How excited I am to be a member of the FBJ Staff. I wondered at first if I was fully accepted because the key fobs I received as a new employee didn’t work on all the doors. In due time, they didn’t work on any of the doors. I couldn’t get in any of the buildings. I breathed a big sigh of relief to learn that we just had a bad set of fobs, and people were not trying to keep me out of the buildings. Sometimes you just have to laugh, right?
In my college days, I went with a group of friends to explore the beautiful Lynn Valley Canyon in Canada. In the valley is a fast-flowing river fed purely by snow melt. At a certain point, the narrow white water briefly widens into a pool. A steep rock wall towers over the river. As we approached, the girls gasped at the bravery of some men jumping off the cliffs. Well, as you can imagine, I was cool, willing to do whatever necessary to impress my friends. Before I had time to think about what came out of my mouth, I confidently announced, “I could do that!”
I had to laugh when my former church went through the process of electing new deacons. The church had made their nominations, I and the chairman were interviewing the candidates, and one particular man made a fascinating comment. With a look of bewilderment he said, “But I don’t look like a deacon!”
A favorite verse for many is Eph. 3:20-21: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
The year 2022 awaits our obedience to God. What we experience in the days ahead is a reflection of our relationship to Jesus Christ. Does that get you excited about the New Year? Are you anticipating great things because of the awesome God we serve? It is my prayer that the glory of God in our midst would not only transform us, but also transform our community with ever increasing influence.
Christmas is a spectacular story of a Holy God redeeming sinful humanity. Somebody had to pay the price for sin, but Jesus could not take our place unless He first took our condition. So He took on flesh, that He might redeem all flesh.
To have God’s blessing is to have God show favor upon your life. So, to whom does God show favor? Isaiah 66:1-2 says, “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,” says the Lord. “But on this one will I look; On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit. And who trembles at My word.”
The Apostle Paul made a statement to the church that is more significant than most people realize. He challenged believers to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). The context of the early church was a time of struggle, persecution, and spiritual warfare. Burdens were real, and the challenge of living out their faith was a daily experience.
The Apostle John described Jesus with these words: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Jesus is light and life. It is not something He has, it is something He is. Everywhere Jesus goes, He brings light and life to the situation. Some people welcome the light and find life, and others reject the light and remain in darkness.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:1-2
In troubling times, when dangers are all around, it is good to have a place of refuge. God’s presence is a place of security, peace, and rest. But don’t just turn to Him in distress -abide with Him at all times. Seek Him each morning and walk with Him throughout the day. Make it your determined purpose to know Him more and more. For the greater your knowledge of God is, the stronger your faith will be.
Jesus said in Matt 16:18, “I will build my church.” So, what does that mean? It means we cannot build the church apart from Him. It means He is active and working to build His church. It means He has a vision of what the church should look like. It means the church is a divine institution planned in the heart of God.
This has been a significant week for our church staff, as Isabel Loe and Pastor Sorn Clot have finished their race and are now with the Lord. As I reflect on these precious servants, my mind goes to a moment when the Resurrected Jesus came to the disciples. He showed them the scars on His hands and His side and said, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21).
August is upon us, which means a lot of ministry opportunities are starting back after a season of rest. I trust you found time to vacation, travel, and connect with family and friends this summer. But now is the time to engage in three key areas that will help you grow in your walk with God.
Summer is a time of vacation, travel, weekend events, and transition. People move, change jobs, and navigate into new stages of life. In the church, it is also a time when we see many visitors worship with us who are looking for a new church to join. Whether they have moved to the area, or God is doing something new in their life, or perhaps they are seeking God for the first time, we have an opportunity to make an eternal impact in their lives.
God is at work in Jonesboro, GA! By His grace we have come through a global pandemic and we are excited about what lies ahead. In this brief newsletter, you will find helpful information about what God is doing though FBJ, how to get involved, and how to direct your praying.