“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart,
and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45). NIV
Happy New Year to You. Today is the first Sunday of 2024. 2023 has come and gone. Have you taken down the Christmas tree and lights, packing them all away? Do you still have any of your Christmas cards and letters or are they already in the recycle bin?
I was thinking to myself, maybe I should read them again. When I first opened those cards, I hurriedly read them, setting them in a pile. Christmas cards with letters from friends going back 40 years, 30 even 20 years ago were mailed or emailed to me. It was so nice to hear what God has been doing in and through them. To see a picture of their family brings back wonderful memories of past fellowship with them. However for the most part of 2023, I had forgotten to pray for them. I read that they have been praying for us! I felt ashamed that I was not as faithful to them as they have been faithful to us. Lord willing, I will do better in 2024.
Jesus declares that a good person brings forth what is good in his/her heart. God gave me the privilege of visiting someone in the hospital and being with the couple. I met relatives who flew in to support this couple. They were there for days and hours. I saw members of our family stopped by and brought food and drinks for them. It was out of their love for this family that they went to visit them and even brought something for them. It came from their heart.
I have witnessed many acts of kindness by the LSFC family throughout 2023. I remember those of you who brought meals for my son’s family during Kaori’s illness and even after her passing. I know of individuals who reach out to the homeless, bringing food and sharing the Word with them. I see individuals working quietly behind the scene on Sunday morning in preparation for our worship service. I see the Young Adults serving us first before serving themselves during our Fellowship Luncheon. There are untold acts of kindness shown in our church and in our community. I am blessed to see your love for the Lord and for each other. Your treasures are a blessings to others.
May we always be thankful to God and be grateful for the acts of service by others. May that inspire us in 2024 to follow in their footsteps in bringing forth the good things from our hearts to bless others. May the world know that we are His disciples by the love that we have for one another.
January 7, 2024