December 2016 /January 2017 - Vol. 89
Christians praying together
. The Love of Christ Compels Us

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
–  2 Corinthians 5:14-15

In this issue

The Scriptures remind us that this present world is passing away and the Lord Jesus is returning to establish his everlasting kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. We are sojourners - passing guests and pilgrims - in search of a better homeland prepared for those who hunger for God and the abundant life he offers us through his Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus comes to fulfill every promise which God has made - a kingdom of peace and reconciliation, joy and everlasting life, and total victory and freedom from sin, Satan, and death. That is why our hope is anchored in God alone and his word of truth, justice, and merciful love.

This issue is dedicated to the "good news" that the Lord Jesus has come to set us free and give us new life through the gift of the Holy Spirit. And the Lord Jesus continues to fill us with great anticipation and hope in his promise to come again to complete his work of redemption for us.

How should we live in this present time between the Lord's first coming and his return? How will he judge the living and the dead and bring vindication to those who belong to God? What gives us joy, hope, and courage to advance the coming of his kingdom throughout the world today? And how can we pray and cooperate with God's work of reconciliation and unity for the broken body of Christ, and for the building up of communities of disciples on mission today ? Don't miss the wisdom and insights of gifted teachers and servants of God's word which this issue offers for your encouragement and strengthening in faith, hope, and love.

The love of Christ compels us - be reconciled with God and with one another through the gift and grace which Jesus Christ has won for us through his victory on the cross and his glorious resurrection.

May this Advent season and Christmas celebration be a rich feast of savoring God's word and preparing our hearts and homes to receive the Lord Jesus who comes to unite us in a bond of peace and unity through the grace and power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

Sincerely in Christ,
Don Schwager

[photo above, (c) by thegarden at]
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