It’s 2021 . . . so what now?

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)

It’s 2021 . . . so what now?  God has been so gracious to allow us to see another year.  Sadly, I lost my grandmother this past September, then my best friend lost his fiancé suddenly a few weeks after that, and just a few days into this new year, I lost both a cousin and an uncle due to sickness unrelated to the pandemic, while my best friend’s father has been given just a few months to live due to newly discovered pancreatic cancer.  Everywhere we turn there are so many people going through very challenging situations, be it financially, health-wise, or in their personal relationships.

But I believe that we as God’s church have an amazing and beautiful opportunity to live out this year: to continue moving forward with our eyes set on Him and to share this amazing hope we have in Jesus!  In the  context of the above passage, the apostle Paul was writing to the first century church in Philippi and was encouraging them to not depend on the flesh, specifically circumcision.  There were people who thought that being a Jew and being circumcised guaranteed their relationship with God and their salvation.  But Paul, a Jew and a former Pharisee says, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ . . . I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith” (Phil 3:7-9).  It’s not the flesh which saves but our faith in God through Christ Jesus.  Let’s move closer to Him and let’s meet people where they are!  We need each other and our community needs hope in the midst of the present challenges.

Would you be open to partnering with me as we transform Oceanside with the love of Jesus Christ this year? See you for “Live With Basilio!” on Thursdays at 4pm (

Basilio Ramirez, Worship Pastor