March 17, 2021March 24, 2021
Dear Pine Glen Church Family,
Happy Easter! I must admit that Easter snuck up on me this year, but I am excited that it is now here. Just think about all that we have to celebrate as Christians. As Christians have declared for centuries, “He is risen! He is risen indeed!” Jesus is alive and well and reigning at the right hand of God the Father! The apostle Paul writes, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead! (1 Corinthians 15:19-20). Praise God!
Just a reminder to invite a friend, neighbor, or family member to church on Sunday. We should be doing this every week, but there are those who are more likely to be in church on Resurrection Sunday than any other Sunday of the year. Also, remember that we have our Good Friday service this Friday, April 2 at 6:30pm. Please note that we will be worshipping at the Lewistown C&MA church, 50 Hudson Avenue, Lewistown.
I am excited to announce that Michelle Yoder has recently agreed to become our church custodian. For the last several years, Joann Benner has held that position and did a great job keeping the church spic and span, but has decided to step aside to pursue other endeavors. I am very thankful for both of these ladies.
Let me just say a quick word on prayer. A couple weeks ago, Steph and I attended a conference and one of the speakers said something that struck me. “We don’t believe in the power of prayer. We believe in the power of God, that’s why we pray.”
What is he saying? When we talk about prayer, we are not talking about some mystical force that if you tap into it, power is suddenly unleashed. No! As Christians, we believe in the power of God! Therefore, we are compelled to pray. Sometimes, the kind of language we use would indicate that the power is in “prayer” itself. However, we should always point people to the God who hears our prayers, and answers them according to His perfect will (1 John 5:14-15).
One verse that I am fond of quoting is Galatians 5:13. 13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
As pastor of PGAC, I have been encouraged by the many ways you have reached out to one another in love. As has been communicated in our Vision for 2021, we want to be a “caring community” that takes a genuine interest in fellow members of the Body of Christ. We want to see this more and more in 2021 and beyond. But listen to what Paul says next:
“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14).
How do we love one another? Answer: as ourselves. Think about all the ways you care for and love yourself – physically, emotionally, and mentally. Well, that is how we should strive to care for and love one another. But Paul doesn’t stop there:
15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:15).
When we share information that is damaging or false about another person behind their back, that is not loving. When we say things that do not serve to build-up or encourage in the Lord, that is not loving. When we are bitter and unforgiving towards brothers and sisters in Christ (or anyone for that matter), that is not loving, nor is it honoring to Christ. Those are actions that only serve to hurt others, and hinder the ministry of our church.
My hope and prayer is that we as the people of Pine Glen Alliance Church would have a deep care and concern for one another and would always be considerate of how our words and actions affect one another. Before we say something, we should ask: is this profitable? Is this beneficial? Is this edifying? Is this encouraging?
This side of heaven, we will sin against one another, but that doesn’t mean we ditch one another. Rather, we always seek reconciliation, and follow the teaching of Scripture, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Pine Glen Church family, I am looking forward to seeing you soon! God has been sooooo good to us, and we have much to celebrate. This is true every week and not just Easter week.
May God richly bless you as you look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen (2 Corinthians 4:18). Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and that God loves you more than you could ever fathom or comprehend.
All for Jesus,