When you love deeply, you will live differently. Washing windows is not my ideal activity on a rare day off. But when my wife mentions she prefers clean windows, I gladly help. Why would God leave eternity, be born in a stable, and eventually give His life for us on a cross? He loves us deeply. By the way, loving you is not just what God does, it is who He is.
Once again you have demonstrated your deep love for Christ and his church. Thanks to God’s blessings and your generosity, we exceeded our Lottie Moon Mission Offering. Though all of this offering goes to missionaries (none of it stays here), we will still be blessed by God for such generosity. Love deeply – live differently.
Our students will be on Winter Retreat this weekend. I sometimes call these a “Winter Advance” instead of retreat. We often hear God’s call when we are in a different situation. I did. It was fifty years ago I heard God’s call to ministry while on a Winter Retreat (Advance).
An exhausted housewife told her doctor about her husband’s loud snoring. “Does he keep you awake?” the doctor asked. “Not just me,” she replied. “He keeps the entire church awake.” One of my tasks as a pastor is to keep the church spiritually awake. Over time a church can settle into a dull routine. We start doing church instead of being the church. We are not like that, but it is good to be on guard.
Home Improvement Weekend is going to be great. Every generation will be guided, challenged and inspired. I hope you are praying and expecting God to strengthen your life.
My mother once told me how she grew up with a dirt front yard. Whenever special company would come by she and her sisters would have to rake the yard with tree branches to make it look smooth. I remember saying to her, “But mom, it was just dirt.” She nodded in agreement and said, “But it was nice looking dirt.” She then pointed to my cluttered, messy room and said, “Keep it nice.” Christ enables anyone to be more and better than what we are. Truth is, Jesus not only makes us nice, but He also makes us new.
Over the holiday, several of you lost loved ones. My heart goes out to you. Two of these precious saints from Eastmont were Linda Parham and Annie Hodnett. Both had been sick for a while but were able to attend Eastmont just days prior to passing. They were faithful to the finish. I am also proud of the love and support this church shows to one another. Because you love deeply you also live differently.