For over 25 years, churches have joined together through the SBC of Virginia to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ to reach our neighbors and the nations. Our prayer is to see strong churches with a bold commitment to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18–20). For the past several years, we have embraced the mantra, You are not alone! We see the need to partner together for missions and to encourage each other. However, we must remember the foundation of “You are not alone”—Jesus said, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b, NASB).
As we say You are not alone, keep in mind the awesome biblical promise: “The Lord is with you.” The importance of the presence of God is seen throughout the Scriptures in the lives of leaders like Moses, Joshua, and many others. During a time of exile for the people of God and of tremendous political turmoil, our Lord God said through the prophet Isaiah:
“Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NKJV)
At this year’s SBCV Annual Homecoming in Roanoke, we are asking for the SBCV partnership of churches, for our brothers and sisters in Christ, to celebrate His presence and seek His face like never before. I don’t want to serve—and we must not try to lead—without seeking to follow the Lord and depend on His presence and power (Exodus 33:15).
In January 2023, we will have a special call to prayer for pastors. Throughout 2023, we will encourage one another as we pray together and embrace the presence of God in our work together. As we serve in so many ways, like disaster relief; planting and revitalizing churches; sending missionaries…we must always keep in mind the necessity of the Lord leading us and empowering us.
I am so thankful we are able to say to one another, You are not alone. As the Lord leads us to make disciples of all nations, let’s also remind each other of the promise of His presence: “The Lord is with you.” Praise the Lord for His presence!
Your brother in Christ,