Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As we head into the month of June lets rededicate ourselves to the work of our Lord and reinforce the teachings we've heard. As we discussed on Sunday this short walk on Earth is our proving ground, this is where we make our case, this is our justification to where we want to spend eternity.
Sometimes we can get caught up in the busyness of our own lives, to give preference to self, and to put ourselves on the throne. I find, for myself personally, that the most difficult thing to give up is not money or material things but rather my time. Whats even harder to give up is not the excess free time during the day or the time we've set aside for one anther but rather the giving up of time we've allotted for ourselves; our time. Jesus was faithful unto the cross; he gave everything he had including his life that we might live. As Rick preached Sunday lets bear the fruits of love, patience, and forgiveness with those of the world, with those in the church, and especially with ourselves.
As we go about strengthening one another let us always remember that we are a family; not just in word but in deed. If we don't love as a family then certainly the love of our Father is not in us. If we aren't patient as a family how can we expect mutual respect and growth with each other? If we aren't forgiving as a family how then can God forgive us? For those that might feel distant from the church or feel like they are on the "outside" I encourage you to step in, to be involved, to attend business meetings, to get involved on committees, to come Fridays and Wednesdays, to stay Sunday afternoon, to sign up for a devo, to attend the retreats, to reach out, to actively pursue growth in the church and in your walk. Call one another, study with one another, visit those who might need help or those you've yet to befriend, strike up new conversations with a brother or sister you might not know very well and, above all, love one another as Christ loved us.
Don't forget as you are about this work to make a note of the "who's" and "what's" of your efforts in the folder out in the church foyer.
Let us also remember our brothers and sisters who have recently come forward, those recently added to the Lord's body, and those suffering from on going illnesses and treatments. God calls us to be a family thicker than blood; giving preference to one another. We are only ever a phone call and, for many, a short drive away.