Summary: Year in review for First Baptist, Eula, as well as vision and challenges.
We are not the perfect Church.
However, this past year, we have shown that we are a Church that is moving to improvement.
Php 3:8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
Php 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith--
Php 3:10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
Php 3:11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Php 3:12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Php 3:13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
Php 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
Paul had given his testimony, claiming to have started closer than most people.
He finishes it by saying it is nothing compared to know Christ and growing in his knowledge of Christ.
Just to be found in Him, something all of us have if we are saved, brings us to the top.
Because righteousness comes by faith.
Then he asks for the impossible, after receiving salvation, living worthy of it.
“that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
Of course, not to earn the resurrection of the dead, but to strain to live up to it.
Then he admits he has a way to go. “I am not there yet, nor do I pretend to be.”
But that is not going to slow me down in my pursuit of trying to be worthy of Christ.
I’m going to keep on pressing, keep on working, despite its impossibility, because I love Him so much and want to please Him.
He then goes on to say that everyone who is mature in the faith lives like this.
We keep on pushing, keep on looking for ways to know Him more and serve Him better.
We are never satisfied, but every grateful for the opportunity to serve Him.
This is where we are as a Church.
We are by no means perfect. But we have a desire to be more worthy of our Master.
We are not being critical of our Church when we seek areas to improve.
We are just wanting to serve our Perfect Master in a worthy manner.
Year in Review.
First great success, Fund raisers for youth.
Linda Johnson fundraisers.
Christmas for Soldiers.
We have some internal needs.
Positions to be filled.
Maintenance to take place.
We need to continue to find ways of both reaching and engaging the community.
Please look at the back wall.
Which one is important?
The importance is balance.
To be a Church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (Improved Worship and open demonstrations of our love and admiration for God.)
To be a Church that loves one another. (Increased fellowship, bearing one another in love and patience, support and encouragement.
To be a Church that continues to learn of God. (Increased depth in Bible studies and opportunities to learn).
To be a Church that continues to serve others. (Increased opportunities for missions, service work and showing the love of Christ to this community and members in need.)
This is my vision, and I believe it is given by God.
It calls for the people of God to dig a little deeper, work a little harder, love a little more, forgive a little more aggressively.
Why? Because our Master is worth a growing effort.
You are important. What can you do?
1. Pray. For leaders. For opportunities. For community.
2. Commit. To programs, services, efforts.
3. Dream. Ask God to show you how to serve Him in greater ways, and let us as a Church help empower you to accomplish that dream.
4. Love. Let love guide your conduct within our Church and drive our efforts into the community and world.
5. Learn. Learn the dimensions of the love of Christ. Learn the Scriptures.