Favorite Verses

1. John 3:16

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2. John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

3. Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God...

4. 2nd Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousnes...

5. Matthew 11:28

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

 

 

« December | Main | September »
Wednesday
Oct312018

November

From the Pastor's Desk:

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s posses-sion—to the praise of his glory.
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
-Ephesians 1:13-17 (NRSV)
To know Christ and to make Him known - this is at the heart of the church’s mission and ministry. After all, why call ourselves “Christian” if we are not centered in the life, death, and ministry of Je-sus Christ? What makes our faith unique among the religions of the world is that at the heart of our faith is a relationship - a personal friendship with the Word - the author of life.
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) He didn’t say, “I’ll TEACH you the way, the truth, and the life,” He said “I AM the way, the truth, and the life.” Truth is found in rela-tionship with Jesus, not just in a book.
When the apostle Paul wrote his letter (we call it “Ephesians”) to the church two millennia ago, he was expressing his desires in a prayer for the church - that they would rejoice in the gift of the Holy Spirit (a “deposit” guaranteeing their inheritance of eternal life) and that they would be given wis-dom and revelation SO THEY COULD KNOW CHRIST BETTER.
The more our relationship with Jesus deepens, the more our own desires will change. No more will we be striving to be “living out our religious principles,” we will be joyfully growing more alike in character and passion to our best friend and Savior Jesus.
See the difference? One method (the religious method) is “ME-focused,” concentrating on what I should and shouldn’t be doing. The other method is love-based, and relationship-focused. The glory and focus is on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of faith.
As a pastor, what I want you to know is just how good and wonderful Jesus is. I want you to be in a deep and deepening relationship with the Word - the Word who became flesh. As that relation-ship develops, it enriches ALL your other relationships - personal and professional. And then you discover your priorities changing - and your love confirmed by charitable actions.
We will make a difference. The church has power and agency to transform the world. But ONLY inasmuch as it is connected to its source - Jesus Christ.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Apart from me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Amen. Oh church, I pray that you will know Jesus even better by the end of this month than you do right now, at the beginning of November.
Yours in Christ’s love,
Pastor Matthew

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>