As I reflect back to this powerful moment from a few years ago with the students of LFBC, it makes me realize how blessed we are as members of God’s family! Let me encourage all Christians to never take for granted being a part of the church, having the privilege of prayer, and having the privilege of knowing Jesus more. We have these everlasting privileges because Jesus paid it all! I know we’re all busy, but making time to be with your church family is really the most important part of your week. Let me encourage you to be at your church this Sunday, you need it and your fellow brother and sister in Christ needs it. We need to grow spiritually together and that is seriously hindered when we miss meeting together with our church family.
No, church is not about seeing someone or being seen; it’s all about looking to Jesus and growing closer to Him through praise, prayer, and the Word! It really is the most powerful, most satisfying, and most lasting time on earth. Don’t miss out! “Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching”
Love in Christ,
I wonder how many of us as believers appreciate being a part of the church? When we keep in mind what the Apostle Peter wrote about the fact that we have been ransomed by the precious blood of Christ, I believe we will maintain an appreciation for being a part of the family of God. The right perspective of how we are a part of the church will lead us to the right reason for meeting with other believers for worship. What is the right motivation? Jesus.
My fear today is that our motivation for meeting together at church is everything but the one main reason including: obligation, social reasons, entertainment, self-help therapy, feel good emotions…Certainly not all of the above are bad but they all have in common a focus on self and not a focus on Jesus. I believe that when Jesus is our motivation then we won’t attend out of obligation, we will enjoy socializing better, our entertainment will be healthy and Jesus will be honored and glorified, we will receive the ultimate self-help, and our emotions will be kept in check as opposed to being driven by emotions. What drives real, lasting help from God is receiving His Word in faithful obedience from a love relationship with Jesus. Does this sound anything like your experience at church?
My prayer is that we don’t treat church merely like a social event or a selfish experience but rather an encounter with the true and living God when Jesus is exalted and God’s Word is received in faithful obedience. Just like an old song I used to enjoy singing in choir years ago, “Let’s get together and praise the Lord, everybody make a joyful noise even though we’ve come together, from all over the earth. Let’s come together in one accord everyone that’s listening to my voice let’s get together, let’s have church!”
As we are now in the middle of summer during the heart of vacation time I’m grateful that we are maintaining good attendance in Sunday school, Sunday morning and evening worship, and Wednesday nights. I believe that we are displaying some evidences of a healthy church that includes members who desire to be together to encourage, pray, fellowship, worship, and receive God’s Word. However we should never become complacent and we should always strive to improve. Let’s all do our part to remain faithful to the LORD as part of His church the rest of the summer. If you’ve missed Sunday school let me encourage you to come this Sunday and bring someone with you! Also I’d love to see new members in our choir! The summer months would be a great time to join the choir and be a part of an encouraging group who desires to sing to our great God and King to prepare the way for the preaching of God’s Word! As I’ve often said, I love a good choir special and a full choir is such a blessing to everyone in our worship service.
I’m also grateful that we have the powerful tool of prayer available as the family of God and I’d love to encourage everyone to utilize prayer for our church. I believe that prayer changes things and our church is only going to be as strong as our prayers that we offer to the LORD. As you pray for our church please remember our Nominating Committee as they seek God’s guidance for the upcoming church year that begins in September. As the Nominating Committee is faithfully doing their part, please be willing to do your part by praying about where God would have you to serve. In our church God has given a variety of gifts that, if used, will bring joy and blessing to those who are willing and obedient.
Also please join me in praying for our Deacon Election process that will be taking place during the month of August. This election if very important and should be something that we bathe in prayer. The biblical qualifications for the deacon are found in 1st Timothy 3:8-13 and in Acts 6:3. May God continue to lead us and bless us here at First Baptist! May we each do our part in fulfilling what the Author of Hebrews wrote about:
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:23-25).