Gabriel's Horn, Pastor Tim, July, 2015

posted Jul 1, 2015, 7:17 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Jul 1, 2015, 7:18 PM ]

Dear Friends and Members of Leola United Methodist Church,

The summer months provide additional opportunities to grow in our faith.  While on vacation a couple of years ago, I spotted a young man wearing a t-shirt with, “Methodism begins with Me” printed on the front.  On the back was the name of the church. 

I do not totally agree with that sentiment; the temptation is to always focus on ourselves and not on God. There is some truth, that each one of us can make a positive difference in our church.

At our last Church Council meeting we discussed steps we could take to strengthen our church.  It is important to continually reach out to persons living in our neighborhoods and community, because once we lose our outward focus, the church begins to decline. 

When we strengthen our own faith, there is a carryover to the church.  That is why it is important to spend time each day with God through prayer and the reading of scripture.  Ten or fifteen minutes daily will make a difference in our lives.  When we fail to spend time with God, it signals that we are more self-dependent than God-dependent.  When we pray, we do so as an expression of our dependence on God.

As we read our Bibles, we discover God’s word of hope and life.  Perhaps we know this truth but have forgotten its power.  A daily reminder that through the word God brings life out of death.  Reading the Bible and praying on a regular basis becomes our lifeline to God. When we read of all that God has done in the past, we are able to place our trust in God. 

Another benefit of daily reading and prayer is that we will be strong to resist most of the temptations around us.  We will be better able to recognize all the subtle temptations we face, and rely on God.

Finally, it is difficult to read the Bible and not see God’s love for all people.  Jesus gave the disciples and us a new commandment “Love each other.  Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other.” (John 13:34).  Because God loves all people, we must strive to be more loving to all the people we encounter.  Prayer and scripture reading turns our hearts outward to include everyone.  What breaks God’s heart should break ours as well.

In keeping the spiritual disciplines, our focus remains on God and not ourselves or our circumstances.  “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence.”  (Proverbs 3:5)

Each one of us has the opportunity to make a positive difference in the life of our church.  It begins with us.  Working together for the glory of God there is no telling what the church can do!

 

See you in Church,

Your Pastor,

Pastor Tim

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