Thought for Meditation:
Our interiors must develop along with our exteriors. The story of salvation has predictable outlines, but the individual character of the saved person is never predictable. That is always unique. The uniqueness is carved by prayer.
Eugene Peterson, “Answering God” p55-56
Growing In Our Faith
Dr. Paul Brand was a surgeon who worked in India for many years. He often cared for missionaries who had been injured and wanted to get back out into the field. One time a lady came to him who had obviously broken her leg. About 6 months earlier she had fallen, and the femur, the thigh bone, had broken. A doctor had set it, but it hadn’t healed properly, so she came to Dr. Brand.
He described the typical process of a bone as it heals. We often think of bones in terms of Halloween and death, but bones are actually living and growing. When a bone breaks repair cells invade the area and lay down a cartilage-like sheath called a callus. Cartilage is flexible, but at least it holds the bone together. After the callus is established other cells called osteoblasts come in. They break down the callus and replace it with bone. Instead of being flexible it becomes rigid. Eventually the bone grows back together and is as good as new.
The femur on this lady had not healed. It had not grown back together. He asked her a few questions and found out that 20 years earlier she’d had a small tumor in her thigh. Another doctor had used radiation to kill the tumor, and in the process had killed the bone. When it broke, because it was dead it couldn’t grow back. Dr. Brand did a series of bone grafts and eventually was able to heal this woman’s femur.
In the book where I read about this Dr. Brand shared the point of the story. Just as bones can either be alive and growing, or dead and not growing, Christians also have two options. We can either be growing or dying. That is true physically, and it is true spiritually. Followers of Jesus Christ are called to grow in our faith.
This is our second week looking at the new mission statement for Sharon Church. Last week we looked at the first part of the mission statement – our mission, our job as a church, is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are called to tell other people about Jesus and invite them to become his disciples.
The second part of our mission statement is that we are called to “welcome and encourage all who want to grow in faith.” As our passage in Ephesians says, our job is “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to … to maturity.… We must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:12-13, 15). Let me share with you two ways we are called to grow.
First, we are called to grow in our knowledge of Jesus. One of my professors at seminary studied under Paul Tillich. Tillich was one of the great theologians of the 20th Century. He was born and raised in Germany and had a very thick accent. One day he was lecturing about Gnosticism, which was one of the early Christian heresies. He was trying to make the point that true faith always includes knowledge, knowing what you believe. The Greek word for knowledge is gnosis – g-n-o-s-i-s. Tillich was trying to say “There is no perfect faith without gnosis.” Yet with his accent it came out, “Zer is no perfect face without noses.”
One of the great strengths of the Presbyterian Church, and, to be honest, one of the reasons I am a Presbyterian, is that historically, Presbyterians have always emphasized faith that is well-thought out. Our strength has always been an intelligent faith. We’ve always expected our pastors to be educated and for the most part Presbyterians are better educated than many denominations. We encourage people to think about what they believe. You don’t have to give up your mind to be a Christian.
This church does an adequate job of providing opportunities to grow in our faith through learning. Last week I started an adult Sunday school class on the Ten Commandments. Each week we will look at one of the commandments. We had 20-25 people last week but I’d love to see more of you join us. We have several small groups that are studying various books. I commend those of you who are part of those groups or doing some other type of study where you can learn more about Jesus. My dream would be that every member would participate in some type of class or small group. A church like this ought to have two or three Sunday school classes and at least ten small groups. I’d love to see a group or a class for young adults. With Robert Morris right down the street I’d love to see us develop a ministry to the college students. College is a time of great intellectual growth and we are in a position that we could be part of that.
I want to share with you an image that comes out of a college setting. It isn’t a pretty image, but it makes the point. Imagine you are at a college and you go into the cafeteria for lunch. You pick up your tray and your silverware. You get up to the counter and look at the food. You recognize most of it, but there is one pan with some sort of glop in it. You ask the server what it is and she tells you that you don’t want to know. “Yes I do. What is it?” She responds. “It’s pre-chewed food. Someone took all the food we are serving, chewed it up, and instead of swallowing, they put it in this tray. Would you like some?”
