The prayer and hope for Grace & Peace as we journey into the New Year is to begin to move from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity. This can only happen as each one of us in the congregation begins to allow the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and enlighten our hearts in the HOly Scriptures. When the scriptures begin to be the “Authoritative” word of God in our lives, only then will maturity be possible. Jesus must be Lord of our entire lives in order for us to grow and mature. This, in turn, will compel us to love others. This is not only for the pure “knowledge” of scripture, but also for the application of scripture in our daily lives. We need to walk and live out the scriptures contextually to love our neighbors without compromising the true message of the Gospel.
My prayer would be that we would continue to daily repent of our sinful natures before the Lord. I also pray that we would begin or continue to walk in obedience and meditation in the Word, celebrate and rejoice in worship, humble ourselves in prayer, encourage and disciple one another in fellowship, and learn to be sacrificial in our giving. We will begin to move from infancy to maturity not as individuals but as a Body. As one body, we would serve our local church community as well as our larger local community of North Philadelphia (Hunting Park) and beyond. In this growing process we will strengthen and train up our congregation in discipleship to evangelize the Gospel to the lost and energize and uplift other believers. May the Lord continue to show us His loving kindness, mercy, and grace as we, a sinful people, are continuously being cared for by our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Paul speaks to us about this in Ephesians 4:11-16, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
- Pastor Rob Whitmire