Brothers and sisters in Christ, I trust you are well. It has been a long time since my last letter, and I am eager to share with you what God has laid upon my heart. I am so thankful for your partnership in the gospel (Philippians 1:5) and for how the Lord is using you to fulfill His purposes (Psalm 138:8).
It never ceases to amaze me how fast the time flies by. We are now in the middle of February 2022! They say the older you get the more time seems to speed up, and that is true isn’t it? One thing that never changes is God’s mercy and faithfulness. As the prophet Jeremiah writes, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him” (Lamentations 3:22-24).
This winter weather has been interesting. Our whole yard was almost like a skating rink just a few days ago, and then yesterday we played softball in the front yard as a family. Punxsutawney Phil says we still have another 6 weeks left of winter, but whatever comes our way in terms of the weather, we will receive it from the gracious hand of the Lord.
Just a quick reminder that we have a Congregational Meeting next Wednesday (February 16th) at 7pm. If you are a member of our church, I would ask that you attend. Not only is this a chance to look back at 2021, but it is also a chance to talk about the future as we seek to move forward as a church. God has big plans for PGAC, but we must move forward in faith and obedience. As the Lord told Zerubbabel, “Not by works, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zachariah 4:6).
As you know, I constantly emphasize the importance of corporate worship. But why do we gather to worship? Why not just stay home and watch the TV preacher or listen to a podcast on the internet? There are many reasons, and I don’t intend to answer this in a comprehensive way, but I will say that “we gather to worship so that we can scatter to evangelize.” As elders, we have been working through a book called From Embers to a Flame: How God Can Revitalize Your Church. The author writes, “Our services should be primarily focused on encouraging, strengthening, and training Christians, so that they can take the gospel to those who need to hear it.” This is a great point. Evangelism doesn’t primarily happen within the walls of the church. Evangelism happens anywhere, anytime, as the people of God take the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to those around them.
Let me encourage you to prioritize corporate worship. We know that worship is the ultimate priority, and you need to be with the people of God on a consistent basis to be encouraged and built up in your faith. Let me also point you in the direction of fellowship and service. Find ways to meet with brothers and sisters in Christ, and find ways to serve those in need. As a pastor, I have been hugely encouraged to hear stories of our church family doing just that – ministering to those in need. This kind of brotherly love is desperately needed, and all I can say in response is, “do this more and more!” (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).
Brothers and sisters, never forget we serve an awesome God who is filled with love and compassion. I like how it is put in Exodus 34:6, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” God is so good! May this knowledge energize us as we seek to be about His business and reach a world that is lost and desperate for hope.
By His grace and for His glory,
BACK OF HOUSE ON A WINTERY DAY
FRONT YARD OF OUR HOME
KIDS PLAYING IN THE SNOW
READY TO HELP FEED CALVES
CHICKEN HOUSE AND ONE OF THE RESIDENTS
OUR CAT, BUTTERCUP, SHE’S EXPECTING. ANYBODY WANT A KITTEN?