That is a disgusting image. I can’t imagine that. Yet too many Christians are willing to accept that for our faith? They are willing to live on the faith they learned in Sunday School back in the 5th grade? They are willing to accept whatever the pastor says as true. They are willing to live on someone else’s pre-chewed knowledge about Jesus. Brothers and sisters, all of us are called to grow in our knowledge of Jesus Christ.
We are also called to grow in our love for Jesus. Soren Kierkegaard told a parable about a king who loved a humble maiden.
How could he declare his love for her? In an odd sort of way, his very kingliness tied his hands. If he brought her to the palace and crowned her head with jewels and clothed her body in royal robes, she would surely not resist – no one dared resist him. But would she love him?
She would say she loved him, of course, but would she truly? Or would she live with him in fear, nursing a private grief for the life she had left behind. Would she be happy at his side? How could he know?
… He did not want a cringing subject. He wanted a lover, and equal. He wanted her to forget that he was a king and she a humble maiden and to let shared love cross over the gulf between them.
For it is only in love that the unequal can be made equal… The king, convinced he could not elevate the maiden without crushing her freedom, resolved to descend. He clothed himself as a beggar and approached her cottage incognito, with a work cloak fluttering loosely about him. It was no mere disguise, but a new identity he took on. He renounced the throne to win her hand.
as told in “Disappointment with God,” by Philip Yancey, p103-104
This is what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. The King of the universe loves you and wants a relationship with you. God wants your heart. God wants your passion. Are you growing more and more in love with God every day, every week, every year? Lovers long to be together. Is that longing part of your life? God’s desire is for you to grow in your love for Jesus Christ.
Our mission is to “welcome and encourage all who want to grow in faith.” That includes growing in our knowledge and in our love for Jesus. Of the different parts of our mission statement this is the one I love the most, and the one I struggle with most. I got my Doctor of Ministry from Pittsburgh Seminary. I focused on spiritual growth. I still don’t have a clear sense of how people grow in faith and what the church needs to do to help in that process.
Part of the problem, I think, is that we are all different, so growing in faith will look different for all of us. There isn’t a one size fits all program that will help everyone grow. However, let me suggest that there are at least two settings that help people grow. Some people grow best when they study by themselves. Others grow best when they are in a group. Let me make a few comments about both ideas.
For those who like to study alone there are more books to help you grow in your faith than you will ever be able to read. I did a quick search on Amazon for “Christian Books and Bibles.” There were more than 500,000 entries. There are books on theology, on the Bible, Christian living, spirituality, family and relationships, church leadership, and who knows how many other categories.
Of course, the most important book to read is the Bible. The primary way God speaks to us is through the Bible. Charles Spurgeon, one of the great preachers of the 1800's, visited woman who was very sick. She asked him to read from her Bible. He picked it up and started flipping through the pages. He noticed in the margins at many places, were the letters "TP". When I see the letters “TP” I think of either toilet paper or toothpaste, neither of which makes much sense in the Bible. Spurgeon wasn’t sure what it was about so he asked her. She replied, "Those are the promises which are tried and proven." She lived by the power of God's Word.
For those of you who prefer to study by yourself, I encourage you to read, especially read the Bible. For those of you who prefer to be in groups, I still encourage you to read your Bible. I am convinced that if every member of this church spent five to ten minutes a day, five days a week, reading the Bible it would transform this church. Read one chapter or even one passage a day. Know God’s word, and grow in your faith.
For those who would rather learn in a group setting, I encourage you to find a group that is focused on helping people grow. Sunday school could be part of that, or a small group. I know that some of you are going to Community Bible Study and that is a wonderful opportunity to grow.
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was on vacation with his wife, Ruth, down in Florida. They stayed at a resort that had a golf course. Every evening they went to the club house for dinner. As they walked in to the restaurant Peale heard a humming noise of some sort. He didn’t know what it was. The next night he heard it again so he went to explore. He found all of the golf carts plugged in and recharging. He thought to himself,
“There is a sermon illustration here. All those carts have been running around all day. No matter where they have been on the golf course, they come together in one place to plug in and get their power from one source.”
That is the power of small groups or Sunday school classes. We learn more when we are together than when we are by ourselves. Where might you participate in a small group or Sunday school class?
