Encouraging One Another
By Rich Carmicheal
The staff members of Herald of His Coming consider it an honor and a privilege to be connected with you through this ministry. Whether or not we have met you personally, we know that your life is of utmost significance. One of the reasons for this is that we realize your very existence is the work of the Almighty God who created you in His image and likeness (Gen. 1:26). The words of the Psalmist are just as true of you: "For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well" (Psa. 139:13-14). We also know that God has special plans and purposes for your life. You are "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand…" (Eph. 2:10). You are created for His glory, and His desire is to work in and through your life to help others know Him and His glory more fully.
One of the blessed truths about God is that every person matters to Him. Even though He cares deeply for nations, cities, churches and families, He never loses sight of individuals. Consider, for example, how His Word is filled with person after person. Some of them lived prominent lives and were known by many. Others lived more quiet lives and were unnoticed by most. But every one mattered. Such names abound in the Bible, people such as Simeon, Anna, Apollos, Barnabas, Mary, Martha, Stephen, Epaphroditus, Gaius, Luke, Nicodemus, Dorcas, Timothy, Lois, Eunice – and the list goes on and on.
And today it is your life, and the lives of many other individuals, that the Lord is working in and through. He has called all of us to be part of one body, the body of Christ, and yet that body is made up of many members (1 Cor. 12:12-27). Each member is a unique and essential part of Christ’s body, and the growth of the body is dependent upon "the proper working of each individual part" (Eph. 4:16).
So not only are you precious to the Lord, you are also key to His plans and purposes. How you live your life is of eternal consequence, not just for yourself, but for many others. God has made people to be interdependent, and so your spiritual maturity, character and actions have far-reaching influence, even beyond what you may realize.
How thankful we are, therefore, that we are able to be part of your life, and that you are part of our lives. We all need mutual encouragement in the Lord, and we appreciate the encouragement we receive through the prayers, financial support and correspondence of Herald friends like you. We also hope that this ministry, including this new issue of the Herald, encourages and strengthens you in your relationship with the Lord and in the work He has entrusted to you. The days are evil, the return of Christ draws nearer, and it is time for God’s people to arise and make the most of the time we have (Eph. 5:14-16). This is the hour to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called" (Eph. 4:1); the hour to "be renewed in the spirit of your mind" and to "put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth" (4:23-24); the hour to "let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice" (4:31); the hour to "walk in love, just as Christ also loved you" (5:2); the hour to "be filled with the Spirit" (5:18); the hour to "be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might" (6:10); the hour to "be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints" (6:18).