The World Evangelical Alliance has enjoyed a year of great fruitfulness in 2019. We had a highly productive General Assembly in Indonesia, where we planned for a decade of holistic, intergenerational disciple making. We have gained full recognition for Evangelicals in Palestine and just launched a national Evangelical Alliance in the United Arab Emirates. We have strengthened believers and effectively defended religious freedom in many parts of the world. Many more such stories could be told.
In such times, it is easy to become excited about what we can do. So as we close 2019 and prepare for 2020, I want to remind all of us that we can do nothing unless we are abiding in Christ.
As Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
How can we ensure that we are abiding in Christ rather than relying on ourselves? In John 15, Jesus tells us how. First, we must establish a relationship with Him and become children of God. The disciples to whom Jesus initially spoke these words had already done this; thus Jesus told them, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you” (15:3).
Next, we must turn to Christ for our nourishment, just as branches depend on a vine. This means submitting to His pruning process. We must embrace the trials and challenges in our lives as God’s way of pruning us so that we can bear fruit in both our character (Gal. 5:22–23) and our ministry effectiveness.
Beyond that, our daily lives must also be characterized by dynamic prayer (verse 7), cultivating a deep loving relationship with Jesus (verse 9), and unhesitant obedience to God’s commandments (verse 10).
These spiritual disciplines will remove our preoccupation with ourselves and instead fill us with confidence and enthusiasm about what God will do through us. May we all diligently ask the Lord to make us fruitful for Him in 2020!
Bp Efraim Tendero
Secretary General / CEO
World Evangelical Alliance