Message From the Pastor

Dear Family of Faith,

    I am struck by the wisdom of God that he has placed us in the Body of Christ to minister to one another. Each of us has something that we can give to others. For example, we can all give encouragement to each other, which leads us to the question what exactly is encouragement? The word encourage is from the old French word encoragier, which simple menas to make strong, to put in courage. In our English usage it has come to mean "to inspire, to spur on,  to help" among other things. The Word of God teaches us that we can all encourage each other in four ways:

1. We can be faithful to prayer for each other (Col. 4:2). Praying is the most important thing we can do for each other. When we pray for  someone, it tells God that we love the person enough to bring them and their circumstances to Him.

2. We can take time to be with those who suffer (2nd Cor. 1:3-4). Just as our Heavenly Father is not too busy to be with us, we need to take some time to be with those who are suffering. It means a lot for us to set down and see someone we love and speak with them face to face and let them know that they are truly beloved by us.

3. We can be faithful to encourage one another to worship God consistently (Rom. 1:11-12). While it is certainly true that we can worship God anywhere at any time, it is also true that we receive a blessing from God when we gather as God's people and worship together with one mind and heart. It is onlly in the context of public worship that we can get to know each other's needs and can genuinely communicate with one another in love as the Holy Spirit knits our hearts together. It is a resounding truth that you and I can not grow in isolation from other believers.

4. We can love each other enough to hold each other accountable (Gal 6:1). Every believer struggles with sin in one form or another. When we experience authentic worship and fellowship, we will grow in our sensitivity towards the sin in our own lives and that in others. As we remove the planks out of our own eyes by humbly confessing our sins, we will see clearly enough to help our Brothers and Sisters remove the specks in their eyes (Matt. 7:3-5). God is glorified when we become mature enough to have transparent lives with other believers.

So let us encourage each other! Our journey of faith is one which is difficult at best and we can not do it alone; we need each other. Let us therefore be faithful in encouraging each other.

Much Love in Christ,

Pastor Woody