Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I trust you are doing well and had a good Christmas and New Year’s. Thank you for all the lovely cards and gifts you showered on our family this Christmas season. It means so much to us, and like I have said many times, we are grateful to the Lord to be serving at Pine Glen and living in Mifflin County. I see God at work in many ways and am optimistic about the future.
Like you, I am concerned about much of what is happening in the world and the political arena, but it is normal and natural for Christians to be characterized by hope and optimism. As Paul puts it in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope.” Rather than letting our circumstances define us, we as Christians are defined by our standing in Christ. Our heavenly inheritance is secure (1 Peter 1:4) and now we are free to serve the Lord without fear.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for your faithful giving to the work of the Lord at PGAC. Although giving was down over the last four months of the year, we remain in a solid financial position as a church. But let me also encourage you to give generously, and trust God to supply all your needs. Listen to the words of
2 Corinthians 9:6-8:
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
We are going to be keeping things very simple in the next few weeks. By that I mean there won’t be any additional services beyond our Sunday morning service. And if you are not already, let me encourage you to attend this service. As elders, we have done what we can to make our services safe. Corporate worship is a beautiful opportunity to gather together to strengthen and encourage one another in the Lord (Hebrews 10:24-25). Please join us if you can!
During these times where we are more isolated than ever before, let me encourage you to be creative in your serving. Send a card, make a phone call, write a letter, help a person in need, text a Bible verse, etc. There are a plethora of ways that we can reach out and share the love of Christ. One of the verses that I have come back to this week is Galatians 6:9-10: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone and especially those who are of the household of faith.” As God opens doors of opportunity to serve and “do good”, let’s strive to make the most of them, especially when it comes to fellow believers. People are needy and hurting and this is where we can “let our light shine before others” in such a way that God will be glorified (Matthew 5:16).
These perilous times are also an opportunity for married couples and families to draw near to one another. More people are working from home than ever before. Sometimes this can put a strain on relationships, but it is also an opportunity for couples to grow in ways they never have before. At church on Sunday, I encouraged couples to read their bibles and pray together. This is a powerful way to strengthen your marriage and help keep your focus on Christ (Ephesians 5:22-33). I would also encourage fathers to lead your families in times of family worship. Make this a daily habit if you can. Chris Prough passed along a neat little quote yesterday to Steph and me. “The best children’s ministry program is kids watching their parents follow Jesus.” Amen!
Well, that’s all for now. Have a great rest of your week and I hope to see you on Sunday.
Love in Christ,