Spiritual growth, helping people grow in our faith. That is what we are about. Let me invite you to take an inventory of your life. In what ways are you growing in your faith? What will help you grow in your faith? How can you help others grow in faith? For right now I invite you to stand and join me in reciting our mission statement, committing ourselves to spiritual growth.
The mission of the Sharon Community Presbyterian Church is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, welcome and encourage all who want to grow in faith, care for those in need and celebrate the glory of God in worship and in our daily lives.
Romans 3:21-26; 2 Corinthians 5:14-2
Thought for Meditation:
It is out of the exciting renewal of our own faith that the excitement of sharing with the outsider comes… It is simply the excitement of God's love in us that empowers us to have compassion for all people and to share with all people ourselves, and therefore our Lord.
Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ
Will Campbell was a Baptist preacher and a social activist in the second half of the 20th century. He was friends with P.D. Eastman, the children’s author who wrote “Go, Dog! Go.” and “Are You My Mother?” Eastman had questions about Christianity so he asked Campbell – “In ten words or less, what’s the Christian message?” Campbell responded, “We’re all bastards but God loves us anyway.” Eastman pondered that and said, “You still have two more words.”
How would you answer that question? How would you describe the Christian faith, even if you had a couple of paragraphs? When I teach Confirmation classes I always have the students write a statement of faith. They usually grumble about the assignment, and struggle with it. But, when they finish their statements and read them to the session, the session members inevitably respond with amazement. Countless times I’ve heard elders say “I can’t imagine writing anything that good.”
I would suggest that at some point in time everyone should write a statement of faith. There are several benefits to writing a statement of faith. For one thing, writing a statement of faith forces you to clarify what you believe. What is it that truly gives meaning to your life? A five year-old girl was sitting with her dad in worship. They sat close to the front so she could see what was going on. This particular Sunday the pastor was baptizing an infant. He poured water on the infant’s head. The girl whispered to her daddy, “Why is he brainwashing that baby?”
Many nonChristians think that becoming a Christian means being brainwashed and leaving your mind behind. I would suggest that just the opposite is true. We are challenged to know what we believe, and writing it down is the best way to do that. The reason it is important to know what you believe is that what you believe will determine what you do.
I’ve never flown an airplane so I don’t know how it works, but I’ve heard that a pilot’s brain can play a trick on them so that they can get disoriented. They think they are flying right-side-up when actually they are upside down. It happened a few years ago to a pilot who thought she was doing a steep ascent, but she was disoriented and crashed her plane into the ground. What you believe matters. That is why it is important to know what you believe and a good idea to write a statement of faith.
The Scripture passage that Melissa read a few moments ago is one of several passages that explains what we believe. “All of us are sinners. ” Will Campbell used a different word to describe our problem. Whether you take “bastard” as a derogatory word or take it literally to mean an illegitimate child, it points to the same problem that Paul talks about when he says that “we’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We don’t live as God want us to, the way we were created to live. Our sin breaks our relationship with God and cuts us off from God’s blessings. But now, in Jesus, God has justified us. Through his death and resurrection, that’s the sacrifice of atonement, God has forgiven us.
This is the same message as 2 Corinthians. Jesus died for us, and through his death and resurrection we are a new creation, we are reconciled to God. However, in this passage Paul gives us the second reason that we need to be able to say what we believe. Not only have we been reconciled to God through Christ, we have been given the ministry of reconciliation and we are ambassadors for Christ. We represent Christ to the world. God uses us to share the good news of Jesus. If we are going to share the good news we need to know what it is.
The word reconciliation is a great word. It literally means to bring two things that are opposed to each other back together as one. Our sin has separated us from God. Through Jesus’ death we are reunited with God. Our relationship is restored. The word for ambassadors might surprise you. The Greek word for ambassador is Presbyterian! “God has reunited us to Himself and has given us the job of telling other people about Jesus, so that they can be reunited with God. We are Presbyterians for Christ.”
Unfortunately, Presbyterians are not very good at this ministry. The word we use for this type of ministry is evangelism, and for a variety of reasons evangelism has become a curse word, an activity that is either despised or ignored.
