December 31, 2020

Dear friends! This past year has been quite challenging. We have witnessed political instability, the explosion of the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters and various interstate conflicts. Believers quite often felt fear of impending events, were deprived of peace and participated in what does not lead us to edification. Many lost hope, or even departed from faith.

I would like to urge you to follow the Lord to the end, not relying on your own efforts, but on Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace. In the New Year, I would also like to encourage Christians to diligently search the Scriptures and build and restore their relationship with God, family, and brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our spirit must be stirred up at the sight of contemporary “idolatry” and be not indifferent to the perishing people of this world, and even more so to those who, unfortunately, lose faith and are carried away in a merciless stream into the eternal abyss, where darkness and the flame of an unquenchable fire reign. But often among such people are our loved ones.

Let’s believe in the real God and have His kingdom in our hearts. Simple emotional experiences, pretense, and shams are not able to give you genuine joy and peace. Such a ground is shaky and unstable for the building of faith.

During this year in my life, I have experienced many testimonies and the power of the Spirit of God in the lives of others. The Lord encouraged people to repentance and change. This year also brought sad news of the loss of close friends and precious souls. Some of them have never been reconciled to God. However, each of us has a choice. Many live “in this world without hope and without God.” (Ephesians 2:12). It doesn’t matter what will happen in the future and what kind of power will come, because “for there is no authority except that which God has established; and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” (Rom. 13:1). Scripture says, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). “If in this life only we have ​​hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” (1 Cor. 15:19).

So, let’s put our relationship with God right, and use every opportunity to win souls for Christ, and head towards the Eternal Kingdom! Let’s stop thinking about material things, and start living with spiritual values. This whole world is unstable and not everlasting. “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” (Col. 3:2). Let’s get ready to go through the tribulation. More and more laws are being adopted in the world that run counter to God’s commandments, and more Christians are persecuted and killed in our modern world. And this is just the beginning of sorrows. Let us not neglect the freedom we still have. But let us put on freedom from the bondage of sin, and let God rule in our hearts, because the Kingdom of God must be within us. The Kingdom of Heaven is something we should already live by, expecting eternal bliss with our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us live a godly life and let us not be afraid of those who oppose it, because “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Tim. 3:12).

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth.” (1 Chronicles 16:11-12)

Blessed and fruitful New Year!

Max Volkov in Christ