God has really opened my eyes the last few weeks to the grand design of the church. He, according to our text, has placed us together that we may grow the body. You are an integral part of this body. We need you to be exercising the gifts that God has given you if we are to grow up into maturity. Remember the goal is to become like Christ, we are not there yet, and we will never get there this side of eternity. So, that tells me that we must continue to strive toward the goal of the upward call. We must all exercise our gifts in a way that brings glory to our king and builds up not only Shiloh Baptist, but the church universal. I am blessed to be a part of this body, and I commit afresh and anew to use the gifts God has given to me in order to instruct you for the work of service for the building up of this body. God bless.
What a blessing it was to travel with eight of my brothers in Christ down to First Baptist Woodstock for their annual men's conference this past weekend. Our God is always at work and I thank Him for His work in my life and the lives of these men. May we not be foolish and only look forward to another mountain top experience this time next year, but let us be steadfast in our work for the King here and now, making disciples and growing up as a body together.
Paul began chapter 4 by urging us to walk worthy of the calling. He pointed us back to chapters 1-3 to show us what that calling was. Praise God that we are not supposed to live out our faith in our own strength. We are daily to preach the gospel to ourselves, remembering who we are in Christ. Just think of the statements he makes in the first 3 chapters. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing, we are chosen, we are adopted, we are redeemed, we are given an inheritance, we are reconciled to God and to other men, and the list could go on and on. Is this your strength for the living out of your faith, or do you continually try to earn God's favor. Paul continued in chapter 4 going into specific ways we walk worthy in the church. The buzzword there was humility. Do you consider others better than yourself? Do you love those who even hurt you? This is the practicality of walking out our faith. This past Sunday we looked at the gifts of grace that Christ gives for the building up of the church. Did you realize that you were given a gift upon your salvation, a means of building up the church by an ability that Christ gave you? What is your gift? Are you using it for the glory of God, or are you sitting on it? May God continue to bless our study of His word.
It has been a very busy time here of late at Shiloh and you notice that by the lack of blogging that has been going on. First off, let us all praise God for the life of our brother in Christ, Mayford Johnson. Mayford was one of the kindest men I have ever know and I am so thankful that he lived his life in such a way as to point people to the savior. Please be praying for Ruby and his family. There are also many in the hospital with major things going on. Please continue to pray for Grace Johnson, Bob Sutton, Bobby Atchley, Duane Rulapaugh, and Carl "Monk" Plemmons. God's grace is sufficient to handle all these things, along with some icy roads that we have been experiencing as well. May we be faithful to Him, who while we were yet sinners sent Christ to die for us.