Spotlight 13/2018: How to personalise our motto

No one knows when the last time will be. That is why it is so important that we set the right priorities: what must come first? Answers from District Apostle Urs Hebeisen (South-East Asia).

The first of January, the start of the New Year in the Church, for many is more than just a tradition. Like many events this year, it was my last New Year's Day service with an active ministerial mandate.

Everything will one day happen for the last time. The last Holy Communion before Christ comes, the last opportunity before we leave this earth, and the last chance for grace; no one knows when the last time will be. That is why it is so important that we set the right priorities. So what must come first?

Our New Year’s resolution was given as “Faithful to Christ”. How do we deal with it? Let us personalise this 2018 motto. We can say: “First – faithful to Christ”. Yes, that sounds good. Christ, not I, must come first. Our faithfulness to Him is not only to be shown in a nice slogan, but must be visible in all our deeds, work, and especially in our thoughts and decision-making.

Therefore I have personalised our motto to make it unique, just for myself, as follows: “Faithful – first to Christ”. Leading a Christian life demands faithfulness. We are faithful to our commitments, are faithful to our spouse, our friends, and our children. We are faithful to our brethren in the congregation, pay our bills faithfully, keep our promises.

Being faithful requires us to be honest with our neighbour and, what is often forgotten, faithfulness also entails being honest with ourselves. How often do we try to fool ourselves, refuse to accept reality, refuse to admit we have erred, or demand justice according to earthly standards. That can hardly be understood as faithfulness first to Christ.

So much faithfulness to deal with, and yet it is exactly that effort which is constantly under pressure—and temptations abound. The devil knows. He claims faithfulness, too. He wants us to be faithful to him and is very creative in the ways he approaches us. Let us make it easy: when we are faithful to Christ first—to His mission, His teaching, His example, His sending, His values, His vision, His promise—and this comes first in our thinking and decision-making, then we will accomplish all the faithfulness required from us.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6: 33). Let us seek first to be faithful to Christ!

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Urs Hebeisen