Charlie Peace was a well-known criminal in London, England. On July 4, 1854 he was hung for his crimes. The Anglican church has ceremony for everything, including hanging someone. As Charlie was being led to the gallows a priest walked behind him and read these words from the Prayer Book: “Those who die without Christ experience hell, which is the pain of forever dying without the release which death itself can bring.”
When the priest said that Charlie stopped and faced the priest. He shouted at him, “Do you really believe that? Do you really believe that?” The priest wasn’t expecting that question. He hadn’t really thought about the words – he was just reading them from the Prayer Book. He stammered back, “Yes … I suppose I do.” Charlie said, “Well, I don’t believe that. But if I did I’d get down on my hands and knees and crawl all over Great Britain, even if it were paved with pieces of broken glass, if I could just rescue one person from hell.”
If we truly believe that Jesus is the source of salvation and our only hope, we ought to be doing everything we can to tell other people about Jesus. Imagine that someone had a cure for cancer but wouldn’t tell anyone else what that cure was. People would be livid at that person. If you have a formula that would save people from a dreaded disease, but won’t share it, the world would condemn you. In the same way – we know the cure for sin and spiritual death. Why would we not share it with others?
I have a sense that many people have a misconception of what evangelism really is. It is not badgering people and trying to convince them to believe in Jesus. I would suggest that evangelism has two parts. First, evangelism involves knowing the basics of the Christian faith. Humans have a problem, however you want to describe that problem, and there is nothing we can do about that problem. But what we can’t do, God has done for us in and through Jesus Christ. Second, evangelism involves telling other people how God’s love has made a difference in your life. How has Jesus’ love changed your life?
We are starting a five week sermon series today, looking at the new mission statement of Sharon Church. Session worked on it for several months and approved it at our June meeting.
The mission of Sharon Community Presbyterian Church is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, welcome and encourage all who want to grow in faith, care for those in need and celebrate the glory of God in worship and in our daily lives.
We are going to look at each of the different aspects of this mission statement. This sermon is about the first one. Our mission is to “share the Good News of Jesus Christ.” That is our task, as a church, and as members of the church.
There are many different ways to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Some of them are better than others. We’ve probably all seen enough of the bad examples to know why many people are turned off by evangelism.
Tony Campolo and his wife were traveling from New Zealand back home to Philadelphia. They had a layover in Honolulu, about five hours. They got off the plane and took a walk along Waikiki Beach. As they walked they saw a strange looking man, a street preacher. He was barefoot, had torn jeans and a dirty T-shirt on. He had a Bible in one hand and pointed his finger at everyone who walked by, pronouncing the judgment of God on those who did not repent.
Tony looked at his wife and said, “It’s guys like that who are an embarrassment to the Kingdom of God. People look at weirdos like that and get turned off to the gospel.” About an hour later Tony and his wife walked back up the street and saw two normal-looking men standing with the street preacher. He had his arms around their shoulders and as they passed by Tony could hear that they were praying to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Tony’s wife looked at him and asked, “Well? How many people did you lead to Jesus today?”
I’m not suggesting that everyone ought to become a street preacher like the man in Hawaii. We need to find ways to evangelize that fit our theology and fit our personality. From my perspective, healthy evangelism will involve listening to people and their stories, serving them and helping them, and building relationships. Above all it involves telling other people how God is working in our lives. How has the Good News of Jesus Christ made a difference for you?
If we have received God’s love, his presence and love in our lives will impel us to tell others so that they can experience it too. How can we not share the best good news in the world?
A little boy came home from Sunday school and told his parents that his Sunday school teacher must be Jesus’ grandmother. He explained that she spent the whole time in Sunday school talking about how wonderful Jesus was and showing them lots of pictures of Jesus. That’s what grandmas do.
How many of you have pictures with you today of your grandchildren, or if you are not a grandparent, of your children? I imagine I wouldn’t have to twist your arm to get you to show me their pictures and tell me about them. Every grandparent likes to show off their grandchildren and brag about them?
Someday I hope to have grandchildren. I’m sure I’ll carry their pictures and be happy to tell you all about them. For now I only have four pictures in my wallet, pictures of Tanya and my three kids. I’d be more than happy to show you their pictures and tell you how wonderful they are. As wonderful as children and grandchildren are, we have a Savior who is even more wonderful. How can we not tell others about Jesus?
