Dear First Baptist Church Family, Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Advent is a special time for me in the life of the church. I love the focus that celebrating Advent brings to the Christmas time of year. The candles, the readings, the music and the Scriptures bring a sense of assurance of our Lord Jesus’ love for us. The celebrations also bring a realization of God’s commitment to us as we understand the glory Jesus left behind to step into a human body for the purpose of sacrificing Himself for our redemption. As we jump into the New Year, there is the realization that change is in process. God is working in our lives and in the life of the church to prepare us for the future that He already sees. God is never caught off guard and His plans will not be foiled. God is at work to reach people with the gospel. He will work when we are squarely on target and He will work when we are a bit off target. “He who began a good work will complete it!” I encourage you to pray for the pastor search committee, to pray for the next pastor, and to pray for the church. Pray for the church to be strong, united, and focused as the future unfolds.
Whatever God leads us to do will certainly center around the Great Commandment and the Great Commission:
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37–40 (ESV)
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18–20 (ESV)
In the coming weeks I’ll be preaching from the book of Matthew. The sermons in January will be part of a series entitled “Listen For The Rhythm.” May God richly bless you!
I am thankful to be in His service with you, Pastor Joe