Pastor’s Friday Comments (04.05.19)

I heard a friend pray the other day to the effect that “we’ve gotten good at getting by with a little but we’re not so good at doing well when we have a lot.” He asked the Lord to guide us in that latter, rarer state.

It strikes me as a particularly appropriate prayer for our family of faith these days.

The most obvious immediate reason for us to pray this prayer is that, if all continues as expected, we will  soon turn what was a fixed asset, excess land, into a liquid asset, money over which we will have practical stewardship. I would ask all of you to pray that God will guide us in using these funds in ways that would please God, grow the kingdom, and benefit creation. Over the next few weeks as a family we will be making decisions about what to offer to others, what to spend on our own programs and ministries, and how to invest the majority of the funds wisely so they can be used far into the future.

But that is only one of the more tangible and apparent ways that our church has been gifted. Our assets extend far beyond monetary blessings. As we firmly rely upon the Spirit of God both for the giving and using of all we have, we can be thankful for the tremendous pool of talent in so many diverse areas of service.

Incredibly talented musicians and singers lead us each week in worship.

Well educated and highly prepared teachers lead us in Bible study each week.

A dedicated and compassionate group of mission-minded individuals lead us in ministry outside our church and help us to partner with other organizations such as Norcross Cooperative Ministry and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

While all of us pray for our church and our concerns, there are groups that meet faithfully each week to offer up petitions on behalf of others and are diligent in letting others know that they are praying for them.

A team instilled with practical gifts keep our facilities running and our buildings comfortable and welcoming.

Those with the gift of financial management guide us in the wise use of the funds that members place in our hands.

Women (mostly) who have the gift of hospitality make sure that, at every opportunity, we get to enjoy good food and fellowship.

And many members stand ready to volunteer at a moment’s notice to provide whatever service they are called on to engage in.

I could go on at length about the talents and commitments of our members. The point is that we have so much for which to be grateful, but there is certainly the possibility that, given all the resources that God has placed in our hands, we are not living up to our potential. Let us be grateful that, though we don’t deserve it, God has given us so much, but let us also be determined that, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we will use all of the gifts in ways that will be pleasing to God.

In the book the men’s group is currently studying, Free of Charge, Miroslav Volf makes the point that God’s gifts don’t flow to us, but through us. As gifts have been placed in your life, how are they flowing through you into the world to which we have been called?