – or service – various services that people perform – let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching – and there are people who have a special gift of clarifying and making points understandable to others. If you have that aptitude, use it, according to the proportion of our faith. ...he who exhorts, in exhortation. And there are some that are very good as being cheerleaders – motivators and encouragers. I've seen those people in every congregation that I have served. They just have it. It just comes from them. Use it! I ask our ministers to find those people, and to bring them to the fore, and help them to become those that encourage and exhort others. ...he who gives, with liberality. Yes, there are people who have a lot to give – of time, of financial resources. Well, then use it for the best possible use. That's a gift. God's gift to you may be that He made you have more resources than others that could be used in a special way. ...he who leads, with diligence. And there are some who are born leaders, as they say. They just have that ability to be naturally followed. Well, then do it with diligence. Do it in a proper way – to help the body and to make the body grow, to edify the body. ...he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. There are those that there to comfort. There are those who are there to help those who struggling. They are important parts of the body of Christ. And they are a very important part of the intellect and mind of Jesus Christ.
God has given all of us gifts. At the time we were baptized, part of receiving the Holy Spirit is to receive the spiritual – which suggests the fact that we have the Spirit of God – gifts of God's grace given to us. It's for all. Seniors can advise and encourage the younger and not feel useless, but can feel like they can be of value in the church – to advise and encourage the younger in the church. Young people who have energy and opportunity, they can serve their congregations and community in a very energetic way. Women can perform valuable services in the congregations. We can read in the Bible where it says that the older women are to teach the younger – to mentor the younger women. And it's often the women of the church that build the infrastructure of the congregation through their social networking, through the detailed work that is done. The strength – the infrastructure of a church – oftentimes is the work of women.
People who have the mind of Christ are valuable. They are a valuable asset in the development – in the fulfillment – of the vision of the church.
Let's go back to the letter to the Colossians – verse 18:
Colossians 1:18 Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
American King James Version×– And He is the head of the body – the church – who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence, which I have already read. Verse 19:
V-19 – For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works – you see, it was our minds that were corrupted by evil works and we are now acquiring a different mind – a different intellect – through different education to do different things – yet now has He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight. Verse 23:
V-23 – If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you heard – where we were educated – which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister – and I like the NIV word there better – servant – because it suggests his role. He was a servant. And all these things were done so he could become a better servant. Verse 24:
V-24 – I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became – again – a minister – or a servant. And Paul said that the end result of all that happened in life was so that he could become a servant of Jesus Christ. ...according to the stewardship from God, which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God – what marvelous words of humility from a leader of a major part of the work of God, which the Gentile territories!
V-26 – ... the mystery – verse 26 – which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints – this knowledge, this understanding to help us to have the mind of Christ. Verse 27:
V-27 – To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you – which is the mind of Christ – the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we – that's all of us – may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working, which works in me mightily.
Colossians 1 is a vision statement that could be stated in no better way – certainly not by me. But taking what Paul wrote, it's a phenomenal, fantastic vision of the church in bringing many sons – many children – to glory – in educating those whom God has called, in helping their education be transformed into activity – to good works, to joy, to patience and to strength. But the power was not from Paul in the work that he did. It was from the living Jesus Christ, who, even now, directs us in doing the work of the church and directing the affairs of the Church of God.
This is my vision of the church. And this is my exhortation to all of you: and that is to support the United Church of God's total effort to be led by the mind of Jesus Christ, as God's Spirit fills us, and people – others – can see this mind working in you. You are the light of the world.
Continue to make this Feast of Tabernacles a time to acquire more the mind of Jesus Christ. And my God bless each and every one of you as we all strive to achieve this.