Dear Grace Family,
“Disruption tills the soil of men’s hearts.” This time of year I am typically in Atlanta for Encompass Board meetings, which is our mission's sending agency. We pray, plan, and evaluate how to best serve the mission of making disciples among the least reached, and meet with passionate practitioners and thinkers. This year, in a Zoom meeting, this statement was made in a devotion about leadership. It was stated that disruption creates new opportunities, forces us all to ask different questions, and is the revealer of our hearts.
Crisis reveals. It reveals character. It brings out the best and worst in people. It reveals our true theology and what we really believe about God and His word. In all of this, there are great opportunities to reinforce our own faith in what is true and real, but also direct others to the truth. Since God is in control, we can rest. We can be settled. We can be joyful. This is what everyone is searching for and cannot find outside of Christ. So as people’s hearts are being tilled, we are in a position to be planters of truth, to show in both what we believe and how we live that Jesus came to forgive our sin, bring us back to a relationship with the Father that is peaceful, and grant us hope both now and in the future. I hope we all get opportunities to share the good news of Jesus during these weeks, and cannot wait to hear some of the stories and even meet some of the people when we are back together.
We started 1 Timothy 4 this last Sunday, and we will study it for the next two weeks. Paul instructed the church concerning the surety of false teaching which would unfortunately mean some would depart from the faith. Just being an attendee of a church, or growing up in one, or even praying a prayer are not things that save and cause one to endure. It is only when God causes us to be born again through the work of Jesus Christ and the gracious gift of faith that we can be godly. False teaching will always call us to do something or in this case not do something that will improve our standing with God. This type of teaching is exhausting, appealing, and eventually, damning. We are saved, we live, we grow, and we mature IN JESUS CHRIST. This coming week we will look at how we are trained in both our diet and exercise to grow in godliness and see clearly what is false. Please join us and read through 1 Timothy 4 on your own to prepare your mind and heart.
I cannot say enough how much we miss being with you, seeing your faces, hearing your voices, and worshipping together (in the same place). We are realistically optimistic that some of this separation will end soon, and we will prepare ourselves to love, prefer and be gracious to each other when we do.
Pastor Jordan Bakker