I invite you now to get out your bulletin and stand. Together, let us recite our mission statement, committing ourselves to reaffirming what God has called us to do and be.
The mission of Sharon Community Presbyterian Church is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, welcome and encourage all who want to grow in faith, care for those in need and celebrate the glory of God in worship and in our daily lives.
1 Peter 2:1-10
by Interim Pastor Doug Marshall
Thought for Meditation
Weak and wounded sinner, Lost and left to die,
O raise your head for Love is passin' by.
Come to Jesus, Come to Jesus, Come to Jesus and live.
“Come to Jesus,” Chris Rice
Grow Into Salvation
My sister is two years and twelve days older than I am. We got along fine as we were growing up – as long as I did what she told me to do. Whenever we did argue she always had a way that she could win. She would look at me and with a sneer on her face, say “Oh, grow up!”
Our scripture lesson this morning is from Peter’s first letter. It is addressed to all Christians and his message is the same as my sister’s, “Grow up.” Peter is much nicer than my sister was, but the message is the same, “Grow into your salvation.” Peter challenged and encouraged these early Christians to grow in their faith, to become mature Christians. I am convinced that this is a message that all of us need to hear and Peter show us at least three ways we can grow into salvation.
First, we grow into salvation by coming to Jesus. Look at verse four. “Come to him (meaning Jesus), a living stone.” At some point everyone needs to come to Jesus. We all need to turn to him and ask him to be our Lord and Savior. Being raised in the church and coming to worship every week is not enough. Kids, I want you to listen for a moment. You probably are here today because your parents brought you. That is great. I’m thrilled that you are here. At some point in your life you need to come to Jesus and ask him to be your Lord and Savior. You need to come to church not because your parents make you but because you want to grow in your own faith.
I love coming to church. Since I’m a pastor I suppose that is a good thing. I love it when lots of people come to church. I’ll say more about that in a few moments. However, what really matters is not coming to church, but coming to Jesus. Hopefully you will meet Jesus here, you will hear his word and experience his love. But just coming to church is not enough. As one person said, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald’s makes you a Big Mac.” We need to come to Jesus. I would suggest that coming to Jesus is something we need to do every day. Every day, take a moment and acknowledge his presence in your life and give thanks for his love. “Thank you Jesus that you are with me. Thank you for your love. Help me through this day.”
The first way we become mature and grow into salvation is to come to Jesus. Whether it is the first time in your life or the first time today, come to Jesus, the living stone, who is the source of our salvation and life.
The second way we grow into our salvation is to recognize who we are. It might be better to say that we grow into salvation by becoming the people we already are in Christ. This is a question of identity. Who are you, really? Who am I? Peter uses a variety of phrases to describe our identity.
He calls us priests. In verse 5 he says that we are a holy priesthood. In verse 9 a royal priesthood. Roman Catholics have priests. They have more power and are closer to God than “normal” people. Bishops are above them and all the way up to the Pope, who is closest to God. But we’re Presbyterians. We don’t have priests, do we? Yes, we do! We believe that all of us are priests. Never put yourself down because you are not an ordained pastor. You are just as important as anyone else. Your prayers are just as good as any pastor’s. You are a holy and royal priesthood.
In verse 9 Peter uses a wonderful string of phrases to describe us. “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people.” Let me make a couple of comments. First, notice that all of these phrases deal with groups of people, not individuals. In fact, throughout this whole passage the grammar is not in the singular, but in the plural. There are no solitary Christians. To be a follower of Jesus is to be a part of the body of Christ, the community of faith.
Second, in the Old Testament, the people of Israel found their identity and their value in the belief that God chose them. Out of all the peoples of the earth, God chose the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were the ones, and no one else, who were God’s people. Now, through Jesus Christ, we have been included! We are the chosen race. We are God’s own people. God looked out over the world and said “I want Mike to be mine. I want Ruth to be mine, and Dorothy. Oh, I don’t want to forget Rob and Kathy.” God wants all of you. Your identity is that you are God’s beloved children.
