Would you say you are a good person?

Pastor's Notes

     Greetings and grace to you in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Summer break is almost over and another school year is about to begin.  The school schedule and calendar dictates so much of our lives, even when our own children are grown.  I guess you never get off “Pettus time.”  (Only old Elkmont High School folks will understand the last statement.)  But “whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” (Col. 3:23), so let us honor the Lord in an obedient life lived to His glory.

     August presents many opportunities to Learn, Love & Live.  On Saturday, August 4, ERBC is hosting First Priority Kids training from 9-11am for First Priority of North Alabama.  If you would like to attend, please let me know.  A Back to School Prayer Breakfast is being held on Aug. 11 @ 9am by the Women’s Ministry; for information contact Jennifer Kobeck.  The AWANA Kickoff will be held Sunday, Aug. 12 @ 5:30pm.  The Kickoff is a Church-wide fellowship, fun, and food event.  Beginning Sunday, August 19 @ 5:30, ERBC returns to the AWANA/Discipleship Sunday night schedule, including nursery care for birth-23mths, AWANA Clubs 2yr-12th Grade, Young Adults, Women’s, Bible Book and Pastor’s classes.  The Annual Good Shepherd Ministries Family Reunion Banquet is Saturday, August 25 @ 6pm.  Please sign the attendance sheet at the Welcome Center if you plan to attend.  These are the special opportunities during the month in addition to the regularly weekly service times, so take advantage of every opportunity to Learn, Love & Live!

     “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1-3)  I sense the Apostle Paul’s heart, as well as the very heart of God, in these verses.  Paul describes himself as “the prisoner of the Lord.”  Ephesians was written during Paul’s imprisonment at Rome, but not so much does this describe a physical imprisonment as it does a spiritual capture.  The Lord had captured Paul, from which he did not want to be freed.  It is from this very place that Paul issues the summons of encouragement to every Christian.  It is an exhortation for each Christian to live the Christ life.  “Walk” is metaphorically used as to how one conducts his life.  It is translated from the Greek word, peripateo, which literally means to make one’s way, progress; to make due use of opportunities.  Every moment of every day is an opportunity to live the Christ life, which is exactly the “vocation” we have been called to live.  Only when Christ’s life is lived through us do we actually “walk” (live) worthy of our calling to be a Christian.  God then inspires Paul to write a brief description of what that life looks like.  The Christian is to exercise humility, lowliness of mind (lowliness) with all while possessing strength under control (meekness), while persevering (longsuffering) to actively hold up and sustain other Christians in unconditional love.  The Christian is to exert himself with diligence (endeavoring) to attend to carefully and guard (keep) the agreement (unity) of the Holy Spirit in the bond of peace.  It should be understood that truth and obedience is therefore required, not compromise and the “get along at all cost mentality.”  Truth must never be compromised for the sake of agreement or unity.  When men do so, they become in disagreement with God and are no longer in possession of the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  Paul wrote this truth to the Philippians (Philp.3:15-19).  Amos proposed this truth in the form of a question, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos. 3:3)  It is truth, and obedience to that truth that unites.  As Christians we are to persevere with all humility, and strength under control, sustaining one another in love to attend carefully in obedience to the truth; to do so is For to me to live is Christ!” (Philp. 1:21a)

 

    

By His grace,

Toney

 





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