It is always hard to say goodbye to someone you love, but this phrase, “goodbye” more than other expressions used at parting such as adieu, adios, arrivederci, au revoir, auf wiedersehen, is most appropriate. The origin of the word goodbye is dated back to 1591 and is a contraction of the statement, “God be with ye” or Godbwye.
While in Vietnam, our 7 fellows saw many people, come to Christ and become family. In the book of Revelations there is a promise that says,
“Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed” (Rev 15:4).
This promise was fulfilled among us. Praise be to God! So as you see, the true meaning of the words, goodbye i.e. God be with you, makes perfect sense.
Please be in prayer for our new brothers and sisters. Ephesians 1:13 tells us “when [they] heard the word of truth, the gospel of [their] salvation, and believed in him, [they] were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit”.
Moreover, “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate [them] from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans, 8:38-39).
And last of all, I leave you a prayer of dedication for these new and very brave believers as they begin their relationship with God. This prayer is a formal prayer very much like the one Solomon prayed on a bronze platform in the courtyard, as the tabernacle of the Lord was being dedicated (2 Chronicles 6:13).
Paul was the one who actually prayed this specific prayer of dedication for the Christian church and asked for spiritual blessings. He prayed for them to be strengthened with divine might, because he knew there are enemies in the spiritual realm that are cunning and strong… to strong for us in our natural strength. He prayed for them to be strengthened by the energy of the Holy Spirit… our effervesce fountain of spiritual energy, which is paramount for gospel work since it involves spiritual conflict. He prayed for them to be strengthened in their inner man so that they would have the fruit of the Holy Spirit, love, peace, patience, holiness, spiritual wisdom. …He prays as Solomon, that the new believers who are a holy temple to the Lord, will manifest the Fathers’ glory. And he prays that God would come down and dwell in them, rooting them in love. There is no indwelling without Christ. Christ is the foundation of love and is who all hopes and expectations are built upon. Please let us beseech the Father of lights in which there is no variation.
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:14-21).
Truly, may God be with you and keep you, dear friends, until we meet again.