Dear Church Family and Community,
I hope this finds you all well. Though we are mostly apart these days, I am grateful for the Holy Spirit who unites us, our Christ who leads us, and God our Father who loves us. I love you all and have been committed to lifting you all in prayer, as I continue to be encouraged and supported by your love and prayers as well. If there was a class to prepare us for what we’re all facing now, I must have missed it. But in all things, we are blessed with God and each other; so, I am learning to keep hold of that.
During our service a few weeks ago, Pastor Esteban led us in the following songs: J.J. Hairston’s You Deserve It, William McDowell’s Withholding Nothing, and the classic hymn I Surrender All, which was written Judson W. Van DeVenter, and then put to music by Winfield S. Weeden over a century ago. These songs are familiar and some of our favorites around these parts. Their message together reminds us that all we have, all we can give, all that we are belongs to God. These songs call us to surrender it all to God, who loves and cares for us.
Surrendering calls us to cease our resistance… Surrendering is submitting to God’s authority… Surrendering is our confession that Jesus is Lord being actively put into practice. Surrendering is active work. It is not a one-time act, but a lifetime, everyday commitment to submitting all that we have, all that we can give, and all that we are to God. God deserves and desires our whole heart: our minds, bodies, and souls; our desires, creativity, and intellect; our gifts, skills, and abilities; our treasures and blessings. God deserves it all from us.
This week we will be continuing our sermon series entitled Called to Steward: Growing in Christlikeness, Caring, and Trust. Stewardship in Scripture is founded on the idea that we are managers of everything with which God has blessed us. Our lives, our gifts, our resources, our hopes and dreams…all that we are, all that we have, all that we have been gifted, belongs to God. God created everything. God owns everything. God has chosen us to partner with him. We do so by consistently surrendering everything to God, and by stewarding everything God has gifted us.
This week we will be revisiting Abigail. David and Nabal play key parts in this story, but Abigail has always shined brightest for me in this text. To prepare for our service on Sunday, please take time to pray and read through 1 Samuel 25. As you read, I want you to reflect on the following questions:
What does hospitality look like to you?
Why is hospitality so important to the heart of God?
How are you managing what God’s given stewardship over?
How can all we have be used by God for his ultimate glory?
One of our dreams as a family is to use our house for God’s glory. We want to create a safe place for our family, friends, neighbors, and community. We want to be able to break bread together, fellowship, and let what God’s blessed us with also be a blessing to as many others as possible. This dream we have for our house, we learned from our church. And by our church I do mean us, the people, and also this building God’s graced us with.
My hope is that all of us are living lives of surrender to God our Father. My prayer is that all of our hearts truly belong to the Lord Jesus, our Christ. Our reality, sisters and brothers, is that surrender to God is listening to the Spirit and letting God use all that we have, all we can give, and all that we are to do kingdom work here and now.
God bless you all.
Love in Christ,
Pastor Hank (Psalm 105)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104