Overseer's Message

December 11, 2018


Dear Fellow labourers in the IFCA,

Greetings and salutations to each one of you in your many different fields of labour. Connie and I trust that this long overdue communique finds you all well and joyfully involved in the work where the Father has placed you. We are blessed to report that all is progressing well here at headquarters and we continue to make full use of every opportunity afforded us to boast in and of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s hard to believe that 2018 is almost at an end, just fourteen more days and it will be Christmas, amazing! This year has simply flown by or maybe it’s just that we have been so busy and involved we were not paying attention. Anyhow, as we approach the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 it is a comfort to know that God is still on His throne.


Let me take this opportunity to thank you all for your faithfulness toward the Lord Jesus Christ and the IFCA. Although the financial giving is not yet where we hoped it would be, it has improved enough to alleviate some of the shortfall. We continue to pray and take measures to ensure that we stay within budget and hopefully make advances to being financially secure. Thank you again for all you are doing to help us in this direction, it is deeply appreciated.


It has been just two weeks since we returned from our annual trip to Oklahoma where we visit with Connie’s family and my brother David and his family. We were privileged to preach the first known revival in the United Methodist Church in Guymon, Oklahoma, where my brother has been pastoring since December 2017. God showed up in a significant way and many lives were touched and new advances in the Kingdom were attained. What a privilege to be a proclaimer of the good news empowered by God’s anointing. My brother David sends his greetings and best wishes to all of you that he met in Waterbury, CT, when he preached at our national convention in 2015.

We are also happy to report that we had a wonderful national prayer summit in Lancaster the first week of November. Although we only had twenty-one attendees, nevertheless, the prayer time spent together was uplifting, empowering, and effective. We experienced a number of significant answers to prayer, in fact, during our group break-out session, Connie received healing for her back which has been plaguing her for almost three years. We have gone ahead and set the dates and reservation for next years prayer summit at the Double Tree Resort from the 6th through the 8th of November 2019. Please enter these dates into your planning calendars so there will be no hinderance to your attendance at the next summit. We need to have each credential holder, leaders and prayer warriors in our movement in attendance. Without prayer, nothing can be accomplished of significance! We have also finalized the dates and venue for our next national convention. It will be held in Syracuse First Christian Assembly pastored by Rev. Ronald Warne. The dates will be from the 7th – 9th of August, 2019. We have been blessed by acquiring our accommodations for the convention at the Embassy Suites by Hilton across the road from the marvelous Destiny Mall in Syracuse. It is a brand-new Hilton and we have been fortunate to acquire the rooms to cater to us at $109 plus tax per day; that fee includes a hot breakfast every morning. God is so good! Not only that, the sales person has arranged for us to have those same fees available to anyone who desires it, from the 4th through the 11th of August. There will be information forthcoming from headquarters soon! Be sure to add this event and dates to your calendar now! We need to have you present for this great time of celebration and fellowship. 


It is time for us now to turn to the Word together and pick up where we left off last time in Ephesians chapter two. I closed off last time by stating that Jesus Christ’s past accomplishments on our behalf when He died and rose again had results that are experienced in the present by all who by faith are dead (to sin) and whose lives are hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3). Now we are introduced to the very goal of salvation in chapter 2:7. Note, that the purpose of God’s saving activity stretches forward into “the ages to come”, according to v7. What does this expression mean? One commentator says “God’s purpose is that in the eternal future, the future which opens with Christ’s parousia, and in all the continuing length of that future, the grace of His ways with those once dead in sins should be declared and understood in all the grandeur of its exceeding riches”. (Salmond). The Gk word translated “shew or show” –“endeiknumi” carries the idea of demonstration or display. The thought here is that in the future ages, God will put the redeemed on display (demonstration) as an exhibition of His great saving grace. Once again, the apostle uses the word “ploutos” – “riches” .. He has previously referred to “the riches of His grace” in chap 1:7, and now he adds a superlative to the phrase and says, “the exceeding riches of His grace”. Thayer tells us that this Greek word has the thought of supereminence, i.e. something that goes beyond the ultimate. God went beyond all bounds, surpassing, incomparable to anything (Gk “hyperballō”). The apostle Paul is the only N.T. writer who used this verb and its corresponding noun “hyperbolē”. He really wanted folks to understand the supereminence of the riches of God’s grace towards man. F. F. Bruce, in his commentary on Ephesians, referring back to Eph 1:19 says, “If the raising of Christ from death to sit at His own right hand is supreme demonstration of God’s power (‘the exceeding greatness of His power”), the raising of the people of Christ from spiritual death to share Christ’s place of exaltation is the supreme demonstration of his grace. “What an amazing grace eminates from our gracious God. Now the apostle Paul puts in a new word here “in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus”. The word is “chrēstotēs”- “goodness, kindness, benignity.” One writer says this word denotes love in action. The saving of great sinners (like I once was circa April 1972) is a clear and special proof of God’s Divine benignity. This is what Paul is trying to impress on us here in v7. The new Jerusalem, the home of the redeemed bride of Jesus Christ, will exhibit and display the most overwhelming and impressive evidence of the kindness and goodness of God available. There one will see a countless host of once polluted and lost persons; who were dead in sins; who were under the power of Lucifer and living in darkness, and who have been redeemed by the exceeding riches of God’s marvelous grace-a great big host now blessed, holy and pure, free from all sin and wretchedness, sorrow and death-there displaying as living and eternal monuments of the riches of God the Father’s bountiful grace. Oops! I thought I would be able to go further, but it’s time to quit now. We will pick up at chap 2:8 next time.


In closing, Connie and I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a blessed and prosperous New Year in 2019. May the New Year bring you many opportunities to exalt and magnify the name of our great God and His victorious Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We will be spending Christmas with our children in the Boston area and are looking forward to having a great time with them. Until we see each other again next year, may God richly bless each one of you. Keep on looking up, Jesus is coming back soon!

Yours in His Service,

 

Mike Player

General Overseer

IFCA