Greetings in Christ St. Luke Family and all others that should be a part of our St. Luke family!
An amazing and yet well known fact: Time Flies!! As I reflect on my thoughts that this is my last Epistle article as council president I am absolutely amazed how fast it seems to me that the past 12 months have become the past 12 months! The Bible tells us that to the Lord a day is a thousand years and a thousand years is a day. I’m starting to figure out how the thousand years is like a day thing works as the days and months seem to be coming and going at an exponentially faster pace for me.
First and foremost, I want to thank you for the privilege of serving as council president for the 2016/17 St. Luke business year. It was a wonderful experience and made all the better by all of the dedicated brothers and sisters that work for the Kingdom on Council and Elders and in all of the other support roles at St. Luke. You all are truly storing up everlasting treasures in Heaven. A special thank you to Pastor Bob. St. Luke could ask for a better shepherd but I’m positive that God would just simply laugh at that request.
The theme of my final message as president is this:
Don’t Just Sit There, Join the Family!
The book of Acts tells us much about the young Church that was being formed after that special Pentecost where the Spirit was poured upon the hearts and souls of the new believers. Church wasn’t a place to go on Sundays and enjoy the praise band and hear a short message and then go back to what one was doing in every day life until the next week. Church was every day! Church was everyone! Church was their new way of life in reaction to the change in their hearts brought about by the Spirit of the very God who created them and then redeemed His Creation! Church wasn’t just a once a week ritual in a building. It was a verb! Church was fellowshipping, the continually giving of time and talents and treasure while praying, worshiping, extolling and most of all loving. It was all of them being active in relation to the gifts that they had and sharing them constantly. Read the book of Acts and especially the portion that I will reference at the end of this article.
There are so many ways and opportunities at the church we call St. Luke to get involved and be doing Kingdom work! All of us need to be doing as described in Acts and become a verb at St. Luke. We need new and younger folks with young families to get involved in the process. We need this desperately. We need to find a new energy and commitment to the Kingdom work that is waiting to be done. Will you choose to be a spectator of the process or would you like to get excited and join in with the many joyous tasks of Kingdom work?
Any person with new life in Christ should honestly and on a regular basis take an inventory and assess where their life priorities are and how they line up with our relationship in Christ. We humans tend to go into “Alice in Wonderland mode” with our daily priorities and turn the importance factor of where we spend our time, talents and treasure upside down. Is it more important that we make that sports practice or in the Kingdom view should we make sure our family joins the larger St. Luke family on Sundays. Is my work more important than that weekly bible study even though I could make time for an hour and a half out of my 50 hour work week? What are the things that I am currently doing that will result in works that last for eternity vs. those that just fade away to dust when I leave this side of life? How do I view the physical gifts that the Creator has bestowed to myself and my family? Are they mine or are they His? Does God get the first fruits of what is already His or am I hoarding them in fear of the future and because I’m putting my faith in my savings and investments resulting in God getting the leftovers or what I determine is just enough? What percentage of my time, talent and treasure do I come up with that is equal to the the value or worth of my eternal salvation?
As we move through the rest of this year and into 2018 The Church of The Outpost is poised to move in big ways for the Kingdom. I use the word Outpost on purpose as that is what St. Luke is. In many ways the new Youth Outpost is a physical symbol of our mission here at St. Luke. We are an outpost in a local community that God has readied for harvest! We need to make sure our priorities are in line as free will bond-slaves of the Trinity. We need to be ready and willing to forward the vision for St. Luke that God has already set in place. The harvest is plentiful, the workers are few. Ask yourself this question: “How can I help, through Jesus Christ, to turn that second part of the phrase from few to many? Pray about it and then get involved. Your rewards for Kingdom work will be well beyond any time, talent and treasure that you give as they bring you blessings now and for eternity. When you prayerfully submit to be a true free will bondservant of the Most High King don’t be surprised how often you are surprised by his generosity in return and how often the rewards of joy, peace and love are multiplied in your life.*
Get involved! Find a place where you can share your gifts! Join a board, a bible study, be available in a proactive way. It is amazing how much closer a family feels when they are “all in” on a project or common goal. Join in and build up your relationship with the Creator and your personal bonds with the family in Christ that we call St. Luke Lutheran Church. Once you start you will find it impossible to stop. That is God’s promise.
*Warning: Kingdom Work has been shown to be spiritually addictive and typically leads to a desire to do and give more. Side effects include Peace, Joy, Contentment and an increasingly fulfilling relationship with the Creator and your fellow Christian family. You may also experience a real sense of spiritual euphoria, praise and wonder. Consult your bible for more information regarding this disclaimer. Acts 2: 42-47
Peace in Christ,