It amazes me that we have traveled this journey together for ten years now. I am constantly astonished that there is so much yet to learn even after all that time. So I find myself turning to Philippians, one of my favorite books of the Bible, and the opening prayer found there.
“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:3-6)
It had to be so rewarding for the apostles to look at the growth of those they were guiding. It is definitely rewarding for me. The work of the minister is to equip the saints for ministry and I see you stepping into ministry daily. Whether it is to send money and supplies to far away missions, or giving assistance closer to home, you are ready to serve.
You also seek to prepare yourselves better for the work by study of the word of God. This month it is I & II Peter and Jude.
Those early Christians were dispersed all over the known world by persecution and they were encouraged by the apostles to continue in faith. The first letter of Peter in the New Testament is written to the exiles of the Dispersion. Peter encourages them to live in hope and live a holy life. That is the same encouragement I give to you.
I and II Peter are filled with points on how to live in hope and live holy. You will find words there that you have heard me speak almost every first Sunday. “ You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood.” As such we live as servants to each other and shining examples of God’s marvelous light. Read these words carefully and then try to live them.
The letter of Jude is another story completely. Here we are warned of those who have stolen in among us to destroy our faith, or at least pervert it. They are the scoffers, the ones who slander whatever they don’t understand.
Our faith instructs us that the Lord Jesus Christ will return and must find us living holy lives of service in anticipation of that return. That includes remembering that “In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts, who cause divisions.” We must build each other up and pray, keeping ourselves in the love of God and looking forward to that which has been promised. Thank you for ten years and now on to what comes next.