Many of us define ourselves by what we do. I’m a pastor. Ron is a music director. Anne is a real estate agent. Sherri is a nurse. Walt is a dentist, but he’s retired now. Does that mean he’s a nobody? We are not primarily defined by what we do. Neither are we define by the things that happen to us. She lost her job. He went through a divorce. She got cancer. They belong to a church that had some problems and now they are losing their music director.
Our identity is impacted by what we do and the things that happen to us. Our identity changes throughout our lives. Yet the most important part of our identity never changes – “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people” (1 Peter 1:9). You are God’s beloved children and as you grasp that truth, and live it out every day, you will become the people that you really are in Christ. You will grow into salvation.
There is a third aspect to growing into our salvation – we must do the things we were created to do. Peter mentions two things that we are called to do. The first has to do with worship. “Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). Sacrifices were a central part of worship in the Old Testament. We don’t sacrifice animals in our worship, but we still worship. In fact, I would suggest that worship is the most important thing we do as a church, and your presence is an essential part of our worship.
Some of you probably think that is an absurd statement – your presence is essential to worship. With Ron leaving there is a level of anxiety about worship. The organist and choir director is essential. Who will play the hymns and lead the choir? Joe, would play the organ for our hymns? If the preacher isn’t here what will we do for a sermon? Deb, would you like to preach? My guess is that many of you think “I’m not important. I don’t do anything. All I do is sit here and listen. I’m not essential to worship”
That idea is a misunderstanding of worship. First of all, worship is not something passive that you watch. Worship involves active participation of all of us. Second, worship is not about what you get out of it, but about what you can give to it. All of that is a way of saying that when you are not here on Sunday morning something is missing. As a leader of worship I want you to know how important your presence is. The more people there are in the sanctuary, the more energy there is, the better the choir sounds and the better the sermon is. The choir works hard at preparing music and I try to do my work in preparing a good sermon, but your presence here makes worship even better.
A wealthy European nobleman built a small cathedral in the mountain village where he lived. After it was completed, the people gathered for the grand opening of the church. They marveled at its beauty. It was a masterpiece. But someone asked, “Where are the lamps? It’s quite dark in here? How will the church be lighted?” The nobleman pointed to some brackets on the walls. Then he gave each family a lamp and said, “Each time you are here, the place where you are seated will be lighted. Each time you are not here, that place will be dark. This is to remind you that whenever you fail to come to worship, some part of God’s house will be dark.”
Friends, as God’s people, as a holy priesthood, one of the things we are called to do is worship. When we worship we grow in our faith, we grow into our salvation.
There is a second task that we are called to do. Look at verse 9: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty act of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” We are called to tell others about Jesus, to tell others how Jesus’ love has touched our lives, to share God’s love in Jesus Christ.
There was an apprentice monk who was a very quiet man, very shy. He loved to spend time in prayer and read the scriptures. The idea of getting up in front of a group terrified him. Unfortunately, to become a full monk in his order he had to get up and lead worship, which included preaching a sermon. After several years living in the monastery the senior abbot told him that it was time for him to give his sermon. Sunday morning he got up, looked at everyone, and panicked. “Do you know what I’m going to say?” Everyone shook their heads no. “Neither do I. Receive the benediction. Go in peace.” He walked out.
The senior abbot was not too pleased. He told him that the next week he would have to do it again and do a better job. The following Sunday he got up in front and again panicked. “Do you know what I’m going to say?” The other monks loved this apprentice monk and wanted to support him, so they shook their heads yes. He said, “Good. Receive the benediction. Go in peace.” He walked out.
At this point the senior abbot was furious, and told him that he still had to preach and that next week he had better get it right. The following Sunday everyone wondered what would happen. The nervous monk got up. “Do you know what I’m going to say?” The other monks didn’t know how to respond this time. Some shook their heads yes. Some shook their heads no. He said, “Good. Will those of you who know please tell those who don’t know. Receive the benediction. Go in peace.”
Will those of you who know the good news of Jesus Christ please tell those who don’t know. As those who know Jesus, we are called to tell others about God’s love in Jesus. “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
My friends, I pray that we will all grow into our salvation by coming to Jesus, by living out your identity as God’s beloved children, and by seeking to be obedient to God’s call on your life. Amen.