Summer is officially here! It has been a long spring with a lot of rain and I think most of us are ready for the summer heat. July always seems to be an exciting month at Hope Church and this July will be no different. The Ice Cream Social is always a great annual event and then later on in the month, we have our yearly Fair Service at the Crawford County fairgrounds. Both of these events allow us the opportunity to reach out to people that we don’t normally come in contact with. Please pray that God would use these events for His glory.
As often as I can, I like to remind us of our mission statement: “Hope Church exists to glorify God by learning, following, and sharing the Word of God and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, both locally and globally, through the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.” In other words, as the people of Hope Church, we are on this planet for God. We are here to bring Him glory and not vice versa. Along with that, our mission statement reminds us that we must sit at the feet of Jesus and drink deeply of the Word of God, and be filled with the Spirit of Christ. When we do that, we will be equipped for works of service in this world. Truly, Christians are a unique and counter-cultural group of people, but that doesn’t mean that we are to separate ourselves from the rest of the world and find shelter in our Christian “clique.” Rather, we are to penetrate our world with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. This is what Jesus had in mind when he said that Christians are to be salt and light in the world.
In this edition of the Pastors Newsletter, I want to stress that the only way our witness to the world will be effective is if we are walking close to Jesus. If we simply look like the rest of the world, then we have little eternal influence. However, if we make it our aim to live as Jesus lived, the world will notice, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, many will come to faith. Are you walking close with Jesus? Do you have a burden for your lost friends and family members? If the answer to the second question was no, pray and ask God to increase you desire to see them come to faith in Jesus Christ. And always remember, “You are the light of the world……let you light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14,16)