Back in the dark ages of the early 1980's, I was enjoying the college life and looking forward to teaching history and coaching basketball as a career. I was on the right track - meeting the right people, given the right opportunities, and even doing summer camps for 10 weeks to gain the right experience.
I'm sure you've heard by now - I love getting gifts.
It's my love language (along with others )
It's my spiritual gift (if receiving is a gift . . .)
If gift receiving were an Olympic sport, I'd be a gold medalist
You get the idea
In Ephesians 4:7-16, we will be learning about gifts that all followers of Christ receive. All of us as born-again believers in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection get gifts from our gift-giving God.
In the role of Pastor and Shepherd, one of my obligations is to help keep unity and peace among the people - the flock.
For many, the idea of "unity" would be to have the church "unified in purpose". But I think the Biblical teachings on unity go way deeper and way broader than simply "unified in purpose". I am convinced the Biblical challenge for ALL followers of Christ is to be "unified WITH people".
It's been a while since we were tracking through the book of Ephesians. There was stewardship in November, Christmas in December, and Living On A MIssion in January, along with pastoral reports for our annual meeting. But this Sunday we are back on track. We will begin Ephesians 4 and look at walking in a way that's "worthy of our calling".
This Sunday, January 28, is going to be an exciting day at WPBC. It's our annual meeting.
The annual meeting is a time to reflect on what God did through this church in 2017 as well as look forward to what He's about to do in 2018. From a ministry point, we had a great year last year. I am very encouraged with the strengthening of many ministries of our church. Consider the following:
What makes it "most wonderful"? Is it the stress, the traffic, the lines at stores, the cost of buying presents, the additional places I have to be and the extra people I need to see . . . ? Bah, humbug.
Oh, relax. I'm only kidding. I really DO love Christmas and all that comes with it. Although I could live without the "hustle and bustle".
Way back in my teen days, I remember hearing the story of a singer/songwriter and how his life was drastically changed by the power of Jesus Christ. His name was B.J. Thomas and his testimony of faith made a profound impact on my life all those many years ago.
B.J. Thomas' testimony was one of a life full of drugs and alcohol. Addictions that controlled his life. A broken marriage and a life of public popularity, but personal pain.
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o'er the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save;
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save!
It was the greatest spiritual event since the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the birth of the church. It was the greatest event in 1500 years. What was it? It happened on October 31, 1517 in Wittenberg, Germany. It was the Reformation.